Things Never to Say to Your Boss when You Work for Torchwood

CONTENT:

Rating: Mature

Flavor: Humor

Era: DATW Season 1

B&Z Spoilers: mild through Book I

Language: bad

Violence: some

Nudity: no

Sex: discussed

Other: no

Gratuitous Jack Deaths: 0/0

Author's Notes:

This is not a list; get away from the Report button. There are actual example scenes.

Another attempt to avoid the plague of Marysuism (is that now a word?). And to stop Jack whining that Bannon always gets the last word in. Um... yeah, so I didn't mean for part 3 and 4 to happen. Sorry, clever elves, you know. But that's okay, because sequels happened! Enjoy.

===#===


Things Never to Say to Your Boss when You Work for Torchwood

1.

Jack stood at the head of the conference table, gripping the chair back before him. Tosh's marked area map glowed over his shoulder. "Gwen, you'll go 'finesse' the police; make sure we've got all their reports. We don't know how fast this thing spreads, so Ianto, Owen, Tosh; you're on neighborhood canvas duty." Gwen nodded, the others showed various degrees of annoyance with their legwork, especially Owen.

"You two," Jack said, lifting his chin at the elves, "are sanitation workers."

They groaned, and Zevran said, "Why is it we are always the slaves? Never the rich, noble bastards."

"Because you're short," Jack cut them off. "And you can maneuver better in the sewers."

"Why do we have to-?" Bannon started

"You do what I tell you, and you don't argue. Now keep your mouth shut until after the briefing." Jack turned to the map display to outline his deployment strategy. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Bannon reaching for his phone. If those two started texting, he was going to discipline them, like the naughty schoolchildren they were.

A moment later, his phone blipped with an incoming message. Jack ignored it until after he finished the briefing. As his loyal troops were filing out to get to work, he glanced down at the two succinct words on the screen: 'U suck.'

He looked across the table, meeting Bannon's eyes. "Yes." He let a smile spread across his face. "Yes, as a matter of fact, I do. And I'm really good at it. You want to get some?" He smiled all the more toothily and was rewarded when Bannon's face reddened. The elf turned away and left hurriedly, apparently having no further comment.

God, he was a pain in the ass.

===#===

2.

Jack kept his hands unclenched upon the desk, his voice even and steady. "We are not opening the Rift," he told the glowering elf standing in his office. "It's far too dangerous without precise calculations."

"How is Toshiko supposed to get anywhere with it, if she can't experiment?" Bannon argued.

"She needs to finish the Rift predictor program."

"What about sending us back?"

"That's not a priority."

"Yeah, for you," the elf said bitterly.

"Torchwood's number one priority is protecting the citizens of this planet," Jack reminded him with an edge to his voice.

"And your number two priority is getting free elven labor, is that it?"

"Hardly," Jack said dryly. "And your expenses in no way qualify as 'free.' But hey, if you want to try your hand at flipping burgers and mopping floors, I'm sure you could manage to qualify for that job."

Bannon's expression darkened. Clearly, he didn't appreciate the captain's humor. "Fuck you, Jack!" He turned and stalked out the door.

A snarl wrinkled Jack's lips as he pushed himself up from the desk. Swiftly, he moved around it and caught the door before it swung fully closed. He shoved it open and leaned out to yell at the retreating elf. "Hey, any time! But you keep telling me I'm not your type!"

Bannon whirled around, his face suffusing with anger. Everyone else in the Hub had fallen silent; Ianto at his coffee machine, Gwen and Owen standing by the couch, Zevran lounging on it, Tosh peering up from her workstation.

The silence was broken by a strangled little giggle. Slowly, Bannon turned towards the assassin. "Are you snickering at me?" he asked in a deadly tone.

Zevran had cut off the noise by expeditiously sucking his lips into his mouth. Now he relaxed. "Well...," he drawled, leaning back with casual abandon; "I believe the only correct answer to that inquiry is-" In a flash, he launched himself off the couch and down the spiral stairs.

With a growl, Bannon pursued.

Zevran vaulted the rail two-thirds of the way down, hit the floor in a roll, and scarpered across the open area. Bannon seized the handrails like parallel bars and swung himself down. By the time he got to the floor, Zevran was dashing up the steps to the concrete overlook. Bannon bent and scooped up the basketball. He hurled it full force at the assassin, who ducked at the last moment, causing the ball to bounce off the painted dragon's nose.

