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07 November 2016 @ 05:50 pm
Fic: The Sea After a Storm (89/?)  
Title: The Sea After a Storm, Chapter 89

Rating: R

Warnings: Some bad language

Spoilers: Season Two thru A Day in the Death (2x08)

Pairings: Jack/Ianto

Disclaimer: Torchwood, Doctor Who and all their wonderfulness belong to the Mighty Beeb and He Who Must Not Be Named. No infringement, only worship intended!

Summary: In which everything is awful at the Hub...

Notes: Sorry to post such a bummer of a chapter at such a tense time (for the USA). Please vote!! You can find all the previous chapters of The Sea After a Storm here. This is a sequel to Vizzini’s Rule and To The Pain. Thanks again and forever to my amazing beta and wonderful friend thraceadams for all the help and support and beta work; any mistakes are mine!

The Sea After a Storm: Chapter Eighty-Nine
Previously on The Sea After a Storm: Ianto and Jack's fight came to a head...

The next few weeks at the Hub were the most uncomfortable Ianto had experienced since his return to Torchwood after Lisa's death. The uneasy atmosphere that had existed after Owen's death and resurrection hadn't been healed by the successful resolution of the Parker case – in fact, all sense of "team" had disappeared completely.

Gwen was focused on her wedding and when she bothered to actually show up to work, she spent most of the time at her desk, muttering about Christmas and relatives and tuxedos and invitations and so on whilst she made endless checklists. Owen was understandably taking some time to adjust to his current and permanent undead state. He seemed to be coming to grips with his situation, but some days were harder than others and Ianto would often look up to see Owen sprinting for the door, usually followed by Tosh. She spent most of her time with Owen, finally achieving the closeness with him she'd always desired. It came at too great a cost, she'd tearfully confided to Ianto over drinks at the Pub one night, but she was trying to set an example for Owen and focussing on what was instead of what might have been.

Ianto spent most of his time at the Hub hiding. He hated to admit it, even to himself, but whenever he could justify it, he would escape to the quiet solitude of the archives or the Tourist Office. Not that the Hub was noisy – quite the opposite in fact. Even Jack had taken to sitting in his office with the door closed, shutting everyone out equally. And with the rift being uncooperatively calm, there was nothing external to spark any activity for the team.

Even the weevils seem to be hibernating, Ianto thought as turned up his collar against the wind. Can't say that I blame them. Cardiff was in the midst of a cold spell, the leaden skies and frigid wind echoing the mood inside the Hub. Ianto shifted his coffee to his left hand as he groped under his heavy coat and suit jacket for his keys. He opened up the Tourist Office and then promptly locked the door behind him. It was off-season, freezing cold, and the Christmas Market was two miles north in the City Centre – it was extremely unlikely anyone would bother him today. He set his cup on the counter and pulled off his coat, scarf, and gloves, hanging everything neatly in his office. He sat down at his desk and fired up the internal CCTV to see if anyone else had arrived downstairs yet.

The Hub was still deserted except for Jack's office where the Captain appeared to be sitting at his desk. He didn't make a move towards his door during Ianto's observation.

Ianto sighed and took a sip of the coffee he'd bought at the café on his way in. The thought of running into Jack whilst he was at the coffee machine had become a daily source of dread for Ianto. The sound of Jack telling him he was only good for making coffee filled his head whenever he got near the damn thing. That morning he'd found himself walking into one of the cafés on the Quay before he'd even realised he'd made the decision.

Ianto sighed again and pulled up his latest lists of cataloguing and got to work.

A few hours later, he heard Tosh calling his name. He dragged himself to his feet and poked his head through the beaded curtain that hung over the door to his office.

"Oh, you are here! Thank goodness, can you come down and make coffee?" Tosh asked. "We've all had a go and the results have been awful. Jack is down there swearing that machine has alien parts and only you know how it works."

At the words make coffee, Ianto ground his teeth and tried not to react. He obviously failed, because Tosh's rambling cut off and she gave him a sympathetic look.

"I know it's not your favourite thing right now, but please? For me?" She actually batted her eyes at him.

Stifling an involuntary chuckle, Ianto rolled his eyes and stepped out from behind the counter. "Fine, for you," he agreed.

Tosh gave him a bright smile and tucked her arm in his as they walked to the lift. "How are you?" she asked as they rode down to the Hub. "I keep meaning to suggest drinks at the Pub again but..."

"You're busy, I understand," Ianto said. "Owen needs you right now. How is he coping?" he added, deftly turning the conversation away from himself.

