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Myfanwy 2

November 2017

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To Be Human - Chapter Three

To Be Human - Chapter Three
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. 




29 June 2008

 

Ianto was frustrated.

He sat at his station, staring at the screen as he researched the burglary victims, Mike and Beth Halloran. 

They were blaringly normal.  They’d both led relatively boring lives. 

And yet, one of them had to have been the one who’d killed one burglar and put the other in critical condition.

“You don’t look happy.”

He turned to regard Jack.  His mate stood just behind him, hands in his trouser pockets.  “The Hallorans are so clean they’d most likely squeak if you rubbed them the right way.”

He could tell Jack was barely hiding a smirk.   “I’ll squeak no matter how you rub me.”

The dragon rolled his eyes affectionately.  “You know damned well that wasn’t what I meant.”

Jack winked.  “I take it you found nothing in their background at all?”

“Mike Halloran has had a couple of traffic tickets that he paid promptly, but that’s it.”

“I just have this feeling…” Jack trailed off, looking pensive.  “There’s something going on here that we can’t see.  I’d say I was willing to bet my life on it –“

“Don’t even joke about that,” Ianto snapped, glaring.  As much as he was looking forward to eternity with his mate, he hated the idea of Jack ever being in pain enough to die.

Jack moved forward, putting his arm around Ianto’s shoulders and squeezing.  “If I can’t joke about it, then what’s the point?”

The dragon knew that was true, but it didn’t make him feel any better about it. 

“I was just going to check in with Toshiko about those odd readings she got,” Jack went on.  “I also heard from Owen, and he said that Gwen’s been talking to the Hallorans and hasn’t been able to get much.  Beth doesn’t remember a thing that happened, and Mike was unconscious at the time.”

“You’re still thinking that one of them was responsible.”  It wasn’t a question.

Jack quirked an eyebrow at him.  “And you don’t?”

“The only other explanation would be that someone arrived in the nick of time to save the couple from the burglars and then vanished without a trace, which seems highly unlikely.”

“Unless either one has some sort of guardian angel…and I don’t believe in angels.”  Jack paused.  “Well, unless you count the Weeping Angels, and I wouldn’t want to meet one of those…ever.”

Ianto nodded.  There were records on the Quantum Angels in the Archives, and from what he’d read he had no desire to ever see one, either.  “And I doubt they’d want to help the Hallorans, anyway.”

“Exactly.”  Jack stepped away, and Ianto immediately missed his mate’s arm around him.  “Toshiko!” he called out turning toward their friend, “please tell me you have something.”

Toshiko spun in her chair.  “I wish I could.  I picked up some odd electromagnetic readings, but they were too weak to get any other information.  I’m not at all certain what caused them, but it had to have been some sort of technology.”

“A leaking microwave?” Ianto suggested.

“Wrong kind of energy.”  The tech slumped, rubbing her eyes.  “Besides, anything coming from a microwave would have dissipated long before reaching the bedroom.  No, this is bog-standard electromagnetic energy. The only thing keeping me from dismissing it as natural is how much there is of it.”

“Owen says the burglar in the hospital was stabbed with a long, thin blade,” Jack said.  “And there was nothing like that in the bedroom.  I’m open to guesses as to where it went.”

“Perhaps that’s where the electromagnetism came from,” Toshiko mused.  “Somehow that energy was created when the weapon was disposed of.”

“That would most likely mean alien tech,” Ianto answered, “which does put this case firmly into Torchwood jurisdiction.”

 “I never doubted that it wasn’t,” Jack said. 

The dragon raised an eyebrow.  “Never?”

“Well, almost never.”  Jack gave him a grin.  “There was this part of me that wanted to solve a true, locked door mystery.”

Jack’s phone suddenly rang, and he pulled it from his pocket.  “Yes, Owen?” he answered. 

Ianto kept his eyes on his mate as Jack listened to Owen’s report.  Jack was quiet, until he finally said, “Bring her in.”  Then he snapped the phone shut, regarding Ianto and Toshiko.  “The second burglar has died, but not before he begged Gwen to keep ‘the woman in the flat’ away from him.”

“I’ll get the interrogation room ready.”  The dragon stood, and then headed down to prepare for whatever Beth Halloran turned out to be.

**********

Ianto hadn’t gotten too close a look at Beth Halloran, but he had to admit that there weren’t a lot of people who looked less like a killer than she did.

