Title: The Life and Times of Ianto Jones as Witnessed by a Distinguished Feline (1/12)
Pairing: Jack/Ianto main, but there's a whole lot of everything in the mix.
Summary: Moses had a good life. In fact, he was inclined to believe he had an exceptionally good life. And then he lost Estelle. Now he has Ianto, and he thinks maybe it was always meant to be. Witness the life and loves of Ianto Jones through the eyes of one extremely observant feline.
Disclaimer: RTD and BBC owns them...I cry a little on the inside typing those words.
Warnings/Spoilers: Oh...just about everything. Also, there is minor bashing...but it hardly counts, it's from a cat ^_^.
Authors notes: First Torchwood fic! A different look into everyone's favorite Tea-boy, through a distinctly different pair of eyes. Reviewss are adored and cherished and I would love to hear what everyone thinks! Enjoy!
Part One: Origins of the Aforementioned Feline, aka, Moses
Moses had a good life. In fact, he was inclined to think he had an exceptionally good life. There was no denying such a simple fact, and he did like to relish in the knowledge, curling up on a couch or spot of sunshine on the floor, purring his contentment for all to hear. That was how he was currently spending his afternoon, curled upside down on his back, swishing his fluffy tail back and forth as a beam of warm light warmed his black and white fur. His eyes were closed in a lazy, satisfied squint, his paws and ears twitching spasmodically, evidence of a most wonderful dream most privileged felines, like himself, were privy too. The opening of the front door awakened him, but he did not move, simply waited for his Estelle to find him, which she always did. After several minutes though, he rolled up, annoyed at the absence of his Estelle and set off in search, sleepiness all but forgotten in light of his new mission.
He found her sitting in his early-morning-nap room, but she wasn't alone. Oh no, she had two other Humans with her, one he recognized from other times (the one who smelled peculiar and stomped around much too loudly for Moses' tastes), and another, female, who had an oddly pinched look on her face. Moses jumped onto the unoccupied chair and sat primly, tail twitching in slight irritation at the Humans distracting his Estelle's from scratching behind his ears. His Estelle finally noticed him, after an impressive purr that Moses was quite proud of, and introduced him to the female, Gwen, while she focused her attention back on discussing her faeries with the Stomper. Moses didn't understand his Estelle's interest in all the odd toys and pictures that scattered the floors and perches, but that didn't bother him, they made his Estelle happy. Humans worried about many strange things, things that Moses had no interest in. He could be napping instead, and if the Humans were truly clever, so would they.
"Hello there, kitty," the female, Gwen, simpered. Moses glanced at her and edged away when she reached out to pet him. "Oi, come here you, don't you want to be pet? He's not very friendly, is he?"
The Stomper replied in his usual loud manner, but Moses didn't concern himself with him, leaping off the chair to his Estelle's lap, who had finally started patting the seat beside her, not giving Gwen's pout one thought. He was a cat, of course he wanted to be pet, but that didn't mean he wanted her to do so. He purred deeply and arched his neck for his Estelle's extremely talented fingers, squinting his eyes in amusement as the female Gwen gave him an annoyed look before focusing her attention back on the Stomper. Moses studied her for another moment, amused at pure adoration she fixed the Stomper with, who in turn was staring at his Estelle with adoration. Moses glared in warning, with a kind of silent menace only a cat could achieve, at the Stomper. He did not share, no matter how much his Estelle was fond of the Stomper.
After a few blissful minutes of scratching, he was shooed away as the Humans and his Estelle moved their conversation outside. He sulked and let out an aggrieved meow before heading back to his sunspot. It was such an inconvenience whenever the Stomper came to visit, but he would bear it with grace and indifference; the Humans didn't deserve anymore than that. He curled back up in a tight ball, tucking his paws under his chest and wrapping his fluffy tail around his body. He breathed out and closed his eyes, fully content to take a second afternoon nap until his Estelle's visitors left. He smiled as much as a cat could and let the warm sunlight soak deep into his skin, breath deepening into rumbling purrs once more.
