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, violence. use of guns.(so basically all the warnings for Torchwood). References to adult themes such as people trafficking and prostitution.
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 necessarily be.
This story is part of a series, and probably won't make a lot of sense unless you've read the first story,"Into the Storm".
:: Part 1 ::
Cardiff, November 2004
Five Days to Arrival
“Four hundred metres. It’s moving fast. Take the next left.”
Captain Jack Harkness sharply turned the wheel of the battered old Land Rover, ignoring the groans of his three passengers. Careful driving and the highway code were for people not in a hurry to catch up to large alien creatures that had just fallen through a rift in space and time at gone three in the morning. At least that was his theory and he was sticking to it.
“Four new calls to 999. Witnesses reporting sightings of a buffalo, elephant or large hairy cow. Apparently it’s just torn its way through the side of a bus.”
Especially when there were descriptions like that coming through. All along the path they were following were scenes of destruction and carnage. Cars dented, crashed into each other. Just up ahead he saw the bus, stunned civilians milling around stupefied, and then a T-junction in the road.
“Tosh, need a direction.” Jack barked, flicking his gaze into the rear view mirror to catch the petite Japanese woman’s eye where she sat on the back seat, laptop balanced on her knees.
“Go Right. We’re almost on top of it. One hundred metres. It seems to have slowed down.”
“Could it be injured?” Owen asked, grimly hanging onto the handrail above his door as the Land Rover swung through the junction.
“Given the state of that bus I should bloody hope so. I wouldn’t want to try and capture anything that can do that and not be even a little hurt.” Suzie replied a little exasperatedly from her place next to Tosh.
“Fifty metres.” Tosh announced and then cursed. “Damn it! No! Not again!”
“What!?” Jack craned his neck to look back at her.
“I’ve lost connection with the Hub!” Tosh explained urgently.
“Jack look out!” Suzie cried.
Jack looked forwards just in time to slam on the breaks.
There was a stilted silence inside the Land Rover as it noisily clunked its way down the slope of the underground parking garage. All four occupants doing their best to breathe as little as possible to avoid the stench radiating from the rumpled engine block.
Suzie had her door open and was out of the vehicle almost before it had come to a final stop. Not that it was much better outside of the car as it turned out. Perhaps it was psychosomatic, but it certainly felt better to be out of the car than in it.
As the others also slid out of their seats, Suzie moved around to the front to get better look than she’d been able to get outside under the street lamps. It was a sturdy old beast, the Land Rover, and not your standard set up for one of its model either. Built for more speed than the norm, without losing some of its world renowned power. A more versatile chassis, body reinforcements, bullet proof panels and glass. Still, it had its limits, and those limits were becoming easier to reach the older it got.
Despite the fact that the alien had been about the size of a small elephant with tusks to match, superficially - given what they’d scraped off the tarmac, wrapped in a tarp and tied to the roof - it appeared the impact had done more damage to the alien, than the alien had done to the Land Rover. The Land Rover at least, was still in one piece. Underneath however she couldn’t be so sure. She would have to get under the bonnet to have a proper look, but there was no way in hell she was touching anything near the front end right now.
“I’m still not getting any access to the Hub.” Tosh suddenly spoke up breaking Suzie from her very hands off inspection. “The system’s gone into security reset. Must have been another power outage.”
“That’s the third time this week.” Owen moaned, unconsciously going to rest his hand on the bonnet and only catching himself just in time to avoid contact; his face paling as his features screwed up in distaste.
Suzie found herself in complete agreement with Owen’s displeasure at the news of another power outage and with his reaction to the front of the car. It really did look worse under the garage lights.
Blood and gore seemed to cling to the bodywork, odd stringy bits she didn’t want to think about hanging off the wrecked bonnet and front grill. Even as she watched, something slid down the wing as Jack lifted the bonnet and peered inside, his lips curled in disgust. In honesty, she was rather glad she’d moved away, she’d rather not see what was actually inside. The smell in the car on the journey back was enough indication that their high speed impact with the alien had resulted in something organic being pushed into the engine compartment.
“Alien mince, extra well done.” Owen grimaced as he looked over Jack’s shoulder. “Just lovely.”
