magicom: (jackposes)
[personal profile] magicom
This story was inspired by [livejournal.com profile] pike2 's spooky story challenge, found here. I know it will pale in comparison to her brilliant Angelystor, but I really liked the idea, so I decided to run with it. Here is the result:

Title: The Mourning Doll - Part 1
Author: [livejournal.com profile] magicom
Rating: Maybe PG for canon m/m relationship and some spookiness.
Disclaimer: I don't own Torchwood or any of its characters. No money being made.
Paring/Characters: Jack/Ianto with some Gwen, Owen and Tosh.
Spoilers: Mild spoilers for TW S 1&2 and DW S3 finale.
Summary: As a whole: Torchwood find an alien artifact that leads to some spooky goings-on. This part: As usual, Ianto gets the boring, time-consuming job... which leads to danger??
Warnings: None to speak of.
Notes: Takes place sometime during the first half of series 2.




It was a dark and stormy night. Rain fell in horizontal sheets, sending rivers streaming through the cobbled streets. A lone figure in a black trench coat, his collar pulled up and his hat pulled low against the rain, strode purposefully past...

Ianto Jones snapped the worn paperback closed and threw it back on top of the pile of items in the cardboard box where he'd found it. Rubbish. Like most of this lot. Jack had a few contacts at local auction houses keeping an eye out for 'suspicious items', so Torchwood could squirrel them away before they ended up in the wrong hands. People would be surprised how much alien junk was lurking in attics, ignored and forgotten; things that had been picked up unknowingly or by accident... some of it potentially dangerous. One of Jack's contacts said something in this old man's house had caught his eye as his possessions were tossed into boxes. The old man had no living relatives and no will. Anything that was worth something was being sold at auction by the bank. Any 'suspicious items' discovered by Jack's contact were snuck into the boxes headed for the bin and handed over to Jack for a small roll of twenty pound notes, instead of left at the kerb. They were now in the possession of Ianto Jones, Torchwood archivist, who, apparently, had to sift through people's refuse for items to archive, because he obviously didn't have enough to do around there. He looked down at the three boxes full of haphazardly deposited items and sighed. This was a man's final legacy: three boxes of random things that weren't worth anything to anyone... and also, buried somewhere amongst it, the possibility of alien technology that he probably didn't even realize he had.

Ianto looked at his watch and noticed it was after 6 in the evening. He had to see if the rest of the team would be working late - if they were, he'd order them in some supper. He lined up the boxes beside his desk in a tidy row to be dissected later and stood, heading up to the main part of the Hub. That morning, he'd arrived at work as the sun rose, and already the heat of the day had been almost unbearable. He had no idea what temperature it had reached by the afternoon, but he entertained a mental image of the bay boiling. He smiled ever so slightly to himself as he emerged into Torchwood Three's main work area, where his colleagues had been performing their various duties. While the Hub, underground, was certainly much cooler than it was up on the surface, it was still uncommonly warm and stuffy. It hit him like a wall of heat after being in the still, cool air of the archives. He glanced around. Gwen and Owen were gone, their work stations abandoned. The Hub was never quieter than it was when both Gwen and Owen weren't in it. The two of them animated the place in their own vastly disparate ways. Equipment hummed softly in the background as he walked through the expansive room. Tosh was at her computer, her eyes focused on the screen. She'd arrived at work that morning in a fitted short-sleeved jacket over a tank top, but the jacket now hung over the back of her chair and her hair was pulled back into the kind of ponytail that suggested she'd simply gotten tired of it sticking to the back of her neck. She didn't look up, so he didn't disturb her. He passed her workstation quietly, noticing that Jack was in his office, sitting at his desk.

Ianto tended to move quietly and had a knack for sneaking up on people, but Captain Jack Harkness always knew when he entered the room without looking up.

"I sent the others home," Jack told him, barely taking his eyes off the stack of papers on his desk. He smiled. "Tosh wanted to finish up a few things, though." He put his pencil down and looked at Ianto, finally. "Did you find anything in those boxes?"

