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: Yet again another apology for the delay- getting back into the swing of work after my holiday has taken a while! I DO have photos of parts of Phnom Penh, and the Raffles, which I might attempt to upload if anyone is interested, by the way.
There’s only really one more chapter after this one, but I do have another AU planned, which I’m hoping will have a much better structure than this one! AND I will be finishing updating the chapter list for ‘Come Fly With Me’ this weekend as well.
Chapter List: http://wanda1969.dreamwidth.org/1863.
Jack stared out of the cockpit at the still blue skies as they climbed out of Heathrow. He and Ianto had had a busy couple of weeks off: moving house and the subsequent small house warming party had been tiring but once Ianto’s family had returned to Wales, the two had made sure to catch up on ‘personal time’. Returning to work had been a wrench, but they both knew that on this occasion they were only on a short shift, spending a mere four nights back in Cambodia. That, and the realisation that the two men’s recently proclaimed status as ‘partners’ (Jack was just about old enough to dislike the phrase which appeared to be a polite way of allowing others to come to terms with the fact that he was going out with a man) meant that they no longer had to spend the nights away apart would be softening the blow of getting back into the swing of work…
Gwen had been surprisingly friendly to both of the men as they’d waited for their time to board the ‘plane, thanking both of them for the party, and gushing over their new home. It seemed that whatever hopes or dreams that the Welshwoman had that Jack might be available had been well and truly laid to rest- she’d seemed to accept that not only was the pilot happily ensconced in his new home with Ianto, but also that Rhys was fully supportive of his wife’s career and friendships with her team mates. It did have to be said that maybe being caught snogging in the kitchen had finally made the point that this was something much more than a simple ‘office’ romance for the men.
“You’re not listening at all, are you?”
Owen’s insistent voice finally broke through Jack’s thoughts. “Sorry, Owen,” he said and looked back to his co-pilot. “What was that?”
“Not sure I wanna repeat it, if you’re not interested.” Owen pretended to be peeved. He eventually relented. “La, la, la…”
Jack turned to him with a roll of the eyes that Ianto would be proud of.
“I said that I had a bit of gossip that you’re gonna love,” Owen said with a sense of drama.
“OK, OK- you’ve got me,” Jack encouraged.
Jack visibly sagged in his seat. “What now?”
“He’s gone… vamoosh… back in the US, and not bloody likely to be back in a hurry…” Owen said triumphantly with the air of a man who knew something juicy, that his friend didn’t- not that he’d ever admit that he was a gossip, of course.
“Got your attention now, eh?” Owen joked.
“Alright… Now spill,” Jack urged.
“Yeah, yeah- get on with it Owen!”
The co-pilot laughed. “OK… Well, there’s not that much to tell really. Turns out he was co-piloting on one of UA’s test runs and made a rather unsubtle- and unwanted- suggestion about the Mile High Club to a very famous Hollywood actress. And she didn’t see the funny side. Kicked off. Got in touch with the CEO and more or less demanded that he was never on any flight that she had even the remotest possibility of being on. Or anyone who’s paid for a first class flight in Europe, for that matter.”
To say that Jack roared with laughter was an understatement. When he finally composed himself and got his breath back he sat back in the seat, and looked at Harper, eyes glistening in amusement. “It looks like the counselling hasn’t changed him then!”
“Nope- he’s still the same wanker that he always was…”
“Go on, then- do we know who the actress was?”
“Well- let’s just say that she was apparently in ‘Kill Bill’…”
“In that case, I expect to hear the rumours spiraling out of control. So what’s he doing now?”
“Back in the States on the Internals- with the proviso he’s on his best behaviour. And the story is he’s back at ‘Sex Addicts Anonymous’ or whatever it’s called- by UA demand.”
“That’s about right. Ianto’s gonna be overjoyed- I think he was going to commit GBH if he came across John again.” Jack paused and crooked an eyebrow at Owen, who was expressing a small amount of surprise that their usually restrained ‘colleague’ might have a violent streak if the circumstances were right. “Ianto’s not even half as reserved as you think.”
“I get it- he’s got hidden depths. And I’m not really sure I want to know what those ‘depths’ are.”
“Owen, your comments are so predictable.”
