Pairing: Owen/Ianto, Owen/Gwen
Genre: Slash (het)
Summary: After Gwen finally leaves Owen, Ianto is left to try and pick up the pieces.
Author’s Notes: *manic laugh* I am so glad I wrote this. I am so proud of it. I’ve managed to make absolutely everyone unlikable and convinced myself I want to write more with this pairing. *bounces* Ianto/Owen is lovely yummy mild hatesex, or at least apathysex. Woot. Finished at about half midnight so I’m not sure as to how much sense it makes. *shrug*
Owen is drunk and angry when it happens. Drunk because he is trying to make himself forget, and angry because Gwen has finally got herself a conscience and walked away. Again. Like it hasn’t happened three times before.
Ianto thinks that he worked out about what Owen and Gwen were doing before anyone else did (except maybe Jack, but then he’s just one big mystery after another). Firstly because, as he has pointed out several times before, he has eyes, and secondly because, funnily enough, he is also equipped with olfactory senses. He could smell Owen’s aftershave all over Gwen as he brought her her morning coffee, put two and two together, and realised that tactful silences and lots of industrial strength coffee would be the best route of action. (Ianto also thought about saying to her do you have any idea what you’re doing? or maybe this is a bloody awful idea that cannot end well, but he had already learnt the hard way that no one ever, ever listened to him, so instead he just bit his mouth shut.)
Unlike Tosh, who needed a psychic necklace to help her connect the incessant blushing and flirting and Gwen’s sudden flushes at nothing. Ianto still wonders from time to time just what she heard in his head, but knows better than to ask, and besides, on some level, he doesn’t actually want to know. But it became the pterodactyl in the corner, so to speak, Owen and Gwen’s increasingly sordid affair; the thing they all knew existed and none of them would say a word. Ianto, for his part, took to running a damp cloth over most of the flat surfaces in the Hub before he went home. After accidentally seeing a piece of CCTV footage that Tosh hadn’t quite erased, concerning Owen, Gwen and the autopsy room table, then what appeared to be the morgue drawer, and then- Jesus Christ, was that his carefully organised reception desk? Was nothing sacred? Anyway, Ianto realised that he could never be too careful. (Quite where Jack was while all this was going on, Ianto decided that he never wanted to find out.)
It all peters out in the end, Gwen deciding that actually this isn’t something she can do and keep her sanity in any shape or form, and Owen sulks in the way that only he can. And none of them can say anything, because that would imply that they knew in the first place. It’s ridiculous, really. But Torchwood rules are Torchwood rules and no one says I told you so, although it’s a close-run thing from time to time. Ianto can’t help noticing Jack turning away with words stinging his lips, Tosh blanching and leaving the room. He doesn’t find it as difficult to keep quiet. He was hired for his coffee making, not his conversational skills.
But it’s getting beyond late and into early-hours-of-the-morning-late and Jack is nowhere to be found and Ianto wants to go home, but Owen is sitting on the floor under the autopsy room table sulking with a bottle of Jack Daniel’s, and there is no way that Ianto is leaving him here. He could break all kinds of things, make too much mess. (And Ianto does have other things to think about, but not many, not since Lisa was killed.) So he sighs, and eases himself onto the cold floor beside their doctor.
“Owen,” he begins slowly. He’s got Jack off to bed several times, shaking hands carefully unbuttoning those pale blue shirts, telling Jack calmly that if he vomits over Ianto’s shoes, then he will find some way to make him die, and stay dead. (Oh yes, he’s not supposed to know that either. What a lot of things he can’t talk about. No wonder he can’t hold a straight conversation with anyone that doesn’t feature the words coffee, pterodactyl, there’s been a report of some strange kind of- or whoever it is that keeps- in it.) But it isn’t like this with Owen, and Ianto is more than a little wary.
Owen is drunk but far from the almost-catatonic state Jack can get himself into (but no hangover in the morning- some men have all the luck), and he offers Ianto a half-smile as the Welshman settles himself down.
“Drink?” he offers, holding out the bottle. Ianto takes the bottle without a word, then gets up and walks over to tip the little that remains down the sink. Owen makes a few expletives of protest, stumbling out from under the table to try and stop him, but co-ordination is obviously one of the earlier things to go with him, because he falls helplessly over. Ianto silently thanks his quick reflexes as he catches Owen before he falls onto the rather unforgiving concrete floor (Gwen will never take you back if your nose is broken. Ianto adds the thought to his list of things he’ll never say).
Owen is warm, and heavy, and laughing. Ianto leaves the now-empty glass bottle in the sink and shifts Owen so that he can loop the man’s arm around his shoulders.
