?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Myfanwy 2

January 2018

S M T W T F S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031   

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Myfanwy 2

The Ghost and Mr. Jones - Chapter Two

Title: The Ghost and Mr. Jones
Author: milady_dragon
Beta: cjharknessgirl
Prompt: "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir"
Pairing(s): Jack/Ianto, Ianto/Lisa (past), Rhiannon/Johnny (mentioned), Rhys/Gwen (mentioned), OMC/Anwen Williams (mentioned)
Rating: PG-13
Warning(s): Language, character death
Spoilers:  For Doctor Who S1, for all series of Torchwood as applies to Jack's background
Disclaimer:  Torchwood is owned by the BBC and Russell T. Davies.  "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir"  is owned by 20th Century Fox and was written by Philip Dunn, and a novel by R.A. Dick (Josephine Leslie).
Author's Note: This was written for Reel Torchwood Round Four, and is the first of two stories I've written for this challenge.  I've wanted to write this for a while, since I adore this movie and especially the performance given by the wonderful Rex Harrison.


Summary:  After losing his wife, Ianto Jones and his son move to the village of Aberaeron and into the isolated Spitfire Cottage.  Soon he's dealing with clinging relatives...and the ghost of Captain Jack Harkness, the original builder of the cottage.  Little does Ianto know just how much of an impact the dead World War Two hero will have on his life.




Chapter Two

The first thing Ianto did when he and Gareth moved in was to have internet set up.

The cottage might have been ready for occupancy, but there were some changes Ianto wanted to make, and that included having internet access. 

Ianto didn’t trust anyone else but his friend, Toshiko Sato, to do it.  Toshiko had worked for the Ministry of Defence until her mother had been kidnapped by terrorists and she was blackmailed into stealing for them.  However, she’d gone to her supervisors instead, and after a bit of undercover work the culprits had been captured and Toshiko had been pissed off enough to quit.  Now, she ran her own software business in London, which was where Ianto had met her. 

“This place is fantastic,” she said, looking around the front as Ianto escorted her up to the cottage.   “I bet Rhiannon was pissed about you and Gareth moving this far away.”

That was an understatement.  Rhiannon had been livid, and hadn’t spoken to him the entire trip back to Cardiff.  Not that he’d much cared; the silence had given him time to plan the move.   Once back in Cardiff she’d tried to gang up on him with his mother, but Ianto wasn’t to be talked out of it.  And, once Gareth had seen the place, he’d been excited about moving to Aberaeron.   He was too much like his father, in that he enjoyed privacy and could always keep himself entertained.  Lisa had been the outgoing one of the family, and she’d always been chivvying her ‘boys’ out for family nights.

Not that either of them didn’t have friends; Gareth had a small circle of school chums, and he’d been a little upset about leaving them, but in this day and age they could talk over the internet any time they wanted.  And Ianto had his friends as well, including Toshiko.  Using instant message and webcam was a lot cheaper than running up the phone bill.

“Let me show you around,” Ianto offered, opening the door. 

He gave her the tour.  Already the place was looking more like a home; the furniture Ianto had decided to keep fit into the old-fashioned décor, except for the large television that took up nearly the one wall in the lounge.   The butcher-block kitchen table looked as if it had always been there, and Gareth’s room was already wall-papered with his sports posters.  Gareth greeted Toshiko with a hug, showing her his room proudly, and where he wanted his computer set up.  

Toshiko made notes, then promised to get it just right for him.  Gareth beamed, then went back to playing the small handheld game he’d been busy with when they’d come in.

Then Ianto showed her the master bedroom, and Toshiko made appreciative noises.  She headed straight for the telescope, grinning.  “I didn’t know you were into astronomy.”

“I’m not,” Ianto shrugged.  “That came with the house.  But, you know…I’m seriously considering it.  The stars here at night are amazing.”

“There are some great online resources for it,” she said. 

Ianto nodded.  “I’ll take a look when things get settled more.  Is it going to be a problem getting it all set up?”

“No, not at all.  Wireless is really your best bet, but despite the fact you’re out in the middle of nowhere you won’t have any trouble getting signal with a small satellite dish.”  She went on, explaining what she’d need to do, and Ianto agreed to the work.

