Formula

By Icy Imp

Beta'd by nothing-rhymes-with-ianto (may God bless you so much for putting up with all of my annoyingness)


"Damnit, Ianto!" Jack bellowed, wiping his blue jeans off with his napkin.

Ianto scrambled to clean up the wine he'd spilled, wondering if Jack knew that he'd spilled it on purpose. "I'm sorry, Jack, I just -"

Jack looked up at his lover, dropping the napkin on the table. "I shouldn't have yelled. I'm sorry." He wrapped Ianto in a crushing embrace. "What's wrong?"

"I just can't do anything right!" He struggled against Jack, breaking from his hug with an angry shove. "I've never been good enough! I'll never be good enough!"

"That isn't true, Ianto." Jack chided, patting his back soothingly. He led Ianto to the living room and sat him on the couch, kneeling down in front of him. "Now you listen to me. I don't know what's going on in that brain of your right now, but whatever it is, we're going to sort it out. Do you understand?" He sat on the couch beside Ianto, looking into his deep blue eyes. "What in the world has gotten into you? You've been acting out for weeks." He snaked a kind arm over Ianto's shoulder, pulling him in tight.

"I'm just your stupid tea-boy. You don't really want me here. I'm just here to service you."

"That is not true. What would make you think that, Ianto?" His voice was laced with anger.

"Owen."

Jack sighed, caressing Ianto's cheek. "Owen is jealous of you. He doesn't like the two of us spending so much time together. Before you joined Torchwood, he and I were... much closer."

Ianto looked up, shocked and hurt. "You were with him?!"

"No, God, no." Jack said with a calm voice. "No, Owen joined Torchwood right after his fiancee died. He was hurting. He was broken, and he wanted someone to put the pieces back together."

"But you weren't... together?"

"Nope. Never. He's..." Jack looked around awkwardly for a moment, "He's like a son to me. And the way he sees it, you're taking me away from him."

"Should I... talk to him?"

"God, no!" He chuckled, "He hates you as it is."

"I've only ever been nice to the little twat. And all I ever get in return is 'Ianto, bring me a coffee', or 'Ianto, I need a biscuit'. He's such a brat."

"Now, none of that. I still expect you to be nice to him. But I promise you, he and I will have a chat." He gave Ianto a kiss on the forehead, running his fingers through Ianto's hair. "Why don't we get to bed? We'll both feel better." He winked.

Ianto nodded, following Jack to the bedroom, stripping quickly from his clothes and crawling into their king-sized bed. "I want to spend the day in the archives tomorrow." Ianto announced as Jack spooned him, "I don't want to be making coffee; having to clean everyone's shit and listen to Owen gripe all day long."

Jack looked at him sternly, wagging a finger. "You know better than to discuss work at home. I don't want to be your boss right now. I want to be your boyfriend."

Ianto spun back around, angry now. "You just can't give me what I want, can you? It's always me working for you. It's never reciprocal."

"That isn't true and you know it. I give you everything you need." He said, raising an eyebrow, daring Ianto to challenge him.

"Please, Jack, all I'm asking for is one day. I'm not like you. You're strong – relentless. I can't take teasing."

Jack nodded with a deep sigh. "All right." He said as he rubbed Ianto's back soothingly. "You can spend time in the archives tomorrow. But, Ianto, don't you ever bring up work related issues at home again. All right? I don't like it."

"Well, there's a lot of things I don't like, Jack, but you don't hear me whining about them." Ianto grumped, turning off the lamp beside their bed. "Good night."


Jack sent Ianto to the archives as soon as Owen arrived. "I want you back up here before lunch. Understand me?"

"Yes, sir." He ran down quickly before he could be accosted by anyone.

"Owen, my office." Jack barked from the door. "We need to speak."

"Well, I'm busy." Owen snipped from his computer.

"Now."

