Title : A reason to be faithful
Summary : Ianto discovers more than he wants about Jack's nocturnal activities whilst Jack finds out that he has at least one reason to be faithful.
Rating : T
Characters: Ianto Jones, Jack Harkness
Pairing : Jack/Ianto, Jack/OMC
Genres: Hurt/comfort, romance
Warnings: Mention of sexual situations but nothing really graphic, middle swearing.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Author's Notes: Set during season 1, somewhere between "They keep on killing Suzie" and "End of days", because I can't imagine Jack having sex with someone else after he asks Ianto out on a date in "Kiss kiss bang bang". Thanks to my wonderful beta reader welsh_scotsmanfor her help and unwavering support. (Partially inspired by the "Brothers and Sisters" fandom's fic "Patience" by marea67.)
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Ianto slammed the door of the cubicle shut and emptied his stomach into the bowl, grabbing the porcelain so tightly that his knuckles went white. He stood hunched over the toilet bowl for a while, until the retching eased off into dry heaves, as tears were burning behind his eyelids and his entire body was trembling.
It shouldn't have hurt so much. But, God, it did. He should have been prepared, but he wasn't.
He finally sat down on the cold dirty floor and leant back against the tiled wall, unable to move. Breathing deeply, he wrapped his arms around his legs, closed his eyes tightly and tried to erase the memory of what he had seen a few minutes ago. Helplessly. It was like the whole scene had been printed on his retinas and that closing his eyes only made it more vivid. No matter what he did, he still saw them. Jack and that guy, kissing hungrily against a wall in a filthy alley, their hands in each other's flies, moaning and gasping.
He hadn't mean to spy on Jack. It was Saturday night and his first day off for months. All he had planned was to spend an evening in town, wandering aimlessly in the streets and hearing the heart of the city pounding. It had been purely by accident he had caught a glimpse of the familiar great coat in the back alley of the Neon Club.
As the first tears rolled down his face, he tried to pull himself together. Get up, Jones. Stop acting like a twelve year old school girl and move your ass from that floor. Go back home and pray he hadn't seen you. You're pathetic. As if he has promised you anything. Did you really think you would be enough for Jack Harkness ? Come on. Get up, Jones. Now.
But his legs were dead against it and refused to support him. He closed his eyes once again and took another deep breath as he felt a new wave of nausea hitting him.
He hadn't locked the door behind him and startled when he heard someone pushing it open. His eyes snapped open and his only wish when he looked up and saw Jack standing right before him, was to be swallowed by a hole in the ground there and then. He wiped his face quickly on his sleeve and cleared his throat.
"Shouldn't have eaten those shrimps at dinner," he mumbled, trying lamely to find an excuse for the state he was in.
Jack glanced quickly at the bowl as he flushed the toilet.
"Looks more like Tandoori chicken," he replied deadpan. "But if you say so."
Jack shrugged noncommittally, before turning on his heel and leaving Ianto alone and desperate. His heart sank in his chest and the back of his head hit the wall with a thud.
That's it. He ditches me. No. No. No. How can I have been so stupid?
But almost immediately, he heard the echo of the Captain's boots coming back.
"Here," said Jack, handing a dampened handkerchief and a bottle of mineral water to him.
Ianto accepted them with a shaking hand and muttered thanks. Feeling slightly dizzy, he pressed the cold cloth to his eyes and tried to gather his thoughts and regain his composure. Through the wet material, he saw Jack sliding to the floor next to him and tugging his greatcoat around his waist, mirroring his position. He took a sip from the bottle to rinse his mouth and waited for what would come next, glancing at Jack from time to time.
But Jack remained surprisingly silent, his eyes fixed on the opposite wall, seemingly lost in his thoughts. After a while, Ianto wondered if he should apologise for having spoilt the Captain's evening, but decided he'd better keep his mouth shut and not make his case worse. A few minutes passed and he was about to make the first move, when Jack finally broke the silence.
"It won't happen again," he said with a low voice but clearly enough for Ianto to hear it through the sound of the bass coming from the club.
"I never asked you..." he started, but Jack cut him off and raised his hand.
"I know. You never ask anything, anyway."
There we are. Exactly what I didn't want to happen. Ianto shook his head not daring to look at him.
"It's fine, Jack. You know, you don't have to make promises you won't keep, just to humour me . This is who you are and I understand it... really."
At first Jack didn't reply, looking straight ahead and Ianto thought he had dropped the idea, without knowing if he should be disappointed or relieved. Slowly, Jack turned his head towards him and for the first time since he had come after him, their eyes met.
"Do you know why I pick up that kind of guy?" he asked, without breaking eye contact.
Ianto glared at him and was about to answer back sharply, but once again Jack pulled the rug from under his feet.
"Because I can. As simple as that. And for someone like me, it's enough of a reason. I just don't see the point of refusing a good screw, just because morals says I shouldn't."
He snorted derisively.
"Besides it's quite flattering for a man of my age to know he can have whoever he wants whenever he wants."
"Jack..." Ianto warned him.
He really wasn't in the mood for another lecture about how his century was frigid and narrow-mind, but the Captain raised a hand to let him know he wasn't finished yet.
"Ianto. For all that, it doesn't mean I'm heartless or blind." He sighed and rest his head against the wall. "I can see it hurts you. If it didn't, we wouldn’t be sitting here on the floor."
Jack looked at him through his eyelashes, challenging him to contradict him, before going on.
"If nothing else, you're my friend and I hope at least you know that. I would never hurt you on purpose. I'm not perfect, far from it, but pimping my pride will never be worth hurting you."
Ianto's stomach flustered, in a good way this time and he tried to calm down. It was so much, so soon. Less than half an hour earlier, he was convinced that Jack would chuck him because he found him too clingy, and now the insatiable leader of Torchwood was promising him... faithfulness. As if they had a real relationship. As if Jack ... He couldn't even say the word, even less believe in it.
Torn between hope and fear, Ianto tried to hide his turmoil and to sound casual :
"Jack, please, stop it. One step further and people will think you're lapsing into sentimentalism. I'm not made of glass, you know. I suppose it just took me aback. As the French say : a warned man is worth twice as much. It's ok for me, really."
Shaking his head, Jack suddenly got up and brushed the dust from his coat with a resigned sigh.
"Ok, Ianto," he said, emphasizing each word. "I'll stop lapsing into sentimentalism and rather make a rational statement. Believe me or not, but, having you in my bed is fully satisfying. So, until further notice, looking for someone else to put in it would only be a waste of time. I don't make a promise, I make a decision. Does it sound better to you?" he asked with a smile.
Ianto returned his smile and nodded.
"I think your decision is perfectly acceptable, Sir."
Jack reached out to him and Ianto winced as he got awkwardly to his feet with his help.
"Now, why don't we go to your flat?" asked Jack, with a suggestive waving of eyebrows . "So you could undertake to convince me of monogamy's benefits."
Ianto chuckled and brushed his trousers.
"I'm gonna have to expend all my skills. You can be a very stubborn man, sometimes."
"I can't wait to see you in action, Mister Jones," replied Jack as he grabbed Ianto’s hand and took him along towards the exit.