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Myfanwy 2

December 2017

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Future Dreams, Past Nightmares - Chapter Seven

Future Dreams, Past Nightmares - Chapter Seven
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 Seven

 

Jack made his way back into the reception, his mind reeling with what he’d discovered from John.   It had to be true; it made too much sense.  Normally he wouldn’t have believed him, especially about Gray…

The pain he was feeling over that revelation…he didn’t want it to be true, but something within him told him it was.  Possibly it was the memories of his older self, or something else, but it just felt true.  Jack mourned again, for the little brother he’d lost on the shores of Boeshane, and for the hate-fueled young man he’d become. 

On such a day of happiness, it was as if a dark cloud had passed over his soul.

Once back inside, his eyes automatically sought out Ianto; his husband was chatting with Martha, and the look of joy on his face made Jack’s heart ache in a different way.  He needed Ianto in that moment, and he walked up to his husband and tucked his hand around Ianto’s elbow, drawing the younger man’s attention to him.  The smile that Ianto gave him faded as he must have caught Jack’s expression.  “Are you all right?” he murmured.

Martha echoed it, and while Jack was glad that she was his friend and she cared for him, he really needed to get Ianto alone.  “I’m all right,” he answered, lying through his teeth.  “Would you mind if I borrowed my husband for a second, Martha?”

She wasn’t an idiot, and had to have known something was going on, and so she excused herself.  Jack steered Ianto away and toward an empty table, where he motioned him to one of the fold-up chairs.  Jack took one next to him, turning it so he could look at Ianto directly.  “I know what’s causing my black-outs and memory loss,” he said outright, not wanting to beat around the bush, not with Ianto.  Not anymore, despite the feelings of protectiveness that threatened to overwhelm him.  He knew that was future-Jack’s emotion, and he fought to quell it.  Ianto needed to know, despite anything that might have happened in the past.  He was a strong person, and it seemed that his future self had set that knowledge aside in order to keep him safe.

“You do?”  Ianto looked relieved.  He took Jack’s hand in his, rubbing his thumb over the back.  “How do you know? What is it?”

Jack swallowed.  “I…just talked to John Hart – “

Understanding bloomed in Ianto’s face.  “This is the time then?”

Jack rolled his eyes, smirking.  “Trust you to know exactly what I’m talking about with the fewest words used possible.”

“Well, I am married to you, after all.”   Ianto sighed.  “I’d almost forgotten about the Chronolicron.  So…this is your past mind, then?  It certainly explains everything.”  Then he chuckled.  “Owen’s going to shit when he finds out.  He’s the one who kept wondering when this was going to happen.”

Jack couldn’t help but smile.  “I probably would have thought of it myself…if I’d remembered it in the first place.”

“How could you?  This is going on in your present.  You don’t have anything to remember yet.” 

That was true.  “I don’t know how I get back.  John said something about my mind being stuck – “

“Don’t worry,” Ianto said, squeezing his hand.  “You’ll get back.  Although you won’t remember much of anything you saw.  For the best, really.”  He turned away, and Jack knew he was trying to hide something.

“Ianto?” Jack pressed, not liking the feeling that knowledge gave him.  Now he supposed he knew how Ianto felt, when his future self hid things.

Ianto looked back up, his eyes sad.  “It doesn’t matter, Jack.  I’m sorry, that’s all.”  A smile tried to break onto his face once more.  “My Jack just missed his daughter’s wedding.  Oh, he’s not going to like that one bit.”

Jack laughed.  “Well, there were enough cameras around, I’m sure he’ll get the highlights.”  He wasn’t so sure that his future self had missed anything at all, but he couldn’t be certain.  “Do you know how long it takes to get me back?”

“Toshiko works her magic as usual, and figures it out.” Ianto frowned.  “I’m surprised you’ve been here this long, if time flows the same…”

“I don’t know if it will.  But a really big part of me doesn’t want to pass out in the middle of the reception.”

