A/N: Once the play I am in is over, we will resume the posting - I am having a hard time balancing writing and acting and all that other real life crap. Hope you enjoy!
Ianto opened the front door with a flourish worthy of Jack Harkness himself. "So sorry about that! Emergency back at the hub…"
"Hey! I'm not there - that must be the emergency," Jack laughed as he came out of the kitchen drying his hands.
"No Jack, that isn't it, exactly, but it doesn't bear mentioning. Everything's in hand now." Jack quirked a smile at him and Ianto forced an automatic blush back from where it came. "It seems someone didn't put a certain bit of tech away when he was done with it. There may or may not have been a smallish fire resulting."
"Ahhh, my bad." Jack flashed his best 'forgive me' smile.
Ianto all but groaned. "Yes 'your bad', but thanks to the brilliance of MOST of the team, it's all fine now."
Jack held a hand over his heart in an attempt to seem sincere. "You hurt me, Ianto Jones."
"Not yet, Captain Harkness." He ignored the look he was getting from the other man. "If the fire had spread to section 2 of the basement - then I would have hurt you."
"What's in section 2 of the basement?"
"You should know, you were poking around down there."
"All I have to say is that my book better be intact when I get back. And what were you hoping to scan anyway? All the porn is in Section 7.3."
Ianto watched Jack mentally catalogue what he had said before the man spoke. "Right. Now, are we leaving today or what?"
Ianto looked at the bags by the door. "Well, let's see....I think we have everything...."
"We don't need snacks"
"I picked up this sandwich on the way over, take it then." Ianto held out a paper-wrapped parcel. "I ate yesterday. I'll be fine." Once the sandwich had been passed, he patted Jack on the arm with a small smile. "I know it's been at least 2 hours since YOU ate."
"That's not nice." Jack sniffed the sandwich, eyeing Ianto.
"It's a perfectly good sandwich."
Jack shrugged. "I guess I have to trust you…"
Ianto snatched the sandwich back. "Never mind! Would hate for you to lower yourself to eat my lunch."
"No, no - I'll eat it." Jack reached for it, but Ianto held it just out of reach.
"No! It's okay, I'll eat it…" Ianto took a hearty bite and made a face of pure satisfaction. Jack watched him with a forced pout. "Fine," Ianto sighed out before tearing the sandwich in half and giving Jack the half with the bite taken out.
Jack deepened his pout. "You took a bite right here."
"Do you want any or not?"
"Then I suggest you eat...but...." Ianto checked his watch.
"Wait. Are we still talking about the sandwich?" At a glare from Ianto, Jack crammed the half sandwich into his mouth and chewed.
"I know you have a big mouth, but did you have to do that? You could choke! Then again, I guess no crumbs in the car is best…"
Jack talked around a mouthful of bread, crumbs spraying as he spoke. "We're taking the SUV right?"
Ianto hefted the familiar overnight bag on his shoulder. "Nope. SUV is official equipment, needs to stay."
Jack, groaned, picking up the other bag at his feet. "But we're going on official business."
"But the Unit team will need it." Ianto threw a garment bag over his shoulder as well. "They're flying in." Ianto checked his watch again. "Actually they should be arriving any second…"
"But I like the SUV - it has DVD players." Jack took his coat from a nearby hook.
"You won't have time for DVDs anyway. 'Commando Frogs' will have to wait." Ianto twisted the knob in his hand and looked to make sure they weren't forgetting anything.
"There's always time for 'Prince Speed and the Commando Frogs'!" Jack laughed as if it were absurd to think otherwise.
"Not this time, we need to go over those notes." The key turning in the deadbolt made a satisfying click.
"What notes?" Jack stalked to the car and opened the door to throw the bag in the backseat, noticing the carseat still in the back, straps now dangling free, duct tape littering the floor.
"The notes that I spent most of yesterday compiling with Martha's help? The notes that you should have been making all along?" Ianto leaned in to hang his suits and put his own bag in, taking the time to brush against Jack as he did so. Jack smiled slightly at him, unable to take his eyes away.
"Ianto," Martha called over the comms. "The UNIT team has arrived on the Plass."
