Title: Masked Things, Prologue
Rating: There are always adult concepts with these two so let's call it an overall NC 17 just in case. The prologue is barely an R.
Disclaimer: They're not mine. I'm just playing with them.
Characters: Jack/Ianto, Owen, Tosh, Gwen/Rhys, and whatever original characters I deep appropriate
Summary: It's Halloween and the team is going out to a pub in costume. Unfortunately, thanks to the Rift, Cardiff can be interesting on any night and Halloween isn't just any night. This ties into my Dark Man 'verse.
A/N: This started out as drabble and I decided to turn it into an actual story. Depending on pacing and my general laziness it should be the prologue plus two or three parts.
“It's about bloody time. Where's tea boy?” Owen asked Jack as he walked into the conference room. He was setting at the table, feet propped up, sipping a glass of amber liquid.
“He'll be up in a minute. Where are Gwen and Tosh?” Jack asked.
“I'm right behind you. Gwen and Rhys are running late. They're going to meet us at the pub,” Tosh said stepping around Jack.
“Bloody hell, Tosh!” Owen said, getting to his feet.
“Whoa! Nice costume!” Jack said looking Tosh over. She was dressed like a character out of manga comic, wearing a hot pink wig done up in pig tails, and a plaid school girl outfit complete with a very mini skirt. Thigh high white stockings and black patent leather shoes completed the costume.
Her cheeks colored. “Thanks. I wasn't sure if I should wear it.”
“Hell, you should wear it all the time,” Owen leered at her.
“What about me? How's my costume?” Jack asked. “Ianto found the coat at a thrift store!”
“I like it!” Tosh said brightly.
“Kind of cliche, don't you think?” Owen said giving his boss a dismissive look. Jack was wearing a tattered version of his usual clothing, complete with a ratty old RAF coat smeared with fake blood. His skin was a greenish yellow and more fake blood covered his chin and neck.
“Pot meet kettle,” Ianto said from the doorway. Owen was wearing a white lab coat with a stethoscope dangling from around his neck.
“What are you supposed to be?” Owen asked. Ianto was dressed in cheap suit, his face smudged and hair disheveled. “Besides in need of a bath?”
Ianto's lips curved into a tight smile and he reached up pulling his tie free. Leaving it hanging from his neck he unbuttoned his shirt slowly, almost seductively, starting from the top and working his way down.
Tosh giggled and Jack whistled appreciatively.
Owen looked horrified. “What the fuck tea boy?! Keep your clothes on! I don't want to see that!”
Still smirking, Ianto pulled the shirt open revealing a tight, gore spattered t-shirt underneath. “I'm his victim.”
“Yeah, I get to spend the night eating his face.” Jack stepped next to Ianto, draping an arm across his shoulders possessively.
Ianto looked at Jack and raised an eyebrow. “How is that different from any other night?”
Jack laughed, “Good point.”
“You two need to stop!”
“I think it's kind of cute,” Tosh interjected.
Owen threw her a disgusted look, “You would.”
“We were going to go as Dracula and Mina Harker,” Ianto added brightly, “but we couldn't decide who would wear the dress.”
“We decided on the zombie thing instead. Rather than sucking on each other's necks all evening, we get to suck on each other's faces. That's just as much fun.”
“I still think I would have made an excellent Dracula,” Ianto said.
Grinning, Jack said, “I told you I'd wear the dress but you didn't want to meet my... demands.”
Ianto succeeded admirably in looking down his nose at his lover even if Jack were an inch taller and replied primly, “There are some things even I won't do.”
“Stop! Right now!” Owen ordered.
“He's lying,” Jack said, smiling indulgently at the Welshman.
Dropping his pretense of propriety, Ianto shrugged, “I am.”
“He'll try anything at least once.”
Ianto nodded matter of factly, “He's right. I will.”
“Auugh! You two are sick fucks! I'm leaving!”
Ianto added, “Except for Owen. Everyone's got to have a limit.”
Tosh and Jack both laughed. Owen stopped and looked from Ianto to Jack to Tosh. He looked mildly offended, started to say something and then thought better of it. Shaking his head he finally said, “Fuck you! I hate all of you! I'm out of here!”
“Am I talking to myself?” Ianto asked no one in particular. “Didn't I just establish that wasn't an option?”
“We'll see you at the pub!” Jack shouted at the medic's retreating back.
“Grab us a table!” Ianto added grinning.
Tosh giggled, “I'd better go with him, otherwise he might not show.” She hurried after Owen calling his name.
“I never tire of doing that sort of thing to him,” Ianto murmured to Jack.
“And I never tire of watching you do it, my love. Shall we?” Jack slid his hands into his coat pockets and offered Ianto his arm and the walked towards the underground car park and the SUV.
Disclaimer: They're not mine. I'm just playing with them.
Characters: Jack/Ianto, Owen, Gwen, Tosh
Summary: Ianto explains to Jack what has happened to him and everyone else explains to Gwen that she's not nearly as subtle as she thinks she is.
Jack woke unhurriedly. He was wrapped in Ianto's arms and the sensation of bare flesh on bare flesh left him feeling warm and contented. They were both naked, tangled in a sheet on his bunk in the depths of the Hub. He turned his head and slowly blinked his eyes open. His face was buried in Ianto's shoulder, his arm thrown across the Welshman's stomach. Jack rolled a little, trying not to disturb his lover as his hand glided across his chest, tickling the fine, dark hairs before tracing a circle around a pink nipple with the tip of a single finger.
He drank in the sight of the long, lean form before turning his head and kissing him on the chest. Physically, he was unchanged; the same dark hair, the same pale skin, the same alluring lips. His trip through the rift hadn't left a mark on him but something was different. There was a depth that hadn't been there a week ago. Ianto had always had facade of reserve and propriety but underneath that there was passion and the fire of youth. The passion was there but now it was tempered by a stillness that came with age and experience.
After their reunion in the alley the previous night, it had been all business. They had collected the bodies of all five weevils and loaded them in the SUV. They then brought them back to Hub to be incinerated. As they worked they snatched a quick touch here and a caress there, talking of small things.
“Ianto,” Jack said as the carried the last weevil to the incinerator, “what happened to you?”
Ianto sighed, “A lot. Can we talk about it later...I just want to be here with you for a while.”
Jack gave him a long look after they heaved the body into the incinerator. “Fair enough but I have questions.”
Ianto gave him a tired smile, “And I have answers, my love.”
He grabbed Ianto and pulled him to him, hugging him fiercely. He whispered in his ear,“I never thought I'd see you again.”
Ianto hugged him back and said softly, “I thought that too for a while.” They held each other for a moment before Ianto chuckled and a let go. “You do realize we're groping each other next to a filthy incinerator stinking of weevil, don't you?”
Jack nodded and grinned at him. “It must be true love.”
Ianto grinned back, a real smile this time full of life and energy, “It must be.” He wrinkled his nose delicately. “Let's finish this and get cleaned up.”
One thing led to another. They showered together and then fell into bed. Sleep claimed them much later after each had explored the other's body, each reassuring themselves that the other was really there.
“It's okay,” Ianto said bringing Jack back to the present. “I'm awake.” He tilted his head, kissing Jack's hair.”
“How long?” Jack asked, tilting his head up and snatching a quick kiss.
“Were you watching me?” Jack smiled.
“I was holding you. It's something I've missed.”
Jack wriggled in Ianto's arms, rolling onto his chest so he could look him in the eye. There was a weariness that hadn't been there a week ago. Ianto's eyes had always been too old for someone so young. He'd seen too much in his short life but now there was a depth that hadn't been there previously.
“What happened to you?” he asked quietly.
Ianto met his gaze and didn't answer for a long moment. His fingers played through Jack's tousled hair and he finally said, “Too much. I don't understand parts of it myself and I lived it.”
Jack licked his lips and smiled, “How about the scary, shadow thing? And the beating the weevil to death?” Jack's tone was tinged with mirth. “Oh, and why did you leave me chained in the tunnels under the city? How about that one?”
Jack felt Ianto's laugh as much as he heard it. It was the first time Ianto had truly laughed since he'd revealed himself to Jack the evening before and it was wonderful.
“I left you chained because the other me had to find you and free you. I remembered it happening so it had to happen that way. And it was kind of hot. It gave me ideas.”
Jack laughed. “I kind of like the sound of that. What about the rest of it?”
“My... experiences have given me a few... advantages,” Ianto said, groping for words. “Mostly parlor tricks but useful parlor tricks. I'm a little stronger than I used to be and I can call shadows.”
“Parlor tricks? What I saw looked like more than parlor tricks,” Jack said in a serious voice.
“Let me start at the beginning. I hope it'll make more sense that way. When did you revive in the warehouse?” Ianto asked. “I heard you shouting as I was pulled into the Rift.”
“I heard Hart shouting that you'd shot him. I struggled to my feet and tried to find you,” Jack's voice dropped to whisper, “but I was too late.”
“After he had killed me, he'd planned on taking you. He said he'd strangle the life from you as he had you and you'd know that when you came back that he'd do it again and again,” Ianto said flatly. “He taunted me with it, said you'd be the perfect lover. He said the first time he took you that it'd be on my body.”
“Oh.” Jack shuddered at the thought, remembering his time as a captive of the Master.
“That was something I could not, would not, abide,” Ianto said taking Jack's face in his hands, cobalt blue eyes blazing. “I would do this all over again to keep that from happening.”
Jack licked his lips and nodded, looking into his eyes and knowing the words to be true.
“I didn't shoot him once. I shot him three times. After the second shot he said he'd go back and smother me in my crib, that you wouldn't even know my name. He was trying to do that when I shot vortex manipulator and we were drawn into the Rift.”
“I should have killed him the first time he came to Cardiff,” Jack said, regret evident in his voice.
“Everything happens for a reason, Jack. Let's get up. We're both going to have a stiff neck if we keep this up,” Ianto said wriggling out from under his Captain. “What time is it?”
Jack twisted and check the time. “Just after 5. I doubt we see the others before 8 or 9.”
“Good. We've got time. Would you like some coffee?” Ianto asked. Untangling himself from the sheet, he stood and stretched, purposefully displaying his long, lean form for his lover. Jack's breath caught and Ianto smirked. “Like that, do you?”
Jack grabbed for him but he stepped away.
“Not now. Coffee or not?” he asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Fine. Be that way,” Jack pouted. “Coffee would wonderful.”
Ianto grabbed a robe, casually pulling it on and he walked to the ladder. “You coming?”
Jack leered at him, “Not yet.” Ianto rolled his eyes and Jack added, “Yes.” He stood, deliberately did not grab a robe and followed Ianto up the ladder and to the small kitchen.
“Everything where it I left it?” Ianto asked opening cabinet doors.
“I wouldn't let anyone touch anything. I was... adamant about that.” Jack laughed, “Gwen offered to box up your apartment yesterday.”
Ianto snorted, “She is a bit obvious at times.”
“I disabused her of the notion rather quickly.”
“Poor Gwen. Never content with what she has,” Ianto said as he started the coffee brewing. He sat down at the small table smiled at his lover. “Have a seat. Lap or chair, your choice.”
Jack practically sprang into his lap, wrapping his arms around his neck and kissing him thoroughly.
“Excellent choice,” Ianto said after he'd caught his breath.
“Am I that predictable?”
“Never.” He gave Jack a quick peck on the tip of his nose and wrapped his arms around his waste getting comfortable. “Now, where were we?”
“You'd just shot that son-of-a-bitch.”
