Author: Milady Dragon
Pairing(s): Jack/Ianto (implied)
Warning(s): Angst, language, violence, implied torture
Spoilers: Up through Torchwood S1, E4, "Cyberwoman" and DW S2, E12-13, "Army of Ghosts" and "Doomsday"
Disclaimer: I don't own Torchwood or Doctor Who, I would have treated either of them better.
Author's note: This takes place in the Dragon-Verse and replaces "Cyberwoman" in that continuity. Since Ianto never worked at Torchwood Tower, events will be quite a bit different. Chronology was taken from several fan-made timelines and the TARDIS Index File website. This also might be a bit Gwen unfriendly, so be warned.
This is also dedicated to </a></b></a>cjharknessgirl . Welcome back! *hugs*
PDF is here
Summary: Ianto Jones is determined to fight the destiny the Tarot girl set out for him. Is he willing to betray Jack to do it?
26 September 2007
Jack started, glancing up from his work. Gwen stood in the doorway of his office, and the look on her face told him this wasn’t a friendly visit.
He stifled a sigh. He really wasn’t in the mood to deal with anyone right now. “I thought I sent you home,” he said, barely civil. He turned his attention back to what he was doing: cleaning the sword that Ianto had used to kill Lisa.
Dragon-killer, Ianto had called it the day he’d given it to Jack. He’d shown the captain one way to kill him, trusting Jack with that knowledge. In case of emergency, the dragon had also said. Then he’d shared where it had come from, and it had been the first time that Jack had actually cried in front of the dragon.
“You did,” she answered, and Jack was irritated that she hadn’t taken it as the dismissal he’d meant his comment to be. “I wanted to talk to you.”
“Say it fast. I’m tired. It’s been a long night.” It had taken hours to get everything cleaned up, once he’d managed to cajole Ianto back into his human form and had had Tosh take him home with her. He’d looked terrible; eyes far too large in his pale face, reddened and so full of pain that Jack hadn’t been able to look into them. After he’d been bundled off, unresisting, and Gwen had been ordered to leave, he and Owen took care of Lisa’s body and that of the scientist, Tanizaki.
“I wanted to talk to you about Ianto,” Gwen said, coming to stand in front of Jack’s desk.
Jack looked at her, resting the sword on the old towel he’d draped over his knees. She had a belligerent look on her face, and he knew this was about to get ugly. “What about Ianto?”
“What are you planning on doing with…him?”
The hesitation in her sentence made him roll his eyes. “I’m planning on giving him bereavement leave, and when he’s ready he’ll come back to work.”
Gwen looked surprised by his response. “But Jack…he’s an alien! I thought we caught aliens!”
Suddenly, it struck Jack that Ianto had been correct in not telling her about his being a dragon. “No, Gwen…Ianto is a dragon. He was born on Earth, and so were his parents and grandparents. Hell, he can trace his family back almost a million years.” He smirked. “Remind him to tell you how the patriarch of his clan decided to teach early humans about fire sometime…it’s hilarious.”
Jack’s attempt to lighten the mood didn’t seem to work. Instead, she speared him with an angry glare. “You mean, you knew about him and didn’t say anything?”
Jack frowned. “First of all…yes, of course I knew. It’s one of the reasons I hired him.” In a roundabout way, he thought to himself. He wasn’t about to explain the Tarot girl to Gwen; she wouldn’t understand. “Secondly…it’s up to Ianto whether he wanted to share that fact with you, which he’d decided not to.”
“And the others?”
“They know about him, yes.”
“Then why didn’t he tell me?”
“Oh, I don’t know Gwen,” Jack snapped. “Maybe it’s because he’s known them for years, and you’ve only been here a couple of weeks? Or maybe because he had some inkling that you’d act exactly like this?” Well, he couldn’t be certain of that last one, but the explanation Ianto had given still confused Jack a bit. “Or perhaps it’s because you’ve insisted on treating him like part of the furniture, instead of my Second, and your superior?”
Gwen’s eyes went wide, then narrowed. “”He’s just a kid, Jack. He hasn’t earned the right to be in charge.”
