Notes: This is going to be an ongoing, infrequently updated series of 'snaps' that make up the little things of happiness. Roughly one and a half to two thousand words a chapter. They will be mostly Jack/Ianto, or based around Ianto. Is it easy to tell he's my favourite character?
To make us appreciate what we have. For Dani, who makes me appreciate every day how lucky I am.
Disclaimer: I do not own Torchwood and I am not making any profit from this work.
Snapshots of Smiles
"What happened to you?"
Ianto somehow unpeeled his forehead from his forearm and glared up at Jack from where he was lying prone on the sofa. Jack simply grinned back, unabashed, and put his hands on his hips. He had never seen Ianto so dishevelled outside of a sexual situation.
"You had a day off," Jack prodded. "What were you doing in a day off, without me, that got you looking like that?"
'That' consisted of the oldest jeans Jack had ever seen, a t-shirt three sizes too big, stained, and severely crumpled, and socks that were making a vigorous bid for the freedom of the floor rather than Ianto's unresponsive feet. Any more rumpled-looking, and there would have to be a five o'clock shadow on his face.
"My nephew happened," Ianto grumbled, burying his face in his crossed arms again. He was lying face down on the sofa, arms crossed on the arm of the furniture, and trying to meld his nose with the cushion.
"You have a nephew?"
"Yes, Jack, I have a nephew. An energetic, three-year-old nephew, whose mother just had another nephew. So the older nephew was foisted on me for the day. Hence I needed the day off in the first place."
"Here I was thinking I wore you out," Jack said.
"You wish," Ianto grumbled. "I wish," he added after a moment. "A three-year-old is more demanding than you. You're easy to deal with."
"Yes. Sex. And coffee. Toddlers want fifty-two hundred different things, right now, or they'll scream," Ianto snarled, rolling over to stare up at the ceiling. "Thank God for you," he moaned. "I'm never, ever having children. No way. Not happening. And if I ever want them, sent me round to my sister's for the afternoon."
"Will do," Jack said, lifting up Ianto's feet and sitting on the end of the sofa, putting them back in his lap. "You coming back tomorrow, like you promised?"
"Definitely," Ianto hissed. "I'd take Owen over Jamie. Hell, I'd take Gwen with PMS over sodding Jamie."
"Ouch. Poor baby," Jack said, rubbing firm circles into the underside of Ianto's left foot. Sure enough, Ianto melted, subsiding into the cushions with a contented sigh and offering up the other foot for the same treatment. Preferably at the same time.
"I have you well-trained," Ianto mumbled sleepily.
Jack's coat, while undeniably sexy and fitting all the requirements of making him 'a man in uniform', is incredibly strange.
Ianto is a tailor's son. He knows when a coat fits, and that coat fits. If Jack puts on any weight, it'll strain; if he loses any, it'll sag and look weird. It couldn't fit better if it were made for him.
And yet, somehow, that coat can accompany him as well.
It's one of Jack's little quirks. If he gets to sneak up on Ianto outside, he will open the coat and envelop Ianto into its grey, warm folds, tugging him back against the firm chest beneath. Ianto doesn't mind - he rather likes it, actually - but it really shouldn't be possible. The damn thing can almost close around him, for God's sake.
One day, he'll find out the secret about that coat.
When he can find the will not to just close his eyes and disappear when Jack does that.
"What did you want to be when you were a kid, Ianto?"
"Sorry, Jack. What?"
"I asked what you wanted to be when you were a kid."
"Oh. Lots of things."
"All of them?"
"Some of them, then."
"Shit, I don't know. A doctor. A fireman. A policeman. An astronaut. A frog. All the usual stuff little boys want to be."
"Aww, never a pilot?"
"Don't like heights."
"Just trying to imagine you as a kid. You seem perpetually grown up."
"You've never seen me drunk. About as mature as a first-year college student, then."
"...Is that an invitation?"
Jack was confused. All day, Ianto had been avoiding his kisses. From when the Welshman had come into work, right up until now - and it was almost time to shut down for the night! - he had been avoiding Jack's kisses. And Jack couldn't figure it out.
Ianto hadn't hurt his face or jaw lately.
Jack didn't think he'd done anything wrong.
Hugs were okay - he'd had lots of hugs.
And flirting was still okay, too, there'd been even more flirting.
He'd even made hints about the stopwatch and gotten a good response!
So what the hell was wrong with his kisses today?
Watching jealously from the office as Tosh waved goodbye to Ianto and got a cheery farewell, Jack waited only until the cog door had rolled shut before stalking down the steps and glowering at the back of Ianto's head.
"Something wrong, sir?"
"Yes," Jack snapped. "With you, apparently."
"With me?" Ianto looked faintly surprised, and turned to stare at Jack properly. "There's nothing wrong with me that I'm aware of, sir."
"Well, there must be!" Jack shouted, exasperated.
"Why?" Ianto asked evenly.
"You've been avoiding me!"
"Fine, avoiding my kisses! Same damn thing!"
"I've been...well, yes," Ianto rolled his eyes. "It's hardly appropriate, is it?"
"What, kissing you? I've done everything else with you!"
"Not that," Ianto snorted. "Jack, why am I not staying here tonight?"
"You've got that family reunion thing in Newport."
"Yes. And who will be there?"
"Duh. My mother, Jack. My very keen-eyed, very interfering, very irritating, very pressurising mother."
"So, if I turn up with snog rash, Jack, she is going to notice. And she's not a stupid woman. And then, Bob's your uncle, I am outed to my entire, very Christian family, as being gay. No thank you, Jack, not happening."
"...I do not give you snog rash."
"Oh yes you have."
"Lots of times."
"As in, Owen is thinking of prescribing me creams for what is essentially carpet burn. Jack, get a new razor, or I am not kissing you anywhere near any possibility of my mother - or anyone else in my family - seeing me or it."
Ianto rolled his eyes.
"I'll get you some new ones tomorrow, shall I?" he asked wearily, and turned to go.
"Promise I can have a kiss in the morning?"
"Yes, Jack, I promise."
Jack likes hands.
It's one of the weirdest things about him, but one way to keep him content to let him play with your fingers. Ianto realised this early on their relationship, and now, a year and a half later, still found it hilarious.
Jack had literally taken his hand, while Ianto was reading a book with the other, and started playing with it. Moving the fingers around to flex the knuckles, or to make them stand out and press against the skin, or examine the joints and tendons of each individual finger, or trace the grooves in Ianto's palm. He would proceed to kiss each finger and the thumb almost reverently, then turn it over, kiss the palm, and return it to where it had been.
The first time he'd done, Ianto had lowered his book and stared at him the whole time, waiting for Jack to notice him again. When he did, the American looked affronted.
"What?" he demanded indignantly, as if he had been doing something totally normal.
Ianto had just shaken his head and returned to his reading.
If that was normal in Jack's time, Ianto was happy being a twentieth-century guy.
"No, Jack. All you'll do is ogle my backside for the entire day."
"That's the point."
"I know. And nothing would get done. Which would mean I'd have to do it. So no. I do enough of your work as it is."
"Jack, what are you doing?"
"Gwen! Help me! Ianto's refusing to wear jeans at work!"
"What? Oh, go on, Ianto, it would be fun! You always dress so smart..."
"Jack would get no work done. And by the way you're looking at me, you wouldn't either."
"Yan, what if I said, that if you did this, I would give you a whole day off as thanks?"
"With no Rift interruptions?"
"Wouldn't call you in unless it was life or death."
"Fine. I'll wear the stupid jeans tomorrow."