[a dark mood strikes : part 7]

  • Ianto: A few minutes later, it's done and I bring Jack a cup. Setting the mug on the desk he's working at, I lean against it, idly watching him work as I sip from my own coffee.
  • Jack: "Thanks," I tell him, smiling at him. I type a few more commands in the computer and take the cup, taking a sip. "Oh, wonderful."
  • I: "Glad you like it," I smile down at him. "What are you working on?"
  • J: "Keeping track of the rift," I tell him, turning the monitor to show him. "With this new software, we can predict when something will come out of the rift. I'm just adjusting it."
  • I look at the monitor, raising my eyebrows. "Really?" It looks like it works. But we've never been able to do that before.
  • "Well, hopefully," I tell him. "I'm not sure."
  • Tosh would have loved to see this. "I hope you can get it working. That's amazing."
  • "It's going to take me a while," I tell him. I wish Tosh was still around. This would be up and running in no time.
  • Sipping my coffee, I reminisce for a minute about Tosh and Owen. It's been a long time, but it's impossible to not miss them.
  • It's been a while since Tosh and Owen were even talked about. The team doesn't seem the same without them.
  • After a moment of dwelling on the past, I think of something. "Jack..."
  • "Hmm?" I ask, looking at him.
  • "Don't, um..." I look away. "Don't tell the Doctor or Rose about my... you know." I know we're close to them, but I don't want them to think of me any differently. I know Rose especially would worry, and I don't want that at all.
  • He shouldn't think his PTSD is that big of a deal. It's something that happens. But... "Yeah. Sure."
  • "Thanks." I know he'll keep his promise.
  • I hate to ask, but I have to know. "Why don't you want them to know?"
  • "I don't want them to think of me any differently," I say shortly. "Besides, they don't need to know."
  • "They wouldn't." No matter what was told about Ianto, the Doctor and Rose would still see him as a friend.
  • "You can't know that." Not that they wouldn't like me. Just that they'd worry more. Even Jack already asked if I was okay when he wouldn't normally have.
  • "But I do," I tell him firmly. "I've known them for quite a while, Ianto. They wouldn't think any differently."
  • "Either way, they don't need to know," I say sharply.
  • "Alright!" I raise my hands in defeat. "They won't. Promise."
  • "Thank you," I say stiffly. Why can't he just understand? Standing, I head out to the front desk to get some work done.
  • The stiffness in his voice worries me a bit. We shouldn't be fighting about something this stupid. Sighing, I sit back down in front of a computer and continue working on the program.
  • After a long while of working, I've gone as far as I can with the software. I head out to the front desk where Ianto is working. "How goes the paperwork?" I ask, leaning on the counter.
  • "Nearly done," I tell him, filing one of the last few reports. "How about that software?"
  • "Still working on it. I think I've hit a wall." Oh Tosh. How I miss you. "Maybe I'll break through it tomorrow."
  • "I hope so, sir." I'm trying to ignore the fact that we ended our last conversation a little stiffly. Well... I did.
  • He doesn't always have to call me sir. But it looks like he's not going to stop. "You almost done here?"
  • "Nearly," I nod, filing away the last couple of reports. "There. Finished."
  • "Excellent." I grin at him. "Feel like getting out of here?"
  • I hadn't even realized it was the end of the day. "Yeah," I nod, standing. "Definitely."
  • "Good." I smile and reach for his hand, holding it tightly in mine.
  • I squeeze his hand, silently apologizing for snapping earlier. But he seems to have forgiven me. "Love you."
  • I squeeze his hand back, smiling. "Love you too." After a moment's hesitation, I continue. "You know, you shouldn't be ashamed by your PTSD."
  • I hold back an exasperated sigh. Do we really have to talk about this again? "I'm not -ashamed- by it."
  • Sure he's not. I raise an eyebrow and squeeze his hand. "Then it's fine to tell people."
  • "They don't need to know, why would they need to know?" I blurt, letting go of his hand.
  • He lets go of my hand, and I clamp my mouth shut. "Fine. I was just reminding you."
  • "No one needs to know," I insist again, trying not to get worked up. "No one ever knew for years, Jack. I don't want anything to -change.- I'm not going to start telling people. And neither are you."
  • "Who said I was going to?" I insist. "I was just pointing out that you can tell people. Like the Doctor and Rose. They wouldn't care. They've seen so much worse."
  • "I don't want to," I say firmly. I'm regretting telling him, to be honest.
  • "Fine." I look away for a second then look back at him. "I'm just reminding you."
  • "You don't need to remind me. Really." Exasperated, I arrange a couple of things on my desk.
  • "Alright, fine," I say a tad sharply. I look away from him, unsure of what to say.
  • There's a brief silence. "Are we leaving?" Though to be honest, I don't exactly want to now. I could stay and get some more work done. And avoid any more of this.
  • I shrug, shoving my hands into my pockets. "If you want to. I'm done with the software."
  • "Alright, let's go then." I head out the front door, holding it for him. It's not that I don't want to spend time with him, just not when he's being so nosy.
  • I grab my coat and step out of the door. It's dark, the stars shining over the bay.
  • We walk in silence toward the apartment, and when we're about halfway back, I speak up. "You understand -why- I don't want to tell anyone, right?"
  • "Not really," I tell him truthfully. "I know you're quiet, and not many people know much about you. But you don't have to hide everything from everyone. You're human."
  • "It's not that I don't want people to know anything about me," I try to explain. "I just... I hate being worried about. And when people find out, they worry. Rhi worried like crazy. You've been more concerned about me than normal. I don't want any more of that."
  • "We're close to you. We honestly can't help it," I tell him. "It's one thing to almost see you get physically hurt, but it's a whole different ballgame when you're trapped inside your memories."
  • I look away as he describes it. "And that's why. I know you can't help it. That's why I don't want to tell anyone. ...Why I shouldn't have told you," I add after a moment.
  • "So you're regretting telling me, yeah?" I ask, looking away from him.
  • "... A little," I say softly, not wanting to lie to him.
  • "Well," I say softly, looking away. "Sorry I mentioned anything."
  • "Just forget about it. It's fine." I walk up the stairs to the apartment and unlock the door, leaving it open for him and stepping inside. Why did I tell him? Well... scratch that. Why did any of it ever happen in the first place.
  • It's not fine. But he's not willing to talk about it. I shut the door with my foot and shrug off my coat, hanging it up. "Tea?"
  • "Sure," I say dully. "Thanks." Sighing, I sink down in a chair.

