Pairings/Characters: Tony/Ianto, Natasha/Pepper, Jack, Rhys/Gwen, Rhys/Suzie, Owen/Diane, Nick Fury, Coulson/Clint, Maria Hill, Jasper Sitwell/Tosh and Jack/AU!Ianto
Summary: After the events of Countrycide Ianto comes to the realisation that Torchwood was no longer the place for him. As he struggles to find a new life for himself Ianto is approached by Nick Fury and unexpectedly finds himself working for SHIELD. Given his past experience in working with ‘difficult’ alpha-males, he is assigned as Tony Stark's new handler; does Tony have the compassion and willingness to help heal someone whose as broken as him?
Disclaimer: I do not own Torchwood or The Avengers
Art by: hollymarchosias
"Mr Stark, I really don't think this is necessary. I will be just fine taking SHIELD jet to your labs." Ianto refused to be carried through the air as if he were helpless. “I am not a damsel in distress.”
Behind his Iron Man mask Tony grinned cheekily; he was rather enjoying the disgruntled look on his new handler’s face. "Come on, Jonesy, you can't tell me that you don't want the privilege of getting a ride with Iron Man himself? I promise there will be no inappropriate touching. Scout’s honour," although that didn't mean Tony didn't have plans for letting his hand accidentally slip once or twice.
Ianto raised a disbelieving eyebrow. "Somehow I very much doubt that you've ever been a scout, Sir."
Tony waved his metal-covered arm in front of his helmet. "You can't see it but I'm totally pouting under here and I'm giving you big sad eyes. So come on, Agent Jones; I give you my word that I won't drop you, not even a little bit.”
Ianto was stubborn not stupid, and something told him that Tony was just like Jack and would wear him down eventually. He’d discovered long ago that sometimes it was just better to give in and save himself some dignity, although giving in didn't mean he couldn't lay down some ground rules. "Very well, sir, we shall do it your way, this one time. However, there will be no sightseeing; it will be a straight flight to your home."
Tony lifted up his arm, palm facing outward and with only three fingers raised in the classic Scout’s pledge. "I promise."
Ianto's eyes narrowed suspiciously; was Tony was giving in to easily? "And you will keep your hands well away from my arse at all times; there will be no 'oops-my-hand-slipped' moments. Do we have an agreement?"
"You really know how to break a guy's spirit, Agent Jones. I promise there will be no groping or inappropriate touching of any kind." Tony made his promise while making sure to keep one hand hidden behind his back, a hand that currently had his fingers crossed in the traditional playground fake-out. ‘Like I’m going to be able to resist groping that tempting suit clad behind.’ But first things first; he had a Welshman to impress. "All right, Mr Jones, time to come aboard for that ride." Tony opened up his metal-encased arms invitingly.
Still a little leery about Tony's intentions Ianto cautiously stepped into Iron Man’s embrace. "Hang on tight; this can get a little bumpy your first time out," Tony advised as his strong arms folded themselves around Ianto and the next thing Ianto knew he was being effortlessly lifted off the ground by Iron Man.
Ianto clung tightly to Tony as they flew above New York City and even though it was obvious that they were taking the long, scenic route, Ianto didn’t mind the rule-breaking. His trepidation quickly disappeared and he relaxed in Iron Man’s gentle grip and his blue eyes filled with awe as he got to see the city that never sleeps in ways that very few did. "Wow!" he breathed out reverently as he saw the view of New York City that could only be seen if you were a bird or in a plane. No matter which direction he looked in he could still see the city stretched out before his eyes, and he wondered just how far it actually went. "This is absolutely amazing," Ianto murmured. “It never seems to end!”
Turning his passenger so he could see his face, Tony was taken aback by the pure awe shining in Ianto's eyes, and he realised right then and there that he would do everything in his power to keep it there. "Stark Tower here we come." Tightening his grip on Ianto’s waist all thoughts of stealing a grope, however pleasurable, flew from Tony's mind. This was far too precious a moment Ianto and he wouldn't destroy it for anything in the world. 'There'll be time for some hands-on fun later.'
Setting his sights on the horizon, Tony Stark headed home.
As leery as he had been in the beginning Ianto loved the rush that came from flying high above the Earth’s surface while held safely in the confines of Tony’s arms. It was an experience that he knew he would never forget as long as he lived. After they landed on the top of Stark Tower, Tony gently set his precious cargo on his feet before lifting up his helmet and taking in the sight of Ianto's tussled hair, his cheeks flushed from the wind, and his blue eyes sparkling with awe and wonder. "So how did you like your first flight on Iron Man airlines?" Tony asked, his eyes twinkling merrily.
