Pairings: Jack/Ianto, John/Nick,
Characters: Jack, Ianto, John Hart, Nick Jones, and a cast of (probably!) thousands.
Spoilers: Set after Exit Wounds. Sequel to 'We Could Be Heroes'
Rating: Adult - it's going to get very dark in some places.
Warnings: Slash, language, angst, dark themes.
Summary: It's the night before the wedding - time for the rehearsal dinner!
Disclaimer: I'm a student. I don't own Torchwood.
The Master List is here: anduria-trianys.livejournal.com/27610.ht
29th June 2013...
Nick came out of the bathroom, wearing his favourite dark green kimono-style bathrobe, the silver patterns embroidered in the fabric shining slightly in the late evening sunshine. His long red hair trailed down his back like fire as the sunlight hit it. He smiled at John, who was picking out clothes. “Bathroom's free, if you want it.”
John stared at him. “Well...actually, I'd much rather have you than a bath,” he admitted, wrapping his arms around Nick's waist and drawing him against his body. “Do you know how beautiful you look right now? How much just seeing you standing there is making me want you?” He rubbed his face against Nick's cheek and started kissing him, pressing his lips over his cheekbones before working his way along to his lips.
“Well, given what I can feel pressing against my thigh, and given that your pheromones are getting stronger by the second, yes, I'd say that I can make a guess at what you want to do to me,” panted Nick, though somehow he managed to achieve a dry tone to his voice. “But we've not got a lot of time before we have to meet the others downstairs – and we both still have to get dressed.”
“But Nick,” John whined. “I want you.”
“I know, and I want you too. But tomorrow's our wedding and then you can do whatever you want to me afterwards. We've come so far now – don't break your family tradition at the last hurdle.”
John looked up and sighed. “Fine,” he said, pouting.
“Oi.” Nick reached out and tapped him on the nose. “Pouting won't get you anywhere – and, come to think of it, neither will whining. Besides, you know what everyone says – the best things always come for those who wait.” His face suddenly split into a filthy grin. “And believe me, tomorrow night, I will be coming for you.”
“Oh, baby!” growled John, suddenly in a much better mood. “Do you have any idea how hot that is?”
“Yes, I know it's hot. But do you know what else is hot? Bath water!” Nick steered John in the direction of the bathroom and pushed him through the door. “Now, get moving before I change the booking and get us two separate rooms tomorrow night!”
John froze in his tracks and turned round. “You wouldn't.”
“I...” John was almost tempted to do exactly what Nick suggested and try him, but then he remembered that, actually, his partner really would do it. With a growl and a mutter of something highly uncomplimentary, he turned on his heel and shut the door on Nick's laughter. Quickly, he stripped down and ran the shower, waiting for the hot water to come through. I'll show Nick that I can be quick, he thought to himself as he stepped underneath the hot spray. I'll be so damn quick, he'll still be naked when I'm fully dressed!
Unfortunately, almost as soon as his mind had even mentioned the thought of Nick being naked, his musings abruptly started to change direction and a flood of exceptionally explicit images cascaded through his subconscious, most of them involving their multitude of sexual escapades. However, just occasionally, thoughts of Nick carrying out some of his deepest and most debauched fantasies with him, would find their way into the mixture, including some that, until then, he hadn't even realised he had.
“Shit,” he whispered, closing his eyes and resting his head against the wall as he clenched his fists together, silently cursing that family tradition for what felt like the millionth time that day. Ordinarily, he would have quite happily taken matters into his own hands, however, even that privilege was denied him, due to that accursed family tradition. With a sigh – that, much to his annoyance, came out sounding more like a groan of frustration – he realised that he would have to make do with his backup plan – a plan that consisted solely of willpower and a very cold shower. And coincidentally, one of those two elements was also one of the things he hated most in the world.
“Damn,” he muttered, switching the shower knob over from his usual setting of burning hot to – “Shit! That's got to be below freezing!”
“John?” Nick's voice cut through his thoughts. “Are you okay in there?”
Oh, God! I forgot how beautiful those Welsh vowels sound! Now I know why Jack swoons every time Eye Candy says 'Hi' to him. “Yes!” he squeaked. “I'm fine, don't worry – I'll be out in a bit!”
