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: In which Ianto starts to get more confident…
Chapter List: http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/1863.
Overhearing Gwen’s comments in the galley had made Ianto determined to show Gwen (and the rest of his colleagues- what if they thought the same?) that his relationship was more than a casual fling. He had seethed at her tone as she’d said ‘if they’re as committed as they’re making out’. His new found confidence had its limits, however- while he no longer cared that the team gave him knowing looks whenever he and Jack appeared at breakfast or in the bar, he certainly wasn’t going to publically pull Jack into a passionate embrace just to stake his claim. Over the top public displays of affection had never been his style, whoever he was going out with.
Sitting comfortably on the covered verandah with Toshiko, who was relishing their return to the Elephant bar and her favourite cocktail, Ianto watched as the warm rain bounced down in the courtyard beyond. It was Monsoon season, and the hot and humid evening air was almost suffocating, mixed as it was with the smouldering scent of mosquito coils and incense which had been lit to discourage the insects. For the most part the days had been clear and dry; the showers typically started in the late afternoon. Inside, their friends milled around or lazed in the bar’s wicker armchairs; the downpour was far too heavy for any of them to have any enthusiasm for leaving the hotel for dinner or drinks.
Ianto grabbed a small handful of the complimentary peanuts lightly dry roasted with chilli, sugar and salt with a hint of cinnamon. The snacks were wickedly addictive, as Ianto had found out, and were always replenished by the ever watchful barmen or waiters as soon as the small bowls began to look half empty.
“I’ve missed this,” Tosh said and set down her glass. Her eyes followed Ianto’s as he looked into the room behind them. She knew exactly what the man was looking at- Gwen. “You’ve no need to worry about Gwen, Ianto. Jack’s not in the least bit interested…”
“I know.” He turned back to look at her. “But that’s not the point. She is. And it’s starting to really piss me off now. ”
“She’ll give up sooner or later- probably ‘later’ knowing Gwen. Sometimes she’s not the quickest on the uptake…”
He rolled his eyes as he saw the woman in question homing in on Jack, who was leaning against the bar alone; he’d just been abandoned by Owen when Amy had dragged the Second Officer away to play pool. “Exactly what part of ‘living together’ doesn’t she understand?” He watched her settle on the bar stool and lean in close to the pilot. Ianto shrugged before a mischievous smirk appeared. “I think I might just let him suffer for a little while, before I rescue him this time…”
“I’m seeing a different side to you these days, Ianto Jones. That’s just evil…” she laughed.
“Let’s just see if he can put her straight once and for all… And anyway, I’ll make it up to him. I might even suggest an early night…” Ianto raised an eyebrow at her- and then winked.
The stewardess looked quite scandalised. Ianto was rarely this carefree and open about his private life. “I’m beginning to wonder whether Jack’s a bad influence on you,” she joked.
“Probably… although personally I blame it on being back on these,” he said and waved his hand at the Rouges Champagnes. “Anyway, Jack was right- everyone else just assumes we’re going to be spending the night together. They probably think we’ve been sneaking off to each other’s rooms all this time, too- which we haven’t. And Cambodia isn’t an intolerant country when it comes to two guys sharing a room…”
“Aah.” Toshiko seemed to recall something in the back of her mind- Cambodia was, indeed, one of the countries of South East Asia which didn’t have laws prohibiting homosexuality; it was nowhere near as open as New Caledonia, which was in essence ruled by EU dictats, but it certainly wasn’t going to be prosecuting two consenting adult males for spending the night together. “So you two haven’t been sleeping together when we’ve all been away…?” she asked, suddenly realising what he’d said in his second to last sentence.
“Tosh!” he admonished, knowing full well he couldn’t blame his friend for picking up on the admission. “But, no, we’ve not been ‘sneaking off’ to each other’s rooms. It’s only this trip.”
Toshiko detected some of the old embarrassment creep into his voice.
“You know, I didn’t know he was going to book that hotel on the Isle of Pines… It all kind of made me make my mind up that now was the time to just tell the rest of them…”
“I think you’re doing the right thing. You couldn’t have left it much longer- not when you’re moving to the new house.”
“I know. And, even if it makes you say ‘I told you so’, you’re right… I feel a lot better now it’s all out in the open.”
“You will do.” She gulped down some more of her cocktail. “But what I really want to know is exactly what you’re going to do to make it up to Jack for leaving him with Gwen tonight…”
Despite Ianto’s keen lack of explicitness, she was left in no doubt that Jack was definitely going to know on which side his bread was buttered.
“Well, that was a trip of a lifetime. I’d never even heard of North Caledonia until we were asked to fly there!”
Jack cringed at Gwen’s comment, wondering how she could get the Collectivity’s name so wrong when they’d just spent a week there. He decided not to correct her error.
Instead, he listened as she told him about her time there; sunbathing mainly, by the sound of it- she was, indeed, sporting a deep golden tan. The more subtle, lightly tanned look which was currently worn by Ianto was much more to his liking. In fact, pretty much everything about Ianto was much more to his liking.
Taking a draught of her beer, Gwen paused, looking thoughtful. “So… You and Ianto…?”
