Characters: Jack, Ianto
Summary: Jack’s bored while Ianto’s away, but finds something to do eventually. Little things please little minds. As the saying goes.
Word Count: 1109
Written For: My own prompt ‘Any, any, Painted toenails,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
Jack looked around the Hub and sighed; it was just after ten in the evening and he was at a loose end. Ianto wouldn’t get back from the meetings he’d been attending in London until the following evening, and the rest of the team had left hours ago. There wasn’t even any Rift activity to keep him busy. Things were so dull, in fact, that he’d resorted to paperwork just to have something to do, but now that was finished he had no idea what to do with himself next.
Mooching about the Hub, he started poking around the team’s workspaces; maybe they had something he could play with. Owen’s was a bust; Jack had seen all his porn stash before and considered it pretty tame. He made a mental note to loan Torchwood’s medic something a bit more adventurous. He might learn something.
Tosh had puzzle books, but after wrestling with one for twenty minutes Jack decided it was way over his head; the cryptic clues didn’t make any sense and all he was doing was tying his brain in knots and giving himself a headache.
Rummaging about in Gwen’s drawers, which were in an even worse mess than Owen’s since Ianto didn’t consider tidying drawers to be among his many duties, Jack found an out-of-date chocolate bar wedged at the back. Deciding that as Gwen had left it there for more than two months past its sell-by date she must not want it, he ate it himself. Waste not, want not; it was still perfectly edible. He dug around in there again, just on the off chance that there might be another one lurking among the scraps of paper and sundry office supplies. Sadly there wasn’t, but he did find something else interesting and thinking it might entertain him for a while, he took it to his office and settled on the sofa.
The contents of the little glass bottle were a shimmery silver-blue colour, which Jack found rather appealing. He shook the bottle vigorously, then paused to pull his boots and socks off. Toenails first. Hitching one foot up on the edge of the sofa, he picked up the bottle again and drew out the brush, carefully scraping excess polish off before beginning the painstaking process of painting his nails.
Once both feet were done, Jack re-capped the bottle and set it aside for the moment, picking up a file folder and wafting it back and forth above his toenails to dry them quicker. He waggled his toes, admiring the way they sparkled in the muted light of his office. Pretty!
Just as he was just about to start on his fingernails, the Rift alarm began blaring out an alert. Muttering curses under his breath, Jack crammed his twinkly toes back into his socks, and after lacing his boots he snatched up the nail polish and dropped it in his desk drawer for later. Grabbing his coat off the coat rack, he crossed the Hub to Tosh’s workstation and checked the readouts on her screens. According to the data on display, the location of the Rift event was in an alley off Queen Street. Jack wasted no time in heading over there to find whatever had come through.
The rest of the night Jack was kept busy, first with the alert and then with Weevil trouble. He finally fell into what passed for the bed in his bunker around four-thirty in the morning, grabbing a couple of hours’ sleep before having to get up early and feed the Hub residents, a job Ianto usually took care of. That done, he popped out to pick up doughnuts and coffee for breakfast, and had everything set out on the boardroom table by the time the others arrived at eight.
It turned out to be another busy day, but thankfully the Rift fell quiet again late in the afternoon, leaving Jack free to pick Ianto up from Cardiff station. With so much holiday traffic on the roads, he’d opted to travel by train this time, reasoning that it would be less stressful and also give him time to go over the reports he would be making to Her Majesty and the Prime Minister.
Pushing his way through the crowds on the platform, Jack greeted his lover with a hug and a kiss, noting that Ianto looked weary, hot, and travel-stained. Ianto told him that the meetings had gone well, and he’d enjoyed an informal chat with the Queen over afternoon tea, but he was glad to be back in Cardiff, especially as the train had been packed on the way back. Jack took Ianto’s bag from him, carried it out to the SUV, and drove him to his flat. Running a warm bath, he left Ianto relaxing in it, soaking away his aches, and phoned the local Chinese takeaway to order dinner.
The bath and meal soon had Ianto feeling refreshed and revived, so once the dishes had been cleared away, he allowed Jack to drag him off to bed for a more thorough and energetic welcome home. That took up the rest of the evening.
Later, somewhere around midnight, Ianto found himself sprawled across the bed where he’d fallen, his head at the opposite end of the bed to Jack’s. He blinked and frowned at the strange sight just a few inches away from his eyes. “Jack, what on earth have you done now?” he asked, staring at Jack’s feet in shocked surprise.
Jack peered down the bed at him. “I was bored last night so I painted my toenails. I was going to do my fingernails too, but the Rift alarms went off. What do you think?”
Ianto levered himself up on one elbow and studied Jack’s toes thoughtfully for a long moment before shrugging and flopping back down again. “Nice colour, very twinkly.”
“I thought so,” Jack agreed. “I could do yours too if you’d like; the bottle’s in my desk at work.” He tweaked one of Ianto’s toes and tickled the sole of his foot, making his lover laugh.
“I’ll pass; I’m taking Mica and David swimming at the weekend, might get some funny looks.”
Jack grinned. Rift permitting, maybe he could tag along, he liked spending time with the kids. Let people give his sparkly toenails funny looks if they wanted; he didn’t care, it made him feel pretty. Men were just as entitled to have pretty feet as women. He’d be striking one small blow for sexual equality.
But maybe next week he’d get some red nail polish and give Ianto a pedicure. Red was a better colour on Ianto than blue anyway.