Jack was lounging in the lounge while Ianto was busy fixing a celebratory ‘You Haven’t Died For A Whole Month’ dinner, an odd event to celebrate, perhaps, but an important one in their world. Initially, Jack had been attempting to help him with the meal, but Ianto’s kitchen was a bit too small for both of them to be working in there at the same time and he’d been getting underfoot, so Ianto had kicked him out in the nicest way possible, suggesting he go and choose a DVD to watch while they ate. After all, why should he have to help prepare his own reward?
Dinner was coming along splendidly; the main course was almost ready, the strawberry tart for dessert looked mouth-wateringly delicious, and all Ianto had left to do was whip up the cream, because Jack loved a dollop of whipped cream on anything fruity, up to and including Ianto.
That was when Ianto hit a bit of a snag.
He dug about in the cutlery drawer, removing the various utensils one by one until it was almost empty, but to no avail; unless it was hiding under the one lone teaspoon remaining at the bottom of the drawer, which seemed unlikely, his hand whisk was missing. Feeling a bit stupid, he checked under the teaspoon anyway, just in case the whisk had shrunk for some unknown reason. Working for Torchwood, you soon learned not to dismiss any potential explanation for strange happenings, no matter how ludicrous it might seem. No whisk, which meant it probably hadn’t been shrunk, which he supposed was a good thing even though it didn’t help much, what with the whisk still being unaccountably missing.
Returning the cutlery to the drawer, Ianto made a quick check of all the other drawers and cupboards, scanned the work surfaces in case he’d already got the whisk out earlier and then forgotten about it, looked in the dishwasher in case he’d left it in there accidentally after the last time he’d used it… Still no whisk. Damn. Where the hell had it got to? Maybe it had sprouted little legs and run away from home. Even that wasn’t entirely beyond the realms of possibility. Heaving a sigh of frustration, he wandered into the lounge to ask Jack if he’d seen it.
Jack was standing in front of the sofa, busily scratching at an itch down the back of his shirt.
“Hey, Jack, have you see the…” That was as far as Ianto got.
Jack had been so intent on scratching, he hadn’t heard Ianto enter and nearly jumped out of his skin, letting out a startled shriek and spinning around. “Don’t sneak up on me like that!”
“You would have been if you’d given me a heart attack! I might have dropped dead at your feet and ruined my ‘no dying’ streak.”
“Well, thankfully you didn’t or I’d have had to call off the celebratory dinner,” Ianto said with a grin. “I know you’re… busy, but I just wanted to ask if you’d seen the…” He trailed off as he noticed what Jack had in his hand. “Oh.”
“The oh?” Jack asked, confused. “What’s an oh?”
Ianto ignored the question. “What’re you doing with my whisk?”
“Whisk?” Jack held it up. “This?”
“Yes, that. I’ve been looking everywhere for it!”
Jack studied the weird object in his hand. It had a red plastic handle from which extended a loop of strong wire with what looked very much like a spring wrapped around it. The spring was narrow at the ends of the loop where it joined the handle, but wider at the other end. “This is a whisk?”
“Of course! What else would it be?”
“I thought it was a backscratcher. It works really well, scratchy but gentle.”
Ianto frowned. “Why would I keep a backscratcher in my cutlery drawer? No, never mind, forget I asked.”
Jack turned the whisk back and forth, looking at it from every angle. “So, a whisk? What’s it used for?”
Ianto rolled his eyes. “Whisking. You know, whipping up cream and stuff.”
“Don’t you have a blender for that kind of thing?”
“Yes,” Ianto huffed, “but some things are better whipped by hand.”
A slow, lascivious smile spread across Jack’s face. “Oh yeah!” he said with a dreamy sigh. “I can think of a few!”
“Get your mind out of the gutter, Jack! That’s SO not what I meant! This,” he snatched the whisk from Jack’s hand and held it up, wagging it at his lover, “is the reason my whipped cream is always so light and fluffy.”
“Really? I never knew that!” Then Ianto’s words sank in all the way. “We’re having whipped cream?” Jack’s eyes lit up and his smile got even wider. No doubt he was hoping there’d be some left over for later in the evening.
“We were having whipped cream, but after where this has been…” Ianto pulled a face at the whisk. “It’s hardly hygienic, is it?”
Jack’s face fell. “Couldn’t you just wash it or something? My back’s not dirty, I had a good shower and put a clean shirt on before coming over.”
Ianto considered. “Well, I suppose if I whisked it about in some boiling water for a few minutes, then rinsed it under the cold tap to cool it…” It would be a shame not to have freshly whipped cream with dessert. He glared at Jack. “Just no more borrowing it to scratch itches, got it?”
Jack nodded. “Got it. Sorry.”
“Next time your back itches where you can’t reach, just ask. I’ll happily scratch it for you if you’ll return the favour when required.”
“A literal case of ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’?”
“Yep. Right, looks like whisking the cream for dessert will have to wait until after the main course. You get to sterilise the whisk while I check on the roast. It’ll be overdone if it’s left much longer.” Steering Jack into the kitchen, Ianto boiled water in the kettle, poured it into a Pyrex basin, and set Jack to work whisking the whisk clean while he busied himself with dishing up roast lamb and all the trimmings.
“For someone who comes from the future, arrived on earth in the past, and has lived here for over a century, you get caught out by the strangest things. Have you honestly never seen a hand whisk before?”
“I’ve seen the kind with blades where you turn a handle and the blades spin, and I’ve seen those little metal ones you can get nowadays, but I always used a fork to whip things up until mixers and blenders were invented,” Jack admitted with a shrug. “I guess even I’m not too old to learn a new trick or two.”