Title: "Going Rogue"
Fandom: As the World Turns/Torchwood
Rating/Classification: mild sexual content, Jack/Luke, slash, humor, crossover, AU.
Disclaimer: Uncle Rusty and Auntie Beeb own Jack, P&G owns Luke, and I own my insanity.
Summary: 1705 words, one of those crack-ridden ideas I couldn't get out of my head. Luke just wants to stare at a damn beer. Is that too much to ask?
Jack squints at the computer screen over Ianto's shoulder, reaching down to move the mouse and scroll the window even as Ianto huffs and tries to jostle him away from the invasion of his routine checks of UNIT's myriad reports. "Nope," he announces with a flourish. "That's the normal kind of illegal alien. Not our territory."
Of course, that's not the end of it. Interesting. *Very* interesting. "Hmm…"
"I know that 'hmm,' Jack."
He presses a kiss to the top of Ianto's head, gets a mouthful of springy, dark hair. "Never you mind, my Welsh Wonder. Leave this to me."
"The last time we left it to you, I was cleaning slime out of the Weevil cages for a month." There is more than a hint of reproach in Ianto's voice. In fact, he'd daresay it's even a 'dollop.'
And, as usual, he ignores it. He kisses Ianto again, on the mouth this time, and then whispers for him to book a seat on the next flight to the States. Oakdale, Illinois, to be exact.
Yo's is far from packed, but he's totally, completely, glad that the few faces in it aren't familiar. The last thing he needs is for someone he knows to see him in here and tattle back about the beer sitting in front of him. Never mind that he hasn't touched it, that he knows full well that between his kidney and his "prior problems with alcohol," he won't be drinking even a sip. All he needs is for someone to bust him for buying underage --and Yo's for *selling* underage-- and it'll get back to his mom and dad and the world as he knows it will cease to exist.
Luke just wants to stare at a damn beer. Is that too much to ask? His boyfriend is married and they're all but seeing each other on the proverbial downlow; he figures he's earned it.
Besides, all the best American writers were drunks, weren't they? Maybe he'll get a genius bolt of inspiration from the pale, amber lager and the heavy bottom of the pint glass. Failing that, he figures he can smack himself in the head with it in the hopes it'll jog loose a clue.
"You know, you're supposed to drink that." The voice comes from somewhere to his left, higher than Noah's, and twice as full of natural laughter.
"It's performance art," he replies, without glancing up, turning the glass so that he can study the reflection of the bottles balanced behind the bar through it. Poetry, he thinks. He could always try his hand at poetry. She walks in beauty like the cockblocked night…
The advocate for Beer Guzzlers of America doesn't go away. No, judging by the thump of weight and the squeak of the stool, he's decided to sit down. Luke sighs, heavily, and looks up. He's been raised right, after all. Grandma Emma would be ashamed of him if he didn't acknowledge someone's presence.
And what a presence it is. The guy is definitely not an Oakdale native. Luke would know. Dark hair, blue eyes, a smile that's almost as bright as the eyes, skin tight jeans and long military coat… he's every inch the stereotypical observation of "you're not from around here, are you?" And a couple of other stereotypes, too, judging by the way Luke's getting sized up right back. Good Christ, at least he and Noah have the subtlety to look and act like corn-fed Midwestern boys. Most of the time.
"Yo's isn't a gay bar," he murmurs, conversationally, looking back down at his uber-hetero Bud Light. "You'll have to go to Chicago for that."
The laugh that bursts out of Mr. Out and Proud is so huge and loud that it actually stops the guys playing pool in their tracks for a second before they go back to mapping their shots. "If I'm not mistaken, Yo's also isn't an under-21 joint," he observes. And the way he's *really* sizing up Luke now, with an unnerving intensity, makes his cheeks grow warm and the collar of his T-shirt itch. Among other things.
"Performance art," he repeats, stiffly, pushing the pint glass farther away from himself. "It's a commentary on our nation's ineffectual enforcement of drinking regulations." For a moment, Luke is amused to hear how much he sounds like Lucinda --all haughty and snide-- and then he goes back to his comfortable combination of morose and annoyed.
"It's alright, Luke. I'm not here to get you in trouble… or at least not *that* kind of trouble." There is a distinct twinkle in the man's eyes, but Luke's too busy blurting out, "How do you know my name?" to really appreciate it.
"Luciano Eduardo Grimaldi… now Snyder." This is whispered, almost conspiratorial, as his beer is whisked from his path and summarily half-finished in a lusty gulp. "I'm Jack Harkness." Jack licks foam from his upper lip, extending his hand. "Torchwood."
