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Myfanwy 2

December 2017

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Myfanwy 2

Ghost of Christmas Torchwood

Ghost of Christmas Torchwood
Author: Milady Dragon
Beta: [personal profile] bookwrm89 
Rating: PG
Pairing: Jack/Ianto
Warning(s): Language
Spoilers: None really; takes place after S2, E10, "Something Borrowed", so Owen is a zombie
Disclaimer: I don't own Torchwood, I would have treated it better
Author's note: I wrote this for Torchwood Fest, as a gift for [personal profile] arnica .  Her prompt was that Ianto has been turned into a ghost, with extra points for ghost/zombie snark, ghost sex, and other things that just let my inner Owen fly. 


Summary:  When an accident with alien tech turns Ianto into a ghost, Owen has to work to figure out how to get him back into his body.  A bit of craziness ensures.



Zap!                         

“Oops…”

“Oops?  Is that all you have to say?”

Owen Harper looked up at the furious face of his leader, Jack Harkness, and knew that, not only was he in trouble, he was also going to be the target for the captain’s pissy mood for days.  “It’s not my job to keep track of all the alien tech just lying about.”

He really didn’t like the look Jack was giving him.  It was a good thing he was already dead, or Owen didn’t think he’d still be standing there. 

“Owen’s right, Jack,” Toshiko spoke up.  Owen would have kissed her for taking the attention off him…if he had any spit left to swap.  “I left the box sitting on the desk.  It wasn’t his fault he knocked into it and it fell over.”

The box in question had tumbled to the floor, and the various unidentified pieces of alien tech had scattered.  There was no way of knowing which one had caused their current predicament.

Well, Ianto’s current predicament, that was.

His body was crumpled on the floor, Owen currently checking his vitals – well, as best he could without much sense of touch – and making certain that everything was all right…as all right as it could be.  In fact, if anyone had seen what had occurred, they would have sworn that Ianto had simply fainted, if their resident tea-boy was of the delicate constitution to do so.   Owen knew differently; Ianto Jones was as tough as his oldest boots, and could handle grossness that would have made the most hardened medical resident blanch. 

No, this wasn’t any ordinary unconsciousness, which was why Jack was so pissed off.

“Ahem,” Ianto’s polite voice drew every eye in the Hub.  “I take it my body is fine?”

Ianto Jones was immaterial.

He stood – floated; whatever – just next to the water tower, looking extremely put out.  Hell, Owen couldn’t blame him; after all, it wasn’t every day that someone’s ghost got blasted out of their body by alien tech. 

“Yeah, looks okay, if a little slow,” Owen said, not even bothering with any sort of bedside manner.  “Let’s get you down to the autopsy bay, and I’ll do a proper scan, but it looks like your body is ticking over just fine, tea-boy.”

“I’ll help,” Jack volunteered…of course he did.  “Tosh, take a look at what was in that box, and see what you can come up with.  We need to know just what did this, and figure out a way to reverse it.”

Together, Owen and Jack manhandled the comatose body down into the bay, followed by the rather insubstantial consciousness, and judging from the sour look on his face Ianto wasn’t enjoying the experience one bit.   Not that Owen blamed him, but he couldn’t help but get a few digs in.   “Looks like nobody’s home,” he snarked, getting out various scanners, “but then, how could we really tell anyway?”

“I see you’re still proud of the fact that you failed ‘Bedside Manner’ in medical school,” Ianto sent back. 

The man may be separated from his body, but he could still make a comeback.

“We’ll get this solved,” Jack murmured.  Owen looked up from one of his scanners to see his boss standing next to the insubstantial Ianto, and what he saw in Jack’s eyes made him very uncomfortable.  There were some days when Owen just wished the two would admit how they felt about each other and put the rest of them out of their misery of seeing them mooning after one another.

“I have faith in the team, Jack,” Ianto averred.  “It’s just Owen that scares me.”

“Hardy har har, ghost-boy,” Owen answered, still bustling around his instruments.  He was getting some very interesting readings.   “Now, both of you get the hell outta my autopsy bay, and let me work.”

They did so, and Owen rolled his eyes.  Those two needed to quit with the puppy eyes at each other and just get on with it…only not in front of him, thank you very much.

**********

There were five artifacts spread out on the boardroom table. 

“These are what I’ve managed to narrow down to out of that box,” Toshiko reported.  “Everything else was either scrap or turned out to be terrestrial in origin.”

“Good work, Toshiko,” Jack said, leaning back in his usual chair.  Owen wondered vaguely if, one day, Jack would lean back too far and go feet over arse.  He really hoped so.  “I want you to keep working on them, and I’ll help as well.  Both of us together might figure it out quicker.” 

“It’s going to take a while, though,” Ianto sighed.  He stood near the wall, hands in his non-existent trouser pockets.  “I’m going to need someone to call my sister and tell her I won’t be able to make it to Christmas dinner.”

