Summary: Ianto helps Jack make a memory. (The non-euphemistic summary: Ianto gets Jack off using poetry. *grin*)
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
A/N: For the two mad geniuses who started all this poetry business, cen_sceal with her gorgeous work of art, Bedtime Rituals, and heddychaa with her lovely stories Sunflower Sutra and Holy, Holy, Holy. All quotes from Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself.
‘What’re you working on?’ Jack asks too-casually, stepping into the Tourist Office. His tone doesn’t deceive Ianto. He knows Jack’s telltale signs of stress all too well: the way he’s holding his shoulders rigid, because he’s afraid he’ll slump into tiredness if he doesn’t make the effort; the way his hair is mussed, because of the number of times he’s run his fingers through it in frustration; the way his voice hitches just the tiniest bit, because he wants to sound cheerful for Ianto, because he escapes to Ianto when the rest of the universe threatens to scramble what’s left of his sanity and eat it with toast and jam on the side.
‘Nothing important,’ Ianto says, hitting ‘save’ on the report he’s been working on; the Prime Minister’s office can wait. He turns in his seat to face Jack. He’s not going to ask what’s bothering Jack: whether it’s the constant bickering that Owen and Gwen have been subjecting the rest of them to all morning, or an unwelcome memory, or something else entirely. That’s not what they do, he and Jack. If Jack wants to talk, he’ll listen. If not, he’ll find another way to soothe Jack.
Jack makes a non-committal sound, which means I don’t want to talk about it and please help, and Ianto smiles at him. ‘Put up the out-for-lunch sign, bolt the door and draw the blinds,’ he says, his voice soft, but carrying a tone that clearly indicates that Jack must obey. Jack stills, locks gazes with Ianto for a long moment. Then Ianto watches as he obeys, noticing the strain that shows in Jack’s every movement, resolving right then that he will never again let several hours go by without checking on Jack.
Jack bolts the door, leaning his forehead against it for a fraction of a moment before turning back to Ianto, who wordlessly holds out his hand, fingers curled slightly in invitation. Jack steps forward and places a tentative hand in Ianto’s. Ianto grasps it gently and tugs Jack to him, and an instant later Jack is straddling him, his arms wrapping around Ianto’s waist, his face nuzzling Ianto’s neck. Ianto’s hands massage Jack’s shoulders and back with broad, flat strokes, pressing down firmly, and Jack groans in relief and pleasure, his cheek against Ianto’s shoulder, his nose against Ianto’s neck, breathing him in.
Ianto’s hand curls around the nape of Jack’s neck, begins working at the tension coiled there. He knows Jack hasn’t slept, knows Jack believes he doesn’t need rest because he’s immortal, knows that admonishment will serve no purpose.
‘Remember the time we drove up to the lake?’ Ianto says, his hands continuing to knead Jack’s sore, tired muscles. He feels a smile against his skin as Jack silently acknowledges the game that they sometimes play: remembering times that never happened, making memories out of nothing, for their lives rarely afford them the chance to make real memories.
‘It had been raining all morning,’ Ianto continues, ‘but the sun had come out by the time we reached. We sat on a blanket on the grass and watched the lake, the way the water sparkled in the sunlight, and you read Whitman to me.’ He reaches for a much-thumbed book on the desk in front of him, turns the pages with one hand (the other never stilling in its caresses) until he finds a well-remembered poem. ‘I celebrate myself, and sing myself, and what I assume you shall assume, for every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.’
‘Love that,’ Jack says fuzzily, his arms loosening their grip around Ianto slightly as his body begins to relax. ‘Sshh,’ Ianto says, his fingertips tracing gentle circles between Jack’s shoulder-blades, and he means It’s all right, don’t speak, I’ve got this, and Jack understands.
‘That’s what I said,’ he goes on. ‘‘I love that.’ I lay on my stomach and you leaned against my side and kept reading to me. I loafe and invite my soul, I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass. I looked at the grass around us and it was perfect, just as you were describing it: summer grass, each leaf glittering with raindrops.’ Jack makes a small sound of contentment, and Ianto presses a kiss to the top of his head.
