skidmo_fic: (jones)
[personal profile] skidmo_fic
Title: Roses in December
Rating: NC-17
Pairing: Ianto Jones/Evan Lorne
Word Count: 14,865
Warning: adult content, angst
Disclaimer: None of these characters belong to me...sadly
Feedback: yes, please.
Summary: Torchwood/SGA crossover, future-fic set sometime post series 1 Torchwood and post season 4 SGA (slight AU as of SGA ep "Doppelganger"). Not part of the Beatles 'verse.
Ianto thinks he should remember, but Lorne can’t tell him why.
A/N: Title is from a quote by J.M. Barrie - "God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December." Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] misslucyjane for the beta.





It isn’t like waking up from a nightmare—sweating, heart pounding, adrenaline rushing through his veins, still in shock from being ripped so suddenly from sleep. It’s more like waking up on a lazy Saturday morning. Consciousness sets in slowly, creeping in at the edges until the dream finally slips away and he finds himself alone in his bed, the only evidence of his dream the damp patch on his pillow.

He’d thought, after three months, that he wouldn’t have these dreams nearly every night, but they haven’t stopped. He knows he should talk to Heightmeyer. If one of his men had come to him with the same problem, he’d have sent them off to her without a second thought. He’d probably have ordered them to see her.

Instead, he does what he always does. He pulls on a pair of sweats, a t-shirt and his sneakers and takes off through the dimly lit corridors, trying to outrun the memories.

The clang of his shoes on the metal walkway seems to echo loudly in the silence of the Lantean night. It’s become a comforting sound. It used to be jarring, but now, it means he’s alone with his thoughts. It’s pointless to think he can run far enough that he won’t be haunted with memories, but he still tries. Sometimes, when he pushes himself hard enough, he can force himself to focus only on the burning in his lungs and the tingling in his legs. And when he stops, he can let the endorphins rush through him. And then it’s only the good memories that fill his thoughts. Only the rush of pleasure, the laughter, the joking, the high of being with someone who knew him completely, understood him, loved him.

But as his sweat cools and his lungs stop gasping for air, the other one creeps in. The one he wishes he could forget. The one he has to hold onto so tightly because he knows that if he lets it go, this will all be his fault. It will be the wrong choice, and he’ll never forgive himself.

***

They were laying on Ianto’s bed, trying not to think of Lorne’s plane, leaving in a few hours. Lorne’s bag was propped against the wall by the front door next to his shoes. It had become a ritual, on the last day of his leave, for Lorne to ask the question.

He brushed imaginary hairs off Ianto’s forehead and whispered, “Come back with me.”

As always, Ianto closed his eyes and sighed. “I can’t.”

Lorne nodded then rolled onto his back. Staring up at the ceiling he said, “I have to ask you something. I don’t want to, but I need to.”

He felt Ianto’s hand curl around his. “Ask me anything you need,
cariadfab.”

Lorne closed his eyes. If he looked at Ianto, he wouldn’t be able to do this. “If Jack asked you to leave me, would you?”

Ianto pulled his hand away and sat up, swinging his legs over the edge of the bed so he was sitting with his back to Lorne. “I don’t...I....” He took a deep breath. “No. I wouldn’t.” The words were firm. A decision rather than a declaration.

Lorne nodded, and moved to sit behind Ianto, close but not touching him. “Just one more question. If he offered you...everything I’m offering you—a home, a life together—if he said he loved you, would you leave me?”

Ianto opened his mouth to respond, but Lorne broke in. “Don’t tell me that he doesn’t love you or that he wouldn’t offer you that. This isn’t about what he would do. It’s about what you would do.”

Ianto drew a shuddering breath. “I don’t know.”

Lorne moved closer, wrapping his arms around Ianto from behind, pressing himself up against Ianto’s back. He placed a soft kiss on Ianto’s neck, sighed and got off the bed. When he got to the doorway, he looked back at Ianto for a second then turned away and said, “This is my last visit to Cardiff.”

He didn’t turn back when he heard Ianto stand. “Because the next time you come you’ll be staying?” Even with his back turned, Lorne could tell Ianto didn’t really think that might be the reason.

“Because I can’t do this anymore.”

He turned then. Time to do what was needed. Time to face his problem like a man, like an officer.

“Did you want me to say no? Pretend I did. Pretend I said no.” It would have been easy, so easy to give in at this point. Say yes, that’s what I wanted. They could have gone on indefinitely like this.

“No. I don’t want that. I don’t want you to lie to me so we can stay together. But I can’t live with that. I can’t live with maybe.” He wanted to reach out to Ianto, to pull him close and say that he didn’t mean it. That he could wait. That someday they’d find a way to work this out. Instead he clenched his hands into fists at his sides and said, “Do you know what it’s like?”

Ianto’s eyes were wet, and Lorne was fighting back his own tears.

“Do you have any idea what it’s like? To know that no matter how much I love you, no matter how much I’d give up for you, it will never be enough?
I will never be enough.”