Jack laughed. “A kid? Gwen, that so-called kid is over two thousand years old. He’s the one who helped me build Torchwood up to what it is now. He watched my back during Yvonne Hartman’s three attempted takeovers. And, if anything happened to me, he is the one I completely trust to run this place the way it needs to be run. So get off your high horse, Ms Cooper, because Ianto Jones is my right-hand man, and nothing is going to change that.”
“But that’s just it…he isn’t a man. He doesn’t deserve to be here, especially after what happened last night.”
The captain put his polishing cloth down on his blotter, where he’d set his sword cleaning kit. “And what do you think happened here last night?” He was interested in her interpretation of events, because he was certain that she hadn’t seen what the others – and Jack himself – had.
Gwen lifted her chin stubbornly. “I saw him smuggling a dangerous creature into the Hub, a creature that would’ve killed us all if it hadn’t been stopped.”
“Well,” he said, re-sheathing the dragon-killer and leaning it against the side of his desk, “let me tell you what really happened then, shall I? I saw someone so desperately lonely for one of their own kind that he was willing to do anything to save the only other one he’d seen in centuries from what we humans had done to her. I saw him realize that he’d failed, and I saw him kill her instead of letting her escape. I saw him tear his own heart out in the process. That is what I saw, Gwen. I saw a good being practically destroy every dream and desire he’d ever had in order to save us.”
The look on Gwen’s face was disbelieving. “You have got to be kidding me. You’re going to excuse what he’s done, just like that?”
Jack sighed. She wasn’t even trying to understand. He had to give her some benefit for not knowing Ianto’s history, the way he and the others did, but certainly she had to have seen just how much pain Ianto had been in last night. “I would have thought, with all that so-called compassion you claim to have, that you’d have been the first person to see just what it did to Ianto to kill Lisa last night.”
She reared back, as if he’d physically slapped her. “Of course I feel badly that he lost someone – “
“No, Gwen. I don’t think you do.” It struck him suddenly. “You’re just angry because you didn’t know Ianto’s secret. That I’m willing to forgive him. That I don’t promote you over him. He’s somehow damaged your dignity and you don’t like that.”
“Is it? Is it really? Gwen, that ‘creature’ as you put it, was a young woman who was captured, tortured, and experimented on by human beings. Ianto saved her from Canary Wharf. He did everything in his power to help her – “
“But he hid her from us!”
“Yes, he did. And I’ll be the first one to admit that it was my fault he did.” It had been an almost painful epiphany for Jack, to know he’d so completely lost Ianto’s trust that the dragon hadn’t come to him about finding Lisa. All of this might have had a better ending if Jack hadn’t done everything in his power to keep Ianto at arms’ length. That knowledge was something he’d have to live with, and he hoped he’d be able to rebuild what bridges he’d burnt.
“How is that your fault?” she scoffed.
“That doesn’t matter.” He didn’t want to share with her his own feelings toward Ianto. “But what you don’t know is that Ianto Jones is the last of dragon-kind. There are no more like him anywhere. Human beings were responsible for that genocide, Gwen. And yet, he’s chosen to leave his home and fight to protect the descendants of the very people who murdered his family.” He picked up the sword. “This weapon was the one that killed his mother. He kept it as a reminder of just how evil humanity can be. Tell me honestly…would you be willing to fight for someone who killed Rhys? Or your parents? Would you be willing to put that aside for the greater good?”
Gwen simply stared at him. “I’m sorry Jack, that may be true but that doesn’t excuse the fact that we have a creature working here that could have caused the deaths of every one of us.”
“But it does.”
They both turned, to see Tosh standing in the doorway, her arms crossed and her face stony with anger.
Jack put the sword down again and stepped around the desk. “How is he?”
Tosh’s face crumpled. “He’s gone, Jack. He left a note, saying he was going home.”
Jack had to fight the urge to rub the pain in his chest away. “Did he say he’d be back?”
She nodded. “But I don’t think he should be alone, Jack. He’s in so much pain…
He gathered her into his arms, trying to give her comfort that Jack himself couldn’t take. This was his fault. He’d pushed Ianto away, and now he was gone without saying goodbye in person. “We just need to give him time, Tosh.”
