Author: Kneady RN aka Angela
Summary: Jack has met a member of Ianto's family, he's torn about how he should handle it but he feels like he owes it to Ianto to try and help him out.
A short while later, Jack let Idris into the flat he was staying at. It had once been a safe house for Torchwood and Jack still had access to it. It was a small two bedroom on the outskirts of Cardiff, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
“Make yourself at home.” Jack said as he led Idris in. “Sorry it’s not much.”
“It’s fine,” Idris mumbled as he looked around. It’s true that it wasn’t much but it was still a hell of a lot better than most places he had lived in.
“You can have that room there.” Jack pointed. Idris nodded and took his suitcase to the small room. They had stopped at the boarding house he had been staying at and picked up his few meager belongings. He gazed around the room noting it’s sparseness. It still was a step up from the boarding house.
“This is'll do.” He placed his suitcase on the bed. He turned and looked at Jack, wondering what he was expecting from him. “I promise, I’ll pay you back for everything.”
“Don’t worry about it.” He turned and left the room. He wondered if he had done the right thing. This man was so similar to Ianto, it was all he could do not to hold him and kiss him. Putting himself in such tight living quarters would not help matters. It was done now, water under the bridge.
He hung his coat up and grabbed a bottle of water from the refrigerator before plopping down on the couch and opening up his laptop. He guessed he should probably tell Gwen about this recent turn of events, she might have some ideas about a job or a permanent place for him to stay. He had typed out a quick email to Gwen when he noticed Idris milling about.
“Help yourself to the kitchen. We can go to the Tesco later and pick up some more things.”
Idris grunted a response. He really didn’t like being beholden to this man. And besides, he knew so little about him. He grabbed a bottle of ale and sat down on the chair across from Jack. If he was going to be staying with this man, he was going to learn more about him, and his motives.
“Everything okay?” He asked as he closed the laptop and placed it on the table in front of him. He studied Idris, he was so like Ianto, at least physically. It was very distracting.
“Thanks again.” Idris began as he took a long drink of his beer. “So, I was wondering. You said you and Ianto were close. How close?” Jack gulped hard. He hadn’t expected this line of questioning so soon but he had imagined that it would probably come up sooner or later. He considered long and hard before answering.
“We met through work. We got to know each other better and . . .”
“And what?” Idris asked, still not sure he really wanted to know.
“Then we became lovers..” He stated matter of factly. He gazed directly at Idris, “We cared about each other a great deal.” Idris gulped hard. He had been afraid that this was going to be the answer.
“Ianto wasn’t gay. He liked girls. I know.” He stated adamantly. Jack shrugged.
“No, he wasn’t gay but that doesn’t change the fact that he and I were lovers.” Jack continued to stare, his eyes unblinking.
Idris sat there quietly. He didn’t know what to think. First he finds out that Ianto was dead, and now that he was queer. Did this Jack think that he was queer too? None of this made sense.
“When did you say you last spoke to Ianto?” Jack finally asked after several minutes of silence.
“I don’t know, guess about two and half years ago. Right before I got sentenced. Ianto knew about the drug conviction and had been by to see me. Like I told you earlier, he wrote me while I was in but I never wrote back.” Now that he thought back to those letters, Ianto had mentioned his boss Jack, but only in vague and uncertain terms. He wished now that he had swallowed his pride and written back to Ianto.
“He never came to see you?”
“No I asked him not to. I was too embarrassed. Sure, I had had many scrapes with the law, but this was my first time going to prison. I didn’t want him to see me like that. Besides, based on what he wrote, he was pretty busy.” He sat there fingering his bottle, more questions popping into his head.
“I see.” Jack murmured. “I was wondering, what kind of skills you have? What have you done for work before?”
“A little of this, a little of that. I didn’t really stay at things too long.” Jack sighed. Finding him a job certainly was not going to be easy. “But,” he continued, “when I was in jail, I learned how to do some cooking.” Jack nodded, well that was a start he thought. “And I was thinking, while I’m here, I can do the cooking, least earn my keep.”
“That would be great, because if we relied on my cooking, we’d probably starve.” Idris chuckled.
“I noticed the amount of food in the fridge, or should I say the lack of food,”
Jack shrugged. “The best thing I make is reservations.” Idris smiled in spite of himself. Despite his misgivings, this Jack did seem alright, but he’d still make sure his bedroom door was locked every night.
After a few weeks, things had settled into somewhat of a normal pace for Jack and Idris. Jack had been able to get Idris a job at one of the restaurants that he and Ianto had frequented. The owner had owed him a favor. It was about as low of a job one could get in a restaurant, but Idris didn’t complain. He had been given another opportunity and he didn’t intend to squander it. He was like a sponge, absorbing anything anyone would teach him about cooking. Jack reaped the benefits. Every night he would come home and Idris would have something incredible made for dinner. Jack thought that this is something that he could easily become used to.