Correction, Moses had had a good life. He mewled piteously under one of his Estelle's lavender bushes, crying in a manner only cats could as he stared at his broken Estelle's body, drenched with horrible water, still and unmoving. He really hadn't meant to stay outside so long, and he knew he should've heeded his Estelle's calls for him to come in, but by that time, the mocking laughter and fierce winds were too much for him to face. And then the rain came. His Estelle's cries scared him and he hid, hid away until it was all over and only his Estelle was left, completely drenched and frozen. He pressed flat to the ground and yowled again, a sound full of mourning that set off a few neighboring cats in the area.
Having no real concept of time beyond the increasing moments his Estelle laid still, Moses had no idea how long he stayed underneath the lavender bush, but stomping, thundering feet startled him and he jerked upright, tail puffing out. He felt a hiss build up in the back of his throat, wondering if the flying Things, his Estelle's faeries, were back again, but he swallowed down the fear as the Humans from before showed up. Moses didn't let his muscles relax, but he did begin to inch out from the bush, watching with curious green eyes as the Stomper collapsed to his knees and gathered his Estelle into his arms. The female, Gwen, Moses remembered, kneeled beside them, and murmured soft words to the Stomper, who Moses was sad to see had tears on his cheeks.
"It wasn't your Dad, all those years ago, it was you."
"We once made a vow, to love each other until the day we died."
Moses, against his better judgment, let his muscles loosen and he moved ever further out from his sanctuary, ears twitching back and forth from curious to unsure to submissive. He may not have liked the Stomper that much and he may not have liked the female with him, but Stomper had loved his wonderful Estelle and he mourned like Moses did. The Stomper, Jack his Estelle always called him, cradled her body for a time that seemed endless to Moses before he spoke quietly with the other one, something about contacting her family, not going in a morgue (whatever that was, Moses had no idea), police and other such nonsense. Deciding that now was as good a time as ever, Moses slinked out into the open, moved close to the Humans, sat down and meowed. If the whole situation of losing his Estelle wasn't so very tragic and horrible, Moses probably would have found amusement in the sheer surprise registering on the Stomper, Jack's, and Gwen's faces. As it was though, he could barely manage to perk his ears up, although one did flicker in annoyance when he was picked up off the ground quiet suddenly and squeezed against an ample chest.
"Oh you poor sweetheart," Gwen cooed. Moses didn't squirm too much, but he was not pleased with becoming a plush toy for the over emotional Human who hadn't really known how precious his Estelle really was. "Were you out here when—well, it's all right. You'll be just fine."
Moses meowed again, big, sad eyes focusing again on his broken little Estelle. They moved up to the Stomper's, staring at him, not allowing a distraction such as a stray leaf or random cricket to pull his eyes away from the Man. Moses could hear Gwen arguing how they couldn't just leave him here, how he wouldn't survive on his own with Estelle gone (which Moses found highly untrue…but he probably wouldn't be happy), but he continued to stare at Stom—Jack. His eyes were full of loss, much like Moses', and he pressed another, gentle, kiss into his Estelle's forehead before looking up at Gwen.
"The shelter would probably be the best idea—"
The shelter? Moses did not like that idea at all. He knew all about shelters, he knew about cramped little cells with too small litter-boxes and cold, steel walls. Well, that just wasn't acceptable.
"We can't just dump him off somewhere!"
"Well then you take him!"
"We can't have animals in our flat, Jack; besides, Rhys is allergic."
Jack was silent, and Moses wanted to be let down but he still didn't squirm. This was the deciding moment; he needed to prove what an exceptional cat he truly was. "Don't even think about it, Gwen."
"What? There's enough room for a Pterodactyl but not one little kitty? Jack—"
"Pteradon, first off, and second no. He'd be better off at a shelter. One reason, the Pteradon. Second reason, alien threats on a daily basis. Third reason, Owen hates cats, and fourth, I'm not feeding and cleaning up after him."
