Started roleplaying 'A Touch of Smith and Jones' versions of Jack, Ianto, Nick and Mala (Nick's secretary) because I was having a bit of trouble getting back into my writing after Christmas- and I've actually got some writing from it. These were inspired by a meta event (The Wedding of Tony Stark and Pepper Potts) by a great group of roleplayers that I watch. Since the event was in a different dimension- Jack used a device from the Torchwood Archives to get him and Ianto there. Unedited.


First Day In Malibu

After a short lecture from Ianto about using equipment that should be locked in the archives instead of being used to jump dimensions to get to some party in Malibu, Jack and Ianto spent some time lounging around the room they had rented at the Malibu Country Inn— two miles north of Tony Stark's mansion— to get in sync with the local time zone and so Jack could explain that it wasn't just a party, it was Tony and Pepper's wedding they were attending.

After clearing up Ianto's confusion, they headed out to do a little people watching. The Inn was packed with sightseers hoping to get a glimpse of the wedding activities and the paparazzi were wandering around in full force trying to catch any celebrities that might pass by that didn't make the guest list, but still wanted to make it appear as if they were part of the going ons.

By early afternoon they had their second wind. Hopping into the bright red Porche Boxster S Jack had rented, they headed down to the Sunset Restaurant & Beach Bar. They could have walked since the restaurant was only a mile from the Inn, but Jack was having too much fun driving the Boxster to leave it behind. Because of the throng of sightseers, it still took almost a half hour to get to the restaurant. Just beyond the restaurant, Westward Beach Road had been blocked off and there was a collection of beach chairs and blankets where people had staked their claim on a prime viewing spot. It wasn't all that prime— only the back of the mansion was visible— but it was the closest the uninvited could get since the subdivision behind the mansion's property had been closed off since Saturday.

Settling into a booth next to the window overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Ianto glanced out at the crowd on the beach and said, "Quite a turnout."

Jack chucked as he leaned back. "Yeah, and this is only a prelude. Tomorrow you'd be lucky to get anywhere near this place." He grinned. "So, am I forgiven for how I got us here?"

A touch of a smirk twitched Ianto's lips. "We'll see." Tilting his head in the direction of Point Dume, Ianto asked, "What was with all the lightning on the way in? Don't see any storm clouds around here."

"Ah, my guess that would be Thor."

Ianto frowned. "Thor." He stared at Jack. "Like God of Thunder Thor?"

"Yep." Jack shrugged, then added, "Remember our Tony talking about his Avenger's project back when Nick dropped him off for his crash course in being a hero?" When Ianto nodded, Jack said, "Well, this Tony's Avenger project is up and running and is a bit different than the one Tony wants to start up in our universe."

"Clearly." After placing their order, Ianto asked, "Anything else I should know?"

"Outside of the possibility that there might be an attack during the ceremony by untold numbers of supervillains? Nope." Ianto rolled his eyes. Jack smiled. "It might be a bit of an odd group," Jack said, "but considering what Torchwood deals with, you shouldn't have any trouble fitting in." Jack suddenly turned to stare out at the rolling surf.

Sensing a change in Jack's mood, Ianto asked, "What is it?"

Jack gave Ianto a small thoughtful smile. "Nothing. Just...It'll be a bit odd seeing Steve Rogers again."

Puzzled, Ianto ran that name against what he knew about Jack's past, then blinked in surprise. "Steve Rogers," Ianto said, "as in Captain America?" Jack nodded. "Wouldn't he be in his nine..." Ianto frowned again. "Wait, he's immortal here?"

Jack laughed, "No. From what I understand, he was frozen back during the War and got thawed out a few years ago."

"Ah." Ianto thought about that a moment, then waved down their waiter. "This is going to be one interesting party," he said, then placed an order for a nice stiff drink.

Jack laughed and nodded in agreement as he raised his glass of water. "Yep. Definitely one for the record books."

Late Arrival

Who are we picking up?" Ianto asked as they strode through the crowds at LAX. Jack shook his head as he scanned the incoming flight board.

"Actually, I'm not sure," he said.

"You're not sure." Ianto looked at the ceiling for a moment. "That could make this a very long trip. The wedding is in less than two hours, Jack."

Jack laughed as he came to a stop and started scanning the crowd around them. "I know, and okay, I have an idea who we're supposed to be picking up, but won't be sure until..." Jack's voice trailed off as he rose up on his toes and then waved to someone coming out of the terminal. "Mala!"

