Words: around 700
Disclaimers: Jack belongs to Ianto. And thats all that matters.
A/N: I started this about a bajillion years ago and have been on and off playing with it forever. I know that it feels a bit like that...it doesn't flow right. But I'm as happy with it as I'm ever going to get.
Most days, coping was easy. Coping, of course, was not living, but close enough at the moment. When he could get through “coping” every day, then he’d move on to living…. It was a work in progress. And he was good at works in progress… Hell, he had even managed to make some order out of the Archives.
But sometimes, there were just days, hours, minutes… when he’d miss that small contact. The brushing of fingers when the mug was delivered and the touches on the shoulder or arm when they’d pass each other in the halls or on the catwalks. He felt the loss of the nonphysical touches as well. The smiles. The eyes on him as he went about his business. All of the little things that made up their… whatever it was. Those days… he felt the loss keenly as a sword edge. Or say, a cleaver to the throat? Those were the days that he allowed himself to remember what it was like to be touched. Because, since the loss… he’d allowed for no real contact as he healed.
Ianto had never been the sort for physical interaction. He shied away from it, believing himself unworthy. Well, his father had helped that one along, hadn’t he… So from there on out, he had avoided contact… Then he met Lisa. This wonderfully funny, brilliant sweet girl who had approached him one sunny day as he left Torchwood, only a few weeks after being hired… She’d grabbed his hand as she wandered by and taken him out for coffee. From then on, he hadn’t ever wanted her to stop touching him. He never knew what she saw in him… She could have done so much better. He was just a pale Welsh boy who didn’t have much going for him past his ability to make coffee and his eidetic memory… neither of which were terribly good reasons to be interested in someone. But she was, and he let her cling to him until the end.
Then there was Jack.
Jack…. Oh, Jack was another matter entirely. He couldn’t stop wanting to touch Jack, in every possible way. From the first, when Jack had been the one to shy away from the contact. (of course, Ianto understood why, now… but then, he’d just taken it as a challenge) Then when he pushed him back on their second meeting… his hand holding Jack’s broad, muscled chest. He’d felt the sparks then and had wondered if Jack had too.
Then the warehouse…. Then he knew that Jack had felt it, he could feel everything while they were rolling on the floor away from the pteranodon. He could feel Jack’s breath on his face and smell those pheromones. He could feel everything that was Jack. And he wanted more. But this was Before Lisa. It was almost like an era… Before Lisa he felt guilty, now knowing that Jack wanted him just as much.
It became a game. Fuck Jack, go hold Lisa while he cried himself to sleep. He had everything. The girl of his dreams and the best sex of his life. Nevermind that the girl of his dreams was a robot monster thing and the best sex of his life came from his immortal boss.
After Lisa, (end of an era, beginning of a new one) their touches became harsh and unforgiving. No more soft caresses for a time. And then… something shifted. They both felt it clear as the sun in the sky.
There was more need in each touch. It became about more than just sex… it became about comfort and care and …. Something else. Neither would ever allow themselves to finish that thought. But it was always there. In every caress. In every conversation. Every time their fingers brushed and every time their eyes met across the Hub. It was there… something indefinable. And when Jack was gone, Ianto felt the loss keenly as when he lost Lisa. It cut him… just there, in that slightly mostly healed scar.
And so he coped. And he waited. And he tried to remember what it was to live.