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March 2008

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thebirdwoman in a_tangled_bank

It's not like that

Title: It's not like that
Author: thebirdwoman
Pairing: Jack/Ianto
Rating: 15
Word Count: 500 ish
Spoilers: Minor ones for various episodes up to 2.08, "A Day in the Death"
Disclaimer: Everything Torchwood related belongs to the Beeb
Summary: Just some thoughts about what Jack and Ianto's relationship is, and what it isn't.

It’s not like that - me and Jack.

Later, he wonders what else he could have said, because he’s not at all sure what he meant by that.

It’s not as if he planned it. He’s still having some trouble comprehending how they got here in the first place, or exactly where “here” is. It’s not like he even understands it, most of the time. It’s not as concrete, as fathomable, as Owen seems to think. The words that are not used are conspicuous by their absence: couple, boyfriend, lover. It’s not about power or being popular or being more interesting or even (just) about sex. It’s not about replacing Lisa; it could never be about replacing Lisa. It’s not like any point of reference he has. And it’s not as if he can question too much.

It’s like if he analyses it, pushes too hard, it’ll dissolve, blow away with the slightest breeze. He falls back on his customary flippancy – we dabble – because he doesn’t have any serious answers for Martha, for Owen, for himself. What is it?

It’s Jack letting him come back to work because leaving Torchwood would have killed him (retcon notwithstanding), even though Jack knew he hated him at that point. It’s the strange way he started to notice the way Jack always looked at him, even though Jack looked at almost everyone in the same way. It’s the space Jack gave him to grieve, while never being very far away; a silent, reassuring presence. It’s the anxious anticipation that leapt into his chest every time Jack walked into the room, making him feel like he was back in the sixth form with a crush on the only girl in his physics class. It’s the strange fact that he wasn’t, in the end, surprised by his own feelings for the man he’d once called a monster.

It’s having a warm, strong body to hold in the darkness. It’s midnight conversations, protected by that proximity, half-remembered in the cold light of day. It’s the easy familiarity they have now, the little needs that are anticipated – a fresh cup of coffee, looking up to be met with a smile across the room, the brush of a hand in passing. It’s the way his own name sounds foreign and exotic on Jack’s tongue. It’s the paradox of Jack’s hands; his fingers callused, but his touch so gentle. It’s the confidence and skill in Jack’s caress, drawing Ianto out of the world for that brief time and into a universe that consists only of Jack’s narrow bed, but yet is infinite. It’s the ache that builds unexpectedly when Jack says, And I wouldn’t change this for the world, a necessity that can only be satisfied by his lips on Jack’s and Jack’s skin under his fingers. It’s an imperative, a changing need that starts with a faltering touch and finishes with bruises on Jack’s shoulders from his fingertips. It’s strong and fiery and he can be flippant, can send Jack suggestive emails and joke with Martha but he doesn’t know if Jack really understands how important this is, and it scares him sometimes.

It’s not like that, but he’s not at all sure what it is like.


Beautiful. Poor, confused Ianto :c)
This was very lovely. Thanks for sharing :)
Oh, very well done. This seems to be the most accurate portrayal of what is going on in canon.

Enjoyed it very much!!
Love it. :)
Now that is a beautiful way to tell this. I've been very bothered by Ianto's flip answers, but this? I can buy this.
I really like this. His comment there, and the continued ambiguity (as compared to, say, Rhys/Gwen) is really rich ground to explore.



Loved it.