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Myfanwy 2

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Myfanwy 2

The Torchwood Murders - Chapter Three

The Torchwood Murders - Chapter Three
Author: Milady Dragon
Series: Dragon-Verse
Rating: PG-13
Pairing(s): Jack/Ianto; Gwen/Owen, Gwen/Rhys (mentioned)
Warnings: Language, violence
Spoilers: Up through Torchwood S1, E8, "They Keep Killing Suzie", and a very small one for the audio "Golden Age"
Disclaimer:  I don't own Torchwood, I would have treated it better.
Author's note: This is based on the episode "They Keep Killing Suzie", although adapted to the Dragon-Verse.  Once again, the dating is taken from several fan-made chronologies and from the TARDIS Index File. 

A/N2:  Hi, everyone!  Thanks to you all for the thoughts and prayers.  Mom is now settled in a long-term acute-care facility, and she's doing better although she still needs the respirator.  I should start posting again now, but not quite as quickly as before.  Thanks again, and I hope this was worth the wait.

Summary:  The team is called in to investigate a murder where someone has implicated Torchwood.  Can they follow the trail and find the murderer before there's another victim?




 

24 November 2007

 

Ianto entered the headquarters of Cardiff CID, carrying a thermos and a box holding what he considered the best pastries in the city.

He greeted the copper on desk duty with a slight smile.  “Is Detective Inspector Swanson in?” he asked politely.

“She is,” the man answered, “if those pastries are for general consumption.”

Ianto had learned one thing about dealing with the police: their love of sweets wasn’t just something the telly made up.  He always came prepared when visiting the police station.  “They are, except for the almond crème, which is for the detective.”

Once the pastries had been distributed, the dragon headed back toward Swanson’s desk, which was crammed between a coat rack and the stationary cupboard.  His quarry was seated there, looking up as he approached, her eyes on the wrapped pastry in his hand.  “You know how to treat a lady, Jones,” she quipped as he took the seat on the side of the desk next to the overflowing inbox. 

Ianto handed it over.  “I try, detective,” he answered lightly, using his now free hand to open the thermos and root around the pile of files for the coffee mug he’d seen as he was sitting.  He snagged it, made certain it was empty, then poured his own special brew into it.  The woman practically made grabby hands for it. 

Swanson sipped the coffee, and while her happy noises weren’t nearly as orgasmic as Jack’s often were, it was obvious that she was enjoying it immensely.   “I don’t know how you do it,” she said.  “No one makes coffee like you do.”

“It’s a gift.”

“It is.  And you usually bring it when you want something.”  She speared him with her dark, knowing eyes.  “Someone should have told you that attempting to bribe a police officer was a crime.”

Ianto met her gaze, quirking an eyebrow in her direction.  “But I only come to the station when I want something, and I always bring coffee.  So you can’t really judge it on that.”

Her eyes brightened.  “Very true, Jones.”  She sat back in her chair, bringing her pastry with her.  “I take it this has to do with those murders.”

“It does.”   The problem was, her desk, while a bit isolated from the rest in the large room, was still public, and there were certain things he didn’t want to risk getting out.  While he trusted her, it was the rest of the constabulary he wasn’t certain about.  

Something of his thoughts must have shown in his face, because Swanson nodded slightly.  “You want to go somewhere more private?”

“If you don’t mind.”

“Just so long as I can take my pastry and coffee.”

Ianto smirked.  “I would never dare to come between a detective inspector and her snack.”

Swanson laughed.  “I always knew you were smart, and I don’t just mean in the clothes department.”

Ianto sent the second eyebrow her way.  “Are you flirting with me, Detective?”

“God forbid,” she answered, although the laugh in her voice belied the mock horror on her face.

She stood, collected her coffee and pastry, then led the way toward the Chief Inspector’s office; it was empty, and she explained that DCI Henderson was on vacation.  Ianto had worked with the man extensively before he’d been promoted, and while the dragon did respect him, he didn’t feel a friendship with him that he did with Kathy Swanson.   Ianto had liked Swanson even when she’d been a sergeant, and had been glad when she’d gotten her detective’s badge.

Ianto stood aside and let her enter the office first; Swanson sat down in her bosses’ chair behind the desk, while the dragon shut the door behind them and took a seat in the chair opposite.  On the trip over he’d debated just how much he could tell her, but decided to take a wait and see attitude.  Ianto wanted to have her fully onside, but at the same time he didn’t want to overload her with information.  His instincts were to come clean, and tell her all about Torchwood; and while he always tried to follow his instincts – after what had happened with Lisa, that lesson had been reinforced – he didn’t want to put her in an untenable position with her superiors. 

