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Post-Mortem Part 3

People had trouble downloading Part 3, so I split it.  My apologies.

Fic:  Post-Mortem Part 3 (4/6 including an Interlude and an Epilogue)
Author:  CrabbyLioness
Pairings:  Team, Jack/Ianto mentioned, Tosh/Jack/Ianto mentioned
Summary:  In the wake of Jack's disappearance, Owen tries to figure out what to do next.
Rating:  R for language and sexual imagery.  It's Owen, what do you expect?
Disclaimer:  Don't own them.  Don't even like Owen, but "Quincy" has his uses.  Not making a penny.

Part 1

Interlude

Part 2


Owen and Ianto walked back into the Hub.  Owen's shoulder still throbbed from the climb down the ladder, but he ignored it to concentrate on the riddle of Jack's quarters.

"Was there any place Jack liked to go?" he asked Ianto.

Ianto shook his head.  "Not in particular."  He stopped at the coffee machine.  "Go on up.  I'll make some coffee and join you in a few minutes."

"What about -- "

Ianto interrupted him.  "Owen, please go away.  I'd like a few minutes alone.  I'll be with you shortly."  His voice was steady and his back was straight, but his hands gripped the counter in front of him.

Owen leaned against the wall, frustrated.  He turned to face Ianto.  Didn't he get it?  "Look.  I'm just trying to figure out enough about Jack to know what to do next."

Ianto turned around and looked at him with anguished eyes.  "Me too."

Owen gaped at Ianto in sheer amazement.  "You stupid cocksucker.  Why the fuck are you wasting my time with shit like that?  'Me too!'  'Me too?!'  I need facts, you poncey faggot, not bleeding 'me too's.  If he really was your part-time shag, give me something I can use to help him!"  He spat on Ianto as fury poured through him, ready to tear the head off the next idiot he met for the crime of being an idiot.

Ianto spun around and pushed Owen's shoulders into the wall, sending fresh waves of pain up from his wound.  "Owen, listen to me."

Owen snarled.  He tried to punch and kick Ianto, but this time the larger man used his longer reach to stay out of Owen's range.  He had a sudden visceral flashback to being a little boy on the playground, held against the wall and taunted by the bigger boys.  A wave of adrenaline coursed through him, obliterating the pain in a cleansing rage.  Without thinking he gave Ianto a Weevil challenge stare.

And got a Weevil return-challenge stare in response.

Shocked, he looked at Ianto again.  "What?"

Ianto sighed  and relaxed his face without relaxing his grip.  "You study the Weevils in your spare time, Owen.  I feed and clean them every day.  You think I might have learned a thing or two about them?"

"You challenging me, tea boy?"

"No.  Not unless it's to act like a Torchwood leader and not a teenage gang leader.  I may be your tea boy, but I'm not your whipping boy.  I expect you to treat me like a colleague.  Well," Ianto snorted, "I expect you to treat me the way a good leader would treat a colleague."

"In a minute I'm going to release you, turn my back on you, and make the coffee.  You are not going to attack me physically or verbally.  We are not going to treat each other like animals or school-boys or gunslingers.  We are going to behave like civilized human beings, and you are going to act like someone who is worthy of being followed.  All right?"

Owen took a couple of deep breaths, then nodded.

Ianto lowered his arms and stood up.  He held Owen's gaze for a moment longer, then turned around and busied himself with the coffee preparations.  Owen straightened up and walked to the stairs.

"Shall I order pizza for lunch, then?" Ianto asked.

Owen turned around and looked at him.  Ianto was wearing his 'butler' face, all dignified subservience.  "No, make it Chinese."

"Very good."

Owen mounted the stairs, shaking his head and muttering about Ianto's incredible stupidity in provoking Owen in the first place.  Apes, he was surrounded by apes.

"...thought we'd find a photo album at least." Gwen said as he opened the door.

Tosh nodded.  "I know."  She looked at Owen.  "Find anything else?"

Owen shook his head.  "Ianto's bringing the coffee."

"Ah, bless." Gwen sighed.  She scribbled something in her notebook.  Owen carefully sank into a chair, closed his eyes, and wished the pain away.

A few minutes later Ianto entered with a coffee tray.  He placed a cup of coffee at everyone's seat and a bottle of painkillers next to Owen.  As Ianto sat down Owen asked Gwen, "So what have we got?"

 She sighed and looked up from her notes.  "We've got no mention of where Jack came from.  He's extremely comfortable and knowledgable around alien tech, and he didn't learn about it from Torchwood.

"We don't know if he's human or not.  We do know that something outside him keeps bringing him back if he dies.  This presupposes some link between him and his "private insurer", but  it doesn't show up on any of our scanners.  Jack claims he doesn't know how or why it works, but it probably involves alien tech.  He seemed to have some idea about who did it to him, saying he thought "they" were keeping him alive for some purpose, but he never said who "they" were or what the purpose was.  He was waiting for the 'right kind' of expert to show up and explain it to him, presumably an alien coming through the Rift."

