Title: Ianto’s Other Secret
Characters: Ianto, Jack
Spoilers: Tiny for Cyberwoman.
Summary: Ianto is keeping another secret from Jack, and Jack is determined to find out what it is.
Word Count: 868
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
Ianto Jones has a deep, dark secret. No, not that one, not Lisa, or at least, not anymore. Everyone knows about that one now. When there’s a half-cyberised woman rampaging through your place of work, well, that kind of thing is rather hard to overlook.
This is a different secret; he’s been taking great pains to hide it from the team, and above all, from Jack. In the months since the Cyberwoman was terminated (Ianto can’t think of it as Lisa anymore, Lisa would never have done the things that monster did), he and Jack have forgiven each other and resumed their flirting. They’ve resumed other things too, but Ianto prefers to keep such details between himself and Jack; everyone has a right to privacy when it comes to personal relationships, after all.
Down in the depths of the archives, there’s a hidden, supposedly unused room where Ianto hides his other, newer secret. The irony does not escape him, but really it’s only common sense. He’s at work more often than he’s at home, so keeping his secret at home wouldn’t be practical, and Ianto is nothing if not practical. Besides, the room provides everything he needs; light, heat, electricity, there’s even a sink in one corner so water is readily available. Whenever he has free time, he slips away to spend some time in his hidden room, tending to what lives there. It’s his happy place.
Jack knows Ianto is hiding something from him, even after he’d promised he had no more secrets. He wants to trust Ianto, now more than ever, but Ianto’s furtive behaviour is complicating things.
He probably thinks Jack doesn’t notice him sneaking away and disappearing into the lower levels, but Ianto-watching is Jack’s favourite hobby, and he indulges himself by making frequent use of the CCTV system. He’s noticed a pattern; at least three times a day, Ianto makes his way into an unused area of the archives that the CCTV doesn’t cover. Sometimes he takes mysterious packages with him and sometimes he doesn’t, but he always returns thirty minutes or so later, smiling to himself.
After a month of waiting for Ianto to tell him what he’s up to, Jack decides enough is enough, he needs to investigate, so the next time he spots Ianto slipping away, he follows.
For all his loud, attention-seeking behaviour, Jack is adept at sneaking when the need arises. It doesn’t hurt that he can use his VM to track Ianto by his body heat, though that only helps up to a certain point; there’s another heat signature down here, even hotter than Ianto. He must have found a way to hide the increase in temperature from the Hub’s systems. Of course, Ianto hid a Cyberman from the Hub’s systems for months, so that’s no real surprise.
Cautiously peeping around a corner, Jack can see Ianto. He’s stopped outside a room at the end on the hallway. There’s a bench outside the door and Ianto’s quickly removing his suit jacket, waistcoat and tie, leaving them there before entering the heat of the room beyond the door. Jack waits until the door closes, then follows, quickly and silently. He stops right outside the door and just listens for a few moments; he can hear the faint hum of some sort of electrical system, and Ianto murmuring softy, talking to someone, so he draws his Webley and eases the door open a fraction. Now he can hear Ianto clearly.
“Look how big you’re getting! You look really healthy too. Only a couple more weeks and you’ll be ready.”
Jack shoves the door open and steps inside, Webley raised, pushing the door shut behind him. “What the Hell do you think you’re doing?
Startled, Ianto spins around, instinctively positioning himself between Jack and the recipient of his careful nurturing. He looks simultaneously embarrassed and a little guilty.
“Damn, I was really hoping you wouldn’t find out about this.”
Jack stares in confusion, his hand holding the Webley falling to his side.
“Are you growing pot?”
“What? God, no! I mean, not that I’ve never indulged, but…” Ianto trails off into a chuckle. “I seriously doubt Her Majesty would be amused if I grew cannabis on her sovereign territory. After all, the Hub belongs to the crown.”
Slowly moving closer, Jack looks at the rows of plants growing beneath heat lamps. “So what are they?”
Ianto chews nervously on his bottom lip. “They’re coffee plants. I’ve wanted to try growing and roasting my own beans for years, but I never had anywhere with enough space and the right facilities to try it. Not until now. So, how much trouble am I in?”
“Hmmm, that depends.”
“On whether I get to sample the product when it’s ready.”
“I think that could be arranged. Sir.”
“Excellent. Well, carry on then.” Jack turns to leave.
He glances back over his shoulder as he reaches the door. “Yes?”
“Please don’t tell anyone I talk to plants.”
Jack laughed. “We’ll see. I might just need a little blackmail leverage at some point.”
As Jack closes the door behind him again, Ianto runs one hand through his hair and sighs heavily.