Characters: Jack/Ianto, Team Torchwood
Word Count: ~4800
Summary: *points to title* It does exactly what is says on the tin.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood or any of its characters.
Authors Notes: This is a gift fic for erin_giles to say thank you for my gorgeous LJ banner. Sorry it took so long, I hope you like it.
Five Times Jack & Ianto Tried To Go On a Date – And One Time They Did
*~* 1 *~*
Ianto grinned when Jack arrived at his flat, only ten minutes late for once.
Ianto had tried – and mostly failed – to not have a minor panic attack when deciding what to wear. He over-analysed every possible shirt and trousers combination, while simultaneously panicking that Jack would just turn up in the clothes he had been wearing to work, not seeing the need to make an effort. In the end, he’d decided on a dark red dress shirt he had only worn once and a new pair of plain black trousers, forgoing a tie.
Ianto’s worries were unfounded; Jack had obviously made an effort. He had gone out and bought an almost entirely new outfit – new shirt, new braces, new trousers – but he’d still worn the RAF coat on top. At times Ianto wondered which of them liked the coat the most.
They walked to a small Italian restaurant near Ianto’s flat, bundled in coats and scarves, heads bent against the cold January wind. They had mostly managed to avoid talking about work, instead talking about Cardiff, old films they both enjoyed and infamous Captain Jack stories that Ianto only half-believed.
Jack didn’t talk about his time away and Ianto didn’t ask. Something had happened to Jack; Ianto could tell by the brief dark flicker that entered his eyes every time Gwen or Owen brought up the subject of his disappearance. Jack had gotten answers to his questions, but at a cost. He obviously wasn’t ready to talk about it yet, but when he was – if he ever was – Ianto would be ready and willing to listen.
Ianto really should have been more surprised that they actually made it through one and a half courses before Jack’s mobile started ringing. Getting through the meal and the film afterwards was always going to be a long shot.
Jack pulled an apologetic face before fishing the phone out of his coat pocket. He sighed as he looked at the display. “It’s Owen. What are the odds this is going to be good news?” Ianto shrugged.
“Probably about ten to one.” Jack grinned before answering his phone.
“Tell me you’ve hit the wrong speed-dial?” Ianto couldn’t hear Owen’s reply but judging by the way Jack didn’t immediately hang up on him, Ianto suspected he hadn’t.
“Gwen found an evil puppy?” Jack asked sceptically, while rolling his eyes at Ianto. “Owen what have I told you about experimenting with hallucinogenics without telling me?” Ianto could hear Owen’s shouts of ‘will you be serious’ from his side of the table. Jack sighed again. “Where did Gwen find this evil puppy then? Uh huh. And what’s it doing now? It was using Tosh’s PC to try and hack into UNIT’s mainframe, but Gwen managed to lock it in the hothouse? Owen, if this is a trick I swear -” Jack froze, a look of sudden understanding flashing across his face. Ianto immediately signalled for the bill.
“Owen, does this dog have a black, almost rectangular nose and a dark green collar, with a small diamond attached to the front.” All the sarcasm had vanished from Jack’s voice and had been replaced with a tone of concern. “It’s not a puppy, it’s a Gambon. They tried to invade Scotland a few years ago; would have succeeded too if they hadn’t tried to break into Archie’s drinks cabinet. He didn’t take it that well.”
Having paid the waiter, Ianto stood up and quickly pulled his coat on, before moving to help Jack into his, who was still talking to Owen. “Try and keep it in the hot-house. Don’t let it near any of the computers and DO NOT let it out of the Hub. We don’t want it teaming up with the Weevils. Ianto and I are on our way back now.” Jack snapped his phone shut, before he and Ianto ran out of the restaurant, causing most of the restaurants other customers to throw them suspicious looks and glances.
Once outside Ianto turned, intending to run back towards the Hub, when he was stopped by Jack’s hand on his shoulder. Jack quickly spun him around and pulled him into a passionate kiss. “Are you doing anything tomorrow night?” Jack asked, still standing in Ianto’s personal space. Ianto shook his head. “I was wondering if you wanted to go Weevil Hunting with me?” Ianto raised one of his eyebrows.
