|So Close, Yet So Far Away
Author: BlueHawaii PM
Crossover between National Treasure/Torchwood. Hints of Ben/Riley.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Words: 1,895 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 5 - Published: 03-05-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4113906
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title: So Close, Yet So Far Away
Disclaimer: I own nothing, but this story.
"Well that was easy." Owen and Gwen followed, looking not quite as jovial with their heads hung low. The smell of freshly brewed coffee, caught in the air current of the recently opened door, wafted towards them. In unison, all three of the heads turned to the stairs where they could hear the sound of shoes connecting with the metal steps.
"I find that hard to believe, sir." The beautiful welsh vowels caused Jack's smirk to turn into a grin and a slight chuckle when he gratefully accepted the offered cup of coffee. "As the look on Owen's face begs to differ."
Nothing more than a quiet grumble, under breath, let Ianto know Owen had heard him in his half-conscious state. With that, he took his coffee then retreated to his desk.
Gwen, who looked just as exhausted as Owen, maybe more so, had better manners. She gave Ianto a tired smile and a small 'thank you' before she disappeared to her own desk.
A single cup was left in the centre of the tray in Ianto's arms. The owner of it smiled in thanks when it was placed in front of her; then chose this moment to mention something that had been bothering her, since the team had left.
"Jack, while you were gone, I noticed some strange activity on our network." From his position leaning against the wall, Jack turned narrow-eyed to the speaker.
"Just do you mean by 'strange', Tosh?"
"It seems as if someone is trying to hack into our system" she replied before taking a hesitant sip of her still steaming drink.
This attracted Jack's attention, enough for him to move across the room to get a closer look at Tosh's computer screen.
"What are they hacking into?" A few seconds of clacking keys then an answer.
"Files and information about Area 51." Jack squinted as he scanned the words on-screen. After he had finished, he laughed, stood up straight and took a sip of his coffee, melting as the liquid warmed his whole body.
"Well, a Mr. Poole will be sorely disappointed because no one gets past my team."
Disheartened, he sighed and settled down deeper into the comfy leather office chair.
"If only I could get past the firewall."
From the next room, he heard the sound of a glass being placed carefully on the wooden surface of a table, then the familiar echo of approaching footsteps. Before the figure could appear in the doorway, the techie had circled back round to face the laptop screen. His reasoning being, if Ben was going to ignore him, he would return the favour.
The tilting mechanism in the office chair suddenly came to life; causing the person sitting in it to gasp and clutch wildly at the surface his laptop was resting on. He stopped abruptly when he felt a puff of air ruffle the tips of his disarrayed hair.
"Great, now you're laughing at me." The pressure on the back of the chair lifted just enough for the chair to right itself, and the laughter died out shortly after.
"I guess this calls for another adventure." Again, the words ghosted over the techie's head, tickling him ever so slightly.
"Well, Riley, I have just been reading up on this place called Torchwood, and I thought maybe it could help you with your little investigation."
Even with Riley sitting with his back to him, Ben could tell a smile had broken out on his face.
"You read my book." Ben, also, knew how much effort it must have took Riley to say that as nonplussed as he did.
This time, he managed to hold out on freaking when the chair seemed to move on its own accord. As the arms slowly twirled him around, he tried to wipe the grin off his face, but when he saw the completely sincere look on Ben's face, he realised it was going to be an impossible thing to achieve. Especially since he had just spotted the copy of his book nestled securely under Ben's arm.
"I've been meaning to take a break, anyway."
With the desk now behind him, Riley, had the room to stand up. The wooden flooring, Ben had argued so fiercely about putting in the study, chilled his bare feet; but he ignored it in favour of tugging his book from Ben's arm and dropping it haphazardly onto the edge of the seat. Replacing the empty space with his arm, Riley hugged Ben with what was almost child-like innocence.
"Yeah, but England, again?" Ben only responded with a chuckle before wrapping one of his arms around Riley's shoulders and dropping a kiss onto his, somehow, always messy hair.
