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ianto in blue

Not Just a Tea-boy


Title: Not Just a Tea-boy
Pairing: Ianto/Jack (mentioned), Owen & Ianto (friends)
Rating: PG-13 for some swearing
Genre: General, Character Study
Warnings: A little swearing and mentions of a m/m relationship
Summary: Threats at Torchwood come in all shapes and sizes. One day its a marauding Weevil, the next its a colleague with a gun who’s a little pissed off. And sometime the battles you wage are simply ones for information.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, nada, neinte. It all belongs to Russell T Davis and the mighty BBC, our favourite Aunty.
Author’s Notes: This was written for a fic exchange at tw_ficexchange for dancing_hamster and my prompt was Owen and Ianto in the field. Well, I didn’t quite stick to that. There is an alien threat and there is conflict, but it’s of a different variety. I don’t think we see enough fics where Owen and Ianto are forced to get along because of something other than a life or death situation. So the field is the Hub and for all that they are a team, it doesn’t mean that they are friends.

Also, this is purely dialogue.... and the key to it is...

CAPS – denotes shouting
Italics - denotes emphasis


“SHIT! SHIT SHIT SHIT BUGGERING BLOODY BOLLOCKS! AND WHY WON’T THAT SODDING ALARM SWITCH OFF ALREADY!”

“IT’S PROGRAMMED TO SOUND FOR A FULL THREE MINUTE WARNING.”

“IANTO!?”

“CORRECT.”

“UH, WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?”

“I THINK, OWEN, THE MORE PERTINENT QUESTION WOULD BE WHAT WERE YOU DOING? THAT ALARM DOESN’T GO OFF WITHOUT REASON.”

“I WELL I UH… I THOUGHT YOU WENT HOME.”

“YES OWEN, BECAUSE I HABITUALLY LEAVE THE OFFICE BEFORE EIGHT O’CLOCK.”

“NO NEED FOR SARCASM.”

“WHEN DEALING WITH YOU OWEN, I FIND SARCASM IS OFTEN A SAVING GRACE.”

“HUMMPH.”

“I’LL ASK AGAIN – WHY IS THE ALARM GOING OFF?”

“I THOUGHT EVERYONE’D GONE!”

“THAT DOESN’T ANSWER MY QUESTION!”

“I KNOW! FUCK WHEN IS THE ALARM GOING TO FUCK OFF!”

“IN ABOUT THREE SECONDS. TWO. ONE. Ah, blessed silence. You were saying Owen?”

“My ears are ringing.”

“Yes, I imagine they are.”

“What? Why are you glaring at me like that?”

“I want to know what you were doing to cause the alarm to go off.”



Owen.”

“Well…”

“Is that the corpse Jack told you not to touch?”

“Maybe?”

“And why is it out of quarantine?”

“Because I though you’d all gone home?”

“You started an autopsy on an alien Jack specifically told you not to touch.”

“Two things; firstly it’s a xenopsy really or even a necropsy as this thing is more animal than humanoid and, secondly, I thought you’d all gone home!”

“Owen is that thing contagious?”

“Maybe?”

“I swear I am going to kill you.”

“Sorry mate, already dead.”



“Ianto?”

“Go away.”

“Ianto?”

“Owen, if you don’t get out of my sight in the next three seconds I am going to throw what I believe to be an Omorodian Solar Flare Grenade at you, and pray that there isn’t enough left to fit in a dust-pan.”

“Going, going!”



“Uh, Ianto?”

“Yes Owen?”

“You’re not armed at the moment are you?”

“Not at the moment, no.”

“Good.”

“Just because I’m not armed doesn’t mean you were invited in.”

“’S Jack’s office, not yours.”

“And I’m Jack’s part-time shag. It’s one of the perks.”

“Yeah, about that…”

“If you apologise I will shoot you.”

“Thought you said you weren’t armed.”

“I’m not, but Jack keeps a M1911A1 Colt under the desk.”

“Huh. That’s kind of paranoid for a man who can’t die.”

“Just because he can’t die doesn’t mean he can’t get hurt.”

“Woah, easy mate, I didn’t mean anything with it.”

“Yeah, well he does die Owen. He just comes back. I’d have thought that you, of all people, would have some compassion for that. But then again, look who I’m talking to.”

“That was harsh.”

Really?”

“Yeah. I care. I just….”

“Don’t show it?”

“Whatever.”

“Did you actually want something?”

“Yeah, blood.”

“Aren’t we taking this walking dead thing a little too far?”

“Har har Teaboy. Arm.”

“Why Owen, you spoil me with your chivalrous bedside manner.”

“You’re a riot and a half. Ever think of stand-up?”

“I did, but I think it would cut into my valuable time.”

“What coffee making?”

“Amongst other things. Ouch! Just because you have lost all feeling, although I doubt there was much there before, doesn’t mean the rest of us haven’t!”

“Stop whining you big girl. And did you just turn away?”

“It’s a vial full of blood Owen.”

“I’d have never thought you were the squeamish type.”

“I’m not squeamish; I have to clean up after you don’t I? I do believe that there was an army of mould down here at one point. And beneath that small infectious colony was a pile of coffee cups. If I were squeamish Owen, I wouldn’t get half of my job done thank you.”

“Then why turn away? Here, put that on it and press down hard. Don’t want a bruise.”

“Your doctoring skills are a credit to the profession. How do they cope without you? And I just don’t like staring at my own blood as it’s siphoned away. God knows what you’ll do with it in your little shop of horrors down there.”

“It’s a lab thank you very much.”

“You say tomato... What do you need my blood for anyway?”

“Testing for infection.”

“What infection? …Don’t shrug Owen Harper.”

“Doctor Harper.”

“Deceased. What infection?”

“Not sure yet, but something set the bio-hazard alarms off.”

“I thought that was just because you’d taken the thing out of quarantine.”

“Nah, never put it in, just left it sealed up in the body-bag.”

“You mean I’ve been sat in here with something infectious?”

“Yeah.”

Owen. The Hub is in Lockdown. There is no fresh air circulating. Didn’t you think that I might have wanted to know about my untimely demise a little earlier?”

“Well, to be fair, I didn’t know the Hub was in Lockdown.”

Owen.”

“And, I did think I was alone. Didn’t know you were skulking about in the Archives. Bit creepy that mate.”

Owen.

“And I’m doing something about it now aren’t I?”



“I can’t believe you shot me!”

“I can’t believe I missed.”

“Only because I dived for cover.”

“Shall we try again, without that?”

“No.”

“You have no sense of fun Owen.”

“I’ll have you know that I’m the life of the party.”

“What party? The Morticians’ Ball?”

“Oh fuck off! I didn’t mean it like that!”

“I’m sure. I imagine you were referring to your drown-in-a-vat-of-alcohol, shag-anything-that-moves days.”

“Not anything. I didn’t shag you did I?”

“Well no. But then, I have standards.”

“Yeah, course you do. That’s why you crawled back into Jack’s bed the minute he re-appeared.”

“Not that it’s any of your business, but no. I did not ‘crawl back into Jack’s bed’ as you so elegantly put it.”

“No? Colour me shocked.”

“I would, but I don’t think Dulux make anything to go with off-dead white.”

“Did I mention you should be a comedian?”

“Yes, but I think I’ll take job advice from the living if it’s all the same. After all, it is called earning a living for a reason.”

“Bastard.”

“You wound me.”

“Yeah well, least you’d heal if I did.”

“Depends what you did. After all, if you’ve exposed me to some alien superbug, I don’t imagine that I’ll heal from that.”

“You’d get superior medical care throughout though.”

“Are we hiring someone new?”

“I don’t have to check your bloods you know?”

“You didn’t have to expose me to an alien virus, but that didn’t stop you did it?”

“I’ve already apologised for that!”

“Actually I don’t think you have. Not once has the phrase ‘I’m sorry’ crossed your lips. Actually, that’s a lie. You apologised for being dead.”

“And for calling you a part-time shag. Or I tried to.”

“Yes, well, the less said about that the better.”

“Trouble in paradise?”

“I’d hardly call my relationship with Jack paradise. I’d hardly call it a relationship really.”

“What would you call it then?”

“None of your business.”

“Fine, be like that. No skin off my nose.”

“What exactly are you testing my blood for?”

“Numerous things; viruses, fungi, spores, bacteria, nanotech, pathogens, prions and viriods. The usual shit. Ooh, let’s not forget the parasite smear, that’s always fun.”

“I’m sure it is. I don’t think I need to be tested for rabies Owen.”

“You deal with Weevils.”

“They aren’t rabid.”

“No but they spend enough time in the sewers.”

“Owen, unless I am very much mistaken, rabies has been eradicated in mainland UK.”

“Yeah, but Weevils don’t come from mainland UK do they?”

“No, but I’m not exactly frothing at the mouth am I?”

“Well, Jack’s not in the room so no.”

“And surely if you feel the need to check for rabies of all things, you should do checks for diseases like Weil’s disease. You know: sewer type infections?”

“Shall I check for Y Pestis while I’m at it?”

“If you feel the need. How long are these tests going to take?”

“Well, since I am now testing for Leptospirosis and the plague, a couple of hours. Why?”

“It’s just... Jack is going to wonder why he can’t get into the Hub.”

“So, he’ll just have to phone us and find out.”

“Full Lockdown Owen. No phones, email, video conference, shouting through doors. We can’t communicate with the outside world. I am sure you recall the night we brought back Suzie.”

