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Fic: A Bed of Mystery

TITLE: A Bed of Mystery
AUTHOR: Erin Giles
DISCLAIMER: Torchwood is the intellectual property of the BBC.
SUMMARY: Ianto’s keys have gone missing, but that’s not the biggest mystery surrounding Ianto today, and Gwen’s determined to get to the bottom of it.

‘Jack, have you seen my keys?’

‘Keys?’ Jack asked as he flicked distractedly through a sheaf of forms he was supposed to be collating.

‘Yeah, they’re attached to a key ring. Open my front door,’ Ianto said as he started rifling through the pockets of his jacket that was hung on the coat stand.

‘Nope, not seen them since last night,’ Jack said without looking up, disappearing back into his office.

Gwen was watching the both of them from her own desk, and therefore was the only one privy to the skittish look that crossed Jack’s features followed by the glare Ianto shot him when Jack was safely back in his office.

Ianto went back to hunting fruitlessly for his keys, wincing and groaning in pain when he bent down to search underneath the sofa.

‘You alright, pet?’ Gwen asked as she watched him struggling back to his feet with the help of the coffee table before deciding that it would be easier to search underneath the pizza boxes from the same level.

‘Yeah, just my back’s playing up again,’ Ianto said as he piled the pizza boxes up on the floor, figuring he might as well tidy up while he searched for his keys.

‘You should go for a massage,’ Gwen said.

Ianto made a face, and Gwen misinterpreted it as Ianto dismissing the benefits of massage.

‘You should at least give it a try,’ said Gwen. ‘There’s this place in town, down Wharton Street that Trina suggested to me after I started working here. There’s a guy called Tony in there that I swear has magic hands.’

Ianto made another face, but Gwen just assumed it was a grimace of pain as he pulled himself to his feet, bringing the empty pizza boxes with him.

‘I’m sure he does have magic hands, but he’s not using them on me,’ said Ianto, tipping the pizza boxes into a black bin bag and resuming his search for his keys in a part of the Hub Gwen wasn’t. Gwen frowned, watching Ianto retreating into the archives. She picked up the block of post-its from her desk, scrolling through her phone to find the number for the beauty salon where Tony worked. She left the scribbled number stuck to Ianto’s computer screen.

‘I’m going out for a bit,’ Jack said as he rushed past her, down the stairs and out of the cog door before Gwen had a chance to ask him where he was going. Gwen sighed. She’d just have to find a way to entertain herself for the rest of the morning.

Jack came back while Ianto and Gwen were having lunch. They were watching Miss Marple, making ludicrous suggestions as to ‘who dun it’. Ianto had just finished proclaiming it was Colonel Luscombe, in the dining room with the butter knife when Jack walked in.

‘Found your keys, by the way,’ Jack said by way of greeting, holding out a bunch of keys attached to a novelty key ring. Ianto held his hand out warily for them.

‘Found them?’ Ianto asked.

‘Yeah, they were upstairs.’

‘Right,’ Ianto said, pocketing his keys so that he couldn’t put them down anywhere else and ‘lose’ them again. He was still regarding Jack with a somewhat sceptical look, though.

‘I had to go out for something. They were just lying on your desk up there when I came back,’ Jack said, shrugging slightly before he disappeared into his office.

‘You don’t believe him?’ Gwen asked as she pressed the space bar on the keyboard to recommence their viewing.

‘I checked up there earlier,’ Ianto replied, picking up his half eaten sandwich and leaning back in his chair with a groan.

‘Why would he want your keys, though?’ Gwen questioned.

‘I’ve changed my mind, she did it,’ said Ianto, pointing at the screen where it had frozen again on a girl fainting at the sight of blood.

Gwen wasn’t someone to let things go lightly. ‘Ianto?’

‘I don’t know. To rummage through my underwear drawer?’ Ianto suggested flippantly. Gwen couldn’t help herself, she laughed at the notion and nothing more was said on the matter. She knew that Ianto was avoiding the real suspicions he had though when she caught him inspecting his keys later on.