"Got you loud and clear, Miss Jones. UNIT clearance is granted," Ianto used his official voice, knowing they would be listening, then turned to Jack, covering his earpiece with one hand. "We should be clear to leave now. Unless you want to give them any last instructions?"
Jack waved the suggestion off. "Who makes notes when they have a memory like mine?"
"Ah yes. You are famous for your memory. What was that drug again?" Ianto pretended to think. Jack growled by way of answer. "What's this on the tire? ANOTHER CLAMP?!?! God, Jack this is the last time I let you drive my car!" Ianto took something from his pocket and tossed the keys to Jack.
Jack looked at the metal on the tire, confused. "Hey! That wasn't me - it must have been PC Wannabe. How in the hell did they work out it was your car?"
"Good thing this fell through the rift," Ianto muttered. "Best master key a person could ask for." He turned his face to Jack. "Maybe the fact that you spent the day driving it around and parking wherever you pleased?" Jack almost looked sorry. "Plus a child seat with cut straps tends to draw attention."
"I said I was sorry…" Jack scuffed at the ground with the toe of his boot.
"You might want to pass that along to Martha." Ianto stood and brushed the dirt from his pants.
Jack looked scared. "You didn't tell her, did you?!?!"
"Well I did have to ask her where she got it! We needed a replacement." He kicked at the metal that now hung from the tire. "Which, by the way, she's sending home with Gwen, so no worries there."
Jack ran a hand through his hair. "She's going to kill me." He tossed the keys back to Ianto.
Ianto laughed a bit under his breath. "She won't kill you, but...maybe you should buy her something pretty?" He caught the keys and tossed them back to Jack as if they were on fire.
"I could put a bow around my neck?" Jack caught the keys without thinking. "What do I do with these?"
"I said something pretty." The Welshman opened the passenger side door and slid into the seat. "And you put them in the ignition and turn."
Jack poked his head in the door before Ianto could close it. "You want ME to crank the car for YOU?"
"No Jack." Ianto closed the door. "I want you to crank the car for yourself. You do know how to crank for yourself right?"
Jack's response was an eyebrow wiggle as he went around to the driver's seat.
Ianto rolled his eyes. "Would you like me to do your belt for you too?"
"Not if you want to get there tonight..."
"Do you at least have the GPS?" Jack adjusted himself in the seat and messed with the mirrors for a moment before putting the key in the ignition.
Impatient, Ianto glared at Jack. "Built in GPS, just tap this." He tapped a recessed button on the dash and a screen came out of the console.
"When did you get that?"
"When I bought the car. Don't tell me....when you were lost you didn't even use it did you? I thought you said it was 'broken'…" He was trying to keep his cool. "I even had it serviced!"
"Yan, how am I supposed to use something that I didn't even know existed?"
"What did you think I meant when I asked if you put the address in correctly?"
"I thought you were asking if I had copied it right." Jack pulled out of the spot and onto the road.
"And if you had followed all the directions?" Ianto busied himself with typing in the address for the meeting and making sure the device was working.
"Then I may have gotten there...but that's beside the point..."
Ianto leaned against the window. "I'm only going to let this go because I'm not sure what the point was anymore." He pulled a leather portfolio from the back seat and opened it, clicking a pen. "Moving on - who exactly is going to be at this meeting?" He scribbled experimentally. "Gwen and Martha couldn't find where you had put the list."
Jack was more than a little huffy in his response. "Point is - why aren't you driving?"
"Because. One of us has to go over this stuff so we appear at least moderately informed at the meeting." He felt as if he were talking to a child, not a grown man who had lived quite a few more years than he appeared. "MOVING ON..."
"MOVING. ON." Ianto caught the death glare Jack was giving him out of the corner of his eye. "The list?"
"I have this." Jack reached in his pocket and pulled out a crumpled paper.
Ianto took the offered paper and smoothed it out. "While I agree the lyrics to 'Sugar We're Going Down' are very interesting, I'm not sure what that has to do with who will be at the meeting."
Jack looked reprimanded. "Oops. Wrong one. Then I got nothing - your turn."
Ianto let the air flow freely from his chest. "So you have no idea who will be there? Did you at least read the list before you lost it? ... I hate going into these things blind."
