Characters: Jack, Ianto, Tosh, Owen, Gwen, Rhys, the Eleventh Doctor, Clara, Martha, Tom, Andy Davidson, Mickey Smith, Kathy Swanson, Nosy.
Word Count: 2430 words
Contains: Fluff, mistletoe, kissing, jealousy, and more fluff.
Summary: It’s Torchwood’s Christmas party, and Jack’s enthusiasm for the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe backfires on him.
Written For: backrose_17’s prompt ‘Jack goes a little overboard with the mistletoe in the Hub,’ at torchwood_fest’s Winter Fest 2016.
Beta: My lovely friend milady_dragon. Thanks so much!
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters.
Everything was ready for the Torchwood Christmas Party. The Hub was brightly decorated with a large tree taking pride of place, presents stacked around its base. Trestle tables had been set up, almost groaning under the weight of the party feast, which most of the guests had contributed to. It was an impressive spread.
Tosh had spent weeks in her spare time collecting together all the best Christmas and party music she could find, and her compilation was now playing on a continuous loop through speakers on the walls, helping to create an appropriately festive atmosphere. Ianto looked around approvingly; perfect, all he and Jack had left to do was get showered and changed before the guests arrived.
“You shower first,” Jack said. “I just have a couple of little details to see to before I get ready.”
“Did I forget something? I could help.”
“No, it’s fine; you’ve already done more than your fair share, I just want to hang a bit of mistletoe and put the Christmas crackers out, it won’t take me long.”
Ianto facepalmed. “Crackers. I thought there was something missing, but I couldn’t figure out what.”
“That’s why you have me; to remember the occasional detail that slips your mind,” Jack said with a grin. “Among other things.”
“I knew there had to be a reason I keep you around,” Ianto teased. “You do have your uses.”
“Of course I do! You know the saying; two heads are better than one. You shouldn’t have to do everything all by yourself anyway, especially not at Christmas. Now off you go, have a nice, relaxing shower. We’ve still got an hour before the guests arrive, so there’s no need to rush.”
“That’ll make a change.” Ianto smiled wryly and headed towards Jack’s office.
Left by himself, Jack turned his attention to his last few self-imposed tasks, and it was nearly half an hour before he made it down to what used to be his bunker but was now his and Ianto’s compact apartment. Ianto was just coming out of the bathroom, showered, shaved, and feeling refreshed. “Sorry I took so long; don’t worry though, I left plenty of hot water for you.” As long as the Hub’s furnace was going, there was never a shortage.
“I only just finished up there anyway. Mistletoe is harder to hang than you might think.” Jack gave Ianto a quick peck on the lips and went into the bathroom, leaving his lover to dress.
Ianto was just tucking his shirt in when Nosy poked its head down the manhole and hummed enquiringly.
“I’m nearly ready,” Ianto told it. “I’ll be up in a minute.” As the fluffy head withdrew, he sat on the edge of his and Jack’s bed to put his shoes on. Straightening up, he looked at himself in the mirror. “Tie or no tie?”
“No tie,” Jack said firmly, coming out of the bathroom, a towel around his waist. “It’s a party, let your hair down! It’s one thing wearing a suit and tie at work, but quite another when it’s just for a get-together with friends.”
“I thought you liked me wearing a tie.”
“I do, but you look just as good without one. This party doesn’t have a dress code; probably nobody else will bother with a tie, so you’ll be left looking like the waiter if you do.”
“Point taken; no tie it is.” Ianto hung the tie he’d picked out earlier back in the wardrobe and slipped his jacket on. “See you upstairs?”
“I’ll be up as soon as I have some clothes on, since you rejected my naked party idea.”
“There are some people whose bits should remain hidden,” Ianto said firmly. “Besides, the Doctor is bringing his new companion, we don’t want to scar the poor girl for life at the first meeting.”
“I suppose not. That’s more of a second meeting thing.”
Ianto rolled his eyes and climbed up the ladder to join Nosy, who was waiting patiently to have its sparkly deely bobbers put on, something it couldn’t manage by itself. That task completed, he followed the Fluff through Jack’s office and out into the main Hub, where he stopped dead, staring in disbelief. He was still standing there, trying to take in what he was seeing, when Jack joined him several minutes later.
“What d’you think?”
“You said a bit of mistletoe, Jack, not every piece in Cardiff!” Wherever Ianto looked there were sprigs of mistletoe, hanging from every conceivable place.
“It’ll be fun,” Jack insisted. “Trust me. We can see how many of our guests we can get a kiss from.”
“You’re mental, you know that?”
“But you love me anyway.” Jack swooped in for a kiss, pointing upwards. “Mistletoe!” He looked so pleased with himself that Ianto had to laugh.
As the cog door alarms announced the arrival of the first bunch of guests, Jack winked at Ianto. “Let the games begin!”
“No.” Ianto shook his head. “If we’re doing this, we’re doing it properly. We wait until all the guests have arrived and then we see how many we can corner and kiss.”
“What does the winner get?”
“Hmmm, why don’t we do it the other way around? The loser has to wash all the dishes from the party.”
Jack considered that. “Okay, deal.” They shook on it and went to greet their guests.
Once everyone had arrived, there was quite a crowd in the Hub. Along with Jack and Ianto, Tosh and Owen, Gwen and Rhys, Andy, and Mickey, they were joined by Kathy Swanson, Martha and Tom, the Doctor and his companion Clara, and of course Torchwood’s resident Fluff, Nosy.
The Doctor noticed the mistletoe right away. Truthfully, there was so much of it that it was hard to miss. “That’s a lot of greenery. Must have taken a while to hang it all up.”
“Not that long really,” Jack said casually.
“It’s mistletoe,” Clara explained. “It’s an earth tradition to kiss people underneath it at Christmas.”
“Oh yes! I think I remember something about that.” The Doctor frowned. “Why though?” He looked up at the mistletoe overhead.
“It’s supposed to be lucky, I think,” Clara replied, pulling him down by his braces and kissing him, causing the Doctor to flail helplessly.
“My turn next!” Jack said delightedly, grabbing the Doctor as soon as Clara let go and planting a surprisingly chaste kiss on him. “Merry Christmas, Doc!”
“Oh, um, Merry Christmas, Jack.” The Doctor hastily sidled out from beneath the sprig, eyeing it warily.
“Doctor?” Turning, the Doctor saw Ianto.
“Ah, Ianto Jones, good to see you again.” The Doctor strode forward, holding out his hand, which Ianto shook.
“What can I get you to drink? I think between Owen and Rhys, we have just about every kind of alcohol known to man, but thankfully they brought soft drinks too, probably as mixers. We have various kinds of fruit juice, peppermint cordial, coke, tonic water, lemonade, and ginger ale.”
“Would a cup of tea be too much trouble?” the Doctor asked. “After that,” he waved his hand vaguely in the direction of Jack, who was looking their way, “I think I need reviving.”
“No trouble at all.” Ianto still had hold of the Doctor’s hand and a light tug was all it took to pull him under the mistletoe that hung above Ianto’s head. “Happy Christmas,” Ianto smiled, kissing the Doctor soundly on the lips. “I’ll go make your tea now.” On the way to the kitchen, he stopped beside Owen, who was snagging a quick kiss from Tosh beneath a catwalk festooned with green leaves and white berries. “Mind if I cut in?” he asked politely, tapping Owen on the shoulder.
“As long as you remember she’s mine,” Owen replied, letting go of his fiancée.
“Of course.” Ianto smiled benignly, before grabbing Owen and snogging him, much to everybody’s amusement.
Owen struggled free, wiping his mouth. “Gerroff, you bastard! You’re gettin’ as bad as Jack!”
“Why thank you, Owen, I do my best,” Ianto smirked before turning to his best friend and giving her a quick peck on the lips. “Merry Christmas, Tosh.”
“You too, Ianto.” She pulled him down to whisper in his ear, “Who’s winning the kissing contest?” Of course Tosh would be the first one to realise what was going on.
“Me so far. Keep an eye on Jack for me? I don’t want him cheating.”
“With pleasure.” Taking Owen’s hand, she pulled him towards the buffet, away from the mistletoe, foiling Jack before he could even start stalking them.
So began a campaign of stealth and trickery. Like Tosh, the other party guests soon caught on to what their friends were up to, and made the contest as difficult as they could, but they couldn’t keep completely out of range because the makeshift bar was situated beneath one of the mistletoe-laden catwalks. Any time anyone wanted to refresh their drink they had to chance getting kissed by either Jack or Ianto.
Before long, everybody was keeping score. Gwen let Jack kiss her when she realised her boss was falling behind in the contest, then did her utmost to avoid Ianto, but he managed to pounce on her as she returned from a trip to the ladies’, leaving her giggling as she made her way to rejoin Rhys.