“It’s still a couple of days away,” Toshiko said.  “You celebrate it early?”

Ianto shrugged transparent shoulders.  “Rhiannon knows by now that Christmases are busy for me…even if she doesn’t know why.  So we celebrate early.”

“I’ll do it,” Gwen volunteered.  “I’ll tell her it’s work and your boss needs you to stay.”  She said that with a twinkle in her eye, and the double entendre was horribly obvious. 

Still, Jack smirked.  “Well, that goes without saying,” he drawled, sending a leer in Ianto’s direction.

The ghostly tea-boy rolled his eyes.   “Thank you, Gwen,” he said sincerely.  “I’ll get you the number when we’re finished here.”

“Owen,” Jack moved on, “what have you found out?”

“Well,” he began, “I’ve run every scan I know of on Ianto, both his body and his ghost, and from what I’ve been able to determine is that, somehow, 95% of the electrical fields that would normally surround him have been separated from the body.”

“How is that possible?” Gwen asked.

“It shouldn’t be,” Owen went on.   “The human body is made up of electrical impulses, and those create an extremely weak electrical field that is detectable by certain equipment.  Without those, there’s no brain activity, nerve activity…nothing, really.  The body is just a lump of meat.”

“So,” Ianto posited, “what I’ve become is a free-floating cloud of electrical impulses?”

“Basically, yeah.”  Owen may tease Ianto about being just a tea-boy, but he really had a good head on his shoulders.  “The only thing keeping you in your usual shape, and not like some sort of blob, is your own mind, which is – once again – all down to electrical impulses.  You know you look like that…and so, you look like you would normally.”

“You said 95%?” Jack asked.

Owen nodded.  “There’s just enough left to keep his body alive.  The problem is…those impulses are weakening, like Ianto’s internal battery is running down.  I anticipate that his body will fail within the next seventy-two hours.”

There was silence around the table at that announcement.    Owen could understand it; this was Ianto they were talking about, and despite any shit he might give him, the medic saw the young man as an odd sort of brother. And fucking Torchwood wasn’t going to take anyone else on his watch.

Besides, he had been the one to knock over the box.  He was, in a way, just as responsible as Tosh was.

“All right,” Jack said, sitting up straight.  “Toshiko, you and I will get onto testing those artifacts and try to figure out which one did this.  Owen, see if there’s some way to slow down the degradation.  Gwen…”

“I’ll call Ianto’s sister,” she answered, and from her expression she’d accepted that this sort of thing was a bit beyond her expertise. 

“Let’s get to it.”  Jack stood.  “The clock is ticking, people.”

“I want ghost-boy down for more scans,” Owen said.

“And I thought ‘tea-boy’ was bad,” Ianto groaned.

**********

Owen didn’t get it.

He’d run scan after scan, and what he was seeing just seemed impossible.  After all, who would create something that would actually disrupt the body’s electrical fields?  What would be the point?

And yet, that was exactly what had happened.

Ghost-Ianto stood next to Comatose-Ianto, and Owen couldn’t believe what he was seeing.  He’d compared scans from after the accident to the ones before, and it was absolutely fascinating…if not completely mystifying. 

“Ianto,” Gwen called down from the observation level.

He looked up.  “Did you get ahold of Rhi?”

 “I did, yes.”  There was something off about her expression though, and Owen would have waited with bated breath to hear what she had to say…if he had any breath to be bated.

Ianto must have noticed something off as well, because he frowned.  “What is it?”

Gwen actually scuffed a shoe against the tile.  “Well, um…she seemed to think I was your girlfriend.”

Owen snorted, but at the same time he wondered why Ianto’s sister didn’t know about Jack. 

“What did you tell her?” Ianto asked worriedly.

“I did explain that I worked with you,” Gwen answered, “and that the boss was wanting you to stay late tonight.  But she seemed to think that was some sort of short-hand for ‘wanting to go off and have a good shag’.”

Owen couldn’t help it; he laughed.  “She knows you pretty well then, ghost-boy.”

“I tried to tell her that I was married,” Gwen went on, “but that just made it worse.  She started to lecture me about screwing around on my poor husband and that you should have known better, and she plans on letting you have it the next time she sees you.”  She looked contrite.  “I’m sorry, Ianto; but no matter what I said, she seemed to take it completely the wrong way.  But hey…at least she’s not expecting you over for dinner tonight…”

Ianto had closed his eyes, then opened them resignedly.  “Thank you, Gwen.  I appreciate the effort.”

“But Ianto,” she said, “why haven’t you told her about Jack?  I mean, we all know you two are together…”

That was what Owen wanted to know, and he listened avidly as he checked some of his read-outs.

“I think that’s my business,” Ianto answered primly. 

Well, that’s them told.