"It was amazing! I've never felt so free!" Ianto found himself gushing uncharacteristically; regardless of the things that had come through the Rift and been stored in the Archives of both Torchwood One and Three, he had never ever experienced something so amazing and wonderful. His heart was pounding with excitement as he gazed out across the horizon; even though there was work to be done, he wanted to go flying again, right away!
Tony found the effect of his first flight on Ianto was really quite erotic and he wanted to kiss his new handler right then and there. In fact, he wouldn’t have said no to ripping off all their clothing and making love right on the rooftop, because he had never seen anyone as beautiful as the Welshman looked at that very moment. Somehow he managed to quell that desire and shove it back down from whence it came… at least for now. "So ol’ Super Agent tells me that you make the most orgasmic coffee on this planet,” Tony asked in a casual tone; he was quite please to find that he sounded perfectly normal. “When do I get my first taste?"
"If you have the proper…” Ianto quirked a challenging eyebrow, “…equipment for coffee I’ll make you a cup right now."
Tony's eyes lit up with anticipatory pleasure. "I'm sure we have everything you could possibly need and then some, including a top of the line coffeemaker and the best coffee beans available." He grinned as he watched Ianto's eyes light up even more. "I take it that you pleases you?" Tony asked with a teasing grin.
"Lead me to your kitchen, sir, and by the time you're out of that armour I will have a cup of my coffee waiting for you." Ianto vowed to himself that he would make a cup of coffee that would knock Tony's socks off.
"I can't wait." Tony grinned as he headed in and as soon as he was out of Ianto’s sight, rough, tough Iron Man did a little happy dance down the hallway. Not only was Ianto Jones in his kitchen at that very moment, but he was going to be the first person to taste the gorgeous Welshman’s legendary, to-die-for coffee!
When Tony Stark said he couldn't wait he really meant he couldn't wait. Tony didn't think he'd ever gotten out of his suit as fast as he did that day; he might even have broken Jack Harkness’ record for getting naked. He even managed to beat the coffee being done, so he sat himself down at his kitchen island happily but quietly watched Ianto move about his kitchen. Tony marvelled at Ianto's natural grace as he stepped from the sink to the refrigerator to the counter, although he particularly enjoyed the way Ianto's trousers stretched across his bum when he crouched down to collect a serving tray from beneath the counter.
Well used to feeling heated looks on that particular part of his body – in fact, he was pretty sure that when the day came and his lifeless body was autopsied, the coroner would find permanent scorch marks on his ass cheeks – so Ianto easily ignored Tony's gaze on his backside. Despite that, as he focused on the coffee he was making, he could feel his cheeks heating up and Ianto silently cursed himself for blushing so easily. Taking a deep breath Ianto willed himself under control as he watched the coffee machine hiss and sputter it’s last few drops into the pot. He’d had a lot of practice in keeping a bland mask firmly in place; after all he had worked for both Yvonne and Jack, never letting either one of them see his true emotions. He’d learned very early on with Torchwood that revealing one’s true self was asking for trouble so by the time he’d finished preparing his and Tony's cups of coffee he had his blush safely under control. "Here you go, sir, I hope you enjoy it."
Cautiously Tony took the offered cup of coffee and lifted it to his face and took a tentative sniff. "You're not going to try and poison me, are you?"
Ianto had a look of appalled horror on his face. "Of course not, sir! That would be a waste of a perfectly good cup of coffee!" He was totally insulted by the idea that he would ruin a cup of his perfectly blended and brewed coffee with poison.
"All right, I'll trust your word on that. JARVIS, if I die you know who to contact," Tony reminded his AI.
"Indeed, sir, but I should point out that I would have not detected any foreign substances in your cup. It should be fine." JARVIS informed Tony.
Tony still had a slightly suspicious look in his eyes as he took his first sip of Ianto's coffee and then a purely pornographic moan escaped Tony's lips as the first drop of luxurious nectar landed on his tongue. Pausing just long enough to announce, "JARVIS, make a mental note that Ianto is not allowed to make coffee for anyone but me." Tony knew that he was being selfishly obsessive – or was it obsessively selfish? – with Ianto's coffee but it was truly ambrosia fit for the Gods. Tony decided that he would be damned if he was going to let anyone else get a taste of this hot, delicious heaven because he knew they’d try to steal his Ianto away from him.
“This is pure sin in a cup and I can think of only one thing that could possibly top it,” he declared as he peered mischievously over the rim of his mug.
Taken aback, Ianto frowned in confusion; he considered Jack to be the penultimate coffee fanatic and he’d never said anything like that. He was also aware that Tony was flirting with him and even though he didn’t want to play along, he had to know what could possibly be better than a cup of his freshly-brewed coffee. ‘Egotistical much, Jones’ he silently snarked. “All right, I’ll bite. What would you rather have than a cup of my coffee?”
