Characters/Pairings: Jack/Ianto, Tosh/Owen, Gwen
Word Count: 1752
Summary: Jack and Ianto are giving each other the silent treatment, which has the rest of the team puzzled.
Written For: My cottoncandy_bingo square Wordless Communication.
Beta: The ever wonderful milady_dragon, who generously volunteered to help me out at the last minute. Thank you!
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood or any of the characters. Which is sad.
When Ianto arrived at the Hub that morning, somewhat later than usual, Jack came bounding out of his office, a hopeful smile on his face. Ianto stopped dead in his tracks and just looked at his lover. Jack’s smile vanished, his shoulders sagged and he trudged back to his office, looking utterly defeated. Ianto sadly watched him go then turned to make his way to the kitchenette.
“What d’you think that was all about?” asked Gwen.
“Dunno,” Owen replied. “Maybe they had a fight.”
“Maybe,” said Tosh, but she sounded doubtful.
A little while later, Ianto silently delivered coffee to everyone. He looked tired.
“Are you okay, Ianto?” Tosh asked him, concerned.
He just nodded and gave a small smile. Taking the final mug up to Jack’s office, he set in on the desk and patted Jack consolingly on the shoulder before heading down to the archives.
Owen had been watching carefully.
“Okay, not a fight then.”
“Something’s definitely not right though.” Gwen’s eyes followed Ianto as he disappeared through the door to the archive stairway. “We should find out.”
“No, we should leave them alone,” said Tosh firmly.
“How can you say that, Tosh?” Gwen was aghast. “I thought you and Ianto were friends!”
“We are, which is why I’ll respect his privacy. Whatever’s going on, if he and Jack wanted us to know, or wanted our help, they’d ask. They haven’t, therefore it’s none of our business.”
“I suppose you’re right,” she agreed reluctantly.
“We’ll just keep a close eye on them,” Owen decided, “just to be on the safe side”
Jack seemed to be working busily at his computer, sipping at his coffee in a distracted manner, so the team busied themselves with their own work.
At lunchtime, Ianto went up to the Tourist Office to take delivery of their lunch, handing everyone their usual orders and taking his own up to Jack’s office. The others watched as Jack looked up, shaking his head, a sad expression on his face. Ianto hugged him tightly for a moment then handed him a takeaway container and they sat close together, eating their food in silence.
The day passed slowly without so much as a blip from the Rift. When six o’clock arrived, Gwen went up to Jack’s office and asked if it was okay for the team to head home.
Jack glanced up, nodded briefly and went back to his work.
“Okay, see you tomorrow then.”
He waved vaguely in her direction without taking his eyes off the screen, so Gwen wandered back down to her workstation to gather her things just as Ianto emerged from the archives again.
Almost immediately, Jack appeared from his office. He leered at Ianto and waggled his eyebrows.
Ianto rolled his eyes, but he was smiling. Apparently, that was enough for Jack. He bounced down the steps, grabbed Ianto by the hand and dragged him in the direction of his office, snatched up his coat and with Ianto still scrambling to catch up, headed for the garage. The last they saw of Ianto that night was a hand waving goodbye. At least, they hoped it was ‘goodbye’ and not ‘help, save me from this madman!’
“Huh,” said Owen. “Guess that means we get to shut everything down for the night.”
“I’ll re-direct Rift alerts to my mobile,” Tosh told him. “The predictor says it should be a quiet night, but better safe than sorry.”
With the Hub set to night mode, they closed up and headed for home.
By the time the team arrived the following morning, Jack and Ianto were already there, the delicious aroma of Ianto’s coffee permeating the air. Jack was in the kitchenette with Ianto, arms around the Welshman’s waist from behind, chin on his shoulder, watching his lover pour the team’s morning caffeine fix.
Ianto glanced around at them with a wave and a small smile, but made no attempt to dislodge Jack.
“Everything okay, mate?” Owen asked, ambling up and taking his and Tosh’s mugs. Ianto nodded slightly and continued pouring. Owen just shrugged and headed for his workstation, handing Tosh her coffee on the way.
“My pleasure, darlin’.”
A few minutes later, Ianto placed Gwen’s mug on her desk.
“Ooh, just what I need. Ta very much.”
Ianto just inclined his head politely and went back to the kitchenette, picking up his own mug and turning towards the stairs. He was brought to a halt by Jack grabbing his arm, so he turned to face his Captain, a questioning look on his face, one eyebrow gracefully arched as he sipped from his mug.
Jack gave him the full puppy-dog eyes. Ianto frowned. Jack upped the stakes with a pleading gesture, palms together as if praying. Ianto put his free hand on his hip and shook his head. Jack pouted. Ianto remained unmoved. Jack pouted harder.
