Authors: leofuller and the9thdoctor
Spoilers: None really, but set after Reset, with blink-and-you'll-miss-them ones for Something Borrowed.
Summary: Ianto's had a lot of strange experiences recently – Falling for the repairman, becoming the subject of a betting pool at work and even spending time in another dimension.
This, though, is definitely the weirdest thing that has EVER happened to him... Both of him.
Authors’ note: This fic is FINISHED. We have written it ALL. We love your comments, they’re the reason we keep writing, but whatever you say we’re not going to write faster (because it’s FINISHED!).
That said, you might be able to influence us into releasing the next bit… (The whole thing is already posted privately on this journal. How frustrating is that?!)
As we said, we love your comments, and we’re waiting for them as eagerly as you lot seem to be waiting for us to post.
A special mention must go to morbidxlikexme for writing us comments which are almost as long as the chapters! Thank you!
leofullerwent to bed with a migraine one afternoon and literally dreamt the basis of this plot - and we decided that it actually had potential as crack!fic. Somewhere along the line it turned into a proper fic... but please don't take it too seriously. We didn't.
“It was a bit anti-climatic. Just some coloured lights.” Owen put the box down on Jack’s desk. "Is that all it does?" He turned round. Jack was on the floor under his desk. "Dropped a contact lens?" he asked, suddenly feeling less confident.
"Just tell me, who brought it in?" asked Jack, sounding muffled.
"Ianto found it on his way to work. What is it?"
"...and where is Ianto now?"
"Archives? I don't know... Jack? What the hell is this thing?"
Jack smiled nervously and started crawling towards the Hub. “Let's just get out of here, eh?” he mumbled. Owen took a step backwards – anything that got Jack that worried was clearly not a good start to the working day.
“Is it dangerous?”
“Well, I wouldn’t want to be on the wrong end of it!”
“What does it do?”
“It’s just that…”
“What?” Jack shut the office door behind them and focussed his attention on Owen.
“Well, the lights. Ianto was standing right in front of it. The lights went right over him.”
“And then what happened?” asked Jack, nervously.
Owen blinked at him, “Well, nothing. He didn't really seem to notice. He just gave it to me for you and wandered off to do some thrilling, fun-packed filing.”
“So nothing weird happened?”
Owen shook his head. “Nope... He seemed fine.”
Jack let out a breath. “Maybe I should go and make sure he's alright.”
“Yeah, why don't you do that...” Owen rolled his eyes as Jack jogged off towards the archives and sat down at his desk, sighing.
“What was that all about?” called Gwen, walking down the steps from the hothouse.
Owen shrugged. “The usual... Jack's gone to shag the tea-boy in J to R again.”
“Already!? It's only ten thirty!”
“It's never stopped them before.”
Jack walked into the archives. Despite knowing every corner of the building, there was always the feeling that he was intruding when he came down here, as if this was Ianto’s domain and Jack never knew exactly what he was going to find.
Ianto appeared from behind some shelves.
“Hi.” Jack grinned. It was the first time he’d seen Ianto that morning, and that was one of his favourite suits.
“Can I help you?” Ianto raised an eyebrow.
“I should think so.” Jack moved into Ianto’s personal space and put his hands on the other man’s waist.
“Oh, for God’s sake.” Ianto sighed and stepped away. “Do you only ever think about one thing?” He shot Jack an exasperated look and walked away, adjusting a cufflink.
“What did I…?” Jack followed him, confused.
Ianto turned a corner and started rifling through an open filing cabinet. Jack admired his arse for several seconds before stepping forward and giving it a damn good squeeze. Ianto whirled round and before Jack knew what was going on, he had been slapped round the face. He staggered back, automatically massaging his cheek. “What the hell was THAT for?” he asked in a pained tone.
Ianto glared at him for a second and stalked off. This time, Jack decided to leave him alone for a while, and walked over to have a look at the open drawer to see what Ianto had been working on.
He had been flipping through a reasonably inaccurate report on a crashed spaceship back in the 60's, when he felt an arm creep round his waist. Jack grinned to himself – Ianto had obviously come back to his senses.
Ianto sighed and rested his forehead on Jack's upper back, massaging Jack's stomach through his shirt. “I love you...” he whispered.
“Ianto?” Jack turned round. Ianto leaned in to kiss him and Jack put his hands on Ianto’s upper arms, stopping him from kissing him without pushing him away. “Are you feeling okay?”
“Mmm.” Ianto leaned forwards again, and this time Jack kissed him.
“You are such a pushover.”
“I’ve never seen the point in playing hard to get.” Jack replied.
“Not you.” Ianto said. “Him.”
Jack frowned. “When did you learn to throw your voice?” he asked.
Ianto walked across the room towards him. Jack looked between the Ianto in his arms, staring at him with a look of soppy adoration on his face, and the Ianto glaring at him from the doorway.
“Umm...” mumbled Jack. “I know this is going to sound stupid, but WHY THE HELL ARE THERE TWO OF YOU!?”
There was a pause. Jack thought about this.