Closing the bonnet, Jack straightened and looked around at the group. “Alright. Suzie, Tosh see if you can get inside and reset the systems. Owen and I will bring what’s left of our friend here down once you have.”
Suzie scowled in affront. “And why exactly are we the ones who have to go stumbling around in the dark?”
Beside the Land Rover, Jack stooped and picked up a bucket, holding it aloft. “Would you rather clean crispy alien bits off the SUV?”
“Oh bloody hell.” Owen cursed, his shoulders drooping dramatically.
Looping her arm through Tosh’s, Suzie turned them both rapidly towards the door to the Hub.
“And suddenly the dark seems a whole lot more attractive.”
Tosh pulled off her glasses and rubbed her eyes as she tried to focus on the data on the screen in front of her.
Three power outages in one week. The first two were just blips, making the lights flicker and all the computers reboot but this last one had been a total shutdown. Nearly every system; lights, door locks, computers, phones, the internal sensors, cameras, they had all gone completely offline. The only two systems not affected had been the rift manipulator and the morgue, both of which had back-up power supplies. Thankfully the locking systems they used throughout the Hub were set to be locked should the power fail and not unlocked. Had it been the other way around they wouldn’t have had a problem getting back in, but by the same token, all of the life-forms they had in the vaults wouldn’t have had a problem getting out. The thought of the Hub over run by escaped weevils wasn’t a pleasant one.
If she could only work out which system was tripping out the power. If she could narrow that down, she could actually work on a way to fix the problem.
Above her head, the lights flickered. Even as she watched, the diagnostic program she’d been running on the lighting in the lower levels disappeared from her screen and the CPU’s below her feet whined as they rebooted. Three hours of work. Gone.
“No-o” Clutching her hair in her hands, Tosh dropped her elbows to her desk and resisted the urge to scream or yank her own hair out.
“Sorry, I guess this is a bad time.”
Tosh sat up with a jolt and turned sharply on her chair. “Ianto!”
Offering Tosh a small half smile, Ianto pulled his hand from his jeans pocket and gave a tiny wave. “Hey. Look I’ll just go back downstairs. It’s fine.”
Ianto. Oh god Ianto. Tosh looked at her watch. Half past ten. “Oh Ianto I’m so sorry.”
“It’s fine.” Ianto shrugged, glancing around the central Hub a little nervously. Tosh knew who he was looking for. Jack. If Jack appeared Ianto would vanish with a speed that shouldn’t be possible for a human being.
“It’s not fine!” Tosh exclaimed, standing from her seat and dithering for a moment as she tried to sort herself out. God, how could she have done this? “I didn’t bring you breakfast! You haven’t eaten. I’m so sorry.”
“There’s left over Pizza in the fridge!” Suzie suddenly called out from her work station.
“No, we’ll go out.” Tosh decided with a firm nod. “We didn’t yesterday and besides I need a break.”
“You know, if you’re busy, I can just have that pizza...” Ianto hesitated, but Tosh put a hand up to halt him.
“No. Let me just tell Jack and we’ll go. You must be starving.” Tosh offered him another apologetic smile and slinging her bag over her shoulder, turned towards the closed doors of Jack’s office.
It was so rare for Jack’s office doors to be closed; when she reached them Tosh had a moment of complete indecision as to what to do. Did she knock? Did she just walk in? Did she knock and walk in? Did she do nothing at all, turn around leave a message with Suzie to relay to Jack when he wasn’t busy?
Finally deciding on the combination option, Tosh knocked lightly on the door and cracked it open a fraction, peering in. Jack sat at his desk, pen in hand, frown creasing his brow, his entire focus on something on his desk.
“hmm?” Jack responded vaguely before finally looking up. “Tosh? What’s up? You find the source of those power outages?”
“Umm. No.” Tosh admitted, stepping into the room self consciously, hands clasped in front of her and head down, eyes flicking up to meet Jack’s only briefly before dropping again. She couldn’t help it. He was her boss. “But you see, I’ve been here all night and I haven’t been out yet to get anything in for Ianto so I was just going to take him out to get something.... If that’s alright?”
