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.
Three weeks later
Tosh was getting worried, though she was exchanging emails daily with Owen and hearing all about how ridiculously happy Ianto and Jack had been over the last couple of weeks, (his last email had mentioned a boxer clad Ianto running down through the HUB in the middle of the night to grab a bottle of whipped crème wearing only Jack’s coat), and couldn’t be happier for her best friend, the rest of the espionage community was on high alert trying to find what they were considering a fallen comrade.
Every spaceport from London to Belizan 6 had been searched, and even the Junk Pit had been cleared out as they broadened their search.
As she left yet another message for Ianto to call her back, she sent an email to Owen letting him know of the situation, hoping he could somehow get through to the lovebirds.
But surrounded by the bliss of having found each other, Jack and Ianto were oblivious to the world around them. So much so, that neither of them noticed when John Hart walked past them as they shared a bottle of wine outside a café in Paris.
The HUB – Secret Headquarters of Diamond Jack
“And then this man shows up and hands me a letter and says, ‘Congratulations, you’ve been accepted into Oxford’, but the thing is, I never applied to Oxford,” Ianto explained.
“The government is weird like that,” Jack agreed as he got up to pour them both drinks. “What does this test measure anyway?”
“I don’t know,” Ianto answered taking his drink from Jack. “Spy stuff I guess.”
“Okay…,” Jack answered skeptically. “It seems a bit weird to base your life on some test you don’t even really understand.”
“It’s an aptitude test,” Ianto countered. “It’s supposed to identify aptitude as a spy; you know, tell me what I am good at.”
“I just think you should do something that you love, not just something that a random test says you should do,” said Jack as he sat beside him on the bed.
“Why are you psychoanalyzing me?” Ianto asked annoyed. “I mean do you really love a life of crime?”
“Yeah I do,” Jack answered.
“So you get your kicks out of taking money from decent, hardworking people?” Ianto prodded.
“Why are you so angry about this?” Jack replied in concern. “I mean I have never been perfect at anything, and you are the poster boy for Torchwood, the perfect scoring crime-fighting goodie two shots.”
“That’s shoes Jack,” Ianto corrected, fighting back a grin.
“Whatever,” he shrugged. “Look, I didn’t really want to be a criminal anyway. I wanted to be a pirate.”
Ianto snorted. “It’s the same thing Jack. Pirates are criminals.”
“Oops!” Jack said with a grin.
“I wanted to go to art school,” Ianto admitted, looking shyly up through his lashes.
“You should do it,” said Jack. “I bet you would be amazing,” he added hoping to break his mood.
“But instead I ended up in Torchwood with everyone expecting me to be the perfect spy,” Ianto continued. “All based on some test I don’t even understand. Guess I am proving them wrong now,” he added swirling the whiskey in his glass before drinking it down.
“Is that what you are doing with me?” asked Jack, worried that he had read everything wrong once again.
Ianto set his glass down and reached up to touch Jack’s face. “I am here because I am more myself with you than I ever have been in my life,” Ianto said looking deep into Jack’s eyes. “Don’t ever doubt that I want to be with you, always.”
“Enough maudlin,” Jack answered as he leaned forward to kiss his way down Ianto’s chin to his mouth. “It’s just you and me, no criminals, no heroes, just us.”
“Sounds perfect,” Ianto replied with a grin as Jack started to unbutton his shirt.
Alpha Squad House
The phone at the central command kiosk rang out in the night causing Suzie Costello to roll out of bed and nearly take out the bedpost with her gun. Staggering down the stairs she picked up the phone.
“This had better be good,” She warned as she answered it.
“No need to get your knickers twisted,” said a cocky voice over the line. “This is the T.I.E.S. house isn’t it?” he asked.
“Who is this?” Suzie demanded suddenly wide awake.
“I know where Eye-Candy is,” John Hart replied with a smile.
While Ianto and Jack were frolicking upstairs, Owen had the rest of Jack’s crew were downstairs playing an epic round of poker.
“Royal Flush!” Owen announced as he moved forward to scoop up the pot.
Just then the alarm went off announcing a breach. Scooping his winnings into nearby bin, he ordered the rest of the group to fan out and protect the perimeter. Turning the corner to head towards Jack’s private quarters he felt someone grab him found himself pushed against the wall. He was about to stab them with the scalpel he kept hidden in his sleeve when he recognised Tosh’s perfume.
“What the hell?” he asked as she removed her hand from his mouth. “You look nice,” he added as an afterthought causing Tosh to blush.
“They were tipped off by Hart,” she explained as the rest of Alpha Squad ran past. “I tried to stop them, but they had backup,” she whispered as Lisa and Delta Squad followed.
“Tosh?” called out.
“Go!” Tosh hissed shoving him away from her and rejoining the others.
The Torchwood teams made their way deeper into the base until they came to a room with light under the door and the sound of laughter within.
“On me,” Suzie ordered as Delta and Alpha spread out around her.
Tosh saw Owen at the far side of the room gesturing for her to stall but before she could reply, Suzie broke down the door and rushed inside.
“What the hell?!” Lisa demanded, as the two men before them jumped apart and tried to cover themselves.
