Title: Miracle Sleep Aid
Characters/Pairings: Jack/Ianto, mentions the Doctor
Word Count: 1021
Summary: Jack believes he will be plagued by insomnia for eternity, until he discovers the perfect cure.
Spoilers: Very slight for Doctor Who – Parting of the Ways.
Warnings: Vague mentions of temporary canon character death (Jack).
Written For: My cottoncandy_bingo square Insomnia.
Beta: My wonderful friend iantojjackh who was brave enough to beta a second of my fics, again at very short notice. Thanks so much!
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood or any of the characters. Which is sad.
Soon after Gwen joined the team, Jack had told her that he didn’t sleep, but that wasn’t strictly true; he did sleep, he just didn’t sleep well.
Being an ex-Time Agent who’d travelled with the Doctor, been exterminated, resurrected as an immortal, abandoned among corpses on a space station and then stuck on earth for over a century, subject to the whims of Torchwood, will do that to a man.
The nightmares were a bitch.
While it was true that he didn’t need as much sleep now as before he became immortal, he still needed rest; especially if he hadn’t recently died and been restored to factory settings, as it were. His body welcomed sleep when he could get it, but sleeping just left his mind open to the memories that lurked in his subconscious, and most were far from pleasant. Jack Harkness was a man with more than his fair share of demons.
So he slept when his body and mind demanded it, or at least he tried to. Most of the time it wasn’t that simple. Somewhere along the line, insomnia had become a way of life.
Alcohol would sometimes knock him out for a while, if he managed to drink enough of it before his peculiar metabolism could counteract the effects, but he didn’t enjoy drinking that way. Besides, it only gave him a brief respite.
Sex could be an effective soporific; after a really good shag he might sleep for an hour or two, but contrary to popular belief, unlike Owen, he had neither the time nor the inclination to go out on the pull every night. Running Torchwood Three was more than just a full-time job.
Working himself until he literally dropped from exhaustion, while a little extreme, at least meant he would sleep for a few hours; however, it also made him careless and therefore liable to endanger his team, which was something he considered unacceptable. Risking his own life was one thing; risking theirs just to get a few hours’ sleep was unforgivable.
Most nights when he tried to sleep, he’d lie awake for hours, bone-weary and longing for oblivion. If he was lucky he’d eventually drift off, only to be jolted awake a short while later by the now inevitable nightmares. He started to believe it was his lot in life to be almost permanently tired, a twisted kind of punishment for all the bad things he’d done in his long life. Ironically, the only time he really felt rested was when he’d just revived after getting himself killed again.
Then one day a handsome young Welshman found his way into Jack’s life, bribing him with a Pteranodon in order to get a job. Jack was understandably impressed.
The purely physical attraction gradually evolved into something stronger, though it took them both some time to admit that they were developing feelings for one another. They had their ups and downs, with betrayals on both sides, but when something is worth having, it’s worth fighting for, so when Jack returned from his ill-advised trip with the Doctor, he decided that this time he would do things right.
He courted Ianto, took him on dinner dates, and when they both felt the time was right, Ianto took Jack back into his bed and they made love.
Afterwards, Jack slept for a bit, only to be awakened by nightmares. That was nothing new; if Jack was honest with himself, he’d expected it. After all, his nightmares had grown even worse since the Year That Never Was. Lying there wide-awake, waiting for his breathing to calm down, Jack was surprised when two strong arms wrapped around him.
“Yeah. Sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you.”
“You didn’t. You’re not the only one who has bad dreams.”
“Oh. You too?”
“Practically every night.”
“Are you okay?”
Snuggling closer, Ianto rested his head on Jack’s chest.
“Am now. How about you?”
Surprisingly, Jack did feel better. Ianto was a solid, comforting weight in his arms; it felt good. No, it felt right.
“I think so. D’you want to talk about it?”
“Not especially.” Ianto yawned. “You make a nice pillow. Warm. Go to sleep, Jack.”
Jack obediently closed his eyes, not wanting to disturb the man in his arms, and listened to Ianto’s breathing even out as he drifted back to sleep. It wasn’t long before Jack joined him.
He woke to the sound of the alarm clock and Ianto’s muttered curses as he flailed about, trying to turn it off.
“Unfortunately, yes.” The alarm clock finally went silent and Ianto flopped back beside him. “Mornings should be banned. They’re inhumane.”
Jack chuckled, until Ianto cracked open one eye and glared at him. He was scarily good at glaring.
“Sorry. I suppose we should get up now?”
“I suppose.” Ianto dragged himself reluctantly out of bed and shambled into the bathroom.
By evening, Jack had decided sleeping must have been a fluke. He and Ianto had dinner together at Ianto’s flat and later that night, Jack’s nightmares woke him again. This time, Ianto remained asleep. Resigning himself to a mostly sleepless night, Jack rolled onto his back and stared at the ceiling through the darkness. A few minutes later Ianto, still fast asleep, turned over and cuddled up to him. The next thing Jack knew, it was morning again.
Night after night, the same thing happened. Jack would have a nightmare and Ianto, whether awake or asleep, would snuggle close to him; Jack’s eyes would close and then… Surprise! It’s morning. It was a miracle!
Smiling, he leant over and kissed a sleepy Ianto.
”Huh? What for?”
“Curing my insomnia.”
“Oh. You’re welcome. Go to sleep, Jack.”
Smiling contentedly, Jack pulled Ianto into his arms and prepared to do just that. He couldn’t think of anything better than getting a good night’s sleep while wrapped around this gorgeous man. Well, actually he could, but there’d be plenty of time for that tomorrow. Morning would arrive before they knew it; for now, sleep was a pleasure he intended to make the most of.