Jack smiled, proud of himself. "Oh, I got that bit memorized."
"And..." Ianto tapped his pen impatiently.
"And?" Jack took his eyes from the road for a moment. "Oh! The list."
Ianto wondered how safe it was to push the driver form a moving vehicle. "Yes, Jack. The list."
"Well, General Horton, for one…"
Ianto put pen to paper. "Yes. And us. Martha obviously. Who else?"
"And Colonel Buchanan…"
"…Lieutenant Colonel Kemp…" Jack popped the 'p' at the end.
"…Lieutenant Colonel Kemp…" Ianto repeated.
"…Major Price…" Ianto frowned at the paper. "Price...Price...why does that sound familiar?"
"I dunno." Jack stared ahead at the road.
"What division is he from?"
"I don't know - from Torchwood One? I don't even know…"
"No not Torchwood One...hmm..." Ianto bit on the end of his pen without thinking.
"Do you want the rest of the list or not?" Jack snapped. Ianto looked over at him with a slightly murderous expression. Jack didn't waver. "…Sergeant Jones…Colonel Jones…"
"It's good to see such a fine name so well represented."
"Yes, Jones!" Ianto frowned at Jack. "It's a fine name, sure Martha would agree."
"Amazes me how many of you there are..."
"It's our duty to fill the world with our brilliance…" Ianto challenged.
Jack pretended to ignore the man beside him, but looked sideways to catch Ianto looking at him as well. The tire hit a pothole and rocked the car. Ianto's pen left a stray mark on the page and he found himself wishing he had used a pencil instead. He continued his questioning with a frown. "Anyone else you can remember?"
Jack shook his head. "Not really."
Ianto looked over the list in front of him, trying not to focus on the large mark in the middle of it. He decided he would recopy it once they got to the table. "Usual crowd except for these." He tapped the pen on the bottom of the page, careful to use the end without the tip. "Wish I had time to research them…"
"Who?" Jack thought there was nothing odd about the names he had given Ianto.
"Price…Price...sounds so familiar…" Ianto muttered to himself. "I used to know a Price..."
Gwen's voice chirped in their ears, breaking up any further discussion. "Jack? Ianto? Can you hear me or have I not turned the bloody thing on again?"
Jack answered first. "Go on, Gwen."
Ianto's Welsh lilt followed closely. "Yes, Gwen?"
"Oh. It did work! MARTHA! I TURNED IT ON! I swear these things get worse as I go on. Anyway, we have a situation here." Gwen talked so fast that it was almost hard for Jack to follow what she was saying.
Ianto felt his chest tighten at the sound of the word. He began to speak as fast as she had. "A situation already? The fire didn't blaze up again did it?"
"No. No. We have that under con- I mean, no fire! Ummm, anyway, no it's to do with Henry actually,,,"
Jack seemed to be lost in a faded memory. "Actually...back in the old days..."
"Focus, Jack!" Ianto hissed. "Sorry. What's wrong with him, Gwen?" He replayed what she had said in case she had already answered the question. "Fire? Did you say 'fire'? IS HENRY ON FIRE?"
"Ianto, calm down, you said fire," Jack reminded him with a gentle hand on his leg.
Gwen barked into the comm. "Ianto, focus!!! Henry is not on fire! We are not that incompetent!"
"Right," Ianto smiled a bit at the hand still on his knee. "Sorry, Gwen. You were saying?"
"As I was saying, we may have...I mean it wasn't as if it was long....And Martha said he would be fine..." The Welshwoman had almost begun to stutter.
"You didn't bring him to the Hub did you?" Ianto was guessing by her tone that it was worse than she was saying. His mind jumped back to its first thought. "He is on fire isn't he?!?!"
"No one is on fire!" Gwen screeched down the line. Both Ianto and Jack blinked in pain.
"Why does she get to bring him into the Hub and I don't?" Jack pouted in a low tone.
"NO ONE is allowed to bring Henry into the Hub!" Ianto screeched back, then mumbled for his own benefit. "Why couldn't Mam have just helped me out this once?"
"Because you said they were going on holiday," Jack helpfully supplied.
