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Myfanwy 2

July 2018

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Myfanwy 2

The Ghost and Mr. Jones - Chapter Three

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 Three

“You know,” Jack said, “I’ve been thinking…”

“Always dangerous,” Ianto teased, putting the laundry in the dryer.

It was amazing just how well he and Jack got along.  Certainly, it was the strangest relationship ever, but Ianto didn’t mind much once he’d gotten used to the ghost appearing at whim.  There were odd habits that Jack had; the breathing in Ianto’s ear was one, but really he didn’t mind.  A very quiet and random thought had popped up at one point that had Ianto wishing that Jack was a live person, because there were things the spirit did that just weren’t exactly good for Ianto’s libido.   He’d never been attracted to a man before; and it being a man who’d died back in the 60’s was making it crazier, and it was at those moments he was glad that he’d made the bathrooms off limits. 

“Yeah, yeah,” Jack snorted.   “I try to help and this is what I get?  Ridicule?”  There was a playful sparkle in his eyes, though, that belied his affronted words.

“All right,” Ianto laughed, heading back into the kitchen to make himself a coffee.  “What have you been thinking about?”

“Well,” Jack said, following, “even though your sister’s been cut off at the knees, so to speak, do you really think she’s going to give up trying to dictate what’s best for you and Gareth?”

“Not hardly,” he said harshly.  “She’s got a full dose of the Jones stubbornness.”

The moment Rhiannon had been forcibly ejected from the cottage, Ianto had been on the phone with his solicitor.  Aliesha had been more than willing to make Ianto’s financials available for whoever Rhiannon would have hired.  She’d also suggested that he also open the psychologists’ notes that had been made after Lisa had died; both Ianto and Gareth had gone to a grief counsellor, and she’d helped them both immensely.  Ianto had agreed. 

He’d also ordered Rhiannon and her husband cut out of his will.  He’d left the small gifts that he’d bequeathed to his niece and nephew, since it wasn’t their fault that their mother was so overbearing.  Ianto had told Aliesha to make that knowledge available as well, and she’s agreed to it. 

It had been almost a week after Rhiannon’s surprise visit that whoever they’d hired had finally contacted Aliesha, and once she offered full disclosure – including the reports from the grief counsellor – they’d heard nothing else.  She’d assured him that there was no case, and to not worry about it anymore.

Ianto had hated to lose his family over it, but Rhiannon and his mother had brought it on themselves.

Not that he didn’t expect them to try something else, sometime down the road. 

“That’s what I thought, too,” Jack went on.  “So, what if you actually had an alternate source of income?”

“Unless you’re going to tell me you have a hidden treasure on the premises,” Ianto said, working the coffee machine, “then there’s no way I’m going to get another job…not yet, anyway.”  He enjoyed his privacy, and having his son around a great deal of the time.  He didn’t want to trade either for anything.

“No, that’s not what I was going to suggest,” Jack hastened to deny.  “No, I thought, well maybe…you could write a book or something.”

Ianto’s hands stilled on the coffee machine’s chrome controls, suddenly lost in thought.  Well, it was something he certainly hadn’t ever thought to try… “And just what would I write about?” he asked, finishing up his drink.

“Oh, I don’t know…”

He turned to stare at the ghost.  Jack actually looked a little embarrassed.  “What?” he prompted, raising an eyebrow.

“Do you have any idea what you do to me when you do that thing with your eyebrow?”  Jack asked salaciously.

Ianto smirked.  “You don’t have any blood to have a libido, Jack.”

“Doesn’t mean it still can’t turn me on…in an ectoplasmic way, of course.”

“Of course,” Ianto chuckled.  He really did wonder sometimes how the man had survived the RAF without getting into trouble.

The ghost sighed.  “Being dead is seriously cramping my style.”

Ianto laughed outright at that. It felt good, and he couldn’t remember the last time before moving to Spitfire Cottage that he’d laughed so much. “Just tell me your idea, Jack.”

Jack stuffed his hands into his greatcoat pockets.  “You could always write about my life,” he answered, grinning. 

Ianto considered.  It might not be such a bad idea, really.  “I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who’d enjoy reading the memoir of a true war hero.”

“That’s…not exactly what I had in mind,” Jack confessed, almost shyly.  “You see…there’s more than you’ve heard about me…”

“You weren’t really some sort of spy, were you?”  Ianto didn’t think anything could have shocked him; in all their conversations, Jack had seemed like an honest man.

