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Title: Every Hero Needs A Trophy


PG 15 maybe?
Spoilers for Journey's End







“So what was His Majesty complaining about this time?” Ianto asked as he finished mopping the gray goo from the Hub floor.

 

Gwen scoffed as she closed her phone, bent back over her task and took up the rag Ianto’d given her. “Himself thinks it’s a personal insult that UNIT won't give him a ship when British Rail isn’t working. Should be here in about six hours.”

 

“Even British Rail gets an off day when the Earth’s moved galaxies,” Ianto commented. He dropped the mop in the bucket and grabbed the Windex and a fist of paper towels. Moving to the nearest wall, he shook his head at the mess.

 

“It’ll take hours to get it all off the walls,” he sighed. He poked the goo. “It’s starting to harden.”

 

“Thought you’d been an expert at this,” Gwen said. Ianto just looked at her, brows furrowed.

 

“What with all the sex,” she explained, gesturing with the rag towards Ianto then towards the battered sofa. “We all knew what you two got up to when we were out.”

 

“Well sure,” Ianto said, spraying the wall and attacking it with gusto. “Not like we ever mussed the wall though. How would that happen?”

 

Gwen laughed. “Why Ianto Jones! Are you telling me he’s never had you against the Archive wall?”

 

Ianto turned decidedly red around his ears. “The wall? No. The desk, the floor, inside this one room with the antigravity machine turned on….That was difficult at first.”

 

Gwen coughed. “Antigravity.”

 

Ianto nodded and mused. “Great ending, really great ending. But still, hard to get traction. One tough thrust and you end up halfway across the room. Or, in Jack’s case, the ceiling. That’s where the rope came in handy.”

 

Now it was Gwen’s turn to be embarrassed.

 

“Rope?” she squeaked.

 

Ianto nodded enthusiastically. “Avant Garde,” he breathed dreamily. “Great ending. Really great ending.”

 

Gwen just shook her head and finished polishing.  “Think I’m done here,” she called.

 

Ianto glanced over at the gleaming metal. He nodded his approval. “I put a box of bin liners in the kitchenette.”

 

Gwen stood up and made her way to the kitchenette. Coming back, she knelt by the metal again.

 

“You sure this is a good idea?” she asked.

 

“Yup,” Ianto said as he moved to another now-crusty spot of gray goo on the wall.

 

“Where’d you learn to clean with ketchup?” Gwen asked, gesturing with her elbow to the empty bottle beside her.

 

“Promise not to laugh?” Ianto asked.

 

Gwen nodded.

 

“Before I was hired, I begged Jack to let me be anything. He hired me partly to keep things clean.” Ianto inspected his work, nodded, and moved to another area.

 

“Go on,” Gwen prompted, picking up more paper towels and coming over to help.

 

“Well, let’s be honest,” he began. “I was 24 when I asked for a job. I was relatively neat, but still. Male, me. “

 

“Ok,” she said slowly.

 

“I could do basic things, hoover, dust, mop. But the bigger stuff? Getting alien blood out of the SUV upholstery? So, after he hired me, I had a bit of time. Went to youtube. And, well…” Ianto turned away, looking decidedly shifty.

 

“It’s ok, Ianto. You can tell me,” Gwen murmured, doing her best to be Supportive Gwen. Didn’t usually happen with Ianto, mostly with Jack, but still. Best to make an effort.

 

“I downloaded three years of How Clean is Your House,” he responded, wincing.

 

“You what?!” Gwen shrieked. “Kim and Aggie?! No way! You’re such a girl!”

 

Anyway…. That metal looked like brass, and apparently the acidity in ketchup cleans brass,” Ianto shrugged and turned away, moving to another bit of gray goo.

 

“Oh don’t you even try, Mr. Jones!” Gwen called after him. “I’m so using that as blackmail!”

 

6 Hours later -

Ianto sat on the battered sofa, running his fingers along a small burn mark. Tosh’d made that on her last birthday. Gotten drunk and dropped the candle from her cupcake.  

 

He closed his eyes, lifted the glass of Glenfidditch, and breathed in the scent. God he got maudlin sometimes. His eyes snapped open at the sound of the Cog Door opening. He smiled as Jack stepped through.

 

“Honey, I’m home!” Jack laughed as he stretched out his arms towards Ianto.

 

“Hail the conquering hero,” Ianto muttered as he made his way over, stopping just shy of Jack.

 

“Aw come on, Ianto,” Jack said as he as Ianto looked at each other. “Here I am after battling Daleks and British Rail. Don’t I deserve a hug?”

 

Ianto laughed a bit. He stepped closer, fingering the dark circles under Jack’s eyes and the lines across his forehead. “You died,” he said softly.

 

“Only a few times,” Jack replied, just as softly.

 

“You came back. You had your Doctor, your Rose, Martha. Could have gone anywhere and anytime. Why come back to Cardiff?”

 

Jack pulled Ianto in, resting his chin on Ianto’s shoulder. His breath flitted across Ianto’s ear as he ran his fingers through Ianto’s hair.

 

“No choice, really. I thought about it, about what they meant to me. And you know what? The Doctor will be there later. You won’t. I’m here for as long as you are.”

 

Ianto pulled back to look Jack in the eye. “We’re Torchwood, Jack, and I’ve already served nearly four years. I might not be here for a long time.”

 

Jack cupped Ianto’s face and kissed him deeply. “Then let’s make the best of what we have.”

 

Ianto smiled and pushed Jack towards his office. “Stop being soppy. Go shower, oh conquering one. You reek. “

 

“Yes, dear,” Jack laughed as he bounced away. “Come and join me?”

 

Ianto nodded as Jack ran into his office. He sat back on the sofa, fingering the Glenfidditch. He counted silently – one, two, three, four

 

“Ianto!” came Jack’s yell from his office. “Why the hell is there a Dalek-shaped trash can in my office?!”

 

Ianto laughed. “Every conquering hero needs a trophy sir!”


Chapter: 7/7: The Final Day, or, Jack Attempts Tesco
Pairing: Jack/Ianto
Rating: 15ish?
Disclaimer: BBC and RTD own them.

Chapter 7 here: http://sierasky.livejournal.com/13523.html

Chapter 7: The Final Day, or, Jack Attempts Tesco

 

Once the final bits of furniture had been set up, and the last pieces of random kitsch put in their various places, Jack and Ianto went on a Tesco run. They still had two full days left in the cottage, and Jack promised Ianto a proper home-cooked meal to celebrate their first official day in a fully furnished cottage. Ianto, ever practical, begged Jack to let him cook, citing various instances of small kitchen fires and expensive ruined Calphalon pans. Jack refused on principle, of course, stating that he had been alone long enough to learn how to cook the basics, and besides, if one wanted to court someone, one had to cook the traditional home cooked meal.


 

So, this led to Ianto following behind Jack in the Tesco aisles, taking various unnecessary items out of the cart. What on earth they'd do with an entire bag of oranges in two days was beyond him, as was Jack's idea to buy not one, but four bags of Jelly Babies and three bags of pre-made candy floss. In cola, no less. Last thing Ianto needed was a sugar-hyper Jack.


 

Then again, Ianto mused as he grabbed the candy floss from the cart, a hyper Jack would be interesting. Might make for a fun night or two, at least. And candy floss could come in handy, if used properly. It melted, after all, and could be licked from various body parts.


 

Ianto put the candy floss back in the cart and trailed off after Jack, who'd moved by now on to the frozen foods.


 

“No, Jack, you can't make a full turkey dinner tonight,” Ianto said for the last time, taking the turkey from Jack and putting it back in the store's freezer.


 

“Why not?” Jack whinged.


 

“Because it's frozen, Jack. You'd have to defrost it for two days.”


 

“Then we'll get a fresh one!” Jack said, stalking off to the meat section, mostly likely to fondle a butcher into providing the perfect fresh turkey. He promised dinner, so dinner Ianto would get. If he had to flirt with everyone in the whole damn building, Ianto would get dinner. Jack was nothing if not thorough when he could be, and he'd be more than willing to take one for the team and use his otherworldly charm to get Ianto dinner.


 

A bit like primitive man killing the biggest woolly mammoth, he thought, as he strutted over to the rather large butcher.


 

“And this is why we don't flirt with a Shirley Crabtree look-a-like,” Ianto said as he gently laid the bag of frozen peas against Jack's split check.


 

“How was I to know he'd throw a punch?” Jack whinged, flinching as the peas pressed on the bruise.


 

“Probably because he had a 62 inch chest and was about to belly slam you if you so much as leered at him? Not everyone falls for the Harkness charm, Jack, you keep forgetting that,” Ianto laughed as he ran a hand through Jack's hair.


 

“You fell,” Jack sniffed.


 

“If I remember correctly, you fell. From a pterodactyl, no less.”


 

“Semantics.”


 

“Grammar is fun, Jack.”


 

Jack tried to stick out his tongue, but winced when the skin around his split lip pulled.


 

Ianto sighed. “Come on, let's go home. I'll fashion something from this mess,” he said, waving to the bags of food he'd managed to pay for before the store manager threw them out.


 

“I'm supposed to cook for you,” Jack said as he picked up one of the bags and turned towards the car.


 

Ianto laughed. “You fought for me. Or, rather, you fought for my dinner. Besides, the look on your face when he went after you with the knife? I'm so having Tosh hack into the store's internal CCTV. Years of blackmail, that, bloody years!”


 


 

“So,” Jack said softly, carding his fingers through Ianto's hair, down his neck and back. “Last night here.”


 

Ianto hummed sleepily.


 

“Don'wanna go,” he mumbled.


 

“Yeah, I know. We could stay here,” Jack offered.


 

Ianto snorted.


 

“An'do what?”


 

“Sex,” Jack said simply. He smiled as Ianto chuckled.


 

“No end-of-the-world scenarios? No kidnapped-Gwens? No sarcastic Owens or Tosh's 'special' brownies? You'd be bored in a month,” Ianto said, smiling, laying his head against Jack's chest. Still, it was a nice dream, this little hidden world of theirs.


 

“Yeah, but it'd be a hell of a month,” Jack said back.


 

Ianto snorted again. “You've already made enemies at Tesco and that second-hand furniture shop. And the hotelier wasn't best pleased with the state of the sheets. Best not scare the locals anymore or we won't be welcomed back.”


 

“Hey,” Jack said, “those sheets were from both of us. Keep that in mind, next time you're shining your halo, Mr. Innocent. And besides, these sleepy-type towns needs a bit of flash to gossip about.”


 

Ianto hummed again and pushed closer to Jack.


 

“ 's nice, though,” he said softly. “All this. Like normal, like we're normal.”


 

“Yeah. Normality.”


 


 

It was evening by the time Jack and Ianto made it back to the Hub. It was raining, of course, cold and dark for an April's day. Jack sighed as he noticed Ianto's relaxed body tensing as they closed in on the carpark. All week long, Ianto had been so easy, so free. Like he was when the two were alone in the Hub at the end of the day, only all the time.


 

Jack started. A lightbulb moment, he supposed. That Ianto, the one from Holyhead, was the real Ianto. Or, at least, the pre-Torchwood Ianto. What Ianto would have been, light and free, if London hadn't burned, if Lisa hadn't lost herself to the machines, if cannibals and Saxon and a thousand little evils hadn't eaten away at him.


 

Jack smiled as he looked over at Ianto, hand pressed up against he car window, fingertips tracing patterns on the glass. It was only with Jack that Ianto ever let himself be free. Only with Jack. And Jack had thought it was one-sided, that Ianto was the only one he could be free with. Guess it went both ways.


 

Jack started making plans on monthly trips to the cottage. If that was the only place Ianto truly felt comfortable, truly felt at home, then Jack would do everything he could to bring him to that place as often as possible. It was the least he could do, the least he could offer, to the man that let him feel true peace for the first time since the Doctor and Rose.


 

Chapter 6: How Jack was Beaten by a Cooker


 


 


 

“How is is that you flew a Spitfire in the War but can't tell the difference between a Philips and a Flat Head screwdriver?” Ianto asked, exasperated, as Jack handed him (once again) the wrong tool. He glared at Jack from under the bed rails.


 

“Maintenance crew,” Jack said, shrugging his shoulders and tossing the correct tool to Ianto. “And I do know the difference. I just like seeing you all hot and bothered on our new bed.”


 

Under the bed, Jack,” Ianto stressed, grunting as he shifted position. “Under, not on. And at this rate, if you don't start actually bloody doing something, I'll never be on!”


