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1.

Forgiveness

Set between Torchwood Audio: Broken and They Keep Killing Suzie

 

The Hub is quietly ticking over, the Rift has been quiet recently and Ianto’s glad for it - it’s given him the perfect amount of time to get on with the backlog of reports and filing. He ambles around the archive, adding to some files, slotting new ones in and neatly writing on the spines for use later before uploading their location onto the electronic database. He likes times like these, there’s no other team members, no-one making distracting comments, no steady stream of people asking for coffee, he can just get on with his work without having his attention diverted somewhere else.

 

He’s tired, but it’s worth it, and he knows he needs to get it done. It’s only when he looks down at his watch that he realises that it’s ten past one in the morning. He pulls out his phone to double check - sure enough he’s met with the same time mirrored on the crystal screen. 

 

He didn’t realise it had been getting so late. Looking at the mountain of paperwork Ianto sighs, he knows he needs to finish it because he can bet good money if he doesn’t the Rift will spit out something horrific and he won’t get another opportunity like this for a long time. Reaching for his half drunk, long since cold, cup of coffee he downs it and shakes his head in some hope of finding a bit more energy.

 

He picks up another file and starts working on it.

 

The stack of files deteriorates as slowly as anticipated and by the time he gets to the final report Ianto can barely keep his eyes open, he diligently presses on and soon he feels his neck ache as he slots it into its new home. He takes a second and rolls his head from side to side to ease some of the stiffness, but it’s crept into his back, his shoulders tense as shooting pains rush down and around his sides, making him cringe in discomfort.

 

Ianto turns and heads back up to the main area of the Hub, heaving himself up the stairs by the handrails; he’s got no spare energy and there’s a part of his brain  telling him that he’s in no fit state to drive himself home. Reaching the sofa next to the medical bay, he drops down and promises it’s just a pit stop between himself and collecting his bag from his newly appointed workstation (formerly Suzie’s much to his dismay). Ianto’s eyes feel heavy and his neck tilts backwards until it’s resting on the sofa, there’s no way he’ll let himself fall asleep now, he’s still got so much cleaning to do…

 

“Ianto?”

 

Ianto jerks awake and feels bloody awful, his muscles ache in a way he didn’t know they could. He blinks a few times, sleep dirt deep in the corner of each eyes, he feels the tell-tale tackiness of spit in the left corner of his mouth and feels shame seep into his chest at the idea of drooling on himself. Rubbing the heel of his palm into each eye he blinks harder, the shape of a person coming into focus in the dim light. The looming figure of Jack comes into his weary vision, he looks concerned but Ianto’s eyes drift shut again in the hopes he can just fall back to sleep.

 

“Ianto?” Jack reaches down and puts a hand on his shoulder in an effort to rouse him properly.

 

“Mmm?” Ianto grumbles, pushing the hand away.

 

“You okay?”

 

“Mmm’tired,” Ianto manages before he drops his hand and tries to get comfy again.

 

“Yeah, I can see that. Want me to drive you home?” Jack asks, he probably looks annoyed but Ianto couldn’t care less because he hasn’t slept so deeply in months.

 

“Tired,” he mumbles thickly again and Jack chuckles lightly.

 

“Well you can’t stay there, the other’s will be heading in soon and I don’t think they’ll let you nap in peace.” Jack says quietly “want to go sleep down in my bunk? No funny business, I promise,”

 

Ianto aims for a smirk but it probably doesn’t work “Don’t make... promises... you ...can’t keep,” he manages.

 

There’s a deep chuckle, but it’s closer and he feels lips press against his forehead “C’mon sleeping beauty, let’s get you out of harm's way. Owen’s not to be trusted when there’s permanent markers around,” Jack slips his arm around Ianto’s waist and the younger man huffs in irritation but allows himself to be pulled to his feet, expecting to have to keep his balance. Instead Jack sweeps his feet up and carries Ianto, bridal style, to the manhole cover in his bunk. Ianto suddenly feels a bit more awake at the sensation and flaps his arms half-heartedly.

 

“Relax, I got you,” Jack says reassuringly, and Ianto is almost transported to his childhood when his Mam used to carry him up the stairs to bed. He whines at the loss of control and Jack comes to a stop.

 

“Quit complaining,” he says, though it’s more teasing than anything else “I need you to climb down, can you do that?” 

 

“Mmmm,” 

 

“Good,” Jack carefully stands him up and Ianto toes his shoes off with his eyes still closed, he hears Jack softly chuckle as he takes Ianto’s hands and guides them to the top of the ladder and he descends, heavy-limbed, into the bedroom. 

 

As soon as he feels the bed below him, he flops out onto it, letting himself sink into the mattress. Somewhere at the back of his mind, he notes that last time he was here he complained at the stiffness, but now it feels like a marshmallow - drawing him into comfort.

 

The sound of feet on the ladder cues Jack’s arrival and he prods Ianto.