And then, Moses felt Gwen take in a deep breath, as if steeling herself for using a secret weapon. He was definitely uncomfortable in her arms…cats were not meant to be held unless the holder was seated and reading a book; then, it was all right. "Jack…Estelle loved Moses, do you really think she'd want him just thrown into some shelter, where he'd probably be put down after not getting adopted?"
Again, Moses longed to correct the clearly deluded Human, because he was very adoptable, but the idea of a shelter was still not appealing so he stayed silent and continued to stare imploringly at Jack. He could sense weakness, the flicker in Jack's eyes as he looked down at his Estelle with tenderness and back at Moses, and while Moses was still quite sad and upset over his Estelle, he wasn't about to get dropped off a shelter if he could help it. This Man had loved his Estelle very much, Moses loathed to agree with this but there was no denying the facts, and while he would not be the same as his wonderful Estelle, Moses had a good hunch that he might be a fine substitute. He meowed again, this one so low and pitiful sounding that Moses was slightly embarrassed to have made such a sound (but desperate times called for desperate measures and cats are not above fighting dirty), but it seemed to have the desired effect. The last resistance sagged away from Jack's shoulders and he was once again a figure of overwhelming defeat, sadness and regret. He had no more argument left in him. Moses felt nothing but victory.
"You don't want the cat to go to a shelter, fine, but he's your responsibility. Make sure you keep him out of the main part of the Hub—I'm not cleaning up his guts if Myfanwy decides to eat him for wandering around."
And then, without preamble, Jack gently laid Moses' poor, beautiful Estelle back on the ground and whirled away, his boots stomping squishily through the very specific area of mud and sodden leaves, shoulders hunched in. Gwen sighed in a rather annoying way, to Moses ears at least, before she adjusted him in her arms (which Moses also did not enjoy, jostling cats who do not want to be held never remedy the problem, merely reminds the cat of how much he or she does not like to be held) and started out of the garden that Moses had known for a good portion of his life. Moses' tail flicked back and forth as he stared at the fading vision of his Estelle until the very ground seemed to swallow her up and hide her even from Moses' sharp eyes. His ears swiveled back, almost seeming to curl into his head, and he let out one final yowl for his departed, ignoring the shushing noise made by Gwen, imparting the last gift he had for his beloved Estelle who had been the best Human he had ever known.
Eyeing the black car with trepidation (historically, cats were not fans of cars, and while some defied the rule, Moses was not among them—cars were one step above a sink bath in his opinion), Moses was practically tossed into the back part of the car. He peeked over the edge and out the window for just a moment, just long enough to see flashing blue and red lights zoom up in front of what had been his spots of sunshine, comfortable chairs, and Estelle. The car moved beneath his paws and Moses sat back on his haunches, curled up on the seat, and rested his head on his paws. He closed his eyes and hoped that the next turn of his life was filled with enough sunshine as his previous.
Moses had really thought that his life had taken the worst turn it could when his Estelle had been taken away from him. He had been horribly, horribly wrong.
Gone were his napping spots were sunlight filtered into his fur, no more warm scratches behind the ear to welcome his entrance, and certainly no more delicious scraps of meat leftover from sandwiches. Instead, he had cold, metal walkways, barely tolerated dry food that tasted to similar to canine food (Moses did not like to either think nor remember how it was he knew what canine food tasted like, but suffice it to say that he knew very well), and too many missed chances for these Humans to pet him. Granted, he wasn't sure he would even want any of these Humans to pet him, but he was beginning to get desperate and would be happy even with the Human who was always in white and had thrown questionable material at Moses. He supposed he shouldn't have been peeking in his tiled area, knocking over knick-knacks and generally causing a quiet respectable ruckus, but that was no reason for the Man, Owen they called him, to throw green slime at him. Completely unnecessary, and that green slime had not tasted pleasant when Moses had to clean himself later.
