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Nobody Said It Was Easy

Word Count: 993
Summary: Ianto and Jack never celebrated Valentine's Day. But this year, Jack wonders if they should change that.
Characters: Jack Harkness, Ianto Jones, Gwen Cooper
Pairing: Jack/Ianto
Rating: PG
Spoiler: Exit Wounds
Setting: Between Series 2 and Children Of Earth
Warnings: Mention of canon character death
Author's Note: Written for jack_ianto_las . The prompt was Valentine's Day. I'm not good with holiday fics. Consider yourself warned. The title's from The Scientist by Coldplay. One of the best songs there is.
Disclaimer: I’m not making money with this fanfic. The tv-show Torchwood and the characters appearing within it belong to their producers and creators. Any similarities to living or dead persons are purely coincidental and not intended.

***
***


It started quite innocently with Gwen asking Jack what he and Ianto would do on Valentine's Day. Jack hadn't been asked that question in years.

”Nothing,” he said.

”Aren't you going to show Ianto that you appreciate him being with you?” Gwen asked, crossing her arms.

”He knows that,” Jack answered.

Gwen frowned and left his office, muttering something in Welsh. Jack tried to ignore her reaction. He lasted about three hours before insecurity got the better of him.

***

He found Ianto in the archives, sorting through a filing cabinet. Jack cleared his throat, then he shoved his hands in his trouser pockets. ”So, Valentine's Day.”

Ianto raised his eyebrows. ”Yes, that would be the day after tomorrow.”

”I know. I thought we could go to that Italian place you like so much.”

Ianto looked at him as if Jack had grown a second head.

”What?” Jack asked defensively.

”You're aware that there's no way we'll get a table.”

”Why?”

”Valentine's Day,” Ianto answered.

”Right,” Jack said. ”Okay. Huh … uh … then I'll cook for you. At your flat.”

Ianto sighed, sounding a little impatient. ”Jack, is there a reason you want to celebrate this year's Valentine's Day after ignoring it for the last couple of years?”

”No,” Jack said. Ianto raised one eyebrow. Jack gave in. ”Gwen said something about appreciating you, so I thought-”

”Okay, stop right there.” Ianto put the file in his hands back into the drawer and closed it. ”First of all, I don't like the thought of you taking me out because someone else told you to. Secondly, I don't like Valentine's Day. It's stupid to create one day to show your partner that you love them. Love is something you should show them because you want to do it, and not only once a year. And last but not least: I know that you appreciate me.” He smiled, cupped Jack's face and dropped a chaste kiss on his lips. ”So, no red roses, no candlelight dinner, no grand gestures. I don't need them.”

Jack wrapped his arms around Ianto's waist and pulled him closer, nuzzling his cheek. ”I would do it, you know. If you wanted me to.”

Ianto shook his head. ”No. All I want is you, on my couch, eating take-away and watching a movie.”

”And they say romance is dead,” Jack muttered, chuckling.

”It isn't,” Ianto answered. ”It's just not for us.” He shook his head, looking sad for a moment, but then his face brightened. He looked up into Jack's eyes with a smile. ”But I wouldn't change it for the world.”

***

Jack couldn't get Ianto's words out of his mind.

“It's just not for us.”

He wondered what Ianto had meant by that, and he wondered why Ianto thought that way. True, they were anything but normal lovers, but they shared something that was more than just sex. They lived in Ianto's flat when they weren't working. Every once in a while, one of them would take out the other on a date. Jack took care of Ianto when he was injured, and when Jack died, Ianto waited patiently for him to revive.

Despite all that, Jack had somehow still taken Ianto for granted.

Then Tosh and Owen had died and everything had changed. During that time, Jack had realized something. He loved Gwen. He loved Ianto. There was no difference in how much. But Tosh and Owen had died so young and so lonely and Jack didn't want Gwen and Ianto to die that way – Gwen wondering if she should have just taken that one step towards Jack and Ianto wondering if he'd just been a consolation price. So Jack had stopped flirting with Gwen, aside from the odd remark here and there, and the very fact that Gwen didn't seem to have noticed was enough to let him know that it had been the right decision. He'd been content. Until Ianto had said, “It's just not for us.”