“That's it. We were pulled into the Rift. When my awareness returned, I was in total darkness. I didn't know where I was or if I was even still alive but my anger at Hart was unabated. I was filled with a burning rage that threatened to consume me,” he shuddered, holding tight to Jack. “There were... things moving in the darkness. I could feel them brushing against me. They wanted me afraid. They wanted to consume me. I think they feed on terror. I gave them rage and anger instead.”
“Oh, Ianto,” Jack said pulling his arms tighter around him.
“It's okay, I think the rage protected me from them,” the Welshman said, burying his face in Jack's shoulder before continuing, “It happened a long time ago.”
“How long ago?” Jack asked, stroking his dark hair.
“I'll get to that.”
Jack nodded and Ianto continued, “I could hear Hart whimpering somewhere. I don't know how long it went on, it could have been hours or days. I just don't know. The things were battering at me, growing more and more frantic and Hart never shut up. He started out mad and it got worse.”
Jack nodded saying again, “I should have killed him.”
Ianto continued, “I think whatever was there finished him. He sounded... broken. Anyway, the things wanted me and I wanted to get back to you and Cardiff and Hart wouldn't shut up and I couldn't think. I went a little mad myself.” Ianto's voice was barely audible. “I broke, a little anyway. I wanted out and I panicked, reached out and touched... something in the darkness and tore at it with both my hands and my mind. A crack in the Rift opened. I saw a flash of Hart. I grabbed him and tried to haul us through it-”
Jack sat up straight and twisted, looking at Ianto. “You brought him with you?”
Ianto shook his head. “He panicked and jerked free as I was coming through the crack. I don't know what happened to him.”
“Why did you try and bring him with you?” Jack asked, watching his lover carefully.
Ianto smiled a hard smile that didn't reach his eyes. “I could tell you it was because no one should be left in that place or that it was just a reflex but I'd be lying. I wanted him dead by my hand. If I ever see him again, he will be dead by my hand.”
Jack nodded and said, “There's obviously some time travel involved here. How long did you avoid yourself?”
Jack could see the pain in his eyes as he answered, “It was 1961 when I came out of the Rift.”
“1961!?!” Jack nearly shouted raising up off of his lover. “But how?” he asked running his fingers over Ianto's unlined face and firm body.
Ianto smiled again, this time the cobalt blue eyes twinkled. “I look pretty good for being nearly 80, don't I?”
Jack's mouth opened and closed without any sound coming out.
“Close your mouth and set down Jack.” He pulled a chair up across from Ianto and sat.
“What? How?” Jack sputtered.
“I woke up in Cardiff but it wasn't quite right. I found a newspaper dated 1961 and that shredded what little bit of sanity I had left. I lost it. I could still feel the darkness but now it was coming from me. It was like I was the crack in the Rift and I couldn't close it.” Ianto whetted his lips with the tip of his tongue before continuing. “That's when I encountered the Torchwood agents. Thankfully, I didn't do any permanent harm to them. I fled the city and slowly regained control of myself.”
“You're a crack in the Rift?” Jack asked, his tone serious again.
“The rift is part of me now. It's always there in the back of my mind. I can always feel it.” The smile was tired again. “I'll never need one of Tosh's hand scanners again.”
“I've never heard of anything like that even when I was with the Time Agency.”
“I think of it as being a window,” Ianto explained. “Even with the drapes closed a little bit of light or darkness in this case, seeps in around the edges. I think that's what sustains me. It keeps me from aging and makes me a little stronger and faster than I used to be. Does that make sense?”
“Sort of. Keep going,” Jack nodded thoughtfully.
“When I call the darkness and distort my voice it's like I've opened the drapes and more of it is coming through the glass. Some of the terror I felt when I was in there bleeds through also.”
Jack nodded, “Okay. That makes sense too.”
“I think the window can be opened as well but I've never tried. If I draw on it too much it feels like I'm losing myself. I think whatever is on the other side is waiting on me to open it wide enough so that they can reach through and drag me back in.” Ianto shuddered and Jack reached out and grasped his hand.
“I won't let that happen,” Jack said fiercely. “I'll never lose you again, not to anything.”
“I love you too,” Ianto said before falling silent, both men embarrassed by the depths of their emotions. Ianto cleared his throat and said, “Coffee's finished.”
Jack followed him to the coffee maker, staying at his side. He wrapped his arms around Ianto's waist and pressed his chest against his back, resting his chin on the Welshman's shoulder as he poured the coffee.
The corner's of Ianto's mouth twitched as wriggled around to face his Captain. “I'm not going to disappear.”
“I'm just making sure,” Jack said, kissing him softly.
“Drink your coffee while I finish. I promise I won't leave you.”
Jack let go of Ianto and leaned against the counter, sipping his coffee, watching the younger man.
Ianto shook his head at his still naked lover, looking him over head to toe. “I'd really rather you not burn any of the good parts.”
Jack smirked and took another sip and said, “I'll keep that in mind.”
“Good. Anyway, I wandered for a year or so and finally decided to leave England altogether. I needed peace and privacy and I couldn't get that here, dodging Torchwood agents left and right.”
Jack nodded, still sipping his coffee.
“First I went to Paris. That didn't work out. Too many people. I ended up traveling to the United States. I spent 10 years in a small town in Michigan mastering my new abilities and testing their limits.” He laughed. “I was Ianto Harkness for a while.”
“Harkness?” Jack's smile was soft, intended only for Ianto.
“I didn't know if I'd ever see you again. I wanted something to hold onto.”
“Ianto,” Jack said, his voice soft and distressed.
“It's okay. That was nearly 50 years ago for me.” He reached out and grasped Jack's arm. “Once I realized I wasn't aging, I started to put things together. If I was the mysterious Dark Man you'd met then I would see you again. It would just be a while.”
A slow smile crept onto Jack's face. “So you're immortal?”
“I don't appear to be aging,” Ianto clarified. “You're the only person I've ever met that get's killed on a regular basis, which I find seriously disturbing I might add. No one has even come close to killing me so I don't know about actually being immortal.”
“No one will if I have anything to say about it.”
“I've picked up a few skills over the years. I'm not all that easy to kill these days.”
“So you could be around... forever?” Jack asked tentatively.
“I'll be around for as long as you'll have me.” Ianto took the coffee mug from Jack's hands setting it aside. Grasping Jack's hands in his own, he asked somberly, “You will have me, won't you?”
Jack licked his lips and smiled a soft, intimate smile meant for Ianto alone. “Yes, Ianto Jones. I'll have you for as long as you'll have me.”
Ianto pulled him to him. Their lips touched and parted, tongues met. The kiss was slow and intimate, more about love than sex as they explored each others mouths, reveling in their closeness. Ianto had his arms around Jack's neck and Jack had his around Ianto's waist. They pulled apart slowly, breathing heavily, still in each other's arms with their foreheads touching.
“Did we just get engaged?” Jack asked, soft smile still in place.
“I honestly don't know?” Ianto said, one of the few times Jack had ever heard him sound genuinely perplexed.
“For now let's call it a promise. You okay with that?” Jack asked, surprised but pleased by this turn of events.
“I am. I love you, Jack.”
“I love you, too. Don't ever go away again, okay?.”
“I won't. Will you promise the same?”
“I promise not to leave you, Ianto Jones.”
Ianto stepped back, reluctantly releasing his Captain. The smile on his face was mirrored by a similar smile on Jack's. Both men were obviously pleased with where the conversation had led but needed time to process the implications. Jack still rested his right hand intimately on Ianto's waist and Ianto's eyes blue eyes shone with love.
“So what did you do for all those years?”
“A little bit of everything. I learned to fence. I learned to fight. I smuggled medicals supplies. I worked on a couple of off-Broadway plays. There was a rather memorable stint as a tour guide in New Orleans,” Ianto smiled at this.
“You were a tour guide in New Orleans?”
“Yep. Being able to do what I do has it's advantages on a haunted tour.” Ianto's reply was droll but his eyes twinkled.
“I love New Orleans.”
“I know. It's your sort of town.”
Jack hesitated. “So was there anyone?” He added quickly, “I wouldn't blame you. 50 years is a long time.”
Ianto gave him a slow, knowing smile. “Well, there was this one guy I met a few times. He was something special. I seduced him a couple of times and even let him think he was seducing me once.” Jack's face grew more and more somber as Ianto continued to speak. “He was rather dashing. Wore this really great vintage RAF coat...”
“What?!” Jack burst out, mouth opening and closing but only managing to articulate the one word.
Ianto burst into laughter, bending at the waist. “You...should see the look on your face!”
“Ianto. I'm serious. What did you – stop laughing! What did you do? Did you retcon me?” Jack stood, hands on hips, trying to look outraged. Unfortunately for Jack, the effect was spoiled by being totally naked and slightly aroused. Ianto laughed even harder.
Ianto strove to bring his laughter under control. He didn't want to anger Jack but the sight of him standing there, hands on hips, manhood bobbing back and forth as he demanded answers really was a bit much to take.
“The first time was an accident. I was feeling homesick, even if Cardiff wouldn't really be home for another 20 years so I came back. I identified the Torchwood team and stayed clear of them. You were doing some freelance work so I checked in on you a couple of times. I was feeling sorry for myself and was drinking in a pub when you slid onto the stool next to me and started chatting.” Ianto grinned at the memory. “I nearly fell out of my chair. Once I got over the initial shock I let you pick me up. We had a marvelous night and I drugged your drink and left you sleeping like a baby.”
“Where did you get the retcon?” Jack asked thoughtfully.
“Had a bottle with me to use on Hart. I didn't want to him to remember us or the Hub.”
“Why did you use it on me?”
“I didn't want to change anything so you couldn't remember me.”
“And the other times? You seduced me?” Jack's soft smile grew salacious.
Ianto raised an eyebrow. “What? I didn't say it was difficult.”
Jack burst out laughing. “I wish I could remember those times.”
“Oh? Maybe I'll remind you one day.” Ianto waggled his eyebrows up and down and leered at his Captain. “Now, my love, if I remember correctly I promised you a surprise if you were good on that day so long ago. You were good, weren't you?”
Jack licked his lips and nodded. “I was very good.”
“That's what I thought,” Ianto said letting his robe slide to the floor. “Come here,” he ordered and pulled Jack to him. “Now.”
* * * *
“What are you having?” Tosh asked Owen as he rushed into the coffee shop, running late as usual. She and Gwen had been in line 5 minutes and the barista was about to take their order.
“Get me the hazelnut. Black. Thanks love. I'll grab us a spot.” Owen slid into a seat at an empty table just ahead of two men in cheap suits.
“Hey!” The taller of the two protested.
“Piss off,” Owen said not budging. “And if you can't do better than that with a suit just go kill yourself.”
“Sorry gentlemen,” Gwen said as she and Tosh walked up to the table carrying a tray with their drinks. “Dr. Harper is a little cranky before he has his morning coffee.”
“He is right about the suits,” Tosh murmured as the men grumbled and left.
“Tea boy knew how to wear a suit. Those two looked like fools playing dress up,” Owen said sipping his coffee.
At the mention of Ianto they grew quiet and sat sipping their coffee, eyeing each other without saying anything. No one wanted to be the first to start the conversation. After a few minutes of uncomfortable silence Gwen cleared her throat.
“What are we going to do about Jack?” she asked in a neutral tone.
Tosh said, “If yesterday is any indication, we let him come to terms with Ianto's loss on his own.”
Owen nodded in agreement.
“There's got to be something we can do,” Gwen continued doggedly.
Owen sighed, “Honey, let him grieve. He's not interested in what you've got to offer.”
“What do you mean?!” Gwen was outraged.
“What he means is that flinging yourself at Jack in the subtle way you have isn't helping matters,” Tosh snapped, having had enough of Gwen already. Today was going to be a long day.
“I don't know what you're - !” Gwen sputtered to a stop at the identical looks of contempt she received from both Tosh and Owen.
