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Myfanwy 2

April 2018

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Tim's Balls

Archangel - Chapter Six

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 Six

Jack stood at Toshiko’s station, fidgeting while he watched the picture on the larger monitor move through an unknown hallway.

John had been able to reschedule his appointment at Magister Innovations, but had requested to be shown around the London office instead of the one in New Jersey, claiming that his journal had needed him back in England on short notice; truthfully, Jack had insisted it be close enough that Torchwood could react quickly if something went wrong and they somehow lost contact with Tim again. The representative he’d spoken to – a woman named Emilia Cosgrove – had been perfectly agreeable, and had arranged to have John and his ‘assistant’ to tour the London facilities.

Which was where John was now, along with Toshiko.

It hadn’t been difficult to convince John to take Toshiko with him. There was the chance that the telepathic burst could happen again, and while the elder Tomorrow Person felt he would be able to block it a second time, there was still a chance that he might be incapacitated in possible hostile territory. Toshiko had volunteered to accompany him, to help in trying to identify anything they might see while in Magister Innovations labs, and to cover for him in case anything would occur.

She was also wearing the Eye-5 contact lenses.

Jack had wanted to go himself, but Ianto had talked him out of it, claiming that Jack was just a bit too flamboyant for the part of an assistant to a small-time journalist. Plus, Toshiko could, in fact, be sneakier that Jack, and to that the immortal had to agree. He was much better at swanning in and taking control than full-blown espionage.

Besides, he could see what Toshiko was looking at easily enough with the contacts. That had also been Ianto’s idea, and Jack thought he should reward his lover for his quick thinking later.

So far, there had been nothing but offices and hallways, and a couple of labs that looked innocuous enough. Jack stifled a sigh, but Ianto must have sensed something because he turned toward him, raising a rather eloquent eyebrow.

Jack rolled his eyes, and Ianto seemingly got the message, which was pretty good considering the Tomorrow Person couldn’t actually read his mind.

His lover was seated at the workstation, in control of the keyboard. Ianto had put his foot down when Owen had wanted to send suggestive texts to Toshiko via the lenses, saying the last thing they needed was the technician giggling or blushing at an inopportune moment.

It was quite crowded around the desk, with the full complement of Torchwood – minus Rhys, who was working – and Tomorrow People – plus Castle who should have been writing and wasn’t – watching the show. The author had made appreciative noises when the contacts had been explained, and had even asked if he could borrow them on occasion. Jack had denied him, giving him a lecture about alien tech in the wrong hands, and Castle had pouted.

Alexis had barely stifled her giggles.

“I wish I had some popcorn,” Paul groused. “This is plain boring.”

“You don’t have to watch, you know,” Elena shot back. She was concerned for John, and not bothering to hide it.

“Children,” Jack chided quietly. Elena blushed slightly, and Paul scratched the back of his head, embarrassed.

“Perhaps we should have patched the picture in through the screen in the boardroom,” Ianto said. “It would have saved on the overcrowding problem.”

“But where’s the fun in that?” Jack couldn’t help it, even with this mystery hanging over their heads and two of their own walking into possible danger, he still had to tease.

“Too bad the contacts don’t have sound,” Owen sighed. “It’d be a lot better if we could hear what they’re bloody saying.”

Owen was right. Jack wished they could hear what John and their tour guide were talking about.

Ianto and the other Tomorrow People had an advantage; John could relay the conversation back to them mentally. “It’s basically just propaganda in order to make the company look good. John’s just as bored as Paul is, only he has to pay attention in case the woman says something important.”

“Do you really think they’ll find anything?” Castle asked.

Jack shrugged. “Who knows? But if Toshiko can get access to one of their computers, then maybe she can arrange to get us a connection.”

Toshiko and Tim had both failed in getting into the Magister Innovations’ computer systems, although it hadn’t been through lack of trying. Whoever had programmed the firewalls had been a genius, and Toshiko had actually been a bit jealous of the skill it had taken to keep her and Tim out. Tim also suspected that alien technology was involved in the sheer amount of security that had been installed about the Magister Innovations’ systems. While Toshiko had been bothered, Tim had been impressed, as he’d said, despite himself.

Jack looked back at the monitor. John and Toshiko were walking down yet another hallway, this one with glass panels along each wall. As Toshiko looked, Jack could see that each panel looked into a lab, all white tile and steel. A few of the labs looked used, while others were spotless and empty.

“Those look like medical-grade seals,” Owen commented, leaning over Ianto’s shoulder to get a better look.

That worried Jack. “For quarantine purposes?”

“That, or maybe it’s just paranoia where cleanliness is concerned. Could be a variation on the technological clean room.”

“That would make sense,” Ianto mused. “If they were building delicate processors that couldn’t be exposed to open air.”

“Much of the technology created for satellites are extremely delicate and require sterile environments,” Tim said from Ianto’s phone, sitting next to the keyboard.

“Tim has a point,” Castle said. “I mean, it’s what I’ve seen in science shows on the Discovery Channel.”

They were right. While Jack had absolutely no experience in working under such conditions, he knew most miniature technology needed clean environments in order to avoid damage on the cellular level.