“Oh. Yeah. So, it’s like that?”

“Precisely. Only without a homicidal dead woman.”

“Well, goodie for us then.”

“My thoughts exactly.”

“And when do we get unlocked?”

“Well, normally, the protocols state that within the next hour the Hub is going to get hotter. And I mean hotter. So hot I’m going to want to go for a swim in the Rift pool. Yes, my thoughts exactly. Then, when it’s hotter than the Sahara – which will be novel for Cardiff – the lights will cut out and it’ll go on to UV.”

“Irradiating any airborne disease.”

“Exactly. We should be let out as soon as the internal sensors are satisfied that it’s safe. Shouldn’t be anymore than twelve hours; twenty-four at most.”

“How the hell do you know all this stuff?”

“It’s my job. And I read the manual when I arrived.”

“We have a manual?”

“‘Torchwood Three Standard Operating Procedures and Hub Guidelines’, I believe it is filed under Jack’s filing system as ‘I’ for irrelevant. I refilled it under ‘S’ for Staffing Procedures and there is a second copy under ‘H’, Hub.”

“You are quite anal you know that?”

“I have been told.”

“Did you suffer any ‘conflicts’ during early childhood?”

“No, but I am beginning to think that Jack did. He has quite the oral fixation.”

“I really didn’t need to know that.”

“No, but since we’re going to be stuck here for the duration, I thought that I might as well work on scarring you mentally. It may be my only opportunity.”

“You are warped.”

“I work for Torchwood. It’s a pre-requisite.”

“Wait, back up a minute. You said ‘normally’. What did you mean normally?”

“I am assuming that my blood work comes back clean.”

“And if it doesn’t?”

“It’s a good job you don’t need to eat.”


“So, the tests are running. Should be done in an hour or so.”

“Great.”

“You know, if we were working with standard Earth equipment, some of those tests would take upwards of six hours.”

“Really.”

“Not very chatty are you?”

“So, you had noticed.”

“What, that you’d fled to the dungeon dimensions. Yup. I am a genius you know.”

“Is that a fact?”

“I have the certificate to prove it.”

“Good for you. Was there something urgent you wanted Owen?”

“Nah. Got bored so thought I’d come annoy you.”

“Joy.”

“Yeah, that’s what I thought too. So, what d’ya think Harkness is up to right now? Trying to open the invisible lift with his fingernails?”

“I think that’s a little dramatic. Although we are talking about Jack, so anything is possible really.”

“No, seriously? Do you think he’s doing his nut right about now? It’s been four hours. Bloody Hell! That means Harkness has gone a full eight hours without sex! Assuming you had your usual nooner.”

“We did and it’s been only five hours.”

“Five? When did you… You know what? I don’t want to know.”

“Then don’t bring it up.”

“So what do you think he’s doing? Now that we’ve established he hasn’t reached his horniness threshold.”

“Hopefully he’s contacted Tosh.”

“Why Tosh? Why not Gwen?”

“Well, for one, Gwen is in Greece and there is very little she could do from there. And two, Tosh has a Hub monitoring system set up at hers.”

“She does?”

“Yes.”

“Does she ever take a break?”

“Owen, you are perhaps the only one of us that ‘takes a break’.”

“Not true. Gwen’s not here.”

“I think a honeymoon is a little different to coming in hung-over or leaving the minute the minute-hand hits six.”

“I don’t come in hung-over any more.”

“You would if you could still drink.”

“And I stay past six.”

“Only because you can’t go bar crawling. Or curb crawling for that matter.”

“Still, I am the model employee.”

“Yes. The model employee, who ignores all protocols regarding hazmat and quarantine.”

“Thought I was on my own didn’t I?”

“What’s that got to do with anything?”

“Well, I can’t catch anything off a corpse anymore so I tend to do autopsies when no one else is in the Hub. It’s easier; I don’t have to wear one of those rubber suits anymore. Do you have any idea of how awkward it is to do an autopsy in one of those things?”

“More awkward than trying to stuff a mutilated squid in the incinerator whilst wearing one?”

“Were you wielding a scalpel?”

“No. A poker.”

“I still win.”

“If you say so.”

“Oh come on! Fight with me!”

“Owen, it is pushing forty degrees in here. I am hot. I have been in this building since six a.m. I am tired and I might have some alien disease. What could possibly make me want to fight with you?”

“I’m bored.”

“You could always do your paperwork.”

“Yeah, right.”

“Why are you sitting down?”

“Just ‘cos I’m dead doesn’t mean I have to be uncomfortable.”

“Could you be comfortable somewhere else? And don’t tip back on that chair, it isn’t …safe.”

“Ow.”

“Yeah. That happens a lot to Jack as well.”

“Why the hell would someone have a chair that you can’t tip back?”

“Because you are meant to sit on chairs, not swing on them.”

“How old are you? Ninety?”

“How old are you? Five?”



“So, she was wearing this little black lace number – garters, crotchless panties – the works and I was -”

“Owen. We’ve been in here for eight hours. At what point did you decide that I wanted to hear about your sex life?”

“About the time you decided that you would rather file, despite the lack of light, rather than talk to me.”

“If I stop filing will you stop talking?”

“Sure.”

“Thank God.”



“So, if my sex life is out, then that leaves us with only yours to talk about.”

“Couldn’t we talk about movies instead?”

“What was the last film you got to see?”

“I watched half of The Core the other night.”

“Half? Why only half?”

“Because I fell asleep.”

“Are you sure you weren’t being distracted by our fearless leader?”

“Quite sure.”

“What’s with that?”

“With what?”

“Well, you two have been shagging for what? Almost a year now -”

“Actually, more like six months, with Jack taking an extended vacation between months two and three.”

Six months then, and you’re still saying it isn’t a relationship.”

“That’s because it isn’t.”

“Yeah, but when I said that to you with the whole Bilis, Tosh and Jack in the Blitz, Abbadon thing, you shot me.”

“I shot you because you tried to open the Rift.”

“Semantics. You would have shot me for that alone.”

“Owen, whilst you are the singularly most annoying person I know, it would take a little more than you deriding my relationship with Jack to make me shoot you. Not that it is a relationship, but I can’t be bothered to think of a better word right now.”

“So it is a relationship!”

“Do you not listen when people talk?”

“Oh, I listen. ‘Cept when they are talking utter drivel, which you are by the way.”

“No, I’m not.”

“Yes you are.”

“No, really, I’m not.”

“Oh, but really, you are.”

“Owen, I’m not.”

Ianto, you are.”

“I’m… I’m not doing this with you.”

“Spoil-sport.”

“Child.”

“Whatever. Point still stands; you and Jack are in a relationship.”

“No, we aren’t,”

“Then what was that whole ‘Jack needs me’ speech?”

“Never, ever, try a Welsh accent again. You sound challenged.”

“Yeah, well,‘s a stupid accent anyway.”

“Oh, and yours is so refined.”

“Hey! London is the capital.”

“Of England.”

“Of the UK.”

“And Cardiff is the centre of the Universe. We have even have a Rift in Time and Space to prove it.”

“Yeah, I can see that going on the tourist brochures.”

“So you’ve seen the new merchandise in the Tourist Office then. Maybe I won’t have to bring it up at the next team meeting after all.”

“Har har. You still didn’t answer my question.”

“What question?”

“Don’t try that with me Teaboy. I know you’ve a bloody good memory.”

“Almost eidetic.”

“Really?”

“Yup.”

“How’d you know that?”

“Was tested when I was twelve and again when I joined Torchwood.”

“That’s not in your medical file.”

“Of course it isn’t. I wiped my file my second month at Torchwood Tower. Realised that perhaps they weren’t the type of people I wanted having information like that.”

“No shit.”

“Yeah, well, at least I wasn’t a blind sycophant or fanatic like the rest of them.”

“Except… well except Lisa I imagine.”

“Hmm… No, I think, well I know, she trusted Torchwood. Believed they were working for the greater good. Right up until it killed her.”

“And you didn’t?”

“Oh, I believed that what we were working for was right, but not how we were working. I think the Sycorax invasion just confirmed that for me.”

“And no one else noticed?”

“No. They were either too busy being enamoured by the whole ‘secret agency’ thing or too busy playing God in their own little corner of the Tower. There were a couple of dissenters, but there are in any organisation and I think most of them just hoped that they would be foisted off on Jack rather than Retcon.”

“Why on Jack.”

“He had a reputation.”

“Naturally. I don’t think there is a part of the Universe that hasn’t heard of Captain Jack Harkness.”

“Even the very end if we believe his stories.”

“You don’t?”

“I know him too well.”

“Hey! What the hell does that mean? I know him too?”

“All I meant was that I know Jack well enough not to fall for his stories and charm. I didn’t mean that you didn’t know him Owen.”

“Should bloody hope not! I might have to spend eternity with him!”

“I don’t know who I pity more.”

“Bitch.”

“I do try.”

“You know, you’re very good at this.”

“What? Conversing. I imagine even the smallest micro-organism communicates somehow, so it’s not that impressive really.”

“I meant the distraction. The slight of hand.”

“What ‘slight of hand’?”

“The way you tried to distract me and deflect the conversation away from your relationship with Jack?”

“Why would I want to do that?”

“Dunno. You tell me.”

“Not right now.”

“You alright mate?”

“Not sure. Feeling a little hot actually.”

“I’ll get my bag.”



“Temperature’s a little high, but that’s to be expected. Drink this.”

“What is it?”

