Fic: Saving the World, One Piece at a Time


Characters: Jack, Ianto, OCs
Pairing: Jack/Ianto
Rating: Open
Spoilers: Minor, for series
Disclaimer: Not mine; they belong to the BBC.
Summary: Sometimes it’s the little things that matter the most.

“Don’t look now, but your uncanny animal magnetism has struck again.”

Jack shot Ianto a confused look. “What?”

The Welshman smiled faintly and nodded at something over Jack’s shoulder. When the Captain obediently followed the line of his gaze, he saw a middle-aged woman bearing down on him, her eyes firmly fixed on him as she advanced determinedly. Jack blinked, quickly running over the previous hour’s events in an attempt to figure out what had attracted her attention.

He and Ianto had come out to check on a Rift incursion and had picked up the – perfectly harmless – piece of space junk which had come through. Since it was a pleasant afternoon, he had suggested that they stay out for a little while and just enjoy the sunshine. Ianto had agreed and promptly produced a thermos full of his coffee. That was no real surprise; Jack was beginning to believe that they could fall through an interdimensional rift and wind up on the other end of the Universe, with the end of everything looming, and Ianto would somehow produce one last perfect cup of coffee. It was a talent that Jack envied and often fantasised about acquiring.

Then he tasted his own coffee and decided to concentrate of being devastatingly sexy and heroic instead.

“I swear I’ve never seen her before in my life!” he protested to Ianto as the woman came closer.

“That would make her the outraged mother or significant other, then,” Ianto observed sardonically.

“Hey!” Jack said indignantly, then straightened up from his slouch against the SUV and attempted a winning smile as the woman reached them. “Hello there; can we help you with anything? Directions? The time? Winning Lottery numbers?” he continued hopefully.

The woman blinked, gave him a slightly doubtful look then very obviously made up her mind to continue, laying a hand on Jack’s arm and smiling at him nervously. “I realise we haven’t been introduced,” she said in a soft Welsh accent, “but I was wondering if I might borrow you for a little while?”

Jack blinked, genuinely thrown off-balance for a moment. “Borrow me?” he echoed, shooting a nonplussed look in Ianto’s direction and glaring a little at the smirk on the younger man’s face as he sipped his coffee sedately. “Er… what for?”

The woman blushed. “Well, it’s a little embarrassing to say this out loud-” Jack’s imagination went into overdrive, wondering what was coming next, “-but I’m over there in the registrar’s office to get married and I’ve hit a snag.”

“Bridegroom not turn up?” Jack asked before he realised he had opened his mouth. He immediately received a kick on his ankle and a glare from Ianto, but the woman didn’t seem to notice.

“Oh no, nothing like that,” she said dismissively, as if that was something low down on the list of possible disasters. “No, our witnesses haven’t turned up and if we don’t marry now the next slot isn’t for another two months. Normally I’m the patient type and it wouldn’t matter, but we’ve booked the hotel for the buffet and I couldn’t face going back and telling everyone that I’m not married and we have to do it all over again. You have no idea how difficult it was to get everyone to agree to a date this time around!”

“Oh, trust us, we do!” Ianto butted in.

Jack grinned; good humour restored as he remembered some of the horror stories Ianto had told him about Gwen and her wedding plans. “So you want me to be a witness?” he hazarded.

“If it’s not too much trouble,” the woman agreed earnestly, still blushing. “We’d banned everyone else from attending the actual ceremony because of the fuss they were making but Vernon and his wife are still on the wrong side of Cardiff with two flat tyres and we’re running out of time. I know it’s an imposition-”

“It’s nothing of the kind,” Jack assured her with a charmed smile. He quickly finished his coffee and handed Ianto the mug. “I shouldn’t be too long, Ianto, so you can-”

“Oh, I meant both of you,” the woman said hastily. “We need the two witnesses. Unless you’d prefer to stay here,” she fretted in Ianto’s direction.

Ianto simply smiled and quickly dumped the thermos and mugs inside the SUV before locking it up. “I can’t think of a better way to finish off the afternoon,” he assured her.

She gave them both a delighted smile and started shooing them across the road and in the direction of a gracious but slightly weather-beaten grey stone building. As they progressed, they found out that she was Margaret Evans and that she was hopeful of becoming the wife of a David Lewis, that Vernon Hopkins was going to get a piece of her mind when she saw him next, that they had managed to get a bargain price for a very nice sit-down buffet at the hotel and that they were hoping to get nice weather for their week’s honeymoon in Spain, since they hadn’t been able to afford the one they’d hoped for in Italy.

