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!
Ianto was watching the screens when Gwen and Dr. Harper chased Bernie Harris, so he caught the moment when Gwen's expression changed. Her face changed from tired but relieved, to surprised, then suddenly to horrified. When the others caught up with her, she actually said what he'd half-expected: "I've seen a ghost."
That night, he sat in his usual seat at the far end of the conference table and listened as Gwen tried to explain exactly what she'd felt from the little boy, while Captain Harkness and Toshiko tried to get information about the mechanics of the device and Dr. Harper teased her about being so sickeningly compassionate.
Ianto continued with his own work in the archives but made sure to hang around the Hub, bringing lunch for the team as they investigated. Ianto was curious about the team's first real investigation since he'd arrived in Cardiff. While he didn't say anything to help the investigation, out of fear that his ideas would be mocked or disregarded, he was amused by the captain trying to speak around a mouthful of donut.
The next morning, Ianto was ordered to watch the Rift monitors while the team went out to search for Bernie Harris. Dr. Harper was very clear to emphasize when he called 'while we're out looking,' just another of his ongoing jabs to remind Ianto how he was obviously not part of the team. Even Gwen had gotten used to it and stopped defending him, just rolling her eyes and accepting the status quo.
When the others returned, Ianto was ready to greet them with coffee, but he quickly determined that something stronger would be necessary for the obviously traumatized Dr. Harper. Listening to the conversation, Ianto gleaned that, due to the energy machine Gwen had retrieved, Dr. Harper had come very close to experiencing a rape and murder first-hand and had been overcome by the emotions of the victim. He gave the medic's brew a shot of alcohol (something that would complement the coffee, of course, otherwise the whole thing would be disgusting) and got what might have been a grateful look from the slightly shaking man. He had a bad feeling of foreboding when the doctor left in a dark mood, but Gwen was busy and so he had no one to whom he could tell his worries.
When Dr. Harper managed to corner Bernie Harris the next day, Ianto had another feeling of foreboding and made sure he was in the Hub when the team returned from Bernie's flat. As they arrived, Toshiko and Dr. Harper were muttering about Gwen using the Ghost Machine again. When they noticed that he was in the vicinity, the pair gave him matching suspicious glares and left the Hub. Ianto saw Gwen and Captain Harkness in the man's office, clearly having a personal discussion. He watched for a few moments, trying not to study the expressive nature of the captain's face when it wasn't twisted in anger or set in indifference. With a last guilty glance at the carefree flop of Captain Harkness' hair over his forehead, Ianto turned away and started neatening up the desks, which had somehow become filthy once again.
Later that night, Ianto was ghosting along the edges of the Hub with cleaning supplies when Captain Harkness' voice rang out through the space, loud and irritated. Ianto looked up at the grated footpaths that lined the walls of the Hub to find the captain talking on his mobile.
"Ed Morgan. Owen went freelance earlier, decided to pay him a visit," the captain said pointedly, glaring at Dr. Harper as the medic trudged through the Hub. "Wanted to frighten him, sounds like he succeeded."
Ianto listened as the tale of blackmail was revealed, cumulating in Captain Harkness shouting orders to the doctor and the computer expert and the two men rushing out of the Hub. Ianto fell into place at the monitor next to Toshiko, pulling up multiple CCTV view of the area around Bernie's flat so he could help her keep track of the proceedings.
Toshiko found Ed Morgan on the streets, heading toward Bernie's flat and called the captain to warn him. Before they could figure out what was going on, the ugly scene was playing out in front of Bernie's apartment building. Without sound, Ianto and Toshiko could only watch the shadowed imaged on the monitors while Morgan threatened Gwen and Bernie with a knife. Finally, Dr. Harper and Captain Harkness appeared behind the old man.
They stripped Morgan of the knife and Toshiko let out a relieved sigh. The bad feeling Ianto'd had the entire investigation was twisting his stomach, and he kept his eyes glued to the scene, quickly pointing it out when the medic began to threaten Morgan with the knife. "Look!"
"No, Owen, please!" Toshiko whispered to her monitor. "You promised me you wouldn't!"
Ianto glanced at her in surprise; she'd known Dr. Harper was feeling homicidal? Then he went back to watching: he could try and figure it out later.
Gwen took the knife from Dr. Harper and Ianto sighed, believing it to finally be over. Toshiko shrieked as Ed Morgan attacked Gwen. Ianto's eyes were opened wide in horror as the compassionate former cop was forced to stab him in self-defense. The two left behind at the Hub barely breathed as Gwen stood in shock, staring at her darkened hands, while Dr. Harper tried to save Morgan's life.
Ianto turned to Toshiko in horror. "What do we do?" he whispered.
The Japanese woman swallowed hard. "Get a body from storage," she said slowly.
"What?" he asked, completely confused.
"I said, get a body from storage!" she snapped, almost yelling. Ianto stared at her for an instant, lost. "Go!"
