Title: “Back Stage: Act II, Chapter 2”
Rating: M, for later adult content.
Spoilers/Disclaimers: Torchwood belongs to the BBC and RTD- I’m just borrowing the characters. I own nothing here, nor do I make any money- so please don’t prosecute!
Synopsis: Torchwood characters in a story set in the world of UK Theatre/ Entertainment.
A/N: Yet again, real life is taking over, so this is late- I can’t begin to thank those that are still reading and reviewing. I’m trying to reply to every comment, but please forgive me if I miss anyone out. Anyway- here’s the next chapter if anyone’s still reading!

Chapter List: http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/23356.html

Chapter 2

***
Ianto stood on the pavement outside the Grand and fiddled with the buckle on the strap of his satchel cum laptop bag. He’d stayed on to reply to some e-mails and go through some paperwork and check the show files (and, boy, did he hate that part of the job) when the rest of the crew had left after a hard day’s rigging. He’d undoubtedly missed the swift half his colleagues had gone for close to two hours ago, which was a pity since he could have done with a drink after spending the last hour going through an Inbox so full he couldn’t even send the shortest of messages. Thank God that he had Donna helping out in the office while he was rigging and programming the show; without her at least deleting all the industry exhibition invitations and sales shots, the theatre’s server would surely have melted down before now.

“Hey, Ianto!”

He started at the voice behind him, and then recognised the Transatlantic twang. Jack. He gathered his thoughts and then turned; it was no use avoiding the man, as he’d managed to do so far. Sooner or later during the production they would have to interact more closely, however self conscious he felt in the other man’s presence.

“Jack, how’re rehearsals going?” The Hartman team had been having last minute rehearsals in the Anthony Hopkins suite most of the week, and even when they’d had a couple of on stage run throughs for a few scenes they’d been well out of the way of Ianto up in the Control Room, operating the lighting desk.

“Good, good,” Jack nodded and smiled. “But I guess we’re lucky with this one- I’ve been working on the Show ever since I signed up, and quite a few of the other guys know the show pretty well.”

“It shows. It’s looking good already...”

“We’re all hoping it’s a winner.” Jack paused. “Look, are you on your way home?”

“Yes.”

“Well, I don’t know about you, but I need a drink after the last couple of days...”

Ianto didn’t respond immediately, thinking through the correct reply to Jack’s unspoken question.

“Just a drink or two, nothing heavy. I need to get that dust out of my throat.”

“OK then. The Griffin?” he said, and inclined his head down the street in the direction of the pub. “But only a couple. I’ve got to get back. I’m knackered.”

“Me too,” Jack agreed, thinking of tomorrow’s full Dress Rehearsal. They were a only day away from the first Preview night, and everybody was sorely in need of a rest. He felt a pang of guilt for keeping the young man from home and a relaxing evening in with his girlfriend, but the selfish part of him needed to reassure the other man that he didn’t harbour any grudges or ill feelings after their last show together.

***

The men settled into their booth at the Griffin. During the short walk to the pub, the two had indulged in idle chitchat- how the read throughs and rehearsals were going for both the actors and technicians, or whether the show was selling well.

Now seated in the small and quiet, side street public house, Ianto sipped at his bitter and wiped away the froth from his lips with the back of his hand. “Well, it looks like you’ve had a busy year, Jack. I’ve hardly been able to switch the telly on without you turning up on something.”

The actor laughed. “Well, tell me about it... Do an episode of Doctor Who, and they’re all clamouring for you. It’s what I’ve wanted my whole career, but when it actually happens... well, I’ve gotta say it’s a bit overwhelming. There’s a big difference there between the stage and TV. For a start, you don’t get this kinda coverage in the press in the theatre... thank God,” he finished and smiled wryly as he took a draught of his pint.

“That’s true. Every time I open up a tabloid you’re there, too.”

Jack groaned. “That’s the worst bit! You think you’re gonna have a good night out, and before you know it, there’s a pile of paparazzi there.”

“Oh yeah?” Ianto grinned. “Mind you, you seem to have had some pretty good nights out- and some glamorous escorts, if you’re going to believe the press.”

“Never believe the press, Ianto,” he replied with a toothy laugh and a cock of his head. “It’s all work.”

“Even the photos?” It was his turn now to cock his head questioningly. “You and Alex Kingston were looking pretty close a couple of weeks ago in the News of the Planet.”

“All work, you know the score- promoting the show. Anyway, Mr Jones, I never took you to be the type to buy something as tacky as the News of the Planet,” Jack admonished.

The part of Ianto that was still struggling with the fact that he found the dark haired man sitting across from the table from him ridiculously attractive, was oddly comforted by Jack’s belief that he wouldn’t stoop so low as to read one of the trashier red tops. “Believe me, I wouldn’t pay good money for that rag. I found it in the Staff Room when I was having a break.” He said then feigned hurt, and tried his best not to laugh. “And- Mr Harkness- I’m rather offended that you think so little of my intellect that I would ...”

For a second Jack was about to apologise before he noticed the corners of the Welshman’s lips twitching as he forced himself to suppress his amusement. Jack grinned and then broke into laughter. “Well, I guess that’s as good as an excuse as any!”

Quickly forgetting about the previous year’s indiscretion, they settled into effortless small talk and chatted about the busy, non-stop year that had seen Jack go from well known musical and stage actor (at least in the world of West End Theatre goers) to full blown TV celebrity. Ianto found himself learning all about the off screen antics and gossip on Doctor Who, and which Jack felt were the most ‘fun’ panel shows or chat shows to appear on. Before he had time to check the time, they were starting their second drink.

“So...” Jack started. “It looks like you’ve had an eventful year, too. Last time I was here you were the Lighting Engineer, and now you’re in charge of the whole Technical Team. Wasn’t it that old Scottish guy who was managing last time I was here?”

“Archie,” Ianto supplied.

“That’s him. So what happened?”

“He retired. I wasn’t even going to apply for the job, but Tosh convinced me. I was surprised when I got the interview. I was even more surprised when I got the job. I’m not really management material.”

“I’m not surprised you got the job,” Jack said truthfully. “The Grand’s got someone now who knows the job better than most. Things seem to be running smoothly, and the lighting looks amazing. You don’t get that without being able to plan and schedule. You’re obviously a better manager than you give yourself credit for.”

“I don’t know about that- that’s more good lock than good management!”

“Whatever...” Jack dismissed Ianto’s insecuritres. “Anyway, I’m betting the money’s better? It’s got to be good for you and Lisa.”

Ianto flinched and was quiet for a moment. “Me and Lise broke up... Perhaps if she’d stuck around long enough for me to get the promotion, it might have been good for us both.”

“God, I’m sorry.” Jack apologised. And he was sorry, even if he could not help the small flicker of hope the news gave him. Ianto had seemed to idolise his girlfriend, but Jack was resigned to the fact that he stood no chance with the Welshman, and he could tell that Ianto was still smarting over the break up.

“Don’t be. I got over it...”

“So when did all of this happen?”

Ianto sighed. “Not long after that Panto. Turned out she’d been seeing the Ents Manager at the Arts Theatre all the time,” the Welshman explained without elaborating too much on the circumstances of how he had discovered Lisa’s affair. “She ended up moving down to London with him. Which is where she’d always wanted to go back to, I guess.”

“Jesus!”

“It’s OK- at least getting this job took my mind off it all. I’ve had time to think since then, and, looking back, me and Lise always wanted different things anyway. I should have seen that. Hey... it’s a new start, really. Time to take stock and concentrate on my career,” Ianto finished with a weak smile and tried his hardest to sound optimistic.

Jack wasn’t quite sure what to say; it was clear that the other man’s split with his girlfriend continued to niggle. “It seems you’re getting on with life. This is one of the best organised shows I’ve worked on,” he reiterated his earlier praise, and attempted to quash the feelings of relief that the young man was, perhaps, a free agent- not that it would make any difference. “Been seeing anyone else...?” he asked as nonchalantly as possible.

“God, no! I’ve got my plate full with work. And I’m not going to rush into anything else. It’s time to do things for me for a while.” It was no use saying anything else in front of the actor- Jack’s words all that time ago rang in his ears: “I’m not gay...” Ianto wasn’t even sure that he was gay; he’d visited more than his usual number of clubs and bars over the last year, and he had had to acknowledge that there were a great number of good looking men at some of the more open and mixed venues, but none of them had managed to ignite his attention like the actor had.

Jack nodded and grinned at him. “Same here- this year’s been all about Torchwood for me. Sometimes you just have to go for the opportunities that life throws at you, even when the going gets tough. You’ve got plenty of time to meet someone new at your age. Someone who doesn’t go off with the Entertainments Manager.”

“I know you’re right. It’s just that sometimes it doesn’t feel like that. I thought I’d got everything planned- I knew where I was going, who I was going there with. But I never thought I’d be a Tech Manager- or if I did, not yet. I was devastated when everything kicked off with Lisa, but I guess it wasn’t meant to be, now I really think about it. And I may not even have applied for the job, whatever Tosh said, if I’d still been with Lisa. She wasn’t very enthusiastic about me applying for jobs in Cardiff. It was like it really meant we were staying here.”

“Well, you’ve just gotta look at it all as a new start.” Jack stopped himself from making a comment that there were plenty more fish in the sea, and instead decided that both of them needed another drink- the conversation had got way too heavy in some respects. “Anyway... one more for the road? Let’s forget about all that shit.”

Ianto laughed. “OK- but I’ve really got to call it a night after that. It’s Dress tomorrow.”

***

The subject was swiftly changed as Jack sat down again and placed a glass of beer for Ianto on the table. “So, what do you think of the show?”

***

Another forty-five minutes passed, and the pair had settled into an effortless conversation, as they talked about anything but either Ianto’s break-up with Lisa, or .

“Time to go?” Jack asked as he drained his glass and fished in his jeans back pocket for his ‘phone. “Let’s grab a couple of cabs. Which way are you headed?”

***
When it became apparent that Jack’s digs were just less than half way in the same direction as Ianto’s place- a fact that Ianto had failed to realise thus far- they opted for a single taxi. As Jack handed over his portion of the fare and jumped out of the car, Ianto sighed and raised his hand in farewell and sank into the cab’s back seat. Jack returned the gesture with a wide smile before he turned and walked to the entrance of his block of flats.

Reconnecting with Jack had been ‘fun’, he supposed, now reassured that he could at least work with him, the embarrassing incident of last year, if not forgotten, forgiven. But the evening had also brought thoughts of ‘what might have been’- if only Jack had felt the same way that he did.

Despite that last thought, it was good to have a friend back in Cardiff, and after all, it was only for a limited time; if the two men couldn’t put aside their differences for a few weeks it would be a pretty poor show.

***

To Be Continued...
Title: “Back Stage: Act II, Chapter 1”
Rating: M, for later adult content.
Spoilers/Disclaimers: Torchwood belongs to the BBC and RTD- I’m just borrowing the characters. I own nothing here, nor do I make any money- so please don’t prosecute!
Synopsis: Torchwood characters in a story set in the world of UK Theatre/ Entertainment.
A/N: We’ve reached Act II and hopefully this is the last of the wordy chapters, but start of the reunion that readers have been waiting for!

Chapter List: http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/23356.html

Chapter 1

Read more... )
Title: “Back Stage: Interval, Chapter 5”
Rating: M, for later adult content.
Spoilers/Disclaimers: Torchwood belongs to the BBC and RTD- I’m just borrowing the charcters. I own nothing here, nor do I make any money- so please don’t prosecute!
Synopsis: Torchwood characters in a story set in the world of UK Theatre/ Entertainment.
A/N: Now I know that this is another chapter, but we’re getting into the second Act soon, so the chapters will be longer then. Also, apologies yet again for the late posting- real life, including a relative’s (non serious!) hospitalisation, delayed me.

