Title: Home Is...
Warnings (including spoilers): None
Wordcount: 940 words
Author's note: Written for the 'Infected wounds' square of my hc_bingocard.
Summary: Jack and Ianto have just bought a house, but instead of celebrating, they're barely getting along.
Ianto’s hammering the new porch together, and it’s driving Jack insane. He’s sitting in the darkest corner of the den, which is the most the most cramped room in the small- Ianto called it 'snug'- house, trying to escape the noise of the construction, Ianto’s muttering at the schematics, and his own self-righteous anger.
First, Jack grumbles to himself, completely ignoring the UNIT official correspondence on the laptop in front of him, the house I want to buy is too big. Then we find this place, where I can spend a little time fixing it up, nice to have a hobby, and he doesn't like that either! Then, when we finally buy it, he decides to do all the work himself, even though he hates it!
Jack has just jumped to his feet, sufficiently pissed off to go start the argument he’s been practicing in his head with a real audience, when there’s a particularly loud crash and a flurry of cursing from the backyard. Fiery anger turned ice cold with worry, Jack ends up nearly smashing into Ianto, who’s entering the house, as he attempts to sprint outside.
“Could you watch where you’re going?” Ianto demands, side-stepping him and shoving his arm into the kitchen sink.
“Are you alright?” Jack asks. He wants to move closer, look over Ianto’s shoulder, but now that Ianto seems fine his previous anger has come back up to a simmer. All he can manage is to lean against the counter looking cool and moderately concerned.
“I’m fine,” Ianto said bitingly. “Weren’t you off sulking?”
Jack scowls. “Show me.”
Ianto glares, but holds out his dripping arm There's a two-inch cut curving around his arm from the back to the inside. It's shallow, but distinct. “It's nothing; I'm fine.”
“That'll scar,” Jack retorts. He steps forward, reaches for Ianto's neck. “Let me help you.”
“I don't need your help!” Ianto snaps, backing away. He grabs a dishtowel from the table and slaps it over the cut. “I'll be fine. Just leave me alone.”
He stomps back out onto the half-built porch, leaving Jack staring after him in bewilderment.
The next few days are filled with politeness at work and silence at the house. Jack stays at the Hub after spending a night in bed with Ianto, completely silent and not touching. He watches Ianto when the other man isn't looking, trying to figure out what went wrong, and he thinks he catches Ianto looking back.
On the fourth day, Ianto comes into his office after all the others have left and leans against Jack's desk in his usual spot. Jack looks up at him, blank-faced.
Ianto sighs and tugs up the sleeves of his jacket and shirt. The skin around the cut is swollen and the whole area looks red. The cut is still shiny, not completely scabbed over.
“Infected,” Ianto states the obvious. He lets his sleeves drop back into place and sighs again. “I think it's symbolic. I left a wound open too long and it started to rot. I'm sorry.”
“Let me help?” Jack requests.
Ianto cups Jack's jaw with his injured hand and kisses him. Jack deepens it and the gold heat flows through Ianto's body. When he stands back up against the desk, he pulls up his sleeves to check; the wound is gone. “Thanks.”
“Any time,” Jack whispers.
Ianto nods, looking around uncomfortably. “So, you're, probably wondering why I've been so-”
Jack shrugs. “I hadn't noticed,” he says casually.
The younger man smiles. “Thanks. But... I just felt... You wanted to buy that big house.”
“I mean you, you, wanted to buy it. Not us,” he says quietly.
“I wanted it for us,” Jack corrects.
“I know, but- and then you wanted to do all the fixing-up.”
“You said you didn't like that!”
“I don't, but.” Ianto runs a hand through his hair. “I felt like it was all you. I couldn't have bought that house, I've got no savings. And I- I don't know the first thing about plumbing. Or building porches, for that matter,” he mumbles.
“Ianto, the house is for us, all of it is for us!” Jack stands up, talking with his hands. “I said I wanted to live with you, I didn't just buy a house and let you move in.”
“But you did,” Ianto argues unhappily. “You bought the house, it was all your money. I just wanted to contribute! And I can't even do that.” He gestured at his newly-healed arm. “I always feel like- you're in charge, we all rely on you, but that's Torchwood. I didn't want you to have to do everything for us.”
Jack tips Ianto's chin up from the floor, where it had been hanging dejectedly. “That's rubbish, and you know why? You don't need money to make a home, and you don't need a porch. You make that place a home just by being there, Ianto. I wouldn't want it without you.”
Ianto looks back at his serious face for several long seconds, and then he smiles. “You really wouldn't?”
Jack lets out a sigh of relief. “Not for a minute,” he answers. Then, since he's got him here anyway, he kisses Ianto again. This time lasts longer. “I think we've got some make-up sex due.”
“Not here.” Ianto takes his hand and pulls him to the office door. “Let's go home.”