First foray back into writing so I figured I'd start with something easy and cliche to test the waters. I think there's so much to explore with the Janto relationship that it's hard to find a good starting place. I hope to try something pre-Gwen soon as that is an era I'd love to really dig into though there are already so many fantastic stories that address it. Perhaps I'll even take a stab at an AU.
All mistakes are my own as this is a quick little dip into the world of Torchwood.
The world continued to spin, people continued to go about their lives, rain continued to fall, the sun continued to shine. Everything moved on, it had to. Except Ianto Jones, whose world had been ripped from his grasp when he had been so close to his happiness. How could he move on from that? How could he be expected to just continue like the rest of the world, the rest of the universe?
He stood staring at his coffee maker, his instincts told him he should be doing something but he couldn't figure out what. He'd stopped crying sometime last night and now the tears simply wouldn't come. His heart ached. He didn't know what to do, he couldn't make the pain go away any more than he could stop the world from turning. His Lisa was gone, his motivation was gone. She had been the only thing keeping Ianto going after Canary Wharf, and now she was lost too. A victim of Torchwood to the last.
There were footsteps, but Ianto didn't turn to look. There was only one person who would enter his flat: Jack Harkness.
"There's a gun registered in my name along with a suicide note. Cover story should be enough that the constables won't investigate very deeply." Ianto said as nonchalantly as he would any other cover-up. He supposed Tosh would take over that now, Owen was rubbish and far too outlandish, and Gwen… Gwen would probably be too busy serving as 'the heart' of the team to come up with anything feasible.
Jack didn't say anything as he approached, drawing nearer until he was standing beside the former general support officer. Ianto's gaze didn't so much as flicker in the man's direction. He picked up the sigh Jack let escape, but was unable to fathom its meaning.
"I could use a cup of coffee, Jones," Jack said finally and then moved away to sit at the island in the kitchenette. The tone was unreadable. It wasn't angry, or bitter. It certainly wasn't understanding or forgiving. It didn't seem to be anything. Not a request, not a demand. Ianto felt a bubble of annoyance that Jack wouldn't just get it over with, that the man had the gall to suggest Ianto make him coffee before executing him. But the bubble burst and in its wake… numbness. Ianto simply went about preparing the coffee, selecting a dark roast and letting the buzz of the grinder fill the oppressive silence.
Perhaps he could do it himself, Ianto mused. He had the means, and the suicide note. Torchwood would have everything and nothing to do with his passing. What better cover-up than the truth? The Welshmen glanced at the gun, he wasn't an expert but he was sure it would be simple. He could ask Jack how to position the gun so he didn't end up turning himself into a vegetable by mistake.
The coffee maker signaled it was finished with a loud groan and hiss, startling Ianto. He made light of it and Jack either didn't notice or didn't care, which suited Ianto as he poured the steaming beverage into a plain porcelain mug. Jack hadn't asked for milk or sugar so Ianto felt confident in his assumption that the man wanted a strong cuppa, served black.
"It's hot," Ianto deadpanned as he placed the ceramic in front of his boss. Soon-to-be executioner, or as fate may have it his enabler.
Jack gave a faint smile, like his features were trying to remember how and simply weren't able to manage it, "You don't say." He held the mug in his hands, but didn't lift it. He gave another of those unfathomable sighs and Ianto felt a swell of irritation before it crested and fell leaving emptiness behind. He didn't say anything though, and the silence reigned. Jack had come to him and Ianto had provided every opportunity for Jack to end it.
His gaze fell back to the gun. A standard-issue Glock, no bells and whisltles, just disengage the safety, point then shoot. No mess no fuss. It would create enough ruckus for the other tenants to dial up the local law enforcement, and it would take the brave men and women of Cardiff long enough for Jack to escape unnoticed.
Jack took his first sip, "You've still got it Jones."
"How should I do it, sir?" Ianto asked, fed up with waiting. His tone stayed entirely professional and he noticed Jack's frown of confusion before the man managed to ask what he meant. Ianto picked up the gun lying so innocently on the table and Jack automatically reached for his trusted Webley. Ianto held the muzzle to his temple.
"I've seen this in films, but perhaps it's rubbish." Ianto explained, calm as ever, "I want to ensure I don't end up comatose rather than dead."
Jack's eyes widened in surprised and Ianto could see how his muscles tensed beneath his great coat. Ianto had always been adept at picking up on little tells like that. "You're asking for advice on how to kill yourself?" The tone was incredulous, but Ianto couldn't glean anymore from that.
Ianto stared. His blue eyes meeting Jack's which looked older than ever but neither pair gave anything away. The silence ticked on.
"There are two options for Torchwood operatives, death or retcon. I choose death." Ianto said simply, and he meant it. He would not forget Lisa and he would not live without her. He had no meaning. She was his everything, and a man who lost everything was no man at all. He'd failed her, he'd almost gotten his team killed. Death would be welcome.
Another of those undecipherable faces, Jack was good at those apparently. Ianto kept the gun pressed to his temple with a steady hand as Jack drew himself up and walked around. Ianto tensed and clicked the safety off. He did not want to admit it, but part of him was terrified, he had no idea what Jack had in store for him. What if the man wasn't satisfied with his death?
