Author: Erin Giles
Disclaimer: Torchwood is property of the BBC.
Summary: Ianto is being followed by nothing more than a shadow.
Ianto had an uneasy feeling, like he was being watched. Or worse, followed. He’d had it since he left the Hub an hour previously. Since then he’d stopped in for a pint at Terra Nova with Owen – they were trying this whole friendship thing. Ianto didn’t think it was going well. He had never drunk a pint so quickly. He’d popped into Tesco Extra to pick up something for his tea and now he was walking the mile back to his flat.
All that time Ianto had felt like he was being followed, and as he took another right turn that wasn’t really leading him home Ianto caught sight of a man a hundred yards further down the street, keeping pace with him. Ianto stepped into the alcove of a door and waited. Several seconds later and Ianto grabbed his stalker by the arm, spinning him into the nearest wall and pinning him there with an arm across his chest. Ianto was smirking now.
“Is this your new idea of foreplay?” Ianto teased. It wouldn’t be the first time that this man had followed Ianto home. Ianto had seen him out of the corner of his eye when he’d been running to the post office at lunchtime and Ianto, for a moment, had wondered if he was going mad. He had briefly entertained the notion that he’d been driven insane by lust. Now he realised it had been a game.
Jack was staring at him, wide-eyed and not saying anything. He had shadows under his eyes, his face pale and drawn looking.
“Jack?” Ianto enquired, taking a step back and releasing his hold on Jack. Jack had a fist clenched in the fabric of Ianto’s suit jacket, keeping him from going too far.
“Don’t,” Jack said, voice nothing more than a hoarse whisper, full of emotion.
Ianto was worried now. “What’s wrong?” His mind was coming up with all sorts of scenarios that had brought Jack Harkness to the brink of mental collapse, because that’s what it looked like.
Jack closed his eyes and inhaled deeply in reply. Ianto didn’t so much as squirm, even when he heard a group of girls giggling behind him. He was scared now. Tears were slipping down Jack’s face as his lips parted, quivering in a breathless sigh.
“Jack, what is it, what’s happened?” Ianto enquired again, a hand moving to Jack’s shoulder. Jack started at the touch, eyes springing open to look at Ianto. A look of pure terror was on Jack’s face now, even as he moved forward, pressing his lips against Ianto’s. Ianto didn’t resist. Jack was kissing him as if it was their first and last kiss, slow and hurried at the same time, like he was afraid the world was going to crumble around them. Ianto could feel Jack’s palm rough against his cheek as there was the smack of parting lips.
Ianto opened his eyes to find Jack watching him again, eyes glassy as tears continued to slip gracefully down his cheeks.
“Jack, you’re scaring me,” Ianto said.
“I was never here,” Jack whispered in reply, eyes imploring, drinking Ianto in with one last look before he was pushing Ianto out the way and taking off at a run. Ianto gave chase.
“Jack!” As Ianto turned the next corner he came to an abrupt halt, no sign of Jack anywhere. He was gone, like a shadow in the night. Ianto stood in the middle of the road for a moment, looking about in a daze before a horn sounded, demanding Ianto move out the way.
There was a message on the answering machine when Ianto got back to his flat, feeling confused.
“You have one new message, received today at 7:16pm. Ianto Jones, rumour has it you’re cheating on me with Doctor Harper. Can’t we at least consider a threesome?” There was a booming laugh at his own joke. “Maybe we can discuss it tomorrow night in that posh French Restaurant opposite the memorial? I’ll get my personal assistant to set it up.” Another laugh. “He owes me overtime. To repeat the message, press 1, to save it, press-” Ianto hung up.
At 7:16pm Ianto had been kissing Jack in the doorway of a boarded up pub that smelt of piss. Ianto sat down at his kitchen table with a thump, his whole body shaking.