Cheers for more cliche? I have a dearth of ideas, but I really want to write so all that comes out is more of the same. Hopefully it'll still entertain. Think of it as brain candy.
This will probably end up AU as I will inveritably break away from canon. There may be hints of Gwenbashing, but it will be for things her character actually does. I can't stand when authors bash characters for characteristics they don't even have. There may also be some Jackbashing. Rest assured though, I cheer for Janto all the way!
Also I don't own Torchwood.
Ianto logged off and filed the last of his paperwork to the confused stares of his colleagues. He supposed he shouldn't be surprised, when was the last time he'd left the Hub on time? And here he was actually taking off a bit early. Ianto didn't let himself react to their subtle awe; they would get used to him leaving at normal hours. He planned for it to be a permanent change.
Sangging his overcoat he made for Jack's office to drop off what needed the man's signature. The matal walkway clanged louder than he would have liked, but not loud enough to drown out the speculative whispers of the ever curious Gwen Cooper. Ianto tried to ignore them, but the derisive snort from Owen was hard to miss.
A few more minutes and he'd be out of here. He rapped his knuckles against the door to the main office.
"Come in," Jack's voice drawled like it always did and Ianto let himself inside.
"These need to be signed," Ianto explained as he walked over and placed the folders on Jack's desk in order of importance. He'd taken the time to write up a quick summary for each because he knew Jack hated all the technical jargon that had to go into all the paperwork they sent out.
Jack grinned at him, "Perhaps for a bit of coffee magic and a little bit of…"
Ianto held up his hand, "I'm leaving." He knew if he stayed on, even if it were just to make coffee, he'd never get out in time and his resolve would crumble and he'd he have to deal with his growing discontent. He watched as Jack's expression turned to one of surprise.
"Now? It's only," Jack checked his wriststrap, "eight."
"Believe it or not Jack there's a whole world out there where nine to five is considered normal." Ianto offered with a bland smile. Jack gave him a lopsided smile in return.
"Yeah, but I was hoping you might stay behind for a couple rounds of naked hide and seek. Think we could convince Gwen to join us this time?" Jack teased. And there it was. In that simple joke all of Ianto's fears and insecurities were laid out. Did he work late because the world needed him, or because he needed Jack? And then the feeling that was all too close to jealousy every time Jack said her name, or let his gaze linger on her, or bowed to her demands.
"I'm afraid not, sir," He replied in much the same tone and took his leave, ignoring the look of disappointment and confusion Jack sent his direction.
Ianto wasn't a man who liked confrontation, and he knew that officially breaking off… whatever they were, would lead to one. Jack would want to know why, and Ianto would have to explain it and Jack would tell him he didn't do monogamy and Ianto would have to say he did and that was why he was ending it and Jack would get mad and huffy and Torchwood didn't need that in a leader.
So he'd do it his way.
He'd withdraw. The reason they had ever entered into anything was because they were convenient. It wasn't affection. Logic dictated that if he removed the convenience from the equation they would simply cease. A few weeks of carefully deflected advances and eventually Jack would lose interest and move on thinking it was his own idea.
And then Ianto could move on. He'd be out of the toxic one-sided relationship with Jack and possibly on the track to being an emotionally healthy adult male.
"Good evening," Ianto said to his teammates.
"Night Ianto," Gwen replied in that tone that suggested she was trying to suss him out, that tiny bit of distance and hesitation gave her away. Owen offered no reaction, making his opinion of the 'teaboy' known.
"There's nothing predicted tonight, but if we need you," Tosh began, and in her voice she was showing her concern that she might end up interrupting something important. She was considerate like that, and had the sense not to pry. Ianto had to wonder why he couldn't fall for her.
"I'll have my mobile." Ianto supplied and hoped his tone carried with it the fact that an interruption wouldn't interfere with his plans. His plans to get absolutely pissed at the nearest pub. Tosh smiled at him and he smiled in return as he exited the Hub.
The night air was cool enough that Ianto donned his overcoat, but not enough for him to bother with the buttons. This was it. His first steps toward ridding himself of his unhealthy habits. He was saying goodbye to his workaholic persona. He'd stay for crises but not for paperwork. It wasn't as if Torchwood had deadlines. This would be good, he just had to get past the cold heartbroken feeling. And the little voice telling him that even a piece of Jack was better than nothing.
Pub. That was what he needed. He hailed a taxi, he'd rather leave his car here than take it and risk driving home intoxicated. He liked to think he'd know better, but he would be drunk when he made the decision and Ianto didn't make a habit of trusting the drunk. The ride was brief, the driver said he knew a great place called Finnigan's that was only a few miles away. One bar was much like another, and in all honesty he was glad it wasn't the one Torchwood normally hit up. He'd run the risk of seeing Jack on the pull and that was not what he needed after a round of beer.
Finnigan's was a classic, if generic, Irish pub. Green decorations and shamrock shaped coasters. Though in Ianto's line of work, he'd learned to appreciate the predictable. He sat down, noticing that it was relatively quiet, but it was early yet. He ordered whatever was on tap and continued on into the night reminding himself this was a good idea. That he was making the right choice for himself.
Ianto was done living as second best. Jack could go to hell and take Gwen with him. This was Ianto's fresh start. No more Jack. Unless it was some Jack Daniel's, in that case bring it on.