Characters: Jack, Ianto, Tosh, Owen, Martha, Gwen, the Doctor, Donna.
Summary: Donna observes, while Owen and then Ianto speak with Jack.
Disclaimer: Torchwood belongs to BBC and RTD.
A/N: I am so, so sorry for not posting sooner, a combination of the team not playing nice and real life kind of threw a spanner in the works, but finally managed to get something written and I’m hoping it’s not as bad as I think it is ! Sorry if it is and also the usual apologies for mistakes, bad grammar, dodgy plot etc.
Story starts here:
After exiting the autopsy bay alone, (Owen wanted to both speak to Ianto and do some of his own checks on the Welshman), Jack found himself at Tosh’s workstation joining in a discussion about a piece of tech that had come through the rift. Well it wasn’t so much of a discussion , more a long winded, technical analysis by the Doctor that ended rather abruptly with Jack’s laughter, Tosh stifling a smile and the Doctor looking aggrieved when Donna simply stated;
“ So it’s an alien toaster then.”
As the Doctor tried to regain his composure, and Tosh mentioned another piece that had come through the rift recently that might be of interest to the Time Lord, Jack took his leave and headed up towards his office and the pile of paper work he had promised Ianto he would at least start going through. Watching Jack leave, Gwen began to wind up the telephone conversation she had been having, and once she had hung up gathered together some pieces of paper from her desk, placed them into a folder, before following Jack.
“ Who’s Rhys ?” Donna asked Tosh as she briefly glanced away from where she had been looking up at the Captain’s office.
The Doctor’s companion had noticed Gwen quickly end her telephone call and then watched as she had all most instantly followed Jack to his office, where for the last few minutes the former PC had been shamelessly coming on to the Captain.
“ Sorry ?” Tosh replied distractedly, as she was busy concentrating on checking some information on the computer, while the Doctor studied the other piece of alien tech.
“Who’s Rhys ? I heard Gwen mention the name earlier and just wondered who he was ...so, a colleague we haven’t meet yet ? A brother ?...” Donna ‘fished’.
“ Boyfriend.” Tosh informed the redhead casually as she pointed something out on the monitor to the Doctor.
“ Boyfriend ?” Donna’s voice held a note of incredulity about it. “ She has a boyfriend ...”
“ Well, fiancé actually.” Tosh clarified, her attention still focused on the information coming up on her computer screen.
“... and she carries on like ‘that’ with the Captain !” At both Donnas’ words and tone of voice Tosh finally looked to see to what had got Donna so riled up.
“ Ah.” The tech commented as she took in the sight of Gwen leaning over Jacks left shoulder. Her right hand was either resting on the back of the Captain’s chair, or, more likely, on Jack’s back itself while with her left hand she was pointing out something, presumably in the folder she had taken with her that was now in front of Jack on his desk. As she had done before, Gwen was making sure that her chest was all but in Jacks face as she got as close as she could to the increasingly uncomfortable looking Captain, making sure from their positioning that it was difficult for Jack to either get away easily, or move without getting into even closer and more suggestive contact with her.
“ ‘Ah’, is that all you can say ?” Donna looked at Tosh, more than alittle surprised by the petite woman’s reaction. The redhead had thought that Tosh was more than just a work colleague of Jack and Ianto’s, in fact Donna had gained the impression that the tech and Ianto in particular were good friends, so the young woman’s reaction, or rather lack of reaction confused the feisty redhead.
“ She’s only flirting.” The Doctor said offhandedly, having also looked up to see what had got Donna so agitated.
“ Doc, there is flirting, and there’s flirting. But what she’s doing ...”
“ It’s not like Jack doesn’t do it.” The Time Lord interrupted his companion.
“ Actually, he hardly ever does these days, and when he does it’s half hearted and done because it’s expected of him, or is a way to gain an advantage of a situation.” Tosh informed the Doctor. She, like so many others, knew Jack’s reputation, and had observed the Captain turn on the charm and flirt with numerous species, uncountable times. However, since his return, and if Tosh thought about it, even before he left, when Jack was flirting his heart wasn’t in it anymore, except when he was flirting with a certain Welshman that is.
“ Whether he’s a flirt or not, is beside the point. Look at him, he is obviously uncomfortable, not to mention spoken for, as apparently so is she ! So what the hell does she think she’s doing acting like that !” Donna was getting more wound up by the second due to Gwen’s actions.
