To Torchwood, With Love
Disclaimer: All names and trademarks recognised as "Torchwood" do not belong to me; I've just borrowed the characters for my own purposes.
Genre: Drama, Suspense, Slash, Angst
Warnings: Swearing, Violence, General TW Spoilers
Summary: While investigating the deaths of some of Cardiff's homeless population, an undercover Ianto is abducted. But by whom? And what do they want?
A/N Set sometime in season two, but before zombie!Owen. This is Sanna's NFA Help Haiti auction fic which has kinda deviated away from its initial prompt. But she doesn't mind. :) Proper swearing so be warned.
The sun had just risen when Ianto Jones decided that if it weren't for the threat of retcon, he'd demand Jack terminate his position as office boy . . . coffee boy . . . whatever. It was fucking freezing as he leaned against the brick wall, hunched over and smoking a fag that he'd given up years ago. The low-slung jeans and dark red hoodie were doing little to keep him warm and stubble had started to appear on his chin, making his lip curl up in disgust.
Fucking Torchwood, he thought idly as his teeth clenched around the cigarette so that he could try and rub his arms in a very futile attempt to get warm. It should be fucking Owen out here. Or Jack himself.
But Owen, with all his usual politeness and tact, had declined this particular – mission . . . job . . . whatever – citing that as a doctor, he was needed if something went wrong. Thus, Owen had explained with a smirk, he couldn't possibly take on such a delicate task. Jack, likewise, had also played the "I'm so important to the functioning of this team" card and Ianto to bite back the snarky reply about who, exactly, fed the team the coffee they seemed to fall apart without.
Ianto had, however, taken comfort in the fact that it was not one of the girls out here instead and that was almost enough to think it worthwhile . . . That and the fact if they could stop whatever was killing Cardiff's homeless, then the police would stop hassling them and cramping Jack's style (his words, not Ianto's). Jack had been moody and irritated lately, thanks to Cardiff's finest, and that led to moody and irritated sex, which then led to an even more moody and irritated Jack, which led to a moody and irritated team, as shown by Tosh's Little IncidentTM.
There was a thump, a bang and the sound of metal hitting pavement. Ianto, rolling his eyes, looked up slowly and was just in time to see a drunk stagger towards him and stumbled over his feet. The man vomited all over Ianto's shoes and then looked up and smiled at Ianto drunkenly.
Yep, Ianto thought bitterly. He was definitely asking Jack to fucking fire him.
"How is Cardiff's most gorgeous homeless man this fine morning?" Jack asked cheerfully as he wound down the window of . . . Christ, Jack was now hijacking his car as well. "Coffee?" Jack held out a steaming Styrofoam cup that Ianto knew was from his favourite coffee shop.
Ianto said nothing and stuffed his hands deeper into his pockets, ignoring the coffee. He bowed his head and continued walking briskly along the footpath, resisting the urge to reach out and throttle Jack then and there (not that it'd do anything besides make his car messy). His car inched along beside him; Jack had one hand on the wheel and the other resting on the opened window, clutching the coffee cup.
"Oh come on, Ianto," Jack pouted, flashing him a quick-witted grin. "Don't ignore me. Take the coffee." Jack looked so bright and perky that the thought of throttling him was quickly overthrown by the impulse to run the bastard over.
With a truck.
"How do you think I am, Jack?" Ianto growled as he walked, finally snatching the coffee from Jack's outstretched hand. Ianto took a long sip, but he didn't stop and neither did the car.
Ianto glared at Jack fiercely and at least Jack had the decency to look a little chastised. "I've spent the past two fucking nights on the street chasing a Bogeyman that doesn't exist!"
Jack winced at Ianto's words and Ianto looked faintly satisfied. Jack knew this wasn't the most ideal situation, but the homeless population of Cardiff wasn't talking and if Torchwood wanted to stop the beast that was killing them, they needed information.
