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Fic: Echoes Of Our Souls Chapter 7/13

Title: Echoes Of Our Souls
Fandoms: Torchwood/The Avengers
Pairings/Character: Steve/Ianto/Tony, Jack/Ianto/Steve/Tony, Natasha/Tosh/Darcy, Maria/Owen/Martha, Clint/Pepper/Coulson, Thor/Bruce /Jane, Nick Fury, past Steve/Bucky/Peggy and mention of Rhys/Gwen
Summary: After Jack left, instead of falling apart like the others him to, expected Ianto moved on with all aspects of his life. When Jack returned from his journey with the Doctor, nothing was the way he thought it would be. Now he's on a quest to win back Ianto's heart but Tony and Steve are not making it easy for him. The three men must figure out a way to put aside their differences in order to fit into Ianto's life, but it may take a mission gone wrong for them to finally see that Ianto loves them all equally.
Rating: R
Beta: RoyalLadyEmma
Art by: hollymarchosias see it hereand here
Disclaimer: I do not own Torchwood or the Avengers.
Author Note: I had to mess with the Avengers timeline in order for this to work.




Chapter 7

It didn't take long for the others to figure out that the three men were indeed in a relationship, just as it was no surprise that Natasha and Pepper were the first two to figure it out. Of course it helped that Tony made no attempt to keep their involvement a secret. The cat was out of the bag when he had built a robot that declared, "The hot asses of Steve Rogers and Ianto Jones belong solely to Tony Stark," every time anyone got to close to them. Tony considered it one of his crowning achievements in mechanical engineering.

It was a Tower rule that all meals were eaten together as a family, and Clint easily dragged Pepper and Phil to these get-togethers. One evening, as the group assembled in the dining room, Clint decided it was the perfect time to lay down the law with Steve and Tony before they got too serious with Ianto.

Narrowing his eyes in as threatening a manner as he could muster, Clint looked between Tony and Steve before turning a hopeful look onto Phil. "Do I get to use them for target practice if they hurt our son?"

Phil nodded his head while Pepper fought to contain her smile as he gave Clint his answer, "I promise, if they hurt Ianto in any way I'll help you hide the bodies."

Clint gave a feral grin, "Works for me."

Ianto shook his head in fond exasperation; while he didn't like discussing personal matters in public, he knew that this time was different. Fixing the two older men with a firm look, he declared, "There will be no killing or maiming of anybody. You two will leave Steve and Tony alone. I know I haven't had the best track record with lovers but..." Ianto favoured Tony and Steve with a soft and gentle look before turning back to the others, "this time it's going to be different, I just know it."

Tosh and Owen shared a look; they hoped Ianto was right but at the same time they couldn't help but wonder what Ianto would do if Jack ever returned.

*****
It was nearing their third month into their new lives, and Tosh had finally gotten up the courage to approach Natasha and Darcy about her growing feelings for the two of them. To her utter joy, she discovered that Ianto had been right and the women returned her feelings with great enthusiasm. It warmed Ianto's heart to see Tosh so happy. Not only had she found true love, but she was also fitting in perfectly with Tony and Bruce; she'd finally found people who understood her 'science talk'.

Owen. on the other hand. well... he had developed a crush on one of the scariest women alive, Maria Hill. Ianto still thought Owen was crazy in the way he had decided to show his attraction to Maria.

Owen's extensive experience with injuries caused by aliens had Torchwood's former medic working closely with the SHIELD doctors. He discovered that he had a real gift for teaching, and he enjoyed showing them how to treat certain types of wounds, which alien toxins were treatable and which were fatal.

Ianto had finally given in to Clint's endless pleading to come visit him, claiming that because he was bored and therefore more than likely to get into trouble. The amateur barrista took pity on the man agreed that he could help Ianto deliver his coffee to those who were in need of a quick pick-me-up when they saw it.

Doctor Owen Harper was groping Maria Hill's backside.

No one dared to breathe as they waited to see the consequences of his bold action; they'd never seen anyone be so forward with Maria Before. One look at the utterly furious expression on Maria's face had everyone fearing the worst and diving for cover. Ianto and Clint were among those who all winced as Maria smiled sweetly at the doctor and then easily twisted Owen's arm behind his back with the deadly promise, "If you ever grope me again, I'll break your arm and then rip off your balls." She released Owen and stalked away.

Only when they were sure she was gone and not coming back did Ianto and Clint dare to move towards Owen who was still lying on the floor.

Ianto stood with his hands on his hips and a smirk on his lips."You do realise that not even my coffee will be able to save you from Maria's wrath if you ever do that again."

"Don't be silly, Tea-Boy!" Owen just grinned up goofily at Ianto. "She won't hurt me! Can't you see she's crazy about me? I think I'm in love." He had a dreamy look on his face as he sighed happily. "Maria... I just met a girl named Maria!" he warbled the famous tune off-key.

Clint raised a sceptical eyebrow. "Then you are indeed a brave, brave man and I wish you all the luck in the world." He left unspoken the obvious: Owen was going to need it.

From that day on everyone looked at Owen in awe; anyone brave enough to have a crush on Maria Hill had their respect and in several cases, envy.

Ianto didn't worry too much about Owen's attempts at wooing Maria; he knew that if she really hated his attention, Owen would already be dead. Knowing that he no longer had to concern himself with Owen's love life, Ianto turned his matchmaking attention elsewhere. Now it wasn't normally in Ianto's nature to stick his nose into the romantic endeavours of others but sometimes it was called for, like now.

