Notes: This is basically lemniskate's fic, because she came up with the whole idea and made me do the hard part. All my good ideas come from her. Spoilers through CoE (though it's only for something mentioned in passing in "Day One").

Pairing: Jack/Ianto

Rating: PG-13 for language.

Disclaimer: Torchwood and its characters are the property of the BBC and Russell T. Davies. I make no profit from this fanfic.

Suzie watches Ianto and smirks to herself. The pup's only been at Torchwood Three for two weeks but he's already dancing attendance on Jack. His behaviour isn't really as strange as it might first seem; nearly everyone seems to have that reaction to Jack at first, before they become resistant to either his charm or the so-called pheromones (51st century, my ass, she thinks sometimes). Ianto's just short of shameless, though, but Suzie figures after the way he begged for the job, he's a little eager to prove he's capable.

She makes a bet with herself on how long it'll take for Jack to fuck him. It's not Jack's policy to sleep with his employees (well, except for one remarkably boring night on stakeout in the SUV, but that's between her and Jack), but she sees Jack looking back at Ianto and knows the question isn't if but when. It's none of her concern: she has bigger fish to fry. Office politics bore her. And whether Ianto's looking for distraction or looking to distract, well, she's sure he'll succeed. He is very pretty in a suit, and he does make a good coffee.

It's a month before she finds them kissing in the autopsy bay early one Friday. They don't hear her. Jack has Ianto pressed down on a stairstep and Ianto's hands are in Jack's hair. An abandoned coffee mug sits nearby. Suzie smirks and goes soundlessly to Jack's office to retrieve the resurrection glove from the secure archives, giving Ianto wordless thanks for his unwitting help.

Gwen's first impression of the interpersonal relationships in Torchwood is that everyone is sleeping with everyone else. She's not uncomfortable with the idea that Jack, so handsome and warm and with that devastating smile, is also interested in men, or that he's flirting with the coffee boy. But she sees Toshiko's glances at Owen when she thinks Owen isn't looking, and Owen insults her the way boys at school did before grabbing ponytails and yanking (and then kissing them behind the shed), and it doesn't really surprise her somehow when she realises that Ianto's flirting back with Jack.

She's a little jealous, sure, but -- well, she has Rhys. All right, fine, she's jealous. Jack's gorgeous and there's something about the way he looks at her, the way he puts his arm around her and brings her in against him, that makes her breath hitch in her throat. If he took her hand and kissed her, she'd follow him anywhere.

But he doesn't. Gwen starts to wonder if Owen's right and Jack is gay. When she has thoughts like that, she swears at herself for thinking too much about it. Torchwood is a job and sleeping with co-workers is just fucking unprofessional. (Snogging Owen in a body drawer, though, she's already planning to repress.)

She expects Jack to force an amnesia pill on Ianto after they dispose of the ex-girlfriend-turned-Cyberwoman. When Jack puts Ianto on four weeks' suspension instead, Gwen demands to know why. Jack refuses to answer her.

It's not until she's laying in bed much later that night, Rhys snoring beside her, that the lightbulb goes on.

Toshiko's so astonished and relieved to see that Jack is alive again -- after days of uncertainty and waiting, none of them sure that he'd revive after death-by-Abaddon -- that all she can do is run to him and hug him tight. She's not normally given to demonstrative displays, but there aren't words for how good it is to see him walking around like normal, if a bit grey around the eyes. Ianto's a few steps behind her, crossing the walkway from where they were both cleaning up, and she steps aside to give him a turn, expecting to see nothing more than a simple handshake, perhaps a masculine one-armed hug. Ianto's always so closed off, so reserved--

Her second shock of the day is seeing Jack tug Ianto into his arms and hold him for long tender moments, while Ianto sinks against Jack as if he's not ready to believe it either -- and when Jack pulls back, it's only far enough to press a kiss to Ianto's mouth. Tosh has seen men kiss before; it's nothing new or even particularly titillating in this instance. But this warm, sweet moment, as if Jack's reassuring Ianto that it's all right, that he's alive: it makes her eyes blur a little.

So much has passed before her and she hasn't even noticed.

"In what way?" Ianto Jones asks, and John Hart absently notes the jealous note in his voice. Possessive. This one, he'll have to keep an eye on.

Not that that'll be a hardship.

"In every way," he smirks, just to see the flicker of anger behind the dark blue eyes.

Rhys Williams is simply too stunned by his first sight of the Hub to take in much else at first. There's so much to see, from the machinery tucked into the base of the water tower that he'd never seen as more than a bit of pretentious sculpture, to the dragon painted on an upper wall next to a greenhouse full of exotic-appearing plants, that he barely absorbs the names of the people introduced to him by Jack Harkness -- the smug bastard he'd suspected of screwing his fiancee. The man's a little too handsome for his own good, but Rhys has to admit he puts a plan together well.

