Notes: Written for Come As You're Not-2009. Absolutely spectacular Beta performed by filthgoblin who helped me perform the possible.
Warnings/Spoilers: Mentions character names and vaguely alludes to minor plot points in Children of Earth.
Why It's a Costume: My first ever (ahem) full-blown threesome fic. Bonus disguise: Non-whiny Ianto.
Summary: Jack and Gwen teach Ianto a lesson in love.
“This isn’t working.”
Ianto watched as Jack got out of bed and began pulling on his trousers, disappointment evident in every motion.
Leave it to Jack to be dissatisfied with an encounter where he’d come at least twice in the past hour. No, it wasn’t a lack of orgasms, his own or either of partners, that was causing Jack to flee the scene with such a bitter look on his face. At the least the anger wasn't directed only at him, Ianto thought, glancing over at Gwen, who was too wiped out to say much of anything.
The fact that they had failed equally in their attempt to provide Jack with what he’d insisted he wanted was not much of a comfort. Jack had finished dressing and was about to walk away from both of them.
“It's not enough for you to want me. You have to want each other.”
Ianto waited for Gwen to say something; if anyone could get through to Jack, it was her.
Instead, he watched as she used her wide eyes and sweet smile to try and convince Jack that she’d try harder. Jack clearly didn’t believe her, and it was left to Ianto to say the words.
“Jack, we tried. We just don’t feel that way. We’d both do anything for you, but…”
Ianto felt helpless. He’d tried to explain this to Jack so many times and he either couldn’t, or wouldn’t understand it. There was no reason to think it would be different now, even with the evidence right in front of him.
He’d seen Jack display more compassion for aliens who’d actually killed human beings than he was currently offering to Gwen and Ianto, in spite of what they’d just proved their willingness to do for him.
“The answers are here; you just need to figure it out,” he announced making it clear, at least to Ianto, that there’d be consequences if he didn’t. Consequences that left Ianto wondering if Jack would give up on both of them if they couldn’t give him what he was demanding.
“Jack,” Gwen finally managed to say, when it was too late and there was nothing left but a trace of Jack’s unique scent, along with the palpable embarrassment left in the wake of their attempt to make him happy.
Ianto met Gwen’s eyes, still respectfully averting his gaze from her naked body. She clearly understood the depth of their failure. The question was whether she would give up, or try to force the issue. He knew her stubbornness and under most circumstances he actually admired it, but in this case Jack was wrong. Ianto needed Gwen to agree with him so they could present a united front.
This was part of the Jack Harkness legend, course. Threesomes, foursomes, moresomes. At the beginning of the affair, Ianto still had the advantage of being a new play-toy and used it to fend off Jack’s request for a threesome with Suzie or even some stranger. Back then, he was able to deflect Jack’s wish for extra bodies, at least temporarily, by participating in other games. Sometimes he got so caught up in the masquerade, he managed to forget that he’d put himself in front of Jack Harkness with one goal in mind: getting Lisa into the hub.
Once Lisa was gone, Ianto had nothing left but Torchwood and specifically Jack. He knew it was madness to invest emotionally in this man, but he simply couldn’t stop himself. Self destructive, he realised in retrospect. By then it was too late. He’d fallen in love and couldn’t stand the idea of sharing Jack’s affection.
Love had been in short supply growing up. Mum and Dad did their best, but after keeping food on the table there wasn’t much energy left for showing the children how much they cared about them. Whereas Rhiannon had accepted every second helping at the dinner table offered in lieu of hugs and words their parents couldn’t say, Ianto had grown up wondering if he was worthy of being loved at all.
Lisa had been his first real girlfriend and he’d adored her with every fibre of his being, nearly unable to stomach seeing her give male colleagues a warm smile. That was love to him. One-on-one and all-consuming. It was who he was. Jack was still Jack, but Ianto had to believe he could change because the alternative was too painful.
After Jack’s disappearance and return, things got better for a while with the offer of a proper date. Then they got much, much worse. It was impossible to ignore an irresistible momentum building, slowed down only temporarily by Gwen’s marriage to Rhys. Every time Jack brought up the subject, Ianto was forced to acknowledge just how differently he and Jack viewed fidelity. He believed in it; Jack didn’t.
