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.
14 March 2009
The Torchwood Hub, Cardiff
Owen leaned back, his neck cracking as he straightened. He couldn’t help the smile that broke out across his face, feeling pleased with the job he’d done on Patrick’s chest and shoulder.
The bastard was going to need a bit of physical therapy, but he’d make a full recovery.
Rhys was smiling as well, although he looked a bit pasty. “Good job, mate.”
Deborah was also happy, her dimples showing. “He’s going to be fine then.”
“Of course he is!’ Owen exclaimed. “I’m shocked that you both would think otherwise! I am, after all, a genius.”
“As you like to keep reminding us,” Rhys agreed, rolling his eyes.
It hadn’t taken as long as Owen had thought it would, which was a good thing. The bone chips had been removed, and he’d had to use surgical glue to stick the broken rib together, not to mention the whacking great gouge in Patrick’s shoulder blade, but the surgery had gone as well as expected. He’d be down for at least a month, not counting rehab time, but everything would be aces.
As he’d been operating, they’d received a report from Ianto and Toshiko. They’d arrived at the Turnmill Power Station, and Toshiko was busily trying to get the reactor under control. She still wasn’t certain she could help the tech who’d stayed behind, but she was doing her best, and with Tosh her best was enough.
Rhys was removing his sterile gloves. Both his and Owen’s scrubs were blood-stained; Deborah had acted as nurse, and had come off much better. The pair of them had followed his directions perfectly, even though he’d had to explain a few things along the way, but as soon as Jack got back Owen was going to let him know exactly just how helpful Rhys and Deborah had been. If they hadn’t been there, Owen doubted he’d have been able to do what he’d needed to do in order to save Patrick’s life.
Of course he wasn’t about to say that to their faces.
Owen was about to tell them to clean up when the alarms within the Hub went off.
“Owen,” Ianto said over the comms at the exact same moment, “according to the PDA there’s an intruder within the Hub. I just felt a Rift surge…”
“We got it, Dragon Boy.” Owen snapped off his own gloves and grabbed the gun that he’d set down while he’d been working on Patrick. “The alarms are going off fit to burst in here.” He turned to Rhys. “Get your gun and let’s see what’s going on. Deborah, stay in here with Patrick. There’s a spare gun in my desk.”
She nodded, even though Owen knew she didn’t like guns all that much. He could count on her to protect their injured colleague in any way she knew how.
“Be careful,” Ianto warned.
“You just worry about us not blowing up,” Owen snarked as he and Rhys left the autopsy bay and made their way into the main Hub. “We’ll take care of whoever broke in here.” He was just in a bad enough mood that he might well shoot first and ask questions later. If it was Jack, then he’d come back to life and give Owen grief for killing him; if it was Hart, then the twat deserved to die.
“Well, there you are.”
Owen had his gun up and ready, and it was only because they didn’t have a clue as to where Jack was that he didn’t pull the trigger.
Rhys was right beside him. Gone was the friendly Welshman most everyone else saw; he’d been replaced by an implacable killer, ready to do whatever it took to make Hart pay for what he’d done.
Hart had his hands up. “Woah there, Trigger!”
“Get on your knees,” Owen ordered. They needed to get Hart under control before Owen lost his and put a bullet somewhere it would do the most good.
Hart had the gall to roll his eyes. “Honestly, it’s just sex, sex, sex with you people!”
Owen wasn’t even going to dignify that with a response. “I ought to shoot you where you stand, but you need to tell us what happened to Jack. Now…down!”
Hart obeyed, although he looked extremely reluctant to do so.
“Hands behind your head.”
“Look,” Hart said, doing what Owen told him to, “I know where Jack is.”
“Of course, you do,” Rhys scoffed, “because you’re the one who took him!”
“Okay yeah,” Hart conceded, “but I came back to help you.”
“Like we’re gonna trust you!” Owen snarled.
“Jack is buried alive somewhere under this city!” Hart protested.
It was all Owen could do to keep himself from beating the shit out of Hart in that moment. He’d wondered just what the bastard was capable of, but that hadn’t been it. It was worse than what the Master had done, back during that Year.
“Listen to me!” Hart went on. “You have to believe me. It's Gray, Jack's brother! He's been doing all this.”
Even as Rhys was calling Hart a liar, Owen considered just what the man was telling them. Jack had been the one to identify the young man that Hart had shown them over his wrist strap, but he’d looked more of a prisoner than a murdering mastermind. He’d seemed like some scared kid.
But there was something about Hart…he just couldn’t figure it out. He needed more proof before he’d completely believe what the ex-Time Agent was telling them.
