sam_storyteller: (Default)
sam_storyteller ([personal profile] sam_storyteller) wrote2005-07-18 01:35 pm
Entry tags:

The Edge Of The Roof

Title: The Edge Of The Roof
Rating: R
Summary: Ianto's only seen Jack drunk three times; two of them weren't pleasant.
Beta Credit: [ profile] neifile7 and [ profile] 51stcenturyfox rule like rulin' things.
Warnings: While I don't consider any of the events to be dubcon, it comes close at times.

First Posted 4.13.2010

Also available at AO3.


Jack is drunk.

Ianto knows how incredibly rare it is; in his time at Torchwood he's only seen Jack drunk twice before. Rare and usually unsettling, because it meant something truly bad has happened, either in general or to Jack personally (and there's a lot Jack takes personally).

The first time, it was after Ianto came back from suspension, after Estelle was killed. He knew Jack had been drinking; Gwen had called him on her way home, worried about it, but she'd said he'd only had one or two drinks and Ianto had agreed with her that it wasn't really extraordinary. Given he'd just lost someone who was probably like a mother to him, a drink or two was almost certainly nothing to worry about.

That was an hour and a half before Jack knocked on his door, eyes bloodshot, and just stood there expectantly when Ianto opened it. He had clearly decided to carry on in a more intensive fashion after Gwen had gone home. He was unsteady on his feet, and Ianto didn't know how he'd stayed upright long enough to get there, but he brought him inside and took his weight while Jack breathed raggedly and pressed his face to Ianto's shoulder.

Jack drank with Gwen, but he slept with Ianto.

Real sleep, that time, although when Ianto undressed him, meaning to shove him on the sofa and leave a bucket nearby for what was sure to be a mind-bendingly traumatic hangover, Jack got handsy. But -- it was that way Jack had of making you feel special when he groped you. It was really rather disturbing how good he was at it, but you didn't think about it while he was doing it.

Ianto didn't mind. Jack wasn't coordinated enough to do more than pet him through his trousers and push his t-shirt up his stomach, and the warm hand on his skin there felt good. It had been so long since anything felt good, since anything felt anything after London, that when something did he clung to it regardless of its source. He got Jack down to his briefs and was about to gently urge him towards the couch when he looked up and saw the terrible thing in Jack's eyes: more than regret or guilt or fear, like the weight of ages was on him, both the responsibility and the pain. It was almost too much just to look at, let alone be the one to carry.

He walked Jack unsteadily to the bedroom, pulled back the blankets, helped him in and then climbed in after. Jack was like some kind of ferret, really, the way he insinuated himself; Ianto found them pressed together, his arms around Jack's shoulders again, kissing (Jack had apparently been drinking either lighter fluid or paint stripper, but he was very good with his tongue).

He could tell what Jack wanted, what he was aiming for; hands clumsy against Ianto's ribcage and then his hips, irrationally possessive when they curled against his back. Jack was far too far gone, though, not even lucid enough to be frustrated when he couldn't get it up. Eventually the kissing and the rubbing and the loose murmurs began to die down.

Jack had great hands, even legless drunk, and he'd probably have a great mouth too, but Ianto wasn't going to take advantage. After Jack was finally unconscious, Ianto untangled their legs and breathed slowly, picturing the least erotic things he could think of. He kept his arms around Jack's shoulders, though.

When he woke in the morning Jack was still there, curled up against him like a child, and his shirt was wet where Jack had been crying. He threaded his fingers in Jack's hair, holding his head steady, and let him cry some more.

When he thinks about it now, he thinks about how Jack probably came to him because Ianto understood what it was like to lose a lover to the monsters. Not that he could have known that -- and so when he spoke, it wasn't about Lisa.

"When my mum died I was ripped up," he said softly. Jack's breath hitched. "Nothing else matters in the world, except the fact that they're gone. 'Specially when you're a kid."

Jack nodded, probably more to show he'd heard than anything.

"And things felt...less safe, because she wasn't there," Ianto continued. Jack managed a wet laugh.