Gwen disappeared to find a towel when they returned from an outing in the pouring rain to investigate sightings of Weevils in Canton. They’d run themselves in circles trying to corral one Weevil for the best part of an hour and Gwen felt like she’d run a marathon. Her hair was starting to curl so she pulled it back off her face and went in search of a hair-tie.

‘I’ll pay for you to go to a chiropractor.’ Jack’s persuasive voice was coming from just inside his office as Gwen stopped just out of sight by Ianto’s desk.

‘I don’t need a chiropractor,’ Ianto said. There was an amount of strain in his voice that made Gwen lean back slightly so she could see in through the door of Jack’s office. Ianto was stood with his back to her, hunched over slightly and a hand pressed to his lower back.

‘Ianto,’ Jack said, sighing in exasperation. Jack was stood with his back to Gwen too, hovering just behind Ianto like he wanted to ease Ianto’s pain but didn’t know how. ‘You can’t carry on sleeping on the sofa.’

‘What else am I supposed to do?’ Ianto snapped, turning to look at Jack and grimacing with the movement before his gaze moved past Jack to fall on Gwen who had gravitated closer to Jack’s office door as she listened. She gave a shy smile before retreating back to her desk to find an elastic band.

Ianto emerged a moment later, limping slightly, but trying not to, straightening his back as he walked past Gwen and headed towards the lower levels. Jack appeared at the door of his office, hands shoved in his pockets as his eyes followed Ianto’s retreating back.

‘Everything, alright?’ Gwen asked as she secured her hair with a green elastic band.

‘He’s more stubborn than me,’ Jack said. Gwen laughed.

‘No one’s more stubborn than you, Jack.’


‘What happened to your bed?’

They were stood in the queue at Starbucks in Mermaid Quay. It was just before closing time and Gwen was determined to get to the bottom of what was happening before she went home, and since she’d promised Rhys an early night, she was not reluctant to try the Jack Harkness approach; sheer bluntness.

‘What do you mean?’ Ianto asked, not looking at her as he perused the menu, even though Gwen knew he would order the same thing he always did.

‘Well through my amazing powers of deduction I’ve worked out that your bed is no longer fit to sleep in; sore back, sleeping on the settee, grumpiness. So therefore my next question is logically, what happened to your bed? Or more likely what did Jack do to your bed?’

The girl behind the counter, Sian, beamed at Ianto. ‘What can I get you today?’ Gwen suspected she had a crush on Ianto.

‘Same as usual please, Sian,’ Ianto said.

‘All three?’ Sian asked, already scribbling on the order pad.

‘Please,’ Ianto said, smiling at her as he retrieved his wallet from his back pocket. Sian shot Gwen a look, but Gwen was still waiting on Ianto’s reply.

‘Did you want something to eat?’

‘Eh-‘ Gwen’s eyes flicked to the double decadence chocolate cake, her tongue darting out as it eyed the marshmallow swizzles, but she refrained. Rhys would have a fit if she told him she was too full for dinner again. ‘No, thanks, Ianto.’

Ianto paid, waited for Gwen to put copious amounts of sugar in her coffee and was already halfway back to the tourist office with both his and Jack’s cups before Gwen realised he hadn’t answered her question.


‘So, what?’ Ianto asked as he unlocked the door into the tourist office.

‘So, what’s wrong with your bed?’

Ianto sighed, grimacing as he leaned over the desk to press the release mechanism for the door into the Hub and then struggled to straighten up again. His free hand was rubbing at the base of his back as he limped down the tunnel after Gwen.

‘A couple of the slats have broken on the base and I haven’t had a chance to replace it yet,’ Ianto said as they rode down in the lift together, Gwen still with an expectant look on her face that soon melted into one of careful control. She would not laugh. She would not make suggestions as to how the bed had been broken, although from the blush creeping up Ianto’s neck she had a pretty shrewd idea.


‘What do you think?’

‘Most people buy flowers or chocolates.’