Ianto had doubts about the two of them. Jack knew why. When had he ever told Ianto how much he meant to him? That he didn't just love his coffee or his suits or his eagerness in bed … and Ianto being Ianto took the few crumbs Jack threw him, never asking anything for himself. Maybe that was what Ianto had wanted to say.

“Love is just not for us.”

And by accepting these words, Jack had unwittingly agreed.

***

On Valentine's Day, they ate take-away and watched a movie. After, they let the telly wash away the silence in Ianto's flat and just lay together on the couch, facing each other, their legs entwined and their foreheads touching. Ianto's eyes were closed and he was breathing deeply, not quite asleep but almost there. Jack was watching him; the boyish face much younger when relaxed, the dark lashes against pale skin, the first hints of stubble on the smooth cheeks.

'I love you.'

He couldn't quite say it, yet, even though he'd tried more than once today. He was out of practice. He'd given up on the possibility to be part of a couple a long time ago. He'd even scratched the word from his vocabulary, scared to be hurt if he would wear his heart on his sleeve just to realize that the other one didn't feel the same. Scared to be shattered if they did – and died. He had to undo the damage he'd done to himself first.

He whispered, ”Give me a little time.”

”Always,” Ianto said sleepily, probably not even knowing what Jack was talking about. Just taking what he was giving him.

Jack pulled him closer and buried his nose in Ianto's hair, mouthing the words against his temple: 'I love you.'


END
03/11

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Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
colonoscarpeay
Mar. 29th, 2011 12:31 pm (UTC)
That was sweet, even a little bittersweet. I find myself crying. I think its because I've been exactly where Jack is and where Ianto is.

Don't let yourself think you aren't good at holiday fics. I proudly proclaim this well done!
jolinarjackson
Mar. 31st, 2011 12:15 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
toshiani007
Mar. 29th, 2011 12:53 pm (UTC)
It was beautiful, so tender and romantic!!!
jolinarjackson
Mar. 31st, 2011 12:15 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :)
kajmere
Mar. 29th, 2011 02:10 pm (UTC)
this is really beautiful, and just bittersweet ♥

There has never been a doubt in my mind that Jack Wants to say these words.

thank you for this wonderful story.
jolinarjackson
Mar. 31st, 2011 12:16 pm (UTC)
Thank you for reading. :) I never doubted it, too. It just went all pretty much to hell in a handbasket and he didn't get the chance.
welsh_scotsman
Mar. 29th, 2011 04:23 pm (UTC)
really nice and so them :) i like how in this, jack didn't say the words even though he wanted to, as it seemed more lifelike and bittersweet and lovely :)
jolinarjackson
Mar. 31st, 2011 12:16 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
lilferret
Mar. 29th, 2011 06:16 pm (UTC)
♥ ♥ ♥

Poor Jack and his wounded heart.
jolinarjackson
Mar. 31st, 2011 12:17 pm (UTC)
Yeah, right? :(
chironsgirl
Mar. 29th, 2011 09:33 pm (UTC)
This is SO the spirit of the day! Yes, give your loved one a little something extra, but if you aren't in there all the other days of the year what is the point?
XOXOXO
jolinarjackson
Mar. 31st, 2011 12:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
lone_star_woman
Mar. 30th, 2011 03:03 am (UTC)
Very nice.
jolinarjackson
Mar. 31st, 2011 12:18 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :)
badly_knitted
Mar. 30th, 2011 06:36 pm (UTC)
Almost unbearably poignant, Ianto's "It's just not for us" nearly broke my heart, that he doesn't think there can be romance for the two of them as a couple. Jack will say it one day, but in the meantime he'll just have to do his best to show Ianto how much he means to him.
jolinarjackson
Mar. 31st, 2011 12:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
punkchick1995
Apr. 1st, 2011 08:45 pm (UTC)
this was just so increadible.. as always! this seems JUST like them, you write them so well xx
jolinarjackson
Apr. 2nd, 2011 10:49 am (UTC)
Thank you. :)
hab318princess
Apr. 24th, 2011 04:14 am (UTC)
that was lovely
jolinarjackson
Apr. 24th, 2011 12:55 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :)
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )