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Post-Mortem Epilogue: The Storyteller

Fic:  The Storyteller
Epilogue to Post-Mortem, may be read as a stand-alone story (6/6)

Author:  CrabbyLioness

Pairings:  Team, Jack/Ianto

Summary:  In the wake of Jack's disappearance, Ianto tries to figure out the mystery of Jack Harkness.

Rating:  PG for adult themes.

Disclaimer:  Don't own them.  Not making a penny.

Part 1

Interlude

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Ianto frowned into the phone.  "When can you send us down an expert, Steven?"

The voice on the other end sounded harassed.  "You're joking, right?  Ianto, I don't have anyone to send!  We're shorthanded ourselves, and we've got disappearing hospitals, walking statues, and all sorts of other garbage to handle, and that's on top of the deal with Saxon.  You've just got Wales to tend.  We've got all of England to look after.

"I can't even send you a grunt, but the people you're asking for?  Administrators?  Mission leaders?  Alien tech experts?  Forget it.  All the ones we've got are busy, and the ones who are in training won't be ready for at least a year and a half."

"What about U.N.I.T.?"

"They're busy taking care of Bane worldwide.  All nonessential personnel have been recalled to Geneva.  They say it's for extra training, but the rumor is there was a big cock-up at a Swiss lab they have to clean up."

"So what would you advise?"

Steven sighed.  "Look, you didn't hear this from me, but if you want my advice the next time you find an emergency services bloke who doesn't freak out at the site of a Deevil --"

"Weevil."

"Weevil, right, draft him.  That way at least you'll have someone with basic training and local area knowledge.  I can't even offer you someone like that."

"That's how we got our last recruit."

"See?  You already know how to do it!   But I'm glad you called, Ianto.  I need to talk to you.  Torchwood One is looking for a new Supply Chief, and you would be perfect for the job."

"Me?" Ianto stared at the phone in surprise.

"Why not?  You've already got the training, and from the horror stories you've been telling me over the past year Torchwood Three has given you the experience.  You'll be back in London, back on the management track, and making over twice your current salary.  So what do you say?"

Ianto took a deep breath to avoid stammering.  "That's quite a promotion.  I'm honored by your confidence in me.  If I did this, who would you send down to take my place?"

There was silence on the other end of the phone.  Ianto bit his lip to keep from prodding Steven.

"Think about it, Ianto.  This could be your big break."

The door alarm sounded.  "Thank you, Steven.  I will.  Well, here's the team.  I have to go see to them now.  Goodbye."

Ianto turned around to see Gwen and Tosh entering the Hub.  "Who was that on the phone?" Gwen asked.

"That was Torchwood London."

Her face lit up.  "Oh great!  They found us the information on the Krynoids, then?"

"Not exactly.  They offered me a promotion if I moved back."

"Congratulations!  Who are they sending down to replace you?"

"Nobody.  They seem to think Cardiff can manage with three people."

Gwen mouth fell open in amazement.  "But we can't.  We're barely making it with four.  Ianto...."

"It's all right, Gwen.  I'm not going to leave you in the lurch."

Tosh gave Ianto a "we'll talk about this over lunch" look.  He nodded.  "Now, who's up for coffee?"

He shouldn't have told her that, Ianto thought.  It was a sign of his exhaustion that it had slipped out.  "Look after the children," Jack had joked on occasion, beginning long before they became intimate.  There was a grain of truth hidden inside that joke.

Ianto fixed the others their coffee and warmed himself a cup of milk.  He resisted the urge to grimace.  Owen was a good doctor, for all he had the bedside manner of a constipated hyena.  He was especially good at diagnosis.  If he said this course of treatment would help Ianto's stomach, Ianto had no reason to doubt him.

Poor Owen.  Underneath his armor of cynicism he was even more tender-hearted than Gwen.  He wanted so badly to heal everything that was wrong with the world, but he also wanted the world to have simple problems that he could heal by simple means.  He hated that the world was full of complicated problems without easy solutions.  It seemed to him grossly unfair, and left him in a perpetual sulk.

