Disclaimer- I do not have the pleasure of owning Torchwood. If I did, there would be less aliens and more beautiful Welsh vowels. As you can tell by the aliens, the BBC has the honour of owning the show.
Spoilers- None- for once this is absolutely, completely and utterly AU
General Notes- This is 'Models & Musicians', Take I. (There will be several alternate versions of the concept cropping up- there are just too many directions in which you can take the concept of Jack as a model, Ianto as a musician and Gwen as their PR agent!) This version pretty much comprises soppy romantic fluff (but who doesn't love a bit of alien-free Janto fluff at Christmas? Plus, you know, it's the only thing my muse was willing to write, in spite of my best attempts to coax it into providing the next chapter of 'Almost Here'.) Hope you enjoy, and Happy Christmas!
"You're late," Jack Harkness accused the brunette who dropped breathlessly into the seat opposite him.
Gwen Cooper grinned apologetically as she took a sip of the cappuccino her best friend slid across the table towards her.
"Sorry honey, I was on the phone," she explained, slipping her coat off and relaxing back in her chair. Jack raised his eyebrow in question- Gwen's job meant by its very nature that when she got tied up in phone calls, it was usually something interesting. The brunette grinned.
"Oh yes- I have made a Find." The capital letter was quite deliberate in her tone, and Jack chuckled.
"Rhys not enough for you dear?"
"Not for me, you idiot!" Gwen whacked him with her napkin. "For you. I mean, if Cardiff's sexiest model can reach the grand old age of 35 without finding his true love, he evidently needs all the help he can get."
"Hey, less of the old!" Jack protested. "So… Tell me more."
Gwen grinned with the air of one about to unveil a grand prize. "His name is Ianto Jones; 26; violinist. His old PR company folded- nothing to do with me, before you ask!- so I snapped him up. He's gay, single, charming, intelligent, and very, very available. In fact, he's probably the hottest thing in Cardiff right now, except maybe you. So- interested?"
"You bet!" Jack responded with a grin. "Mind you- is it safe to date a guy with the same PR agent?"
Gwen flicked the napkin at him again. "Oi, we were friends before I took on your PR, remember? I doubt it'll be an issue."
"So, when can we meet?" the American demanded, flashing his most charming smile.
Gwen laughed. "I'm meeting him for drinks at Vigilante tomorrow night- want to join us?"
"Try and stop me!" Jack's tones were eager. Renowned as Cardiff's sexiest male model, he was sick of being hit on by shallow men- or worse, shallow women. There were times he wished he'd waited until he was in a settled relationship before taking up a career in modelling, but then again his mother hadn't really let that be an option. Such a glittering career was great for his sex life, but not so fantastic when it came to looking for someone to spend the rest of his life with. He and Gwen, best friends since the first week of university, had had a long-standing joke: if neither were married by the time they were forty, they'd wed one another and shag their way adulterously through Gwen's client list. All that had changed when she had met Rhys Williams, hooker for Cardiff's premier rugby team. Three years down the line, the pretty Welsh brunette was expecting a proposal at any moment and Jack had lost his 'backup option.' In light of this fact, he had engaged Gwen to use her PR genius to find him a date which had the potential to turn into a relationship, and apparently she had risen to the challenge magnificently.
That said, for some reason the American felt incredibly nervous as he picked out his outfit the following evening. It was unlikely that this Ianto Jones would have no idea what he looked like- the face (and body) of Jack Franklin Harkness was splashed across half of Cardiff, in various magazine ads and on billboards. All the same, the model was well aware that people tended to look very different in the flesh, sans airbrushing, and he wanted to make a good first impression.
He was halfway to Vigilante in a taxi when his mobile beeped, indicating he had received a text.
'I wasn't aware we were taking it in turns to be late. x'
Grinning, he rapidly texted back.
'Sorry, wardrobe emergency- be there in five. Can you keep him that long? x'
'I'll try and keep my hands off him, but hurry up. x'
Raising an eyebrow, Jack glanced outside the window and noted with pleasure that he would be at the bar in less than a minute. Even so, he could not resist one final text.
