Prompt/Inspiration: D.E.B.S. (2004)
Characters: Ianto Jones, Jack Harkness, Gwen Cooper, Owen Harper, Rhys Williams, Toshiko Sato, Yvonne Hartman, John Hart, Lisa Hallett
Summary: There is a secret test hidden within university entrance exams. This test doesn’t measure a student’s aptitude at reading, writing, and arithmetic; it measures their innate ability to lie, cheat, fight, and kill. Those with high scores are recruited into the world's top secret paramilitary academies, with only the best being chosen for Torchwood. Some call them scoundrels and seductresses; some call them spies, the naive call them innocent. They call themselves T.I.E.S.
A/N: Sorry this is a little late. Real life and stroppy internet connections thwarted my posting attempts.
Les Deux Amours
Alpha Squad had secured themselves a prime spot in the rafters high above the central seating area of Les Deux Amours awaiting Diamond Jack’s arrival.
“Check this out,” said Tosh showing Ianto the flyer she had picked up at Torchwood earlier that day. “Hartman is looking for recruits to join the new interstellar division. I’m going to get an interview.”
Ianto, lost in thought, didn’t really hear her. “Do you think Commander Williams will let me take off some time after Endgame?” he asked doodling in the margins of his field notebook.
“What are you talking about?” Tosh asked confused.
“I don’t know,” Ianto said looking up from his work. “There’s this art school in Barcelona…” he trailed off.
“Art school?” interjected Suzie in disgust. “Ianto, you’re the perfect score. You could have your choice of any assignment you want after Endgame.”
“I guess,” he replied unsure.
“What did I say to you the first day of T.I.E.S. academy?” Suzie asked him.
“That’s my bunk, bitch,” Ianto replied with a smirk.
“Okay, after I said that,” she clarified.
“T.I.E.S. stick together,” he answered.
“Exactly,” smiled Suzie. “We’ve been through four years of hell and we’re top squad. We’re just getting to the good stuff.”
Unsure of what to say Ianto nodded.
“So you’re not going to ruin it all by going to some fluffy art school,” Suzie stated, considering the matter closed. “Am I right?”
“Of course,” he replied softly before glancing over to where Tosh was berating Gwen for not setting up the surveillance equipment correctly.
“Could you guys at least try and be professional?” Suzie chastised as Tosh ripped the equipment from Gwen’s hands and began to set it up again.
Gwen was about to open her mouth to complain when her wrist comm. beeped signalling an incoming message.
“Alpha Squad, Gwen speaking,” she said as Lisa’s voice came over the comm..
“Put him on Gwen,” Lisa ordered.
“Copy that,” Gwen replied before turning to Ianto. “She really needs to speak to you.”
“Tell her no, we’re on a bloody stakeout,” he replied annoyed.
“She shouldn’t even be calling,” Tosh complained. “It’s embarrassing.”
Ianto’s comm. started to beep until he finally gave up and answered it.
“Lisa, it’s over. Please leave me alone,” he answered, ignoring her protests that they needed to talk as he hung up again.
As soon as he had hung up a rope descended, dropping Lisa down beside them on the rafters.
“Bloody hell Lisa, what are you doing here?” Ianto asked, darting a look at his teammates who, other than Gwen, looked less than impressed.
“You think you guys are the only ones onto Diamond?” she scoffed. “Everyone’s here. The Feds, the CIA, U.N.I.T., MI-6…,” she trailed off pointing to where the various groups were stationed around the building.
“This is supposed to be our stakeout,” Suzie protested. “Your crappy little Delta team doesn't even have enough clearance to be here.”
“Always sticking their noses into our business,” Tosh complained. “It’s so rude.”
“Could you guys give us a minute?” Ianto asked.
Suzie gave him a pointed look and the three of them swung a few yards down.
Once they had left Ianto turned to Lisa and demanded an explanation.
“What the hell, Lisa? Why are you being such a bitch about this?” he asked.
“Well, when my boyfriend breaks up with me for no reason, excuse me if I’m a little hostile,” she groused.
“There’s a very good reason,” Ianto answered with a put-upon sigh. “And the fact that you can’t see it is exactly why we’re done.”