“He placed a bomb on me,” Hart explained. “Molecularly bonded the detonator to my skin. I had to do what he wanted.” He stood up, holding out his wrist. “Look!” He practically forced his arm under Owen’s nose, and he couldn’t help but notice that Hart was telling the truth in this case. He felt a little sick at the sight of the leather melded into Hart’s skin, as if the flesh had grown up over it. “He forced me to bury Jack under Cardiff in the past and then he freed me. He told me I could go anywhere I wanted. I could've run, but I chose to come back here.”
Owen was beginning to waver. There was just enough evidence to show that Hart was being honest, but he needed to know more. “How can we trust you?” he demanded. He lowered his gun slightly, trusting Rhys to keep Hart covered.
Hart looked down, as if he was gathering his thoughts. When he glanced back up, his expression was resolved. “When I was here last time, I…lied about finding Gray. I did it to get back at Jack. But when I got back to the future I ran into…trouble.”
“Read: law enforcement.”
He didn’t bother to deny it. “I decided that it would be worth my time to actually go and find Gray. It took me a while, but…he was chained up in the ruins of a city on the Bedlam Outlands...surrounded by corpses.”
“Bloody hell,” Rhys breathed.
Owen couldn’t disagree.
“He was the only one left,” Hart went on. “The creatures that had held him were long since gone. Dunno how long he'd been there.” He sighed. “I thought I was the rescuing hero. So, it took me too long to realise he'd learned terrible things watching those creatures. He let me trust him...”
Then Hart cried out, doubling over his arm where the wrist strap was. “The molecules are unbonding just like he promised,” he cried out, fingers scrabbling at the Vortex Manipulator. He began to undo the wrist strap, the skin attached to it pulling away with a sticky, sucking noise that made Owen’s stomach lurch. He could hear Rhys gagging beside him, but his teammate’s gun never wavered.
The strap came undone, and it took quite a bit of skin with it if Owen was any judge. The area was red and inflamed, but Hart laughed as he pulled it free with enough force that his arms were thrown out wide.
It was disgusting, and Owen wasn’t afraid to say so out loud.
“I’m a free man,” Hart sighed in relief. He took a couple of deep breaths as if he were trying to work past the pain. “I didn't have to come back here. I could've run. Now will you trust me?”
“You find Jack, I'll let you live,” Owen bargained. “But you'd better be quick.”
Hart flipped open his Vortex Manipulator. “Toshiko, I need you to run a trace for an etheric particle signal NME transmitting at 200 betacycles.”
There was silence over the comms, and then a very angry growling sounded over the open channel. “Where is my mate?”
Owen had never heard Ianto so angry before. It occurred to him that it didn’t matter what promise he’d made to Hart, that there was a furious dragon out there who’d sworn vengeance against the man in front of him and there would be nothing that could stand in the way of that.
Hart had the common sense to look scared. “Just have Toshiko scan for that signal, Eye Candy, and you’ll find Jack. I put a tracker on him.”
“Hart says that Jack is buried somewhere under Cardiff,” Owen said, knowing he was about to really piss the dragon off, but Ianto had to know what was going on.
“Nothing is going to save you from me, Hart,” Ianto vowed.
“Fine! Alright!” Hart shouted. “But just run that scan!”
“We have him covered,” Owen added.
There was a pause, then Toshiko said, “There’s no signal like that anywhere in the city.”
“There must be!” Hart actually sounded panicked. “That transmitter was guaranteed for five millennia through three ecological perma-layers...it has to still be transmitting! If not, we'll never find him. He'll be buried...forever.”
“I will find him,” Ianto said assuredly.
“And just how do you propose to do that?” Hart demanded. He looked disappointed that his little piece of whatever tech he’d placed on Jack had failed.
“Like I’m going to tell you?” the dragon scoffed.
Of course, Owen knew about the dragon’s ability to sniff out Rift spikes…and how that also let him sense the Vortex energy that kept Jack immortal. “You think you can do it?” he asked. He had to make sure.
“I will always find my mate,” Ianto assured him.
“Go, Ianto,” Toshiko urged. “I think we have things in hand here, and if Jack’s been buried…”
“How long?” The promised threat in those two words made even Owen shiver, and it wasn’t aimed in his direction.
Hart actually swallowed. Hard. “Nearly two thousand years.”
“You can go nowhere where I cannot find you,” the dragon promised.
“It wasn’t me!” Hart tried to explain. “It was Jack’s brother, Gray! He’s nuts! He wants revenge on Jack for what happened to him when they were kids.”
And then, the intruder alarm went off in the Hub once more.