Faux bad language.Disclaimer:
Belongs to the BBC (and someone else. Erm … RDT? R2D2?)Summary:
Fluff + Angst = Flangst. Jack calls Ianto up to a rooftop to celebrate, chat and indulge in Christmas traditions in the middle of May.
Jack stoked the little coals in their aluminium casket again, watch the last of the flames subdued to embers and the worst of the smoke drifting away from his rooftop. He'd chosen what he hoped was a good spot, where he would be able to watch the sun go down with very few obstacles whilst still being sheltered enough to start up his little disposable barbecue.
He had a picnic blanket laid out, a couple of cushions to sit on with an extra blanket in case it got a bit chilly, plastic plates and cutlery and water bottles on ice all ready and waiting.
The only thing he didn't currently have was something to actually barbecue.
As if someone had heard his thoughts, the door to the rooftop opened and closed, soft footsteps approaching and preceding a slight cough.
“Sir? I brought the things you asked for.”
“Sit down, Ianto!” grinned Jack, watching Ianto's eyes drinking in the picnic blanket and plastic dinner service for two. “You're expected at the party,” Jack was saying. “Lots to celebrate – and I'd really rather not on my own.”
The corner of Ianto's mouth twitched and he set down the bag of meats Jack had requested be brought. “It might be May, sir, but the night will still grow chilly in Cardiff.”
Jack's grin widened as Ianto lowered himself to sit cross-legged beside him. “We'll keep each other warm, then, honey,” he teased. “I brought an extra blanket and some scotch to keep the edge off. We could even snuggle.”
“We could,” pondered Ianto. “right before I vomit all over your fluffy bunny slippers and flame-proof nightie.”
“Eloquent as ever,” Jack laughed. “Now! - let's take our meat out and get this party started!”
Ianto rolled his eyes at the terrible innuendo, and split open the pack of sausage whilst secretly smiling to himself. “Should have known you'd be one to observe VE Day,” he said, putting a couple of sausages on the barbecue.
Jack smiled fondly, watching him. “It was a happy, happy day.”
“What were you doing?”
“I was out by Buckingham Palace,” Jack replied wistfully. “A million and a half people on the streets of London; from the Palace, down The Mall, clogging up the roads all the way to Trafalgar Square and beyond. All celebrating, high on euphoria – victory for Europe, devastation of the Nazis. Dancing in the street, singing all as one. The Union flag was everywhere, bunting and streamers, shouting and cheering – and I was out by Bucking Palace, and I saw Princess Elizabeth in the crowd, allowed out by her father to anonymously join in the celebra- what?”
“I was just … listening. You tell … you tell good stories.”
Jack smiled shyly at the compliment. “You have tell me one now,” he goaded.
“I … don't have one to tell ...” Ianto replied lamely, turning the sausages as Jack began to prepare the chicken.
“Everyone has stories.”
“I don't. Not interesting ones.”
“Tell me a boring one, then.”
Ianto sighed, and watched the fat bubbling on the sausages for a moment as he thought. “Um ...” he began. “Once upon a time, there was a very hungry caterpillar ….”
Jack playfully punched his arm. “Come on!”
“Erm … I … um … I was … nine?” he tried.
“Very good – very intriguing. Do continue?”
“Uh … it was Bonfire Night. We were lighting fireworks in the back garden and my Da was letting me pick. We set up the Roman candle, Da lit it, it shot one ball of light up and the force of it knocked the firework over. The next five all ricocheted around the garden and three of them hit me, so I spent the rest of the night in A&E.”
Jack raised his eyebrows. “You are
crap at stories.”
Ianto sighed. “I tried to warn you.”
Jack sighed, too, and leaned over to turn the meat on the wire rack. Ian to felt like he'd disappointed him in some way, and stared at his hands though he knew the feeling was really rather silly. The two of them sat quietly for a moment, until Jack's stomach rumbled so loudly it made Ianto jump – then scowl.
“When did you last eat?”
“Er … when did you last feed me?”
Ianto raked a hand through his hair, incredulous. “Honestly … unless I shove it on a plate in front of you, you don't eat, do you?”
