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Torchwood: This Crying Earth 17/17

This Crying Earth - 17/17

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 Sixteen
Masterlist

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

***
***


17.


It almost broke Gwen's heart. She stared at the kitchen counter, romantically set for two people. There were candles on it, a bottle of wine, opened but not touched. On one plate, a furniture catalogue was waiting, and when she opened the pages marked by sticky notes, she found pictures of couches and coffee tables, and notes from Rhys. Which he liked, which he could live with if she wanted it, and which he would never say yes to. Gwen laughed softly and put the catalogue down.

She went into the bedroom and got undressed before crawling under the duvet and plastering herself to Rhys. He blinked sleepily and turned on his back. He wrapped one arm around her, pulling her closer. Gwen kissed him tenderly and put the head on his shoulder. “Sorry for not coming home for dinner.“

“We can re-heat it,“ Rhys said.

“I love you,“ she said.

“I know,“ he sighed.

***

Tosh leaned back in her chair and crossed her arms. Owen stood next to her, watching the news reporter.

“It came as a surprise that the clearing of Roundstone Wood was stopped today before really starting. Apparently, this part of the forest belongs to an old aristocratic Welsh family whose descendents are living in Japan. They won't allow any changes to be made on their property.“

Tosh sighed deeply. “Sad thing is,“ she said, “that that won't change a thing. One forest saved, but that's nothing compared to the amount that gets destroyed.“

Owen shrugged. “I guess.“

The reporter smiled. “Harold Saxon is in Cardiff. His followers greeted the candidate for prime minister in the upcoming elections at a fundraising banquet last night in St. David Hotel. He'll stay for three days and will take part in several political debates.“

***

Jack leaned back in his chair and smiled in amusement. “You know,“ he said, “I've never been a Lord before.“

Ianto put a stamp on Jack's signature and slid the owner document for Roundstone Wood in a file. “I doubt you are the kind of man for such a position, sir.“

“I just never know when you're insulting me,“ Jack said.

Ianto suppressed a smile. “I wouldn't dare, sir.“ He leaned against the desk. “I set up an e-mail account for your alter ego. I suggest checking your e-mails regularly but I doubt that there will ever be a problem.“

Jack nodded. “Not very likely.“ He smiled. “Thanks, Ianto.“

“What I'm here for. You think they've left?“

Jack sighed deeply. “Yeah. Yeah, I think they did.“ He opened the drawer and got out Matthew's file. His fingers brushed over the folder, then he held it out towards Ianto. “Please take it back to the archives.“

Ianto raised his eyebrows and took the file hesitantly. “Are you sure?“

Jack shook his head. “Absolutely not. Do it either way, but ...“ He closed his eyes for a moment. “But keep it within reach, okay?“

“Of course, sir.“

Jack smiled gratefully and changed the topic. “The camping equipment we own, Ianto ... is it still around?“

Ianto frowned thoughtfully. “If I put my mind to it, I can certainly find it. A new case, sir?“

“There are people vanishing in the Brecon Beacons. We should take a look.“

Ianto was tempted, just for a second, to ask Jack if he could accompany the team. He wanted to prove that he could handle field work. But Jack was faster and spoke before Ianto could finish his thought, “Will you be able to manage the Hub two or three days without us?“

That made the decision a lot easier. He faked a small smile. “I thought I was already doing that,“ he said. Jack laughed – more open than he'd been since Estelle's death, and Ianto thought that it didn't matter if he accompanied the team or not as long as he would be able to help Jack in every way he needed him to.

***

Midweek, in the early morning, the furniture store was enjoyably empty. Their hands linked, Gwen and Rhys sauntered down the aisle between couches and were happy that only a few other customers were present. Gwen had called Jack first thing and he'd given her the morning off, wondering aloud why she hadn't asked him for it a week ago. During breakfast, she and Rhys had resolved their fight. They'd decided to renovate the flat later and had agreed to discuss getting a new flat when they were more used to Gwen's new schedule, or lack thereof. Also, Gwen had promised to pay more attention to her working hours as far as was possible.

