Title: Stark; Raving Mad
Word Count: just over 3000
Warnings: non-death, occasionally gory imagery, un-beta’d
Genre: Romantic Comedy with a dash of Friendship Speeches
Summary: Jack Harkness is a one-hit-wonder Science Fiction/Horror novelist that has met his writer’s block. Ianto Jones is his new psychosomatic, OCD, editor-who just happens to be completely afraid of the dark. Pre-slash ensues (for the moment)
Summary for Chapter: Ianto hasn’t given up yet, he will be Jack Harkness’ editor, even if he has to be hung from the ceiling to get it.
Author's note: Thank you all for reading and continuing onto chapter 2. Once again, this is based loosely and moderately on 'Stark Raving Mad' an American sitcom. This time only half of the dialogue was taken from the show. I'm still working into so...and if any of you are familiar with the show the plots will eventually veer off quite a bit furthur. Thanks for reading.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything of this. Really. At all.
Ianto Jones nervously waded his way through the bar, obviously not used to the environment, and anxiously looked around for the semi-familiar face of Jack Harkness. The smooth voice of a male was prevalent over the clanking of glasses and idle chatter that always seemed to be present in a bar. Ianto could only recognize the tune as that of a musical number that was popular in the 1950’s around America.
He took a step up to the bar and attracted the attention of the hostess. “Excuse me, but I was told that I was supposed to meet Ian Stark here?” The hostess nodded, and glanced at the stage.
“The singer.” She said, wringing a towel in a beer glass.
“No, the author,” Ianto insisted.
“No.”The hostess said, placing the glass down on the counter and pointed towards the stage. “The singer.” Ianto turned around to look, and sure enough Jack Harkness was there.
“Certainly makes a fine figure, doesn’t he?” the hostess asked with a wry grin. Ianto turned to, her, shocked.
“Well,” she began to explain, “you’re one of his one-timers aren’t you? That means you’re coming back for more.”
“I most certainly am not!” Ianto exclaimed a little too loudly. Jack shot him a grimace from the stage, but continued to sing. “I’m his editor.” He said, making sure to put enough emphasis on his profession to make sure the hostess understood.
“Oh, sorry, I assumed…you asked for Ian…and well…” the hostess fumbled over her words, a dark blush enunciating her already dark cheeks.
“I see, I should’ve asked for Jack then. It’s all right, that was completely my own fault.” Ianto reassured her. “Let’s start over shall we? My name is Ianto Jones, Jack Harkness’ editor.”
“Well it’s a pleasure to meet you Mr. Jones, I’m Martha Jones, medical student-slash-bartender extraordinaire.” She held her hand out in greeting, which Ianto returned. “Let me get you a drink,” she offered.
“No, it’s okay, I’m not much of a drinker.”
“Oh, you certainly will be.”
“Well I…” she held up her hand in symbol for him to stop speaking.
“It’s okay, if I get to know you much further it’ll just make it harder when you finally snap.” Ianto gaped, but then closed his mouth as she turned around to tend to an actual customer. He frowned, but then walked with great purpose to where Jack was now finishing his performance.
“Shall we head to your apartment Mr. Harkness?” Ianto asked as Jack took a step off the stage. Jack looked at him strangely for a moment before he shrugged, and nodded his consent.
“Sure, just don’t trip on your way up.” Jack jerked his head towards the back door of the bar, which would lead to an elevator, which would lead to his loft. “Well c’mon then, we don’t got all night. I like to start partying by dusk.
Ianto was, by Thursday, completely and utterly exhausted. He had indulged in sword fights, fake suicide attempts, an almost amputation of a leg, and a completely rancid refrigerator; all for the purpose of ‘research for the book dear Mr. Jones Ianto Jones. RESEARCH.’ Ianto was only 4 days into his attempt to become accepted by Jack Harkness as an editor, and it was not going well. Everything that he seemed to do right only ended up with a prank to follow.
“So you’re main character is going to be a male right?” Ianto had asked from his position in front of a few note cards.
“If you haven’t picked that up already I’d be slightly worried about you Mr. Jones.”
“Well I was thinking, from the way that you’re experimenting with death recently, that maybe your protagonist will have to deal with something…I don’t know…like the idea of immortality.” Seeing Jack’s disgusted look he hurried on to explain, “not as an actual theme of course, but as he’s fooling everyone around him into thinking he’s dead…that maybe he recognizes that he isn’t as immortal as he would appear when pops up again. It could be an underlying theme or something…just to spur on those creative juices of yours…” Jack looked contemplative, and finally nodded.
