Characters: Ianto, Jack, Rhiannon.
Summary: To make up for them not getting a proper Christmas dinner, Ianto cooks up a feast for New Year.
Word Count: 1035
Written For: samuraiter’s prompt ‘Author's Choice, Any, the way to anyone's heart is through their stomach,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
The way to a man’s heart was through his stomach, or so it was said. Ianto didn’t know if that was true, but Jack certainly liked to eat, and just because Ianto already had his heart didn’t mean he couldn’t still treat his lover to his favourite foods, which was what this was all about. A hearty Welsh New Year’s Day dinner would hopefully make up for them not getting a Christmas feast this year. Or technically it was last year now.
Ianto had a nice roast leg of lamb and all the trimmings for the main course, because Jack did love a nice bit of Welsh lamb. Then there were homemade Welshcakes for dessert, and for the starter, Laverbread, served on little triangles of toast. The things Ianto put himself through for his Captain; Jack was going to love him forever for this! Ianto couldn’t wait to see the look on his face. He’d sent Jack off on a few errands to keep him out of the kitchen, but dinner was almost ready and his lover should be back at any minute…
No sooner had Ianto thought that than he heard the key turn in the front door lock.
“I’m home!” Jack called out. “Oooh, something smells good.”
“It better; I’ve spent all morning cooking for you. Better go wash your hands and I’ll dish up the first course.”
“Yummy! Don’t start without me!” Jack dashed off to freshen up and was sitting at the table, eagerly waiting, when Ianto brought the first course through from the kitchen a few minutes later.
“Here you go!”
“Is that Laverbread?” Jack asked.
“Yep! Dig in!” Ianto spread some on a piece of toast and took a bite; Jack followed suit, more slowly. Ianto frowned. “Come on, no need to ration yourself; there’s plenty. I know how much you love it.”
Jack took a second piece of toast, spread Laverbread on it, stared at it for a long moment, and then set it aside. “I’m sorry, Ianto; I can see how much effort you’ve put into this, but when I told Rhiannon I loved Laverbread, I was just trying to be polite. The truth is, I’m not a fan.” Jack hung his head, hating to hurt Ianto’s feelings this way, but he couldn’t keep up the pretence any longer. “I know it’s one of your favourite dishes, but every time you make it I have to force it down and pretend to enjoy it when really I’m hating every mouthful.”
Ianto frowned. “But I only make it because I thought you liked it. Do you mean to tell me that for the past year I’ve been making something I hate and we’ve both been pretending to enjoy it?”
“I thought if I ate enough of it I might eventually develop a taste for it,” Jack confessed. “But I haven’t.” Then Ianto’s words finally sank in and he looked across the table at the Welshman. “Wait a minute… Did you just say you don’t like it either?”
“Yep.” Ianto smiled sheepishly. “I never have. I’ll eat it if it’s put in front of me, but I only pretend to like it because Rhi is so into traditional Welsh dishes. She got the recipes from our gran years ago, and insists on serving traditional Welsh foods for special occasions. She calls it preserving our Welsh heritage.”
They sat in silence for several minutes, contemplating the bowl of slimy green pureed seaweed that was Laverbread.
“Does that mean I don’t have to eat any more of it?” Jack asked eventually, a note of hope in his voice.
Ianto laughed. “Not if you don’t want to. What do you say we skip the starter and go straight to the main course?” He hesitated, laughter fading. “You do actually like roast lamb, don’t you? Be honest.”
“Yes,” Jack replied. “I love Welsh lamb, and that’s the one hundred percent honest truth. Not too fond of Brussels sprouts though.”
“Well in that case, you don’t have to have any sprouts; I like them so I’ll eat them and you can have extra roasties, carrots, and roast parsnips.”
“That suits me down to the ground,” Jack grinned, getting to his feet and gingerly picking up the dish of hated Laverbread to dispose of. “For future reference, next time you need a starter for a meal, I’m rather partial to leek and potato soup.”
“Is that so? Well in that case, next time I go shopping I’ll pick up some leeks and scrounge gran’s recipe off Rhiannon. I love leeks; I’ll take them over Laverbread any day of the week, but I didn’t think you liked them. In the future, maybe we should try to be more honest about our likes and dislikes; it might save a lot of misunderstandings.”
“I can live with that, if it means not having to eat things I don’t like. Come on, let’s go dish up that roast.”
“Lead the way.” Ianto cleared away the bits of toast to throw out for the birds, and followed Jack into the kitchen to serve the main course.
The rest of their meal was excellent, despite the parsnips being a bit overdone, and they stuffed themselves so much they left no room for dessert.
“Oh well, it doesn’t matter. The great thing about Welshcakes is that they’ll keep.”
“Mmm,” Jack sighed, slumped on the sofa. “We can have them for supper. Or breakfast. Or both. Welshcakes are amazingly versatile for any meal. I could eat them all day, every day; just not right now. I’m too full to eat another bite, I think I’d explode if I tried. Even I have my limits.” He yawned. “I’m just glad I won’t have to endure any more Laverbread.”
“Not on account of me, that’s a promise.” Ianto flopped down beside Jack. “I can’t speak for Rhiannon though…”
Jack winced, “We should probably just tell her the truth.”
“Probably,” Ianto agreed.
But they never did; turned out they were more afraid of how Ianto’s sister would react than of having to eat the hated slimy seaweed dish. After all, no matter how much they disliked it the Laverbread wouldn’t kill them, but Rhiannon just might!