In the club!
Tosh cradled her hands around her mug. Something was different. Something she couldn't put her finger on and it was driving her crazy. Maybe Ianto had changed the coffee blend? She took a sniff then a taste, other than its excellence she could discern no change. There was a definite air of contentment filling the air. A rumble caught her attention and Tosh noted even Myfanwy sounded happy as she rearranged her nest.
She watched Jack walk down from the greenhouse and back into his office. Yes it was more than that; there was something about Jack. He looked different somehow, but what?
'Something is different and I can't figure what it is and it's driving me crazy,' Tosh said out loud.
'What do you mean?' Gwen said not looking up from the task she was working on.
'Something I just can't explain…'
'Love does that,' Gwen said not looking up as she searched through the contents of her desk. 'You see the world through a different lens. Being in love puts everything into perspective; well that's what Rhys says.' Gwen suddenly looked up. 'You are in love, right?'
'Don't call it love,' Owen shouted from the autopsy bay.
'Sorry, did I use a four letter word?' Gwen said in faux distress.
Tosh nodded, and then putting down her mug used her hands to indicate she was fishing and reeling Owen in.
'Tosh stop that,' Owen shouted, his back towards them both. Tosh and Gwen burst out laughing.
Gwen started shifting papers, empty coffee cups, and sweet wrappers around her desk. Then having made a pile swept the lot into a bin and began to lift files, then her keyboard. Her desk searched, she began to move her chair around to get a better look under her desk.
'Jack,' Gwen called out as she began to search around the room. 'Have you seen that alien artefact that was on my desk?'
Jack walked out of his office. 'What alien artefact?'
'The one that was on my desk.'
'We are surrounded with alien artefacts. Can you be more specific?'
'The long one that was on my desk that looked like a long metal brass rod with the knob on the end. When you covered up the holes it made music.'
Ianto passed Jack, his arms full of files. 'Hey have you seen Gwen's thing?' Jack asked vaguely.
'NO, I have not seen Gwen's thing,' Ianto replied categorically.
'No, not my thing…the thing, thing, the long brassy looking thing that was on my desk.' Gwen picked up her waste bin to double-check the object hadn't accidently fallen in.
Owen walked up the steps from the medical bay. 'Long brassy thin so long.' He indicated with his hands. 'If I recall it didn't just play music it vibrated along with each note. And I bet you five pounds I bloody know where it is.'
Gwen looked up at Jack. 'Oh for God's sake not every bloody object that falls through the rift is a sex toy.'
Jack indicated with his hand towards his quarters as an open invitation to search.
Entering Jack's office she first searched on and around his desk, rattled open the drawers then the book shelves and peeked in each drawer of his filing cabinet.
'Told ya,' Jack said, his arms crossed, amused at her efforts.
'Don't forget down below,' Owen suggested as they all enjoyed watching Gwen seemingly wreck Jack's office on invitation.
Heaving the closed cover to the side she climbed down the ladder. Reaching the bottom she pulled the long cord that turned the light on. Jack's camp bed was gone and the room was stacked floor to ceiling with boxes and containers leaving only just enough room for a small space at the bottom of the ladder. Taking a closer look at the boxes nearest to her she saw Ianto's clear handwriting describing the contents of each.
'Jack,' she called out. 'Why are your quarters full of boxes with Ianto's handwriting all over them?' There was no room for anything to be hidden so after final look she started to climb out.
'You owe me five pounds,' Jack said holding out his hand towards Owen.
'Where are all your stuff not that you had much?' Gwen asked, dusting herself off.
'My place,' Ianto replied rolling his eyes at the mess Gwen had made of Jack's office.
'Since when?' Gwen asked.
'About four months ago,' Jack replied.
'So you finally moved in together. You kept that secret,' Tosh said in an excited tone.
'We have not moved in together,' Jack corrected her. 'I'm just staying over until I find a new place.'
'How can you stay over? Ianto only has a one bedroom flat,' Gwen pointed out.
'And?' Jack said not sure what the problem was.
'So are you sleeping on the sofa?' Owen asked.
'No because it's being propped up with several books because one of the legs broke during the Rhinestone Cowboy, ice cream and cherries incident,' Ianto told them.
'I am not even going to ask,' Owen snorted.
'You are sharing a bed then?' Tosh asked.
'Well obviously. It's a one bedroom flat with one bed with a broken sofa,' Ianto pointed out as if this made obvious sense.
'You said you were looking for a new place?' Gwen checked as she reached the top.