“That might not be so bad, I’ll have to think about it though. High five.” Jack held out his hand. Ianto, anxious for approval, pressed his own hand to Jacks in a quick gesture, and hid his disgruntled look as he took his anti-bacterial hand sanitizer out of his pockets and rubbed his hands together. Jack’s eager look was ignored until his hands wouldn’t come apart; his horrified look spurning on the laughter that Jack released, and the uneasy chuckle that was prompted out of Owen.
Owen stood up from the couch, giving Jack an admonishing glare and ushered Ianto into the bathroom and helped him apply some soap to his hands. Owen returned only a few moments later with a wide grin. “Do you think it’s gonna work?” he asked Jack.
“Of course it’s going to work. I’m a genius after all.” His statement was proven correct only moments later when a shocked, choking noise was heard from the bathroom. A disheveled Ianto Jones exited the bathroom only a few seconds later, his hands detached from each other, but now dyed an unsightly purple.
“I can’t believe the both of you!” he shouted at them. “I am going to go right now to the corner store and get some new soap and some yoghurt. I just hope to God you two grow up while I’m gone.” Ianto warily grabbed his wallet and stomped angrily out of the loft.
“How long do you think we have?” Jack asked with a grin. Owen glanced at the clock.
“Pro’lly till 20 after the hour,” he said. Jack’s grin widened impossibly further.
Ianto walked wearily back into Jack’s loft. He didn’t see Jack anywhere at the moment, which was a good sign for his nerves. He took the free time to complain to Owen and reorganize the various papers and boxes that were scattered on the, increasingly becoming more, cluttered couch.
“How long have I been here?” Ianto asked.
“Aw man, was I supposed to be timing you?” Ianto shot Owen a look.
“He’s being completely unprofessional, I’m trying to help him, but do I get any cooperation? No. In the four days that I’ve been here I’ve gotten excuses, stalled” he began enunciating his point by listing them on his fingers “and childish pranks, which between you and me” he began reorganizing the couch again, lifting papers off of a box, “have gotten stale and predictable.” He lifted the box, sparing a quick glance to make sure there wasn’t anything underneath it. Ianto promptly began to freak out when Jack’s decapitated head was shown sitting on top of the couch, Jack’s eyes wide and his tongue sticking out. Ianto, however, didn’t pay mind to such details and he had tripped over the arm of the couch and landed head first on the floor. “Oh My God.” He screamed.
“Wow!” Jack exclaimed, his head becoming animated, a wide grin splitting his face in two. “Over the couch!” he grinned to Owen, who just grinned right back and snuggled deeper into his arm chair. Ianto regained his poised and glared at Jack.
“What are you doing!?”
“Research Jones, I’m trying to figure out how someone reacts upon finding a decapitated head.”
“So you’re scientifically proving that the normal reaction upon finding a decapitated head is to be” he raised his hands in exasperation, “startled?”
“and pissy.” Jack finished before turning to Owen. “Write that down.”
“Pissy? You want Pissy? I’ll show you pissy,” Ianto said, his voice raising in pitch and in volume as he continued on, making sure to keep eye contact with Jack as he got up from inside the couch cushions. “You demented, irresponsible, death faking…” he searched for a word “freak.”
“Quick Owen,” Jack began, “get the index cards, he’s organizing a tantrum.” Ianto narrowed his eyes, taking a step closer to Jack.
“Oh. That’s funny. That’s very, very, funny. You know what cracks me up? That I come here every night, like a vampire, thinking that we’re actually going to work.” This time it was Jack’s turn to look exasperated. “Well the joke is on me, ‘cause the only I’m walking out of here with an Ian Stark novel is if I steal a book off of the table.” He reached for a book, grabbed it, and promptly put it back down, a long trail of pink slime trailing after the book. “What the hell is on that thing!? You know what?” Ianto ignored the laughter that was emanating from Jack. “I’m done. I’m finished.” He said as he wiped his hands with newly bought sanitizer. “Life is too short!” He grabbed his coat and his suitcase and headed towards the door.
Jack’s leering voice followed after him. “You’re right Jones.” He said with a sardonic twist to his mouth, “so little time, so many germs.”
“I’m sorry,” Ianto said with a spiteful grin, “I’m having a little problem taking criticism from a man who had his head in the couch.”
“That’s certainly preferable to where your head is at the moment.” Jack said, taking a few steps forward and invading Ianto’s carefully kept personal space. Ianto simply grinned and took a step closer.
