m_findlow: (Jack kneeling)
m_findlow ([personal profile] m_findlow) wrote in [community profile] fandomweekly2017-06-12 12:52 pm

[#044] SPACE FOR ONE (TORCHWOOD)

Theme Prompt: #044 - Personal bubble
Title: Space for one
Fandom: Torchwood
Rating/Warnings: PG
Bonus: Yes
Word Count: 1,000 words
Summary: It might be small and simple, but it's his.



Ianto came to a dead stop just a few feet inside Jack's office. 

'Oh, sorry,' he said, spying Jack with his back turned to him, pulling off his shirt. 'I'll come back later.' 

Jack turned at the voice, smiling. 'Stay,' he said, continuing to undress. 'Hate dealing with Darvans. It's all fun and games until they start spitting orange mucus at you,' he added, pulling his t-shirt overhead, broad muscled chest on display. 

'I'll make a note of it for when they need feeding,' Ianto replied, trying hard not to ogle the view in front of him. Fortunately it was short-lived as Jack slipped a fresh t-shirt on and reached for the shirt on his desk. 

Jack shoved the letter opener through the packaging, hearing the satisfying snap of the plastic as he tugged it off, tossing it and the cardboard insert aside on the desk. 

Ianto cringed on the inside as Jack slipped an arm through the sleeve, noting the way it was creased in all the wrong places from where it had been folded inside the packet. He wanted to snatch it off Jack and give it a good press. He couldn't have their captain looking like he'd just stepped out of Primark. 

A few moments later he had it tucked in, redoing his belt and slipping his braces back into place, looking none the worse for wear. He balled up the old shirt and dumped it in the tiny bin beside his desk. 

'You could probably get that dry cleaned, sir,' Ianto said, looking down at the bin. 

'Probably,' Jack agreed, 'but who's got time for dry cleaning? This is easier.' 

'Well,' Ianto began, stepping forward, 'I do. I could, you know, sort your laundry. If you wanted me to, that is. Buying a new shirt for every day of the week isn't really practical.'

Jack shrugged and gave him a wry look of interest. 'S'pose. You wouldn't mind?'

'I already take your coat,' Ianto replied. 'It's pretty much a weekly trip anyway.' 

'You'd do that?' 

'All part of the job, sir.' 

Huh, Jack thought. Why hadn't he hired someone like Ianto years ago? Cutting back on the number of trips he made to the high street to pick up two dozen new shirts every other week would certainly be good. 

'Okay,' Jack agreed, clapping his hands together, 'consider it done.' 

Ianto bent over and retrieved the shirt from the bin with a finger, making sure not to get any of the orange substance on his own clothes. It did smell rather putrid. 

'Anything else to take while I'm here?' he asked. 

'Yeah, actually, it's just-' 

He paused, turning to face the hatch on the floor that lead down to his bunker. All his laundry was down there. He'd never let anyone go down there. He didn't even think the others knew what it was, just some personal storage area. They didn't ask and he didn't tell. 

'You're hiding your dirty laundry in a hatch beneath your office?' Ianto quipped. 'I didn't think the situation was that bad.' 

'It's not a hatch, it's...' Jack let out a slow breath, 'my quarters.' 

'Your...' Ianto paused, looking at the narrow portal. 'You actually live down there?' 

'Yes.' 

'And eat, and sleep and shower and dress?' 

'Problem with that?' Jack said, arms folded, suddenly feeling defensive. 

'Nope,' Ianto quickly replied. 

'The rift doesn't keep regular hours, as you well know. Someone has to be here in case something happens.' He wasn't sure that was the real reason, but it was good enough to satisfy Ianto. 

He'd moved in shortly after the New Year's Eve massacre, taking charge of the hub. He'd never been able to stay in one place for more than five minutes, always on the move. He couldn't settle, besides which, the Doctor was coming, and soon. It suited his transient circumstances. It was a place to lay his head and nothing more. What would he have done with a big house on a leafy street, anyway, rattling around in it in the wee hours of the night? Still, it was his place, his little personal space, and suddenly he wasn't sure he felt like sharing it with anyone. 

'Cosy,' Ianto said, having followed Jack down the ladder into the tiny space, nearly tripping over the steamer trunk that doubled as a sideboard. Jack turned on a single light bulb that swung from an uncovered fitting in the roof. It was dark and pokey, drab and sparsely furnished with only a narrow cot, a single set of drawers and a wardrobe, all old and dusty, plain and worn. It painted a sad picture. 

The whole appearance of the space was the exact opposite of the facade he put on for the team, being brash and invincible, outlandish and flashy. Yet the state of the room spoke volumes about who Jack really was on the inside. It was simple and understated, practical and efficient. It was also dark and lonely. It wasn't a bachelor pad by any stretch of the imagination. It barely qualified as livable. It was more purgatory than anything else. 

'It's not the Ritz,' Jack said, pulling a pile of clothes off what was actually a chair hidden beneath them. He dreaded to what imagine what Ianto must think of him, seeing it. 

'To each their own,' Ianto replied plaintively, taking the bundle from Jack. Ianto tugged at his shirt and looked at Jack in askance. Jack opened the wardrobe and pulled out a half dozen more packets. 

'I'll arrange to have them pressed and hung,' he said, efficiently taking charge of them. 

'Thank you.' 

'Shall I bring them back down here when they're done?' 

'No, that's okay. Just hang them on the coat rack in my office. I can take them.' 

'Very good, sir,' he said, sensing Jack's reticence to have him back down here any time soon. He got the feeling he'd walked in on something far more personal than just Jack's bare flesh. 

 

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