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Myfanwy 2

October 2018



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Myfanwy 2

Secrets and Lies

Secrets and Lies
Author: Milady Dragon
Series: Dragon-Verse
Rating: PG
Pairing(s): Jack/Ianto; Gwen/Rhys; Gwen/Owen (mentioned)
Warnings: This could be seen as not very friendly to Gwen, although personally she did it to herself.
Spoilers: Up through S1 E11, "Combat"
Disclaimer:  I don't own Torchwood, I would have treated it better.
Author's note:  I have decided not to rewrite "Combat", simply because it's fine as it is: Owen goes off the rails, does some undercover work, gets into a cage with a Weevil.  Nothing there really needs to be changed.  So, I've done a coda instead, having to do with something that happened within the episode itself that I wished had been addressed.  As usual, I've gotten the timeline from various fan-made chronologies and the TARDIS Index File.   This is also using a prompt for Long Live Ianto Cliche Bingo: Episode Tags and Missing Scenes.

And a big "Thank you!" to [personal profile] bookwrm89 , she really helped out with this part.  

Summary:  Gwen had thought she'd gotten away with taking the Retcon she'd used on Rhys.  She was wrong.


3 January 2008



Gwen stiffened, turning on her heel to confront Ianto Jones.  He stood in the corridor just behind her, looking oh so innocuous in his black suit and dark purple shirt, his blue eyes staring at her intently.   He appeared…normal.

But she knew better.

Ianto gave her the creeps, just because he looked like anyone she might have passed on the street.  Only he wasn’t; he kept his true self hidden behind this façade.  It was wrong.  She didn’t trust him, despite her colleagues’ insistence to the contrary.  It wasn’t right that he’d kept such a secret, and people – beings – who did that really couldn’t be trusted.

But that wasn’t the only thing that bothered her about him.

It was his relationship with Jack.

Gwen just didn’t know what was behind it.  Jack could have anyone – he could have her, if he only said the word – but their captain had settled for a relationship with someone who wasn’t even remotely human, even if he looked like one. 

What sort of control did Ianto have, that Jack actually wanted to be with him?   It had to be some type of coercion.  It had to be.  Jack might talk a big game about being with aliens, but Gwen didn’t believe most of what he said, dismissing it as simply impossible.  There was no way Jack was really like that.

 “I was just looking for Jack,” she said, turning on her heel to leave.

“Jack and Tosh have gone to the hospital to visit Owen,” he answered. 

Gwen chewed her lip.  That meant she was alone with Ianto, and that made her very uncomfortable.  She didn’t turn, hoping to get away from the Hub without too much trouble.  “I should probably get home to Rhys anyway – “

“Actually, I wanted to speak to you about something.  It should only take a few minutes.  Let’s go up to Jack’s office.” 

“I don’t really think we have anything to speak about – “  She did turn then, she didn’t have a choice if she wanted to leave.

“And I know you’re wrong.”  His voice went hard.  “Come with me, Gwen.”

He waved her on, and Gwen strode past, not wanting him to know just how bothered she was by his presence, and the position of power he held.  Together they moved into the main Hub, and Ianto ushered her forward.

Gwen was irritated.  As far as she was concerned, Ianto didn’t have any right to be using Jack’s office for anything.  After all, he wasn’t in charge…Jack was.   Still, she went with him, not really having a lot of choice in the matter.  She didn’t have the means to go against him.

There wasn’t anything he could have against her.  Gwen really had no idea what he wanted to talk about, but she figured once she got it over with she could go home to Rhys. 

Ianto didn’t sit at the desk; instead, he leaned against it, arms crossed over his chest.  He motioned her to the visitor chair, which she declined to take.  She didn’t want him towering over her, trying to intimidate her.  Gwen Cooper didn’t intimidate easily, as the entire team had found out.

“Very well,” he said, favoring her with a sharp gaze.  “Gwen, what did you do with the Retcon you took from the store?”

Gwen’s heart froze.  He knew?  How could he?  She’d been so very careful, and there hadn’t been anyone in the Hub when she’d taken it…She made an effort to relax, thinking to bluff it out.  “I didn’t take any Retcon,” she snapped.  “And I’m insulted by the accusation.”

