sam_storyteller: (Crossover Fic)
sam_storyteller ([personal profile] sam_storyteller) wrote2005-07-05 11:36
Entry tags:

Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodies (SGA/Torchwood)

Title: Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodies, or, A Humourous Interlude Between Epics
Rating: PG
Summary: Ianto neglected to introduce himself as he informed the senior staff that Atlantis was now under the jurisdiction of Torchwood, whatever Torchwood is. Set during S1, pre-Siege.
Warnings: None.
Notes: Torchwood/SGA crossover. This could be a whole AU where Torchwood takes over command of Atlantis, except I'm not a masochist.

Now Available on AO3.

Originally posted 10/3/2008.

[livejournal.com profile] reena_jenkins has done a podfic of this fic!

***

"So let me get this straight," Captain Jack Harkness says, and it's evident that this is a man who is clinging by well-trimmed fingernails to his self-control. "You went all the way across the galaxy, sealed yourself off from your homeworld, woke up the Wraith, began randomly leaping from planet to planet without decontam or formalised diplomatic processes in place, instigated acts of wartime imprisonment and aggression contrary to the Geneva Conventions, and didn't actually bring any coffee beans."

When you put it like that it really does make Rodney wonder why he followed any orders Weir ever gave.

"Most of that wasn't on purpose," Sheppard points out.

"Actually," and oh, Sheppard, please don't talk to Harkness again, "of the list of six things I just made, five of them were intentional. Assuming the coffee beans didn't get bailed into the ether mid-gate. Ianto!"

None of them are sure what this word means until a dark-haired man appears in the doorway, carrying a tray. Earlier, said dark-haired man neglected to introduce himself as he handcuffed them all to their chairs in the conference room and informed the senior staff meeting that Atlantis was now under the jurisdiction of Torchwood, whatever Torchwood is.

"Just coming, Jack," he says, lips quirking slightly. There are several steaming mugs on the tray. It smells like fresh, delicious coffee. Harkness raises his eyebrows.

"I thought you said they have no coffee beans," he says.

"They don't," Ianto replies, and for a stone-faced bastard he manages to get a lot of emotion into the slide of an eyebrow and the quirk of a lip. He and Sheppard oughta get along well. "They do, however, have a chemistry lab."

"You made coffee in the chemistry lab?" Rodney asks, forgetting that he's the only one currently not handcuffed to a chair, which is kind of insulting when you think about it actually. Like he couldn't subdue them and -- well, or make his escape, and -- well, he could do something, if he wanted to.

"Yes," Ianto says mildly.

"That's genius! Why didn't we think of that?" he demands, turning to Sheppard as Ianto puts coffee mugs in front of each member of the senior staff.

"Because concentrating the instant enough to extract flavour oils and create the proper pH would waste your stores, I imagine," Ianto says smoothly, and Jack Harkness has stopped being the threat for the moment because here, here is a dangerous man. He brings coffee to people who are shackled and can't drink it. He might even be a sadist.

"You wasted our coffee," Sheppard says.

"You've suffered considerable casualties," Harkness observes. "Wasted casualties, really, all things considered. Wasted people. There's no craftsmanship anymore, Ianto."

"I'm sure I couldn't say," Ianto replies affably. "Sandwiches for our prisoners, sir?"

"Yeah, fine," Jack waves a hand and the dangerous coffee-brewing sadist vanishes into the corridor. And hey, why is the corridor empty, why are there not Marines crawling all over to rescue them?

"Not to belittle your command style, Dr. Weir, Major Sheppard, but I'm pretty sure a crack team of five or six fast-moving chimpanzees could take this place from the inside," Harkness continues. "And we're a lot smarter than chimpanzees, Ianto and Gwen and me. Cuter too. Although I can't say that I mind the view from Atlantis. Did you hand-pick the hot ones?" he asks Weir, gesturing at Teyla and Sheppard. "No, don't answer that. Our little secret."

"You can't possibly think you'll get away with this," Weir growls.

"Well, that's the thing, I work for Torchwood," Harkness replies with a sharklike smile. "We're sort of...outside the government. Beyond the police, if you like."

"I'm guessing you're not faster than the Marines, though," Sheppard says.

"Jesus, will you shut up?" Rodney snaps.

"I'll take you up on that thesis later," Harkness says easily, lewdly. "My point is that we don't actually have any accountability. Much like you. And I think the phrase I'm looking for here is -- "

"Quis custodiet ipsos custodies," and Ianto the Sadist is back. He has sandwiches. He also has a dark-haired woman at his elbow, not one of the Atlantis people.

"That's right. Who watches the watchers," Harkness continues. "The answer, of course, is that the watchers watch each other."

"Turkey or tuna?" Ianto asks Sheppard.

"Go to hell."

Ianto lifts his eyebrows and moves on. "Dr. McKay? Would you care for Major Sheppard's sandwich as well as your own? I'm told you're hypoglycemic."

Rodney revises his opinion of Ianto drastically.

"Ianto, why isn't he handcuffed?" the dark-haired woman, probably Gwen, asks. Rodney gives her a murderous look.

"That's Dr. McKay," Ianto says, as if this ought to explain everything.

"You have a fan, Doctor," Harkness says, with the same toothy grin, the one that says I'm only smiling because it'll make it easier to bite you later.

"Thank you," Rodney says to Ianto.

"My pleasure, Dr. McKay."

"See, Torchwood, we're not really what you'd call advanced or anything. We're scavengers," Harkness is holding forth now, and there's some kind of charisma about him that keeps anyone from interrupting. "We grab whatever falls to Earth, study it, lock it up if it needs a good locking-up, feed it if it's hungry, kill it if it's dangerous. Not like the SGC, with its gorgeous uniforms and stargates and all that hot para-military action. Oh, we've got our own Stargate, down in the basement, but we don't use it much. Seems like cheating, really."