"They're retired. They could have rescheduled..." Ianto groused back at no one in particular.
"Henry's locked in the cells...and we can't open the door..." Gwen continued, sounding frantic.
Jack snickered, his lips pressed together.
"Why did you let him in the Hub?!?!" His shout was at Gwen, but the accompanying glare was all for Jack. "What part of 'DO NOT TAKE HENRY INTO THE HUB' was unclear to you?"
Jack winced at the mood Ianto was working himself into.
Ianto's eyes went wide. "Where's Janet?"
"Ianto, it was an emergency! The second level of the basement was still on fire!! And she's in the cell next to him....not IN the cell with him." Her words were picking up speed again.
Jack tried to be helpful. "Ianto, there's straw in there he can lay on..."
"You said the fire was out!! Oh God. How are we going to…Jack, so help me…"
"Don't panic. The fire's out," Gwen reassured him. "But I had to put Henry down. He got into the cells. And they locked him in. How do I open them? We've tried everything!"
Ianto took a deep breath. "Are all the cells locked down? Can you open Janet's or is it stuck also?"
"Relax, they'll get in under control." Jack's hand was back to patting his leg.
"Don't you tell me to relax, Jack Harkness!" Ianto spat back.
"All the cells are locked down," Gwen updated.
"Fuck." Ianto gouged the pen into the paper in front of him, ripping pages under that piece as well. "Okay. Here is what you are going to do. UNIT is there now, right?"
Jack tried to take control. "What's the matter? Can't you use the remote access panel?"
"We tried everything. Every code, every piece of equipment. And don't you think we've tried, Jack!" There was the return of Gwen's panicked pitch.
"They can't just use the panel! All the cells will open at once!" Ianto reminded the two of them, rubbing his eyes hard enough to see vague shapes.
"UNIT is going to love this…" Jack remarked, then caught Ianto's look.
"This wouldn't have happened if someone had been doing weekly maintenance like I told them…"
"Forget about your petty squabbles, I need to open the cells!!" How either man could understand her voice at the pitch she had was a mystery.
"So now, Jack, you get to sit there and be quiet while I handle this. Gwen - are you listening?"
"No, I'm listening to Radio 4. OF COURSE I AM!"
"Okay. You and three of the UNIT guys go down to the cells. Bring the weevil spray and a burlap sack.
"Henry is hardly that hard to catch..." Jack stated, earning him yet another death glare.
Gwen hesitated. "I...we can't let them in. They're outside..."
"...sorry..." Jack apologized, clamping his mouth shut.
"What do you mean they're outside?!?!" Ianto clutched the dashboard, his knuckles going white.
"We may have...accidently triggered a lock down..." A timid Welsh voice stated over the comms.
Ianto let go of the dash and gripped Jack's leg, digging in. "Jack - Turn. Us. Around."
Jack shook his head, ignoring the pain. "Can't if we're going to be there on time."
"No, no. Keep going. Look, even if you did come back, there's nothing you can do. No one can get in, no one can get out. Total lock down."
"Oh in that case let's just leave a starving child in the cell all weekend with a drooling weevil leering at him!" Ianto squeezed Jack's leg harder.
Jack let out a little yelp, but continued on course.
"You really think that I'd let him starve, Ianto Jones?"
Jack mumbled around the pain of fingernails breaking skin, even through his trousers. "Unlock button under desk."
Ianto came back to the moment. "What was that, Jack?"
"There's an unlock button under my desk?" Jack winced as Ianto relented in his grip.
"Thank you for some sense, Jack!" The comms went to dead air.
"Thank you for some sense, Jack..." Ianto mocked his co-worker. "If it wasn't for your 'sense' the Hub wouldn't be in the state I found it."
"Hey - there were two women there that helped put it in that state! Why aren't you yelling at them?" Jack defended, rubbing his leg.
'Says the man who started the fire, Jones," Gwen's voice returned. "And don't bring us into this, Harkness!"
"Because one of them has spent the last 2 weeks trying to reverse engineer a compound that I didn't even realize existed," Ianto justified. "And the other one..."
"Is me?" Gwen finished for him.
"Yes, Gwen. Is you. What's the status now?" Ianto patted Jack's leg to apologize.
