Jack considered himself to be pretty fearless. After all, there wasn’t much that could kill him, at least not permanently. Immortality did have a few things going for it. Nevertheless, if there was one thing he couldn’t bear, it was spiders; all those long, scuttly legs made his skin crawl.
He knew it was dumb; most species of spider were completely harmless to people, even beneficial. Without spiders, there’d be a whole lot more flies and other creepy crawlies, but no matter how often he told himself that, it didn’t make the blindest bit of difference. They terrified him more than any heavily armed alien invasion force ever could. If the world was ever invaded by spiders, everyone was doomed. They’d get no help from Jack; he’d be too busy hiding under the bed. Or somewhere else that would be less likely to harbour the eight-legged menaces.
So here he was once again, at the mercy of a monster and in need of rescue. He prodded the still body beside him. “Ianto?”
Poke. Poke. “Ianto, wake up!”
“Go to sleep, Jack. It’s the middle of the night, and I’m tired even if you aren’t.”
“But there’s a spider!”
Ianto groaned, rolling to face Jack. “Of course there is. Where?”
Jack, lying stock still on his back, eyes fixed on the ceiling, pointed upwards.
Flopping onto his back, Ianto looked up too. The streetlamps outside cast a bright glow and by their light, he could just make out the small, dark blob against the white paintwork above him.
“Jack, it’s tiny!”
“I don’t care! What if it falls off the ceiling into bed with us?”
“Then it’ll probably get flattened when one of us rolls over. Bye bye spider.”
“It wasn’t supposed to be.”
It was obvious he wasn’t going to get any sleep until he dealt with the problem. With a weary sigh, Ianto climbed out of bed. “Fine; I’ll fetch something to catch it in, you get the stepladder.”
“I have to keep looking at it, otherwise it might disappear and I won’t know where it’s gone. I’ll never be able to sleep in here again!”
“You’re such a drama queen!” Ianto left the room, muttering under his breath, “Wonderful, do it all yourself, Ianto, as usual. Probably get it done faster that way.”
Jack remained where he was, staring fixedly upwards, not daring to even blink.
Half asleep, Ianto hauled the stepladder into the bedroom, climbed up, and caught the offending arachnid with a glass and a piece of paper, dumping it out the bathroom window before returning to bed. By the time he crawled in beside Jack, the other man was already fast asleep.
He rolled his eyes. “Typical, not even a thank you for saving him from the scary monster.” A thought occurred to him and shifting position, he planted his freezing cold feet firmly against Jack’s nice, warm legs. Jack shot upright with a yelp.
“Lie still and go to sleep, Jack.”
“Your feet are like blocks of ice!”
“I know, and it’s your fault for making me get out of bed, so you can warm them up for me.” Ianto didn’t even bother opening his eyes. “It’s the least you can do, after what I just did for you.”
“You’re right, you’re my brave, fearless hero.” Jack settled down and gave Ianto a big, sloppy kiss. “Mwah. Thank you.”
“I should think so too. Goodnight, Jack.”
“Night, Ianto.” Jack smiled contentedly. He could always count on Ianto to save him from scary spiders.