“What? Do you want more sex? Is there someone else? what?” she demanded.
“No, there isn’t anyone else,” Ianto tried to explain. Lisa continued to stare at him until Ianto finally closed his eyes knowing that the truth would only piss her off more. “I’m just not in love with you,” he finally admitted. “Now can we just end it and move on?”
“I guess no one is good enough for Mister Perfect Score,” she sneered.
“Shut up,” he answered, no longer feeling guilty for telling her the truth.
“You’re never going to get someone as good as me,” she said with a snide grin. “You know you’ll be back,” she added before pushing the button and retracting her rope back up to where Delta Squad waited above them.
While Ianto was sorting out the end of his affair with Lisa, Jack was outside in the car with Owen trying to work up the nerve to actually meet his date.
“You can do this,” Owen said trying to psyche him up.
“Why is it that I can hold an entire world hostage, but am scared to go on one stupid blind date,” he complained checking his teeth in the rear-view mirror.
“My Katie used to say that love is harder than crime,” Owen replied quietly.
“Owen-“ Jack started only to have his right-hand man hold up a hand before he said anything further.
“This is not about me, Jack,” he said with a soft smile. “Now you get in there and knock ‘em dead,” he added shooing him out of the car. Jack nodded and started to get out of the car. “But I don’t mean literally,” Owen added quickly before he left.
“No promises,” Jack answered with a wink before squaring his shoulders and heading inside.
“Okay, Mister Dishy criminal has arrived,” Gwen said as Jack was shown to his table.
“Keep your mind on the mission,” Suzie chastised her as Tosh tracked his movements.
Down below them, Jack was trying to calm his nerves as he met his date.
“Sorry I’m late. I got lost,” he explained.
“No problem,” Hart said with a leer as Jack took off his coat. “I tend to be early and you were definitely worth the wait,” he added giving him the once over.
As Jack and John placed their orders, Ianto pulled out his binoculars to get a better look at their target.
“Wow,” he breathed as the lenses came into focus and he saw Jack in person. “Diamond Jack…he’s-“
“What?” Suzie demanded, worried that he was making a move.
“Real,” Ianto finished lamely. “I-er never thought I would see him in person,” he added looking back down and realizing that he was even more handsome than his profile photos.
“So you’re an assassin,” Jack asked, trying to make conversation. “How’s that work?”
“Eh, it’s mostly freelance,” Hart quipped, running his hand over the rim of his tumbler of whiskey.
“So you basically, just kill whoever?” he prompted, trying to ignore the way Hart was undressing him with his eyes.
“Sometimes I get to maim,” Hart added with a manic grin. “Maiming costs more though,” he added taking another swig of his drink.
“What are they saying?” Suzie asked Tosh as she listened in on their conversation.
“They are talking about killing, how to kill, and who to kill…” Tosh trailed off before shushing them so she could pay attention.
“But I do it just to pay the bills,” Hart explained with a twinkle in his eye.
“Really?” asked Jack, hoping that there was more to Hart then murdering for money.
“Mostly, I spend it on poodle lessons,” Hart said pulling out his PDA to show various pictures of his prize dogs. “You see I want to have my own poodle circus, high-wire, trapeze, you name it all with those svelte little lovelies performing their pert-coated best,” he said stopping on a picture of him wearing a bow-tie, boxers, and a top hat with a group of blue, purple, and pink space poodles licking his face and chest.
Tosh made a gagging noise, but before Ianto could ask her what was wrong, Lisa swung back down into view.
“I need my bracelet back,” she stated holding out her hand.
“What…now?” Ianto asked raising an eyebrow in confusion.
“My Dad got that bracelet during the Entari invasion,” she explained. “It’s a family heirloom.”
“Fine,” Ianto said rolling his eyes as started to take it off.
As Ianto struggled with the clasp, Jack was getting more and more irritated with his date as John attempted to regale him with stories about killing the wife of the greatest poodle trainer in five galaxies in order to get private lessons, and how murder rehab hadn’t really been all that bad even if he did end up killing his instructor at the end of it. When he launched into a story about killing a chicken farmer by putting chickens into a not so nice place, Jack had, had enough.
