Pairings: Jack/Ianto, Ianto/Gwen, Jack/Gwen (Something to piss off everybody.)
Spoilers through "To The Last Man."
Warnings: You give me apparent J/I schmoop, I write this.
Thanks to beta_goddess for quick turn-around and sharing my need to subvert canon.
Summary: Jack never saw it coming.
Maybe he was losing his touch. Maybe he’d lost it a long time ago.
Jack had always been able to read people. He wouldn’t have survived long as a time agent, torturer or con-man without the ability to size up a person and figure out exactly what they wanted and what they would do to get it. His list of romantic conquests wasn’t just contingent on a set of lucky genes, or even charm.
It would be nice to blame the Master for the pole-axed expression he could imagine was currently on his face. A year in hell could throw anybody off their game, but Jack was too good a con-man to try to con himself. He’d racked up a impressive list of cock-ups on the insight front long before he’d run off looking for the answers he needed and the man whom he’d spent over a century waiting for.
How many times had he looked at the men and women he’d worked beside and claimed to care for, yet completely failed to see their suffering? How much death and danger could have been avoided if he’d been able to see what was really going on with Suzie, Tosh, and especially Ianto? Ianto, not just with Lisa, but again when Jack had been utterly shocked to see him join the mutiny. He’d even gone for John’s cluster bomb/dying woman scam for all of two seconds. He deserved a stint in moron rehab for that one.
It had to be the damned immortality. The Master had been right: he was a freak, no longer able to relate to his own race. No wonder the Doctor had run away from him. Twice. He should have gone with John. Given up on the whole saving the human race thing. Look where that got you.
Letting the Doctor and Martha leave without him was the hardest thing he’d ever done, even if it was the right thing for all of them, but he’d expected a certain amount of consolation. He still had a team of talented, attractive people, all devoted to him. Or at least that was what he’d thought.
Finding the ring on Gwen’s hand had been a bit of a shock, but there was still Ianto. They’d had fun before he left and there was no reason they shouldn’t keep on having fun. All he had to do was sidestep awkward conversations and emotional demands. Ianto was easy enough to mollify with a few gestures of concern, the odd date, a tactic as effective now as ever. Some things never change, although in 2008 it was easier to bypass most of the formalities. They couldn’t settle on a movie, and who needed to sit in a restaurant when there was room service? So, like so many of Jack’s dates, this one started with dessert.
Hearing Ianto moan underneath him beat talking by a long shot. What he wanted and needed from Ianto was this. Flesh against flesh. No thoughts. No memories. No emotions. Losing himself in heat and sweat and screaming. Thrusting hard, barely aware of the other voice calling his name, as he lost track of everything in the rise and rush of his own release.
“Whew! That was a good one, huh?”
Not that he needed affirmation. Ianto was lying on his back and his blissful, slightly stunned expression said it all. Jack could have Ianto for as long as he wanted him. And he’d successfully managed to short-circuit any conversation for the time being. He had Gwen if he got into any soul-baring moods. Not a bad division of labour, really.
“You said we’d talk.”
Oh for fuck’s sake. Give a guy a bit of time to recover. And how could Ianto be up for chit-chat now anyway. Jack bent over to kiss him again. As many times as it took, because he suspected that Ianto wasn’t interested in a discussion of world affairs, and knowing what Jack knew, even that would be too painful.
Ianto accepted the kiss, let Jack fill his mouth with moans until they needed to gasp for air again and when they did, he was right back on the case. As if Jack were an alien being brought in for interrogation.
“I can’t do this if you won’t talk to me.”
“Is that blackmail?”
“Tell me something. Anything. I want to know who you are.”
“You know who I am,” he said, using his deliberately sexy voice and running a finger down one of Ianto’s sideburns.
Ianto was pulling away from him, glancing toward the chair where he’d insisted on placing his clothing while Jack had casually tossed his to the side.
“Is that really all there is?” he asked coolly, pulling away. “Is that all you want to be?”
When did Ianto start challenging him like this?