 “Hey,” she said, once she was done, “that watercolour looks great over the fireplace.”

Ianto glanced at the mentioned artwork.  It was a meadow scene, and had been a gift from Lisa’s parents.  She hadn’t much liked it, and it had been consigned to the hall closet for the duration of their marriage, only getting to see sunlight when her folks were visiting.   Ianto himself thought it was lovely, and had been disappointed that it hadn’t been on display in their flat in London.    “It does,” he agreed.  “Actually when I bought this place, there’d been an old portrait of the Captain there.  Handsome man, but I felt a bit uncomfortable with it staring down at me when I was in bed.”

“Tell me about this mysterious Captain,” Toshiko urged, curling up on the bed and making herself comfortable.  “You know I love a good ghost story.”

Ianto rolled his eyes good-naturedly, joining her.  He’d have to find a chair to put in front of the fireplace.  “Not so much really,” he said.  “Although Rhys Williams was right – the man was a real World War 2 hero.”  He’d checked out the library references on the builder of Spitfire Cottage, and had been impressed.  “He won several citations for bravery, one of them for supposedly saving London from a bomb that he single-handedly disarmed before it could devastate a large chunk of the city.  He retired here after the War, made quite a name for himself as a rake about the town.  When he died, stories say that he came back here after death, because he’d loved this place so much.  In fact, rumour has it if he doesn’t like you being here, he makes your life pretty miserable.”

A sudden crash had them both jumping up.  Ianto’s heart was hammering, and he immediately saw the painting had fallen off the wall, clattering onto the hearth and cracking the frame. 

He moved to the painting, carefully checking the damage done.  He’d have to get a new frame; this one was ruined.  The wire on the back was intact, so it hadn’t let go that way, and he knew how strong the metal hook that had been drilled into the wall was. 

 “What happened?” Toshiko asked, looking at the frame.

“The Captain happened,” Ianto admitted.    

“You really believe in those stories?” she asked.

“This isn’t the only time something like this has happened,” he admitted.  “The first time I tried to hang this there, I came in and found it leaning against one of the andirons, the back of the painting toward the room.  The second time, it was face-down in the middle of the room.   I think the Captain got tired of being quiet about the fact that he didn’t like the picture.”

“No, there has to be another answer,” Toshiko said.  “I refuse to believe this house is haunted.”

The bedroom door slammed shut, and if it could have been playfully Ianto would have sworn that was what happened.

Toshiko’s eyes were as large as saucers.  “That must have been a draft – “

Ianto shook his head.  “The French doors are closed, as are the windows.” 

“No way…”                                                                                                                                    

He chuckled.  Little things had been happening ever since he and Gareth had moved in.  Lights turning on and off, footsteps on the upper floor when he and his son had been in the lounge…and once Ianto could have sworn he heard a laugh.  He hadn’t been a believer in ghosts…not until he’d purchased Spitfire Cottage.  Now he knew they did, indeed, exist.

“I could always bring up some equipment and we could have a real ghost hunt,” his friend suggested.

“Ah…no.  The Captain is fairly active enough.  I don’t relish making him mad and my coffee machine go flying across the kitchen.  We’ve come to an understanding…well, as much as you can with a ghost, and he only makes noise when I’ve done something to bother him.  I’ll probably have to make some sort of deal to get him to let you do the wireless installation.”

Ianto should have felt strange talking about someone like that who’d been dead for longer than he’d been alive, but for some reason he didn’t.  It was like the cottage itself; it felt normal, and in a strange way, welcoming.  He liked to think that the Captain approved of him a little, if the lack of damage done to Ianto’s belongings meant anything.

He pitched his voice toward the fireplace, tucking the painting under his arm.  “All right, Captain Harkness, I get the idea; you don’t like the painting.  But I’m not going to put your portrait back up.  You’re a handsome gentleman, but it’s bad enough knowing you’re around and can watch me sleep.  Having that portrait in here is just creepy.  So, please…if you could please take it easy on the furnishings?”

Not that he expected an answer, but he nearly jumped when a soft exhalation cooled his right ear, followed by a quiet huff of a laugh. 

“Ianto?” Toshiko asked, apparently noticing his sudden skittishness.