He turned then and walked to the front door. Ianto watched him from the hallway as he put on his shoes and his coat and slung his bag over his shoulder. “All things considered, I think it’s best if I get a cab to the airport.”

He opened the door and stopped just inside the frame. With his back to Ianto, he lowered his head and said, “Goodbye,” before walking out into the hallway, pulling the door shut behind him.


***

There is nothing to mark this day as particularly special. Ianto gets out of bed, showers, shaves, makes coffee, has breakfast. He brushes his teeth and chooses his dark blue suit with a plain white shirt, red tie. He whistles a little as he ties his wingtips and hums to himself as he gathers up his briefcase and keys and heads out the door.

Traffic is light and he gets into work about fifteen minutes early. Jennifer is already at the reception desk and he greets her cheerfully with a smile and a wave. She asks him if he’d like a coffee, and he says, “Yes thank you, that would be lovely.” He hasn’t the heart to tell her that she makes some of the worst coffee he’s ever tasted. She’s always so eager to make him some. He almost thinks she might be flirting with him, if people can flirt with coffee. He’d probably ask her on a date, but he has a strict policy against dating co-workers. He has no personal experience with it, but he’s sure it can never turn out well.

When he gets to his desk, he sets down his briefcase and checks his email. There’s a message from Charlie asking if he’s finished putting together the report for the Davidson case and one from Gina wanting to know how he’s coming on the archiving project. He’s in the middle of letting Gina know that he thinks they’ll need more space when his phone rings.

“Ianto Jones.”

“Ianto, it’s Jennifer. There are some people here to see you.”

Ianto sighs. He’s sure they’ve had this conversation before. “Jennifer, you know I don’t see anyone without an appointment. See if you can schedule them for tomorrow and ask them to come back.”

“I know you don’t normally see people, and I wouldn’t even bother you usually. Only they say it’s important, and they’re with the military.”

His brow furrows. “The military? What branch?”

“The United States Air Force.”

He glances at his watch. He’s got half an hour before he needs to meet with Charlie, and it will take him at least fifteen minutes to get his notes together.

“All right, I’ve got a few minutes. Send them in, please.”

A few seconds later two men stand in his doorway. The man in front holds out his hand for Ianto to shake. “Mr. Jones? I’m Major Paul Davis. This is Dr. Jason Keene. We’re with the U.S. Air Force, and we were wondering if we might have a minute of your time.”

Ianto shakes both their hands and motions for them to take a seat in the chairs opposite him. “I’m afraid I can’t offer you more than about ten minutes, Major.”

Davis nods. “This shouldn’t take that long.” He nods to his colleague who stands and closes the door. “Mr. Jones, what do you know about Atlantis?”

***

There are days when Lorne thinks the universe is just having a big laugh at his expense. He’s waiting at the pier with Sheppard, McKay and Carter to welcome a set of new personnel. They’re getting three lieutenants and a corporal coming in from the SGC and a sergeant being transferred from the Antarctic base. On the civilian side, they’ve got two new botanists, a xenobiologist, a linguist/cultural anthropologist and an archivist.

The linguists, anthropologists and even, to a lesser extent, the engineers have been asking for an archivist for years now, and the IOA finally worked one into the budget. Zelenka’s been buzzing about it all week.

To Lorne, it feels like a slap in the face. He can practically see the Ancients up there laughing their asses off at him.

Okay, so they probably don’t have asses to laugh off, but still, there’s definite taunting going on from the powers that be.

They’re beamed down in a large group and even without the uniforms it would be obvious which ones are civilians and which are military. The Marines take a second to get a feel for the room they’re in before settling their gazes on Lorne and Sheppard, the obvious officers. The civilians all look around in awe, staring blatantly at the stained glass windows and Ancient consoles.

Normally, Lorne wouldn’t take any notice of the civilians. He’s friendly enough with the science staff when he needs to be, but unless they’re on his team or working in the infirmary, he’s probably not going to be spending any time with them. But one of them catches his eye. At first it’s only because the tall, young man doesn’t seem to have the same sense of awe the other civilians do. He gives a cursory glance about the room and then focuses his attention on Col. Carter. Lorne thinks he must either be a transfer from the SGC or a remarkably good poker player. Lorne can’t quite see the man’s face until he turns toward Lorne and gives him a nervous smile.

He thinks his heart stops for a moment, and he’s fairly certain all the color has drained from his face. He feels faint and nauseated, and he barely notices when Sheppard puts a hand on his shoulder. “You okay, Major?”

Lorne swallows and nods mutely.

“You sure? ‘Cause you don’t really need to be here for this. I can take care of the introductions on my own. Maybe you oughta go to the infirmary and let Keller check you out.”

He closes his eyes for a second and shakes his head. When he opens his eyes again, he looks over at the young man. He’s no longer looking at Lorne, and Lorne forces himself to school his face into a casual mask.