Gwen bit her lip.  "Jack knew so much about alien tech, he was so comfortable with it I wondered where he picked it up.  He kept saying the 21st Century is when everything changes like it was something he learned in school.  I wondered sometimes if Jack was from the future.  If he had fallen though the Rift into the past."

She looked around the table.  The others looked thoughtful and nodded.  "That would explain a lot, yeah."  Owen said.

"So, did he fall from the future and end up in 1941?  Is that what happened?  Then why didn't he tell Torchwood?  Why keep it a secret?  And where does his immortality fit into the picture?" Tosh asked.

"I don't know."  Gwen said.  "Maybe that's the 'con game' he said he was running in 1941."  She sighed.

Ianto asked.  "Tosh, did you learn anything from the telepathic pendant?"

Tosh started.  "Oh, I forgot about that.  When I tried to read Jack's mind I couldn't pick up anything, but later he projected his thoughts to me."

"Was it some sort of a shield?" Gwen asked.

Tosh thought.  "Something like that.  He said he could feel me scrabbling to get into his mind, but all I got was --" she stopped and a strange expression crossed her face, "a sound like breathing or a gust of wind.  Wait a minute!"  She dived for one of the laptops on the sideboard.  Clicking rapidly, she pulled up the sound they recorded when Jack disappeared.  She clipped it down to a single inhalation.  "I think that's it!"

"Private insurer." Owen grinned.

Gwen let out a whoop and clapped her hands.  "Yes!"

Tosh squirmed.  "It's been a long time.  I may not remember it right.   But I think that's it."

Gwen made some more notes.   "So this Dragon, this thing that uses Rift-like energies and can swoop in and pick someone up with a cage made of light, is connected to Jack's psychic shield.  It's probably connected to Jack's immortality.  What does that mean?"

They looked at each other.

"It's alien, and it's not likely to hurt Jack?" Owen suggested.

"Is it the expert Jack was waiting for?" Gwen asked.

Owen frowned.  "That doesn't make sense.  Presumably whoever is supplying the energy to bring Jack back to life knows where to find him.  So why wouldn't it have made contact with Jack before now?"

"If it uses Rift-like energies maybe it can travel in time." Tosh said.  "Maybe it's from the future, Jack's future, and it's been looking for him.  Maybe yesterday was the first time Jack needed enough energy for it to get a good 'fix' on him."

"If it's from Jack's future how come Jack doesn't understand how it works?" asked Owen.

"If it's from Jack's future will we see Jack again?" asked Gwen.

There was a moment of silence around the table.

"It's just a speculation." Tosh said, hunching her shoulders and looking very small.

"Right," Gwen said, "we're just speculating."

"If -- " Ianto paused a beat to make sure he had their attention, "we're talking about time travel, it could be the Doctor."

Gwen started.  Owen grimaced. "Shit. I hope not. That's the absolute last thing we need." 

"Who?" asked Gwen, puzzled.

"The Doctor.  Torchwood's least-favorite time traveler."  Gwen stll looked confused so Owen explained.  "He's an alien. More dangerous than a Cyberman. More dangerous than a thousand Cybermen. Didn't you read about him in the orientation material?" 

"No."  Gwen shook her head, eyes wide.

Tosh shifted in her seat.  "Jack purged much of the old information from the files."

"What?" Owen asked.  "When did that happen?"

"Right after that weeklong training session he insisted we all take on Anglesey a few years ago.  Remember?  We came back to find the Rift had generated an earthquake and trashed the Hub."

"Oh, yeah.  Thought we were all going to end up with frostbite.  That was the last time Jack wanted to be away from the Hub for that long, thankfully."

"Anyway, while we were cleaning up he removed all the information he thought was out of date. He said people would be more likely to get killed acting on misinformation than if they went in unprejudiced."

"Huh.  No, I didn't know he'd done that.  I was busy watching him tinker about with the invisible lift.  But the Doctor is in the story of Torchwood's founding.  Why would Jack remove that?" 

Gwen leaned forward intently.  "Owen, Jack didn't say he was looking for the right kind of expert.  He said he was looking for the 'right kind of Doctor.'  Could he have meant this Doctor?"

Owen and Tosh gaped at Gwen.

"I probably have something on one of the discs I brought down from London. I'll see what I can find."   Ianto stood up and left the room.

Gwen stared at Tosh and Owen.  "What can you tell me about this Doctor?"

