Pairing: Ianto/Gwen [with pieces of Jack/Ianto, Jack/Gwen, Ianto/Lisa, and Owen/Gwen]
Challenge/Prompt: fanfic100, 075. Shade
Word Count: 1983
Genre: Het [slash]
Copyright: Pink Martini, Tempo Perdido [Wasted Time].
Summary: Ianto watches Gwen dress, and wonders if it would be inappropriate to ask her to put the kettle on when she leaves.
Author’s Notes: Written in the form of 100 word drabbles. One more for the Jack-being-gone patchwork I’m still weaving. Kind of mean and nasty, and very fun to write. Even though I’m not 100% certain which aspects of their characters I’m trying to show here… *grins* Spoilers only for one tiny line of dialogue in 2x02.
mesmo derramando lagrimas
It’s nearly funny; Gwen pacing his flat in her knickers, mobile pressed tight against her ear.
“I’ll be home soon,” she promises, voice too bright. Either Rhys is stupid or desperate, because the lie glistens on every word. Ianto dispassionately traces the curves of Gwen’s breasts with his eyes. “I love you,” she adds, semi-naked in another man’s home.
This is what fear can shove you into. Ianto watches Gwen dress, and wonders if it would be inappropriate to ask her to put the kettle on when she leaves.
He pulls the covers over his head and doesn’t say goodbye.
eu nao te posso perdoar
It is debateable who is using who here.
Owen’s face is mostly purple, ranging from a dark colour that is nearly black to an almost lilac-pink at the edges. Ianto’s knuckles are bleeding and his mouth tastes like salt. Somehow, it was always going to come down to this.
Tosh and Gwen aren’t bothering with recriminations, even though they’ve broken each other. Ianto’s lips leave a smear of red on the rim of his coffee cup.
“Let’s call it a truce,” Owen mutters, not looking up.
“For now,” Ianto replies, and spits a tooth into the palm of his hand.
mesmo que tenho sofrido
It no longer matters if Jack comes back or not. It’s too late and they can’t put what they’ve learned into cardboard boxes, to be filed under Experience and promptly forgotten.
That’s not how it works.
Tosh’s fingers echo on the computer keys and who knows where Owen is and Ianto is just so very, very tired. They’re destroying each other and the world is trying to destroy them and sometimes it’s just too much.
He sits and watches Gwen watching her phone ring.
“Are you going to answer that?” he asks.
She doesn’t reply. He wasn’t expecting her to.
todo o meu tempo perdido
“My girlfriend died. And for some stupid reason I love fucking authority figures.”
Ianto is drunk which is a bad idea because he is expected at work in about four hours and there’s no way he’ll be sober in time. He’s in yesterday’s suit and it’s got tequila soaked into it, and it’ll probably smell like cigarettes forever, no matter how many times he dry cleans it.
“Have you considered therapy?” the bartender asks, looking bemused, pushing another glass in Ianto’s direction.
“I’d probably wind up fucking the therapist,” Ianto says. He laughs humourlessly. “It’s been that sort of year.”
nunca mais eu quero amar
Gwen looks at him askance, dark hair loose across the pillows, and Ianto knows that whatever she’s about to say, he’s not going to like it.
“You know,” she begins, and Ianto genuinely cared for her before all this began, “I sometimes wished…”
Ianto laughs before he can stop himself. He doesn’t want to hear it.
“Well,” he murmurs, “Aren’t you the lucky one.”
“Do you wish you were me?” Ianto asks. “This is where you’d be if your wanting had paid off.”
There’s a pause.
Ianto stares at the ceiling. “I bloody wish I wasn’t me.”
hoje fico procurando
“Why haven’t you shot me back yet?” Ianto asks at three a.m.
“I’m not a fucking idiot,” Owen responds a little too savagely. “We need all the people we can get at the moment.” His smile twists. “But when Jack’s back…”
Ianto can keep pushing this line of conversation, or they can resort to breaking each other’s fingers. It’s getting to that point between them; nothing’s settled.
“So you think that he is coming back?”
Owen scowls. “I’m not having this stupid fucking conversation anymore. The what-ifs and the wondering; they’re driving me bloody crazy.”
“Is that a ‘no’?”
esquecer sua maldade
The pages of his diary are thick and smooth under his fingers, and it depresses Ianto that they’re so full of mistakes. His neat handwriting in black fountain pen recording the things that no one really wants to remember; fuck ups and accidental affairs and tragedy that he just stumbled blindly into.
Even reading shorthand accounts of conversations and actions and all the things in between doesn’t make this bubble seem any more real.
Ianto’s phone rings; it’s Gwen. “Can I come over?”
He’d tell her to stop, if he thought he could.
Must get better at this, he writes.
conviver no abandono
Gwen has freckles and were it not for the emptiness inside threatening to rip him apart, and also for the fact Gwen has a boyfriend, it would almost be nice.
It’s nice not to be alone, at any rate.
She swallows, and Ianto watches the subtle shift of muscle under her skin with blurring eyes.
“Am I Jack’s replacement, or am I Lisa’s?” Gwen asks eventually, like she genuinely cares about the answer.
Ianto’s not playing this game. “Shouldn’t you have learned your lesson with Owen?”
She looks like she wants to hit him; but they’ve both got a point.
para fazer sua vontade
Tosh’s eyes have that oh so attractive red-rimmed look; she’s either been up all night, or crying copiously, or some unholy combination of both.
“I can’t find Jack,” she says softly. “I thought I’d be able to crack it but I can’t.”
“We’ve all come to that conclusion,” Ianto tells her. “So now it’s time to move on.”
Tosh offers him a sideways look. “We can’t all fracture Owen’s ribs to blow off steam,” she reminds him.
