Right, that seems to be about all of the things that currently need saying. Peruse at your own risk, then... <3
Right, that seems to be about all of the things that currently need saying. Peruse at your own risk, then... <3
Ianto remembered being furious all the way to the countryside where people were going missing. He had plotted the route specifically to irritate Owen with the most exposure to the outdoors. But he had hardly seen the views as he drove. Every time he started to ask Jack what had happened, something came up, or he lost the nerve to ask, or Jack had simply disappeared.
Not that it would really have mattered, had he not made it. Once you were part of Torchwood, Torchwood owned you, alive or dead. Not just you; all of your belongings, your entire life, as well.
But that nagging idea that he really shouldn't exist plagued his mind for weeks. He might have, possibly, been a tiny bit more abrasive than was actually necessary.
The look Jack had given him after the comment about snogging Lisa had not exactly implied that he was pleased. No matter. Ianto was not pleased either. Feeling dead and not dead was not a pleasing thing.
Everyone else thought… well, everyone else thought that it had been simple. Just to forget about everything and walk right to Jack… And sometimes it was. Sometimes, it was entirely simple to just go to him and forget everything and everyone. Jack could make a good case for never leaving a room he was in, he was somehow excellent at making the world fall away in favour of indulging in him instead. Sometimes.
Everyone else thought he just stopped caring about anything, and started sleeping with Jack just to do it. To imagine that it all had never happened.
It had never been that. There had been those moments, at the very beginning, in between saving one another. Catching Myfanwy had been the most obvious moment that it had started. Conflicting things that had started there. It was all there, from the beginning. A sort of tension that simmered under the surface in every interaction.
Then there had been Lisa, and while Ianto may have been flexible in his definitions of relationships, he was nothing short of a faithful partner. All of the things happening in the background had to fade to white noise in the face of her pain, and the need for her to be well again. It would have been a betrayal, then.
But then Lisa was gone. All of her pain, their pain, the pain that had sometimes filled the space between them, until there was no room for anything else. All of the guilt for what he felt when he wasn't with her. All of the ties that made it so he was kept to one place and time. There was grief, yes of course there was. But eventually... It was more like he had been mourning her for a very long time. Since the battle of Canary Wharf. Since the War. Since Torchwood One. He had been grieving for so long, even while she was still 'alive', that it didn't seem so inappropriate to try to step past it so soon after she 'died'.
And this, this tension between himself and Jack. It had also been there for most of that time. Waiting for the moment when it could fully make itself known.
This wasn't new. This wasn't abrupt, or sudden, or flighty, or a whim. It was inevitable. It was only a question of when.
I: And this is the time of night...
“When you don’t plan it, the most absurd impulses you act on can be the best ones. The ones that end up creating the best times you will ever have.
Tonight was one of those times. I can’t explain the whole turn of events yet, because I really do not understand how it happened, but I had the time of my life in a moving vehicle from eleven pm on. I’ve just returned, and it is the absurd hour of six am.” -From Brenna’s Journal
That was this morning. She hasn’t yet been to bed. Not even remotely close to tired. The facts are harder to understand than you might think, sometimes. Even when it’s just happened, even when you have it all very clearly in your head.
You know those moments in your life that change everything, or at least make it seem like they change everything? It’s an instant, a split second decision. Like a phone call you make, on a whim, without thinking that it could possibly end in anything other than a ride home.
Then you realise you don’t want to go home, not really. So you ask a tentative question, and the answer surprises you. Then someone later on makes a few comments that set the wheels turning. The conversation makes a slight detour, just enough to allow for the occasional little quip. You both laugh at the person who made the comments to begin with, but now the idea is there, in the background. Tempting both sides towards discussing it.
There’s no rush, really. Neither party wants to make a decision without a signal from the other, but things change subtly. A few tentative remarks are exchanged, and while everyone involved knows exactly what the situation is, there is just this period of feeling one another out.
First nights are always the most intriguing, the most fun, the easiest to manage. After the first night, doubts start to creep in, within hours. Confidence falls away, and both parties start to consider changing their minds, thinking that the other has already backed out.
It’s a very dangerous, and somewhat thrilling game. As soon as someone raises the stakes, it becomes a challenge. It becomes a few parts of an entertainment, and the pieces of the story cannot wait to play themselves out.
II: When the moonlight shines down...
It was like a trip down the rabbit hole. Whereas on first nights, things are always tentative, and very little actually physically happens, second nights are always intensive on everything. Second nights take everything from first nights, and put it under a microscope.
If the circumstances, the people, and the timing are right, then everything becomes a new level of intense. All the questions are loaded. Every glance, every touch, every word, becomes something of importance, worthy of being pondered and analysed.
This can go on for hours, if you aren’t alone. Hours of every look being a communication, fingers poking back and forth, jokes that no one else but the two involved understand… The music on the radio becomes a source of hilarity, because somehow the disc jockies know, and they know that we know that they know.
By the time it all calms down and you get a moment to breathe, just between the two of you, it’s already three in the morning. There is an obvious, blatantly defiant tension in the room. But you blow it off, because the more you let it build, the more likely things turn out on the right side of interesting.
Both of you said something about this. One said that they wouldn’t make the first move, while the other said that they have no self-confidence whatever in their abilities. You had reached a stalemate. It was almost pleasant.