“That's nice,“ Rhys said, pointing at a sickly bright green couch.

Gwen stared at him, shocked. “Yeah. For a student caught in the sixties.“

He frowned. “What don't you like about it?“

“Did you look at it?“ Gwen asked in disbelief. “Seriously?“

He smiled, pulled her closer and wrapped an arm around her hips before dropping a kiss in her hair. “I'm glad you're having the morning off.“

She shrugged. “If there's an emergency, I'll have to leave, but as it stands, I'm free until after lunch.“

“Wonderful. Five hours just for me,“ Rhys grinned.

Gwen nudged him with her elbow. “Stop it, Rhys.“ She sighed deeply. “We'll have to work this problem out better.“

“Yeah,“ he nodded.

“I can't quit the job. It's important to me.“

“Yeah. I noticed. It's just that … you never talk about it.“

“Because I'm not allowed to.“ She kissed his cheek. “I'd tell you everything. You know that.“

“I know. It's just new to me. Give me some time,“ he said.

“You got it,“ she said and kissed him tenderly. “All the time in the world.“

***

Ianto switched off the computer in the backroom of the tourist office and went into the main room to make sure that everything was in order. The door to the Hub opened and Owen, Gwen and Tosh entered.

“We're out of here, Ianto. See you in a couple of days,“ Owen said and made a show of holding the door to the office open for Gwen, who rolled her eyes at him and waved at Ianto. They left the tourist office.

Tosh waited at the counter and smiled at Ianto. “Are you sure you don't want to join us?“ she asked. “Maybe it'll be fun, you know. Camping, a campfire …“

He shrugged. “I'll think about it, but I got the impression that Jack wants someone to stay behind.“

“You can always ask,“ she said, waved at him and left the office. The door fell shut and silence returned. Ianto checked his watch. He should leave, too, and get some rest, but his thoughts were still revolving around the Brecon Beacons. The team would depart early the next morning, leaving Ianto alone for several lonely days. He realized for the first time that, Rhiannon aside, he had no one outside of the Hub. Thoughtfully, he looked at the door, then he made a decision and left the office to go down into the Hub.

The lights in the main Hub were dimmed and Myfanwy was circling the water tower. When she saw him, she landed a few feet away, waddling hopefully towards him. “I don't have any chocolate,“ Ianto said, showing her his empty hands. Myfanwy growled sullenly and recommenced her flight. Ianto entered Jack's office. The hatch to Jack's quarters was open and Ianto knelt to look down.

“Sir?“ he asked.

Jack was sitting on his bed, looking at old photographs. He raised his head and smiled when he saw him. “Ianto, you're still here?“

“On my way home, actually,“ he answered. “I just have something I'd like to talk to you about. May I ...“

“Sure.“

Ianto climbed down the ladder into Jack's quarters – slowly to give him enough time to clear away the pictures. His gaze brushed over the chest of drawers and the bare walls before settling on the bed. The photographs were still spread out on the sheets. Jack was holding one of them up, motioning him closer. “That's Matthew.“

“I saw his photograph in his file,“ Ianto answered.

“His file,“ Jack shook his head and patted the narrow bed invitingly. “Sit down. Look at how he really was.“

Ianto obeyed and took the photograph. Matthew was sitting at his desk, illuminated by the desk lamp. He was focussed on some papers, a pen in his hand and the head propped up on the other hand.

“He could sit like that for hours,“ Jack smiled.

Ianto raised his head to look at him. “Why are you showing me this?“

Jack shrugged. “I wanted to show it to someone.“ He smiled. “He loved Earl Grey, but during his pregnancy, the smell made him nauseous.“

Ianto allowed a smile to slip out. Jack's face more alive than it had been the last few days, the effort wiped away.

“He was a fantastic rider. He loved horses.“ Jack took the photograph back and glanced at the back of it before handing it to Ianto once again. “He hated the summer and loved the winter.“

Ianto glanced at the back of the picture too, and his smile died when he saw the neat letters on it. He read, “Candy floss.“

“He could eat tons of it,“ Jack laughed.

