Day One, Take 2 - Part 1
Inspired by interactions in the Hotel California
Panfandom RPG, this is a joint project between two women who adored the idea of Jack recruiting Buffy to Torchwood. Perhaps they adored it a little too much, but that remains to be seen.Title:
So Buffy Met Jack...Authors:
Amy & SarahCrossover: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
series finales and Torchwood
Series 2 / Doctor Who
Everything is owned by Joss/Fox and Russell/BBC!Summary:
After spending a few weeks trapped in an extratemporal holding cell together, Captain Jack Harkness offered Buffy Summers a job at Torchwood. And how could she ever turn down an offer like that?DAY ONE, TAKE 2 ; part 1
Buffy Summers had never liked rain. She was a California Girl, born and raised, and enjoyed sun, long walks on the beach, and being able to wear whatever sort of clothing she chose and count on the weather for cooperation.
She could see that this was not going to be the case in Cardiff.
She'd gotten off her plane and stepped outside to be greeted by soaked jeans and squishy boots. She didn't think designer boots were supposed
to squish, and so she contemplated giving Jack a bill to pay for replacements, but he'd probably just flirt his way out of it. It would get her back into a good mood though, so might be worth a try.
First stop had been the tiny apartment the New Council had found for her and was actually going to pay for, as part of her "retirement" package. Not officially retired, of course, she'd still be on call for apocalypses and local Europe weirdness that needed professional backup, but for all intents and purposes, she was now fully employed by the Torchwood Institute. The thought made her perk right up.
The rain had stopped when she left her apartment, so, being used to Ohio weather where stopped rain stayed stopped, she didn't take an umbrella with her. Big mistake. Halfway to her new place of employment, the skies opened up and laughed at her. She was sure she looked like a drowned rat when she stepped into the little office that was supposed to cater to tourists. A drowned rat in designer clothing who was ready to hop a plane back to the States.
Jack had better have been telling the truth about that Coffee God.
Ianto Jones was standing at his counter in the Mermaid Quay tourist office, absently flipping through an old magazine, when she entered. He looked up when he heard the door open. Jack hadn't really told him what to expect, per se. Their leader had disappeared mysteriously a short time before and reappeared equally mysteriously a couple of weeks after that. It wasn't that Ianto didn't believe his report about being abducted into an extratemporal holding cell, along with other people from throughout time and, apparently, space... they'd encountered far stranger things. It was just a little shocking for Jack to then add "Oh yeah, and I hired someone." Jack was the boss, he could hire whomever he wanted to. If he wanted to hire some American woman he met in an extratemporal prison, that was entirely his prerogative. It was just... well, it had been Jack
that had been dragging his feet about finding people to fill the vacant positions that had belonged to the fallen Tosh and Owen. And now? The mood he came back from his abduction in, you'd think he'd been on holiday.
Ianto straightened up as Buffy approached the counter. He was about to greet her, but realized that Jack hadn't even mentioned her name to them. "You must be the new recruit," he said diplomatically.
"That's me," Buffy answered with a smile, then cringed as she squished a little more. "I'm kinda drippy everywhere, sorry," she apologized, looking down at the small puddle quickly forming around her on the carpeted floor. "Not quite used to Cardiff's weather mood swings yet."
At least her leather jacket had offered a little protection from the downpour, so her shirt underneath was only slightly damp. She was ready to count any blessings at that point -- the office had some good air conditioning, and she only imagined it would get worse in the underground
base the good Captain was so fond of.
Speaking of... Ooh, desk boy must be the boyfriend
! That brought out a smile. "Ianto Jones, right?" she asked brightly, holding out a damp hand. "I'm Buffy Summers."
He peered wordlessly and slightly distastefully over the counter when she mentioned the dripping, then frowned ever so slightly when she addressed him by name. First of all, how did she know him by sight
? Second of all... Buffy
? Was that short for something? He didn't ask.
"Of course," he said, shaking her hand. He pressed the button under the counter that locked the Tourist Office door and opened the secret door in the wall. "It's just this way," he told her, stepping forward and standing to the side of the opening in the wall so she could precede him.
