The muffled sounds of repetitive fire had finally ceased about fifteen minutes ago, for which Ianto was rather grateful. The noise, though muffled had been somewhat distracting. Gwen had breezed out the tourist shop door about five minutes ago, obviously surprised that he was still here but flashing him a smile nonetheless. Smiling back at her, Ianto turned back to his task, grateful for the peace and quite
Less than five minutes after Gwen left, Jack’s voice crackled over the com-link, pulling Ianto’s attention away from the never-ending paperwork.
“Ianto, I could use some help cleaning up down here, if you’ve got the time.
Ianto shook his head ruefully. Paperwork would have to wait. “Certainly, sir.” He responded. “ You’re in the shooting range?”
“Yeah.” The captain’s voice crackled back. “I was giving Gwen some firearms training.”
“Is that what they’re calling it these days, sir?” Ianto enquired cheekily. Not giving Jack time to respond, he followed it up with, “I’ll be right down, sir.”
When he arrived downstairs, he found Jack standing behind a table with what appeared to be a small arsenal laid out before him. He was wearing ridiculous yellow safety goggles and aiming a handgun at a paper print-out of a weevil’s face. Ianto leaned against the doorframe, waiting for him to empty the clip. Having placed a round hole directly though the center of each target, Jack grinned, pulled off his protective earmuffs and turned to look at Ianto.
“Always a good to keep in practice, right?”
“I wouldn’t know.” Ianto answered blandly. Jack looked puzzled, and Ianto felt the need to elaborate. “I’ve never shot a gun.”
“You worked for Torchwood in London. How did you never fire a gun.”
“Torchwood One was rather a bit larger than this set-up, if you recall. We had soldiers to shoot the guns. Not much overlap between office work and killing things really in Torchwood One. Of course, we received safety training and the like, but never had to actually fire any weapons.”
“I see. Come here.” He gestured for Ianto to join him, and Ianto complied.
“You’re going to learn.” Jack told him grimly. “Everyone in Torchwood Three will know how to defend themselves. I told Gwen she needed to know how to use every one of these. So do you.” He handed Ianto another set of the yellow goggles, which Ianto stared at a moment before sliding them on. Once he had done so, Jack lowered a pair of the blue ear protectors onto his head, settling them securely.
“Alright there?” Jack’s voice sounded tinny, sort of distant through the speakers inside the earmuffs. Ianto nodded. “Good.” Jack picked up a gun and a clip from the table, offered them Ianto. He took them hesitantly, lined them up and snapped them together, looking to jack for approval. The other man nodded and gestured to the nearest target.
“Aim for the heart.” Ianto brought the gun up slowly, lining it up with where he wanted the bullet to end up. He started a little when he felt Jack’s hand on his hip.
“A little lower.” Jack said evenly, adjusting the gun. “And don’t choke your grip.” The other man’s hand closed over Ianto’s, loosened his fingers a tiny bit. “Good. Now, when you’re ready, squeeze the trigger.”
Ianto felt himself shiver at the sensation of Jack’s breath ghosting across his skin, felt his nerves dancing not only because of the weight of the gun he held in his hand, the knowledge that he was going to fire it, but also because of the solid warmth of the man behind him, sill touching him, bracing him against the recoil. It was confusing, this rush of adrenaline and dopamine flying through his system. More confusing because just a few hundred feet away, down another tunnel lay the woman he loved, the woman he had dragged from the wreckage of Canary Wharf. He had felt this same intoxicating cocktail of sensations with her, with a handful of other women he remembered from his school days and Uni. But this was Jack. Jack, a man Jack. He’d always considered himself to be rather open-minded, putting up with flirtatious comments and such, but what was floating though his mind all of a sudden was…beyond open. And so in an effort to shut off his own mind, he focused on the weevil target ad pulled the trigger.
The blast that echoed even through the earmuffs was loud enough to distract himself from his own mind and so in quick succession, he emptied the rest of the clip. When that one was out, he moved on to another gun, and another type of distraction until he had tried everything on the table. By the time they were finished Ianto was flushed and he hoped that Jack would write it off as just the excitement of Firearms training. But Ianto knew that wasn’t the only cause.
They put the arsenal away without much conversation, but once they were done and Ianto was nearly out the door, Jack stopped him with a hand on his shoulder. Ianto drew in a short gasp ad had to force himself to turn to face the Captain, afraid of what half-formed notions the other man might be able see in his eyes.
“You’re a natural, Ianto. Keep in practice, and you could be a master marksman.” A quick grin and a pat on the shoulder and Ianto was free to go. He took the opportunity, murmuring a quick, “Thank you, sir” and nearly dashed out the door.
The Captain stood watching him, a bemused expression on his face. Jack Harkness missed nothing about attractive young men. Especially not when they were interested. Whether they knew it yet or not.
* * *
He still had cuts on his face, a split in his lip from the nightmare he had experienced with the cannibalistic villagers nearly a week before. He couldn’t possibly be recovered, Jack knew. The wounds were still there on his flesh, to say nothing of the wounds ran deeper and would take longer to heal. None of them were recovered yet.
Nonetheless, Ianto was standing, still damaged, still fragile, awaiting a response from him to a question he was unwilling to answer. Tension and uncertainty hung stagnant and heavy in the air. Finally Jack sighed, closing his eyes in resignation.
Ianto nodded resolutely.
“Yep. I never want to be that helpless again, never want to have to be rescued because I can’t get myself out a situation.” He seemed to anticipate Jack’s thought process. “And there’s always going to be some sort of situation. This is Torchwood, after all.”