He doesn't quite get the dynamic of the pretty Japanese girl and the scowly doctor, but when the butler or whatever he is comes around with coffee, Rhys figures he's got him sorted, at least. Nice Valleys boy, polite, does his job, no questions asked. He takes a mug and thanks him -- Ianto, that's right, good solid Welsh name. Ianto nods by way of reply and then delivers the last mug to Harkness's office.

From his vantage point on the couch, Rhys can see Ianto setting the last mug down on Harkness's desk. Harkness puts down the pulp novel he'd been reading and reaches for Ianto's hand, fingers loose around Ianto's wrist, before Ianto can withdraw. Rhys blinks. Ianto doesn't seem to mind. If anything, he allows Jack to tug him closer.

Rhys's cheeks flame and he looks away, buries his attention in his coffee. Oh. He's all right with that, really he is. One of Harwood's drivers is gay and no one gives a toss; the boyfriend's a nice bloke who shows up occasionally to bring Aled's lunch or give him a lift home. They don't broadcast it, though, and this Harkness clearly doesn't care who sees, since his office is all glass in front.

He darts another look up. Ianto's perched on the desk now, but they're talking, their body language businesslike. It relieves Rhys. At least it's not all sex all the time around here.

Martha genuinely adores Jack, as she has pretty much from the first moment they met, while she was kneeling over what she thought was his corpse, only to have him awaken and immediately begin flirting with her. They bonded over the Doctor's inability to see what was under his nose, and a year of pain that never was cemented their friendship. When he asks her for a red UNIT cap, she laughs indulgently.

Later, though, she gives Ianto a subtle once-over. He's cute, sure, and has a dry way of delivering a quip that makes her grin; she's still amused when she thinks of how flustered he got when he saw her identification in the Tourist Centre. Still, he's no pushover; he's quick and smart, reeling off the information she'll need for her cover story at the Pharm.

Martha's not nosey; really, she's not. But she can't help testing these people surrounding Jack. Making sure they're good enough for him, even if they knew him before she did. She feels oddly protective of him. It's purely out of concern for Jack that she tells Ianto about the beret request.

Well, mostly out of concern. Ianto's response is priceless.

Owen really doesn't give a flying fuck about Ianto or what he and Jack do in their off-hours, as long as it doesn't interfere with his own work. Ianto may claim he and Jack aren't in a relationship, that it's "not like that", but Owen hasn't missed the quiet glances, the wordless communication between the two of them, and he's not even paying attention.

In his opinion, it's one of the dumber things Ianto could have done. Even if Jack has the capacity to be monogamous, getting involved with the boss is never a good idea. And in Torchwood, where anything can happen anytime (Owen himself being unliving proof of that), it's generally not a good idea to let yourself get that involved (see above, re: proof).

Most nights he just stays at the Hub now; there's not much point in keeping an expensive flat when he can't appreciate any of the comforts or privileges that go with it. When he starts sticking around to keep an eye on the Rift monitors, Jack tells him he doesn't have to. "Not like I have anything better to do," Owen says, and Jack ruefully nods in agreement.

After a week or so, Owen realises that Jack's going home with Ianto nearly every night. It's not something that he registers quite consciously, more of a casual observation. He wonders idly if it's just a convenient arrangement or what. Not that he cares. The two of them could be living together or just screwing for all he gives a shit.

In a very distant way, he supposes he might be a little jealous of them. Or maybe he just feels sorry for Ianto. It's got to be pretty rough, being with someone who you know will outlive you by centuries.

He does make an effort to be nicer to Tosh, though.

Halfway out the door, Stella Courtney remembers something she wanted to mention to Jack. She tells Gwen to go get the cab for her and says she'll be right back.

It's a short trip back up in the lift to the floor where Jack had been placed during the strange crisis with the phone virus. She smiles a little, briefly nostalgic for the days thirty years ago when she was mad for the handsome Captain -- and how she'd decided not to see him anymore when it became clear that his interest was not in her alone. All these years later, she finds there's still a lingering fondness. It's sweet to know that she's remembered with the same affection.

She opens the door to the private room and stops. Jack's still in his hospital gown, sitting on the side of the bed where she left him, and Ianto -- that devoted young man -- is clutched in his arms. Neither of them speak. She can see Jack's eyes closed, an expression of deep tenderness and sorrow on his face that wasn't there moments before.

Quietly, she lets the door close without disturbing them. The thing she'd returned to say suddenly doesn't matter at all.

When Gwen asks her what she had to go back for, she just shakes her head. She knows her smile is false now, but it doesn't particularly matter.

