TITLE: A Pint of Love – No need for Brains
AUTHOR: Erin Giles
DISCLAIMER: Torchwood is not mine, it belongs to the BBC and RTD.
CHARACTERS: Ianto/Jack, Gwen/Rhys
SUMMARY: When Gwen, Rhys, Ianto and Jack go to the pub together to watch the rugby Gwen asks Ianto a question that he hasn't even thought about yet. Not really.
AUTHOR NOTES: I was supposed to be coming up with plot ideas for my writer's art essay but as usual Jack and Ianto managed to worm their way in. Thanks to Kim for mentioning Brains beer while I was trying to come up with titles and Ak who tried to help but failed miserably.
"My round I think." Jack planted his feet firmly on the pub's wooden floor with a dull thunk, one hand on Ianto's thigh as he pushed himself to his feet, "Same again?" he asked as he glanced round the table, three pairs of eyes reluctantly moving away form the TV screen as the ref blew the whistle for half time.
"Yeah, I'll give you a hand." Rhys proclaimed, pulling himself to his feet and grabbing Ianto and Gwen's empty pint glasses before following Jack to the bar.
Gwen shifted from her seat and planted herself next to Ianto on the bench so she could see Rhys and Jack stood at the bar talking amenable with each other.
"Do you love him then?"
Ianto was quite sure that if he had had a pint in his hand at that moment he would have dropped it or spat it everywhere, as it was he had to make do with his jaw dropping open.
"I, well, what has this got to do with rugby?" Ianto thought it was best to change the subject. He hadn't even asked himself that question yet. Well, no that was a lie. He often asked himself that question, but he refused to let himself answer it.
"Nothing," Gwen shrugged, unfazed by her own bluntness as she absentmindedly watched Rhys' arse jutting out from the bar in those jeans she had bought for him the other week in the sales, "Just wanted to see if you were admitting it to yourself yet."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Ianto asked huffily, not sure he liked where this conversation was going.
"Well it's not just sex anymore is it Ianto?" Gwen was looking at him now, eyes firmly on his so that he felt he couldn't move a muscle without her analysing it, "Not since after he came back, you've been going on dates and things. You're smitten."
"I am not!" Ianto was indignant now, sitting more upright on the bench, his shoulders squaring as he glared at Gwen.
"Ok." Gwen shrugged, looking back at the TV screen which was displaying the latest Guinness advert that had made Jack giggle uncontrollably when him and Ianto had gone to the cinema last week, causing the girls in the row behind to complain about them to the cinema staff.
"What do you mean smitten?" Ianto asked cautiously. Gwen had a look of triumph on her face as she turned back to regard him.
"Well when we go to the pub together now you don't just tell me about his manners in bed and your sex exploits. You tell me about things he's said while you're snuggling on the couch, or the way he likes to do your tie for you when he stays at yours. Or the fact he always gets his coffee first, which by the way is favouritism in the workplace." Gwen smiled slightly as she watched Ianto, a spark of realisation behind his eyes.
"You love him." Gwen proclaimed in a sing-song voice just as Rhys and Jack reappeared at the table, clutching two pints each.
"Shut up!" Ianto hissed at her, his cheeks flushing red.
"What are you two talking about?" Jack questioned, taking a sip of his own pint as he passed the other he was holding to Ianto, settling himself back beside him, thighs touching.
"Just the merits of Gavin Henson's arse." Gwen replied slyly as she looked pointedly at Ianto, settling herself back in her chair as she took her pint from Rhys.
"Christ, I should've gone to the pub with Banana boat if you lot are gonna talk about player's arse's."
"How come you two are allowed to talk about their ass' but the minute I bring it up I get a slap?" Jack protested, pouting slightly as he looked at Ianto.
"Because you brought it up when we were ten yards from our try line." Ianto answered as he took a slurp from his pint, pointedly ignoring Jack's pout that would inevitably 'cause Ianto to kiss him; just to make it go away.
"You didn't have to come today." Ianto said to Jack as they were walking home from the pub back to Ianto's flat.
"I know." Jack's hand slid out his jacket pocket and found Ianto's with ease as they turned the corner, "Did you not want me to come?"
"No, I did," Ianto left the sentence hanging like he wanted to say something more, but didn't know what to say.
"But?" Jack questioned as he sidestepped a little old lady with her shopping basket, causing his hand to break away from Ianto's.
"No but, just didn't think rugby was your scene." Ianto shrugged.
"No, but it's yours."