Gwen looked like she wanted to push it, but even she had to know from experience that getting Ianto to talk was like getting Jack to quit flirting…no way, no how.  Instead, she nodded, and headed back up into the main Hub. 

“Okay, Casper,” Owen said into the silence, “I think I’ve got everything I can.  Go bugger off and bother someone else.”

“Remind me to pick up a chainsaw when I’m back in my own body,” Ianto said, floating up the steps.  “I’ve always been rather fond of the ‘Evil Dead’ movies.”

Owen couldn’t help but grin, but he hid it by leaning over one of his instruments.

**********

The deterioration was accelerating.

Owen was tempted to draw just enough air into his non-working lungs to sigh, then gave it up as too much effort.  He did rub his eyes though, which really didn’t do anything to help and was more of a holdover from his living days than anything else.

The electrical impulses that were keeping Ianto’s body working at its current level were fading even faster than Owen had calculated.  It was almost like a cascade; one synapse would fail, and two would follow.  At this rate it would be more like forty-eight hours, instead of the seventy-two he’d believed. 

Shit, this wasn’t good.

Owen got up from his desk, heading up toward Jack’s office.  Jack had already been down twice in the last hour, wondering at any progress, until Owen had told him to piss off and go harass Tosh.  He hadn’t been back since, which was a minor miracle.

Gwen was trying to help Tosh; both girls were huddled around Toshiko’s desk, various scanners scattered around.  A jeweler’s loupe was actually screwed to Tosh’s eye, her glasses pushed up onto the top of her head, and she was poking one of the questionable devices with a very tiny tool.  Owen made a mental note to get her some muscle relaxants for her back for later; if she kept sitting hunched over like that, she was going to need them.

He could see Jack in his office, and Ianto’s ghost was in there with him.  Owen didn’t even knock; there was no way they could be up to anything…

“– can you feel it?” Ianto’s voice was low and husky, the Welsh accent more pronounced.  “Can you feel me touching – “

“Bloody hell!” Owen shouted, not believing what he was hearing and seeing.  Jack had been leaning back in his chair, his trousers open… “You can’t even keep it in your pants for a few seconds, Harkness!”

Jack leaned forward, casually pulling the zipper up and hiding the very obvious erection he was sporting.  Ianto took a step back, his transparent form flickering just a little in what Owen interpreted as embarrassment.  “What can we do for you, Owen?” Jack asked, grinning like a cat that got the cream.

“You can just stop!”  Owen couldn’t believe it.  “Trust you to find a way to have sex with a fucking ghost!”

“It’s like phone sex…without the phone,” Jack confided, turning and hiding the obvious bulge behind his desk.  “Now, do you have something?”

“Yeah, I do.”  He really wished he could scrub his brain.  “Looks like I was a bit off in my estimate on how long Casper has before his body gives in.”  He gave his newest findings to an increasingly upset Jack, sparing a glance toward Ianto, who had retreated to the corner of the office.  He looked almost resigned to the news, and that bothered Owen a lot.  Yes, Ianto had been through a lot in the years he’d been with both One and Three, but did he really think giving up was an option?

“We’re not giving up,” Jack said, echoing Owen’s own thoughts.  He must have seen Ianto’s reaction as well; he was looking at his…shag?...lover?  Owen was leaning toward the latter, even if both of them chose to deny it. 

“That’s right,” he medic agreed.  “There’s no way I’m giving up the source of the coffee around here.”

“You can’t even drink it anymore,” Ianto pointed out, the resignation turning into a smirk.

“Yeah, but who wants to deal with this lot without caffeine?”  Owen asked.  “Come on back down, Casper, I need more readings.”

“Does this mean you’re a friendly ghost?” Jack leered good-naturedly.

“Only with certain people,” Ianto replied.  “That doesn’t count certain undead medics who should be out searching for brains to eat.”

“Yeah,” Owen snarked, “cause I certainly won’t find them in here!”

“Children,” Jack said, earning a glare from both zombie and ghost.  He pointed his finger at Owen.  “Ianto will be down in a moment.”

“Yeah, well next time lock your door or something, okay?  It’s not my idea of a good time to walk in on the pair of you.”

With that, Owen turned on his heel and left.  Really, didn’t Harkness have any shame at all?

Oh wait; this was Jack he was thinking about…

**********                                                   

It was a damned good thing, Owen considered, that he didn’t have a working heart, because what happened next would have given him a coronary.

As it was, he had to deal with the rest of the team as they all rushed to see what he’d been startled by.

“You bastard,” he swore, wishing he could haul off and deck a certain ghost.

Ianto simply smirked at him.  “I never knew you screamed like a girl, Owen.”

At least Toshiko had the courtesy to try to hide the fact that she was laughing.  Not so Gwen, who was leaning on the upper railing, as if she couldn’t stand up straight; or Jack, who was laughing so hard he was actually snorting. 