“Gwen. Sweetheart. None of us are mental. Just let it go and whatever you do, don't offer to clean out Ianto's apartment again. If Jack doesn't bloody shoot you, I will.”
Tosh's lips turned up in a sad smile and she curled the fingers of her right hand into the shape of a gun and pointed it at Gwen. “Bang.”
Gwen jerked and looked hurt. “You too, Tosh?”
Tosh nodded. “I loved Ianto too and I owe Jack more than I can ever repay.”
“Bloody Ianto Jones,” Gwen muttered under her breath.
Owen gave her a hard look. “I think we've said all the needs to be said on this for now. We've all got to work together so let's pretend this never happened and get back to it.”
Tosh nodded and watched Gwen over her coffee cup.
“Fine. We'll carry on like Torchwood is a team of three now,” Gwen said sourly.
“Jack will be there if we need him. It looks like the Rift will be relatively quiet for a couple of more days so other than weevils we shouldn't have much to do,” Tosh said, ignoring Gwen's tone. Maybe she should just go ahead and shoot her in Ianto's memory.
“Good. Now that we've settled all of that, I'm going to get a coffee to go and head to the Hub. You two want anything? Owen asked.
He bought four coffees to go and they made their way to the Tourist Office. Tosh let them in and she looked around, noting that it was a little dusty and a few of the brochures needed restocked. Ianto would not be pleased. She made a mental note to tidy it that evening before going home. They walked through the tunnels leading to the primary entrance to the Hub.
The door rolled slowly open and all three entered, lead by Owen. Gwen bumped into him as he was stopped short by what he saw.
Jack was leaning back in Ianto's chair with his feet casually propped up on the desk. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee filled the air and a mug rested on his stomach, both his hands curled around it. His clothes were clean and freshly pressed, his dark hair was damp from a recent shower and he wore a sleepy-eyed look of satisfaction on his face. He raised the mug, waving it at them in a lazy salute and took a sip.
Owen looked at Jack, then around the Hub and then back at Jack.
“What is it?” Gwen asked
Tosh peered at Jack, a slow smile forming.
“Where is he?” Owen asked, gaze flicking around the Hub once more.
“Hmmm?” Jack said grinning at the acerbic medic.
“Don't fuck with me, Jack. Where. Is. He?” Owen walked towards the small kitchen, coming to a dead stop at Jack's next words.
“I wouldn't go in there if I were you. Haven't had a chance to clean up yet,” he said smugly.
“Dammit,” Gwen muttered under her breath. She quickly turned away from Tosh's slitty-eyed stare.
Owen started towards Jack's office.
“You might want to stay out of there as well.”
“God Dammit Jack!”
“Don't even think about going down to my quarters,” Jack smirked.
“You're a prick,” Owen said. He turned away from his boss and bellowed, “IANTO!”
A moment later Ianto strode out of Jack's office, shirt unbuttoned at the neck and tie in hand. “What?,” he asked and then looked at Jack, noting his smirk. “Oh, he's been playing again.”
Both Owen and Tosh rushed to him, flinging their arms around him. Ianto put an arm awkwardly around each of them, touched and surprised by Owen's display of affection in particular. “Hi guys.”
“You're okay!” Tosh cried squeezing him hard.
Owen said nothing but patted him on the back.
“I am,” he answered and turned his attention to Gwen who stood a few feet away. He tipped his chin to her over Tosh's shoulder. “Gwen.”
“Ianto,” she said pausing before continuing awkwardly, “I'm glad you're okay.”
“Thank you. I'm glad to be back.”
Owen stepped back, letting go of Ianto. “What happened to you, mate?”
“Not now Owen,” Jack interrupted. “He's just returned. Give him a little room to breathe.”
“I am fine,” Ianto added.
“He's more than fine. I can vouch for that,” Jack said helpfully.
Ianto rolled his eyes. “I'll tell you what I can later. For now I'm just glad to be back.”
Owen peered at Ianto like he wanted to say something else but let it go. Tosh gave him a questioning look and they both ignored Gwen's suspicious stare.
Ianto noted the look on Gwen's face and did a mental eye roll. He let go of Tosh and said, “Jack, I'm going to clean up the kitchen. Why don't you start on your office and I'll join you shortly.”
“Yes sir.” Jack stood, smiled at his lover giving him a jaunty salute and started towards his office. He called over his shoulder, “Team meeting in the conference room at 10:30.”
After Jack was gone Gwen asked sourly, “Since when do you get to give him orders?”
Owen shook his head in disbelief and turned away from his teammate, heading for the medical bay.
Ianto's pleasant smile fooled no one. “Since I put that look on his face. If you think you can do better you're welcome to try but I'd advise against it,” Ianto's features darkened and took on a slightly sinister cast, “ You might just piss me off.”
Tosh snorted, turning away as Ianto marched to the kitchen, leaving a sputtering Gwen in his wake.
A/N: I had a few goals when I started writing these stories. Being a fan of both adventure stories and smut I wanted to end up with a Ianto that was not only immortal (immortalish anyway) but one that was a little more Jack's equal in both life experience and knowledge. I wanted a Ianto that didn't end up fulfilling the role of the 'damsel in distress' on a regular basis. At this point, I think that's what I've given myself.
He's got 50 years of unknown history including at least three encounters with Jack (Can you say “The Secret History of Ianto Jones Part 1?”). He's not quite human anymore but I've tried to limit his abilities to things that could mostly be replicated with technology (smoke bombs and a perception filter, going to the gym, using one of Tosh's hand scanners). I will admit that the distorted voice and causing fear is a little out there but I thought both of them were kind of cool so I tossed them in there.
The Dark Man is an amalgam of several things I've seen and read including the old Shadow pulps and James Robinson's The Shade comic book. The idea to tie it into TW came from Suzie talking about things being in the dark calling Jack's name when she was dead. I combined all of that with several one shot stories I wanted to write and this is where I ended up.
Thanks for all of your comments and encouragement. I hope you've enjoyed reading these as much as I've enjoyed writing them. This is just the beginning.
Disclaimer: They're not mine. I'm just playing with them.
Summary: Angsty depression thrown in with some Torchwood style action.
A/N: Thanks to both the fabulous zazajb and equally fabulous iantosdreamer46 for their help and encouragement with this one!
Ianto was gone and Jack sat staring listlessly at his office wall.
The first days after Ianto had been taken by the Rift created by the destruction of John Hart's vortex manipulator were a flurry of motion.
After witnessing Ianto being drawn into the void, Jack had reestablished contact with Tosh but still been unable to raise Owen and Gwen. He'd ordered her gather what information she could on the spike that took Ianto, begging her to find him. Jack had tracked the GPS unit in the SUV to a small lot at the far end of the street. Popping open the back door, he found a Owen and Gwen bound and gagged in the back.
He freed first Owen then Gwen, letting them remove their own gags.
Owen yanked his gag off shouting, “Where is he?! Where is that fucking Hart?!”
Jack started to answer, “He -”
Gwen yanked her own gag off. “He's got to be stopped! We can't have him here -”
“Shut up! Both of you!” Jack shouted, stunning them into silence. Jack did not shout. He commanded, he barked orders, he demanded but he did not shout. “He's gone and so is Ianto.”
“What?!” Gwen exclaimed and actually looked at Jack. His face was haggard and blood ran down the front of him. “Your shirt...”
Owen said, “Fuck. What happened?”
“I'm not really sure. He had a gun to Ianto's head and ended up shooting me. I revived and heard him screaming about Ianto shooting him. I saw Ianto shoot him through the wrist as he was trying to teleport away. A crack in the Rift opened and they were both drawn into it.”
“Fuck! Fuck, fuck, fuck!” Owen exclaimed.
“What can we do?” Gwen asked calmly.
There was an uncharacteristic note of pain in Jack's voice. “I don't know.”
Both Tosh and Jack had worked themselves into exhaustion and beyond trying to determine what actually had happened to Ianto.
Jack returned to the warehouse accompanied by Gwen and examined it inch by inch with both his vortex manipulator and Tosh's hand scanners. The data was inconclusive. The crack in the Rift hadn't been a natural occurrence nor had it been a standard vortex manipulator teleport. It was something that Jack had never seen before, even in his days as a time agent.
Toshiko spent her time with her computers trying to puzzle out what had happened to no avail. She simply didn't have enough data to work out the equations. With the proper calculations they could attempt to use the Rift Manipulator to follow Ianto but she didn't have the necessary information.
Owen and Gwen hovered. Neither of them had the skill set to offer any real help so they did whatever was asked of them growing more and more frustrated. Jack started ignoring them completely and after Tosh had lost her temper and started screaming at Owen to “leave her alone, she was working” he sent them home.
“Both of you go home,” he ordered. “I'll call you if I need you.”
“Jack, I'll stay. I want to help,” Gwen argued.
“I'm out of here,” Owen said, not needing to be told twice.
“Keep your phone on!” Jack called at the retreating medic's back. Turning his attention to Gwen he said, “Go home to Rhys. You haven't seen him for days. I'll call if I need you.”
She pursed her lips, obviously irritated. “Call if you need anything at all. I'll come back immediately.”
After Gwen left Tosh said, “Thank you. I can't think with them hovering.”
“I know,” Jack said leaning against her desk. He was quiet for a moment before continuing, “Tosh, can you find him?”
“Honestly?” she asked. At his nod she continued, “I don't know. I won't stop trying.” She reached out and grasped his arm before turning her attention back to the computers.
Life draining out of Jack's voice, he said quietly, “I'll be in my office.”
Ianto was gone and Jack sat staring listlessly at his office wall.
Ianto had been gone a week, taken by the Rift along with John Hart and he could do nothing about it. He'd been happy for the first time in a long time and now it was over. He was alone. He would always be alone. If he was lucky he got to watch the people he cared about grow old and die but that was a rare occurrence. Most of the time they were there and gone in a flash. He'd wanted things to be different with Ianto even if the odds were against it.
Members of Torchwood didn't grow old. They were killed in action. They went mad from the things they faced day in and day out. Their memories were taken from them and they were placed back in a normal life with no idea that they'd ever been part of something fantastic. He hoped it would be different with Ianto.
Ianto was gone and Jack sat staring listlessly at his office wall.
Ianto was so calm, cool, collected, so competent. He was prepared for anything. No alien could get the best of him. Insanity wouldn't dare mar that perfectly tailored suit. Ianto would never leave him. Underneath that fine veneer of propriety and control, Ianto was magic. He was passionate and he was loving and and he was funny and for a short time he'd been Jack's and Jack had been his.
He was fond of surprises. Just thinking of the motorbike brought a sad smile to Jack's face. Jack was surprised by Ianto constantly but the biggest surprise was that he was gone and it was Jack's fault.
Ianto was gone and Jack sat staring listlessly at his office wall.
John Hart, Ianto was gone because of John Hart. He'd come back to 21st century Cardiff looking for Jack, obsessed with him. They'd been partners and lovers long ago in the Time Agency but Hart's homicidal tendencies among other things had driven them apart years ago. He'd come to Cardiff once before and Jack had let him leave but Hart was mad and his madness had taken Ianto.
Ianto was gone and Jack sat staring listlessly at his office wall.
“Jack?” Gwen called, standing in the doorway. She watched him stare lifelessly off into space. When it became obvious that he wasn't going to answer, she said a bit more forcefully, “Jack? Are you okay?”
He turned his head slowly, eyes focusing on her. “What do you want, Gwen?” he asked in a flat voice.
“I asked if you were okay. You've been in here for days.”
“No Gwen, I'm not okay. Why would I be okay?” Jack snapped, a spark of life returning to his voice.
