a Torchwood story
Disclaimer: No, I don't own Torchwood. If I did I would treat our beloved characters (all characters) with more respect! Well, here I can!
Summary: There's a new guy working for Torchwood Cardiff, and he didn't come alone… Ianto's second day at work. Written in response to a challenge from McParrot.
given words: wood, knife, cat, carpet, moon, toothpaste, book, wire, shoe, ring, toilet, picture, run, piss, paint, wash, sad, red
A/N: Actually this kind of challenge is called a 10-word-challenge (4 nouns, 4 verbs, 1 colour and 1 feeling), but she came up with so many nouns that they would suffice for three stories. Anyway, I decided to use them all, and this is what I got in the end. This is inspired by and dedicated to McParrot. Happy Birthday!
It would be cool if more writers would join in the challenge. The more the merrier! And now… Enjoy! :D
Rolling his eyes the young man ran up the stairs to the office of his new boss who was shouting for him for the sixth time now.
"Yes, sir?" Ianto asked slightly out of breath.
"You've been exploring the whole Hub for the last two days," Captain Jack Harkness barked. "Did you see a calico cat?"
"Are you sure?" Jack asked again, a bit more friendly this time.
"Yes, sir. I saw the cat food that you put in the bowl, but no cat. Sorry, sir."
"Hmmm." Thoughtfully Jack rubbed his chin. "Yvonne is independent and cunning," he murmured, "but I usually see her at least once a day."
"Maybe she met a male cat," Ianto suggested.
Now Jack looked at Ianto properly for the first time, which was astonishing in itself as the captain thought that the young man was a stunning sight in his neatly tailored suit. Jack seemed to think hard about that possibility before he said, "Probably."
"Anything else I can do for you, sir?"
"You can get us all a cup of coffee," Jack replied and grinned. "Starbucks would go bust without us."
Frowning deeply Ianto looked out of the round window and up to the gallery. There in the kitchen area stood a magnificent coffee machine.
"Why don't you make your own coffee?" he asked.
"With that old monster?" Jack chuckled. "That doesn't make anything but washing water. So, please, go to Starbucks."
"Okay, sir," Ianto complied, unwilling to risk the job he had worked so hard to get, but making a mental note to try and test the machine later.
"Hey, newbie!" another male voice called out for him. Ianto knew that he was meant. There was no one else who was new and he was so sure of it because there were only four other people working here besides him. There was Captain Jack Harkness, leader of the Institute's Cardiff branch, Suzie Costello, his second in command, and Dr. Toshiko Sato, the team's computer expert, or better computer genius. And then there was Dr. Owen Harper who could, or would, not remember Ianto's name.
"Newbie!" the doctor yelled through the central Hub.
Ianto could hardly withstand the urge to roll his eyes. Jack smirked. "He'll get used to you."
Now Ianto did roll his eyes.
"Go and see what he's up to," Jack said. "Maybe he's just on caffeine withdrawal."
"Yes, sir," Ianto said obediently and turned on his heels to comply with the order.
This was not really what he had expected to do when he stalked Captain Harkness into hiring him, but he had no choice whatsoever. He knew that the Cardiff office was smaller than Torchwood London, but he did not know that there were only three team members plus the Captain. Ianto had been more than surprised when he found out about that little fact. Still he continued to worm his way into getting hired. Who would have thought that Captain Harkness would resist so much? It was a lot of hard work to convince Harkness to hire him and now that Ianto was here he did everything but what he expected to do.
Well, except tidying up the archives that was. And they needed tidying up. Desperately.
Ianto had practically begged to get hired, even offering his service as a butler when Harkness remained uninterested. So he did not have a reason to complain when he left the captain's office to find out what Dr. Harper wanted this time. With long strides Ianto walked over to the doctor's workstation.
"There you are newbie," Owen Harper said, leaning back in his office chair. "Clean this up."
Raising one eyebrow Ianto let his gaze drift over the tabletop that was scattered with all kinds of stuff. Ianto could identify a few books, but other than that everything could either be needed or garbage.
"Are you sure that you want that?" Ianto asked wryly. "Because I can't guarantee that I won't throw something away that you need."
"You tricked Jack into hiring you, newbie, so you're not stupid. Now go ahead."