“Don’t worry it isn’t coffee, I didn’t dare touch the machine. It’s water.”

“Why is it in a coffee cup?”

“Couldn’t find a glass.”

“I’ll kill him.”

“ ‘Cuse me?”

“Jack. I am going to kill him.”

“Why exactly?”

“He promised he’d replace the glasses. He threw the last three at the wall during a video conference with UNIT.”

“Who was he talking to?”

“General Wright.”

“Git.”

“Jack had a more colourful description for him.”

“I’ll bet. Had to deal with him while Jack was away. Talked to him once and never want to do it again.”

“I wondered why you handed over power to Gwen so quickly.”

“Yeah well, she wants to be a people person, he’s people, she could start with him.”

“General Wright being classed as human is still up for debate.”

“Yeah, but Gwen does her people personing with aliens too. So it was win-win really.”

“For who?”

“Me.”

“Of course. Who else?”

“Speaking of Gwen -”

“Save your breath Owen.”

“What?!”

“Don’t even try to look innocent. You haven’t been innocent since you were in a fallopian tube.”

“All I was going to ask was: doesn’t she drive you batty?”

“Not really.”

“How? How can you be like that? So… indifferent? If there was someone I was shagging -”

“Thank you.”

“– and someone else was constantly making moon-eyes at them, I’d be royally ticked.”

“No you wouldn’t. You’d be infuriatingly smug that someone else wanted your fuck buddy.”

“Well, yeah, obviously. But I’d still be pissed.”

“Really.”

“I was when Gwen was all doe-eyed over him when we were shagging.”

“Yes, but that was because you were being ignored.”

“Well it was inconsiderate of her.”

“Yes. It was also inconsiderate of her to go back to Rhys too.”

“Nah, that was fine. Knew the score with that one. But the thing she has with Jack. The one that means she runs after him all the time or sucks her fiance’s tongue down her throat to make him jealous? That I don’t get.”

“Uhuh.”

“And you aren’t the least concerned?”

“Not really?”

“Why?”

“Why are you asking?”

“Nothing better to do.”

“What about my test results? I think they might be slightly more important at this juncture.”

“Oh, didn’t I say?”

“Say what?”

“The diagnostics were finished about half an hour ago.”

“And why didn’t you tell me?”

“Dunno. Didn’t seem relevant to the conversation.”

Owen.”

“Now, I know that tone. Heard it before. Right around the time you shot me I think.”

“Shot at you. You moved.”

“Lucky for me.”

“I hear that you get better with practice. And, since this would be the third time I’ve shot you I have a feeling I might make this one stick.”

“Now, hold on a second mate.”

“I’m holding. See, my finger is holding the trigger back.”

“I meant put the gun down.”

“Why?”

“Because I’m proposing a trade and you’re not meant to do them at gunpoint! There’s somat in the Geneva Convention ‘bout it I’m sure.”

“I’ll humour you. But I reserve the right to change my mind.”

“Nope. Either take the deal now or try shooting me. And just remember, you shoot me, not only do you have to do the clean up the mess but you have to deal with Tosh and Jack. And Gwen.”

“I’m listening.”

“We have a deal?”

“We have a deal.”

“I want you hear about your relationship with Jack.”


“I can’t believe I’m doing this.”

“Neither can I really.”

“I can’t believe you’re holding my test results hostage to hear about me and Jack.”

“Not just hear; I want all the gory details.”

“Do you honestly expect that to happen?”

“No, but I am holding on to your results.”

“Fine. But no details.”

“We’ll see.”

“Where do you want to start?”

“The sex.”

“Why am I not shocked?”

“Do you blame me? Harkness must be an animal in the sack.”

“I wouldn’t go that far.”

“Are you saying that Jack Harkness isn’t the best sex you’ve ever had?”

“I’ve had better.”

“What?!”

“Oh, yeah, and there’s this thing he does, with his tongue, that he thinks is one of the Seven Wonders of the Universe or something, and I’m not all that keen. Bit too much saliva for my liking.”


“I… uh…”

“And then there’s the whole condom issue. Man refuses to wear one, even though I have no idea where he’s been or what he’s done.”

“Huh…”

“And frankly, he’s just too enthusiastic. He’s like a jack rabbit on speed. It’s more annoying than hot. Oh, and then there’s the stamina issue. He sure seems his age at times.”

“I… well… I don’t…”

“Are you enjoying sharing Owen?”

“You bastard!”

“You looked like someone had murdered your puppy.”

“Well how would you feel if someone pulled the rug out from under you like that?”

“I never realised you worshipped at the temple of Jack Harkness Sex God.”

“Devoted follower.”

“Good for you.”

“So, is he really that bad?”

“What do you think?”

“That if half of his stories are only half true, you are one lucky boy.”

“That I am.”

