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Myfanwy 2

December 2017

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Dragon-Verse icon

To Be Human - Chapter One

To Be Human - Chapter One
Author: Milady Dragon
Series: Dragon-Verse
Rating: PG-13
Pairing(s): Jack/Ianto, Gwen/Rhys, Toshiko/Kathy, Owen/Diane
Warnings: Language
Spoilers: Both series up to S2, E2, "Sleeper"
Disclaimer:  I don't own Torchwood, I would have treated it better. 
Author's note:  Here we are, the Dragon-Verse version of "Sleeper".  I know there have been a few detours before getting to this, and I hope it's worth the wait.  As usual, dating is taken from several fan-made chronologies, especially Ianto's Desktop, and other information from the TARDIS Index File.


Summary: An attempted home invasion puts the team on the trail of an alien sleeper cell intent on invasion, and Gwen gets a lesson on what it means to be human. 




28 June 2008

 

Jack curled up against his dragon, glad that Ianto was back where he belonged.

There wasn’t much of a moon, but the glare from the street lights outside gave enough light for Jack to see by…when he wasn’t dozing against the warm flank of his mate, after the last several hours of welcoming Ianto home.  The stress of having his mate exchanged for another version of Ianto Jones had been getting to him, and Jack had needed that reconnection to his mate that being intimate had brought. 

He could tell that Ianto felt the same way.  The dragon’s eyes were closed, and his steady breathing lulled Jack even deeper into rest.

Eventually, Jack knew he’d have to get up to arm the alarm system and to turn off the lights they’d left on downstairs in their rush to get to the loft – they hadn’t even made it that far for round one – but for now he was content to stay where he was, luxuriating in the heat of his mate.  Jack couldn’t see himself ever getting tired of just being like this, with Ianto tucked around him almost protectively, the silky sharpness of dragons’ scale against his back and side like the finest armour…and the softest cloth.  It was a contradiction, the way they felt, but it was the closest Jack could come to describing the sensation. 

There would always be a part of him that would wish that, some day, he would find a way to be with Ianto as a dragon, like the dreams that the Great Dragons had sent them.  But Jack knew that wouldn’t be possible, even with all the magic in the world…and there was a niggling bit of him that still didn’t want to believe in magic, that thought everything he’d seen could be described by advanced enough science.  He didn’t know where this disbelieving part of him came from, but it was there, and Jack couldn’t deny it.

Maybe one day he’d come to embrace magic, but for now Jack didn’t see how. 

He stopped worrying about it, and tucked up closer to the dragon, letting the contented grin he couldn’t stop curl across his face.

Jack had no idea how long he lay there, but he was rudely pulled from his rest by the sharp ring of the door bell.

The dragon body next to his jumped slightly, seemingly as startled as Jack had been.  “Who is that, at this time of night?” he grumbled, raising his large head.

“It better be good,” Jack answered, getting up.  His clothes were all scattered about downstairs, so he headed toward the stairs still naked.   “I’ll get it.”

“Fine, but hurry back.”  The dragon shifted once more, settling back into place in their nest.

Jack collected his shirt from the stairway, and his trousers from the back of the sofa, as he made his way toward the door.  He did fasten his fly, but didn’t bother with his shirt as he pulled the front door open.  “Owen,” he said, surprised at the medic’s appearance at their door at…he glanced at the clock on the mantel, and saw that it was after eleven.

“Thank God you came to the door halfway dressed,” Owen responded.  He looked nervous, which was completely out of character for him.

“If I’d known it was you I would have done without the shirt.”  He couldn’t help but tease the man, even though Jack was concerned as to the reason why Owen would be there this late.

Owen rolled his eyes.  “I’ve seen it, and I’m not impressed.”  He sighed, running his hands through his hair.  “Can I come in?  I know it’s late but I really need to talk to you and Ianto about something.”

Jack’s concern grew.  He stepped aside, letting the medic enter.  Owen automatically removed his shoes at the mat; apparently he’d been on the receiving end of one of Ianto’s lectures about messing up the carpet.   “It’s fine,” Jack assured him, “we weren’t asleep.  And you didn’t interrupt anything else, in case you were wondering.”

