Title: Too Good to Be True

Pairing: Jack/Ianto, OC/Ianto, mentions of Ianto/Lisa, Gwen/Rhys, maybe some Owen/Tosh

Disclaimer: I don't own Torchwood or its characters.

Warnings: Language, slash

Summary: Jack is gone and Ianto is trying to just forget about him but can't. Then Ianto meets someone outside work. Thing is, the guy seems too good to actually be true. After all, nothing good can happen to Ianto Jones. Or can it?

AN: And, for a timeline, this is begins in those months that Jack was gone, but continues as a completely AU Season 2. And, just so people know, I can't write kissing or sex scenes. They just don't work.

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Chapter #1: Just Some Guy

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The first few months after Jack's disappearance had been hard. They hadn't known what to do with themselves after replaying the CCTV footage and discovering that Jack had actually left of his own free will. What were they supposed to do now? Their boss had abandoned them and they were all alone.

Nobody had wanted to step up to replace Jack, Owen saying he didn't want the responsibility, Gwen saying she was still the new girl, and Ianto and Tosh not even in the running for some reason or other.

But eventually Gwen, after a long week full of argument after argument and a disastrous outing involving a roaming pack of space badgers, finally stepped up as leader and the four of them had gotten down to business. Jack was gone, but the Rift still existed and Cardiff needed them.

Some things changed. Without Jack they had one too few people to go into the field so Ianto was called upon more often as a field agent. Without Jack, the four of them needed to depend on each other even more than before and they grew closer. They learned new ways of interacting with each other and even spent time together outside of work. A new phenomenon that led to one late night, after they had all just gotten back from a standard Weevil hunt.

None of them had been injured and they'd all still been pumped on the sheer adrenaline that only a mad chase through the streets of Cardiff and a successful capture could bring. As a result, Owen had gotten it into his head that they needed to go out for a drink. Gwen had agreed and the two of them had then spent a little while convincing Tosh and Ianto of the brilliance of this idea. Eventually Ianto and Tosh agreed too and the four found themselves in a small, but crowded, pub, seated at a table towards the back and just having some fun.

"Oh my God," Gwen said, nearly doubled over laughing at some story Owen was telling. "And – and remember when he did . . . when he did that thing?" she asked, waving a hand in circles around the area of her head to indicate the thing in question. She was clearly already on her way to getting a more than a little drunk.

"That thing with his head?" Owen said, seeming much more sober. Gwen nodded, still laughing, and Owen shook his head, trying to look disgusted but not quite able to get rid of the smirk on his face. "Oh yeah. I remember." He tipped his beer at Ianto, who was looking politely confused, and said, "I tell you, mate. Some things you just shouldn't have to see that early in the morning."

Tosh smiled slightly at this and sipped her own beer quietly.

"And this was when?" Ianto asked, still politely confused, as he didn't remember the alien from the story.

"Umm . . ." Gwen tried to think, screwing up her face in intense thought. "Last October?" she guessed and turned to Owen to see if he knew.

"No," Tosh said, shaking her head. "No, it was December."

"You sure?" Gwen asked, turning to Tosh now.

"Definitely. I remember the Santa from the mall that morning," Tosh replied.

"Oh yeah," Gwen said, clearly remembering this now too as she sat back in her seat with a smile. "Jack said something about sitting on Santa's lap."

There was an odd pause as there always was whenever Jack's name was mentioned. Then Owen took another swing of his drink only to discover that it was empty. Looking at his empty bottle in disgust, he pushed it away and asked, "Alright, whose turn is it to get the next round?"

Ianto sighed and put down his own drink. "Mine, I suppose." He looked at each of his coworkers to get their drink orders. "Everybody wants the same?"

Everyone nodded so Ianto stood up from his seat and started to politely push his way through the crowd to get to the bar. Once there, he noted that the bartender seemed busy at the other end and settled in for what may be a long wait.

Leaning lightly against the bar counter, he turned to look out at the crowd, watching as strangers crowded each other, some pushing their way closer to the bar, others already at the bar and shouting for the busy bartender, and still others just watching the small TV screen and shouting at the football game shown there. Ianto was surprised to note that he was smiling slightly as he watched these strangers go about their night.