He suddenly looked tired.  “Yes, I thought that might be your answer.”  Ianto turned, picking up a file that was on Jack’s desk.  He opened, it, handing her a photo from inside.

Gwen’s hand trembled as she recognized herself, standing in the open cabinet door leading to the Retcon storage cabinet. 

“After we found out about Suzie’s misuse of Retcon,” Ianto said, “Jack and I decided to hide a camera inside the cabinet itself.  It’s motion-sensitive, and will only turn on when the door is opened.  That still is taken from the actual motion footage that we have of you taking the Retcon.   You were caught, Gwen.  Now I’d like to know who you gave it to, and why.”

He stared at her, his ancient eyes implacable.  Ianto was right; Gwen had been caught.  But she wasn’t about to go down without a fight.  “I don’t have to answer to you,” she said sharply. 

His eyes narrowed.  “Yes Gwen, you do.  I’m your Second, and your superior officer.  You are the lowest in seniority here, although I think you sometimes forget that.”

“Where’s Jack?” she demanded.  She didn’t want to talk to him at all.  It wasn’t any of his business what she did.  “I’ll only talk to Jack.”  She really didn’t know if Jack would be more amenable, since he’d seemed more likely to find fault with her lately than she had when she’d first started working there.   But she really wanted to discuss this with him, and not Ianto. 

“Jack asked me to talk to you,” Ianto answered.  “As I’m in charge of the Retcon.  If you don’t talk to me, then I’ll have no choice but to suspend you without pay pending an investigation.”

“You can’t do that!” she exclaimed, outraged.

“I assure you, I can.  What you’ve done is incredibly dangerous.  You haven’t been trained in the use of Retcon yet, and you could easily have given whoever it was the wrong dosage.  We need to check on them and see if they’re all right.  I’m quite sure you don’t want them to lose years of memories, do you?”

Gwen went cold, and she felt the blood drain from her face.  She hadn’t even considered that, but Rhys hadn’t awakened yet that morning when she’d left for the Hub.  Her hands itched to pull out her mobile and check on him, but she didn’t want to do that in front of Ianto.   “I’ll take care of it,” she said.

“No, you won’t.  You will tell me who you gave the Retcon to, and why.  If not, you will face suspension.”

His eyes were angry, and she met his glare with one of her own.  She wasn’t about to let him bully her.  “It was a decision I had to make, and I made it for the best of reasons,” she answered angrily.  “I’ve been with Torchwood for months, and by now you should trust me.” 

“And yet, how can we trust you when you won’t admit your mistakes?”   Ianto sighed.  “Fine.  You’re suspended until further notice.  It will be up to Jack as to when you can come back to work.  You can go.”

Gwen bristled at being dismissed, but she stood her ground.  “I don’t know what you have on Jack that makes him keep you here,” she growled, “but I’m going to find out.”

Ianto looked surprised, then his shook his head, smiling.  “Oh, Gwen.   Jealousy doesn’t suit you, you know.”

It felt as if he’d slapped her in the face.  “I’m not jealous,” she denied hotly.

“Yes, you are.  But then, even Jack admits that’s partially his fault, with how he treated you when he first hired you.   Look, you have the makings of a fine field agent, but at the rate you’re going that’s all you’ll ever be.  You don’t listen; you’re insubordinate; you think your own personal morality is the only correct one out there.  You’re close-minded.  You’re prejudiced.  You’re not willing to open yourself up to new possibilities.  You treat your teammates like they’re under you, when everyone in this base has more seniority than you do.  You question orders even when it’s on a subject you have no idea about.  We know what we’re doing, Gwen; we’ve been doing this for a long time.   You need to trust us, just as we need to trust you, and right now that isn’t happening.”

She couldn’t believe what she was hearing.  Gwen got angrier and angrier the longer Ianto went on.  By the time he was finished, her fists were clenched tightly at her sides and she was ready to launch herself across the space between them.  And yet, there was a small part of her that knew he was right, but she was too stubborn to admit it.  “I’m not some mindless drone like the others, who simply follow orders and never question anything!”

