Ianto stirs slightly in his sleep as Jack pushes back sweat damp hair from his forehead, kissing him softly before settling in to a chair at the bedside.
It’s been seven years since Jack returned from his time with the Doctor. Seven years in which his relationship with Ianto has been tested to its limits, times it which it seemed impossible that they could have ever have anything resembling a normal life together, or even what passed as normal by Torchwood standards.
Yet here we are. Jack smiles softly, living together in an ordinary house, working something like normal hours now that Torchwood three is approaching fully staffed, living and growing old together.
It still seems like a miracle, an amazing dream, to be human again, properly, totally human, albeit a 51st century human. But it’s not a dream, it’s real and Jack is stupidly grateful for every new grey hair he finds or any other sign that he is back in tune with the universe, that he is no longer something apart from it. No longer a freak, or wrong or any of the other names that he’s been called, all the names that he pretended didn’t hurt, didn’t make him feel just that bit more dead inside.
What is odd is to think of Torchwood three as fully staffed, considering that there is only him and Ianto left of the old team. They still see the others from time to time, but it not quite the same.
Owen had left first, leaving to head up a newly reformed Torchwood London. Tosh had gone a year later to work for UNIT gaining a senior position in a newly formed Torchwood/UNIT join task force. Then two years ago Gwen had become Torchwoods official liaison with the police, after leaving active duty to start a family with Rhys.
The new team members work well together though. Competent and professional and just, Jack thinks, a little bit dull. Not that he’s going to complain about it, not when it means that he actually has time for a proper life again.
Ianto mumbles something, snuffling in his sleep, moving restlessly under the light duvet and Jack folds down the covers, hands lightly touching too warm skin.
Jack knows Ianto will be all right in couple of days, a heavy cold being the least of the things they have faced together.
But it makes Jack feel protective of him. Everything about Ianto makes him feel protective. It’s not that Jack thinks of Ianto as weak or in need of his protection, nor is it something that Ianto looks for.
No, it’s Ianto’s quiet self-sufficiency, his ability to get on with things without complaint, even when it is more than anyone has any right to expect of him. It’s this draws Jack to him, makes Jack want to shelter him from harm, to chase away his nightmares. It doesn’t hurt that he’s more than easy on the eye as well.
It’s late now and Jack tries to stifle a yawn.
Blearily Ianto opens his eyes, “come to bed if you’re tired.”
“Yeah.” Jack kisses Ianto's forehead, before discarding his tee-shirt and trousers and slipping into bed behind him.
Rolling over Ianto rests his head against Jack’s shoulder, “night Jack.”
“Night beautiful.” Draping an arm across Ianto's waist Jack closes his eyes and smiles, life's good and having someone to share it with is even better.