Characters: Jack, Ianto, mentions Tosh.
Word Count: 1433
Summary: Jack’s determined not to give in to the demands of the young Welshman who’s stalking him, but Welsh vowels and a pterodactyl prove his undoing.
Written For: Challenge # 146: Voice at fan_flashworks.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters.
“And you are?”
“Jones, Ianto Jones.” The voice was surprisingly deep and resonant, the accent unsurprisingly Welsh. What else would one expect in Cardiff? Yes, there were always tourists coming from all over to visit, but everything about this man said he was a local.
“Nice to meet you, Jones, Ianto Jones.”
From the moment Jack first encountered the young man in Bute Park, he was captivated, though he worked hard not to show it. Mysterious men who knew about Weevils were best treated with caution, at least until it could be determined exactly how this one came by his knowledge. He’d got the kid’s name though; that would help with identification, unless it proved to be false.
It didn’t. As soon as he got back to the Hub, Jack had Tosh run a thorough background check, complete with photos, and his potential stalker turned out to be exactly who he said he was. Unfortunately, he was also Torchwood One, or had been until the tower fell during the Battle of Canary Wharf. That made him one of… what? Was it twenty-six or twenty-seven survivors? Jack wasn’t sure, but it was somewhere around there. Whatever the exact total, it was a pitifully small number, considering the hundreds of Torchwood One employees who’d been at work on that fateful day.
It had only been a few weeks since the battle though, and Jack was still angry. It hadn’t just been Torchwood One personnel who’d died horrific deaths; thousands of helpless civilians around the globe had been converted, or deleted, or exterminated when the Daleks arrived. So much death and destruction, all because the bigwigs at One, especially Yvonne Hartman, had been messing around with something they didn’t understand in the name of Empire.
Hartman had always craved power, and Jack had always known she’d stop at nothing to get it. Well, now she and her cronies were dead, torn apart in conversion units to be remade as heartless, soulless robots, devoid of emotion. Torchwood One had brought their destruction down upon themselves, refusing to listen to his warnings, and Jack wanted nothing more to do with them. Too bad really; Ianto Jones was certainly attractive enough that Jack would have relished getting to know him better if circumstances had been different. As it was, he wouldn’t touch the boy with a ten-foot pole.
At least, that was what he told himself. Repeatedly.
His stalker wouldn’t be put off so easily though. The following morning, Jack stepped outside the little Tourist Information kiosk that served as a front for Torchwood Three’s main entrance and there was Jones again, waiting. He was holding a mug of coffee in his hand, which was duly offered to the Captain and accepted. Jack took a cautious sip, more because of the steam rising from it than for any other reason; after all, even if it turned out to be poisoned he’d recover. He spared a moment to wonder how Jones had kept the drink hot while he was waiting for Jack to make an appearance, but then the rich flavour of top quality coffee, perfectly brewed, hit him and all he could say was “Wow!” He’d had good coffee before, but this was sublime.
Nevertheless, Jack wasn’t about to be won over by a hot beverage. Ruthlessly quashing the desire to drain the mug completely, he handed it back after that one sip. Amazing coffee wasn’t everything, and nothing was going to change the fact that this Jones kid had been Torchwood One.
“I want to work for you.”
Jack had worked hard to make Torchwood Three different, better, and he wasn’t about to contaminate his team by allowing one of Yvonne’s protégés through the door.
“Sorry. No vacancies.” He kept his team small for a reason; it was easier for them to stay below the radar that way. Well, that was the theory. In practice, it wasn’t quite so simple.
“Let me tell you about myself.”
There was no need. Jack simply reeled off everything he’d learned from Torchwood One’s records, including the name of Jones’s girlfriend.
“I’m sorry.” And he was. In that moment, Jones looked and sounded so broken.
Back and forth they went, an odd sort of argument with Jones sounding increasingly desperate, almost to the point of pleading, while Jack just dug his heels in deeper. Attractive, pushy, stubborn, and with an accent that curled Jack’s toes inside his boots, there was a lot to like about Ianto Jones, but the identity of his former employer was something Jack couldn’t let himself ignore. He’d severed all links with the rest of the Torchwood Institute because their policies sickened him. Nobody from One was ever going to set foot inside the Hub and that was all there was to it. He strode off again.
“Same time tomorrow then.” It was a statement rather than a question.
“There is no job for you here and there never will be.”
“I really like that coat.” Jones’s tone of voice was bordering on the flirtatious, just like the previous night.
Sassy little minx. Jack would have liked to take the boy over his knee, or to bed, or up against the nearest wall… He steeled himself and kept walking without looking back.
Despite what he’d said, Jones wasn’t out on Mermaid Quay the following morning. Jack breathed a sigh of relief and steadfastly ignored the twinge of disappointment that tugged at him. Even though he was determined not to employ the guy, he hadn’t expected Jones to give up quite so easily.
That evening he discovered that Jones had not, in fact, given up; he’d simply changed his strategy. Although, it had to be said that as strategies went, stepping out in front of the SUV at night in the pouring rain wasn’t exactly a sensible move, and Jack had to slam on the brakes to keep from mowing him down. Enraged and with his heart in his throat at the near miss, he climbed out of the driver’s seat, slammed the door and went to give the seemingly suicidal idiot a piece of his mind. Basically, that boiled down to threatening first to wipe his memory and then to drive right over him if he didn’t get out of the way.
“You're not gonna help me catch this pterodactyl then?” The Welsh lilt was out in full force.
Damnit! That wasn’t playing fair; how could Jack be expected to turn down the offer of a prehistoric creature? Especially when delivered in such an enticing way.
Catching a pterodactyl, or as Ianto later informs him, a pteranodon, is way more fun than anything Jack has done in months. Rolling on the warehouse floor with a hot Welshman is even better and Jack knows that his resistance is all but gone. Besides, if Jones looked good in denim he looks even better in a suit, even if the quality of said suit is a bit lacking.
“I should go.”
Then there’s that voice. Jack hears Welsh accents practically every day, one of the perks of being based in Cardiff, but none are quite like Ianto’s. Deep and rich as the best coffee, the young man’s voice does all sorts of wonderful things that stretch and twist humble vowels, turning their familiar sounds into a kind of music. Jack could happily listen to Jones, Ianto Jones all day. He might as well admit it; he’s lost.
“Hey! Report for work first thing tomorrow.”
Ianto’s earned his chance, even if there really isn’t a job available for him. Jack’s sure he can find something to keep his new employee occupied; maybe the archives, since the rest of the team are too busy with their own projects to sort through the accumulated detritus in the lower levels. Ianto’s file said he was a junior researcher, a tiny cog in the great machine of Torchwood One, so let him research the oddities the Rift has seen fit to dump on them, and while he’s at it, maybe he can keep the team supplied with mind-blowing coffee too.
Besides, Torchwood Three’s base is situated smack in the middle of the Welsh capitol and it strikes Jack quite suddenly that up until this moment, all his employees have been either English by birth or by naturalisation. It really is about time they had a Welsh voice echoing through the corridors; it might even help when dealing with the locals. He’s going to have to find out if young Mister Jones speaks the Welsh language too, because that would be the icing on the cake.