Act the First: Dalek
Word Count: 10,000~
Beta: JolinarJackson (who is absolutely lovely and helpful in every way)
Notes: Most of this story will be lifted straight from the episodes, with some tweaks here and there because Ianto Jones is not Adam Mitchell and so his actions will be different. In this episode, he may seem quite similar, but that may simply be because we don't see much of Adam's character in this episode. There will be more deviations in future chapters, but I will be basing most off the actual episodes so you will see the same lines, the same quotes but maybe you'll see them in a new light.
Summary: Following a distress call, the Doctor and Rose never imagined they'd meet the Doctor's greatest enemy. Going into work that morning, neither did Ianto Jones.
Disclaimer: I own neither Doctor Who or Ianto Jones. I merely borrow and sometimes forget to return.
Smoothing his tie as he walked, Ianto found it impossible to fully understand Henry van Statten. The man sent scouts and agents across the world to recruit geniuses but he wouldn't let them think. To Ianto, it made very little sense, but he was intelligent enough not to speak on the matter. He wore his mask of impassive professionalism just as he wore his suits: rather well.
He moved aside, following the tide of people as a gentleman was forcibly removed. The assistant had only been with them for barely a week and Ianto hadn't even bothered learning his name; and Ianto had an eidetic memory so that was saying something. There was no such thing as job security with van Statten and it was no use acquainting himself with other personnel. Most of them were spineless lapdogs anyway; it was the only way to thrive in this occupation.
He shook off his thoughts and forced himself to pay attention to the string of conversation. He could be called upon at any moment and it was in his best interest to not miss the cue.
"So, the next President. What do you think, Republican or Democrat?" van Statten asked of the tall blonde now walking at his side.
"Democrat, sir," she answered, sounding unsure or perhaps thrown by her sudden promotion.
"For what reason?" He pressed, and Ianto's gut twisted on her behalf. With van Statten it wasn't as though you were simply fired, you lost everything. The man from before would probably end up an addict somewhere 'starting with an M.' The thought was repulsive, but quitting was likely to get you killed so the choice to stay on was hardly a choice at all.
"They're just so funny, sir," she haltingly answered, even more nervous. There was pause. A painful pause and everyone stopped short. Then van Statten finally laughed and told her he liked her, it was only then he asked for her name. Diana Goddard.
"Right, English, what have you got for me?" van Statten called out.
Ianto, after mentally correcting it to 'Welsh' as he always did, hurried forward, "Ten more artifacts found at auction, Sir."
"Bring 'em on, let me see."
"Sir, with respect," Goddard cut in, much more confidently than before, "there's something more urgent. We arrested two intruders fifty-three floors down. We don't know how they got in."
"I'll tell you how they got in, in-tru-da window. In-tru-da window. That was funny!" The American informed them. Forced laughter echoed through the hallway, but was cut off by a flurry of orders, none of which pertained to Ianto. He was the head archivist, and occasionally personal assistant and coffee boy. He was also one of the more senior employees at nearly two years.
Two years of working for a man who still didn't understand he was Welsh.
Ianto had selected only the most interesting items to show van Statten, who was easily bored. The man expected every piece of debris in existence to be bought, scavenged or even stolen but he had little interest in viewing them all. It was almost like he demanded it simply because he could, and while Ianto had a great love for all the things he collected and cataloged he hated the man who afforded him the opportunity.
"This was found in the middle of the ocean," Ianto explained as he held up a thin plastic device. He tapped the screen and it lit up with a soft blue glow where his index finger had been, and a string of symbols appeared at the side, "It might be method of identification with access to a database of the population."
Van Statten took it and pressed his own finger to the clear plastic panel. It lit up, a vivid red circle instead of blue, and he made a thoughtful face as he skimmed over what was obviously an alien language. He set it down on his desk, signaling he wanted to toy with it later.
"Next," Ianto's employer demanded and the Welshman hastily reached for the oddly shaped metal object lying on the desk.
"The last, quite expensive," Ianto commented, holding it delicately. He filed out monthly expenditure reports so he left out the cool eight-hundred thousand it had cost. It wouldn't have interested the man anyway.
"What does it do?" van Statten demanded, boredom and irritation seeping into his voice as he snatched the object. Ianto hoped he was merely anxious to meet the intruders.
"Ah, judging by the tubes, and the design" Ianto said as the doors opened and Diana Goddard entered with an entourage of security personnel and two others, a tall gentlemen and a young blonde, who were then brought in front of the desk. The intruders, no doubt, though they hardly looked the part. He carried on, "I'd say… some sort of instrument."
The male intruder with his large nose and ears that stuck out seemed to smile at him, briefly, before he said in a very Northern accent, "I really wouldn't hold it like that."
"Shut it!" Goddard ordered. It seemed she had fully accepted her mantle of power.
Ianto glanced at the object nervously, an instrument had really only been a guess, "Is it dangerous?"
The man smiled at him again, "No, it just looks silly." He held out his hand in a classic gesture of 'let me see.'
The security officers behind him readied their weapons, their safeties clicking off in a syncopated rhythm and the sound reverberating through the room. The man smiled again, this time tighter and aimed at van Statten. Ianto watched as his employer held up his hand to quell them and casually handed the object over. The man took it, carefully, and Ianto felt a strange sort of approval.
"You were right," The man said, looking at him now, "it is a musical instrument." His fingers glided over the object and it began to produce sound. Not sound Ianto dared to call beautiful, but certainly breathtaking. "You just have to be… delicate."
