Jack on Love, or... Jack Wakes

by Gracefultree

A/N: This is a quasi-sequel to my other story, Ianto Wakes. It's more of a parallel-story than a sequel. In it we hear some of Jack's impressions of the Ianto who kissed him on the warehouse floor after catching Myfanwy, the Ianto who fell in love with Jack as he betrayed him, who eventually came clean and ended up in London with no memories of Jack or the entire month leading up to that moment.

But first, I wanted to ask Jack a few questions about love and his opinions of it.



I believe in love at first sight.

Now, before you protest that the words "love" and "Jack Harkness" don't belong in the same sentence, we need to come to an agreement about the definition of love.

For you 21st Century lot, there's two kinds of love, maybe three. Love of family, love of friends, and romantic love. For me, there's hundreds, thousands of types of love. Every person I meet is potentially someone to love. And, no, before you snicker like that, I'm not using "love" as a synonym for "sex." You see, love is different with each person. No love is the same. And I don't know about you, but I couldn't have sex with someone without loving them just a little. It might be their laugh, or the way their skin glows in the moonlight or their opinion about religion, but there's always something.

So, let's talk about falling in love. The sudden desire to spend every moment with that new person, to get to know them, to learn everything there is to know about them. That fluttery feeling in your stomach, like butterflies, like anxiety, but softer. Love at first sight is more like that feeling of meeting someone for the first time and being utterly smitten, like you've been hit in the head with a hammer or punched in the stomach, only not so violent. You know, in that instant, that this person will change your life forever. You might not know how they'll change it, but you know.

But I digress.

It's unfortunate that your views of love and sex are so – distinct. Either it's the warm emotional connection of love, or the cold, clinical sexual act. Love is beautiful. Sex is ugly, something to be ashamed of, if you're not having sex with someone you love. In fact, you keep these two concepts so far apart that you call the same activity by different names if there are emotions involved. Sex is just sex if it's about physical sensations, lust, hormones, pheromones, attraction, and pleasure. If there's an emotional relationship between the parties, sex might have all the same properties I just mentioned, but it will be called "making love."

Sex can be a recreational activity. Sex can be exercise. Sex can be communication. Sex can be expressing complex feelings. It can be caring, and comfort and any number of other things. And, yes, sex can also be love. As I said, I love everyone I have sex with.

Did Jack Harkness, the king of one night stands and the casual fuck really just say he loves everyone he shags? Yes, I did. I know you don't believe me, but it's true. Sex, at its most fundamental level, is the connection between two people. And what is more beautiful than that? What's more deserving of love than that?

When I say "love," I don't mean the all-consuming "I only ever want to have sex with you for the rest of my life because monogamy is how we express love, even if humans aren't actually meant to be monogamous" feeling that might or might not last. That's what your society calls it. I don't believe in monogamy. Sure, I've done it with a few partners, but it wasn't really my thing. I did it for them, because it would make them happy, but it only made me cranky. Well, mostly. I don't actually have to be shagging more than one person at a time. I just need the option to be there if I want it. It's a difficult thing for you to understand. Most of you, anyway. There are those who are getting closer to my views. Polyamory, polygamy, pansexuality and omnisexuality. None of it quite fits me, but then again, I was born over three thousand years in the future, so I have different views on a lot of things, and sex is only one of them.

I bet you're wondering if I've ever been in love in your traditional sense. I have been. Quite a number of times, actually. More than you would imagine, given my reputation. But I actively cultivate that particular reputation so my potential partners aren't surprised when we get around to talking about things like "relationships" and "what we're doing" and "what it means that we're together" and I tell them I don't do monogamy. It always makes me happy when someone's willing to consider being with me despite that, given the hang-ups you people have about sex.

This brings us back to what I said to start all this: Love at first sight.

I've experienced that, too. Four times. I'm open to it again. It's been a very long time since I've loved someone like that, since I've loved someone so much.

The first person I loved on sight was my little brother. I was almost three, and meeting him, holding him for the first time, it changed my life. I was so proud to be a big brother! There wasn't a more loved little brother in the whole community. I would have done anything for him, which is why it hit me so hard to lose him. It wouldn't have been so bad if we'd found a body. I would have had closure. As it stands, his loss is an open wound on my heart that I've hidden so far down in my psyche that I couldn't access it if I tried.

I was twenty when I was paired off with the man I would love instantly and unconditionally until he slipped down the slope of drugs and alcohol that I wasn't willing to follow. He hurt me, in more ways than one, and I fell out of love with him. We were hot and cold, off and on, in love and out of it for many years, never together longer than a few months. That's probably what kept us together so long. (By "together," I mean "willing to sleep together when we ran into each other.") Spending five years in a time loop of two weeks where we were the only people who knew those same two weeks would repeat again and again both brought us together in new ways and destroyed any chance we had of a real relationship. Or a lasting one. I couldn't stand to be anywhere near him after that, though we hooked up for sex a few times before I left the Time Agency.

And, no, I'm not going to tell you about the Time Agency.

The third person I fell in love with at first sight was a woman named Rose. She was so beautiful! A 21st Century girl I met in London in 1941. We time travelers get around. (No, I'm not telling you about that, either.) I danced with her on top of my stolen Chula warship by the light of Big Ben and the barrage balloons. Sadly for me, she was already in love with someone else, and while that wouldn't have mattered to me, she was raised differently, and it wouldn't be ok for her. She never had a more devoted friend than I was.

It goes without saying that I fell in love with the man she loved. I fell in love with him as we bantered about sonic technology and ran from a danger that I had inadvertently released. He gave me a chance at a new life, a braver life, a life I could be proud of, that he could be proud of. He abandoned me, taking Rose with him, leaving me alone with piles of dust and bodies. I'd only ever kissed them once, and it was a goodbye kiss, and we all knew it. I didn't expect to live. But Rose loved me, in her own way, and I lived and learned how to be alone again after our adventures together.

Since I've been on Earth, I've fallen in love, and been loved, but it's never been as intense as with those others. It's never consumed me. It's never been that instant connection I had with those four.

Do I want it? Sure. But it's not the kind of thing you can force.

So when I looked into his eyes for the first time, I wasn't expecting anything more than an acknowledgement of my presence or, if I was lucky, a spark of attraction. Instead, I fell in love. I fell in love, and it hit me over the head and I was lying in the grass in a park, in the middle of the night, staring up at a gorgeous young man in tight jeans that showed off his assets in all the right ways, with a sedated weevil next to me and a gash healing on my neck. Then he spoke, and if I didn't know before, I knew then that he would change my life forever.

His name is Ianto Jones.