Ianto raised his head. “You wrote everything down he liked and didn't like.“

Jack ducked his head, almost seeming ashamed. He raised his head enough to look at Ianto. “I forget them. I know what they looked like and what I felt for them but ...“ He caressed the face of a young woman on another photograph. “I forget the small things, the ones that made me fall for them. Everyday things.“

There were tears in his eyes and Ianto reacted on instinct. He cupped Jack's cheek in one hand and brushed a thumb down the strong cheekbone. “That's alright.“

“You think?“ Jack asked. “I should know.“

“Jack … Matthew went missing seventy years ago, some of those pictures and drawings are even older. What matters is that you look at them at all. That proves how much they meant to you.“

Jack didn't seem like he believed him. “I should be able to remember. Each and everyone. Everything.“

Ianto turned the picture back around and looked at the words on the back of it for a long time, then he slid closer to Jack. “These things are minor. You know what didn't make this list?“ he asked. Jack raised his head. Ianto whispered, “Things that were really important to you – like how you met or Michael.“ He smiled. “Besides … the way you talk about them … is proof that you love them.“ Ianto gazed into Jack's eyes until he saw that he had understood him. He smiled, and without thinking about it, he kissed him. Jack gasped in surprise, and Ianto was just about to withdraw and apologize but then he realized that he didn't want to. Instead, he pressed their lips together a bit firmer, and he felt Jack return the kiss. Jack's hands cupped his nape and his fingers played with Ianto's hairline. Ianto deepened the kiss hesitantly and slid closer to Jack, his hand gliding from Jack's cheek to the back of his neck. The kiss was tender and passionate and Ianto realized that he needed this … before he reminded himself that he'd intended to think about this with a bit of distance. He stopped the kiss reluctantly, bit his lip and avoided Jack's eyes.

Jack tipped Ianto's chin up with a finger and chuckled. “Did you find what you were looking for?“

Ianto wondered why Jack was able to read him that well.

“Maybe,“ he whispered. He got up. “I should leave.“

Jack nodded. “Sleep tight, Ianto.“ He nodded and was already at the ladder, when Jack said, “I almost forgot … you wanted to talk to me.“

Ianto turned back around to him. “Yes,“ he remembered. “Indeed. The camping trip ...“ Jack nodded. Ianto took a deep breath. “I'd like to come with you, sir.“

Jack raised his eyebrows in surprise. “Really?“

“Yes, sir. It's only two or three days. I can give the Weevils and Myfanwy enough food to last and Tosh said that the Rift wouldn't act up in the next few days. Even if Cardiff should face imminent doom ...“ Ianto allowed a small smile. “I wouldn't be able to save the city on my own.“

Jack laughed. “That's true.“ Pride was showing on his face. “Alright, you're in.“

“Thank you,“ Ianto said. “You won't regret it.“

Jack shook his head. “I'm sure I won't.“

***

“Obey my rules and we'll get along just fine,“ the new Torchwood leader Constantine Jane explained, heading for his office with Jack in tow.

Jack didn't like him. He'd been assigned to them by Torchwood One and he seemed to think that he was way better than them – he'd even brought his own secretary.

But Jack needed the connection to Torchwood, so he smiled. “I'm sure we will.“

“If we feel that we need another pair of hands, we'll get you. Everything as it is now, really. There are a few errands in Europe and India I'd like you to run. If I'm happy with your performance, you'll get a promotion to a full Torchwood agent in no time.“ He entered his office with Jack on his heels. “Matthew, the list.“

A young man got up from his place behind a small desk in the shadows of the office and headed towards them to hand Constantine a piece of paper. He then stood, with his hands folded behind his back, one step behind Constantine. Dark curly hair and a likeable face. Jack smiled at him and was gifted with a shy smile in return. Constantine snapped his fingers. “Hey, Harkness, eyes on me.“ Constantine glanced at Matthew before returning his firm stare to Jack. “I've heard all about you. You can do whatever you like outside of this base but you stay away from my team and my secretary. I don't want that kind of distraction here.“ He looked at the list and Jack rolled his eyes at Matthew. Constantine turned his back on them to add something to the list. Jack used the opportunity to point at himself and then Matthew before imitating to eat. The young man blushed and shook his head. Jack folded his hands pleadingly and adapted his pout. A smile was tugging at Matthew's lips, but he kept suppressing it. Jack looked questioningly at him. Matthew laughed and Constantine turned around to them. He stared at Matthew. “Don't you have something to do, boy?“

Matthew nodded. “Of course, Mr. Jane. I'm sorry.“ He returned to his desk.

