Title: The Torchwood Water Cooler
Characters: Jack, Ianto, Gwen
Prompt: #2 – A cave @
Summary: The Torchwood team finally have time for a sit down and a chat.
Spoilers: End of season 2.
Word Count: 1,400
Disclaimer: I do not own Torchwood or any of its characters.
A/N: One of my favourite things about Torchwood is how the characters’ humour and friendship comes out, even in dangerous situations That is what I was trying to do here…
“Jack?...Ianto?...Come on, answer me goddammit!”
Gwen’s panicked voice finally made its way through the fog in Ianto’s brain. He opened his mouth and took a breath to reply, only to find his mouth and lungs suddenly full of dust.
His body reacted violently to the sudden intrusion and his torso heaved with a hacking cough as his lungs fought to expel the choking dust.
“Ianto? Jack? I can hear coughing. Are you coughing?”
Gwen’s voice was in his ear again.
“Yeah.” Ianto managed to choke out. “I’m here.” His body heaved with another cough.
“Jack? What about Jack?”
“Hang on.” Ianto replied. “Give me a minute.”
“Okay,” said Gwen “I’ll call for help. I’ll be right back.”
Suddenly there was quiet in Ianto’s ear and he took a moment to get a bearing on his surroundings and figure out what had happened.
He was lying on his back and turning his head he blinked through the dust that was still hanging heavy in the air. He could see light sticks glowing around him, lighting up the room he was in. No, not a room, a cave. That was it. They were investigating reports of alien tech being kept hidden in a cave. And there had been an explosion, small, but enough to start a cave-in. They had been running out of the cave when it happened. Gwen had been in front of him and Jack behind when the rocks had started to fall. Where was Jack?
Ianto pushed himself into a sitting position with difficulty; a lot of his body hurt. He started to pull his legs up so he could move and search for Jack when pain seared through his body from his right shin. He was unable to keep an anguished cry of pain from escaping his lips as the unexpected pain hit him. His hands flew instinctively to his leg and he looked down.
“Ianto? Ianto? What is it?” concern was thick in Gwen’s voice.
Ianto took a deep breath. “I’m okay Gwen. Just a bit banged up. I’ll be fine.”
“Okay. I’m still on the phone to mountain rescue. I’ll be back in a minute.”
Ianto let Gwen go and stared at his injury. There was a gaping wound on the front of his leg where a falling rock had obviously struck it. He found himself mildly fascinated by it. You could see the bone where the skin had split across the front of his leg. Suddenly a wave of nausea washed across him and he turned his face away.
He pulled off his tie and started to tightly bind it around the injury, biting his lip to keep from crying out again. Makeshift bandage secured, he looked down at his handy work.
“Bloody Torchwood.” he muttered to himself. “I get through more ties this way...”
Turning his attention back to his search for Jack he peered into the gloom. The last thing he remembered as the rocks started to fall and before everything went black, was two strong hands grabbing him and pulling him backwards. Jack had shoved him out of harm’s way and no doubt taken the brunt of the cave-in himself.
Ianto shuffled himself forward and sure enough there was Jack; half buried by the fallen rocks. His legs, part of his torso and one arm were completely buried. And he was very definitely dead.
Ianto gently pulled himself further forwards, grimacing as every movement sent pain shuddering through his body, especially his torn leg. He was able to manoeuvre himself next to Jack at right angles to the fallen man’s body, where he could sit up and rest his back against the wall of the cave.
Gritting his teeth against his own pain, Ianto leaned forward and gently lifted Jack’s head and shoulders, moving himself underneath so the older man’s head could rest on his lap.
He activated his comms.
“Gwen? Are you there?”
“Yes. Just got off the phone. Mountain rescue will be here as soon as they can, but we’re quite remote so it could take a while for a whole team to get here.”
“I’ve got Jack.”
“How is he?”
“Ah. Well let’s hope he comes back before our rescuers get here. Don’t fancy explaining that one again.”
“No, quite. Are you okay Gwen? I didn’t ask. Sorry.”
“I’m fine. We were right at the front of the cave so I’m pretty much outside. Just having a bit of a sit down. Bit busied. The usual. Got a right bollocking from mountain rescue though.”
“Said if we were coming up here we should have notified the authorities in advance. Brought an experienced guide or caver with us.”
“That would have been fun to explain.”
“They were really quite annoyed.”
“Outside the police, beyond the United Nations, but about to get a big ticking off from mountain rescue eh?”
“Don’t joke. It’s alright for you. You’re protected by a nice big wall of rocks. I’m the one that’s got to face them.”
Ianto smiled into the dusty air. Suddenly the body in his lap spasmed as empty lungs gasped for air and Jack Harkness was dragged back into life.
Ianto placed a calming hand on his shoulder.
“Keep still. You’re buried by rocks.”
Jack tried to control his breathing as he looked around himself. He was indeed trapped under a very large pile of rocks. But he was also close to his favourite Welshman. He’d had worse days.
“Is that our illustrious leader joining us again?” asked Gwen.
“Hey, a bit more respect than that please Gwen.” said Jack indignantly. “So. Who’s going to give me a situation report?”
“You’ve had it. You’re buried under rocks.”
“Very funny Ianto. Gwen? Speak to me. And where are you?”
“I’m the other side of the rock fall. I’m fine. Mountain rescue are on their way with the big boys to dig us out.”
“What’ll we do while we’re waiting?”
“Eye spy?” suggested Ianto dryly.
Jack snorted. “I can think of plenty of things better than eye spy to keep us entertained alone in a cave.”
“But you’re not alone. I’m outside, the comms are working perfectly and I can hear everything, remember?”
“And you’re buried under rocks.”
“Hey. My mouth and one hand are still free. That’s all I need.”
Gwen giggled. “I can hear the glare Ianto’s giving you from here.”
“Alright, alright. Not my best idea. But what do we do?”
“Let’s have a chat!” said Gwen. “A catch-up, a gossip. When was the last time we all sat down and just had a good chat?”
Ianto and Jack exchanged a look in the eerily lit gloom.
“I suppose it’s been a while.” ventured Ianto.
“Right then. We’ll chat. Who wants to go first?”
“Isn’t it supposed to happen a bit more spontaneously than that?” asked Jack.
“That’s your problem?” queried Ianto. “That’s what you think is weird about this? Normal people; normal non-Torchwood people, chat by the water cooler. Or over coffee and a cigarette. Or in the pub on a Friday night for an after-work pint. Most people do not wait until they are trapped either side of, or under, a giant cave-in.”
There was silence for a moment.
“He is right.” Gwen said to Jack as if Ianto was no longer part of the conversation.
“I know he is. He’s always right. It’s so infuriating.” replied Jack.
“Oh, I know.” said Gwen.
Ianto coughed pointedly causing Gwen to giggle again and Jack to grin up at him.
“Come on though. It’s more fun the Torchwood way isn’t it?”
There was silence for a moment again until finally, slightly reluctantly, both Gwen and Ianto agreed.
“Maybe though,” saidJack hesitantly, “we could make more of an effort. You know. There’s just the three of us now. We should make an effort to spend more time together; away from Torchwood. Being friends; mates.”
Ianto squeezed the shoulder his hand was resting on and looked down at Jack. His smile said he approved.
“Yeah,” said Gwen after a moment, unable to disguise the catch in her throat. “Yeah. That would be good.”
“Right. That’s decided then.” said Jack, all business again. “Rhys can come too if he’s good.”
Gwen’s retort was cut off by the sounds of a helicopter overhead.
“Looks like the cavalry has arrived boys. Now, what do tell them we were doing up here?”