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sam_storyteller ([personal profile] sam_storyteller) wrote2005-07-18 01:06 pm
Entry tags:

Price

Spoilers: Children of Earth, Day One
Rating: PG-13, Ianto/Gwen/Jack.
Summary: Surely, given that Ianto had made his own peace with Jack and Gwen's bizarre sexless love affair, they had known they were having it.
BETA CREDIT: [livejournal.com profile] 51stcenturyfox beta'd this leik whoa for me.
Warnings: Infidelity.

Originally posted on 7.07.2009.

There is an extended rewrite of this story archived here on DW and here on AO3.

***

The child was beautiful, almost ethereally so -- of course every parent thinks their child is the prettiest baby in the world. But Ianto wasn't exactly his dad, and even the nurses at the hospital had said what a lovely baby he was. Price had huge, brilliant blue eyes and a narrow, well-formed face even as a baby, and he smiled all the time -- widest at Rhys, almost as wide for Jack. He charmed total strangers, rarely cried, slept through the night early, was almost never bothered by the usual colics and colds most infants suffer.

Obviously, Ianto thought, the boy was Jack's.

***

He'd been crying in the archives that day, not that he would have admitted it, or did admit it even when Gwen found him. It was only that he'd come across a research file of Tosh's, and he'd taken it and turned to go up to the Hub's atrium to pick a friendly mock-battle with Tosh. They were always in each others' way, Ianto mucking around in the computer's code to improve the database, Tosh disturbing his files in the Archives when she went looking for cross-references. He could go up and make a smart remark about messy techs, and she'd call him anal-retentive, and --

But he couldn't, because she was dead.

He'd never get to again. And he was used to the feeling of loss, he'd survived loss before and heavier than this, but each time he thought of missing Toshiko or Owen the walled-up grief from Canary Wharf pounded a little harder against his careful partitioning. His pretty life in London was gone, Lisa was gone, all their little relationship codes and quirks forgotten by everyone but him. Tosh and Owen were gone, and some stranger would step in to replace them, which was very hard. And before he knew it, he had leaned his forehead against a shelf of boxes and was crying.

"Ianto, are you down here? Jack wants you upstairs for lunch. Well, ordering lunch, I think he's afraid of the pizza place, I don't know why he can't call them himse -- " she broke off. "Ianto? Are you all right?"

Ianto hastily wiped his cheeks, a fraction too late -- Gwen was in the doorway already, looking at him in concern.

"S'the dust," he said, indicating his eyes. He looked around and took a deep breath as she approached. "Really should bring a broom and some rags down here and do a thorough clean..."

Gwen rubbed his arm reassuringly. He would probably have been more embarrassed, but Gwen adored comforting people, so really in a way he was doing her a favour.

"Come up for lunch," she said, and tugged him away from the sad file of Tosh's research and the dust in the archives.

So he had gone up for lunch, but Jack had seen it too. Jack pressed his thumb to Ianto's chin and curled his finger under, holding him still and steady with the lightest touch -- Jack was good at that -- and kissed him. And Jack said he was sorry.

It was. Well. It was surreal. They hadn't really talked about Owen and Tosh, or about all the other people who must have died on Jack's watch, and whether Jack blamed himself for all of those. But Jack said he was sorry, and Ianto nodded and ordered their food and when it came they ate and talked, once, honestly. And Jack started it.

"I've kept track," he said, chewing on a bite of pizza, eyes lowered so that neither of them could catch his gaze. "I used to keep count, but I -- can't count, I lost count. It kills me. The database has a statistics function. So it always knows." He looked up but away from them, out over the Hub. "They ought to be counted. Someone ought to remember."

"It still hurts," Ianto said, half a question. "I should think by now..."

Jack gave him a sharp look. He hadn't meant to imply, but -- "I should think by now you'd know some way to...stop the hurt."

Jack snorted. "Yeah, well, alcoholism has its downsides."

"But it's reassuring though," Gwen continued. "Our records. You. We know we'll be remembered by someone. Even if nobody knows what we do."

"Sometimes I'm afraid of forgetting them," Jack whispered, and Ianto slid a hand around his leg, curling his fingers at the side of the kneecap. Daring really, because he still didn't know where they stood, but Jack had always seemed to take comfort in touch.

"Well, sometimes I'm afraid of dying," Gwen replied. Jack snorted. "And anyway you've less reason to remember me, haven't you?"

Ianto looked at her, confused, and then at Jack, who gave him a perplexed frown before looking back at her. "Why?" Jack asked.

"Oh, you know. You and Ianto. Well, I mean, it seems reasonable, doesn't it? I don't mind, you know, ordinarily. Only sometimes I think maybe...he means...more to you," Gwen faltered over the last words, and Ianto could see there was no regret of the fact in her voice, and certainly no malice. Gwen honestly thought -- had grappled with the idea and, he could see, come to terms with it -- that Jack loved Ianto more. He could have laughed, because...well...