[a dark mood strikes : part 6]

  • Ianto: After leaving the apartment, I don't get that far before it catches up to me again. Sinking down against a wall in a deserted alley, I drop my head into my hands, shaking, trying to force the images away. Her screams when she woke, those first horrible days trying to keep her alive. So much blood, so much pain. Tears stream from my eyes and I curl into a ball, finally allowing myself to break down now that I'm alone. Now that no one can see me.
  • Jack: The tea is done, and I set down two steaming mugs of tea on the table, and wait. There's nothing else I can really do except wait. He's in pain and doesn't want my help, so I plan to just say back for a while, waiting until he wants to come to me. After a while, I notice he's taken my coat, and smile. If that can help him, he can use it whenever he wants.
  • I: It won't stop. It just won't stop. Burying my face in the sleeve of Jack's coat, I gasp in ragged breaths, breathing in his scent. Why is it so bad all of a sudden? I never should have told him about my condition. Talking about it must have brought it to the surface. That's why I stopped going to therapy in the first place. Squeezing my eyes shut, I shudder as the images in my head play over and over. Time passes, but I don't know how long.
  • J: The minutes tick by, and when I look up at the clock, it's been about an hour. There are Weevils out there this time of night, and I hate the idea of Ianto being out there alone with my coat and Weevils. Enough is enough. Putting my cup in the sink, I walk out the door into the chilly Cardiff air. After a few side streets, I see Ianto in a ball sitting on the ground, tears pouring from his eyes. Taking a cautious step forward, I kneel in front of him. "Ianto?"
  • I jump as I hear his voice. "I'm fine," I gasp out automatically, rapidly wiping the tears from my face.
  • Brushing some tears from his face, I shake my head. "Ianto. You're not. I'm here to help you. Tell me. Please."
  • There's no point in hiding this from him anymore. He knows now. "It won't stop," I whisper, looking down. "It keeps... I keep seeing - " I stop, swallowing thickly, trying to keep it together.
  • "Oh, hey there..." I move and sit next to him, wrapping an arm around his shoulder. "It'll get better, Ianto. It always gets better. Even though it's hard to deal with."
  • "No, Jack, that's..." I sigh. "That's what PTSD is. It doesn't get better. It just stays." That's what makes it a disorder rather than just trauma. And that's what I hate the most. The fact that I can't fully deal with it on my own.
  • "Well, I know that," I say softly, rubbing his shoulder, "but talking helps. Talking about what you see."
  • It's supposed to. It hasn't so far. "It's not normally this bad. It'll fade soon. Promise."
  • "You want to talk about it?" I ask, squeezing his shoulder again. "It'll help it fade."
  • "Not..." I take a shuddering breath. "Not yet." But... maybe I could try. I trust Jack more than I've trusted anyone in years. If I talked to anybody, it'd be him. [ERROR: FAILURE TO RETRIEVE LOG FILE]
  • [Edit by Ianto Jones: This was quite a while ago, so it's hard to remember exactly. But we went home and to bed. Work the next day was uneventful until the Doctor and Rose showed up - Rose had been sick for days and was having serious trouble breathing. The Doctor wasn't sure how to help her so he brought her to our medical facility. We got her on the respirator, but didn't know how to treat her sickness because it was alien. The Doctor got angry and said that this branch of Torchwood was as useless and wrong as Torchwood One was before taking her away, back to the TARDIS. She ended up alright, thank goodness; we were told later that the Doctor found a way to cure her.] [RESUMING PLAYBACK OF DATA]
  • Ianto: The Doctor leaves, and I start to put away the respirator, cleaning the tube and turning off the machine. "That could have gone better."
  • Jack: I fold my arms, still feeling irritated at being called useless. "A lot better."
  • I: Putting the machine away, I close the cabinets and pick up the wet cloth, which got dropped to the floor. Neither Torchwood was ever useless. That was uncalled for.
  • J: "He won't get away with that," I tell Ianto. "Rose won't let him."
  • "If she finds out," I point out. And if she makes it, I think, but don't say aloud.
  • "I'm sure she will." Rose always finds out about things like this. When he snaps.
  • "Do you think she'll be alright?" I ask worriedly.
  • "The TARDIS always takes care of her," I tell him. "I'm sure this'll be no different."
  • "I hope so," I nod. [DATA CORRUPTION]
  • "What about you?" I ask nodding to him. "He mentioned Torchwood One... you going to be alright?"
  • "Yeah, I'll be fine," I say, a little defensively. It's not like I'll go into a fit just at the mention of something from my past. He doesn't need to treat me like I'm going to break.
  • Raising and eyebrow at his tone, I shrug. "Just wondering."
  • This is why I never told him before. I didn't want to be treated any differently. I'm still a member of Torchwood. Just as capable as I've always been. Shutting my mouth, I turn away, grabbing a sponge and wiping down the medbay counters. Not that they really need it.
  • He starts cleaning, and I know I've done something to upset him. I just want to make sure he's okay. "Sorry."
  • "Don't worry about it," I brush it off. I guess I can't really blame him for being concerned. I just wish he wouldn't.
  • I smile softly and take his hand. "Good."

[a dark mood strikes : part 5]

