TITLE: Merry Christmas, Jack

AUTHOR: Erin Giles



WORDS: 1,015

DISCLAIMER: Torchwood belongs to the BBC.

SUMMARY: Jack owns a pair of aeroplane cufflinks. This is my take on how he got them!

Jack frowned down at the little package on his desk, neatly wrapped in silver wrapping paper, a bow tied round it with his name written on a tag on top. It hadn't been there when he went to bed in the early hours of the morning, he was sure he would have noticed. He recognised the neat handwriting though. He had seen it enough times written on reports and reprimands and reminders. He tentatively reached out and caressed the bow before picking up the small package, pulling the tag with his name from it and taking the bow with it.

He wondered briefly if Ianto had slipped back in with it when he wasn't looking. A smile tugged at his lips though, he hadn't had a Christmas present in years and it made his heart swell to think that the young Welshman had cared enough to buy him one. It suddenly didn't matter what the present was. It was the gesture that mattered.

He pulled at the wrapping paper anyway, tearing it away to reveal a small box inside, calloused fingers caressing the blue velvet of the lid before he clicked it open. What was inside made him let out a chocked laugh, gasping slightly as he fingered the cool metal.

"Merry Christmas, Jack." A soft voice came from behind him, startling Jack. He swung round to be greeted with the sight of Ianto in the doorway of the office, winter coat and scarf on, hands in his jeans pocket as he leant against the doorframe, a rather self satisfied smile on his face.

"You didn't have to." Jack replied, looking back down at the contents of the small box again.

"I believe the correct reply is either 'Thank You Ianto' or 'Merry Christmas Ianto'." Ianto smiled again as he watched Jack's eyes glistening with unshed tears.

"Thank you Ianto." Jack whispered hoarsely, but the sincerity was plainly evident in his voice.

"Not to sound clich├ęd but I saw them when I was out looking for a present for my Dad and thought of you." Ianto shrugged.

"I didn't get you anything." Jack said a little breathlessly as he looked guilty back up at Ianto.

Ianto shook his head. "Come with me to my parents for dinner. That can be your present."

"I don't want to intrude." Jack confessed as Ianto rolled his eyes.

"Jack Harkness when have you ever cared about intruding?" Ianto pushed off the doorframe, moving towards Jack.

"I want you to come with me. Mam said I could bring someone." Ianto coaxed as Jack looked back down at the box again. Ianto reached up a hand under Jack's chin and tilted his head up to find tears slipping down his cheeks now.

"Hey, what's wrong?" Ianto suddenly looked concerned as he wiped at the tears with his long fingers.

Jack shook his head, giving Ianto a teary smile.

"Nothing." Jack admitted.

"Then why are you crying?" Ianto asked a little incredulously.

"Because." Jack flushed, feeling stupid now as he wiped at his eyes rather ferociously. "It'll sound stupid." Jack confessed looking back up at Ianto who's eyes were full of encouragement.

"Doesn't matter." Ianto shrugged.

"Because, because," Jack struggled with words and himself for a moment before he blurted out what he wanted to say. "Because no one's bought me a Christmas present in a long time or invited me to Christmas dinner or cared about me enough to do those things." Jack was staring back down at the blue box again. "And I feel loved." Jack whispered to the floor.

Ianto tilted Jack's chin up towards him until their eyes locked; such warmth and love emanating from Ianto as he smiled.

"You are loved." Ianto leaned in towards Jack, his lips brushing softly against the corner of Jack's mouth, making Jack's lips quiver and his tongue tingle. The kiss deepened as he felt Ianto's arms slipping round him, pulling him closer as Ianto's palms pressed firmly against Jack's shoulder blades. Jack's own hands slipped under Ianto's warm winter coat to the soft fabric of his sweatshirt underneath, his hands coming to rest at the small of Ianto's back. The kiss petered out and Jack found himself with a face full of Ianto's wool scarf, tickling his nose.

"Is that a yes then?" Ianto whispered into Jack's ears, feeling the little blue box digging into the small of his back as Jack tightened the embrace.

"Your Mum won't mind?" Jack questioned, putting up a futile attempt at resistance.

"She always says the more the merrier." Ianto replied and Jack could hear the smile in his voice as they pulled away from each other.

"I presume there's no dress code?" Jack teased, looking at Ianto's clothing choice and noting the fact he was wearing converse trainers. Jack didn't even think Ianto owned anything that wasn't black patent leather.

"No." Ianto shook his head. "But I have a request. You wear them." Ianto pointed at the blue box gripped tightly in Jack's left hand.

"Oh they're nice Jack." Mrs. Jones commented, pointing at Jack's cufflinks as he took them out to assist with the washing up. He smiled as he looked down at them in his hand before placing them in the window ledge.

"Christmas present from your son." Jack replied after a long moment, rolling up his sleeves.

Mrs. Jones reached across him to pick up one of the cufflinks, turning them over in her hand to get a proper look.

"He said they were for someone special." Mrs. Jones smiled as she fingered the miniature silver airplanes before putting them back in the window sill. They caught the afternoon sun, glinting in the light, distracting Jack from his task. He felt tears welling in his eyes again but he wouldn't let them fall. He heard Ianto laughing as he appeared in the kitchen from the other room, arms full of crockery.

"Everything alright?" Ianto asked as he placed the dishes down on the work surface, catching a glimpse of Jack's face.

"Everything's perfect." Jack replied, kissing Ianto on the cheek.