Title: Shades of Friendship
Fandoms: Torchwood/The Avengers
Pairings/Characters: Clint/Ianto, Ianto/Tosh friendship, Ianto/Natasha friendship, Clint/Natasha friendship, Nick Fury, Phil Coulson, Jack/Ianto, Owen, Gwen, Natasha, fledging Jack/Ianto/Clint, Tony/Pepper
Summary: Bonds of friendship and love can still be forged no matter how far apart those connecting hearts maybe and then there are some bonds that no matter how much time has passed are never broken.
Disclaimer: I don't own Torchwood or the Avengers
'It's been two weeks since Ianto's been gone.' That was something that Tosh couldn't wrap her head around and from the distant look in Jack's eyes he felt the same way.
And it just wasn't them either, Myfanwy was utterly heartbroken as well. She barely left her nest and sad cooing could be heard steadily from up in the rafters.
Even Owen seemed more of a bastard than normal and that was what finally clued Tosh in on what kind of friendship Owen really had wanted with Ianto. The young man was the only one who could match Owen snark for snark.
But it was Jack who was breaking Tosh's heart. Their captain looked utterly broken, Tosh knew that Jack and Ianto had a special bond that none of them could understand and the way they looked at each other made Tosh believe in happily ever after. 'But I think Jack is right, this is a time for us all to heal and hope for a new start later on.'
Out of all of them Gwen seemed to be taking Ianto's leaving the best, Tosh was sure that had something to do with the fact that Gwen never truly took the time to get to know Ianto. 'No, Gwen had been too busy making eyes at Jack and Owen to even get to know me and Ianto.' Tosh would admit she was the tiniest bit bitter and jealous at how easily she and Ianto had been forgotten and pushed aside since Gwen joined.
'I miss you Ianto and I hope your family is taking good care of you.' Tosh thought sadly as she turned back to her work.
Ianto breathed deeply as he finally was cleared to leave the medical bay. Ianto knew full well the main reason he was kept in the medical bay for the full two weeks was the fear everyone had of his father and that wasn't including the fear Natasha and Clint could also put into people.
'Speaking of putting fear into people.' Ianto felt a smile twitch at his lips as he glanced at his self-appointed bodyguard. The dark glare on Clint's face was keeping everyone from getting too close. 'I'm just damn lucky that Natasha and Dad are out in the field.' But Ianto couldn't really find fault Clint, his dad or Natasha for being overprotective.
Reaching out Ianto snagged Clint's hand in his and gave him a tender smile as he pulled him into a empty corridor. "I'm okay; you can ease off the death glare. No one is crazy enough to mess with me. Everyone is far too afraid to even look me in the eye," Ianto whispered as he stroked Clint's cheek.
Smiling softly Clint leaned into Ianto's caress, letting the Welshman see the softer side to him. "I know here," he murmured softly as he pointed to his head before moving their joint hands to rest over his heart, "it's here that's not getting the message. I nearly lost you when those cannibals got their hands on you. Just give me some time to let it all sink in that you're alive and well." Clint murmured as he rested his forehead against Ianto's.
"Okay." Ianto whispered soothingly. "Take all the time you need, I'm not going anywhere."
"Phil this is a pleasant surprise." Pepper Potts favoured Phil with a fond smile as she spotted the agent waiting for her in her office.
Behind her Tony Stark rolled his eyes, not sure why Pepper's friendship with Agent Coulson rubbed him the wrong way. He refused to believe it was jealousy as Rhodey liked to say. 'I'm Tony Stark, I don't do jealousy.' '
Coulson favoured Pepper with a small smile. He genuinely liked the woman and anyone who could keep Tony Stark in line would make a fine SHIELD agent. "Hello Pepper, Mr Stark." As always his greeting to Tony was a little more formal.
"So of what use could SHIELD have for us today? Or are you here to once again remind me how unfit I am for your little Avengers program?" Tony asked as he made himself comfortable in one of the office chairs.
"Tony." There was clear warning in not only Pepper's tone but eyes, a warning that like always Tony ignored when it came to SHIELD.
Very used to Tony's attitude Coulson shrugged it off. "Neither, I am here to inform you that SHIELD has assigned you a new handler."
As predicted Tony reacted just the way Coulson thought he would.
"Oh hell, no. Are you giving me some wet behind the ears newbie who can't tell the difference between the button to turn on the coffee machine and the button that will start World War Three?" Tony snarled as he shot to his feet.
It filled Coulson with great pride to tell Tony, "He's my son."
The pure look of shock on Tony's face was priceless and Coulson wished he had a camera on hand because no one would believe that he'd managed to render Tony Stark speechless.
Pepper on the other hand was delighted. "I finally get to meet your son?"
Tony whirled around and gave Pepper his hurt puppy-dog eyes. "You knew he had a son? I suppose he was born in a mini-suit and a stick up his ass as well?"
"I would be careful how you talk about my son, Natasha can be a little overprotective of Ianto." Coulson wasn't at all worried about his son. He would be able to handle Tony with ease. But still he wouldn't allow anyone to talk about his son like that.
Tony waved off Coulson's concerns keeping his wounded eyes on Pepper. "How could you not tell me that Agent Coulson has a son?" There was a slight hint of a whine to his tone.
Pepper just rolled her eyes and favoured a Tony with fond smile. "Well, Tony if you bothered to get know Phil then you would know that he has a son," she pointed out calmly.
Once again Tony scowled as he crossed his arms and his eyes narrowed. "What's this Phil stuff? His first name is Agent."
Coulson and Pepper chose to ignore him like they always did when Tony said something stupid. "I look forward to meeting Ianto." Pepper genuinely couldn't wait to meet Coulson's son. She was sure she would come to like him just as much as she liked Phil.