“Are you talking about Weevil Hunting or Weevil Hunting?” Jack laughed before kissing him again.
“Is that a yes?” Ianto smiled.
“Yes.” Jack smiled back – not the big cheesy grin he usually used, but a softer one that made Ianto’s stomach summersault - before grabbing Ianto’s hand and starting to run towards the Hub, dragging Ianto along with him.
*~* 2 *~*
Ianto stood with his back to the bar flicking through a programme, trying to remember what show he’d seen the actor playing Romeo in before. Jack was next to him leaning across the counter, ordering their interval drinks while flirting with the barmaid. Ianto barely managed to suppress an eye-roll when the young girl - she could barely be older than eighteen - let out a high-pitched giggle in response to something Jack had said.
They had actually made it through their entire meal this time without either of their phones ringing. Ianto considered it something of a minor miracle.
“I haven’t been to the theatre in years.” Jack commented, as they moved away from the bar and towards two empty seats next to the window. Jack had two pints – one water, one beer - in his hands.
“Lisa used to love musicals,” Ianto replied, “so we used to go to the West End once a month. I haven’t seen Shakespeare since I was at school though. I used to hate it.” Jack’s face dropped. “We did Midsummer Night’s Dream and our English teacher thought himself a bit of an amateur actor – let’s just say the rest of the class didn’t share the same opinion.”
Jack nodded but the anguished look was still on his face. Ianto reached across the small table separating them and took one of Jack’s hands, lacing their fingers together.
“I was friends with this girl in my street. We were the same age but we went to different schools.” Jack nodded. Ianto could tell he didn’t yet understand the relevance, but he noticed Jack didn’t draw his hand away. “They got to study Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet. I was dead jealous. They saw the professional RSC productions when they came to Cardiff and got to travel down to Stratford to see Hamlet. We got stuck with a teacher who loved the sound of his own voice, crap BBC remakes and one local production of Twelfth Night, which nobody was studying.
“A couple of people asked why we couldn’t go as well but they were just told to sit down and shut up.” Jack was grinning now, his despair completely eradicated.
“I can understand why you were jealous. It was spectacular in its day. It’s similar to what you Welsh lot are like with your Rugby.” Ianto did roll his eyes at this. “Thousands of people gathered in one place, their attention completely focused. He had everybody eating out of the palms of his hands. I saw more than one person get stabbed for their tickets.”
“If you’re about to tell me you’ve slept with William Shakespeare I’m walking out of this theatre right now.” Jack took a sip of his water and raised his eyebrows suggestively. Ianto stood up and made to walk away, when Jack laughed and grabbed his wrist.
“Sit down. I didn’t sleep with William Shakespeare. However, I would have if I’d had the chance. The paintings you’ve seen of him don’t do him justice.” Ianto raised his own eyebrow.
“Somebody in British history Captain Jack Harkness hasn’t slept with. I’m shocked.”
Jack’s laughter was cut off by the request that everybody took their seats. Just as they were standing, Jack’s wrist-strap beeped. That was never a good sign.
They looked at each other in shock before Jack flipped open the cover. “You’ve got to be kidding me.” Ianto growled before the hologram could start to speak. Jack shushed him.
“Well hello there Jack.” The familiar blue figure greeted him. “And you too Eye-Candy. Hope I’m not interrupting anything. I heard a rumour that you two were actually doing the whole dating thing; naturally, I had to come and see this for myself. Word of advice Eye-Candy – don’t put out on the first date.” Jack almost missed the next part of the message as Ianto made a noise, not too dissimilar to the sound a Weevil makes before it attacks.
“You’re friends weren’t very hospitable when I first arrived.” The camera angle changed so Captain John Hart’s figure disappeared and the other three members of Torchwood appeared, each of whom was bound and gagged on the floor. All three were glaring at John, each pondering different violent ways they would like to hurt him.
“Naturally I decided to try and teach them some manners. That one in particular,” John pointed at Owen who, like Gwen and Tosh, was attempting to loosen his bonds, “had a few things to say.” John’s smirking face appeared again. “See you soon.” The hologram blew them a kiss before he signed off.
“First thing tomorrow,” Ianto shouted as they ran down the stairs and back out through the main entrance to the theatre, “I’m hiring a lock-smith.”
