Summary: Boys are stupid
Read this at my LJ: http://vivivolkov.livejournal.com/1281.html
Half an hour later, Ianto and Lisa were sat at Harper's Pizzeria discussing strange addictions. Lisa was adamant that bibliomania was definitely an addiction. Ianto argued that it was merely a passion. He was really enjoying himself. Usually Jack was the only other person he would be able to discuss and argue with about anything. No topic was ever off the table. They talked about everything from skittles to rugby. It was nice to have someone new to talk to. Maybe Lisa could help Ianto convince himself that he really did not need Jack to be happy like he needed air to breathe.
He watched Lisa eat her dessert with tiny bites as if she was bored with her food. For some reason, that irked him. He could not help but compare her to Jack, who would devour his triple chocolate delight with contagious enthusiasm and work his way to Ianto's plate.
Ianto cherished the way Jack would steal his dessert and sip his coffee and offer Ianto his own, off his own spoon and from his own cup. They were sharing germs, a childish concept, but that didn't stop Ianto from loving it any less. He loved the closeness, too. They always sat in a tiny booth at the far corner of the pizzeria, their booth, side-by-side, thighs touching, shoulders brushing, and on occasion, Jack would lean on Ianto's shoulder.
Lisa sat opposite him. Close enough for a first date, but that's not what he wanted. He wanted to be at Myfwany's with Jack. He wanted to laugh at his jokes and argue passionately about unimportant things. He wanted to share his dessert with him, tease him about getting fat from all the calories, reprimand him for giggling at inappropriate times, to roll his eyes at Jack's flirting with the waitress.
Yet here he was on a date with someone who was supposed to help him get over Jack, but instead was making him fall for him even more. He was reminded of a poem Jack showed him once.
'There are a hundred places where I fear to go, so with his memory they brim. And entering with relief some quiet place, where never fell his foot or shone his face, I say there is no memory of him here. And so stand stricken. So remembering him.'
Oh the irony.
Jack sat there at the dinner table picking at his pasta, lost in his thoughts. His mother was worried. Ever since Jack hit puberty, he could not stop eating this and that and some of whatever else was available, and he was never at a loss of appetite, so his disinterest in his dinner did not go unnoticed as well as his lack of conversation.
In his head, Jack was thinking about what Ianto was doing at this very moment. Was he pulling out a chair for Lisa, maybe laughing at her jokes, picking the meat off her pizza like he always did with Jack's, or even smiling that little reserved smile at her? Was he flirting with her? Why did it bother him so much that Ianto might enjoy Lisa's company? Well, obviously because he was crazy for Ianto and no matter how many times he reminded himself that he was still a teenager and teenagers do not take love seriously, he knew he was just lying to himself and that he was in love with Ianto, that he had been for a long time now.
He stabbed a prawn on his plate. His thoughts shifted back to Ianto's date. Would they get dessert? If so, would they share it? The thought of Ianto sharing his dessert with Lisa made his stomach churn. He remembered all those times he and Ianto would share their food and he wanted to run over to Harper's Pizzeria and demand Ianto only do that with him.
Jack adored the way Ianto would act bemused whenever he stole Ianto's dessert or coffee. Everyone knows that the others person's food is always tastier, mainly because it isn't your own, but that's not the point. Point was, he got to act all date-like with Ianto and he basked in every second of it. He loved getting Ianto to try whatever he got for himself, especially when Ianto did not object to being fed by Jack himself. He got that butter-like melty feeling in his lower belly at the way Ianto would wrap his lips around the proffered spoon or cup, or the way their fingers would brush and linger as they passed coffees to each other.
He sighed, looked at his food, and sighed again. He remembered the argument they had over whether those little shellfish were prawns or shrimp. He smiled before sighing once more.
"How was your day, sweetheart?" his mother asked, dismantling his thoughts.
"Hmmm? Oh, yeah. Good, fine." he replied.
"Anything interesting happen?" his dad queried.
"Hmmm? Oh, no. No, nothing. Why do you ask?"