She saw it. The momentary hesitation. The flicker across his face that suggested that no, her leaving wasn’t alright. It wasn’t alright because they had a lot of work to do, the Hub wasn’t in proper working order, he was stressed and under pressure with everything that needed doing for the Queen’s arrival, and so her going off to get food for Ianto didn’t rank exceptionally highly on Jack’s list of priorities right now. But then he took a deep breath, leant back and offered a nod and small tight lipped smile. “Sure. Good idea. You need to eat too. Just bring back something for the rest of us will ya?”
“Will do.” Tosh smiled back, relieved. “Thanks. Anything in particular you wanted?”
“The largest, strongest coffee in Cardiff.” Jack sighed sardonically. “And the ability to be two places at once.”
“I think I can manage the coffee, not sure about the other.” Tosh joked back softly.
“Tosh, if you put your mind to it, you could probably come up with something.” Jack smiled genuinely this time. “But in the meantime that coffee would be great.”
The office of the First Minister for Wales was in a state of barely controlled uproar. Ministers, staff, secretaries and assistants bustled around with the kind of urgency only a large scale civic event could inspire. The only way things could get any more chaotic would be if there was some kind of national emergency.
Of course, this was all to be expected. The plans had been in place for a long while, and for the most part the various committees had things in hand and everyone knew their jobs. It was just that last minute rush. There was always a last minute rush as everything began slotting into place. As all the groups who’d been happily working away at their various tasks independently came together.
It wasn’t even The First Minister’s office where all the strands were supposed to meet. But as was the way of things, even if it wasn’t his responsibility to make sure everything went well, the egg would be on his face if it didn’t. That was the price of office.
Thankfully though, despite some small niggles, everything seemed to be going to plan if the meeting he was currently sat in was anything to go by.
Leaning back in his chair, the First Minister allowed himself a moment to breathe before standing as the meeting broke up around him. He hadn’t chaired this one. That dubious honour had fallen to the Chief Executive of the Civic Events Committee; the man who was currently walking towards him.
“Thomas” The First Minister said, holding out his hand.
“Rhodri,” Thomas returned with a smile, taking the offered hand. “Sorry we didn’t get a chance to catch up before the meeting. How’s the family?”
“Good thanks.” The First Minister replied, “Although they’ll be happier when this is all done and I actually manage to get home.”
“I think my wife would share that sentiment.” Thomas replied. “Look, I have to dash, but I was wondering if you could help me out with something.”
The First Minister frowned and cocked his head to one side. “Problem?”
“Not exactly,” Thomas sighed. “Just got this bloody woman, A Mrs Miggins, hounding my office morning, noon and night going on about the The Ellis-Mot Foundation?”
“The Elismotte Foundation?” The First Minister’s face paled. “Thom I think you better tell me everything.”
Ianto wrapped his hands around his cup of coffee and looked down into its dark depths. The self service cafeteria at Mermaid Quay wasn’t the most prestigious of eateries, but it tended to appeal to families who’d come down to the quay to shop, and one wall was completely made of glass which gave it a great view out over the bay.
Not that there was much to see at the moment. Drizzly fog had attached itself to the South Wales coast like a limpet, reducing visibility to a few damp feet, and coating the glass wall of the cafeteria in a fine sheen of droplets. Absently, Ianto lifted his head and watched them slide down the glass; content for the moment to just sit, relaxed, calm and stomach heavy with food.
He was a little embarrassed to be honest; he’d rather wolfed down his breakfast. His empty plate sat off to his left and looking at it, it would be hard to tell it had not so long ago, been piled high with a full cooked breakfast.
Not that Tosh would likely be judgmental. Ianto didn’t think she had a judgmental bone in her body. And really, she’d been incredibly kind to him over the last nine weeks. Nine weeks. It was mind-blowing to even consider it. He’d been Torchwood’s guest for nine weeks. Longer if he counted the five weeks before that when he’d been unconscious.
And throughout all the time he’d been at Torchwood and awake, there had been Tosh.
Volunteering to be the one to ‘escort’ him outside every day so he got fresh air; letting him feel a touch of freedom and just for an hour or so, give him the space to pretend he wasn’t a prisoner.
