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The End is Where We Begin (Torchwood) COMPLETE


Jelloicious

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Sorry for the rubbish title, but I do have that part written.  And the beginning, too.  It's a few of the bits in the middle, I am hoping those will gel along the way.  Not opposed to help from the three Torchwood diehards left out there, either, and I hope you guys enjoy it...

 

TWTWTWTW

Ianto Jones, Archivist for Torchwood III, Field Agent and keeper of the coffee maker, made a final review of the archival entry he had been working on for Item Number 0809MXQ37, (cross reference Rift Debris; Alien Objects; Metallic (unknown alloy); Cylindrical; 10.2kg, Dimensions  12x3.  Origin, Function and Purpose, unknown; Energy Reading: Inert) secured the storage container, leaned back in his chair and scrubbed at his face.  Four hours of sleep the night before (and little more since Monday) was wearing him down.  The low-level buzz of a headache had persisted behind his eyes since midday, and was gradually becoming more insistent. 

He eyed the last couple of swallows of coffee gone cold in his cup doubtfully, but made no move to head upstairs to make more.  He felt the weight of this endless week dragging on him like a leaded blanket, and closed his eyes, just for a moment, or maybe two, (or ten), just resting his eyes a bit, before the com bleated, startling him dizzyingly back to reality. 

He cleared his throat before answering in an effort to sound more alert than he felt.  “Yes, Jack?”

Jack Harkness, leader of Torchwood 3, Former Time Agent from the 51st Century, unable to die, and impossibly handsome, and annoyingly energetic this afternoon addressed Ianto a shade too brightly:  “Ianto Jones!  Tell me you haven’t been swallowed alive by the archives!  I haven’t seen you since lunch.”

Ianto paused, just the length of an eye-roll and answered “Coffee is cold, then, Sir?”

“Now that you mention, a fresh cup would be lovely.  That’s not why I called, though.  It’s stopped snowing, and the Rift seems to be done with us for the moment.  I’m sending you both home.  I expect not to see you back before you have had a chance to properly recharge.  Sleep. Eat something hot, with vegetables, that didn’t come out of a box.  Sleep some more”.

            Ianto closed his eyes again, with a small blissful smile replied “I love it when you talk to me like this, you know”.

            “I’m serious.  You and Gwen have both been running on empty.  Go home.  I promise not to bother you for anything short of an invasion.  At least until, say, noon tomorrow.”

            Ianto cracked open one eye and looked toward the growing stack of file boxes due to be sorted, catalogued and archived, and considered how far behind schedule he would be if he took Jack up on his offer, and decided that, just now, he was too tired to actually give a damn.  Without Tosh and Owen, it seemed like they had no hope of keeping up. 

            “Iantoooo…” Jack crooned in a sing-songy voice, and Ianto realized he was drifting again.  He blinked.

            “That sounds…heavenly.  On my way up.  I’ll leave you with a whole pot of coffee”, Ianto promised, shifting into motion.

            Before heading up the stairs to the central hub, Ianto took the time to deposit his most recently cataloged item on a designated shelf in a cavernous storage room.   The air was still and slightly damp, smelling vaguely of mold and ancient disintegrating cardboard, which usually did not bother Ianto, but today, it pricked his sinuses and he sneezed suddenly, twice, located the proper place for his box, tapped a confirmation number in his PDA, sniffed, and headed up the stairs to make Jack’s coffee.

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Squeeeee!!!!!! More Torchwood! *Does little Happy Dance* Oh, hi. You set the mood so well here. I can just see poor Ianto worn out and run down drudging through his archive work. And Then Jack. Always so bright and shiny happy bursting into the scene. Perfection!

2 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

“Ianto Jones!  Tell me you haven’t been swallowed alive by the archives!  I haven’t seen you since lunch.”

Ianto paused, just the length of an eye-roll and answered “Coffee is cold, then, Sir?”

I can totally picture this!

 

2 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

I promise not to bother you for anything short of an invasion.  At least until, say, noon tomorrow.”

LOL

Can't wait to see where this goes!

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...and apparently, I can't follow directions well enough to include the fandom in the story title.  Am I an idiot or is there really no way to edit the story title?  Oh well...onward with the slow torture of Ianto Jones.  Sorry, not much sneezing to wallow in yet.  This is my attempt to dress up the sneezy stuff with a tiny bit of plot and characterization, because Torchwood.   I am totally open to suggestions.  I should probably note that this is set just past season two.  I'm not a season three denier, but I don't play there.  We do not speak of season four.

TWTWTWTW

 

            Ianto Jones moved deftly in the small Torchwood Kitchenette, working the magic he was known for smoothly, despite his fatigue.  He rubbed in irritation at his nose, and stifled another sneeze, promising himself a hot shower to wash off whatever irritant was annoying his sinuses, and then long, glorious, deep, dreamless sleep.  He poured a cup of coffee for Jack and one for himself, placed them on a tray and headed toward Jack’s office, where he found the older man, entering something rapidly into a computer, moving only after Ianto had crossed half the room.

            Jack smiled, as Ianto placed the mugs on Jack’s desk and pulled up a chair.  “You look done for.  Are you sure you want the caffeine?”Jack asked, reaching for his blue and white striped mug of rich black coffee, one sugar.