With Owen and Tosh gone, Jack had been pushing harder than ever. He’d find Ianto alone and draw his attention to Gwen, engrossed in some work at her computer, oblivious to their discussion.
“Look at her. She’s beautiful, isn’t she?”
It still felt like a betrayal of Lisa, but he had to agree that Gwen was beautiful. And smart. And sweet. But still not someone he wanted to shag.
“Why not?” Jack had demanded, apparently unable to believe it was possible to admire and not desire.
“Because I do love her,” he’d finally admitted.
“So what’s the problem?”
“Like a sister, Jack. I love Gwen Cooper like she’s my bloody sister.”
Maybe even more, he thought to himself, remembering the long nights spent drinking tea, talking, and sometimes just holding each other in the darkness like scared children.
She knew about Lisa, both how passionately Ianto had loved her and his lingering guilt for the deaths she’d caused. He’d shared the confusion he felt regarding his sexuality and the depth of his attachment to Jack, along with the terror that Jack would never return.
He couldn’t imagine telling Rhiannon any of that. They hadn’t been close for years, what with his commitment to Torchwood and hers to a life with Johnny and kids - everything he’d been trying to distance himself from. Gwen might not know the exact details of his childhood, especially compared to her comfortable upbringing, but she knew him better than anyone else did right now. Certainly better than Jack did if he believed the love Ianto felt for Gwen could equal a sexual attraction.
Ianto had looked at Jack, hoping the invocation of the family bond might actually dissuade him. Even Jack couldn’t condone incest, could he?
The hope proved futile.
Jack expression was amused and slightly incredulous. Either his time didn’t have a well-established incest taboo for siblings or maybe those rules just didn’t matter to him.
He decided it was just as well Jack had no children, putting such thoughts out of his mind and forming the words of his final plea, only to have Jack play the trump card first.
“If you love me, you’ll do this.”
Ianto wasn’t privy to the discussion with Gwen.
He wanted to believe she’d resisted, just a little. He knew from the same late-night soul-baring conversations that she’d been conflicted about her feelings for Jack nearly from the moment she’d first seen him. It was a condition Ianto could fully sympathise with. She loved Rhys, wanted to spend her life with him. Safe, solid Rhys who’d never put her in danger or break her heart with a casual look in the wrong direction.
On the other hand, just being near Jack was intoxicating. How could Ianto expect her to turn down the ultimate high?
Gwen was tough. She’d stepped into Jack’s oversized boots in a way none of the others could have, but no one was that strong.
He wasn’t surprised when Jack and Gwen arrived back at the hub, Jack smiling in a way that Ianto hadn’t seen in months. Maybe at Gwen’s wedding, he thought, the smile Ianto had pretended not to notice fading when he cut in to take her place in Jack’s arms. The smile was back now, complete with conspiratorial giggling. What arrangements had been made with Rhys, Ianto didn’t ask. The matter was clearly settled.
She responded to his questioning look with a sheepish grin. She had to know how much this would hurt Ianto, and probably felt guilty. Jack had a talent for putting people in impossible positions. Gwen was caught between her instinctive concern for other people and the desire that Jack instilled in everyone who met him; between two equally strong emotional bonds.
Ianto might have wished for a different outcome, but given the same choice, he couldn’t say he’d have done otherwise. Now it just had to be dealt with.
Jack was actually singing as he ushered them both down the ladder to his sleeping quarters and through the drumbeat of his own misgivings, Ianto could make out a few words.
How long I have waited, waited just hold you, now that I have found you….
Ianto watched as Jack removed his coat without waiting for any assistance, and went about making a few other arrangements, such as lowering the lights. He even set out some illuminated alien bulbs in lieu of candles. Then he stood next to Ianto and took his hand, grasping it firmly.
“Thank you,” Jack whispered, eyes focused on Gwen, who was still standing close to the ladder as though she might be planning to run away.
He tried to send her some kind of reassurance, along with forgiveness. They’d get through this together; they were friends after all.
With the scene set, Jack nodded at Gwen, silently signaling that she should come and join them.
