I Saw Jack Kissing Santa Claus

By EmyPink

Written for the Torchwood Australia Weekly Writing Challenge #3

Disclaimer: Torchwood is not mine; I just play with the characters

Rating: PG-13

Parings: Jack/Ianto

Genre: Fluff, Het, Romance, Humour

Warnings: SPOILERS for 2x13 Exit Wounds, mild sexual references, swearing, on-line French translations

Summary: Jack and Ianto celebrate Christmas.


"It's Christmas Eve. Go home, Gwen," Jack ordered cheerfully as he bounded down the stairs from his office. "I bet Rhys is waiting." He winked.

Gwen looked up from her desk. "Are you sure? I mean . . ."

"Go home, Gwen," Jack said firmly. He stepped down off the stairs and sauntered over to Gwen's workstation. "I mean it."

"But . . ."

Jack pressed a gentle finger to her lips. "No buts. It's Christmas. Rhys will be waiting. Go. Enjoy. Forget about Torchwood for a while. Relax. Unwind."

"What if the rift . . ." Gwen protested, squirming away from Jack's finger.

"Ianto and I can handle it," Jack assured her, looking at Ianto who was standing behind him. "Gwen, don't make me order you."

"If you're really sure?" Gwen still looked uncertain.

"I'm really sure," Jack said gently, gripping her hand and pulling her to her feet. "Go home to Rhys. Be happy and cheerful. God knows we need it."

"Okay," Gwen finally relented. She really did want to go home, but didn't want to abandon the remaining two Torchwood operatives. "But if you need me . . ."

"I won't call," Jack finished smoothly. He grinned. "I don't want to see you till the twenty-seventh. If I do, I'll dock your pay."

Gwen harrumphed and swatted Jack on the arm as she collected her coat and bag. She gave Jack and Ianto a cheery wave, brightening at the prospect of going home to Rhys.

"Merry Christmas," she called as she stepped through the cog door.

"Merry Christmas," Ianto called back, while Jack replied with a cheeky grin,

"Don't keep Rhys up too late, or Santa won't come."

Gwen paused in the doorway, turned around and gave Jack the finger.

"Real mature, Gwen," Jack yelled. Gwen grinned and with another wave, disappeared from sight.

"You can speak, sir," Ianto pointed out.

Jack turned to his lover and grinned suggestively. "Just you and me now, Mr. Jones."

Ianto rolled his eyes. "I still have a pile of archiving to do, and you, sir, have that UNIT paperwork to complete."

"But that's no fun," Jack pouted, looking at Ianto with sad puppy eyes. "Like I told Gwen, it's Christmas Eve. We should be celebrating."

"There's no rest for the wicked," Ianto replied.

"I can do wicked things with my tongue," Jack propositioned, trying to distract Ianto from the overdue paperwork. Jack looked so eager that Ianto almost felt sorry for him.

Ianto smirked. "You need to learn to keep it in your pants, sir."

Jack frowned and huffed, "You're no fun."

"Tell you what," Ianto started. He'd found that the best way to get Jack to do the more boring tasks was to give him something to look forward to, a reward. "I will let you show me your wicked tongue after you've finished the UNIT paperwork."

"But . . ." Jack protested.

Ianto shook his head. "Work before play, sir," he said was an impassive face.

Jack glared at Ianto, who remained unfazed, before sighing and stomping off to his office. Ianto smiled to himself once Jack's back was turned.


One and a half hours later, Jack startled him as he dashed into archives where Ianto was methodically placing files in their correct alphabetised order.

"Jack?" Ianto was slightly stunned as something grabbed him roughly and pushed him against the wall. Any other potential remarks were cut short as Jack captured Ianto in a delicate, yet rough, kiss.

"Paperwork done, sex now," Jack growled into his mouth as he rubbed his body against Ianto.

Ianto broke the kiss and pulled away. "Here?"

"Good as anywhere," Jack shrugged and moved in for another kiss.

This time, Ianto allowed him to part his lips as Jack pushed his tongue into Ianto's mouth. The scent that was so uniquely Jack over took him and Ianto kissed Jack back fiercely, matching Jack's intensity. Ianto instinctively ran his hands through Jack's hair. God, he loved Jack's hair.

Again, Ianto pulled away, making Jack frown. "What is it this time?" Jack grumbled.

Ianto looked down. "You're standing on my foot, sir."