 

“Let’s get a few of those layers off,” he encourages, his hands moving deftly to Ianto’s suit jacket and waistcoat “you’ll have my head if you wake up and know I let you sleep in a full suit,”

 

Ianto concedes and agrees, that does sound like something he’d do, so he allows Jack to roll him onto his side and gently pull off the well-cut items before lolling onto his back again. He feels warm fingers on his neck and he smiles at the feeling.

 

“I thought...you said...no...funny...business,” Ianto tries to say dryly but his lips aren’t responding very quickly.

 

Jack laughs “Even when you’re half asleep you’re still trying to be the funniest man in the room,”

 

“Doesn’t...take...much,”

 

That makes Jack laugh harder and he reaches for a spare blanket, unfolding it and laying it over Ianto. He shucks off his own coat and boots, pulls his braces down and undoes his belt, slipping off the holster before lying down next to Ianto. The younger man senses the warmth and wriggles closer, propping his head on Jack’s chest - he should feel embarrassed but it’s either too late or too early - he can feel awkward when he wakes up.

 

Jack runs his fingers through Ianto’s hair “Before you wipe out, just listen to me for a second,”

 

Ianto nods against his shirt “Mmmhmmm,”

 

“Don’t burn yourself out over what happened. I think we can all agree that what you did was wrong, but it wasn’t for the wrong reasons, I know that. When you love something you’ll do anything to keep it, so I know why you kept it hidden from us. We forgive you, even if the other’s haven’t said it. You can’t be working yourself through all these hours just to feel some kind of repentance. You’ve got to forgive yourself , Ianto, you did all you could and that’s all anyone could ask for. You did what you needed to do, and so did we. Now we move on. We forgive and forget. I don’t want to find you like this again, is that clear?”

 

A little bit of shame settles in Ianto’s stomach and he feels tears well in his eyes, he nods again with a small sniff. Jack presses another kiss into his hair.

 

“Good. Now get some rest,”

 

That’s how Ianto falls asleep, tucked in Jack’s side, the older man running his hand up and down his back in soothing motions. It’s not long until his breathing evens out and Jack hears a few light snores - he smiles sadly to himself before reaching to the lightswitch and clicking it off, and closing his own eyes, falling into dark unconsciousness. 

 

When Ianto wakes up he’s alone but he’s covered with not only the blanket Jack had laid out, but also a heavy red tartan woollen throw and, of all things, Jack’s coat. He starts for a second, but after his mind clears he remembers the night before and relaxes back into the bed, he brings his wrist to eye level and looks at the time. It’s mid-afternoon, he’s missed the majority of the work day so he lets his head drop back onto the pillow and closes his eyes again. Jack’s words echo around his head. Perhaps he had been over-working to balance out his self-condemnation, he hadn't even noticed.

 

Groaning he throws an arm over his eyes and shifts until he feels sleep encroaching, he lets it take him willingly. 

 

When he dreams, it’s of his old colleagues and friends from London, but unlike his dreams in the past, this time they’re smiling at him contently and laughing at an unspoken joke.



2.

Selfishness 

Set between Combat and Captain Jack Harkness

 

The majority of Ianto’s evenings with Jack end up with sex. This evening is no different. They fall into Jack’s tiny and frankly not-fit-for-purpose bed all roaming hands and biting teeth. Jack pulls away from the kiss and they kneel in front of each other in the confined space, pulling at each other’s clothes.

 

“If I asked you to do something for me, would you?” he asks, running his teeth down Ianto’s jawline.

 

“Yes,” Ianto says instantly, but then the fog clears a little “depends what it is,”

 

Jack smirks “If I asked you to use me , to worry about nothing but yourself - would you?”

 

Ianto’s mouth falls open and he feels the mood drop a little “That’s not really...the point , of this. I mean, us both getting off. That's why we’re half-naked,”

 

Jack rolls his eyes and looks Ianto dead in the eye, before pressing a palm to the side of his face “And what if I said that you being selfish and just fucking me, using me, is the hottest thing I can think of right now?”

 

Ianto gives him a skeptical look “I’m not...selfishness...that doesn’t seem…,”

 

Jack leans forward and kisses his neck, Ianto surrenders a little, tilting his head to give him more access.

 

“You’ve got to learn to be more selfish, Ianto. Take what you want without a thought for the other person,” Jack murmurs against his skin.

 

Ianto nods slowly “That’s what you want?”

 

Jack nods in return.

 

The younger man takes a deep breath and grabs at Jack’s clothes “Get these off,” he says, there’s a steeliness to it which goes straight to Jack’s cock but he doesn't move “now!”

 

Jack fumbles with his trousers and peels his clothes off as quick as he can, he notices that Ianto isn’t undressing, just unzipping his trousers, his dark aubergine shirt hanging open, showing a panel of pale skin. 

