Rating: All Ages
Word Count: 2431
Author's Summary: He always means it at the time.
Characters/Pairings: Jack/Estelle, Jack/Ianto
Recced because: What I've always loved most about this fic, the thing that makes me remember it and reread it, is its rendering of young Estelle, Estelle as Jack first knew her. She's brought alive with remarkable clarity in few words, and though the author had many years to work backward through, she fits. She's a marvel, but she fits.
There are a lot of other beautiful things to love about it, too, though: an Ianto who is flawed and conflicted and pissed off and developing; gorgeous details from the inside of Jack's head that we know must be there but rarely get to see; and a Jack who loves recklessly and frequently and by the measure of his life, briefly (and always means it at the time).
Love at first sight. He's always liked the idea. And so Jack falls in love several times a day. It might easily not have been Estelle. It might have been the boy she was dancing with that night at the Astoria. Only he looked away and she didn't, so Jack cut in. It might have been the guy behind the bar, except it wasn't.
He used to take her to Epping Forest because she liked to be outside. It was nice, she said, to feel free of the soot and the dust, just for a little while.
"Oh, look at all those trees!" She tugged on his arm as they walked, pulling him onward along the grassy path. The sun was warm on his back and he'd rolled up his shirtsleeves. "Doesn't it seem as though they might go on forever? And yet there's dear old London and the war and everything, lurking just out of sight. I know we've got to go back eventually, but let's pretend we don't." She turned and looked at him, biting her lip. "I mean, I suppose we do. Have to, I mean. Do we?"
"Come on," he said. "I'll race you."