The coffee machine had already been there when Ianto had arrived for his first day at Torchwood Three. Big and bulky, it was sitting on the counter in the kitchenette, coated with a thick layer of grime. It clearly hadn’t been used in a very long time and was in need of some serious care.
Ianto made cleaning the coffee machine and restoring it to working order his top priority. He’d never seen one like it before, despite working his way through university in a variety of coffee shops and poring over catalogues, deciding what model he’d buy once he was rich enough to afford the best. It was magnificent, and under his care, it soon gleamed in the Hub’s harsh lighting.
With all his prior experience, Ianto had no trouble figuring out how it operated, and a few days after starting his new job, he set it to work brewing one of his own blends. The rich aroma of coffee filled the Hub, even drawing the Captain out of his office.
“I can’t believe you got it working! It’s been decades since anyone could operate that old thing.”
“It’s simple, a child could use it.” Ianto was baffled.
“Maybe a child coffee genius, but the rest of us obviously don’t have the coffee-making gene. Last time I tried to work it, all I got was something the consistency of tar.”
Ianto just shrugged that off. Obviously Captain Harkness wasn’t mechanically minded. Too busy flirting with everything that moved.
Time passed, and Ianto quickly lost count of how many cups of coffee he’d made on the faithful coffee machine. Brewing coffee became a comfort to him, helping him though the bad times and making the good times even better. Everyone on the team had their preferences, and Ianto prided himself on making the perfect cup of coffee every time. He never failed, even when as a punishment, the ‘perfect’ cup was bad decaf. It may have been just a machine to everyone else, but Ianto thought of it as a friend.
The coffee machine survived disaster after disaster; invasion attempts, temporal earthquakes, zombie Owen, John Hart, various bits of alien tech, explosions, Jack’s brother, the earth being moved across the universe and back, a Dalek in the Hub…
Then the children started chanting, there was a bomb planted in Jack’s stomach, and the Hub was blown to smithereens along with him. But what became of Ianto’s beloved coffee machine?
Somewhere out among the stars, travelling through time and space, is a TARDIS. She’s still very young by the standards of her kind and she’s piloted not by a Time Lord, but by a very familiar well-dressed man. And there, in pride of place in the console room, on its own purpose-built station, stands the coffee machine.
It still makes the best coffee in the universe.