jenexell (jenexell) wrote,

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[FIC] Progress - R - 3/7+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, 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".

Previous Parts
:: Part 1 :: Part 2 ::

Part 3
Cardiff, November 2004
Four Days to arrival.

Jack clicked off the speaker phone in the centre of the conference room table and sat back in his chair. It wasn’t that he hadn’t been expecting the call, because he had. Getting calls from the Queen’s personal secretary really wasn’t that unusual at all, even at eight in the morning. He just wished he’d been able to tell the man honestly that they had everything in hand and weren’t running around like headless chickens trying to make sure they were ready. No, he’d had to lie and he wasn’t entirely sure the Sir Allen had bought it.

Of course it didn’t help that the man had already been annoyed when he’d called. Jack hated it when he was caught out having dropped the ball. Hated being asked questions he had no answers to. Hated being made to look like he had no idea what was going on inside his own base.

Standing from the table, Jack stepped through the door and out onto the gantry, sharp eyes scanning the Hub below. When he saw who he needed, he called loudly across the cavernous space, his tone clipped. “Suzie.”

Suzie looked up in surprise at the call of her name, and met Jack’s eyes from her workstation. With a single jerk of his head, Jack let her know he needed to speak to her, and after looking to Tosh who only shrugged, Suzie put down what she working on and began to make her way over.

Jack didn’t wait for her to reach him. Instead he re-entered the conference room and sat back down. It didn’t take long, and soon enough Suzie was cautiously sliding into the room and standing opposite him. Jack didn’t ask her to sit.

“I’ve just got off the phone with the Queen’s personal secretary.” He stated calmly, watching Suzie’s face.

“Is there some kind of problem?” Suzie replied, looking concerned. “Something we missed?”

“You could say that.” Jack sighed, and with a roll of his eyes, gestured for Suzie to sit down. He was actually too tired to be all that angry. He waited until Suzie had settled herself before he continued. “Does the name Christine Miggins mean anything to you?”

Suddenly Suzie’s face pinched, her nostrils flared angrily and she sat back sharply in that seat. “That Bloody woman!”


Owen threw his pencil across his desk and didn’t care when it rolled straight off his workstation and dropped clean out of sight. His computer whined as it rebooted, the lights having flickered just a half second before. Clenching his fists, and rolling his eyes heavenwards, he resisted the urge to trash his desk. “Tosh.”

“I’m trying.” Tosh pleaded. “I’m sorry alright. But I’m trying to do about eight things at once here and you’re not the only one who keeps losing their work you know.”

“Yes, well, none of us would be losing our work if you’d find out what’s happening to the power!” Owen snapped back.

Tosh ducked her head but was saved from further vitriol when the claxon sounded and both she and Owen looked over at the cog door rolling back.

Owen frowned. Suzie was back. He didn’t know what was going on but he knew Jack had had words with her that morning. He’d been down in the autopsy pit running tests on Ianto at the time, but he’d heard Jack’s shout and it hadn’t taken a genius to work out he was less than happy. Although that being said, being less than happy had been the status quo for Jack the last few days.

He had no idea what words had been exchanged. There hadn’t been any shouting he was sure of that, so it couldn’t have been that bad. Anyway, whatever had been said, Suzie had appeared in the autopsy pit not long after, pretty much ordered him to stop his tests and dragged Ianto out of there. Owen wasn’t sure what to make of that.

Now she was back, and sure enough there was Ianto in tow. Carrying a lot of bags. His head down and looking deeply uncomfortable. There was something different about him, although for the life of him he had no idea what. Not that it mattered. Still it was weird. And what was with all the bags?

“What? Jack has a go at her, and she drags glow boy out to carry her shit while she does a bit of retail therapy?” Owen snorted as he watched the pair disappear from view.

“She wouldn’t do that.” Tosh muttered quietly, then her face creased and she looked over at Owen. “Would she?”

“Well he’s got to be useful for something right?” Owen shook his head and looked away, back up at his screen.

He could feel Tosh’s disapproval at his comment rolling off her in waves, but what did he care? There they all were, working their bollocks off to make sure they got everything done. The least glow boy could do was keep Suzie occupied. A random thought trickled through Owen’s mind, likely inspired by the fact that he hadn’t got laid in nearly a week and he frowned.