“ Trying to get what she’s wanted from day one.” A calm male Welsh voice answered the increasingly annoyed redhead.
“ How can you be so calm about it ?” Donna asked, turning to look at the young man who no one had noticed join the group from the autopsy bay. “ I’m fuming and it’s not even my man she’s trying to get her claws into ! Doesn’t it bother you ?”
“ I’m calm because it’s nothing new and, rightly or wrongly I’m used to it. As for bothering me, it did but it doesn’t now.” Ianto replied honestly, “ Now I know that whatever Gwen tries, or says, or does she won’t get what she wants. She won’t get Jack.”
“ You seem very sure of that.” The Doctor commented, staring at Ianto, obviously doubting Jack’s ability to be faithful.
“ Yes, I am.” Ianto unflinchingly held the Time Lords stare. “ I’m very sure of Jack, and what we have. I’m sure of what he feels for me, and what he doesn’t feel for Gwen.” The Welshman stated certainly.
Before anything else could be said Ianto’s mobile rang, and the Welshman excused himself, answering his phone as he headed towards the archives.
Jack looked up to see who was entering his office, mentally breathing a sigh of relief when he saw it was Owen entering and not Gwen returning. He had only managed to get her to leave a few minutes ago, and could do without seeing her again for quite awhile.
“ Make yourself comfortable why don’t you.” Jack remarked as Owen grinned in response, ‘plonking’ himself down in the visitors chair across the desk from the Captain, as he tossed the file he had brought in with him onto the desk towards his boss.
Jack opened the file and flicked through it.
“ And the condensed version ?” The Captain asked looking up from his desk towards Owen.
“ Teaboy is fine, more than fine actually, considering everything he’s been through. He passed the medical with no problem. The changes within him have stabilised. The wriststrap, which I’d like him to keep wearing for abit longer, has, and will, continue to give us valuable information, allowing new ‘base’ readings for him to be established. It will also continue to give us a warning if, and it’s a very unlikely ‘if’ I hasten to add, anything starts to change within him again. I have no concerns about Ianto’s health, fitness or ability to do his job. As you can see...” Owen motioned towards the file, “...all the relevant paperwork is filled in and signed clearing Ianto as fit to resume full duties as a Torchwood operative.” Owen finished rather officially.
As Owen spoke, Jack picked up the relevant piece of paper from the file in front of him, noting the conformation of what he’d just been told by the medic and Owen’s signature. All that was needed was Jack’s own signature to be added and the team would be up to full strength again. There was the slightest of pause by Jack as he seemed to contemplate the piece of paper in front of him before picking up his pen. The Captain’s hesitancy didn’t go unnoticed by Owen.
“ Ianto really is alright you know Jack, and he wouldn’t thank you if you wrapped him up in cotton wool and tried to keep him from doing his job properly.”
“ I know Owen, it’s...”
“ Just that everything’s still so fresh in the mind ?” Owen hazard a guess, knowing that his own memory of working unsuccessfully on Ianto’s battered body would stay with him for awhile yet, so he could imagine the thoughts going through Jack’s mind.
“ You could say that. You’re right though, he won’t thank me if I try to mollycoddle him.” Jack agreed as he put pen to paper and signed off on Ianto’s clearance.
As Jack put down the pen, there was a knock on the office door. Looking up the immortal gave a small smile as he motioned for Ianto to enter.
“ Sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt, but could I have a word please Sir ?” Ianto asked as he came through the office door.
“ Not interrupting anything Jonesy I was just leaving.” With that Owen got up from where he’d been seated and exited the office, heading down to see what was going on around the workstations.
“ I was just about to call you.” Jack said as Ianto took the seat that Owen had just vacated.
“ Oh ?” Ianto looked at Jack waiting for him to elaborate.
“ Owen has signed off on your medical clearance. You are now a fully operational member of the team once again, and as such the quarantine to the Hub is also lifted. There is one proviso...” Jack noticed the relieved smile that had appeared on his lovers face at news of his clearance, dimmed somewhat in anticipation of what exactly the proviso was. “...you are to keep wearing the wriststrap for a while longer so that Owen can get more information, and be sure of what the new norm is as far as your vitals are concerned.”
