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Ianto Little Smile

September 2018

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Torchwood

Fic: Practice What You Learn

Title: Practice What You Learn
Fandom: Torchwood
Author: badly_knitted
Characters: Ianto, Jack, Owen, Gwen, Tosh, mentions Lisa.
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: Fragments, Cyberwoman, Captain Jack Harkness, End Of Days.
Summary: Torchwood One taught Ianto the basics of using a gun, but practice has done the rest.
Word Count: 1128
Content Notes: None necessary.
Written For: Challenge #28: Practice at beattheblackdog.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters.





Ianto had been taught the basics of using a gun soon after he’d been recruited by Torchwood One, but as a junior researcher and archivist, he’d never really had occasion to put his fledgling weapons skills to use. Nevertheless, he’d put in his required four hours’ practice on the firing range every month; it was a good way of taking out his frustrations with Torchwood’s upper echelons. Just picture their faces on the paper targets, take aim, and fire. It was surprising how much his marksmanship improved when he was having a bad week.


Then the Cybermen had arrived, and Ianto’s gun had been locked safely in his desk drawer, as per regulations when the weapons issued to office and lab staff weren’t in use. Ianto hadn’t even been on the same floor as his desk at the time, never mind in his office; not that having access to the automatic would have helped. Bullets just bounced off the metal men, and more than one human fell victim to ricochets while the Cybermen marched inexorably onwards, as if the flying bullets were no more bothersome to them than gnats would have been. Their advance wasn’t even slowed.


When he left Torchwood One, taking Lisa, half-converted and in agony, with him, he left the gun is his drawer, sure he would never need to fire one again.


After Ianto finally managed to talk his way into a job with Torchwood Three, Jack took it upon himself to instruct him in the proper use of firearms. During those sessions, Ianto learned very little that he didn’t already know about how to fire a gun. On the other hand, he did get to try out a number of unfamiliar weapons; Torchwood One had restricted their training of office staff to the use of the handguns they were issued.


At the same time, he learned a fair amount about Jack, and made some interesting discoveries about himself along the way; most notably that he enjoyed Jack’s lessons quite a lot more than he probably should have, all things considered. It wasn’t too long before guns became surplus to requirements during the lessons and they focussed instead on rather more pleasurable activities.


Things changed for a while after Lisa’s discovery and the execution of the Cyberwoman using her body, but in time Ianto and Jack’s extracurricular activities resumed, although weapons training didn’t. Ianto didn’t mind; he was capable of using a gun if the need arose, but he was the General Support Officer, not a field agent. He still occasionally practiced, just to keep his hand in, although he didn’t really expect that he’d ever need to put his skills to use.


Of course, he’d reckoned without having to shoot Owen in an effort to prevent him from opening the Rift. The thought of anyone ever attempting something so stupid had never crossed his mind. Why would it? Rule number one at Torchwood had been drilled into all of them from the start: Don’t mess with the Rift. They all knew how dangerous it could be. Then again, Owen could be a moron at times.


Ianto was quite pleased with his marksmanship on that occasion. Despite distractions and the fact that Owen seemed unwilling to stay still and provide a nice, stationary target while he was shot, Ianto still managed to avoid blowing the medic’s head off by accident and hit him in the shoulder, which was where he was aiming, more or less. As annoying as Owen could be, Ianto still considered him a sort of friend and didn’t really want to kill him. Most of the time he didn’t, anyway.


Jack left them not long after, and the remaining members of the team carried on as best they could. Ianto spent his nights at the Hub, sleeping in Jack’s bunk. He hardly went back to his flat anymore. On nights when he couldn’t sleep, he’d go down to the firing range and practice. Sometimes, he’d picture Jack’s face on the paper targets and blow hell out of them, they go back to the bunker beneath Jack’s office and wallow in misery, missing the other man painfully even though he was mad at him for taking off without leaving so much as a note.


Late one evening, just under a month after Jack’s departure, the rest of the team went out to round up an unidentified alien that had come through the Rift. On their return, they hauled the creature’s dead body into the main Hub, intent on taking it down to the autopsy bay for dissection.


“Need a hand with that?”


“Nah, it’s not that heavy, we can manage, but I could do with a coffee,” Owen grinned as with Gwen’s help, he manhandled his next autopsy subject down the steps.


“You drink coffee this late, you’ll be awake half the night,” Ianto warned him.


“Nothing new there then. None of us is gettin’ enough sleep.” Owen took his eyes off the creature for a moment and… Well, turned out it wasn’t as dead as they’d thought. Snarling, it twisted in Owen’s grasp, fanged mouth gaping as it lunged for his throat. Tosh was over at her workstation, Owen had his hands full trying to defend himself, and Gwen was sent flying, her head colliding with the steps, leaving her too stunned to be any help.


Ianto had only just come up from the firing range; his Torchwood Special was still tucked in the waistband of his well-cut trousers. Tugging it out and knocking the safety off with a practiced flick of his thumb, he levelled the gun, bracing his right hand with his left, aimed, and fired, all in one smooth move. A single shot, straight through the creature’s ear and out the other side of its head, the bullet taking half its skull along for the ride; messy, but very effective.


The alien crashed to the ground, definitely dead this time, carrying Owen with it.


“Fuck!” Owen hurriedly disentangled himself, scrambling to his feet and backing away from his attacker as he looked around to see who had just saved his life. His eyes widened when he saw Ianto standing at the top of the steps, gun still rock steady in his hands, his eyes focussed intently on the corpse. Slowly, Ianto breathed in and lowered his weapon, flicking the safety back on.


“Jesus, Teaboy, where the hell did you learn to shoot like that?”


Ianto just shrugged. “I practice.”


“You’re wasted just cleanin’ up after us; next time we go out in the field, you’re comin’ with. No arguments.”


Ianto said nothing, just went off to make coffee; looked like he’d just been promoted.


And that’s how fieldwork came to be added to his long list of duties.



The End









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