teachwriteslash: (iantomethos)
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Chapter 8
“Are you sure this is the place?” Dawson grumbled, looking around the nearly deserted Plass. “If this is some sort of wild goose chase, Old Man...” the Watcher looked irritated as he glared at Methos.

“We all saw the SUV disappear around here,” Mac said calmly, still making a face at the idea of a secret organisation with personalised transportation. “It means Torchwood has to be here. Still, this is the middle of the Plass.”

“As I said, Jack is not ...” Methos began, looking around curiously.

“Subtle. So you did,” Mac growled, shaking his head. “Why do I think that is going to end up being like saying you’re a tad over pensioner age?”

“No clue,” Methos said, clearly distracted. “Do you feel that?” he demanded, glancing at Mac. “It faded after we left the hospital, but here by the water tower it’s stronger.”

“That would be the Rift, Old Man,” an American voice announced from what seemed like nowhere.

Mac and Dawson looked around cautiously, hands automatically going to their weapons.

Methos shook his head. “You know better than to sneak up on armed people, Jack. It just gets you somewhat dead and creates a lot of questions. Show yourself, Harkness.”

Mac and Dawson took a surprised step back as a tall man in a period military coat seemed to appear from nowhere as he jumped off one of the stones near the water tower.

“Get’s them every time,” the mad said, flashing a grin towards Dawson and MacLeod. “Captain Jack Harkness. And who are you?”

Mac turned to glare at Methos. “Is he flirting with me?”

“Don’t take it personally – by that I mean do not let it inflate your ego,” Methos suggested. “Jack flirts with everything – male, female, alien, even robotic.”

“You’re one to talk, Old Man,” the Captain replied. “Plan to introduce us?”

“I’d actually hoped to avoid that for as long as possible,” Methos sighed in resignation. “Captain Jack Harkness, Director of Torchwood Cardiff this is Duncan MacLeod, my partner, and our good friend, Joseph Dawson.”

Barely acknowledging the other men, Jack had all his attention fixed on Methos. “And you’re going by Dr. Adam Michaels these days. You’re the one that’s been getting into my computer system and pissing off my technical analyst, which I should tell you is a very bad move. She is scary on good days.”

“She was a challenge,” Methos admitted, smiling cynically. “I’d love to meet her sometime.”

“I just bet,” Jack retorted, hands on his hips. “So, you came all the way to Cardiff from London, found us and stalked us at the hospital, then followed us back here. What is it the time?”

“Wait,” MacLeod looked annoyed. “You knew we were following you?”

Jack just rolled his eyes. “Of course we did, but potential end of the world and all that, we had bigger issues. I like to prioritise. Save the world and the fabric of time, make sure my team is okay, have a coffee, and then deal with annoying stalkers from my past.”

“What do you mean ‘end of the word,’ and ‘fabric of time’,” MacLeod demanded, his face growing dark. “What the hell is going on around here?”
“All in a day’s work, so you can see why I don’t have time for chit chat,” Jack retorted icily. “So, next time you’re planning to be in Cardiff, email me. We’ll have dinner. But for now ...”

“We need someplace to talk,” Methos stated, looking directly at Jack. “You told me once that we – meaning Immortals – are going to be part of it when everything changes. You wouldn’t tell me why, but since we can feel your ‘Rift’ as you call it, I think we need to have a long talk and not out here. Time to take us into that secret lair of yours, Harkness.”

Jack’s eyes narrowed. “When did I ever say I had a secret lair?” he demanded, thinking back on his numerous run-ins with Methos over the years.

“After the Beatles concert in 1963,” Methos replied quickly. “Let’s just say the witty banter about showing off secrets went a bit far, we were both a bit drunk, and we ended up finding other things to occupy ourselves.”

“Yeah,” Jack laughed then gave a fond smile. “I’d almost forgotten about that night. What did I say?”

“Something about the Batcave having nothing on where you worked,” Methos told him, laughing at the look of horror on Jack’s face. “We were talking about comic books at the time and you were actively trying to pull me,” he explained and then his expression grew solemn. “Look, the reminiscing is nice, but something is seriously wrong. It has to do with Harold Saxon, the Toclafane, and someone called the Doctor if that makes you more inclined to ...”

“Get on the slab,” Jack ordered all flirtation and foolery gone. He looked pale. He’d jumped back up onto the stones and was pointing to one. “We don’t need to have this conversation in the middle of the Plass.”

“Because four grown men standing on a stone wall isn’t going to attract attention?” MacLeod argued, looking around at the people milling about.

“It’s a perception filter masking a lift,” Jack explained, stepping onto it and kind of vanishing from their sight. They knew he was there, but they could not really see him.

Methos shrugged and joined Jack on the slab. Together, they helped Joe up. “Joining us, Highlander?” Methos called in a voice that was part teasing and part impatient.

