Characters: Ianto Jones, Jack Harkness, Gwen Cooper, Owen Harper, Kathy Swanson; cameos by Eugene Jones, Mickey Smith, John Hart
Pairing(s): Ianto Jones/Jack Harkness; Jack Harkness/Gwen Cooper
Warning: M/M situations; minimal blood; language; some Gwen-bashing (but it's the character she is in this)
Spoilers: None for "Torchwood"; all for "Love at First Bite", if you've seen the movie
Disclaimer: I don't own either "Torchwood" or "Love at First Bite". "Torchwood" is property of the BBC and Russell T. Davies, and "Love at First Bite" is property of Orion Pictures and Melvin Simon Productions.
Beta: My lovely friend and brother, kanporinpoche .
Author's note: This was written for the reel_torchwood challenge Round 2. It's also my first time writing in a challenge like this, and I hope it doesn't stink too much.
Summary: Vampire Count Ianto Jones travels to America to find his soulmate, model Jack Harkness. Of course, things don't go quite according to his plan...
Owen managed to get the boxed-up coffin and their luggage to their hotel and set up on a pair of trestles that the management so nicely provided for a healthy gratuity. He checked his watch; it was still early, and the last thing he wanted to do was to hang around the room waiting for the vampire to wake up.
He decided some exploring would be in order. And his first stop would be the local public library…
In many ways, New York was so much better than Cardiff.
In others, it blew chunks.
Owen passed through the city, ignored by pretty much anyone. He didn’t really much care, not really wanting anyone to pay attention to him. After all, how do you explain you’re an undead zombie with an autopsy fetish who’d been in the employ of a master vampire for the last several hundred years? Yeah right…like that was gonna get him anywhere.
Tracking down the New York Public Library was child’s play. The lions out front were a bit ostentatious he thought, but at least they were an easy landmark to spot. They also had a nice collection of fairly up-to-date computers, and after a pretty pleasant couple of hours playing some really fantastic online games, Owen got to work trying to track down Ianto’s obsession.
It really wasn’t hard to find out what agency Jack Harkness worked for. The man was pretty damned famous, and after getting several hundred thousand hits on Google Owen decided to go with the official site instead of the many fan sites. He found the name of the agency, then Googled it for the address. About half an hour after his search began, Owen was calling for a taxi to take him to the address he’d found.
But first, he knew he had to have a bit of leverage, if he was going to get the information he needed out of the modeling agency.
He held the battered lunch box on his lap, standing as the receptionist told him he could go into the office.
Owen tossed her a saucy wink, then entered the office belonging to Jack Harkness’ agent. According to the internet – and the door Owen was presently closing behind him – the man’s name was Eugene Jones, and to be honest the zombie didn’t think much of him. He wore an expensive but tasteless suit, and looked as if he should be on the ground surrounded by bullies instead of behind that large desk.
Owen took the seat opposite the agent. “Thanks for seeing me.”
“Not a problem,” Eugene answered. “Now, you said your employer is interested in being introduced to my most successful model…”
“Yeah, that’s right.” Owen scooted a little forward, once again holding the metal lunch box on the knees of his tastefully torn jeans.
“Yeah. Count Ianto Jones.”
Eugene snorted. “What sort of name is that?”
Oh God, this guy was gonna be a bitch to deal with…”It’s Welsh, actually.”
“All right…but Jones? Whoever heard of a count with the last name Jones?”
“I work for one.” He barely stifled the urge to add “you twat” on after that.
Eugene rolled his eyes. “Please…Russell Davies sent you here, didn’t he? I mean, this is some sort of joke, right? Look, go back and tell him it’s not my fault he can’t get a job in LA, that’s no reason to be bugging me…”
“It’s not a joke. The Count would very much like to meet Mr. Harkness.”
“Look, you have ten seconds to get out of my office, before I call security.”
Oh, the guy was gonna play rough. “No…you have ten seconds to tell me where Harkness is gonna be tonight, or…” He gently placed his box on the desk.
