To think that Ianto had believed Gwen’s idea to have a New Years’ party was a pretty good one.
He really should have known better.
He and Jack arrived fashionably late, after a Weevil sighting had taken them out to Splott. Corralling the actual Weevil had been the quick part; after that, there’d been the after-chase sex in the back of the SUV…and the shower sex when they’d gotten back to their flat to clean up…and the second round of showering that had used up all the hot water and had had Ianto jumping out from under the suddenly cold spray like a drenched cat; and then Jack offering to warm him up…
Gwen answered their ring, took one look at them, and said, “Well, I know why you two are late, then.”
“It really was a Weevil!” Ianto protested as their fellow team member ushered them inside.
“I’m sure it was,” Gwen answered. “But I’m thinking the shenanigans afterward are the reason you two are grinning like a pair of tom cats just fresh from the prowl.”
“Why Gwen, I don’t know what you mean,” Jack said in a completely unbelievable innocent tone.
“That tone of voice stopped working on me within a week of me coming to Torchwood,” she said, amusedly. “Give me your coats then, the party’s in full swing.You’re the last to arrive.”
They did so, Ianto carefully not mentioning the festive sweater she was wearing; it was blue with glittery fireworks designs sewn into the wool, and small LED lights blinked frantically in place of the buttons. It would have draped artfully over her baby bump, but there really wasn’t anything artful about the thing. If he looked at it too long, he’d go mad.
Gwen hung their coats up in the stuffed to bursting closet, then led the pair into the lounge. There were more people there than Ianto had expected, and as they made their way toward the overloaded dining room table they were given glances that made him a bit uncomfortable.
Rhys was at the table, busily restocking the finger food. “Jack…Ianto,” he greeted them heartily, shaking Jack’s hand and patting Ianto on the back. “Eat up…Gwen’s bought way too much, as usual.” Rhys was dressed normally, which had Ianto fearing a little less for the child Gwen carried. At least someone had some sense, even if it was New Years’.
“Oi, you!” Gwen exclaimed good-naturedly. “I wasn’t the only one shopping in Tesco’s that day.”
Rhys chuckled. “At least we managed to stay away from the stuff Gwennie was craving!”
She smacked him on the arm, and Rhys pulled her in for a hug. Ianto couldn’t help but be happy for her; sure, they’d been rivals for a bit, but that was all over now. Rhys was a good bloke, and Ianto got along with him like a house on fire. A mutual love for all things Welsh had bound the two together like…well, like Welshmen should bond. It was a Law of the Universe, when two Welshmen with similar tastes in sport and drink met, that they must come together in mutual brotherhood.
Gwen had once called it a bromance, after their third night at the pub watching Wales kick the crap out of yet another opponent and drinking enough Brains to float a battleship.
Jack hadn’t liked that one bit.
Jealous Jack was amazing in the sack.
Ianto hadn’t been able to walk normally for days.
Ianto thoroughly enjoyed his bromance with Rhys Williams, especially when it got him caveman Jack.
He turned, and recognized Ruth, Rhys’ secretary at Harwood’s. Ianto had never spoken to her before, but knew her from the few times he’s swung by to pick up Rhys for one of their pub nights. She was looking somewhat nervous, a blush across her friendly features. “Yes?”
“I was wondering…” Ruth wrung her hands, and she bit her lip as if she really wanted to say something and didn’t know how.
He simply raised an eyebrow, which caused a very quiet growl from Jack’s direction. Ianto Jones knew the power of the Eyebrow, and wasn’t afraid to use it.
And…it worked once more. “I was wondering if you were Ianto Jones,” came the almost breathless reply.
Ianto looked at her askance, curious as to how she’d known him. Perhaps Rhys had mentioned him? “Yes,” he answered, not seeing any reason to lie about it.
A beautiful smile broke out across her face. “Oh, that’s wonderful! I’m so glad you’re alive!” With that, she hugged him to within an inch of one of his many lives.
“Oh God,” Rhys moaned, giving Ianto a clue that his friend had an idea why the woman was currently crushing his ribs.
Just as suddenly as she’d grabbed him, Ruth let go. She spun around. “It is him!” she exclaimed. “He really is alive!”
Then she turned back to a very confused Ianto. “There were rumors, but we didn’t know whether to believe them or not! Oh, Bernice is going to be so jealous that I got to meet you in person!”
Ianto didn’t know how to respond, so he simply gaped in that fishy way that just didn’t look good on anyone.
“It was just like a romance,” Ruth continued to gush. “We all thought so, and so heartbreaking because of what happened – “
“I’m sorry,” Ianto finally found speech, “but I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Oh! I’m sorry!” Ruth actually tittered. “The video, of course! It was up on YouTube for a while, but the government took it down, although not before we managed to get copies…and it just amazingly sad, the way you died and professed your love but he didn’t say it back – “ and with that she glared at Jack, and Ianto swore that, if looks could kill, Jack would have died permanently.
