Era: Series 1, early Series 2
Number of Gratuitous Jack Deaths: 0/0
This is based on a dream I had. Biomechanical of here (stop censoring your own url FFN!) strongly suggested I turn it into a story. Although a few people agree with Tosh and can "totally see Jack doing that," I do believe it's actually out of character for him. See Ianto's "Big Dog" assessment for my opinion. So I have given the dream to Gwen. Yes, that's exactly how I dreamed it.
Disclaimer: I can barely control my brain when I'm conscious. I am NOT responsible for what it does while I'm asleep!
It was another slow day at the Torchwood Three Hub, for which Gwen was grateful. The team needed a breather now and again. She was also glad that Jack had gone along with Ianto so early in the day. She was going to burst if she didn't get to tell this story. "Tosh!" She hurried over to her co-worker's station. "I have to tell you about this dream I had last night."
"A dream?" Toshiko glanced once at her, then back at her screen.
Owen clumped up from his med-bay lair. "Where the bloody hell is the tea boy?"
"He and Jack went out for pastries."
"Oh, of course it takes two full grown men for that!" Owen was an ogre before he'd had his morning coffee. Afterwards, he was merely a troll.
"They'll be back in a minute," Gwen told him. "I have to tell you about this dream I had about Jack."
"Oh please," Owen sneered. "We don't want to hear about your steamy fantasies, Cooper!"
"It wasn't that kind of dream," she insisted. "Besides, you were in it, too."
"Me and Harkness? Now that is just desperate, Gwen." He turned, raising his hands to cover his ears. "Too much information! Not listening!" He fled back to his lair.
"It was not that kind of dream, you pervy-minded git!" Gwen yelled after him. She huffed in exasperation and rolled her eyes. Fine, Owen would just have to miss out.
"Why do you need to tell us?" Toshiko wondered, her attention still half on her computer.
"Because it was hilarious! I swear, poor Rhys thought I was having conniptions this morning, and I couldn't explain what was so bloody funny."
Tosh typed in one last command and swivelled her chair towards Gwen. "So what was this dream about?"
"Well, me and Owen were sitting in the back of the SUV- Jack was driving, of course. We were parked in some sort of military complex or something. Then suddenly, all these military police vehicles started surrounding one building, so we decided we should move.
"Jack drove to the gate, but there was a queue at the checkpoint, and you know how impatient he can be." The women shared a commisserative eye-roll. "There was a young fellow there; barely more than a freckle-faced kid." Gwen knew Jack had little respect for any authority figures, let alone some wet-behind-the-ears newbie, but in this instance, she had to agree with that sentiment, and it showed in her tone of voice. "He was coming up to the driver's side window, and I thought he had a shotgun at first, but it turned out to just be one of those really huge mag-lites. I don't know, maybe they don't arm the cadets. Well, Jack didn't want to bother with talking to him or waiting at this gate, so he just hauled the wheel over and drove out over the kerb."
"There wasn't a fence?" Tosh asked. One would expect such a thing around a military installation.
"Nope," Gwen said. "We just bounced right down onto the street. But this kid, I swear he was mental; he actually threw himself bodily at the SUV to try to stop us. He landed across the hood." Tosh snickered. "Of course then Jack had to stop. And then this kid was getting all military on us, he was yelling-" and here she lowered her voice, hoarsened it to imitate shouting- "'Get out of the vehicle! Keep your hands where I can see them!' He was really intense, and I said, 'God, what is this, his first day?'
"And Jack now, he has to get out and do what the kid tells him."
"He couldn't have liked that."
Gwen held up a cautionary finger. "Then he's yelling, 'Put your hands on the hood! Spread your legs!'"
Tosh threw back her head and laughed. "No!"
Gwen poked her with her finger. "Oh, yes! Of all the list of things never to say to Captain Jack Harkness-! And the captain is there with a big cheesy grin on his face."
"Oh God, no!"
Gwen reined back her laughter. "Me and Owen, we were just dying. And I was thinking, 'Good God, those authority types, they just hate when you're laughing while they're trying to be all authoritative. This is not good.' But I couldn't stop laughing." Gwen wiped tears from the corners of her eyes.
