jenexell (jenexell) wrote,

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[FIC] Progress - R - 1/7+epi

Title: Progress
Series: Sempiternitas
Author: jenexell 
Pairings and Characters:Series will eventually be Jack/Ianto. This part: Ianto. Jack. Suzie. Tosh. Owen. No pairings.
Rating: Mature (swearing and some adult themes)
Disclaimer: If this was real, I wouldn't share. As its not, I'm sharing with no personal gain or profit, other than perhaps to feed my attention whore complex. non-recognisable elements are mine! plagiarists will be eaten alive by weasels. Much information has been gleaned from the show (obviously), Dr Who eps, various Wiki's, other internet sources and my font of all Dr Who knowledge ttfan . I have not read the books, so if something was mentioned in a book, but not on TV, I probably won't have it.
Distribution: My Journal (jenexell), and quite a few other places too. (attention whore complex). If you want it, link back to my journal, don't steal its naughty.
Warnings: Some strong language, medical stuff (nothing too complicated or graphic I'm a woodwork teacher not a surgeon) violence. use of guns. (so basically all the warnings for Torchwood).
Spoilers: Everything and nothing. Set pre-series, so may make reference to things mentioned in the show, but not the content of actual eps. AU from 2004 onwards.

Summary: Second story in the Sempiternitas Series: Ianto Jones, prisoner of TW3, is settling into his new life, and things are as back to normal as they get in Cardiff. But the imminent arrival of a certain VIP stands to change everything.

Author's Note: So here it is, the second one. Thank you to everyone who commented and supported the first story. I've tried a few new things with this one so I hope it works as well.

Just to let people know. I know some people have mentioned it about the last story. This SERIES will eventually be Jack/Ianto but the stories in it won't neccesarily be.

This story is part of a series, and probably won't make a lot of sense unless you've read the first part, which can be found here.

Part 1
November 2004.
Six Days to Arrival.

If someone were to ask Suzie Costello what the greatest joy in her life was, the one great bright spot that made waking up each day worth doing, she wouldn’t even hesitate in her reply.

Her job.

It was difficult to explain, to quantify. There was so much shit, so much dirt and filth in her job, but also so much wonder and magic. So much brilliance. She absolutely loved it and couldn’t imagine ever doing anything else. Her life before was meaningless, and as far she was concerned if her life onwards contained nothing but Torchwood she would die a happy woman.

That didn’t mean that everything was roses. Like all relationships there were ups and downs, good points and bad points, arguments, hassles, day to day mediocrities. Still, walking into the hub each morning felt like coming home and she wouldn’t change it for the world.

Things had changed along the way of course. When she’d first started it had just been her and Jack. Just the two of them and all the piles of wondrous technology; so many new things to discover, so much to learn. She knew, primarily, that Jack had recruited her to do all the things that he didn’t have the time or the inclination to deal with. A man alone could do things as he liked, but Jack hadn’t wanted Torchwood Three to be a one man show. He’d had plans, he had a vision. He had a goal for Torchwood Three; he wanted them to be official. He’d seen something in her that he believed would help him achieve his goal, and even though she wasn’t sure exactly what it was, she wasn’t about to question it.

He’d trained her for the field, although even now she wouldn’t claim to be the greatest field agent. No her strengths lay in her work out of the field. Her personal interest in weapons and technology came from the objects themselves - from understanding how they worked and from their deadly beauty - rather than from any real desire to use them. Not that she couldn’t use them. Because she could when she needed to.

Then Jack had found Owen, and not long after, Tosh. Although saying that, despite Tosh joining them after Owen, Suzie knew Jack had had his eye on the petite Japanese woman for some time before she’d arrived; all scared and jittery and looking at Jack like a he was both angel and devil at the same time. Owen had been something of an accident. She and Jack had talked about hiring a medic - although mostly in jest whenever one of them got hurt and the other had to apply their somewhat limited skills in first aid – but had never really sought one out to recruit. Then Owen had been sort of dropped in their laps; angry, bitter, resentful, but brilliant.

Of course she knew their stories; the winding roads that had led them to Torchwood. The others didn’t know hers and she was more than content with that. That’s how it worked. Jack, he knew everyone’s story. She didn’t know his, but she knew Tosh and Owen’s. Owen knew Tosh’s and Tosh knew no-ones. She supposed that’s what counted as the hierarchy here; not rank, not the number of stripes on someone’s shoulder or hours logged in the field, but information. The more each of them knew about the team, the higher their authority.

She couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if anyone found out Jack’s story. Now that would be an interesting power-play. She might not know a lot about the ever enigmatic Captain Jack Harkness but she knew he wouldn’t give up command without a fight. Torchwood Three was his. His domain. His kingdom. His rules.