Ianto’s face darkened.  “None of this team is like that, Gwen.  And if you’d bothered to pay attention, you’d know that.  Both Toshiko and Owen do question things, but they do it fairly respectfully; they come to either of us and discuss things and try not to broadcast it all over the Hub.  They also know when to let something lie.  You don’t, to either circumstance.   They also accept that Jack does know what he’s talking about.  Jack Harkness is a very intelligent, very competent leader, who knows things that we can’t possibly understand.  Have you ever taken apart a time machine and put it back together?  Do you speak several alien languages, including Galactic Standard?  Do you have experience with literally hundreds of alien races?  Can you fly a spaceship out of Earth orbit?  No Gwen, you can’t.  None of us can.  But Jack does know all of that, and a lot more besides.   Don’t ever think you know more than he does, because you don’t and you never will.”

Gwen actually took a step back from Ianto’s fierce defense of Jack.  She was learning more about the captain in just this conversation than she had in the entire time she’d been with Torchwood, and knowing that Ianto Jones had more knowledge about Jack than she did not only disappointed her, it bothered her as well.  In the beginning she’d thought of herself as Jack’s friend, the one he talked to and shared things with.   She’d known that he was immortal before anyone else, and she’d been proud of the fact that he’d trusted her with that information. 

But now, it looked as if she really knew nothing at all. 

She had one more barb to throw.  “I knew he was immortal before anyone else!”

Ianto barked a short, sharp laugh.  “No you didn’t, Gwen.  I’ve known for seven years, for almost as long as I’ve known him.  And don’t think he necessarily trusted you with the truth: you found out by accident, and he never would have told you if you hadn’t witnessed Suzie killing him.”  He sighed.  “The last thing I wanted to do was get into a pissing contest with you.  Go home, Gwen.  Jack will call you when he wants you to come back to work.”

Gwen turned, not wanting Ianto to see how disappointed and upset she was.  She’d taken Jack’s words that day to mean that not even Ianto had known about his immortality, and she’d been mistaken.  But then, she’d only mentioned Owen and Tosh in that particular conversation; she hadn’t said a word about Ianto, completely discounting him.

She wondered if Jack had noticed.  And, if he would have lied about it if she had mentioned Ianto as well.

Gwen didn’t want to let him have the last word, but there really wasn’t a lot she could do about it, unless she wanted to track Jack down at the hospital.  Yes, he’d been a bit cold toward her lately, and he’d said things about her behavior that she’d tried to take to heart – except those about Ianto, and that was because she simply didn’t trust him – but she had to think that Jack still needed her there.  That he’d see that a suspension was going a bit overboard, even if he may have ordered it himself.  She really just wanted him to see reason…and to trust her like she thought he’d done before. 

She was a few steps away from the cog door when the alarm went off and it slid open, and Jack strode through.

He looked distressed, clutching a bag of grapes in one hand.  Gwen put herself in front of him, and he nearly ran her over on his way into the main Hub. 

Jack stopped, staring down at her, his brows drawing together.  “Gwen?  What are doing here?  Did you talk to Ianto?”

Gwen’s heart dropped, but she didn’t want Jack to know how much his question had bothered her.  “I did,” she answered, “and he’s being completely unreasonable.”

“Did you tell him what you did with the Retcon?”

“No, she didn’t,” Ianto’s voice came from the door to Jack’s office.  Gwen didn’t turn to look at him, wanting to maintain contact with Jack, because he would be the one whose final decision mattered.

He frowned, glancing around Gwen in Ianto’s direction.  “Did you suspend her?”

Betrayal flashed through her, although she’d known the suspension was under his own order.  The tone of his voice suggested to her that she really didn’t have a leg to stand on, but she really did want a chance to plead her case.  If she could get Jack to believe in her, the way she believed in him…   

“I did, however I suspect she will want to see if she can get you to change your mind.”