No, Suzie wouldn’t do that would she? She had a cold side that Suzie, but wouldn’t do that. Surely not. No. They were all a little warped down here but none of them would do that. Not even Jack.

Best not to think about it. His computer was back up and running and he had work to do. Glancing at the empty document, he groaned at seeing that at least half an hour’s worth of work was gone, and with a huff, started again.

He’d just made it down to H on his list of known alien diseases that they had treatments for when he heard Tosh squeak.

Pulling his attention away from his work unintentionally, he rolled his eyes at the technician then did a double take.

Not at Tosh, but at the young man stood beside Suzie who had reappeared from the lower levels. “Blimey.”

Behind him, Owen felt rather than saw Jack emerge from his office.

If Ianto looked about as uncomfortable as it was physically possible for a human being to be before, now he looked like he literally would rather be anywhere else on the planet than stood in the middle of the Hub. Perhaps even a different planet altogether. He kept fidgeting with his hands, unsure where to put them until finally he shoved them into the pockets of his trousers.

His brand new suit trousers, that matched the brand new charcoal grey suit jacket, crisp white shirt and rather placid dark red tie. Oddly the look suited him, but combined with the facial expression...

Owen couldn’t help himself. He laughed. And had to hide his face behind his hand to escape the increased look of discomfort and mortification on Ianto’s face.

“When I asked you to find a solution to our Mrs Miggins problem,” Jack drawled from where he leant against the wall. “This isn’t exactly what I had in mind.” Then he paused and cast Suzie an enquiring look. “This is your solution to the Mrs Miggins problem right? Not that I mind per-say but if it’s not then I’m pretty sure we have rules about playing dress up with the prisoners.”

“Like that would stop you.” Owen snorted, catching Tosh’s eye but only getting a glare back in return. Bloody hell she was like a mamma bear with its cub when it came to Ianto. It was then that Owen suddenly realised something that had been said, something he didn’t quite get. “Hang on, who is Mrs Miggins and why do we have a problem with her?”

“She’s a self important busy body from the Welsh Tourist Board.” Suzie huffed. “With the opening of the millennium centre she got a bee in her bonnet about the tourist office and wouldn’t let it go.”

“When she didn’t get the response she wanted out of Suzie” Jack picked up the thread with a shrug, “She decided to start harassing the chief executive of the civic events committee, who then had words with the first minister for Wales, who had words with the queen’s personal secretary...”

Owen groaned. “...Who then had words with you. Gotcha.”

“So, does this mean you’re giving Ianto a job in the tourist office?” Tosh spoke up, clearly pleased and excited.

“That’s the idea.” Suzie grinned in satisfaction. “She gets her tourist office, we get left alone. Perfect.”

“And since he’s technically a prisoner, he doesn’t have much of a choice and we don’t even have to pay him.” Owen noted sarcastically. “Fantastic, I always wanted to have ‘abetted in the use of slave labour’ on my CV. It would sit just so well between my medical licence and fire arms training certificates.”

“Enough.” Jack cut in. “Everyone back to work. Suzie, a word.” Having indicated his office with a hooked thumb, Jack pointed at Ianto. “You. Stay there.”


Throwing himself into his chair behind his desk, Jack looked at Suzie as she came to stand on the other side. He studied her calm and self assured face. Practical, pragmatic, confident. These were all Suzie’s traits. She was a fantastic second in command because of them. She was an independent thinker, an accomplished level headed problem solver. And ninety-nine percent of the time he would trust her judgement explicitly. She’d proved herself time and time again over the last two and half years since they’d met.

This time though... He sighed. “I assume you had a reason for this, coz when I said deal with Mrs Miggins, I kinda meant literally.”

“No you didn’t.” Suzie countered with a knowing look, shaking her head. “You wanted me to find a tidy non-violent solution. Well, that’s what I did.”