And then there was Jack.  Ianto wasn’t sure if he’d understand if Ianto was totally honest with Swanson, but then he didn’t have the contact with the detective that Ianto did.  However, Jack did know that Ianto would have told her long ago that he was a dragon, if not for the fact that he didn’t want to make things hard for her. 

Well, he’d see what happened now.  Perhaps it was time for him to rethink that decision.

“So,” Swanson began, looking at him over the edge of her mug, “you don’t usually want this much privacy.  Don’t tell me the situation is all that bad.”

Ianto shook his head.  “It’s still early in the investigation, so I can’t say yet. “

“Then why all the cloak and dagger stuff?  Did you find out that you lot really are involved?” Her voice went sharp.

“As I said, it’s too early.”  He leaned back, resting his elbows on his chair and steepling his fingers in front of his face.  “Kathy, I never really asked you:  just what do you think Torchwood is?”

Swanson looked startled; whether it was by Ianto’s calling her by her first name or the nature of his question, the dragon couldn’t say.  She set her mug down, frowning.  “Well, there are all sorts of rumors out there – “

“Not rumors.  What do you think?”

“I think you guys are into really weird shit, stuff that normal people aren’t ready for,” she answered seriously.  “Torchwood’s been around for decades, and you don’t answer to anyone.  To a lot of people, that’s a scary thought.  To some, it’s comforting that you don’t let things get in your way.  Personally….for me, it’s a combination of both.  I’m just worried that, some day, you’re going to go too far and innocents are going to pay for it.  God, I don’t know that they haven’t already.”

Ianto nodded.  He guessed though that she knew more than she was saying, possibly out of a very real fear of sounding absurd.  “You wouldn’t be far wrong,” he admitted, “although we do answer to someone: the Queen.   So we’re not as lawless as you might think.”

“That’s good, although I can’t see Her Majesty really paying all that much attention to what you guys do.”

“You’d be surprised.”  Queen Elizabeth was one of the few people who knew what Ianto really was, and she often called him “her Welsh dragon” when he would speak to her.  “The Torchwood Institute was commissioned in 1879 by Queen Victoria to protect the Earth from outside threats and other phantasmagoria,” he went on.  “There have been several branches throughout that time, but right now there are only two left: Torchwood Two, in Scotland; and Torchwood Three, here in Cardiff.  Torchwood one was in London, but it was destroyed.  Torchwood Four disappeared, and one day may yet turn up.  Other branches have long been decommissioned.”  He thought about Jack’s tales about the Duchess, and how she’d run Torchwood India.  With her, Yvonne, Archie, and then Jack, the dragon often wondered if it was some sort of prerequisite that leaders of Torchwood had to be somewhat flamboyant.  “So, you see we’ve been doing this sort of thing for a very long time.”

Swanson was looking a little gobsmacked.  “When you came in here, I wasn’t expecting a history lesson!”

Ianto sighed.  “We’re investigating this crime, which may or may not have anything to do with Torchwood.  I thought you might want to know a bit more about us in order to gain a bit of context.”

“Sure, you’re right.  But I’m sure there’s a lot you can’t say.”

“There is, yes, although if it were entirely up to me, you’d know it all.   I trust you, Kathy.”

She looked pleased by that.  “So, just tell me what you can.  Though don’t think I missed that whole ‘outside threat and other phantasmagoria’ bit.  That just plays into more of the rumors I’ve heard, and a lot of the coppers here have lived in Cardiff most of their lives, and probably know even more.”

“Torchwood is the worst-kept secret in Cardiff.” Ianto rolled his eyes.   Many of the locals had been affected by the Rift in subtle ways, and Jack once said that that sort of tampering would have long-term effects.

Swanson laughed.  “Well, we know it exists…just not what it does exactly.”

“What we do would frighten most normal human beings into lifelong nightmares.  And please don’t think I’m exaggerating.  I’m not.”

The detective didn’t say anything; she looked like she was digesting that, and finding it unpalatable.   “So…about these murders…?”  she asked, changing the subject.

Ianto respected her even more for not prying.   “As of right now, we’re trying to find out if the victims had anything in common.  I’m going to need to get access to the crime scenes, to look around myself.”

“You usually don’t ask.”

