Title: What I did on my Suspension
Beta: The amazing, wonderful and fabulous jooles34
Characters: Ianto/OMC, mentions of Ianto/Lisa, Ianto/OFC and Janto
Rating,Warnings: I'm bad with ratings, urm, possibly PG-13. Some rude words.
Disclaimer:Whilst I do claim to own my ocs, I don't own the world or characters of Torchwood, but they all play so well together that it would be mean to split them up!
Summary: Ianto decides to use his suspension to reconnect with himself
Spoilers: None that I can think of. Unless you've never seen TW or Who.
Comments really are love! *blows kisses*
Ianto Jones rolled over, stretched and slowly opened his eyes, which came into focus on David Bowie’s leather-clad crotch. At least he hadn’t been dreaming. He was back in his old room, with a life-size poster of Jareth the Goblin King looming over him.
“There are worse places one could be” he mused aloud, while a quick glance under the covers confirmed his suspicions that he was naked again. He idly wondered why he bothered wearing clothes around Lucca; there really was no point, well apart from the common decency thing. He sighed, trying not to think about what might be waiting for him downstairs. It wasn’t until he was pulling his jeans on, again, that he noticed the lingering traces of pheromones in the air were not Lucca’s. ‘Curiouser and curiouser’ he thought as he headed downstairs.
He found Cat sat at the breakfast bar in the kitchen, back door open and sunlight streaming through. There was no sign of Lucca. Ianto hesitated at the doorway, the thick carpet in the hall was warm, the kitchen floor was parquet and he had bare feet.
“Come in Ianto,” Cat said without turning around “Coffee’s on”
Ianto padded across to the coffee machine, shutting the door as he went and wincing a little at the cold floor. He studied the machine for a moment.
“Did Lucca make this?”
“Who else is there?”
Ianto breathed a sigh of relief at this and poured a cup. Cat did not do hot drinks, and as a result, hers were terrible: worse than Jack’s even. Fortunately Lucca could be relied on to produce something close to Ianto’s standards.
“You trained him well.”
Cat’s voice had a ripple of amusement and Ianto turned to find her looking at him and smirking. Ianto allowed himself a small smile and winked at her.
“He always did respond well to instruction.” he replied, raising an eyebrow. The grin got wider as the memory of teaching Lucca how to make coffee flashed through his mind.
Cat gave a soft laugh.
“That he is.” She looked up at Ianto ‘Are you going to stand up there for this or join me?’ She gestured at the chair opposite her.
Ianto knew it wasn’t really a request and reluctantly pulled his thoughts away from interesting applications of hot spoons to ensure correct coffee making and pushed his body from the counter to the chair. Sitting down, he pulled his legs up so he was cross-legged on the chair, keeping his bare feet from the parquet.
“You could have gone and got your slippers y’know?”
“Coffee.” Ianto waved the mug “More important.” He looked at her over the rim of his cup “Where’s Lucca anyway?”
“At work. He had a 4 o’clock and I thought we needed some time to talk.”
‘Here it comes.’ thought Ianto closing his eyes, only to snap them open as something registered in his brain “Four? As in 4pm? How long have I been out?”
“About three hours.” came the reply “This time. Lucca wasn’t sure about earlier.”
Cat looked squarely at him, concern showing plainly on her face.
“Ianto, how long has this been happening?”
“What? The deception, the secrets, the lies, or becoming a ghost? Oh pretty much as soon as you palmed me off on One really” Ianto’s delivery was calm but his knuckles tightened on the mug.
“I meant the bouts of fainting, but the rest is pretty interesting. We never ‘palmed you off’ on One by the way.”
“I didn’t include Lucca.” muttered Ianto.
Cat shot him a sharp look and continued as if she hadn’t been interrupted.
“It was the best place for you at the time. You were stagnating here. One gave you the opportunity to grow, to broaden your horizons. You’d gone as far as you could here, and it would have been pure selfishness on my part to keep you here.” Her voice rose on the last statement.
“Bullshit!” Ianto exploded, pent up frustration and a touch of fear causing him to lose his temper. “I was happy here, I felt safe here, I felt part of a team here. You couldn’t cope with the fact that Lucca and I were that close. For all you lot spout on about 51st Century values being different, it seems that jealousy is still an overriding emotion.” He spat the last out, eager to get the first verbal blow in before she gave him the tongue lashing he knew he deserved.