Owen and Gwen had brought her into the Hub through the garage entrance, a hood over her head and her hands cuffed in front of her.  Just from her body language Ianto could see that she was terrified, and he had to wonder at just how great an actress Beth was.  If he didn’t know better – and, honestly, he simply had his own instincts as well as Jack’s certainty that they were dealing with something not human, but the dragon was always willing to trust both – then Ianto would have thought that it was all a case of mistaken identity, and that she was an innocent bystander in all this.

Or she knew what Torchwood was and had figured out that they meant business when it came to aliens being on their territory.

Ianto took over on Gwen’s side as Jack did on Owen’s, and his teammate didn’t look happy about it.  He wondered what was going on in her head, and then dismissed the thought.  He was certain they’d hear from Gwen on the matter of Beth Halloran soon enough.

Together he and his mate escorted the woman to the interrogation room.  Ianto could feel her trembling in his grasp, and a part of him wanted to feel sorry for her…if it weren’t for two bodies in the morgue at the hospital.  He couldn’t blame her too much, but if she was a threat then they needed to know that.

There were enough peaceful aliens living around Cardiff.  He and Jack had found them homes amid the humans in the city, and they co-existed quite happily with the normal people around them.  Ianto knew that he and Jack would most likely send Beth home if she proved not to be a threat, and would then keep their eye on her and Mike for as long as needed.  But, if she was a danger, then they would have to take measures. 

He and Jack would follow the procedures that they’d set in place when they’d taken over, and act accordingly.

They sat Beth down in the hard metal chair and Jack snatched the bag off of her head.  Beth looked up at him, and then Ianto, her large dark eyes frightened.  Jack walked around the table, leaning his over the obviously terrified woman threateningly.  Ianto leaned against the wall, knowing his role in the interrogation.

“Tell me everything,” Jack snapped, threat evident in the order.

“Where am I?” Beth asked, her voice wavering.  “Where’s my husband?”

“He’s safe.”

“What do you mean, ‘safe’?  What have you done with him?”

“Nothing yet,” Jack said, pushing himself off the table.  “Tell me what happened in the flat, Beth.  It had to be either you or Mike, and I’m leaning toward you.  How did you do it?”

Beth was shaking her head, and Ianto couldn’t help but feel bad for her just a bit.  But he knew Jack had to be harsh, in order to get to the truth of the matter.  They had to know what had occurred, in order to decide what to do next.

“You can’t treat me like this!” Beth answered, suddenly defiant.  “I didn’t do anything wrong!  We were burgled…attacked!  I want a lawyer.  I want a phone call!  If you’re charging me with something –“

“We’re not charging you with anything,” Jack interrupted.  “We don’t have to.  There won’t be a lawyer, or a phone call.  There’ll be just us…in this room, as long as it takes.”  He was looming over Beth again, the threat back in his tone.

Ianto shivered slightly.  He couldn’t help it.  Jack was incredibly hot when he was in interrogation mode.  Maybe he could suggest some role-play once this is over…

Get it back on track, Jones.

“Now, tell me what happened!”  Jack slammed his palm down on the table, making Beth jump.

“I told the police!” she shouted.  “I told that woman!  I don’t know anything!”

Ianto was beginning to think she really didn’t know anything.  Even if she was responsible, Beth Halloran’s continued claims of ignorance seemed entirely genuine. 

However, that made the dragon wonder just why she didn’t recall anything.

Ianto moved forward, bringing the file that he’d brought with him out from under his arm.  He had PC Davidson to thank for the comprehensive information on the crime scene, and he’d have to make Kathy aware of just how cooperative Andy had been.

He opened the file and brought out the photos from the scene of crime, including pictures of the criminal who’d died onsite and of the other laying on the crumpled roof of the police car.   “Look at them,” he urged, spreading them out across the table.  “The second burglar just died in hospital.  His last words were: ‘keep the woman in the flat away from me’.  Now, why would he say that?”

Ianto watched as Beth swallowed convulsively.  “I don’t know why he’d say that!  I swear I didn’t do anything!”

Jack looked at her shrewdly.  “Was it Mike?  Are you covering for him?”

“No!”  Beth screamed.

The one of the overhead lights blew out.  The others flickered violently.

Jack didn’t even look up.