Jack looked down at her once more, a disappointed expression on his face.  “And what’s so unreasonable about the punishment, Gwen?  You have no idea what you’re doing with Retcon, and could have injured someone badly.  Did you think of that before you took it without asking?”

Gwen could handle anger from Jack; she’d done it before, and had managed to hold her own to an extent.  But disappointment…that got to her, because the last thing she wanted to do was disappoint Jack Harkness.

“Maybe you can get it out of her,” Ianto added.  “She just wants to argue with me.”

“It’s not going to stop the suspension,” Jack said.  “You’re my Second, and she has to understand that what you say, goes.”

This wasn’t going how she’d hoped.  Gwen had really thought that she might have a chance that Jack might reverse it, because she was needed in Torchwood.  Had he lied to her?  But why would he do that?    

“She thinks I have something on you, so you’ll keep me around.”  The amusement in Ianto’s voice just rammed home the knowledge that Gwen really didn’t have a clue about either of them.

Gwen’s jaw nearly dropped at the sudden look of adoration on Jack’s handsome features.  “She’d be right about that, but not in the way she thinks.”   His attention was back on her.  “Did you tell her we know who she Retconned anyway?”

Her eyes widened.  No…how could they?

“I didn’t, no.”  Ianto stepped up beside Jack.  His eyes were sad.  “We know it was Rhys,” he said, “and we also know why.”

Her knees went weak.  “Are you spying on me?” she wanted to make it sound like a demand, but it was more like a plea.  All these months, she’d honestly believed that Jack had trusted her…

“Every person who joins Torchwood is put under six months’ observation,” Jack said.  “It’s standard protocol.  We have cameras and listening devices all throughout your flat.  We saw exactly what happened.  I can’t believe you actually Retconned Rhys, before even telling him that you slept with Owen.  What was the point of confessing if he didn’t remember it?  That’s not what people who love each other do.  You have no idea how disappointed we are.”

“We wanted to give you the chance to come clean,” Ianto added.  “If you had, we would have removed the surveillance equipment and you would never have known, and we would have called the observation off.   But what you did was potentially dangerous, Gwen.   So much could have gone wrong, just because you had the urge to confess and have Rhys forgive you…well, we know how that went.”

Gwen didn’t even know she was crying until she tasted the salt of her tears on her lips.  They knew it all, and she’d blown her chance to be honest and build a relationship with both of them.  But no, she’d had to hold on to her prejudices against Ianto, and instead of getting a mere slap on the wrist, she’d earned an open-ended suspension.  After that, there was no telling what might happen.  Would they try to Retcon her once more?  Sure, she’d broken it once, but even she knew that had only been a fluke, that it had been a lucky set of circumstances that had triggered her memories.  This time, they would make certain she didn’t remember.

She opened her mouth to say something; anything, to regain what trust she’d just lost. 

But nothing came out. 

There really wasn’t anything she could say.

“Go home, Gwen,” Jack ordered softly.  “Go home to Rhys, and remember what you’re fighting for.  Remember that he loves you, and has stayed by you even through the intense secrecy of Torchwood.  He’s a good man, and deserves better.  And, when you come back, we’ll have to start all over.”

“And the surveillance equipment stays in place,” Ianto said.  “If you’re going to do something like this to someone you say you love, then I think we’ll be keeping our eye on you for a while longer.”

She nodded.  Darting past the two of them, Gwen practically ran out of the Hub, the grinding noise of the cog door closing behind her with an almost final sound.



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Retconning Rhys like she did almost made Gwen unredeemable for me (she managed to gain a little ground back in COE). I'm so glad she was caught out here and brought down a peg or two.
I do agree with you, I never could understand it myself.

Thanks! :)
I am so glad she got her just deserts. Ianto is awesome, and Jack clearly adores him. At least now she sees it, but it's going to be far from plain sailing for her
Thanks! She does see it, and you're right...things aren't going to be easy. She has her work cut out for her.

Glad you liked it!
Yeah, who's untrustworthy Gwen?

