Some days, trying to have anything even remotely resembling a normal life, let alone a normal relationship, seems like an exercise in futility. Torchwood doesn’t do normal, which shouldn’t be so surprising considering the so-called secret organisation is run by an immortal from the fifty-first century, and is in the business of dealing with objects and aliens that fall through a rift in time and space.
Nevertheless, despite all their skill and practice at coping with the unexpected, even something as seemingly straightforward as going on a date has an unfortunate tendency to become as complicated as planning a military campaign. Tonight is a case in point.
So much for their plan to have a pleasant, leisurely meal at a good restaurant before seeing a movie at the local multiplex. Instead, Ianto has somehow become an unwilling participant in a bizarre wrestling match. This was SO not part of tonight’s itinerary. He’s almost sure of that. Rolling around with Jack at the end of the night is one thing; that’s expected, and even encouraged. This, however, isn’t.
Still, it doesn’t necessarily mean the date will have to be called off and rescheduled, does it? Maybe it might be wise to check on that, just to be sure exactly where he stands, or flounders, as the case may be.
“This is still a date, right?” he queries. He’s learned from experience that where Jack’s involved it never hurts to clarify things, and it’s always possible that his lover’s priorities might have changed somewhat. He’s easily distracted, and Ianto’s a little distracted himself at present since he’s currently attempting to bat away the groping tentacles of their latest Rift-delivered visitor. Some of them are going places that are making it surprisingly difficult for him to concentrate. He suspects Jack would rather enjoy being on the receiving end of all this tentacle attention, but unfortunately, it’s Ianto who’s bearing the brunt.
Jack sounds a bit out of breath, when he answers. “It was a date when we started out earlier, unless you want it not to be.” Every time he unwinds one tentacle from Ianto, another takes its place. He seems to be fighting a losing battle, but Ianto is his, and this uninvited visitor needs to understand that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated! If any groping is to be done on Ianto’s person, Jack should be the one doing it. He’s not having other beings taking liberties with his lover, not if he can help it!
“No, that’s fine, just checking.” Ianto peels away another tentacle and when it tries to come back, gives it a sharp slap. It recoils. “Distant relative of yours perhaps?” he asks mildly.
“What?” Jack’s trying, unsuccessfully, to unwind two tentacles at once, so perhaps it’s understandable if he’s getting a bit confused.
“Well, its behaviour is remarkably similar to yours on date nights. Or course, you usually have fewer appendages, although there are times I wonder about that…” Ianto slaps another tentacle, hard enough to make his palm sting. “Hands off or I’ll tie you in knots!” The tentacles snap away from him so fast the creature almost gives itself whiplash. Ianto glares at it. “That’s better.”
Jack helps him up and dusts him down while the alien hunches in on itself, nursing its slapped tentacles, and sulking.
“It’s your own fault, you know,” Jack teases. “You shouldn’t be so irresistible.”
Ianto sighs. “I wasn’t aware I was.”
He should be accustomed by now to the reality of Torchwood life, and yet there’s still a small but annoyingly optimistic part of him that keeps insisting this time it might be different, when the sad fact is that his and Jack’s date nights are destined never to go completely to plan.
Now, if they can just get the newcomer safely stowed back at the Hub, maybe they can still salvage at least part of the night.