Characters: Ianto, Jack.
Summary: Now that he’s been convinced not to laze away their holiday doing nothing, Ianto is quite looking forward to some of the activities Jack has planned for them.
Word Count: 2110
Written For: Week Two prompts ‘Rental, Dreaming, Colourful,’ 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.
When Ianto emerged from the cabana’s spacious and well-equipped bathroom a short while later, he was dressed in comfortable tan chinos and carrying a short-sleeved white cotton shirt in one hand. In the other was an open bottle of sunscreen.
“Lend a hand or two?” he asked Jack. “I don’t want my back burning while we’re out riding.”
“Your wish is my command,” Jack replied with a grin and an extravagant bow.
“Twpsyn,” Ianto accused fondly. “Just get on with it. And don’t take all day about it either. I’m ready for my lunch!”
“I can tell,” Jack deadpanned as Ianto’s stomach rumbled loudly. “You can really work up an appetite doing absolutely nothing all morning.”
Ianto rolled his eyes. “Haha. Fruit makes for a refreshing breakfast, but it’s not exactly filling.”
“Then I won’t keep you waiting for lunch any longer than necessary,” Jack assured him, whisking the bottle of sunscreen from Ianto’s hand and squeezing a generous amount into his own palm. “Turn around.”
Deft hands made short work of applying the lotion, smearing a thick coating over every inch of Ianto’s bare skin before massaging it in.
“If you get sunburned now, it won’t be your back.” Jack moved across to the kitchen sink to wash his greasy hands, calling over his shoulder, “Did you do your ears and nose? I know how easily they burn, and I don’t want you getting mistaken for a lobster at the restaurant.”
“Thoroughly coated,” Ianto assured him, slipping his shirt on and buttoning it. “Just like every other part of me that could potentially catch the sun. So, where’s this restaurant with the rainbow food?”
“Across the other side of the island.”
“That far? That must be at least a half-hour’s walk! Probably more in this heat!”
“Have no fear!” Jack steered Ianto out the cabana’s front door, locking it behind him. “Your carriage awaits!” He pointed to what was sitting on the path outside.
“A golf buggy? You didn’t ‘borrow’ it from the golf course this morning, did you?” Ianto fixed Jack with a suspicious look.
“No! What d’you take me for?” Jack pouted indignantly. “Besides, the ones at the golf course are totally different. It’s a rental, I hired it for us to use during our stay; we just have to plug it in to recharge when we’re not using it. There are charging points all over the island; apparently these golf carts are the main form of transportation around here.”
“Come to think of it, I do seem to remember seeing a few when we arrived last night.”
“They’re everywhere. I wanted a red one, but they only have blues and greens, to blend in with the scenery. This one’s pretty though, it almost matches the sea.” Jack was right, although to Ianto’s eyes it was maybe a shade or two lighter than the deep turquoise of the sea.
“Well, since you know where we’re going and I don’t, I guess you’d better drive.” Ianto climbed into the passenger side of the little electric vehicle. “Just don’t exceed the speed limit; there don’t appear to be seatbelts and I’d rather arrive for lunch in one piece.”
“Don’t worry, they’re rigged for a top speed of about ten miles per hour, maybe twelve on a good downhill slope. We should be at the restaurant inside ten minutes.” Jack slid into the driver’s seat and stuck the key in the ignition.
“Excellent. Drive on then, chauffeur!” Ianto teased.
“Off we go!” Turning the key, Jack pressed his foot to the accelerator, swung the little cart around, and they headed up the path from their holiday home onto one of the many paved roadways that wound through the resort.
It was a remarkably smooth ride thanks to the well-kept roads, and Ianto spent the journey looking around himself, taking in the sights. It had been late and almost dark when they’d arrived the night before, so he hadn’t been able to see much then; in daylight, it was really very picturesque; green foliage, bright tropical flowers, glimpses of the sea from various vantage points…
The buildings were spread out, and designed to blend into their surroundings so as not to spoil the views. Off to his left, nestled in the lush tropical vegetation, Ianto could just make out one of the low, sprawling hotels that were also part of the resort, but it quickly faded out of sight, lost amid the greenery. Every so often they passed other couples strolling along the roadways, or humming about in golf carts almost identical to the one they were in, just in different shades of blue and green, with a few sandy-coloured ones that seemed to be reserved for resort staff. Ianto noticed each vehicle had a sort of number plate on the back, presumably to make it easier for people to find the right one in a crowd. There were number tags attached to the keys as well, he realised, and he glanced at the one in the ignition of their vehicle: number seventy-seven. That would be easy to remember, even with his brain switched off for the duration of their stay.
Despite it being the middle of the holiday season, the resort didn’t appear crowded, probably because it was spread out over such a wide area. At this point, the island was only three or four miles across, which meant there was plenty of beachfront real estate within easy reach of the main resort, ideal for the placement of the exclusive individual cabanas. Ianto thought it had been well worth the extra expense of renting one rather than staying in one of the hotels, especially since they were still free to use any of the hotel facilities, such as the pools, the gym, and the spa. Why anyone would want to work out in a gym while on holiday in a place like this, Ianto couldn’t begin to imagine, but the spa might be worth checking out at some point.
Something nudged Ianto’s shoulder; Jack, of course. “You can stop daydreaming now; we’re here.”