  • Jack: I kiss his temple and stand, grasping his hand. "Come on, let's get you back to bed."
  • Ianto: "Alright, alright," I groan in mock annoyance. He pulls me up and we head back inside and into the bedroom.
  • J: I take off my coat and hang it up, taking off everything except my boxers. I climb in bed, next to Ianto.
  • I: I carefully hung up my dressing gown and folded the pajama pants I'd thrown on before crawling back into bed in my boxers. As Jack climbs in next to me, I move close to him, kissing his shoulder.
  • I press a soft kiss to his lips, smiling. "We really are a matched set."
  • I nod, smiling softly. We really do have a lot in common. Not always the best things. But many things.
  • I press a soft kiss to his forehead. "Goodnight, Ianto."
  • "Goodnight, Jack," I mumble, closing my eyes at the feel of his lips on my forehead. "Love you."
  • "Love you too, Ianto," I tell him softly, smiling. "Sweet dreams."
  • I smile but don't answer, already half-asleep. Quickly I drift off, tiredness washing over me.
  • As soon as he's asleep, I kiss his forehead, closing my eyes. In no time at all, I'm also asleep.
  • I'm stumbling around in the dark. The air is dusty, and I cough, trying to focus on something, to see. I run into something at about hip height, and look down. An eerie light is shining on it. It's a flat metal table-like thing, with metal fasteners and hookups. And attached to the table... "Lisa," I breathe. She's unconscious, but alive. And it's better that way. Her flesh is split in places, metal bits poking through where the machine had stopped it's work. Metal covers her arms and legs, stretches in strands over her stomach, welded to the skin. The amount of pain she'd be in if she were awake... "Oh, Lisa," I sob, clutching the edge of the table, feeling as though I'm going to be sick. They tried to convert her. Those monsters! And not only that, they never finished the job. Blood flows from her, dripping down the table and onto the floor. Carefully I take her in my arms, as best as I can. Blood gets all over my hands, but I don't care, sobbing, rocking back and forth over her body. Suddenly, its not Lisa. It's the pizza delivery girl she put her mind into, the bloody slash across her forehead still fresh. "Ianto," she smiles, stepping toward me. But there's a sound of guns and she spasms over and over, falling to the ground as my colleagues, my friends, shoot her down. Rage, pain, loss, all flood me at the same instant... and I snap awake, chest heaving, heart pounding frantically.
  • Somewhere in the middle of the night, Ianto jostles in the middle of the night. Dragging my eyes open, I see the shocked look on his face, and frown. "Ianto? What's wrong?"
  • The images flash through my head, over and over. I can't move, I can't breathe, I can't think. Leaning forward, I grasp my head in my hands, involuntarily rocking back and forth as I was in the dream. As I did when I found Lisa like that.
  • "Ianto?" I ask, my concern growing. Sitting up, I take his hands from the side of his head and hold them tightly. "Ianto. What's wrong? Ianto!"
  • Yanking my hands from him, I push him away, then lace my fingers over the back of my neck and curl into an even tighter ball, frantically whispering 'no' over and over.
  • He whispers 'no' over and over again, scaring me. "Ianto," I say softly, placing a hand on his shoulder, "tell me what's wrong." It has to be his PTSD. Some kind of nightmare.
  • I flinch away from his touch. Everything was so real. It's still real. The memories are flooding me, so vivid that I can almost feel her body in my arms, smell the blood, hear the sparking of the machine. It's too much, way too much. I gasp out a sob, tears spilling down my cheeks.
  • There is nothing I can do for him until he snaps out of it. But I have to try. "Ianto. Open your eyes, look at me. You're safe, in the apartment. Come on, please, Ianto," I say softly, brushing some tears from his cheeks.
  • His voice. Jack's voice. That's what I have to focus on. Gasping in shaky breaths, I open my eyes, knowing that if I close them I'll just see the blood.
  • "Hey there,” I say softly when he opens his eyes, changing my worried look to one of comfort. "Are you going to be okay?" It's useless to ask him what happened. Whatever it was, I don't want him to relive it.
  • My eye focus on his blue ones, and gradually, I start to come out of it. He just saw me like that. I never wanted that. "Fine, sir," I say stiffly.
  • Oh, what a lie that was. "Ianto. Like I've said before, you're shit at lying." I take one of his hands and hold it tightly. "But it's fine that you're not, you know?"
  • It's not fine. It's so not fine. I didn't want anyone to ever see me like that. Not after how much it scared Rhi. To be honest, I'm ashamed by it. I should be able to keep it from happening. "Of course, sir. What time is it?" I ask, still stiffly formal.
  • "Ianto, drop the sir," I say a tad sharply. "We're in the bedroom. Not the Hub. Not at Torchwood." I take one of his hands and hold it tightly in mine. "You don't have to tell me what's wrong. But I know you're not fine."
  • He didn't answer my question, so I glance around him to see the clock. It's just past three in the morning. Damn. Still too early to get up and make a pot of coffee. Too early to get up at all. No distractions. Gently I pull my hand from his, unable to handle being touched at the moment. "Sorry," I say, leaving off the 'sir.'
  • He pulls his hand from mine and I frown. Something is seriously wrong. But whatever it is, he doesn't want to tell me. And I don't blame him. He's a deep sleeper, so I've never woken him by my own nightmares. "You're going to be okay?" I ask, refraining from touching him.
  • "Yeah. I'll be fine." Sighing, I drag my hands over my face, clearing away the tears. My heart is finally slowing down a little. "Sorry," I say again. "I haven't had a nightmare in ages." It must have been talking about it that caused it.
  • "Whatever happened, it's not your fault," I say softly. "As long as you’re going to be okay."
  • "I'll be fine." I hope. Though I'm not going back to sleep. Might as well get some work done. It'll be a distraction, anyway. "I'm going to head into work early," I say, standing. I know it's ridiculous to go in now, but I'm tired. If I sit around here, I'll just fall back asleep. And I don't want to. Not after that.
  • "Ianto, it's three a.m. There's going to be nothing for you to do." I sit up and take his hand, ignoring that he'll take it away. "Try to sleep more. I know it'll be hard, but at least try." I rub his hand in mine.
  • "There's always something to do," I tell him. I could always reorganize the filing system. And I'm sure there are dishes that need taking care of, trash that needs to be thrown away. Somewhere. I had it clean yesterday, but I always could have missed something. "I'm not tired, sir."
  • "Ianto, the Hub was spotless when we left," I point out. "God damn perfect. Please come back to bed and sleep?" Looks like he's not going to drop the sir anytime soon...
  • Perfect? No. Far from it. Nothing I do is perfect. "Just a walk, then," I insist, pulling some clothes out of my dresser. "Just to... I can't stay, Jack, I - " I clamp my mouth shut, feeling myself slipping again. Come on, keep it together, I tell myself firmly.
  • Fine. "Do you want some company?" I ask.
  • Oh, do I. But... "No, I'll be fine. Just go back to sleep, sir. I'll be back soon." I give him a smile as I pull on my clothes, hoping it'll work to convince him I'm alright. It always has before. On everyone.
  • He's not alright. Not at all. But I don't want to push him. And I doubt I'm going to be able to fall back asleep. "Well, call me if you need anything yeah?"
  • "Of course, sir." I know he asked me to stop, but it's easier to deal with when I'm acting formal, disconnected. "Back in a while." I leave the room, buttoning my suit jacket. It'll be cold outside, I'll need a coat... After a moment's hesitation, I grab Jack's, pulling it over my shoulders as I step out into the night air.
  • I watch him leave, wonderful what's going on. What did he dream of that was so bad? After a while, it hits me. It had to be Lisa. And I feel horrible. I was the one that killed her. She died because of Torchwood, adding to everything. Sighing heavily, I dress and head out to the kitchen and start making tea for when he comes back.

