milady_dragon (milady_dragon) wrote,
milady_dragon
milady_dragon

Surviving the Interview Process - Chapter Six

Surviving the Interview Process - Chapter SIx
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:  Welcome to the final chapter of this story.  Up next, as promised, is my Dragon-Verse version of "Children of Earth", called "The Breaking.  That should start posting tomorrow.

If you're interested in a PDF or Mobi version of this, visit my AO3 profile link under the Links section, and that should get you there.

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.




{C}

29 July 2008

Patrick found himself standing at attention at the man’s sharp tone. He opened his mouth to answer but Tish beat him to it.

“It was Patrick’s,” she volunteered, “but Eoin and I helped.”

“I picked the lock on the roof access door,” Gwynne said proudly. “And I helped lug the rocket up to the roof.”

The man’s eyebrow went up. “Is that what you’re calling the…device…that you launched at the dragon?”

Patrick didn’t have to see the cheeky grin that Gwynne was wearing in order to know it was there. “It went off like one, didn’t it?”

“A fire-extinguisher-powered missile,” Tish laughed. “Sure, it was a waste of Ianto’s coffee...”

“Which is a serious crime,” the man standing behind the guy in the coat groused. The Japanese woman elbowed him in the ribs, and his exclamation, “Tosh!” told Patrick her name.

Patrick did have to go along with the guy. That coffee had been amazing.

The leader – and Patrick had no doubt that this was Captain Jack Harkness, the head of Torchwood Cardiff – shifted enough to rest his hands on his hips, flipping his coat around to his back rather flamboyantly. “I still don’t understand why this seemed like a good idea to any of you.”

“Well,” Patrick spoke up, before his companions could condemn him anymore, “bullets weren’t working, and I really didn’t want it to be hurt more than necessary, so I wondered if a proverbial boot to the head would do the job. The coffee urn was the heaviest thing I could think of that was portable, and we used the desk chair to roll it up to the roof. The fire extinguisher…well, that was Tish’s idea, to give it a bit more of a punch.” If he was going down then he thought it only fair to take his companions in crime down with him, since they were both so quick to throw him under the bus, as it were.

Besides, Tish was their mole among the interviewees. There was a part of Patrick that took perverse pleasure in getting her into a bit of trouble.

He did have to wonder why she wasn’t on the actual team though. Patrick thought she’d do a fantastic job.

“So you thought beaning it over the head with a homemade rocket was the best decision that could be made?” Harkness was practically glaring at him.

Patrick felt as if he were being grilled by his old Army drill sergeant. “Yes Sir.”

“Even though you were told specifically to stay back from the fighting?”

Patrick shrugged.   “Well, we didn’t technically leave the building. So you could say we did obey the order…in a way.”

He risked a glance over to the group of four watching from the sidelines. Agnew was looking smug, while Reynard seemed to be amused. Both Colvert and del Rio appeared to be surprised at the whole thing.

Harkness’ eyes narrowed, and then…

He began to laugh.

Patrick was taken aback by the reaction. It was the last thing he’d been expecting.

“That really was brilliant,” the Captain chuckled. “And you were right…bullets weren’t working. But what you came up with…the three of you…I can honestly say it never would have occurred to me. Congratulations.”

Patrick felt himself relaxing despite his instinct to stay at attention. That hadn’t been the response he’d been expecting at all. “Thank you?” he said, his voice unintentionally making it a question.

He felt Tish put her arm around his shoulders, and heard Gwynne laughing beside him. A grin that Patrick knew had to be silly spread across his face.

Then he looked back at Harkness. “We didn’t hurt it too badly, did we?”

Harkness waved a hand dismissively.   “More surprise, but that was good enough. Although we now have a dragon that smells like coffee…” There was something in the man’s eyes that Patrick could have sworn was lust, but it couldn’t have been…

Could it?

“What do you plan on doing with it?” Agnew asked. “It’s a dangerous creature!”

Harkness turned to regard him, his expression going just this side of chilly. “And what do you suggest I do with him, Mr Agnew?”

Once again, someone quantified the dragon as a “he”; first Tish, and now Harkness. Patrick frowned, wondering if there was something they knew, some piece of information that no one else had.

He decided yes, they definitely did.

