Pairings: Jack/Ianto, references to past Ianto/Lisa
Disclaimer: If I was the one who owned Torchwood, you think I'd admit it now?
Spoilers: Some information and events from s1,2. None for s3.
Summary: Lisa is gone, and Ianto is starting to move on with his life, but it isn't always as easy as it sounds.
Author's Note: Sequel to Guilt and Turning Point.
Thanks to: My sister angelzbabe1989 for stepping in as beta, morbid_sparks for all of her support and idea bouncing through the writing of this, and pinkfairy727 for cheerleading even when she doesn't know what happens.
For previous chapters see Master list for this fic
Author's Note 2: OK, sorry, it's even later than I warned of. But I literally got home from work yesterday and fell asleep. I was way too out of it for attempting to format and post fic.
Ianto reached out to smack the bleeping alarm clock without opening his eyes. Pressing his face into the pillow, he stretched out across the bed, trying to convince himself to obey the alarm and actually get up.
It was a second before he remembered the reason for the warm relaxation deep in his bones, and why something about this didn’t quite jive with his ability to drape himself right over the entirety of the bed. After indulging in mutual pleasures, he and Jack had fallen asleep late the previous evening tangled up together in the middle of the bed. He swept his hand across the sheet. There was no warm spot; Jack had clearly been gone for a while.
Suppressing a yawn along with his vague disappointment, Ianto forced his eyes open and sat up, extending a hand to switch the alarm clock from merely ‘snooze’ to ‘off’. “Well, he barely sleeps in the first place,” he muttered to himself, trying to rationalise away his upset. “Why would he stay when he’d just be stuck lying awake all night.”
Wiping the sleep from the corner of his eye, he rolled out of bed and padded out through the living room and into the kitchen. On autopilot, he filled up the water for the cafetière and measured out ground coffee, flipping a switch to set the water heating while he washed and dressed.
Still not fully awake, he nearly walked straight through to the bathroom to start getting ready for the day, until a movement in the corner of his eye attracted his attention.
Much to his surprise, on his sofa, half-dressed and paying no attention to his surroundings, was Jack. Engrossed in what looked like one of the heftier biographies that Ianto had had sitting on his bookshelves for several years but had never quite made it through.
Ianto came to a halt and watched for a few moments as Jack flipped a page, still oblivious to Ianto’s presence. “Good morning, Jack,” he eventually said when it didn’t appear that Jack was going to look up any time soon.
Jack started almost imperceptibly, closing the book in his lap and looking up. He looked Ianto up and down obviously, his smile growing as he did so. “Oh, I’d definitely say it was a good morning.”
Ianto realised, belatedly, that he hadn’t grabbed any clothes before coming out to start the coffee; he didn’t usually sleep naked. His first instinct said to cover up, but he fought against it with what rationality he could muster this early in the morning. It wasn’t like Jack hadn’t seen it all and more the night before, and Ianto had never been one to be ashamed of his body.
He looked Jack up and down obviously, shaking his head. “Not as good as it could have been.” He glanced briefly at the wall clock. “And, sadly, we don’t have time to make it better. I need to get ready, and we both need to get to work.”
Leaning down to put the book on the floor, Jack rolled to his feet, stalking towards Ianto until he was mere inches away. Ianto knew he should really be heading to the bathroom to start getting ready for the day, but he couldn’t bring himself to move away. Not with Jack looking at him like that.
“You do know you don’t have to be in as early as you usually are,” Jack said, crowding closer. “No one else will be.”
Ianto’s heart rate quickened as Jack’s hands slid down his sides to rest on his hips. “But…”
“But nothing,” Jack interrupted. “There’s no emergency, no rush. The Hub will survive a little longer without us.”
The stroke of Jack’s fingers on his skin was making it hard for Ianto to hold onto his train of thought – and his resistance. “I still have to…” he managed to push out before Jack cut him off again, this time with a kiss whose gentleness did nothing to allay the underlying passion.
“If you’re really that determined to get ready for work,” Jack panted when they eventually broke for air. “Go jump in the shower.” He grinned wickedly, eyes dark. “I’ll even scrub your back for you.”
Arousal having taken over his brain too much even to attempt to sustain his protest, Ianto gave in. Grabbing one of Jack’s wandering hands, he dragged him to the bathroom and all thoughts of the Hub were washed right out of his mind until some time later.
Ianto knew, as he arrived at the Hub, that it set a possibly dangerous precedent that Jack had been correct in his predictions, and none of the others had yet arrived. Admittedly, even with the fifteen minutes he’d waited behind to give Jack a head start – arriving together couldn’t look anything other than suspicious, he’d insisted – it was still barely nine, but that didn’t necessarily preclude the rest of the team being there. Tosh in particular could often arrive within half an hour of Ianto himself if there was a project she was eager to continue with.
This morning, however, even Jack was nowhere to be seen. Ianto wondered for a moment where he’d managed to get to before brushing the thought off; Jack was more than capable of looking after himself.
