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This Crying Earth - 6/17

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 Five
Masterlist

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

***
***


6.


Ianto said goodbye to three Japanese students. They waved at him and left the tourist office, giggling shyly. Ianto waited for a few more seconds to be sure, then he unlocked the secret entrance to the Hub. The door opened immediately. Jack, wearing his coat and determination, was already waiting behind it. “That took a long time,“ he said, entering the office.

“There aren’t many tourists that come here, but those who do, I’d like to help as much as I can,“ Ianto answered, arranging some flyers on the stand. Then he went to the backroom and returned with a neatly printed page. He glanced at it as if to make sure that everything was in order, then he handed it over to Jack. “The addresses.“

“Thanks, Ianto,“ Jack answered and glanced at the page. He pulled a face. “That many, huh?“

“Twenty-one, sir.”

Jack sighed, irritated. “That's going to take the whole afternoon.“ He folded the page and put it in his coat pocket. “I rerouted all the calls to my phone to your mobile.“

Ianto checked his watch and then his mental To Do-list. He would lock up the tourist office soon, clean up the boardroom, feed the Weevils and Myfanwy and call the PM's secretary. He nodded to himself, then he noticed that Jack was staring at with an amused smile.

“Sir?“

“The mental To Do-list,“ Jack grinned. “I love it when you do that. You always seem so focussed.“

Ianto raised his eyebrows. “Am I not always focussed, sir?“

Jack shrugged. “Yeah, but you're always hiding it so well. How come you love mental To Do-lists so much?“

Ianto bit his lip, then he tried to hide the gesture, but Jack had already seen it. "Sensitive topic? Sorry."

"No, sir. It's alright." Silence descended for a moment, then Ianto said, "I thought about ordering pizza. You could warm it up when you get back later than dinner time."

Jack shrugged. "If this will take as long as I think it will, I'll send everyone home."

"I see," Ianto answered. "I'll order one for you then."

"And you," Jack answered heading for the door. "Get the firing range ready when you're done here."

Ianto nodded. Jack stopped and turned back around. "You don't have anything planned tonight, do you?"

"My date book is empty," Ianto answered with a small smile.

***

Gwen thanked Jeffrey Rush for serving her tea, and leaned back on the couch in the cosy living room. She sipped at the mug while Jeffrey sat down next to his daughter Kelly on the couch opposite her. Kelly Rush was seventeen and obviously thrilled to be questioned by someone with a badge.

"So, I'm walking home. No problem there, right? The street's not dangerous and I'm into karate." She sipped her coke. "Then there's that woman, y'know. On the street. Crying."

***

"In our garden," Claudia Meyer said, and Tosh gifted her with an understanding nod. She tried to find a more comfortable way to sit on the designer couch without giving away that she was in agony from just perching on it. The Meyers' house was more of an exhibition for modern art and weird furniture than a home.

Claudia's husband Don was standing behind her, his hands on her shoulder, while she continued, "She was staring at me. She was ugly, like one of those creatures out of a cheap horror movie." She grimaced at the memory and pushed an errant lock of red hair out of her face. "I screamed."

Don nodded. "I was scared to death," he said. "I joined her and looked out of the window, there she is. She was crying, and she was screaming something but I couldn't understand her."

***

George Peterson shook his head and leaned against the glass of his porch door. He was staring out to the small garden thoughtfully, then he turned back to Jack who was standing in the middle of his living room. George sighed. "I keep seeing her. Whenever I go to work or bring out the trash."

Jack narrowed his eyes. "Since when?"

"A few weeks," George said, frowning, and then he said, "I know even better – almost two months. Emlyn, my neighbour, was away on a business trip, and her wife Jenna called me. She said that something was in her garden. That was the first time I saw her."

***

"George came over immediately," Jenna explained, caressing her prominent baby belly. "I would have called Tommy – the baby's father – but he was on vacation with his boyfriend."

Owen leaned back into the couch. There was a photograph of Jenna and her spouse on the sidetable. They were a cute couple, Owen thought. His mind strayed to the photographs of him and Katie and he wondered where he'd put them. He hadn't wanted to display them in his flat, but ... he cleared his throat. "What happened then?"

"Nothing," Jenna answered. "She just kept staring at us, crying. She said something."

"What?" Owen asked.

"I'm not sure," Jenna said hesitantly, "Emlyn's so much better at this than I am, but …" She sighed. "It could've been Welsh."

***

Ianto rarely went to the firing range. After he started working for Torchwood Three, Jack had taken him down here to see what Ianto was capable of, and even though he was only General Support, he knew that Jack expected him to at least practice sometimes. The vaults were a perfect place to do that. Ianto had read in the files that the firing range was originally planned as a city project in the 50s. The city council had wanted it to be a tunnel leading from Cardiff under the Mouth of the Severn to Clevedon, but the project had been dropped after the construction had already started. Torchwood had made use of the abandoned tunnel by expanding the base to include it.