Ianto shrugged. "Barely had a chance to look at them yet. I had to finish logging the salvage from that wreckage we recovered yesterday."

Jack nodded and picked up his pencil, returning his eyes to his work, but something changed subtly in his posture and, when he spoke, in his tone. It was a change Ianto recognized in Jack: he'd just shifted from business to pleasure.

Jack made a note on one of the documents in front of him, keeping up the pretense of doing proper work. "What are you doing tonight?" he asked casually, his eyes still firmly focused on his paperwork.

Ianto shrugged, perching on the far edge of Jack's desk. "Probably work," he answered, matching Jack's tone.

"You work a lot," Jack noted, circling something on the page. Ianto was perfectly capable of reading upside down, and didn't see any reason for doing that, but Jack was trying to look busy and had probably stopped actually reading the page several minutes ago.

"I have a very demanding employer," Ianto replied mildly.

Jack raised an eyebrow and looked up at him with a smirk. "Really? Demanding how?"

Ianto pretended to give this serious thought for a moment before answering. "Much like a small child, really. Moody, irrational, completely self-involved..."

Jack pushed himself to his feet, his smirk widening into a wolfish grin.

"Prone to temper tantrums," Ianto added once Jack had made his way around the desk to stand in front of Ianto. Between his knees, to be exact, Ianto noted, as Jack rested his hands fairly firmly on Ianto's thighs and pinned him, for all intents and purposes, to his position on the edge of the desk.

"How can you stand working for someone like that?" Jack practically purred.

"He has a nice bottom," Ianto answered matter-of-factly.

Jack nodded sagely, his face only inches from Ianto's as he looked down at him. "That's very important," he stated.

"In some situations, it's actually quite distracting," Ianto argued distractedly, his eyes tracing Jack's lips as they moved slightly closer to him.

"Someone as focused as you can use a good distraction now and then," Jack told him before closing the small gap between them. The fact that Jack certainly provided one flitted through Ianto's mind as he opened up to the kiss and gave up on coherent thought, sliding his hand along Jack's waist.

The moment was soon interrupted by a knock on the office door. Tosh must have noticed that Ianto had come in here, as engrossed in her work as she'd seemed. The fact that she knocked told Ianto that she had done some pretty accurate guess-work in regards to what they were up to... or had seen them through the window. He slid off the desk as Jack stepped back, straightening his tie as he moved a couple of steps away from the captain. Jack gave him a quick amused smile before turning towards the door and calling for Tosh to come in.

"Sorry to interrupt. I'm heading home," Tosh said a little awkwardly, as she poked her head around the doorway. She definitely saw them through the window; she was blushing. "Just wanted to say good night," she told them.

"Night," Jack said warmly. Ianto just gave her a nod and a little wave.

As Tosh ducked out, Jack turned back towards Ianto, who was already heading for the door. "I'm going to get started on those boxes," Ianto told him as he passed him. It occurred to him that he'd only come up here to see if the team needed fed. He'd probably be halfway through the first box by now, if it weren't for Harkness and his distractions. His completely and wonderfully distracting distractions. "They're not going to archive themselves," he declared, flinching a bit on the inside that something so naff had come out of his mouth. He blamed the Harkness Distraction Factor for that too. Jack nodded and Ianto started to walk away, then turned back to face Jack for a moment before suddenly taking two quick steps forward and placing a tender kiss on Jack's lips. "See you in a bit," he added, before turning away again.

"I certainly hope so," Jack told his retreating back, a light lascivious note in his voice. Ianto smiled broadly to himself as he walked down to the archive.

++++++

Ianto finally found something that might be worth the trouble of looking, towards the bottom of the second box. Before he'd even finished uncovering it, he could see there was something iridescent peeking out between the rubbish on top of it. Something with a smooth surface that seemed to swirl with changing colours to the point that it almost glowed.