"But it's obvious," he heard himself blurt, before he thought about it. "He loves you more."

He felt a horrified blush creep up his throat, and looked in panic from Gwen to Jack, back to Gwen, to Jack...Jack looked startled, and Gwen looked bewildered. Surely, given that he'd made his own peace with Jack and Gwen's bizarre sexless love affair, they had known they were having it.

"Okay, first of all," Jack said, recovering a less surprised expression, "Neither one of you gets to tell me who or how I love. Secondly, this isn't a competition."

"No, I know that -- " Ianto started, but Jack waved a finger at him.

"Third, I love you both. Like Tosh, like Owen. When I worry about forgetting them -- and you -- I worry about all of you."

"Yes, Jack," Gwen said softly, an undernote to Ianto's hurried, "'Course you do."

They bent back to their food, ashamed, but Jack kept studying them, until finally he sighed.

"Twenty-first century labels," he growled. "I hate them."

Which would have been an end of it -- oh, Jack's off on one of his rants about how backwards we are again -- except that Jack leaned across the table and kissed Gwen hard on the mouth and, well, Ianto wanted her to know that Jack really did love her. Obviously she hadn't realised Ianto had almost stepped back in favour of her, once upon a time.

So, a threesome did seem to be a logical solution at the time.

Ianto won ten quid off Jack, too, in a bet they'd made about Gwen's bed manners ages ago. Not a screamer, but more brilliant than expected.

He was oddly surprised at how unashamed he was, how little guilt he felt for Gwen's betrayal of Rhys, but then it hardly was. It was just...Torchwood. Inside Torchwood, this was comfort, reassurance, a process for grieving. Best on-the-job grief counseling ever, really. And he remembered what it felt like to see Jack with Gwen, hell, he remembered what it was like to bury his face in her throat and come inside her, Jack inside him. So many possible combinations, and they'd gone for it like their sanity depended on it, which maybe it did.

But he also remembered condoms and caution. And -- the last thing before they slept -- Gwen lying on her side, head pillowed on her arm, watching with enormous dark eyes as he and Jack fucked.

Even as he was licking sweat from Jack's shoulder, even as Jack pulled him up for a sloppy off-centre kiss, a child of one of them had been forming in Gwen's womb.

***

But it was ridiculous that Price should be his child, because, well, who was he compared to Jack Harkness? And Price had all of Jack's easy charm, and was so beautiful.

So Ianto never thought about it, or if he did it was mostly to be concerned that Rhys would suspect, when Price grew older and his baby-blue eyes didn't darken. But then Rhys's mum had blue eyes, didn't she? Or was it Gwen's mum? Anyway, he suspected Rhys wouldn't care in the slightest. He doted on the child, adored him, bragged about how bright he was. Ianto saw Price often enough, over for dinner or in passing as Rhys dropped Gwen off for work, or once in a while if they ran into each other on the street. Jack made it a point to visit and play with Price and compliment Gwen and Rhys on their son. Perhaps Jack assumed the child was his own child, but he insisted whenever Gwen broached the topic, however obliquely, that Rhys was Price's "real" father. After all, Rhys was the one raising him.

"But biologically," Gwen said once, in frustration. Jack gave her a level look.

"Does it matter?" he asked.

Not to Ianto. Nor, obviously, to Jack. Gwen...well, she didn't have unfettered access to the medical equipment anymore since the new doctor came in, but DNA tests could be bought through the mail and when Ianto found his spare hairbrush missing from his locker one afternoon (and then returned the next morning) he figured Gwen would do the test and confirm it was Jack and hopefully not pester them about it overmuch. After all, what kind of a father could Jack possibly be? Much better all round if it was Rhys --

A week later he found Gwen sitting at the end of the little walkway that led to the Tourist Centre, staring out into the bay. He sat down next to her, waited for her to speak or get over herself.

"Do you know," she said slowly, "if Price were Jack's son, I thought, it's a bit romantic, isn't it? Not in the sense of Jack and me, I don't want that, I love Rhys. But -- raising the child of an immortal man, even if it is unfair to Rhys, someone who's got genes that shouldn't even exist for thousands of years. Romantic, yeah?"

"I suppose," Ianto said.

"I mean, if it had just been anyone -- some random bloke -- then it'd be, I dunno, tawdry. Shameful. I'd have had to tell Rhys then, because it wouldn't have been...special."

Ianto stared at the water, highly unsure of where this was headed.

"But if it was you, I thought, well. You're an ordinary man. You aren't immortal. You put too much sugar in your coffee."

Ianto chuckled. "Only the bad stuff."

"You're a snob about some things. And not very good with people."

"Thanks," he said.