“However, since there are two of you…” He grinned. “How about we head up to my room and…”
“You make me sick, Harkness. You have absolutely no respect for me, do you?” The Ianto in the doorway put his hands on his hips. “I can’t believe I’ve put up with you for this long.”
“Well, it’s not like I need to any more, is it? Not since Lisa…”
“I thought you liked me?” The other Ianto interrupted. “You said you loved me, but when something strange and alien SPLITS ME IN TWO your first thought is for a THREESOME? Am I just some sort of toy?”
Jack stared in horror at the man in front of him, who looked really upset.
“I’m not interested in listening to you try and talk your way out of this.” The angrier Ianto snapped. “I’m going… We’re going” he correct, stepping forward and grabbing the other Ianto by the arm, “upstairs to sort this out.” He left the room. The other Ianto followed, looking back over his shoulder at Jack, who stared after them open mouthed.
It was several moments before Jack could move. “Shit...” he mumbled to himself before racing up the stairs after both of the Iantos. (And that was going to take some getting used to, wasn't it? What was the collective noun for Iantos anyway? That wasn't a question Jack had ever thought to ask himself.)
He found them standing in the Hub with Owen, Tosh and Gwen staring at them. Gwen had pulled a gun and had it pointed at them, Tosh was standing nearby with her arms crossed and biting her lip. Owen, meanwhile, looked like someone had killed his puppy.
“There's two of them.” he said mournfully, as Jack hurried over.
“I know.” sighed Jack. “Remember when I said it was complicated?”
“There's two of them.” repeated Owen. “Why are there two Iantos?”
Jack waved at Gwen in an attempt to get her to lower the gun. “That's what the device he found does.”
“There's two of them.”
“Yes.” said Jack, “Can we get past that bit?”
One of the Iantos sighed and started edging towards the coffee machine. Jack wasn't entirely sure which one it was.
“Which one’s the real Ianto?” Gwen had ignored Jack’s signal to lower her gun, and still had it trained on the Iantos. “Which one’s the clone?”
“They’re both the real Ianto.” Jack told her.
“I don’t understand.”
“That thing isn’t a cloning device. It’s split Ianto into two.”
“They’re both…” Gwen frowned, confused. “But how do we…”
“I’m still here, you know.” Both Iantos said at once. They looked at one another and the angrier one continued. “Stop talking about me like I’m not here.”
“Jack, I think you're going to have to explain this slightly better.” sighed Tosh.
“Yes, yes... I will do.” Jack sighed. “Everyone up to the conference room... Iantos? Coffee? Please? Owen, can you fetch that box for me please?”
“I'm not going anywhere near the bloody thing!” exclaimed Owen in horror. “The world isn't ready for two of me!”
“The world isn't ready for ONE of you...” muttered an Ianto.
Jack sighed loudly. “Owen, for one, you're DEAD. It won't work on you, and two, those things only work on one person at a time, anyway. Just go and fetch it please.”
Owen grumbled his way to Jack's office while Jack persuaded Gwen that she didn't need to continue to cover the Iantos with her gun.
“It’s a what?!” Ianto spluttered.
Owen roared with laughter. “Oh, that’s classic. Alien psychotherapy!”
“I don’t get it.” Gwen still looked puzzled. “How does it work? I mean in a psychotherapy sense, not a technology sense.”
“The race who invented this have a tendency towards split personality disorders.” Jack explained. “The purpose of the device is to separate different aspects of the personality so that they can be studied, and so that the person can understand more about themselves.”
“How long does it take?” Tosh asked.
“I don’t really know.” Jack admitted. “I think it varies. The only person I ever knew who underwent this treatment had a personality streak which was a complete nymphomaniac, and well, I wasn’t asking questions about his therapy.”
One of the Iantos shot Jack a poisonous look. The other one bit his lip and looked at the floor.
“So, what are the different sides to Ianto?” Owen smirked. “Big girl’s blouse and anal retentive neat freak?”
“Shut up, Owen.” Both Iantos snapped. Gwen smiled.
“Looks like they have some things in common, Owen!”
“Enough! How do we un-separate them then?” demanded Owen, “Or do I have to spend the rest of my death being bored in stereo?”
Jack eyed the device on the table warily. “Like I said, I haven't got a clue. It might wear off on its own eventually – but I wouldn't hold my breath, I heard about people who stayed separate for the rest of their lives. As far as I know, you're supposed to be fixed when you've worked through your therapy.”
“What's going to happen to us!?” wailed one of the Iantos. Jack privately thought that they'd have to come up with some kind of distinction between the two of them soon, although he thought he'd leave suggesting 'Ianto One' and 'Ianto Two' up to Owen.
The other Ianto snorted and folded his arms. “We could see how many people believe we're identical twins...”
Jack turned an odd colour as he considered the idea.
Owen sighed and got to his feet. “Come on then, you two. Standard post-alien zapping medical check.”
“What do you mean, you’re going home?” Jack looked from one Ianto to the other in confusion. One of them sighed.