“I wasn’t, but that’s a good thing. I was gonna wait until tomorrow, but I took the chance when I saw the lights still on.”

“C’mon up.”  Jack started up the stairs, Owen following.  He was very curious as to what would have brought Owen there at that time of night.  It must have been something bothering him, when Jack had thought he’d have been home or at the nearest pub.   “It’s Owen,” he called up, in order to warn the dragon that he wasn’t alone.

“I heard,” came the answer.  “Tell him he has to wait until usual business hours for his coffee.”

“Blow it out your arse, Dragon Boy,” Owen snarked back, raising his voice in order to be heard.  Jack could tell that the banter had relaxed his friend just from the tone of his voice.

Ianto hadn’t changed back to human form, but he was awake and watchful as Jack and Owen entered the loft.  His blue cats’ eyes were curious as they tracked Owen across the room, where the medic grabbed the nearest chair and dragged it over to the nest area.  Jack took his usual spot, leaning against the dragon’s side, and for Owen’s peace of mind he kept his clothes on.  “What can we do for you?” he asked, putting on his best boss’ expression.

Owen sighed.  “I probably could have waited until morning, but I thought you both might want to know about something I overheard today, when we had that other version of Ianto around.  It concerns Gwen and something she said to him.”

Jack should have guessed.  While he hadn’t seen Gwen actually approach their guest, it should have occurred to him that she would have.  Damn it, he should have kept a closer eye on their visitor…

The dragon’s slitted eyes narrowed.  “Please tell me she didn’t do what I’m thinking she did.”

“If you mean did she go off on him?  Pretty much, yeah.”

“Oh goddess,” Jack sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose.  “I really should have expected something like that.”  He should have kept Gwen well away from the other Ianto.

“What exactly did she say?” Ianto asked.

“She basically accused him of doing something to fool the rest of us to get us to trust him,” Owen reported.  “Then she said that all Iantos are inhuman and can’t be trusted.”

“When did this happen?” Jack demanded.  He was thoroughly pissed off at himself for not doing more to have kept them apart.

“Right after lunch.  I’m sorry I didn’t bring it up before, but the other Ianto seemed to handle her just fine.  But then you called her out in front of us all about pushing that damned button and I knew I had to say something.  I was going to wait for morning, but I got to thinking about it and realised I wanted to get it off my chest as soon as I could.”  He looked contrite, and Jack couldn’t hold it against him for not speaking up sooner.

He waved off the apology.  “You’re telling us now, that’s the important thing.  What else did she say?”

Owen grimaced.  “She claimed that the other Ianto had corrupted Rhys and that it was obvious her doppelganger must have seen through it, that she must have shown Jack real love and that’s why she wasn’t in that version of Torchwood.”

Jack actually shivered.  “I may just have nightmares about that.”

“You and me both,” Ianto mirrored his shiver.  “From what I learned in the other universe, the reason Gwen wasn’t in that version of Torchwood was because of certain…delusions she had.  Also, she was slightly precognizant, which led her to cross the other team’s path more than luck would do. “

“Bloody hell,” Owen swore.  “I can also guess what she was delusional about.”  He met Jack’s eyes, and there was something very knowing in them that had him feeling a bit uncomfortable.

“That’s pretty much what the other version of Ianto told me,” Jack said, clearing his throat.  “And yes, I know what I’ve done to encourage her, but that’s been over for a long time now.  It’s not my fault she won’t take ‘no’ for an answer or that she won’t accept that she’s simply a member of the team and not irreplaceable.”

“Yeah, well, I haven’t been any better,” Owen admitted.  “I wish I’d never slept with her.  Hell, I’m not even sure why I did; it just seemed like a good idea at the time.  And I won’t lie…she was good in the sack.  But it wasn’t worth finding out that little fact.  And, when I found out she actually Retconned Rhys in order to confess it…fuck,” he raked a hand through his hair.  “She even came to me, wanting to get back into bed with me after you left, Jack.  I turned her down flat.  Two weeks later she showed up wearing Rhys’ engagement ring.  Sorry sod. He has no idea what he’s getting himself in to.”