“I’m fine, sir. Really. You know I like to meet the new guys right away.”

“Okay...just let me know if you’re not feeling so hot, Major.” Sheppard gives him a stern look that’s still laced with concern. “That’s an order.”

“Yes, sir.”

When the formal welcome is over, the scientists follow McKay and the Marines go with Lorne and Sheppard. Lorne glances over his shoulder as he leaves the room and sees the young man trailing along behind the other civilians. He pulls his gaze away from them and concentrates on making sure all his Marines make it to the training room without getting into any trouble. He’s on duty now. Time enough to worry about other things when his shift ends.

***

It’s overwhelming at first. It had taken quite some time for Ianto to agree to take the position. He’s still not sure how the IOA got his name. Major Davis had said that he’d come with high recommendations from some of their affiliates and that they’d been impressed with some of the work he’d done just after leaving Cambridge, but Ianto thought it highly unlikely that a secret government organization like the Stargate Program would recruit someone based on a project they’d worked on six years ago, and he had no idea who could possibly have recommended him for something like this. It was a month after Major Davis had come to see him that he’d agreed to sign the non-disclosure agreement and three more weeks before he’d accepted the position.

And now he finds himself trailing along behind one of the world’s foremost astrophysicists through a hallway in the lost city of Atlantis. On another planet. In another galaxy.

It’s a lot to take in, but somehow, he doesn’t feel all that out of place. It’s almost as if he’s been through all this before.

Dr. McKay points out the cafeteria and the gyms on the way to the labs. As they round the corner into the control room, even Ianto can’t keep himself from gasping. He’d seen the stargate at the SGC, but this...this is breathtaking. The sun is setting, and the light from it streams in through the stained glass window behind the gate. It makes Ianto wish he were a painter.

McKay allows them barely a moment to take it all in. “It’s quite something, isn’t it?” he asks smugly when he sees the look on Ianto’s face.

He gives McKay a quiet smile. “It is indeed.”

The other civilians are dropped off in their respective departments to be briefed by their department heads until finally Ianto is the only one still following McKay down the brown and blue hallways. They stop outside one of the doors and McKay waves his hand in front of the panel to open it. He gestures for Ianto to step inside, and Ianto finds himself in a room stacked floor to ceiling with boxes, most of which are unlabeled, several of which are also overflowing, scattering papers and folders and what Ianto assumes are various pieces of alien technology over the floor.

“This is where you’ll start...er...Ian, wasn’t it?”

“Ianto.”

“Right. Yani.”

Ianto is about to correct him, but McKay holds his hand up to cut him off. He’s silent for a moment, looking at the floor, and then he heaves a melodramatic sigh and says, “Fine. I’ll be right there.”

It takes Ianto a moment to realize that McKay must be talking to someone on his radio.

“I have to go clean up after some idiots in engineering. You’ll be okay here for a bit, right?” He doesn’t wait for an answer. “I’ll send Zelenka by later to show you to your quarters.”

He walks quickly to the door and exits, popping his head back in a few seconds later. “Oh, hey. Welcome to Atlantis.”

And then Ianto is alone.

***

The way they’d gotten together was both wholly unremarkable and the stuff of romantic comedies. Lorne was taking a week’s leave before shipping out to Atlantis, and he’d decided to spend it in Cardiff. He had several reasons for this. For one, he’d never been to Wales before. For another, he always took his leave as far away as possible from anyone who might ever be stationed with him, and the UK was pretty damn far away. As for his particular choice of city, he figured Cardiff would be a little bit more obscure than London. Fewer ex-pats. Fewer potentially world-class scientists who might someday find themselves recruited to the Stargate Program.

Most of his vacations were to places a little more...tropical than Cardiff, so he wasn’t entirely sure what to do with himself while he was there. He booked himself into a fancy hotel and did the obligatory sightseeing bus tour, scoping out places to paint. His second day there, he set up an easel by the carousel at Cardiff Bay. It was a fairly uneventful day, except for the time when four clearly insane people had come running through Roald Dahl Plas waving guns and led by a man wearing a coat that would have made General O’Neill cringe with all its billowing ostentation. A few minutes later, a tall young man in a black suit had come running through as well, carrying a large, purple box. He ran out to the street and handed the box to someone in a black SUV before turning and walking back the way he had come. Lorne watched him go, and the young man looked up at him for a moment and gave him a polite smile.

The next day, he took his paints to Bute Park early in the morning. He was hoping to get a good view of the castle, but he couldn’t find one he particularly liked. Instead, he set up by the Taff, very much enjoying the figure of Millennium Stadium towering over the park. He’d only been painting for a few minutes when he heard someone running down the path he was sitting by. Looking up, Lorne saw that it was the young man from the day before. As he passed, the man gave Lorne an amused smile and a little wave. Lorne smiled back.

After dinner that night, Lorne decided to go out. Cardiff was a beautiful city during the day. He wanted to see if she sparkled at night.