“Oh, it’s not that big a deal,” Tony purred his eyes darkened with lust as he stared straight into Ianto's eyes. “Just Ianto’s coffee-flavoured kisses.”
Once again, Ianto felt a faint flush appear on his face at the tone Tony used; it was the one he’d heard from Jack so many times before the whole Lisa debacle. With a jolt he discovered that the memory actually hurt his heart, not because he missed Jack, (which he did, but he refused to admit it) but because he didn’t realise how much he missed having someone actually want him. Oh sure, Jack had flirted with him but then he was Captain Jack Harkness and he flirted with everyone.
Then there was the whole Gwen ‘thing’ and the knowledge that as soon as she had arrived Ianto was no longer important enough, no longer interesting enough, no longer challenging enough. He’d been tossed aside like a broken toy for something shiny and new, someone who blatantly threw herself at Jack every chance she got. Pushed to the periphery of Jack’s emotions and attention, Ianto had felt very small and insignificant.
But with Tony the feeling was quite different, more genuine, perhaps? Ianto didn’t have anything to base that feeling on – he’d only known Tony Stark for a few hours, so the man could turn out to be just as big a reprobate as Jack, but still, the feeling persisted and Ianto wasn't sure how he felt about that just yet. "Well while I'm glad to see you survived my coffee, sir, you should know that I won't hesitate to put you on decaf as punishment."
An outraged pout graced Tony's face. "That's just a downright cruel and unnecessary punishment!"
A wicked grin appeared on Ianto’s face and Tony felt himself melt on the inside. “Why else do you think I use it as a deterrent to bad behaviour? I’m not boasting when I say that one taste of my coffee makes all others pale in comparison. So a word to the wise: you really should stay on my good side; and that way you won’t have to taste my decaf.” From the way Ianto spoke the word ‘decaf’, Tony got the distinct impression that it was the nastiest substance known to man and he shuddered violently.
“You’re a cruel, cruel man, Ianto Jones,” Tony sulked; he hated behaving but something in his coffee-king’s eyes told him Ianto wasn’t making an idle threat. “I thought you liked me,” and he made his lower lip quiver.
“My job is not to like you, Mr Stark; my job is to keep you under control and if that means putting you on decaf then so be it. I’m sure that Director Fury would agree with my choice of punishment,” Ianto pointed out reasonably and calmly.
“Fine! Have it your way! I’ll behave, for now.” Tony wasn’t about to lose such delicious coffee. “But trust me, sooner or later I’m going to find a way around that rule of yours,” he vowed.
“Thank you for the warning. I look forward to the challenge, sir,” Ianto declared with a raised eyebrow.
Tony Stark was pouting which was not an unusual sight for Pepper to stumble upon but the pout first of all quite dramatic, and second, it was directed at a handsome young man in a suit who didn’t seem at all fazed by the attitude being sent his way.
“Hello, you must be Miss Potts; it’s nice to meet you, I’m Ianto Jones, Mr Stark’s new handler.” Ianto offered his hand with a smile.
Pepper Potts knew instantly that she was going to adore Ianto Jones from the top of his head to the tips of his toes. “It’s nice to meet you as well, Mr Jones, but please call me Pepper. Anyone who can control Tony like this is aces in my book.” ‘It’s nice to meet a true gentleman,’ she thought approvingly.
“Traitor!” Tony called from his spot on the couch glaring at his friend. “You’re supposed to be on my side, Pepper, not his!”
“Not if having Mr Jones around means you’ll stop blowing stuff up. This is the first time in a long time I haven’t smelt smoke in the air,” Pepper calmly reminded Tony. “It’s actually quite nice around here when the smoke alarms are silent and there’s no fire extinguisher residue covering everything,” she nodded approvingly.
"Hey! I'm not that bad!" Tony protested and at Pepper's disbelieving look he shot to his feet and gestured to the ceiling. "Tell them, JARVIS, when was the last time I set anything on fire?" he demanded.
"Last night, sir; your experiment was to have been taken place this morning but you had your meeting with SHIELD scheduled for the same time and because you wanted to get there early enough to annoy the agents and Director Fury, you performed your experiment and set your desk chair on fire," JARVIS quickly informed them. “It was a brand new chair, sir, purchased after you blew up last one.”
"Et tu, Jarvis? Where's the loyalty?" Red-faced with mild anger and huge embarrassment, Tony growled as he crossed his arms over his chest and glared heatedly at everyone.
Ianto shook his head a small smile playing on his lips as Tony and Pepper began to playfully argue. For the first time in a long time he felt such true happiness fill his soul that he was a little breathless; not since he’d lost everyone he’d cared about at Torchwood One had he felt such a lightness of spirit. Yes, this might be the chance he needed to find some peace and joy again, which he knew would mean he was free from the curse that was Torchwood once and for all.