"Jack was enjoying all this way too much. He's there going, 'Frisk me! Frisk me! I have a gun!' And the poor, sad fool, he's trying to search Jack for weapons, while Jack is trying to convince him to go all the way to a strip search." She had to stop; she had to just about rescue Tosh from falling out of her chair.
"That is just-!" Tosh struggled to speak. "Oh my God, I can totally see that actually happening!"
"Then the poor sod, he didn't have any handcuffs, so he reached in the window and pulled out the seatbelt to tie up Jack. Jack was flushed and a bit dishevled; I swear I don't know how he managed it without using his hands, but he had is coat halfway off and some of his shirt buttons were undone. Now the kid is tying his wrists, and he's grinning like a maniac, going, 'Ooh, bondage!'"
Tosh collapsed halfway on her desk in hysterics. "Tell me there's not more!" she gasped.
Gwen had to fight to catch her own breath. "No, thank God. The kid got toally fed up and then just left him there! So now Jack is tied up outside the driver side door, and he can't get loose. He's going, 'Hey, guys? Untie me!' And we don't want anything to do with him while he's in that state! We do not know this man! He is not with us! Except, of course, that he's stuck on our SUV and we can't get rid of him! Owen insisted he was never going to get into any kind of bondage or un-bondage with Jack. So, of course, who has to be the adult in this situation? Me! I have to be the mature one to go out and untie Jack from the-"
She cut herself off abruptly as the door alarms sounded and the cog rolled open. Jack and Ianto entered, the latter carrying a white paper bag. Toshiko sat up, trying to stop giggling, while Gwen wiped her face again. "Did I hear my name?" Jack asked, strolling over to them.
"Ah, no," Gwen said.
"What's so funny?" he asked the women, looking from one to the other in curiosity.
"Gwen was just telling me a dream she had." Gwen shot Toshiko a look. "Uhm... I'm sorry, I have to run to the loo." Tosh escaped, snickering.
"So tell me about this dream. It sounds good." Jack grinned.
"Well, it was a kind of a 'you had to be there' sort of thing," Gwen hedged. She needed to kill Tosh.
Jack quirked a brow. "You had to be in the dream?" He glanced at Ianto, who just shrugged and headed off towards the kitchenette.
"Why don't you just tell me the punchline? Then I can spring it on you later and watch you laugh for some incomprehensible reason."
She really needed to kill Tosh. "Ah, well... you see... it's a woman thing. Yes. Women's humor." She edged back towards her own desk.
"Hey, I'm really in touch with my feminine side," Jack insisted, pulling a puppydog look.
"Just, no, Jack. Forget it."
He sighed. "Oh, all right." He turned and headed up to his office.
Gwen sat back at her desk and breathed a sigh of relief.
Ianto brought the tray of coffees and patries up to Jack's office first. He set it down on the desk to parcel out the captain's share.
"So, Ianto," Jack said with a sly grin; "are you thinking what I'm thinking?"
The Welshman froze in place. His face was completely schooled of emotion, but Jack could see the gears whirring around behind his stolid demeanor. Oh what he wouldn't give to tap into some of those thoughts! After a moment or two, Ianto slowly said, "Maybe... but how would we get the chicken to wear the lederhosen?"
Ianto shook his head. "Nevermind, sir." He straightened up and glanced at the monitor. "You're thinking we could simply find out what Gwen and Tosh found so funny by reviewing the Hub surveilence videos."
"Yep!" Triumphantly, the captain clicked the playback control.
The two men watched the replay in stunned silence. Jack's brows knitted into a fierce scowl. He was distracted by a high-pitched whine from the other side of the desk. He looked over at Ianto. The young Welshman seemed to be rocking slightly, and his lips performed all kinds of contortions, as if trying to wriggle off his face. All the while a sort of mreee-mreee-mreee sound came from somewhere in his throat. Jack seriously worried that whatever alien was using Ianto's body as a host was currently trying to escape, or perhaps he really was an android after all and was short-circuiting. "Ianto?" he said in concern.
Ianto drew in a slow, deep breath, straightening his spine. He cleared his throat and seemed to regain control of himself. He turned with military precision and took a few steps to the door. The door he closed, slowly and calmly, until the latch clicked, preserving the soundproofing of the office.
Then he collapsed against said door, howling in laughter.
Jack frowned. "That's not funny," he said petulantly.
