Title: Time Enough
Rating: R (bad swears)
Spoilers: Torchwood COE, thru Day One
Characters: Jack, Ianto,
Summary: Jack’s POV after the date at the French restaurant
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
A/N: OK so…yeah. It’s been a way long time since I posted parts one and two of this bad boy, and then real life ate my soul and I am leaving for a long trip and wanted to get this out before I left. I sincerely apologize. This one really is dedicated to the lovelyblue_fjords, who has not only been cheerleading me through this whole process, but also lent me her mad beta skillz and helped me hammer out a better ending. And, for just being an all-around awesome person who makes me smile every day. The following is the continuation of Savoir Faire and Interruption.
Jack stumbled a little, surprised to meet resistance at the end of his arm. He turned, ready to make a quip about how Ianto was dragging his feet now that they got to the best part of the evening, but he frowned once he took in the haunted expression on the other man’s face. He shook their joined hands to get Ianto’s attention. “Hey. You ok?”
This seemed to break Ianto out of his fog, and he gave Jack a small smile, one that didn’t meet his eyes. Jack felt something twist in his gut when Ianto took a long moment to answer. “Yup.” He readjusted his grip and fell into step beside Jack. “You?”
Jack grunted in frustration and rubbed his free hand across his face. “No. I mean…” He gestured back towards the restaurant. “What happened back there?”
Ianto got a look Jack categorized as panic face, but then quickly smoothed out his features. After a beat, he chuckled nervously. “Nothing.” When Jack raised a disbelieving eyebrow, Ianto swiftly rushed to reassure him. “No, really.” He gave him a small smile. “The restaurant was lovely. Thank you.”
“The restaurant was lovely? Now I know something’s wrong.” Jack wasn’t sure the issue was worth pushing, but he was confused and more than a little hurt that Ianto was obviously lying to him.
Ianto sighed audibly and dropped his head, and Jack knew he was preparing a suitable response. Thoughtful, this one. Jack mused that sometimes this tended to get Ianto in trouble. Ianto looked back up at Jack. “We had a nice evening, yeah?”
Jack took a deep breath, deciding to let the issue drop, for the moment at least. “Yeah.” He let Ianto’s hand go, but gave him the patented grin, and shoved his hands into his pockets against the chill. He noticed Ianto immediately seemed to fold into himself, and knew that was only partially due to the cold. He wished for the millionth time that he wasn’t stuck in this backwater time on this backwater planet and he could just offer his coat to the other man.
Ianto stuffed both of his hands in his pockets and hunched his shoulders, walking backwards for a moment so he could face Jack. “You wanna watch a film? I brought back a couple from the tourist office.” Ianto was in the habit of keeping a few DVDs on hand in the case that he had an afternoon free to man the fake tourist office. Jack knew that Ianto cherished these small moments he had to himself. He also knew that Ianto had probably had these particular DVDs for at least the past couple of months. Should really work on hiring new staff members.
Jack angled his head to the side. “Weeell, Mr. Jones. Are you asking me up for a nightcap?”
Ianto just rolled his eyes and turned back around. “Jack, pretense at this point is quite unbecoming.”
Jack smiled, showing his dimples. “Oh come on. Even from me?”
Ianto shot Jack an incredulous glare, but Jack caught the playful gleam in his eyes. “Especially from you.”
They walked the rest of the way back to Ianto’s building wordlessly, the silence almost becoming a tangible presence between them. Ianto let them into his small flat, toeing out of his shoes and shucking his coat by the door, and Jack followed his lead. Ianto gave Jack a bit of a crooked grin, jerking his chin in the direction of his ancient fridge. “Why don’t you grab a lager. I’m going to change out of this.” He tugged his tie loose as he walked towards the bedroom.
Jack resisted the urge to follow and help Ianto out of his clothes, as he normally would have done, because he sensed the other man needed some space just then. He made his way over to Ianto’s galley kitchen, pulling open the fridge and involuntarily wrinkling his nose in disgust. Ianto’s absence from his flat in the last couple of weeks was evident by some takeaway that may or may not have become a sentient being and milk that had long since turned. Jack grabbed a lager and slammed the door shut against the offensive odors.
He settled back against the counter, studying the front of the fridge thoughtfully while taking a sip of his lager. Ianto’s niece and nephew, smiling in their bright blue school uniforms. The whole Davies family in ugly matching red jumpers in front of a Christmas tree. A handmade birthday card with a red construction paper heart surrounded by lace. Several takeaway menus. And, peeking out of a calendar, a photo that had been shoved hastily between the pages. Jack snagged it out and felt his chest tighten when he saw the image that had been captured there. Gwen’s wedding day, the happy couple surrounded on all sides by Torchwood. He remembered that moment with perfect clarity. How Rhys’s dad had fumbled a bit with the camera. How Ianto had tensed against his side when Jack snaked his arm around his waist. He ran a finger over Tosh and Owen’s smiling faces. That day had brought up a lot of emotions for Jack, including memories of his own wedding and coming to terms with losing Gwen to Rhys. For reasons he didn’t completely understand, he needed Gwen. But, he needed Ianto, too. For reasons he was begin to understand with frightening lucidity. He slid the photo back into its hiding place just as Ianto rounded the corner, clad in a faded Uni t-shirt over even more faded jeans.