Taking advantage, instead, of the quiet, Ianto dug out his cleaning supplies. Distracted by his organisational project in the archives, he knew he hadn’t been keeping on top of this part of his job as well as he should for quite a while now – and it was beginning to show. With a little luck, he could get the job finished before the rest of the team showed up to start work for the day; like small children, they seemed to have the uncanny ability to add to the mess far faster than he could clean it up.
He almost succeeded in completing the task undisturbed; he was just starting on the final task on his list – giving the office area a quick once over with a brush – when a pair of hands settled on his hips. “That’s not going to help me get this finished any faster, Jack,” he rebuked.
“Who said I was trying to help?” Jack said, pulling Ianto a little closer.
Conscious that the door could open at any moment, Ianto pulled away, spinning to face Jack. “Not during work hours, Jack,” he said determinedly. “We can’t let…” He waved his hand between them, not entirely sure yet what to call this growing relationship they had embarked on. “This get in the way of being professional at work.”
It eased a small worried knot in his chest to get the words out – even if he knew that no matter how convicted he was, Jack would persuade him into something sooner or later.
“So, what are you counting as work hours, then?” Jack asked, a note of teasing in his voice but his face serious. “I live here, remember, so just being here means nothing.”
Ianto frowned, stumped for a moment. Jack had a point. Torchwood didn’t exactly follow a nice neat Monday to Friday, nine to five schedule – here even less than it had in London. Jack living in the Hub only served to further blur the lines between work and casual.
“Whenever I say it’s work hours,” he eventually declared, smirking a little. There – that left him plenty of wiggle room to claim plausible deniability when Jack eventually broke him down.
“Now, if you’ll excuse me, I haven’t opened the Tourist Office in quite some time, and we do have appearances to maintain.”
Swiftly, so as not to give Jack time to respond, he leant his brush against the wall and swept down the steps and out of the cog door, leaving Jack spluttering slightly behind him.
The Tourist Information Office was a little dusty, but bore no other obvious signs of Ianto’s recent neglect. A few short minutes of dusting and straightening leaflets and Ianto was satisfied.
Tosh was just rounding the bottom of the stairs down from Stryd Stuart as he unlocked the door and flipped the sign to say ‘Open’, so he held it open and waited for her.
“Morning, Ianto,” she smiled as she stepped past him. “Good night?”
Ianto felt a quiet smile emerging, and had a horrible feeling that a blush was attempting to make its way up his neck. “Yeah,” he nodded. “It was… nice.”
Tosh raised her eyebrows, letting the door swing closed behind her. “Just ‘nice’?”
“Okay, very nice,” Ianto amended, consciously not rolling his eyes. “We had a nice meal at that little Italian in town, and then, well, I don’t kiss and tell.” He winked. “So you’ll have to figure the rest out on your own.”
Tosh grinned. “I’m glad you had a good time. And don’t worry, I won’t say anything to Gwen or Owen until you’re ready.”
Ianto nodded his thanks. “Thank you. How were things with the Rift last night? I didn’t see anything obvious when I got in this morning, but Jack got here first, so…”
“Pretty quiet,” Tosh replied. “A couple of weevils surfaced in Adamstown late in the evening, but Owen and I chased them back into the sewers pretty quickly.”
Ianto frowned slightly. “And he wasn’t curious why it was you two and not Jack doing that?”
“Well, he was, a little,” Tosh shrugged. “But I think he believed my excuses.”
Ianto wasn’t entirely convinced, but nodded anyway, hitting the button to lock the outside door and open the hidden one to the Hub.
“Anyway,” Tosh continued, “I want to go see if the Rift patterns last night when the weevils were spotted match up with my prediction algorithms, so I’ll leave you to it.”
If Owen did have any suspicions about the night before, they weren’t apparent when he strolled in the door twenty minutes later, Gwen hot on his heels. Ianto found himself vacillating again over whether to just tell them now – he didn’t want to lie to them, didn’t want to force Tosh to lie to them, but at the same time, what he and Jack had was still so new and fragile; was it strong enough to cope with the scrutiny?
Pushing the dilemma to the back of his mind, he did one last check on the leaflet displays and fired up the deceptively-high spec computer on the desk. There weren’t usually all that many customers through the door, and there were hundreds of newly databased artefacts to be cross-referenced.
By mid-afternoon, despite the leisurely lunch break insisted upon by his somewhat bored colleagues and a handful of tourists, he was well down his list.
The door creaked open and he hit the ‘boss key’, the artefact database window being instantly hidden by a ‘Visit Cardiff’ splashscreen. He looked up, polite, professional smile already fixed in place, ready to deal with whatever tourism enquiry the customer had – even if that just meant directing them to the bigger (and real) tourist office in town.
The new arrival didn’t, however, seem to be in need of directions to the castle or the public toilets, coming straight to the desk and slapping his hands down, looking fearful.
It took Ianto a few seconds to place him; it had been a long time.
He stood up, hand already going for the button to open the Hub entrance.
”Oelmue?” he asked. “What’s wrong?”
As always, comments and concrit are loved!