Pairing: Ianto/Jack: John's suicide mentioned
Disclaimers: I don't own them and if I did I wouldn't share.
Spoilers: Set just after episode 10.
Summary: How Jack handles despair. A fic inspired from a song from Lions, Tigers and Bears by The Adventures.
The Hub is quiet, the lights are dimmed. Gwen, Tosh and Owen left hours ago and the only people left are Ianto and Jack, who is holed up in his office with the door shut. There is the sound of music coming from his office. Jack has spent the day dealing with the aftermath of John’s suicide. Now he seems determined to drink himself into oblivion.
Ianto is sitting at his desk staring at a cold mug of coffee. He has finished his archiving. Now he is just waiting. He listens to the music. Just one song, over and over and over again. He keeps listening to the same words “I don’t want to play this game no more” Ianto doesn’t know who the song is by but at the moment he would happily throttle the singer.
Ianto just waits. He knows the song, he knows what is coming next. As the song reaches the end there is a muffled pop. Ianto hears a thud, and then the song starts again.
Slowly Ianto gets up, just pausing to pick up the bowl of water and bag on his desk and walks towards Jack’s office. He pauses at the door office, not really wanting to go inside. Jack is lying across his desk, a gunshot wound to the head. Ianto enters the office and stops the cd. He reaches into his bag, pulling out gloves, damp cloths and a disinfectant spray. He spends the next few minutes cleaning up the blood and brains around the office. This isn’t the first time. It certainly won’t be the last. It is just the way Jack deals with the pressure when it becomes too much. In a darker moment Ianto wonders if Jack’s problem tonight was not the fact that he couldn’t save John, but that he couldn’t follow him into the long goodnight.
Ianto finishes cleaning up. He leans over and places a gentle kiss on Jack’s temple, avoiding the bullet hole. He never knows if Jack can feel it but it is his way of letting Jack know he isn’t alone. Then he takes away the bowl and the rubbish and walks out of the office, closing the door behind him. Sometimes he stays, holding Jack’s hand until he regains consciousness, but not tonight. Ianto knows Jack wants to be alone with his despair. He’s not sure how he knows, he just does.
Ianto busies himself for a short while putting away the cleaning materials. He goes back into Jack’s office briefly to leave fresh water and scotch on the desk. Jack hasn’t moved. Ianto closes the door of the office again and sits at his desk, contemplating the cold cup of coffee still there. He is still waiting. Ianto thinks back over the last few months. He is not sure how often he and Jack have performed this ritual but it is one they have played out many times.
The first time he discovered Jack dead across his desk had been horrifying. Ianto had been working late and getting more and more irritated with the same song being repeated. Opening the door of Jack’s office to complain Ianto remembers the shock of seeing Jack staring blankly at him, a bullet hole though his temple. The first time Ianto cleaned up automatically, that’s just the way he operated. He didn’t want Tosh or Suzie discovering the office in such a state. He had been out of the Hub disposing of the mess when Jack woke up. Coming back in Ianto got the shock of his life seeing Jack at his desk working as though nothing had happened. He had said nothing to Jack about that night or subsequent nights and Jack had never discussed his need to repeatedly commit suicide. It was just quietly accepted that if Ianto heard that song he would stay behind to clean up the mess of Jack’s despair.
Lost in memories Ianto didn’t hear the music start up again. He came back to the present slowly realising that Jack was singing very loudly. Ianto smiled, he wasn’t needed again that night. Picking up his forgotten cup of coffee Ianto cleared it away and got ready to leave the Hub.
He paused briefly to look into Jack’s office. He was working again, head down, contemplating some paperwork.
Time to go home.