Rating: PG-13, maybe a 15 or a bit more?
Warnings: Language, Mature content, etc.
Spoilers:Erm...for the end of season one, but I'm guessing you've seen that far
Summary: Sure, Jack comes back. But how pleased would you be if someone you love died, left you all alone, and then assumed you'd be okay when they just...resurrected? Set between Jack's resurrection and Jack leaving at the end of season one.
A/N: This was one of two fics I wrote back in 2008 when I was still in the Torchwood fandom. I've since moved on but badly_knitted has been very kind about them and suggested I repost them to an active comm. So thank you,badly_knitted and to you, jackxianto, I hope I'm doing this right and that you enjoy.
Jack loved to watch over Cardiff. Wherever he chose, whatever time of day it was, there was nothing he loved more.
And now, standing atop one of his favourite 'skyscrapers' at almost twelve o'clock at night, watching the thousands of tiny points of lights below him, he felt the same way he always did: Invincible in himself and terrified for all of Cardiff.
He pushed back the thick material of his coat and shoved his hands deep into his trouser pockets as he narrowed his eyes. Somewhere a distant siren cried into the blackness of night and faded into the endless hiss that was the life of Cardiff itself. He could almost feel the city breathe, almost feel its energy in his own veins.
He waited for the rain. Because, as Jack saw it, the rain brought life, cleansed the city, and it seemed to leave the world a fresher place. As the wind picked up, blew the strands of hair from his face and pulled his coat to billow out behind him, he allowed himself the smallest of smiles.
Yet again, he had beaten the odds, yet again he - and his team, for they deserved plenty of the credit - had made sure that the world was a safer place.
And his thanks to Gwen before had been sincere. He was grateful for her closeness, the comfort she offered, and for her faith in him. But it wasn't what he wanted. It wasn't what he craved.
"You absolute bastard."
The voice was soft, full of hatred and...something else. Jack didn't need to turn to see who it was. He'd know that voice anywhere, that lilt, that tone. It made his blood run warmer, his hair stand on end. It made him truly feel alive.
He smiled shook his head.
For a long time they stood in silence, Jack choosing only to watch the flickering glow of the city that would not surrender. Ianto could only bring himself to run his hands through his hair. But when the silence stretched to minutes, Jack practically felt Ianto's resolve dissipate.
"I shouldn't even be here," Ianto breathed eventually and turned sharply to leave the roof.
"Ianto, wait!" Jack called out into the wind in front of him, without even turning to look at Ianto, and the halted footsteps told him Ianto wanted to hear what he had to say just as much as he did himself. "Don't leave. Not yet."
"Why?" Ianto's voice floated back to him, quiet and uneven, perhaps thanks to the wind.
"Because I need to tell you something."
With a sigh of resignation, Jack took his hands from his pockets and stepped down from the stone ledge on which he stood. And then he turned to face Ianto.
"Oh, shit, you look terrible!" Jack said as soon as he realised, his eyes widening at the pallor of Ianto's skin, the hollowness of his reddened eyes but, as he made to step toward him, Ianto grew suddenly angry.
"Don't touch me! Don't you dare!"
Stricken, Jack held his arms out helplessly.
"Ianto, please-" he began, but Ianto cut him off.
"How could you?"
Jack stopped short and stared at Ianto, completely bewildered.
"Ianto, I don't-"
"You were dead, Jack," Ianto spat, almost stepping forward and then deciding against it. "Not sleeping. Not comatose. Dead."
Jack laughed and scrubbed a hand down his face.
"Is that what this is about?"
It was the wrong thing to say. Ianto's eyes blazed and it seemed to Jack that it took all of his effort not to take a swing.
"How can you ask me that?" Ianto muttered, and then he said it again. "How can you ask me that?"
"I'm alive, Ianto," Jack answered. "Don't you get that? It's all okay now."
Ianto marched right up to him and pushed him backwards as hard as he could manage.
" 'Okay'? I was alone, Jack, you left me! You left us all. You didn't warn us, you didn't explain to us, you just up and left. And then you were gone."
"But I'm alive-"
Ianto pushed him again, further toward the edge of the roof.
"You're alive now! And I know that now! But do you know how long I stood up here after you died, wondering if it was even worth trying to keep on going? I lost you, Jack! I lost you! And I lost everything then."
