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Ianto Little Smile

December 2022



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Ficlet: Leaderless

Title: Leaderless
Author: badly_knitted
Characters: Ianto, Owen, Tosh, Gwen.
Rating: PG
Spoilers: End of Days.
Summary: Jack is gone; how are the rest of the team going to cope without him?
Word Count: 500
Written For: Prompt 134: Four at anythingdrabble.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters.

“Well, that’s it; Jack’s gone and there’s no way of knowing when, or even if, he’ll come back,” Ianto said, once the team had exhausted every avenue of investigation they could think of, to no avail. The CCTV in the Hub and up on the Plas appeared to have suffered interference around the time of Jack’s mysterious disappearance that not even Tosh could clear up. “Just the four of us now, isn’t it?”

“So what? We’ve managed fine with four people before, back when it was just Jack, Tosh, Suzie and me,” Owen said dismissively. “Before you wormed your way onto the team.”

“But we always had Jack to lead us back then. No one knows more about the Rift, aliens, and alien technology than he does,” Tosh pointed out.

“Exactly,” Ianto agreed. “We’ll be flying blind.”

“But Jack trained all of us,” Gwen reminded them. “He taught us everything we know!”

“Everything WE know, but nowhere near everything HE knows,” Tosh said. “He’s taught us on a case-by-case basis, everything he knows or can guess at pertaining to whatever we’re dealing with at the time. Not much point filling our heads with information about things we might never have to face, not when it’s all in his head, ready to be accessed if needed.”

“It’s not like he knew everything anyhow,” Owen insisted. “How many times did he hand you something that came through the Rift and leave it to you to figure out what it was?”

“You’re right, Jack’s limited by his experiences as much as the rest of us are, he just has a lot more experience than all of us put together.” Ianto folded his arms over his chest and perched on the edge of Tosh’s workstation. “No matter how you look at it, we’ve just lost Torchwood’s greatest asset; protecting Cardiff from Weevils and the Rift is all up to us now, and it’s more active than ever thanks to our collective stupidity. How many times did Jack warn us not to mess with the Rift? But we went ahead and did it anyway, thinking we knew better that he did, and look where it got us.”

“I got Rhys back,” Gwen said defensively.

Ianto inclined his head in acknowledgement of the point. “You did, but the rest of us didn’t get anything except a gigantic demon. Honestly, I can’t even blame Jack for taking off after that. Can you?”

Everyone avoided looking at each other, each of them feeling embarrassed and ashamed, not just about what they’d done but because they’d needed to be reminded.

“Without Jack here to lead us we’ll have our work cut out for us.”

“Yeah, alright,” Owen snapped, glaring at Ianto. “You’ve made your point, now shut up and let the rest of us figure out what to do now.”

“Owen!” Tosh rounded on the medic. “Ianto is as much a part of the team as any of us!”

“Fine. Guess it’s time we vote in a new leader.”

The End


Well we all know it should be Ianto. He already knows more than any of them, and in particular he knows how
Jack thinks, and can access the archives. The knowledge that Tosh and Owen have is too specialised. Gwen will try to stick her snout in wanting the glory, but she is just not suited to the task. Ianto will just go on doing what he does, and it will dawn on the others that he is in fact in charge as he knows the whole system
Owen currently has the most experience as a field agent so he'll take the lead if necessary when they're out on missions. Gwen will assume she's in charge, and Ianto will run everything, just as he always does. Perfect division of labour ;)

Than you!