'Yes, I'm waiting for a flat to turn up in Yan's building.'
'So none have come available?' Tosh asked curiously noting Jack's shortening of Ianto's name.
'Two,' Jack said.
'But none of them have enough cupboard space,' Ianto replied quickly.
'Jack's only got one dresser and a very limited wardrobe,' Tosh pointed out.
'Jack's not the problem. I am the one with all my suits, shoes, shirts, ties and there is just not enough room.'
'But the flat is just for Jack,' Owen narrowed his eyes.
'I don't want to be running up and down stairs if I stay over. Bloody inconvenient, best ways is to keep some of my stuff at Jack's. '
'You didn't get rid of that lovely dresser did you? ' Gwen checked.
'No, it's at Yan's,' Jack told them.
'That was my suggestion; save on storage fees' Ianto said.
'Ianto, this is the Hub. We have floors and floors of storage space,' Owen pointed out.
'Yes, but it's the only nice thing Jack has and to be honest it can get very damp here,' Ianto said.
'One hundred years and now you are worried about damp?' Gwen pointed out.
'And I suppose you have one drawer each,' Tosh laughed before either Jack or Ianto could reply.
Ianto looked at her as if she was an idiot. 'It's a five drawer. We have two each, and Jack has the sock draw on the top. Although there is everything in there but socks.'
'Hey, I need one space that is messy,' Jack piped up.
'So how did this all start?' Owen asked curiously.
'My bed broke,' Jack said.
'Please spare us the sordid details,' Owen told him
'I turned over and put my elbow right through the canvas, okay?'
'So next day Ianto offered to put you up?' Tosh filled in the details.
'Not exactly, Jack turned up three o'clock one morning with a pillow under each arm,' Ianto interrupted. 'Which went straight into the bin.'
'I loved those pillows,' Jack said wistfully.
'Pillows aren't meant to be so stained they are orange. I did replace them with ones that are non-allogeneic and it's helped your snoring.'
Owen crossed his arms. 'So Jack broke his bed and turned up one night and is staying over.'
'If that's the case why is there so much of your stuff being stored here Ianto?' Gwen asked putting the manhole cover back.
'Time I did a general clean out.'
'To make room for Jack's stuff?' Tosh double-checked and Ianto nodded.
'Other than the dresser I had a couple of other things…a desk and arm chair, so we needed more room,' Jack told them.
'Why not just bin the lot?' Owen suggested.
'Some of it has sentimental value and I'm not sure I'm ready to let go of it yet,' Ianto said quietly.
Tosh, Owen and Gwen did an 'ah' and nod of understanding.
'So you will be looking for a bed then, for your new flat?' Tosh asked Jack.
Ianto smiled. 'Sofa first. We've seen something we like but we can't decide on the fabric.'
'For Jacks flat?' Gwen checked.
'No mine; my sofa got broken,' Ianto reminded them.
'But you still have to choose a fabric?' Owen looked between the pair of them.
'I keep telling you leather is the way to go. It's easy to keep clean; all you need is a wipe down,' Jack added.
'We wouldn't need to wipe down leather if you ate chips out the bowl instead of grabbing great handfuls and eating them off your chest,' Ianto told him.
'That reminds me…the vacuum broke,' Jack spoke up.
Ianto gave Jack a long suffering look. 'It's only six months old how could you break the vacuum?'
'I was opening a king size packet of chips when the bag just tore open so I used the vacuum cleaner but then it ran out of suck.'
'That means the bag is full you have to empty it.' Jack face lit up with understanding.
'You're not angry with Jack for making a mess?' Gwen checked knowing how fussy Ianto could be.
'I'm bloody amazed he knows where the vacuum cleaner is kept.' Ianto threw a smile at Jack who seemed to glow under Ianto's approval.
'I see,' Owen said knowingly.
'I think we all see.' Gwen put her hands on her hips.
'Definitely,' Tosh joined in.
'What?' Jack looked between them, confused.
'Jack, you've moved in. You two are living together as a couple.'
'Couple of what?' Jack said looking at Ianto, confused.
'A couple – couple.'
'Don't be daft,' Ianto told them. 'Jack's just staying over until he finds a new flat.'
'So who does the cooking then?' Owen asked already suspecting the answer.
'That's mostly me,' Ianto spoke up, 'and before you say anything we decided to knock off the takeaways for every meal. I'm better organised in the mornings so I just throw things into the slow cooker then if we get back late it won't be ruined.'
