Ianto was loaded down with shopping when he entered the Hub and Jack immediately stopped what he was doing to help his lover. Shopping meant food, and if he played his cards right he might be rewarded with something tasty. Or something good to eat. Either way, he was easy, something Ianto could attest to.
“Here, let me help you with that!” Eagerly Jack liberated some of the bags, sniffing the air, his fifty-first century senses registering a deliciously spicy aroma that made his mouth water in anticipation. “Oooh, is that barbecue hot wings I smell?” It was a rhetorical question, he’d known he was right from the first sniff; Jack’s nose never lied.
“Yes, and you can keep your greedy paws off them; they’re not for you,” Ianto said firmly, making for the kitchen area.
“What?” Jack couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “But they’re the extra spicy kind, I can tell from the smell! You know they’re my favourite! How could you get them for someone else and not get any for me?” He was whining, but he didn’t care; Ianto was being mean. “Don’t you love me anymore? And after I dropped what I was doing to help you carry all this, as well!” he added, putting his bags down on the table; that was adding insult to injury.
“So you only jumped to help in the hopes of getting a treat?”
Jack answered without thinking. “Yes!”
“Then you don’t deserve one. The wings are a reward for the brave hero who saved my life last night. If you recall, that wasn’t you because you were too busy flirting with that young couple to even notice I was in danger.”
“I was trying to find out what they’d seen so I’d know whether or not I needed to Retcon them!” Jack protested feeling miffed that Ianto was punishing him for doing his job. Alright, so he’d got a bit distracted, but who could blame him? It wasn’t every day he came across an attractive and very naked young couple getting busy among the sand dunes down the coast. Not that he went out deliberately looking for such things, but was he just supposed to ignore them when he practically tripped over them? That would be like expecting a dog to ignore a juicy steak dropped at its feet.
“That’s as may be, but in the meantime that Scarlax we were tracking pounced on me from behind. I thought it was you following me, you were supposed to be watching my back. If Myfanwy hadn’t been out stretching her wings you’d have found me minus my head.”
“I’d have put it back in place for you so it reattached,” Jack hastily reassured Ianto.
“Oh, that’s very comforting, I’d have probably ended up with half the beach in the wound, and you know how unpleasant grit can be when you’re healing. Personally I’d rather not lose my head, or any other part of me, in the first place. I’ve noticed you’re developing a disturbingly devil may care attitude towards my life now I’m immortal.” Ianto was busily unpacking his shopping and putting everything away, his back to Jack.
“I didn’t say I wouldn’t be upset if you got your head ripped off, just that I’d make sure you wouldn’t have to grow a new one if it happened,” Jack protested. “That’s the worst thing, way more unpleasant than a bit of sand or grit in a wound.”
“I still stand by my previous statement.” Ianto slapped Jack’s hand away from the box containing the extra spicy barbecued chicken wings, glaring at his lover. “Hands off; I already told you they’re for Myf, not you, and it’s no good you pouting at me like that. You don’t deserve a reward.”
“Meanie.” Jack pouted harder, just because.
“Says the man who left his boyfriend at the mercy of a murderous alien.”
“I didn’t! I shot it!”
“Only after Myf had already bitten its dominant arm off. It wasn’t much of a threat after that.”
The dominant one of a Scarlax’s three arms was the one that ended in razor sharp pincers a bit like a lobster’s claw, only bigger, heavier, and with enough power in them to slice through an average sized tree trunk, never mind a human neck. Scarlax would kill and eat anything they could get their pincers on, but they weren’t terribly bright. With armament like that, they didn’t really need to be, at least not on their home planet where they were at the top of the food chain.
Jack continued to pout, even though it clearly wasn’t working; Ianto didn’t seen to be in a forgiving mood. He was going to need a more compelling argument if he was going to get a share of those delicious chicken wings… Then a thought popped into his head and he had to force himself not to grin.
“Wait a minute, you can’t give Myfanwy chicken wings! She’s a bird, it would be like cannibalism!”
“Technically, Myfanwy is a Pteranodon, a prehistoric winged reptile,” Ianto corrected, “but even so, many birds of prey hunt and eat smaller birds. Besides, she likes hot wings and they’re already barbecued so I don’t need to smother them in her special sauce. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to give my hero her well-deserved reward.” Ianto scooped up the takeaway box and headed for the stairway leading up to Myfanwy’s aerie, leaving Jack with just the lingering aroma of the hot wings teasing his nostrils. It was so unfair! Maybe he should go out and get some for himself and then not share them with Ianto! That would teach him not to be so mean.
Mind made up, and not even bothering to tell Ianto where he was going, Jack grabbed his coat and left; there was only one place in Cardiff that made the extra spicy barbecued hot wings, so that’s where he headed. No one was going to deny him one of his favourite foods, even if he had to pay for his lunch himself. The nerve of Ianto buying a treat for their dinosaur and not for his captain! If Ianto was going to spoil Myf then he should spoil Jack too; people before pets.
Up in Myfanwy’s aerie, Ianto heard Jack leave and knew exactly where he was going. Pulling out his phone, he made a call, then returned to feeding his friend her reward.
Myf purred happily, butting him gently in the chest.
“You’re welcome, you’ve earned this,” Ianto told her, scratching around her crest. “You were very brave, saving me from that nasty monster.”
Jack arrived at the takeaway restaurant and pushed his way through the door; the place was crowded with people waiting to order and he joined the end of the queue, fidgeting impatiently.
“No need to wait, Captain,” Marco, the restaurant’s owner, called to him. “I got your order here all ready and waiting. Mr Jones said you’d be along shortly to collect it.” He held up a large bag, containing what looked like enough boxes of hot wings for the whole team.
Breaking into a happy smile, Jack strode over to collect it. “What do I owe you, Marco?” he asked, reaching for the wallet in his inside pocket.
Marco waved his hand negligently. “My Jones already paid by card. He was going to put in the full lunch order earlier when he came in, but we were just about to start a fresh batch and he didn’t want to wait because his ice cream was melting, so he just took what was ready and said he’d order lunch later when he wasn’t so loaded.” He handed Jack the bag. “Enjoy!”
“I’m sure we will,” Jack assured him, breathing in the tantalising aroma rising from the bag, extra spicy as well as some of the milder variety for those members of the team whose taste buds couldn’t handle the hot stuff.
There was a spring in Jack’s step as he left Marco’s place and headed for where he’d parked the SUV. Ianto was such a tease, making him think only Myfanwy was getting a treat. He must have had this planned all along, but just wanted Jack to suffer a bit for getting distracted the night before. Although he hated to admit it, Jack decided Ianto probably had every right to be annoyed with him, leaving him to face a very dangerous alien alone. It was a miracle Ianto hadn’t been injured or killed. Even if it wouldn’t have been permanent, dead was still dead, and the last thing Jack wanted was for his lover to die, even temporarily; he wouldn’t wish getting their head lopped off by a Scarlax on his worst enemy, never mind the man he loved. When he got back to the Hub, he’d apologise for getting distracted and then they’d sit and enjoy their hot wings together, but Myf wouldn’t be getting any this time. She’d already had hers!