sam_storyteller: (Default)
sam_storyteller ([personal profile] sam_storyteller) wrote2005-07-18 10:50 am

Dresser; Torchwood, PG-13

Title: Dresser
Fandom: Torchwood
Characters: Jack/Ianto primarily.
Rating: PG-13 for shenanigans.
Summary: "To be dressed by a skillful man is something to be proud of."
Author's note: You can't blame Doctor Who for this. You can't even blame Jean for this one. It's all [ profile] spiderine's fault for pointing out the coat thing. Actually, probably a good deal of blame rests at the feet of Dorothy Sayers, as well.
Warnings: None.

Originally Posted 3.11.08

Now available at AO3.


JACK: You shouldn't be here.
IANTO: Neither should you.

The first time Ianto does it, Jack is startled. Ianto's not exactly one to touch other people voluntarily, doesn't even seem to like to be touched without warning, though his skittishness is more understandable after Lisa. But as Jack rises to follow the others out, Ianto takes down his coat as if he's done it all his life and steps into position and Jack remembers this, his muscles remember and before he can notice what's happening he's moved in front of him and put his arms back, and Ianto has slipped the coat over his shoulders and tugged slightly to settle it.

He turns, gives Ianto a look neither one of them know how to interpret, and then bolts for the door after the others.


JACK: Something out of the corner of your eye with a touch of myth, a touch of the spirit world, a touch of reality, all jumbled together. Old moments and memories that are frozen in amongst it. Like debris spinning around a ringed planet - tossing, turning, whirling. Then backwards and forwards through time.

The second time, Jack sees him move to take down the coat out of the corner of his eye. Jack's body decides without him, stepping slightly to the right, expectant hands finding the soft wool nap and arms crooking to hook the coat over his biceps.

There is no tug this time; he rolls his shoulders forward and the coat settles immediately. He almost stops to wait for his rifle, but this is the Hub and the twenty-first century, so instead he walks away. He can almost feel Ianto's approval of his tacit acceptance.

When they return from their mission, Ianto brings down a tea service for the team. Jack waits in his office, and Ianto obediently lifts the shoulders of the coat to pull it off.

"You were born out of your time," Jack says, watching Ianto brush leaf-debris from the collar.

"Well, if anywhere on Earth is going to throw anachronisms into reality..." Ianto shrugs and holds out his hand, and again before he thinks about it Jack unstraps his holster and places it, revolver and all, in Ianto's palm.

"Take a compliment," Jack says, as Ianto checks the unfired weapon and swipes a rag across the handle, reholstering it and placing it in the desk drawer.

"Always, sir," he answers with a ghost of a grin.


IANTO: Don't you ever wonder how long you can survive before you go mad, or get killed, or lose a loved one?
TOSH: It's worth the risk. To protect people.
IANTO: And who protects us?

The third time, Jack doesn't even notice. The team does, though.

"So, what's the deal with Ianto then?" Owen asks casually, as he pulls the SUV onto the freeway north out of Cardiff.

"Deal with Ianto?" Jack asks, carefully keeping any edge -- worry, annoyance, affection -- out of his voice.

"Yeah, the coat thing."

"What coat thing?"

"The coat thing," Gwen says, and Gwen looks less irritated than amused. "He put on your coat for you."

"So?" He can't help sounding defensive, which is a pain. Hundred and fifty years, you'd think he'd learn how to do this.

"So, what's the deal?" Owen asks. "Are you two shagging or what?"

"Nobody's shagging," Jack replies. "Much to my discontent."

Owen's eyes snap up to the rearview, and so do Gwen's. Hmm. Intriguing.

"Nobody's shagging me, anyway," he continues. "Why is that? I'm very good looking, and it's not like I'm hard to get."

"Could be 'cause you live in a secret underground base with a pterodactyl. Puts a bit of cramp in a man's style," Owen says.

"I think it's sweet," Gwen says, because Gwen can be trusted every single time to reroute his careful derailment of any discussion. "Sort of an act of forgiveness, kind of a thing."

"I don't need to be forgiven for executing a Cyberman," Jack says through gritted teeth.

"Tell that to the man who was dating it," Owen says.