“There's no need...” Gwen stopped and took a deep breath. “Jack, we've done all we can for now.”
“It wasn't enough.” Jack replied.
“Is there anything I can do to help?” Gwen asked. “I can pack up his apartment if-”
“You'd like that wouldn't you?” he interrupted, voice cracking like a whip, eyes hard.
“What do you mean? I just want-”
“You can't wait to box him up and get rid of him, can you?” Jack said coldly.
“That's not what I - I miss him too,” She nearly shouted, voice a little shrill.
Jack gave her a hard look and then turned away and said softly, “Maybe you do at that. Regardless, do not touch his things.”
Owen stepped into the office and walked up behind her, placing a hand on her shoulder. “Let's go Gwen. Now is not the time.”
She whirled on him, eyes shining with unshed tears of hurt and frustration. “But I just want to help.”
“Sweetheart, that's nice but have you ever heard the saying 'like a bull in a china shop?' Let's go.” He took her firmly by the arm, guiding her away from Jack's office door.
“Go home. I'll be here if anything happens,” Jack called after them, his flat voice again.
Ianto was gone and Jack sat staring listlessly at his office wall.
Tosh glided into the office and leaned against Jack's desk without saying anything. She picked up a grainy photo of Jack and Ianto that looked like a CCTV still. “I've never seen this before,” she said, running the tip of one delicate finger over it.
Jack smiled a wan smile. “Ianto pulled that from footage of when we first met. It was on the desk down in my quarters. He had a sentimental streak.”
“He did,” Tosh agreed and sat silently staring at the picture for a while. “We talked some about the two of you. He was happy, you know.”
“I'm glad,” He was quiet for a minute then added, “So was I. Did he tell you about the motorbike?”
She shook her head. “I didn't know he had a motorbike.”
His smile was genuine, his eyes drifting as he thought about that wild ride, “Neither did I. He took me for a ride one morning. He was a maniac that day.”
She sat for a moment looking into his eyes. “When you're ready, if you want, I'll help you with his things. I loved him too.” She leaned forward brushing her lips against his forehead and stood. Walking to the door, she paused, “The others are gone. Do you want the alerts transferred to your wrist strap?”
He nodded. “Tosh?”
She inclined her head gracefully and was gone.
Ianto was gone and Jack sat staring listlessly at his office wall.
An insistent beeping roused him from his stupor. Looking at his wrist strap he thought, “Weevils. Just what I need.”
He checked the time. The others had been gone for hours. He decided to handle it himself. They'd been picking up his slack for the last week and there was no need to drag them back out this evening. Standing, he grabbed his coat, Webley, and a canister of Weevil spray and headed for the SUV.
* * * *
The large black SUV screeched to a halt blocking the entrance to the alley. The door was flung open and Jack leaped out and hit the ground running. He'd spotted the figure halfway down the block shuffling along in the shadows, startling it as he steered the SUV directly towards it. Blinded by the powerful headlamps the weevil shielded its eyes with an arm, fleeing to the alley.
Webley drawn, he chased the figure down the dimly lit alley. Light from the row of businesses it ran behind, including a reasonably good pub he noted, illuminated it well enough that he didn't need a torch. Jack wrinkled his nose as he pounded past a row of rubbish bins behind the restaurant. The combination of the rancid smell of the bins and the aroma of fresh food wafting from the pub would make this area irresistible to a Weevil.
Jack turned a corner and followed the Weevil between two buildings, heading back towards the street. A high wooden fence blocked the space between the two buildings, stopping the weevil short. It turned hissing at him in the low light, head turning slowly left and right.
“Now, now, just calm down,” He said, more for his own benefit rather than the weevil's. He fumbled with is left hand trying to pull his weevil spray out of a coat pocket.
The weevil bobbed slowly from side to side, cocking it's head as it's hiss grew louder becoming a low keen. It moved away from the fence shuffling slowly towards him.
Jack smiled. He needed this. The distraction was temporary at best but for now he could concentrate on the hunt. “Enough of that. Don't make me shoot-”
He was interrupted by an answering keen, and then a second, third and a fourth, all coming from behind him in the alley. This wasn't good.
His smile faded and risked a quick glance over his shoulder. “Shit.”
The entrance to the alley was blocked by four weevils, moving slowly towards him, swaying from side to side.
“Dammit,” he muttered. The first weevil charged and he aimed and fired instantly, shooting it three times in the chest. Leaping over the body before it hit the ground, he ran the last ten feet to the fence, putting his back to it.
“This is just brilliant,” he said to himself. He doubted he could take all four. Being weevil food wasn't the best way to spend an evening.
He'd revive eventually but still, dying was dying. He'd gotten used to Ianto waiting for him when he came back. Jack's eyes would flutter open and he'd smile. Ianto would let out a breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding. He'd give him a slow, sweet kiss and then explain to him in great detail that watching someone you cared for die was not an experience he enjoyed even if he knew they'd come back. At the same time he'd be fussing over him, making sure he had clean clothes, coffee, chocolate or whatever he deemed necessary at the time. He'd give anything to be scolded like that again.
The weevils moved in keeping him pinned against the fence. He glanced from side to side. The fence was chained and high. The weevils would be on him before he could climb it. They paused at the corpse, the keening bordering on a wail before turning their attention back to him.
The shadows deepened and the already dim light started to fade. A sense of unease radiated from the pit of Jack's stomach that had nothing to do with being dinner for four weevils. The weevils felt it too. They stopped moving towards him and looked around nervously. The keening that had started with the confidence of a pack of hunters moving in for the kill now had a fearful, hesitant quality to it.
Darkness rolled in casting the far end of the alley in deep shadow and then obscuring it completely in an inky blackness. Jack's sense of unease deepened. He steeled himself, ignoring the primal fear building in him, verging on panic. At the chuckle that emanated form the darkness, he jumped in spite of himself. The weevils squealed turning to face the noise.
“I'm going to be very cross if you get yourself killed after I went to the trouble of finding you this evening,” a familiar voice said from the shadows. Jack's panic drained away only to be replaced with irritation.
“Fuck,” Jack muttered. “Just what I need.”
A gloved hand snaked out of the shadows grabbing the weevil to Jack's left by the front of the ragged jumpsuit it was wearing and yanked it into the darkness. The weevil let out a blood curdling scream and Jack to a couple of involuntary steps towards the shadows. The remaining weevils cowered in place unsure what to do.
Jack heard the sound of flesh being struck; one, two, three times and then the sickening crack of bone breaking. The scream was abruptly cut off and the battered and bloody body of the weevil was hurled out of the darkness landing in a heap at the feet of the remaining weevils.
They shrieked and turned to flee the darkness. The gloved hand shot out grabbing the next weevil by the collar and pulled it into the shadows.
The final two weevils bolted towards the fence, dashing past Jack and ignoring him completely.
“Well?” The question was emphasized by the crack of breaking bone in the darkness, “I've told you before I'm not going to do all your work for you.”
Jack peered into the darkness for a fraction of a second, the familiar words taking him by surprise. He turned to face the weevils. They were panicked, trying to batter their way through the fence. He shot them both quickly and efficiently without hesitation. He then turned to face the darkness, gun in hand.
“This has gone on long enough,” Jack said, a hint of anger in his voice. “Who are you? What are you?”
“The gun is unnecessary, Jack.”
Jack started. There was something familiar about the way the dark man said his name. “Who are you?” he asked again.
The darkness retreated and the sense of unease faded. The dim light revealed a tall, achingly familiar form dressed in an elegant dark suit. He stood nonchalantly, dark hair slightly ruffled, gloved hands resting on an ebony walking stick.
“Did you miss me?” he asked with a wan smile.
“Ianto?!” Jack threw himself into the familiar arms of the man he never thought he'd see again.
Title: Heart of Madness
Disclaimer: They're not mine. I'm just playing with them.
Characters: Jack/Ianto, Owen, Gwen, Tosh
Summary: Something has come through the rift that will change Torchwood's life forever.
A/N: Sorry this took so long. I had a little trouble writing it and I also wanted to have most of the next part done before I posted this. One very valuable lesson I learned was that I can't write two stories at one time. I can say without a doubt that I won't be trying that again anytime soon.
Setting at his desk fidgeting, Captain Jack Harkness looked up at his lover, Ianto Jones, who sat to the side at a small desk Jack had moved into the office. Ianto, in stark contrast to his lover, typed away serenely on his laptop, brow furrowed in concentration.
“You're cute when you're working,” Jack said watching the younger man.
Eyes never leaving his screen Ianto said, “That report's not going to finish its self and I'm certainly not going to do it for you.”
“Fine,” Jack pouted but went back to working on his report.
Five minutes later he was fidgeting again. “You know I love you, right?”
The corners of Ianto's mouth twitched. Still concentrating on his screen he said, “Yes Jack. I love you too but I'm still not finishing that for you.”
“But it's your fault I'm not finished with it,” Jack whined.
Ianto looked up from his computer and raised an eyebrow. “This should be good,” he murmured. “Exactly how is it my fault that you've been trying to finish the same report for the last...” he glanced back down at his laptop checking the time, “two hours and 37 minutes and still aren't done?”
“You're distracting me!” Jack sputtered. “You're setting there all cute and intent, typing away! You know what that does to me!”
“In my experience approximately the same thing a stiff breeze does to you,” Ianto replied dryly.
Jack snickered, “Don't sell yourself short lover.”
“I told you there would be consequences if you didn't finish that or kept me from finishing my work,” Ianto said ominously.
“Are you threatening to cut me off again?” Jack sounded a little concerned.
Ianto cocked his head and waggled his eyebrows.
“Good God no! Why would I do that? It's you I want to punish, not me.”
Ianto nodded solemnly. “If I have to leave the office to finish this, I'm going to let Owen know that there will be no coffee or lunch runs or anything else since I'm behind. Because of you.”
“Shit. Alright, I'll leave you alone,” Jack said pouting again.
“However, since you've already interrupted me,” Ianto continued, closing the laptop and standing, “we can take a break. Maybe you'll be able to focus a little better after.”
Jack's eyes lit up as Ianto moved to the edge of his desk and sat looking down at him.
“Not that much of a break,” the young Welshman said as Jack pulled him onto his lap.
Ianto put a hand behind his head, lacing his fingers into the dark hair and leaned down, capturing Jack's mouth with his own. The kiss was soft and slow, Ianto taking his time exploring his lover's mouth. Jack's arms tightened around him and Ianto reluctantly pulled back, breaking the kiss.
He pressed his forehead to Jack's and said meaningfully, “Now I'm going to get us what may be the last of the days coffee and we can get back to work.”
Ianto kissed him on the forehead and stood, tapping the end of his nose with a finger. “If you're good the rest of the afternoon, I may have a surprise for you tonight.”
Jack's eyes widened slightly and a soft smile crept onto his face, “Promise?”
Ianto's chuckle was interrupted but the rift alert.
* * * *
“What do we have?” Jack asked following Ianto from his office.
“I'm not sure yet. Let me finish checking this.” Tosh's fingers flew across her keyboard.
Jack and Ianto were joined by Gwen and all three hovered behind the computer technician. Owen came running out of the medical bay and Joined them.
“Jack?” Tosh asked quietly.
“What is it?”
“These readings look a lot like the spike we had when we met John Hart,” she said, “And it's near the same car park where he came through last time.”
“Fucking bastard!” Owen had been shot by Hart at their first meeting. Gwen put a hand on his shoulder. She'd been poisoned by Hart and then handcuffed to him and a bomb. She wasn't a fan.
“Well, there goes the day,” Ianto muttered, eyes hardening. Hart had made it clear at their first meeting that not only was he a homicidal maniac but that he wanted Jack back. He wasn't a fan either.
