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Fic: Nice Coat (Torchwood) - Adina's Journal
Stuff and Nonsense

Adina
Date: 2008-08-28 13:56
Subject: Fic: Nice Coat (Torchwood)
Security: Public
Mood:tiredtired
Tags:fiction, torchwood
Title: Nice Coat
Fandom: Torchwood
Pairing: Jack/Ianto
Rating: If you're old enough to watch Torchwood, you're old enough to read this (Teen)
Spoilers: Most of first and second season
Summary: The first time Ianto spotted Jack microwaving his greatcoat, he ignored it: it didn't threaten Lisa, couldn't help her. It wasn't important.

Author's note: This was written in bits and pieces last week while I waited for my computer to download and compile and install and do all the other things that computers need time to themselves to churn through. I sent to it copperbadge to look over and it promptly spawned a plot bunny for him. So today you get this story and tomorrow he'll post the prequel, Care and Feeding in his LJ.

***

The first time Ianto spotted Jack microwaving his greatcoat, he ignored it: it didn't threaten Lisa, couldn't help her. It wasn't important.

***

The second time he found the greatcoat in the microwave, he wasn't supposed to be in the Hub. Jack had sent him home to recover after the Brecon Beacons, told him not to come in for the rest of the week. After two days he was slept out--too fuzzy with painkillers to read, too bored to watch more daytime television, too visibly bruised to go out in public. And the silence of his flat was filled with memories. He let himself in through the tourist office after everyone had left and wandered around the Hub, not cleaning, not working, just meandering in the silence that was somehow so much less lonely than home. He fetched up in the kitchen to take another painkiller, thought about making coffee but it took too much concentration, fiddled with the microwave door for lack of anything else to do, saw the coat.

"Ianto?" He spun too quickly and staggered, the painkiller taking effect faster than he expected. He found himself in Jack's arms, Jack looking down at him with something that might even have been affection. "I thought I gave you the week off."

"Bored." He shouldn't be so comfortable being held by Jack, only he couldn't be bothered to remember why. "Bored, bored, bored."

"You were bored. Got that." Jack was laughing at him, but that was okay. Jack had a nice laugh even when he wasn't laughing out loud. He steered Ianto over to the couch, guided him to lie down. Jack sat on the floor by his head. He fell asleep to the sound of Jack telling him stories.

Some of them might even have been true.

***

The third time he saw Jack microwave his greatcoat, it had gotten ripped while hunting weevils. Only Jack would wear irreplaceable antique clothing while chasing through brambles and over fences after inimical aliens with sharp claws. Ianto made a note to take the coat to the best tailor in Cardiff, a man who could do nearly invisible repairs. Only the next morning he couldn't find the tear. On a hunch he checked the CCTV logs for the kitchen and that was when he saw it: three minutes on high.

Not an antique.

***

"Are we playing dress up?" Jack asked from the door of his office. Ianto froze, though Jack's voice only sounded amused, sexy, suggestive. Ianto turned, feeling the weight of the coat, lighter than he would have expected, swirling about his calves. It felt like wool, faithfully reproduced all the lines and stitches of a normal coat, but it was cooler, comfortable even in the warmth of the Hub. Jack smiled at him, stroked his hand over the sleeve of the coat. "It's not your color," he said, straightening the collar and finger-pressing the epaulets. "You need something darker, trimmer, more form-fitting." The coat--he suspected that the coat could become that, if he knew how.

"You don't think I would make a good Captain Jack Harkness?" Ianto asked, daring. Jack had flirted with him before--before Lisa--but had stopped afterwards. Ianto had hated the flirting while Lisa was still alive, had told himself that he hated it, but now he found he missed it.

Jack studied him, head tilted to the side, smiling slightly. "I think you would make a better Captain Jack Harkness than I would make a Mister Ianto Jones, but only barely." He grinned suddenly, showing all his teeth. "Now Captain Ianto Jones, in one of those black UNIT uniforms, with the red cap, that would be something to see!"

Ianto blushed, looked at the floor before raising his eyes to look Jack in the eyes as boldly as he could. "What--what about Ianto Jones in not much of anything at all?"