 

Ianto pulls himself out of his trousers as Jack wriggles off his boxers, there’s a tension in the air and Ianto runs his hand through Jack’s hair and grips it, not tightly so it hurts, but enough for him to get the idea. Jack shuffles up the bed on his hands and knees and opens his mouth, he feels so exposed and vulnerable but it’s refreshing, his skin is humming with sensitivity.

 

Smirking, Ianto feeds himself into Jack’s mouth, forcing all of himself in until he feels the back of Jack’s throat - he swears it feels like heaven. He lets his hand drop from Jack’s hair as his eyes roll into the back of his head as the heat engulfs him and Jack guides it back up and Ianto grips harder this time, his other hand coming to join and he picks up a rhythm, fucking his cock with Jack’s mouth. The older man feels his own cock twitch as he chokes and tears spring to his eyes, but he swallows it down and arousal prickles across his neck as he lets Ianto pick up the pace, enjoying the sound of Ianto’s whines and moans as he loses himself in the sensation.

 

“So fucking wet,” Ianto gasps, hips pressing into Jack’s face - Jack swears he’s never seen Ianto look so powerful “so tight and hot,”

 

Jack lets Ianto take what he needs and shuts his eyes, enjoying the feeling of being out of control.

 

All too soon, Jack feels a tap on his shoulder and his eyes snap open.

 

“You okay?” Ianto asks, panting a little.

 

Jack nods and Ianto smiles, before it turns a little dark and he shoves Jack’s shoulder with his palm.

 

“On your back,” he says and Jack does as he’s told.

 

Why haven't I suggested this before? Jack thinks to himself as he reclines on the duvet.

 

Ianto reaches into his pocket, his dick still hard and hanging out of his tailored trousers obscenely, it’s slick and wet - Jack’s mouth salivates but he controls himself.

Pulling out a small bottle of lube, Ianto crawls over Jack; there’s something in his eyes, something that Jack’s never seen before and his breath catches in his throat.

 

“I’m going to open you up, fuck you and you’re going to lie there and take it.” Ianto says anticaporitaly, he hovers over Jack, sinking down onto his left arm above Jack’s right shoulder and rests his weight there, so their faces are centimetres apart.

 

Jack can’t even answer, he watches, mouth agape as he hears the snap of a bottle lid. Ianto pours cold liquid onto Jack’s lower midriff, uncaring of the temperature, Jack intakes a breath and Ianto smirks, discarding the bottle and dipping his free hand and fingers into the lube before reaching further down. He pauses for a second.

 

“You’ll tell me if it gets too much?” he says quietly, Jack scrunches his eyes shut and nods feverently.

 

“Do it,” he urges impatiently and instantly the facade drops back over Ianto’s face.

 

“Shut up,” he bites and his fingers dive into the place that makes Jack’s toes curl and he gasps out a moan.

 

Two fingers push in before they really should and Jack groans at the sensation, Ianto presses his face into Jack’s neck and pants like he’s already got his cock inside him, it’s driving Jack mad - if he could come from just sensory stimulation then it would be all over right now for him.

 

Ianto scissors his fingers, and then adds another finger and Jack arches off the bed.

 

“Now, now,” he whispers, fingers clawing at the sheets.

 

Ianto looks a little worried “You sure?”

 

Jack nods in sharp, juddery movements “Mmm-hmm. Do it. I like it - the burn,”

 

Ianto pushes himself back onto his knees and slicks up his cock, he holds onto the base as he feeds himself into Jack’s tight body.

 

“Christ,” he mutters as he pushes against the resistance.

 

Jack keens and wills his body to relax, the burn aches down his spine and he bites so hard on his lip he tastes copper on his tongue.

 

“Look at you,” Ianto hisses “getting off on being fucked raw,”

 

Jack nods, because at this point he can’t really form words.

 

“Jesus, Jack, I’ve never been with anyone so desperate as you,” Ianto pulls out a short way and then pushes back in, bottoms out. Jack watches as Ianto screws his eyes shut in unparalleled pleasure, his breath coming in short, sharp gasps.

 

Jack can imagine it, the view to a voyeur. Ianto - almost fully dressed, his trousers around his thighs and shirt undone, balls deep in Jack who’s completely and utterly naked. He feels more debauched now than he ever has, split open and needy, wide open on Ianto’s dick and his nerves set on fire.

 

Ianto pulls out a little and Jack winds his arms around him, clawing at the expensive cotton of his shirt, gritting his teeth at the burn of his cock drawing out before it’s pushed in deep again.