He'd taken off his jacket and rolled up his sleeves before he'd finished pulling each item, in turn, out of the first box. There was a large black bin bag beside his chair, where he disposed of the things he'd determined were just run-of-the-mill Earth junk. This was the second bag, and it was almost full. He picked up a broken lamp, carefully examining it, as he had every item so far, and placed it into the bin bag, just like everything before it. The difference, now, was that he was anxious to get to the thing that sat, dimly glowing, just below a few pieces of old rubbish. He supposed someone else might just reach down there and pull it out, but he was too systematic for that. He took a lot of pride in his work. This had to be done properly. He reached into the box and lifted out a couple of old paperbacks: more cheap mystery novels - this fellow was addicted. He flipped through them briefly to make sure they were what they appeared to be and that nothing was tucked between the pages, then dropped them inside the bin bag. A small faux-leather album was the last thing between Ianto's eager hands and what he could now see was a metallic box of some sort. He picked up the album and opened it. Photographs. Some were in black and white, some in colour; all of them were old. He carefully turned the pages. A very young man in an air force uniform circa World War Two briefly reminded him of Jack, even though he looked nothing like Torchwood's leader. He was standing next to a man in a navy uniform that must have been his brother, they looked so alike. Ianto noticed that the album itself was old, as well. The materials weren't archival quality. In time, it would damage the photographs. He turned another worn page. He saw the same man that had worn the air force uniform, but now he was a little older. He was wearing a suit and had his arm around the waist of a pretty woman in a white dress. They were outdoors and she was laughing. Ianto closed the album and glanced at the bin bag. No. It was too personal. He'd been told that this man had no living relatives, but how hard had anyone really looked? Someone might want these. He set the album on his desk and returned his attention to his work.

Ianto looked down at the metallic box that had clearly been tossed into the carton as thoughtlessly as everything else that was in it. He reached down and lifted it out carefully, turning it over in his hands, slowly, to examine it. It was about the size of four DVD cases stacked on top of each other and its surface was flawless. There were no seams. If it was hollow, if it was designed to store something, he couldn't see how to open it. He noticed, as well, that it didn't actually glow. It only seemed to do so because it reflected light extremely well. Also, for something that appeared to be made of metal, it was surprisingly light. For all his time working in Torchwood's archives, both in Cardiff and in London, he'd never seen anything quite like this. He found a clear space on his desk and set it down, then turned back to the cardboard boxes on the floor. He'd finish going through them, see if there was anything else of interest to Torchwood and dispose of the rubbish before he set himself to meticulously cataloguing the artifact. He looked at his watch. It was nine o'clock already. It was going to be a late night, even without Jack's after-work distractions.

++++++

Jack stood up from his desk and stretched, looking at his watch. It was after ten o'clock and Ianto had yet to emerge from the archives. Jack often considered telling the young administrator that he worked too much - and he did, he really did; he'd arrived at seven that morning - but Jack always bit his tongue, because he knew why Ianto did it. Ianto immersed himself in exactly two things: Torchwood and Jack, and he did it because those were the two things in the world that mattered most to him. It was relatively quiet and Jack had sent everyone home hours ago. Ianto was well aware that he could go anytime he wanted. He chose to sit in the archives and sort through some boxes that he knew weren't going anywhere. Later, when he finished, he'd come upstairs and look for Jack. Jack had pretended, for quite sometime and even to himself, that what they had was a casual arrangement, but spending a year as The Master's prisoner had given him ample time to think about a lot of things and he'd had to admit that the pretense was exactly that. He'd tried to keep himself isolated from the people around him, at least emotionally, while he had waited for The Doctor. He'd known he was only biding his time in Cardiff. Now that he'd found his answers and made this motley little team in Cardiff his choice, he allowed himself to indulge in feeling things for people and he let himself admit, at least in the privacy of his own mind, that he needed these people that he worked with and he needed... whatever it was he had with Ianto, even if it existed mostly in stolen moments, exchanged glances and late-night liaisons in dark corners of the Hub. He looked at his watch again and toyed with the idea of going down to the archives himself, instead of waiting for Ianto to come up, but decided against it. Ianto liked Jack's overtures, but hated being interrupted when he was trying to work. Jack was smiling fondly at the thought of that look of deep concentration Ianto got on his face when he was fastidiously performing even the most mundane of his duties, when his comm crackled to life.

