Title: Broken Glass
Pairings/Characters: Jack/Ianto, mention of Rhys/Gwen, brief mention of one-sided Jack/Gwen, Tosh and Owen
Summary: It’s so easy for something to shatter; it’s putting the pieces back together that is the hard part.
Disclaimer: I do not own Torchwood
Author Notes: Post Meat fic, written for the h_c bingo card: rejection. Not beta'd, so please forgive any mistakes.
“I would.” The moment those two words left Jack’s lips Ianto felt his heart shatter and he stumbled back from the pain that filled him.
‘I should have seen this coming. I’ve always known I was second best when Jack couldn’t have Gwen and yet I still allowed myself to fall in love with him.’ Ianto knew that he couldn’t stay here, not with his heartbreaking as the man he loves basically declared his love for another and the smug smile that spread across Gwen’s face was the finally nail that shattered Ianto’s heart.
Not caring how it would look all Ianto knew was he had to get out of here, stumbling past a very worried Tosh and Owen Ianto managed to make his way to the Hub doors.
The alarms blaring broke Jack out of his haze lost in the memories of his own torture and forced to watch his team’s death. He managed to catch sight of Ianto’s back before he disappeared behind the door. “Ianto?” Jack moved to follow but Gwen stood in his way.
Fire blazed in Gwen’s eyes as she placed her hand on Jack’s chest. “We’re not done here yet Jack!” She couldn’t believe that Jack was going to chase after Ianto when they were far from down, she had finally got Jack to start to admit what she means to him and she wasn’t going to go until he said those three little words. ‘Ianto needs to stop living in a dream world and see that it’s me that Jack loves.’
Ice filled Jack’s eyes as he shrugged off Gwen touch. “I think that we are done here Gwen! I’m allowing you to break the rules, now get out of my way so I can go after my lover.” Jack snarled he knew how this looked to the others and he was going to have to do some major damage control with the others and more importantly with Ianto.
Jack pried Gwen’s hands off of him. “Let me be very clear, there is nothing and will be nothing between us ever. My heart and loyalty lies with Ianto and will for as longs as he lives and even long after. I will not risk loosing that for any reason. Go home, Gwen, go take care of Rhys.” Free of Gwen Jack wasted no time in going after Ianto.
Rejected and humiliated Gwen forced herself to turn around and come face to face with Owen and Tosh.
Gwen stood before her teammates and she could see the tension pouring off them. She flinched as Owen’s dark gaze landed on her and his lips curled back into a sneer. “Going to tell us how cold and lonely we are?”
“I’m…I didn’t mean it like that.” Gwen tried to explain but from the frosty looks on both Owen and Tosh’s face Gwen knew that they would not be welcomed.
Tosh shook her head softly. “Please don’t Gwen. Just go, I think you’ve done enough for today.” Tosh turned away from Gwen and grabbed Owen’s arm. “Come on Owen I think it’s safe for us to leave.” She murmured softly to the fuming medic.
Gwen could only watch as Tosh and Owen silently gathered up their things and left her alone. Now she was the one on the outside looking in.
Spotting Ianto on the CCTV still in the Tourist Office Owen and Tosh decided to give Jack and Ianto some much need privacy and left through the lift.
Jack burst through into the Tourist Office and to his utter delight he found Ianto staring blankly at some of the postcards. “Ianto! Thank god!” Jack had been terrified that he wouldn’t be able to find Ianto.
‘Why didn’t I leave when I had the chance? Maybe I was hoping Jack would choose to put me above Gwen for once.’ Ianto took a breath as he forced himself to turn around and face his lover and was surprised and shock to see the pure pain and worry shining in Jack’s eyes.
Jack wasted no time in crossing the distant between them and cupped Ianto’s face with his hands, desperation pouring off the immortal in waves. “I didn’t mean it the way it sounded. I don’t love or want Gwen like that. I’m jealous not of her but what she has with Rhys, she has a chance at a normal life something I long to have with you.”
