Uhhh, yeah, not sure where this came from. I was all innocently existing in my happy world of college, and suddenly my brain was like HEY, THAT IANTO, HE'S ADORBS. YOU SHOULD WRITE SOMETHING.

What can I say? I obey the voices.

Title: it's not that i just didn't care; i must admit i was afraid
Rating: R, 'cause Jack's a slut.
Pairing: Jack/Ianto
Spoilers: Um, up to Series 2, I guess, but nothing specific.
Disclaimer: I don't own Torchwood. I might own a Torchwood mug, somewhere. Does that count?
Summary: Ianto is withholding sex. Jack is not pleased.

it's not that I just didn't care, i must admit i was afraid

After the whole office debacle, Jack sort of expected things to go back to normal. Not in the strictest sense of the word, of course, because this was Torchwood after all, but normal in the way that they knew it. Normal like having a pet pterodactyl and realizing one morning that his bed is covered with oranges for no apparent reason.

Normal like shooting Ianto one of those glances that was less come-hither than its simpler, to-the-point cousin, lose-the-trousers. Less than a year ago, those looks would have made Ianto flush a little and frantically start demanding that everyone drink tea. Ianto was … inordinately fond of making tea.

Anyway, Jack's point was, he'd gotten himself to a place where he was practically begging for it. Even when Ianto was still freshly wounded from Lisa, when he was still tender from the ache of losing her, he'd been interested, at least, been willing to bury himself in Jack because it was easier than dealing with grief. Which, let's be honest, was a preferable method of grieving. Jack wasn't not heartless, and he certainly wasn't unsympathetic to his team's losses, but if a heavy-lidded Welshman with an artist's hands and a voice like the tumble dryer on low wanted to heal himself by jumping into bed with his boss, well, no complaints here, is all Jack's saying.

So, the asking-out thing sort of just happened, because he wasn't sure when Ianto managed to go from being the sexy butler to Rose Tyler on Jack's mental TARDIS, but he had, and Jack wasn't sure if that's a bad omen or a good one. Anyway, he said yes to the date, which was important, because it meant that Jack was obviously not just grief counsellor anymore. And let's not forget to the way Ianto said yes: impatiently, practically waving Jack away as if the answer ought to have been so obvious that he couldn't believe Jack was even asking.

That was good. Jack had had sex with a lot of people, and the experiences all taught him that if a guy thinks his feelings for you are so obvious that you don't even have to ask him out, then it's a good sign.

But: nothing.

They'd been out twice now, once for dinner and once, less formally, for coffee, and both times had been easy. Fun. Great. Ianto really liked fresh pepper, like heaps and heaps of it on his food, which was weird, but something Jack was willing to overlook for the sake of his extremely pretty mouth. They'd laughed, they'd drunk wine, and Jack had helped Ianto back into his coat. He went so far as to actually caress his arm on the drive home, just one finger trailing up and down from his elbow to his shoulder, but both times the cab had pulled up to Ianto's apartment building and he'd hopped out before Jack could follow.

"Right, thanks," Ianto had said both times, utterly cheerful, and then pulled Jack into a kiss, not just a kiss but a kiss, one that was so full of promise that it had him straining in all the right places, hands roving and the cab driver coughing uncomfortably into the crook of his arm. At one point, Ianto was leaning back into the car, one hand wrapped in Jack's collar and the other braced against the glass wall separating them from the front seat, and Jack's heart sped up because yes he was finally going to get laid by this man—

And then Ianto pulled away breathlessly but firmly and closed the door, hurrying up the steps and back to his flat without turning around.

Jack supposed he could handle the cold showers if his confounded employee would keep his teasing for dates; maybe that was some sort of dating protocol for the Welsh. But it was everywhere, a cheerful, deliberately maddening assault on Jack's person. It didn't matter where they were or what they were doing; he could be innocently filling out paperwork or down in the storage rooms looking for more Goddamn staplers because Owen kept taking all his for reasons that Jack had yet to discern, and suddenly there would be Ianto, all hands and lips and teeth, shoving him against walls or bookcases or what have you, and every time Jack would be fooled until the moment that Ianto pulled away and straightened his tie and said, "Right then, thank you, sir," and made himself scarce.

At first he thought that the only way to solve the problem was to keep asking Ianto out, but the more he did that, the more he got teased at the end of the night, and he wasn't being funny when he said that he actually could not stand much more of it.

On their fifth date, he picked Ianto up instead of meeting him at the restaurant; it eliminated the problem of the taxi driver at the end of the night and gave him more wiggle room as far as leaving was concerned. He made fun of the extreme amounts of pepper that Ianto insisted on putting on his gnocchi (who puts pepper on gnocchi?) and they spent the night talking in low voices about nothing. Ianto did this thing — Jack wasn't sure he even realized he was doing it — where he licked his lips after each bite and sometimes closed his eyes so he could taste better. He made jokes about Owen and Gwen, and how there was no satisfactory way to combine their names except to say Gowen, which felt like cheating.