The charming, charismatic, mercurial yet benevolent dictator.

Not to mention drop dead gorgeous. Coming in to work and looking at that face every day was no hardship at all. Even on days like today, when it was pissing down with rain and he was - by the sound of his voice when he’d called her earlier to make sure she was in for an eight thirty briefing - in a mood to match the weather.

Pulling into a parking space in the car-park, Suzie checked the time on the dash. It was only just coming up to a quarter to eight. Just enough time to pick up some breakfast before heading in.

She didn’t bother with an umbrella, just dashed across the car park towards Mermaid Quay as quickly as her boot heals would let her. The queue in the coffee shop wasn’t long, and not ten minutes later she was jogging along the quay front to the Hub’s main entrance.

It was strange, but even two years on this place still amused her. An organisation with the most advanced technology in the world, dedicated to protecting the human race, and their front door was a disused tourist information kiosk. Jack had once told her that his predecessor had decided on a tourist office as a front because he completely believed the Mermaid Quay development was doomed to failure. An abandoned tourist office in the middle of a failed regeneration project would blend in perfectly. Prior to that, from what Suzie could gather, this entrance had been more of a back door, disguised behind the facade of one of the many doors leading to sheds or stores around the docks, and the main entrance had been inside some kind of warehouse.

Obviously, Mermaid Quay hadn’t failed and so their front door was actually in the middle of a fairly well trafficked area. This had the rather unfortunate side effect of making the tourist office one that the Welsh Tourist Board would every now and then make noises about. And of course it was into Suzie’s inbox that the memos and requests came; redirected from the fake cover corporation Torchwood used in its dealings with developers and the council. Not that they were all that much of a hassle to deal with. After all, how hard was it really to press delete? Experience had proved that ignoring whichever newly appointed hyper efficient area manager had caught on to the empty office actually worked. Eventually they either got bored, bogged down with other problems or moved on, leaving Torchwood blessedly unmolested until the next time.

Come to think of it, there had been a lot more noise about the office in the last few months. If it kept up she might actually have to talk to Jack about another solution.

But not today. Whatever Jack wanted to talk about today was clearly of far greater importance.

Juggling her handbag, paper bag and take-away coffee cup, Suzie fished around for her keys and once found, she opened the office door and crossed into the dusty interior; leaning with practiced ease over the counter to press the entry button and slipping down the hallway towards the lift.

She was home. The smell, the rumble of the lift. The blaring of the claxon as the cog door rolled back and the security cage opened. Tosh, as always, already sat at her terminal working away. Jack would be around somewhere, but if the man knew the meaning of the word routine, Suzie had yet to see any evidence of it. Owen wouldn’t be in yet. He treated time-keeping like most people treated extreme sports; he knew it existed and that some people did it, but it wasn’t his thing.

Then, as she was approaching her own workstation, she caught movement out of the corner of her eye. Something still too new to be part of the picture. Lurking in the shadows, just on the periphery.

Putting down her handbag, she pulled the pastry out of the paper bag, and with her coffee in her other hand moved to stand behind Tosh’s shoulder. “I see the mouse has come out of his hole.”

“You could be nicer to him.” Tosh muttered quietly, ducking her head.

Suzie ignored her and took a bite of her pastry instead. The comment didn’t come as a surprise. Ianto Jones was Toshiko’s pet project. They all had their own things they focussed on in the quiet times, and Tosh apparently had taken the mouse as hers. She was leading the research into The Pattern. She made sure he was fed, brought him things to keep him occupied and took him outside at least once a day. Suzie shook her head. That description made him sound less rodent and more canine, and as much as she still believed Ianto Jones was a drain on their resources, the thought made her feel a brief flicker of shame. Only brief, but it was there.

She supposed she just found it slightly unnerving having him in the hub. He never said very much and didn’t often leave his room despite the fact that it was locking him in that had sent him over the edge before. Right now he was stood leaning against the archway into the autopsy bay, and Suzie could have smacked herself for forgetting. Of course he would be out of his room. He’d be waiting for Owen to arrive so they could start his morning battery of tests.

What was that expression? Speak of the devil and he shall arrive to the sound of a claxon, looking like a drowned and hung-over rat?

She waited until the wiry medic was jogging past her before she made a comment, smirk firmly in place.“Rough night Owen?”

“Shove it up your arse Suzie” Owen shot back with a growl, not breaking his stride. “Time?”

“Six minutes past eight.” Tosh called out in answer to the barked question.

“Good, just enough.” Owen replied, and having reached Ianto, grabbed him by the arm and practically dragged him towards the pit. “Come on glow boy, Harkness has a stick up his arse this morning, so we gotta get done fast.”

