How the West was Won

"Baudelaire believed," Jean-Marc said without a trace of humour, "the ultimate goal of Yoga was autofellatio."

Ianto blinked slowly, carefully placing the DVD case back into its home position on the coffee table before the old bust. "I know what to get the Captain for his birthday then." The plaster poet stared back blindly as he had done for years. "This is quite a place your parents have here."

His host snorted, narrow lips twisting into a faint sneer. "The third arrondissement ceased to be fashionable long before my father bought this apartment. He only uses it if the Assembly runs late or if he wants to take my mother shopping."

"Well, thank you anyway for your hospitality."

Jean-Marc turned sharply putting his face close enough to Ianto that the Welshman could smell mint on the Frenchman's breath. "Listen carefully, you are not here as part of the entente cordiale. This is French territory and no foreigner has ever been allowed in our Archives since their inception. You are only here because your chief beat Madeleine at Chemin de Fer and demanded access as a forfeit."

"I. Uh. Understand" Ianto stammered, intimidated by the pair of dark hazel eyes that glared at him.

"She doesn't like Anglo-Saxons."

"I'm not Anglo-Saxon."

The younger man smiled and leaned forward so his mouth was pressing against Ianto's ear. "I know…" Abruptly he pulled away. "Come."

Ianto let himself be led through a maze of short windowless corridors and ornately panelled doors into what he surmised was the drawing room. The windows had been tightly shuttered against the night giving the room a claustrophobic air. A gilded rococo mirror helped to lift the feeling of gloom. He watched Jean-Marc's reflection in it as he fetched a pair of crystal tumblers from the interior of a wooden cabinet. Dull electric lights exposed patches of damp on the wall where the cream paint had stained darker like walnut.

"Tomorrow is Sunday," Jean-Marc explained, briskly pulling a stopper from a decanter he had found. "Madeleine will be in the country with her children and the base will be empty." He filled the glasses half-way. The dark amber liquid matched the patchwork colour on the walls. "But this is Saturday and we will drink." He thrust a glass at Ianto.

"I don't—"

"Drink. I insist." The voice brooked no opposition. As Ianto tentatively sipped the brandy he added in a friendlier tone: "It will help you to sleep better in a strange bed. You will have to be at your best tomorrow. Torchwood will not get another chance to see our secrets."

The liquid burned his throat. He hadn't eaten since his flight had landed and now the alcohol assailed his stomach and his head in equal measures. Jean-Marc watched him like an anthropologist would a newly discovered tribe. He felt like an insect must, squashed under glass to be examined in minute detail by the eye of the microscope. The Frenchman had a prominent Adam's apple Ianto noticed. As it bobbed up and down he was reminded of a shark's fin breaking the water as it circled its prey. The Frenchman also had perfect skin: smooth; the shade of cappuccino. A tiny mole above his lip broke the symmetry of his face. Ianto suddenly felt grubby from all his travels. Inferior.


With a start he realised he'd been staring at his host. "Um. This is, er, nice." He raised the near-empty glass in salute. "Iechyd da!"

"Yec'hed mat!" came the surprising reply. Muscular lips broke into a smile showing perfect teeth. "You see. We do have something in common. We're both Celts. I was born in Brittany." He refilled Ianto's glass. "There's something I've been meaning to do since you arrived." A pair of strong hands removed Ianto's tie. "This is Paris and you dress like an undertaker."

Ianto stood still as Jean-Marc carefully unbuttoned the top of his white shirt, pulling the wings of his collar aside as he did so. His heart was beating loud enough to deafen him, Jack's words heavy in his ears: "This is our only opportunity, Ianto. Don't blow it."

"See? You look more relaxed with those little hairs curling out from the top of your shirt." The younger man stepped back . "You British. You are always half-afraid of your own bodies." An empty glass was pulled from his numb fingers. "Now I will show you your room."

More corridors. Like a rat's maze, thought Ianto, wondering if he would turn out to be the cheese at the end of the experiment. The walls here were a strange greenish colour, faded verdigris. There was a large photograph of a mature woman hanging near the glass doors at the end. He assumed this was Jean-Marc's mother, the psychiatrist. She had the same dark eyebrows and querulous expression.