*~* 3 *~*
Jack and Ianto stepped off the invisible lift still laughing at Owen’s latest experiment gone wrong. The Medic had been experimenting with a new type of compost to see if he could make some of the alien flora in the hothouse grow quicker. Although the majority of the plants did grow quicker, the experiment had some unexpected side effects. One of the plants – it looked a bit like a sunflower, except it was smaller and was bright pink with a blue stem – had exploded when Owen had tried to water it. Owen had gotten covered in little gold pods, which had ticked ominously.
Most of the pods had landed in Owen’s hair and on the floor; however, some had landed in the plant pots, already housing a variety of brightly coloured alien plants. These pods had burrowed into the soil and started to tick louder. Owen – and the rest of the team who had rushed to the hothouse, after hearing Owen’s shriek of surprise – had watched in amazement as blue stems quickly started spouting up out of the compost. After a few minutes, the blue and pink plants had appeared in nearly every plant pot.
By the time Jack and Ianto left the Hub, Owen was half-way through re-potting most of the old plants. He had tried removing the new ones but had only succeeded in breaking four of the plant pots. It was easier – and more economical as Ianto pointed out – to re-house the older plants than to try and wage war on the newer ones.
The girls had left a few hours earlier – Gwen to a night-off with Rhys, and Tosh back to her flat with a tub of ice-cream and a chick-flick film she had rented.
Ianto was half-way across the Plass before he realised Jack was no longer with him. Turning around he found Jack standing frozen a few steps away from the invisible lift.
“Jack? You okay?” Ianto asked as he walked back towards him. Ianto turned again to see what had captivated Jack’s attention. Ianto looked around curiously and then frowned. He was sure that blue police box hadn’t been there earlier.
Jack snapped out of his stupor but any response he was about to make was curtailed by a skinny man, wearing a large brown coat, running across Roald Dahl Plass. Ianto stared as the man froze when he saw Jack and Ianto.
Blue box, brown coat, always running. It couldn’t be...could it?
The man didn’t stay still long enough for an introduction. A mob – only some of whom were human – carrying pitchforks and torches came running around the corner, shouting and swearing. The man immediately started running again and dived straight into the blue Police box.
Ianto continued to stare open-mouthed as the box flashed and then vanished into thin air.
Jack stood staring at the ground, pinching the bridge of his nose before sighing. “Ianto,” he said his voice full of exasperation, “ring the rest of the team. I think we’re gonna have a long night ahead of us – and bring the Retcon.
*~* 4 *~*
Jack stood in front of the mirror in his office, making a few last minute adjustments to his hair. He’d heard the cog door roll open a few minutes earlier, so he knew Ianto was already in the Hub. Owen had probably asked him to make him a coffee before they left, knowing better than to touch Ianto’s precious coffee machine.
Somebody knocked gently on his office door. “Yeah?” He called out, before making one final adjustment to his hair. Finally happy with the result, he spun around and instead of seeing Ianto he was face to face with-
“Owen! How do I look?” Jack asked striking a pose.
“Huh – Uh fine.” Owen replied distractedly. The Doctor opened his mouth as though to say something but closed it again. Jack gave him a concerned glance, before shrugging on his greatcoat.
“Is something wrong?” Owen took a deep breath before facing Jack.
“You’re gonna have to cancel your date with Ianto.” Jack laughed, Owen stayed silent, bring Jack’s chuckles to an abrupt halt.
“You’re not kidding are you? Okay then Owen, I’ll bite. Why am I going to have to cancel my date?”
“Ianto’s...not really in much condition to go out.” Jack stared at Owen then sighed, closing his eyes.
“Right, I’m listening.”
Jack leant against Tosh’s desk, his gaze focused on the CCTV footage being replayed on one of the many monitors. Finally, he stood up, back ramrod straight, and glared at Owen, who was looking around as if he was trying to calculate the quickest way out of the Hub.
“Right, explain this to me one more time.” Owen lowered his head and mumbled his answer to the floor.