 

Jack laughed. “Fine, fine. I'll finish the screws over there,” he said, pointing to the other corner of the rail. “Soon as we get these together, we can break in that new mattress.


 

Ianto grunted, screw between his teeth as Jack shifted around. Two days. Two bloody days since Jack fell asleep on him in the hotel room. For two bloody days they'd been working to get everything ready for the furniture. At least Jack had been honest when he said he'd hired plumbers (and electricians) while they'd been at IKEA. Once they'd finished, all that was left was basic cleaning.


 

At least, that had been all that was left. Now the furniture had arrived.


 

“Why are these things so hard to put together?” Jack grunted as he tried to move the screw.


 

“You'll've cross-threaded it,” Ianto said. “And a least it's not a flat-pack wardrobe. Those things are death traps.”


 

“When have you ever put together a flat-pack wardrobe?”


 

“Lon-” Ianto began, twisting his body to get the final screw in place. “London. Me an' Lisa had one. No room in our closet for her clothes. Bloody clothes horse, that woman.”


 

Ianto squinted as he watched Jack finally get the screw tight. “No worse than you, though.”


 

“Excuse me?” Jack said, glaring at Ianto. “Last time I checked, I had all male anatomy.”


 

“Yeah, plus the added bonus of potential pregnancy. Thank god for contraceptives in the rain. And have you looked in your wardrobe lately? Who needs seven pairs of the same boots? Honestly! Seven!”


 

“Hey! I am very tough on my clothes! Besides, dashing heroes need to look the part!” Jack said, throwing a piece of packing foam at Ianto.


 

“Dashing my arse.”


 

“Get this bed finished and I'll take care of that arse!”


 

“Don't you dare! You think I'm trusting you again after that last show? Worst. Manners. Ever!” Ianto said, throwing the foam back and inching his way out from under the bed rails. “Hurry up and help with the mattress.”


 

“Love it when you go all bossy.”


 

“You won't love it when I take the car and leave you here by yourself.”


 

Jack finished the second screw and stood up, sauntering over to help Ianto shift the mattress. “You'd never leave. We have a house. You're stuck with me.”


 

Ianto dropped the mattress and pushed Jack against the wall, taking him in for a deep kiss.


 

“No mortgage. I can leave whenever I want. I think you're the one that's stuck with me.”


 

“Oh yeah?” Jack said, lifting an eyebrow.


 

“Yup. Without me, this place'd fall apart.”


 

Jack cupped the back of Ianto's head and touched their foreheads. “Without you, I'd fall apart.”


 

“Oh god, Jack,” Ianto said, groaning. “Last time I checked, this wasn't a bodice-ripping Mills and Boon novel. Could you be a bigger sap?”


 

“Don't know. You'd look good in a bodice. All tight whale bone and white cream silk,” Jack pushed back, his hands tracing the curve of Ianto's arse. “I could take you on the bed, slowly removing those ties, watching you come all apart for me.”


 

Ianto growled. “I am not, have never been, and will never be, a girl. And besides, you're the one with the hips for a bodice. Now help shift that mattress or we'll never be done.”


 

“It's a cooker, Ianto, just a cooker. If I could get a Chula spaceship to make me a hypervokda on command, I can fix a cooker,” Jack sighed, rubbing a hand over his eyes. They'd finally finished with the mattress, and Ianto'd spent nearly half an hour arranging the linen perfectly. Jack had promised supper, but hadn't gotten the cooker to work.


 

“Jack, please, just-”


 

“No! I will get this cooker to cook if it kills me!” Jack said, reaching for the hammer. Best mechanical lesson ever? If it didn't work, hit it as hard as possible. Words to live by even in the 51st Century.


 

“But Jack, it's-” Ianto tried again, reaching to pull the hammer away from Jack.


 

“It's just a damn cooker! I'll get it to work!”


 

“Yes, but Jack, please just listen,” Ianto begged.


 

“Fine, ok what?” Jack sighed.


 

“It's...well...it uses wood,” Ianto said, sheepishly.


 

“Sorry?” Jack said.


 

“Haven't you ever cooked on it before?” Ianto asked, moving to stand next to the cooker and protect it from any stray hammers.


 

“Well, no,” Jack said, blustering. “I'd only ever be here for a day or two. I'd go into town or just eat something cold. No need to cook.”


 

“Yes, well, remember, Jack, it's a Welsh cottage. Probably been here since Mary Jones's time. It uses wood, see?” Ianto said, pulling open the little hatch near the bottom. Lo and behold, there was the requisite space for wood.


 

“Oh,” Jack said, the hammer dropping to the floor. “Wait, where do we get wood?”


 

Ianto snickered. Jack glared.


 

“It's not fun when the innuendo's that obvious,” he said, crossing his arms.


 

“Aw, Jack. Defeated by a cooker. All because he couldn't get wood,” Ianto said, laughing.


 

“Hey now!” Jack said, shaking a finger at Ianto. “I've always got wood! And who's Mary Jones? Any relation?”


 

Ianto stopped laughing and just shook his head sadly. “God, Jack. Just because the name's popular doesn't mean we're all related. We're not that bad!”


 

“Yes, well, the stories-” Jack began.


 

“Are much exaggerated,” Ianto finished, hand clamping over Jack's mouth. “We're Welsh Jack, not from the Isle of Wight.”


 

Jack sighed and licked Ianto's hand. Ianto dropped it, wiping it on his torn jeans and shot Jack a look of disgust.


 

“Fine, then,” Jack huffed. “Who is this no-relation-Mary Jones?”


 

“National hero, Jack, how do you not know this? Little girl, walked twenty-five miles from Abergynolwyn because the Sais wouldn't let her buy a Bible in her native Welsh?”



Jack just stared at Ianto, looking a bit lost.


 

Ianto sighed. “Doesn't matter. Damn Sais took our Land and our Language. Got back at them in '05 at the Grand Slam, though, thanks to Henson.”


 

Jack continued to look lost. Ianto sighed again.


 

“The rugby, Jack. Please try and learn something about the culture if you're to stay here for another hundred years.”


 

Jack grinned smugly. “You'll have to teach me. I can be a very slow learner. Might take all night long.”


 

“I am not having sex with you to teach you rugby,” Ianto said, shaking his head. “I will not denigrate the sport that way. Besides, if you tried it, you might like it. Bunch of dirty guys grabbing each other's arses.”


 

“Sounds like naked hide and seek.”


 

“Well yes, I suppose. But people pay to see rugby.”


 

“Oh trust me, Ianto. People would pay to see naked hide and seek.”


 

Ianto shot Jack a glare. “I know, Jack. I walked in on Gwen and Tosh betting on you while watching the CCTV, which you didn't erase, I might add.”



 


 

“Oh come on, Ianto,” Jack whinged. “We've only three days left! Can we please have sex on the new bed?”


 

“We've three days and half a cottage still in boxes,” Ianto said, gesturing to the varied deliveries.


 

“But I don't want to unpack,” Jack said, sidling over to ianto. “Or at least, I don't want to unpack these.”


 

Ianto sighed. At this rate, they'd never finish.


 

“Fine,” he huffed. “How 'bout we play a game?”


 

“Oooo!” Jack cried gleefully. “Like with a bit of sugar?”


 

Ianto shook his head and said, fondly, “You and your Julie Andrews fetish. I refuse to sing for you unless sufficiently toasted. And if any mirror start singing back, please call Tosh. We're close enough to the Rift for anything to happen. Now, how about this? You fully unpack one box. I time you. If I can get my box unpacked faster than you, you have to take off one piece of clothing of my choice.”


 

“And if I unpack my box before you?” Jack asked, his hand already going up underneath Ianto's t-shirt.


 

“I remove a piece of my clothing,” Ianto said smoothly, leaning in to Jack's touch. It really had been so long since they'd last had sex, but if Ianto gave in too soon, Jack would never learn. No one left Ianto tied to a bed without proper punishment. And Ianto knew just what his jeans did to Jack every time he bent over. And if Ianto happened to find every opportunity to bend over? Well, there were an awful lot of low cupboards to be filled. If a permanent hard-on wasn't enough of a punishment, nothing was.


 

“I like this game,” Jack said. “You got that stopwatch?” Ianto nodded as he grabbed it from the mantle.


 

Jack had never unpacked boxes as fast as he did that night.


 

“That was fun,” Jack sighed sleepily as he pulled Ianto flush. He reached down to grab the blanket and cover them. "Who won?"


Ianto rubbed  a foot on Jack's left ankle. "You're still wearing a sock. Guess I win."


"Well it was fun anyway."


“Mmm,” Ianto said. “It's the button on the top. Now let me sleep.”


 

“It's the first night in our new bed,” Jack said, stroking Ianto's chest.


 

“And it'll be your first day at the laundromat tomorrow if your shouts were any indication. And yesterday was the first day you'd taken out the trash, the day before that was the first day you'd mopped... A whole week of firsts. I'll have you a trained batman before we get back to Cardiff.”


 

“Have I told you I loved you yet?” Jack asked softly.


 

Ianto snorted. “Non sequitur. No, you haven't. And please don't.”


 

Jack sighed. “Why, Ianto? Is this going to be an IKEA thing again?”


 

Ianto shifted so he faced Jack. “First of all, don't misuse IKEA. You start saying it during conversations like this, and it'll lose it's appeal. It is to be used only during sex, not after. And second, no. It's not like that. But saying it for the first time during the afterglow? Save it for when we're not doped up on post-orgasm seratonin. Make it real.”


 

He kissed Jack sloppily and promptly fell asleep.


 

“Well,” Jack said softly, not willing to wake Ianto. “Guess I'll just have to say it later then.”


 


 

Chapter 5: Jack Makes Ianto Disconcertingly Sticky


 


 


 

Jack was true to his word. Ianto wasn't allowed to ask questions on the entire ride back to Holyhead, and Jack gave no indication as to what he had planned. When they finally made it back to the hotel, Jack pulled into the carpark and locked all the car doors, trapping he and Ianto inside.


 

“Uh, Jack,” Ianto asked, pointing to the door. “We gonna get out any time soon?”


 

Jack unhooked his seatbelt and turned to face Ianto. He leaned in, pulling Ianto in for a kiss. It could have taken years, or only minutes, but before he knew it, Ianto's belt was undone and Jack's hand was cupping his groin, smoothing and stroking.


 

“Listen up,” he growled in Ianto's ear. “Here's how it's gonna go. You've been a little cocktease since we got here. All I've wanted to do was fuck you in our cottage, but every time it's been “not on that sofa, Jack, it's mouldy” or “not in all this dust Jack”. Do you have any idea what you've been doing to me? You in those fuck-me jeans bent over and grunting under the sink? Wet-fucking-dream, Ianto. Better than porn, 'cause it's you, and all I've been able to do is image me in you while you make those noises.”


 

“Oh god,” Ianto croaked.


 

“Exactly,” Jack said smugly. “So here's what gonna happen. You're gonna make it up to me. I make all the decisions tonight. I say when you can come and how hard. You hold out until I say so, you hear me?”


 

“Yes..Yes, Sir,” Ianto said, breath hitching as Jack pinched his cock.


 

Suddenly Jack's touch was soft. He cupped Ianto's face, stroking fingertips over his brow.


 

“Safe word?” he asked.


 

“Courgette.”


 

“Courgette?” Jack asked, chuckling. “Well, I do always say you should eat more veg.”


 

Jack sauntered up to the reception desk, ringing the little bell and leaning in to whisper to the young woman.


 

“Captain?” she asked, grinning as she saw Ianto, flushed and standing stiffly, behind Jack.


 

“How much would it take to get some of that chocolate ice cream up in our room?”


 

“I think it can be arranged,” she said. “20 minutes enough time?”


 

“Oh sweetheart, twenty minutes is plenty,” Jack leered, stepping back and wrapping an arm possessively around Ianto's back and squeezing his bum.


 

“Twenty minutes and counting, Sir,” she said cheerfully, not quite understanding why Jack started laughing on the way to the lift.


 


 

As Jack swiped the cardkey for the door, he stuck one hand down the front of Ianto's trousers, continuing to stroke the man until he was hard.


 

“Sir,” Ianto croaked, desperate to get inside.


 

Jack opened the door and pushed Ianto in. He slammed the door shut and fell to his knees, quickly pulling down the zipper and pushing the jeans to the floor.


 

“God, Jack,” Ianto said as his legs shook. Jack was right. He didn't even have to be touched, and he was nearly ready to come.