Ianto flinched and walked quickly toward the storage areas in the first basement where the bodies of all Torchwood's kills were boxed away. By the time he arrived, a particular body was already being defrosted and its drawer was blinking a small red light. Ianto opened the drawer when the blinking became the solid glow of the all-clear.
The moment he saw the body, Ianto knew what Tosh had in mind. The man was in his late sixties, Caucasian, a bit overweight and had silvery-gray hair. He reached a shaky hand over to the intercom. "T-toshiko? I've got the body."
"He's got a history of suicide attempts. It seems he tried drowning this time," she stated, voice cold. "You know what to do."
The intercom cut out. Ianto was left in the absolute silence of the morgue, eyes wide and staring at the innocent corpse he'd been ordered to defile to cover up yet another Torchwood murder. "Yes ma'am," he whispered into the cold air, and began.
By the time the three field agents returned, Ianto had prepared the body and stored it for disposal in the Bay the next day. Gwen's hands were shiny and smelled of sanitizer as she came through the door to the Hub and promptly fell into Ianto's arms, trying to hide her shaking and sobs from the others. Ianto didn't look up from her dark curtain of hair, but he could feel the accusing weight of Dr. Harper and Captain Harkness' glares as they all migrated to the captain's office.
Toshiko brought a blanket for Gwen and Ianto excused himself to make the disheveled woman a hot cup of tea. When he brought it back, the others were still standing or sitting in silence, and Ianto realized more than tea was required. The captain seemed to notice the same thing and nodded toward an assortment of shot glasses on a nearby shelf, accompanied by a bottle of dark golden liquid.
While he was pouring the drinks, Toshiko finally broke the silence. Ianto listened unobtrusively while Owen admitted his wrongdoings and Gwen her guilt. The captain pondered aloud for a few moments on the Ghost Machine, then got up to lock it in the secure archives. Ianto handed out the glasses to everyone but Gwen. She met his eyes with a dull sort of questioning, face miserable, tear tracks shimmering down her face.
"I'll take you home," he offered, quietly so that the others could barely hear.
Gwen told him she wanted to talk with the captain for a few minutes on the Plass, so he busied himself with a quick cleaning of the tourist office, head spinning with everything he'd seen that night and trying to comprehend it. By the time the pair reentered the tourist office, it was past dawn. Captain Harkness gave Gwen a soft kiss on the forehead and handed her swaying form off to Ianto, a very clear warning look on his face where Gwen couldn't see it. Ianto nodded solemnly, accepting both the responsibility of caring for his teammate and the threat of what would happen if he failed in that duty.
When he half-carried the Welshwoman, nearly asleep from exhaustion, up the stairs to her flat and knocked on the door, Rhys answered frantically.
"Gwen, what's happened to ya! I was so worried!" He helped Ianto guide her to their bedroom. Gwen gave her boyfriend a small squeeze before she fell asleep fully clothed. Once she'd been settled in, Rhys dragged Ianto to the living room.
"What on Earth happened tonight, Ianto?" Rhys said angrily, trying to keep his voice down. He waved a hand threateningly at his friend. "And don't give me any of that bullshit about secrets! Gwen is my girlfriend, and I think I have the right to hear the truth!"
"I can't tell you everything," Ianto began. Seeing Rhys only become angrier, he sat down on the couch. After a moment the larger man sat down beside him, the couch creaking under their combined weights.
"I don't understand," Rhys said, his voice filled with frustrated confusion and sadness. "I try and be supportive, but I don't know what she needs!"
"There was an incident tonight." Ianto tried to think of an explanation that wouldn't give away anything that needed to be kept a secret while also not leaving Rhys in the dark. "I think you should ask Gwen for the details, but… a man died."
Rhys looked up, frightened. "Is she alright?" He began to stand, looking toward their bedroom. Ianto dragged him back to the couch.
"She's fine, she's just… shaken up."
"What am I meant to do?" Rhys held his head in his hands. "I don't know how to help her."
Ianto wished there was more he could do, something he could say. He had never been good at comforting people. He patted Rhys on the back and sat silently beside him while the other man wrestled with his problems.
Jack had sent the team home and given them Friday off. It was practically morning already, anyways, and they'd had a rough night.
He returned to his office and sat staring at the last glass of scotch Jones had poured. After a few minutes of contemplation, he downed it in one. Then, spying the bottle still resting on his desk, he poured himself another and drank that. And then a third.
Head pleasantly lighter, Jack woke up his computer and typed up the report Jones would need to send to London, wanting to get his thoughts in order before what he considered more important: his Captain's Log. He saved Jones' report in the shared folder the London man had set up for those documents which were to be sent off to Torchwood One.
After that was out of the way Jack moved on. However, by the time he finished the Captain's Log, accumulated exhaustion and the drinks caught up with him, and he hit save as, then enter, just before he lowered his face onto his arms and fell asleep on his desk.
He never noticed that he hadn't saved the Log in his own secure account, but Jones' Torchwood One folder.