Chapter List: http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/23356.html

Chapter 5

***
During the weeks that followed the discovery that ‘Torchwood’- and with it, Jack- was coming to the theatre, Ianto had reflected on the position that he found himself in.

However much he’d tried to brush off the obsession with Jack Harkness, it was (even to a confused Ianto) clear from the way that Jack occupied his thoughts on a frequent and inconvenient basis- whenever he had a spare moment, or, even worse, when he was asleep, causing him to wake, heated and unsatisfied- that he was attracted to the entertainer. Worse still, and infuriatingly, when Ianto managed to try to wind down and relax with the television, the Fates ensured that he couldn’t forget Jack; the man turned up on virtually every chat or quiz show he tuned in to. On top of all of this, the Technician had not avoided watching ‘Torchwood’, at first telling himself that his interest was purely part of the love he had for the good, old, British science fiction television tradition, rather than some fanciful and secret attraction he had with the show’s lead.

As time went by, and often with the help of a few relaxing and mind concentrating alcoholic beverages, he had begun to see his fixation with Jack as a personal fantasy, a secret crush. Bewilderment and inner turmoil had given way to the knowledge and acceptance that he really didn’t give a shit about Jack’s gender. And, more often than not, he could no longer blame the fixation on alcohol or drugs- he could be stone cold sober and a glimpse of bloody Jack Harkness on the telly could make his heart miss a beat. He began to question if he’d felt more for Paul Campbell than he had realised all those years ago- if he’d really thought about it at the time, had his housemate been more than a quick drunken and experimental fumble? If Lisa had never come on the scene, would things have been different between the two young men? Had he always, somewhere in his subconscious, been attracted to at least some men- and if he had, had Lisa somehow seen it, or sensed it, and sought out solace elsewhere? He even started to examine his career choices. Should the fact that he had decided to work in ‘the theatre’ have been a clue to his newly realised sexuality? Or bisexuality? He was in no doubt that he’d found Lisa attractive- as he had his few other girlfriends- and he had loved her. But this thing he had for Jack was just the same, but different, in a strange kind of way. There was the same fluttering in his stomach as when he had first started dating Lisa, the same incessant need to just see Jack... but this was getting out of hand and it was addictive.

Even as Ianto relaxed at home, pondering these thoughts and resolving to avoid thinking about the man at all, his pulse quickened and he felt as if a heated surge of blood circulate ‘round his body, coming to rest low in his belly. He leant his head back against the sofa, shutting his eyes and sighing to himself in defeat; aroused, he resigned himself to the knowledge that he was well and truly gone.

***
To Be Continued...
Title: “Back Stage: Interval, Chapter 4”
Rating: M, for later adult content.
Spoilers/Disclaimers: Torchwood belongs to the BBC and RTD- I’m just borrowing the charcters. I own nothing here, nor do I make any money- so please don’t prosecute!
Synopsis: Torchwood characters in a story set in the world of UK Theatre/ Entertainment.
A/N: Thanks once more to everyone reading and commenting- I really can’t say how much it means to me. Sorry for the delay in posting again!

Chapter List: http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/23356.html

Chapter 4

***

Being the new Technical Manager of the Grand, Ianto had gone through an abrupt learning curve in the last two months. He’d avoided paperwork thus far in his career, but now it made up half of his working hours. Luckily the Grand’s management had employed a secretary cum admin assistant- one of the reasons that he had even considered applying for the post in the first place.

Donna Noble had been his saviour. An outspoken, but highly efficient, redhead somewhere in her thirties, she worked part time with Ianto, part time with the Entertainment and Sales Managers, Rory and Suzie. She’d eased his path into Management no end, and he would be eternally in her debt.

***

Ianto tapped at his mouse, flicking between the pages of the Grand’s events calendar. He’d already staffed the next couple of months, but it never hurt to see what was coming up.

And that was when he saw it: a whole six weeks booked out to ‘TBC’. Six weeks was a long time, and to see it booked out to nothing but ‘to be confirmed’ was unusual to say the least.

“Donna, what’s this?” he asked.

“It would kinda help if you defined exactly what ’this’ is,” Donna said sarcastically in her London accent as she looked up at him from her desk in the corner of the small room cluttered with events files and Archie’s remaining paperwork, some of it dating back to the 1980s, by the look of it. She was only just beginning to tackle that.

“It’s six weeks blocked out in late January, a few weeks after Panto, but there’s no indication of what the show is,” he replied deliberately and precisely.

“That’s better. And yes I do know what that is,” she answered smugly.

Ianto humoured her. “So what is it then?”

“It’s this new show- a première. If it comes off, it’s going to be big. That’s what they’re saying downstairs in Sales and the main office.”

“What else are they saying down there?” Ianto said encouragingly. If there was one thing that he’d learned about Donna, she loved a bit of gossip.

“Well...” she started conspiratorially, before looking over at the small coffee percolator that Ianto had bought recently. “Wait a minute. Do I get one of your coffees out of this?”

“Yeah,” Ianto gave a defeated but good natured sigh, and got up from his seat and filled the machine with some cold water from a covered jug, and a filter full of his favourite ground coffee. He flicked the ‘on’ switch and perched his behind next to it on the low cupboard, as it spluttered and gurgled into action.

“Right then, what’s the story?” he cocked his head at her, encouraging her to say more.

“Well...” she repeated slowly, enjoying the slight look of impatience on her boss’ face.

“Yeah?”

“Apparently, they haven’t dotted the ‘i’s or crossed the ‘t’s on the contract yet, but it’s going to be a musical, a sci fi one. They’re hoping it’s gonna be as big as ‘Forbidden Planet’. It’s got that guy in it... the one that’s all over the telly these days...”

Ianto regarded her and nodded his head, egging her on.

“You know, whatsisname... he’s all over the telly these days,” Donna was visibly trawling through her mind for the name of the actor. Finally she’d obviously remembered who the guy was. “He plays that Captain Jack Barton in Doctor Who, Suzie said he’d been in Panto here. You must know him.”

Ianto was glad he was leaning against the cupboard, as he felt his legs weaken a bit. Yes, he knew him. He’d worked with him. He’d kissed him. He’d spent the last few weeks watching him in ‘Torchwood’. And, rather disturbingly, the man had also invaded his dreams in recent weeks, in various circumstances- and states of undress.

He felt his face heat up a little, when he heard the percolator give a final sputter. He quickly pushed himself up from his resting place, and turned to pour out Donna’s coffee, thankful for the excuse and hopeful that she hadn’t seen his cheeks redden. Not that Donna knew anything about his personal life aside from his recent break up with Lisa, or his secret imaginings. Not that she could have known that Ianto was fast developing an obsession with both Jack Harkness and his rather unimaginatively named character from the Doctor Who spin-off.

“Jack Harkness,” he stated dispassionately as he stirred the drinks and composed himself. “He was here this Christmas, playing Aladdin. He can sing live, that’s for sure.”

“You’re not joking there- I saw him on that talent show the other week. I think Suzie and Rory are right, it could be a hit. And he’s drop dead gorgeous. If that doesn’t get the punters in, nothing will,” she said eagerly as she took her drink.

As he drank down his own coffee, Ianto wondered if he could avoid Jack, perhaps apply for another job before the show. Internally, he shook his head. Nope, being Technical Manager of the Grand had turned out to be his dream job, and he had to stick with it, whatever complications came with it. Anyway, he was positive that Jack wouldn’t dwell on the kissing episode, or even bring the subject up after their talk at the end of the run. All he had to do now was put his own longings and regrets aside.

***

When, the month after their conversation, he saw the ‘TBC’ appellation change to ‘Torchwood: The Musical’ in the Grand’s events’ calendar, it was no surprise, but he still felt a strange rush of heated blood through his body.

***

To Be Continued...
Title: “Back Stage: Interval, Chapter 3”
Rating: M, for later adult content.
Spoilers/Disclaimers: Torchwood belongs to the BBC and RTD- I’m just borrowing the charcters. I own nothing here, nor do I make any money- so please don’t prosecute!
Synopsis: Torchwood characters in a story set in the world of UK Theatre/ Entertainment.
A/N: Another short one! Thanks as ever to everyone who’s reading and commenting.

Chapter List: http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/23356.html

Chapter 3

***

Jack sighed at the laptop in front of him. To his complete horror, there were several weeks in February 2012 blocked out in his calendar, the only thing next to them being the letters ‘TBC’. Just after his appearance in Pantomime in Birmingham. He’d been looking forward to a nice, long holiday after this year’s show, Snow White, but, by the look of it, he’d be lucky to get away with a week in Tenerife at this rate. Perhaps he shouldn’t worry- he’d been waiting years for this opportunity to make it into mainstream TV and the ‘big time’. He looked through his mobile’s contacts section and pressed ‘dial’ for the only other person with full access to his diary.

“Hello, Martha Jones’ Management.” Although Jack had called her personal mobile, the Manager was always on the job.

“Martha! Voice of a nightingale! It’s Jack, How are you doing?”

“You know, schmoozing here, schmoozing there. How about you?”

“Fine, busy- as you know- but fine. I was just looking in my dairy and I found...”

“...That TBC entry. Look, I’m sorry but your ‘phone was engaged last night. Have you checked your ‘phone messages?”

“Well, no...” Jack knew he was lazy when it came to checking his messages. He quickly made a mental note to ask Martha about recruitingng a proper PA. He’d been avoiding such intrusion into his life for years, but since ‘Torchwood’ and ‘Who wants to be a Star?’, he was in demand. An extra pair of hands would come in handy, not to mention the fact that he was terrible at organising his own diary.

“Jack,” she admonished. “Well, if you had...” Martha continued to explain patiently, “You would have found a message about setting up a meeting to discuss those very dates.”

“Oh...” Jack trailed off, chastised. He coughed, knowing he’d been caught out, but not wanting to admit it. “OK, what’s it all about?”

“Steve Morgan’s been writing a musical... ” She paused as Jack took that in; Morgan was the main writer of ‘Torchwood’. “And he wants you to be the star. It’s gonna be ‘Torchwood’ but with even more kitsch and music. We’re thinking about a première and about four week in the sticks, and hoping for a few weeks later in the year in London. Hartman’s behind it all- as soon as she heard Steve was toying with doing a musical, she signed him up. She loved your turn in Aladdin, and since you’re all over TV at the moment you’re a highly bankable commodity... And ‘Torchwood’ has been a big hit for home grown sci fi... ”

The actor was silent for a second, he was lost for words and his interest piqued- not to mention that he was flattered by Steve’s faith in him. And the show would be an opportunity to showcase his singing to a different audience, one of younger viewers who might not have ever thought that musical theatre was for them. He finally let out a low whistle and grinned to himself. “Wow! I’ve gotta say yes, haven’t I? It’s not often a guy gets a musical written for him!”

He heard Martha’s musical laugh drifting down the ‘phone. “You’re right there- you can’t miss this opportunity. Some of the songs are going to be original, with a few, popular hits, but best of all... Steve wants you to look over the script and song list, have some input... It’s not often you get a chance like that.”

The proposition was sounding better and better to Jack. Never in his wildest dreams had he thought he’d be in a position to pick and choose like this, and he’d never even thought that he would ever be in this position, with a real prospect of being able to influence a show he was in, well beyond just his own performance. “In which case, the answer’s ‘yes’...”

