Not the man you need
You find out that she’d nearly kissed you, or what she thought was you, 30 minutes before her wedding is about to begin, again, and 20 minutes after you’ve blown apart the nostrovite who’d taken your form.
You look at her sat on the edge of the bed in her blood stained dress. She looks at you, her hero, the man she thinks she could love, the man she’s put on a pedestal, but you know you’re not the hero she needs or the one she really wants; that man is downstairs, waiting for her. Her father will be here in a few minutes and anyway, you know there is someone else who you love; he’s down there as well, sorting out and putting things right, as always. You both have your rocks and in that you are the same. You need Ianto, who grounds you, who knows you, who sees it all because he knows the real you, the man who cries in the night, for whom life can be as dark and mysterious as death. She doesn’t need you, your darkness, your troubles; she needs Rhys, good old reliable Rhys. You take her hand and look into those big brown eyes.
‘Gwen, you know I’m not the man for you. You need someone who likes themselves and who’s comfortable in their own skin and that’s not me. You need someone who loves you beyond reason. You mean too much to me to let you make such a mistake. Go down there and take your real love by the hand. Leave me behind and all those feelings. You need someone who’ll be strong for you and who’ll put you first. You need more than this, more than Torchwood and someone so much more than me. Take that world, Gwen, the one at your fingertips, the one he offers you. Don’t waste your time on me. Walk up that aisle again and don’t look back. One day you’ll understand I’m not the hero you think I am. You’ll need to put someone else before me and you will. I won’t matter anymore and that’s just as it should be.’
Later as you dance with the bride she asks you what you’ll do while she’s away.
‘Oh the usual,’ you say. ‘Pizza, Ianto, saving the world.’
You see Ianto standing off to one side, watching you dance and you feel guilty but you know that he understands and accepts you, with all your faults and insecurities, and that he’ll love you anyway. Later, he will quietly get his way.
When he cuts in and you dance together it’s a toss-up over who is most surprised, you or Gwen, but really you aren’t surprised as you know how possessive the young Welshman can be, and you know that you love that about him. He may not be able to leave marks on your skin, or at least not for long, but inside you know that Ianto is carved across your heart. As you dance, you glance over at Gwen and you know that you’re right. You pull him closer, longing to feel his skin next to yours, knowing that soon you will, because you want to. Now, you can’t imagine not wanting to.
You know you need someone strong who can stand alone, who can find his own way without being always being shown, who has more confidence than most people really know, and who can cope with the blows to his ego and pride that you far too often bestow.
You breathe him in loving that smell and think to yourself. ‘With the Doctor it was always about running for your life but with Ianto Jones, at this moment, it’s simply about just being and standing still together.’ You know you are content with just that.