Characters: Ianto, Jack, Team members mentioned.
Summary: It’s the most wonderful prospect ever; Jack and Ianto are actually going away on a proper holiday! Ianto can’t wait to kick back and just relax.
Word Count: 1605
Written For: Week One prompts ‘To Be Read List, Chair, Sleep,’ at torchwood_fest. Also for BelladonasMom, who wanted to read about the tropical getaway Jack promised Ianto in my fic ‘Anywhere But Here’.
Beta: My lovely friend milady_dragon. Thanks so much for being my beta again!
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
To Ianto’s mind, that had to be the sweetest word in the English language. It was even better than that rarely heard phrase, ‘It’s about time you had a day off.’ Not that he actually ended up getting the promised day off most of the time, and on those rare occasions he did, his free time usually went on doing long-overdue household chores like laundry, ironing, cleaning, mowing the lawn, cutting the hedge…
Why had he ever thought moving into a house would be better than living in his poky little top floor flat? Oh yes, that was why, wasn’t it? The flat was way too small, especially when Jack was there, and he’d wanted more space. Hah! More space meant more cleaning, and a house meant a garden, and a garden meant even more chores than he already had because plants would insist on growing… Small wonder that even when he got a day off, he didn’t.
That was beside the point right now though. At this particular moment in time, Ianto’s head was fairly ringing with the word ‘HOLIDAY’ in big, flashing, multicoloured, neon-bright capital letters.
Six months ago, hearing that word applied to himself would have been a pipe dream. Gwen got holidays, because it was important that she didn’t let her relationship with Rhys slide, especially now that they were married. Owen and Tosh got holidays, but only short ones, because neither could be spared for more than the occasional long weekend. Ianto didn’t get holidays because Jack didn’t take holidays; where was the point in going away without his other half? In a very real sense, Jack was Torchwood. He was the boss, the one who gave the orders, the one who made the tough decisions, and the one who shouldered the blame whenever anything went wrong. Jack could be spared even less than Owen and Tosh. Then again, the whole of Torchwood would collapse without Ianto, so it could be argued that he was even more essential to its continued smooth running than the boss was.
But that was six months ago, and this was now.
These days Ianto had a full-time assistant. George the suit was nothing if not efficient. He could keep the Hub clean, care for the residents, carry out minor repairs, do the filing, and make coffee practically as well as Ianto did. He could even order the team’s lunch online as long as someone else went up to the Tourist Office to fetch it. But as clever as George was, there were still a few things he couldn’t do, like the shopping, and picking up the dry cleaning. Those were minor tasks though, and barely worth mentioning; the point was that George’s assistance freed up a tremendous amount of Ianto’s time, enabling him to concentrate on fieldwork and the ongoing task of sorting out the archives. That was one job he wasn’t going to trust to anyone else, not even his assistant.
George wasn’t the only new member of the team, however. Shortly after Ianto’s spare suit had taken on a life of its own, and then most of his regular duties, Jack had recruited Mickey Smith, a former companion of the Doctor’s, who had returned from an alternate reality a few months earlier. As soon as Mickey was well settled in, Jack had started looking for more new recruits, but so far they’d only added one more person to the team, in the form of Andy Davidson, former PC and Gwen’s old partner. Jack still wanted to bring in another two or three new field agents, plus a second medic, but finding suitable people wasn’t a task to be rushed. For the moment they could manage well enough with the people they had, and the best part of it was that now, at long last, Ianto was going on holiday!
Better yet, now that Owen had proved himself to be a capable leader, he was going to be taking charge for the next couple of weeks so that Jack could have a holiday too! Ianto felt like all his dreams were coming true at once. Two glorious weeks of getting away from it all, complete with Jack, somewhere sunny and warm. It was going to be sheer bliss!
