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Lonely next to me 1/2

Word Count: 5.926
Summary: Since their first date, the relationship between Jack and Ianto seems to be over before it even started – Jack's not talking, Ianto's insecure ... and Tosh is worried.
Characters: Ianto Jones, Jack Harkness, Toshiko Sato
Pairing: Jack/Ianto
Rating: R
Spoiler: The end of days, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang / DW: YTNW
Setting: after Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Author's Notes: Written for the torchwood_fest  Christmas Challenge. This is for blackhemlock . You wanted possessive!Jack, besotted Jack and smart!Ianto. This story has a bit of all three of them. The title's from the song Halt dich an mir fest (Hold on to me) by Revolverheld.
Feedback: Can't breathe without it.
Beta: Vistin, who helped me start writing this to begin with. alt_universe_me  beta'ed.
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.

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Ianto was standing behind the counter in the tourist office, sorting through catalogues, when two arms wrapped around his hips and Jack's body pressed against his back. Ianto smiled. "May I help you?" he asked and started a new pile of catalogues. Even though the tourist office was just a cover, Ianto refused to let it get neglected. So he'd ordered a few boxes with new catalogues and brochures describing everything Cardiff had to offer. Owen had laughed about it because he thought that no one would ever read them. Ianto had shut him up by telling him that now and again, there really were tourists dropping by.

Jack's breath caressed his neck and Ianto's grip on the catalogue in his hands tightened when Jack folded his hands across his belly, pulling him closer still. "Yes, you can," Jack said. "I was hoping for a few hours of your time – just the two of us."

Ianto tilted his head when Jack kissed his neck to give him better access, making a thoughtful noise. "What would that entail?"

Jack laughed softly. "Demanding, aren't you?"

Ianto shrugged. "I'm worth it," he answered.

"I never said you weren't," Jack replied with a smile. "Okay," he said, "I was thinking pizza at yours."

Ianto closed his eyes and swallowed his disappointment.

Jack wasn't able to see Ianto's face so he just continued, "And later we could …" His hand slid downwards.

Ianto grabbed it and said, "The usual." He forced a smile and turned his head. He wondered why he'd expected Jack to say something different. Ever since their first date two weeks ago, Jack hadn't asked for a repeat. Not that he had any reason to, Ianto thought cynically, Jack could sleep with him whenever he wanted without making a big effort. And Ianto – too relieved to have Jack back and still overwhelmed by the depth of his feelings for the captain – didn't dare asking for more. Because even though the thought of having a steady relationship with Jack was overwhelming, the certainty that Jack was even interested in him had its own appeal, all things considered.

"Yeah," Jack nodded. "I'll come around at … half past six. Rift permitting. But I asked Tosh and she told me that it's likely to be quiet tonight."

"Jack, wait. Tonight?" Ianto asked slowly and pulled a face.

"Yeah," Jack answered.

Ianto's thumb started drawing circles on Jack's back of the hand. "I can't tonight." He felt Jack tensing up. Jack let go of him and Ianto turned around to face him.

The captain frowned. "Why not?"

"I'm busy."

Jack crossed his arms. "And that's more important?"

Ianto cleared his throat and answered, "Not more important per se but … important in a different way."

Jack supported his arms on the counter, trapping Ianto against it, and leaned towards him. "Explain."

"I'm meeting Tosh," Ianto answered.

"Tosh?"

Ianto shrugged and explained, "We applied for a dancing class. Well, she applied for it with her neighbour but he wasn't available on short notice so she asked me if I ..." He stopped because Jack was just staring at him with a frown. "Fact is, I can't abandon her. And I'm kind of looking forward to it."

"And you'd prefer going dancing with Tosh?"

Ianto sighed deeply. "Jack, that has nothing to do with preferring Tosh over you. But I can't abandon her now, I want to do it and I can't postpone the class to a later date. By the way, I like spending time with Tosh." He caressed Jack's biceps.

"But you get to see her everyday here at work," Jack protested.

Ianto raised his eyebrows. "You too." He kissed Jack fleetingly. "Let me give you a rain check. I promise to be all yours tomorrow night." He smiled. "And I'm always keeping my promises."

Jack thinned his lips and ducked his head. Ianto's smile faltered. "You're mad," he said.

Jack put his hands on his hips and straightened his shoulders. Then he grinned falsely. "Nonsense," he answered.

Ianto put his hands on Jack's shoulders, hooking his index fingers under the braces before following their way down to Jack's hips as if he was trying to smooth them out. "Are you sure?" he asked.