“No way!” the ghost exclaimed.  “I fought for this country, and I’m proud of that.  No, that’s not what I meant.”

Jack fell silent, and Ianto was just beginning to think he wasn’t going to say anything when he suddenly blurted out:  “I’m from the 51st Century.”

Ianto’s eyes widened in shock.  “Would you mind repeating that, please?”

“I said, ‘I’m from the 51st Century’.  I’m from the far future.”

He didn’t know quite how to take that.  Of course, he was standing and conversing with a ghost; just how much stranger was it that the said ghost was claiming to be from the future?  “You’re not from another planet, are you?” he asked tentatively.

“Actually…yeah, I am.  A colony world circling a star you can just see from here.  I can show you if you like.”

Ianto set his coffee down before he spilled it.  “Okay, I’ll bite…how did a man from the 51st Century end up fighting a war in the 20th?”

“Now that,” Jack said, grinning, “is the story.  Wanna hear it?”

“You know I do!”

“Then why don’t we go up to your room, so you can take notes on your laptop?  You might not want to miss any of it.”

**********

They were up way into the night, as Jack told his story. 

It was an amazing one, and Ianto had to admit that it would, indeed, make a fantastic book.  He knew Jack was glossing over a lot of it, but then Ianto could ask all the questions he wanted to if he decided to write it. 

They broke for dinner, and Ianto spent the evening with Gareth as he usually did.  This was one of the reasons why he was so loathe to go back to work; having this time with his son was what made Ianto happiest, and he wouldn’t trade it for anything.   Jack appeared just as Gareth was putting a movie in the DVD player, and together the three of them watched in silence.

After Gareth was in bed, they continued their conversation.  If this was some sort of fable, then it was a good one, and it kept Ianto spellbound.  He did make notes, and wrote down things he wanted to ask, becoming more and more certain that he would, indeed, write this.

From birth, to Time Agency, to coming to 1941 London…it was all fascinating.  And when it got to the part with the Doctor, and how Jack had managed to save London from some sort of plague…Ianto wondered just why Jack had decided to stay on Earth, when he could have travelled the stars. 

Another question for later.

“I can’t believe it,” Ianto said, after Jack had wound down.  “It’s amazing.”

“And it’s all true,” Jack answered.  “It’s my life.  So…you think it would make a good book?”

“I just can’t believe you trusted me with all this!”  It was unbelievable that Jack – even though long dead – would have confided in him like this.

“Well, believe it or not,” Jack said, “I do trust you.  You’re different from anyone else who’s lived here.  And, if my story can help you get Rhiannon off your back, then it’s all yours.”

Ianto was touched by Jack’s words.  “Thank you,” he replied sincerely.

“Besides,” Jack grinned, “the next person to buy this place might not be as gorgeous as you are.”

Ianto had the pleasure of seeing the pad he’d been writing on fly though Jack’s ghostly body to hit the wall.

Jack laughed.

**********

Over the next weeks, Ianto learned more about his resident ghost than he thought he ever would.

Jack started from his so-called ‘humble’ beginnings on Boeshane, describing his childhood as Ianto typed up the memoir on his laptop.  He found himself laughing at some of the antics that Jack had gotten up to as a child, and then sad when he explained about the attack on their colony, and how his father had died and his brother had vanished.  Ianto could tell that Jack still felt a great deal of guilt over it, even though Ianto was certain that his friend – and yes, despite being dead Jack was his friend – had not been at fault.  Who would dare blame a child for something like that?

There was so much to Jack’s story, and a majority of it was simply too fantastic.  Of course, this being Jack there was also a very liberal sprinkling of sex, and Ianto had to put his foot down more than once about turning the book into a porn-fest.   He really drew the line at the sex with the tentacled aliens, even though he couldn’t help but be intrigued…not that he was going to admit that. 

It really was fascinating, listening to Jack tell his life; he had a real flair for storytelling, and there were times when Ianto wondered if he wasn’t embellishing a little.  But he dutifully recorded it all, knowing he would have to edit it in the future.

In the future.  That thought made Ianto laugh a bit.

As they worked, Ianto also shared a bit of his own life, wanting to share with Jack as much as the ghost was sharing with him.  It wasn’t nearly as exciting as Jack’s, but that was to be expected after all.   Jack had been oddly withdrawn when he’d begun to speak of the Ghost Shifts, leading up to Lisa’s death; several times, he’d be asked to stop and describe something, and when it came down to the ghosts becoming the strange metal men and taking people away…if ghosts could have gone pale, Jack would have.  Ianto got the distinct impression that Jack knew exactly what they were, but he wouldn’t say anything as if keeping the metal men secret would protect Ianto from the truth somehow.   He let Jack believe that, if it made him happy.