It was the shy smile and hesitantly bitten lower lip that nearly drove Ianto to pull his hand away from Jack’s grip.
No! he wanted to scream. She wants you, but not this.
He was tempted to tell Jack to make a decision; to live by the same rules as the rest of them, but that was a risk he couldn’t take. Instead he let Jack have his way, just like he always did.
It wouldn’t be the first time he’d completely disassociated himself from what was happening while he was in bed with Jack. The things he’d done when Lisa was still alive, when his body might have reacted, but his mind was rebelling, happened in a self-induced haze. He’d done it then, he could do it now.
He managed to detach himself from the discomfort he felt watching Gwen disrobe and lie down on the bed, even as he was taking off his own clothing. In bed, he was able to forget about everything but Jack’s.
One of Jack’s skills was to make his partners feel special and chosen, even when logic said otherwise, and Ianto still responded to that. He felt the rising desire as Jack stroked his cock just so, making Ianto harden into his welcoming hand.
“Beautiful, isn’t he?” Ianto heard Jack say, with the same tone of admiration he’d used to draw Gwen’s charms to Ianto’s attention.
Ianto opened his eyes for a moment and caught a glimpse of Jack’s grin at its most wolfish, although he couldn’t bring himself to look at Gwen and see how she might be reacting to the demonstration. In fact, with Jack cradling his balls, Ianto could almost completely ignore the fact that Gwen was there at all, in spite of the fact that she was kneeling between Jack’s spread legs, her head moving up and down, provoking an extremely vocal reaction.
Either deliberately or by instinct, Jack choreographed things so that Ianto and Gwen were never in direct contact, except by accident, and then only fleetingly. As long as he didn’t have to actually touch her, Ianto could pretend the third body in the bed was a meaningless stranger.
He suspected that Jack was giving him the rare treat of being on top in gratitude, but it might just have been a way of using his own body as a shield between Gwen and Ianto, and their possible distaste for what he’d manipulated them into.
For Jack, he could endure anything; he’d even try to enjoy it. After all, Jack’s body was like a sexual playground. There was lubricant on hand, but Jack didn’t seem to need very much so Ianto slicked up his condom-sheathed cock with the minimum amount necessary, before positioning himself against Jack’s arsehole, and pushing in quickly. The ensuing gasp, Ianto took as his, and his alone.
Never before had Ianto let himself be this forceful. Under the circumstances he saw no reason not to take the risk of leaving a few marks, temporary as they might be. After all, this was exactly how Jack fucked him and Ianto wanted to understand Jack. Maybe this was a way to start. He kept going, losing himself in the rhythm and the heat and the tightness. Jack grunts were somewhat muffled by the fact that his face was between Gwen’s legs, his hands and mouth occupied with her pleasure.
Ianto thrust in and out, pounding harder, until he came, breathing so loudly he could barely hear the other ecstatic screams a few inches a way from him. Only once it was over, when they were all lying on the bed, did Ianto notice his right hand resting on a feminine thigh.Gwen’s thigh, he remembered and suddenly his attempts to be more like Jack were wiped out by anger at Jack and disgust with himself for giving in so easily.
He’d pulled his hand away, and naturally Jack had noticed, leading to his frustrated announcement and hasty departure. Now they were alone, and there was only one thing to do as far as Ianto was concerned.
“Get dressed,” Ianto said gently to Gwen, turning his back so she could do so without further embarrassment to either of them. “I’ll drive you home.”
“No,” she replied, softly but firmly.
“Look,” he insisted, raising his voice slightly. “We tried. It didn’t work. Now let’s get you home to your husband.”
He honestly hadn’t meant to emphasise the last word as dramatically as it came out, but now that it had been said, he added his best disapproving glare to make the point.
“Rhys went to Bangor. There’s a problem with one of the shipments.”
No doubt the “problem” had been conveniently engineered to make the evening’s festivities possible.
He got out of bed and started collecting his clothing, getting himself dressed enough to be more comfortable. He envied those who were able to live in their naked skins as easily as Jack did.
“Regardless,” Ianto continued. “You can’t stay. Jack wants…”
“Both of us,” she finished the sentence for him.