'And I supposed the two of you just happen to end up in the supermarket together because you have to agree on what you want to eat during the week? That way you can work out a menu?' Gwen added.
'See; Gwen gets it,' Jack said to Owen and Tosh.
"Oh we get it alright,' Owen said. "But I'm not sure either of you do.'
'Owen, you are reading far too much into this. Now I'm busy and Jack you need to finish that report.' Ianto said and walked off towards the archives.
An afternoon later the Hub door rolled opened and Ianto staggered in, weighed down with six bags of groceries.
Gwen raced over to help so she could get first dibs on the Ianto's latest stock up of the empty biscuits tins.
'Is there some special occasion we should know about?' Gwen pulled out several packets of chicken breasts. 'There's enough here to feed twenty people,' Gwen said piling them up.
'There's enough for eight including me and Jack. That's hardly twenty.'
'Has there been a birthday we've missed or are you making up for something or got some horrible news you need to impart?' Owen joked as Gwen now came across bundles of asparagus.
'No, nothing special. It's just our turn.' Ianto dropped the bags and opened the fridge.
'Ours as in you and Jack? Or ours as here in the Hub?' Gwen asked not sure she understood.
'Ours as in me and Jack. The last two have been amazing so we really need to shine.'
'Shine in what?' Owen asked.
'Dinner club,' Ianto said counting out the packets of chicken breasts and placing them in the fridge.
'A dinner what?' Tosh now joined everyone in the small kitchen.
'Dinner club,' Jack repeated coming from behind.
'What in God's name is a dinner club?' Gwen asked.
'It's where a group of people who get together once a month and take turns cooking a meal.'
'Foodies type people,' Tosh checked and Ianto nodded.
'I've learnt more about wine in the past months than the last hundred years,' Jack spoke up. 'Talking about wine did you get the Chenin Blanc?'
'Yes, and the madeira for the desert,' Ianto told him.
'So can just anyone join?' Gwen finally found her favourite packet of biscuits and opened them.
'Not at the moment our group reached its maximum number.'
'Eight, you said; and how does one get involved in a dinner club?' Owen asked curiously.
'It all started during the missing person come alien abduction investigation about six months ago,' Ianto reminded them. 'I was interviewing Malcolm and Mary and we got talking. They had to drop out because they've had a baby so they were looking for someone to take their spot.'
'And you and Jack just happened to fit right in?' Gwen winked at Tosh.
'Great way to meet people. Are you all single?' Tosh asked.
'Dick and Richard were single but now they come together,' Ianto said and Gwen nearly choked on her mouth full, spraying crumbs.
Jack took a moment to think then counted off his fingers. 'Then there's Brenda and Colin, Susan and Marshal…'
'By group of people you mean couples,' Owen said putting emphasis on the word couple.
'I see where this is going,' Ianto said and let out a long suffering sigh.
'You're holding a dinner party where other paired people turn up and tonight is your turn,' Owen said trying not to laugh.
'And just what are you cooking for this non-couple dinner party then?' Gwen spoke up, her mouth now clear.
'Jack is doing his famous pecan pie and I'm going to be cooking chicken breasts with mushroom stuffing. On the side, asparagus and mashed parsnips. With onion tartlets for starters.'
Jack and Ianto looked at Tosh, Owen and Gwen who were struggling not to laugh.
'You guys are such a couple,' Tosh burst out.
We are not a couple,' Ianto said between his teeth.
'You've moved in, buying a sofa together and throwing dinner parties,' Gwen added. 'Jack even knows where the vacuum cleaner is.'
'Jack and I agreed we are not a couple,' Ianto said and Jack nodded.
Jack crossed his arms. 'It's alright, Ianto. I can see what's going on, as soon as people form couples they see them everywhere.'
'So you think because Tosh and I and Rhys and Gwen are couples we see you as a couple because that's what we want to see,' Owen said
'Exactly,' Jack said hitting Owen on his back and headed back to his office. Ianto turned and towards the coffee machine.
'Denial is a wonderful thing,' Owen said with a sigh.
'Next they will be buying a house with a garden and laying down a lawn,' Gwen added.
'Jack already services Ianto's car,' Tosh told them.
'Have you ever seen Jack so clean and tidy?' Owen added.
'I swear to God the ironed creases down the front of Jack's trousers are so sharp you could cut yourself,' Gwen pointed out.
'Thank you!' Tosh burst out and hit herself lightly on the head.