"Another body was found last night," Jack told Ianto bluntly after a beat of silence. It was clear that Ianto wasn't in a chatty mood so he might as well move things along. "Over by the docks. Tosh ran his prints and ID'ed him as Jeremy Slater, aged twenty-four."
"Cause of death?" Ianto asked immediately, settling back into the comfortable routine of business. He took a sip from his coffee and sighed deeply, inhaling its scent. It was exactly how he took it and he wondered whether that was Jack's doing or Franco the barista's doing.
Jack watched Ianto fondly as he savoured the cup of coffee, but then Ianto caught him doing just that and frowned. Jack smirked and winked suggestively, pressing on with a, "Deep gash to the carotid artery; he would have bleed out in minutes."
"Is Owen sure it's not of human or Weevil origin?" Ianto asked, just to make sure Owen hadn't got something wrong in his probably drunken autopsy state.
Jack nodded. "Yeah. Weevils tend to go for the jugular and the wounds look different. And there's no way the gash was made by a knife or anything. Humans, as far as I know, don't have sharp, death bringing claws."
Ianto sighed. "Fucking fantastic." He looked at Jack and practically whined, but with much more class than you'd think possible, "How long do I stay out here?" He tugged the sleeve of his hoodie distastefully. "It's disgusting. I haven't had a shower since I took his bloody role and I haven't shaved in three days. I'm pretty sure I left the grunge look back in the 90s."
Jack eyed Ianto up and down, grinning lasciviously. "I like it. I can see the bad-boy thing working for you." He licked his lips. "You know," he started, looking at the clock in the car, "I do have fifteen minutes before . . . and I do like this whole bad-boy look you've got going on . . ."
"I'm not a prostitute, Jack," Ianto scowled indignantly as he stopped abruptly. Jack did too. Ianto tossed the empty coffee cup into a rubbish bin, crossed his arms and narrowed his eyes.
"Hey!" Jack exclaimed. "I never said you were!"
"I bloody feel like one," Ianto muttered darkly, glaring at Jack who was trying not to smirk. "I had a drunken bastard try and pick me up last night." He frowned when he saw Jack trying not to laugh. "He got grabby."
Well, okay, it wasn't exactly grabby – more like one drunken attempt to grab his wrist which failed spectacularly – but the grin immediately fell from Jack's face and Ianto tried not to look smug. So it was a little mean playing on Jack's protectiveness like that, but he'd theoretically started it when Jack had sent Ianto on this mission in the first place.
"I can pull you out, you know," Jack offered, looking concerned. "If you're uncomfortable with this, you can get in the car right now and I can take you home. No questions asked." Worry lines creased Jack's immortal forehead and he reached out to brush his thumb over Ianto's knuckles.
Ianto cursed himself; now he felt guilty about worrying Jack when it was Jack's fault in the first place. It wasn't as though he was completely out of his depth here on the streets . . . He'd never actually lived on the streets, but he'd hung around on them and with people who had when he was younger.
He gave Jack a soft smile and quickly poked his head into the window of his car to give Jack a chaste kiss on the lips. Jack blinked dumbly as Ianto pulled away; besides their one or two sporadic dates, Ianto had never been one for showing much affection in public . . . especially out in the open like this.
"I'll be fine, Jack," Ianto assured him as he straightened the bottom of his hoodie. He thought about asking Jack to bring some new clothes next time; if anyone asked he could say that he'd lifted them . . . that was something Ianto had done in the past.
"Really," Ianto said when Jack gave him a worried look. "I'm not a child, Jack. I can hold my own."
"I know," Jack murmured, but didn't look any less worried. Ianto really hated himself now; it felt as though he'd kicked a puppy. "I just don't want anything happening to you."
"Nothing's going to happen," Ianto said firmly, leaning in for a second surprising kiss on the lips. He reached into his hoodie and pulled out a small black device with a red button on it that looked not unlike an elderly Vitacall necklace. "I have this God awful thing Tosh gave me, remember. If I get in trouble, I press the button and it sets off all the best alarms in the Hub and feeds you the coordinates of my location."
