Title: Wouldn't Change You For The World
Rating: FRMT
Pairing: Ianto/Jack, Mentions of Jack/Gwen
Spoiler's/Timeline: Meat (2x04)

x

It had taken a long time but everyone had finally gotten bored of hanging around the Hub and gone home. Owen had invited him to the pub for a drink, but Ianto had turned him down; the last thing he felt like doing was spending all evening in a dimly lit room, filled with people trying to get drunk and pull as many as possible.

The Hub was neat and tidy, just as he liked it, yet Ianto still found himself walking around with an empty bin liner, looking for something to clear away. It was his way of thinking; or rather trying to stop himself from thinking. He knew that if he stopped his duties, his mind would wander and he would begin to ask questions he wasn't sure he was ready to know the answers to.

Footsteps sounded on the above platform and Ianto froze mid-movement. He should have known that while everyone else had left for the evening, Jack would still be in his office brooding over something or other.

He didn't speak or turn around as he placed a discarded pizza box in the bin bag. He could feel Jack's blue eyes on the back of his head, watching his every movement and remaining silent all the time.

After twenty minutes of being observed by his boss, Ianto finally spoke. "Is there something you wanted, Sir?"

Ianto could hear Jack's exasperated sigh from across the room and he could almost see the Captain running his hand through his brown hair before he spoke.

"Ianto, how many times do I have to ask you to call me Jack?

It was an old game they played; Ianto being professional all the way and Jack's annoyance at not being able to break through that poised exterior. It was what they needed, the familiarity of banter and flirting. Something to take their minds off the horrors they saw daily and the bizarre nature of their relationship with each other and their colleagues.

"At least once more, sir," he replied, stooping down to pick up a can Owen had accidentally knocked on the floor. "Is there anything in your office for the bin?"

He finally turned around and looked up at the Captain. Jack had changed out of the dark blue shirt he had been wearing all day, leaving him in his trousers and tight white T-shirt. His braces were hanging from his belt and Ianto had to take a deep breath to calm his heart rate as he noticed the muscles where his T-shirt clung to him.

The other man was leaning against the railing in front of him, his forearms resting on the cold metal as he studied Ianto. His blue eyes were warm as their gaze met; there was something else there too, the Welsh man noticed. Something he couldn't put his finger on. He thought he had seen every emotion Jack was capable of; Lust, compassion, hatred, jealously, even sadness. But there was something looking back at him and Ianto was hard pressed to give it a name.

Inside he hoped it was love, but he was scared to admit to himself for fear of the pain it would cause him if he turned out to be wrong.

"Are we going to ignore the pink elephant in the middle of the room all night?" Jack murmured, pushing himself off of the railing and slowly making his way down the staircase.

"Which pink elephant is that, Sir?"

Jack's growl seemed to echo off the tiles as he moved towards Ianto. "Back to the 'sir'. Ianto, stop calling me that; I'll order you if I have to. It's kinda creepy and more than slightly kinky."

A response came out of his mouth before Ianto was even aware his lips had moved. "I thought you would have no problem with being kinky, Sir."

He smirked at that, the Captain's imagination clearly remembering late nights and steamy touches. "As someone who's tied me up more times that I can remember, you should know I have no problem with it at all. Except when I'm trying to have an actual serious conversation with you."

Ianto remained silent and Jack continued, putting his hands in his pockets and glancing down at the ground as he spoke. "I saw the looks you kept giving me," he whispered.

Above them the pterodactyl let out a purring noise as it settled down for the night, offering Ianto a small distraction before he refocused his attention on Jack. "If I remember correctly, you were looking at me the exact same way… Jack."

He had also seen the looks Jack had given Gwen but he doesn't mention them; he knows he doesn't need to. Jack had the unnerving ability to be able to read Ianto's emotions and expressions as though they were black letters on a cream page of an antique tome.

Jack placed a hand on Ianto's arm as he passed, stopping him in mid-step. "We have to talk about this, 'Yan," he whispered, sliding his hand down and running his fingers over the back of Ianto's hand.

Ianto nodded his head and pulled his hand away. "I need to get rid of this rubbish," he stated softly, continuing past Jack and heading up the stairs.

At the top, the Welshman paused and looked down at his hands. Without turning he said, "Who do you prefer? Me or Gwen?"

"Are you asking me to choose?" There was an amused chuckle in his voice, along with something else. Hurt?

"Not choosing, sir. Just asking for clarification."

He heard Jack walk up several stairs before stopping again. "I…" Jack hesitated for a second. "Gwen is… unattainable," he finally admitted. "The thrill of having her so close by and knowing I can't touch her is… The temptation is definitely there."

Ianto nodded his head, understanding Jack's reasoning about forbidden fruit and playing with fire. "While I'm attainable," he continued for Jack. "You know you can have me, just like you always have. That makes sense. I'm safe."

"Don't talk about yourself like that," Jack instructed, somewhat harsher than he intended to, as he moved further up the staircase. "I could have asked Gwen on a date instead of you. Even though she's engaged, she could have said yes and we could have some kind of affair, hiding away downstairs in the archives away from prying eyes."

"But you asked me."

"I asked you." Jack nodded his head, a smile slowly spreading across his face. "The date we went on was the best date I've had in a long time."

"It was a DVD and takeout in the Hub," Ianto pointed out as though it didn't constitute as a real date.

Jack's eyes twinkled in that maddening way they did when he was amused, and he took a step closer to Ianto. "That was still a date. Admittedly, not the kind of date I had in mind when I asked you, but a date nevertheless."

"There had been a lot of rift activity that day," Ianto conceded.

Jack laughed and looped his arms around the other man's neck. "Don't write me off, 'Yan," he pleaded, running his fingers through Ianto's hair. "I know I flirt with Gwen a lot, but it doesn't mean anything. You know me, flirting is in my nature. At the end of the day, you're the one whose bed I manage to fall asleep in and whose arms I wake up surrounded by. Not her."

Ianto offered him an apologetic smile as he leant closer, pressing their lips together in a soft kiss. As Jack's lips parted and their tongues met, Ianto felt his worries about his relationship with the other man slide away.

Jack was right, he was a flirt through and through. There was nothing Ianto could say to change that. When Jack ran his hand down the side of Ianto's neck, whispering, "Bed," in his ear, Ianto knew he wouldn't change that for the world.