From the moment he’d joined Torchwood Three, one of Ianto’s duties had been the care and maintenance of the SUV. Fortunately he’d already know a fair amount about car mechanics, and what he didn’t know he’d soon learned from books and the Internet, determined to prove himself indispensable so that Jack would have no reason to regret taking him on.
As time passed, caring for the SUV became a bit of a labour of love. The vehicle was huge, clunky, and quite frankly ridiculous with the word ‘Torchwood’ painted on it in friendly yellow letters; so much for all that business about Torchwood being a super-secret organisation. Nevertheless, it was beautiful in its own way, black and shiny, and really quite impressive with its fancy tech and flashing blue lights.
Ianto took pride in his work, no matter what it involved, and carried out all aspects of his job to the best of his ability, so he kept the SUV in peak operational condition, checking the tyres, adjusting the timing in the engine, cleaning sparkplugs and changing the oil regularly. He cleaned out the interior after every mission, kept the boot stocked with whatever the team might need, made sure the onboard tech would slide out smoothly whenever it was required, and polished the leather upholstery. As for the exterior…
Jack liked to make a grand entrance, so it was important that Torchwood’s official vehicle should look the part. Naturally it got dirty, especially in winter with all the grit and salt on the roads, or when they had to go out into the countryside, where conditions were usually muddy. That meant frequent washing, waxing, and polishing was essential. Ianto put his back into it and made sure the sleek black paintwork gleamed like a mirror, without so much as the smallest blemish to mar its reflectivity. The SUV turned heads wherever the team went. True, many people cursed it, and the team, for being the proverbial pain in the arse, especially members of the Cardiff constabulary, but there were plenty of times folks were relieved to see them pull up, knowing that Torchwood would deal with whatever weirdness was going on.
Ianto studied the SUV and frowned. After recent events it looked like the paintwork would need touching up in a few places, once he’d cleaned all the muck off. It had become a point of pride with him to keep the old girl unblemished and he’d become quite handy at dealing with minor chips and scrapes caused by flying pebbles and Jack’s manic driving.
Grabbing the hose, he sluiced off the worst of the muck and that was when he noticed it. He remembered Jack saying he’d had to fix the CB aerial to the outside of the vehicle, but what the hell had he used, duct tape? What a mess! Getting the stickiness off the wing mirror would take forever! When Ianto got through with him, Jack was going to have a few blemishes of his own!