Jack and Ianto should be together. End of story. Vaguely AU.
I do not own Torchwood. If I did, a certain couple would have had a lot more screen time.. And a cetain Welshwoman would have had a lot less.
Thanks to my AMAZING beta, Nooka. She keeps it from making your grammar-senses scream.
Captain Jack Harkness walked along the Cardiff street, with his boyfriend Ianto Jones. He hated that word - boyfriend - and so did Ianto, but Gwen, Tosh, and Owen had all agreed that the two were fully a couple. So, boyfriend it was.
They strode into a cafe. "Table for two." He requested, flashing a grin at the hostess. She blushed.
"I'm sorry, we haven't got any available tables right now."
"Are you sure?" Jack raised his eyebrows and swapped out the grin for a pout. He was irresistible in this state, and didn't he know it.
The hostess' blush deepened and she almost giggled. This man was ridiculously good looking. She turned around and saw a waiter lingering at one table, sitting down and yawning. "Oi, hurry up!" He jumped up and gathered up the dirty plates. "Over here." She gestured to the table.
Jack winked at her, and this time she really giggled. Ianto rolled his eyes.
"Every time." He muttered. "You can't go a single minute without flirting with someone, can you?" He hissed at Jack.
"Well, I would love to flirt with you, if you didn't insist on being so private." Jack whispered, leaning in close once they sat down.
He was so close that Ianto almost eliminated the gap to pull Jack in for a kiss, but he didn't. He leaned back and sighed. "I'm sorry, Jack. I'm just not ready to risk anyone I know seeing us."
"What, are you embarrassed of me?" Jack teased.
"Of course not, but you know how my mam is." Ianto frowned and sighed huffily, leaning back in his chair. Underneath the table, Jack reached for his hand. Their fingers twined together and he sighed a completely different kind of sigh.
"Actually, I don't. I've never met her." Jack reminded him.
The younger man squeezed his boyfriend's hand. "There's a good reason for that. She raised my sister and me very traditionally Catholic. She'd go mad if she knew I had a boyfriend."
Jack furrowed his brow. "But you told your sister about us, right?"
"That's different. Rhi's..." He paused, shaking his head. "She's Rhi."
"I'm ready whenever you want to tell her." Jack took his other hand. "You know I'll be here for you."
Abandoning the somewhat grim topic, Ianto said, "So did you hear about Owen and Tosh?"
"If I hear the office gossip after you, something is seriously wrong with the world." Ianto chuckled. Jack could always make him laugh, no matter what.
"When you walk into the room, people notice and they stop talking. It's impossible not to notice you."
"Oh, really?" Jack smirked.
"Shut up. Yes. But the Teaboy," he continued, using Owen's name for him, "is invisible. The ghostly bringer of coffee."
The older man protested. "I always thank you for my coffee!"
Ianto remembered the stolen moments, the not-so-quiet kisses when he entered Jack's office for the hourly dose of caffeine. Thinking of them got his heart racing, the 51st century pheromones, damn them, among other things making his resistance wane. It certainly didn't help that his boyfriend still wore an indignant smirk, showing almost glimmering white teeth, behind which was-
"Ready to order?" A waiter came up to their table with pencil in hand. Ianto jerked away, releasing Jack's hands and fiddling with the menu.
"Uh, right." He ordered a salad and chips.
Jack stared at the menu. "Coffee, spaghetti." Ianto could tell that he was making a conscious effort not to flirt with the tall, blond waiter.
"Thanks." He was speaking as much to Jack, for suppressing his instinct, as to the waiter.
"So, you were saying something about Tosh and Owen?"
Ianto filled him in on what he had heard from Gwen: Tosh and Owen had gone on a date the past night (Who knew how that had happened), which resulted in a spotting the next morning of Tosh, disheveled and still wearing her clothes from the previous night, entering the hub with Owen.
"It was bound to happen some time."
"Yeah, they - Shit." Ianto ducked his head down and covered his face with his hand.
Jack started to turn around. "What?"
"No! Don't look!" Jack raised his eyebrows. "It's one of my mam's friends from church. Possible one of the most traditionalist people I know."
They both scowled. Sometimes, Jack really hated this century. If this was the 51st century or the 37th century, they wouldn't get a second glance. They wouldn't get a second glance if Ianto had two heads and Jack had purple skin!
