Spoilers: Series 1
Summary: Ianto wakes up alone in the middle of the night. Where’s Jack?
Disclaimers: I own nothing!
Notes: Comments please!
Ianto woke and found himself alone. He shifted, reaching out for Jack and finding a warm space where he had been. He sat up, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes and looked around. The room was dark but Ianto could see that the hatch was wide open. Jack had gone out of it.
Ianto got up and out of bed. Just in his boxers, he climbed the ladder and peeked out. The hub was dark and there was no sign of Jack. Worry stabbing his stomach, Ianto climbed back down and returned to bed.
Jack had gone out. He could guess where he’d have gone. There will have been some call out. Weevils or something. Ianto hated it when he went out on calls by himself. He didn’t like the idea of Jack getting hurt. Jack always thought he had to fight the whole world by himself. He wasn’t used to sharing his fight with a partner.
Ianto sat up in his bed and hugged his knees. Logically, he knew Jack wouldn’t come to harm but emotionally, the fear got to him. He’d lost too many loved ones to not have those thoughts.
He was sitting there waiting for over an hour before he heard the cog door roll open again. He raised his head and waited for Jack to climb down the ladder. He took his time but eventually, Jack climbed down the ladder as stealthily as he could.
He turned and spotted Ianto. “Oh,” he said, freezing. “You’re awake.” He shifted. “Erm, I was hoping not to wake you.”
“Woke up when you left.”
Ianto bit his lip, straining his eyes to see Jack’s face. He couldn’t quite see it clearly but there was a look in his eyes and a dark patch on his shirt.
Jack’s eyes skirted away from him. “Erm, I’m going to shower.” He turned towards the little bathroom.
Ianto swallowed hard several times, plucking up his courage. Just as Jack reached the bathroom door, Ianto spoke.
“You died, didn’t you?”
Jack paused but didn’t look at him. “I won’t be long,” he said and disappeared into the bathroom.
Ianto hugged his knees tighter. Ianto hated that pained look in Jack’s eyes. He wanted to fix it, make Jack happy. He’d always been the fixer in his relationships. But Jack never asked for help, never said when he was hurting.
Ianto got up, stripped off his boxers and joined Jack in the bathroom. Jack was standing under the shower spray. Steam surrounded him and his skin was vaguely pink from the heat. His head was tipped up to the water and his eyes were tightly closed. His fists balled against his thighs.
Ianto stepped into the shower and touched Jack on the shoulder. Jack opened his eyes and looked at Ianto. His eyes were red and Ianto realised he was crying.
Ianto cupped his cheek. “What happened?”
Jack shook his head. “No, I can’t. Please, don’t,” Jack gasped, desperately choking back his sobs.
Ianto slid his hand up Jack’s arm. “I can listen,” he whispered. “You can tell me.”
Jack buried his head in Ianto’s shoulder. Ianto held him close.
“You can’t…understand, you’ve never seen it.”
“Talking will help,” said Ianto, rubbing Jack’s damp back.
“It’s not the dying. I can take the pain, it’s…”
“What? Tell me,” whispered Ianto.
Jack pulled back and looked at him. “It’s…being dragged back.” He turned his head away. “Please, don’t make me talk about it.”
Ianto tightened his arms around Jack. “Okay. Come on. We both need to go back to bed.”
They stepped out of the shower, dried quickly and returned to bed. Ianto rested his head on Jack’s shoulder and Jack held onto Ianto tightly round the middle.
Ianto wanted to talk more but he didn’t want to upset Jack again. He hated to see him hurting. He just wanted to wrap him up and keep him safe. But Jack was not the type to allow that, neither was Ianto when it came to it.
Jack held him so tightly, skin against skin and their breathing falling into synch. As Ianto drifted off to sleep he thought that, maybe, Jack got comfort just by having Ianto there at his side.