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This Crying Earth - 1/17

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 One
Masterlist

***
***


1.


The shrill ring tone of his mobile dragged Ianto Jones out of his only recently found sleep. His hand found the phone on the bedside table and he answered without glancing at the caller ID. There was only one person who would call him at this time of night.

"Jack?"

"I'm in front of your house. There's been a Weevil sighting in Splott. Come down." Jack was sounding far too awake. Just for a second, Ianto marveled at how unfair that was, but then he caught up with Jack's words.

He switched on the lamp on his bedside table. "A Weevil ...," he repeated, still a bit sleepy.

Normally, Jack would call Owen, Gwen or Tosh to help him. Ianto fought his way out of bed and tripped into his jeans. Then he grabbed a sweater he'd left on the floor next to the bed. He would get properly dressed later, as soon as that Weevil was dealt with. He had one or two suits stashed away in the Hub for emergencies and they had showers there, too. Great showers. Great showers with really fancy showerheads for a secret underground base.

"I'm waiting." With that, Jack disconnected the call. Ianto shoved his mobile in his jeans pocket, switched off the alarm on his clock and allowed himself half a minute to splash his face with cold water before he grabbed his keys, donned his leather jacket and left his flat.

The black Torchwood SUV was waiting in front of his apartment building. Ianto dropped into the passenger seat and shut the door. Immediately, the comfortable warmth of the inside of the car drained the wet cold from outside out of his bones. Something clicked and he looked at Jack, who was studying a golden stopwatch.

"Four minutes, twenty-eight seconds."

Ianto groaned. He should have stayed in bed. Far away from night-active captains holding stopwatches.

He rubbed his face to chase away the last remains of sleep. "There's no Weevil in Splott, is there?"

"Faster than Owen and Gwen, but just that bit slower than Tosh." Jack threw him the watch and Ianto glanced at the antique piece. He sighed deeply and said, "I assume my training starts today, sir?"

Jack winked at him. "Yeah. I told you, you'd get an upgrade from general support to back-up agent, and I intend to keep that promise, and thanks to my training you'll be the best back-up agent Torchwood has."

"I'll be the only back-up agent Torchwood has, sir. Torchwood Two doesn't even have agents, Torchwood Four's still missing, Torchwood One's destroyed and Torchwood India's closed down."

"Just accept a compliment when I'm trying to be nice."

Ianto sighed and turned to look out the window. Jack's fingers brushed his hand and he asked, "Hungry? I know where to get a fantastic breakfast."

***

Jenna Miller shivered in the cold air outside and crossed her arms. She turned away from the dark forest looming on the other side of Coedwig Street while Emlyn stashed her suitcase in the boot of her car and slammed the lid shut. "I'll be back in three days," she said, brushing blonde locks out of her face. She kissed Jenna tenderly. "You know that you can call Gary if you need help."

Jenna nodded and cupped her prominent baby bump with her hands. Emlyn splayed her fingers over Jenna's belly to talk to her daughter. "And you be a good girl, and don't you dare to get born before mom's back, you hear me?"

Jenna smiled, caressing Emlyn's hair. "Don't worry."

Emlyn nodded, sighed reluctantly and got into her car. Jenna waved when she pulled away and sped off. She crossed her arms again and turned to go back inside. A noise behind her made her stop, and she looked back at the trees. She narrowed her eyes. Something was moving in the shadows. Jenna took a step back.

"Morning!" the voice of a man called.

She jumped and turned to face her neighbour, George. He was dressed in a suit and his normally mussed brown hair was tamed and neatly styled for once.

"Morning! Look at you, all mature," she answered, glanced at the forest one last time and shook her head. There was nothing there. The tales about Roundstone Wood were just that – tales – and she was old enough not to believe the rumours.

"I hate it, but what can I do? What about you? Already up at this time of the day," he asked and put his briefcase on the car to rifle through it.

Jenna nodded and turned to walk towards her house. "Emlyn had to leave for a meeting in Rome."

George nodded and watched Jenna enter her house.

George got into his car and pulled out of the driveway. When he glanced at the rearview mirror he thought that he could see a woman standing near the forest. He blinked, and when he checked again, she was gone.

***

Brad's Diner had opened in the late 70s. It was designed with a nostalgic American theme in mind – red padded seats and pastel-coloured tables, a black-and-white-tiled floor and walls painted in a soft yellow. Photographs of American cars and actors adorned the walls, there was a jukebox in one corner and stools at the bar for people to sit. The diner was open 24/7, well known for the greasiest food in Cardiff and, even though the diner was popular, the owners changed more often than the grease in the chip pan. The large windows faced a breathtaking view of the bay.