“I’m so glad!” Martha all but squealed. “It’s gonna be a lot of intensive work- it’s not going to be ‘turn up on the day and just go with the script’... You’ve got to be prepared for that.”

“I know,” he said seriously. “But it’s a chance to really make a mark.” He paused. “So, now I’ve said ‘yes’, exactly where are you thinking about for a ‘place in the sticks’ for the opening?”

“Well...Birmingham and Manchester were suggested, but since the show’s set there, Yvonne and Steve are thinking the logical choice is Cardiff- maybe the Grand again. It’s got that retro look that he’s looking for and the stage can easily accommodate the set changes and show, full stop.”

Jack felt his stomach turn and twist, but only for a moment. Martha was right- Cardiff was the logical choice- and even though this meant that he may well be returning to the Grand, he was sure he’d squared things with Ianto before he’d left. Hell, from what he’d seen of the other man’s work, they’d also have the benefit of one of the best Lighting Operators outside of the West End, assuming that the Welshman was still there next year and hadn’t left for pastures new with Lisa. He was certain that Ianto was professional enough not to hold his past indiscretion against him. He just had to make sure that he could be that professional, too.

***
To Be Continued...
Title: “Back Stage: Interval, Chapter 2”
Rating: M, for later adult content.
Spoilers/Disclaimers: Torchwood belongs to the BBC and RTD- I’m just borrowing the charcters. I own nothing here, nor do I make any money- so please don’t prosecute!
Synopsis: Torchwood characters in a story set in the world of UK Theatre/ Entertainment.
A/N: Another short chapter, I’m afraid. But there will be another one very soon. Thank you to everyone reading and commenting about this. It really does make it all worthwhile!

Chapter List: http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/23356.html

Chapter 2

***

Oddly, Ianto found himself settling quite easily into single life. He’d thought long and hard about his break-up with Lisa. He should have seen the signs- perhaps he had, but had been unwilling to confront the issues at home. Looking back, deep down he had known that they were on a downhill slide. Of course, he still looked back on everything with regret, mixed with a strong dose of anger, but somehow he also had a strange feeling of relief as time rolled by. The new job clearly had something to do with that, giving him ample opportunities to be distracted from his personal worries and life, but, ultimately, he’d realised that perhaps Lisa hadn’t been the woman for him. Who the right woman was, though, he had no idea.

***

If Ianto thought that Jack Harkness was out of his life, he was wrong. It was impossible to avoid the man. With a little more office work, he spent more time at home in the evenings and at weekends, giving him plenty of time to catch up with just exactly what was on the television these days.

It was a Thursday night as he tuned into BBC 3, as the announcer revealed that the next television programme was the première of ‘Torchwood’. He knew immediately that this was Jack Harkness’ new show. He briefly thought of switching over to something else- he liked Jack, but their parting at the end of Panto had been awkward to say the least, and he was in two minds about whether he really needed to be reminded of it. But, in spite of everything, Ianto had genuinely hoped they were friends, and he loved Doctor Who... whatever had happened. He quickly got up and grabbed another beer from the ‘fridge and settled down to watch the show.

Jack was even more handsome than he remembered. Whether it was the lighting, the camera angle or the heroic nature of his role, complete with that RAF military coat and some seriously retro styling, Ianto wasn’t sure. Whatever it was, by the first episode’s finale scene, the Welshman was on his third bottle of lager and was completely transfixed. By the time that the title music faded out, the young man was totally hooked, and made a mental note to watch the next installment. He was also strangely fixated by Jack’s performance. The fact that he had spent the majority of the time watching the actor, rather than taking in the plot, didn’t even occur to him.

***

Saturday arrived and, with it, another night off. He had ignored Owen’s invitation to ‘get himself back out there, and go on the pull’. He’d also refused Tosh’s invitation for an altogether more sedate evening with a bottle of wine and some DVDs round at her place- the Sound Engineer had been Ianto’s rock in the weeks after Lisa’s departure, but what the young man needed was a weekend of wallowing in his own misery with a few gin and tonics (light on the tonic, the mood he was in), not comforting words from Toshiko, or a wild night out with Owen, ‘picking up birds’. With that thought, he mixed himself a strong glassful of the aforementioned drink and settled down for an evening of unchallenging prime time viewing.

He flicked between the channels, finally settling on BBC1 as he geekily spotted a rather spectacular piece of lighting as the background to a more lacklustre singer. Another TV talent show- not his cup of tea- but he couldn’t resist checking out other Lighting Engineers’ work, and it would definitely fill in time before the nine o’ clock movie on FilmFour. The song finished a few minutes later and the shot changed to the judging panel. He spluttered into his drink as he caught sight of the panellists. Damn it! As if Thursday’s episode of Torchwood had not been enough, there was Jack Harkness again. In contrast to his performance on the sci fi series, this Jack was dressed in a contemporary style, much like Ianto remembered him, but with a little bit extra glitz and glam- it was only to be expected; this was showbiz, and everything was more exaggerated, more... ‘sparkly’. Still, it suited the man well. Ianto doubted that there was little that the ‘man’ wouldn’t look good in. Jack started his dissection of the previous contestant’s performance, and his comments were witty, but kindly and encouraging- much like the Jack he knew, but with his work ‘hat’ on he was louder, shining in the limelight. It seemed that there was no end to the actor’s TV appearances these days.

Still, Ianto found himself watching the show, and even tuning into the results from the audience voting later that night, the film première he had been looking forward to forgotten. By now, he’d had several G & Ts, and he was well and truly on his way to being drunk and rather maudlin. Perhaps Gin had not been the right choice of drink.

As he watched Jack give a guest performance of ‘Somewhere’ from ‘West Side Story’, he was transported back to Christmas- it had been one of the songs from Aladdin, too. Everything had seemed so easy then. Ianto had a beautiful girlfriend, and plans for their future together.

He started to wonder what would have happened had he found out about Lisa’s duplicity earlier... and that was when it hit him like a sledge hammer, the shock winding him as much as any physical blow. He had been- was still- attracted to the man in front of him on the television screen. If Lisa hadn’t been in the background, he wasn’t sure what his reaction to that kiss at Angharad’s party would have been. His mind conjoured up quite a few scenarios, some of them very similar to the actual event, but one stuck in his mind- him leaning into the kiss, allowing Jack to pull him close as he revelled in the older man’s eager and searching touch, returning it with an equal amount of passion. Random thoughts flooded Ianto’s mind, some of them distinctly X rated; where would that evening have ended without Lisa being part of the equation? Would the two men have continued, perhaps going further? Or would Ianto have dissembled as he had at the time- and if he had, would the outcome of his talk with Jack at the last night party have been any different?

That he was thinking such thoughts bewildered him, but Ianto realised that they were having a powerful effect on him- and his body. Effects that he didn’t want to acknowledge. He took another slug of his drink and swallowed it down with a glug. It really didn’t matter what he felt anyway. Jack had made it abundantly clear- what had had he said? That he wasn’t gay. Whatever fantasies Ianto was now working his way through were just that- fantasies. Why he would imagine that a star of the stage and small screen would have any interest in him was beyond his comprehension, although it didn’t stop him reaching into the loose fitting cotton pants he was wearing, his hand soon working out the underlying tension he’d known he would find.

***

To Be Continued...
Title: “Back Stage: Interval, Chapter I”
Rating: M, for later adult content.
Spoilers/Disclaimers: Torchwood belongs to the BBC and RTD- I’m just borrowing the charcters. I own nothing here, nor do I make any money- so please don’t prosecute!
Synopsis: Torchwood characters in a story set in the world of UK Theatre/ Entertainment.
A/N: We’ve reached the interval, so there will be several short chapters before Act II...

Chapter List: http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/23356.html

Chapter I

***

If Ianto had felt that a holiday in the sun in Tunisia would heal the rift which he knew was growing, day by day, between himself and Lisa, he’d been mistaken. Lisa had spent most of her days taking the occasional dip in the pool or relaxing on a lounger in the shade of a large parasol, making her way through her extensive collection of easy holiday reading, which consisted of ‘chick lit’ novels and the odd magazine. Ianto had spent at least two days of their seven day stay alone, visiting the local town, or just exploring the surrounding beach and countryside in an effort to stem his boredom at the inactivity- he had never been one for sunbathing, preferring instead to see something of the country he was visiting. He had also been disappointed to find that Lisa did not share his romantic notions when it came to the evenings. The intimate meal that he had booked in the hotel’s restaurant on their first proper night there had not been greeted with enthusiasm, and she had picked at her food while conversation had been workaday but pleasant and friendly; Any thoughts of making use of the king side bed in the luxury bungalow that they’d paid extra for were soon driven from his mind. It was becoming painfully clear that, at least for her, this holiday was about getting away from it all rather than rekindling their relationship. He was at a loss about what to do, but finally supposed that this was exactly what happened when a couple had settled down after a few years. It was a depressing thought, but one that Ianto had no option to accept, despite his worries that something- or someone- else was at the root of the problem.

***

Two months later and the relatively short period of time had wrought considerable changes. Shortly after his arrival back from vacation, Archie had announced his plans for early retirement and his return to Scotland. Owen had declared no interest in applying for the post, stating that involved far too much paperwork and office work. Toshiko’s view had been pretty similar; she was far more interested in the Sound gadgetry she had carte blanche to tinker with, however she encouraged an initially reluctant Ianto to apply, and when he had studied the Management’s new job description- a more hands on Management style than Archie’s, with plenty of opportunities to continue working on shows if he wished and help with the paperwork side of the job in the form of a part time secretary- he’d enthusiastically applied. Lisa hadn’t shared that enthusiasm. While the increase in pay seemed appealing she thought that he should be casting his net a little wider in the job market- specifically in the direction of London. Whatever her thoughts, three weeks later- and a week before the interview for Technical Manager- Lisa was gone, and hadn’t that been fun...

Ianto had been scheduled to work late on a touring comedy show, re-rigging into the early hours of the morning, ready for the arrival of a week long run of a song and dance show. When he’d arrived at work he had found it was over manned. With Chris there and totally capable dealing with the simple static lighting, the Welshman had taken the chance of an early finish- after all he was salaried and Rob was paid by the hour. Lisa was off work, planning an early night, so he didn’t call her when he left the Theatre, planning to surprise her with an early return home- and surprise her he did. On his arrival back in their flat he had been greeted by the sight of Lisa and a man, comfortably installed on his sofa, stockinged feet comfortable resting on his coffee table, a glass of Cava in his hand. Whilst there was nothing ‘going on’, the man- awkwardly introduced as Michael- was completely comfortable in their flat, and Ianto mentally questioned exactly how often he’d visited. Lisa had asked Michael to leave, and, after he did, the argument that Ianto had been expecting ensued. It became apparent that Lisa and ‘Michael’ had been seeing each other for some time. The next revelation was that ‘Michael’, who was the Arts Director where Lisa worked, was soon to depart from Cardiff to take up a post with the Aldwych Theatre in London. At least Lisa had had the grace to call one of her girlfriends, asking if she could stay for a few days and after a protracted argument, she grabbed an overnight bag full of essentials and headed out of the flat- and out of Ianto’s life. At least there was one thing about the whole débâcle: at least the young man had an idea of just why Lisa had been so distant.

Over the next three days she cleared out her possessions from their home, mostly while Ianto was working. Months later, Ianto heard that ‘Michael’ had left Cardiff to take up his new job; at the same time, Lisa had left the Art’s Theatre for London, much to his relief- he wasn’t sure he could deal with her being in the same town, ready to bump into him at any moment.