And then, Jack thought he saw something.

He shivered.

“Ianto,” he said urgently, “tell Toshiko to look to the right, into that lab she just passed.”

His lover was already typing in the command to Toshiko’s contacts, and Jack wondered if he’d seen it, too.

It had been just a glimpse, but it caused Jack’s heart to race in either anticipation or fear, he couldn’t decide.

Toshiko did as asked, apparently using the excuse of a dropped pen to get a second look into the lab that Jack – through Ianto – had indicated.

Jack didn’t need to see her face to know she was confused by what she was seeing.

“Jack,” Ianto gasped.

He put a hand on Ianto’s shoulder, knowing that he had to recognize what Jack had, as well.

“Yes,” Jack murmured. “It’s what you think it is.” His mouth was suddenly very dry.

“Are you going to share with the class?” Paul snarked

Jack swallowed hard. “It’s the TARDIS.”

**********

He was bombarded with questions, but Jack refused to explain until he could do it all at once.

Seeing the TARDIS in that lab through Toshiko’s eyes had been a shock. More than a shock, really. The only reason the TARDIS would have been in that lab was if the Doctor was a prisoner somewhere, which meant everything they’d deduced about Magister Innovations was most likely correct.

He finally had to retreat to his office, under the triple onslaught of Gwen, Owen, and Castle ganging up on him and demanding answers. Alexis had managed to get her Dad calmed down, and Ianto had run interference with his teammates, allowing Jack to escape.

There was nothing from either Paul or Elena, for which Jack was grateful, although he could guess they were reporting to John what had happened.

Of course Jack knew that the Tomorrow People were familiar with the Doctor. When Jack had confided in Ianto about needing to find the Doctor to get some sort of explanation for his immortality, he’d arranged to get word out to friends in the Galactic Federation to be on the lookout, and to ask the Time Lord to come to Earth and speak to Jack. He hadn’t heard anything, and he didn’t know if that was a good sign, or bad.

Perhaps bad, since it seemed like the Doctor was neck-deep in trouble as usual.

Jack sat down in his chair, leaning his head back and closing his eyes. After all this time…he’d missed the Doctor at Canary Wharf, and the TARDIS had shown up on CCTV footage of the Plass just after they’d stopped Bilis Manger from resurrecting Abaddon, when he’d been out of the country with Ianto. But Jack had set aside his need for answers in order to enjoy his time with Ianto, and to protect the planet from alien threats. After he’d nearly lost Ianto when he’d attempted to save his converted girlfriend Jack had come to realise that he truly had all the time in the universe to catch up with the Doctor. He could live his life just fine, and had in fact found something to truly live for.

He didn’t want to think of the Doctor, and yet he couldn’t help it.

Jack had no idea how long he sat there, but he was roused from his tempestuous thoughts by the quiet opening of his door. “Jack,” Ianto’s soft voice floated over to him, “Toshiko and John are back.”

He sat up straight, smiling slightly at Ianto as his lover leaned against the door jamb, looking concerned. “I’m fine,” he answered the unspoken question. “It just wasn’t what I was expecting, that’s all.”

“I understand, believe me. And I know how important this is to you, to talk to the Doctor…”

“No, not so much anymore.” Jack stood and made his way over to his lover, wrapping his arms around Ianto and pulling him close. “I’ve found something else much more important.” He leaned forward, pressing his lips against his lover’s, knowing that despite Ianto’s inability to read his thoughts he knew just what he meant to Jack.

He pulled away, sighing. “Let’s get this over with, shall we?”

Ianto smiled softly. “I’ll be right there with you.”

Jack didn’t answer, but then he knew he didn’t have to. Ianto could read him even without his telepathy, and would understand the silence.

For which Jack would be forever grateful.

**********

Everyone stood in various groups on the main floor of the Hub, and every head swiveled in Jack’s direction as he and Ianto made their way out of his office.

Jack wanted to draw the attention away from himself, which really wasn’t like him, but he really didn’t want to explain about his time with the Doctor. He’d long ago told Toshiko and Owen about his immortality, which had raised fifteen different sorts of hells from his allegedly snubbed teammates and a very long – and painfully embarrassing – physical from the medic. They’d been hurt by his keeping the secret from them, when Ianto and Gwen had known, and it taken quite a bit of groveling in order to get back in the pair’s good graces.

He’d only explained the Doctor’s part in all of this to Ianto. Jack only hoped the fallout wouldn’t be quite so bad this time.

“That was the TARDIS,” were the first words out of John’s mouth as Jack made his way down toward them all.

“It was, yes,” he confirmed.

John cursed. Jack was a bit surprised, since the elder Tomorrow Person didn’t do that very often.

“Care to explain to those of us not knowing what this bloody TARDIS is?” Owen growled belligerently. He stood next to Toshiko, his arms crossed over his chest, and if his glare could kill Jack would have died permanently.

“The TARDIS,” Jack said, “is the Doctor’s time and space machine.”

There were various reactions to his announcement, from knowing nods to jaws dropping. “You mean that box thing belongs to Torchwood’s Enemy Number One?” the medic asked.