“Old Man, you get me into the strangest situations,” Mac sighed, as he gracefully leapt up to join the others. He had to grab on to Methos to steady himself when the stone began to move. “Wait, if people can’t see this, won’t they fall in? It’s dangerous.”

Jack gaped at MacLeod. “Are you sure you’re not Welsh?”

When Mac snarled, Methos easily stepped between the two men. “Mac is Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod. He’s as Scottish as whiskey, and has as much bite.”

“In short, don’t poke the Highlander,” Dawson suggested, looking partly bemused and partly annoyed at the posturing the three other men were doing. “And play nicely,” he added. “I’ve been around these two too long not to use my cane or my gun if I’m annoyed enough.”

“Yes, sir,” Jack replied automatically, looking suitably chastened.

Beside him, Methos gave a low whistle as the lift descended and he got his first look at the Hub. “You weren’t kidding about the Batcave, Harkness.”

“Or maybe ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth,’ is a better analogy,” MacLeod suggested.

“No,” Joe gulped as a large shape flew in front of them. “I’d say ‘The Land Time Forgot’.”

Jack laughed, preening a bit over the expected reaction of visitors to the Hub. At least they weren’t clinging to him the way Gwen and Owen had on their first rides. He had self-control, but not that much. “Welcome to the Torchwood Hub, gentleman.”

When the Lift reached the bottom, the three immortals hopped off and MacLeod turned to offer a hand to Dawson, who kept looking around part in wonder and part in bemusement.

“Ah,” Jack said as another man approached. He didn’t notice the slight hitch in Methos’ breathing or the way the older Immortal schooled his features into an impassive mask. “Adam Michaels, Duncan MacLeod, Joseph Dawson – meet Ianto Jones, our general administrator. He runs this place better than I ever could, and he looks great in a suit.”

“Harassment, Jack,” Ianto sighed, before turning to their guests. “I’ve put some coffee on, but would anyone prefer tea?” At three indications of ‘no,’ Ianto glanced up and received a quick nod from Jack. He continued, “I’m afraid I need your weapons, gentleman. Civilians are not allowed in the Hub armed. I’ll secure them in our armoury until you leave.”

The three newcomers exchanged glances. Dawson moved first, handing over his side arm. “The sawed off shotgun under your jacket as well, please, Mr. Dawson,” Ianto said politely, indicating the scanning device in his hand.

Huffing, Dawson manoeuvred the bulkier weapon from under his coat and handed it to the young Welshman. “It’s just Dawson or Joe,” he added. “Mr. Dawson was my father.”

Behind him, Mac looked incredulous. “Joseph! How did you manage to get a sawed off shotgun? You didn’t bring that through customs? Did you?”

Smirking, Joe just glanced a Methos, who shrugged unrepentantly.

MacLeod was about to say something when Ianto approached him. “I’ll need your weapons as well, Mr. MacLeod.”

“Call me Mac,” the Highlander responded quickly. “I’m not giving up the katana,” he added, sounding ready for a battle of wills if it proved necessary.

Ianto glanced at Jack, who simply shrugged. “Let them keep their swords,” he told the younger man. “From what I know of them, they’re as likely to attack a mortal with one as you would be to root for England in any of those overpriced sporting events you watch.”

“You’re only trying to insult my national loyalties because Gwen isn’t here to back me up,” Ianto replied, before turning to scan Methos. “Christ,” he muttered. “He’s worse than Hart. Please tell me he’s not another psychotic ex.”

“Not like that,” Jack assured him, letting his hand rest briefly on Ianto’s shoulder before moving it. He turned to Methos. “I need you to give Ianto everything except your sword and one gun. You have my word as a friend, Old Man – you’re safe here. I sent the rest of my team home. It’s just me, Ianto, and you all. We’d hear anyone coming through that door long before they got to us.”

Methos seemed to consider Jack’s words, before nodding and handing over a stockpile of weapons ranging from a couple of pistols, to several knives, and even a garrotte. The ancient looked at his partner, who was eying him worriedly. “I’ve been unsettled.”

“So it would seem,” Mac replied, a slight edge to his voice.

Tension crackled through the room as Ianto collected the last of the weapons and moved to store them in the armoury.

“So,” Jack said loudly to break the tension, clapping hands together with a maniacal grin. “Who’s for a tour while Ianto sets up coffee in the conference room?”

Methos shook his head and laughed, moving to follow Jack, who was already engaged in animated discussion with Joe. He found himself held back by an irritated Highlander. “What the hell are we doing taking a tour?” the Scot demanded. “I thought we came for answers.”

“We’ll get them,” Methos assured his partner, giving him a fond smile. “We’re in Jack’s territory now. I threw him out of kilter telling him about Saxon and the rest. He needs to regain his equilibrium. Let him set the pace. Once he hears what I have to say, he’ll tell us what we need to know.” With that, he moved off to follow Joe and the Captain, leaving a sceptical MacLeod trailing in his wake.

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