Spoilers: Series 1
Summary: Nightmares stop you sleeping.
Disclaimers: I own nothing!
Notes: Comments please!
Ianto jerked awake, gasping and with tears on his face. As he swallowed, he felt the edge of the cleaver against his throat. He fought to control his breathing, lying there panting for several minutes before he could do anything else.
When he was breathing again, he sat up and checked his watch. Quarter past three in the morning.
“Fuck,” he breathed. He couldn’t go back to sleep, not now. The hub would be quiet. He could go in and no one would know he’d been there early.
He showered the cobwebs away, got dressed and headed into work. He spent as little time as possible in his flat these days. He slept and changed there and that was it. He didn’t even eat there. There was nothing there.
The hub was dark and quiet when he got there. He made himself a coffee, logged onto a computer and started to work.
“Hey, don’t I get one of them?”
Ianto jumped, then straightened his tie and pretended he hadn’t. “I didn’t think you were up.”
Jack’s hand landed carelessly on his shoulder. “I don’t need much sleep. More to the point, what are you doing here?”
Ianto shrugged, feeling suddenly awkward with Jack’s hand on his shoulder. Jack did this a lot and usually it made Ianto eel warm and settled but now… Now it made him feel hot and strange.
“Just couldn’t sleep.”
Jack patted his shoulder then removed his hand. “You come in early a lot, Ianto.” He stepped around so he could face Ianto. “How are you doing these days?”
Ianto didn’t look at him. Jack felt so close, Ianto couldn’t breathe.
Jack nodded. “Okay.” He sounded a little doubtful. “You know you can talk to me if you need to.” He bent slightly and found Ianto’s gaze. “I do understand, you know.”
Ianto looked back at him. Those blue eyes were softer than usual. Jack’s hand found its way to Ianto’s shoulder again, hot and large and somehow penetrating his jacket and shirt and heating his skin.
Ianto didn’t know what he was doing. He tilted his chin up and kissed Jack on the mouth. He felt Jack’s jerk of surprise. It was a simple kiss, chaste, just lip to lip.
Ianto pulled back and flushed dark pink. What the hell did he do that for?
Jack was watching him calmly. “Why did you do that?”
Ianto felt his hands start to shake. “I …I dunno.”
Jack stepped back and looked at him for a long time. Ianto wriggled. They’d done things before, at the beginning, when Ianto had told himself it was just for Lisa, that he would do anything to protect her. The Captain hadn’t been Jack to him then, just Harkness, the man who he’d had to please to keep her safe. But it had never only been that.
Jack just watched him. “How do you feel, Ianto?” he asked, gently.
Ianto wanted to look away from those blue eyes but he couldn’t. “I don’t know, I…” His voice fell away.
Jack perched on the desk and looked down at Ianto. “Are you still having the dreams we talked about?”
Ianto shifted. It had been in a moment of vulnerability, of desperation, that he’d told Jack about his nightmares. He wished he hadn’t. The thought of Jack knowing made him flush. He was a Torchwood agent, had been for years. He should be ale to handle that kind of stuff without falling to pieces.
Jack was watching him knowingly. “That’ll be a yes then. Is this why you don’t sleep much?”
Ianto shrugged. “I try. I go home, I go to bed, I fall asleep. Then… they come and I can’t stay there.”
Jack sighed. “I know what it’s like, Ianto. I know what it’s like to see horror in front of your eyes every time you close them.”
Ianto’s mouth opened and he looked at Jack.
Jack smiled a little bitterly. “Told you I don’t sleep much.”
Ianto closed his mouth, something clicking in his head. Jack was just as ordinary and vulnerable as anybody. Yes he was a hero and yes there was something unbreakable about Jack but, he was just as human as the rest of them.
Jack smiled. “You look exhausted, you know.”
Ianto laughed. It sounded hollow even to his own ears. “We can’t all be as perfect as you.” It sounded bitter, though he hadn’t meant it to. Jack didn’t seem to mind.
“It’s too early to be working.” He stood up. “Come on.”
Ianto stood. “Where you going?”
“I’m showing you to my bedroom.” Ianto stopped. “I’m not, I…”
Jack turned back and smiled kindly at him. “You need somewhere to sleep where you won’t be alone. Like the night we came back from the Beacons. Remember?”
Ianto had been concussed, in shock and mostly out of it but he remembered. Jack had put him to sleep in his bed and had just sat there beside the bed all night long, watching over him. They’d never talked about it before.
Jack half turned away. “Coming?”
Ianto tried to say yes but his throat went dry so he just followed.
Jack led him downstairs, to that little room under the office. Ianto didn’t want to sleep. He wanted to stay up and just talk with Jack but his eyes were drooping. Maybe here he could sleep. Maybe here he could just drift away. Jack would watch over him, stay with him. Jack wouldn’t leave him alone.
Ianto lay down on the bed and was quickly asleep. In his sleep, he felt Jack watching over him, keeping the nightmares away. Ianto’s last thought before he drifted off was that one day he might keep Jack’s nightmares at bay.