Characters: Jack, Gwen, Ianto, Rhys
Setting/Spoilers: Contains references to “Meat”
Word Count: ~1400
Teaser: Crack. Gwen has a relationship with Jack and Ianto, but she feels guilty about Rhys. Jack thinks he knows how to solve this problem...
Author's note: This is crack, and I make no apologies!
You're kind of my protegé and one day you'll say you learned all you know from me
I know you depend on me like a young thing would to a guardian
I know you sexualize me like a young thing would and I think I like it
Ooh this could get messy
But you don't seem to mind
Ooh don't go telling everybody
And overlook this supposed crime
~“Hands Clean,” Alanis Morissette
Gwen lay in bed, Ianto passed out adorably to her left. Usually, the sounds of Ianto's cute snuffling and the twitching of his brow lured her into sleep, but tonight, the captivating nighttime habits of the Welshman weren't doing it for her. She sighed quietly. On the other side of Ianto, Jack slowly sat up. Drat, that man never sleeps!
“What's wrong?” Gwen sighed one more time before rolling to face him.
“It's Rhys,” she whispered.
“You told him you were working, right?”
“Yes, but nowadays he wants to hear every detail about work. Especially if it keeps me out all night.”
“Easy. Say weevils were going crazy. You've dealt with enough of those to make up some details... Unless we didn't tire you out enough to make it convincing?” The room was dark, but Gwen knew Jack was leering at her. He'd have that dashing half-smile she always wanted to snog off his face.
“Mmwhat?” Ianto grumbled drowsily as he rubbed his eyes.
“Oh, sorry, love. Didn't mean to wake you,” Gwen apologized earnestly. She cuddled up to his side and snaked a leg around one of his. He smiled contentedly and pulled her closer, oblivious to how she was glaring at Jack. The older man pouted at his lovers.
“Yeah, sorry, Ianto. Gwen was just wondering what to do about Rhys.”
“Don't bother the man with that in the middle of the night!” scolded Gwen. “That's my problem to deal with.”
Ianto looked down at her and frowned slightly before saying, “But it isn't. Just your problem, I mean. You're not just some part-time shag we ignore the rest of the time; we care about you.” Gwen melted under his concerned gaze and couldn't resist scooting up for a kiss.
“Well, we can try to include him,” Jack postulated out loud. The kiss was broken immediately, and his lovers looked at him with incredulity.
An edge of panic creeping into her voice, Gwen said, “What?”
“Don't worry; I'll do it. We got a little bonding started in the truck before; I bet I can seduce him into joining us,” Jack continued, already lost in thought. Planning, Gwen thought with pure horror.
“Jack, you can't tell him I've been cheating!”
“I won't! I'll seduce him on my own, which'll probably make him feel guilty, the way you people are. And then I'll tell him you're in on it, and he'll feel better, and it'll all be okay!” He folded his arms behind his head, satisfied with his plan. Gwen looked desperately up at Ianto.
'This is never going to work. God, how do we stop it?' her expression said.
'We can't stop it. Best just let him try,' replied Ianto's pitying gaze. In her heart, Gwen had to agree. Jack was convinced that no man could deny him, and their protests wouldn't change that. Besides, there was always retcon.
Somehow, Jack had lured Rhys to the pub for some male bonding.
“So how's work, Rhys?” Jack began, fixing him with his dashing grin.
“Oh, it's alright. No aliens mucking up the works, at least. Can't say the same for you, I take it?” Rhys joked, giving a friendly smile back. Jack fixed him with a smoldering gaze, but Rhys seemed oblivious. However, his smile did turn uncertain at the distinctly uncomfortable silence, so he spoke.
“Uh, so how's Gwen doing at work? Yearly review gonna be positive and all that?” Jack's eyes brightened, and he sat back in his stool, gazing up.
“Gwen's an asset. Not to say that everyone who works with me is a horrible person, but Gwen wants to do the right thing AND has a way with words when it comes time to do it. The perfect good cop to my bad cop, y'know?” Jack flitted his eyes back to Rhys. The man was still smiling, but it seemed forced, and Jack realized how much unguarded affection had been in his voice just then.