Jack's smile was just as broad but less predatory. It was softer, almost welcoming. "That would be good too."

***

After Owen and Tosh died, after Grey was frozen and Captain John left, after Jack held him and Gwen tight as they all grieved, Ianto took Jack home with him. Taking the coat from Jack's shoulders, Ianto turned to hang it in the closet and stopped, looking, really looking at it for the first time since everything was over. The coat looked terrible--dirty and dull, frayed at cuffs and collar. It felt old and tired, like a small animal waiting for death. He laid it gently over the hall table, not trusting its seams to hold up under a hanger, and chivvied Jack into the lounge. He held up a finger when Jack would have pulled him down onto the sofa with him. "One minute," he promised.

Back in the hall, he took the coat to the kitchen, folding it tightly and wedging it into his small, seldom-used microwave. Remembering the long-ago CCTV footage, a lifetime ago even if the calendar only said one year, he set the microwave for three minutes.

"That won't do it," Jack said, leaning against the door frame, looking and sounding older, grayer, and more tired than the coat. "Not long enough. Give it--give it an hour. On defrost; don't want to overwhelm it after--after so long without food, without anything."

However long it had been for the coat, it was just as long for Jack. "No electromagnetic radiation underground." No air, no light, no food, no touch--

Jack shrugged. "Never thought I would say it, but thank god for radon or the coat would have starved and I would have come up naked. Emily would have liked that, and then Alice would have killed me. Again." He closed his eyes and sagged further into the doorframe. "Be ages before another living coat came through the Rift."

The beeps as Ianto entered the time seemed to echo through the kitchen. Sixty minutes on the lowest setting. Don't want to overload it after so long. He pressed start, turned back to Jack.

Slow. He could do slow.

***
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Etharei Helkamirë: Doctor's Companions
User: etharei
Date: 2008-08-28 19:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Doctor's Companions
The GENIUS of this has left me quite at a loss for words.

YOU WIN.
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Adina
User: adina_atl
Date: 2008-08-28 21:05 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Ooh! Do I get a prize? *grin* (Ianto to clean my house, maybe?)
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Ellen Fremedon
User: ellen_fremedon
Date: 2008-08-28 19:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
And the best explanation I'd been able to come up with was "A superhero's uniform absorbs his powers." This is unquestionably better. And a good story, too.
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Adina
User: adina_atl
Date: 2008-08-28 21:04 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Oh, I've seen a couple of other explanations, including that Jack has a closet full of replacements, nanogenes, and one other reference to the coat being alien. But I'm especially glad it works as a story for you, because I wanted it to be more that just an "idea story."
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Adina
User: adina_atl
Date: 2008-08-28 21:02 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Heh. Glad you liked that line, I had fun writing it. Emily and Alice are scary, in the best possible way.
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jade_dragoness
User: jade_dragoness
Date: 2008-08-28 19:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Here via copperbadge

Can I just say that I love this. I love it, I love it, I love it!

It sure as hell answers some things that's been bugging me about how the coat survives certain situation. Brilliant.

This is now canon to me. Oh, yes.
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Adina
User: adina_atl
Date: 2008-08-28 21:00 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Glad you liked it.

There are other stories that deal with the coat, of course, including one where Jack has an entire storage vault full of replacements. But I'm glad my idea works for you--besides, wait until you see what copperbadge did with the idea!
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Jay the Nerd Kid - Elitist Internet Royalty
User: bewarethespork
Date: 2008-08-28 20:13 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Oh, wow. That was really brilliant.

(By the way, in case you're wondering who the random commenter is, I'm here via copperbadge's journal.)

I haven't read very much Torchwood fic, being very new to the fandom, but when I see stuff like this, it makes me want to read more. So thanks, I guess, for giving me a new way to procrastinate; I'll probably spend most of today looking for more Jack/Ianto to satisfy a craving I didn't even know I had.

P.S. Memming this, too.
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Adina
User: adina_atl
Date: 2008-08-28 20:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Glad you liked it.