“You’re right.” He said. “My head may be in the sand” he was interrupted by Owen.
“I think he meant up your-“
“I know what he meant!” Ianto shouted at him. “The hell with this. I’m done babysitting. I’m going to find a writer that actually wants to write.” Ianto turned to go.
“Hah,” Jack laughed. “Bye-Bye Jones-y, sorry we scared you away.” That single comment was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. Ianto turned and simply glared at Jack, refusing to back down.
“Scared?” he asked “You’re the one who is scared Jack. You’re scared of writing Sir. Of failing. You’re afraid of finding out that you are simply a one-book wonder. Good night Jack.” And with that he closed the door, the bang that resounded leaving a mark in the pit of Jack’s stomach.
Ianto lay asleep in his bed, perfectly straight on his back, two pillows to his left and right, one pillow where his head rested and his toes sticking strait up from underneath the sheets. Perfectly symmetrical. The only thing out of place was the man peering into his window. Tap, tap, tap. The man rapped onto the window. “Ianto,” he whispered, “open up.” Tap, tap, tap. The man sighed and opened up the window from the outside, crawling into the room. He gently shook the sleeping man awake. “Ianto” he whispered once more, not expecting the high-pitched squeal or the once-sleeping man jumping nearly two feet into the air and knocking into his side-table.
“Oh my God.” Ianto cried.
“Cool it Ianto, it’s me, Owen. I need to talk to you.”
“So you break in?” Ianto said, eyeing the pieces of paper that Owen held in his hands wearily. “Why didn’t you just call?”
“Well it’s really scary to get a phone call in the middle of the night.” Owen said as if it were obvious. Ianto rubbed his temples. “Wow” Owen said, taking a look around Ianto’s bedroom, “how do you afford this place?”
“Owen, what are you doing here?”
“No, seriously, this is really a nice place. I could totally see myself living here if it weren’t for the whole drug-addict thing.”
“Excuse me?...never mind.” Ianto stood up from his position on the floor. “Would you like some coffee?” Owen looked at him, confused for a moment, before shrugging.
“Follow me then.” Ianto, clad in 300 count Egyptian cotton pajama bottoms and an undershirt, led Owen to his kitchen, where he went about making 3 cups worth of a coffee brew. “Now,” Ianto said as he set up a small area at a table. “What did you want?”
“Don’t say anything to Jack but, I have to show you this.” Owen placed the papers he was holding out in front of Ianto on the table. Ianto didn’t observe them yet though, as a small timer dinged, meaning that the brew was finished.
“Hold on a moment.” It only took 37 seconds for Ianto to pour two cups of decaffeinated coffee into cups and place one in front of Owen before returning to his seat. “Go on,” he prompted.
“You see, he started writing again.”
“When?” Ianto asked.
“Tonight, right after you left.” Owen sipped from his cup nervously before making an awed look at Ianto. “This is really good.”
“You know what Owen?” Ianto asked as he returned the papers, “I’m just not interested.”
“Wait.” Owen put his cup down. “What?”
“I’m not interested.”
“Well the guy hasn’t written in over a year!” he implored. “You did what every other suit-wearing-ninny tried to do and failed! You got through to him! You’ve got to stick with this!” He pushed the papers back at Ianto before stealing his cup and walking back through the apartment to the window. “Just give it a shot yeah?” he called out before climbing through the window to the outside world. Ianto sighed, and finished his coffee before returning to his bed, reading the material within the privacy of his own bed room.
‘Darkness devoured the landscape like a glutton at a lavish feast. It’s better this way Tom thought…’ Ianto continued reading long into the night, becoming enraptured with narrative that Owen…Jack had delivered to him. It was beautiful, even if it wasn’t what he was used to reading. Ianto finally saw a description of the fake-hanging scenario come to life in a manner that was not mocked, but rather justified in the mind of an unreliable narrator. His mind was so enthralled in the writing that with every description of long, reaching, fingers, grasping at death and flashes of lightening his throat would tighten and his pulse would jump. He moved to close his window.
Those first few lines were where Ianto discovered what a writer could do without having a romantic interest. It was mind blowing. He made his editorial marks, fixing the grammar, adding suggestions to the sides, exchanging some words with others to make a scene more dramatic. It became a passion. He needed more.
He turned those first few pages in to Gwen Cooper-Hart the next morning.
“Congratulations” she said to him with a flutter in her heart, “these pages are extraordinary, it’s brilliant.”
