It was another blustery day, cool but dry as they stood up on the pier, watching the angry swirl of the waves as they crashed white against the jetty with every inward surge. It was strangely calming, Ianto thought to himself as he leant his arms upon the rail.
Beside him, Peter stood, tall and relaxed as he too stared out over the choppy waters. They’d been here for the past half hour, standing in an amicable silence as they gathered their thoughts. After having successfully escaped what Peter had sarcastically quipped ‘their keepers’, they’d come to a scampering halt round the other end of the bay, in a quiet spot cut off from the bustle of the main centre.
A part of Ianto felt guilty at having run off when he knew Jack was only trying to look out for him. The angrier, unreasoning part of himself rejoiced in this stolen freedom, taking an almost malicious glee in knowing that Jack would be cursing him to the heavens.
It wouldn’t be long before the Captain tracked them down however, and then he’d have to answer for his ‘insubordination’, as Jack had so tactfully dubbed his behaviour as of late.
“They’ll find us soon,” Ianto said, trying for an off-handed comment. He was sure he didn’t succeed.
Peter cocked his head, shooting a fond little smile in Ianto’s direction as he moved to lean upon the railings, his shoulder brushing purposefully up against Ianto’s. The Welshman nudged him playfully.
“Will you promise me something, Ianto?” Peter was looking at him, an intense stare to his eyes as he asked the question. Ianto furrowed his brow just slightly to show his wariness, but tilted his head for Peter to continue.
“Promise me that you’ll stay safe?” Peter asked carefully, “That you won’t… won’t try to hurt yourself again?”
Ianto felt himself pale at the words. He dropped his eyes away, wetting his lips with a slow and stalling swipe of his tongue.
“Will you promise me something, Peter?” Ianto answered instead. Peter frowned in suspicion before nodding his reply.
“I need to know that you aren’t going to say anything about me,” Ianto said, turning to face the American before elaborating, “about me jumping.”
Peter’s frown deepened. “It’s not my place…” He replied slowly, watching as Ianto gave him a sharp look.
“I would never hurt you, Ianto.” Peter’s words were soft and Ianto took them as promise enough. He plucked nervously at the sleeves of his shirt, which peeked innocuously out from beneath his suit jacket.
Peter reached out, touching cautiously at Ianto’s shoulder. “And you?” He urged, “What about you, Ianto. Will you promise me?”
Ianto said nothing as he stared intently out over the bay, his face all but shuttering as he chose to display little to no emotion to the world around him. Peter knew that inside the Welshman would be fighting a raging battle to keep his feelings in check. He bemoaned this calm and collected exterior Ianto forced himself to wear.
Peter tightened his fingers into a squeeze. “Can you promise me, Ianto?” Peter asked imploringly, watching as the other man’s lips thinned. The whitening of his knuckles as they gripped the railing before him was Peter’s only indication that Ianto was upset by his words.
He loosened his hold of Ianto’s shoulder, moving to touch at the Welshman’s face instead, his fingers sliding over the rough smoothness of Ianto’s jaw to take hold of his chin and turn the Welshman’s head to face him. Ianto let go of the railing with reluctance.
“You’ve become too apt at hiding yourself away,” Peter said softly as he realised he couldn’t feel so much as a drop of emotion coming from the other man. Just as he thought it however, Peter felt a ripple of awareness as Ianto slowly opened his mind to him once more.
“I can’t promise.” Ianto tried to duck his head but Peter’s fingers held fast, keeping his face tipped up. Their eyes locked.
“How can I leave knowing you won’t?” Peter asked gently.
Ianto lowered his eyes; focussing on Peter’s mouth and the way his lips formed his words. He felt an indescribable heat build up behind his eyes as he thought of truthfully answering that question.
Then don’t leave. Ianto’s mind whispered. But the words were irrational, unreasonable; he didn’t understand the need he felt to say them, to have them leave his lips and touch at Peter’s ears.
“Don’t,” Ianto found himself whispering. His voice was thick with unexplainable grief.
“Don’t what?” Peter asked even as he felt the answer brush up against his mind in saddening waves of anguish. His face crumpled and he knew Ianto would feel the same emotion reflected back. They were, for lack of a better term, just as bad as each other.
“Ianto?” Peter murmured, watching as Ianto’s eyes flickered up to meet his. He took a deliberate step forward, drawing their bodies into a closer proximity as he searched Ianto’s gaze for any hesitation.