“Trust me, Harkness- there’s plenty of women out there who think I’m far from predictable.”
“Oh, yeah? And there was me thinking you’d calmed down a bit…”
“Well… yeah. OK, there’s been no-one since Diane. I’ve needed some time to think since then, I guess.”
“And that’s a good thing,” Jack agreed and then cocked his head to one side. “But have I detected a bit of a friendship developing between you and Toshiko?”
“Jack!” Owen exclaimed. “She’s great, but… well, I’m not sure there’s anything more than friendship. For a start, I’m not sure I’m ready for anything like that, at least not yet. And, well Tosh has been seeing that guy from Logistics, Andy. But let’s just say that I’m just enjoying just kinda relaxing around women at the moment…”
“Rather than having to ‘make a conquest’?” Jack questioned.
“I suppose so…”
“I know it’s been a tough year,” Jack said, knowing that Owen had had a rollercoaster ride of a year when it came to personal relationships- first there had been Gwen, then Diane, a woman that Jack knew had perhaps been Owen’s ideal woman: beautiful, sexy and intelligent. “Take things easy… Enjoy life, you never know what comes along…”
Jack looked wistful as he stared at the cockpit controls and Owen knew that the other man was thinking about Ianto and the fact that his life had changed so much in the last year, too, just when the co-pilot knew that his friend had resigned himself to the life of a ‘singleton’ for the foreseeable future. And Ianto was good for the other man- they were good for each other. Jack was content, and, in turn, the younger man exuded a new, quiet confidence and happiness.
“That’s alright for you to say, mate. You’ve just moved in with the love of your life.” An outsider might have thought the comment was filled with bitterness or jealousy, but Jack caught the approving and amused gleam in Owen’s eyes.
Jack laughed in what he hoped would be a reassuring way. “Like I said, take things as they come.”
“We’re not all as lucky as you, Jack.”
“We’ll see- just when you think you know where life is taking you, it’s got a habit of taking you somewhere else, somewhere completely different.”
Jack had delivered the good news that John Hart had been sent back to the US as he and Ianto were settling into their room in the Phnom Penh Raffles. The Welshman had had little time to process this latest titbit before he and the pilot were drifting into sleep, recovering from the long flight from Heathrow.
Now, sitting quietly with the other man in a nearby café about half a mile from the hotel, Ianto had the time to digest what Hart’s departure actually meant for him. It would be a considerable amount of time before the Captain would be working internationally again, if ever, by the sounds of it. Perhaps Hart hadn’t been a major threat to him, but he’d certainly been an unwelcome figure in his life just when he was coming to terms with the fact that his life was changing- for the better- and far beyond anything he’d ever expected.
“… You and Jack- you’re as bad as an old married couple. I’m only suggesting a couple of hours at the club…” Owen had been chatting to a couple of ex-pat businessmen at the bar during happy hour, and they’d enthusiastically recommended a nightclub on the Tonlé Sap riverfront, not far away from the Raffles. “It’s not like it’s a strip bar or anything like that.”
“So ‘Edward and Giles’ say…” Ianto said with a certain amount of suspicion.
“It’s Edward and Gareth actually. And they’re perfectly respectable employees of Lloyds Bank’s international investment arm…”
“That makes it so much better, of course, Owen…” Jack joined in, reiterating Ianto’s doubts.
“God! You two really have turned into ‘Darby and Joan’!”
“Ianto’s got a point- much as I like a night out with the crew, I’m not expecting this place to be any different than the usual ‘hostess bar’- and I’m not expecting it to be exactly ‘gay-friendly’ either.”
“And you two keep telling me that you’re not gay!”
“That’s just a technicality, Owen- you know that for all intents and purposes, we’re gay out here. I don’t know what the Cambodians view of bisexuality is. And I’m bloody knackered.”
“OK, OK- I get it…” Owen was distracted by Toshiko waving at him from the pool table which had just been vacated by a group of four rather incongruous (in these surroundings) Australian backpackers hell bent on ending their ‘round the world trip’ in luxury having taken full advantage of the Le Royal’s heavily discounted ‘Happy Hour’.
“Looks like we’re up for that doubles match with Martha, then…” Jack said, looking over to the table.
