Title: Infiltrator - Part One.
Rating: Maybe PG at the worst.
Disclaimer: I don't own Torchwood or any of its characters. No money being made.
Paring/Characters: Jack, Ianto, (Jack/Ianto), Gwen, Doctor Rupesh Patanjali, Johnson (well, off-screen).
Spoilers: Takes into consideration all of S1, S2 and Day One of CoE.
Summary: As a whole: He's a doctor... they need a doctor. What if the 456 fuckery didn't happen and Torchwood actually did recruit Rupesh, who was trying to get the gig to spy on them for Johnson, as discussed in Day One? This part: Recruitment.
Warnings: None to speak of.
Notes: Takes place starting just before and during CoE: Day One and goes AU from there onwards.
“You bastards,” Gwen had said with an incredulous laugh. “That’s exactly what you did to me when we first met!”
Then she promoted herself to Recruitment Officer and went up to the surface to have a chat with the young doctor they’d decided was the prime candidate to be their new medic, as he wandered aimlessly in the Plass looking for… well, it didn’t look like he knew exactly what he was looking for, but he went down there to look, all the same. That was a plus.
Rupesh, his name was. Doctor Rupesh Patanjali. He was from Chesterfield. He’d been in Cardiff for a year and a half and had already seen enough weird shit go through the hospital’s A&E department to make him wonder about it. Maybe that was one of the things that had brought him as much to their attention as they’d come to his: he didn’t turn away from it and pretend it didn’t exist. He was curious. He wanted to know more. He wanted to do more.
“You’re Torchwood,” he’d said, fascination and awe mixing in his voice as he noticed the word stamped into the SUV’s fender when he followed Jack and Ianto into the carpark. “This whole city talks about you.”
An emergency cropped up during Gwen’s conversation with Rupesh in the Plass. He’d followed her as she ran back to the Hub, but she stopped him at the Tourist Office entrance, telling him they’d be in touch. When he asked what was inside, she’d told him: “Big, science fiction superbase. Honestly!” then disappeared through the door.
Rupesh reported to Johnson that he’d made contact with Torchwood, but another week passed before he heard from them again.
Johnson had called him only the night before. She’d wanted to know if he’d met with Torchwood again yet. He’d tried to explain that you don’t get into an organization like Torchwood by looking like you were trying to get in. She told him he had a job to do and he’d better just get on with it and stop giving her excuses. That morning, he’d considered going down to the Plass to look around. Maybe try that Tourist Office door that Gwen had escaped through.
He was glad he didn’t, however, when his phone rang shortly after lunch. He wasn’t working that day. He was in the city centre when the call came. He didn’t recognize the number.
“Hello?” Rupesh said, warily, into the handset.
That voice with its natural authority and glaring American accent was very familiar and his stomach knotted in anticipation.
“Yes,” he said as calmly as he could.
“This is Captain Jack Harkness. You’re in the city centre, aren’t you?”
“Yes,” he said again. Remember to breathe, he told himself, too wound up to wonder how in the hell Harkness knew that.
“Can you come to St. John’s Church? Now?”
“That’s…” He paused. He was still a relative new-comer to Cardiff. “That’s the one behind the Market?” he asked.
“That’s the one,” Harkness confirmed.
“I’m on my way,” Rupesh told him, already hurrying in that direction. Harkness hung up without a further word and Rupesh slipped his mobile back into his pocket.
Rupesh arrived at the church to find a familiar black vehicle outside and the front door wide open, but when he stepped inside, the sanctuary appeared empty. He ventured further in, his footsteps sounding incredibly loud to him as he walked between the pews. He looked left and right as he went, but saw nobody. He considered trying to call Harkness back, but it occurred to him that maybe this was a trick. Or a test. He kept walking. He’d made it most of the way to the altar when he heard shouting coming from somewhere else in the building. It startled him for a moment, then he ran towards the sound. It was coming from a doorway on the far side of the room. When he got there, he saw the door led to a set of narrow stone stairs. It appeared to have been cordoned off, but the cordon was tossed carelessly to the side. He started down the stairs. The echoing words being shouted were becoming discernable.
“No. No! Corner it!” That was Harkness. His accent stood out.
“Over there!” Probably the man that had been with him in the hospital that day. He was Welsh.
“Are there two of them now?” Harkness again, sounding exasperated.
“Jack!” the Welsh voice cried out, a clear note of concern in it this time.
Then it was silent.
Rupesh practically flew down the rest of the stairs, stumbling as he missed the last step. The first person he saw was Harkness’ colleague from the hospital. He was standing over the still form of a… something. Rupesh had never seen anything like it before. It was like a cross between a gorilla and an alligator. With maybe a bit of jungle cat thrown in for good measure. He stared at it for a moment, which was why it took him so long to notice that Harkness was on the floor in a heap, not moving. He had a vicious slash wound across his chest and another across his neck. There was blood seeping all down the front of his shirt.
“Rupesh,” the Welshman said, pocketing a strange looking gun. That was funny, Rupesh could swear he hadn’t heard a shot.
“Y-yes,” Rupesh answered.
“We met briefly at the hospital,” the man reminded him. “I’m Ianto Jones.”
Rupesh nodded and, as though suddenly remembering his medical training, moved to inspect Harkness’ wounds.
“Don’t worry about him,” Jones said. “Help me with this.” Jones was already trying to muscle the fairly large creature onto a tarpaulin.
“But… I think he’s…” Dead. He looked fairly dead.
Jones gave him a very put-upon look. “Sometimes he deserves what he gets, the cocky bastard,” he said flatly, glancing at Harkness with a degree of irritation. He put a hand to his ear. “Gwen, the creature is contained. Keep the police away.”