“No...the captain usually doesn’t ask.  But, this time, he and I actually agree that it would be better to work with you as much as we can, rather than pissing off the entire Cardiff constabulary.”

“I think I should mark the calendar…”

He sighed.  “This is really the first time that I know of that our purposes are the same, Detective.  While I appreciate your frustration with Captain Harkness, we really need to be able to work together to keep anyone else from dying.”

Swanson looked suitably chastised.  “Fine.  I’ll have Davidson get you access to both victims’ properties.  Anything else?”

“I think it’s safe to say that your people are trying to figure out what that substance in the killer’s hair was.”

“Of course we are,” she snorted.  “Did you really think I’d give up that area of investigation?”

“No, but I was hoping you’d let us work on it.”

Her features changed.  “You know what it is, don’t you?”  She narrowed her eyes.  “Is that the reason you gave me that bit of history lesson?  Because it has something to do with you lot?”

Ianto had known that Swanson was just that good.  “In a way,” he admitted.  “Yes, we do know what that substance is.  Its scientific name is B67; we call it Retcon.”

“So it’s not something new out there on the streets?” When Ianto shook his head, she sighed.  “I don’t know if I should be relieved by that, or not.  So…just what is this Retcon?  And what does it have to do with Torchwood?  Because I know it has to, so don’t bother denying it.”

“I wasn’t about to,” the dragon answered calmly, not wanting to sound defensive.   “Retcon was developed by Torchwood One.  It’s an amnesia pill; taking it wipes selective memories and allows the implantation of false ones.”

“Wait.”  Swanson held up a hand to stop any further words, disbelief written all over her face.  “You’re telling me, you actually control peoples’ memories?”  Disbelief was replaced by anger.  “What gives you the bloody right to do something like that?”

“Detective,” Ianto said, letting her fury roll over him, “it’s only for last resort.  There are things out there that people just aren’t ready to cope with.  Knowing certain things would either drive them insane or to hurt themselves or others.  Would you rather we let a person who isn’t capable of dealing with the horrific just walk off and throw themselves into the bay?  Or be sectioned up at Providence Park?   Helping them forget is the best way, believe me.”

Her anger seemed to dissipate, just a little.  “Have you ever used it on my coppers?” she demanded.

Once again, Ianto was impressed; Swanson was more worried about her constables, and not herself.  “Yes,” he answered, deciding on truthfulness.   “According to our records, we’ve had to Retcon three of your people.  One of those men had been in a very traumatic situation that absolutely warranted it.  If we hadn’t, he wouldn’t be here today.   The other two…saw something they shouldn’t have.   There was no choice.”

“And you’ve done this to the entire city?”

“Gods and goddesses, no.  As I said…only as a last resort.”

 “Okay.  Let’s say I even begin to understand what you’re saying.  But, our killer had this in his hair.  Why?  What had he seen that made it a last resort for him?”

“We don’t know,” Ianto confessed.  “We can estimate the time of dosage from that hair, and then see if there was anyone in our records at that time.  The problem is, there have been situations when we’ve distributed Retcon, but there were no records.  Usually this means we were caught completely off-guard, and needed to use it without being able to take the time to make an adequate note of it.”

“Can someone counteract the effects of this stuff?”

“Certainly.  Objects can trigger the buried memories and bring them back to the surface.  It has to be a specific trigger object, however.”

“Could our killer have remembered whatever it was that you had to drug him up for?  That’s why he’s writing ‘Torchwood’ all over his crime scenes?”

“That’s entirely possible.  It’s one idea we’re looking in to.  But we can’t jump to conclusions without proof.”

Swanson rolled her eyes at that.  “Please.  I’m a cop.  I know all about evidence and due process.”

Ianto smiled at her.  “I know, Detective.”

“So, why tell me about this Retcon stuff?” she asked, examining him closely.   “You could have just hid this from me.  You didn’t have to share all that.”

“I know.  But I also knew you wouldn’t let things go, especially if you thought this was some sort of drug-related killing.  You’re an intelligent person, Detective.  I think you would have tried to figure it out, and come to the wrong conclusion since you don’t have the information we do.  And, I’m just selfish enough not to want to lose a friend, and that would have happened if you’d thought these murders were overtly connected to Torchwood, instead of possibly being something completely different.”

“And what do you think?” she pressed.  “What do you think all of this means?”

 The dragon shrugged.  “I have no idea.  I don’t even want to guess.  But I do know I want you on our side, and being honest is the best way to convince you we’re innocent in this, no matter what we find out.”