"Safe's my job," he said into Ianto's chest.

"Who watches the watchers?" Ianto asked. Jack sighed and seemed to have stopped crying, but he stayed where he was -- maybe he thought that if Ianto couldn't see his face, he couldn't really witness this.

"I was thirteen when my father died," Jack said finally. "I thought the world had ended. To be fair, it almost had."

Ianto ignored the last part. "Ten, my mum. Seventeen when my dad passed."

"Miss him?"

"Judge me if I say no?"

"No." Jack butted his head against Ianto's chest. He was silent for a while.

"Got a sister though," Ianto offered, even though Jack had to know that already. It meant different coming from someone's mouth than it did coming from a background check.

"Got a brother," Jack replied, which surprised him. Later he'll think about that -- on the rare occasions Jack mentioned his brother, he never said had or was, always have and is. "He's lost."


"Yep," Jack said. Ianto thought about Jack, and time travel, and how his lost brother was probably the one in the right place, and Jack was the lost one. Mistaken assumption, but it seemed logical at the time.

"Would you go back? For him?" he asked. He's only ever asked it twice, would you go back? This, the first time, Jack didn't answer. He just rolled away eventually and sat up, wiping his face with his back turned. Ianto sat up too, and that was the end of it; he peeled the damp shirt off and went to take a shower and came back to find Jack already gone.


The second time he saw Jack drunk, that was after John Hart nearly got them all blown up. After Jack came back in a shower of Blowfish brains against some poor family's curtains.

Ianto had spent the entire time, from Blowfish-brains to exploding-Rift, being angry and miserable and exultant by turns. Angry because Jack was a bastard and exultant because Jack was back and miserable because while he wanted to be really properly horrible to Jack, this strange new needy Jack whom he suspected he could damage with a finger-flick, he also wanted to slam him against the nearest surface (horizontal, vertical, diagonal, didn't matter) and fuck him stupid. He wanted to kick his arse for dragging John Hart into everything, make him promise never, ever to leave again, and then kick his own arse for being a pathetic idiot. It was a very full schedule Ianto had planned.

Jack reckoned they had about ten hours of time to relive, and the best thing would be to get off the streets, avoid the CCTV cameras (impossible, but Tosh knew a route that would keep them off the most commonly-checked ones) and find someplace to lick their wounds.

Of course. What better place than the nicest hotel in Cardiff? Because surely that wasn't ostentatious at all, three men and two women checking in with just the clothing on their backs, being paid for by a man who looked like he'd come from a military fetish club. Jack's idea of subtle needed some fine-tuning and yet, like all of his initially disastrous-seeming plans, it was hard to actually find fault with this one. Especially since Jack herded them into the hotel bar, holding their door keycards ransom, and bought them drinks and a basket of chips. Ianto noticed -- he saw Tosh did too -- that Jack ate with a sort of cautious lust. Savouring more than was warranted, and slower than normal. Maybe they just hadn't had chips wherever he'd gone.

One drink for each, and Jack left briefly; four pairs of eyes watched through the doorway of the bar as he stopped to speak to the concierge, flicking a thick fold of cash back and forth between the fingers of his right hand. The concierge made a call, then took the money and gave Jack a smile. Ianto didn't realise he'd stood up to see over someone's head until Jack was on his way back, and Gwen tugged him down onto his stool again.

"There is one massage therapist and one aesthetician, whatever that is, waiting for us in the spa," Jack announced, picking up his drink (Bloody Mary; strange for Jack, really) and taking a long swallow. "Services for the next four hours. On Torchwood. Seaweed wraps and stuff."

But Owen said he wasn't having any of that poncy stuff, and Jack knew Ianto didn't like strangers touching him --

He was about to ask Jack if he could please just have his key, when he felt something oblong in his back pocket. The keycard, slipped there sometime when he hadn't even noticed, and wasn't that just a trifle creepy. Gwen and Tosh were already moving away, drinks finished, wandering out to ask where precisely the spa was. Owen was ordering another drink, flirting with the waitress. Jack leaned in close to Ianto's ear and said, "Go."