"Jack?" Ianto's voice in his ear, sounding disconcerted, even... frightened?

Jack was already moving through the Hub when he answered, his finger to his ear to activate the comm device. "Ianto? What's wrong?" he asked, all lightness gone from his tone.

There was a pause - a long enough pause that Jack almost spoke again to try and get his attention - before Ianto replied. "There's something..." Jack heard a movement and the sound of shattering glass before Ianto cut the signal. He had to restrain himself from breaking into an all-out run.

"Ianto?" he called, concern colouring his voice.

Ianto's voice didn't sound much more strained than it had the last time he'd spoken. That had to bode well, at least. "I-I'm fine," he said. "Can you come down here?"

"I'm already on my way," Jack assured him as he descended the stairs two at a time.

+++++

Would love to know what you think!

"Part 2"

Date: 8 Sep 2008 03:04 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] woodencoyote.livejournal.com
I'm excited for the next part!

Date: 8 Sep 2008 13:27 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] magicom.livejournal.com
Thanks! I'll be putting it up some time today :)

Date: 8 Sep 2008 03:13 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] humantales.livejournal.com
Evil cliffhanger!

Date: 8 Sep 2008 13:28 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] magicom.livejournal.com
Heeheehee! Evil is the name of the game in spookiness ;)

Date: 8 Sep 2008 04:34 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rift-bound.livejournal.com
Great beginning... can't wait to see where this is going. Loved Ianto's comment "He has a nice bottom." *giggles*

Date: 8 Sep 2008 13:29 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] magicom.livejournal.com
It's probably the only thing that saves Jack sometimes :P

Date: 8 Sep 2008 04:54 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pecos.livejournal.com
Wow...really excellent writing! This reads smoother than the BBC novels! Thank you. Very keen to see more.

Date: 8 Sep 2008 13:30 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] magicom.livejournal.com
Wow! Thank you! More is on the way!

Date: 8 Sep 2008 07:33 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] psykaos42.livejournal.com
I love spooky stories, so I'm definately interested in seeing what comes next.

Date: 8 Sep 2008 13:30 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] magicom.livejournal.com
I hope I can make it sufficiently spooky! I love your icon, btw!

Date: 8 Sep 2008 09:07 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hab318princess.livejournal.com
I'm scared for the boys and therefore definitely looking forward to more!

Date: 8 Sep 2008 13:31 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] magicom.livejournal.com
Yay! Well, you won't have to wait long. Thanks!

Date: 8 Sep 2008 09:58 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pike2.livejournal.com
Amazing. Wow I can't wait for the next part...

Date: 8 Sep 2008 13:31 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] magicom.livejournal.com
Wow, that's insanely flattering, because I love your writing! Thanks!

Date: 8 Sep 2008 11:17 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] felmyst.livejournal.com
excellent first part..liked how you ended this part...

Date: 8 Sep 2008 13:32 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] magicom.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Date: 8 Sep 2008 14:47 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nox-caelum.livejournal.com
Ooo, I can't wait for more, it's really good

Date: 8 Sep 2008 16:00 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] magicom.livejournal.com
Thanks! I'm just in the process of tidying up part 2. I'll be posting it soon!

Date: 8 Sep 2008 19:20 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] adafrog.livejournal.com
Oh no, poor Ianto!

Date: 9 Sep 2008 00:50 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kenazfiction.livejournal.com
Oh, I'm very much looking forward to more!

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