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Myfanwy 2

January 2018

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Tim's Balls

Archangel - Chapter Three

Title: Archangel
Author: Milady Dragon
Artist: the_silver_sun
Beta: totally4ryo
Series: Tomorrow Torchwood
Rating: PG-13
Pairing(s): Jack/Ianto, Gwen/Rhys, John/Elena, Ianto/Lisa (Past)
Warning(s): Language, Violence
Spoilers: Up through "Last of the Time Lords"
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the properties this story mentions, including Torchwood, Doctor Who, The Tomorrow People (both TV and Audio Versions), Castle, The Sarah Jane Adventures, and anything else I might have added just because I could.
Author's Note: This was written for the Torchwood Classic Big Bang, and is a sequel to my story, "Contagion".  It goes completely AU from that story onward.

Summary: When the Tomorrow People are incapacitated by a mysterious, low-level telepathic field, Torchwood investigates.  Evidence leads to a company called Magister Innovations, the Archangel Network...and the last of the Time Lords.





Chapter Three

Ianto curled up on his side, so he could watch Owen with Alexis.

He felt as if his head would fall off at the movement. He almost hoped it would, because then it might not pound like someone had turned up the bass line in his brain.

Despite the pain, Ianto’s mind felt numb, as if his telepathy had been cut off. It reminded him of just after Lisa, in that horrible month when he hadn’t been certain he’d get his powers back after he’d tried to break the Prime Barrier for Jack, to correct the mistake he’d made in trying to save Lisa…or the thing that had taken her over. He’d hated not knowing if we ever be whole again, and when his power had gradually returned the relief Ianto had felt had been indescribable.

Now, the relief was there once more, but it was because he recognized the fact that he was in a hospital and for no other reason. Ianto had an irrational fear of hospitals…well, maybe it wasn’t all that irrational, having spent the majority of his break-out shut up in Providence Park, surrounded by the minds of the insane…no, not being able to sense the sick and dying in the building was a mercy, one that Ianto would willingly accept.

Already, though, he could feel the tendrils of power returning. It wouldn’t be long before he would regain his full strength, and Ianto sincerely hoped he’d be out of this place before that happened. His shields might be strong, but the sort of pain and fear that inhabited a hospital could rival that of Canary Wharf during the Daleks and Cybermen attack.

Jack had gone, and Ianto wished he’d come back quickly. Jack was peaceful to be around, his thoughts completely hidden by the mental shields that his lover had. Now, he couldn’t help but want that peace surrounding him, to prevent any sort of reaction that might come when his powers did return.

Instead, he concentrated on watching what was going on around Alexis. Castle was standing beside his daughter at the far end of the gurney, holding her hand. Owen worked around the girl, slipping a thin mesh-like cap over her head, the thin wires leading back to the case he’d set on a rolling cart he must have found from somewhere.   He’d seen the device before; hell, he’d let himself be used as a guinea pig for John and Tosh as they’d developed it.

“Let’s see what we have here,” Owen said, turning to the modified laptop’s screen.

Jack re-entered the cubicle then, and came to sit beside Ianto, pulling himself onto the uncomfortable gurney and positioning himself so that Ianto could lean his back against him and still watch what was going on. Ianto couldn’t sense anything from Jack, but of course that was normal. However, everything else was gradually coming back. He couldn’t help but tense up at that.

Jack took his hand. “We’ll get both you and Alexis out of here soon,” his lover murmured.

Ianto didn’t say anything; but then, he doubted he needed to. Jack was well aware of his past, and had to have guessed what was going on.

“Looks like Alexis suffered the equivalent of a telepathic concussion,” Owen reported. “Her beta and gamma waves are coming back up to normal levels already, but the neural activity across her frontal lobe is nearly flat.” He turned around, giving Ianto a look. “Tea-Boy, how’s your telepathy?”

“Muffled,” Ianto admitted. “But it’s coming back slowly.” The slower, he felt, the better.

Something in his expression must have communicated itself to Owen, because the medic said, “We’ll get both of you outta here before that happens. Can you get your shields up?”

