|Primary Characters:||Jack Harkness
|Description:||Jack feels it’s been too long since he last – erm – dated. He decides to do something about it.
“… and then I found out that he’d stolen my ship and gone off with that singer, after all.”
Toskiko waited, but her boss, Captain Jack Harkness, didn’t seem to have anything else to add. She turned her attention back to her computer and tapped in a few more search terms, while glancing at the clock at the top right of the screen. Only half past five. She didn’t think she could go just yet. Jack had given her an assignment and she’d better finish it. Besides, she didn’t have anywhere to go, except home, so work would have to do.
Gwen and Owen were involved in that revolting exchange of glances that made Toshiko angry and weary at the same time. Ianto wasn’t even there. If he had been, Toshiko might have tried exchanging glances with him. After all, why should Gwen and Owen be the only ones? But it seemed Gwen wasn’t quite as absorbed in Owen’s face as she had seemed to be. She faced Jack and wrinkled her nose in a way that annoyed Toshiko too. She imagined men found Gwen attractive. Personally, despite certain recent experiences, Toshiko couldn’t care less how Gwen looked. At least not as far as she was concerned. What bothered her, was Gwen getting more men than she did.
“You’re always talking about your lovers, but you’re never out dating. Are you, Jack?”
“Are you all still sitting around doing nothing? Back to work.”
Gwen turned to face Toshiko, as if seeking her support. As if she would back Gwen up, in anything that wasn’t work-related. Toshiko stubbornly refused to meet Gwen’s gaze, instead focusing on her computer screen. In the end, Gwen shrugged and returned to her work, whatever that was. Owen followed her like a dog. No, not a dog, Toshiko amended. An Anthurian snigwog. That had to be the ugliest, smelliest creature in the entire universe. It also had the least appealing personal habits. Rather like Owen, in fact.
Jack vanished into his office. Toshiko was wondering why Gwen thought she could draw Jack out, when the rest of them hadn’t succeeded in the time they’d worked with him. Probably because she thought she was so sexy. Toshiko realized that she was banging unnecessarily hard on the keyboard and stopped, ashamed of herself.
Two hours later, her computer screen displayed the results of her search. She messaged them to Jack and printed them out, then gathered up her few belongings and silently made for the door. If she was lucky no one would – In the outer rooms, she ran into Ianto, who was just standing there, as if half asleep.
“I said are you alright?”
He stared at her, his face as expressionless as always. Toshiko regretted asking. The way to deal with Ianto was never to ask questions and only involve him when it was absolutely necessary.
“Well – What about you?”
To Toshiko’s astonishment, Ianto’s face actually displayed some emotion. She wasn’t quite sure what it was, but if it had been anyone else, she might have said that it looked as if he cared. She shrugged. What could she tell him? This job really drained you, but he knew that as well as she did. It had cost him more than most, so she wasn’t going to remind him.
“Oh, well, you know.”
“Yes, I do. Toshiko -”
“I was wondering if -”
“No, never mind.”
“What did you want to ask me?”
She forced herself to relax and even – but this stuck in her throat – smile a little. These Europeans were always flashing meaningless smiles at each other. Why should she fall into that trap?
“Would you like to go out for a drink?”
“If you’re free -”
Her surprise must have been plain to see on her face, so again she forced herself to act like a normal human being.
“Yes, I’m free and – why not?”
Ianto made an odd little half bow, then followed her outside.
Inside his office, Jack Harkness contemplated Gwen’s question. In a way, it was good to have someone new in the team. After what Suzy had tried to pull, it was refreshing to have a team member who talked and acted like a human being. A live human being. In another way, it was tedious. The others had almost grown used to his evasions. It was even amusing to drop little anecdotes about his motley past/future. Some of what he told them was actually more or less true. What really bothered him was that Gwen was right and he didn’t like it, for a number of reasons.
Still, no matter how you counted, it had been ages since he last ‘dated’ as she put it. He would have put it differently, but anyway – maybe it was time to do something about it. Even if he couldn’t die, he was still alive, at least he hoped so. Time to do something, not about his isolation, but about sex or at least something.
Jack’s face twisted into a smile. Now that might be worth the hassle. He punched a few keys, then waited while his computer screen lit up. That little program Toshiko had found was really quite neat. There. There. And how about – yes. There. The evening might not be entirely wasted, if this was anything to go by. For the time being, Jack’s mood had lifted and he was able to push his status to the back of his mind.
What a stroke of luck that those awards were being presented tonight, of all nights, and that the people he most wanted to see would be there. Momentarily, Jack had considered changing into something more suitable for the occasion, but immediately rejected his own idea. Judging by most people’s reactions, his uniform was exactly right for most occasions. He didn’t think tonight would bring any reason to change his mind.
After getting a quick overview of the foyer, he picked the optimal vantage point and settled down to wait. According to his calculations it wouldn’t be long now. In a corner of the cloakroom, conveniently sheltered by a huge potted palm – correction – plastic palm tree – he waited.
His first target showed up within ten minutes of his arrival. Jack knew that the young actor’s admirers debated his various pros and cons, exteriorwise, but what Jack saw, as the younger man approached, certainly didn’t give rise to any complaints. Not his usual type, of course, but the point of this little exercise was to distract himself, not meet a life partner.
When Orlando Bloom had hung up his jacket and was turning to go, Jack struck. He pulled the stunned young man into his arms and kissed him. To his surprise and amusement, Orlando didn’t fight back. Instead, he returned the kiss in a vague, half-conscious sort of way, as if he was reacting instinctively, not by will. Though Jack was used to the effect he had on people, the thrill never faded. He could feel Orlando more or less sagging in his arms, a look of bliss on his face, until he realized what he was doing and his eyes sprang open.
“Hello. Do I know you?”
The look of puzzlement did Jack a world of good. Already, the evening was a huge success.
“No. I’m just an admirer. Forgive me. You were walking by and I just -”
Again, Orlando looked puzzled. He glanced doubtfully towards the door into the foyer and Jack took advantage of the kid’s momentary distraction and moved out of sight – after all, that was his normal condition – invisible. Orlando glanced back again, frowning as if trying to remember something, then shrugged and walked off to join the other celebrities agonizing over whether they were going to get the award they’d set their hopes on or not.
Jack glanced at his little chronometer. It was early still. He wondered when his next target would show up. Several other celebrities passed in front of him, but most of them weren’t his type, and the few who were – for some reason, he didn’t feel like them tonight. He’d been watching a couple of the others, and for a few minutes wasn’t paying attention to the doorway. When he looked up, Hugh Laurie was standing so close to him, Jack would have jumped, if he hadn’t been far too seasoned for that kind of rookie problem. He didn’t hesitate, just reached out and pulled the actor into his arms. then covered his mouth with his own.
This time, the reaction was utter astonishment. For a second, Jack wondered if he’d need to use some evasive maneuver, but Hugh Laurie didn’t seem aggressive. He had a look of intense concentration on his face, as if he was trying to figure out what was going on.
“Who put you up to this? Was it Stephen? Kenneth? No? Surely it wasn’t Emma? One of the others? Oh, I get it. It was Sasha, wasn’t it?”
Jack smiled noncommittally, then took a step back and left Hugh Laurie’s sphere of attention. The actor’s eyes darted to and fro as if he was searching for something or someone, but he soon gave up and left the cloakroom.
Mm. Not bad. The evening was living up to Jack’s expectations and he still had one more to go, before it was time to return to Torchwood and real life again. But first, a little more fun.
The third and last target for the night, took his time arriving. If Jack hadn’t had such confidence in the excellent piece of programming on his computer, he would have begun to suspect that Jude Law wasn’t going to show up. When the actor did arrive, Jack felt a stab at the pit of his stomach. Now this was it. The real thing. The actor moved with effortless grace, that made Jack’s heart beat just a little bit faster. He waited until Law had hung up his coat, then he sprang.
Jude Law’s body was tense like a steel spring. The touch of Jack’s lips against his own sent a shockwave through his body and he didn’t like the sensation. He knew what people thought about him and it simply wasn’t true. Except – whoever this stranger was, he definitely knew how to kiss. Regretfully, Jude wished any of the women he’d been involved with – and their numbers could be counted in the three digits, thank you very much – had been half as good. The way this man was making him feel, galled him. Jude pulled out of the guy’s grip and raised his fists.
“I don’t know who you are, but I’m not going to stand for it.”
Jack’s hands remembered moves that would stun, maim, kill, but tonight he hadn’t come to fight. He backed off a little and reached into his pocket. What was the use of being the boss if you couldn’t bend your own rules a little? He found the little perfume bottle Owen had put to such intense use a while back, then hastily sprayed his own face with the fluid. Just a few drops would do the trick.
It worked beyond Jack’s wildest expectations. He found himself being grabbed, pushed up against the wall and in a matter of seconds, stripped from the waist down. Before he had time to consider if he wanted this, it was too late. In any case, he found that he wanted it very much indeed. At that point in the proceedings, he gave himself up to the delicious sensation of being used in a way, if he wasn’t very much mistaken, Jude Law himself would regret shortly. That was if he could retain any memory of it. Jack rather doubted that, despite the fact that he hadn’t bothered to equip himself with the pills.
After a few last thrusts, Jude Law collapsed against Jack’s back, resting like that for a full minute, before he drew himself up, indignant and baffled. Jack took the opportunity of moving out of sight. Watching Jude Law’s face as he glanced down at himself, then furtively over his shoulder, then at last hastily rearranging his clothing, was quite enjoyable too. The guy could only have a vague idea of what he’d just done. Excellent. There was a part of Jack that wanted to stick around and maybe improvise a little, but his conscience struck him. If anything happened while he was gone, there might be hell to pay. He shouldn’t have left Torchwood unattended like this. Time to go.
