#1 It's Always the Quiet Ones
Jack knew that, sort of, in the way everyone knows it, but after he discovered Ianto Jones had hidden a cyberman in his basement for two months he really *knew* it.
He should have finished it then, Torchwood protocol was clear, execution or retcon, but Jack knew all too well how it felt to lose someone you loved, to wish more than anything you could save them, to be willing to do almost anything... and he couldn't fault that, even if it did rankle that Ianto had betrayed him.
Besides, as one adage said, it's always the quiet ones... and as another said, it was better to keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
Forgiveness was... hard. He'd never had it, not really.
His mother had never forgiven him for loosing Gray, for his father's death... she'd tried, but she'd never been able to look at him the same.
Jensen, who he'd loved, who he'd sworn he'd spend the rest of his life with, had never forgiven him for joining the time agency. He'd never understood that he wanted so badly to find Gray, he'd do anything. In the end, it's what broke them, their baby girl only the last straw. Jensen had never forgiven him for losing her either, but by that point, they were so far apart, it hardly mattered.
The Doctor, a man he'd have done anything for... a man he died for willingly even, had been unable to forgive him in the end. For being a con man, for distracting Rose's attention from the Time Lord himself, for something Jack had never really understood.
Ianto had forgiven him. Ianto had forgiven him even when Jack didn't believe he needed forgiving and most especially when he did. Ianto forgave him for Lisa, for leaving, for putting him in danger more times that Jack could count.
More than that, Ianto taught Jack how to forgive himself. It was one of the hardest lessons he'd ever learned.
#3 That 'Thing' With his Tongue
Jack was by no means unskilled in the bedroom – or any other handy space – and although he'd had lovers over the years who were at least as skilled as he was if not more, in many varied and different ways, there were still a few tricks that apparently, he hadn't learned.
Ianto's tongue was *sinful* completely and utterly and delightfully sinful. Slick, agile... Jack loved having Ianto's tongue on his body, or in his body.
When they kissed, Ianto kissed like it was going out of style, fully bodied and amazing, his tongue tracing every square inch of Jack's mouth, lapping at his lips, stroking along Jack's own so delicately, or so forcefully depending on his mood that Jack shivered with the sensuality of it.
When Ianto licked a path down his body and fucked Jack with his tongue until Jack whimpered and begged and pleaded and came so hard he blacked out more than once.
Oh yeah... Jack liked those lessons. Even if he swore Ianto was going to kill him one day – it would be worth it.
Jack knew how to love, he'd loved, many times, but he'd also lost and it hurt so much Jack had sworn, never again. Loving someone was just too hard. But Ianto walked into his heart so easily Jack didn't even realise it at first.
He tried not to feel it, not to admit to feeling it, but it was impossible. Ianto was so... Ianto. Everything Jack needed and wanted. He cared for him, looked after him, even when Jack didn't deserve it and there were times he didn't. Times he'd hurt Ianto so badly... but Ianto was still there, a steady presence... and he couldn't help himself. He had to love him, he had to tell him, dancing under the stars on a roof top high above Cardiff – Ianto quirked a smile and kissed him. "I love you too Jack," he'd said.
They didn't suddenly become sixteen year old girls confessing their love at every turn, but it was nice to know it, to know Ianto knew it. And later, when he held their daughter for the very first time, it was nice to love her too.
#5 How to Live
Jack had been alive a very long time. Alive in the sense of that biological trick that keeps human beings ticking... the Vortex kept him ticking over, kept him walking and talking, but in truth Jack had stopped really 'living' for a long time. He kept going, acting like he owned the world, he'd talk and laugh, he'd dance and fuck, but his heart wasn't in it.
Falling in love with Ianto changed that. He slept at night, even if not for more than a few hours, he woke up feeling excited by the possibilities for the day ahead.
Their daughter only made it better, watching her grow, from a baby to a toddler, to a precious little girl, to a stroppy teenager... he wanted to watch every moment. Most days, the knowledge that he'd outlive her, didn't manage to destroy the happiness he'd found, but when it did, Ianto was there, strong and beautiful and reminding him that they had today with her and they'd remember her for all of their tomorrows.
Their tomorrows... an endless trick of biology, two lives that would never end - the universe righting things, or just the Tardis poking her nose in, Jack wasn't sure really, but he'd never be alone again and living when you had someone to live for, was so much easier.