Jack doesn't tell them he saw Ianto over the course of the four-week suspension, post-execution; he doesn't tell them about Ianto's shaking hands or the meals where Jack ordered food and Ianto picked at it, mouth twisting, trying to shape himself around the words he wanted to say. Neither of them apologised, Jack because he wasn't fucking wrong and Ianto because he has to be allowed some shred of dignity in the whole messy, bloody affair.

He doesn't tell them about Ianto fixing coffee in a scrubby, dark little kitchen, carrying one to Jack and sitting down. He doesn't tell them that Ianto said thank you for freeing me, which is as good as an apology anyway. He doesn't tell them the reason Ianto is allowed back, is trusted far more than he should be if he were anyone else, is because Ianto said thank you and meant it.

"Ianto's Ianto," Tosh says, saving Jack from having to come up with a reply. "You're just jealous because nobody puts your coat on for you, Owen."

"I don't want some tosser in a suit dressing me," Owen says, and is about to go on except Tosh's machine goes beep and then NYAAAAAAAAAAbeep and it's time to be Torchwood again.


TOSH: I shouldn't talk to you.
MARY: So go.

The fourth time, nobody notices. Well, Jack assumes, because by the time he realises it's become habit he can barely remember being ribbed about it the third time.

Jack knows how gentlemen's servants are trained. He comprehends the existence of that level of nonsexual masochism, even if he doesn't understand it. It is Ianto's duty to assist the Captain. If the Captain doesn't notice his actions, he is doing it well. It takes a really twisty mind to get satisfaction out of being ignored, but Ianto's more than up to that task.

Maybe it's some kind of psychosexual thing after all. Like self-flagellating monks. Jack amuses himself picturing Ianto in a religious robe, cowl thrown over his fine dark hair. Then he swallows and tries to get rid of the image, because wow.

But, hey, Jack's always been willing to indulge the kinks of his partners (or friends, acquaintances, enemies, employees...) and if Ianto enjoys the slide of felted wool under his fingers and the brief contact with Jack's shoulders as he settles the coat, Jack isn't going to argue.

This time the coat settles gently, as always, and Jack is about to leave -- nothing more than afternoon coffee with his team and a chance to get out of the Hub, Ianto included, specifically and painfully obviously invited by Gwen -- when he feels a gentle touch, not so much a restraint as a request.

He holds still as Ianto tugs lightly on the lapel of the coat, then digs his fingers around to Jack's neck, straightening the points of his shirt-collar from behind. His fingertips brush Jack's throat, cool and professional, but his breath is warm on the back of his neck. Jack feels his fingertip graze his pulse-point and hears Ianto's breath catch just slightly, but he makes no notice of it, which is a reward of sorts for Ianto. Getting turned on by your employer's throat is definitely against the professional code.

Tosh sees them, but she just smiles and looks away.

Jack sits with the others in the coffee shop and tells stories the whole time they're out, but his mouth is going without any involvement from his brain. His eyes are on Ianto, who helped him off with his coat when they came in and draped it on the back of the high cafe chair.

"Go home, kids," he says, when the coffee is getting low and Owen has completely done shredding the cardboard insulator off his paper cup, which he always does. "Cook dinner on a stove tonight. Call your parents. All that normal stuff."

"I should check the rift monitors..." Tosh starts.

"Go. Home. I'll keep an eye on them. Listen to someone who's been on the Rift a lot longer than you have: nothing's going to happen tonight."

"How do you know?" Gwen asks.

"I know," he says, and gives her a gentle shove towards the door. He doesn't stop when he hears Ianto pluck his coat from the back of the chair; he can sense the silent confusion, then the quick recovery when Ianto realises what he's done. The others are outside, already scattering in the directions of their cars, looking happy and much younger in the afternoon sunlight.

Ianto catches up with him, coat carefully draped over his arm, and walks just a slight stutter-step behind. Neither of them speak; Jack isn't going to ask if Ianto's going home, and Ianto isn't going to ask if he should. Not until he's seen the Captain's coat hung properly.

Jack settles into his chair and tips it back, sighing as Ianto hangs up the coat, runs his fingers down the empty sleeves to arrange them.