Ianto nodded -- no need to make an excuse, Owen didn't care and Jack already knew -- and left. Down the hall he could hear Gwen and Tosh laughing from somewhere. He closed his eyes. That was sweet, a good memory to keep, Gwen and Tosh laughing.

The little fold of paper around the keycard said 1404. It was a nice room, glorious view of the city, big bathroom, big bed. Jacket-tie-shoes-socks-shirt arranged neatly in the wardrobe, Ianto washed his face and hands, contemplated a shower, contemplated room service, contemplated sleeping until the world ended.

Then the door opened and this is why the gun stays in the waistband when the tie comes off, but it was only Jack. He held up a second keycard. "Got a passport."

Ianto lowered the gun. Jack had a bottle of expensive-looking scotch in one hand.

"Had to make sure everyone was settled," he said, resting the bottle on the table, walking past Ianto as if he hadn't almost just been shot. Not that it would matter Ianto reminded himself. His boss was a magic boss. "Make sure everyone, you know. Got it."

"Got what?" Ianto asked. Jack went to a cabinet and opened it, taking down two glasses. No plastic-wrapped-for-your-safety cups in this establishment.

"It, me, things," Jack said meaninglessly, pouring the scotch out into the tumblers. He glanced up and offered Ianto one of the drinks. "The look on your face right now means you haven't got it yet."

Ianto sat on the bed, cradling the drink between his knees. "Can it wait until morning?"

"No," Jack said. He downed his drink in three swallows and poured again. "Drink."

Ianto would rather have had a lager or a cider or something, but it was good scotch and it'd probably work fairly quickly, and maybe if he were drunk he'd have the clarity to tell whether he wanted to fuck Jack or punch Jack. Or shoot Jack! Now there was a thought.

"Tosh had agita," Jack said, pouring out another helping for Ianto. "Gwen's done the shove and shout thing, Owen's going to spend weeks pretending like he doesn't care until he forgets he does. Tosh took a little more work. You," he continued, sipping, "I saved for last."

"The most work?" Ianto asked.

"That too," Jack said, and didn't elaborate. "Ianto, I need you to tell me a story. The one about the time Jack disappeared."

Ianto held out his glass and Jack refilled it, higher this time. He told the story around burning mouthfuls of scotch: discovering Jack gone, panic, fear, determination, probably all five stupid stages of grief in there somewhere. He left out what wasn't relevant, which was mostly what he thought about at the end of each long day or night when he dragged himself to bed. He left out some of Owen's spiralling depression, too, because he wasn't petty. Well. Not that petty. And Owen had got himself some antidepressants eventually, anyway.

He led Jack through every case, right up to the Blowfish, and then stopped. Jack hadn't spoken, had just kept slowly, steadily drinking. His face was flushed.

"So," he said when Ianto was done, "On a scale of one to shoot-me-in-the-head, how angry are you?"

Ianto found he was angry, but not as angry as he'd expected. "Want-to-punch-you-in-the-face-but-won't. Your turn."

Jack looked at him, questioning.

"Tell me a story," Ianto said. "That one about the time you ran away."

Jack shrugged, which threw him a little off balance. He stumbled, chuckled, and righted himself. His face smoothed over, blank and a little menacing.

"I was gone for a year," he said. "Time doesn't work with the Doctor like it does normally. I spent a lot of it in a bad place. Terrible food. No view."

Ianto emptied his glass.

"And I didn't get fixed," Jack added.

Ianto remembers thinking that the Doctor is not a doctor, not precisely. Not like Owen is a doctor or the woman with the nice legs who always patches them up personally at A&E is a doctor. (Mind wandering. Too much scotch, though not as much as Jack.) But if the Doctor was supposed to fix him, then that's all Ianto could imagine at the time: a laboratory, medical tests, needles, experiments.

Later, Jack will tell him more, bits and pieces here and there, enough to make the Doctor's imaginary laboratory look preferable.