The small Human, Tosh, was much kinder at first and Moses had had high hopes for her, but unfortunately that had not panned out well either. He hadn't been aware of how possessive Humans could be over such silly things (like hair bands and snaking, colorful bits of string that hid underneath every surface of his new…habitat), and after one small mistake of chewing on a string he shouldn't have, he was banned from her area as well. Moses, failing to understand the reasoning behind such hysterical fretting, had looked out for his own skin and avoided her as much as he avoided the Man in White after that.
Gwen, the Human who had brought him into this whole mess (Moses had since decided that the shelter HAD been the better of two evils and proceeded to absolve himself from any part in the events that had led to him to where he was currently staying), had seemingly forgotten her promise to him and to the Stomper. Moses glared at her when he saw her arguing another 'do-gooder' case, tail swishing back and forth violently from his perch in the Stomper's room, which he had conquered as his own (no sunshine, but at least it had a rug). Of course, the Stomper, Jack, effectively ignored him, as he had promised that night Moses lost his Estelle, which aggravated Moses even further. If this place didn't have the giant Bat that flew and screeched around the ceiling at differing intervals, Moses knew he would have taken his chance with the streets.
And, that was where Moses could be found now, curled up despondently in an empty office, bemoaning the cruel twist of fate his life had taken. Sleep, for once in all his life, eluded him (which, by feline standards, was a thing unheard of) and after several fruitless attempts and positions, Moses got to his feet, a low growl rumbling deep within his chest. He explored the cluttered office, jumping on surfaces he would surely be pushed off if a Human were to be present, sniffing strange smelling objects until his interest was lost. He cocked his head to the side and swiveled his ears as a sound echoed in his sharp ears, different and intriguing. Moses eyed the door to the office for a moment, weighing the pros and cons for venturing out into an area he had learned was not pleasing, before his curiosity (the bane of any and all cats) won out. He padded to the door, which was left slightly ajar, and squeezed his fluffy body out, following his ears to the source of the noise.
Moses made sure to keep a wary eye out for anything that could be threatening as he slinked, low to the ground, along the metal walkways and down winding staircases. He was careful to avoid the water that seemed to accumulate around the habitat, and made a point of it to completely avoid the tiled room where the Man in White worked. It didn't take Moses very long to follow the noise until he came to another slightly ajar door, one that was off to the side and headed even deeper under the ground. Meowing once in success, Moses pushed the door open enough for him to fit through with his head and made his way down into a musty and old looking corridor. There was little light, but Moses didn't need it, navigating down the corridor, the walls morphing into metal cabinets the further he traveled. Moses turned a corner and stopped in surprise at the new Human he saw crouched over a cabinet, rifling through papers with a fixed look on his face.
Moses crept, cautiously, closer, taking in the Human and assessing any threat he could possibly have. Now, Moses may not have been allowed to travel very far within his new habitat, and he had not been there very long, but seeing a new face was definitely embarrassing, and Moses wondered briefly if he was new, like he was. He stopped by the man's extremely clean shoes (Moses had to admire a Human with an appreciation for cleanliness), sat properly and looked up, attempting to wait patiently for this one to notice him. It took a little longer than Moses had patience for, so he let out a soft and friendly meow—which promptly caused the Human to startle, jerk upright, and nearly step on Moses' tail. He stared up in his own state of alarm as the Human seemed to realize how incredibly silly he was acting, straightened his clothing and then look down at Moses.
Moses was surprised that this cold and horrible place had such a young one, the Human looking barely out of his late kitten years (as cats measure, which was slightly younger than Moses' own four years), and while he had initially looked quite surprised, a soft smile spread across his face. Moses thought it looked like sunlight, which might have been a wee bit dramatic but Moses thought he was deserving a bit of dramatics after the past two weeks.
"Are you lost?"