The man grinned again, glancing around the room, first to the young lady brought in with him, then to Goddard who still seemed unimpressed.
"Let me see," van Statten ordered and stood up to yank it back. He ran his fingers over it, producing a quiet noise that Ianto simply knew was very wrong.
"I did say delicate, reacts to the smallest fingerprint, needs precision," the man reminded, watching as Statten's fingers slowed and moved more gingerly. Eventually the instrument began sounding much more like it had when the intruder held it. "Very good. Quite the expert," he commented, a touch impressed.
"As are you," van Statten replied. Then tossed the device. Ianto couldn't help but reflexively reach after it. He hated the reckless way the wealthy American handled… well, everything, but especially the alien technology he was given. Not even because it was expensive, but because that was part of another world. Another culture. A tiny hint of a place Ianto would never go, but could taste through the music. He masked his displeasure with professionalism, the persona that kept him employed.
"And who exactly are you?" van Statten asked.
"I'm the Doctor, and who are you?" The man retorted, expression far more stern. Ianto supposed he didn't like the blatant disregard for a fragile instrument any more than he did. There was the faintest hint of a kindred spirit between them, or perhaps the loneliness was finally getting to him.
"Oh, like you don't know," scoffed van Statten, at the Doctor's blank expression he continued, "We're hidden away with the most valuable collection of extra terrestrial artifacts in the world and you just stumbled in by mistake."
The skepticism was palpable.
"Pretty much sums me up, yeah," the Doctor replied, smiling once more. Like he couldn't be more pleased with the situation. Van Statten was less amused as he walked out from behind his mahogany desk, forcing Ianto to swiftly step out of the way. He strode towards the Doctor, all arrogance and swagger. It was almost a shame the Doctor was at least an inch and a half taller.
"The question is, how did you get in? Fifty-three floors down with your little cat-burglar accomplice. Quite a collector yourself, she's rather pretty."
"She's going to smack you if you keep calling her 'she'." The young blonde sassed, Cockney accent dripping from every word.
Van Statten's features tightened, "She's English too," he tossed his head in Ianto's direction, "Hey, Little Lord Fauntleroy, I found you a girlfriend."
Ianto didn't react. After all, so many years of working with a man who called him various derogatory names relating to a culture that was not even his rendered being dubbed a children's storybook character inoffensive.
"This is Mr. Henry van Statten," Ianto introduced and offered a bland smile.
The blonde looked at him, having decided he must be easier to talk to than the pretentious man-in-charge, "And who is he when he's at home?"
"Mr. van Statten owns the internet."
The young woman looked at him like he was daft, he understood, he'd thought like too, "Don't be stupid," she said, "no one owns the internet."
"And let's keep the whole world thinking that way, right kid?"
The Doctor was still apathetic, "So you're an expert at just about everything except the things in your museum. Anything you don't understand you lock up."
If the atmosphere had been tense before it was doubly so now. Mr. Henry van Statten did not respond well to insults, overt or implied. Ianto's eyes flickered between the two men.
"And you claim greater knowledge?"
"I don't need to lay claims, I know how good I am," and even though the words were arrogant the Doctor didn't sound it at all. And for that Ianto was inclined to believe him.
"And yet I captured you," van Statten retorted loftily. He even added a tinge of false confusion. The man was a master at condescension, something Ianto had also grown much too accustomed to over the years. He looked to the girl and noticed she too was following the parry of words, her expressive eyes bounding from the Doctor to van Statten. "Right next to the Cage, tell me, what were you doing down there?"
The Doctor still looked severe and Ianto almost missed the smiles he'd been granted earlier. How sad that those had been the closest to gestures of affection he'd received in a very long time.
"You tell me."
"The Cage contains my one living specimen." Van Statten revealed. That creature, the one no one wanted to mention but everyone knew about. He'd looked in on it a few times on the CCTV wired throughout the building; he'd seen what Simmons did. He'd seen the man who burst into flames after he'd touched it. He wasn't sure if he pitied the creature or feared it. The strange 'Metaltron' tucked away in the bowels of the Earth.
"What is it?" the Doctor demanded.
"Like you don't know," was scoffed again. Ianto believed them though. These two intruders really didn't know who Henry van Statten was, or of the things he kept stored away.
"Show me," the Doctor commanded, his voice growing agitated as their verbal swordplay increased in speed and fervor.
"You wanna see it?" van Statten challenged. Ianto was certain something was up, his employer had something planned for their guests.
"Blimey, you can smell the testosterone." The young woman commented, and Ianto actually laughed at it causing all attention to suddenly fall on him. He cleared his throat and offered another professional smile. Time and a place, he chastised himself, time and a place.
Van Statten looked annoyed, but ignored it for the time being, "Goddard, inform the Cage we're heading down."
She nodded in the affirmative and tapped her earpiece as she left to summon the lift. A quick series of buttons were all that was required.
"You, English, take the girl. Go canoodle or spoon… whatever it is you British do." He spat with disgust. Clearly Ianto's laughter, while upsetting, was not enough for an all out dismissal. Perhaps he should be grateful he wasn't going to end up in New York, New Orleans, or Newark someplace beginning with 'N.'
The lift doors opened up behind them and van Statten moved for it with his gaze fixed on the Doctor. Gone was much of the anger, replaced by a level of confidence that Ianto found unnerving. Both the girl and the Doctor watched as Goddard stepped inside, a dark look of foreboding passing between them for a second before van Statten spoke up.
"And you, Doctor-with-no-name, come and see my pet."