Title: 14 Reasons
Summary: After a disastrous attempt at a first date Ianto thinks things are not meant to be with Jack. Can Jack change his mind?
Characters: Jack and Ianto
Spoilers: Takes place after KKBB with a slightly AUish ending
Beta: badly_knitted. Thanks for the second pair of eyes on this.
Notes: Written for cotton-candy bingo. The prompt is at the end. When I started this I expected this to be around 500 words, but that clearly did not happen.
As far as first dates go, first official dates anyways, tonight would rank high among the worst ever in recorded history.
Ianto was not sure why Jack even asked him out on the date in the first place. Misplaced guilt over disappearing for months was one of the reasons, but the other reason caused the Welshman to question his sanity and morals for agreeing to the date. Jack had no idea Ianto saw his little interaction with Gwen on the CCTV. Which one of them did he really come back for? She was taken, so that left little naïve Ianto or at least that is how Ianto thought Jack saw him. Then there was how Jack suggested the date. Who gets hot and bothered over office furniture? Jack 'Freakin' Bloody Everything and Anything Makes Me Horny' Harkness, that's who.
After Owen's latest experiment exploded all over him in a mess of greenish-blue putrid slime and his car had a flat tyre, Ianto knew that the fates were saying this was not meant to be. There was a sign reading 'Do not date Jack Harkness' practically written in blinking letters in the sky.
Jack being Jack turned on his charm and suggested they walk to the restaurant as it was not too far from the hub. Fate reared its ugly head once more when a car came within an inch of hitting Ianto. The response from the archivist was a string of very nasty curse words.
Ianto became tenser when Jack tried to jostle him out of his obviously foul mood. Things did not get better when they got to the restaurant. They were placed at a table near the restroom from which a noxious odour was wafting.
It only took ten minutes for things to go from bad to worse when a waitress lost control of the plates she was carrying and a full bowl of fettuccine alfredo ended up in Ianto's lap.
"That's it!" Ianto snapped as he stood up and tossed his napkin onto the table. A vein throbbed in his neck as everything
that went wrong today came to a boil.
"I'm so sorry, sir. Let me clean that for you," the nervous woman tried to wipe the sauce from the front of Ianto's trousers.
"Just leave it." Ianto gritted his teeth and used a tone he reserved for when he was very cross with Owen. The fact that Jack laughed made the situation worse and in a moment of a child-like tantrum, Ianto tossed a handful of pasta in Jack's face.
The waitress looked as if she was about to cry and Ianto did not care. The manager came running over and profusely apologised and offered to comp the meal and pay for the cleaning of Ianto's suit.
"This was a mistake. We should never have done this. It's just not meant to be. You should never have asked me out." Ianto's anger boiled over and he stormed out of the restaurant.
In true 'what else could go wrong?' fashion, the skies chose that moment to open and pour forth a deluge of rain, soaking Ianto to his underclothes before he could get a taxi home.
Jack sat at the table for several moments before he could even gather enough of his wits to wipe the cream sauce from his face. Ianto's parting words began to sink in and they burned like acid eating away at his insides. Did the obviously frustrated and angry Welshman really feel that way? He was not going to let the evening end this way.
Jack first made a stop at the hub on the off chance that Ianto went there to get his tyre fixed, but the car was in the same spot as it was since morning and the tyre still flat. The hub itself was empty and quiet with the exception of some rustling from Myfanwy's aerie.
A half hour after leaving the restaurant, Jack found himself standing in front of the door to Ianto's flat, his palms sweaty and his heart racing. "There's nothing to be nervous about," Jack gave himself a bit of a pep talk. But there was something to be nervous about. What if Ianto really meant what he said before? The idea that he really meant it, twisted Jack's stomach into knots.
Slowly, Jack reached up and knocked on the door. His heart steadily beat in his ears as Jack waited for signs of life on the other side of the door. It further unnerved Jack that one person got him so wound up.
The immortal's face fell when a very perturbed Ianto answered the door. However, Jack had to smile at his appearance. Ianto's hair was still wet from the rain he got caught in and he was wearing a pair of red tracksuit bottoms and a black sleeveless shirt. 'An outfit like that should be illegal on him.' Jack thought. 'And make a new rule his arms are to be exposed at all times,' he mentally added.
"You are not my pizza." Ianto started to close the door in his boss' face.
"No, but I'm just as tasty." Jack wedged his body so the door could not close.
"Oi, don't even go there," he rolled his eyes. "Unless you are hiding my garlic pizza in that coat of yours, then I'll see you in the morning, sir." Ianto just wanted to be left alone and let the rest of the horrible night just pass him by. "And don't flatter yourself; the pizza is much tastier than you." He was just angry enough to deal that low blow.