'Thought you said he was gay? x'
Inside the bar, Gwen chuckled.
'He is, but if you don't arrive in ooh… two minutes, I'll try and turn him. x' she texted back, her phone discreetly hidden in her bag whilst her eyes and smile were fixed on the young man beside her.
"So are you willing to travel for concerts, or did you want to remain purely local?" she enquired, keeping up the pretence that the meeting was actually about business.
Ianto Jones paused to consider, taking a sip of his pint. "Depends what kind of location you're talking," he responded cautiously.
"Well, London, for starters," Gwen gave an example.
"Yeah, I daresay I could do that…" Jones conceded, and she grinned.
"Fantastic." Her smile broadened as she caught sight of the man hurrying through the door. To Ianto's surprise and faint displeasure, she turned away from him and waved to someone whom he couldn't quite see through the crowd. When they shifted to reveal the newcomer, however, his breath caught in his throat.
"Oh, Ianto, there's someone I'd like you to meet," Gwen said smoothly, somehow managing to sound completely casual as she gestured to the bar stool next to Ianto to indicate that Jack should sit.
"Jack: Ianto Jones, my newest acquisition and Cardiff's hottest violinist. Ianto, this is Jack Harkness, my first acquisition and Cardiff's biggest model."
"You know, Gwen, you really ought to think your introductions through- that could be taken in completely the wrong way," Jack drawled, flashing Ianto a charming smile. "Though in this case I can certainly agree- I do believe you have found Cardiff's hottest violinist."
About to force his brain together for long enough to give a polite response to Gwen's introduction, Ianto suddenly found himself flushing scarlet.
"Have you always been that forward, or is it a result of being plastered across every magazine in the city?" he enquired.
Jack chuckled. "Ooh, loaded question! How about you buy me a drink whilst I think of a witty answer?"
The Welshman raised an eyebrow. "Alright, but the next round's on you," he cautioned. He supposed he couldn't really complain about buying this flamboyant American one drink when he hadn't actually paid for the pint in his hand- Gwen had passed the barman a tenner before Ianto had even been able to locate his wallet.
Suddenly remembering the existence of the brunette, the two men looked round, but she was nowhere to be seen. Instead, the beer mat between them seemed to have mysteriously gained some writing.
'Sorry guys, had to dash- just remembered Rhys is cooking for me tonight. Was going to say goodbye, but I didn't think I could get a word in edgeways. Have a nice night!'
Chuckling, Ianto looked at Jack. "Why do I get the feeling we've been set up?"
"No idea," the American grinned back. "The altogether-too-neat message on the beer mat have anything to do with it?"
"Quite possibly," Ianto mused. "So anyway, what are you drinking?"
Jack considered. "Will I sound totally camp if I order a tequila sunrise?"
The Welshman grinned. "Well, I seem to remember a certain eighties cop show where Harry makes Dempsey a tequila… well, sunset, to be precise, but anyway. Dempsey, I think you would have to say, is very much macho and most definitely not camp. So I guess I can get you a tequila sunrise without thinking any less of you."
He received a dazzling grin in return. "How incredibly kind of you, Mr Jones. The macho pint worried me for a second, I must say. But anyway- you watch 'Dempsey and Makepeace'? I thought I was the only guy in Cardiff that sad!" He nodded his thanks to the barman as a tequila sunrise appeared in front of him as if by magic, along with the words 'on the house'.
Grinning both at not having to pay for the drink after all (he was just a touch cash-strapped at that precise moment in time) and at Jack's comment, Ianto tried not to sound desperately uncool (or desperately desperate, for that matter).
"Are you kidding me? Come on, Harkness, you cannot tell me that you haven't noticed- Dempsey is hot."
"Ooh, got a thing about Americans, have you?" Jack teased. "Lucky me."
Ianto laughed. "Only the hot ones."
The rapid yet totally serious reply made the Welshman laugh again, temporarily forgetting his monetary troubles. It looked like something good might finally be coming his way after all. And from the looks of it, he wouldn't even have to try too hard to create an image- his sixth sense was telling him that here was a guy he could just be himself with.
