A hug is like a strangle you haven't finished yet. (shaggydogstail) wrote in shaggydogstales,

Reach Out and Touch

Author: shaggydogstail
Title: Reach Out and Touch
Pairing: Jack/Ianto
Rating: NC-17
Warnings: Spoilers for Cyberwoman and Countrycide. Potentially squicky bruise-fetishism.
Disclaimer: Torchwood belongs to the BBC. The Chelonians featured in some old Doctor Who books.
Summary: Perhaps if Jack hadn’t been so fixated on Ianto’s body, the recovery of his skin and the time it took him to stop favouring his left foot, he might have noticed the change in Ianto’s behaviour more quickly.
Author's notes: For wildestranger, who employed all manner of cunning manipulation and out-and-out bullying to FORCE me to write porn for her. With much love, my pervy enabler.


The bruise over Ianto’s left eye, just above the brow, is fading. It’s pale enough now to look like a dirty mark, a smudge that could be wiped clean with a flannel and a spot of soap. There’s another, bigger bruise on his cheekbone, still clearly visible, though it’s shrinking now, the shape of the rifle butt no longer clearly visible. The cut on his neck, the one that peeps out over his collar, has scabbed over and the scab is starting to flake, breaking up into an uneven dotted line. The grazes on his palms have healed over nicely, though his hands haven’t quite regained their freshly-manicured perfection.

Jack watches him, taking careful note as the marks and abrasions retreat from Ianto’s body, slowly being replaced by fresh young skin. There’s more damage, he knows, beneath that smartly tailored suit, though that must be improving now too. Ianto’s lost the slight limp he had carried for the first few days after their return from Brynblaidd, and he no longer winces whenever he has to reach above his head or pick something up off the floor.

It’s soothing, in a way, watching Ianto get better day by day, seeing concrete evidence of the human body’s ability to heal itself. It gives Jack a strange sort of comfort to watch his recovery, and an extra modicum of faith in humanity.

Naturally, it doesn’t hurt that Jack finds looking at Ianto a pleasant experience in itself.

The weeks after that horrible trip are mercifully quiet, on the whole, and that affords Jack ample opportunity to observe Ianto’s return to full strength. Perhaps if Jack hadn’t been so fixated on Ianto’s body, the recovery of his skin and the time it took him to stop favouring his left foot, he might have noticed the change in Ianto’s behaviour more quickly. Of course, if he hadn’t been watching so closely he might not have noticed at all.

Ianto’s acting strangely. Strange even by Torchwood standards, and that’s saying something. He hovers around Jack at odd moments and lingers in doorways, looking like he’s about to do or say something but never quite getting there. He places fresh cups of coffee on Jack’s desk and remains just a beat longer than necessary, making Jack wonder what he almost, but doesn’t say. Jack can’t quite pinpoint how he knows it—Ianto never opens his mouth to speak—but somehow he can sense the question that advances and retreats behind Ianto’s lips.

It ought to make Jack edgy; this strange, furtive behaviour from someone who Jack knows is capable of keeping the most terrible secrets without arousing any suspicion. If Ianto can keep a secret like that so completely hidden, what could be so dreadful that Ianto can’t quite conceal it? And yet, it doesn’t bother Jack at all, just adds to the intrigue. The recovery of Ianto’s body charts a clear course, steadily mending one step at a time. But this…this…whatever it is, twists and whirls as Ianto dances around him, one step forward, two steps back, and one to the side, and Jack wants see where he’ll land.

Of course, he’s not going to just sit and watch. Ianto might need a little push in the right direction (whatever that it). And Jack never could keep his hands to himself.

‘Ianto, have you got a moment?’ Jack barely looks up from his desk as Ianto deposits his morning mail in his in-tray. A fanciful part of Jack is disappointed that he doesn’t deliver it on a silver tray.

‘Certainly, sir.’ Ianto’s voice is all brisk professionalism, ready for anything and eager to serve. Jack has to call the fanciful part of his brain to heel for the second time in less than a minute.

He keeps Ianto waiting for a few seconds, just because he can, before looking up and smiling at him. ‘Take a seat,’ he says, gesturing at the chair in front of his desk.

Ianto sits down, a little warily and Jack can tell he’s still slightly uncomfortable with the movement. Bruises to the back and hip, at a guess, and probably the backs of his knees as well. Not that Jack’s fixated on imagining what Ianto looks like beneath his suit.