Jack and Ianto were sitting at one of the windows. At this time of day, the diner was almost empty. A bored waitress was trying to kill time by listening to the radio and an old man was sitting at one corner of the bar, reading the paper.

Jack stirred his coffee, watching Ianto adding salt to his scrambled eggs and sugar to his coffee. With a fork in one hand, Ianto finally looked up to give Jack a questioning stare. "Sir?"

"Nothing," Jack shook his head and smiled before clearing his throat and taking his own fork. He busied himself with eating his breakfast.

Ianto frowned. Then he began eating, much slower than Jack, and decided to ignore his stares. "By the way, we managed to retcon everyone in Jasmine's street. Tosh and I spent the whole afternoon making the people in the neighbourhood forget about the party. Instead, we gave them the memory of a car accident killing Jasmine and Roy-"

"Can we just not talk about that?" Jack asked, staring at him pleadingly. "We're having breakfast. Away from the Hub. We're not boss and general support officer."

Ianto raised his eyebrows. "And here I thought, I'm a back-up agent."

Jack laughed. "Right."

He buttered his toast and pondered how to broach the subject he wanted to talk to Ianto about. Jack wasn't making a habit out of treating his co-workers to breakfast one at a time. He preferred to eat with the whole team gathered around the conference table in the Hub, but he knew that Ianto would never talk openly with the others present. He wasn't even sure if Ianto would talk with only Jack sitting across from him, but Jack had to talk to him. Ianto was working too much and he kept lingering in the shadows, away from the team. Owen was still worried about Ianto's health. Owen thought that Ianto wasn't eating enough, and Jack tended to agree with him. Ianto was too thin and he always seemed to be exhausted these days. Jack admitted to himself that it may not have been his best idea, under the circumstances, to wake Ianto before the sun even showed its face, but Jack knew, too, that Ianto managed to evade sleep even without Jack's help.

Now, all Jack had to do was to get Ianto to open up to him. Then they could think about how to tackle his problems. Easier said than done. Ianto was a private person and Jack – feeling like a cheater – had needed to dig deep into Ianto's file to find out something useful about him. The file seemed to be incomplete. Everything in it was pretty vague, and Jack kept asking himself if Torchwood One was to blame for that, or if Ianto had manipulated it. Nevertheless, he'd found a sister living in Cardiff, and that was everything he needed for now. They could talk about Ianto's file as soon as the situation was less tense.

Jack decided to broach the subject with a direct question. "How are you, Ianto?"

"Fine, sir."

"Huh," Jack said. The answer had come a bit too fast for his taste. A bit too formal and Ianto hadn't even looked at him. "Try that again."

Ianto only glanced at him before he focussed on cutting his eggs into small portions. "A bit tired."

"You're working a lot."

Ianto shrugged. Jack sipped his coffee and added, "One could think that you live in the Hub."

"I wouldn't be the first," Ianto answered with a smile.

Jack took a bite of his toast. "Someone has to guard the Rift," he said with his mouth full. He pointed his fork at Ianto's plate and swallowed. "Eat before it gets cold."

"Not every one of us has as healthy an appetite as you."

Jack raised his eyebrows. "Did you just insult me?"

"I wouldn't dare," Ianto answered, watching Jack shovel three forks of scrambled eggs into his mouth in record time. Jack knew that he tended to eat ... fast, but he'd learned that fast was better than not eating at all.

Jack swallowed. "Good thing, too. The last thing I need is another team member hating me."

Ianto ducked his head and created Scrambled Egg Mountain in the middle of his plate.

Jack was all too aware of the fact that Owen, Gwen and Tosh thought that Jasmine could have been saved. They seemed to see Jack handing Jasmine over to the Fairies as a betrayal. Ever since it happened two days ago, they hadn't talked to Jack beyond work. Jack could understand why they were disappointed – he would have liked it better if they'd been able to help Jasmine, too – but Torchwood was just that, Torchwood. Or as he'd heard Yvonne Hartmann once say: We're not the Red Cross.

Jack had never wanted to agree with her, but he could see why the late Torchwood leader had said it. Not everything went down smoothly. There were victims, and sometimes, those victims were innocent beings like children. That made it worse, but it couldn’t be helped.

Jack knew that he'd done what he'd needed to do. The others would come around, too – soon. But Ianto ... Ianto hadn't been mad or disappointed. He knew what had happened, Jack had heard Tosh tell him, and then he'd kept on working as if nothing had changed. Jack knew that the others didn't understand Ianto's loyalty, especially after what had happened with Lisa. Jack didn't really understand it himself, but he and Ianto had reached a quiet understanding of sorts. Jack knew that Ianto had feelings for him. They both knew that it was more than affection, more than friendship.