Owen leaned forward on his elbows.  "Well, for starters, that's all he's called.  'The Doctor.'  He's never given any other name, although he's picked up a few code names over the years, like 'Code Nine'.  He looks like a man, but he's some sort of alien toff who treats the Earth like it's his personal country estate.  He's not here all the time, but when he's around he takes out any alien invaders who land here.  He's been responsible for destroying entire alien fleets, and he's the one who drove off the Sycorax ship Christmas before last.

"Wait a minute.  I thought Torchwood shot them down."

"Torchwood shot them in the back."

Gwen barked a laugh.

"But get this -- he never carries a gun and his ship doesn't appear to have any weapons.  If he needs a weapon he borrows one or makes one.  He's not overtly hostile to humans, but he's insanely dangerous if provoked."

Gwen nodded.  "Okay.  So where does time travel enter into this?"

"His ship can travel in time as well as space.  It doesn't 'fly' like other craft.  It dematerializes and rematerializes whereever and whenever he wants it to go.  He's quite the tourist.  We've found hints of him all over the Earth throughout history, although he has a special fondness for England, especially the London area."

"Dematerializes and rematerializes like that cage that took Jack?"

"Sort of, but not exactly.  For some reason his ship is always disguised as a blue wooden phone box from the 1950s."  Gwen gaped at him.  Owen shrugged.  "Don't ask me.  Nobody understands that one.  And don't ask how you can fit a spaceship inside a phone booth.  Nobody understands that one either."

"I was going to ask if it was some kind of teleportation device."

"Probably.  That's the best we've been able to come up with."

"I've met him," said Tosh.  "At least I think I have.  It was right before the aliens blew up Downing Street.  He identified that pilot they pulled out of the Thames as a fake alien.  I thought he was with U.N.I.T."

"He has worked with U.N.I.T. in the past." Owen supplied.

"Didn't you ask his name?" Gwen asked.

Tosh rolled her eyes.  "We were in a rush!  He told me he was 'the Doctor' but it didn't register until afterwards."

Gwen nodded.  "Okay.  So why is he Torchwood's 'least favorite' time traveler?"

Owen and Tosh looked at each other.  "That has to do with the founding of Torchwood.  Queen Victoria was threatened by an alien.  The Doctor destroyed it, and afterwards she established the Torchwood Institute to deal with all aliens in the future," Tosh explained.  "She declared the Doctor Torchwood's primary target."

"But I thought you said the Doctor destroyed the threat?" Gwen frowned.

"Scared the piss out of her in the process," Owen muttered.  "And that means we're supposed to capture the most dangerous creature the planet has ever seen with our bare hands.  Thank you, Vicky."

"I don't understand.  Torchwood has been trying to get this one alien for almost 130 years.  How come we haven't caught him?"

Owen and Tosh looked at each other again.  Owen took  a deep breath.  "Because Torchwood field agents are many things.  We are arrogant.  We are insensitive to locals.  We get paid good money to play with things no one understands that could blow up the world.  We don't care a shit about anyone else.  Occasionally we are misguided.  But there's one thing we're not.  We're not stupid."

"What do you mean, Owen?"  Gwen asked.

Tosh leaned forward.  "He means Torchwood field agents think of actually catching the Doctor the way World War I soldiers thought of going 'over the top'.  It's something the higher-ups want, but the foot soldiers avoid."

"And we can be very good at avoiding it.  If he's in Dover, we're working on a case in Manchester.  If he's in Aberdeen, we're in Croydon.  Even during an actual invasion there's plenty of work to be done that doesn't bring you anywhere near the Doctor.  He had to land that bloody thing in Torchwood One's attic in order to find out about us at all," Owen said.

Gwen stared at them.  "Wait a minute.  Are you saying there's a conspiracy within Torchwood to avoid carrying out its primary mission?"

"Got it in one."  Owen mimed throwing a basketball with his hands.  "Sharp as a tack you are."

Tosh took over.  "It's not exactly a conspiracy.  It's more of an understanding.  At first we didn't have any data on the Doctor, but over the years the evidence has built up.  Almost all the accounts say the Doctor is harmless unless provoked.  They also say that anyone who points a weapon at him usually ends up dead.  The field commanders have been trying to get the higher-ups to rewrite the mandate for years now.  No luck."

"Yeah, their answer was to redeploy all the combat units to London where they could place them under their direct supervision.  Then they all got wiped out in the Battle of Canary Wharf, leaving us without any backup at all.  Brilliant move," Owen grumbled.

"So what happened when the Doctor landed at Torchwood One?"

"The Battle of Canary Wharf.  It seems he showed up to investigate the Rift they were poking at just as the Cybermen came through.  Yvonne Hartman, she was the Director then, tried to take him prisoner beforehand.  The Doctor probably had a hand in taking care of the Cybermen, although nobody really knows what happened that day.  But he met Torchwood, and we pointed guns at him and brought Cybermen into this world.  Bad start."

