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This Crying Earth - 14/17

Series: Mosaic
Word Count: 40.092
Summary: Coedwig Street has been a peaceful neighbourhood for a long time but now, a mysterious being is roaming the street and gardens, scaring the families living there and getting Torchwood's attention. The team doesn't know that it's messing with a force older than Earth … and its dangerous allies. And while Gwen is having problems with Rhys and Ianto is struggling with his attraction to Jack, the Fairies don't seem to be finished with the captain, yet.
Characters: Jack Harkness, Ianto Jones, Gwen Cooper, Toshiko Sato, Owen Harper, Rhys Williams, the Fairies, Andy Davidson, Myfanwy, OCs
Pairing: Jack/Ianto, Gwen/Rhys
Rating: PG-13
Spoiler: Everything Changes, Ghost Machine, Small Worlds, Fragments, Characters from Children of Earth (Ianto's family) / Novels: Slow Decay / Doctor Who: Mentions of The End of the World and hints at The Sound of Drums plus The Last of the Time Lords
Setting: after Small Worlds
Warnings: OC M-Preg in the past. Language.
Feedback: Can’t breathe without it.
Beta: alt_universe_me , danian  and Vistin. Thank you.
Disclaimer: I’m not making money with this fanfic. The tv-show Torchwood and the characters appearing within it belong to their producers and creators. Any similarities to living or dead persons are purely coincidental and not intended.

Chapter Thirteen
Masterlist

Remember to drop a comment at rex's LJ for the awesome art made for this story.

***
***


14.


"You are aware that I've been wanting to go buy new furniture for a week but you keep turning me down?" Rhys asked. Gwen could hear his frown of doom over the mobile.

She sighed and looked out the passenger window of the car. "I'm so sorry, honey. I have to work."

"You always do," Rhys muttered.

Owen hit the brakes a bit harder than necessary and Gwen glared at him. He ignored it. She focussed on her call. "Rhys, it's not like that. We'll do it tomorrow."

"No, Gwen. I'm going to go today. I'm going to go to IKEA and choose our new furniture. It's not as if you spend a lot of time in the living room any more, right?" Rhys rang off and Gwen uttered a choked, frustrated scream before hitting the dashboard.

"Hey, careful!" Owen called. "Mind the air bag!"

"I'm going to go mad," Gwen said, putting her mobile away.

Owen sighed. "I'm not exactly good at relationships, but ... maybe you should tell Jack to shove his orders where the sun doesn't shine and go home tonight. It's enough that Tosh, Jack and I go there. If we really need a fourth man, we'll just take Ianto."

"No," Gwen said. "If I give in now, I'll always have to give in and I'm not the kind of woman who gets behind on her job because of a guy. He'll just have to understand that."

Owen rolled his eyes. "Yeah. He'll just have to. It's no big thing that you're working for Mr. Good-Looks and spending practically all your time with him. He'll just have to understand."

Gwen looked at him. "It's not like that."

"How is it then?"

Gwen sighed deeply. "No idea." She stared out the window. "No idea."

***

"Sir?" Ianto asked hesitantly and entered Jack's office. Only the desktop lamp was on and Jack was resting in his chair, a glass of scotch in his hand and his eyes closed. Softly, Ianto stepped around the desk. Jack was breathing deeply and didn't react to his approach. “Jack?“ Ianto asked softly. Jack didn't stir and Ianto assumed that he'd fallen asleep. He stepped closer and took the glass from his hand to put it on the table. He froze when he saw Matthew York's opened file on the desk.

“You should put it away,“ Jack said.

Ianto startled a bit and looked down at him before answering slowly, “Do you want me to put it away?“ Jack didn't answer, his gaze fixed on Matthew's picture. Ianto handed him his glass back. “I didn't think so,“ he said softly.

“I loved him.“

“I'm sure he deserved these feelings, sir.“

Jack laughed bitterly. “Nobody deserves these feelings from me, Ianto. I leave them or they leave me.“ He emptied the glass with a gulp. “There's always a point where I … where my condition rips the relationship apart.“

“You prefer to live without one?“

“That was enough the last few decades.“ He sighed. “I can't start something new … I won't stay, Ianto. Soon … I'll leave. Somebody promised me that.“

Ianto frowned and was about to speak, but Owen opened the door and entered. “Jack, Tosh and me found something.“

Jack got up and left the office. Ianto closed Matthew's file and followed them to the med bay, where Gwen and Tosh were standing at the railing, looking down at the corpse on the examination table in the med bay's basin. Owen cleared his throat and stood next to it. “This man was badly burnt,“ he said.