Jack hadn't tried to kiss Ianto again or to start something more than that. He was waiting for Ianto to take the first step, and tried to show him with gentle flirting that he was there if he wanted him. Truth was, he wanted Ianto, too. Even though the last time Ianto had shared his bed was now tainted by betrayal. Maybe even because of that fact – he wanted Ianto again, wanted him open and honest and with the certainty that Ianto was thinking only about him during sex. Because even though Ianto had admitted that he had feelings for Jack, Lisa was still hovering in the background and she had been every time they'd had sex.

Ianto cleared his throat. "They don't mean it like that."

"Really?" Jack asked. "They don't even talk to me since it happened."

"They'll understand that you had to do it. You always do what you have to do, even if it ... seems wrong in the first moment." Ianto turned his head away to look out the window at the bay that was still clouded by the dawn. He seemed sad and Jack had a vision of Ianto sitting like that in his flat, in the tourist office and in the archives – lonely by choice, but tired of it. He knew that Ianto was still grieving and feeling undeserving of his place on the team. Jack was still blaming himself about letting Ianto fall that far in the first place, about not paying attention.

Jack tapped the back of Ianto's hand to get his attention and when Ianto turned to face him, Jack nodded. "Yeah, I always do what I have to do. Even though I might not like it." Jack was thinking back to how he'd ordered his team to kill Lisa. He'd had to do it, but that didn't make it any easier to meet Ianto's eyes afterwards. Ianto pulled his hand away and took his fork. He took a few bites of his eggs and toast. Jack was watching him attentively. "Can I ask you something personal, Ianto?" he asked.

"You're asking for permission?" Ianto asked with a small grin.

Jack propped his forearms on the table. "There's mentions of a sister and her family here in Cardiff in your file. Are you talking to them?"

Ianto ducked his head and shook it. Jack tried to catch his eyes, but he failed. "You should," he said.

"I haven’t talked to Rhiannon since Canary Wharf. There was so much to do."

Jack frowned. "Didn't she call you?"

Ianto pushed his scrambled eggs around the plate. "My ... I lost my mobile in the battle and I left our flat in London immediately after to come to Cardiff with Lisa. I had to act fast."

Jack nodded in understanding.

Ianto smiled, a little helplessly. "It was so easy not to call. What was I supposed to say?"

"That you're alive," Jack suggested. Ianto shrugged and Jack wondered just how good the relationship between Ianto and Rhiannon was. "You should go to her. Take a few hours off and visit her."

"Jack, it's not ... we never were close."

"You should try to get closer, then. Family's important. I regret …" He stopped. "Believe me," he detoured. "It could help you to talk to someone, even if you can't tell the whole truth. I know from the Canary Wharf files that you gave up online counselling after the first session."

"As far as I know, we all did," Ianto answered bitterly. "UNIT paid those therapists ... they couldn't help us. Nobody can understand what happened there if they didn't see it."

"It was terrible," Jack said. "We were there after the battle, to get the technolgy and files from the archives and save them from UNIT." And Jack had hoped to see the Doctor there after he’d found out that he had been visiting Torchwood One when the attack had happened, but he'd been long gone.

Jack smiled encouragingly at Ianto. "Promise me to think about it, though," he said. Ianto nodded but Jack was sure that his decision to not see his sister was already made.


Chapter Two
Masterlist

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
iolo1234
Feb. 14th, 2011 07:39 pm (UTC)
Well that's me hooked. I love starting a new story and this looks good. Nasty creatures in the dark are always intriguing. Looking forward to more.
jolinarjackson
Feb. 15th, 2011 04:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
punkchick1995
Feb. 14th, 2011 08:42 pm (UTC)
ooh im intrigued!! can't wait for the next part :)
jolinarjackson
Feb. 15th, 2011 04:21 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :)
milady_dragon
Feb. 15th, 2011 04:08 am (UTC)
This is very interesting! Can't wait to see what you have up your sleeve!
jolinarjackson
Feb. 15th, 2011 04:22 pm (UTC)
*looking up my sleeve* Huh! Interesting. ;)
baiba69
Feb. 15th, 2011 03:26 pm (UTC)
I believe this story will be interesting so much as
"The Enemy Within" was. Thank you.
jolinarjackson
Feb. 15th, 2011 04:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you for reading. :) Love the icon.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )