Ianto Jones was sad.
The man that he loved had spent the previous evening mourning the marriage of a woman that he had claimed not to love, slow dancing with the bride at her reception with tear filled eyes and sorrow etched brows. He too had received a dance from his lover, much to the chagrin of those in attendance; cruel taunts had swirled around him as the normally reserved man had for once worn his heart on his sleeve. An act that he would never again repeat. Because the taunts and jeers did not bother him, it was the way that he poured his heart and soul into dancing with the man of his dreams, only to have said man gaze longingly at the bride across the room; only to have that man hold him at a distance, while he had held Gwen to his chest. It burned him now, sitting at the bar of a seedy old pub in the middle of Cardiff. It seared through his heart and into his very soul.
Ianto Jones took another swig of the amber colored liquid in his glass, swirling it around the bottom of the tumbler as though that action would wash away his pain.
Captain Jack Harkness felt like an ass.
Last night he had saved a close friend from a Nostrovite laced wedding; played the part of the dashing hero to a woman he didn't love, danced with her at her wedding, and utterly shattered the love of his life's heart.
Naturally at the time he hadn't thought anything of it, he was reminiscing on his past weddings, mourning the loss of those he had once loved. Dancing with Gwen was his goodbye to those memories; his homage to the women of his past. He hadn't realized that he had held her that close, or that he had gazed at her with such passion. He hadn't been looking at her, but to everyone else it looked like it. Even to himself, watching the footage of it in his office, a glass of whiskey clutched in his hand, he saw the apparent love that he had unwittingly poured into that dance. He could see how anyone else would have thought that he had been mourning her marriage, not those that had passed.
He watched with bated breath for the moment when his blushing Welshman had interrupted the dance, all red ears and rosy cheeks. He saw how Gwen had smiled and offered her hand, only to have him turn to Jack. He could see the shock scrawl across his face and those of many knew the lengths of courage that it would have taken for his Ianto to do such a thing and he felt guilty. He watched it now as Ianto poured every ounce of himself into dancing with him, regardless of the judgment being passed.
Jack felt the knot in his heart tighten mercilessly as he saw himself distance from Ianto, gazing off at Gwen with glazed eyes, simply going through the motions of dancing. He shuddered, taking a long slow sip of his whiskey, trying to burn away his self-loathing.
Ianto Jones was drunk. He had been at this bar for hours, drowning his sorrows and trying to find solace in a bottle of whiskey. The man across the bar had been looking at him, but Ianto really wasn't in the mood for company. He stood to leave, only to sway against the bar, obviously more drunk than he had originally thought.
"Hey, mate, need a lift?" The suave blond from across the bar asked and Ianto shook his head, a polite smile firmly in place.
"Nah, I'mma catch a cab. Thanks for the offer, though." Ianto pulled out his cell phone, dialing the number to call a cab, but the blonde would not stop.
"Come on gorgeous; let me give you a lift. You look like you could use some company." Ianto rolled his eyes before fixing on the intrusive man with a hard glare.
"No Thanks." He pressed send, hailing a cab, but the blonde simply followed him out.
"Look, mate, you really shouldn't be alone. Come on, your bed should never grow cold." The stranger put his arm on Ianto's, spinning the Welshman around. Only to be met with a vicious right hook.
"Take a hint." Ianto snarled leaving the black eyed idiot staggering behind on the street.
Jack was going to die. He had never died this way before; it would be a new death for him. As he paced back and forth in his lover's living room, he contemplated his next death: death by Ianto Jones. Normally such a thought would be preposterous. Ianto loved him, Ianto would never harm him, but Jack knew that tonight would be the night that Ianto would kill him and it would be as good as his final death. Tonight would be the night that Ianto broke his heart.
The cab containing the very depressed and very drunk Ianto Jones pulled up before the man's quaint little flat. He stumbled out, shakily handing the cabbie a tenner before staggering up the drive. He was crying. He could feel the tears streaming down his cheeks, hot and angry and filled with rage.
He wanted to scream, wanted to curl up and disappear, wanted more than anything in the world to be wrapped tight in the arms of the man that he loved and cradled while he shook. Yet Ianto knew that the next time that he saw Captain Jack Harkness, he would end things. He couldn't take his heart being ripped to shreds with every wayward glance or one-liner.
