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I'll stay awake for you

Series: Lyrics 'Verse Masterlist
Word Count: ~ 1.400
Summary: Jack's eyes were screaming, showing so much pain – an emotion he usually kept securely under lock and key. It was pouring off of him, making Ianto wonder what had happened to reduce this self-confident, gorgeous and brave man into that shell of himself.
Characters: Ianto Jones, Jack Harkness
Pairing: Jack/Ianto
Rating: PG-13
Spoiler: End Of Days, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Setting: after Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Beta: larsinger29, thank you!
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.
The song Zerrissen belongs to Juli.

Lyrics 'Verse Masterlist
My Soul Aches


Your skin turns cold
Your eyes become empty
Your breaths are silent and your head gets heavy
What tore you apart, what hurt you so badly, what destroyed you and your life and your heart
What tore you apart, what hurt you so badly, what destroyed you and your life and your heart
Whatever you do, whatever you say
I'll take care of you
I'll stay awake for you
(Zerrissen by Juli
, translated from German)

Ianto was exhausted. Their day had been long, full of unexpected surprises and dangers.

And Jack was back.

It seemed unreal after three months of waiting, losing hope and getting on with life. Jack was back from wherever he'd escaped to with the Doctor and everything was back to normal. Even though all of them were holding their breaths. Jack was back but the team wasn't entirely convinced yet that it was for good. Jack was back but keeping secrets again. Gray … the name John Hart had mentioned clearly meant something to Jack. He'd been stunned, shocked even, before finding his equilibrium and pretending not to care.

Jack was back and they all needed to avoid themselves and since the Hub wasn't an option and Jack had nowhere else to go, Ianto had decided to take him in. Against better judgment. Even though they'd parted ways on shaky terms – Jack hurting Ianto and Ianto helping the team betray Jack and their no strings attached, easy office affair shattered to pieces by too many secrets, too deep feelings of too much insecurity.

It didn't matter anymore, though, because Jack was back and he'd asked for a date and Ianto had said yes and there was a new start lingering on the horizon.

But first things first, Ianto thought while he patted his pockets for the key to his flat, sleep.

”The perfect place to avoid meeting yourself is your flat?“ Jack asked.

Ianto found the key and unlocked the front door. ”It actually is.” He stepped aside in invitation, holding open the door.

”And you're letting me in,” Jack said, as if he wanted to make sure.

Ianto nodded once. ”I am.”

Jack stepped inside slowly and looked around. ”Hasn't changed much.”

”It hasn't,” Ianto agreed. He knew his flat was nothing special, practically not lived-in since he spent so many hours at work every day. It held his possessions and it was there in case he needed it. That was all. He took Jack's coat, his knuckles brushing over Jack's arm as he did so. He heard Jack take a deep breath. It was their first real physical contact since before Jack had left. Ianto let his fingers linger for a second longer before he stepped away to hang up the coat. His fingers caressed the wool, assessing the damage done to it.

”It went through a lot,” Jack answered his unasked question, ”but it's okay.”

”Burn marks,” Ianto said, fingering a little hole, ”oil stains.”

”Proximity to running engines.”

”I will fix it.”

”You don't have to.”

”I love that coat,” Ianto replied absently and then turned to Jack abruptly, his cheeks flushing. He gave an embarrassed smile. ”Are you hungry?”

”Very,” Jack answered.