Suzie watched it all with a snort and shake of her head, taking a sip of her coffee.

God she loved her job.


Captain Jack Harkness had heard many things said about himself and his team by his fellow directors of the four remaining Torchwood branches. Most of them he was sure he hadn’t been meant to overhear. Disorganised. Shambolic. Incompetent. Amateurish. Unprofessional. A rag-tag bunch of no-hopers and criminals. Most of it completely untrue and what skirted on the truth he chose to ignore. It wasn’t so much him putting his head in the sand – he better than anyone knew his own faults and foibles and those of his team – it was more a form of disdain for the one from whom most of these comments came. He found it near impossible to take offense at insults slung his way by someone so deluded, no matter if everyone else in the room had a nasty habit of nodding along.

No their head-quarters weren’t all shiny white, steel and glass. No they didn’t have a strict dress code, or a habit of burying themselves under excessive and unnecessary bureaucracy. Yes they tended to work in a more ad-hoc fashion and that suited him, and their circumstances, down to the ground. Being overly strict wasn’t his style. He’d recruited the best people for the jobs they needed to do, and in his experience, letting said people get on with their jobs worked out more efficient than demanding written reports every five minutes and team meetings every ten.

Doing things ‘officially’ wasn’t how they worked. And yet, as he surveyed the conference room he couldn’t actually recall ever seeing the group look more professional. All of them sat up straight and attentive around the conference table, the files he’d left in place for each of them untouched for the time being. Formality. Some circumstances demanded it, and his team hadn’t needed to be told that this was one of those circumstances. They’d just known.

Pride. Hartman and her cronies could say whatever the hell they liked, Jack knew he had the best damned team in Torchwood.

“OK people, listen up.” He started, and squashed the grimace he felt when no one moved a muscle since they were already fully focussed on him. “This is important. For the next week we are going to be under some intense scrutiny, the eyes of the world will be on Cardiff and we can’t afford to make a single mistake.”

“No offence Jack,” Owen cut in, “But the opening of the Millennium Centre might be significant to the Welsh, but it’s hardly international news. And it’s not exactly Torchwood business.”

“It is when the Queen is the one doing the opening.” Jack countered sternly. “Mi5 have the human aspect covered, we need to make sure we have the non-human side of things in hand. One slip up, one thing goes wrong and every news network in the world will be all over this city like a rash.”

“If the rift decides to spit something out while she’s here it’s hardly our fault.” Suzie argued.

“No, true. But if we don’t have whatever it is contained and dealt with quickly, efficiently and most of all quietly, we’re going to have a problem.” Jack threw back with a meaningful look.

“Torchwood One.” Suzie sighed.

Jack nodded and picked up the thread. “They’ve tried everything in the book to get us declared rogue. I don’t want to give them any more ammunition. Besides, I actually quite like our Lizzy and I would rather she left Cardiff with all her limbs.”

“I will never, ever get my head around the concept of you in the same room as the Queen.” Owen snorted and shook his head. “It’s like...”

“Putting Mother Teresa in the same room as Katie Price?” Tosh suggested eagerly.

Owen opened his mouth a few times before he could find words. “That’s just warped.”

“I’m actually insulted.” Jack shook his head casting Tosh an astonished look. “You’re comparing me to Katie Price?”

“Well she’s not comparing you to Mother Teresa.” Suzie snorted through her laugher.

“Alright, alright, fun’s over. We have work to do.” Jack sighed, shaking his head again, a soft wry snort leaving him. When the others had collected themselves he continued. “The files in front of you contain detailed plans of Her Majesty’s schedule, transit routes, emergency plans and retinue. As well as the Queen we have Prince Philip and Prince Charles, and they each have their own itineraries. The royals never travel in more than pairs and always different routes. I want you to go over every detail. I want every possible scenario covered. Tosh, I want you to cross reference every location in that file with known hotspots, sightings and rift activity. Any matches I want to know about them.” Tosh nodded and Jack turned his gaze to his medic. “Owen. Emergency Medical protocols. Read them, memorise them. You’ll be on standby for the entirety of the visit so...”

“No drinking for me. Just my luck, biggest party this city has seen in years and I have to be sober for it.” Owen groused but nodded all the same.

“Yeah, well, just make sure you are.” Jack reiterated firmly before moving on to his second in command. “Suzie I need you to make sure we’re prepared for any eventuality. Full audit. Every piece of tech, every weapon, every system, checked and re-checked. This is important. All personal projects. All side research, it’s officially on hold until this is all over. Everyone clear?”

When everyone nodded the affirmative, Jack nodded back. “Then let’s get to work.”


Part 2
Tags: fic, ianto jones, jack harkness, janto, owen harper, sempiternitas, toshiko sato

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