If I may self-pimp for a moment, you could procrastinate by reading the rest of my Torchwood stories. *grin*
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The Dreaded Dragon Aderam: timelord watch - _pseudofriends
User: aderam
Date: 2008-08-28 20:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:timelord watch - _pseudofriends
Oh that was lovely! I'm here through copperbadge's rec and it was definitely worth it. I love that Ianto doesn't bother asking Jack about the coat and just does what he saw Jack doing before. Very nice.
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Adina
User: adina_atl
Date: 2008-08-28 20:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Ianto doesn't ask a lot of questions, does he? He sort of...intuits...things instead. I'm playing with that in my next story, where he comes to a conclusion that is complete rational, reasonable, and wrong.
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Jason: TW Janto kiss
User: jkivela
Date: 2008-08-28 20:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:TW Janto kiss
sweet!
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Adina
User: adina_atl
Date: 2008-08-28 20:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thanks.
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You know the name, you know the number: csi:cardiff
User: mitzi007
Date: 2008-08-28 20:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:csi:cardiff
The first time Ianto spotted Jack microwaving his greatcoat, he ignored it

This one of the best first sentences I have read in a while :-)

First I thought there was something special about Hub's microwave but of course it was the coat!
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Adina
User: adina_atl
Date: 2008-08-28 20:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thanks. I'm glad you liked that line--I was rather fond of it myself when it sort of appeared in my head one day and demanded that a story be written to explain it.
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chimosa
User: chimosa
Date: 2008-08-28 20:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Absolutely gorgeous!! *friends*
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Adina
User: adina_atl
Date: 2008-08-28 21:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thanks. And welcome.
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ali
User: insixeighttime
Date: 2008-08-28 21:02 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Oooh. Well thought. I did enjoy this. Well writ, good idea.

(found you via Sam.)
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Adina
User: adina_atl
Date: 2008-08-28 21:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you.
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Peg: gravity
User: mechaieh
Date: 2008-08-28 21:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:gravity
Terrific stuff! (another one here via Sam)
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Adina
User: adina_atl
Date: 2008-08-28 21:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thanks.
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Shezan: Aubrey UFO by Katie8787
User: shezan
Date: 2008-08-28 21:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Aubrey UFO by Katie8787
Marvellous, clever, witty, moving, LOVE this to bits, am rec'ing straightaway at my LJ!

(Here through Sam, of course.)
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Adina
User: adina_atl
Date: 2008-08-28 21:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Glad you liked it and thanks for the rec.
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Sophie Spence
User: sophie_spence
Date: 2008-08-28 21:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Completely agree with Sam that YOU. Are a GENIUS. =)
I had tears in my eyes at the end, and this isn't my fandom.
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Adina
User: adina_atl
Date: 2008-08-28 21:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm glad the end worked for you. It's not just the coat that needs TLC.
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Kee
User: keestone
Date: 2008-08-28 21:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
This. Is brilliant.

"Jack was laughing at him, but that was okay. Jack had a nice laugh even when he wasn't laughing out loud."
I think that's my favorite line. It's so lovely and giddy on painkillers, and it really seems to evoke the relationship.
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Adina
User: adina_atl
Date: 2008-08-28 21:34 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Ianto is so controlled, especially in season one, that the urge to give him the good drugs is almost irresistable. Glad you liked it.
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Mikiko: Making of Ianto Jones
User: kaimu
Date: 2008-08-28 21:34 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Making of Ianto Jones
I loved the prose of this fic, and the coat being alive is just wonderful! I can definitely see Jack bonding with it and treating it like a pet. Also Ianto/Jack's Coat may be my OTP of TW so this was a nice read from that aspect.
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Adina
User: adina_atl
Date: 2008-08-28 21:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I blame Sam for cluing me into Ianto/Jack's Coat. As for Jack bonding with the coat, just you wait until you read Sam's story! *grin*

I'm particularly pleased that you commented on the prose in this. I'm still trying to find my own "voice" in writing: I've been writing in book fandoms for the last five years or more, mimicking various people's writing styles (Tolkein, Wodehouse, Sayers, others) and Torchwood is the first time in a while that I haven't had someone else's style to crib off of.
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