Notes: The full oneshot for #95 from 'Snapshots of Smiles'. Requested by Cara 'ch cariad and WickedWitchoftheSE.
Disclaimer: I do not own Torchwood and I am not making any profit from this work.
The Seventh Commandment
Suzie had liked Ianto from the start.
Most of that was to do with the fact that Suzie herself was not much of a team player. She had always viewed the team a little from the outside, with the idle amusement of an onlooker used to the goings-on. Ianto, with his genuine outsider status, briefly intrigued her. And the way he kept that outsider status also kept her attention.
It didn't hurt that he was easy on the eyes, either.
Maybe that's how they had ended up the way they were.
Suzie knew from that first drunken night in Ianto's flat that she was a bit of on the side. There were photographs everywhere, even though he'd obviously only just moved in. He hadn't even set up the bed yet: they'd fallen onto a mattress on the floor, so pissed that they hadn't really cared.
She wondered where the girlfriend was - a pretty young black woman with dark eyes and, according to the pictures, a bit of a habit of hanging her arms around Ianto's neck. But then Ianto's hands were on her neck, and shoulders, and breasts, and everywhere else, and she didn't think about it for a while.
"This doesn't mean anything, does it?" she asked afterwards, when they lay sweaty and rumpled in the sheets on that mattress on the floor, and Ianto stared at her like he'd forgotten that a world existed outside drunken sex.
"No," he said eventually.
"When's your girlfriend coming back?" she asked. "Cos I want to sleep the booze off now."
"That's fine. She won't be back tonight."
That had been their first night together. They both recognised it for what it was: mutual comfort. Suzie was lonely, Ianto seemed lost, and even the self-isolated had to reconnect with humanity at some point. Suzie often thought it was much the same as her affair with Owen, only Ianto didn't mind post-coital cuddling, and babbled in Welsh right before he came, which was surprisingly erotic.
And Ianto was so much better at keeping a secret than Owen. Suzie was certain that nobody at the Hub had a clue what they were doing out of hours. Hell, Ianto ignored her until it was time to give her her coffee, or he was directly asked for assistance. And there was nothing odd about asking Ianto for help finding things in the archives. Even Owen asked for help like that.
Suzie supposed that they took the conventional path. Backwards. They started screwing, then they started kissing, and pretty soon, they had to actually talk to each other.
And with talking came mutual secrets. And with secrets came compromise.
Until Suzie and Ianto were partners in crime, and watching each other's backs.
Because Ianto knew about Suzie's project with the glove. And Suzie knew about Lisa.
Suzie thought it was a form of Mutual Assured Destruction. If Ianto sold her out, she could sell him out too, and vice versa. If one went down, the other was sure to follow. Ianto didn't like her project, she knew; but then, she didn't like Ianto's. Catch 22.
But the possibilities were endless.
Not to mention that if Ianto succeeded with Lisa, she would be able to get her hands on so much technology. So many secrets, so many things to discover.
Naturally, Suzie offered to help.
And warily, Ianto had agreed.
"I wish I could have worked at Torchwood One," Suzie said once, brushing her hair into place in front of Ianto's bathroom mirror. "What we do here must be so limited compared to what you've seen. I mean, c'mon. You're a bloody PA and you're still trained in the use of a handgun."
Ianto shrugged and said: "It had its down sides."
"Oh, of course," Suzie allowed. "But up sides too. And I bet Yvonne Hartman didn't sexually harass you like Jack does."
"No," Ianto admitted. "But you and Jack do. And Lisa and a girl called Maria on my floor did in London. So it's even so far."
Suzie screwed her face up and said, "Let's hope it stays that way. Do you really want Owen seducing you?"
"Says his ex," Ianto pointed out.
"I loved Owen as much as I love you," Suzie sniped, abandoning her hair as a lost cause and turning to scowl at him. "Don't get ideas above your station."
It had become an almost routine arrangement. Every night that Suzie stayed late to sneak down into the basements with Ianto and help tend to Lisa, she also went home with him afterwards. She never saw him cry - though she knew he must - and they sought refuge from the loneliness in each other.
He wasn't wild and passionate like Owen. He was gentle, pushing for a steadily rising sense of arousal until the precipice hung higher than Suzie had ever experienced before. She never knew how he got her there, but he always left her gasping.
Sometimes, Suzie wondered if that was what making love felt like.
But she didn't know, and didn't really want to find out.
Ianto had never been totally happy about their affair, much as Suzie knew that his libido enjoyed it. The sex was fantastic, but the times between were caught between things cooling off and heating up in wild fluctuations that Suzie wasn't used to. She wasn't used to men being worried about cheating on their girlfriends - especially not their girlfriends who were never going to find out the truth.
"I'm an adulterer," Ianto said to her once, as they dug through the archives for one of Suzie's precious toys.
"It's only the sixth commandment."
"The sixth is 'thou shalt not murder'," he corrected.
"Seventh, then. And you believe in God after Torchwood's sights?"
"I guess not," Ianto shrugged. "Still doesn't make it right."
"Ianto. You have needs. She can't fulfil them now. We end when she's better. It's not like this is love," Suzie huffed.
And that was the beautiful truth of it: it never was, and never would be, love.
Had they ever set their sights beyond technology and love, Ianto Jones and Suzie Costello could have become the powers of Torchwood. They could easily, with their almost sociopathic wit (Suzie) and frightening intuitiveness (Ianto), have destroyed Torchwood Cardiff from the inside out, ripping it apart and rebuilding it in their own ambitious images.
But they never did.
Suzie thought she would, one day. She had the mind, had the ambition, but she also had more important things to worry about before setting her sights on unseating the all-too-charming Captain Jack. Whether there, her and Ianto's deal would have terminated, she would never know.
But she did know, at the end, that there was always friendship underneath the affair and the secrets and trust shown through sideways glances. Just before the bullet blew open the back of her head, she sent a silent apology to Ianto.
And she genuinely hoped that her help had been enough to save Lisa.
When she returned, she only got a few moments with Ianto, but it was enough to know that it hadn't come to pass.
"I'm sorry," she told him.
"I know," he said, "but thank you anyway."
And though their plans had been destroyed and their affair confined to the memory of the one who was left behind, that brief explosion of a lonely passion had never been meaningless.
Because even before Jack, there had been Suzie.