Title: Little Things
Author: JerBearThompson
Rating: PG – one swear word.
Spoilers: None
Characters: Jack/Ianto, Tosh
Summary: There were little things about Ianto that Jack loved.
Disclaimer: We all worship at the shrine or RTD and the BBC.

Notes: Um… not sure why I wrote this actually. I was in need of some fluff, and some declarations of love on Jack's behalf. I'm not entirely happy with it… it just doesn't read smoothly. Oh well.

There were little things about Ianto that Jack loved, like how he nearly always jiggled his foot to get his trousers off, sometimes subjecting himself to a small hop. But there were little things about Ianto that Jack hated, like how he always put his trousers back on before the night was done.

Just once, just once, he'd like to wake up with a warm body beside him. But then, he could easily go out and get whomever he wanted- girls and boys who'd give anything to spend the night at his side. So really, what he wanted was to wake up with Ianto beside him.

But no, he had a reputation to live up to. He was the infamous Captain Jack Harkness: flirter, player, certainly not capable of falling in love, and most definitely not wanting someone to curl up with at night.

'I should go,' Ianto muttered, amid a sigh.

'Why don't you stay?' Jack murmured, voice hazy with sleep, cheek pressed into the pillow as he stared at Ianto who was giving him a weary look, like he was unsure, like he was torn between decisions.

'I'll see you tomorrow, sir.'

And with that, the Welshman was up, out of bed and pulling his trousers back on. Jack watched through half-lidded eyes until the man had dressed and was climbing back up the ladder. Then Jack shifted over onto the place where Ianto had been resting moments before, and curled up a bit more, feeling rather sorry for himself indeed.

One day, Ianto would stay. And when he did, Jack would hold him all night.

There were little things about Ianto that Jack loved, like when he laughed, really laughed, a deep hearty chuckle that ran through his whole body. But there were little things about Ianto that Jack hated, like when he apologized for laughing, like it was forbidden to be happy.

Maybe he thought it was inappropriate, or maybe he just hated the sound. But Jack loved it, and it nearly broke his heart that Ianto felt the need to apologise for an expression of his innermost joy.

It had taken so long after Lisa for Jack to slowly pull Ianto back from the edge, for him to coax the young man back into a feeling of being safe, wanted, and above all, happy. He just wanted Ianto to feel accepted.

'Jack, you didn't!' Tosh's hand flew to her mouth to prevent what could have been a gasp or a giggle.

'I did,' Jack grinned, soaking up the undivided attention of his team. 'And you know what she said? "Well that makes two of us then." I could hardly believe it!

The team erupted into a fit of chuckles and giggles, the loudest of which was Ianto, voice deep and genuine in its joy. Jack stared with unabashed affection, a wide smile plastered across his face.

That smile fell almost instantly with Ianto trailing off into a polite cough and giving a small, 'Sorry, sir.'

Later, when the others had all gone back to their jobs, Jack took Ianto aside and studied his blank face.

'Why do you do that?'

'Do what, sir?'

'Apologise for laughing. Why?'

Ianto stared for a moment, and then simply shrugged. 'Coffee?'

There were little things about Ianto that Jack loved, like his hands, long and slender, and which always got more active as he got happy or excited. But there were little things about Ianto that Jack hated, like his eyes when they displayed every hurt, every sorrowful thing he had ever encountered in his life.

If you wanted to know what Ianto's mood was, you just had to study his hands. People say that your eyes are the key to your soul, but Jack truly believed that your hands were the key to your heart.

It was always a great source of amusement for Jack to watch the man as he worked, fingers tapping on files and dancing over filing cabinets, or tracing the knots in the wood of his desk. But sometimes there were those moments that Jack didn't want to see, when Ianto's hands did not move at all.

'I'm sorry, sir.' Ianto's hands sat still in his lap, pale, clammy, and seemingly lifeless. Jack desperately wanted to pick one up and squeeze the liveliness back into it.

'Do you think I'm angry at you, Ianto?'

'I… I should have done something. I had to chance to take it down, I had the perfect shot but I just… I froze up.' His voice dropped to a panicked whisper. 'I could have helped, but I didn't. And now Gwen is… she's…'

'Fine,' Jack finished for him. 'She's absolutely fine. A few bruises, a scratch here or there. It's fine, Ianto, it really is. You were scared, we all get scared sometimes.'

Ianto looked up suddenly, eyes shining with tears. Jack wanted to look away, away from the guilt and sorrow of remembrance that weaved in and out of the pale blue. He wanted to, but he never would. Ianto needed to see, in return, what was in Jack's eyes. Understanding.

'It just reminded me so much of…'

'I know,' Jack whispered, and this time he did pick Ianto's hand up, and he squeezed it as much as he could without hurting the other man.

What made his heart lift, was that very gently, Ianto squeezed back.

There were little things about Ianto that Jack loved, like how he always did his shoelaces up using the bunny ears method, rather than the one-loop-wrap, a complete look of concentration upon his face. But there were little things about Ianto that Jack hated, like how he had to wear such neat, impeccable black shoes every day, rather than the dirty sneakers someone his age should be wearing.

In the few times Jack had ever been to Ianto's house – never at night – he had seen a lot of things out of place. Suffice to say, Ianto's house – and yes, he owned a house – was messy, but it was clean. Everything was so impossibly clean.

