Pairings/Characters: Jack, Janto
Summary: After Ianto's death Jack deals with the loss of his lover. But then one day he realises Ianto was more then just his lover, and he isn't sure how he can ever deal with that loss.
Disclaimer: Don't own Torchwood and I'm not making any money. If I had any control at all Gwen would of died the first time she did something stupid. Ianto Tosh and Owen would all be alive and Martha would probably be on the team... and the episodes would of much more Janto UST/Fluff
A/N 1:The references about Ianto talking to Jack when one else would (small worlds) and Ianto holding Jack after Flat Holm (Adrift) are from the Torchwood Archives. There is also a lot of talk about Ianto and Jack having dinner and talking a lot hence where that bit is from. The handcuffs and safety words reference is from In The Shadows, I also got the idea of Jack and Ianto being friends as well as lovers from Into The Shadows and The Sin Eaters. Also not beta'd, if anyone wants to give it ago it's be appreciated.
All things considered Jack Harkness recovered form the loss of his lover at what most people would consider an alarming rate. However Jack had always known he'd lose his quite Welshman, it was inevitable and given their line of work that loss was likely to occur much sooner then he ever would of liked.
Jack couldn't pin point the exact moment he'd stopped thinking about Ianto Jones everyday. He knew it had been after he left Cardiff.
Cardiff had too many memories. Every cafe was one that Ianto had refused to buy coffee from. Every side street and alleyway held memories of weevil hunts, both in the literal sense and the numerous occasions when Jack had rigged the alert just so he could drag Ianto away from the hub. The alley's held memories of Ianto's protests of "not here Jack" slowly transforming into "god yes". Jack still remembered the exact alleyway Ianto had rigged his own weevil alert to. He remembered being surprised when Ianto hadn't even waited for Jack to initiate the hunt before taking control of a situation he had long ago given up protesting.
Every restaurant either had memories of quite nights when Jack had managed to drag Ianto away from the Hub to just spend the night together, or were on the list of places he had wanted to try. Ianto had once joked that Jack was determined to take him to every restaurant in Cardif, at the time Jack had responded with a leer and a response about wanting to get Ianto all flustered in every toilet block available. After that conversation Jack really had made it his goal to take Ianto to every restaurant available, he also never tried to coerce Ianto into the toilets with him. Ianto of course had never mentioned it again, even though Jack knew he was far to perceptive to have not noticed. Everywhere in Cardiff reminded Jack of his lover, even if he had only mentioned the place in passing.
Looking back months after that terrible week Jack remembers his bitter arguments against the word couple and could no longer remember why he had insisted on denying Ianto the one label that would let him be truly comfortable with their relationship. Denying what they had been now seemed almost petty, Jack could honesty not remember the last night they had spent apart before the 456. He could not remember the last time he had flirted with someone with the intention of getting them into bed rather then getting them to smile and relax. What surprised Jack the most was when he realised he could not remember the last time he slept with someone else. He remembered going out on the pull his first week back after the year that never was, he could remember finding a beautiful pair of friends that were obviously up for anything and everything he had to offer. He vaguely remember kissing one of them passionately while the other pressed against his back running tantalising fingers up and down his sides. Then next thing he could remember was stopping suddenly as the couple morphed into a soft-spoken Welshman who Jack knew would look at him the next morning with only the slightest hint of hurt and as soon as they were alone Ianto would welcome Jack back into his arms and kiss him softly. In that kiss Jack could always detect the feelings, he knew what that kiss was saying, I understand and I forgive you. They never spoke of what that kiss meant though, or just why Ianto felt compelled to greet him this way.
Jack couldn't remember how he had managed to back out of the couple, he couldn't even remember deciding to. However Jack did remember leaving the bar and making his way to Ianto's flat. He remember the look of surprise and relief that graced Ianto's face when he opened the door to find Jack standing there. They didn't speak that night, even what would of normally been the harsh cries of passion softened to heartfelt moans. And though neither would ever admit to it, Jack remembered thinking that it hadn't felt like sex that night, he remembered think as he drifted off to sleep that making love to Ianto Jones was the closest to avant-garde he could ever reach.
So Jack left Cardiff, he left Cardiff and travelled the world. He travelled as far from Cardiff as he could and still it was not far enough to lose the memories. Every time a new city sparked a question in Jack's mind he would be reminded of the quiet Welshman who knew everything. Every coffee shop he passed reminded him of King Ianto's Coffee Club.
So Jack left Earth. He ran from everything that could possible tear his heart apart even further. Jack ran and he didn't look back for a very long time.
Eventually he stopped thinking of Ianto Jones every second.
Eventually he stopped thinking of Ianto Jones every day.
Eventually he stopped thinking of Ianto Jones every week.
And then one day Jack realised he had not thought of his lover for three months. That day Jack Harkness cried, he remembered everything about the young man he had inadvertently fallen in love with, that night he fell asleep wishing he could go back to before the 456. He constructed a mental image of Ianto's bedroom, imagined his skin pressed against the Welshman's and eventually fell asleep wishing that his fantasy would be a reality. The next morning when he awoke in his bed, alone, over 10 000 light years from earth Jack put aside his grief and kept living. He bedded anyone who was interested and a few who weren't, he even enjoyed a week long tryst with the innovative Alonzo Flame.
And then he realised it had been two years since Ianto Jones had died. Again Jack cried and wished himself back in time. Again he constructed his mental image, his heart breaking when he realised some of the details were becoming foggy and fell asleep. Again he woke up and continued living.
Nine months later Jack saw an old fashioned stop watch in a store and managed to smile to himself as he remembered just how long a list he and Ianto had managed to construct of possible stopwatch uses. That night Jack didn't cry, instead he fell asleep thinking of just how they had managed to cross off every single item on said list. Over the next year several more things reminded Jack of Ianto Jones and each time Jack would smile to himself, spend the night alone and let himself remember, he didn't cry.
Just shy of the five year mark Jack cried again. He didn't cry for his lover he cried for his best friend. Earlier that day Jack had made a mistake, his first mistake since the 456, several people had died. That night Jack realised just why he had fallen in love with Ianto Jones, it wasn't because of naked hide and seek. It wasn't because of the way his breath would hitch as Jack took him deeper then any ever had before. It wasn't even because of the way he'd bury his lips against Jack's neck as he slowly thrust into the immortal for the first time.
No Jack Harkness fell in love because somewhere amongst the stopwatch lists and naked hide and seek and handcuffs and safety words Ianto Jones had become his best friend. He had become the the man that knew Jack better then he knew himself. The man that held him through the night when the screams from Flat Holm Island left him devastated. The man who'd restrain his arms and whisper reassurances in his ear as he surged back to life. The man would would sit and share a strong drink when no one else could even stand to look at him.
And so Jack cried because he could accept the loss of a lover expected it even, experienced it before. He knew how to deal with that loss. But he'd never had to lose a best friend before. If Jack was honest he could not even remember having a best friend before. And so Jack cried because for the first time since his lovers death he'd needed his best friend and he found himself lost. He cried because he realised he would never again share a private joke or secret smile with his best friend, never again see his reaction to everything Jack had to share. He cried because he had never told Ianto Jones that he needed him. He cried because Ianto Jones had died never knowing that he was Jack's rock.
A/N 2: I wrote this mostly for myself but if anyone would like to review i'd love to hear your thoughts. This was written cause I had to vent hence Jack's slight OOCness.