Ianto took another step forward and pushed Jack again, planting both palms on his chest and shoving with all his might. And Jack felt something akin to surprise. This was a new side of Ianto, something he had never seen before, and did not care to be seeing now. Sad Ianto, he could mend. Grieving Ianto, he could comfort. But Ianto this furious and this exasperated was something Jack had absolutely no idea how to deal with.
"You just waltzed right in, without telling us anything. Without telling me anything. And I didn't even know. Gwen and then Toshiko. Neither of them told me, either! I couldn't breathe, Jack, you scared me so much!"
The next time Ianto pushed him, Jack stumbled into the stone ledge of the roof.
"What? Even if I pushed you off it wouldn't matter, would it? You'd come back and no one would ever have to know. Isn't that right? Or maybe I'm the one who should fall and you can find a new Tea Boy."
Jack shook his head slowly.
"Ianto, don't say that."
Ianto narrowed his eyes.
"Would it matter to you, Jack? Would you even care if I were gone tomorrow? Like Suzie? Or Lisa? No-one means a thing to you, do they now?"
Ianto walked right up to Jack, and Jack could almost see himself falling, see himself hitting the ground, see Ianto staring down at him from high above.
But Ianto didn't push him. Instead, he just stared, his eyes shining with unshed tears.
"But I wouldn't do that to you. I couldn't, could I? I can't even kill when I need to. Let alone kill you."
Tentatively, Jack raised one hand to Ianto's shoulder, then to his neck and then to his face.
"I'm sorry, Ianto," he said, and kissed him softly.
For a moment, the kiss remained that way - gentle, uncertain - and then Ianto grabbed at the front of Jack's shirt, yanked it from his belt and shoved his hands up the back of it. His hands were freezing but Jack didn't care - Ianto needed to feel the warmth of skin that had been too cold for too long, and Jack was grateful for that, in a way. He felt Ianto's tears spill over as he forced them together, felt the tension in Ianto's relief as he wrapped him in his arms.
Jack backed Ianto up against one of the small structures on the roof - air conditioning, storage, whatever - and moaned into his mouth, pulling him closer.
"Wait, Jack," Ianto managed, "wait."
Jack broke away, gasping, and frowned.
"What is it?"
"If you can come back, Jack, if you'll never die...then what about me?"
Jack closed his eyes. He'd hoped it wouldn't occur to Ianto. But Ianto was smarter than that.
"I don't know. All I know is, if my time with you is...limited...then I don't want to waste a second of it."
This time, it was Ianto who kissed Jack, his movements suddenly far more frantic.
When they parted, only enough to allow movement, Jack pulled at Ianto's tie and flung it to one side once it came undone, then attacked the buttons of his shirt.
"Jack, not here!" Ianto gasped as he came up for air.
"Why not?" Jack answered and kissed him again, his coat shielding them both from the wind.
Jack stroked the hair back from Ianto's forehead as he looked down at him where he lay. Quietly wrapped up in Jack's coat, his hair and clothes a complete mess, he dozed against the skin of Jack's bare chest.
It was too cold out here, Jack decided, too cold for both of them. But he didn't want to wake Ianto. He wasn't sure if he should.
"I'm cold," Ianto murmured, stirring a little further into Jack's coat and that made up Jack's mind.
"We should go inside."
"I don't want to," Ianto answered, but Jack pressed a kiss to the top of his head.
"We can go to my room. There's no problem. Everybody knows already anyway."
Ianto looked up at him and grinned.
"I'd like that, Jack."
Jack smiled too, finding Ianto's mood infectious.
They stood and buttoned and zipped up, where it was needed but, when Ianto made as if to give Jack his coat back, Jack shook his head.
"You keep it for a while. You'll catch a cold otherwise."
He slung an arm around Ianto and they began to walk to the door. They were about halfway there when Jack stopped.
"Look, I...I might have to leave. Maybe soon. And I might have to leave without telling anyone - I may not get a chance to, don't ask me why, and don't tell the others. But I want you to know that I'll come back for you. I'll always come back for you."
Ianto nodded, leaned his head against Jack's shoulder. And then they began to walk again.
"Oh," Ianto said as they walked through the door. "What was it you wanted to tell me before?"
Jack thought about it for a moment, smiled and shook his head.
"I'll tell you some other time," he said quietly, and they began to walk down the steps.
He noticed small drops of water in Ianto's tousled hair and glanced backward, up the steps, to where the door was swinging closed behind them, and then he smiled.
It had begun to rain.