The laughter cut off abruptly, and Ianto looked over his shoulder at the captain. The Welshman's blue eyes regarded him a moment, and then he broke down into hysterical laughter again. He buried his face in the coat hanging on the back of the door, trying to muffle himself. His left hand slapped against the door.
Jack sighed and clicked off the replay. "That's no-!" He gave up, sure that the Welshman couldn't hear him over the laughter. He put his hands on his hips and waited for Ianto to at least run out of breath. Then he insisted, "I would never do that!"
"No, sir. Sorry, sir." Ianto straightened himself up, though his face was still red. He fussed with his tie and the button of his jacket. "That would be totally uncharacteristic of you. In that sort of situation, you would certainly have gone all 'Big Dog' on the poor sod, and had him cowering and piddling in his trousers, and he would have never again been fit for any duty more strenuous than crossing-guard. And even then, the primary school bullies would have kicked his shins and rolled him for lunch money."
"Yeah," Jack agreed, though with a touch of hesitation, not sure he wasn't just being wound up. He studied Ianto's face very carefully. His lips started doing that 'wave' thing again. Ianto cleared his throat and seemed to regain control of them. Jack frowned and pulled a notepad out from the clutter of his desk and started scribbling on it. Handcuffs, he wrote. Military police uniform, billy club, utility belt, large mag-lite, army boots. Ianto took the opportunity to finish placing Jack's coffe, napkin, and pastry plate carefully onto his desk. Jack tore off the top sheet of the notepad and handed the list to him. "While you're out at lunch, I want you to procure any of these items that we don't already have," he ordered.
Ianto took the paper and glanced at it. "What's this for?" he asked.
Jack unleashed his trademark cheesy grin. "So we can play Traffic Stop!"
The look on Ianto's face was priceless. He stifled a groan. "Yes, sir."
Toshiko ran back from the loo to Gwen's desk. "Gwen!"
"I just had a horrible thought while I was in the loo! You know you told me the whole story about- you know- here in the Hub."
"Yes, but wh-?" Gwen's eyes went wide. "Oh, no!"
"The surveilance cameras!" they chorused together.
Tosh darted to her workstation and began pulling up the feeds. "I just hope we're not too-! Oh dear."
Ianto descended from the stairs and brought the service tray to the work area. "Ladies," he said politely. Tosh and Gwen watched him in apprehension. He put Tosh's coffee and pastry on a cleared spot on her side desk. Then he glanced at Gwen. His mouth did a strange little contortion, and then he snorted back a laugh.
"We are," Tosh said in defeat. "Too late."
"Oh sh-!" Gwen clamped a hand over her mouth.
Owen stomped back up, making a grab for his coffee. He looked at the three of them staring at each other with various comic expressions on their faces. "Did I miss something?"
Tosh, Gwen, and Ianto broke down into giggles and snickers.
"What did I miss?" the doctor demanded.
The captain's stentorian yell echoed through the Hub. "GWEN!"
"She's not here!" Gwen yelled back. "She, um-" she darted to grab her purse- "She suddenly remembered an emergency dental appointment!" she yelled on her way to the door. The alarms blared and she slithered through before it had even opened all the way.
"I- um, I mean- she's not here!" Tosh tried.
Jack leaned on the upper level railing and glared down. "Toshiko, I can see you quite clearly."
She looked up. "Oh. Uhm, yes, Jack? Can I help you?" She scratched her neck nervously and wished she could slug Ianto in the arm or something, because he was making high-pitched mreee-mreee noises in his throat, and it was very distracting.
"I need a certain segment of surveilance footage erased and data-shredded, including all backups," Jack ordered. "I think you know the segment I mean," he added in a threatening tone.
"Right away, Jack! Yes, sir!" Tosh jumped into her chair and her fingers flew over the keyboard.
"And Ianto!" The captain glared down.
Mreee mreee- cough! "Um! Yes, sir?" Ianto looked up in trepidation.
"Item number three on that list? Make sure it's a big one!"
"Meep!" Ianto shrank. "Yes, sir." He gulped as Jack returned to his office.
Owen just stared at the lot of them. "What the hell did I miss!?"
This has nothing to do with anything, but you can have 10,000 Bloodsong Points if you know that "mree mree mree" is the noise the Ticktockman makes at the end of "'Repent Harlequin,' said the Ticktockman" by Harlan Ellison.