“Not really, no. It feels like they’ve been shredded.” That wasn’t exactly how it felt, but it was as close as he could get to describing how it felt.

“Shit.” Owen began removing the cap from Alexis’ head. “We need transportation before Alexis wakes up, then. Harkness, can you arrange it?”

“I can take Ianto and Alexis back to the Hub using my wrist strap,” Jack answered.

“Yeah, that’ll work –“

“Wait a second,” Castle butted in. “I understand that we don’t want any doctors to run any tests on Alexis and Jones, but what’s the rush to get them out?”

“Ianto has the strongest shields of all the Tomorrow People,” Owen explained as he packed away the EEG. “If his are shredded, then Alexis’ are gonna be in worse shape. If neither one of them can shield, then they can’t block out the shit they’re bound to pick up in the building…”

Castle paled as he apparently grasped the implications of what Owen was saying. “Got it,” he agreed. “Let’s get them both out of here.”

Owen closed up his case. “Can you take both back to the Hub at the same time?”

“No,” Jack answered. “I can only carry one at a time now.” He sounded frustrated.

“Alexis first,” Ianto demanded, only it sounded more like a croak than being strong enough for any sort of demand. “I don’t want her waking up here.”

Castle looked relieved, and then he turned toward Jack. “Where are you taking her?”

“Back to our Hub, where Owen can keep a close eye on her.”

“What about the Lab?”

“We haven’t heard anything from the other Tomorrow People yet,” Jack explained. “And Tim is apparently down as well. We have no way of getting there, it’s too well hidden. Besides, even if I could teleport us there, there’s no telling what we might find.”

Ianto knew that Jack was obfuscating just a bit. He’d been to the Lab many times, and while Jack had always relied on Tim bringing him in, Ianto was convinced that his lover knew the exact coordinates of the Lab and would be able to get there on his own.

But if Tim really was down…

Ianto couldn’t help but shudder. The biotronic supercomputer had all sorts of redundant shielding, and if the same signal that had knocked Alexis and himself out had somehow damaged Tim…

And what about John, Elena, and Paul? Ianto knew for a fact that John had gone to do some sort of investigation of a company in the States that had somehow gotten a hold of alien technology and had been reverse engineering it. Elena was also in the States, although she’d been visiting a former teammate who had settled down, and was now expecting. As for Paul, the last thing Ianto had heard from the younger TP was that he had a date with his semi-regular girlfriend.

How could whatever had happened have affected them all?

Ianto’s brain hurt too much to think about it, even though Owen’s painkillers were helping a bit.

“I’ve got all the equipment back at the Hub in order to take care of Alexis and Ianto,” Owen pointed out. “Now, are we gonna get them both out of here before Alexis wakes up and gets bombarded by shit she can’t handle?”

Castle looked like he wanted to argue, but he gave in. “All right, let’s do this.”

Jack left Ianto’s side, and he missed his lover immensely. He poked his head outside and said something to…yes, it was Rhys and Gwen, keeping anyone else out. Ianto could just make out Gwen’s busy thoughts, and Rhys’ more grounded ones.

After he was done speaking with Rhys and Gwen, Jack made his way over to the gurney where Alexis lay. He carefully gathered the young woman up into his arms. “I’ll be right back,” he promised, “and then I’ll get Ianto – “

“No,” Ianto denied weakly. “Mister Castle next, so he can be there when Alexis wakes up.”

Castle gave Ianto a relieved smile, but Jack looked like he wanted to argue.

“Please,” Ianto said, before Jack could speak, “he’s her father.”

Finally, Jack gave a sharp nod. Then, he activated his Vortex Manipulator, and the two were gone.

“She’s gonna be fine,” Owen told Castle. “She’ll have the headache from hell, but it’ll be a complete recovery.”

“Thank you, Doctor,” Castle said, letting out a breath.

“Nah, just doing my job, mate. Now, if you really wanted to thank me, you could introduce me to one of the starlets that seem to go for you…”

Castle leered. “Gwyneth Paltrow, Maggie Gyllenhall, or Liv Tyler?”

“All of the above?”

