The morgue was cold. All things considered this wasn’t much of a surprise to Ianto as he sat, slumped up against one of the lower drawers and dragged his knees up to his chest. Still, it was quiet, and at the moment that’s all he was really looking for; just a bit of piece and quiet to sit and think and simply exist without having to fear for his life amongst alien Mayfly and Death walking the earth.
It had been a long day. An exhausting day. Ianto didn’t know if it was over yet. Jack had yet to dismiss them despite the rollercoaster ride of missions they’d been sorting through over the past forty-eight hours. Ianto felt as if he hadn’t slept for weeks. It didn’t help that every time he closed his eyes he saw that damned glove, fingers creeping their way across the floor of the autopsy bay in search of a fresh life source.
“That's the thing about gloves, sir - they come in pairs...”
He rubbed at his eyes. At the time he’d spoken those words he’d silently promised himself that no matter what Jack was to him- no matter what he’d become to him- if a second glove turned up he would not hesitate to use it; to bring his Lisa back to him and give her the second chance at life which Torchwood had denied her. And yet, here and now, with the glove shattered into hundreds of thousands of pieces, he sat. Slumped up beneath the drawer assigned to what remained of her body.
God, it felt like centuries ago now, a millennia almost since he’d pressed his lips to her cold mouth for that final farewell. He hadn’t touched the glove. Hadn’t dared for fear of what he’d do with it. And now… with it gone, destroyed, no chance of a third to follow… Ianto didn’t know whether to feel relief or disgust in himself.
“Ah, there you are.” Jack’s voice echoed about the cavernous room, his footsteps clip-clipping towards him as he entered the Morgue.
“Something you needed, sir?” Ianto asked. His voice was soft but unwavering as he blinked slowly up at the Captain. Jack cocked his head slightly, looking down at Ianto with an expression he found himself unable to interpret.
“We’re not back to that, are we?” Jack said, smiling a little at the confusion evident in Ianto’s eyes even as the younger man did his best to appear unruffled by Jack’s arrival.
“Sir?” He questioned, loosening his arms slightly from their grasp about his legs. He made no move to stand however.
“My point exactly.” Jack answered with an expectant nod. It took Ianto a moment to catch on, watching as Jack turned and seated himself down beside him, close enough that their shoulders were pressed closely together. Ianto found he didn’t mind the contact so much.
“Jack.” He sighed, turning his head to look at the other man.
“Ianto,” Jack called, offering him a wry sort of smile. “Ianto, Ianto, Ianto.” He breathed the name softly, his gaze intent upon the Welshman as they stared unflinchingly at one another.
“Did you think about using it, Ianto?” Jack asked. Aside from his initial blink of shock, Ianto kept eyes steadily upon Jack’s own, his own smile growing sad but honest.
“Every second we had it.” He whispered truthfully, laying his head down against his knees.
“You had plenty of opportunity…” Jack encouraged and Ianto nodded awkwardly against his legs.
“Yes.” He agreed.
“But you didn’t.” Jack said. “You didn’t even try.”
“No.” It hadn’t been a question, but Ianto felt compelled to answer anyway.
“Why?” Jack asked and Ianto sighed inwardly. A question he’d asked himself many a time. A question that plagued him every second of every minute he was around the glove. A question that haunted him when he’d been left alone, just the glove and himself and the overwhelming urge to give it all up, to give in, to take it and run and bring his Lisa back…
“It’s not the same.” Ianto said, his eyes slipping closed- scrunching closed against the betraying emotions he felt. “It wouldn’t have been the same. If it worked… I couldn’t… I don’t…” Ianto turned his head into his knees; hiding his face from the intensity of the stare he could feel Jack giving him.
The Captain nudged at his shoulder but Ianto didn’t move. Fingers touched gently at the nape of his neck, holding and rubbing soothing circles as they sat in the sudden silence.
“Talk to me, Ianto.” Jack called and Ianto shook his head. Jack laughed softly with a humour not bourn of the situation and Ianto found himself turning his face towards Jack’s once more.
“Talk to me,” Jack urged, his fingers still stroking.
“I love her, Jack.” Ianto said. Jack’s eyes darkened fractionally his fingers never stopped moving against the back of Ianto’s neck. “I will always love her,” Ianto whispered, “but I’m no longer in love with her. I… I think I’ve finally let her go, Jack.”
“It’s not a betrayal, Ianto.” Jack said, unconsciously addressing Ianto’s fears.
“No?” He whispered.
“No.” Jack repeated. Ianto smiled tentatively and Jack returned the expression.
“I’m glad you didn’t.” Jack said after a long moment. Ianto blinked slowly at him, his smile still sitting upon his lips.
“Yeah?” He asked.
“Yeah.” Jack agreed, his fingers stilling as Ianto lifted his head up.
“That’s good.” Ianto agreed. “That’s good,” he repeated, trying not to fidget as he looked at Jack with a seriousness in his eyes. “Because I realised… I realised that there’s someone else I’m… someone else I’d do almost anything for.”
Jack shifted, turning his body slightly to better face Ianto. “And when did you come to this conclusion?” He asked, his hand still and unmoving against the back of Ianto’s neck.
“About five seconds after you walked into this room,” Ianto answered. He didn’t blush. He didn’t gnaw nervously at his lips or clench his nails into his legs or any of a hundred other things he could have done to give away this sudden nervousness he felt as Jack just looked at him, watching him with that unnerving blue stare of his.
“Sir…” His voice was soft, but not hesitant or weak.
“Ianto Jones,” Jack breathed out, his name falling from Jack’s lips like a gasp of air before the Captain’s face split into a curious little smile. “Ianto Jones, are you telling me that you love me?”
Ianto allowed himself to breathe again. “I suppose I must be.” He agreed. He kept his smile to himself for the time being.
Jack’s own smile widened fractionally before he used the hand on Ianto’s neck to urge the younger man forward. He met Ianto half-way, pressing their mouths together in a soft and unassuming sort of kiss.
“If it’s any consolation,” Jack said, pulling back fractionally, “the feeling is mutual.”
Ianto didn’t smile. He didn’t grin or laugh or thank a god. He did pull Jack in for another kiss however. One with far more passion and presumptuousness about it.
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