A/N - My muse is still only working part-time so I'm taking what I can get. Hoping this story makes sense and flows like I wanted it to. It was tough getting out. I'd write a paragraph and then stop and come back several days later to write another… sheesh. But all along I knew where I wanted to end up, but I apparently took the long way around.

Cat & Mouse

Ianto sat on the couch in his apartment staring at the blank television. He didn't need the screen to see the violent images flashing through his mind. Lisa was gone – shot by the people he had spent the past several months deceiving in order to save her. Not only had he lost Lisa, but she had taken two innocent lives with her. Other flashes came ; laughter and smiles - of the camping trip with Lisa… witty banter with Jack… quiet chats with Tosh… even brotherly ribbing with Owen.

What have I done? He thought to himself. Fresh sobs racked through his body, his shoulders shuddered as he covered his face with his hands; ashamed to have the tears falling, despite being alone.

X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X

It was a few days later. He stood looking at the stack of boxes he had brought from London. He had planned to help Lisa and then they would start their life together. Slowly he began going through them. Several held Lisa's clothes – he could still smell her perfume when he opened the boxes. He quickly closed them up and put them aside to be donated.

After going through the boxes, he had decided to give most of it away. He had put most of the photographs and mementos in a smaller box to keep and perhaps to give some to Lisa's family. As he went through the photos he came across several from a pub night with Lisa and their friends in London. His thoughts turned to similar outings with his… could he call them friends… at Torchwood 3. Jack's jokes and innuendos… the discussion over Jack's sexuality when Gwen joined the team…

He had been happy in both instances… and now what did he have. All of his happiness seemed to come with a price.

X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X

The flat looked so empty without the boxes stacked up in the hallway. He had put the few boxes he was keeping in the back closet.

Ianto made plans for everything. He and Lisa were going to save their money, get married, have a bunch of kids and grow old together. Then the Cybermen came. The plan changed. Ianto's new plan was to help Lisa. He would go to Cardiff, do whatever it took to get into Torchwood 3, to save Lisa so they could go back to Plan A.

But Jack happened. The emotions and connection between them were not part of the plan.

Then again, there was no plan now. Lisa was gone… he had betrayed Jack. Even in the chaos, he had made a plan and now everything was gone. He was lost.

X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X

The knock on the door startled Ianto. Looking at the sun coming through the blinds he could see that it was daytime… probably afternoon, but he had no idea what day it was. He also had no idea why anyone would be knocking on his door.

Grunting slightly as he pulled himself off the couch, Ianto crossed the room to the door, not bothering to look back to see if he had made a permanent indentation in the cushions. Unlocking the door and disengaging the chain, he opened the door to see the last person he expected to be standing at his door in the middle of a sunny afternoon – Captain Jack Harkness

"Hey, I come bearing food." He said offering up two plastic bags with Chinese lettering.

Not sure what to do, Ianto stepped aside and let the captain enter. Jack went straight to the kitchen and dumped the bags on the table before going to the cabinets and taking out the necessary plates and utensils.

He looked up to see Ianto still standing by the front door.

"It's fresh from the restaurant. It's safe." He said with a genuine smile.

Ianto crossed the room and sat at the table as Jack began taking the food containers out of the bags. "I wasn't sure what you'd be in the mood for, so I got a bit of everything." He took the last carton and set it on the table. "Even chips." He pointed out, grinning.

The two men ate in silence for a while, each one staring at the plate in front of him.

Finally, Jack broke the silence. "How are you, Ianto?"

"Fine."

Jack took a deep breath and sat back in his chair. "What am I going to do with you, Ianto Jones?"

For the first time, Ianto meets Jack's gaze. The older man can see fear creeping in.

"Gwen thinks I should retcon you back to infancy, Owen thinks I should shoot you, and Tosh just wants you to come back."

Ianto found his voice. "And what do you think, sir?" The seriousness of what Jack had just told him about his former (?) teammates brought out the 'sir'.

Jack appeared to think for a moment before he spoke. "I'm leaning toward Tosh's idea." He paused for a moment, leaning his elbows on the table. "But…"

Ianto swallowed; here it was, the moment of truth. "But?"

"Was what happened between us all part of the plan?" Jack's gaze sliced into the younger man across the table.

Ianto held the gaze, knowing he had to tell the truth. "At first, yeah." He swallowed as Jack sat back in the chair. "But then it kind of got muddled."

"Got muddled?"

"At first I was doing whatever it took to keep you occupied and away from Lisa. But then it became more than that. In the beginning I felt guilty being with you because I was betraying Lisa, even if it was for a greater good. But then I felt guilty about you too."

"About me?" Jack leaned forward again.

"Yes. I wasn't doing it for Lisa anymore… well not entirely." He paused, expecting Jack to interrupt again. "I was with you because I wanted to be with you. So I was betraying you as well."

Ianto's shoulders slumped as the emotions returned. He closed his eyes and covered his face with his hands to keep the feelings in check. He heard the chair creak and the rustling of fabric as Jack got up and crossed the room. Warm hands were laid on his shoulders and he heard Jack speak quietly in his ear.

"If you are willing to give me even half of what you gave to Lisa, you're welcome back any time. You lived for her, Ianto… you can live for me too."

~End~

A/N – So does it work? Question, comments and especially reviews are always welcome. Maybe with enough, the muse will want to stay for a full time position.

Thanks for reading!

The song that inspired this story is "Cat & Mouse" by Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.
Softly we tremble tonight,
Picture perfect fading smiles are all that's left insight,
I said I'd never leave you'll never change
I'm not satisfied with where I'm at in life

Am I supposed to be happy?
When all I ever wanted, it comes with a price
Am I supposed to be happy?
When all I ever wanted, it comes with a price
You said, you said that you would die for me…

We made plans to grow old
Believe me there was truth in all those stories that I told.
Lost in a simple game – cat and mouse
Are we the same people as before this came to light?

Am I supposed to be happy?
When all I ever wanted, it comes with a price.
Am I supposed to be happy?
When all I ever wanted, it comes with a price
You said, you said that you would die for me…

You must live for me to…
For me too… yeah, yeah
You said that you would die for me…

Am I supposed to be happy?
When all I ever wanted, it comes with a price
Am I supposed to be happy?
When all I ever wanted, it comes with a price
You said, you said that you would die for me…

You said that you would die for me
You said that you would die for me
You said that you would die for me