"Oh I don't know... You haven't uttered a word all evening nor touched your food. I thought this was your favorite pasta." his mother added to the interrogation.
"It's Ianto's favorite." Jack stared at his offending plate.
"Ahhh." Craig Harkness seemed to understand.
"So, Ianto is with a friend tonight... You two didn't have an argument did you?" his mother questioned.
"Oh, uh. No. He's got a date tonight." Jack responded through somewhat gritted teeth as if forcing the words out.
"And you're alright with that?" his dad asked.
"What? Yes. Of course. He's my best friend. Of course I'm alright with it. Why wouldn't I be?" Jack responded nervously, sounding unconvincing even to his own ears.
"Well. I don't know. Maybe you fancy his date." his mother asked, hoping to ease Jack into confirming what they all knew already.
"Who? Lisa?" Jack spluttered at the absurdity. "She isn't my type. Plus, I've only met her twice and her and Ianto seemed to get along quite well from the start. Only stands to reason she ask him out." Jack mumbled the last sentence.
He beat himself up for nearly a week for not having the courage to ask Ianto out himself. Well, this week particularly, because she got to him first.
Ianto is a sex god, though he is oblivious to the fact. He'd never bat an eyelash at his own reflection, nor was he even remotely conceited. Too bad really. He could definitely have any girl of his dreams. Probably any guy as well. Jack knew he was all too willing to be that guy.
His lack of self awareness only added to his appeal. I mean, who does not want a guy who is sexy beyond reason yet has absolutely no idea? Not only that, but he was not one to treat girls like objects. He would speak to them with a confidence Jack could not muster without sounding like an arrogant prick. He could make them fall in love with his chivalry and gentleness, yet make them fantasize sinfully about him when he tackled rough in rugby or stood up in quiet rage against an indecency. Jack knew the girls were pining for Ianto, they had to be because even he was.
All the swooning girls posed a threat to Jack and Jack has done his absolute best to keep the tigresses from pouncing on his tiger.
His thoughts of Ianto were interrupted.
"So... You're fine with all of it, then?" his father pushed gently.
"Why wouldn't I be?" he sighed.
Jack had almost forgotten his little brother, Grey, was at the table. He did not speak much, a complete contrast to Jack, but when he spoke, he always said something truly brilliant or brutally honest. In this case, it was the latter.
"Because you are in love with him, duh." his six-year-old voice portraying the innocence and simplicity of Jack's inconsolable mood.
Jack sputtered and blushed furiously. He had not known it was so obvious or that his little brother had paid so much attention to his attraction for Ianto. It was not a big secret, but he was still shocked at the bluntness and accuracy of Grey's statement.
Which was precisely why he said, "Uhhh. What makes you say that?" before his brain could catch up with his mouth. Shit-fuck! Do not answer that question, Grey!
But it was too late. Grey was already opening his mouth and Jack just did not have the resolve to stop him.
Jack was tired. Exhausted. He just wanted to be with Ianto already. This whole week of Ianto's constant talk of his upcoming date with Lisa where Jack had to pretend to be as ecstatic about it as Ianto was, put Jack through the wringer. He just wanted Ianto in his arms where he belonged.
If the first step was letting his parents know, so be it.
"You look at Ianto the same way mom looks at dad when he's not looking." Grey replied. For a six-year-old, he was all too bright.
Jack stole a look at his parents, gauging their reactions. They seemed entirely unfazed by Jack's lack of denial, continuing with their dinners as if they did not hear Grey.
"Mom, Dad. I'm gay." he stated bluntly, thinking they might have misinterpreted Grey's explanation of his love for Ianto as mere friendly admiration.
His dad spilled the glass of water from his hand as his mother choked on a prawn. Grey looked on in bewilderment and concern.
Jack started rattling off apology after apology, each 'sorry' a bit higher pitched and panicky than the last, as his parents came back to themselves.
"Jack." his dad said harshly.
Jack shrank into himself uttering another, "Sorry."
"Jack. Stop apologizing. You have nothing to apologize for." he added.
"Jack. Don't take this the wrong way," his dad continued.
