Pairings: budding Jack/Ianto, references to past Ianto/Lisa
Disclaimer: If I was the one who owned Torchwood, you think I'd admit it now?
Spoilers: Some information and events from s1,2. NONE for s3.
Summary: In the aftermath of Lisa's death, Ianto is struggling to cope - and new surprises don't help matters much. Can his friends on the team at Torchwood help him carry on?
Author's Note: Sequel to Guilt.
Thanks to: My lovely beta cazmalfoy, angelzbabe1989 for idea bouncing, and morbid_sparks for cheerleading even when she doesn't know what happens.
Previous chapters at master list
It appeared that Jack had lost the argument. Even without knowing the substance of the disagreement, the sulk Jack descended into for the rest of the morning made it clear that he hadn’t been able to persuade Suzie around to his side.
And when Jack was in a bad mood, the tension throughout the Hub rose to an almost unbearable level. Ianto made sure there was plentiful coffee in the pot and escaped to the archives, taking an earpiece with him so Tosh could let him know when she’d managed to get her Rift-Weevil activity model running.
When a voice sounded in his ear a little over an hour later, it wasn’t the one he’d been expecting. “Hey, can you come up and watch the Hub for a while? There’s… something hovering out around Tremorfa, but they’re blocking most of Tosh’s scans, so we don’t know what. We need to get out there and check it out.”
“I’ll be right up.” Carefully marking where he’d reached, Ianto nudged the filing cabinet drawer shut and headed up to the Hub.
The ship – for it was an alien ship, after all – turned out to be not so much an invasion force as some very lost tourists. The cloaking shields, as they explained to the team, had been raised as soon as they got their positioning system working well enough again to let them realise where they were. After some helpful directions from Jack towards the nearest planet they would be likely to find help on, they were off, leaving the team with a rather anticlimactic feeling.
Tosh’s simulation of what her correlation would predict for the Weevil activity in the last 2 years, based on historical data, had finished while they were out. Ianto had watched its progress on one of Tosh’s screens while keeping an eye on the scans (particularly those across Tremorfa) on the other.
When it had blinked and indicated that it was complete, he had been strongly tempted to have a look. He knew Tosh would forgive him if he did, but he knew just as certainly that that wouldn’t stop him feeling guilty about it.
It was Tosh’s project, and she deserved the first look at the results of her programming efforts. No matter how curious he was.
Tosh made a beeline straight for her desk the moment she and the rest of the team returned to the Hub. She hit a few keys and the computer brought up a screen full of numbers. A few more keys and the data organised itself into a graphical format, plotting both the predicted and actual Weevil activity against time, over the last two years.
Tosh and Ianto stared at it, silently, for a few seconds. What it showed wasn’t exactly a surprise, but expecting it and actually seeing it were two very different things. After a few moments, Tosh found her voice.
“Jack!” she called. “I think you might like to see this!”
Jack bounded up to join them, still in his greatcoat. “What have you got?”
Tosh gestured towards the graphs on the screen.
The two lines – the simulated activity and the recorded – matched almost exactly until approximately seven months before the end of the data; early December 2005, in real terms. After that, they began to diverge swiftly; actual sightings often outnumbered those expected from Rift activity alone by almost two to one. And it wasn’t a steady difference, which would have suggested outside interference less strongly. Sometimes the two lines almost matched again for a short while, before a spike in sightings and attacks took the ‘actual’ line way higher again.
“This doesn’t look good, “Jack said. “Something is clearly up.”
Tosh nodded. “The fact that the first year and a half of data matches up so well gives me confidence that the model does work – the correlation the computer found was pretty good. But something new was introduced to the system last December; something that’s clearly affecting the Weevils, maybe even more strongly than the Rift does.”
Jack opened his mouth to speak.
“No, I don’t have any idea what it could be,” Tosh answered before he had a chance to ask the question. She shot a look at Ianto. “But with Ianto and me on the case, we’ll get to the bottom of it, just you watch.”
Comments and concrit are loved! (And might help me get going on the sequel to this!)