Ianto almost stopped in his tracks at those words, but Jack was already ploughing on into his next sentence.
"Plus it's always nice to spend an afternoon with friends in the pub watching fit men run around in tight shorts." Jack waggled his eyebrows, grinning wickedly at Ianto. Ianto huffed a laugh and reached for Jack's hand again, pulling him closer. "Now did I hear you mention something to Rhys about playing for the local team a few years ago?"
"I don't still have the kit." Ianto replied with a smile, reading Jack's mind.
"When's your birthday again?"
Ianto laughed, rolling his eyes at Jack as they turned into his street.
"See this is why I love you." It was out his mouth before he had even thought about it, and it was all Gwen's fault. She had planted the seed in the pub and Ianto's mind had been unable to stop thinking about it.
Jack actually physically stopped in the middle of the pavement between the post office on the corner and the bus stop that the number 93 had just pulled up at.
"You love me?" Jack seemed to be having some internal war with himself about this sudden realisation on Ianto's part. Ianto was suddenly so very sure of himself and this single fact though.
"I guess I do, yeah." Ianto nodded, a smile tugging at his lips.
Jack remained speechless for a long moment, just looking at Ianto. Ianto tried to gauge what Jack was thinking but it was impossible to tell behind those century old eyes that were so good at hiding things.
Eventually Jack took Ianto's face in his hands and lent in for the sweetest longest kiss that Ianto had ever experienced from anyone, ever. He lost faculty of his senses for such a long time that he forgot where he was, only realising when someone at the bus stop whistled in their direction.
"Get a room already!"
Ianto flushed, pulling back and smiling at Jack before grabbing onto his hand again, tugging him down the street.
Jack twisted on the sofa from where he was lying, head on Ianto's stomach, feet up on the coffee table as they watched The X Factor. The remains of dinner was piled by the sink in the kitchen, two empty bottles of wine by the bin, empty wine glasses on the table.
"You know I love you too right, even though I didn't say it earlier on, that was what I meant, with the kiss I mean, I just didn't say it out loud." Jack fumbled for words, obviously not paying attention to The X Factor anymore than Ianto was.
"You do?" Ianto asked innocently, looking down at Jack who was looking more flustered by the minute. Ianto was fondly reminded of when Jack had asked him out on a date that first time in the middle of an office, ever the one for timing.
Jack scrambled up onto the couch properly so he was facing Ianto.
"Ianto Jones, I love you."
Ianto couldn't help the grin that spread over his face as Jack leaned in for a kiss. Ianto met him halfway, pulling him from the couch before he was finished.
"Let's go to bed."
Ianto was staring at Jack's coffee mug on the edge of his desk intently like it had the answer to the meaning of life, chewing on the end of a biro when Gwen snuck up on him.
"You love him." She whispered in his ear, so close he actually jumped, dropping his pen and causing Gwen to laugh.
"You know your lack of maturity surprises me Gwen Williams." Ianto sniped, bending to pick up his pen before starting to straighten his desk distractedly.
"Me? Immature? Never!" Gwen almost looked offended, but then she burst into song, "Jack and Ianto, sitting in a tree, K.I.S.S.I.N.G." Gwen began, causing Ianto to roll his eyes, before smirking as Jack approached them both, out of sight of Gwen. He snuck round Gwen, grabbing a hold of Ianto and captivating him in a bruising kiss.
"First comes love?" Jack turned to Gwen a little breathlessly as she flushed red, "Then marriage?" Jack looked back at Ianto who was also looking rather flustered, "Which isn't a proposal by the way, not yet at least. And I have to say I'm not entirely sure about the baby carriage bit," Jack frowned, turning to go back into his office, "Not again."
"You love him? You actually told him you love him?" Gwen looked flabbergasted as she turned back to Ianto. Ianto just shrugged, smiling to himself.
"Well I couldn't stop thinking about what you said and then it sort of came out." Ianto shrugged again like it was no big deal, his tongue licking his bottom lip. It still tasted of Jack.
Gwen was the one grinning now, a goofy look on her face.
"Nawww, you love him Ianto!" Gwen bumped his shoulder with hers, "What did he say?"
"Well he didn't so much say, as acted upon it." Ianto was staring distractedly past Gwen into Jack's office, "Can we talk about this later, I would quite like to hear the story about the baby carriage."
Gwen grinned to herself again as Ianto swerved round her heading into Jack's office, shrugging her shoulders and 'aw-ing' to herself again before sudden realisation dawned on her face.