            “Hmmm,” offered Ianto, eloquently, taking his own mug and breathing in the steaming dark liquid deeply, as much to soothe the persistent tickle as to take in the rich dark scent.  Ianto closed his eyes blissfully.  He took a careful sip of the hot liquid, which burned a little more sharply in the back of his throat than it ought, causing him to cough just slightly.

             “At this point, at least half my blood volume must be made up of coffee.  I hardly think one more cup will matter.”  Then, “Are you sure you don’t want to come with?  It’s been a long week for you, too, Jack”. 

            Jack shook his head and shrugged.  “Someone’s got to mind the store”.

            Ianto set his mug down on the desk, and addressed the other man directly. “Jack.  It’s time.  We need more people.  We can’t keep up this pace and you know it.   You said yourself you’d speak with Andy.”

            Jack scowled.  He knew Ianto was right, but... “I like PC Davidson.  I really do.  He’s capable and hard-working, but…I’m not sure he is right for…this.   I’m not sure he’s ready for  this”. 

            Ianto scoffed.  “You mean you aren’t ready.  Gwen thinks Andy would be an asset. .  She knows him best, and I trust her assessment.   We can’t keep going the way we have been.   We are overextended, Jack.  We’re tired.  You’re tired.  Call UNIT.  Arrange for them to handle…”

            Jack cut Ianto off abruptly, with his objection to UNIT stepping into his territory, dismissing Ianto’s concerns.  Jack knew Ianto was right—he really did.  He just couldn’t….just wasn’t ready.  And damned if he was willing to allow UNIT in his hub. 

            Jack’s stark dismissal of the subject stirred Ianto past irritation and straight into anger.  Ianto was sorely tempted to push the point, but he knew that he was too tired to handle the argument, and he gave it up as requiring more than he had to give, as requiring a greater level of self-control than he had at the moment to keep from saying something he might regret. He set his mug down just a bit harder than necessary, and stood to leave, taking note that his headache had officially moved on into “throbbing”. 

            “Goodnight, Jack” Ianto said by way of his own dismissal.  Ianto turned on his heel and left, forestalling any further discussion. 

            Ianto strode purposefully through the hub and had almost made it through the cogwheel door when the Rift Alarm sounded.  He cursed as the alarm pierced the air (and what felt like his brain), and turned back to deal with whatever the bloody Rift was dropping on them this time, muttering curses in Welsh under his breath.

            Jack took the stairs three at a time, simultaneously shouting to Ianto instructions on what they needed to take in the SUV and shouting orders to Gwen through the com.  Ianto decided that he felt most sorry for Gwen, who had to have been almost home when the Rift Alert had sounded.

            Ianto loaded the tech and weaponry per Jack’s instructions and ran after him toward the SUV. At least it had stopped snowing.  

As it happened, weapons were not needed.  No invasion was underway.  A 27th century pleasure craft, apparently derelict, had crashed into a field a good hour west of Cardiff, scattering pieces of ship and 27th century technology across a swath only about a football pitch long, scaring the hell out of the sheep, and annoying an ancient farmer, who cursed “bloody Torchwood” and threatened to send them a bill for any sheep that experience emotional trauma.  So much for the secret alien-fighting organization with the underground base. 

The recovery was routine enough, and the cold weather and snow appeared to have kept the spectators away, so damage control would be minimal—maybe even no need for a cover story.  Still, two hours spent trudging through heavy wet snow half way up his shins as they ensured retrieval of each bit of-alien debris did nothing to improve Ianto’s already sour mood or soothe his headache.  The wet soaked through his wool trouser legs, wicking up past his knees and even more annoyingly, the icy wind set his nose to running.  The snow covered everything so, retrieval had to be accomplished by slow sweeping searches.  By the time they were done, Ianto was chilled through, thoroughly wet and utterly miserable.  Jack seemed to feel at least a bit guilty, and drove him home, instead of back to the hub.  Ianto, still irritated, pointedly did not invite Jack in.

            In his flat, Ianto pulled off his ruined shoes and hung the sodden trousers to drip dry.  Ianto ran himself a tub of lukewarm water, as anything hotter felt like fire on his icy skin, and soaked until he could feel his toes again and he began to shiver. Once dry, and dressed in thick socks and flannel pajama bottoms and a heavy sweatshirt, he settled himself on the couch with a mug of tea in an effort to warm up from the inside, wishing for a moment that he’d invited Jack to stay.  Jack radiated heat the way he radiated life, and would surely have chased the chill from Ianto’s body. Instead, Ianto sipped his tea,  pulled the duvet closer, sniffled miserably, and blew his nose, cursing the weather, the rift, Torchwood, his own exhaustion, and most of all Jack bloody Harkness.

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I am loving this! Poor, grumpy Ianto! *snuggles sends Jack to snuggle him*

2 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

is there really no way to edit the story title? 

Unfortunately, no, there isn't. However, you can ALWAYS ask a staff member to edit your post/topic; just click on the "Contact Us!" button, and someone will get to it as soon as they can. For now, I've edited the title as best I could without direct input. :)

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Terrific new chapter!  I especially love how conflicted Ianto is about wanting to be alone vs. wanting Jack at his flat.  Really looking forward to another installment of this.

