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This Crying Earth - 5/17

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 Four

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



The dead, naked Weevil on Owen's examination table wasn't Gwen's idea of a perfect morning. Not after spending a mute breakfast with Rhys glaring at her over his bacon and scrambled eggs, obviously having a mental rant about the furniture, the flat issue and Gwen's work.

Owen was staring at the Weevil as if he couldn't decide where to start with the autopsy. Jack had found the alien dead in its cell just this morning. Owen knew by now that it hadn't died from an illness, and now he was keen to find out what had caused its death. This Weevil had only been Torchwood's guest for three days - it hadn't even been given a name yet.

Tosh was standing next to Gwen on the upper level of the med bay. They were leaning against the railing, watching Owen work. Gwen propped her head up on one hand. “Seriously … where does Jack come from? He knows all that stuff, he … he's different.“ Gwen thought that her question deserved an answer. She knew that he couldn't die, but he didn't tell her much more than that, and whenever she was trying to find out more about him, he shut her out. With Tosh and Owen's help, she might be able to find out more.

Owen rolled his eyes. “Stop it, okay?“ he said.

Tosh nodded. “Asking questions has always been pointless. Believe me, we tried.“

Gwen wasn't ready to give up. “He's got to be older than seventy, but he doesn't look any older than thirty-five, and I thought we agreed yesterday that he acts a bit weird sometimes.“

Tosh winked at Gwen. “Owen acts a bit weird sometimes, too.“

“Oi! I can hear you,“ Owen answered, deciding on the classic Y-shaped incision in the chest. “You're trying to tell us, Gwen,“ he said, using a big bone scissor to cut through the ribs, “that he's an alien.“

“That would explain why he looks so young,“ Gwen said. 'And that he can't die,' she added mentally. Owen started to cut through the ribs. Tosh pulled a repulsed face. Gwen crossed her arms. “I'm just saying,“ she shrugged. “He could try to be a bit more honest with us. We have no idea who he is.“

Owen sighed. “That's right.“

Tosh drummed her fingertips against the railing. “Suzie and I had a theory: He fell through the Rift.“

Gwen's eyes widened. “You think that's possible?“

“Yes,“ Tosh answered. “He could come from the 30s, and landed here through a time displacement.“

Gwen narrowed her eyes. “That would mean that there shouldn't be any records about him – between the 30s and the 90s.“

Owen raised his head to look at her. “Off you go. Research it. Then I can finally autopsy without you rambling on about him.“

Gwen flipped him the finger. As she thought about it, she realized Tosh’s theory could be right, and maybe, falling through the Rift could be the explanation for Jack's immortality, too. She decided to do some research.

Owen removed the heart with more glee written all over his face than Gwen thought was appropriate. She sighed and breached the topic that was bothering her the most, “I can't stop thinking about Jasmine. He's making decisions without explaining to us what's going on.“

Tosh cleaned her glasses with her sweater. “He expects us to trust him.“

“Without asking questions?“ Gwen asked and shook her head. “No, not with me. Who's to say that we couldn't have stopped the Fairies some other way?“

Someone standing behind them cleared his throat, and they turned to see Ianto in the doorway to the med bay, holding a file. “1239 – a devastating earthquake in today's Russia was noted. A lot of villages got destroyed. A legend says that the gods were upset because the people wouldn't sacrifice a child. 1434 – Spain: A man killed his son to prevent him from going with a group of demons. His home town was completely destroyed by a flood and everyone living there died. 1439 – something similar happened in today's Germany. 1893, London: Beings with wings were seen, demanding a child. The parents didn't want to hand it over, and the beings tore down the house, killing everyone living within. 1908, India: A boy reported that his brother was destined to be sacrificed to winged gods. When his parents refused, they were killed by lightning and the family's farmhouse was destroyed by a flood. The boy was the only survivor. 1945, Ohio: A family shot their youngest daughter, which resulted in the city being destroyed. It was rumoured that aliens wanted to take her with them.“ He raised his head.

There was a moment of absolute silence, then Owen sneered, “History class. How nice.“

Ianto stared at him, a hint of reproach in his eyes, but his face was as impassive as always. “Jack had his reasons for sacrificing Jasmine. He didn't do it because he enjoyed it or because he wanted to or because he didn't care, but because there was no other way.“

Tosh, Owen and Gwen looked at him silently. Gwen glanced at Tosh and noticed that she was looking insecure. She crossed her arms stubbornly. Unimpressed by her defiant stance, Ianto continued, “And you should trust him because he knows what he's doing. Because he would do everything to protect this city. Because he's our leader.“ He ducked his head for a second, and added a bit softer, “And the most important reason: Because he deserves our trust.“ Ianto gave each of them a look. “I think all of you can remember at least one time where you needed him and he trusted you without asking why.“

Gwen ducked her head, a bit embarrassed. Jack had never asked her not to tell the team about his immortality. He just trusted her not to do it, even though he didn't really know her that long.