And, of course, there was the little matter that he was about to ship out to another galaxy where his prospects for company were extremely limited and subject to the prejudices of the USAF. He felt a little foolish as he googled “gay club Cardiff,” but the woman working reception that night was old enough to be his grandmother, and he really didn’t want to have that conversation with her. He found the address of a likely looking place, and called down to the front desk to have them call him a cab.

Half an hour later, he found himself sidled up to the bar in a dark room full of attractive, young men gyrating to some extremely loud techno-pop. As the barkeeper passed him a glass of bourbon, he heard a voice in his ear.

“If I were a paranoid man, I’d say you were stalking me.”

Lorne looked over his shoulder to see the man from that morning smiling nervously at him. He smiled back and leaned in close to be heard over the thumping music. “I’ve been in Cardiff for all of three days. I think I’d make an unusually inexpert stalker.”
The man laughed and said, “You seem to be doing just fine.”

Lorne could feel the man’s breath on his ear, and he leaned in a little closer. “Name’s Evan.”

“Ianto.”

When Lorne was looking for a relationship, he tended to take things slow. At the very least, he’d buy someone a drink and have a dance. But he wasn’t looking for a relationship. He was on leave.

“Wanna get out of here, Ianto?”

Ianto smiled. “You’ve just bought your overpriced, watered-down whiskey.”

Lorne looked at his glass, swirled it around a bit and tossed it back. “Any other objections?”

When Ianto smiled this time, there was a hint of desperation in his eyes, and Lorne thought that they probably both needed this. A way to let out a building frustration before it exploded into something unmanageable.

In answer to his question, Ianto grabbed his hand and pulled him towards the exit.

There was a slight hold up at the door, and they got caught in the crowd. Lorne found himself pressed up against Ianto’s back. “I’ll take that as a no.”

Ianto grinned somewhat manically back at him. “Your place or mine?”

The surging crowd spit them out onto the street, and Lorne grabbed Ianto’s hips and pulled the younger man in close, kissing him hard. “Whichever’s closer.”

***

It’s several hours before anyone else comes by to check on Ianto. In that time, he familiarizes himself with the artifacts he’s meant to be archiving. He almost thinks he can see a system to it, though the only labels he’s been able to find so far have said things like, “Extremely Dangerous: Do Not Activate,” and, “Keep Away From Sheppard At All Costs.”

He’s just beginning to wonder if he could find his way back to the cafeteria on his own when a friendly, frazzle-haired head pops into the room.

“Ah, good. You are still here.” A compact, slender frame follows the head. “Rodney said he left the new archivist to get a feel for the archives. He forgot to mention he had promised I would show you to your quarters.”

Ianto blinks at the man and opens his mouth to speak before he is cut off. “Sorry. I should have introduced myself.” The man holds out his hand and Ianto shakes it. “Radek Zelenka. I am head of the engineering department, and Dr. McKay’s preferred minion for torturing.”

Ianto laughs a little, not entirely sure it’s a joke after what he’s seen of McKay. “Ianto Jones. I’m the....” He trails off, realizing that of course Radek knows he’s the archivist. He’s just said as much.

Radek doesn’t seem to notice though. “I know I am supposed to take you to your quarters, but would you mind terribly if we stopped by the mess hall first?”

“Not at all,” Ianto says following him out of the room.

“Good. It is meatloaf night, and if we do not get there in time, the Marines will eat all the mashed potatoes, and we will be left with only the kubara.”

“Kubara?”

“It is a root vegetable that the Athosians grow. It is similar to a potato only in size and texture. It is also purple and rather sweet.”

Ianto wrinkles his nose at the thought.

“Yes. Exactly,” Radek says.

When they reach the cafeteria, Radek takes Ianto quickly through the line, pointing out actual foods from Earth as well as Pegasus galaxy substitutions and telling him which ones are worth trying and which he should avoid. After filling their trays, Radek takes a moment to scan the room for a place to sit.

“Ah, there he is.”

Ianto looks over at where Radek is pointing. One of the officers he’d seen on the pier is sitting alone at a table in the corner. Ianto thinks it’s the one he smiled at.

Radek leads them over to the table and sets his tray down. “I was hoping you would still be here, Major.” Turning to Ianto, he asks, “Have you met Major Lorne yet, Ianto?”

Ianto sets his tray down across from Radek. “I don’t believe I have, no. I’m Ianto Jones, the new archivist,” he says, holding out his hand for the major to shake.

Lorne stares at him for a moment, looking confused. He cautiously takes Ianto’s hand and gives it a perfunctory shake, dropping it quickly as though it burned. “Evan Lorne,” he mumbles, then stands and turns to Zelenka. “Sorry to disappoint you, Doc, but I was just leaving.”

“But you have not finished your dinner, Major,” Radek protests, gesturing at Lorne’s half-full tray.