“It’s fine,” he reassured her.  “It’s just the Captain making sure I know he’s here.”

Like he was going to forget.

**********

Later that night, after Toshiko had left, Ianto found himself in the kitchen, standing at his brand new coffee machine, listening to the quiet hum of the machine and nibbling on a biscuit.  He couldn’t help but smile when the light bulb over the stove – the only light on in the room – began to flick on and off.  “If you’re trying to scare me, Captain,” he murmured, “you’re not doing such a good job.”

He could swear he heard a disgusted huff, and the light stayed off.  Luckily Ianto could see well enough by the moonlight coming in through the window. 

“Really,” he continued, turning and brandishing his half-eaten biscuit in the stove’s general direction, “if I didn’t know you were an adult when you died, I’d swear you were a little boy who’s used to getting his own way.  I’m a parent, Captain, so I do know how to deal with recalcitrant children.  Now, if you’d please put the light back on, I could make my coffee then go up to my room.  I have a book I’m interested in.”

Ianto waited for a few seconds, and almost sullenly the light came back on.  “Thank you,” he said, turning back to his making his coffee. 

He felt a cool breath on his neck, but didn’t react.  This had become one of the Captain’s best tricks, and he was getting somewhat used to it.  It had been the exception that he’d been startled up in the bedroom with Toshiko earlier; usually he just let the ghost do what he wanted. 

If anyone told Ianto that he’d be contentedly – well, not so much, really – co-habitating with an RAF Captain who just happened to be a ghost, he would have laughed.  Gareth didn’t seem to mind it all that much either, although Ianto had heard him berating the spirit once over something the Captain had moved. 

“You know,” he said, as he poured his final cup of coffee for the day, “it would be easier if you just showed yourself, if you can.  Then perhaps we can disagree like adults, instead of you playing your little jokes on me and breathing down my neck.”

“I thought you were enjoying my breathing down your neck,” answered an American-accented voice with a very recognizable pout in it.

Stifling a grin, Ianto turned.  Standing just out of arms’ reach was the same man who’d been in the portrait he’d taken down.  The RAF greatcoat draped about his body dramatically, and the man – or ghost – was standing almost to attention, the best to show off his chest.  Brilliant blue eyes sparkled even in the uncertain light from over the stove, and a sly smile decorated his lips. 

“Captain Jack Harkness,” the ghost introduced himself.  “And you are Ianto Jones.”

“I’d offer you a coffee,” Ianto said, “but I know you wouldn’t be able to drink it.”

“No,” the Captain answered, “but it smells amazing.”

“Thank you, Captain.”                                                           

“It’s Jack; after all, we’re living together.”

“Well, one of us is living.”

Jack snorted.  “Touché.”

“I do think we need to discuss work I’d like to do to the house,” Ianto said, taking a sip of his coffee.

The ghost didn’t look happy about that.  “What’s wrong with it the way it is?” he demanded.

“Well, there are a few modern conveniences I’d like to add.”

“Like this ‘internet’ thing you were talking about with the lovely Toshiko earlier?”

Ianto ignored the compliment for his friend, although it was nice to know the Captain had noticed.  “Like that, yes.   There are also a few other things, but we can negotiate those.  I’d appreciate if you wouldn’t be harassing Toshiko as she makes the improvements.”  Was he really bargaining with a ghost?  Just how surreal was this?

“Actually, I like her,” Jack leered pleasantly.   “She’s pretty…but not as pretty as you are.”

Ianto cursed himself as he blushed.   “That sort of talk isn’t going to get you anywhere, sir.”

“Oh, please call me ‘sir’ again!”

He was getting the feeling that Jack had flirted his way through life, and that mischievous look in the portrait’s eye was very much natural for the ghost.   He wondered just how much trouble he’d gotten in to for it, especially if he’d carried on like this while in the military.   Then he recalled just what some of the penalties had been if he’d flirted with the wrong person…

“Now, the way I see it,” Ianto went on, “is you believe that I’m living in your house – “

“You are!”

“I hate to point out that the dead don’t have property rights.”

“That’s not fair!”

“But that’s the way it is.”  Ianto found himself actually enjoying the repartee.  “Now, I’ve bought the house, and I’m perfectly willing to share it with you.  But you’re going to have to bend on a few things, just as I’m willing to compromise with you.  After all, I don’t want you to start throwing a poltergeist hissy fit.”