Jack shoved his hands in his trouser pockets and leaned against the wall at his back. “Why do I even pay you?“ he asked. Ianto joined Gwen and Tosh.

Owen ignored Jack's comment. “But he didn't just plain old burn.“ He picked up the hand that had been lying next to the body on the table, severed.

Gwen frowned. ”When did that happen?”

“Came off during the examination. Happens sometimes.” He pointed to the palm. “I found out why he died and it wasn't a fire that killed him. If you look a little closer – and that's why I get paid, by the way – there's an entry wound.“

Gwen frowned. “Caused by what?“

“An electrical charge.“

Jack pushed away from the wall and folded his arms. “Maybe something like lightning?“

“Maybe,“ Owen answered. He let go of the arm. “Normally, you don't become that crispy from a lightning strike, though ...“

“But we're facing off against the Fairies here,“ Jack nodded. “They can manipulate the elements, they choke the air out of our lungs or ...“ He swallowed. “... drown us from the inside. They can manipulate the weather.“

Tosh continued, “They're able to manipulate lightning. So, I ran a scan and was able to determine when the man died. There was weird weather yesterday at eleven pm.“

Gwen bit her lip thoughtfully. “He was out late.“

“He was up for a promotion,“ Tosh explained. “There was a meeting with the building authority and forestry office scheduled today. He wanted to make sure that everything was ready for that meeting. Environmentalists threatened to sue to stop the new houses. Roundstone Wood is very old. Even though only part of it will be cleared, the project has enemies.“

“But if this is how the Fairies kill, then what has the Banshee to do with all of this?” Gwen asked.

Jack raised his eyebrows. “Maybe she murdered the guy. It's possible that she has the same powers the Fairies do. Maybe she's related to them.”

Tosh nodded. “That would explain the lack of Rift activity. The Rift didn't even stir while we were dealing with the Fairies. That Banshee's home is here.”

Gwen crossed her arms. “What's the plan?”

Jack looked at her. “The Fairies and the Banshee prefer to show themselves at night. That means that we're going to go there again tonight.”

Owen shook his head. “Because that was so helpful yesterday. The Fairies won't talk to us.”

“If that's the case again tonight,” Jack said, “we'll confront the Banshee. I noticed that one of the houses is up for sale. It's close to the forest. We'll use it as our base camp.”

“Doing what?” Owen asked.

“Talking to her.”

“She won't just knock at the door and talk to us, Jack,” Owen remarked.

“She will. She talked to me and Ianto when we were waiting for her in the street. She wants to be heard. She'll know we're there to listen.”

***

Gwen was cold. She tried not to think about the fact that she could be at home now instead of trudging through a dark forest, looking for Fairies. On the other hand, being in Roundstone Wood meant that she didn't have to deal with Rhys. Even though Owen's mood had hit the point of no return towards hell a few minutes ago and he kept cursing and complaining while trying to keep up with Tosh and Gwen. “I hate forests,“ he said. “They're dirty and they smell.“

Gwen rolled her eyes. “That's moss and it smells wonderful.“

“It's disgusting,“ Owen answered. Tosh and Gwen threw each other a long-suffering glance in the light of their torches. They picked up their speed to keep up with Jack who was walking in front of them with his coat flapping behind him. Owen was still walking a bit slower behind them. “There are puddles everywhere and the ground's muddy and the leaves get stuck to my shoes and the nuts and pine cones fall on my head.“

Gwen looked at Tosh. “Please, may I kill him?“

“Jack would fire you,“ Tosh answered with more than a hint of regret.

Gwen sighed. “Bloody hell!“

Something hit the ground behind them and the women stopped. They laughed when they saw Owen getting up from the ground. He glared at them. “And roots. Fucking roots!“

“Hey!“ Jack called. “Don't get left behind.“ He tapped his comm link. “Ianto, everything alright at your end?“

***

Ianto turned the volume of the music down and answered, “Everything's quiet. No activity in the street.“

“Just call if you need us. Don't you dare and try to catch her on your own.“

“Yes, Captain.“

Jack disconnected the link. Ianto turned the volume up again and looked out the SUV's front window to keep an eye on Coedwig Street, but everything was quiet. The houses were dark and nobody was out. Ianto was a bit nervous and checked his gun – again. Then he leaned back in the driver's seat and waited.

