Title: Defining Ianto
Genres: Slash, angst, humor, friendship, spiritual
Summary: Torchwood Three is blackmailed into accepting a London agent into their midst, and they're not happy about it. Meet Ianto Jones, friendly archivist who's trying to figure out who he is and find a place in Cardiff.
Posted with links to all chapters on my journal!
"It was completely irresponsible." Jack shook his head disapprovingly.
"It was bloody stupid. He coulda been mauled," Owen commented. His hands moved gently and carefully on Tosh's arm wound, in direct contrast to the heat of his voice.
"Well I think it was heroic," Gwen disagreed. "What do you think, Tosh?"
The tech expert squirmed in her seat on the autopsy table under the sudden weight of three angry gazes upon her. "Well… I'm obviously very grateful," she said quietly.
"This doesn't change anything, Gwen, we still can't trust him," Jack told her, leaning forward on the chains that lined the autopsy bay. He sounded tired, like he'd said the words dozens of times before. Actually, Gwen considered, that might not be too far off.
"No. The only thing that's changed is that now, the man you won't even share a meal with has saved your friend's life. Is that really worth so little to you, Jack?"
"Do not twist my words!" Jack said angrily. "I am damn glad he was there to protect Tosh. That doesn't change his job description."
"I can't believe you people!" Gwen shouted. "Why can't you find some common decency?"
Jack's face was coloring, and his fists clenched the chain railing. "I'm doing the right thing for my team. I don't have to explain myself to you!"
Gwen stormed up the steps from the medical bay until she was standing nose to nose with Jack. "I think you're just jealous because today Ianto was the hero, not you!"
"And I think you just want to mother him because he looks so damn cute and gives you puppy-dog eyes," Jack sneered. "He's manipulating you, Gwen. And you're letting yourself fall for it."
It was at that moment that the entryway sirens blared out their welcome. The cog wheel door rolled open and Ianto walked through it, nose buried in a folder. He casually made his way up to the platform before looking up.
Gwen and Jack were standing in the exact same places, staring at him. Ianto looked at each of them, eyes wide, then down at Owen and Tosh, who were watching in silence.
"Am I interrupting something?"
Ianto had mostly calmed down from the Weevil hunt, but the adrenaline jitters hadn't quite worn off yet, so he made himself an herbal tea instead of a coffee. It didn't substitute, not in the slightest, but he knew caffeine wouldn't help at the moment and the only other thing in the Hub was Dr. Harper's fruit punch. God knew why the man had such a childish drink, but Ianto had guessed it was far past its sell by date in any case.
He typed up his report on the Weevil hunt, fingers flying over the keys. He had to read it over twice to make sure he'd gotten all the facts straight and that everything was completely impartial. He made a checklist of the requirements for a field report, seeing as he'd never had to fill one out himself before, and saved it in his server folder.
After that, he did a smaller summary of the event for his weekly report to Yvonne, emphasizing the smooth way Captain Harkness and Ms. Sato had worked in consortium to catch the Weevil and how they'd been quick in overcoming their surprise to apprehend the second. He tried to minimize his own part in the capture, since, as the captain had pointed out, it had been an incredibly stupid thing to do and Ms. Sato had been responsible for the sedation anyway. Not to mention if word ever got to his friends in the archives that he'd gone hand-to-hand with an alien he'd never hear the end of it.
Ianto put his head down on his desk. It was Wednesday evening. He had started work here on Monday. They had been the most stressful, lonely days of his life.
After wasting a few minutes pitying himself, Ianto reopened the contents of his report to Yvonne and looked over the list of things she wanted every week. He realized that an individual report on all field incidents was expected from Captain Harkness each week, which he was sure had not been a requirement on the branch leader before Ianto had been hired. He printed out the entire folder of the expected weekly report, feeling better with hard copies than Word documents.
After going through the file, Ianto realized there were a few things he ought to discuss with the captain. He opened the door to the Hub and took the elevator, still reading the file to ensure he remembered all the things he wanted to bring up. Caught up in reading a particular paragraph, Ianto walked onto the platform, heading for Captain Harkness' office, before he realized that the Hub was unnaturally silent.
Looking up from his papers, Ianto immediately noted how close the captain and Gwen were standing, their flushed faces, and the Ms. Sato's nervous look as she watched from the autopsy table. Dr. Harper seemed to be attempting to conceal laughter.
"Am I interrupting something?"
"What do you need?" Captain Harkness asked bluntly.
Ianto decided to let it go. He obviously wasn't going to get a straight answer in public. Maybe Gwen would explain it to him later. "A few things I wanted to go over with you, sir?"
Captain Harkness took a deep breath and squared his shoulders. "I'll be with you in a sec," he said, motioning toward his office, but his eyes were locked on Gwen's as if daring her to protest. The Welshwoman stared right back, eyes similarly fiery.
Ianto went into the captain's office, not missing the sudden flurry of whispers as soon as he was out of direct hearing range, and wondered if he'd been imagining the sexual tension between Gwen and Captain Harkness.
