Pairings / Characters : Pre-Jack/Ianto,
Category : Angst, Hurt/Comfort
Word Count : 2,280
Disclaimer : Unfortunatly Torchwood and all the characters are not mine.
Summary : An alternate version of the episode Kiss Kiss Bang Bang - What if Ianto had overheard Jack and Gwen's conversation about her engagement.
“Are you going back to him?” asked Ianto, letting the hurt leech into his words.
“I came back for you,” said Jack, his gaze locked with the other man and Ianto allowed himself to hope, allowed himself to forgive, “all of you.”
Ianto looked away wishing he hadn’t believed it would be different.
He knew he shouldn’t, but he couldn’t help himself he watched as the tension ran through them both. He quietly slipped to his own workstation and found the audio for the CCTV watching with baited breath.
“After it was all over, I knew I belong here. What kept me fighting was the thought of coming home to you.” said Jack, his voice full of emotion. Ianto wasn’t sure what he expected but this wasn’t it. He quickly turned it off before he saw anything else moving around the hub, trying to push the thoughts of what he had heard away.
“Although as we are here why don’t we….” Started Jack his broad grin in place. Ianto sighed and moved to another desk.
“The rift was active at these coordinates approximately two hundred feet above ground. That means this floor or the roof.” He turned away, checking more drawers and trying to forget the presence behind him.
“How are you Ianto?” asked Jack. Ianto caught a glimpse of the other man, leaning against the door jam and wondered how he could look so sincere
‘Like you actually care’ he thought. “All the better for having you back, sir.” He continued to move. If he truly looked at Jack, he would just buckle and give into whatever Jack wanted.
“Can we maybe drop the sir now, I mean, while I was away I was thinking, maybe we could, I mean, when this is all done, go for dinner and a movie?” said Jack, watching him move systematically through the desks littering the floor space.
“Really?” asked Ianto looking around again, “’Cause I’m quite sure what you where thinking about while you were away, what kept you fighting, was the thought of coming home to Gwen.” he stated, hoping the anger outweighed the hurt in his voice, before he turned back to the task at hand wanting to finish it quickly.
“No, I didn’t…..”
Ianto cut him off with a glare.
“I think you were pretty clear in what you meant. I’ll look through everything on this floor, you take the roof.” He didn’t want to fight; he honestly didn’t have the energy.
He listened as Jack left the room and sighed in relief, turning back to the desks. He began his search again, looking up suddenly as the ping of the elevator sounded. He grabbed his gun and quickly headed towards to the sound.
Closing his eyes, Ianto tried to stay in the present as the cold muzzle of a gun was placed against his head. He breathed deeply, pushing the memories of his last deathly encounter to the back of his mind. He wasn’t that surprised when he finally saw his would-be assassin, Captain John Hart.
He ran for the SUV, still parked in front of the building, his thoughts in disarray as he wondered what he would find as he searched for the others. His thoughts slowly circled Jack before he pushed on into the night. ‘Jack can look after himself’ Ianto thought, as he hurried to the place where Tosh and Owen had been searching.
Watching as the mask was drawn over Jack’s face once again he wondered how much of himself he kept hiding from them, from him. He watched the frustration cling to Gwen as she marched over to the SUV. They would have to stay out of the city so they could avoid themselves, he had already rung a hotel and was hoping to just whole himself up there for the rest of the evening.
Stepping forward he quickly signed them all into the hotel, putting the tab on the company and handing out the room keys, declining the offer for a drink in the bar before he slowly made his way upstairs to his room.
He ran a bath, slipping beneath the warm water. He sighed, closing his eyes, letting the tension and upset from the day leave him in a mixture of swirling bubbles and rising steam. The knock on the door brought him out of his reverie. He pulled a towel around his waist and grabbed his gun from the small table looking, through the peep hole he was surprised to see Captain Jack Harness standing there with a tray in his hands.
Rolling his eyes, he opened the door quickly, letting the older man step inside before he locked the door again and placed his gun down. “What are you doing here Jack?” he asked, too tired to even try playing the game Jack had in mind.
“I thought you might be hungry, so I ordered room service for you.” Jack replied, the almost shy look on his face throwing Ianto off guard. “I didn’t mean to interrupt.” he said, looking at Ianto’s attire. Ianto knew the red was slipping across his cheeks and he couldn’t muster the energy to care.
“Uh, thanks.” he replied, unsure of himself with Jack there, his presence sending his brain confusing signals. “I was about to finish up anyway.”
“I also wanted to explain my earlier actions.” said Jack, causing Ianto to roll his eyes. ‘Of course’ he thought.
“Listen Jack,” he said, turning to look at the man now sitting on the bed, “I appreciate the food and the effort, but you don’t need to explain anything, there has always been something between you and Gwen, we can all see it, especially her, and I guess I was just someone to keep the other side of the bed warm until you got around to sweeping her off her feet, it’s fine I get it,” he walked to the door, “so let’s just leave this as nativity on my part and forget any of it ever happened.”
Jack didn’t move, annoying Ianto more. He just wanted to return to his bath and eat a little before he falling into bed and going to sleep.
“Jack, please, just go.” he pleaded, wanting to get rid of the man that was throwing his world off kilter.
“No.” replied Jack, not looking up from his joined hands.