“David does love his food and there was a very nice tour of Tuscany but the company put its prices up so we had to settle for Spain. Not that there’s anything wrong with Spain, of course, but you hear stories of fish and chips and beer and that’s not very exotic, is it? Have either of you travelled?” she inquired artlessly as they were inexorably herded towards the right door.

“I’ve… been to a few places,” Jack agreed gravely, ignoring the muffled snicker that earned him from Ianto. “Maybe you can make Tuscany some other time,” he said, exchanging a meaningful look with Ianto above Margaret’s head.

Ianto nodded slightly and Jack watched with admiration as Mr Jones proceeded to gently pump Margaret for the relevant information. He was still doing it as they entered a large, airy room lit by sunlight pouring through tall arched windows along one wall. Someone had gone to some trouble to personalise the space, with console tables on either side of the registrar’s desk sporting a mass of beautiful flowers and candlesticks polished to within an inch of their life. On the white wall at the far end of the room was a huge tapestry of a red dragon wrapped around a fair representation of Cardiff Castle, while along the wall opposite the windows were large photos of Cardiff across the centuries.

Standing in front of the registrar and her assistant was a tiny dark gnome of a man, looking more than a little uncomfortable in a badly fitting suit that had Ianto making a small sound of distress. His agitation lifted visibly when Margaret appeared, his relief echoed by the registrar, who positively beamed at them. The preliminaries were swiftly dealt with – Margaret and David visibly impressed by the fact that they were going to have a bone-fide Captain acting as a witness for them. Ianto had begged the registrar’s indulgence for another five minutes and dragged a startled-looking David off to another room, leaving Margaret to announce her immense satisfaction over the fact that:

“Mary Watkins only had a police constable at her wedding, so she’ll have to stop sticking her nose up in the air when I tell her about you!”

“Glad to be of service,” Jack said meekly, ruthlessly suppressing the bubble of mirth that threatened.

True to his word, Ianto was back in five minutes exactly, and somehow David’s suit now looked like it had been made to fit his wiry figure. Everyone settled down and the registrar took them through the ceremony. Jack couldn’t help but contrast this simple moment to the alarms and chaos of Gwen’s wedding and his smile got that little bit more genuine. These were the moments he lived for now; the tiny little acts of love or kindness that bound ordinary people together. There was a quiet strength and beauty to what he was witnessing. Neither the bride nor the groom were young, and the glow on their faces as they faced one another and recited their carefully practised words wasn’t the wild blaze of impassioned love, but the surer swell of an emotion founded on friendship and mutual respect.

It was over fairly quickly and painlessly and Jack and Ianto carefully signed the papers to make everything legal. Jack suddenly paused as he realised that he had automatically put Ianto’s address as his place of residence, but when he looked up and saw the glow in Ianto’s eyes, he didn’t hold back on the smile he gave him in return. The registrar glanced down at the papers and murmured that she did civil partnership ceremonies, as well. That set Ianto blushing furiously and casting about for a distraction.

“We don’t have any confetti.”

“Oh, we don’t want any of that,” Margaret declared. “It gets everywhere and it’s horrible if it rains.” She reached up on tip-toe and kissed Ianto on the cheek. “Thank you for the thought, though. Now, would you like to come to the buffet? There’ll be more than enough food, I know, and at least we can offer you a glass or two of champagne as thanks.”

Jack actually felt tempted, but before he could say anything, his phone buzzed in his pocket. Fishing it out he saw there was a text from Gwen asking when they would be back as she was hoping for an early leaving time so she could spend an evening with Rhys. “I’m afraid we have to get back to work,” he said regretfully. Tucking his phone back in his pocket, he placed both hands on her shoulders and kissed her carefully on each cheek. “Long life, good health and a loving bed to you both, Mrs Margaret Lewis,” he said before moving over to shake David by the hand.

“Thanks for the assist,” David said a little ruefully. His dark sharp eyes eyed Jack thoughtfully. “Pob lwc i chi,” he said with a smile before transferring his attention to Ianto. “Still not sure what you did with the suit, but it’s nice to not look like I’m wearing my Dad’s clothes!”

Ianto smiled. “I had a good teacher. Now, do you want some photos before you go?” He held up his phone. “Perhaps a couple of you signing the register?”

Jack quickly got through to Gwen to assure her that they would soon be on their way back while Ianto took some photos and promised to send them on to the happy couple. They stood outside and waved them off, then made their way back over to the SUV.

“Well?” Jack demanded when they had settled in and he started to drive in the direction of the Bay.

