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Five Times Jack Called Gwen In The Middle Of The Night ...

Word Count: ~ 3.000
Summary: Five times Jack called Gwen in the middle of the night and one time he didn't have to.
Characters: Gwen Cooper, Jack Harkness, Ianto Jones, Rhys Williams
Pairing: Jack/Ianto, Gwen/Rhys, Jack/Doctor (hinted), Ianto/Lisa Hallett (hinted)
Rating: PG
Spoiler: Cyberwoman, Countrycide, Meat, Exit Wounds / Audio book: Ghost Train / Audio play: The Dead Line / Novel: The House That Jack Built
Setting: after Cyberwoman, after Countrycide, after Meat, after Exit Wounds, after Ghost Train, after The Dead Line
Warnings: Mention of canon character deaths
Author's Note: This story has go nothing to do with Miracle Day, but it was inspired by a scene in it. A short, un-spoilery explanation: Jack called Gwen in the middle of the night and it seemed like something they had done before. This story was born.
Beta: Eleanor Harkness-Jones did the English version and Vistin beta'ed the German version, thanks!
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.

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Five Times Jack Called Gwen In The Middle Of The Night ...



1.



Her mobile woke her from a deep sleep. Gwen cursed softly and hastily grabbed it from the night stand. Jack's name blinked on the display and she answered, before hurrying out of the bedroom and closing the door to let Rhys sleep peacefully.

In the living room, she raised the mobile to her ear. "Did something happen?" she asked.

It was quiet for a moment, then Jack sighed deeply. "I don't know how to answer to that." She heard something creak quietly and could imagine Jack leaning tiredly back in his office chair. "A lot … nothing new."

She sat on the couch. "Is Ianto okay?" She knew that Jack would have called Owen if that wouldn't be the case, but she had no idea what he wanted from her. He'd never before just called her without a reason; like telling her when to be where. But today was a day where a lot of things had happened for the first time: the first time she'd almost died. The first time she'd been so wrong about someone. The first time she'd executed someone in cold blood.

"He's asleep in his cell," Jack answered. "He'll stay there until I know what to do about him."

Gwen leaned back on her sofa. "What does Torchwood do in cases like this normally?" she asked; not because she wanted to know, but because she thought that she knew why Jack had called. He didn't want her opinion, advice or for her to feel sorry or to understand… he didn't want her company. He just wanted someone he could talk with. Someone who wouldn't react with despite at the first mention of Ianto's name like Owen or someone who would have Ianto's back like Tosh. He needed a sounding board. Someone who wouldn't judge. Gwen could do that, even though she wasn't quite sure what had happened today. She was shocked because Ianto didn't seem to be the bloke she'd liked so much. Sad because he'd fought for someone just to lose her. Angry at herself because she had no idea how many warning signs she'd missed.

"Execution," Jack answered.

Gwen bit her lip to suppress a shocked 'You can't do that'.

Before she could, Jack added, "Call me weak but I can't do that."

"That's not weak," Gwen answered. "It's human."

He laughed without humour. "Really? You heard him – I'm a monster."

"He was angry… sad. Jack, what he said doesn't matter."

It was quiet for a long time.

"I can't execute him."

Gwen pulled one of her legs up on the couch and wrapped an arm around it. "Why?"

"I understand him." He sighed deeply. "I'm angry, but I understand why he did it."

"What are the options besides execution?"

"Retcon."

"But you don't want that either," Gwen assumed, "or you wouldn't have called me."

"I don't want to lose him." Jack seemed to become aware how that sounded and added, "He's got potential. And we're only five people."

Gwen didn't know what was going on between Jack and Ianto, and, until now, she had always thought it wasn't her business. Owen had hinted at an office affair more than once but he'd always done so because he'd been in a lousy mood and she'd never quite believed him.

But now she really wanted to know since it seemed to have a lot of influence on Jack's decision. "You and Ianto… are you..." She didn't know what to say.

"A few times," Jack answered.

Somehow, it hurt to hear him admit to it. Gwen stared at the wall behind which Rhys was sleeping peacefully and stomped the feeling of betrayal down. "And… do you love him?"