“What’s wrong,” Hart demanded as Jack started cringing and holding his stomach.
“I think I have food poisoning,” he answered hoping to make a graceful exit.
“Are you blowing me?” Hart asked as Jack's mouth dropped open in horror. “Off,” Hart clarified after a deliberate pause. “Are you blowing me off?”
“No, no, I just feel a bit ill is all,” he protested.
“Would you like to?” Hart asked with a cheeky grin. “Blow me I mean.”
At that exact moment, the clasp on Ianto’s bracelet decided to give and slipped from Lisa’s fingers to land in Jack’s soup. Time stood still as the master criminal took in the various agents stationed around the restaurant. As he reached for his gun, one of the nearby waiters opened a bottle of champagne and the popping cork hit the wall with a resounding ‘THWACK’ that more than resembled a gun shot.
Immediately all hell broke loose.
As patrons ran screaming for the exits, Alpha Squad and the rest of the agencies watching Diamond descended to the floor, firing on the bar Jack and Hart were using for cover.
“Was it something that I said?” Hart asked as they both reloaded.
“No, no,” Jack protested. “I just got back into town and got out of this relationship-“
“Who said anything about a relationship?” Hart asked with a scowl. “I am so not going to play the wife again. I just was looking for a quick shag and a good time.”
“It’s not you,” Jack said with a fake smile. “You seem nice enough. It’s me. I’ve never been the same since-“ he paused as Alpha Squad and MI-6 crept closer, taking a grenade from his jacket and tossing it over the counter towards them. “I’m just not interested,” he finished as the grenade exploded.
“Then you’re on your own mate,” Hart said blowing him a kiss as he pushed a few buttons on his wrist-strap and disappeared.
“Great,” Jack complained before sliding a new cartridge into his sonic blaster. Using his own wrist-strap, he scanned the area and took note of the nearest exit before standing up and firing off a few shots to push Torchwood and the others back. Grabbing a nearby table, he held it up as a shield and crouched behind it, weaving his way through the chaos and out the side door.
Suzie, having spotted Jack, told Ianto to head him off while she and Tosh went for the back and Gwen took the front to cover the other exits.
“But Commander Williams said not to engage,” Gwen protested.
“And I say we go for it,” countered Suzie. “Besides, Cooper, you still need a recommendation from me to graduate, so get a move on.” Gwen glared back at her before holding up her gun and flouncing off towards the entrance.
"Come on Tosh," Suzie said once Gwen had left. "I'm counting on you to stop him," she tossed over her shoulder to Ianto as the team separated.
Steeling himself for the confrontation, Ianto headed into the warehouse alongside the restaurant, creeping along rows of crates until he saw a door on the other side. Realizing that Jack might have gone out that way, he made a run towards it only to collide with someone at the end of the row.
“Oh shit!” a man called out as Ianto started to apologize.
“I am so sorry,” he said turning to see that the other man wasn’t hurt, only to curse under his breath and reach for his gun as he found himself face-to-face and gun-to-gun with Diamond Jack himself.
“You’re one of those Torchwood T.I.E.S.,” Jack observed noting his striped tie.
“And you’re Diamond Jack,” Ianto replied. “You have the right to remain silent,” he started as Jack started to laugh.
“You’re trying to arrest me?” he grinned. “How precious.”
“Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of intergalactic law…” Ianto continued as both of them tried to stare each other down. After a moment Ianto closed his eyes in frustration and then tried to reason with the notorious criminal.
“So here’s the thing,” he started, watching as Jack looked back at him in surprise. “I am really not down with dying today.”
“Me neither,” Jack answered. “So what would you suggest?”
“Well, you could put your gun down,” he replied.
“You first,” Jack answered.
“Well, you are the criminal here,” Ianto reasoned, “So I am obviously more trustworthy.”
“Except for when you and your little skirt-clad friends decided to crash my blind date and rain shit all over me,” complained Jack.
“Wait,” Ianto said lowering his gun in surprise. “You were on a date, with that assassin weird-o?”
“What of it?” Jack replied lowering his own gun.
“I just had no idea that you were…” Ianto trailed off.
“You people and your quaint little labels,” he said shaking his head. “As if it even matters.”
