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It's not like that

Word Count: ~900
Summary: Owen watches Jack and Ianto and realizes something ...
Characters: Owen Harper, Ianto Jones, Jack Harkness
Pairing: Jack/Ianto
Rating: PG-13
Spoiler: Reset, Dead Man Walking, A Day In The Death, Adrift
after Adrift
canon character death
Author's Note: Written for whoverse_las  and the prompt Dead Men Tell No Lies. Inspired by the quote above the story and this entry in the Captain's Blog following Adrift: Seeing Gwen experience it for the first time took me right back to when I first heard that terrible scream. After Gwen had gone home, I just held on to Ianto for a couple of hours, as tightly as I could.
Disclaimer: I’m not making money with this fanfic. The tv-show Torchwood and the characters appearing within it belong to their producers and creators. Any similarities to living or dead persons are purely coincidental and not intended.


Owen: “Come on, even Tosh had more of a life than you used to, and now you're always out on missions, you're shagging Jack and I'm stuck here making coffee.”
Ianto: “It's not like that, me and Jack.”
(A Day In The Death)

It was strange, seeing them like this. Owen was afraid to move, afraid to alert them to his presence, because this was intimate and Owen was sure that no one was supposed to see it.

Jack and Ianto were standing there, in the middle of the main Hub, hugging. Ianto's hands were trailing up and down Jack's back while Jack's face was buried against Ianto's neck, his arms around Ianto's shoulders, holding onto Ianto's suit jacket as if he was afraid to fall. They hadn't even realized that they weren't alone in the Hub, that Owen was standing at the window of the hothouse looking down. He'd wanted to catch their attention as soon as they'd entered by knocking against the glass, had intended to ask how things had gone for Jack with Gwen at Flat Holm, but he'd paused when he'd seen Jack grab Ianto's arm and pull him into the embrace.

By now, Owen's hand was resting on the window, as if he wanted to touch them, and maybe that was true. He missed the warmth of another body close to his since he died. Even when he was hugged, he couldn't feel body heat.

He saw Jack and Ianto swaying a bit, moving to some unheard song, and he ached to be held that way. There was no doubt what he saw. It seemed like Jack and Ianto weren't shagging their way through the Hub after hours like Owen had always suspected. This was affection, comfort ... and love. Owen felt so stupid all of a sudden. All the things he'd said to Ianto over the years, all those petty remarks about Ianto being Jack's part-time shag and bed warmer and substitute for Gwen ... all those spiteful words ... he'd had no idea.

“It's not like that, me and Jack.“

He remembered those words from a few months ago. He'd scoffed back then, seeing Ianto as a puppy that returned to its owner, even though he kicked it every time it got too close.

Ianto said something and Jack nodded. They moved to the couch, Jack shrugged off his coat and Ianto his jacket. They settled down, Ianto beneath Jack who rested his head on Ianto's chest. Their legs entwined and they shifted their position a few times, but finally, they seemed to have found the perfect fit. Ianto's hand stroked Jack's hair.

Owen waited in the hothouse until they'd retreated to Jack's quarters – hours later – then he left as quietly as possible through the invisible lift.


The next morning, Owen stopped in the tourist office on his way in. Ianto was standing at the counter, going through the mail. He looked haggard and tired, but he greeted Owen with his usual polite smile.

“You look beat,“ Owen said.

“Had a rough night.“

Owen swallowed his usual sarcastic remark and instead asked, “That whole Flat Holm business with Gwen really got to Jack, didn't it?“

Ianto looked up at him, surprised. “Yes,“ he answered. “Well ... not so much the fact that Gwen found out, more ...“ He shook his head and looked down at the mail. “It's Flat Holm.“

Owen nodded. He'd been there only once and he would never forget the dark corridors, the people there crying and screaming, the despair hanging in the air thick enough to choke visitors ... Owen swallowed and shook the memory off. Instead, he pushed the button for the door that led down into the base. “You're good for him, you know,“ he said casually and stopped just inside the door, blocking the closing mechanism with his foot.

Ianto looked up at him, confused. “What?“

“Jack. You're good for him.“

Ianto frowned. “What makes you ...“ He bit his lip and ducked his head, obviously embarrassed about the question.

Owen smiled in understanding. “What makes me say that?“ he asked.

“You've never been very nice about us, is all.“

“Let's just say that death influenced how I see things, puts everything into perspective, and I decided that being honest to the people around me would be an interesting change.“

Ianto stared at him as if he wasn't sure if some alien shape shifter had taken on Owen's form.