Taking him shopping so he had more clothes than the ones she’d originally found for him inside the hub.
Carrying thoughts like that through, so that once he had clothes, he had the means to get them and his bedding washed. So he had supplies to keep his small room clean and tidy. Helping make a small bookshelf out of the old packing crates and helping him clear out the rest of the crap so he had some room. Bringing him books and stationary, magazines and other things to try and fill his days; without giving him access to a computer of course. Ianto hadn’t been privy to the actual discussion between Tosh and the Captain but he could draw his own conclusions from the way Tosh had broken the news that her plans to get him a computer had come to nothing.
None of the others had thought of any of it as far as he could tell. Ianto wasn’t sure the Captain wouldn’t be happier keeping him in a cell next to the weevils. But Tosh wasn’t like that, she wasn’t like them.
She treated him like a human being. She talked to him. She treated him like a friend.
Even after what he’d done to her.
It still gave him nightmares sometimes. Remembering that. He’d never thought in a million years he’d be capable of that. Tosh had said she’d forgiven him - that she understood why he’d done it - but it didn’t make it right in his own head. It scared him. Just like the thing, The Pattern, inside him.
That’s why he didn’t fight. Didn’t complain or even think about escaping. He missed freedom and having a life, of course he did, but the thought of hurting someone outweighed it all. And over the last nine weeks, he’d sort of, got used to it. Got used to the fear and the dark and the tests. Got used to the way Owen talked about him like he wasn’t in the room, and the way that Suzie, when she bothered to acknowledge his presence, looked at him with at best blank apathy, but usually distrust and irritation. Got used to finding ways to avoid the Captain’s ice blue stare; watching him, just waiting for him to make that fatal mistake.
He didn’t need to get used to Tosh. He never felt like a Prisoner, like a specimen, threatened or like a threat with Tosh. He felt normal. In these moments, when they left the Hub and she would talk to him about the latest developments in nano-technology, some crazy event she’d witnessed at the super-market or the incredible bargain she’d found on ebay, he felt human again.
Now as he looked up from his coffee and caught the look on Tosh’s face; eyes closed, blissed expression, spoon slowly sliding out of her mouth, despite his best efforts, he felt his cheeks and the tops of his ears flame.
Coughing, he grinned. “Enjoying that are you?”
“I was hungry.” Tosh practically whined, dropping her spoon into her empty yogurt pot, and then pointing her finger at him. “And hey, don’t go picking on me Jones, I’m not the one who inhaled his double egg, double bacon, double sausage, beans, hash browns and mushrooms with extra toast breakfast.”
“Entirely your fault.” Ianto deadpanned back, then faked an irritated sigh. “If you hadn’t kept me waiting...”
“Yeah well, I had far more important things to think about.” Tosh sniffed with feigned arrogance, chin in the air.
“I’m hurt. Truly.” Ianto shook his head, made a sad face and pulled his hand to rest over his heart; the action instantly causing Tosh to snort a laugh and shake her head.
She sobered quickly though, “I am sorry you know. Next time you need to just come and get me, or one of the others. You’re a human being, you have the right to demand to be fed.”
“Not completely human.” Ianto muttered softly, looking away.
“Ianto. Nothing Owen has found suggests you’re anything but completely, one hundred percent human.” Tosh gripped Ianto’s fore-arm gently where it rested on the table and gave it a little squeeze, rubbing her thumb back and forth. “If he found something he would tell you. I promise.”
Ianto drew a deep breath through his nose and nodded, glancing quickly away again. God, he wished he could believe that, but then he would remember the glow, and the explosion, the way Owen studied him, the implant in his arm… Change of topic needed. “So, what is it you lot are up to that has you all so busy anyway. Or can’t I know?”
“It’s nothing top top secret.” Tosh sighed, removing her hand from his arm and pulling her coffee round to sit in front of her, stirring her spoon around in the cup absently. “It’s just with the Queen coming on Sunday...”
Ianto frowned and shook his head in confusion. “What does the Queen have to do with Torchwood?” Then suddenly his eyes widened. “She’s not... She’s not an alien is she?”
