Pairings: Jack/Ianto, Ianto/Lisa
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: Ianto gets some help in the archives.
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
Ianto startled a little when he heard footsteps approaching from behind him. He’d been sorting through one particular shelf for over an hour, since shortly after his conversation with Tosh, and he hadn’t been expecting any visitors.
He was more than a little bit surprised that any of them might be approaching him down there – the archives had all but officially been declared as ‘Ianto’s domain’, and each of his co-workers had, at one point or another, confessed a fear that if they came to see him down here they might be put to work.
The footsteps grew closer, and Ianto turned to face their owner.
Jack. He definitely hadn’t expected him down here. If he was required for something, which he suspected was the reason behind this visit, Jack generally just contacted him through the comm. system.
“Good afternoon, sir,” he said quietly. “Is there something you need me to do?”
“What?” Jack appeared momentarily flustered, which was unusual. “Oh, no. Actually, I’m here to help.”
Ianto was stunned, and a little bit worried. “Help?”
His reservations must have shown on his face, because Jack immediately qualified his statement. “I promise I won’t move anything. I won’t even touch anything if you don’t want me to. I didn’t mean help with your grand re-organisation plan.”
Ianto squinted slightly at Jack, puzzled. “What sort of help are you offering then?”
“Well, Tosh mentioned that you thought maybe some of the masses of unidentified artefacts might actually be useful in this situation, if only we knew what they were.” Ianto nodded.
Jack grinned. “That’s where I come in. I’ve been around, and I’m pretty sure I’d recognise a lot of things that the rest of you wouldn’t, and that the Torchwood teams from the past almost certainly didn’t recognise or have the equipment to identify.”
Ianto considered these words. ‘I’ve been around.’ What sort of places had Jack been around that he’d gained a vast knowledge of alien and futuristic technology? He knew that Jack had been at Torchwood Three for quite a while, but Ianto knew how Torchwood worked, and some of the things Jack said seemed far too specific to have been learned through Torchwood's research procedures. And then there were his madcap stories of adventures and… encounters… with aliens.
Something didn’t quite fit somewhere; there was at least one piece of the puzzle missing. Ianto shook his head a little and filed the thought away for future consideration. They had a job to do, and if Jack really could identify some mysterious objects, then all the better.
“All right,” he nodded at Jack. “But really, please, please, don’t move anything. This section hasn’t actually been sorted through yet, but I have a system, and…”
“Hey!” Jack interrupted. “I just said I wouldn’t move anything, didn’t I?”
Ianto raised an eyebrow. “Yes, sir, you did. But you forget that I have actually met you.”
Jack narrowed his eyes, but there was no actual malice in the look he shot Ianto. “Ianto Jones, you wound me, you really do. I’m a man of my word; I keep my promises, and I promise not to move a single thing in this archive unless you specifically ask me to.”
Ianto, despite the disastrous situation he’d found himself in, found himself smiling slightly at the earnest expression on Jack’s face, and the insane urge – quickly dismissed – to ask his Captain to ‘cross his heart and hope to die’ came over him.
“Right.” He turned back to face the shelf of artefacts and picked up one he’d been pondering for a minute or two before Jack had interrupted him. The label on it gave only an item number, a physical description and a hastily scribbled message that nothing unusual or useful had turned up on the tests done by Torchwood 1934.
He passed it to Jack. “What do you make of this one, then?”
Jack turned it over in his hands a few times, examining it from all sides. After a minute, he sighed and handed it back to Ianto. “I have no idea. Never seen one before.”
“I thought you said you could help?” Ianto responded, at least partially teasing.
“I can! Just… not with that particular item,” Jack defended himself.
Ianto tilted his head and looked again at the object. “It doesn’t look like it’s likely to be of any use in the current situation anyway, so I guess it’s not all that important.”
He picked up his clipboard, recording the item number and the current location of the object. “I’m going to put it on the list for possible future re-examination though, because you never know what they might have missed back in the 30s.”
A few items further down the shelf, they came upon another unidentified artefact, this time from the 20s.
Jack’s face lit up when Ianto handed it over. “Oh, now this one, I know…”
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