Title: Infiltrator - Part Five.
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: Rupesh gets a bit of foot-in-mouth disease and wonders if there's anyone else around that he can inadvertently offend today.
Warnings: None to speak of.
Notes: Takes place starting just before and during CoE: Day One and goes AU from there onwards.
Rupesh was issued his earpiece the next day. He took a picture of it for Johnson as soon as he slipped it out of his ear when he got home that night. He was certain it could only be so small because they had integrated alien technology. They seemed to build or scavenge a fair amount of their equipment themselves. Rupesh had been tempted several times to take pictures of the larger pieces of equipment with his phone, but he was worried about getting caught. Especially after he’d been called out for his shooting when he’d thought he was alone. He never knew who was watching or when. He was on the team, but they didn’t really trust him yet. They didn’t know him. He needed to get closer. He needed to gain their complete trust. Then, maybe, he could get away with the sorts of things he would need to do to complete his mission for Johnson.
After a week with Torchwood, he couldn’t say he was any closer to his coworkers, but he was starting to get used to the pace… or, rather, the lack of a consistent one. There were days when nothing significant happened at all and days when they didn’t stop running for fourteen or twenty hours straight.
It had been one of those days.
Rupesh peeled his gloves off and tossed them in the sink, then wiped the sweat from his forehead with the back of his hand. He glanced behind him at the particularly foul smelling alien corpse he’d just finished dissecting. All that was left was to send it down to the morgue, then write up his report.
He looked at his watch. It was after eight in the evening, but he didn’t think the report would take him more than an hour at the most. He decided to stick around and finish it, just in case the following day was as hectic as the one that was just ending. Rupesh didn’t like to have a backlog of work piling up if he could help it.
After preparing the corpse and sending it downstairs, Rupesh went to his desk. He stared at the screen for a moment before forcing himself to start entering the information from his notes. He couldn’t help thinking how much a cup of tea would go down nicely…
…then he caught sight of one at the edge of his desk that hadn’t been there a moment ago. He frowned and turned to look at it properly and that’s when he noticed Ianto Jones standing beside his desk. Rupesh practically jumped out of his chair.
“Where in the hell did you come from?” he exclaimed when he recovered from his minor heart attack. He hadn’t even heard the other man approach.
Jones nodded towards the coffee machine. Well, obviously, Rupesh thought. That was where the hot beverage magic took place. Still, the floor was metal grating. How had Rupesh not heard him walking from there to here? He was pretty tired, but…
“I swear,” Rupesh joked, “sometimes I think you’re a cyborg or something.”
It had been meant as light teasing and a sort of compliment, but Jones’ expression darkened and he walked away.
Rupesh looked after him in confusion for a moment then went back to his report.
The next morning, Rupesh sought Gwen out when Harkness and Jones weren’t around. He was still replaying the previous evening’s conversation with Jones over in his head and couldn’t figure out what he’d said wrong.
Once Rupesh told Gwen about the encounter, he could see from her face that she understood immediately.
“Are you familiar with Torchwood’s former
“I read up on Torchwood’s history in my first week,” he replied. A lie. Johnson had briefed him on it before he’d even ever spoken to Gwen Cooper. “It used to be Torchwood’s head office,” he recited. “It was destroyed when two alien armies clashed after entering our reality through a spatial anomaly inside the building.”
Gwen nodded. That appeared to be more or less how she’d heard it, as well. “And one of the armies was made up of Cybermen,” she reminded him. “They grew their numbers by converting humans.”
He nodded. He’d read up about the process of cyberconversion once he’d heard of it in his briefings.
“Ianto used to work at
Rupesh wasn’t sure if that was because she was touching on a sensitive subject or because she didn’t want to be overheard telling him her colleague’s life story.
“He was one of only twenty-seven survivors of the attack. Some were killed outright, but many weren’t as lucky,” she continued.
Rupesh had been told that.
“His girlfriend was one of the ones they converted.” She paused. “Well, she’d been partially converted. He tried to save her, but she died anyway,” Gwen told him.
‘Partially converted’. Knowing what he did about the process, Rupesh felt a little sick at the thought. Dying anyway might have been a mercy. Well, Jones’ aversion to cyborgs had certainly become understandable. He wondered if he should just let it go or if he should try to say something to Jones. Would doing so get his foot out of his mouth, or shove it further in?
Then something else Gwen had said penetrated his thought process.
“Sorry, did you say ‘girlfriend’?” he asked.
Gwen gave him a look and walked away.
Well, if he could figure out how to inadvertently offend, annoy or harrass Harkness before the end of the day, he’d be three for three in twenty-four hours. He sighed and ran a hand through his hair.