“Everyone I ever loved ends up rejecting me once they learn of my little gift. Even the Doctor thinks I’m wrong. But you Ianto Jones know me. You’ve been witness to the darker side of me and you didn’t run. You know about my curse and what has made all others run from me, you stay with me, you hold me in your arms making sure that I don’t wake up alone. That night before we sent Tommy home I was speaking about you, Ianto. I may not always show it or say the words a whole lot but I do love you and I would not give up knowing you for the world. No one not the Doctor and certainly not Gwen have any claim on my heart, it’s been yours since the moment we met.” Jack prayed that Ianto believed him.
Ianto wanted to believe Jack, he really did but the hurt was just too fresh. “Jack, I want to believe you, I really do. But I’ve seen first hand the flirty looks with Gwen, the pure jealous when you see her with Rhys; you do everything in your power to keep her close to you. I saw the hurt in your eyes and heard it in your voice when you learned Gwen was engaged, how can you stand there and tell me she means nothing to you?” Ianto pulled out of Jack’s hold and ran a hand through his hair.
“And don’t get me started on the Doctor. You waited over a hundred years for him. I know you love him. So don’t stand there and lie to me Jack!” Ianto demanded tears prickling at the corners of his eyes.
Jack’s heart completely broke at the pain radiating off Ianto. “You’re right. I flirted with Gwen because she was just so normal and her hero worship was a boost to my ego. I won’t lie to you Ianto at first I was attracted to Gwen because she was so normal and that’s what I thought I wanted and what I so desperately craved.” Jack could see the pain blossoming in Ianto’s eyes and Jack prayed that Ianto would hear him out before giving up all hope on an emotionally stunted immortal.
“But I was so very wrong Ianto. I didn’t need some wanted to change me nor someone who would run the very moment they saw the darker side of me. Gwen loves the hero not the man beneath the coat. The Doctor was a dream away of keeping you from getting to close. But despite it all somehow you, Ianto, have broken through all my barriers and you have seen all of me and still found it within you to love me. Please give me another chance do throw away what we could be because I was an arse.” Jack pleaded with Ianto.
Ianto saw the truth in Jack’s eyes but he was hesitant to open his heart to Jack again, he couldn’t risk it getting broken again. “Then why did you react the way you did when Gwen threatened to leave if she had to Retcon Rhys? You own me that much and don’t you dare feed me some bullshit line about how we need Gwen Cooper, Torchwood got along fine without her for over a hundred years.” Ianto sure as hell didn’t buy Jack’s line about Gwen being Torchwood’s humanity; she’s never shown that side to her teammates.
If anyone deserved to know the reason for his actions it was the man who comforted him when the nightmares became too much. “That poor creature reminded me of me and of my times at the hands of the Master.” Jack admitted in a small voice. “Seeing them torturing it brought everything that monster did to me back.” Jack meet Ianto’s gaze and Ianto’s heart broke at the unshed tears in Jack’s eyes. “I lost you and the others at his hands and I couldn’t lose you, any of you again. So when Gwen threatened to leave I gave her the one thing that would keep her in Torchwood and that was letting Rhys keep his memories.”
‘Why didn’t I see that this would bring back Jack’s time at the hands of the Master.’ Ianto felt like kicking himself, he didn’t know everything, Jack refused to go into detail but Ianto knew about the Master and the fact that Jack spent a year being tortured for the Master’s amusement. “So you don’t want Gwen as your lover?” Ianto asked just needing to hear the words from Jack’s own mouth.
Jack surged forward and pulled Ianto back and his arms and relief filled him when Ianto came willingly. “No, God, no! I don’t want Gwen like that. The one I want is you Ianto Jones and I’m afraid you’re going to be stuck with me for the rest of your life and one that I plan to make sure is a very long one.” Jack pressed a kiss onto Ianto’s forehead.
Ianto didn’t yet know it but the TARDIS had gifted Jack with a piece of the knowledge that since he first gave Ianto the kiss of life after the Cyberwoman left him for dead, that Jack has been slowly sharing his vortex with Ianto, he was going to have Ianto with him forever. ‘I need to tell Ianto soon but now is not the time.’ Jack would never admit it but he was afraid to tell Ianto, afraid that while Ianto loved him he did not love him enough to spend forever with Jack. Ianto’s rejection would kill him.