When Jack had left, he'd been devastated. Before, he and Jack had shared a loose arrangement of casual shagging. Usually whenever Jack was bored or horny, Ianto would stay late after work and they would have some fun together. And that was all it was to Jack—some fun. He'd made that perfectly clear. But that didn't mean Ianto hadn't felt anything for the older man anyway. Oh, he'd cursed himself for starting the arrangement in the first place, but he'd still kept it going because he had found himself liking what Jack was offering. Towards the end, he'd been willing to do anything just to keep Jack coming back to him and if that meant he was considered only a part-time shag then so be it.

Those first few weeks after Jack had left had been difficult. Jack had become so important to him so quickly and Ianto had found himself lost without the older man. But he had persevered, just like always, and he was starting to find that he was gradually getting over him. It felt good in a way. Liberating even. He still missed Jack of course, and there was still a hole in his life that the older man had once filled, but it didn't hurt as much anymore and he now knew that everything really would be all right in the end.

Glancing back to see that the bartender looked like he might be working his way over to Ianto's side of the bar, Ianto turned back around, only to be bumped into by the person next to him.

"Oh. Sorry," the person said absentmindedly, glancing at him and then away. But then, seeming to realize just what he'd just seen, the man turned back to Ianto and seemed to give him a more proper once-over. Starting to smile, the man said, "I mean, hello."

Ianto gave the man one of his small smiles just to acknowledge him and then turned back to wondering if the bartender would ever get over to his side of the bar. That first movement in his direction had been a false start and the bartender was still all the way on the other side of the bar.

"So . . ." the man he'd bumped into said, starting to lean in closer to Ianto with a grin on his face. "Come here often?"

Distracted, Into barely threw the man a questioning look before leaning over and waving a hand at the bartender, trying to get his attention.

"Alright, fine," the man said, seeming to realize that he barely had Ianto's attention, "That was a bit of a sad attempt. What's your name?"

"Hmm?" Ianto said, still busy waving at the bartender. Seeming to realize that someone was talking to him, he drew back in his hand and turned to the man next to him. "Oh I'm sorry. What was that?"

"Ooh, an accent," the man said, really starting to grin now that he had Ianto's attention. "I love a man with an accent. What's your name? I'm Stephen." He held out a hand to Ianto and, not wanting to be rude, Ianto shook it.

"Ianto," he said simply, half of his attention still on the bartender over the man's shoulder.

"Lovely name," the man, Stephen, said, still grinning that grin. "Goes right along with the lovely face."

Hearing this, Ianto blinked and then really turned to look at the man for the first time. He was tall, just a few inches taller than Ianto himself, with a strong jaw and carefully styled blonde hair. Put together with the British accent and he was quite the sight. Not someone Ianto really minded a flirt from, though the man was being a bit brave flirting with him in the middle of this everyday pub. He was just lucky Ianto wasn't one of the everyday homophobic masses.

It reminded him of Jack and maybe that was why Ianto decided to flirt back.

"You say that to all the boys, do you?" Ianto asked, something of a smile growing on his face.

"Only the special ones," Stephen replied cheekily. "And let me say," he continued, giving Ianto another long look-over, his voice liberally soaked in erotic promise, "you look like you could be one of the very special ones." Eyes returning to Ianto's face, Stephen sounded almost amused as he asked, "You always get this dressed up for pub-night, do you?"

Ianto looked down at his three-piece suit in some embarrassment. "Ah . . . no," he said then looked back up at the other man with a small self-effacing smile. "I just got off work actually."

"Yeah?" Stephen replied, actually looking interested. "What do you do?"

"Nothing interesting, I'm afraid," Ianto said, looking away for a second and giving a little shrug before turning back to Stephen. "I work at the local tourist office."

"Ah," Stephen said with a nod as if he understood. Settling back against the bar counter, he continued, "Well, that's better than me. I'm still in the process of looking for a job at the moment. Just got into Cardiff the other day."

Ianto grinned at this. "And you're already at the pub."

That made Stephen grin again in return, turning back to Ianto to say, "Of course I am! You meet all the best people at the pub. I met you, didn't I?"

Ianto smiled and looked away, shaking his head.

"Come on," Stephen said as he straightened up. "Let me buy you drink."

"Oh no," Ianto said, turning back to Stephen and shaking his head again with another smile. "You couldn't."

Stephen just smiled and offered again. "No, I'm serious. Let me buy you a drink and then we can go over into that corner over there and get," here Stephen started to get a mock lecherous look on his face, waggling his eyebrows at Ianto as he said, "better acquainted."