While Constantine explained to Jack what he wanted him to do in India, Matthew and Jack's eyes sought each other out now and then.


Jack woke up. He was sitting in his desk chair. The Fairies laughed.

“Why are you doing this?“ he asked. The sounds ceased and Jack knew that they'd left – for the last time. He got up and grabbed his mug from his desk. He left the office and was headed for the coffee machine, but half-way there, he stopped abruptly. The entrance door was papered with something that looked like blue prints from his position. There was a bucket with red paint lying on the floor, left over from a renovation of the tourist office's backroom shortly before 2000. The paint was staining the tiles like blood. Jack cursed softly. “Bastards!“ he muttered. He headed for the door, avoiding stepping into the paint, and took a closer look at the blue prints. Plans of the base. “What?“ he growled in annoyance. Until now, the Fairies had never ever destroyed anything in the Hub and he was surprised. Even more so, since they'd told him not too long ago that they were grateful. He removed one of the plans carefully and froze. There were letters painted on the door underneath. He had to remove three other blue prints before he was able to read the message:

He's alive

Jack's chest tightened. With trembling hands, he removed the other plans and found the rest of the message:

Look closer


Next story: The Golden Boy
12/10

If you want to have this (or some other) story as a PDF, I'd be happy to send it to you. Just PM me with the title of the story, the language you wanna have it in (English or German) and your e-mail address and I'll deliver. :)

Masterlist
Mosaic Masterlist
Torchwood Masterlist

Comments

( 31 comments — Leave a comment )
kiraclara
Mar. 12th, 2011 04:34 pm (UTC)
That was awesome. I would love a PDF in English.

crogalinski@yahoo.com
jolinarjackson
Mar. 13th, 2011 12:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :) Just sent it. If you didn't get it, let me know.
bertie05
Mar. 12th, 2011 06:27 pm (UTC)
I am SO excited for the continuation! I can't get enough of the Jack/Matthew story line. Wow. Really great job!

Peace,

B
jolinarjackson
Mar. 13th, 2011 12:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
punkchick1995
Mar. 12th, 2011 06:45 pm (UTC)
Brilliant ending :) I loved these last two parts and that kiss just made me melt!! Can't actually wait until 'The Golden Boy' xx
jolinarjackson
Mar. 13th, 2011 12:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
mundgawi_1
Mar. 12th, 2011 07:05 pm (UTC)
Loved the story. And the cliffhanger at the end.
Can't wait to read the new one " the golden boy".
jolinarjackson
Mar. 13th, 2011 12:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
fide_et_spe
Mar. 12th, 2011 07:31 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, I find the story of Matthew very moving. I'm so intrigued. I really like how you ended at the beginning of the next story.

This was great, and I really like that it came down to the wood being cleared.
jolinarjackson
Mar. 13th, 2011 12:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
usakiwigirl
Mar. 12th, 2011 11:05 pm (UTC)
Such a good ending. And a great lead in the to the next story. I'm definitely going to PM you to get this one on PDF - it's truly fantastic.
jolinarjackson
Mar. 13th, 2011 12:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :)
milady_dragon
Mar. 13th, 2011 12:23 am (UTC)
Loved that! I'm really looking forward to the next one!

jolinarjackson
Mar. 13th, 2011 12:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :)
runzu
Mar. 13th, 2011 04:15 am (UTC)
I'll be back when I'm coherent and have stopped flailing...
jolinarjackson
Mar. 13th, 2011 12:56 pm (UTC)
:D
lone_star_woman
Mar. 13th, 2011 04:39 am (UTC)
Great story. I like how the Banshee story's resolution was still a little messy, and the others weren't exactly pleased about it. I also liked the references to Harold Saxon and the Face of Boe. The scene where Jack meets Matthew is fantastic.

