Manip done by Nicci [www]
Summary: The nightly musings of an immortal, with all the bloody clichés to go with it.
Thanks to: Nicci, for the beautiful manip and to Nora Charles for her insta-beta.
The ceiling looked uneven in the light coming through the window. Jack watched the shadows move, as a car drove by on the street outside, its lights giving life to them, creating fissures and crevasses where the plaster had seemed smooth before.
Part of Jack's mind picked up on that, catalogued it and filed it away, somewhere in his mind with all the other debris from his past.
He could feel Ianto breathing, his body warm against Jack's side, head on his shoulder, exhalation tickling over his skin. Jack ran his fingers slowly through the soft hair, enjoying the feel of it almost curling around them.
Ianto mumbled something incoherent in his sleep and twisted until he could push his leg up over Jack's thigh. The hand on Jack's chest flexed before Ianto calmed again, leaning his head into Jack's touch before lying still once more, quiet in his sleep.
Unbidden thoughts kept swirling around his mind. Jack closed his eyes for a moment, fingers stilling in Ianto's hair. Sleep wasn't a necessity for him anymore. Not like it used to be. Unfortunately as he couldn't move without waking Ianto, Jack had nothing to take his mind off the things he was reluctant to address.
It used to be he didn't think much about how Ianto fit into his life, apart from as a warm body and lovely companionship. Snarky comments and fantastic coffee were great additions. As were the suits.
Then he'd had far more time on his hands than he would have liked, strung up aboard the Valiant. The timeline had reasserted itself afterwards, but the thoughts were still there.
And to think he hadn't ever had a conscience before. At least not one he'd paid attention to. Not in connection with whom he chose to bed. Sex was just like any other connection. A touch. A conversation. A smile. A handshake.
Stupid 21st century and its silly social boundaries. Jack sighed. He'd tried to do the 'normal' thing for a while, decades ago. Tried to settle down. When he'd lost her... he'd sworn that that life wasn't for him, and leaving Estelle even later had helped with the hurt of watching her grow old. Even if her death had hit him harder than he'd thought it would.
So... it seemed he was damned if he did and damned if he didn't.
Feel for someone, that was. Short of becoming a hermit and never seeing another living being again, Jack just didn't see that happening. Was it love? Not the way these people would describe love.
Ianto shifted again, his warm body providing Jack with a moment of distraction. Closing his eyes, Jack catalogued how his own skin warmed to the touch, how he could feel as well as hear Ianto's even breathing.
He couldn't promise Ianto forever. And it annoyed him, sometimes. Hell, he probably shouldn't even promise him tomorrow or next week. Jack tilted his head and pressed his lips against Ianto's hair.
"I'm sorry," he whispered. "I'm sorry that I can't give you a normal life. There are days where I wonder if the right thing to do would be to retcon you and let you have a normal life..."
The bedroom was quiet for a while as Jack stared unseeingly at the ceiling.
"I'm sorry that I'm too selfish to do that, though." Jack closed his eyes and swallowed hard.
"Well, thank god for that." Hot breath burst across Jack's skin, nearly making him jump.
"You're not supposed to be awake," Jack scolded, caught between feeling silly and well... mortified. At least he thought that might be it - it wasn't exactly a feeling he was used to.
"And you're not supposed to be considering ways of getting rid of me while I'm still in your bed," Ianto sniped sleepily. "Well, technically speaking, this is my bed, but you get the idea."
"You weren't supposed to hear that," Jack defended himself. "I just know I can't give you what you want."
"And you know what I want?" Ianto asked, shifting a little, leaning up on his elbow, and looking down at Jack through the darkness. Jack found he missed the heaviness of Ianto's head on his shoulder.
"You deserve a normal life, with a wife and kids," Jack said. "Even if you don't want kids, you can't tell me this is what you want." So much for a quiet night, Jack sighed to himself. He wasn't looking forward to this conversation.
Ianto's other hand was still resting on Jack's chest, but the fingers curled and nails scraped warningly over his sensitive skin, a little too close to Jack's nipple for comfort, even if it did send a pleasant shiver down his spine as well.
"If you ever try to retcon me because you think I'll be better off that way, I can assure you I'll make you regret it," Ianto warned him.
"You can't do that if you're retcon'ed," Jack argued.
"I'll find a way," Ianto said, and Jack could tell he was grinning widely. "I'm resourceful that way."
Jack had to agree with that, but still...
"Jack, if I didn't like where I am now, don't you think I'd tell you?" Ianto slid his hand a little lower, and Jack drew in a breath, hard. Ianto's warm fingers slid over his abdomen and his body was reacting as fast to Ianto's touch as it always did.
"I'm not always sure that you'd tell me if..." Jack began, but Ianto's hand groping his erection stopped him, effectively shutting him up and completely derailing his thoughts for a moment.
"Jack, you might be overwhelming at times, but please respect me enough to know I'm not that easily blinded," Ianto said with a sigh. "I'm not in bed with you solely because it's what you want. Being with you like this..." Ianto leaned down and pressed a soft kiss to Jack's lips. "Just... trust me when I tell you that I'm here because I want to be."
Jack stayed silent. It wasn't that his worries were gone, but Ianto had a tendency to make him feel stupid. Mostly always in direct connection to Jack underestimating him.
Ianto palmed his cock and Jack lost track of his thoughts again.
"Now, if you really want to make me happy, I do have one request, since you've so rudely awakened me with your brooding." Ianto lightened his touch, stroking his fingers slowly up and down Jack's shaft. Jack had no doubt at all that if there'd been enough light that he'd been able to see Ianto's face clearly, he'd see a wide, wicked grin.
Swallowing dryly, Jack nodded.
"I want you to roll over, get me the lube and stay on your front. I'm going to make sure that you're too tired to brood when I'm done with you." Ianto's words were so out of keeping with his deep and serious voice that it took Jack a moment to understand just what he was being ordered to do.
Fighting a smile, Jack saluted Ianto. "Aye, aye, sir," he replied, rolling over to pull out the drawer in the bedside table.
The smack of Ianto's hand hitting his ass made Jack squeak in a very unmanly way, but he would be lying if he claimed the sting and heat spreading on his skin didn't turn him on.
Maybe being selfish wasn't so bad. At least he knew Ianto was good for him, even if he still had to be convinced that that did go the other way as well.