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The Stolen Earth Incident

Chapter Text


30 April 2009



Ianto stood in the kitchen, making the first round of coffee for the day, obvious to the lack of noise made by a certain pteranodon who’d always come to visit him for her morning chocolate.

They’d finally decided to move Myfanwy to Ddraig Llyn, where the prehistoric creature could fly free.  Ianto missed her, but she’d seemed to love her new surroundings, and the dragon had introduced her to Rhiannon who’d promised to keep up with her chocolate snacks every day.  It was far overdue; keeping Myfanwy in the Hub had limited her, and Ianto was glad that she could finally be out all the time and them not having to worry that someone would catch a glimpse of her…or worse, take a pot-shot as she flew overhead.  The villagers would protect her in a way that Torchwood couldn’t.

Still, the dragon would miss his flying partner, but it was for the best.

He put the mugs on his tray, and then headed out into the Hub.  Ianto went to Toshiko’s station first, where his technical genius was working on something with their temporary employee, Clint Barton.  It looked as if there were various types of arrow schematics on Toshiko’s computer screen; together, the pair had already created three new types of arrows for the SHIELD archer, and Toshiko loved a challenge.

The dragon handed out the coffees, wishing them both a good morning…although he’d done that with Clint already, since the agent was currently staying in his and Jack’s spare room.  It was the least they could do for Clint, who was taking vacation time away from SHIELD to help out while they were down both Owen and Patrick. 

Toshiko gave him a smile, accepting the mug and setting down on a clear section of her workstation.  Clint took a big sip of his, humming as the caffeine began to hit his system.  “I can never get coffee like this in New York,” he sighed. 

“If you came to work for us,” Ianto said slyly, “you could have all the coffee you’d ever want.”

“You know Torchwood has the best perks,” Clint grinned.  “No pun intended.”

“Of course not.” Ianto didn’t even bother hiding his eye roll.

Clint had fit with in with the team, and the dragon was going to miss him when he went back to SHIELD.  It would be soon, as Owen was hoping to be back on duty in two weeks.  Their medic had developed an infection from this gunshot wound and it had taken him a bit longer to recover, but he’d had Diane looking out after him and making certain he didn’t overdo it.  She’d had to go back to back to Alaska before Owen was completely recovered, but she would be back; she’d already accepted a position with Torchwood that would start after the beginning of the year, when her contract with her current employer would run out.  She’d come to the conclusion that Owen meant too much to her after nearly losing him to stay away any longer, and was ready to come home.

“Talked to Patrick this morning,” Clint went on.  “Says he’s ready to come back to work whenever you want him.  I think his Mom’s driving him up the wall but he’s too afraid of her to say anything to her about it.”

Ianto laughed.  He’d had the pleasure of meeting Margaret Coulson-Delaware, and while on the outside she was that basic, motherly type that was popular on the telly – slightly plump, short, and with graying hair that was always in a neat chignon – she was possibly even scarier than her younger brother, Phil Coulson.  But then, he knew she’d once worked for the CIA as one of their most successful wetworks operatives, so that definitely coloured his perception of the woman.

Patrick wasn’t as lucky as Owen in his recovery, though.  It would be at least another month before he could return to work, and that would be for light duty only.  The bullet that had damaged his shoulder had been worse than Owen’s stomach wound, and he was going to need significant physical therapy before he would be ready for field work again. 

Ianto silently cursed John Hart and wished he’d fulfilled that vengeance vow he’d sworn on the man.

“Patrick gets antsy when he’s not active,” Ianto observed.  “I can imagine the ‘driving up the wall’ is on both sides.”

Clint barked out a laugh.  “You’re not wrong.”

“Maybe we should be offering Mrs Delaware a job instead,” Toshiko joked. 

“That would be bloody entertaining,” Rhys said as he joined them, taking his own mug from the tray.  “I just hope Mrs D never meets the Queen, cause those two would get along like a house on fire and Jack wouldn’t stand a chance against the pair of them!”

“Excuse me,” Jack butted in, also leaning forward and taking his coffee, his body pressing against Ianto’s side and almost distracting the dragon, “but Lizzie loves me.”

Rhys chortled.  “Of course she does! You can’t tell me that Her Majesty doesn’t think of you as one of her boys, Jack.  She and Patrick’s Mam would be mothering you to within an inch of your life!”

Ianto had been a witness to Mrs Delaware meeting Jack, and it had been hilarious, as the woman had decided that Jack had needed a motherly figure in his life and was determined to be that once she’d been told that Jack’s own mother was out of the picture.  Maggie might have been an assassin with an excellent kill record, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t be the most terrifying parent ever.