"Do you know something the sensors don't, Jack?" he asks, still facing Jack's coat.

"I used to think the longer you spend on the Rift, if you know it's there, the crazier you get," Jack replies. "But there's sort of a terminal velocity of crazy one can achieve, and after that things settle down. I've been here long enough..." he drifts for a moment. "There's no rhythm to the Rift, or if there is it's so big it spans centuries. But there are moods you can get the hang of, after a while."

Ianto turns to look at him, a question in his eyes, and Jack smiles.

"No. The rift isn't sentient, isn't even alive. It's a lack of a thing, like a hole in a wall. But it's part of a natural world, and nature loves symmetry," Jack says.

"Nautilus shells," Ianto murmurs.

"That's right. So after a while you get to know. We shouldn't have anything for two or three days," he says. "Of course, then all hell might break loose."

"Torchwood never fails to entertain."

Jack laughs. "No, that's true."

He has no idea what they're doing. Obviously, neither does Ianto.

"Do you want to go home, Ianto?" Jack asks, and Ianto's mouth tips into something like a smile, as if he's more amused with himself than with Jack.

"No," he says, the end of the word almost a laugh. Jack stands again and Ianto waits for him, stays still as he moves forward.

"I'm about to kiss you," he says.

"I'm quite looking forward to it, sir," Ianto replies, and then Jack laughs and cups his face and kisses him. Ianto's hands brush up his arms to his shoulders -- aha, it is a sex thing, it always is with the quiet ones -- and he's obviously never kissed another man before but he's not doing too bad, all things considered. Top marks for enthusiasm, at least.

Jack contemplates the idea that he might have been seduced. With a coat. Which is new, and very few things in Jack's life are ever new anymore.

Then Ianto's hands drop to Jack's belt-buckle and Jack thumbs his braces off his shoulders on his way to undoing Ianto's tie, and it doesn't really matter who seduced who or whether Ianto said thank-you or what the hell happens to the stupid coat.


OWEN: Don't compare yourself to me. You're just a tea boy.
IANTO: I'm much more than that. Jack needs me.

Ianto has probably kept count of the times he's done this, and if he hasn't then he could roll his mind back along the months and find a tally pretty quickly, Jack thinks. It's not the most sensible thing to think, having just woken from the dead to find his team has opened the Rift and bad shit is happening, but the mind does strange things to keep itself from losing all grip.

He is older than he should be and tired and risen from the dead and his Hub is falling apart over his head, and still his twenty-six-year-old lover has the presence of mind, while half-carrying him to the door, to take his coat as they pass and shove it over his shoulders as they reach open air. It's one small familiar thing in a world fast falling to unfamiliar pieces because even Jack, who has walked the razor's-edge of the Rift for more years than he cares to remember, had no idea that this was coming.

And in the end he's glad, because if he's going to die for good it might as well be with his boots on, wearing a coat they can use to wrap him in when they carry him back to the Hub. Ianto will approve.


IANTO: Are you going back to him?
JACK: I came back for you.

The whole concept of "having a flat" is kind of nice, Jack thinks. There's no ladder to climb to get to the bedroom, and the bed itself is much bigger than his. The shower has a door on it instead of a row of identical showerheads next to it, and there's a whole shelf of soap and shampoo and shaving cream to explore. Ianto shaves with a disposable razor; Ianto uses wax in his hair, not styling gel; Ianto has great towels.

Jack is beginning to regret, on a purely materalistic level, never having let Ianto coax him into coming here before. It would take a rift in time and space zapping them backwards twelve hours and the realisation that he couldn't go back to the Hub to convince him.

Ianto is still asleep, which is not at all shocking. It's a lot to take in, everything that's happened, and after the night (and day and then back to night) they had, not everyone would be up for three rounds of decreasingly angry and desperate sex.

Jack smiles, towel around his waist, as he wanders back into the bedroom. He wouldn't have pushed it if Ianto hadn't pushed first, probably from some twenty-first century instinct to mark his territory, but Jack hadn't gotten laid in a year and that just isn't healthy.

He touches the bitemarks on his shoulder. Now those are healthy. Very straight teeth, Ianto Jones has, and a good sense of when to use them.