How Ianto got through the interview for Technical Manager he would never know,
but get through it he did- and successfully. Although the post had been advertised externally, Ianto’s ‘local knowledge’ coupled with his Technical skills, and not just in Lighting- he had a good grounding in all of the theatre Technical disciplines, meant that he was by far the best candidate. He’d easily trounced the competition, and, at seven thirty that evening, whilst sat in the local pub with Tosh and Owen, he answered his mobile to a congratulatory Archie. He had never really considered that he could get the job, whatever his colleagues believed. His initial excitement about his appointment was swiftly replaced with regret even if he didn’t voice it. He should have had someone special to share the news with. He’d always thought he would be sharing his news and celebrating with Lisa if this was the outcome- but those hopes had been dashed after he’d found Michael in the flat.

***

To Be Continued...
Title: "Back Stage: Enter Stage Left, Act I"
Rating: M for later adult content.
Summary: Torchwood characters in a story set in the contemporary world of UK theatre/entertainment.
Spoilers/Disclaimers : Torchwood, belongs to the BBC and RTD, I’m just borrowing the characters- I own nothing here, nor do I make any money! So please don't prosecute! It’s an AU story, so I’m pretty sure that it shouldn’t spoil anyone’s enjoyment of Torchwood itself.
A/N: Trust me! Please!

Chapter list: http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/23356.html

Chapter 11

***

Avoiding Jack Harkness the next day had been easy. With all the hustle and bustle of the final two shows, keeping away from him hadn’t been that difficult at all. The problem was the Last Night Party. There would be no evading the actor.

As the last show dragged on beyond its usual running time with back stage gags and finale ‘thanks’ to the audience and all involved in the production, Ianto found himself for once thanking the crew and cast for the hold-ups. Anything that delayed the end of the Panto, and thus the start of the party and the inevitable meeting with Jack, was just fine with him - a restless night had only increased his embarrassment at his actions the previous night.

***

Entering the Anthony Hopkins Suite, which was, rather unimaginatively, the venue for the last night party, as it was for the First Night Party, Ianto’s heart immediately fell. Amongst the other guests, there was Jack, holding court with several of the other turns.

Quickly turning his attention back to his companion, Owen, as they walked to the bar, Ianto asked, “A beer then?” He received an enthusiastic nod in response as they made their way over to order what would be their first free drink from the bar.

***

Eyes straying away from his fellow members of Hartman productions, Jack saw Ianto and Owen enter the room. Ianto wore tailored dark jeans and a deep purple shirt, topped off with a black waistcoat. He looked stunning, even more so when Jack remembered how perfect- for a few moments- it had felt when they had kissed. The thought was quickly dismissed; Jack had noted that Ianto appeared to be avoiding him all day, and he had to admit that he didn’t blame the young man; his behaviour the night before had been unforgivable. Ianto had been vulnerable, and at a low point, and he’d exploited that. This thought had led to the actor having just as restless a night as the Technician. As sleep escaped him, he had tossed and turned, feelings of guilt- and shame that he’d let his baser instincts concerning Ianto take over- filled his head; when he finally slept, his slumber was far from calming and he had been plagued by dreams which replayed his actions. He awoke several times. Each time he found himself again drifting into unconsciousness, those visions returned, although on occasion the scenarios ended differently. In one, Ianto had returned his affections freely, only for a horrified woman, who turned out to be Lisa, to arrive as they kissed. In another, Ianto had actually violently repelled him. All of this added to his unease. He knew he should probably just try to forget about the episode and leave the Technician be, but he also knew that he wouldn’t be able to leave Cardiff without trying to make his peace with him.

***

There had been a rather more lavish buffet than that of several weeks earlier- the Management clearly felt that they needed to show their gratitude to the cast and crew for what had been one of the Theatre’s most successful Christmas seasons- and an open bar for an hour. When everyone had eaten and drunk their fill there had been a prolonged speech from Adam, including thanks to everyone involved and a tongue in cheek ‘awards’ ceremony complete with token prizes in categories such as ‘Best Technical Cock-Up’, ‘Best Corpsing Moment’, ‘Best Gag’ and so on. Rob had actually won for his ‘performance’ inside Aladdin’s cave’s treasure chest, and Jack had been nominated in the run for ‘Best Corpsing Moment’- he had, after all, found it difficult to get his lines out after Rob’s triumphal victory, and there’d been a lengthy pause where he composed himself for his Act I closing number.

***

Ianto had spent most of the evening in the company of his colleagues, so when Jack saw him rise and head for the door, he quickly excused himself from the conversation with his fellow actors. Knowing Ianto, there were only two options: either Ianto was heading for the Gents- and he certainly wouldn’t pursue him there if he was trying to make a good impression – or he was heading outside for a cigarette. He decided to take the risk and follow him out of the room, planning to take his cue from the direction that Ianto’s steps took.
Jack saw Ianto make his way, alone, towards the stairway which led to the back stage entrance- and outside. The young man was clearly headed out for a nicotine fix- not, perhaps, Jack’s most favourite vice, but one that he realised that he just didn’t care about when it was Ianto’s occasional habit.

***

It was good to get away from the crowds and have some time to himself. Ianto had managed to make his getaway at a time when the few other guests who smoked were not outside, and it suited him just fine. His lack of sleep was beginning to tell, and the packed room inside had been starting to get overwhelming. He decided against lighting up; the cold night air was just what he needed to sweep the cobwebs away. He wasn’t sure how long he’d been stood there when he was shaken from his reverie/thoughts by a small cough, followed by the words, spoken quietly and hesitantly, “Hey, how’s it going?”

Ianto didn’t even have to look to know that the speaker was Jack Harkness- the American accent told him that much. Eventually he turned, “Hi, Jack… OK. Look… I…”

He was quickly interrupted. “Don’t… Ianto, I can’t tell you how sorry I am about last night. I don’t know what came over me… What the hell did Angharad put in that punch?” Jack gave a small, self deprecating laugh. “Believe me, I didn’t mean to… to do anything that made you feel uncomfortable.”

Ianto had laughed along with Jack at the comment about the punch- it had been truly lethal. “I know what you mean- I had a bit of a woolly head this morning…” He paused thinking through what he could say next. “It was just as much my fault… I can’t believe I behaved like that. It’s been a bit of a… stressful… time at home. I’d be grateful if you could just forget all about it. I like to think of you as a friend, just as much as a workmate- I’d hate to think that I screwed that up.”

“If it’s any consolation, I feel the same. Let’s just say we’re both to blame. You’ve been a good mate to me, and I guess I’ve been kinda lonely what with being away from home at Christmas… add in that damned punch…” he trailed off. He hoped that Ianto didn’t notice the slight sad tone in his voice; whilst he sincerely regretted his actions, a tiny part of him had wished that Ianto felt the same as him. For him, the kiss had been damned near perfect, exceeding his fantasies and expectations.

“It’s OK. Agreed, yeah? We were both a bit out of it, and behaved a bit… stupidly. I mean, I know the show’s over but you never know where you end up in this job. I wouldn’t like to think that we’d be working together again and it would be awkward.” Ianto doubted that their paths would cross again. Although many of the same old faces turned up time after time on shows and gigs, Jack was clearly on the up. A new TV show on the back of Doctor Who, based around him as the heroic lead could hardly fail- his days of Panto and entertainment shows were surely numbered.

“Agreed.” Jack nodded before giving what he hoped was a disarmingly theatrical flourish in an effort to break the tension. “My lips are sealed, and anyway, it’s already forgotten about… What were you saying?”

A relieved Ianto let out a breath and laughed. “No idea! Was it something to do with the awards ceremony earlier? You did pretty well with your corpsing nomination.”

“Well, I defy anyone to keep a straight face with Rob making suggestive gestures at you like that. It’s bad enough when he does it from the wings, never mind onstage, when I wasn’t expecting it! I still didn’t beat Rose, though- I lost to a worthy opponent. I have to admit that that was a very inventive bit of porn that Owen managed to fix to the front of the monitors…”

Ianto shuddered. “Luckily I didn’t see it…please tell me that one of the protagonists wasn’t Owen… That might give me the type of nightmares I really don’t need.”

“Rest assured- there was no Owen. There’s no need to lose sleep!”

“Thank God for that…”

With a nod, Jack joined him in his relief. “You going back inside?” he asked, starting to feel the first drops of an icy cold drizzle.

“It’s a bit wet, isn’t it?” Ianto suddenly pushed himself away from the wall and shivered as he realised just how chilly the night was.

The rest of the evening went well. Ianto might not feel totally at ease, but his conversation with Jack had gone far in soothing his worries. The entertainer was just as embarrassed as he was by last night- and just as eager to forget about it and put it well behind him. He weaved between the tables and chairs and back to his seat after leaving Jack to be mobbed by an entire troupe of dancers, some of them tearful at leaving the show, but each of them impatient to have their programme signed by everyone involved in the production. He dropped into the seat next to Tosh, who was absentmindedly watching Jack Harkness trying to control the surrounding group.

“Well, another year over… a new one just begun,” she smirked.

“After all those bloody weeks of those Christmas CDs for House music, I really don’t need you quoting Slade at me.” He shook his head and affected a horrified look. “Really, darling, that was truly dreadful.”

“’Welcome to the magic of my world’,” she laughed, quoting Vusi’s line as the Genie of the Lamp. “I’ve had to sit there playing that for six weeks- every show. How do you think I feel?”

“Fair enough,” he admitted. “But are you actually trying to push me over the edge? And I just know that it’s going to be the same CD next year… don’t you just love Christmas?”

“You know the answer to that!” Christmas was a magical time of year if you weren’t immersed in it for weeks on end as they were. “You’ve got to feel a bit sorry though- you get to know people so… well, so quickly… and then they’re gone. It’s not like a one nighter, or a week’s run.”

“Well, yeah, but I’m going to be pretty happy to see the back of it all- get some sleep and a bit of a rest. I’m thinking of booking a week away with Lisa- we both need some time to relax.”

“That’s a good idea- to tell you the truth, I think we all deserve it. Thinking about anywhere in particular?”

“Not really…” he replied. “I’d be happy with anywhere, even Barry Island, so long as we’re getting away from Cardiff and work, but I know Lisa would like something a bit more exotic, warmer. I’ve seen a couple of last minute cheap deals to Tunisia…”

“Oh, nice…” Tosh said with a hint of jealousy in her voice. She’d like some time away herself, but she wasn’t seeing anyone at the moment, and holidays were always more enjoyable with a partner or friends. “I hope you two work it all out…”

“Well!” Owen sat down heavily next to Ianto, inadvertently slamming his glass onto the table. “What, six weeks? And I’ve still got no further with Rose.”

“I guess you win some, you lose some, Owen,” Ianto said, smirking and raising
an eyebrow. “And you’ve won a lot in your time… I ‘spose it was time for a failure!”

“Cheers, mate. I thank you for your insight,” the Stage Manager responded sarcastically.

“Any time, Owen, any time.”

“It’s been a pretty restrained year; the only crew who’ve pulled- that I know about- are Chris and Rob. So it’s not like I’m alone.”

“Welcome to the sensible world of adulthood, Owen,” Ianto stated.

“Tosh is sensible … You’re just boring and settled,” Owen retorted good naturedly as Toshiko quietly huffed at being called ‘sensible’.