“Well, that’s the end of my thesis,” Ianto said with a sigh.
“What thesis?” Jack asked confused.
“I’m writing a term paper on you,” he answered trying not to cringe as Jack snickered. “Seriously, it’s for Capes and Capers: Gender Reconstruction and the Criminal Mastermind. It’s a really popular class.”
“But it’s hard,” Ianto pushed on, “as there is only anecdotal evidence about you. I mean nobody’s actually spoken to you.”
“Until now,” Jack corrected.
“Right,” Ianto answered holding his gaze. “Until now.”
“Sorry, I didn’t get your name,” Jack said, breaking the moment.
“Jones,” Ianto replied. “Ianto Jones of Alpha Squad, it’s really nice to meet you.”
The two men shook hands, each of them feeling a jolt of electricity as they touched.
Ianto cleared his throat, trying to stay professional. “You still, I mean you’re still under arrest you know,” he said raising his gun back up as Tosh started calling out for him.
“Am I?” Jack asked, keeping his gun lowered. “You could just let me go.”
“I really couldn’t,” Ianto answered, biting his lip.
“Come on Jones, have you ever done anything you’re not supposed to?” Jack asked giving him a sly grin.
“Ianto!” Tosh called out again, and Ianto turned towards her voice to tell her where he was.
When he turned back to face Jack, he was gone.
“Are you okay?” Tosh asked as she came around the corner to meet him. “What happened?”
“I’m fine,” Ianto answered, trying to still the butterflies in his stomach after his encounter. “But, erm he was here,” he added blushing as he remembered how Jack’s eyes sparkled. “Diamond Jack was here.”
“That’s impossible,” scoffed Suzie. “If he was, you would be dead right now.”
“Guys,” said Gwen reaching down to pick up a diamond from where they were scattered over the warehouse floor.
“Do you know what this means?” Tosh asked as they all turned to look at Ianto in awe. “You are the only one to fight Diamond Jack and live to tell about it.”
Ianto swallowed, trying to keep his face neutral so as not to give away that fact that fighting had been the last thing on his mind while talking to the enigmatic criminal.
Jack crept in the shadows as he made his way back to Owen’s car.
“What a disaster!” Owen complained as they drove off.
“Leave it to the T.I.E.S. and Torchwood. You’re in town a week and they’re all over you just grabbing-“ he stopped noticing that Jack was smiling. “What?”
“I think I met someone,” Jack answered as Owen slammed on the brakes.
“I knew it,” he said as the car came to a stop. “I mean the poodles were a little weird, but I had a feeling about you and Hart-“
“Oh gods no,” Jack interrupted. “Save it, Snark,” he added using Owen’s nickname. “Hart was a total train-wreck.”
“I’m not following,” Owen replied.
“Swear to me that you won’t freak out,” Jack ordered.
“What are you getting at?” he asked concerned as Jack gave him cheeky grin in reply. “Who the hell is it?”
“Okay. What do you know about Ianto Jones?” Jack asked.
“Jones,” Owen pondered. “The bloke from the smuggling op?”
Owen’s mouth fell open. “Oh gods no,” he said turning to Jack in horror. “Dark hair, impeccable suit, button nose?”
Jack gave him a mega-watt grin in response.
“No way!” Owen exclaimed getting out of the car. “He’s a member of Torchwood. I mean he’s with the T.I.E.S. and Torchwood. He’s the perfect score.”
“What does that even mean?” Jack asked.
“Ianto Jones is the only one ever to get a perfect score on their secret test,” Owen tried to explain.
“So?” Jack shrugged.
“So he’s their pride and joy, literally their poster boy,” he continued hoping his boss would understand.
“Well, their poster boy doesn’t know it yet, but he’s into me,” Jack said. “Now give me the keys.”
“You can’t be serious,” Owen tried again.
“What did you say about getting back in the game?” Jack threw back at him, snatching the keys from his hand.
“Where are you going?” Owen asked as Jack opened the car door.
Jack just grinned and got behind the wheel.
“Oh and he’s straight!” Owen stated as he slipped into the passenger seat.
“Don’t be so sure,” Jack answered as he started the engine.