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How to Fail Spectacularly in Love and Lust

Okay, I was not going to post this anywhere except at the Anti-Gwen Alliance, out of consideration for those who read my fics who find Gwen less disagreeable than I do. However, LJ is being a bastard, and won't recognise cuts, and is generally being a pain in the butt. So, I am going to go ahead and post it here, with a strong warning that this is not going to be in any way Gwen-friendly.

If anyone has any ideas about the whole LJ cut thing, I'd appreciate any advice.

Title: How to Fail Spectacularly in Love and Lust
Author: blucougar57
Summary: Gwen lusts after Jack and touches alien tech. Chaos ensues.
Rating: T / PG
Warnings: Borderline crack-fic; definitely not Gwen-friendly; possible interspecies intimacy at some point.

Chapter One

She watched them in secret, from across the floor of the Hub. She saw what Tosh and Owen didn't - or, at least, what they apparently chose to ignore. The subtle touches, the furtive looks, the small smiles that graced their faces when one saw the other. It was there constantly, like a proverbial slap in the face.

They were infatuated with each other. She refused to use the word love. She couldn't accept in her own mind that what they had was love, not like she had with Rhys... The guilty thought slipped through her mind oh-so-secretively, that it was not like she could have with Jack, if he would just spare her a second glance. He didn't, though, and she was forced to keep watching from a distance, wanting what she knew in her own heart was not hers to have.

She watched as they paused for a kiss, lingering but chaste, and jealousy burned.

It wasn't fair. It should have been her that Jack paused to steal kisses from, and not Ianto. How, she wondered bitterly, could Jack even stand to look at him after what he'd nearly caused with his precious Lisa?

Yes, she sympathized with Ianto over it, but only to a point. The fact was that Lisa could have been the start of a whole new Cyber invasion, and that shouldn't be so easily forgotten, let alone forgiven. It truly burned Gwen up inside that despite Jack's incessant flirting with her, it was Ianto that he turned to for physical comfort.

She had no delusions that Jack was with Ianto only because she was still with Rhys. She thought she understood his concept of sexual morality, and knew he had no qualms about bedding someone already in a relationship. For some reason unknown to her, Jack had no apparent interest in actually fucking her. The only two times they'd kissed had been initiated by her, with no response on Jack's part. Granted, one of those times he had been dead, but who was it that he'd snogged after coming back to life?

Bloody Ianto, that's who. She was the one who'd maintained a vigil beside him for three days. She was the one who had brought him back, but the most she'd gotten from him was her hand being held for the time it took to walk from the morgue up the main body of the Hub. Ianto, who knew damned well he didn't deserve forgiveness, nearly got his face snogged off.

It just wasn't fair.

"Coming, Gwen?"

She was startled by Tosh's gentle inquiry, and looked around in confusion to find Tosh and Owen waiting expectantly.


"To the pub, for dinner and drinks," Owen said with the air of someone who had already explained multiple times over.

"Just us three, by the looks of it. Those two aren't going anywhere but Jack's bed."

Gwen felt fresh jealousy twist her gut as Ianto slipped into Jack's office as Jack drew the blinds for some privacy.

"You'd think they'd be more discreet," she muttered, "and not flaunt it in front of us all."

"They're hardly flaunting it, Gwen," Tosh objected. "It's not like they're out here having sex in front of us."

"God forbid," Owen snorted. "C'mon, are we going, or are we going to stand around and discuss their sex life?"

"You two go on," Gwen murmured vacantly. "I'll catch up."

Tosh and Owen exchanged weary glances before conceding.

"All right," Tosh said. "But you know where we'll be if you want to join us. And Gwen..."

"Mm?" Gwen wondered, her eyes all the while fixed on Jack's office.

With a sigh, Tosh stepped around and placed herself squarely in front of Gwen, forcing the other woman to look at her.

"Leave them alone, Gwen. You have Rhys. Don't you think that's enough? Don't you think Jack and Ianto deserve a bit of happiness as well?"

The emotions on Gwen's face shifted between anger and guilt so quickly that it was difficult to work out which was which. In the end, she seemed to settle somewhere in between.

"I don't know what you're talking about, Tosh. I just have some paperwork to finish off. I'll be right behind you. Half an hour, at the most."

Again, Tosh and Owen exchanged knowing looks, but this time they left without further comment.
Once they were gone, Gwen immediately started towards Jack's office. It wasn’t that she wanted to interrupt them just to keep them from... well, whatever it was they got up to, she told herself. It was just that she had important business to discuss with Jack before she left for the day, and it simply could not wait until the morning. She was sorry if it interrupted their... time together, but in all honesty, sex in the workplace was incredibly inappropriate.

Really, she was doing them a favour, interrupting them before they got too far involved.

She could almost believe that was the reason. Almost, though not quite.

Her hand was almost on the door knob when a flicker of light caught her attention. She looked around in puzzlement, momentarily distracted from her noble intentions, and her gaze fell on the alien device sitting on Tosh’s desk.

The tech had been fiddling with it for the better part of the afternoon, after Jack had determined that it wasn’t dangerous – or functioning. It was the only reason Tosh would have left it on her desk, rather than putting it away in a secure lock box. However, the supposedly non-functioning device was starting to flash randomly with multi-coloured lights.

Curiosity overcame common sense and Gwen approached the device, marvelling at the hypnotic pattern. She knew she should call for Jack. This was, after all, a perfectly legitimate reason to interrupt him and Ianto. Despite everything, though, she couldn’t resist the lure of a closer look. It was almost as though the device was calling to her, and the instant that thought entered her mind, she was convinced that that was, indeed, the case.

A sense of smugness filled her, that it was clearly responding to her when Tosh had not been able to get a single reaction out of it all afternoon.

How long she stood there staring at it for, she didn’t know. It was perhaps the most beautiful thing she’d seen for a long time and before she really knew what she was doing, she’d reached out to touch it.

Her fingers had barely brushed the surface when strobing lights exploded out of it, flashing in every direction. It was soundless, but the light was so great that Gwen knew Jack and Ianto couldn’t fail to notice, even in the midst of their current activities.

Panicked, Gwen did the only thing she could think of. She grabbed her bag, and bolted from the Hub.

* *

To be continued...

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