“Gotta love the January Sales!” Jack beamed happily as he strode around the store, Ianto following in his wake with a resigned expression on his face.
It wasn’t that Ianto disliked shopping, or even that he didn’t enjoy hitting the sales looking for bargains; it was more that he and Jack had entirely different concepts of what constituted a bargain. For instance, who in the world needs five thousand glow-in-the-dark paperclips? Jack, that’s who.
Ianto had bought four sets of high quality cotton sheets, because around Jack, new sheets were always a necessity, a new laptop, and two pairs of real Italian leather dress shoes. Jack had bought the paperclips, a Star Wars Lego set, and a white leather chair shaped like a hand, where you sat on the palm and the fingers formed the back. Ianto didn’t think it looked either comfortable or practical, but Jack could not be dissuaded, because apparently it was cool. Still, Jack was spending his own money, so if he wanted to be frivolous, he was perfectly entitled. As long as he didn’t expect Ianto to sit in that damned chair!
They needed new mugs for the Hub. And plates and glasses too, come to that. It was always a good idea to stock up in the sales because in a place like Torchwood, breakages were inevitable. Ianto headed off to the kitchenware section, where he browsed happily, only noticing that Jack was missing when he turned to ask his lover’s opinion on some plates he was thinking of buying. Sighing, Ianto shrugged, bought the plates anyway, and arranged for all the crockery to be delivered. Tough luck if Jack didn’t like them. Half the time he didn’t bother with a plate anyway.
Jack reappeared while Ianto was perusing electric kettles, trying to decide which was the best value for money. He was carrying several more bags, this time from the men’s wear section of the big department store.
Ianto eyed the bags suspiciously. “What did you buy now?”
“Underwear, socks, and t-shirts,” Jack informed him proudly.
“Well done, something practical at last!” Ianto congratulated him.
“And a new bathrobe!” Jack was all smiles as he opened the bag and let Ianto peep in at the soft, brown fabric. “It was less than half price, isn’t it great?”
“You don’t wear a bathrobe,” Ianto reminded him. “Come to that, you wouldn’t wear clothes at all if you thought you could get away with wandering around naked all the time.”
“I’m turning over a new leaf,” Jack assured him. “You always wear one so I thought I’d try it.”
Ianto smiled. Perhaps he was starting to get through to his exhibitionist lover at last. Not everyone wanted to see Jack streaking through the Hub after going through the decontamination shower in the lower levels. “Excellent. Now why don’t you help me pick a new kettle for work? The old one’s about on its last legs. I’ve narrowed it down to these two.” He pointed to two kettles.
“Why not just get both? Then if one breaks down we’ve got a spare.”
“That’s actually not a bad idea, especially at this price.” Ianto scooped up the kettles and went to pay for them, adding them to the items for delivery, but when he got back, Jack had disappeared again. Shaking his head, he set off for another section to continue his browsing. No doubt his lover would catch up when he was ready.
He was right. As he was looking at DVDs, Jack appeared at his elbow. “Ooh, is that a new Sherlock?” he asked, pointing.
“No, that’s one we’ve already got.”
“Damn. I like that show. He has a swishy coat too. Plus he’s hot.”
“You think everyone’s hot.”
Jack nodded. “Pretty much,” he agreed. “Almost everybody has some attractive feature or other. Pretty eyes, great hair, a nice…”
“Smile, I was gonna say smile. So what’re you buying?” Jack peered past Ianto at the shelves. “Is the new Star Wars out yet?”
“Not until next month. Don’t worry though, I pre-ordered it.”
“Yay! Oooh look, ‘Guys and Dolls’, Brando was great in that one!” Jack snatched up the DVD and headed for the counter, Ianto trailing him once more with his own choices. He frowned at the other man’s back. There was a long, thin package poking out of one of Jack’s bags. What had he gone and bought now? No doubt he’d find out later.
That night, back at the Hub, Ianto finished his last chores and made his way down to what had once been Jack’s tiny bunker, but was now a more spacious bedroom with en suite bathroom, realising that he spent more nights there than at his own flat these days.
“I’ve let Myfanwy out to stretch her wings and… what on earth are you doing?”
Jack, resplendent in his new bathrobe, had his back to Ianto and at first glance appeared to be doing some weird sort of dance. Then Ianto caught a flash of something and the penny dropped.
“Oh, I see. This is the real reason you bought the bathrobe, isn’t it? Are you ever going to grow up?”
Standing there in his robe and a pair of pyjamas, Jack grinned sheepishly and waved the toy lightsaber he was holding. “What’s wrong with having a bit of fun? You’re too serious for your age.”
“And you’re hopelessly immature for yours.”
“You need to live a little, Ianto! I got one for you too, see?” Jack pointed towards the bed where a second bathrobe, in a lighter shade of brown, lay, with a lightsaber resting on top of it.
Ianto rolled his eyes, but couldn’t quite keep from smiling. “You are certifiable.”
“Please? I’ll be great, I promise!”
“Oh, what the Hell, why not?” Stripping out of his suit, Ianto changed for bed in pyjamas and his new robe. Picking up the lightsaber, he turned to Jack. “There’s not much room in here.”
“Plenty of room up there though.” Jack pointed upwards, meaning the vast expanse of the Hub, where there’d be more than enough space for an epic battle.
“Fine, but you’d better remember to wipe the CCTV afterwards, I don’t want the rest of the team seeing us pretending to be Jedi knights!”
“Already turned it off,” Jack smirked, leading the way up the ladder.
“Of course you did,” Ianto muttered, following him and once again wondering how Jack always managed to talk him into these crazy escapades. He really did need to learn how to say ‘No’ to the man.
Some day; just not tonight.