“Explain how this is tidy!” Jack challenged, slamming his hand down on to the table. For a long second he held Suzie’s unperturbed gaze, then looked away, slumping back in his chair. He hadn’t meant to shout at her but he was tired. He had a teleconference with Mi5 in half an hour, Tosh hadn’t found the problem with the power and as a result half the reports he needed for said conference weren’t finished, the Queen would be in Cardiff in four days and now there was this. “Do you have any idea how badly this could blow up in our faces?”

“Jack. I’m suggesting we let him work in the tourist office, not join the team.” Suzie rolled her eyes in exasperation. “Look, we need Mrs Miggins off our backs, none of us have the time to open up the office, but what we do have is spare body floating around doing very little except creating paper work and generally being a distraction. We can’t release him, but we can’t keep him locked in a cell either, we all know how that turned out. Why not give him something to do that will keep him out of the way?”

“Too much could go wrong.” Jack shook his head. “We know nothing about him. Who knows what he’d do if he we gave him more freedom.”

Suzie huffed and levelled Jack with an impatient stare. “Oh please. He’s so terrified of you he’d probably cut off his own arm rather than get on your bad side. All we need to do is make a few updates to the security systems and let him know what will happen if he steps out of line. Not that I think he will.”

Jack let out a long breath through his nose and rubbed his forehead. He didn’t like it. The whole scenario twanged at his instincts and sat uncomfortably in the pit of his stomach but Suzie was right in many respects. They didn’t have much choice. They needed a solution, they needed one fast, and as she’d also rightly pointed out, he’d rather find a solution that wasn’t violent or distressingly permanent for Mrs Miggins; no matter how much of an irritant she was.

But when it came to Ianto, the not knowing was driving him crazy. It was like constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. He’d read Tosh’s reports, listened intently to all the briefings she and Owen had given on their research, but all they’d really told him was that the Pattern was slowly reducing in intensity and that so far they hadn’t found any signs that it had physically changed Ianto in any way.

The universe was never that kind. Life was never that simple. People did not get zapped by gigajoules of unknown energy from an unknown likely alien source and walk away from it unaffected. They just didn’t. As much as Jack fervently hoped for Ianto’s sake that it could be so, the Welshman’s condition was, quite frankly, too good to be true.

And yet, if Ianto was going to turn into a raging monster or human time bomb, inside or outside the Hub would it really make much difference? He was on a leash - it wasn’t like they wouldn’t know where he was - and either way they would have to deal with it. So no, it wouldn’t make much difference. All Jack could really hope for was that Ianto would wait until after Sunday.

Turning his head, Jack peered through the glass panelled doors of his office out into the Hub. Ianto wasn’t standing where they’d left him, but was sat on a spare seat at Tosh’s station, talking quietly to the computer genius. Standing, he kept his gaze on the Welshman and crossed to the door, feeling Suzie come to stand beside him.

He didn’t like this. But really, what choice did he have?


“Sort out the security system, give Tosh a list of everything you need and make sure Ianto knows exactly what I’ll do to him if he puts a foot out of line.” Jack conceded reluctantly, not turning to look at his second.

“You worry too much.” Suzie chuckled, but Jack could hear the relief in her voice.

“Somebody has to.”Still not looking at her, Jack kept his gaze on Ianto, his head tilting to the side just slightly as he studied him. “Good choice with the suit by the way.”

Just at that moment, Ianto looked away from Tosh and clearly unexpectedly his eyes met Jack’s.

Beside the Captain, Suzie smirked.


Ianto looked around the dusty tourist office and slipped his hands into the pockets of his Jeans. He’d changed out of his new suit the minute he’d made it back down to his room. He’d only bought three suits during the most uncomfortable shopping trip in history - well Suzie had bought three suits. it wasn’t like Ianto had access to any money – and given what he knew the afternoon would entail, he hadn’t wanted to get the one he’d been wearing dirty before tomorrow.

To be honest, he was trying to put most of the earlier part of the day out of his mind. It was too confusing and humiliating. Of course while they’d been out Suzie had outlined what she wanted from him, and he’d already admitted to Tosh he wouldn’t mind being given something to do.
But it was just that if being dragged around Marks and Spencer with Suzie’s appraising eye watching every move he made wasn’t bad enough, she’d then insisted on dragging him to a hair-dressers (not a barbers, there wasn’t one of those within the confines set by the implant) where she’d given instruction on how she wanted his hair to look. As he’d sat there under the curious and amused gazes of the salon staff as fourteen weeks of growth had been hacked off the top of his head, Suzie had vanished only to come back with a watch, leather wallet and pair of black leather gloves. The titters of the salon staff still rang in his ears.

