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...

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