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Myfanwy 2

February 2018

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Future Dreams, Past Nightmares - Chapter One

Future Dreams, Past Nightmares - Chapter One
Author:  Milady Dragon
Artist: Bookwrm89
Beta: Bookwrm89
Rating: PG-13
Pairing(s): Jack/Ianto, OFC/OMC, Jack/John Hart (Past); all others implied
Warnings: Language, Violence, Angst, Past MPreg
Spoilers: Up to "Reset", goes AU after that (Owen is still alive)
Disclaimer: I don't own Torchwood, darn it.
Author's Note: This is written for Torchwood Classic Big Bang Round One.   A BIG thank you to Bookwrm89, who not only did the fantastic art, but also beta'd for me.  She really went above and beyond on this. 


Summary:  Jack Harkness has all he's ever dreamed of:  he's mortal once more, married to the man he loves, and it's his only daughter's wedding day.  He only has one problem: he cannot remember the last twenty-five years of his life.  Can his past nightmares affect his near-perfect future?












Chapter One

 

He awoke slowly, almost painfully.  There was something wrong with his head, but he couldn’t say what; large dark holes lay where memory had been, and those holes threatened to swallow him. 

But he fought against that gravitic pull, and opened his eyes…well, on the third try the lids pried apart reluctantly, revealing a shadowed ceiling above him.  Turning his head slowly, he looked at his surroundings, hoping to find something familiar to help battle the emptiness in his skull.

This was obviously a bedroom, with pale walls that could have been white…or maybe blue, it was hard to tell.  Dark furniture blocked out the light walls, like looming singularities.  Oh, he knew what a singularity was.  That was good.

But he was having a little problem with his name.           

Maybe that would come to him, once he was up and moving.  The problem with that was, he didn’t want to.  The mental holes in his head weighed more than the rest of his brain and threatened to keep him firmly planted in bed – yes, he was in a bed, and quite a comfortable one at that.  Perhaps if he went back to sleep, his memory would return…

There was a sudden light, and he squinted his eyes to protect them from the horrible glare.  He wanted to cringe away from it, but didn’t move. 

“Good morning,” came a cheerful voice from another area of the room.  “It’s time to get up; it’s going to be a busy day for both of us.

There was an accent to the voice; was it Welsh?  Yes, he knew what Wales was, too.  Wales and singularities.  How odd.

More light came into the room, as well as a sliding sound that he identified as curtains being pulled open. He moaned slightly, hating the brightness.  Whoever this was, they were determined to get him up.

The bed dipped, and a face entered into his line of sight.  At first it was a simple silhouette; but after a few seconds of getting used to the light he could make out blue eyes, nice cheekbones, and an upturned nose.  Everything was framed with dark hair, lightly dusted with grey.

He took his breath away.  Whoever this was, he was simply stunning.

The smile the man was wearing faded as he looked into his face.  “Jack?  What’s wrong?”

Jack?  Yes, that was it…

“I’m…not feeling all that well this morning,” he answered, almost against his will.   “I have a…bit of a headache.”

A warm hand touched his forehead.  “You’re not running a fever.  Maybe you slept wrong?  Or should I have a word with Owen about keeping the old man out late at night anymore?” The last bit was said teasingly.

Jack recognized that name…Owen.  He wondered who that was, exactly.  A friend?  Must have been, if he was prone to being out late with the person.  “Might not be a bad idea,” he confessed.  Maybe that was why he couldn’t remember?

Now the man was looking worried.  “You must not be feeling well, if you’re not coming back at me about calling you old.  Let me get you something for the headache.  Stay there.”  With that, he was up and heading toward a door Jack just noticed, that apparently led to an en-suite.

In seconds, he was back, holding a single tablet and a glass of water.  “Here you go,” he said, handing them to Jack.  “Then maybe you’ll feel better after a shower.  I’d join you, but I need to get breakfast on, and Owen will be round here in a bit.  Sorry, Jack, but you can’t be a slug-a-bed today, of all days.”  He smiled, touching his forehead once more.   Then he leaned over and brushed his lips across Jack’s, which felt very right.