‘Yeah, well. I get bored of cliché presents, plus it’s a present we can both make use of.’ Jack shot Ianto a wicked smile and Ianto resisted the urge to roll his eyes. They were stood in the doorway of Ianto’s bedroom, Jack still with a hand on the door that he’d opened with a flourish almost the minute they’d got in the front door. They were staring at a brand new bed, dressed in sheets with freshly ironed folds down the middle.

‘Try it out.’

Ianto toed his shoes off and lay back carefully on the bed, his back creaking in relief as he already felt the memory foam shaping around him. He let out a long sigh, closing his eyes, determined never to move again as he wriggled his toes in his socks and turned his head slightly so he could smell the heady scent of ylang ylang fabric softener.


Ianto hummed in agreement and Jack laughed. ‘You staying put then?’

‘It’s bedtime isn’t it?’

‘Well,’ Jack glanced at the clock on the bedside table. ‘It’s bedtime for normal people but this is quite early for us.’

Ianto didn’t reply, didn’t even move and Jack slipped his braces from his shoulders and started untucking his shirt as he moved towards Ianto’s en-suite.


Jack turned back, even as he continued to unbutton his shirt.

‘Thank you,’ said Ianto as he turned his head, watching as Jack lingered in the bathroom doorway.

‘You’re welcome.’ Jack smiled and slipped through the door of the bathroom. Ianto took a moment to contemplate getting up and changing out of his suit, but made do with the half-hearted effort of trying to toe his socks off.

‘Where’d you get it from?’ Ianto asked as he started to unknot his tie, the tap in the bathroom running.

‘You know that bed store down by IKEA?’

‘No.’ Ianto was trying to wriggle out of his trousers without sitting up now, grunting and groaning with the effort, his back twinging slightly in protest.

‘You do, the one by the traffic lights. Dragon beds.’

Ianto thought for a moment as he kicked his trousers to the floor and started on the buttons of his shirt. ‘Oh, the one with the sign outside that says-‘

Jack was stood in the bathroom doorway, wearing nothing but a smile and holding a pair of metal handcuffs in his left hand.

‘Free pair of handcuffs with every frame bed? Yeah, that’s the place.’


A/N: The Author’s Notes are at the end because I didn’t want to spoil the mystery for everyone. But I would like it to be known that there used to be a sign outside a bed store in Grangetown, Cardiff that read ‘Free pair of handcuffs with every frame bed’, but having never bought a bed from there I cannot vouch for the validity of the offer, only the fact it used to make me chuckle every time I drove past it. I don’t think this is quite what people had in mind every time I mentioned ‘the handcuff story’. Also, thank you to electrictoes for betaing this for me. Let us all hope she gets a new bed, like Ianto, soon. ;)


( 47 have written — Write to me )
Jun. 27th, 2011 03:50 pm (UTC)
*laughs* okay, I can see why that sign amused you. I was trying to be Miss Marple while reading this and I failed miserably. I was putting money on Jack having borrowed them to get his own set cut.
Jun. 27th, 2011 07:35 pm (UTC)
It amused me for months. I'm sad it's gone now tbh. Nope, no keys for Jack, just a brand new bed for Ianto. :) Thanks for the comments, hun.
Jun. 27th, 2011 04:20 pm (UTC)
Brilliant, made me laugh :D
Jun. 27th, 2011 07:35 pm (UTC)
Hehe. Glad it made you laugh. :)
Jun. 27th, 2011 06:15 pm (UTC)
This actually made me laugh out loud... Haven't read fanfic for quite some time but I thought I'd give this a go because I do enjoy your stories... and it was really worth it :D
Jun. 27th, 2011 07:36 pm (UTC)
I haven't written any in ages. Thank you. :) Glad you enjoyed the fic.
Jun. 28th, 2011 07:19 pm (UTC)
:) I love stories that aren't what they appear to be, like this one being "the handcuffs fic". I've written some chapters like that and it's fun to see people's reaction to it when it's finally revealed.

