Title: Truth is Good for the Soul

Rating: PG

Summary: After the events of Journey's End, Gwen and Ianto think Jack is gone for good. When he comes back he finally opens up?

Characters: Jack/Ianto, Gwen/Rhys

Word Count: ~3500

Spoilers: All episodes of Doctor Who that Jack appeared in.

Warnings: mild language and drunkenness

Beta: best-in-red

Notes: Written for prompt a comment_fic. Don't own the characters. If I did they would have been treated a lot better. Please drop a review so I know what you think.

Truth is Good for the Soul

Ianto tried to send Gwen home to be with her family against her protests that he needed help getting the hub back in order. In all honesty, he wanted the time alone. The Doctor's words rang in his ears: Can never get rid of him. He bloody probably asked him to stay and Jack jumped at the chance.

"They need you. Go and be with them. I'll be fine," Ianto said as he tried to convince himself that was true, but he was not sure. Twelve hours had passed since Earth returned home and there was no sign of Jack. Maybe he wasn't going to keep his word this time. At the least, a phone call would have been nice. Anything to let them know he was back.

"He'll come back. He said he would," Gwen whispered against the broken man's ear as she lightly rubbed Ianto's back, trying to reassure the crestfallen man.

How could Jack not come back after all this? She always had an underlying fear that Jack's Doctor would ask him to join him and she and Ianto would be abandoned again. Then, she would be left to pick up the pieces. In this case, the shattered pieces of Ianto's heart.

"If you need anything, just give us a call. Any hour," she said with all honesty. Family helps out at any time." Gwen pressed her lips to the man's forehead. "Don't stay too late." Gwen hated to leave the man she viewed as a younger brother in so much pain, but he refused to leave and her family needed her.

"I'll try, but this place looks like the Earth took a long bumpy across the universe-oh, wait," Ianto said with a great deal of sarcasm and snapped his fingers. "It did. It's going to take a while to get this place into proper shape."

"Good night, Ianto," Gwen gave a half smile as she left. There was a nagging feeling in her stomach that told her she would be dealing with a devastated Welshman in the morning.

Ianto sighed as the silence of the hub became all too silent. "And then there were two." A loud squawk protested that statement. "Sorry, girl but I don't have any dark chocolate for you." The Pteranodon squawked in displeasure and flew off. "See? Even you leave me, Myfanwy."

The depressed man went about cleaning the hub, which lasted about an hour until Ianto found Jack's stash of Scotch, straight from Archie's homemade stock. The stuff could rot your insides and get you drunk off the fumes. By the the time Ianto finished a third of the bottle there was no more pain to be felt. He had thought things were finally getting serious between him and Jack. There had been talk about the immortal not living in the hub anymore and moving into Ianto's flat. The couple that refused to call themselves that had spent more nights together than not in the last year. Now the nights were about to get very lonely again.

On the table in front of him was Jack's mobile and Ianto shoved to the ground, almost taking delight in the sound of it shattering. His own mobile suddenly felt very heavy in his own pocket and he pull it out, starting to dial the only number he still could in his intoxicated state.

"He's not coming back is he? Captain Sexy Arse has left for good. Hasn't he? Twelve -no fourteen hours-and he hasn't come back. We weren't good enough." Ianto's slurred his words as he spoke, and he heard the groggy voice on the other end.

"We'll be right there," Gwen sighed as she hung up the phone and looked over to a half-awake Rhys. "Ianto is pissed off his arse. I'm going to need help getting him back to his place." Captain Sexy Arse? She was not going to ask, especially where the boys were concerned.

"Bloody Torchwood. Bloody Jack Harkness," Rhys grumbled loudly and stumbled out of bed. Gwen had told him about Jack not coming back and he was waiting for the reality to hit his wife.

"I know. I know. But this is Ianto. He needs help," Gwen said softly. Ianto had always helped anyone who needed it, and now someone needed to help him.

Twenty minutes later Gwen and Rhys arrived at the hub, finding it much in the same condition as Gwen had left it earlier.

"Hey, Ianto mate," Rhys found the man face down on a keyboard, lightly singing We Are the Champions. "Let's get you home, okay?"