“I said no Ianto, no I won’t go and no you don’t understand.” Jack looked up at him, fixing him with his cool blue eyes. ‘Well if it’s a fight he wants, it’s a fight he’ll get’ thought Ianto, as the hurt and worry of the past couple of months finally came to a head.
“I think I understand everything perfectly. You come back to life! Do you realize that I thought you had died for good? Thought I had lost you forever and I couldn’t even sit with you because Gwen was there and how could I explain what we had? Owen had already let me know what they all thought, that I was a part-time shag, nothing special.” he breathed heavily.
“Then you came back, kissed me in front of them, shocked me, I thought…” he laughed bitterly. “I thought it meant something, that I meant something to you, that you wanted the others to know and then you left.” He shoved Jack back, anger flashing through his body.
“Left without a word, while we were getting coffee and I broke.” he whispered, remembering how he had felt when they had all realised that Jack was gone. “The others wanted to believe that you had been taken, that you wouldn’t willingly have left us, but I knew better.” he said, breathing deeply, trying to hold back the tears. He glared at Jack. “So what exactly didn’t I understand?”
The silence enveloped them, fuelling Ianto’s rage. He desperately wanted Jack to tell him he was wrong, that he did mean something to him, that he wanted to work on this, that he wouldn’t leave without a yes, but the more the silence ate away at them, the more resigned he became to what they once had.
“You weren’t wrong about any of it.” said Jack quietly, still looking at his hands, “I did just up and leave and I am truly sorry about that, I didn’t think, but I never do. Rush in feet first and worry about swimming later.”
Ianto listened to the quiet, almost small man in front of him, so different from the larger than life Captain Jack Harkness he seemed to be constantly chasing after.
“I wish I had never gone, not just because I hurt the team, because I hurt you, but the things I saw, the things that happened to me, I can’t forget them and they haunt me, I saw the end of the world Ianto and I can’t get it to stop playing in my head.” whispered Jack.
Ianto was stuck, the pain and sorrow laced words pinning him to the spot. He wanted to be angry, he had every right to be, but in the face of the broken man, he just wanted to comfort him, to help him heal. He moved stiffly towards the bed and sat down close to the other man, letting him feel that he was here for him.
“What happened?” he asked, just as quietly. He would wait for an eternity if he had to for Jack to answer the question, knowing that sharing the pain would be the only way to help the healing process.
The silence was back, clawing at the edges of Ianto’s nerves, but he wouldn’t give in, he could watch and wait until the time was right.
“There was a man named The Doctor and a man named The Master,” whispered Jack, fearing speaking the words any louder would make the whole thing more real. Ianto sat silently as the tale was told, keeping his fear and horror behind a mask of compassion.
“They killed you all,” said Jack finally turning to him, “letting me know the details for Tosh, Owen and Gwen, spoke of it often to break me.”
“What about me?” asked Ianto, clamping his mouth shut. He hadn’t meant to ask and prayed he hadn’t scared Jack off.
“They made me watch your death over and over again. I saw you die a thousand times and the pain was just as bright and ripping as the first time I saw it.”
Ianto nodded listening to the emotion, choking out the words, “I’m here, I’m not going anywhere” taking Jack’s hand, “I’m alive.”
Ianto didn’t think about it, he kissed Jack hard and fast, knowing the he needed reassurance that he was still here, that they were all safe and alive. He worried when he didn’t feel the answering passion and slowly began to pull back, berating himself for his stupidity, when he felt Jack’s hand come up and cup the back of his head, his mouth opening as Jack’s tongue begged for entrance. Ianto lost himself in the kiss, listening to the heavy breathing on both their parts as they finally pulled away.
Ianto smiled as he saw that sparkle back in Jack’s eyes, the one he had been missing since he had come back to them and couldn’t help the grin that replaced his usual soft smile as the knowledge that he had been the cause of its return finally sunk in.
“You do realise that I am not classing this as the date you promised me.” Ianto said, getting up and walking into the bathroom, letting the water out. He could always have a long soak tomorrow before they left; now, he knew, Jack needed him. Jack’s answering laugh told him they were on the right track to mending their bond.
“OK, how about that new French Restaurant and a movie when we get back?” asked Jack through the mostly closed door.
“Sounds perfect.” Ianto replied, stepping from the bathroom, now dressed in his boxers and undershirt. He blushed as Jack gave him an appraising look. He sat back on the bed, picking up the lid of his plate and revealing the sandwiches that Jack had gotten for him.
“I made sure they didn’t have any tomatoes in them.” said Jack quickly. Ianto smiled at the thoughtfulness of the gesture and offered one as they both ate, the silence more comfortable.
“Thank you.” said Jack, as he stood up, carefully putting the plate back on the side.
“No thanks necessary.” said Ianto, pulling the covers back and watching as Jack began to move towards the room’s door. “Jack, where are you going ?” he asked.
“Umm, just back to my room, get some sleep?” Jack said, turning to look at him. Ianto couldn’t help but smile
“Don’t be daft, get in.” he said indicating the bed. “It’s been a long day and I’d like to get some much needed sleep.” Ianto quickly climbed under the sheet and closed his eyes, sighing in relief as he felt the bed dip next to him as Jack finally laid down.
‘Things aren’t fixed just yet, but they are well on the mend’ Ianto thought before drifting off to sleep, the deep and steady rhythm of Jack’s breath lulling him into the darkness.