How a grown man could manage to look so pitiful was beyond Owen. Ianto rolled his eyes so hard Owen wondered if whiplash of the eyeballs was possible. Maybe he’d research it later.
It looked like Ianto’s resolve was crumbling. Jack sank to his knees and shuffled forwards, looking up imploringly. Ianto put his free hand to his forehead, despairing, then pulled Jack to his feet, glaring at him sternly and pointing at the knees of Jack’s trousers. Jack dusted them off, looking apologetic. Ianto set off for the archives again, leaving Jack standing in the middle of the Hub, looking forlorn until his lover turned and beckoned to him. With a triumphant grin, Jack scampered across to join him. There was no other word for it, and since when did grown men scamper, for crying out loud? Owen shook his head. How Tea Boy put up with Captain Innuendo was a mystery.
“I guess they’re not speaking to each other.” Gwen sounded baffled. “What’s with that?”
“Looks like they don’t need to speak.” Tosh was grinning. “They understand each other just fine without words.”
Owen shook his head.
“I always knew there was something weird about those two. Now they’ve turned into mimes!”
Tosh swatted at Owen good-naturedly.
“Leave them alone, let them have their fun!”
“Trust me, love, I have no intention of going anywhere near them. God knows what they’re getting up to down there, but I’m fairly sure there wouldn’t be enough brain bleach in the world to erase the images. Some things can’t be un-seen.”
“You have a filthy mind, Owen Harper! I bet whatever is going on down there is completely innocent.”
“Get real, Tosh! You know what those two are like as well as I do. Can’t keep their hands off each other!”
“You make them sound like a couple of sex addicts!”
“If the shoe fits…”
If Owen had gone down to the archives, it would have shocked him to discover that Tosh was right; nothing remotely kinky was going on. In fact, all Jack and Ianto were doing was scouring the shelves in one section of the archives, looking at each item and comparing it with the list Ianto had on his clipboard, occasionally checking information on his iPad before looking at each other and shaking their heads. Finally, after almost two hours, they stopped beside one particular item, studying the catalogue information on the small screen.
Ianto raised an eyebrow and Jack shrugged helplessly. Ianto tilted his head to the side and glanced sidelong at the small, blue-grey ovoid. Jack hesitantly picked it up. They looked at each other. Nothing happened. Jack put it down and Ianto picked it up. Still nothing happened. Ianto turned it over. There were two small indentations on the bottom. Or maybe it was the top; who could tell? Ianto put it down again and pointed to the dents, looking questioningly at Jack. Jack thought for a moment, chewing his bottom lip then nodded and together, they each stuck a finger in one of the shallow depressions. A low buzzing sound started and a brief tingling sensation shot through them. It was gone in less than a second and they quickly drew their hands back, looking at each other uncertainly.
Tentatively, Ianto cleared his throat.
“Did it work?”
Jack’s face lit up.
“I can understand you!”
A relieved smile spread across Ianto’s face.
“You’re speaking English again! Thank God for that! What the hell is that bloody thing?”
“I don’t know, maybe some kind of translator?”
“Why would anyone create a translator that makes people sound like chickens?”
“Beats me. It could be an alien language for all we know.”
“Maybe chickens are aliens.”
“That would actually explain a lot.”
“It really would.”
They grinned giddily at each other, glad to be back to normal.
“I’ve never been so happy to hear those beautiful Welsh vowels. I am never going to tell you to shut…”
Wide-eyed, Ianto hurriedly slapped one hand over Jack’s mouth.
“Don’t even say it, I don’t want to go through that again.”
“Mmph.” Jack’s voice was muffled against Ianto’s palm. He cautiously took his hand away.
“Oh. We need to lock this thing away safely. I’ll fetch a nullifying box for it, just to be safe. Don’t touch it while I’m gone.”
“Hell with that! I’m going with you.”
“Fine, come on then.”
They walked a little way in silence, then…
“Let’s not tell the rest of the team about this.”
“You don’t want them to know we’ve spent the last two days clucking like chickens every time we tried to speak?”
“Not really, no. Can you imagine how Owen would react?”
“Ah. I see your point. Fine, I won’t tell if you don’t.”
“Safe to say, my lips are sealed.”
“It’ll be our secret. In fact maybe it would be better if we just never mentioned it again, even to each other.”
“I can live with that. So what do we tell them?”
Jack looked surprised.
“Nothing. Why should we have to explain everything we do?”
“That’ll drive them nuts!”
“You’re an evil man, Jack Harkness.”
“But you love me.”
“That I do.”
“And I love you too.”
“That’s good to know.”
“So, how about chicken for dinner?”
Laughing, they headed to the supplies cupboard for a safe storage box. Some things were a whole lot safer kept locked away, and if they had their way, that innocuous little device would never see the light of day again. Who knew taking inventory could cause so many problems?
Only in Torchwood.