Once he was alone, Jack – yes, he was absolutely certain that was his name – set the glass and whatever medication the man had given him onto a side table then attempted to climb out of bed.  Jack didn’t know the man, even though he knew he should, and while he was certain the stranger had his best interests at heart he just wasn’t sure about taking something if he didn’t know what it was.  The man had seemed genuinely bothered by the idea of him being ill.

He was getting the feeling that he’d known that Welshman for a long time.

Jack just wished he could remember the man’s name.

It took him two tries to get to his feet, and when he did Jack swayed slightly before he regained his equilibrium.  The hardwood floor was cool under his bare feet as he made his uncertain way to the bathroom, taking what seemed like hours to get there.

He stood in front of the sink, and looked at the image staring back at him from it.  It…seemed familiar, with its blue eyes and smooth features, but something was slightly off…perhaps it was the greying at the temples, or the lines crinkling the corners of those eyes.  He couldn’t put his finger on it at all, and it was almost as bothersome as not knowing who he truly was.

A quick rooting through the medicine cabinet revealed nothing much except the usual aspirin, deodorant, and such…and a prescription bottle, made out in the name of Ianto Harkness-Jones, for something called Disopyramide.  Jack had it back on the shelf before realizing something else, and he looked at it once more.

The prescription renewal date was March 2034.

Jack stared at the bottle.  That didn’t seem right.  He was pretty certain the date was wrong, but didn’t know how he knew that.  He couldn’t remember a thing; the holes in his memory had swallowed it all.  Just thinking about it made his head pound even harder.

The name though…Ianto Harkness-Jones.  Somehow he knew his last name was Harkness, and if it was part of that man’s as well…yes, Ianto did seem right.  He glanced down at his hand, seeing the gold band on his finger.  Ianto was his spouse?  Yes, he thought that must be true.  He just wished he could remember the actual wedding.

The shower seemed to wipe some of the cobwebs away, but Jack still had the nagging feeling that things weren’t right.  Some of his earliest memories were coming back: Torchwood; some sort of alien invasion; his team.  Ianto.  Owen, Tosh, and Gwen.  Rhys.  The Doctor and Rose.

 But he didn’t remember his own wedding.  Or anything that had happened yesterday, let alone a week or even a year ago.

It didn’t make sense.

Jack finished his shower, then got dressed in what he hoped was his clothes.  As he did he took a good look around the bedroom, trying to jog something loose.  It was a combination of styles, which he had to assume was from both himself and Ianto.  He found a picture: it was of him and Ianto, and a young woman with long brown hair and blue eyes.  She looked remarkably like the both of them.

A daughter?

He guessed it had been him to carry her, because was no way a surrogate could deliver a child that would resemble them both so closely.  What had happened to his vow never to do that again?

He could remember that vow, but he couldn’t remember her.

There was also a wedding picture.  He and Ianto looked so happy.  Jack cursed; he wanted so badly to remember this one thing, to have that memory come back to him.  Those memories were precious, and he shouldn’t have lost them.

He was much younger in the photo, and something prodded him hazily that he shouldn’t, in fact, look any older.  That he couldn’t, in fact, age.  But he’d seen his reflection, seen the grey and the crows’ feet. 

Of course, that was what was wrong. 

Jack was immortal.

How could he have forgotten that?  It had been who he was for so long, for centuries…and yet, it was obvious that he was, indeed, aging at what seemed to be a normal, human rate.  How was that possible?  The reason had to be bound up in his lost memories, and his heart soared at the idea of being mortal again.  He prayed that it was true, that somehow he’d been rid of the curse that had plagued him for a vast majority of his existence.

More pictures were scattered around the room.  One was of him holding a baby, looking up into the camera and grinning widely.  There was another of Jack with a man he immediately recognized as Owen, and a smaller one of his Torchwood team, at what looked like a pub.

The more he saw, though, the more alarmed Jack became.  He really was apparently missing a very large chunk of his life, and with no apparent reason for the sudden-onset amnesia, because no bender he could have had with Owen could explain it.  What could have caused it?  An injury?  If he truly was a normal man once more, then he wouldn’t have healed as quickly as he would have if he was immortal.

