Characters: Jack, Ianto
Spoilers: Doctor Who: Last of the Time Lords, The Sound of Drums
Summary: Jack’s having nightmares after the Year That Never Was.
Word Count: 428
Written For: tg’s prompt ‘"It's not important, believe me; the past has a way of being past." (The Princess Bride, p 180),’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
For the fifth night running, Jack had woken from a nightmare, sweating, flailing, gritting his teeth against the scream that wanted to escape, in an effort not to wake Ianto.
For the fifth night running, he failed. Ianto rolled over, wrapping strong arms around him, and Jack buried his head against a sleep-warm shoulder, distantly embarrassed by the whimpering sounds escaping from between tight-pressed lips.
“Another nightmare.” It wasn’t a question.
Jack drew a shuddering breath and tried to pull himself together. “Yeah. Don’t worry, I’m fine.”
Ianto shook his head. “No, you’re not. Look, you know I don’t pry, and I’m not going to demand that you tell me, but… What happened to you while you were off travelling with your Doctor? We all thought you were probably gallivanting across the universe having the time of your life. Well, I thought that anyway, I checked the CCTV, recognised the sound of the TARDIS.” Ianto shrugged awkwardly. It wasn’t the easiest gesture when lying down with your arms around someone. “You weren’t though, were you.” Again it was a statement rather than a question. “I’m betting something less than pleasant happened to you. You can tell me, if you want to.”
Jack shook his head. "It's not important, believe me; the past has a way of being past."
Pulling back, Ianto stared at Jack incredulously. “Did you just quote The Princess Bride at me?”
Jack looked shifty. “I uh… I might have?”
An undignified snort of laughter escaped from Ianto. “Only you.”
Chuckling weakly, Jack shifted into a more comfortable position. “Does it get me off the hook? For now at least?”
“You were never on any hook, Jack. If you don’t want to tell me, it’s fine. Really, it’s none of my business.”
“It’s not that. If I tell anyone, it’ll be you. I mean that. It’s just… I can’t tell you, not yet. It’s too soon and everything feels too raw. I just need some time. Is that okay?”
“Yeah, of course it is. But Jack?”
“When you have a nightmare, stop trying not to wake me. It never works anyway. Deal?”
“You want to try to go back to sleep?”
“In a bit. Can we just… Um…”
“Stay like this?” Ianto pulled Jack close, rubbing one hand over the tense muscles of Jack’s back, feeling him slowly start to relax.
“Mmmm. This is good.”
They lay in silence for a while, then:
“Can we watch The Princess Bride again tomorrow?”
Ianto’s smirk was hidden by the darkness.
“As you wish.”