“Feed me more often, then!” Jack suggested cheekily.
“Your insides must hate you,” Ianto grumbled. “Here … I'll put some bread on to toast to keep you going while we're waiting.”
Jack sat up sharply, hearing a noise and looking around. He relaxed when he decided it was safe, and pointed to a distant street at a middle-aged woman dressed in black slinking into the shadowy roads beyond. “What do you think her story is?”
“I don't know.”
“Make something up.”
“For fun,” shrugged Jack. “I think she's a rich widower,” he began grandly. “running from her late husband's jealous son from his first marriage, show shamed the family and got himself written out of the will. He's following her because he wants to blackmail her – he knows she was having an affair with the gardener, and had she was planning to run away with her.”
“... right,” nodded Ianto. “Here – your toast is done.”
“Go on! Your turn! While I'm eating - do that tramp over there,” Jack pointed.
“Just start talking and the story just goes where it wants,” he advised, crumbs flying everywhere.
“Uhhhhhh … Once upon a time, there was a very hungry tramp, and all he wanted to was eat and eat and eat ….” He hesitated, having expected Jack to have stopped him already – but Jack was just nodding expectantly. “Uh … he … um … he got so hungry … he … erm … started to go through bins a-and … make things? Like … pretty things? Erm … an – an art dealer was driving past the little mat stall he'd set up and saw the stuff he'd made and bought it all for millions … but … erm … the money wasn't really what the tramp wanted, so he used it to set up a homeless shelter and clinic and carried on living on the streets.”
“Awww!” grinned Jack, toast devoured. “See – that wasn't so difficult!”
Ianto gave a weak laugh, leaning forward to check the sausages and turn them over so they could sizzle for a few more minutes. The chicken was starting to look closer to done now, too.
“It's quiet,” he noticed eventually. “The world seems so distant from up here.”
“Why do you think I like roofs so much?”
“There was me thinking you just wanted to survey your domain,” smiled Ianto.
“Like Dracula staring down over Transylvania,” winked Jack. “wondering who his next pray might be.”
Ianto snorted. “You're not a vampire. Nowhere near strong, silent and broody enough.”
Jack pouted. “My coat could be my cloak!”
Smirking, Ianto swept his eyes up and down Jack's coat and back up to his face. “You could be a campire.”
“Like a vampire, but with added bells and a penchant for being the ultimate centre of attention.”
Jack laughed, and shuffled closer. “Strong, silent and brooding … you could be a vampire ….”
Ianto shook his head. “I hate the taste of blood.”
Jack put his lips close to Ianto's ear. “You'd be one hot vampire-”
“- a contradiction in terms -”
“- and I'd let you suck blood from any part of me you wanted, any day.”
“... only to then spit it out the second it hits my tongue, going 'ew ew ew, Ianto no likey'?”
Jack gave him a shove.“You're ruining the mood!” he whined.
Ianto's smile faltered. “Is that all you invited me up for?”
He took the expression on Jack's face as his answer.
“Sorry,” he said quickly. “Sausages and chicken are done.”
To Ianto's distaste, Jack used his fingers to divide up the meat, and they put the beef burgers on the barbecue to start while they were eating.
“Chicken done on a barbecue is my favourite meat,” Ianto said, only putting barbecue sauce on his sausages and leaving his chicken plain.
Jack drowned his entire plate.
They opened their pre-made back of salad to dip into like crisps as they ate quietly, watching as the sun finally began to dip and and turn the world a warm orange shade.
“So,” began Ianto, a thought occurring to him. “The lift is masked by the 'residue' of the chameleon circuit from the TARDIS when the Doctor landed there in 2005, right?”
“Yeah?” frowned Jack, pausing his meal.
“What did they use to hide the lift before? 'Cause … those hydraulics are ancient. The lift's been there longer than a couple of years. Longer than the chameleon circuit, anyway.”
“Want me to be honest?”
“I used to streak across the Plass to distract everyone.”
Ianto sniggered. “Jack!”
Jack grinned cheekily. “It's true.”
Ianto rolled his eyes, and continued eating. “How come you never told the others?”