“What,” Eugene scoffed. “You’re gonna eat your lunch at me?”
“No,” Owen smirked, unsnapping the clasps holding the lid down, on which the Dukes of Hazzard grinned inanely out at the world, “I’ll show you what I can do to you if you don’t agree…”
Eugene got one look inside, and let out a very girly screech. He backed away from the desk hurriedly, Owen grinning wickedly. “He’s…he’s on a shoot, in Central Park! Oh God, close it!”
It looked like stopping by that medical supply house had been a good plan, after all.
Jack Harkness was bored.
Really, really bored.
It didn’t help that his agent was an idiot. Sometimes he wished he could just void that damned contract, and get a new agent. Eugene didn’t seem to have a clue what was going on; really, sending Jack on this particular shoot. All right, he had to admit that the bike shorts showed off his assets perfectly, but who would really buy him as some sort of messenger? This sort of thing was for a younger man.
It didn’t help that Jack was beginning to feel his age. Modeling was a kids’ game anymore, and to be honest he’d been thinking about retiring and using that degree he’d gotten, just in case the whole modeling thing hadn’t worked out. The problem was, he was way too far screwed up now to quit. He loved modeling.
Maybe he could talk to Eugene about getting him some fancy shoots, like suit or tuxedo ads. That would be great.
But standing in Central Park, wearing a skin-tight semi-uniform and holding onto some sort of high-tech bicycle, in the middle of the night, was just nuts.
It didn’t take much for him to follow the directions the photographer was calling out to him. Hell, Jack could do expressions in his sleep…which he really needed to get more of. Going clubbing every night was beginning to wear him down, and his looks were what kept him in this business. He stifled a sigh as the make-up people came back in, to touch him up.
There was a commotion back in the crowd that had gathered to watch. Jack had done his duty and flirted with pretty much everyone who’d shown up when he’d first arrived, but after had ignored everyone in favor of work and being bored off his ass.
Jack heard someone call out, but couldn’t see past the lights to discover what was going on. He was left on his own again, just wanting things to be done.
That was when the dog appeared.
It was a Rottweiler. It looked up at Jack with strangely pale eyes, then loped forward.
Jack genuinely smiled for the first time that night. “C’mere,” he coaxed the animal forward, kneeling.
“Jack…be careful,” the photographer warned.
“He’s not going to hurt me,” Jack answered. He didn’t know how he knew that, he just did.
The Rottweiler came right up to him, nose sniffing around Jack’s bare ankles. Suddenly a warm tongue dragged itself almost daintily against Jack’s skin. “Stop that!” he giggled, embarrassed that it came out sounding girly. “That tickles!”
That didn’t dissuade the dog, who kept up its ministrations against Jack’s ankle. The model rubbed the large head, finding himself wishing he could take this strange animal home with him. “Will you stop that?” He tried to pull the Rottweiler’s muzzle up, but the dog was quite happily doing what it was doing.
A really strange part of Jack found the feeling almost erotic.
Suddenly, the dog was practically ripped away. Jack glanced up, seeing the New York cop tugging the animal away by a rope that he’d obviously looped around its neck. “Hey!” he called out, wanting to stop the mistreatment.
“No one pisses on New York’s finest,” was the snarled response.
The last thing Jack heard was the mournful cry of the Rottweiler as it was taken away.
Ianto made it back to the hotel room, feeling extremely annoyed.
That had been the closest he’d ever been to Jack Harkness, and he hadn’t been able to resist changing into a dog when the police officer had refused to let him get any closer to the model. It wasn’t his fault that he’d felt the urge to get revenge and had urinated all over the man’s leg…okay, maybe it was, just a little. Perhaps if he hadn’t done that, he wouldn’t have been dragged off to the nearest pound…
A small voice in the back of his head was commenting on just how nice Jack’s ankles had tasted. He ignored it, determined to be irritated at his ignominious treatment at the hands of the ASPCA.