Jack had to smile ruefully at that.
“Alright then.” He stood and strode purposefully around the desk. “Let’s head down to the training rooms.”
Once there, Jack held out his hand to accept the length of rope that Ianto had been clutching since he had stepped into his office.
“One of the most important things to remember in working yourself out your bonds is that physics works to your advantage just as much as it works against you. Use whatever mobility you have to maneuver. There are a few tricks you can use to help you. Let me demonstrate…” Ianto nodded, drinking in the instructions Jack was giving him.
Half an hour later, Jack knew there was nothing more he could do to forestall the inevitable.
“So. Are you ready to test out your newly acquired skills?”
Ianto’s nod was immediate but far from emphatic and Jack could see the myriad of emotions flitting through the young man’s wounded eyes.
The first knot was hardly difficult at all, an Ianto was out of it in less than a minute. They tried some slight variations for the next several minutes. As time went on, Jack could sense Ianto’s growing level of agitation.
“Too much?” Jack asked softly. Ianto shot him an annoyed glare.
“These are exercises a child could do, Jack. If someone were actually going to attempt to restrain me, they would not be using a single one of those knots.”
“Depends what type of restraining they’re trying to do” Jack smirked. Ianto ignored him.
“I want you to actually do this, Jack. Actually tie me up, as though you didn’t care about hurting me, as though you were attempting to truly hold me back. As though you were intending to kill me.” He met Jack’s eyes and Jack found himself nodding.
It was like someone had flipped a switch. Jack’s eyes were suddenly hard and his hands were on Ianto’s shoulder’s shoving him roughly to his knees. His arms were wrenched behind his back, rope winding around and biting into each wrist. The sensation brought back a flood of terrifying memories of fear, and pain, and the stench of blood and rotting meat. He felt a cry start to rise in his throat and lodge there as he was thrown off balance by being yanked back against a support beam and lashed to it.
Panic seized him, and it was all he could do not to hyperventilate or scream, both of which were becoming losing battles. He didn’t know how long he knelt there shaking before a gentle hand on his face brought him slowly back to his senses. He vaguely realized that there was another person kneeling beside him, touching him and murmuring to him. Anchoring him. Jack.
He forced himself to relax, slow his breathing and pay attention to the way that Jack breathed a sigh of relief when he did so. He felt Jack press a kiss to his forehead, wipe a tear from his check with a thumb. As panic subsided, he remembered that he had asked for this, asked to be able to work through this and Jack had complied, had done as he asked, despite his reluctance.
Ianto opened his eyes and found himself looking into Jack’s concerned ones, just inches from his own, checking him intently to gage his reactions, so close that Ianto could feel the warmth of Jack’s breath on his own face.
“Jack…” he breathed, staring into the older man’s eyes. Almost as if in a dream, he found himself leaning forward to the slight extent his restraints would allow, letting his lips touch Jack’s. He wasn’t sure why, exactly. It just seemed right, like a gesture of thanks or of comfort. Jack for his part remained still, neither encouraging or discouraging him, letting Ianto act of his own volition, set his own boundary as to how he ventured into this new frontier.
The pressure of his lips against Jack’s seemed to clear his head, keep him grounded, sane. When he pulled back, the panic began to seep in again, cloud his brain. So he did the only logical thing he could think of, which was to press his lips to Jack’s once again and surrender to the saner version of insanity.
This time Jack returned the kiss, a press of soft lips, then another that seemed to build in intensity. It was different from anything Ianto had ever experienced, an odd blend of familiarity and newness that was thoroughly exhilarating. Hardly believing he was even doing it, he let his tongue brush against Jack’s bottom lip. He heard a slight catch in the other man’s breathing and then all ability to analyze disappeared because Jack’s tongue was in his mouth and his hand was cupping his face and Ianto’s mind felt like it had been incinerated. He’d never imagined that surrender could be so…stimulating. Couldn’t imagine why he had ever resisted Jack’s advances or thought that he wasn’t interested in kissing a man. Because this was nirvana.
The kiss deepened further, grew in both passion and desperation. Ianto knew only that he wanted more, needed more- to touch and be touched, to be held and to hell with thought or inhibition or thinking things through. Once again, Jack was his salvation. This time, however, he was prepared to acknowledge it, to embrace it as firmly as he wanted to embrace the man who was willing to kneel with him on the cold stone floor, who had agreed to help him by hurting him as requested, despite his qualms.
Almost without realizing what he was doing, Ianto was writhing his hands, working the ropes in the ways Jack had shown him, motivated not by his desire to be free, but rather his desire to reach out to Jack and bring them together for however brief a time.
Without the panic and helplessness that had disappeared as soon as he and Jack had begun to kiss, it only took him a few minutes until he as free and able to reach out and wrap his arm around Jack’s waist, bury his fingers in Jack’s hair.
“Thank you.” He whispered against Jack’s mouth. Jack pulled back then, breaking their kiss with effort, his voice ragged with desire and the effort to do so and his attempt not to take advantage of his employee.
“Ianto…” Ianto pressed his finger to Jack’s lips to silence him.
“Don’t ask questions.” He whispered, trying to communicate to Jack with his eyes, despite the fact he wasn’t even certain what it was exactly he was intending to say.
Jack seemed to understand, however, and fell silent, leading him into another kiss so blazingly passionate it seemed strange that nothing apart from Ianto’s own libido seemed to have caught ablaze.