Ianto smiled weakly and hoped it was convincing. Owen wasn’t party to the details of his home life; Ianto felt far from ‘settled’ at the moment. Luckily, his act had the desired effect and Owen was happily carrying on with reminiscences of some of the funnier moments on stage during the show, stories which rarely failed to amuse Tosh and Ianto. HIdden away at the back of the Hall, or in the Lighting Box, they were unable to see most of the action, and Owen and his crew’s highly embellished and exaggerated tales were frequently as close as they got to the action.

***

It was after 2am and the party was beginning to wind down. The younger dancers had gone, tearful as they left, and any of the out of towners who were driving back home, or setting off first thing in the morning, had left soon after. Some of the older twirlies and younger Techies had left an hour earlier to hit the Cardiff clubs. Only about fifteen of the partygoers were left and they had gravitated to the bar area and were all downing their final drinks as the bar staff pulled the shutters down.

Over to his side Ianto could see Jack saying his goodbyes to the remaining turns, Angharad and Melvyn. He continued chatting to Toshiko and Owen, but he couldn’t help the strange and gnawing feeling that he was going to miss the actor’s presence. As he finished his pint and placed it on the now narrow strip of the bar, he felt his stomach churn with embarrassment; Jack was advancing on him and his team mates. He and Jack may well have made their peace and sorted out their ‘misunderstanding’, as Ianto had started to call it in his head, but he wasn’t sure that he was up to a public farewell.

“Well, guys, I’m leaving tomorrow and I gotta say that it’s been a pleasure,” Jack greeted the remaining three Crew members with a wide and toothy smile, the kind that ought to have had toothpaste manufacturers and advertisers fighting for his endorsements. “It’s been one of the smoothest running shows I’ve worked on anywhere, Owen,” he reached out and vigourously shook Owen’s hand.

“Cheers- that means a lot to me. And, for turns,” Owen smirked, “You lot have been pretty OK to work with.”

“You’re not that bad yourself- for a Techie,” he replied with an amused twinkle in his eyes

He turned to Toshiko as he let go of the Technician who was still muttering his thanks at the praise. “As for you, the beautiful Miss Sato, I never knew I could sound that good. And it’s down to you. I’d work with you again in a shot.”

“Well, I can tell you that you can’t make a bad voice sound good- I had something pretty impressive to work with in the first place,” Toshiko replied, smiling as she blushed slightly at Jack’s compliment.

“Thanks, Tosh. But I think you’re doing yourself- and your skills- down. And you can fiddle with my radio mic pack any time,” he winked.

Tosh’s blush intensified as the actor grinned, and then looked to Ianto. “And Ianto Jones- a man wasted on Panto…. Just like the rest of you,” he added.

The Welshman was filled with relief as both Owen and Toshiko started to ask about Jack’s latest TV venture, and he didn’t have to engage in an awkward response or dialogue. As Harkness regaled an excited Toshiko with details of when the new sci-fi show was likely to be aired, he watched the older man. His blue eyes sparkled as he talked enthusiastically about the opportunity that he’d been given- and which he was going to wholeheartedly take advantage of.

The farewells drew to an end and Jack glanced at his wristwatch. “I’d best get going- I’m catching the train in the afternoon, but I’ve still not packed everything yet. Martha’s meeting me at Paddington, and she’ll kill me if I get a later train!” He looked lost for words for a second before speaking again. “Seriously, guys, it’s been great- I don’t often say I’ll miss a show, but I’d be back here in a shot, given the chance.” He quickly enveloped Owen in a manly hug, and Ianto watched as a surprised and slightly uncomfortable looking Stage Manager returned the embrace. Toshiko followed, with Jack stooping slightly to wrap his arms around her. As he released her, Ianto braced himself; it would seem odd for him not to hug him, too, especially as Owen and Tosh were well aware that the two men had become friendly.

Jack placed an arm gently around his shoulder and Ianto felt his heartbeat increase in speed and his skin warm. He quickly brushed off the reaction as unease at the other man’s touch. At least the others had no inkling of his indiscretion. Thank God- Owen would take the piss for the next year. The arm was quickly withdrawn.

“It’s been nice working with you all. See you.” Jack said cheerily and then he was striding out of the room, and out of the Cardiff Grand, and along with relief that he wouldn’t be put into any more unsettling situations with the actor, Ianto felt an inexplicable sense of loss.

***

To Be Continued…
Corpse (verb)- an actor laughing on stage inappropriately, or forgetting their lines due to onstage gags or distractions.
Monitors- speakers set at the front of stage, facing on stage, that give the turns/actors the correct musical mix/ relay of the show.
House music- music played before or after a show, as the audience come in, or at the interval. Often not played at ‘serious’ theatrical performances.
One nighter- as in ‘For One Night Only!’.
Title: "Back Stage: Enter Stage Left, Act I"
Rating: Mentions of sexual behaviour and ast drug use- a PG I would have thought?
Spoilers/Disclaimers : Torchwood, belongs to the BBC and RTD, I’m just borrowing the characters- I own nothing here, nor do I make any money! So please don't prosecute! It’s an AU story, so I’m pretty sure that it shouldn’t spoil anyone’s enjoyment of Torchwood itself.
Summary: Torchwood characters in a story set in the contemporary world of UK theatre/entertainment.
A/N: A short chapter here- sorry for the delay in posting, but I hope to have another for the weekend.
Chapter list: http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/23356.html
Chapter 10

***

As he left the party, Ianto had sought Toshiko out, and, using the excuse that the drink had got the better of him, said his goodnights and made a hasty exit. As if he wouldn’t have enough difficulty trying to forget the incident with Jack, the quarter of an hour taxi ride home gave him yet more time to dwell on what had happened. At least he was sure that Jack was a good enough friend not to gossip on stage about both their lapses in common sense; tomorrow could well have been even more mortifyingly embarrassing if the actor had been the type to boast or take the mickey, even though all they’d done was kiss.

There was little to distract him from his thoughts when he arrived home- yet again, Lisa was already sound asleep and there would be no small talk along the lines of “how was your evening, Lisa?”, although he found himself feeling grateful for that, as he didn’t even want to contemplate what his own response would have been to the same question. He grabbed a glass and the just more than half full bottle of white wine from the ‘fridge, a blanket and pillow from the cupboard in the hall, and he slumped onto the sofa, switching the TV onto low. He knew that he had a possibly sleepless night ahead of him, and the last thing he wanted to do was wake his girlfriend.

He poured a glass of wine and gulped at it, finishing it in three, quick mouthfuls. He filled another glassful and shook his head. He wasn’t even gay, so why on Earth had he kissed Jack? It was that bloody punch, and the dope hadn’t helped- that was it. There was no denying that Jack was good looking- and, more irritatingly, oozed charm and charisma- but he wasn’t attracted to men. Yes, there’d been that time in his first Year at University when things had got out of hand between him and Paul Campbell, one of the guys he shared a house with. They’d been out to a club and, several drinks and an ‘E’ each later they’d stumbled back home to an empty house. A couple of beers later and they were more or less making out on the settee; a not very erotic session of snogging had led to mutual fumbling that neither young man had really talked about after the event. It had all been very clinical to an extent, and there’d been no question about fancying each other. Both of them had needed some kind of release at the time- that and the fact that they were both pretty much off their heads. But there’d never been anything more- before or since- with Paul or any other male, and the two young men hadn’t even discussed the encounter again; Ianto had met Lisa soon after and memories of that night had rarely surfaced, however there was a clear correlation in his mind. Add alcohol and drugs into the equation and mix in some sexual frustration (Ianto found it hard to remember the last time that he and Lisa had made love), and it clearly equalled some highly inappropriate behaviour on his part. He finished the last of the Soave and settled down against the pillow and cushions and draped the blanket around himself. There was only one way forward in all of this. Apologise profusely again to Jack, and try to get through the Last Night Party without somehow further making the state of affairs any worse.

***

To Be Continued…
Title: "Back Stage: Enter Stage Left, Act I"
Rating: THIS CHAPTER CONTAINS VERY MINOR DRUG USE, WHICH I HOPE DOES NOT SPOIL ANYONE’S ENJOYMENT OF THE STORY. Not sure what rating that makes it- M?
Spoilers/Disclaimers : Torchwood, belongs to the BBC and RTD, I’m just borrowing the characters- I own nothing here, nor do I make any money! So please don't prosecute! It’s an AU story, so I’m pretty sure that it shouldn’t spoil anyone’s enjoyment of Torchwood itself.
Summary: Torchwood characters in a story set in the contemporary world of UK theatre/entertainment.
A/N: As mentioned (see above) in the Ratings, this chapter contains very minor drug usage, but I’m hoping that it’s sort of in character. I truly hope it doesn’t put anyone off the characters or story- it’s not meant to alienate readers, and it’s in no way sleazy.

Chapter list: http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/23356.html

Chapter 9

***

“So… who’s going to the party at Angharad’s place?” Owen’s tinny voice sounded through the talkback system. It was the penultimate day of the show and despite tomorrow’s Last Night Party Angharad had planned a more informal get-together. Throughout the run there had been a number of house parties at the turns’ digs or techies’ homes; the Welsh Soap star was a Cardiff native, and her success in her home country had resulted, by all accounts, in a comfortable house on the outskirts of the capital.

“I’m up for it,” said Chris from his position at the follow spot.

“Straight after the show?” Ianto didn’t really see the point of getting in an early night. It was a Friday and, over breakfast that morning, Lisa had told him that the lead in her production was having a similar ‘Penultimate Night Party’ that she and the rest of the staff at the Art’s Theatre would be attending. Besides, he was secretly eager to see just exactly what kind of house Welsh Soap superstardom bought.

“Yeah, but a few of the cast and crew are meeting up at the White Lion for a pint before getting a taxi up there. Me and Rob are going to Morrisons to get some drinks to take if you want to come?”

“Count me in,” Chris said.

“Me too,” Ianto added.

“See you at five, back stage… wait a minute… Standby LXQ 68. Stage crew- stand by for our so called bloody magic grotto.” The ‘cave scene’ wasn’t the Stage Manager’s favourite moment; setting the numerous chests of ‘gold’ and jewels had been a constant headache for the stage crew all run.

“Standing by,” several voices chorused through the headsets as they waited for their cues. Seconds later the blackout came, accompanied by the hushed sounds of stage crew moving the various props into position.

“Go. And Standby LXQ 67, Ianto.”

For the next couple of seconds all that Ianto could hear was Owen’s muffled voice, hand over his cans’ mic as he shouted to the stage crew to get off ‘the bloody stage’ before the cloth went up.

“Right, clear… Go LXQ 67…”

Everyone settled into the next scene.

“Anyway, what was I saying?” Owen said as he settled back down.

“You’re getting some beers in at Morissons,” Chris, over on the lime, responded.

"Yeah right…” Ianto’s eyes were fixed on the stage, watching nothing in particular, as he listened to Owen’s plans to get to the supermarket with time left over for a swift half before the evening’s Act One Beginners call. He looked on as Jack tried to stifle a laugh as he gazed in awe at the treasure chest overflowing with gold and jewels. Jack was having difficulty getting out his next line. “What the hell’s going on there?” he interrupted.

“Jesus, Bloody Rob’s hidden in the treasure chest…” Owen grumbled as he looked onto the stage

Throughout the run, the crew had been upping the ante as they tried on stage gag after stage gag. Yesterday there had been the stage weights hidden in the bag of swag which had caused Jack to struggle to lift the sack. All run, Rob had been desperate to conceal himself in the trunk of jewels, and it seemed that he had finally got his chance and was cheerfully waving the odd prop at the lead actor while making inappropriate gestures unseen by the audience. However pissed off Owen seemed, Ianto could hear the suppressed amusement in his voice.