He cleared his throat and leaned in closer to Rhys, “But I wanted to learn more about her fiancé! So tell me, you've got to have some crazy stories of your own. What's the secret past of Rhys Williams?”
“Uh... well, my mates and I went on a road trip once.”
“Nice! Bar fights? Hotel lift sex? Running from a girl's dad when he finds you the morning after, trousers at your ankles? Or...” Jack raised an eyebrow suggestively, “that one experimental night with your guy friends that you never spoke of again?” Rhys' mouth made a small “o,” and he was the epitome of gobsmacked.
Jack cajoled him, “Come on, you can tell me. Maybe she told you she'd only do you if you and your buddy did her at the same time? Got a bit enthusiastic? These things happen; I should know.” Rhys opened his mouth further, but only a squeak came out. He shook his head before hesitantly trying to speak again.
“We... uh... I made out with a Manchester fan's girlfriend when I was drunk and got beat up. And I tried pot once?” Even though his voice had evened out, Rhys was still looking at Jack with wide, confused eyes. Perhaps it was a countenance of offense taken at what Jack was implying, but he pressed on anyway.
“Well, you never know what your future holds, at least.” He placed his hand on Rhys' knee.
Next time, Jack accompanied Rhys' friends to the pub but ended up taking one of said friends home instead of Rhys himself. This made the next several attempts Jack made at talking to Rhys extremely. Awkward.
At one restaurant, Jack ordered Italian sausage and proceeded to eat it in the most suggestive manner he could manage. Rhys left looking positively traumatized.
“So, Rhys, did you do a lot of truck driving before ending up in the main office?”
“I did, actually. Miserable hours, that.”
Jack lowered the tone of his voice and said, “But I bet it means you can go for a long, long time.”
“Oh yeah! Didn't even take caffeine pills or nothin'. Had plenty of energy in me youth.” Rhys smiled brightly, happy to talk about his work.
“I bet you still do. Could take a big lorry on a long, hard drive anytime.”
“Actually, my doctor says it would be bad for my back. And the pay's better in the office anyway,” Rhys explained good-naturedly. Jack sighed.
Jack was tiring of his failed attempts. Rhys was either completely oblivious or a very good actor, so it was time for a more direct approach.
“Hey, Rhys. Remember that time you asked if I was gay? Thought you should know, I actually go both ways.”
“...Well, alright. Thanks for that random bit of self-exposure?”
“So, in a completely unrelated matter of curiosity – You've really never experimented?”
Letting some irritation show, Rhys responded, “No. Look, I'm flattered, really, but I don't think my fiancé would approve-”
“Sure she would!” Jack exclaimed in a “don't be ridiculous” tone.
“Come on, two guys she fancies? ...Maybe a third? She's a hot-blooded woman!”
“Who says she fancies you?!” Rhys argued, voice raising a pitch. His possessiveness was getting on Jack's nerves.
“Her, the way she was calling my name last... night... shit.” Rhys had turned several shades of red in just a few seconds. Suddenly, he threw himself at Jack, who caught him in a throw. As he hit the ground with a painful smack, the rest of the pub patrons took notice of the struggle.
“Oi! You lot take that outside, or I'm calling the police!” threatened the bartender. Great, just what they needed – PC Andy to see him and Rhys duking it out over Gwen.
“You heard the man. Come on, Rhys, we can discuss this like gentlemen.”
Rhys was laboriously trying to pick himself up, but he managed to grunt, “Gentlemen?! You're no gentleman! You're an oversexed... moral-lacking... girlfriend-stealing tosser!” He was finally on his feet again and still obviously peeved. Jack decided that discretion was the better part of valor and ran.
“Wha- you coward!” Rhys bellowed. He chased him out of the pub and into the nearest alley, where Jack proceeded to knock him unconscious. Jack sighed. Perhaps this plan was hopeless. For now, he'd have to call Owen for a pick-up, patch-up, and retcon pill – the man owed him a favor, anyway.