Title: Don't Open the Lid

Characters: Owen, Jack/Ianto

Rating: PG13

Warning: None

Spoilers: None really, but references to small things from a number of episodes and a reference to something I heard about in one of the new TW novels.

Summary: Owen really should keep his nose out of Jack and Ianto's things

Author's Notes: Dedicated to everyone who reviewed my last fic 'Jolly Hockey Sticks' and to lj-user tiggerbrasilf ... for a comment about where the stick came from... just look what you've done!

Beta: Rakina

Disclaimer: Don't own 'em – unfortunately.

It was a large box, more of a trunk really, labelled: 'Annual Accounts – 2004 onwards'. Owen almost ignored it, but then his curiosity got the better of him. Not even Ianto could fill a box of that size with administrative crap. Also there was the fact that it hadn't been there yesterday – Owen was one hundred percent sure of that. The storage locker he was looking in had been empty save for the pile of medical artefacts he'd put there himself. And that, added to the fact that Ianto was clearing out Jack's office, led Owen to believe that the box in question had indeed come from Harkness's lair.

A part of his brain – the rational, medically trained part – ordered him to leave well alone, that nothing good ever came of opening boxes so innocuously labelled. However, the rest of his brain shouted the other part down and Owen reached out and opened the lid.

The piles of manila folders were not what he was expecting. He felt slightly disappointed that the box seemed actually to house what it said it did. He huffed noisily and was about to shut the lid when a flash of red in the corner, from under a document wallet alleging to contain 'Tax Office Reports', caught his eye. He leaned in closer and pulled at the piece of red material. It was stuck, but with a quick tug it came free, scattering documents everywhere and knocking a flimsy piece of wood out of place. "Aha!" he crowed out loud to himself. "A false bottom."

He looked at the red item he had freed with bewilderment. It looked like a beret of some sort, and there was an insignia stitched into the material which he immediately identified as UNIT's. He scowled, what did Jack Harkness need a UNIT cap for? Maybe, he thought, the answer was in the box. With speed born of inquisitiveness and being downright nosey, Owen threw the superfluous papers to one side, eager to see what else Jack was hiding.

Owen's eyes widened in surprise at the sight before him. Tentatively, he picked up the hockey stick. The short head looked in impeccable condition, but the shaft appeared to have been through the wars, missing large chunks right down its length. He also realised somewhat belatedly that it was rather sticky and he put the stick down, grimacing as he wiped the unknown substance onto his jeans. Again he could think of no sensible reason why Jack would have such an item, or why he would want to hide it away.

Next to emerge was a pair of knotted jump leads, closely followed by an empty water bottle and a packet of coffee beans. Owen was truly puzzled now and the removal of a tailor's measuring tape did nothing to alleviate his confusion. The box contained all sorts of everyday items: an umbrella, a pair of iPod earphones, two silk ties, a feather duster and a clipboard, complete with biro attached on a piece of string. Then his hand closed around a circular metal object. Slowly he opened his fingers and peered at the item. It was a stopwatch... Ianto's stopwatch.

As if the metal was burning his hand he threw the offending timepiece back into the box. He scrabbled away, managing to get to his feet with difficultly as he tried to wipe the imaginary filth from his hands onto his shirt. "Sick bastard!" he growled and ran out of the room, heading towards the Hub's showers.

Ianto rolled his eyes and stepped out of the corner he'd been hiding in. Jack appeared next to him at his side. With a click of his tongue and a put-upon sigh Ianto picked up the contents of the box which Owen had left scattered across the floor, and placed them carefully back where they belonged. "You would've thought Owen would've learnt by now," he said irritably.

Jack merely laughed. "Maybe this'll teach him a lesson about keeping his nose out of places it doesn't belong."

"I doubt it," muttered Ianto. "Still, could've been worse. He could've found the box marked 'Internal Audit Reports'. Now the contents of that would have really shocked him."

"I think our dear doctor has enough to cope with," Jack said with an amused snort and peered over Ianto's shoulder. He idly brushed Ianto's neck with his fingers as he examined the contents of the box. "How about you leave out the jump leads?"

Ianto turned his head to look at Jack and, seeing his lover's wistful expression, grinned. "Marvellous idea, Jack." He picked up the stopwatch. "How about I meet you in your office in ten minutes?"

FIN