 

Jack nuzzled through the boxers, hot breath causing Ianto to squirm in anticipation. Jack may be many things, but he was most definitely a master of blowjobs,.


 

So, it was with great regret that Ianto felt Jack pull back.


 

He looked down sadly. “Sir?”


 

Jack smirked and shook his head. “You think I'm going to take that -” he tilted his head, indicating Ianto's rather impressive erection (if he did say so himself, and Ianto did have his pride, after all), “-dirty thing in my mouth? Who knows what's touched it?”


 

Ianto rolled his eyes. “You did, Sir, last night, if you'll remember.”


 

He jumped as Jack smacked his erection. “Do not talk back to me!”


 

“Sir...no, Sir. Sorry, Sir,” Ianto gasped.


 

Jack slid up Ianto's body. “I have a present for you in fifteen minutes. Go shower. I want you clean, understand? Every last inch of you scrubbed clean and dry for me.”


 

Ianto nodded and tried to hurry off to the bathroom. Unfortunately he'd forgotten about the trousers around his ankles. He tripped, flying forward into Jack, pushing both of them down.


 

Lying on top of Jack, he was reminded of another, similar time. This time, though, he rolled his groin forward, smiling when Jack closed his eyes and groaned. One way to distract Jack and get back to the blowjob? Definitely the offer of sex.


 

So, yet again, Ianto was supremely disappointed when Jack simply pushed Ianto to the side and pointed towards the bathroom.


 

Sixteen minutes later (best not to let Jack win and go back exactly on time, after all), Ianto emerged from the bathroom, hotel towel around his waist, scrubbed clean and dry and surrounded by a halo of steam. Jack was lying on his side on the bed, a covered metal bowl on the table beside him. Jack motioned for Ianto to come closer. He sat up and Ianto stood between his legs.


 

“Now,” Jack began, “Last night you got to play with me. All I could do was a handjob. Tonight, I get to play.”


 

Slowly, ever so slowly, Jack unknotted the towel and pushed it down, finally throwing it across the room. He licked Ianto's navel, hands edging around Ianto's back and a finger slowly circling his hole. Ianto moaned as Jack's finger slipped inside for a moment.


 

“On the bed,” Jack ordered. “On the bed and on your back.”


 

Ianto moved around him and arranged himself.


 

Jack fumbled around in one of the suitcases, muttering to himself. He crowed in delight when he found what he was looking for. Handcuffs, shiny metal rimmed in fabric for comfort, and black satin fabric.


 

“Sir?” Ianto asked warily. Handcuffs they'd tried before, but never a gag. Ianto'd never wanted one, after that trip to the Beacons, and Jack had obliged.


 

“Yes?” Jack asked, sidling up to Ianto and kneeling over him, one leg on either side of Ianto's torso.


 

“Sir...Sir, the gag...I don't...I'm not....”


 

“Shh,” Jack said softly, rubbing his hands over Ianto's shoulders and keeping him on the bed. “Do you trust me?” It took a moment, but Ianto nodded. “I know you haven't wanted one before, and don't worry, it's not for your mouth. I'd never do something you didn't want. It's for your eyes.”


 

Ianto took a breath. Eyes were fine. They'd done that before, though generally with Ianto's ties.


 

“I guess I should thank you for not using one of my ties, then,” he laughed shakily.


 

Jack bent down for a kiss, wrapping the fabric around Ianto's eyes and tying it securely.


 

Ianto gasped as Jack nibbled the hollow of his throat. He moaned as Jack cuffed his arms and ankles to the thick wooden bed. He'd never admit it, of course, but he'd a bit of a streak in him. Jack brought that out, obviously, but Ianto liked to think it was always there, just waiting for the right partner.


 

Jack chuffed the side of his head. “Pay attention,” he ordered. “Now, I'm going to do whatever I want to you, for as long as I want it, and don't you dare come until I say so. Got it?”


 

Ianto nodded.


 

“Excuse me?”


 

“Sir, sorry Sir. I meant, yes, Sir. I understand.”


 

“Good,” Jack said, leaning in for one more light kiss. “And remember, there are people in the room right next door, so you may want to reign in the noises.”


 

If his eyes hadn't been hidden, Ianto would have rolled them. “Really, Sir. You're the loud one.”


 

He yelped as Jack bit down on his shoulder in reprimand. Ianto took a deep breath. It was always difficult to play the sub, even in a light game like this. He refused to let Jack win, though, and silently promised not to make a sound.


 

“I like you like this,” Jack murmured as he went back on his knees. “All tied up and blindfolded for me. Maybe I should take you to a club in Manchester or Glasgow. We could even use IKEA as an excuse. Our own little codeword. I say IKEA, you come.”


 

Ianto laughed softly, trying to hide the growing erection at that invitation. Pre-Jack, as much of Ianto's life was now measured, he'd never have though about going to a place like that. Now, though? As long as Jack promised to always do that with his tongue against his nipples, he'd follow Jack to the end of the world.


 

He jumped, well, twitched, really, considering the cuffs, as something cold and wet landed on his sternum. Jack spread it with his fingers, dribbling a line down his chest to the patch of dark hair at his groin. He licked and nipped at the ice cream, swirling his tongue against the skin to get every last ounce. Ianto was silent the whole time, though every bit of him was begging ohdon'tstopjustabitlowerohdon'tstop.


 

Ianto almost moaned as Jack dribbled ice cream on one ball, then another, sucking deeply and rolling his tongue around. Jack nuzzled the hair, his nose tickling the line of skin where groin met hip, but ignoring the cock completely. He moved back, putting a pillow under Ianto to keep his hips up.


 

Jack dipped his fingers into the ice cream, tracing designs on Ianto's inner thighs, loving how Ianto squirmed and jerked every time Jack came close to his groin. Jack resolutely ignored that one part of Ianto that was leaking and bouncing and just begging to be touched, kissed, fucked, and damnit why wouldn't he just take him already?!


 

Then, just as Ianto though he couldn't take anymore, a cool, slick, slightly icy finger nudged at his entrance. He almost cried.


 

Jack had spread more of the ice cream on his hand, pointer finger slowly tracing Ianto's hole and smiling as he watched Ianto fight the urge to scream at him. Ianto was breathing quickly and shallowly, doing anything and everything not to come. Then, Jack's finger entered Ianto, stroking at the tight ring of muscle. Ianto arched off the bed, hissing. Jack stilled him with a hard command and a soft hand on his hip. Jack moved his finger further in, tracing the canal with the tip of his nail until he found that small nub. He ran his fingertip along it, holding Ianto down again when he tried to push back.


 

Jack pulled his finger back and Ianto almost cried in relief or frustration or both because damnit he was seeing stars here and Jack wouldn't hurry the fuck up!


 

Jack slicked his hand with more ice cream and then there was another, two, three fingers inside Ianto, all waving gently inside and caressing his prostate. Ianto couldn't breathe. He couldn't breathe, he couldn't see, and he couldn't hear. His entire sensory world was down Jack's fingers in his arse and Jack's hand on his hip, drawing lazy circles on his skin. And then Jack pulled back the hand on his hip, and Ianto lost the one thing grounding him to this world. And then, oh dear lord, and then – then he practically screamed (in a completely stoic-Ianto way, of course) as Jack stuck his cock into the bowl of ice cream.


 

Ianto would have come them if Jack hadn't quickly dropped the bowl back on to the bed and pinched Ianto's tip.


 

“Don't you dare,” he growled.


 

He removed his fingers slowly and move slightly backward, keeping his hand wrapped around Ianto's cock, denying him the ability to end it all now in perfect happiness. He bent down, running his tongue along the underside of Ianto's cock, taking the taste of ice cream and Ianto's pre-come. He licked at the very tip, and finally, finally, took Ianto in one go. Humming softly, he hollowed his cheeks and pulled Ianto back to the brink, only to let go with a pop as he felt Ianto's abdomen clench.


 

“Not yet!” he growled again, barely able to breathe himself at the sight of Ianto, tied up, sweaty and sticky and arching into him. He used the rest of the ice cream to coat himself, with his hand still holding Ianto's cock. Pulling one of Ianto's legs onto his shoulder, he slowly eased himself in, throwing his own head back at the feeling of Ianto, open and welcome.


 

“Sir, please,” Ianto begged, unable to take much more, his entire body quivering with need.


 

“Not till I say so. For me, Ianto, hold out for me. Just a bit longer.”


 

Ianto jerked his head, trying to nod, trying to give Jack whatever he wanted because that's what Ianto did. He fought and he pushed, but at the end of the day he gave over and over just to see that proud little smile on Jack's face that said, You, you did so well. I'm so proud. You're mine, and I'm so very proud.


 

Jack couldn't take it anymore. The sheer need to let go took him by surprise, building up quickly in his stomach. He thrust once, twice, thrice, then a forth, screaming himself as he finally came. Ianto clenched around him, eaking out every last bit, dying a bit himself because Jack wouldn't let him come.


 

Jack leaned on him heavily, Ianto's cock still trapped in his hand. He took a breath to steady himself. Pushing himself back up, he cleared his throat.


 

“I want you to come in my mouth, understand? Wait till you're in my mouth,” he said, his voice croaking.


 

Ianto's entire body ached. He arched into Jack's hand, begging, pleading to just let him come now. But Jack would have none of it. He leaned down and blew on the tip of Ianto's cock, laughing as Ianto bucked again. He let go, commanding “IKEA”, swallowing Ianto just fast enough to catch the hot burst of come as Ianto thrust upward.


 

When Ianto was next aware that a world actually existed beyond his happy I've-just-come bubble of exhaustion, he realized that he was disconcertingly sticky. And still cuffed and blindfolded, which certainly made for an interesting moment or two as he tried to figure out if one could actually go blind from an orgasm.


 

“Sir,” he said, coughing and wincing. “Jack, uh, I'm still a bit tied up here. Jack?”


 

No one answered.


 

“Uh, Jack?” he called again. He jumped as he heard a grinding noise next to his hip and the heavy weight on his legs shift.


 

“Jack? Um, Sir? I'd really like to get up now,” he called again.


 

That annoying grinding noise wasn't going away. Ianto used his shoulder to move the blindfold a bit until he could see out of the corner of his right eye.


 

And there it was, the grinding noise in person. Jack, perfectly sated, asleep and snoring, head by Ianto's knees, and body draped across his legs. Jack rarely slept, but one could always count on him sleeping deeply after sex. And despite, or perhaps because of, his general inability to sleep, when Jack slept, he slept. As in, full stop. And nothing, outside of the beeping of his wrist comp, could wake him. Ianto knew this (he'd played multiple party games on him on occasion, including writing words in marker on a sleeping Jack).


 

At least the bed was comfortable, seeing as how he'd be stuck like this for a while.


 

Then Jack snored again. Ianto sighed.


 

This would really be much more fun if he wasn't tied up, blindfolded, and covered in bits of drying come and ice cream. Also, the whole Jack snoring bit was getting very old very quickly.


 

And bugger if Ianto didn't suddenly have to pee.


 

Jack snored and rolled over.

Chapter 4 - Ikea Plays Agony Aunt
 

Ianto found Jack in Accessories, standing under the florescent lighting and poking angrily at what, if one was kind, could be considered a twisted vase. If one was high on drugs, that is. Damn Swedes and their design. Jack must have heard Ianto coming, since he suddenly straightened up and refused to even look at Ianto. Ianto took a deep breath and walked over, standing next to Jack and picking up the could-be-a-vase.


 

“So,” he began, “That didn't go well.”


 

Jack huffed. “Yeah. I want a relationship and you don't give a damn. First time I've ever been turned down in an Ikea.”


 

“First time you'd ever been turned down, I suppose,” Ianto said, trying to lighten the mood. He sighed when he saw Jack's expression. “Look, that's not what I meant, ok? You know I don't do well when I'm cornered. It came out wrong.”


 

“Cornered? We're in Ikea, Ianto, not an interrogation cell.”


 

“I don't know. You and me, these lights, those colours. Could be a bit terrifying.”


 

“Ianto,” Jack warned.


 

“Sorry. Sorry. Look, just...just let me try and say this, ok?” Ianto asked, watching Jack from the corner of his eyes.


 

Jack nodded stiffly.


 

“Right. So. You left-”


 

“Oh just stop right there!” Jack said, turning around and throwing his arms up. “Guy makes one mistake and -”


 

Ianto wrapped his hand around Jack's mouth. “Stop. Just stop. You said you'd hear me out.”


 

Jack rolled his eyes and nodded as Ianto removed his hand.


 

“Right. So. Like I said. You left. And I get it, believe me I do and I'm not angry, trust me. I forgave you a long time ago, just like you forgave me. But still, you left. And part of it was because you wanted to know what you are, and that's fine. But part of it was also because you loved the Doctor and Rose Tyler and were willing to give up everything you had to be with them, right?”


 

Jack nodded slowly. “Yeah. I guess. So? I came back for you.”


 

Ianto smiled sadly. “I know you did. You came back. You gave up everything you could have had and came back for me. You flirt with everything with a pulse, Jack, and you may sleep with everyone you meet. I don't know. As long as you're careful and come back, that's all. I'd never ask you to change. But sex...sex and flirting are the easy things, aren't they?”


 

Jack nodded again.


 

“You give your body and your words, but you don't give your heart easily, do you?”


 

Jack just stared at him.


 

“You loved the Doctor and Rose so much that you were willing to die for them. Then you loved them so much that you, the perpetual wanderer, spend over 100 years waiting for them. You loved me enough to give up the universe, and you loved Owen enough to bring him back from death. Or bring him to death. Keep him dead. Whatever.”


 

“Ianto-” Jack began.


 

“No. Wait. Please. I bet you can count the amount of people you've truly loved on two hands. And every time, you've been willing to sacrifice everything – you, your happiness, the world, the adventures of the universe, everything – to be with those people and keep those people.”


 

“So? I love and I love hard. Where's this going?”


 

“You love hard, Jack. But for all you know, you're going to live for another million years. I don't want you to bring me back from the dead, Jack. And I certainly don't want you to wait for me, or lock yourself away from anyone else that you could love because I've died, and god help you if you make anyone else live up to me. No one else will be able to make my coffee, so don't even try. Because I will die, Jack. And it'll be soon, knowing Torchwood. And this cottage...” Ianto sighed, rubbing a hand through his hair.


 

“This cottage has survived for decades, but you stopped coming and locked yourself away. You locked yourself away in the Hub with all those horrible memories, because you couldn't face coming back and the memories that were here. This place should be a comfort for you, Jack. You should be able to come here and be happy, be calm, be comfortable, be soothed, and not see the ghosts of your dead lover in your furniture. It needs to be a place for you, Jack, because this place could be your place instead of just our place.”


 

Jack turned towards Ianto and wrapped a hand around his neck, petting the soft, downy hair. “You don't want to pick the furniture because you want this to me my safe place, my bolthole?”


 

Ianto laughed softly. “I have the archives and the kitchen. Owen has the hothouse. Tosh has her computers and Gwen has...well, we'll get Gwen a therapist's sofa. This should be yours, your safe place. Whenever being the Captain gets to be too much, now or in a thousand years, you could go back.”


 

Jack pulled Ianto in for a tight hug. “Ianto, Ianto, Ianto. Don't you know? I know I'm going to lose you soon. I lose everyone too soon. And this place could be a place for me in the future. But right now, I want to hold on to what I have. And while I have you, I want to have you, furniture and all.”


 

“You can't let yourself be alone, Jack. You couldn't stand it,” Ianto said against Jack's shoulder.


 

“I won't be. I promise,” Jack said.


 

Ianto chuckled. “Promise?” Jack nodded. “Ok then. As lovely as this Hallmark moment is, can we go back to normal now? No more breakdowns?”


 

“As long as you promise you won't keep acting like you don't care. 'Cause I know you're scared but it's ok.”


 

Ianto pulled back and stepped away. “Right, well, can we get back to picking out your bed then?”


 

“Our bed,” Jack emphasized as Ianto shook his head in exasperation. “And I'm not going anywhere till you tell me what you honestly think about that vase,” he said, pointing to the vase still in Jack's hand.


 

“Um, honestly?” Ianto asked, biting his lip. “I think it's one of the most wretched things I've ever seen.”

“Fantastic!” Jack said, dropping the could-be-a-vase back onto the shelf and steering Ianto back towards the beds. “Now what'd'you say to trying out a bunch of beds with me?”


"That has got to be the best place on Earth!" Jack said, spinning around as he carried bags of household goods to the car. "I mean, seriously! All that stuff under one place! And a restaurant! It's better than ASDA!"

"It's just IKEA, Jack," Ianto said, shaking his head. It was gone five now; no way they were getting any work done on the cottage. At least they'd finally settled on a bed. Ianto'd still refused to pick it, but Jack refused to leave until Ianto at least told him which beds he didn't like. The dark wood on this one complimented both men and seemed sturdy enough for their 'extracurricular' activities. And as much as Ianto wanted to spare Jack the heartache that would come with his eventual death (just his luck, he'd electrocute himself trying to plug the Hoover into the Hub Archive's outdated electrical systems), he was secretly pleased that Jack insisted on getting things Ianto liked. Ianto did have his pride after all, and knowing that some part of him, albeit in the form of a bed, would be with Jack for many, many years and many, many lovers (and wasn't that a disgusting thought), was definitely a self-esteem booster.

"Yeah, but we got everything in one run! It's like going to one of the bazaar days back in Persia. Everything in one street, but with a roof!"

"Felt more like a rat's maze to me," Ianto said laughing as Jack walked backwards into a light pole. He put his bags in the open boot.  "And now we've lost a day at the cottage. Everything'll still be waiting for us, bad plumbing and all."

Jack stalked over and slung his bags into the boot. He pushed Ianto up against the car. "Not necessarily," he purred.

"Uu, Jack?" Ianto croaked.

"I promised a working toilet, didn't I?" Jack asked, eyes burning into Ianto's. "And what Jack promises, Jack delivers."

"What?" Ianto swallowed, trying desperately to retain some sort of decency in the middle of the IKEA parking lot. Not that the teenagers in the car five cars down were trying, if the slight rocking was anything to go by, but still. Ianto had standards.

"I hired a plumber and an electrician last night. They were up there today, left me a voicemail saying everything was done. Had to pay through the nose, but again, what I promise, I deliver. Besides, why waste our time on that, when we should be christening every room in the house? Don't think I've forgotten you promised to let me have my way with you."

Jack kissed Ianto, slipping the car keys from his hands and bounding over to the driver's door. "I'm driving!" he called back.

Ianto walked over to the door and poked his head through the open window. "Jack, Sir? Can I have my car back now?"

He swallowed hard when he saw the greedy look in Jack's eyes.

"Nope," he said dangerously. "You've played enough today. I'm in charge. Get in the car."

 Chapter 3: Jack Meets Ikea

Ianto woke to a slight breeze blowing across his nose. He swatted it and promptly fell back asleep. Then the dreaded breeze was back. He swatted again, much more forcefully, and jumped when he heard Jack swear. He opened his eyes and smirked as he saw Jack rubbing his nose.


 

“What do you want?” Ianto huffed.


 

Jack bent close to Ianto's neck and nibbled below his ear. “You promised I could, and I quote, 'Do you' today.”


 

“Jack,” Ianto groaned, “It's 6 in the morning. Go back to bed!”


 

“Uh-uh. You promised. I'm collecting. Wakey wakey time!” Jack laughed as he rolled on top of Ianto.


 

“Oof!” Ianto grunted. “Somebody's been sneaking extra pastries.”


 

“Hey!” Jack cried, “I”ll have you know I have a stunning physique! I'm gorgeous!”


 

“You're daft,” Ianto said smiling.


 

Jack bent his head and touched their foreheads. He closed his eyes and breathed in the scent of just-woken Ianto. “You're gorgeous,” he said softly.


 

Ianto chuckled. “Now I know you're daft. Inhale any lead paint fumes yesterday?” He pulled Jack in for a hungry kiss, then pulled back wincing. “Morning breath,” he said sadly. “Be right back.”


 

“I'm taking a shower while I'm in here!” he called. "Take the sheets off the bed for the maid!"


 

“Come on, Ianto! You promised!” Jack called back.


 

Ianto turned around and stared at Jack. He was stretched out languorously, completely nude, stroking himself. “Come and play,” he said. “You did promise.”


 

Ianto took a step forward but forced himself to stop. Slowly, ever so slowly, he made himself turn back to the bathroom. “If we start now, we'll never finish. And besides, we have a morning of furniture shopping ahead of us.”


 

Jack visibly brightened. “Oh yeah! All those beds! We get to try them all out in public and no one can stop us!”


 

“Jack,” Ianto warned as he turned on the taps, “I am not having sex with you in a furniture store.”


 

He jumped as he felt Jack's arms wrap around him from behind and groaned as Jack pressed himself between Ianto's crease. “How 'bout we pull out that handbook? I promise not to touch you down here, but all morning long, whenever I hold your hand or stroke your neck, you'll know that I'm really stroking you and sucking on your balls just like you like.”


 

“Jesus Jack,” Ianto breathed shakily as he glanced as his half hard cock. “I can't...”


 

“Yeah, I know. Cool, huh?” Jack smiled. Suddenly he stepped back and Ianto rocked with the sudden loss of Jack's heat.


 

“Jack,” he called, not daring to turn around.


 

“Shower time!” Jack called back. “That'll teach you to hold out on me! Should have just laid back and though of Wales!”

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


 

“Well. That was...” Ianto tried as they hurried out of the secondhand furniture shop and got into the car.


 

“Horrible?” Jack suggested, trying to hold in the laughter.


 

“I can't believe you!”


 

“Hey, it wasn't my fault the bed broke!”


 

“You wouldn't get off! You just had to keep trying!”


 

“Of course not!” Jack said, throwing his hands in the air. “Had to make sure it would hold up, didn't I?”


 

“But like that?”


 

“Didn't see you getting off when it started rocking!”


 

“You promised to be good!”


 

“Ianto, come on! If we were going to buy it, I had to try it out!”


 

“You weren't going to buy it! It had little angels carved on it! God would strike you down if your bed ever had angels on it!”


 

“Yeah, but it was pretty sturdy! Nice, thick Welsh wood, and all those little loops just ready for your ties when we-”


 

“Don't even start! Honestly Jack!”


 

“Oh come on! It wasn't like I deflowered you in public or anything! I was just jumping on it!” Jack said, crossing his arms as he sat in the car.


 

“I know! Could you be any more of a five year old?” Ianto demanded, his cheeks still red from trying to placate the store owner after Jack's antics caused the antique bed rails to break.


 

“What's the point of a big bed if you can't jump on it? Come on, that's what's so great about having our own place, right? A place where you can just let go, be a kid, and jump on the bed!”


 

Ianto sighed and rubbed his forehead. He could feel the headache from a mile away. “Fine. But you promise me, no more jumping! Just pick a bed, for the love of god! And now that you got us chucked out, you couldn't even get that sofa you liked.”


 

“Fine,” Jack huffed. “I promise to be good. Geez. You do one little thing and you pay for it for hours. God you Welsh can hold a grudge.”


 

“Do not insult my people! You damn Sais! Haliwr! Twll tin!”


 

Jack looked at Ianto confused. “Ok, I only know one of those. Sais? Since when have I been English?”


 

“You've lived there, worked with them, fought for them, and adopted most of their customs. You're worse than the Sais, 'cause you chose it.”


 

Jack sighed in defeat. When Ianto was like this, there was just no arguing with him. Best to accept that Jack was in the wrong and move on. “Fine. I'm sorry. I'm sorry I broke the bed and got us kicked out, and I'm sorry I'm apparently English. Can we move on now?”


 

Ianto sighed as well. Jack was great, really he was, and he was certainly trying to make Ianto happy. The bed jumping had been for Ianto's benefit after all, what with Jack trying to get Ianto to act more like the twenty-five year old he was. “Fine. Whatever.”


 

Jack blew the fringe of hair from his eyes. “Where we going now?”


 

“You still need furniture. Basically, you need everything. Thank god it's early and not yet 10,” Ianto said, pulling out into traffic.


 

“So? Where are we going?”


 

“Manchester.”


 

“Manchester?! But that's hours away!”


 

“2 hours. We'll be there by lunch.”


 

“Fine,” Jack huffed. “But I get to play Glenn Miller the entire time.”


 

“And the five year old comes out again.”


 

Jack reached over to put the CD in, when he suddenly stopped and looked at Ianto suspiciously. “Why are we going to Manchester?”


 

“Because, and god help me, I'm taking you to IKEA.”


 

“OK, I've changed my mind,” Jack said, staring in awe at all the assortment of sofa options at Ikea. “Forget the office fetish. I'm staying here.”


 

Ianto chuckled and pointed to a deep blue sofa next to a pine curio cabinet. “How about that one? You like blue.”


