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Myfanwy 2

December 2017

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Surviving the Interview Process - Chapter Four

Surviving the Interview Process - Chapter Four
Author: Milady Dragon
Series: Dragon-Verse
Rating: PG-13
Pairing(s): Jack/Ianto, Toshiko/Kathy
Warnings: Language
Spoilers: Both series up to S2, E3, "To the Last Man"; and minor spoilers for DW S6 E1 and E2, "The Impossible Astronaut" and "Day of the Moon"
Disclaimer: I don't own Torchwood, I would have treated it better.
Author's note: There should be two more chapters of this, and I'm hoping to have the next one up near the weekend, and then the last next week.  And, as of the first week in January, I should start posting what I call "The Monster", my Dragon-Verse re-writing of Children of Earth.    As long as it is, even if I post a chapter a day (which is what I plan on doing) it should take me about a month to get the entire thing up.


SummaryPatrick Everett Delaware  thought he might actually be interviewing for what could have been his dream job...if he knew what that job really was.




29 July 2008

Patrick sat on his uncomfortable chair out in the foyer, his head in his hands and his heart somewhere in the vicinity of his shoes. He ignored Jones calling Eoin Gwynne back for his interview, and the others who were still in the foyer. He could practically feel the sympathetic looks – no, he refused to call them pitying – of his fellow interviewees, because they had to know, just has he did, how badly he’d looked coming out of that office.

He’d blown it. Patrick knew he’d screwed it up.

He’d simply not taken into consideration that Leticia Jones wasn’t only there to see what she could get out of his compatriots. She’d been testing their willingness to trust, to know that Patrick could share with these people because they’d all been through like experiences, and could accept what he knew and had been certain of nearly his entire life.

Jones had been right: you had to trust your team. You had to trust the people who were like you, and if they were in the same room with you, going after the same job as you, then they had that level of knowledge and security that you could believe in. Patrick had been too quick to judge, and he’d failed an important test.

“You don’t look very happy.”

Patrick straightened, scrubbing his hands over his face and then turning to look at Leticia Jones, who had come to sit beside him. “You could say that, yes.”

She didn’t bother to even feign sympathy; she simply met his eyes, scrutinising him closely. “You think you’ve lost the job.” It wasn’t a question.

He shrugged. If it was that obvious then there was no real reason to confirm it.

“First of all,” Leticia – Tish, as Jones had called her – said, “you haven’t lost anything yet. Ianto considers every point, not just one little thing.”

Patrick wasn’t surprised she knew exactly what had gone on during his interview. Jones had mentioned that they’d all been under constant surveillance, and it only made sense that she’d been hooked into the system as well, privy to everything that was going on, perhaps through some sort of earwig or communicator. Plus he’d been the only one so far to figure out that she was Jones’ inside person, which was probably why she was approaching him now. “I think it’s more than a little thing.”

Tish snorted. “Okay, maybe it was more than a little. But Ianto also thinks that no one is perfect, and that it’s possible to learn. Are you willing to learn, Special Agent Delaware?”

He glanced around, noting that none of the others were nearby. Del Rio and Colvert were seated in a corner still making cow eyes at each other. Agnew and Reynard were also huddled in another corner, and Patrick didn’t even want to know what they were discussing.

In that moment, he decided that he could trust Leticia Jones.

“Yeah,” he said. “I can learn.”

She thumped him lightly on the arm. “Then don’t give up just yet, yeah? It’s not over until it’s over.”

“Okay,” he joked, “you don’t have to do gross bodily harm to get me to see reason.” He rubbed his arm melodramatically.

Tish snorted. “You’ve been through worse, Patrick…can I call you Patrick?”

“Sure. As long as I can call you Tish.”

She rolled her eyes. “Everyone else does.” Then her expression turned serious once more. “You’re the only one so far to tumble to the fact that I was yet another test, and I think for that you deserve to know a little something that no one else does.”

Patrick had to admit, he was curious. He had been ever since he’d stepped out of Skinner’s office, plane ticket in hand, with orders to go to Wales for a job interview he hadn’t even applied for and knew nothing about.

“There was another reason these particular people were chosen,” she went on, “and that reason had nothing to do with their CV’s.” She glanced around, her eyes taking in everyone before coming back to rest on Patrick. “All of you share something hellish, and you don’t even remember it.”

There it was again: that darkness in Tish’s eyes, something shadowy and horrible that shouldn’t be there, not in someone who seemed to be so full of life. Patrick shuddered; he couldn’t help it, it was as if a ghost had danced on his grave.