"Ha-ha!" Zevran crowed. "Another Archdemon slain!"

With an invective, Bannon continued pursuit of the blond elf around through the Hub.

Jack sighed in exasperation and shook his head. Those two were a pain in the ass.

===#===

3.

"...an old pork chop, slathered with strawberry jam ought to work," Jack was saying, swiftly outlining the plan to his colleagues around the conference table. "If not, we can try baiting it with one of our luscious, juicy elves." He grinned flirtatiously at them.

Zevran smirked. Bannon, of course, snarled. "Drop dead, Harkness."

"Already have done."

"Encore."

Pain in the ass elves.

===#===

4.

"You're a real pain in the ass, you know that?" Jack told Bannon an hour or so later as they heaved the Traxodont's limp body into the trunk of the SUV.

"It worked, didn't it?"

"You ruined another one of my coats!"

"It's just jam," the elf grated as he folded the last of the beast's six limbs into the truck. "Besides, you smell more like an old pork chop than I do."

"You're still a pain in the ass," Jack argued, trying to dust off his sticky hands.

"Gee, that's tempting," Bannon said, looking far too sincere. Then he spat, "But you're still not my type!" He turned and disappeared around the passenger side of the SUV.

Jack growled, and made his way to the driver's side, still trying to wipe off his hands. Damned elves. Smartass elves. That's what they were. It's a good thing they came in handy in tight places and dangerous fights.

===#===

Things Never to Say to Your Elven Employees when You are the Boss at Torchwood

===#===

Jack moved quickly along the edge of the rooftop, his Webley held low in a straight-armed shooting grip. He scanned for movement between the exhaust vents. Zevran and Bannon followed, long arrows nocked on their hunting bows.

Jack spotted movement and keyed his comm. "Gwen, Owen, it's heading in your direction." Something clattered along the rooftop to land at his feet. Thermal detonator. "Take cover!"

He reversed direction and started running. The two elves were quick and agile enough to turn and sprint away, but the problem was, the only cover was the roof's retaining wall- with a 35 storey drop on the other side.

Jack dove at the elves at the last second. He meant to throw them down and shield them with his body as best he could, but the blast caught them all and launched them over the side of the building. Dammit! Jack had a split second to think. What a crappy ending to a really crappy day. Of course, he couldn't complain; the elves had the worst of it- they'd die.

Or not.

Zevran claimed to be extremely lucky, and maybe there was some truth to that: the elves slammed into a window washing scaffold parked at the top floor. Jack twisted, landed half on Bannon, bounced off, and hit the corner of the rail. Just as he did, there was another crash as the force of the explosion tore one supporting strut off the side of the building. Jack felt a moment of weightlessness as the scaffolding dropped away under him.

He scrabbled to grab on to something - anything - but it was tipping away from him. At the last second, he managed to grab a bucket that was hanging from the lower rail. Or he hoped it was hanging, because it didn't stop his freefall - the rope attached to the handle was zipping out between the bars of the scaffolding floor.

He caught a glimpse of the elves clinging to the grating. Zevran made a grab for his partner; Bannon hung onto the front rail. Jack gripped the rim of the plastic bucket, probably hard enough to leave indentations in it. With a jerk, it stopped and snapped him into a gentle swing back and forth. He looked up only to see that the knot that had caught the end of the rope between the grating and the frame was unraveling from the pull on it. "Help!"

The loop of the knot slipped, and the rope fell loose from the scaffold. Jack kicked his legs helplessly and sucked a breath to scream. Just then, a hand snatched the rope and twisted it around a bracer-clad forearm. Bannon had caught him.

"Don't drop me!" Jack yelled, wishing he didn't sound so panicky. He really hated pancaking. He also realized the elf would probably dearly love nothing more than to drop him and let him splatter all over the pavement. Best not to give him ideas. "Get me up!" he yelled with more authority. Well, a little more authority. He really wished he could stop bicycling his legs, but they seemed to have a mind of their own. Come on, there's nothing here to stand on! Show some dignity!

Bannon twisted and said something to Zevran. The elves shifted, and Bannon's head and other arm joined his left between the scaffold rails. Veins and tendons stood out on his forearms as he started to haul Jack up, hand over hand. Damn, he was strong.