Ianto’s heart rate jumped, but he remained calm.  “Those men attacked you.  You were only defending yourself.  Anyone would understand.”  He was lying, to an extent; the law allowed for self-defence, but he also knew that what had happened to those burglars could be considered excessive force.  If Beth was human and had to face ephemeral justice, it was possible that she’d still get prison time.  It would almost be better if she was an alien at this point, because then he and Jack could work to protect her.

“I promise,” she cried, “I don’t know anything!  I just know it wasn’t me!  Please, let me go!”

Jack didn’t say anything.  Instead, he left the room, and Ianto followed him, feeling sorry for the woman who seemed about to break down into sobs handcuffed to the table.  He was just behind Jack as his mate climbed the stairs up to the observation window, where Gwen was waiting.

“Did you have to be so harsh?” were the first words out of her mouth.

Jack frowned.  “She killed two men –“

“You don’t know that!”

“I’m certain she did.  She might not know exactly what happened, but she is responsible.”

“We need to know who she is,” Ianto added quietly, trying to avoid the confrontation that he knew was brewing between Gwen and Jack.  “Then we can help her.”

“Help her how?” Gwen snorted.  “By throwing her into a cell?”

“If that’s what it takes,” Jack growled. 

“And if she’s peaceful,” the dragon added, “and this was just self-defence, then we can help her and Mike with new lives. We’re not all about killing, and you know that.”

“You’re treating her like she’s a murderer,” Gwen snapped.  “Those men broke into her home.  Of course it was self-defence!”

“And you know the law about that.  Self-defence is all well and good, but what Beth did was excessive.  She could still be found guilty of some form of murder.”

“Ianto’s right,” Jack said.  “It’s best she come clean with us now, so we can help her if that’s what she needs.  And, if we have to get a bit rough to find out the truth, then so be it.”

Gwen’s eyes narrowed.  “Now who’s being excessive?”

It was a small movement, but Ianto saw Jack’s flinch.  The dragon wanted to step in front of Gwen and defend his mate, but knew that would only do more harm to Jack’s self-confidence than good.  He had to let him handle it; although Ianto did reach over and squeeze Jack’s hand in support.

“We’re doing what needs to be done,” Jack responded.  “We need to know if there’s a danger to innocents, and to do that we’re going to need to do whatever is needed.  If Beth Halloran constitutes a danger to the city or the planet, then we handle it.  Is that understood?”

“You’ve convicted her without facts,” Gwen argued back.

“But there is evidence,” Toshiko’s quiet voice broke into the discussion, and Ianto couldn’t have been happier for the interruption. 

They all turned toward the technician, who stood just beyond Gwen.  She looked put out, and the dragon could guess where that ire was aimed at.  “What do you have, Tosh?” Ianto asked.

“While you were questioning Beth,” she said, “there was a spike of electromagnetic energy coming from the interrogation cell.”

“The light blowing out,” Jack nodded. 

“Yes, it blew out the bulb.  And it came from Beth.  I’m still not sure why or what caused it, but it was definitely from her.”

“Thanks, Toshiko.”  Jack turned back to Gwen.  “There’s your proof.  Beth is probably an alien, and at this point, until we know any different, we’ll have to treat her as dangerous.”

“It doesn’t matter if she’s an alien,” Gwen pushed.  “It was self-defence.  She was protecting herself and the man she loves.”

Ianto narrowed his eyes at her.  “So…it doesn’t matter that Beth is an alien that killed two men…as long as she was doing it to help someone she loves?”

Gwen glared at him.  “She cannot be blamed for what happened.”

“So,” the dragon went on, “it’s fine for Beth – an unknown alien who won’t even admit what she is – to take lives in an effort to protect a loved one, but when it comes to your own teammate – who happens to be a dragon – is put into the same situation you hold it against him?”

Gwen took a step back, acting as it Ianto had just struck her.  “That’s completely different!”

“How is it different, Gwen?” The only thing that kept Ianto from moving closer was Jack’s hand on his shoulder.   “I was willing to do anything to save Lisa, until it came to the point where I knew I couldn’t help her any longer.  How is my willing to perform any act to save the only other of my kind I’d seen in centuries any different from Beth doing the same thing to save her husband?”

“Because you endangered m –“ Gwen stumbled, then went on, “you endangered the entire team by your actions.  It was a terrible situation and you brought it down on us.”

