We Don't Sniff the Subetheric Resonator

Note: Ianto had so many awesome lines in 2x02 - 'Sleeper', I had to attempt at least one ficlet inspired by one of them...

"We don't sniff the subetheric resonator!"

Ianto was really serious about this. There had been... incidents before, ugly ones, and, as per usual, Ianto had been the one forced to clean up the mess. Which was why he preferred the resonator safely packed away in the base of the tower, but maintenance was necessary.

Luckily Beth had only taken a small sniff, enough to perceive the unpleasantness of the odour but not enough to do anything drastic. Not that there was much danger of it, in hindsight, what with her being an almost undestructible alien warrior. Still, better safe than sorry, and Ianto put away the resonator as quickly as he could.

However, not quickly enough, it turned out, a fact he discovered when he was downstairs near the showers and was suddenly bowled over by an unmistakably foul stench. Oh no, nonononono... Trying to breathe as shallowly as possible, Ianto tried not to think of what - or rather, who - he might find behind the half-open door. Peering into the shower room, the stink made his eyes water. Hopefully it was a weevil that had gotten loose, or a rat, not one of his co-workers! Although how anyone could have made it as far as the showers he didn't know. Unless...

"Jack?" he called, holding his breath not just to suppress the waves of nausea rolling over him.

"Ianto?" The voice that came from one of the shower cubicles belonged indeed to his boss, causing Ianto to release his breath in a sigh of relief, only to start coughing when he had to breathe in again. Jack sounded unusually meek, however, so Ianto still approached with caution.

When he pushed aside the shower curtain, he was greeted by a sight so pitiful it would have made him laugh if the smell hadn't still been so horrible. Apparently there were some things too bad to get used to. As it was, he didn't have a problem keeping a suitably straight face.


"Ianto. I seem to have a little problem here..."

Jack was leaning against the back wall, trying to look composed, but his clothes were in tatters and what really ruined the picture was the goo, the extremely stinky goo, that covered him from head to toe.

"It doesn't seem to want to wash off. And, Ianto, the smell is killing me!" Jack was as close to whining as Ianto had ever seen him, and keeping a lid on his amusement was becoming harder all the time.

"Admittedly, you have smelled - and looked - better. But let me just get the soap I confiscated from the Ilirian laundromat we closed down, that gets everything clean."

Ianto beat a quick retreat, taking deep gulps of air as soon as the door closed behind him. He shook his head in wonderment. It would never cease to amaze him how the rest of the Torchwood team always ended up in these predicaments. Although admittedly having to clean his usually so suave boss was definitely preferable to the alternative, the one he would have faced had Jack not been... Jack.

"Good thing you still can't die," Ianto said when he returned with the promised soap as well as two nose clamps. "I must say I would not have enjoyed having to clean up your stinky, goo-y leftover..."

This had come out a bit more serious than he had planned, and he fell silent, covering up the pause by fixing the second clamp to Jack's nose, unable to stop his fingers from trembling just slightly as he touched the warm, living, skin. Jack was regarding him quietly, nodding his thanks as the smell became at least bearable, and Ianto gave him a quick grin to break the sudden tension in the air.

"And just imagine what the others would have said if you'd gotten yourself killed by a simple household implement, so short after coming back!"

Decisively Ianto turned the water back on and helped Jack get rid of the slime that was still covering every inch of him, including inside his boots. Ianto sighed in exasperation - these clothes were a total loss. At least Jack hadn't been wearing his coat, the rest was much easier to replace, and Ianto was careful not to get any of the stuff onto his suit. He had only bought the red shirt last week and wanted to keep it, and not just because Jack seemed to like to see him in red. Ianto pushed the ruined clothes aside with one foot, emptying the soap can over them to mask the stink. Finally the air was improving, although Ianto would make sure to pour vinegar down the drains to get rid of the last of the goo.

"Ah, you're a god among men, Ianto Jones!"

As his most recent near-death experience faded, Jack became more and more himself again. Ianto could literally see the realization dawn on him that he was naked in the shower with a soaking wet Ianto, who was still wearing his suit. And the red shirt. However, Ianto was not quite ready to transition to the kiss-and-make-up part of the evening. He removed both of their nose clamps - Jack's maybe a bit less gentle than was absolutely necessary - and took a step back, fixing Jack with a firm stare, hands on his hips.

"So. Next time I tell you not to sniff something?"

"I won't sniff it. I promise." Jack seemed suitably chastened and sincere, as well as being naked and wet.

Therefore, after another moment's hesitation, Ianto relented and rewarded him by finally stripping off his wet clothes, taking in the hunger in Jack's eyes with satisfaction. Time for some life-affirming shower sex. Ianto felt he had earned it.

Really, life would be so much easier if people would just listen to him.