***

Ianto was on his third large glass of punch- and that didn’t count the pint of bitter at the pub before he, Owen, Tosh and Chris caught one of the fleet of taxis to Angharad’s party, or the can of Brains as soon as he got there. The Welsh actress’ home was much as he expected it to be: a detached 1930s house, not too large or ostentatious and surrounded with simply landscaped gardens, which looked down on the twinkling lights of the city and the sea beyond. Inside it was tastefully furnished in the main, with three reception rooms and a large kitchen whose worktops were laden with ready-made snacks and nibbles, and a huge, glass bowl containing the aforementioned punch which seemed to be comprised of whatever spirits Angharad had found in her drinks cabinet, some sparkling white wine and a mere half can of lemonade.

The Welshman was starting to feel slightly woozy as he chatted to a tipsy Toshiko in the smaller and quieter of the two sitting rooms.

“Well, Owen had better get a move on with Rose. He’s basically got about a day and a half before the cast leaves,” she said, and looked through double doors into the main room where the majority of the guests were mingling and a small group, including Jack and the hostess were singing along to a small karaoke machine plugged into a large wall mounted plasma TV and surround sound speakers.

“I wish we’d run a book on it. I would have been willing to bet that he had no chance from day one,” Ianto stated somewhat blearily.

“In that case, you would have been sharing your spoils with me,” the Sound Tech grinned as Ianto downed the last of the lethal drink. “You know, I think I’m going to miss this lot. They’re not bad for turns.”

“I know what you mean…” Ianto was going to miss them, too, especially Jack, but was looking forward to a return to some kind of normality. “Anyway, I wouldn’t worry… They’ll probably all be back next Christmas. One thing about turns, is they always turn up again.”

Toshiko groaned. “Was that meant to be a joke, Ianto? If so, it was really, really bad…”

He grinned. “Sorry. I think I should slow down on the drinks. Anyway, I’m off for a pee,” he said unceremoniously and got up and sought out the downstairs loo.

***

When the Welshman returned to the lounge, Tosh had gone. He easily spotted her in the main sitting room, no doubt dragged there by one of the other guests, wincing at Chris’ efforts at singing along to ‘Ruby’ on the karaoke machine. The house was hot with the central heating on full and the punch had taken its toll. Ianto felt his cheeks burning- it was time for some fresh air. He went into the kitchen to make his way through to the patio at the back of the house. Quickly filling a glass with water as he passed the sink, he noticed Rob just outside the backdoor wreathed in a combination of smoke and his own breath condensed in the crispy, clear night air. As he stepped out into the cold he sniffed at the instantly recognisable sickly sweet smoke and coughed.

“Jesus, Ianto!” Rob exclaimed as he turned around. “Do you always have to creep up on people like that?”

“Sorry! I needed a break from the karaoke.” He dug into his pocket and produced a packet of cigarettes.

Rob eyed the packet. “Here mate, have some of this instead. You look like you need to relax,” he said handing Ianto the remains of the joint that he’d been smoking. “I was just about to go inside and find Leanne anyway. Don’t wanting her getting bored without me, eh?”

“Cheers, Rob.” Ianto didn’t usually indulge in cannabis, or any other drugs, these days but he reasoned it had been a pretty tough few weeks. Half a joint couldn’t do much harm. As Rob went inside, Ianto took a deep drag and strolled towards a small bench which overlooked the bay and Cardiff. It was a chilly, cloudless night and Ianto found himself just enjoying looking at the stars which seemed to sparkle and flicker in the dark sky.

***

Jack was getting bored of his fellow actors’ performances as they all vied for supremacy over the karaoke machine. It was time for a break, and he wandered into the kitchen and helped himself to another glassful of punch. The back door was open and, although it was cold, he stepped out. He sipped at the glass and enjoyed the view, until a small plume of smoke drew his attention to a bench behind a shrub, and just out of sight from the house. He walked towards the bench, and further inspection showed it to be occupied by none other than Ianto Jones.

“So, this is where you’re hiding yourself!” he said announcing himself.

The younger man jumped slightly as he was stubbing out the now finished spliff under his heel, but smiled as he realised that the voice belonged to Jack. “I wouldn’t exactly call it hiding away. I just felt like a bit of peace and quiet.”

“Me too.” Jack sat down. “I hear enough of this lot singing at work.”

“You’re not the only one. I don’t know how Toshiko is coping in there- after all she has to listen to this more than the rest of us.”

“She must be a glutton for punishment…”

“I’m beginning to wonder…”

Talk quickly turned to the Panto- what had gone wrong, what could be improved- and Jack’s new venture with the BBC, and his hopes that it could be just the breakthrough that he needed after all these years of hard slogging at his craft.

Eventually Ianto looked back towards the bay, and Jack found himself admiring the way that the moonlight emphasized the man’s high cheekbones and that button nose he’d found so striking when they had first met. He’d obviously had a little too much to drink and looked away before the temptation to act on his attraction to him became unstoppable.

“Anyhow, how about you? You could always get back to the West End. You’re too skilled to be working here at your age,” Jack quickly changed the subject.

“Been there, tried that. I’m pretty sure that Lisa would like to go back, but we’ve got to sort things out before either of us makes a decision like that…”

“You’ll sort it out. You just need a bit of time together.”

Ianto had a sudden moment of clarity. “I hope so, but I’m not sure, Jack. I’m starting to wonder if we can sort things out…” Lisa’s visit to her parents at Christmas had been somewhat of a turning point and it still niggled, but since then he’d started to ask himself if the whole thing was worth the fight. “If I we ought to work things out…”

“Hey, don’t be hasty, Ianto. You’ve got to give it one last chance.”

“Maybe, maybe… but… well, this is supposed to be a party, not a counselling session! You should be telling me all about Rob hiding in the chest earlier…”

Accepting Ianto’s need to change the direction that the conversation was going in, Jack laughed. “I was not expecting that. It’s a good job that we’re at the end of the run. At least the punters are expecting some gags, so they’re enjoying it. Actually, I can’t believe it took the crew so long before they tried the stage weight in the sack gag.”

Ianto chuckled. Most of the casual crew was just out of college. “You’re right… but I blame it on the younger generation. They get far too serious about theatre and entertainment!”

“Bloody Hell, Ianto… when you start calling the crew the younger generation, I know I’m over the hill. For God’s sake… how old are you?”

“Twenty seven. And, anyway, you’re hardly ‘over the hill’…”

“See, I’ve got ten years on you. It’s make or break time for me this year; I don’t want to be hitting forty without some kind of breakthrough.”

Ianto snorted out a laugh. “Come off it! You’ve made it in the West End and you’re always popping up on TV these days, and there’s Doctor Who.” He paused for a moment and looked over at the other man. “And I have to say that you’re wearing well for your late thirties.”

“Ah, it’s the jaw line and good genes, you know.” Jack raised an eyebrow and gave his best cheesy showman’s grin. “I reckon I’ve got five years before it all goes downhill. So me and Martha are hoping for a hit with Torchwood.”

“When did you say it was scheduled for?”

“The BBC’s got it down for late February on BBC3, moving to some repeats on
BBC2 if everything goes well.”

“I’ll give it a go- and you can bet Tosh will.”

“Ah, I’ve already got fans!” Jack said with a theatrical flourish of his hands.

“I wouldn’t go that far!”

There was a break in the conversation as the Welshman looked out across the garden and out to sea. “Angharad’s got a great spot here. It’s the kind of place I could only dream about owning…”

“Me too, Ianto.” Jack had made his way through the last of his drink and set the glass down next to the bench. He could only agree, as he admired the house’s view. He glanced to his right, and he was rewarded with another view- of Ianto’s profile as he gazed down at the Bay, the moon’s light reflecting off the dark water.

It was as if Ianto knew that he was being watched, and he turned to look at Jack, the sea forgotten.

What came next seemed to happen in a flash, with neither of them sure- when they looked back on it- who had started it all. First, their lips met, tentatively, hesitantly; next arms wrapped around one another and they kissed almost hungrily, as one of Jack’s hands moved to thread through Ianto’s short hair. The kiss was everything- and more- that Jack had fantasised about in those lonely moments when he struggled with his resolve to resist his attraction to the young Welshman. From the way that he clutched at him, pulling him closer, he was sure that Ianto felt the same. After what seemed like an age, Jack drew away for a second and took in the beautiful sight of the other man, heavy lidded eyes now dark with what he hoped was the same amount of passion that he himself felt. He leaned in once more and placed a gentle peck to the button nose that he’d always admired so much. Ianto let out a barely audible soft moan and he moved his head lower to scatter similar tender kisses along Ianto’s jaw.

For a moment, all was perfection… until Jack became aware of Ianto’s arms dropping away. An instant later and the actor was disappointed to be pushed away.

“Shit!” Ianto ran a hand through his hair. “I’m sorry… Look, Jack, I’m not gay… I… well, I’m wasted… I’m sorry…” he repeated.

Suddenly the situation became clear to Jack, and he suddenly felt his disappointment turn to horror. He’d taken complete advantage of the state of the man sat next to him. “I’m the one who should be sorry… I blame it on the punch.” He paused, unsure of what to say or how to explain himself- and his actions. “I’m not actually gay, either…” he trailed off.

Ianto stood up. “I ought to go back inside… I… I’m really, really sorry… I’ve ruined everything.” He made towards the kitchen door, giving a final fleeting look back at the bench. “I’m so, so sorry.”

Jack didn’t even have time to try and reassure the other man that none of what had happened was his fault at all. Ianto was gone. He sat there for at least five minutes, possibly ten or longer, he couldn’t be sure, all he knew was that he’d fucked up royally. He might be leaving in a few days but it had never been his intention to upset the Lighting Engineer, much less to behave like a predator towards someone he regarded as a friend that he would have liked to keep in touch with.

When he eventually returned to the party, Ianto was nowhere to be seen.

***

To Be Continued…

Notes/glossary:
Lime- follow spot
Title: "Back Stage: Enter Stage Left, Act I"
Rating: Varies between chapters- all warnings posted with each chapter.
Spoilers/Disclaimers : Torchwood, belongs to the BBC and RTD, I’m just borrowing the characters- I own nothing here, nor do I make any money! So please don't prosecute! It’s an AU story, so I’m pretty sure that it shouldn’t spoil anyone’s enjoyment of Torchwood itself.
Summary: Torchwood characters in a story set in the contemporary world of UK theatre/entertainment.
A/N: Apologies for this being posted later than I wanted- yet again. BUT there will be another chapter within days… and I’m hoping it’s a bit of a reward for everybody’s patience!

Chapter List: http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/23356.html

Chapter 8

***

Weeks went by like days, and the cast and crew of Aladdin soon found themselves in the final week of the production with few mishaps or problems along the way, testament to the ultimate professionalism of most of those involved. There had been a couple of near disastrous scene changes where the set threatened to lurch forward through the front cloth, and a few faulty mics for Tosh, but they’d all worked together to recover the situations, and the audience had been none the wiser- and the Box Office sales had reached an all time record high throughout the run.

Adam had turned out to be a great Stage Manager for Hartman; he had managed to keep the performers in check, much to the Cardiff crew’s surprise- they had never expected one so young to be capable of controlling so many egos and subtly averting the usual backstage bickering. He had also turned out to have a wicked sense of humour and was happy for all involved to indulge in backstage gags and in-jokes as long as they weren’t detrimental to the punters’ enjoyment.

