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Myfanwy 2

July 2018

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To Be Human - Chapter Four

To Be Human - Chapter Four
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

 

Gwen was waiting in his office when Jack arrived, standing in the middle of the room with her arms crossed over her chest, a belligerent expression on her face.  She looked ready to fight.

Jack said nothing.  He closed the door, and then headed around his desk, taking his seat.  “Please sit down,” he said calmly. 

Ianto’s teasing had eased Jack’s anger, but it was still bubbling beneath the surface of his thoughts, ready to explode if Gwen said the wrong thing.

He fully expected she would.

“I’d rather stand,” she answered.

“And I’d rather you sit.  Don’t make me make it an order, Gwen.”  He paused.  “Not that you’d follow it anyway.”

He stared up at her, meeting her eyes squarely.  Gwen returned his gaze, trying to stare him down.  He wasn’t about to be intimidated by her, and he let her get on with it, hoping his disdain for the contest showed on his face. 

As they continued to stare, Jack couldn’t help but wonder what had gone wrong.  First Suzie, and now Gwen…they were the two he’d hired on his own, without input from Ianto, and both had turned out to be failures.  Of course, Suzie had been the worst, and he really should have expected it out of someone who’d been indoctrinated by One.  But Gwen?  There’d been nothing about her to warrant any sort of concern that things would turn out this badly.   He should have listened to Ianto, all that time ago, as they’d stood on the roof and talked about his hiring of her.  He wanted to cringe as he remembered trying to convince Ianto to let Gwen in on the truth of his being a dragon.  It seemed that Ianto had been correct about that, as well...not that he held that against the dragon.  He really didn’t, because it wasn’t Ianto’s fault for Jack’s own shortcomings.

What did that say about him as a leader?  Should he just step aside and let Ianto take over?  After all, he’d been able to get Gwen to straighten up while Jack had been with the Doctor.  Gwen had gone right back into old behaviour the moment Jack had reappeared. 

What did that say about him being any sort of judge of character?

Finally, after about thirty seconds, Gwen gave in and took the offered seat.

“Thank you.  Now, you have one minute to give me a valid reason for your actions.” He reached into his pocket for Ianto’s stopwatch, pushing the button to start it running.  “Go.”

Gwen looked surprised, and didn’t say anything.   Jack took perverse pleasure in stunning her speechless.

He glanced down at the stopwatch.  “Fifty-five seconds.”

Finally, she managed to say, “You can’t be serious!”

“I’m very serious.  Fifty seconds.”

“I don’t see why I have to defend myself.”

“Because you’re the one at fault.  Forty-five seconds.”

“How am I the one at fault?”

“Because you’re the one who won’t see the situation for what it is.  Forty seconds.”

“What I see,” she fumed, “is a team who refuses to admit that trusting someone not human, and yet can pass for human, is a bad idea.”

“Ianto has been with Torchwood for nearly eight years.  He has saved countless lives, including those on this team numerous times.  Tell me why trusting him is not a good thing.  Thirty seconds.”

“He brought a threat into the Hub and put the entire world in danger.”

“He brought an injured being into the Hub, trying to find help for her.  When he couldn’t do that, he made certain that she wouldn’t be a danger to anyone, which broke his heart in the process.”  Not to mention making Jack finally see the truth of his relationship with the dragon, but it had been the only good to come out of what had happened with Lisa.  “I’m not hearing anything I haven’t heard already from you.  Twenty-five seconds.”

“Stop counting down!” Gwen’s face twisted in anger. 

“I’m just reminding you that you have a time limit to keep.  And that time is getting shorter the longer you retread old territory and argue with me.  Twenty seconds.”

“He has too much power within the team.  He deals with humans every day with no real reference to do so.  He’s a bloody dragon!”

“He has just the power I want him to have.  He’s lived over two thousand years around humans so he has plenty of reference.  And yes, he is a dragon…and his people were on this planet before humanity was.  Ten seconds.”

“You once told me that I was here to keep you human.  How can I do that if you continually let a non-human undermine my position?”

“I was wrong about that.  You’re not the one to keep me human.  I was already human, I’d just lost track of that humanity…until Ianto showed me where it was.  And your time is up.”  Jack picked up the stopwatch and clicked it off.   He looked at her again.  “Gwen, we have given you every chance.  I’ve been on your side until you showed that you were putting yourself above the team.  That’s when I realised hiring you had been a mistake, but Ianto was the one who wanted to get you on the correct training path.  He’s the one who went to bat for you, despite your attitude toward him.  And, when I was gone, he praised your new work ethic and was pleased with your progress.  Tell me, Gwen…tell me that’s not someone who believes in the team…who believes in you.”