Ianto hadn’t mentioned anything and had, in fact acted like everything was all right, at least until Jack had claimed not to feel well.  Could it be something other than physical?  Maybe a piece of alien tech that had come through the Rift?

And he remembered the Rift as well.  That was good.

Jack guessed that the headache was a symptom.  Perhaps he should ask Owen when he saw him?  That might be a good idea…

Well, there really was nothing he could do right now.  He’d have to face this world and deal with things as they happened.  For some reason he didn’t want to worry Ianto about it.

As soon as he came to that decision, Jack left the bedroom.  He found himself in a hallway, with other doors on either side.  He headed down toward what looked like stairs, and without hesitation he was walking down them, the carpet muffling his footsteps.

He was at the bottom of the steps when he heard laughter coming from the right.

Jack followed it, grateful for some clue as to where he needed to go.  This house was unfamiliar to him, and he hadn’t wanted to give his memory loss away by getting completely lost.  The sound led him into the kitchen, which was a spacious, comfortable area with a large island in the center of the room.

Ianto was there, working around the stove, while a delicious smell tickled Jack’s nostrils.  Without thinking, Jack moved toward him, slotting his arms around Ianto’s waist and watching him as he made an omelet.

“Are you feeling better?” Ianto asked quietly, as he worked.

Jack hummed noncommittally, just luxuriating in holding the man that he’d obviously gotten up enough courage to ask to marry him.  Why couldn’t even he recall the proposal?  

“Good,” Ianto said, obviously taking the noise as assent.  “I don’t like it when you’re down.”

“Morning, Dads,” a cheerful, Welsh voice called out behind them.  Jack let go just enough to turn; the girl from the picture had come into the kitchen, and was leaning against the island, grinning.  She was a couple of years older than in that photo, and far prettier in person.  Jack really could see both him and Ianto in her, and his heart warmed at the knowledge that he’d gone back on his word and had had another child. 

“Good morning, Mairwen,”   Ianto greeted her, a smile evident in his voice.  “Breakfast is almost ready.”

“I don’t know if I can eat,” she confessed.  “I have butterflies on top of butterflies.”

“You have every right to be nervous,” Ianto said, moving from the stove to a small stack of plates on the counter.  He deftly slid the omelet onto one, then picked it up and set it in front of her.  “I know I was this close to a panic attack the day I married your dad.”

It fell into place for Jack then: this was his daughter’s wedding day.  She was going to get married…and he had no idea who she was. 

He wanted to cry.

Instead, he put on a smile.  “I bet not as nervous as I was,” he put in, knowing he must have been at the time he and Ianto had been married.

That earned him an eye roll.  “I do seem to recall your hands were shaking so badly Martha had to tie your tie.”

Jack laughed, although he was angry that that memory was gone.  He had to get them back.

The door slammed, and a familiar voice called out.   Ianto raised his voice, “We’re in the kitchen, Owen.”

At last, someone else Jack knew.  Owen Harper hadn’t changed all that much from what he did remember; a little less hair, perhaps, but it was still the same old Owen.  He was wearing jeans and a faded blue t-shirt under a leather jacket that had seen better days, and the first thing he did was head straight toward the coffee machine, reaching up into a cabinet for a mug with an ease that said he’d been in their kitchen many times.   “Just what I needed this morning,” he mumbled, helping himself.

“It’s not anyone’s fault but your own that you were up too late last night,” Ianto chided, setting another omelet down on the island.  “Jack…eat.”

There was something in the tone that had Jack obeying instantly.  His stomach growled, and he tucked in enthusiastically. 

“You look like shit, Jack,” Owen commented, joining the family around the island. 

Jack rolled his eyes.  “Still the same old, sweet-talking Owen.”

“Uncle Owen, please,” Mairwen said, “Dad’s a bit under the weather this morning.”