Owen wanted everything clear-cut.  He either couldn't or didn't want to grasp that joy could bring sorrow, pain could bring pleasure, love could bring heartache.  Unfortunately the world refused to resolve itself into a children's TV show for his sake; and Owen had grown up bitter, confused, angry, scared, very smart, and extremely dangerous.  He hid his disappointment behind a endless quest for distraction by sex, booze, and video games.  While regular life was bad enough, Torchwood was even worse.  Torchwood was nothing but an endless series of complicated problems, most of which couldn't be dissected into nice little checklists on his autopsy table.

As he worked, Ianto reflected on the ironies of his job.  Because Torchwood Three was so small, he had to wear many hats.  He was both the Security Chief for the Hub and the janitor, the provider of sustenance and the disciplinarian.  As the Archivist he was supposed to preserve all the fragments of facts and assemble them into something resembling the truth; as the cover-up expert he was supposed to arrange fragments of facts into lies.  He knew no one at Torchwood One would have allowed him to hold such contradictory titles.  Were they smart enough to realize the power it gave him?

Perhaps not.  Probably they didn't think about it at all, and expected him to do the same.  Just go along, do what he was supposed to do, and pay no attention to the bigger picture.  Or if they did think about it they would be sure it would drive him mad, for no one could hold two contradictory positions and stay sane.  And they were right.  But if you embraced both sides of the contradiction, you could transcend it and find yourself in a whole new territory above and beyond the world that considered such things opposites.  Once you did that you took on a new role with a new name.  Thus Ianto was not the Security Chief and the janitor, he was the Castellan.  He was not the provider of sustenance and the disciplinarian, he was the Guardian.  He was not the Archivist and the cover-up expert, he was the Storyteller.   It was his power to decide which stories were told and which ones were discarded, his judgement on which fragments of facts were preserved and which ones were obliterated.  No, they would probably be extremely uncomfortable if they realized what Ianto's real job title was and how much power he really had, which is why he took care never to tell them.

Except for Jack.  Jack laughed at contradictions.  He was the embodiment  of Whitman's hero:  "Do I contradict myself?/ Very well then, I contradict myself./ I am large, I contain multitudes."

It was Jack who had encouraged Ianto to take on so many varied titles.  Jack had kept placing Ianto in front of newer and stranger experiences, and had grinned like a maniac whenever Ianto had simply accepted them and gone on about his work.

He had done Gwen the same way.  She had grinned back and asked for more until they met the cannibals.  Something happened there besides her getting shot and falling into Owen's bed.  She had pulled away from Jack and his endless novelties, and Jack had stopped grinning at her all the time.

From what Suzie had said, Jack had done the same with Owen and herself.  According to her, Owen had been in tears after his first Weevil and Jack had pulled back on him then.  Tosh had always been treated a bit more gently, Suzie added.

Ianto had always come up with some answer for Jack's challenges, even if it wasn't always the answer Jack had wanted to hear.  He had flirted back when Jack had flirted with him, stringing Jack along for Lisa's sake, never letting him get close enough to risk finding out about Lisa or far enough away to risk reassessing Ianto.  He had matched Jack word for word on that horrible day that Lisa died, until her final death took all his words away.  Wordless, he had shown up the next day, understanding on a gut level how much stock Jack would set in that gesture.

Later, he had learned how pleasant it could be to turn the tables and set the challenges for Jack to meet.

Unbidden, images came to mind of intimacies shared, of turns taken, of lingering kisses and laughter.  No.  This was not the time nor the place.

He had done what he could do for Jack while Jack was here, and after Jack disappeared.  The night before the others had searched Jack's flat, he had removed the photo albums, the letterbox, the black silk kimono Jack had given him for his birthday, and a few other items too personal for their eyes.  It was a simple matter to rearrange what was left so their absence would not be noted, he had done that job often enough for Torchwood.  Jack's private computer files and the primary interface were now buried so deeply in the core of the alien computer Tosh would never find them.  They had enough clues left to piece together what they needed to know, and he had prompted them when necessary.  He was proud of how little prompting they had needed.

