Ianto has retreated to the kitchen to make more coffee when Jack spots the album lying open on the coffee table. Curious he pulls it closer and flips back to the beginning. Ianto has begun to open up a little over the past few days but he’s still reluctant to talk much about his past, perhaps the pictures will give him an opening Jack muses.
The pictures are standard holiday snaps, Ianto, looking healthier and happier than Jack has ever known him, and a dark skinned, smiling girl he recognises as Lisa. They’re somewhere sunny, hot if the clothes they’re wearing are any indication and probably foreign because he’s sure he’s never seen British waters that blue. There doesn’t seem to be any order to the album, obviously consecutive pictures are sometimes two or three pages apart and some of the pictures are blurred or out of focus, included for the memories they evoke rather than any artistic merit of their own.
“That was last summer.”
Jack starts in surprise as Ianto sets two mugs on the table beside the album and sits down next to him.
“I’d just moved in,” he explains, “we took a long weekend to celebrate, South of France.”
“Looks like you had fun.” Jack says quietly, hoping to draw him out.
Ianto leans over the album, slowly turning the pages. “We did.” He whispers. “She loved the sun, always laughed at me and my pale skin. I got so sunburned.”
One picture in particular seems to catch his attention and he stops, the first smile Jack’s seen all week tugging at his lips. He taps the page, drawing Jack’s attention back to the picture. It’s taken at an angle, long legs diving into the sea, silhouetted against a blue sky.
“I lost my trunks.” Ianto tells him, something that might almost be laughter in his tone. “She thought it was hilarious, told everyone when we got back, I couldn’t look anyone in the eye for weeks.” His voice breaks and suddenly he’s crying. “I miss her so much.” He sobs.
Jack sits back, pulling Ianto with him, drawing the young man into his arms and holding him close as he grieves. “I know, Ianto.” He whispers, pressing a kiss to the dark head now resting on his chest, “I know.”