"No, really," Ianto said as he shook his head again, though it was clear he was amused and seriously tempted. "You couldn't. I'm here with some friends and it's my round."

"Then let me buy them all a drink," Stephen offered, "Whatever it takes to get you over in that corner."

Ianto smiled yet again but looked about to turn Stephen down for a third time when he heard his name being shouted.

"Ianto! Ianto!" Owen said as he rudely pushed his way through the crowd at the bar. Finally seeming to notice Ianto's position, Owen began pushing in that direction, eventually coming to a stop right in front of him. "Shit. There you are," he said, sounding frustrated and impatient. "What the fuck is taking so long?"

Stephen raised a brow at the language. "And who is this?"

Owen seemed to finally realize Stephen's existence and gave the man a dirty look. "Owen Harper, mate. Who the fuck are you?"

Ianto sighed but introduced the two. "Owen this is Stephen. Stephen, Owen."

Owen glanced between Ianto and Stephen suspiciously and quickly seemed to realize what was going on. "Oh. Oh." He looked at Ianto as if disgusted. "Oh I can't believe you. We send you for drinks and I catch you trying to pull. What's the matter? You finally realize lover boy's never coming back?"

Ianto winced at the mention of Jack, but got that under control quickly and looked at Owen steadily as he said, "I'm still getting the drinks. Why don't you go back to the table while I do that?" He wasn't going to feel guilty. Jack had abandoned them and the two of them had never been serious to begin with. There was no reason he shouldn't be flirting with whomever he wished.

Owen shook his head at that idea. "No way. I leave you now and you'll just get caught up in this bloke's bloody eyes again or what have you. I'll get the drinks. You go have fun. God knows you need it."

Ianto frowned. This didn't sound like the Owen he knew. "Are you sure?"

"I'm positive," Owen replied irritably, "Maybe getting laid will do you some good. Get you to stop being so goddamn anal about every bloody little thing." Owen shooed him off. "Go. I don't want to see you again until tomorrow morning. Doctor's orders and all that."

Ianto still wasn't sure about this, but he wasn't going to turn down Owen when he was feeling generous. "Well, okay . . ." He turned back to Stephen. "Is that drink offer still open?"

Stephen's smile was brilliant as he replied, "Of course."

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"This is a nice place," Stephen said, looking around at Ianto's apartment building.

Ianto didn't say anything in reply, a little nervous about having offered to bring Stephen back to his place. How long ago had it been since he'd actually done something like this? Actually had somebody come back to his place? It certainly hadn't been Jack and Lisa seemed ages ago.

Finally the lock clicked and Ianto swung open the door, allowing Stephen entrance.

Looking around, Stephen nodded as he walked further into Ianto's apartment. Then he turned to look at Ianto himself. Seeming to realize that Ianto was a little nervous, he offered, "You know, we don't have to do this. We can just—

"No," Ianto interrupted him as he shook his head and dropped his keys in the little container on his kitchen counter then turned back to Stephen. "I want to do this. I need to do this." Coming closer, Ianto grabbed Stephen by the shirt and pulled him in closer for an almost chaste kiss.

Wanting more than this, Stephen pulled Ianto even closer by the folds of his three-piece suit so that their hips touched and deepened this kiss.

Things just went on from there.

The next morning, Ianto woke to the novel sensation of having someone else in his bed with him. It had been years since that had happened. It certainly had never happened with Jack. He was almost surprised to find that he kind of liked it.

Turning around in bed, he smiled at the sight of Stephen's sleeping face. Last night had been fantastic.

Then, turning to look at his alarm clock, he noticed that he had five minutes before his alarm went off. Deciding to just get up and get ready for his day, he turned off his alarm and got out of bed to go take a shower.

Returning almost fifteen minutes later having shaved and showered, he went to his closet to pick out a suit then went into his kitchen to drink his morning coffee and eat his morning piece of toast.

Finishing that, he went back into his bedroom and got out a post-it note where he wrote a quick message: 'Went to work . . ." Here he paused, having to reassure himself that it was perfectly natural to want to move on and that Jack would be happy for him before writing, 'Call me: 555-4576' He stuck this to Stephen's shoulder and went to pick up his keys and go to work.

Now he'd just have to see if Stephen called.