Jack nodded slightly, paused and then nodded again firmly. "You're right." He smiled trustingly at Ianto and then gave him a wink. "And I definitely know you can hold your own. I did teach you weaponry, after all." Jack smirked suggestively and Ianto blushed faintly. It had taken twice as long to learn weaponry thanks to Jack's . . . unique . . . teaching style.
"Do you . . ." Jack asked hesitantly and Ianto nodded, reaching up to lift the bottom of his hoodie. It was probably not the smartest idea, carrying while being a homeless person, but Jack was not about to let Ianto go out onto the streets unprotected.
It was a small, but powerful gun that Ianto had tucked into the waistband of his jeans. Jack had picked it, cleaned it and loaded it himself, knowing that by giving Ianto a weapon it would make him a bigger threat to the other homeless people and thus a bigger target. But if it came down to Ianto and whatever creature was attacking the people, Jack knew who he'd want defended.
A phone inside the car rang and cut off whatever Jack was going to say next. He swiped the phone off the passenger seat, glanced at the caller ID, picked up the call and brought it to his ear. "Gwen?"
Ianto waited patiently as Jack spoke low and quietly to Gwen. He gazed upwards at the clear blue sky; the sun was out though it was still chilly. He rubbed his hands up and down his arms, and looked back at Jack just as the other man was disconnecting the call. Jack gave Ianto an apologetic grin.
"Sorry," he said. "Duty calls. That was Gwen. Another body's turned up, about fifty metres from the Tourist Information Centre actually." Jack winced and gave Ianto a slightly bitter smile. "Tosh found it as she came back from the morning coffee run. It wasn't pretty."
"Tosh okay?" Ianto asked immediately, concerned for his colleague and friend.
Jack nodded. "It caught her a bit off-guard, but she's okay. Gwen and Owen are fussing over her back at the Hub. I expect she's hating it."
"You'd better go then," Ianto said flatly. He'd almost been ready to take up Jack's offer of a bit of back-alley sex before work. And if he were honest, he felt calmer and more reassured when Jack was around, no matter what he'd said.
"Yeah," Jack echoed, but he didn't look as though he wanted to leave. "You'll be okay?" He reached through the window and grasped Ianto's hand for a moment, slipping something into it.
"Don't worry about me," Ianto replied firmly, plastering a smile on his face and sounding more confident than he felt. "Now go or you'll be late." Ianto stepped away from the car and gave Jack a little wave.
Jack gave Ianto a final, almost longing look before winding up the window, nodding and accelerating away. Ianto watched as the taillights of his beloved car disappeared around the corner, firmly scolding himself that he wasn't about to start pining for Jack. He unclenched his fist and saw that when Jack had reached for him, he'd given Ianto money. Ianto blinked at the money for a moment before looking back to where the car had disappeared around the corner.
Shaking his head with a sigh, Ianto shoved his hands, money and all, into his pockets and walked away.
Ianto had just finished the last of his cream bun and second coffee of the morning when he heard the screeching of tires. Thinking it was idiotic teenagers, Ianto thought nothing of it and chucked the remains of his breakfast into the rubbish bin. He was now walking down one of Cardiff's more populated streets, hunched over and looking as though he was a man of the streets.
He did, however, take notice when the screeching tires and the whirl of the high-powered engine got louder before shuddering to a halt. There was only a slight paused before doors opened, slammed and pounding footsteps came up behind him.
Ianto had a very bad feeling.
Squeezing his eyes shut for a moment and willing himself to slow his breathing, Ianto took a deep breath, ignored his pounding heart and turned around with a pleasant smile on his face. Ianto came face to face with the blurred outline of two people and before he could react or draw his gun, they had grabbed him by the shoulders and were pulling him forwards.
As they shoved something against Ianto's mouth and nose, his limbs flailing helplessly, he saw a brief flash of red and then . . . nothing.