“No time. I’m late for a meeting with Sheppard.”

Radek frowns at him, but Ianto smiles and says, “Well, it was good to meet you, Major. Even if it was only for a moment.”

Lorne looks at him with what Ianto can only describe as exasperation. “Yeah...right.”

As he leaves, Radek says, “I cannot imagine what has gotten into him. He is normally very friendly, especially to new personnel.”

“He looked a little peaky when I saw him earlier,” Ianto says. “Perhaps he’s just feeling a bit under the weather.”

Radek watches Lorne as he goes through the door. “Perhaps,” he says thoughtfully.

***

It wasn’t the best sex of Lorne’s life, but it was probably in the top five. It was raw and fast and messy, which was actually sort of typical for Lorne on leave, but for the first time when the other guy asked him to stay, he did.

Maybe it was because he knew he was leaving the planet for a very long time and he was craving the human contact. Maybe it was because he thought Ianto needed him to stay as much as he needed to stay. Whatever the reason, when Ianto curled himself around Lorne and murmured, “Stay?” into his neck, Lorne just smiled and kissed his hair and said, “Okay.”

And in the morning, after more insanely athletic sex, when Ianto said that he had to go to work but that if Lorne didn’t have any plans for the day he was welcome to just hang around Ianto’s flat until he got back, Lorne was very tempted to stay again. And when Ianto added, “Or, if you did have plans, that’s fine too. Maybe we could meet up for dinner or something else. Not that you don’t probably have better things to do on your holiday, but...,” Lorne couldn’t think of any better way to stop him rambling than to kiss him, so he did.

And when Ianto got home that evening, Lorne was sprawled out on his couch, reading his copy of The Cat Who Walked Through Walls. Lorne smiled at him, and Ianto smiled back and asked, “How long are you in Cardiff?”

“Just ‘til Friday.”

“Okay.” Lorne thought Ianto looked a little disappointed. “Did you have any plans?”

Lorne smirked at him. “Well, if you don’t have any objections, I thought I’d spend my days painting somewhere and my nights fucking you into the mattress.”

Ianto grinned. “Sounds good to me.”

Lorne stood and pulled Ianto to him and kissed him. It wasn’t like their other kisses. It was slow and almost tender, and when Lorne pulled back, Ianto sighed and leaned against him, and Lorne felt obligated to say, “I’m shipping out when my leave is over.”

Ianto closed his eyes and ran his nose along Lorne’s cheek. “To where?”

“I can’t say, but it’s far.” He slid an arm around Ianto’s waist and held him close, taking Ianto’s hand in his and swaying slowly, dancing without music. “I...I don’t know when I’ll be back. It will probably be a long time.”

“How long?”

Ianto was burying his face in Lorne’s neck and Lorne found it hard to think. “I don’t know. Months...maybe years.” He stopped moving and looked at Ianto. “What I’m trying to say is...I can’t offer you anything more than this week.”

Ianto nodded slowly and cupped Lorne’s face. “I understand. I...I can’t offer you anything more than that either.” Then he kissed Lorne, and they didn’t talk about it for the rest of the week.

***

Lorne makes it all the way back to his quarters before he lets himself give into the urge to punch a wall. It’s every bit as bad an idea as he thought it would be, and he cringes as the pain shoots through his fingers. His knuckles are bleeding but he doesn’t go to the infirmary. He doesn’t want to answer Keller’s questions, and he really doesn’t want to end up with an appointment to see Heightmeyer.

Either Ianto is an utter bastard and he was just really good at hiding it, or he’s been retconned and he honestly doesn’t remember Lorne. Lorne isn’t sure which he’d prefer at this point.

The only thing he knows for sure is that Ianto has left Torchwood, voluntarily or not, and that just twists the knife in the wound he thought was beginning to heal. If Ianto chose to leave Torchwood, why couldn’t he have done it all those months ago? Why could he not do it for Lorne if he could do it for some other reason?

Lorne laughs bitterly to himself. He’s just been starting to think he might be getting over the dreams, and now...now he’s living in them. A run isn’t going to help him this time, so he taps his radio once. “Ronon, this is Lorne. You free to spar?”

***

It doesn’t take Ianto long to get acclimated to life in Atlantis. Apart from being in another galaxy, it’s like any other project he’s worked on. The scope is a bit larger and the previous organizational system is, well, non-existent, but the people are friendly, and Ianto finds himself welcomed into a new community in no time.

Radek is a useful ally, as Ianto discovers. Nothing happens in the city without the Czech knowing about it, and he passes much of his knowledge and expertise on to Ianto. Ianto joins the chess club and even gets in on the bi-weekly engineering poker game. Radek bent the rules for him, saying, “You have no department of your own, so I have adopted you into mine. You are now an honorary engineer. It is not all poker games and access to the common pool of alcohol and chocolate though. We may call on you from time to time to push the engineering projects up a little higher on your schedule than they may originally have been placed, yes?”

