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Chapter 10
By the time the rest of the team arrived, Ianto had more coffee and sandwiches waiting in the boardroom.

“Who are these people, Jack?” Gwen demanded through narrow eyes as she took her seat to the Captain’s left. She’d been annoyed that since Jack’s return, Ianto always occupied the seat to his right.

“Dr. Adam Michaels, Duncan MacLeod, and Joseph Dawson, meet the rest of my team – Dr. Owen Harper, Technical Analyst Toshiko Sato, and former Police Constable Gwen Cooper – soon to be Williams,” Jack said as he gestured around the table. Sitting back, he took a long sip of coffee before staring at his team. “MacLeod and Adam are Immortals of the Earth-born, sword wielding kind.” He eyed the team, surprised when they all just nodded. “Normally, that gets a much bigger reaction, which can only lead me to assume you know more than I imagined. So, kids, what do you know about Immortals – well aside from me?”

To everyone’s surprise, Gwen turned out to be the most knowledgeable after Jack and Ianto. “There was a case a few years ago,” she explained once she detailed her basic knowledge about Immortals, their Game, and the Watchers. “I saw a man take someone’s head in an alley near Bute Park, and then I blacked out. When I came to, there was no physical evidence that anything had happened. I convinced myself it was a hallucination, a dream or something. Once I joined Torchwood, I couldn’t resist. I looked up what happened to see if it could have been an alien.” She eyed Dawson, who was smirking at her. “Bloody hell, it was you lot,” she swore, shaking a finger at him. “You drugged me.”

“It’s what we do, ma’am,” Joe replied unapologetically. “We make sure people don’t find out about Immortals.”

“What is it with secret organisations drugging me?” Gwen demanded, glaring at the room in general then pointing at Jack. “He did it, too.”

“We’ve all wanted to one time or another,” Owen argued, popping a final bit of sandwich into his mouth. “I bet everyone who knows you – from your parents on to Rhys and that copper friend of yours – has fought the urge a time or two. God knows I have.”

“Oi, you son of a ...” Gwen began icily, only to be stopped by Jack’s restraining hand on her arm.

“Now, kids,” he warned, his congenial words belying his tone. “Play nice in front of the company.” He turned to Tosh and Owen. “Except for the good doctor here baiting Gwen, you two have been quiet. What do you know about Immortals so I know what I have to explain?”

“I’ve read the files,” Owen replied with a shrug, trying to appear nonchalant. “Probably not as completely as this lot,” he added, indicating the team. “But I know the basics – live forever unless you lose your head, don’t age, and lots of swords.”

“Succinctly if rudely explained,” Jack sighed, turning his attention to his technical analyst. “Toshiko?”

“I’ve read what we have and what UNIT has,” Tosh admitted, staring at Adam. “I might have also done some digging on my own,” she mentioned, almost pouting. “You’re the one who kept breaching my security system,” she finally accused, glaring at Methos while sounding both annoyed and impressed.

“Guilty,” Methos admitted, smiling his most disarming smile. “I’d apologise, but I’ve not recently had a challenge I’ve enjoyed more. You are very gifted, Toshiko,” he praised. “Could I perhaps make it up to you by showing you exactly how I did it?”

“Oh, that would be ... yes, thank you. I would be honoured,” Tosh enthused excitedly, while around the people exchanged confused glances. She decided it was best to explain. “Adam is the equivalent of a master hacker,” she told the others. “They don’t share their secrets – ever. It makes it easier to defend against their attacks. It’s a mark of high trust and respect that he’s offering.”

“Dear Lord, hacking has a feudal code,” Owen sighed, shaking his head. He then turned to his Captain. “Okay, so these are the guys who have been messing with Tosh’s systems. Why did you need Gwen and me? We could have done with some sleep.”

“Just for shits and giggles, Owen,” Jack retorted. “I’ve got nothing better to do, so I wanted some company.”

“Boy, you’re bitchy tonight,” the medic snarled back. “Didn’t have time for the Tea Boy to blow you?”

“Owen!” Gwen and Tosh gasped, each slapping at the medic, who yelped and tried to defend himself while Ianto blushed and looked away. Methos, MacLeod, and Joe exchanged bemused if horrified glances that these people were the planet’s primary defence against alien invasion.

“Enough!” Jack roared, looking at his team in disappointment. He’d thought they had gotten closer while he had been gone, but they still seemed incapable of respecting each other unless it was one on one. In a group, they were like toddlers. As they quieted under the intensity of their Captain’s gaze, Jack continued. “I’ve told you that the Twenty-First Century is when everything changes.” He glanced at the newcomers. “I can only tell you that Immortals like MacLeod and Adam will be a big part of that change. Don’t ask me how, because I can’t explain, but they will be. We need them on our side. I’d prefer that they be on the inside. So what do you say, gentleman?” he prompted. “Want to give joining Torchwood Three a trial run?”

There was a moment of stunned silence in the room. Gwen started to protest, but Jack held his hand up and looked at her, effectively silencing her. He knew she’d be on him later about his decision, but it was his call. It was also his call not to tell his team exactly who Methos was. Ianto would keep that to himself, and it wasn’t their secret to tell. Methos would share his story when and if the time was right.

“Come on guys,” he said jovially, using his best seductive tone. “You could all do with making an honest living.”


Methos was kicking himself. He really hadn’t seen Jack’s job offer coming. At the most, he’d figured the Captain would want them to consult on certain cases or would offer to send them pertinent data in exchange for certain services – probably the dangerous kind that would get most mortals killed.

At the other end of the table, he saw the doubt in MacLeod’s eyes. The Highlander just didn’t think this was the right thing for them. Methos knew they would fight about working for Torchwood, but he would win. It was evident from even some brief interactions that this team was fractured and almost dysfunctional. Based on Jack’s pronouncements, Torchwood was preparing the world for events that would change the human race and that Immortals would play a big part in, even if the annoying bastard would not tell them how or why. Methos was not about to trust his future or the fate of people he cared about to this lot.

“We’ll give it a try,” Methos told the Captain, ignoring the glare from MacLeod and the look of consternation from Joe. The Old Man deliberately did not look at Ianto Jones, knowing that he was lying to himself when he swore that his decision to keep them in Cardiff had nothing to do with protecting the young Welshman who in a different time and world had been his lover.

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