The taller of the two regained his composure before the other and, even though ge still looked a bit breathless, promptly turned to apologise for the disruption.
While the shorter was still gasping deep breaths and shifting around, trying to look at everything he could at once.
"Sorry about this, but the storm, it just came out of nowhere." As he spoke, he rubbed his gloved hands together, desperately seeking the warmth.
"It's fine, stay as long as you need." The man smiled gratefully and thanked Ianto for his hospitality.
"Hey Ben, look at this."
While the other two had been talking, the shorter man had taken the liberty of exploring his new surroundings. He stood with his back to them, running his fingers over the edge of the reinforced door, next to one of the many cluttered book shelves dotting the room.
Ianto couldn't help but grimace at the constant stream of rainwater that seemed to be dripping off the man's hair; painting the floor of the tourist office a darker shade. However, he dismissed it when he started asking questions.
"Why would a tourist office need a reinforced door?" As he asked it, he turned away from the door, leaving the other man to inspect it.
Ianto prided himself on his ability to lie. All the years of working for Torchwood gave many instances where he could fine tune the practice. Looking the man straight in his, startling, blue eyes; he calmly answered.
"This doubles up as a library archive. There is nothing but old newspapers down there."
The man's disappointed 'oh' was cut off by a crack of thunder sounding, somewhere, off in the distance.
Deciding that Ianto's answer was substantial, the two men abandoned their investigation of the door and shifted their concentration back over to him.
"So what do you do? Sit around all day?"
Ianto smiled at the warning glare the taller man sent the smaller man. As if he was subtly trying to tell him to keep quiet. Either the smaller man didn't quite get the message or he definitely got the message and felt the need to push it.
"Pretty much. Anyway, what have you been doing today? You're quite obviously tourists, judging by the American accents."
It was a while before anyone spoke again. During that time, the two men seemed to be having a silent conversation consisting only eye movement. No matter, though, because they both appeared to have understood it completely.
Apparently, the smaller one had won, he shuffled his feet before looking back up to meet Ianto's eyes.
"Well, you see, we've been searching for something."
"Yeah." Another quick glance to his friend; before he lowered his voice, placed his palms on the desk in front of him and lent forward.
'Nothing suspicious looking or sounding about this' was all Ianto could think of as a flicker of self-doubt surged through him, making him believe, maybe letting these people stay wasn't such a good idea.
"Have you ever heard of Torchwood?"
'Yeah, letting them stay was a mistake.'
"Torchwood? No, never heard of it."
The pile of leaflets to his left looked suddenly out of place and Ianto hoped the unexpected reach to move them didn't look too guilty; he just needed something else to focus on.
"Are you sure?"
Ianto peered up from the leaflet in his hand and nodded. The man instantly looked let down and Ianto watched as all the fight left him. His shoulder slumped and his hair fell over his eyes when his head drooped low.
The other man's hand had found its way onto his shoulder, giving it a reassuring squeeze. After a sigh and a quick 'thank you' smile to his friend, though, the smaller man's optimistic aura returned.
"Oh well. What was I expecting?"
A beam of sunlight began inching its way across the desk, often disappearing when it moved behind a cloud. No longer could the sounds of a brewing storm be heard, and the rhythmic pitter-patter of the rain had slowed almost to a halt. The taller man was first to notice this and took control of the situation again, automatically.
"It sounds as though the storm has finished."
He stepped away from his friend and walked towards the other door. Bracing himself for the worst, maybe it was simply the eye of the storm, he gingerly turned the handle.
Serene stillness was all that awaited him and sometimes the soft sound of rain hitting the ground, but that was it.
"I guess its safe to leave now."
A few pleasant 'thank you's and 'goodbye's were exchanged, then Ben and Riley were left alone in the middle of England again; neither of them being any closer to finding this Torchwood. Several solitary raindrops continued to fall and they only added to the mess on the top of Riley's head.
"Ben, can we go back home now?"
Ben answered by slinging his arm over Riley's shoulders and sighing dramatically.
"Ianto, settle a bet…"