Jack laughed bitterly. "No. Not him." The 'Someone Else' hung in the line between them, unsaid but there nonetheless. Gwen doubted that Jack was talking about someone she knew. The longing in his voice was just too big.

"But you like him."

Jack didn't answer and it was answer enough.

"So, what do you want to do?" she asked.

"Suspension. Then a new chance."

"I can live with that. I'm sure Tosh can, too. Owen will have to accept it."

Jack didn't answer.

Gwen added, "Ianto didn't attack us, really. It was Lisa. Besides … I believe in second chances."

Jack took a deep breath and Gwen wasn't sure if he was crying. "A second chance," he said finally, "saved my life a very long time ago so… I think it's okay."

"It is," Gwen assured him.

"Thanks, Gwen," he said softly.

"Any time," she answered. "That's what I'm here for."

"Yeah." He rang off.


2.



"Do you think I've made a mistake?" Jack asked as soon as Gwen answered the phone.

She stirred her tea – she wanted coffee but it was the middle of the night and there was a slim chance that she'd fall asleep as soon as she crawled back into bed with Rhys – and bit her bottom lip thoughtfully. "How do you mean?" she asked finally.

There was the sound of glass clanging, then soft footfalls and a door closed. "I abandoned you a few days ago."

"There was no way you could have known that they were cannibals."

"No, but that doesn't change the fact that I left you."

She knew it would be impossible to make Jack see that he was wrong about that. He was extreme where responsibility was concerned – either he accepted it fully or he didn't. There were no shades of grey.

Gwen sighed deeply. "Where are you?"

"At Ianto's flat. Tosh is here, too – she's been here for days. Since… she can't be alone. And Ianto and me neither." Something in his voice was off. He sounded strangely exhausted or beat or …

"Are you drunk?"

"No," he answered, "I need to keep a clear head …"

Gwen wondered how she could cheer Jack up a bit and smiled. "You never answered my question."

"Which one?" he asked.

"Who was your last snog?"

He laughed softly. "Do alien life forms count?"

Gwen rolled her eyes. "No distracting me, answer already."

"Ianto."

Gwen was surprised. "Our Ianto?"

"I only know one."

"But Ianto told me his last kiss was Lisa."

"That was true."

Which meant that Jack and Ianto had… during the last few days...

"Did you… did you...?" Gwen stopped.

Jack didn't answer.

"Do you think that's a good idea, Jack?"

"None of your business."

"Fine." She didn't know how to feel. If she should be jealous or worried or happy… or everything. "Why did you call me?" she asked.

"I wanted to know how you are."

"In the middle of the night?"

"I knew you would be up." There was a grin in his voice. "I know a lot of things about you, Gwen Cooper." He was flirting. He was playing with her. He was playing with her and Ianto and everybody else.

Irritated, Gwen answered, "Well, I'm tired now."

She hung up.


3.



Gwen almost didn't answer. She stared at the display that kept flashing Jack's name patiently and then looked at Rhys who was asleep. The sling kept his arm close to his chest, but he had been in pain the whole evening. Owen's pain medication had sent him to sleep hours ago and not even the ringing of Gwen's mobile woke him up. She sighed, rolled her eyes about her weakness and answered. She allowed Jack to start the conversation.

"Hi," he said softly.

"Hello," she answered. "What's up?"

She could hear Myfanwy screech and deduced that Jack had to be at the Hub.

"I shouldn't have asked you to retcon Rhys."

The almost-excuse was surprising enough for Gwen to need a moment to understand what he'd just said.

"You're right about that," she answered. Gwen knew that she had to say sorry to the team. The words she'd said in the heat of the battle had been mean and inappropriate. To tell them that they had no idea what it felt like to lose someone and that their world was cold and lonely… she'd forgotten herself for a moment. She'd forgotten Lisa and Diane and Tommy and all the people Jack must have lost in his long life.

As if Jack was able to read her mind, he said, "I almost lost people today – people who mean the world to me."

Tosh had almost been crushed by a huge whale and all that had separated Ianto from a bullet in his head was an empty gun. Gwen had barely noticed all these things because Rhys' injury, the overwhelming panic she'd gotten lost in, had just tuned everything else out.