Jack smirked.  “You know, before you showed up, it was way too simple to scare people off:  footsteps, the odd creaking noise, a gentle blowing in the ear…”

“That’s because I like it here, and I don’t want to give it up.”  It was true; he’d loved the cottage from the moment he’d seen it.

The ghost stared at him, and Ianto refused to flinch under his gaze.  Instead, he took another sip of his coffee, and waited to see what Jack would decide. 

“All right,” Jack finally capitulated.  “I’ll let you and Gareth live here unmolested – “

“And my friends.”

“And your friends,” the ghost amended.  “But I want one thing in return.”

“What would that be?” Ianto asked warily.

“I want my portrait hung back up in the bedroom.”

Ianto considered.  It was a small enough price to pay for the peace of the house.  “All right,” he agreed.  “However, I’d like to move it to another wall.  I wasn’t joking about it staring at me when I’m in bed.”

“I think that would be fine.”  Jack grinned.  “I’d shake your hand but your fingers would just pass right through mine.  Which is a real shame, because I’d really enjoy holding your hand…”

Ianto rolled his eyes.  He got the distinct impression that living with a ghost was going to be a very interesting experience.

**********

“Well, this is a surprise.”

Ianto stepped aside to let Rhiannon enter the cottage.   It had been nearly a month since Ianto had purchased the home, and his sister had made it perfectly clear that she’d thought it was a horrible idea.  He hadn’t bothered to even try to contact her, not wanting to have to listen to her trying to talk him out of it. 

In that month, Spitfire Cottage had been transformed.  Many of the outdated things about the place had been replaced, and the interior looked very much like a modern home instead of a 1940’s cottage.  He hadn’t had to convince Jack of much, which was a good thing; Jack had only pitched a fit over the refinishing of the floors, complaining that the workers weren’t being very respectful of the wood.  But, in the end, even he’d had to admit they’d done a good job.

Rhiannon entered, looking around with a very critical eye.  Not that she’d have much to be critical of; the cottage was clean, and Ianto had put a lot of work into the refinishing. 

“I see you’re all settled in,” she said, by way of greeting.

“We are,” he answered.  “Let’s go into the lounge, shall we?”  Ianto really didn’t want her there, but she was his sister, no matter what disagreements they’d had.   “Shall I make coffee?”

“Is Gareth here?” she asked, ignoring the offer.

Well, if she was going to be that way about it…”He’s with friends, in town.  There’s some sort of role-playing thing going on, and he’s really into that sort of thing at the moment.”  He took a seat in the chair opposite from where she sat on the sofa.   “What brings you all the way out from Cardiff?” he asked, getting right to the point.

“Mam and I are worried about you,” she answered.  “We want you to come home.”

He should have expected this.  “This is our home now, Rhi.  Gareth and I love it here.”

“It’s not right you both being this far away from your family,” she pressed. 

She still didn’t get it, and Ianto knew he wasn’t about to be able to enlighten her.   “This is where we want to be.  You need to accept it.”

Rhiannon shook her head.  “There’s something wrong with you, Ianto.  Ever since Lisa died, you’ve been…strange.”

“I’ve been in mourning,” Ianto exclaimed, affronted. 

“It’s been nearly two years,” she countered.  “It’s time you were back in the real world, not in some run-down cottage in the middle of nowhere!”

There was a loud thump, which Ianto interpreted as Jack’s dissatisfaction at his home being called ‘run-down’.  He ignored it, concentrating on his sister.   “So, you think there’s a moratorium on a mourning period?  Would you feel the same way if Johnny died?”

Her eyes widened, then narrowed.  “It’s past time you snapped out of this melodrama and get back to reality, Ianto.”

He couldn’t help but get angry.  She was deliberately not listening.  “So, it’s not reality when the person you love is killed in a terrorist attack?  They never even found her body!”  He could still remember that day, like it was yesterday, when he’d found out about the attack on the news…

‘You never used to be this thick, Ianto!” she snorted.

“I don’t think I’m the thick one in this conversation,” he ground out, fighting the serious urge to reach across the coffee table and smack her.   “You’re the one not listening to what I have to say!”