Owen was watching something vaguely pornographic on the large television in their room when Ianto arrived. He glanced up, took one look, and said, “You look like shit, boss.”
Ianto stopped, glaring. “I need you to do two things for me in the morning: find me a decent tailor who will work nights…this city is like living in a jungle.” He was well aware of the damage done to his suit and cape, and he wondered if Owen could hear his teeth grinding.
“Didn’t get to see your boy toy?”
“I did…but I didn’t enjoy paying $75 for a lousy dog license! And I was lucky to escape the pound with my genitals intact!”
He could tell Owen was barely holding his laughter in check. He really wanted to do some violence to the zombie, but knew it would be a really lousy idea to break something that wouldn’t heal.
“And second…you’ll find where I can find Jack tomorrow night.” He slammed his way into the bedroom, to change his clothes. Then he was going out for a bite to drink…
Owen heard the strangest noise when he got in from his errands the next night: it sounded like singing, and it was coming from the vampire’s closed coffin.
It wasn’t that Owen hadn’t ever heard Ianto singing before; he even thought that the vampire lord had a very good voice, although he’d never admit that out loud. But this was different. He sounded…drunk?
The zombie rapped on the coffin lid very carefully. “You okay in there, Vamp Boy?”
The singing stopped. The coffin opened very slowly, to reveal a rather bedraggled Count Ianto Jones, looking up at him with bleary eyes. “No, I’m not okay,” came the slurred answer. He rubbed his head painfully. “What was that maniac drinking? It tasted like the Cardiff Bay at low tide…”
Owen assumed he was taking about the person he’d gotten his “dinner” from last night. “Here, let me help you up. You’ll be fine in a bit. Besides, I found out what you wanted me to.”
That seemed to perk the vampire up. “Do tell.”
It took a few minutes, but the zombie eventually managed to get Ianto out of the coffin and onto the sofa. Then Owen reached into the pocket of his jeans, and with a flourish held up a folded piece of paper. “This is where he is tonight…”
The grin just about wiped out the hangover pain that shown in Ianto’s blue eyes. “You get that from the agent then?”
“From his personal assistant. Apparently he didn’t want to see me, although I can’t imagine why.” Owen tried to look innocent, but failed miserably.
“Must have been your lunch box.”
“Yeah, probably. But the woman must have been warned, because when I showed up there this afternoon, I got no problem at all.”
Ianto took the paper like it was a precious treasure. “And here I never thought your predilection for autopsies would come in handy.”
“I kept trying to tell you – “
“Yes, you did. Very well done, Owen.”
“Can I get a raise?”
Ianto could feel the beat of the music in his teeth as he walked up to the club.
The bouncer on duty looked like something out of a freak show: all muscles and tattoos and piercings. He blocked the way into the club. “You a member?” he demanded.
Ianto looked him straight in the eye. “I’m looking for someone.”
The man’s eyes tracked the vampire’s, and after a few moments – and some handy mesmerism – he stepped aside. “Aren’t we all?” he asked, opening the door.
The place was packed. The vampire made his way through the crowd, sharp eyes on the lookout for the one person he’d come to find.
There he was.
Jack Harkness sat at a secluded table, phone tucked up against his ear. A drink sat at his elbow, looking ignored. If Ianto actually breathed, it would have been stolen away. The man he was staring at was beautiful, even under the strobing lights of the club.
It didn’t take him long at all to get to the table. As he moved closer, he could hear the phone conversation. “ – I’m telling you, Tosh, he did a complete dump on her…”
Ianto looked down at Jack…the object of his most intense dreams. He was wearing a white shirt, the top three buttons undone and revealing a smooth chest. His brown hair was messily styled, and his blue eyes were narrowed as he spoke to whoever it was on the end of the connection. “Good evening,” Ianto murmured, pitching his voice to be heard over the frantic beat of the music.
