A/N - Happy New Year to everyone who has followed me and my fics, favourited my stories, read them and left comments over the past year or so - sorry not to have been very productive lately - too much work and too little time. Here's a re-edited piece of fluff for the New Year.
Ianto's Day Off.
There was somebody knocking at the door. No, not knocking at the door. Trying to knock the door off its hinges would be a more accurate description.
Ianto opened the door to see Captain Jack Harkness standing there, an impatient look upon his face, his hand raised as if to bash once more.
"Your door bell doesn't work," he complained.
"I know." Ianto rolled his eyes as he always did when Jack stated the obvious. Then he sighed. "You'd better come in, I s'pose."
Jack grinned at the sight of a dishevelled Ianto Jones walking away from him into the hallway of his flat. It had been an unexpected treat to find him barefoot in nothing but a pair of threadbare, faded, tight jeans and a black tee shirt. Yes, very tight he noted with a raised eyebrow and a leer.
"It'll just take a minute and I'll be ready –"
Jack frowned as Ianto disappeared through a door at the end of the narrow hallway.
Surely he didn't think… What was he thinking?
"Emergency I take it? Is everyone OK? Tosh? Gwen?"
Jack stuck his head around the door of the bedroom, surprised at the sight of an unmade bed, the sheets rumpled and the duvet folded back. There were also clothes scattered about on the floor. He'd always thought that Ianto would be the epitome of OCD in his home. Evidently not. The man in question was pulling the wardrobe door open and grabbing a suit and shirt from their respective hangers.
"They're fine. No emergency."
Ianto dropped the clothes to the bed and turned to give Jack a look that could have frozen lava. His hands went to his hips in the gesture he reserved for when he was exceptionally pissed off.
"So, there isn't an imminent invasion, the weevils aren't squatting in the Pierhead building and nothing is threatening to eat Cardiff?"
"No, did I say there was?" Jack looked confused.
"No, but you're here, on my day off, hammering on the door as if the world was coming to an end."
"Oh, well, I wasn't sure if you could hear me or not, what with the loud music you had playing in here."
"Loud music?" Ianto shook his head, exasperated. "Jack, it's my day off. You said that you were OK with the whole concept of us taking it in turns to have a day off."
"Yeah, of course I am. It makes perfect sense. Hell, I should have set up the rota years ago."
In Jack's absence, Gwen had set up a rota system whereby each member of the team got one guaranteed day off each week unless the rift was playing up. They had all worn themselves ragged when Jack had first left them, trying to keep up with the extra workload they'd been saddled with. It had made all the difference allowing each of them some time to themselves to come to terms with the aftermath of Jack's departure and to make sure they had clean underwear to face the alien hoards in. After John Hart had been dealt with, the team had spelt it out to Jack in no uncertain terms that they weren't going back to the old ways.
"Right, let's get this straight. There is no emergency and you are happy for me to have time off, yet you're still here." Ianto's voice had got lower, not a good sign. "Why? Is there something you need? Coffee? Blow job? Couldn't you have just gone to Starbucks and had a wank. Preferably not at Starbucks, but you know what I mean."
"Ianto!" Jack looked genuinely hurt by Ianto's caustic comments. "No. It's not like that. I just thought that maybe, maybe I could hang out with you today. If that's OK? Of course if it isn't I'll just be on my way…" He ducked his head and, looking uncharacteristically forlorn, walked out of the bedroom.
"No… no!" Ianto called out to him, flustered by Jack's unexpected visit. "What I mean is yes … yes, you can stay. But really, you could have called first. The place is a mess."
"You mean it? I can stay?" Jack smiled deliriously, which puzzled Ianto even more.
"Yes...yes." Ianto smiled, the look on Jack's face contagious. "But there are conditions. One, you hang up your coat in the hall and two, you take those bloody boots off. You're way too overdressed for hanging out."
After grabbing hold of Ianto in a bear hug and giving him a particularly sloppy kiss, Jack bounced off to do as requested. There was something of Tigger about him, thought Ianto, feeling ever so slightly sympathetic towards the character of Eeyore.
Taking Jack's coat from him, Ianto ushered him into the living room, whereupon he went straight to the bookcases and DVD racks, rifling through their contents excitedly.
"It's been ages since I was last here. Not since …well, you know."
Jack had only ever been to Ianto's flat a few times, and it did feel like a long time ago for him, especially taking into account the year that no one else recalled. The first time had been when Ianto was on suspension after the Cyberwoman incident and that was mainly to check that he was still there and still breathing. Jack had seriously thought that Ianto was suicidal at the time. Those visits hardly counted as social calls.
"Yeah, well, I've unpacked all of the boxes since then." Ianto frowned as he recalled those occasions when Jack had been to his flat. A lot had changed since then.
Surveying the chaos about him, Ianto gathered up the various magazines and supplements from the Sunday Times that were strewn across the sofa, making space for Jack to sit.
"This is the Sunday paper, Ianto, it's two days old." Jack picked up the front news section and held it up to show Ianto as if he hadn't noticed.
"Oh my God, don't tell me I've lost time again." Ianto rolled his eyes dramatically. "I know it's the Sunday paper. I get it delivered each week and then read it whenever I actually get to spend more than an hour at home."
"Oh, I see." Jack placed the paper back on the coffee table. "So, tell me what you're planning on doing today?"
"My exciting agenda for the day?" Ianto went slightly pink at the thought of telling Jack how he'd planned to spend the day. He'd probably have to come up with something to entertain Jack now that he was there, which meant the other stuff would have to wait until his next official day off. Taking a breath he recited the litany of his usual day-off plans. "Laundry, cooking, reading and listening to some music."
