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18 February 2008 @ 08:06 pm
Torchwood fanfic: A Fork in the Road  
Title: A Fork in the Road
Pairing: Tosh/Ianto, mystery addition at the end
Rating/Warning NC-17
Summary: Fooling around on the firing range
Author's Notes: Set just after 2.01. Many, many thanks to my betas karaokegal, diachrony, and awesome Brit-picker crwban. You guys rock.
Disclaimer: Torchwood and the characters appearing in this fic are property of the BBC. No copyright infringement is intended.

Previous fics in the same 'verse:
Urban Retreat #1
Brownian Motion #2
Clouds in the Evening Sky More Darkly Gather #3

Ianto's aim was good, Tosh decided later. It was his timing that needed work.

That morning, he'd stopped by her desk, diffidently asking for her help with something after hours. Pen between teeth and eyes on her monitor, Tosh had mumbled agreement without bothering to ask what she was getting into. Once the alchemical symbols of integral and differential had cleared from her mind later, she worried at the unasked question all day.

Ianto was turning out to be a fount of useful information; she was honestly surprised at how the team had wasted him in a mere servant's role for so long, and how he'd tolerated that. A man who could rig the Cardiff fountain tower into a mobile phone antenna was unlikely to need her to fix something for him. Anything work related could be dealt with during the work day -

Add into the equation that Jack wasn't giving her the kind of verbal byplay she'd expect if they wanted something more carnal. Unless Ianto was interested in her alone tonight.

She pushed that thought aside as highly unlikely. After Jack had returned, the force of his personality was angled in two directions: Ianto and Gwen. It made sense, as Jack had never been able to resist his people when they began to slip from his grasp. It was an ache in her chest to know she wasn't interesting anymore, but hardly unanticipated.

What then, did Ianto want from her?

He appeared at her elbow right on time, a decorous few feet away. "Ready when you are, Tosh," he murmured, "and take your laptop, we might need it."

She gave him a suspicious look, but undocked the computer without a word. "Lead on, Macduff."

He smiled at her lopsidedly. Crooking one finger at her to follow, he led her toward the other side of the Hub. "You're more Horatio than Macbeth, Tosh."

The comment stung, even though she knew he didn't mean it to. An intellectual, inactive side character, never the main - that really was her role these days. Buttoning up her disquiet, she trailed in his wake, then stopped when she realised he was heading toward the firing range.

"Ianto," she called, "what are we doing? I'm not the weapons expert." She wrapped her arms about her laptop, hoping Jack wasn't waiting inside. She'd sworn off the office flings for good and didn't want to be drawn back in - she was just beginning to relate to both Jack and Ianto without flinching.

He glanced back at her, straightening his spine. As if each word were prickly, he said, "Jack says I need some practice on the range, if I'm to be out in the field with you lot. The thing is - his brand of help isn't exactly - helpful." He grimaced. "And I'm not asking Owen."

She couldn't keep back a smile at the thought of that scene. He smiled with her, expression softening.

"Why me, then?" she pressed. "Why not Gwen?" She wasn't sure why she was arguing, but her fingers were tightening on the case of her laptop.

He passed a hand over his brow, then fixed his gaze on hers. "Because she and Jack teach the same way. With them, it's all about feeling the weapon, aiming with your whole body, locking on the target - I don't learn that way." He took a step closer, touched her hand. "You and I think more alike."

She held his eyes for a moment, nodded warily. It felt as if Ianto had been studying the Jack Harkness guide to personnel manipulation.

"Besides," he said ruefully, with a glance at Jack's empty desk, "Gwen is - occupied, tonight."

Maybe he meant to elicit camaraderie with that, but Tosh felt a stab of biting satisfaction, quickly suppressed. Not the new shiny thing anymore, Ianto? She looked down to hide her expression, guilt at the cruel thought now flushing her cheeks.

When she didn't respond, Ianto let his hand drop. "Do you still want to help me?" he asked in neutral tones. She looked up to see his tightened jawline, decided he might not be as manipulative as she'd thought.

Relenting, she cocked her head toward the range. "Let's go, then."

A smile flickered across his face, relief evident in his eyes.

Two hours and three boxes of ammunition later, the room smelling of smoke and gun oil, Tosh pointed to the graphs she'd pulled together while Ianto field stripped the AK he'd been using, his handgun already dismantled and gleaming beside it.