“What?” Tosh yelped, her spoon clattering loudly in her cup. “No! No... She’s well... you know Jack is our boss right?” Ianto nodded. “Well she’s His boss.”
“The Queen?” Ianto repeated, dumbfounded. “He reports to the Queen? What, in person?”
“Sometimes.” Tosh nodded and shrugged at the same time. “Although I’ve only known him go to London once since I started here. Mostly its phone calls.”
“Captain Jack Harkness. Gets phone calls from the Queen.” Ianto again repeated, his words precise and incredulous. “Why does the idea of them being the same room...”
“Mother Teresa and Katie Price?” Tosh grinned.
Ianto shook his head. “I was going more for Emily Bishop and Hannibal Lecter.”
“Any-way.” Tosh gave him a look to say they were not going to get into another discussion about the Captain. She had her opinion, and Ianto had his, that was safest place to leave it. “So, how are you getting on with the Sudoku books I got you?”
“Done.” Ianto shrugged.
“Already?” Tosh squeaked back. “But those were the really hard ones.”
“It’s not like I have anything else to do.” Ianto shrugged again. It wasn’t a lie. He hadn’t said it to make Tosh feel bad, it was just the truth. “They weren’t that hard. It’s just patterns in the end. I liked the logic puzzles better. Had to actually think about those. Oh, and the cryptic crosswords. Those were quite fun actually.”
Sitting back in her seat, Toshiko gave him a considering look. “You’re bored aren’t you?”
“Beyond bored.” Ianto admitted, “But I’ll cope. Being bored is hardly the worst thing in the world that could happen to me.”
Wasn’t that the truth? He could turn into an alien. He could start slaughtering people. He could become a walking human bomb that could decimate a city. Or as Owen had pointed out, he could become the one person on earth who would never have to worry about the batteries in his TV remote going dead.
“Look.” Tosh cut into Ianto’s thoughts with a serious tone. “I can’t do anything right now, but when this is all over I’ll talk to Jack. See if we can’t get you something to do. If you want that is.”
Ianto thought about it for a moment. It was crazy really. The resentful side of him objected fiercely, knowing that whatever it was he was given to do, would be for the benefit of those who were keeping him locked up in the first place. But the trouble was, when he considered that next to the prospect of his continued boredom, it didn’t seem so unappealing.
The sound of the Cog door claxon made Suzie look up from her computer. A look of relief on her face when she saw Owen and Jack waiting for the cage to open, not a mark on them. There’d been some odd calls to the emergency services all day and once they’d correlated the information, it had become clear they were centred on the same area. Jack had taken Owen out with him, and although Suzie rarely minded being left behind when it came to field work it didn’t mean she didn’t worry. Checking the clock she saw it was coming up to nine o’clock. They hadn’t been out very long, so hopefully it had all gone well.
“So what was it?” She called out, as Jack walked closer.
“Oh just another alien cow.” He shrugged back, and Suzie’s eyes widened.
“But that thing this morning was huge, how did you two...”
“Baby alien cow.” Owen explained, walking in the opposite direction and starting up the stairs towards the conference room, a carrier bag in each hand. “Alien calf? Anyway it was only about the size of a Labrador.”
“Kinda cute actually.” Jack grinned, “Everything ok here?”
“Everything’s fine.” Suzie shook her head, a frown on her face. “So what did you do with the alien calf?”
“The tear it and the bigger one this morning came through was still open, so we chased it back out the way it came in. Hopefully it’ll be back with its mamma, and none the worse for wear.” Jack smiled, a truly kind smile.
“If anyone at UNIT could see you now your reputation would never survive.” Suzie laughed.
“Hey.” Jack grumbled as he turned away and made to follow Owen. “Nothing wrong with helping out baby animals.”
“Oi!” Owen suddenly yelled from the upper level. “You lot coming up here or am I gonna have to eat all this Chinese on my own?”
Food. God yes. Food. Looking back to her computer screen as she stood up, Suzie closed down the inventory log she’d been working on and quickly glanced over her emails. One from a contact at UNIT, one from Jack that she’d already dealt with, and oh god, another three from C.Miggins.
With a frustrated huff, Suzie turned away. When would that woman get the message?