Ianto seemed to take the silence as confirmation of his words. “And now he needs our trust without you asking questions. We may not like it, but letting Jasmine go was a necessary evil. Jack would have stopped her if he could have, and I think, all of you know that.“ He smiled bitterly. “We can't always win.“

Owen ascended the steps and stopped next to Gwen. He jutted out his chin. “And you of all people trust him? After everything that's happened?“

Ianto swallowed and Gwen noticed that he was working hard on choking down his grief. “We can't always win,“ he repeated. Then he turned away and left the med bay. Owen, Gwen and Tosh glanced at each other uncertainly. Owen brushed a hand through his hair and returned to his autopsy. Gwen turned her back to the door, watching him again.

Beside her, Tosh leaned her arms on the railing and cleared her throat softly. “I think he's right.“

Owen shrugged. “Doesn't matter,“ he said. Gwen saw him swallow and squeeze his eyes shut for a second, and she was pretty sure that he was remembering all the times Jack had had his back. The last time had only been two weeks ago. Jack had forgiven Owen when he'd tried to manipulate his colleagues with enhanced mental powers, he'd forgiven him for almost killing Ianto in the process. He hadn't even suspended him, but accepted that Owen had been a victim as well.

Gwen tried to ignore the thought that Ianto was right, because what had happened with Jasmine was different, but she couldn't shake the feeling that it wasn't.


Jack thought that the team was a bit more friendly towards him when he summoned them to the boardroom. That didn't make the briefing go any easier, mainly because they had no idea what they were dealing with in Coedwig Street.

Tosh, Owen and Gwen were sitting right and left of Jack, who'd claimed the seat at the head of the table as he always did. Ianto had served them coffee, but then he'd excused himself to go back to work in the tourist office. By now, the mugs were empty or the remaining coffee cold and Owen, hating long briefings, was getting twitchy. Jack decided to put an end to the meeting. “To be completely honest,“ he said, “I'm not sure if it's a Torchwood matter, but there's nothing more urgent happening so we better make sure. We'll interview the residents.“

Gwen raised a hand to catch Jack's attention, and he nodded at her. She leaned on the table and propped her head up on one hand. “Andy sent me a list with the addresses of everyone who's seen something.“

“That'll make things easier,“ Jack said. “Send it to Ianto. Tell him to print it out. I'm going to pick it up after the briefing. There's no need for him to come down here.“

Gwen pulled one of the laptops closer to send the e-mail. Jack turned to Tosh who was sitting next to him with her laptop and a few pages of paper filled with complicated equations.

“Are there any Rift activities near the neighbourhood?“

She shook her head. “My scanners didn't pick anything up.“

“Fine, then we're done for now.“ He turned to Owen. “Did you find out why that Weevil died?“

“Heart attack,“ Owen answered.

Jack raised his eyebrows in surprise. “Seriously?“

“Maybe it was sensitive. Maybe we overwhelmed it and died of stress,“ Owen answered with a shrug.

“What about Stuart?“

“Nothing yet. I made the autopsy my priority to make sure that nothing dangerous is on the loose in the Hub. I'll get to Stuart's blood samples first thing tomorrow. Maybe today if we don't take too long with the interviews.“

“Good,“ Jack nodded. “We're leaving in ten minutes. Meet me at the car.“

His team got up to get their things.

“Owen, just a minute, please,“ Jack said and Owen stayed behind while Gwen and Tosh left the boardroom with their laptops. Jack put his hands on his hips and stepped closer. “You did Ianto's check-up today?“


“How is he?“

Owen sighed deeply and leaned against the table. He crossed his arms and put on his doctor-face. Focussed and competent.

“As far as I can tell, he's okay. His blood pressure's a bit high, but not overly so. The only problem I see is his weight – again.“

Jack drew his eyebrows together. “He hasn't gained any?“

Sighing, Owen shook his head. Then he said, “He hasn't lost any, either. Maybe we're reaching the turning point, but he needs to eat more and regularly. Did you see the inside of his fridge?“

Jack crossed his arms. “During his suspension.“

“I'm not Jamie Oliver – my stove is more of a decoration – but Ianto's fridge scared me.“

Jack remembered. Water, juice, eggs and milk. He was already trying to keep an eye on Ianto's intake of food but it wasn't easy. Since Ianto was back at work, Jack hadn't been to his flat, and other more important issues had come up.

“I'm going to take care of it,“ Jack said. “I'll talk to him.“

Owen nodded. “Sounds like a plan.“ He pushed away from the table and headed for the door. There he froze and turned back around. He seemed to hesitate for a moment.

Jack raised his eyebrows, curious. “Yes?“

“We don't get why you did it, and we don't like it,“ Owen said. He caught Jack's eyes and spoke slowly, as if he wanted to make sure that there were no misunderstandings. “But we decided to trust that it was the right thing to do.“

Jack nodded slowly. “Thank you.“

Owen gifted him with a tense smile. “Just look at it as a Get out of jail-card, but, Jack … you have to get used to talking to us. We can't just accept everything you're throwing at us.“

Jack nodded. “I'll take note of it. Thanks, Owen.“

Chapter Six


Feb. 23rd, 2011 08:41 pm (UTC)
That was great. Glad that Ianto was able to get through to them about just what might have happened if Jack hadn't given the fairies Jasmine. And I like Owen's comments at the end. Lovely.
Feb. 24th, 2011 03:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :) I thought a lot about Owen's last lines in this chapter, since I wanted him to make Jack see reason without coming over as too curious or mean.