"Have there been any other encounters?"

Owen shrugged.  "There was one over Christmas," Tosh said.  "He disappeared with two employees of a Torchwood subsidiary on their wedding day and destroyed a lab on their premises.  You remember hearing about the Thames draining?"

"Yes.  I thought that was a breakdown in the flood control system."

"It was.  Apparently the Doctor broke it to wipe out the lab.  Anyway, the groom hasn't been seen since and the bride refuses to work for us anymore.  London is worried that he's targeting Torchwood."

"Bloody likely,"  Owen said.  "They should have changed those protocols years ago."

Gwen sighed.  "Okay.  Let me get this straight.  He's an alien.  He can travel in time.  His ship can dematerialize and rematerialize at will.  He can take out an alien invasion by himself.  And Torchwood went out of their way to pick a fight with him."

"That's it."

"Typical.  Anything else?"

Owen threw back his head and thought.  "He's a shapechanger.  Doesn't do it often, and apparently only after severe trauma."

Gwen stared at him.  "Shit.  If he's a time-traveling shapechanger how can you tell anything about him at all?"

"By his behavior and by the blue box."  Ianto said, entering the room.  "The Archivist's exam at Torchwood One is to find all the references to the Doctor in the Archives and assemble them into some sort of order.  No two people agree on how to do it."  He placed a disc in the computer, and they all pulled up their laptops.

Ianto linked his laptop to the main screen.  "Let's see.  Here's the sound file on his ship."  Suddenly the speakers reverberated with the now-familiar groaning whoop.

Owen, Gwen, and Tosh jumped.  Tosh clicked some keys.  "The sound print is a perfect match for the first half of our sample."

Ianto clicked some keys of his own.  "That's the materialization sound.  Here's the dematerialization sound."  A slight variation on the groaning filled the room.

Tosh nodded.  "That matches the second half of our sample."

"So he just materialized enough to take Jack?" Gwen asked.

"We've never seen him do that before." Ianto said.  "He usually comes to a full stop and gets out, but there are a few accounts of him apparently materializing around people or objects.  There's no substantiated accounts or footage of those incidents though, and none of his craft doing what we saw happen with Jack.  Here's the video footage."

The main screen lit up with an image of a blue wood box wheezing into existence in sync with the audio.

"Same size and shape as the light cage," Tosh murmered.  "I think we found our Dragon.  Shit."

"Shit," said Gwen.

"Fuck," agreed Owen.

 "Those pieces match," said Ianto, "but some of the others don't.  There's nothing to connect the Doctor with anything like Jack's immortality.  Dozens of humans have died around him over the years, and none of them have come back to life."

Gwen nodded and scanned through her laptop.  "Okay.  There's a lot of data here.  Let's all look and see what we can find."

They bent over their laptops.

"No mention of a Jack Harkness," Tosh said.  "One Doctor sighting in 1941 during the London Blitz, but nothing about Jack."

"That's just the synopsis." Ianto said.  "I can request the complete file from London."

"Do it," Gwen said.

"What priority should I give it?"

"High."

Ianto looked at them.  "Is that wise?  Do we want to draw their attention that way?"

Owen sighed.  "Good question.  Wait on that one."  He clicked through some screens on his laptop.  "The Doctor likes company.  
He has a history of picking up pretty girls and taking them with him. But why would he want Jack?"

Three disbelieving stares met his gaze.

"Right. Stupid question." 

"He worked for U.N.I.T. at one point," Gwen said a few minutes later.

Tosh nodded.  "He got along with them great.  And Torchwood liked it when he worked for them.  We knew where he was and what he was doing."

"And how to avoid him."  Owen added.  "Course it's one of the excuses U.N.I.T. has for not getting along great with us.  They like him, and we don't.  Not like two competing organizations covering the same ground don't have other reasons to not get along, you understand."

Tosh shook her head.  "It doesn't make sense. If Jack has been waiting for the Doctor since 1941, why work for Torchwood? The Doctor has worked on and off for U.N.I.T. since the 1960s. He was at the Webley Park base for years. All Jack had to do was drive there and ask for him.

"Or why not hang around London? That's where most Doctor sightings have taken place. Or even Brighton! There's never been a recorded Doctor sighting in Cardiff. So why would Jack wait for him here?"

"It's a long-term stakeout," Gwen said.  "Look at the incident pattern. Aside from the time the Doctor was with U.N.I.T., he's hardly ever in the same place more than 36 hours. His movements are random and unpredictable. The only way you could catch the Doctor would be to stage an event or squat besides something that was eventually going to attract his attention. Jack's been using the Rift as a rabbit hole."

Owen nodded.  "Good one, Gwen. But that still doesn't explain why Jack didn't go see him while the Doctor was with U.N.I.T." 

