Jack buzzed Martha, who was as usual down in the lab. "Nightingale," he said, and heaved a sigh.
"Another headache?" she said. Great. Apparently, this was becoming an all too regular event.
"Yeah," he said, rubbing his temples.
"What did he do this time?"
"He tried to buy the pizzeria."
"He figured since we eat so much pizza we might as well own the place."
Jack winced at the sound of Martha's high-pitched giggle. "Sorry," she said. "But you have to admit there's a kind of crazy logic behind that assumption. Ahem. Still. I'll bring something up."
She walked in a few moments later and handed him a pill. "You sound like it's a doozy so I brought paracetamol."
He took the pill and dry-swallowed it. He sighed again. "I knew this was going to take some adjustment, but honestly, Martha, some of the things he comes up with!"
"Well, Jack, in all fairness, he really did think he could teach that weevil some janitorial skills. He just wanted them to have some degree of dignity."
"Yes, and it left a nice, big, steaming pile of dignity right in the middle of the conference room floor. And today, of all days, when we were meeting with that UNIT officer."
Martha bit back a grin. "Well, give him some credit, he did clean it up."
"Yeah, because he knew what would happen if he didn't!" Jack said.
"No, he did it because he knew how upset you were and he felt he'd disappointed you."
"Where is he now?" Jack asked.
"Down in the archives, pretending to sort things," she said. "He really is upset, you know. I think all this adjusting is making him feel rather less than intelligent. And he's still upset about the banana incident."
Jack laughed in spite of his headache. "Well, he did kind of walk right into that."
Earlier that day Colonel Mitchell from UNIT had come for his appointment with Jack to discuss the increasing frequency of visitations by blowfish and what to do about it.
He'd met all of Jack's team before except a certain slender fellow in a brown pinstriped suit. Jack gestured to a chair at the opposite end of the table from where he sat. The Colonel greeted the team members he knew, then looked at the slender fellow in the suit. "Colonel Dexter Mitchell," he said. "Nice to meet you, Mister..?"
"Um, oh, Doctor. Doctor Tenny Harkness," answered the stranger.
"Tenny is our resident alien expert," Jack said.
"You can call me Doc," said the new member. "Or Tenny."
"Yes," answered the Colonel. "Now, about these blowfish—"
"Most of them are just kids," said Doc. "We try to contact their parents when we can. They usually have some sort of communication device on them."
"I'm sure that's very—" began the Colonel.
"Sort of a mobile phone," interrupted Doc.
"As I was saying, I'm sure that's helpful," the Colonel continued. "But I'm more interested in just getting them to stop. We have far too many of them in custody as it is. The situation is really getting to be quite—"
"Incarcerated?" Doc's eyes blazed. "They're kids!"
"Nonetheless, we have to—"
"Just because you're descended from apes," Doc said coolly, "doesn't mean you have to act like one."
"Doc—" Jack started.
"And what are you?" the Colonel snapped. "The son of God? Descended from apes, indeed. As if you aren't."
"Just because I bear a resemblance to you doesn't make me a monkey's uncle, does it?" Doc snapped.
And then… he reached into a bowl of fruit, picked up a banana and peeled it, munching on it rather angrily.
Everyone in the room except Doc began at that point to cover their mouths and snigger. Except the Colonel, who laughed outright and said, "Yes, we can tell by your choice of a snack."
Doc choked on his banana. His eyes darkened as they flitted from person to person. Seeing that they were all rather amused with his faux pas, he stood and hurled the banana into the trash and stormed out.
Headache now managed, Jack made his way to the archives. He found his mate sitting on the floor, back against a wall, hugging his knees. Jack leaned against the wall next to him and slid down so that they sat side by side.
"We weren't laughing at you," he said.
"Okay, we were laughing at you," Jack said and sighed. "But you have to admit, you did make an easy target of yourself with the banana."
His bottom lip quivered. He rubbed the back of his neck. "Oh, Jack, I'm never going to get the hang of this! I feel so…thick. Thick and…alien!"