“So he is good?”

“Do you think I’d put up with all his shit if he weren’t?”

“I’d wondered.”

“Care to enlighten me?”

“Well, I thought at first that perhaps you were in love with him. Or perhaps school boy crush meets hero worship. I couldn’t decide.”

“You thought I was in love with him.”

“Well, yeah. You were always there when he called, ready with his coat or coffee or files. And it was always ‘Yes, sir’, ‘Of course, sir’, ‘Three bags full sir’. It really got on my nerves.”

“It’s called being efficient Owen. I know you are unfamiliar with it, but some of us like to practise it.”

“Whatever. It was bloody annoying.”

“So, because I was good at my job, you thought I was in love with Jack?”

“It wasn’t just that.”

“So what was it?”

“You forgave him. No matter what Jack did, what shit he pulled, you forgave him. And when you forgave him after he ran off well, I figured that you must love him to be so…”

“You thought I was in love with him. It didn’t occur to you that I was merely being sensible?”

Sensible?

“Yes. What’s the point of holding mistakes against someone? Sure he hurt me; he hurt a lot of people. But one thing I know about Jack is that he isn’t malicious. You could leave him at the end of the Universe and he’d probably still forgive you. I don’t think he’d hold anything against a person unless they hurt someone he cared for.”

“I so don’t follow.”

“Simply put, Jack isn’t selfish. You can kill him Owen and he’ll still save your life. But hurt his friends, his family, then there is nowhere you can hide.”

“Ok, so you forgive him because it was the right thing to do. Because you love him.”

“It’s not that.”

“Sure you do. It’s either that or you’re just in it for the sex.”

“It’s not that either. Although, the sex is great.”

“I don’t like that smile. What’re you thinking of?”

“It’s private.”

“Do you want your results?”

“All I’ll say is that Jack is… innovative when it comes to sex. Bordering on the avante-garde even.”

“Really?”

“Mhmm.”

“Well fuck.”

“What?”

“Well now I’m disappointed that I didn’t take him up on his offer when I first started.”

“Jack propositioned you?”

“Uhuh.”

“Jack propositioned you?”

“Yup. …Hey! What’s so funny?”

“Just, it’s just the idea of you sleeping with Jack. I’m not sure who’d be the bigger queen in that bed!”

“So you’re not jealous?”

“No, why would I be?”

“Because you’re involved with him! See, that’s what I don’t get. For all you two say it isn’t a relationship, I don’t see either of you seeing other people.”

“We see you lot.”

“Don’t be dense. Jack hasn’t been sleeping around like he used to since you two started shagging and he hasn’t taken Gwen up on her blatant offer.”

“You’re surprised by that?”

“Well yeah, he obviously fancies her.”

“So do you!”

“And I’ve had her.”

“Classy Owen.”

“You know what I meant!”

“I did.”

“So you don’t care that Jack fancies her.”

“Not really.”

“Why?”

“Because, I have come to conclude that if Jack and Gwen got together they wouldn’t last.”

“Gwen wouldn’t agree with you.”

“Probably not. But then again, no matter what she thinks, she doesn’t know Jack.”

“And you do?”

“No. Haven’t a clue about the man. But I know enough.”

“Like?”

“He needs his secrets, his space. He needs his masks and cavalier attitudes. And Gwen doesn’t see that.”

“So?”

“So, she’d try to change him. She has this image of Jack fixed in her head. He’s a white knight and she’s stuck in the tallest tower. And she can’t handle it when the reality fails to match the fantasy. She wants flowers and romance and love, fairytale stuff. You can see it every time Jack proves he’s human by messing up or making the decision that gets someone hurt. Gwen wants the dream and Jack isn’t that. Jack’s human. He’s flawed and fallible and only a fool would think otherwise.”

“You sure you aren’t in love with him?”

“Positive.”

“He might be in love with you?”

“Not a chance.”

“But why?”

“Because I’m not that selfish.”

“How is being in love selfish? Everyone wants love Ianto. Even me. Hell, especially me. I want someone to go home to, to curl up with, talk to. Fuck into the mattress. Well, I did. I ain’t got that option anymore, have I?”

“I wouldn’t say that.”

“What? What you on about? Who’d want a corpse?”

“Perhaps someone who can appreciate the cerebral as much as the physical?”

“Know anyone like that do you?”

“I might.”

“Yeah, well, we’re not talking about my love life are we? We’re talking ‘bout yours. Jack specifically.”

“Like I said before, it’s selfish. And complicated and really not a good idea.”

“Well, explain it to me.”

“Fine. But bear in mind that I am doing this under protest and duress.”

“Duly noted.”

“And blackmail isn’t an attractive quality.”

“But it gets me what I want in the end. You want your results and I want to know about you and Jack.”

“Fine.”

“Good. Get on with it.”

