Characters: Jack Harkness, Owen Harper, Ziva David
Notes: Written for zynjzy in the Blind Number Prompt Meme.Her numbers were 14-Ziva, 6-Owen and 5-Jack. It got a bit long and I felt like giving it a separate post. Takes place post-Something Borrowed. Spoilers for Series 1 & 2 of Torchwood.
Warnings: Unbeta-ed. Feel free to jump in, especially with Brit-checking and Welsh geography. Implied threesomes. Borderline schmoop.
Summary: What does Mossad want with Torchwood?
Ianto was sulking when Owen arrived at the Hub.
No surprise there. It had been five days since Gwen’s wedding, and while she was away on her honeymoon, nothing seemed right. Whatever Ianto thought he’d accomplished by publicly cutting in on Jack and Gwen’s dance, certainly hadn’t taken. Without Gwen around, Jack was in a nearly constant state of brooding, keeping mostly to his office, or sweeping out for protracted periods of time with no explanation before his departure or upon his return. His mood had spread to Ianto, who was clearly being deprived of some illusions about his place in Jack’s life and even Tosh, who just wanted everyone to get along.
Owen was amused to note that his removal from most of the concerns of human life had actually made him more sensitive to the feelings of his co-workers. In Gwen’s absence, he was the best equipped to function as the heart of Torchwood, although he had no idea what to do or say to lift the gloom that enveloped the Hub from the inside as much as the bleak weather outdoors.
He thought of asking for a cup of coffee, if only for old time’s sake, but didn’t feel it was fair to offer Ianto a distraction that a few seconds of thought would reveal for the ploy it was. He settled for a nod, that Ianto promptly ignored and headed over to Tosh’s work-station to see if things were better there.
They were not. She was clearly in a grim frame of mind as well, and with his new-found understanding, Owen realised that trying to help would only make things worse. He looked around for Jack, and within a few seconds he understood by Ianto and Tosh had the faces of fury on this morning.
Jack was happy. All right, at the very least, he sounded happy, and there was a woman in his office sounding happy with him. Brunette as far as Owen could tell. For a moment, he thought Gwen might have cut her own trip short to come back and rescue them all from the Wrath of Harkness, but no, this was definitely not her. Difference cadence to the voice, an accent that was most certainly not Welsh, and considerably taller. More hair too. Hot, said the part of his brain, that didn’t know how meaningless that was to him anymore.
He’d planned to take a casual stroll by Jack’s office to assess the situation, but Jack caught sight of him and stood up from his desk to call him over.
“Owen, get in here. There’s someone I want you to meet.”
No way out then, but at least he’d get a closer look.
God, she was beautiful. The long hair, pulled back into a pony tail. Skin that spoke to a background somewhere in the Mediterranean, dark brown eyes, and a face that made him forget him forget he was permanently out of the game. She was wearing a green peasant blouse that drew his attention downward, where he spotted a small Star of David on a chain around her neck, before taking in the rest of the package, including some non-descript cargo-style pants.
“This is Ziva David from Mossad. Ziva, meet Dr. Owen Harper.”
“A pleasure,“ she said with a smile.
“Charmed,” he responded, wondering what the hell the Israeli intelligence agency wanted with Torchwood. Or maybe it was just what Ziva David wanted with Jack Harkness, which was clear enough and vice versa. Owen knew Jack well enough to catch the signs and had his history on the prowl to go by too. The looks, the body language, the smiles. Jack and Ziva were clearly lovers in the past and possibly the future. No wonder Ianto was looking pissed, although if he hadn’t figured out that whole world was Jack’s potential next piece of arse, then he wasn’t really smart enough to be working for Torchwood.
Maybe knowledge was one thing and acceptance was another, either way…time to pay attention to what Ms. David was saying in her only slightly stilted English.
“Jack is a great hero to some Israelis. He fought with Mickey Marcus in the war of Independence.”
Owen glanced over at Jack, trying to figure out if Ziva knew about Jack’s immortality, or just thought it was possible for a man to have been in battle in 1948 and still look like he was barely out of his 40’s in 2008. And if she knew about Jack, did she know about Owen? He decided to ignore the issue for the time being and just focus on Ziva, at least till he knew why she was here and how it affected him. That answer came soon enough.
“Ziva’s here to take a look at Goliath.”
Goliath was the name Ianto had attached to the extremely large specimen who had shown up on the outskirts of Cardiff, terrorizing some of the locals, but only damaging agricultural property, until some of the locals took him out with a large boulder to the cranium.
“Since when is Israel interested in aliens?” Owen would have thought they had enough trouble with the human beings who were trying to destroy them.
“We think your “Goliath” may be one of the Nephilim?”
Jack had assured him that Goliath was from some planet on the far side of a galaxy Owen had never heard of, even though Owen had thought the bloke looked like a Neanderthal and wondered if the body weren’t some new version of Piltdown Man. Maybe those farmers were having a good laugh at Torchwood’s expense.