Also like everything you leave to the reader's imagination, like how exactly the bed was broken :)
Jun. 27th, 2011 07:42 pm (UTC)
This is good but damn I was thinking of writing a story around these same lines today because I stayed up and watched an infomercial about those sleep adjuster beds. Curses! Still, good read. I love your work. This was funny too.
Jun. 28th, 2011 10:58 am (UTC)
Aw, you should still totally write the story! Those beds look so comfy. Glad you enjoyed the story. Thanks.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 28th, 2011 10:58 am (UTC)
Sadly the sign's not there anymore, but the shop still is. Glad you enjoyed it.
Jun. 28th, 2011 07:20 pm (UTC)
Gotta say, that icon is absolutely brilliant! :)
Jun. 27th, 2011 08:16 pm (UTC)
This was hilarious. It will be my new -only- handcuff story from now on.
Jun. 28th, 2011 10:59 am (UTC)
Lol. Glad you enjoyed it.
Jun. 27th, 2011 08:29 pm (UTC)
Very cute story; also very nice to see some new Jack/Ianto stuff from you. Thanks for sharing! =)
Jun. 28th, 2011 11:00 am (UTC)
This one's been hanging about on my hard drive for a while. Thought I'd finish it finally. Thanks for reading!
Jun. 27th, 2011 08:39 pm (UTC)
Oh, poor Ianto! Um.....lucky Ianto?
Jun. 28th, 2011 11:01 am (UTC)
Poor lucky Ianto? Hehe. Thanks for reading.
Jun. 27th, 2011 09:24 pm (UTC)
This is just downright adorable. *grins* :) Someone will have to go and test that whole handcuff offer someday, lol. ^_~

Jun. 28th, 2011 11:01 am (UTC)
I don't think they have it anymore, unfortunately. The sign's gone now. :( Glad you enjoyed the fic, though.
Jun. 27th, 2011 09:26 pm (UTC)
*giggling like hell* I love this! Fun title, too :)

...a bunch of keys attached to a novelty key ring.

Now I'm wondering what that key ring looks like. (Especially if Jack gave it to him.)

I love your wonderfully IC nosy Gwen! And here...

Gwen’s eyes flicked to the double decadence chocolate cake, her tongue darting out as it eyed the marshmallow swizzles, but she refrained. Rhys would have a fit if she told him she was too full for dinner again.

...she sounds like me :D

(Quick typo patrol, in case you're interested:

...tipping the pizza boxes into a black bin big...

(For a minute there I read that as "big black bin" :D )

...that he’d opened with a florish...

Er, "flourish.")

And your inspiration -- ‘Free pair of handcuffs with every frame bed’ -- made me LOL some more. (And reminded me of this, from a recent TV ad for memory foam beds: "BACK PAIN IN EPIC PROPORTIONS!"

Also, this, from the summary ...

...Gwen’s determined to get to the bottom of it.

Gave me a serious attack of Torchwood Gutter Mind, I'll have you know XD
Jun. 28th, 2011 11:05 am (UTC)
Hmmm. What would Ianto have on his keyring... Probably a Welsh Dragon or a sheep or something. There's these one's you can buy in lots of shops in Cardiff that are made out of sheep poo. He'd probably have one of those.

Gwen is exactly like me when I go in Starbucks. I keep telling myself I only ever need coffee, but my mouth never listens.

Thanks for pointing out the typos - shows you that two pairs of eyes can still miss little things.

Get your mind out the Torchwood gutter! Jack's living in there! :P Thanks for reading and the EPIC comments! ;)
Jun. 27th, 2011 09:36 pm (UTC)
HA! I've been past that bed shop a few times when staying in Cardiff. Last time I was there the sign had gone though :(