"I know. I'm sorry."

She thought that she could her a tremble in his voice – fury? – when he said, "And my world… isn't cold or lonely."

She didn't know what to say to that. She was surprised. Did Jack have someone? Did he start up things again with Ianto? She hadn't noticed and she would have heard all about it if Owen knew. Maybe Tosh… she'd have to ask Tosh.

Jack took a deep breath. "I have everything I could wish for at the moment." He rang off.


4.



Gwen knew that the mobile would ring in the middle of the night. That was why she'd left Rhys' arms as soon as he'd fallen asleep and crept into the dark lounge to huddle under a blanket on the couch. She felt like she could never get warm again. As if Tosh and Owen's deaths had killed something inside her.

She answered the phone and said, "It wasn't your fault."

Jack was quiet for a moment as if he was surprised, but then he sighed and answered softly, "I know. Believe me. Ianto's already convinced me."

And somehow, it hurt just a little bit that Jack didn't need her for that kind of comfort anymore. That had changed a long time ago. That didn't mean, though, that she had to like it.

"What are we going to do now, Jack?" Tears entered her eyes.

"We won't give up," he answered. She heard something rustle softly and Jack whispered something – soothing and tender –, then he focused on her again. "What else is there to do?"

"Are you with Ianto?"

"I couldn't stay at the Hub." It was quiet for a moment. "He's asleep, but he keeps having nightmares."

"So you're staying awake to calm him down?" Gwen asked. She smiled and felt as if a bit of warmth at the thought of Jack and Ianto – still together, still strong – returned to her bones. "That's almost romantic."

"Unfortunately, he doesn't want me to bring him flowers," Jack replied with a soft laugh.

"Is he allergic?"

"No, he just tells me not to bother." Jack sighed. "He doesn't tell me why."

"I always thought he'd be a romantic."

"He's not," Jack answered. "He's more of a practical kind of guy."

They didn't talk for a while and the sadness returned.

"Why are you calling me?" Gwen asked.

"I knew you'd be awake."

"So… no reason?"

He laughed softly again, then he made a soothing noise and Gwen could imagine them lying curled up around each other in Ianto's bed or on his sofa. She'd seen them sleep together once while the whole team had been working through several days and only catnaps in shifts had been possible. Back then, she hadn't been able to tell who was comforting whom, but she'd looked at them for a few minutes and wondered when this had happened, when they'd become close enough to want to be together even for a nap.

"No reason," Jack said, startling Gwen back to reality, "but now I should let you catch some sleep."

Suddenly, she noticed that she had become tired. Jack's voice, the short chat about something else but the violent things that had happened had sufficed to calm her running mind down and to smother the gruesome pictures in her head: the destroyed city, Gray, Tosh, Owen …

"Good night, Gwen," Jack said.

"Night," she answered.

He hung up.

She put her mobile on the coffee table, within reach, and closed her eyes. She fell asleep.


5.



Jack called relatively early in the evening for once, just around past eleven when Gwen and Rhys were both still awake. Rhys stayed on the couch, zapping through channels, looking for something worthwhile to watch, while Gwen went to the kitchen niche to take the call.

"Your husband is a hero," Jack said.

"You don't have to tell me that," she answered and got herself a beer from the fridge. "That's why I married him." She winked at Rhys when he turned to her with a grin.

"And did you know that he was Ianto's flatmate for a while there?"

She heard Ianto groan, clearly irritated.

Jack laughed. "Come on, I can't help but tell her."

"I should've known," Ianto answered. Gwen smiled. To be honest, she still hadn't quite understood what had happened. There hadn't been an official debriefing yet. She just knew from Rhys' excited and somehow jumbled report that there had been time travel and a train coming through the Rift and that the fridges someone had stolen from his trucks had something to do with all of it. In short: she had no idea what had happened.

There was a wide grin in Jack's voice when he said, "And he heard us having sex."

Ianto said, "Jack!"

Gwen's eyes widened. "What?"

"You know, he could have just told us. We're always happy to let a third party join us."