"Maybe he didn't decide the Doctor was the alien he needed to see until after the Doctor left U.N.I.T." Tosh suggested.

"But how would that fit with the Doctor being responsible for Jack's immortality?"  Owen asked.

Gwen shook her head.  "All we know is that it looks like there's a connection.  It's too early to say what that connection is.  When we have all the pieces we'll know how they fit."

Tosh bit her lip.  "But what if we can't get all the pieces?  If we're right, some of these pieces are in the future where we can't reach them."

"We're going to have enough trouble dealing with the pieces we've got,' grumbled Owen, leaning back in his chair.

"Why?  What do you mean?" Gwen asked, although she had an idea what the answer would be.

"The Doctor is officially listed as an enemy of Torchwood."  Ianto replied.  "He was present at two incidents where Torchwood suffered losses.  If London finds out that he was at a third Torchwood base when the base commander disappeared, it will look suspicious."

"And if it turns out he's actually connected to Jack, Jack will look suspicious," Owen said.

"Oh that's just great.  So the one person who can help Jack is the one person Torchwood won't let him see." Gwen said.  She drew a deep breath,  "So once again Torchwood is --"

"No," Owen said, making a chopping motion with his hand.  "Not now."

"What?  Oh, that's --"

"No.  I mean it, sweetheart.  I know your rants are some kind of weird stress release, but not here, not now.  We're too tired to deal with it today."

Gwen glared at Owen, slammed her hands on the table, and started to rise to her feet.  Ianto quietly placed his hand on top of her hand.  Gwen looked down at it, stared at Ianto's face for a moment, looked around the table, and sat back down.  "Okay," she said.

Tosh closed her eyes briefly and leaned back in her chair.

"Right.  So, as I was saying before I was interrupted, we've got a mess on our hands.  Worst-case scenario: an extremely powerful and pissed-off alien kidnapped the head of the largest functioning branch of Torchwood. Best-case scenario: Jack's larking about. Now how the fuck do we tell the difference?" 

"It's not in the Doctor's nature to kidnap people."  Tosh said.

"It's not in his nature to make people immortal either.  And Torchwood told him we think he's our enemy and then we tried to tear open the world.  Twice.  So what's he doing?  Helping Jack, or shutting down Torchwood?"

Gwen opened her mouth, closed it, and opened it again.  "We need more data."

"That will take time.  Owen's right, we need to think about damage control." Ianto said.

Gwen looked at him suspiciously.  "What do you mean?  What sort of 'damage control?'"  Owen knew she hated this aspect of the job.  He suspected she found Ianto's calm acceptance of it unnerving.

"That's what we need to decide.  If the Doctor is kidnapping Torchwood personnel, we need to warn the other branches that their people are in danger.  But if he's helping Jack, telling the other branches would endanger Jack." Ianto explained.

"If Jack has been kidnapped by the Doctor, is there anything Torchwood can do to help him?" Tosh asked.

"No." said Ianto.  "But these latest recordings might warn other Torchwood agents that he was in the vicinity, possibly targeting them."

Gwen opened her mouth, shut it, and slumped in her seat.  "I don't know."

"Ianto, how would you cover up Jack's disappearance?" Tosh asked.

"For a short-term disappearance, I would say that Jack was recovering from injuries.  For a long-term disappearance, say that Jack disappeared along with Abbadon back into the Rift."

"But we don't have any idea how long Jack's going to be gone.  Right."  Owen sighed.

"Tosh, you've met this Doctor.  Do you think he'll hurt Jack?" Gwen asked.

Tosh thought for a moment.  "No," she said, shaking her head.  "If the Doctor is the same man I met, I think Jack is safe with him.  But I'm hardly the world's greatest expert at reading aliens," she added bitterly."

Gwen took a deep breath.  "Okay.  Going by the evidence I think we can assume Jack is safe with the Doctor.  The Doctor has a time machine.  He should be able to bring Jack back soon."

"So we just assume the Doctor isn't mad at Torchwood?" Owen asked.

Gwen sighed.  "We'll keep collecting data and keep an eye out for him."

"So what do we do the next time the Doctor shows up somewhere and Torchwood agents disappear?  What do we tell the survivors?"

Gwen bristled.

"What do you suggest, Owen?" Ianto asked quickly.

"I haven't got a  fucking clue." Owen admitted, shaking his head.  "Anybody got a better idea?"  He looked around the table.  The others shook their heads.  Owen gritted his teeth.  Jack could have come up with a better idea.  But Jack wasn't here.

"Right.  So we don't mention the the Doctor's spaceship in our reports.  Do we say Jack is  injured or is missing?"

"Missing," Ianto replied.  "We haven't seen Jack since Abbadon disappeared.  We think he got sucked into the Rift.  That way if he shows up later with the Doctor, then the Doctor will have rescued him from the Rift."