Layed out in a tidy row inside his cupboard, were three pairs of polished black shoes, one pair of sturdy brown hiking boots, and a pair of impossibly white jogging shoes that looked a bit more his age but still not quite right.

'Where are the sneakers?' Jack asked from his position on the edge of the bed.

'Sorry?' Ianto asked, undoing his tie and replacing it with a slightly brighter coloured one. It was the midterm meeting with UNIT today, and Jack had stopped by to pick him up.

'Your shoes,' Jack nodded toward them. 'Where are the sneakers? You know, scuffed heels and dirty laces? Where are the converses, the volleys? Don't you have any average clothing?'

Ianto halted in the looping of his tie to fix Jack with a steady look. Not a glare, just a blank, almost regretful look.

'I'm not an average person.'

'You're not,' Jack agreed. 'But I like you so much better this way.'

When the following silence dragged out for too long, and Jack thought he may have said the wrong thing, Ianto spoke quietly.

'It's Christmas next month. Buy me some sneakers.'

There were little things about Ianto that Jack loved, like how with just a smile the Welshman could leave him feeling young and free again, like the weight of the world had been lifted from his shoulders, just for a moment. But there were things about Ianto that Jack hated, like how at times he made him feel like a teenager with his first crush.

It was unethical, and Jack sometimes wondered if perhaps it wasn't really Ianto he loved, but rather this ideal man he had built up in his head. But then Ianto would look at him, or smile, or frown, or do something that would make Jack melt a little bit and affirm that Ianto really was the genuine thing.

Then he would go back over his thoughts and be horrified to realise that he had just told himself, without even thinking about it, that he loved Ianto. Which surely couldn't be true. There was no possible way it could be true. There was no possible way it could not be true.

'Jack, you okay?' came Tosh's gentle, petite voice from somewhere behind him.

Jack spun around in his chair and slammed his hands against the desk. Tosh jumped, just a little bit.

'Sit down, Tosh.'

She did, and Jack could see so clearly the look of worry and concern upon her face. She thought she was in trouble.

'Why does he make me feel this way?'

'…Ianto?' Tosh ventured quietly.

'Why does he make me feel like a fourteen year old with no control over himself? I've never regretted my job, this world is too precious not to protect them, but why does he make me wish I could have a normal life?'

'A life… with him?'

'God, of course with him! Why does he affect me this much? Why doesn't he notice? Sometimes, you know, I really do hate him.'

'But do you…'

'Yes,' Jack cut her off again, rubbing a weary hand over his face. 'I do. I love him.'

There were little things about Ianto that Jack loved, like when he stopped reprimanding Jack about public displays of affection and started enjoying them. But there were little things about Ianto that Jack hated, like how he was so oblivious to the fact that Jack loved him.

Was it that he was scared? Or that he didn't feel anything near what Jack felt? Was he so stupid, perhaps, that he honestly didn't notice? He had to notice, everyone else did.

It couldn't be that he was unsure about Jack wanting him. People walking down the street could see how he adored the Welshman. Maybe Ianto was unsure of his own feelings? Maybe it was too soon.

'Ianto!' Jack called as he ran toward him, out of breath and clutching onto the other man's arms as soon as he was close enough. 'I love you.'

Ianto blinked in surprise.

'Do you not see that? Can you honestly not see that I'm a little obsessed with you? Can't you see that I don't want to just be your friend? I don't want to be just a shag? You drive me crazy. I'm at the point where I want to introduce you to people as my partner. I want to meet your parents! I want to buy a house, and have to take my shoes off at the door. I want to have to take it in turns cooking dinner, and cleaning it up. I want to take the garbage out, and I want to have to make the bed every morning. I want you to be the last thing I see when I go to sleep, and the first thing I see when I wake up. It's crazy and it scares the shit out of me and it probably scares you even more but I love you.'

'Do you want…?' Ianto cleared his throat nervously. 'Would you like some coffee, sir?'

'No,' Jack said, exasperated. 'I want you to kiss me, or tell me to shut up.'

There were little things about Ianto that Jack loved, like how he nearly always jiggled his foot to get his trousers off, sometimes subjecting himself to a small hop. But there was nothing about Ianto that Jack hated, when the man was snoring gently, wrapped up in the captain's arms.

At the end of a long day – or even sometimes in the middle of the day, by the time they finally got home to rest – there was nothing more rewarding to Jack than being able to hold Ianto in his arms and know that the world was safe, that his team was safe, and that he had at least one more day to cherish the feeling of Ianto's breath across his face.

That feeling of peacefulness he got whenever a part of him was in contact with Ianto's body, it made him realise that this was a world worth saving. Because everyone deserved to be able to experience what he did with the young Welshman. With his young Welshman.

'Ianto?' Jack whispered, resting his fingers against Ianto's cheek.

Ianto mumbled something incoherent in reply.

'Ianto, wake up. It's important.'

Ianto reached out with one hand, hooking it securely around the captain's waist. 'What is it, Jack?'

'Can we get a dog?'

'No,' Ianto replied with an air of long-suffering.

'Can we get married?'

'Not technically.'

'Can we try?'

Ianto exhaled slowly, pushing his face further into the pillow as Jack's fingers traced down his spine.

'Yes, Jack.'