f Jack was honest with himself, the last place he’d ever expected to find Ianto in the aftermath of what the team were calling operation “Out of Time” was in a church. The Welshman sat, hunched over in one of the pews up front, his head bowed low as he stared into the clenching clasp of the bible he held his hands.
Ianto didn’t even blink when Jack slipped into the pew beside him, sliding himself close enough for his grey military coat to chafe up against the thin cotton of Ianto’s shirt. Purple suited him, he absently noted as he allowed his eyes to skim over the younger man.
“Are we even now?” Jack asked softly, watching Ianto as intently as the Welshman avoided looking at him. He saw the crease of Ianto’s brow as he frowned at the comment.
“Sir?” He enquired.
“Owen told me you didn’t want to open the rift.” Jack answered, “That you didn’t want to get us back.”
“Did he, sir?”
Jack nodded and silence fell upon them once more. Ianto looked up after a moment, though he still avoided looking at the Captain.
“Then it must be true,” he said, standing.
“Ianto?” Jack reached for him, stilling his flight for a moment. “Tell me what happened?”
“Owen’s no doubt already filled you in, sir.”
“And you would have damned Toshiko just to spite me?” Ianto said nothing, and Jack cursed his disbelief, finding brief amusement in the scandalised look Ianto shot him for using such language in a church. He tightened his grip on Ianto’s arm.
“You’re nowhere near as heartless as that,” Jack said softly, “no matter what Owen tells me.”
“I shot him,” Ianto felt the need to point out.
“You had good reason to.” Jack responded.
“Then you know I didn’t want to open the rift.”
“But not out of spite or any desire to see us stuck there.” It wasn’t a question.
Ianto turned his face away, shaking his head in agreement. Jack moved his hand up to Ianto’s shoulder whilst he reached with his other to tip the Welshman’s face upwards.
“So, are we even?” Jack prompted, searching Ianto’s eyes and thinking back to the promise Ianto had made him all those many months ago, when Jack had left him crying over the corpse of his cybernetic girlfriend.
“The question hardly applies, sir…” Ianto tried but Jack cut his words off with a shake of his head.
“Oh, it applies.” Jack insisted but Ianto said nothing, choosing only to step away from Jack and clasp his bible against his chest. It was answer enough.
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