The author snorted, opening his mouth to reply, but Jack teleported back into the cubicle. “I put Alexis on the sofa for the time being,” he reported.   “She was beginning to wake up, so we should get going.” He raised his arm. “Hand on the wrist strap, please.”

Castle side-eyed it for a moment, but apparently his worry over his daughter overruled the concern for the mode of transportation, and he did as Jack requested. Jack cast one glance over toward Ianto, and then they were gone.

“How’s the pain, Tea-Boy?” Owen asked, sounding about as solicitous as he normally did…which was hardly at all.

“Not bad now,” Ianto admitted. But the signals he was getting from the residents of the hospital were growing stronger, and they were nibbling at his consciousness like mental rats, eating away at his control. Someone in the A&E was in terrible pain, and on the floor above another patient was in a drug-induced haze and was hallucinating, the visions infringing on Ianto’s own mind until he could see them in all their confused clarity…

“Oi!” Owen’s voice cut into the fogginess that was intruding into Ianto’s brain. “Do I need to sedate you?”

Ianto swallowed. “No, that would make it worse.” He’d have absolutely no defence against what he was sensing then, and he didn’t want to leave himself at the mercy of the feelings and thoughts of the patients surrounding them.

He wanted to weep when Jack appeared again, but settled for a weak smile.   “What took you so long?”

“Sorry,” Jack said, reaching out and touching Ianto’s cheek, and the Tomorrow Person reveled in the peace of Jack’s mind. “Castle was a bit…surprised by Myfanwy. I had to reassure him that she wouldn’t eat either him or Alexis.”

Ianto wanted to laugh, but he wanted to get out of the hospital more.

He let Jack help him to his feet, his brain feeling as if it were sloshing about inside his skull, but he felt comforted by Jack’s arm around him.

“I’ll get the Williamses and meet you outside,” Owen said. “None of us want to be around when they realise their patients vanished into thin air.”

“I’ll be back for you as soon as I get Ianto settled,” Jack promised, his grip around Ianto’s waist tightening.

Without being told, Ianto rested his hand over the leather wrist strap, and Jack slid his hand underneath to activate the Vortex Manipulator. There was a sudden wrench of teleportation – completely unlike jaunting, which was always smooth – and Ianto found himself in the Hub, standing near the old sofa where Alexis was sitting, leaning against her father.

Jack deposited him next to Alexis. His lover stroked his fingers through Ianto’s hair. “Three more to go,” he murmured. “Be back soon.”

With that, he was gone.

Ianto was glad to be back in the Hub. There were no loud mental voices to block out; although he could sense the minds of the tourists above on the Plass, they weren’t very loud, and on the whole they were quite happy. He leaned his head back, letting it loll as he relaxed.

He could sense Toshiko’s approach. He enjoyed being around the technician at the best of times. Now, her calm and orderly mind was like a balm to his, almost as comforting as Jack’s was. “I made you some tea,” she said softly.

Ianto opened his eyes and smiled up at her. “Thank you, you are a star.”

A faint blush painted her cheeks. “It’s herbal, since I didn’t think your head would be able to stand the caffeine.”

He took the warm mug from her, inhaling the steam. It smelled heavenly, and seemed to clear his brain a little. “Have you heard from any of the other Tomorrow People yet?” he inquired.

She looked grave. “Not yet. Jack asked me hack Tim and see what happened to him though.”

As much as Ianto had faith in his friend’s skill, he knew it would take something more than Toshiko’s brilliance to get into Tim’s systems, even if the artificial intelligence had somehow become damaged. “I have some codes that might help. John made certain Elena and I could access Tim’s diagnostics from outside the Lab if needed.”

A grateful smile lit her face. “If we can see whatever happened to you or Alexis affected Tim, that might be one step into figuring out what it was.”

“You get codes for Tim?” Alexis asked, sounding put out.

Ianto glanced over at her. She was even paler than usual, with dark circles under her grey eyes. She was slumped against her father, holding her own tea mug. “Yes, and don’t be insulted that he didn’t share.” He reached over and clasped her hand. “Feeling better?”

“Yeah, although my head is pounding like my brain wants to escape.” She tried to smile, but it was a weak effort.