"Jack Harkness Torchwood?" he repeats, incredulous, letting the hand just float there. "And I thought my name was a mouthful."
"No, I *work* for Torchwood, an international agency with certain global interests. Like your father once did before he went rogue on us. But I *am* a mouthful, or so I've been told. Not that John's opinion can be trusted. Bit of a loose cannon, you understand? Huge tendency for exaggeration…"
"Go back to the part about my father," he interrupts, before he can hear an entire diatribe of Jack's exploits with whoever this John person is or was. "Which one? Damian or Holden?"
Jack chuckles, taking his hand back and sedately sipping what's left of Luke's beer. "You really think Holden Snyder would go rogue on anything besides a John Deere?"
Good point. Not that he wants to know how Jack is even equipped to *make* this point.
"So, you know Damian?" He just barely gets the name out again without choking on it. He doesn't know how long it's going to take… six more months, six more years… before it doesn't taste like shit on his tongue.
And apparently it's obvious. A hand almost twice the size of his, wide and comforting, closes over his clenched fingers. "Yeah. Lovely fella. So open-minded. I cried actual tears when his contract with Torchwood One got canceled because his connections were no longer of use. Of course, then Torchwood One got canceled… but that's another story for another time."
"Then what's the story you're here to tell?"
"Honestly? I don't know. Your name was red-flagged in a report, presumably because of your relation to Damian, and I was curious," Jack admits with a theatrical shrug. "Curiosity… it's the devil, really."
"Curious about what? How someone like him fathered a flaming queer?" Luke snorts, pulling back the near-empty pint and draining the last three inches. He figures he's earned it. And this is the last time he comes to Yo's to not-drown his sorrows. Next time he'll just take a dip in the pond and raid the fridge. "Whether or not we look alike? Or, wait, maybe you're curious about whether or not I was blessed enough below the waist to look good in old school Maltese hose, like he is, huh? Well, let me assure you, Mr. Harkness, I am nothing like my father. So you can go on your merry way."
"Hmm." It isn't an answer.
"What do you mean 'hmm'?" he challenges, sliding off his stool and poking Jack's chest.
Lips brush the top of his head, and every one of his senses goes on alert like there's INS in the room or something, though at this point, he doesn't care *who* tattles to his parents or Noah or anyone else. "Never you mind," says Jack, softly.
The Lakeview Hotel isn't the ideal location for this sort of thing, given that Luke's mother owns the establishment, but Jack vetoed the cheap motel along route 9 almost immediately. "I hate to speak in clichés, but it's true: I'm easy, but never cheap," he'd told Luke, steering him out of the dive bar with a light hand at his back.
It was remarkably simple to pick up the kid. Already hurting from something, feeling reckless… and, well, Jack has only ever been turned down once. So when he nudged Luke into a dark corner outside Yo's and gave in to the impulse to kiss him, he knew the outcome was set.
Luke tastes like the promise of sex. Upturned lips, a slight smirk, lazy afternoons lying in the tall grass. Whoever hurt him must be an idiot. Jack would ponder more variations on the theme; with many more elaborate metaphors ("alabaster skin," "Teutonic moron," etc) except that he has a job to do first.
After a thorough investigation, involving stripping off jeans and shirts and hi-tops and the cursory stroke of the cleft of a very cute ass, Jack can safely deduce that Luke doesn't have Damian Grimaldi's ring stashed anywhere on his person. His hands were bare when Jack saw them flat against the bar, but the heavy signet could've been hanging on a chain beneath his shirt.
And, sure, he could have just *asked* if Luke was in possession of a transmitter masked as a "family heirloom," but where's the fun in that? Not to mention that he's fairly sure it would break a couple of statutes in the Shadow Proclamation… which is exactly what Damian had done before zipping off to the 42nd century with a few priceless alien artifacts. The guy is still on Torchwood's Most Wanted list.
As for Luke… at the moment, he's on Jack's. Every curve, every angle, every delectable inch.
"Wh-what do you want, Jack?" Luke wonders, his audible gulp making his Adam's apple bob in the most fetching manner. But any nerves definitely aren't visible below the waist. Luke was *wrong* about not filling up old school Maltese hose. *Very* wrong. "What are we doing here?"
Jack leans over the boy --and he really *is* just a boy, though Jack's fairly certain he's gone younger-- and traps him against the mattress, between his palms and his thighs. "Performance art," he declares, huskily, before kissing the soft hollow behind Luke's ear.
April 24, 2008