Title: Harbour
Fandom: Torchwood
Pairing: Jack/Ianto
Warning: Spoilers for “Adrift”
Word Count: 2600
Rating: NSFW
Thank you to for beta and for art.
Summary: Seeing Gwen experience it for the first time took me right back to when I first heard that terrible scream. After Gwen had gone home, I just held on to Ianto for a couple of hours, as tightly as I could.
— Captain’s Log, BBC America

Habour, art by jhava

Jack watched Gwen put the missing person files away until she was done, unsurprised when she left without saying goodbye, and then went in search of Ianto. The Hub was quiet: the day was ostensibly over, Toshiko and Owen were already gone, and it was only him and Ianto and whatever ghosts were wandering the Hub tonight.

Most of the lights were off. The greenhouse looked lush and inviting, but Jack didn’t think he could persuade Ianto there tonight. For all his casual acceptance of Gwen walking in on them, Ianto seemed disinclined to have sex in the Hub again anytime soon. Jack thought, as he walked up the stairs from the archives, that he didn’t want to tonight himself — he wasn’t certain what he did want, but it wasn’t the same thing as the night before and the night before that.

Ianto was cleaning the coffee machine, his hands dexterous and knowing. He glanced up at Jack with a tight smile. “In for the night?”

“I think so.” Jack leaned against a column, his hands in his pockets and watched Ianto move about the coffee cart, stacking cups, closing packages.

“I’m almost finished here.”

“Okay.” Jack frowned at Ianto’s tone: he had a tense look, like he was bracing himself against an expected blow. “What do you want to do tonight?”

“I hadn’t thought about it. I wasn’t sure what to expect.” He glanced up again. His voice was soft when he said, “You look tired.”

“I am,” Jack said. He started to say something more, but he wasn’t sure what it was that he wanted to say, so instead he turned and went down to the couch by Toshiko’s desk. He sat and propped up his feet, and held his arm over his eyes.

It wasn’t long before he heard Ianto’s footsteps on the concrete floor approach him and hesitate, and then there was Ianto’s warm, long body beside him. Jack lowered his arm and looked at him: Ianto sat hunched, leaning forward, his elbows resting on his thighs. He glanced back at Jack when Jack laid a hand between his shoulders.

“Stay with me a while?” Jack said, and Ianto nodded and leaned back so that Jack could hook an arm over his shoulder and hold him close.

“Are you all right?” Ianto said, his hair tickling Jack’s cheek as he settled in. “Was it very bad out there?”

Jack started to say no. But they’d had that talk before, the ‘stop hiding things from me’ one, and he didn’t wish to have it again. “Yeah. It was. His mother’s face . . . Gwen’s . . .” He shook his head. “Gwen’s not going to forgive me for this one.”

“She will. She always does.” Ianto sighed and leaned further into him. He smelled wonderful: like coffee and soap and something disconcertingly sweet. Jack thought idly if he licked Ianto’s neck he would taste like hazelnut. “We all forgive you eventually.”

Jack chuckled and kissed Ianto’s hair. “Thanks. I’m not angry with you, by the way, about the GPS unit.”

“Oh, that’s good to know,” Ianto said in his mildest tone. “I was a bit worried.”

“Just a bit, I’m sure,” Jack said and touched Ianto’s hand, tracing along his long fingers. “You never have much to worry about.”

“Not true at all,” Ianto said, “I worry a great deal. About you, about them,” he nodded to the Hub, “even about the pterodactyl sometimes. Is she a happy dinosaur? Can dinosaurs be happy?”

“I love your mind,” Jack said sincerely, and Ianto chuckled.

“It’s fond of you as well, sir. Do you want to get out of here?”

“Yes.” No hesitation: he didn’t want to be in the Hub tonight. “Can we go to your place?”

“Of course.” Ianto kissed him sweetly and studied his face. “Are you all right?”

“I will be,” Jack said. He kissed Ianto’s temple. “Let’s go.”

Ianto owned a house. This had surprised Jack when he first learned it, but a bit more digging revealed the house had been left to him years before, that he had let it out while he lived in London, and had lived in it alone since returning to Cardiff. The first time Jack had visited him, there had been family pictures on the walls and an old coat on the front coat rack, sturdy but worn furniture–a place meant for a family that had long since grown and left.

After Lisa’s death Ianto changed it from cellar to garrett, right down to painting the walls different colors. For a long time, the house was tidy and simple and completely anonymous, like a film set waiting for its actors. Ianto took down most of the family pictures and had few personal mementoes; his house was a place to sleep and change clothes, nothing more.

Lately this had begun to change again. More pictures — of a different kind of family — other clothes than suits, sometimes even Jack’s shirts entangled with Ianto’s on the stairs.

Once they reached the house, Ianto took Jack’s hand and began to lead up him the stairs, as they usually did. “Hey,” Jack said, not following him. “Let’s, um — not yet.”

“Jack Harkness doesn’t want to have sex?” Ianto said with mock disbelief.

“Eventually! Just . . . not yet.”

Ianto tilted his head and then descended the stairs so he could look Jack in the eye. “You’re really not doing very well, are you.”