“All sorted,” Ianto said, holding up his PDA. “They have one week in a luxury villa in Tuscany, use of a hire car, a tour of a local vineyard arranged and registrations at two of the best restaurants in the area.”

“I sense some creative juggling of the budget in the near future,” Jack said in amusement.

“Not all that much,” Ianto said with a shrug. “Torchwood owns the villa and an ex-employee owns the vineyard.” He caught Jack’s confused look and smiled. “Torchwood One had an extensive portfolio of property both in Britain and abroad. They used some of it for training or recuperation purposes. The vineyard was acquired just after the Second World War. When I came to Torchwood Three, the portfolio came with me.”

“And when was I going to find out about this?”

This time the smile Ianto gave him was definitely mischievous. “The details are all in the files I gave you to read, Captain. If you recall, you waved them away with an airy ‘later, when I’m bored enough’.”

Jack winced. “You know how much I hate paperwork, Ianto.” He was unhappily aware of the faint whine to his voice.

“Which is why I try and save you from as much of it as possible,” Ianto agreed. “I could just give you a list of what we have, if you like? The chateau’s the grandest, although it is haunted.”

Jack blinked. “We have a chateau?”

“We have a haunted chateau,” Ianto corrected.

Jack burst out laughing. “Oh, I want to see this list, Mr Jones!”

“I’ll make a point of digging it out and we can go over it tonight, sir,” Ianto assured him with a primness that was belied by the mischief dancing in his eyes.

“Now that is the kind of paperwork I could get to enjoy,” Jack shot back and they made their way back to Torchwood and left Mr and Mrs Lewis to embark on the great adventure that was married life.


Characters: Jack, Ianto, off-stage Tosh
Pairing: Jack/Ianto
Rating: Very mild PG
Disclaimer: Not mine; they belong to the BBC
Spoilers: None
Summary: Jack’s not just a pretty face.
A/N: This was prompted by a conversation I had with szm but is also a result of my being very tired of having Jack portrayed as being thick as two short planks in the series.

Ianto finished barricading the doors leading into the restaurant kitchens and went looking for Jack, trying to believe that he wasn’t as worried as he knew he was. The Rift spike they had gone to investigate had turned out to be a reactive kick to the arrival of some aliens by some kind of teleport. Jack had taken one look at the glowing creatures and sworn in his birth-tongue, a sure sign that they were up the proverbial creek without even a glimpse of a paddle. Then he had grabbed Ianto by the hand and dragged him after Jack as they had made a run for it, Jack yelling instructions to Andy and Tosh about evacuating the area immediately.

The rule that predators always went for anything that ran seemed pretty much universal in Ianto’s experience and these aliens were no exception, coming after them at a fair clip. Ianto took in the way everything they touched either burst into flames or started to melt and he understood why Jack was so quick to run rather than stay and fight. Jack was too good and experienced a soldier to start a fight unless he had a good chance of getting out intact or if he had no choice and Ianto trusted him to have some kind of idea as to where they were going at such high speed.

He knew a moment of doubt when Jack had kicked in the back door of one of the local restaurants, yelled at the staff to get themselves and their customers out and promptly disappeared somewhere after telling Ianto they would be staying here. It was left to Ianto to convince the staff and the customers that yes, it really would be a good idea if they left immediately. He was helped in this aim by the growing sounds of screams, sirens and explosions coming in their direction. Ianto’s succinct comment that suicide bombers should be more careful about the kind of explosive they used was the final straw and Ianto was soon able to shut everything up and come back to see what Jack was up to.

What Jack was up to, it turned out, was dismantling the kitchen’s freezer while using various utensils to build what looked like a death ray right out of the old Flash Gordon serials.

Despite the urgency of the situation, Ianto immediately settled down to watch in appreciation. Most people didn’t realise that Jack was from the 51st century, but what surprised Ianto was the high proportion of people who did know who never seemed to realise that that meant Jack probably knew a hell of a lot more than they did about science and technology. The average man or woman on the street might know diddly squat about temporal physics, exobiology or quantum mechanics but they were likely to be able to change a fuse and a light bulb, run a virus check on their computer, check and change the oil in a car, download apps and recharge any number of devices. The average man or woman in the 18th century would have found that impossible and mystifying but there was only about 300 years separating them from modern man while 3,000 years lay between Ianto’s time and Jack’s. Ianto sometimes thought that Jack’s apparent clumsiness with modern equipment wasn’t so much that he was stupid or careless but that he simply found it difficult to downgrade that far. Ianto was pretty sure he would be crap at knapping a flint without a hell of a lot of dedicated practice.

