There’s Jack, busy at his desk in his office, except that Ianto knows full well that he’s not. There’s a world of difference between Jack being at his desk and Jack actually doing anything resembling work. He’s mastered the art of appearing to be productive without actually accomplishing anything.
Ianto knows Jack isn’t working, and Jack knows that Ianto knows he isn’t working, but the rest of the team all assume he is, so they won’t interrupt him unless there’s a major emergency. Meanwhile, Jack is happily doodling obscene stick figures, intermittently browsing WW II memorabilia on ebay, and seeing what’s trending on twitter. Variety is the spice of life.
He has a massive pile of reports to read and sign off on, there are requisitions to approve, expenses to authorise, and a list of potential new recruits to evaluate, and on top of all that, Jack still has the monthly report to HM to compile, a synopsis of what Torchwood has been dealing with recently. Lizzie likes to be kept up-to-date, and besides, reading Jack’s reports is one of her greatest pleasures; according to Jack, she finds them highly entertaining. None of that is likely to get done anytime soon, however. Ianto will probably have to resort to threats and bribery before Jack can be persuaded to knuckle down and clear the backlog.
Not today though.
Today, despite the piles of paperwork that really need to be done as soon as possible, Ianto is going to let Jack get away with pretending to be working. Normally he wouldn’t, but Torchwood’s immortal leader already died twice this morning saving Tosh from aliens who wanted to steal her brain. Thanks to Jack, Tosh is bruised and shaken, but otherwise fine. The rest of the team think Jack is fine too; as far as they’re concerned, he died, he came back to life, and that’s that. In this too, Ianto knows better.
Jack puts on a good show, and it fools most people, but not Ianto. The broad smile and cheery, exuberant demeanour don’t hide the shadows of pain and weariness in his lover’s eyes. Dying and coming back takes a lot out of him; he’s usually left with a headache and other pains for hours afterwards, as well as feeling drained and weak. He can function if he has to, but a few hours’ rest in order to recoup his strength won’t go amiss, and neither will an opportunity to refuel.
Ianto makes a round of coffee, delivering each team member’s drink to their respective desk, before taking Jack his familiar blue and white striped mug, along with a carefully concealed packet of dark chocolate Hobnobs. If the others see the cookies, they’ll all want some too, but these are just for Jack; he badly needs the energy boost.
Just this once, the paperwork can wait until tomorrow.