[a dark mood strikes : part 4]

  • Jack: After Ianto closes the door to the bedroom, I pull out my phone, dialing Alice's number. It's actually off, which surprises me. But once the answering machine beeps, I swallow my fear and leave a message. "Hi, Alice, uhm, I was wondering if I could come by at some point. It's... been a while. I hope Steven's doing well. But... I'll talk to you later, yeah? Love you." I click the phone shut and go into the bedroom, stripping down to my boxers and climb in bed next to him.
  • Ianto: Jack climbs in next to me, and I instinctively move a little closer to him, moving to place a kiss on his shoulder.
  • J: Smiling, I kiss his forehead. "I called Alice."
  • I: "Good for you," I smile back. "What did she say?"
  • "It was the answering machine," I tell him. "But I left a message. Hopefully she calls me back soon."
  • "Good luck," I tell him sincerely. I'll have to call Rhi tomorrow.
  • "Thanks." I smile and kiss his forehead again. "Same with you and Rhi."
  • "Thanks. If it works out... It'll be nice to see more of the kids. They're great. You'd like them," I say hopefully, still wishing he'd meet my family.
  • He really does want me to meet his family. I bite my lip and after a moments consideration, I nod. "Okay. I'll meet them. Do they know about..." I take his hand for emphasis, "us?"
  • "Not yet," I admit. "I want to talk to Rhi beforehand. She'll understand. I just want to tell her first."
  • I nod. "Makes sense." After a long moment of thinking, I continue. "Would you like to meet Alice and Steven?"
  • I'd love to. "Do you want me to?"
  • "I..." I'm very nervous about him meeting Alice and Steven. But we shouldn't be keeping secrets from each other. "Just know that I'm Uncle Jack to him. Not his grandfather."
  • "Of course." I nod. To be honest, I'm really pleased that he wants me to meet them. Leaning over, I kiss him gently.
  • Smiling against his lips, I kiss him back. After a long moment I pull back. "So."
  • "So," I repeat quietly, still smiling. This was a bit of a rough night, but it's improved greatly. "Are you going to sleep?"
  • "Probably," I tell him. "Been a long day."
  • "I agree," I sigh, shifting against the pillow. I hope sleep comes quickly.
  • I'm nervous about meeting his family, if anything happened to him and I had to tell them. "How do you think your sister will react? To us?"
  • "She'll probably tease me," I admit, shaking my head. "But she won't have a problem with it."
  • I have no idea how Alice would react. But I'm guessing good. "That's good."
  • "Yeah, she's always teased me," I sigh good-naturedly. "Older sisters."
  • I grin playfully. "I can only imagine."
  • I lay my head on his shoulder, then lean in to kiss his cheek. "I love you."
  • "Love you too," I tell him, smiling. [ERROR: FAILURE TO RETRIEVE LOG FILE | SKIPPING TO NEXT AVAILABLE SECTION] It's in the middle of the night when I wake up, and I know I won't be able to sleep again. Detangling myself from Ianto, I dress in a white tshirt and pants and go out to the living room, grabbing my coat and shoes. I slip both on and sit on the front step, looking up at the stars.
  • I half-wake and roll over, automatically reaching for Jack. But the other side of the bed is empty. Frowning, I open my eyes, and he's not there. I wait a couple of minutes, but he doesn't come back. So I stand, throwing on my dressing gown and a pair of pajama pants over my boxers. His coat isn't there when I step into the front room, so I peer out the front window. There he is, sitting on the step. I open the door and peek out. "Jack? You alright?"
  • I jump at Ianto's voice, surprising me. "Oh, hey,"I say, turning back to him. "Yeah. Just thinking about things." I look up at the stars, which are blinking beautifully. "Stars are beautiful tonight."
  • "Mmhm," I nod in agreement, sitting down next to him, pulling my dressing gown tighter around me. "What are you thinking about? Feel like sharing?"
  • "Oh, just... everything." I wrap an arm around his shoulders. "I wonder how Rose and the Doctor are doing."
  • "We haven't seen them since the Master," I realize. "It's been a while."
  • Almost three months. "Hope they're doing alright."
  • Me too." I lay my head against his shoulder. "We could always call them."
  • "We should." I almost reach for my phone, then groan. "You don't have that number, do you?"
  • "It's probably on file somewhere," I tell him. "At the Hub. Why?"
  • "My phone broke," I tell him. "When the Master shot me the first time."
  • "What?" I sigh. "You didn't say anything. I would have had it replaced ages ago."
  • "Well," I say slowly, "I have a new phone... but I don't have old numbers."
  • "It's all on file at the Hub, I'm sure," I assure him. "I'll fix it for you tomorrow."
  • "You're wonderful." I grin and kiss his forehead. "By the way, did I wake you up? Didn't mean to."
  • "No, I woke up on my own," I assure him, kissing his cheek. "Don't worry about it."
  • "Good, I hate waking you." I tighten my arm around his shoulders. "You going to be okay?"
  • Yeah." I smile at him, idly stroking my thumb on his knee. "You?"
  • "Oh, Ianto Jones, I'm always fine." I smile at him and look back up at the stars.
  • "Not always," I point out quietly, taking his hand. "You weren't earlier."
  • I squeeze his hand. "Yeah, guess you're right..." I wasn't. And I'm still scared of loosing him.
  • Kissing his cheek, I squeeze his hand back. "I wasn't okay either. It was a hell of a day."
  • "Which is why you should be sleeping," I accuse gently, nudging his shoulder.
  • "I'll get to it," I assure him. "In a minute." I'm definitely still tired. Just not quite ready to leave him yet.
  • We sit in silence for a bit more. "So, what are you doing for your Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?" I ask softly.
  • Oh. "Uh... Nothing, actually," I admit. "Not for years, anyway. I went to see Rhi right after Lisa got..." I sigh. "Well. I couldn't tell her exactly what happened, obviously, but she said I should get help. I took her advice. They diagnosed it, I went to therapy a couple of times, but then I just... it was too hard." Right after that, I started following Jack around, trying to get a job at Torchwood. I figured maybe if I could help Lisa, I could fix what had happened.
  • "You should try to do something," I tell him softly, gripping his shoulder. "I know therapy is crap, but I think it's going to help. Even though you'll sound like a crazy person."
  • "I've been coping," I tell him stiffly. "You didn't even know."
  • He's right. I didn't. I fall silent again, loosening the grip on his shoulder.
  • There's a silence. "Sorry. But I'm alright. Really. I've been handling it on my own." Just like I always handle things.
  • He shouldn't have to handle it alone. "You don't have to handle it alone, you know that?"
  • I sigh. "Yeah. I know." But I don't want help with it. Getting help means I have to face what happened. Even thinking of that sets my heart pounding. No. I can't. I'm fine at living with my PTSD. I've lived with it the whole time Jack's known me and he never guessed.
  • I can almost hear his heart pounding, and I squeeze his shoulder again. "Hey. It's fine, if you don't want to talk about it, that's totally fine. You know?"
  • "Yeah," I murmur again. "Thanks. I've been doing that. And it works well enough. So I think I'll keep to that."
  • "I would tell you that you should talk to someone, but it sounds absurd coming from my mouth," I tell him grinning.
  • "A little," I admit, chuckling. "Like I said earlier. Matched set."
  • Laughing, I lean in and kiss his cheek. "You're right."
  • I smile softly at the sound of his laugh. Hopefully we won't have to discuss my condition again. I don't ever want him to know about the nightmares I used to have. About the flashbacks that still plague me. Hopefully I can continue to hide or disguise them as I've been doing for years.

[a dark mood strikes : part 4]

  • Jack: After Ianto closes the door to the bedroom, I pull out my phone, dialing Alice's number. It's actually off, which surprises me. But once the answering machine beeps, I swallow my fear and leave a message. "Hi, Alice, uhm, I was wondering if I could come by at some point. It's... been a while. I hope Steven's doing well. But... I'll talk to you later, yeah? Love you." I click the phone shut and go into the bedroom, stripping down to my boxers and climb in bed next to him.
  • Ianto: Jack climbs in next to me, and I instinctively move a little closer to him, moving to place a kiss on his shoulder.
  • J: Smiling, I kiss his forehead. "I called Alice."
  • I: "Good for you," I smile back. "What did she say?"
  • "It was the answering machine," I tell him. "But I left a message. Hopefully she calls me back soon."
  • "Good luck," I tell him sincerely. I'll have to call Rhi tomorrow.
  • "Thanks." I smile and kiss his forehead again. "Same with you and Rhi."
  • "Thanks. If it works out... It'll be nice to see more of the kids. They're great. You'd like them," I say hopefully, still wishing he'd meet my family.
  • He really does want me to meet his family. I bite my lip and after a moments consideration, I nod. "Okay. I'll meet them. Do they know about..." I take his hand for emphasis, "us?"
  • "Not yet," I admit. "I want to talk to Rhi beforehand. She'll understand. I just want to tell her first."
  • I nod. "Makes sense." After a long moment of thinking, I continue. "Would you like to meet Alice and Steven?"
  • I'd love to. "Do you want me to?"
  • "I..." I'm very nervous about him meeting Alice and Steven. But we shouldn't be keeping secrets from each other. "Just know that I'm Uncle Jack to him. Not his grandfather."
  • "Of course." I nod. To be honest, I'm really pleased that he wants me to meet them. Leaning over, I kiss him gently.
  • Smiling against his lips, I kiss him back. After a long moment I pull back. "So."
  • "So," I repeat quietly, still smiling. This was a bit of a rough night, but it's improved greatly. "Are you going to sleep?"
  • "Probably," I tell him. "Been a long day."
  • "I agree," I sigh, shifting against the pillow. I hope sleep comes quickly.
  • I'm nervous about meeting his family, if anything happened to him and I had to tell them. "How do you think your sister will react? To us?"
  • "She'll probably tease me," I admit, shaking my head. "But she won't have a problem with it."
  • I have no idea how Alice would react. But I'm guessing good. "That's good."
  • "Yeah, she's always teased me," I sigh good-naturedly. "Older sisters."
  • I grin playfully. "I can only imagine."
  • I lay my head on his shoulder, then lean in to kiss his cheek. "I love you."
  • "Love you too," I tell him, smiling. [ERROR: FAILURE TO RETRIEVE LOG FILE | SKIPPING TO NEXT AVAILABLE SECTION] It's in the middle of the night when I wake up, and I know I won't be able to sleep again. Detangling myself from Ianto, I dress in a white tshirt and pants and go out to the living room, grabbing my coat and shoes. I slip both on and sit on the front step, looking up at the stars.
  • I half-wake and roll over, automatically reaching for Jack. But the other side of the bed is empty. Frowning, I open my eyes, and he's not there. I wait a couple of minutes, but he doesn't come back. So I stand, throwing on my dressing gown and a pair of pajama pants over my boxers. His coat isn't there when I step into the front room, so I peer out the front window. There he is, sitting on the step. I open the door and peek out. "Jack? You alright?"
  • I jump at Ianto's voice, surprising me. "Oh, hey,"I say, turning back to him. "Yeah. Just thinking about things." I look up at the stars, which are blinking beautifully. "Stars are beautiful tonight."
  • "Mmhm," I nod in agreement, sitting down next to him, pulling my dressing gown tighter around me. "What are you thinking about? Feel like sharing?"
  • "Oh, just... everything." I wrap an arm around his shoulders. "I wonder how Rose and the Doctor are doing."
  • "We haven't seen them since the Master," I realize. "It's been a while."
  • Almost three months. "Hope they're doing alright."
  • Me too." I lay my head against his shoulder. "We could always call them."
  • "We should." I almost reach for my phone, then groan. "You don't have that number, do you?"
  • "It's probably on file somewhere," I tell him. "At the Hub. Why?"
  • "My phone broke," I tell him. "When the Master shot me the first time."
  • "What?" I sigh. "You didn't say anything. I would have had it replaced ages ago."
  • "Well," I say slowly, "I have a new phone... but I don't have old numbers."
  • "It's all on file at the Hub, I'm sure," I assure him. "I'll fix it for you tomorrow."
  • "You're wonderful." I grin and kiss his forehead. "By the way, did I wake you up? Didn't mean to."
  • "No, I woke up on my own," I assure him, kissing his cheek. "Don't worry about it."
  • "Good, I hate waking you." I tighten my arm around his shoulders. "You going to be okay?"
  • Yeah." I smile at him, idly stroking my thumb on his knee. "You?"
  • "Oh, Ianto Jones, I'm always fine." I smile at him and look back up at the stars.
  • "Not always," I point out quietly, taking his hand. "You weren't earlier."
  • I squeeze his hand. "Yeah, guess you're right..." I wasn't. And I'm still scared of loosing him.
  • Kissing his cheek, I squeeze his hand back. "I wasn't okay either. It was a hell of a day."
  • "Which is why you should be sleeping," I accuse gently, nudging his shoulder.
  • "I'll get to it," I assure him. "In a minute." I'm definitely still tired. Just not quite ready to leave him yet.
  • We sit in silence for a bit more. "So, what are you doing for your Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?" I ask softly.
  • Oh. "Uh... Nothing, actually," I admit. "Not for years, anyway. I went to see Rhi right after Lisa got..." I sigh. "Well. I couldn't tell her exactly what happened, obviously, but she said I should get help. I took her advice. They diagnosed it, I went to therapy a couple of times, but then I just... it was too hard." Right after that, I started following Jack around, trying to get a job at Torchwood. I figured maybe if I could help Lisa, I could fix what had happened.
  • "You should try to do something," I tell him softly, gripping his shoulder. "I know therapy is crap, but I think it's going to help. Even though you'll sound like a crazy person."
  • "I've been coping," I tell him stiffly. "You didn't even know."
  • He's right. I didn't. I fall silent again, loosening the grip on his shoulder.
  • There's a silence. "Sorry. But I'm alright. Really. I've been handling it on my own." Just like I always handle things.
  • He shouldn't have to handle it alone. "You don't have to handle it alone, you know that?"
  • I sigh. "Yeah. I know." But I don't want help with it. Getting help means I have to face what happened. Even thinking of that sets my heart pounding. No. I can't. I'm fine at living with my PTSD. I've lived with it the whole time Jack's known me and he never guessed.
  • I can almost hear his heart pounding, and I squeeze his shoulder again. "Hey. It's fine, if you don't want to talk about it, that's totally fine. You know?"
  • "Yeah," I murmur again. "Thanks. I've been doing that. And it works well enough. So I think I'll keep to that."
  • "I would tell you that you should talk to someone, but it sounds absurd coming from my mouth," I tell him grinning.
  • "A little," I admit, chuckling. "Like I said earlier. Matched set."
  • Laughing, I lean in and kiss his cheek. "You're right."
  • I smile softly at the sound of his laugh. Hopefully we won't have to discuss my condition again. I don't ever want him to know about the nightmares I used to have. About the flashbacks that still plague me. Hopefully I can continue to hide or disguise them as I've been doing for years.