"What?" Jack's eyes followed Ianto's line of sight. He looked sheepish. "Opps, sorry. I guess I was just a little eager."

"Clearly," Ianto remarked and coughed.


"You're still on my foot," Ianto pointed out, trying not to grimace.

"Right, sorry." Jack stepped back and Ianto looked relived as the pain lifted off his foot.

"Ouch," Ianto muttered, bending down to rub his foot through his shoe.

Jack grinned charmingly. "You want me to kiss it better?" he asked innocently. "Or I could give you a foot rub?"

"Here?" Ianto echoed his earlier question. "It's not exactly a five-star spa . . ."

"You're a hard one to please, Ianto Jones." Jack shook his head, grinning. "Well then, kind sir, can I tempt you with a trip to Avoir Recourt de Jack? It's French for . . ."

"I took high school French, Jack, I know what it means," Ianto replied. "And if you mean down your manhole . . ." Jack grinned lewdly.

"Must you dirty everything I say?" Ianto said, exasperated. Jack shrugged and smiled innocently at Ianto.

Ianto sighed and amended, "If you mean your bedroom, then yes." Ianto looked around at his oh so perfect archives.

"We do not want a repeat of last time," he muttered, glaring at Jack. "It took me forever to clean up."

"I helped," Jack said.

"More like distracted," Ianto retorted.

Jack grinned and sighed. "I can't help it if I find a cleaning Ianto sexy." He waggled his eyebrows.

Ianto shook his head. "You're a strange man, Jack."

"Don't you know it," Jack grinned, took Ianto's hand, and tugged him out of archives. "So, I hear that Avoir Recourt de Jack has an opening . . ."


Ianto started awake on Christmas morning when he rolled over and found the other side of the bed cold and empty.

"Jack?" he called, scrambling to sit up. He blinked and focused on the digital clock Jack kept next to his bed.

Ten o'clock.

"Shit," he cursed and swung his legs over the side of the bed. Ianto hadn't slept in that long since he was a teenager. He looked around.

"Bugger," he muttered as his eyes spotted his suit, shirt and tie flung around various parts of the bedroom, crumpled.

"Jack," Ianto called again as he stumbled around and plucked the rumpled clothing off the ground.

He half pulled, half jumped into his pants and threw his shirt on, without bothering to tuck it in or do up the tie. His was more concerned that Jack wasn't answering and that it was ten o'clock in the morning. Ianto grabbed the matching jacket and climbed through the hole.

"Jack, are you up here?" Ianto called to an empty Hub. Myfanwy squawked from her nest, but Jack didn't reply.

Ianto hurried over to the closest computer and checked the rift-monitoring program.


He checked the program Toshiko had designed to monitor 999 calls.


Nothing was out of the ordinary and the world wasn't about to implode or explode. So where was Jack?

Ianto's stomach sank. The only times Jack had left before Ianto had awoken was because there was a rift emergency. If there was no emergency . . . Ianto shook his head. Jack wouldn't abandon them again, not so soon after the deaths of Owen and Toshiko.

'Or would he?' a little voice nagged in the back of Ianto's mind. 'For the Doctor . . .'

"Jack wouldn't leave Gwen," he told the voice firmly. "He wouldn't leave me." But Ianto only half-believed his words.

Ianto wandered aimlessly around the Hub for ten minutes before deciding on a making himself a cup of coffee. He had considered calling Gwen. Maybe Jack hadn't run off and had instead been removed forcibly. But alarms would have gone off if someone had tried to get into the Hub, so that Ianto thought that idea unlikely.

When Ianto reached his faithful coffee maker, he spied a note scrawled in Jack's untidy handwriting taped haphazardly to the top. At least Jack had been thoughtful enough to leave a note this time, Ianto thought bitterly. It was written on a Torchwood letterhead and said,


Knew you'd come to the coffee sooner or later. Sorry I wasn't there when you woke up. You looked so peaceful (and adorable!) that I didn't want to disturb you. You need the sleep, and don't scowl at me, Ianto, I've noticed you coming earlier and leaving later.

As I was saying, sorry I'm not there, I thought I'd better get lunch started . . .

'Lunch?' Ianto thought wildly. What did lunch have to do with the Doctor?

. . . And since the Hub as limited cooking facilities, I look the liberty of commandeering that lovely little kitchen in your apartment. I've always loved the flowered wallpaper. ;) So you'd better hurry over or the food will get cold and we can't have that. And don't worry about the Hub. Just set the codes; I have the portable rift monitor with me.