"Better, I think." Tosh furrowed her brow. The doors to the lift opened and she stepped out to activate the cog door. It rolled back to reveal everyone sitting at their workstations as usual.

The silence was deafening.

"I'll catch up with you later," Tosh whispered.

Ianto nodded and made his way to the machine where he waited while a fresh pot of coffee brewed and then started a second one. He glanced up at one point to find Jack watching him from behind the glass in his office. His arms were crossed and he had an unhappy look on his face. Ianto dropped his eyes as soon as he met Jack's gaze. Apparently I don't even make coffee right anymore, he thought to himself. Congratulations on becoming completely useless. He escaped Jack's disapproving glare as quickly as he could and made his way back to the Tourist Office.

Tosh interrupted Ianto's otherwise quiet morning twice more – once with a request for help finding a toner for her printer and once to take everyone's lunch order. Ianto protested that they could just email him their food choices and he would place the order, but Tosh insisted on dragging him back down to the Hub. Ianto was starting to suspect that Tosh had ulterior motives and his suspicion turned to certainty when he realised no one else actually planned on eating lunch with them. Gwen buggered off first, claiming she had to meet Rhys for a cake tasting. She made vague noises about coming back when they were finished, but Ianto wasn't wagering on her return that afternoon. Owen, of course, couldn't eat anything. And Jack... Jack took one look at Ianto standing behind Tosh as she brandished a menu at him and grabbed his coat and fled without a muttered "not hungry," as his excuse.

Ianto followed suit as soon as he was sure Jack had left the Hub. He ordered sandwiches for Tosh and himself and then returned to his sanctuary. He had to call Tosh when the food arrived, but he left her sack on the counter and retreated to his office, hoping she'd clue in and leave him alone.

When she picked up her sandwich, Tosh ignored the hint and pushed through the beaded curtain. "Come on down and eat with me," she offered.

"No, thanks," he replied, not turning around.

Tosh sighed. "Come on, Ianto. Nothing will change if you keep sulking up here."

Ianto hunched his shoulders. "I am not sulking." He heard Tosh snort behind him and then jerked when she reached out to tousle his hair.

"Hey!" Ianto protested, his hands flying up to push her away as he rolled his chair back from the desk.

"Sorry," she said, sounding anything but. "You're just so adorable when you act like a four year old. I couldn't help myself," she added sarcastically.

He smoothed his hair and then crossed his arms over his chest. When Tosh raised a delicate eyebrow at him, he flushed and lowered his arms. "If you don't need anything...?" He let his voice trail off as he rolled back to his desk, hoping the go away that was implied at the end of the sentence came through loud and clear.

Tosh sighed. "All right, Ianto. Have it your way. Things won't get any better if you don't make an effort, though. Please think about that."

Ianto hunched over his desk again and picked at his sandwich. As soon as she was gone, he sighed and let his shoulders slump.

There's nothing left to think about, he thought gloomily. "Better" isn't a possibility anymore. It's over. It's all over.


. This entry was originally posted at http://buttononthetop.dreamwidth.org/119703.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
Current Location: Sofa
Current Mood: worriedworried
thrace_adams: Charmed Piper Painthrace_adams on November 8th, 2016 01:15 am (UTC)
OH Ianto :((((( *kicks Jack*
buttononthetop: JB - Whoopbuttononthetop on November 30th, 2016 07:03 pm (UTC)
LOL I always know I've done my job if you want to kick Jack. :D :D

unrequited1984unrequited1984 on November 8th, 2016 05:40 am (UTC)
*crying* Make it better Button! It hurts to see my boys like this, at least Tosh is trying!
buttononthetopbuttononthetop on November 30th, 2016 07:04 pm (UTC)
*huggles* It's so bad right now! The boys are simply digging their heels in and being stupid...well...boys. Thank god for Tosh, right? :D
ukdramafan on November 19th, 2016 11:13 pm (UTC)
Bless Tosh for understanding that time and opportunities shouldn't be wasted, and trying to get Ianto moving towards resolution with Jack. I know Jack's also hurting, but right now he needs a slap to bring him to his senses!
Just thought you should know that you missed this chapter on your master list. The links go from chapter 88, straight to chapter 90.
buttononthetopbuttononthetop on November 30th, 2016 07:05 pm (UTC)
I love Tosh - and you're so right. Her experience with Owen has made her super-sensitive to not wasting time (which these dumb boys are certainly doing!)

OH and THANK YOU for the heads up that I missed Chapter 89 in the master list!! All fixed now. :) :)