Ianto eyed the plate warily, looking up at Jack before looking back at Gwen, and once more down at the plate.
"Well go on, then," Gwen urged, pushing the plate toward him. "Since it's your birthday you get to be the first to try one. I know you love them."
"I do, actually," Ianto conceded, smiling. "The little shop around the corner from my flat makes incredible sweets."
He knew without a doubt these donuts would be nothing like the ones Miss Taylor made; Gwen was barely a cook, much less a baker. But not wanting to offend his friend and colleague he would make do. His eyes met Jack's and Jack just winked.
"Coffee," exclaimed Ianto, cheering up considerably at the chance to delay the inevitable. Yes, of course. Even if the donut tasted like sand he could wash it down with his coffee. "I'll just…make a pot now, if anyone is interested."
"Sounds lovely," Tosh agreed.
"Always, Ianto," Jack said, nodding.
Gwen just smiled, moving the donuts over to the workstations. "Alright then! We can all have coffee and donuts to celebrate Ianto's birthday," she chirped, setting them on a desk and brushing her hands. "I worked hard on those, I did. Rhys had one. Said it was delicious."
"I'll bet," came Owen's muffled remark as he moved to his printer, picked up a couple of papers and scurried back to the autopsy bay.
Gwen seemed to brush off the comment and when Ianto returned a few minutes later with a tray of mugs she was beaming brightly. There was really no way around having a donut. Besides, she'd gone to a lot of work for his birthday, after all.
"Go on, birthday boy," Jack told him, raising an eyebrow and nodding toward the plate.
Ianto smiled, reaching for a serviette and a donut, bringing the latter to his lips. As he opened his mouth to take a bite he absently noted that Owen had returned and was reaching for a mug.
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…" the medic muttered, face somber.
Ianto inhaled the piece of donut he'd bitten off, coughing and sputtering with watering eyes. Jack moved closer to pat his back, his soft chuckle making it harder for Ianto to breathe, since his natural reaction was to laugh along with him.
"You're supposed to eat it, not breathe it, Tea Boy" Owen stated with a smirk once Ianto started breathing normally. "Do I have to examine you?"
Ianto shook his head, wiping his eyes. He took a drink of hot coffee, savoring the burn as it slid down his throat.
"Are you okay, Ianto?" Tosh asked, touching his shoulder.
"Y-yes, thank you," Ianto answered.
"Always breathe through your nose when your mouth is occupied," Jack said helpfully, winking as he took a sip of his own coffee.
Ianto threw him an exasperated look, then smiled at Gwen whose eyes were wide. "Let's try this again then, shall we?" he asked. He took another bite, eyebrows arching when the sweet, sugary flavor touched his tongue. He chewed thoroughly, placing the donut down on the serviette.
"Well?" asked Gwen, eagerly. "What do you think, Ianto?"
Ianto was pleasantly surprised. It was good. "It's amazing, Gwen," he told her honestly. "Thank you very much."
Gwen grinned. "Happy birthday, Ianto!"
"Happy birthday, Ianto!" the others joined in, reaching for donuts before moving to their computers.
"My office," Jack whispered to him before grabbing several donuts and heading toward the glass doors.
"Yup," Ianto replied, following him.
Jack settled back against his chair, his donuts and coffee perched on his desk. Ianto moved around to Jack's side of the desk, leaning on the wood and holding the edge. Jack smiled up at him.
"I have your gift, Ianto," he said. "You want it now, or later?"
Ianto's eyebrow rose. "I feel I should remind you, sir. Tying a ribbon around a certain part of your anatomy does not constitute a present."
"Ha ha," Jack replied, narrowing his eyes. "Actually, I bought you something."
"You didn't have to, sir."
"No, but I wanted to. Look in the drawer there."
Ianto shifted, opening the top drawer and picking up the slender, wrapped gift box that was sat atop various papers and doodads. He smiled, plucking the ribbon from the box and opening it.
"Jack…" he breathed, eyes flitting to the man before him.
"You like it?" Jack asked, looking hopeful.
Ianto removed the burgundy pen and pencil set, along with its matching stand. "I love it," he whispered, smiling. "My father gave me a set just like it when I was a boy, but it was stolen at school. How did you know?"
"I have my ways," he replied. "Check the engraving," Jack added, laying a hand on his knee.
Ianto picked up the stand and looked closer, noticing the tiny letters on a black plaque for the first time. He chuckled, reading out loud, "Ianto Jones: Renaissance Man."
"I was going to add, 'Looks good in a suit,' but it wouldn't fit."
Ianto's eyes shimmered with unshed tears and he set the gift down on the desk, placing a hand over Jack's. "It's gorgeous. Thank you."
"Then it suits you perfectly," Jack replied, smiling. "And you're welcome."
They sat silently for a moment before Ianto sighed, moving his hand and putting his gift back in its box. He slid it into a pocket inside his jacket, intending to place it in the Tourist's Office next to his computer. "I should get back to work," he murmured.
"Probably," Jack agreed. "But first…" He tugged on Ianto's tie, forcing the man to lean over. Their lips touched softly, the kiss warm and tender. When they broke apart Jack said, "Happy birthday, Ianto."
"Mmm, thank you."
"Dinner, Rift willing?" Jack asked as Ianto moved to leave.
"If we can keep it simple," Ianto agreed. "Maybe a takeaway at mine?"
"Aw, no waiters singing, 'Happy Birthday'?"
"Definitely not, Jack."
"Pizza sound good?"
"Good. We can celebrate both your birthday and your surviving being Gwen's canary."
"You're a million laughs this morning, Captain," Ianto said, smiling.
"I do try."