***

When they were able to see the stone circle, Jack stopped. “You stay here,“ he said.

“What?“ Gwen asked in disbelief. “No way.“

He looked at her warningly. “There's a bigger possibility that they'll talk to me alone.“

“Why?“ Gwen asked.

Jack's face hardened. “I don't want to go into it.“

Owen kicked against a stone. “Why did we come with you in the first place then?“ he asked.

Jack's lips thinned. “Stop it,“ he said and headed towards the stone circle, his torch searching the nearby shadows.

Owen snorted. "Yeah, we just wait here and freeze something off."

Gwen smirked at him. "It's not as if I'd miss something you could freeze off." Her eyes slid down to his lap and Tosh giggled. Owen flipped them his finger.

Jack stopped a few feet away from the stone circle. "I'm here," he said softly. "You owe me at least an explanation, since I was the one who gave you your last chosen one."

Laughter. More than he'd gotten in the afternoon.

"You remember that then," he nodded. A light flickered between the trees, then it was dark again. "You took Estelle – without any reason as to why. You took Jasmine. You owe me!" Something rustled, then he saw them. They appeared between the branches, wearing their real faces. Some of them weren't floating, but sitting on the trunks. He heard his team getting their weapons ready. "Don't, they won't work!" he called.

Owen said, "Yeah, let us make sure, okay?"

Jack turned back to the Fairies. One of them came closer and gave him a smile that showed her sharp teeth. "We are already returning the favour," they said, talking in one voice.

Jack focussed on the Fairy closest to him, since she seemed to be the speaker of the group. "By killing innocent people."

"We did not kill him."

"I don't believe you."

The Fairies laughed. "Our sister killed him."

Jack's grip around the torch tightened. "Why?” They just laughed. Jack hissed, “Stop her."

"We can't." They laughed again.

Jack put his free hand on his hip. "Then we will."

The Fairies hissed and their faces became masks of rage. "You can not. She would kill you."

"I'm unbreakable," Jack answered.

"You are not strong enough to stop her, Jack Harkness." Some of them repeated "Not strong enough, Jack Harkness" and laughed. The speaker came even closer and asked softly, "Does it still hurt, Jack Harkness?"

It was a trap, built to provoke him. Jack knew that. It didn't stop him from asking, "What?"

"The little boy Michael." The Fairies laughed. "Matthew." The speaker came close enough for him to look into her deep, old eyes when she said, "Estelle."

He'd pulled his gun before he knew what he was doing. The Fairies laughed and disappeared.

"Huh," Owen said from behind him. "Well done."

Chapter Fifteen
Masterlist

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
iolo1234
Mar. 10th, 2011 03:34 pm (UTC)
Curiouser and curiouser why are the fairies targeting Jack and what happened to the child?
jolinarjackson
Mar. 11th, 2011 01:07 pm (UTC)
Are they targeting him? ;)
punkchick1995
Mar. 10th, 2011 03:58 pm (UTC)
Gaaahhh!! I need to know what happens next!! Great update :) xx
jolinarjackson
Mar. 11th, 2011 01:07 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :)
milady_dragon
Mar. 10th, 2011 04:05 pm (UTC)
So many mysteries, it just gets batter and better!

I'm really looking forward to more!
jolinarjackson
Mar. 11th, 2011 01:08 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
chironsgirl
Mar. 10th, 2011 04:22 pm (UTC)
These fairies really like to rip open old wounds, don't they? Narsty. And the gharstly wailing Banshee; she'll have Ianto to herself, won't she? With the others off "dancing" around the stone circle....No one there to take care of Ianto.....
XOXOXO
jolinarjackson
Mar. 11th, 2011 01:09 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the image of them dancing around the stone circle. :D
fide_et_spe
Mar. 10th, 2011 07:08 pm (UTC)
Oh no, how sad that Jack's child may have been a chosen one? I'm still intrigued.
jolinarjackson
Mar. 11th, 2011 01:10 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :)
runzu
Mar. 10th, 2011 09:48 pm (UTC)
>:[ Poor Jack. >:[
jolinarjackson
Mar. 11th, 2011 01:10 pm (UTC)
Yeah, right?
lone_star_woman
Mar. 11th, 2011 05:22 am (UTC)
Well, that was creepy. I like it.
jolinarjackson
Mar. 11th, 2011 01:11 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you do. :)
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )