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Myfanwy 2

April 2018

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Myfanwy 2

Gypsies of the Rift - Chapter Nine

Gypsies of the Rift - Chapter Nine
Author: Milady  Dragon
Series: Dragon-Verse
Rating: PG-13
Pairing(s): Jack/Ianto; Gwen/Owen, Owen/Diane
Warnings: Language, Violence, Suicidal Situations
Spoilers: Up through S1 E10, "Out of Time"
Disclaimer:  I don't own Torchwood, I would have treated it better.
Author's note:  This is the Dragon-Verse version of "Out of Time".   As usual, the dating for this was taken from several fan-made timelines and the TARDIS Index File.  The information on the de Havilland Dragon Rapide (yes, that was the actual plane in the show, I didn't make this up!) came from a sudden spurt of Google-Fu and the ever helpful TARDIS Index File. 


Summary:  Three victims of the Rift come through from 1953, and it's up to the team to help them fit into the current year.  Jack and Ianto find themselves sympathizing with John Ellis, and they take it upon themselves to help get integrated into his new time.




 

23 December 2007

 

Jack sighed, closing the office door behind him, leaving a grieving Owen inside.

He was met by three pair of very curious eyes.  The three women were standing around Toshiko’s workstation, grouped together in a formation that Jack often thought of as a ‘gossip huddle’.  He shook his head, indicating that it was none of their business.  If Owen wanted them to know, then it would be  up to him to say anything.

Where this depth of emotion had come from, Jack had no idea.  He’d known Owen Harper for three years, and in all that time he’d only ever seen Owen that upset once: when Katie had died.  It didn’t make sense; Diane wasn’t dead, she’d just left to go to another country.  There were ways to keep in touch over those distances, and who knew what would happen in the future?   There was no real reason for him to be acting this way.

Jack flatly refused to feel any sort of guilt for introducing Diane to his friend.  He hadn’t about to curtail her freedom; the captain knew how that felt, to have one’s freedom taken away from them.  It had happened, back when he’d first run into Torchwood; there was no way he was about to make anyone stay when they obviously didn’t want to.  In fact, a part of him had always imagined Diane leaving for some adventure.  This…infatuation Owen had with her, Jack hadn’t taken all that seriously.

Ianto had been right to worry.  Only they’d both worried about the wrong person in that particular relationship.

“Jack,” the dragon’s voice came over his comm., “John’s taken my car keys.”

Jack cursed.  Now what? 

He headed over to the closest workstation not surrounded by overly curious females, pulling up the GPS on Ianto’s car.  One glance told him everything he needed to know. 

He keyed open his own comm.  “He’s heading home.  Meet me on the Plass; I’ll bring the SUV around.”

Ianto acknowledged as Jack headed back into his office to grab his coat.  Owen was still curled up in the chair, looking miserable, the glass of whiskey that Jack had poured for him clutched in both hands.  The immortal touched his shoulder on the way out, making sure the door was shut once more.  “No one bother him,” he warned the trio.  “I mean no one.  This also means you, Gwen,” he pointed his finger at her, and Gwen managed to look innocent.  But Jack knew her, and knew that she’d be in that room the moment he was gone.  “Toshiko, I’m counting on you to let Owen have his privacy for as long as he wants it.”

The technician nodded even as Gwen looked put out.  Owen didn’t need her brand of solicitude right now, especially when this had to do with the woman who’d replaced her in Owen’s bed.  Jack wasn’t sure if Gwen was even aware of the situation, and the last thing he needed in his Hub was a domestic like that.  He honestly didn’t think Owen could take the confrontation at this point.

Jack raced to the garage, backing the SUV out before he even had the door closed.  He roared out of the underground car park, twisting the wheel and purposely driving the vehicle onto the Plass, where Ianto waited by the invisible lift.  The dragon climbed into the passenger seat, doing up his seatbelt as Jack took them away from the bay and toward John’s old home.

“I don’t like this,” he muttered.  “Why would he take your car out there, when he has the bus route?”

“Your guess is as good as mine,” Ianto answered.  “How did he even know I put the keys in that drawer in the first place?”

Jack didn’t know the answer to that, or to anything else.  John had been so distraught over his son, that anything was possible.  Was he just going out there to say goodbye…or was it something more ominous?

He knew which way his thoughts were going. 

In the silence that permeated the vehicle, he knew where Ianto’s thoughts were, as well.

It seemed to take forever to get there, but with Jack breaking every traffic law possible it really wasn’t all that long.  The house looked well and truly abandoned, windows boarded up and weeds growing up in the yard. 

There was no sign of Ianto’s car.

Jack pulled up out front, and both got out.  The neighborhood was quiet; only the sound of a barking dog from down the street gave the impression that people actually lived in the area.  Jack turned in place, frowning.  “All right…I give up.  Where is he?”

