[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.
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