When the committee was first formed in 1879, there were originally eleven members. After a short while, two members in particular had impressed the Crown that much with their ability to get things happening that they were soon elevated to be senior members.
Unbeknown to anyone else the two of them had a hidden agenda. Their loyalty was not to the Crown but to a mysterious benefactor. This benefactor’s identity had never been revealed to anyone else in the committee and he was only ever referred to as their leader, despite never being officially part of the actual committee. Their benefactor was responsible for the senior committee members’ success, his powers and abilities giving them an unfair advantage over the remaining members.
When their leader had decided the time had come, the senior members revealed his existence to the rest of the committee. The other members were quick to change their allegiance to the leader; all thoughts of remaining loyal to the Crown rather than their new leader banished after a subtle display of his powers. One committee member had thought to protest their change of loyalties and had tried to alert the authorities to what was happening. If any of the other members shared his concerns they soon changed their minds. Seeing and hearing the pain and agony of his death, an example of their leader’s power, soon took care of any thoughts of dissent. The committee had remained at ten members ever since.
The ability to jump through time was one of their leader’s most used abilities. This kept the committee constant as they were jumped through time to be there when they were needed, rather than living out their years in a linear timeline. The committee members had long lost track of things like their age and what time they were in. Being jumped back and forth through time constantly gave them no points of reference, and they were not given any means of recording their actions. The only ones who had any real concept of time’s progression were the two senior members, and only because their leader had shared certain things with them.
The responsibilities of the senior two members meant that they were present at or responsible for most of the major events in Torchwood’s history. They were the ones that pointed Yvonne Hartman in the direction of the radar black spot that would eventually lead to the construction of the Torchwood Tower in London; they were in India prior to the closure of the Torchwood office there by Jack Harkness, secretly assisting the Duchess of Melrose and they were the last ones to see Torchwood 4 before it disappeared.
They had also been involved with a large number of events in Cardiff over the years as well. They were the ones who had injected Ianto with the tracker, the ones who gave Jack the mission to hide the Cyberwoman, they engineered the contract declaring Jack to be the property of the current Torchwood director and were the first committee members on the scene after Alex Hopkins had murdered the Torchwood 3 team in 1999.
Another major event was coming up for Torchwood Cardiff in the next few months, or more specifically, for Captain Jack Harkness. And Bilis Manger wanted the committee to be ready.
The committee members raised their heads after their leader had finished his greeting and looked at him expectantly. The two senior members took their seats after the leader had sat down at the head of the table.
Bilis looked at every man in turn, seeing their faces pale as he glanced at every one just long enough for them to begin to worry that they were the reason this meeting had been called. Their fears seemed to be justified as Bilis began to speak again.
“I am very disappointed,” he said. “The Cyberwoman has been destroyed, and young Mr Jones and that freak are still together.”
Some of the committee members glanced at the senior men, everyone knew that was their task to give to the freak. Were they to be punished?
“But that’s alright,” Bilis continued. “We always knew that Mr Jones was a very forgiving sort of man, so there was always a risk that this wouldn’t work.”
“So what should we do?” one of the braver men asked.
“Don’t you worry about that. I have something in mind that will destroy Mr Jones’ trust in the freak altogether, but first we’ll start working on the rest of the team. They seem to be a pretty tight team at the moment, so I think we need to step things up a bit and start chipping away at the other team members, make them all just a little bit less comfortable with each other.”
Bilis waved a hand and a file appeared on the table in front of each of the men. The cover showed a photograph of a tall, well-built tattooed man. His name was Max Tresillian.
“We’ll start with Suzie Costello.”
Jack looked around the Hub in relief. Apart from Ianto, everyone had finally gone home. Suzie had gone home with Tosh, knowing she would need the comfort of having someone with her. Gwen and Owen had both left, although whether they were both going to Owen’s Jack really didn’t want to know. He felt sorry for Rhys who seemed like a decent bloke, but Jack had been with Torchwood long enough to know that Gwen’s affair really wasn’t all that unusual.