“Are you sure?” asked Nick. “I can come in and help you out if you want.”
Fuck! “No...no thanks, you don't need to do that! I'll be out shortly! You...you just get dressed!” John bit his jaw hard to stop his teeth chattering and finished washing himself down, taking enough time over it that, when he actually stepped out, he was far too cold to even think about being turned on. Quickly, he towelled himself dry and pulled on the thick white bathrobe that was hanging behind the door and stepped back into the bedroom.
“I'm out!” he said. “See, I didn't need you to...” but his voice trailed off when he caught sight of his partner.
Nick was reclining in the chair opposite the dressing table, his long bright hair hanging loosely down his back like a waterfall of fire and falling in soft curls covering the back of the chair. He was wearing a pair of close-fitting ice-blue jeans with a black leather belt that had a silver dragon-shaped buckle. He also had on a faded black T-shirt with gothic silver lettering spelling out 'Unleash the Dragon' on the front (a phrase that was altogether too appropriate, John thought) and a white denim jacket with an enormous pale blue and silver dragon embroidered on the back. At that moment, he was grinning and stroking his fingers over his glasses as he tapped one foot on the floor beside his new white and blue trainers.
“Seen something you like?” he asked.
“I...” John stammered. “I...wow.” He cleared his throat. “Do we still have to go to –”
“Yes.” Nick slipped his glasses onto the bridge of his nose. “Now, get dressed.”
“Fine.” Pouting, John pulled on the clothes he'd set aside for the meal (a red silk shirt tucked into tight black jeans and an elaborately decorated black silk jacket) and twirled around. “Olé!”
Nick wolf-whistled at him. “Nice,” he said as he pulled on his shoes and grabbed his bag. “Going for the matador look, were you?”
John chuckled. “Something like that,” he said. “But you know what? Right now, I just want to do this.” Without any further warning, he grabbed Nick round the waist and pinned him against the wall where he kissed him fiercely, running his hands over Nick's chest and underneath his jeans, rubbing at the smooth flesh he found there and leaving little nips with his fingers. “I want us to go out there and meet the others looking as if we've spent the whole afternoon doing nothing but each other,” he growled. “You look so damn gorgeous when you look debauched, Nick Jones.”
“I know I do.” Nick's voice was muffled against John's lips. “But we need to go down, otherwise the others will be wondering where we are. I'll bet my life Ianto's going to be timing us.”
“Okay, okay, fine,” said John, sighing. “But during the meal –”
“You can debauch me all you like.” Nick nodded. “Deal.”
Much to John's annoyance – although not to his surprise – Ianto and Jack weren't there when they arrived in the lobby. In fact, the only person who was there was Emily, who was sitting on one of the sofas and glancing around. When she saw them arrive, she waved and rushed to greet them – as well as she could, given that she was wearing an emerald-green halter-neck dress which was knee length at the front, but had a long flowing train at the back, and strappy silver diamanté sandals with higher heels than either of them had seen her wear ever since they'd know her.
She certainly didn't look very comfortable in the shoes, but the sight of her did distract John from glaring at his partner when he saw her. “Wow,” he said weakly.
“What?” she asked, her Scottish accent thickening with nerves. “Do I look that bad?”
“No!” Nick quickly reassured her. “Em, you look gorgeous.” He kissed her on the cheek. “You know, if I wasn't engaged, and you didn't remind me a bit too much of my sister, I would go out with you in a heartbeat.”
“Yes, really.” John nodded. “I mean, who wouldn't want you? You're funny, gorgeous, smart – and brilliant with a gun!” He chuckled. “Honestly, if I was Declan, I'd have asked you out a very long time ago.”
“Thing is, I know he likes me, but he just won't admit it,” sighed Emily. “Is he scared or something?”
There was a short silence before Nick spoke. “I wouldn't necessarily say he's scared; he's just skittish. I know he acts the clown, but he's more vulnerable than he makes out. I mean, he's been in love before, even got married, and look how that turned out. He's probably thinking that if you play with fire, well, you get burnt, and he just doesn't want to risk things going wrong again.”