"But you're my best friend, you know? Sometimes you're all that makes this job bearable. So it wouldn't be romantic, or shameful, or anything really, it'd just be...something we once did. Something we made, that's beautiful. He's my whole heart, he is."

"So?" Ianto said. "What did the test say?"

She glanced at him. He gave her a funny little smile. "I know everything. It's Jack, isn't it? He's too pretty to be anyone but Jack's."

"No, sweetheart," she said. "He's your son."

He wasn't sure if he'd expected a kick in the chest at the news, or to lose his head entirely, but neither happened. A last puzzle piece clicked into place, utterly different from the image he'd been expecting, but...

Well, of course he thought Price was the most beautiful child in the world. Parents always thought that of their babies. And now that he thought on it, Price did have a bit of a snub nose on him. Ianto himself had been a pretty calm baby, so his dad always said.

"That's all right then, isn't it?" he said, and pulled her close, arm around her shoulders, her head on his. He stroked her hair, kissed her forehead, and let her go.

"Come on, work to do," he said, standing up and offering her a hand. "Got to make the world safe for the little ones."

Inside, Jack was waiting for them; he caught them holding hands before they broke apart, and grinned.

END

Read the rewrite: Price (Rewritten)

[identity profile] amand-r.livejournal.com 2009-07-07 05:09 pm (UTC)(link)
Well, of course he thought Price was the most beautiful child in the world. Parents always thought that of their babies. And now that he thought on it, Price did have a bit of a snub nose on him. Ianto himself had been a pretty calm baby, so his dad always said.

Oh. Thank you.
ext_76: Picture of Britney Spears in leather pants, on top of a large ball (Default)

[identity profile] norabombay.livejournal.com 2009-07-07 05:12 pm (UTC)(link)
Damn you, and your making me like Torchwood.

(I heart the story)

[identity profile] darthhellokitty.livejournal.com 2009-07-07 05:16 pm (UTC)(link)
Wow. I can picture that scene around the lunch table so clearly. And Jack's annoyance over the whole who-does-he-love-best thing.

I could see this happening, a kind of team-building/comfort/glad we're alive kind of thing. What happens at Torchwood stays at Torchwood?

[identity profile] rosykate.livejournal.com 2009-07-07 05:22 pm (UTC)(link)
I love how the threesome is the logical solution to grieving for Torchwood, but it doesn't feel tawdry or a betrayal, just...they're a team and they love one another.

[identity profile] sonatine.livejournal.com 2009-07-07 05:26 pm (UTC)(link)
That was perfect, and I didn't know I wanted it until I read it. Thank you.

[identity profile] clodia-risa.livejournal.com 2009-07-07 05:28 pm (UTC)(link)
I have a feeling that Torchwood will never become as functional as this fic makes them.

[identity profile] sam-storyteller.livejournal.com 2009-07-08 01:56 pm (UTC)(link)
LOL! They do put the function in dysfunctional....

You have partially rectified the lameness of the Gwen-pregnancy.

[identity profile] cobweb-diamond.livejournal.com 2009-07-07 05:29 pm (UTC)(link)
<3333

Also,

:DDDD

Re: You have partially rectified the lameness of the Gwen-pregnancy.

[identity profile] sam-storyteller.livejournal.com 2009-07-07 05:44 pm (UTC)(link)
*bows*

:D :D :D
ext_23631: Doodle of Beka nomming L's head, captioned "YOUR HEAD IN MY MOUTH!" (TW: crack team (g/o/t))

[identity profile] starletfallen.livejournal.com 2009-07-07 05:35 pm (UTC)(link)
......see, yesterday, my girls and I were discussing the circumstances under which there would be a threesome, and how everyone would feel about Rhys, and how Gwen was DEFINITELY not sure whose baby it was.

I like your idea. :D OMGSOCUTE. Thank you for writing this, seriously.

[identity profile] taffimai.livejournal.com 2009-07-07 05:37 pm (UTC)(link)
I just sighed a happy sigh.

[identity profile] kayleigh-jane.livejournal.com 2009-07-07 05:38 pm (UTC)(link)
Utterly fantastic, Sam. I'm so happy you couldn't wait 'till the end of the week! (You couldn't resist Ianto's Happy Daddy face, could you :D)

You're very good at writing Ianto's POV, but you've had practice of course ;). I love their interaction, that it is not a question of who loves who more, but all the ways they love eachother. And having Price being Ianto's child, with Gwen's view on it, makes it all the better.

Lovely fic Sam. We'll see what bunnies tonight's episode brings!

[identity profile] sam-storyteller.livejournal.com 2009-07-07 05:47 pm (UTC)(link)
HIS FACE WAS SO HAPPY. "Babies? YAY! Gwen-babies? DOUBLE YAY!"

