Title: In The Kitchen
Disclaimer: I do not own, nor ever will, Torchwood, Doctor Who or the characters within.
Characters: Ianto Jones, Tenth Doctor
Note: Takes place pre-season 1 for Torchwood and during ep1 Rose for Doctor Who.
Written for the Redisourcolour Challenge 14: Kitchen. The prompts were Condign, shower gel, expel and the phrase “Look. A map of Cardiff. Isn’t it brilliant?”
Author’s Note: I don’t know why the muse wanted a Doctor in this one too … and I’ve been thinking of getting a beta if the Doctors keep coming because I do worry that I can’t write them…(and one who can also do titles... and summaries)
Summary: Ianto meets the Doctor. Neither of them are impressed.
In The Kitchen
“You shouldn’t be reading that. It hasn’t been released yet.” The Doctor leant in the doorway to the TARDIS kitchen and tried to sound forbidding.
Ianto Jones was stirring a pot with one hand and reading from a file that wouldn’t be made public until next year in his other hand.
“Then you shouldn’t have left it lying about,” came the bland reply. “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena in the UK. Project Condign. Were you looking to see if you got a mention?”
There was a light sarcastic edge to the comment and the Doctor scoffed not acknowledging the hit. He didn’t need to if the smirk that appeared on Ianto’s face was any indication. Kitchen is neutral he reminded himself.
“Any chance of tea?” the Doctor asked instead and Ianto grinned.
“There’s some left in the pot,” he replied. “And the soup will be ready in a few minutes. You could get the bowls out if you want.”
Ianto tossed the report onto the table and it slid across the smooth surface towards the Doctor. He sighed and ignored it, heading to the cupboard to get the bowls. Somehow in the two weeks since he had met Ianto Jones he had become disturbingly domesticated.
The Doctor scrunched his nose up and wondered yet again why he had to put up with the Welshman. It didn’t help that he could recall meeting Ianto Jones during his earlier incarnations. It hadn’t been intentional to pick him up and the TARDIS herself was being decidedly shifty whenever he asked her about it. His fingers still itched from having crossed his own timeline.
He’d landed in London on the very same day that he’d first met Rose. The moment he had seen the date appear on the console he’d been struck with both terror and anguish. For him, it had barely been a week since she had been lost to this world and to him. It was too much and he’d been berating the TARDIS when she had opened her doors. The Doctor had moved to close them again and been bowled over by Ianto Jones who had been running away from several mannequins. The resultant bumping had tumbled them back into the TARDIS and she had taken off with what the Doctor had thought was a very smug noise. Ianto Jones had not been smug.
In fact when he had stopped panicking he had demanded to be taken back immediately and been rather scathing when that hadn’t been possible. The situation had turned downright dangerous when Ianto Jones had mentioned that he worked for Torchwood. The Doctor still didn’t know how he had managed not to reveal any future spoilers as he had ranted and raved wildly. Their shouting match had ended when the Doctor had stormed out of the control room and left Ianto Jones alone with a humming and pleasantly glowing TARDIS who wouldn’t let him out no matter how many times he hit the doors.
The TARDIS had then stuck herself in the void and was refusing any and all commands, pleas and outright begging to move. The Doctor wasn’t quite sure how the TARDIS had persuaded the young man to stay although he suspected that the coffee she had provided had had something to do with it.
The rich scent of thick soup and fresh bread had him blinking out of his thoughts and settling at the table. He looked appreciatively at the simple meal. He’d been so used to grabbing a bite to eat whenever he felt hungry that having regular meals was a wonderful treat that he had rapidly gotten used to. He reached for the salt despite Ianto’s rebuking look and his sleeve caught on the bowl tipping it over.
“Bugger!” the Doctor exclaimed as he watched his soup run over the table, chicken and noodles clumping in the puddling mess.
“I’ll get a cloth,” Ianto said as he hurried to the sink returning quickly with a sponge.
“Look. A map of Cardiff. Isn’t it brilliant?” The Doctor enthused as he stared at spilt soup. Ianto’s eyebrow rose. The man was a living emotional roller-coaster that Ianto had quickly given up trying to understand. Brooding and simmering one moment to hyperactive child the next.
“Cardiff looks nothing like chicken noodle soup,” Ianto stated as he brandished the sponge.
“Of course it doesn’t. Not if you’re looking for streets and roads and things,” the Doctor agreed easily. “But if you’re looking at energy maps then this…” he pointed at the noodles. “This is almost a perfect model of Cardiff’s rift and lines. You have the rift here where this chicken is and then you’ve got the noodles here tracking the energy flows. And these other noodles are indicative of the small cracks and overflow of the vortex energy which can… Say! You’re Welsh. We could go to Cardiff! I could show you the rift!”
Ianto blinked as the Doctor literally bounced up and down on his toes. “Except that your TARDIS seems perfectly happy to stay right here,” Ianto pointed out. “And after all the effort I put in to getting out of Wales, I’m not looking at going back anytime soon.”
The Doctor visibly deflated, his breath expelled in a rush as he sank down onto his chair. He pouted as he watched Ianto efficiently wipe and clean the table grumbling as each ‘energy flow’ noodle disappeared. Ianto closed his eyes and took a deep breath. They’d agreed that the kitchen would be neutral ground and so far they’d managed to keep any acrimony out of the small room.
“You can have half my soup,” Ianto offered. “And I’ll make a fresh pot of tea afterwards.”
It was another week before the TARDIS relented and brought them back to London. The Doctor thrust a bag at Ianto and all but pushed him out the doors before fisting his hands in his pockets in an attempt to stop himself from scratching at them. He hated crossing timelines.
“From the TARDIS,” he said with a nod at the bag. “No offense, Ianto Jones, but I hope it’s a long time before I see you again.”
“Likewise Doctor.” He held up the bag. “Thank her for me.”
The Doctor nodded and disappeared abruptly. The grinding wheezing wind that sprung up made Ianto stumble slightly and in a few seconds the police box had disappeared and Ianto was left to wonder just how long he had been gone.
He looked in the bag and laughed. A shaving kit, shower gel, talc powder, a small bottle of cologne along with what looked like a red tie, two new shirts and a packet of coffee were nestled together. She’d given him a gift bag. He gave a little smile. He was going to miss her and it was only now that she’d gone did he admit that he wouldn’t have minded going on a little trip or two. Even if it had been just to Cardiff. He could have put up with the Doctor for that long.
A loud explosion brought him out of his thoughts and he looked around. He was only a couple of streets away from where he'd first met the Doctor. He held the bag to his chest and he began to run as another explosion came closer.
Author's Note: According to Wikipedia Project Condign was the name given to a top-secret UFO study undertaken by the British Government' between 1997 and 2000. The results were compiled into a document titled Unidentified Aerial Phenomena in the UK. It was released into the public domain on 15 May 2006. I'm using 2005 as the year in which the episode Rose took place.