"Ianto, look, I'm sorry about tonight. This is not how I pictured our first date turning out. I thought it would end a little better than you tossing pasta in my face and storming out. Can I come in?" Jack used his best pleading face, knowing how well it worked in the past especially if Ianto was in a bad mood.
"Fine," Ianto sighed. He knew Jack would camp out in front of his door if he did not let him in and he did not want to play Step Over the Sleeping Captain first thing in the morning. "Why did you even ask me out on this date in the first place? I was your third choice anyway." And one of the real reasons for Ianto's hostility came to the surface.
"If you really thought you were a third choice you could have said no when I asked you out, but you said yes. If you thought that, then why did you say yes? You are still mad at me, aren't you?" The emotions were clearly written all over Ianto's face.
"A bit, yes," Ianto said tersely, his body stiffening as every muscle in his body tensed. "I wanted to figure out why you asked me out."
"Because I wanted to. I like you, Ianto. I like you a lot and I want to see if there is still something between us." Jack had not looked as vulnerable as he did at this moment for a long time. He started to move in to kiss Ianto but the still visibly upset man kept the captain at arm's length.
"That's not enough, Jack. I'm not going to leave myself open to you again to just have you leave when something you want more comes along again. It's just not going to happen and everything that has happened today is a definite sign that this isn't meant to be." As much as it hurt to say those words, Ianto had to let Jack know how he truly felt and the truth hurt sometimes.
"But there is nothing I want more than you." Jack reached out to caress Ianto's face, which he allowed, but Ianto put a stop to it when Jack's hands started to get a little frisky.
"Then prove it to me," Ianto all but whispered. He was coming unhinged by a simple touch. "And not like that. No sex stuff. No touching. No kissing. None of that stuff. I'll give you two weeks to prove you are serious about this. If you can prove that it's me that you really want then I'll give this first date another chance."
If there was one thing Jack Harkness liked, it was a challenge especially when the reward was something of great value. At this moment there was nothing more valuable in the universe to him than the heart of Ianto Jones. "You won't regret this." Jack made sure there was not any room for doubt in his assertion.
Ianto, however, was not so sure. "I'll see you tomorrow, sir. My pizza's here and I really want to be alone." This was where Jack would normally try to seduce his way into spending the night and Ianto just waited for it and was shocked when it did not come.
"I'll see you in the morning. Have a good evening, Ianto." Jack turned and left the flat, leaving Ianto to deal with his pizza delivery. If he was going to prove himself, Jack was going to do whatever Ianto wanted.
Ianto paid the delivery woman and waited for Jack to return. He rarely ever took into consideration what someone else wanted. Jack always did what Jack wanted, so it was a shock when he did not come back. It was a good start that Ianto's wish was abided by. A bright smile formed on his lips and Ianto thought the next two weeks were going to be very interesting.
When Ianto arrived early the next morning, he looked up and saw movement from Jack's office. It was time for the games to begin and Ianto's first move was to make coffee, but there was a small red envelope propped against the coffee machine.
"What could this be?" he mused to himself and quickly tore open the enveloped. A blush spread everywhere when Ianto read the first line of the missive enclosed.
Fourteen Reasons Why I Love Ianto Jones by Jack Harkness
Reason 14: His eyes. The eyes tell a person's history. When I look into his, there is too much pain and I would do anything to make that pain go away.
At the bottom of the paper there was a small note scribbled saying there would be a new reason every day for the next two weeks.
The next day another red envelope appeared by the coffee machine with a box of chocolate covered bananas. One of Ianto's favourites.
Reason 13: His mind. There is nothing more sexy on someone than a great mind. It's quite a sight to behold to watch him when he puts his mind to something. Nothing can change it once his mind is made up...well most times it can't be changed.
It was another day and another envelope waiting for Ianto at the coffee machine. He started to think that Jack was really taking this challenge seriously.
Reason 12: His smile. The true smile. Not the one that comes after a witty retort, but the one that can melt the coldest parts of the coldest places. It lets me know on the bad days that good days are ahead.
Jack peered out his office window just in time to see the smile he wrote about make an appearance on Ianto's face. He had a smile of his own as he watched Ianto tuck the paper into his pocket and walk away with an extra skip in his step.
This morning Ianto found the letter tucked under a wiper blade of his car. The note brought a few tears to Ianto's eyes. Luckily, no one was around to witness the moment of raw emotion.
Reason 11: His strength. He has been through so much in his short life and still he finds a way to go on and lend a shoulder for anyone who needs it. People always say I'm the strong one, but he knows that sometimes it's all an act. He's been my rock through some very trying times and I hope he will be there for many more times to come.
It was Ianto's day off and he wondered what Jack would do to get him today's missive. The answer was clear when on his counter he saw the red envelope on top of a long, thin red box. In the box was a very expensive looking purple silk tie.