“Nephilim,” she repeated. “It literally means ‘fallen ones.’ They’re mentioned in the Bible. And in some translations, the same word is used to mean “giant.” So it could be that your Goliath is the same race as the real Goliath. If they lived once and can still be brought though the Rift…”
Owen didn’t like that train of thought at all. Things…people, who came through the Rift, were generally best send back to where they’d come from and their being in this time and place could only cause pain. Furthermore, if the Israeli army was going to try and recruit Biblical creatures to fight against Al Quaeda and their other enemies... He looked at Jack again. This sounded like something he’d be trying to put the kibosh on, but maybe Captain Harkness was thinking with something other than his brain at the moment. Owen hadn’t seen a smile like that on Jack’s face since he’d been dancing with Gwen at the wedding.
“Show her the body,” Jack said, and Owen shrugged. He’d spent so long fighting Jack, but it was pointless. Jack was Torchwood and Jack had to live and die and live again with the decisions he made. Owen had only recently started to understand what a burden that was.
“This way,” he said, leading her to the morgue, ignoring the looks from both Tosh and Ianto that followed them there.
Once they arrived, he opened the drawer, which had been specially modified to accommodate the giant, and pulled up his autopsy report on the computer. Ziva took a small tape recorder and a notebook out of her bad and started examining the body, speaking to the recorder in Hebrew and making notes. She asked to borrow a measuring tape and took measurements while consulting an on-line Bible application.
He had to admire the thoroughness, if not the intention. And of course the woman herself was…well why bother looking if touching was pointless and if she were already in Jack’s collection. Not that it would be the first time he’d shared a lover with Jack.
Speaking of…”You two done here?”
Ziva took a final look at Goliath and nodded her head.
“I will send this data back to our people in Tel Aviv. They will decide how to proceed. I don’t really think there’s anything here for us, but the way things are now, we have to pursue every possible avenue.”
“Then you have some time before your plane leaves?” Jack said with that look on his face, and Owen wondered if he was being dismissed so that they could his autopsy table.
“I have a few hours,” she replied, with a look that said she would have gone for it.
“Come on then. Both of you.” When neither of them moved, exchanged confused glances, Jack continued, “Let’s go to the beach.”
It had been drizzling when Owen got up that morning and there was no reason to assume it was any weather out for a sea-side excursion, but Jack looked so enthusiastic that Owen knew it would be impossible to say no. Ziva seemed equally perplexed by the suggestion , but Owen supposed she wouldn’t have lasted long in Mossad without a sense of adventure.
Two hours later, they were walking along an empty stretch of damp sand facing Oxwich Bay. It wasn’t quite raining, but Owen could feel the dense fog clinging to his face, and the skies were gray. The sea they looked out on reminded him of the phrase “a terrible beauty,” dark and churning with barely suppressed fury. Not unlike himself, come to think of it, certainly the way he’d been before he came to Torchwood, before Jack saved him.
Even though he technically didn’t need the warmth, Owen felt himself drawn toward Jack who was standing between Owen and Ziva, the long coat no doubt keeping him quite warm. Jack looked out toward the raging water, perhaps seeing something of himself there as well, or whatever it was he kept looking for from the tops of those tall buildings. He wanted to say something, but the wind and waves would have drowned him out anyway.
Jack had arm one around Ziva and was pulling her close, the friendly embrace moving into a kiss before Owen’s avid eyes. Jack did love to have an audience, Owen knew from his early days in Torchwood, when Jack and Suzie had helped him find life again, although the cost was being a witness to Suzie’s crumbling psyche.
Ziva accepted the kiss, and Owen could hear the hunger in her responses. If they were going to tumble to the beach here for a re-enactment of From Here To Eternity, he was going to hit the Oxwich Bay Hotel and at least get out of the rain that he knew was about to start, but Jack had turned away from Ziva and was now pulling Owen into an identical kiss.
Why, he wondered, after all this time, especially when he was like this? He and Martha had tried to explain it to Jack, and Owen thought he understood. Owen couldn’t feel anything. Pleasure. Pain. It meant nothing to him. Jack’s lips were…actually they were Jack’s lips and the fact that Jack wanted him, wanted to share this with him…it meant something. He couldn’t feel heat, and yet there was some kind of warmth of as Jack and Ziva surrounded him. Jack’s lips moving on his face and neck, Ziva’s hands going under his shirt to touch his skin.
He suspected Jack was trying to recreate the early days, with him and Suzie, and he could only hope Ziva wasn’t going to shoot them both anytime soon. Not that it would really matter he thought.
With his new insight, he even knew why Jack had brought in a stranger, rather than Ianto or Tosh. It wouldn’t have been fair to either of them, and probably wouldn’t have worked. He still wasn’t sure it would, to be honest, but if Jack and Ziva were willing to give it a go, right here on this stormy beach, Owen would be right there with him.
Jack turned out to have a reservation at the hotel, and Ziva offered to race them there . Owen didn’t try terribly hard to win. The rain had started coming down, but it didn’t bother him and he knew a warm room and towels were waiting along with two bodies.
No, he reminded himself, people.
Jack and Ziva were going to be there with him, at least for a few hours and even if nothing really happened, the attempt was worth it anyway.
Not bad for a fallen one.