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...
The hotel bar at the Hilton Kennedy Center was a posh affair, and Jack was reveling in it.
Well, he would have been if Gwen hadn’t been determined to find fault with everything she saw.
Sometimes, Jack wondered why he’d gotten involved with her in the first place. He thought it might have been something about free sessions, but that didn’t seem right. There was just something about her…something that made him hang around despite their obvious differences. Perhaps it was because they seemed to want the same things, he just wasn’t sure anymore.
Or maybe it was just a case that it was familiar, and he was used to it.
But Ianto had really knocked his world off kilter. Jack had only had that one date – and was it really a date, if all they did was have sex? – but there was something about the enigmatic Count that drew him like a moth to a flame. It certain didn’t hurt that the man had been fantastic in the sack.
And the best looking guy Jack had seen in ages.
And that accent…Jack could have just drowned in it.
Oh God, he was actually starting a list of just what Count Ianto Jones had going for him, and why Jack wanted to keep him around for a while. So much for his philosophy of one night stands…
“So…where is he?” Gwen asked, for what felt like the tenth time.
“He’ll he here,” Jack said, also for the tenth time.
“Another fly-by-night type,” she snorted, taking a drink of her sparkling water.
Jack didn’t know how he knew when Ianto entered the bar, but he was turning in his chair as the Count passed through the doorway and headed toward their table. Jack’s breath was taken away; Ianto was wearing a charcoal suit with a dark red shirt and a red and black striped tie. Red was so his color…and Jack didn’t want to get into the cape. He’d never thought of himself as having a cape fetish, but Ianto was currently in the process of changing his mind on that score.
“Good evening,” Ianto greeted, taking Jack’s hand and brushing a kiss across his knuckles. “You look wonderful tonight.”
Jack found himself blushing. Him…Jack Harkness…blushing at a compliment! “Ianto…I’d like to introduce you to my psychiatrist, Dr. Gwen Cooper.” He tore his eyes away from his date. “Gwen…Count Ianto Jones.”
Ianto took a seat next to Jack, and across from Gwen. He smiled slightly. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Dr. Cooper.”
“Likewise, Count,” Gwen answered, returning the smile…although it looked completely fake.
“Please…call me Ianto,” the Count invited, although it didn’t sound all that cordial. “And I should call you Shrink, since we’re here in America.”
Jack rolled his eyes, barely resisting the urge to slap Ianto in the arm. “I’m sure the same nickname applies in Wales,” he commented, looking the man in the eye and silently telling him to cool off.
Ianto inclined his head, accepting the rebuke. “How was your day, Jack?” he inquired, and the hardness that was in those beautiful blue eyes softened as his attention turned completely to the model.
“Andy ran my ass off all day. He may be the best photographer in New York, but he’s still a bitch.”
“I’m sorry to hear that.”
“It’s all right.” Jack completely forgot that they were in a public place; he suddenly wanted to kiss Ianto right then and there, for caring like that.
He was just going to act on it, when Gwen’s voice cut in. “Can I offer you a cigarette?”
Jack was barely over the surprise that Gwen – who didn’t smoke – was offering the Count a cigarette, before the gold case she’d held out was flying toward the floor.
“This is a non-smoking facility, Doctor,” Ianto growled. “Although I’m sorry, I apparently broke the mirror.” The hardness was back in his eyes, making them look like ice chips as he glared at Gwen.
“It was an accident,” Gwen answered, returning his glare.
Okay, this was nuts. The two were throwing visual daggers at each other, and it was all Jack could do not to yell at both of them. This wasn’t at all how he’d wanted to evening to go, but then he should have told Gwen to mind her own business and to stay at home.
“Oh, I brought you something, Jack,” the doctor went on, smiling an almost wicked smile.
“Really?” This couldn’t be so bad; Jack enjoyed gifts as a rule, and Gwen wasn’t exactly the gift-giving type.
She slid a wrapped bundle across the table; Jack was so interested in it, he didn’t catch Ianto’s shudder. “It’s a good luck charm,” Gwen went on.
