A Gentleman's Gentleman – Chapter One
Jack stood on a small balcony, wrapped in his greatcoat, looking out over the formal gardens which glistened in the cold white light of the moon. Spending three days at a large estate in the rolling hills of Scotland would have been ideal under any other circumstances, but being forced to attend a U.N.I.T. conference wasn't Jack's idea of a good time. He had slipped out of the opening night cocktail reception. The cultured patter of career military types and their wives was something Jack had known too much of during his long life. He had found this small balcony off an upstairs hallway, decorated with a wrought iron garden set and a few evergreens in pots, and he hid himself away in the shadows, sipping his brandy, wishing he were anywhere but here.
His reverie was interrupted when the door behind him was pushed open. He turned to see one of the house staff in a tidy blue dress and white apron looking at him as if he was a naughty boy.
"Ach, there you are Captain Harkness. I've been turnin' the place upside down lookin' for you."
"Well now that you've found me, what can I do for you?" he asked, with a glint in his eye. The housemaid, Deirdre, blushed, but soldiered on in an earnest way which Jack found very attractive.
"Your Aide asked me to find you, and let you know that he had arrived. Were you expecting him, sir? We weren't notified."
"My AIDE?" Jack asked, dumbfounded. "No, I wasn't expecting him."
"Who the hell is passing themselves off as my Aide?" Jack wondered to himself.
"We've found him a small room, Sir. He said he might have to stay for most of the conference to keep you up to date on events back in Cardiff. He said he'd wait for you in your room."
"Thank you, Deirdre. You run along, and I'll see to this matter right away." Jack handed the girl his half-empty glass of brandy and strode back into the house, the tails of his greatcoat swirling behind him. Deirdre found herself downing the last of Jack's brandy as she watched him walk away. The thought occurred to her that her daydreams might just be a little more exciting from now on, and she found herself blushing once again as she closed the doors and went back to her duties.
As Jack strode along the wide corridors, he got angrier and angrier. Bloody U.N.I.T. was always interfering. The last thing he needed was some flunky paper pusher following him around for the next three days. He was only here in the first place at the Queen's insistence.
"For Crown and Country, Captain…" the palace liaison's voice had purred at him over the phone.
"Crown and Country my ass," Jack grumbled as he turned the corner and went to open the door to his room. "I'd like to see what they'd do if I packed up and …"
He never got a chance to finish that thought. He had barely stepped into his room, which was illuminated only by the faint light from a bedside lamp, when he felt someone pinning him to the back of the door and kissing him with fierce intensity. Light bulbs and fireworks rocketed through Jack's brain at the same time.
"Ianto, oh Ianto," Jack whispered against the other man's mouth.
"Jack, stop talking and use that gorgeous mouth to kiss me…" Ianto growled.
Jack grabbed Ianto's arms and flipped him around so that Ianto was pinned up against the door, and kissed him nearly senseless. Ianto broke away from the kiss, desperate at having to stop, but just as desperate to breathe, to stop the world from spinning. He leaned his head back against the door trying to catch his breath.
Trying to restore his equilibrium, Ianto wove his arms around Jack's neck, running his fingers through Jack's hair and holding him close. He planted small butterfly kisses on Jack's eyelids, his nose, the dent in his upper lip, and the cleft in his chin. Between each kiss murmuring, "Missed you. So much. Need you. So much. So lonely without you."
Jack stood there, eyes closed, his fingers gently exploring as much of Ianto as he could reach, basking in the happiness that was radiating from the younger man. This was a man who never failed to surprise Jack, and Jack couldn't help but find this irresistible. Immortality had left the Captain faintly bored with living. He didn't think anything could surprise him anymore. And then Ianto had showed up one dark night and had slowly turned Jack's life upside down. That he could be standing in a room in the arms of this wonderful man, lost in the exquisite joy of the tiny kisses Ianto was peppering him with was a gift Jack had never expected to receive.
Forcing his brain to form coherent sentences, he finally found the words to ask Ianto a question.
"What are you doing here?"
Jack leaned back and locked eyes with Ianto, suddenly worried.
"Everything IS okay, isn't it?"
Ianto met his Captain's gaze with his steady blue eyes. "Everything's fine, Sir. The only thing wrong is that I couldn't stand to spend another day without you."
Ianto's gaze dropped, and he blushed, and hated himself for it. This wasn't him. He wasn't this needy. But Jack had turned his life upside down too. Ianto prided himself on his control. But the fact of Jack took Ianto's breath away. This terrible, wonderful man had taken everything from him, and then turned around and given him more than he could ever have asked for. He had given him more than he had any right to expect. And Ianto planned to spend the rest of his life showing Jack just how grateful he was. Besides, being with Jack was just plain fun.
Ianto had come to delight in their games, and he had had time to plan many new ones. Jack was in for one hell of a weekend.
Jack had been trying to pin down the gleam he saw in Ianto's eyes. Happiness was part of it, along with healthy doses of lust and longing, but Jack knew only too well what wicked things Ianto hid behind those placid blue eyes. And right now there was a telltale glint which told Jack that this conference had just gotten a whole lot more exciting.
"What are you up to Yan?" Jack asked, grinning that patented Harkness grin.
"Classified, Sir. It's on a need to know basis. And you don't need to know. Yet."
Ianto straightened the knot on his tie and tucked it back into his waistcoat. He reached up and smoothed Jack's hair back into place, and with a quick caress of his lovers cheek, he turned towards the door.
"Now, I've driven a long way and I think I deserve a drink and some lousy hors d'oeuvres. If you behave yourself, I might just find time later tonight to brief you on some recent discoveries by your very talented Archivist."
Stepping to the door, Jack opened it, and gestured to Ianto to precede him. In a somewhat overloud voice, he announced, "Right this way Mr. Jones. If you'llaccompany me to the reception, I'll be able to give you an overview of the conference activities."
"Yes, Sir. I look forward to assisting you in any way I can."
"You know Jones, this conference is starting to be full of surprises."
"Oh, sir, you have no idea. I have filled your schedule with a variety of interesting sessions."
"For Crown and Country, eh Ianto?"
Ianto, following just to Jack's right and a half a pace behind, his suit and his bearing marking him as the world's most perfect aide-de-camp, stepped forward just as Jack was about to lead him into the reception hall and said, just loud enough for Jack to hear, "What I have planned… the Queen will definitely NOT be privy to."
Stunned, Jack froze for just a moment, and then before he could take another step into the room, Ianto snagged two glasses of champagne from a passing waiter, handed one to Jack, touched the two glasses together and said with a leer he had learned from his companion, "Bottom's up, Jack."