He bends to gather up his clothing, pulling his undershirt on first and then his pants. He's trying to turn his trousers right-side out, with limited success given the tangle the braces have gotten into, when Ianto speaks from the bed.


Jack stops, because Ianto never says stop.

Wait once in a while, which had been Jack's signal that Ianto was going to need a minute, but never outright stop. Not that he remembers, anyway, though he'll admit that after a year in hell his memory might be patchy on details. But he's pretty sure Ianto never said stop before. He certainly didn't say stop last night.

And he isn't sure why Ianto would tell him to stop now, when he's damp from the shower and halfway across the room trying to untangle his trousers, and Ianto is lying on the bed in a patch of early-morning sunlight with his hair very prettily mussed from sleep.

"Why?" he asks, having stopped. Ianto shakes his head and slides across the sheets, out from under the blanket. He pads barefoot and naked across the floor, picks up his own neatly-folded trousers and pulls them over his hips. Without a belt, they slide back down a few inches, which means Jack may just have put his underwear on for nothing, because he's pretty sure he wants Ianto in the bed and pretty sure Ianto's easy enough to go.

Then Ianto is taking the trousers out of his hands and snapping the braces off deftly, a few quick shakes untangling everything and smoothing the wrinkles out of the legs. He bends, crouches, and Jack has to close his eyes for a second.

Ianto's hand lifts his ankle and threads it through the trouser leg, repeating the process with the other, and then his knuckles brush up against his thighs as he pulls the trousers up to his waist. Ianto picks up his shirt, studies it, smooths the wrinkles as best he can and Jack remembers this part as he moves behind him and helps him on.

"I had a dresser during the war," he says, as Ianto's arms wrap around him to do up the buttons, slung low by his hips.

"Which one?" Ianto asks, moving upwards, bottom of the ribcage now.

"The first. He taught me how to stand to be dressed. I wasn't used to it."

"I wish I could thank him," Ianto says in his ear, moving his arms away and up around Jack's shoulders to do the last button. He leaves the throat open, the way Jack likes it, and steadies the only-slightly-crushed collar.

"I told you, you were born out of your time." Jack doesn't move as Ianto walks around him, scanning the floor for his discarded waistcoat. "Where did you learn to do it?"

"My father was a master tailor," Ianto says almost absently, bending again. The waistband of his trousers gaps across the hollow of his back, and Jack comes up with four new things he wants to do to that spot right there. "He was born out of his time too."

Ianto looks up and sees Jack's expression, which he imagines is equal parts lust and affection. He hopes so, anyway.

"You're just going to have to take all of this off me again," he says, but Ianto shakes his head, circles behind him, and eases the braces over his shoulders.

"This is a ritual, Jack," he says softly. "Respect it."

Jack nods as Ianto straightens the braces and slips the thin waistcoat around his body.

"There isn't much call anymore for tailors, but wealthy men like the service they provide," Ianto continues. He straightens the watch-chain hanging from his pocket before his arms come around Jack again, fastening new buttons. "To be dressed by a skillful man is something to be proud of."

He strokes Jack's back lightly to even the fabric, then comes around to the front once more. Ianto takes each of Jack's wrists in turn, fastening the cuffs with the regimental studs that somehow tidily made their way to the bedside table the night before. Jack is half-afraid he'll bring the coat next, but instead he lifts his head and smiles, open and affectionate and Jack missed this, missed it so much, missed Ianto smiling at him like he hung the stars.

"Now," Ianto says, "You are the Captain."

And Jack understands. This is Ianto's gift -- every time he brings him his coat or checks his gun. Just a little push of strength, a reminder that he's their Captain. And, at the same time, a reminder that when he can't be Captain anymore he can take it off and leave it behind and be Jack.

"And what does that make you, Ianto?" he asks softly. Ianto's eyebrows rise slightly, as if he's considering it.

"I don't know that I've decided yet, sir," he replies, amusement twining through his voice. "Valet? Bat-man? Dresser? You could call me Bunter -- "

Jack tips his chin and kisses him. He's allowed to do that. He's the Captain.

"Mine," Jack tells him, and Ianto's smile could light the room.