“Well.” She fought to phrase the words correctly- and, failed. “Well, I think it came as a bit of a bolt from the blue for us all…”
“Yeah, I know… we shouldn’t have been so… secretive.”
She giggled. “I have to say I’m a bit surprised. Ianto seems a bit too quiet, too reserved… I sort of saw you with someone… more… you know.”
Jack’s hackles rose at this comment, but he was determined not to let it show. “Believe me, Gwen, Ianto is far from quiet, or reserved.” He waggled his eyebrows at her, voice thick with innuendo.
The Welshwoman felt herself blush at the way that Jack had replied. “Oh…” she said lost for words for a second or two.
“Although I don’t know why you’re surprised about Ianto. And I don’t know what you mean about how he could be more… ‘you know’?” He was trying his best to keep his voice even while suspecting that what she really meant was ‘someone… more… like me’.
Gwen had indeed been thinking- hoping- that Jack would be with someone more like her, or even better, her. Quickly she put the thought out of her head. “I don’t know,” she stuttered slightly. “Someone a bit more outgoing or more confident, perhaps.”
He laughed. “I can assure you that Ianto isn’t lacking in confidence! And he’s perfectly capable of being outgoing. Although he does like to separate work from his personal life… even though I don’t suppose me and him is a very good example of not mixing business and pleasure.” He gave a small shake of his head and laughed again.
“Oh.” She attempted to copy his jokey manner. “And, no, I don’t suppose it is the best example, really!” She failed to see the fact that she wasn’t totally blameless on that count herself.
“I know. But we never expected it to happen… and then when it did, well, hey… it wasn’t really anyone else’s business until it became serious.”
“It is serious, then?”
“Yeah,” he sighed, and for a moment he looked away and thought of Ianto and the life that they were starting together, and then turned once more to her. “We’re buying a house together, Gwen.”
“There’s not much that’s more serious than that these days…” she said. It was a big step in anyone’s life but, nevertheless, she wasn’t sure how true her words were- she had many girlfriends who had moved in with their new boyfriends at the drop of a hat.
“I guess not,” he smiled.
“I… didn’t know that Ianto was gay, that either of you were gay…”
Jack chuckled. “He’s not- I’m not. Let’s just say we both like to think it doesn’t really matter about gender…”
“Maybe not,” she said trying to be convinced by his confession.
Neither of them had noticed Ianto approaching. “Hi, Gwen.” He nodded cheerfully towards her, before acknowledging his partner with a smile. “Jack.”
Jack was relieved to see the younger man, and beamed.
“Hi, Ianto,” Gwen finally said, and Ianto reluctantly tore his eyes away from Jack’s.
“So, how’s your day been?” he asked her.
“Oh, just been relaxing ‘round the pool- until it started to look like rain.”
“You’ve certainly caught the sun this trip, Gwen. It suits you.” He actually felt that, with her pale Welsh skin, she’d possibly overdone it a bit, but it was always polite to pay a compliment.
“Thanks, Ianto,” she preened. “I’m hoping it’ll make Rhys realise we’re ready for a holiday.”
“Well, I’m sure that you’ve got some ideas for places to go to from this last year with Torchwood. Now there’s more flights to the Far East you could try somewhere a bit more exotic. Thailand or maybe New Caledonia, now,” he suggested.
She looked thoughtful. “Well, he might take some convincing if he can’t get a good pint!”
“There’s always somewhere that’ll serve a pint, Gwen,” Jack said. “I’ve seen loads of ex pat pubs all over the place, if you just do a bit of exploring.”
“Maybe… I’ll suggest it to him.”
Ianto’s efforts at a conversation stalled as Gwen didn’t elaborate further. As he said goodnight to Toshiko, he’d told her that he was off ‘to liberate Jack from Gwen’s clutches’, and right about now looked like the right time to do just that… as well test his resolve to be less cagey about his personal life.
“Anyway, sorry I interrupted you both.” Looking at Jack, he continued in his most confident tone. “I just came over to say I was turning in. It’s been a busy week and the flight’s setting out pretty early tomorrow…” There was slight leer on his lips and he left the obvious invitation hanging in the air along with the cloying smoke from the citronella incense.
Gwen’s eyes were wider than he’d ever seen them- even more so than the other night when the pair had admitted that they had been seeing each other.
Jack lifted his arm to look at the bulky wristwatch that he often wore.
“You’re right there… I’m just about done myself.” Jack positively radiated joy at Ianto’s rather overt and, frankly, surprising implied suggestion. He raised his beer bottle and checked the remaining contents as if to signal he was close to leaving anyway, and he then quickly gulped the remaining liquor down.
“I think he’s right, Gwen. It’s a long flight tomorrow… I might as well walk up with you, Ianto…” Jack wasn’t fooling anyone as he put his bottle down on the bar behind him and went to stand next to Ianto. “G’night, Gwen.”
“See you tomorrow,” Ianto said as they turned and left for the night.
Gwen fought down her confusion and disbelief. She’d taken it for granted that Jack was the one that called the shots. She now wondered whether it was Ianto who was playing Jack; perhaps he’d been the one that had done all the running in the first place.
To be continued…