Sorry it's been about a month since my last update! I've been very busy and I haven't even thought about my badly written fanfiction. You know what? I'm gonna shamelessly self-promote here: ya'll should read my post-countrycide fic it's probably the only one I've ever done where the characters are written correctly and it's definitely my favorite.

The last TYTNW chapter.

It had been days since they'd eaten.

They were going to starve.

They were both lying on the floor of the cave, trying to conserve energy. They had had barely any food in the past few weeks, when they were lucky enough to catch an animal. But they were too cautious of leaving the cave after what happened to Gwen to be very successful. But they now trusted each other. They had to. There was no one else in the world to take care of them. They had barely spoken the first few days, but after a while they began to talk civilly. After a while, they were talking about things they hadn't spoken of in months, even years in some cases. They found that they weren't very different in a lot of ways. But where Ianto suffered silently his concerns and used them to better himself, Owen found himself grieving and lashing out. It happened that in the second week, they started discussing Lisa and Katie.

"I was just thinking. You never talk about Lisa. Why?" Owen picked meat off a rodent. Ianto was still twirling his own over a makeshift fire.

"Dunno. I guess she was gone a long time before we killed her. I just didn't want to realize it and talking about it would make me realize it. And I know everyone was a bit... touchy about the situation. I didn't want to cause trouble." He withdrew his rodent from the stick he had skewered it on.

"But you loved her?" Owen prodded.

"Yeah. I did." Ianto spoke slowly. He looked at Owen, knowing that he understood. He continued with his story. "We met when I was working at Torchwood One. I sat near her in our section of the office and I brought her coffee every day. She got tired of it and finally just asked if I was ever going to ask her out. So I did. It took a while but she eventually grew to love me. I was happy." He sighed. Owen drew his lips tight.

"I get it. I... used to have a fiance." Owen looked up at Ianto, who looked back with confusion. "What? You didn't think I was all sex and no romance did you?"

"No, no. I just... wondered why you hadn't mentioned it." Ianto peeled away bits of skin awkwardly.

"Like you said." There was a bit of a pause. "Her name was Katie. She got infected by an alien that invaded her brain. It was right before we were set to get married. That's how I joined Torchwood." He exhaled. "That's why I couldn't stand it when Diane left. I just always lose everyone."

"Well we've got each other. I won't easily lost." Ianto smiled. Then he began to chuckle a bit.

"What?" Owen said with a bite. "I don't know what's funny about this conversation."

"It's not that. I was thinking about joining Torchwood. I'm sure you've heard it."

"The pterodactyl bit?" Owen smirked. The story was well known at Torchwood.

"Yeah, but that's not all of it." Ianto took a bite of...was it a rat? He wasn't even sure but it tasted revolting. "He told you I begged didn't he?"

"Pretty much." Owen and Ianto stood as Owen stomped on the fire to put it out.

"He would. I was upset about it. Shamlessly flirting my way into Torchwood. But I did it for her. That's what mattered." Ianto and Owen sat back down as the smoke cleared.

"The things we do, eh?" Owen stared down solemnly at the fire.

It was a few days later that they allowed themselves to worry about Jack

"Whereabouts do you think he is?" Owen asked.

"Dunno. But there must be a reason he's gone. He wouldn't just abandon us." Ianto knew he was in denial. How many times had he said that and actually believed it?

"Is that right?" Owen rolled his eyes. Ianto didn't respond. "It's... not just you. I wanted to believe it for a while. I think Jack held us together, how else do you think I'd get along with you lot?"

"You don't have to do that." Ianto sat up.

"What?" Owen copied him.

"The sarcastic tough guy thing. It's not becoming. It's a defense. What do you have to defend yourself against here?" Ianto knew that he was right, more importantly, so did Owen. There was a bit of a pause.

"I'm sorry, you know. About everything I've said about Jack and you. I sure as hell wasn't when I said them, but I am now."

"That's better." Ianto smiled. "It's fine, really. I'm used to it."

"From who?" Owen thought he was the only one who'd ever bothered Ianto about it.

"Me." He sighed. "Keep deluding myself, like you said. Not even sure what I was doing half the time. I just got to stop thinking when I was with him. Just mindless." Ianto looked away.

"He cared about you." Owen said genuinely.

"How can you be sure?" Ianto was confused. Owen's sudden honesty... maybe it was cave fever or something.

"He cared about all of us. I mean, I shot him and he moved on. Maybe he was getting too attached. He can't die. Probably didn't want to get too comfortable with something impermanent. He might have just left because he cared too much." Owen furrowed his brow with the sudden realization.

"I think you've given him too much credit." Ianto smirked.

"Shut up. You know I'm right." Owen paused. "I shouldn't have asked you if you loved him. I already know the answer. We all loved him, in the same way. I shouldn't have thought it any different just because you... interpreted it differently." Owen stared at Ianto. Ianto smiled.

"Seems like you've actually understood me." He raised an eyebrow.

"Don't count your chickens." Owen curled up on the cave floor to sleep, drawing the conversation to a definitive close.