“I was playing with that, and yes, I know I’m not supposed to play with the alien tech.” Owen said before Jack could reprimand him again. “I pressed a button on that,” he gestured to what looked like an old-fashioned hair-dryer, that Tosh was currently taking apart with a screwdriver, “and this green light shot out of it. I didn’t know Ianto was up there, he came around the corner and it hit him in the chest. He started to glow, and then...that happened.”
“That happened.” Ianto growled from behind Owen. Owen jumped, not having heard Ianto return from the communal showers in one of the hub’s lower levels.
Jack couldn’t help but stare at Ianto. He looked like he’d stepped straight out of a cartoon. His skin was emerald green, clashing dramatically with his bright purple hair, which was sticking up in fluffy spikes.
Jack fought the temptation to ruffle it as Ianto came closer.
Ianto’s face had a slight pink tinge to it, where he had obviously scrubbed it vigorously to try to remove the colour. There was still a chance they could make the last movie, Jack initially thought as he watched Ianto march over towards a warily looking Owen, they could pretend they were going to a fancy-dress party or something afterwards; but the tail sticking out from above Ianto’s dress trousers, swishing menacingly from side to side...well that may be a problem.
“That happened?” Ianto fumed. “I look like something off ‘The Muppets’ and all you can say is that happened!“
“It was an accident!”
“Which wouldn’t have happened had you not been fiddling with tech you know you’re not supposed to touch!”
“Okay enough, the pair of you.” Jack interrupted, finally forcing his gaze away from Ianto, before Owen could argue some more. The pair fell silent though Ianto looked like he would love nothing more than to throttle Owen with the tie hanging loose around his neck, while Owen would happily rip out Ianto’s innards with his scalpel. “Do you know how to fix this, Tosh?” Jack asked. She nodded.
“We wait. See these symbols?” Jack nodded. “According to the translator they’re instructions. This one here,” she pointed to a circle with a diagonal line running through it and a dot right in the centre, “tells you what buttons to press to activate it and this one” she pointed to a triangle with two horizontal lines through it, “says it should take about six hours until Ianto is back to normal.”
“Six?” Both Ianto and Jack complained at the same time.
“Is there any way to speed up the process?” Jack asked. Tosh shook her head.
“We just have to wait it out.” Jack glanced at Ianto who shrugged his shoulders in a ‘what can you do?’ gesture, before heading up to the tourist information centre to cancel their dinner reservations and to order a few pizza’s. Not that he was getting one for Owen mind.
One of these days dinner and a movie would actually involve something other than take-away and Ianto’s collection of James Bond DVDs.
“Fine, Tosh you can go home.” Jack replied as he watched Ianto leave the main section of the Hub. “Owen, go dissect something; you’re not going anywhere until Ianto turns back to normal.” Jack turned his back on the medic, who skulked quietly back to his medical bay, and followed Ianto up to the tourist information office, already plotting different ways he and Ianto could get their revenge on Owen.
Jack stepped through the secret entrance to the tourist information centre just as Ianto was finishing his call to Jubilee Pizza. His tie had finally been abandoned and was lying scrunched up on the desk. Ianto’s tail was hanging limply by his side, a mirror image of the rest of his posture. Disappointment flowed off the man in waves. Jack made his way over to Ianto and hugged him from behind. Ianto wrapped his tail around Jack’s waist, almost absentmindedly.
“You okay?” Jack asked softly. Ianto nodded.
“I’ll be fine, though Owen’s getting decaff for the foreseeable future.” Jack chuckled quietly; Ianto could feel his chest rumbling against his back. Ianto sighed and leant back against Jack. “Sometimes I wonder if we’re even going to get this date.” Jack frowned behind Ianto’s back before moving to stand between Ianto and the desk. He lightly gripped Ianto’s chin, lifting Ianto’s head up so he could look into Ianto’s eyes.
“Look at me. Ianto look at me.” He said again, when Ianto tried to avert his gaze. “I promise you we will get to go on this date, even if I have to handcuff Owen to a chair.” Ianto sighed again.
“I know. I’m sorry. I’m just...I was really looking forward to tonight.” Jack leant forward and gently kissed Ianto.
Jack leant in again, this time placing his hands on the side of Ianto’s face as he kissed him passionately. Ianto wrapped his tail around Jack’s waist, resting one hand on Jack’s hip and the other on his back. Neither of them noticed the secret entrance slide open a few minutes later, or Tosh walk past them with a happy smile on her face.