Paired with Owen, Toshiko was making short work of their opponents- Martha and Jack. Ianto looked away from the action, only to see Gwen, dressed to the nines, making a bee line for him. The woman rarely sought out his company, and his heart sank at the thought of whatever she had to say to him.
Gwen quickly closed the distance and then slid into the now empty seat next to him. For a few moments the Welshman was taken aback; recently she’d been distinctly more friendly, even when he was with Jack.
“So… are you thinking of going to that club Owen’s heard about?”
As she spoke, she nodded her head towards the game of pool- and Jack- making Ianto wonder whether she was using ‘you’ as a plural or a singular word. He decided to go for the former explanation, reasoning that there was little point in being coy about the fact that his decision did indeed depend on Jack’s. That and the fact that Gwen had only a short time ago attended his and Jack’s housewarming party.
“Oh, I don’t know about that, Gwen- Jack’s pretty knackered…” he said pointedly, and laughed. “And I’m not sure that I trust Owen’s ‘leads’ on the ‘happening clubs’ of Phnom Penh.”
“You know it would be nice if you could- both- come along for an hour…” Gwen looked down at her drink and then she looked at him, eyes full of understanding, and a certain amount of regret. “And I wanted to say ‘thanks’ for the other weekend. I really enjoyed myself… and Rhys… well, he’s hardly shut up about getting you… and Jack… up to the Rugby Club next time there’s a match on,” she said uncertainly. “If you’re up for it, that is…”
Ianto suspected that this was as near to throwing down the gauntlet and an apology as she was able to make at this moment in time, and he wasn’t going to refuse it. He’d liked Rhys- really liked the man- and it wouldn’t be a chore to watch or play a bit of rugby and down a few (OK, a lot of) pints with him. He smiled widely. “I’m glad you both had a good time… and I’d like that- we’d like that.”
The air hostess seemed to breathe a quiet sigh of relief, and smiled at him genuinely. “We had a great time- it was good to see everyone away from work… completely away from work.” She paused and looked wistfully out through the French windows and into the courtyard. “Sometimes we forget to have a home life with this job. The glamour can distract you from what really matters…”
From her tone, Ianto knew that Gwen was talking about herself rather than about him and Jack, and she was clearly making friendly overtures towards him. “Hey,” he said softly. “You just have to remember to make the most of the time you get at home. And, as for Rhys- he’s a great guy. You can just tell he’ll support you in your work. And Jack… well, he’s pretty shit at rugby.” He laughed again. “But it’d be nice to get back into the game- it’d be nice to have some guys who actually know how many points you get for a try…!”
Gwen’s eyes widened with good humoured disbelief. “You must be joking? How long has he lived in Britain?”
“Too long not to know the basics of either rugby or cricket, quite frankly.”
“Well, I can agree with him on the cricket front…” she grinned.
“Oh, dear… not a fan of cricket then?”
“Well, it’s not really a proper Welsh game, is it now?”
For the first time since he’d joined Jack’s crew, all those months ago, with Gwen, he found himself comfortable in the woman’s company. It was as if she’d somehow turned over a new leaf and- suddenly- realised just how important her fiancé was, and that she didn’t have to compete with anyone else to prove how attractive she was, or how good she was at her job.
The black ball potted expertly by a triumphant Toshiko, the group finished their game, and Jack took a gulp of his drink and looked over to Ianto. To his surprise he saw the young man sitting with Gwen, both of them laughing at some comment or other. Filled with curiosity, he placed his cue back in the rack, congratulated Owen and Toshiko on yet another landslide victory, before strolling across the room towards the two crew members.
When he arrived at the table he found the pair deep in an amusing conversation about Rhys and his mates’ celebratory activities after a recent rugby club victory. It seemed to involve the local constabulary and a naked ‘Banana Boat’- he briefly wondered what on Earth that could mean before he recollected Rhys having regaled Johnny and Ianto with tales of one of the Exiles’ players’ exploits; yes, that was it- that guy’s nickname was Banana Boat. He flopped down onto the bench next to Ianto in what he hoped was his most disinterested and detached look; he certainly didn’t want to make the impression that he was either overly fascinated by their conversation or, God forbid, jealous…
To Be Continued…