“How can we not remember whatever it was?” he asked, suddenly not wanting to hear, but knowing that he had to.

Tish took a deep breath, as if settling her nerves. “Because it never happened.”

Patrick frowned. “Wait…I don’t understand.” He wanted to think she was yanking his chain, but not with that expression on her face. She was deadly serious about whatever she was about to tell him.

Tish’s eyes darted about the room once more, and Patrick mimicked her. No one was even near to their chairs, and when she looked back he could see her determination.

“You heard me say that I worked for Harold Saxon, and that he was a crazy alien out for world domination, right?” she said softly.

Patrick confirmed that he had. He’d thought she’s been using it to get the others to open up, and maybe she had…but he hadn’t doubted that she’d been speaking the truth, even then.

“Well,” she took a deep breath, “he wasn’t just an alien. He was a Time Lord.”

“I thought the Doctor was the last,” Patrick answered, confused. At least that’s what his grandfather had told him.

“That’s what he thought too, but it turned out this other Time Lord – he called himself the Master – had hidden himself at the end of the universe. My sister was travelling with him at the time…and so was Jack.”

Patrick’s eyebrows shot up. “Jack…as in Captain Harkness?” The leader of Torchwood had once been a companion of the Doctor’s? Now that he certainly hadn’t expected.

“Yeah, that Jack. Well, to make a long story short, the Master stole the Doctor’s TARDIS, set himself up as a human named Harold Saxon, and got elected as Prime Minister. He used a paradox machine to bring the remnants of humanity into the past from the future and proceeded to use them to destroy most of the planet.”

It sounded completely and utterly bizarre, and yet Patrick didn’t doubt for a second that it had actually occurred even if he didn’t think he was quite taking it all in yet. Tish was just so compelling, with that haunted darkness in her eyes. “And you worked for him.”

Tish snorted. “It wasn’t like I knew he was a crazy alien conqueror at the time I was hired.”

“Who really knows the truth about their boss?” Patrick said dryly. Inside though, he was reeling. He’d seen the press on Harold Saxon, and the guy had seemed alright. Sure, he’d claimed First Contact to the world and then ended up murdering President Winters…this was much more than he could have ever guessed.

She laughed at that, but quickly sobered. “The Master used those Toclafane creatures to take over the world, and for a year he ruled uncontested except for the Resistance.” Her dark eyes met his. “Torchwood ran that Resistance. It was fairly successful for the most part, and when this plan that the Doctor had come up with finally worked, the paradox machine was destroyed and time reset to just after the president’s assassination, which meant that the rest of the planet completely forgot what had happened. Only those of us who had been prisoners of the Master and were in close contact with the paradox machine remembered what had gone on.”

Patrick didn’t know what to think. He couldn’t help but believe her; just the pain in her eyes was enough to convince him. But the Earth had been taken over and almost destroyed…it was mind boggling. If he wasn’t already predisposed to the unusual he would have had a hard time completely buying it.

“You were a prisoner?” he asked, instead of the hundreds of questions he had.

Tish nodded. “Me and my family, and Jack and the Doctor. It was hell.”

Her voice sounded dead, and Patrick couldn’t help but put his arm around her. She looked grateful for the comfort.

“But see,” she continued, “everyone in this room had something to do with the Resistance, even though none of you have any memory of it.”

“What?” This was another shock, although Patrick should have halfway expected it. Tish had told him this for a reason, and it should have occurred to him that he’d been involved in some way with what had gone on during that paradox year thing.

“Oh, not every CV Jack and Ianto received was from old Resistance members,” she hastened to say, “but they only chose those they knew of from that Year.” Her eyes went to where Parker Agnew and Margaux Reynard were chatting. “Agnew was one of the cell leaders in London. He may be an arse now but then…he saved hundreds of people from the Toclafane and ended up being captured and tortured by the Master. He didn’t give anything away, no matter what they did to him. I still dream about his screams.” She said it so matter-of-factly that it made Patrick shiver.

Tish indicated the Sûreté officer. “Margaux Reynard was a spy. She managed to get deep into the Master’s organisation and to leak a great deal of information to the Resistance before she was caught. Jack actually witnessed her execution.”

Patrick swallowed hard. He hadn’t been overly impressed with either person, but after hearing that, it was obvious that there was more to them than just appearances. “Del Rio and Colvert?” he asked.

