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This Crying Earth - 16/17

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 Fifteen
Masterlist

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

***
***


16.


Jack screamed.

Ianto found the device and activated it before throwing it in the direction of the Banshee. When the cell trapped her, her bolts of lightning couldn't penetrate the energy barrier, causing Ianto to almost cheer in relief. She tried to escape, but she couldn't leave the prison. They had one hour. He ran towards Jack and knelt beside him, dropping his weapon and switching on his torch. Ianto wanted to touch him but big parts of Jack's skin were burnt black, and his clothes were still smouldering and had a pattern of burn marks. Ianto wondered just how long the dead man in the Hub had had to suffer, who was burnt so much worse than Jack.

He searched for a pulse and couldn't find one. "Jack?" He gasped. "Oh, no ... Jack?" He turned away. He felt sick at the smell of burned skin and had to take a few deep breaths of fresh air.

A resounding snap caused him to whirl around to the Banshee and he froze when his eyes found hers. She was free. The mobile cell was nothing more than a smouldering mass of fried technology. For just a second, Ianto considered going for his weapon, but he decided against it, since she would be able to see the movement and she would be faster than him. She kept staring at him. Ianto was expecting a deadly bolt of lightning, something, but she was just looking at him curiously. Somebody grabbed his wrist and Ianto startled, but before he was able to turn around and face his new attacker, an arm was looped around his shoulders and he was pulled against a warm chest.

“Don't move,” Jack's voice said. The Webley was thrown over Ianto's shoulder to land at the Banshee's feet. “I'm unarmed now. Just like him. Nobody's trying to hurt you.” Ianto leaned back against Jack's chest. Jack answered the silent question with a quick, “I'm fine.” The Banshee's eyes narrowed mistrustfully. Ianto heard Jack ask, “Gwen? Owen?” After a moment of silence, “Tosh?”

“Jack?”

“The Fairies,” he answered. Ianto's heart skipped a beat. He looked up at the Banshee who was watching them attentively. “Get up with me,” Jack said, and without looking away from the Banshee, Ianto obeyed. Jack's hand squeezed his shoulder reassuringly. “I want you to go and see if the others are okay.”

“But I can't leave you-”

“Yes, you can,” Jack said. He addressed the Banshee, “Right? We'll be fine as long as nobody loses their temper. We'll have a chat. She won't attack me if I don't attack her. I don't think that's her way. Or she would have killed you.”

Ianto took a step to the side, not completely sure. When the Banshee didn't do anything other than focus her attention on Jack, he started to run towards the stone circle, hoping he wouldn't need his gun.

***

Ianto stopped abruptly when he found the team. They were lying on the ground, motionless. For just one second, Ianto thought that he'd come too late, but then Owen coughed and gasped. Relief ripped Ianto from his terror and he crouched between Gwen and Tosh and checked their pulse. When he touched her, Tosh opened her eyes and took deep gulps of air. Ianto pulled her up and braced her against his chest. He looked at Owen. “Are you okay?“

Owen moaned and collapsed next to Gwen who'd begun to cough. “What about you?“ he asked.

“No problems,” Ianto lied. “We caught her. Jack's with her.”

Tosh sounded hoarse, “I though they'd kill us.“

Ianto peered into the forest, but nothing moved. “They could have killed you. Why didn't they?“

“I'm not too bothered to find out,“ Owen said. “I'm just glad we survived.“

Gwen made a pensive face. “Maybe they just wanted to defend the Banshee.”

Ianto nodded. ”Maybe.”

***

The Banshee was looking calmly at Jack in front of her. Jack was watching her, too, in the light of his torch, but he still didn't recognize which race she could belong to. “Where do you come from?“ he asked.

The Banshee stared at him. “Where do you come from?“ she replied.

“I'm a human,“ Jack said, keeping it vague.

She tilted her head. “A smart answer.“

“I'm not that stupid,“ Jack said, smiling sarcastically. “So?“

“Puleyn,“ she answered.

Jack narrowed his eyes. “Where's that supposed to be?“

“That does not matter. It ceased to exist a long time ago.“ She paused and pain masked her face. “We destroyed it, and we came here. Earth … only inhabited by shadows and plants.“ Her face darkened. “Everything changes.“

“You've been here that long?“ he asked curiously.

