Jack stared gloomily into the depths of his cup and gave an equally gloomy sigh. “It’s just not the same.”
Ianto rolled his eyes. “It wouldn’t be, would it? It’s tea.”
That drew another sad sigh from Jack, along with a look of reproach. “Can’t I have coffee? Just a teeny tiny one,” he begged. “Please?”
“Jack, you know as well as I do, better than I do in fact, what happened the other day when you stole Gwen’s coffee.”
“I didn’t steal it! She wasn’t drinking it, and it would’ve gone cold!” Jack protested. “That’s no way to treat your coffee! You know what Gwen’s like; she would’ve re-heated it in the microwave when she remembered it!” Jack gave a dramatic shudder. “Doesn’t bear thinking about!”
“That is SO not the point. Remember the effect drinking it had on you?”
A blissful smile spread across Jack’s face. “It was heavenly! Nothing tastes better than your coffee.”
“And?” Ianto prodded, refusing to let Jack dodge the issue. He needed to face facts.
Jack dropped his hands to his swollen belly, wincing as he remembered. “And the baby kicked and squirmed so much I thought I might be going into premature labour,” he muttered reluctantly.
“Exactly. Coffee made our child hyperactive, for twelve very long hours.”
Both Ianto and Jack had been frantic with worry, and Owen had been running every kind of test he could come up with, unable to figure out what was causing junior’s non-stop kicking and punching. It had been as if he’d had a rugby scrum going on inside him. Eventually the mystery had been solved when Owen had detected high levels of caffeine in Jack’s bloodstream, but Jack had been forced to spend the rest of the day hooked up to monitors so that Torchwood’s medic could keep a close eye on things, just in case.
“How was I to know one little cup of coffee would do that?” Jack turned his most irresistible puppy dog eyes on his husband.
Ianto was unmoved. “It wasn’t just a little cup of coffee though, was it? It was a huge mug full, and I distinctly remember Owen telling you a couple of months back that too much caffeine during pregnancy might have adverse effects on the baby.” He crossed his arms over his chest and glared down at Jack, daring him to deny it.
“I know, but I thought he meant I shouldn’t drink it all day like I used to, not that I couldn’t have it at all.” Jack pouted, remembering Owen coming down on him like a ton of bricks a few days after that conversation, when he’d caught Jack in the kitchen helping himself to coffee from the fresh pot Ianto had just brewed.
“And yet, even though you now know exactly how coffee affects our baby, you want to put yourself, and our unborn child, through that again? What if this time it really did trigger premature labour? Is a cup of coffee really worth that kind of risk?”
Jack shrank back in his seat, folding his arms protectively around his bump and shaking his head. “No,” he said in a small voice.
“I thought not. Drink your tea.”
Picking up the cup, Jack reluctantly took a sip. It wasn’t that he disliked tea, it could even be quite pleasant on occasion, but as he’d already told Ianto, it just wasn’t the same. It was one thing having a soothing cup of tea when it was what he fancied, but another matter entirely when it was the only hot drink he was allowed.
“I just REALLY miss your coffee! It’s torture knowing you’re making it for everyone else but not for me. I have to smell it all day long knowing I won’t even get to taste it.”
Ianto immediately felt guilty; he knew how addicted Jack was to his coffee, and how keen his husband’s senses were, especially his sense of smell. He hadn’t meant to torment him.
“I’m sorry, Jack; that never occurred to me.”
“It’s not your fault.” Jack forced a brave smile.
“It sort of is. I’m the one who got you pregnant.”
“I’m fairly certain we were both involved with that. Anyway, it won’t be forever, I’ll only have to go without coffee for…” Jack’s face fell. “Another three months. I’m doomed!”
“I’ll stop making coffee. No more here or at home.” It was a spur of the moment decision, and Ianto knew the rest of the team wouldn’t be happy, but it was the only fair thing to do; he had to put Jack and their baby first.
“But what about the others?”
“If they want coffee they’ll just have to go to a coffee shop and drink it there,” Ianto said firmly, his mind made up. “That way you won’t have to smell it.”
“Nosy can’t go to the coffee shop,” Jack pointed out. Their resident Fluff was as addicted to Ianto’s coffee as the human members of the team were.
“Damn, I hadn’t thought of that.” Perching on the corner of Jack’s desk, Ianto frowned, deep in thought, trying to find a way around the problem that would keep everyone happy, or at least less unhappy. Then he smiled. “Got it! What we need is an out of the way room for the brewing and drinking of coffee. If we use one of the new medical isolation rooms, the air scrubbers will keep the smell of coffee from spreading through the rest of the Hub. It’ll mean the rest of the team have to drink their coffee where it’s made, but if they know the alternative is no coffee in the Hub at all, I don’t think they’ll complain too much.”
“You’ll still smell of coffee when you make it though, won’t you?”
“I suppose I will a bit,” Ianto agreed. No solution short of giving up making and consuming coffee entirely would be completely perfect.
“You’ll still taste of it too, whenever you drink some.” Kissing Ianto was one pleasure Jack wasn’t giving up no matter what!
Ianto knew his husband was right, but there was an obvious solution to that… “I don’t have to, I could give up drinking it until the baby’s born,” he offered.
Jack shook his head. “That would be a sacrifice too far. Besides, it’ll mean I can still smell and taste your coffee, just in tiny, harmless doses. Maybe that way the next three months won’t be quite so unbearable.”
“Can’t argue with that.” Smiling, Ianto leaned over and gave Jack a coffee flavoured kiss, knowing the amount of caffeine Jack would absorb from it would be too small to have any effect on the baby.
Jack gave a little moan of pleasure. “Just promise to kiss me at least once every time you have a coffee!”
“I can do that.” Kissing Jack was hardly a chore.
With a bit of luck they’d all survive this pregnancy.