“Are you sure we’ll be alright?” Jack asked, waving the scanner over himself for the fifth time that morning.
“Yes, I’m sure.” Owen ground out, picking up a set of tweezers and leaning in over the corpse laid out upon the autopsy table. “That alien device thingy came in handy for negating the affects of the radiation. You and Ianto should be feeling your usual perky selves.”
Jack snorted at Owen’s comment, but put the scanner aside. “Are you sure he’s safe?” He asked, gesturing towards the body.
Owen nodded, though he looked up with a puzzled frown. “According to the scanner, there’s not a trace of radiation on him, never was. I did use that alien thing-,”
“Radiation manipulator?” Jack interrupted.
“Whatever,” Owen muttered, “My point is that I used it on him even though there wasn’t any residual radiation left. There’s not even an indication that he’s been in contact with the stuff.”
Jack made a non-committal sound at Owen’s words.
“It’s rather strange, don’t you think?”
“Strange is not the word for it.” Jack muttered more to himself than to Owen, thinking back over his brief but eventful meeting with Peter Petrelli the invisible man turned nuclear bomb.
“Let me know how the autopsy goes.” Jack said, moving away. “There’s a few things I need to get sorted out with Ianto right now.”
“Jack-,” Owen pursed his lips as the Captain turned back to him. “Just… go easy on him, alright?” He looked up briefly to make sure Jack was listening.
“Would you like to elaborate on that comment?” Jack asked, crossing his arms over his chest. Owen paused for a moment before shaking his head and turning back to the body. He was struggling to remove the bullet when he heard Jack’s footsteps retreating from the medical bay.
The bullet came away with some resistance. Owen turned and dropped both it and his tweezers into a kidney dish. He sighed softly and looked towards the stairwell leading up to the main hub.
Owen could admit that he didn’t much like Ianto. Not for the most part at least. He could admit though that the Welshman had his uses, and that he was far more to Torchwood than just being Jack’s ‘part-time shag’ as he’d so aptly termed him.
Right now though? Right now there was something decidedly odd going on with Ianto, and Owen couldn’t understand why no one else seemed to have noticed it. The Welshman had been far more reclusive as of late, going about his duties without any- any life to him.
He’d never admit it aloud, but the man was beginning to worry Owen. Ianto had even stopped responding to his jibes and put-downs. He’d not seen Ianto this withdrawn since they’d killed that cyberwoman girlfriend of his, and even then Tosh had been able to gauge his mental state with that necklace of hers. He’d been alright, if a little depressed. But Jack had soon seen to that and Ianto had gone back to his coffee-serving self, albeit with a bit more confidence and a lot more bite to him.
A choking gasp sounded from behind him and Owen spun swiftly on his heel, his jaw dropping as he watched the corpse flailing for a moment before it coughed and pushed itself up into a sitting position with a loud groan.
“Jack!” Owen yelled, his face paling with fright. He could feel his heart bouncing about his chest, palpating erratically as he stumbled away from the body- his hands groping blindly for a weapon of some kind with which to protect himself with.
“Jack!” Owen’s voice was pitched somewhat higher than normal as he screamed for his boss.
The body winced at the sound of his voice as it rubbed at its chest before tugging the white blanket Owen had throw haphazardly about its nether regions further upwards.
Running footsteps soon sounded, and Owen looked up to find Jack and the rest of the team hanging over the balcony.
Ianto was the first to react at seeing the body sitting up and staring quizzically up at them.
“Peter!” He gasped, pushing back from the railing and rushing down the stairs. Jack made to grab out at him but missed as the Welshman dodged his grasp.
Jack cursed and drew his gun from its holster, turning it immediately upon Peter.
“Ianto!” Jack shouted. “Get away from him, now!”
Ianto ignored him as he moved over towards Peter, his steps a little more weary now that he was down on ground level to the man. He wet his lips as he circled round to face Peter, his eyes rushing over the man’s pale chest and finding not a mark upon him.
“What are you?” Ianto whispered, not intending to speak the thought aloud.
Peter smiled thinly. “I’m just like you.” He replied, rolling his shoulders a moment before swinging his legs over the edge of the table.
“You! Don’t make another move.” Jack’s voice stilled Peter, turning his gaze upwards.
“Ah. Yes, I suppose I should thank you for that.” Peter said as he spotted the gun trained on him.
“Peter Petrelli I’m arresting you under authority of Torchwood as a high risk threat towards Great Britain.”
Peter blinked up at him. “I beg your pardon?”
“Jack, he’s not-,” Ianto began imploringly.
“He nearly blew up Cardiff!” It was Owen who snapped a reply at the Welshman. “You think you’d have learnt by now to keep your mutant lovers out of Torchwood!”
Ianto paled and Peter winced, feeling the slam of emotion from Ianto as that comment hit home.
“If I may,” Peter began, trying to close his mind to everyone but himself. “I’d like to apologise for my loss of power earlier. It’s why I’m in Cardiff actually. I’m still learning how to control it- it’s a very unstable ability.”
“Where are you from?” It was Ianto who asked.
Peter turned to him. “New York.”
“And you figured you’d come destroy our country instead of your own?” Peter looked over at Owen who’d spoken.
“That’s not it. I’m trying not to destroy anything.” He wasn’t sure just how much he should admit at this stage, but he was pretty certain that admitting to nearly blowing up New York wouldn’t go down very well.
“Then what are you doing here?” A dark haired girl asked. Peter thought she’d have been somewhat pretty if not for the way her face was already screwed up in distaste towards him.
“Here?” Peter asked and she nodded her head. “Apparently I was about to be autopsied. Could have left a nasty scar that.” He gave an exaggerated grimace as he slipped himself off of the autopsy table, stumbling just slightly with the motion. He always got a little woozy after regenerating.
“I told you to stay put.” Jack called. Warm hands took hold of his arms, helping to hold him up. Peter looked up to find that Ianto was standing before him. He looked into the Welshman’s eyes and saw all the questions and confusions that swam within them.
“I was worried.” Peter said softly, low enough for Ianto’s ears only. The Welshman frowned at him. “About you. I don’t know why. But I- I know that I know nothing about you, and I shouldn’t presume, but I know I must have met you for a reason. Our paths were meant to cross and I…”
Peter drifted off with a flush, unable to articulate himself as accurately as he would have liked. Ianto pursed his lips before nodding.
“I’m glad you remembered me.” Was all he said before he released Peter and stepped back.
“If you two are finished?” Jack began, his voice cold. Ianto retreated towards the stairs in long overdue obedience.
“May I have my clothes back first?” Peter asked, looking up at Jack. The man nodded and gestured towards the doctor behind him. Peter was allowed to get dressed behind a white screening. When he came out, Jack was standing down in the medical bay with a pair of handcuffs. Owen now held the gun aimed at him.
“I’m afraid I can’t stay.” Peter said, making sure to keep his pose unthreatening.
“You do not have a choice.” Jack said, stepping towards him.
Peter flicked his gaze up to Ianto and smiled softly at the young man, his heart lifting as the Welshman tentatively returned the gesture.
“I’ll see you again.” He promised before closing his eyes and vanishing from sight.
- - -