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Myfanwy 2

November 2018



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Myfanwy 2

You Can't Always Get What You Want

You Can't Always Get What You Want
Author: Milady Dragon
Rating: PG
Pairing(s): Jack/Ianto (implied); Jack/Gwen (kind of)
Warning: None really, a little angst
Spoilers: Torchwood S2  "Something Borrowed"
Disclaimer: I don't own Torchwood, if I did it wouldn't be the mess it is now.
Author's note:  I was driving to my mother's when this came to me.  I've always been a bit (okay, a lot) bothered by certain things in "Something Borrowed"...I mean, come on Gwen!  It's your wedding day and you're making cow eyes at another man!  And honestly, Jack wasn't that much better!  So anyway...this is from Jack's POV, as he's dancing with both Gwen, then Ianto, and is inspired by the Rolling Stones song.

Summary:  You can't always get what you want...but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need...  Jack thinks about two important people in his life as he's dancing at Gwen's wedding.


He dances with her, holding her a little closer than is proper on this, her wedding day. She's radiant, even in a dress that's spattered with alien blood…or maybe because of it. It doesn't matter to him that her new husband is watching; doesn't matter how it looks, because he's Captain Jack Harkness and, honestly, this sort of behavior is actually expected of him. It's a sort of armor for him, this flirting; it hides his true self, the damaged little boy from the Boeshane Peninsula who's seen too much, far too young. Who's lost almost his entire family in one day, and who now hides behind the façade of 51st Century playboy and immortal hero.

And this is how she sees him, the eternal champion who fights the good fight and always comes back for more. He encourages it. He wants it, really. He wants this attention, to be thought of as a knight in shining armor coming to the rescue of the damsel in distress. This image keeps him going in ways he doesn't even understand, and having found someone willing to idolize him like this makes him almost believe that he is the hero. That being immortal isn't the hell he knows it is. That his life is a fairy tale to be told to children as they're being tucked into bed at night.

He knows this isn't the case, but that's not important as long as he has her to believe in it.

She asks him what he's going to be doing while she's gone; he answers flippantly, knowing this is how he's expected to react. But he can't fight back the guilt at including one "item" in the list of things he'll "do" while she's on her honeymoon, and he ruthlessly thrusts it back down inside, because he's what she sees, and guilt doesn't fit into the equation that is the hero she looks up to.

He can't deny that he's wanted her from the moment he met her. How could anyone not want her? Her bright life and vivacity and tenacity and her belief in him, that's what he wants. He doesn't think it was ever truly sexual, because that would mean he'd be taking that innate innocence he so desperately wants her to keep. She's his Rose Tyler, and nothing should change that. It's frightening to him that he so easily could, that he could take her and make her jaded and tough and cynical. This isn't what he wants, and he'll always do his best to protect it.

He's not sure where it comes from, but suddenly he's thinking of the words to a Rolling Stones song:

You can't always get what you want.

How true this is. As much as he wants her, he knows he can't have her. It would ruin her, and destroy this happy thing she has with her new husband. He'd never do that to her. That would make him the not-hero, the despoiler, and her seeing him as special is what he wants from her. To take that beyond the flirting would be the last thing he would do. He wants her, but not in the way she might want him.

Then a soft sound, the clearing of a throat, breaks into his introspection. He's surprised to say the least, when their interrupter chooses not to dance with the bride, but as a warm hand clasps his, and a supporting arm curls around his waist, he knows this is where he's meant to be. This man who claims this dance with him, who holds him close, makes him feel safe in ways that hero-worship doesn't.

He treasures this.

This man, who accepts him, who sees him for who he is and doesn't judge him for it, who doesn't put him so high on a pedestal that he's surprised he doesn't get nose bleeds from the altitude…this man is the opposite of her, and while the immortal wants the adoration that she gives him, that he thinks in ways is his due for everything he's done for this world and this people, the man he is needs the grounding that this other gives him.

This makes him truly human.

And here, he'd once thought she could do that. How wrong he'd been, way back then.

Because, no matter how much he might want to be the hero, he's coming to realize what he really needs to be is just a man. An imperfect, normal human being with faults and scars and all the baggage that comes from his unnatural lifespan.