“Right,” she scoffed.  “The only reason I was still with the team when you got back was because I decided it was best to play along!  I didn’t want to give Ianto any reason to get rid of me.”

Jack frowned.  “You mean to say that you only followed Ianto’s orders because you didn’t want to be fired?”

“Yeah, of course.  Someone had to keep an eye on him, and since you bunked off with the Doctor it fell to me to make certain the team ran smoothly.   Leaving him in charge was a huge mistake, Jack.”

He could feel the anger building back.  This little girl was telling him that the only reason she’d gotten better at her job was to keep Ianto from firing her, so she could stay around and spy on things.  It put an entirely new perspective on his own thoughts of whether he should step down from the leadership of Torchwood.  The elation from the knowledge that he wasn’t the failure he thought he’d been mixed with the fury and it clarified his arguments.  “No, it wasn’t,” he said, defending his mate – and himself – from Gwen’s accusations.  “But I see that keeping you around is, if you truly think you’re the reason this team runs as well as it does.  If anything, your presence has become a distraction, and it’s going to get someone killed if you don’t straighten up and start acting like you actually care for this team.”

“I do care!”

“No, you don’t.”  He steepled his fingers, regarding her with narrowed eyes.  “You’ve proven that your compassion doesn’t include your teammates, the ones that you should care the most about.  They’re the ones who hold your very life in their hands, just as you do for them.  How can they – and I – trust you to look out for all if you won’t do the same for one?”

“Well, everyone keeps saying that Ianto is pretty much invincible.  He can look after himself.”

Jack could feel his anger morph into sheer fury, although his mind was still quite clear.  “Yes, Ianto is extremely tough…but he can still be hurt if hit in the right place.  He can take a lot of damage but when he goes down, he goes down hard.”  He’d seen that happen only twice; once soon after Toshiko had joined the team, and the second when Blils Manger had attempted to use a stun gun on the dragon.  That first time had been the catalyst of their hiring Owen.  “You’d let a teammate be so critically injured that he’d become helpless against any threat that happens to be close by?” 

Gwen snorted.  “He’s the one who’s going on about protecting everyone because of some weird sort of vow he took.  And, as I said, I didn’t ask him to.”

“You didn’t have to…because he actually cares about you, Goddess knows why.  And that’s the difference between you and him.  He doesn’t have to pretend compassion; he shows it in everything he does for this team, be it getting you that cup of coffee when you most need it, to going head-to-head with the Fae to make certain they don’t destroy you because you can’t let a case go when I tell you to.  You put your own agenda first, and your teammates – and the world – second, and I’m certain you’ll just keep on doing it until it gets someone killed.”

 “I don’t have an agenda!” Gwen argued.  “I want us to do what’s right!  Giving into the fairies had been the wrong decision, and you made it just because Ianto told you that there wasn’t anything that could be done, and you believed him.  The others are just as bad!  He preaches about magic and destiny and spirits and Tosh and Owen eat it up with a spoon.  You and I both know there’s no such thing as magic, Jack.  The fairies weren’t magic…they were just another alien lifeform that came to Earth to mess with us.   Giving into their demands was a mistake, one that’s going to come back and bite us if we’re not careful.”

Jack narrowed his eyes, glaring at her with all the fury within him.  The problem was she was partially correct.  For as long as he could remember Jack hadn’t believed in magic.  He’d come from the future, where everything was science and magic just didn’t exist. 

But he’d seen it.  He’d seen the Great Dragons, and Ddraig Llyn, and the Dragon-Friends and his own daughter come into her down because of magic.  Ianto himself was as magical as anyone could get anymore, and Jack couldn’t explain it away like he’d tried to back at the beginning of their partnership.  He’d tried; oh, he’d tried to make things fit into his own preconceived notions, invoking Clarke’s Law and alien interference back in the far past – those ancient alien websites were more correct than even they knew.  There were examples of just such interference if one knew where to look, and Jack had been convinced that that was what had created the race of dragons.

He’d been wrong.  He knew that now, even if magic was still something he struggled with.  But he was trying to learn, and Ianto, the Great Dragons, and the Dragon-Friends and Estelle were all willing to teach him what he didn’t know. 

To hear Gwen spouting his own rhetoric back at him, even unconsciously, was a bit galling.

“You’re wrong, Gwen,” he answered, a small part of him realising just how ironic it was that he was now defending the existence of magic.  “There are things out there in the world – in the Universe – that we simply don’t understand.  Magic is one of those things –“

“You’re joking!”

