Characters: Tosh, Ianto, Owen, Jack.
Summary: Tosh and Ianto have a few complaints about their men that need to be addressed.
Word Count: 1611
Written For: Challenge 120 – Men at beattheblackdog.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters.
“Men!” Tosh mumbled into her wine glass. “Sometimes I wonder why I bother with them. I know Owen loves me, but is it really too much to expect a little consideration, maybe even a little romance now and then? We get engaged and suddenly it’s like he feels he’s put his brand on me so he doesn’t need to make an effort anymore.”
“I know!” her drinking companion agreed. “Sometimes I get the feeling he only wants me for one thing. Men!”
Tosh paused, her wine glass halfway to her lips. “Ianto, you are a man,” she reminded her friend, just in case he’d forgotten. They were both a bit tipsy and it was just possible it might have slipped his mind…
“Well yeah, I know that, I’m just not that sort of man. I mean there’s more to life and relationships than sex. Don’t get me wrong, the sex is amazing, Jack is very… accomplished, and he’s not a selfish lover, but I do need to sleep sometimes, even if he doesn’t. What with one thing and another, I only got about two hours last night.” Ianto downed a third of his pint in a couple of gulps. “If he wants sex, he should at least be willing to cook me a nice dinner first, but he seems to think living together means he should get unlimited access to my body while not doing any of the work around the house.”
“Owen’s almost as bad,” Tosh admitted. “Not the sex thing; I mean, it’s great, but he’s not all over me all the time. He sleeps more than I do; I think he’d probably sleep all day if I let him. Stuff around the house though… When he wants to get out of doing something he always uses the excuse that he’s a surgeon and can’t afford to damage his hands.”
“Your hands are at least as valuable as Owen’s,” Ianto exclaimed, indignant on his best friend’s behalf. “He mostly just cuts up dead bodies; you’re the one who does the really intricate stuff, all those circuit boards and microchips and fiddly bits of wiring you can’t even see without a magnifying glass.”
“Right! Who else is he going to get to fix his computer? Not to mention all his other fancy bits of tech! He’d be lost without me.”
“Exactly!” Ianto slammed his glass down on the bar, beer slopping over the side onto his hand. Absentmindedly he licked it off. “And who does Jack think will keep the coffee flowing and everything at the Hub running smoothly if I’m too tired to?”
“We should go on strike until our men start treating us fairly!” Tosh declared.
Ianto gazed at Tosh in slightly drunken awe. “That’s brilliant! You really are a genius!” he said, as if realising it for the first time.
Tosh giggled tipsily. “I am, aren’t I?” She raised her glass in a toast, clinking it against Ianto’s beer glass as he picked it up again. “To us and fairer treatment!”
“Yep, to us! We’ll show ‘em! Starting tomorrow.”
Next morning, the two friends were both a little hungover. When Tosh’s alarm went off, she kicked Owen.
He jolted awake with a yelp. “Ow! What was that for?”
“I need coffee, and something for my hangover.”
“Why’re you telling me?”
“I’m on strike. Ianto and I decided last night; we’re fed up with you and Jack expecting us to do everything; you two don’t appreciate us, so now it’s your turn. The shopping, cleaning, cooking, laundry, washing dishes… have fun. And I want a dash of milk and one sugar in my coffee.”
“How many times have I made coffee for you when you’ve had a hangover?”
“Fine, I’ll get your coffee,” Owen grumbled, reluctantly sliding out of bed and padding off towards the kitchen.
“Don’t forget the hangover pills,” Tosh reminded him.
At Ianto’s house, the man in question dragged himself out of bed, showered, and made coffee. Jack wasn’t bad at making coffee, when he tried, but Ianto wasn’t in the mood to wait when he could do it better and faster himself.
“Good morning, sunshine!” Jack was already up and about, having woken up long before Ianto did. “What’s for breakfast?”
Ianto peered up at him. “I’ll have whatever you’re having, but you’ll be doing the cooking yourself.” He sipped his coffee while Jack stared at him, open-mouthed.
“Tosh and I have decided to strike for fairer treatment from our men. We’re tired of working all day and then being expected to do all the housework ourselves. We’ve had enough.”