[identity profile] 51stcenturyfox.livejournal.com 2009-07-07 05:41 pm (UTC)(link)
You are already aware of how much I love this, especially everyone's voices, which are perfect. But I thought I'd tell you again. :)

[identity profile] sam-storyteller.livejournal.com 2009-07-07 05:45 pm (UTC)(link)
I think gluing my eyes to the screen for the whole episode gave me a refresher course in their voices. :)

[identity profile] kalichan.livejournal.com 2009-07-07 05:49 pm (UTC)(link)
Ahhhhhh! YOU ARE MADE OF WIN.

Surely, given that he'd made his own peace with Jack and Gwen's bizarre sexless love affair, they had known they were having it.

lol.

ALSO, it is as if you have taken thoughts from my brain! HIVEMIND.

[identity profile] sam-storyteller.livejournal.com 2009-07-07 11:18 pm (UTC)(link)
Ianto is going to be very bitter if he spent all that time on the moral high ground only to find out Jack and Gwen weren't even aware they were making him do it. :D

(no subject)

[identity profile] kalichan.livejournal.com - 2009-07-08 00:42 (UTC) - Expand

[identity profile] redstapler.livejournal.com 2009-07-07 05:52 pm (UTC)(link)
Only you could make the fruits of cuckoldry seem perfectly reasonable.

Well done!

[identity profile] sam-storyteller.livejournal.com 2009-07-07 11:17 pm (UTC)(link)
"The Fruits of Cuckoldry" sounds like an awesome 19th century novel :D

[identity profile] melayneseahawk.livejournal.com 2009-07-07 05:54 pm (UTC)(link)
Aww, Ianto. Silly 21st-century morality.

[identity profile] deadcat-vagrant.livejournal.com 2009-07-07 05:58 pm (UTC)(link)
Can't hug a fic... GAAAHHHH!

*tries to snuggle with fic, that makes everything seem better and puts a wonderful note on the scanning sequence right before everything blows the fuck up* I'm so GLAD you couldn't wait until the end of the week. *G*

[identity profile] elainasaunt.livejournal.com 2009-07-07 06:01 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm sitting here with a big smile plastered on my face but at the same time a wistful feeling inside.

He was oddly surprised at how unashamed he was, how little guilt he felt for Gwen's betrayal of Rhys, but then it hardly was. It was just...Torchwood.

Also? Everybody lives.

[identity profile] elainasaunt.livejournal.com 2009-07-07 06:16 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, but actually, I am seriously apprehensive about the fate of one particular Price in series 3 - the one playing PC Andy. Is this a tip o' the hat to Tom? I'm just awfully afraid that if any regular character is doomed, it is he.

[identity profile] daizy2k2.livejournal.com 2009-07-07 06:02 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, fantastic! They would all just accept the various fathers.
:D

[identity profile] unfeathered.livejournal.com 2009-07-07 06:03 pm (UTC)(link)
Awwww. This is lovely. :-)

(Here via [livejournal.com profile] 51stcenturyfox's rec.)

[identity profile] gracie-musica.livejournal.com 2009-07-07 06:05 pm (UTC)(link)
I, uh... wow. Such a brilliant piece in a short span of time. And I love how just matter-of-fact it is.

[identity profile] tildathebuilder.livejournal.com 2009-07-07 06:11 pm (UTC)(link)
I loved this

But he couldn't because she was dead

I know the feeling and this line nearly made me cry!

[identity profile] santousha.livejournal.com 2009-07-07 06:15 pm (UTC)(link)
I love this. It's calm, slow, comfortable :)

[identity profile] merrilily.livejournal.com 2009-07-07 06:17 pm (UTC)(link)
*flaily hands of flail*

SAM. QUIT IT. BACK AWAY FROM THE KID!FIC. I NEED MY BIOLOGICAL CLOCK QUIESCENT.

Seriously, though, this whole thing was lovely and the thought of a wee!Ianto baby is too adorable for words and of course I'm gonna read any other kid!fic you write.

[identity profile] sam-storyteller.livejournal.com 2009-07-07 07:18 pm (UTC)(link)
SORRY! Can you tell I like kids. :D

(no subject)

[identity profile] merrilily.livejournal.com - 2009-07-08 14:31 (UTC) - Expand

[identity profile] circury.livejournal.com 2009-07-07 06:18 pm (UTC)(link)
Whoa, that was fast.

[identity profile] merboo.livejournal.com 2009-07-07 06:22 pm (UTC)(link)
YOU WROTE IT. <3

[identity profile] sam-storyteller.livejournal.com 2009-07-07 07:12 pm (UTC)(link)
I said I would! :D

[identity profile] elinor-godwin.livejournal.com 2009-07-07 06:25 pm (UTC)(link)
Brilliant! And lovely writing. Thanks so much for the fab story. Love the bits between Ianto and Gwen. Now, if the series would just take the path of your story all would be well in the world. In my own little fanon, this works brilliantly. :)

Found you through 51stcenturyfox's rec!

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