Ianto pushed the cup away from him and gripped the edge of the table. Standing up, he forced the chair away from him with a squeak of rubber on parquet.
“I do not have to stay here and listen to you yell at me like I’m a child. I’m getting my stuff and going. I was a fool to let him bring me here anyway. You’re still an embittered bitch!”
As soon as the words left his mouth, Ianto realised he’d gone too far. Cat shot up from the chair, eyes flashing, and two spots of high colour in her cheeks.
Ianto sat abruptly, as if his strings were cut, air huffing out of his lungs. Darkness pricked on the edge of his vision ‘Not again.’ he thought and determinedly tried to push it back. He concentrated on his breathing and tried not to think about the fact that she had used The Voice on him.
Cat remained standing, trying to get her breathing under control. This was the real reason she’d sent him to One; she had known that this would happen, that she would end up being an authorative figure to him, rather than the safe haven she knew he needed. Annoyingly he could push her buttons more successfully than Lucca, which was odd considering the amount of time she and Lucca had been together. He was wrong though, she had never been jealous of him and Lucca, envious yes, but never jealous. She knew how happy they made, had made, each other and would never deny them that. Ianto just reminded her of Alice, slightly less bloodthirsty, but still the same steely determination, the same single-mindedness, the same inventiveness.
She took another deep breath, feeling her heart rate calm, and slowly released the breakfast bar, noticing the gouges in the Formica. Damn, she’d have to get a new one made. She really would have to stop having these types of discussions in the kitchen. The last one with Lucca had ended with the need to replace the kitchen completely. And splinters, no matter how much fun you had getting them, were never fun to remove.
“Shall we take this somewhere more comfortable? Somewhere where there aren’t sharp things to throw at each other?”
“Erm, I don’t think I can.”
The waver in Ianto’s voice made Cat look up. He was grey and a light sheen of sweat was clearly visible on his forehead.
“I don’t think movement and I are going to be friends for a while” Ianto said with a shaky laugh
“Oh Ianto. Why do you do this to yourself? Come on, I’ll take you through to the lounge.”
Cat moved round the breakfast bar to Ianto’s side and picked him up, cradling him like a child. She started off towards the lounge.
“You do know this feels dreadfully undignified.” said Ianto, resting his head on her shoulder, and putting his arms round her neck.
“It’ll be even worse if I hit your head on the door frame, and besides, there’s no one here to see us.”
“Oh great, then I could add concussion to my list of ailments.” Ianto said dryly, rolling his eyes.
“So you have a list of ailments then?”
“Oh yes. Currently wounded pride and loss of dignity are quite high on the list.”
“And the bruising?”
“Well yes, but that’s all from the cyber….thing.” Ianto hesitated, not really wanting to break the delicate peace.
“All of them?” Cat raised an eyebrow.
Ianto nodded. They had reached the lounge and she had placed him on the large purple L-shaped sofa enabling him to stretch out. She then sat on the corner of the L, so that she could sit with his head in her lap.
“Even this one?” Cat gently prodded a fading, yellowing bruise on his side and Ianto winced “I know how long it takes for you to heal young man, and that’s been there for at least two weeks. And when was the last time you had something to eat that wasn’t a take-away? Gods, you could play the xylophone on these ribs.” She ran her fingers lightly over his torso and Ianto shivered involuntarily. “Cold?” The teasing glint was back in the green eyes.
“Tickles.” replied Ianto, ineffectually batting at the hand. “And I am eating my vegetables! I ordered coleslaw with the pizzas.”
“Coleslaw is not vegetables! I specifically said vegetables, not cabbage and carrot marinated in mayonnaise, or whatever that foul stuff is!” Cat poked him gently, avoiding the bruises.
Ianto batted at the hand again. “You try sorting out a balanced diet when you’re working all the hours God sends and you never know when you’ll be home, let alone when you’ll sleep again. Honestly three square meals a day is the least of my worries.”
“Fair enough. So tell me about what’s worrying you.”
Ianto looked up into Cat’s face; into green eyes that reflected compassion, worry and a tiny bit of steel, like always. ‘Busted,’ he thought and took a huffed breath. ‘This is it!’