Then it clicked. “You mean the video from Thames House?”
Ruth nodded enthusiastically. “Everyone in the IJS has seen it – “
“The IJS?” Jack asked, and from the look on his face he was just as confused as Ianto was.
“The Ianto Jones Society!” She scrabbled around inside the large handbag she was carrying, finally pulling out her wallet. A quick flip through produced a laminated card, which she handed to Ianto. “We’re your fan club!”
Ianto glanced at the card; it was indeed for the Ianto Jones Society, with a large number eight on it as well as Ruth’s name. “My fan club.” He really didn’t think it was possible to be more shocked than he was in that moment.
“We tried to set up a shrine, but we couldn’t decide on where it would be,” Ruth went on. They’d been joined by several others, mostly women, but a few men as well. “And you should read some of the stories up on our website – “
“You have a website?” No, Ianto didn’t just squeak.
“We do!” another woman answered; Ianto thought he recognized her from Gwen’s wedding. “I’m IantosAngel6, and my story won for Best Fix-It in our last awards run!”
“You’re IantosAngel6?” Ruth squealed. “I loved your story! It made me cry for days!”
The other woman blushed. “Thanks! I was so shocked when I won…”
Several of the group congratulated her, and she looked both pleased and horribly embarrassed at the same time.
“How did you come back?” another woman asked. “We were all thinking that he could have done something, because he’s immortal and all – “ There was another glare in Jack’s direction, and the crowd turned distinctly hostile toward the older immortal.
“How did you know I’m immortal?’ Jack demanded angrily.
There was a collective eye roll from the group, and in the part of Ianto’s mind that wasn’t busily being horribly shocked by the whole mess he was thinking that it was a thing of beauty. “A lot of us have lived in Cardiff all our lives,” Ruth answered. “And our parents were here before that. You do rather draw attention to yourself, Captain.”
Ianto couldn’t help it; he snickered. It was true; Jack couldn’t be inconspicuous if his existence depended on it.
His reaction made his fans laugh as well.
Then it hit him: he had groupies.
Ianto wondered if Rhiannon knew anything about this. He’d bet his next paycheck that she did.
Then he turned to Rhys. “You knew about this, didn’t you?”
Gwen had also adopted the goldfish look, but it almost seemed to fit her face better than it did anyone else’s. “Did you, Rhys?” she asked.
“Well,” the Welshman looked slightly red, “sort of. I knew Ruth was into something, and that she’d seen the video from Thames House…but not the extent of it. I’d’ve warned you otherwise, mate.”
“I saw you a couple of times, at Harwood’s,” Ruth admitted. “But I didn’t know it was you…you.” She sighed, and this happy smile graced her features. “We’re all so glad you’re alive! Can I have my picture taken with you? The rest of the IJS will be so jealous!”
Ianto couldn’t help himself. He agreed, and found himself being towed away from Jack and toward one of the walls. He found himself posing with not just Ruth, but with other party guests as well, while cameras and phones clicked around him. He wondered vaguely if this was how a rock star felt.
The craziest thing though happened when Rhys’ mother, Brenda, also posed with him for a picture. Once she was done, she turned to Rhys. “Why couldn’t you find someone like Ianto to marry?"
Ianto almost choked on his tongue.
“Mam!” Rhys sounded scandalized.
Jack looked thunderous.
Ianto quite liked the IJS website, even though it had taken him three days before he could get away from Jack long enough to look at it.
His lover had cracked about ten minutes after Brenda Williams’ secret wish to have Ianto as her son-in-law had made itself known. He’d bundled Ianto out of the house on a wave of outraged cries, practically thrown him into the SUV, and had driven like a crazy man – well, crazier than normal – until they’d reached their flat.
The first round hadn’t even made it to the bedroom.
Oh yes…Ianto was quite happy when Jack was being possessive, although it was fairly uncomfortable for him to sit down at the moment.
And then, he noticed the new members’ page.
A familiar pair of arms wrapped around his shoulders from behind, and a chin rested on the top of his head. “It makes sense,” Jack murmured, “that your biggest fan belong to your fan website.”
“I thought I’d have to talk you out of erasing the site.”
“Well, I did consider it…but have you gotten to the smut section yet? There’re some really hot stories there!”
Ianto laughed again. “Only you, Jack.”
“I should hope so.” Jack’s voice was soft, almost tentative.
Ianto smiled, resting his hand on Jack’s encircling arms. “Yes Jack…only you. Never doubt that.” He meant it, too.
If he had to be immortal, then Ianto Jones wanted to be immortal with Jack Harkness.
No one else would do.