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: Apparently there is NO London to Cardiff air route, but, hey, I wanted to pop it in. Posted in two parts as it’s pretty long. And thanks to everyone who’s been commenting and reviewing- and an even bigger thank you to everyone who’s sent me their best wishes (and pressies!) these past few days!
Chapter List: http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/1863.
Chapter 37 (part 1)
Jack Harkness sat on the hotel bed, legs stretched out, and watched as Ianto adjusted his tie in the full length mirror and tugged on the bottom of his waistcoat for the umpteenth time.
“Ianto, you look great…” he said gently, and stood up to cross the room, coming to a stop just behind him. “In fact, you look more than great- you look wonderful.”
Jack settled his hands on the young man’s hips, and Ianto looked up to address the pilot’s smile reflected over his shoulder. “That’s easy for you to say, Jack… and you’re biased, anyway.”
“OK, I’m biased- but I’m right. Now come on, get your jacket before we’re late,” he finished with a light squeeze to Ianto’s hips and then reached for the suit jacket’s coat hanger and handed it to him.
Of course, Jack knew that Ianto was nervous; the team was the favourite to win the Best International Crew of the Year 2011 and they’d made the decision to stay at the Savoy, where the Awards were being held. Not that a trip to the Savoy was any kind of trial for either of them, but because it was the most open expression of their relationship that they had thus far made at work, and it was more than likely that it would be noticed that they’d stayed there together.
Jack ran his hands across the shoulders of the jacket, smoothing the fabric, after Ianto had eased it on. After a quick and reassuring kiss, they left the room and headed down to the main function room.
John Hart walked- or swaggered- into the Banqueting Room. He smirked- this was a coup; few non-Torchwood Airlines staff were invited to the Company’s events, but Hart’s own contacts and United Airlines’ ties with other carriers across Europe meant that he was one of the lucky few who had found themselves on the Corporate Guest List.
He stood at the bar, sipping at the glass of complimentary Champagne that he’d snagged from the waitress at the room’s entrance. Guests were only just gathering, and as yet there was no sign of the pilot that he was hoping to see. He took another sip of the bubbly wine, secure in the knowledge that he would surely come across a certain Captain Jack Harkness, or, even better, that young piece of ‘eye candy’, who he now knew was called Ianto Jones.
Looking around the bar where the pre-dinner drinks were being served, Lisa Hallett watched her colleagues (even if she didn’t know all of them personally, they were Torchwood) arriving for the evening’s celebrations. Beside her her crew-mates Rebecca Thompson and Pamela Newton were chattering away, commenting on the dress choices of the other female guests. Her own crew were nominees in the short haul category, and she knew that Ianto Jones was part of one of the teams who were nominated for Best Long Haul Crew- she hadn’t seen him yet, but was sure that even Ianto would be attending, much as he disliked corporate events. In the year or so since Ianto had joined the Jack Harkness’ international crew she hadn’t seen her ex; it was rare that long distance fights departed from the same terminal at Heathrow as the daytime European routes, and their paths hadn’t crossed. She had no real burning desire to see him, she just hoped there wouldn’t be a scene if he was there. A waiter passed by, and she reached for another glass of free Bubbly, and joined in Rebecca and Pam’s conversation, just as a blonde walked by in what was possibly the most inappropriate hot pink dress she’d ever seen and the opportunity to have a girly ‘bitch’ presented itself.
Toshiko Sato paused on her way through the hotel foyer to take a look through the window of the small, unobtrusive gift shop; she wasn’t looking forward to arriving at the party on her own and a little procrastination seemed in order. She was wondering exactly who on Earth might want a Waterford crystal miniature of the London Eye, when the easily recognisable and chirpy American accent of Captain Harkness came from behind her.
“Surely not looking for a souvenir, Toshiko?”