Buffy's grin widened a little as the nifty 'secret passage' was revealed and headed right inside, ready to see what Jack had so avidly described during their days stuck in that way too elegant hotel from hell. They headed down a hall and then into an elevator; everything looked old and... Europey. Not like old pretty Europe, but new grungy Europe. She liked it.
While the elevator took them down, she turned a smile on Ianto and said, "By the way, secret underground base? So
cool. Much better than a castle in Scotland, in my opinion."
? What was she talking
about? He gave her the small, tight smile he used on most people when he was being polite. "Yes, it's much easier to keep things a secret when they're buried under the city," he agreed.
Ooh, she knew that smile. That was the kind of smile Giles wore around the mini-Slayers when they were getting on his nerves but he was still trying to be polite. It had to be a British thing. With Welsh relatives.
The elevator came to a stop before she could think of something not-annoying-American-y, and then there was the giant rolling door thing Jack had mentioned... And then whoa. She walked forward, her boots clomping on the stone and grating, and grinned. Glancing around the massive Hub, taking in all the lights and the water and grime that really was kinda charming, she saw a bit of movement up in a glassed-off office. Aha! "Jack Harkness, get your time-traveling butt down here!" she yelled with a laugh, hands on her hips as she waited for her new 'employer'.
Jack laughed happily as he jogged down from his office. He noticed Ianto standing behind her, the expression on his face telling Jack that he really was doing his level-best not to roll his eyes.
"Gwen!" Jack shouted to get his second-in-command's attention from where she was working at her computer, before giving Buffy a huge hug.
Buffy returned the enthusiastic hug, absolutely ecstatic at being reunited with someone who had quickly become one of her best friends, then tried to give a good first impression as she met his other team member. She was fairly certain she could have done better if she hadn't still been dripping.
"Welcome to Cardiff," he said brightly. "You've met Ianto," he confirmed. He gestured towards the brunette that approached the group. "This is Gwen Cooper." He looked between Gwen and Ianto. "This is Buffy, the Vampire Slayer."
Giving Gwen a little wave, she was about to say something that hopefully wasn't too 'stupid American' when a swooshing noise came from overhead and she glanced up... "You really
do have a pet pterodactyl!" she exclaimed, absolutely beaming at Jack in excitement. "And
a secret underground base and cute personal Coffee God! I am so glad I changed careers."
Jack had to actively suppress a smile as Buffy babbled and he caught Ianto's eyes just above and behind her head - eyes that moved quickly from a sort of startled mortification into promising future retribution of some sort.
Ianto cleared his throat as he stepped towards his work station. "So. Vampire Slayer. Is that hyphenated?" Jack shot him a look. "For her personnel record," he answered dryly.
Buffy was still smiling as she glanced at Ianto at a very neat looking computer setup. Even the Council didn't have stuff that looked that high-tech, though, really, most of their stuff was magic-enhanced, so it didn't really have to be the newest and shiniest. "No hyphen," she answered, ignoring the feeling of 'huh?' coming from the room. "Just lots of capitals. And a 'the', don't forget the 'the'." It was very important, she had earned
Gwen, who had been willing to accept aliens and rifts in time and space, was apparently not so easily accepting of the undead, even after having worked with a dead man for a period of time. "When you say vampire
," she started in a slow, heavily accented voice, "you don't mean those people who go around all in black clothes listening to strange music, do you?"
Jack was watching Gwen try to wrap her mind around the whole vampire thing when Ianto answered.
"I'll just put 'Summers'," he said tightly, taking some papers out of a drawer.
Jack turned around. "Aw, she already told you her last name? I was looking forward to signing off on Buffy The Vampire Slayer's personnel sheet."
Ianto didn't favour that with a glance, but merely continued what he was doing, so Jack returned his attention to Gwen.
"She means vampires
," he clarified. "Undead bloodsuckers of legend. She used to live on the Mouth of Hell. This sort of thing came up there the way that aliens come up here."
"Probably more," Buffy agreed with a nod, watching the other woman frown and stuggle with the concept. "We did have 12 cemeteries, and it was kinda the Demon Vacation Spot."