 

Jack looked at it disdainfully. “But you look better in red. In red, on red, blushing red...And besides, think of how hard it'll be to keep clean.”


 

Ianto rolled his eyes. “Since when did you care about keeping things clean?”


 

“Since I've decided to fuck you on our sofa every night we're at the cottage,” Jack leered as he grabbed Ianto for a deep kiss. He suddenly pulled away and Ianto was left reeling.


 

“Ooh look!” Jack cried, bounding away to the left. “Leather!”


 

“Would you just pick one?!” Ianto begged. It had been two hours and Jack had sat on every leather sofa in Ikea more than three times. He'd even forced Ianto to lie on top of him to make sure the sofas could handle two grown men. Ianto'd put a stop to it as Jack tried to unbuckle his belt, however. Propriety and all. Doesn't mean he wasn't tempted, though; even Ianto had a bit of an exhibitionist streak, or he'd never had let Jack use the stone Perception Filter as they'd fucked under the fireworks during Cardiff's 'Sparks in the Parks' festival.


 

“What'd you think?” Jack asked. “The red one, or the maroon one?”


 

Ianto shook his head. “I really don't care. It's your sofa, pick the one you like. Then we can move on to the beds and end-tables.”


 

“You need to like it too, though, and you won't tell me which one you like,” Jack pouted. “Come on, red or maroon?”


 

“It really doesn't matter which one I like, Jack. It's your sofa.”


 

“It's yours too,” Jack said, brushing his fingers along Ianto's jaw. “You need to like it.”


 

Ianto pulled himself away. “Pick a sofa, Jack, and move on.”


 

Jack's jaw hardened. “Fine. The maroon one.”


 

“Thank god,” Ianto said, turning towards the side table. “Now pick one of those. And then we go to Kitchens to get you some decent pots and pans.”


 

“None of them are right,” Jack moaned as he and Ianto stared at the assortment of beds. “They're just, I don't know...”


 

“It's a bed, Jack, just a bed. Pick one,” Ianto begged as he leaned on the shopping cart full of pots, pans, utensils, plates, and throw pillows. They'd been at Ikea for over four hours, and the only major thing they had was a sofa. There was no way they were doing any work at the cottage that day, which meant they'd have to work all out the next two days to get everything ready for when the furniture arrived.


 

“That one's good,” Ianto suggested, pointed to a black iron headboard in the corner. “Get that one.”


 

“Do you like it?” Jack asked, turning around to face Ianto.


 

“Doesn't matter, Jack. Just matters that you like it. Now please pick a bed so we can get out of here. It's still 2 hours back to Holyhead.”


 

“Why won't you tell me which one you like, Ianto?” Jack suddenly asked. “All day long, it's been 'whatever you want Jack'. Drop the act and tell me what you want in our cottage!”


 

“It's not up to me!” Ianto answered back, frustrated with Jack's inability to choose anything.


 

Jack pushed him backwards up against a wall. The other shoppers started murmuring.


 

“Why the hell not?!” he shouted at Ianto.


 

“'Cause it's not my cottage!”


 

“It's our cottage!” Jack cried out. “Why won't you call it our cottage?! It's always been 'your cottage' or 'the cottage'!”


 

“Because it's not ours, Jack! It'll never be ours. It's yours! Pick your damn furniture!”


 

“Why? Why don't you want this with me?”


 

“Oh come on, Jack,” Ianto scoffed quietly. He traced his fingers through Jack's hair, smiling softly as Jack's eyes flickered closed. “It's not like we're getting married or moving in. It's not like we're a proper couple or soulmates or anything. It's your cottage, and it'll always be your cottage. I'm only here for a while. You need things that'll last for a long time.”


 

Jack just started at Ianto. “What did you say? We're not a couple? What the hell?”


 

“Come on, Jack. I'll never be your one true love. Now pick a bed and let's get back before it gets dark.”


 

Jack pushed away from Ianto, shaking his head. “No. No. I'm...I'll...I need to get away from you. Go...Just go. I'll be back in a while.”


 

Ianto was confused as Jack started walking away. “Jack? Jack, come back!” he called after him, reaching out as Jack stomped away.


 

Jack stopped but wouldn't turn around.


 

“Jack?” Ianto asked, shrinking as Jack brushed him away.


 

“Don't,” Jack said coldly. “I don't know what the hell you're playing at. Just don't, ok? Not now. I may not say it, but I thought I showed that I ...that I...what you mean to me. And you apparently don't care about me. If this isn't what you want, just go the fuck away.”


 

Ianto watched, astonished, as Jack made his way through Ikea's rambling hallways and disappeared behind mountains of striped pillows. What the hell had just happened?

“No.”

 

 

“Oh come on Ianto, it's not that bad.”

 

 

“No. Absolutely fucking not. No way in hell am I setting one foot in there till the NHS says I won't get the plague.”

 

 

“Oh for the love of – It's not that bad!”

 

 

“I've seen cleaner sewers, Jack!”

 

 

Jack and Ianto were standing in front of what could, if one was quite liberal and kind, be termed a cottage. It had walls and a roof, for sure, and even a door which, once upon a time, may have been green, but was now a lovely shade of brown. That may have been mud, mind, or the fact the salt water had chipped most of the paint off the door, revealing the dull sheen of the warped wood, but still, it only added to the dilapidated exterior. At least the roof was intact, something that Ianto was especially thankful for once the light rain began. It had taken just over four hours to make the drive from Cardiff to Holyhead, and Ianto was pretty sure he’d do just about anything to get Jack to drive four hours back and never have to think about this place again. At least it was only just after noon, which meant they could be back in Cardiff by the evening.

 

 

“Please, Ianto, give it a chance. Just close your eyes and think of its potential. It's a great location, right?” Jack begged, cupping Ianto's face with his hands.

 

 

Ianto sighed and nodded. In for a penny, and all. And besides, Thankful Jack was a Happy Jack, and Happy Jack meant Happy Ianto. And pancakes. Happy Jack always made pancakes the next morning. Ianto liked pancakes. He especially liked licking the batter from Jack’s chest.

 

So, deciding that discretion was the better part of valor, or some other metaphor which would mean Happy Jack would be visiting Happy Ianto later on, he took a deep breath and pushed through the overgrown grass. He reached the door and gave it a push. Nothing. He tried again. Nothing. He stepped aside and huffed, motioning for Jack to try.

 

 

Try as he might, though, even Jack couldn't open the rusted hinges. So, instead, he broke one of the windows.

 

 

“Oh, just great. Now we get to add that to the list!”

 

 

Jack shrugged and used his elbow to clear the glass shards away. He pushed himself inside and helped Ianto climb through. He held Ianto as the other man gained his footing.

 

 

“Oh. Oh god no. Oh dear god,” Ianto said, covering his nose with his hand.

 

 

“What?” Jack asked.

 

 

“Can't you see it?”

 

 

“See what?”

 

 

“Jack, there must be years of dirt and grime in here! It'll take months to clean!”

 

 

And grime there was. Jack looked out over the open floor plan, taking in the kitchen and sitting room.

 

 

“And you have shag carpeting. Who has shag carpeting? Do you have any idea how hard it is to get seawater out of shag carpeting?”

 

 

“Jesus, Ianto! I know, alright?! It sucks, I get it! Just give it a rest, ok?” Jack growled, throwing his hands up and stalking over to the old fireplace. “I just wanted us to have someplace nice, ok? Someplace for us!”

 

 

“Jack,” Ianto sighed.

 

 

“No. No, it's fine. Get back in the car. We'll go to the hotel and I'll have cleaners come in and we'll sell the place.”

 

 

Ianto sighed again and walked over to Jack. Obviously Happy Jack had taken a backseat to Petulant Jack. Petulant Jack wasn’t fun. Petulant Jack meant no pancakes. “Why this place, Jack? Why after so long?”

 

 

Jack turned in Ianto's arms and rested his head on Ianto's shoulder.

 

 

“I've been on earth since the late 1800s. You know that. I started working for Torchwood not long after as a traveling agent. I'd go out, do a job, come back, and they'd put me up in a nice hotel, all on Torchwood's tab. But then, well, there was a job out at the old limestone quarries at Mynydd Taur mountain and I found this place. There was an old man living here, his son'd moved to the U.S. and I bought it on the spot. I thought, well, I didn't have a home anymore, not really. And maybe, between jobs, I could come here. It could be my home.”

 

 

“And then you stopped coming and moved into the Hub.”

 

 

“Yeah.”

 

 

Ianto ran his fingers through Jack's hair. He kissed the skin behind Jack's ear. “Why now, Jack? Why show me now?”

 

 

“Because....It's the closest thing I have to a home, Ianto, to a history beyond Torchwood. And I wanted to...well...share it with you, I guess. You've let me in, and this is me, trying to grow up and let you in.”

 

 

Jack tried to move away after his confession, but Ianto held him in place. Ianto looked around, taking in the dirt, mold, and dead bugs littering every surface. At first, all he saw was a rundown old shack. But then, well, then he saw it. The photo. One lone photo in a tarnished could-be-silver frame sitting on a small table. A photo of Jack and another man, another man with dark black hair and green eyes, a photo of Jack happy and smiling, sitting in, what Ianto could only guess, was this very room. That's when everything changed. This wasn't about fixing up an old house. It was about Jack giving Ianto something, a piece of himself, and Ianto making it better again. It was about fixing some of the damage that'd been done to Jack during his hundred or so years of exile on Earth.

 

 

Ianto took a deep breath and lifted Jack's face with his shoulder. “One demand.”

 

 

Jack looked hopeful but wary, waiting desperately for an answer to a question he hadn't even known he'd asked.

 

 

“I'm not using this furniture.”

 

 

Jack blinked. “What?” That hadn't been the answer he'd been expecting.

 

 

Ianto chuckled. “I will not use furniture that has lord knows what growing on it. Walls can be bleached. That sofa? Don't think so. And the shag has to go. It's not suitable for a place in this climate. And I know you only bought it for the name, so don't try and lie.”

 

 

“You mean, you'll help? You want it?”

 

 

“I'm not Aggie and Kim, Jack. I can't work miracles. But yeah, I think we could fix it up a bit.”

 

 

Jack laughed and pushed Ianto against a (don't think about the mold, dear god don't think about the mold) wall, pressing a hungry kiss against his lips. Then Jack pulled back, confused.

 

 

“Who's Aggie and Kim?”

 

 

How Clean is Your House? Oh come on, Jack, you've seen it at mine, I know you have, when you can’t sleep. The one with the two old cleaning ladies?”

 

 

“They clean? Can we hire them?”

 

 

“No Jack. I'm not hiring Kim and Aggie. You wanted this, you'll help do it.”

 

 

Jack waggled his eyebrows. “I bet we can make this fun.”

 

 

“I draw the line at fluffy rubber gloves.”

 

 

“Huh?”

 

 

“Never mind.” Ianto looked around, wiping some of the dust off the window sill. “I don't even know where to start.”

 

 

“At the beginning. It's a very fine place,” Jack said laughing.

 

 

“Julie Andrews, Jack? Have you actually seen anything since the 1970s?”

 

 

Jack huffed and pulled Ianto in for a kiss. “So, Mr. Jones, where do you want to start?”

 

 

Ianto sighed against Jack's lips. “Your house, you do the heavy lifting.”

 

 

“Sorry?”

 

 

“I'll get all the windows open, and take the door off the hinges to let out some of this stale air. You get as much furniture as you can outside. Go through the drawers, make sure there's nothing you want to keep.”

 

 

Jack stood at attention and saluted. “Careful, Jack,” Ianto warned, “Or I'll go find a switch.”

 

 

“Not really a punishment, Ianto,” Jack called after him as Ianto made his way towards the kitchen.

 

By the time Ianto had gotten all the windows open and the door unhinged, Jack was grunting. His jumper was off, and his white t-shirt stuck to his skin with sweat. He'd made progress on some of the furniture, mostly small tables and such, but the old sofa was being stubborn. He didn't remember it being that heavy, and took it as a personal challenge. After nearly throwing his back out for the third time, he stopped pulling when he heard Ianto softly laughing. He looked up and stared at Ianto, leaning casually against a gray-white wall.

 

 

“You think this is funny?” he challenged.

 

 

“Yep. Want some help?”

 

 

“I'll manage, thanks,” Jack retorted. He bent down again and started pulling, yelping as the persistent twinge in his lower back flared into all-out pain. He fell to his knees, cursing.

 

 

Ianto ran over, running a hand up and down Jack's back. “You ok?” he asked.