-QS

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TWTWTWTW

 

           Jack had tried to tell himself he wouldn’t have accepted, if Ianto had offered again for him to stay the night, but he knew that wasn’t true.  He also knew that it would likely have been a bad idea, this night.  He trusted Ianto to know his limits, and Ianto was clearly there.  Still, watching the young man, as he picked his careful, exhausted way up the icy steps to his flat, shoulders hunched against the cold, pulled at Jack, even as he slipped the SUV back into gear and pulled away for the Hub.

            Once he had pulled the SUV into the garage deep under the plas, Jack carefully unpacked the gear, and set about cleaning and resetting the SUV, the way Ianto would certainly have done the next day, if Jack left alone.  Tonight, he did the task himself, both in silent apology and acknowledgment. Methodical and thorough, Jack completed the task to Ianto’s exacting standards. 

            Still restless and unsettled even after his labors, Jack stalked through the Hub, thinking, brooding.  He stopped for a while at Tosh’s old station, sat in her chair, remembering her shy smile and astonishing mind; and the dank cell he’d from which he’d brought her here…the way her brilliance still cast shadows all around his soul…the way Torchwood—the way he, had destroyed her.

            Jack tapped a few keys into Tosh’s computer, and summoned up the dossier on Davidson, Andrew.   The information spanned his life.   Photo references reflected a fresh-faced, open, man with an easy smile.  If Jack was going to wreck this man’s life, and bring him into Torchwood, he was damn sure going to know who he was destroying.

            In the small hours of the morning, Jack finally descended to his bunker, and allowed himself some much needed sleep.

           

TWTWTWTW

 

            Somewhere around the same time, Ianto woke to find he’d fallen asleep on his couch.  His head still hurt. He was still cold, and his left hand was all pins and needles from having been slept on.  He sniffed uselessly against blocked sinuses, but was willing to count it as a plus that at least his nose had finally stopped running. He swallowed painfully.  He muttered a curse under his breath, and made the official determination that he’d finally managed to run himself down sufficiently to come down with a bloody head cold.  Then, reconsidering, decided that blaming Jack and yesterday’s venture in the snow and sheep for his misfortune was much more satisfying.  He sat himself upright on the couch and assessed his situation, finally deciding that what he needed most was to take a piss.  He swallowed again.  And then tea.  And  ….hhckshhhh,  HCKshoo! tissues.

             He found a box of tissues in the bathroom cabinet and blew his nose which didn’t seem to do more than to set it running again.  He groaned, painfully, miserably, and scrubbed at his tickly nose, before sneezing HehhCKChiesh;  HeshXTsh!  huhhhNXXTshoo!!  

                He rummaged about for some sort of medicine and found only some paracetamol, and swallowed it over the shards of glass that were his throat.  He set his kettle on to heat.   He sneezed and spooned leaves into his teacup.  He sneezed again and added hot water.  He blew his nose while the tea leaves steeped.  He sipped his tea, coughed, but kept at it until his throat felt at least somewhat soothed.  He blew his nose again.  He relocated himself to the bed, with bottled water and his box of tissues.  He sneezed, blew his nose, sneezed again, blew again, and tried to find a comfortable position.  His efforts to go back to sleep were hampered by his nose which ran annoyingly every time he put his head down.  He ended up falling asleep propped with pillows and with a handful of tissues pressed to his nose, and dreamed of chasing sheep around a frozen moor, and never quite being able to catch them.  It made for a restless night.

                When next he woke, it was daylight out, and his mobile was buzzing insistently.  Caller ID showed it was Jack on the line.  He considered not answering, but knew it wouldn’t have helped, as Jack would just have shown up, so he swallowed, thumbed his mobile and croaked an answer.

             “Ianto?  Did I wake you?”  Jack sounded conciliatory, which might have just been Jack sounding bored, and at loose ends without his tiny team around.  Ianto, not inclined to be conciliatory back, cleared his throat as best he could before answering.

            “You woke me up to ask me if I was awake?” Ianto growled accusingly, gravelly voice surprising even himself.

           “Are you alright?”

            “I’m just fine,” Ianto growled, crossly. “What time is it?”he asked as he checked his mobile, read the time as a quarter past noon.  “Shit.—give me half an hour.”

            Call ended, Ianto scrubbed at his stubbly his face with his hands, coughed once, sneezed twice, and rolled himself out of the bed.

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One of thoughts keeping me going on my 26 hour drive home from my sister's wedding was that I had this brilliant wonderfulness to come back to! 

On 11/15/2017 at 10:13 AM, Jelloicious said:

“At this point, at least half my blood volume must be made up of coffee.  I hardly think one more cup will matter.” 

I feel like that is them most of the time.

 

On 11/15/2017 at 10:13 AM, Jelloicious said:

Ianto was sorely tempted to push the point, but he knew that he was too tired to handle the argument, and he gave it up as requiring more than he had to give, as requiring a greater level of self-control than he had at the moment to keep from saying something he might regret

Probably a good plan.