"In here." A hand on the small of his back guided him firmly in.

It was a box-room by the standards of the rest of the apartment but still a fair size. The solitary bed looked more like a squashed sofa. At some stage a chintz cover had been thrown over it in an effort to make it look less abandoned.

"The bathroom is the second door across the corridor. Now sleep." The door was pulled firmly shut as the Frenchman departed leaving Ianto standing very still in the centre of the room conscious of the cool air on his exposed neck and chest.


He awoke with a start as the bright rays of a splendid morning burned through the thin curtains into the room. Shit. He was going to be late.

"Ah good morning," said a voice from the other side of the bathroom as Ianto walked in.

"Er. Sorry." Ianto muttered embarrassed, about to leave.

"No. Come in." Jean-Marc ordered, soaping himself in an old enamelled bath. "We don't have time for your odd British modesty." The room was bigger than Ianto's bedroom at home, the bath and toilet at one end and a pair of matching sinks along the opposite side. In keeping with the rest of the apartment it had a certain faded charm.

Shyly Ianto wandered over to a sink and started running the hot water. The procelain felt cold under his fingers. He felt it beginning to warm where the water hit it.

"You can't shave in a suit."

There was a wooden chair by the door. Carefully Ianto folded his jacket and shirt, keeping his face averted from the direction of the splashes. He wasn't used to such enforced company.

"Do you normally bathe in trousers?"

It was easier to acquiesce than argue and the steam rising from the running water added a faint veil over the situation. He removed his remaining garments and walked back to the sink carrying his toiletry case. As he rubbed the condensation off the mirrors with the edge of a bar of soap he realised they were directly in line with the bath.

Jean-Marc continued to clean himself. Beneath the skin of his arm a tight biceps slid gracefully up and down. His arms were as smooth as his neck, the white foam contrasting gently with his tan. "You have quite a hairy chest and stomach." He carelessly brushed a few errant suds from a brown nipple.

Ianto swallowed hard and concentrated on his own reflection. Don't look back, concentrate on something else. Myfanwy. Tax returns. In the mirror the younger man stood up, water cascading down slim hips, flatting a black patch of tightly curled pubic hair. Too late, thought Ianto glumly, realising there was nothing he could do to fight his body's response.

Jean-Marc made a noise that could have been a chuckle of amusement or a snort of distain. "We had best take care of that. You can't spend the entire morning in the Archives distracted."

A wet hand slowly retracted his foreskin looking to stop at the first sign of discomfort. Unable to say anything Ianto stood with his hands clinging to the edge of the sink as he felt a warm mouth and darting tongue take control.

It was all over mercifully, shamefully quickly.

Jean-Marc slid his foreskin back into its resting position and began towelling himself dry as if nothing had happened. What made the moment exquisitely painful for Ianto was the knowledge that at no stage had the Frenchman shown any signs of his own arousal. The whole deed had taken place in an almost clinical atmosphere.

As Ianto turned back to the sink to try and shave with trembling hands the younger man's heavy manhood slapped accidently against his buttocks. The touch of the warm dry flesh against his side and the close proximity of a flat hairless stomach were just too much. He felt himself harden again.

"You have stamina." Jean-Marc sounded almost impressed.

It took longer but when he came this second time it was with an intensity that made him cry out and left him drained.

"I'll make coffee whilst you wash," Jean-Marc said as if nothing had happened. "The taxi will arrive in twenty minutes."


"How was Paris?" Jack asked with a broad smile as he walked into the boardroom.

Ianto punched him in the jaw, hard. Gwen and Owen stood open-mouthed in astonishment.

To everyone's amazement Jack started laughing, despite a rapidly-forming bruise on his jaw. "I'll expect a detailed report, Ianto. On my desk in an hour. Don't leave anything out."

"Detailed. Yes, sir."


I'll give you details, Sir, Ianto thought savagely, fingers striking the keyboard like raptors. I'll give you details alright. "Baudelaire believed the ultimate goal of Yoga was autofellatio…"