Characters: Ianto. Jack.
Summary: After taking an unexpected swim in the bay, Ianto enjoys the benefits of a hot bath and a bit of pampering.
Word Count: 1074
Written For: Prompt # 025 - Hurts So Good at fandomweekly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
Fished out of Cardiff bay, Ianto was a sorry sight as he stood on the quayside in the middle of a spreading puddle, water dripping steadily out of his saturated clothes; he couldn’t remember ever feeling more thoroughly miserable. A cold wind coming in off the sea seemed to cut right through to his bones, the chill factor increased by the sodden fabric clinging to his entire body. Shivering so hard that his teeth were chattering like castanets, he looked mournfully at Jack.
“At least tell me you caught it,” he pleaded, hoping this latest loss of dignity hadn’t been in vain.
Jack looked sheepish. “Sorry, it got away. The others went after it and left me here to rescue you.”
“So my sacrifice was for nothing?” Another violent shiver wracked Ianto’s body; that was adding insult to injury.
“Of course not, you were very heroic jumping on it like that, and you did manage to get the tranquillizer into it before it dumped you into the water.”
“For all the good that did if it still got away.”
“Hey, don’t be like that! The tranq should at least slow it down a bit once it starts taking effect. Come on, let’s get you back to the Hub and warmed up before you catch your death.”
Ianto brushed off Jack’s offer of assistance. “I can manage; hadn’t you better go after the others?”
“No point, I’d never catch up with them now and besides, I’m not leaving you until I’m sure you’re alright.” Jack hurriedly shrugged out of his coat, draping it around Ianto’s shoulders, but it did nothing to stave off the chills running through him.
“I’m touched,” Ianto said dryly through his chattering teeth. “But really, Jack, I’m fine, I’m just wet and cold. All I need is a towel and some dry clothes and I can be back out helping with the hunt in ten minutes.” He could hardly leave everything to his teammates just because he’d got a bit wet.
“Don’t be an idiot; you probably have hypothermia already, it’s not exactly balmy weather today, especially with this wind. You’ve been heroic enough for one day; let me look after you.” Jack hustled Ianto along the quay, leaving a trail of water as they headed towards the invisible lift, thankfully not too far away across the Plas.
“Well, if you insist.” Ianto gave up arguing and just concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other, letting Jack do the steering; it was easier than trying to focus on where he was going.
An eternity later, or possibly just five minutes, Ianto stood shivering in Jack’s white tiled bathroom while Jack peeled the wet clothes off him, dropping them in a pile to be seen to later. As soon as Ianto was naked, Jack grabbed a blanket, wrapping it around his lover as the small room filled with steam from the hot water pouring into the big bathtub. Abandoning Ianto for a minute, Jack turned off the tap and checked the temperature of the bathwater, adding cold to bring it down to a safe level; if it was too hot it could do more harm than good. When he was satisfied, he helped Ianto into the tub and whipped the blanket away as the shivering man lowered himself carefully into the welcome warmth.
Against Ianto’s chilled skin, the water felt almost too hot to bear, but as he settled down with it sloshing around his chest, the feeling gradually started to return to previously numb extremities, and he groaned aloud.
“Are you okay?” Jack asked, concerned.
“Mmm, think I’m starting to thaw,” Ianto sighed. “How can warming up hurt so much but feel so good at the same time?” He slithered a bit deeper into the water so it was lapping around his shoulders, his shivers sending ripples dancing across the surface.
“No idea,” Jack replied, perching on the edge of the bath. “Owen could probably explain it.”
“I’ll pass. I don’t want to know that badly.” A lecture from their resident medic was the last thing Ianto wanted.
“Good. Now, we should see about warming you up inside as well as out. How does hot chocolate sound?”
“Perfect.” Ianto smiled up at Jack. “You can skip the marshmallows this time though. They take up too much space in the mug.”
Jack pretended to be shocked. “Hot chocolate without marshmallows? Are you sure you’re Ianto Jones?”
“Twpsyn,” Ianto accused fondly.
“Well, you certainly sound like my Ianto.” Jack leant over and pressed a quick kiss to Ianto’s lips. “Taste like him too, but your lips are freezing! Right, I’ll go get your hot drink, be back in five minutes. Can I trust you not to fall asleep and drown yourself while I’m gone?”
“My head will remain above the surface at all times, I promise,” Ianto replied solemnly. “I’ve already done enough drowning for one day.” He’d had no idea swimming while fully dressed was so difficult.
“I’ll hold you to that.”
As promised, when Jack returned a few minutes later, Ianto was still awake. He accepted the steaming mug from Jack, taking a cautious sip, before complaining, “The water’s getting cold.”
“More likely you’re warming up so it doesn’t feel as hot.” Jack pulled the plug, letting out some of the water and then replacing it with fresh, hotter water from the tap. “Better?”
“Much better. Thank you.”
“And you thought you’d be fine after having a quick rubdown with a towel and changing your clothes.”
“Hmmm,” Ianto agreed. “Blame the adrenaline rush from jumping on that thing’s back. I’ve come to my senses now.”
“Glad to hear it.” Jack settled himself on the edge of bathtub.
They fell silent, Ianto leaning back with his eyes closed, basking in the steaming water, such a contrast to the icy chill of the bay, and Jack just watching him. Ianto could feel Jack’s eyes on him just as clearly as he could feel the heat from the water as it gradually soaked into his bones, combining with the warmth from the hot chocolate to chase away every last trace of cold, leaving him glowing with warmth all over.
“You’re staring.” Ianto cracked open one eye, smiling slightly.
“I am,” Jack agreed. “You’re worth staring at. Does it bother you?”
Ianto’s smile widened. “Nope.” He sighed contentedly, closing his eye again. This definitely made up for getting tossed in the bay!