It wasn't much of a gift, but Jack deserved what little privacy Ianto could give him.  Ianto knew of nothing else Jack valued on a personal level that Ianto could do for him now.  And now was not the time nor the place for that line of thought either.

("You could have stopped Owen from shooting him."

"How?"

"You could have.  It's your fault for giving Owen ideas about shooting people."

"Jack pulled the gun on him that day, not me."

"But you pulled the trigger.")

Ianto opened the financial record and worked on balancing the books.  He got into an argument with Owen over their expenses until Gwen insisted they break for lunch.  Truth to tell, Ianto enjoyed the daily turf battle with Owen far more than he should.  It felt good to have an outlet for his frustration.

He ordered sandwiches for lunch and let Tosh drag him out to a bench overlooking the bay.  She made him tell her about the call from London, not that that took much work.

"Are you going to take it?"

"It's not as tempting as it would have been a year ago.  Of course, that's partly because I know all the more qualified people ahead of me are dead."  He grinned, and Tosh punched his arm.

"Ow!"

"That's nothing to joke about!" Tosh said, frowning.

"Beats screaming."

"You've got a point there," she conceded.  "So what are you going to do?"

Ianto thought a bit.  "Gwen asked me if I wanted to leave Torchwood over Jack."

"What?" Tosh asked, surprised.

Ianto nodded.  "Apparently the fact that I worked for Torchwood for years before I met Jack is irrelevent.  She thought losing Jack would be enough to make me change my career choice."  He rolled his eyes.

Tosh hesitated.  "It's not just that, Ianto.  You've been through so much lately.  First Canary Wharf, and then you've been widowed twice in one year."

"More than that, if you count each of Jack's 'deaths' individually.  Less, if you don't count them at all.  But what would you call what he does if not dying?  'Non-breathing periods?'  'Temporary cessations of organic functions?'  He'd give a hospital ethicist roll-over fits."

"Stop avoiding the question."

"You said you joined Torchwood because you wanted to help people and make a difference.  So did I.  I thought I had to leave Wales to do that.  I scraped the dung off my heels, got a degree, went up to the smoke, flattened out my accent, and people still assumed I was a hick or a junkie.

"Then I found out I could save the world without leaving home.  I liked that.  I suppose it shouldn't matter, but it's nice that the people we save don't turn their noses up at us for the way we talk.  They turn their noses up at us for being Torchwood."  Ianto grinned again, and this time Tosh joined him.

"Now London wants me to come back, and they won't send anybody to replace me.  It's like Cardiff, the Rift, and Wales don't matter.  Torchwood Three doesn't matter.  My people don't matter.  That doesn't sit well with me.  I'm needed here.  With only the four of us I've never been needed more in my life."

Tosh nodded.  "So this isn't about Jack?"

"No.  It's about me.  'Ianto Jones, defender of Snowdonia.'  How's that for egotistical?"

Tosh grinned again, looked down at her lap, then after a moment looked back up.  "Do you think Jack will come back?"

"I don't know.  I can believe Jack would leave me, we've only been together a short time.  But it's hard to believe he would leave Torchwood."

Tosh touched his arm.  "He cared about you, Ianto.  He wouldn't have kissed you like that in front of everyone if he didn't care."

Ianto smiled wryly.  "Didn't stick around to make good on that, did he?  Kissed and told and left."

"What will you do if he comes back?"

Ianto stared across the water, frowning.  He sighed.  "Jack forgave me what I did for Lisa.  He gave me a second chance even though he didn't want to.  I have to give him a second chance even if I don't want to.  I'm not going to let him be a bigger man than me.

"But how much of a second chance he gets depends on him.  I'm not going to be his bloody doormat."

Tosh laughed.  "That sounds fair.  Come on, let's take a walk before we go back."

Ianto stood and gathered up their debris.  He knew he wasn't being entirely honest with Tosh, but she would respect his limits.