Ianto could tell that Jack was keeping something from him, but he wouldn’t push Jack into tell him anything he wasn’t ready to tell him. “Now that I know everything there’s nothing to forgive. But you are going to have to explain you reaction to Tosh and Owen and talk to Gwen about her heartless words to us all, we aren’t cold and lonely we have loved and lost and something she hasn’t and she needs to stop thinking she’s better than the rest of us.” Ianto had seen the hurt on Tosh’s face and in Owen’s eyes at Gwen’s heartless words and knew it was up to Jack to set her straight.
Jack nodded knowing he had to talk to Gwen and soon. “I will. I’ll explain everything to Owen and Tosh tomorrow and then I’ll speak to Gwen about her treatment towards everybody. But right now I would really like to go back to the Hub give Tosh and Owen the night off, set the Rift alert and head to your flat where I’ll cook dinner for you and then we can have a nice cuddle in front of the television while watching one of your James Bonds.” Jack need to forget this day for a little while and show Ianto everything he couldn’t say.
Smiling, Ianto brushed his lips across Jack’ in a quick tender and loving kiss before reaching out to take Jack’s hand in his. “That sounds wonderful Cariad.”
Gwen had seen everything on the CCTV and while she could not hear a word the tender and loving moments between Jack and Ianto it was clear they fixed whatever problems she had caused. Still she could not force herself to leave not until she heard from Jack’s own mouth that he didn’t want her.
As the Hub alarms sounded Gwen steeled herself for the answers she needed. Entering the Hub Jack and Ianto were surprised to see that Gwen was still there and Owen and Tosh were gone.
“Where are Tosh and Owen?” Jack asked Gwen as he looked around expecting them to jump out of their hiding spot.
“They’re gone. They went home for the night.” Gwen wasn’t going to add that she was the reason they left.
‘I’m got some serious damage control to do in the morning.’ Jack knew it was bad if Tosh left without saying good-bye, she’s only done that once before and that was when he had been forced to give Jasmine to the fairies. “That’s fine. Go home Gwen, go take care of your big hero.” Jack ordered he would deal with everything in the morning right now he just wanted to focus on Ianto.
“I can’t go yet Jack, not until I know if there’s any hope for you and me.” Gwen blurted out before she could stop herself.
Ianto tensed and fury filled Jack, he couldn’t believe that Gwen would ask that question in front of Ianto. “Don’t go there Gwen because you won’t like the answer. Go home and take care of your hunk of a Welshman while I look after mine.” Jack told her.
Tears began to fill Gwen’s eyes she couldn’t accept that and she no longer cared who she hurt she need to know if Jack loved her like she loved him. “Please Jack, I need to know. I know you love me just like I love you. We could be so happy together. Just say the words and I’ll Retcon Rhys and we can start our life together.” Gwen pleaded with Jack.
Jack’s steely eyes bored into Gwen’s tear filled ones. “I don’t love you Gwen, not like that. I love you as a friend but nothing more. My heart belongs to Ianto. I’m sorry if I gave you false hope but there will never be anything between us.” Jack squeezed Ianto’s hand as he told Gwen the truth and hoped that she finally saw the loving man she has in Rhys.
Choking back a sob Gwen turned to leave, her life was falling apart Jack rejected her and now she had to settle for Rhys.
“Oh, Gwen.” Jack’s call of her voice halted her in her tracks and hope filled her as she turned to face the handsome immortal, praying that he changed his mind about them.
Jack’s cold eyes dashed her hopes. “Tomorrow morning you will apologise to me and the others, despite what you think we know it’s not cold and lonely out there and your selfish need to get your own way you hurt your teammates deeply. Tosh and Owen may not have anyone in their life right now but at one time they did. You will apologise and you will do well to remember to treat your teammates with respect.”
Gwen nodded her head and gathered up her things and took her leave.
Satisfied when he heard the Hub fill with the alarms that Gwen was gone, Jack turned to face Ianto and wrapped himself around his young lover. “Thank you for giving this old fool another chance.” Jack fought back the tears he already knew how cold and lonely his world was without Ianto.
Ianto nuzzled Jack’s neck and whispered softly, “Always Jack, always.”