Slowly, haltingly, he told Cat everything, starting from the beginning of his relationship with Lisa, right through to the cyberwoman’s death at the hands of his colleagues. At some point during his speech, Cat started to comb her fingers through his hair, calming and reassuring him. Eventually he got to the end of the whole sorry affair and the fact that it cost Annie her life, for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“And the worst of it is, I’m morning her the most. I hardly knew her, and now she’s dead because of me.”
Cat looked down at the young man in her lap. Ianto’s eyes had stayed resolutely fixed on the ceiling throughout his confession and he looked so young. She was struck by how close he looked to the 16-year-old who had first stumbled through the front door attached to Lucca. Suddenly she realised what Lucca had meant earlier. Ianto really didn’t need any more orders or commands. He just needed to know that someone understood, that someone was prepared to listen to him and not judge. She carried on carding her fingers through his hair, feeling his heartbeat and breathing slow slightly.
“It was better when it was longer.” she said absentmindedly.
“Not you too.” Ianto rolled his eyes at her. “Lucca said pretty much the same thing earlier.”
“What does the Captain think?” she asked lightly.
She had noticed that he had kept Jack completely out of his description. He’d mentioned the others, but steered well clear of the figure of Jack Harkness. She felt him stiffen slightly in her lap.
“What? You thought I wouldn’t notice?” she asked. Ianto looked directly at her and she could see the uncertainty in his gaze. “Well, come on, tell me what you think of our delectable Farmboy.”
Ianto carried on staring at her for a few seconds. He couldn’t see anything in her eyes other than good humoured teasing, and her tone was light. He swallowed. ‘In for a penny,’ he thought and started.
“He’s nice, really nice.”
At her huff of impatience and rolled eyes, he quickly followed with, “he’s a good boss, fair and understanding.”
“And….?” she prompted.
“What are you after? Sordid details?”
She nodded enthusiastically at him.
“Fine! He’s damn easy on the eye.”
“He is that! I remember that first sight of him getting off that star cruiser, all wide-eyed and innocent.” Cat sighed, lost in memories and then realised that Ianto was trying not to laugh.
“Innocent!” he spluttered. “Jack? Innocent? Are we taking about the same Jack Harkness?”
“Compared to us?” She raised her eyebrows.
“Well, I have known you guys longer and we have fooled around more. Jack and I…” He stopped, unsure of how to go on
“Jack and I were still at the snogging like teenagers, hands everywhere stage. And he’s good at that.”
“Yeah…” Her voice was misty with recollection. “Does he still do that thing with his tongue?”
Cat leaned down and kissed Ianto. After a short time, they parted.
“Oh, that thing.” Ianto said licking his lips. “Oh yeah, he definitely does that.”
“Well, I’m glad he hasn’t changed all that much.” she grinned. “He’s still an unobservant fuck though.” Her voice took on an edge of steel as she spoke and Ianto sat up twisting round to look at her, he opened his mouth to defend Jack, but she cut him off with a raised hand.
“Ianto, look at yourself! You’ve got three-week-old bruises all over you, your skin looks terrible and you are as light as a feather. I know I’m strong, but I should not be able to lift you as easily as I can. And you keep passing out.”
Ianto pulled his knees up to his chest and hugged them, this was the conversation he hadn’t wanted to have. It had been easy to hide under the Captain’s gaze, dressed in those terrible suits and replacing conversations about himself with flirtatious banter and innuendo. Jack had accused him of hiding and he was right. Unfortunately it didn’t work with someone who had known him for the best part of ten years.
Cat caught his chin and turned him to look at her.
“Uh uh sweetie.” she remonstrated “None of that here. We need you back to your best. Faint hearts never won fair Captains.”
Ianto raised an eyebrow and got a Look back.
“Ianto Jones, if you are going to sit there and tell me that you feel nothing for that tasty hunk of off-world ass, I will walk the Plass wearing nothing but feathers.”
Ianto had a brief flash of the bizarre image before Cat started talking again. He opened his mouth, but she placed a finger over his lips, hushing him
“Whatever you’re about to say, can it! I know what you’re like and I know what he’s like. If the two of you aren’t at the ‘lingering glances when you think the others can’t see you’ or the flirty IMs stage, I will be stunned.”
Ianto pulled his head away, and stared off into the middle distance
“Yeah, well, that’s probably all come to a crashing halt now hasn’t it? I’ll be lucky if he even looks at me after this.” He said, his unhappiness evident in his flat tone.
Cat tsked gently “He’s done worse you know. I’m not quite sure how much he remembers at times, but trust me, he’s done worse.”
