Characters: Ianto, Jack, Owen, Tosh, Gwen.
Summary: Jack is putting on weight so Ianto resolves to help him diet by any means necessary.
Word Count: 1029
Written For: Challenge 11: Sugar at beattheblackdog.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters.
Jack has a sweet tooth, a fact that Ianto is only too aware of. As much as Jack insists that he, Ianto, should eat more vegetables, he doesn’t practice what he preaches, preferring pizza for main meals and filling up with cookies, cakes, and chocolate for between-meals snacks. It’s probably why Jack borders on the hyperactive most days.
It’s also probably the reason that Jack’s waistband is getting a tad snug. Not that Ianto would tell Jack to his face that he’s getting a bit chubby, if only because he knows the immortal is more likely to resort to getting himself killed in order to fix the problem than to willingly go on a diet, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true.
Ianto is good at manipulation, however, so the next time he goes shopping, he purposely doesn’t buy biscuits and other snacks, instead stocking up on fresh fruit and vegetables, fruit juice instead of soda, and other healthy things for snacks, like nuts.
Standing in their kitchen, Jack frowns as Ianto unpacks the shopping. “Didn’t you get any biscuits?”
“Sorry, Jack, no. I didn’t want the temptation around. I’ve been feeling a bit run down and sluggish lately, probably because of my poor diet, so I’m going to try eating more healthily for a while, see if that gets my energy levels back up.” It’s not strictly true, Ianto hasn’t really felt run down at all, but eating better certainly won’t do him any harm. “I know it’s a lot to ask, but do you think you could avoid eating sweets and cakes around me? Just to help me stick to my diet.”
Jack likes to prove what a supportive partner he is, so he immediately agrees. “Tell you what, why don’t I join you? It won’t do me any harm to cut down on sweets for a bit.”
“You’d do that for me?”
“Of course I would; anything to help you feel fighting fit again. Got to get your energy levels back up, haven’t we?” Jack winks, his meaning clear; can’t have you too tired for sex!
“Thank you, that would help a lot.”
At the Hub, Ianto tells the rest of the team that if they want cookies and sweets they’ll have to bring their own and keep them in their desks. “Jack’s helping me to stick to a more healthy diet,” he explains, “and we don’t want to be tempted to cheat.”
The girls in particular are only too happy to help, Tosh even going as far as to say she’ll join them on their healthier eating plan. “I eat far too much junk food, I’m sure I’ll feel better if I cut down,” she says firmly.
Owen, predictably, grumbles a bit, until Ianto clears out his secret stash of sugary treats and hands them to the medic. “I know where I hide them, so you’d better have them, then I can’t sneak biscuits when no one’s looking,” he says.
Inspired, Jack does the same with his own stash, handing the packets to Gwen and instructing that she keeps them away from him. “Ianto needs my support,” he tells her staunchly. Bemused, Gwen accepts the huge pile and crams as much as she can in her bottom desk drawer, locking it and hiding the key. The rest goes in her bag to take home to Rhys. She’s sure he won’t complain about extra snacks.
Days pass and Ianto’s actually surprised at how easy it is to stick to healthy foods when there’s nothing unhealthy lurking in the kitchen cupboards at home or at work to lead him astray. Better yet, Jack is displaying previously unseen flair in the kitchen, creating simple but tasty meals for them.
Porridge with fresh fruit proves a satisfying and warming breakfast on chilly mornings, while cereal with fresh fruit and yoghurt is ideal in warmer weather. Wholegrain wraps stuffed with salad and tuna, or a pasta salad with cherry tomatoes and walnuts, make for tempting lunches; casseroles prepared in the morning and simmered all day in the slow cooker provide them with filling evening meals after a hard day at work.
When they get peckish during the day they snack on fruit and nuts; the only thing Ianto doesn’t compromise on is coffee, which is a necessity considering the long hours they often work. Jack never takes sugar in his coffee anyway, and neither does Ianto, preferring to savour the full richness of the beans, so cutting down on coffee wouldn’t reduce their sugar intake anyway.
Within two weeks, the effect on Jack is noticeable; even without dying his waistband is digging in less. More surprisingly, Ianto is feeling fitter and more energetic, which despite his ostensible reason for his change of diet, he hadn’t been expecting.
Owen is starting to look a bit podgy though, and when after a month he has trouble keeping up with the rest of the team while chasing a very speedy alien, Jack pulls him aside and suggests that maybe he should try eating more healthily for a while. Owen’s response isn’t very polite
After six weeks both Ianto and Jack are looking more trim and toned than they have in months. Ianto is frankly astonished that Jack hasn’t, as far as he’s able to tell, been sneaking sugary foods on the sly. He hadn’t thought his lover had that kind of willpower but clearly he’d been wrong.
“What’s this?” Jack asks, the next time Ianto goes shopping, plucking a packet of chocolate chip cookies from one of the bags.
“Biscuits,” Ianto replies with a smirk. “I don’t plan on going back to my old ways and overdoing the sugar, but there’s no harm in having the occasional cookie, or cake, or even a bar of chocolate as a treat.”
“I don’t regret eating more healthily, I feel better than I have in years, but I do miss doughnuts,” Jack admits wistfully.
The next day, Ianto presents Jack with a sugarcoated, jam-filled doughnut alongside his mid-morning coffee. The smile he gets in return almost makes up for having to clean sugar off Jack’s desk and files that evening for the first time in weeks.