"Yeah," Jack answered. He dropped a firm kiss on Ianto's lips and turned away. "Absolutely." He headed back downstairs and Ianto looked after him with a sigh.

***

It stopped raining when they left the dancing class. Toshiko hooked her arm around Ianto's and they decided to go for a walk along the bay.

"So," Tosh said, avoiding a puddle, "how are things between you and Jack?"

Ianto sighed deeply and stopped. He leaned against the rail, watching the waves coming from the dark open sea roll towards the brightly lit city. The wind was cutting and cold. Ianto folded his hands to warm them. "I'm not sure."

"Why not?" She mirrored his position and nudged his shoulder. "You're having dates, right?"

Ianto shook his head. "We had one date. Since then, we're only kind of meeting up for sex."

Toshiko's head leaned on his shoulder. "Oh," she said softly.

"I thought he wanted more. That date ..." Ianto stopped and exhaled sharply, looking for the right words. "I should have known … that he doesn't want to step up our relationship. I mean the date was … he was trying but it was horrible. I know, maybe I expected too much." He looked at her. "He doesn't talk to me, Tosh. He's always sitting there, in my flat, on my couch and he's talking about work or something he saw on the news but he doesn't talk about himself, where he's been or what he did. He's even more closed-off than before. But we should be closer than ever before."

Tosh entwined their fingers. "Tell him how you feel."

Ianto shook his head. "I can't." He swallowed. "I have no right to ask anything of him. We're not in a relationship. I think … I think he'd like to have everything back as it was before. You should have seen his reaction when I told him that I couldn't meet him tonight."

Tosh frowned. "Ianto," she said softly, "everything changed. It's time that Jack gets used to it. He had a period of grace. That's more than he gave us when he left. You have to tell him what you want."

Ianto stared into the water, biting his lip. Tosh squeezed his hand. "You changed. Your needs changed. Jack should accept that." She kissed his cheek.

Ianto nodded slowly. "Yes, you're right. I should tell him."

***

Jack looked around Ianto's flat. He had been doing that every single time he came over since he was back. Ianto was watching him from the kitchen. He could understand Jack's curiosity, because the small flat wasn't the same place it had been before Jack left – it no longer was just a place to sleep and rest at, it was more personal and looked more lived-in. Jack sat on the couch, brushed one hand over one of the cushions and for the first time, he said, "You redecorated."

Ianto returned from the kitchen, handing Jack a mug of coffee. "It wasn't really me." He sat down. "I just didn't like it anymore and Gwen and Tosh were eager to get their hands on it. Tosh helped me with the finishing touches."

Jack nodded and sipped his coffee. He was keeping his face a blank mask, but Ianto could see by his tense posture that he was bothered by something. Jack put the mug on the table. "You're spending a lot of time with her, aren't you?"

Ianto glanced at him, then he stared into his mug. "You weren't here. I … suddenly had some free time on my hands."

Jack frowned. "I'm glad my absence helped." The words were clipped and the coldness in Jack's voice surprised Ianto. The captain got up. "I should leave."

"What?" Dumbstruck, Ianto grabbed Jack's wrist. "Jack."

The captain shook him off and headed for the hallway. He made to take his coat but Ianto slipped in-between him and the hall cupboard, pulling him into his arms. Jack stayed stiff and tense in his arms even though Ianto noticed that, for just a second, he seemed to melt against him before suppressing the need to return the embrace. Ianto cupped Jack's face, looking into his eyes. He wished to be able to read them – like he used to – but he seemed to be out of practice … or the rules had changed.

Ianto sighed. "Don't be so sensitive." He kissed Jack tenderly and caressed his cheek. "Stay for a bit." He kissed Jack again and breathed a sigh of relief when Jack deepened the kiss after a second and put his arms around him. Ianto smiled and gentled the kiss by avoiding Jack's lips and nuzzling his cheek. "I missed you," he said softly.

Jack buried his face in the bend of Ianto's neck. His hand slid under Ianto's sweater, caressing warm skin. "You have no idea, Ianto," he whispered and Ianto noticed that his voice was trembling ever so slightly. "You have no idea how much I ..." He pulled Ianto closer.

"Jack?"

