Title: Love Hearts as a Metaphor for Life
Characters: Gwen, Ianto, Jack (Canon couples)
A/n:This fic is for Abby_juniper. She said I should write Ianto and Gwen as BFF (because they so are!) and I never really got round to it until today. It isn't amazing, the title's probably the best bit of it, but if it cheers her up a little bit then none of that matters! and if you don't know what Love Hearts are - they are a sweet and they come in a pack of about 20 (?) for 25p - I like them, some people think they are awful, and they each have a little message written on them ('I love you', 'you're gorgeous' that sort of thing).

***

They become good friends because, honestly, why not? After everything they've been through, after everything they've seen. They may not be that similar – she's full of life, outgoing and into all the touchy-feely stuff that he finds a little embarrassing. He's quieter, thoughtful and quicker with his wit. But they say opposites attract.
They bond over Love Hearts in the Tourist Office. 'Bless you' says Gwen's first one, 'wild thing' says Ianto's (not literally, of course, although this is Torchwood and by now they really wouldn't be that surprised).
"Will you" she reads her next one aloud.
"Marry me", he holds his up so she can read it and they laugh. It's been a while since they laughed properly and if Gwen'd known a packet of 25p sweets would have this effect she'd have bought some ages ago.
"Sorry" she says, through her giggles, "but I think Rhys might object"
"Jack might too", he replies, deadpan. "We were secretly married last night" he holds out his right hand so she can inspect the ring-finger. It's empty, of course, and she punches him lightly on the arm.
"I'm never going to believe a word you say ever again, Ianto Jones!"
"Probably wise"
It's been a quiet day, a quiet week, really and Jack's been stuck in his office since first thing in the morning, signing paperwork and drinking copious amounts of coffee.
"You know" Ianto says, suddenly, turning 'hot lips' over between his fingers "I haven't been bowling in ages."
Gwen smiles, the last time they'd been bowling was way back before Owen died for the first time. Ianto had won, but she'd been a close second and they'd been meaning to have a re-match for ages.
Suddenly, without warning, the rift alert bursts into life, making Gwen jump two foot in the air in fright. She's only just got her heart back to its normal rhythm when Jack comes bursting through the secret door, their jackets slung over his arm.
"Rift spike at the Red Dragon Centre" he shouts "come on kids, hop to it!" he steals the last love heart as Ianto grabs his gun from behind the counter and contemplates it thoughtfully, "Lover?" he reads the message out loud after a moment, then pops it in his mouth and they head out the door.

***

"You know" Ianto says, ducking under yet another bizarre piece of machinery that looked as though it belonged in the Hub. "When I said I wanted to come bowling I actually meant I'd like to play, not spend my time creeping around the back looking for sentient bowling balls."
Gwen agrees with him and barely avoids tripping and falling head first over a wire. Ianto puts a hand out to save her and Jack regards him affectionately before leaping forward and seizing a ball as it rolls down the chute. Finding no resistance, however, he holds the definitely non-sentient bowling ball for a moment before placing it back and glances around sheepishly to see if the others have noticed his mistake. Ianto looks on straight faced and Jack can tell he's dying to make a sarcastic remark, but Gwen's laughter wells up in the silence and Jack's sure he can hear Ianto sniggering slightly. It's probably not the most dignified moment of his life.