Everyone likes being complimented, and Torchwood Three’s leader has a reputation for responding well to flattery, so Ianto decides it’s worth a try. Anything to get into their base.
“By the way, love the coat.” Anyway, it’s the truth. The coat is amazing, and Harkness has the swagger to carry it off.
Strike one; Harkness isn’t buying it. Time to re-think his approach, perhaps. Who can resist great coffee?
Apparently, Captain Jack Harkness can. Okay, second strike. One more and it’s game over, but Ianto Jones is no quitter.
So, if compliments and coffee aren’t working, how about a Pterodactyl? Or more accurately, a Pteranodon. Surely even Harkness can’t resist having his own prehistoric reptile! Throw in a little offhand comment about the Captain’s aftershave and…
‘Good God, he smells that way naturally? How does he keep from being mauled by lust-crazed women? And men for that matter, he smells edible. This so isn’t fair. Okay, focus, Ianto; catch the big prehistoric birdie! And stop drooling, dammit! Remember why you’re doing this!’
At least the Pteranodon is effective, although catching it results in a certain amount of rolling around on the floor with a very, um, aroused Captain. Seriously, who gets turned on by prehistoric creatures? Rumour has it that Harkness will shag anything, but there have to be limits, surely. On the other hand, maybe it isn’t the Pteranodon he’s attracted to. And he really does smell good.
‘Gotta get out of here before I do something I regret!’
“Hey! Report for work first thing tomorrow. Like the suit, by the way.”
Success has a surprisingly bitter taste.
He’s been at Torchwood Three for several months when the new girl joins.
“Ianto cleans up after us and gets us everywhere on time.”
“I try my best.”
“And he looks good in a suit.”
“Careful. That’s harassment, sir.”
Playing hard to get, with just the right amount of flirting, is keeping the boss interested. The only problem is, Ianto’s not so sure the attraction is as one-sided as it should be, and by no means certain that he’d turn down a direct offer of some after-hours stress-relief if Harkness made one. It’s worrying and exciting at the same time.
A couple of weeks later, everything goes to Hell and while he should be mourning the loss of the woman he loved, Ianto keeps catching himself thinking about Jack’s lips on his. He’s a really good kisser. It’s rather a shame they hate each other right now.
Time passes, hate dulls, understanding and acceptance take its place and the old attraction resurfaces. It’s definitely not one sided now. Still, there has to be a better place to proposition your boss than over the body of your former colleague who’s just died. Again. Then again, this is Torchwood; ‘normal’ kind of flies right out the window around here.
“If… you’re interested, I’ve still got that stopwatch.”
And so it begins.
But what exactly is ‘it’? Shagging the boss? Recreational sex? Friends with benefits? Because there’s no denying that the hate has gone. He likes Jack, and Jack seems to like him too. They both enjoy what they do together, that’s obvious. Jack’s a very vocal lover and Ianto is discovering a similarly vocal enthusiasm. Thank God they’re deep underground where no one can hear. Although trying it on an actual bed where there’s room for two adult men to really stretch out would be nice.
Still, whatever they choose to call what they’re doing, it fulfils their needs. They have a good thing going, and then just like that, Jack’s gone. No explanation, no goodbye, just comes back from the dead after three days, kisses him in front of everyone, and poof! Vanished. What’s Ianto going to do with the extra cup of coffee? He doesn’t like waste so he drinks it. He’ll get Jack a fresh one when he gets back. Which he doesn’t. Not for three long months. Ianto misses him, a lot, but life has to go on.
“I came back for you.” A pause, then, “All of you.”
‘Okay, what does that even mean?’
Things get a bit clearer for Ianto when Jack hesitantly asks him out on a date. It’s rather sweet, truth be told, to see the normally suave Captain nervous and fumbling as a teenager asking a girl out for the first time. Not that Ianto is the least bit girly. Pink isn’t exclusively a girl’s colour these days and anyway it looks good on him. He manages to act reserved and resists the temptation to jump on Jack and kiss him senseless. After all, he’s still feeling a bit miffed about the ex.
“Well, as long as it’s not in on office.”
That should settle the matter, but it doesn’t. Not quite.
“You take the roof. You’re good on roofs.”
‘Oh great, why did I have to say that? Don’t want to give him ideas. He really is though… Stop that train of thought before it gets you in trouble. Need a distraction…’
“Jack? Why are we helping him?”
‘That’ll do it.’
“He’s a reminder of my past. I want him gone. By the way, was that a yes?”
‘He asked me on a date! YES! Okay, do not start jumping up and down, punching the air. It’s not dignified.’
