Title: Of Listening and Understanding

Rating: T

Pairing: Jack/Ianto

Summary: Ianto had hoped that he could remain a tea boy, and hide in the background, but a certain Captain Jack Harkness doesn't like that idea, and Ianto starts falling before he can catch himself. Can Ianto stop hearing and start listening?

Warnings: Slash: Male/Male Relationships, Violence, Adult Content, slightly altered episodes of Season 1&2. Sheer blindness of anything to do with Children of Earth, and Miracle Day. Spoilers for Cyberwoman, and onward.

Note: I hope that writing this will help me with Speech class, which is kind of the point of this story in the first place. If you have tips, let me know, I could really use it before I flunk out.

One – Recognition

the identification of something as having been previously seen,heard,known,etc.

Working for Torchwood had taught Ianto Jones a lot of things. One of them was that seeing wasn't always believing , and that the five senses had to be used along with the incorporation of the five principles of communication, and the principles of listening. It took a long time for Ianto to listen instead of hear his superiors, and it took even longer to form any sort of relationship.

Ianto Jones would have given up completely had it not been an important part of his job. To be honest, not being noticed was what Ianto Jones did best, but there was one particular person who refused to allow him to melt into the background. Bloody, Captain Jack Harkness, the most unorthodox man in the history of Torchwood, and considering the company often kept by the shady group of alien hunters that was saying something.

After all the damage that Ianto had caused with Lisa, he had been surprised that Jack would even talk to him again. He expected to be Retconned back to his teen years. He wouldn't have blamed them, and it didn't help that his guilt gnawed dangerously at his heart. He had no idea why Jack was holding back, he might as well get it over with. Ianto hadn't been able to sleep a wink since that disaster. He had failed everyone, including himself.

It was some time in the wee hours of the night, and Ianto had decided to clean out the archive room in case he would have memory loss, and someone would need have to take over the filing. Ianto supposed that it would Toshiko, she was the intelligent one in their branch. He was also hoping to keep away from the glares he received from Gwen and Owen, while at the same time dodge the disappointed looks Jack and Toshiko sent him. Ianto hadn't been paying attention to the world around him because no one ever came down to the archives, but he wound up jumping and shrieking like a little girl when a strong hard chest pressed into his back. He'd been flicking through the 1920's files when this happened, and the papers flew everywhere.

Ianto's heart raced, and he gasped when he saw Jack standing there shirtless, and with his hands in his pockets.

His mouth went dry, and his body defied all logic as it sneakily reacted to Jack's sexual physique and silent approach.

"Sir?" Ianto's cheeks felt unusually warm, and his nerves buzzed like static.

"It's three in the morning."

Ianto inclined his head, and quickly knelt down to pick up the scattered papers. "I know, I needed to get some things done." He looked away from the formidable form, collecting the pages one by one; he tried not to flinch when a hand fell on top of his head.

"I'm sorry."

Ianto's dry mouth seemed to worsen as he tried to swallow. "Why would you be sorry, sir?"

"For not talking to you enough, and for treating you like a servant."

Frowning slightly, Ianto paused on a 1921 document detailing an Alien Invasion in Germany, he glanced up at Jack, and shivered when the man's eyes stared at him intently. "You have nothing to be sorry for. I was in the wrong, I allowed my emotions to cloud my judgment. I – prefer to be a servant, especially after what I did."

"I should not have handled it like that," Jack squatted down onto Ianto's level, and helped him gather the rest of the fallen papers.

"I almost brought ruin to Torchwood out of selfishness."

"We all do things for selfish reasons, Ianto. You are no different. Some are more desperate than others."

"Thank you, sir."

"I thought I told you not to call me sir?" Jack smirked as they stood, and he handed Ianto the papers.

"Right… sir," he drawled with a tiny smile. He placed the folder into its rightful place as arms circled around his waist, and he was drawn into the hard bare chest of his boss.

"I've forgiven you," Jack's lips brushed against Ianto's ear causing the Welshman's heart to gain more speed. "I'm all that matters, Ianto." Ianto closed his eyes at the touch. Jack's hands carefully glided along his sides, and somehow the man's thumbs found a tiny open crease within the tucked part of Ianto's dress shirt. "You're not going anywhere. You're stuck with me."

The blood rushed and pooled around all of Ianto's sensitive areas, and he breathed heavily. "Is that a fact?"