Andy literally blundered into Ianto on his way to get some ice from the kitchen, and got soundly kissed, receiving catcalls and a round of applause from the other guests, and Jack got Mickey by holding up a piece of tech and asking who’d left it lying around. When Mickey went to collect it, saying he thought he’d put it away, Jack dragged him under the nearest sprig and planted a smacker on him.
Tom proved elusive, wisely sending Martha to get refills from the bar, since she’d already been caught and kissed by both of her friends, but Ianto tricked him by feigning injury while the other two medical experts were down in the autopsy bay, Owen showing off a new scanner that had come through the Rift just a few days before. What appeared to be blood was really just a handful of tissues smeared with tomato sauce and clutched tightly in Ianto’s left hand, but the dedicated doctor fell for it and got a kiss for his troubles.
Towards the end of the evening, Jack and Ianto were level on nine apiece, with Ianto getting Tom, who’d managed to evade Jack, while Jack had caught Mickey who’d so far eluded Ianto. Only Rhys had managed to avoid getting caught by either man.
“Looks like it’s a draw!” Jack grinned.
“Looks that way,” Ianto agreed. “I suppose that means we share the washing up.”
“What’s that about?” Rhys asks.
“The loser has to wash all the dishes from the party,” Tosh explained.
“Hell with that,” Rhys said firmly. “Doesn’t seem fair to me, Ianto always ends up doin’ the dishes one way or another.” That said, he plucked a sprig of mistletoe from the nearest catwalk, marched up to Ianto, and with the words “You’ll owe me big for this,” proceeded to snog the life out of him.
Everybody present laughed and cheered, except for one person. Jack’s jaw dropped, but then as the kiss continued, he started to frown and then to pout. Finally, he could stand it no longer and marched forward, directing a stony glare at the back of Rhys’ head. “Unhand my Ianto, you cad!” he demanded.
Smirking, Rhys did as ordered, tossing the mistletoe aside just in case Jack got any ideas about evening up the score again, but he needn’t have worried. Torchwood’s leader was far more intent on making sure everyone knew that Ianto was his and his alone.
“Mine!” he stated, proving it in no uncertain terms by kissing Ianto into the middle of next year. The contest had been fun, but this was serious; no one other than him had the right to kiss Ianto like that, least of all Gwen’s husband! He should keep his lips to himself!
By the time Jack let Ianto breathe again, his Welshman looked mussed, flushed, and rather dazed, and the only way he was able to remain more or less upright was by clinging tightly to Jack. That suited the captain just fine; he was doing some serious clinging himself and he glared around at his guests as if daring them to try stealing Ianto away from him.
“Right,” Owen drawled, “the Tea Boy’s yours, we get the message. It’s all fun and games as long as the two of you are the ones doin’ the kissing, but not nearly so amusing when the tables are turned. Never would’ve taken you for the jealous type!”
Jack pouted. “Mine,” he repeated.
“You do realise this means you lose, don’t you, Jack?” Gwen grinned gappily at her boss. “Ianto kissed more of us than you did, so now you have to wash all the dishes.”
Jack’s face fell and he treated the team to a few choice words.
“Language, Jack!” Martha admonished. “There are sensitive ears listening.” She nodded towards the Doctor, who had turned the same bright red as the paper crown he’d found in his Christmas cracker.
“Silly contest anyway,” Jack grumbled.
“It was your idea,” Ianto pointed out reasonably. He seemed to have regained his senses, and Jack briefly considered kissing him insensible again; just because he was right didn’t mean he had to rub it in. Ianto beat him to it, kissing away his pout. “The difference is, you and I don’t need mistletoe as an excuse to kiss each other.”
“That’s true,” Jack agreed, but something was nagging at him. He gnawed on his bottom lip, but finally he had to ask. “So, is Rhys a good kisser?”
Ianto shrugged. “Pretty good, yes. Gwen should consider herself lucky.”
“I do!” Gwen called, laughing and holding tight to her husband’s arm. Rhys flushed with pleasure.
As Jack’s pout threatened to make a reappearance Ianto added, “But even if he was the best kisser in the world, I’d still pick you. Which probably means I need my head examining, but there you go.”
“That’s good to know,” Jack told him, deciding that it was worth having to wash all the dishes just to hear those words of reassurance from Ianto’s very kissable lips.
Next Christmas though, just to be on the safe side, he was going to make sure the only mistletoe in the entire Hub was in their quarters.