"UNIT get inside yet? Have you checked to make sure the cells are still locked?"
"I don't know. Martha's gone to check. Look, I'm sorry, ok? I was helping Martha and it got out of hand."
"You can't let him wander," Jack reminded her, trying to shake the feeling that he had said that many times before in another lifetime.
"Check the cells NOW," Ianto commanded. Jack felt a chill up his spine. "If both of them opened up..." He turned to the window, hand over his face, whispering in a prayer-tone, "Please let them be locked down…please let them be locked down…"
"Ianto Jones, quit panicking!"
Jack gave Ianto a genuine look of concern.
"I'll panic if I want to, Gwen Williams!"
"I'm not going to let anything or anyone harm a hair on that child's head!"
"Gwen. Cells. CHECK THEM." He was starting to shake.
"I would," Jack advised, rubbing the back of Ianto's neck with one hand.
"I AM BLOODY CHECKING THE CELLS!"
Ianto allowed his head to loll towards Jack. "Are you sure she's okay to keep him all weekend?"
"Rhys is there," Jack reminded him.
"It's only been an hour and she's nearly turned him into weevil bait!" Ianto tensed under Jack's fingers.
"Fine. I'll leave him outside for the UNIT guys," Gwen countered.
"GWEN. THE CELLS." Jack wasn't sure if she noticed that as the growling and cub-protecting tone that it was. Jack sure had. "Where is Henry?! Has Janet gotten out? FOCUS!"
"SHUT UP! Henry's been eaten by Janet."
"AAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!" Ianto suddenly and without warning, grabbed the wheel and twisted into oncoming traffic to try and turn around. Jack slapped his hand away and controlled the car safely to the side of the road.
"Yes, he's been eaten and now Janet's attacking Martha…"
"Gwen, that's not nice. Ianto's really panting here." Jack worried out loud, eyes fixed on his boyfriend. "And not in the way I like him to."
"… And I'm just sat here, watching Eastenders…"
"Jack, pull over. I changed my mind - I'll drive." Ianto spoke mechanically, staring fixedly ahead, not realizing that they had already stopped. "Get out. I'll move over."
Afraid that Ianto would drive off and leave him if he got out, Jack ignored the order. "No. Not in that state. You want to go back? I'll go back."
"Would you look at that? Now Janet's attacking the UNIT guys…"
"AND I'M SURE YOU'RE EATING BLOODY POPCORN!" Ianto looked like he was dangerously close to having a stroke.
"No, sweets. Much better."
"She's fed the boy to a weevil! OF COURSE I WANT TO GO BACK! I'M GOING TO KILL HER!" He messed up his hair and lashed out, hitting whatever his fists could connect with. His voice, rough and small, he spoke to the air around him. "Kenneling him would have been safer."
"Gwen, really. Please don't. Ianto is fondling his stun-gun here. And that isn't a euphemism."
"I'd like to see you try. Look, you idiot. Henry's bloody fine. I've got him right here. We're in Jack's office. He's drawing on paper."
Ianto seized on hope. "Let me talk to him!"
"Henry, you okay?" The Welshman held his breath, waiting to hear the small voice.
"Yeth?" came the small, lisping reply.
Ianto let out the breath he was holding. "Did the monster get you, Tic? No not her. She just has big eyes. She's not a real monster."
"Cheeky sod. I can hear you, you know."
"I need you to do me a favor, okay buddy?" He could hear the sound of Henry's hair rubbing the phone, indicating a nod form the boy. "You be a good boy and listen to the big eyed lady. But if she takes you back there make sure you yell and get the lorry man, okay?"
Jack tried to hold in a giggle, but it came out as a snort. Ianto glared at him and them his face softened.
"That's right. You won't be sorry with a Harwood's Lorry!"
"Better now?" Jack pulled him as close as he could manage.
Gwen groaned audibly.
"Now that you aren't protecting the Hub from an invasion of people that were called in to help...do you think you could take Henry home with you?"
"I don't know, I think Rhys has got the Elton John songs out....I think that's scarier than Janet." She put a little smile in her voice as an apology.
"Can I suggest the helmet now?" Jack whispered.