The Banshee nodded. “Yes.“ She smiled. “We found our sisters – not born on this world, but part of it.“

“The Fairies? They don't come from here?“

“How can one be from a place they helped to form?“ She shook her head. “They come 'from here', as you call it, but they are part of this planet. Older than the light.“

“Why are you threatening the people living here?“

“I am not,“ the Banshee answered. “I just cannot bear it any more.“

“What?“ Jack asked.

“Humans,“ the Banshee said. “We were so hopeful for their kind. We were there for them, part of their life, until they did not believe any more in ghosts hiding in the shadows. We thought that they would become like no other race before. They are so resourceful, so fast. Look at them, emerging from darkness, especially the past three hundred years.“ Her face darkened. “Look what they do with that knowledge. The forests burn, the air is screaming for relief and the oceans are dirty. We destroyed our world. Just like they are about to destroy theirs. How long can they go on like this? How long until the scars go too deep? What will happen then?“

Jack said, “Humanity will leave Earth.“

“To do the same to other planets!“ the Banshee answered. “This forest is a holy place … it is the realm of our sisters and one of the oldest woods on this world and they are destroying it. To build houses!“

“That's all?“ Jack asked, getting angry. “You killed a man because of that?“

“He wanted to kill me,“ the Banshee hissed. “He attacked me with a blade, insulted me … he did not know who I was. They forgot their own history and those who showed them the way. There were times they treated us with respect. Earth is crying. I just wanted to dry some of its tears.“

Jack shook his head and stepped as close as he could without touching her. “You can't,“ he whispered. “I'm sorry.“ He knew what would happen to Earth. The air poisoned, the forests destroyed, the oceans emptied and then, humanity would look for a new home, supported by the alien life they'd befriended, and then … many billion years from now, scarred by the ruins of human life, the sun would swallow Earth.

The Banshee's old eyes showed her grief. “We cannot give up.“

“These humans have to find their own way,“ Jack said softly. “I've seen the future,“ he whispered. “I was born in the future. The humans will see their faults, but they have to realize it on their own. They're too proud.“

“I know your world,“ the Banshee said. “I saw it in your mind. I know who you are. One of them, yet you aren't. Human, scarred by evolution.“

“If you can see my thoughts you can see that I'm not lying.“ He stared at her.

The Banshee just looked at him, until her face showed surprise. “You are the companion of the lonely god. Scarred by more than evolution – by the love of a girl: Eternal life. You did not tell them,“ the Banshee said. “How can I trust you who does not trust those close to his heart?“

“It's better that way,“ Jack said. “Some things are hard to explain.“ He took a deep breath, “You have to leave this world.“ He smiled sadly. “This fight is over.“

The Banshee stepped closer. “They are like children.“

“Yes,“ Jack nodded. He thought that it was that very fact that drew the Doctor to humans. “Children won't listen if you tell them the fire is hot. They'll touch it either way.“

The Banshee looked at him. Then she nodded, slowly, and a soft smile showed on her face. “You are wise, Face of Boe.“

“That's not my name any more,“ Jack said.

The Banshee shook her head. “Not any more … not yet.“ Jack frowned. The Banshee looked towards the sky. “I accept your words, Jack Harkness. We will leave.“

Jack didn't know what made him believe her, but he nodded gratefully. The Banshee stayed where she was. “My sisters are trying to help you,“ she said.

“By triggering painful memories?“

“You hate them.“

“I have reasons.“

The Banshee stared at him thoughtfully. “Maybe that's why you don't understand them. Maybe you don't want to listen.“

Jack's face hardened. “I don't need the help of those monsters.“

The Banshee tilted her head. “As you wish.“ And she was gone.

“Bloody hell!“ Owen said. Jack turned around and spotted his team between the trees. Owen crossed his arms. “Jack, she escaped.“

“I let her go,“ he answered. “They'll leave. All of them.“

Gwen stared at him in disbelief. “She killed someone.“

“To defend herself,“ Jack answered. “She never did anything else but defend herself.“ Owen tried to speak up, but Jack said, “I had the chance to solve a conflict without losing more lives and I did.“

Owen put his hands on his hips. “Fine. Whatever you two talked about, I really hope you didn't let her go because she told you how beautiful your eyes are.“

Tosh frowned at him, then she asked, “What do we do now?“

Jack sauntered to join his team. He put an arm around Tosh and the other around Ianto, answering, “Now, we go home.“

Chapter Seventeen
Masterlist