Ianto watched as a tall woman with a carry-on in one hand, and a garment bag over a shoulder worked her way over to them. Jack stepped forward and took her carry-on; Ianto took the bag.

Jack quickly scanned the room then started towards the exit. "I take it Nick decided not to come?" Jack asked before nodding in Ianto's direction. "Oh, and before I forget-- Ianto Jones, like you to meet S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Malasharee Rasali."

Ianto shook the woman's hand. "The Colonel's secretary?" he asked, recognizing the name from Mikel Fury's transfer papers.

"That would be me," Mala answered with a low chuckle as they stepped outside. "And at the moment, Jack, the answer is no; the Colonel decided to stay behind for now. He figured one Fury was probably more than enough at the wedding. However," she pulled out a cell phone, "he is standing by in case anyone needs backup."

Jack laughed as he opened the door to the Mercedes ML320 that Jack had reluctantly traded the Boxster S in for so they could fit more than two people inside. He set the carry-on inside and stepped aside so Ianto could hang up the garment bag. "Yeah, that sounds like Nick," Jack said.

Ianto held the passenger side door open for Mala then climbed into the back as Jack settled into the driver's seat. "So, why fly in when you could have just jumped straight in, Mala?" Jack asked after he had merged into the traffic heading out of the airport.

"According to the Colonel, it was to keep from messing too much with the space/time continuum." Mala gave Jack an amused look. "And just to satisfy my curiosity, mind explaining how you managed to score a room at a hotel only two miles away from what I would suspect is the biggest event in this decade, Captain?"

Ianto frowned at that then leaned forward to give Jack a look. "Jack?" he asked in a low suspicious voice.

Jack looked at Ianto through the rear-view mirror. "What? I wasn't about to use that device on you until I was sure it wouldn't kill you in the process."

"So you used it first to book a room and then a rental car?" Ianto snapped. "Do I want to know how many times you took it out of the archives to practice with it, Jack?"

Jack rolled his eyes then stared out at the traffic. "Thanks a lot Mala," he muttered under his breath as he took the exit for Highway 1.

"Always glad to help, Captain," Mala replied with a smile.

After The Wedding

The streets that had been crowded with party goers and sightseers when they had left the Malibu Inn for the wedding had been cleared out by the local police and S.H.I.E.L.D. by the time they returned. It had not been easy to reach the Inn; it had meant passing through three checkpoints in the subdivision north of the Stark Mansion— where they had been checked off against the guest list from the wedding— and then one more to head down Westward Beach Road after the agents at that one had matched them up to a list based on the Inn's check in records. Their vehicle had still been thoroughly search before they were allowed to pass through that one.

Once inside the lobby, Jack borrowed Mala's cell phone to talk to Fury, then returned it and headed out as Ianto checked Mala in— not a difficult thing to do now that the Inn was empty. Once he had walked Mala to her room, Ianto followed Jack outside.

Jack was nowhere to be seen. Guessing what might be going through his head, Ianto turned towards the beach and started walking.

**

Jack stared out at the ocean, the soft swish of the waves and the tolling of the Point Dume bell a melancholy soundtrack to the thoughts rolling through his head. A shadow against the stars pulled his gaze up and Jack watched the silent silhouette of a S.H.I.E.L.D Apache helicopter marking out the aerial perimeter of the crime scene to his left. Jack suspected he'd had been targeted several times since he had come down from the Inn, but he didn't worry too much about it. It wouldn't be the first time he'd been shot dead for being in the wrong place.

Drawing in a deep breath, Jack looked towards Point Dume. The Stark mansion glowed, perched on the edge of the earth- the light reflecting out across the water. It would have been a beautiful sight, except for the spotlights that reached up into the night sky and gave form to the Apaches circling it.

Staring at the Mansion, Jack thought about the chaos that had surrounded Gwen's wedding a few months back; there had been an alien- well, several aliens if you counted the one inside Gwen— at that one too, and though they had ended up retconning the entire guest list— it had still wound up with a happy ending. This wedding though...

He looked down at his shadow that the streetlight was throwing across the sand and watched his hands curl into fists. The look on Tony's face when he realized what was happening- denial followed quickly by shock as his bride slowly collapsed into his arms. The red spot marking where the bullet had struck her rapidly spreading out across the pure white of her wedding gown. And then...