Ianto behaves himself and doesn’t point out that Gwen seems to be trying to work her way through the team. It won’t help.
a pasar de ser sincera
This isn’t an existence.
Drinking black coffee, shagging Gwen, trying to score points off Owen, watching Tosh struggle to hold it together. Team Torchwood is crashing and burning and no one knows how to stop.
“Harkness fucking knew how this would affect us,” Owen snarls, vicious, “And he still left.”
Ianto’s shirt is torn and his knuckles are raw.
“This isn’t about you, Owen,” he says patiently. “It isn’t about any of us.”
They broke three mugs when Ianto pushed Owen out of his chair and the ceramic is sharp on the floor.
“You can say that again,” Owen mumbles.
tu e que me fez chorar?
Broken limbs, broken hearts, and a dead alien oozing stickily in the back of the SUV, which prophesizes an evening spent with industrial strength cleaning solutions.
Gwen is crying, clinging to Owen and sobbing helplessly. Tosh is driving because she’s the only one not trembling, and later on, they are going to have to dump six bodies in the Bay. Owen has a gash in his hairline that’s dripping blood into his eyes and all in all the damage is just too much right now.
Ianto leans his forehead against the window, and misses Lisa so much his teeth hurt.
nao faz mal – segue o destino
Ianto takes a while examining the ring. It’s a nice cut, not too flashy, but it feels weighty enough in his hand. It’s a lovely engagement ring.
“It’s beautiful,” he says, handing it back. “Rhys has taste.”
Gwen’s mouth twists slightly desperately.
“Yes,” she agrees, turning it over with shaky fingers.
“You should go,” Ianto tells her, “It’s late.”
She’s pulling him deeper into something he wasn’t really invested in to begin with.
“I can’t,” Gwen whispers, “I don’t know how to.”
Ianto sighs and watches as she sets the ring on the bedside table with a determined, decisive click.
que o mundo vai te ensinar
They used to be, well, not exactly professional, but they certainly had an air of professionalism that they could function within. At least, they managed to swish about in black coats being bloody rude to anyone who came near them, and it sort of got them through.
Now Gwen gives out the orders and Tosh selects which ones she wants to follow and some days Ianto point-blank refuses to make coffee at all, and Owen seems to spend most of his time drunk or shouting. People die, and they still can’t get it together.
Jack would be so very proud.
mas mesmo assim…
“What’s Jack like?” Gwen asks, a rip of words in the quiet room.
Ianto swallows. “We shouldn’t have this conversation.”
It’s enough that none of this is about him; he doesn’t want to acknowledge that it’s solely about Jack.
“Please.” Gwen looks tired, curious, like she’s been working up to this question for days.
“Fine.” Ianto is too exhausted to hold into anything resembling sanity now. “It’s all about him, about what he can take. Jack is rude, he is selfish, and borderline vicious sometimes.”
“His manners are atrocious, in other words,” Gwen says. She smiles. “I thought as much.”
mesmo derramando lagrimas
Owen is drunk at work, which is nothing new, but is never a good omen.
“You just love fucking the boss, don’t you Ianto?” he hisses. “Like you’re nothing unless you’re desperately flinging yourself at whoever’s running the operation. It’s sad, really.”
Ianto knows Owen doesn’t really mean it; the anger and fear is coming out all wrong. It doesn’t stop him seeing red.
He grabs one of Owen’s precious alien plants in its sturdy ceramic pot, and throws it through the hothouse window, sending glass everywhere. Down below, Tosh screams.
“Next time,” he warns quietly, “That’ll be you. Understand?”
eu nao te posso perdoar
Gwen likes to be on top and Ianto misses Jack just enough to let her be. Her body weight pinning him down isn’t enough like Jack for the memory not to sting, but it’s a start.
Her eyes are closed and Ianto watches her and thinks, tiredly: I’m not enough like Jack for this to really work, and you’ve got Rhys when you don’t want to be alone, and I’m only really doing it because I fell into it and you’re the boss and I don’t respond well to change, and sooner or later you’re going to realise all this.
mesmo que tenho sufrido
A couple of weeks later, and most of the physical and emotional bruising has faded.
When required to they manage to open Jack’s safe and take out a needed alien artifact without anyone wincing at all.
“We’re making progress,” Ianto decides, when a week goes by without anyone dying on their watch.
Owen gives him a tentative smile. “We’re getting there,” he agrees.
Ianto doesn’t want to kill Owen anymore, Tosh seems to have started both sleeping and smiling again, and they all listen to Gwen when she gives orders.
Maybe this is as good as it’s going to get.
todo o meu tempo perdido
For some unknown reason this whole thing seems to be getting steadily more tawdry and Ianto isn’t sure how to feel about that.
Gwen’s mouth tightens and she’s going to get married at some point. Ianto is tired and not really connected to any of this any more – he’s just waiting for Jack to return and if Jack never returns; well, he wasn’t doing all that much with his life to begin with.
“Do you-” Gwen begins thoughtfully.
Ianto nearly laughs. “Go home to Rhys,” he says calmly. “Go home to Rhys before it’s too late.”
Gwen flushes. “Thank you.”
nunca mais eu quero amar
Of course, Jack does come back, his bastard smile like he was never gone. And they won’t tell him about Tosh’s tears over CCTV footage, or when Owen and Ianto nearly killed each other because they forgot how to limit their despair.
Gwen brings Ianto a coffee one evening, and he knows before she opens her mouth.
“Don’t worry,” he murmurs. “I won’t tell Jack.”
It’s too impersonal here; he can look at Gwen and never think that he slept with her. That she was his breakdown for months on end.
Eventually, it’ll be like it never happened at all.