Pairing: George/Mitchell, Jack/Ianto, past Mitchell/Jack (implied)
Disclaimer: Not mine, obviously- Torchwood belongs to RTD and Being Human to Toby Whithouse
Warnings: None, I think (a first for me!)
Summary: ummmmm... a cheerful fic with some dodgy physics in it!
Timeline: In TW terms, I think this is set sometime early in S2, when Jack and Ianto are obviously quite happy together and Ianto is making lots of little sarcastic quips all the time. Definitely pre-Dead Man Walking. I'm not quite sure what that means in terms of Being Human, but it could be pre-series one- but it doesn't really matter.
A/N: The physics stuff in this is loosely based on an article in New Scientist- but I don't really know what I'm talking about, I plead artistic license!
Jack leans back in his chair and swings his feet up onto the desk as Ianto walks in, coffee in hand and a stack of files under one arm.
“Ianto, what are you doing tonight?”
“Nothing special, sir,” Ianto replies, setting the mug down a safe distance from Jack’s boots.
“Come out for a drink with me.”
Ianto raises an eyebrow. It’s rare for his assignations with Jack to take place outside the hub. “I want you to meet someone,” Jack continues.
Curiouser and curiouser, thinks Ianto. “Then I shall make myself available, sir.”
Jack’s lips twitch slightly. “Can’t you show a bit more interest than that?”
“Will it mean I find out what’s going on any faster?” Ianto asks, carefully maintaining his well-practiced neutral expression.
“No,” Jack tells him, flashing a grin.
“Well in that case, I’ll just get on with talking you through these files.”
“Mitchell, the Shakespeare’s that way.”
Mitchell doesn’t pause. “I know. We’re not going to the Shakespeare.”
“Oh.” George scampers a little to catch up. “Hang on, don’t I get any say in this?”
“Nope. Not tonight.”
“What’s so special about tonight?”
Mitchell just tuts and speeds up even more. “Come on, we don’t want to be late.”
“Late for what?”
Mitchell doesn’t answer, so George contents himself with seething quietly as he tries to keep up.
As they drive onto the Severn crossing, Ianto swivels his head to look at Jack.
“Errrr- where the hell are we going?”
“Bristol. Didn’t I mention that?”
“I think I would’ve remembered. Why Bristol?”
“Oh, you know... it’s a good place for a night out. Very hilly, which is always fun when you’re drunk. Nice pubs. Hot guys...”
Ianto narrows his eyes. “Who exactly are we meeting?”
“Just this guy I used to know,” Jack answers breezily. “Known him for decades, in fact.”
“Right,” says Ianto, watching Jack’s eyes carefully. “And is he one of those “hot guys” you mentioned?”
A small smile flickers around Jack’s lips. “He certainly has his moments.”
“Right,” Ianto says again, and goes back to staring out of the window.
Mitchell practically downs his first pint. He’s getting nervous about this, if he’s honest, and anyway he wants to make sure George has had a couple of drinks before he makes the introductions. He’s starting to think this could go horribly wrong- this is Jack, after all, he’ll turn up expecting all sorts of depraved things, and George can get very possessive around the full moon.
George watches Mitchell, curious and vaguely concerned. He’s certainly acting very oddly tonight, he thinks; he’s all twitchy, and every time the pub door opens his head rotates practically 180 degrees, like an owl. George sighs and takes the bull by the horns.
“Mitchell- are you alright?”
Mitchell just looks at him blankly for a long moment, as if he’s trying to remember where he’s seen him before. Then he shakes his head and his eyes seem to refocus.
“I’m fine.” A pause. “Well. Actually, maybe there’s something I should tell you.”
Oh god, George thinks. Here we go. He’s killed someone (again, his subconscious interjects, ever the painfully accurate archivist), or at least he wants to kill someone, or... or... or he’s leaving.
Mitchell jumps up. “We need another round first,” he says, and heads off to the bar, leaving George frozen, barely breathing, just waiting for Mitchell to say those words and for the world to collapse around him.
They leave the SUV in a carpark and walk in silence for a while.
“Ianto,” says Jack suddenly, and then stops speaking again just as abruptly.
“This guy we’re meeting- he probably thinks I’ll be on my own.”
Ianto stops. “So why am I here?”
“Well, I didn’t want him to get the wrong idea, did I?”
“And what exactly is the right idea, in your opinion?”
Jack looks hard at Ianto, trying to work out if he’s being sarcastic- or rather, because this is Ianto after all, to work out just how sarcastic he’s being. He flounders. “You and me- us...”
“What about you and me, sir?” says Ianto innocently, with just enough emphasis on the “sir” to make Jack a little insecure and a little turned on, both at once.
“Ianto...” It’s meant to sound threatening, but it comes out a bit plaintive. Then Ianto’s mouth quirks just a little, and he bumps his shoulder gently against Jack’s as he starts walking again.
“So, will I have to meet all of your exes? Because that could take a while.”