 

Fuck ,” Ianto manages, he does it again, and then again, and then quicker and quicker. All Jack can do is hold on as he loses himself in the phenomenon that is being fucked by Ianto Jones, unabashedly, unashamed. Ianto pistons his hips like an animal in heat. The younger man’s cock drives into Jack with a force he’s never felt before, nailing his prostate with every second or third thrust sending Jack's muscles into spasm. Ianto slides his arms under Jack and holds him in place as he propels himself deeper and deeper, pressing his face into's Jack's neck - breathing in those pheromones that drive him to distraction. Jack raises his legs around Ianto’s waist and feels woollen trousers under his heels. If he could die like this, he would, because this is perfection - to be used, to be wanted, to let someone take what they need, the total loss of control; Jack’s giddy with it.

 

“God - Jack, I’m - - shit - - I can’t - - I’m not  - -,” he chokes and Jack wishes he could see his face as he loses control. He thrusts hard twice more before stilling and shaking in Jack’s arms.

 

Ianto mutters something and then sinks his teeth into Jack’s shoulder.

 

 Jack revels in the way he can feel Ianto pulses and spills inside his body.

 

“That’s right, inside me, mark me for anyone else,” Jack says lowly between breaths “I’m yours, all yours,”

 

Ianto whines and his hips jerk in small movements at Jack’s words and he strokes his hair as he comes down from his orgasm. After ten seconds or so, he lifts his head up, there’s a blush high on his cheeks and he looks damn-right edible.

 

“I think I got away from myself a little,” he admits shyly.

 

Jack rounds an eyebrow “Well you’re still inside me, so hopefully you’re not too far away,”

 

Ianto blushes deeper and drops his head to Jack’s shoulder in embarrassment. 

 

“It’s okay,” Jack says, chuckling “it’s been a while since I’ve been quite so turned on I could barely speak,”

 

Ianto smirks “That’s good to know,”

 

Jack beams “Try and do that mid-mission, I dare you,”

 

The younger man shakes his head and reaches a hand down to where they’re joined, sliding out of Jack with a wet noise which makes Ianto’s dick twitch uselessly, and Jack’s dick dribbles pre-come, still hard.

 

“Do you want me to?” Ianto gestures to Jack’s predicament.

 

Jack shakes his head “No, don’t worry about me. This was for you.” Ianto leans over the bed and picks up a discarded sock and cleans them both up as much as he can.

 

Ianto pulls off his shirt, trousers and boxers, discarding them next to the bed, he turns back to Jack looking a little sheepish.

 

“What?” Jack says, tugging the duvet over himself.

 

“I was looking forward to giving you a blow job all day,” he confesses, not daring to meet Jack's eyes.

 

Jack tilts his head back and laughs “But I wanted this to be about you ,”

 

Ianto wrenches the duvet from Jack’s waist in a sudden movement and the cool air, once again, hits Jack’s skin. He inhales sharply.

 

“Just let me suck you off, Captain,” Ianto says, getting onto his hands and knees, hovering over Jack's neglected prick.

 

Jack groans, conceding defeat “You know I can’t argue when you say that. No fair,”

 

Ianto smiles wickedly and grasps Jack’s hips.

 

“That’s the problem, sir, I always win,”

 

Jack can’t even formulate a sarky response because half a second later his brain is all-but being sucked out through his cock by the most skilled mouth Jack's ever had the pleasure of being blown by. 



3.

Self-Worth

Set between Sleeper and To The Last Man

 

It’s been the worst fourteen hours Ianto has ever experienced, he’s run nothing less than six miles around Bute Park trying to track down a Hoix, only to realise, as he followed the Hoix into an alleyway, that it’s just the tip of the human-eating alien iceberg. So then he’d had to call for back-up and wait for the team to arrive and explain that they’re now after a shape-shifting and violent alien with a taste for human flesh. Less than ideal. Tosh, being her usual brilliant self, had managed to track the shifter down to an old warehouse after they’d all chased it to the outskirts of the city. 

In pairs, they track around the warehouse scouting for entrances, Jack nods ahead and Ianto sees a rusted delivery hatch, the corner peeled away by what Ianto assumes is either the alien or the homeless. Tosh is giving orders from her computer in the SUV, Gwen and Owen are on the other side of the warehouse also trying to find an inconspicuous way in.

 

Ianto carefully crouches next to the mangled hatch and notes how small it looks now they’re closers, he sighs, putting his gun into the waistband of his trousers and his torch in his mouth, he gets onto his hands and knees.

 

Jack sighs behind him “I think I dreamt about you in this position last night,”

 

Ianto looks back at him and scowls; Jack smirks “What?! Gun at the ready, mouth full, you can hardly blame me,” he flashes his eyebrows “I’ll save the mental image for later,”

 

Rolling his eyes, Ianto faces forward and pushes himself through the gap as quietly as he can, he clears it with his normal efficiency and waits for Jack to come through. The other man manages it with an agility Ianto has no hope of ever achieving and they both stand up, torches and guns at the ready. The warehouse is full of partitions and thick columns, Jack and Ianto scan around with their torches.

 

“Jack, Ianto, it looks like the creature has headed to the west of the warehouse,” Tosh says over the comms.