[a dark mood strikes : part 3]

  • Jack: The silence is so thick. I put my unfinished glass of scotch back on the table, not feeling the alcohol's effects.
  • Ianto: Finally, after a long time, I clear my throat. "I... I could call Rhi. Soon. Get back in touch with her." I'd do it. For him.
  • J: "Good idea," I say softly. Standing, I grab the bottle. "I'll leave you to that, then."
  • I: "Well, I... I wasn't going to do it tonight. She'll be putting the kids to bed and going to bed herself." It's past nine. "Tomorrow. I will. And..." I clench, knowing I should offer, but knowing it'll be difficult. "You can meet them, if you want." If they're going to be closer to me, they've got to meet Jack.
  • Anyone that gets close to me is dangerous. I shake my head and put the bottle in the cabinet. "That wouldn't be safe. You know that. I don't want to put them in danger."
  • "Jack, if I get to know them, I can't keep secrets from them. They can't not meet you." He's such a huge part of my life.
  • "It's not safe," I snap, looking at him. "And you know it. That's why personal life and Torchwood are separate."
  • "You can't tell me to go get to know my family and then tell me to keep Torchwood and personal life separate, Jack," I say sharply. I can't do both.
  • "Well, you have to. You lead two different lives. Don't drag Torchwood into their lives. I thought you knew this?" I ask, narrowing my eyes.
  • "I can't keep them separate, Jack!!" I tried to lead separate lives once before. One keeping Lisa secret in Torchwood's basement, the other as Torchwood's faithful coffee boy. Too many secrets, too many lies. And look where that ended up. "Don't ask me to do that. It's either one or the other!"
  • "Then figure out something!" I say angrily. "I'm not going to have them hating Torchwood because they got used to your job. It's way to dangerous. For them and you both!"
  • "I. Can't." I half-growl, feeling panic welling up in me. "I can't keep it separate. I just can't." I haven't tried to keep in touch with my family since before I worked at Torchwood London. Before I met Lisa. I can't just switch back to that. It's too much, way too much.
  • "Yes, you can," I reply. "You can have both. It's called keeping secrets. And I know you can do that." I'm jealous of him. He has family so close, so... available. Normalcy. Something I can never have. "Don't you understand what you've been given?"
  • "No, Jack, you don't - I -can't- - " I swallow thickly and gasp in air, reliving moments before Lisa, before she was half-converted, before my life fell apart. I was a different person, someone I don't even know. Everything's changed so much. The destruction of Torchwood London, Lisa screaming in pain, all the blood... I clench my fists, trying to calm down.
  • Something's wrong. Because of something I've said. Taking a cautious step forward, I take one of his hands. "Ianto... what's wrong? What did I say?"
  • I pull my hand from his, unable to handle his touch right now. My heart beats frantically in my chest and I can't breathe. "Nothing. Forget it." That horrible day. All I can hear is the screams, see the blood on my hands, her blood...
  • "Ianto," I say softly, hating to see him like this. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean it."
  • It doesn't stop. It just won't stop. Feeling like I might pass out, I gulp in another breath. "I need some air," I blurt, rushing for the door, wrenching it open and stepping outside.
  • After a long moment, I follow him outside. "Ianto," I say softy, placing a hand on his shoulder.
  • The cold air is helping clear my head. Jack's hand lays on my shoulder. I breathe in and out slowly before answering. "What?"
  • "I'm sorry," I say softly. "For this whole evening. I never shouldn't have asked you to choose between you and your family. It's not fair."
  • "It's fine," I say flatly. "Don't worry about it." If there's anything I don't want to talk about, it's me.
  • It's the exact thing I would say. Which means something is on his mind. "Ianto, I really am sorry. But... what else is wrong?"
  • "Jack, I really don't want to talk about it," I say firmly. It's not often I say no to him. I hope he listens.
  • He never says no. There's got to be something. "Ianto," I say softly. "Please. Tell me."
  • "It's..." How do I explain it. Sighing, I shut my eyes. As the panic fades, it leaves me feeling shaky and a bit overwhelmed. "It's got to do with Lisa," I say vaguely, not sure how to go on.
  • It takes me a minute to figure out who Lisa is, but once I do, I'm hit with a wave of sympathy. "Ianto, I... I never meant to bring her up, to have you remember her like that." I lay another hand on his shoulder, feeling terrible. I helped kill her.
  • "It's fine," I say again, though it really isn't. I see a flash of the blood on my hands again and shut my eyes, white-knuckled fists clenching even tighter.
  • It's not fine. His knuckles turn white as he clenches his fists tighter. "It's not, is it?" I ask gently.
  • Squeezing my eyes shut tighter, I shake my head. I hope he drops it. The last thing I want to do is talk about my problems.
  • He doesn't want to talk about it, and I don't want to push him. "Fine." I squeeze his shoulders one last time. "If... if you want to talk to me, you can. You know that, right?"
  • "I know," I say softly, finally glancing back at him. The chill is finally getting to me, and I step back inside.
  • I let him walk in first, giving him a few minutes. After a few more moment, I step back inside, closing the door.
  • I sink down onto the couch, feeling overwhelmed and like I might cry. But I wouldn't. Not in front of Jack.
  • I stand back, giving him some space. "I really am sorry, Ianto."
  • "It's alright. Really." I drag my hands over my face, sighing heavily.
  • It's not alright, I can tell by the way he carries himself. But I don't want to push him, so I just lean against the counter, folding my arms.
  • After a few more minutes of silence, I speak up. "Sorry. I just don't like talking about it." If anyone understands not wanting to talk about the past, it's Jack.
  • "I get that." Look how much I've revealed about myself. He barely even knows me. I mean, I talk all the time, but I never really say anything. "I have a daughter," I say suddenly. "And a grandson."
  • Well. I wasn't expecting that. But for some reason, it doesn't really surprise me. He's been around for ages. I nod slowly. "Do they know about you? How you can't die, I mean."
  • "Yeah." I swallow thickly and look at him. "That's why I never see them. I'm Uncle Jack to my grandson. He doesn't know."
  • It makes sense. It'd be too hard to explain to a child. "What are their names?"
  • "Alice is my daughter. And Steven is my grandson." I smile wistfully and look away, wishing I could see them again. More often.
  • He smiles, and I take a deep breath. Jack told me a big secret... I should probably reciprocate. "I've got Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder," I say quickly, not wanting to make a big deal out of it. Disorder. How I hate that word.
  • He has Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder? "From Lisa?" I ask quietly. Because of Torchwood?
  • "Yeah. From Lisa." How she was changed. How she died. I look away, trying my hardest not to picture her.
  • He looks pained, and I bite my lip. Another life shattered because of Torchwood. How could I have let this happen?
  • "It's not so bad usually," I assure him, glancing at him. "Just... I don't like thinking back. I - I can't."
  • "I get that..." I don't like thinking about the past either. Thinking about Gray. It's too hard to handle.
  • Standing, I walk over to him, cautiously taking his hand. It feels so solid, so real. "Quite the matched set, aren't we."
  • Smiling slightly, I squeeze his hand. "That we are." Two screwed up individuals together.
  • There's a bit of the smile I missed. I can't help but give him a small smile back. "Love you, Jack."
  • "Love you too, Ianto." I squeeze his hand again. "Didn't mean to bring Lisa up."
  • "Don't worry about it," I assure him. It's late by now, and to be honest, I'm exhausted after a long day working and then all this emotional upheaval. "I'm going to go to bed."
  • "I'll be in a second." I kiss his cheek softly and smile at him. I should call Alice. she won't be sleeping for a while.
  • I smile back, then head into the bedroom, stripping down to my boxers and crawling under the covers gratefully. This has been a hell of a day.