Tosh was the only one who didn't treat him differently after finding out about his personal relationship with Jack.  Sure, they now went out once a week, but that was something they had been building toward and would have done earlier if Jack hadn't come up with other ways to fill Ianto's evenings.

Gwen and Owen -- well, they had been the reasons Ianto hadn't wanted to go public in the first place.  They were both taking it better than he feared.  As he figured, Gwen was concealing her resentment behind a layer of concern, but without Jack to fuel the resentment her concern had turned into pity.

Owen and his bloody "Daddy" issues were the bigger problem.  Owen was still looking for the magical One Role of Power he could assume that would make all his problems disappear and that he never had to take off.  He could never decide if he wanted to be like Jack or rebel against Jack or be fucked by Jack, and he made such a big fuss over it.  Not that he would last long in Jack's bed, with Jack's love of games and the glee with which he changed roles in a heartbeat.  That was another place where Jack came up with something new at every turn, most of them involving some variation of "butch in the streets, fem in the sheets" and just picture Owen trying to wrap his mind around that.  It was dizzying, intoxicating --

Time and place.  Time and place.  The Hub doesn't look after itself, you know.

Owen wanted everyone else to play the parts he gave them as well, and he had assigned Ianto the role of "annoying kid brother you ignore most of the time."  He was always going to be upset to find out that Jack and Ianto had written new roles for themselves.  Under normal circumstances it would have only rubbed salt in that wound for Jack to kiss Ianto like a lover, then turn around and kiss Owen like a child, in front of everyone.  But circumstances hadn't been normal, even for Torchwood.

(Keeping secrets, dead, brought to life, dead again, brought to life again, kissed in front of everyone and then vanished.  If his life was going to descend into goddamn panto, why the hell couldn't it have been a Disney or a Miyazaki or even a fucking Spielburg?  Something with a happy ending.)

With Jack there, Owen would have been making cutting remarks and whining accusations of favoritism every five minutes.  Without Jack there, Owen was running around trying to do three jobs at once (and he was shit at multi-tasking) and making crude but timid passes at Ianto to find out what Jack had seen in Ianto's trousers.  Not that he was going to get anywhere, Ianto had standards.

So yes, Gwen and Owen were taking Ianto and Jack's affair much better than Ianto expected.  Of course, they were behaving themselves because of the larger-than-life Jack-shaped hole in their world.  If it weren't for black comedy there would be no comedy in Ianto's life at all.

Ianto sighed.  For all his other faults, at least Owen was showing up every day, usually sober.  That should count for something.  It had counted in Jack's book.

(And speaking of which, where's Jack?  Huh?)

He spent the rest of the day trying to climb the mountain of paperwork the Hub managed to generate and dealing with phone calls.  Whenever he had a few minutes alone in the Archives, he looked for more information about Jack, adding to the bulging folder in his desk.  He pieced his finds together and collated them, making a tidy summary.  When he got home at night he took the summaries home to his flat, pulled out the box of Jack's personal possessions, and looked for patterns.

It was the same thing he did every night on those rare occasions when he didn't work late or go out with Tosh.  It was standard research really, spreading out the documents, noting their provenance and original order, and figuring out how they best made sense.  The problem was that the pieces could fit various stories depending on how they were interpreted.  Emphasize this and de-emphasize that and Jack Harkness was a hero.  Turn it around and he was a traitor.

It was too much like his job as Torchwood Three's "fixer"/cover-up expert -- re-arranging the facts to create a believable lie.  Ianto refused to lie to himself again.  He had already done enough of that with Lisa to last a lifetime.

Of course there was always the "go with your gut" approach.  The problem was his gut was located right between his heart and his groin, and they both had strong opinions on the subject of Jack Harkness.

So Ianto looked at pictures and reread letters from friends and lovers dead before his parents were born.  He tried to absorb the information without making excuses or casting blame.  It was hard.  There were nights when he raged at Jack, nights when he wept, and nights when he wasn't sure what he was feeling except that it hurt.

He put the box away for another night.  It was time he got to bed.  He had plenty of work to do in the morning.  If he stayed busy enough, worked hard enough, got tired enough, and occasionally drank enough, he didn't notice the empty space in his bed.