As far as his own life, Jack was still trying to figure things out. He was in constant communication with UNIT and Interpol, but still there didn’t seem to be a place for him. Everyone liked him and valued his knowledge, but they had no clue as to what to do with him. He grew quite bored. He couldn’t remember another time in his life when he had less to do. He seriously considered leaving Wales, but where would he go and what about Idris? He and Gwen got together often and talked about what they could get going, but neither one of them even had a clue as to where they would start. Gwen still had access to the Torchwood files and kept an eye on things around the world but there was nothing going on. Gwen was just as restless as Jack was. She considered going back to work with the police but she knew that it would be ridiculous to try and go back to that world, not after seeing and experiencing everything she had in the last few years. At least she had the baby to keep her busy.
As time passed Idris became less suspicious of Jack. He had proved to be nothing but honorable in his intentions. He had found him a place to stay and a job, just as he said he would. And surprisingly, he found that he enjoyed Jack’s company, that he was easy to talk to and made him laugh. He could see how Ianto could have been attracted to him. They had dinner together most every night, sharing their exploits of the day. One thing that Idris found hard to believe was that Jack had never been to a rugby match. It was practically the Welsh national pastime.
One Saturday afternoon, both of them happened to be home. Idris had been delighted to find the rugby game on the TV because he had been unable to get tickets to the match.
“Jack,” he yelled out. “You gotta come watch this.”
“Watch what?” Jack yelled back from the bedroom where he had been working on his computer.
“The rugby, it’s on.”
Jack rolled his eyes. He never did understand the 21st century males fascination with sports. Sure, he could appreciate a well toned man in a tight uniform, but other than that, the allure was lost to him.
“I’ll pass. I’m working on something right now.”
“Jack,” Idris called out exasperatedly. “You promised you would go to a match.”
“I said that?” Jack searched his memory trying to recall that conversation. “Besides, this isn’t going to a match, this is sitting on the sofa watching TV.”
Idris sighed heavily. “Jack come here and watch this. At least I can explain to you what’s happening before we go.” Jack knew that he didn’t go watch it, he would never get a moment’s peace until it was over. He hefted himself up and ambled into the lounge. “Come here Jack.” He patted the spot next to him on the couch. Jack shook his head thinking that this was probably a bad idea but still he plopped himself down and spent the next hour learning all about rugby.
An hour later, Jack knew more about scrums, rucks and trys then he ever cared to. He hated to admit it, but he had actually enjoyed watching the match. Idris had grown strangely quiet at the end of the match, and for someone who had been so animated just a few minutes prior, Jack found this extremely odd.
“What’s the matter? The Welsh won, right?” He teased.
“Yeah,” Idris mumbled quietly.
“So . . .” Jack inquired.
Idris stared blankly at his hands. “I was thinking about Ianto. He and I used to watch the rugby together all the time. That’s what we said we were going to do when we grew up, play for the Welsh national team.”
“Oh.” was all Jack could think to say. He scooted closer and put an arm around Idris. He noticed the flinch that Idris made but stayed firm.
“I know what you mean. I think about him all the time. I see him everywhere I go in Cardiff. I can’t even go to certain places because they remind me of him so much.” They sat there silently for a long time.
“Hey Jack, there’s something I’ve been wanting to ask you.” Jack raised an eyebrow but said nothing.
“I was wondering, what sort of aftershave you use. I like it a lot.”
Jack couldn’t help but laugh. Seems he had a certain effect on Jones men. “I don’t actually wear any sort of cologne. It’s how I smell naturally.”
Idris blinked rapidly. “Really? You smell like that all the time?”
“Yep,” Jack confirmed. “Pheromones. I think.” Idris gave him a blank stare. He had absolutely no idea what Jack was talking about. “Pheromones are chemicals secreted by our bodies that trigger a social response from members of the same species.” Idris nodded, still having no concept of what Jack was saying.
“If you say so.” Idris finally mumbled. “Do I have them too?”
“Oh yeah, everyone does. You ever met a girl and there’s something about her smell that makes you crazy?” Idris nodded. “Could be pheromones. They say women put out more when they are fertile, as a way of enticing a mate.”
“Put out eh?” Idris teased. Jack winced. “Where do I meet those women?”
“Poor choice of words, I meant that they excrete more pheromones.” Idris continued to laugh. “Never mind” Jack conceded.
Later that night, Idris lay in bed and pondered the conversation he’d had with Jack about pheromones. He couldn’t get it out of his mind that he had noticed Jack’s scent. He knew that he had never in his life noticed another man’s smell and it bothered him. What was it about this Jack that had such an effect on him? He wanted nothing more than to get it out of his head, but every time he was around Jack, there it was. And , if he wasn’t mistaken, it was getting stronger.