"I said I came back for you," Jack rambled, studying the last thin film of alcohol in his glass. "I said I came back for Torchwood-you. Gwen and Owen and Tosh and Ianto. If Ianto wasn't there -- " Jack shot him a grin, probably to let him know he hadn't forgotten he was listening, "I'd still have come back, if only to see the look on the Doctor's face when I said no. I said no, did I say that? He said come with me and I said no. I would have said no anyway. Didn't want his pity. I would have come back anyway. But I wouldn't have been happy about it."

Ianto frowned, trying to understand.

"I would have come back for Torchwood," Jack slurred a little, turning it into Torshood. "I wanted to come back for you."

Ianto gave him a stubborn look. "And I'm supposed to fall into your arms again, is that it?"

Jack grinned. "Well, I hoped maybe. It's true though. I could fall into your arms instead, if you want."

"And if I don't want?" Ianto asked.

Jack looked at him, a little forlorn, very drunk, and then looked away. He didn't reply, and after a little while seemed to have forgotten the question. He was looking through the big floor-to-ceiling window, out at Cardiff spread below.

He didn't think it was intentional, Jack leaving him to answer that question himself, but he had to answer it somehow.

And he did want, oh how he wanted, a twist of desire in his chest that just tightened every time he took a drink. Ianto stood up and set his glass down, turned Jack's face away from Cardiff and into his, kissing him almost before he'd stopped moving.

Jack came back for Torchwood, but he came back to Ianto.

"Now, you get it," Jack said.


And now Jack is drunk again.

Except this time Jack is drunk and laughing, teeth flashing, eyes electric-bright. He's had most of a bottle of wine and probably two-thirds of the pot of spag bol Ianto made (directions carefully given by Rhys, who thought it was funny Ianto couldn't make spaghetti, but pasta is fucking deceptive). He's sitting at Ianto's little kitchen table, laughing at one of his own jokes. It came out a bit garbled but Ianto doesn't care, because Jack's laugh is infectious. Kissing him tastes like garlic and tomatoes.

"I think," Jack says unsteadily, when the kiss is done, "I've had too much wine."

"Just enough, I'd say," Ianto replies, shaking the empty bottle gently. Jack brought it over; Ianto had intended to drink a bit more of it himself, because he'd expected Jack to have water, but Jack had poured them two glasses while the pasta boiled and the sauce heated.

Jack points a finger at him. It wavers a little. "This was a plot."

"You brought the wine."

"Well, maybe it was my plot," Jack concedes, smile widening.

"You don't normally drink." Ianto picks up the plates and carries them to the sink, sliding them in next to the saucepans to soak. "Special occasion?"

Jack's arms are around his waist from behind, Jack's teeth hitting the sensitive oh god yes more spot just below his hairline.

"Normally I'm a maudlin drunk," Jack says into that spot, and Ianto grips one of Jack's wrists, sliding Jack's hand off his stomach, lower. "Lots to be maudlin about."

"Normally you're not drunk at all."

"Because I am a maudlin drunk."

"Oh, was that the -- mmm." Jack knows how to cut off Ianto's smart remarks; palm heavy against his cock, teeth sharp against his neck. Ianto nudges him with an elbow so he'll back off just a little, and when Jack lets him go he turns around so he can lean against the sink and let Jack rub right up close and kiss him like he owns him or something.

"This is nice," Jack says against his cheek. "Everything's kinda...soft."

Ianto snorts a laugh against Jack's ear. "Not everything."

Jack groans. "You can make anything sound dirty with that voice."

"I learned from the best."

Jack is all hands and wet mouth and insistent hitches of his hips, and it's heady to think that if he wanted he could just let Jack rub off against him here in the kitchen.

That's not that much fun for Ianto, though. Besides, there are better things to do with Jack's mouth than sucking a bruise in the centre of his throat, right where a tie won't hide it, and mumbling obscenities around Ianto's pulse. They could be committing those obscenities, so Ianto tugs Jack's hair, detaches Jack's hands from his waist, and smiles at him.