Ianto was frowning.  “Can you smell it?”  He wrinkled his nose.

Jack inhaled deeply, trying to catch what the dragon had.  His 51st century senses were a bit sharper, but Ianto’s were even more so, and it took him a moment to realize what Ianto was on about. 

Car exhaust.

Then his ears picked up the unmistakable sound of a car engine running.  There was nothing on the street…

Jack knew almost in the exact second Ianto must have, because they both headed toward the house’s closed garage.

“It’s locked,” Jack growled, trying to wrench the door up.  His heart was racing; he was angry at himself.  He should have known something like this might happen; and now they were trapped outside, with no way of saving the man inside.

“Let me.”

Jack stepped back, as Ianto’s body began to glow.  In seconds, the dragon stood next to Jack, and he slammed a hands’ set of claws into the garage door.  The wood creaked alarmingly as the dragon flexed his fingers, and the razor-sharp claws tore into the barrier as if it was made of paper.   He added his second set of front claws, making even more of a shredded mess, and settled himself back on his haunches to gain leverage.

The strong smell of exhaust billowed out of the destroyed door as the dragon yanked backward, tearing it from its frame.  Jack coughed harshly, holding his sleeve over his nose and mouth as he darted into the haze-filled garage.  Through the fumes he could see Ianto’s car, the engine running.  An indistinct form was in the front seat, and the immortal grabbed the door handle, hoping that John hadn’t locked himself in.

He hadn’t.

Jack pulled the door open.  John’s head was lolling, but he was still conscious, judging from his reaction to Jack’s sudden appearance.  Jack reached in for the man; John tried to fight, but the carbon monoxide had already begun to take effect, and the effort was far too weak to stop Jack from pulling him from the car. 

He hauled the man out of the garage, practically throwing him onto the ground.  Jack went back inside to shut off the car, and by the time he was back out Ianto had changed back into his human form, and was kneeling beside the hacking form of John Ellis, trying to help him clear his airway.   “Let me go,” the man was begging weakly, trying to bat Ianto’s hands away.

“You can’t just throw your life away,” Jack said, kneeling on the other side of John. 

“I’m not as strong as you are,” he whimpered through the harsh coughing.  “You don’t understand.”

Hadn’t John heard anything that Jack had told him?  “I do,” he answered, unintentional anger coloring his words.  “I’m from the future; trapped in the past!  My time is gone, and yet it hasn’t even arrived.  I’ve lost everything that I knew, including my family.  You’re not alone in this!  Why can’t you understand that?”

John was shaking his head in denial, and Jack felt even more angry.  “Both Ianto and I have lost our entire families.  At least you still have your son!”

“My son?  He’s just a shell!  There’s nothing left of him!”

“But you’d still leave him, even though you spent so much effort in convincing us to find him?”  Ianto’s own voice was harsh, anger swimming in his eyes.

“He won’t even know I was here!”

“You make such a big deal of family,” the dragon growled, “and yet, when it gets bad, you’re abandoning your only son, who needs you!”  Jack wondered if Ianto was going to shake the man, but his lover refrained.  “If I had any member of my family back, even if they didn’t remember me, I’d be there for them!”  Ianto let go of his grip on the man, and stood up.   “You’re a selfish bastard, John Ellis.  Maybe you do deserve to die.”

Jack’s eyes widened at that.  He wanted to say something, berate the dragon for his words…but couldn’t.  Ianto was right.  John was being selfish, instead of taking a chance to be with his son for as long as he could be, for starting a new life and possibly finding happiness.   But no one deserved death.  “You’re still young,” he said.  “You can find a place in the world, possibly start a new family.  Have a life!”

“I did all that,” John argued.  “Years ago…when it was my time.  Don’t condemn me to live.”

“Condemn you?”  Ianto fairly shouted, rounding on him once more.  Condemn you?  Don’t you know what a gift you have?  Yes, the Rift took you away from all you knew, but at least you didn’t lose your entire family – your entire race!   You have something left!  You have a son who needs you, even if he doesn’t remember you.  And you’re just going to throw that all away, because you can’t deal with it all?”

Jack was startled by the outburst.  He hadn’t seen this coming, not from his usually calm lover. “Ianto…”

“No, Jack, I’ve had enough,” the dragon snapped.  “We’ve put up with a lot from this man!  We tried to help him as best we could, and he throws it back into our faces like the ungrateful bastard that he is.  He thinks he’s lost so much, but he hasn’t.  He has no idea what true loss is!” 

With those words, Ianto’s form began to glow once more.  Jack heard John gasp in surprise, but kept his eyes firmly on his lover. 

The glow faded, and in Ianto’s place was the dragon.  Those ancient blue eyes stared down at John Ellis, and Jack could feel the man cringing against him.  “What the hell are you?” John gasped.