************
Thus ends Post-Mortem.  Series to be continued in....

The Tale of the Big Bad Wolf
1-When Martha Met Jack
2-Constellations of Blood
3-The Knight and the Sherriff

Fragment

Grounded
Truth
or Dare

Golden Eyes

When Martha Met Jack

Comments

( 34 comments — Leave a comment )
flmun
Mar. 9th, 2007 10:50 pm (UTC)
Ooh! A new series! Yippeee! I think this is going to be a strong ending.

If you're having trouble with the transiting the Jack-abandonment paragraph, may I suggest moving it closer to Ianto's decision not to leave Cardiff & tying it into his reasoning process? Something along the lines of using TW3 as a temporary bolt-hole, and maybe now it's going to be his rabbit-hole for finding Jack, much as Jack used it?
crabby_lioness
Mar. 9th, 2007 11:35 pm (UTC)
Some of those ideas have been waiting around to be used for a long time now. It will be good to get them out.

We'll find out a lot about Ianto in this section, and not just his feelings about Jack.
canterbury359
Mar. 14th, 2007 10:15 pm (UTC)
Aha! Wheels within wheels - Is Ianto's real title eminence gris?
(Having read about Ianto's skills, and his evaluation of Owen - why am I starting to doubt Ianto's fiery stomach pains?)

Proofing...

the provider of sustanence - sustenance (two places)

He was the embodiement of Whitman's hero: embodiment

He hid his disapointment disappointment

occassionally drank enough, he wouldn't notice the emtpy space in his bed. occasionally empty

Looking forward to more :)
crabby_lioness
Mar. 15th, 2007 03:53 am (UTC)
Aha! Wheels within wheels - Is Ianto's real title eminence gris?

Not for Jack. For Owen? More than Owen would admit.

(Having read about Ianto's skills, and his evaluation of Owen - why am I starting to doubt Ianto's fiery stomach pains?)

Stress has to come out in some way. These beautifully mannered strong, silent types are walking advertisements for peptic ulcers, gall bladder disorders, solitary alcoholism, sleep bruxism, and PTSD. Ianto badly needs someone else he considers mature enough to share the burden with.
msp_hacker
Mar. 20th, 2007 12:54 pm (UTC)
"It's not as tempting as it would have been a year ago. Of course, that's party because all the more qualified people ahead of me are dead."

Party should be partly.

And the photo albums show up! Sneaky Ianto.
crabby_lioness
Mar. 20th, 2007 02:23 pm (UTC)
Party should be partly.

Thank you. I had people talking at me over my shoulder when I wrote that. It's still not quite what I want, I'm working on it.

Sneaky Ianto.

Ianto is the cover-up expert. Fic-writers keep forgetting that. That's why I'm so proud of this writer for remembering it: http://spastasmagoria.livejournal.com/43539.html
msp_hacker
Mar. 20th, 2007 03:59 pm (UTC)
I was going to make a comment on how it seemed a bit odd that he would joke that the people ahead of him were dead, but the comment Tosh makes in reply to him makes it better.

Ianto is the cover-up expert. Fic-writers keep forgetting that.

It's hard to keep up with all the jobs Ianto does - which you've done really well here - and the rest of the team isn't too much easier. Like Owen is the team medic, but he also does a lot of the undercover work to the point where they have a ready made jellied eel site and he has a huge stack of fake ids in his car.
crabby_lioness
Mar. 30th, 2007 01:24 am (UTC)
Without Jack around to lighten things up, the Team's humor has gotten a lot darker.

Yay! I'm finished! Happy Dance Time!
canterbury359
Mar. 21st, 2007 03:14 pm (UTC)
"Stop avoiding the question."

I *love* Tosh and Ianto :) Both smart, both private. About time they talked to each other (even if they won't tell *everything*).
crabby_lioness
Mar. 30th, 2007 01:25 am (UTC)
Even talking about something helps.

I'm finished! Yay!
idle_myrmidon
Mar. 30th, 2007 04:03 am (UTC)
It's wonderful, I'd pick out favourite bit but I love too much of it.

Looking forward to the new series.
crabby_lioness
Mar. 30th, 2007 04:12 am (UTC)
Thankyou.
mgunby
Mar. 30th, 2007 04:13 am (UTC)
I've enjoyed this whole series. I love Ianto's takes on everyone, especially Owen.

I'll look forward to the next pieces in the series.
crabby_lioness
Mar. 30th, 2007 04:19 am (UTC)
Thank you. I love Ianto's take on Owen, but I don't think Owen would love Ianto's take on Owen. He works so hard at being a "tough guy".
darthhellokitty
Mar. 30th, 2007 05:07 am (UTC)
I really like the way Ianto stays emotionally faithful to Jack - puts away the things he doesn't think Jack would want the rest to see, goes over what he left for patterns - and gets on with the things that need to be done. I do think that if he left TW3, it would be finished.

I also like seeing what Owen and Ianto think of each other. I often think of them as brothers sniping at each other in the back seat of the car...

Do I really need to keep saying "More, please!" - I think you already know we all want more! :-)
crabby_lioness
Mar. 30th, 2007 01:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Owen would much rather think of Ianto as the pesky little tagalong brother to thinking of Ianto as the stepmother. ;)
(Anonymous)
Mar. 30th, 2007 12:31 pm (UTC)
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/w/waltwhitma132584.html
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.

http://www.daypoems.net/plainpoems/1900.html
Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
crabby_lioness
Mar. 30th, 2007 12:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Very appropriate for Jack, don't you think?
crowson75
Mar. 30th, 2007 02:57 pm (UTC)
Aw, I love your version of Ianto, he's so...lovely. Looking forward to the next one!
crabby_lioness
Mar. 30th, 2007 03:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you. There's not much Ianto in the next part, but plenty of Jack, Ten, Martha, and someone else....
flmun
Mar. 30th, 2007 05:44 pm (UTC)
This turned out so awesome! Thank you for it. I especially loved this: "Look after the children," Jack had joked on occasion, beginning long before they became intimate. and the mention of Owen's glaringly obvious daddy-issues. The workings of Torchwood as a family are exceedingly interesting and very apt, I feel.

I look forward to the next series. Thank you for sharing these.
crabby_lioness
Mar. 30th, 2007 06:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you. That line comes from the Torchwood novel, Another Life.
lunamazes
Mar. 30th, 2007 06:07 pm (UTC)
*G*
crabby_lioness
Mar. 30th, 2007 06:44 pm (UTC)
:D
darkpike
Apr. 6th, 2007 02:12 pm (UTC)
fucking fabulous darling. Can't wait for the next story
crabby_lioness
Apr. 12th, 2007 05:50 am (UTC)
Thank you. The first part is up already, and I'm working on the middle part.
darkpike
Apr. 12th, 2007 02:20 pm (UTC)
yay, loving this. I'm thinking about starting a Torchwood RPG
crabby_lioness
Apr. 13th, 2007 03:01 pm (UTC)
yay, loving this. I'm thinking about starting a Torchwood RPG

??
psyko_kittie
Apr. 20th, 2007 05:37 pm (UTC)
:loves: Now, it's time to read the next series... I just love you're stories! :D
crabby_lioness
Apr. 21st, 2007 06:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :)
donutsweeper
Jul. 28th, 2007 08:24 pm (UTC)
Oh I just found this series. I love the way you've woven together the past events as bulletpoints for their research into Jack's past history.
'Ianto Jones, defender of Snowdonia.' I love it!
crabby_lioness
Apr. 15th, 2008 07:25 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
shadowfyre8537
Apr. 15th, 2008 06:29 am (UTC)
I'm very impressed by the story thus far. I was leery at first - I really dislike Owen, which makes his POV difficult for me sometimes - but I'm quite fascinated by the dynamic you've laid out for the team, both before Jack vanished and after.

