Ianto often thought that Jack could communicate entirely in touch. Yes, of course there were the passionate and hot nights when their hands desperately ran over each other’s bodies, followed by the languid patterns that Jack would draw in Ianto’s side as they came down from the high.
But there was so much more to Jack’s obsession with touch than that.
There were the days that they would enter a particularly gruesome crime scene, where Ianto would force himself to hold back his disgust at the gore that was too often associated with their work. The desiccated corpses of humans and aliens alike, or the blood that had not yet dried on the street, pictures of deaths so grotesque that Ianto would see them in his nightmares for years to come. As they walked through the police tape to such cases, Ianto would always feel Jack’s hand settle on his back or arm. A small gesture, unnoticeable to anybody not searching for it, but it was a silent comfort Ianto was not soon to forget.
There were the nights where Jack would toss and turn, a harsh reality to his normally perfectly frozen slumber. When Jack came gasping back from the nightmare, all too similarly to his repeated returns from death, he would reach for Ianto, and sigh in relief as soon as his hand fell on his lover’s form.
Less often, there were the moments when Jack could say nothing. A complete and utter lack of verbal response, when he was so lost in memories and anxieties that the idea of speaking over their overwhelming cries was far too much to handle. His face would become vacant of expression, except for the furrowed brows and lonely eyes that acted as an accent to the darkness. Sometimes Ianto would dare to ask about it, and sometimes he would even get an answer; long, seemingly impossible stories about a white wedding in the forties, or a strange blonde girl in a blue box, an Italian man on the footsteps of Ellis Island. But other days there was no such stories to be told. Ianto would simple find himself enveloped in the older man’s arms, a desperate grasp for something sane and real and there.
And some nights, when they were watching movies half-asleep on the couch, lost in whatever movie they were in. Attempts to keep the blankets organized long lost as the pair snuggled closer to one another, and memories of the strange job they had left at the door for a moment of normality. In these moments, Jack would kiss Ianto’s forehead delicately, and Ianto could hear the silent “I love you” that was lost in the sounds of the television.