Rating: Hard R
Warnings: Spoilers for Cyberwoman and Countrycide. Set immediately post-Countrycide
A/N: I've been wanting to write this story since Sunday, but I resisted. And then janne_d said she wished there was more Jack/Ianto fic in existence. So, uh, blame her.
A/N 2: HUGE thanks to buzzylittleb for looking this over even though, in her words, Jack/Ianto = yuk. Sorry, b.
[Disclaimer: Really, really not mine. And I don't even mind too much because RTD is made of awesome]
They sit in silence in the front of Jack’s car and watch Gwen, Owen, and Tosh crawl into the back of a taxi. Gwen’s moving slowly, one hand pressed to her side. They’re all too silent.
“Fifty pounds says they go home together,” Jack says. It’s obvious he doesn’t care, that they’re just words, speech for the sake of sound.
Ianto answers for the same reason, “All three of them, sir?”
He meant it as a joke, or as much of a joke as you could have tonight, but Jack actually takes time to consider.
“No,” he says as last. “At least not yet.”
Ianto nods and goes back to staring out at the dark Cardiff night. The taxi’s gone and he’s suddenly exhausted, forehead resting on the cold glass of the side window. Jack starts the engine and they move off, but Ianto doesn’t open his eyes and Jack doesn’t talk again.
Ianto doesn’t invite Jack in, he just follows him through the door and upstairs to Ianto’s maisonette. Every part of Ianto’s body aches and for once he doesn’t think about being a good host, about making sure Jack’s comfortable, he just sinks onto the sofa and sighs.
Jack stands in the middle of the living room for a moment, right under the lampshade, caught in the light. He tips his head and studies Ianto, his expression softer than it’s been since before Lisa. Ianto thinks he’s going to say something, but instead he shakes his head and goes into the kitchen.
It took Ianto two weeks to learn to work his cappuccino machine; Jack gets it straight away, returning in a couple of minutes with two cups of coffee. Ianto balances his mug on his knees and wraps his hands around it, getting warm for the first time since they left for Breconshire last night.
Jack takes the arm chair opposite the sofa and leans back, resting his own mug on his stomach. “Why did you lie, Ianto?”
“About what, sir?” Ianto asks. Like he doesn’t know, like he didn’t see the flicker of something, maybe hurt, on Jack’s face earlier.
“Lisa wasn’t your last kiss.”
Ianto tightens his grip, feels the hot ceramic burn the pads of his fingers. “You know that,” he says, “And I know that, but you can’t want the others to know, sir. It’d look like favouritism.”
“You regret it.” He doesn’t seem bothered, but Jack never seems bothered.
“No, of course not.” It’s the truth, but Ianto says it too quickly, it sounds false. He tries again, quieter. “I don’t.”
At first, it had been for Lisa.
From the moment he’d hired him, Jack had watched him with lazy, hungry eyes. Ianto had some experience with men and Jack was easy on the eyes, it had been the perfect way to earn his trust, to make sure no one found Lisa. Jack was smart, and fantastic at his job, but he had a blind spot a mile wide when it came to people he liked.
Ianto tries to smile, tries to make sure Jack believes him, but stops. It’s stupid, but of all the places on Ianto’s body that hurt now and didn’t hurt this morning, it’s the corners of his mouth, where the gag cut into him, that are throbbing most right now.
Jack’s still watching him, and what feels like the hundredth time he touches his mouth, checking it isn’t bleeding, Jack catches his hand, lowers it.
“I didn’t come after you,” Jack says, voice low.
Ianto touches the stitches in his neck ruefully. “I noticed that, sir.”
“I wanted to.” Jack sounds like the confession is being torn from his throat with razors. “But I can’t put one person above everybody.”
“Yeah,” Ianto says, and doesn’t point out that it was two people, him and Tosh. It’s Ianto’s job to be invisible, but Tosh is the one everybody forgets.
“Medicine cabinet in the bathroom?” Jack abruptly asks, standing up.