“I’m really not. Ianto, that sound . . .”

“All right,” Ianto said and kissed him. “Let’s get some tea and we can go out into the garden and you can tell me all out it.”

“No tea,” Jack said. “Just you. The garden sounds like a good idea, though.” He steered Ianto out the back door, down to a metal bench that circled an old oak tree at the bottom of the garden.

Ianto’s garden was as low-maintenance as he could make it: flowers in stone planters, a few shrubs and bushes against the fence; many trees, some fruit, most for shade. In the summer, honeysuckle and ivy grew against the house and bees buzzed among the flowers and blossoms. You could pluck an apple from a tree, polish it on your shirt and eat it right away. Now, the garden had a stillness, a sense of waiting.

Ianto and Jack sat on the bench and looked up at the wispy clouds and sliver of moon, and when Ianto shivered Jack unbuttoned his coat and pulled his arm out of the sleeve, and wrapped Ianto in it so they were pressed shoulder-to-shoulder and thigh-to-thigh. Ianto tucked himself closer still, arms going around Jack’s neck. He whispered, “Tell me about that sound.”

“I’m not sure I can now,” Jack said.

“Of course you can. I want to hear it.”

“No, I mean –” He touched Ianto’s face a moment and then slid his arms tight around him and simply held him, taking comfort in the closeness of Ianto’s body. “I don’t have the words.”

“You always have the words,” Ianto said and kissed Jack’s neck. “Talk to me.”

Jack stared out at the darkness. In every house along this street, people lived their ordinary lives, worked their ordinary jobs, dreamed their ordinary dreams. They had no idea what was right in their own city, and Jack thought they were lucky to be that ignorant — that innocent. He envied them, sometimes — sometimes he wished he could take their normalcy and give it to Ianto.

But not for more than a day. He’d miss Ianto if it were longer.

“Raw,” he said. “Deeper than pain. Anguish, pure anguish.” Ianto’s lips rubbed against Jack’s neck and Jack brushed his own against Ianto’s hair. “If Retcon could work on him . . .”

“Sh,” Ianto whispered and kissed him. “You know it doesn’t. You know you’re doing as much to help them as you can.”

“Still.” Jack closed his eyes when Ianto’s hand cupped his jaw, and parted his lips when Ianto ran his thumb over them.

“It’s enough,” Ianto said, still caressing his mouth. “It’s enough, what you’ve done. You’ve given them someplace safe, so they can find a little peace.”

Jack smiled, feeling the tight places within him loosen. Some people, he thought, had a place to give them peace — he had Ianto Jones.

“I don’t blame his mother for not wanting to see him,” Ianto was saying in his soft voice. “It’s hard enough to know someone you love is suffering, let alone to see it.”

“Yeah,” Jack murmured, lifting his chin to tuck Ianto’s head under it. Ianto shifted closer still, arms easy around his neck. Jack could feel the familiar rhythm of Ianto’s breathing, and he breathed with him, letting it soothe him further.

“You were right,” Jack said. “You were right to tell Gwen. I should have known someone would put it together eventually. My little team is so clever.”

Ianto chuckled. “I’m glad we do you proud.” He pulled out of Jack’s arms enough to look into his eyes. “Don’t make me lie to them, Jack. I’ve kept your secrets as well as I could but there are some things they deserve to know.”

Jack nodded in acceptance and resignation. “I’ll try not to.”

That must have been enough, because Ianto gripped his shirt and kissed him. It was a sweet kiss, gentle and giving; and Jack wondered for the hundredth time if he should tell Ianto about the lost year and how the memory of those kisses had kept him warm when things got so terribly cold.

“I want to go to bed,” Ianto whispered to his mouth, and Jack inhaled and nodded again.

“Slowly,” Jack said.

There were few pleasures in life so rewarding as watching a beautiful man take off his clothes. Jack sat back on the bed, his hands behind his head, his own shirt off and his trousers open, his boots and coat neatly put aside.

Ianto smiled and slowed down, lingering over the buttons in his waistcoat, letting his tie hang open as he unbuttoned his shirt, putting his shoes away and hanging his jacket before taking off his trousers. It was a slow performance and made Jack sigh happily when Ianto was finally nude.

“How was that?” Ianto said as he climbed onto the bed with Jack and straddled his hips.

“Perfect.” Jack ran his hands over Ianto’s shoulders and chest. “So perfect.”

“Flatterer.” Ianto cupped his face in both hands and kissed him without urgency.

“Truth-teller,” Jack whispered, holding Ianto’s biceps, turning his head this way and that to let Ianto kiss him all over his face. “You’re gorgeous. Innocent and depraved and sensual.”

Ianto stopped kissing him to raise an eyebrow at him. “Depraved?”

“Willing to experiment?” Jack tried.

“I just like that we play,” Ianto said and ducked his head to suck on Jack’s chest.

“Oh, so do I,” Jack breathed and cupped Ianto’s head in his palm. Ianto kissed his chest slowly, tickling him with the tip of his tongue sometimes and nipping at him until Jack moaned. He rolled them so Ianto was beneath him and Jack could touch him in return.