Jack glanced up, but his eyes didn’t seem to take Ianto in. “No thanks, I already ordered,” he said, making a vague motion toward his drink with his free hand. Then he went back to his call. “She put him through four years of medical school and two years of residency, plus that internship, and now he won’t take her calls….I tried to warn Martha, but she didn’t listen…my way’s better…you meet someone, you’re into them, then you screw them once and it’s hasta la vista, baby…”
Well, this wasn’t at all what Ianto had had in mind for this meeting…to be ignored like this! He waved his hand toward the phone, cutting the connection using his powers.
“Tosh?” Jack frowned. “Damnit!” He stared at the phone as if it was going to bite him, then closed the clamshell and practically slammed it down on the table.
“I am not a waiter,” Ianto began again, sliding into the booth beside the model and throwing his cape back over the seat. “I’m an admirer.”
Jack sighed, turning to look at Ianto. “Let me guess…you’re either a banker, or you’re into handwriting analysis, right?”
“Neither.” Ianto slid a little closer. “I’ve admired you afar, Jack.” Well, that didn’t sound half cheesy, didn’t it?
“How’d you know my name?” There was an actual glimmer of interest in the question.
Ianto couldn’t believe that Jack had just asked that. “As I said, I’m an admirer.”
“That’s nice.” Jack still wasn’t paying that much attention, taking a sip of his drink instead and looking out over the crowd.
Of course…the model most likely received a lot of attention, and he didn’t realize just who was sitting there. Ianto was willing to make allowances for a certain amount of jadedness.
“Jack,” he said, trying to draw the man’s attention back to him.
This time, it seemed to work. Intense blue eyes settled on him; was that a slight widening? Did Ianto actually see something besides boredom? “Yes?” Jack answered, resting his chin in his hand.
“I want you to look into my eyes…and tell me what you see.”
He did. Jack met his gaze directly. “They’d be amazing if they weren’t so bloodshot…so I’d think you had too much to drink last night.”
“What else?” What would it take to get through to him?
The model looked again, and a strange uneasiness gathered in those staring orbs. “I don’t know…you tell me.” His voice had pitched a bit lower, and Ianto would have had trouble hearing him if it weren’t for his vastly improved vampire hearing.
Ianto shifted a bit closer. “Love,” he admitted. He’d come so far to meet this gorgeous man, he wasn’t about to let this chance to proclaim his feelings slide. “I love you…and I can give you eternal life.”
Whatever he’d seen in Jack’s eyes faded, replaced by irritation. “Shit. You’re an insurance salesman. You’re too late, I already have plenty – “
“I am Count Ianto Jones!” the vampire hissed, his own ardor subsumed into anger, “I do not sell life insurance!”
Jack threw his hands up. “Hey, don’t get hostile with me! You walk over here, and start to tell me you love me? How could you? You don’t even know me!”
Ianto wanted to argue with that. He knew so much about Jack Harkness, and his past lives…
“Maybe you only know that I don’t want to get married or anything,” the model went on. He took a swig of his drink.
“I know many things about you,” the count slid a little closer. “Secret things…”
“Really?” Jack was looking interested again. “Like what?”
“You enjoy having your ankles licked…”
Jack actually blushed a little. “Listen…maybe we can go back to my place…or your place, whichever…I can’t believe I said that…”
It was what Ianto wanted more than anything, but he wasn’t done with his first attempt at wooing. He slid out of the booth then held out his hand; Jack glanced at it, then after a few seconds decided to take it.
Ianto pulled the other man out onto the dance floor. He wasn’t all that knowledgeable about the dances of the day, but he could fake it fairly well. And he really wanted to dance with Jack; it was one of his fantasies, and he intended to fulfill it.
The song playing almost had a tango beat to it, and so the vampire began with that, smoothly taking the lead although Jack did try to fight him for it at first. Ianto pulled him close, wanting as much contact as possible, as he courted the other man to the beat of a song the vampire had never heard before in his existence.
Jack proved to be an excellent dancer.
And by the time the pair of them left the club, Ianto was more than ready to show Jack his other moves, as well.