‘I thought you and I should have a little chat,’ Jack announces brightly, still fixing Ianto with a broad, open, beam.

Ianto’s eyebrow quirks up almost imperceptibly, just enough to make the bruise above his eye expand and contract a few millimetres, like a sigh.

‘How are you getting on?’ Jack asks, still smiling. He suspects it’s making Ianto nervous.

‘Fairly well, sir,’ Ianto tells him. ‘I’ve finished compiling the figures on Weevil sightings this quarter, and the petty cash records will be up-to-date once I’ve collected a few more receipts from Owen and…’

Ianto’s voice trails off as Jack puts up a hand to silence him. ‘I wasn’t asking about your work, Ianto,’ he says. ‘No doubt that’s all up-to-date and filed in triplicate on colour-coded forms. I’m more interested in you.’

‘Me?’ Ianto blinks.

‘I was wondering how you’re feeling in yourself,’ says Jack. He cringes inwardly—he sounds like one of those god-awful personnel-management guides that Torchwood One used to post to him periodically.

‘Actually, sir, I was meaning to talk to you…’ Ianto shuffles slightly, his Adam’s apple bulging in his throat.

Jack leans forward—he can’t help himself. This is it, Ianto’s big revelation, and Jack can’t even pretend that he’s not fascinated. ‘Yes?’ he asks, trying not to sound too eager.

Ianto almost has time to answer him before Gwen bursts in through the office door, eyes wide and excited. ‘Jack, we’re getting reports of something strange down by Queen Alexandra Dock. Some sort of giant turtle. Or tortoise—it was hard to tell from the CCTV footage.’

And just like that, the moment passes.

‘Did it have flippers or feet?’ asks Ianto.

‘Sort of…claws,’ Gwen tells him, performing a crab-like movement with her hands.

Jack’s already on his feet and ready to go. ‘We’d better check it out,’ he announces, before marching into the main office, barking orders to the rest of the team as he goes, making a brief detour to look at the CCTV footage on Tosh’s screen.

By the time he reaches the main entrance, Ianto’s standing waiting for him, holding up a scuba-diving kit. ‘I thought this might come in handy, sir.’

The kit appears to be in perfect order, though Jack’s sure it hasn’t been used for years, if ever. ‘Thanks, but no. I’m planning to stay strictly on dry land.’

Ianto just shrugs and puts the kit down, though if Jack didn’t know better he’d think there was a faint trace of scepticism in his expression.

‘Listen,’ says Jack, catching hold of Ianto’s hand as he lays down a flipper. He runs his thumb over the scratch the runs across Ianto’s knuckles. ‘We’re not done yet—we’ll talk when I get back, OK?’

Ianto nods, his expression unreadable.

‘Oi, boss, I thought this was an emergency,’ calls Owen’s voice from the lift. ‘Only if I’d known there was time for fond farewells, I’d have popped downstairs to give Janet a goodbye kiss.’

‘In that case, I’ll put you in charge of cleaning out the cells for the next month, so the two of you can have some alone time,’ says Jack, and he runs out of the Hub after them.

~*~

Several hours of intense, and occasionally violent, negotiation later, Jack returns alone to the Hub, having dropped Tosh, Owen, and Gwen off home on his way back. Chelonians aren’t the easiest creatures to negotiate with at the best of times, even if the specimen they’d found down at the dock at been of the peaceable, flower-arranging variety as opposed to the war-mongering psychopathic sort. Jack’s tired, still slightly giddy from a knock to the back of his head, and soaked to the bone.

Still, he’s pleased to see Ianto waiting for him, holding out a large, fluffy towel. ‘You’re wet, sir,’ he remarks astutely.

‘There’s no getting anything past you, is there, Ianto?’ says Jack as shrugs off his coat and exchanges it for Ianto’s towel. ‘Although…’ he stops rubbing his hair and looks at the towel. ‘What made you so sure I would be? Or was it just wishful thinking?’

‘Owen called,’ admits Ianto. ‘He says you’ve got concussion and I’ve got to keep an eye on you, make sure you don’t go to sleep for a couple of hours.’

‘And you’ve got nothing better to do on a Friday night than baby-sit your boss?’ asks Jack. ‘Or did Owen just assume you didn’t?’

