Fandom/Pairing: Torchwood; Jack/Ianto
Genre: pure fluff, really
Word Count: ~1,380
Summary: It's cold on the Plass, and Ianto's forgotten his scarf.
Notes: Just a bit of fluff, involving a forgotten scarf, and hand-holding on a snowy afternoon. ^_~ Written for the schmoop_bingo prompt holding hands, and crossposted to the usual places. ^_^
It's a brisk December afternoon on the Plass, and Ianto pulls his coat around him, shivering a little.
He's on an errand for Jack, picking up what may-or-may-not be (read: absolutely is) an alien artifact that's shown up at a local pawn shop. After several mishaps involving artifacts turning over into the wrong hands, Jack set up an “arrangement” with every shop owner within twenty kilometers of the rift’s radius to call the tourist information office when they notice any particularly odd items in their inventory.
The arrangement, as such, is that Torchwood pays whatever the seller asks for said item, no questions asked. Ianto suspects that they’ve been had several times, but with the risks as they are, he figures they still come out ahead in the end.
He’s not sure exactly what he’s picking up today, but Jack assured him earlier that he’d be able to get it back to the hub unaided, so… That’s how he ended up here.
He braces himself against a particularly icy gust from across the bay, cursing himself for forgetting not only his scarf, but his gloves. He frowns, picking up his pace a little, eyes drifting up to what is quickly turning into a snow sky, grey and formidable. He wonders if he shouldn't have taken the SUV after all. He thought he'd been up for a little exercise, a brisk afternoon walk to get his blood pumping and all of that, but now he can't figure what he was thinking. It’s bloody cold.
Ianto stops and spins around at the sound of his name--immediately recognizing the voice calling out at a rather alarming volume as Jack's, of course. Several passersby glance toward him, as Jack approaches.
He watches Jack jog up to him, breathless, coat flapping open, arms full of...
"Is that my scarf?" Ianto asks, confused.
"Yeah, I, uh..." Jack hands the scarf to Ianto and bends over, hands on his knees, breath puffing out in tiny clouds of white in front of his face as he catches his breath.
"How did you... Ah," Ianto says, a smile playing at the corners of his mouth. ”You were watching me."
Jack stands up, making a show of buttoning up his coat against the cold. He turns up his collar too, rubbing his hands together.
"I always watch you. When I can manage it, anyway," he says offhandedly, and then grins. "You're welcome, by the way."
"Thank you, Jack," Ianto says, allowing his chest to warm just a little at the gesture, as he wraps the scarf around his neck. It's warm where Jack was carrying it close to his body as he ran out to meet him.
Jack sidles up to him then, somehow still emitting those killer pheromone-induced waves of body heat, despite the dropping temperatures.
"So, where to?" Jack asks, as innocent as ever, as he very deliberately takes Ianto's hand in his, squeezing tightly. Then he rubs his thumb over Ianto's pulse point, a surprisingly tender gesture that causes Ianto's brain to misfire a few times as he blinks at Jack.
"I... ah..." He starts, and then clears his throat. "You're the one who sent me out, remember? Brigands’? The artifact?"
"Oh, right." Jack just smiles, and squeezes Ianto's hand. "Care for some company then?"
"Sure," Ianto finds himself saying, and as they start walking, Ianto suddenly feels the stares and glances of several passersby, as Jack presses close to him, their shoulders bumping together, hands clasped tight, clearly, well... together.
It's strange, Ianto thinks, that something so simple as holding Jack's hand would throw him like this. It's not as if he hasn't been sharing his boss’ bed for months now, right?
They haven't even been particularly discreet about it, to be honest. Ianto is sure the others know, and now that he thinks about it, this is definitely not the first public display of affection Jack’s offered him.
He's been on what definitely have amounted to dates before, with Jack--intimate dinners that have, after a few glasses of wine, left them a little closer than would be considered comfortable for two friends.
And then there was that one time that Jack had just up and kissed him in the middle of St. Mary's Street, after they'd captured a particularly evasive weevil--thankfully before any of the Saturday evening shoppers had spotted her. So really, he should be used to being out in public with Jack--there's no reason...
"Something on your mind, Ianto?" Jack queries, glancing at him curiously.
"I..." Ianto starts, then sighs. "You're holding my hand."
"So... I don't know. Since when do you hold my hand?"
"Do I need a reason?” Jack asks innocently. “Maybe I'm just particularly fond of you today. Maybe my hands are cold."
"Do you have a problem with it?"
Ianto can feel his face flush a little.
"No," he says quickly. "Of course not, I just--"
"Good," Jack says, placing a slightly-chilly kiss to the back of Ianto's hand. "Because I'm not planning on letting go."
They keep walking in silence, and Ianto focuses on the feel of Jack's hand in his, the shape of Jack's fingers, the fading warmth of his palm. It makes him feel a little safer, a little more cared for, a little happier, walking down the street with someone like Jack, holding his hand for everyone to see. Two open palms, joined together against whatever monsters and aliens the rift decided to spew out at Cardiff.
He stifles a laugh at his own sentimentality, and of course, Jack notices immediately.
"What’s so funny?”
“Oh come on," Jack whispers in his ear. “You like it too. Admit it," he challenges.
Ianto rolls his eyes.
"All those people," Jack says softly. "Don't you want them to know?"
Ianto shivers a little, and not entirely because of the cold. He stares at Jack for a moment.
"Know what, Jack?"
Ianto asks the question without really thinking, and then glances down at their hands, at his fingers intertwined with Jack’s, and realizes suddenly that he’s probably okay with whatever it is that Jack wants everyone to know about them, after all.
Jack just winks at him, but his eyes are suddenly serious, and warm with a disarming tenderness that makes Ianto squirm a little in his skin because he’s used to knowing exactly what Jack wants, but when Jack looks at him like this, Ianto finds he doesn’t have a clue.
"Well," Ianto starts, letting out an awkward breath. "We're almost here," he offers, halfway between a question and a statement. He points to a green awning about a block away.
Jack ignores him, gripping his hand tightly, and throwing his weight around a little, and the tension is gone, just like that. Jack leans on Ianto's side, setting them slightly off-balance so that Ianto has to side-step several tourists and their large shopping bags.
"Come on, Ianto, admit it. You like holding my hand~ You like me~" Jack teases.
"Of course I like you, Jack,” Ianto says, steadying them. “You stalk me on our CCTV camera, and then come out here only to strong-arm me into displays of public affection," he teases. "What's not to like?"
"Hey, I brought you your scarf!"
"Hmm, yeah, that's right, you did."
It’s started to snow now, big fluffy flakes that melt almost the second they hit the ground. Ianto watches them land on Jack’s perfect hair, on his nose, and feels a completely inexplicable surge of excitement well up in his chest.
He squeezes Jack's hand, and leans over, suddenly feeling a little giddy, a little light on his feet. He presses his lips to Jack's cheek in a soft kiss—wet, because of the snow--and then leans in a little closer, lowering his voice, heart thumping in his chest as he breathes in Jack's scent a little. "Yes, Jack. I like it, okay?"
Jack’s grin turns salacious in an instant.
"Well if you like this, then I'll show you a real public display of affection on the way back, how about that."
Ianto laughs, shaking his head. "I knew you were going to say that."
"Whatever, Ianto. You know you can't wait."
Ianto laughs, but doesn’t argue, shaking his head again, and as he swings open the door to the pawn shop, bells jingling behind them.
Jack's right, of course, he thinks, anticipation tingling a little in the air between them.
He really can't wait.