Owen had failed in his season-long quest to ‘pull’ Rose Tyler, but a couple of the stage crew had been very successful in their attempts to woo several of the dancing girls- and in Chris’ case one of the male dancers. Rob, Toshiko’s on stage helper, had fallen hard for one of the older twirlies, Leanne, who was only a couple of years his junior, and was determined to see her long after the production ended. Owen’s derisive comments about Panto and showtime romances never lasting did little to diminish the soppy and starry-eyed look that Rob
exhibited every time her name was mentioned, or whenever she was nearby.

Tosh and Ianto had quietly laboured on, although the Welshman had been more subdued than in previous years when he’d happily joined in the production company’s Christmas and New Year celebrations and regularly gone out clubbing with the crew and cast. He’d still joined in, of course, but not with his usual enthusiasm; his relationship with Lisa was often at the forefront of his mind. The fact that Lisa had the Christmas weekend off work and had gone home to visit her parents had done little to alleviate his worries, and explaining her absence from the Jones family’s celebrations had been far from easy. His sister, Rhiannon, had just nodded knowingly as Ianto made his excuses- Rhiannon had never been that friendly with Lisa, deciding that she was far too ‘stuck-up’ and ‘snooty’ when it became clear that the move back to Wales, of all places, had most definitely not been her idea. But he still continued to tell himself that everything was normal for such a busy time of year for them both- they would fix everything when the Festive season was over.

Away from home, Ianto had repeatedly found himself in the company of Jack Harkness. And it had been far from a hardship. Jack was an amusing companion during work outings and the two men had even been known to pop out between shows for a quick pub snack when, for each of them, the company of the others had turned out to be too ‘full-on’. The actor almost always managed to raise Ianto’s spirits with his outrageous and sometimes risqué tales, and turned out to be a good listener on the very few occasions that Ianto’s melancholic mood couldn’t be lifted. These rare moods were always connected to his relationship with Lisa, and Jack offered his best advice: as soon as Ianto could, he should whisk Lisa away for a romantic weekend or holiday, or failing that an intimate meal out. Whatever the option, he urged Ianto not to let his ‘real’ life drift- he himself had done that often enough, and had lived to regret not making the effort. In spite of Jack’s comments, the Welshman wasn’t looking forward to the end of the run. Not only was he filled with a sense of dread at having to confront his home life issues, but he was going to miss the exuberant entertainer who he had come to regard as a good friend and confidante.

***

To Be Continued…
Title: "Back Stage: Enter Stage Left, Act I"
Rating: Varies between chapters- all warnings posted with each chapter.
Spoilers/Disclaimers : Torchwood, belongs to the BBC and RTD, I’m just borrowing the characters- I own nothing here, nor do I make any money! So please don't prosecute! It’s an AU story, so I’m pretty sure that it shouldn’t spoil anyone’s enjoyment of Torchwood itself.
Summary: Torchwood characters in a story set in the contemporary world of UK theatre/entertainment.
A/N: Sorry! I meant to post this much earlier, but life’s got in the way again! However, I will be posting another two chapters in quick succession, so I hope I’m forgiven… and I’ll be updating all the chapter list on Thursday.

Chapter List- http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/23356.html

Chapter 7

Read more... )
Title: "Back Stage: Enter Stage Left, Act I"
Rating: Varies between chapters- all warnings posted with each chapter.
Spoilers/Disclaimers : Torchwood, belongs to the BBC and RTD, I’m just borrowing the characters- I own nothing here, nor do I make any money! So please don't prosecute! It’s an AU story, so I’m pretty sure that it shouldn’t spoil anyone’s enjoyment of Torchwood itself.
Summary: Torchwood characters in a story set in the contemporary world of UK theatre/entertainment.
A/N: All typos etc. are mine- after reading through this several times, I’m beginning to be unable to see all the errors! I'm still having a problem posting in rich text- please bear with me re the format changes and links!
Chapter Lists-
DW: http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/23356.html

Chapter 6

Read more... )
Title: "Back Stage: Enter Stage Left, Act I"
Rating: Varies between chapters- all warnings posted with each chapter.
Spoilers/Disclaimers : Torchwood, belongs to the BBC and RTD, I’m just borrowing the characters- I own nothing here, nor do I make any money! So please don't prosecute! It’s an AU story, so I’m pretty sure that it shouldn’t spoil anyone’s enjoyment of Torchwood itself.
Summary: Torchwood characters in a story set in the contemporary world of UK theatre/entertainment.
A/N: This one’s for chironsgirl, who so rightly pointed out that Tech rehearsal can be one of the most boring activities known to man, also emryldlady who fell off a scaff and survived!

Chapter Lists (to be updated this week-I’m a little behind!):
DW- http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/23356.html
LJ- http://wanda1969.livejournal.com/23796.html

Chapter 5

Read more... )
Title: "Back Stage: Enter Stage Left, Act I"
Rating: Varies between chapters- all warnings posted with each chapter.
Spoilers/Disclaimers : Torchwood, belongs to the BBC and RTD, I’m just borrowing the characters- I own nothing here, nor do I make any money! So please don't prosecute! It’s an AU story, so I’m pretty sure that it shouldn’t spoil anyone’s enjoyment of Torchwood itself.
Summary: Torchwood characters in a story set in the contemporary world of UK theatre/entertainment.
A/N: Another AU, I’m afraid! Fun, friendship, romance and behind the scenes shenanigens… focussing on Ianto Jones (a lighting engineer) and Jack Harkness (a jobbing actor/’turn’). Apologies, again, for lj/dw’s expected font changes.
Chapter 4

Read more... )
Title: "Back Stage: Enter Stage Left, Act I"
Rating: Varies between chapters- all warnings posted with each chapter.
Spoilers/Disclaimers : Torchwood, belongs to the BBC and RTD, I’m just borrowing the characters- I own nothing here, nor do I make any money! So please don't prosecute! It’s an AU story, so I’m pretty sure that it shouldn’t spoil anyone’s enjoyment of Torchwood itself.
Summary: Torchwood characters in a story set in the contemporary world of UK theatre/entertainment.
A/N: Another AU, I’m afraid! Fun, friendship, romance and behind the scenes shenanigens… focussing on Ianto Jones (a lighting engineer) and Jack Harkness (a jobbing actor/’turn’).

Chapter List: http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/23356.html

Chapter 3

Read more... )
Title: “Back Stage: Enter Stage Left, Act I”
Rating: Varies between chapters- possible mature content in later chapters
Spoilers/Disclaimers: Torchwood belongs to the BBC and RTD, I’m just borrowing the characters. It’s an AU story, so I’m pretty sure it shouldn’t spoil anyone’s enjoyment of Torchwood itself.
Summary: Torchwood characters in a story set in the contemporary world of UK Theatre/Entertainment.

Chapter List: http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/23356.html

Chapter 2: “Back Stage: Enter Stage Left, Act I”

Read more... )
Title: “Back Stage: Enter Stage Left, Act I”
Rating: Varies between chapters- possible mature content in later chapters
Spoilers/Disclaimers: Torchwood belongs to the BBC and RTD, I’m just borrowing the characters. It’s an AU story, so I’m pretty sure it shouldn’t spoil anyone’s enjoyment of Torchwood itself.
Summary: Torchwood characters in a story set in the contemporary world of UK Theatre/Entertainment.

Chapter List

Back Stage: Enter Stage Left, Act I

Chapter 1: http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/23067.html
Chapter 2: http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/23656.html
Chapter 3: http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/24010.html
Chapter 4: http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/24267.html
Chapter 5: http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/24327.html
Chapter 6: http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/24703.html
Chapter 7: http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/24977.html
Chapter 8: http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/25269.html
Chapter 9: http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/25416.html
Chapter 10: http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/25817.html
Chapter 11: http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/26041.html

Back Stage: Interval

Chapter 1: http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/26286.html
Chapter 2: http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/26372.html
Chapter 3: http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/26779.html
Chapter 4: http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/26976.html
Chapter 5: http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/27245.html

Back Stage: Act II

Chapter 1: http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/27493.html
Chapter 2:
Chapter 3:
Chapter 4:
Chapter 5:
Title: "Back Stage- Enter Stage Left, Act I"
Rating: Varies between chapters- all warnings posted with each chapter.
Spoilers/Disclaimers : Torchwood, belongs to the BBC and RTD, I’m just borrowing the characters- I own nothing here, nor do I make any money! So please don't prosecute! It’s an AU story, so I’m pretty sure that it shouldn’t spoil anyone’s enjoyment of Torchwood itself. Any typos are my own.
Summary: Torchwood characters in a story set in the contemporary world of UK theatre/entertainment.
A/N: Another AU, I’m afraid! Fun, friendship, and perhaps romance and behind the scenes shenanigens… focussing (pun intended) on Ianto Jones (a lighting engineer) and Jack Harkness (an upcoming jobbing actor/’turn’). I was going to call this series ‘Curtain Up’ (thank you iolo1234/pooky1234 and everyone for all of your support!), but for some odd reason (5 minutes ago), I went for ‘Back Stage’. No idea why!
Chapter 1

Read more... )
Title: "Come Fly With Me"
Rating: Adult concepts- but not explicit this chapter.
Spoilers/Disclaimers : Torchwood, belongs to the BBC and RTD, I’m just borrowing the characters.
Summary: Torchwood characters in a story set in the glamorous world of international travel!
A/N: Well, here is the final chapter- I never expected this story to go on for so long, and I certainly didn’t expect it to go quite in the direction it did. It turned into more of a ‘coming out’ tale rather than the purely romantic M&B/ Harlequin that I was going for. The last chapter isn’t quite how I envisaged it either; my laptop malfunctioned the other week, and although I salvaged some work it’s not the same as when I started out. I hope that the ending isn’t too much of a saccharine disappointment!
I’d also like to thank all of you who have stuck with this despite the gaps between posting some of the chapters- you know who you are!
PS I have no Idea what's goign on- DW won't let me post in rich text, so goodness knows how this will look if I'm successful in posting!

Chapter List: http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/1863.html

Chapter 42

***

Around Six Months Later

The Christmas tree lights seemed to twinkle, or perhaps it was just the happy alcohol haze- Ianto wasn’t one for those flashing, sequenced, coloured fairy lights that were all the rage these days, so he’d insisted on simple, old fashioned white lights- no ‘flashing’ involved. In fact, he and Jack had told themselves that the only reason that they were buying a tree at all was for when Rhiannon, Johnny and the kids came up to visit. Not that the kids were taking any notice of the tree or its lights just now; they were resolutely fixated by the X-Box game that they were playing, completely oblivious to the Welshman who’d only popped his head in on his way to the back to the garden to see if they wanted to grab some food.

***

“It’s no good, Rhi,” he said, returning to the kitchen. “If they even noticed I was there, they hid it well…”
“In that case, they’ll all get what they’re given,” she replied forcefully and stalked outside and towards the now customary barbeque. Ianto had wondered about Johnny’s obsession with the things, before finally coming to the conclusion that his enthusiasm was entirely due to the opportunities it gave for avoiding girly chat in the house- not forgetting the numerous prospects of surreptitious cigarettes. Johnny was, indeed, hovering over the grill, a fag in one hand and a spatula in the other, almost comically careful to make sure that the hand holding the cigarette, and the subsequent ash, stayed as far away from the food as possible as he sheltered under the makeshift tarpaulin that Jack had had the foresight to erect over the small patio. As soon as spring kicked in Jack had plans to build (or more precisely, get built) a tiled, covered area to protect Johnny’s beloved barbeque- otherwise known as ‘The Incinerator’- from the all too frequent British rain.