"Well, the food isn't here yet. We could cancel our order and leave." He suggested.
"No. I should take baby steps. We'll be public eventually, don't you worry. Just do what we were doing: No physical contact. You're my boss. Justmy boss."
Jack nodded. He may have been the biggest flirt across space and time, ready to hit on anyone and anything, but he really cared about Ianto.
Their food came, and the pair began eating. They weren't talking now; Ianto was too worried something would turn to innuendo, or some suggestion would be made, and he wouldn't be able to resist Jack.
"Ianto? Ianto Jones?" The old woman said, standing up and tottering over.
"Hello, Mrs. Thomas." Ianto stood up and gave her a polite hug.
"I've not seen you in years!" She exclaimed. She kissed him on the cheek.
"My work is very demanding."
"Don't you work in a tourist office?" Jack cleared his throat. He wasn't used to being ignored, and for good reason. "Who's this?" Mrs. Thomas asked, a bit suspiciously. The only son of her best friend out to lunch with a handsome man? There had better be an explanation for this. She thought.
Ianto tensed visibly. He sat down.
"Captain Jack Harkness. I'm Ianto's boss. He's been doing a great job; I was going to promote him." Jack took her hand and kissed it. Trust Jack's charisma to smooth over a potentially disastrous situation. Granted, it would have worked fine without the 'Captain' part.
Mrs. Thomas smiled. Crisis successfully averted, Ianto hoped. "Is that an American accent?" Jack nodded. "And your work is giving out information about the area. Do you really know enough about Cardiff?"
"I've lived here for a long time." Hundred plus years. Longer than you've been alive. Ianto smirked. "I've gotten to know the place."
"Is that so?" The old woman asked. She proceeded to ask Jack question after question about Cardiff, and Wales in general. He answered each and every one of them perfectly and she finally admitted, "Very good."
Jack smiled. "Thank you." He checked his wrist strap (currently masquerading as a watch) and said. "Ianto and I had better get back to our lunch. We should get to work as soon as we can; Owen's probably scared off half the tourists in Britain by now." Or ripped apart a couple of Weevils. Or caused some extreme disturbance in the Rift. Or insulted Tosh or Gwen (This was probably the worst). "It was nice to meet you, Mrs. Thomas."
They shook hands. "And you, Captain Harkness." The woman whispered something in Welsh to Ianto. He took a few deep breath, and Jack recognized the precise look that only appeared when his boyfriend was trying not to get extremely angry and painfully offended.
"It was a pleasure to see you." He hugged Mrs. Thomas again. She went back to her table, keeping a close eye on the couple, and they went back to eating. Jack took one sip of coffee and muttered, "You've spoiled me for all caffeinated beverages, Ianto Jones."
Ianto laughed. They ate in silence for a while, barely making eye contact.
Finally, Jack said what had been on his mind for a while. "What did she say to you? I could tell it really upset you."
"Um." The Welshman flushed and frowned again. "She said, 'I'm glad he's your boss. So many people these days are getting into that dirty…" He paused, unable to say it, "stuff. It just makes me sick, two men being like that."
"Oh, Yan." Jack whispered. Mrs. Thomas had finally gone back to her lunch, he noticed. He took Ianto's hand under the table again. "Are you okay?"
"I should get used to people's ideas." He supposed. "You sat through so much shit through history. How could you stand it?"
Jack shook his head. "I stayed quiet. Kept my head down for a lot of it. I never was very politically active and working for Torchwood gave me a bit of a free pass from some stuff. But it was hard. Sometimes I would get beat up." Ianto grabbed his other hand again. "I even got killed once or twice." Actually, the total number of times Jack had been killed for being with another man was twenty-six. Just when he thought it was safe, that people had changed, it started again.
"Cariad." Ianto murmured. "I'm so sorry."
The memories began to come back to Jack. He squeezed Ianto's hands once more and stood up. "I wasn't kidding about Owen screwing everything up. "We should go."
They paid and left, standing just a little bit further apart than they had coming in. Before, you could feel the flames between them, but now there was just an ember.
"So, catch any good Weevils?" Gwen called up to the pair descending the stairs. They were surprisingly quiet; usually Weevil hunting gave them energy.