"Why would you want to combine their names?" Jack asked, amused, as he sat back in his chair and let his knee slide between Ianto's.

"For my notes," he said plainly, as if this should be obvious.

"And what do you call us, in your notes?" Jack asked, leaning forward, ripping off a piece of bread and pushing it lightly into his mouth.

Ianto shrugged, straightening his tie with what could have been nervousness and could have been something much better. "I should think that would be obvious, sir," he said. "I could hardly called us Iack, could I."

"So, Janto," Jack surmised thoughtfully. "It sounds like some kind of fighting technique. Or maybe a sexual position. Maybe both."

"Fitting," Ianto answered dryly.

Later, Ianto kissed Jack lightly, with none of the fervor that Jack had grown used to, and slipped out of the car without saying anything. But there was no cab driver eager to get home this time, so Jack followed him.

When they got to the apartment door, Ianto turned around with his eyebrows raised. "I don't think I invited you up, sir," he said, just the tiniest edge to his voice.

"Yeah," Jack agreed, "I was wondering about that."

"Maybe I'm just tired," Ianto offered helpfully. "My job is pretty demanding."

Jack thought about it. "I don't think so. I think it's something else." He stepped forward, into Ianto's space, backing him into the door. Ianto shifted, looking panicked, and fumbled blindly for the door handle. Jack reached forward and grabbed his hand, bringing it up between them and fiddling idly with Ianto's fingers. "I think there's something actually wrong here, though I can't for the life of me figure out what, because this," he leaned forward and brushed their mouths together, pressing his thigh between Ianto's legs and being rewarded with a low groan, "seems to be working just fine."

"Jack," Ianto muttered. "Sir. I don't—"

"What is it, Ianto," he murmured, bringing their linked hands up to nip lightly at Ianto's fingers. "Hmm?" When Ianto shook his head wordlessly, Jack exerted a fraction more pressure against him and Ianto shuddered; he crashed their mouths together and didn't stop, not even when he felt Ianto gasping for air, just threads his fingers through the other man's hair and held him there. They were both panting when he finally left off, and Ianto slumped against him. "What is it," he said again, softer this time, gentler.

"Milk," Ianto said, somewhat dumbly. A pause. "Cows. The milk," he said again, this time with a firmer tone, as if it explained everything. "Yes."

Jack eased back. "Cows?" he asked, frowning. This was not the direction he had expected the conversation to take. "What the fuck are you talking about?"

"That saying," Ianto said breezily, waving one of his hands in front of his face in some obscure gesture that was probably supposed to indicate some kind of transaction that presumably concerned cows. "You know."

"What are you trying--cows? Jesus, Ianto, all I wanted--"

"Yes, yes, that's my point," Ianto interrupted eagerly, nodding as if Jack finally understood. "All you wanted was, you know, the milk." At Jack's look he sighed and shook his head, running a hand through his hair. "I thought, there's nothing that we can do next time he wants to run off and get a check up, right, but there's one thing he can't do without, or what I mean is, wouldn't leave without, so—"

Jack stared at him as he spoke, understanding slowly, until something small and very warm started growing somewhere in his chest and didn't stop until it had spread. "Ianto," he interrupted, quietly, but firmly, using his best boss voice because despite everything it always made the other man listen. Ianto's mouth snapped shut obediently, but Jack couldn't think of a single thing to actually say, not in the face of what Ianto was standing here telling him.

Ianto looked away. "I didn't really think it would work," he mumbled after a moment. "I'm not a complete idiot."

Jack smiled fondly, stepping in closer and nudging Ianto's chin until he looked at him. "Yes you are," he teased. Then he stepped back and ran a hand through his hair. "Look. I can't promise I won't go again. But I'll always come back."

He put his hands into his pockets helplessly; he couldn't really offer anything else.

For a long time, Ianto didn't say anything. Jack heard the scratching of his key slipping into the lock, and the little click as it opened. He thought maybe it wasn't not enough, his promise, because for all his faux-casualness about their relationship, Ianto was really more of the all-in, keep-you-alive-in-the-basement-long-after-it's-socially-acceptable-to-do-so type.

He turned to go, but Ianto's voice was low and amused as he stopped him. "Aren't you coming in, sir?" he asked, and grined when Jack turned to raise an eyebrow. He might have been holding his breath waiting for this man, but you couldn't prove it and Jack was going to take that secret to his grave.

Then Ianto said, "I don't know about you, but you've been back almost a month and I need to get laid."