"But sweethearts, you are alien," Jack put an arm around his shoulders and pulled him close. "And you are not thick. You're just having growing pains."
"I keep making an ass of myself," he said sadly. "I'm sure I'm a complete embarrassment to you."
"Hey!" Jack's brows went downward in a frown of disapproval. "Don't you ever think that! I'm proud of you, baby!"
"You can't be."
"Can so! You have a lot to deal with. It's been a long time since you spent this much time on earth. You just have to get reacquainted with how things work is all."
"You aren't angry? Embarrassed? I've been so stupid."
"Now, you stop that!" Jack scolded.
Jack had learned that his mate had two sides where their relationship was concerned…well, more than two, really, but the main two were the side that was Doc, who was more sure of himself, and Tenny, who was insecure, a bit lost and frightened half to death at the prospect of living with humans for such a long time. And a bit child-like. As in he needed reassurance and guidance. It didn't hurt that Tenny was as cute as the proverbial bug's ear. Right now it looked like Tenny was in charge. Very well, then.
"Come here," Jack said, patting his lap. His mate threw a leg across Jack's thighs and settled himself, leaning against his husband. Jack put his arms around his Tenny and rubbed his back. "I'm sorry your feelings got hurt," Jack murmured into his hair. "But I want you to do something for me. I want you to try to learn to laugh at yourself. I do it all the time! It really will help."
He was quiet for some time, just relaxing against Jack's warmth and soaking up comfort. And then he began to giggle. "That really was daft of me to pick that exact moment to eat a banana," he said.
"There you go!" Jack said. "You're getting the hang of it. And it was funny, but you know what? It was also cute as hell. I wanted to grab you and kiss the daylights out of you."
"You can still do that," Tenny said.
In a matter of moments, Tenny had Jack's trousers open and his head buried in Jack's crotch. And Jack was groaning as his mate pleasured himself orally. He threaded his fingers through Tenny's hair and moaned with ecstasy. Tenny began to knead Jack's thighs like a cat. And then Jack's eyes nearly rolled up in his head. Because Tenny started purring around his sweetly aching member.
"Oh, gods," Jack groaned. "I nuh-never…oh…Tuh-Tenny, baby, oh it feels so fucking good."
Tenny purred harder. Jack's heart pounded in his chest with excitement. His mate's fingers kneaded harder. The purring intensified as they both neared orgasm. When it hit Jack he had to bite his knuckles to keep from screaming and Tenny's purring became so loud the sound bounced off the archive walls.
Martha became a bit worried about Jack and Doc. They had been down in the archives for quite a while. What if some alien tech had malfunctioned down there? Ianto assured her over and over they would have known, but she found no comfort in his words. They decided to nip down there and check they were okay.
When they slipped in, quietly, just in case they were arguing, all they heard was Jack. He was softly singing, but they couldn't make out what it was. They peeked around a row of shelves and saw Jack sitting on the floor, back against the wall, with Doc curled up in his lap. Drawing nearer, they heard Doc purring between the lines Jack was singing: "Soft Tenny, warm Tenny, little ball of fur, happy Tenny, sleepy Tenny, purr, purr, purr…"
Tenny sat on the sofa outside of Jack's office, hands clenched between his knees. Martha walked by him and looked at him sympathetically. Ianto had told her about their latest outing. And now poor Tenny had to sit on what he had christened "the Naughty Couch". Apparently, he was in time out until his husband could calm down.
She went into Jack's office. This time it was a two-paracetemol headache. "I heard," she said.
"Thanks, he said, dry-swallowing the pills. "I know he meant well. Had to cancel the credit card."
"He's so tender-hearted," she said. "He didn't know any better than to give the Hub's card to that homeless guy."
Jack sighed. "I know," he said. "Guess I better go have some alone time with him. Soon as my headache eases off."
She left Jack's office. She sang softly, partly to herself, but partly to wipe that sad look off of Tenny's face: "Soft Tenny, warm Tenny, little ball of fur, happy Tenny, sleepy Tenny, purr, purr, purr…"
She watched out of the corner of her eye.
Tenny was smiling.