The date goes well. Well enough that Ianto is perhaps a little giddy the following day. Not ideal, under the circumstances, but understandable. They’re dating; the second date is already planned. They just need to keep the world from ending. No problem. They’re Torchwood, it’s what they do!
“Have a little faith. With a dashing hero like me on the case, how can we fail?”
No one’s ever accused Jack of being unduly modest. For good reason, the man has an ego the size of a small planet. Still…
“He is dashing. You have to give him that.”
He’s also like an overgrown puppy, but it’s probably best not to mention that.
Their relationship is going well. There have been a few ups and downs, and losing two days completely was a bit of a worry, but overall progress is encouraging.
Okay, that’s a lie; it’s bloody terrific!
They have a guest, an old friend of Jack’s. Well, not actually old, probably a bit younger than Ianto himself. He likes Martha. She’s smart, funny, and she doesn’t take any nonsense from anyone. He’s already starting to think of her as a friend.
Martha tells him Jack was asking her if she could get one of those red UNIT caps for their personal use. Apparently, Jack thinks it would look good on Ianto. He has to admit the idea has potential.
“Well, red is my colour.”
“So am I right in thinking that you and he…?” Martha looks intrigued.
“Yeah?” Total fangirl, obviously.
“So what’s his dabbling like?”
‘Oh, like I’m gonna go into detail, missy! Use your imagination!’
“Bordering on the avant-garde.”
‘Let that get back to Jack. Wish I could be a fly on the wall when she tells him!’
‘Oh happy memories! Jack can do things I never would’ve imagined. He’s very educational. Am I blushing? I hope I’m not blushing. No, can’t be, the blood’s all headed in the opposite direction. Better get back to business before I embarrass myself.’
“So shall we get your cover story sorted?”
Owen nearly dies, but Martha saves him and stays on until he’s recovered. Ianto’s sad to see her go, but they promise to keep in touch. Lots of things happen, some good and some bad. Gwen gets married; no one at the wedding gets eaten. For a Torchwood wedding, that counts as a resounding success.
Hart comes back, with Jack’s long lost baby brother and things get seriously bad for a bit, but they come through it all intact. Hart even apologises before he leaves. He’s one visitor Ianto’s happy to see the back of though. Good riddance to bad rubbish.
Cardiff is rebuilt, the Hub is repaired; Owen and Tosh start dating. Ianto thinks it’s about time.
“Jack?” Ianto asks as they’re lying in bed a few weeks later, enjoying the afterglow. It’s Ianto’s bed, in Ianto’s flat, except it isn’t anymore, not exclusively. Jack spends most nights here already.
“Hmmm? What’s on your mind, gorgeous?”
“Always with the flattery,” Ianto teases, smiling and propping himself up on one elbow, the fingers of his other hand idly tracing patterns on Jack’s chest.
“It’s not flattery if it’s the truth,” Jack points out. “Besides, I prefer to think of it as being complimentary.”
Ianto snorts a laugh.
“Have it your way. I’ve been thinking.”
“Don’t strain yourself!”
“Shut it, you!”
Ianto pokes Jack in the ribs, making him giggle. Swear to God, it’s an actual giggle. Finding out Jack was ticklish had been quite a revelation.
“Sorry, sorry,” Jack squeaks, wriggling and batting at Ianto’s hand. Ianto takes pity on him and stops. He wants Jack to be able to speak.
“As I was saying, I‘ve been thinking. You’re spending so many nights here already, why don’t you just move in?”
“Are you asking me to?” Jack’s suddenly serious.
“Yeah, I suppose I am. Jack Harkness, will you move in with me?” And that has to be one of the biggest smiles Ianto has ever seen. Any wider and the top of Jack’s head might fall of. Oh. Disturbing image. “You have an awful lot of teeth. They’re very white. Oh God, did I just say that out loud?”
For a minute, Jack’s laughing too hard to answer.
“Yes. To both questions. Yes, you said that out loud, and yes, I would love to move in with you. How does tomorrow sound?”
“Tomorrow sounds perfect to me.”
They grin goofily at each other.
“D’you want to know something else?”
“What?” Ianto’s smile must be almost as wide as Jack’s was.
“You are an amazing, beautiful, wonderful man and I love you.” Jack pulls Ianto down for a kiss. “I don’t know what I did to deserve you, but I must have done something right.”
“And you’re an exasperating, maddening, impossible man, but I wouldn’t have you any other way. I love you too, Jack.”
“Hey! I compliment you and you insult me; that doesn’t seem fair!”
“Your ego’s big enough, it doesn’t need to be inflated any further. Now shut up and kiss me again.”