Not that there was anything clumsy or stupid in the way Jack was acting at the moment. Ianto watched as bits and pieces filched from all over the kitchen were fitted together and soldered into place using the handy little alien Swiss-army knife analog that had come through the Rift and which Jack had insisted they make copies of to use. Ianto had to admit that a device that had almost as many applications as the Doctor’s infamous sonic screwdriver was a good thing to have in your pocket.

“Need any help?” he asked.

Jack gave him a distracted look before shaking his head. “No offence, Ianto, but I’ll be faster doing it myself.”

“None taken,” Ianto said easily. He knew his limitations and didn’t mind acknowledging them. He was good with computers and basic engineering skills but the kind of Heath Robinson lunacy that Jack was throwing together was out of his league. “The enemy is at the gates, by the way,” he continued in a mild tone as he saw the barricaded door at the far end of the kitchen shudder to the accompaniment of loud bangs. He grinned as Jack glanced in that direction and muttered under his breath. “Language, Captain Harkness,” he said in mock reproof.

He caught the flash of a quick smile before he moved off to locate and collect all the fire extinguishers he could find. It was surprising to know just how many alien beings had been stopped or slowed down by the humble fire extinguisher; so much so that Ianto often considered it to be his weapon of choice after his stun gun. If nothing else, a person could beat an alien senseless with the extinguisher after it had been emptied, which was always a comforting thought in times of stress.

Ianto’s Bluetooth chirped at him. “Ianto, where are you?” Tosh demanded.

“Barricaded into the kitchen at Chez Julian,” Ianto informed her as he settled back beside Jack while keeping a wary eye at the barricade, which was now starting to smoke ominously. “Jack’s building one of his thingummies. I think it’s a freeze ray.” Her squeal nearly unseated his eardrum.

“Film it!” she hissed. “I want to watch.”

Ianto gave a bark of disbelieving amusement. Tosh was frequently baffled by the devices Jack threw together, unable to figure out all of the steps and Jack showed an annoying tendency to use such occasions as learning exercises. Like Ianto, Tosh was all for a little intellectual exercise but neither of them would turn their noses up at a few short cuts or helpful tutorials. Glancing around, he saw the telltale CCTV camera in one corner and directed her attention towards it. She gave a happy yip and disappeared offline for a couple of moments before returning.

“Some people might say you should be focusing your attention on the fact that we have some incendiary aliens running around Cardiff,” he said mildly.

“Some people can’t multi-task,” Tosh retorted tartly.

Ianto laughed and turned his attention back to Jack. The dextrous hands that could so easily reduce him to incoherence were dancing just as skilfully across the device he was building. It was like watching a sculptor liberating the work of art that had always lain dormant in the passive stone, waiting for the right person to come along and set it free. The rough and ready look of it somehow added to its impact. This was no prissy, lab-designed and immaculately machined weapon but a jury-rigged mishmash of goodness knew how many times and cultures. Any mad scientist worth his salt would swoon in ecstasy at the sight of it. Ianto kind of liked that. Saving the world should have a slightly insane edge to it.

He wondered how many alien machines Jack had known and used in the past. He’d mentioned his Chula warship with a certain degree of wistful nostalgia and a genuine lovelight glowed in his eyes whenever he spoke of the TARDIS. Ianto imagined him tinkering with a terraforming machine or patching up a starship’s engines and wondered for the thousandth time how such a man could be incapable of working out how to use a microwave. Lord knew he'd killed enough of them and was now banned from using them.

A fat sizzling bang brought his attention back to the barricade and he realised it wasn’t going to hold for much longer. He could hear gunfire and what might have been mortar fire in the near distance and realised that Andy had probably whistled up the local TA. UNIT would be pissed, he thought with a smirk. Jack had been a mite leery when Andy had initially proposed letting the local TA help out during low-key missions but Captain Parry and his troops had risen to the challenge with the unholy enthusiasm of the talented amateur and to Jack’s delight were willing to listen to his advice.

A glance down at his watch showed that only twelve minutes had elapsed since they had come in here but it looked like Jack was putting the finishing touches to his device, which was just as well since Ianto didn’t give much for the life expectancy of the barricade. He would have thought the aliens would have been more inclined to blow up any obstruction rather than burn through it.

“They can’t bring explosives through on their teleport,” Jack said when he mentioned it. “It destabilises the stuff and they’re more likely to blow themselves up, which is kind of counterproductive. They usually establish a base and then make some pretty go-boom stuff.”

He got to his feet and hefted the weapon he’d made, which looked like a drunken Frankenstein’s idea of what a death-ray would be. Ianto especially liked the toasting fork right at the end, which he thought a tasteful homage to old-style SF.