Ianto again, "Jack!"

Gwen stared at Rhys who returned her look innocently.

Ianto said, "Gwen, nothing happened." Jack laughed. Ianto's next words were obviously addressed at him. "I will never tell you anything again."

She heard a wet noise and clothes rustling. She blushed when she realized that they must be kissing each other – long and passionately. One of them whispered something and it must have been Ianto because Jack asked, "Really? You could do that?... Gwen, I have to go. Important."

She laughed and then the line crackled when Jack rang off. She waited until Rhys sipped his beer. "So, you've been listening to Jack and Ianto having sex?" she asked. He choked and Gwen grinned.

He looked at her with a grimace. "It wasn't my idea of a perfect evening. I tell you… it wasn't at all."

She smiled and strolled over to him to kiss his head.

"They love each other, don't they?" Rhys asked.

Gwen froze on her way back to the kitchen. "Why?"

"I've been in his flat for a very long time. I heard them… and I don't just mean..." He made a gesture that would have caused Ianto to raise one eyebrow. "I heard them talk about the dishes… Jack did the wash. He wasn't there all the time, but he's practically living there. How long have they been together now? Two years? Don't tell me they didn't utter the l-word yet."

Gwen remembered her talk with Ianto in Jackson Leaves. He'd practically admitted to loving Jack but also told her that Jack didn't return these feelings.

She sighed. "They didn't." She shrugged. "And I don't think it'll happen."


… and one time he didn't have to



Jack was surprised that he was more tired from waking from a coma than from waking from the dead. He was lying in Ianto's bed, the street lamps being the only light his dimly lit bedroom, and Ianto was asleep next to him.

Jack turned his head and saw his mobile lying on the night table. He'd had a hard day, he'd had to face the truth he'd ignored for much too long now – Ianto loved him, he loved him – but the wish to call Gwen didn't come. He could tell her that he'd almost admitted his feelings to Ianto. He could ask her what to do about it, because she was Ianto's best friend and his, too, and married so she had to know, right? That's what he needed her for. Not for the decisions concerning Torchwood, but for all those things he didn't know how to handle anymore – letting someone in, close… too close for comfort. He needed her to find his inner peace… right?

He realized that he was already calm even though he should be upset – he'd almost spent eternity in the darkness.

He turned to Ianto and pressed against his warm body, feeling his calm deepening. He got sleepy. Ianto made a tired noise. "I don't mind if you want to call her," he said softly. "If you need it…"

Jack interrupted him with a kiss. "No," he whispered, "not necessary."

He had Ianto. Gwen had Rhys.

And he could still ask her first thing tomorrow.


END
08/11


If you want to have this (or some other) story as a PDF, I'd be happy to send it to you. Just PM me with the title of the story, the language you wanna have it in and your e-mail address and I'll deliver. :)


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Comments

( 35 comments — Leave a comment )
Page 1 of 2
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iolo1234
Sep. 17th, 2011 03:55 pm (UTC)
That was really lovely - brought a smile to my lips and tears to my eyes.
jolinarjackson
Sep. 18th, 2011 04:39 am (UTC)
Thank you. :)
welsh_scotsman
Sep. 17th, 2011 04:30 pm (UTC)
really nice ;) i really liked the post exist wounds ones with gwen hearing jack calming ianto and feeling slightly better. i really liked how it charted their relationship and how jack was actually quite awkward and also how they didn't say massive amounts, just key points and i think thats very them too ;)