What could he offer of himself that wouldn’t be too painful? The Doctor and Rose? No and hell, no. The Time Agency? Security issues, even if it was gone. Estelle? The real Captain Jack? The hundreds, maybe thousands, of people he’d loved and lost? The deaths he’d suffered at the hands of the Master? Not particularly appealing.
Ianto already knew about John, so he went with that. Some of it anyway. The fun bits. They had managed to raise their fair share of hell, even getting banned from Argo and escaping justly deserved prison sentences on Earth in the year 2525. . He tried to make it all sound like a lark, which it had been. He’d been young then, and in it for adventure and then money. He did his best to keep any wistful nostalgia out of his voice, wrapping it all up with the usual, “…but that’s all in the past, or the future anyway. Right now I’m here. With you.”
The with you was the key, so he really sold that one.
“Thanks, Jack. I know it’s hard for you to do that. I appreciate it.”
And the mark buys the tale.
“Anything you want to say to me?”
“I’m not sure it’s the time or the place…”
“As good as any. We’ve got the room for the night, and if we’re going to be honest with each other...”
“Yes. No more secrets between us. There’s been far too much of that.”
Jack thought he knew what was coming. Lisa. Somehow they’d gone from Ianto calling him a monster to late-night blowjobs without ever mentioning Ianto’s duplicity or Jack’s brutality. It had been easier that way, but too much had happened to keep it unspoken indefinitely. On the scale of things he was sorry for, killing a Cyberwoman didn’t rate particularly high, but he could at least give Ianto the opportunity to vent a little. There’d be crying and remorse on both their parts followed by dinner and more sex. A perfect evening all around.
“Go ahead. Whatever it is. You can tell me.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, well. It’s difficult.”
Oh, he was good. Torchwood good.
“Just tell me already.”
“I’ve been seeing Gwen.”
“Well of course you have, you work with her.”
The stupidity actually came out of his mouth before the words correctly arranged themselves in his brain and he realized exactly what Ianto had said.
“Gwen? Gwen Cooper?”
More stupidity. Like there was another Gwen for him to be involved with.
Gwen? His Gwen? With Ianto? His Ianto?
“Okay, I understand. I left you guys alone. You turned to each other. It’s Torchwood. It happens. But I’m back now.”
Ianto was shaking his head. Aside from being naked, he looked fully recovered and ready to make tea or offer arcane information about twelfth-century tapestries.
“Is your ego really that colossal?”
“Is it possible to fathom that this might have nothing to do with you? That there is more to life than your fleeting attention?”
“How long has this been going on?”
Why did he want to know? What did he care anyway? How many lovers had he two-timed, not to mention three- and four-timed? Why this pain, somewhere in his chest, an ache in his arms that reminded him of being chained up on the Valiant?
“Why would I seek out the company of a beautiful woman or what could she possibly see in me?”
“I didn’t mean it that way.”
“Is she your property?”
Ianto had a great future in interrogation. The calm, sneering tone was perfect.
“No. None of you are.”
Electrodes would be preferable to this particular torture.
“So, what happened?”
“Would you like the more graphic details, sir? You seem to enjoy that sort of thing. Have you ever noticed the exact shape of her lips or the way her eyes look in a certain light? You know the way she laughs? It’s even better when I kiss her neck and run my hands down her…”
“All right. That’s enough. I get the picture.”
And quite a picture it was. At this rate, he’d never get a chance to order dinner at all.
“Good. I thought you should know.”
“But why now? Because she’s getting married? Am I your second choice?”
“Ah yes, interesting thing about that.”
“Second choices, I mean.”
“I’m here with you. I told you right in front of everybody that I came back for you. I asked you out on a date.”
“After you found out about the engagement, although I can’t see why it would trouble you. It doesn’t trouble us.”
Disgust. He felt disgust for both of them, and for his own stupidity. He’d idealized Gwen’s relative innocence. Deliberately backed off because of her relationship with Rhys, even though he knew how easily it could happen. The night he’d given her weapons training had been one of the memories he used to maintain sanity during his imprisonment. He’d passed off the situation with Owen as one of those Torchwood affairs that everybody goes through, and hadn’t been surprised when it crashed and burned. Gwen seemed to have learned from the experience, but apparently not.
Ianto and Gwen. Gwen and Ianto. Laughing. Together. Without him? At him?
He needed to get out of there. Dressing was easier when you didn’t trouble with pants. Ianto was watching him, and it seemed to Jack, judging, which was rich under the circumstances.
“What are you looking at?”
“Are we leaving? I thought we had the room for the night.”
“I need some air.”
“Will you be coming back, sir?”
Sir. Right back where we started from.
Another night in Cardiff. The Welsh loved their nightlife and music. Only the music and fashions had changed in the last hundred years. Tonight he could barely hear the sounds coming out of the pubs, which was just as well. Laughter was the last thing he wanted to hear at the moment. .
He’d never meant to hurt them, and he’d certainly never imagined that they’d be able to hurt him so badly in return. After the Doctor and the Master and finding out that a homicidal lunatic was a more desirable companion than he was, a little human soap opera should have been meaningless, maybe even entertaining.
If Ianto wanted Owen’s sloppy seconds, why should he object? He should have asked to watch. Or participate. He’d never objected to a threesome. One of John’s assets as a ‘wife’ had been his skill at finding new playmates on a nearly nightly basis.
Where was a stray weevil or a good-old fashioned barroom brawl when he needed one? Something to dissipate the anger that was building up and focusing itself more intently on Ianto and Gwen the longer he stayed outside. By the time he was in sight of the entrance to the Hub, he was seething with rage. A voice in his head that sounded a little like the Doctor told him to walk away, but the Doctor wasn’t here and Jack couldn’t stop himself.
He found Gwen sitting in his chair with her feet up on the desk, humming along to something on the radio while she read what looked like a report from UNIT, or maybe OK! Magazine. Under the circumstances, her volunteering to stay late so “you boys can have your night out,” seemed a lot less altruistic than it had earlier in the evening.
For months, he’d forced himself to see her as nothing more than a friend and trusted colleague, the one he could talk to instead of shagging, because they were almost never the same person. She’d been there for him so many times and he loved her for it.
Right now he was seriously considering throttling her, especially when she looked up at him with those innocent eyes, all warmth and knowingness.
“Oh, you’re back early. I thought you’d be gone till the wee hours. Is everything all right?”
It all ran through his mind again. Their friendship. Everything he’d wanted to do to her and hadn’t even suggested. Images of her cosy life with Rhys, her not-so-cosy affair with Owen, and the highly pornographic images of Gwen and Ianto that had been haunting him for the last half-hour.
He strode over to the desk and pulled her up out of the chair, hands digging into her shoulders, relishing the hint of fear he felt in her body as he kissed her with every bit of anger and frustration and -- yeah, Jack, admit it to yourself -- jealousy he’d managed to build up since leaving the hotel.
Gwen might be a practised liar, but her body gave away everything. The instant of resistance and defiance before giving in, opening her mouth, pushing herself against him, arms circling the back of his neck and this was what he’d been waiting for since she’d had the moxie to invade the Hub with those ridiculous pizzas.
His hand moved to the small of her back, which he’d spent a nearly unseemly amount of time noticing whenever she happened to squat down or bend over his desk for whatever reason and there always seemed to be one. Her skin was warm against his cold hand and he could feel heat rising off her body as the kiss continued.
He tried to make himself forget everything else. But the second he pulled back, the first words out of his mouth were a bitter accusation.
“You couldn’t keep your hands off him?”
“Cat’s out of the bag then? I wondered what had gotten into you.”
“Owen wasn’t enough? Are you going to go through the whole team? When does Tosh get her turn?”
“Are you calling me a slut, Jack Harkness? Because I honestly don’t think you want to be going there. Exactly how many Torchwood employees have you slept with over the years?”
It was an argument he couldn’t win, but he needed to see it through anyway, even if it drove him to hypocrisy and clichés.
“So I guess your idea of fidelity is not having more than one man in your bed at the same time.”
“You’re going to marry Rhys.”
“Looks that way.”
“And keep up this thing with Ianto?”
“And what about us?”
