Title: Never Have I Ever
Rating: R (Mostly for bad swears)
Spoilers: S1 Torchwood, thru “End of Days”
Pairing: Jack/Ianto (implied), Gwen/Rhys (implied)
Summary: While Jack is away, the release of alien spores into the Hub has some unexpected results.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
A/N: As always, a big thank you to ares132006 for betaing. Comments are love!
It was exactly 14 minutes and 37 seconds when they discovered that the spores released when Owen had cut into the dead Ataxoli had not only placed the Hub onto automatic lockdown, but also had some unexpected side effects. The team, in reaction to the cessation to the more auxiliary power sources, including the air conditioning, had reverted to various stages of undress and rather carelessly sprawled on the metal-grated floor surrounding the Rift manipulator. Ianto had stripped out of jacket, tie and waistcoat, and rolled the sleeves up of his dress shirt. Owen had not been so modest. Ianto couldn’t imagine there was ever a time that he had wondered whether or not their medic was a boxer or briefs kind of bloke, but he was inordinately glad he didn’t have to experience seeing Owen in his Y-fronts. The dancing chili-pepper shorts were an interesting choice, however.
Jack had only been gone for two weeks, and his absence was a distinct presence, tainting every setback. Today’s antics hadn’t exactly aided in boosting team morale.
Tosh cleared her throat, clearly looking for a way to lighten the mood. She turned towards Gwen. “So, how was ‘date night’?”
Gwen grinned at the memory. “Oh, it was quite lovely. I drank an entire bottle of wine in order to blur the edges of the panic I feel at having been appointed leader of you all, and then I let Rhys shag me blind on the settee while we watched ‘Strictly Come Dancing”. Her eyes went wide, and she slapped her hand over her mouth in horror.
This was Ianto’s first indication that all was not well. He regarded the group, who were registering emotions ranging from distress to unexpected amusement. “Hey, Tosh, what do you think of this shirt?” He had been experimenting with color lately, and the shop clerk had assured him that carnation was the new black.
“It looks like you’ve finally decided to plant your flag in the ‘gay’ camp.” Owen let out an elated cackle. Tosh’s mouth fell open, stunned, and she hastily tried to retract her statement. “I mean, it is quite nice, actually… Really! It, um…brings out your eyes!”
“Save it.” He tiredly ran his hand over his face. “Right. So. Apparently, the spores had a bit of a side-effect, then.”
“So…wait.” Owen stood, and Ianto actually winced at the glaring white of his bare legs. “What are you saying here?” He ran his hand over his hair, mussing his sweaty locks into wild whirls. “Are these truth spores?”
“Yes, Owen. Your powers of observation never cease to amaze.” Thankfully, the spores didn’t seem to have an effect on sarcasm. He stood, attempting to place some distance between himself and the others. “Let’s just all go to our own separate corners, and forget this ever…”
“So, how’s Jack as a shag?” Ianto’s head shot up in surprise at Gwen’s voice. She had a bit of a challenging gleam in her eye, but had the decency to look appropriately apologetic.
“Amazing. Fantastic. Best sex of my life.” Ianto continued to take steps backwards, realizing he was literally and figuratively being driven into a corner. “This isn’t exactly fair….”
“Oh give it a rest, Ianto.” Owen almost looking predatory as he advanced, not even attempting to hide his glee at the situation. “Do you honestly give a flying toss about any of our sex lives?”
“NO…but…” Ianto didn’t miss the inexplicable look of hurt on Gwen’s face. “Look, why don’t we just…”
“Come on, Ianto. It wasn’t all hearts and flowers, was it?” Owen shot him a knowing grin.
Ianto had enough time to garner a good glare before feeling compelled to answer. “No. He has terrible manners in bed. Leaves the moment it is over.” His face heated involuntarily, and he shot a pleading look at Tosh, who seemed oddly intrigued by the affair. He started as his back hit the wall, and he struck out at the most convenient target. “Owen, you ever fancy shagging Janet?”
“Yes.” Ianto felt slightly victorious at the shocked looks the girls turned in Owen’s direction. “No! Wait! It was just the once.” He hung his head. “I was pissed out of my mind, and you’d sprayed her with that alien aphrodisiac.” Owen lashed out, trying for redirection. “You still fantasize about kissing me, Tosh?” Ianto felt an icy dread settle in his veins. This amusing little foray into a drinking game sans the drink had just taken a nasty turn.
“Yes.” Tosh sounded very small.
Gwen finally decided to step up, showing that flash of leadership that Ianto knew Jack had seen in her, redirecting the conversation onto safer shores. “Ianto, are you in love with Jack?” Maybe he had grossly over-estimated her managerial abilities.
Ianto slapped his hand over his mouth, but apparently he was unable to prevent his head nodding in affirmation. He desperately sought a confession that would stave off any further lines of questioning. “You should all know that I have read all of your files. Even the encrypted ones. And, I have a photographic memory.” There. That seemed to work a treat. The resounding silence was suddenly (mercifully) filled as the generators kicked on, indicating an end to the lock down. Ianto scrambled up and away, escaping to the tourist office where he knew no one would follow without a valid reason.
After enough time had passed to allow for everyone to lick their respective wounds and pretend like nothing had happened, Ianto decided to venture downstairs and make everyone one last coffee in an effort to demonstrate that there were no hard feelings. They were, after all, a small skeleton crew, the remnants of those left behind, destined to stand watch over the Rift. He delivered a hot drink to each of them: Owen, black and vaguely the consistency of tar, Gwen, extra light, 2 sugars, and Tosh, dash of cream. He himself retreated to the battered couch, quickly draining his own beverage despite the pervasive heat that the newly circulating air conditioning had yet to chase away. He felt the first pull of exhaustion soon after finishing, and swiped at his eyes in an attempt to focus.
Gwen called out loudly enough to get everyone’s attention. “Right. Well, I am feeling completely done in, and I do believe that after today we deserve a night off. Go home, everyone! See you in the morning!” She yawned widely as she left, the alarm from the cog resounding loudly in her wake. Ianto noticed that she pointedly avoided making eye contact with any of them.
“I think that fatigue must be another side-effect of the spores.” Owen unceremoniously dumped his mug on the small coffee table, his lack of coordination causing the dregs to splash over the side and onto the wood surface. Ianto sighed, knowing he’d have a ring to tackle come morning. “I am right knackered.” Owen left via the alarmed door as well, ever making the grand exit.
Tosh approached more carefully, settling her mug down next to Owen’s. She regarded Ianto silently for a long moment. “So. Am I going to need you to remind me of the security protocols come morning?”
Ianto gave her a lopsided grin, not at all surprised that she had caught on. “Nope. Jack was very careful when instructing the exact administration of dosages. Should only be a few hours gone at most. You probably won’t even notice the difference.” He stifled a yawn behind his fist.
She stared at him a bit longer, before giving him a small head tilt of acknowledgement and exiting.
Once he was alone, he moved on automaton towards the small hole in the floor in Jack’s office, collapsing diagonally across the small bed. He clutched a pillow to his face, trying to pull out the remains of the fading scent as he drifted off to sleep.