 

On 11/15/2017 at 10:13 AM, Jelloicious said:

Jack radiated heat the way he radiated life, and would surely have chased the chill from Ianto’s body.

Mmmm. Totally.

 

On 11/20/2017 at 9:44 PM, Jelloicious said:

He muttered a curse under his breath, and made the official determination that he’d finally managed to run himself down sufficiently to come down with a bloody head cold.  Then, reconsidering, decided that blaming Jack and yesterday’s venture in the snow and sheep for his misfortune was much more satisfying.

LOL

 

On 11/20/2017 at 9:44 PM, Jelloicious said:

He ended up falling asleep propped with pillows and with a handful of tissues pressed to his nose, and dreamed of chasing sheep around a frozen moor, and never quite being able to catch them.  It made for a restless night.

 

Poor baby!

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TWTWTWTW

 

          Showered, shaved and dressed, Ianto decided that he felt at least somewhat human. Perhaps the Rift would cooperate today and he could hide out in the archives sipping tea, and this bloody head cold could just go away. Preferably, before anyone even really noticed he was ill. 

          All things considered, that was probably an excessively optimistic plan on every count, but it’s not like one could actually be a Torchwood operative without being fundamentally either an extreme optimist or an extreme pessimist.  Ianto, despite a sharp and sardonic wit, and an extreme flair for the practical, was most certainly the former.

          So it was that Ianto folded several fresh handkerchiefs in his pockets, grabbed his mobile and his keys, before it occurred to him that Jack had dropped him off last night and his car was still parked at the Hub.  Ianto’s flat was not far, and he’d made the 20 minute walk many times before, but certainly in finer weather, and not when he was trying chase away a head cold.  He barely had time to consider whether he ought to call Jack or call a cab, when there was a knock at his door. 

            Ianto opened the door to find, larger than life, Jack Harkness himself.  Ianto must have looked surprised, because Jack grinned broadly, and said “You didn’t think I was gonna let you walk to work, did you?” Ianto stared at him stupidly for a moment, before he recovered himself, smiled back, and said “I’ll just grab my coat”, and then followed Jack to the waiting SUV.

            Ianto paused, hand on the passenger side door handle of the SUV, long enough to sneeze twice into his elbow, before climbing in.  hhckshhhh, HCKshoo! 

            “Bless,” Jack said simply.

            “Thanks”

            “Sleep well?” Jack asked, shifting the SUV into gear and pulling away from the kerb. 

            “Well enough,” Ianto answered, dabbing his nose with a handkerchief as he inspected the thoroughly cleaned interior of the SUV.  “Looks like you didn’t get much sleep.” 

            Jack shrugged. “More restless than tired, I suppose.”  Then, “Hungry?”  We could grab some lunch.  Gwen’s meeting Rhys, so—we’re on our own.”

            Ianto was still torn on whether he was willing to declare a truce with Jack, but Jack was clearly trying.  Ianto finally decided on a somewhat non-committal, “I could eat.”

            “In the mood for anything in particular?  Sandwich,  curry…fish and chips….” Jack prompted.  Ianto felt himself relenting. “I think….” he paused, and Jack looked over as Ianto’s eyes closed and the young man buried another sneeze into his handkerchief, “I think I could do with some soup.”

 

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6 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

“In the mood for anything in particular?  Sandwich,  curry…fish and chips….” Jack prompted.  Ianto felt himself relenting. “I think….” he paused, and Jack looked over as Ianto’s eyes closed and the young man buried another sneeze into his handkerchief, “I think I could do with some soup.”

Aww!!!!! *snuggles her boys*

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10 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

Ianto, despite a sharp and sardonic wit, and an extreme flair for the practical, was most certainly the former.

Awwww. That's why we love him!

 

10 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

Ianto was still torn on whether he was willing to declare a truce with Jack, but Jack was clearly trying.  Ianto finally decided on a somewhat non-committal, “I could eat.”

This is so Ianto!

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Thanks for the comments!  Slowly pulling his together.  Need to get this sucker finished, so I can stop being distracted by it.  Ha!  With out a doubt, this is my most ambitious effort ever.  No earthly idea how to do this properly, or how to balance story/character/sneezy bits,  but I am WAY out of drabble bounds, so  no where to go but onward.   So, yeah.  Hang in there with me?

 

TWTWTWTW

 

          All things considered, lunch was really quite pleasant.  Jack took Ianto to a little out of the way sandwich shop with excellent sandwiches and delicious soups.  Ianto ordered chicken tortellini soup, which was heavenly, and aromatic, warming his belly, soothing his throat and generally making breathing easier.  Jack was…well, he was Jack.  Funny and engaging and attentive.  He didn’t, however, touch the subject of recruiting for their small team, and Ianto opted leave the issue for now, and wait to take on Jack until Gwen was available for backup.  There were no emergency calls for rogue weevils or the end of the world, which was nice.  Ianto firmly decided that a good hearty bowl of soup, a pleasant lunch with Jack, and one night not being dragged out in the middle of the night for queen and country was all he needed.  That, and maybe a bit of tea, and this cold would be gone.