Ianto looks away briefly, and Jack realises that there’s a bump behind his ear that he’d never noticed before. He’s annoyed with himself for having missed it.

‘I don’t mind,’ says Ianto quietly.

‘Hm.’ Jack frowns, trying to decide if Ianto means he doesn’t mind having to watch over Jack, or the assumption that he doesn’t have anything better to do. Which is probably true, but only someone as tactless as, well, Owen, would actually say it. He shakes his head, trying to clear his mind. ‘I suppose Owen also told you…’

‘…that Tosh had to rescue you, yes,’ confirms Ianto. ‘In great detail. I suspect he may have embroidered the tale a bit.’

Jack smiles at the memory. ‘Well, you know, Tosh might look small, but she’s strong as an ox.’

‘I’m sure we’re all just glad you didn’t drown, sir,’ says Ianto.

Jack’s pretty sure he did drown, at least for a bit, but he’s not about to mention that. ‘I’m quite pleased about that myself. If I’m going to die on the job, I’d rather it wasn’t from being pushed in the dock by a bad-tempered alien with an ear-ache.’

‘Owen said something about a terrapin?’ Ianto shoots a questioning glance at Jack.

It isn’t all that common for Ianto to ask Jack about what he’s been doing out in the field—normally Tosh or one of the others will tell him whatever he needs to know, and it’s not like they don’t all file reports anyway. Jack finds himself slightly disappointed that Ianto couldn’t have shown this sudden interest on a day when he’s done something terribly impressive or heroic. It’s possible, of course, that Ianto’s doing it on purpose.

‘Chelonian, actually,’ says Jack. ‘Highly aggressive alien race, very dangerous if not handled correctly.’

‘Did you kill it?’

‘No need really.’ Jack tosses the towel down on the nearest desk and sits down to take off his shoes as he talks. ‘It’s been down there for years, not doing any harm, but it’s a bit fed-up with all the noise lately—they have very sensitive hearing. Tosh rigged up a device to block unpleasant frequencies and it scuttled off quite happily.’

Ianto looks surprised. ‘You just let it go?’

‘Gwen’s idea,’ says Jack. ‘We’ll monitor it, see if it causes any problems. It’s kept itself to itself for this long…’

Jack shrugs and looks up to see Ianto watching him carefully. He suspects it’s only professional courtesy that prevents Ianto openly questioning why it took four of them all day to give an overgrown tortoise a pair of ear-muffs. Since he’s tired, and wet through, and starting to feel very cold, he’s very grateful for professional courtesy.

‘Well, I’m sure you’ve already heard most of this anyway, so I’ll spare you any more of the boring details,’ says Jack as he pulls himself back up out of the chair. ‘And since I have mud, and silt, and perhaps even slime in some very uncomfortable places, I think I’ll go take a shower.’

He doesn’t wait for a reply, and is half-way to the stairs that lead to the bathroom before he realises that Ianto’s following him, with the discarded towel neatly folded over one arm and Jack’s shoes dangling from the fingers of his other hand.

‘Owen said I was to keep watching you at all times, sir,’ says Ianto in response to Jack’s unspoken question.

‘Owen didn’t seem to mind me driving back here on my own,’ says Jack. ‘Still, if you’re that keen to help me scrub my back, who am I to complain? No peeking though.’ He waggles his finger at Ianto, mock-disapprovingly.

Ianto just smiles that slightly indulgent, knowing smile, the one that suggests he’s just allowing Jack to play at being the boss, against his better judgement. The one that first made Jack warm to him when he joined the team. It’s been a while since Ianto looked at him like that, and Jack realises that he’s missed it.

The bathrooms in the Hub are nothing spectacular. There’s a changing room with coat-hangers and lockers where they all keep a change of clothing, a row of laundry baskets marked ‘blood’, ‘alien slime’, and ‘just plain filthy’ for clothes that can be cleaned, and a chute leading to an incinerator for those that can’t. One of the corners houses a collection of bio-hazard suits, and two of the others lead to shower rooms, one for boys and one for girls. (The facilities are supposedly identical, though Jack suspects that Ianto always gives the girls the nicest towels.)