Jack eagerly unwrapped the gift. The first thing he noticed as he peeled the tissue paper away was the pungent aroma. “It…smells awful!”
“Yes…it’s made of garlic!” Gwen grinned triumphantly.
Jack glanced at Ianto; the other man was practically gagging. “I don’t think that’s very funny, Gwen!” he snapped, disturbed by his date’s reaction.
There was s sudden blur, and the garlic necklace was flying across the room. Jack didn’t bother to track its movements; his eyes were on Ianto, who was carefully putting down the bar napkin he’d used to snatch the thing away. “You’re getting to be a bore, Dr. Cooper,” the man snapped angrily.
Jack had to agree, but before he could say anything Gwen was speaking.
“It’s Van Helsing, Count! My grandfather was Dr. Fritz Van Helsing, from London. I changed my name for professional reasons. Is the name familiar to you?” She was beginning to sound downright gleeful, if not a bit nuts.
“Van Helsing?” Ianto’s eyes narrowed. “I should have known. Your grandfather was a very wise man, but unfortunately for him I was wiser.”
This was going from the weird and into the bizarre. Was Ianto saying he’d known Gwen’s grandfather? Jack looked at the man; he didn’t look a day over thirty. Well, Gwen was convinced he was a vampire; what if she was right?
Jack kept looking at him, as Ianto and Gwen baited each other. He’d never met a man like Ianto Jones before: intelligent, sexy as hell, and a brilliant lover. Did it really matter if he was some sort of blood-sucking creature of the night?
Oh…hell no. It didn’t.
But what was really bothering Jack was the pissing contest going on around him. “Will you two calm it down?” he hissed, glaring at them each in turn.
“No, let her continue,” Ianto said, “she’s being quite amusing.”
“You won’t find this so amusing, Count!” With those words, Gwen reached into her blouse, pulling out a pendant.
“What do you have there?” Ianto sneered. “Some wolfsbane?”
“More potent than wolfsbane!” She held the pendant out toward Ianto. “What do you say to this?”
Ianto actually flinched back in his seat, but then began to laugh. “I’d say you should leave Jack alone and find yourself a nice Pagan boy…”
Gwen glanced down; Jack was a bit surprised to see the pentagram on its silver chain. “Oh, shit…it’s a different one, isn’t it?”
Ianto got to his feet. “As entertaining as this has been, Jack and I have reservations. Better luck next time, Dr. Cooper.”
“One last thing!” Gwen exclaimed, also getting to her feet.
“I don’t have any more time for your games, Doctor.”
“Look into my eyes, Count Ianto Jones…look deeply into my eyes…”
Now this was getting ridiculous. Gwen was staring at Ianto, her hazel eyes widened so far it looked as if her eyeballs would pop out. For the most part, Ianto simply looked bored with it all.
“You are getting sleepy,” Gwen went on, her voice flat and calm.
“Knock it off, Gwen” Jack snapped. “I’m starving.”
“I’m going to have you find out the truth about this man one way or the other!”
“Don’t teach your grandmother how to suck eggs, Cooper,” Ianto snarled. “It’s you who’s getting sleepier…”
Jack stared between the pair of them. Oh fricking hell, this was so stupid! If Gwen were a man, Jack would’ve sworn they’d both be poisoned on their own testosterone. As it was, he was extremely upset with Ianto for playing Gwen’s games, and with Gwen for ruining what could have been a fantastic evening.
So, as they both continued to stare at each other, murmuring shit about getting sleepier and drowsier – although Ianto’s accent made that particular word sexier than it had a right to be – Jack gathered his few things and left them to it.
A couple of hours later, Jack was wearing his favorite sweats and curled up on the sofa, his fourth glass of wine in his hand. To say he was pissed off would be the understatement of the decade, and the alcohol wasn’t really helping his mood.
The thing was, he was also disappointed. Sure, he’d only known Ianto for a day, but he’d hoped for better. Maybe he was at fault for inviting Gwen in the first place, but that didn’t mean that Ianto had to have risen to her bait. Jack should have realized that getting them together was a monumentally bad idea, but a part of him had wanted to brag, to show Gwen he was more than just the man-whore she sometimes saw. It wasn’t his fault he loved sex; that was just the way he was.