[a dark mood strikes : part 2]

  • Ianto: We start back to the apartment and I wrap an arm around Jack. He doesn't smile or laugh the entire way home, which worries me even more. We reach the apartment and I help take off his coat once we're inside, hanging it up.
  • Jack: I smile faintly at him as he hangs up my coat. Where do we even go from here? Striding over to the liquor cabinet, I take out two glasses and a bottle of scotch, pouring them out.
  • I: He pours the scotch, and I sit down on the couch as he sets the glasses on the coffee table. Before he can grab his glass, I take his hand, squeezing it.
  • J: He takes my hand and squeezes it, and I squeeze it back. He means the world. I would give up everything for him.
  • Finally releasing his hand, I take the glass closest to me and take a sip of the scotch. I wish I knew what to say to him. I just want to see his roguish grin again, hear that laugh that I love so much.
  • We're both deathly silent as we drink. Something should be said. Something needs to be said. But I have no idea what.
  • "Jack," I say slowly, "We're alright, aren't we?"
  • "Yeah," I say softly, pouring myself another glass of scotch. " 'Course we are."
  • "Okay." I nod. I was worried that this relationship was causing more bad things than good. For him, anyway. I have a bad day here and there, but... I love him. So it's alright. It's been a long time since I was this happy with someone.
  • He deserves more. He needs more. Than just me. This whole relationship isn't fair to him. I'm happy with him. I love him. But he should find someone who can give him forever. His forever.
  • "Jack, I..." I sigh, trying to phrase what I want to say. "I hate seeing you like this." I just want to help. "You're so important to me, Jack, you understand that, right?"
  • "I know," I say softly. "And...you should know that if you weren't here, I don't think I would even be here."
  • "What do you mean? You'd... go somewhere else?" I can't picture Jack without Torchwood, or Torchwood without Jack.
  • "Yeah." I pour another glass of scotch for myself. "I probably would leave. Not like we're making that much of a difference."
  • "What?" I frown. "Jack, of course we are." I pause, then feel a spike of anger. "And don't you dare say we aren't. Torchwood makes a difference. Tosh and Owen made a difference, didn't they? They died to save everyone that day." I've never really snapped at him before. But that I just couldn't deal with.
  • He's right. But why does it feel like we aren't? "People still die," I say quietly. "No matter what we do. It's still dangerous, and you're putting your life in danger. For this. For what? Saving a few lives here and there?"
  • "Yes," I say firmly. "Saving lives. How is that NOT worth it, Jack?" I feel a glare affix to my face.
  • "But so many more die," I say firmly, looking up at him. "So many more have died because we weren't able to get there in time."
  • "But it's worth it for the ones we save, Jack. Everyone's important. People die, but it's the people that live who make a difference." How can he say it's not worth it? That we don't do enough??
  • "One day it'll be you," I say softly, looking up at him. "One day you'll be the one that dies for the aliens." And that... that terrifies me to no end.
  • "Maybe. But if I die saving other people, then I couldn't ask for a better way to go," I say decisively.
  • But I don't want him to die. Especially not because of the actions of Torchwood.
  • The look on his face says it all, and I soften a little. "Jack, it might not be from Torchwood. I don't get into anything that dangerous. I'll probably live a lot longer."
  • "The twenty first century is when it all changes." I look up at him. "It's changing already, you've seen everything that's been happening recently. It's so different. And it could be you." I look back down at my drink, sighing. "And I don't want it to be you."
  • He's right. I can't deny it. We deal with dangerous things all the time. It's really just luck that I was only hurt badly once. It could be anytime. Sighing, I lean a little closer. "I'm sorry, Jack."
  • "For what?" I look up at him surprised to find that my eyes are wet. "No, this is my fault... I should have never pulled you into this." I love him, so much, but it's dangerous. So dangerous. Even being with me.
  • "You didn't pull me into this," I point out. "I worked hard for this job. You didn't want me at first. Remember?"
  • "What makes you think I was talking about the job?" I mumble, pouring another glass.
  • Oh. "Well, you didn't pull me into this, either. I wanted it. I wouldn't have said yes, otherwise."
  • He's still gonna die, and it's going to be my fault. Another death because of Torchwood. "It's dangerous."
  • "I don't care," I tell him firmly. "I want to be with you. That's all that matters."
  • “What if something happened to you... and it was my fault?" I ask in hushed tones. "What would your sister say? Your niece and nephew? They wouldn't forgive me."
  • "They know my job is dangerous," I tell him. "Well... Rhiannon does. David and Mica don't really know much about me." I prefer to keep it that way. If I was close to them, it'd be hard on them if their uncle Ianto died. It's... easier this way.
  • "You should see them more often," I reply bitterly, thinking of how Alice asked me to stay away from her and Steven. "See them while you can." You're lucky to see them. You aren't pushed away.
  • "I... don't really want to," I say firmly. "I'm not exactly on the best terms with my family. You know that."
  • "She's your sister, Ianto," I say just as firmly. "Mend broken fences. It's worth it, to have someone there."
  • "Rhi and I are close enough," I say, not really wanting to talk about it anymore. "And since when is this discussion about my family?"
  • "Because you don’t know what it's like to not have any family," I say sharply.
  • At that, I freeze, feeling like an idiot. "... Jack, I'm sorry. I wasn't thinking."
  • "Don't be." I shouldn't have even had a daughter, anyway. I can't die, looking younger than her every day. And him too. "It doesn't matter anyway."
  • It does, but I shut my mouth. Finishing my glass of scotch, I stare at my feet, unsure what to say.