The man in his arms gives him that, as well as an understanding that shouldn't be possible in a 21st Century male.

That's when he thinks about the song again, and considers another line in it:

But if you try sometimes, you just might find…

You get what you need.


I liked this. Normally I dislike songfic, but this was a good match of song to situation, and I like how you worked it in.
I know, I'm not usually much into songfic either, but this just hit me and I had to write it.

I like reading that scene from different POV's. Nicely done, and the song lyric inclusion felt quite natural. :)
I'm glad it fit, there are a lot of songfics out there that just shoehorn the lyrics in, and I really did hope it would work.

Thanks so much!


The first time I saw that scene I absolutely hated it. But, then I watched it thinking of all the hero-worship Gwen has about Jack, and this just made sense.

Glad you liked it.
Gwack is the sound my cat makes when he hacks a hairball...just saying... :)

And yes, Gwen does. It's obvious she thinks it's love, when it really isn't, and to me that's the core of her relationship with Jack: he's her hero, and he encourages it because he doesn't want to see himself as that dark person he used to be. In a way, it's a form of co-dependency. And it's not really all that healthy.

Glad you liked it. Thanks!
This man who claims this dance with him, who holds him close, makes him feel safe in ways that hero-worship doesn't.

That's lovely. The Gwen/Jack insinuations in the programme bother me, but this interpretation of the scene feels just right. Thanks for this! :-)
Yes, I know what you mean, it bothered me too. I'm really glad you liked it. Thanks!
gorgeous... lovely instrospection and yeah, that feels spot on
Thanks! It just seemed to work when it was all in my head, so I'm glad it worked for you, too.
And that's just how I think he feels about Ianto. He needs someone to ground him and that's what Ianto does. Lovely as always - next chapter of ways of light and darkness soon I hope.
He does. He needs to be the hero, but he needs to be normal too, and I think Ianto gives him that.

Thanks so much!

Ways will be up later today. :)
I love this and the last bit about him and Ianto was just beautifuly put.

Great writing.
Thanks a lot!

I just always thought that Jack needed to be treated normally, despite his obsession with being the hero. And Ianto gives him that.
this is perfect! It's how I see the Jack/Gwen relationship vrs. Jack/Ianto. Either way could you honestly see Gwen and him in a relationship? They'd kill each other.

Good work with the lyrics and exactly how you worked it in beautiful. when I first read the summery though I'll admit I flashed to the Frog Princess.

Great work.
The Frog Princess? Really? LOL!

But yes, this is how I see Jack and Gwen. They couldn't really have a long lasting relationship because you can't, not when it's based on hero-worship. She's had glimpses of Jack's darkness, but it never seems to stick, but an intimate relationship would never last. As for Jack and Ianto...now, that would last because Ianto accepts all the darkness. Gwen never would, she would try to change Jack into what she sees.

I like this. And yes, all that idealization isn't good for a relationship.

And not at all. You're always set up for disappointment. And even if you manage to change the person to your ideal, you just end up hurting that person more.
This is definitely why Jack/Gwen would never work - she's got such an unrealistic view of who he is that she'd demand more than he's capable of giving and every time he slipped off that pedestal, she'd lay into him for being less than perfect.

Ianto, on the other hand, sees Jack exactly as he is, with all the faults and flaws that any normal person has, and he's fine with that, he loves Jack the way he is and doesn't demand or even expect more. He understands Jack in ways Gwen never could. He lets Jack be completely himself, so Jack doesn't have to keep up the mask he puts on for everyone else's benefit.
I have much icon love for you!

Yes, I agree. They could never be truly happy together, because Jack can't be Gwen's ideal 24/7. Jack might be a good conman but no one is that good.

As for Ianto...Jack can be the hero all he wants during the day, but at night he has one person he can let the facade drop for. And he needs that.

really nice! I like his thoughts of Gwen and Ianto and what they mean to him and how he needs them to think of him

I guess that's how I see Jack...wanting certain people around him to bolster his various masks, but in the end needing someone he can drop them all in front of.

An introspective Jack, wonderful!
I hated this scene in Something borrowed!
Thank you for fixing it for me! :)
Thanks! I just had to do something with that scene. It put my teeth on edge and made me want to punch the screen.

Glad you liked it. :)