 

Jack points at himself and then forward, before pointing at Ianto and gesturing to his back.

 

I’ll lead, you follow behind.

 

Ianto nods once and they silently start walking towards where Tosh had advised.

 

They reach it, on high alert. There’s no sounds, nothing. Ianto looks at Jack - confused.

 

Where...? Ianto mouths but before he can finish his train of thought there’s a rustle and a towering shadowy form steps out from behind a pillar, it smoothly transforms into Jack and pulls the gun from his waist, lifting his arm up and aiming.

 

Ianto watches as the barrel is pointed at him. Not-Jack pulls the trigger.

 

NO!

 

In one effortless movement, Jack rushes over and throws himself in front of Ianto, knocking Ianto’s gun arm and sending the weapon clattering across the warehouse floor. Ianto watches in gobsmacked horror as the bullet strafes through Jack’s neck and opens the carotid artery, sending blood streaking across Ianto’s face, the sensation of warm blood on his skin all too familiar.

 

Jack’s dead before he hits the floor. Not-Jack looks furiously at Ianto and raises his gun again, it gives Ianto a strange dose of dejavu.

 

This is it. Ianto thinks, taking a deep breath and closing his eyes.

 

There’s a second wave of wet warmth and Ianto feels a hot thickness oozing down his face, opening his eyes he sees Owen, gun still aloft, and the alien on the floor - now missing a chunk of head.

 

Ianto lets out a shaky breath through his nose before raising his sleeve and wiping his mouth.

 

“There we are then,” he says as calmly as he can, he nods to Owen “thanks,”

 

“Anytime,” Owen replies, looking back down at the alien with a grimace “now we’ve got to get it back to the Hub without getting alien brains on the seats,”

 

Ianto gives him a tight smile and taps his earpiece “Gwen, Tosh, we’re going to need a bodybag and a clean-up kit,”

 

Gwen’s voice crackles through “I’m on it,”

 

Owen heads back out to help Gwen into the building, his footsteps fade into the distance.

 

Ianto looks down at the real Jack, splayed out on the floor, covered in his own blood, and carefully kneels, uncaring of the way the sticky lukewarm wetness seeps through the material on his knees.

He reaches down to card his fingers through Jack’s hair, reaching into his pocket to get his handkerchief, pulling it out and wiping the worst of the blood from Jack’s face. Ianto notes to himself that it’s always worse when Jack dies with his eyes open, it’s not the kind of thing a partner should have to see - although he knows it won’t be too long before he’s back. Ianto watches the skin as it knits itself back together slowly, and soon enough Ianto sees the first thump of blood beginning to pound in his neck.

 

Life returns to Jack like a punch in the chest, Ianto holds his arms as he flails for a second and then realises where he is. Jack’s hand flies up to Ianto’s neck.

 

“You’re okay?” he asks before he does anything else.

 

“Thanks to you,” Ianto pauses for a second “although you did knock my gun out my hand,”

 

Jack rolls his eyes and Ianto helps him to his feet, he sways “I was being heroic! Cut me some slack!” he shakes his head like he’s clearing brain-freeze “whoo, blood loss, never fun to wake up from,”

 

Ianto feels guilt settle on him “Sorry,”

 

Jack turns to him “Hey, none of that. Better me die than you. You’re worth the pain,”

 

The younger man manages a small smile “Thank you,” he says quietly.

 

Jack looks into his eyes and Ianto’s a little worried because he looks so serious “I’d die everyday if it kept you safe,”

 

Ianto feels a blush rise on his cheeks.

 

“You’re adorable when you get embarrassed,” Jack says, laughing.

 

“Shut your face,” 

 

Owen and Gwen return before they can bicker any more and set to getting the alien into a bodybag, snapping on latex gloves.

 

“I’ll get Jack back to the SUV,” Ianto says, guiding a loose-limbed and light-headed Jack back towards their original point of entry. 

 

Gwen looks over at Owen and gives him a look of joking disbelief, Ianto doesn’t see it. They disappear from view and Gwen turns to Owen.

 

“Worse than an old married couple, they are,” she comments fondly, before picking up pieces of brain and wrinkling her nose at the smell.

 

4.

Self Care 

Set between Adam and Reset

 

Waking up feeling like he’s been hit by a bus is not how Ianto plans to start this particular Thursday morning. Alone in his flat, on this very rare occasion he pushes himself onto his elbows and feels his head spin like he’s drunk three bottles of wine. He falls back onto his pillow and waits for the nausea to pass, it dissipates and he screws his eyes shut, covering his eyes with a hand. His forehead feels clammy, he palms over to the bedside table and finds his phone.

 

Feel like death. I’ll be late-in.

IJ

 

It takes him longer to type out the message but soon he’s watching the small envelope animate into the distance on his phone screen and he lets out a sign of relief.

