Title: In The Cards
Disclaimer: I do not own, nor ever will, Torchwood, Doctor Who or the characters within.
Characters: Ianto Jones, the Eighth Doctor
Note: Takes place pre-season 1. Written for the Redisourcolour Challenge 13: Fate/Destiny. The prompts were Doff, dexterous, escalator with the phrase “If you look closely, you’ll be able to see a pattern.”
Author’s Note: I’m really not sure about this one but its been bugging at me since last night. I’ve never tried writing any of the Doctors before. It's very short and feels unfinished but adding more seems wrong too… and I fail at titles…
In The Cards
“Jack of spades,” Welsh tones murmured.
“Three hearts,” came the reply.
“Seven of diamonds.” Blue eyes didn’t look up from the table.
“Queen spades.” The voice sounded English but the inflections were unusual.
“Jack of clubs,” the younger man said.
Dexterous fingers turned card after card as the two men ignored the bustling crowds of the city around them.
“Four of clubs,” and the card fell on the table.
“Jack of hearts,” the Welshman said just before the last card was turned over.
“Cut,” the other man directed and Ianto Jones reached for the pile of cards. He straightened them up, turning them over to hide the faces and cut the deck several times before leaning back.
The stranger he had met barely an hour ago placed a finger on the top card. He flipped it over with a deft movement. “Eight clubs,” he said.
“Jack of diamonds,” Ianto replied before the next card was turned.
They went through the pack again, calling each card correctly before it appeared.
“If you look closely, you’ll be able to see a pattern,” the man remarked and Ianto blinked at him before one eyebrow lifted queryingly.
“What pattern? The basic order of the cards stays the same no matter how many times you cut the deck,” Ianto pointed out. “Shuffling made it more random,” he added, not mentioning that both of them had only needed one run through after each shuffle to know the order of the cards.
He’d bumped into the stranger at the top of the escalator coming out of the Underground. Someone had tripped and the chain reaction in the crowd had caused him to stumble almost into the arms of an old-fashioned frock coat. Ianto had stuttered through an apology which had been ignored and long fingers had dragged him to an empty table at the closest café. The frock coat had been doffed and placed over a chair and coffee had been ordered while Ianto had been capable of nothing but staring.
The eccentrically dressed man had straightened his cravat and then reached into his pocket and pulled out a deck of cards. By the time the coffee had arrived they’d been through the deck twice. Counting cards had always been easy for Ianto but he’d never met anyone who could make it seem as easy as this man did. The man never got a card wrong. Neither had Ianto.
“The pattern being that no matter how we cut or shuffle the cards, you always call the Jack.” The man pulled out a pocket watch and looked at it for moment. He stood up, collecting his coat from his chair. He shrugged into it and his lips quirked slightly. “You should remember that,” he said before disappearing into the passing crowd.