Notes: Spoilers for both series and DW series four. Many thanks to lemniskate, as always, for help and encouragement.

Rating: R

Pairing: Jack/Ianto

Disclaimer: Torchwood is the property of the BBC. This is a non-profit work of fanfiction.

1. First kiss.

They're in Jack's office going over some recent acquisitions, Jack signing off on the forms once he's categorised each artefact, Ianto designating an archive number and setting it aside. It's a process Ianto started at the end of his second week at Torchwood, when he had finished his initial assessment of the archives and realised what a giant fucking mess they were. Ianto brought several of the uncategorised items up, set them down on Jack's desk (while Jack was on the phone with the head of UNIT) and told him that they were going to start setting time aside to get it all sorted.

Jack raised an eyebrow. Then he smiled one of his enigmatic smiles and told the commander that he'd have to call him back.

A month on, and the sorting has become a ritual. Ianto brings fresh coffees and they take a few hours on Friday night to go through a random selection of new and old artefacts. He rather likes this quiet time with Jack, though he'd never admit it. For a little while, he's not worrying about Lisa or fretting about someone finding her; he can focus on the sorting, smile at Jack's teasing comments and flirting looks, let the rest of the world go on.

When they're done and Ianto's stacked the artefacts in boxes to take them downstairs again, Jack stands, too, stretching and reaching for his coat. Ianto raises an eyebrow and Jack shrugs. "Need to stretch my legs, I'm going to go Weevil hunting," he says. Ianto nods and without thinking he comes around the desk, taking the coat from Jack's hands and holding it up behind him.

Jack goes surprisingly still for a moment. Then he slips his hands into the sleeves and lets Ianto settle the coat on his shoulders. When Ianto smooths the collar on Jack's neck, he feels Jack shiver under his hands. Just like that, the weightless feeling comes into his stomach, the same as when Myfanwy dropped Jack on him in the warehouse.

Jack turns before Ianto can step away, catching Ianto's shoulders in his hands, his eyes searching Ianto's. Ianto licks his lips. As if it's tacit permission, Jack leans in and kisses Ianto. It's soft and quiet and Ianto's left breathless at the end of it. Jack inhales, swallows and gives himself a little shake; then he grins at Ianto. "Well."

Ianto has no idea what to do with his hands. "Sir," he says.

Jack smiles, gives Ianto a wink, and heads out the door of his office. "Lock up before you go," he calls behind him. Ianto stands at the desk and shakes for a little while before he gathers the boxes up and retreats to the archives.

2. First grope.

Right after the kiss, naturally. Ianto's on his guard now, well aware that with that kiss all bets are off. He doesn't have to wait long: the following Sunday night the Rift alarms go screaming and Ianto's pulled out of sleep to come down to the Hub and help Tosh make heads or tails of what the monitors are saying while Jack and Owen and Suzie investigate the source of the disturbance (in the kitchens of one of Cardiff's poshest restaurants).

When they return, all three spattered in grease and looking disgusted, Jack walks past Ianto and pauses, pretending interest in the figures scattered across two of Tosh's monitors. His hand drifts down to squeeze Ianto's hip while he comments on the interesting correlations. Tosh's response doesn't even register in Ianto's ears. Jack's fingers drift across Ianto's ass and then he's gone, stalking into his office to change his clothes.

Ianto has to hold the folders he's carrying in front of him to hide his untimely erection.

3. First nudity.

Jack likes to catch Ianto off-guard. After Lisa's death, Ianto expects to be fired and retconned; instead, Jack tells him he's on suspension for four weeks, pending review, and then proceeds to stop by his flat once a week, drag Ianto out to dinner, and interrogate him as to how he's doing. The first time, Ianto wanted to slam the door in Jack's face. By the fourth week, he finds he's looking forward to it, and in the shower he puts his head to the tile and cries when he thinks that it wasn't that long ago that he was cradling Lisa's cold head in his hands, her blood sliming his chilled fingers.

After dinner, Jack drops him back at the flat. Ianto lingers in the door of the building and then asks Jack if he wants to come up for a coffee. The look on Jack's face suggests that the coffee in Torchwood may have been lacking of late.

In the flat, Jack inhales the aroma of fresh-brewed coffee like a man taking communion. Ianto stands by the counter and watches this with a feeling of want mixing up the ever-present guilt in his gut.

"God, that's good," Jack says, once he's sipped reverently from the cup. "This is why I can't let you leave Torchwood. You've got me addicted to the coffee."

"Oh, is that it?" Ianto tries for a light tone. "Good to know I've got something to fall back on when my organisational skills desert me."

Any other time, he would have joked about slipping addictive drugs in the coffee, but even he's not stupid enough to make a joke like that at a time like this. Jack merely arches an eyebrow at him and goes back to sipping the coffee.

