Author's note: This was supposed to be the next chapter of Not As Planned, but it sort of... happened differently. And then it ended up being 500 words exactly, so I thought it was quite a cool stand-alone.


Ianto was used, by now, to the nuances of Jack's voice, and the many different meanings he could put into one sentence. For example, 'Can you stay behind tonight, Ianto?' It could lead to many things, could that request. The most common was a quick dinner on the go and an evening's Weevil hunting; apparently Ianto was Jack's favourite Weevil hunting partner, and not just because of the effects of the adrenaline on their libidos, but because of his quite, intense focus and his willingness to follow orders. The second most common meaning was that Jack wanted to come home with him, but still hadn't quite worked out how to ask (or that he didn't need to ask), and didn't like turning up on the doorstep for whatever reason. Sometimes it even meant that Jack had actual work that he needed to do, which wasn't his favourite meaning, but did get him a morning off.

Tonight, though, it had a slight inflection of confidence, with just a touch of worry. Jack had a surprise for him, and it wasn't in his trousers.

"Of course," he nodded his agreement and refastened his cuffs, still facing the sink. "Is the Rift predicting trouble tonight?"

"Not tonight. She's plotting something for us, I think."

Ianto smiled as Jack disappeared from the doorway and picked up his suit jacket, brushing down the sleeves before he pulled it on. He'd long since lost count of how many of them were in this relationship – him, Jack, the Rift, Torchwood... All things considered, it was a relief that only two of them were sentient, even if the others encroached on their time far too much.

The end of the day came, and Tosh, Owen and Gwen collected their things and prepared to leave. Gwen tutted again when he said that he was staying behind, and told him that Jack worked him too hard. Ianto tried not to feel smug when he told her that he was just waiting for Jack to finish up what he was doing and then they'd leave together.

Jack took a few minutes to get ready, and chased Ianto out to put his feet up in the ramshackle common area to wait. He sighed and leaned back against the lumpy sofa cushions, deciding again that they needed to get a new one, preferably one that pulled out into a double bed. With his hands folded neatly on his stomach, he did as he was told, closing his eyes and letting his mind drift off, away from Torchwood and Weevils and Rifts, to a world where he could actually get more than five hours sleep on more than three nights of the week, and where he could know that his boyfriend...

"Jack, what are we?" he called out, without opening his eyes.

Jack's voice rang out from his office, slightly muffled. "Human, last I checked. Or do you mean Torchwood?"

Ianto shrugged and smiled. "Human will do."