The captain raised his head, staring into Ianto's eyes. Then he kissed him – desperately and passionately. Ianto pulled Jack's shirt out of his trousers. He didn't understand Jack's sudden need but he was ready to follow him and ask questions later. Jack helped Ianto to get rid of his sweater and put his hands on Ianto's hips. Ianto's fingers slid under Jack's shirt, exploring well-known territory anew, while the kiss gentled. Then he took Jack's hand. "Let's take this to the bedroom," he suggested.

***

It was silent in Ianto's bedroom and almost dark. The city's lights were drawing circles on Ianto's curtains and the cool spring wind entered the room through the half-open window. Ianto slid one arm under his head, staring at the ceiling. "Will you tell me?" he asked softly, his finger drawing patterns across Jack's back. Jack hid his face against Ianto's neck, biting him gently. Ianto chuckled and wrapped Jack's sweat-dampened hair around his fingers to pull him away. One of his legs settled around Jack's hip, pushing their bodies together.

Jack moaned softly, then he sighed. "A lot of things happened. Telling everything is ..." He stopped.

Ianto gentled his hold in Jack's hairs, brushing through them. "Don't you want to or can't you?" he whispered.

Jack's hand caressed his flank, gliding from his shoulder down to his hip and back again. "Both."

"Why can't you?"

Jack's hand froze. It was silent for a long time. Ianto wasn't sure if Jack was even breathing. He wrapped both of his arms around Jack, pulling him closer. He wondered what could have happened while Jack was away with the Doctor. What could have changed him so much, made him so sensitive, so sad? He closed his eyes and breathed in the scent of sweat and Jack's shampoo. Tears were gathering in his eyes. There had been a time when he'd thought that he would never see Jack again. Of course he'd understood why Jack had left. At least he'd tried to understand even though he'd kept thinking that Jack should have at least told them goodbye. But he'd been alright most of the time. Work had kept him busy. The nights had been worse. He'd kept wondering if Jack was okay – after all, they would never know if he wasn't -, if he was happy, if he'd found what he'd been looking for. And he'd wished for Jack to come back or give him a sign - something to show them that he was alright. It never came. Instead, the nightmares had entered Ianto's sleep and tortured him with all the reasons why Jack couldn't be alright, happy and with his Doctor.

Ianto pushed those dark thoughts aside and focused on Jack. "I'm here," he said softly. "I'm not leaving."

Jack propped himself up on his elbows to be able to look at him and the fingers of one hand brushed tenderly – thoughtfully – over Ianto's cheek. "What I saw never really happened. I can't talk to you about something that didn't happen."

Ianto frowned. "It happened or you wouldn't be able to remember it."

Jack tried to smooth the lines on Ianto's forehead, with success. "Okay. Then I don't wanna tell you."

Ianto nodded slowly. "I have to accept that."

Jack kissed him tenderly and put his head back onto Ianto's chest, above his heart. Ianto turned his head and looked out the window.

***

When Ianto put a mug of coffee on Jack's desk, the captain took his hand and pulled him down for a quick kiss. Ianto stayed for another, deeper kiss and then straightened. Jack took his mug and asked, "Are you staying over tonight?"

Ianto shook his head. "I'm going to meet Tosh."

"Dancing class again?" Jack asked in that carefully constructed neutral voice Ianto was starting to loathe, and turned to his computer screen.

"No. We don't have any special plans."

Jack frowned and turned back to face Ianto. "Then meet me. We have special plans."

Ianto raised his eyebrows. "Sex?"

Jack spread his arms as if that would be the only reason needed to convince Ianto. The smug grin – the absolute conviction that Ianto wouldn't say no to an offer like that - bothered him and he shook his head. "Tosh and I get together regularly. Every Thursday."

"You could give her a rain check," Jack said.

Ianto nodded slowly. "I could." He crossed his arms. "But I don't want to."

Jack's eyes narrowed. "You'd rather spend your time with Tosh?"

"Jack, we talked about this."

"Well," Jack answered, irritated, "maybe I'm thinking that your ... arrangement is a bit weird."

Ianto frowned. "What do you mean by that?"

Jack turned away and stared at his screen. "You know."

Ianto looked at the back of his head for a while, waiting for Jack to turn around again, but the captain seemed to think that they were finished talking. Ianto pushed away from the desk and headed for the door. He stopped and turned back to Jack. "If you think that Tosh and me are an item, then you're wrong. But, you know what, I have no reason to have to justify myself to you, Jack."

Defiant blue eyes turned to look at him. "Then why are you?"

Ianto opened the door. "No idea. Talk to me when you calmed down."

Part Two
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