 

Ianto doesn’t remember falling asleep, the next thing he knows there’s the telltale sound of his front door opening. Adrenaline rushes into his veins and he reaches for the gun in his bedside drawer.

 

“Ianto?”

 

Ianto lets out a long sigh and his hand stops reaching for the draw.

 

“Jack?” he calls back, before hacking up a coughing fit.

 

Jack appears in the doorway looking sympathetic, he’s got two small paper bags grouped together in one hand and a flask in the other. Ianto tries to swing his legs out of the bed, but Jack strides over and puts the paper bags and flask on his bedside table before taking his ankle and hooking him back onto the mattress with little effort.

 

“Stay,” he says, using his Captain voice “you’re ill,”

 

Ianto feels the last little bit of energy leave him and he flops back onto the bed, a fresh sweat forming on his brow. He breathes deeply, suddenly worn out.

 

“What is it?” Jack asks, pressing the back of his hand to Ianto’s forehead “you’re burning up,”

 

“I don’t know what happened, I just woke up feeling like I’d been hit by a train,” Ianto moans weakly, closing his eyes “I’m feverish but my hands and feet feel like ice, I barely have any energy to move and I keep getting dizzy,”

 

Jack strokes Ianto’s hair “I bought that soup you like from Pret, and I mixed up some ginger, honey and turmeric for the cold,”

 

“Thanks,” Ianto whispers “but the team - -,”

 

“They’ll be fine, you need to get better, Captain’s orders,”

 

Ianto smiles weakly “Yes, sir,” he mumbles and Jack grins.

 

“Want me to spoon-feed you?” he says, waggling his eyebrows.

 

Ianto grumbles “Read the room, Jack,”

 

Jack fishes out the small pot of hot soup and pulls out a plastic spoon, Ianto slowly props himself up against the headboard, avoiding another dizzy spell. Jack offers him the spoon and holds the soup as Ianto takes the first spoonful, he raises it to his mouth and lets out a contented sigh.

 

“Well, at least I can still taste,” he says, eagerly going for another spoonful, Jack looks glad and gestures for Ianto to take the pot of soup.

 

“I’ll grab you some water, you’re probably dehydrated,” 

 

Ianto nods, taking another spoonful of beautifully seasoned soup and then realises “Can you grab some ibuprofen from the bathroom?”

 

“Yeah,” 

 

“Thanks,”

 

Jack appears a minute or so later with a pint glass of water in one had, and a blister pack of ibuprofen in the other - he pops out two pills and places the glass on a coaster on the bedside table before temporarily taking the soup, handing over the pills and then the glass of water. Ianto gratefully takes the water, knocks the pills back and then flushes them down with the water.

 

“I think you appreciate water more when you’re ill,” he muses, setting down the glass and taking the soup back from Jack. The older man smiles sadly, looking down at his lap.

 

“Oh,” Ianto feels foolish for a second “I forgot, you don’t get ill,”

 

Jack wrinkles his nose guiltily and shakes his head “Not recently,”

 

Ianto forgoes the spoon and starts sipping the soup straight from the pot, it tastes exactly how he remembers and it warms his stomach, his fingers slowly drawing in the heat. They sit in silence as Ianto finishes off his food.

 

Jack takes the left over rubbish and places it inside one the now empty paper bag “The other bag's got a few of those almond croissants in, I know they’re your favourite,”

 

Ianto rolls his eyes, suddenly awash with tiredness “You shouldn’t have,”

 

Jack shrugs “Well I did, so suck it up,” he exhales a laugh, reaching down to tangle their fingers together, bending down to press a kiss to the back of Ianto's hand.

 

“You should get back to the Hub,” Ianto says feeling over-exposed, he tugs his hand away and slides down the headboard and back under the sheets.

 

The other man shakes his head and stands up properly, pulling off his coat “I’m on call - if they need me, they’ll ring. Other than that, I’m looking after you,” he fishes an old book out of one of his internal coat pockets and softly throws it on the bed next to Ianto, he drapes his coat over a small armchair in the corner of the room (Ianto always blushes when he thinks about what’s happened on that chair) and kicks his shoes off.

 

“If you need anything, you just tell me and I’ll do my best.” Jack says, rounding the side of the bed and climbing onto it, sitting against the headboard and picking up the book. Ianto feels warmth spread in his stomach and he nods.

 

“Come on, let's get those hands warm,” Jack shuffles closer to him and Ianto wraps is arms around his midriff, burrowing his hands under warm clothes. He huffs as his fingertips begin to thaw and he shivers.

 

“You said your feet were cold, too,”

 

Ianto looks up at him “Cold feet don’t feel particularly pleasant if your own are warm,”

 

Jack shakes his head “I don’t care. I just want you to feel safe and warm,”

 

The younger man feels his eyes grow warm and he pushes his face into Jack’s side, self-consciously, hiding himself. 