“Will it work?” Ianto asked as he grabbed a fire extinguisher and went to stand beside Jack and facing where the aliens were forcing their way in.

“Oh yeah,” Jack said with enthusiasm. He shoved home the power lead and the entire weapon lit up with a halo of pale violet light that had Jack yelping. He thumped the side of the gun and the violet light flickered a couple of times before it died out everywhere except along the main barrel, becoming an eye-wateringly intense blaze. “Damn feedback,” Jack muttered, shaking one hand and then the other before adopting an heroic stance in front of the door.

“Show-off,” Ianto muttered.

Jack barely had time to flash him a trademark grin before the barricade Ianto had constructed finally disintegrated and the aliens forced open the doors. Ianto took a deep breath and hefted the fire extinguisher, hoping that it would be of some use. The glowing, vaguely humanoid shapes advanced towards them. There was no sign of any facial features, just a deep red V-shaped furrow in the middle of what could be a head.

“Spray them, Ianto!” Jack ordered.

Knocking the pin off the extinguisher, Ianto did as Jack asked. The aliens seemed more confused than worried about his assault, although Ianto noted with satisfaction that they definitely didn’t like being hit by the discharge. He sprayed the leaders liberally then darted to one side to pick up another extinguisher and repeat the manoeuvre.

“That’s enough,” Jack barked. “Behind me, now.”

Ianto obeyed and watched as Jack hefted the weapon and did something that resulted in a wild sheet of blinding light flaring out to slam into the approaching aliens. Ianto yelped and belatedly flung his arm up to shield his eyes as his retinas felt like they’d been stabbed. He could hear a strange sizzling, snarling sound and he backed up a step or two as a wave of heat passed over him, but by the time he lowered his arm and blinked away the afterimages there was no sign of the aliens, only small piles of what looked like cinders.

“You might have warned me to cover my eyes, you know,” he told Jack reprovingly as they advanced to make sure they had got all the aliens that had been attacking them.

“Hello: death ray?” Jack pointed out. “All death rays have eye-searing beams of destruction. It’s in the rules.”

“It could have been a sonic death-ray,” Ianto argued as he decided that yes, they had got them all.

“It had pretty flashy lights,” Jack shot back. “Sonics don’t have pretty flashy lights.”

“The Doctor’s screwdriver does.”

“Damn. Okay, point to you,” Jack grumbled. “Now help me unplug this so we can go and find the others and finish this lot off before they can get that foothold.”

Grinning happily to himself, Ianto went to carefully unplug the death-ray and made a mental note to make sure the restaurant wouldn’t be billed for the electricity Jack had just used. He quite liked eating at Chez Julian as they worked out it was better for everyone’s sanity if he and Jack were give an intimate little booth towards the back of the restaurant.

“I’ll get Tosh to ask Andy and Captain Parry to herd the aliens in the direction of the nearest powerpoint, then?” he asked as he followed Jack out through the door, delicately stepping over and around the charcoaled remains of their would-be attackers.

“Hey, I didn’t have time to cobble together a decent power-pack, okay?” Jack said indignantly.

“Tsk, Captain,” Ianto said reprovingly. “I bet Flash Gordon would have been able to do it.”

“I doubt it,” Jack sniffed, “but if he had he would still have been walking down this corridor wearing something resembling a set of long-johns and accompanied by a fluff-head who screamed more than she breathed. I am being accompanied by a drop-dead gorgeous scrapper who never screams and I have a really awesome coat.”

“Point,” Ianto conceded as he followed Jack to avert yet another attempted invasion.


Characters: Jack, Ianto, off-stage Tosh
Pairing: Jack/Ianto
Rating: Very mild PG
Disclaimer: Not mine; they belong to the BBC
Spoilers: None
Summary: Jack’s not just a pretty face.
A/N: This was prompted by a conversation I had with szm but is also a result of my being very tired of having Jack portrayed as being thick as two short planks in the series.

Ianto finished barricading the doors leading into the restaurant kitchens and went looking for Jack, trying to believe that he wasn’t as worried as he knew he was. The Rift spike they had gone to investigate had turned out to be a reactive kick to the arrival of some aliens by some kind of teleport. Jack had taken one look at the glowing creatures and sworn in his birth-tongue, a sure sign that they were up the proverbial creek without even a glimpse of a paddle. Then he had grabbed Ianto by the hand and dragged him after Jack as they had made a run for it, Jack yelling instructions to Andy and Tosh about evacuating the area immediately.
( More )




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