"Okay," Ianto said with a child-like innocence before resuming his singing. He tried to stand, but with the amount of Scotch in his system, his gait was unsteady. "No time for losers 'cause we are the Champions."

"Take it easy, Freddie." Gwen put an arm around Ianto's midsection and Rhys did the same as they held the drunk man up. She sighed heavily seeing the smashed mobile on the floor and groaned when she saw the bottle on the desk. Last time when they were still a complete team and the five of them drank a whole bottle of the strong scotch the results the next morning were not pretty: Owen ended up tied to the autopsy tale covered in feathers. Tosh woke up wearing Owen's lab coat and only his lab coat. Gwen's face and arms were dyed purple. As for Jack and Ianto; they ended up, as Owen made clear numerous times, where they would have ended up drunk or not: together and naked, handcuffed to Jack's desk.

It took ten minutes with a lot of stumbling to get Ianto into Rhys' car. Then, there was the fifteen minute ride to Ianto's flat, in which the drunk archivist sung the same song several times over. No amount of pleading could get Ianto to be quiet.

"I love you guys," Ianto sung as he swayed almost taking his companions down with him.

The married couple exchanged wary looks, neither having witnessed this side Ianto before. "We love you too, Ianto. Let's get you inside before your neighbors complain about the singing." Gwen ordered and gave her friend a slight reassuring squeeze. She was going to rip Jack a new one when and if he ever showed up.

"My arse is vibrating. Just like..." Ianto giggled like a giddy school girl. In his inebriated state, Ianto found this incredibly amusing and didn't want the sensation to stop.

"Don't finish that line," Gwen said quickly, placing her hand over Ianto's mouth, having a good idea of what he was going to say. "Where are your keys?"

"Inside jacket pocket," Ianto tried to pull himself from the helping hands of his friends.

"I'll get them," Rhys replied and reached into the breast pocket, finding the key. He jumped when the door swung open.

"Where the hell have you all been?" Jack said angrily as hung up the cordless phone he had been calling Ianto on. By the looks of Ianto, he had been having a lot of fun without him.

"It stopped," Ianto complained and pouted as the vibrating stopped.

"Where have we been?" Gwen said indignantly as she cocked her head to the side, her anger evident. "What about you? It's been twelve hours-"

"Fourteen." Drunk Ianto chimed in, slurring and mangling the word horribly.

"How much did he have to drink?" Jack sighed as he moved to take Ianto off Gwen's hands.

"About a third of a bottle of Archie's scotch. You remember what happened last time," Gwen said, still stern with her boss. She was glad let Ianto, who was practically dead weight, be supported by the two men. "We thought you left for good," she said, the anger clearly reflected in her voice. "How long have you been here?" Gwen wondered why Jack chose to come to Ianto's flat before the hub and without calling either of them.

"About seven hours," Jack answered and looked at the clock on the wall. "I fell asleep waiting. To the bedroom." The last statement was directed at Rhys.

"You fell asleep? What kind of excuse is that?" Gwen challenged as she was not buying the excuse.

"The truth. By the time we got back from London, which took longer than forever by the way, I thought Ianto would have been home. I was going to rest for a couple of minutes before heading to the hub, but I must have been more tired than I thought. I fell asleep and woke up about a half hour ago and I tried all your mobiles...even mine. None of you answered."

"My arse vibrated several times. Make it vibrate again. You are going to need a new mobile," Ianto sighed and fell backwards when he was put on the bed. "I kind of maybe sort of threw it." He never realized how interesting the ceiling of his bedroom was and became mesmerized by the shadows the light gave off.

"I left mine at home when he called. Jack, Ianto thought you left him for good. That's why he's drunk." Gwen explained as if speaking to a young child. It's because he thought you went with the Doctor. Anyone else he would have handled it.

"How ironic and bloody idiotic is this? If I had just come home to drink I would have found Captain Sexy Arse playing Sleeping Beauty on my couch."

Jack shook his head, worried about the young man, "And now this sexy arse has to take care of your drunk one." His attention turned to the other sober people in the room, "Thank you for bringing Ianto home. I've got it from here."

"How do you like that?" Ianto taunted Gwen as eyes tried to focus on her. "He came here first. Not to you." There was an almost sinister laugh, a side of the normally quiet man that was always hidden well below the surface.

