Title: Nervous Habits
Characters: Ianto Jones, Yvonne Hartman, Lisa Hallett, Jack Harkness
Summary: How Ianto’s nervous habits began.
Word Count: 517
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
Ianto tugs at the cuffs of his shirt, pulling them down a few unnecessary millimetres. They don’t feel right, but he knows it’s just because he’s nervous. This interview is important, he needs the job; he spent the last of his cash on this suit and if he’s not hired he doesn’t know what he’ll do.
Turns out he didn’t need to be nervous. He doesn’t even need to wait to find out if he’s hired.
“Congratulations, Ianto, you’re just what we’re looking for. Welcome to Torchwood. Now, if you’ll just go with Elise here, there’s some paperwork you’ll need to fill out. If you don’t have anywhere else to be, we can put you through the orientation process today and you’ll start work tomorrow. How does that sound?”
“That would be great, thank you Ms. Hartman.”
“Call me Yvonne, please. I like to be on first name terms with everybody, here at Torchwood Tower, it makes for a more relaxed working environment.”
Ianto tugs at his cuffs again. Relaxed isn’t the word he would have used, but it’s only natural to be a little on edge when starting a new job.
And that’s how the nervous ticks begin.
Four months later, mind made up to ask Lisa Hallett on a date, Ianto stands in his little cubbyhole of an office in the archives, tugging his cuffs down and straightening his tie. He feels like it’s choking him.
‘It’s just nerves,’ he tells himself repeatedly, ‘the tie’s fine, you can still breathe.’ Even so, he tugs at it again before pulling himself together and approaching the woman of his dreams.
“Lisa, hi, I was just wondering, would you like to go out for a drink with me sometime?”
She smiles up at him, her nose crinkling up cutely.
“I’d love to, I was starting to think you’d never ask! How about tonight?”
‘See?’ he tells himself as she walks away having arranged to meet up with him after work. ‘There was no need to get so nervous.’
Two years later, he’s standing by a road in the cold Welsh drizzle, waiting for a certain big black vehicle to come along. This is it, his last chance, make or break. If Harkness doesn’t hire him this time… Well, he doesn’t want to think about that. Nervously he tugs at his cuffs, pulls his suit jacket down, straightens his already perfectly straight tie for the umpteenth time. Here it comes, the flashy Torchwood SUV. He steps out into the road to the accompaniment of screeching brakes.
A short argument, a pterodactyl and some rolling around on a warehouse floor later, he’s secured a place with Torchwood Three. He walks away from Jack Harkness, shoulders hunched and feeling worse than ever, but it’s not nerves now. It’s the knowledge that to save the woman he loves, he’ll have to betray a man he’s already starting to like, respect and, if he’s completely honest with himself, fancy. He’d thought getting a job with Torchwood Three would mean the end of his problems; now he realises the hardest part is just beginning.