 

 

Jack looked up and grimaced. “Yeah, fine. Guess I could use that help.”

 

 

Ianto shook his head, smiling. “I'll get the screwdrivers, then.”

 

 

“Screwdrivers?”

 

 

Ianto burst out laughing. “It's...it's a sleeper sofa, Jack. If we take the mattress and metal frame out, it'll be a lot lighter.”

 

 

“It's a sleeper?”

 

 

“You don't even know what kind of furniture you own? Sounds like something you'd have, anyway. I'll get that screwdriver, you start pulling the cushions off.”

 

 

 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

“Right, and this is why one checks the fuse box before messing with the electricity,” Ianto admonished as he pulled Jack's hand away from his mouth. “Let me see.” Ianto took the singed tips and kissed each one. Jack hummed appreciatively as Ianto ran his tongue lightly over the reddened areas. They'd made some substantial progress in the kitchen and sitting room that afternoon, deciding to leave the bathroom and bedroom till the next day. Granted, the toilet itself was being replaced (under Ianto’s orders – no way was he using something that Owen could grow mould cultures in), but at least there were bushes outside. Small favours, he mused. Ianto'd never been more thankful for Jack's foresight in getting a hotel room for the first few nights.

 

 

“We can take this some place comfortable,” Jack suggested.

 

 

“And where would that be? You have no furniture.”

 

 

We have that table and that cupboard. And we have a wooden chair.”

 

 

“I am not having sex in a cupboard or on a wooden chair. My back'll be sore enough without that, thank you.”

 

 

“Doesn't have to be sex.”

 

 

“And I'm not doing anything with you till this place is clean.”

 

 

“But that'll take forever!” Jack whinged.

 

 

“Think of it as an incentive. You get one room done, I'll let you remove some of my clothing. Maybe even let you touch me without the trousers,” Ianto winked as he walked back towards the sink. He'd been working on getting clean water, instead of that brown sludge, when Jack'd decided to play electrician. Almost had it too. Then, suddenly, just as he'd fitted himself back under the sink, a rush of freezing cold sludge water poured on top of him. He screamed (not like a little girl, thank you) and pushed himself out of the cabinet.

 

 

He sat up quickly, glaring at Jack who was standing against the sink, right leg crossed casually over left, hand on the faucet. “I. Hate. You.” Ianto ground out as he wiped the sludge water from his face.

 

 

“And that's why we turn the water off before we mess with the plumbing,” Jack said, grinning unabashed.

 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

“I just can't figure it out!” Jack whinged, throwing his hands in the air and almost hitting Ianto in the head with the wire strippers.

 

 

“What's wrong?” Ianto asked. It was getting dark out, and if Jack couldn't figure out the electricity, they'd have to leave soon. Ianto prayed Jack wouldn't figure it out. He wanted a bath with real water. And soap. Ohhhh milled cream soap...

 

 

“I did everything, but there's still no juice! What's wrong with this?!” Jack cried, stomping away.

 

 

“You did everything?” Ianto asked. Jack nodded. “Stripped and reattached the wires?” Jack nodded again. “Made sure there were no holes in the connection?” Jack nodded, holding up an instrument that was certainly not borrowed from the hub, oh certainly not. “Called to have the electricity turned on?” Jack started nodding, then stopped, furrowing his brow. “You didn't, did you? You never called to turn the electricity on?”

 

 

Jack opened and closed his mouth like a fish. He looked at the wires hanging from the hole in the wall, then at the wire strippers in his hand. Then he looked back at Ianto, who, had it not been for the nearby wooden chair that Jack had saved from the kerb, would have been on the floor laughing. “It's not funny!” he exclaimed. He hated being laughed at. Laughing, yes, laughing with someone, fine, but being laughed at? No thank you.

 

 

“Jack, you have to actually call the company. You...you can't just come here and expect it to work!”

 

 

Jack threw the wire strippers into the corner and stalked out of the house. He put his hands on the hood of Ianto's car, trying to take deep breaths. He'd promised Ianto a house, dammit, and he couldn't even give him water or electricity. He started as he felt Ianto's arms wrap around his waist.

 

 

“Let's go to the hotel, Jack. Nothing else we can do tonight. We'll call the utility company in the morning,” Ianto said softly.

 

 

Jack sighed. “I'm sorry. I hadn't realized it was so bad. I thought, a day, maybe two, and it'd be fine.”

 

 

“Think of it as a long term project then. Something to have us coming back. Though, maybe you should hire someone for the grounds?”

 

 

“Yeah, maybe. Yeah, ok. Let's go back to the hotel. I'm sorry.”

 

 

“Not your fault, Jack. I think, maybe, after a while, it'll be a nice place. Now come on. In the car. I need a shower, and you promised not-sex.”

 

 

Jack smiled as he slid into the front seat. “Wait! We have to lock the door.”

 

 

Ianto turned to him, eyebrow raised. “Trust me, Jack. No one's gonna go in.”

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Ianto lounged in the big, warm canopy bed at the Trearddur Bay hotel. He grinned as he looked around the room Jack had reserved. Trust Jack to do nothing by half; he had, instead, sprung for one of the nicest rooms. Complete with its own whirlpool bath, which he and Ianto’d made excellent use of twice already.

 

Ianto stretched, luxuriating in the Egyptian cotton sheets and hummed delightedly at the differences between this bed and the one in Jack’s little compartment in the Hub. Tomorrow morning Jack had agreed to go furniture shopping at a second-hand place on Cyttir Road that the receptionist had recommended. Ianto’d insisted on at least a double bed; Jack’d insisted on a King. Ianto agreed, if only to stop Jack from continually embarrassing the receptionist with talks about how they would put the King bed to good use. She was a pretty little thing- the receptionist, not the bed- and Ianto couldn’t wait to get Jack out of there before she got any interesting ideas. They’d only done that once, and Jack (surprisingly) was the one who demanded never again, Ianto, you’re mine.

 

“Hey,” Jack said softly as he opened the door and walked over, easing back onto the bed.

 

“You were gone a long time,” Ianto said just as softly.

 

“Yeah. Took a while, but I found some,” he said, holding up a small bottle in his left hand. “Had to dig through all those boxes, but I knew I’d packed it.”

 

Ianto yawned. It was near midnight now, and he’d spent the whole afternoon and evening cleaning house. How was it that a good airing was always so tiring?

 

“Found what?” he muttered as he turned into Jack.

 

“Massage oil,” Jack grinned, winking. “Turn over. Let me get that back.”

 

Ianto snorted. “I think you’d be the one needing the massage, old man. I’m not the one who almost threw his back out lifting a sofa. Maybe you should lay off the biscuits.”

 

Jack wacked him on the head. “I got it. It’s fine, out on the kerb.”

 

“After I took it apart. Haven’t you ever done DIY?”

 

“Not in this century. Ask me how to rewire a Jelovian Flight console and I’m good.”

 

Ianto patted him on the knee. “My little wife. Would you like me to handle the big, bad tools while you cook dinner?”

 

“I look great in a skirt and pearls. Little pair of black pumps? Great calves,” Jack leered.

 

Ianto blinked open an eye and stared at him. “Sometimes I don’t know when you’re joking.”

 

“Only sometimes? I can never tell with you. Why do you think I always loose at poker?”

 

“’Cause you can’t keep a straight face to save your life and you get bored when you’re the only one with no clothes left on.”

 

Jack snorted. It was true. Mutual nakedness was so much more fun.

 

Ianto sat up on his knees and grabbed the massage oil from Jack’s hand. “Clothes off and on your stomach then.”

 

“I was gonna do you,” Jack whinged and he removed his shirt and trousers.

 

Ianto stretched and yawned. “Do me tomorrow.”

 

“Oh yes, Sir, thank you sir!” Jack laughed. “Can I do you tomorrow, Sir, and the next day too?”

 

Ianto swatted him and pushed him back onto the bed.

 

He drizzled a line of oil down the middle of Jack’s back, tracing the bumps and ridges of his spine. He used a finger to trace oil around the outline of muscles, rippling the skin as Jack chuckled.

 

“Ticklish,” he said sheepily.

 

“Hush,” Ianto commanded. “No talking. Just relaxing.”

 

Jack hummed in agreement.

 

Ianto began kneading the sore muscles, smiling sleepily as the lines in Jack’s face smoothed out. This was something new, too. Before, Jack would never have let him take care of him like this. Jack always had to be the giver, not the taker. Lots of things had changed while he’d been away. Ianto resolved to find out what had actually happen- in time, of course, whenever Jack was ready.

 

Finally finished, he lay down on top of Jack’s back, stretched fully, covering Jack’s entire back. He cupped on hand under Jack’s face, turning it towards him, and kissed him softly.

 

“Ianto,” Jack whispered.

 

“Shh,” Ianto said, lifting himself up on his knees and feeling down between Jack’s legs. Jack twisted his body onto his side, giving Ianto access. Jack was relaxed, completely relaxed, and half asleep by now, moving on instinct rather than thought. It only took a few moves, but Ianto wrung him out, gently twisting and pushing the skin. Jack came silently, with only another whispered “Ianto” on his lips. Ianto used the tissues on the bedside table to clean them up, wiped off the blanket, and pulled Jack against him and away from the wet spot. He pulled the heavy comforter around them, falling asleep the soft sounds of rain pelting against the window. Tonight they would sleep. Tomorrow was furniture shopping. Furniture shopping with Jack. Furniture shopping with Jack having to try out every single piece, especially the prospective bed. He needed all the rest he could if he was going to deal with an overexcited Jack.


Rating: This Chapter - 13. Whole story - 18.
Chapter 1: The Invitation


“So I was thinking,” Jack began, sauntering over to Ianto as he sat at the Tourist Office desk. He sat gingerly on the edge, knowing full well how much Ianto hated having to get arse-prints off the shiny wood.
 

“Oh dear lord, save me now,” Ianto muttered, closing his eyes and shaking his head as he moved the piled of paperwork that Jack had carelessly pushed aside out of the way.
 

Jack raised an eyebrow, but continued. “You haven't taken a vacation day since you arrived.”
 

Ianto shot him a dirty look. “If you'll remember Sir, I took four weeks of vacation time last year.”
 

Jack rolled his eyes. “Those weren't vacation days. That was enforced leave. There's a difference.”

 

“So you have been reading the Torchwood Administrator's Union handbook, then?” Ianto asked smugly.
 

“Just 'cause I opened it doesn't mean I read it.”
 

“Uh-huh.”
 

“Well fine then,” Jack huffed. “I selectively read it.”
 

“Selectively?”
 

“Only the interesting parts.”
 

“Such as?”
 

“Such as I'm not allowed to touch an employee during work hours.”
 

“What was yesterday then? I seem to remember you touching me quite a bit.”
 

“Those weren't work hours and I didn't touch you. I touched your trousers. There's a difference.”
 

Ianto shot him a dirty look.
 

“Made you come without touching you too. That's pretty impressive.”
 

“I refuse to add to your ego. And touching my trousers equates to touching me. Spirit of the law, Jack, not just the letter.”
 

“Just 'cause I read it, doesn't mean that I have to follow it.”
 

“I'm beginning to understand why everyone you ever meet wants to imprison you.”
 

“All of which makes for some very impressive jail breaks. I look dashing in stripes.”
 

Ianto just smiled. He knew just how good Jack looked in stripes. Especially gagged with Ianto's striped ties. His tad'd been right – clothing maketh man. Or, in Jack's case, having your immortal lover stark naked on your bed with a striped silk tie as a gag while you did unspeakable things with caramel sauce? Now that certainly maketh Ianto's man.
 

Ianto suddenly found himself in quite the predicament. During his mental ramble, Jack had, apparently, carried on the conversation. He was now leaning against Ianto's desk, arms crossed and smiling, one foot sitting in Ianto's lap and damn if it wasn't somehow caressing Ianto's groin. Damn Jack and his flexible feet. And now he was, also apparently, waiting for an answer to something. And all Ianto had was a burgeoning stirring down there. Bugger.
 

“Uh, sorry Sir, uh, Jack? Catching wool there for a minute,” Ianto fumbled, searching for some way to get control of the conversation again.
 

Jack shook his head. “You Welsh and your wool. I was saying, that it's time you took a holiday.”
 

Ianto was confused. “Um, but...What? Why? It's not even summer,” he said, pointing out the window to what was certainly not a warm sunny day. Then again, it was Maundy Thursday in Wales, after all, and one couldn't expect summer during Easter. Maybe in a few years, what with the global warming, but not just yet.
 

