Pairing/character: Ianto, Jack, team
Disclaimer: I do not own, or make any money from the use of, these characters.
Written for Torchwood Cliché Fest. Trope: Secret Test. Spoilers for Cyberwoman.
“Everyone gone?” Ianto asked, not looking up from the machinery he was dismantling.
“Finally. It took some doing to convince them to leave me alone with you,” Jack replied.
Ianto snorted a laugh. “I bet it did at that. The actors have all been paid, ret-conned, and sent on their way. I’ll just finish cleaning up in here and it’ll be like it never happened.”
Six Months Ago
“So, what do you think of my team?” Jack asked his newest employee.
“A bit incompetent, really,” Ianto said dismissively.
“What do you mean? Owen’s a brilliant doctor. Toshiko is a brilliant programmer. Suzie is--”
“I’m sure they’re great at what they do,” Ianto said, sliding into the chair across from Jack’s desk and leaning back. “They’re just oblivious to everything else while they’re doing it. And in Torchwood that can get you killed.”
“They notice things,” Jack said defensively.
“I was here for three hours this morning before Owen bothered to ask who I was and why I was bringing him coffee. Mind you, he had already drunk two cups, so if I wanted to poison him I had ample opportunity. I don’t think Toshiko looked up from her screen for more than 30 seconds all day. And Suzie…well, Suzie’s just plain psychotic,” Ianto ticked off. Offhandedly he added, “I bet I could hide a fully functional cyber-conversion unit in the basement without any of them noticing.”
“You think so?” Jack challenged.
“And I suppose you just happened to have a fully functional cyber-conversion unit lying around somewhere?” Jack asked.
“I’m sure UNIT has a few,” Ianto said. “But I can rig up something a bit safer for our purposes. As the point is to prove your team is incompetent, not necessarily kill them.”
“You really think they won’t notice?”
“Like I said, a bit incompetent. Care to make a wager on how long before it’s discovered? Say a week paid vacation if I keep it hidden for a month?”
“And what do I get when they find it within a week?”
“As long as you don’t go tipping them off, whatever you want.”
“I’ll hold you to that, Ianto.”
“Promises, promises, Captain.”
“Nice job with the make-up and the costume was…stunning. Where did you get that much blood?” Jack asked.
“We have entire bodies in storage for staging scenes, why would a little blood be a problem?” Ianto answered.
“And the ammunition?”
“Changed out for blanks when everyone checked their weapons out of the armory. Why do you think I made sure we were locked out from getting the rest of the weaponry?”
Four Months Ago
“Do they really not know you’re immortal? I mean, as often as you die and come back, Suzie really should have seen that coming.”
Jack ignored the question. “Are you ready to admit defeat? I mean, with PC Cooper coming on board you’re bound to be discovered any day now.”
Ianto snorted a laugh. “I seriously doubt it. She’ll be too busy following you around like a lovesick puppy dog to pay any attention to me.”
“I was surprised you went with the name Lisa.”
“Figured it made the whole thing more believable. The ex and all that. It was always possible one of them read my file. Not likely, but Gwen was a risk.”
“Still, that had to be difficult.”
“Made it easier for me to stay in character and it’ll make it easier to explain why you haven’t either shot or ret-conned me. It’s a motive they can all relate to.”
Two Months Ago
“Jack, this has become ridiculous. It’s been four months. No one has discovered the conversion unit, no one has noticed the power drains, no one has noticed that I disappear into the basement six times a day, and no one has noticed that I’ve been hacking the CCTV cameras for weeks.”
“You want to give up? I’ll concede you won, you take a month off, we’ll do some remedial training and try this exercise again in a few months?”
“No. I want to see just what it’s going to take for them to notice something is wrong.”
“Okay. What do you need from me?”
“Two things. First, we agree to play this out. All the way. Even if it gets messy. Just don’t shoot me for treason in the heat of the moment.”
“You think it’ll get that messy?”
“The potential is there. If we get to the point of having an actual Cyberman loose in the Hub, shooting me would be the logical course of action.”
“I can’t see this going that far.”
“Maybe not, but you figured they’d figure this out in a few days.”
“True. And the second thing?”
“Just keep up the oblivious boss routine.”
“Oblivious? Wait. You hacked the CCTV?”
“My point exactly.”
“Anyway,” Ianto said, heading for the door. “Well, I’ll be taking that month off. Tell them all you suspended me, we can’t really afford to lose what little they learned today by letting them know it was a set-up.”
“Little?” Jack asked, surprised. “You don’t think they’ll be more aware in the future?”
“Jack, they never even asked where the cybernetics expert went. For all they know, he’s fully converted and still lurking in the basement.”
“Okay. You’re right. They do need more training.”
“With all due respect, sir,” Ianto said smoothly. “You really aren’t in much of a position to criticize. You still haven’t found the Dalek I’ve got stashed away.”