          It seemed a reasonable enough plan, but back at the Hub, Ianto thought he should have known better, as he shivered in the cool damp of Torchwood Three’s underground base.   Still, he made coffee, and set about managing the daily routines of the hub, pointedly ignoring the insistent and growing tickle in his sinuses as long as he could.

          Gwen, back from lunch with Rhys, breezed in and greeted him cheerfully.  He answered her with an unexpectedly harsh sneeze, followed momentarily by three more.  “HHCKshhhh!!!....  Khhhshhhh! Hhckshhh! Hechoo!!”

          “Oh my goodness, Ianto, BLESS YOU!” Gwen called. “You sound perfectly wretched, Love! You’re not ill, are you?”

          Khhckshhhh, Well, so much for the amazing curative powers of chicken soup…  hhckshhhh, HCKshoo! 

         Ianto blew his nose, blushing furiously.  “I’m fine, really Gwen.  I suppose all that tromping about in the snow last night got the better of me.”  He sniffed, but smiled his best reassuring smile.

          “Poor lamb, you should have some soup!  Have you taken anything?”

          Ianto cringed inwardly, embarrassed by Gwen’s attention, and feeling a bit like he’d let his small team down, having gone and caught this stupid cold.  But he smiled again, and said, “Actually, I had some rather nice soup from a little place down on the south side at lunch with Jack. I’ll take you sometime.”  Then, in an effort to redirect Gwen’s attention to anywhere but on him, “Jack mentioned he might have a lead on those disappearances you’ve been tracking.”

          With Gwen suitably sidetracked, Ianto went about his business, emptying the rubbish bins (barely needed—without Owen, there was so much less rubbish to empty). He climbed the several stair cases and long ladder into the upper reaches of the hub to reach the resident pterosaur’s nest with some fresh food, and a small bit of chocolate.   The climb was surprisingly tiring, and he paused for a moment’s rest, leaning his head against the cool tiles of the wall above the nest.  Myfanwy, either concerned or annoyed, (it can be hard to tell with a dinosaur) butted him firmly on the shoulder, when he didn’t offer to play.  Ianto sniffed apologetically.  “Sorry, Myfanwy.  Not feeling my best today.  I’ll make it up to you tomorrow, promise”.  Myfanwy beat her wings at him in annoyed response, clearly placing no faith in Ianto or his promises.  Ianto sniffed, and then swung himself around to begin the climb back down the ladder, but was obliged to stop and sneeze.  Hih’TSCHU! Heh’KKSCHHT!  Myfanwy screeched at him, and he hugged the ladder close while a wave of dizziness passed, thinking to himself that he would absolutely not be able to face Owen in the hereafter if he died by sneezing himself off the top of this stupid ladder.

          Myfanwy taken care of (more or less) Ianto descended the narrow stairway down to the cells to tend to the resident weevil.  Janet was fairly used to Ianto and cooperated for the most part with his efforts to clean her cell, provide her with fresh bedding and food.  If, what you mean by “cooperation” is “not ripping his throat out with her teeth”.  She cocked her head curiously, however, when he paused, eyelid fluttering, and sneezed mightily before he could wrestle a handkerchief out of his pocket, and began to keen softly, as the sneezes continued. HehhCKChiesh;  HeshXTsh!  huhhhNXXTshoo!  hhckshhhh, HCKshoo!  once he’d recovered sufficiently, he rolled his eyes at her through the Plexiglas door to her cell.  Really, sympathy from Gwen was one thing… from a weevil was just a little too far over the top.

          Next, he made a pass through the Tourist Office, adjusted the “Closed for Bad Weather” sign, made sure everything was locked up.  He rifled through the drawer under the desk, turning up a few packets of that horrid lemon flavored stuff that was supposed to be good for a cold.  He didn’t much care for the stuff, didn’t really think it was all that helpful, but, well, desperate times, desperate measures.  Then he headed back to make a fresh pot of coffee, for his team, and a pot of tea for himself.

          Finally, tasks done, tea brewed and coffee distributed, Ianto fled to the archives, where he could nurse his cold in peace. 

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Oh, Ianto! You're not getting out of this cold so easily, love! :twisted:

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On 11/29/2017 at 10:09 AM, Jelloicious said:

Hang in there with me?

All the way!!!

 

On 11/29/2017 at 10:09 AM, Jelloicious said:

Jack was…well, he was Jack.

Enough said.

 

On 11/29/2017 at 10:09 AM, Jelloicious said:

emptying the rubbish bins (barely needed—without Owen, there was so much less rubbish to empty).

LOL

 

On 11/29/2017 at 10:09 AM, Jelloicious said:

Myfanwy screeched at him, and he hugged the ladder close while a wave of dizziness passed, thinking to himself that he would absolutely not be able to face Owen in the hereafter if he died by sneezing himself off the top of this stupid ladder.

Too true!

 

On 11/29/2017 at 10:09 AM, Jelloicious said:

Really, sympathy from Gwen was one thing… from a weevil was just a little too far over the top.

Right!

 

On 11/29/2017 at 10:09 AM, Jelloicious said:

Finally, tasks done, tea brewed and coffee distributed, Ianto fled to the archives, where he could nurse his cold in peace. 

Poor baby! 

