[I saw three ships]
To: Keine
From: zvi
Fandom: Torchwood
Threesome: Ianto Jones/Toshiko Sato/Jack Harness
Title: By Invitation Only
Requested Element: coffee

"Is it a suicide watch?" asked Ianto.

Tosh looked up from Ianto's fingers, deftly measuring coffee into filters, to his face. "Is what…?"

"You've stayed just about three feet from me since Jack." Unlike the rest of them, Ianto didn't fidget when the conversational pause used to indicate Jack's absence came up, preferring the full stop to the ellipsis.

"Oh. Oh no. I'll, um, back to my workstation, then. Sorry." Tosh scanned the area around her briefly, but she hadn't actually brought any paperwork or computers or artifacts into the breakroom, so there was nothing to pick up and carry off.

"Don't," said Ianto. He fastened a small door and pushed a series of buttons, causing the machine to make a sort of whirring noise. "So, what is it?"

Tosh hovered, pushed up on her toes in preparation for a turn, but not yet in motion. "I, um, I thought you might be lonely. With him gone." She stood down, looked somewhere past Ianto's shoulder. "I'm lonely, sometimes."

"All right then." Ianto leaned forward and pushed another button on the machine, and it vented steam. "So long as it's not a suicide watch." He didn't smile at her, but his nod was rather more casual than a butler's.

She smiled at him, just a little, but walked out of the kitchen anyway. She hadn't done any work for over a week.

Gwen had left and Owen had left and Ianto was putting on his overcoat when he said, "What's wrong with Gwen, then?"

Tosh looked up from the equations she'd been pondering, stuck in a sort of mathematical meditation in which the symbols replaced all the words; she had to breathe for a moment in order to speak English. "There's something wrong with her? I thought she was doing okay."

Ianto shook his head. "You said you were lonely. Owen is," Ianto's lips twitched and he shook his head, "but I wondered why you didn't spend more time with Gwen."

"She's all wrapped up in Rhys. I haven't any interest in him. Or football. Or television. So."

"So." He nodded. "Care for a pint?"

She looked around the Hub and shrugged, an expression on her face which might have been a pout in its previous life.

"We have callforwarding. The alarms are set to page you. Your laptop can remotely access the workstations." He held out a hand to her.

She didn't take it, but she stood and said, "Let me get my coat."

In the car, the pub was abandoned for Ianto's flat after a moment's discussion. ("It's only that I'm wanting an Irish Coffee, you see, but pub coffee's crap," Ianto apologized.)

Tosh had expected Ianto's place to be neat and well-organized, but its barrenness was disappointing. She drifted back into his kitchen. "Nothing to be learned from snooping in your things, is there?"

His mouth twitched and his answer was flat. "No." He handed her a drink and walked past her into the next room. He sat on one end of the couch and pointed at the other end.

She sat and sipped and sighed. "I thought you were just being finicky, but the coffee makes all the difference in the world." She felt herself relaxing, the heat and the whiskey melting her from the neck downwards. She moaned a little as her stomach unclenched for the first time since they'd picked up Jack's body from that field. She opened her eyes when she heard a chuckle.

"Better than sex, isn't it?"

Tosh took a sip and held it in her mouth, swallowed slowly. "The last time I had sex was with a telepath determined to seduce me for untoward purposes. It's not better than that." She took a deep breath over the cup. "But it definitely beats out the last fuck I had before that." She took another sip and considered. "Jack's not…?"

Ianto blushed and took a sip of his own coffee. "He's bloody brilliant, but he's male, isn't he? I'm straight."

"Then why…?"

Ianto shrugged. "After, after those butchers in the country." He sipped. "It was late, I was distraught, Jack was himself." He shrugged. "Life-affirming sex is a cliché for a reason."

She smiled. "That's more than enough, really."

Ianto smiled. "I thought so at the time."

She put down her cup and stood. "No, I meant…." Tosh blushed, but she held out her hand.

Ianto took it and pulled her down on his lap. "I'm not done with my coffee yet." But he put down his cup and put one hand to the back of her neck. He kissed her, mouth warm and firm and big on hers, and he swiped at the inside of her cheeks but he lingered on her lips and tongue.

Jack returned the next day, but the corpses served to make that less emotionally turbulent than anticipated. The answer to, "Did ya miss me?" turned out to be, "Yeah, we can use another gun when we—duck!."

Jack checked off in his head: Owen had gone to hospital for that bump on the head; Gwen had been picked up by Rhys since she couldn't drive with that arm; he'd just said goodbye to Tosh. That left just one of his little darlings wandering the Hub.

"Sir?" Ianto came through the door, with a lovely steaming cup of coffee and two biscotti. "Will that be all?"

Jack took the tray and put it on his desk. "You're not staying?"

Ianto looked a little pleased, but mostly stubborn. "I have plans. You didn't exactly call ahead."