A smile crinkled at the corners of Phil's eyes. "I'm sure you and Ianto will get along great. But a word of warning: Ianto will have a shadow who will shoot to kill at the slightest hint of danger to Ianto. And I'm not talking about Natasha; she would torture them first before killing them," Coulson warned.
Tony rolled his eyes. "Great, just what I needed: two insane assassins hanging around. They're going to be great for business." Tony's grumbling went unheard as Coulson and Pepper continued their talk.
Resting in the chair Clint had all but forced him into Ianto watched as his lover trained. He shivered as those long and talented fingers gripped the bow in his hands and remember how they felt on his body.
Ianto shifted as he felt his body slowly come to life as he remembered stolen moments and long nights. 'No, now is not the time,' Ianto firmly told himself as forced his eyes back onto his PDA and the email he was sending.
While SHIELD was his new start Ianto found he couldn't give up Torchwood cold turkey. 'I still have to make amends for my actions with that thing in the basement, and I genuine liked Tosh and Jack, and Owen wasn't so bad once you got past the obnoxious prat mask he wore.'
He wasn't sure about Gwen, she never noticed him and Ianto was sure she saw him as nothing more than office furniture.
Ianto wasn't aware he was frowning until a strong yet calloused hand cupped his cheek and Ianto blinked in surprise to see Clint bending in front of him. "Are you okay?" Clint asked softly, worry filling his voice.
Smiling Ianto wrapped his hand around Clint's. "Yes, I'm fine. Just lost in some old thoughts. Are you done training?" He suddenly realized how much he wanted to be alone with Clint.
Leaning forward Clint brushed his lips across Ianto's. "Yep, just let me put my stuff away cause I got plans for you Jones Ianto Jones." Clint's winking was all the clue Ianto needed to understand what he had planned.
"I'm looking forward to it." Giving Clint's hand a quick squeeze before he released him and watched Clint head back to where he left his bow.
Glancing down at his PDA Ianto finished the email he was typing and sent it. A mischievous smile graced his lips as he shut down his PDA and went after Clint. 'Nothing wrong with stealing a quick snog.'
'I miss Ianto,' Jack once again thought as he stared blankly at the paperwork covering his desk. It had taken Ianto leaving for Jack to realize one important fact, Ianto was an important piece of Torchwood, one they took for granted and he broke and they could only hope that with time he found his way back to them. They just weren't whole without him.
The alert of a new email got his attention and Jack was grateful for the distraction. His blue eyes widened as he saw who it was from. Quickly as he could Jack read every word and his first true smile in two weeks graced his face. "Ianto, you loyal man," he murmured as he re-read Ianto's email again:
I wonder if you are as surprised to hear from me as I was surprised to find myself writing this email. But I fear we left things unsaid that truly needed to be said, in order for us to heal and move on.
I'm sorry for lying and using you to fix Lisa. You were right I hid myself from you and the others, at the time all that matter to me was saving Lisa. I didn't expect to come to care and genuinely like you but I did. Every day that I had to look you in the eye and lie to you destroyed a little piece of me.
I hung onto Lisa because I was afraid to be alone, but after that thing in the basement and I refuse to call that monster Lisa... by the way you were right I lost Lisa a long time ago. After that I saw the truth that I wasn't alone. You, Tosh and Owen reached out to me.
Neither of us can deny that we hurt each other but I'm hoping that we can overcome this hurt and start anew. Even though I am with SHIELD I want you to know that I am here for you. I have included my new email address and phone numbers that I would like you to give to the others. If there is ever a time you need someone to talk to or just a listening ear I hope you will contact me.
I hope one day I will once again be able to call you all friends and know that I will always be here for you. I wish you all well and give Myfanwy a piece of chocolate for me and tell her I miss her.
And Jack, I do hope you find what you are looking for.
Jack's throat tightened as he whispered softly. "I already did and someday after I get my answer from the Doctor, I will come for you Ianto, and I will fight to own a piece of your heart," Jack vowed.
Knowing that two others needed to see this email Jack copied Ianto's email into another one, without the parts Ianto sent for him. Jack wasn't ready to share something that Ianto sent for him and him alone, and forward it to Tosh and Owen.
"You better take good care of Ianto, Agent Barton, or there will be nothing to save you from my fury," Jack vowed darkly.
Down in the Hub a bored Tosh was surprised to hear the alert on her computer telling her that she had a new email. Tosh blinked as she read Ianto's email and a slow smile spread across her face as she jotted down the info and as soon as she got home she was going to give Ianto a call. She just needed to hear his voice.
What Tosh didn't know was at his own desk Owen was doing the same thing. 'Tea-Boy you're always looking after us. I hope those SHIELD bastards are looking after you.' Owen was grateful that Ianto wanted to keep in touch. 'If he didn't I don't want to know how long it would take for Jack to fall into an endless sulk and Tosh to hack SHIELD to find any info about Ianto.'
Curled up in Clint's arms Ianto listened to his lover's steady breathing. He took the time to study Clint's relaxed features. For the first time in a long time Ianto felt genuinely happy and yet at the same time, 'I can't help but feel something or someone is missing from this picture.' Ianto wouldn't say it out loud but he knew what was missing.
'No, Jack is waiting for his Doctor and then he will be gone. And no matter how well Jack would fit with Clint and I, there's no use in dreaming of something that will never happen.' Closing his eyes Ianto snuggled closer to Clint and tried to put the dreams of a future with both Clint and Jack out of his mind. 'I love Clint and should be happy with what I have and hope Jack finds his own happy ending with whoever holds his heart.'