“I couldn’t agree more.” Ianto said. “The language, the imagery, the man is a genius.” He seemed to think for a moment, “but he’s also a raging lunatic so get me the hell out of there.”
“Pish-posh Ianto. Don’t be such a wet blanket. You got Jack to write again, that’s something to be proud of!”
“Right, just give me another writer. He’s writing now, won’t need me, I just want to see any drafts that pop up.”
“Oh don’t be silly Ianto.” Gwen moved to her hidden compartment. “Would like to celebrate? I’ve got brandy?” she tried to tempt him.
“No Gwen, I can’t take it. Last week I hadn’t slept, I hadn’t eaten, I haven’t shaved?”
“You haven’t shaved?” Gwen asked bemusedly, observing his hairless chin.
“Yeah, see?” he leaned in close, pushing his chin out to her and pointing.
“Uh-huh.” She drank her shot and poured herself another. “C’mon Ianto, you gotta roll with the punches. You’re working for Jack Harkness or you’re fired.”
Jack Harkness and Owen Harper arrived at their loft, and upon exiting their elevator, heard a strange noise inside.
“Help!” a slightly nasally voice sounded. “Help!”
“What in the Hell?” Jack began, unlocking his door and taking a step inside before grinning maniacally at the sight before him.
“It’s so sweet.” Owen chimed in. “He’s trying to fit in.” Ianto Jones was hanging from the ceiling, butt in the air, head to the floor, a rope around his neck hanging loosely to the ground. He obviously had a malfunction with the harness.
“Help.” Ianto called. “I can’t get down. I’ve been hanging here for hours and every time the air conditioning kicks on I start spinning.”
“What the hell are you doing?” Jack asked as he held Ianto’s head up through use of the noose.
“I’m trying to be less phobic…and I’m afraid it’s not going well.”
“Well Ianto, you got it on wrong.” Owen added helpfully. Ianto turned his full attention to him.
“Why are you even here?” Jack asked.
“I read your pages.”
“How did you get my pages?” it only took a moment before he turned to glare at Owen.
“It wasn’t me” Owen held his hands up in the universal sign for ‘back off, nothing wrong here’ “I’ll go find out though!” he said, and promptly made a quick exit.
“Look, I read your pages and I thought they were wonderful.”
“That’s funny, somebody told me I was a one book wonder.”
“Well I was wrong.” Ianto said, trying as best as he could to put his hand on Jack’s shoulder. “and I’m not just saying that because this harness is killing me. No wonder women always play ‘Peter Pan’.”
“Forget it Ianto.” Jack said with a grimace. “Forget it. You quit.”
“But then you wrote again, just to prove me wrong. So admit it, you need me.” Jack looked up and raised his eyebrows at him. “All right, I’ll go first. You frighten me, you’re weird, and dangerous, but you’re also an excellent writer, and you have a skill that I’ve never seen before, and I would be honored…to be your editor.” Ianto looked at him with doe eyes, imploring Jack silently to accept him and give in.
Jack turned his back to Ianto, walking a few paces away with his head lowered. He stuffed his hands into his pockets, taking his right hand out only a moment later and raised it to his mouth.
“All right, I need you” Ianto grinned as Jack turned around, but it faded slightly as a tape recorder was revealed, “said the old caretaker’s wife as she took a knife from out of her cutting board and faced her husband.” Ianto’s grin quickly returned.
“Uh-uh! It still counts, you said you needed me!” he shouted over Jack’s continued narrative. Jack began walking to his room, going slowly up the stairs, still verbally telling his eventual novel into the small tape recorder. “You said it! You need me!” The lights were turned off, “You need me!” Jack entered and closed the door to his room. “You need me!” Ianto called once again before the air conditioning turned on and he started slowly spinning. “I need you!” he continued to turn and there was no noise in the loft. “Jack?! I need you!” he shouted louder as his spinning increased. “Jack!” Ianto’s call was getting desperate. “I’ll make you coffee!...Jack!...C’mon…Jack?!” A grin was still etched on Ianto’s face though…he was accepted, and in Jack’s bedroom Jack stood, a smile on his face as well. Maybe this one would last a while.
Doesn’t mean he was staying without a fight though.
Authors note: Once again I thank you for reading, and any mistakes are my own as it is un-beta'd. Thanks
If you missed Chapter 1----> disquisitemind.livejournal.com/681.html#c
If you would like to go to Chapter 3----> http://disquisitemind.livejournal.com/1118.html