“Just what I need,” Jack said. “Gear up. Let's go see if it's him. Tosh, I want you to stay here and coordinate. Keep the Hub on lock down and keep your gun with you. If it's him and he comes here shoot him.”
“Jack, if it is Hart, what do we do with him?” Gwen asked. “We can't just let him loose in Cardiff.”
“I'll think of something,” Jack replied. Turning his attention to Ianto he said, “ This is not my fault.”
Ianto rolled his eyes and went to gather his gear. Having an overly popular boyfriend was trying at times even for the most patient of men.
Tosh was at her workstation, monitoring the Rift when he returned. He leaned against her desk, tilting his head at the gun laying at arm's reach next to her keyboard. “Ready for him?”
She looked up, her mouth tightening. “Yes. How about you?” John Hart was not a popular man.
He nodded towards his right foot lifting the his pant leg revealing a small gun in an ankle holster. His smile was ironic. “I've been watching too many American police shows.”
“He's a bad man Ianto.”
“I know.” He patted his pocket, “If I get the chance he won't remember any of us, let alone the location of the Hub.”
Jack came striding out of his office, gave Ianto a quick smile and shouted, “Gwen! Owen! Get a move on! We haven't got all day!”
Tosh pulled a hand scanner out of a drawer and handed it to Ianto. “You should be able to track any residual rift energy with this, whether it's him or not.”
He nodded to her, taking the scanner and Jack said, “Good. The sooner this is over the better.” He looked directly at Ianto and leered, “I've got a report to UNIT I need to finish today.”
Ianto shook his head and rolled his eyes, the corners of his mouth twitching.
“You're going to give yourself a headache keep doing that,” Jack said helpfully.
Tosh giggled. “You two at it again?”
Before Jack could answer Owen hurried up follow by Gwen.
“It's about time.”
Owen gave him a sour look but didn't say anything.
“Sorry Jack. Ready to go now,” Gwen replied.
Jack looked at Tosh, all traces of playfulness gone. “Remember, shoot first if you have to. He's dangerous. We'll be in touch.”
She nodded and the rest of the team made their way to the SUV.
* * * *
The car park sprang into view as they turned to corner, tires screeching. Accelerating down the street Jack braked hard before whipping around a silver ford and onto the ramp leading into the building.
“Jack!” Gwen exclaimed, bracing herself the back of Ianto's seat.
“Learn how to drive, you fucking lunatic!” Owen shouted as he bounced off his door and jerked against his safety belt.
“Sorry, sorry. I got a little carried away.” He didn't sound sorry at all.
Ianto just raised an eyebrow.
Driving at a slightly more sedate speed, they cruised the car park seeing nothing out of the ordinary. Making their way to the top, they parked near where the crack in the Rift had been the last time they'd seen Hart. The park wasn't a busy one and the top level was mostly deserted with only a handful of cars present. Jack parked, more or less in a space, and they got out of the SUV, studying the area.
“Anything Ianto?” Jack asked as the younger man scanned the immediate vicinity.
Walking slowly towards away from the SUV, scanner held out in front of him Ianto answered, “A crack definitely opened here and something came through.” He paused turning to the left then the right before continuing, “It looks like whatever it was walked around a bit and then moved to the stairwell.”
“Okay, the stairwell it is. Let's go.” Jack lead the way, Webley drawn, followed a step behind by Ianto, scanner in one hand and .45 in the other. Owen was next with Gwen bringing up the rear, weapons at the ready.
They followed the dwindling trail of Rift energy down the first flight of stairs. Flinging the door open, Jack stepped quickly through and to the side. Ianto followed turning in a slow arc glancing back and forth from the scanner to the rows of parked cars.
Shaking his head he glanced at Jack, “Not here.” He backed through the door stepping out of the way as Jack followed.
They made their way down to the next level with Jack again flinging the door open nearly hitting a frumpy middle-aged woman in flowered house dress.
She shrieked and swung a large purse at Jack. “Help! Help!”
Jack tried to quiet her, giving her his best grin and she continued to bat at him. Finally, he grabbed her by the shoulders, turned her away from the stairwell and gave her a gentle shove towards the parked cars claiming that they were special ops and that she was interfering with an ongoing investigation.
Ianto grinned and shook his head before stepping back into the stairwell.
Jack followed quickly slamming the door, “Good grief!”
Owen snickered, “You're losing your touch with the ladies, Jack.”
Gwen snorted, “Better watch yourself or you'll lose that hard earned reputation.”
“Am I?” Jack looked concerned.
Ianto gave them all a look that would have done a school marm proud and started walking down the stairs.
They reached the street level without finding their quarry. Ianto turned in a slow semi-circle, scanner held in front of him. He stopped facing north along the sidewalk, “This way.”
“Dammit,” Jack said. “I was hoping we'd find whatever it is here.”
“What now, Jack?” Gwen asked.
“You and Owen go get the SUV. We'll follow the trail on foot for now.” He looked at Ianto who gave a curt nod of acknowledgment.
* * * *
“Do you think it's Hart?” Gwen asked Owen as they climbed the stairs back to the top of the car park.
“I don't know but if it is I owe the bastard,” Owen answered. “Why are we taking the stairs again instead of the elevator?”
“Exercise,” she said. “How do you expect to chase down weevils if you can't walk up four flights of stairs?” she asked, attempting to imitate Jack's American accent and failing miserably.
“Oh yeah, I forgot,” Owen said dryly and they both snickered.
They were interrupted by a clanking sound of a small cylinder rolling down the stairs. Owen reacted first shoving Gwen back towards the landing, “Grenade!”
“Oh fuck!” Gwen cried turning to run, Owen right behind her.
A choking cloud erupted from the grenade catching both of them before they escape the stairwell. The last thing Owen saw was John Hart kneeling over him, removing the SUV keys from his pocket. “You won't be needing these,” he said, laughing harsly.
* * * *
“This way,” Ianto said leading Jack down the street and around the corner. Jack followed, gun at his side concealed in the folds of his great coat.
The trail of residual Rift energy led down a narrow side street past several storefronts. Ianto stopped at a walkway between two buildings. “It leads down this way.”
“Hold on,” Jack said pausing on the corner of the street and the walkway. He touched the communicator at his ear, “Owen? Gwen?”
“Nothing?” Ianto asked when Jack's brow furrowed in concern. Jack shook his head and Ianto continued, “He blocked our communicators last time.”
“I know,” he said. “Let's keep going. I'll take the lead. And be careful.”
Ianto nodded and followed Jack slowly down the walkway.
The walkway was narrow and dark, the late afternoon sunlight blocked by the surrounding buildings. Rubbish collected along the walls and it was obviously a rarely used thoroughfare. The red brick walls of the buildings were dirty and the odor of mildew filled the air. The buildings themselves were derelict, evidently unoccupied but still in reasonably good repair. Jack stopped and tried Owen and Gwen then Tosh again, receiving no response.
“Dammit,” he muttered. “I've got a bad feeling about this.”
“Go back for the others or continue?” Ianto asked. Jack hesitated and he quoted Jack's own words back at him, smiling faintly, “I vote we continue. He's a reminder of your past and I want him gone.”
Jack laughed, “Jealous?”
“Staking my claim.”
“That's kind of hot.”
Ianto rolled his eyes. “Let's get this over with.” Leading with his gun, he walked carefully down the walkway with Jack at his side. He stopped, gesturing at scarred wooden door to the left, “Through here.”
Jack stepped up to the side of the door, gun at the ready. Ianto put the scanner away, stepping to the other side. Jack said quietly, “Open the door and step back. I'll go through first.”
Ianto nodded, tried the door handle and finding it unlocked turned it. He shoved the door open staying to the side as Jack stepped forward, gun pointed into the murky darkness. Pulling a torch out of the pocket of his great coat he shined it around revealing a large warehouse filled with rows of dusty storage crates and shelves. Dim light filtered in through dirty windows placed high on the wall giving them just enough light to see by. Ianto followed a step behind gun held steady in both hands, eyes flicking from side to side surveying the area.
“Why does it always have to be someplace like this?” Jack asked quietly, irony evident in his voice.
“All part of the job, sir,” Ianto answered dryly.
At the “sir” Jack pursed his lips in mock annoyance, giving his lover a hard look over his shoulder. Ianto grinned at him, white teeth gleaming in the dim light and raised an eyebrow in question. Jack shook his head and turned his attention back to the vast room in front of him.
“We'll do the perimeter first. See if we can pick up the trail leaving the building before going through all of this mess.” He turned to the right, following a row of crates along the wall.
They moved slowly, methodically, checking the crates and shelves to either side. Reaching the far wall, they turned West following it's perimeter. Laughter floated out of the darkness and they jerked to stop, spinning and putting their backs to the wall, guns ready.
John Hart's voice rang out, “Well, it certainly took you long enough to find me.”
“Why are you here, John? I told you last time not to come back,” Jack called out.
“Don't say things like that, Jack. I might think you've not happy to see me.”
“Why? Still playing with him? I figured you'd have gotten bored by now.”
Jack glanced at Ianto and rolled his eyes. Ianto's expression was hard. “Sounds like you need another stint in rehab, John. You're not making any sense.”
“Maybe you'll understand this.” They heard the ringing of metal on stone as a canister bounced out of the shadows.
“Shit!” Jack shoved Ianto between two storage crates shielding him with his body. A loud bang and accompanying flash of light left him reeling. He grabbed at a crate to steady himself and shook his head, trying to clear it.
“Jack...” He focused on Ianto's voice. It was tight and controlled, the sense of urgency evident.
“Don't you just love all the toys you can pick up from this century? Drop the gun or Eye-Candy gets it in the head,” John Hart said with a maniacal gleam in his eyes. He was behind Ianto, left arm wrapped around his neck holding him in place. In his right hand he had a pistol pointed at the young Welshman's head. Ianto's own gun was gone, apparently lost in the blast.
“Let him go, John.” Jack said calmly, holding both of his hands out in front of him. He held his Webley loosely by the grip, finger off the trigger.
“Lose the gun now!” John shouted, pressing the barrel of the pistol into Ianto's temple. Ianto stood, body shaking with barely contained frustration.
“Okay. Okay. Just calm down.” He kneeled placing the gun on the floor and slowly stood, hands in the air.
“Now kick it away,” Hart ordered. Jack kicked the Webley into the shadows. “That's better.”
“What do you want, John?” Jack asked keeping his voice even.
He laughed. “The same thing I wanted last time. You.”
“You killed me last time.”
“But you got better. I want it to be like it used to be. You and me against the world.”
“It was never you and me against the world. It'll never be you and me against the world. I've got a life here, now.”
“With him?” He asked, jabbing the gun into Ianto's temple. “Is he the reason you don't want me? He's pretty but he's not me. He can never give you the things that I can.”
“It's not him -”
“Don't lie to me!” Hart shrieked. “I've seen the way you look at him. You act like you're here because of your so called team but it's really him isn't it?”
“Shut up!” He snarled. “I've already got Gwen and Owen. All I need is that pretty Toshiko and you won't have a team.”
“What have you to them?” Jack's voice was cold.
“Don't worry about them. They're out of the way for now.” John continued in a conversational tone, “Once you kick Eye-Candy to the curb and we're together it might be nice to have a team around.”
Ianto said nothing during this exchange. Sparks practically flew from his cobalt eyes as he waited for an opportunity to act.
“Okay. If that's what you want. Let him go and we can be together just like you want,” Jack said, eyes involuntarily meeting Ianto's, knowing he would see the lie.
Hart saw it too. He snarled, “What kind of a fool do you take me for?”
