Title: You Know
Ratings: Teen – mentions of sex and violence.
Spoilers: General Series 1 and 2
Summary: Jack gets home late for a planned cosy night in with Ianto.
Disclaimers: I own nothing!
Notes: Comments please!
Jack dug out his bunch of keys from his pocket and let himself into Ianto’s place. It was late, later than he’d promised and he was bracing himself for Ianto to be annoyed. He bolted the door behind him, then turned slowly.
The light was on in the kitchen and gentle classical music floated into the hallway, accompanied by the enticing smell of Italian food. Jack stood still and enjoyed the cosy atmosphere for just a few seconds.
Then, Ianto emerged. Jack kept his eyes on the floor for a moment, focusing on Ianto’s bare feet. He screwed up his courage and looked further. Ianto had striped down to his suit trousers and shirt. The shirt was still crisp and clean but his sleeves were rolled up to his elbows. His body was relaxed and easy but Jack knew those clear blue eyes would be like steel.
“What happened to you?”
Jack looked into Ianto’s eyes and saw, not anger, but worry. He felt the taut wire inside him ease. “You’re not cross?”
Ianto swallowed. “Your shirt is covered in blood, Jack.”
Jack fiddled with his cuff button. “I had an accident.”
Ianto tutted then came over to him. “You should have called me.” He helped Jack out of his coat and tutted again when he found the blood stain on the back.
“Can you get it out?” Jack asked, chewing his lip.
“I’ll work on it.” Ianto hung the coat up, then turned back to Jack. “Are you still hurt?”
Jack shook his head and watched as Ianto digested exactly what that meant. He rubbed his hands together briskly. “Right, bath time.”
“What? But the food?”
“It’ll wait. You need a nice relaxing bath, Jack. I’m not having you at my table covered in blood.” His voice, though stern, was softened with affection.
He turned and strode upstairs to the bathroom. Jack followed, more slowly. He should have known to count on Ianto.
By the time he reached the bathroom, Ianto had run him a bath, complete with bubbles. There was a fresh white towel warming on the radiator and the strengthening scent of soothing oils filled the room.
Ianto still had that stern, parental manner about him. “Come on.”
Jack took a big breath and let Ianto undress him, smiling as he heard more tutting from Ianto at the state of Jack’s shirt.
Finally, Jack was sliding into the hot bath, surrounded by bubbles and with Ianto beside him. He closed his eyes and listened to the ripple of the water against the side of the bath and to the soothing sound of Ianto’s deep breathing.
It was a while before either of them spoke. Ianto’s hand dipped into the water and stroked Jack’s wet thigh. “So, what happened?” he asked casually.
Jack breathed deeply. “I was a fucking idiot.”
Ianto let that comment hang for a moment as he thought about that. “Somebody hurt you? A weevil?”
Jack squeezed his eyes shut. “A whole bunch of them.”
“Why didn’t you call me? I could have helped you.”
Jack put his head back and scowled. “Then I would have been even more of a fucking idiot than I already am.”
Ianto’s breath caught for just a moment, then he breathed out slowly. “You have a team, Jack. We’re all here to help you deal with stuff like this.”
Jack opened his eyes and glanced at Ianto, then away. That calm gaze was too much. “You can’t help, Ianto. I’m the only one who can take this shit and bounce back. You can’t help.”
Ianto reached out and stroked Jack’s damp forehead. “I can help, Jack.”
Jack turned his head away and didn’t speak. Ianto kept stroking his wet hair and didn’t speak for a long time. When he did, it was in a broken whisper.
“And you need my help, Jack because … you don’t just bounce back.”
Jack let the words echo in his head for several minutes, before he turned his head and kissed the inside of Ianto’s wrist. “I know.”
Half an hour later, Jack was out of his bath and in clean pyjamas, sitting across the table from Ianto eating tuna pasta. Ianto smiled softly across at him and made conversation about the last film he’d watched and who wrote the music that played in the background. Jack let those simple, ordinary words drift over him, easing that hard knot inside him.
He sighed and smiled. He knew that afterwards, they’d stick the telly on and Jack would lie with his head in Ianto’s lap and that firm, gentle hand caressing his hair.
When Jack started dozing off on the couch, Ianto would take his hand and lead him up to bed. They would make slow, lazy love, then fall asleep, entangled in the bedclothes and each other.
Jack smiled widely at Ianto across the table, then reached out and took his hand. Yes, Ianto helped.
“What?” Ianto asked, smiling as Jack gazed at him.
Jack grinned. “Nothing, just … thank you.”
Jack squeezed Ianto’s hand, savouring the warmth and strength of it. “You know.”