Reason 10: His suits. There is a lot to be said about someone who takes great pride in how they look. It shows that he takes great pride in who he is and what he stands for. It's a bonus that he looks great doing it.
When Ianto arrived at the hub, he was disappointed to find no envelope waiting for him. He sulked around for the first hour, ignoring Gwen and Tosh's questions about something being wrong. Ianto was not going to let this get him down, knowing it was too good to last. That was until Jack called Ianto to his office.
"Did you need something, sir?" Ianto asked as he entered the office. His heart sped up upon seeing the envelope being waved from between Jack's fingers.
"Bet you thought I forgot." Jack handed over the envelope, relishing in the radiance it brought to Ianto's face.
"Did not. Thought you might do something like this," Ianto lied. He knew he had to play it cool and not show his excitement over the notes. "Thank you." He took the envelope and disappeared into the archives to read it.
Reason 9: His ability to read my mind. I know it's not really mind reading, but this is Torchwood and Tosh destroyed that pendant. At first, it was a bit creepy that someone who I hardly knew seemed to know exactly what I needed. Now, I see it that we were bonded before we knew we were. He is always there with a cup of coffee before I know I need one. He knows when I need a laugh during a difficult day or when I need to be told that I'm being a jerk. Be it food, drink, laughter, a smile or a hug, he just knows.
A new day and a new place to find the letter. Ianto was handed the envelope by the cashier at the shop when he picked up breakfast for the whole team.
Reason 8: His voice. Lesser beings can fall victim to its power. Okay, maybe some greater beings like myself. It wraps around you like a warm blanket on a cold day. He can read one of Owen's dry and boring medical books and make it sound sexy. Hmm...and when he speaks in Welsh. I'm not going to go there, but to say yummy. It has a calming effect that has tamed the savage beast better known as me. I bet it also has tamed some actual beasts too. Drool worthy Welsh vowels can stop traffic and wars.
The day's envelope was taped to the entrance of the hub in the tourist office, smelling of an intoxicating cologne that made Ianto weak in the knees. After the past week, Ianto was ready to give Jack another chance, but he going to wait another week to see what else the surprising romantic side of Jack Harkness would come up with.
"Well played, Harkness," Ianto grinned.
Reason 7: Because he is hot. What he really didn't expect all these to be sappy? He looks really really good in everything. His arse should come with a warning label: Caution may lead to extreme distraction.
For the rest of the day, Ianto made sure his backside was a major distraction for the Captain. Owen had to yell at Jack when he made it very obvious that he was staring at Ianto's arse, which the Welshman had perfectly positioned a few inches from Jack's face as the tea-boy handed out coffee and snacks.
Ianto had another day off and wondered if Jack would make an appearance to deliver the day's message. The day came and went without any sign of Jack or an envelope. Just as Ianto was about to turn in for the night he saw the familiar red envelope on his pillow. It left Ianto scratching his head, wondering how and when Jack got into his flat. At this point it did not matter and Ianto lauded Jack's sneaky and romantic behaviour.
Reason 6: His tongue. While his tongue can physically do things to me that no one has come close to doing before (another thing that needs to come with a warning label), I am talking about his wit and humour. The sarcasm is pretty delicious too. He knows what to say and when to say it. He gets major points for putting Owen in his place when he needs it and he definitely makes me laugh when I really need it.
A week and a half of these letters and the team had never seen Jack or Ianto in better moods and everyone suspected that they were shagging again, but their body language with each other told a different tale. As for the day's envelope, it was waiting for Ianto on the conference room table with a plate of his favourite scones.
Reason 5: His patience. It's no secret that I can be a bit difficult at times...maybe more than a little. He puts up with a lot from everyone and rarely loses his temper when the rest of us would have blown a long time ago. I think his patience is tied in with his loyalty. There is no one more loyal than him.
Ianto nearly jumped out of his skin when he opened the front door of his flat and saw Jack standing there with the day's envelope.
"What?" Ianto started to ask, but Jack put his fingers on Ianto's lips, silencing him.
"For you," Jack said with a flirty smile and handed over the red envelope. Before leaving, Jack placed an almost erotic kiss on Ianto's cheek.
Ianto had no idea a kiss on the cheek could evoke such feelings of desire. There was something about the way Jack's lips brushed against the smooth skin and his breath heated his skin. It was as if the breath had a voice of its own and it was calling to him. It took all Ianto's willpower not to take it further. When the Welshman regained control of his senses, Jack was already out of sight.
Reason 4: His coffee making skills. This is another one of the selfish reasons. It's something I look forward to throughout the day. It's like a drug I can never get enough of. That and the one who serves it is rather addictive too. A complete package.