PC Andy Davidson only met Ianto Jones once or twice. He recognised the rest of Torchwood easily from seeing them at so many spooky crime scenes. But Ianto wasn't as much of a field agent at first, so Andy knew him more by reputation than sight; he'd overhear someone using their earpieces to call back to "Ianto" at their base, wherever that was, and assumed he was some nerdy fellow with glasses and an X-Files t-shirt. Then -- when Ianto had been promoted to field work during the strange absence of poncy Captain Harkness -- Andy finally realised that the tall, dark-haired, slender man in the tasteful three-piece suit was Ianto Jones. Had he ever got it wrong.

After the explosions that rock Cardiff, Gwen asks to have Andy assigned to them while they got the city working again. While Torchwood can't help with the heavy lifting (and was, indeed, still reeling from the loss of two of their own), they can at least take care of the things that had been disturbed by the blasts. Andy quickly finds himself learning about Weevils, where they're likely to nest, and how to subdue one (a blast in the face with sedative spray and a shout for whoever he's with -- usually Gwen).

One day, though, it's Ianto who comes jogging out to meet Andy where he's parked on the Plass. "Not a Weevil thing today," Ianto says as he gets into the passenger side of the patrol car. "Some artefacts got uncovered up by the Castle." He reaches into his pocket and then swears. "Bugger. Be right back--"

While Andy's still blinking -- he'd been expecting Gwen -- a figure appears out of nowhere, running up the Plass to the car. Bloody Harkness, Andy swears under his breath. Competent man, but a prat nonetheless. Still, when Ianto sees him, he breaks into a wide and unlikely smile and rolls down the window.

"Forgot your PDA," Jack says, stopping at Ianto's window and handing over a small device that looked capable of reprogramming NASA. "That's so unlike you," he adds, teasingly.

Ianto's smile is softer, now. Proprietary. His fingers brush Jack's as he takes the PDA from him. "Maybe I wanted you running after me for a change."

Jack grins, gives Andy a nod and a wink, and steps back from the patrol car. As Ianto rolls the window up again, Andy drives off, determinedly not looking at Ianto.

(OK, it's not that he cares if someone he barely knows is gay, and one touch is hardly a confirmation. But shagging the boss? That's kind of weird, isn't it?)

"There's two men together over there," Phil says, and Susan cranes her head to look.

"Will you be quiet," she hisses over her shoulder. Her husband's voice carries across the room in ordinary conversation, but fortunately, the chatter and general bustle of the restaurant seems to have drowned him out. If the men at the table in the corner heard him, they make no sign of it.

Really a shame, she thinks, in that absent way she always does when she sees two handsome men who are obviously a couple. She'd never say it out loud, and most of the time it doesn't even enter her mind as a conscious thought. They're slightly apart in age, one of them as handsome as a film star -- especially when he grins, as he does now, white teeth bright in a tanned face, deep dimples flashing up the already-gorgeous smile. She can't see the other one's face from where she and Phil are sat, but he has a cropped head of dark hair and sits hunched forward a little over the table, his focus intent on the other man.

"Stop staring," Phil grumbles, and Susan drops her eyes before looking back at him. "You're just as bad."

"Not nearly," she mutters. "I think it's sweet."

"'Sweet'." He makes a noise. "Think about what they get up to. It's not decent."

"It's perfectly natural!" she says, affronted. "Animals do it all th' time."

"Yeah, see? Animals."

It's an old argument, and by the time they find a new topic, the couple at the corner table have paid their bill and are making their way out of the restaurant. Sipping her second glass of wine, Susan surreptitiously watches them approach. The one she'd seen first, the film-star-looking one, has donned a coat -- a long, grey-blue affair that harkens back to the 1940s and makes her think of RAF pilots. The other, slenderer through the shoulders, tall as his dining companion but in a business suit--

Susan's cheeks go scarlet and she gapes for half a second before shutting her mouth with a snap. She doesn't think he's seen her, but she ducks her face down as they pass anyway. Phil is watching her, she knows, but she keeps her mouth shut and her eyes down until the two men have left the restaurant.

"What?" Phil says, finally, when Susan looks up at him again.

"That was Ianto." He looks blank and she shakes her head. "Ianto Jones! Rhiannon's brother!"

"He never," Phil says, and now he twists in his chair to look, even though the two men are well out of sight by now. "No!"

Susan takes another long gulp of her wine to soothe her nerves. "I'd know him anywhere," she says, shaking her head. "It was him, I'm telling you, it was Ianto."

No doubt about it: she's going to have to interrogate Rhiannon about this as soon as possible.

Outside Le Gallois, Jack squeezes Ianto's hands, threads their fingers together.

"People were looking at us in there," Ianto says quietly. It's more an observation than anything, but Jack tilts his head to look at him.


Ianto ponders it for a moment, then smiles. "Jealous. Definitely jealous."

Hearing Jack's laugh ring out in the night air, he grins.

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this page last updated on 9 september 2009