When they’d returned to the Hub it was even worse. She’d insisted he change into one of his suits; been very specific about which one too. Yes, he could admit it was the best of the three, but now he had an understanding as to why she’d been so specific, it made him squirm in discomfort. Being paraded out like that in front of the Torchwood team had been mortifying. And then there’d been that look the Captain had shot through his office window.

There had been something in it. He couldn’t pin it down but it had pierced right through him. He hadn’t realised his face and ears could actually burn that hot.

No he didn’t want to think about it. It was a side to the man he wasn’t ready to deal with. It was bad enough when he was just the monster in the shadows; heartless, cold, indifferent and more than capable of violence. This, whatever it was he’d seen in the Captain’s expression, just twisted things up in ways he didn’t understand and wasn’t sure he wanted to.

He just needed to focus on the job at hand. Technically speaking he wouldn’t be starting work in the tourist office until the following morning, but he’d seen the office as he’d come and gone for his daily outings and he knew it was going to take more than a day to get it presentable if it was supposed to be opened by the time the Millennium Centre celebrations started on Friday.

Rocking back and forth on heels, Ianto waited patiently as Suzie did something to his access card. When she was done, she pulled it out of the little machine she was holding and held it out to him.

“There. That should let you move back and forwards from the Hub. You’re not on the staff database so Tosh has configured the security system to recognise the signal from your implant to give you access. The card alone won’t do it. It should still work on the doors down to your room, but check it and let me know.” Suzie explained, then stepped around the dusty counter and pointed to the large red button attached to the back. “You’ve seen this before yes?”

Ianto nodded.

“Right well, just like access cards, this works in conjunction with the security cameras and bio scanners as part of the security system. We’ve had to recalibrate it to take into account your unique circumstances, so if there’s anyone else in here with you, who isn’t one of us, and you press it, nothing will happen. Nothing ever happens if the system doesn’t recognise who’s pressed the button. In both cases an alarm will sound in the Hub.” Suzie explained bluntly.

Ianto smiled a very small smile at that, and didn’t feel an ounce of it. So, extra security systems in place just case he planned on letting his little green men friends in through the front door.

“The outside door locks on activation,” Suzie continued, then pointed to the section of wall that was really a door, “That door closes on time lock. It’s quite a small window and re-release is a thirty second cool-down, so don’t dawdle.”

Slipping her hand into her pocket she pulled out something else. A Key. “This is for the outside door. If you get locked out for some reason, then the intercom on the wall outside does actually work even if it doesn’t look like it. If you lose it I suggest running and taking your chances with the implant. It’ll likely be kinder to you than Jack will be.”

“Understood” Ianto nodded again, swallowing thickly as he took the key from Suzie’s hand and slipped it into his pocket.

“Last but no means least.” Suzie sighed, rummaging in her pocket again, and this time pulling out what looked like a bank card wrapped in a scrap of paper. “You don’t need us to let you in and out anymore so you can sort yourself out for food and essentials and you can use this for anything else you think you need for this place, you know, cleaning supplies, light bulbs, stationary. If you can’t get it in the quay, order online and get it delivered... It’ll work in an ATM if you need cash and the pin is on the paper. Don’t go mad, and keep your receipts. Jack isn’t happy about this, so he’ll be keeping a very close eye on your spending. He hates doing the books and if you make his life difficult he will have no qualms about returning the favour. Any questions?”

A little dumbstruck, Ianto shook his head.

“Good.” Suzie smiled, “I’ll leave you to it.”

Ianto watched as Suzie hit the entry button and slipped through the hidden door, leaving him alone in the dusty disused space.

Scrubbing his hands through his hair, he wondered where the hell he was meant to start.


Part 4
Tags: fic, ianto jones, jack harkness, janto, owen harper, sempiternitas, suzie costello, toshiko sato

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