Jack shook his head and forced his hands opened. Wedding were supposed to be happy occasions, not nightmares exposed to the light of day. He could still remember the heady mix of joy and contentment that had run through him when Maribeth, had uttered those two simple words— I do— at their wedding a hundred years ago. To have such a wonderful moment snatched away from Tony like that—

The universe could be cruel at times.

The sound of footsteps on the sand caused a sigh to slip out. Jack pursed his lips together and wrenched his thoughts to other things. He continued to watch the slow rolling waves as Ianto came to a stop beside him.

Ianto was silent for several seconds. "You all right, Jack?" he asked quietly.

Jack silently cursed Ianto's ability to read him as he answered flatly, "I'm fine." He was not surprised when Ianto huffed irritably. "I'm fine, Ianto," he repeated firmly.

He was surprised when Ianto suddenly yanked him around.

"No, you are not, Jack." Ianto let go, but not before giving Jack a shove. Jack staggered back a step and stared at Ianto as the man snapped, "Don't lie to me."

"What do you want me to say?" Jack snapped back.

"The truth!" Ianto sucked in a breath, then slowly let it out. His shoulders sagged slightly as he said softly, "Just the truth."

Jack blinked. "Ianto?"

"Don't push me away, Jack."

"I'm not pushing you—"

"Did you know that I checked on you after I finished up the paperwork on Gwen's wedding? You were quiet all the way back to the Hub, and disappeared into your office as soon as we got there. Something was bothering you but you didn't say anything and I didn't push. By the time I looked in the office, you were asleep at your desk." He paused.

"You were smiling. There was a photo in your hand— your wedding photo. You found peace in a box of photos, not with..." Ianto pressed his lips together and looked away.

Jack didn't realize he was holding his breath until Ianto began speaking again. "Just..." He took a breath. "Don't block me out Jack. If you're hurting, let me in."

Jack shook his head— he didn't want to talk about this right now— and started to move away. Ianto caught his shoulder.

"Please Jack. I'm not going anywhere."

That brought a bitter laugh to Jack's lips. Ianto sighed and dropped his hand. "Right, fine." He ran his fingers through his hair then dropped his hands to his sides. "I'm going to die— maybe tomorrow, who knows— and you'll be alone again." He straightened and met Jack's gaze. "But I am here now. I want to be more than just a photo in a box one day, Jack."

That plea caused Jack to step forward, cup Ianto's face in his hands and kiss him. When they broke apart, Jack rested his forehead against Ianto's and closed his eyes against the sudden sting of tears. Once his emotions were under control, he said, "You are, Ianto Jones. Believe me, you are."

"Then why won't you..."

"Because I've forgotten how," Jack said, surprising himself with that admission. Ianto pulled back. Jack smiled sadly at him.

"Every person I've ever loved died long before I was ready to let them go and... God, Ianto, it hurts so much."

"But the Doctor; he's a Time Lord. He won't—"

Jack shook his head. "The Doctor you met is not the same man I fell in love with. That Doctor died too."

Understanding crossed over Ianto's features. "He regenerated—"

"Yeah. He did. I still love him but..." He rested his forehead against Ianto's again and closed his eyes. He ran his thumb along Ianto's cheekbone, then sighed.

"Don't give up on me, Ianto. Please. No matter how often I push you away."

"I won't." Ianto closed the remaining distance between them and pressed his lips against Jack's. It was a slow, comforting kiss. Ianto wrapped an arm around Jack's waist and Jack smiled into the kiss; enjoying Ianto's warmth. He needed this, needed Ianto, more than he was willing to admit. Ianto was right; as much as saying goodbye to Ianto was going to hurt when the time came, he was here now and Jack needed to savor every moment they had together.

However, when the kiss ended, Jack had to roll his eyes and huff in annoyance.

Ianto grimaced in agreement as Jack stepped away. "We're being watched," he muttered irritably.

"Yeah. They've been there a few minutes." Jack shook his head and started climbing up the beach to the street. "Probably time for us to head back anyway. Getting a bit chilly out here." Jack was tempted to wave to the Apache that was holding position off to their left, but suspected that might not go over well. Ianto took the temptation away by lacing his fingers through Jack's.

"So," Ianto said, leaning slightly into Jack as they walked, "what do we do now?"

"Didn't we just—"

Ianto gave him a look. "The room, Jack. Do I need to cancel the room reservations after tonight?"