Love the fic you made me LOL!
Jun. 28th, 2011 11:06 am (UTC)
Yeah, it disappeared a couple of months ago. Makes me sad. :( Glad you enjoyed the fic, though.
Jun. 27th, 2011 09:46 pm (UTC)
hehe, cute! I loved Gwen in this story ("[...] through my amazing powers of deduction [...]" <3 )
And the sign made me laugh out loud! :D
Jun. 28th, 2011 11:09 am (UTC)
Gwen totally has amazing powers of deduction. ;) The sign is very amusing. Thanks for commenting.
Jun. 27th, 2011 09:48 pm (UTC)
I'd say poor Ianto, but something tells me Jack is about to make up for breaking the bed... *grins*

I'd totally buy a new bed if it came with complimentary handcuffs. My local furniture stores would never have such a cool special, though.
Jun. 28th, 2011 11:12 am (UTC)
I never said that it was Jack who broke the bed. ;) I almost did buy my bed from there, but then there was a sale on in another shop. Hehe. Thanks for reading.
Jun. 27th, 2011 09:57 pm (UTC)
Hah hah, I love that idea. What a sweet little story. I love Gwen badgering Ianto, and then deciding just to be blunt about it.

Brilliant that you based it on a real shop as well. That memory foam is bloody expensive, glad Ianto is grateful!
Jun. 28th, 2011 11:13 am (UTC)
That sign was just begging for a story to be written. I think I'd propose to someone who bought me a memory foam mattress right then and there. Although my bed is pretty damn comfy as is.
Jun. 27th, 2011 10:20 pm (UTC)
I don't usually post comments but had to reply to this ! I drive past that place when i visit my friends who own a B&B around the corner from there, and although the shop is still there the signs are long gone :( Think they were told by the local council that it was inapropriate to have signs like that for a bed shop !!
Love the story :D
Jun. 28th, 2011 11:16 am (UTC)
Wait, do they own the B&B on Clive St? If so - awesome! I live up the road from the shop. I was sad the day the sign disappeared. Inappropriate my arse! It cheered me up on early winter mornings driving to Swansea. Glad you enjoyed the story.
Jun. 28th, 2011 03:07 pm (UTC)
Yes Ty Rosa :D
Don't know what harm it was doing ive seen far worse lol
Jun. 27th, 2011 10:37 pm (UTC)
Ha, this was cute. And that is TOTALLY where I would buy a bed!
Jun. 28th, 2011 11:27 am (UTC)
If only the offer still existed... *sigh* Glad you enjoyed this.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 28th, 2011 11:28 am (UTC)
Thank you. :)
Jun. 28th, 2011 07:50 am (UTC)
It was like the store was just waiting for Jack.

Cute story.
Jun. 28th, 2011 11:28 am (UTC)
That was my first thought when they put the sign up. Thanks for reading.
Jun. 28th, 2011 11:04 am (UTC)
Jun. 28th, 2011 11:29 am (UTC)
And I know you know which shop I'm talking about. ;)
Jun. 28th, 2011 08:45 pm (UTC)
That was completely adorable. :-) Love how Gwen figures it out!
Jul. 5th, 2011 10:44 pm (UTC)
Thanks, glad you enjoyed it.
Jun. 28th, 2011 11:00 pm (UTC)
*snort* But I understand what poor Ianto's going through! I was just like him, not wanting to move off my comfy bed after three and a half months of having to sleep on the lounge floor!

The new bed is a far better gift than flowers or even chocolates - plus, free handcuffs! I think Jack might have to wait to try them out until Ianto's back feels better though!
Jul. 5th, 2011 10:46 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I was the same when I moved into my current flat. I was only 2 weeks on the floor though, three and a half months seems cruel.

Yeah, I don't think Ianto's going to need to use the handcuffs to keep him from moving for a while. ;) Thanks for the comments.
Jul. 1st, 2011 03:21 am (UTC)
*giggles uncontrollably*

Oh, ow. My sides.
Jul. 5th, 2011 10:46 pm (UTC)
Don't strain yourself. ;) Glad is made you giggle.
Jul. 18th, 2011 04:43 pm (UTC)
Cardiff and signs: Splott at one time - possibly still has - a sign declaring the end of the road hump area... it was memorable :D

PS: loved the story
( 47 have written — Write to me )

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