Rupesh looked from him to Harkness and back again before stepping forward a little uncertainly and helping to cover the creature.
Between them, Rupesh and Jones managed to get the tarp-covered alien thing into the back of Torchwood’s SUV. They’d left Harkness in the basement (crypt?) when they heaved the creature up the stairs, through the sanctuary and outside, Jones opening the boot of the car in such a fluid movement that it was clear he had a lot of experience with this sort of thing.
“Stay here,” Jones told Rupesh after he’d closed the boot. He started back towards the church.
“Wait,” Rupesh said quickly, glancing nervously at the SUV. “You mean, just stand here? Are you going back for Captain Harkness? Only, I could help…”
“Stay. Here,” Jones repeated emphatically before disappearing back into the church.
Rupesh kept an eye on his watch, trying to not look suspicious to passing pedestrians as he stood beside the conspicuous black car. About fifteen minutes went by before Jones emerged with Harkness walking – walking – beside him.
“I don’t know what you’re in a snit about,” Harkness was saying as they approached. “You’re not the one who got…” He stopped short when he spotted Rupesh. “Injured,” he finished casually.
Jones rolled his eyes and breezed past Rupesh, handing the car keys to Harkness before walking around to the passenger side door.
“Get in,” Harkness said, nodding to the back of the car. He was already opening the driver’s door when he noticed Rupesh hadn’t moved. “Are you coming or not? This is the only offer you’re going to get.”
Rupesh snapped out of his thoughts, most of which had to do with his incredulity that Harkness had simply got up and walked away from the injuries he’d suffered. He’d heard the stories about Harkness being invincible, of course, but he hadn’t believed them.
“Yes,” he said, opening the door and ducking inside. The interior of the car was more high tech than any room in the hospital. He looked around, trying not to appear to be prying.
Harkness glanced at him in the rearview mirror before speeding away from the church and out into the street.
Rupesh passed the drive to the Bay in silence. He didn’t quite know what to say to the men in the front seat, who said very little themselves, and when they did, it was to each other in low tones making references to things Rupesh didn’t understand.
The SUV was parked in an underground carpark that was accessible only by use of a swipecard. It looked like Harkness also had to key in some kind of a passcode. There were a couple of other vehicles parked nearby and an assortment of tools lined a workbench on the far wall. Harkness and Jones got out of the car, so Rupesh did the same. Harkness looked at him and gestured for him to follow. He began to do so, then noticed Jones had stayed behind.
"Isn’t he, erm, coming?” he asked, looking back over his shoulder.
Harkness didn’t answer, but simply kept walking. Rupesh didn’t see any choice but to follow him.
They walked through a dank, industrial tunnel that reminded Rupesh of a sewer or a service tunnel for the London Underground, until they emerged into a large open space with a water tower in the middle. The water tower from the Plass, above them, he realized.
Gwen Cooper made her way over, looking like she had something to say to Harkness, but spotted Rupesh.
“Hi, Rupesh,” she said brightly, before turning to Harkness and carrying on like he wasn’t even there.
“Jack, there were two Weevil reports while you were busy in the church. Nobody’s been killed yet, but that’s only luck…”
Harkness held up a hand. “Ianto hasn’t got the last visitor settled in yet,” he told her. “Give him a second, then we’ll go and take care of it, okay?”
“I could go…” she started, but Harkness was already shaking his head.
“On your own?” he scoffed. “I don’t think so.”
“What happened to your shirt?” she asked, noticing the torn and blood-stained fabric.
“Why don’t you make yourself useful and show him around, Recruitment Officer,” he suggested with a curt nod towards Rupesh before walking off.
“Sorry about that,” Gwen told him once Harkness was gone. “We’re a little understaffed and a lot overworked around here right now.”
Gwen showed Rupesh the medical bay first, since it would be his primary work space. She showed him the cells with aliens in them. They ran into Jones, wheeling in the monster from the church on a gurney, still covered in the tarp. He gave them a nod and carried on. She showed him the shooting range and the morgue. Once they got back up to the main Hub, she showed him to a work station.
“And this will be your desk,” she told him. “Any questions?”
Just then Jones came upstairs and Harkness emerged from his office, still in the process of buttoning a clean shirt. Jones looked to be headed to his own desk, but Harkness intercepted him.
“Two Weevils,” was all Harkness said as he strode swiftly across the room. Jones rolled his eyes and followed the Captain out.
Rupesh looked at Gwen. “His injuries…” he said, referring to Harkness. “I mean, I saw him on the floor. He was…” His voice trailed off. It sounded stupid.
“Dead,” Gwen finished. “Yeah, probably.”
Gwen shrugged. “I’m not sure even he knows that. And if he does, he isn’t telling.”
“So…” Rupesh ventured. “Does this mean I’m hired?”
“Yeah,” Gwen assured him. “For now. We’ll see how you get on.”
Rupesh didn’t do much that afternoon, apart from watching the others race around, but he was in. Harkness told him he wasn’t going into the field until he learned how to fire a gun. He said perhaps they’d be able to get to that the next day. Jones issued him a security pass and Harkness dismissed him at about half past five. He went home to call Johnson.
“I’m in,” he reported without any preamble. “They’ve hired me. I was in their base today.”
“Save it for your full report,” Johnson told him and hung up the phone.
Rupesh thought it best to work on said report while the details of everything he’d seen that day were still fresh in his mind. It was nearly one in the morning when he put his laptop aside and went to bed. He had to be at Torchwood by nine o’clock. He was feeling such an intense mixture of fear and excitement and nerves that he barely slept. He did it. He infiltrated an organization that didn’t even technically exist. He was bursting with pride and he couldn’t even tell anyone.