Erin (etmuse) wrote in etmuse_fics,
Erin
etmuse
etmuse_fics

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Guilt - 59/69

Title: Guilt
Fandom: Torchwood
Pairings: Jack/Ianto, Ianto/Lisa
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: Torchwood is not mine. No matter how much I sometimes wish it was.
Spoilers: Better say everything through s2, just to be sure, although it takes place pre-S1.
Summary: Why didn't you tell us? We could have helped you. - Well, what if he did?

This chapter: Tosh offers Ianto some help.

Thanks to: My beta cazmalfoy for all her wonderful work, and my cheerleaders angelzbabe1989 and piper08 for putting up with me when I whine about being stuck.

Fic starts here
Previous chapters at my master list

Chapter Fifty-Nine

Ianto read the short description on the next item on the list displayed on his screen, sighing as he clicked the button to discard it. Thirty-seven down… He skimmed over the remaining list. A whole lot more to go.

With no timely brainwaves from anyone, Ianto had set himself the arduous task of scanning through all of the information already on the database about items in the archives to see if anything hopeful turned up. Knowing that the details recorded in the log were often sketchy at best, his search parameters had, by necessity, been broad: they had given him a list of thousands to examine.

And that didn’t even cover all those items for which a use had never been ascertained. There were very few of those from the last couple of decades, with Torchwood’s own technology advancing significantly enough to allow for much more reliable tests to be done on recovered artefacts. Nearly a quarter of items from the 1950s or earlier, however, were of unknown origin and function.

He selected the next item on the list, expanding it to read the full description.

Possible medical applications; could prove useful in accelerating healing of broken bones but…

He stopped reading, adding the item to the growing virtual pile of items that would be no help.

This task would be infinitely easier once the organisation of the archives was complete, and proper keywords and cross-referencing were in place. But Lisa simply couldn’t afford to wait that long.

They didn’t know how quickly the effects would take hold, and Ianto had the sinking feeling that, unless he found something in this search that would halt or reverse it, it might be all too fast.

Several hours and hundreds of not-always-very-informative item descriptions later, Ianto was exhausted, frustrated, and had only two items on his ‘possible’ list.

And even those he was fairly sceptical about.

For the most part, at his request, the rest of the team had given him peace to search and left him to it – the large jug of coffee he’d prepared earlier probably helped – but when he dropped his hands from the keyboard and sighed, his head falling forward, Tosh immediately appeared at his side.

“How’s it going?” she asked quietly, unobtrusively. He looked up and met her sympathetic gaze. Whatever answer she was looking for, she must have found it in his eyes because she rested a hand on his shoulder and smiled sadly. “That bad, huh?”

“Am I fooling myself here, Tosh?” he asked despondently. “Am I stupid in thinking that I have any chance of finding something useful in time to help her?” His gaze dropped back to the desk in front of him.

“You better not be telling me that you’re giving up, Ianto,” Tosh said, a hint of a challenge in her voice.

The logical part of Ianto’s brain recognised the words for the deliberate goad that they were, but the emotional part responded indignantly to it anyway. He looked up again, leaning back slightly in his chair. “Of course not! I promised Lisa I wouldn’t and I meant it!”

He blew out a long breath. “It’s just a little demoralising to keep searching and coming up with nothing.” He indicated his short handwritten list. “Those two are the only things I’ve found so far with even a small chance of being useful, and their chances really are pretty much non-existent.”

“I know you said earlier you didn’t need one,” Tosh started, “but are you sure you don’t want a hand with this?”

Ianto shrugged a little. “I don’t know. I’m beginning to wonder if maybe I wouldn’t be better off just searching the physical archives myself.” He waved at the long list still displayed on the screen. “Even if I do find something good in this lot, I’ll still need to locate it down there, anyway.”

Tosh nodded as he continued, “I’ve been making some headway with sorting them out, but still… I just got lucky the last time finding what I wanted in a couple of days. I could easily spend several days looking through this database for something that might be useful, and then another week looking for the actual item.”

He shrugged again. “At least if I find an object just on a shelf then that’s it found. I’m not sure I can take much more of sitting here flicking through a list like this.” He raised a questioning eyebrow at Tosh, his voice turning a little unsure. “What do you think?”

She smiled encouragingly. “I think it sounds like a great idea. And you know, I can carry on with the computer search too, if you want. It can’t hurt to approach this two ways at once, right?”

The tiniest spark of hope and motivation reappeared in Ianto’s eyes. “Really?”

“Absolutely.”


Chapter Sixty
All comments and concrit welcomed! (Comments = Love <3)
Tags: fandom: torchwood, fanfic, fic: guilt, length: 40000+, rating: pg/pg-13, tw: ianto/lisa, tw: jack/ianto, verse: guilt
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