“ Fair enough. I can live with that.” Ianto commented, thinking that if it meant his life was back to ‘normal’ he could put up with the slight irritation the medical device caused him at times.
“ Good.” Jack smiled, sitting back in his chair as he went on to ask, “ What did you want to see me about ?”
“ There are a couple of things actually. I had a phone call from Phillip Smythe at the Palace...”
“ I promise I was on my best behaviour !” Jack cut in quickly as he ran through the conversation he had recently had with the Queen’s private secretary when Ianto had been unconscious.
“ I know Jack, don’t panic...” Ianto grinned at his lover’s reaction, “...Actually Phillip was a little concerned by the professional manner in which you dealt with the call, and the distinct lack of the usual ‘Harkness innuendo and flamboyance’ as he put it...”
“ My mind was rather focused elsewhere at the time.” Jack stated somewhat quietly.
“I know,” Ianto gave the Captain a reassuring look before continuing, “...but that wasn’t the reason for the call, Phillip wanted to warn us that someone in parliamentary circles is both digging for information and trying to subtly discredit Torchwood.”
“ Does he have any idea who ?” Jack asked as he straightened in his seat, leaning forward and resting his arms back onto his desk.
“ Nothing concrete, but Phillip’s source suspects it is someone around Brian Green.”
“ From what I gather he’s not a particular favourite with Liz.” Jack remarked, as Ianto shook his head slightly at his lover’s informality regarding their boss and Monarch.
“ No she’s not particularly enamoured with him, but one of my contacts tells me that Green and UNIT are becoming quite ‘cosy’.”
“ That can’t be a good thing.” Jack didn’t like the idea that the man who looked as though he would be the country’s next Prime Minister was already aligning himself with the international military organisation, when his priority should be the sovereign state he served.
“ No, I agree, as does the Palace, although there is little they can do. Phillip apologised there wasn’t more solid information at the moment, but said he’d keep us informed if anything more came to light. He also suggested to watch our backs.”
“ I’ll get Tosh to double check our security protocols, then I think we will do a bit of digging of our own. If someone is out to ‘get’ us, I’d like to be sure who we are up against and prepare accordingly.” Although Jack didn’t doubt the likelihood that the snooping had something to do with Green, he didn’t want to focus all their energy onto him when there were quite a few people who would like to see Torchwood taken down a peg or two, or even see its downfall altogether. “ You mentioned there was a couple of things you wanted to speak to me about.” Jack added hoping whatever the second thing was it wouldn’t be the potential ‘headache’ of the first.
“ The C'tylni.” Ianto knew he didn’t need to elaborate as Jack would know to what he was referring.
Not all the alien visitors that came through the rift, or landed on Earth were dangerous or aggressive, there were those that were peace loving and friendly. Over the years, and particularly since he became leader of Torchwood Three, Jack had tried his best to help those peaceful races that had found themselves missed placed and out of their own time and area of space. Some had been found lifts on passing spaceships, others, who could pass as humanoid, were set up with identities and new lives in Cardiff and the surrounding areas. Torchwood, well Jack and now also Ianto, kept tabs on them and would do random visits to make sure everything was as it should be. They had been due to visit the C'tylni that day.
“ Damn. With everything that’s been going on I completely forgot.” Jack pinched the bridge of his nose as he gathered his thoughts.
“ That’s understandable. Do you want to do it another day ? It’s not like anything is arranged with them, it’s just a spot check.”
“ No, it needs doing, but there’s a rift spike predicted for this morning and with our guests still here as well.” Jack thought aloud as he considered the best course of action.
“ I could go alone.” Ianto suggested, adding, as he noticed Jack about to speak and no doubt veto that idea, “ It’s the C'tylni Jack. I’m not going to be in any danger, well unless you count the possibility of being over fed ‘chcytm’, and yes I’ll bring you some back.” Ianto grinned, knowing how much Jack liked the traditional C'tylni cake, before turning alittle more serious as he continued, “I’ve done these checks dozens of times before on my own Jack, it will allow you to stay here and keep an eye on our guests, as well as deal with whatever the rift decides to spit out, and to be honest I could do with some fresh air.”
Ianto waited for Jacks response, which didn’t come as both men became distracted by the raised voices drifting up to the office from the centre of the Hub.
next chapter: http://jackxianto.livejournal.com/5820537.html