“You pick out a film?” Ianto leaned around Jack to get to the fridge, glaring at him for not moving out of the way.
“What you got?” Jack unabashedly checked out Ianto’s arse when he bent down to retrieve his shoulder bag, chuckling a bit when Ianto rolled his eyes, obviously catching him in the act. As much as he loved the suits, there was a small part of Jack that loved that he was the only one who regularly saw Ianto like this, out of the usual armor he wore to face the world. He tried not to examine those feelings too closely and took another sip of his lager.
Ianto stood, holding the two DVDs up for Jack’s examination. “’Slumdog Millionaire’ or ‘Pineapple Express’.”
Jack tilted his head to the side. “Which one has more sex?”
Ianto shook his head in amusement, and walked into the living room. “Well, one’s a Bollywood film, so probably no joy there. The other is about two stoners hanging out.”
“Do the stoners have sex?” Jack flopped down on the sofa, taking up as much space as possible.
“I didn’t realize it was my job to supply you with porn.” Ianto frowned at the DVDs before making a decision, popping one out of the case.
“What do I pay you for?” Jack craned his head around, trying to see Ianto’s choice.
Ianto fired up the player and put in the movie, calling out over his shoulder. “I thought it was the coffee and suits.”
“Oh, and don’t forget the blowjobs.” Jack grinned invitingly at Ianto when he turned around, patting the seat beside him.
“See, some would call that harassment.” Ianto walked over and sank down onto the sofa next to Jack.
“You want to file all of that paperwork, knock yourself out.” Jack exaggeratedly yawned and stretched, dropping his arm heavily onto Ianto’s shoulder and pulling the other man close enough to drop a kiss onto his temple. There was a reason some moves were classics.
Ianto murmured something incomprehensible but settled in beside Jack, adjusting a bit until they were touching from shoulder to thigh before pressing play. Bollywood it was, then. Ianto turned his head, and Jack could feel his eyes studying his face before flicking back towards the screen. He lightly patted Jack’s knee. “You’ll like it: lots of running around and dancing and singing.”
Jack huffed a laugh and shook his head. “Oh, come on. Way to pander to obvious stereotypes. You’re off your game.”
He felt Ianto freeze beside him, and after what seemed to be an eternity, he answered, his voice low and soft. “I didn’t realize it was a game.”
Shit. Shitshitshit…oh. Ianto was trying hard to refrain from smiling. The little bastard. “Nice.”
Ianto couldn’t hide his satisfied smirk. “Now who’s off his game?”
Jack feigned annoyance, attempting to hide his almost palpable relief. “That’s just playing dirty.”
Ianto twisted and gave him a quick peck on the lips. “Just be still and watch the film.” He grinned at Jack once and waved a hand vaguely towards the telly. “Won all kinds of awards.”
Jack hummed noncommittally, disturbed by Ianto’s abrupt shift in mood from earlier, and he considered, for several long moments, breaking the comfortable atomsphere the banter had brought into the room . Eventually, he settled back down into the cushions, pulling Ianto back towards himself. He stared the top of Ianto’s head before finally relaxing for the first time since they left the restaurant, smiling to himself when he felt Ianto do the same. He knew they needed to talk about what had happened that night, but he wanted to make sure Ianto was in a place where he would speak honestly with him.
Before long, though, he was completely pulled into the film. The tale was a beautifully tragic love story, and thus far, the only connection to Bollywood he could figure was using India as a background. The further he was drawn into the story, the more he felt Ianto incrementally place more and more weight against his side, and knew that before long the other man would be fast asleep. This was a critical juncture, as he could just let Ianto fall asleep and risk the chance that any discussion would be lost or glossed over with false assurances that everything was OK, which they both knew was a lie. Or, he could wake him and force a discussion that frankly he wasn’t sure he was ready to have. There was always option three: wait and let Ianto tell him in his own time. He kissed the top of Ianto’s head and settled back to watch the end of the film.
Later, as he lay tangled up with Ianto beneath the sheets, naked bodies touching at every point possible, he found himself mimicking Ianto’s slow breathing, taking solace in the steady beat of his heart. In this state of near meditation, he allowed his mind to run back to what had happened earlier, and wondered if this was the place in which they should have that conversation, but he was loathe to break the serenity so carefully constructed. And, yet, of late, so easily found. He didn’t have to make the decision right now. They had the time.