Characters: Ianto, Jack, OCs.
Summary: Ianto is really regretting bringing Jack on this shopping expedition, but he didn’t have much choice.
Word Count: 1395
Written For: My own prompt ‘Any, Any, “It's nice and springy!”,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
Ianto had known this was a terrible idea even as he’d agreed to it. Taking Jack shopping for a new bed was a recipe for disaster, but as it was to be Jack’s bed in his new, bigger quarters and they’d both be sleeping, among other things, in it, leaving his lover behind hadn’t really been an option, and not accompanying him would have been an even bigger mistake. Jack’s tastes in furniture tended towards the eclectic.
The shop was huge and there were beds everywhere, from children’s divans and bunk beds, all the way up to canopy beds, which Ianto thought were a bit over the top for anyone other than young girls with dreams of being princesses. Or, as it turned out, Jack.
“Ooooh, look, Ianto! Isn’t this lovely?” Jack had of course made a beeline for the biggest, most elaborate canopy bed in the whole shop, the tall corner posts bedecked with yards of gauzy fabric that would be impossible to keep clean in the Hub.
“You’re not buying that, Jack, it’s completely impractical!”
“But it’s going to be my bed,” Jack pointed out. “Why shouldn’t I choose something I like?”
“Well, if you want to be surrounded by the perfect home for spiders… They’d have a field day in all that.” Ianto gestured to the canopy over the bed, and Jack took several very hurried steps backwards, until he was practically hiding behind Ianto and peering nervously over his shoulder.
“On second thoughts, it might be a bit difficult to get through the doors, and I’m not sure the room is tall enough,” Jack said, darting nervous glances at the bed. Ianto smiled at his lover’s attempt to save face. Perish the thought that anyone should know he was terrified of spiders. “Let’s look over here.” Jack grabbed Ianto by the hand and dragged him across to the other side of the shop, as far away from the canopy beds as they could get.
“This one’s nice and sturdy.” Ianto gestured to a queen-sized bed with solid wood head and footboards.
“Reasonable size,” Jack agreed, “but I don’t like this.” He tapped the headboard. “There’s no way of tying you to it.”
Ianto froze, hoping nobody had heard that, but a surreptitious glance around revealed no fewer than five people who’d stopped in their tracks and were staring at them, their expressions ranging from open disgust through curiosity, to barely concealed amusement. “Fine, what about those over there?” This time it was Ianto’s turn to drag Jack away to another section, where the beds had strong metal frames, and the headboards allowed plenty of scope for tying each other up. It was entirely coincidental that it also happened to be well away from the people who’d overheard Jack’s remark about tying him up.
Jack tested one of the beds out, bouncing on it and immediately complaining that it squeaked. Three more beds were dismissed for the same reason, with Jack deciding he didn’t like metal frames; they were too cold. So back they went to the ones with wooden frames, this time seeking out something with a slatted headboard. Finding two that Jack thought would suit their requirements, the man himself then proceeded to flag down a young sales assistant and question her on the relative strength of the two models, and which one she thought would best withstand someone with their hands cuffed or tied to the headboard pulling on their bonds.
“We’re not into really heavy bondage,” he explained, “or not often anyway, but tying each other up is fun. I just don’t want the bed breaking at an inopportune moment.”
Ianto tried to pretend he wasn’t with Jack, but thought his scarlet face was probably a dead giveaway. The assistant didn’t seem to be faring much better, poor girl; she resembled a rabbit caught in the headlights of an oncoming car and she quickly grabbed a more senior assistant to answer Jack’s questions before fleeing.
“Sorry about that,” their new assistant apologised after Jack repeated his question. “It’s her first week on the job, but she’ll learn. We hear it all here. Now, both of these are strong, but there are some beds just over here that you might have overlooked, which I think might suit your requirements better.” He led them back across the shop and indicated a row of beds, all either queen- or king-sized. “These are solid oak,” he explained. “The strongest beds we stock. There’s not much that could even put a dent in one of these. They are a little more expensive though…”
“Oh, that’s fine,” Jack declared airily. “You get what you pay for, right?” Turning to Ianto, he fairly beamed. “Now these I really like!”
He went down the row, testing them out, bouncing happily like a five-year-old while Ianto once again tried to pretend that the crazy man was nothing to do with him. Fat chance of that!
“Ianto, try this one! It’s nice and springy!” Jack called out, but before Ianto could respond, Jack gave an extra hard bounce, sailed into the air, and landed in a heap on the floor. “Huh.” Scrambling to his feet, Jack pouted indignantly at the bed, then shrugged. “Maybe that one’s a bit too springy; we don’t want to keep bouncing off, do we?”
“Perish the thought,” Ianto muttered under his breath. “You might land on your head and knock some sense into yourself, and then the universe would probably implode from the shock.”
“What was that?” Jack asked brightly, plonking himself down on another bed.
“Nothing, just agreeing with you.”
“Oh, okay. Come and try this one. It’s springy, but not trampoline springy like the other one.” Jack sprawled out on the king-sized bed, patting the mattress beside him. Feeling like he was going to his execution, Ianto crossed to the bed and perched gingerly on the edge of the mattress. “Not like that!” Jack protested. “You can’t get the feel of it unless you lie down!”
Rolling his eyes and resigning himself to his fate, Ianto stretched out on his back. Beside him, Jack bounced experimentally, gently at first, and then harder, but neither of them was propelled off the surface and onto the floor. That was one point in this bed’s favour.
Jack turned onto his side, propped himself on one elbow, and peered down into Ianto’s face from a distance of a few inches. “Comfy?”
Ianto nodded guardedly. “It’s firm without being too hard.” Ianto winced at his poor choice of words and gritted his teeth, waiting for Jack to say something about his accidental innuendo, but for once he got away with it, as Jack was too busy extolling the bed’s other attributes.
“And check out the headboard!” Jack pointed eagerly. “Really sturdy construction, lots of tying points; I think this is the one!”
Ianto breathed a sigh of relief. “Great, let’s go and pay for it, and arrange delivery…”
“I don’t know, we should probably try those two first, just to be certain.” Jack pointed to the next two beds in line. “This is the only one you’ve tried out properly; you might like one of those better.”
Shaking his head, Ianto pointed out, “You already tried them, and if you think this one’s the best then I’ll take your word for it.”
“Are you sure? I mean, you’ll be spending a lot of nights in it too; I want you to be comfortable. Can’t have you getting backache or something.”
“I’m touched, but it’s fine. You like this one, so do I, there’s no need to look further.” More than anything, Ianto just wanted to escape the shop, go back to the Hub, and fix himself a revivifying coffee while he tried to patch up his tattered dignity once more. Maybe he should have let Jack go bed shopping on his own after all… No, bad idea, if he hadn’t been there to talk his lover out of it, Jack would have bought that hideous canopy bed. A little embarrassment was nothing compared to that.
Getting off the bed, Ianto hustled Jack off to the checkout to pay, relieved that the ordeal was over, but at the back of his mind he was wondering how he would survive the shopping experience if they ever had to furnish an entire house together…
It didn’t bear thinking about!