Jack smiled. "Got plans for tomorrow night, too?" When Ianto twitched a little guiltily, Jack took Ianto's wrist in his right hand and pulled Ianto closer. "If I'm being dumped, I deserve a kiss goodbye."

Ianto pulled his hand back, looked in Jack's eyes. "I don't know. It's new. We haven't talked about, well, anything."

"Okay." Jack leaned forward and kissed Ianto thoroughly, but he kept his hands out of it, only let his teeth scrape Ianto's lips gently, gently. "I missed you. I want to pick up where we left off. What do you want?"

"I don't know," said Ianto, and he leaned into Jack's body, grabbed Jack's suspenders in the back. "I didn't think I liked you that much, but then you."

Jack's arms came up right away, but it took a moment for him to ask, "But then I what?"

"You saved the world." Ianto blushed.

Jack smiled, wicked pride mixing with disbelief. "Self-sacrifice gets you all hot and bothered?"

"No. But I felt bad about your murder, not just the world. And when you were dead, I missed you, and when you were gone, I—." He straightened up and pulled away. "I'll be late."

Jack watched him turn around and leave. "Good night, Mr. Jones."

"Good night, sir."

Jack was surprised to discover that Ianto's coffee was quite as good as he had remembered. Most things had been embroidered by his imagination while he was held by the Master, and he'd had a sadly disappointing hedonistic vacation before he came back to work. But the coffee was perfect.

Ianto had to knock twice at Tosh's door. When she opened it, she was wearing her glasses and an ugly t-shirt. In her hands were a computer manual and a bottle of iced green tea. They blinked at each other for several moments without speaking, then Tosh backed up while holding the door open.

Ianto walked in far enough to let Tosh close the door behind him. "Did I misunderstand this morning?" He didn't look at her as he asked, preferring instead to make a close study of her far wall.

"You said you were coming by tonight, yeah, providing that nothing came up at work." Tosh put her book and her drink down in the kitchen and turned back to face Ianto. "Jack didn't qualify?"

"Fucking him's not part of my job, no."

She flushed, her hands coming up to her face. "That's not what I meant. I just," she shrugged, "who would pick me over Captain Tall, Dark, and Handsome?" She turned back into her kitchen, picked the kettle up from the stove. "I've got real tea, if you're interested. Good quality Assam."

He walked into her kitchen and put his hand over hers, stopping her from turning on the sink. "I've been known to imbibe drinks that were neither hot nor caffeinated." He turned her around. "I've given sexual favors for a pint at the right moment." He bent to kiss her, touched her face first. "I've no idea what I might want from Jack. I know I want to get to know you better, Toshiko Sato."

Jack was surprised when Ianto came into his office. Owen and Gwen were gone, but he hadn't seen Tosh leave. Discretion had been important to Ianto last year—last week?—when they parted. He raised an eyebrow.

Ianto shook his head, gently, a little sadly.

Jack stood and opened his arms and Ianto came to him, and they had the big movie romance kiss with appropriate amounts of swooning on Ianto's part. And then Jack stood him up straight, brushed the lapels of Ianto's coat, and gave him a peck on the cheek. Ianto touched his cheek with his hand, face pulled tight like he'd been smacked. But he nodded once, then walked out of Jack's office.

Jack was surprised when Ianto came back into his office. For one thing, Ianto was still facing the door he'd been heading out of, and for another, Tosh was pushing him in. "I can't do it," she said. "I can't take another man away from him."

Ianto stopped dead at this, and pulled off sideways so he could look at both of them. "What?"

"She means from when we went through the Rift," said Jack. "There was a guy, it was wartime, there was a connection." Jack shook his head. "Tosh, if you and Ianto have a chance at making something work, I want you to—." He stopped because she came to him and pulled his head down and kissed him. Jack didn't know what she was thinking, but her mouth tasted of coffee and hazelnuts, so he kissed her back. He did it properly, because he didn't think he'd get the opportunity again. She'd always been standoffish and constrained. Jack found this ridiculously attractive, as he didn't understand how one could live that way.

Tosh was breathless when she pulled back. She said, "I'm not wedded to monogamy as a lifestyle, Ianto, are you?"

Ianto said tentatively, "I've never thought about it. I don't know what I want."

"I think monogamy's completely ridiculous," said Jack.

"I guessed," said Tosh.

"I have met you, Jack," said Ianto.

The next morning, Ianto moved quite stiffly as he walked up to Owen's surgery. "If you have any large equipment requests, can you get them to me by the end of the week?"

"Why?" asked Owen. "I thought large equipment got ordered in March."

"It does normally, but Jack needs a new bed and I want something with which to camouflage the purchase order."

Owen gave him a cranky snort. "I don't want to know how you broke the bed, yet, as your doctor, I feel compelled to ask."

Ianto smiled mysteriously and said, "Tosh is a lot more athletic than you give her credit for."

"Tosh! Is this a mandatory company orgy or something?"

"More of an invitation only coffee break, really."