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[personal profile] tonjavmoore
Author: [personal profile] tonjavmoore
Pairing: Jack/Ianto
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Torchwood doesn't belong to me. Sadly.

Written for Jack_Ianto_las
Prompt: "...and then suddenly I’m naked again…

A/N: Believe it or not, I did manage to tell a story in less than 1000 words! I was stunned. It actually got two votes for best. Hope you like it.




The Art of Storytelling

“… Before I knew what was going on, I was naked…”

Ianto had been keeping count. That was the fourteenth time Jack had used the word. He prepared himself mentally, and glanced around at his fellow prisoners. They were, as a group, not impressed. He couldn’t exactly blame them. Jack’s stories took some getting used to.

It was only by a coincidence that he and Jack had been caught up in the sweep of the alien beam. Ianto had stopped in at the library to return a book on botany that he had borrowed to help Owen sort out some alien plants. Naturally, Owen had kept it late, in spite of Ianto’s gentle reminders (which were not nags, no matter what Owen said), so that there had been a fine to pay.

It had delayed their journey home so that they were in the library parking lot when it happened. Tosh’s voice had called “Rift alert!” in their comms just as the bluish beam swept through the parking lot snatching them up, along with the few other people in the lot. Now, eleven of them were held in a cage made of some kind of force field, while Jack was in the spotlight, telling stories.

From what Ianto had gathered, these particular aliens, Pronakians Jack had called them, placed a very high value on entertainment. Chief among the entertainment was the art of storytelling. When they ran out of stories, they went hunting for races capable of giving them more. If this ship had slipped through the Rift, it had probably been on a raiding mission. Ianto wouldn’t have minded handing over a few stories if that was all there was to it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.

They kept their prisoners, demanding new stories until the prisoner could think of no new ones. They would then dispose of them, and not in a pleasant fashion. Jack had not had time to go into details, and Ianto was somewhat grateful for that.

They had all been taken in turns, with Jack as the last. Ianto had told three Greek myths, the plot of an old Zane Grey novel which his father had possessed, and an episode of an old American sitcom before he had been thrust back into the cage and the next victim taken out. Jack was the last one. He had whispered “Fifteen nakeds,” as he was pulled away.

Ianto passed the word quickly in the cage that on his signal, everyone was to pull themselves into as small a ball as possible. He didn’t know what Jack was planning, but the older man had been glancing at his vortex manipulator periodically throughout his narrations. Ianto tuned back into the story, not wanting to miss the signal.

“… Five of them, all with six tentacles. It was amazing. I tried to beg off. I mean, I’m good, but I was beginning to feel a bit tired. We’d been going at it for seventy-two hours, after all. There were only three of us though, with just two arms each. We played along with the girls, edging all the time toward the one door. They knew what we were up to, but they let us think we were getting loose. I was only six inches away from freedom when the door opened and ten more came into the room through it. They pushed us to the center of the room, and then suddenly I’m naked again…”

Ianto snapped his fingers with a loud crack and the caged storytellers dropped to their knees and pulled inward. The room was filled with a high-pitched whining sound, punctuated by hisses and crackles. When he felt Jack’s hand on his shoulder, Ianto looked up to find the Pronakians writhing on the floor in obvious pain and the controls for the cage fried. “Come on, people!” Jack called. “Out the door! Go, go, go!”

Spurred on by a push from Jack on one of the men, they ran toward the opening in the wall. Ianto waited while Jack strode over to the main control panel and started manipulating controls. A couple of minutes later he looked up with a triumphant smile. “I still got it. Come on, let’s go.”

They had barely managed to make it outside before the ship rose up and shot out of the atmosphere so fast it glowed. Ianto raised an eyebrow at Jack. He said, “I programmed it to make three random jumps. They should be out of commission long enough to be completely lost.”

Ianto laughed and Jack laughed with him. The others who’d been standing around looking lost also began to laugh. Ianto started to worry about hysteria, but the headlights of the SUV coming saved him from the worst of it. Gwen and Owen emerged and started dealing with the victims. Tosh jumped out and ran over to them. “I pinpointed the Rift spike, but we couldn’t get any response from you to. We were worried sick.”

“Jack had it handled,” Ianto said. “He was telling his lewd stories and that distracted them.”

“They liked my stories,” Jack added, grinning. “You liked them, too. Don’t pretend.”

“I’ll admit to being rather fond of the way you say ‘naked’.” Ianto smirked at Jack. “You make it sound so… naughty.”

Jack slid an arm around his shoulders. “When I’m with you, it’s a very naughty word. So, after we get this sorted, let’s go practice saying it to each other.”

Ianto nodded solemnly. “Sounds like a plan.”

 
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February 2012

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