Turning, she found she was right. There was Jack resplendent in a black tie. Next to him was Ianto, dressed a little more casually in a three piece suit not too dissimilar to his Torchwood uniform, but as black as coal, accented by a deep indigo shirt and coordinating purple tie. She’d rarely seen the Welshman in anything other than the blood red shirt of the Torchwood brand unless he had been dressed casually for a day trip out when they were on their stopovers. At first, the change was jarring, and then she noticed how it complimented the deep, bright blue of his eyes.
Ianto extended his arm towards her, smiling theatrically. “Miss Sato, would you please accompany me to the party?” His voice was jokey and she knew that she wasn’t intruding on the mens’ evening, so she linked her arm with his and the three walked towards the Awards ceremony.
Lisa was discussing one of the latest arrivals’ dresses when she looked back to the bar’s entrance. She knew it was inevitable that he would be here, but she was still shocked to see Ianto walking arm in arm into the bar with a petite Japanese woman, dressed elegantly in a classically cut dress the colour of purple heather, her dark hair twisted loosely on top of her head. With them was Jack Harkness, his usual charismatic smile in place.
There was something different about Ianto: gone was the wary, uncertain demeanour, now replaced with a new vitality and confidence which shone from his eyes. And he looked almost blissfully happy, presumably due to the pretty ‘girl’ on his arm- ‘Tamako?’ she thought, trying to remember the names of Harkness’ crew. She was happy for him, she really was; she’d moved on and, it seemed, so had he, but she couldn’t help the thought that, had things been different, perhaps she could have been the one to put that contented smile on his face, or that twinkle in his blue eyes. Still, it was only human nature to look back on what might have been, however much Lisa knew that she’d made the only decision she could.
An older man that Lisa recognised as another of the senior pilots with the company greeted the Captain as the three made their way through the crowd, and after what looked like brief introductions, Harkness waved his companions on, seemingly indicating that he’d catch up with them later. She continued to watch the pilot. Perhaps her break with Ianto had been good for him. After all- not only did it look like Ianto was making a new life for himself with Tamako, but he’d made the jump to long haul flights by gaining one of the most sought after positions in the company: a place on Captain Jack Harkness’ crew.
The meal had been good, more than up to the standards one would expect from the Savoy. Both Jack and Ianto had chosen the vegetarian choice when they’d responded to the invitation, rightly guessing that the starter of asparagus followed by a basil, roast tomato and mozzarella tart with salad would be a lighter option than the meaty offering of Beef Wellington. It would have been nice to sit next to each other, but there were only three men on the crew and the powers that be had divided them equally around the large, round table. By a stroke of good fortune, neither Jack nor Ianto had been seated next to Gwen. Since admitting that they were living with each other her conversation with the two had been a little stilted- not ideal for a dinner at a company gathering.
The presentations were in full flow and the crew from the London to Cardiff route had just won the Domestic Flight Crew of the year, causing Ianto (and Gwen) to cheer and give an undignified ‘whoop’ of approval. Next up was the European Crew prize. As spotlights from the balconies around the room settled on the nominated crews’ tables, Ianto saw Lisa amongst one of the highlighted teams. He’d been so busy with work and the house move that he’d failed to see her crew down as one of the contenders for the award, and knew he’d finally got over both her and the betrayal he’d felt at the time when they’d split up. She was still the same pretty Lisa, but he no longer grieved her loss or wished her ill. He just hoped she was happy with ‘Andrew from Flight Control’- as happy as he was with Jack. He smiled wryly to himself; he should probably thank Andrew if he ever met him.
Unfortunately, Lisa’s crew came in a second to the Heathrow- Dusseldorff team.
Eventually it was Jack’s crew’s turn at their award. As their names were read out, Ianto felt himself redden under the heat of the spotlight. It seemed like an age before the winner was read out and he realised they’d won. There were quick hugs all round before they all stood and made their way to the stage to a round of applause from the rest of the guests.
“I’d like to thank everyone who’s put this crew forward for this award,” Jack spoke into the mic on the podium. “It’s been an interesting and busy year for us all. But most of all I’d like to thank the crew who I think are one of the best in Torchwood.” He looked round and introduced them all in turn, holding his arm out. “Emma-Louise Cowell, Beth Halloran, Suzie Costello- my Cabin Service Director, Amy Pond, Owen Harper- my second in command, Ianto Jones, Gwen Cooper, Toshiko Sato and Martha Jones. I think I can thank you all on their behalf.”