I'm not sure I buy Owen as team leader. Seniority or not, he doesn't seem to have the temperment for it. Having Ianto as his second-in-command helps that rather a lot. Besides, I like the idea of him struggling with Ianto over who does what. The way you emphasized Owen's single-mindedness about things (his search for the One Role, his desire for simple solutions, his reaction to Ianto) rings painfully true. Those flaws are why he's not a great leader. The way circumstances are forcing him to (reluctantly and digging in his heels all the way) change is also nicely written.

I take enormous and only slightly guilty pleasure in the way Ianto scares Owen. Ianto is scary. He's driven, versatile, intelligent, strong-willed and has an amazing capacity for both mental flexibility and doing what the situation requires. Owen's fear is smart, though I doubt he grasps the full scope of things he should be scared about.

I'm not sure what you're setting up with Ianto and Tosh. Is that a romance? A friendship? It was too subtle for me to get a really good grip on it. I suspect that my understanding is hindered by my fixation on Ianto/Jack. Because I am definitely fixated. ^_~

The thing I like least about the story is the way the team floundered around with their profile of Jack and discussion of the Doctor. I think a lot of that is a symptom of hindsight - I know what happens, canonically speaking, and so their lack of information is frustrating. Still, it seemed like they went over things way more than they had to.

Your Ianto is fantastic. I love how you've written his self-control and his mental flexibility, and I love even more the titles you gave him. The transcendence of contradiction was just brilliant. I know I'm going to be thinking about it for a long time to come.

The other thing I like about your Ianto is the way his life is more than Jack. Yes, Jack's absence hurts and Ianto still does what he can for the man, but there are other things to do, other things to take pride and pleasure in, other loyalties. That's really great to see - Ianto doesn't get enough credit in fic for his strength. Also, Ianto's deflection of the team from Jack's personal life? Wonderfully effortless, and rather a joy to read.

I'm very excited to continue reading the series. ^_^
crabby_lioness
Apr. 15th, 2008 07:53 pm (UTC)
I'm very impressed by the story thus far. I was leery at first - I really dislike Owen, which makes his POV difficult for me sometimes - but I'm quite fascinated by the dynamic you've laid out for the team, both before Jack vanished and after.

I don't care for Owen either, but the story didn't work from any other POV.

I'm not sure I buy Owen as team leader.

Owen is the Caryatid Who Has Fallen Under Her Stone. http://everywitchway.net/personal/caryatid.html He's taken on more than he can handle, they all bave, but there's no one else to do the job.

I take enormous and only slightly guilty pleasure in the way Ianto scares Owen.

Owen likes simple things. Ianto is complicated. Any attempt to try to simplfy Ianto's character, and I've read half a dozen different fans trying to do just that today alone in their forum posts, is doomed for failure.

I'm not sure what you're setting up with Ianto and Tosh.

At this stage it's too early to say. Both of them are understandably a bit commitment-shy right now.

The thing I like least about the story is the way the team floundered around with their profile of Jack and discussion of the Doctor. I think a lot of that is a symptom of hindsight - I know what happens, canonically speaking, and so their lack of information is frustrating. Still, it seemed like they went over things way more than they had to.

I tried to work it like a real-life investigative team would. The overworking was deliberate. They didn't want to miss a single clue.

I married a research scientist. Trust me, when he's investigating something, he rakes over the coals more often and with a far more obsessive eye than they have.

Your Ianto is fantastic. I love how you've written his self-control and his mental flexibility, and I love even more the titles you gave him. The transcendence of contradiction was just brilliant. I know I'm going to be thinking about it for a long time to come.

It's how I see him. I get so tired of people telling me his behavior is contradictory or a sign of madness, as if madness were the only option. There's always just growing up.

The other thing I like about your Ianto is the way his life is more than Jack.

Ianto is Torchwood's man. Jack embodies for Ianto all Torchwood is capable of, but he doesn't confuse the two in his mind.

I'm very excited to continue reading the series.

Great! I'm afraid Ten exhausted me, though. I've seldom met anyone who worked harder to keep his defenses up and let no one inside.
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