Rhys was there too, and a small huddle of some of the Exiles’ member sheltered from the insistent drizzle, along with Owen and Jack. Ianto had taken Rhys up on his offer to join the Exiles to watch some of the televised rugby matches a few months back; he’d been welcomed and then was slightly surprised that a group of such ‘blokey’ blokes invited Jack to the next session, despite Ianto’s protestations that Jack knew nothing about the sport. When Ianto finally capitulated and dragged Jack down to the pub for the Wales vs. Ireland friendly it turned out that the older man had been paying more attention than he’d thought when he’d been watching the odd Saturday fixture. By the end of the match the two men found themselves being invited back the next weekend.

Even the infamous-and notorious- Banana boat was there. After Jack and Ianto had arranged his flight out of Ibiza after a package holiday company collapse, Banana Boat had the utmost respect for the captain and the flight attendant- even if they were ‘poofters’, as he’d once said in his own outspoken way, without any intention to insult.

Three other Exiles players had come along to the Christmas gathering: Huw had brought his wife, and their teenage son was currently happily occupied by the indoor video games with the other kids; Glyn had come with his girlfriend who was chattering away to Huw’s wife and Emma and Gwen in the kitchen, lapping up tales of international travel and admiring Emma’s latest creation, a beautifully tailored black, silk dress. The last of the trio was the unattached Peter, who had been rather too enthusiastic when the invitation to the party had been extended to him- just as soon as Ianto had mentioned that several of his crew mates- air hostesses- would be coming along. Still, Ianto noted, Pete was huddled next to the barbeque for warmth, far away from the supposedly alluring cabin crew. He was constantly amazed by the reactions of some people to his career; most were envious of opportunities to visit exotic lands and be paid for it, too- a few treated them almost as unapproachable celebrities. Pete was obviously in the latter camp- slightly in awe of the glamour of the stewardesses. Ianto made a mental note to make sure that he introduced Pete to Emma later- he was a nice guy and something told him that those two may well be a match.

He paused to look around the garden. His Mam, Bethan, was there, now deep in conversation with Rhiannon. Beth’s friend Ffion had suggested the two women spent the Festive season away, but she’d steadfastly refused even if her eyes had betrayed a twinkle of excitement at a Christmas spent in the sun with an all important, all inclusive, ‘all you can eat’ buffet. Whatever Ianto and Jack’s views on a ‘fly and flop’ holiday, as they called it in the trade, they’d quickly totted up their Air Miles and bought the ticket to Tenerif-ee for just after New Year instead, although the truth was that he’d seen more of his Mam in the last twelve months, while he was with Jack, than he had done in the last three years with Lisa.

***

“Well, who’d have thought, this time a couple of years ago, that you’d be all settled down!” ‘Doc’ Smith nudged his shoulder against Jack’s and then appeared thoughtful, before he raised his eyebrows and spoke as if to himself. “Oh! I did, didn’t I?!”

“You did, did you?” Jack said with amusement- and a certain amount of disbelief.

John turned to look at him more seriously. “Of course. You’re not one for showing off your beaux.” Jack cocked his head at the archaic word. “And- come off it, don’t give me that look- it was obvious he was special when you brought him to Sarah Jane’s that time… and Ianto, well, he was interested but kind of unsure. It was cute!”

“I’d be careful there, Doc!” The pilot laughed, thinking of Ianto’s reactions to some of John Hart’s comments- and he knew that being called ‘cute’ didn’t come high on the young man’s list of descriptions of him. Unless it was Jack saying it, of course. “Ianto doesn’t react well to being called cute.”

“I didn’t say he was cute- although I suppose he is…” Distractedly, John’s eyes settled on the young man in question, stood just outside the kitchen door. “But that’s not the point,” he grinned. “The point is that if I was a betting man I would have put money on you two staying together.”

“You would?”

“Yeah- all Ianto needed to do was get used to the idea of going out with you. Which must have been quite a struggle, knowing how infuriating and irritating you can be!”

He ignored John’s appraisal of him; yes, he had been hard to live with in the past, especially when he was married, but with Ianto he knew that he’d wanted to be a better person- be worthy of him, even- and he trusted that he had been. “Me? I guess Ianto brings out the best in me.”

“It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if he does, Jack. Not in the least.”


***

After seeing the last of the stragglers out, only Ianto’s family were left as he made his way around the kitchen, wearily tidying away a few empty bottles and cans, ready for recycling the next day. He paused to look out of the window and smiled as he saw Rhys and Jack similarly employed clearing away the accumulated debris from around the barbeque.

“A penny for them, Ianto?”

Bethan Jones’ voice startled Ianto from his deliberations.

“Just thinking, Mam,” he smiled at her. “Just thinking how I never expected to be here…”

Beth followed his gaze as he stared out into the garden and placed her glass down on top of the kitchen cabinets.

“Oh, Ianto…” his mother sighed. “I know… and I never expected to have two sons-in-law, at least not at the same time.” She laughed.

“Not, as I’ve told you before, part of the life plan,” he said as he turned to her. “Look, Mam… you’ve been brilliant this year. I don’t know what I would’ve done without you- and Rhi- you know, being OK about Jack. I was struggling a bit with it myself, as it was.” It was true that although Ianto had privately accepted that he was seeing a man, he had had more difficulty in being open about the relationship in public; it was only when he’d come clean about it all to his family that he felt more at ease admitting that he was going out with Jack, and he was sure that without their acceptance he would never been able to come to terms with everything so quickly.

“We’re family, son, of course we wanted to see you happy. And Jack does make you happy and he adores you- I’d be a fool not to see that,” she stepped forward and gathered him into a hug. “Not to mention,” she said quietly, hardly able to contain her amusement as she knew her next comment would have Ianto blushing with embarrassment, “He’s cute- Rhiannon was right!”

“Mam,” Ianto admonished and pulled away, and Beth saw that her son’s cheeks were, indeed, suffused with a pink flush. He didn’t have a chance to scold her further as Jack appeared in the doorway with an armful of paper plates and a bag of rubbish. He quickly set them all down on the work surface, and appeared to take in the red tinge currently gracing his partner’s cheeks. Ianto could see that the other man was unsure of quite what to do, wondering if he’d barged into one of those family moments; the fact that Bethan Jones was grinning happily and that the young Welshman sported a relaxed, but slightly self conscious, air seemed to reassure him. Whatever Jack had interrupted, he reached his arm around Ianto’s waist and rather chastely kissed him on the brow and then drew back.

“Well, it’s more or less clear out there. Johnny’s just got a few bags and stuff to bring in,” he said uncertainly, looking between mother and son.

Beth laughed out loud, before composing herself and smiling once more. “Don’t look so worried- I was just telling Ianto that I never thought I’d end up with two sons-in-law.” She paused and Jack worried exactly what she was about to say. “And definitely not two such gorgeous ones. Here’s to 2012- keep my boy happy, Jack!” Beth reached out and grabbed her half empty wine glass from the counter top, and raised it in a solo toast.

Unusually, the pink stain which crept across Jack’s cheeks matched his boyfriend’s.

“Strictly speaking, Mam, Jack’s not your son-in-law…” Ianto managed to say through his embarrassment.

“We could easily sort that one out, Ianto,” Jack replied with a wiggle of his eyebrows and a wide smile. His fingers gripped at Ianto’s hip a little more tightly. This was a conversation they’d had before, when they’d been buying the house. And both of them had come to the conclusion that no Civil Partnership or ceremony was needed; their bank account was a joint one, the house had been bought in both their names, and they had even nominated each other in their pensions and all other legal documentation- and neither of them really wanted any fuss about it all. Ianto knew that the other man was winding him up, and, just a little, saying just what his Mam wanted to hear.

The Welshman coloured even more, if it was possible, although he knew Jack wouldn’t be offended by what he said. “I really don’t think that’s necessary, Jack. I think we’re both secure enough without all that… silliness. I’m happy with everything the way it is.

Beth had been wishing that the two men would take her hint. Now that she’d got used to the idea of Ianto having a boyfriend, of all things, she had realised that she would be more than happy if the two tied the knot. Or at least, as close to it. “Well, a mother can hope…”

“Mam!” Ianto reproached her for the second time in as many minutes.

“Don’t think I haven’t suggested it, Bethan. Ianto doesn’t seem to support the idea of Civil Partnerships. He associates them with celebrity articles in ‘Hello!’ magazine.”

“That’s not quite what I said,” Ianto almost pouted at Jack. “I just don’t want all that fuss… or people wondering which one of us is the Elton John of the proceedings…”

“Or, worse, the David Furnish…”

“I always liked Elton John in the ‘70s…” she trailed away.

Ianto’s eyes darted upwards briefly. “That’s not what I meant, Mum… I just don’t think either of us need all that pomp and ceremony. And I could have used any high profile Civil Partnership…”

“Ah well, one day, maybe?” she laughed and finished her glass of wine. At her son’s flustered look she quickly added, “Ianto, I’m only joking. I’m happy enough with the way things are- and you two certainly seem to be. And, on that note, it’s time for my bed.” She leant forward and kissed each of them on the cheek, before heading out of the kitchen and towards the stairs and the spare bedroom.

“I’m sorry about that, Jack,” Ianto finally said.

“What for? You know what Moms are like- I guess she just wants what she thinks best for you, and an opportunity to go out shopping for a wedding outfit!”

“You’re probably not far off there!” He laughed, and then added more seriously, “We are alright though? I mean, you know… if you wanted to... I would…”

“Hey,” Jack grinned and lifted his other hand to Ianto’s neck, turning the younger man’s head towards him before speaking quietly. “I’m more than happy just the way things are. I kind of gave up worrying that you were going to realise you’d made some kinda mistake and go running for the hills a while back.”

That was all it took for Ianto to slip his arms around the other man’s waist as the two men’s lips met.
It was only when the noise of the rattling of glasses, accompanied by a deep Welsh voice- “Bloody Hell, you two- are you trying to scar me for life?!”- alerted them to Johnny’s presence that the two broke apart self consciously.

“What can I say, Johnny? Rhiannon’s little brother is irresistible,” Jack responded, unabashed.

It seemed to Ianto that he was blushing furiously for the hundredth time in ten minutes- ‘Really,’ he thought to himself, ‘I should surely have got used to this- and Jack’s comments- by now…’

“Ja…” he started in protest, but was interrupted by his fellow Welshman before he could even finish his first word.

“Well, he’s a great brother-in-law… But I’m not sure about irresistible…” He chuckled and deposited the stacks of glasses and cups he was balancing in his two hands onto the worktop. “Anyway, more or less sorted out there- Nothing that can’t wait until morning,” he waved towards the garden and now extinguished grill.

“Thanks, Johnny,” Ianto replied, still kicking himself for his inability to control his natural reactions to his own embarrassment- and he knew he no longer had any reason to be embarrassed, if he ever did in the first place.
“Right… I’d best go and get the kids and Rhi and get back to the hotel, or else we won’t get back in the morning to see you before the train… I’ll go and get them,” and he headed out of the door, towards the Sitting Room, where David and Misca had finally succumbed to sleep on the sofa, whilst Rhiannon, half asleep herself, was flicking through the TV channels, desperate for something to watch to keep herself in the land of the living.

Ianto watched him leave and Jack grabbed his hand and moved in the direction of the door. “C’mon you, let’s say goodnight. The sooner Rhi and Johnny go to their hotel, the sooner we can go to bed.”

“Sounds like a plan…”

Yep, it looked like life was going pretty well.

***
The End

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wanda1969

September 2012

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