Author's Note: This is a Christmas request for Lucy Saxon (the writer, not the former Prime Minister's wife. Just to be clear). Have a fantastic holiday sweetheart!

A lovely thing about Christmas is that it's compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.
Garrison Keillor

Jack checked his gun and edged out of his office, scanning the Hub for movement. There was someone here, and there shouldn't be; he'd sent the whole team home for a few days to enjoy the holidays however they chose, so he didn't expect to see any of them until the weekend. Still, someone could have left something... or someone else could have broken in.

Something creaked above him and he swung around, gun raised, to be greeted by the pleasing sight of a jeans-clad backside descending the ladder from Myfanwy's aerie. He put the gun away and stood back to watch, arms folded, and wait for Ianto to spot him. He'd not seen his face yet, but he'd spent enough time watching that arse coming down that ladder to know what it looked like – purely in the interests of employee safety, of course.

"I don't often get to see you in jeans," he commented when Ianto was safely on the upper walkway. "They'd sell out if they put that view on Christmas cards though."

Ianto, of course, didn't even twitch, but he paused for the barest moment before he turned around to lean on the railings and look down at Jack. "I believe robins are more socially acceptable. Wouldn't want to overexcite Granny, would we?"

He laughed and beckoned the young man down. "Just come in to feed the inmates?"

"Yep." He used the rusted, creaky access ladder down the wall rather than walking all the way around to the stairs, and Jack tensed. Every time Ianto used that ladder he thought it was going to give way – he'd been planning to fix it for Ianto as a sort of alternative Christmas present this afternoon, Rift permitting. "I'm not interrupting, am I?"

"Of course not," Jack assured him, relaxing when Ianto's feet touched the ground and he brushed his hands off on his jeans. "I've already done the Weevils, though. I was just logging it before I did Myfanwy."

"Logging the feeds?" Ianto asked, lips curling and a laugh in his voice. "You must be bored."

"Yeah, well." Jack shoved his hands in his pockets and leaned against the door frame. "Not much to do here without you lot. Not now you've banned me from the archives, anyway. Have you got time to stay for a drink, or do you have to get off?"

Ianto hesitated and Jack shook his head. "Sorry, it doesn't matter," he assured him hurriedly, although his heart sank again. "Can't really explain to the family that you were feeding the pet pteranodon, anyway."

"I'm... not seeing them this year," Ianto told him. "I sort of wanted to spend this year alone, first Christmas since..."

"Oh, right." Jack nodded. "I'll let you be, then."

"I... I changed my mind." Ianto swallowed and tipped his head back to look at the ceiling. "Christmas. Not a time to be alone."


Ianto lowered his gaze to look at Jack again. "Got any of the turkey left?"

They made turkey and cranberry and ham sandwiches and potato salad from leftovers from the big Christmas dinner Jack had cooked the night before, with cold stuffing and little sausages wrapped in bacon, carrot sticks and a quickly-made tuna and sweetcorn pasta salad, and bracketed the meal with reheated soup and mince pies. With Dr No playing on the screen and the table and chairs pushed out of the way, they sat on the floor in the boardroom with their picnic spread out before them.

Jack paused with a sandwich at his lips and returned Ianto's curious look. "Have I got something on my face?"

"No." Ianto smiled at him and leaned in, pressing his lips to Jack's softly. "Thank you."

He touched his lips and smiled. "You're welcome. And thank you, for coming in and staying."

"No one should spend Christmas alone," Ianto pointed out. "And I've done my bit, joined a lonely old man so that he has company."

Jack barked a laugh. "Insolent young whelp. What am I going to do with you?"

"Well, I have a few ideas..."

"I thought I was old?" He raised an eyebrow and grinned despite his best attempts to hide it. "Or do you just value my experience?"

Ianto sipped his mulled wine neatly and smirked as a reply, and yelped when Jack wrapped a hand around the back of his neck and pulled him in to kiss him properly.