Characters: Ianto, Rhiannon.
Summary: Rhiannon is appalled at what she sees as her brother’s unnecessary extravagance, but she’s not going to change Ianto’s mind.
Word Count: 1144
Written For: Challenge 216: Overpriced at beattheblackdog.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters.
Ianto ran his fingers lightly over one of the silk ties on the rack; it was a deliciously deep red with fine diagonal stripes of black edged with silver, and he could easily picture the effective way it would contrast with several of his favourite shirts.
There was another that had caught his eye as well, a bold royal blue with delicate striping in light grey. They were both excellent quality and would certainly spice up his wardrobe. It didn’t really need spicing up, but still… Smiling, he lifted them off the rack; with what he earned working for Torchwood he could easily afford to treat himself. Everyone deserved a little boost now and then.
“Ianto Jones, are you out of your mind?”
“Excuse me?” Ianto frowned down at his sister; engrossed in the ties he’d almost forgotten she was there.
“Have you even looked at the labels? Talk about overpriced! How anyone can justify charging that much for a silly little strip of coloured cloth I can’t even begin to imagine! I know a place you can get a dozen new ties for a fraction of the price of one of those!”
Ianto rolled his eyes. “Yes, Rhi, I’ve seen them; cheap, garish polycotton and nylon blends in patterns I wouldn’t be seen dead wearing. Some of us actually have good taste when it comes to clothes. You have to expect to pay a little more for good quality and these are hand-woven pure silk. Take a good look at them; you don’t get a sheen like this with those cheap knock-offs.” He held the ties up to the light to demonstrate. “Lovely, aren’t they?”
“You must have money to burn is all I can say,” Rhi grumbled. “I don’t know why you even need more ties. Haven’t you got enough already?”
“Oh, and I suppose I didn’t see you earlier, hanging your nose over a handbag with a five-hundred quid price tag. It wasn’t even real leather; it just had a designer label. Now that would be an overpriced waste of money.”
“What’re you on about? Handbags are practical, and that’s more than you can say about your silk ties,” Rhiannon argued.
“Practical? If you ever had a bag that expensive you’d hardly dare use it, and the next thing you know you’d be wanting a new one because it was out of fashion. A good quality tie like this never goes out of style.”
“But they’re just ties! What’s the point of wearing them?”
“What’s the point of a woman wearing a load of jewellery, or makeup? I like wearing them. Ties make me look smart so I can feel good about my appearance. You can’t put a price tag on that.”
“But do you have to go for the most expensive?”
Ianto snorted. As if! “I’m not; these are high quality but they’re far from top of the range. I’m not that extravagant.”
“Could’ve fooled me. How much do you pay for those suits you wear, and how many do you even have?”
“I like to look my best; what’s wrong with that?”
“Nothing; I just don’t see why you have to spend so much on clothes.”
“That’s rich coming from you. Do you think women have some kind of monopoly on wanting to wear nice things? Besides, you get what you pay for; cheap things don’t last five minutes.”
“Well, I still think it’s ludicrous but I suppose it’s your money and you can do what you want with it.” Rhi gave a long-suffering sigh. “Go ahead and buy them if you really have to.”
If she thought she could guilt him into not buying the ties, Rhiannon was dead wrong.
“Like I need your permission.” Ianto flicked through the rack and selected a third tie, this one pink, shading from deep rose at the broader end through lighter shades, the colour progression reversing halfway along its length so the two ends matched. Three new ties should do for now.
“Three? I thought you said you weren’t being extravagant.”
“I’m not. You know, not to change the subject but your birthday’s coming up next month.”
“It is, but I don’t want a new tie, thank you very much. I’ve got nothing to wear it with.”
Ianto laughed. “Never crossed my mind. But if you really want that handbag…”
“Don’t be daft, Ianto, that’s much too expensive!”
“I’ll admit it’s overpriced for what it is, but I’ve only got the one sister; if I can treat myself to a few new ties I can certainly afford to treat you to something you’d really like, as long as you promise to use it and not just keep it for best.”
Rhi was clearly torn, wanting the bag but horrified at the thought of her baby brother spending so much on her for a birthday gift. “Ianto, that’s really generous…”
He cut her off. “That’s settled then. At least for once I can be sure you’ll actually like what I’m getting you.”
“Don’t you try to argue with me, Rhiannon Davies. You may be older than me but I’m taller, and I’m just as stubborn as you are. Now, let me pay for my ties and then we’ll get your bag. You might as well have it right away so you can start using it.”
“I’m not going to talk you out of this, am I?”
“What did I just say? Honestly, sometimes I wonder if you even bother listening to me.”
“I could say the same thing about you.”
“I hang on your every word, like the dutiful brother I am; then I go right ahead and do what I was going to do anyway.”
“I’m not a baby anymore, Rhi; I’m a grown man with a mind of my own, and a good job that pays very well.”
“I suppose you must be doing alright for yourself if you can afford fancy silk ties and bespoke suits.”
“Don’t forget the expensive designer handbag for my infuriating sister.”
“As if I could. You know, you really don’t have to.”
“I know, but I want to. You deserve to have something nice.”
“But you said it’s overpriced.”
“And you said the same about my ties. In the end, your opinion of my ties and my opinion about your choice of bag aren’t important. We each like what we like, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I just want you to be happy, is that so hard for you to understand?”
“You’re daft, but I do love you.”
“Likewise. Come on; we’ve still got shopping to do.” Ianto led the way to the cash register at the front of the shop, feeling pleased with himself; not only had he got Rhi’s birthday gift sorted but he’d won an argument with her. That almost never happened; must be his lucky day!