So Ianto went to get a bin bag and returned to Dr. Harper's desk.
"C'mon! What are you waiting for?"
"I'm not your servant," Ianto stated firmly as he picked up a few used paper cups and dropped them into the black bin bag.
"Oh, and I thought that was exactly what you were hired for," Dr. Harper sneered. "What do you think general support officer means?"
"For support, not for slavery," Ianto replied, throwing the last items he could definitely identify as garbage into the bag.
"Doesn't change that you're here to do exactly what a butler does," Harper taunted. "That's what you are, a teaboy. Yeah, that fits, you're our teaboy."
Knowing that every answer could only make it worse Ianto ignored him. Then he picked up a few things on Costello and Sato's desks, too, and took the bag with him when he left to get the ordered coffee.
Twenty minutes later the proximity alarm announced his return. Ianto went directly to the captain's office to supply him first, then he served the ladies before he brought Dr. Harper his drink. The doctor did not even thank Ianto or look up from his work.
From there Ianto went to the toilet before he returned to the archives. The mess the people here called archives would keep him busy for months, Ianto was sure of that. After sorting two stacks of files Ianto turned to a few artefacts, two made of metal and another a wooden box. Ianto had seen the former items before when he was working in London and put them on the shelf for commodity items. The box was another subject. As he could not clearly identify it Ianto put it back on the desk to have a closer look at it tomorrow.
"Teaboy!" Harper's voice thundered through the tunnel. "Come up here! Now!"
Once more rolling his eyes Ianto closed the file in front of him and got up from his chair. He did not rush up to the central Hub but walked. Whatever it was, Ianto was sure it could wait. When he entered he was greeted by three colleagues holding open umbrellas.
Ianto's eyes widened. Why the bloody hell would they use umbrellas inside the Hub?
A second later his question was answered by a white shot across the runway to the water tower that splashed everything white as if it was covered by toothpaste.
"Where's Jack?" Ianto asked and earned incredulous looks.
"He let your pet out," Owen growled. "And it rewards us with this!"
Ianto looked up as he heard the pterodactyl screech as if she knew that they were talking about her. In flight she looked magnificent.
"Cool," Ianto said. "So it's big enough for her to soar."
"But not to shit," Owen snapped. "It's your pet. Get it housebroken."
Ianto's features derailed. He had no idea how he was supposed to do that. He knew, though, who would be the one to wash away the droppings that looked like white paint and smelled like rotting fish.
"Ianto?" Jack shouted as he came out of a service tunnel, certainly returning from Myfanwy's nest.
"Yes, sir?" Ianto replied automatically.
"I know, sir."
And in the next second he ducked reflexively under one umbrella together with Toshiko…
…while Jack was left in the line of fire…
…and got shot right across the head.
Stunned the team stood under their respective umbrellas… before they burst out with laughter at the shocked expression on Jack's face.
Ianto, though, turned a blazing red.
Dr. Harper looked like he pissed himself laughing while the women slowly calmed down again.
Captain Jack Harkness still stood on the same spot as if his shoes were glued to the concrete. His mouth opened and closed like a fish's on dry land.
A telephone rang, but no one paid attention.
It was really a grotesque picture how Jack stood stock still on the same spot, still unable to move, gasping for breath.
"Teaboy, your pet shot our captain!" Harper cheered, doubling over with laughter again.
"Ia-Ianto?" Jack finally mumbled.
"Yes, sir?" Ianto panted. He still was dark red, knowing that it was his fault as he had talked Harkness into catching the pterosaur. Well, and then he wanted to keep her as a guard dog while he refused to hire me.
"I… I… I…"
"You need a shower, sir," Ianto said.
Their three colleagues burst into renewed fits of laughter at Ianto's deadpan observation.
High under the ceiling Myfanwy screeched again and it sounded like mockery to the team.
"I think… maybe she ate Yvonne," Jack stammered. Slowly he turned his head to face Ianto, his eyes still wide as saucers. "We need to find out!"
"Find out how, sir?" Ianto asked, though he had a suspicion.
"Yesss!" Dr. Harper cheered. "I'll prepare for the autopsy!"
"You will not perform an autopsy on her!" both women screamed with shock.
"No, he won't," Jack said. "But we can't brush it under the carpet either. So you'll examine her droppings, Ianto."