“I don’t want Jack to fall in love with me.”

“What?! Why the hell not? You want to be just his part-time bit of office eye-candy? And I can’t believe I just quoted that moron. Seriously though? You just want to remain his part-time shag? The one he goes to when there’s no one else available? Don’t you want to be the one to say ‘I tamed Captain Jack Harkness, Intergalactic Lothario and Gigolo’?”

“No, because then I’d have to say that I was one of the people who broke Captain Jack Harkness.”

“You are making absolutely bugger all sense mate. Mind explaining it in terms a mere genius like myself can understand?”

“If I wanted Jack to love me, truly wanted it, I would have to condemn him to an eternity of mourning me. Because that’s what happens to him when he falls in love, he loses the person eventually. And I can’t do that to him. I, well I suppose I care about him too much to want him to love me. So if being a part-time shag is all I get, then I can live with that.”

“You love him though.”

“Perhaps. But it doesn’t matter. I worked out a long time ago that love and Torchwood do not mix.”

“Cos we have no lives.”

“No, because we have too much power. Look what I did because I loved Lisa. I was so blinded by my love and devotion to her that I almost set a Cyberman loose on the world. And it only takes one. I could have destroyed everything, because there was no Doctor here this time. No Daleks, no tear in dimensions. It would have been us against one Cyberman and we wouldn’t have won.”

“Ok, so you and love don’t have that good a relationship -”

“Owen, you misunderstand me. It’s not just me, it’s all of us. You wanted to open the Rift. Not for Jack or Tosh, but for Diane. It was an understandable want. Anyone would want a lost love back, but we actually have the capability of trying to do it. And we unleashed Hell. Real Hell.”

“So I screwed up.”

“And then there was Tosh. Look at what Mary did to her. All because she wanted to go home.”

“Yeah, but Mary used Tosh.”

“True, but my point is still valid. Love allowed Mary to manipulate Tosh. If Tosh didn’t work for Torchwood, Torchwood with all its connections, powers, technologies, if she hadn’t worked for us, then Mary wouldn’t have gone after her.”

“But it’s still not the same.”

“Even Gwen has damaged Rhys by working for Torchwood. One of our cases got him shot. A few inches over and he could have been dead. There was even an alien at her wedding Owen. At her wedding, her special day. Face it. Love and Torchwood get people hurt and killed. We need rationality not emotion on this job. That’s why we’re all perfect for our job.”

“All but Gwen. She’s too emotional.”

“No, she is good at her job. Because her job is to remind us that we deal with people, not just things. Her job isn’t to liaise with the police or whatever shit Jack told her. It’s to remind us that people get damaged by what we do. And one day, when she’s too damaged herself, Jack will find someone new, someone else to remind us to be human and they bat their eyes at him and the cycle will start again. Only difference being they won’t have my coffee.”

“No one has your coffee Ianto. It should be illegal to be able to do that to a coffee bean.”

“Yeah, but it’s good.”

“Oh yeah.”



“You know. I was wrong about you.”

“Hmm.”

“You’re really quite smart.”

“Well, that coming from a genius such as your fine self is quite the commendation.”

“I was trying to pay you a compliment you know.”

“I know. I just felt that perhaps the moment was getting a little too emotional. We are men after all.”

“Manly men.”

“Damn straight.”



“I have your results by the way.”

“I’d forgotten about that. So, what’s the verdict Doc? Am I dying?”

“You are awfully matter of fact about these things you know. Practically morbid.”

“I’m Welsh. I was eight before I realised that a cagoule was an optional piece of clothing for the rest of the world. It lends a certain amount of practicality to life.”

“Right.”

“My results?”

“Yeah. Ok, well… Ok, firstly I want to say something. Something I should have said a while ago, but well, I’m a prat.”

“Can I have that in writing? …Hand gestures can’t be used as evidence in a court of law Owen.”

“Shut up a minute. This is serious.”

“Oh god, I’m dying aren’t I?”

“What? No! What the hell made you say that?”

“You’re being all melodramatic and soap-operaish. Speeches like that usually lead to death-bed confessions.”

“I knew you had no life.”

“I’m in good company then aren’t I?”

“See, that’s what I wanted to talk to you about. I need to thank you. You’re the only one who hasn’t treated me like I’m a freak for being dead. You haven’t treated me differently.”

“I thought you were a freak before you died Owen.”

“Yeah, well, it’s just that Tosh looks at me with this regret and tears. All Jack sees is another of his failures and he’s just – you know he can barely look me in the eye anymore. He’s just guilty and doesn’t seem to get that I’d rather be dead and here than dead in a drawer downstairs. And Gwen, she just pities me. Not sure which is worse really; but I think that if Gwen gives me the big eyes and one of those gentle pats on the shoulder when she gets back she’ll win hands down.”