Jack xxx

P.S. I left you a little something on Gwen's desk. Hope you like it! (I certainly do)

Bewildered and clutching Jack's letter like a lifeline, Ianto walked over to Gwen's desk and saw a dark box from his favourite tailor. Gently, Ianto lifted the lid and his eyes widened as he saw the tailored suit and shirt folded neatly and covered with tissue paper.

He lifted the suit out and a piece of paper fluttered to the ground. Jack's writing again.

And don't forget the tie. :D

Ianto groaned as he pulled the tie from the box, holding it as though it was diseased. It was red, and covered in little Santa Clauses and reindeer.

Jack was so dead.


As Ianto turned the key to his apartment after a frenzied drive from the Hub and opened the door, he was immediately hit by the smell of a turkey that wasn't cooking quite as it should. Ianto was stunned.

"Ianto, is that you?" the familiar voice of Jack called from the kitchen.

Still stunned, Ianto walked over to his kitchen in a daze and stopped in the doorway. "Jack?"

Jack was standing his apartment kitchen, surrounded by mess that Ianto had to resist from clearing up immediately. Jack, as usual was wearing his shirt, trousers and suspenders, but had traded his greatcoat for an old fashioned, black, white and lacy maid's apron.

"What do you think?" Jack asked as he spun around to face Ianto. The sauce on the whisk he was holding splattered onto the kitchen wall. Ianto winced.

"Opps," Jack said sheepishly. He looked at the mess he'd made and blushed a little. "I'll clean it up, promise."

"Jack, what are you doing?" Ianto cringed.

Jack grinned. "What do you think I'm doing? Cooking, of course."

"Cooking, or making a mess?" Ianto asked flatly.

Jack pouted. "So I'm not the most tidiest cook." He grinned. "But it's fun."

"I bet it is," Ianto muttered, and then had another thought. "How did you get inside in the first place?"

"Um . . ." Jack looked like a deer caught in the headlights. "I have a key," he tried weakly.

"Try again, sir," Ianto replied, knowing that Jack did not have a key as he had only changed the locks two days ago and had yet to give Jack an updated copy. "I changed my locks."

"So I kinda picked the lock," Jack said finally. "Happy?"

"So you broke in?" Ianto asked carefully.

"I wouldn't call it breaking in," Jack said smoothly, shooting Ianto a charming smile, "more like creative entering."

"So you broke in," Ianto repeated calmly, "to make lunch. On Christmas day. In my kitchen. Wearing a maid's apron."

Jack grinned. "Just about, yeah." He grinned wider. "I also did a tree," he said proudly. "Couldn't find yours, so I got a real one. Smells nicer. It's in the living room. Wondered why you didn't already have one."

Ianto shrugged. "Haven't got around to it," he confessed. "With everything that's going on around the Hub, I haven't had time."

Jack sighed and looked sad, his mood changing rapidly. "I'm sorry," he murmured. "I know you and Gwen are over worked, but I just can't . . ."

Ianto stepped over to Jack and squeezed his hand. "I know," he murmured back. "And it's okay. Gwen and I understand. We don't mind."

Jack pulled away. "You should," he muttered. "We're doing the work of five with three; it's not fair on you guys."

"Jack," Ianto soothed. "When the time times, we will hire someone new." He refused to say replace Owen and Toshiko because no one ever would. "We need time, that's all."

Ianto looked confidently at Jack and kissed him on the cheek. "Trust me, I know everything."

Jack grinned weakly as something beeped from the stove. Jack spun around rapidly. "That would be my sauce."

Ianto watched in amusement as Jack rushed enthusiastically to the stove, but winced when Jack swore as he knocked the saucepan. Half the sauce splattered on the ground before Jack managed to catch it.

It was going to be a long day.


Two hours later, Ianto was watching another cheesy holiday movie. Jack had, two hours ago, shooed him out of the kitchen insisting that he had everything covered and it was time for Ianto to relax. As much as Ianto would have liked to believe him, this was Jack and Jack certainly wasn't the most domesticated. Ianto wondered if Jack had ever attempted a Christmas lunch before, or if he was frantically thumbing through cookbooks. If the mess was anything to go by, Ianto would guess the latter.

As 'Winter Wonderland' started to play on the screen and the protagonists geared up for a spot of ice-skating, Ianto's fire alarm went off.

The shrill shriek of the alarm nearly made Ianto fall off his couch. He straightened himself and rushed into the kitchen. Jack was not about to burn down his house.

