Summary: After the events of KKBB Jack and Ianto try to find their way back to each other.
Spoilers and/or Warnings: spoilers for KKBB
Thank you to my lovely beta's missdeanna and sanginmychains
Title, Author and URL of original story: Sanctuary by verasteine
A figure in the snow, a tall man dressed in a dark blue coat. His hair was mussed up and an air of weariness had draped itself upon him like heavy blanket, pushing him down, dragging him to the ground.
The night was misty to the weary eyed watcher as small flecks of snow fell to the earth, not angelic like in the films. Nothing peaceful about it, more like a storm.
Unsettled and ill at ease, Jack walked the steps towards Ianto's home. He hovered near the door, hands hidden in his coat pockets, protected, even if just slightly, from the bitter cold.
Jack shook his coat and that thin layer of snow that had clung to its fabric jumped into the air; floating for less than a second before falling, slowly falling to the ground below, some of it again settling onto him.
Sighing deeply, Jack watched the mist escape his mouth and then evaporate into the air before he finally lifted his arm to ring Ianto's doorbell.
It was after midnight, and inside the flat the young man was asleep. He stumbled out of bed, falling to the ground, cursing as he grabbed the duvet to wrap it around his shivering form.
"What now?" he groaned.
A few steps later and Ianto met Captain Harkness at the door. Jack greeted him with a sheepish smile and stood there, uncertain and swaying slightly, in the doorway.
"Jack, what are-"
"I should have called," Jack said abruptly and held up his hand. "I'm sorry. Can I come in?"
"Um," Ianto paused as his mind tried to catch up with what was said and what exactly was happening. Finally, he stood to the side and opened the door a bit wider.
"Thanks," Jack said more to the floor than to his host as he stepped over the threshold.
"Is everything okay?" Ianto flicked on the lights in the room and took in Jack's appearance --messy hair, blood spatters and scuffed up shoes.
"Yeah." He caught Ianto's gaze and looked down at his own clothes, "Oh. Weevil," he stated simply, nothing more to say.
Ianto shrugged at the answer and held out his arm out of sheer habit, accepting the coat to put away for the evening. "I take it you're going to stay the night?"
"May I?" Jack eyed the coat still in Ianto's hands.
"Y-yeah," Ianto stuttered. He turned away abruptly to his task. "Drink?"
"Still snowing out there?"
"Yeah, coming down pretty hard, actually."
Ianto placed two glass tumblers on the kitchen counter, poured a shot in each; no ice.
"This'll warm you up." He handed one to Jack before quickly downing the other.
Jack watched for a moment as Ianto poured himself another and drank that one slowly. Jack's eyes roamed the small kitchen and its dark counters and appliances that matched the color of the hardwood floor. There was a faint smell of cleaning supplies in the air; Jack wasn't sure if he'd been here before.
"Been a while, huh?" Ianto said and gestured around the room."I decided on a change."
"It was different?" Jack asked and regretted the question immediately. To Ianto, he'd been away only a few months. For Jack it had felt like a life time. A lifetime undone within seconds, but still moments he had experienced and lived--suffered--through.
Jack downed his drink too quickly. "It's nice," he practically coughed.
Ianto grunted in response, holding up the bottle, but Jack declined.
"I should get you out of those clothes."
Jack leered at that but his heart wasn't in it. "And they say romance is dead."
"Oh, it is. Very much so, in fact." Ianto placed both tumblers into the sink; put away the bottle while he spoke, "Don't go getting any ideas. You still owe me a date."
"I'll start a fire, get you warmed up."
"Am I sleeping on the couch?"
"I--if you want to."
"Can I sleep next to you?" Jack asked carefully.
"Sure, of course," Ianto answered too quickly. He stood at the sink, head down in thought as a wave of emotions overtook him; anger, confusion, curiosity, sadness and loneliness. He straightened his back and turned to face Jack with a small smile. "Now, let's get you warmed up."
Before this night, Ianto had never known that sitting in silence with Jack could be possible, or this uncomfortable. They had both settled upon the cushions, looking anywhere but at each other.
The unasked question hung heavy in the air as did the unexpressed resentment that Ianto continued to hold on to.
"Why are you here?" Ianto asked finally as he lifted his head from where he had been tracing the patterns on the floor with his gaze.
"With you? Or just, why am I back?"
"Both, I guess."
"I shouldn't have come." Jack stared at the window, watching the snow fall steadily upon the roads, covering them completely.
"I didn't mean-" Ianto stopped, sighed and settled back further into the cushions.
Again they both fell silent.
Ianto became hyper aware of the sound of breathing, the erratic thumping in his chest and the monotonous ticking of the clock that hung on the wall near his kitchen. He felt his stomach tremble ever so slightly, the trembling traveling up to his arms and down to his legs.
Taking a deep breath, he turned his head only to see Jack resting his own on the back of his couch with his eyes closed and lips slightly parted.
Asleep, Ianto thought and sighed into his hands, ran them over his face, through his hair. What now?
Poking Jack in the stomach, Ianto gently woke him, stifling a giggle when Jack sputtered awake.
"I'm up, I'm up." He looked around a bit disorientated before a look of recognition settled across his features.
"You'll be more comfortable in bed, trust me." Ianto lifted himself off the cushions with considerable effort. Stretching for a moment, his t-shirt rose above his bellybutton, allowing a gust of cold night air to tickle at the exposed skin. "Let me take you to bed."
Jack sat still with his hands in front of his mouth, thinking, before saying, "No more questions about where I've been, okay?" He raised his head to look Ianto in the eye. "Please?"
Deciding that it was probably for the best to drop the subject, Ianto leant forward and pressed his lips against Jack's. It was chaste, soft. Not a promise or request for more, just a kiss.
"Come to bed, Jack."
Jack rose from his seat to pull Ianto into a hug, nuzzled at his neck, breathed in his skin, "I missed you."
Ianto smiled at that and pulled him in closer, kissing the sensitive patch of skin behind Jack's ear.