Word count: around 1100
Summary: A companion piece to Drose. Jack and Ianto go online and discover the portmanteau name "Janto" and various other interesting aspects of Torchwood fanfic.
Note: I took the approach that if you can't kill portmanteau names, at least you can mock them! ;)
The peace of the Hub was not destined to linger long on this fine spring afternoon. Ianto was the one to ruin the atmosphere, as he looked up from the computer monitor he was studying. "Jack?"
Jack, who was tossing his TARDIS coral up and down as if the action would make it grow faster, glanced over at him. "Yes?"
"You know how a few fanfic authors started to use the squished name 'Drose' as shorthand for the Doctor/Rose relationship?"
Jack shuddered and nearly dropped the coral. "Yeah, but thankfully, that name never caught on. Most people just laughed at it and then forgot it existed. You hardly ever see 'Drose' used nowadays. Score one for the anti-portmanteau team!"
"Janto," Ianto said quietly.
"Janto," Ianto repeated. "It's the portmanteau name that caught on. As Smallville has 'Clex', and Harry Potter has 'Snarry' and 'Dramione', so Torchwood has 'Janto'. Jack/Ianto. Janto." Ianto shivered delicately.
Jack shivered less than delicately before demanding, "Tell me you're making it up. Please."
Silently, Ianto pointed at his monitor.
Jack approached and read aloud, "'This ficcy was written for Janto-fest!'" He looked at Ianto. "'Ficcy'?"
Ianto scrolled down the screen and highlighted another selection. "'Chappie', too."
"We have to look into this situation," Jack decided. "Immediately."
He set the TARDIS coral in a safe corner and reached for the mouse, but Ianto pulled it away. "Go use a different computer. We'll work faster if we pool our efforts."
Jack shrugged, sat down at the neighbouring terminal, and began his own exploration. Very quickly, he saw mentions of "Janto" riddling the page, and then he spotted another disturbing sight. He blinked, looked again, and frowned. "Ianto?" Jack said. "I have a pretty fair guess, but please enlighten me on what, exactly, 'chapter 108/?, cross-posted to 13 comms, and not beta read' means."
"Trust me, it's best if you never find out, Jack," Ianto replied.
"Why does this story have 108 parts, anyway?" Jack continued. "And why are they called 'chapters' when not a single one is even 500 words long?"
Ianto looked for himself and saw that Jack was, sadly, correct. "Chapter 68/? sets a record low at just 287 words," he noted. Then he skimmed the page. "Actually, 284 words, if only the author knew how to properly use hyphenates."
"I could forgive her that sin, if she'd lay off the 'Janto' and the Gwen bashing," Jack said. "Why so much Gwen hate, anyway? She's a nice person."
"She gets in the way of the OTP," Ianto pointed out. "You know, One True Pairing, the couple fated to be together no matter what? The Janto? That's us. You and me." He waved at Jack.
"Oh." Jack looked blankly back at him.
"You haven't seen all the stories where we commit exclusively, get married and start a family together, have you? A lot of the time, I become immortal and knock you up, not necessarily in that order, because we're soulmates. By the way, Jack, byddwn ar y cyd beunydd," Ianto said abruptly.
Jack stared at him. "What the hell was that?"
"Obligatory fan Welsh that I randomly spout in roughly 50 percent of all Janto stories, a.k.a. 'I ran it through an online translator and have no idea if it's accurate'," Ianto replied. "I think it's supposed to mean something like 'We will be together forever' but you know those wacky, unreliable translators. I might really have just said I'm a chicken with three heads. It doesn't matter, though. The readers will never know the difference. How many of them do you think speak Welsh?"
Jack glanced at his monitor, which displayed nonsense including "omgbbqwtf", and said, "Or proper English. Well, unfortunately, it looks like the usage of 'Janto' has spread beyond all reasonable attempts at control. What else can we do except cringe and bear it?"
"We can fight other portmanteau names that haven't yet gained a firm foothold in fan culture," Ianto said. "For instance, there's Gwen/Jack, which becomes Gwack."
Jack winced. "Gwack sounds like the noise a diseased duck might make."
"It's vile," Ianto agreed. "And Gwanto, for Gwen/Ianto, isn't that much better."
"Tosh/Jack could be either Josh or Tack. Equally horrifying options!" Jack bemoaned.
"There's Towen, for Tosh/Owen," Ianto went on. "And Gosh or Twen, for Gwen/Tosh."
"Jafanwy, if I decide to have some fun with the office pet." Jack winked.
Ianto scowled. "Iafanwy, if I do the same."
"You know what?" said Jack. "It's occurred to me that Owen/Ianto could be called 'Onto', which as these things run is rather cute."
"But Jack/Owen would never work, because it doesn't squish into anything cute or memorable. Jowen? Owack?" Ianto snorted. "Boring."
Jack let out a gusty sigh. "What a relief! I just realised that Gwen/Owen can't be squished together."
Ianto cleared his throat: "Gowen."
"No one really uses that, do they?" Jack blurted.
"God, I hope not," Ianto replied. "It's bad enough that these writers already make us do every possible thing with a stopwatch and no lube. Sir," he added. "I forgot about that. I'm supposed to constantly call you 'sir' throughout stories, especially after you've asked me not to."
Jack's eyes lit up. "Do I have a special name for you?"
Ianto shrugged. "Owen usually calls me 'Teaboy' but once in a while you do, too. Not so interesting."
Jack sighed. "Well. Janto, Gowen, Gwack, Twen. What's next? Instead of writing 'Jack and Ianto walked down the corridor', will authors just write 'Janto walked down the corridor'?"
Ianto stole a peek at his monitor. "Oh, I'm sure no one will stoop to doing that, sir," he said innocently, even as he casually slid his mouse over and clicked on the little x in the upper right corner of the screen.
Looking entirely unconvinced, Jack nevertheless retreated with his piece of coral to try to soothe the poor, abused thing into becoming a full-fledged TARDIS overnight (not that he didn't have a few centuries or so to waste waiting for it to mature properly, one would think). So it was that early evening had fallen when Ianto sought out Jack with important news.
"Gwen just rang. There's been a Weevil sighting near Queen Street."
Jack stopped studying the scale that showed the piece of coral hadn't gained so much as a fraction of weight all day and jumped up. "Let's go, then! We have to show complete support in backing up our friend Gwen, who truly is not a horrible, hateful person despite what some character bashers might think."
As Ianto led the way, he got in one last comment. "By the way, Jack, did I ever tell you that despite my supposed retiring nature, I'm usually the top in our relationship?"
And on the heels of that proclamation, Janto ran out of the Hub to capture a stray Weevil.
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