Moses thought there were many different ways to interpret such a question, because in a metaphoric sense he was hopelessly lost in a world 'after' his Estelle, but it was also important to recognize that he was not lost within the new home he had been thrust into. Deciding it was simply too complicated to explain, Moses responded with a meow that bespoke indifference with a smattering of curiosity, head tilting to the side and bobbing in a show of his friendliness. It seemed to work because the next thing he knew, a very clever and dexterous couple of fingers were scratching behind his ears and under his collar, the Human crouched down to reach him, not caring about the dirtiness of the floor on his very clean pants. Moses purred, long and deep in a way that sounded like the rumbling of an engine, feeling euphoric and generally quite pleased with himself and his decision to have wandered out of the Stomper's office. When the fingers began to detract, Moses let out a meow that clearly said 'you right there, you're not done petting me!' and followed after, back arching and rubbing against a bent leg and tail brushing against the hand. The Human smiled a bit wider and returned to scratching and petting, his other hand reaching out for the silver gleam of Moses' collar. Moses tilted his head back and purred all the louder.
"Moses, is it? Well, Moses, not that I don't appreciate your company down here but I think you might be more comfortable someplace that doesn't smell like week-old, wet mold."
Moses wholeheartedly agreed, (the damp corridor's wet-dog scent left many things to be desired) but he continued to purr and let the young Human pet him for a wonderfully pleasant length of time. When the fingers left for the second time, Moses let them go without a fuss, meowing and purring his thanks as the Human smiled down at him and inclined his head in a polite gesture. Moses decided he quite liked this Human dressed in strangely formal clothing, who seemed as out of place within this cold habitat as he did, so instead of wandering off when the Human turned back to his dropped files and papers, Moses nodded and curled up next to him. He didn't even mind the cold, probably filthy ground. The Human smiled down at him as he continued fiddling with papers and drawers nodding his head as if in resignation, like he knew he would not win any further argument against the cat (which was entirely correct and it showed Moses even further the cleverness of this one) and that it was much easier to just concede.
"Suit yourself then."
Moses purred and shut his eyes, head resting against soft leather of his new Human's shoe, for once not missing sunshine patches or the soft laughter of his Estelle.
Moses and his new companion, whose name he had since learned was Ianto (which was an unusual name, but Moses had gotten used to it and now quite liked it), had established a sort of pattern for the next week after their initial encounter. The other Humans within the 'Hub' were often off running around the city, popping back in for moments before disappearing again (with the sometimes exception of the little one, who then was always on her computer), leaving a rather lonely and sad Ianto behind. Moses thought that the other Humans were unbearably rude (especially the Man in White but that really didn't surprise Moses) to the young Human in an ungrateful kind of way, so he tried his hardest to express his overflowing thanks. This mostly consisted of purrs, leg rubbings and napping with him while he shut himself away in the dark corridors, but Moses thought that was more than sufficient. And, apparently, so did Ianto.
After being set free from the office (by a smirking Ianto, usually after the others had left or were busy because he had knocked over a rather important vial the other day in an effort to chase a laser pen and had been 'grounded'…again, a reason to despise the Man in White) he enjoyed his freedom by following after Ianto as he tidied up the disgustingly messy 'Hub.' This was usually punctuated with Ianto recounting details about what was going on, which may have seemed silly, as felines didn't worry about such things as 'Jiroon ambassadors' or 'rabid hounds looking suspiciously like Weevil hybrids,' but Moses appreciated it nonetheless. Ianto would leave him in the office for longer than necessary sometimes, as it was his duty to feed the very large Bat Moses despised. He usually growled his displeasure at this, as Ianto always returned smelling very odd to Moses' sensitive nose, and he then proceeded to rub his own scent all over. Ianto apparently found this terribly amusing (for reasons Moses had no clue over; as a feline, he was much nicer to smell and pet than some huge flying menace) and would tease him to not be jealous. Moses pretended he had no idea what the young one meant.
Later on, Moses would accompany Ianto up in the much nicer room that was above the metal habitat, behaving indulgently to any old women or lost tourists who wandered in. Ianto would feed him (and Moses was happy to report that he no longer was forced to eat canine food, as once Ianto learned that Moses was not a stray but a new resident of this 'Torchwood' he returned the next day with a bag full of luxuries Moses would have wept for if he could) and then, together, they would head off to the underground 'archives.' All in all, Moses would say this place was now well and beyond better than the shelter, and as to Ianto, well, Moses didn't miss his Estelle nearly so much when he was around, talking and petting.