Ianto looked over at her, she looked back with absolute conviction.
“I don’t want to know do I?” It wasn’t really a question.
“Nope. We were all in it together. It’s what we did before…before this.” She gestured with a hand. “And we were all good at it; too good really.” Cat suddenly shook herself and refocused on Ianto. “Oi mister, we are supposed to be talking about you! Not the less than salubrious past we share with your boss and snogging partner.”
Silence reigned for a few moments before Cat gave in.
“Ianto, what have you eaten today?”
Ianto looked back, stunned by the complete subject change. Cat had her head cocked to one side and was looking off into the distance. She had her thinking face on. Ianto ran his mind back over the day, there had been the bacon sandwich, the cup of coffee and…oh…
“I think I’ve just worked out why I’m fainting.” He said, realisation dawning.
“Let me guess, you’ve been doing all this running around on the equivalent of a jelly bean?”
“Well bacon sandwich but, yes?”
“Food would probably be a good idea, yes.”
“Right, stay there, I’ll be back in a bit.”
And Cat bounced off the sofa and into the kitchen. Ianto lay back and stretched out full length on the sofa, staring at the ceiling. Thoughts ran through his head, Lisa, Jack, his future, his past. They whirled and chased each other until he groaned and pulled a cushion over his face. It wasn’t until he was poked unceremoniously in the ribs that he realised Lucca had come home.
“Come on, you.” Poke, poke “Food time.”
Ianto growled and threw the cushion at him. Lucca batted it away with a grin.
“So I take it you’ve had the ‘chat’ then?” Lucca punctuated his sentence with air quotes. Ianto nodded in response. “Every bit as bad as you feared?”
“No, actually. It’s been odd, but I think we’ve said stuff that needed to be said. And nothing got broken.”
“Except the breakfast bar.”
“Except the breakfast bar. Wait. What?”
“Didn’t you see? Huge chunks out of it. Guess muggings here gets to sort out a replacement.”
“Why? If it’s my fault, then I should replace it.”
“Pfft, it’ll be me that does it. You’re ‘recovering’.’’ More air quotes. “And she’s cooking.”
Lucca sniffed the air carefully, and then turned to grin at Ianto.
“Carbonara, come on.”
He grabbed Ianto’s hand and towed him into the kitchen. Which looked like a bomb had hit it. Ianto boggled at the sheer amount of washing-up that had been created in the single act of conjuring a bacon carbonara. He took a quick look over it, frowned and grabbed something off the counter.
“How on earth have you managed to use a melon baller whilst making carbonara?”
“Oh is that what that is?” Cat looked up from where she was dishing out the food. “It looked lonely in the cutlery drawer and I didn’t want it to feel left out.”
“Relax kiddo.” Lucca said, already sat at the table, fork in hand. “I’m washing up while you’re getting ready. Now put that down and come eat.”
Ianto threw the melon baller back into the pile of dirty crockery and joined them at the table. The food smelt lovely and his stomach reminded him of how little he’d eaten, and how much it would really appreciate what he was about to do. He tucked in heartily.
“I may not be Delia, but I do do a nice Italian. Among other things.” Cat said smugly.
Lucca smiled and blew her a kiss.
“So what were you talking about?” he asked “Me? Work? That cute boy you call your boss?”
“Boy?” Ianto asked, raising an eyebrow.
“He’s younger than me, so I can call him what I like.” Lucca stated decisively. “And how far have you got with it anyway?”
“Hey!” Ianto started.
“Snogging like teenagers.” Cat supplied around mouthful of food.
“Interesting, does he still do that thing with his tongue?”
“What thing?” asked Ianto innocently.
“Oi, you!” Cat shot a look at Ianto, one that fully disbelieved his innocence. “He does, I checked.” She supplied to Lucca.
“I’ll have to check for myself later then.” Lucca responded, smirking.
Ianto grinned back, and looked to see if there was any more food. Cat gave him a smaller helping.
“Don’t want to overload you, it’ll only bounce.”
They ate in silence for a while, just enjoying each others’ company and the great food.
“Right.” said Lucca, once everyone had finished. “I’ll sort this out, you go up and get ready. I am taking you out on the town, Ianto Jones! You’ve been cooped up underneath that water tower for too long.” And he shooed Ianto out of the kitchen and upstairs to his room.