"Oh yeah. I want you to forget about what happened."

"That's a tall order," Ianto breathed raggedly, and closed his eyes as Jack's hot breath ghosted across his ear. He had felt the chemistry between the two of them since the first night they met while chasing a Weevil.

"One that I expect you to follow."

"Yes, sir."

"Good, and might I say – you look dashing this morning."

"That's harassment, sir."

Jack chuckled roughly, and nipped Ianto's ear. "So is this – now – you need some sleep. If you go now, you can capture a few hours."

Ianto opened his eyes, and shook his head. "I can't sleep."

"Come on," Jack ordered shutting the archive drawer, and tugging Ianto with him.

Ianto followed hesitantly through the Torchwood HUB, and toward Jack's office. "Where are we going, sir?"

Jack rolled his eyes. "Your sir is going to cause me to get frisky with you." He flashed the well dressed man a smug smile. "You are going to get some rest if I have to make you."

He closed the door to his office with his foot, and before Ianto could turn around his suit jacket was pulled effortlessly right off his shoulders, and then his tie was tugged, freeing his neck from the obstruction. "Shoes off."

"But s- er – Jack – I really can't-"

"Do I have to take them off too?" Jack arched an eyebrow challengingly.

Ianto sighed, and pressed down on the back of his shoe heel, and stepped out of one shoe, and as he did this with the second, Jack's evil hands went straight for his belt. Ianto resisted the urge to groan as he stared up at the low ceiling.

"Now that's what I like, a very cooperative, Ianto Jones. Remarkably adorable," Jack quipped easily.

"I'm not sure if this falls into the job description, sir," he countered easily.

"You'd be surprised what is in the description." Jack yanked the belt off like a whip, and tossed it with Ianto's suit jacket, and shoes. He unclasped the top two buttons with a sly grin, and turned the man toward the hole in the wall. "In," he pressed a finger into Ianto's slim back and pushed gently.

Ianto didn't see much choice, when Jack was determined there was no stopping him. He slipped into the man hole, and leaned against the wall; he managed to divert his gaze when Jack climbed in, his muscles were stretching and twitching with the movements.

"Now, we're settled, ah – one more thing. A pet peeve of mine." He reached down causing Ianto to blink when his socks were pulled off and tossed outside of the makeshift bed.

Ianto slowly laid back, feeling a little uncomfortable about being in bed with his boss. It was – awkward, and his body was trying to betray him in the worst sense. It seemed that Jack had no shame because he shifted on his side, and slung his arm around Ianto's waist pulling him closer.

"Comfortable?"

Ianto tried, he really did try as he tilted his head toward Jack's, and allowed his tense muscles to relax.

"Good boy," Jack hummed. "Now, sleep."

Ianto lay there listening to Jack's soft breaths, and thought back to when they hid in one of the morgue vaults, and had kissed so intensely at the worst possible time available. His nose twitched when he felt his cheeks heating up. He shifted his head more until his cheek was pressed to the top of Jack's head, and the soothing sounds lulled Ianto into a strangely peaceful sleep.

oOo

Jack was the first to wake at the faint sound of the HUB lift gears. He opened his eyes, and gazed down at the young man curled up against him fast asleep. His usually perfect hair was wild and unkempt, Jack's fingers combed through the top gently as Ianto shifted in his sleep, and getting ever more closer to the immortal man.

He was adorable when he slept, and he was a definite cuddle bug. Jack knew however that his private solace would be disturbed when he heard the alarms go off telling him that someone was coming through the HUB.

Instead of waking Ianto up, he very carefully disentangled himself from the beautiful figure lying in his bed peacefully, and climbed out of his makeshift bedroom, and stretched with a quiet groan. Anyone paying attention could hear several joints popping back into place, and he rubbed his face as he snatched up some clothes on the chair near his desk.

"Jack?"

It was Gwen. Jack buttoned up the shirt as she came into the room. She looked a little confused. "You're here early."

"I'm always here early," Jack said quietly turning to face a mirror. "Why are you?"

"Need a break from Rhys," she said glumly.

"You should spend all the time you can with the one you love, Gwen, otherwise it'll haunt you for life." Contrary to popular belief, Jack was a strong believer in love, and keeping those you love close to you. It was hard for a man like him to have someone forever because they always died off or things happened, and he had to leave planet earth.

