Summary: "Why are you in my bed, Ianto Jones?"
Spoilers and/or Warnings: spoilers for "Adam"
Notes: much gratitude to my beta, misswinterhill for stepping in at the last minute.
Title, Author and URL of original story: Choose the Encumbered by neon_footprint
Afterwards, they all stood looking at each other, before Gwen coughed and excused herself, saying she was going home to Rhys. "And I hope I haven't done anything I should remember," she added with a smile, and Ianto smiled back faintly. It was difficult to decide how he felt about the memory loss. It didn't feel like anything was stolen from him, but it was unsettling, and it left him in a strange kind of limbo.
Gwen's announced departure spurred the others on, and Owen and Tosh began packing their things. Tosh looked at the flowers, looked at Ianto, and said softly, "Don't get rid of them."
He understood that, in a way, and smiled at her, too. She hesitated for a second, then stood tiptoe and kissed him on the cheek. "Good night, Ianto."
"Night," he replied, and watched her leave.
It was easy to pretend that there were things to be done around the hub, and he retrieved a bin liner without thinking about it, making his way through the hub to clear away the detritus of what appeared to have been an ordinary work day. He found himself glancing at Jack's office, though, every now and then, watching Jack work.
"Staying?" Jack asked casually, leaning against his office doorway.
Ianto looked up from cleaning the coffee machine. "Want me to?" he countered.
Ianto raised a mental eyebrow at the lack of innuendo. "Your enthusiasm for my presence is heartening."
Jack flashed a quick grin, running a hand through his spiky hair. "Sorry. Stay."
Jack left his position and came over, putting his hands on Ianto's hips as Ianto bent over the coffee machine again, finishing the last of the cleaning. When he straightened, Jack kissed his ear. "Done?"
"Good." Jack pulled him back against the length of his body, and Ianto let himself lean, feeling Jack's hands smooth over his front. "Anything you want?" Jack asked.
"Whatever involves you," Ianto replied, feeling a bit ridiculous at the reply.
Jack chuckled. "You say that like you care."
Ianto froze, minutely, before laughing as well. He felt Jack's tongue flick over his earlobe, and Jack's thumb ran over a shirt-covered nipple, and Ianto's thoughts about memories and the loss of them slipped away.
He woke up to find Jack sleeping next to him, breathing evenly and slowly. He lay there and watched, taking in the planes of muscle on Jack's chest, his strong features, and then shook his head. "Fanciful," he muttered.
Jack opened his eyes, almost giving Ianto a heart attack. "What?"
Ianto rolled onto his front and pressed his face into the pillow, groaning. "Nothing, Jack."
Jack's warm hand slid onto his back and rested there. "Can't sleep?"
"I'm fine," Ianto said, still muffled.
He heard Jack chuckle. He cracked open one eye to look at Jack, features distorted. Jack's hand stilled and withdrew.
Ianto lifted his head from the pillow and looked at Jack properly. "Did you sleep?"
"A little," Jack said, and his eyes strayed to the sheets.
"Liar," Ianto accused.
At that, Jack sat up, swinging his legs over the edge and leaning his elbows on his knees. Ianto stared at his back for a while, debating with himself. He pushed off from the bed and sat back to lean against the wall, duvet draped over his legs. "It doesn't have to be a bad thing."
Jack glanced over his shoulder, without really meeting Ianto's eyes. "We don't remember."
"No," Ianto said, suppressing a shiver at the words. "But that doesn't mean what happened was bad."
"Why, because no one died?" Jack's voice was near-scathing.
Ianto reached out, fingers hovering in the air before him, before he pulled them back again. "Yes," he said against his better judgment. "Maybe."
Jack sighed, and was quiet for a bit. "It was my signature." His voice was low. "On the CCTV."
Ianto swallowed. "I have faith in you. We have faith in you."
Jack scoffed, glancing over his shoulder again. "That might be misplaced."
Damn you. Ianto suppressed the urge to argue. "That's up to us. You don't get a say in that."
Now Jack looked over his shoulder properly. "Why are you here, Ianto Jones?"
Jack turned towards him. "Come on. Why are you in my bed? Is it the great sex? The perfect jaw line?"
"Jack--" Ianto managed, and fell silent when the words stopped in his throat.
Jack stood up, pacing in the small space of the bunker. Ianto tried to ignore his nudity, and knew he would probably never get used to that. "You can't give me a reason." Jack ran a hand through his hair. "And you, all of you, just follow me blindly."
"What?" Jack snapped. "Faith, again? Where's your faith now?"
"Back where I left it," Ianto shot back, watching Jack stop and recoil minutely. There was a perverse pleasure in that, and then a piece broke off Ianto's heart.
"Well," Jack snarled, upper lip curling and his mouth in a grim line. "Maybe you should go and fetch it, then."
Ianto stood at that. As he uncurled himself from the duvet, stretching his legs over the edge of the camp bed, he watched as Jack held himself still against the half step back he wanted to take. He saw the flash of fear in Jack's gaze, registered the way Jack smoothed his expression, and felt Jack's stare burning on his chest and up to his eyes as Jack searched his face for any clues.
"You daft sod," Ianto snapped.
Jack narrowed his eyes.
Ianto ignored his own nudity now as well as the cold in the room, body heated by the anger that swirled inside, anger and something far more. "I trust you, Jack." He breathed out, and Jack stayed where he was. Time for the big guns, then. Ianto tried, digging deep, to bring up his last remnants of courage. "I'm here because I trust you."
"You shouldn't," Jack replied, and his voice was almost, but not quite, a whisper.
Ianto let his anger bubble up. "You don't get to decide that."
"You don't know everything."
"And I don't need you to tell me."
"That's not--" Jack turned and hit the wall with his flat hand. "I'm not nice."
Ianto's world spun for a second, as he grasped and groped in his mind to try and find a way out. "I once nearly killed everyone, Jack. Because I couldn't see it. Because there was no one to pull me back." He shoved the tears back in their appropriate box, or tried to. He wasn't sure that his eyes weren't red. Jack was looking at him from under his fringe, hesitant, wary. "We're all capable of things. You-- You're not exempt from that."
Jack looked away, briefly, then nodded.
"I didn't do what I did..." Ianto let his voice trail off to give himself a moment, to gain control. "I didn't want to hurt--" He couldn't finish the sentence.
"Anyone," Jack supplied, taking a step forward. "You didn't want to hurt anyone. I know that, Ianto."
"I know it, too," Ianto replied. He swallowed, pulled himself together. "About you."
Jack's eyes dropped to the floor, his shoulders slumped, and Ianto ignored himself in favour of Jack. He stepped close and pulled Jack against him, wrapping his arms around Jack's body and praying they would be strong enough to carry him. Jack's skin was chilly against his own, and he felt Jack shake. Ianto tried to infuse him with warmth, tried to hold on against his own pain and grief and fear.
"I trust you, Jack." He whispered the words against Jack's cheek, willing them into his skin.
Jack shuddered in his embrace, arms only loosely wrapped about Ianto in return. "You can't," he breathed.
"You've never given me reason to doubt you," Ianto answered, pressing his lips against Jack's skin and holding them there.
"No one else, Jack," Ianto mumbled, dragging his mouth over Jack's cheek, not wanting to break the contact. "I don't want sunshine and innocence and happiness."
"God help us." Jack's arms tightened, crushing him against Jack's body. "Ianto--"
"I'm here," Ianto replied, and he willed Jack to recognise it for the vow it was.