|The Shadow Torchwood Style
Author: tonjavmoore PM
Originally written for reel torchwood Challenge 1 at Live Journal. Who knows what evil lurks within the hearts on aliens? Captain Jack Harkness knows.Rated: Fiction T - English - Sci-Fi/Suspense - Jack H. & Ianto J. - Chapters: 12 - Words: 20,641 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 3 - Published: 04-13-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8022183
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The Torchwood team plus its guests was seated around the conference table, enjoying a quiet meal. "No lingering aftereffects of that possession box or whatever it was," Owen said. "Not any I can find, at least."
"If Rhys turns into a zombie tonight, I'll let you know," Gwen replied with a giggle.
Suzie laughed, too. "If I turn orange again, Owen, I'm blaming you."
"It seems like you were able to follow the trail easily enough," Jack said. "Have any trouble?"
"Nah," Owen said. "It was just like a drill. The driver side squirter needs to be adjusted though. It splashed the road instead of the tire a few times. In the light it looked like condor poop."
"Gee, thanks for the visual," Tosh said. "Gross."
"I can't help it if that weird light spectrum makes it look that way."
Suzie said sarcastically, "Am I the only one troubled that Owen knows what condor poop looks like?"
Rhys spoke up. "Gwen, good thing you spotted that guy with the camera and took him out, or it might have all gone wrong. Did you really do it with just one shot?"
Gwen shrugged. "I'm used to checking for paparazzi before Jack leaves. He wasn't exactly hiding. I don't usually shoot them, though. Although," she continued thoughtfully, "maybe we should look into adapting one of the guns to shoot paint balls over long distances. Would serve the buggers right."
As they chattered, Jack looked at Ianto and touched his hand under the table. "You okay?" he said quietly.
"I think so," Ianto answered with a slight smile. "I no longer feel like I have an elephant on my chest".
"Later," Jack promised. He got to his feet. "I'd like to propose a toast to my clever Torchwood team for being able to improvise a plan in five minutes."
"Hear, hear," Tosh said. They all raised their glasses and clinked them together.
"Someday, Jack," Suzie said, "will you tell us about this mysterious past and why that person kept referring to you as 'Councilor Allard'?"
"Maybe. But for now, that part of me is dead and buried. I'd like it to stay that way. Okay?"
They all nodded. "Whenever you feel like talking, boss," Gwen said, "we'll be ready to listen."
Jack gave them one of his megawatt smiles. "Clever team. My clever Torchwood team."
On the island named Flatholm in the Cardiff bay, there is an underground hospital. In one of the recovery rooms, a doctor checked over a patient who had come out of surgery an hour before. He read the chart and examined the lab reports. He made a notation of "85%" and recommended putting him in the mostly human wing when he left the infirmary.
The man's eyes opened. "Hello there," the doctor said genially. "Welcome back."
"Where am I?"
"You're in recovery. It was a long operation and we ended up having to remove a part of your brain. It's okay, though. People don't use that part anyway."
The man on the bed seemed to consider this.
"Tell me, doctor. Do you know who I am? I can't seem to remember."
"When Captain Harkness brought you here, he entered your name as John Hart. Ring any bells?"
He shook his head. The doctor patted his shoulder. "It's all right. We'll take good care of you."
Ianto sat in the garden gazebo on the Harkness estate and looked out at the dark countryside. It felt odd to be alone outdoors at night – he hadn't allowed himself to do that for months – but it meant that he could try and sort out the chaos of his emotions without being noticed.
His world had flipped over several times in the last forty-eight hours. Nothing was the way it had been. He and Toshiko would no longer be looking over their shoulders. He could even leave her here with their new-found friends and go back to Australia. The possibilities were endless – and overwhelming.
At one time all Ianto had ever wanted was a 'normal' life, one that involved a wife and a family to come home to each day. A life that was exciting in its conformity. He'd gone into the Navy and he'd been happy there. It was there he had learned how to deal with people on their many levels and where he'd met the girl of his dreams. He'd dared to believe it was going to come true before hard reality crushed it all.
