liked Ianto Jones - The younger man not only loved rugby and a pint
down the local, but he also put up with Jack Harkness every day,
which gave him a handsome nine out of ten on Rhys' list (only Gwen
had achieved full marks, with Jack at a measly four – because no
one should be that enigmatic) - But when he turned up on the
doorstep, soaked to the skin, at 2:34 am (precisely – Rhys had
glowered at the clock as he'd rolled out of bed) with a charming
smile on his face and wanting a spare set of clothes for Gwen, Rhys
felt far less friendly towards him.
"What time do you call this?" he asked, scowling "When's my Gwen going to be home? You know, it's all very well you're saving the world from whatever shit's decided to attack Cardiff at 2 am but what about her having a life?" Rhys could have quite happily carried on his rant, imagining it being directed fully at Jack, rather than Ianto, but then he noticed how wet Ianto was, and that he was beginning to shiver, and so instead held open the door.
" You might as well come in, make yourself a drink."
Ianto smiled gratefully and followed him into the warmth of the flat.
Rhys came back into the kitchen to
find Ianto stood at the breakfast-bar drinking a mug of coffee, and
another mug stood on the side, steaming temptingly...but...
"Don't worry, it's decaf" Ianto seemed to sense Rhys' thoughts, "there's no point you not being able to sleep."
"What about you?" Rhys asked
"I'll be up for a few hours yet, got to clear up and everything, by the time I get to bed the caffeine'll have worn off." He laughed "well, you know, 'what doesn't kill us just makes us stronger'" he made quotation signs with his fingers as he spoke.
"Pardon" Rhys looked slightly confused, was it a reference he was supposed to get?
"Sorry" said Ianto "it's one of Jack's. He has a great stock of these sayings that sound terribly enigmatic, but don't mean much at all, he uses them so much I'm surprised Gwen hasn't started quoting them at you."
'Yeah', thought Rhys, 'too much of
Jack Harkness was definitely a bad thing.' He wondered how
Ianto coped with him. Well, no time like the present."How
do you put up with him all the time?" he asked, the saw the look on
Ianto's face and realised he might have been a bit more forward
than he'd intended, but Ianto smiled before he took a drink of his
coffee and replied.
" The same way you put up with Gwen always being called up in the middle of the night and dashing off in the middle of something to come to work."
"Right," said Rhys " grin and bear it, then get angry and think of all the things you want to say, then take one look and realise that's just one of the reasons why you love them."
Ianto drank the rest of his coffee and raised his eyebrow slightly, "something like that." He said, and then put his cup in the sink, pulled on his damp coat and picked up the bag of Gwen's clothes.
"Thanks for the coffee, Rhys; I can see myself out, if you want to get back to bed."
Rhys nodded, so Ianto let himself out of the flat and back into the rain. He liked Rhys Williams.