Warning: Adult language, mention of violence, possible liberty taken with timelines. Written for Challenge 7, Round 1 of the jack_ianto_las. Still in. Bloody amazing, that.

He'd been had. Screwed - and not in the way he liked. The kid had played him like a true virtuoso, a master of deception and deceit. He had a sufficient handle on his own character to recognise his feelings for what they were - betrayal, hurt, anger. He knew that he was mad enough to kill him; but he also felt a grudging tug of respect for just how well the strings had been pulled.

Looking down at the bloody, gory mess left by that thing that had been brought into his home, watching the tear- and snot-covered face of… of… shit, he really didn't know what to call him. Idiot, fool, liar, traitor - bastard. All worked. Calling him a kid was technically accurate - he was only what? Twenty-three? Twenty-four? Made Jack feel all of his hundred-plus years and then some. Maybe he should just stick with the basics. Jones.

As if he could hear Jack's thoughts, the boy looked up, eyes puffy and bloodshot. Defiant, angry, yet underneath, hurting and vulnerable. Jack clenched his gun tighter, not sure if he was restraining himself from shooting, or afraid to do so.

He had every right to execute Jones. Beyond a right - it was written into the Charter of Torchwood. Treason was rewarded by execution. However, he'd severed ties with the Institute at the turn of the Century, essentially re-writing the Charter to suit himself and his ideals. He'd built a new Torchwood in Cardiff, different from Torchwood One. Execution didn't sit well with him, despite the actions of Jones. His own, personal feelings of betrayal and hurt were the thoughts driving him towards killing Jones, which wouldn't be execution, but murder.

Shit. Truth be told, Jones was right. A galling thought, that. He hadn't bothered to learn anything about him, hadn't done anything to integrate him into the team. Hell, even the newly ex-PC Cooper was more a part of the team after only a couple of months than the young man covered in blood and worse at his feet, who'd been a part of Torchwood Three for more than half a year.

His rage boiled again. Half a fucking year he'd been played. Him, a master conman himself. He'd never carried a con this long. Not even close. He knew how Jones had worked it, too. Well, he did now. Jack had played right into his overly capable hands, focusing his attention exactly where Jones directed it. Namely, his arse and that trim body. Jack had allowed his dick to make a decision that came close to killing everyone. Even Jones.

A tight feeling clenched around his heart. The thought of losing his team members, of losing what he'd worked so hard to build, that was what he was feeling, he was sure of it. Nevertheless, he couldn't shake a little niggling doubt, that it was more. That it was the thought of losing Jones himself - of losing Ianto, that made his body break into a cold sweat and his pulse pound in his ears. And he really hadn't seen that coming at all.