“It’s obvious,” Agnew answered, pulling himself up and straightening his shoulders, as if proud to be asked for his opinion, “there’s no way you can keep it captive, unless your base is bigger than I believe it to be. So there’s only one alternative –“

Patrick lost every feeling of goodwill he’d had toward the former Torchwood operative. “You can’t mean what I think you mean!” he exploded, stepping out from under Tish’s arm and glowering at Agnew. “You can’t be thinking about killing it!”

“That dragon has been a fixture in Cardiff for years,” Gwynne added angrily. “We’ve had rumours of it for a long time, and it’s never hurt anyone! Hell, we even had an American film crew come looking for it! It’s a symbol of Cardiff, and you’re touching it over my dead body!”

Agnew opened his mouth to answer, but Harkness cut him off. “Are you aware that Torchwood One had a dragon in custody?” His voice had levelled out, and Patrick frowned.

“No, I wasn’t,” the man said. “How do you know?”

“That doesn’t matter,” Harkness blew him off. “What does, is that Yvonne Hartman had her experimented on, until she went insane. Mister Agnew, we asked you to come to Cardiff in hopes that you would be different from your Torchwood One associates. I see that we were wrong, especially if you think killing an innocent, scared creature is a good idea.”

“There are things that are just too dangerous to let be,” Agnew argued, turning red in the face, outlining the terrible scar on his cheek. “You honestly don’t think that thing will just fly off and leave this city alone?”

“It has so far,” Gwynne commented.

“But it did finally attack! Do you even know why? And what makes you think it won’t do it again?”

“Enough!” Harkness snapped. The woman, Tosh, left her place behind her leader, and Patrick would have followed her movements if not for him being far more interested in what was going on in front of him. “First of all, it’s not your – or anyone not affiliated with Torchwood Cardiff – call to make. It’s ours. Now, let’s finish the interview process, shall we?” He suddenly went from anger to charming, and Patrick wondered if the man was always that mercurial.

“I want to talk with Delaware, Gwynne, and darling Tish first,” the Captain went on, giving Tish a wink.

Tish rolled her eyes, huffing in amusement. “That’s not going to get you anywhere, Jack,” she teased, putting her hands on her hips. “Do I have to tell Martha on you?”

“Heaven forbid!” Jack mock-gasped. He turned to the other four interviewees. “Lovely Ms Jones is a dear friend of mine,” he explained. “I asked her to do me a favour and come help us out, and she was glad to.”

Reynard laughed. “You mean she was a plant?” The French woman didn’t seem particularly bothered by it.

“She was indeed.” Harkness stepped forward, and took Tish’s hand. He kissed the back of it gallantly. “And she did an admirable job.”

“Thank you, Jack,” Tish grinned.

“I’m going to leave the rest of you with my colleagues,” Harkness went on. “This is Owen Harper –“

Doctor Owen Harper,” the man standing behind Harkness grumbled.

“And another very lovely lady, Dr Toshiko Sato,” Harkness finished, as if Harper hadn’t spoken at all.

“Tosh gets a title and I don’t,” Harper snarked.

The Japanese woman reappeared, four Styrofoam cups clustered in her long-fingered hands. “I thought we could have some coffee while we wait,” she said pleasantly, passing out the cups to the others.

“In the meantime,” Harkness said, “I want to speak to Delaware and Gwynne about their approach to taking down possible threats.” With that, he swept by, his long coat swirling about his legs.

Patrick wondered just why he was wearing that thing, when it was summer. Although he had to admit to himself that it was quite impressive.

He followed almost against his will. Harkness had a presence about him, and it really did remind Patrick of some of his former commanding officers. He guessed that the rank Harkness claimed was a true one, just from his vaguely military bearing.

And so, he went, and Harkness ushered them into the room where Jones had been performing his interviews. He plopped himself down in the chair behind the desk, propping his feet up on the desktop, and suddenly the man wasn’t so military after all.

Just how many sides were there to Captain Jack Harkness?

“Now,” he began, “I have a problem. I only need one person on my team, but you two have shown that you might just fit in. So…how do I choose?”

Gwynne smirked. “I really can’t take much credit for the rocket, Captain,” he answered honestly. “That was mostly all down to Patrick here.”

“I understand that,” Harkness said. Those blue eyes were looking at Patrick as if the Captain was trying to peer into his soul. “And I have to say it doesn’t surprise me, given who you are, Special Agent Delaware.”