“I know,” she whispered. She clung to him for a moment, the pulled away, her eyes going to Gwen. “I can’t believe you think you’re the heart here,” she accused. “If you were, you’d have been helping to comfort your teammate, instead of stabbing him in the back.”
Gwen looked shocked at Toshiko’s tone. Jack could understand; his quiet computer genius didn’t often let he temper loose, but she was fiercely loyal to her friends, and chief among those was a certain dragon.
“I think you should go home, Gwen,” Jack suggested, although in tone it was more an order. “Go spend the day with Rhys. Think about what you have, and what others have lost. Remember, don’t let it slide.”
She looked like she wanted to argue, but Jack wasn’t going to deal with her anymore. He turned his back on her, putting his arm around Tosh and leading her to the chair opposite his desk. He leaned against the edge, so he could be closer to her. “You going to be okay?” he asked her quietly.
Toshiko nodded. “It’s just hard, you know? He’s my best friend and I can’t help him.”
There was an audible huff, then Jack saw Gwen turn and leave. He’d never felt more relieved. “I know, Tosh.” He sighed, raking his hands through his hair. “I really stuffed this up, didn’t I?”
“I wish I could say no, Jack…”
“No. If I hadn’t alienated him, then he might have come to us when he’d found her. It wasn’t that he didn’t trust you and Owen, it was that he didn’t trust me.”
She laughed sadly. “When I started here, there was one constant I thought would never change: Ianto’s belief in you.”
“I miss it, Tosh. I miss him. How am I going to make this up to him?” He’d had a lot of time to think about what Ianto had said, and he’d had to admit to himself that the dragon had been absolutely right in his assessment of Jack’s ‘aloneness’.
“I think, right now he’s afraid that you won’t forgive him for betraying you. He…told me what happened in the hoard room.” She looked down at her hands, which were twisting in her lap.
Jack reached over and covered them with one of his. “No, I was the one who betrayed him.” He leaned back, snorting a laugh. “Sure, for about a minute I was in shock at his leaving with her, but then I realized that he knew I knew how to get out of that room. He knew I’d get out and follow them.” It was a safety measure on the door: a small toggle just under the interior lock, that would open the door from the inside in case anyone got trapped inside. It had been one of the things that Ianto had liked about the large chamber when he’d been trying to decide where to put his hoard. He hadn’t cared about being locked out…but being locked in by accident would have been embarrassing, he’d maintained.
Shaking his head, Jack said sadly, “I would have done it for him if he’d let me.”
“I’m sure he knows that.” Tosh grasped his hand in hers.
They stayed like that for about a minute, then Jack took his hand back and stood up straight. “We just need to give him time,” he said. “He’ll go home and mourn, and then come back.”
“I just wish he hadn’t left before I woke up.”
“Maybe he thought you’d try to talk him out of going?”
“Maybe.” Tosh shrugged. “I do think I would have reminded him that he didn’t have to go through this alone.” She stood. “I’m going to get some work done. I know you gave us all the day off, but I need to do something to keep my mind occupied.”
Jack nodded. “Don’t work too hard,” he cautioned. “And leave when you feel like it.”
“I won’t…and I will.” She stood, smiling slightly. Then she frowned. “We’re going to make this all right, aren’t we?”
He pulled her into another hug. “Yeah, Tosh. We’re gonna make this all right.”
It was a vow he was determined to keep.
She was halfway to the door when Jack called her back. She turned, looking at him expectantly.
He thought about what Ianto had once said…about trust. He remembered that night, standing on the Millennium Center roof, discussing Gwen’s hiring and matters of trust. He’d tried to bully Ianto into trusting Gwen…and he’d refused. This morning, Jack had gotten a glimpse as to why.
But the dragon had also pointed out that Jack had known Toshiko and Owen a lot longer than he had Gwen, and that he’d never told them the trust about his immortality. Of course, Gwen wouldn’t have known if she hadn’t seen Jack resurrect, but the captain hadn’t told him that.
If Jack could claim to trust Gwen with his secret, why couldn’t he do the same with two people he’s known for years?
Trust – or lack thereof – was what had caused the mess last night.
It was time Jack trusted. And he could start, now.
“Tosh, there’s something I need to tell you…”