The only person Ianto knew was worse was Francine Jones, and she’d had the excuse of that Year to explain her motherly excesses.

Jack smirked.  “Who wouldn’t want me as their son?  I’m intelligent, charming, have great taste in mates…”

He’d told Ianto what had happened between himself and his own mother, far in the future, and heard the double meaning in his mate’s words.  Ianto’s heart went out to Jack, for having lost that loving relationship over something that hadn’t been in his control. 

He did elbow Jack at his comment though, playing into his mate’s comment.  “I like to think I have the great taste,” he said dryly, giving Jack an answering smirk.

The slight darkness that had been hiding behind Jack’s blue eyes faded at Ianto’s words, and the dragon was glad he could have fended off any bad feelings the immortal might have had at the thoughts of his long lost and not-yet-born mother.  Jack’s arm went around Ianto’s waist and he leaned into his mate’s warmth.

“You know,” Clint drawled, “I’ve seen more P.D.A. in the month I’ve been here than in the entire time I’ve been with SHIELD.”

Toshiko giggled.

“You get used to it, mate,” Rhys answered, sounding resigned.  “We’ve just learned to ignore it.”

“I don’t,” the technician exclaimed, blushing slightly at her blurted admission.

“Tosh, love,” Rhys sighed, “we all know you’re a fangirl.”

“I think it’s sweet,” Deborah added as she walked by, several files in her hands as she headed toward the Tourist Office.  Ianto passed the young woman her own coffee as she passed, Deborah managing admirably to juggle the folders and the hot beverage as she made her way out of the main Hub, the alarms on the cog door blaring at her exit.

“Well, Deborah’s a hopeless romantic,” Rhys said.  “Have you all noticed that our favourite detective sergeant has been paying the Tourist Office ‘unofficial’ visits lately?” The air quotes were obvious without the Welshman having to actually make them.

“Deborah let Andy down easily,” Ianto replied.  “She told him that she wasn’t ready for any sort of relationship yet, what with University and all.  She did tell him to check back with her when she’d graduated.”

“She tell you that?” Toshiko asked, curious.

Ianto nodded.  “I asked her about it, because I’d noticed it too.  Apparently, Andy understood and was fine with it.”

“Andy Davidson is a true gentleman,” Jack proclaimed.  “If he’s still interested when Deborah is finished, he’ll ask again.”

“I think they’d be cute together,” Toshiko declared.

“Yeah, I’ve also seen more romance around here, too,” Clint said.  His tone was teasing, but there was something in his eyes that Ianto chalked up to yearning.

He was aware that Clint was in a relationship with Patrick’s Uncle Phil, but that a lot of the time it was long-distance.  The pair often went months without seeing each other, although ever since Patrick’s injury and Clint taking the time off to help out they’d actually spent more time together than usual.  Phil had been in Cardiff for about a week, and Ianto was well aware of just where Clint had spent his nights when Coulson was in town; after all, it had been apparent that their spare room hadn’t been slept in.  Ianto knew that Clint wished their relationship could be steadier, but that simply wasn’t in the cards.  SHIELD kept both men busy, and it would continue to do so.

“And the gossip,” Clint went on, grinning.  “Patrick claimed that he got the best gossip ever since he started here, but he couldn’t share any of it because it was over most of the security levels on the planet…”

When he’d volunteered to help out, the first thing Clint had done was to come to both Jack and Ianto and assured them that he wouldn’t be sticking his nose in where it didn’t belong.  Ianto hadn’t doubted that for a moment, knowing that the SHIELD agent had kept the knowledge that Ianto was a true dragon to himself, except for a verbal report to his superior, Nick Fury.  He hadn’t even confided in his own lover, which, while commendable, had to have been rough on the man.  But then, Phil Coulson kept secrets from Clint on a regular basis, due to his higher security level.  Clint had proved trustworthy, and Ianto had actually Named him a dragon-friend before he and Jack had left Ddraig Llyn after their mating.

He'd also slotted into a place on the team that neither Jack nor himself had even noticed they’d needed someone; an overwatch, someone to keep an eye out over the team as they worked.  It had only taken Ianto about a week and a half to get Clint trained up on procedures, and on their first callout with him he’d gone to the closest building and had taken his post on the roof, watching their backs.  He’d even come in handy once, when a Weevil had stumbled into a routine retrieval and had been so startled it had taken a swipe at Ianto with its claws.

It turned out that arrows were an excellent Weevil deterrent.

Yes, Ianto was indeed going to miss Clint when he went back to SHIELD.

“Well, people,” Jack clapped his hands together, “let’s get to work.  Toshiko, how’s the Predictor looking for today – “

Jack was interrupted when the ground began to shake.