It was a minute or two later when the captain stepped into the room, closing the door behind him. Then he sat in his chair on the other side of the desk, sitting up straight. "What is it Jones?"
The command in the American's voice made Ianto's own spine stiffen automatically. "There are a few things I need from you, sir, for the report."
The captain stiffened. "Such as?"
Ianto got the impression he was treading very thin ice. He kept his voice level as if he were trying not to spook an animal. "An individual report on each weekly field incident is the main concern right now, but there's also the monthly budget report, and…" He tried to think of how to put the last demand, knowing the captain would not take it well. "It has been… suggested, that you perform employee evaluations at least every three months."
As he had expected, Captain Harkness' eyes became hard enough to cut diamond. "Is that so."
Ianto cursed internally, not sure how he could keep himself out of trouble. He already was aware of how protective the captain was of his team, and he hoped he wouldn't have to be in the vicinity when the inevitable call to the head of Torchwood One took place.
"Yes sir," he said after a second's quick thought. "But that's not the pressing concern. We're expected to submit the entire report by Friday evening, and you're meant to provide these reports." He placed the printout of Yvonne's requirements for the captain's and sat back.
Captain Harkness eyes the paper angrily. "Are you telling me how to do my job, Jones?"
"Not at all, sir. I'm only telling you what has been requested of me that I provide for London. I had no intention of criticizing you, sir."
He held back his gulp, but only just. The pent-up fury emanating from the captain as he scanned the list Ianto had provided for him was making him feel quite warm. Ianto wondered if the man was actually radiating heat.
"Thank you for informing me, Jones," the captain said, his voice painfully formal. Ianto thought it sounded like something inside him was about to crack, and he was very relieved to take the statement as a dismissal. He rose to leave.
"Jones." He stopped, then turned back, half-fearing that the captain had changed his mind and was about to strangle him.
Instead, Captain Harkness was looking at him calmly, the strain of moments before seemingly vanished. Ianto marveled at the way the other man could jump between emotions.
"I want to thank you for what you did for Toshiko," the captain said. His voice was startlingly sincere. Ianto's attention caught on his eyes, which were softer than Ianto had ever seen directed at him. For some unknown reason, he was mesmerized.
"It was incredibly brave of you, and not something just anyone would do for a stranger."
"She's not a stranger, sir," Ianto corrected, then felt himself starting to blush. "She's Torchwood as much as me."
The captain's jaw pulsed, but he nodded. "Good night, Jones. You can head out early."
"Thank you sir," Ianto replied. He closed the office door behind him and was rather grateful that the Hub appeared empty when he walked through it.
He logged onto his server again upstairs. It wasn't that late, so he downloaded his plans for the archives and determined to work on them for a while once he returned to his new flat. Maybe tonight he'd get around to unpacking some of the boxes from London.
Jack leaned back in his chair and let out a long sigh. This Jones was giving him no end of trouble. Why couldn't he just be heartless, or an idiot or something? Then Jack could hate him or disregard him in a simple, uncomplicated way. Instead, he saved Toshiko's life and then cited it as doing his duty.
For some reason, that rankled at Jack, raised his hackles. Maybe it was just because it was Tosh who had been hurt, who'd almost been killed, and he was hampered by the first Weevil and couldn't help her. What could have happened if Jones hadn't been there? Or maybe it was because Jones had grouped them together in the same category, Torchwood, and Jack hadn't realized that he might think that way.
For Jack, the distinction between Torchwood London and Torchwood Cardiff was very clear. Cardiff was here, London was there. London did things that way, Cardiff most certainly did not. For Jones to say he felt camaraderie because he and Tosh were both parts of the same organization, that was what lit a fire under the captain: that Jones considered them comrades, on the same level. Equals.
But then, Jack remembered the man's reaction after the Weevils. He was obviously in shock; Jack knew he'd never been in the field before. Though Jack had been shouting at him only moments before, he knew that his anger was mainly caused by fear for both Toshiko and his new employee. His new charge. Jack realized that even if he despised his new recruit, it was his job to keep the man safe.
He was surprised by how easy it was to pull Jones into his arms. He'd expected it to be awkward, as if his feelings for the man would coat his skin and make touching uncomfortable. But he hadn't been able to be angry at Jones for existing when his blue-gray eyes were so wide with fear. Jack was able to set his feelings aside for a few minutes and bring him down from the shock, treat him like he would any member of his team.
Why couldn't he simply be a bastard? Someone who it was easy to dislike? Why did he force Jack to be grateful to him, stir the immortal's strong protective instincts, then make Jack hate him with such passion?
Jack got up from his desk and shrugged on his coat. He was going out. He needed something to get rid of all this anger, and tonight, a roof just wasn't going to cut it.
I'm really sorry about the lack of LJ-cut on the last post, but I don't know how to edit entries on this community since there doesn't appear to be an edit button. If anyone knows how, or some mod wants to just do it for me, I'd be very grateful! (Goes to post while crossing fingers that it doesn't happen again)