Endnote: The lovely [ profile] kath_ballantyne did an awesome smirky illo inspired by Dresser, which you can find here

Naked, the sequel to Dresser, may be found here.
snakeling: Statue of the Minoan Snake Goddess (Default)

[personal profile] snakeling 2008-03-11 06:07 pm (UTC)(link)
I didn't use to have a clothes-kink, before I read this! (But it's a very nice kink to have *g*)

[identity profile] 2008-03-11 06:07 pm (UTC)(link)
If I have not told you you are phenomenal before I am going to tell you that you are now.

This is a masterpiece of characterisation. I absolutely adore it, and you for writing it!

Thank you so much.

[identity profile] 2008-03-11 06:23 pm (UTC)(link)
This is beyond words amazing. I'm sitting here stunned with enjoyment of this story! Don't you ever stop writing for them, your characterization is perfect and I love each Torchwood story you've done yet (each one a bit more than the previous one).

Seduction with a coat, that takes some skill! Love the added in dialog too, really made the scenes flow wonderfully.

[identity profile] 2008-03-12 01:14 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

You know, looking back on it, if you prompted me on "seduction with a coat" I wouldn't have known what to do. These things just happen. :D

[identity profile] 2008-03-11 06:24 pm (UTC)(link)
This is strangely sexy, and sweet.
This is perfect for light up an hell of a day.
Thank you!

[identity profile] 2008-03-11 06:26 pm (UTC)(link)
HEEEEEEEEEEEE. Oh my. I kind of love this. Ianto as Bunter may well have made my day. :D

[identity profile] 2008-03-11 06:29 pm (UTC)(link)
oh, now that's absolutely cool. ianto is a good man. even if he can't pick a woman's dress size worth anything (*facepalm*), he seems the type to dress a man well.

very very nice, sam. i love anachronisms.

[identity profile] 2008-03-11 09:28 pm (UTC)(link)
Seriously. MASTER TAILOR'S SON, he picks THAT DRESS?

Though I did notice that the card on the box, when Gwen opens it, reads "The best we could do, Jack & Ianto" :D

(no subject)

[identity profile] - 2008-03-11 22:36 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[identity profile] - 2008-03-12 01:37 (UTC) - Expand

[identity profile] 2008-03-11 06:32 pm (UTC)(link)
Brilliant characterization of the two of them, and their relationship.

And now I'm dying for them to film a scene of Ianto dressing Jack.

[identity profile] 2008-03-11 09:28 pm (UTC)(link)
Or undressing him. We're not picky. :D

(no subject)

[identity profile] - 2008-03-20 23:42 (UTC) - Expand

[identity profile] 2008-03-11 06:36 pm (UTC)(link)
Hot. Very, very hot.

[identity profile] 2008-03-11 06:41 pm (UTC)(link)
And Jack understands. This is Ianto's gift -- every time he brings him his coat or checks his gun. Just a little push of strength, a reminder that he's their Captain. And, at the same time, a reminder that when he can't be Captain anymore he can take it off and leave it behind and be Jack.

This paragraph just cut to the core of me and of who Jack and Ianto are when together. Thank you so much for this fic it has easily brightened up my day.

[identity profile] 2008-03-11 06:57 pm (UTC)(link)
I just started reading your stuff, but I'm so going to follow up on it. The level of emotion and characterization you manage to write into these stories are just stunning. Wish I could do it. But for now I'll just keep writing smut

[identity profile] 2008-03-11 07:06 pm (UTC)(link)

Beautiful, like every one of your Torchwood fics. :D I'm glad you wrote a fic about the coat thing, because hahaha I've always wondered about that too~!

Now everytime I see Ianto helping Jack with the coat, I'll be remembering this fic. ^_^

[identity profile] 2008-03-11 07:09 pm (UTC)(link)
Half-naked Ianto dressing up Jack. Wow. I am torn between considering it as a beautiful slash ritual or a beautiful erotic fetish. It just hits so many of my buttons the right way, I can't tell which buttons they are. I'm sure coat!pr0n is one of them, though.