"Here, let me position the gun," Jack said, and instantly Ianto felt himself relax. It scared him sometimes, how instinctively he listened to Jack when he was unsure. Jack took a couple more steps until he was right behind Ianto, who closed his eyes and took a deep breath. The faint smell of what Jack claimed wasn't aftershave filled his senses. A month ago this situation would have been infused with an entirely different tension, and suddenly the tears were back, a few escaping and slowly searing a path down his cheeks. He thought he'd run out of tears.
It wasn't fear, Ianto knew that much, it was being surrounded by Jack, his scent, his presence. It was guilt. Guilt at betraying Lisa with this man, and guilt for betraying this man with Lisa. Sorrow for losing them both, and guilt for that sorrow.
"I'm going to take your hand, don't squeeze the trigger until I say," Jack's voice broke his reverie. It was soothing in a way Ianto didn't expect an American accent to be and he felt his grip on the gun ease up as he nodded. "Good," Jack breathed in his ear, his hand gently overlapping Ianto's. The Welshmen felt more tears sliding down his face, too few to be considering crying. He waited, his finger removed from the trigger as he felt Jack guiding the gun.
"Jack!" Ianto gasped in alarm as the gun was wrenched away and his arm was pinned behind his back. Jack forced him to double over with his face pressed against the island. Jack's other hand gripped his hair, not painfully, but enough to keep Ianto's head down. The faux-granite was cold against his cheek and he could see the gun lying so innocently on the floor.
"You do not decide anything," Jack hissed, leaning over and allowing every word to be punctuated in his ear. Ianto could feel Jack's body resting against his, further trapping him. "I decide what happens to you. Not you. Not after what you did."
"Bastard," Ianto gritted out, his voice choked but defiant. He struggled to push himself up with the arm Jack didn't have twisted, but the older male was both stronger than he was and braced for it.
"Oh, you can call me whatever you like, Ianto Jones, I'm still in control here, do you understand that?" Jack asked, anger clear in his voice. Just as it had been in the Hub on that dreadful night. Ianto gasped as his arm was twisted harder. "Do you understand?"
His stuggles increased and he managed to somehow gain enough leverage to knock Jack off, though not enough to dislodge the grip on his arm. Ianto dove for the gun immediately, but Jack dove with him, straddling him and hitting the gun hard enough to send it sliding across the floor. Ianto let out and animalistic howl of frustration as he squirmed under Jack.
"Why do you even care? Let me go," Ianto insisted, breathless as he wrestled with Jack. He rolled them over and tried to stand up and make a run for the weapon, but Jack yanked him right back down. Ianto's face collided with Jack's chest, and the skirmish continued as Jack rolled them back over. Ianto threw a punch just as Jack reared back so the swipe missed completely and gave Jack the chance to pin that arm down; trapping the other one with it and forcing Ianto on his side.
Both men were breathing heavily, and Ianto could tell Jack thought himself triumphant so he sagged and allowed Jack to think he'd won.
"I need to know we have an understanding," Jack demanded, a few pauses for breath interspersed. Why was he so insistent? Ianto knew Jack was a slave of his own ego, but did he really need Ianto to say that Jack was his leader? That he would follow him blindly? Anger simmered, the numbness gone and Ianto was horrified that Jack had made him feel again. That he was not as broken as he should be, because of Jack bloody Harkness.
Ianto fought back, thrashing as best he could while Jack did his best to keep him still. Their limbs tangled, breaths short, adrenalin racing, and Ianto wasn't sure what happened, but suddenly Jack's lips were smashed against his, or his were smashed against Jack's and they were kissing. It was hard and sloppy, still a battle for dominance, but Ianto was losing as Jack invaded his mouth and captured a moan. Lips were nipped, necks were bitten, and clothes were shed.
The situation was devolving fast and Ianto was too busy feeling to realize what he was doing. Ianto was drowning and falling into habit, letting Jack take the lead. Once upon a time it had been about survival, months and months of sleeping with someone out of fear was tough to distance himself from and he would be lying if he said he never enjoyed it.
They moved together, Jack's hand reaching for Ianto as the Welshmen did the same. They stroked in tandem, breathless and glistening. Ianto bit Jack's collar in an effort to muffle the moan while Jack had no such qualms when he finished.
Tears returned and Ianto was hasty to wipe them off his face before Jack noticed, but Jack did notice and he did the worst thing Ianto had ever experienced, he kissed his forehead. And Ianto Jones broke. It was like that night all over again, silent tears tempered with the odd sobbing here or there. The fact he couldn't stop it, that he was openly crying as Jack held him… The mask he'd perfected for so long, the persona he'd shielded himself with had shattered. He had shattered. And Jack was holding him, and he wasn't whispering platitudes of 'everything is all right' or 'it's okay' or 'everything's fine.' It wasn't and Jack knew that, Jack understood that, and he was willing to be there.
Ianto choked back a sob, hating his weakness, "Please Jack, I don't want to forget, I… I loved her…"
Jack kissed the top of his head and kept holding him, "I know, I know, you won't forget her. I promise I won't do that to you,"
Ianto had no idea how long he'd blubbered all over Jack, or how much he'd begged, he just knew that when he woke up he felt gritty. His eyes hurt, and his heart ached, but at least he remembered.