Jack agreed.  He would always have regrets over hiring Gwen, but they were stuck with her now.  Certainly, he could always Retcon her, and get the dosage right this time, but there was still that stubborn part of him that wanted to keep her around, to help her succeed in becoming the operative that he’d believed she could be.  His hiring of her might have been for the wrong reasons, but when he’d read Ianto’s reports of the time he’d been away with the Doctor he’d seen that side of Gwen Cooper he’d always suspected was there.  Unfortunately, she’d fallen right back into bad habits after he’d come back, and he really didn’t want to examine the reasons for that.

“I just don’t understand her,” the dragon said, resting his head on his crossed paws.  “I don’t suppose I ever will.”

“It’s almost as if she has selective compassion,” Jack added.  “Like she thinks some people deserve it, and others don’t…and her selection process is entirely random.”

“Well, we know she doesn’t like me because I damaged her pride and lied to her,” Ianto went on.  “She’s selective about secrets, too.”

“Yeah, when she’s not the one who’s keeping them,” Owen put in.  “And there was no reason for her to accuse that other Ianto of what she did.  She had no idea what was going on in that other dimension…apart for Rhys being in Torchwood and not her.  Which, seems to me, the bloke must have the patience of a saint to put up with her.”

“I’ve been considering Rhys Williams,” Ianto pondered.  “I think, perhaps, it’s time for me to meet him.”

Jack looked at his mate closely.  “To recruit?”

“Not necessarily.  But I think I’d like to get to know this man.  Perhaps we’ve been underestimating him.  And, letting Gwen have someone outside of Torchwood who she could confide in might not be a bad idea.  After all, Toshiko has Kathy, and Owen, you have Diane…”

“I don’t really tell her much, though,” Owen denied.  “I know you’ve given me permission, because of what she already knows, but there’s this part of me that doesn’t want her to know exactly what we get up to.  I…want to protect her, even though I know she could kick my arse six ways from Sunday.”

“Yeah, you better not tell her that,” Jack said, barely hiding his smile.  It seemed that Diane Holmes – now known as Sally-Ann Hope – was still such a good influence over their irascible doctor.  “She wouldn’t like to know you were coddling her.”

“God, I’d never hear the end of it!”

Ianto chuckled.  “Speaking of Diane…we saw your request for time off.  Were you planning on going to visit her?”

Owen nodded.  “I thought I might.  That is, if you both approve a whole week off.”

“We will,” Jack said.  “You deserve it.  Ianto and I got the chance to recuperate after that Year, but you and Toshiko didn’t.”

“We plan on giving you the week off after Toshiko gets back,” Ianto added.  “We’ve already approved hers, for the week around the time we revive Tommy.”

“That makes sense,” Owen agreed.  “We all know Tommy has a thing for Tosh, and now that she’s with Kathy it might get more than a little bit awkward.”

“That’s what we thought as well.  It’s going to be difficult enough with Jack and I, and we don’t want to put her through that as well.”

“Yeah, they had some really screwed up ideas back then.  He could freak out if he knew you two were together.  Hell, he doesn’t even know Ianto is really a dragon.  Let’s just mentally scar the kid all the way around then.”

“We’d rather not.”  Jack hadn’t forgotten that they hadn’t clued Tommy in on Ianto’s true nature, but it was more out of the need not to share too much of the future with him than anything else.  Besides, when he eventually did go back to his own time, the more sense he made to the people in charge at the time the better.  It wouldn’t look at all good if he went back only to get committed to a sanatorium.    They’d been terrible places back then, and it would almost be better if Tommy got sent back to action than into an asylum.  At least he’d have a fighting chance in a warzone.

“Let me know your plans,” Ianto said, “and I can go through the Tourism Board to get you some flight discounts.  I might also manage to get you first class seating for coach rates.”

“I knew you were good for something, Dragon Boy,” Owen went back into default snark mode, which was a sure sign he’d been serious long enough.

“So you love me for more than my coffee then,” the dragon commented dryly. 

“Damn, keep that love shit confined to Harkness.  You are so not my type.”

“This is a good thing,” Jack joined in on the teasing, “because the dragon is mine and no one else’s.  And I don’t share.”

“Good, cause I don’t want any!” Owen looked nearly green. 

“Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Owen,” Jack said, thinking it was time to bring this to a close.  He wanted to discuss things with Ianto, and it was getting late. 