“It can get a bit much at times.”

“Don’t tell me she does it to you too?”

“Not to quite the same degree, but after Lisa I was ready to wring her neck. I swore that if she asked me if I was alright just one more time I’d feed her to Myfanwy. I think Tosh got to her first though.”

“Shame.”

“Yeah. I’ll let you have a bottle of the special sauce though; just in case Gwen gets to be too much.”

“Thanks mate.”

“Anytime.”

“Anyway all I wanted to say was you don’t do any of that stuff. You treat me normally and I really appreciate it.”

“You’re welcome.”

“So when does this Lockdown lift?”

“In about thirty seconds. Why?”

“Just thinking that if I had to spend another minute with you I’d have to see what a bullet in the brain did to me.”

“Feeling’s mutual Owen.”



“Ianto! Owen! You down here?!”

“Evening Harkness!”

“It’s morning Owen.”

“Well, morning then. Bloody Hell! We’ve been here all night!”

“Once again, you astound me with your superior observational skills Owen.”

“Can it Teaboy!”

“Make me Dead-boy!”

“You know, I thought this time spent together would have caused you to grow. Work out your differences. You know, become friends or at least amicable towards one another.”

“Why’d we want to do that?”

“I hate to do it, but I have to agree with Owen sir. I am too fond of our mutual dislike to consider more. I think we should keep it simple. Stay enemies.”

“What he said.”

“My life would be so much easier if you too got along.”

“Of course it would sir. But this is Torchwood. Life isn’t supposed to be easier here.”

“Let me guess; that’s in the bloody handbook too.”

“Naturally. ‘Chapter Twelve: What to Expect On Joining Torchwood’.”

“The chapters have names.”

“Some even have pictures. I believe Chapter Forty-Five even has diagrams.”

“Ok, before this degenerates further! Ianto, are you staying?”

“No sir, I fear that twenty-nine hours without an apocalypse is just a little too long in the Hub for me. I’m going home to sleep.”

“You ok to drive?”

“I’ll be fine Jack. Drank enough coffee to see me home.”

“You coming in later?”

“I probably will. Want my bed now though.”

“Mine’s free.”

“No offense sir, but that isn’t a bed. It’s a torture device.”

“You don’t usually have complaints.”

“I’m usually distracted. And the only other choice is a floor or wall and at least that thing has a mattress, sheets and is generally clean.”

“Not always.”

“I’m too tired to even affect shock at that Jack. Good night, well morning.”

“Kiss?”

“Don’t have the energy.”

“You’d best get home then. I’ll come by to collect later.”

“I’ll leave the chain off.”


“You’re a lucky son of a bitch you know?”

“Excuse me?”

“Tea-boy. Put it this way Harkness, hurt him, I mean really hurt him and you’ll answer to me.”

“Is that a threat Owen?”

“No.”

“What happened between you two?”

“Nothing. I just realised something.”

“What?”

“Ianto Jones is more than just a tea-boy.”

.

Comments

Thank you!
Thank you for reading it!

I miss Owen too - he was just so snarky!

I have to admit that it didn't start out as a character study but it went that way and worked better than my original plot so yeah...

Glad you liked it!
I love this, you've caught all their voices brilliantly (even if Jack isn't in it much) so I could *hear* every word. Damn Good stuff.
Thank you! Tat is really good to hear... And Jack gets enough screen time as it is! Plus... all you'd see with his statements are innuendo and exclamation marks!
I wish we'd seen more of their fighting in the series.

Glad you liked it!
Fantastic! Lol X)

“I’m Welsh. I was eight before I realised that a cagoule was an optional piece of clothing for the rest of the world. It lends a certain amount of practicality to life.”

Rhod Gilbert? =D
I actually am bastardising something Rob Brydon said on QI... love that show! It just totally fit Ianto.

Glad you liked!
Absobloodylutely brilliant!
Why thank you!
Thank you for this! Especially after this past month, it was *really* wonderful to have this. Needed it. Grateful. I could fully hear both (all three) voices. Thank you for both writing *and* posting it to share with us.
I am very very glad that you liked it! And yes - after the past Torchwood month we all needed a laugh!

Thanks for commenting!
OMG!! Bloody Brilliant. I giggled madly... You have so captured the unique essense of Owen and Ianto's quirky sort of "friendship". It read just like an actual episode... I could see it and hear it...wonderful!!!

“You are quite anal you know that?”
“I have been told.”
*LMAO*
I am glad you enjoyed it.

It was written to be an exercise in voices so I am glad that I got it right!

Thanks!
This is just spot on. Loved it!! You got Ianto's and Owen's "enemies as friends" pairing down pat.

I could actually hear their voices reading this.

Thanks for sharing.
Thanks so much!

I did love writing it - it was quite easy... They just flowed well.

Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for reading!