“Come on,” he says quietly. Torchwood is bigger than just the main Hub where they all work, and there’ll be somewhere he can bed Owen down for the night. The two of them make a slow and ungainly progress through the Hub, Myfanwy screeching fit to burst in the roof because the lights are still on and it’s late, and into the maze of corridors that only Jack and Ianto know their way around. There are plenty of rooms around here. Somewhere he can dump Owen, and just go home.
“You’re mad, Ianto,” Owen is mumbling. “Bloody mad. Fucking insane.”
“And why would that be?” Ianto asks carefully, opening a door to his left and manoeuvring the two of them inside. A cot, a lamp, a table, a chair. One of the depressingly drab underground rooms Torchwood has to offer. It’ll do.
“Why the hell are you still here?” Owen asks, as Ianto takes him over to the cot and unceremoniously lays him down on the mattress.
“Because someone has to make sure that you don’t choke on your own vomit before sunrise,” Ianto replies quietly.
“That wasn’t what I meant.” Owen is lying rather helplessly on the bed, obviously not in the mood to do anything to help himself. Ianto sighs and begins to unlace his boots for him.
“If I left, you’d all suffocate under the weight of your own crap and paperwork in about three days,” he tells him. It’s both a lie and it isn’t. Owen is too out of it to even really notice. Ianto calmly tugs off both Doc Martens and leaves them, neatly lined up, at the foot of the low bed. He’s just leaning over to help Owen out of his t-shirt (because right now he has little to no choice and someone’s got to do this) when Owen’s fingers close around his wrist. Tight. He carefully sits himself up, free hand splayed against the cheap mattress, an unreadable smile on his face. Ianto takes a breath and then Owen reaches up and pulls Ianto’s face down to meet his own.
Owen tastes like booze and his mouth is sloppy against Ianto’s, but it’s the first contact that Ianto has had in so fucking long (“And who was your last snog with Ianto?” “My tragically dead girlfriend, you know, the one you murdered last week?” And that was a lie too, wasn’t it, because when he woke up after Lisa tried to kill him, Jack’s mouth was glued to his, and there was no way that the other man was trying to resuscitate him. Not unless resuscitation now entailed some form of rather complicated tongue work. Anyway. Yet more delicious lies).
“You’d actually let me do it. You’d actually fucking let me do it.” Owen is laughing again, but his hand is still tight on the back of Ianto’s neck and there’s only a knife-edge of a decision now. Owen is so pissed he won’t remember this tomorrow. Ianto wonders what exactly is in this for him and then thinks of the cold and resoundingly empty bed in his flat and murmurs:
“I could stop you if I wanted to.”
“Oh really?” Owen sounds like he wants proof of this, but Ianto kisses him again instead, harder, deeper, and he feels Owen’s eyes close, eyelashes fluttering against his face. Neither of them really want this, it’s not even a thought that either of them have entertained before, but it’s dark and it’s cold outside (and in here too; is Jack really so cheap that he won’t pay for heating?) and right now loneliness is the prevailing emotion. Owen has Ianto’s suit jacket pushed back over his shoulders in seconds, landing on the floor and then his hands fist in the still-crisp white shirt underneath.
Ianto could walk away, and it’s doubtful that Owen would remember this tomorrow. Instead, he pushes Owen back onto the thin and uncomfortable mattress, bracing hands on either side of the other man’s head, their legs tangling together, Levi’s sliding against the stiff black material of Ianto’s suit. He could still stop this. He could still walk away. But if Gwen can fuck Owen, then lord knows he can. And Owen kissed him first. He will maintain that. Owen kissed him first.
He wakes up the next morning, five a.m by some kind of internal alarm, naked and entwined with an equally nude Owen. Ianto sighs quietly, and then carefully levers himself upright, picking up his clothes from the floor and then tugging the blanket over Owen, to give him some shred of dignity. If Jack even notices the shower going this early, and that Ianto has had to break his spare suit out of its storage locker, then he doesn’t mention it. If he knows what Owen and Ianto did last night, then he only reveals it with a slightly too broad smirk. Ianto smirks back. We all know exactly how good I am at ignoring common sense and making bad decisions, sir.
Ianto tells himself that Owen doesn’t remember. That waking up alone and stark naked with spunk on your legs isn’t necessarily a sign that you slept with the secretary, and certainly the doctor doesn’t mention it. Ever. It’s a relief, to be honest. A break in a certain kind of tension and he no longer feels the urge to spit in Owen’s coffee (not that he ever did. It would ruin the masterpiece that his coffee is). Owen doesn’t know what he did, doesn’t care, wouldn’t even consider that it could have happened.
But then there are afternoons when Ianto catches Owen looking at him for a little too long, and he wonders.