“You’re right.  Any more secrets would’ve made you look even worse.”  She sighed.  “All right.  I might not like this Retcon shit you guys created, but I can see why it would be used.   I’ll shut down the testing of what we got from that hair.  And I’ll get Davidson to give you access to the victims’ homes.  But you will keep me in the loop, as much as you can.   I want to catch this son of a bitch just as much as you guys do.”  She stood.  “And, I think you owe me a bit more of this Torchwood history at some point.  I’m not an idiot; I can guess a lot of it.  But it’s more than I really thought, and I have to admit I can almost understand Himself and his sense of entitlement.”

“I’ll do the best I can,” Ianto said, also standing.  “There really is more I want to explain, but it can wait.  After we get whoever the murderer is, I think I might have to let you in on a few things.”

 

 



Comments

happy to know oyur mum is in the recovery way!
Lovely update and I really like this friendship between Janto and Kathy!
Thanks, yes she is.

And I'm glad you liked the update! :)
Glad your Mum is doing better.

Loved the chapter, great convo between Ianto and Kathy
Thank you!

I'm glad you liked the chapter. :)
Ianto really did the right thing in being honest with Kathy. Great update!
So glad to hear your mom is settled and doing better. I pray that she continues to improve.

This update was well worth the wait.

I love seeing Ianto in action. His innate sense of the best way to finesse people into cooperating and to gain their trust is magical to watch. He is definitely a master of the art. He's also smart enough to know who he can and should trust with different information, like Detective Swanson.

There is no way Gwen could have even come close to handling the situation with the skill Ianto exhibited. She would have gone in all pompous, gotten into their faces and alienated everyone in the first two minutes.

I really like the way you write the Ianto/Kathy dynamic. It shows clearly their friendship and the respect they have for each other. Very nice!
Thank you! It's looking pretty good right now. *fingers crossed*

Ianto does know how to handle people, you're right. He's so good at it, people really don't notice. And you're also right...Gwen really couldn't. She really is more like Jack in that respect.

I'm really glad you like their friendship. I hadn't really seen it before now, so I'm glad it works. Thanks again!
Yes, I think he did too. Thanks!
Very glad to hear that things are settling out for your mother, at least a little.

Great installment - I always did like Kathy Swanson. :)
Thanks, so far..so good.

I'm glad you liked it. I really have always liked Swanson, and she does play a larger part in my universe. Thanks!
This is a wonderful view of Kathy and Ianto. I really like their dynamic. Can't wait to see how the whole scene plays out.

Also, I'm very glad to hear about your Mum. I'll keep on wishing and hoping for the best.
Hey good to have you back and with better news on your Mum.

Great chapter with Kathy and Ianto. I must find a way to put her in something more. Loved her with Jack in the original and this adds an extra dynamic to the story.
Look after yourself
K
xx
Hey, it's good to be back! Now to get back into the rhythm of writing! And Mom is doing better, thanks.

I'm glad you liked it. She really is a great character, it was always too bad she wasn't in the actual show more.

I will!

*hugs*
Glad you liked it! Just from the little time we got her on screen, I always thought Kathy would get along with Ianto.

Thanks, I really appreciate it. *hugs*
Glad to read your mum is well cared for and a bit better.

Love the friendship between Ianto and Swanson!
Thanks! She is, and we hope she keeps getting better.

Glad you like it! I do love both characters together. :)
happy to hear that your mom is getting better.

glad they had this talk. hire swanson now jack.
Thanks, she is.

LOL! Jack really does need to hire her, doesn't he? Although at this point Swanson might turn him down. *grins*
Great update. Love the interaction between Ianto and Kathy. Jack really should have hired her and not a certain PC!

Glad your Mum is getting better.
Glad you liked it! Yes, he should have...but I'm not sure Kathy would have necessarily accepted...LOL!

Thanks, she is. *hugs*
Great Chapter. I like Kathy Swanson it was a pity we didn't see more of her in the t.v. series. I am glad your mum is doing better.
I do love Kathy. I'm glad you like her in this.

And thanks, she is doing better. *hugs*
Sacred seducer!
I look forward to what will result from this sentence: "I ​​think I might have to share with you a few things."
Thank you! All I can say is, keep reading. :)
Great chapter
Thanks, hon!
Great chapter. It's nice to see Kathy in the loop.

Edited at 2013-07-03 06:52 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I do really like Kathy a lot. :)