The life he'd lived for the past two years had gone away and he had no clear direction on where he should go. He had these strange powers that he didn't understand, a group of people who dealt with a tear in the fabric of the universe, and the strangest thing of all, Captain Jack Harkness.
Ianto smiled wryly as he heard the sound of feet on the stairs up to the gazebo and felt the tingle of Jack's energy. Did he do that on purpose? It seemed that every time Ianto thought about him, he appeared like a conjurer's trick. Were they that attuned to each other?
"Hi," Jack said.
Ianto opened his eyes and looked at Jack. "Hi," he said.
Jack stood in the doorway wearing the coat he used when he was the Shadow. It was a nice coat. It moved with the Captain like a second skin. Jack took a step in. "I came out to see how you were doing," he explained carefully, as though Ianto might suspect other motives.
"I'm all right, I think. I'm breathing fine and my mouth doesn't taste like smoke." Ianto watched Jack take another step toward him.
"Good. That's good." Jack's voice was a little unsteady as it continued. "I mean, you nearly died today. Some people find it hard to bounce back right away. And, while we're on the subject, I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't do it again. Almost dying, I mean."
Ianto smiled. Jack was so different from other people, but then again he was from another dimension. "I'll remove it from my favorite pastimes list," Ianto deadpanned.
"Thanks." Jack smiled back at him. "Speaking of lists, I guess we can add another superpower to your list. In addition to 'can-back-someone-up-in-time', we now have 'can-stop-the-flow-of-time-for-a-bit'."
"I didn't do it on purpose, Jack. It just happened." Ianto shifted uncomfortably. "I still don't have any control."
"Like I said, we can work on that. As long as you avoid the nearly-dying thing. That's really disrupting."
"So what do I do while we're 'working on it'? I wasn't too excited about the nearly-dying thing myself. What if something else happens?"
Jack raised an eyebrow. "You can stay here. That way we can let things develop naturally." He seemed to think about that. "And let other things… develop naturally. If you want."
Ianto matched Jack's raised eyebrow. "What do I do with myself while… things are developing naturally?"
Jack came closer, just outside Ianto's personal space. "We really do need someone to organize all that stuff we've collected over the years. Usually, we shove it in a box and when the box gets full we put it in a storage room. It does kind of make things hard to find."
"Or, if you like, you could really catalog those books in the library. I have no idea what's in there. Those books could be stuffed with anything and I wouldn't know better. Or, if those don't appeal to you…" Here Jack looked at him with an intensity that sent shivers down his spine. "…I could really use a secretary."
Ianto returned the gaze, trying to fathom the real reason behind this. "Why do you need a secretary?"
"To... well… organize me. No, I'm serious. I forget and bring up stuff from the basement when the cleaning crew is in the house. I don't remember to turn the alarms off when the gardeners come and scare them and us half to death. I misplace phone messages and invitations. I'm always late for appointments, if I don't forget them altogether. So… what do you say?"
Ianto took a deep breath. He'd reached the only conclusion possible. "As long as I don't have to be one of those that sit around pining for the boss, I'll be your secretary."
Jack's smiled turned into an amazing beam of light. "No, in this case, I'll be the boss hopelessly pining for the secretary."
"Jack." Ianto supposed he was going to have to get used to this flirty diffidence. He reached for Jack's hand and held it between his own. "It's not hopeless. It just needs to… develop. Okay?"
The smile did not dim at all. Ianto returned it. Maybe it would be all right. "Jack, I meant to tell you…"
"Tell me what?"
"Those little names you called me? They go on the fist-in-the-face list. Along with teasing me about blushing."
Jack laughed, a sound of pure delight. "I'll agree if you'll answer one question."
"You said you'd kissed other men. How did mine measure up?"
It was Ianto's turn to laugh. "Where I would rate the others as pretty good, yours was definitely mind-blowing."
"I can work with that."