“Like I said, I was gonna wait, but it didn’t feel right to.”  Owen stood, obviously hearing the dismissal in Jack’s tone.  “I’ll just let myself out and turn the lights off, unless you wanna arm the alarm after I go?”

“We can do that from up here,” Ianto answered.  “Safe trip home, Owen.”

“Yeah, thanks.  I haven’t had that much to drink though.  Besides, if I get pulled over I can always harass Tosh, get her girlfriend to take care of the charge for me.”  He grinned unrepentantly.  “And this is why it’s a good idea to have a friend dating a copper.”

Ianto rolled his eyes.  “Good night, Owen.”

“Yeah, see you both in the morning.”  With those parting words, the medic headed back down the stairs, and moments later Jack heard the front door shut. 

He stood up and used the panel on the wall by the landing and turned the alarm on for the night.   Then he removed his clothes once more and sat down beside Ianto.  “I really should have kept a closer eye on Gwen when your counterpart was here,” he said wearily, practically burrowing into the dragon’s side. 

“It’s no one’s fault, Jack,” Ianto rumbled softly.  “Besides, Owen said that he seemed to handle her all right.”  He sighed, his chest lifting Jack and then settling back down.  “Perhaps we should listen to what he has said to us about her.  After all, he was an outsider, and would see more than we would.”

“You might be right.  As for now, though, we’ll watch her.”

“I don’t understand why she would be such a good field agent while you were gone, and then fall back into such bad habits when you came back.”

“Only Gwen knows what her motivations are.”  Although Jack could guess, but chances were he’d be wrong.  “If things don’t improve, then it’s Hub duty.”

“And in the meantime, I should like to talk to Rhys, if just to feel him out about letting him in on Torchwood.  Because I get the distinct feeling we’ll hear about it when Gwen realises that everyone inside of Torchwood has someone to talk to outside, and she doesn’t.”

Jack flinched.  “You’re right.  I just hate to break Torchwood’s secrecy over someone who might blow it all with a single word.  Kathy I trust, and Diane’s been through what we do…”

“I understand, Jack.  But you know this is the right thing to do, if only to settle Gwen down.”

The thing was, Jack did know.  He’d been so adamant about no one outside knowing about Torchwood, that this felt like he was betraying a principle.  But Ianto was correct:  Toshiko and Owen both had someone they could talk to, albeit in somewhat broad terms.  Hell, he’d tried to recruit Kathy so many times as it was, and the detective had been through that Year.  They had a bond that no one else could even understand.

No, Ianto was on the right track.  If this Rhys was anything like the Rhys Williams was from the TARDIS version’s dimension, then it was obvious he would handle Torchwood just fine. 

“Let’s get some sleep,” Jack said.  “I get the feeling we’re going to have a long day ahead of us tomorrow.”

Little did Jack know how much truth was in that statement…


Chapter Two



Comments

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Ah another one of my faves back. Getting Rhys involved will be fun. Looking forward to seeing what you do with Beth. Writing alternative versions and fitting them in new verses is really fun.
K
xx
Great start, can't wait to see what Ianto thinks of Rhys.
I am really enjoying this AU. Great start!
Thank you! Glad you're enjoying it. :)
I bet Gwen wasn't expecting her little attack on the other Ianto to get back to Jack and Ianto. I have to admit, I really hadn't thought of it being Owen standing in the shadows and overhearing her. I'm glad he went to the boys with it so they're forewarned, and that Ianto is going to meet up with Rhys to feel him out about Torchwood. I'd love it if they brought him into the team. I can just see Gwen blowing a gasket over the idea. What fun!
Let's she say she has a surprise in store. Owen just made sense, because while he's loud and abrasive, he also has a tendency to sit back and think things through, unlike Tosh who would have confronted Gwen at once.

As for Rhys...that's going to be fun. We'll have to see just how involved he gets. :)
Will there ever be an end to Gwen's stupidity?
It seems like a hopeless case to me..
Dump the woman, throw her off the cliff (as in marry..shag..), retcon her back to nappies. Waiting for her to see the light is going to be one long, hard ride..
Well, maybe...maybe not. I cannot say at this time. I will say that "Sleeper" is the perfect episode to examine her personality, with Beth and all. Stay tuned!
I'd love to see more of Rhys. Love his character. And Gwen, boy is she gonna be in for it.
I adore Rhys. We'll have to see just how involved he becomes, at least before "Meat". And yes, Gwen is going to get an earful...as soon as Jack gets a chance. :)
Looking forward to the interaction with Rhys. But can the dragon just fry Gwen to a crisp now and be done with her?