“Wait until Owen gets here. He’ll make sure you get some of the good painkillers.” Ianto’s head wasn’t aching nearly so badly, but he knew the pain wouldn’t go entirely away. He didn’t want to be so drugged up that he couldn’t function, and he knew Alexis would feel the same way.

He set his mug down and, with Toshiko’s steadying hand on his arm, Ianto managed to stand and make his way over to Toshiko’s work station. He slid into the chair carefully, and had to blink a few times before he could focus on the lines of code that were on the larger monitor in the middle.

“Tea-Boy!” Owen’s strident voice echoed through the Hub, making Ianto wince. “You should be resting that super-brain of yours instead of messing about playing video games.”

Ianto didn’t deign to even look in his direction. “I have a back door into Tim, and I thought it would be important that we find out if he’s down and what happened. So excuse me for wanting to get to the bottom of things.”

“You call him Tea-Boy?” Castle inquired. Ianto didn’t look at him, either, but he could sense and hear his curiosity. “Why?”

“Have you tasted his coffee yet?” There was a pause, and Ianto guessed that Castle had just shaken his head. “When you do, you’ll know.”

“Then why not coffee boy?”

“Because that would make sense, and Owen is a prat,” Ianto called back over his shoulder. He got to work, Toshiko watching as he began. “I’m certain Tim wouldn’t mind you knowing,” he answered quietly. “In fact I’m sure he would have told you himself if he’d thought about it.”

He could sense Toshiko’s curiosity, and Ianto knew he’d need to get his shields back under control. He normally didn’t pick up such things from her.

It didn’t take long for Ianto to get into the special back door that John had set up, in order to get into Tim’s diagnostics. All the while, he could hear Owen talking to Alexis, asking her questions and checking her physical and mental states. He knew it would be his turn at some point, but as he worked he noticed that he was beginning to feel better. His shields were gradually reknitting themselves and the noise of the tourists above their heads was fading out.

As he worked Jack had arrived back with Gwen, and then with Rhys. Ianto made a mental note to come up with a cover story for the hospital…

And then he was in.

Several screens popped up, and Ianto squinted at each one as he assimilated what he was seeing. A warm and familiar hand rested on his shoulder. “Find anything?”

Ianto nodded faintly. “It looks like whatever hit us affected Tim as well. The signal somehow managed to penetrate his telepathic buffers and damaged some of Tim’s communication nodes. The self-repair units are working, but until they’re done Tim won’t be talking to us.”

“Is there an estimated time?” Jack asked.

“Looks to be about an hour.”

“No wonder it knocked you and Alexis for six,” Owen commented. “If it damaged Tim, you’re both lucky nothing nastier happened to you.”

“While Tim’s really advanced,” Toshiko said, “he’s still somewhat limited by his mechanical nature. The Tomorrow Person brain was able to react in nanoseconds to the attack and knock Ianto and Alexis out in order to avoid any permanent damage, while Tim couldn’t, in fact, lose consciousness.”

“But what about the others?” Alexis asked from the sofa, where she still cuddled up next to her father. “Why haven’t we heard from anyone else? John and Elena were supposed to be out of the country, so they shouldn’t have been affected.”

“And it wasn’t a break-out,” Ianto added. He spun in the chair to look at his fellow Homo Superior.   “Did you hear it, Alexis? Just before we passed out.”

Her forehead wrinkled. “Yes, I did. It was a voice, and it wanted me to trust it.” Her hand jerked as she spoke, in a specific rhythm that Ianto found his own hand following.

“It said it was our friend,” Ianto agreed, the words repeating in his head.   His eyes unfocused slightly, as he thought back onto what happened. The voice had sounded so friendly…

“Ianto!”

Jack’s worried voice broke through the memory of the voice, and he looked up into his lover’s fearful face. Ianto blinked, bringing himself back to the present. “What just happened?” he asked.

“That’s what I want to find out.” Jack went from concerned to captain in a heartbeat. “Owen, I want both Ianto and Alexis put through every test you can think of. Something is going on here, and I want to know what it is…yesterday.”



Chapter Four


Comments

Eeep, spooky...
Good, I'm glad it was! :)