Title : Anything but in her shoes
Summary : An alien artefact leads Gwen and Ianto to exchange bodies. Not so unusual for Torchwood, but it also leads to some revelations.
Rating : K+
Characters: Ianto Jones, Jack Harkness, Gwen Cooper, Rhys Williams
Pairing : Jack/Ianto, Gwen/Rhys
Warnings: None. (Set between seasons 2 and 3 and reference to the book "Almost perfect")
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Author's Notes: Special thanks to my wonderful beta reader welsh_scotsman.
"And how was I supposed to know it would happen ?"
"Because it's your bloody job to know it, Captain Super Hero!"
Sitting side by side in the old couch of the Hub, Ianto and Gwen glanced at each other whilst Jack and Rhys went on fighting like they had been doing since early morning. Or more precisely, since Ianto and Gwen had woken up alongside a naked man who wasn't theirs and jumped out of their skins, realizing they had inexplicably exchanged bodies during the night.
Thanks to Jack's knowledge, they had soon discovered that the phenomenon had been induced by a Silicanian artefact they had retrieved a few days ago from a waste ground. Silicans being a species lacking in bodies, they used it as a sort of soul transmitter that allowed them to move temporarily into the body of hosts. It was only meant to last two hours. Theoretically.
"How do you feel ?" asked Ianto in a low voice, trying to ignore the shouts coming from the medical bay.
"Weird." answered Gwen hesitantly. She smoothed a crease in Ianto's sleeve or rather her sleeve for the moment. "And you ?"
Ianto smirked at her.
"Not the first time I’ve worn high heels, if you remember." He suddenly giggled. "Tough I could have spared myself the vision of Rhys’ naked butt before breakfast."
Gwen blushed as much as Ianto's pale skin would permit. "I'm sorry Ianto."
"Why ? None of this is your fault. It's no one‘s fault, despite what those two idiots think."
Gwen smiled at him sheepishly and averted her eyes.
How could she explain it to him ? How could she tell him about what she had seen this morning ? The look of pure worship on Jack's face, just before he had realized something was wrong. She had never seen it before. Never seen Jack so absolutely happy. It was so intimate, so beautiful that she had felt more intrusive than if she had walked in on them in full action. She had felt like a thief.
Ianto let out a sigh and got up. He glanced once again over the medical bay and turned towards her.
"They're gonna give me a headache. I'm fed up with stags butting antlers."
He held out his hand to her.
"Fancy having a cup of coffee with me ?"
She took his hand and got up in turn.
"Oh yes!" She paused. "But Rhys and Jack..."
Ianto threw back his long black hair and shrugged.
"They won't even notice we're gone."
They smiled at each other as the shouts intensified.
"You're right. But what if someone notices... You know." Gwen squirmed uneasily in her suit.
Ianto smirked at her.
"Don't worry no one will notice anything." he reassured her, before adding mischievously : " Just a request : try to keep a male gait, please. I care about my reputation."
They were heading to the invisible lift arm in arm, when Gwen froze.
"Yes, Gwen ?"
"I think I have to go pee."
Ianto rolled his eyes and led her to the loo.
- - - - - - - -
Jack was pacing frantically around the medical bay, alternating between rummaging amongst the books and manuals scattered all around the place and typing feverishly at his laptop. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Gwen and Ianto leaving the main area. Turning back abruptly, he crashed into Rhys who was on his heels and felt a surge of anger.
"Get out ! Don't you see you're in my way ?" he snarled at him.
The Welshman didn't bat an eyelid, unimpressed.
"You said it would only last two hours and now it has been more than six hours."
"Two hours when it's used by Silicans. They 're humans. I don't know how long it'll be."
"You don’t know much."
Jack took a deep breath and let out a sigh.
"You’re starting to get on my nerves! I'm working on it, you know."
"Nice work you do. In fact you only blow hot air. I’m sure you find it all very funny, but I don't. I want my wife back, Harkness ! Do you hear me?" Rhys was so angry that he was spluttering. "There’s no way I want to spend the rest of my life with my wife trapped inside your boyfriend’s body. I'm not interested in men.Ok ?"
He shook his head and threw a book across the room.
"Why do I talk to you ? I wouldn't be surprised if you were behind it. You have always wanted her in your bed. "
He didn't see the blow coming before Jack's fist crashed into his face. He stumbled backwards and raised his hand to his chin, taken aback, as Jack roared at him :
"Maybe it's not my wife who's trapped in another body, but believe me, I have pretty much the same problem as you.". He ran his fingers through his hair and carried on in a lower voice.
"I don't care if Ianto has breasts, or scales. He could even have a furry tail or two heads. I don't give a damn. But I don't want him to look like Gwen... Anyone but her."
He fell onto a chair and buried his head in his hands whilst Rhys stood still, not knowing what to do or say, his anger suddenly gone away.
"I thought it wouldn't bother you. You know...two in one." he said finally.
"Of course you did. And that's exactly what Ianto will think too, if he has to stay this way. He'll never let me approach him anymore. He'll never believe that I want him and not her."
"I'm sorry, mate. I shouldn't have said that. It's just... I'm scared." said Rhys.
"So am I."
Rhys patted Jack's shoulder tentatively.
"I'm sure things will work out."
Jack shook his head sadly and Rhys caught sight of tears in his eyes.
"I don't want to lose him."
Two heads snapped around. Ianto and Gwen were standing at the top of the stairs, staring at them. Jack jumped to his feet and quickly wiped his eyes on the sleeve of his shirt, his head bowed.
"I... I..." He cleared his throat. "I 'm going to..."
Before he could finish his sentence, two strong arms wrapped around his shoulders holding him tightly.
Jack tensed and tried to free himself from the hug.
"It's not Gwen" said a hoarse voice into his ear.
Jack lifted his head and looked at the crystal blue eyes in front of him, searching confirmation of the end of their predicament.
Ianto's lips crashed onto his in a lingering kiss and Jack relaxed into his arms, feeling suddenly drained.
Leant against the railway, Gwen winked at Rhys who was gaping at them. "It went back to normal whilst we were heading to the coffee shop."
"Let's go back home." whispered Ianto, when they finally parted. He took Jack's hand in his, nodded at Gwen and then dragged a compliant Captain towards the exit.
- - - - - - - -
"How long had you been there ?" asked Rhys, watching as the two men went through the cog-wheel.
"Well, more or less since the furry tails part." answered Gwen with a smirk.
"It seems that your Captain has a big big crush, you know. I'd never have thought he could fall in love."
"That's because you're an idiot." she replied, nudging him. She smiled fondly at him and slid her arms around his waist. "But you're my idiot, Rhys Williams. Mine and only mine."
He scowled at her then smiled in return.
"It's good to have you back, sweetheart."
"Oh yes" chuckled Gwen, pulling him to her. "Where were we ? Oh yes. Ianto was saying to me that you had a little something for me this morning." She bursted out laughing, seeing Rhys blushing like a beetroot.