“Told the others what?”
“About the 'not dying' thing?”
Jack thought about it for a second. “Why did you not tell the others?” he asked.
“I … because you didn't.”
“Mmm,” Jack agreed over a mouthful of sausage. “It can be our secret.”
“Nobody else knows?”
“Nobody,” Jack assured him. “Hey – do the burgers need flipping? Can we put some more chicken on?”
Ianto started getting the chicken ready, wiping his hands on some stolen surgical wipes after handling it. “So … I was taking advantage of my free internet,” he said, tossing the wipe into an empty carrier bag. “Found myself on the Darwin Awards.”
Jack frowned. “The wha'?”
“You don't know what the Darwin Awards are?” Ianto asked, incredulously and half way through turning the burgers. Jack shook his head. “Oh …”
“You gonna explain?”
“It's a website that hands out awards to people who removed themselves from the gene pool by being incredibly, incredibly stupid. Like … one woman who joked to her boyfriend that it would be quicker for to get to work if she got out and walked, opened the door of the HGV and … splat. Or the farmer who decided to see if cows really did expel methane and lit a match behind one, blowing them both up.”
“You find unfortunate death funny?”
Ianto shrugged. “We laugh when we're happy, we laugh when we're high, we laugh when we're insecure, we laugh when we're stressed, we laugh when we're nervous, we laugh when we're cruel – we laugh when we're scared. Laughing's a natural reaction – when it happens, it happens.”
“So laughing at someone dying horribly, or someone in pain, or someone who looks or sounds or acts differently is totally fine?”
Ianto was quiet a moment. “We laugh when we're cruel,” he repeated. “We can't help it. The impulse to laugh and to make others laugh is an incredibly strong one.”
“Could just … not be cruel.”
“And you've never had a laugh at someone else's expense, have you? Telling me I can't laugh at the Darwin awards would be like me telling you you can't laugh at Owen's wrinkles.”
“Death and a few crows' feet are very different.”
“Ageing is a very slow death – not that you'd know.”
“I know what it's like to die horrifically and suddenly.”
“All the more reason to laugh. Otherwise … just darkness.”
Jack didn't reply, instead reaching out to turn over the burgers on the grill. “Y'know,” he said eventually. “I that's the most eloquent way I've ever been told to lighten up in my entire life.”
Ianto grinned. “I never expected having to tell you
to lighten up – but I enjoyed doing it.” He popped his last bit of chicken into his mouth. “I'm suddenly a lot hungrier,” he realised. “Did you bring any crisps or anything?”
“I have some in my office,” sighed Jack. “Forgot 'em. Gwen nicked all the good flavours anyway.”
Ianto rolled his eyes. “And she lectured us about healthy eating?”
“Stolen food doesn't count – surely you know this?”
Ianto laughed. “I suppose once you're all too fat from pizza to protect Cardiff, Owen might give you a bit of liposuction.”
all too fat? Where will you be?”
“I'll be the wall of flesh with tiny hands, a pink head and coffee on a drip in the Tourist Office.”
Jack laughed heartily. “As long as you still wear a suit.”
“Mmm,” nodded Ianto. “Ooh! I think the burgers are nearly done now.”
Jack ripped open the bag of burger buns with a dramatic grunt, and glanced over to Ianto for approval.
“Animal,” Ianto rolled his eyes.
“I'm a tiger,” grinned Jack.
“You're certainly orange enough in this light,” replied Ianto, cheekily.
Jack pouted. “Sunset is terrible for my complexion.”
“That's 'cause you're a campire. It's the night time when no one can see you that's a problem for you.”
“If you had my jawline, you'd be the same,” sulked Jack.
“But I don't have your jawline,” Ianto smirked. “I do, however, have it on good authority my lips are soft, full and kissable.”
“My lips are soft, full and kissable!”
“Eww no! Your lips are thin and severely dehydrated.”
Jack looked as though Ianto had shot him, then started patting his pockets down a couple of notches below 'frantically'.
“What are you looking for?”
Jack produced a mirror.