“And you’re so good at following orders” he snapped, surprised at himself. He never talked to Gwen this way, never wanted to, even when Jack was blatantly staring at her. Why should he? It wasn’t her fault.
“He’s been through so much, Ianto. Things we can’t even imagine. If this is all he asks us to do for him…”
He found his shirt and tried not to struggle with the buttons.
“I can’t. And neither can you. Be honest. Look at me.” He turned around, forcing himself to really see her there. “Can you honestly say you want me that way? Like Rhys?” When she didn’t answer, he said something else that surprised him, as much because of the cruelty as the vulgarity, “Or Owen for that matter? Do you want me to fuck you?”
She flinched at the sound of the second name. Ianto felt instantly guilty for opening up that particular wound.
“Oh, Ianto,” she sighed getting out of bed and walking toward him, showing no self-consciousness about her nakedness at all. “You heard Jack. The answers are right here.”
“Jack is a selfish bastard.”
No matter how often he thought those words, he’d never said them out loud, although Gwen had occasionally expressed them on his behalf.
“But he understands people, and he knows how much we both love him. He knows we care about each other.”
“Not like that,” he insisted again for what felt like the hundredth time. “I don’t want you like that.”
“Really?” she said, with that slightly disbelieving, condescending smile she tended to use in lieu of retconning yet another member of the public. It usually worked. They decided they couldn’t have possibly seen what they thought they had, if that nice young lady from the police was convinced they were mistaken. That was fine for the rubes, as Jack sometimes called them, but he was no rube. She couldn’t tell him that aliens didn’t exist or that he wanted something he didn’t.
“Really,” he said, less forcefully, because now he was focusing on her breasts and they were…He tried to swallow and found his mouth dry. They were beautiful, not just in the abstract, but specifically. He found himself thinking in terms he assumed were reserved for pornos and the randy boys who watched them. Perhaps this was how Owen had felt when he looked at women and saw them only as sexual objects.
Apparently, he was no better. He wanted to touch Gwen’s breasts, fondle, stroke, and suck. Bury his face between them. Possibly a pinch just to see if he could get those nipples as hard and red as Jack had. He looked away, trying to shake off the feeling, repeating to himself that he wanted no such thing.
“Do you remember the night I came over to your flat?”
It could have been any one of dozens, but he knew which one she meant. They’d fallen asleep together on his sofa in an unbelievably awkward arrangement following one of their rambling chats. When he woke up, he’d found himself with an erection and no way to hide it, since his crotch was practically pressed against her hip.
At the time they’d managed to laugh off the embarrassment as friends can. Now he relived the moment and felt flushed. He wanted to say that it was something natural for a man waking up in the morning. Nothing to do with the fact that it was Gwen who’d been there with him. The words didn’t come.
Gwen moved closer and Ianto backed away until she had him against a wall. That was one of Jack’s favorite games as well: to overcome resistance, real or feigned, with the force of both his personality and physicality. Those two were so much alike. It was amazing they’d managed to resist each other as long as they had. There was no place to run or hide or anything to do but look at Gwen.
Until now, he’d never noticed just how much she reminded him of the girls he’d known growing up. Girls who would never look at him twice. Gwen Cooper was every girl he’d ever wanted and couldn’t have. And here she was, right in front of him, naked, his for the taking.
The more he looked, the stronger the feeling got. She had reached out her arms to hold him in place and then moved her hands up to the back of his neck. Her fingers barely touching the skin, sending chills through his body, before she stepped closer and pressed her cheek to his.
Certain guilt-inducing memories came back to him. He’d had to archive the footage of Gwen in the cell with Carys and maybe, just maybe he’d taken the opportunity to observe exactly what the alien possessing the poor girl had been able to accomplish. For professional reasons only, he’d told himself at the time. There’d also been an extremely unfortunate incident when he overheard Gwen with Owen in the SUV and didn’t break the connection until he’d gotten an earful of Gwen’s high-pitched breathing, in counterpoint with Owen’s obscene growls. His reaction to the stimulus had been disquieting, but easily disregarded at the time. Now it all led to one disturbing conclusion.