“I’ve just been split into two by a piece of alien technology. I think that entitles me – us – to a couple of hours off.” That Ianto took a couple of steps towards the doorway. The other one looked from him to Jack, obviously unsure.
“Owen’s just said that there’s nothing wrong with you.” Jack protested. “Apart from the obvious.”
“Fine.” Ianto snapped, moving away from the doorway. “In that case, I would like to remind you that I haven’t taken any holiday at all this year, and that I’ve still got five days owing from last year. We’re taking the rest of the day off.”
“The rest of the week off.” Ianto amended. “Come on.” He grabbed the other Ianto by the arm and dragged him out of Jack’s office.
The Ianto being dragged glanced back to Jack before vanishing into the Hub. Jack slumped face down onto his desk. In some of his wilder moments he had briefly considered the thought of having twin Iantos. In his mind it had usually ended up with the three of them sweaty and satiated in a large hotel bed. He hadn't actually considered the idea that the multiple Iantos wouldn't want to experiment in a mutually pleasing way.
Jack thought hard. One of the Iantos seemed to still be in love with him, if slightly put out – if the incident in the archives was anything to go by, but the other seemed to be rather cross. Jack massaged his cheek where he had been slapped.
He tried to work out which two personality traits Ianto had been split by and if he could come up with a plausible excuse to go and visit that might make them slightly more amenable.
He was halfway through his third glass of whiskey when Gwen stuck her head round the door.
“That’s not going to help, is it?” Gwen took the whiskey away, ignoring Jack’s protest. “Getting drunk in the middle of the afternoon when you’re supposed to be working isn’t going to make any difference to the fact that you’ve just upset both of Ianto.”
“I don’t understand how.” Jack sunk his head into his hands. “I mean, I was just being normal.”
“Self-centred, sex-obsessed and generally oblivious to other people’s feelings?”
“Oh come on Jack, we all get sick of it sometimes. It’s just that Ianto’s got other things to worry about than keeping you happy, for once. It’s hardly surprising he couldn’t keep it together.” Gwen giggled as she realised what she’d said.
“So, what do I do?” Jack leaned back in his chair and folded his arms.
“You’re a big boy, Jack, you work it out.” Gwen pointed a finger at him. “And don’t leer at me because I said you were a big boy. That’s precisely what I mean.”
Jack sagged noticeably. “Was I really that bad?” he asked meekly.
Gwen gave him a look that suggested he was.
“What do you suggest?”
Gwen sighed, “Far be it for me to muck about with your increasingly bizarre love-life, but I would suggest that you should bloody well go and sort it out! And I don't mean going round to his flat to proposition him... them... whatever.”
Jack rolled his eyes. “Fine. I'll go and see if he's in. They're probably arguing about what to watch on television and sampling each other’s coffee.”
There was no answer from Ianto’s flat. None of the lights were on, despite the gathering dusk, and Jack eventually gave up and went away when he realised that the elderly lady in the ground floor flat was had been staring at him through her net curtains for fifteen minutes.
They hadn’t needed to discuss where to go when they left the Hub. Ianto reflected that after a day like today, every part of his personality wanted to get away from the Hub and have a couple of drinks. Even his rather pitiful counterpart hadn’t tried to stay with Jack instead of heading into the city centre for a few pints.
“Hi.” Ianto turned to look at the girl who’d come to stand next to him at the bar.
“Hi.” He responded. She smiled. Ianto smiled back, picked up his drinks and went to join himself at the table, wondering when he’d last flirted with a girl in a bar and when he got so bad at it.
“Why were you talking to that girl?”
“Because she was there, and she said hi.”
“Have you always been this pathetic? She’s pretty.”
“I don’t want to cheat on Jack…”
“Why not? He’s hardly monogamous, is he?”
Ianto’s lip trembled.
“Oh, pull yourself together.”
“Hey, mind if we join you?” The girl from the bar had come over, with a friend.
“Go ahead.” Ianto smiled, and they sat down.
Ianto sniffed, and looked up from his pint. “Hi.”
“Are you twins?” The friend asked.
Ianto looked at himself and grinned. “What do you think?”
The girls laughed.
“I’m Sam, and this is Mollie.”
“Nice to meet you. I’m Ianto.”
The other Ianto stared into his pint again.
“Don’t mind him, he’s just found out that his boyfriend’s a twat.”
Both girls immediately looked sympathetic.
“That’s awful.” Mollie said, shifting her chair closer.
“What you need is a really good night out.” Sam told him.
“That’s what I said.” Ianto told them. “But he wants to mope.”
“We’ll soon put a stop to that.” Sam winked at him. “Tequila slammers. My round.”
Which is how, monitoring the CCTV at around midnight, Jack saw both Iantos staggering out of a bar, each with his arm around a girl, apparently singing.
Jack found where Gwen had hidden his whiskey and started drinking again.
So, there you go - first chapter of a new fic from us!
Hope you like it, and as usual we'd adore it if you left us a comment and let us know what you think!
Done that? Then feel free to head on to Chapter 2