But if he had to be truthful with himself, Jack had been beginning to hope that Ianto could have become more than just a part-time shag.
There was a knock on the door. Jack sighed, not wanting to be bothered.
A second knock echoed through the apartment. “Who’s there?” he called out.
His heart jumped as he recognized Ianto’s voice, but at the same time he was still irritated. “Why don’t you go back to the bar and play your little mind games with Gwen!” he shouted, not caring if his neighbors complained at the noise.
“Open the door, Jack. Please.”
“No, I have company.” Jack jumped up, to stand in the middle of the room. He was almost happy at the pleading tone of Ianto’s voice. “I don’t want to be disturbed.”
The door was thrust open, and Jack knew damned well he’d locked the thing when he’d gotten home. A burst of air blew his hair away from his face, and the model gasped at the sight that met his gaze.
Count Ianto Jones stood on the threshold. His hand was outstretched, but it went quickly to his side as he entered the room. He was dressed as he’d been back at the bar, and Jack’s mouth went dry even as he was getting angrier. “Cute,” he snarked. “But I told you, I’ve got a man in here.”
Ianto glanced around at the obviously empty apartment, and a smirk decorated his handsome features. “Now you do.”
“You arrogant son of a bitch!” Jack didn’t know whether he wanted to kiss him, or punch his lights out.
A sadness filled Ianto’s eyes. “I am Count Ianto Jones. I was once a great power in my land, and yet I feel completely humbled by you.” He stepped forward, almost within touching distance. “You’re the only man I’ve ever loved. You belong to me.”
Jack had been almost willing to forgive him…until that last comment. He rested his hands on his hips, his anger rekindling. “I’m not your slave…although I’m not adverse to a little role-play. But I’ve told you I don’t want you here. If you don’t leave, I’m going to call the police.” He went straight to his phone to prove his point.
As he was reaching for the handset, the entire telephone was propelled through the air. Jack’s mouth fell open, knowing that Ianto had done that as well. The man was so far beyond anything he’d ever known, and it was frightening yet exciting at the same time.
Ianto took another step forward. “You’ve long sought different experiences,” he said, his voice low and his accent even more pronounced, “but nothing has satisfied you.”
Jack’s heart was racing. Ianto had said they he knew secret things about him, but this was something else entirely. It was as if he was reading Jack’s very soul.
Another step, and Ianto was very much within Jack’s personal space. “You long for something wild, something overpowering, to sweep you past thought…”
He didn’t know who initiated the kiss, but Jack found himself in Ianto’s arms, his lips being crushed against the Count’s, their tongues tangling together passionately, and Jack completely lost the anger he’d had as his arousal grew…
But then Ianto was pulling away. “I thought I heard a rooster crow.”
“A rooster?” Jack laughed. “In New York City?” He leaned back in, but Ianto stepped back.
“It’s late. I need to go.”
Jack denied his inner girl, and didn’t grab Ianto back toward him. “Wait a minute,” he coaxed. “We can go back to bed for a bit…maybe get in a little quickie?”
“No, Jack. With you, it will never be a quickie. Always…a longie,” he smirked at the play on words.
Ianto was at the door as Jack called him back once more. “Look, when you come back tonight, you don’t need to blow the door down. I’ll let you in.” He couldn’t believe he’d just said that; it was admitting that there was something otherworldly about the man…oh, who was Jack fooling?
Gwen walked into the police station, knowing that what she was about to do was right. Not just right in the sense that Jack needed to be saved from danger, but that the world would be a much better place without that blood-sucker in it. To do anything, she’d need back-up. And who better than New York’s Finest?
She was directed toward a desk at the back of the squad room. A woman sat there, busily interrogating what had to be a suspect in some sort of crime. As she got closer, she could hear the young man practically begging. “Please Detective…I’m sorry! I swear I’ll never do it again! It was just one rim!”
