Characters/Pairings: Jack/Ianto, mentions, Tosh, Owen and Gwen.
Word Count: ~1,330
Warnings: none - slight Gwen bashing.
Disclaimer: I do not own Torchwood. I do not make money off of Torchwood. This is for entertainment purposes only.
Summary: The Hub goes into lock down.
Author’s Note: Written for the redisourcolour challenge #16. The theme is ‘Apocalypse - The end of the world as we know it.’ and the words are “nonplus,” Mucilaginous,” and “Table-Lamp.” The phrase is "What we need, is a (insert item of choice here).".
Author’s Note 2 - this is an edited version of the one posted at redisourcolour - I ran out of time and just went with what I had written, never a good think to do when you have taken some pain tablets. - cross posted, so sorry if you are getting this several times.
Jack stood, looking down into the autopsy area.
“So, any idea Jack?” Owen looked up at his enigmatic boss. “It won’t explode when I stick a scalpel in?”
“Don’t know, haven’t seen anything like this one before.” He leaned over, resting his foot on the rail, “though it’s similar to the Yapisili from Epsilon 12, same shape and colouring, but this fellow is about 3 times the size.”
Gwen walked over to Jack and mirrored his stance, looking down at Owen.
Owen looked up at the two of them. “Hey, don’t just watch, one of you come and help me, it’s a big bugger, I’d like some help.”
Jack nodded to Gwen, who sighed and joined Owen.
“Okay, pass me over the large scalpel, the skin is very thick, I’ve gone over with the scanner and there’s something in the skin stopping it working, I want to get a couple of samples.” He explained.
As the tip of the scalpel dug into the skin, The Hub’s warning system activated, initiating a lock down.
Gwen looked at Owen, then up at Jack “Wasn’t me!”
Tosh yelled over from her computer, “The threat was first noted in the Autopsy Bay, it’s.... airborne..... The Hub’s gone into an automatic lockdown. The system does’t recognize the threat, it’s protecting the outside from what’s in here.”
Ianto silently handed each of the team a gas mask and a new comms unit. “These will work with a gas mask on, we won’t be able to hear properly with the old set.” He put the comms into his ear, his mask on, then raised an eyebrow at Jack, waiting for him and the others to put on the safety gear.
“Thank’s Yan, quick thinking.”
“All part of the service, sir.”
Jack grinned at him. “Do we have a private channel on this system?”
Gwen’s head jerked up, “You have a private channel?”
Ianto glared at Jack, who looked back, shrugged his shoulders, nonplussed at the question and Ianto’s response.
“Gwen, if you read the instructions, you would know how to set up channels,” replied Ianto.
“Where can I find the manual, or Ianto, can you set mine up?” Gwen looked at Ianto, who just stared at her.
“I’ll go and check the mainframe... see if it has worked out what was released.”
“I’ll go with you Tosh.” Ianto went with her to the main interface, the two of them worked at collating the data.
“Owen, keep at the autopsy, maybe it will help with working out what has been released, Gwen, assist him.” Jack stomped off, not happy.
“What’s wrong with him?” Gwen asked Owen as he donned protective gloves and got out several vials and dishes for samples.
“What.... Jack? He and Tea Boy had plans for tonight. If I remember correctly Ianto was taking Jack over to his sisters for the regular monthly dinner. Seems she does a mean roast lamb and veg, and Jack was lookin’ forward to it.”
“They don’t... They don’t do that. That’s way too domestic, they aren’t like that!”
“Yeah.... They are, Ianto and his sister take it in turns, they cook one month and she cooks the next. Jack likes it much better when Rhi cooks, seems Ianto’s soup last time was, and I quote ‘a mucilaginous gloop that could adhere a bowling ball to the ceiling. Usually Jack cooks, but he was kept by a UNIT call, and Ianto cooked.”
“Yep, he’s pretty good too.”
“Hey, I’m good at lots of thinks, you should ask Ianto. Remember guys, the comms is on open channel.”
“I heard that, Sir.”
“But you don’t disagree?”
“Of course not, Sir.”
“Love it when you call me Sir in that tone.”
“Jack, stop with the flirting.” Snarked Owen.
“The apocalypse wouldn’t stop Jack flirting with Ianto.” supplied Tosh.
“Ain’t that a fact, now Gwen close your mouth and pass over the syringe and needle, I want to take some blood.”
The team all worked on, trying to isolate the cause of the lock down. Every-time Ianto or Jack came within sight of Gwen she stared at them, wondering why Tosh and Owen knew so much about them ... that they were together, and she was always in the dark. She was brooding, upset that she didn’t know her team mates, that she was left out of the loop. She had thought Jack was closest to her and to find out everyone knew him better hurt.
“Gwen... Gwen.... GWEN!” Yelled Owen.
“Oh... What Owen?”
“Take this up to Tosh and Ianto, they may be able to get some info from the archives with these results. Hopefully Ianto will be finished soon, I could murder a coffee.”
“But isn’t he just helping Tosh, surely he can make coffee? I’ll ask him when I go up.”
“No, he will be busy, he is the one with the most knowledge of the mainframe’s new interface.”
Jack’s voice came over the comms. “Ianto has been making modifications on the interface, we can now input information remotely. I think he did that so he could stay down in the archives, so we wouldn’t keep asking him to make coffee every-time he came up to access the system.”
“Oh....” Sputtered Gwen.
They worked on, and in the end it was Tosh who worked it out.
“So, it is not harmful, but the mainframe was unable to specifically isolate a main compound, so decided to err on the side of caution. Ianto isolated the compound and found a similar one in the archives.”
Just as Tosh was explaining the results, Ianto came in with coffee for everyone. “I heard Jack saying the body reminded him of the Yapisili, so all I did was cross match the information we have on them with the compounds and they were similar enough to run comparisons and mainframe worked out the parameters and gave an all clear, in about 20 minutes the lock down will end.”
“Good, I can’t wait to get out of here.” Gwen glared at Ianto, who stiffened slightly at her tone.
“Well, kids, it all turned out fine, Ianto we are going to be too late for dinner.”
“I called Rhi, she said come over tomorrow, it will be leftovers, shepherds pie.”
“Wonderful, what we need, is a quite night in, we’ll get a take-way on the way home.”
As soon as the lockdown was reversed, Gwen fled The Hub.
Owen looked at Tosh, shocked at Gwen’s response to the day.
“Don’t let it get to you Tosh, she’s in her own dream world, come to the pub and we can spend a few hours gossiping about her.” Tosh nodded and they headed off to the local.
Jack looked Ianto out, who was just doing the last of the shut down for The Hub. “I’ve set the alerts up to your wrist strap, you ready to go Jack?”
“Yes.... Ianto. Um... Gwen.... What was up with her today?”
Ianto helped Jack on with his jacket, and sighed whilst brushing his hands down Jack’s arms. “She believes I am just a convenient shag, and that you will come to your senses and pick her.”
“You know that is not how I feel?” said Jack looking into Ianto’s eyes, trying to work out if he believed him.
“Jack, don’t worry, she doesn’t bother me anymore. I know you, known how you feel about me, the same as I feel about you and that is all that matters.”
“What would I do without you?”
“Drown in your own mess?”
They both laughed and headed home.
They were lying in bed, sated and happy. Ianto was drawing words on Jack’s stomach, making him giggle.
“Some people come into our lives and leave footprints on our hearts. Others come into our lives and make us wanna leave footprints on their face. Now turn off the table lamp and you my love, need to get some sleep.”
“Love you too, Jack.”