"Your reaction time is good," she said briskly. "Your stance and aiming technique are textbook. The problem isn't in your skills - it's your decision-making." Bringing the relevant window to full-screen, she circled it with her stylus. "When the situation isn't clear - a hostage, a runner in a crowd, more than one attacker - you consistently take too long to act." Looking back at Ianto to emphasize the point, she stopped herself at his thin-lipped scowl. She put down the stylus and leaned toward him, annoyed.

"Listen," she said, "it's not a terrible thing, and one you can train yourself out of if you have to. I have the same problem: I think too much." Pushing out an uncomfortable laugh, she shrugged. "It's why I'm never in the vanguard with Jack. I don't belong there."

Abruptly, Ianto turned and threw the cleaning kit at the wall, the plastic case shattering with a loud crack. Tosh cringed backward, eyes widening as her heart leaped into her throat. It was so easy to forget the blackness she'd glimpsed inside Ianto, that flash of pain and self-loathing she'd stolen while wearing the pendant. He kept it hidden under a perfectly quiet visage, had even started cracking jokes in a deadpan fashion. It was as though the whole scene with Lisa had never happened - but apparently he was still close to his breaking point.

"Dammit!" he yelled, starting to pace from table to wall and back, hands clenched stiffly at his sides. "This place asks more and more of me, makes me change who and what I am -"

This place equaling Jack, she thought, stunned.

He stormed back to her, slapping his hands on the table, face twisted, eyes glazed. "I push down everything for him, everything, and it's never good enough." As abruptly as the rage had begun, it subsided, Ianto dropping his face into the cup of his hands, obviously fighting to bring himself under control.

Tentatively, she reached out to touch him lightly on the shoulder. "How can anything be enough for a man that's outlived everything?"

Lunging quick as a viper, Ianto snatched her wrist and pulled her tight against him. His entire body was vibrating like a taut bowstring. His face only inches from hers, he snarled, "That is not an excuse." She could feel his breath hot on her lips.

Without thinking, she wrapped her free arm about his neck and closed the distance between them, pure animal instinct knotting her fingers in his short hair. He surged against her, lifted her onto the table, metal and wood gun parts clattering to the floor.

He thrust her legs apart, brought her captive hand to his belt. Breath shuddering against his neck, she undid the buckle, the zip of his trousers, pushed the whole mess down to slide her hands across soft bare skin.

Groaning, Ianto sank his teeth into the flesh over her collarbone, drawing blood. She pulled him closer, nails digging into his thighs. He shivered, knees buckling, then kissed her again. His lips tasted of iron.

Rough and wordless, he peeled off Tosh's trousers and underwear. In a rush, he moved back into position and thrust into her. She sucked a breath in her suddenly constricted chest at the pain and pleasure and heedless freedom of it. Folding legs around his waist, she pulled him closer.

What was she doing? This was hardly safe sex - Maybe I don't want it safe.

One hand was cupped at the small of her back, pressing against her with every thrust. Tosh reached down between them to touch her clit, bringing herself off with a surging, blissful moan seconds before Ianto arched his back and came with an angry snarl.

The entire fuck had lasted less than a minute. Tosh felt aftershocks of her orgasm shudder through her, bringing with them a touch of amazement. The more I try to analyze this, the more wrong I am.

Ianto, his face against her bitten shoulder, drew back suddenly. "Oh god, Tosh, I'm so sorry, you're bleeding -"

"I can take care of that."

Tosh whipped her head around to see Owen leaning against the door frame, hands in his pockets. Ianto's hands tightened on her possessively.

"How long have you been there?" he accused, some of that angry intensity back in his voice.

Owen leered back. "Long enough." Pushing off the wall, he sauntered over and clinically pulled Tosh's shirt further off her shoulder to expose more of the wound. "I came running when I heard the crash. Stayed for the show." His hands against her skin were moist and warm.

Tosh winced, looking up into Owen's flushed cheeks. He was looking at Ianto with a sort of wary admiration.

"Do you have any idea how much force is required to break skin with human teeth?" he asked, looking back to the bite mark. "There's more to you than I would have thought."

Ianto cleared his throat, an echo of more usual persona.