“No!” Ianto yelled, anger burning through him as Hart pulled the gun away from his head, turning it on Jack and shooting him in the chest.
He grabbed at the other arm, still firmly around his neck and slammed his head backwards into John Hart's face, feeling the satisfying crunch of bone breaking as his nose shattered. Hart howled and his grip loosened. Ianto drove an elbow into his stomach and yanked himself free from his grasp. He was away in a flash, disappearing into the shadows.
“Bastard!” Hart gasped trying to catch his breath. “I was going to kill you quick but now I'm going to take my time. I can't wait to see his face when he finds what's left of you!” He staggered after Ianto into the gloom.
Ianto moved quickly through the darkness, keeping to the shadows. He didn't want Hart to lose him. He wanted to lure him away from Jack, hopefully giving him enough time to revive. He stopped, listening for the deranged man. Hearing him blundering around behind him and to left, Ianto deliberately banged into a shelf and then moved off.
Hart heard the crash and laughed. He turned towards it and shouted, “I'm coming for you, Eye-Candy. Maybe I should give you a try before I kill you. Jack may be onto something.”
Ianto's lip curled in disgust. He knocked over a crate and then moved into the deeper shadows across the aisle. Crouching, he drew the small pistol from his ankle holster and waited.
“I'll have him after you're gone. You know that, don't you? He never could resist me,” Hart called as he blundered through the shadowy warehouse.
Ianto waited calmly in the darkness.
“He was a good lover before but now he's perfect. I can kill him and after he comes back kill him again.”
Ianto's lips tightened into a hard line.
“What do you think of that, Eye-Candy? My hands around your precious Jack's throat as the life drains out of him only for him to come back so I can do it again.” He cackled insanely.
Anger gave way to rage and it burst forth like a living thing. In contrast to Harts maniacal ramblings Ianto said in a quiet voice that practically scorched the air, “You will never touch him again.” The deadly warning in those six words would have caused a saner man to flee.
Hart stepped into the dim light 15 feet from Ianto's hiding place. “Oh, I'll touch him again and again. I'll start on your rotting corpse-”
Ianto stepped out of the shadows, materializing as if out of thin air and shot the madman.
Hart spun at the first flicker of shadows and felt a searing pain as Ianto's first bullet creased his side. Dashing down the aisle, trying to escape, Ianto's second bullet caught him in the leg. He screamed and hit the ground, rolling into the shadow of a large crate, firing blindly in the direction of the young Welshman.
Ianto dodged between two crates, stopping and listening for Hart, trying to get his bearings. He needed to end this.
Hissing in pain Hart shouted, “You fucking shot me!”
Ianto moved behind the crates he was sheltering between and crept towards the madman's voice.
Across the warehouse Jack's chest shuddered as he gasped his first breath. Clutching at his chest, his eyes popped open as he heard John's “You fucking shot me!” He rolled over getting to his hands and knees and staggering to his feet.
Hart was shrieking, “I'll go back and smother you in your crib! He won't even remember you! No one with remember you! You'll be nothing!” He fired two more shots into the darkness.
Hart reached for his vortex manipulator preparing to flee. Ianto stepped from the shadows behind him and put a bullet directly through the wrist strap, shattering both it and the former time agent's wrist.
John Hart's screams were abruptly cut off by a flash of light and the silent explosion of the Rift being torn open, pulling him into it. Ianto grabbed at the surrounding crates to no avail. The last thing he heard was Jack screaming “Nooooo!” as both he and the crates were sucked into the Rift and enveloped in darkness.
Title: A Day in the Park
Disclaimer: They're not mine. I'm just playing with them.
Characters: Jack/Ianto, Gwen
Summary: Meaningless drabble that I enjoyed writing. Damn those plot bunnies.
“Look at that one! The one in the green shirt!” Jack said excitedly to Gwen pointing out muscular brown haired man pushing a stroller. “I love stroller meat,” he sighed.
“Jack, what are you talking about?” Gwen asked a little confused.
The big, splashy grin firmly in place, he answered, “Good looking guys pushing the fruit of their loins around in a stroller. Stroller meat.”
Gwen shook her head. “Keep your mind on the job, Jack. We're here on business.”
It was a sunny Summer afternoon and they were setting on a bench in Victoria park. They were trying to locate a female Mandorian who had slipped through the rift two days earlier. Reports indicated that she had been on the prowl frightening males in area parks, apparently looking for a mate. Although reasonably harmless she needed to be found as soon as possible.
“Live a little, Gwen. You may as well have some fun when you can,” Jack laughed. “Oooh, look at that one.” He pointed at a good looking red head.
“For God's sake stop pointing and keep your voice down!” She cried grabbing his hand and shoving it down. Against her better judgement she looked the guy over. “Too ginger.”
“That's the spirit! But I disagree. Look at those arms!”
She giggled. “What about that one?” She said inclining her head towards short blonde man pushing a stroller with his equally blonde wife.
“Nah, too short and too blonde. And it ruins the effect if the wife is with them,” he said matter-of-factly. “What have we here? My, my, my. That one's just my type.” He indicated a tall, slim dark-haired man wearing tight light blue polo shirt and a pair of khaki cargo shorts who was pushing a stroller towards them.
Gwen turned to him and arched a brow. “You'd better not let Ianto hear you talking like that.”
Jack waggled his eyebrows up and down and grinned. “Ianto knows my type.”
She massaged her temples, “On your head then.” She did not want anything to do with a pissed off Ianto today.
The man approached them and Jack looked up. His grin was closer to a leer than a genuine smile. “Afternoon,” he said.
Gwen dropped her face into her hands and groaned softly, “Oh no.”
The dark-haired man glanced and Jack, giving him a perfunctory nod of acknowledgment without smiling back, and kept walking.
“Well,” he said looking at Gwen, “he could have been friendlier. Still look at that ass.”
“Christ Jack! Keep your voice down. He'll hear you!” Gwen said through clenched teeth.
Jack laughed heartily and the dark-haired man glanced over his shoulder, giving them both a slightly sour look.
“I'm not doing another one of these stakeouts with you!” Gwen said, cheeks coloring.
Jack laughed even harder.
They sat for another half hour, Jack happily checking out men and a couple of women who passed by and Gwen alternating between being mortified and agreeing with Jack about one or two of the men.
“Ha! I knew he couldn't resist me!” Jack said a little too loudly, indicating the dark-haired main in the light blue shirt who was walking towards them again.
“The walkway makes a big loop. He has to come back this way,” Gwen pointed out.
“Nope. He can't resist me.” He looked the approaching man up and down and whistled softly. “Just look at that.”
Gwen did her best to look anywhere but at the man who was about twenty feet from them now.
“I'd have him out of those clothes and bent over this bench so fast he wouldn't know what hit him!” Jack said.
The man, cheeks flaming and eyes flinty stopped in front of them. “I am done,” Ianto said through clenched teeth. “I've been hit on by two single moms, a babysitter, a married dad and you but not. A. Single. Madorian. Female!”
“What can I say? You're hot,” Jack laughed. “We may as well go back to the Hub. If she hasn't shown by now I doubt she will.”
“Next time you can push the bloody stroller!” Ianto said glaring at him before stalking towards the car park and the SUV.
Jack sighed, eyes on Ianto's ass as he stomped off. “I told you I love stroller meat.”
Gwen shoved him, giggling in spite of herself as he bounced past her following Ianto. She shook her head and followed them both towards the SUV.
Title: The Creature from Cardiff Bay
Disclaimer: They're not mine. I'm just playing with them.
Rating: R for language
Characters: Jack/Ianto, Tosh, Owen, Gwen
Summary: More fun with alien stuff!
A/N: There is some light Gwen bashing. I'll apologize in advance but you have been warned. See the note at the end of the story if you want to know the genesis of the story. This was truly never meant to be written.
“Oh, you have got to fucking be kidding me!” Ianto's voice echoed across the Hub.
Stepping through the medical bay door, Toshiko Sato asked, “What did you find?”
Sitting at his workstation reviewing CCTV footage of the Hub, he held up a hand, visibly fighting to get himself under control with obviously mixed results. After a moment he said through gritted teeth. “I've had a shit night, a shit morning and I get here only to find that Gwen Bloody Cooper has knocked my boyfriend in the head and dragged him off!”
“What?!” Tosh exclaimed incredulously.
Rolling his chair back to make room for Tosh he said, “See for yourself.”
Backing the film up, they both watched in silence.
“Oh my!” Tosh said, eyes round with shock.
* * * *
Ianto Jones was not having a good day. The evening before a pipe had burst in his flat and instead of a pleasant evening in bed with his lover he'd spent hours cleaning up. Jack had been first called away to chase down a weevil and then kept away by another alert. Tired and out of sorts, he'd stopped at his regular cleaners on is way to work to pick up his dry cleaning only to find that they'd lost his favorite suit, or more precisely Jack's favorite suit. Arriving at the tourist office, he'd quickly opened it and was going down into the Hub proper when Tosh had shown up.
The brilliant computer programmer had been in London at a 2 day electronic securities seminar. Her train had arrived late last night and after a good nights sleep, she was ready to use some of her newly honed skills to upgrade the Hubs security systems. Finding an irate and unusually verbose Ianto, she listened to him rant stifling the occasional urge to giggle. She enjoyed his rare talkative moods.
“...And then they tried to tell me they'd temporarily misplaced it. Temporarily misplaced my arse. They lost my favorite suit!”
Eyes twinkling but her grin firmly suppressed, Tosh said “ Surely they'll find it.”
“They'd better—oh, shit.” Ianto exclaimed, heart skipping a beat, looking around the Hub. Tables and chairs were turned over. Owen's work station was smashed. Papers and miscellaneous items were strewn about. The last time they had found the Hub a mess Jack had disappeared with the Doctor, leaving them all to wonder when or if he was coming back.
“Oh, no!” Tosh cried, turning her attention from Ianto the wreckage in the Hub.
“Jack? Jack!” Ianto shouted, telling himself that Jack had came back for him, that he wouldn't leave again. As much as he believed it, knew it, there was the tiniest bit of doubt that he couldn't quite suppress. He didn't know if he could do this again.
“Jack? Owen? Gwen?” Tosh called, looking around.
Ianto rushed to Jack's office, finding it untouched but empty.
“Ianto! Here!” Tosh shouted.
Running back out of the office, he saw her kneeling by an overturned table.
“It's Owen. Help me.”
“Is he...?” Ianto asked as he reached her, heaving the table off of the still form.
Checking his pulse with the tip of one delicate finger, she answered “He's breathing. Looks like he took a nasty bump to the head.”
“Owen? Owen? Can you hear me? What happened?” Ianto asked, kneeling by the doctor and shaking him, his fear under control for the moment.
Owen mumbled something incomprehensible.
“Help me get him to the medical bay.” When Ianto hesitated, Tosh said more firmly, “Now Ianto.”
Ianto picked the smaller man up, heaving him over his shoulder. Grunting with the effort he said, “Get the door.”
Tosh hurried ahead of him, opening the medical bay door. “What were they doing in here?” She asked. It was a mess as well.
Ianto gave a quick look around and he staggered down the steps and a dumped Owen unceremoniously onto a gurney. “I don't know. They've definitely been up to something.”
Tosh shoved Owen around trying to make him more comfortable. He groaned and feebly batted at her hands. “Stop it, Owen. I'm trying to help.”
“See what you can do with him. I'm going to check CCTV and see if I can figure out what happened.” Ianto said, striding up the stairs and out the door.
Ignoring the mess he went straight to his workstation. Checking it for damage and finding it unharmed, he quickly pulled up the recent security footage for the Hub and couldn't believe what he found. He watched the screen, dumfounded.
