builtofsorrow: (tw | ianto | men are confusing)
[personal profile] builtofsorrow
title: Penned in This Century's Type-Ruined Hand
fandom: Torchwood
pairing: Jack/Ianto
rating: PG-ish(?), for some innuendo.
words: ~1,000
author's notes: Title from Lisa Hannigan's Venn Diagram. Annnnd... apparently I'm on a sappy kick. I have no excuse for this, other than that it's Christmastime, and I have entered into full-on Laura-Linney-in-Love-Actually Mode (for those to whom that means nothing: I am fully in the throes of unrequited love angst). This might be a bit cavity-inducing, is what I'm saying.

Written for [livejournal.com profile] trinsy_fics, because I a) love her, and b) know she could use a bit of cheering. &hearts!

-----

Jack falls in love with Ianto at least once a week. In some ways, he’s loved him since the minute he laid eyes upon him, or since he first heard that voice and those vowels say, ‘Nice coat’, or since Owen spent most of Ianto’s first day on the job listing reasons why a suit was inappropriate work attire for Torchwood (inappropriate was certainly a word that could be applied in the situation, Jack had thought, though for entirely other reasons).

He spends a whole year chained up on an aircraft carrier, and there are some days when the fact that Ianto’s penchant for making lists had rubbed off on him is the only thing that keeps him sane. He starts off simply: the first list is Things I Miss About My Team, and eventually they all, even Myfanwy, have their own individual lists, and one day he's actually so desperate there's a list of Things I Miss About Rhys. And it's not as though he hasn't got years of memories to access, so a lot of the lists don't have anything to do with the life he's anxious to get back to. But he starts to notice that on many days, the lists are about Ianto: Favourite Words to Hear Ianto Say, Ianto's Sexiest Suits, Top Twenty-Seven Ways to Anger Ianto (& Twenty-Seven Ways to Gain Forgiveness) (Jack's glad later to realise how useful this last one is, as he needs nearly all twenty-seven just for the first item on the list: 'Leave with no notice and no good-bye'), Thirty-Two Things I'm Doing to/with Ianto When I Get Off this Hellhole (Fifteen of Which Will Garner at least Mild Disapproval from Ianto), etc.

When he finally does get back, he can't quite kick the habit, so he starts actually jotting down the lists (which are all about Ianto now) in a notebook in his spare moments – or, as Ianto would say, when he's fooling about instead of doing important things like paperwork, but really, Jack's pretty sure that's just a matter of semantics or opinion or both.

'What is in that notebook, anyway?' Ianto finally asks one day when he brings Jack coffee (causing Jack to smirk a bit, because he knows that if Ianto's asking it means a) he's been curious for quite a long time, and b) Jack's been successful in not letting him get hold of the notebook).

'Things. Of importance,' Jack hedges, closing the notebook, placing his elbow on it firmly, and picking up some unnecessary form he's meant to fill out for some government someone-or-other who is probably never going to read it anyway.

'Oh, and now that paperwork suddenly becomes very intriguing,' Ianto teases.

Jack refuses to make eye contact, but is smirking fully now.

'Jaaaaack,' Ianto says, his tone not quite crossing into petulance, and Jack's smirk falters a bit, because he knows if he looks – but he can't resist doing just that. And yes, Ianto's pouting a bit, and Jack seriously wishes that yesterday's list hadn't been Ten Seventeen Most Irresistible Things about Ianto and that Ianto's mouth hadn't been one of the first things he'd written down.

'They're just… lists. Like yours.'

'Like mine?' Ianto questions.

'Yes. You know.'

'So... you write to-do lists. And keep them in a notebook.' Ianto's now perched on the desk in front of Jack's chair, and Jack edges the chair back, clutching the notebook to his chest.

'Ye-yeah, yes,' Jack stammers, both a bit flustered and trying not to laugh at Ianto's unintentional innuendo.

'You're really not a good liar, you know,' Ianto remarks, crossing his arms and quirking his eyebrow. 'Sir.'

Jack groans. 'Don't do that.'

'What?' Ianto's face is suddenly the perfect picture of innocence, and Jack sits up straight and clears his throat.

'Out,' he declares, gesturing a bit wildly with the hand that isn't clutching the notebook to his chest. 'The contents of this notebook are top secret, and shall remain that way.'

Ianto laughs a bit, pushing himself off the desk and stepping forward to grab the arms of Jack's chair and press a kiss to his lips. 'You're the boss,' he whispers as he pulls away. 'Whatever you say goes.'

He turns at the door to see Jack still sitting rather rigidly in his chair, clinging to the notebook as though his life depends on it. 'Sir,' Ianto adds, for good measure, and it isn't until he shuts the door behind him that Jack slumps, pulls the chair back up to the desk, and places the notebook on it.

'I am the boss,' he mutters to himself, forcefully, before he opens the notebook to where he'd left off.

-----

There's a box on Ianto's desk the next morning, and the sloppy wrapping job means he can tell it's from Jack even before he sees his name on top in Jack's familiar scrawl.

He tears off the paper and lifts off the lid of the cardboard box to find the notebook nestled inside. He feels a slight pang of guilt as he lifts it out of the box, but ignores it in favour of the post-it note sticking out from between some of the later pages. He opens the book to the marked spot, and the guilt recedes and a smile plays about the edges of his lips as he reads the underlined title: Twelve Reasons I'm in Love with Ianto (though the 'Twelve' has been crossed out and a 'Thirteen' squeezed in above it).

Ianto's never been one to read things out of order, but he can't help but let his eyes dart down to the last item on the list, and he laughs a bit when he reads, 'If this book were actually to-do lists he'd be first on all of them.' He can't help but mentally add a comma in-between lists and he'd, and he thinks he should maybe find the cheesiness of the statement a bit off-putting, but instead he smiles widely, reads the rest of the list, and makes his way to his computer.

-----

To: captain.jack@thehub.uk
Subject: …

I thought you should know that on my to-do lists, you are always listed first.

And yes, sir, I can provide proof of this.

P.S. I love you too.
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