“Which means it's still the low season. Lots of cheap rates,” Jack said reasonably.
 

“But, I don't want to go on holiday,” Ianto answered. Then he frowned. What self-respecting twenty-five year old didn't want to go on holiday?
 

“Come on Ianto! Carpe diem!” Jack begged.


Suddenly Ianto was suspicious and jumped from his chair. “Why do you want me to go on holiday, Sir? What have you done? If you've blown up another section in the archives and you're trying to keep me from finding out again, I'll-”
 

“Hey, hey hey,” Jack said, raising his hands in defense and backing up. “The archives are safe. I haven't gone down there alone since you found me and we played 'Big Bad General and the Naughty Captain.' Nice use of the switch, by the way. Couldn't sit for two days.”
 

And yet again, Ianto's mind was lost to those memories. Damn Jack. Damn Jack and his ability to send the usually unflappable Ianto right into mental La-La Land.
 

Jack smirked as Ianto's eyes glazed over. He loved doing that. Only other people he knew that could do that to Ianto were those tri-chested strippers from Calpio that had gotten lost and wound up in Cardiff, right in Ianto's back garden. It had taken seven hours for that aphrodisiac they naturally emitted to wear off; seven hours of a more-than-horny Ianto. Jack liked the recovery time of twenty-five year olds.
 

Then Ianto shook his head and returned to the conversation. “I ask again. Why do you want me to go on holiday?”
 

Jack sighed. He'd hoped Ianto would have just easily accepted the suggestion and agreed. But no, he couldn't have a normal holiday-loving employee. He had to have Ianto, the one man in the entire country who spent more time at work than Jack. And Jack lived at work! Now he actually had to explain.
 

“Fine. Here's the reason,” Jack began, taking a deep breath. “I have a cottage on Holyhead -”
 

“You have a cottage, sir?” Ianto interrupted.
 

“Yeah. I have a cottage. And I was thinking that you and I could take the long weekend, Bank Holiday you know, and the rest of the week, and maybe...well...maybe youcouldhelpfixitup.”
 

Ianto blinked. And blinked again. “Sorry?” He watched as Jack's shoulders slumped and he ran a hand through his hair.
 

“I said, maybe you could help fix it up,” Jack ground out, clearly uncomfortable.
 

Ianto blinked a third time. “You...you want me to go on holiday to do your housework?”
 

“No,” Jack said slowly. “I want you and I to go on holiday to my cottage in Holyhead...alone together...and to fix it up?”
 

“But...but why?” Ianto sputtered.
 

“You don't want to go on holiday with me?” Jack asked. Ianto stared at him for a minute. No way in hell he'd ever thought Jack'd want them to go on holiday together. That is, no way in hell the Jack who'd left them all for the doctor would have wanted to go on holiday. This Jack though, this Jack went on dates. Real live dates with candles and wine and small portions of bad food.
 

Ianto jumped as Jack sighed and turned back to the hidden door. “No Jack wait!” he called. “I uh, I'd like to go on holiday. I just...I just don't understand why.”
 


 

“I thought it might be nice, having a place we could go. Someplace away from here. I never really had a place, and I have that place, but that place is falling apart because it hasn't been a place in a long time and -”
 

“Hush,” Ianto commanded, putting his hand over Jack's mouth. “Let me get this straight. You have a cottage in Holyhead that you haven't used in a while. And you want me to come with you on holiday to make it, well, a place again? A place...for us?”
 

Jack nodded, all he could do since Ianto's hand was still covering his lips.
 

“Oh. Well. That's...that's good, that is. That's very good. Ffyc,” Ianto said, moving away.
 

“You want to go then?” Jack asked nervously.
 

“Yes!” Ianto cried out, rubbing a hand against the back of his neck, a tell tale sign of discomfort. “I mean, yeah, that'd be nice.”
 

Jack sighed again and stepped close to Ianto. He pulled Ianto's arm down and wrapped his own hands around Ianto's, pulling them close. “Then what's wrong?” he murmured, his lips brushing against Ianto's knuckles.
 

“It's just...we've never done this before. I mean, you've come over and I've stayed over, but that's seven whole days of together and -”
 

“You already know I snore and I already know you hate mornings. Please, Ianto, please come. I want this place to be a place again. Our place.”
 

“And the others are fine with staying by themselves?”
 

“Already cleared it. Gwen didn't want to go to Rhys's mom's anyways and Tosh was on watch already. And Owen's a zombie; not like he can plop himself down for Easter Lunch.”
 

“Alright then. We'll, well, we're going on holiday.” Ianto whispered. A holiday with Jack. A whole seven days of just him and Jack. God help him. God help Holyhead.
 

“Holiday in Holyhead. Sounds perfect,” Jack whispered back as he kissed Ianto slowly.
 

Suddenly Ianto pulled back and shot Jack a harsh look. “Wait, what's this again about fixing it up?”
 

“Well, it's been a few years. I'm sure it needs some stuff. You know, paint, furniture, cleaning, new plumbing.”
 

“You're taking me somewhere that doesn't have plumbing?”
 

“No, it has plumbing. Well, it has the pipes. Not sure if they work, though.”
 

“Just how long has it been since you were there?” Ianto asked suspiciously. Just his luck that Jack'd take him to a place with an outhouse from Victoria's time.
 

“A while. A long time. I haven't...There was this guy, and we were....and then there was this battle and he...and then the Millenium and I just haven't been back. Couldn't go back. Not then. Not till now,” Jack stammered.
 

Ianto sighed and wrapped his arms around Jack. “Take me to Holyhead, Jack. I'll bring the paint and bleach if you promise you'll make sure there's a working toilet.”
 

He felt Jack grin against his neck. “Let's get going then.”
 

Ianto pulled back. “What? Now? But I'm not ready.”
 

Jack stuck his hands in his pocket. “Sure you are. All set and packed.”
 

“What have you done?” Ianto demanded. Jack just pointed out the window, where Ianto could see Tosh pulling up in a car. Not just any car, but his car. Tosh in his car packed with boxes and bags.
 

“You stole my car?!”
 

“No, I packed your car!” Jack said smugly.
 

Ianto rubbed his forehead. “You planned this all out. You packed. God save me, you'll have packed all the lube and left all my clothes at home.”
 

Jack just smiled. Ianto swore. It would be a long week.


 

After a particularly rousing bout of shower sex during which Ianto was, predictably, unable to remember his name or the reason he and Jack had found themselves at the (rather charming and oh dear god do that again!) hotel, Ianto was forced to take yet another shower. He refused Jack entry to this one, however, claiming that mere mortals such as him only had so much staying power. Which, of course, led to Jack's predictable pouting. Standing there, warm water flowing over him, staring at Jack's now come-covered torso, Ianto came to a realization. It was quite possible that he loved Jack. Of course, Ianto'd never say it aloud. He'd managed to whisper it in his head and quickly denounced that little mental voice as completely and utterly insane, but damn if he couldn't forget about it. That, of course, led to thoughts about Lisa and how easily he'd been able to tell her he'd loved her. No, wait, 'love', current tense. Not past tense, never past tense. But still....she'd want him to be happy right? And that man, that damn out-of-time man with the perfect hair and great ass and the ability to make Ianto's worst day just a bit brighter.....Damn that man, but it was entirely possible that there was just a tiny little bit of love for him, somewhere deep inside. This shook Ianto to his core, but Ianto Jones was nothing if not perfectly capable of maintaining a calm exterior in times of crisis. And this was definitely crisis time.


 

And so, in order to have just a few moments to catch his breath and convince that annoyingly nagging (and usually correct, more often than not) voice in the back of his mind to shut the hell up and leave him alone, Ianto threatened Jack in the worst possible way. If Jack didn't leave right then and there and let Ianto have a few minutes alone, he'd be sleeping in his bed alone for the next month. Jack countered the threat, saying he'd simply have Ianto on his office desk. Ianto merely raised an eyebrow and said, “Get out now, or there will be no sex, blow jobs, hand jobs, or anything else involving your cock for the next month. Mine, however, might get plenty of action around Cardiff.” The steely hint in his eyes was enough to frighten the Captain, who left, tail between his legs (and Ianto laughed at that, imagining Jack with his cock between his legs, which, again predictably, led to Ianto's own cock inflating. Damn quick recovery time. Owen must have switched his vitamins with Viagra again) without looking back. Ianto looked down forlornly and decided to handle this problem on his own. If he called Jack back, he'd never hear the end of it.


 

So, after yet another rather rousing bit in the shower (Ianto was nothing if not extremely competent and attentive in every area of his life), Ianto emerged to see Jack, dressed and waiting, a pile of used wet naps from the room service breakfast at his feet.


 

Ianto rolled his eyes. He was on vacation; he refused to pick up the wet naps. More than that, he refused to let Jack see him pick up the wet naps. That would involve him bending over and exposing himself. And Jack hadn't earned that. At least, not yet. Ianto still had something to ask Jack, something important, and, at the moment, he wasn't above using every available lure to get his way. He hadn't used sex against Jack since Lisa (and didn't that just bring up bad connotations), but this was far more important than him own embarrassment at acting like a £10 whore.


 

Drying himself on the high-quality towel, Ianto began his slow seduction of Jack by slowly dressing, making sure to caress each piece of clothing. As the son of a master tailor, Ianto knew the sexual quality of dressing. A bit like the early twenty century, he mused, chuckling as Jack moaned when Ianto ran his hands down his trouser's front to smooth away any creases. Leave it all to the imagination, and Jack certainly had imagination enough for the both of them.


 

Ianto moved to button his dark plum shirt, but left the top two buttons open, exposing just a hint of pale Welsh neck. He knew what Jack was thinking as the other man's eyes bulged. Jack's hidden fantasy was ripping Ianto's ties from his neck, exposing, caressing, licking, and marking that area that no one but him ever saw. Ianto caressed his own throat, running his fingertips over the hollow of his clavicle as he searched his overnight bag.


 

Ha!” he exclaimed, pulling something dark from the bag.


 

What's that?” Jack asked, entranced as Ianto sauntered closer.


 

Found this the other night. Almost forgot I had it,” Ianto purred seductively, holding out the twisted rope necklace he'd worn the first night they met over the body of a weevil. “Put it on me?”


 

Jack swallowed as he rose from the bed. Softly, oh so softly, he moved behind Ianto. He took the necklace from Ianto's hand and wrapped it around Ianto's neck. He ran one hand through the short, soft hair at the base of Ianto's skull, breathing deeply Ianto's scent – musk, soap, and just a hint of lemon. Ianto moaned, pushing himself backwards into Jack and arching his neck.


 

Jack couldn't resist. Ianto, his Ianto, who knew what this particular kink did to him, pushing himself against Jack. Jack ground his hips against Ianto, running one hand around his chest, fingering the necklace.


 

God, I love this neck,” he muttered in Ianto's ear. “You have no idea what the sight of your neck does to met. All I want to do all day long is tear that damn silk tie from your neck and mark that little spot right there,” he said, rubbing one finger against Ianto's hollow.


 

Ianto turned in his arms, nuzzling Jack's neck.


 

Jack,” he said, nipping at Jack's ear and cupping Jack's balls through the trouser fabric. “I need to have a serious conversation with you. Can we hold off on the marking for a little while?”


 

Damn Ianto....Can't...” Jack gasped as he arched his groin into Ianto's hand. “How do you do this to me?”


 

Ianto pulled back with a feral grin.“Practice. Hours and hours of practice.”


 

We don't have much time left before we have to leave. How about we get some of that practice time in now, huh?” Jack asked, pushing Ianto towards the bed and capturing his mouth in a hungry kiss.


 

Ianto stepped swiftly away, spinning Jack around. “No,” he said firmly.


 

Jack flopped down on the bed and covered his face with an arm.


 

Seriously,” he asked flabbergasted. “We're in a hotel room, alone for the last time in who knows how long, and you want to 'talk'?”


 

Yep,” Ianto said, moving to stand between Jack's legs. “Serious face, Jack. See it? Serious face, serious talk,” he added, moving Jack's hand and pointing to his own face.


 

Jack huffed. Clearly he'd be going without Ianto for a while longer. “Fine. What could be so important?”


 

Owen,” Ianto said simply.


 

Jack groaned. “I thought you were going to talk to him. You know I'm not good at the touchy-feely stuff!”


 

Ianto rolled his eyes. “And I am? Since when have I been 'touchy feely'? Besides, seems like you did fine with the touching and feeling a little while ago.”