Suddenly Jack laughed. "Dear God, Ianto, I've known you, what, twenty minutes, and already you know more secrets about me than I usually divulge before the third date."
The violinist raised an eyebrow. "You're evidently a secretive man then- all I seem to know about you so far is that you're a bolshy American model who secretly watches 'Dempsey and Makepeace'."
"Like I said- a lot." Jack tried hard to keep the bitterness from his tones as he hastened to explain. "You're young, Ianto- when you've been around a little longer, you'll understand that giving away too much too soon usually ends in a tabloid exposé. It takes at least two dates to sound a guy out, and check if he's shallow. Fifty percent of the guys I date turn out to be only interested in my body- because I'm a model, they assume I'm stupid, shallow and loose."
"Well, as a violinist, I doubt I'll find that out to that extent," Ianto mused, subtly turning his body more towards Jack's so that their legs brushed lightly together. "But this may be a good time to tell you that I am in full possession of a brain, and know exactly how to use it. I hate publicity, so the chances of me selling anything to a tabloid are very remote. And believe it or not, I'd quite like to take you out to dinner before I drag you into bed…" he trailed off, shocked at his sudden boldness. Usually he waited to be asked out, especially when presented with an older, more confident guy. Suddenly feeling terribly embarrassed, he turned his face away. Soft fingers under his jaw turned it back, and he found himself gazing into impossibly blue eyes alight with laughter.
"Oh, so you do want to drag me into bed eventually? That's a relief- I thought you were just after my DVD collection."
Ianto grinned. "Well, take me to dinner, sir, and maybe I'll let you show me your DVD collection."
Jack snorted. "That has got to be the most bizarre euphemism for 'penis' I've ever heard."
He was rewarded with a shy yet impossibly charming smile. "Oh, you saw through that? Damn- either I'm painfully transparent, or your modelisers are wrong and you do have a brain."
"Oh, I have a brain alright!" Jack retorted, shifting so that his foot was resting on Ianto's bar stool. "First class degree in astrophysics- who cares if it's only from the University of Cardiff instead of Oxford, like my best friend from sixth form? A degree is a degree."
"Wow." Ianto was impressed. "You've got me beat. I refused to study Music; took my degree in History instead and only managed to come out with a two-one. My father was furious- he's barely spoken to me since. He had such high hopes for me, considering that I'm the first in the family to go to university."
"A two-one is still an excellent qualification," Jack defended his new acquaintance as he replaced his glass on the bar with a frown. "Is it me, or did all the nice alcohol vanish?"
"I think a little elf popped up from under the table and drank it all whilst you were distracted by my dashingly handsome visage," Ianto deadpanned, setting his empty pint glass next to Jack's cocktail one. Hiding a smile with difficulty, the American glanced beneath the bar with exaggerated seriousness, then glared at the Welshman.
"You're lying," he accused, and waited a beat. "We're not sat at a table."
The observation was so unexpected that Ianto's laugh caught in his throat, causing him to splutter. Blue eyes full of concern, Jack brought his hand round to rub the violinist's back soothingly as he fought to get his breathing under control.
"Thanks," Ianto murmured, as soon as he had the vocal capacity.
"No problem," Jack responded with another show-stopping grin, sliding his hand down the Welshman's arm to rest on his hand. "So. I don't know about you, but I'm starving; and if I remember rightly there's a gorgeous little Italian place a couple of blocks away. Want to go eat?"
"As long as you're paying," the Welshman grinned, slipping down from the bar stool and into his coat. Jack echoed his actions and gallantly offered him an arm.
"Oh, I think I might just manage that, having just signed a new contract and all."
Dinner passed in a blur of delicious food, light-hearted banter and further confessions of the DVD collection. 10pm came and went almost without their noticing, and it was only when the restaurant practically threw them out at ten to eleven that Jack and Ianto hailed a pair of taxis and went their separate ways, identical blissful smiles plastered on each face.