“Is there an us, Jack? Is there even a chance in hell you could make up your mind long enough for there to be an us? Would you even be here right now if Ianto had kept his mouth shut? So tell me about this us of yours. Tell me there’s more to you than using people to get away from all the things you hate about yourself.”
He would have winced, but his first reaction wasn’t exactly pain.
“God, you’re sexy when you tell me off.”
There may not have been an “us,” but there was certainly something. He took her hand and pressed it against the front of his trousers, letting her know he was hot and hard and unless she said something to stop him, this was going to happen here and now. Some part of him almost wished she’d say it, remind him of all the reasons he shouldn’t, but instead she unzipped him and he felt her hand, soft and warm, squeezing him.
He pulled Gwen’s silky blouse out of her waistband and ran his hands along her torso, up to her breasts under her bra. It wasn’t going to be gentle or romantic, no matter how soft her hair felt against his cheek, and at the rate things were going, it wasn’t going to take very long. She was already moaning at his touch and her hand on his cock knew exactly what it was doing. Maybe he should let it go with that. An exchange of hand jobs and they could pretend none of this had ever happened, but he was who and what he was and he was going to fuck Gwen Cooper tonight, the consequences be damned.
The desk would serve its purpose admirably, although she’d have to get out of those jeans first, which meant he’d be deprived of her touch. He gestured and she seemed to read him instinctively, moving back to lean against the desk while undoing her jeans and pulling them off, followed by black silk, leaving her naked from the waist down. He dropped the coat and undid his own trousers, letting them fall to his feet. Pissed-off sex in an office, and if he’d had Ianto in a slightly different position over that same desk more than once, presumably Gwen knew and didn’t much care. He’d taught them all so well that sex is just sex. Why did he need to re-learn the lesson himself?
“Jack, are you sure about this?”
Now she was going to turn on the sensitivity?
“Yeah, I’m sure,” he said, moving his hand between her legs and finding out that she was just as sure as he was, if not more so. Two fingers slid in easily and one twist sent her body arching backwards.
“Fine!” she gasped, reminding him of the anger that had sent him here in the first place. Jealousy coursed back through him as he opened the top drawer and then slammed it shut after removing a condom.
After that, conversation ceased, replaced by obscenities and the odd grunt, maybe an exchange of names along the way somewhere. Her fingers pulled at his hair and her long legs wrapped around his ass and he still didn’t know who he was jealous of or why, much less how the hell they were all going to face each other the next day, but he just didn’t give a damn, because it felt so good. She muffled a scream against his neck and he felt his body tense up. Then he was screaming too and he heard that laugh that Ianto had mentioned.
“Whew. That was a good one. Huh,” Jack said for the second time that night. He was nearly giggling as he pulled out and disposed of the rubber. It had been a long time since sex did that to him. He’d have to get this pissed off more often. Maybe jealousy wasn’t such a bad thing after all.
“Gwen, are you all right?”
Ianto looked more concerned than jealous, despite a clearly incriminating situation.
There was no way to cover up, not that he felt inclined to under the circumstances, nor apparently did Gwen. What kind of relationship did these two have anyway?
“Yes, Ianto, I’m fine. Jack wouldn’t hurt me, would you, Jack?” Gwen asked pointedly while pulling up her jeans.
“Not for anything,” he replied.
“Good,” Ianto said, giving one of his most serious looks, avoiding the fact that Jack was re-doing his trousers, “because if he did, there would be serious consequences.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.”
Jack didn’t bother trying not to smirk. What was Ianto going to do, kill him? And the concern for Gwen’s well-being would have been more convincing if he hadn’t been sucking Jack’s dick earlier in the evening -- rather brilliantly, Jack had to admit.
“Shall I drive you home?” Ianto’s attention was still focused on Gwen.
“No, that’s all right, but you can see me out to my car.”
“Did you need me for anything else tonight, sir?”
Nice to know where his priorities were.
Jack shook his head as he sat down in his chair. He’d had enough of those two for one night.
“See you in the morning then.”
“Good night, Jack,” said Gwen, waving goodbye. He watched them leave together, Ianto’s protective arm around her shoulder. Either they were incredibly sweet or unbelievably fucked up, thanks to himself and Torchwood.
Either way, he deserved them both.