John nodded. “Here's hoping he doesn't take too long to realise that he can't shut himself away from love forever.” He glanced outside to where Dan and Rupesh were walking, hand in hand, up the path, each of them wearing loose trousers and short-sleeved shirts. The two men waved as they entered the lobby.
“You seen Ianto or Jack?” asked Nick suddenly. “They were meant to meet us here.” He looked at his friends and frowned when Dan started snickering. “What?” he asked. “Dan, what's going on?”
“What?” asked Dan innocently. “Why would you think anything's going on?”
“Oh, I don't know, maybe because you started giggling as soon as I asked where Jack and Ianto are,” replied Nick. “Now, what's made you laugh?”
“Nothing!” Dan protested.
Rupesh snorted. “Nothing, in the same way that Ianto texting you to tell you that he'd seen Nick arriving in the lobby and ran off with Jack so they'd think that they were shagging, when in fact they're looking around the spa downstairs is nothing, you mean?”
Dan nodded. “Exactly!” he said, although he looked rather unsettled as he spoke.
At that moment, Ianto and Jack came round the corner from the stairs leading to the spa, both of them looking rather ruffled and rumpled. Jack's cheeks were flushed and his eyes were shining, while Ianto's hair was standing up in several different directions, none of which could have been made using any kind of hair products that John knew about.
Ianto whistled. “You guys should see that spa down there,” he gushed. “It's absolutely amazing. And the treatments you can get...” but he quickly trailed off when he saw the look on his cousin's face. “What?”
“I...you...” Nick started to say, but then shook his head. “I give up. Let's just go to the restaurant.”
If someone had told John five years ago that he would be sat in a Spanish restaurant in 21st century Bath, he would have been a little surprised, but not unduly shocked. He had, after all, travelled through time and space for several years and seen some interesting places...and then some less interesting places (the planet Clom instantly sprung to mind as somewhere he wouldn't be voluntarily visiting again, which was hardly surprising, considering it was really only well-known for its ravaging winters and blistering summers and for being one of the twenty-seven planets stolen in the Medusa Cascade when the Daleks had tried to move the earth). So, it was fair to say that he was, in every sense of the phrase, a 'frequent flier.' If there were such things as interplanetary or intergalactic frequent flier miles, he would have totalled up quite a sum by now.
However, if anyone had actually revealed the reason why he was sitting in the Spanish restaurant, his reaction would have been rather different. If he had been told that he was sat there because he had committed himself to a young Welshman from the twenty-first century to the point that he was going to actually marry him, and tonight was their rehearsal dinner, he would, quite candidly, told them that they were out of their minds. The very thought of him being in a long-standing relationship, never mind settling down enough to actually get married, had seemed, at the very least, far-fetched and at the most, completely laughable. Not only had he been the kind of man who had wanted to make such a long-standing commitment, but he had also not seen the point in simply putting a circle of string on a partner's wrist – or, in the case of the twenty-first century, a ring on their finger (although he had loved the ceremonies; as several of his colleagues at the Agency had said, 'Any excuse for a party!').
And yet, here he was tonight, sat at the head of a long table groaning with small dishes of food, surrounded by friends and family and with a gorgeous man cuddled up beside him and feeding him delicious mouthfuls of paella (something he had, in fact, once sworn he would never eat after a very bad experience on a mission to Ceylianor). At the same time, he was running his other hand over John's arm, openly flaunting the ring on his finger. The ring that John had himself put on his finger that night in the bar over six months ago. Even now, he almost couldn't believe it was really happening.
And yet, as he looked around the table, he knew that he wouldn't change any of it for the world. Not only had he finally found someone who, if he believed in that sort of stuff, he could have called his soulmate, but he had also gained something he had waited for since he was a child. He had finally been blessed with a family; a loving, if slightly dysfunctional, family, who treated him as one of their own.
At that moment, Nick's uncle Lucas tapped his fork against the side of his glass and stood up. He cleared his throat and the table fell silent as they watched him. Then, he smiled shyly at everyone and started to speak.