“I’m not.  And see, this is another issue I have with you: you’re mind is closed against even the possibility of new things.  You’re so willing to dismiss magic as nonsense instead of embracing something special about this world.  Answer me honestly, Gwen.  How do you know magic doesn’t exist?”

“How do you know it does?” she turned the question back on him angrily.

“Because I see it every day.  I see it in Ianto, and in Toshiko, Kathy Swanson, in people who are special to me.  I see it in my family.”  Jack knew this was the first time he was admitting this out loud, and it felt so right, as if he were finally coming to grips with a part of himself he’d never known was there.  “I see it acting in my own life and am grateful for it every day.  So don’t tell me magic doesn’t exist, because it does.”

“Your family?” Gwen’s eyes were wide with surprise.  “You have family?”

 Jack barely resisted rolling his eyes at her.  Was that the only thing she’d heard in his little speech?  Knowing Gwen…yes, it was, because it was yet another secret she hadn’t known.  “Yes, I have family outside Torchwood, not that it’s any of your business.  What we’re discussing here is your lack of belief in something that should be second nature to you by now.  Instead, you’re dismissing it as so much bullshit.  That sort of attitude will get you killed.”

“No,” she argued, “what will get me killed is the sheer amount of secrets around this place.  What if one of these secrets come back to haunt us?  I do recall a certain ex of yours trying to murder us!”

“I don’t want to hear a lecture about secrets from you, Gwen Cooper!  Who was the one who Retconned her own boyfriend – the man she swears she loves and is going to marry – because of her affair?  Have you admitted it to him yet, without benefit of memory-altering drugs?”

Gwen’s face flushed, and she looked as if she was trying to say something but couldn’t get it out.  He took the opportunity and moved the subject on since what had happened with Rhys and the Retcon had already been addressed.  “While we have a chance, I also wanted to bring up your treatment of the doppelganger Ianto Jones that had been sent here by tech that you touched.”

The anger left her face, and in its place was an attempt at innocence.  “You’ve already said your peace about that.”

“About you messing with unknown tech, yes.  But your little rant to the other Ianto was overheard, Gwen.  He was trapped here, and you couldn’t be bothered to show him the least little bit of compassion.”

“You really believed what he was saying?” she demanded.  “We had no idea if he was a threat or not.  In fact, we should have treated him the same way you’re treating Beth Halloran…handcuffed, and down in interrogation.  We had no idea where he’d come from, and what he was up to.  He could have killed us all after you’d calmly fed him lunch and passed along happy stories!”

“I see.  So you think we should be treating Beth Halloran the same way?  With sandwiches and coffee?”

“You can’t have it both ways, Jack.  Treating one differently from the other is hypocritical.”

‘You’re wrong there, Gwen.  That other Ianto hadn’t hurt anyone, and in fact proved to be relatively harmless.  We had no reason to lock him up.   Beth is an unknown factor who has most likely killed two men…even if it was in defence of herself and her husband, we still don’t know how she did it. We have evidence she is a viable threat to people around her, and we will treat her as such until we get proof otherwise.  Besides, from what I understand that the reason you decided to have your little ‘talk’ with him was something about how ‘all Iantos were inhuman and couldn’t be trusted’ I believe was the wording.  So, you see I know exactly what happened.”  He hadn’t had a chance to go back through the CCTV footage from that day, but he trusted Owen to recall it near perfectly.

“Personally,” he went on before she could even try to rebut the accusation, “that sounds pretty xenophobic to me.”  The TARDIS Ianto had said the same thing, and Jack had disregarded it.  Now he wished he could apologize to the other Ianto for it.  “This is something we cannot have in Torchwood.  It goes back to keeping an open mind about the unknown, and your inability to do that –“

His comm. sounded in his ear, interrupting what would have most likely become a tirade.  Jack toggled it on.  “Can it wait?”

“No, Jack,” Ianto’s voice answered.  “You need to come down to the Autopsy Bay immediately.  It’s about Beth.”

Jack stifled his sigh.   “I’m on my way.”  He switched it off, turning back to Gwen.  “We’re not done here, not by a long shot.  You need to think about your place here, and whether you want to keep it.”  He stood up.  “Now, we have work to do.  I suggest you keep your opinions to yourself and follow orders.”

“I won’t do that, Jack.  You can’t ask me to do that!”

“I can, and I have.  Despite what you think, you’re a member of this team.  You need to start acting like it.” 

With those parting words, Jack left the office, not even bothered if Gwen followed or not.


Chapter Five



Comments

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Jack said all the things he should have said except one - You're fired! I'm not sure what it will take for Gwen to accept that she has been wrong about virtually everything since she arrived at Torchwood 3, but I fear it will either be the death of one of her colleagues or of more innocent civilians. Sometimes you have to cut your losses and that time has come for Gwen at Torchwood.
Well, that last part may yet come, we'll have to see. But yes, Gwen being there is really becoming a detriment.