Gwen continued her frowning and crossed her arms, as if that would help her think better. "And they killed
people, yes? That's what vampires do, right? Kill people, or make other... vampires," she ended dully, feeling ever so stupid for even having the conversation.
Buffy couldn't help the chuckle that escaped as she shoved her hands into her jacket's pockets. "Yep, kill people, make more vamps, and try to end the world," she said brightly, like she was talking about a pretty garden and not evil undead things. "That's pretty much their MO."
"And how don't other people know
about this?" Gwen pressed, thinking about the spaceships over London and the disaster at Canary Wharf. Coverups maybe?
Ianto snorted from behind his paperwork. "They said Canary Wharf was destroyed by a gas leak, and people believed it. Even with a Cyberman in every home and Daleks raining death over half of London. Those, incidentally, were mass hallucinations, in case you didn't get the memo."
Jack rasied an eyebrow. Ianto was in quite a mood this morning, though he had a point. "I expect the vampires didn't routinely kill large numbers of people at the same time," he said, looking to Buffy for confirmation. "It wouldn't be hard to construct a cover up for a somewhat higher than the national average mortality rate."
Buffy lost a bit of her cheer at Ianto's mood, as well as the subject matter at hand. They'd followed the news of what had happened at Canary Wharf, and one of the mini-Slayers had lost someone in the disaster. Even across an ocean, they paid attention when the world was threatened, and they all had respect for their fellow fighters who were just trying to keep it safe.
"There was usually at least one mass killing a month, when some Big Bad rolled into town, much as we tried to stop it in time," she said in a serious tone, talking shop now and not even trying a little bit to show off. "The little stuff was explained by people falling on barbecue forks or gangs on PCP. The local cops weren't the brightest, and people in Sunnydale were pretty good at ignoring the bump in the nights."
Gwen, too, had sobered even more at Ianto's words, her quest for answers and understanding dimming a bit until Buffy mentioned something that caught her attention. "Sunnydale?" she repeated with a look of confusion. "I've heard that name before... Something about a... sinkhole?"
"Cover story," Ianto said flatly.
Jack gave him a sterner glance, but Ianto was still looking down at his work... though Jack suspected that didn't mean he didn't see it.
"Everyone is pretty good at ignoring things that go bump in the night. It's how they get through
the night," Jack said, giving Buffy's shoulder a squeeze.
Buffy set her hand on Jack's for a moment, meeting his gaze and once again feeling so very grateful for having met him in the Hellton. Someone who understood and knew her and didn't expect everything to be perfect... She just hoped things stayed as wonderful as they had started.
"So," she started, forcing light back into her voice and a smile onto her face, "are you gonna show me around your humble abode or what? I had to hear about it for weeks and now you keep me stranded in the lobby
? So unfair."
Jack grinned. "You have to admit," he said, spreading his arms from emphasis, "the lobby is pretty impressive." He looked over at Gwen. "Would you please give Buffy the VIP guided tour?" he asked politely. He turned and looked at Ianto, who was bent studiously over his work. "Can I talk to you for a second?" he asked equally politely, though it was very slightly strained this time. He headed for his office without waiting for a reply. Ianto glanced up, his eyes lighting just briefly on Buffy and Gwen before finding Jack's retreating back. He put down his pen and pushed away from his desk, heading up the small staircase a couple of feet behind Jack.
Gwen watched Jack and Ianto head off with a slightly concerned frown before turning to Buffy. "Right then, tour time, yes?" she said with a broad smile, the charming gap between her front teeth seeming to widen with the grin. "Showing you all the dark corners and hidden secrets of the Hub."
Buffy snorted and glanced up at Jack's office. "I'm surprised it isn't 'dark secret make-out' corners with Jack," she joked in that way that only people who really knew
Gwen laughed and decided she liked their new teammate. A bit odd, and very American, but Jack liked her and that was enough for Gwen. "Oh, he has some of those, too," she told Buffy with comically wide eyes. "Careful wandering round this place on your own in the middle of the night when you know Jack and Ianto are both still here."
Buffy shook her head with a smirk. "And they say there's no danger in the workplace," she mused, then shared a laugh with Gwen before setting off to begin the tour.