"Okay.  We also find out everything we can about the Doctor without alerting suspicion.  And then -- we play it by ear I guess."

Tosh looked grim.  "Just so we all know what we're talking about, are we really going to lie to our fellow Torchwood agents and risk getting them abducted?"

"Looks like it, yeah." Owen said.  "Jack lied to Torchwood and to us.  That leaves us with two choices.  We can either lie and keep his secret, or tell the truth and out him.  What do we do, Tosh?"

Tosh set her mouth and shook her head.  "I can't believe Jack would turn on Torchwood.  It was his life."

"Maybe he was trying to protect the Institute from making a mistake with the Doctor.  That's the sort of thing Jack would do," Gwen suggested.

"Or maybe he was just using us all."  Owen grimaced.

Gwen shook her head.  "Jack's been secretive with us, but he hasn't lied to us.  If he was going to lie, he could have done a much better job of hiding the clues we picked up on."

"Getting back to the point, are we going to keep Jack's secret or not?  Because if we do, we're going to be lying our heads off to the other branches and everyone else."

"We support Jack," Gwen said.  "And if anything happens, we take responsibility for it."

Owen nodded, looked down at his hands, then back at the others.  "Right.  We owe Jack," he said, surprised to find his voice breaking.  "We owe him a lot.  We should give him a chance to get his problems sorted out.  He'd do the same for us any day."

Ianto nodded.  After a moment, Tosh nodded too.

"So we do what Jack did.  We keep the Doctor out of the picture."

Ianto thought a moment, then said.  "It's a good plan.  It's a pity it won't work."

"What?  Why?" Gwen asked.

"Any plan that relies on Owen keeping a secret is doomed."

"Oi!"

"He's got a point, Owen.  You're a shit liar." Gwen said.

"Then what are we going to do?" Owen asked.

"It can work," Ianto said, "but I'll have to handle the communications with the other branches."

"Okay, so Ianto takes over the office duties."  Gwen made another note in her notebook.

"Hey, I'm in charge here!" Owen cried out.

"Got a better idea?  Because if he doesn't handle the paperwork, you'll have to do it, Mr. Boss Man." Gwen asked.

Owen sighed.  "All right.  Ianto, you handle the calls and the paperwork.  Make us look good."

"Yes, Owen."

Owen scowled.  "Don't I rate a 'sir'?"

"No."

"Right.  But I'm in charge.  It's only fair.  I've been here the longest, and I know the most about Torchwood Three."

Gwen rolled her eyes.

Tosh bit her lip.  "Okay.  So the person who's been with Torchwood the next longest will be second-in-command, right?"  She looked around timidly.

"Sure." Owen said, knowing that would make Tosh his second.  Just like her to be all modest and not put herself forward, but she was still getting what she wanted.

"Okay," Gwen said.

"Sounds fair," agreed Ianto.

"Let's go around the table and all say how long we've been with Torchwood," Tosh said.  "I've worked here for three years."  She looked to her left.  "Owen?"

"Five years."  He looked across the table at Gwen.

"Six months."  She grimaced and turned to her left.  "Ianto?"

He stared at them blandly.  "Four years."

"What?" exclaimed Owen.  "That can't be right."

"I joined straight out of college."

Gwen wooped with laughter.

"But --"  He turned to Tosh and saw her grinning smugly.  "That's not fair.  You set that up!"

Tosh preened.  "You should do your homework."

Owen opened his mouth to protest, only to be cut off by Ianto.  "Owen's right.  He has twice as much field experience at Torchwood Three as any of us.  He knows much more about the kind of dangers we are likely to encounter here.  It's up to him to make such decisions."

Owen shut his mouth and turned to stare at Ianto.  "I'm in charge.  I can't have you arguing with me over mission calls like you did last week.  You do what I say."

Ianto looked a him a moment.  "Yes."

Owen sighed and leaned against the table.  He wished he had more choices.  "Right.  You're second in command.  Don't fuck up."

"Yes, Owen."

Part 4

Comments

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randomling
Feb. 12th, 2007 09:55 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I like so far, very much! You have everyone perfectly, once again. I particularly like your landscape of the inside of Owen's head - all bullying and aggression and confrontation. (That man has one screwed up relationship with his dad - I am very sure of that. It's that constant fear of the "bigger boy", and the way he's projecting it like hell onto Jack: help me, now get out of my way, now leave me alone, now please help me. If Ianto steps up, I think Owen's wealth of daddy issues is going to fall at his door too.)

Couple of proofing comments is all: But there's one we're not. We're not stupid. One thing we're not, I think. And it's "Croydon", not "Croyden". (Take it from someone who lives an hour away. Also, hehehe to the Sarah Jane reference! I love that Owen says this, completely unaware that the Doctor's navigation isn't exactly all that.)

