SymbolicTitle: Symbolic
Fandom: Torchwood
Pairing: Jack/Ianto
Warning: Post “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”
Word Count: 350
Rating: R
Summary: The tattoo was about the size of Jack’s palm and placed low on Ianto’s hip.
Notes: Playing drabble games. This one’s for me. I have tattoos on the brain.

The tattoo was about the size of Jack’s palm and placed low on Ianto’s hip. It was black with some shading, Celtic knot work surrounding a spiral. Jack thumbed it, curious, and glanced up at Ianto who was watching him with unapologetic eyes.

“When did you get this?”

“About two months after you were gone.” Ianto’s hand shoved into Jack’s hair, gripped it.

“It’s beautiful,” Jack said, which surprised him because he was not a fan of tattoos, at least not the way they were treated by this generation. As sacred markings, that he could understand. As statements of nonconformity–or in most cases, socially acceptable nonconformity–that, he didn’t like so much.

But it was gorgeous on Ianto’s pale skin, the black stark and the skin creamy and smooth. He kissed it, licked it, until Ianto’s leg jerked and he said, “Jack,” and Jack had to move on before Ianto got really impatient.

When they were done Jack returned to the tattoo, stroking it with his thumb as he held Ianto’s hip. Ianto touched his face with his fingertips. “But why did you get it?” Jack said at last. “I didn’t know you were into this kind of thing.”

Ianto shrugged. “I’m not. I needed to mark a moment.”

“And you chose a tattoo.”

Another shrug. Never talkative, Ianto was even more laconic after sex. It was coming down from the adrenaline, Jack suspected.

“What does it mean?” He laid his head close to Ianto’s so their foreheads touched. He could feel Ianto breathing and his skin was so warm.

Jack was starting to feel better. Slowly.

“It’s a Celtic symbol,” Ianto said. He put his hand on Jack’s chest, moved it slowly down the planes of muscle. “It means strength.”

Jack looked at him, knowing–the way he always knew with Ianto–that there was so much more than a mere whimsy to this. Also knowing that Ianto would tell it in his own way, in his own time. He stroked Ianto’s hip, watching as Ianto’s eyelids grew heavy and his mouth slack.

Finally Ianto whispered, “I needed to feel strong. I really missed you,” and Jack kissed him. Ianto tucked himself against Jack, warm and young and slowly breathing, and Jack held him tight.


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