“Every day and night is special to every single one of us,” he said, his soft Australian accent colouring his words. “Because every day and night is unique. And so, we must make the most of every day we are on this earth, so that we can cherish our lives and our memories.” He cleared his throat again. “Especially memories of events like those that will take place tomorrow. Events that make some days more special than others.”
He looked down at John and Nick and his smile broadened. “Tomorrow, these two men will stand together and become as one.” He blinked. “As corny as that sounds,” he added with a rueful laugh that was echoed by everyone around the table. “And I am deeply touched to announce that they have asked me to officiate at their ceremony tomorrow afternoon. Believe me, both of you, it was nothing less than an honour to accept, because...when you asked George, Helen and I to be involved, it felt like...like I was part of a family. A family who loved us and respected us for who we are, not our status in society or how much money we make. Just who we are.” His eyes then focused solely on John. “And that family includes you, too, John – and always will. No matter what happens between you and my nephew in the future, you will always be part of the family. Nothing can ever change that.”
John worked his mouth several times and tried to speak, but no words came out. Instead, all he could do was smile and nod at Lucas, who nodded understandingly back and just patted his shoulder gently.
Just then, George turned to them. “Take care of my cousin, Captain Hart,” he said. “Otherwise you might find yourself surrounded by some very unhappy people.”
John nodded, still unable to speak.
However, much to his surprise, Ianto chuckled. “I don't think you've got anything to worry about on that front, George,” he said. “I get the feeling that John would rather cut his own head off than hurt Nick in any way.”
“I would,” croaked John, suddenly finding his voice. “Nick is the single most important thing in my life.” He turned to look at Lucas. “That was a beautiful speech. I was just thinking how much it means to have a family who cares so much for me and how lucky I am to find such an amazing group of people – and such an amazing man as the one currently feeding me a dish that I once swore I would never eat again!” He chuckled with the rest. “Thank you, all of you.”
Jack then clapped his hands together and raised his glass. “To the happy couple!”
Lucas chuckled. “Indeed. To the happy couple!” he said, not even minding that Jack had hijacked his toast.
John leaned back in his chair and kissed Nick fervently as the toast was echoed by all their friends. Then, finally, he stood up (with a little bit of help from Jack and Nick, since he was swaying as a result of about three jugs of highly alcoholic sangria) and he said, “I now only have a few words to say to you, and here they are now. Eat, drink and be merry!”
“Hear, hear!” was the emphatic response from everyone around him.
Two hours later...
“I think this is going to be one of the hardest night of my adult life,” admitted John. “I don't think I'll be able to sleep at all, I'm so excited about tomorrow. Jack, I might seriously need you to sedate me to get me to get some sleep if I go on like this!”
Jack looked up from his book and rolled his eyes. “In case you hadn't noticed, John, you're not the only one who's not getting any action tonight. You might have gotten used to it, given that you've been in the same position for six months, but –” he was cut off as John threw his pillow at him. “What was that for?”
“Firstly, I do not need you flaunting your sex life with Eye Candy in my face, and secondly – Jack, I don't think you've been listening to a word I just said,” retorted John. “It's not the lack of sex that's the problem. It's the insane over-excitement that's bubbling inside me that's the problem, like I just said.” He perched himself at the foot of Jack's bed. “You've been married before, Jack – didn't you feel this way the night before your wedding?”
“Well...” said Jack, finally shutting his book and looking up. “To be honest...I was bouncing around the room the night before the wedding,” he said sheepishly. “My best man kept threatening to hit me over the head with a shovel to knock me out, or, when he realised that might not go over very well with the bride, kick me out of the room.”
John laughed softly. “That sounds about right.” He stared at the dry-cleaning bag which he knew contained his wedding suit and sighed.
Jack thumped his shoulder weakly. “Go to bed, John. Count sheep or something – whatever it takes to get you to sleep, otherwise I will end up sedating you. Seriously, I don't think you want to crash out in the middle of the ceremony, do you?"
“No!” said John quickly. “No...no, I certainly don't.” He hopped off Jack's bed and burrowed under his own covers. “Night, Jack.”
Next Time: John's getting married in the afternoon! Ding, dong, the bells are gonna chime! Yes, we've finally come to the event we've all been waiting for – but will John and Nick's wedding go off without a hitch?