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Omg your voices are just absolute perfection. It’s been so long since I watched Torchwood, but I can hear every voice in my head reading this! And poor poor Ianto. Please tell me he gets some blankets and soup and cuddles at some stage!

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On 12/1/2017 at 1:51 AM, stephab13 said:

Omg your voices are just absolute perfection. It’s been so long since I watched Torchwood, but I can hear every voice in my head reading this! And poor poor Ianto. Please tell me he gets some blankets and soup and cuddles at some stage!

Thank you!!   I hope the characters sound right.  No cuddles yet, just some Ianto torture.


Honestly, this next chapter? Not much happens.  Just mostly Ianto, mostly miserable and mostly stuck at work when he'd have been better off calling in.  Sleep when he Rift sleeps, right?  Yeah, no....

TWTWTWTW

 

            The archives, deep underground, maintained a fairly steady temperature and humidity that was normally quite comfortable, but today, Ianto found it a bit chilly.  He sniffled, and sipped some tea, and considered his options.

            There was a much larger backlog of rift relics waiting to be analyzed, sorted and cataloged than Ianto normally would have cared to leave untouched.  But he himself had written Torchwood Three’s protocols on handling unidentified rift debris, and knew, as he pulled out his handkerchief to catch another sneeze or three, that he was in no condition to handle un-analyzed rift debris today.  One badly timed sneeze and he could spend the next five years in a time loop—no thanks.  (He’d read about time loops in the archive.  Bad enough to be in one.  Heard Jack talk about spending five years in one before.  Couldn’t imagine being stuck in one with this cold…though, maybe better than being stuck with John Hart for five years).  Kshhhh!  Definitely not handling potentially volatile tech today.  He considered the possibility of clearing out the next store room to prepare it for file storage, actually thought about it for a while, but couldn’t quite summon the energy.  Instead, he closed his eyes, expression frozen for a prolonged moment, handkerchief at the ready, and huhhhNXXTshoo Hih’TSCHU! Heh’KKSCHHNT!!!

           He blew his nose, checked the time (just gone 3:00 p.m.), sipped at his tea, and closed his eyes for half a minute, wishing, or perhaps, dreaming he were home in bed, (he couldn’t honestly have sworn to which if you’d asked).  He opened his eyes, sniffed, coughed, blew his nose again, thinking he should have brought more handkerchiefs, as he sneezed yet again.  He checked the time again. 3:12. This was going to be a long afternoon.  sniiiiff  Fully staffed, Ianto might’ve taken a day, and stayed home.  With just the three of them, that didn’t seem practicable. The least he could do was stick out the afternoon.

          Finally, feeling like he should be doing at least something productive, he stretched, rubbed at the back of his neck, and set for himself the relatively innocuous task of picking up where he last left off (weeks ago, now?) on digitizing and cross-referencing and organizing the haphazardly filed archive notes accumulated over the past 75 years.  It was probably the most tedious job in the archives, but was also the safest.  No operation of heavy machinery required.  It also had the advantage of turning up the occasional nugget of Jack’s mysterious history.  Best of all, it would permit him to hide out the rest of the day in the archives, Rift allowing, of course, and focus properly on knocking out this head cold with tea and lemsips.  He selected an ancient crumbling file box, took a swallow of tea, sneezed into his fist, and set to work, pulling out a yellowed folder, with handwritten notes and began to review the file.

              Ianto was normally quite efficient at this process, methodically taking image scans of the often hand-written notes, then digitizing the text, proofing the text, adding the “interpretive” commentary, and finally cross-referencing and filing the data into a searchable database.  However, today, his progress was painfully slow.  Dusty, ancient files, and an already tickly nose meant he spent nearly as much time sneezing, sniffling, and blowing his nose as he spent reading, scanning, and filing. 

             By half-four, Ianto had to admit that this damnable head cold was outright mocking his best efforts to banish it.  He shoved back from his work table, resigned to dying in the bowels of Torchwood Three, having sneezed his own brains out.  Hehh..hehh..CKChieshhh;  HeshXTshhhh!  huhhhNXXTshoo Hih’TSCHU! Heh’KKSCHHT! ehhh-IHHShuu!!

            Perhaps pillaging through the piles of ancient, crumbly and dusty files had not been his best idea, he thought, sneezing, yet again, then pressing the heels of his hands firmly into his eye-sockets in an effort to relieve some of the building pressure that was clearly causing his brain to liquefy and drip steadily out through his nose. HeshNXTshhhh!  Sniirff.....     HckSHEWWW!!!

          He checked the time.  His teammates would be looking for a fresh caffeine infusion, any time now. He blew his nose wetly, sniffed, bookmarked his folder and headed for the upper level to make some fresh coffee.  He stopped by the washroom, splashed cold water on his face and peered with dismay at his reflection’s reddened nose and puffy eyes.  He even looked ill.

          Still, there was nothing for it.  He headed upstairs to the kitchenette.  He prepared fresh coffee for his team mates (careful not to directly handle their mugs) and strategically delivered Gwen’s while she was on the phone, so she was not able to ask him how he felt.  Jack accepted his mug of coffee with suspicious eyes, but he didn’t press Ianto, for which Ianto was grateful as he stifled a few sneezes and prepared himself a large thermos of honeyed tea and descended again to the archives.

