Whereabouts Unknown by badly_knitted

Summary: Travelling with the Doctor, you never know where you might end up.
Rating: All Ages
Categories: Torchwood, Eleventh Doctor
Characters: Ianto Jones, Jack Harkness, The Doctor (11th)
Genres: Action/Adventure, Angst, Drama, Fluff, Romance
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: None
Published: 2023.05.22
Updated: 2023.05.22

Whereabouts Unknown by badly_knitted
Chapter 1: Chapter 1
Author's Notes: Written for prompt ‘Any, Any, "I'm not too worried about it",’ at spring_renewal.

"Oh, this is just great! Now what are we supposed to do?”

“Calm down, Ianto, there’s no need to panic,” Jack soothed.

“I’m not panicking; I’m annoyed! There’s a difference.”

“Well don’t be. It’ll be fine, you’ll see.”

“How can you say that? Do you even know where we are?”

“Uh, no, not exactly, but we probably won’t be here for long anyway, so why does it matter?”

“Probably?” Ianto’s eyebrows commenced a frantic little dance.

After a moment, Jack managed to tear his gaze away from the entertaining spectacle. “What? Sorry, got a bit distracted.”

“You said we probably wouldn’t be here long!” Wrestling his eyebrows into a frown, Ianto put his hands on his hips, and glared at his lover. “That’s not what I’d call a reassuring statement!”

He felt quite justified with blaming Jack for their current situation, partly because there was no one else present that he could blame, the other culprit having swanned off to parts unknown, but mostly because they wouldn’t even be here, wherever here was, if not for Jack and his hare-brained ideas.

Jack sighed. “Ianto, look at me. I’m not too worried about it, so why should you be?”

“Oh, let me see, how about because you’re immortal and basically indestructible, and I’m not? We have no idea what dangers might exist here!”

“I’ll look after you. I promised, didn’t I?”

“Not that I recall. I believe your exact words were, ‘You need a holiday, so I’ve talked the Doctor into taking us on a trip for a few months.’ Then you dragged me into the TARDIS before I could say anything. You never even bothered asking if I wanted to go.”

“But you’re having a good time, aren’t you? I mean, we’ve been to Calufrax to see the rainbow forest, and Zizyphrene to bathe in the bubble springs, and Megaphoose to ride the land sharks. We even went to Niffle so you could visit the coffee museum.”

“Yes, and that was lovely. Everything’s been great, right up until now. How long are we going to be stuck here, and what are we even supposed to do while we’re waiting?” Ianto plonked himself down on a nearby rock and stared gloomily out across a wide, grassy valley, dotted with trees. They could have been somewhere in Wales, except that the grass was pale yellow, while the trees had tall, straight, black trunks, and long, slender, vivid turquoise leaves at their tops, curving out in all, directions, making them look a bit like oversized cocktail umbrellas.

An hour or so ago, the TARDIS had locked onto a distress beacon and veered off the course the Doctor had set. It had been a wild ride, and when they’d reached the beacon’s time/space coordinates, they’d landed on a convenient planet with a breathable atmosphere.

“You’ll be safe here,” the Doctor had assured Ianto, hustling him towards the door. “Jack and I can handle whatever needs handling.”

“What? No, you can’t just leave me here! I don’t even know what planet this is!”

Even Jack had put his foot down. “Ianto’s right, he goes wherever I go.”

“It’s not safe, Jack!” the Doctor had insisted. “You’d never forgive me if anything bad happened to him!”

“And can you guarantee nothing bad will happen to him if he’s left on an unknown planet by himself?”


“Good luck, Doctor. Looks like you’re on your own for this one.” With that, Jack had grabbed Ianto and swept him out the door before he could blink. Then the TARDIS had dematerialised, leaving them stranded in the middle of nowhere.

Jack sat down next to Ianto and reached for his hand. “Please don’t be angry, Ianto. I’m here, and the Doctor will be back to pick us up as soon as he can.”

“What if he doesn’t come back until tomorrow, or next week, or next year?”

“The Doctor would never leave us here that long.”

“What if he forgets us altogether?”

“That’s not going to happen.”

“You don’t know that! It wouldn’t be the first time he abandoned you.”

“That was different. And he apologised. Sort of.”

“Took him over a century though, didn’t it. For a Time Lord, he’s notoriously bad at keeping track of time, shows up late for everything, and what if something happens to him or the TARDIS? We have no food or even water, no shelter if the weather turns bad, or if it gets cold at night, no weapons to fend of predators, and no way to tell what’s safe to eat and drink or what we should avoid. You can survive anywhere, but before long I’m going to need water.”

“Okay, you’re right. Let’s walk to the top of the hill. Perhaps we’ll be able to see signs of habitation from there. Buildings mean people, and where there are people there’ll be somewhere we can get whatever we need to be comfortable until the Doctor picks us up.”

“Will he be able to find us though? I mean, what if he comes back and we’re not where he left us? He won’t know which way we went.”

“Do you always worry this much about everything?”

“Yes. Someone has to, and it’s not like anyone else on the team bothers to make contingency plans. You lot just dive in headfirst and hope for the best. I’m the one left to clean up after you and deal with the fallout.”

Jack at least had the decency to look guilty. “Well, in this instance you’re worrying about nothing. I’ve got a TARDIS key, so the Doctor can find us wherever we go. In fact…” Jack took the key from around his neck and put it around Ianto’s instead. “Not that we’re gonna get separated or anything, but if we do, the Doc will find you first.”

Smiling faintly, Ianto tucked the key inside his t-shirt, out of sight. “Thanks.”

“When we get back to the TARDIS I’ll ask him to give you your own key, just for the duration of this trip. Should’ve thought about that before. Now, while we wait for our ride, why don’t we take a look around? Think of this as just another adventure. Who knows, it might even be fun?”

“Anything’s better than just sitting here, I suppose.” Ianto got to his feet. “Alright, let’s go and see what we can see.”

“That’s the spirit!”

“I just hope we don’t both end up running for our lives from unfriendly natives. It would just our luck if it turns out we would’ve been safer staying with the Doctor.”

The End

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