 

Jack sat up and pulled Ianto down so that he was sitting on Jack's lap. “If I thought, for one moment, that touching and feeling Owen would help, I'd be all over it.”


 

I know,” Ianto soothed. “You're a very caring boss.” He ran butterfly kisses over Jack's face. “But there are some things that sex won't fix.”


 

Don't I know it,” Jack grumbled. “Can we get on with this? We have,” he said, looking at the wall clock, “fifty five minutes. Lots we can do in fifty five minutes.”


 

Lots we can do in five minutes,” Ianto agreed. “But this first. Then maybe I'll let you drive us home and see how long you're able to go with my hand on your crotch without stopping at a petrol station to relieve the pressure.”


 

Jack's face perked up. Ianto, with his hand on Jack's crotch, while Owen was in the back seat. This could definitely get interesting. “Just what did you want to talk about?” he leered. “Or should we begin the touchy-feely now?”


 

Why didn't you cremate Katie?”


 

Jack reeled back in shock. If it had been any other question, he'd have been prepared. But Jack Harkness, interstellar con-man, the man who could take Daleks in stride, was stunned into silenxe.


 

Ianto winced as he felt Jack's burgeoning erection wither. He knew what to expect, but still. An erection was an erection, after all, and it did make him feel good to know that he caused it just by sitting on Jack's lap.


 

Jack?” Ianto asked slowly. “Why didn't you cremate Katie?”


 

Jack stood so fast, Ianto wound up staring up at him from the floor.


 

Torchwood protocols, Ianto! You know that! All deceased cases go to the morgue!” Jack yelled, running a hand through his hair. It was one of his few tells, but Ianto could read it for the discomfort it was.


 

I think you should cremate her,” Ianto replied as he lifted himself from the floor.


 

Oh, so you're Captain now?” Jack growled. “My case, my decision. She's a danger to the world.”


 

She wasn't the danger, though, was she? It was that alien inside her! And that alien is dead!”


 

If it's alien, it's ours!” Jack growled.


 

Ianto stepped back in shock. Never, not once since he'd known him, had Jack ever sounded like Yvonne Hartman. “What?” he asked slowly. “What did you just say?”


 

You heard me! If it's alien, it's ours!” Jack growled again.


 

So you're Torchwood London now? Locking up innocent people and experimenting on them? Torturing them? Executing them?”


 

Don't you dare compare me to them!” Jack yelled. “I'm nothing like Hartmann!”


 

I'm not the one who compared you! You are!”


 

Jack stood there, staring at Ianto. The impact of his words finally hit him. He saw the white Welsh features pale even further, the color drain from Ianto's face and his hands begin to shake. He cursed himself for reminding Ianto, even a bit, of Canary Warf.


 

She's a danger,” he said, trying to recapture the argument that had somehow gotten out of his control. “She's a danger to us all!”


 

And how's that, Captain?” Ianto rebounded angrily. “How can a dead woman be a danger to the world?”


 

Ask yourself! How could Lisa be a danger?” Jack ground back, pushing Ianto backwards.


 

Lisa. Wasn't. Dead,” Ianto said slowly, trying to remain calm. “She was alive. And it wasn't her that was a danger, it was the conversion. And you still let me cremate her!”


 

'Cause the technology was a bigger danger!” Jack cried, throwing his hands up. “It had to be destroyed! There's a difference!”


 

How so?” Ianto spat angrily. “How is cremating Lisa any different from cremating Katie? He needs it, Jack. He needs it! He needs to say goodbye, and keeping her locked up a few floors below him is killing him!”


 

They are different!” Jack yelled.


 

How? How are they different?” Ianto cried.


 

'Cause you couldn't leave! He will!” Jack said, sinking to the floor.


 

What?” Ianto asked, shocked.


 

You had nothing else. Nothing. No family, no job prospects, nothing. You had no choice but to stay,” Jack said sadly, not even looking at Ianto. “What happens when I give him Katie's ashes? He has a family. He could be a doctor anywhere. He'll leave.”


 

I...” Ianto began, searching for words. “I don't understand.” He dropped to his knees beside Jack.


 

Owen was...was the first person I recruited after the Millenium. The first one, even before Suzie. I picked him, I chose him! He'll have nothing to stay for.”


 

Ianto touched Jack's face softly, pulling his chin up to meet Ianto's eyes. “So you're keeping Katie's body in the morgue so that Owen will stay?”


 

Jack sighed. He'd never, not once, explained his need for stability to Ianto. But after so many years of the deaths of friends and lovers, of being abandoned, of the Millenium massacre.... Ianto couldn't understand his need to keep what little he had, he just couldn't.


 

He's family,” Jack sniffed, trying desperately not to give in and lean his head on Ianto's shoulders. He'd already asked so much of the young man, no- the boy. He couldn't ask him to shoulder his loneliness, his grief, his fears.


 

He is family,” Ianto agreed. “He is family. And he's hurting, Jack. You're hurting him. Maybe he will leave. But then again, maybe he won't. Maybe he's found a place here, with you, with us. But you can't just lock him away, Jack. You can't be that person. You can't.”


 

Jack breathed a deep sigh. “He and you and Tosh and Gwen...You're all I have. Losing Suzie almost killed me. I can't...I can't lose him too.”


 

Ianto nestled Jack's face in the crook of his neck and kissed the top o head. “Poor Jack,” he sighed. “Always alone. It doesn't ever get easier, does it?”


 

Jack shook his head.


 

You have to let him decide, Jack. You have to.”


 

Jack shook his head again. “I can't...I can't give him the body. The alien's still in her brain. I'm not Hartman, but I can't. I just can't. It was different with Lisa, it was!”


 

Ianto sighed. “Then give him ashes.”


 

Jack lifted his head, confused. “I just said -”


 

I didn't say they had to be her ashes, Jack,” Ianto interrupted. “Remember me cleaning up your messes? Part of that is covering up deaths. I have contacts at the city morgue. Practically get an updated daily listing of every unidentified and unclaimed body they have. It doesn't have to be her ashes, as long as he believes they're hers.”


 

Jack gazed at Ianto. Who was this young man, this boy, who could come up with such a plan? So young to have such knowledge. Had he always been like this, or had Torchwood done this to him?


 

And what about Katie?”


 

Ianto sat back on his heels, thinking. “We have empty morgue drawers. Put her in one of those. No identification,” he mused. “I can switch some of the old records around. Make it look like someone else, someone anonymous.”


 

Do you really think this would help?” Jack asked warily.


 

Ianto sighed. “I'm not sure there's such a thing as closure. I'm not even sure it'll help him. But he needs something, Jack. He's...floundering...falling. He needs something to hold on to, even if its just a place in the park where he can scatter his ashes.”


 

Jack turned away. “Fine. Set it up. But he never finds out.”


 

Ianto nodded his acquiescence. “I understand. I'll have it arranged.”


 

Jack stood and sighed again. He looked over at the clock on the wall. “Forty minutes,” he chuckled darkly. “I'm going for a walk. I'll meet you at the front desk.”


 

Ianto sat there, silent, as Jack left. He knew he wouldn't see Jack until it was time to leave. Jack'd probably be headed to the roof, but Ianto knew that right now, his presence wasn't wanted. He wished it could have gone better, but still. At least it had gotten somewhere. And maybe, just maybe, it'd help Owen.


 

Three days later, Ianto climbed Mount Snowdon, tracking Owen's mobile signal. He found the medic on a craggy cliff, overlooking the country, holding an innocuous black box.


 

Ianto walked over and stood next to Owen, wincing as the pack on his back bumped into his spine. He said nothing, did nothing, content to let Owen control what would happen next. He watched as Owen dug a small hole in the dirt and poured the gray ashes from the box. He swept dirt over the ashes and picked up a rock to cover it.


 

At that, Ianto stopped him. He put the sack on his back down on the ground and reached in. As Owen watched, Ianto pulled out a small bronze plaque. He handed it to Owen.


 

Owen took the plaque and looked at it. Plain and simple, just as Katie would have wanted. No ornamentation, no ostentation, just three simpled words, “She Is Loved.” He turned to Ianto and opened his mouth, but no words came out. Ianto acknowledged with a simple bow of his head. Owen turned back and knelt down, reverently pushing the plaque into the dirt. He sobbed silently, his whole body shaking.


 

Ianto stood, knowing that Owen would rather no one see him like this. Instead, he headed back down the mountain and stood by Owen's car. Some time later, with the sun just hitting the crest of the earth as it set, Owen approached him and lent against the car.


 

Ianto reached back into the sack and pulled out a thermos of coffee. He handed it to Owen, who took a swig and sighed.


 

Let's head back,” Owen said, opening the car door. It was then that he noticed there were no other cars in the lot. He raised an eyebrow at Ianto.


 

Ianto shrugged. “Cab,” he replied.


 

Owen rolled his eyes. “Fine, get in. But one word about the take-away cartons and I'll make sure to forget the anesthesia next time you're hurt.”


 

Ianto smirked. “Don't worry. Jack'll take care of me.”


 

He's not mad then?” Owen asked, the false nonchalant tone clearly evident. Not that he wanted the Tea-Boy and Captain shagging like rabbits, but Ianto had stood up for him. Looked like he owed him now, not that he'd ever mention it of course.


 

Ianto shrugged as he fiddled with the seatbelt. “Took him a while, but he's fine. Like a volcano, he is. Mad as hell one minute, but he calms down pretty quickly. Besides, I do give one hell of a blowjob.”


 

Owen barked out a laugh. “I so don't wanna know,” he said as he pulled out of the lot and headed back to Torchwood.


 

I could tell you more if you'd like,” Ianto suggested.


 

Don't even think about it, Tea-Boy! If I wanted to know anything about what Harkness is like in bed, I'd shag him myself!”


 

Oh so you admit it, then. You'd shag Jack?”


 

Shut up! That's not what I said!”


 

But it's what you implied! Tired of the ladies, Owen? Or maybe they're tired of you?”


 

The bickering continued the entire drive back, and was only ended when Owen practically kicked Ianto out of the car and onto the Plas. As Ianto began walking away towards the Tourist Office, Owen called him back.


 

Yeah?” Ianto said through the car window.


 

Just....” Owen began, struggling.


 

Yeah,” Ianto said, nodding.


 

Owen looked at him and nodded back. As Ianto began walking away again, Owen called out. “Oi! Tea-Boy! Physical tomorrow!”


 

Ianto turned on his heel. “I just had one!” he whinged. He really, really hated physicals. There was the running on the treadmill, the peeing in a cup, the needles. Oh god, the needles. He'd blocked them from his mind last time. So many, many needles, innoculating him against all the possible alien diseases...Oh god the needles...


 

Yeah well you're getting another!” Owen called back grinning. There were only so many ways to put Ianto off his game, and needles were one of them. “Think of all the small pricks!”


 

It wasn't until Owen had pulled away amidst a cloud of small pebbles that Ianto returned from his fear of needles to come up with a suitably appropriate come-back. Resigning himself to tomorrow, he resolved to take as much pleasure as possible tonight. An early reward, he mused. Far tastier than any lolly.


 

Entering the Hub via the Cog Door, Ianto was greeted by a very nervous Jack, spinning in Tosh's chair. When Ianto stepped next to him, he asked, “He coming back?”


 

Ianto smiled and ran a hand through Jack's hair. “Yep. Physicals tomorrow.”


 

Jack grinned. “Well then, guess we have to make the most of tonight. You know how you are the night after all those needles.”


 

Ianto blanched. “Not my fault,” he stuttered. “They bloody hurt!”


 

Aww,” Jack crooned as he pulled Ianto close to him. “Poor widdle Ianto. Want me to make the big, bad needles go away?”


 

I don't think you can. Medically, he outranks you,” Ianto pointed out.


 

Yeah, but maybe we could do a bit of psychology?”


 

And just what did you have in mind, Sir?”


 

Jack leered. “Think about it. I fuck you all night long. My cock up your ass, in your mouth, my nails in your skin, my teeth on your neck. My tongue licking that little place where your arm creases at the elbow.”


 

Jack pulled Ianto's belt, yanking the younger man closer. He lifted said arm, nuzzling the skin beneath the silk. “Then, all day long, your body aches for me, because of me. And every time Owen makes one of his prick jokes, all you can think about is my 'needle'. And anytime you feel a pinch on your skin, you see my teeth, my nails. And any bruises left over, you imagine those are from me.”


 

Ianto sucked in a deep breath. “I...I think we should get started on this right away.”


 

Oh yeah,” Jack purred, pulling Ianto towards his office. “Just what the doctor ordered.”