"Each of them," Jack told him earnestly and Myfanwy screeched her confirmation.
"Noooo!" Dr. Harper screamed, starting to cough as his voice broke. He darted toward his workstation, but it was too late, the whole tabletop and the monitors being splashed white.
"Um, I'll go have that shower," Jack mumbled. "Anyone want to…"
"Join?" Costello interrupted him. "No, Jack."
"Be careful," the captain nodded at Dr. Harper. "Now he's going to be pretty testy."
He always is a live wire, Ianto thought and let his gaze drift through the Hub. We need to get her back into her nest before she hits something important.
So Ianto headed for the closet to get a broom, bucket, and a cleaning rag, Jack vanished in the tunnel that led to the showers, and the ladies went up to their desks to protect them with the umbrellas.
Changing his mind about the order of his tasks Ianto climbed up the stairs to the kitchen area to get one of Myfanwy's fishes. From there he went up to her nest and called for her. Waving the fish he stood at the opening and watched her soar.
"C'mon, Myfanwy!" he shouted. "Come, felysion, fish for you!"
Thankfully the pterosaur reacted to him and flew to the opening. Ianto backed off and lured her further in. Once she caught her fish Ianto closed the gate.
"There you go, felysion. I'll have more fish for you later."
Screeching the pterodactyl followed him to the door. She opened and closed her beak and picked at him.
"Awww, I know. You shouldn't have so much of it," Ianto said.
Myfanwy kept on prodding him, though, until Ianto caved and gave her a chocolate bar.
"That's all. You won't get more."
Ianto returned downstairs and grabbed the bucket to fill it with water. This done he carried everything to Dr. Harper's workstation first, knowing that the computer and monitors needed to be cleaned as soon as possible. The doctor was wiping at a screen with a wet cloth, but he rather spread the remains than to remove them.
"Now look at the Hub, teaboy! Look what it did to it! This dino is worse than all pigeons of Trafalgar Square together," Owen growled.
Ianto stopped in his tracks to throw an indignant glance at the doctor and said, "Actually calling pterosaurs dinosaurs is not correct."
"Oh, really?" Owen huffed.
"Yes, the term dinosaur is properly restricted to a certain group of terrestrial reptiles with a unique upright stance. Pterosaurs as well as aquatic reptiles like ichthyosaurs or plesiosaurs are excluded."
"Whatever it is called properly," Harper snarled, "it doesn't belong here. It would be better off dead."
Harper's snide words cut Ianto like a knife.
"How can you say that?" he yelled at Harper. "It's not her fault that she got stranded in this time!"
The girls looked up from what they were working on. They, too, had wet cloths and a bucket and cleaned part of the gallery. Both were astonished that the new guy raised his voice.
"As I said, it's your pet. Train it not to shit on our equipment."
"She needs training, that's true!" Ianto huffed. "But then, so do you and I haven't heard anyone propose putting you down."
Harper gaped, shocked by the young Welshman's insult. The girls giggled. Embarrassed, the doctor grumbled, "I don't shit all over the Hub."
"As good as, you leave a trail wherever you go just to see if I will continue to clean up after you, and don't think I don't know it," Ianto replied. "We really can't keep her inside forever. She needs to fly! Once I have her trained to come when I call, I'll start letting her out and get her housebroken."
"You mean Hub-broken," Suzie snickered.
"You can't let her out! She might eat people!" Owen gasped in horror.
"Pterosaurs eat fish, Owen," Toshiko Sato threw in.
Ianto glanced at her thankfully.
"Yeah, and we could let her out by night. She won't be spotted so easily by moonlight."
"Sure, as you won't let your pet out at all," Harper grumbled. "Now let me know when you cleaned this mess up. I'll be in the lab."
And with that Harper vanished in the med bay.
Taking a deep breath Ianto resigned himself to his fate. He had wanted to catch the prehistoric animal and he and Jack had caught it. He had wanted to work for Torchwood Cardiff and he finally got his wish granted. He had wanted to keep Myfanwy and Jack allowed it.
He had no reason to complain.
So he did not complain. Instead he dunked the cloth again and started to work.
"We'll help you," Toshiko said, continuing to wipe at the railing.