"Bedroom," he suggests quietly. Jack nods, so Ianto's about to move when Jack's hand catches his arm.

"I just wanted to see," he says. Ianto tilts his head. "What it's like. You know. Being normal. I almost forgot what it's like."

"You know we're...not. Normal, I mean. Right?" Ianto asks. "Torchwood, immortality..."

"Dinner," Jack says, hand sliding down to twine in Ianto's -- he used to hate that, thought it was kind of girly, but Jack always gives it like a gift and he's learned to enjoy it. "Wine. Kissing. Making out against the sink. Normal."

"Lush," Ianto says affectionately. "Lightweight. Come on."

Jack laughs at his total inability to undo Ianto's buttons, resting his forehead on Ianto's shoulder and playing with his shirt-cuffs as Ianto undoes them himself. On the bed, Jack rubs his warm face against the cool skin of Ianto's stomach, and he smiles when he goes down on him, enjoying Ianto's quick breaths and twitching muscles. He says incredibly filthy (and imaginative) things when he's getting fucked.

Jack drinks very rarely, but tonight Jack poured the wine.

Afterward Jack drowses -- eyes closed, one leg drawn up, Ianto with his head on Jack's chest so he can hear his heartbeat. Jack pets his hair clumsily, until his hand drifts down to Ianto's shoulder and rests there as he falls asleep.

It can't happen often, like this. He knows that, the same way he now knows Estelle was Jack's lover and the Doctor isn't really a doctor and Jack wanted to come back because Ianto was here. This is too dangerous. He's lucky just to have had tonight once.

Still, as he lies in the dark, waiting idly for sleep, he adds wine to his mental shopping list. He'll have to ask Rhys what kind he ought to buy.


Sit, be still, and listen,
because you're drunk,
and we're at the edge of the roof.

-- Rumi

[identity profile] 2010-04-13 02:03 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, Sam... that was lovely. And brilliant. I can't think of anything smart to say. Except that I really really enjoyed it.

[identity profile] 2010-04-13 02:05 pm (UTC)(link)
Boy I've read some good fic tonight. You and Amanda_R are rolling!
Excellent, warm fuzzies with a hint of dark. Pitched just right.
MMmmm Must buy wine.

[identity profile] 2010-04-13 02:14 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, yay.

[identity profile] 2010-04-13 02:17 pm (UTC)(link)
*happy sigh of contentment*

[identity profile] 2010-04-13 02:43 pm (UTC)(link)
"So," he said when Ianto was done, "On a scale of one to shoot-me-in-the-head, how angry are you?"

Oh, Jack. Your in vino veritas is not like anyone else's. Love how Ianto rolls with it each time, even when he only understands what he's been told much later.

However long you've been kicking this one around, it hasn't gotten stale. Keeps as well as Jack's finest scotch. Although now I'd really like to know what wine they were drinking with that spag bol. :) (Noodles ARE deceptive.)

[identity profile] 2010-04-14 01:45 pm (UTC)(link)
LOL, I don't know anything about wine, your guess is as good as mine. Given that Jack brought it, it's almost certainly something fancier than Ianto can appreciate. :D

(no subject)

[identity profile] - 2010-04-24 19:59 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[identity profile] - 2010-04-24 20:11 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[identity profile] - 2010-04-24 20:19 (UTC) - Expand
ext_77335: (Smug)

[identity profile] 2010-04-13 02:57 pm (UTC)(link)
This is surprisingly domestic for you Sam. Smut, followed by domestic fluff? You really are unwell, aren't you? *pats*

(I loved it, of course I did. Especially the bit in the hotel. WRITE MOAR DRUNK!FIC!)

[identity profile] 2010-04-14 01:44 pm (UTC)(link)
I have noticed when I am sick I tend to write a lot more comforting fic than when I am well :D

(no subject)

[identity profile] - 2010-04-14 13:54 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[identity profile] - 2010-04-14 14:23 (UTC) - Expand

[identity profile] 2010-04-13 03:06 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, Sam! I love each beat of these three vignettes and how they track the changes between them. And the Rumi quote is perfect here.

