Genre: Hurt/Comfort? (post-Countrycide).
Word count: around 770 (one-shot).
Disclaimer: Jack and Ianto belong to each other.
Beta: The magnificent xtiansugar.
Special thanks to dripepper for all the support. You rock, baby! xD
A/N: This is just a little something I wrote. It was supposed to be from a series of short-stories I'm planning, but this fic didn't quite fit that universe. I decided to publish it anyway, hope you enjoy it.
Who knows if it's real,
or just something we're both dreaming of.
What seems like an interlude now,
Could be the beginning of love.
Jack watched as Ianto walked slowly across the sidewalk towards the front door of the house. He couldn't see, but he knew Ianto was holding his ribs with a hand, limping slightly over his right side.
Jack stayed in the car. His hands resting on the wheel and the engine off, but his foot was still pressed on the gas pedal. But where should he go? He wasn't sure if he should follow the other man or go home. He didn't want to be alone tonight but Ianto hadn't invited him in. Before Lisa, he never needed an invitation to follow Ianto home, but things were different now.
Jack rested his head on the wheel, thinking about his big cock-up at the Beacons, proving to him once again that his leadership skills still needed to be improved, proving to him that maybe, just maybe he should forget about his pride and ask for some help. But help from whom? The only person he could think of had disappeared on him over a century ago.
Jack thought. What if the guy he had interrogated at the abandoned pub hadn't told him the truth? What if he had arrived at the villager's house too late? Would his team still be alive? The thought of having his team, his entire team, killed and packed as slaughtered meat, made Jack's stomach tighten and a sudden urge to scream rose in his chest.
He braced his elbows on the wheel cradling his head with his hands; the only sound that came from his lips was a sob. Jack felt surprised for a moment, but when timid tears started stinging his eyes, he understood that this time, that was what he needed.
'You know,' a voice startled him. Jack looked at the open car window and saw Ianto's battered face, tired eyes looking at him. 'I'm not very comfortable spending the night on my own tonight.' Ianto finished softly, leaning heavily against the door.
Jack didn't know what to do; he ran his fingers over his cheeks attempting to dry the tears. He prayed that Ianto hadn't been there long enough to see him crying.
He pondered Ianto's words carefully. This wasn't the first time since Lisa that Ianto had shown him signs that things between them were progressing positively, but if the other man was looking for some comfort from him tonight, Jack wasn't sure he would find it.
'Ianto,' Jack started, 'I may not be good company tonight.'
'I'd rather have lousy company for the night than no company Jack,' Ianto.
Jack opened his mouth, tried to come up with an excuse, but none came. He looked to his hands over the wheel and noticed how white his knuckles were. Jack loosened the grip on the wheel, met Ianto's eyes and admitted defeat. .
'OK,' he breathed out.
He locked the door and followed Ianto up the pathway towards the door. Neither men spoke, and a companionable silence fell upon them. Ianto let Jack in and closed the door behind them. He turned the lights on and guided Jack to the kitchen.
'Thank you for this,' Jack said truthfully, letting out a breath that he didn't know he'd been holding.
Ianto turned to Jack, closed the distance between them and gently kissed him on the lips. After the initial shock had passed, Jack reciprocated encircling Ianto's waist with a hand, bringing him closer and deepening the kiss. Jack knew it wasn't a sexual kiss.
Ianto's actions always spoke more than his words never could, nor wouldn't. And right now, having that kind of understanding was exactly what Jack needed.
He ran a hand down Ianto's back, squeezing him tightly against his body, feeling Ianto's heart racing against his chest, drinking all the reassurance and support that Ianto was offering with the kiss. He stopped kissing when Ianto moaned against his mouth, it wasn't a moan of pleasure, it sounded more like a groan.
'I'm sorry,' Jack said, remembering Ianto's bruised ribs. He loosened the hold on his back.
Ianto looked at Jack, running his fingers over Jack's face and brushing his thumb over the now dry tear tracks. He smiled sadly at Jack.
'Thank you for saving our lives today,' Ianto said finally and before Jack could say anything back, Ianto disentangled himself from the other man's arms and walked back into the kitchen, filling the kettle with water.
Jack stayed silent, watching as Ianto prepared tea.