I wanna write Owen-meets-the-Doctor fic, on the basis that it'll never happen in the show. Did I mention Owen's daddy issues...?
crabby_lioness
Feb. 13th, 2007 03:03 am (UTC)
Thanks.
(no subject) - crabby_lioness - Mar. 30th, 2007 12:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
canterbury359
Feb. 12th, 2007 10:55 pm (UTC)
"Christ. We really are crap at this, aren't we?"

Ianto grunted in agreement. "I won't tell if you won't."


LOL - The Brigader (OG) writing some lines of this? :) Only joking! Moment of self-knowledge there - first step to getting better. If Owen ever sort out his issues with Ianto - watch out world! Their scrapping is taking up their time, not to mention Gwen and Tosh having to waste time policing them.

Do you want proofing comments? If so - in section about why they haven't caught the Doc in 130 years - BecauseTorchwood needs splitting.

Looking forward to more...
crabby_lioness
Feb. 13th, 2007 04:26 am (UTC)
LOL - The Brigader (OG) writing some lines of this? :)

LOL I'll have to tell him that.

If Owen ever sort out his issues with Ianto - watch out world! Their scrapping is taking up their time, not to mention Gwen and Tosh having to waste time policing them.

Those boys need a hobby.

Do you want proofing comments? If so - in section about why they haven't caught the Doc in 130 years - BecauseTorchwood needs splitting.

Thanks. That's why I'm writing this in an open file.

Looking forward to more...

Coming up! :)
msp_hacker
Feb. 12th, 2007 11:32 pm (UTC)
Last chapter, I was wondering why they didn't find any photo albulms of Jack. Looks like Gwen thought it odd too! Though what happened to the one that Jack was looking at in "Small Worlds?"

And, spelling convention: "He had to land that bloody thing in Torchwood 1's attic in order to find out about us at all." 1 should be spelled out.
crabby_lioness
Feb. 13th, 2007 04:27 am (UTC)
Thank you. The album will show up before the end of the story. ;)
canterbury359
Feb. 13th, 2007 08:05 pm (UTC)
Was going to wait a while but...

"It's a good plan. It's a pity it won't work."
"What?"
"Any plan that relies on Owen keeping a secret is doomed."


ROFL - comedy gold :D And so true :D

Proofing - para starting "We don't know if he's human or not."
Missing n in "doesn't"; missing t in "stating".

Maybe I should leave this page alone for, like, a day and give you some space to work on this :)
crabby_lioness
Feb. 14th, 2007 03:42 pm (UTC)
I hope to work on it today, but I just lost a lens of my glasses. Panic attack!
lunamazes
Feb. 13th, 2007 11:09 pm (UTC)
I like the way that Owen describe Ianto, it's always the quiet one you have to careful.
crabby_lioness
Feb. 14th, 2007 02:33 am (UTC)
Some men just can't understand each other. Mutt and Jeff, Spock and McCoy, Owen and Ianto.
canterbury359
Feb. 20th, 2007 11:32 pm (UTC)
reread from the start to the first **********

I do love how Ianto handled Owen, physically stopped him, told him *what* Owen was going to do, and then managed to restart the whole master/butler relationship. Did Jeeves end up training Torchwood staff after Wooster got married?

Also love the little back-plot as to why all combat-types were in London - because it's where the Doctor is most likely to turn up and so the high-ups can keep a good eye on them!

I love this story because we haven't really seen the team put things together this intensely before. And I think they are doing a good job of it. It's a wonderful demonstration of how they are stronger as a team than as individuals (hopefully inspires them to keep working in that way).

Proofing :
"Scared the piss out of her in the process," Owen muttered. "Which mean
means
Are you saying there's a conspiracy within Torchwood to avoid carrying out it's primary mission?"
its

Looking forward to more :)
crabby_lioness
Feb. 21st, 2007 05:39 am (UTC)
I do love how Ianto handled Owen, physically stopped him, told him *what* Owen was going to do, and then managed to restart the whole master/butler relationship. Did Jeeves end up training Torchwood staff after Wooster got married?

By now we all know Owen does to others whatever is done to him. Throw him against a wall, and he throws you against a tree. Shoot him, and he shoots somebody else. You have to be careful what behavior you model around him.

I love this story because we haven't really seen the team put things together this intensely before. And I think they are doing a good job of it. It's a wonderful demonstration of how they are stronger as a team than as individuals (hopefully inspires them to keep working in that way).

*pant* *pant* I understand more why we haven't seen it. It's pretty intensive to write!
msp_hacker
Mar. 5th, 2007 02:30 am (UTC)
"Course I'm in charge. I've been here the longest."

