Author: Milady Dragon
Pairing(s): JackHarkness/Ianto Jones; Jack Harkness/John Hart (Past); Toshiko Sato/Kathy Swanson (Mentioned)
Warnings: Language, Violence, Temporary Character Death (Jack, of course), some Torture.
Spoilers: Both series up to S2, E13, "Fragments" and "Exit Wounds", and the audio play, "Lost Souls".
Disclaimer: I don't own Torchwood, I would have treated it better.
Author's Note: This is the Dragon-Verse version of "Fragments"/"Exit Wounds". I've gone with one story to cover the two episodes, since a lot of "Fragments" was flashback, and I do plan on writing those into longer stories at some point so I don't see the need to add them here.
Summary: John Hart is back, and with him is Jack's long-lost brother, Gray. But not all is what it seems...and Jack has to deal with consequences of actions that happened so long ago...and far into the future.
Circa 27 A.D.
Jack had no idea where they were…or even when, because John could have taken them anywhere in space and time and there was no way Jack could tell, not from his surroundings.
Which was a whole lot of wilderness.
He stood in the middle of a field, with trees off in the distance. There were no sounds except the wind and the rustling of the leaves. The air was far fresher than what Jack was used to, and the sky clear and blue. It was daytime; it had been night in Cardiff.
Jack wondered just what was going on back at home, and he couldn’t help the shiver at that. However, Hart had gotten all those explosives planted – and Jack suspected he’d used the Rift to put them exactly where he’d wanted them – it had meant so much death and devastation…the city would be in chaos, and his team was back in the centre of it all.
Jack had faith in his people. Ianto could lead the team in whatever relief efforts were needed. Owen would be able to get to Patrick in time and save him, and they would find Deborah, wherever Hart had hidden her. Was she even still alive? Had he simply gotten rid of her? Hart was capable of anything, up to and including murdering a young woman in cold blood. She could be in the Hub now, hidden in some cubby or room, and it would take the team forever to find her…
No, he had to believe that Ianto would find her; her and Patrick, and save them. He couldn’t entertain any other thoughts.
Hart had used the Rift to bring Jack to wherever the hell he was now. That energy would have boosted his Vortex Manipulator, which meant Jack really could be anywhere or any time. The first thing he needed to do was figure that out, and once he did he could find a way to get home…
Footsteps in the grass behind him had Jack spinning on his heel, and dropping into a defensive crouch.
Hart was walking toward him from the trees. “We're safe,” he said, sounding relieved. “Now, before you do anything rash, you have to hear – “
Jack felt a great sense of satisfaction when his punch landed squarely in John’s face. It didn’t even matter that his hand stung a bit from it. “Take me back now!” he growled, standing over the fallen form of his ex-partner.
“No way,” John scoffed, clambering to his feet and wiping his mouth. To Jack’s pleasure there was blood on the man’s lips. “We have to be this far to escape the trigger signal.”
Just what was John on about? “Trigger signal?”
Hart held out his arm, exposing his wrist strap. “Go on,” he goaded. “Look at it!”
Jack leaned over despite his natural caution about anything having to do with John Hart. “Damn,” he couldn’t help but gasp when he got a look.
The leather of the Vortex Manipulator had somehow been bonded the Hart’s own skin. The area resembled scar tissue, as if it had grown up around the foreign material, the edges slightly raw looking. It made Jack want to gag, and he swallowed hard to keep from losing his lunch.
“I can’t get it off,” Hart said unnecessarily. He jerked toward Jack. “Go ahead…open it.”
Jack flipped the cover open. The moment he caught a glimpse of what had been connected to the mechanism he took a hasty step back. “Eighth generation detonator?” He might come back from an explosion but he didn’t relish finding out.
“Ninth, actually.” He pulled the cuff of his eponymous jacket back over the mess that was now his wrist. “Add to that a surveillance circuit, to monitor my every word and action, and he has me doing anything I'm told.”
And then it clicked.
The way Hart had been acting back at the Hub, subdued and angry. It had been some sort of an act, for whoever had control over the bomb now attached to the ex-Time Agent’s arm. John had always been crazy, but his actions had been different this time.
Jack was mad at himself for not realising it, but then it had been centuries since he’d spent that much time around Hart.
John was still speaking, and Jack tuned back in to the rest of the rant. “Because if I don't... boom! I'm not my own man. I thought you'd see that. But oh no…you're so self-obsessed you thought I'd want to blow up your stupid city! When I could be experiencing seventeen simultaneous pleasures in the Lotus Nebula!”
Alright, that did make him feel just a bit guilty, but John had never been particularly stable and judging him by certain behaviours had become second nature even after all the time that had gone by.
He’d misjudged Hart, but that that didn’t really excuse the man from everything he’d done. And it didn’t explain what had happened to Gray.
Jack was about to say just that when he noticed John’s eyes go wide with what could only be described as fear. “Run.”
“Run from what?” Jack demanded, turning.
And his knees almost went out from under him.
The man walking toward them appeared to be younger than Jack, his hair a bit lighter and much shorter, and his eyes a bit darker. The clothes he was wearing were dun coloured and ill-fitting, and not at all Earth fashion. From where he was standing Jack could just make out a scar on the other’s man’s neck, hideous and ropy and obviously old.
He was a stranger, but Jack had recognised him immediately, as he had in the hologram back at the destroyed building.
The smile that broke out across Jack’s face would have rivalled the sun in brightness. He’d tried so hard to find Gray…his brother…the one he’d let down so many years ago and centuries from now…but he’d always failed, never discovering even the barest hint of a trail. He’d once hoped that the Doctor would have been able to help him, but that had never happened, and when he’d gotten stranded on Earth Jack had had to finally give up.
Of course, when he’d discovered his immortality, Jack had realised that he literally had all of time to find his brother again. Being on Earth was just a hiccup in his plans.
When he’d told Ianto about Gray, the dragon had promised to help him once they made it out amongst the stars. It had been the main impetus for Jack’s patience.
He’d never given up that Gray was out there somewhere, and that Jack would one day find him.
But there he was, standing just a short distance away, smiling.
John Hart had really found him.
However, there was a small voice at the back of his mind screaming at him to be careful, that Hart had just confessed that he was being controlled by someone…and that expression of fear in John’s eyes when he must have seen Gray approaching.
Jack didn’t care.
Tears prickling his eyes, Jack surged forward and wrapped his little brother in a rough hug. “Oh, Goddess,” he moaned, “it’s really you.”
Gray returned the hug one-armed. “It’s really me. I never stopped believing that someday you’d find me.”
“I’m sorry,” he wept into his brother’s shoulder. “I’m so very sorry.”
He felt Gray sigh in his grasp and then tense. “Sorry isn’t good enough, big brother.”
Sharp pain erupted through Jack’s stomach. He staggered back, eyes finding the dagger that was sticking out of his abdomen.
Put there by his very own brother.
Shock and disbelief coursed through Jack as he fell to the ground. He knew he was dying…he looked up at Gray, at the grim little smile on that much-loved face, and heard him tell Hart to get a shovel.
As he took his last breath, Jack mourned for the little brother that he’d lost to his own negligence. The brother who must have been controlling Hart all this time.