 “Oh, I see.”  Ianto could feel the anger building, but did nothing to stop it.  He now really understood what was keeping Gwen from even thinking about forgiving him for everything that had occurred, and why she was still holding it against him after all this time.  “It’s not the team’s lives in danger that you’re so upset about…it’s yours.  And here I thought it was because I damaged your pride by not trusting in you enough to admit that I was a dragon in the first place.  Although, I suspect that’s part of it as well…it’s fine as long as you have secrets, but not anyone else.”

“How dare you!” Gwen’s hand went up.

It would have connected if not for Toshiko’s quick reflexes.  The technician grabbed her by the wrist, keeping her from striking Ianto for his words.  “He’s right, you know,” she accused quietly.   “We’ve all seen it, but it hasn’t been until just now that the truth is finally out there.  What makes it worse is that you really weren’t in all that much danger.  Ianto was the one who was in trouble, not you.”

“Gwen,” Jack spoke, “I think you really need to consider how you interpret things around here.  Beth is an unknown quantity; she might be calm now, but there’s no telling what she’s capable of.  If anyone is the true danger in the Hub at this moment, it’s her.  Not Ianto, who would lay down his life for you without a second’s delay, even knowing how you feel about him.  You are his teammate, but more than that…you are one of his Named dragon-friends, which means that you are his family, and that he would protect you even if it meant he would die in the attempt.  Beth isn’t going to do that for you.  Hell, she’ll most likely kill you if she got the chance.”

“I never asked for Ianto to protect me,” Gwen answered sharply.

“That’s just it,” Owen added, joining the party, “you didn’t have to ask.  Dragon Boy is just like that.”

“Enough,” Jack ordered.  “Owen, I want you and Toshiko to run every test you can think of on our guest.  We need to know who and what she is.  Ianto, you bring Beth up from the interrogation room, and keep her under constant surveillance.  And Gwen…in my office.  We’re not done and I don’t want to have our dirty laundry aired in front of a possible enemy.   The last thing we need is to show we’re less than united before an alien combatant.”

Gwen looked as if she wanted to argue, but Jack simply pointed toward his office, and she spun on her heel and stormed across the Hub. 

“Jack –“ Ianto began.

“No, I know that you want to be there, but this is between Gwen and me.  It’s time I stepped up and accepted that I made a big mistake in hiring her.”  Jack took a deep breath.  “I need you three to do your jobs…the jobs I trust you with implicitly.”

Ianto wanted nothing more than to take this burden from Jack, but he knew he couldn’t.  This was up to his mate.  Jack had to deal with what had happened, and just as Jack trusted his team, then his team had to trust its leader to do what needed to be done.

Owen nodded at the order, heading back down to his domain to get ready for the tests.  Toshiko smiled, and followed him, passing by her desk to pick up some devices she would be using.

It left Ianto alone with his mate.

“Just us...in this room…as long as it takes?” he murmured, raising an eyebrow.  “Terrifying.”

Jack looked surprised at the change of subject.  “Really?”

“Absolutely.  Sent shivers down my spine.”  It really had; Jack had been incredibly sexy during the interrogation.

His mate side-eyed him.  “You don’t look scared.”

“It…passed.”  The dragon sent him a saucy wink.

Jack snorted, giving Ianto a disbelieving look.   “Just wait until later, and I’ll give you shivers.”

“I’ll be your willing interrogation subject anytime.”

Ianto could see the shadows that had been in Jack’s eyes fade at the quiet innuendo.  He felt he’d done his best to relax his mate, knowing that Jack would need to be calm when he faced Gwen. 

He pressed a light kiss to the corner of Jack’s mouth, and then turned and headed down to the interrogation room in order to collect Beth Halloran.



Chapter Four






Comments

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NOOOO you can't leave it there.....

Is this pay back?
Don't worry, there will be more.

Would I have a reason for pay back? *whistles*
Will Gwen learn? Is she capable of learning? Will Jack finally pull her into line? It's difficult to imagine, but I'm hoping...
Thrilled to see a new chapter - I was missing the Dragonverse.
Gwen can learn...but first she has to realize a few things, and it may be too late. We'll see.

Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it. :)
Evil, you're evil, I tell you!

You're also bloody brilliant. The whole chapter gave me shivers, and I wanted to sing for joy that Gwen's selfishness was finally on display for all to see. I'm going to be on tenterhooks now, waiting for Jack's confrontation with Gwen, and to see how he deals with her. Methinks suspension isn't going to work, as it clearly has failed in the past to knock sense into the silly woman.

I loved this, absolutely loved it.
I know, but I can't help it! *grins*

Thank you. *blushes* This chapter was interesting to write, knowing that so much was happening, including Gwen finally outing herself in front of the team. Jack's not going to mince words with her, I can promise that.

And you're right...suspension isn't going to work. *winks*

Glad you enjoyed it. :)


Please, Please, I want to know what is going to happen and I want to see Ianto interrogated *¬*

Very interesting, you have me in the edge of my seat as usual.

:)
Hopefully you won't have long to wait. And I'm sure Ianto wants to be interrogated, too! *winks*

Glad you enjoyed it. :)
So the truth about why Gwen hates Ianto is finally known and I'm not at all surprised she's still bitter about Ianto putting her in danger. I can't wait to hear what Jack plans on doing about Gwen.
Yes, it is. She's really holding a grudge, and we'll see next chapter why that is.

As for punishment...well, let's just say she won't be expecting it. *grins*
*refreshes page*

*refreshes page*

*refreshes page*

Oh, God! I need more! I need that conversation with Gwen!
Sorry, hon...but hopefully you won't have to wait too long. And then Jack will have his say, and I don't think she'll be expecting this particular conversation. *nods*
Oh pretty please let Gwen be sacked and retconned back to nappies and have Rhys take her place, or even Andy.

Still loving the story though despite wanting to scream every time Gwen the Harpy pipes up.
Hm...well, I can't really say what's going to happen next. We'll see. *grins*

Glad you;re enjoying it. Yeah, Gwen is being a bit of a harpy, I do admit. :)
Oh think I may have missed one. Always loved that exchange between Jack and Ianto which was playful and showed how their relationship had begin to change and develop. Gwen being Gwen again - oh dear. Now are we going to get the interrogation machine? Looks forward to more.
K
xx
I loved that scene! It was really the first scene we got that showed they were on their way to a relationship after their date. I had to keep it in. :)

Yep, that's our Gwen. Jack gets to bring out the Captain next time...and hopefully she'll realize a few things. *winks*

Glad you enjoyed it. :)
Just as you think Gwen could be capable of learning/accepting she goes and does/says something stupid again.
She needs a good spanking.
Well, this is Gwen...she's now going to have to deal with what her actions have wrought. And trust me...Jack isn't going to be easy on her.

Maybe Ianto should call Rhys and ask him to do the spanking...I bet Rhys would enjoy it. *laughs*
I'm hoping against hope that this is the end of Gwen's involvement with Torchwood.
I can't really say, that would be spoilers. *winks*
Gwen is set before contradictions! reasonning of Ianto is magnific!
Finally, since the time we expect to see Gwen stuck!
See the team which confirmes its conclusions is a joy
The scene of the thrill ... it is even more evocative in your version!
I can not wait to see what Jack will tell at Gwen.
Gwen's going to get a serious talking to, I promise. *grins*

The team are fully behind Jack, so she'll get nothing from them.

I'm glad you liked that scene. It's one of my favorites. :)

More next week.
I really felt sorry for Beth in that ep. I love the banter between Jack and Ianto, especially when Ianto is trying to help calm Jack. Gwen? My mum always told me if i haven't got anything nice to say then don't say anything at all. Well sorry mum lol I've never liked her grrr and she is so irritating which means your doing your job. Hope Jack fires her, can't stand her really lol
I did too, although I'm not sure that really came through. It will, later, when she starts to lose control.

I loved that scene, and I had to have it in there. I'm glad you liked the changes to it. It was fun to write.

We'll see what he does. *winks*
You can't leave it there, I need more!!! Gwen needs to grow up and act like an adult. Loved the update.
Sorry I left it like that...no, not really. Because I'm evil. *laughs*

We'll get more next week. :)
Hah Ha! Smack down for Gwen!
Love how the team confronted Gwen about the truth about her selective compassion, her self-centeredness.

Can't wait to be a fly on they wall when Jack confronts her...

...not sure if being shown the mirror reflecting her true self is going to cause Gwen to change though.
Jack will have a few things to say, and Gwen won't get out of anything this time. She's outed herself, and now the entire team knows what her issue it.

Well no...but it's a start I suppose. :)
Gwen just needs to go away - permanently...somehow...maybe feed her to Janet...although she'd probably give the poor weevil heartburn...hmmm...it's a dilemma, that's for sure.
Yes, please...we don't want to upset Janet's poor tummy. LOL!
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