I don't why people would get mad about a story calling Gwen out for retconning Rhys because...um...she did it.
Exactly. *nods*

Well, you're right, I admit. But you never can tell what people would object to, so it's better to be safe than sorry. :)

Glad you liked it!
Yes, this is the one scene that made me go from tolerating her, to really disliking her. Well, I would ask why JB would know that exactly, him being a man and all...

Glad you liked it! :)
This is a perfect coda. I have always had an issue with how Gwen is always coated with teflon and nothing sticks.

She should have been called on the carpet for her actions and she just wasn't.
Thank you! Yes, she isn't about to get away with stuff like that if I'm writing her.

Glad you liked it!
Bravo! This is her one unforgivable moment. And remember, she does this in an episode where its clearly demonstrated what bad usage of retcon can lead to.

As I like to say, its not the deed, its the cover-up. She had a fling with another man. Not good, but it does not make her a monster. But to put someone's life at risk to expiate your own guilt - that's despicable behavior.
Thank you. I agree, this is the thing I've held against her forever. She had to be called down for it, and Ianto was just the dragon to do it.

And you're right...cheating is bad, but giving someone a drug that could do actual damage to someone you supposedly love...no, that's not caring about that person at all.

My first thought is that this could be a turning point for Gwen and her behaviour could make a turn for the positive. Then I remember that meat is still to come and I think... Nah. I love that Ianto got a chance to tell Gwen exactly what he thinks of her and her behaviour. Gwen is not naturally a team player - she struggles to be a part of a couple! I like this Coda, but it does mean that unless I have missed the mark, Ianto's heart is about to get broken... *hides her face* Waiting with baited breath for the next installment. :)
Thanks. And yes, "Meat" is still up. We'll see just how much she takes this into account during that episode.

No, she isn't. She's too much of an "I" person and not an "us" person to really fit with anyone.

Sorry in advance for what's about to come...no, not really. *laughs crazily*
I'm so glad Gwen isnt getting away with that.
Nope, and she won't when I'm writing her.

**Jack Harkness is a very intelligent, very competent leader, who knows things that we can’t possibly understand**
THIS! It's so sad that Torchwood creators too often conviniently "forget" about this little detail, instead making Gwen all-too-capable field operative with really big heart.
I like how fiercely Ianto protects Jack from Gwen' misconceptions.
Also, very good characterisation of Gwen.
And Jack talking with Ianto as if Gwen even isn't there - I think for her it was really humiliating and at the same time it could give her a clue about how much she is "needed" in Torchwood.
Overall, it's a wonderful story! Gwen needs to be called on her misdeeds. But it seems poor little Gwennie likes her happy land of denial where she is the queen too much to make an effort of living in a real world.
I know, I hate how the writers completely disregarded the fact that Jack knows things that others don't. He has advanced knowledge. There are things he can do that Gwen never could, and I agree with you that they tend to make Gwen into a superwoman when she really isn't.

Thanks! I'm really glad you enjoyed it. :)
That was brilliant. I have had such a tough week and reading this was just what i needed.

Gwen being put in her rightful place Yeah!

Thank your for this.
Sorry you had a rough week! *hugs*

Glad you enjoyed it, hon. *hugs again*
Yeah she really showed her humanity there...she really was a cold-hearted bitch in this episode.
You're right...I mean, drugging the man you're supposed to love, and then get upset when he doesn't forgive her? Really, Gwen?

Glad you liked it!
OH YES! So nicely done. Seriously. This is perfect. Brilliant.
Thank you!

Glad you liked it! I know I enjoyed writing it. :)
Excellent ! Loved Ianto putting Gwen in her place !
She'll never get away with stuff as long as I write her. :)

Glad you liked it.

Oh dear Gwen, will you ever learn....actually I kinda hope you don't...it'll make you more fun later.
We'll see... *laughs manically*

So glad that Ianto called Gwen out for what she did. Retconning Rhys just made her seem untrustworthy and emotionally unstable -- not the best qualities for someone in her line of work.
She couldn't get away with it...and Ianto was just the dragon to call her on it. You're right, it did, and it's just like her to want to get forgiveness, and not let Rhys remember that he gave it to her. *sigh*

Glad you liked it!
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