           Then the thought occurred to him to search the massive archive for a solution.  Surely, in all these hundreds of years, someone Torchwood, somewhen had found a cure for the common cold.  All he needed to do was find it.  He sneezed, with some excitement at the prospect, blew his nose, sipped some tea and began formulating queries for the mainframe. 

                By six p.m. Ianto, had uncovered fourteen separate accounts of attempts as cold remedies in the Torchwood Three archives.  Only three of those had been fatal.  (He suspected the subject in at least two of these was Jack, but he wasn’t sure about the third).  One seemed surprisingly effective, but called for an infusion of essence of the venom of a hoyx (a spotted one), which he doubted he could get at the best of times, and certainly not in his present condition.  One case file described a near-world ending alien virus that could have, according to the account, wiped out half the population, as the symptoms pretty much mimicked a head cold up untila blotchy purple rash on the extremities of the victims started.  (Ianto looked down at the backs of his hands in spite of himself, relieved to find them the usual shade of pale). The rest appeared to be the rambling efforts of afflicted predecessors, miserable and wallowing, like him.  Not helpful, but somehow satisfying in the shared misery, just the same.

             By seven, Ianto was no longer willing to count himself as an optimist, and he sneezed heavily into an already overused handkerchief  hahhh CHMFF! Echmfft!!  Hechhh-chuuuu!!  huhhhNXXTshoo!!!    He blew his nose, and coughed, and decided that he was well and truly done with this day, and it was time to go home and go to bed. 

                       And then the rift alarm sounded again, and Ianto would not see home, or bed, or the end of this day for hours more to come.

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6 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

Heard Jack talk about spending five years in one before.  Couldn’t imagine being stuck in one with this cold…though, maybe better than being stuck with John Hart for five years

LOL, Jack seemed to enjoy it at least for a while...

 

6 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

Definitely not handling potentially volatile tech today.

Good plan!

 

6 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

His teammates would be looking for a fresh caffeine infusion, any time now.

Ianto, always the caretaker.

 

6 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

Jack accepted his mug of coffee with suspicious eyes, but he didn’t press Ianto, for which Ianto was grateful as he stifled a few sneezes and prepared himself a large thermos of honeyed tea and descended again to the archives.

Come on Jack! Take care of your love!

 

6 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

By six p.m. Ianto, had uncovered fourteen separate accounts of attempts as cold remedies in the Torchwood Three archives.  Only three of those had been fatal.  (He suspected the subject in at least two of these was Jack, but he wasn’t sure about the third). 

LOL. Wouldn't surprise me for Jack to do something crazy like that!

 

6 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

He blew his nose, and coughed, and decided that he was well and truly done with this day, and it was time to go home and go to bed. 

                       And then the rift alarm sounded again, and Ianto would not see home, or bed, or the end of this day for hours more to come.

Poor baby! 

You deal such wonderful torment. This story is seriously my crack right now!

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^^ Ditto.  I am REALLY enjoying the whole story--its beautifully written.  I'm eagerly awaiting more (but realize that good writing takes time :)

--QS

 

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On 12/4/2017 at 9:28 PM, AngelEyes said:

You deal such wonderful torment. This story is seriously my crack right now!

Yes!!!  I have accomplished crackfic!   I am happy.....

Onward... 

 

TWTWTWTW

 

          Four days, six weevil hunts, one frantic search through second hand stores across Cardiff for an alien artifact that had the potential to explode and take out half the city, an entire package of Lemsip, one perfectly normal meteorite that of course merited examination by team Torchwood in the rain just because it landed near Cardiff and the Rift, two mysterious disappearances that Andy Davidson had tipped Gwen to, three entire packages of cough sweets, one exceedingly obnoxious blowfish, more tissues than Ianto could count and an afternoon spent clearing a nest of alien beings that looked for all the world like a bunch of black kittens (until they showed their tentacles) out of the basement of an office building (and the naturally following Jack Harkness original commentary about the many creative uses for tentacles), and almost an entire bottle of some syrupy goop that was supposed-to-help-but-didn’t later, Ianto dropped heavily on the natty couch in the hub, exhausted, and closed his eyes, willing to give up forever the prospect of breathing through his nose again, if he could just get some sleep.  HNNGTHchhh! and stop sneezing.  He sniffed miserably  (and maybe just a bit pathetically).

             Just over the drumming of the headache that had not relented since Tuesday, he could just hear Gwen, in Jack’s office, voice indignant.  He imagined her stance, hands on hips and smiled mentally, just slightly (an actual physical smile was too much effort.). “You need to send him home, Jack.  He needs to be in bed”.  What he wouldn’t give…

              He couldn’t make out Jack’s low reply, but he recognized the tone.

            “You mean you need him here!” was Gwen’s almost-shouted reply. 

           Ianto thought to himself that it might be nice to be needed a little less now and then.  Just long enough to die peacefully on this horrid couch, surely couldn’t be too much to ask…he’d miss Jack, though, he thought, so, maybe, just some sleep…and he might have actually drifted off before a series of wracking coughs shook him awake, and here he was, still wretchedly alive, still on the couch and still ill.  He closed his eyes, readied his handkerchief, and sneezed for what must have been the 1000th time.

