John Hart was drunk, which was surprising enough by itself. With the amount of alcohol he’d consumed over the years, much of it far stronger than what was available on earth, surely he should have been immune to its effects by now? Not that Ianto cared one way or the other; Hart might be attractive, in a repulsive kind of way, but Ianto wouldn’t touch him with a barge pole, not after everything that had happened. He’d far rather the man was gone for good; he’d caused enough damage. It didn’t matter that he was manipulated and coerced into helping Gray get his ‘revenge’, it only mattered that he had, however indirectly, cost Ianto two of the best friends he’d ever had. He’d kill Hart himself, except that he had no intention of stooping so low.
“I thought we got rid of you.”
“I’m drownin’ my sorrows.”
“What do you have to be sorry about? Your little plan to curry favour with Jack backfired and cost the lives of two good people. Where do you get off thinking you have sorrows?”
“I’ve really los’ ‘im now, ‘aven’t I? S’okay, you c’n tell me. All I wanted was t’make ‘im love me again, ‘cause I love ‘im so much. ‘m nothin’ without ‘im, jus’ a washed up former Time Agent.”
Ianto rolled his eyes; great, not only drunk but maudlin, what fun.
“You don’t love Jack, you don’t even know what love is. You’re obsessed; you’ve not lost him because you never really had him. Being stuck in a time loop together for a few years doesn’t qualify as a relationship; neither does shagging each other out of convenience.”
“Does ‘e love you?”
“I don’t know. I’ve never asked and he’s never said.”
“D’you love ‘im?”
“Maybe. Why am I even talking to you?”
“Because yer a good man, Eye Candy.”
“Don’t call me that. And I’m not a good man. I’d happily kill you for what you’ve done.”
“You should. I d’serve it,” Hart slurred.
“If I killed you now in cold blood, I’d be no better than you. If Jack catches you though, you might not be so lucky.”
“I should find Jack, let ‘im put me outta his misery. Better off without me.”
“That’s something we can agree on.”
“’m sorry ‘bout pretty T’shiko. Owen too, I s’pose.”
“They’re… they were my friends, they didn’t deserve to die.”
Hart nodded. “I’ll make it up t’ ya.”
“How? Can you bring my friends back? Can you undo all the destruction you helped cause?”
A shake of the head. “No. ‘m sorry.”
“Then the nicest thing you can do for me now is to leave this planet and never come back. Think you can manage that without hurting anyone else?”
“Thass what ya want?”
“’m goin’ then. Tell Jack… Tell ‘im I’m sorry. For everything.”
“Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”
Hart looked blearily around the empty, moonlit dock. “Door?”
“It’s a figure of speech.” That just got him a blank stare.
After a few minutes, Hart seemed to give himself a shake and looked at Ianto mournfully. “Know you don’ b’lieve me, but I really do love ‘im. Never meant t’ hurt ‘im.”
“You threw him off a roof and killed him last time you were here!”
“Never ‘ad good impulse c’ntol.” Hart shrugged ruefully. “I’ll be goin’ now.” He stared myopically at his wrist strap and stabbed clumsily at the buttons on it. A vicious little voice at the back of Ianto’s mind said ‘I hope he transports himself into a black hole or something.’ “Bye Eye… Ianto. Take care of Jack?”
There was a bright flare of gold light behind Hart, he all but fell into it, and then Ianto was alone on Mermaid Quay. He shoved one shaking hand through his hair and turned, straightening his shoulders and puling himself together. One of them needed to stay strong for the other two, and it looked like he’d drawn the short straw. Taking a deep breath, he stepped through the door into the Tourist Office and headed back down to the Hub. He had a lot of cleaning up to do.