Disclaimer: I don't own Torchwood and I am not making any profit from this work.

The Potential of Ianto Jones

Although Suzie had, in Ianto's time at Torchwood, mostly kept herself to herself, she had shown interest in Ianto from the beginning. He knew - could see - that she had a history with Owen, and didn't get along too well with Toshiko, and was the nearest Jack had to a favourite team member, and Ianto couldn't imagine why she wanted to get to know him.

But she would smile at him over the top of her work when he did the coffee round, and made sure to thank him, and offered to look after him when Jack proposed taking Ianto out on his very first mission with Torchwood Three. Even when that mission fell through, after a space shuttle from some planet in the vague region of Orion's Belt crash-landed in North Wales, Ianto remembered her support.

Ianto knew there was something a little...odd about Suzie. She was a little eerie, with her mysteriously knowledgeable smirk, and her unfounded liking of him. She reminded him a little of his Area Manager at Torchwood One, who had been arrested a couple of weeks before the Cy- before the attack for taking a bondage game too far in one of London's prestigious clubs and nearly killing her partner.

Ianto had wondered, idly, if Suzie was into such games and was wondering how he'd look in leather.

He hadn't really any proper reason to be suspicious, and he could use a friend anyway. Jack flirted with him, but he wasn't really friend material, and the other two pretty much ignored him entirely. So he would give Suzie little smiles in return, and when she asked him down to the pub with her after a couple of weeks of little smiles and small talk, he said okay.

Suzie was a lager drinker, which Ianto hadn't expected, and nibbled on peanuts like other people nibbled on expensive chocolates, which didn't actually surprise Ianto that much. She seemed the sort of girl to nibble on things, chew things over until she was sure of them.

"You've got a lot of potential," she said, after a couple of pints and idle chat about how boring Cardiff was for nightlife and how many aliens were probably in the pub right then.

"Thanks?" Ianto offered.

"No, really," Suzie said thoughtfully. "You're...different. You're not scared to get really into the dirty work that this job needs sometimes."

"Like bodies?" Ianto said, and if anyone asked, they would probably pass themselves off as coppers with this conversation.

"Mm," Suzie shrugged. "Among other things. Bodies. The equipment. The creatures. I don't know, you've got...strength. Like you've seen things a hundred times worse than Torchwood: Cardiff."

"I have," Ianto said grimly, and Suzie nodded.

"Canary Wharf," she agreed, "but sometimes domestic gore is worse than gore on a large scale. The brutality just wears off after a while. And we make smaller sacrifices than thousands here, but we make them all the same."

She paused, and looked as though she were going to tell Ianto something, but stopped herself and gave him a smile.

"I wouldn't be surprised if you took over what I do, someday."

"What's that?" Ianto asked idly. None of them seemed to have job titles except Owen. Everybody else just took what they could of the workload and got on with it.

"Finding out how the technology works and testing it. Utilising it," Suzie said. "I make it for us, maybe even for the whole of mankind someday."

Somebody gave them a funny look then, and Suzie chuckled a little too brightly.

"I think you've had a bit much," Ianto said tactfully, and they took their leave.

Suzie continued to foster Ianto, a bit. They went out to the pub fairly regularly, and Suzie showed Ianto around what consisted of their archives. She found it amusing when he got a look of horror on his face and immediately set about reorganising the place.

"A bit anal, are you?" she teased, and left him to it.

Jack found it funny, that spiky Suzie had taken Ianto under her wing so much. Ianto wasn't even her type. But she guided him like a prodigal son and worked with him as much as possible, showing him this and that. Ianto even turned the offer around, and taught Suzie in return. Jack thought it was funny, and kind of sweet, and was cementing his little team as much as he could hope for with a new kid on it whose job hadn't even existed before he appeared.

"You're made of steel, in there," Suzie said to Ianto once as they pored over a device that they suspected was a cargo teleport.

"In where?"

"Inside. In your head," she said. "You're strong and stoic, you know, even if you do come across as a bit sweet. You're a dangerous man, aren't you, Ianto?"

Ianto shrugged and said, "Isn't everybody a bit dangerous?"

"But especially you," Suzie said, "because you've got the knowledge."

"To do what?"

"Anything you like," Suzie said. "You know everything."

Ianto smiled to himself, and liked the sound of that. Suzie caught the expression and chuckled quietly.

"Don't let anyone know I told you that," she ordered. "They might think I'm your friend or something."

"Or something," Ianto nodded.

In the end, Ianto didn't know everything, and Suzie was right. In the end, Ianto didn't see Suzie's death coming, but when he learned about the circumstances, it wasn't impossible to believe. She had thrown so much into Torchwood, into her work, that Ianto had known it would be the death of her. He just hadn't guessed that Suzie would be her own death.

But Suzie had been right. Ianto had the potential. He had the cool and the calm and the skills to be something much more than the quiet young man in the smart suits. He was clever and calculating and knew, to the finest details, what he needed to do in any plan he could execute.

What separated Ianto and Suzie was love. Ianto loved, and Suzie didn't. But when the object of Ianto's love was removed, by gunfire in a red-flooded basement, something shattered.

And Ianto's potential stirred.

Even as he pieced things back together, and cared again, and taped together a shattered heart, there was something colder, smarter, lurking behind detached blue eyes. Suzie had known, and Ianto knew, that that potential was going, one day, to rise up.

And when it did, the consequences would be terrible.