Far from being the only man who was immune to Gwen’s charms, he was actually the last man to admit just how much he wanted her. Maybe this was how it felt to receive a dose of the alien spray. Like having all of one’s illusions stripped away, including the one that said he’d left these feelings behind in favour of wanting only Jack.
He wasn’t hard, but the aching was there anyway. He reached out and pulled her closer, running his hands down the sides of her body, luxuriating in the softness and the curves, cupping her arse. His fingers reawakened themselves to the feeling of a woman’s body.
“Shouldn’t we wait for Jack,” Gwen whispered, letting out a brief gasp as he let his fingers slide between her legs, barely stroking the hair, flicking gently at skin already sensitized by Jack hands and mouth.
“Sod Jack!” he said, and if she had any arguments to that, they were lost in the kiss.
Gwen’s mouth opened up to him, warm and inviting. Ianto’s mind tried to make sense of this development, but by that time his cock had taken notice and there was nothing left to think about. He might love her like a sister, but he also wanted to make love to her and clearly she had the same urge toward him.
She reached down to squeeze him through the fabric, and Ianto knew that she was feeling his reawakening erection. He saw her smile as she undid his trousers, allowing him to strip. This time he wanted to be naked as quickly as possible so he could feel her body against his.
Ianto pulled Gwen back into the bed from which he’d been so eager to evict her only minutes before.
There were so many things he wanted to do, places he wanted to touch. At first he took his time, lavishing attention on her breasts with his hands and mouth, and discovering he was just as skillful as Jack and if the sounds she made were any indication, maybe more so. He kissed his way down her body, tasting sweat, caressing curves.
How could he have fought against this for so long, he wondered, delivering soft kisses to her belly, making her giggle when he licked her navel, and then moving even lower, inhaling deeply, and letting out a sigh as she writhed under his touch.
He nuzzled the inside of her thigh, and noticed a small love-bite, reminding him that Jack’s mouth had been there before his. Instead of producing jealousy, that thought made him even harder.
In the end he had to admit he was just a man, as driven by the urgency of his stiff dick as any other; in that moment, maybe more so.
“Gwen,” he whispered, as if to reassure himself that he actually had permission to do this.
His answer came in the way her legs wrapped around his back, urging him on.
When he entered her it felt as though had entered a different reality, a world coming back to him that he’d nearly convinced himself was only a dream. A fraction of his mind registered that he was doing to Gwen what Jack hadn’t, maybe out of some final deference to her relationship with Rhys, and that he was doing so without protection despite the box of condoms within easy reach. It should matter, he should stop, but he was deep inside her, and it felt too good to do anything but keep going.
It wasn’t until he felt a encouraging hand on his back that he realised Jack had returned and was clearly enjoying the spectacle.
By that time Ianto was too far gone to care and Gwen was heading there with him. Her hands gripped his shoulders, and she was moaning his name. He vaguely sensed Jack by his side, wanking to the same rhythm he was using to fuck Gwen. Ianto knew he was finally giving Jack what he wanted, but more importantly he was getting what he wanted. Jack and Gwen, both completely wrapped up in him.
That moment of clarity was followed by a hot rush that suffused Ianto’s whole body and kept throbbing whilst he held Gwen tightly through her own trembling release. Their hearts pounded together, until she subtly indicated that he needed to get off of her so she could breathe more freely.
Sweating and exhausted, he slid off Gwen and found Jack waiting on the other side of the bed, his own cock spent and hand sticky with appreciation of Ianto and Gwen’s performance.
“Thank you. Thank you so much guys. That was beautiful.”
His voice sounded hoarse, as though he’d been moved nearly to tears.
Jack reached over and took Ianto’s face in his hands, kissing him firmly on the lips, not in passion, Ianto noted, but with sweetness and gratitude, and what Ianto truly believed, was love.
He then reached across the bed to bestow one on Gwen that appeared to be identical.
“Now do you understand?” he asked, clearly addressing them both.
Ianto understood. This feeling, being with two people and knowing they loved him, and he loved them, was better than anything he had ever experienced with one person. He was exhausted, but happy and all he’d had to do was give up everything he’d ever believed about himself.
Jack had been right all along.