"Great, we'll do that."
"Jack?" Ianto looked at the larger than life alien catcher sitting on his sofa reading the TV guide as if he'd sprouted horns and a tail. He shook his head in mock horror.
"That's domestic. You don't do domestic."
"I can do. Did I tell you about the time that I was seeing this –"
"Stop there. Another rule – no anecdotes about other people, or other species, multi-limbed acquaintances or tentacled bed buddies that you have seduced….or slept with …or … you know…" Looking at Jack's expanding grin, he could tell that his diatribe was having the opposite effect to the one intended, so Ianto coughed to clear his throat and then continued, unconvincingly: "It counts as work-related talk and I don't want to hear it on my day off. "
"Spoilsport – I think you're just jealous."
"Don't be ridiculous." Shit. I am and the bastard knows it. "I was about to get some breakfast for myself – want some?"
"Breakfast? It's 10:30!" Jack looked horrified.
"Day off, Jack… I get to sleep in on my day off."
"OK…sorry. Yes, I'd love breakfast. Can I help?"
"I'm going to regret this, aren't I?"
"Come on – by the way did you know you haven't shaved yet?" Jack reached out a hand and caressed the slight stubble on Ianto's chin. The glare told him that it was deliberate. "Sorry. It looks kinda cute actually."
Jack caught himself before he added that he rather liked the way Ianto's hair curled around his ears when he hadn't bothered styling it, but decided that it wouldn't go down too well.
Turning as fast as he could on bare feet, Ianto headed for the kitchen, his face now more than a touch pink. It wasn't made any better by the realisation that he could virtually feel Jack's eyes running over the back of his jeans. They were the ones with the tears in them, across the backside and he'd not bothered with underwear. It was his day off, for fuck's sake. He hadn't been expecting Harkness harassment in his own home.
As he was pulling out pans and utensils from cupboards and drawers, Jack had opened the fridge door to explore the contents.
"Wow, it's full of … well, food."
"What did you expect, Jack? I do eat, contrary to common belief."
"Yeah, but there's so much of it. Enough for a dinner party … oh, you weren't expecting anyone for dinner or anything, were you?" Jack shut the door quickly, having realised that he hadn't taken the time to find out if Ianto was seeing anyone else. He'd just assumed that when he came back from his travels with the Doctor that Ianto would be waiting for him, although he'd also expected to be dropped off only moments after he'd left. He mentally kicked himself for not asking.
"No… nothing like that. It's just that when I do have the time, I cook batches of food and freeze it. That way I can get something to eat quickly if I need to."
"Really? I never thought about it, I guess."
"You didn't really think that I survived on pizza and Chinese takeaway, did you?"
Jack moved towards Ianto and took him into his arms, wondering what the hell he'd been thinking of in the past. He really hadn't spent anywhere near enough time actually getting to know this man.
"I'm sorry. I'm an idiot." He leaned up to kiss the top of Ianto's head. "So, what about that breakfast you offered me?"
Ianto leaned into the impromptu embrace and wrapped his arms about Jack's waist, kissing him softly on the lips. Not a precursor to sex, but a forgiving kiss that said that he was very fond of Jack and was glad he was there.
"Egg, bacon, mushrooms and tomatoes suit you? With toast. And coffee, of course."
"Sounds great, what can I do to help?"
"I'll deal with the eggs and bacon – maybe you could slice the mushrooms and tomatoes?"
"Sure, no problem."
After a few minutes of companionable silence, Ianto was still getting used to the idea of Jack Harkness in his tiny kitchen, helping to prepare food. There was something decidedly surreal about it. Then he heard a small yelp and turned to look at Jack, who stood there looking guilty as he sucked his fingers.
"What have you done?" Ianto set the pan of bacon to one side, off the burner.
"Nothing," Jack mumbled.
"It's nothing, I swear-"
"Don't lie to me – there's blood on my chopping board." Ianto pointed at the wooden board that resembled a scene from a horror movie, slices of mushrooms, pale pink and white, spattered with blood, a long bladed knife at their side. "For fuck's sake, they're mushrooms, not evil aliens! Did you have to use the biggest knife you could find?"
"Sorry?" Jack watched as Ianto took the offending fungi and rinsed the blood from them under the kitchen tap.
"Let me see the cut." Ianto gently took Jack's hand and examined the visibly healing slices across the backs of the fingers of his left hand. He pressed his lips to them and smiled up at Jack. "Why don't you sit down in the living room and I'll get this sorted and bring through some coffee?"
"That sounds good. Yes please."
Jack looked up from the sports pages to steal a glance at Ianto ensconced in the jumbo crossword puzzle. They were sat amongst the remnants of breakfast, plates still on the floor and empty coffee mugs on the small side tables. Jack had positioned himself on the floor, his back to the sofa on which Ianto was sprawled out, his legs bent at the knee, the paper resting on his lap as he filled in the spaces of his puzzle.
In the background the humming sound of the washing machine reaching the end of its spin cycle made a pleasant change from the screeches of the pteranodon echoing through the damp, chilly reaches of the Hub.
Ianto put his pen down and reached out to ruffle Jack's hair.
"Penny for them."
"Your thoughts. Don't think of charging more, you don't pay me enough."
"I was thinking that I quite like this. It's different."
"Yeah, me too."
A raised eyebrow and a subtle smirk from one man were raised by the tip of a pink tongue across lips followed by a grin from the other.
"I thought you'd never ask."