"We weren't Weevil hunting." Jack confessed. They had used their favourite excuse to leave for lunch.
"Oh, so you were Weevil hunting." Owen sneered. That was also their favourite codename for going to Ianto's apartment to... Well, you get the picture.
Surprisingly, Jack frowned. "No. We went out to lunch. Ran into a friend of Ianto's mother."
Tosh, who had been quietly listening in, gasped. She was one of Ianto's closest friends. She had met his mam. "Are you okay? Did she see anything?"
"We're perfectly alright, Tosh. She saw absolutely no hint of romance. Thank you for asking." Ianto said bitterly. Although it was his idea to keep their relationship a secret (A not very well-kept secret, but a secret), it would be nice if there was something visible between them.
Mrs. Thomas had actually sensed something, but she had decided to give them the benefit of the doubt, as she saw it. But she added on one last comment before she left, to make Ianto rethink his 'lifestyle.'
"So." Gwen steered the topic away, smiling excitedly. "What's up with you and Owen, Tosh?"
"What?!" Tosh screeched. "Why would you think - there's nothing - how did you-"
For once Ianto was grateful to Gwen. "Even I know about you two, Tosh. You're wearing the same clothes as yesterday."
"Maybe I just ran out of laundry!" She suggested.
"Please. We know you."
"I had dinner with him." She admitted.
Jack laughed. "You had something else."
Owen frowned. "Why do you care so much? You have your own life. You have your own boyfriend."
"And you have a Rift to deal with." Ianto reminded them, seeing an alert on one of the monitors. "There's a spike just on the Plass. Shouldn't take too long."
They headed up to the street-level, guns ready. When they saw what had stumbled, they all groaned.
"Hello, gang. Jack. Eye Candy." Drawled John Hart.
"What are you doing here?" Gwen asked him. She, Owen, and Tosh all had their guns trained on him.
"Relax, I'm not here for you. I heard that my boy here," he headed toward Jack, "had a new beau. Figured it had to be Eye Candy seeing as they were so cozy last time I was here."
"This day just keeps getting better and better." Grumbled Ianto. "You're not getting Jack."
"Well, isn't that sweet. Stickin' up for your man. Don't worry." He smiled, swaggering forward. "I know a lost cause when I see one."
Jack still hadn't raised his gun. It was ready to shoot, but it would shoot at the ground. "No, you don't."
There was a laugh, and a blur of movement. "You're right. You always have to be right, don't you? Just like a wife. Which makes sense, since you were the wife in our... partnership." Now he was holding Ianto across the neck, putting a shield between him and the guns. "But I really didn't come for you, Jack. Eye Candy's so young, so sweet, so innocent."
"Oh, trust me." Ianto panted, John's arm making it hard to breathe. "I am not innocent."
Jack smiled. It's true. This one has a twisted mind. A few days ago-" He stopped, remembering the situation. He had to get Ianto away from John. He had to do it now.
"If you three are done giving me deep mental scars?" Owen shuddered.
"But it's so easy!" John grinned. "Now, I'm sorry for this. I really am." He shot Jack in the head.
Gwen's eyes immediately teared. Owen kept his gun pointed at John, carefully keeping it away from any part of Ianto. Tosh rushed forward and knelt at Jack's side.
"He'll be fine. He'll come back." Ianto whispered to himself. No matter how many times he saw Jack gasp back to life, there was always a minute of panic. There was always a fear that Jack would stay dead.
John was shocked for a moment at what he had done (again), and then he regained his confidence. "I'll take Eye Candy now." The death was just the distraction he needed. He tapped a few buttons on his wrist strap and they vanished.
Jack woke up just in time to hear Ianto shout his name. He opened his eyes, but they were gone.
"Hart took him." Gwen almost pushed Tosh aside to sit with Jack. "They disappeared."
He groaned. "Standard-issue Time Agent vortex manipulator. But since the Time Agency is gone, it can't have that much power. They're not too far away." Jack was in 'boss mode' now. He couldn't let his feelings for Ianto get in the way of finding John. Let loose in 21st century Cardiff, he would be a disaster.
Dun dun dun... What will our favourite evil gorgeous Captain do next?
R/R please! Much appreciated!