Well, it is his colour...
The Hub was suspiciously quiet.
Since the devastating incident with Jack's long-lost brother there had been a lull in Rift activity, almost as though the universe was attempting to right some wrongs by giving the members of Torchwood, both old and new, a few days of peace.
As a result, everybody was currently engaged in various tasks and projects which were important and yet far from vital; the kind that could be abandoned the moment something more urgent came up. They were each waiting for the inevitable blaring of alarms that marked a new emergency and the anticipation was doing far more damage to their concentration than if there had actually been any real trouble occurring.
Gwen and Martha were huddled around one of the workstations, debating the meaning behind the figures displayed there and failing to come to any clear conclusion.
"I don't know," Gwen said, lifting her shoulders in an exaggerated shrug. "What do you think?"
"I say we try it," replied Martha. She straightened, nodded her head once decisively and then seemed to deflate a little. "Or maybe we shouldn't. What do you think?"
There was a moment's hesitation before Gwen reached forward suddenly, pressed a button and snatched her hand back, fearful of what it might do.
Nothing happened and the two women sighed, both relieved and disappointed.
They fell silent, each frowning pensively at the read-out, and remained that way for a good few minutes before the hush was broken by Ianto's sudden appearance, his arms full of files from the archives.
Martha burst into life the moment she saw him. "Ah, Ianto! I completely forgot!" She jumped from her chair and began rummaging through a bag she had dumped on the old sofa earlier that day.
Ianto reached Gwen's side and stopped, exchanging a look of amused confusion with her. His gaze slid to the display they had been working on. "Any luck with that yet?"
Gwen turned from laughing at Martha's enthusiastic antics. "No, not yet. It's all very well Tosh leaving us detailed instructions, but those instructions are more complex than the systems themselves."
Ianto smiled but said nothing and Gwen looked away, unable to meet his eyes as the memory of their lost friends resurfaced yet again. Drawing in a deep breath and pushing aside the familiar feelings of pain, she returned her attention to Martha.
"So, what are you looking for, Dr Jones?" she asked, forcing a cheerful tone into her voice.
"Oh, no," Ianto groaned quietly, as Martha span around with a triumphant grin upon her face and a bright red military-style cap in her hand.
"Oh no, what?" Gwen looked across to find Ianto checking warily over his shoulder at the open door of Jack's office. "Ianto?"
Martha hurried forward, reaching up to place the cap on his head whilst he wasn't paying attention. Ianto stepped back in surprise, almost dropping the files in his arms and then twisting frantically to keep hold of them. As he struggled, Martha succeeded in squashing the hat down over his hair and leapt back, cackling at the indignant glare he directed towards her.
Gwen lifted a hand to her mouth, attempting to stifle her own laughter at the crumpled cap sitting at a jaunty angle on his head. Ianto scowled at her unsubtle giggling, but she could see the corner of his mouth twitching with his own amusement, completely ruining the effect and setting her off laughing even harder than Martha.
"Come here," she said, approaching Ianto and adjusting the cap whilst he sulked unconvincingly. "There we go, very handsome. It definitely suits you." She grinned at him, then caught sight of movement over his shoulder. Her eyes widened to see Jack standing in the doorway of his office, hands on his hips, watching them play with an unreadable expression upon his face. Biting her lip, she turned on her heel and moved quickly back to the workstation. Martha hurried to her side, jostling against her with muffled giggles.
"Ianto. My office. Now!" Jack called out sharply, before turning and disappearing out of sight again.
The younger man gave a long-suffering sigh and transferred the stack of files to one hand in order to reach up and remove the cap. Jack's voice boomed out from within the office before he could even touch the offending item. "Leave it on!"
Ianto shot Gwen and Martha a far more convincing glare as he turned to stride after the Captain, leaving them shaking with mirth behind him.
There came murmuring from the office and then Jack appeared in sight again. "Right, soldier," he commanded in a clear voice, flashing a grin at the indiscreetly eavesdropping women. He closed the door firmly, but not before he had finished speaking...
"Assume the position!"