Ianto didn't hear Jack coming up behind him but he didn't startle when his arms wrapped around him hesitantly. He focused on the dishes, leaning back just so to let Jack know it was okay to touch, and felt Jack nuzzle along his neck, breathing in deeply. Then he was suddenly gone, leaving Ianto alone at the sink in the kitchen niche. Ianto watched him go into the lounge and drop on the couch. He turned back to the dishes. Jack was different from before. After John had left, he'd become quiet, as if he didn't quite know what to do with himself. He'd barely spoken since they'd entered Ianto's flat, only to compliment him on his cooking and to offer to do the dishes. The rest of the time, he'd been subdued and that wasn't like the Jack Ianto knew at all. It was like he was someone new who'd come back in the body of someone Ianto loved. It was strange and disturbing. At the same time, Jack's eyes were screaming, showing so much pain – an emotion he usually kept securely under lock and key. It was pouring off of him, making Ianto wonder what had happened to reduce this self-confident, gorgeous and brave man into that shell of himself. Still, Ianto knew that whatever had happened, the Jack he knew was still there. He'd come out to deal with John Hart after all. Ianto just hoped that he would come out again and stay. He was determined to make that happen.

With two mugs of coffee, he returned to the lounge. He gave Jack his mug and accepted a grateful smile for his troubles. He sat on the couch next to Jack, far enough away not to touch. For a minute, it was quiet, then Jack set his cup down on the coffee table and slid closer. Ianto watched him curiously, saw Jack's hand settle on his knee and then Jack pulling one leg up to sit sideways, tucking himself closer, his body heat brushing Ianto's skin. The hand on Ianto's knee raised, fingers skirting across Ianto's cheek tenderly.

Finally, Jack whispered, ”I forgot what you looked like.”


”It's like … when people die, no matter how much they mean to you, their faces blur, change. You can't remember their voices, their scent, the sound of their laughter. All you have is that dodgy memory of what you think they were like … pictures help. But if you haven't got those ...” Jack cleared his throat. ”I forgot what you looked like. I promised myself I wouldn't but you – all of you – became a blurry memory.”

Ianto looked at Jack for a long moment, trying to read him and finding something familiar in his expression. Something he remembered from before. Something that had driven them into sharing a bed more than once. ”Something bad happened while you were gone.”

Tears welled up in Jack's eyes and he blinked them away. ”It's alright now.”

”What happened?”

Jack's eyes slid away, his gaze becoming empty. ”Everything.” Then he looked at Ianto again. ”Don't ask.”

Ianto nodded. ”Okay.”

”I'll be fine.” He pasted on a weak smile. ”I just need some sleep.”

”You never need sleep,” Ianto said softly. ”You only sleep when you want to or when there's nothing else to do.”

”Or when I don't want to be alone at night.”

Ianto smiled. ”All you had to do was ask.”


Ianto was unable to sleep. Maybe it was the coffee they'd had just before going to bed. Maybe there was still some adrenaline from the day coursing through his veins. Or maybe it was the fact that Jack had nightmares. That in itself was nothing new. They'd slept in the same bed before and they both had their fair shares of nightmares every now and again. But this was different. This was Jack, breathing irregularly and muttering things under his breath Ianto couldn't quite understand. The only words clearly reaching him were their names. Gwen, Owen, Tosh, Ianto … sometimes Doctor and once or twice a name Ianto hadn't heard from Jack before: Martha.

Ianto reached over and took Jack's hand, turning on his side to face him and cradling it to his chest. ”Somebody died,” he whispered. ”Right?” He settled down closer to Jack, barely able to see his face in the dim lights of the street lamps filtering in. ”Who died?”

It wasn't intended to be more than a rhetorical question, but Jack sighed deeply and his eyes slid open a fraction. He looked at Ianto – just for a second – and he seemed unbearably sad. His eyes slid shut again. ”Everyone,” he whispered, the word not louder than a breath, and then he fell asleep again.

Ianto closed his eyes and kissed Jack's forehead, breathing in his scent. ”You're home now.” He settled down again and looked at Jack's sleeping face. ”You're home.”

And maybe, everything would be okay now.