Not really a beta comment, but do you think this is the way that the Cardiff branch is run normally? The idea that the person who's been there the longest gets to be the leader as if they weren't competent they'd be dead.
crabby_lioness
Mar. 5th, 2007 04:01 pm (UTC)
That's a valid point. I don't really think any of them are fully qualified to lead at this point, but Owen has over twice the Local Area Knowledge (re: Cardiff's aliens) that the rest of them have. Without any of them having already developed leadership abilities, it's going to come down to that.
canterbury359
Mar. 8th, 2007 09:22 pm (UTC)
Hi! Interesting the crew hadn't reported Jack dead yet - and also interesting that Tosh was the most unsure about hiding Jack's disappearance from Torchwood. I have the feeling (can't pinpoint from where) that she has the highest opinion of TW and sees her work as a vocation of sorts.

(Oh yes, nice smut :-D Can well believe Owen would think that.)

Proofing:
This presupposes some link between him and his "private insurer", but it does't show up on any of our scanners. doesn't

It's probably connected to Jack's immortality. What does it mean? (missing word)

Occassionally we are misguided. Occasionally

a blue wood box wheezing into existance in sync with the audio. existence

For a short-term disapearance, [...] For a long-term dispearance, say that Jack disapeared along with Abbadon back into the Rift." disappearance disappearance

"Missing," Ianto replied. "We haven't (added quotation mark)


Looking forward to the album!
crabby_lioness
Mar. 9th, 2007 04:06 am (UTC)
Yay! This part is done. The end is in sight!

I can believe Owen would think that and worse, but it's a bit embarassing to write it out.

Thanks for the proofing help, this monster got too big for the spell-check.
(no subject) - canterbury359 - Mar. 9th, 2007 11:32 am (UTC) - Expand
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lyss_monaghan
Mar. 9th, 2007 07:12 am (UTC)
God I'm soooooooo tempted to read the Epilogue. Don't read the Epilogue. Don't read the Epilogue. God I can't wait til you get that one done, I loved this story; not many fics about how they go through all this thought process and you did it wonderfully.

KUDOS!
crabby_lioness
Mar. 9th, 2007 02:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you! It was pretty intense to write!
(Deleted comment)
crabby_lioness
Mar. 9th, 2007 02:19 pm (UTC)
Well, they've already tried killing each other. Time for Plan B.

Glad you liked it!
jadesfire
Mar. 9th, 2007 09:39 am (UTC)
I've just read all of this through in one go and really enjoyed it. I liked the way you actually have the TW team behaving like professionals, and the way they put everything together about Jack. Your Owen and Ianto are great and sound absolutely right.

*applause* really nice work!
crabby_lioness
Mar. 9th, 2007 02:20 pm (UTC)
Much as they hate having to remember it, they really are professionals.

Thank you!
crowson75
Mar. 9th, 2007 10:37 am (UTC)
I love you! This is brilliant. You seem to have just awesomely encyclopedic knowledge of DW & TW. I love your version of Owen and he and Ianto are actually quite sexy together (strike me down for saying such a thing!). And that vision of jack, ianto and Tosh...fgdjsailghei. Are you writing that at all? ^^
crabby_lioness
Mar. 9th, 2007 02:27 pm (UTC)
I love you! This is brilliant.

Thank you!

You seem to have just awesomely encyclopedic knowledge of DW & TW.

Oh hardly that. One of the facts listed up there is wrong actually, but I couldn't find the correct information and ran out of time. :(

I love your version of Owen and he and Ianto are actually quite sexy together (strike me down for saying such a thing!).

Mmm, there's a tiny bit of UST present.

And that vision of jack, ianto and Tosh...fgdjsailghei.

Oh, yeah! :D

Are you writing that at all? ^^

Maybe someday. I've got a half-dozen unfinished smut-fics to complete first. Writing porn is a bit embarassing, especially when your children are reading over your shoulder.
(no subject) - crowson75 - Mar. 9th, 2007 03:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - crowson75 - Mar. 9th, 2007 03:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Anonymous)
Mar. 9th, 2007 11:30 am (UTC)
Owen and Ianto had a piss-up
means they got very drunk.
crabby_lioness
Mar. 9th, 2007 02:07 pm (UTC)
Ah, thank you. Fixed that.
justdreaming88
Mar. 9th, 2007 06:15 pm (UTC)
Oh wonderful :D I eagerly await the epilogue
crabby_lioness
Mar. 9th, 2007 06:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
flmun
Mar. 9th, 2007 10:43 pm (UTC)
I love this! I am so happy that you're feeling better (not just 'cuz of the fic). I only have one itty-bitty nitpick: Only one more part?!?

Thank you for sharing. You've done an excellent job, especially as it involves getting in the head of your least favorite character.
crabby_lioness
Mar. 9th, 2007 11:25 pm (UTC)
Thank you. He made an excellent POV when none of the rest of them felt like talking.
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