Jack had previously intended to stay up working in the Hub that night, but that was before Mary had happened, and seeing the hurt in Tosh’s eyes when he killed the alien made him want to be near Ianto instead. He brought some paperwork down into the bunker with him, thinking he would be able to sit at the table and work on it quietly without disturbing Ianto.
Thoughts of paperwork fled his mind however when he climbed down the ladder. Jack caught his breath when he saw Ianto lying there, wearing only his boxer shorts and sprawled out asleep on the bed. This was something that had only just started recently.
Jack had caught him coming out of the shower one day. That was the first time he had seen all of Ianto naked and had seen the numerous scars covering Ianto’s body. There were long lines across his back, burn marks on his arms and various other scars and marks on him. Jack couldn’t keep the concern from his face when he saw them all, but one look at the dark expression on Ianto’s face he knew better than to ask about them.
While they lay in bed that night, Jack eventually got out of Ianto that some of them were from Canary Wharf when he was trying to rescue Lisa from the burning tower, but the rest of the scars were clearly off-limits for discussion. Ianto’s nightmares had been especially bad that night and Jack had not pried again.
Even though they didn’t talk about the scars again, the knowledge that Jack had seen them now gradually made Ianto comfortable enough to sleep shirtless. He didn’t do it all the time, but just enough for Jack to know that Ianto was getting more and more comfortable being undressed around him.
Regardless of how many scars Ianto may have, Jack still found him extremely hot, and sight of him lying there with very little on reminded Jack of exactly that. He dumped the nearly forgotten paperwork on the table and quickly got undressed. He climbed into the bed behind the sleeping Ianto and wrapped an arm around his waist. Ianto responded with a satisfied murmur and snuggled back against Jack, pressing their bodies against each other. Jack smiled contentedly and kissed the back of Ianto’s head, breathing in the smell of his hair.
“Good night Ianto.”
When Jack woke in the morning, Ianto had rolled over in his arms and was now facing him. His head was resting on the pillow just in front of Jack’s face and he was watching him sleep with an affectionate smile on his face.
“Morning,” Jack said.
Ianto didn’t reply but instead leant forward and kissed him. Jack responded straightaway, pulling Ianto flush against him, even closer than they had been last night. They lay there kissing each other slowly, neither in a rush to end it. Jack’s hand was rubbing up and down Ianto’s back, taking in the feeling of his bare skin while he could. Jack knew that Ianto would most likely be the one to end the kiss.
They were yet to have sex, Ianto still not being comfortable enough to go that far, but Jack hoped that with Ianto now getting more comfortable with Jack that it wouldn’t be much longer. It was starting to drive Jack crazy not being able to consummate their relationship, and the thought of finally making love to him was now constantly on his mind, but he knew he had to wait; it had to be on Ianto’s terms.
Sex with Jack was also constantly on Ianto’s mind, but despite what Jack thought, the lack of sex wasn’t anything about being comfortable with being naked with Jack. Ianto was in fact rather intimidated by Jack’s past history. Jack had lived on and been to many places and planets, he had met many species and had slept with so many of them, but here was Ianto. He had only had sex with three people, all female, and all definitely human. How could Ianto possibly compete with that? Despite Jack’s patience with him, he must seem like a bumbling, inexperienced teenager compared to Jack.
Jack held on tighter as he felt Ianto start to get twitchy. He moved slightly so that his erection wouldn’t be pushing against Ianto quite so noticeably, hoping that would make him a little more comfortable, but all too soon Ianto had pulled away from. Jack could see the regret in Ianto’s face and longed to say something to him, but he just flopped back onto the bed as Ianto walked away and groaned in frustration.
Not frustration with Ianto, but frustration at whatever it was in Ianto’s past that had left him so lacking in self-confidence on a personal level. Ianto was a brilliant director, he had the team running the smoothest it ever had with the least amount of tension between the staff, he could out-snark Owen on any day and could charm everyone else in the team and any authorities they had to deal with, but on the more intimate, personal level that only Jack saw, he struggled greatly.