Rhys saw the pained look on his wife's face at Ianto's unintended taunt and grabbed her arm. "Jack can take care of Ianto from here," he said trying to draw her attention away from the other couple.

Gwen could not get mad at her friend for letting his inhibitions be erased while drunk, but it didn't mean it didn't hurt. Ianto was right, of all the places Jack could have gone when he returned to Cardiff where he chose showed what mattered most. The hub would have meant the team. Her place meant her, but he chose Ianto over everything, showing that the young Welshman was much more than a passing shag.

Rhys tried to guide his wife out of the room, but she was transfixed on the interaction between the two men. Ianto was making things difficult for Jack as he tried to undress him. Both men seemed to enjoy the game and oblivious that anyone else was in the room.

"Stop that," Jack said with a hearty laugh as Ianto tried to bind his wrists with his tie. "Behave," he lightly scolded and tried to take the tie away but failed. The failure resulted in Ianto getting the upper hand and pulling Jack on top of him, ending with a sloppy and yet passionate kiss.

Rhys did not need to see more and gave a not-so-light tug to Gwen's arms. "They'll be fine. We should go home."

Just before they left the apartment, Gwen heard Jack say "Not when you are like this. I'm not going to take advantage of you."

It was not like Jack to say no to an easy shag, especially when the other party was very willing.

"Jack's in love with Ianto. Neither of them see it." Gwen told Rhys and then realization hit her that she was okay with it. It was the only logical reason for him to deny what ever Ianto had offered up. They all deserved to be happy and have someone. Rhys would always be there for her and Gwen was happy.

When Ianto finally woke up, his head felt like someone was having a rugby match in his skull. Luckily, the shades were closed, keeping out the blinding morning sun. The previous evening was quite a blur; he was not sure what was real and what memories the alcohol created. Ianto frowned when he noticed that the side of the bed next to him was empty, but seconds later the scent of brewing coffee tickled his nostrils and distracted him. Before he followed the tantalizing scent, Ianto made a brief detour to empty his bladder. As he caught sight of himself in the mirror, the hungover man's realized his physically appearance matched how he felt. Red puffy eyes, hair off in a million directions, mouth drier than the Sahara and his hands, a bit shaky. At least I'm dressed. Well, if an undershirt and purple boxer briefs was considered dressed then he was.

As Ianto exited the bathroom he was greeted by Jack holding a tray of assorted goodies. "Morning," he mumbled, wiping the sleep from his eyes.

"Back into bed with you," Jack spoke as softly as possible so he would not make Ianto's obvious headache any worse. There was no need to lecture about the evils of Archie's Scotch as his state was definitely a lesson learned the hard way.

Ianto crawled into bed and threw the covers over his head. "Can I die now?" his muffled voice was barely audible from his hiding spot.

"Now's not the time. I plan on getting at least another eighty years or so out of you," Jack said with sincere honesty and tossed the covers aside, placing a gentle kiss on the man's forehead. "Sit up."

Ianto reluctantly obeyed and the tray was placed in front of him. A smile cracked on his tired face as he reached for the cup of coffee.

"No caffeine for you. It will make your headache worse," Jack lightly slapped Ianto's hand away. "The orange juice is for you. Coffee is mine."

"You aren't going to make me eat that, are you?" Ianto whined. He wasn't quite sure what it was, but it looked like banana and peanut butter on toast. His stomach lurched just looking at the unappetizing food.

"It will help settle your stomach," Jack explained and broke off a small piece of the toast and bought it to Ianto's lips.

"Ngh," Ianto pouted and refused to eat. "My head hurts too much." He liked this side of Jack, the one that took over as caregiver when he wasn't feeling well. It helped Ianto through the flu two months ago even if he was a virtual prisoner in his own bed. "No food," Ianto cried, burying his head into Jack's shoulder, relishing in the warm comfort it created. "Are you staying? You aren't going back to him, are you?" Ianto asked in an accusatory tone. The Doctor was the one person that he could not take if Jack left him for.

"I'm exactly where I want to be," Jack kissed the top of his lover's head, taking a second to pause and inhale the intoxicating scent. "Do you want me to tell you about the Doctor?" Jack asked, softly and with a measure of uncertainty. The truth needed to be told to get over this barrier that the Doctor caused between them.