"Get me up!" Jack yelled encouragement. His left leg kicked out with renewed enthusiasm. "Come on, come on! Get me up!"

"I am going to drop you," the elf grated through clenched teeth, "if you don't stop saying that!"

Jack clenched his jaw, and then concentrated on crossing his ankles to see if that would stop his legs from swinging.

Bannon hauled him within reach, though Jack wasn't about to give up his deathgrip on the bucket. The elf reached down and clamped a hand around his wrist. He made sure it was Jack's arm, not the coat, that he was digging his fingers into. Jack winced, but was grateful. It would be doubly ridiculous if the elf ended up with his coat as he slithered out of it.

Bannon pulled. Jack reached up with his free arm and clamped it onto his bicep. He could see Zevran above them, both arms stretched out and trembling with the strain; one hand claw-hooked into the grating, the other fisted around Bannon's belt.

Jack's legs kicked out again, searching in vain for something to stand and boost himself up on. He and the elf grunted and strained to pull him up. He made a snatch for the harness holding the elf's quiver. It was empty, and Jack was grateful none of the arrows had hit him on the way down. And lord knows where the bows had gone.

"It's a good thing you're not a really big, tall shem," Bannon grunted from where his face was squashed by Jack's chest; "or this would be really difficult."

"Shut up," Jack grated back, "and- WAIGH!" The elf had gotten a fistful of his trousers and yanked, giving him a serious wedgie.

"If you two don't stop flirting," came Zevran's strained voice; "I will drop the both of you!"

===#===

Jack Strikes Back

===#===

Well, nothing could clear out a strip club faster than a rampaging Hoix, Jack thought as he looked around the sadly empty room. Owen was becoming quite the expert Hoix-wrangler. Jack let him haul the thing into the SUV. He crossed over to the raised platform where Zevran and Bannon were peering down at a five-foot square pit filled with clear liquid. It looked like water, but small items - pocket change, a comb, a condom packet, a plastic drink coaster - were suspended in it, neither sinking nor floating. They appeared frozen in time, and the elves stared with puzzled fascination.

Jack climbed up next to them. "It's a lube-wrestling pit." They looked at him, even more puzzled. "You know: like mud wrestling, but you get to see more."

They returned to staring down at it. "So this entire pool," Zevran said, "is filled with..."

"Sexual lubricant, yes."

"And people get in here...," Bannon continued the musings of medieval minds.

"And wrestle." Jack grinned. "Try it. Take off your shirts and get in." Oh yes, slicked up elves!

"You get in it," Bannon growled.

"It looks rather cold," Zevran said dubiously.

"Oh, come on," Jack griped. "It's not. Not anywhere near as cold as you two wrestling on the floor of the Hub and falling into the tidepool." Which, heh, had happened on more than one occasion. They gave him a sour look. "I could take both of yas," he goaded.

Bannon glanced at his partner, his look turning decidedly more evil. Zevran turned his eyes to Jack and snickered. Leave it to the damned elves to ruin a perfectly good plan to lasciviously exploit them!

"Yeah?" Bannon said. "Get in. Drowning in massage oil; that ought to be fun for you. Hey, does it burn? We could set you on fire at the same time."

Jack bristled at the callous disregard the elf had for his life - or rather, his deaths. "You know, fuck you, Bannon."

"Not in this lifetime."

"Oh? Well, next time I revive, it's a date then."

The elf snarled and gave him the two-fingered salute.

He smirked. "Hey, if that's the position you like, you know I can accommodate you."

That scored a hit on the elf. He reddened and snarled all the more. Bannon hopped down from the platform and headed towards the door, Zevran a few steps behind him, shaking his head.

Jack turned and sauntered after them, his hands in his pockets and an insufferable grin on his face.

===X===


End Notes:

2000 Bloodsong Points if you recognized the exchange from Red Dwarf. I love that bit, and Rimmer even gets a decent comeback. Probably his only one in the show. Actually, probably the only one in his life... :X

You can take 500 Bloodsong Points if you recognize the Dr Who episode I stole the rooftop scaffolding idea from. ;X Uh, I don't remember what it's called, but it's the one where Donna gets back together with the Doctor.

Not worth any points, really, but I saw the lube-wrestling on CSI: NY.