If you want to have this (or some other) story as a PDF, I'd be happy to send it to you. Just PM me with the title of the story, the language you wanna have it in and your e-mail address and I'll deliver. :)

Exorcise The Demons
Lyrics 'Verse Masterlist


( 38 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jul. 18th, 2012 03:13 pm (UTC)
just beautiful!!
Jul. 18th, 2012 03:38 pm (UTC)
When Jack is with Ianto he really is 'home,' isn't he? Lovely.
(no subject) - jolinarjackson - Jul. 19th, 2012 08:18 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jolinarjackson - Jul. 19th, 2012 08:18 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 18th, 2012 03:55 pm (UTC)
A beautiful take on this scene.
Jul. 19th, 2012 08:18 am (UTC)
Thanks. :)
Jul. 18th, 2012 04:01 pm (UTC)
This was so heart touching.
Thanks for sharing.
Jul. 19th, 2012 08:18 am (UTC)
Thanks for reading. :)
Jul. 18th, 2012 04:33 pm (UTC)
Great fic
Jul. 19th, 2012 08:19 am (UTC)
Thanks. :)
Jul. 18th, 2012 05:59 pm (UTC)
Poor Jack at least he has Ianto take care of him. Good Job.
Jul. 19th, 2012 08:19 am (UTC)
Thanks. :)
Jul. 18th, 2012 06:24 pm (UTC)
Oh ;_; I don't have words, this is my favourite verse (I don't know if I have tell you this before)

Thank you


Edited at 2012-07-18 10:25 pm (UTC)
Jul. 19th, 2012 08:19 am (UTC)
You might have mentioned it. :) Thank you a lot.
Jul. 18th, 2012 09:31 pm (UTC)

Gorgeous fic! Loved the haunting quality of the final scenes, in which Jack conveys the horror of his time with the Master. And, Ianto accepts that and comforts Jack in his efficient, quiet way. Loved it!
Jul. 19th, 2012 08:19 am (UTC)
Thank you. :)
Jul. 18th, 2012 09:43 pm (UTC)
You have quite the talent for exploring the sadness that is Jack's immortality. This was both beautiful and awful - in the best ways.
Jul. 19th, 2012 08:20 am (UTC)
Thank you. :)
Jul. 19th, 2012 01:50 am (UTC)
You just broke my heart there, Missy!
Jul. 19th, 2012 08:20 am (UTC)
Thanks. :)
Jul. 19th, 2012 10:23 am (UTC)
Poor, broken Jack. He's home now though, and Ianto will take care of him.
Jul. 20th, 2012 06:33 am (UTC)
Absolutely. Things can get better now ...
Jul. 19th, 2012 03:48 pm (UTC)
One of the things I love about this piece is how Ianto is willing to put aside his own curiosity to allow Jack the space he needs. Sure, Ianto prods gently to try and get Jack to talk about it, but when Jack gives back just vague answers, Ianto lets it go. He recognizes that Jack isn't ready to fully speak of his ordeal, and so Ianto just offers comfort, acceptance and understanding.

I really enjoyed this story, as you know. It's just a fantastic take on these two in the those first hours of Jack's return. Well done!
Jul. 20th, 2012 06:33 am (UTC)
Thank you. :) And thank you for your help with this.
Jul. 19th, 2012 06:40 pm (UTC)
Ianto to Jack is home.
Jul. 20th, 2012 06:31 am (UTC)
I think so too. :)
Jul. 20th, 2012 12:57 am (UTC)
I'm quite convinced you have a stash of magic words that when you sprinkle them into your stories they come together just absolutely right and yank the tears right out of my head. I start the story, saying "I won't cry. How sad can it be?" I always cry.

Jolinar, in my dictionary, means "you're gonna cry, get used to it!" :) love it!
Jul. 20th, 2012 06:31 am (UTC)
Thank you so much. *blushes*
Jul. 20th, 2012 03:49 pm (UTC)
Oh this is very sweet. I really like this take on them just after Jack returned, it's so in character.
Jul. 21st, 2012 04:21 am (UTC)
Thank you. :)
Jul. 20th, 2012 10:23 pm (UTC)
I liked the gentleness of this. Very sweet, very them. <3
Jul. 21st, 2012 04:22 am (UTC)
Thanks. :)
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( 38 comments — Leave a comment )