But now, alone in this dark room, after the last nine hours of pure running, something has changed. The way they look at you, the way you look at them… Those looks are still charged, but this time there seems to be an intent behind one set of eyes.
The games have been intense this far, and the level of tension between the two of you could be cut with a knife, but the moment one person makes a decision, and that look begins to show signs of intent… You are already lost, it is merely a matter of how long it takes to give in.
A kiss is a kiss is a kiss. Yet somehow, they feel so different between one person and the next. Once you begin, though, it becomes near impossible to stop. It’s far easier to tumble onto the nearest flat surface.
But duty calls, and you must stop, so you pull away, and run for the door to the car before they can change your mind. It’s this. This little fact that the phone can ring at any second and interrupt you that makes it that much more fun. And then it does, and you curse it, because that was the last time that night you would be alone.
Until the next time the sun sets, and darkness takes over for a few hours. It promises to be very, very interesting.
This will end poorly.
III: And we can reveal who we truly are...
The third night is much like the first. The doubts have finished creeping in, and people have changed their initial decisions. The songs that trigger a good time play early on in the evening, before it is even half dark out in the world. This turns out to be a fairly bad sign.
There is a bit of a tug of war going on between what is really there and what isn’t. It becomes a choice of what is right, and what is easy. But the lines are thin here. The black and white blur together and then everything is in shades of grey. Both parties have made a radical switch in positions
That bothersome self-confidence issue presents itself in rare form on the third night. The other party has made some choices that frustrate you, and by extension, you begin to play the aggressor. There is still kissing, still touching, but… the other one, their heart just isn’t really in it.
A challenge has presented itself. So in the morning, you bathe and get yourself into the correct mindset. You cut your hair, and wear something from another time period. You begin to get ready for the following forty-eight hours, and the event that will make you so tense that if you happened to be a bow-string, you would snap.
But above all, you put a blanket ban out on the following day. You will not answer who, what, when, where, why, or how questions for the next forty-eight hours. On this day, you feel no need. There is truly absolutely no desire to account for one’s self, or justify one’s actions.
A taste of freedom
IV: And I may be bad...
This is the void. The world is quiet here, as if it were asking for permission. The feelings of people are almost not in existence at all. Someone has turned the volume dial down to a mere whisper, as these preparations are made.
She chose the clothing carefully. She had already made her plans and the deals associated with them for the night. She wanted to tame her hair into gentle curls, set her mind in the right place for the evening, and just act.
There was no emotion here at all. Nor was there really a plan. She had openly told everyone involved not to call her, because she wouldn’t pick up. She had made sure that no one would tell her ‘no’ on this day. She had ensured that all things would be within one plan, but she refused to plan the rest of the evening at all. She would merely act on what she felt, and pay no mind to any sort of justifications. It had already been stated that she was a whole different creature today.
On this evening, she would not answer how or why questions.
She would dress, put on makeup, slip out silently, and fall away into a void of music, laughter, intensity, and cigarettes until the next morning.
This night was her own.
Though, this would likely end poorly
V: Within the darkest, most depraved, of joys...
When the tension finally breaks, it is more a matter of being an inevitable occurrence than a moment of maddening passion. By this time, both sides have been teasing one another for so long that it becomes anticlimactic. It is more a game than it is anything else, and whomever gives in first loses the round.
The repeated request from one to the other that they just stop thinking and act on what they really want becomes incredibly irritating after about the fourth repetition. At this moment, it is merely a matter of who gives in and starts it first.
Then afterwards, it becomes a blur of several things happening very quickly, there are a few games of blackjack, several cigarettes, and the obligatory questions that must be asked, facts established. The answers are surprising, but welcome. One side does have the grace to inform the other that their impressions of themselves are wildly wrong, and they should start believing it.
It could be dangerous, this believing someone about themself. It could be dangerous to believe that it stops when they want it to, and not otherwise. It could be dangerous to play these games to begin with, in all real honesty.
But both are only human, and following rules aside from their own is not something that humans do very well.
VI: But I'm perfectly good at it...
“But what happens? What happens when you stop knowing where you were and when you were there, or even how you got there to begin with? What happens when you aren’t sure what was real and what your mind just made up as it went along? What happens when you’ve been blacking out for two weeks, losing four or five hours at a time? What happens when you don’t even remember how the whole evening ended, several days in a row? What then?” - from Brenna’s Journal
VII: Sticks and stones may break my bones...
There are of course those moments when you can’t remember what’s happened. Those must also be addressed. That split second when you realise, ‘oh… Oh I see, so that’s what’s causing all the trouble?”
Too much contact is a bad thing. That’s why there are rules. Rules about never during the week. Rules about secrecy, about hoops and casual arrangements. Rules that were mutually agreed upon.
They never go looking for trouble. That is the trouble. Trouble usually finds them. Because… well, we’ll save that for later.
Because the whole world must stand still and turn around them. Something it is not necessarily agreeable to.
They would find out very soon, of course. Tonight, in fact. April, the twenty-third, 1995.
Or is this how the whole ordeal ends for the both of them? With adultery and whispers, secrecy, hoops to leap through, the whisper of the truth?
This will end poorly.