What was Owen thinking? Nerves twanging in alarm, Tosh dipped her head a little, trying to force him to look at her. He wouldn't meet her eyes at first, then glanced up quickly. He licked his lips.

That wasn't anger, or even amusement. He was turned on.

All of a sudden, she started laughing, feeling insanely giddy. She snaked one arm about Owen's waist and pulled him into the hot sweaty circle of space she and Ianto made. Owen gasped when she pressed him close. She could feel his cock hard and warm even through his trousers.

Ianto stared hard at her, then turned back to Owen with a speculative look in his eyes. He reached out and grabbed a handful of Owen's collar.

"Next time," he hissed, "don't just stand there. Make yourself useful."

As always, comments and concrit are extremely welcome!
Current Mood: awakeawake
ginger_rudeginger_rude on February 19th, 2008 03:49 am (UTC)
aHa! v. v. nice. am interested to see how the erotic frenemies thing between O/I plays out in this context as well as Tosh's pining for Owen.

very small and entirely subjective note: I totally buy Ianto being the explosive type, but something about the "Damn it.." line doesn't quite...I get what you're doing with it. I guess personally I tend to be sort of a "less is more" type when it comes to dialogue.

I love that he turns his rage into a sort of quick and dirty hatefuck, though, and that she's going with it, even yep the "not wanting to be safe" bit.
Tallian: Cath&Sara-failedromance_tallian_ on February 19th, 2008 02:13 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you liked it, even with the dialog note. It's a good point, something I'll have to keep an eye on as I write.

And yes. There's so much subtext ready to explode in the next fic!
badwolf36badwolf36 on February 19th, 2008 07:46 am (UTC)
Oh wow. Hot and hard and painful in all the right ways. And the ending was just...guh. Very nicely done. Thanks for sharing!
Tallian: TW - Tosh_tallian_ on February 19th, 2008 02:15 pm (UTC)
I so love the 'guh' endings. :)

I'm glad you liked!
lefaym on February 19th, 2008 11:44 am (UTC)
Whooo! Normally this ship wouldn't interest me, but you make it seem really believable-- they're in character the whole time.

And the bit with Owen at the end! I wasn't expecting it, but it works, and rounds this off nicely. :)
Tallian: merry message_tallian_ on February 19th, 2008 02:18 pm (UTC)
Thanks for giving it a try, then! Besides, wait until Jack finds out ...

And once you get over the hump of J/O, I keep imagining this amazing hate!sex that must be explored! And Tosh with her own agenda!

This 'verse just isn't letting me go.
(no subject) - lefaym on February 19th, 2008 08:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - _tallian_ on February 19th, 2008 11:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
siranan: tosh beauty and brainssiranan on February 19th, 2008 10:28 pm (UTC)
Wow, I hadn't read these yet, which was clearly a mistake. They're brilliant, and I have such a penchant for well-written angst and Tosh/Ianto/Jack (or any combination of those ;)) that this is exactly what I want in a fic! I love the three of them together, but when I tried writing it, I sort of...forgot to do the porn...the angst overtook me, so seriously, thanks for this :))
Tallian: TW - Jack - come hither_tallian_ on February 19th, 2008 11:38 pm (UTC)
There's so much angst in that OT3, isn't there! It's funny, I didn't mean for these to be quite so smutty when I started writing them. Turns out that's a huge part of fun for me.

Thanks for reading and commenting!
galaxy_songgalaxy_song on February 20th, 2008 03:00 am (UTC)
oh wounderful fic I hope you add more I loved Iantos last line :)
Tallian_tallian_ on February 20th, 2008 02:33 pm (UTC)
There will almost certainly be more, though it's becoming more and more AU as it goes along.

Glad you liked!
(no subject) - ginger_rude on February 23rd, 2008 06:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Pornograffwr anfad ydw i.invisible_lift on February 20th, 2008 03:55 am (UTC)
*blink, blink*

Yeah, I'll be in my bunk.
Tallian: TW - Ianto_tallian_ on February 20th, 2008 02:34 pm (UTC)
Heh heh. Have fun. ;D

Thanks for reading and commenting!
The Enlightened Optimistbritgeekgrrl on February 20th, 2008 06:10 pm (UTC)




'scuse me, the top of my head seems to have come off...

This whole series has been brilliant (and very, very distracting!)

