Requested by hllangel
Another one that went too long for the comment box.
“I’ve decided to hire Gwen Cooper.”
As if he didn’t have enough to deal with.
Ianto had noticed Suzie’s impending breakdown long before the glove came into their possession. The combination of Owen and Suzie was a disaster in the making, a fact Jack had shrugged off with his usual indifference. For Jack, sex was the ultimate necessity; something he believed could solve any problem, never taking into consideration the eventual havoc it might cause. It had been almost too easy to distract Captain Harkness from Lisa’s presence in the basement and himself from his own concerns about her deteriorating condition.
Maybe he hadn’t know for fact that Suzie was responsible for the murders, but it didn’t come as the great surprise that threw Jack for such a loop that he took the rash decision of hiring PC Cooper as her replacement.
It wasn’t part of his job to express the qualms he felt at this announcement. Bringing Gwen Cooper into Torchwood, after they’d worked so hard to make sure she didn’t remember their existence verged on folly for the organisation as a whole as well as being a threat to his personal situation.
He knew Jack’s tendencies well enough to imagine how intrigued he might be by the plucky PC who’d managed to infiltrate Torchwood using pizza as a prop. Personally, he didn’t care who or what caught the Captain’s eye. Their liaison was merely Ianto’s way of protecting Lisa, which meant he had to hold on to Jack’s interest. He hadn’t compromised his integrity to have the whole scheme fall to pieces now.
So, he thought bitterly, on top of trying to keep Lisa comfortable, satisfying Jack’s sexual demands, and actually doing his job, he had to prevent Jack from getting too attached to Gwen while making sure that Gwen didn’t accidentally wander into Lisa. It was enough to drive a man mad, but he would do it. He’d do anything for Lisa.
Ianto thought he was holding things together admirably until he returned from a take-away run, only to have Owen give him a hard time about how long it had taken for the food to arrive, which was annoying but acceptable, and to find Gwen not in evidence, which wasn’t.
Either she was alone with Jack in his office or she was alone in the Hub, possibly using her police training to hone in on Lisa.
“Where’s Gwen?” he asked, trying to keep the panic out of her voice.
“Jack sent her down to find some old tapes. He wants to cross-reference something or other. I didn’t really follow it. Did you get the garlic naan.”
“Look for yourself,” he snapped, pushing the boxes into Owens hands, before hurrying off, already tuning out whatever so called witticism might be following him from the team’s doctor.
Maybe he was over-reacting. Lisa was well-concealed, with codes on two doors that only he knew and changed every other day. Perhaps he was losing his mind under the pressure. It didn’t matter. He couldn’t take the risk.
“Gwen?” he called out as he moved past the entrance to the cells and toward the storage rooms where the whole history of Torchwood lay in boxes with arcane markings that he had barely come to understand in his time there. “Are you there?”
She wasn’t. Another staircase, another hall. The door. The first door leading to Lisa and there was bloody Gwen Cooper tapping away at the combination pad, and with the sheer dumb luck that had led her to Torchwood in the first place, she’d probably get in.
“GWEN! DON’T! It’s not safe!”
“Ianto? What on earth are you going on about? Jack wants me to find some old magnetic tapes and the sensors say they’re in there.”
“No. They’re not. It’s a false image. I’m sure I saw those tapes filed in the blue boxes in the other room. Please come away from that door. Those readings. There could be radiation in there.”
Gwen’s face showed that she still had too much of her pre-Torchwood skepticism to believe a word that was coming out of his mouth. Bollocks.
“Gwen, please. I…you shouldn’t.”
“Ianto, are you all right?”
“No, I’m not. I’ve been wanting to tell you, ever since you got here…” Oh hell.
He reached out and grabbed her by the shoulder, hoping her reflexes weren’t good enough to put him on his arse, and kissed her desperately, pressing his lips into hers as though he actually wanted her, not stopping until he felt her body relax from shock to amusement.
“What the hell was that?”
“I wanted to welcome you to Torchwood?”
“Is that how it’s done, then?”
“Absolutely. Didn’t Jack tell you?”
“No. And I’ll thank you not to try that again. I do have a boyfriend, you know, and he might not take too kindly to that kind of welcome.”
“I’m sorry. It’s just…you know. We’re all so busy here. No time to meet anybody knew and I’ve been…I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.”
“See that it doesn’t.”
Of course she believed him. Probably thought she was irresistible.
“And you won’t mention it to Jack?”
“That you tried to give me a 'typical Torchwood' hello?”
“Well, not completely typical.”
“Look, Ianto. I think you’re very sweet, but we really can’t have this sort of thing happening with our co-workers. Don’t you think?”
“Absolutely. Quite right.”
“Now, where did you say those tapes were?”
Ianto tried to hide his sigh of relief. That had been a close call. Too close. He’d have to find someone to help Lisa and it had to be soon.