"Can I suggest a taser to the head?"
"Gwen, get dinner on the company card..." Jack offered to end any further conversation.
"Gwen? I know where you live and I've heard how deeply you sleep. Keep these things in mind."
"There's a company card? And how can I bloody sleep with all this work, Jones?"
Jack blinked, confused. "When have you slept with Gwen? Is this a good story? Was it while I was gone?"
"Why did you tell her about the card???" Ianto hissed. "And I never slept with Gwen. It's called a bluff."
"Dammit. Don't get my hopes up like that." Jack sulked a bit. "There, uh, is a charge at the takeaway on the corner. Use that."
"And here's a hint - it's not under Torchwood, Gwen."
"It's under Dorian Gray!" Jack laughed.
"If anyone sleeps heavily, it's Rhys. And anyway, I wouldn't sleep with Ianto. He's been tainted by you."
Ianto snorted. "Like I'd have you, Gwen."
"Dorian Gray? That's funny. When did you do that?" Ianto smiled for the first time. Jack felt himself be able to breathe.
"Last week, you like that?"
"I do, actually. But remember you're supposed to tell me when you do that stuff, so you don't' forget later and yell when the bills come." Ianto got out his pen and portfolio and make note of the change.
Jack was quiet for a minute. "I would have slept with her." Ianto whipped his head up from the page her was writing on. "Just sayin'..."
"You would have Gwen? Even after....never mind." Ianto noticed he was gripping his pen a bit too tightly. "Gwen? Still there?"
"Shut up, Jack. Rhys would kill you. And probably try and make it permanent. And what's that, Jones? After what?"
"After..." Ianto struggled for the words. "After you have shown yourself to be such a valuable member of the team? That it would be rude to use you as a sex object?" He turned to whisper to Jack, has hand over the comms. "Think she's buying this?"
Jack shrugged and started making hissing noises and tapping the comm in his ear. "YOU'RE BREAKING UP - GOING THROUGH A TUNNEL!" He ripped a part off the paper Ianto was writing on, making him growl. Crinkling it, Jack continued. "WE'LL CALL WHEN WE GET THERE!"
"Yes, because that's your job? And yeah right! These things go through tunnels, Jack!"
"GET HENRY OUT OF THE HUB!"
"He's out of the Hub. And I swear you lot think I'm an idiot."
"No more than you think I am…" Jack muttered.
"Says the girl that can't work the comms on her own after how many years?" Ianto shot back.
"Many years. If someone wouldn't keep buying the newest tech every week…I can tell when someone's lying to me though. Can't I, Jack?"
"Ouch, children." Jack started the car again.
"Has Martha left yet?"
"Martha's left already."
"Never mind then."
"Good choice." Jack patted Ianto's leg again.
"You're a bloody ass, Ianto Jones. And Jack, stay away from him. You might get it bitten off!"
"It would only grow back, Gwen. Have a good weekend!"
"Yes, we're going bungee jumping off the Severn Bridge!"
"Make sure Henry wears a helmet!"
Ianto looked as if his head were going to explode. "I'm calling Mam. This is an emergency. She has to understand."
"You think she'll come off her holiday?"
"Jack! This is an emergency. There are literal fires that need to be put out!" He pulled the comm from his ear and dropped it to the floor, resisting the urge to stomp on it. "Fires, Jack. Flames. And weevils!"
"Calm down - lord knows why she likes to rile you like that."
Ianto acted as if he hadn't heard. "And it's only been," he checked his watch, "37 minutes! Thirty-seven minutes, Jack! By the time we get back Cardiff will be in ruins!" He ran his hand through his hair again.
"It'll be fine - but if you want to talk to Mam..."
"Just let me see if Martha answered my message yet." Ianto produced his new phone and punched a few buttons before tuning it over and shaking it. Finding Jack peeking at him, he explained. "I miss my phone, this one is all wonky."
"What happened to it?" Jack looked at the GPS, thinking that it seemed much longer than he remembered.
"My phone? Well...there was an incident…" Ianto finally called up the waiting message and read it to himself. "Hmmm...She says she doesn't know a Major Price either...strange."
"Do I even want to know? And why are you on about Major Price?"