"Jack, what the hell?" Ianto gaped as he stopped suddenly in the kitchen doorway. He coughed and fanned the smoke from his face.

"I think it burned," Jack said meekly. His hands were covered by oven mitts and he was clutching a tray. On the tray sat a very crispy and blackened turkey, or what was left of a turkey.

"I wouldn't have guessed," Ianto said dryly, stepping into the kitchen and fanning the smoke that was billowing around his face.

Ianto walked over to the kitchen window and opened it. Although it immediately let in the chilly winter air, the smoke caused by the turkey started to disappear. He then got a broom out of a cupboard and poked the fire alarm until it stopped shrieking.

He turned to Jack, who was looking at the bird sadly. He had to suppress a laugh at the look of devastation on Jack's face.

"But I followed the instructions and everything," Jack whined, looking back and forth between the blackened turkey and the fading cookbook on the counter.

"I'm sure you did," Ianto soothed, walking over to Jack. "It's not the end of the world."

"I just wanted to do something nice," Jack said, crestfallen.

"Well, you did the turkey a bit too nice," Ianto deadpanned.

Jack glared at him. "It's not funny, Ianto!"

"It is, just a bit," Ianto amened, his lips quirking at the edges. He took the turkey from Jack's hands and deposited on the bench.

"No, it's not," Jack retorted, sounding like petulant child. "I just wanted to make something nice." He pouted.

Ianto controlled his laughter and said gently, "It's the thought that counts, Jack." His parents had taught him to value the thought, not the product.

His lips quirked again. "If you wanted something nice, you could have asked for some help."

"I don't need help," Jack said stubbornly.

Ianto pointed to the stove where some peas and corn were boiling. "I'd try that again."

Jack yelped and rushed over to the stove, fanning the smoke as he turned off the gas. He peered into the saucepan and said, this time with a hint of his trademark grin, "You want so mushy peas and corn with that crispy turkey, Mr. Jones?"

"I'll pass, thank you," Ianto said dryly.

Jack shrugged and grinned. "More for me."

Ianto watched as Jack actually dipped his finger into the mush and licked it. He grimaced and poked out his tongue. "Maybe not." He paused. "I kinda suck at this housewife thing."

"It's a good thing you're not a housewife, then," Ianto said, following Jack to the stove and briefly kissing his lips. "The washing would never get done."

"Oi, I do the washing," Jack retorted, but Ianto's look made him amend, "sometimes."

Ianto laughed and looked at the disaster in his kitchen. He had a thought. "Did you have any other vegetables on?" he asked carefully.

Jack's eyes widened and he yanked open the open. A gush of smoke billowed out, and Ianto knew the outcome of the potatoes and pumpkin before Jack said meekly, "At least we have a complete set."

"Perhaps we can give it to Janet as a Christmas feast," Ianto suggested lightly, wrinkling his nose at the sight and smell of the burnt vegetables.

"I wouldn't even give Janet that piece of meat." Jack nodded to the blackened turkey. He sighed. "Now what are we going to eat?"

Ianto already had a phone in his hand. "Pizza, sir? I know a place still open."


"You know I'll pay, right," Jack said as he reached for another piece of pizza.

Ianto gave him a disbelieving look.

"Fine. Torchwood will pay," Jack muttered and Ianto smirked.

"Very generous, Jack."

Jack glared at Ianto and said as he chewed on a mouthful of pizza, "Honestly, I'm not surprised we ended up with pizza; we eat it every other day. Pizza. Torchwood. It's practically interchangeable."

Jack and Ianto were sitting at Ianto's dining table. Although eating pizza, Ianto had insisted on using plates, placemats and all the other trimmings. He had, however, allowed Jack to use fingers to eat his pizza, rather than the knife and fork he was using.

Ianto looked disgusted. "Please refrain from speaking with your mouth full."

"What? Like this?" Jack opened his mouth to show Ianto the half-chewed supreme pizza.

Ianto winced and turned away, frowning. "Must you insist on being so juvenile?"

Jack shrugged, swallowed and grinned. "And must you act so much like my mother." He screwed up his nose.

"If I were your mother, sir, I highly doubt that you would be showing me your wicked tongue," Ianto replied evenly.

Jack cocked his head to the side and took another piece of pizza. "Touché, Mr. Jones." He put down the piece of pizza he'd just picked up and asked, "You wanna see my wicked tongue?"