*faved*
jolinarjackson
Sep. 18th, 2011 04:40 am (UTC)
Thank you very much. :)
rexluscus
Sep. 17th, 2011 06:01 pm (UTC)
Oh, this was great! Made me all warm inside. :)
jolinarjackson
Sep. 18th, 2011 04:40 am (UTC)
Thanks. :)
sariagray
Sep. 17th, 2011 07:49 pm (UTC)
This was beautiful - I love how we got to see both of them grow through these conversations. Actually, we saw all of them grow, especially Ianto and even Rhys through the bits we can see through Gwen's (and Jack's) eyes. Really well done!
jolinarjackson
Sep. 18th, 2011 04:41 am (UTC)
Thank you. :)
withywindle01
Sep. 17th, 2011 09:03 pm (UTC)
Simply beautiful!
jolinarjackson
Sep. 18th, 2011 04:41 am (UTC)
Thanks. :)
veritas6_5
Sep. 18th, 2011 02:19 am (UTC)
I'm never sure where these "5 times . . ." things are going. I loved this one, though. So sweet in that it shows how Jack can maintain his love for Gwen and Ianto at the same time.
jolinarjackson
Sep. 18th, 2011 04:43 am (UTC)
Thank you. :) Jack's ability to love more than one person at once in very different ways is personal fanon for me.
mcparrot
Sep. 18th, 2011 06:34 am (UTC)
That was beautiful and fitted so well with that MD scene. I was a bit unsure what you were going to do with the idea, and what sort of relationship you planned for Jack and Gwen, but this was perfect and very realistic I thought.
Well done.
jolinarjackson
Sep. 18th, 2011 06:36 am (UTC)
Thank you. And even though I really adore Jack&Gwen friendship and like the UST between them, I would never ship them. :)
dylantoms
Sep. 18th, 2011 10:21 am (UTC)
I really liked this, beautifully thought through and developed.
I love writing that says so much in subtext, not easy.

Something that made it stand out for me was that you avoided the post Ianto dying period - thanks for that:)

I have just finished listening to Ghost Train [for the second time] so particularly enjoyed that exchange!
jolinarjackson
Sep. 18th, 2011 12:16 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
larsinger29
Sep. 18th, 2011 01:09 pm (UTC)
Oh this was really, really lovely. Great exploration of the friendship between Gwen and Jack, and the evolution of the relationship between Jack and Ianto.

Very touching! Well done!
jolinarjackson
Sep. 18th, 2011 01:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
nancybrown
Sep. 18th, 2011 06:27 pm (UTC)
I really loved this. Jack is Gwen's best friend, and he hers, and that doesn't get explored in fic often enough. I loved how you showed them here, how they evolved, and how they don't always need each other, either. Lovely story all around.
jolinarjackson
Sep. 19th, 2011 06:15 am (UTC)
Thank you. :)
jml139
Sep. 18th, 2011 08:58 pm (UTC)
I absolutely loved this. You never cease to amaze me with your writing. Lovely exploration of the characters and their relationships with one another. Wonderfully done.
jolinarjackson
Sep. 19th, 2011 06:15 am (UTC)
Thanks. :)
cookielaura
Sep. 18th, 2011 10:35 pm (UTC)
Wow. This was beautifully written. The relationship between Jack and Ianto and all the little ways it changed and evolved and grew is really cleverly captured. And you had Gwen's slightly contradictory thoughts down really well. I love Jack and Gwen friendship fics, there aren't enough. Just fantastic all round :)
jolinarjackson
Sep. 19th, 2011 07:39 am (UTC)
Thank you. :)
bluelilacs
Sep. 19th, 2011 07:58 pm (UTC)
Very nicely done.

I loved that you wrote the friendship between Jack and Gwen without the two of them pining for each other, and Rhys and Ianto sitting on the sidelines being unhappy that they're second choice, but grateful for whatever crumbs may be thrown their way. You showed the true relationships the two couples are in and it worked perfectly.
jolinarjackson
Sep. 20th, 2011 08:19 am (UTC)
Thank you. :) While I think that Gwen and Jack had a lot of UST in series one, it lessened a bit during series 2 and then 3.
jo02
Sep. 21st, 2011 07:22 am (UTC)

This was brilliant and lovely. Now if someone could just drag RTD over here by the ear and show him how Gwen as a proper PoV character is really done ---> in such a way where everybody is still happy at the end of it. Thank you so much!
.
jolinarjackson
Sep. 22nd, 2011 06:37 am (UTC)
Thank you. :)
dil_deal
Sep. 23rd, 2011 03:05 pm (UTC)
Really really lovely! Thank you!
jolinarjackson
Sep. 25th, 2011 04:19 am (UTC)
Thank you. :)
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