           Gwen must have gotten through to Jack, just a bit, though, because when the report came of weevils were spotted in Tremorfa, Jack ordered Ianto to stay behind and direct from the hub. Ianto protested, of course, but it’s difficult to argue a point successfully while in the midst of a coughing fit. And when Jack stood firm, Gwen thought she might’ve seen Ianto’s shoulders relax just a bit in relief as he slid himself into Tosh’s chair, sniffed wetly, coughed into his fist, and summoned screens to track their progress, and try to get a CCTV visual on the rogue weevils. 

           The black SUV picked its way carefully down darkened streets, the snow from earlier in the week having been rained into slush and then by black ice, as the temp dropped well below freezing.  Gwen pressed her point.  “Jack, we need more people.  We can’t keep up this pace.  You have to let me bring Andy ‘round.  At least talk to him.”

          “Gwen, not now,” Jack said, shortly.

          “How can you say that, Jack?  How can you say ‘not now’?” Gwen was exasperated. “We are barely managing!”

           Jack resisted, Gwen persisted.  “Did you get a good look at Ianto?  He really is ill.  His face is pale and he has dark circles under his eyes and his nose is all red and blotchy.  I don’t think I’ve seen him look so unwell since…”

           “I cadn hear you, you kdnow. You’re on an opedn cobm,” Ianto interrupted, as indignantly as he could manage through the congestion.  In truth, he was embarrassed to have been so thoroughly sidelines by a stupid head cold.  He muted his com, sneezed, blew his nose, and jabbed irritably at the computer to update the tracer map of the SUV, thinking he should be in the field with his team, not back at the hub waylaid by a case of the sniffles.

           He shifted CCTV views  as the SUV tracked down Madoc Road, and then across to Muirton,  He saw movement in the darkened shadows.

           Ianto enlarged the frame, trying to make out the familiar loping shape of a weevil.  Something wasn’t right.

        “Jack, I don’t think that’s a weevil” Ianto reported as he tried to pull better resolution or a better angle at least from the CCTV cameras.  He could see Jack and Gwen park the SUV and proceed on foot toward the primary school, splitting up to circle around where the creature was hidden.  Jack had his Webley drawn.  Ianto’s CCTV camera angle meant he saw the sudden movement before Jack and Gwen did, and he shouted a warning into his headset.  The creature darted from its hiding place, just as Gwen turned and took aim.  Then, Gwen’s boot slipped on the icy pavement, sending her down, hard.  Ianto could just make it out as she raised her arm protect her face, the creature lunged and he was screaming helplessly over the com as CCTV feed dropped into static.  He could hear Gwen’s scream, Jack’s shout, an unearthly howl and finally the report of Jack’s Webley.  Then nothing for several long minutes as he continued to call hoarsely into the com for his team, desperate for a response.  He should have been with his team, should have been backing them up.  Should not have been here safe in the hub, and sipping tea.   He slammed a fist on the desk in helpless frustration.

           Finally, the headset crackled there was Jack’s voice, thin, breathless and grim.  “Gwen’s been injured.  Get a kit ready, we are heading in.  THAT was no weevil”.

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That is one hell of an opening paragraph! Poor Ianto!!!! 

8 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

and the naturally following Jack Harkness original commentary about the many creative uses for tentacles)

LOL!

 

8 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

Just long enough to die peacefully on this horrid couch, surely couldn’t be too much to ask…he’d miss Jack, though, he thought, so, maybe, just some sleep…and he might have actually drifted off before a series of wracking coughs shook him awake, and here he was, still wretchedly alive, still on the couch and still ill.

Poor sweet baby.

 

8 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

“I cadn hear you, you kdnow. You’re on an opedn cobm,” Ianto interrupted, as indignantly as he could manage through the congestion.

Awkward.

 

8 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

He should have been with his team, should have been backing them up.  Should not have been here safe in the hub, and sipping tea.   He slammed a fist on the desk in helpless frustration.

Sad.

 

8 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

Finally, the headset crackled there was Jack’s voice, thin, breathless and grim.  “Gwen’s been injured.  Get a kit ready, we are heading in.  THAT was no weevil”.

Oh No!

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Aw, Ianto! Hopefully someone will remind you later that it's GOOD you were at the Hub: you had a completely different angle of view than the others, and that's why you were able to alert them!

(Also, LOLing forever at Jack and the tentacles!)

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8 hours ago, AngelEyes said:

That is one hell of an opening paragraph! Poor Ianto!

If you can't make a paragraph out of one giant run-on sentence is a crackfic, where else can you?  

 

7 hours ago, MyOwnPrivateSFC said:

Aw, Ianto! Hopefully someone will remind you later that it's GOOD you were at the Hub: you had a completely different angle of view than the others, and that's why you were able to alert them!

(Also, LOLing forever at Jack and the tentacles!)

Didn't telegraph that at all, huh?

 

Thanks for the comments guys!  Getting closer to wrapping this up (so I can catch up on the things I'm supposed to be doing).  

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