Ianto had it all planned as he finished packing, making sure he had an ample supply of waterproof, high factor sunscreen to keep his pale Welsh skin from burning. He’d loaded his Kindle with all the books on his ‘To Read’ list, so when they got to where they were staying he planned to stake his claim on a beach chair in a shady spot, or at least one with a sunshade attached. Then he was going to spend his days alternately reading and sleeping, with the occasional dip in the pool or the sea to cool himself down. It would be just what he needed to recharge his batteries: sun, sand, sea, and plenty of rest.
The adults’ only resort they had picked was perfection. Guests each had their own cabana on the beach, far enough apart not to be overlooked by their neighbours. There were several five-star restaurants on site, no less than three outdoor swimming pools, casinos, clubs, a golf course, and various other entertainments. Ianto had no intention of making use of most of the facilities; their stretch of beach, the restaurants, and maybe the closest swimming pool, would be all he needed to enjoy his long-awaited holiday. What did he and Jack need entertainment for? They were here to relax.
On the first morning after their arrival, Ianto slept late while Jack was out exploring, then had a leisurely breakfast for once before settling down on a lounger beneath the palm trees, a short distance from their cabana. Turning on his faithful Kindle, he opened the first book on his holiday reading list and was soon deeply involved in the plot.
“There you are! Didn’t you see my note?” Jack’s shadow fell across Ianto, waking him from the light doze he’d fallen into.
He peered at Jack over the tops of his sunglasses. “Note? Nope, sorry, didn’t see it. What did it say?”
“I booked us in for a round of golf this morning, but you didn’t show up so I had to cancel.” Jack’s face was set in an odd expression halfway between a frown and a pout. Ianto thought it made him look a bit like a pug.
“Jack, neither of us plays golf!”
“They have instructors here; we can learn!”
“Why? Whenever it comes on TV, you say it’s a silly game.”
“It is, but a lot of people seem to like so I thought I’d find out why.”
“You can do that without me though, can’t you? Trying to hit a small ball into a hole in the ground isn’t my idea of fun.”
“But I wanted us to do things together!” The pout had finally won over the frown. “We hardly seem to see each other when things are busy at work, and now we have a whole two weeks, and there are so many fun things we can do! I signed us up for scuba diving lessons, and horse riding, and kayaking, and there’s a nature walk tomorrow that looks really interesting, trekking into the jungle. Then there’s the beach volleyball tournament, and water polo, and art classes, and a karaoke contest every night that we just have to enter…”
Ianto stared at Jack, aghast. “You want to do all that? I thought we came on holiday to rest! I’m not like you, Jack; I’m only human, and I’m worn out. All I want is to relax, read, take an occasional swim, and catch up on my sleep!”
Jack looked stunned. “You just want to lie on that lounger for the whole two weeks and read? If that’s all you’re going to do, why did we bother coming all the way to this beautiful island? You’re not going to see much of anything from there. You could have sat, and read, and slept just as easily at home.” Jack flumped down onto the sand beside Ianto’s lounger, looking deflated. “Never thought our first proper holiday together, in an island paradise no less, would end up being boring.”
Ianto frowned; much as he hated to admit it, Jack had a point. They’d both eagerly searched online, trying to find the perfect holiday destination, and now all he was doing was ignoring all the things that had made them choose this resort in the first place.
“How about this for a compromise? You let me have a lie in every day and spend the morning relaxing, while you go off and learn to play golf if you want, then we’ll have lunch together and spend the afternoon doing other things.”
After a few minutes’ consideration, Jack nodded. “Sounds fair. So, horse riding this afternoon? Then we can go for a swim afterwards to cool off, and maybe take in an art class.”
“It’s a deal.” Ianto turned off his Kindle; his book would have to wait for now. “How about lunch? I’m starving.”
“I know just the place! I found it while I was exploring; it’s not far from the stables and they serve the most beautiful salads I’ve ever seen, like a rainbow on a plate!”
Ianto laughed. “Okay, just let me shower and change into something more suitable for riding and we’ll go try these rainbow salads of yours.”
Maybe this wouldn’t turn out to be the kind of holiday he’d planned, but what did it really matter? Rest was probably overrated anyway.
TBC in Part 2