Rating: G, I would say. Maybe PG for implied or potential smuttiness?
Disclaimer: I don't own Torchwood or any of its characters. No money being made.
Paring/Characters: Jack/Ianto with Martha and Gwen.
Spoilers: Mild spoilers for TW Reset and DW Journey's End.
Summary: To paraphrase Our Lady Peace: Word games are just sex without the mess.
Warnings: It's kinda fluffy. Is that something that requires some degree of warning?
Notes: I realize that Martha even being in the Hub after Journey's End may likely be Jossed by the time Series 3 airs, but I like her perspective on our boys and their games.
Ianto stepped into the main area of the Hub, returning from the archives. Martha looked up as he entered; observed him noticing as Jack chatted with Gwen at her station, with his feet up on the table, like he didn't have a care in the world.
"Jack," he said, tapping his watch as Jack looked up. "You have that conference call with the Prime Minister and the new head of UNIT in ten minutes."
Jack sighed dramatically, getting out of his chair and reminding Martha of a particularly petulant child as he stomped his boots onto the floor. "Can't you just tell them I have some kind of alien-related emergency and I'll talk to them next week?" he suggested, turning on The Charm the way most people turn on a light switch.
"No, Jack. You have to take this. I've set it up for you in the board room." He handed Jack a file folder. "Good communication makes good neighbours."
"Isn't it good fences that make good neighbours?" Jack responded. "Because I have fabulous fences," he declared with a mischievously raised eyebrow. Martha didn't even know what that meant, but somehow he still managed to raise the temperature in the room by a couple of degrees with the statement. Well, for everyone but Ianto, it would seem. Ever since Jack had offhandedly asked her for the UNIT cap and Ianto admitted to her that they "dabbled", she'd found the dymanics of their relationship sort of fascinating.
"Mmm," the archivist replied, non-plussed. "I've seen them."
Jack appeared to accept that he had to go through with the conference call at that point and changed his tactic. "New head of UNIT," Jack muttered, opening the folder. "I hate alien invasions. They always kill someone important, and then I have to break in a new one." He looked up from the file coyly. "Go out with me afterwards?" he said in his most inviting tone... which was pretty damn inviting. It didn't, however, budge Ianto's inscrutable expression.
"I'll see if I'm free," he intoned mildly.
Jack advanced on him a step and his expression became both smoldering and slightly predatory. "Why wouldn't you be free?" he asked suspiciously.
Ianto's expression didn't waiver, but something about his demeanour changed ever so slightly. Martha got the impression that somehow a game had begun. "Are you trying to suggest something about my social life?" he asked.
Jack raised an eyebrow. "Should I be worried?"
"Why, are you jealous?" Ianto deadpanned.
"Is there someone I should be jealous of?" Jack retorted quickly.
Something occurred to Martha. She turned to Gwen. "Oh my God, they're playing Questions," she whispered incredulously.
"What if there were?" Ianto demanded.
"Do you think I would take that lying down?" Jack challenged.
"What do you mean?" Gwen whispered back.
"Have you seen Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead?" Martha asked her. Gwen gave her an odd look. That would be a 'no', then.
"Have you ever taken anything lying down?" Ianto replied, his tone full of innuendo. In fact, with every question they seemed more and more like they were about to devour each other. Jack had opened his mouth to say something further, then glanced at his watch. Martha wondered if it was being late for the conference call that he was worried about, or if he was calculating how long it would be before he could reasonably send them home.
"Can you please remind me to continue this conversation a bit later, when we have more time?" he asked his administrator politely, before turning to head towards the conference room.
"It's a game the main characters play," Martha explained quickly and softly to Gwen. "You win when you manage to trick the other person into answering your question with a statement, a non-sequitor, a repetition of an earlier question or a rhetorical question."
"Can't you remember on your own?" Ianto said to Jack's retreating back.
Jack grinned as he turned around. "Do you always have to have the last word?" he asked before resuming his easy stroll up the stairs.
The ghost of a smile flitted across Ianto's face, disrupting the unflappable look that he'd managed to maintain throughout the clearly loaded conversation. "Does that bother you?" he called as Jack reached the top.
Jack's only reply was to toss Ianto one last smirk before going into the boardroom. A bit later when they had more time, indeed.