“Well, don’t blame me,” Owen denied.  “I was ready to leave long before he was last night, but he just had to stay and give Rhodri his ‘I am Mairwen’s father and if you hurt her you’ll regret it’ speech.   Embarrassed me, he did.”

Mairwen rolled her eyes, looking eerily like Ianto.  “No, he didn’t, and you know it.  He likes Rhodri!”

Jack realized then that Rhodri must be the fiancé.  Another missing memory; one that he was just as determined to get back.

“C’mon, Maire,” Owen scoffed.  “He’s your dad.  Of course he’s gonna warn the guy you’re marrying.  Just be glad though it wasn’t Ianto; that would have involved Myfanwy and Retcon.”

Wait…Retcon?  Jack seemed to recall Retcon.  Had he done that to himself?  But why would he want to?

A loud snort came from the area of the stove.                                                 

“It doesn’t matter that Jack likes Rhodri,” Owen went on, “it’s in a father’s genetic code to want his only child to be happy.  I can show you the proof of it next time you’re round by the Hub.”

“Owen,” Ianto said, joining them with his own plate, “quit teasing Mairwen.”  He sounded stern, but there was a sparkle in his eyes that Jack identified as laughter barely contained.

“Jesus, Ianto; I’m not!  You know Jack’s protective streak better than anyone.”  He turned to Jack, and his good mood suddenly vanished.  “You sure you’re all right, mate?  You do look like you partied too hearty last night, and I know for a fact you didn’t.”

  “It’s just a bit of a headache,” Jack answered, taking a sip of the coffee that had magically appeared in front of him.  He gave Ianto a smile of thanks for it, and his husband nodded back.   He decided to keep things noncommittal for now, until more things came back to him.  Although, with Owen being there…it would be the perfect opportunity to be checked out.  He’d approach him later, when they were alone.   There was something telling him not to worry Ianto; he didn’t know what the instinct was but Jack would follow it.

“Stress, most likely,” Owen blew it off.  “After all, it’s not every day you get to give your daughter away.”

“I like to think of it as a long-term loan,” Jack answered, not exactly sure where the comment had come from, but it must have been the right thing to say.  Mairwen smacked him lightly in the arm, and Ianto barely hid the grin behind his own coffee mug. 

However, he thought Owen could be right.  Stress did cause headaches…but long-term amnesia?  No, Jack knew that was something else.  He had so many questions he wanted to ask, but didn’t dare.

“Well, you’re about to get a lot more stressed,” Ianto warned.  “You both still need to pick up the tuxes.”

“I can’t believe the tailor made such a mistake!” Mairwen moaned.

“It wouldn’t have happened if you’d let me make the waistcoats,” Ianto said calmly.

“I know, Dad, and I’m sorry I didn’t ask you.  I just didn’t want you feel you had to do all that work.”

“I know, sweetheart.”  Ianto looked a little disappointed, and Jack could understand why.  Who didn’t want to do something special for their only child?   Especially for their wedding?  “It’s good to see you haven’t lost your appetite, Jack.”  Ianto’s voice had turned teasing,

Jack glanced down at his plate, and to his surprise it was empty.  “Nope, not when you cook,” he said, a bit surprised at the gushing but seeing the happiness on his husband’s face it seemed to have been the right thing to say.

“Thank you, Jack.  Now, you and Owen had better get out of here, if you want to get to Rhodri’s before noon.  After all, we don’t want him to be late for his own wedding.”

Jack suddenly felt the urge to sing ‘Get Me to the Church on Time’ from My Fair Lady.   He had no idea where it had come from.



Chapter Two


Comments

I'm torn betwee 0.0 and 'Maybe Jack just carelessly left his memory somewhere, it could have fallen down the back of the sofa'

All joking aside, it's worrying - he's forgotten his whole married life and while some peripheral things have returned, most of it's a blank and he's having to put together the bits and pieces he's learning about like a jigsaw with no picture to follow. It's so sweet that he doesn't want to worry Ianto though. I just hope he can figure out the cause before... well, I don't know what, but something bad could happen!
I'm sure Jack would have preferred that, actually. *grins*

As for something bad happening...we'll have to see. :)