For nearly three months, Ianto had watched as Thor and Jane tried to court Bruce and despite the clear fact that the feelings were returned, Bruce refused every advance the women made, no matter how enticing. The never-ending rejections were slowly wearing Jane down; Ianto could see the sadness in her eyes when she thought no one was watching her look at Bruce. On the other hand, Thor was anything but ready to admit defeat. He was determined to win Bruce over no matter what!

Ianto watched Bruce work for quite some time as he silently mulled over his options before he finally decided to voice his thoughts. He slipped away for a few minutes and brewed a fresh pot of coffee, poured it into a thermos and then returned to Bruce's workroom. "Coffee?" he offered, waving a mug in the air.

Bruce's eyes lit up and he raised his hands in supplication. "Oh, yes, please!" He sighed in anticipation as he watched Ianto pour the steaming beverage into a mug and hand it to him. Inhaling the fragrant aroma deep into his lungs, the super hero took a sip and closed his eyes, rolling it on his tongue and savouring the nuances of the blend. "Oh, Ianto, this is beautiful!"

Ianto tried not to blush; despite the years he'd been brewing coffee, he still found it hard to accept the praise of others for something he found so simple to do. "Glad you're enjoying it," he murmured graciously.

"Something tells me I didn't get this lucky for no reason." Bruce eyed his coffee benefactor over the rim of his mug. "What's on your mind, my friend?"

Deciding to go for broke, Ianto came straight to the point. "You're not a monster, Bruce, trust me on that. I've met real monsters. I watched as my friends, my loved ones and my co-workers were stripped of their humanity in order to fight a pointless war. I crawled through the piles of their broken and burnt bodies in a desperate attempt to save the woman I loved, only to be fooled by the monster that was wearing her face."

Bruce saw the look of intense pain pass over Ianto's face, but he knew better than to ask questions. He'd learned a long time ago that Ianto would talk when he was ready and not before.

Quickly recovering his calm demeanour, Ianto continued. "I placed the world in danger, I nearly single-handily destroyed my friends because I couldn't... no, because I wouldn't see the truth right before me. And because of that blindness I have the blood of two innocent lives on my hands." Ianto placed a hand on Bruce's shoulder and offered him a kind smile. "You are no more of a monster than I am."

Never before had Bruce met someone who understood him the way Ianto did. Tony tried and he was one of the few people who actually liked both Bruce and the Hulk.

Ianto refilled Bruce's mug. "It seems to me that Thor and Jane really want you to be a part of their lives. We all crave touch and love, Bruce. You and the big guy deserve to find some happiness and I really think that happiness could be found with Thor and Jane." Ianto had seen how Bruce interacted with both Jane and Thor and it was clear as day that there was something brewing there. He just wished that Bruce would find himself worthy enough to reach out and snatch it with both hands.

Bruce looked at Ianto with knowing eyes. "Is that what you did with Steve and Tony?” Despite the brave mask Ianto had worn when he'd first arrived, no one could miss the look of heartbreak and loss in Ianto's eyes. The look that was still there but it had begun to fade the closer he got to Steve and Tony.

A sweet, bashful smile graced Ianto's face as he thought about his two wonderful boyfriends. They had yet to take the next step, he still wasn't ready to move on to a physical relationship but every day he gave more and more of his heart away and received a piece of theirs in return. "It's not easy to feel worthy of love when you see yourself as nothing but a monster. You think because if that's how you see yourself then how could someone else possibly see you as anything but?"

Ianto searched Bruce's eyes, seeing the truth of his words there. "But you have to remember one very important fact, Bruce. No one here sees you as a monster." Ianto could only hope that Bruce would take his advice.

Bruce favoured Ianto with a soft smile; he knew the young man was right. Never once had Thor, Jane or any of the others ever treated him like a monster and Thor seemed to genuinely like the green guy and the other guy liked fighting with him, he didn't have to worry about hurting him. "It's not easy for me to trust others, but for the first time in a very long time I feel safe and I finally have a home. Maybe it is time to take a chance on love," Bruce murmured under his breath.

Ianto smiled gently at Bruce. "I hope it doesn't come off that I'm telling you what to do, I just want to see you happy, you've more than earned a little taste of happiness."

Bruce gave Ianto a true smile; it didn't surprise him that Ianto would take it upon himself to make sure his friends were happy and he knew the Welshman well enough to know that he would never push people he cared about into doing something they didn't want or weren't ready to do. "You're not, Ianto, you've given me something to think about." Bruce quickly reassured the young man.

The smile that Ianto favoured Bruce with filled him with warmth. 'Steve and Tony, you are two very lucky men.'

******
Two days after his talk with Bruce, Ianto was tackled by a very happy Jane and then he received Thor's version of a bear hug; it seemed that Bruce had taken his advice and gone to see Thor and Jane.

Of course, Tony had some issue with Thor touching his Welshman and he huffed angrily as he stalked over to them. "Put the sexy Welshman down and take a step away from him, now!" he ordered.

Not at all threatened by Tony's attitude, Thor just grinned brightly at the irate man. "Of course, Man of Iron! You are a very lucky man to have kind-hearted Ianto as a mate."

Tony gave Ianto a surprisingly soft smile. "Yeah, I know." His love for Ianto was evident in both his words and his eyes.

As he glazed into Tony's eyes Ianto knew in that moment he was truly happy and that he had finally started to put Jack behind him. There was no way that he could have possibly know that his life was once again about to change.

 The very next day Jack Harkness came crashing back into his life.


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