Ianto gestured to the food. "I'm eating," he said bluntly.

"So? When has that stopped you?" Jack flirted.

Ianto shook his head. "I would like to enjoy my food."

"It's pizza. What's there to enjoy? We have it every day." Jack looked bored.

"It's the principle of the matter," Ianto answered.

"Fine," he huffed, as he picked up his piece of pizza again. "See if I care."

They ate in silence until five minutes later when Jack broke and whined, "Please?"

Ianto gave Jack a tight smile and calmly continued methodically cutting his pizza into bite-sized pieces. "No."

Jack batted his eyelashes. "Pretty please with a cherry and whipped cream on top. Literally."


"But . . ."


"Ianto . . ."

"Jack . . ."

"You're mean," Jack pouted like a child.

"And you're childish," Ianto countered.

"Fine." Jack crossed his arms. He grinned charmingly at Ianto. "How's about a compromise."

"Go on," Ianto said offhandedly.

"Well," Jack started, drawing out the "well" in his American accent. "I propose a little game . . ."

"Not naked hide and seek," Ianto groaned. "You cheat."

"I do not," Jack said indignantly, and Ianto replied by shooting him an exasperated look.

"And I was not suggesting naked hide and seek, though it does have its merits," Jack winked. He loved a good game of naked hide and seek, even if he did cheat sometimes. "I was going more for something like . . . poker."

"Poker, sir?" Ianto looked slightly surprised.

Jack grinned lewdly. "I didn't mean just any poker . . ."

Ianto groaned again. "Please tell me you're not . . ."

"Strip poker!" Jack announced gleefully and noticing Ianto's look of hesitance, added, "I dare you."


Two hours later, Jack was seriously regretting making the suggestion of strip poker.


"And I believe that is a straight flush, sir," Ianto said nonchalantly as he placed his cards on the table. He grinned ever so slightly at Jack. "I believe your trousers are next to go."

Jack grumbled, stood and slid off his trousers, slapping his bottom and grinning at Ianto. He shrugged. "Been wanting to get out of them for, oh, about three hours now."

Ianto looked at him impassively. "Another round?"

Jack groaned. He was naked, well almost. He had lost all his items of clothing, save for his underpants. Ianto, on the other hand, had only lost his suit jacket and the infernal tie Jack had given him.

"I didn't know you were so good at poker," Jack muttered, looking evilly at the cards as if it was their fault.

"You never asked," Ianto replied lightly. "And the game was your idea."

"Yeah, to get you out of your clothes," Jack admitted.

"Well, obviously." Ianto rolled his eyes.

Jack harrumphed and crossed his arms. "Tell you what. All in, yeah? If I win, you take it all off."

"And if I win?"

"Uh . . . I'll let you be on top?" Jack offered.

"And what makes you think there will be any need for me to be on top?" Ianto replied.

"Because my natural charm draws you to my bed," Jack explained with a grin.

"Perhaps," Ianto said coolly. He thought for a moment. "One more round."

"You've got it," Jack said happily and dealt out the cards.

Fifteen minutes later, Ianto was looking at Jack with a smirk on his face. "All in, I believe is was."

Jack glared at Ianto. He stood up again, and made a show of sliding his underpants down. Once they were off, Jack flicked them across the room and waggled his hips.

"Like what you see?" he asked.

Ianto eyed Jack appreciatively. "I've seen better," he deadpanned. "But not bad."

"Not bad," Jack huffed. "Is that all I get?"

"Yes," Ianto replied smoothly. "For now."

Jack frowned, but started seductively, "So, there's room for improvement?"

Ianto eyed Jack again. "There is always room for improvement."

"Maybe I should start, then." Jack stepped across the coffee table in Ianto's living room and pushed him roughly so that Ianto was laying on the couch with Jack straddling him.

Jack leant in for a deep tongue kiss when Ianto moved his head and Jack's sloppy kiss landed on Ianto's ear.

"What?!" Jack was frustrated. He was horny and wanted his lover, yet his lover wasn't very responsive.

"Firstly," Ianto started as he slid out from under Jack, smoothing out the wrinkles in his suit as he stood.

Jack crashed front first onto the couch. "Ouch."

Ianto ignored him and picked up the horrible tie. "Firstly," Ianto repeated, "what the hell is with this tie?" He held the offending object between two fingers and as far away from his body as possible.

Jack clumsily sat up, sitting with his legs spread, which as much as Ianto tried not to, very much appreciated.