He watched Ianto climb the ladder out of the bunker until he disappeared from view then slowly got up himself and headed for the shower.
When Suzie had taken Tosh home, Tosh had paused at the front door suddenly unwilling to enter the flat where she had been with Mary. She looked at Suzie helplessly.
Suzie seemed to understand. “Do you want to come back to my place instead?”
After a moment, Tosh nodded in relief. They finally went inside and Tosh packed an overnight bag with a couple of changes of clothes, not quite sure when she would want to come back again.
They went back to Suzie’s house, and after she had shown Tosh where everything was downstairs they went upstairs to bed, the pair of them too tired to do anything else but sleep. Tosh lay awake for a long time though, her mind too busy to allow her to rest. It wasn’t until the early hours of the morning that she finally fell into a restless sleep.
Unsurprisingly, Suzie woke long before Tosh. After watching Tosh sleep for a few moments she got up to make them breakfast but as she was walking across the room she was struck by a sudden vision of a glove and a wicked looking knife. A noise from Tosh behind her made her realise that she had been standing there looking at a drawer for at least ten minutes. She was about to walk over to the drawer and open it to see if there was anything in there she needed to know about, but a quick glance over at Tosh reminded her she had actually intended to prepare some food. With a frown of confusion she left the room and went downstairs.
Jack stood in the doorway of Ianto’s office, watching him in the kitchen making their morning coffees. Jack found it curious that everyone in the team had neatly paired off with each other; Tosh and Suzie had just recently come together, Gwen and Owen were having their affair and he and Ianto had been together, more or less, for quite a while now.
Although it was still early days for Tosh and Suzie, everyone in the team seemed happy. Surely that wouldn’t last though Jack thought. Life was never that easy for Torchwood. He pushed memories of Lucia out of his mind.
Jack had deliberately worn his dark blue waistcoat, which he knew was a favourite of Ianto’s, and paired it with a chain and watch. He knew he’d done the right thing when he saw the spontaneous grin appear on Ianto’s face when he joined him in the kitchen. Ianto pulled him in for another kiss, despite his self-imposed “no kissing/touching in work hours” rule, only the sound of the cogwheel door alarms signalling the arrival of Tosh and Suzie was enough to separate them. They turned around to see the girls grinning up at them delightedly.
Gwen and Owen arrived five minutes apart. The other four weren’t fooled though, knowing that only Owen’s car was in the garage and they had both come from the garage.
“Do they really think we don’t know?” Ianto asked. The others laughed. Ianto was pleased to see that Tosh laughed right along with them, he was glad she had Suzie to help her to get over her heart break over Owen.
Tosh and Suzie went over to their desks to start their day’s work and Ianto went up to his office to concentrate on his own paperwork. Jack followed him as there was something he wanted to discuss. Ianto looked at him enquiringly as Jack shut the office door behind them.
“I think we need to talk about your psychic abilities, or more to the point, you need to learn how to block yourself from a psychic attack.” Jack said by way of answer to the unasked question.
“What do you mean?”
“What happened with Tosh, that was a psychic attack and you clearly have some sort of innate ability to counteract it, but it needs to be developed properly. So that your brain doesn’t try to shut your body down again. I think that’s what caused your headaches when Tosh used the pendant on you.”
Ianto thought over what Jack had just said. “Do you have psychic abilities of your own? Is that how you were able to communicate to Tosh without Mary hearing?”
Jack shrugged. “All Time Agents have some form of training. Psychic Paper is quite common in my time and all agents need to know how to recognise it.” He pulled out the watch that he had on the end of the chain on his waistcoat. “Timed exercises to start with, we’ll see how long you can block me out and gradually increase the time. How about it?”
Ianto looked at the stopwatch and sighed reluctantly. “I guess we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us.”