He knows that somewhere out there in this strange galaxy there are monsters called the Wraith who are big and scary and he should probably be terrified of them, but Atlantis seems so safe that it’s hard to remember sometimes. But he sees the eyes of some of the people who have been there since the beginning, or nearly the beginning, and he wonders if someday he will have that barely contained wariness, if his muscles will be wound tight under his skin, if he will look as though he is only waiting for provocation to attack. Even Radek, friendly and open as he is, has shadows behind his smiling eyes.

People are, for the most part, friendly, and Ianto is welcomed eagerly by nearly everyone. But Major Lorne never seems to warm up to him. Radek is perplexed by this, and clearly upset. He promises Ianto that it isn’t like Lorne to be so formal around someone, and Ianto can see that Radek is sacrificing time he would normally be spending with the major to make sure Ianto is at home. After about a month, Ianto calls him on it.

“Really, Radek, I know you’re concerned about me fitting in, but you can’t give up what is clearly an important friendship for me. I won’t allow it. Perhaps you should have lunch with the major tomorrow. Dr. Esposito has asked me to join her, so you needn’t worry that I’ll lock myself in my quarters and brood until you come to visit again.”

Radek smiles and says, “Dr. Esposito? You are a very lucky man, my friend. I know of at least a dozen men who have been trying to get her to have lunch with them for the past year. You do not waste any time, do you?”

Ianto blushes. “It isn’t like that. She wants me to help her with some translations.”

“Oh, yes, I see. And you are undoubtedly a better choice to help with translations than, say, one of the linguists employed here. Yes, this makes perfect sense.”

Ianto takes the teasing with grace, but when he thinks of Radek having lunch with the major he feels a spike of jealousy that he can’t seem to shake off. It makes no sense. Radek is allowed to have other friends, and Ianto would never begrudge him time with them, even with someone who seems to have taken such a strong dislike to Ianto. He puzzles over it for a long while, but he can’t come up with any answers.

Perhaps he should make an effort to befriend the major. It would certainly make things easier.

***

It had taken Lorne a long time to decide whether to accept the posting to Atlantis. One of the main reasons he hadn’t gone with the original expedition had been that he still had family on Earth. In the end, though, with the possibility of relatively easy, if long, travel between Earth and Atlantis, he’d decided that it was his duty, to his country and to his planet, to go. He had the gene after all, and he had three years experience with the program. They needed people who were familiar with off-world travel. He’d said goodbye to his mom before going to Cardiff. It had been difficult, not being able to tell her where he was going or why or when he’d be back, and he was glad he had no one else he was leaving behind.

So why had he allowed himself to spend a whole week with someone before shipping out?

At first, he told himself it was just about the sex. Which was, to be quite frank, fantastic, but he couldn’t lie to himself for long. Ianto was…well, he was exactly what Lorne would have looked for in a boyfriend, if he’d ever thought about actually having a boyfriend. He was funny and sarcastic with a dry wit to match Lorne’s own. He was also polite and thoughtful and endearingly geeky and adorably modest.

When Lorne asked, two days in, if he could draw Ianto, Ianto blushed quite nicely and ducked his head and asked, “Why?”

“Because you’re beautiful, and I could make a beautiful sketch of you.”

“Oh,” was all Ianto answered, though his blush deepened. “Okay.”

He always accepted compliments this way, with a skeptical embarrassment. Lorne wondered if a week was long enough to convince someone they were amazing. He doubted it and felt slightly envious of whoever would eventually have that privilege with Ianto.

He didn’t realize he was staring at Ianto until he felt a soft press of lips against his. Ianto always resorted to kissing Lorne when Lorne looked at him too long. (It made Lorne pause for a moment when he realized that two days was only just barely enough time to be making statements that began with “always”.) All it really accomplished was making Lorne want to stare more often.

Lorne kissed him back for a moment before pulling away and asking, “Would you mind being nude?”

From the way Ianto’s face flushed scarlet, Lorne figured Ianto would refuse. Instead, he nodded mutely and began to unbutton his shirt.

“Wait,” Lorne said.

Ianto paused with just the top two buttons undone.

“Let me?”

Ianto nodded again, and Lorne knew his face was flushing for entirely different reasons this time. He slowly undid the next few buttons, wanting to see how far down Ianto’s chest the pinkness had spread. He leaned in and kissed the base of Ianto’s throat, smiling when he heard Ianto give a soft sigh. He finished with the last button and slid the shirt off Ianto’s shoulders, leaning up slightly to kiss Ianto as his hands deftly unbuckled Ianto’s belt and made quick work of the button and zipper on his pants. He deepened the kiss and slid his hands around Ianto’s waist and into the back of his pants. He’d had a fascination with Ianto’s ass since the very beginning. There wasn’t much to it, but it curved just enough to pique his interest. As he flicked his tongue against the roof of Ianto’s mouth, he was already picturing what his sketch would look like, how he would ask Ianto to pose to best show off that beautiful ass.