Jack cringed. They were going to kick him out, disown him. Suddenly he could not breathe. These were his parents, his life line. What would he do without them? Panic set in and he started hyperventilating. Tears began to stream down his face.
His father's arms were around him in a heartbeat, calming him, telling him to breathe, that he's safe.
Slowly, regaining his breath, Jack managed a, "Don't disown me, please."
"Jack, Jack. It's okay. No one is disowning anyone. We love you. We are here for you." his dad continued to calm him with reassuring words and soothing circles on his back.
"Sweetheart, it's okay. Don't cry-"
"Mmnot crying, mother." Jack pouted.
"Hey, Jack. C'mere." his father pulled him into a hug.
After a few moments of calming antics and well timed kisses to his forehead, Jack had relaxed enough to listen to the rest of his father's sentence.
"You- You said 'don't take this the wrong way'..." Jack stated quietly.
"I was going to say, ' don't take this the wrong way, but we kind of already knew you were gay.' I mean it is pretty obvious that you have more than just platonic feelings for Ianto. And, well you have a poster of scantily dressed 'firemen' in your closet, not to mention the magazines in your bedside drawer that your mother came across on accident. Boy, did that shatter her illusion of an innocent son." his father smirked.
Jack laughed at the thought of his mother finding his personal drawer. It felt good to laugh. He was so relieved this was going over so well.
"You know, for a while there, your mother and I actually thought that you and Ianto were dating, you two were always so... so... in sync. It was pretty obvious you were in love with each other, always talking, flirting, looking at each other just so, all those gentle touches. God, the two of you cannot keep your hands off each other for more than a minute when you're together. It's like watching two love struck teenagers, but sadder because you felt you needed to hide it from us. Now I realize that you are hiding it from each other as well."
"What do you mean? Ianto's not hiding anything. He's straight. It's only me who has these feelings and all I'm doing is trying not to make a fool of myself so that I can at least have him as a friend."
"Just think about it. How often are you affectionate towards him?"
"I try not to be too obvious, but I can't help myself; he is so amazing. So, like everyday."
"More like every chance you get... And how does he react to your antics?" Rhetorical question, but he wanted Jack to piece the puzzle together himself.
"He, well, he says stuff back,too. Affectionate stuff, yeah, but he doesn't mean it."
"How do you know?"
"Because he, like, I don't know, like acts like the words don't mean anything to him. And he, he's never taken any of it seriously."
"Indeed. That is exactly what he does." Jack felt his stomach drop in depression from his father's words.
"So... Ianto does not feel the way I feel. Is that what you are trying to say? Because I already know that." Jack was offended that his father would rub it in his face that Ianto was not his way inclined. Maybe he really did not want a gay son.
"No, no. I'm still getting to my point." his father replied and took a deep breath. Teenagers are just so thick sometimes. "When you say these affectionate things to Ianto, how do you make sure he won't read into them?"
"Well, um, I leer at him lewdly, wiggle my eyebrows... make sure he can't look directly into my eyes. I just, mmm, body language."
"And how do you react when Ianto is affectionate to you, mind you only theatrically?"
"Pretend it doesn't affect me, shrug it off. Smile my mega-watt smile." Jack replied. "I'm confused. What does this have to do with my doomed love life?"
Always a drama queen. "What I'm trying to say, munchkin, is that its not as doomed as it seems. Think about it. Ianto acts the same way you act whenever either one of you is affectionate toward the other.You only act unfazed because Ianto acts unperturbed. Ianto only acts unaffected because you act like your words are just words. You've created this never ending circle of 'lets avoid the one thing we both want' and its been eating you both for a while now."
"I- I don't know..." Jack was unsure of what to make of his father's estimation. On the one hand, he was exploding inside, wanting to pick up the phone and call Ianto right now, tell him to come over and kiss him senseless the first chance he got. On the other hand, he refused to let himself hope that Ianto could possibly share his feelings. He couldn't hope. He would fall apart the moment Ianto rejected him, and he did not think he would ever have the courage to get back up again.
"I'm not saying 'take my word for it, but, just think about it. Are you man enough to take a chance on love?"***