Jack’s never been exactly shy about his own body, but there’s still something a little disconcerting about stripping off while Ianto—who is still fully and immaculately dressed—takes his sodden trousers from him and empties the pockets before dropping them into a laundry basket. He’s suddenly very aware that the water in the dock wasn’t exactly fresh—he stinks, and the whole arrangement makes him feel rather like a mucky child.

There’s something very wrong about Ianto being able to put him at a disadvantage like this, Jack decides, especially when he had Ianto looking so cute and edgy only that morning and…oh, that’s it.

‘You wanted to tell me something,’ he says suddenly, looking up at Ianto.

Ianto’s expression shifts almost imperceptibly, but Jack’s been watching so he can see it now. The slight paling that extenuates the purple tones of the bruise on his cheek, the downward flicker of his eyes. ‘Now?’ he asks, and there’s no mistaking the reluctance in his tone.

‘Now,’ says Jack firmly, and he casts Ianto a reassuring smile that he hopes displays more concern than curiosity.

Ianto takes a deep breath and sits down on the bench that runs down the centre of the changing room. ‘It’s about Lisa,’ he says, his voice so low that Jack can only just hear it.

Jack kicks himself inwardly for being enough of an insensitive bastard not to have realised that from the outset. What else did he expect? Given a free choice, Jack would happily never discuss that night again—it’s over and done with, no point raking over old wounds. But Ianto is gripping the edge of the bench with both hands, and it’s clear that this, whatever he has to say, has been building up inside him for days, weeks. The least Jack can do is listen.

So he sits down in his boxer shorts and shirtsleeves, and tries to conceal his impatience and the fact that he’s shivering. He waits in silence as Ianto’s knuckles turn white from grasping the bench and his own teeth start to chatter.

Maybe Ianto needs another push. ‘I’m not going to apologise,’ says Jack simply.

‘No,’ replies Ianto, still not looking at him. ‘But I am.’

There’s a long silence, broken only by the whir of the generators working on the floor below and the plinking drip, drip, drip of a leaking shower head.

‘You don’t need–’

‘I let you down,’ Ianto interrupts, as though he hasn’t heard him. ‘I put everyone in danger. I was responsible for the deaths of two innocent people. I lied, and I cheated, and I deceived. I interfered with the CCTV footage, hacked into computer records, and stole bits of alien tech that I thought would be useful. The Cyber Conversion Unit messed up the power in the Hub six times—I said it was a generator fault and then put retcon in the coffee so you’d all forget it kept happening. I was…I was so desperate to believe that she’d get better that I convinced myself it was true. I didn’t care about anything else.’

Jack listens carefully as Ianto recounts his transgressions in a low, slightly detached tone. The anger he had felt when he first uncovered Ianto’s betrayal has long since dissipated, faded into nothingness so much more quickly than Ianto’s injuries. Now he listens to Ianto’s litany of misdemeanours without passion or judgement, just a sad wish that he could pull Ianto into a hug and tell him that everything will be OK. But it’s not OK, and he knows better than to patronise Ianto like that.

Ianto pauses in his confession to turn to Jack, looking him directly in the eye at last. ‘And I’m sorry. For all of it.’

Ianto’s face is pale and there are dark circles under his eyes, mirroring the bruises that still have a while to fade. He looks tired, worn out by misery and guilt, but his voice doesn’t waver and his gaze is steady and true.

Jack places one hand on Ianto’s shoulder in gentle affirmation. ‘I know,’ he says softly.

He can feel Ianto’s shoulder relaxing under his palm, whether it’s from relief at getting it all out or Jack’s acceptance, or even just plain exhaustion, he isn’t sure. The release of tension is enough, though, and Jack pulls Ianto forwards, wrapping his arms around him.

The fabric of Ianto’s jacket is rough against Jack’s damp skin, but his body is warm and firm, and Jack finds himself clinging tight, holding Ianto close and burying his face in Ianto’s shoulder. They stay like that for a long moment, with Ianto’s breathing hard yet steady and Jack’s hand tracing concentric circles on his back. Eventually Ianto pulls back slowly, and sits upright, twisted at the waist to face Jack.

‘Better?’ asks Jack softly.

Ianto nods, offering the tiniest of smiles. He hesitates, still holding Jack’s gaze, then leans forward and kisses him on the mouth.

It’s just a brief kiss, a firm touch of dry lips, warm and pleasant. It’s far from unwanted, and Jack could almost forget everything, climb on top of Ianto and kiss him back until he’s breathless.

