“This doesn’t feel right.” Peter said, shifting with agitation.
Nathan glanced up from the paper he’d been pursuing, regarding his brother with silent speculation. Peter met his gaze, a frown creasing his brow as he waited for Nathan to reply.
“What doesn’t feel right?” Nathan eventually asked, sweeping his eyes swiftly around the waiting lounge. The few first class passengers already waiting for the flight to New York were intently occupied with papers and laptops. One man even had what Nathan assumed was the latest edition of the New York Times; he fleetingly wondered where he could get his hands on a copy.
“This!” Peter gestured weakly; not exactly meaning the airport as he swung his arms out in a wide sweep. “There’s something wrong.”
“The only thing wrong,” Nathan began, shaking his copy of The Western Mail into a fold and dropping it onto the seat beside him, “is that you don’t want to go home.”
“That’s not it, Nathan.” Peter unfolded his arms, leaning forward. “It’s just… I feel like there’s a reason we landed in this country, in this city especially.”
“A reason other than saving the Welshman?” Nathan raised an eyebrow, his voice dry with cynicism.
“Yeah, actually.” Peter answered, watching as Nathan’s eyes widened slightly. “Nathan you know- you must know- that everything that’s happening, everything that has ever happened to us, to me, has happened for a reason?”
“I don’t believe in destiny,” Nathan replied simply.
Peter scoffed at him. “After what happened in New York?”
“Especially after what happened in New York,” His words were hissed out as he leant towards his brother. “It wasn’t destiny, it was a glimpse into a future. One possible future out of a million possible futures. That the one you saw happened to be the one that nearly occurred is nothing more than coincidence. If you’d left the city like I told you to instead of hanging around to play hero, then none of it would have had the chance to happen.”
“Are you saying New York was my fault?” Peter was hurt, though he knew the answer. If anything had happened in New York, anything more than what nearly did happen, it really would have been his fault. Back up plan or not.
“Nothing happened in New York, Peter.” Nathan sighed, reaching out to touch at his brother’s arm.
“But it nearly did. And you’re right. It would have been my fault.”
“No. Don’t. It’s okay.” He shrugged off his brother’s hand. “I know I can be pretty naïve at times, and that I don’t always think ahead and pre-plan my every move like you do, but I can take responsibility for my own actions. I thought I could save the city but it was because of me it was nearly destroyed.”
“That’s not what I was trying to say, Peter.” Nathan sat back in his chair, watching his brother.
“No?” Peter challenged. Nathan shook his head.
“I’m not fighting with you, Pete.”
Peter crossed his arms and slumped back in his own seat, looking away. The silence between them lasted only as long as it took before their flight number was echoed around the room with the announcement that their plane was now boarding.
Nathan snagged Peter’s arm as they stood, pulling his brother into a quick embrace.
“If it wasn’t you, it would have been someone else.” Nathan mumbled into his ear, “I don’t believe in fate and destiny, but I do believe you made a difference.”
Peter pulled back a little, meeting Nathan’s gaze.
“The city’s still standing isn’t it?” Nathan asked, a small smile playing about his lips.
Peter smiled slowly back. “Yeah,” he answered and Nathan nodded, pulling away.
“So let’s go home. The sooner we get there, the sooner we can see about getting you to learn some control.”
- - -
“I’m sorry, sir,” The attendant said for the second time. “Your ticket isn’t valid for this flight.”
“How can it not be valid?” Peter stepped in, peering over his brother’s shoulder. “Try mine?” He offered, handing his own ticket over.
The attendant slipped it through the scanner which made a dull beeping sound and Peter’s face fell. It was the same noise it had made when Nathan’s ticket had been swiped. Both times.
“Look, I don’t understand how our tickets are invalid. They were just picked up this morning-,” Peter drowned out the sound of his brother’s voice as a sudden impulse forced him to turn and scan the rest of the room; a prickling awareness making the hairs at the back of his neck rise.
It was the glimpse of a familiar long, grey military coat that immediately caught his attention; the blood rushing to his ears as a quite expectation fell over him as he realised he recognised that coat and the man wearing it.
“Nathan?” Peter called softly, reaching blindly to tug at his brother’s arm as Captain Jack Harkness strode down the length of the aisle towards them. He felt his heart lift with a flutter as, following just behind Jack, he caught sight of Ianto. Peter smiled widely, tugging more sharply at his brother’s sleeve.
“What?” Nathan turned to him with a barely suppressed scowl. Peter tore his eyes away from the two men only long enough to look at Nathan and jerk his head back in their direction.
Nathan turned with him, his barely suppressed scowl turning into a more pronounced expression of annoyance.
“Good afternoon,” Jack began brightly as he reached them. Peter smiled but eyed the Captain with wary interest, wondering what exactly had brought him here. Nathan was doing much the same as he returned the greeting.