 

Jack runs a hand down his back “Get some rest, we can talk more when you’re feeling a bit more alive,”

 

Ianto doesn’t have the energy to argue, and if he did he’s almost certain he still wouldn’t. Jack picks up his book and Ianto catches the title on the front cover before his eyes slide closed.

 

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf.

 

He distantly remembers studying it as a teenager, and the realisation creeps into his mind that Jack was actually alive for its original release. He stops the train of thought before he falls down that particular rabbit hole, and lets the warmth of sleep envelope him into blissful unconsciousness.

 


 

When he wakes it’s to an empty bed, his stomach drops a little and he checks in with himself, noting that the fever has broken a little - the duvet doesn’t feel so sticky and hot against his skin.

 

He pushes himself up against the headboard and reaches for the glass of water from earlier, it’s been topped up, and Ianto smiles to himself as he drinks. He looks over at where Jack had been sitting and notices To the Lighthouse has been left on the vacated pillow, he glances at the end of the bed to see the greatcoat has gone and loneliness wells in his chest, Ianto feels silly for feeling it but there’s something so unpleasant about being ill and alone. 

 

He picks the book up and notices a piece of paper sticking out the top with his name on it, he opens the book up and the paper falls out, it’s probably the same size as his hand, ripped down one side - newer than the paper that the book consists of.

 

Tosh called - there’s been an incident in Victoria Park. I’ll be home soon.

 

Ianto’s breath catches in his throat. 

 

I’ll be home soon.

 

He closes his eyes and lets himself bask in the normality of those four small words.

 

Home

 

The two of them together make a home.

 

In a few days he’ll blame the fever for his emotional state and brush it off, glad that Jack hadn’t been there to witness him get sentimental over a bluntly worded note. He folds it up and slips it into his bedside draw; not really knowing what he intends to do with it in the future. Ianto sinks back down and lets himself nod off and wakes to Jack presenting him with a badly constructed sandwich. Jack looks proud of himself whilst he pretends to not watch Ianto eat, and Ianto smiles internally at how bloody irritating and adorable his boyfriend is.

 

Ianto doesn’t worry when he sleeps through the next day, save only to hydrate, eat or pop to the loo. He feels like there’s a lesson to be learned here, but he’s not sure what it is, and whilst Jack is happy to look after him - he doesn’t really care.




5.

Guilty Pleasures 

Between Exit Wounds and Children Of Earth - Day 1

 

Winter is Ianto’s favourite month, he can wear his full suit and his favourite jacket without having to worry about getting too warm, or appearing overdressed. He can sip fresh coffee whilst looking over the Bay, enjoying the way the ice crystals on the boardwalk glitter and sparkle in fresh morning light. He especially likes winter because on the rare occasion, when he finds the time - the first coffee of the day is accompanied by a cigarette. 

 

Today is the ninth of January and Ianto basks in the coldness of the air, the bitterness of the wind, the warmth of the coffee he’s clasping in one hand and the rush of nicotine from the cigarette he’s holding in the other.

 

He does feel guilty about smoking, he always has after all that happened with his Dad. He’s not an every day smoker, but after Tosh and Owen he summarises that it’s better than sniffing drugs or drinking himself into a stupor each night (not that Jack would let either of those things happen in reality). Ianto’s an adult, and if he wants to inhale smoke at seven in the morning whilst he watches the sun begin to break through the clouds low on the horizon, then he will thank you very much.

 

He raises the cigarette to his lips and inhales, reveling in the rush before exhaling and watching the smoke dissipate into the atmosphere. There’s no point lying to himself, this job isn’t going to let him live long enough for this to be an issue. As the realisation hits him, he feels his mood drop a little and looks down at the cigarette before taking a sip of piping hot coffee.

 

“I’d say something about those being bad for you, but seeing your lips around them is making me feel things,”

 

Ianto turns on the spot and Jack saunters out from the Tourist Information, all charm and swagger. His coat buttoned up, collar raised against the cold. Ianto knows the marks that linger underneath the thick wool coat, he muses smugly, because he put them there. 

 

Ianto holds out the packet and Jack pauses before taking one and placing it between his lips. Ianto’s surprised but holds up the lighter and Jack sucks in a breath, the smoke filling his lungs, they hold each other's gaze until Jack tilts his head back and exhales, Ianto realises he needs to and well and blows smoke to one side.

 

“Shouldn’t you be telling me off?” Ianto comments, off-handedly.

 

Jack lets out a short laugh “I think it’d be a little hypocritical if I did, don’t you?” he takes another drag and lets the smoke funnel out of his nose - Ianto digs deep to try not to find it overwhelmingly sexy.

 

“They’re not exactly good for you,” Ianto says, eyebrows raised.