When he's finished it at last, idly talking between his savouring sips about Tosh's latest project and the mixup Gwen made of some alien body parts and the resulting fit Owen threw, Jack stands and brings the mug over to the sink. Ianto reaches to take it, but Jack sets it down, carefully out of Ianto's reach. If Ianto wants to get it, he'll have to press himself up to Jack to do it. He inhales and looks at Jack. It always takes him by surprise that he and Jack are of a height; for some reason, Jack just seems taller to him until they're face to face.

"Ianto," Jack says quietly, and Ianto presses himself to Jack and kisses him. His fingers find the thick softness of Jack's hair and he moans into Jack's mouth when Jack's tongue sleeks into his. Jack's lip is still healing from where Ianto punched him, and at first he tries to stay tender, but Jack sucks hard on Ianto's tongue and that's it, Ianto's lost. Jack's hands come up between them, fingers fumbling open the buttons of Ianto's shirt, and Ianto mutters, "yes, yes, yes," in between hungry kisses.

It's all fast and urgent. His shirt gets pushed open and Jack undoes his pants, enough to push a hand into his briefs and expose his cock. Ianto has a moment to think Jesus fucking Christ he's touching me-- and then any coherency is gone in the swift blur of that strong expert hand. Jack has him pinned against the counter and Ianto clings to Jack like a lifeline and Jack's mouth presses hot wet kisses to Ianto's, and Ianto comes all at once in a messy hot rush and a rough hoarse cry.

Jack grins at Ianto, now boneless and pliant, and kisses him again. When Jack guides Ianto's hand to the opening of his trousers, Ianto can only murmur a relieved, "My turn."

Jack doesn't seem to mind that Ianto has never done this to another man before. The mechanics are the same, though, and Jack is so responsive when Ianto's hand slides over him, circles and surrounds and pumps, that it encourages Ianto to slide to his knees before Jack, pushing his hips back against the counter, and take Jack's cock in his mouth. Jack groans evocatively and shakes to pieces and Ianto feels fiercely gratified when Jack makes that sound again and -- he pulls back just in time -- comes all over his neck and chest.

After, both of them cleaned up and tucked back in, Ianto sagging against the counter with his shirt and pants still open while Jack re-buttons his shirt, Jack smiles softly and kisses Ianto one more time. "I've got to go," he says.

Ianto nods. Torchwood calls. "Next week?" he asks, meaning another dinner out and a discussion of Feelings.

Jack shakes his head, though. "Monday," he says instead. "Back to work." He pushes a hand through Ianto's hair, smiles at him. "You. Bed." He steps away and takes his coat, tugs it on with a swirl of grey-blue wool.

Ianto swallows and watches Jack go. Back to work, he thinks. He's not ready.

4. First kink.

The stopwatch, of course. There aren't really a lot of sexy things you can do with stopwatches, but Ianto likes precision. He admires it. And Jack, when he feels like focusing, can be amazingly precise.

5. First public kiss.

Ianto had truly begun to believe that Jack was dead beyond all hope or recall. (The fact that Jack could survive death was yet to be processed, though, which probably wasn't surprising given they'd been in the middle of an apocalypse at the time.) So when Jack and Gwen walk up from the morgue, Jack looking bruised and grey around the eyes, Ianto simply stands there for a moment, feeling as if someone's just smacked him over the head. Tosh is the one who gasps and then goes running, tears free on her face as she all but knocks Jack down with her embrace.

As Tosh withdraws, Ianto moves stiffly across the walkway. He wants to touch Jack, to feel that this is real, not some fantasy or dream. Over the past few months, they'd kept whatever it was they were doing quiet, and now he tries to rein in the desire to hug Jack as unselfconsciously as Tosh did. Instead, he offers a hand. Jack ignores it, though, just puts a hand on his neck and reels him in.

He's solid and warm and alive, and Ianto buries his face in Jack's neck, smelling him, that unique Jack-scent that he'd been very afraid he'd never inhale again. Jack's hands are gentle on his neck now, pulling back from the hug, and when he lifts his head, Jack's mouth finds his. Ianto closes his eyes and breathes Jack in, tasting him, hands loose at Jack's waist. The kiss goes on and then ends. Ianto tightens his lips as he steps back, lets go of Jack. He can let go now. Jack's alive.

6. First date.

After all they've done with and to each other, the idea of a date seems positively absurd. Of course Jack chooses the worst possible time to ask: mere hours after he's returned from wherever the hell he disappeared to, while they're trying to hunt for some radioactive canister on behalf of Jack's ex-partner or lover or whatever term they used in the fifty-first century.

Ianto agrees to it more to shut Jack up than anything.

Jack tends to be impulsive the way a day tends to have twenty-four hours, so the fact that he plans the date impresses Ianto. Granted, he overdoes it: dinner at a restaurant so swank he has no clue how Jack got a reservation, tickets to the opera; he even shows up at Ianto's door with flowers. Flowers. Ianto raises an eyebrow at Jack, but stops himself from the cynical comment when he sees the eagerness in Jack's eyes -- underlaid with anxiety. Instead, he says it's sweet and puts them in water.

