PG-13, 1000 words
Summary: It's all in the wrist, apparently.
Notes: Set during Series Two, but no concrete spoilers.
The familiar set of Ianto's shoulders is one of mild irritation. He's leaning over the latest set of mission reports, because he insists on making sure there are no errant commas and that 'artefact' never gets an 'i' instead of an 'e' before he'll even consider giving them to Jack to check for actual veracity.
He glances up briefly, still frowning, as Jack walks over. "The state of English education is deeply worrying," he says. "Our presumably intelligent doctor remains hopelessly in the dark on the subject of capitalisation, it would appear."
"That's a serious accusation there," Jack answers, walking over behind Ianto's chair.
Ianto doesn't turn around, and Jack can see that Owen's report really is a feast of little things for Ianto to correct. Jack doesn't bother to keep the smirk from his face, because he's almost certain Owen does it just to mess with Ianto, and Jack can't deny he's been tempted by the very same thought a few times before now.
"Good work there, Comrade Jones. Truly, it is this attention to detail that will make for a better world."
"No need to mock," Ianto replies while circling an misguided 'ei' and scrawling pithy insults regarding Owen's heritage in the margin.
The looping, untidy writing makes Jack smile, and that's not really the sort of thing he wants to be admitting to, being a fearless and enigmatic leader and so on, but it is endearing.
Jack reaches for a memo of his own, which sure enough features a few of Ianto's remarks towards the end. "You know, it's not that I don't appreciate your thoughts on my syntax structure, but do you have to ruin my beautifully scripted summary of the Splott weevil attack with that scrawl? It looks like your pen did the tango all by itself. Didn't they teach you how to write properly in secretary school?"
Ianto snorts, but says nothing, and Jack leans closer. "Now look, see, you're holding it all wrong for a start." He covers Ianto's hand, adjusting the angle of the pen in his grip. "You've got to grip it firmly, sure, but be gentle, no need for that kind of pressure. Optimum axial pen force is the term here, the real key is in the tilt of the wrist - yeah, you see, that's more like it already."
"You're distracting me, Jack," Ianto mutters.
"Am I? I thought I was imparting valuable wisdom and experience." If he wanted to, Jack knows he could have Ianto's full attention in approximately twenty-seven seconds, but this way is much better.
Jack's free hand creeps up Ianto's back, feeling the straight line of his spine, the little knots of tension in his muscles, tucked safely away beneath layers of propriety. He slides a palm upwards, there to brush fingers against the nape of Ianto's neck, before running down the smooth curve of his shoulder.
"Go away and stop harassing me, surely there are other people you need to be pestering?"
"You are no fun at all. By the way, you missed a rogue apostrophe over there." Jack leads Ianto's hand over to the offending mark in question, and then, after one more lingering pass over the cut of his suit, Jack's gone.
He next sees Ianto two hours and thirty-two minutes later, just as he's reaching the end of what has possibly been the world's most circular and tedious conference call. He covers the mouthpiece as Ianto walks in.
"D'you think we could get a law passed saying that Torchwood Two isn't allowed to have any verbal communication with anyone ever again?"
"I'll look into it."
Jack rolls his eyes and returns to the call. "Yes, that seems reasonable to me. No, I'm agreeing with you! Really, I am. Look, Angus, why don't my people send you an email and you can take a good look at as many sub clauses as you want and get back to me, all right? No, honestly, I'd better run, city looks like it's about to explode, apparently - we'll be in touch!"
He slams the phone down and groans. "Why must I be punished so?"
"Ianto Jones, you are a life saver."
Ianto grins. "That was part of the job description, wasn't it?"
Jack chuckles. "What are you after?"
"Nothing, really. Only, if I have to look at another mission report today I may have to shoot something, and we wouldn't want that."
"Not in the office, no. Tends not to do much for morale."
"And anyway, I was - distracted," Ianto continues, not quite meeting Jack's eye.
"Oh yeah? And why's that?"
"Something to do with a particular superior of mine needlessly bothering me on the particulars of graphonomics."
"Uh huh. Well, we can't be having that."
"Indeed not. He's very hands-on, it was terribly inappropriate."
Ianto is stood at Jack's desk now, hands splayed out along the surface, and coffee cooling unnoticed in the corner.
Jack nods seriously. "I'm glad you felt you could confide in me about this."
"Thank you, sir. This can't go on."
"No, I can see that."
"Disciplinary action may be in order," Ianto continues, walking around to lean against the side of the desk.
Ianto doesn't say anything, just looks down at the desk, a rare open smile starting to play around his mouth. And so, one minute and forty-seven seconds after Ianto first entered, Jack stands up, curling one hand around Ianto's wrist. A beat passes, then Ianto is grasping Jack's collar, pulling him in, mouth quick and warm against Jack's tongue.
"Really bloody distracting," Ianto mutters when he pauses for breath, "I had to re-read the same email from Gwen three times."
Jack laughs low in his throat, dragging Ianto closer, clutching him at the hips, and Ianto's palms meet him there.
"It's the hands," he goes on to say.
"That so?" Jack asks, amused.
"Something like that."
"Mmm, interesting," Jack murmurs, and puts his hands to work, slipping beneath Ianto's jacket and reaching up to cup his face.
Jack's conducted studies into the precise angles of his bone structure, the soft skin to be found in the hollow of his throat, the perfect places to apply pressure and then release. He runs his thumb along the line of his jaw until Ianto's reserve breaks open in front of him, with a look on his face that that says much more than any investigative report, because Jack knows nobody else gets to see this, and that has a syntax all of its own.