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Myfanwy 2

October 2019



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Myfanwy 2

The Time Walker's Gambit - Chapter Three

The Time Walker's Gambit - Chapter Three
Author: Milady Dragon
Series: Dragon-Verse
Rating: PG-13
Pairing(s): Jack/Ianto; Gwen/Rhys; Jack/Jack (1941) (implied)
Warnings: Language, Violence, Angst
Spoilers: Up through S1 E13, "End of Days"
Disclaimer:  I don't own Torchwood, I would have treated it better.
Author's note:  This is the Dragon-Verse version of "End of Days".  As always, dating is taken from fan chronologies, especially from Ianto's Desktop, and the TARDIS Index File. 

Summary:  With Jack acting out of character and the team uncertain of its own thoughts and actions, can Ianto figure out what's going on in time to stop a disaster?


22 January 2008


The moment Toshiko walked into the Hub that morning, she knew something was wrong. 

She glanced at Owen, who had come in with her after the pair had stayed over at Ianto’s last night.  It had only made sense, after the trio had been up talking most of the night, trying to figure out what they were going to do about Jack.  Owen had been all for tossing him into a cell then starting to deprogram him, but Ianto had overruled him, saying that while Jack was acting oddly he was still competent to lead the team.  The dragon had said, though, that he would consider it if Jack ever became a threat to the team. 

They would investigate first; Ianto had intended on asking Kathy Swanson if she’d check out some leads for them, and Toshiko hoped she’d agree.  Swanson was a good cop, and could handle herself, although Ianto did have concerns that, whoever had gotten to them all would try at her.  It would be up to the detective if she would help.

She and Owen had left Ianto’s in plenty of time to visit their flats and get changed, and then drove in together.  It felt good to have someone at her back, and Toshiko appreciated Owen’s presence as they entered the Hub together.  She shivered; overnight, the Hub had seemed to become more a place of shadows than it ever had been, and it bothered her that the place no longer felt like home to her.

Owen must have felt it too, judging from the small shudder he gave.  “Still think we need to have an intervention,” he murmured in her ear, before heading down toward the autopsy bay.

Toshiko was beginning to agree with him.

She glanced toward Jack’s office; he was there, seated at his desk, doing something with his computer.  Before all this happened, she would have teased him about internet porn, but now…she shivered again, moving to her own workstation and powering up the multiple monitors.

Tossing her bag under the desk, Toshiko ran her first checks of the day, mostly CCTV and Rift logs from the previous evening.   She frowned; the internal CCTV didn’t seem to be running, and judging from the system it had been down since a little after she and Owen had left the night before. 

Another glance toward Jack’s office cemented the thought in her mind that it must have been Jack who’d disabled the cameras, and while normally she would have assumed it was him and Ianto up for some fun, since she’d spent the night with the dragon Toshiko knew that wasn’t the reason. 

Jack was hiding something.

Since she couldn’t see what was going on with the CCTV, Toshiko pulled up the scan logs for the night.   She flipped through the various types of scan, finally settling for the heat scans, and keeping a surreptitious watch on her boss, Toshiko fast forwarded, tracking Jack’s movements over the previous night.

It really didn’t help; Jack appeared to have been all over the Hub last night, and so Toshiko shut it down.  She turned instead to computer activity, wondering just what he was up to.

Toshiko didn’t get very far when the Rift alarm went off. 

Her eyes went wide as she took in the information her computers were giving her.  This wasn’t possible…

“What is it?” Jack’s voice made her jump.  He’d appeared at her shoulder as if by magic.

“It’s the Rift,” she said, wanting to take comfort in his presence and not being able to.  Her mouth was dry as she did a second, then a third check, on what her monitors were saying.  “It…the Rift, it’s splintering.”

This shouldn’t have been happening.  The Manipulator kept the Rift as calm as it could, and anything with this strength and outreach should simply have not been possible.  There were cracks appearing all over Cardiff, branching out from the Hub itself and into the neighboring country, several faster moving cracks flowing across the Channel and into mainland Europe. 

This was impossible.

“This is what happens when you mess with the Rift,” Jack said ominously.  “It should never have been opened.”

Toshiko shook her head.  She knew her manipulator program, and she knew exactly what it was capable of doing, and this wasn’t it.  If there’d been the slightest mistake in the calculations…but no, there hadn’t been.  She’d checked after Ianto had left yesterday, and the dragon had done everything absolutely correct. 

“You’re saying Ianto and me shouldn’t have bothered bringing you back then?” Owen challenged, standing next to Toshiko in a show of support.

“We would have been fine,” Jack snapped.  “What are two lives against the destruction of the world?  Opening the Rift has caused any cracks to widen, and to grow, and for Time to seep through.”

“We’ll find a way to stop it,” Toshiko said, sounding more confident than she actually felt.   “I’m going to run every scanning program we have, and see what I can find out.”  Her fingers flying over the keyboard, she put her plan into action, bringing the mainframe up to full computing power.   There had to be another reason for this; something that didn’t have anything to do with her equations.

Toshiko was proud of her work.  She was very good at what she did, and wasn’t afraid to say so.  Ianto and Jack had often called her a genius, and it wasn’t far off.  While she’d never had her I.Q. tested, it had to be very high indeed. 

But, she wasn’t above admitting her mistakes.   If she did something wrong, she would own up to it.  If her equations had caused the enormity of the Rift fractures, she would say so.  But as she ran her simulations she could see that what she’d done had worked the way it was supposed to have, and that her tiny opening hadn’t contributed to what was going on.

It meant she had to find out what was going on.

“Toshiko,” Jack interrupted. 

“I need to figure this out,” she answered, in far too harsh a tone than she usually used with her boss and friend.

“We know what caused it,” Jack put in.  “I want a meeting in the boardroom in five minutes.”

A meeting wasn’t going to help the situation.  “I don’t want to waste time,” she growled, setting another simulation running.  “We can’t ask the world to stop ending while we talk about it!”

A hand landed on her shoulder, spinning her around in her chair.  Jack’s usually friendly blue eyes were glaring at her in a way that he’d never done before.  “We know what caused the splintering,” he reiterated.  “Now we need to know how to stop it.”

Toshiko shrugged his hand away.  “What do you think I’m trying to fucking do?” she snapped.  “I’m trying to work out just how to fix this before the world explodes!”

“Back off, Harkness,” Owen stepped in, taking Toshiko’s side, for which she was grateful.  “You wanna stop the Rift, then let Tosh do her fucking job.”

Jack’s eyes glittered.  “Is this insubordination from the pair of you?”

Toshiko’s mouth fell open, and she didn’t have to look at Owen to know he wore the same expression.  “We’re professionals, Jack,” she said.   “You hired us to do a job, and we’re trying to do it.  You want to know how to stop the Rift?  Then I’m the one you need working on it, and I can’t do that if you’re calling useless meetings while the planet goes to hell!”

“Toshiko is right, sir.”

She would have hugged Ianto at that point, if not for the fact that he was facing down Jack.  Toshiko had no idea when he’d arrived in the Hub, but she was so happy to have him backing her up in this. 

Jack turned away from her.  Ianto was standing in just inside the main area of the Hub, and it was obvious that he’d come in from the garage entrance.  The dragon’s back was ramrod straight, the black of his suit echoing the mood within the Hub.  He was wearing the professional mask that Toshiko hadn’t seen him wearing ever since he and Jack had gotten together officially, and she wanted to cry at seeing it now.

“You hired us all for a reason, Captain” the dragon went on.  “Let us do our jobs.”

Jack stalked toward Ianto, stopping just within his personal space.  “Your job was to look after the Rift, not tear it open.”

Ianto looked Jack right in the eye, and Toshiko knew just how hard that had to be for him.  “I did only what my commanding officer has always told us to do: never leave anyone behind.  And I would do it again if the chance presented itself.”

“Even though it means you’ve just condemned the world to destruction?” Jack challenged.

“Yes,” the dragon answered.  “Even if it means that.  Especially if it meant saving my best friend and the man I love.”

He said it with such a tone of tragic pride, that it broke Toshiko’s heart.  Owen wasn’t unaffected, and she guessed he was thinking about Katie, and Diane.  He would have been willing to tear the Rift apart to bring Diane back, when he’d thought she’d been taken by it.  He’d admitted as much, during their talk last night.

“Even if that man doesn’t love you back?” Jack asked, still challenging.

Ianto raised his head even higher.  “Yes, even that.”  The pain in his ancient eyes was indescribable.

“Then I think you need to fix your mistake,” Jack said, taking a step back.

Toshiko opened her mouth to defend her Second, but a look from Ianto stopped her.  “If you’ll let us do our jobs,” he said, almost serenely, “then perhaps we can do just that.”

“Fine,” Jack answered.  “I’ll have to try to at least explain this mess to the PM and UNIT.”  With that, he stalked toward his office, and the distinct sound of the glass rattling as he slammed the door shut reverberated throughout the Hub.

Ianto joined Toshiko and Owen at the workstation.  She reached out and took her friend’s hand, and Ianto squeezed it back, accepting the comfort.  Owen rested a hand on his black-clad shoulder as well, in a show of solidarity that had been missing from the Hub lately.  “Show me what you’ve got,” he said.

Toshiko proceeded to do so.  She brought up all the readings she was getting, and together she and the dragon examined everything that they were being shown.  “The equations didn’t do this,” she averred, standing behind her work.  “Whatever is splintering the Rift is something completely different.”

“I believe you, Tosh,” Owen said.  “Jack’s talking outta his arse, if he thinks getting the two of you back is the reason for all this.”

Ianto was looking confused.  “This is not possible,” he murmured, leaning over her shoulder to enter a few commands of his own into the mainframe.  The readings stayed the same.