Peter slid his eyes to Ianto, offering the Welshman a smile which was only partly returned. Peter noticed that the expression failed to reach Ianto’s eyes and he frowned a would-be question towards him.
Ianto straightened slightly, ignoring the question as he turned his gaze to the conversation happening now between Nathan and the Captain.
“…it was you who wanted us gone,” Nathan reminded Jack who waved his hands as if the matter was out of his control now.
“Something’s come up.” Jack replied cryptically. Peter could tell that Nathan was not best pleased by this answer at all.
“Would you care to elaborate on that?” Nathan asked, straightening his shoulders.
“Can’t, I’m afraid.” Jack smiled. “I’m going to have to ask you both to come back to the Hub with me.”
Peter frowned, biting at his lip as he listened out for any stray and wayward thoughts coming from the Captain. He heard nothing; nothing but an eerie silence that seemed to echo around his head like some ghostly wind. Jack shot him a sharp look and Peter pulled back at once, a gasp sticking in his throat.
He’d never come across anyone (except maybe Ianto, and most definitely Matt whom he’d taken the ability from in the first place) who could automatically sense him and naturally block him when he tried to read their mind.
“And if we refuse?” It was he who spoke this time, staring unblinkingly at the man before him.
Jack’s smile didn’t so much as waver and Peter worryingly wondered if somehow Jack could read his mind without him knowing about it.
“I’d rather the situation didn’t arise.” Jack said, hands sitting now at his hips. Peter could just make out the shape of a- pistol?- as Jack’s pose pushed his coat aside. He felt an almost irrational anger build up in him at the unspoken threat and had the urge to reach out and throttle the man in front of him.
He felt a hand land upon his shoulder and turned to see that Ianto had stepped closer, his fingers squeezing as he met Peter’s eyes.
“Please. We just have some questions. You’ll be free to leave as soon as we’re done.” His voice was low, his Welsh accent lilting over his words. Though his words were spoken in a rather formal manner, Peter felt the anger drain from him and Ianto offered him the smallest of smiles as he too realised this.
“Fine,” Nathan answered, watching the interaction between Peter and Ianto intently. “We’ll come.”
- - -
The journey back into Cardiff city was a tensed affair. Ianto didn’t appear best pleased by Jack’s offhanded comment for him to sit in the back with Peter, whilst Nathan sat upfront. Peter wasn’t so much offended himself as subtly annoyed with the indication that he and Ianto were to play the children in this little ride.
His annoyance remained through the journey back. He’d tried talking with Ianto but the Welshman seemed to be doing his utmost to avoid replying with anything more than one syllable words. Namely those which sounded like ‘yes’, ‘no’ and ‘hmm’.
Peter caught a look passing between the Captain and Ianto through the rear-view mirror after yet another ‘hmm’ answer and he watched as Ianto’s face tightened a moment before he turned his head to look out the window. He met Jack’s gaze a second after and glared his concern.
The brewing atmosphere continued to grow as they reached Torchwood. They were lead straight through the secret doorway in the Information Centre with the intention of heading down to the hub. It was only when the doorway closed behind Peter that he realised Ianto was no longer following.
“Right, what exactly is going on here?” Peter asked loudly. Jack and Nathan stopped, turning back to look at him.
“I beg your pardon?” Jack asked. He wasn’t smiling anymore.
“You heard.” Peter said, stepping up to the pair of them. “He was fine when I left him this morning!”
“Define fine,” Jack began, not bothering with the pretence that he didn’t know which ‘he’ Peter spoke on. “Because if by ‘fine’ you mean that he wasn’t about to jump off the Millennium Centre today, then sure, why not-,”
“How-?” Peter interrupted, his face paling at the revelation. Jack cringed a little.
“I saw the video.” He replied slowly. “From the CCTV footage,” he added as Peter frowned at him.
“He caught us.”
“Us?” Peter asked. His voice barely rising above a whisper.
“The whole team knows.” Jack admitted and Peter felt suddenly light headed. Of all the times!
Peter turned, moving back towards the doorway that would lead him into the Information Centre once more.
“Where are you going?” It was Nathan who asked this time and Peter shot him a look that quite plainly told him how stupid the question was.
“We’re not staying longer than we have to, Peter.” Nathan said, his gaze stern. Peter glared at him.
“You stay as long as you need to Nathan, and I’ll do the same for myself,” he snapped, reaching out to hit at the button which would open the doorway.
“Peter?” That was Jack’s voice.
“What?” He turned his glaring look upon the Captain.
“Thank you,” he said, his voice sincere, “for saving him.”
Peter eyed him for a moment before nodding and hitting out at the button. The doorway slid open and without another glance to Jack or his brother he stepped back out into the Information Centre.
- - -