"No you don't." Ianto sent a message back to Martha. "And I like to know everything...this is unsettling." He pushed 'send' and frowned at Jack. "Like it's on the edge of my mind, but I just can't quite..."
Jack smiled to himself at the determination Ianto had. "You'll find out when we get there."
Ianto shook his head to clear it. "Never mind. Lot to cover anyway."
"You probably talked to her one time - over the comms or something."
"Did you remember to fax in our report on the drug?" Ianto flipped through the portfolio. "Couldn't find the transmit sheet on the machine."
"Yes. Actually, Martha did. And tucked the copy into her fancy notebook that she doodled little hearts and 'Mrs. The Doctor' on." Jack chuckled.
"Mrs. The Doctor...hmmm....interesting. So there's that sorted. Ummm...."
"Well, I made her mark out the 'Mrs. Jack Harkness' that used to be there. Told her my heart only belonged to you…"
He obviously rolled his eyes. "I'm sure. Did you hear back from any of our contacts on the other missing person's cases?"
Jack shook his head. "Nothing. It's really starting to bother me."
"Me too. It's probably good that we are all getting together. Pooling resources and all that. Make sure you pay attention this time, yeah?"
"Why do you always say that? I pay attention just fine."
Ianto blinked slowly. "You always pay attention? Like the time you suggested we 'bomb em all' when the topic was the redec in the meeting hall?"
"So I dozed! You were the one who kept me up the night before!"
"Of course. That couldn't have had anything to do with your game of hide and seek going into triple overtime."
"What can I say? I'm a good hider."
"True. The best hiders always wave their hands around whilst shouting 'OVER HERE, OVER HERE'!"
"You love me for it." He flashed a quick smile. "So..."
"Maybe. So we are agreed that you'll pay attention this time? I'm sick of the confusion over who is in charge at these deals."
"I have it all here," Jack tapped his temple. "I know who I outrank."
"In reality or in your mind? Your rank is a touch outdated, after all…"
Jack's answering glare was met with Ianto's biggest smile.
"I am a Captain in the RAF. SEE THE STRIPES?"
"Hey it's your fault for telling that one secretary you were the 'captain of sexy'. She actually put that in her report for UNIT!"
"She didn't! Though, that DOES explain that one email..."
"She did. And you didn't tell me about any email."
"It wasn't important."
Ianto gave a speculative look. "Huh."
Jack felt the need to explain. "It was a picture - and not a flattering one..."
"Well I'll be sure to have a word with her if she's at this meeting too. Very unprofessional."
"That's my protector..."
"Just being useful, sir." Ianto grinned at the paper before him. Distracted by the beep of his phone, Ianto looked down. *If a kid falls off a cliff, they bounce back right? * He turned the phone to show Jack. "Tell me you haven't put her up to this?"
Another beep from the phone. *Nvm. they don't. *
Ianto's fingers flew over the keys. *As of further notice please cease all paychecks issued to the name Gwen Williams (nee Cooper). She is no longer among us.* He smiled a satisfied and smug grin and went back to the texting feature. *Sorry, Gwen. Disregard. Meant to send that elsewhere.*
"What did you answer?"
Before the Welshman could answer, his phone beeped again. *Don't worry. Have the card and the SUV. *
Ianto frowned. *Cancelling card and PC Andy will be there for the SUV* After sending the text to Gwen, he composed one for Andy. *Keep an eye on Gwen yeah? Thanks*
"GLENDA!" Jack barked out suddenly, making Ianto jump and almost drop his cell.
Ianto looked up quickly. "Mam? Where?" He was drawn back by a beep. *What's he going to do to little old me? I'm torchwood, after all. *
Jack shook his head. "Not Mam…"
Beep. *Why? Andy*
*Andy: Gwen + Henry = need I say more?*
"That's Major Price's name."
"Glenda Price?" Beep. *Yes. Andy* "That's weird. Didn't think that was such a common name." *Just do it, please? TW will owe you one. I know how you'd like that.*
Beep. *I'm definitely not doing it now. Andy*
"What's so odd about it?"