Patrick actually bristled at that. “I’m not here because of who I happen to be related to –“

“No, you’re here on your own merit,” Harkness replied calmly in the face of Patrick’s irritation. “Although, don’t get me wrong…we can certainly use closer ties to some of the world’s other secret agencies.”

Gwynne stared at him as if reassessing what little he knew about Patrick. Then he winked, and Patrick felt a bit better.

“Of course, then there’s Mr Gwynne,” Harkness went on. “Having someone with contacts in the government is never a bad thing. You’re also Cardiff born and bred, which means you’re used to seeing weird shit happen on nearly a daily basis. You’ve investigated your fair share of Rift events.”

It was Patrick’s turn to reassess his perception of Eoin Gwynne. If Torchwood had been in Cardiff for generations, then of course there would be some people who might have an idea that the city wasn’t just the capitol city of Wales, that there were things going on that no one really knew about. He thought back on Gwynne’s comment about Torchwood being the ‘worst kept secret in Cardiff’ and had to consider that there could be something to that notion.

“You both also seem to have the same mentality I’m looking for,” Harkness continued. “You didn’t feel the need to go in guns blazing, like the others did.” He narrowed his eyes at Patrick. “Although that surprises me in your case, Patrick…may I call you Patrick?”

Patrick nodded.

“I understand that your speciality is in weaponry. I would have thought you would rely on that to approach a probable threat.”

Patrick really didn’t have anything to say about that; Harkness was right about him. “Usually,” he admitted, “but what I had on me wasn’t working for anyone else, so I had to improvise.”

“It was a damned good improvisation.”

Patrick tilted his head down in acknowledgement. He was pretty pleased by how it came out, himself. “I still couldn’t have done it without Gwynne and Tish.”

“Yeah, and Tish and I are gonna have a talk about that.” Harkness gave her a glare.

She simply smiled impishly, and didn’t say anything.

“But Mr Gwynne,” he took his booted feet down from the desk, swivelling in the chair enough in order to rest his clasped hands on the surface, “I did notice that you seemed to be flirting quite a bit with our Mr Jones.” Patrick didn’t like the look in his eyes at all, and suddenly felt sorry for his new partner in crime.

There was something in Gwynne’s expression…well, the only way Patrick could describe it was ‘fanboy-ish’, like the way his uncle got when he was talking about Captain America.   “Yeah, I couldn’t help myself. Mister Jones has a reputation in the Lord Mayor’s office, and I’ve seen him there a couple of times…I just couldn’t help myself. It was a pleasure to finally meet him in person.” The tips of the Welshman’s ears turned pink.

Patrick hid his snicker behind his hand. The last thing he wanted to do was fuel what looked to be an explosion from Harkness, judging from the thunderous expression growing on his face. He wondered why the idea of Gwynne flirting would cause that sort of reaction.

“Jack,” Tish warned.

“I don’t appreciate that sort of thing in my Torchwood,” Harkness growled. “We are a highly professional team and that sort of harassment is frowned upon.”

Gwynne paled suddenly, but before he could scramble to say something Tish was waggling a finger in Harkness’ direction. “Stop it, Jack.   There was no way Eoin could know that you and Ianto are together. Don’t scare him off like that with that jealous streak of yours.”

Harkness sat up straight. “I don’t get jealous!”

Tish coughed, the word ‘bullshit’ clearly audible. “Don’t let him get to you,” she told Gwynne. “He flirts all the time, he’s just bothered that you tried to poach his territory.”

Well, now that was interesting. It made Patrick think back on his interview with Jones, and he put this new information together with their discussion about how open Torchwood was. He immediately felt bad about accusing Jones of being against same-sex couples.

Still, it was funny seeing Gwynne looking as if he’d been caught with his hand in the cookie jar over his blatant flirting.

Gwynne seemed to recover quickly though. “Then I apologise, Captain Harkness,” he said sincerely. “I wasn’t aware that you and Mr Jones were a couple.”

Harkness looked mollified by that.

“As for who you should choose for the team,” Gwynne added, “if you don’t mind me saying it, you should really go with Patrick here. He came up with the idea of the rocket, and yet he still wants to pass the acclaim around.”

“Excuse me?” Patrick exclaimed.

“Well, it’s true. Besides, even if I don’t get onto the team, I can still work with Torchwood on occasion.   You won’t bruise my ego if I’m not hired.” He shrugged. “Well, not much anyway. I’m not saying I don’t want the job, but I think the best man for it is…you.”