“Former Enemy Number One,” Ianto corrected. “He hasn’t been that since One fell.”

“Who is this Doctor?” Gwen asked. “Wait…was this the ‘right kind of doctor’ you mentioned?”

Jack vaguely recalled saying that. “Yes, Gwen…in fact, I’m pretty certain he’s the reason I can’t die. I’ve been waiting to talk to him and find out why for over a hundred years now, and he’s never turned up in an incarnation that I could interact with…until Canary Wharf, of course, and then I missed him.” He didn’t mention the time the TARDIS had been caught on the Plass’ CCTV; he’d carefully erased it when he’d seen it.

“I met him once,” Toshiko replied. “It was when I had to cover for you, Owen, right after you were hired.”

“Space pig?”

“Space pig.” They shared a knowing smile.

Jack hadn’t known about that. “Why didn’t you put that in your report?”

Toshiko shrugged. “He was still being hunted by Torchwood One, and I didn’t know at the time that you’d met him.” She glared at him.

“Well, you can see why I didn’t say anything,” Jack tried to defend himself. “The Doctor was the reason I was dragged into Torchwood in the first place. I wasn’t about to give anyone any sort of clue about him if I could help it. Besides, I was still hoping to meet up with him, to ask him about my little ‘problem’.”

“Excuse me.”

And that was when Jack recalled that there was one person in the room who didn’t know about his immortality.

Rick Castle.

Damnit.

Jack had already let the man into Torchwood, because of his relationship with Alexis. Up until Rhys Williams, there hadn’t really been any civilians in the know, so to speak, and he hadn’t taken Castle into consideration.

The author was looking at him, the expression on his face saying that he really thought it was a good joke, but curious to know why no one was laughing. “I think I need some clarification on a point that was just brought up…are we saying that you’re what, immortal? How is that even possible?”

“It’s true, Dad,” Alexis answered for Jack.

“Not exactly,” Ianto said, his face grim. “Jack can die, he just doesn’t stay dead.”

“Semantics, Ianto.” Jack put his arm around his lover, needing his support. While he’d gotten very lucky with the people he knew and worked with accepting his immortality, he’d run into too many who couldn’t deal with it. He could never expect everyone to take it so well, and it was worse when it was someone he actually respected and liked...not that he’d ever admit that he felt that way to Castle.

“Truth, Jack,” Ianto said in kind, returning the embrace.

The incredulous look left Castle’s face, and he turned solemn. “I can’t make up my mind if that’s a good or bad thing, but I’m leaning toward the bad.”

“I’ve seen so much,” Jack sighed, “and a lot of it has been wonderful. But then I think about everyone I’ve lost…and it’s heartbreaking.” He tightened his grasp on Ianto, his mind skittering to the certain knowledge that, one day, he’d lose this man he loved so much.

No. It was always best to live day by day, and not think that far into the future.

“I have a great imagination,” Castle said, “and I can’t even conceive of it. How did it happen?”

“I have no idea.” He told them about how he’d met the Doctor in 1941, and had travelled with him until the events in the Gamestation, and how he’d died. “I just remember waking up surrounded by piles of dust that had once been Daleks, and hearing the TARDIS leave. I hung around for about a week, when the silence and death got to me, and then I left.” He went on about arriving far too early on Earth, and how he’d discovered he couldn’t die. “I’ve been waiting ever since.”

“I think I’ve just gained a hell of a lot of respect for you, Harkness,” Castle admitted freely.

Jack felt his face heat up slightly, and he nodded in gratitude.

“Do you think we can stop with the feelings and get back to business?” Owen snarked.

John and Elena rolled their eyes in unison, and Toshiko smacked Owen in the arm.

“Owen might have the emotions of a slug,” Jack chuckled, glad for a break in the heavy atmosphere, “but he is right. We really need to figure out what Magister Innovations is doing with a time and space machine…and how they got it.”

“I tried to locate the Doctor telepathically while we were in their offices,” John explained, “but I didn’t sense him at all. Either they have him blocked or else he wasn’t there.”

Jack knew that the Doctor himself was slightly telepathic, and had faith that John would have felt him if he’d been in the area, and he was almost pitifully grateful that the other man hadn’t given the third option…dead. “I think it’s really a foregone conclusion that Magister Innovations has its hands on alien tech.”

Toshiko nodded. “John and I recognized a couple of things that could very well have been Federation technology as well.”

“Then I think we should take action against the company,” Jack declared.

“A raid might be too over the top,” John argued.

“I have to agree,” Ianto said.

“So do I.” Both of them looked surprised at Jack’s quick capitulation. “This Archangel Network is apparently a big deal worldwide, and we need to tread carefully. We still don’t know a lot about it, and it would be a really bad idea to give someone the idea of putting it into play early. Certainly, it might be a benign use of reverse engineered alien tech, but we can’t depend on that.”

“So,” Castle spoke for all of them, “what’s the plan?”

Jack grinned. “I was hoping someone would ask me that.”



Chapter Seven


Comments

I think it would be right to assume that the Doc is stuck at the edge of the universe... *gulp*
Yes, you may be right about that... :)