Title: “Back Stage: Interval, Chapter 2”
Rating: M, for later adult content.
Spoilers/Disclaimers: Torchwood belongs to the BBC and RTD- I’m just borrowing the charcters. I own nothing here, nor do I make any money- so please don’t prosecute!
Synopsis: Torchwood characters in a story set in the world of UK Theatre/ Entertainment.
A/N: Another short chapter, I’m afraid. But there will be another one very soon. Thank you to everyone reading and commenting about this. It really does make it all worthwhile!
Chapter List: http://wanda1969.livejournal.com/23796.html
Oddly, Ianto found himself settling quite easily into single life. He’d thought long and hard about his break-up with Lisa. He should have seen the signs- perhaps he had, but had been unwilling to confront the issues at home. Looking back, deep down he had known that they were on a downhill slide. Of course, he still looked back on everything with regret, mixed with a strong dose of anger, but somehow he also had a strange feeling of relief as time rolled by. The new job clearly had something to do with that, giving him ample opportunities to be distracted from his personal worries and life, but, ultimately, he’d realised that perhaps Lisa hadn’t been the woman for him. Who the right woman was, though, he had no idea.
If Ianto thought that Jack Harkness was out of his life, he was wrong. It was impossible to avoid the man. With a little more office work, he spent more time at home in the evenings and at weekends, giving him plenty of time to catch up with just exactly what was on the television these days.
It was a Thursday night as he tuned into BBC 3, as the announcer revealed that the next television programme was the première of ‘Torchwood’. He knew immediately that this was Jack Harkness’ new show. He briefly thought of switching over to something else- he liked Jack, but their parting at the end of Panto had been awkward to say the least, and he was in two minds about whether he really needed to be reminded of it. But, in spite of everything, Ianto had genuinely hoped they were friends, and he loved Doctor Who... whatever had happened. He quickly got up and grabbed another beer from the ‘fridge and settled down to watch the show.
Jack was even more handsome than he remembered. Whether it was the lighting, the camera angle or the heroic nature of his role, complete with that RAF military coat and some seriously retro styling, Ianto wasn’t sure. Whatever it was, by the first episode’s finale scene, the Welshman was on his third bottle of lager and was completely transfixed. By the time that the title music faded out, the young man was totally hooked, and made a mental note to watch the next installment. He was also strangely fixated by Jack’s performance. The fact that he had spent the majority of the time watching the actor, rather than taking in the plot, didn’t even occur to him.
Saturday arrived and, with it, another night off. He had ignored Owen’s invitation to ‘get himself back out there, and go on the pull’. He’d also refused Tosh’s invitation for an altogether more sedate evening with a bottle of wine and some DVDs round at her place- the Sound Engineer had been Ianto’s rock in the weeks after Lisa’s departure, but what the young man needed was a weekend of wallowing in his own misery with a few gin and tonics (light on the tonic, the mood he was in), not comforting words from Toshiko, or a wild night out with Owen, ‘picking up birds’. With that thought, he mixed himself a strong glassful of the aforementioned drink and settled down for an evening of unchallenging prime time viewing.
He flicked between the channels, finally settling on BBC1 as he geekily spotted a rather spectacular piece of lighting as the background to a more lacklustre singer. Another TV talent show- not his cup of tea- but he couldn’t resist checking out other Lighting Engineers’ work, and it would definitely fill in time before the nine o’ clock movie on FilmFour. The song finished a few minutes later and the shot changed to the judging panel. He spluttered into his drink as he caught sight of the panellists. Damn it! As if Thursday’s episode of Torchwood had not been enough, there was Jack Harkness again. In contrast to his performance on the sci fi series, this Jack was dressed in a contemporary style, much like Ianto remembered him, but with a little bit extra glitz and glam- it was only to be expected; this was showbiz, and everything was more exaggerated, more... ‘sparkly’. Still, it suited the man well. Ianto doubted that there was little that the ‘man’ wouldn’t look good in. Jack started his dissection of the previous contestant’s performance, and his comments were witty, but kindly and encouraging- much like the Jack he knew, but with his work ‘hat’ on he was louder, shining in the limelight. It seemed that there was no end to the actor’s TV appearances these days.
Still, Ianto found himself watching the show, and even tuning into the results from the audience voting later that night, the film première he had been looking forward to forgotten. By now, he’d had several G & Ts, and he was well and truly on his way to being drunk and rather maudlin. Perhaps Gin had not been the right choice of drink.
As he watched Jack give a guest performance of ‘Somewhere’ from ‘West Side Story’, he was transported back to Christmas- it had been one of the songs from Aladdin, too. Everything had seemed so easy then. Ianto had a beautiful girlfriend, and plans for their future together.
He started to wonder what would have happened had he found out about Lisa’s duplicity earlier... and that was when it hit him like a sledge hammer, the shock winding him as much as any physical blow. He had been- was still- attracted to the man in front of him on the television screen. If Lisa hadn’t been in the background, he wasn’t sure what his reaction to that kiss at Angharad’s party would have been. His mind conjoured up quite a few scenarios, some of them very similar to the actual event, but one stuck in his mind- him leaning into the kiss, allowing Jack to pull him close as he revelled in the older man’s eager and searching touch, returning it with an equal amount of passion. Random thoughts flooded Ianto’s mind, some of them distinctly X rated; where would that evening have ended without Lisa being part of the equation? Would the two men have continued, perhaps going further? Or would Ianto have dissembled as he had at the time- and if he had, would the outcome of his talk with Jack at the last night party have been any different?
That he was thinking such thoughts bewildered him, but Ianto realised that they were having a powerful effect on him- and his body. Effects that he didn’t want to acknowledge. He took another slug of his drink and swallowed it down with a glug. It really didn’t matter what he felt anyway. Jack had made it abundantly clear- what had had he said? That he wasn’t gay. Whatever fantasies Ianto was now working his way through were just that- fantasies. Why he would imagine that a star of the stage and small screen would have any interest in him was beyond his comprehension, although it didn’t stop him reaching into the loose fitting cotton pants he was wearing, his hand soon working out the underlying tension he’d known he would find.
To Be Continued...