Jack’s eyebrows disappeared into his fringe. “But I thought you preferred doing it yourself! I mean, you like things to be just so, and right after I moved in, when I was going to do some laundry, you said to leave it to you, so I have…”
“I didn’t mean everything, Jack!”
“Well you should’ve said! How am I supposed to know if you don’t tell me? I can’t read your mind!”
Ianto sighed; Jack had a point. “I suppose I’m so used to doing everything myself that I usually just get on with it without thinking.”
Jack nodded. “I’ve noticed. How do omelettes sound?”
“Huh?” Ianto wondered if that was some sort of trick question.
“For breakfast,” Jack said, chuckling. “You must be even more hung over than I thought!”
“Oh, yes, breakfast. Omelettes sounds good. You know how to make them?”
“I do know how to cook. I’ve been making omelettes since… well, long before you we born.” Jack started getting out the necessary equipment while Ianto just sat watching him, and before long a light and fluffy omelette was being set before him. “See what you think of that.”
Picking up knife and fork, Ianto sampled Jack’s cooking. “Mm! That’s wonderful!”
“Told you I can cook.” Jack sat opposite his boyfriend with his own plate of food. “How about this evening, work permitting, we go over the household chores and decide who does what?”
Smiling, Ianto nodded. “Sounds like a good plan.”
“Great. Now eat your omelette before it gets cold.”
Later on at the Hub, Tosh was still looking a bit bleary-eyed and Owen was stomping about, inflicting his grumpiness on everyone. “Can you believe them?” he ranted at Jack, having cornered him in his office. “On strike! I had to get my own breakfast, and wash the dishes, while Tosh lounged around in bed, drinking coffee!”
“And how many times have you been the one lounging in bed leaving Tosh to do all the work?” Jack asked. “How did you manage when you lived alone? Tosh has every right to feel resentful. You’re getting complacent, Owen; your fiancée works just as hard every day as you do, and then you expect her to do all the housework and wait on you hand and foot while you sit around watching TV or playing computer games. This is the twenty-first century, not the nineteen-fifties.”
“Whose side are you on? I thought you’d agree with me, what with Teaboy being on strike too!”
“His name’s Ianto, and we settled that this morning. I only left everything to him because I thought he wanted me to. It was a misunderstanding. After all, I only moved in a month ago, we’re still figuring things out. You and Tosh have been living together for almost seven months and now I find you’ve been taking her for granted! She wants a partner, not a couch potato. You need to romance her the way you did when the two of you were dating, and pull your weight around the house. We’re modern men, Owen; we can do everything a woman can!”
“Except for having babies.”
“Speak for yourself; when the time is right, Ianto and I are going to make beautiful babies together!”
Owen covered his ears. “I did not need to know that!”
“Now be a man and get out there, apologise to Tosh, and promise to do better in future. Put the trash out, help with the dishes and the cooking, do your own ironing and your share of the cleaning.”
“But I hate doing that stuff!”
“I guarantee Tosh doesn’t enjoy it either, but if you love her and don’t want to lose her…”
“Fine, if that’s what it takes…” Grumbling, Owen went to make up with Tosh.
Ianto slipped into Jack’s office by the back stairs. “Modern men?”
“Well I am at least; I’m not so sure about Owen. Tosh has got her work cut out training him.”
“Oh, I think she’s equal to the task. She is a genius.”
“Yes she is.” Jack turned to Ianto. “Are we okay?”
“Mostly,” Ianto conceded.
“There is one other thing you can do if you want to make me completely happy.”
“Allow me one night a week to sleep, unmolested.”
Jack quailed slightly at that. “Every week? Like one night out of every seven?”
“That is what one night a week generally means.”
“But I’m a man! I have needs!”
“I only said one night a week, Jack. I didn’t say anything about the days. I have needs too, it’s just that sleep happens to be one of them.”
A slow smile spread across Jack’s face. “In that case, I guess one night a week isn’t so much to ask. Since it’s daytime, and there’s nothing much that needs doing right now, perhaps we should go and practice.”
“Excellent idea.” Smirking, Ianto took Jack by the hand and led him towards the ladder to his bunker to take care of their mutual manly needs.