‘Loafe with me on the grass, loose the stop from your throat.’ As he speaks, his hand slips down to tug Jack’s shirt out of his waistband, and he feels Jack’s breathing quicken as his fingers continue their caressing over the bare sensitive skin at the small of Jack’s back. Jack’s hands, never idle, are already undoing Ianto’s tie. ‘Undo your belt,’ Ianto orders softly, and Jack complies. His head hasn’t left Ianto’s shoulder but his lips are parted against the now-bared skin of Ianto’s throat. ‘Ianto—’ he begins, but is shushed by more poetry.
‘Not words, not music or rhyme I want, not custom or lecture, not even the best. Only the lull I like, the hum of your valved voice.’ Ianto articulates each syllable carefully, drawing it out, running his voice through the words, separating them from each other, matter-of-fact about the knowledge that his accent drives Jack mad with desire when they are like this together. His hand slips between their bodies to take Jack in hand, making Jack moan—the sound like music to Ianto’s ears—and making his head snap back, his eyes so blue and wide and naked that Ianto has to temporarily push aside the wave of affection that rises in his chest at the sight.
‘I mind how once we lay such a transparent summer morning,’ he continues. ‘How you settled your head athwart my hips and gently turn'd over upon me.’ Jack groans at the words, his hand reaching reflexively for Ianto’s belt, only to be slapped quickly away. ‘No. Keep your hands on my shoulders.’ Ianto leans forward to capture Jack’s lips briefly, fiercely, sending a shudder through Jack’s body as his hips buck into Ianto’s stroking hand. There’s no recollection of imagined memory now but this. It’s this story that’s real, this narrative that they’re creating together, this heat and wetness that’s here and now, and still somehow there is the earthiness of grass in this, the iridescence of sparkling water, the fragrance of rain-drenched, chocolate-brown mud; it’s all there, primal, instinctual, in the way that Jack is responding to Ianto’s touch, forgetting himself completely, giving himself up.
‘And parted the shirt from my bosom-bone, and plunged your tongue to my bare-stript heart, and reach'd till you felt my beard, and reach'd till you held my feet.’ In between phrases, Ianto’s mouth gently nips and sucks on the tender skin at Jack’s throat. All the while his hand is reaching, reaching to push Jack closer to his release, his strokes changing from languid to a heady rhythm that has Jack pleading for mercy, his toes braced against the floor, the heels of his feet lifting as his body arches rapturously in response to the relentless rhythm controlled by Ianto’s stroking hand.
‘Tenderly will I use you curling grass,
It may be you transpire from the breasts of young men,
It may be if—’
Ianto breaks off abruptly to set the book down upon the table and thrusts his hand into Jack’s hair, tugging his head back and claiming his mouth, knowing it drives Jack further into wild abandon when he strokes his tongue into Jack’s mouth just before the pleasure escalates further. Jack whimpers under the combined onslaught of Ianto’s mouth and hand, his own hands clutching Ianto’s shoulders as he gives in completely to Ianto, helpless, mindless, oblivious to everything except Ianto. And then Ianto’s wrist flicks just so, sending Jack over the edge, his hand firm on the nape of Jack’s neck, holding Jack’s head in place as he keeps kissing him and swallows his cry.
Later, after Jack has caught his breath and they have licked Ianto’s hand clean together, Jack reaches behind him for the still-open book, and finishes reading what Ianto has left unsaid.
‘Tenderly will I use you curling grass,
It may be you transpire from the breasts of young men,
It may be if I had known them I would have loved them.’
‘That memory needs more,’ Jack says, the book still in his hand as he winds his arms around Ianto’s neck and demands another kiss.
‘Mm,’ Ianto says in response, smiling against Jack’s mouth, and he means that memory is yours now as much as it’s mine, yours to play with and build on and dream about, and yes, I’m yours, too.
‘Tonight,’ Jack says as they pull back for air, his eyes blue and calm, like the surface of a lake, except when slight ripples of anticipation flicker across his gaze, and the word means thank you and I will respond to this as soon as humanly possible by taking you to places you could never have imagined, and yes, I’m yours just as much as you’re mine. ‘And in the meantime, can I borrow the book?’
‘May I,’ Ianto corrects him involuntarily, as Jack had known he would, and any remaining traces of stress that may have dared to survive Ianto’s treatment vanish completely with the sound of Ianto’s helpless laughter as Jack attempts to tickle him mercilessly into submission.