 

“No, they’re not,” Jack contemplates the cigarette between his fingers “but with everything in the last few weeks, Tosh, Owen, the whole pregnancy thing - I don’t think I can really comment. Sometimes we all just need a guilty pleasure,”

 

Ianto looks at him cryptically “That’s very diplomatic of you,”

 

Jack tilts his head to one side “I try not to throw stones in glass houses. You’ve never been one to smoke a packet a day, so if you need this to deal with whatever’s going on at the moment - who am I to criticise?”

 

Ianto nods, feeling gratitude and relief “Thank you,”

 

Jack smiles and drops his half used cigarette on the wooden boards, stamping it out “Don’t get a cold. I’ll see you inside,” he presses a kiss to Ianto’s cold cheek and then heads back inside.

 

Ianto watches the door close and huffs a laugh, taking the final pull of his cigarette and then finishing his coffee as golden sunlight begins to touch the tops of the buildings across the Bay.

 

The end is where we start from.



+1 

Contentment

Set long in the future.

 

It’s 4784 and Ianto Jones is crouched over a raised flowerbed not looking not a day over 26 (which is an impressive feat considering he’s lived through more centuries than he can count with both hands). Carefully tending to his vegetable plot on the Caerdydd Newydd Continent, overlooking the New Welsh Sea, Ianto muses how far away Earth is, lightyears and lightyears, and yet this place manages to feel vaguely like home. 

 

Humans always return to the familiar , he notes.

 

He and Jack are currently residing in a small village called Ynysddu, it makes butterflies erupt in Ianto’s stomach when he says it because it’s his home , and has been for the last two years. The quiet life has been somewhat of a happy break from all the guns and running that the last few millennia have held. He’s sure they’ll move on from this place in a hundred years or so, when the yearning for adventure becomes too great.

 

But for now Ianto is happy to tend to his garden, remembering a time when he and Jack imitated this life - but this feels more authentic (and he’s glad to not have any suspicious neighbours).

He pauses whilst bedding in the seeds of something which will look like a carrot but is absolutely not (although still very tasty) and takes a moment to look out across the sparkling sea, listening to the waves crashing below. He closes his eyes and breathes deeply - enjoying the air and the sounds around him.

 

“How’s it going?” 

 

Ianto turns and there’s Jack in all his glory, he’s wearing a new variation on his beloved coat on top of the traditional linen garb of this particular planet, the coat is shorter and more minimalistic than his fashion in the 21st century but suits him all the same. Sauntering down the garden path, he presses a kiss to Ianto’s temple, eyes looking at his once pale skin which has been tinted golden by the sun, there’s a very light smattering of freckles on the bridge of his nose which Jack finds more adorable than anything in the world. 

 

“Good. The Not-Carrots are in.” Ianto says as he brushes his dirty hands on his gardening trousers. 

 

He knows a fair amount of languages now - it’s one of the perks of having a background in archiving and researching. When they’re alone together they speak ‘Old English’ as it’s now called, Ianto likes to stretch his muscles and speak in Welsh to himself from time to time, so he doesn’t forget it - but with a lack of aging comes a lack of brain degeneration so there’s little worry of that. He does it for a love of the language, sometimes Jack joins in but he doesn’t have the same range, but they both enjoy it all the same.

 

The twin-suns above them shine light over their small abode and modest plot of land. They decided to move to this small village to dissuade any inhabitants from noticing them too much, they know that not aging is an oddity across all the galaxies, and currently they want to be left alone to enjoy this period of calmness.

 

Ianto smiles up at Jack and feels his heart swell with happiness, this is all he’s ever wanted. The adventure and adrenaline is wonderful, but it’s these small moments which can bring the most assurity. Just himself and Jack looking out over the vast expanse of an alien planet, there’s no threat, no urgency, no cares (apart from trying to find something to fend off the equivalent of Earth slugs - the bane of Ianto’s life right now) and they just bask in the quietness of their life, the certainty of uncertainty is a bizarre yet familiar reassurance.

 

“I was thinking of opening a bottle of wine, having a little party, just you and me?” Ianto says, feigning innocence as he looks up at Jack.

 

Jack waggles his eyebrows “Sounds good to me,”

 

They fall into silence again, watching the changing sky, leaning against one another.

 

“Thank you,” Jack says quietly.

 

“For what?”

 

“For making me realise I have to appreciate the small things. The first green sprout from a seed in the garden, the first few moments of waking up, the first kiss in the morning. I spent a lot of my life forgetting to enjoy and savour them, but you remind me that nothing lasts forever. You taught me to cherish the details,” Jack strokes Ianto’s cheek with his thumb, he smiles fondly.

 

“Thank you for teaching me everything else,” Ianto says, open and honestly, taking Jack's hand “I don’t think there’s anyone else I could spend forever with,”

 

Jack draws him in for a chaste kiss “Me too,” he pauses “we can just keep learning from one another,”

 

Ianto tugs him towards their small cottage, private and undisturbed “Doesn’t sound like a bad way to spend eternity to me,”

 

fin