“Yeah,” Jack grins. “One a week for the next five million years.”
George is staring at Mitchell’s back as he leans on the bar. Though he can’t see his face, he knows by heart the lazy, charming, practiced smile that’s on Mitchell’s lips as he orders two more pints, knows it from the slightly flustered way the barmaid responds and from the perfect slouch of Mitchell’s shoulders. He’s concentrating so hard on those shoulders, the exact lines of the torso, eyes sliding down to the slight tilt of the hips, that he doesn’t notice the two men come in until one of them is right next to Mitchell. He leans backwards on the bar and sweeps his long coat back. The other man, younger (and wearing a suit, despite the slightly scuzzy pub, George notes scornfully), stops a few feet away. He’s watching almost as carefully as George is.
“Come here often?”
Mitchell gives up on pretending that he hasn’t noticed Jack’s arrival. He can almost feel himself wilting under the force of Jack’s grin. Subtle as ever, he thinks ruefully.
“I was starting to think you’d stood me up.”
Jack pouts. “Now now, Mitchell, I’m never less than reliable, am I?”
They stare at each other, and Ianto lets them until he decides that Jack’s just taking the piss now, and clears his throat meaningfully. Then Jack grins again and pulls this Mitchell character into a hug, brief and friendly and very carefully nothing more, and pulls back to wave Ianto forwards.
The introductions have been made, Mitchell shaking Ianto’s hand happily and Ianto reciprocating with a distinct lack of enthusiasm, before Jack notices that Mitchell’s ordered not three drinks but four. He raises a questioning eyebrow. Mitchell nods over towards the table where George sits, utterly failing to look nonchalant.
“I brought someone,” he says. “Come and meet George.”
“He’s a bit young for you, isn’t he?” Mitchell murmurs in Jack’s ear as they walk over, almost but not quite out of Ianto’s hearing. Jack snorts.
“I could say the same for you,” he retorts. That strikes Ianto as odd- he would say the two men look around the same age- but he’s learned not to take such things at face value. He files it away for later consideration.
They reach the table and George scrambles to his feet. Mitchell opens his mouth to do the introductions, but Jack’s hand is already stuck out, trademark grin from ear to ear. “Captain Jack Harkness,” he announces. George frowns, takes his hand warily, says nothing, and Mitchell smirks to himself, secretly proud of George’s apparent immunity to Jack’s charm offensive. Jack doesn’t seem to have noticed though, and he blithely introduces Ianto, who gives a slight apologetic shrug as he offers his hand.
“Don’t worry,” he says. “He’s always like this. It doesn’t mean anything.”
George’s scowl deepens even further. “I’m not worried.”
They’re several drinks down now, and even though Jack’s have all been water, he’s regaling the others with tales of his outlandish exploits. Ianto and Mitchell have heard most of them before (for a man who’s experienced so much, Jack certainly can repeat himself) and to be honest George isn’t all that interested; to him it seems like a slightly more grandiose version of boasting to your mates about how many pints you drank last Friday, before going home with that gorgeous blonde who was staring at you all night.
Ianto and Jack are mostly ignoring him, Jack too busy entertaining and Ianto preoccupied by working out whether he should consider Mitchell any sort of a threat; and although Mitchell’s hand occasionally strays to his thigh in a gesture of solidarity, George is drifting and daydreaming, so it’s pure chance that he happens to be tuned in to the conversation when Jack starts talking about teleportation.
“Oh!” George leans forwards, suddenly interested. “Have you got one of those new things, the ones that exploit quantum entanglement?”
Ianto stiffens in surprise. “How do you know about that?”
“Oh, I read something in New Scientist. It was pretty basic, obviously, but it was enough to start me thinking, then I just... extrapolated, I suppose. It was pretty easy to work out the theory, at least.”
“But the practical application- that’s a military secret!”
“Well, it’s not my fault that you can buy them on ebay, is it?”
Jack laughs at the look on Ianto’s face. “Did you know that?”
“Of course- I’ve spent a bloody fortune in the last month making sure no one else ever wins an auction. On expenses, obviously.” He turns back to George. “So, you’re saying you designed a teleport device, by yourself, in your bedroom?”
“Well, yes, but it wasn’t original thought, was it? Someone else had already done it, I was just recapitulating.”
“Still quite impressive.” There’s new respect in Ianto’s eyes. “How did you figure out getting round the Heisenberg uncertainty principle?”
Mitchell glances over at Jack and meets his eyes. “Looks like we’re a bit outclassed here,” he says, looking proudly at George. He’s drawing a fiendishly complicated diagram on a beermat, and Ianto’s nodding and pointing to an equation scrawled underneath.
Jack laughs and leans back in his chair. “Only intellectually,” he smirks, and gets away with it because Ianto is far too engrossed in the mysterious beauty of particle physics to take notice of anything Jack says.
- Current Mood: content
- Current Music:broken family band