After a week of blissful normality, however, everything pretty much went to shit (as Humans were wont to say in particularly unpleasant situations). In all honesty, Moses had not meant to cause the near apocalypse by simply using a very large, very soft grey coat as a kneading patch. And while he vaguely remembered the Stomper wearing something similar, he could hardly be expected to remember something as trivial as that. Now, he was facing imminent doom, cornered and pressed back into a wall as the Stomper yelled at Gwen about responsibility and she shouted back that with all that 'the job' demanded it was unfair to expect her to always watch over him, meaning Moses. Now, Moses thought that wasn't a very good argument (as he had taken care of himself and then, later, Ianto had helped), but considering the very bad state currently going on, he said nothing. He silently cursed his weakness for all dark fabrics, soft and perfect for kneading, sure that he had sealed his fate and was now destined to life in a dank, foul shelter when, thank merciful Goddess (Bast, thank you very much… felines had their own deities), there was his Ianto in the doorway, carrying a tray and looking on with a bland expression.
Moses slinked over to Ianto after he set the tray down on a nearby surface, and rubbed against his leg, purring deeply in a worried, but supremely relieved fashion. Ianto glanced down at him, to the argument, and finally he noticed the coat resting on the desk, frayed threads and claws marks easily visible. He arched his brow down at Moses, who had the grace to look properly abashed, but after a few moments of the chastising stare, he smiled softly and shook his head. He leaned down and picked Moses up (in the proper fashion, not like some sack of potatoes) , waited for a moment, and then cleared his throat when it was clear that neither shouting Human was going to let up.
"If I may, sir, leaving a large coat lying on the floor is not the best idea when a cat is boarding in your office."
Moses purred in agreement, happy that someone understood that his resistance could only do so much against such a temptation.
"Well, the coat was here first, it gets to go where it wants."
Moses thought it was quite amusing, watching the usual eloquent, unflappable, and generally collected Stomper reduced to such childish antics due to the youngest kitten under his command (Moses had since determined that Stomper was some sort of alpha leader, a Momma Cat, which therefore made all the others his kittens…he was pretty sure that the Humans wouldn't like being referred to as kittens, but since when had Moses cared what Humans would like or not?).
"Might I suggest, because of the coat's stubbornness, that you no longer keep the cat cooped up here then?"
Wait…what? Moses suddenly did not like where this conversation was going. Gwen sputtered some about how they couldn't just throw him out after taking him in, which Moses fully agreed with, but the Stomper's expression was different. His irritation and frustration had faded, leaving a more contemplative expression, but Moses knew it wasn't directed towards the idea of him being tossed into a shelter. No, it was fixated on Ianto, Moses' Ianto, and he felt a growl begin deep within his chest, but kept it at bay. He was looking at Ianto curiously, an expectant and almost hopeful look, as if the Stomper, Jack, had been waiting and hesitantly wanting this to come about, but feared it wouldn't. Moses twisted his head back to look up at his Ianto, taking in the perpetual sadness that had been there since he had befriended him but purring at the affection and he could see there too, for him.
"Do you have something in mind?"
"I've always liked cats, sir."
And, just like that, Moses' life changed yet again. And, curling up next to his Ianto after a long day, purring deep as he sorted through a variety of paperwork that was undoubtedly for the 'Torchwood' place, Moses decided that it couldn't have happened about better if he planned it himself. Yes, he knew that his Ianto wasn't home as often as his Estelle had been, and he knew that his Ianto was still terribly sad (especially since he slept curled at the end of the bed and witnessed that sadness transform his sleep into wakefulness), and that it was hard, but it was okay. Because his Ianto needed Moses, needed him to watch over him, purr for him, and nap against him on the couch.
So, when his Ianto was half-carried into the house late one night by an equally haggard looking Stomper, Moses was ready…