“I am the last of my kind,” the dragon rumbled.  “Every one of my people were murdered by humans, until only I was left.  I have lost more than you can possibly imagine, John Ellis, and yet I do not whine about it, or attempt to take my own life.  I will be alone…forever.  I can never have the intimacy that a true dragon mating can bring.  I can never have children, or have the company of dragon kind.  I am alone in this world.”

Jack felt his heart break.  The pain in the dragon’s voice was terrible to hear, and he longed to wrap his arms about that long neck and simply hold Ianto through it all. 

“But,” the dragon’s voice went soft, “I didn’t give up.  I found my place in this world, defending the very people who hunted my kind to extinction.  I found a new love – “ his eyes met Jack’s, and the emotion in them nearly choked him “ – and I found a happiness I didn’t know I ever would have again.  I didn’t give up, John Ellis.  Even after everything I knew was gone…I didn’t give up.  I lived through the blood and the death and the nightmares and the loneliness.”

“The difference being,” Jack added, “is that you have other human beings around you, wanting to help you.  You have a son who needs you.  You can have a life that anyone would be proud of.  But you can’t give up.”

John was struggling in Jack’s grasp, and he let the time-displaced man go.  John staggered to his feet, and slowly approached the dragon.  He raised a hand, letting it rest on a scaly shoulder.  The dragon simply watched him.  “Do you now understand?” Ianto asked quietly.  “Do you now know how much Jack and I can sympathize with your plight?  We simply want to help you, and we think we know how.  Will you let us try?”

John shook his head.  “I don’t know if I can…”

Jack  joined them, putting his own hand on John’s shoulder.  “Let us try.”

He looked between immortal and dragon, a war of emotions going on in his tired eyes.

Finally, he nodded.

And Jack hugged him, even though his clothes smelled of exhaust and death.

 

 



Comments

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God that was brilliant, you could really feel Ianto's pain. Thank you!
Thank you! I was hoping that you would, so I'm glad it worked. :)
Well that was an interesting twist

Yay know Jack does have a point about Owen's reaction...wonder if there's a reason for it
Glad you thought so!

And there could be...that would be telling. *winks*
Well that's better! A bit of tough love can go a long way - especially with the stubborn. I really loved this chapter - a better conclusion than the episode. Life affirming rather than morbidly melancholy. Well done! :D
John needed a shock...and he certainly got one!

Glad you liked it. I did want to try to save them all if I could. Thanks!
*hugs Ianto* Oh, beautifully done, hon. :) I've always wished Jack hadn't felt so damned sorry for himself and fought harder for John in this episode. He let his own desire for death guide him instead of encouraging John to live. You did exactly the opposite here and it was wonderful!
Thank you! I'm really glad you liked it. You're right, when I started to change Jack's attitude, things just changed. All it took was the love of a good dragon. *grins*

Oh I love this Ianto so much. Well done for goingoff at John. He is a selfish bastard.
Yes, John was, I agree. He simply needed a shock, and he really got one!

Thanks!
GOOD LORD MAN! Listen to them!!
I don't think he had much choice... *laughs*
one of the most beautiful twists ever written for this episode!lovely!
Thanks! So glad you liked it. :)
That was brilliant!
Thank you so much! :)
In complete agreement with remuslives23. This was wonderful.

I'm also amused that Jack needs to remind Gwen to give Owen some space. If she had any real empathy, if she had made an effort to get to know Owen, she'd know that.
Thank you!

Oh, Jack has Gwen's number, all right! *grins*
I'm so glad they got through to him, and I really wanted to hug Ianto.
Gxxx
I wanted to hug him too, as I was writing this. But he did manage to get through to John, even if it meant bringing up all his old pain.

Thank you!

PS I have an open doc on my computer called "Death Takes a Holiday"... *winks*
Aww knew you'd find a way. Poor Ianto all that he's lost - perhaps John will realise now that things can get better. Lovely stuff.
*hugs*
K
xx
I had to, because this time Jack wasn't the depressed person he was in the actual show, and he'd never let John do it. John gets it now.

Thanks, hon, *hugs*
Oh wow, emotion just jumping off my screen. Great way of twisting the plot!
Thank you. I'm glad all the emotion came through, I was hoping just for that.

Glad you liked it. :)
Love this turn on the original story! So much better then letting him die.
Thank you! I just couldn't let him die, especially since Jack wasn't the same depressed guy he was in the story.

Glad you liked it.
very powerful chapter. hugs owen, wanting to tell him him diane lives and that planes can travel many places these days.
Thank you.

Owen's behavior...well, he's not thinking straight at the moment. We'll see how that plays out.
magnific !
I love Ianto's dialogue: very convincing!
Diane goes up in Alaska so she can come back!
Thanks!

Glad you enjoyed it. :)
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