More to come. :)
*happy dance*

I've been waiting for that.

Oh and Gwennie-poo TARDIS!Ianto WAS handcuffed, through the entirety of his exam with Owen and the entire conversation leading up to lunch.

Well after that we really should think about at some point having them meet again ;)
I know you have. Glad you liked it, hon. *grins*

Well, she has a selective memory, after all. LOL!

We should, you know. And I don't just mean during Iantopalooza.
OoO!! What is going to happen?

You always leave wanting to know more. I check every day to see if the next chapter is up! So, in fewer words:


You're awesome!!!!

^o^
More soon, I promise. :)

I'm glad you enjoyed it. And thanks! *blushes*
Couldn't have said it better myself, Jack.

Can't wait for more!
Jack did say it all, didn't he?

More up soon. :)
Gotta admit, I was giggling all the way through this. Gwen was written so badly in canon and I longed for Jack to say pretty much all of this to her. :)
Glad I could make you giggle. I know I had a smile on my face when I wrote it. And yes, she was. Very badly written. It was past time for Jack to let her have it.

Thanks, hon. :)
Ugh. Just shoot her, Jack. Or let Beth stab her through that black 'heart' of hers.
And waste bullets? Ianto hates the "Firearms Discharge" paperwork. Although for this occasion... *laughs*

For f***s sake, how many chances does this woman get?!

I actually felt like throwing something at my computer screen but thought better of it. Maybe I just need a lighter and an effigy of her.
We'll see what sort of chance she gets this time...if she does.

No, don't throw anything at your computer. But burning in effigy sounds like a plan. *grins*
Loved the update!!! It's too bad Gwen won't listen to a word anyone says.
No she doesn't, and probably won't until it's too late.... :)

Glad you enjoyed it.
Thank you for posting this chapter today - you've no idea how much I need it! A new chapter of the Dragonverse never fails to brighten my day. It's one of my 'comfort' reads, I re-read the Dragonverse when I need cheering up.
Oh Gwen, you silly twit. So that is why she behaved herself when Jack was gone. I wish Jack would simply fire her - I hate all the second chances she doesn't deserve. I keep waiting for her to learn, and now I'm not sure she's capable of it.
Glad you enjoyed it! Thank you very much. *blushes*

That's our Gwen. We'll see what sort of chance - if any - Jack gives her in a bit. Got a case to solve first! :)

Jack said everything that he should have and needed to, n=but I can't see it really having any impact on Gwen. She's going to have to have her all-knowing, self-righteous point of view blow up in her face before she'll ever admit she's wrong.
He did, but yes...will it have any effect on her? We'll see. *winks*
This whole chapter has a flavour of futility. I think it must be excruciating to talk to someone and try to convince them of the truth, but they refuse to hear you and change. Jack would be just about ready to take a leap off the roof after a conversation with Gwen. I also agree that Tosh is magic ;) I am really enjoying this story and I am looking forward to the next chapter. :)
It could be very futile, because this is Gwen we're talking about. We'll have to see.

Tosh is quite magic. *grins* Next chapter up next week. :)
Omg. Seriously? If I talked to my boss that way I'd be out on my ear. There's absolutely no reason for her to still be there. Just kick her ass out, Jac
I know, right? We'll see what Jack does to her...later. *grins*
Oh dear I see more trouble ahead as Gwen really isn't listening. Jack is partly to blame though. Hopefully enlightenment will come.
K
xx
More trouble? Could be... *winks*

And yes, Jack is partly to blame, and he knows it. We'll see what happens soon. :)
oh god i am sooooo getting sick of Gwens I'm right and your wrong attitude. This was why i hated watching her on the show. She really is pissing me off. Jack is a better person than me. I'd of fired her arse and kicked it in the same instant grrr. Loving this so far :)
She does have that, doesn't she? We'll have to see what Jack has in store for her...later. *grins*
I'm glad to see that Jack tried to dot the i's (as they say in France), but personally I did expect a single sentence that is not coming ...
On the other hand, I think that the title of this story has not yet been achieved. Gwen goes t she finally understand what a human being and have compassion for all others and not just for herself????
before Jack fire her.... and for the welfare of the team I prefer the latter solution .

beautiful chapter,as usual !

I think all anti Gwen are feasted!
;-)
He wanted to make sure that she understood...we'll see if she actually did.

And no, the title of the story is important. And yes, it's partly about Gwen. *winks*

Thanks, glad you enjoyed it! :)
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