Title: You Were Right
Word Count: 1019
Characters: Ianto, Owen, Tosh, Gwen
Summary: In the aftermath of Jack’s leaving with the Doctor, relationships improve.
Setting/Time: Set immediately after End of Days
A/N: Written for the Christmas Exchange at torchwood_fest. From the prompt: How did Ianto and Owen move from animosity, name calling, and a little gunshot to the shoulder in season one to the more respectful- but still delightfully snarky, friendship in season two?
“Something's taken him. Jack's gone.” Gwen’s pronouncement weighs heavily in the air for a moment, until Ianto breaks the silence.
“Right, then,” he says. “Let’s get to work. Tosh, check the CCTV and cross reference with reports to other agencies, figure out what we’re dealing with. Owen, that medical supply inventory just became your top priority again. I’ll go check Jack’s office, see if there is anything important we need to follow up on,” Ianto says, heading towards the office. “Oh, and who wants the extra coffee?”
“When did Ianto start giving orders?” Gwen asks no one in particular.
“When Jack died,” Owen replies with a forced grin. “Someone had to take charge and keep things running. It’s not like the rift was quiet and Ianto knows the most about day to day operations, so we foisted the job off on him until we could rope you into it.”
“Okay,” Gwen says, looking around. “I’ll just start clearing up in here, I guess.”
“Ianto, I’ve got something here you’ll want to see,” Tosh yells from her computer. As Ianto approaches she explains, “CCTV from the Plass. One frame there’s Jack running towards a blue police box; the next frame, nothing. It looks like he left with the Doctor. That was the TARDIS, right?”
“Yep,” Ianto replies, coming up behind her. “Looks like. The emergency duffle he keeps packed is missing, as is his hand in a jar. So, he must have left on his own terms. Well, nothing to do about that, then. Gwen , Tosh, why don’t you two head out. I’ll call you if anything comes up.”
“Ianto, love,” Gwen starts. “You shouldn’t be here alone, not after what happened today. The way Jack kissed you, I mean…”
“He was dead for three days,” Ianto tells her, gently. “I’ve had time to get used to the idea of him being gone. Now go home and get some rest. We’ll talk about everything else tomorrow.”
“Besides he’s not exactly going to be alone, I’m still here,” Owen mutters.
“Come on,” Tosh says to Gwen, tossing her coat over an arm. “We should take the chance to go home while we can, running one man short we’ll all be exhausted soon enough.”
Gwen watches as Ianto heads back into the office and Owen follows. “Is leaving the two of them alone together a good idea?” she asks Tosh quietly.
“Don’t see why not,” Tosh says, already half-way to the door.
“Ianto shot Owen a few days ago. They might succeed in killing each other this time.”
Tosh stops and turns back to Gwen. “You’re an only child, aren’t you?” she asks.
“What?” Gwen asks, completely confused.
“The thing about sibling rivalry,” Tosh explains patiently, “is that once daddy isn’t around anymore, there’s no need to compete for his attention.”
“Wait. You think all of their issues are---”
“Were. Caused by jealousy? Absolutely. Owen was the only son until Ianto arrived. You haven’t exactly been around to see it the last few days, but underneath all that animosity and name-calling? Well, they really are like brothers. And believe me, if those two actually intended to kill each other, you and I being here wouldn’t make the slightest difference.”
“Come to gloat?” Ianto asks, watching as Owen slides into the chair on the other side of the desk.
“Nope. Came to raid the scotch, but I see you’ve beaten me to that.”
Ianto gives a derisive snort into his glass.
“Is there enough there to share, or do I have to find another bottle?” Owen asks.
“Knock yourself out,” Ianto says, pushing the bottle towards Owen and retrieving a second glass from the desk drawer. “So, you gonna to say it?”
“Say what? Jack’s an arse and you were right?” Owen replies, filling his glass and refilling Ianto’s. “We should have just left him in 1941.”
“We’d miss Tosh,” Ianto deadpans. He takes a deep breath before continuing. “But you were right.”
Owen looks up but says nothing.
“About me being nothing more than a part-time shag. First chance he got he ran off with the Doctor without even so much as a ‘by your leave.’”
“Mate, he didn’t leave you, he left us all,” Owen says softly. “If anything he left because of me. You might have been shagging him, but I shot him.”
“I shot you.”
“Yeah, but I wasn’t aiming for the shoulder,” Owen says.
“Maybe not, but at least you only betrayed him the one time,” Ianto says bitterly.
“Ianto, I shot him. Lisa might have been a bad decision, but you never deliberately hurt anyone.”
Ianto takes a sip of his drink, feeling it burn its way down his throat. “It’s almost worse this way, isn’t it? I mean, when he died it wasn’t exactly by choice. This time he chose to go and leave us all behind.”
“Think he’ll come back?”
“Would you?” Ianto asks, leveling his gaze at Owen. “It doesn’t matter. We’ll do what we need to, keep saving the world, one way or the other.”
“Are we going to be okay?” Owen asks.
“Gwen will be fine, I think she’ll turn out to be a good leader in time. I erased all records of Tosh’s time with UNIT when I first came here, so she’s protected.”
“I meant you and I,” Owen clarifies.
“I know,” Ianto replies with a smirk.
They sit quietly for a few moments, before Owen claps his hands and says brightly, “Come on, let’s get out of here.”
“Where are we going?” Ianto asks.
“Out. Home, pub, day spa, I don’t care, just anywhere that isn’t here. Doctor’s orders.”
“Someone needs to stay and monitor the rift.”
“Sod the bloody rift. If Jack can just swan off, so can we. I say we let Janet handle anything that comes up in the next twelve hours. Now, you’ve got exactly five minutes to get your arse out of here and if I have to trigger a lock-down to get you out, I will.”
“Yes, sir,” Ianto snaps a mock salute. “That’s five minutes and counting.”