And there will be more! I'm curious to know where you plan to take this next.
jolinarjackson
Mar. 13th, 2011 12:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I couldn't resist the Harold Saxon references, really. :)
larsinger29
Mar. 13th, 2011 05:10 pm (UTC)
This was really remarkable and such a lovely ending. Brought some stuff to a closure, but the intrigue is still there! I am so enthralled with your storyline here and the mystery of Matthew! I can't wait to see what the next installment of this 'verse holds!

Terrific job! This was fabulous!
jolinarjackson
Mar. 14th, 2011 12:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
royalladyemma
Mar. 14th, 2011 07:13 am (UTC)
Just did a marathon read of this story and it's just as wonderful as the first one. I absolutely cannot wait to read the Golden Child!!!

I'd also like to thank you so much for your statement earlier about not posting a story you're not going to finish. That has got to be my biggest pet peeve about fanfiction - writers who abandon stories partway through, no explanation, no apology, they just cut and run. If you're not going to finish writing the story, then have the courtesy to remove from the interweb what's already there. Why continue to torture readers. I'll never understand people like that!!!!

That's why I thank you so very much for your stand on finish a story before you start to post it. That simple courtesy says just as much about you as the quality of your story does.

So, looking forward the the Golden Child!!! Thank you for sharing your talent with me!
jolinarjackson
Mar. 14th, 2011 12:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much. :)

I hate it when potentially great stories get dropped. It's always such a shame.
stella_peterson
Mar. 18th, 2011 05:44 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed reading this. Interesting plot, nicely balanced with interaction between both the team members and Jack and Ianto. Well written, and good characterisation as well. Wonderful, thank you.
jolinarjackson
Mar. 19th, 2011 01:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
evalentine99
Jun. 14th, 2011 06:20 am (UTC)
Wow what an amazing story say and I do not agree with the review tis story unfolded at the right pace any faster it would hve been forced
jolinarjackson
Jun. 14th, 2011 10:23 am (UTC)
Thank you. :)
lilferret
Jun. 22nd, 2011 09:01 pm (UTC)
OMG. Really? Is it possible this fic is even better than the last in the series? Seriously?

*flails*
jolinarjackson
Jun. 23rd, 2011 06:05 am (UTC)
Thank you. :)
triquetralin
May. 12th, 2012 05:47 am (UTC)
I realise now I should have commented on the earlier stories in this 'verse as well, but I've been so anxious to go on reading I didn't think about it. Will do better from now on, but I doubt I'll remember to comment on each chapter :-P

I really like the Matthew (and Michael) story line, and the way you describe Ianto's feelings for Jack and how they're ever so slowly moving forward. Can't wait to find out what happens next and, for the record, there's nothing wrong with the pace, not with character descriptions and interactions like these.

I've loved all the stories in this 'verse so far, and what I really, really like is that, unlike many other fic writers, you are not solely focused on the team and their relationships, but make the actual Torchwood events - the alien-catching bits - equally important. That makes this feel like a proper novel in a way that few others manage.

Also, I'm a glutton for details and beautiful language, and all your stories have both.

I would very much like the pdf's of all the stories in this 'verse, in English. My e-mail address is triquetralin@gmail.com. Thank you!

Now onto "The Golden Boy"!
jolinarjackson
May. 12th, 2012 08:40 am (UTC)
Thank you so much. :)

You don't have to comment on every single chapter. I just find it interesting to see what people think about what I'm writing. Don't feel forced to drop a review, though.

I'm glad you like the Matthew story arch, since it became so important to me. I hope you like The Golden Boy, then. :)

I'm gonna send you the PDFs now. :)
(no subject) - triquetralin - May. 12th, 2012 02:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
( 31 comments — Leave a comment )