And yay for ongoing Tosh luv! She doesn't get nearly enough attention from the cheerfully smutty writers. So, thanks for that, too! :)
Tallian: TW - Tosh_tallian_ on February 20th, 2008 07:15 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you like it! It's meant to be distracting. *grins*

And you're right - Tosh deserves as much love as she can get.
Padawanpooh: TW Tosh 2padawanpooh on February 20th, 2008 10:45 pm (UTC)
*happy sigh*

Lovely, lovely fic, and I'm so glad to see Tosh getting more action - she totally deserves it ;-D
Tallian: TW - Tosh - lady geek_tallian_ on February 20th, 2008 10:57 pm (UTC)
Glad you like! It was fun to write, too.

Thanks for reading and commenting!
mallochai: ianto yesmallochai on February 21st, 2008 08:58 pm (UTC)

Yeah. HOLY cow. YOU slay me. Want next part, NOW.

*sorry, I am a post sickness three year old today, please excuse my craziness*

Seriously though, hot. Plus? Owen. Yes please.
Tallian: TW - Jack - come hither_tallian_ on February 22nd, 2008 01:18 am (UTC)
Just wait until Jack finds out what he missed ...

Crazy away!
(no subject) - mallochai on February 23rd, 2008 02:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
secret welfare poetsecondsilk on March 19th, 2008 10:51 am (UTC)
Fic: A Fork in the Road
I love the way Tosh and Ianto understand each other (or don't) and the comparison of their shooting styles is a wonderfully practical way to show it. And Ianto's anger is a glorious thing to see in fic.
Owen's comment at the end, a Tosh's laughter.
And "How can anything be enough for a man that's outlived everything?"
Tallian_tallian_ on March 19th, 2008 01:11 pm (UTC)
Re: Fic: A Fork in the Road
All the comments you're leaving on these fics are encouraging me to write more. I meant to have another installment out much sooner, but I got hung up on some original stuff.

I'm glad you like this! You leave wonderful comments.
Re: Fic: A Fork in the Road - secondsilk on March 20th, 2008 02:27 am (UTC) (Expand)
demotudemotu on September 2nd, 2008 03:33 am (UTC)
I have NO idea how I've missed this for so long, but this series is fabulous. Messed up, imperfect, hot as hell, and both unique in characterization but in character. Jack is very unromanticized, I love that, Tosh, so rarely written well, is wonderful here, Ianto's all sharp around the edges and absolutely smoking, and the touch of Owen at the end here? Fabulous.

Out of curiosity - and because I want to rec the series at torchwood_house - are you done with this series? I'd love to read more, but I understand if you're done with it.
Tallian: TW - Ianto - call me_tallian_ on September 2nd, 2008 01:11 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! You picked out quite a few of my favorite parts of the series to comment on.

As to whether the series is done - I finished this last fic just before "Dead Man Walking", meaning it threw a monster-sized wrench into my plans. I haven't had a chance to recalculate since then, due to a lot of real life stuff.

Given all that, should I get enough clamor, I'll probably write more.
(no subject) - demotu on September 2nd, 2008 03:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
valancy_joy: trevorvalancy_joy on September 2nd, 2008 07:53 pm (UTC)
and here's a new reader coming over from the rec :0)

these are really great. While I like fluff for fluff's sake... the Torchwood folks are all really really messed up and I like fics that acknowledge this.

Torchwood ain't tidy ... kudos on this series!!!
Tallian_tallian_ on September 3rd, 2008 01:00 am (UTC)
Thanks much for the read and the comment!

The bit of new attention is getting me thinking about this series again, and whether I can end it properly, AU or not. We'll see, I guess.
Morgan le Faybroadwayyy on April 15th, 2009 02:07 pm (UTC)
Another new reader here, following a rec.
That was... guh. It was messed up in all the right ways and YAY for kick-ass Tosh. Not that she wasn't always amazing (yet tragically underused *glares at RTD & other writers*), but you've made her even more amazing. Which is a heck of an achievement, so well done you.
And now I'm off to read it all again...
Tallian: TW - Tosh - lady geek_tallian_ on April 15th, 2009 02:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for the lovely comment! I keep toying with the idea of adding to this series, but I'm not sure I could, with Tosh gone.

Glad you like!