When Ianto arched his hips towards Lorne, Lorne pushed his pants and boxers down his thighs and brushed his fingers across Ianto’s rapidly hardening cock before dropping to his knees. He smiled wickedly up at Ianto and then bent down to help Ianto out of his shoes and socks and slid the pants and boxers the rest of the way off.

Standing slowly, he pulled Ianto to him for one more kiss then whispered, “Lay on the bed,” and stepped back.

Ianto swallowed and made his way slowly over to the bed. He lay down on his side and looked at Lorne with wide eyes. “Like this?”

“No. Lay on your stomach.”

Ianto complied and looked back over his shoulder at Lorne. “Like this?”

Lorne smiled. It was perfect. “Yeah, like that. Just…rest your head on your arm, okay? That’s it…that’s perfect.”

He wasn’t sure how it had happened—though he had his suspicions—but somehow Ianto had gone from obviously embarrassed at the thought of being drawn at all, to being completely relaxed, laid out naked and slightly flushed, watching Lorne through half-closed eyelids as he picked up his sketchbook and began to draw.

He talked as he sketched, keeping his voice low, telling Ianto how beautiful he looked, how perfect he was. He wanted to be as quick as possible, partly because he didn’t want Ianto to tense up again, and partly because Ianto looked so damn sexy that all he wanted to do was crawl on top of him and fuck him until they were both exhausted, but there were so many he details he wanted to capture just perfectly, from the curve of his ass to the tiny, new, red scar at his throat.

About half-way through the sketch, Lorne had an idea for another, and since he wasn’t sure he’d be able to get Ianto to agree to this again, he decided he’d have to do it that night.

He began to change the tone of his stream of compliments. He still kept his voice low, but the timbre became gruffer as he told Ianto how hot he was, how perfect his ass looked, and exactly what he wanted to do to that ass. Ianto’s eyelids drooped, but Lorne could tell that his eyes had darkened. He wiggled restlessly, and Lorne quickly finished the sketch he was working on and flipped to another page.

“Turn over,” he said in a tone that brooked no argument.

Ianto rolled onto his back and Lorne set his book down and walked over to him. He didn’t speak at all as he propped a few pillows against the headboard and motioned for Ianto to sit against them. He gently arranged Ianto’s legs so that one knee was in the air and the other leg was bent and lying on the bed.

Moving back to his book, he looked Ianto in the eyes and said, “Touch yourself.”

Ianto’s eyes widened and Lorne could hear his breath hitching. But he slowly moved his hand down to his dick and began to stroke it.

“Slowly,” Lorne warned. “I don’t want you to finish before I do,” he added with a smirk.

Ianto’s hand slowed and he kept up a steady, smooth rhythm as Lorne feverishly sketched him. His pencil flew over the page. He needed to get this down as soon as possible. His concentration was waning, and he found it extremely difficult to focus on his drawing with Ianto sitting there, jerking off, watching him with wide, dark eyes. Lorne’s hand stilled as he watched a drop of sweat drip from Ianto’s neck to his chest and down his belly. He shook his head to clear it and hurried through the rest of the sketch. It wouldn’t be one of his best, but he had a feeling it would be one of his favorites.

When he finally finished, he sat for a moment watching Ianto. Ianto was still stroking himself slowly, but his hand was shaking. Lorne took pity on him. “You can speed up now.”

Ianto’s head fell back against the pillows and he jacked himself hard and fast while Lorne watched. He could see that Ianto was close, and he quickly stripped off his shirt and pants so that by the time Ianto came, spilling over his hand onto his stomach, Lorne was naked.

Lorne crossed the room to the bed and crawled on top of Ianto, kissing him hard and fumbling in the drawer of the bedside table for the lube and a condom. Pulling away, he handed the lube to Ianto.

“Open yourself up for me.” His voice was husky and deep and brimming with more emotion than he was comfortable feeling for a man he’d known for only two days.

There wasn’t time to think about it though, as Ianto squeezed some lube onto his fingers and worked them inside himself, keeping his eyes on Lorne’s the entire time.

Lorne groaned and tore open the condom wrapper, rolling it quickly onto his cock. He stroked himself slowly, watching Ianto stretch himself, quickly working his way up to three fingers and then pulling them out and whispering, “I’m ready. Fuck me.”

Lorne held himself over Ianto and kissed him gently as he eased his cock inside. When he was all the way in, Ianto wrapped his legs around Lorne’s waist and deepened the kiss.

Moaning into Ianto’s mouth, Lorne began to thrust. When he’d been sketching Ianto, he’d wanted nothing more than to bury himself inside Ianto and fuck him fast and rough, but the pace he set now was unhurried. He rocked his hips slowly and kissed Ianto, his lips, his neck, his chin, anywhere Lorne’s lips could reach.