Thanks for the deluge of great fic just when I needed it!

[identity profile] 2010-04-13 03:10 pm (UTC)(link)
Ye gods and little fishes, Sam. That was lovely. Great characterisation, as always, and just a hint of something far too big to fit on the page. It's like catching a glimpse of a giant. Beautiful.

[identity profile] 2010-04-14 01:43 pm (UTC)(link)
"Like catching a glimpse of a giant" -- that's a lovely thing to say! *tucks it away* Thank you :)
elisi: (Jack and Jones by skittlesnfrank)

[personal profile] elisi 2010-04-13 03:15 pm (UTC)(link)
I love this to distraction, and in spite/because of the happiness of it, I'm almost crying.

[identity profile] 2010-04-13 03:44 pm (UTC)(link)
It was a very full schedule Ianto had planned.

Died laughing because you just know Ianto was nodding to himself as he thought it.

Sweet, and nicely done.

[identity profile] 2010-04-14 01:40 pm (UTC)(link)
It takes a lot of scheduling to work in time to kick both Jack's ass and his own! :D

[identity profile] 2010-04-13 04:04 pm (UTC)(link)
Really awesome, loved it

[identity profile] 2010-04-13 04:26 pm (UTC)(link)
D'awwwwww. Yeah, after the last two, some drunken fluff was nice. Even if it wasn't exactly fluff. There's no fluff in Torchwood!

Unless it involves alien lolcats.
ext_37421: (Default)

[identity profile] 2010-04-13 05:06 pm (UTC)(link)

And yay for wine)

[identity profile] 2010-04-13 05:38 pm (UTC)(link)
That's lovely.

Also, is there more of that quote at the end there? I like it a lot too.

[identity profile] 2010-04-14 01:39 pm (UTC)(link)
There is more -- the poem is called "The Edge Of The Roof" -- you can find one rather awkward translation by Bly online by googling, but I'm not sure who did the translation I used. I think Coleman Barks? I'll check when I get home.

[identity profile] 2010-04-13 05:54 pm (UTC)(link)
Have you ever read something that was so perfectly perfect that you have no words? Or, rather, too many words to put in something the paltry size of one post on a live journal entry? Yeah. Me, too.

[identity profile] 2010-04-13 06:06 pm (UTC)(link)
awwww. poor jack, getting drunk leads to thinking. unless it's with dinner and ianto. lovely :)
kelticbanshee: (Default)

[personal profile] kelticbanshee 2010-04-13 06:26 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, that was great :)

[identity profile] 2010-04-13 06:52 pm (UTC)(link)
oh...yes. this is lovely. Sweet and sad and charming. Can we tie you to a computer so you can just write forever? Pretty please?

[identity profile] 2010-04-13 07:01 pm (UTC)(link)
LOL! Only if the rope is long enough to get me to the bathroom and the kitchen.

(no subject)

[identity profile] - 2010-04-13 19:11 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[identity profile] - 2010-04-13 19:21 (UTC) - Expand

[identity profile] 2010-04-13 07:38 pm (UTC)(link)
Lovely, simply lovely. :3

[identity profile] 2010-04-13 08:45 pm (UTC)(link)
That was adorable with an odd tinge of sadness. I loved it.

[identity profile] 2010-04-13 09:19 pm (UTC)(link)

*collapses in bed*

[identity profile] 2010-04-13 09:36 pm (UTC)(link)
This makes me all happy and ache-y.

[identity profile] 2010-04-13 10:26 pm (UTC)(link)
Awwwwww, how lovely. :)

[identity profile] 2010-04-13 10:52 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, wow. I love this. I particularly like the discussion when he comes back from the year away.

[identity profile] 2010-04-13 11:04 pm (UTC)(link)
lovely, really lovely. and one of my favorite bits from rumi, too!

Page 1 of 2

<< [1] [2] >>