Ianto was a stickler for everyone getting their paperwork done properly and on time. It was necessary in order for an organisation such as Torchwood to run smoothly, but it also ensured that he wouldn’t have to keep filing in dribs and drabs. It was so much simpler, not to mention quicker, if he could file everything pertaining to a mission at the same time.
None of this meant he had a particular love of paperwork. He understood its importance, however; being able to access vital information when it was needed could make the difference between life and death in a crisis, but writing reports and filling in forms was often dull and tedious, the textbook definition of a necessary evil.
It was hardly surprising that Jack so often sought any kind of diversion that would allow him to abandon the piles of files and folders on his desk. Aside from Ianto, who as archivist, personal assistant, and general support tended to bear the brunt, Jack had more paperwork to deal with than any of the team. He also had less patience with it than Ianto and whenever it started to bore him he’d push it aside in favour of surfing the net, or playing cards on his laptop, or wandering around the Hub peering over everyone’s shoulder to see what they were all doing. Or, more often than not, he’d seek out Ianto and find inventive ways of keeping him from getting on with the piles of work he had to do.
Invariably Ianto would resist being interrupted, because it wouldn’t do to encourage Jack, but in truth most of the time he welcomed the diversion. It broke up the tedium of long hours filing, or sorting, or checking his colleagues’ reports for inaccuracies, or scanning older reports into the computer databanks.
“Go away, Jack; I’m busy!”
“You always say that.” Jack pouted his displeasure at being rebuffed.
“And it’s always true. Some of us actually get on with our work rather than looking for excuses not to do it.”
“But it’s boring! Five more minutes and I would’ve fallen asleep and wound up drooling all over Owen’s requisition forms. Why can’t you sign off on those?”
“If you pile more work on me, Jack Harkness, I’ll have even less time to spare for you than I do now. Have you seen the stack of filing I’m trying to get through?” It was almost three feet tall and would take him another hour at least.
Jack deflated. “Oh. I hadn’t thought of that. You work too hard.”
“I’m aware of that.”
“All work and no play…”
“You’re in no danger of becoming dull, Jack.”
“No, but you are.”
“Thanks very much!”
“I didn’t mean it like that, it’s just… you deserve a break. Half an hour, Ianto, I guarantee you’ll feel better for it. In fact we both will.”
“Fifteen minutes,” Ianto countered, knowing that Jack would stretch it to thirty anyway.
Jack beamed. “I can work with that.”