"I know about him. You might not have read the Torchwood Charter, but I have. He's mentioned throughout it," Ianto said with a heavy sigh.

"Of course you did. Bet you have it memorized too." It was Ianto, so of course it was true. Jack moved the tray from the bed, putting it on the floor next to the bed. "Come, put your head on my lap. I'll make that headache a distant memory."

"Is it safe there?" Ianto said with his eyebrows raised. Leave it to Jack to quickly turn the situation towards sex.

"Mind out of the gutter. You are sounding too much like me. A head and scalp massage is what I have planned. I'm on my best behaviour, promise." Jack could not contain the wide grin. It made it sound like he was up to no good even if his intentions were completely honorable.

"Incorrigible old man. Cradle robber." Despite his reservations, Ianto laid down and put his head into the dangerous and familiar territory that was Jack's lap.

"Maybe you're the one with the old man fetish. Do wrinkles turn you on?"

"You don't have any wrinkles unless you count the ones caused by your love handles."

"At least I don't snore loud enough to wake the dead."

Ianto did not have a comeback for that one except for a stern pout and a warning pointing of his finger.

The couple was never able to keep up the fake bickering thing for long before breaking down into laughter.

"Ow. Oh. Ow," Ianto held his head after a few seconds. Laughing made the pounding in his head worse. "Laughing is not a good idea." His voice was not tense from the increased pain.

"Shhh," Jack replied soothingly and started the massage that had an immediate calming effect. "It was 1941 at the height of the London Blitz when I was still mortal. I was angry with the Time Agency for stealing two years of my life and thought I could use a Chula warship that was really an ambulance to get back into their ranks. That is how I met the Doctor. I traveled with him for a while and he eventually abandoned me in the 2001st century after fighting the Daleks. I used my vortex manipulator to return to 21st century Cardiff, but ended up in 1869 instead, knowing the rift is used to recharge the Tardis and he would eventually have to return. I spent a lot of time feeling resentful for being tossed away like trash. Then last year when he returned, things got really intense. There is so much you don't know. That you can't know about. Things no one can know about. We are never going on holiday to the Himalayas." Jack's voice quivered and his eyes closed for a while as the moment he realized where his heart truly belong played over in his head. He could still smell Ianto's blood as it was spilled in front of him. The Master, making him watch as Ianto's life force slowly drained from him and he could not offer any comfort. Ianto pleading for help and his chains kept them close enough to feel the young man's terror and just far enough to deny any physical comfort. The nightmares still haunted his dreams and he found the only way to prevent them was to have the attractive Welshman sleep next to him. "It made me realize that my place was not with him. It never was. I spent too much time waiting for him fix me not realizing I didn't need fixing. He said I was wrong. I was called a freak. I think the nicest thing he said to me was that I was an impossible thing. Was never sure if it was a compliment or not." Jack sighed as he finished his story, unable to read the expression on Ianto's face.

Hearing how someone who Jack idolized treated him like nothing, made Ianto's blood boil. Perhaps, the charter was right and this Doctor was a danger at least to Jack's wellbeing. "You are an impossible thing at times, but it's part of your charm that makes you, you. I wouldn't change you for anything. I lov-like you just as you are." Ianto's eyes locked with Jack's, seeing for the first time some of his deepest parts exposed and raw. "You are not wrong like he says. You are not a monster and you are certainly no freak."

"I know, but I am kinky," Jack joked. He had to interject a bit of humor to break the serious tension. His fingers traced the edges of Ianto's face, wondering how such an amazing man put up with all the crap he put him through. From this moment Jack was not going to take the man with a tight hold on his heart for granted anymore. He might not be able to say the words just yet, but he was going to make sure his actions more than made up for it.

"Not going to argue with you on that one," Ianto rolled his eyes.

"I made my choice last year and I don't regret it for one second. Last year the Doctor asked if I wanted to travel with him and I turned him down. I had something much better than his acceptance could ever give me. I had you to come home to and I'm rather fond of this home." Jack emphasized his last two words to show he meant that he meant Ianto as opposed to Torchwood in general.