Working for Torchwood, one part of the job was to debunk people’s theories regarding the strange incidents they witnessed. It meant making up and disseminating a lot of plausible cover stories, often involving gas leaks, chemical spills, and people in masks. They usually seemed to be readily accepted by the populace, leading Ianto to the conclusion that either the people of Cardiff were really gullible, or they just preferred Torchwood’s comforting lies over the far more worrying truth. Frankly, he thought the latter explanation more likely.
Anyway, that kind of debunking was something Ianto was perfectly fine with, he even enjoyed coming up with tall stories to explain away the sightings of Weevils, alien spacecraft, and Blowfish driving sports cars. Unfortunately, when it came to Jack, Ianto tended to be on the receiving end of a very different and far less pleasant kind of debunking, all because Jack didn’t see any reason to get a bigger bed.
“It’s cosy,” he insisted one night when Ianto woke him complaining about it. “Don’t you enjoy being snuggled up together for warmth?”
“We could snuggle just as well, and far more safely, in a big bed,” Ianto replied, rubbing his sore arm; he was the not-so-proud owner of several new bruises.
“What are you talking about? My bunk’s perfectly safe!”
“For you, maybe. You always take the side closest to the wall.”
“The wall’s cold and I don’t want you bumping against it in the night.”
Ianto rolled his eyes. “Of course not! You’d much rather I get up close and personal with the floor.” When Jack just looked confused, Ianto added, “You pushed me out of bed again.”
“I did not!”
“Yes you did. Nine nights out of ten I get dumped onto the floor at least once. You must know!”
“How would I know?”
“You wake up every time I get back in.”
“Really? I’ve always just assumed you were coming back from the bathroom.”
“No, I’m coming back from an unexpected trip onto the floor. I’ve got the bruises to prove it!” Ianto held up his bruised arm.
“I’m sorry; I really didn’t know. If it’ll make you feel better, you can have the wall side from now on.”
“I’m sure that’s very generous.” What Ianto really wanted was a bed big enough for two people to sleep in without risking actual bodily harm, but it didn’t look like he’d be persuading Jack to trade his army cot in for a roomier model anytime soon.
Still, at least he should be safer squeezed in between Jack and the wall. Climbing back onto the cot, he lay down with his back to the wall, soon falling asleep despite the coldness seeping into him from the stone. Inevitably, he was woken up when Jack rolled over, wriggling into a more comfortable position, and somehow succeeded in shoving Ianto halfway down into the gap between wall and cot. Flailing with his one free arm, Ianto managed to rouse his lover.
“Ianto? What’re you doing down there?” Jack asked sleepily.
“I’d like to know that myself! I was fast asleep until you pushed me off the edge again!”
Jack had to get out of bed and move the cot so that Ianto could extract himself from the narrow space. There was a long, bleeding scrape along the back of his shoulder, and several new bruises already starting to mar his pale skin. He glared at Jack. “Now will you believe that you need a bigger bed?”
“I’ll see to it first thing tomorrow,” Jack assured him, looking apologetic. “I promise. Wait! Where’re you going?”
A pillow and blanket under his arm, Ianto was climbing the ladder out of Jack’s bunker. “To sleep on the sofa. I’ve been debunked more than enough for one night, thank you!”