His new friend sighed. “They were in Italy. Santiago had taken a job at one of the Master’s desalination plants near Rome, and Genevieve had run a halfway house, but they were both leaders of the Italian Resistance cell. They’d met during that Year, and when the paradox had rolled time backward…Genevieve lost the baby she’d been carrying. Not that they know that, of course.”

“That’s why you played matchmaker.”

“I was hoping there was still some spark there…my sister told me about them. She and her partner had stayed in the halfway house Genevieve was in charge of, and they’d truly liked the couple. Martha mourned when she realised that their baby had been lost to time.”

“You sister?”

The side of Tish’s mouth twitched upward. “Yep. Martha Jones, the woman who walked the Earth. She and Ianto saved this planet, and no one will ever know that.”

“Ianto? As in Ianto Jones?” Patrick asked, his mind boggling. Certainly, just from the way Jones carried himself Patrick guessed he was some sort of badass, but being told his possible new boss had saved the planet from a madman…it was a bit hard to take in, even knowing what he did about alien threats to the Earth.

“He accompanied Martha and protected her. Of course, Martha would say she protected him, but they really looked out for each other.” Tish shook her head.

“What about Gwynne?” he asked, taking the subject back to his fellow interviewees. He needed time to process what Tish was telling him, but he also needed the rest of the story so he could do just that.

“When the paradox machine was turned on, it disrupted the Rift here in Cardiff,” she answered. “Rift storms pretty much devastated the city. But Eoin had been out of the City Centre at the time, and managed to get back into Cardiff and rescue as many people as he could, smuggling them out past the Toclafane and into the Brecon Beacons, where they settled and helped out the Resistance whenever they could. Eoin was killed while out foraging for food, but he was a true hero to the people. There had been an impressive price on his head by the time the Toclafane had gotten to him.”

Patrick’s eyes tracked the others in the room, fitting his new knowledge into the observations he’d made before Tish had given him this information dump. It didn’t reconcile, but at the same time he couldn’t truthfully say that he knew any of them beyond this room. Agnew might actually have been a decent person, but his attitude was being coloured by what he thought Torchwood should be. Reynard’s coldness could be hiding someone who truly cared for others. As for del Rio and Colvert…okay, Patrick could see them as they were now and what they’d once been, but he wondered if that would have been true without Tish pointing it out to him. Gwynne seemed shallow and flirty, but that had to disguise the person that had been willing to travel back into the heart of a ruined Cardiff to save those he could.

“You haven’t asked me,” Tish interrupted his thoughts.

His attention came back to her. “Ask you what?”

“Ask me about what you did during that Year.”

No, he hadn’t. But did he really want to know? Was it best to let it lie, to pretend that nothing had happened simply because the memories of it had been erased?

“To be honest,” he admitted, “I’m not sure I want to ask.”

Tish rested her hand on his arm, although Patrick wasn’t sure if it was in comfort or something else. “I can understand. I’d give anything not to have to remember.”

“Why did you tell me all that?” Patrick wanted to know. He needed to understand, to be able to fit her story into how he saw the world, and it was damned hard.

A small part of him wondered if this was some other sort of test, but he dismissed it. Tish was absolutely serious. He could see it in her posture, and in the set of her chin. She needed him to believe her, and really if this was some sort of interview testing then he didn’t care. No one could be that good an actor; at least he didn’t think they could be.

“As I said, you guessed the reason I was here,” she answered. “And if anyone else figures it out, I’ll tell them as well. But you also seem to think you’ve failed something when you didn’t share with the rest of us, and you kinda didn’t. From what I understand there have been some trust issues in the team over the last year or so, and Jack and Ianto are trying to avoid that in the future. But you were also in the right: sharing personal stories that are technically classified usually isn’t a good idea.”

Patrick nodded in understanding. “I guess I can see Jones’ point of view, in a way. It was kinda like that when I was in the Army. I could talk to the soldiers in my platoon…well, except for the stuff about the Doctor, of course.” He smiled slightly at her. “But see, I knew those guys. We’d spilt blood and had guns aimed at us and I still remember the night we had to take cover in a ditch because we got caught in an ambush. It was easy to talk to them about things because we relied on each other.”

He took a deep breath. “These others,” he refrained from indicating the people in the room, not wanting to draw attention to himself, “we haven’t shared any of that. Sure, we have stuff in common but that doesn’t mean I should be talking about private things to them. I mean, there are times when I wish I could tell others about what my grandfather did and how he saved the world, and I know in my head that these people I can technically share with and they would completely get it, and I may have lost my chance to brag just a little because I could…” He raked a hand through his hair. “I guess I just don’t know what’s expected of me.”

