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Torchwood Fic: "Inside, There Is Something Without Wings"
star trek xi; finally gold
cirrocumulus wrote in cirro_media
Title: Inside, There Is Something Without Wings
Fandom/Pairing: Torchwood; Jack/Ianto
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 1,122
Summary: Perhaps Jack should have paid a little more attention.
Author's Note: Written for the second challenge at myfanwys_nest, "The Torchwood Apology List."

"No, absolutely not," Owen whined, wringing a wholly unpleasant sliminess from his t-shirt. "I demand an apology for this."

"It's not my fault," Jack retorted instantly, leaning on his desk defiantly. If a person could actually do such a thing.

"Well someone needs to own up for ruining my day entirely," Owen moped from within his general state of dampness. "Don't you ever take responsibility for anything?"

"Nope, I typically just pawn it off on Ianto," Jack said. Ianto gave a brief smile that only his coffee mug saw.

"Oh, humor him," Ianto suggested with a certain warm evilness.

"Fine. I apologize for being so damn sexy," Jack quipped.

"Alright, I give up," Owen sighed, stalking off to places presumably promising drier clothes.

"See?" Jack said, gesturing to the room at large with one coffee-mug-encumbered hand. "I'm deserted. This is what happens when I'm honest."

Ianto hadn't been at Torchwood much more than three weeks when it had happened. Of course it had all been there from the start; it was a bit hard to forget when working with someone every day that you had at some point in the recent past been lying underneath them, panting and entranced, on a warehouse floor. Jack knew also that Ianto held the complementary memory of the event, a knowledge whose simple presence was enough. Jack often thought of trying to tease that memory out of the shelter of Ianto's mind and completing it, making it whole, hoping Ianto could do the same to his half of the memory, frost it over with the revisitation of his warm breath.

Ianto, however, was like a light best glimpsed in the periphery of Jack's vision; the closer Ianto ever got to Jack physically, the more Ianto's soul retracted inward until Jack only had access to the reflective image of Ianto's physical body and a projected personality. At these times Jack had to look, quickly but exhaustively, within Ianto's eyes for any signal from the person he knew had to be in there somewhere.

On a certain day Ianto had strolled into Jack's office, pale hands cradling a coffee tray same as ever, and carefully set a mug down on Jack's desk. Jack reached for it a little too soon.

"Oh—" Jack stuttered, looking up from his paperwork at Ianto's abrupt reaction. Ianto's expression flickered between surprise and embarrassment before shutting down into a mask of calmness.

"Is there anything else you need, sir?" Ianto asked, though his words were just barely compacted into neatness and still jagged at the edges. Jack even noticed that Ianto's hand was slightly stiff at his side, as if he was fighting the urge to wipe it on his jacket; for some reason that made Jack tenser than anything.

"No, thanks, I'm fine," Jack said with vague intention, taking the mug and cradling it close to him. Ianto smiled politely and nodded, though with some terse affect that made Jack feel vaguely ill and sink back into his chair a little. But before Jack could even offer a comforting smile the window was gone from Ianto's eyes and soon Ianto himself was gone from Jack's office, leaving only a puzzle piece behind.

A couple days later Jack found Ianto sitting on the couch outside the medical bay after everyone else had left. Ianto often stayed within the Hub well into the hours of the night-- Jack could, occasionally, hear Ianto's gentle pattering around from where he rested in his room under the office, which was a peculiar feeling. But Ianto today was a little different, seated on the couch with his arms folded about his middle like something mild was paining him, one leg up on the coffee table and the other not as if he weren't sure of the position.

Jack grinned and sidled over to the couch. Ianto looked up immediately.

"Oh, I was just—"

"It's okay, Ianto," Jack said, motioning for Ianto to sit back down. Jack himself sat on the edge of the coffee table opposite Ianto, who was staring at him with a look bordering on wide-eyed. Wary.

"Everyone needs a break once in a while," Jack continued conversationally. "Even you. Perhaps especially you."

Ianto smirked a little, but his mouth soon returned to its perpetual down-turned state and he looked away. Jack admired Ianto's face from this view but soon noticed how unsettled he looked, pretty mouth pressed in worry. Jack sifted through his mental list of how to deal with situations like this.

"You should go home," Jack suggested, laced with an air of compassion. "Get some rest. I'll see you tomorrow morning."

Jack pushed himself off of the table but Ianto followed him with his eyes imploringly. Jack just stood where he was, staring back—he must have looked ridiculous. He wanted to ask if anything was wrong but the first word was barely out of his mouth before Ianto grabbed Jack's wrist and tugged him forward.

Jack stumbled and wound up kneeling on the couch so that he was hovering over Ianto, staring down at his curious and up-tilted face. Ianto exhaled in a way that would have been a whisper had his mouth moved around it; slowly he raised his fingers and ran them delicately along Jack's jaw, slowly, down to his chin. Jack arched his head back slightly to accommodate Ianto's fingers (so cold they should have been unwanted) and closed his eyes involuntarily. When he looked back down at Ianto's face he could have died in what he found in his eyes.

Jack still felt like he should say something, the unresolved problem hovering in the back of his mind, but the warmth from Ianto's face so close by clouded his thoughts. Ianto's nose was almost touching his; Jack tilted his head down just slightly to explore the boundary between their faces, but just short of actually touching him. Ianto leaned forward and caught Jack's lip briefly, making Jack inhale sharply, and then kissed him properly, warm and slick against Jack's own mouth. With the slightest pressure Ianto's tongue crept in and Jack sighed, running a securing hand down Ianto's face and along his throat. When Jack kissed harder and pushed Ianto back against the couch Ianto dug his fingers into Jack's shoulders, open but tense.

"It's okay," Jack whispered against Ianto's mouth, observing the glitter in Ianto's darkened tragic eyes. Ianto seemed to accept it, eyes flickering back and forth looking for a safety; and now Jack had this man in his arms pressed up against him and had no idea where to put him, neither in his head nor his heart nor spatially, and so for a long time Jack simply kept him where he was.

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That was well written, and so sad. I just wanted to give Ianto giant hugs!

You captured this situation so well. Very well done. I could feel Ianto's pain and Jack's confusion!

That last paragraph is gorgeous.

So sad and painful but beautifully written! *gives Ianto a tight hug*

Love it! wonderful story :)

Nicely done - I loved the tone of it!

That's exceptional stuff :) Love your Ianto.

As a Newbie, I am always searching online for articles that can help me. Thank you Wow! Thank you! I always wanted to write in my site something like that. Can I take part of your post to my blog?

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