Characters: Ianto, Jack.
Summary: Ianto is ailing, unable to do anything for himself and feeling very down in the dumps. Jack is desperate to cheer him up.
Word Count: 956
Written For: samuraiter’s prompt ‘Author's Choice, Any, it's time to do the no-pants dance,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC
Ianto was down in the dumps and it seemed like nothing Jack could say or do would cheer him up. He’d tried all his best jokes without Ianto so much as cracking a smile, had run Ianto a bubble bath and washed his hair for him, given him a foot massage, fed him chicken noodle soup, even put on his favourite James Bond movie, Skyfall, but though Ianto had stared at the screen even that didn’t seem to lift his mood.
To be honest, Jack couldn’t blame his lover for being so down. Ianto had caught a particularly nasty alien infection that had made his fingers swell up like plum coloured sausages, so he could hardly do anything for himself, and he was bored with being stuck at home and having disgustingly smelly salve rubbed into his hands three times a day. Worse still, he wasn’t allowed coffee, chocolate, or even tea because until his fingers went back to their normal size and colour, even a tiny bit of caffeine would make them break out in weeping blisters again. It had taken four days, as the caffeine already in his system dissipated, to heal up the sores in the first place, and that had only been possible because of the horrible salve the Doctor had supplied when Jack had called him up for help. Ianto still had another ten days of treatment to go, and the time stretched out before him, a study in bleak monotony, exacerbated by caffeine withdrawal headaches and mind-numbing boredom.
Jack had given himself the time off in order to take care of Ianto, because he wasn’t about to abandon his lover in his time of need, and he was trying his best, but although he was doing an excellent job of taking care of Ianto’s physical needs, there seemed to be no way of making him feel less unhappy.
For his part, Ianto was grateful to Jack for all he was doing, but he just felt so useless, a burden to everybody. Because Jack was spending twenty-four hours a day looking after him, the other three members of the team were having to cope with his and Jack’s jobs on top of their own. Torchwood was stretched thin enough most days with all five of them pulling their weight; with only three they must surely be struggling.
He looked up dully as Jack came back into the lounge and switched on the lights before closing the curtains against the dreary, rainy weather outside. Even that seemed like a reflection of his mood.
“I’ve tried everything I can think of to cheer you up,” Jack said, looking down at Ianto where he was slumped on the sofa. His eyes were filled with concern and sadness.
That made Ianto feel even worse because he didn’t want to worry Jack, especially not when he was being so kind.
“There’s only one thing left that I can try,” Jack continued. “My secret weapon.”
Ianto stared blankly at Jack.
“It’s time,” Jack said, “to do the no-pants dance!” And so saying, he dropped his trousers, stepped out of them, kicked them away, and pressed ‘play’ on the stereo system’s remote control, which Ianto hadn’t noticed he was holding. All Jack was wearing now was his t-shirt.
He spun around so his back was to Ianto, stuck his bare arse out and waggled it. He thrust it to the left, then to the right, gave a little shimmy, then rotated it.
Ianto was mesmerised; Jack’s arse went up and down, back and forth, side to side, and round in circles, then he spun to face Ianto again, his moves getting ever more ridiculous. He hopped in a circle like a rabbit, walked back and forth first like a chicken and then like an Egyptian, he moonwalked, and pogoed, and swayed like a hula dancer, and all the while his tackle swung and bounced wildly, completely out of sync with the rest of him.
By the time the music came to an end, Ianto was helpless with laughter, and there were tears streaming down his face; he’d never seen anything so crazy and wonderful in his entire life.
Jack beamed happily at him, relieved to have put a smile on Ianto’s face. “There, you see? The no-pants dance works every time,” he told his lover proudly, flopping down beside him on the sofa, still minus his pants.
“You’re a complete nutter,” Ianto gasped out as he wiped at his streaming eyes with the back of his arm. “So how many other people have witnessed this unique spectacle?”
“You’re the first; this was my premiere performance. I’ve been practising in front of the mirror in the guest bedroom for the past couple of nights until I was sure I had it exactly right. I could teach you if you like.”
The last ten days of Ianto’s treatment passed in the blink of an eye. He slept like a log every night, worn out from doing the no-pants dance, among other things, with Jack. It was amazing how much was possible even without the use of one’s hands; Jack had never been less than innovative. Before Ianto knew it, his fingers were pink and normal sized once more. It was a huge relief to stop using the salve, although by this point he barely registered the smell anymore he’d grown so used to it. He still had to go without caffeine for another week, just to be certain there’d be no chance of a flare-up, but Ianto didn’t mind too much; at least he was able to get back at work.
And whenever he wanted to see the no-pants dance again, he knew all he had to do was ask.