On the screen the door to the medical bay burst open and Jack came flying through, knocking over a table. Gwen staggered out after him, something obviously wrong with her. Her skin looked...wrong. She appeared to have some sort of rash with a greenish cast to it and her movements alternated between rapid and frantic and a shuffling walk, not at all like her normal self. She bellowed as Jack staggered to his feet. Palms up, he tried to calm her and she swung at him again striking him in the head and sending him flying into Owen's workstation where he lay unmoving. Owen rushed out of the medical bay and shouted something at her. She shrieked and turned on him. He fumbled for what looked like a syringe and tried to stab her with it but she struck at him. He dodged the first blow but the second one caught him in the chest, sending him flying head first into the table that Ianto had pulled off of him.
Gwen then turned and shuffled over to Jack's prone form. She bent down and picked him up in a single jerky motion and carried him off towards the basement. Ianto checked the other cameras and finally found one showing her carrying the unconscious or worse Jack into the tunnels that lead towards the bay.
* * * *
“I'm going to shoot her.” Ianto said matter of factly, pulling open the bottom drawer of his desk, reaching for his gun. “I'm going to track her down and shoot her.”
“You can't shoot Gwen.” Tosh said, slightly horrified.
“Watch me. I can shoot anyone I want.” Ianto was not amused.
“Teaboy... isn't going to... shoot anyone.” Owen said from the door, clutching at the frame trying to keep from losing his balance.
“Owen!” Tosh cried running to him. Helping to steady him she asked, “Are you okay?”
“What happened?” Ianto asked at the same time, getting to his feet.
“Get me... a chair... you wanker.”
Ianto grabbed an office chair, rolling it to Owen and Tosh helped him set down.
Groaning, Owen clutched at his side. “I think she may have cracked a rib or two when she hit me.”
“I'll get you some water,” Tosh said bustling off.
“Make it a scotch!” Owen called after her.
“What happened?” Ianto repeated, his patience at an end.
“Here,” Tosh said, hurrying back with a glass of water and a bottle of scotch.
Ignoring the water, Owen twisted the cap off the bottle and took a swig. “There was an early rift alert. Jack, Gwen and I were here so we went to investigate.”
* * * *
“What is it?” Gwen asked looking at the black metal box partially sunken in the sandy shore. It was open at the top like a crate and had a series of overlapping circles running from top to bottom on each side. It was overflowing with what appeared to be alien tech or alien garbage. It was hard to tell which.
“I don't know. The only energy readings I'm picking up are residual.” Owen slowly moved the scanner back and forth over the crate.
“I think I've seen this before. The design looks Fomalhaut but I'm not positive.” Jack said, after kneeling and inspecting it.
“Fomalhaut?” Gwen asked.
Standing, he replied “Think 4 foot tall bipedal amphibians. I spent about two hours on one of their ships once. They're reasonably friendly but I was in a hurry.” Turning his attention to Owen, he asked. “No life signs?”
“No. Looks like more bloody alien junk.”
Pulling on a pair of heavy leather gloves, Jack said, “Good. Let's get it boxed up and back to the Hub. Ianto can start cataloging it this afternoon.”
“Watch out, Owen.” Gwen said, playfully bumping the medic with her hip as she bent and reached for a long, cylindrical object.
“Sweetheart, if I were you I'd put on some gloves before handling that stuff. No telling where that's been.”
“Good point,” she replied, pausing mid-reach.
“Here you go,” Jack said, tossing her a pair of gloves.
Reaching to catch them she over extended and stumbled, losing her balance. Instinctively flinging out her hands to catch herself Gwen cried out as she landed in the sand next to the crate, “Fuck!”
“Careful. You alright?” Jack asked, reaching a hand for her.
“That's what you get for playing around, love.” Owen said, shaking his head.
“Jack?” Gwen asked getting to her feet and holding her left hand out slowly. “I think I fucked up.” There was what appeared to be a small syringe with the overlapping circle design running down the side, needle sticking out of the palm of her hand.
“Bollocks,” Owen said, his usually sarcastic demeanor gone.
Pausing momentarily, Jack said, “It's going to be okay. Gwen, keep calm. Owen, we're going to get her back to the Hub and find out what that is.”
“Oh, God. Oh, fuck. Jack, it's burning.” She tried flexing her fingers but the muscles in her hand contracted, claw-like. “Get it out! Get it out!”
“It's okay, love. I'll get it now. Slowly, take a deep breath...” Owen said soothingly.
“Damn it!” Gwen yelped as he yanked the needle out in one quick motion, dropping it into a small metal box.
“Get her into the SUV. Let me grab what I can of this stuff. We can't leave it here,” Jack said tossing the objects laying around the crate back into it and lifting it by the edges.
“Jesus! Be careful! I don't need to treat both of you.” Owen said helping Gwen into the back seat of the SUV and sliding in behind her.
“Am I going to be okay?” Gwen asked, pale and shaking, as she flexed her hand open and closed.
“You're going to be fine. Owen will have you good as new in no time.” Jack tossed the crate of artifacts into the back of the vehicle and slid into the driver's seat. “Hold on.”
“That bloody boyfriend of yours just about killed us twice driving back here. That bastard needs to remember that the rest of us stay dead.”
Making it back to the Hub in record time, the two men ushered Gwen from the underground car park into the medical bay. Owen grabbed his instruments as Jack helped her onto a gurney.
“Owen?” Jack said, nodding to Gwen's left hand and arm. Her hand had contracted, giving it a claw-like appearance and a greenish rash was spreading from it up her forearm.
“Oh shit! What's happening to me?!”” Gwen shouted holding her hand up and staring out it.
“Calm down, Gwen. It's going to be okay. That's it. Deep breaths. You're going to be fine. Tell her, Owen. She's going to be fine isn't she?”
Owen started to say something, saw the hard look in Jack's eyes, and thought better of it. “You're going to be fine, Gwen.”
“See. You're going to be fine. Owen's going to take care of you.” Reaching up, he touched her cheek with the back of his hand. “She's burning up.”
Owen stepped up to her right side and gave her an injection. “Gwen, love, this will help you relax. I'm going to run some tests we'll see what we can do.”
“Please...” She said, as she drifted off.
“Is she going to be okay?” Jack asked anxiously.
“I don't know, Jack. Just stay out of my way for a few minutes. I need to draw some blood and analyze both it and whatever is left in that alien syringe.”
“Okay. I shouldn't have tossed her those gloves.”
“Don't be a wanker. We don't have time for that now.” Owen said heartlessly. “She was in one of her playful moods. You know how she gets. It was an accident. Leave it at that.”
Obviously unconvinced, Jack replied, “Okay. What can I do to help?”
“For now just let me do my work.”
Jack pulled up a chair and sat next to the feverish woman murmuring words of encouragement. “You're going to be just fine. I know you are. Owen will be able to fix it.”
She lay fitfully, tossing and turning. He took her uninjured hand it his, holding it, trying to reassure her through both words and touch.
“Ianto's going to have a fit if he catches you holding her hand.”
“Don't give me that look. We all know more than we really want about what you two get up to when the rest of us aren't around. I've taken to wiping down my desk and chair in the mornings just in case. Anyway, I've seen you watching Gwen watch Jack. I'm not mental.
Brow furrowed Jack asked, “Do you need something?”
Could you lay some of this stuff out on the table over there?” Owen asked, indicating the alien crate.
Reluctantly, he let go of Gwen's hand and stood. “Yeah. Any idea what any of this is?”
“This is only a guess but I think it may be medical waste. Gwen was jabbed with something that is for all intents and purposes a dirty needle. Some of the other artifacts you grabbed appear to be medical in nature as well.”
“Hmmm,” Jack said, carefully starting to lay the items out one by one.
“See?” Owen said indicating an oblong object Jack had just laid out. “That looks like some sort of scalpel and those look like sealed containers for medicine or whatever they have that passes for blood.
Turning to look at the normally acerbic medic, Jack asked in a subdued tone, “Are you going to be able to help her?”
“Honestly?” Jack nodded and Owen continued in a low voice, “ I won't know until I know what I'm dealing with. I'll have to see the results of her blood test and the chemical analysis of the liquid.”
Gwen's fitful sleep became more agitated. She started to moan and thrash, setting bolt upright on the gurney.
“Gwen! Calm down!” Jack said, rushing to her side. Looking over his shoulder at Owen, he asked in a quieter voice, “What happening?”
Reaching her side, Owen felt her cheek and checked her pulse at the wrist. “She's burning up and her heart is racing. She's burning the sedative out of her system.”
She swung her legs to the side and tried to stand. “Let... me... up...”
“Gwen, honey, you've got to stay in bed-” Jack was interrupted as she stood and shoved him away with one clawed hand.
“Jack get... out of... my way...” she groaned, staggering towards the stairs.
“A little help here, Owen.” Jack said moving to intercept her.
Fumbling with a hypodermic needle, he filled it with a clear liquid from a small bottle. “One second.”
Gwen tried pushing past Jack, making her way up the stairs to the door. “Move!” she howled.
He back up the steps, keeping himself between her and the door. “ I can't let you out of here Gwen. We're trying to help you.”
“Aaaargh!” she screamed, bending at the waste, clutching her stomach with one hand and the hand rail with the other to keep her balance. The rash was rapidly spreading. It was on her neck now and moving onto her face. With a frantic burst of speed she lunged at Jack, knocking him through the door into the main area of the Hub.
“I followed and tried to sedate her but she was too strong. She tagged me.” Owen finished.
“We saw the rest. Can we find them?” Ianto asked.
“I may be able to track Jack's wrist band. It's got a unique energy signature.” Tosh answered.
Raising and eyebrow Ianto asked, “Does he know you can do that?”
“May be able to do that.” She corrected moving to her workstation and quickly checking to see if everything was still in working order. “ And no, I've never mentioned the possibility.”
Smiling faintly he replied, “We don't necessarily have to tell him that unless he asks.”
Groaning as he levered himself to his feet, Owen said, “The analysis of her blood should be complete now. I'm going to take a look at it and get a stronger sedative. You'll need it.”
“I'll put on some coffee and get tranquilizer guns from the armory. Best to stay out of arm's reach if she can hit that hard.”
Twenty minutes later the three teammates gathered in the medical bay. “I've got Gwen's blood chemistry and I think I can help her if we can get her back here.” Owen said, fidgeting as he tried to get comfortable in a chair. “Fucking ribs...” he muttered to himself before continuing. “Jack said that he thought the markings on the crate looked like something from an amphibious race, I think he called them Fomalhaut or something like that, and she was jabbed with a used syringe. My best guess is that it contained some sort of vaccine.”
Grimacing, Tosh said, “That's not nice.”
Ianto just pursed his lips but said nothing.
“No, it's not but I can fix that if we can get her back here fast enough. She's basically having an allergic reaction to it. Her adrenaline levels and heart rate are elevated which accounts for her strength and delirium. The greenish rash is basically hives and she's half out of her mind with pain. She doesn't really know what she's doing. It's not dangerous yet but if she goes untreated for too long there could be some permanent damage. I think a cocktail of antibiotics and a high dosage of an antihistamine should sort her out for the most part.”
Shaking his head, Ianto said incredulously, “So let me get this right. This is all because she needs some penicillin and a Bennadryl? I'm still going to shoot her.”
“No you won't,” Tosh said touching his arm soothingly.
“Knock it off, teaboy. It's a little more complicated than that,” the medic snorted.
Ianto gave Owen a steely look. “I shot you didn't I?”
Owen stared at him coldly saying, “Basically, we treat the symptoms and I think she'll be fine.”
Ignoring the stare, Ianto asked, “Can we go now?”
