A Twenty Minute Car Ride

Jack could hardly breathe. It had less to do with the fact that he'd been suffocated by concrete and more with the fact that he was now surrounded by a team he'd given up for dead. He smiled when he saw them, playing the suave hero, chuckling at the way Gwen and Rhys blushed when looking at him. He wasn't ready for clothes yet. Gwen had given him a jacket, but with his hands cuffed, he couldn't put it on.

Sitting in the car, his bare ass scratching against the cloth seat, he squirmed. Coming back from being blown up had undone his man-scaping efforts, and his new skin ached. It hadn't been there for very long, and the memory of his exposed muscles screaming from contact with the metal table and open air was still too fresh.

Ianto sat next to Jack in the back seat, his body stiff, his eyes straight ahead, focused on getting them to safety. The inches separating them may as well have been miles. The soothing timber of Ianto's voice wafted through the car, giving Rhys instructions on where to drive. Jack let his hand fall to the seat so that the backs of his knuckles brushed against Ianto's thigh. Ianto's clothes were dust-covered and his skin cut and bruised. Jack's skin was caked with still-damp concrete, but he and Ianto couldn't heal together. Ianto would always heal more slowly. One day, Ianto would not heal at all.

Ianto reached over, making sure the jacket on Jack's lap was modestly placed, then he rested his hand over Jack's. Jack inhaled deeply at the contact. As much as he wanted to curl up with Ianto and lick wounds, there was a lot of world left to save.

"Turn right," Ianto said, lifting his hand long enough to point, then resting his hand on Jack's again. Ianto was focused on the road ahead, tense and alert. He'd planned every element of this rescue and he would not relax until they reached safety. Knowing he wouldn't have to think for a while, Jack leaned sideways, resting his head on Ianto's shoulder. Without missing a beat, Ianto put an arm around him. Even through the layers of clothes, Jack could tell Ianto's shoulder was swollen and stiff. Jack turned his face, giving Ianto's injured shoulder a sympathetic kiss. Wherever Ianto touched him, it solidified in Jack's mind that his skin was back. The stinging feeling of exposed muscle tissue melted away.

Shuddering in relief, Jack lay down on the back seat, resting his head in Ianto's lap. It was a small car and the seat was cramped. Jack's legs twisted, and then he curled into a ball. He wanted to be small for a moment and let someone else save the world, but he knew his team was nearing breaking points of their own. Closing his eyes, he moved his fingers lightly on Ianto's thigh.

Ianto made sure the jacket was modestly draped over Jack's hips, and then he rubbed his fingers soothingly over Jack's skin, dragging the backs of his fingernails up and down Jack's spine. It felt good. It was such a relief to be touched without being killed. Groaning, Jack buried his face on Ianto's lap, inhaling the scent of his lover.

The whole car smelled ripe and dusty. His team probably hadn't showered since the explosion, but Jack didn't care. Humming appreciatively, Jack nestled closer to Ianto, bracing his feet against the door, as if that would give him the leverage to merge his body with Ianto's.

"You all right, Jack?" Gwen asked.

"He's fine," Ianto answered quickly. "Left at the next street."

"You're not giving Ianto a blow job, are you Jack?" Gwen asked.

Jack quaked with laughter and Ianto ruffled his hair.

"I wouldn't be able to navigate coherently if he was, would I?" Ianto said dryly.

"No, ma'am," Jack assured her, laughing quietly. They'd only been separated a few days, but Jack missed Ianto's dry wit. This was his first honest, heart-felt laugh since his body was blown to bits.

"Just checking," Gwen said, turning around in her seat, some kind of pin in hand. "Give me your hands."

Sitting up, Jack presented his cuffed wrists, letting Gwen pick the lock. There was enough give in the chain that he could have done it himself, but he only had this car ride before he had to take charge of the team again, and Gwen would probably assert control of the meeting either way. Ianto kept a hand running up and down Jack's back, moving unconsciously while he directed Rhys through a confusing intersection. It felt good.

"Thanks," Jack said, rubbing his wrists as soon as they were free. It was habit. The skin was freshly grown and uninjured, but it felt like the skin should be rubbed raw. When Gwen turned back to the front, Jack lay back on Ianto, pressing his face into Ianto's crotch.

Ianto didn't even flinch at the contact. Jack looked up to check that his lover was still alive. Ianto raised his eyebrows, giving a witty challenge. Shy as he was, Ianto could be wickedly playful, and if Jack opened the door, he had to be ready. Smiling again, Jack rolled onto his back, crossed his legs awkwardly in the confined space, and stared up at Ianto.

Ianto's fingers danced under the jacket, brushing teasingly over Jack's crotch. Jack squirmed, biting his lower lip. Rhys would kill them, but Jack didn't want Ianto to stop. He loved that Ianto let him be inappropriate, though he was sad that Ianto didn't blush as easily as he used to. There was a hint of stubble on Ianto's chin, and the cut on Ianto's cheek made Jack's heart ache.

Ianto hit a sweet spot on Jack's belly and Jack's whole body convulsed. The jacket fell to the ground and Jack's legs went up in the air. Surprised by the reaction, Ianto looked down and the two shared a laugh. There was tension and terror behind Ianto's smile. Ianto didn't feel safe yet, and Jack wasn't helping.

Still giving directions, Ianto tugged a balled up track suit out from under the seat and held it over Jack's feet. His lover was dressing him. Taking the pants, Jack pushed his feet through the legs. He wanted to stay naked with Ianto for a while, but the time for rest was almost over.

Seizing the moment, Jack sat up and planted a kiss on Ianto's lips.

"Oy," Ianto said quietly, pulling away, then tucking Jack in the crook of his arm. "Right at the traffic circle," he directed Rhys.

As soon as the words were out of Ianto's mouth, his lips were on Jack's. There was warmth there. Ianto made coming back to life worth doing over and over. This was the best way to break in new skin. The kiss was brief, but that was probably for the best. If they kissed too long, and Jack would start tearing Ianto's clothes off right here in the back seat. For now, the comfort of his lover's embrace was enough.

"Almost home," Ianto whispered, sitting forward.

Finding the t-shirt he'd been given, Jack sat up and finished dressing.

"Are you gonna carry me over the threshold?" Jack joked.

Ianto gave him a look. "I ripped your concrete encased body out of the side of a building. I've already carried you over a threshold today."

"So, my turn? I could carry you over the threshold," Jack offered.

Ianto ducked his head, his cheeks flushing. It was strangely cute, and it told Jack that if they hadn't been in mortal peril, Ianto would have said yes. He liked being a couple. So Jack made a mental note, squeezed Ianto's hand, and sat back, enjoying the ride. Love and comfort would have to wait. The world needed saving and Torchwood was almost home.