“That’s what I think too,” she answered.  “This shouldn’t be happening, with what you did to get us back.”

The dragon shook his head.  “No, that’s not what I mean.  What I mean is we shouldn’t be getting these readings.”  His eyes suddenly changed to their dragon aspect.  “Tosh, do you have your personal PDA with you?”

“Of course.”  She always carried it with her.  Reaching under her desk, Toshiko pulled her bag out and rummaged around inside for her PDA. 

“I want you to run a scan for Rift energy,” Ianto said, once she had it in hand.   “And don’t let Jack see you do it.”

Confused, Toshiko held the device below the level of her desk, switching it on and running the scan.  Her eyes widened as she saw the results.  “What the hell?”

The PDA was reading normal, background Rift energy.

With the amount of splintering her computer was telling her, the place should have been saturated in Rift stuff. 

But there was nothing.

Ianto was nodding.  “The Rift isn’t out of control,” he said.  “If it were, I’d be able to feel it.”

Of course.  With Ianto’s extrasensory perception of the Rift, he should have felt the wildness of the energy.

Toshiko swung back to her terminals, anger urging her on to find out what the hell was happening.  Why were her computers giving her false readings?  Had someone hacked into their systems? 

When it hit her, her hands froze on her keyboard.  She looked at Ianto.  “Jack did this, didn’t he?”

“What the hell?” Owen exclaimed.

“It has to be,” Ianto said.  “It’s the only explanation.”

“But why?” the medic questioned.  “Why the fuck would he want to screw with us like that?”

“Jack is out of control,” Toshiko said. 

“It’s time we relieved him of his command,” Owen asserted.  “This has gone on long enough.”

“Wait.”  Ianto put his hand on Owen’s arm.  His face had gone pale. 

“Why the hell for?  He’s obviously off his head.   I can certify him non compos mentis, if needed – “

“That’s not it,” Ianto growled. 

“Then what is it?” Toshiko pressed.

Ianto’s face went from pained to furious in a single second.  “The man in that office isn’t Jack Harkness.”



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Oh snap. That's a cliffe. We need more.
Glad you liked it. *laughs evilly*

I'll get more up soon. :)
WHAT! You had to leave it there. Great chapter!
Well, sure...because I'm evil. *laughs*

Argh! Cliffhanger! What are you doing to me?!
Um...keeping you coming back for more? *laughs manically*
But ... you threw that bomb and left us waiting ....
okay =(
I did, didn't I? *laughs manically*

More soon. :)
And there it is....
Yep, you're right. *grins*
*blinks* Evil ending, evil.
Why, thank you! *bows*
Well, I certainly wasn't expecting that! Geez woman, you sure do know how to leave us all grasping at those spindly trees as we dangle off the edge of the cliff...
That's good! *laughs manically*

I know it was a bad one, but hang on. Next chapter should be up later today. :)
Ahhh. Didn't think of that. Clever.
Thank you!
You are evil, do you hear me? Evil, I say! But bloody brilliant, too. I did NOT see that one coming. I'll be eagerly awaiting the next chapter, as always. This sort of evil genius is worth waiting for!
And I don't even need to practice at being evil. *laughs manically*

Thank you, so glad you didn't see it coming. The next chapter should be up later today, I believe. I do hope it's worth the wait. :)
Great chapter, but you are killing me.
Thanks, but I can't kill my readers!
*snucks behind cliffi and bites him*
Bad Cliffie don't leave us here! BAD BAD BAD! *bites him some more*
Ouch! LOL!

More should be up later today. :)
Cliffy evilness! It's Bilis , isn't it? WHERE'S JACK!!??
We'll see who it is...soon. And where Jack is? *laughs evilly*
Uh... what? OMG! OMG! :O I love love love that twist. There is a reason the evil twin is a science fiction staple. So... where is Jack? I think that I am a bit slow on the uptake. I never considered that Jack wasn't Jack, I just thought that he had his brain scrambled. BTW in the series, they have a machine called the Rift Manipulator, yet when they manipulate the rift with the Rift Manipulator, everything goes to hell. It seems to me that other than a plot device the practicality of that piece of machinery is little better than useless. I love the way that things are going both better and worse this time around. It is quite the exercise of the imagination to think what would change if one character was a little different. I suppose that is why I love AU's. Great chapter, I can't wait for the next one. :D
I do love the evil twin stuff. *laughs*

Well, you weren't the only one who didn't see it, in fact the vast majority didn't, so don't feel behind on the uptake. I'm just glad I could fool you all!

Well, the Manipulator also kinda keeps things from going completely out of control, which is why only small stuff comes through the Rift. If you turn it off...Armageddon! Hm... *thinks hard about Armageddon*

Next chapter should be up later today. :)
Oh! So cruel to leave it there!! lol

Yes I know...but the next chapter should be up later today. :)
OH they so HAVE to fix Jack and find out what the hell is going on!
We'll see all about Jack...soon. As for what's going on...well, that's soon too. *grins*
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