“Here's the ammo for the tranq gun. It's loaded with enough sedative to drop an elephant so don't fuck up and shoot yourself with it. You'll be out until next week.”
“I can track them with the hand scanner,” Tosh said. “I can't get a precise location from here but the closer we get, the more accurate it will be.”
“Good enough. Take this and grab whatever else you think you'll need,” Ianto said handing her one of the tranquilizer guns.
“I'm no good chasing through the tunnels with these ribs. Get her back here as soon as possible and I'll be ready to dose her.”
Rapidly tossing a few odds and ends into a pack Tosh asked, “Should we let Rhys know something's wrong with Gwen?”
“Christ no! I don't want him underfoot!” Owen answered glaring at her.
“He's her fiance. I thought maybe he should know...”
“Owen's right even if it pains me to admit it.”
Ignoring the acerbic medic, Ianto continued, “There's nothing he could do to help. We'll get him after we find them if need be. Ready?”
Not looking convinced, she nevertheless answered, “Let's go.”
“We'll start in the sub-basement where I last saw them on CCTV,” Ianto said heading to the stairwell, taking the lead as Tosh fell into step next to him.
* * * *
“Urgh,” Jack groaned. Pain stabbed through his head as he opened his eyes and quickly shut them again.
“Ouch,” he mumbled to himself. “Better think twice about that.”
He tried to reach for his aching head and realized he couldn't move. He was laying on his side and wrapped in something heavy and cold, chains maybe. Gingerly, he slitted his eyes open. It was very dark but the barest hint of light coming from above allowed him to make out his surroundings.
He was in a cold, wet tunnel wrapped in rusty chains. He could hear the sounds of the bay in the distance, faint but unmistakeable. He wished he could say this was the worst place he'd ever woken up but in all honesty, it wasn't even a close second.
Thinking aloud he asked,“How did I-?” Interrupting his own question he answered himself, “Gwen.”
He tried in vain to wiggle free but the chains were too tight. Using the tunnel wall for support, he twisted his legs and inched his way into a sitting position. Gasping, he leaned against the wall and looked around. A faint ray of light was coming from a grate high above but there was no way to climb to it even if he could get free. His best bet would be to follow the sounds of the bay out to the water and make his way back to the Hub from there if he could get loose.
“Gwen? Honey? Are you there?” he called. “We can help you. We need to go see Owen. He'll make you better.”
Waiting for a response, he heard nothing, “Gwen?”
After a long moment he said, “Well fuck!”
“They'll come for you soon.”
Jack twisted towards the voice, pain lancing through his head with the sudden movement. “Owww!”
“Why am I not surprised? I don't suppose you'd want to help out here, would you?” he asked the familiar shadowy figure standing in the tunnel.
Chuckling, the dark man answered, “You'll be free soon enough.”
“That's what I thought. How about telling me who you are then?”
“Not now. You really should be more careful.”
“Yeah, well recklessness is part of my charm.”
“So I gather. I'm going away for awhile but we'll meet again.”
“Oh, I'm counting the seconds.” Jack said, sounding more like Owen than himself.
Chuckling again the dark man said, “Don't let him hurt her too much. It really isn't her fault. Goodbye for now.”
Watching the man fade into the darkness Jack shouted, “C'mon! Really?! You're just going to leave me here?” After a moment, shaking his head he muttered, “Jack ass.”
A low moaning and the sounds of shuffling feet caught his attention. Peering into the darkness in the opposite direction, he called, “Gwen?”
* * * *
“God, this place is nasty,” Tosh said, wrinkling her nose as she and Ianto made their way through the dark, damp tunnels leading away from the Hub. They'd been making their way through the tunnels for hours.
“I hadn't noticed,” Ianto murmured pointing his light at his feet, taking in his ruined shoes and shaking his head. “Easy come, easy go,” he muttered.
“Ianto are you okay?” Tosh asked softly.
Sighing, he replied, “Now or in general?”
“Once we retrieve Jack and Gwen and this cocked up day is over I'll be fine. Thanks for asking.” The barest hint of a smile touched his lips in the near darkness of the tunnel.
“And in general?” The pretty woman prompted, concern in her voice.
“Most days I'm good. Jack... well Jack is Jack. I love him but I don't know how long I'll have him. I try not to dwell on it.”
“I hadn't really thought about that.”
“I have, probably too much. The last two years have been...” shuddering, he continued, “both terrible and wonderful. Canary Wharf and losing Lisa were awful and then finding Jack was... Then he left and it all came crashing down.”
“Oh Ianto. We... I should have been there for you. I'm so sorry.”
“It's okay. Jack leaving forced me to find myself again. If he hadn't gone, he would have been my crutch and I doubt we'd be where we are now.”
“Are you happy?”
“I am.” He said it like it was almost a surprise even to himself.
“Owen was right about one thing though.”
“I do watch Gwen watching Jack. He's a flirt but I trust him. I'm not so sure about her though.”
“Well I don't. She drug Jack off, not Owen. I may shoot her for good measure.” His gleaming smile was visible even in the dim light.
Tosh giggled. “Well, we all know about her and Owen.”
“Are you okay with that?”
“I don't have a choice,” Tosh said, some of the laughter draining from her voice. “Owen and I will never be. As much as I want it in my heart, I know it my head that it'll never happen.”
“I wish it were different.”
“So do I. Besides, it's not like it worked out with her and Owen.” Pausing briefly she continued, “Truthfully, if you want to shoot her just a little bit I'll swear it was an accident.” Her silvery laugh echoed faintly down the tunnel.
They winced in unison at the echo. “We'd best get back to it. Are we getting close?”
Nodding, Tosh checked her scanner. “We're definitely closer. Jack's ahead and slightly to the right. I'd say we're within a quarter of a mile but there's no way to really tell with the way these tunnels twist and turn.”
“Good. We need to end this soon.”
They made their way in silence through to dark tunnels, stopping to listen but other than the faint sounds of the city from above and the occasional squeaking of a rat they heard nothing but the sound of their own breathing. Coming to a small 4 way intersection Tosh paused, adjusting her scanner.
“We want to go down and to the left. We're close now.”
Holding up a hand Ianto cocked his head and listened. “I think I can hear the water from that direction. The bay must be close.”
Switching her scanner to her left hand, Tosh pulled her tranquilizer gun and nodded to Ianto. Leaving his tranq gun in his belt, he drew his standard service revolver. Tosh's eyes widened and she stifled a giggle as he moved past her, taking the lead.
Looking over his shoulder, he smiled and said, “Better to be safe than sorry.”
Shaking her head she followed the younger man into the darkness. They made their way slowly, quietly down the tunnel. As Ianto started to hear indistinct voices, he stopped putting his finger to his lips to indicate they needed remain silent. Tosh nodded in acknowledgment and they continued.
Reaching a sharp bend in the tunnel, Ianto could make out Jack's voice. Stopping, he and Tosh listened for a moment, assessing the situation.
“Gwen, honey, you need to let me go. We need to go back and get you some help,” Jack said in his most soothing tones.
An indistinct growl turned into a caricature of Gwen's voice. “Arrrggh... not... going... nngghhh... back”
“Honey, we've got to. You're not well.”
“No! Arrggh... No!”
“Gwen, let me go. Now.” Jack's voice held a hint of steel.
“No, no, no! Mine...nnghh!”
Mouthing “Enough is enough,” Ianto indicated to Tosh that he was moving around the corner. At her nod of assent he stepped around with her at his side, pistols in one hand and torches in the other. In the torchlight they saw Gwen in tattered, wet clothing standing over Jack, who was wrapped in rusting chains. Gwen whipped her head towards them, throwing up one clawed hand to shield her eyes from the light. Her arm and face were covered in a flaking rash with a pronounced greenish tinge. Her eyes were large and dark as she tried to protect them from the light.
“Jack, are you okay?” Ianto shouted.
“I'm fine. Just hanging out here.”
“Aaaarrrggghhhh! Noooo!” Gwen screamed, grabbing Jack by the chains and trying to drag him away towards the bay.
Ianto paused and took aim, “Gwen stop!”
Jack shouted, “No Ianto! Don't shoot her!”
Tosh shouted, “Don't!”
Ianto and Tosh fired simultaneously, his bullet whistling past Gwen's ear causing her to scream and drop the struggling Jack and Tosh's dart striking her in the back. Clawing at the dart she tried to run, taking four stumbling steps before collapsing to the tunnel floor.
Both Ianto and Tosh held their stances momentarily before Jack said, “Well, don't just stand there. Get me out of here!”
* * * *
“Is she going to be okay?” Jack asked as Owen walked into kitchen.
“She's responding well to the treatment. The rash has started to clear and her fever has broken.” Owen said taking the cup of coffee that Ianto handed him.
After freeing Jack, they'd made their way down the tunnel with an unconscious Gwen to the bay. They emerged half a mile from the Hub and contacted Owen whom had arrived shortly with the SUV. He'd administered the first round of antibiotics as they drove back to the Hub. After restraining her in the medical bay for further treatment Jack, Ianto and Tosh had waited in the kitchen for news from Owen.
“Can we see her?” Jack asked.
“Give it a bit. She's a little self-conscious right now. The rash was drying her skin out, that's why she headed towards the bay. I'm treating that too. There shouldn't be any long-term damage.”
“Hmph,” Ianto said. “I suppose that's a good thing.”
“What do you mean? Of course it is.” Jack said, eyeing his lover.
Smiling quietly Tosh sat back, coffee mug in both hands and watched the scene unfold.
“Tea boy here was planning on shooting her.”
Jack's eyebrows shot up as he looked to Ianto for an explanation.
Shrugging sheepishly he said, “I was a little... put out to find that she'd knocked you in the head and carried you off. I wouldn't have shot her. Not much anyway.”
Staring directly into his lover's eyes he saw the truth of the statement; Ianto wouldn't have shot her much. Shaking his head and smiling a crooked smile, he asked, “Jealous?”
“I've always had trouble sharing, sir.”
Laughing, Jack turned his attention to the rest of the team. “Are we done for the night?”
“I'm going to stay here to monitor Gwen,” Owen said.
“Good. Tosh would mind calling Rhys to make excuses. I'd do it but I think he's a little put off by me.”
“I can do that. If she's not up to going home tomorrow can he come and see her?”
“Yes. Ianto, do you mind if we stay here tonight? I don't want to be too far away just in case anything else goes wrong?”
Raising an eyebrow the young Welshman sighed, “That's fine Jack.”
“Now see here. You two keep yourselves away from me. I don't want to see any of what you normally get up to around here.” Owen said, alarm evident in his voice. “Got that?”
Jack laughed as he stood and headed towards his office with Ianto following a step behind.
“I'm serious! Jack! I mean it!” Owen shouted at their backs, hands on his hips, as they walked away.
Tosh's silvery peal of delight was a counterpoint to Jack's hearty laughter as she went to contact Rhys leaving Owen standing alone muttering obscenities.
A/N 2: This came about one Saturday afternoon when I was cleaning and doing laundry. I'd had some TW on in the background and decided that I'd had enough of Gwen and Jack's longing looks (I believe I may have mentioned a time or two that all of the eye-fucking gets on my last nerve) and ended up watching The Creature from the Black Lagoon while folding laundry. In a fit of bitchiness (I have them occasionally but try to keep them under control), I promptly nick named the creature Gwen and spent about 5 minutes trying to decide if I could write an A/U based on it. Then I spent about 5 minutes trying to decide if I could write a cannon based story on it and put it away. Fast forward 2 weeks and I was corresponding with a friend (I'm talking about you, Dxxx) and jokingly referenced it. I was 15 minutes early for work the next morning and ended up outlining it in a notebook in my car before going it. I truly never meant to write it. But it was fun:)