Looking up from the computer for a moment, Owen saw the firmness in Jack's eyes. He slowly sulked his way to Jack's office, rolling his eyes at Tosh's longing glance. "I was busy," He growled as he entered the spacious office. "Working on a new formula for the weevils."

"Janet's food is just fine as it is." Stated Jack from behind the desk.

"Her last blood test showed she's lacking vitamin D."

"Yeah, well, take her outside a little more often."

"Ha ha." Owen replied sarcastically. "What do you want, Harkness, so I can get back to work?"

Jack leaned back in his desk chair, "Sit." He gestured kindly.

Owen pulled up a chair and sat in front of Jack's desk, giving a grand gesture for him to continue. "Please, Captain."

"It's come to my attention that there've been some... hurt feelings... around here."

"Oi, what's your tea boy saying now?" Disdain was thick in his voice as he crossed his arms with a loud huff.

"Stop with the name-calling. It's completely unacceptable." He scolded. "Ianto is upset because you're berating him. That's not all right, Owen. He's a valuable asset to this team."

"Yeah, and to your dick." Owen quipped, trying in vain to hide his smirk.

Jack stood up, slamming his hands on the desk. "Knock that off right now. I won't have you belittling our relationship."

"I'm ever so sorry, Jack. I'll never, ever do it again." The sarcasm practically dripped from Owen's voice.

He sighed, sadness heavy in his voice as he made his way around the desk. "I know how you felt after Ianto joined Torchwood."

"No, you bloody don't! You don't know a damn thing, you bastard!" He shouted. "You don't know how I felt, and even if you did, you don't give a shit!" He jumped from his seat, throwing his hands in the air.

"Calm down, Owen. Please." He demanded coolly, trying to keep a neutral position.

After a moment, Owen sat back down, crossing his arms. "Ever since Ianto came on board, all you do is fawn over him like a lovesick puppy. You spend every second you have with him!"

"Icare about you, too, Owen. I care about everyone on this team." He squeezed Owen's knee, resting his hand there. "I know that we rarely see much of each other anymore, but that doesn't make my feelings for you any different. You're like a son to me. I hope you know that."

Owen was ready to attack, but Jack's words stopped him. "You never say a word to me anymore unless it's to tell me I've fucked up or hurt your boyfriend's feelings."

Jack said in a quiet voice, "Owen, I'm sorry. I didn't know I was hurting you." The realization dawned just how much Owen depended on him. He knew he'd fucked up by ignoring him so much in favour of Ianto, but he had no idea just how much he'd hurt his friend.

He scowled, glaring at Jack. "You don't know anything. You think you know everything, but you're just a stupid, shallow arsehole who only cares for himself."

Since he couldn't think of anything else to say, Jack merely enveloped Owen in a tight hug, holding the smaller man close to his chest. "I'm sorry." He whispered, rubbing his back. "I'm sorry, Owen."

Almost immediately, Owen pulled out of the hug. He rubbed his forehead with the palm of his hand, standing up and turning away from Jack as he headed for the door. "If I promise I'll be nicer to Ianto, can I please get back to work?" Strain tried to creep into his voice, but Owen swallowed it back.

He squeezed his eyes shut for a moment. "Owen, listen-"

"Can I get back to work, please?" He asked simply, running his hand through his wiry hair.

With a deep sigh, Jack nodded. "Yes."


Weeks passed and Owen spent most of time in the autopsy room or doing research, trying to avoid everyone. He made polite chitchat with Tosh and Gwen and occasionally even flirted with them in his usual style. And he was kind enough to Ianto; only talking to him when absolutely necessary.

Jack stepped down into autopsy. "You've finished that formula for Janet, right?"

"Yes, sir."

Smiling, Jack gave Owen a firm, caring rub on his shoulder. "Great job, son."

Owen grinned to himself as Jack was leaving. While he was very angry still, over the past few weeks since he'd been called into Jack's office, he had noticed that Jack was trying harder to spend more time with the whole team. Especially Owen. And that made him feel almost happy.


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