Title – Tea and Biscuits After the End of The World
Fandom – Doctor Who (X-Over with Torchwood)
Characters – Tenth Doctor, Ianto Jones, the TARDIS (more by implication!)
Rating – G
Summary – (oneshot) Ianto Jones has an unexpected visitor at Torchwood Three.
A/N – Set sort-of before S3 of Torchwood but after S3 of New Who; it depends on your perspective! But there are no spoilers for either show.
Doctor Who and Torchwood belong to the BBC, and this is written for fun, not money.
Tea and Biscuits After the End of The World
One of the things Ianto Jones prided himself on was his thoroughness. He was meticulous in his running of the archive, he was meticulous in everything, even the way he prepared Jack's coffee. But one thing he was most careful about was making sure that Torchwood Three was secure. People couldn't just wander into the Hub off the streets!
So it came as a great surprise to see the strange man standing by the waters edge.
In fact Ianto had to do a double take, just to be sure. He had looked up from clearing up one of the tables and seen him, a coated figure in the dark half-light of the room.
Ianto sloshed cold coffee over his hand and didn't notice. He was frozen in place, his mouth hanging slightly open.
The man stood with his back to the main area of the Hub, with his hands in his pockets looking towards the vent and the water.
For a second , Ianto stared, too surprised to even speak. He was used to unusual things in his job, but this was something so unexpected. He knew that no one could get into Torchwood without him knowing about it. But still…
But by the time he had collected himself enough to put a sentence together, even a short sentence, the element of surprise had gone.
The man turned.
Ianto's first impression was of Jack. That in itself should have told him who the man was. He had dark, spiky hair that seemed a law unto itself and deep, dark, unfathomable eyes with a glint of amusement in them. Their eyes locked together the moment he'd turned, and the man looked right though him. No that was wrong, the man looked right into him.
In spite of himself, and where he was, with all the power of Torchwood Three behind him, Ianto took a tiny step back. He opened his mouth to say something but, again, the stranger beat him to it.
'So this is the famous Torchwood Three, eh?' he said grinning and looking around. London accent, bright, brash, light, flippant. Dangerous. That was the word he was looking for; dangerous. Ianto wondered where Jack had left his gun. The man's smiled grew wider, almost predatory. 'And you must be Ianto Jones.'
For some reason, Ianto nodded. Why did he nod, for God's sake! Why was he just STANDING THERE?
'Who…?' he managed to slur.
'So this is Torchwood Three,' the stranger continued, spinning round slowly on his heal, his coat swishing out bedind him. He still had his hands in his pockets. 'Nice place. Dark, dirty, dingy. Depressing. Everything a secret organisation should be. Very Bat-Cave.'
'Dingy!' croaked Ianto in outrage. Did that man have any idea how difficult it was to keep this place tidy with Jack and Owen around?
'Did I say that that out loud. Well…' The man looked around quickly. 'I suppose dingy was a bit extreme.'
The stranger looked back at Ianto, daring him to speak. Daring him to do anything. But Ianto just stood there. Why was he just standing there, and not running for the alarm. Why was he just standing still?
'Who are you? What are you doing here?' asked Ianto at last.
With a grin, the stranger took a few quick steps forward, closing the distance between them in a matter of seconds. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a black wallet. He was about to hand it over, when he paused.
Ianto watched the man twist the wallet in his hands before replacing it back in his pocket.
'Doesn't matter. I just dropped in to see someone.' The man gave a lopsided smile. 'At least I think I did.'
Jealousy was the last thing that Ianto wanted or needed at the moment, but rational thought seemed to have nothing to do with it.
'Jack? Why?' his voice was thick with envy.
'Yeah, well, I thought I'd just drop by and see how he was… adjusting after that business with the um... it doesn't matter… and if everything was alright. And everybody was alright, too.'
Confused, Ianto frowned. The man didn't make any sense!
'What are you talking about? Why wouldn't Jack be alright?'
'We… I… no, we were curious,' said the man. 'Well, she thought I should check, just to be on the safe side. I did, I mean. Well, not so much me as my um… my… It doesn't matter.' He trailed off uneasily.
The man grinned again, and as much as Ianto didn't want to react, infuriatingly, he found himself smiling back.
Why wasn't he doing something? Why was he talking to this man, not doing something…? Anything!
They stared at each other, the other man with that look on his face again, that challenging, encouraging look that made Ianto feel like he should be checking to make sure he still had all his loose change in his pocket. There was something intangible, almost alien about… there was a click inside Ianto's mind.
That was it. It was him! IT WAS HIM! It was the Doctor.
Suddenly the man smiled, as if he had guessed what Ianto was thinking.
'So, then,' the Doctor said. 'Jack…?'
'He's out. I don't know when he'll get back.'
'Well, I suppose, if he's not here…' the Doctor made to move off.
Out of the corner of his eye Ianto noticed something blue, and big, looming in a shadow, and he was filled with a sense of certainty, and of permanence. Time meant nothing; not to the Doctor, and not to that machine either. But when was he, Ianto Jones going to get another chance to spend a fragment of his life in the company of this man that Jack so admired and adored?
'You can wait for him,' Ianto said suddenly. 'I mean, I'm sure he would like to see you. I mean, he could be back any minute and…' Ianto trailed off, struggling to find something to say, anything to say, that would encourage the Doctor to stay. 'Would you like a coffee?'
'Your coffee is legendary,' said the Doctor. 'Worth crossing time and space for.'
Much to his embarrassment, Ianto blushed.
'Well… I don't know about that.'
'Do you have tea?' the Doctor asked eagerly. 'Coffee is all very well, but there's nothing like a cup of tea from an expert after al long night of saving the universe.'
Ianto smiled back at the Doctor, but was unsure if he was actually joking or not.
'Oh, a bit too Captain Picard for me.'
'Tempting. So tempting. But if Jack's not here then I really shouldn't wait too long in case…' He stopped for a moment, as if thinking. 'Do you have some of those pink wafers?'
Ianto smiled warmly.
'Jack loves the pink wafers.'
'Don't I just know it,' said the Doctor with a warm chuckle. 'We had to stop every few days to get a new supply!'
Ianto laughed too. That was so like Jack!
'And we have chocolate digestives too.'
The Doctor's smile brightened.
'Mmm! I love chocolate digestives.'
The Doctor looked across to the blue box as it sat in the shadows. Then he turned back to Ianto.
'Maybe I'll stay for a while.'