Ianto moaned and buried his fingers in Lorne’s hair, whimpering softly, and Lorne reached between them to wrap his hand around Ianto’s cock. He didn’t expect to get any sort of reaction this soon, but he felt Ianto’s dick swelling in his hand as he matched the rhythm of his hand to that of his hips.

It could have been hours that they stayed like that, making love slowly—something Lorne had never done with a man before, something he’d never allowed himself to do—and when he finally came, it was almost a surprise. It crept up on him and spilled over almost before he’d realized what was happening.

He lay for a long moment, on top of Ianto, just kissing him and nuzzling his face. When he eventually rolled off, he gathered Ianto up in his arms and held him close.

Neither of them said anything as they lay there, but Lorne felt like they’d had an entire conversation in those last few moments before he drifted into sleep.

***

Zelenka corners Lorne in his office the next day.

“Okay, I give up,” he says flopping into the chair opposite Lorne.

Lorne cocks an eyebrow at him. “Am I supposed to know what you’re talking about, or is this one of those times when I just sit patiently and wait for you to make sense?”

Zelenka gives him a hard look. “Why don’t you like him?”

Lorne knows exactly what he’s talking about, but he feigns ignorance. “Why don’t I like who? McKay? I don’t like McKay because he’s a jerk.”

Zelenka rolls his eyes. “What is it about Ianto that you do not like?”

“I like him fine, Doc.”

“Do not lie to me, Evan. You have been avoiding me since Ianto arrived. It is not like you to be so unfriendly.”

“Look, Doc, just trust me when I say there is nothing about him that I don’t like.”

Zelenka leans back in his chair. “How long have we known each other, Major?”

Lorne is somewhat taken aback by his question. “Uh…four years now?”

“There is something you are not telling me.” He leans forward and lowers his voice. “You cannot always keep everything to yourself, my friend.”

Lorne sighs, rubbing the bridge of his nose between his thumb and forefinger. “Look, it’s complicated, okay. And you probably wouldn’t believe it.”

Zelenka raises an eyebrow at this. “I would not believe it? Have you been to engineering lately? There is a machine there that will turn your skin purple. At the moment it seems to have no other purpose. If I can believe that there is a civilization somewhere in which purple skin is considered attractive, I think I will believe whatever it is you have to tell me. Come,” he says, gesturing to the door. “We’ll get some lunch and you can explain to me what is so complicated it makes you be rude to a very congenial man.”

“You’re not eating with Ianto?”

“No. He has a date with Dr. Esposito.” Zelenka accompanies the name with a knowing waggle of eyebrows.

Lorne just stares at him for a moment. “You know, Doc, I’ve got a lot of paperwork to catch up on. I should really work on that.”

Zelenka sighs. “I think it would be better for you to come with me. The paperwork can wait. You have not been yourself for a long time, Evan. I do not know what is wrong, but I would like very much to help.”

“Nothing you can do to help, Doc.” He sounds weary, like he’s given up.

“That may well be the case, but I think neither of us can make that judgment until you have told me what is bothering you. I am worried for you.”

Sighing quietly, Lorne stands. “Fine. We’ll have lunch, but…not in the mess, okay?” He doesn’t think he’ll be able to eat much if Ianto’s sitting a couple tables away.

***


Part Two

Date: 2008-01-12 02:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frakkingrackles.livejournal.com
I like how you worked the title of the show into the story. It is called "Torchwood: 4 clearly insane people running and waving guns..." isn't it?

Date: 2008-01-12 03:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
Close. I believe it's "Torchwood: 4 clearly insane people running and waving guns...and Ianto." :D

Date: 2008-02-12 04:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] neyne.livejournal.com
whoa this is more than awesome! evan/ianto!!! my fav sga char and my fav torchwood char... i think i got a new otp! :D

this is lovely, thanks for sharing.

Date: 2008-02-12 05:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
Thanks!

If you're interested, I've got several more Lorne/Ianto stories here. (http://skidmo-fic.livejournal.com/tag/jones/lorne) ()

Date: 2008-02-12 07:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] neyne.livejournal.com
thanks for the link!! *hugs*

Date: 2008-03-22 04:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leavesoflorien.livejournal.com
Oh wow. I rarely comment on fanfic anymore because it is often the same drivel and usually not written well.

I've never read any Lorne-centric fic (not that I don't like him...but there is SO GODDAMN MUCH Mcshep out there that it's hard to find anything else). I've read a decent amount of Jack/Ianto (though most of it is crap for some reason).

Lorne/Ianto? Brilliant. And so well written...just wow. Oh and that drawing scene was beyond hot.

Off to read Part 2!

Date: 2008-03-26 03:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
Thanks! I'm glad you're enjoying it, and I hope you like part 2 just as much. :D

Date: 2008-09-06 02:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thrace-adams.livejournal.com
I just found this and read both parts. It's really well done. I really like the back and forth and seeing how their relationship developed (both times).

Date: 2008-09-06 08:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
Thank you!

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