Ianto stared at it. “... you're not quite the man I thought you were.”
The Captain, however, was too busy examining his lips in the mirror. “Liar,” he scowled. “My lips are
soft, full and kissable.”
Ianto sniggered. “I was just teasing. I think your ego needs me sometimes.”
“I can think of a couple of my parts that could do with your attention.”
“I think you're giving yourself attention enough for the both of us. Put that mirror away before you try and shag it.”
Jack kept his little smile to himself as he tucked the mirror (definitely not stolen from Gwen) back into his pocket. “My lips are
soft, full and kissable though,” he murmured.
Ianto sniggered again, and glanced over to see Jack touching his lips with the fingers of his left hand self-consciously. “I was only joking,” he smiled, reaching out and pulling his hand away from his face by his wrist. “Stop it.”
“Mm,” replied Jack, and then frowned when he realised Ianto hadn't let go of his wrist yet.
“You're not wearing your wrist strap,” Ianto stated, surprised to find bare skin underneath the sleeve of Jack's coat.
“It … I let Tosh have it for the evening. It was the only way I could think of keeping her distracted long enough to not notice I've gone.”
Ianto raised an eyebrow. “Why aren't you supposed to be 'gone'?”
“We … sort of … we're a bit busy.”
“Oh,” breathed Ianto, then attempted a weak laugh. “Three weeks without me and everything goes to pot! Aren't you worried Tosh might break your watch?”!
“She won't even be able to grasp a basic understanding of it, even with her brilliance.”
“Does that mean you'll never have a clue how it works either?”
“Pretty much. Hmm. I'm getting cold. Are you getting cold?”
“It's strange being cold when they sky is turning red,” Ianto pondered.
“C'mon,” Jack pulled out his spare blanket and started arranging it. “Snuggle up.”
They both sat as close to each other as possible, knees draw up to their chests and blanket wrapped around them up to their chins. Jack didn't even pretend to yawn before snaking his arm around Ianto's shoulders. It took Ianto a moment, but he tentatively relaxed against him, and Jack rested his head on his.
“Jack ...” Ianto breathed. “Jack … I … I'm sorry about ….”
“Shhh. We said we weren't going to talk about that tonight.”
“But we can't pretend like it-”
“We can put off acknowledging it did. Now shush – watch the sun set. It won't ever be this way again.”
They were quiet again, the only sound punctuating the silence was the sizzling burgers and chicken on the barbecue.
“I miss you.”
Jack said it so quiet, Ianto wasn't entirely sure he'd heard him speak. “Jack?”
“I do. I miss you … I mean … you were my friend, y'know? We flirted and stuff, but … I miss having you around. You were around a lot, y'know?”
“I thought … I dunno why … I … I do miss you, too. Even though you've been calling me every fucking five minutes.”
Jack gave a small laugh. “I've been worried.”
“My phone has gathered.”
“Would you rather I never phoned at all?”
Ianto fell silent for a moment. “No. I wouldn't.”
Jack squeezed him a little, and Ianto turned his head slightly, finding himself a little closer to the Captain than he first expected. “Oh.”
Turning to look, Jack's expression became quizzical.
“I … erm … I ...” Ianto floundered for words. “Maybe your lips are more kissable than I thought.”
He regretted saying it the moment the words left his mouth. Jack, however, just smiled a little shyly, before working up his own courage.
“Wanna find out?”
“I … erm … I … the burgers are burning!”
Ianto practically jumped onto the barbecue, two black lumps where the juicy burgers used to be and black lines of char set deeply into the chicken.
“Chicken sandwich instead?” suggested Ianto. Jack shrugged and held out his plate, disentangling from the blanket with a little more difficulty than Ianto had. “You know what we should do?” asked Ianto thoughtfully. “Put these burgers in an evidence bag and give them Owen to analyse. See how long it takes him to realise they're not alien, just the product of two men on a roof who don't have an attention span.”
“Ha! At least if they ask where I've been, I can say I was collecting evidence! Here … I've got a bag somewhere.”
He produced a battered Torchwood zip-lock evidence bag from his pocket and held it open while Ianto quickly dropped the black lumps into it. “He's gonna kill you.”
