My dreams versus your dreams

Ttile: My Dreams Versus Your Dreams
Characters: Jack Harkness, Ianto Jones
Pairings: Jack Harkness/Ianto Jones
Word count: (about) 900
Spoilers: Yes
Disclaimer: Neither the song, nor Torchwood and certainly not the characters used belong to me. (They belong to people who didn't know how to use them). Torchwood belongs to BBC Wales & Russell T. Davies.

My Dreams Versus Your Dreams

One of the things that could always calm Ianto down was watching the waves, listening to the sound they did as they kissed the land. He used to think about it for long moments every night before sleep finally claimed him. That didn’t help him much, as he was prone to nightmares from a very young age. And as he grew older, the nightmares became worse. They stopped for a while when he started sleeping with Lisa. Having another person next to him seemed to help. If only a little. And then the Daleks and Cybermen destroyed Torchwood 1 and Ianto’s nightmares became worst than ever.

Sleeping was a necessity and that’s how Ianto dealt with it. He worked and worked until his body shut down from tiredness and welcome sleep. It wasn’t a particularly successful plan, but it worked for a couple of nights each week.

Torchwood 3 added a few acts to his repertoire of nightmares, but Ianto was a resilient young man that took everything in a stride. He had nothing to lose anymore and nightmares never had the strength to beat him up.

It was dreams he was afraid of.

That’s why he tried to keep Jack Harkness away from him.


When Jack was younger back at his own time and place, normal like everyone else, he used to sleep a lot. Being a child for him meant sleep, and rest. Jack’s rest was peaceful, he never dreamt. He couldn’t believe anything said to him about dreams because he hadn’t seen one in his whole life, before or after meeting the Doctor.

It was strange, there were so many arts about dreaming. He had once dated a woman who was a published author. She had told him most of her successful work had come from her dreams. Another old lover used to be a master of explaining dreams. Jack remembered perfectly well how he had decorated their apartment with dream catchers all over the place. They split up because he couldn’t believe Jack when he told him about his dreamless sleep.

After Jack sent Ianto away, he looked down hard at the clean basement, every hint of death and blood had disappeared by Ianto’s hand. Ianto, the man he thought he could trust above anyone else had betrayed them. And in return, Jack betrayed him by sending him home alone, to lick his wounds, to suffer without being seen.

Or maybe Jack had betrayed Ianto before; when the young man had asked for a job and he had given it to him the moment he felt the hard body on his, totally disregarding the trauma of Canary Wharf and the loss of all his friends, the destruction of his life as he knew it.


When Ianto didn’t open the door, Jack knocked harder. “Open up, Ianto. Now!” He ordered.

And Ianto did, the faithful worker obeyed the order; his red rimmed eyes looked accusedly at him, as Jack poured him a glass of water with a mild tranquilizer to help him sleep. Sitting on an armchair by Ianto’s bed meant he got to observe first hand what bad dreams meant to other people and feel his stomach clench from the agony he saw in Ianto’s face, again and again.

Come morning, he was resting on the bed, on top of the covers holding Ianto’s hand in one of his own while the other kept caressing the distraught man’s hair. And the scene was repeated after their trip to the Welsh countryside.

“Thank you. You shouldn’t have stayed” Ianto said afterwards dismissing his own trauma as if it was nothing.

“The nightmares. Do you have them often?” Jack asked appalled at the thought of someone like Ianto who could sleep not being able to enjoy it.

“I’m used to them.” Ianto said with a self deprecating smile. “Don’t worry, Sir, I’ve lived with them for as long as I remember.”


Jack had never seen his young lover as subdued as this. It was their so-called date, only they’re in the HUB eating pizza monitoring the rift. Ianto was quiet; even though he agreed to stay, he seemed uninterested in Jack’s absurd stories.


“Will you leave again, Jack?” The question came out of nowhere.

“I don’t know.”

“Will you say anything if you do? Before you leave?”


“Because you see, dreams are like hope, when you start having them and someone takes them away from you, you feel empty. And lost.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Of course.” Ianto’s gazed at him steadily. “I never dreamt about the future, Jack. Until you came along with your outrageous stories, huge smile, intense bravery, silly coat. Until I had you to keep away the nightmares I had never dared to dream. And you crushed that. You woke up after I thought you were dead and you kissed me. And then you left.” Ianto left the half eaten pizza slice on the box and got up. “I can live with nightmares, Jack, I've told you before.”

He turned around to find Jack standing right in front of him, before being  pulled in a fierce hug. “I won’t leave again, and if I do I’ll tell you. And I’ll come. I’ll always come back. For you.”

“Don’t make me dream if it’s to take it away from me. I can't live with that.”

Jack tightened his hug and wished he could learn to dream while living alongside Ianto.

For as long as they had.
OMG! that was really heart breaking! Ianto's fear is so well described that you can feel it in every word he said.
I hope Jack could learn to dream about Ianto and share those images with him.
Thank you! Nightmares aren't as bad as having your dreams crushed are they? Jack has to learn because in a way he's lived his own nightmares and now it's time to dream. :) (In my head!)
*wibble* My heart aches for both of them, but mostly for Ianto. It says a lot about him that he can cope better with nightmares than with dreams. The nightmares are just echoes of the bad times in his life, but dreams let him hope for something better and shatter his soul when they're taken away.

I hope Jack can keep his promises.
If Jack cannot or won't keep his promise he'll be in for a world of nightmares, literally speaking. Both men are shattered and need someone to push them towards the right direction, that of dreams and how to make them real.

Thanks for reading.