Eventually they moved apart and Ianto held his hand out to Jack. “Want to come see me freak Owen out with this tail?” Jack grinned and entwined his fingers with Ianto.
“Can I take pictures?”
Jack noticed Ianto tense next to him, his hand frozen half way towards his mouth, as he stared towards the person sitting at the end of the row in front of them. There were only a handful of other people in the cinema, three teenage girls sat right in the centre while a couple who looked to be in their fifties were sat near the front. They were sat in the back row, Jack with one arm around Ianto’s shoulders while Ianto held the popcorn bucket between the two of them.
Gwen and Tosh had tipped Jack off earlier that afternoon, having seen an advert for the black and white film festival in the paper Gwen was flicking through. Gwen had handed it to Jack, while Tosh handed him a printout showing that they weren’t expecting any rift activity for the next forty-eight hours.
Jack had grabbed the girls and kissed their foreheads, before running out of his office and demanding Ianto go home and get changed.
Now, not even half way through the first of the three films and Ianto’s attention had wandered – and not in the way Jack would have liked. “What’s wrong?” Jack whispered in Ianto’s ear, causing the younger man to jump.
“Nothing” Ianto whispered back, before returning his attention to the screen and the previously forgotten popcorn in his hand. Jack shrugged and turned back towards the film.
Barely ten minutes later and Ianto was once again staring at the back of the person’s head, frowning. “Ianto, what’s wrong?” Jack asked again, trying to work out why this person seemed to be more captivating than the actors on screen.
“Look familiar?” Ianto asked, pointing to the head in the row in front of them. Jack was about to reply no but suddenly snapped his mouth shut in surprise. The head turned sideways slightly, giving Jack a better look at their face.
“You have got to be bloody kidding me.” Jack growled. Reluctantly, he withdrew his arm from around Ianto’s shoulders. The pair stood up, Ianto immediately reaching for his mobile, informing Tosh that they were on their way back to the Hub.
Jack walked to the end of the row before pulling the Weevil up from its seat by the back of its jumpsuit. At first it protested slightly, but became quite willing to be dragged out of the cinema once it realised Jack wasn’t going to attempt to take its extra-large bucket of popcorn away from him.
*~* And One Time They Did *~*
It wasn’t the wolf-whistles that surprised Ianto as he entered the Hub through the rolling cog door; it was more the fact that it wasn’t Jack who was doing the whistling. He pirouetted on the spot, allowing Tosh, Gwen and Owen – though he’d never admit it - to admire his tight coat, fitted shirt and dress pants clinging to all the right places, from their view on the balcony outside the boardroom. The girls were beaming at him; even Owen had a slight smirk on his face.
“Very nice Ianto. Going somewhere special?” Gwen asked. Ianto shrugged.
“Don’t know. Jack’s being even more secretive than usual.”
Jack came bounding out of his office at this moment, seeming to take his name as a cue to make a dramatic entrance. He didn’t glance at the other three as he practically bounced down the steps with excitement, his coat swishing out behind him. “Ianto Jones, you look positively gorgeous.” He announced as he came to a stop beside Ianto and gave him a chaste kiss on the cheek. Ianto rolled his eyes at the remark, but didn’t fight the smile that was spreading across his face.
“You ready to go?” Ianto asked. Tosh interrupted before Jack could answer.
“Wait a minute. Pass me your phones a minute.” Tosh said as she walked down the metal steps towards them, flashing them both a sweet, innocent smile. “I’ve made an important update to the Hub security; it’ll only take a second to install.” They both handed their phones over instantly. Tosh pressed a sequence of buttons on both of their phones, which beeped once, before handing them back.
“Err, Tosh.” Jack said as she walked back up the stairs to re-join Gwen and Owen. “My phone won’t turn on.”
“Neither will mine.” Ianto said, taking the back of his phone to check the battery. Tosh grinned enigmatically.
“They’re not supposed to. I wrote a programme that renders your phones almost useless. You can’t phone out or send messages but we can ring you if anything urgent happens. I sent it to you hidden in a text message yesterday; I just needed to activate it. Now you won’t be tempted to keep checking up on us.”