“It'll be funny to watch his face. I'll get the girls in on it, too.”
“Mm,” nodded Ianto, passing Jack his sorry-looking sandwich. “More chicken. Yum.”
“We should do some kebabs next.”
“Did you bring skewers, vegetables and chunks of lamb?”
“Um … nope. Did you?”
“Nope. I didn't know what the meat was for. If I had I'd have used my initiative.”
Jack wolfed down his sandwich in about three seconds flat. Ianto had barely taken his first bite.
“You seriously haven't eaten since yesterday lunch, have you?”
“Bizz-ee!” shrugged Jack, mouth full of chicken and sesame seed bun.
Ianto gave him a gentle(ish) whack around the back of the head to make his point, then continued his own food while Jack decided to eat a bread roll on its own.
“Woh' we gunna cuk nuxt?”
“I dunno. We've only done half the sausages, but I don't feel much like any more of them. Maybe attempt the two burgers we've got left?”
Jack nodded vigorously, finished hoovering up his bread and plopped the circles of meat onto the grille.
Ianto looked out across the city, shivering a little now that he wasn't sharing as much body heat with Jack, and wondered at how beautiful the urban landscape looked as the final remnants of the sun dipped behind the horizon. “S'getting dark,” he sighed regretfully. “Did you bring a lamp or anything?”
Jack shook his head. “Expected the others to find me, to be honest.”
“They probably have,” Ianto murmured.
“If they had, they'd be here looking for free food.”
“Don't speak too soon,” Ianto laughed, rapping his knuckles on Jack's skull. “Touch wood!”
Jack grinned evilly, and Ianto groaned when he realised what Jack was thinking – and why he was too preoccupied to clock that Ianto was calling him thick.
“I'm touching nothing below the waistline,” Ianto chastised.
Jack was pulling the blanket up again. “I'm getting cold,” he whined, and Ianto obliged and shuffled closer, helping tuck the blanket in at the sides. “You're shaking,” he noticed. “Why didn't you say you were bloody freezing?”
“I … didn't really notice,” Ianto frowned. “But I am cold. Now that I think about it. I think the thought of winding Owen up gave me inner warmth.”
Jack laughed, and started fidgeting under the blanket until he could get his coat wide enough apart. “Snuggle up,” he grinned. “The less layers between us, the warmer we'll be.”
“Should I take my suit jacket off, then?”
Jack's grin was all Ianto needed to garner his response.
“This is harassment,” he grumbled, taking off his jacket and doing his best not to curl into the warmth of Jack's body like a cat on his lap. They wound up with Jack's knees pulled up, and Ianto pretty much draped over him, back to his chest as Jack rubbed it soothingly, pulling the blanket further around them.
“How bad will it be when I go back?”
Jack was quiet for a moment, then moved his hand from Ianto's back to stroke his hair. “The worst thing will be that nobody is angry at you.”
“Oh … I … oh ….”
“Sometimes you just need someone to be angry, but … they're not. You'll find that when you go back.”
“Oh … You were angry. A lot.”
“At first. But after the actual … time … I just put it on for show. Imagine if I'd turned up and just gone 'no worries, Ianto – I understand. Business as usual'? You'd have popped a lung.”
“I think you're right. I think … I think … I think I would want them to be … aren't they? Why aren't they?”
“There's more important things to be angry about than you loving someone so much.”
To avoid answering, Ianto reached over and turned the burgers. “Gotta get 'em right this time. Suppose we could go driving and throw them at chavs if they burn.”
“Fifty points if you get one on heelies.”
Ianto snuggled back up to Jack. “I think I'm going to fall asleep soon.”
“At least let me take you home first. And we have burgers!”
“Mmmm. But I'm sleepy.”
“Killjoy. Ruining our party. Here – have some scotch.”
Jack produced a silver hip flask, unscrewed the cap and offered it to Ianto. Ianto took a sip, and then another, before handing it back. Jack necked a large gulp, screwed the lid back on and tucked the flask away. “Warmer already!”