Owen wasn't ready to get more mushy than he already felt – least of all with Ianto – and used his surprise to make his escape. He took a step back into the corridor. “Take it from a dead man: You may be the best thing that's happened to him in a long time.“ Ianto was still gaping at him. The door started to close. Owen winked at Ianto. “I will deny to have ever told you that, of course.“

Ianto caught himself and seemed to get his quick wit back on track. “What happened to 'being honest'?“

“Well,“ Owen said with a wink, “looks like I've run out of honesty for now. Gotta save the rest for someone else.“ He already had someone in mind.


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( 35 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jun. 3rd, 2011 12:48 pm (UTC)
Just lovely.
Jun. 4th, 2011 10:55 am (UTC)
Thanks. :)
Jun. 3rd, 2011 12:51 pm (UTC)
I love it when another member of the Team sees that Jack and Ianto mean a lot more to each other than a quick fumble! And this is an excellent example!
Jun. 4th, 2011 10:55 am (UTC)
Thank you. :)
Jun. 3rd, 2011 01:38 pm (UTC)
Oh good story. Thanks for posting!
Will we get any more of Owen's honesty (please)?
Jun. 4th, 2011 10:56 am (UTC)
Thanks. :) I don't know yet, I haven't got anything planned.
Jun. 3rd, 2011 02:22 pm (UTC)
Jun. 4th, 2011 10:56 am (UTC)
Thanks. :)
Jun. 3rd, 2011 11:07 pm (UTC)
Really liked this.It's always nice when one of the team finally gets it and gives the boys some credit for their feelings.
Jun. 4th, 2011 10:56 am (UTC)
Thank you. :)
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 4th, 2011 10:56 am (UTC)
Aw, thanks. :)
Jun. 4th, 2011 02:15 am (UTC)

I liked the melancholy and longing from Owen. Poor guy.
Jun. 4th, 2011 10:57 am (UTC)
Thank you. :) I was hoping it would come over like that.
Jun. 4th, 2011 05:01 am (UTC)
That was lovely
Jun. 4th, 2011 10:57 am (UTC)
Thanks. :)
Jun. 4th, 2011 01:41 pm (UTC)
I really liked this. It was nice to see the more human side of Owen, for a change. I'm also really glad you put that quote from the captain's blog in the author notes. Having had to come to TW through dvd's much later than it was broadcast, I never got to read the accompanying web info. I have the feeling I really missed a lot of insight to the show and the characters.
Jun. 4th, 2011 02:04 pm (UTC)
You should check out iantos_desktop. The mod saved all the material from the website and posted it there.
(no subject) - jolinarjackson - Jun. 5th, 2011 10:37 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - withywindle01 - Jun. 5th, 2011 01:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jolinarjackson - Jun. 5th, 2011 10:36 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 4th, 2011 01:59 pm (UTC)
I liked this. It was sweet, but also a little sad. Nice job. :)
Jun. 5th, 2011 10:37 am (UTC)
Thanks. :)
Jun. 4th, 2011 07:06 pm (UTC)
Maybe that will teach Owen not to jump to conclusions about people. At least he can recognise the truth when he sees it. Jack needs Ianto in ways he probably can't put into words, Ianto anchors him, gives him someone to lean on when everything gets too much. I'm sure Jack does the same for Ianto.
Jun. 5th, 2011 10:38 am (UTC)
I think so, too. They're very independent on one hand, but on the other hand they're also very co-dependent. Complicated boys!
Jun. 5th, 2011 12:16 am (UTC)

I wish we'd even just a little more of Owen on the show acting like this :)
Jun. 5th, 2011 10:39 am (UTC)
Yeah. :) And I adore your icon!
(no subject) - jo02 - Jun. 6th, 2011 05:51 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 5th, 2011 08:45 pm (UTC)
This was really a lovely way to expand upon that Captain's Log quote. I liked seeing it through Owen's eyes, especially considering the cynical front he normal wears. It shows just how much of an impact Ianto's actions had.

Lovely job!
Jun. 6th, 2011 11:35 am (UTC)
Thank you. :)
Jun. 11th, 2011 01:42 am (UTC)
This is really great, both the intimacy between Ianto and Jack and the nicer side of Owen. Great work. : )
Jun. 11th, 2011 10:12 am (UTC)
Thank you. :)
Jun. 11th, 2011 08:36 pm (UTC)
Jun. 12th, 2011 10:10 am (UTC)
Thanks. :)
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( 35 comments — Leave a comment )