“That would be the height of crassness, I agree.”  With that, Ianto stood, and pulled Jack to his feet.  “Dance with me?  At least for a while.”

“There’s no one I’d rather dance with,” Jack answered sincerely.

Ianto led him onto the dance floor.  Jack took him in his arms, and together they swayed gently to the music.  He knew he never wanted to lose this peace, but really, he wouldn’t…even if he didn’t have it at the current time in his life, he would. 

He would just have to be patient.

**********

Jack awoke slowly, the agony in his head dragging him back to wakefulness with a force that wrenched a moan from his lips.  He tried to move, but he could only get his fingers to twitch; nothing else seemed to want to work. 

Someone must have heard him, because a familiar voice said, “It’s about time you woke up, Harkness.  You were beginning to freak out the tea-boy big time.”

Jack managed to pry his far-too heavy eyelids apart.  A blurry shape hovered just within his vision; it slowly resolved into the sour-looking face of Owen Harper.  “What happened?” he asked…or at least tried to, because what came out of his mouth sounded horribly strangled.

Owen must have understood him though, because he said, “You were put into some sort of weird mental time-traveling device.  How many fingers do I have up?”

“That’s a rude gesture on just about every world in the galaxy.”

The medic snorted.  “How’s the pain?”

“Bad,” Jack admitted.

“Not a surprise.  Okay, I’m gonna give you some of the good stuff, give your mind a chance to heal.  Do you remember anything that happened?”

Jack tried, but there was only a black hole where his memories should have been.  He could recall leaving to meet Ianto for dinner…and then nothing.  That blankness weighed more than the pain, and he frowned…but even his face hurt, and he gave it up.  “Not a thing,” he admitted weakly.

“Also not a surprise, from what Hart’s said – “

That name sent Jack surging upward, despite the throbbing in his skull.  “Hart?  What’s he doing here?”

“Whoa there.”  Owen pushed him back down, which wasn’t hard.  “He’s been hanging about and wasting oxygen, in my opinion.  But it’s a long story, one I’m sure he’ll tell you.  But now, you need to rest.  You’ve had significant brain trauma, and while you’re healing at your normal crazy rate you still can’t just jump up and flounce about – “

“I don’t flounce!” Jack denied hotly…well, as hotly as he could with a head full of pain.

“Yeah, whatever.  You stay down and when you’re able to get up we’ll let you in on what happened.  And yes, Ianto…you can come down and sit with him,” he said without looking away from what he was doing.  “Your hovering is driving me nuts.”

“Short drive, then,” Ianto’s dry tones responded, and he came into Jack’s line of sight, smiling slightly.  “You’re looking better,” he commented as he made his way to the side of the table.

“Hey,” Jack said, “I always look good!”

Ianto rolled his eyes.  “Of course you do, Sir.”

“Get some rest, Harkness,” Owen ordered.  “No flirting with the tea-boy until you’re better.”

Jack pouted.  “You’re no fun.”

“Damned right.  Now, listen to your doctor, and try to go back to sleep if you can.  I’m off to share my test results with Tosh, who only loves me for me data.”  With that, Owen was gone, leaving Jack alone with Ianto.

“Are you going to at least tell me what happened?” Jack asked plaintively, wanting to know how he’d ended up in the autopsy bay instead of at their favorite Italian restaurant. 

But whatever Owen had put into the IV that was currently taped to the back of his hand was beginning to have effect, and his eyelids began to droop.

He didn’t miss the flash of pain in Ianto’s eyes, though.  He just didn’t have a chance to ask about it before the world went dark.

**********

Jack stood next to the drawer that held the body of his brother, wanting to cry but not being able to.

He’d awakened the second time feeling much better.  Ianto had been gone, and that had disappointed Jack more than he wanted to admit.  But Toshiko had been sitting next to him, and her glad smile was enough to warm him a little.

Owen had checked him over, and had declared him fit.  Jack had called a meeting in the boardroom, where the entire story had come out…including the part his brother had played in it.  They’d brought John up from the cells, and he’d explained how he’d found Gray, and how he’d been taken in by him.  He showed off the bandages on his arm from where the Vortex Manipulator had been bonded; Toshiko had found a way to remove it, using the wrist strap Gray had been wearing.

Jack had also learned just what had happened to Gray

Ianto looked upset when it came out, but Toshiko had been defiant, claiming that they’d shot Gray to protect Gwen.  Jack had felt the news like a punch in the gut; his own brother had kidnapped him, stuck him in an alien device in order to find out what was important to him in order to destroy him, and had tried to hurt a member of his team.  What had happened to the boy who’d hero-worshipped his older brother?  How had he become so warped?

And so, after the meeting Jack had retreated to the morgue, where he was currently staring down at the peaceful face of his brother.  Gray had grown up; Jack could still see his brother in the slack features, but they’d been tempered by horrors that only Gray would have been able to tell. 

Jack could only blame himself; if he hadn’t let go of Gray’s hand, this would never have happened.  He couldn’t find it in himself to put any of it on either Ianto or Toshiko, because they’d only done what needed to be done to protect their teammates.  No, this was all on him, and he’d have to live with it for eternity.

“Are you gonna mope down here all day?”

Jack turned to regard John, who was standing on the walkway, hands in his pockets.   He was angry at the interruption.  “What I do isn’t any of your business, John,” he snapped.

“You’re right,” John admitted.  “It isn’t.  But while you’re down here, there’s someone upstairs who thinks you blame him for putting Gray in that box.”

He felt guilty about that; he hadn’t said anything to Ianto after the meeting, and he hadn’t absolved Ianto of any responsibility in his brother’s death.  All Jack had wanted to do was mourn for a while, before becoming the Captain of Torchwood once more.  “No, it’s not his fault,” Jack sighed.   “It’s mine.”

“Sweet Goddess, you and your need to be a bloody martyr!”

There was something a bit familiar about that comment, and Jack felt the shiver of déjà vu flutter through him.  He shrugged it off.  “I let Gray get captured – “

“You were a kid, Jack.  A kid too young for that kinda responsibility.  Your dad should never have done that to you.  There was nothing you could do.”

In a way, he knew Hart was right.  He’d been too young really to have protected Gray, but his father had made him promise not to let go…and he had.  “Perhaps,” he conceded.  “That doesn’t make this feel any better.”

“No, I’m sure it doesn’t.  But you have people who’ll help you mourn, if you let them.”

Jack looked at him askance.  “Who are you, and what have you done to my ex-partner?”

Hart barked out a laugh.  “He’s realized that we never had a chance, but would still like to at least try to be friends.  That might not be possible, but I’d like to make the attempt.”  He sighed.   “I’m sorry for my part in this.  I really had no idea what Gray was up to, and by the time I did it was too late.  But I did try to help, as much as I could.  Maybe someday you’ll know that.”

“Maybe.”  Jack slowly slid the drawer closed, locking his brother away forever.   “But right now…”

“Yeah, I getcha.  But Jack…tell Eye Candy – Ianto – that you don’t blame him.  He needs to hear it.”  With those parting words, John Hart walked away, leaving Jack in peace.

Jack squared his shoulders, then after a few moments he followed. 

He needed to talk to Ianto.


Epilogue



Comments

Hart's right, Ianto does need to know Jack doesn't blame him. I hope Jack tells him that soon before guilt can eat away at him any more. It's going to be harder for Jack to stop blaming himself though, he's been doing just that since Gray was lost, and that's a long time to carry guilt around.

It probably is better that Jack doesn't remember his future - that would be confusing. Still, I kind of wish he remembered just a little, enough to protect Ianto somehow from the forthcoming alien virus. I hate the thought of Ianto suffering like that.

I just hope future Jack remembers Mairwen's wedding - it would be awful if he'd missed it because of his past self hijacking his body.
Well, I did play with the idea of Jack remembering some of it...but I figured it was timey wimey enough as it was. :)