Ianto nods. They never came here; Jack’s never been here before. Every time they fucked, it was always at Torchwood, with Lisa downstairs. It was something Ianto never thought of then and can’t stop thinking about now.
Jack comes back from the bathroom with TCP and cotton wool. Ianto remembers the taste of both from the few fights he couldn’t help getting in at school. But then it had been his mother dabbing at his split lip, angry with him and not caring that it stung. Now though, now it’s Jack, kneeling in front of Ianto in Ianto’s own house. And Jack is careful, gentle, cupping Ianto’s chin in one hand and methodically tending to the scrapes and bruises the paramedics hadn’t had time to be worried about.
They haven’t fucked since the day Lisa died.
It was the middle of the night, after everyone else had gone home. Ianto on his knees, hands pressed to the glass wall of Jack’s office, while Jack fucked him, overlooking Torchwood, eyes trained on the floor, twenty feet below and still stained with Lisa’s blood.
It was hard and rough, it hurt and neither of them had come; Jack, at least, had been hard.
During, Ianto thought it was what Jack wanted, punishment, mild compared to what he deserved. After, when Jack shut off the lights and left him alone, when Ianto crawled to the sofa and cried, he realised it had been what he needed.
“There,” Jack says at last and his smile is soft, sad. “All better.”
Ianto doesn’t laugh at the irony because they both know it’s there, they both know practically nothing is better or even okay, but he doesn’t want to see Jack wince.
“Thanks,” Ianto says instead. He says it quietly because Jack hasn’t moved away.
Jack slides his hand from Ianto’s chin, up into his hair. He strokes his thumb over Ianto’s temple.
“Can I kiss you?” Jack asks.
Ianto hesitates, not because he doesn’t want it, but because this would be big, would be something other than protecting Lisa, would mean he’d been cheating on her, had maybe moved on from her, long ago. “You never asked before,” he quips, stalling.
“You owed me before,” Jack says.
Ianto’s eyes had been half closed, now they fly open. “You knew-?”
“No, I didn’t know. I knew there was something, not what. I didn’t think-”
Jack breaks off, tactful and kind the way he can be sometimes, but Ianto still knows what he meant to say. He’d known Ianto was up to something, but he hadn’t investigated it because he’d trusted Ianto.
Ianto feels a hot flush of shame and opens his mouth to apologise. Again.
And then Jack’s kissing him.
Jack’s a lazy kisser, forceful but slow. Lips moving slick and sure over Ianto’s, tongue wet when it skims over Ianto’s top lip, front teeth.
Ianto whispers something, even he doesn’t know what, and shifts closer, sliding his hands up Jack’s arms and curling them tight around Jack’s shoulders, holding on.
Jack smiles against his lips, licks his way to the corner of Ianto’s mouth, which is still bruised, still swollen, and kisses him there, whisper soft, almost an apology.
Then he draws back. When Ianto opens his eyes, Jack’s licking his own lips and grimacing. “Man,” he says. “I can't wait til you guys learn how to take the taste out of anticeptics.”
Ianto blinks at him, then he laughs, loud enough that it jars his headache, but he doesn’t care because Jack’s frowning at him and they just kissed and some tiny part of Ianto’s heart feels lighter than it did ten minutes ago.
“That’s what you’ve got to say?” Ianto asks, incredulous. “You kiss me like that,” Like you own me. Like you mean it. “And then you complain that I taste of TCP?”
Jack cards his fingers through Ianto’s hair, messing it up the way he used to after sex sometimes, if they were comfortable and feeling lazy. “What would you rather I said?” he asks. “Would you rather I asked you to come to bed?”
It’s an innocent question, or sounds like one, but Ianto’s breath lodges in his throat and something on his face must tip Jack off because his expression changes.
He stands up. His knees don’t pop. Ianto’s got to be ten years younger than him, but when Jack pulls him up too, his do. It makes Jack smile, the sad smile again.
“Come to bed,” Jack says again.
And Ianto has nothing to say but “Yes”, which he doesn’t need to say, but says anyway, because he wants someone, somewhere, though he doesn’t know who, to know this is his choice.