Owen fired an instant too late as Peter vanished into thin air. Ianto’s shout of alarm covered his curse as he lowered the gun, looking about the room in confusion.
“Hold your fire!” Jack yelled, his eyes frantically skimming the medical bay before turning to his wrist piece as if it held the answer to the man’s disappearance. Jack tapped a button or two and must’ve found what he was looking for because not a scant moment later he swore so loudly and colourfully that even Owen felt his cheeks colouring.
“I want him found.” Jack began, turning to face his team. “I want to know everything about him. Peter Petrelli, American. What is he doing in Cardiff? How dangerous is he? Can he be stopped?”
Jack dashed up the stairs and over towards Toshiko’s computer where he hit a few keys and waited. “That’s four abilities this man has exhibited so far. Invisibility was his first, then his display of radiation, an ability to somehow survive death, and finally-,” Jack bared his teeth as a window popped up onto the screen confirming his findings. “He’s just bent space and time.”
Toshiko was the first at his side, muttering something about the impossibility of one man being able to control space and time. “Other than the Doctor, Torchwood has no record of anyone, particularly not humans, as being able to display this type of power without alien technology of some kind. Our bodies are just not designed to cope with it.”
Jack watched as she entered some information into her computer for a moment before she straightened with an ‘oh!’ of surprise. Jack nodded grimly.
“Owen?” Jack called, turning to the doctor. “I want you to find out if this man is human. Do you have any of his DNA at all?”
“I’m on it.” Owen nodded, thinking back to the bullet he’d removed.
“Gwen, can you do me a search- anything and everything you can find on Peter Petrelli?” She too nodded and dashed towards her own computer. “I want to know what else he’s capable of and just how much of a danger he is to the country.”
“Ianto?” Jack called; the Welshman watched him warily. “My office now.”
He waited until Ianto had moved away before turning back to Toshiko.
“Tosh, find out how they know each other. I don’t trust Ianto to give me anything that will lead to this man’s capture. He’s… he’s not himself right now. And I don’t trust this Peter Petrelli not to take advantage of that.”
Toshiko laid a hand upon his arm. “I know, Jack.” She answered, offering him a comforting sort of smile before turning back to the computer and opening up the CCTV network for the Cardiff Bay area.
Jack rubbed at his chin, looking reluctantly towards his office for a minute before straightening himself up and heading over. He’d been putting off speaking to Ianto about his behaviour as of late, and truth be told, he wasn’t particularly looking forward to doing it now; not when he wasn’t even certain about the cause for the man’s recent conduct.
“Would you like to explain to me what that was all about?” Jack asked, closing the door behind him. Ianto stood rigidly before his desk, his eyes following Jack as the Captain moved round behind it.
“Sir?” Ianto asked stiffly, his hands clasped in deceptive calm behind his back. The upward tilt of chin and the flash of fire in his eyes betrayed his ignorance as an unwillingness to cooperate.
“Do not play games with me, Ianto Jones. This is neither the time nor the place for such pettiness.” Jack leaned forward, his eyes hard and cool as they bore into Ianto’s own. “Do you even know this man at all? What he is capable of?”
Jack caught the slight clenching of his jaw though Ianto said nothing. He pressed on, angry. “Do you have any idea the danger you could have put us in with your display of insubordination down there? What could have happened if he’d decided to use you against us?”
“My apologies, sir.” Ianto said, the epitome of politeness. “I shall endeavour to keep my mutant lovers from Torchwood in the future.”
“Dammit, Ianto!” Jack cursed. Ianto flinched back, his mask slipping just slightly at Jack’s anger. “That wasn’t a dig at you. Owen had no right to say it, but the fact remains-,” Jack paused suddenly, frowning slightly as if something had just occurred to him.
“Is he your lover?” Ianto blinked at Jack, surprised at the question.
“I-,” He opened his mouth to answer but found the words eluding him for the time being as he cruelly thought of lying to Jack and telling him that yes, Peter Petrelli was his lover, and just what was he going to do about that?
Jack’s eyes were intent upon him and Ianto found himself unable to hold his gaze. He looked away, shaking his head in answer. He missed the relieved slump of Jack’s shoulders.
“What’s going on with you, Ianto?”
Ianto looked up again and Jack gestured for him to seat himself as he did the same.
“I don’t want to fight with you, Ianto,” Jack began solemnly, “but how can I help you if I don’t know what’s wrong?”
“Nothing is wrong, sir.” Ianto answered, his voice soft and his gaze turned anywhere but at Jack.
“Ianto, we both know that’s not true.” Jack pushed, leaning forward.
“I assure you, sir. Everything is perfectly fine.”
Jack pursed his lips, watching Ianto in silence until the man shifted, uncomfortable under the scrutiny.
“Very well then.” Jack stood. “You may go, but this blatant disregard towards my authority and your own life has got to stop. It’s not just you at risk here, Ianto. That display up in the Information Centre could have wiped out half the country.”
Ianto stood, jerking his head in a nod of understanding. “I understand. Is that everything then, sir?”
Jack’s gaze darkened but he indicated the door, watching Ianto leave with something akin to unease twisting his stomach into knots.
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