Ianto hoped that he could do this with dignity, suit pressed and cleaned, face and voice devoid of emotion; that mask he had perfected so well. The alternative would be to break down, to cry and scream and throw his fists, and pour his heart out in a manner that would make the older man laugh. Ianto could not even bear the thought of Jack laughing at the pathetic man that he had tricked into warming his bed. He would not get the satisfaction.
The sound of footsteps brought Jack out of his reverie. He paused in his pacing, holding his breath as he heard a thump on the door. Ianto was home. Ianto was home and he was about to lose the one thing left in his life that he had found worth living for.
Ianto rested his hand on the door heavily, dismayed by the muted thump that the action made. He fiddled with his keys, selecting the proper one before unlatching the door to his flat and stumbling in.
Even in the dark Jack could see that Ianto was drunk. His silhouette was stooped, the shoulders shaking ever so slightly he staggered in, coat stripped haphazardly and tossed onto the rack, boots kicked off, and door slammed behind him. A few staggered steps to turn on the lights revealed the horrified look on Ianto's face. Jack swallowed, unsure of what to do. He had come here to try and make amends, only to realize that Ianto wouldn't want him anymore, couldn't want him. He had been waiting in the dark for the punishment he had deserved, but what a cruel punishment indeed.
I really must be drunk. Ianto thought, miserably running his hand wearily over his face. The initial shock of seeing Jack in his living room had scared him witless, but he had recovered enough. This had to be a hallucination because the alternative would be that Jack had come for comfort.
Ianto studied Jack carefully, assessing with cold determination the condition of the man before him. Jack looked as though he had been crying and the slight pink tint to his cheeks revealed that he had been drinking. So that was it then, Jack wanted Ianto to comfort him.
Jack tried not to shrink under the piercing gaze of Ianto. He had no idea what the Welshman was thinking. Even in his drunken state Ianto was unreadable.
"Why. Why are you here?" Ianto deadpanned, his voice hard and unforgiving. Jack cringed on the verge of tears.
"Ianto. I…you're drunk." Ianto rolled his eyes, crossing his arms over his chest.
"Yes, Jack, how very astute of you to notice. I am drunk and I would very much like to be alone." The last word forced its way through gritted teeth and Jack couldn't help but let a tear escape.
"Ianto, I need you." Ianto was in front of him, jaw set, eyes hard, fists clenched, and his voice was low with barely concealed anger.
"For what, sir? To clean the HUB? To feed the Weevils. Oh, do you need a cup of coffee and couldn't wait until tomorrow? Or maybe you just need quick shag; something to take your mind off of recent events." Ianto was shaking now, with anger and pain and the unsteady fog of alcohol. "Well, sir, you can forget it. I can't do this-"He gestured around him broadly. "Anymore. It- You are killing me, breaking my heart at every turn." Ianto laughed; a harsh and cruel sound deep in his throat. "Not like you care." Ianto had spun around then, his anger dissipating the liquor in his system. "Get out." He said quietly, his back to Jack.
"Ianto?" Jack squeaked, reaching a tentative hand out to the man before him.
"Get out!" Ianto bellowed, turning on his heels and pointing at the door. "We are over Jack. I can't keep pretending that we're ok; that I'm ok with us just shagging and never really being together. I can't keep holding myself together every time something comes up that makes me jealous over a man that I can never have. You can never be mine, no matter how much of me I give you." Ianto was deathly quiet now. All of his fury burned cold. "Get out Jack. I can't take it anymore."
Jack was crying now, the weight of how deeply he had harmed his lover crushing his heart. He wanted to wrap his arms around the Welshman, wrap him up and piece back together the heart that he had shattered. But Ianto didn't want him. He had blown it, he had lost it, and the fact that Ianto hadn't touched him, hadn't thrown any punches or raised his voice but once was enough to show Jack that it was over. He turned to the door, obeying the wishes of the man that he loved. Only to find that he couldn't. Something inside of him wanted to tell Ianto how he felt.
"I'm not leaving Ianto." Jack croaked. "I love you too much to go." That got Ianto's attention. Before Jack could react he was sprawled across the floor of the foyer, his face burning from the vicious punch.
"How dare you." Ianto seethed, cool eyes blazing with rekindled fury. "How DARE you say that." Ianto was standing over him now. "You think that after all that you've done. All that I have been through for you, because of you, that you could just haphazardly toss those words at me and expect me to believe it?" Ianto shook his head again, wrenching the door to the flat open and sending Jack scurrying out of its path. "If you won't leave Jack, then I will because I can't look at you anymore."