He shrugged. "I thought it was cute?"

"Cute? Cute?" Ianto looked scandalised. "This is not cute. It's . . . it's . . ."

"Cute?" Jack offered cheekily.

"It's not cute!" Ianto growled.

"Aw, don't you like the Santas and the reindeer?" Jack looked at Ianto with sad eyes.

"I'm not a child, Jack."

"The tie is adult sized," Jack retorted. He sighed. "It was just a bit of fun. I thought you'd look hot in it."

"I'd like to see you wear it," Ianto challenged and when Jack didn't reply, said, "See . . ."

Jack snatched the tie out of Ianto's hand before Ianto had a chance to react. Jack tied it loosely around his neck and Ianto had to admit it did look kinda hot.


Ianto raised an eyebrow and said, "I told you there was room for improvement."

Jack grinned. "So . . ."

"No," Ianto cut him off.

Jack's face fell. "But . . ."

"Secondly," Ianto said, raising his voice to be heard over Jack's, "it is time for dessert."

Jack looked incredulous. "Dessert? Seriously? Can't we just skip it?"

Ianto shook his head. "And there's still the kitchen to do. You promised, remember."

"You're mean," Jack groaned.

"Love you too," Ianto smirked sarcastically and headed in the direction of the kitchen. "And put on some clothes. I have a no nakedness policy at the dinner table."

Jack groaned again.


Just after dessert, Jack stood abruptly and sauntered over to the doorway that led from the dining room to the hallway. He stood there patiently.

Ianto looked confused. "Jack?"

"I'm waiting," Jack announced.

"For what?"

"For you to follow," Jack said curtly.

"Is this some fifty-first century tradition or something?" Ianto queried, looking at Jack warily.

Jack shook his head. "Christmas is out-dated by the fifty-first century. We learn about it in history. It's more of a twentieth century thing."

Ianto sighed and stood, earning an impatient noise from Jack. "Hurry up already," he whined.

Humouring Jack, Ianto walked over to the door and said, "What?"

Jack pointed upwards and Ianto followed his finger. "The mistletoe made me do it," Jack said childishly.

Ianto looked bemused at the sprig of Mistletoe hanging in his doorway. "You put that there just so you could feel me up, sir?"

Jack looked guilty. "Well, yeah," he grinned, "had to have a backup plan in case poker didn't work out."

Ianto frowned. "You set up the poker game and the mistletoe to try and get me to kiss you?"

"Guilty as charged," Jack shrugged, wagging his eyebrow. "I thought it was quite ingenious."

Ianto rolled his eyes. "You could have just asked, sir," he smirked. "Would have taken much less time."

"And would only have been half the fun," Jack flirted.

Ianto shook his head. "You are impossible."

"I am an impossible kind of guy," Jack grinned. He looked at Ianto wolfishly. "So, Ianto Jones, fancy a shag?"

"Couldn't have sounded more vulgar if you tried, sir," Ianto deadpanned.

Jack frowned. "Would you like to make love to me, Mr. Jones?" Jack amended, in a cheesy posh British accent. "I would be ever so grateful."

Ianto rolled his eyes. "And you think that's going to work."

Jack sighed. "Do you wanna have sex with me or not?"

"Ask nicely," Ianto replied innocently, having way too much fun tormenting Jack.

"I did," Jack grumbled.

Ianto just looked at him pointedly, so Jack gave up and instead of asking with words, used his lips. Jack's lips crashed down on Ianto's as Jack shoved him against the wall. As Jack deepened the kiss, he murmured against Ianto's mouth,

"I love you."

Ianto was taken aback. It was the first and only time Jack had ever expressed such feelings for him in words. Ianto pulled away.

"Wha . . .?"

Jack shook his head, pulled Ianto to his chest and kissed the top of his head. "I love you, Ianto," Jack repeated, louder this time.

"It's just after everything that's happened over the past few months, I . . . dunno," Jack trailed off. "I don't want to lose you."

"You won't."

"You can say it, but . . ." Jack looked broken and the look pierced Ianto's heart.

"You're not going to lose me, Jack," Ianto repeated firmly. He paused and then said warily, "You're not just saying this to get me into bed?"

Jack shook his head again. "Never."

Ianto grinned; a lovely warm feeling spread through his body. "I'd better get the stopwatch, then." Ianto started towards the bedroom.

"And for the record," he called back, "I love you too."