Picking Teams

All characters belong to the BBC

Author's note: I was rewatching some old Torchwood (They Keep Killing Suzie) and Owen says "I'd pick her for my team" about Suzie, and for some reason this line really stuck with me. A few episodes later and Owen is ordering Ianto front and centre of his team to shoot the fish man. Now I'm no tactician but I'm guessing that Owen trusted "the teaboy" to get the shot if needed, and so Ianto must have somehow proved himself. This is my take on the history behind why Owen picks him.

Its unbetaed but sprung into my head almost fully formed today and I had to get in down quickly so it would leave me alone!

Set post Countrycide between the drive home and Owen going back to his flat.

Rated for one naught word from Owen's potty mouth.

This is my first Torchwood Fic so please be kind.

/\\\

There was a knock on the office door; with a sigh Jack shifted his attention from the golden depths of the untouched glass of whisky he was staring into, and tried to return his thoughts and focus to the present day.

"Come in Owen," he called, already identifying his medic's unmistakable sharp rap.

Owen looked tired, he noticed immediately as the younger man entered, in fact they all did. Spending the weekend chasing, and being chased, by a village of cannibals was bound to have that effect.

With a sigh, Owen dropped into the chair opposite Jack, gratefully accepting the glass the Captain pushed his way.

"Four broken ribs, a concussion, a broken nose, numerous cuts and bruises and trauma to his spleen leading to some internal bleeding," he listed flatly, as Jack listened in increasing horror, "It's a miracle he got back to the hub before he fell on the floor."

The memory of that moment jumped unbidden into both men's minds. Ianto had shuffled into the Hub after the rest of the team, his face bearing the bruises of his encounter with the butt of a shotgun. He had immediately headed for the kitchen mumbling something about getting a coffee for everyone, although Owen had protested he needed something stronger. None of the team had thought anything about his departure until a thud, and the tinkle of breaking china had sent them running to the kitchen to find the young Welshman sprawled across the floor surrounded by broken mugs, his face ashen. In that moment Jack's heart had skipped a beat, and he stood frozen, certain that the pallor of Ianto's face could only indicate one thing. It was only Owen's harried shout that had forced him to move again, as he scooped Ianto into his arms and rushed him to the autopsy room, all the while pleading with him to wake up under his breath.

As soon as he had laid Ianto onto the table Owen had brusquely ordered him, as well as Gwen and Tosh out of the room so he could work. Now, three hours later, the girls had been sent home with the promise that he would update them as soon as there was news, and Jack had retreated to his office to nervously wait for news of the Welshman's condition.

"How is he?" he asked finally, not sure really that he was ready to hear the answer.

"Bloody lucky that I'm so brilliant."

His worries notwithstanding, Jack couldn't help but roll his eyes at Owen's arrogance. Owen ignored him and carried on.

"Someone will have to wake him up every hour tonight, check he's still firing on all cylinders, but honestly, I think he'll be fine."

"Physically at least," Jack murmured, remembering the dread filled eyes that had pierced his eyes as he'd hurtled through the wall on a tractor. He continued, almost absently, as if suddenly unaware of the medic sat opposite him, "I think it's best if he doesn't come out again with us."

Jack wasn't really expecting a response at all, let alone Owen's sudden, vociferous protest.

"Are you kidding Jack? After what he did today? The kid did good and you're going to stick him back on coffee duty?"

"He was nearly killed Owen!" Jack pointed out, his voice taught with anger and frustration, "He's not trained enough to be in the field, and today proved that. He was absolutely terrified, and if you think I'm putting him through that again then you need to think again."

Owen exhaled angrily, pushing himself to his feet to pace round the office.

"Do you even know what he did today, Jack?" he asked, his voice laced with tension, "how he ended up being used as a punchbag for a psychopath?"

Jack didn't respond, just silently held Owen's gaze as he continued to pace.

"No? Tosh filled me in earlier while you and Gwen were wasting your afternoon trying to get sense out of a nutcase. He created a distraction, so that Tosh could get away and find us, and strangely enough there wasn't a whole lot of options for doing that. So what did your "terrified teaboy" do eh Jack?"

Owen clearly didn't expect an answer to the question, certain that he knew more than Jack about what had befallen the other half of the Torchwood team.

Jack hadn't yet discussed with Toshiko what had occurred as her and Ianto had searched for the SUV, but he was forced to admit that he had automatically assumed that any escape plan would have been formulated by the computer genius and the receptionist's injuries were the result of an inability to keep up. He was beginning to regret his hasty judgement as Owen continued.

"He put his life on the line and took a beating so that she could get away and get help. And yes, he was scared, hell who wouldn't be? But he still made the best decision he could, not to save himself, or to avoid some pain, but the best decision to help the team, and to save Tosh! And that's really fucking brave Jack, even more so considering that he's trained as an archivist not a field agent and he's working with a team that shot his girlfriend not a million years ago!"

Owen seemed suddenly surprised by his own impassioned defence of Ianto, who was more usually the target of the medic's barbed comments, and stopped his pacing. He voice dropped as he turned and left the room to return to his patient, leaving his final comment hanging in the air.

"You do what you want Jack, but you can be damn sure I'd pick him for my team."