“It’s not what you think,” Ianto tried to explain.
“When did you go bender?” Gwen asked trying to get a better look at Jack.
Suzie just shook her head in disgust as she and the other members of Torchwood turned away.
“You should really check your messages,” Tosh reprimanded looking to Owen and waving as she followed the others out.
“It will be okay,” Jack tried to comfort Ianto who drew his knees up to his chest and bowed his head in defeat.
Alpha Squad House
“This is a disaster,” Hartman ranted as she paced the living room. “This is not happening. Torchwood will be the laughing stock of the known galaxy,” she added as the front door closed announcing Ianto returning home. “Are you kidding me?” she bristled as Ianto stepped cautiously into the room. “We conduct a worldwide manhunt for you and you’re out shagging the suspect?!”
Ianto gulped and looked around the room at all of the disappointed faces, not sure what to say.
“I was doing research,” he tried to explain, knowing that it was a weak excuse.
“Is that what they are calling it these days?” Hartman demanded. “We’re talking treason, consorting with the enemy, aiding and abetting. Do you have any idea how far away into Siberia I am going to send you?” she demanded.
“Director Hartman,” Suzie interrupted.
“Is someone talking to me?” she replied turning an icy glare in Suzie’s direction, “because that would be very ill-advised right now.”
“This incident is an embarrassment to the T.I.E.S. programme, is it not?” Suzie tried again.
Hartman glared. “Have you not heard a word I’ve said?”
“Make Ianto T.I.E.S. Valedictorian at Endgame,” Suzie continued undaunted.
“Nobody knows what happened tonight except us,” Tosh interjected seeing where Suzie was going. “Siberia would solve nothing. Your pride and joy would be disgraced and for what?”
“Exactly,” said Suzie. “Tomorrow we are going to report that we rescued Ianto just in time, and he is going to act traumatised and go along with it. Even going with Lisa to Endgame as originally planned,” she added causing Lisa’s eyes to light up. “And there he’ll give a speech about how he battled Jack and lived to fight another day.”
Hartman began to smile as Ianto’s eyes widened in horror.
“T.I.E.S. gets recognition for a good agent, we don’t lose a member of our team, and everyone wins,” Suzie finished.
“But he’s obviously in love with him,” Hartman countered. “How do we know he’s not going to run again?”
“The Ianto that I know,” said Suzie stepping towards where Ianto stood silently watching the proceedings, “wouldn’t sell out his friends and his planet over some super villain. The Ianto that I know, must have been brainwashed or something, because the Ianto that I know would never betray us like that.” Ianto looked up and Suzie held his gaze.
“You didn’t know what you were doing, right?” she asked, leaving it up to him to decide.
Ianto’s heart sank as he realised this was the only way to salvage what he could of the mess he and Jack had made.
“No, no way,” he breathed hating himself for saying it.
“Good,” Suzie said with a smile.
“This doesn’t leave this room,” Hartman ordered. “Perhaps we can chalk this up to the indiscretions of youth.” She turned to Suzie. “I underestimated you, Costello. Good work. I’ll remember this when it comes to staffing the interstellar bureau.”
Suzie nodded and stepped back while Hartman conferred with Williams and the rest of her senior aides. “See that he’s interrogated about Diamond’s whereabouts, and I want that HUB of theirs destroyed,” she ordered, smirking at the slight flinch Ianto made at the order. “Jones is to be on 24 hour lockdown, only allowed out for missions and classes.” Gathering up her files she started towards the door, with her aides and Lisa in tow. “Be thankful you have friends that care for you, Mr. Jones,” she said as she left. “That’s more than they can say for you.”
“Suzie-” said Ianto trying to apologise.
But Suzie just shook her head. “Don’t,” she replied barely concealing her anger. “We’re T.I.E.S. and your squad so we stick together. Do not misunderstand me, I do not forgive you.”
“Suzie-“ Tosh tried.
“You!” she answered, whipping around to face her. “You let me go on this whole time believing that Ianto was in trouble. You can forget about any recommendation for graduation. I’m giving it to Cooper instead.”
With that she stomped up the stairs and up to her room.
“Well,” Gwen said looking Ianto up and down, as if to remind him that she had seen him naked only an hour before.
“You aren’t as boring as I had thought,” she said with sly grin. “But getting caught with a man?” she scoffed. “You aren’t as bright as I thought either.” Throwing a wink to where Commander Williams stood guarding the front door, she sashayed her way out of the room.
“Codes are going to be changed hourly,” Williams announced before setting the digital keyboard and opening the door. “If you try to leave without your full squad, the house goes into lockdown,” he finished before giving Ianto a parting nod and heading out.
Only Tosh and Ianto remained.
“Tosh, I am so, so, sorry,” said Ianto, trying to ignore the tears swimming in his eyes.
“All I ever wanted was to graduate so that I could have a laboratory of my own to design the best gear out there,” she said starting to cry, “and now…” she trailed off before running upstairs in tears.
Left alone Ianto looked up at the picture of Alpha Squad over the mantle and sighed.
All he wanted was to be with the man he loved. How had it all gone so wrong?