Ianto's not much of an opera fan, but Jack enjoys it, so he enjoys Jack enjoying it. After, Jack takes his hand as they walk up the street to where Ianto's car is parked. Ianto doesn't know what to make of this new Jack. Though Gwen has asked repeatedly where Jack went and what happened, and Owen bitched and whinged about the trip to the Himalayas that turned up nothing, and even Tosh lost it and snapped her fury at Jack for going away and leaving them, Ianto's held himself in check. Waiting.

And as they walk back to the car, Jack repays his patience. Tells him how he found the Doctor and returned the severed hand. Tells him about Martha Jones, whom he clearly adores and with whom he shared that unrequited love for the Doctor. Tells him about the end of the universe. The Valiant. The Master. A year of days without respite from torment and death.

They're standing by the car for most of the recitation; Ianto lets Jack talk on, nodding and asking a prompting question here and there to keep Jack telling the story, purging it from himself. When Jack starts to tell him how the Master trapped Torchwood in Tibet, though, Ianto shakes his head and squeezes Jack's hand. Jack's perilously close to tears already and if he breaks down, Ianto wants it to be in private.

(He doesn't want to hear about how he died, either. He thinks he might be able to handle the tales of bravery that no doubt accompany the deaths of the others, but hearing about his own death in past tense is not something for which Ianto's mentally prepared.)

Ianto drives them back to his flat. Jack walks him to the front door of the building, reaching for Ianto's hands and then drawing them back so that he's pulling Ianto to him. He kisses Ianto tenderly, smiles a little -- only the slightest remnant of sadness there. "I'll see you Monday morning," he says.

Ianto shakes his head. "Come upstairs," he says.

"I don't mean to--" Jack starts.

"I want you to," Ianto murmurs, and now he's the one pulling on Jack. After only a moment's hesitation, Jack follows.

7. First time Ianto comforts Jack, instead of the other way round.

Later that night (the first of many when Jack wakes sobbing with the memory of three hundred and sixty-five days of death).

8. First "I love you".

Ianto doesn't know if he'll ever be able to vocalise his feelings for Jack.

Sometimes there are moments when he could say it and it would be right. When Jack is fucking him senseless, for example, or when Ianto's losing his mind taking Jack with long, slow, grinding thrusts. In the tender silence afterward, before Ianto falls asleep. Even at work. Ianto's thought about that, handing Jack his coffee; the way Jack looks up at him, smiling his thanks, warmth and affection in his eyes: an ideal moment right there. Instead, Ianto comes, or goes to sleep, or nods acknowledgement and leaves Jack's office again.

Ianto doesn't know that he needs to say the words. But wanting to say them ought to be enough reason to do just that, he thinks. Maybe.

He doesn't exactly have someone to talk to about it. Gwen would be wonderfully sympathetic but she'd tell Jack. It's not bad, the way she likes to talk; it's just how she is. Ianto might have talked to Tosh about it, but Tosh is gone. As is Owen, who would have rolled his eyes and told Ianto to bloody get on with it and stop being a girl about it.

"I love you," Ianto says aloud, into the mirror over his bathroom sink. "I love you, Jack. Jack Harkness, I love you."

It sounds false. He sighs and scrubs his hands over his face.

When the Daleks come and steal the Earth and use it along with twenty-six other planets to try and destroy the universe, Jack goes to help the Doctor fix things. Stuck in a time-locked Hub with Gwen, Ianto ponders the world in which he now lives.

"Did you ever think," he asks Gwen, while they watch the lone Dalek that can't get through to them, "that you'd wake up one day and be talking about things like the Earth pulled into another galaxy while aliens flew about killing everything in sight?"

"Not since I ate a curry that'd gone off and got stomach poisoning from it," Gwen answers seriously. They break into hysterical laughter.

Jack had promised to return and he does, pulling up in a cab outside the Tourist Centre with Martha Jones and a fellow called Mickey Smith, who, apparently, is in the club that gets to see Torchwood without getting Retconned. When Jack brings them into the Hub through the cogwheel door, Martha holds Mickey back to let Jack greet what's left of his team first.

Gwen runs up to Jack immediately, throwing her arms around him and kissing his cheek. "Never doubted you for a second," she assures him, her smile warm as she steps back. Jack's still grinning as his gaze finds Ianto, standing a few steps back, his own smile hesitant. Jack closes the distance between them, and Ianto lets himself sink against Jack, revelling in the warmth of his arms, his kiss.

There's a muted sound from the door. Smith, maybe. Ianto ignores it.

"See?" Jack murmurs. "Told you I'd come back."

Ianto smiles faintly at him. "I knew you would," he says, touching Jack's cheek. Jack's been in the TARDIS, fighting Daleks on their ship, dealing with the thing called Davros, being the dashing hero. He's home now. "I love you," Ianto says, and closes his eyes when Jack kisses him again.

"I love you, too," Jack whispers.

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this page last updated on 20 april 2009