"It's just that...never mind…" Beep. *Ianto...is there any reason UNIT are calling me? Just curious. Not the ones in the hub. * Ianto slipped his phone closed and went back to the portfolio. "We have a lot to cover here."
Jack sighed, letting his shoulders slump. "Right. What else?"
Ianto turned the phone so Jack could see the last text from Gwen. "You know anything about that?"
Jack shrugged. "Ask her to answer - could be Martha's direct line? Checking to see we are on course and not, ahem, stopped for refreshments?"
The comm fizzled to life once again. "Jack? Ianto?"
"Here," Jack sighed as he motioned for Ianto to pick up his earpiece and put it back.
"UNIT said that you are over three hours late." Gwen informed them.
That made Ianto look up. "Yeah, Gwen? This better not be another joke."
"I'm not joking."
He looked sharply at the man driving. "I thought you said the meeting was this afternoon, Jack!" He went back to the notes he had in front of him. "Says 2 pm right there?"
"They weren't happy…" Gwen relayed.
"That's what they said," Jack frowned, trying to remember. "It's what I wrote down."
"What did you tell them, Gwen?" He frantically checked the remaining distance on the GPS. "We're still 1/2 hour out…"
"I said that Jack said it was 2pm. Then they said, well, that's Harkness for you, not getting the right times. We said 10am."
"They never said 10!"
"Apparently they sent you an email this morning."
Ianto tried to figure it out. "Well we would have been 1/2 hour early if someone had taken down the message right…" He tried not to glare at Jack. "Have they started without us?"
"I don't know. They sounded annoyed. They said that they are getting very impatient and are beginning to regret inviting you…"
"I hate when people start without me..." Jack muttered, facing away from Ianto.
"I hate when people finish without me," Ianto countered.
"Too much info, Ianto…"
"Sorry, Gwen." Ianto said, his tone conveying otherwise.
"I don't need to know your sex life. I walked in on it once. That was enough."
"You could have walked out quicker," Ianto teased. "Don't think I didn't see that camera flash."
"I remember lingering eyes..." Jack added.
"A little gasp..." Ianto continued, placing a hand on Jack's leg and smiling.
"I was kinda stunned that you were doing it in the bloody hot house, to be honest!" Gwen shrieked.
Ianto winked. "We put the 'hot' in hot house…"
"That we do! Think we could do that again?" Jack covered Ianto's hand with his.
"ANYWAY," Gwen yelped. "You need to call UNIT…"
Ianto mouthed 'later Jack' and squeezed his leg. "Okay. Thanks for the update. I'll call into the meeting, Jack you call Martha let her know we're late?"
"Ouch. Okay - call Martha. Can do," Jack offered.
"Once they realize the amount of research we've got hopefully it will smooth things over." Ianto supposed.
"I'll see you later. I'm off to go clubbing with Rhys..." Gwen put in one last jab.
Ianto's hand tensed again. "I'm going to club you, Gwen!"
Jack couldn't stop himself form making random club mix noises, which prompted Ianto to do an impromptu seat dance. The men smiled at each briefly. Beep. *You owe me big time, Torchwood. I am not your personal nanny. Andy*
Jack flipped open his phone and called out to it. "Martha Jones." Once it had dialed, he patched it into the comms. "Hello, sexy. What is all this about being late? Ianto? Yeah, he's here. Hang on." Jack tapped Ianto's leg to get his attention from the text was typing. "I've got Martha - patch in..."
*Next weevil hunt you'll hear from us.* Ianto finished up his text and hit send. "Yes, Martha?"
Beep. *You're on. Andy.*
Ianto chuckled to Jack. "Andy wants to hunt weevils with us next time."
"Oh, I'm up for a weevil hunt..." Jack laughed at the obvious reference that had escaped Andy.
Martha's voice rang into their ears. "Go, Ianto."
"Did you get any email about a time change for the meeting?"
"No, on my way now."
"Apparently we're 3 hours late." He checked the GPS again. "We're about 20 minutes out. You?"
"I'd say 45 at least. Had to stop for a drink."
"Draw straws to see who calls in with ETA's?"
"I'll do it - you need to go over the notes still, I bet."
Ianto laughed. "You know it, Martha. Thanks. Hopefully that's the last surprise of the day..."