“Mmmm. So why did you choose a barbecue? I could have just brought pizza up.”
“Barbecues are fun,” shrugged Jack. “Next time, we'll have pizza.”
“Or Chinese. Then we could have Indian on Bonfire Night.”
“What's between now and Bonfire Night we could celebrate?”
“Erm … my birthday? And … when's yours?”
Jack shrugged. “No idea on this calendar.”
“Make me one up.”
“Erm … you're a bit summery. I say … June ninth. You can then also show off that you were born on the same day as Johnny Depp – just a couple of years earlier, obviously.”
“I like your thinking. June ninth it is – and I wish I'd brought a lamp.”
“I can't even see if you're pulling faces at me any more.”
“Dammit. I bet you can't see the mistletoe I've got dangling over your head, either.”
“Mistletoe? In May
“It's that plastic-y stuff.”
“You're lying. You don't have mistletoe.”
Ianto turned to try and squint above his head, the lights of the street lamps not even making it this high up. “It's too dark,” he scowled, then reached into his pocket. He pulled out his phone, pressed the buttons so that the screen lit up and pointed it above his head.
Jack had plastic mistletoe.
“Why do you even have
“Found it in my pocket and took it as a sign,” Jack smirked, the light of Ianto's phone casting sharp shadows and bright highlights across his face. He leaned forward and gently pressed his lips to Ianto's cheek. “Happy VE Day ….”
Ianto smiled, shy. He leaned forward and kissed Jack's cheek. “Happy VE Day,” he repeated back.
Jack pocketed the mistletoe, biting his lip and grinning to himself, thankful Ianto probably couldn't see the happy colouration in his cheeks.
!” Ianto groaned. “The 'effin burgers!”
“We burned them again?”
Ianto grumbled under his breath, his phone pointed at the grille and the two new black lumps. “Here's your plan,” he announced. “You need to find a late night burger bar. Two little bits of chicken are not
gonna keep you going until tomorrow evening.”
“You're not coming with me?”
“I'm tired, Jack?”
“Oh … okay. That's okay. I'll take you home.”
“Where's the water to put out the barbecue?”
Ianto rolled his eyes in the dark. “Did you forget the water, sir?”
“Why don't we just … leave it there and back away slowly? It'll go out by itself ...”
Ianto rolled his eyes again. “Suppose we'll have to.” He attempted to get to his feet, and staggered slightly. “Woahhh … I think that scotch went to my head ….”
“You only had two sips!” Jack stood up to join him.
“There's hardly anything in my stomach to absorb it! Oh dear …!”
Jack put arms around him for no real reason, as Ianto wasn't really that affected as to need help. “'Oh dear' what?”
“Just make sure you at least get something vaguely substantial to eat.”
Using the lights from their mobiles, they gathered up their rubbish, feeling like naughty schoolchildren as they abandoned the barbecue.
“Well, it's too hot to carry,” shrugged Jack as they made their way back to the door, down the lifts and out the main entrance of the large tower blocks. “Where's your car?”
“Oh. You're having a lift back?”
“Erm … yeah. Go on then.”
They drove in comfortable silence, neither feeling the need to speak until they'd pulled up outside Ianto's flats.
Jack wound down the window. “So … er … same time on June ninth? With pizza?”
Ianto smiled sheepishly. “If you still want to.”
He then made an exasperated noise as Jack produced his mistletoe again, but leaned forward for a kiss to be pressed to his cheek anyway before returning the favour. He lingered slightly, his lips brushing the smooth skin in the corner of Jack's mouth. Jack minutely turned his chin away, and Ianto pulled back slightly alarmed.
“Don't,” Jack said. “I wouldn't be good for you. Not now.”
“I didn't mean to ...” Ianto practically whispered. “So .. June the ninth, then?” he inquired lightly, bringing the subject back around.
“June ninth,” nodded Jack with a new grin.
Ianto began to make his way toward the entrance to his flats, just as a voice rang out clear into the night and made a cat somewhere hiss in fright:
“I TOLD YOU MY LIPS WERE KISSABLE!”
Though I'd put this in for a practice run - tell me whatchoo think!
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