Jack and Ianto stood staring at Tosh for a few seconds. “You’re an evil genius, do you know that Tosh?” Judging from the way she was grinning, Ianto assumed she was taking Jack’s comment as a compliment.
“Are you guys sure you’ll be alright?” Jack asked. It was a little bit eerie watching three people roll their eyes in perfect synchronicity.
“Jack we’ll be fine.” Gwen replied. “On my old Brownie oath,” both Jack and Ianto grinned as Gwen placed her thumb on top of her little finger, creating the Brownie hand-signal, “I promise not to touch the coffee machine, go into the archives, blow up the Hub or do anything that will result in us having to Retcon half the population of Cardiff.”
Tosh repeated Gwen’s promise, also while making the Brownie promise sign. Everybody looked expectantly at Owen, once Tosh had finished. He sighed, pretending to be annoyed. “I never did anything stupid like scouts, but I promise I’ll behave.”
“Can we have that in writing?” Ianto asked, causing the others to laugh. Owen grinned as he scribbled a note in the little notepad he had in his Doctor’s jacket, before scrunching it into a paper ball and throwing it at Ianto.
“I’m getting this framed.” Ianto replied, with a serious look on his face, causing Gwen to start giggling again.
“Right, if you guys are sure you don’t mind babysitting the Rift for the night, we’ll be off.” Jack said, before placing a hand on Ianto’s lower back and walking them out of the Hub. Ianto raised a hand in farewell, without looking over his shoulder.
Tosh, Gwen and Owen stood on the balcony watching them leave, before entering the boardroom where they had already set up pile of DVD’s and some junk food, once the cog door had rolled shut.
They were halfway through the second DVD – Owen had been outvoted and they were working their way through Tosh’s extended versions of Lord of The Rings – when Gwen’s mobile started to ring. She frowned at the screen. She assumed it would be Rhys but she didn’t recognise the local number displayed on the screen.
“That’s a hotel. The Park Inn, if I’m not mistaken.” Owen said, looking over Gwen’s shoulder at the display. Tosh raised her eyebrow at Owen who shrugged. “Helped organise a Christmas party there when I still worked at A&E.”
“Hello?” Gwen asked as Tosh paused the DVD. Gwen rolled her eyes. “Jack you know the point of Tosh disabling your phones was that you weren’t supposed to check up on us.”
“Tell him to sod off.” Owen said through a mouthful of ice cream. He had the tub to himself, the girls having moved on to the chocolate after the first film.
“Hang on. He wants me to put him on speaker phone.” Gwen said, pressing a button on her phone and placing it on the table. Jack’s American accent was soon drifting down the line; the sound of running water could be heard in the background.
“The Hub’s still standing then?” Jack asked.
“What do you want Jack?” Owen asked, not bothering to take the spoon out of his mouth before speaking. The noise of running water in the background suddenly ceased. Jack sighed before speaking.
“I’m after a favour. Tosh how much Rift activity are we expecting tomorrow?” Tosh quickly swapped windows on her laptop to view the latest Rift predictions.
“Nothing for the next few days.”
“Fantastic. In that case, Ianto and I are taking tomorrow morning...” Gwen, Owen and Tosh exchanged glances as Jack suddenly stopped talking. Gwen was about to ask Jack if he was still there when a male voice with a slight Welsh accent spoke on the other end of the line.
“Jack, what are you staring at?” Gwen wasn’t the only one who would be willing to bet that Ianto was raising one of his eyebrows. Jack’s reply was immediate.
“Make that all of tomorrow. See you guys Friday.”
The rest of the team stared at Gwen’s phone for a few seconds, listening to the dial tone, before she closed it and placed it back in her handbag. She was surprised to find Owen with a big grin on his face.
“What you grinning at?” Gwen asked Owen.
“Tosh and I had a little wager, didn’t we Tosh?” Tosh didn’t reply; she was already rummaging in her bag for her purse. “I told you there was no way they’d be back tomorrow.” Tosh pulled a ten-pound note out of her purse and threw it across the table at Owen.
“I tell you what Tosh; I’ll make you a deal. Double or nothing, they don’t come back until Monday.”
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