The first time Ianto sees Jack in a shirt that isn’t his normal pale blue, he does a double take, for a split second thinking someone is in the Hub who shouldn’t be, some as yet unidentified stranger. But the broad back and wide shoulders are reassuringly familiar, as is the firm curve of the man’s arse, clad in the usual dark trousers, and the braces are there the same as always, although this time they’re grey against the unfamiliar navy blue of the shirt.
It’s the colour that throws him, because he isn’t expecting it. Jack almost always wears his standard pale blue, or occasionally a pale green that Ianto wishes he’d throw out because it’s not an attractive shade and quite frankly, it makes Jack look a bit pasty. This shirt must be new, and Ianto has already decided it’s his favourite. The light blue is nice, and Jack always looks good in it, but this richer, deeper shade…
Dragging his attention back to what he’s supposed to be doing, Ianto hurries up to Jack’s office with the boss’s morning coffee, setting the blue and white striped mug on the blotter before him. Jack looks up at him with that wide, white smile. “Perfect timing, as always.”
“Of course, Sir.” Ianto smiles back, noticing that he’d been right; this shirt really brings out the blue of Jack’s eyes. “New shirt? I’ve not seen that one before.” Because one of Ianto’s duties is getting Jack’s laundry and dry cleaning done, and if he’d worn that shirt at any time during the fourteen months Ianto has been working for him, there’s no way he wouldn’t have noticed.
“You noticed!” Jack sounds delighted. “I felt like a change. Wearing the same colour all the time takes the hassle out of getting dressed in the morning, but it gets a bit dull after a while, and then I saw this one on sale, so I thought why not? Like it?”
“Oh yes, it’s very… striking. Blue is definitely your colour and that shade…” Ianto trails off, blushing slightly. He almost said too much. He and Jack have resumed their… relationship, for want of a better term, the events surrounding the death of the cyberwoman if not forgotten at least more or less forgiven, but Ianto doesn’t want to cross the line and make things awkward between them again, not when everything has been jogging along quite nicely in recent weeks.
“What about this shade?” Jack is grinning at him teasingly over the rim of his mug. “Come on, Ianto; spit it out. I won’t bite. Or, not unless you ask me to very nicely.”
“I might take you up on that offer later.” Ianto smiles back at the man who is both his boss and his lover, reflecting that if Jack was anyone other than who he is then the situation might well be a lot more awkward than it actually is. “No, it’s just… Well, it… it makes the blue of your eyes look brighter,” he stammers out, blushing.
“Is that so?” Jack’s grin widens further and Ianto wishes he had even a tenth of the other man’s effortless self-confidence. “Well if we’re dishing out compliments, I like the shirt you’ve got on. It brings out the pink in your cheeks.”
Ianto rolls his eyes. “Not sure whether I’m expected to thank you for that or clip you around the ear for being cheeky.”
“Hey, I’m being serious here! I thought we were having a moment!” Ianto can tell Jack’s indignation is totally feigned; he’s in a playful, flirty mood and Ianto’s approval of the new shirt has pleased him. “Honestly though, I do love that colour on you. If blue is my colour, then red is definitely yours.”
“Um, thank you.” Yep, Ianto is pretty sure his face now matches his shirt; not just pink cheeks but flaming scarlet. Jack takes compliments in his stride, accepting tem as his due, Ianto not so much; they get him flustered. “I’ll just… uh… if there’s nothing else… Lots to do.” He beats a hasty retreat to get on with his other tasks, of which there’s no shortage; that much at least is true. With any luck he can hide away downstairs until his face resumes its normal shade of pale. He can do without the others teasing him for blushing; Gwen would want to know why, and Owen would make fun of him even more than he usually does. Tosh would just smile; she’s never been one to pry.
Pouring coffee for himself, Ianto scurries down to the lower levels, where he can regain his equilibrium in private, but he can’t help wondering whether he might perhaps persuade Jack to get a few more shirts in various shades of dark blue, just to spice up his wardrobe a bit. The one he’s wearing really does suit him.