In turn, Jack told him of having two years of his life stolen from him by the Time Agency, and Ianto couldn’t understand how that could have been condoned.  Jack shrugged, saying it must have been for a good reason, but it had been the catalyst of his going rogue.  Ianto couldn’t blame him in the slightest.

They made their way through the cons, through the dark times, until Jack had found himself running what he called a ‘self-cleaning’ con in 1941 London. 

He admitted readily that ‘Jack Harkness’ wasn’t his real name; it was just one he’d taken on as part of the con.  The real Captain had been a hero, and Ianto could tell that the ghost felt guilty over stealing the other man’s identity.  He said he’d almost dropped it after the events in London, but had decided that he’d make the name a worthy one, and Jack liked to think he had.  Ianto had seen his war record, at the Aberaeron town hall, and could honestly say that he had. 

And then, came the Doctor and Rose.

The expression on the ghost’s face when he spoke of the pair pricked a small kernel of jealousy in Ianto, and he tamped it down, knowing he didn’t have a reason to feel that way even as the emotion surprised him.  Jack was a ghost, and nothing could ever happen between the two of them. 

Together, they laughed over the barrage balloon, and the banana that had somehow been exchanged for Jack’s sonic blaster.   Ianto had his heart in his throat at the gas mask zombies, even though he knew it had to have turned out all right.  And then, the bomb, Jack’s sacrificing his ship to dispose of it, and saving the Earth from the nanogenes. 

He wondered how Jack could have possibly wanted to stay on Earth, when Rose had tried to drag him into the Doctor’s wonderful timeship.   

“When it came down to it,” Jack admitted, “I felt I kinda owed this planet for nearly destroying it.   And besides, I thought I had a way off later.”  He shifted his insubstantial sleeve, to reveal the wrist strap he’d identified earlier as his time device, the Vortex Manipulator.  “But, sometime while I was off fighting the good fight, it somehow got damaged.  I was stuck here…not that I actually minded.  Earth sort of grew on me.”  He grinned.  “Besides, if I hadn’t died here, I’d never have met you.”

Ianto couldn’t quite hide the blush.  It was insane, that Jack could tell the most outrageous stories and nothing happened; but when he said things like that, Ianto got embarrassed. 

“Sometimes I wish I could’ve seen the Doctor and Rose again,” Jack reminisced.  “But even though I was stuck here, it’s been a good life.  A bit boring at times, but hey…everyone needs boring now and then.”  He grinned.  “By the end of the War I was ready to relax anyway, and this just seemed the perfect place.”

Ianto turned in his chair, regarding the ghost.  “And you lived a boring life…until you died.”

Jack snorted.  “Hardly boring.  I think you’ve come to realize just how peaceful it is here.   It was simple to become another resident here…well, a handsome, dashing resident.”

“And not at all humble,” Ianto laughed.

“Hey!  When you look like I do, humility doesn’t come into it!”  Jack struck a pose, one hand on his hip, flipping the greatcoat toward his back, and the other grasping his lapel lightly.  His puffed out his chest, threatening the stability of his non-existent braces. 

Ianto laughed again, then he considered something.  “Why don’t you look like you did when you died?  You look more like some 40’s actor than someone in their 60’s.”

Jack shrugged.  “Sure, I can go around, wearing my boating gear and deck shoes and covered in seaweed, but where’s the fun in that?  Although, I did use that form once…a former owner tried to bring me out to play during a séance, and it was too much of a temptation to really haunt the place.”

“So you can choose what you look like?”

“Which is why I choose to look like this!” Jack held his arms out from his body, grinning.  “Who would want to mess with this level of perfection?”

There was just something about Jack that made Ianto take him seriously, and at the same time laugh at what he said.  If he thought about it too hard, he would come up with the idea that he cared a great deal about the ghost, and hoped that he’d be around for a very long time.

If he thought even harder, it might be something else entirely…


Chapter Four

 




Comments

Sorry I'm going to gush. Loving this so much. And I would have done the same for Jack's back story. Its gentle and sexy and gorgeous.
K
So glad you liked Jack's back story. That part came together first thing, and I knew I had to AU this. It was the one thing I wasn't so certain about, to be honest. Glad it worked!
So he met the Doctor and Rose, but he did not become immortal
Yep, exactly. :)