Characters: Owen, Ianto, Gwen, Jack
Summary: There’s a rumour going around that Ianto has been seen out on the town…
Word Count: 1079
Written For: Challenge 84: Rumour at beattheblackdog.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters.
A/N: With an extra scene added by request of jo02.
“Rumour has it,” Owen smirked, coming to lean against the kitchen counter beside where Ianto was making coffee, “that you’ve been seen out on the town wining and dining a woman.”
“Oh yes? And exactly where did you hear this thrilling rumour?” Ianto didn’t even bother glancing in Owen’s direction, just continued to calmly and methodically prepare the heavenly nectar of the gods he called coffee, as if they were merely talking about the weather.
Owen was a bit miffed at Ianto’s lack of reaction. “From Gwen. She and Rhys were out for dinner last night and spotted you with your lady friend. She mentioned it to me because she wanted to know whether or not she should tell Jack you’re cheating on him.”
“And what did you advise her in all your wisdom? Not that it’s Gwen’s or anyone else’s business what I do with my free time.”
“I told her to keep her nose out of it unless she wants Rhys to find out she cheated on him, but I wonder what Jack would say if he found out.”
“About Gwen cheating on Rhys with you? News flash, Owen; he knew about that affair from the moment it started. You may have thought you were being discreet but you weren’t; we all knew.”
“No, I mean what would Jack say if he knew you were cheating on him?”
Ianto finally turned to look at Owen. “I’m not cheating on Jack. Really, Owen, you should know better than to listen to rumours.”
“But Gwen saw…”
He didn’t get to finish what he was saying because Ianto cut him off mid-sentence. “What Gwen saw and what Gwen thinks she saw are not necessarily the same thing, and that’s all I’m saying on the subject.” He smiled calmly and held out Owen’s mug. “Coffee?”
“Yeah, well that’s not goin’ to stop Gwen snooping.” Owen took the proffered mug. “Ta.”
Ianto smiled, unconcerned. “Nothing ever does. Dog with a bone, that one.”
Owen snorted into his coffee. “Too right. Just, when the shit hits the fan, and you know it will, don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
“Perish the thought. Now, if you’ll excuse me, the others will be wanting their coffee.” Ianto set the other mugs on his tray, picked it up, and left the kitchen.
Naturally, Owen was proved right; despite his warnings, Gwen could not keep what she ‘knew’ to herself, and after lunch a few days later she went to see Jack in his office.
He was sitting at his desk, reading though a stack of files, and he looked up as she entered, gesturing at the chair across from him and waiting for her to sit before speaking. “What can I do for you, Gwen?”
She fidgeted awkwardly. “Rhys took me out for dinner last week.”
“That’s good.” Jack smiled approvingly. “I’ve told you often enough not to let your relationship slide.”
“Yeah, you have.” Gwen nodded, fiddling with the cuff of her blouse.
“I hope he took you somewhere nice.”
“Bullys Restaurant on Romilly Crescent.”
“Excellent choice; their rump of lamb is to die for.”
“Haven’t tried that; I had the sea bass and Rhys had steak. We saw Ianto,” Gwen blurted out.
“At the restaurant?”
“Yes. He didn’t see us; he was having dinner.”
“That is what people usually do at restaurants.” Jack sounded amused.
“With a woman,” Gwen added.
“I see. Was she attractive?”
“What?” That clearly wasn’t the reaction Gwen had expected.
“It’s a simple enough question, Gwen. What did the woman Ianto was with look like?”
“Well, I… um, I didn’t look at her that closely, didn’t want them to catch me staring, but I suppose she was attractive, yes. She had shoulder length dark hair and she was wearing a black dress with a cobalt blue cardigan over the top. Looked expensive, very dressy.”
“Oh, that one.” Jack smiled. “I really love that cardigan; Ianto bought it for me, he says it brings out the blue of my eyes, but we hardly every go anywhere fancy enough for me to wear it. I can only really get all dressed up when we’re sure the Rift will stay quiet because I’d really hate to ruin any of my nice clothes chasing Weevils and stuff.”
Gwen’s mouth dropped open. “Wait, you’re saying… The woman Ianto was out with… That was you?”
Jack raised his eyebrows. “Of course it was, Gwen; what do you take Ianto for? You didn’t honestly think he’d cheat on me, did you?”
“Uh… but you’re not a woman!”
“So what? Sometimes I just want to feel pretty when Ianto takes me somewhere nice, so I put in a bit of extra effort and get myself all dolled up for him. Don’t you like looking nice when Rhys takes you out?”
“Of course I do. I just… Um…”
“I know you love a bit of juicy gossip, Gwen, but maybe in future you should just refrain from spreading rumours, especially when you don’t have all the facts. Now, was there anything else? Because I really need to get on with my paperwork. Ianto and I have tickets to a charity ball tonight and if I don’t hurry I won’t have time to shave my legs. Besides, don’t you have work to do?”
“Right, yes, I should get on.” Blushing furiously, Gwen jumped to her feet and scurried out of Jack’s office, back to her workstation, her head down, which was probably a mistake, because she almost ran smack into Ianto, who deftly sidestepped without spilling a single drop of coffee from any of the mugs on his tray.
“Steady on there, Gwen. Where’s the fire?”
Gwen stared at him, cheeks scarlet and eyes bugging out. She opened and shut her mouth a few times, but her voice seemed to have deserted her, and after almost a minute of standing frozen in her tracks, she abruptly bolted past Ianto, straight for the stairs leading to the locker room. Ianto raised an eyebrow as he watched her scuttle away, an amused twinkle in his eyes, then turned away to continue handing out coffees, leaving Gwen’s on her desk. Whether or not she’d return while it was still warm was anybody’s guess. He continued along to Owen’s workstation.
Owen, of course, had been watching the whole thing. Accepting his mug of coffee from Ianto, he asked, “What d’you think’s got into her?”
Ianto smirked behind Owen’s back. “I really couldn’t say.”