He saw none and for a fraction of a heartbeat they stood caught in the truth of the moment. Ianto’s eyes fluttered shut as Peter leant in to kiss him; his lips hard against the yielding softness of Ianto’s own mouth.
It was a simple press of mouths, a whisper of movement as they touched lips to lips and tasted off each other the tremble and innate knowledge that this- this moment right here, this kiss right now- this was right. In every possible sense of the word it was right and real and-
A woman in silver shot dead before his eyes… Nathan calling him crazy and patting his back… Jack smiling widely and genuinely at him… the wind in his hair as he fell from the roof… the fear as he found he could not control the power… tears wet against his cheeks, as he lies alone in bed… a man named Sylar killing for power… a sadness so overwhelming he cannot help but be consumed…
- Ianto whimpered into the kiss, his arms reaching out to cling at Peter’s sides as the barrage of thoughts and memories washed over him, some familiar to him, others foreign, all a bitter tasting sweetness to his mouth. Peter’s fingers stroked soothingly across Ianto’s cheek before slipping round to clutch almost desperately at the back of his neck, and Ianto knew- knew that Peter had seen and felt it all too.
They drew apart with needy gasps of air, their foreheads falling together as they tried to regain their bearings.
“Did you- what was-,” The questions never came as they clung together, confusion and wonder pregnant in the air around them.
It was Ianto who moved first, pushing his mouth forward to kiss at Peter’s own when they found words beyond them. The American received them willingly, tightening his arms about Ianto and smiling into the press of their lips and the first hesitant exploration of mouths as Ianto’s tongue flicked questioningly against lips Peter was only too happy to part in answer.
“Ianto!” Jack’s voice was an unmistakable cry to their ears and an unwelcome interruption to their moment. Ianto pulled his mouth from Peter’s with wide eyes that snapped immediately upon Jack as the other man stormed towards them, Nathan at his side and looking equally as displeased.
Peter loosened his hold on Ianto and they reluctantly parted, turning to face Jack and Nathan as the two men reached them.
“What the hell was that?” Jack demanded, looking between them before focussing his glare on Ianto. Amidst the anger simmering around him, Ianto too could sense Jack’s worry and relief at finally having found him.
“Jack-,” Ianto called his name just as the Captain opened his mouth to demand something else of him. A quick glance out the corner of his eye showed that Nathan was just as harshly demanding answers of his brother.
“Jack-!” Ianto tried again, reaching out to touch at Jack’s arm. The gesture alone caught Jack’s attention and he shot Ianto a hard look.
“Please, Jack. Not now?” Ianto’s words were softly spoken, a plea for clemency till they were alone.
“We’ll be leaving now.” Nathan turned, speaking to Jack whilst he took hold of his brother’s arm. Peter pulled free almost immediately, shooting Nathan a withering look before he turned to Jack.
“You- you take care of him, alright?” Peter said. Jack frowned at the words. Ianto turned to Peter with a panicked look.
“Peter-,” Ianto began, a gnawing worry that he was about to tell Jack about Ianto’s jump from the Millennium Centre changing swiftly to panic.
“You will, won’t you?” Peter said, still looking at Jack.
“Oh course I will,” Jack answered.
Ianto grabbed at Peter’s arm, forcing him to look at Ianto and the desperate plea in his eyes. “I promise you,” Ianto whispered urgently, “please, Peter? I promise you!”
Peter pulled him into a fierce hug. “I believe you,” He whispered back, kissing quickly at Ianto’s neck before he moved away. He took a couple of steps back, watching Ianto intently before he spun on his heel and started walking away, Nathan following after a hurried goodbye to Jack.
Ianto bit back his own cry of ‘goodbye’, not wanting this parting of theirs to be the last.
He felt Jack’s hand on his shoulder as the older man stepped up behind him. Ianto leant into the touch, his cheeks wet as he watched Peter walk away.
He never once looked back.
- - -
End Part One.
A/N: For those of you who wanted the bittersweet ending, this is for you. I hope you enjoyed the angst and the pretty that was Ianto and Peter falling for each other!
For those of you who wanted the story to continue, I’m working on what I will dub as ‘Part Two’, but which will in effect really be ‘chapter eleven’.
Thank you to everyone who has been reading, I hope many of you will linger around for the next part!Continue to Part Two: chapter eleven...