When Ianto brought the coffee, the following morning, he found Jack searching for something, but that wasn’t what attracted Ianto’s gaze. What was wrong with Jack? Had he been injured? There was something odd about the way he walked. As if he was limping or – Ianto shook his head. It wasn’t his place to comment on possible injuries. That was Owen’s function.
Bowing in a way that clearly marked the distance between them, figuratively and literally, Ianto handed over the coffee and returned to his own domain, outside.
Toshiko walked in only five minutes later. She kept her eyes firmly directed at her own place of work. Jack moving about made her gaze veer off. She frowned. Wasn’t there something unusual about the way he walked? She was about to shake her head, but caught herself in time. None of her business.
Almost half an hour later, first Owen, then Gwen walked in. Toshiko carefully kept her gaze fixed on her keyboard. As if she cared what those two had been up to. Besides, she and Ianto had had a very pleasant time last night. Who would have thought Ianto had such social skills?
Gwen and Owen were chattering so intensely it was a while until anyone could get a word in edgewise. This time it was Jack.
“Owen, where did you put that -”
Jack didn’t break off his meanderings and though he didn’t finish the sentence, it didn’t really matter. Neither Owen or anyone else were listening, except for Toshiko, who liked to keep herself informed of everything that went on at Torchwood, professionally, not privately, naturally. Instead, Gwen’s eyes narrowed as she studied Jack’s odd manner of walk. Owen too began to notice that something was going on. Didn’t that look rather strange? What was the matter with Jack today? Had he hurt himself working out? If they’d been attacked, Owen was sure he’d have been one of the first to know.
“Why are you walking like that? Are you hurt?”
Jack stopped his pacing and faced his team squarely. Damn. He’d given himself away. That guy Jude Law had been more endowed than he’d expected. Not that he was complaining. Last night had been totally worth it. But that was last night. Now it was time to deflect his nosy team’s attention. He shrugged.
“It gets chilly here in Cardiff. Settles in the joints sometimes. What? That never happens to you? Oh, never mind. Back to work. Off you go.”
Toshiko began tapping at her keys more quickly now, to make up for the time she’d spent listening to the others talking. Owen and Gwen exchanged another look. It made Toshiko suspect that they had an idea of what might have caused Jack odd way of walking. She couldn’t imagine what that was, or how those two might know, but Jack was right. They were here to work. Besides, while she was eager to learn everything there was to learn about Jack, she would never dare to openly display her curiosity, like those two. She couldn’t help noticing that Gwen was going to follow Owen into the infirmary/morgue, clearly to discuss Jack further, but Jack was too quick for them.
“Gwen. Do you have a moment? And Owen? Where’s that thingumajig we took from that Ekadan ship last week?”
“Oh, that. It’s in the lab. I can get it for you if you want.”
“No, never mind. Just get to work. I’ll get it myself. Gwen – wait for me in my office. There’s something I’d like talk to you about.”
Toshiko almost smiled. That would teach them. Instantly, she felt her face being suffused with colour. To her dismay, Jack had chosen that moment to glance up at her. She stubbornly stared into her computer screen and when she looked away, Jack was gone. Damn. She wasn’t doing a very good job of finding out Jack’s secrets. Instead, she seemed to be giving away all her own. And speaking of secrets – she’d die if her parents ever found out that she’d had sex with a woman. No, an alien. But with a woman’s body. She still couldn’t accept what had happened and telling herself that she’d been manipulated, didn’t help. To distract herself she turned her thoughts onto Ianto. What would it be like to sleep with him? Again, she hastily forced herself to focus on her work. This wasn’t like her. Tonight, she’d stay at home, reading. That seemed to be all she could handle and there was nothing wrong with that. She couldn’t stop herself from wondering what Ianto liked to do in his spare time until a tone from her computer announced that the process she’d set up was done. Work claimed her attention, and from then on, she had no trouble staying away from the distracting thoughts.
As Jack scanned the shelves in the lab, he couldn’t help grinning again. It really had been too long since the last time. And he only had himself to blame for this annoying attention from his team. If he’d come better prepared, they wouldn’t have had anything to wonder about. He’d just give Gwen something to do away from Owen and he’d be all set for the rest of the day. Those two could gossip in their own time.
He briefly considered Toshiko, but decided that her curiosity couldn’t do any harm. Besides, if it provided some much needed distraction, he was glad to be of help. Poor thing. If she didn’t perk up soon, he’d have to think of something to get her in a better mood. Maybe even – uh oh. Bad idea. They had enough complications with Gwen and Owen getting involved. Then there was Ianto – In any case something else. Still, a kiss had never harmed anyone. He’d think about it. In the meantime, he’d better get back to work. Torchwood didn’t run itself.