There was another round of applause as Jack gave a final ‘Thank you’ and the crew left the stage to more applause. As they returned to the table, Ianto fell into step beside him.
“Thank God that’s over! It’s great to win but I could do without the speech bit.”
“It’s not the Oscars, Jack. It was hardly a speech- at least you managed to get away with a few ‘thank yous’,” Ianto laughed as they reached their seats.
The rest of the ceremony went by quickly with only the nominations for best Cabin Service Director and Pilot of the Year (an accolade that had been awarded to Jack a few years ago) to go. When the awards were over a small swing band took to the stage and Jack asked an eager Amy for the first dance. Half an hour later he’d danced with Martha, Emma and Suzie, too, before excusing himself for a trip to the Gents and then the bar. It was an extremely warm July evening and the dancing had made him thirsty. The heat had had a welcome effect, though; Ianto had shed his suit jacket, loosened his tie and undone the top button of his shirt, to reveal the beaded necklace they’d bought in Cambodia nestled against the hollow at the base of his neck.
Jack left the lavatory and walked back along the corridor to the bar and loosened his own bow tie, leaving it dangling around his neck.
“I suppose congratulations are in order…” drawled a voice to his side.
Jack turned and saw just what he expected John Hart- leaning against a wall.
“What the hell are you doing here, John?” Jack’s voice was more weary than threatening or annoyed. So far the night had been enjoyable, and John Hart was the last person he wanted ruining his evening.
“Perfectly legitimate, I assure you. I’m here as one of the representatives of UA.”
“For God’s sake… They really do let anyone in here,” he said in exasperated disbelief.
“Oh, Jack… Aren’t you pleased to see me?” Hart cajoled.
“Far from it- and you know it, John.”
“Such a pity. Sounds like you’re a bit peeved… anyway, where’s Ianto?”
“What’s that got to do with you?”
“Don’t be so defensive, Jack. Or is that insecure?” Hart laughed. “If I were you I’d be very careful about leaving him on his own- he was looking more than delicious when you all went up to collect your award…”
“I don’t think I’ve got anything to worry about. I bet you didn’t know we’re buying a house together, did you?”
“Oh, how sweet! I wonder what the powers that be would think about all of this if it got out? Fraternisation with the crew and all of that…”
Jack actually laughed out loud. “You really are behind with the gossip aren’t you? If anyone asks, we’re not hiding it… And we’ve even registered his new address with Personnel. So if this is some kind of attempt at emotional blackmail, it’s not gonna work.”
John Hart appeared to mentally deflate, before gathering his thoughts again. “I didn’t think you did domesticated, Jack… Let’s just see how long this lasts before you get bored, shall we?”
Jack gave another laugh. “I really can’t see myself getting bored of Ianto, John. I can assure he’s not the kind of guy you’d get bored of easily. Unlike you.”
“Are you going to resort to insults, Jack?”
“Insults? I think we both know it’s true. Let’s just leave it there, eh?” Jack paused and sighed. “Look, I’m going back to the bar. This is over. Whatever leverage you think you have, it’s not happening. And that’s the end of it. It stops now. And, John, it’s the 21st century- do you think anyone actually cares about me living with Ianto?”
Jack looked away from him and strode off, and John Hart just stared after him.
As he slumped into the empty chair next to Ianto, Jack groaned and set the large bottle of Perrier and glasses on the table. Across from them, only Beth and Suzie remained- the Swing band had taken a break and everyone else was either dancing to the poppy dance track which was playing, or over at the bar area.
“Are you OK?”
Jack poured them both a glass of the fizzy water. “Yeah… I’ve just seen John Hart. He’s here as a Corporate Guest.”
“I know. That man really is a wanker. Do you know he threatened to ‘out’ us?”
