Author's Note: Another late Mistletw prompt story, written for LJ user mellten, from the prompt 'Mistletoe and peppermint'.
The December night was dark, cold and wet, and the nearest decent pub to the Hub was too far away. Rain ran down the back of Jack's neck underneath his coat, and he grimaced as he lengthened his stride to cross a puddle without standing in it. Raindrops splashing into the deepening puddles made the reflections of lights shimmer and dance, and the vague shape of a lit Christmas tree distorted around Jack's boot.
Gwen got to the door first and held it open for them, then she and Tosh went to the bar together whilst Jack, Ianto and Owen fought their way through the boisterous crowd to a tiny table, then found enough chairs for the group. They draped their coats over the back of their chairs to dry out and Ianto took the recently abandoned glasses that had been left on the table back to the bar, then helped the ladies to bring the glasses and a large jug of mulled wine over. As Ianto sat down again, passing one glass to Jack, Jack slipped his hand behind him and rested it lightly against his back, rubbing in small circles as Ianto settled back against him. His eyes and smile were soft as he passed Jack the glass, and as soon as that hand was free he settled it similarly lightly on Jack's thigh. Jack splayed his hand flat against Ianto's back and grinned into his glass, tempted to slide it up under Ianto's jacket, but that might come later.
They all settled down and chatted about their Christmas plans. Tosh was going to her chess club Christmas party and Owen was heading back to London for a night out with some old work mates. Gwen, to her despair, was spending two days away from Cardiff with Rhys's parents, and was trying to persuade Jack that actually, he really, really needed her help in Cardiff. Jack, with a laugh and an apologetic smile, pointed out that Tosh and Owen would be back by the time she left, and they could probably cope without her, but promised that if the end of the universe happened, he would call her back.
"But Jack..." Gwen whined as she reached for the jug again. "We're finished this one. But Jack... surely you can find something for me to do that will get me away from Brenda?"
"Family is too important," he told her more sternly, hiding his melancholy by taking the jug off her and peering into it. "Enjoy the time with Rhys, at least."
"I suppose," she sighed, then brightened up. "What about you, Ianto? You've been very quiet."
He swallowed and glanced up at Jack. "My cousin's family coming over from Australia on the 27th, so my family are postponing Christmas a couple of days."
"Oh, so you'll be going when I get back?" Gwen asked. "That'll be nice for you."
He chuckled and nodded. "I guess; it'll be nice to see Gemma again. It's a good job it's delayed, that way at least there'll be three of you in."
"We're only going to Butetown," Jack slid his arm further around Ianto's waist, making it more obvious. "If anything goes wrong, we're closer than at the flat."
There was silence, apart from Owen's slight splutter, then Tosh calmly set her drink down and asked, "anyone got a pack of cards?"
"I have, rummy?" Owen suggested, digging in his coat packet. "Or something else?"
"Sorry, I'm not in the mood," Ianto told him quietly.
"Me neither," Jack agreed.
Tosh rolled up her loose sleeves slightly and shrugged. "I'm in, you two are on drink running duty."
"Yep," Gwen agreed and held out her hand. "Let me deal?"
"Not a chance," Owen told her as he shuffled the cards. "We may need to wait a while, actually, these are truly soaked."
Ianto squeezed Jack's leg and stood up. "They keep a pack behind the bar, I'll go get them. Would you like me to get some mince pies and a top up whilst I'm there?"
"Good idea," Jack agreed and stood up. "I'll come and help you," they made their way across to the crowded bar area and Ianto snuck forwards the last few feet, because the pair of them couldn't get closer with two, there just wasn't the space. Through the crowd, Jack couldn't really see what Ianto was doing, but he could see the ceiling above his head clearly enough and decided that the crowd would have to make space.
Ianto was leaning forwards over the bar, either waiting for their order or waiting to be served,and he started slightly when Jack's hands landed on his waist, but he stood up and leaned back against Jack without glancing round, covering Jack's hand with his own when one slipped around to press against his stomach. "I thought you weren't going to attempt it?" he asked as Jack's hands turned him. "And I'm still waiting for the wine and pies and..." he stopped and raised an eyebrow. "What?"
Jack looked upwards and Ianto followed his gaze. "I couldn't leave you alone under the mistletoe," he told him. "Someone might get ideas."
With a chuckle, Ianto pressed a finger against Jack's lips, keeping his fist closed. "Open your mouth and close your eyes," he instructed.
After glancing over Ianto's shoulder to make sure that they hadn't been served yet, Jack did as he was told and felt something soft, cool and minty press onto his tongue. There was something with a different texture in the middle and he flexed his tongue against it slightly. As Ianto hadn't told him to open his eyes he kept them shut, so it was a surprise, albeit a not entirely unexpected one, when Ianto's lips pressed against his own. Jack sighed and leant in further, parting his lips and stroking out with his tongue. Ianto tasted of warmth and spices and overwhelmingly of peppermint.
Jack smiled as he opened his eyes and broke the kiss, touching a finger to his lips. "Peppermint creams?"
"With edible ball bearings," Ianto told him and reached out to brush Jack's lips with the tip of his finger, stopping when he brushed against Jack's fingers. "Now it feels like Christmas."