Pairing: Jack/Ianto (Jack/Gwen UST)
Notes: Inspired by a comment thread with qaffangyrl and the Squeeee I haven't read about the promo I haven't watched. Takes place sometime Post-Exit Wounds, so there is a spoiler if you haven't seen it.
Thanks to mardahin for super-speedy beta. Blame additional typos on low-blood sugar, bleary eyes and swiss-cheese brain. Thanks to haldane and joanne_c for additional typo catching.
Summary: A classic movie has disturbing parallels.
Ianto couldn’t stand it anymore.
Jack looking at Gwen as though there were no one else in the world, or at least in the Hub. Now that Tosh and Owen were gone, Jack’s longing gazes at his last surviving colleague were nearly impossible for Ianto to ignore.
He didn’t know which was worse: that Jack was settling for him, or that he was settling for being settled for.
“Do you enjoy being Scarlett O’Hara?” he demanded, drawing Jack’s attention away from the sight of Gwen’s backside, if only for a few moments.
Ianto had long ago stopped discussing classic movies with Jack. There was inevitably some connection to one of his many lovers and Ianto couldn’t stomach another reminder of his ephemeral place in Jack’s long life. However last night he’d been looking for an interesting documentary, when he came upon Scarlett talking about war with the Tarleton twins. Three hours later, he’d wiped away tears as Scarlett came to her grand realisation. The parallel was too painful to ignore.
“You keep pining after someone who’ll never be able to give you what you want while ignoring the person who could really make you happy.”
“I met Vivien and Larry at a party once, in the fifties, and we ended up…”
“Shut up, Jack.”
He did, leading Ianto to wonder if this might be the moment to deliver an ultimatum for some kind of emotional commitment. Maybe he could finally tell Jack to stop lying in his arms while dreaming of Ashley Wilkes, or rather Gwen Cooper. Except he didn’t, because Jack was smiling and he couldn’t risk giving up the sight of Jack smiling at him over something as insignificant as his own self-respect.
“You really think you’re Rhett Butler?” Jack was trying to squelch laughter, presumably at the idea of Ianto as the handsome rogue who could carry him upstairs and ravish him so thoroughly he’d be giddy with sexual satisfaction the next morning. “I can get some period costumes. You should see me in a snood.”
More games. Ways to stave off boredom while waiting for Ashley, or Gwen, or whoever it was always going to be that Jack wanted more than anyone he actually had.
Ianto wished he could quote Rhett’s most famous line on his way out the door, but the bravado would be a lie.
It was Jack who didn’t give a damn.