"Oh." Jack thought about it, then shook his head. "Probably nothing we can do to help here, but still... it's a vacation." He glanced at Ianto.

Ianto thought it over, then nodded. "I'll unpack the stopwatch then," he said.

Jack grinned. "That sounds good to me."

Last Day In Malibu

Jack settled back in his chair and looked around, enjoying the California sunshine while he could. Things seemed to have quieted down at the Stark Mansion; Jack suspected things were still a little screwed up over there, but at least everyone seemed to have survived the experience.

He was treating Ianto to one last dinner at the Inn before they headed over to Princeton, New Jersey for Martha and Robert's wedding at the end of next week. He hoped that one went better than the last two wedding he had attended. They had just finished eating and were relaxing with some post meal coffee that was surprisingly decent, when Jack's cell phone ran.

He reached into his pocket and looked down at the number of the incoming call. He tensed up when he saw it was Gwen's and quickly keyed it over to voice.

"What wrong?" Jack said, leaning forward to brace his elbows on the table. Ianto gave him a questioning look and Jack shrugged.

"Oh, sorry Jack," Gwen answered. "I didn't mean to startle you."

Jack blinked, confused. "Then why are you calling me?"

"Um..." Gwen's voice trailed off and Jack got the impression Gwen was seriously embarrassed about something.

"Gwen?" he drawled. "Is there something you want?"

There was a huff, then: "Which key is the one to the washroom?"

Jack laughed and looked across the table. He pressed the cell against his shoulder. "Gwen wants to know which key is the one for the showers."

That got a raised eyebrow. "It's not on the keyring," Ianto said. "It's in the top left drawer of your desk next to the box of pencils." It was Ianto's turn to look embarrassed. "I forgot to put it back on the ring the last time we..."

"Ah." When Jack brought the phone back up to his ear, he was immediately greeted by, "It's not what you think, Jack!"

Jack laughed and Gwen gave him an annoyed huff. "We tracked down a group of Macrenii and things got a little messy," Gwen explained, "and there's no way in hell I'm washing this stuff down the drain at home, Jack."

"I wasn't thinking anything else, Gwen."

"Oh yes you were."

"Okay, yeah I was." He could easily imagine Gwen rolling her eyes at him.

After telling Gwen where the key was, Jack asked, "Anything else?'

There was a slight pause, then Gwen said, "Uh, no; we're all set."

Knowing there was something more, Jack asked, "Gwen, what is it?"

Gwen didn't answer right away, then she came back on whispering, "Who the hell is he, Jack?"

Jack laughed again. He knew exactly who it was Gwen was referring to. "Uh, little hard to answer that unless you tell me who you're talking about, Gwen."

"Jack!"

"Okay, let me guess.. You mean Mikel?" That got a smile and a small chuckle out of Ianto.

"Yes, I mean him, Jack!" Gwen hissed.

"What do you want to know?"

"How bout everything. His file doesn't explain how he knows all this stuff."

"He's worked for me before."

"I understand that, Jack; but according to his file he only worked here for three months. Tosh had been here almost five years and he knows more than she does."

"He ran a country for a few years, Gwen--"

"Which doesn't explain how he knows how to use alien technology. I seriously doubt aliens visit Carpasia all that much."

"They visit Wales."

"Because we have a Rift, Jack."

"True." Jack chuckled then said, "Mikel's a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent."

"S.H.I.E.L.D.? It doesn't say that in his files."

"Well, kind of defeats the purpose of being a secret agent if everyone knows you're one, Gwen."

"Since when did S.H.I.E.L.D. start dealing with alien threats?"

"Pretty much from the start. They just don't deal with them on the same level as U.N.I.T. does."

"Oh."

Jack gave Gwen a moment to absorb that information before saying, "Uh Gwen?"

"Yeah."

"You do know you're going to need a towel or a blanket in about a minute, right?"

"What?" There was a few seconds of silence, then: "Oh, bloody hell!"

"Yeah. Macreniian slime really like fabrics. Munches that stuff up in a blink of an eye."

"Shit!" There was a thump as Gwen's phone hit something, then the sound of running feet. Jack laughed and shut off his cell.

"Macreniian slime, huh?" Ianto asked.

"Yep." Jack grinned at Ianto. "You know, I should probably update the file on them one of these days." Ianto gave him a knowing look. Jack laughed then stood up and held out a hand.

"One last walk on the beach before we leave, Mr. Jones?"

Ianto smiled and took his hand.
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