Patrick was touched. “I think I need to take you out for a drink.”

Gwynne – Eoin – grinned. “Just remember I don’t put out on the first date.”

He rolled his eyes, laughing. “Sorry friend, you’re not my type.”

“You mean handsome and sexy?”

Harkness was laughing as well. “Alright, you two.” He stood up, holding his hand out. “Patrick Delaware, welcome to Torchwood. Don’t make me regret this decision.”

Patrick shook on it. He certainly hoped that he wouldn’t do anything of the sort.

**********

Patrick made it back to the hotel, tired down to his bones and slightly drunk.

He stripped his tie off, and then removed his gun from its holster and set it onto the bedside table, along with his phone. Toeing off his shoes he collapsed onto the bed, sighing mightily and almost too tired to move anymore.

But there was one more thing he needed to do.

Groaning, he sat back up and collected his phone. He dialled a very familiar number, slumping back onto the mattress while it rang.

“Did you get the job?”

Patrick was too tired to roll his eyes at the familiar tone. “You set me up, Granddad.”

He’d had plenty of time to think while waiting for his new team to clear away the four others who didn’t make the cut. When they’d come out of the office, Patrick had been surprised to see all four asleep in various positions, while Tish had been mad and had accused Harkness – Jack – of ruining her matchmaking efforts. Patrick had received a crash course in Torchwood’s amnesia pills from the rather acerbic Owen Harper while Jack and a returned Ianto Jones had bundled the four up in the van.   Harper and Jones had then driven them away, Jack explaining that they’d end up on their flights home, with no idea of how they’d gotten there; except for Agnew, who was going to be put on the next train to London.

Patrick wasn’t sad to see that bastard go.

Then he’d been taken out to lunch to celebrate, and if he’d been a bit leery of the beer he’d been given, well he thought he had a good reason to be.

They let Eoin keep his memories, which was a good thing in Patrick’s opinion. He knew he’d found a good friend in the Welshman, and hoped to get to know him and Tish better. Unfortunately Tish lived in London with her family, but that didn’t mean they couldn’t call each other.

It had been during a visit to yet another bar – or pub as he found out was the correct term – that Patrick had come to the realisation of just how his resume had gotten to Torchwood, and Jones had admitted that it hadn’t come from his boss at the FBI.

There was laughter over the line, made a bit tinny by distance. “Took you long enough to figure that out,” his Granddad Canton answered.  

“You could have clued me in before I made a fool out of myself.”

“And make it easy? Since when have I ever done that, Patrick?”

He had a point. Canton Everett Delaware III had a habit of keeping things pretty close to the chest.

“Well, you’ll be happy to know I’ve been hired.   I get to see the base in the morning.”

“Good. It’s a much better place for you to be than the FBI.”

“You could have just asked Uncle Phil to hire me.”

“And give up my goal of having family in every major alien-hunting agency on the planet?”

Patrick barked a laugh. “You still have a couple to go.”

“That’s what great-grandkids are for.”

Patrick stifled his sigh. He knew that his entire family wished that he’d find a nice girl to settle down and have children with, since it appeared as if his Uncle Phil wasn’t going to oblige. He seriously doubted this new job would lend itself to that, either.

“I’m gonna go to sleep, Granddad. I’m exhausted and we went on a pub crawl to celebrate me getting hired.”

He didn’t mention the dragon. He’d asked Jones and Jack about it, but both of them looked cagey and changed the subject. Patrick really hoped that they’d let it go.

Granddad Canton laughed again. “Go to bed and I’ll share the good news. Call back when you know that you’re going to do with your apartment in DC.”

“Will do.” Jones had mentioned a moving allowance, and Patrick planned on going hunting for a new place as soon as he could. While the hotel room was nice, he really wanted his own space. Being in a strange place did things to his situational awareness. “Tell Mom and Dad I’ll call them tomorrow, okay?”

“Sure will, Patrick. Talk to you later, son.”

“Bye, Granddad.”

Patrick hung up, and flung his phone back onto the side table. With a deep sigh, he curled up and decided that anything else he needed to think about could wait.

Right now, even his excitement about a new chapter in his life beginning could keep him awake.

His last thought before sleep took him, Patrick wondered just exactly what he’d gotten himself in to…

Tags: au, dragon-verse, surviving the interview process, torchwood
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