And I must have either missed it or just forgotten because for the life of me I can't remember reading a previous scene where Gwen had a go at an alternate Ianto!

Must go back and read through previous stories!
Rhys is going to be fun. As for Gwen...it's so hard to get the smell of char out of ones' scales... *laughs*

That was in cyberdigi's part of the last story. Gwen went off on TARDIS Ianto because, well...he's Ianto. And Gwen doesn't appear to like Ianto in any shape or form.

So glad to see this verse back, looking forward to your take on season 2 with the dragon and Jack, along with all their guests.
I have some definite changes in Series Two, so stay turned. More up next week. :)
I have a sneaking suspicion that Owen's time off is going to be around the Reset period... :P

Looking forward to the rest of this.
*channels River* Spoilers, sweetie!

More up next week. :)

Two fic for the prize of one, you're too good to be true ;)

Although I still am a little late in the Wizard and Deathless verse, I haven't been able to let go of this one long enough to apply myself but now I have more motivation.

I'm very intrigued about how Jack is going to handle Gwen's crush/delusion, and what her reaction will be when she has to confront reality and stop being in denial.

Thank you for the update :)
I'm going to try to keep up the pace... *grins*

There's a lot of Wizard and Deathless to get through. Good luck, and I hope you enjoy it. It was my first dip into Torchwood fanfic, actually. :)

Oh, Jack will have quite a bit to say...when he gets a free minute with what's coming up.

Glad you enjoyed it!
Yay! So happy to see this!
Glad you liked it! Thanks! And I do love that icon. :)
So happy to see you back! This looks very interesting - a great start.
Gwen is just a pain, isn't she?
Yeah, you guys are stuck with me. LOL!

Oh, that's just Gwen...you know how she is. :)

Yes! A new story...

can't wait to see where this is going! :)

At this point, _this_ universe's Gwen needs to be committed - I'd loved to know what the problem is with her. She's becoming...unhinged

Owen reporting a potential personnel problem is such a contrast to Gwen's speaking her mind...and who'd have thought that Owen would be an example of professionalism? {thanks for that, Gwen.} ^_^

Re: Yes! A new story...

More up next week. :)

I don't know about committed...but she certainly needs a smack upside the head with a large block of common sense. As for Owen, he can be professional, but we all know he just chooses not to. But this occasion called for it.
Rhys is one of my favorite minor Torchwood characters. I'd love to see more of a Rhys who would provide Gwen with some much needed boundaries.
I love Rhys, too. We'll see how Ianto approaches him and what happens when "Meat" rolls around. I always did think that Rhys was the only one who could truly ground Gwen, although there are times when he's as stumped by her as everyone else is.
Getting Rhys involved is becoming very necessary. Gwen is still as unruly as ever - only she is sneakier about it. Is it just me or do you ever get the urge to throw it all in a retcon her back to nappies? I am lookking forward to your interpretation of "Sleepers" :)
We'll see just how much Rhys gets involved. Gwen really needs someone to ground her, and Rhys could be the one to do it. Oh, I'll be honest, there were several places in this timeline I really wanted to just Retcon her, but I have plans. :)

More up next week.
0o0o0 I love it :) Both Dragon Verse and Wizard & Deathless verse :) Two of my favourite verses back again :) . I swear, Gwen is more trouble than what she is worth. And I'd watch it if i was Ianto. Bringing Rhys into Torchwood, even speaking to him without her knowing or permission could go horribly wrong. Especially the way she feels about Ianto. And I have to say it again I adore the closeness between Ianto/Dragon and Jack. Looking forward to the next chapter so much :)
I have been a bit busy, yes. *grins*

Gwen is trouble, and we'll see about Rhys. He could actually ground her a bit, but you're right...it could all blow up. And if Ianto does approach Rhys...oh yeah.

More up next week. :)
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