Very nice. I really like the way you write Jack's POV. (Also, I am endlessly amused by your use of "shenanigans" in your rating.) :D
Edited 2008-03-11 19:10 (UTC)

[identity profile] 2008-03-11 08:59 pm (UTC)(link)
Well, really, what else can you call it but Shenanigans? :D

[identity profile] 2008-03-11 07:10 pm (UTC)(link)
I loved this! I'm sitting here, PMSing, with a bad back, and this just made my day. I feel all warm and fuzzy now :D Of course if I move I'm going to feel all OMFG that hurts again instead, but I can always reread ;)

[identity profile] 2008-03-11 07:13 pm (UTC)(link)
That is brilliant. Love the last line.

[identity profile] 2008-03-11 07:15 pm (UTC)(link)
I adored this. So loving and sweet and natural and the nod to Dorthy L at the end was lovely.

[identity profile] 2008-03-11 07:17 pm (UTC)(link)
Awwww, lovely. Lots of lovely little details.

The one tiny nitpick I noticed - Ianto would have pulled up Jack's braces before putting on the waistcoat, it'd be a little awkward otherwise; braces lie over shirts, under waistcoats. :)

[identity profile] 2008-03-11 09:23 pm (UTC)(link)
D'oh! Of course they do. This is what happens when you add a gratuitous waistcoat after the fact.

[identity profile] 2008-03-11 07:28 pm (UTC)(link)
Okay, I love this. And, yeah, definitely hit a couple of my kinks there. Ahem.

[identity profile] 2008-03-11 09:22 pm (UTC)(link)
*grins and pushes Simon's buttons*
ext_3984: (Torchwood Ianto looks good ina suit)

[identity profile] 2008-03-11 07:42 pm (UTC)(link)
This was gorgeous. Seduction with a coat indeed. The last scene completely melted me, Ianto's careful dressing with the on-going mention of his family and his obvious pride in Jack being 'the Captain'. Lovely, lovely fic - bravo!

[identity profile] 2008-03-11 07:50 pm (UTC)(link)
It would take me hours to list all of the buttons that this pushed for me, if only because I am absurdly and anachronistically acquainted with these sorts of rituals myself (and that's several long stories). So aside from being lovely, to me this one is just special.

[identity profile] 2008-03-11 08:21 pm (UTC)(link)

Hey look. I just discovered the little green man.

[identity profile] 2008-03-11 09:16 pm (UTC)(link)
This is like five times longer than it would have been, 'cause of you and your insistence on no infodumps :P

(no subject)

[identity profile] - 2008-03-11 22:16 (UTC) - Expand

[identity profile] 2008-03-11 08:26 pm (UTC)(link)
hahahah oh Bunter.

I love this; I've been aware of Torchwood for awhile, but I'm only just starting to watch, and it's comforting to know there's terrific fic available.

[identity profile] 2008-03-11 09:16 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm quite positive Ianto read ALL the Sayers books when he was at University :D

*coughs* If you're looking for fic reccs, is a good place to start. There's not a lot of information about the fics themselves, but every one of them is vetted high-quality writing.

(no subject)

[identity profile] - 2008-03-11 21:32 (UTC) - Expand

[identity profile] 2008-03-11 08:26 pm (UTC)(link)
This was just amazingly well done. It flows perfectly, and I love Jack's pov.
thornsilver: (torchwood)

[personal profile] thornsilver 2008-03-11 08:31 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh good god, this is hot!

[identity profile] 2008-03-11 08:34 pm (UTC)(link)
Sam, I am so glad the Torchwood bunny bit you. This is, again, a marvelous piece of writing. Somehow you make the smallest actions into something that touches me deeply. The detail in the scenes you write is fascinating because it somehow makes it so complete, so real.

I love the idea of Ianto stepping into the role of the bat-man and the nuances this creates for Jack to step out of his role as Captain. Reminded me of the moment where you take of your costume after a show :)

Thank you for this lovely bedtime story :)


[identity profile] 2008-03-11 08:47 pm (UTC)(link)
I suppose beautiful accurately describes this. However wonderful works very well also.

And you have now left me with a new fascination with Jack's coat. Thank-you ever so much!

Re: Wow.

[identity profile] 2008-03-11 08:56 pm (UTC)(link)
You and Ianto both :D

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