Almost. Not quite.

Jack pulls away reluctantly. ‘Is this part of the apology?’

‘No!’ Ianto looks surprised, perhaps even offended. ‘No, of course not.’

‘Then, what?’

‘Nothing,’ says Ianto. He’s backing away now, looking embarrassed and uncertain. ‘I just thought…never mind. Stupid of me, really. Should have realised you were only joking.’

He’s about to get up and walk away, but Jack grabs his wrist and pulls him back down on the bench. ‘Ianto, will you calm down? First of all, I wasn’t joking about finding you attractive. Because you are. Very.’

Ianto looks more confused than ever. ‘So what’s the problem?’

‘The problem is that I’m not a big fan of sex as some sort of penance,’ said Jack, surprising himself at how angry he sounds. It’s worse when Ianto backs away from him again, so he forces a smile and adopts a more conciliatory tone. ‘I’d feel a lot better about the whole thing if I knew it was your libido that made you jump me the first time we’re alone and I’m half-naked, rather than your conscience.’

Ianto lets out a shaky laugh and his eyes flit across Jack’s body. Jack’s all too aware that his unbuttoned shirt is clinging to his chest, and he’d probably look particularly attractive if it weren’t for the goose-bumps and the lingering whiff of eau-de-sewer that still clings to him.

Ianto’s voice is a whisper when he replies, ‘it’s not an apology.’ He leans over to kiss Jack again, even softer than before, just on the corner of his mouth.

Jack doesn’t back away this time, just shifts towards Ianto, resting his hand on his thigh. ‘So why now?’

‘I’m so tired of feeling like this all the time,’ Ianto tells him.

He doesn’t explain what ‘this’ is. He doesn’t need to. Wretched, angry, guilty, hurt. Alone.

Jack’s hand is on Ianto’s face, his thumb brushing over the dark purple bruise on his cheekbone. ‘I can’t make it better,’ he says, ‘can’t take the pain away.’

‘I know.’ Ianto doesn’t sound disappointed, or even resigned, just accepting. ‘I just want to feel…’ His voice trails off as he leans into Jack’s touch, mirroring his movement as his fingers trail over Jack’s face.

Yes,’ agrees Jack as he pulls Ianto closer, and kisses him.

Ianto’s mouth is warm and welcoming as Jack kisses him, deeply, urgently, holding him tight lest Ianto get another attack of nerves and flit away again. Jack can feel Ianto sigh as he slides his tongue across his lips and it’s good, so good, and such a relief to give in and admit how much he wants this.

There’s a faint flush on Ianto’s cheeks when Jack pulls back for air, and he looks confused when Jack lets go of him to stand up. It’s actually quite adorable, really. Jack just grins and offers Ianto a hand, pulling him upright.

‘You know how much I like to see you in a well turned-out suit,’ Jack tells him.

Ianto smiles. ‘I may have picked up the occasional hint.’

‘Hm.’ Jack nods. ‘But I think you’ll look even better out of it.’ He slips his hands under the lapels of Ianto’s jacket and then slides it off his shoulders, letting it fall to the floor in a messy heap. For one crazy moment he worries that Ianto might want to fetch a hanger, but Ianto doesn’t make a move, just keeps his eyes trained on Jack with an intense, lustful gaze.

It’s tempting just to rip the clothes off Ianto’s back and fuck him raw up against one of the lockers, but Jack knows he’s tender, still recovering from his injuries. So he takes his time, slowly unfastening Ianto’s tie and unbuttoning his shirt with carefully controlled movements.

Jack lets the tips of his fingers skim over Ianto’s shoulders as he eases his shirt off, feeling goose-bumps forming on his flesh in the cool air of the changing room. The heavy sighs and soft sobs of desire that Ianto makes as Jack slowly undresses him are more than enough reward for his patience. He feels like he’s unwrapping a particularly exquisite gift as he peels away the layers of Ianto’s clothing, pressing soft kisses to each patch of newly exposed skin.

Naked from the waist up, Ianto decides it’s time Jack lost his own shirt, pulling the filthy garment off and flinging it away. His hands grip Jack’s forearms as he backs him into the row of lockers and, holding Jack in place, kisses him firmly. The metal of the locker doors is cold and uncomfortable against Jack’s back, but he really couldn’t care when Ianto’s lips are pressed firmly against his and Ianto’s tongue is buried deep inside his mouth.