As much as he loved Ianto’s suits, he loved Ianto’s body more: strong arms, long legs, his strong, sleek back, his hard cock dragging against Jack’s belly as they kissed. He loved the way Ianto shivered when Jack took him in his hand; how Ianto arched to him and spread his legs, touched Jack’s face and said, “Please.” So polite, even when he was writhing around Jack’s fingers. “Please,” he said as Jack sucked him, “oh, God, please.”

Jack pulled off before Ianto came, making Ianto growl and pounce on him and kiss him, legs tangling and cocks rubbing together. They both were laughing and kissing and moaning, hips grinding, and then Jack stopped laughing and rolled onto his back and pulled Ianto on top of him. Ianto looked down at him, eyes dark, kissed him hard and panted against his cheek as he fumbled in the nightstand drawer for condoms and lubricant.

They had left on just one light — just enough to see each other’s faces. Ianto thrust slowly into him, his arms under Jack’s shoulders, Jack’s knees pressed tight against Ianto’s ribs, Ianto’s lips just above Jack’s mouth to catch and taste and tease. Jack stroked his back and kneaded his shoulders, raked his hands through Ianto’s hair — but mostly he held onto Ianto tight, not wanting to let Ianto pull away even to change the angle of his hips.

It was intense, to be close like this, and there was something in Ianto’s dark eyes that said he was feeling it too, feeling it more than he could say. “Jack,” Ianto whispered and kissed him hard, and Jack held him until they both stopped shuddering.

And even after, when Ianto dozed in his arms and Jack drifted in a haze of satisfaction, he couldn’t bring himself to ease up his hold on Ianto, not even a little.

Ianto breathed slow and easy, his fingers idly tracing over Jack’s chest. Jack could feel his eyelashes every time he blinked. Jack cupped the back of Ianto’s head and combed his fingers through his hair, his arm still across Ianto’s shoulders. He supposed he could let Ianto go any time now, but Ianto didn’t seem inclined to pulling away, so Jack continued holding on.

“It’s not just horrible out there,” Jack said and Ianto’s hand stilled. “There are things out there — so much wonder, Ianto. So much beauty. I wish I could show you.”

“Do you think I could handle it?”

“Oh, yes. I have no doubts about that.”

“And if I looked into the heart of a dark star, like Jonah? If I went mad, Jack?”

Jack kissed his forehead and whispered, “I’d take care of you.”

Ianto was quiet a moment then dryly chuckled. “So much faith in your own abilities. You’d get bored eventually. Hand me off to somebody else so you can go have adventures . . .”

“Never. I’d feed you with my own hands if it came to that.” He thought, If I don’t say it now I never will. He said, “If you disappeared, if the Rift took you, I’d search the universe from one end to the other.”

Ianto went still, his hand resting on Jack’s waist. “I’d die long before you could find me, Jack. Anyway, the Rift isn’t going to take me.”

“Still,” Jack said, and Ianto tilted up his face and pulled Jack’s down and kissed him.

“Hush now.” He caressed Jack’s face and lay down his head again. “The Rift isn’t going to take me, and as long as you don’t go running off again we should be fine.”

“I won’t go running off,” Jack said, sulking into Ianto’s hair. “And I wouldn’t get bored.”

“Let me sleep, Jack,” Ianto said gently and yawned. “We can talk about things that will never happen tomorrow.”

“Sure, sure,” Jack said. “Tomorrow.” His fingers slowed and stopped combing through Ianto’s hair, and he slid his hand down to cup the back of Ianto’s neck. Ianto cocked a leg over Jack’s hip and laid his hand lightly on Jack’s belly, his head still on Jack’s shoulder. Jack let out his breath, eased his grip on Ianto a tiny bit and closed his eyes, anchored.


7 thoughts on “Harbour”

  1. What a wonderful story! It was beautiful and sweet.

    I am frankly quite shocked that it hasn’t been commented on.

    I loved how you have Jack being fiercely protective of Ianto. You don’t see that very much in the fanfic, but the Captain’s blog you sighted seems to indicate that. The fact that he would scour the universe looking for Ianto was heartwarming. Considering that he did that for Gray was a good indication that that would be Jack’s reaction.

    By the way, I love BBC Captain’s blog. I must be the only person who’s noticed that Ianto is mentioned in every single entry.

    Thanks for writing a nice story.

    — L

    1. Thank you! This blog doesn’t get a whole lot of comments in general, unfortunately.

      A lot of fic focuses on how Ianto takes care of Jack but I like to think the relationship is mutual that way—that Jack would do as much for Ianto as Ianto would do for him.

      The Captain’s Blog makes me very happy indeed, even if it doesn’t always seem to jibe with what we see onscreen. It just makes my little shipper heart happy.

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. Loved it. BTW, could someone provide a link to these Captain’s Logs (or Blogs) because I am trying my damnedest to find it, but I can’t. TY.

    1. Thank you!

      It looks like the captain’s blog has been removed from the BBC America site :(. All the links I had for it just go to the main Torchwood page.

  3. lovely, just lovely and very typical too. ty for this. The interplay is great and the reciprocal nature of their care for each other is nice.

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