The sandwich has fresh lettuce on it. Rodney looks up at Ianto in amazement.

"But scavenging, you hear things, you learn things. Things about Atlantis. Things about a band of soldiers who go where they please and do what they please because they've got..." Harkness hefts a P-90, apparently liberated from a Marine somewhere. "The technology of the Ancients, and someone who knows how to use it."

He aims the P-90 at Sheppard, who looks back lazily; the safety is on, after all.

"And, you know, Cardiff's been quiet lately -- "

"You're based out of Cardiff?" Beckett asks incredulously, but Harkness steamrollers over him.

" -- and I get bored. Plus I have to keep the kids busy or they get into trouble."

The dark-haired woman smiles. It's not a friendly smile.

"Oh, I don't think I introduced them properly. This is Gwen Cooper, she's a police constable seconded to me, she's my right-hand. And that's Ianto Jones, he's my secretary."

"Your secretary," Sheppard repeats.

"Why, did he forget to ask how you like your coffee?"

"He disarmed us," Teyla says. "He stun-gunned Sheppard."

"He does that," Harkness admits. Nobody wants to say what everyone's thinking: Atlantis just fell to a police constable, a secretary, and a metrosexual.

"Is this going anywhere, anytime soon?" Rodney feels compelled to ask. He has a reputation to maintain.

"I suppose the real gist of what I'm saying here," Harkness drawls, setting the gun down, "is that Atlantis is getting a little uppity, and it seems to have fallen to Torchwood to remind you all that while you might not feel very accountable to anyone, this far from home, you are always accountable to someone. Now you belong to Torchwood, and isn't that a reassuring thought?"

"What is Torchwood?" Teyla asks.

"Oh. We are," Harkness replies. "Gwen and Ianto and me. We're Torchwood. Well, and Owen and Tosh, we left them behind, someone had to hack your iris from the other end. Man, if I had brought a couple dozen UNIT guys I could probably be emperor here, huh? Ianto, you want to be my grand vizier?"

"Gwen can," Ianto says carelessly.

"Anyway. Don't worry, I don't have any delusions of or aspirations to the grandeur of ruling the City of the Ancients," Harkness declares. "In fact, I'm going to pull my people out and leave you in peace, more or less. Major, you look like a man who appreciates bondage, so please explain to them how all this is just a warning, given out of love. A demonstration. Can you do that for me, Major Sheppard?"

"If he can't, I bet Dr. McKay can," Gwen says, and winks at him. Rodney isn't sure what that's meant to imply.

"Just remember that Torchwood is watching you, and we three managed to breach your defences and down your base in about the time it normally takes Ianto here to make a mocha," Harkness says. "Behave, kiddies, or Daddy's going to have to spank you again."

He sweeps out. Gwen follows him, but Ianto remains.

"I am sorry," he says. "I know you'd probably like to send some messages home, but our power source is rather -- difficult to use. At any rate, all this was just the Captain, enjoying putting on a show. I'm sure we'll be back in a few weeks to check up on you; I'll bring you some coffee beans if you like."

"How reassuring," Weir says sharply.

"Isn't it?" Ianto asks, with a vague smile and the air of someone holding the leash on a large, docile dog. "Your handcuffs will open in -- " he consults a stopwatch in his pocket. " -- five minutes, thirty seconds. The doors will unlock twenty minutes later. I suggest you use the interim time to enjoy your coffee and sandwiches. Good day."

The room is silent after the door locks, except for the sound of McKay sipping his coffee and the much louder, more annoying sound of him being incredibly smug.

***

They watch on the gateroom camera-playback as the trio from Torchwood spreads out, the Sadist Secretary walking up to the Gate itself while the police officer stands with Harkness at the dial console. They can see the Captain bark something at Jones, and then grin at Jones' reply and join him at the Gate. Jones offers him a pen, and the Captain scrawls something on the paper that Jones has mounted on the edge of the gate with packing tape.

Sheppard pauses the playback and tosses the paper, recovered from the Gate, onto the table. It reads one word, well, almost a word:

PWNED

followed by

DR. MCKAY: and a series of numbers in a different hand.

Sheppard restarts the video. Captain Jack hands Ianto the pen and turns to the camera unerringly. He holds up a hand, thumb and pinky extended, and makes the universal gesture for "Call Me", mouthing the words roundly. He points to himself, then Jones, then the camera, and waggles his eyebrows, another universal gesture that none of them can mistake the meaning of.

"They're such assholes," Rodney says, faintly awed. "It's like art."

"Art. Yeah," Sheppard sighs. On the screen, the Captain bounds back up the steps to the DHD and they dial in -- Earth, from the look of it, and everyone sucks in a breath.

The Captain gestures for Ianto to join them, touches one hand to the console, and dials the final chevron with the other.

Everyone in the room looks around as if they expect the power to die, forgetting that it's on playback. Everyone but Sheppard and Rodney, anyway, who look at each other as if they can't believe they live with these idiots.

In the recording, the Stargate shimmers, opens, stabilises, just as white-gold light leaps from the Captain to the console.

"Is he -- he's powering it," Rodney breathes. "He's powering it with his hand."

"Just imagine what he could do if you called him," Sheppard mutters, sounding annoyed.

There is a brief explosion and the Captain is thrown backwards; Ianto picks him up in a fireman's carry and they sprint for it, passing through just before whatever-it-was wears off and the Gate goes dark.

"He can't have survived that," Beckett says.

"He must have, to get here in the first place," Weir observes.

"So. Torchwood," Sheppard says slowly. "We never ever talk about this to anyone."

"Agreed," Weir replies.

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