Tish squeezed his hand. “Don’t worry about it too much, I don’t think any of us do.”

Patrick snorted. “I just can’t help but think it’s different sharing with a team than with a room of random strangers, no matter the fact that we did some scary shit in a world that doesn’t exist anymore. Maybe I’m overthinking things…”

“That’s just the way you are,” she answered. “You can’t help it.”

Their conversation was interrupted by Jones and Gwynne. “Ms Jones, I believe you’re next.”

Patrick couldn’t help grimacing by how excited Gwynne looked, and he had to wonder if the man had managed to keep flirting with Jones and how he’d reacted to it. He happened to meet Jones’ gaze, and a single eyebrow quirked upward as he turned back toward the interview office, Tish on his heels.

He leaned back in his chair, feeling just a small bit confident once more. Patrick was positive that he never really wanted to know what that other self of his had done to gain Torchwood’s attention during that paradox thing, because he had this feeling he’d be changed by that knowledge.

And that was the last thing he wanted. If they couldn’t accept him for who he was, then perhaps he didn’t need this job after all.

But he got the feeling that he’d gained a new friend that day, and Patrick couldn’t help but smile because of that.


Chapter Five






Comments

Interesting twist. Makes a lot of sense that they'd pick people who'd already been tested under pressure. But arg!! WE want to know what Patrick did ;)
Thanks! We might find out some time what Patrick did, but not now. It shall be a secret for the moment. *winks*

More up soon!
I think Patrick has the right idea here...knowing probably wouldn't make him happier...
Yep, probably not. *winks*

Thanks!
Oh, they'd all been in the resistance? Very sensible.

I kinda see why Patrick doesn't want to remember what happen to him during that year.
Thank you! :)

Some day Patrick might find out, and I don't think he'll be very happy...

More up soon!
Those were some interesting, and to anyone else, pretty unbelievable stories Tish shared with Patrick. I imagine it would be rather difficult in some cases to reconcile the people he's met here with what he was told. I wonder if he'll decide he wants to know what part he played. I'm kind of torn. I don't know if I'd really want to know, but on the other hand, not knowing might drive me crazy.

I'm glad he and Tish hit it off. Friends could be hard to come by in this line of work.
Oh yeah, if you hadn't had some sort of experience with the weird, you'd think Tish was on drugs or something.

They're gonna be friends for a while. More up soon! :)
I'm happy he and Tish hit it off, I think it would be good for both of them to be able to talk to someone.
Oh yes...everyone needs someone to talk to. And Patrick and Tish are on the way to becoming good friends. :)
I'm really starting to like Patrick. You have made me really curious to find out what he did during that year... I thought it was inspired to use that as a springboard for all recruitment potentials. :) I am loving this story :)
Some day Patrick may find out...we'll see. I'm so glad you're enjoying this, and there will be more up soon. :)
Wow.... revelations, exposures, and a wonderful bit of knowledge for Patrick to think about. Looking forward to the next one...now I gotta get out of here and get to work!
Patrick certainly has a lot to consider...if he gets the job, that is. *winks*

More up in a bit. :)
poor Patrick!
I'm glad Tish reassures him.
I would have liked to know what he did ...
I am glad that Ianto is wanted to reunite Del Rio and Mallard. it looks like it works! bravo. That Ianto plays matchmaker ... lol
Personally, I think Patrick was right not to share ... After all, apart from the fact he knows a priori, they are there for the same reason, he did not know the persons. There may be a spy ...
the famous eyebrow ... lol
I agree with Patrick, what good is knowledge, he is not / no longer this person.
So ... Now the famous question ... BUT WHEN will they meet Jack??
Tish and Patrick are going to be good friends.

Jack is in the next chapter...for a short while. That'll be up in a bit. :)
Oh, good stuff! I like Patrick and I really hope he gets picked, even though I still feel like an idiot for not figuring out what's what or who's who :-P

Anyway, I'm looking forward to the next chapter - and that big, bad CoE story!
Glad you like Patrick, he's fun to write. :)

More up shortly, and next week will start the Monster story!
Catching up again. Interesting twist on why they were chosen. On to chapter 5.
K
xx
At least you have the entire story done now! *grins*

Thanks, hon. :)