He’s getting very, very hard, and he knows Ianto is too, the heat of his erection pressed into Jack’s hip through the fabric of his trousers. Jack thinks vaguely that he ought to do something about that, but it’s hard to concentrate with Ianto’s hands roving over his chest, so he just lets his head fall back and runs his palms up Ianto’s naked spine, urging him closer.

‘You’re cold,’ he says when Ianto lets him up for air.

‘Doesn’t matter,’ murmurs Ianto as he moves his mouth across Jack’s neck, sending delicious tingles across his skin.

‘And I’m dirty,’ Jack continues.

Ianto looks up at him, smiling. ‘That isn’t exactly news.’

Jack can hear his own laughter echoing off the tiles. ‘C’mon,’ he says, titling his head. ‘Shower.’

Jets of water sputter and start out of the shower head when Jack turns the handle, cool at first and tinged dirty-orange by the rusting pipes. Jack leaves the water to warm and run clear as he turns to Ianto, who is padding after him in bare feet.

Jack can’t help but smile that Ianto obviously whipped off his shoes and socks while he wasn’t looking, and it’s oddly comforting that even in this Ianto is sensible and well-organised. Not for him the indignity of tripping over his feet or the passion-killer of being left naked save for his socks. Jack appreciates the attention to detail.

‘Hey,’ he says softly, advancing towards Ianto with his hand stretched out. Ianto looks happy, if slightly abashed under the heat of Jack’s appraising eye.

Jack angles Ianto around in front of him, facing the shower, so that Ianto’s back is pressed against his chest. He nuzzles into Ianto’s neck, inhaling deeply as his fingers dance in teasing circles across Ianto’s chest and belly. Ianto shudders under the not-quite-tickly caresses, his head thrown back against Jack’s shoulder.

Jack lingers over the fastening of Ianto’s trousers before sliding down the zip as slowly as he can bear. Ianto’s breathing heavily as Jack slips his hands under the waistband and pushes down his trousers in one swift, fluid movement, pulling his briefs down at the same time. (Because, try as he might, Jack does not have infinite patience.)

With a gentle push, he urges Ianto forwards, walking into the water spray. He tugs his own boxers off with rather less finesse that he used to undress Ianto, and follows him into the shower.

The water is warm and inviting, but even the steady stream from the shower doesn’t feel as good as Ianto’s hands on his body, or his mouth as Ianto turns and kisses him. Jack starts when he feels something cold on the small of his back, making Ianto laugh and hold up the bar of soap.

‘You did say you were very dirty,’ Ianto tells him, and Jack can only sigh in agreement as Ianto runs the soap across his chest, over his shoulder and down his back. The sensation of Ianto lathering him up in deft, precise movements is soothing as much at it is erotic, and Jack gives in to his touch, muscles relaxing under Ianto’s careful ministrations.

There’s a wonderful look of careful concentration on Ianto’s face as he works, and the way he bites his lip and half-frowns gives Jack an overwhelming urge to kiss him again (because it must be nearly thirty seconds since he last kissed Ianto and, really, that’s far too long under the circumstances). He leans forward and smacks his lips noisily against Ianto’s, quickly enough to break Ianto’s concentration so that the soap slips from his fingers, landing with a splash on the ground and skidding across the shower stall.

‘You know,’ says Jack, grinning, ‘I could make a really bad joke about that.’

‘You could,’ agrees Ianto, with a far more predatory grin of his own, ‘if you can’t think of any better moves.’

‘Oh, I can do much better than that,’ Jack assures him and he spins Ianto around, pinning him up against the cubicle wall. He’s determined to show Ianto exactly how much better he can do.

Ianto’s skin glistens warm and wet, speckled with droplets of water. Jack runs his tongue over it again and again, lapping up shower water from the curve of Ianto’s neck, his arms, the palm of his hand. Under the strip lighting of the bathroom he can see every scratch and contusion on Ianto’s body, faded with time yet still all too visible.

Despite what he said about not being able to cure Ianto, Jack finds himself desperately wanting to. He presses soft kisses and tender touches to every blemish, each mark and abrasion, trying to heal them all through sheer force of will.

