Disclaimer: As usual they belong to the BBC and RTD.

Setting: doesn't matter really.

Author's Note: I'm sorry! The entire conversation popped into my head fully formed so I wrote it down to exorcise it – otherwise it would have been going round in circles!

Shrinking

"C'mon team, we've got a spike out in Penarth, get your coats! Ianto I need you to co-ordinate!" Jack's shout rang through the Hub, eliciting a chorus of groans among his team.

"Jack it's pissing it down," Owen moaned, even Tosh looked a little downhearted.

"Can we not wait until the rain has stopped?" Gwen asked, trying hard to be reasonable. It had been a long winter and she didn't think she could bear to go out in the rain again.

"Nope, gotta go now! It's only a bit of rain – you won't melt!" Jack's irrepressible good humour somehow managed to set all their teeth on edge. The Captain then looked around, confused as to why Ianto was not stood offering his coat to him.

"Ianto?" he called, smiling fondly as the young man appeared, holding what appeared to be a plastic raincoat, "Uhhh, that's not my coat, Ianto."

Ianto quirked an eyebrow in that expressive way that no one else could come close to imitating.

"It is today, sir."

Jack was immediately a little nervous. He had finally broken Ianto of the Sir habit, and its sudden resurgence was a little disquieting.

"No," Jack had a gnawing feeling that he was treading on dangerous ground, but he ploughed on regardless, gesturing at the coat rack where his coat hung, "That's my coat."

Ianto handed over the raincoat implacably with a single word, "No."

"Excuse me?"

They were both vaguely aware of the rest of the team withdrawing to a safe distance, recognising the dangerous glint in Ianto's eyes.

"If you wear that coat, that very woollen, very prone to shrinking when wet, coat out in weather like this again, then I will not be responsible for any noxious substances you might find in your coffee mug...sir."

This was serious. Jack hadn't been on decaf for a while but the horrifying memories still ran deep. Meekly he took the offered coat and shrugged it on, wishing that he had agreed with Gwen to wait until the rain had stopped. He felt naked, and not the good kind, without his coat. He turned beseeching eyes to the Archivist and flinched at the hard glare he received in return.

"So wool shrinks in the rain?" he asked, innocently.

"Yes Jack, wool shrinks," the exasperation was clear in his voice, "You have lived in Wales with that damn coat for years, how has this passed you by?"

"Good tailor?"

That was enough to earn a patented Ianto eye-roll.

"Fine," he sighed, "Jack, I am fed up of fixing it. I have other jobs, please wear the waterproof."

Jack nodded looking like a kicked puppy, and turned to follow the rest of the team out of the cog-door, as he reached it he turned and looked back at Ianto, settled at his workstation to co-ordinate.

"Ianto?"

"The reply sounded weary.

"Yes Jack?"

"Why don't sheep shrink in the rain?"