“Well, sort of. He asked what would happen if the news about us got out.” He grinned. “Although it was kinda fun telling him that we were buying a house together… and that we weren’t actually ‘in the closet’ anyway.”
The dance music in the background finished to be replaced by distinctly slower tune. The guitar chords were immediately recognisable.
Jack looked out to the dance floor which was less crowded than before, only occupied by four or five couples.
“Whaddya say we give him something to talk about?” Jack raised his eyebrows. “Dance with me…?”
Ianto smiled and looked around the room. Quite a few of the older crowd had left but the edges of the room were still bustling with guests. He nodded, not certain that he really was making the right choice- but he said it anyway. “OK.”
The smile that Jack gave him was almost overwhelming, filled as it was with relief that Ianto had accepted, and joy for exactly the same reason.
He stood up and reached his hand out to Ianto, who took it after a brief pause and allowed himself to be pulled up onto his feet. Jack led him onto the parquet floor and then folded their joined hands between them. He wrapped his spare arm around Ianto, just as Ianto did the same. Cheek to cheek they swayed to the music of ‘You Do Something To Me’.
“You do know we’re being watched?” Ianto muttered into his ear. His eyes had flicked round the room and detected a certain prurience, as he saw that a high proportion of the partygoers were blatantly staring at them.
“No wonder,” Jack said quietly. “Probably jealous… I would be if I saw you dancing with anyone else.”
Ianto snorted. “Like I said earlier- you really are biased. And deluded. But I’m glad you are…”
If there was any doubt in the onlookers minds, it was swept away as Captain Harkness craned his neck and leaned in to kiss Ianto’s forehead.
Lisa leant against the bar and ordered a double gin and tonic- plenty of ice and lemon. She’d been dancing to some of the faster tracks and, in this heat, she was desperate for a drink of something cool.
She turned and hoisted herself onto the nearest barstool and looked about the room. Her gaze settled on Ianto, sat talking to Jack Harkness. So, it turned out the two were friendly. Surprising. In the time that she’d known him, Ianto had been reserved, many of his friends being on the ‘geeky’ side- not the kind of guy who would be amused by the great Captain Harkness and his famously flirtatious nature. A subtle cough behind her alerted her to the fact that her drink was ready and she reached behind her for the glass.
Her eyes returned to Ianto. She obviously couldn’t hear a word, but she saw Ianto smile as Captain Harkness stood up and then held out a hand. Ianto took it, and let himself be hauled to his feet. She assumed that the hands would soon separate after they were both upright. She was wrong- the hands remained inextricably linked, and Ianto was allowing himself to be pulled onto the dance floor.
She sipped at her G and T- and then spluttered as she saw the two men start to dance together. Moments later Jack Harkness lips brushed against Ianto’s forehead.
“Jesus Christ!” She didn’t know whether she was more shocked to see Ianto dancing so intimately with a man or that that man was Jack Harkness.
Lisa hadn’t initially noticed the red head leaning on a high barstool, only a few yards away from her, but as she spluttered into her drink at the outburst, Lisa looked at her. It was the same slim, flame haired girl, dressed simply chartreuse satin, who had taken to the stage to collect the Best Long Haul Crew trophy- along with Ianto- and she looked over at Lisa.
“I know,” she said in a marked Scottish accent and sighed dramatically. “Those two are possibly the hottest couple I’ve ever seen…”
“I ‘spose so,” she answered uncertainly. “I just really wasn’t expecting that from Ianto.”
“I don’t think I did when I joined…”
Amy suspected that the two men’s openess had most definitely put their relationship in the public realm - it was really no use denying that the two were seeing each other. “If you ask me, they’re made for each other… It’s kind of depressing- they’re just about the best looking two guys in the company. Ah, well.” Amy Pond sighed and took her glass of white wine from the bar and stood up. “I guess the good ones are always taken…”
Lisa looked after her as she went back to her table. Had she been so wrong about Ianto? Had he been gay all along? And had she completely failed to see exactly how ‘hot’ he truly was?
To Be Continued…