Ianto blinked and looked around, not sure exactly when he’d zoned out. They were just pulling into a sort of parking area alongside a low, whitewashed building with a thatched roof. Most of the building seemed to be open to the fresh sea air, the walls made up of panels that folded back out of the way, leaving the roof supported by a series of intricately carved and painted wooden pillars. Jack found an empty space and pulled in, getting out and plugging the buggy into a charging point disguised as a rustic post. There seemed to be one at every parking spot, for the convenience of diners.
As they crossed the parking lot, Ianto took in more of his surroundings. Inside the restaurant, he could see widely spaced tables and chairs, with a few more out on a terrace above the beach. There was also a bar, and a service area where you could have your meal made up for you on the spot, to eat in or take away. The place was about half full, with diners seated in pairs or small groups, talking quietly and radiating an aura of relaxation.
It was easy to see what Jack had meant about the salads; they were certainly colourful, made up of a wide assortment of vegetables, fruits, and nuts, with meat or fish, eggs or cheese, and in some cases, what looked like a bit of everything. There was no need to wait to be served either, you just walked up to the counter, selected what you wanted in your salad or sandwich from the covered dishes in the refrigerated cabinets, then took your meal away to eat wherever you wanted.
Jack and Ianto both went for seafood salads, Ianto’s scattered with succulent prawns, and Jack’s with fresh crabmeat. Along with that went green, red, and purple salad leaves, red peppers, cubes of orange melon, wedges of lemon and lime, slices of papaya, cucumber, dates, and on Jack’s plate, the incongruous sight of a very un-tropical raw carrot.
Settling at a table on the terrace to enjoy the ocean vista, Ianto looked at Jack’s plate with a raised eyebrow.
“A carrot, Jack? Really?” he asked archly.
“I like carrots,” Jack defended his choice. “Good for night vision.”
“Like you need help with that. You’re always boasting about the advantages of 51st century genetics; enhanced vision included.”
“Fine. I got it for the horses, okay? I thought it would be a nice treat for them.” Jack deftly sliced the carrot into four pieces lengthways before wrapping it in a clean handkerchief and tucking it in his pocket.
Ianto chuckled. “You’re just a great big softy deep down, aren’t you?”
“Something wrong with that?”
“Not at all! It’s one of the things I love most about you.”
Jack smiled, not his megawatt grin, but the softer, warmer smile he reserved for Ianto. “You’re the same; always kind to old ladies and stray animals, even if they’re not of earth origin.”
“Kindness shouldn’t be reserved for our own species.”
“No argument from me!” Jack dug into his meal with gusto. “So, after lunch, how about a stroll along the beach before our ride?”
“I think I could manage that.”
They continued to chat idly as they ate, planning their afternoon.
“Have you ever ridden before?” Ianto asked.
“Of course! There was a time, a century or so ago, before cars were invented, when horses were the main mode of transport. I even owned a horse at one point. Lovely bay mare; won her in a card game. How about you?”
“Never owned a horse. Rode a bit in my youth, mostly pony rides at fairs, but I had a handful of lessons before my tad’s fortunes changed and it became an unaffordable luxury. Went riding with Lisa a few times too. She was as at home in the country as in the city, loved getting back to nature.” Ianto smiled, remembering. “She was a better rider than me really.”
“I wish I could’ve known her.”
“You’d have liked her, I think the pair of you would’ve got along well.” Ianto’s expression was slightly wistful. “We would’ve been great together as a threesome.” He blushed slightly. “I toyed with the idea of suggesting it to her once she was well again. I loved her, but I was falling for you too and didn’t want to lose either of you. Used to dream sometimes about the three of us setting up home together.”
“You are a man ahead of your time, Ianto Jones,” Jack said admiringly. “Far more open-minded than most people in this time. That’s one of the reasons I was drawn to you; you’ll give just about anything a try.”
“Good thing, with some of the ideas you come up with,” Ianto laughed. “I’ve got myself in more trouble since I met you than I ever did before, and that’s despite being caught shoplifting back when we lived on the estate. You’re a bad influence on me.”
“You don’t mean that.”
“You’re right, I don’t. It’s too late for me; I’ve already been completely corrupted.” He smirked at Jack across the table. “Wouldn’t have it any other way.”
“I’m glad to hear that.” Reaching across the table, Jack squeezed Ianto’s hand before turning his attention back to eating.
Strolling hand in hand along the beach was a pleasant way to let their lunch go down, and they wiled away almost an hour enjoying the sunshine, the hot sand beneath their bare feet, and a pleasant breeze off the sea, before finally putting their sneakers back on and turning in the direction of the stables.
From wanting to laze away his holiday doing nothing but reading, Ianto found he was now looking forward to a lot of the fun activities Jack had planned for them. Riding around the island would be a pleasant way to spend the afternoon, and hadn’t Jack said something about art classes? With the gorgeous scenery everywhere he looked, inspiration for their artistic endeavours wouldn’t be hard to find. Then they’d be going on that nature walk into the jungle at the far end of the island after lunch tomorrow, and he’d always wanted to try scuba diving…
Yes, he could foresee a lot of fun ahead of them, although if Jack really thought he could be talked into entering the karaoke contest, he had another think coming. Ianto would happily watch his lover perform, Jack was good at that, he was a natural entertainer, but Ianto had no intention of getting up on stage himself.
TBC in Part 3