Ianto was stuck in the tourist office all day and was bored out of his mind. It made no sense that on a rainy day it seemed he had an endless stream of customers who managed to find the small office that was away from everything else. After the fifteenth straight asinine question, Ianto locked the door and switched the sign to closed and plopped into the chair with a heavy sigh. So much for his great patience.
Jack had been watching the whole time on the CCTV and grinned as he stroked the envelope that he held between his fingers. Like a child, Jack laughed to himself as he picked up the phone in his office and called the tourist office.
"You'll never guess what I just found on my desk." The captain's smile could almost be felt through the phone.
"A piece of alien tech that can make people who ask stupid questions disappear?" Ianto was in no mood for any games.
"That bad of a day? How many people asked where the Millennium Centre was?" Jack sympathized.
"Seven. It's not like you don't pass it to get here." Ianto sighed heavily. "Sorry, is there something you need? Is everyone looking for coffee?"
"No. I just called to say hello and that I found this curious red envelope on my desk and it's addressed to you. Is there something I should be worried about? Shall I open it and read it?" Jack played along.
"Is there a reason you should be worried?" Ianto laughed for the first time all day. "If you must read it, then open it." He was sure that Jack could see his blushing through the camera.
"I swear if you have a secret admirer I will not be held responsible for my actions." Jack enjoyed watching Ianto's reactions. Clearly, he was enjoying this game as much as Jack was. "Let's see here..." Jack tore open the envelope and began to read.
Reason 3: His ability to look at me as Jack the man and not just Captain Jack. There aren't many people who can do that. While it's fun for a while, getting to play the hero, it's not what I want to be when the day is over. Some people here only see the Captain and think he is infallible, but he just sees me as Jack, who is just as screwed up as the rest of us. He knows I'm far from perfect and he just accepts me for all that I am.
This morning the envelope was taped to the entrance of the tourist office. Ianto bought the envelope to his lips and smiled. There would be one more note after today's and he wondered how Jack could top yesterday.
Reason 2: His heart. It's the best part of him and makes him the amazing man he is. To accurately describe it could take days for me to fully explain the power it has over me. It's a remarkable gift to be given and I know I screwed things up when I left and I cannot apologize enough for the hurt I caused. I can only hope that he trusts me enough to open his heart to me once more. For this time, I will treasure it for the precious gift that it is and take care of it until the end of time.
It was the last day and Ianto was eager to see what Jack's final reason would be. He made sure to arrive extra early
before anyone else arrived. The young man made sure he was wearing Jack's favourite suit, black with very thin pinstripes, the waistcoat had a red silk backing, a crisp red dress shirt and a black tie with several different shades of red stripes. Ianto's heart was beating so fast that it made him dizzy. The red envelope was taped to the computer monitor on Ianto's desk.
The eager man quickly tore into the paper.
Reason 1: Because my heart says it does. The heart never lies and you just have to trust it. Can you trust me now? Dinner tonight at 7?
Ianto smiled to himself as he read the final message. A warmth enveloped every inch of his being. This had to be easily the most amazing thing anyone had ever done for him and Jack more than proved himself, but that did not mean he couldn't have a little fun with the secretly romantic Jack.
Every hair stood on end when he felt the familiar presence behind him. "Where do you want me to take you tonight?" Jack was sure he had succeeded in his quest to capture Ianto's heart.
"Nowhere," Ianto said with the straightest face possible. He felt Jack's face fall and he let the disappoint hang for a couple of seconds before finishing what he had to say. "I was thinking we could do take away, rent a movie and spend some time in my bed. Not necessarily in that order."
"Is that the kind of first date you want?" Jack grinned as he leaned in to whisper, and he caught of whiff of Ianto's aftershave that caused all sorts of reactions. Mainly there was a loss of coherent thought and speech.
Ianto nodded and closed his eyes as Jack's breath against his neck caused him to start to become aroused. Patiently, Ianto had been waiting for this day for a week, as that was when he had decided that he was going to give Jack a second chance. What was a few more hours?
"You get the dinner and movie you wanted with the added bonus that we don't have to behave if we don't want to." Ianto turned to face Jack who wore the brightest smile he had in a long time.
"That brilliant mind of yours, hard at work. I like the way you think," Jack continued to grin as if he had just won the lottery.
"And since you've been beyond incredible these past two weeks, I'll give you a little preview of what is in store for tonight. No has ever done something this amazing for me. I love you too, Jack."
Slowly and cautiously, their lips met. This was unlike any of their kisses before. Those before were ones of pure wanton lust where battles for dominance were waged. This kiss had it all: tenderness, passion, love. There was no fight to see who would come out on top. There was no need to rush as their mouths moved against each other in near perfect harmony. As far as first kisses go, this was one that would be remembered for centuries to come. The first kiss of a new chapter in their life. The first kiss of an official couple.
A/N: The prompt was 'Couple's first kiss'.