Still Ianto took the brunt of the cleaning. At some point Owen Harper vanished. Suzie Costello was the second one who left. In the end Ianto needed about four hours to clean the central Hub spotless. When he had put broom and bucket away and sat down on the sofa behind the workstations for a moment, he found a fresh cup of coffee and a muffin on the coffee table.
'I went to get coffee for Jack,' Ianto read Dr. Sato's neat handwriting, 'and brought one for you, too. See you tomorrow. Toshiko Sato.'
Ianto looked at the captain's office, but Harkness was nowhere to be seen. So he drank his coffee and ate the muffin. For a moment he leaned back in the cushions. Just a short pause.
When he woke up again Captain Harkness was towering over him.
"I'm sorry, sir!" Ianto blurted out. "I didn't mean to fall asleep. I'll finish up real quick, sir!"
"Relax, Ianto," Harkness said.
"No." He glanced at his watch. "It's late. I need to feed her. Maybe I can start teaching her to leave her droppings only at one place."
"Okay," Jack said, amused, and watched him go. After a moment's hesitation he followed the young Welshman.
"What are you doing here, sir?" Ianto asked when Jack entered the tunnel where they had put Myfanwy's nest.
"I wanted to see how she's doing," Jack lied.
Jack smirked and kept watching Ianto feed the prehistoric animal, how he talked to her and patted her from time to time. It fascinated him.
"Okay," Ianto then said. "I'm done. Now I need a shower."
"You know where they are," Jack said and went to Myfanwy to hug her. "Hm, I need a shower, too. She really smells."
Ianto looked at his boss warily. He was sure he did that on purpose.
Together they went down to the vaults where the locker rooms, showers, and staff quarters were. Like the other three Ianto had a locker there now and he went there to get fresh clothes, jeans and a t-shirt, to replace his suit that had suffered during cleaning. It would need dry cleaning now.
When they met in the shower room Ianto kept his distance to Captain Harkness. Sure, from time to time he glanced at him, admiring his perfectly built body and trying to divert the assessing gaze that rested on him, but most of the time he ignored him.
Or tried to ignore him. It was very hard to ignore Captain Harkness, especially in this state. Especially as he was showing clear physical signs of his attraction to Ianto.
Ianto thought that Harkness was impressive and could not deny that he sensed an almost animalistic attraction. So he hurried up, towelling himself off quickly, and got dressed. Surprisingly Harkness finished even faster and left for his office, mumbling something about that he should not leave the Hub vacated for so long.
As quickly as possible Ianto then finished up as well. Upon leaving the locker room Ianto turned to the vaults. He had another thing to do before he left.
"You're not going back to the archives, are you?" Jack Harkness asked.
Ianto gasped. He did not expect the captain to still be down here, so the sudden sound caught him off guard.
"No, sir," he answered automatically.
"I'm sorry. Did I scare you?" Harkness gently asked.
"No, sir. I just thought you were upstairs."
"I… was," Harkness replied. His eyes rested on Ianto and the young man shuddered under the intense gaze.
Oh, no, he thought as he felt his body react to the silent challenge in Jack's eyes. There's that attraction again! God, no. What's he doing now?
Jack came even closer.
Now Ianto could smell the soap Jack had used and that other smell, the smell he could not forget ever since the night they caught the pterosaur.
"You don't want to go already?" Jack whispered, putting one hand on Ianto's shoulder.
The touch seared Ianto through his t-shirt that did not protect him as well as his suit. No! Don't let me react to him like that! He choked. Betrayal! It's pure and simple betrayal!
Still he could not help himself when Jack stepped up his seduction several notches.
Ianto could not call it anything else. He felt Jack's arms around his waist and a hand brushing over his back. His gaze drifted to the door he had been about to pass through and was at once distracted by Jack's ministrations again.
And then Jack kissed him.
It was a slow kiss, exploring and tasting, Jack obviously taking delight in the intimate gesture.
Ianto enjoyed it, too. Before he knew what he was doing he embraced the captain in return. The last thing he thought before he caved to Jack's longing was that he was rather sad that it happened like this when he was surrendering to Jack not only out of desire but also out of necessity to keep his secret hidden from the captain.
felysion = sweet
A/N: Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed it. If anyone wants to offer me 10 new words I might come up with "Day Three" or something else. ;)