The biggest bruise—the one that still makes Ianto flinch when he sits down—runs from his back, around his hip and down his thigh. It’s probably a series of bruises really. Half-faded and breaking up, the mottled mess of dark purple and ugly yellows is hideous by any aesthetic. Jack leans forward and presses his mouth to it, curious that bruised skin tastes as good as healthy. He nips the battered flesh, making Ianto hiss with pain, the muscles in his thigh twitching visibly.

‘Does that hurt?’ asks Jack, tracing his forefinger on the red marks his teeth have left on Ianto’s already-discoloured skin.

Ianto nods. ‘Don’t stop.’

Jack smiles, rubbing his face against Ianto’s leg, and kisses it better. He’s kneeling in front of Ianto, with puddles forming around his ankles and water pattering down his spine. The spray distorts his view as he looks up at Ianto, blurring the features of that bruised, blissed-out face. He can hear Ianto’s breathing becoming ragged and harsh above the sound of the falling water, feel Ianto’s legs trembling beneath his palms.

Another time he’ll make him wait, force Ianto to plead and beg for Jack to give him what he wants. Today, though, he’s feeling generous, so he just shoots Ianto a wicked grin before taking hold of his cock and sucking it into his mouth.

Ianto’s guttural moans reverberate around the tiled walls and he grabs hold of Jack’s shoulder, bracing himself as Jack licks him without mercy. Jack hums happily to himself as he moves his mouth up and down the length of Ianto’s cock; he knows he’s fucking brilliant at this, enjoys the sting of Ianto’s fingernails digging into shoulders telling him how desperate he’s making Ianto. The satisfaction is enough to distract him from the throbbing ache of his own neglected cock.

Ianto comes quietly, a single whispered ‘fuck’ almost drowned out by the pounding water. Jack sucks and swallowed eagerly, holding Ianto up by the hips to stop him falling as his legs buckle under him.

Slowly, Ianto slides down the cubicle wall into Jack’s outstretched arms. Hair damp and face flushed, the merest hint of embarrassment mingles with the expression of delight on his face. Fuck, if it isn’t the most glorious sight Jack’s seen for a very long time.

‘Wow,’ whispers Ianto at last, his voice a little shaky.

Jack would have had a brilliant quip for that, he really would, something arrogant and funny, and stupidly sexy to boot, but he never gets the chance because Ianto’s kissing him again, hot and hard. Suddenly Ianto’s hands are everywhere, touching and groping frantically, making Jack writhe as their legs entangle and their mouths slide together.

Just as Jack’s starting to worry he might actually hurt himself if Ianto doesn’t bring him off soon, he feels Ianto’s fingers curling around his cock, sending jolts of pleasure right through him. Ianto barely has to move as Jack thrusts recklessly into his fist, desperate and needy. The slightest squeeze of Ianto’s hand and that’s enough—Jack pistons his hips forward once, twice, three times and he comes, hard, his upper body shaking and his head buried in Ianto’s neck, mumbling words he can’t quite understand himself.

The water continues to run, still warm, over both of them as they sit, gasping for breath in a boneless tangle of limbs.

~*~

Much later, Ianto lies naked in Jack’s bed, moisture from his still-damp hair seeping into the pillow. His eyelids are drooping and he yawns, open-mouthed and too tired to cover it up, or maybe they’re just beyond those niceties.

‘Don’t forget,’ he mutters drowsily, reminding Jack of his promise to wipe the Hub’s CCTV cameras in the morning. (Although, frankly, Jack reckons that anyone who’s reduced to watching old CCTV footage could use a bit of that sort of excitement in their lives.)

Jack lies with head propped up on one arm, watching Ianto fidget and snuffle his way to sleep. Ianto appears pleasantly settled, a contented smile stretched across his lips as he drifts off.

Gently, Jack strokes his fingers over Ianto’s supine form, tracing over the scrapes and contusions, and the unblemished parts in between. In that moment, he can’t imagine ever not being fascinated by the living map of Ianto’s body; battered, damaged, but not broken.

He presses a final kiss to an unmarked, perfect spot beneath Ianto’s ear, and lets his head fall onto the pillow beside him. Jack falls asleep with his arm resting on Ianto’s shoulder, content that he’s done something right.

FIN

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Tags: character: captain jack harkness, character: ianto jones, fandom: torchwood, pairing: jack/ianto, rating: nc-17
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