Summary: Ianto wants to know what Jack's been telling Martha during Reset
Ianto stopped hesitantly just inside Jack's office door. "Can I have a word?" he asked.
Jack waved him in. "If this is about how you don't think I should be sending Martha into the Pharm, you can save your breath; Owen's already given me that lecture."
"No," responded Ianto, sitting down on the chair Jack kept in front of his desk. "Although I think Owen's right - I don't think we should be putting Martha at risk. A bit late for that now though." Martha was already ensconsed in her bedroom at the Pharm. He fiddled with some papers on Jack's desk, aware he was procrastinating. He didn't really want to have this conversation; maybe he should just leave it, just put up with-
"Ianto?" prompted Jack, cutting into his thoughts.
Ianto closed his eyes and took a deep breath. "Jack, what did you tell Martha?" Stupid that he was so nervous about bringing this up, but he and Jack never talked about this kind of thing, although he was pretty certain they had an unspoken agreement not to tell anyone about their... thing together. Well, that was what he'd assumed.
"Ah," said Jack. "Well, I just asked her to get me a UNIT cap for personal reasons. I said you'd look good in it," he added levelly, without his usual leer. He looked Ianto in the eye. "Is that a problem?"
"I... well, I thought we didn't tell people about... you know... about us."
Jack leaned back in his chair, pressing his fingertips together. "You want to be in the closet?" he asked, maintaining an air of detached interest. It occurred to Ianto, not for the first time, that Jack was only ignorant of 21st century conventions when it suited him to be.
"No, not closeted, just... discreet." God, this was ridiculous. This was starting to feel like his appraisals at Torchwood One, as if Jack was some kind of sexual mentor, or something. And Jack was being impossible to read; usually Ianto could easily tell Jack's mood, even if he often didn't know the reason for it, but now Jack seemed very closed off, and that couldn't be good.
"Hidden," suggested Jack evenly.
"If you like," agreed Ianto helplessly.
"OK, fine," said Jack, going back to his paperwork.
Ianto stared at him. "Jack...?"
Jack looked up again. "I said fine, Ianto," he said tightly. "I won't tell anyone else. Do you want me to retcon Martha?"
"No, of course not," Ianto sputtered.
"Well then. If you don't mind," he added, gesturing to his paperwork.
With an effort, Ianto resisted the temptation to screw up Jack's papers and throw them in his face, and stalked out of the office. Ignoring some comment from Gwen as he passed through the hub, he didn't stop until he got down to the archives. Leaning his head against the wall, he took a deep, shuddering breath and wondered what the hell had just happened.
Jack stared unseeingly at his papers, trying to ignore the lump in his throat. He didn't know why it hurt him so much every time that Ianto pushed him away; he'd have thought he'd be used to it by now. And he'd known that Ianto wouldn't be impressed if Martha mentioned anything, but, bouyed up by his joy at seeing her, and by a very ... mmm... successful evening with Ianto the previous day, and, if he was honest, keen to warn Martha off Ianto, just in case, he hadn't been able to help himself. And he understood, he really did, even if he sometimes pretended not to. He may be a 51st century man, but he'd lived through the 20th century too, and he knew the difficulties; and added to the usual problems, he was Ianto's boss, and he'd killed his girlfriend, and he'd kissed him in front of everyone and then just left. He could see why Ianto wanted to be discreet in front of the team. But for God's sake, Martha was his friend, and they'd been talking about why they didn't really miss travelling with the Doctor, and he'd wanted her to know about Ianto.
Jack leant back in his chair and sighed. He'd been on the defensive, and he knew he'd just made things worse. He knew Ianto wasn't much of a talker, and particularly hated talking about them, and that it must have cost him a lot to come and try to have that conversation. He'd need to clear the air between them, and soon; he needed them both to be able to concentrate on Martha, and he didn't know about Ianto, but his mind wouldn't be on the job until he'd made sure that they were still OK. But he really didn't want to have a repeat of that conversation, not right now; he had to find some way of touching base with him without going over the same ground.
In the archives, Ianto wanted nothing more than to just go home and get away from Jack and away from Torchwood, but with Martha still at the Pharm there was no end to the night in sight. He grimaced; that would be the disadvantage of shagging the boss then. He just hoped nothing kicked off with Martha just yet and that he could stay down here for a while.
Unfortunately, it wasn't twenty minutes before Jack's voice crackled in his earpiece.
"Ianto? Can you come up? There's something I want to tell all of you together."
Sighing, Ianto made his way back to the main floor of the hub. When he got there, Jack stopped him with a hesitant smile and a discreet hand against the small of his back. "I'm sorry, Ianto," he murmured in his ear. "We'll talk about it properly later, OK?"
Ianto smiled back, still confused, but reassured, and nodded.
"Right, kids, gather round," announced Jack, much louder, bounding towards the centre of the hub. "I want to tell you about Martha Jones."
Days later, after Owen had died and Martha had been restored, and then gone home, Ianto realised that they never had talked about it, but after all that had happened it didn't seem like the right time to bring it up again.