“Mam and I have talked,” she went on, “and we feel you’re not capable of looking after yourself and Gareth, so we’ve consulted a solicitor about having you declared mentally unfit.”

Ianto’s mouth dropped open in sheer surprise.   “What?”        

“It’s not healthy, Ianto, for you to move all the way out here!  And to drag poor Gareth with you…there’s something wrong, Ianto, and you need to realize that before it’s too late.”

His eyes narrowed, and it occurred to him that it wasn’t just his mental health that she was talking about.  “No…you’re worried about the settlement money.  You’re afraid I’m going to spend it all and not leave you and yours any.”  It made too much sense.  She was always going on about money and how he should be saving it, instead of buying things…like Spitfire Cottage. 

Rhiannon blushed.  “It’s not for me…it’s for Gareth!  How can you afford to put him through university if you don’t save what you have?”

Ianto laughed.  “See, you never understood what I did with the settlement, Rhi.  You always assumed that I just spent it without thinking about it.  You’d be wrong, but I don’t have to explain any of that to you.”  He stood.  “You’re no longer welcome here, if you’re seriously going to take me to court to try to prove I’m incompetent to run me and my son’s lives.  Anything else can go through my own solicitor.”

“You can’t kick me out!” she exclaimed, also standing.  “I’m your sister!”

“You’re no sister of mine if you can’t respect my wishes,” he answered.  He turned to the end table, and rummaged around for pen and paper.  He wrote out the name of his solicitor, and her number; he’d memorized it in the months after Canary Wharf.  Ianto handed it to her.  “Her name is Aliesha Phillips; I’ll call and let her know to expect your solicitor to ring.   She’s also aware of all my financials and will be able to explain the situation.  Now, I’d appreciate you leaving my home.”

Rhiannon looked stubborn.  “I want to see my nephew first.”

“He’s not due back for a couple of hours, and I don’t want you here that long.” Ianto snapped.   “Don’t make me ask you again, Rhiannon.”

She promptly sat back down, her arms crossed over her chest.  Ianto had always been taught not to be rough with a lady, but he was at the end of his patience.

It turned out he didn’t have to do anything.

What sounded like boots on the hardwood floor stomped toward the seated Rhiannon.  The room suddenly grew colder, and Ianto could swear he saw his breath as he exhaled.  A sudden, loud, “Leave!” thundered through the lounge, in the American accent that Ianto had grown to know so well, and the chair Rhiannon was in moved violently.

She jumped up, face pale and eyes wide with fear.  “What the hell?” she shrieked, seeking to find what had caused the ruckus.

Ianto couldn’t help but laugh.  “You’re the one who didn’t believe in ghosts, Rhi,” he reminded her.

“This is some sort of trick!” she accused, anger replacing the fear.

“I SAID LEAVE!” Jack’s horribly loud voice hurt Ianto’s ears, but he didn’t flinch.

“I’d do as he says,” Ianto said.  “When he doesn’t want someone around, it’s best to go before objects start flying.”

Seemingly beaten, Rhiannon grabbed her bag and practically raced toward the door.  “I’m not letting this lie,” she threatened, as the front door opened on its own. 

“Talk to my solicitor,” he called, as she was pushed out of the door by a sudden gust of wind.  Once she was outside, the door slammed shut.

Jack appeared, although his form was somewhat translucent.  Using that much power usually meant he wouldn’t be able to manifest fully for hours.  He had a huge grin on his face.  “Pardon me for saying it, but your sister’s a bitch.”

“At this moment,” Ianto said, “I’m not going to disagree with you.”



Chapter Three

Comments

Oh this is fabulous. I love the conversations beteen Jack and Ianto and Rhi is being an idiot. I can see that house in my mind and Jack standing there a la Rex Harrison.Wonderful but I must go and cook some dinner. Back soon for chapter 3.
That was my image really: Jack standing there, a la Captain Gregg, looking so very impressive. :)
Ianto who negotiates with the ghost of Jack laughs!
dialogues tasty!

I agree with Jack!
Rhiannon is really not nice
Thanks! He just had to make sure Jack wasn't going to pull anything. :)

Yes, she really isn't in this, but she thinks she's acting for the best.