He flirted, and slept with various men, women, and species, but that was all it really was – sex. It didn't mean anything deep, and he envied Gwen for what she had, and it was one of the biggest reasons he chose her to work for Torchwood. He had hoped she could teach them a thing or two about having a personal life.

"Don't know about that, Rhys is fine on his own."

"Let's take this conversation out of my office, please," Jack insisted glancing briefly into the stone arch hole where his bed was occupied. He snatched a night satchel from his drawer, and Gwen followed him out of the office.

Jack disappeared toward the restrooms, and when he came back an hour later everyone but Ianto were getting started for the morning.

"Where's Ianto?" Toshiko asked in concerned.

"Who cares?" Owen snarked darkly.

"Maybe he left?" Gwen queried.

"He is asleep," Jack corrected the two. "I don't want to see or hear anymore cruelty toward Ianto, is that clear?"

Owen sneered, but said nothing as he pulled up a game client. "He needs to bring me my coffee!"

Toshiko smiled. "We all make mistakes." She switched on all her CCTV monitors, and accessed her personal computers with diagrams, and numbers that only she could figure out. "I forgave Ianto the moment he did it. Love can hurt any strong person."

"Love isn't an excuse to kill us," Gwen pointed out.

"But love is blind. You can't see where you're going or what you're doing until it has been done. Grief can kill any strong man or woman," Toshiko reasoned. "But, Ianto has us to help him. We didn't see it before, but we can do something about it all now."

Gwen and Owen didn't look too sure, but Jack smiled. "For that, Tosh, I shall get you a cup of coffee," he said patting her on the shoulder.

Toshiko beamed, and Owen scoffed. "Teacher's pet," he shot.

"I can make my own," Gwen said bouncing up only to be detoured by Owen and Toshiko's frantic look.

"Never go near Ianto's coffee machine!" Owen demanded sharply. "Only Jack can get near there and not have his head ripped off, and that's because he's the boss."

"I almost caught the HUB on fire," Toshiko confessed sheepishly. "Ianto had me on instant for a week."

"What? I can make coffee, it's just a stupid machine."

Jack shook his head. "No, Gwen, and that is an order."

It was almost eleven when Ianto emerged from Jack's office looking crisp, and perfect as if he hadn't been asleep a half hour ago.

"Where the hell have you been?" Gwen asked when she saw him.

Ianto didn't answer her. "I'll make coffee, I apologize, Jack," he said looking back at Jack who had come up behind him. "I didn't mean to oversleep."

"It was well needed rest, Ianto. I hoped you learned your lesson, when Captain Jack tells you to sleep, you sleep."

Ianto smiled a little. "I'll remember that – sir," he taunted walking away gracefully.

Jack found himself distracted by Ianto's walk, and an unscrupulous smirk plastered on his face.

Jack dismissed everyone early when Tosh's monitors came up with no intriguing activity. Gwen looked ashen faced, and Owen did a whoop as he took out of the HUB like a bat out of hell.

"I'll keep the mainframe monitors on, Jack," Toshiko said typing in some codes. "That way if something comes up you won't have to call us, we'll get the message right away."

"Thanks, Tosh."

Soon, the HUB was empty, and only the whirring of computers, and the screech of their prehistoric pet flying in the open space above Jack could be heard.

He resisted the urge to laugh when Ianto Jones came through the empty building checking over sheets of paper on a clipboard.

"Do I have to repeat last night?"

Ianto paused, his cheeks flushing as he glanced over at Jack nervously. "No, I'm not sleepy, and it's only four o' clock."

Jack chuckled. "Don't you have anything fun to do away from the HUB?"

"Not really," he admitted. "What about you?"

"There are plenty of things, but right now my concern is you."

"I'm fine, Jack, really. Thank you though, I really did need the sleep." He looked away from the intense gaze in those dark blue eyes.

"Of course you did, and it just so happened you slept with the sexiest man on earth."

Ianto couldn't help it, he cracked a smile, and rolled his eyes to the ceiling. "Narcissism is very becoming of you, sir," he drawled.

"Indeed it is. How about dinner?"

"You paying?"

"A gentleman always pays," Jack quipped.

"That rules you out then."

"Very cheeky, Ianto, I like it." Jack wiggled his eyebrows playfully, and Ianto couldn't contain the bubbling laughter making its way through him.

"I live to please."

"Is that so?" Jack asked innocently.

Ianto leveled Jack with a stare, and Jack's only response was a cheesy grin.