“Yeah sure,” the detective said in a no-nonsense voice that had Gwen liking her instantly, “but what about the other three?” She sighed, leaning closer to the young man. “Look, tell me the names of the others in your gang and maybe I’ll give you a break.”
“I don’t know their names,” the man answered. “I just met them walking down the street…”
“Smart ass,” she snapped. “Mickey, I’m gonna throw the book at you – “
“Just a minute, Detective…Swanson,” Gwen butted in, taking a look at the name plaque on the desk to get the woman’s name.
“Who the hell are you?” Swanson demanded, staring at Gwen like she something that would have been scraped off the bottom of her shoe.
“I just happen to be a doctor of psychiatry,” Gwen answered authoritatively. “I think this young man is telling the truth.” She smiled softly down at Mickey, who looked up at her with wide dark eyes. “I think he knows what he’s done, and he’s sorry.”
Swanson shook her head. “Well, let me tell you…today it’s Corvette rims, and tomorrow Chase Manhattan Bank goes up in smoke.”
Gwen knelt beside Mickey, putting on her best professional voice. “Mickey,” she said soothingly, digging around in her bag for a card, “I want you to take this.” She passed the card over. “Go to this clinic next Tuesday at 2pm and ask for Dr. Smith. You tell him Dr. Gwen Cooper sent you.” She met his eyes, which were still wide in surprise. “Is that agreed?”
Suddenly the surprise changed to joy. “Yes, ma’am! Thank you!”
Gwen looked at Swanson. “Detective, unlock the handcuffs.”
Swanson looked at her uneasily. “Are you sure?”
“There are no guarantees, only chances.” Gwen tried to project all the confidence she was feeling. She’d been doing this for a while now, and knew what she was doing.
The detective stared at her for a moment, then shrugged. “Okay, you’re the doctor.” She leaned over Mickey’s manacled hands, unlocking the cuffs. “Mickey, if you make an idiot out of me…go on, get out of here. I don’t want to see you back unless you’re selling Girl Scout Cookies.”
Mickey was grinning like mad. “Girl Scout cookies…Boy Scout cookies…oatmeal cookies…sugar cookies…anything you want! I know where the guy parks his truck at night! I can get you a discount!” His voice was getting farther away, as the young man practically ran out of the squad room.
Gwen took the seat just vacated by the ubiquitous Mickey. “Do you feel better?” she smiled.
Swanson returned it. “Yes, I do. It’s crazy, I know, but I really do.”
“So do I.”
There were a few moments of silence. Gwen really felt like she’d done something good, something that would help that young man more than going to jail. To her, it was a job well done.
“Oh, I almost forgot why I came in,” she finally said, turning her attention back to the detective.
“Oh yeah…what’s up Doc?” Swanson actually giggled. “Sorry, just a little joke. I just feel so good.”
Gwen straightened her spine. “Detective, I’m Dr. Gwen Cooper, and I want to talk to you about a man who sucks the blood out of people.”
“A loan shark?’ Swanson looked interested. “What’s his name?” She pulled her computer keyboard around, the better to get to work.
“No, this is no loan shark,” Gwen replied. “This is a vampire.”
Suddenly Swanson’s face changed, going completely blank. “A vampire.” She sounded incredulous.
“Yes,” Gwen answered with the surety of her convictions. “His name is Count Ianto Jones, and he bites people in the neck and drinks their blood.”
The detective shot to her feet. “Davidson!” she practically screamed. “Get that rotten kid back in here! Now!” She stalked her way from behind her desk. “Somebody! Brockless!”
Gwen grinned. Oh yes, to be taken seriously…”We’ll need all the help we can get,” she said.
“Get this psycho bitch out of here!”
“What?” Gwen squeaked as strong hands grabbed her and pulled her to her feet. “Wait! I know it’s hard to believe!”
“Get her out!”
The cops were dragging her away, but Gwen had to try. “They didn’t believe my grandfather either!“
“Get her the hell out now, before I kill her!”
They tossed her out of the station, and as she was picking herself up and examining her hands for concrete burns, Gwen knew she was going to have to get sneaky if she couldn’t get help from the police.