He knew he’d eventually see the humor in it, but at that moment Owen simply glowered at his teammates.  He’d been looking over the latest test results, when…well, how else did they expect him to react, when something out of a slasher flick had walked right out of the autopsy bay wall and had screeched at him? 

Of course, the thing had then morphed into a highly amused Ianto Jones…after Owen had reacted, of course.

“I do not scream like a girl,” he denied hotly, angry that he’d been caught out like that.

“I’m thinking a “My Little Pony” t-shirt and a fluffy pink skirt,” Ianto went on, his eyes twinkling.

“Don’t forget knee socks,” Gwen added, her face red.

“And those cute shiny black ballet-like shoes that little girls wear,” Jack put in, his voice sounding strangled.

“Plus bunches!” Toshiko exclaimed, giving in to the hilarity.  “With pink ribbons!”

“Perhaps I should get the tea party ready?”  Ianto suggested.  “I’m sure Janet wouldn’t mind dressing up for it.”

“Yeah, laugh it up you lot,” Owen snarked, knowing that he’d be blushing up a storm if he still had blood flow; a manly blush, of course, not a girly one.  “Just remember who gives the physicals around here!”

That seemed to cut through the hilarity at his expense. 

Until Ianto spoke up.

“If I can’t joke about what’s happened,” he said, “then I’d be moping around the Hub…and I flatly refuse to do that.”

Owen could relate to that.

********** 

In the end, it didn’t take Toshiko all that long to figure out which artifact was responsible for Ianto’s ghostliness.

Everyone in the Hub was relieved.

Owen knew he was; after all, despite all the shit they gave each other he really did like Ianto, and didn’t want to see him fade away. 

Plus, it was hard to plot revenge when the one you were plotting against wasn’t physical and couldn’t suffer.

Everyone stood around the upper deck of the autopsy bay, as Toshiko pointed what looked like a futuristic laser pointer at Ianto’s still body and pulled the trigger.

Zap.

“Well,” Ianto said sitting up, “that was an interesting experience.  Not one I’d care to repeat.”

“Sit still and let me check you out, tea-boy,” Owen ordered, deciding he didn’t want to get in the way of the inevitable snogfest that would be Jack and Ianto and so he’d get his tests done first.

“I never thought I’d miss being called ‘tea-boy’,” Ianto sighed, letting Owen get to it. 

“I’m the only one allowed to check Ianto out,” Jack complained good-naturedly.

“And yes, you can as soon as I’m done with him, Harkness.  God knows I don’t want to be around while you do your own sort of physical.”  He made shooing motions with his hands.  “Everyone out, this isn’t a spectator sport.”

“It is for some,” Jack leered.                                              

“That is far more than I needed to hear, thanks for that.  Now, the sooner you all bunk off, the sooner you can get the good coffee.”

The caused a small stampede out of the room, Jack bringing up the rear, casting a final glance over his shoulder as he left.  Yeah, those two needed to get their acts together and just admit what everyone else knew…

Owen grinned.  “Now,” he mused, “let’s see if everything works as it should be.”  And he could get back to plotting his revenge…

“I really think that’s Jack’s job,” Ianto snarked, settling back on the table.

“Gross, tea-boy!  I did not need to hear that!”

Ianto smirked, the smug bastard.

It was just another day in Torchwood, really.  And Owen Harper wouldn’t have it any other way.

 



 


Comments

Dear heaven, I laughed so hard! Ianto coming out of the wall, changing his look because he's smart enough to realise he CAN, and then Owen screaming like a girl! And the others all laughing like loons.

Your Owen, and Ianto were perfect. Absolutely perfect. In fact, the whole team was perfect - and even Rhiannon's reaction to Gwen was funny as hell. Poor Ianto!
Thanks! Glad you liked it. It was so much fun to write. I really love writing the banter, it's my favorite part. They just play off each other so well. :)
this made my morning start the way it should on my first day back at work. AWESOME.
Glad I could make your morning. Thank you!
Oh my that was a good laugh!
Thanks! Glad you liked it. :)
This was utterly brilliant - I laughed like I haven't done in a long time...brilliant from start to finish...Thank you :D

Hope 2012 is the start of a better year for you *hugs*
With love
D xxx
Glad you liked it!

Oh, I hope it is for you too. *hugs*


So so funny, I like how Owen totally denied that it was his fault but still felt a little guilty and I really really love Owen and Ianto bating each other


:)
Thanks! Owen is just that way, not that he'd ever admit it, of course. :)

Glad you liked it.
:) So funny - Great fic
Thanks! Glad you liked it. :)
That was adorable and so, so funny - love snarky (but actually nice) Owen and deadpan Ianto!
Thanks! I love the banter. I'm such a big fan of it, I can't help it.

Glad you liked it. :)