[a dark mood strikes : part 1]

  • Jack: After a long day of work, I find Ianto at his desk and wrap my arms around his waist. “Hi.”
  • Ianto: “Hey, Jack.” I smile at his hug.
  • J: I rest my chin on his shoulder. “What are you up to?”
  • I: "Just sorting out the last of this paperwork," I tell him, keeping my eyes on my work. "Then we can go home, if you're ready." I stick the last of it in a file and put it in a drawer. "There. Done."
  • Paperwork. My complete enemy. "Do you, ah, want to get something after? Coffee?" I have no idea why suddenly, all the time we've spent together seems like no time at all?
  • "Get something?" As in go out? I can't help but wonder what spurred this. "I'd love to. Any particular reason?"
  • I let go of his waist. "Oh, just... just because." Because I want to spend more time with you.
  • "Good enough for me." I clear some paper scraps off of my desk and toss them in the bin, then turn around and nod at Jack. "I'm done here, if you're ready to leave." I can't help but notice he's not smiling. Usually he is at the end of work.
  • His voice snaps me out of my thoughts. "Oh. Yeah." I smile at him, but I know it doesn't reach my eyes. "Have a preference?"
  • Something's not right. He's not breaking up with me, is he? "How about that place on the corner?" I suggest, shoving that worry down. Jack wouldn't leave me.
  • I nod, still not understanding why it suddenly matter what we do, he's still going to die before me, leave me alone. "Sounds great."
  • He doesn't sound all that enthusiastic, and my worry deepens a little, though I ignore it. "Is... something wrong, Jack?"
  • Yes. "No," I tell him, looking away. "Not really."
  • 'Not really.' That means yes. "What is it?" I ask worriedly.
  • "I just..." I shove my hands in my pockets and look down. "Just thinking about things."
  • This isn't like him at all. "Come on, let's go get that coffee," I say, smiling encouragingly, holding out my hand for his.
  • I take his hand, and it feels warm and solid in mine. He's -here-, I have to remind myself. Here and now.
  • I lead the way out of the Hub towards the coffee shop. Jack's lagging behind a little, which is very unlike him. I squeeze his hand as we enter the shop and sit down in a booth.
  • I think he knows something is wrong. But he doesn't mention it. The waitress comes up to us. "Coffee, thanks," I say quietly.
  • "Same for me," I nod at the waitress. She nods back and walks off, and I reach across the table, taking Jack's hand in mine and running my thumb over the back of it. I don't say anything. Not yet. Have to give him a couple of minutes to start talking on his own, if he wants. If not... then I'll ask.
  • I squeeze his hand tightly as he rubs his thumb over the back of his hand. Why do I feel like this relationship is a waste, because we won't be able to have forever? I knew this. I accepted this. As soon as I knew how I felt about him, I realized what it meant. This relationship isn't a waste. All this time matters.
  • His brow furrows, obviously deep in thought, and I feel my concern deepen. "Jack."
  • Him saying my name snaps me out of it. "Yeah?" I ask, loosening my grip on his hand.
  • He loosens his grip, but I squeeze his hand right back. "You can talk to me, you know," I remind him quietly.
  • I want to tell him everything. About how I don't want him to die. About how I'm terrified of him dying and leaving me alone. But I don't know how to express it.
  • I can almost feel the upset radiating off of him. "Love you," I tell him gently, unsure what to say.
  • "Love you too," I say softly. How do I even begin to express this feeling?
  • It's something big that's troubling him. The waitress brings our coffee, and I put a sugar in mine before taking a sip.
  • I nod at her as I take the coffee, taking a sip. it's black and slightly bitter. "Ianto..."
  • "Hm?" I glance up at him, meeting his eyes, setting my coffee down to better focus on him. Whatever's wrong, I want to help.
  • "I..." How do I start this without sounding pathetic? I don't know. And I hate that.
  • It takes everything in me not to ask, not to press him. He's trying to tell me - If I say a word, I might alter what he wants to say, distract him from his point. I simply reach my hand forward, taking his in mine again.
  • Squeezing the hand he gave me, I look back down into my coffee. Since when have my eyes been so wet? "Love you," I say softly.
  • His eyes are wet. Now that is something I very very rarely see. "Jack," I say, softly but firmly, "Please tell me what's wrong. You're worrying me."
  • I look up at him, blinking away the wetness. "I don't want to loose you," I say softly. "Ever."
  • Is that what this is about? "Jack, you're not going to," I tell him, trying my best to reassure him. "Not for a long time."
  • "I know, but..." He is going to die. Eventually. Neither of us know when. And that's so disconcerting, not knowing.
  • I sigh. "I know. It's not enough. I wish I didn't have to. I... I -hate- the thought of leaving you alone."
  • "I hate it too. And not knowing. I hate it all." I let go his hand and take another sip of coffee.
  • I nod. "All of it except being with you. That's worth anything." I take another sip as well, wishing I knew what to say to cheer him up.
  • Not worth enough. He shouldn't have to waste his time being with someone that can't spend time with him. It's not fair.
  • I sip some more of my coffee as he goes silent. "We'll just make the most of all the time we've got," I say after a moment.
  • It's not enough. Not even close to enough. He deserves more. I take another sip of coffee and stay silent.
  • He's so quiet. Very uncharacteristic of him. Normally I'm the quieter one. "Jack... What can I do?" I ask softly.
  • Don't die. Don't leave me. Become immortal. "Don't know."
  • More dark of a mood than I realized. The worry strikes me again. We sit in silence for another couple of minutes, until our coffees are gone. "Ready to go home?" I ask softly.
  • "Sure," I say softly, still trying to shake this damn feeling. I toss a few pounds on the table and smile at the waitress.