Ianto liked shooting, but only on the range. The thought of actually having to shoot someone or something while in the field made him nervous. More nervous than he wanted to admit to Jack, who was currently busy spreading out different guns from their amory on a small table. Both of them were already wearing the protection goggles, the coloured glasses were casting a yellow hue on everything. The goggles didn't fit and kept sliding down Ianto's nose. He pushed them up. "You don't think it's an echo, then?" he asked, putting on the earmuffs.

Jack mirrored him, then he said into the mike, "She's interacting way too much for that." His voice sounded tinny and strange through the earmuffs. He handed Ianto one of the guns the team was always wearing in the field and ammunition. Ianto loaded the gun and pointed at one of the cardboard Weevils. He shot three times and smiled to himself when they all reached their targets. Jack was impressed. "Great." He took the weapon from Ianto and put the safety on. "But we knew that already. Let's try something different."

While he was contemplating which weapon to hand Ianto next, Ianto decided to continue their talk. "I searched our database - nothing. I searched UNIT's database - nothing. I searched Wikipedia and Google."

"Nothing?" Jack assumed.

"Too much nonsense, sir," Ianto answered. "Too much to really deduce what's real and what's not. There are too many ghost stories about women in white dresses out there."

Jack took a new weapon from the table and Ianto's eyes widened. It was big and bulky, and Jack had to hold it with both hands. A strap was attached to it just as black as the weapon's metal. Ianto stared at Jack. "Is this ..." He stopped.

Jack grinned, obviously happy about the reaction he'd gotten out of Ianto. "Yeah. The gun Owen spent a week gushing over after I allowed him to shoot with it. A Kailan D-65 laser weapon. One of the most powerful weapons out there. It's similar to a bazooka." He stepped up to Ianto. "You never used it, right?"

"No," Ianto answered. "I only have standard training."

"Let's change that," Jack answered. He held onto the weapon with only one hand and used his right one to drape the strap over Ianto's shoulders. "It's heavy," he warned and handed the gun over. It was. Ianto grimaced and tried to find a better grip on the weapon.

"Here." Jack showed him where to place his hands. "Gwen was having problems with it. Tosh was barely able to hold it properly." He smiled. "Their hands are too small."

"I wonder if the builder was trying to compensate for something," Ianto said and Jack laughed.

His hand brushed Ianto's back to straighten out the strap, just so. He was close enough for Ianto to be able to smell his aftershave. Jack hadn't used any, until Suzie had given him one a few weeks after Ianto's employment. "It reminded me of you," she'd said. He was still using it now. It smelled of wood and leather and it was perfect for Jack.

Jack stopped his adjusting. "I almost forgot to thank you," he said suddenly.

Ianto shook of his thoughts. "What for?" he asked.

Jack stared into his eyes and Ianto realized that he was starting to blush, but he didn't look away, just kept returning Jack's gaze curiously. Jack gifted him with a small smile. "The others are talking to me again. I think you had something to do with that."

Now, Ianto turned his head away and stared into the tunnel, embarrassed. Jack waited and when Ianto looked at him, he asked, "How did you manage that?"

"Statistics," Ianto answered. "Research."

"Spoken like an archivist," Jack laughed. His lips caressed Ianto's temple. "Thank you." Then his body heat vanished and Ianto breathed a silent sigh of relief.

"Try it out," Jack said and Ianto raised the D-65 to point it at one of the targets. He shook his head and lowered it. The strap cut into his shoulder.

"My hands are shaking too badly. It's too heavy."

"There's a trick," Jack answered. "I taught everyone of you the art of shooting and you're all so elegant," he grinned and stood behind Ianto. “That's good, but it's not about being elegant with this gun.“ He put his hands over Ianto's and pushed the D-65 down until Ianto thought that his knees would give out. Jack's breath caressed Ianto's neck, and he closed his eyes for a moment. He didn't understand how Jack could evoke these feelings in him, and he didn't feel comfortable with it.

Softly, Jack said, “Put all the weight on the strap. Hold the gun here. Near your hip. Don't even try to lift it. Or to prop it against your shoulder. The recoil would dislocate it.“ One of his hands touched Ianto's hip. “Spread your legs a bit more.“

Ianto tried to convince himself that he was blushing because of the exertion. Not because Jack was standing behind him, and his breath was caressing Ianto's skin, or because he was touching him. Or because he could still smell him.

He didn't have to turn his head to know that Jack's face was next to his. Jack's mouth directly next to his ear.

“Bend your knees a bit to cushion the recoil. Then take aim and shoot.“

Ianto kept his voice just as soft as Jack's, “I can't aim that way.“

“Of course you can,“ Jack said and there was laughter in his voice. “It works, trust me.“ He let go of Ianto's hip, and the place where it had been felt cold. “I'm right behind you, only a step away.“

Ianto tried to aim at one of the Weevils in the front row. He disabled the safety and pushed the weapon down to put its weight on his shoulder, then he shot. He gasped in surprise when he stumbled a step backwards. Jack's hands on his shoulders stopped him, and Ianto heard him laugh. Ianto looked at the target. The head was missing.

“Perfect,“ Jack said.

“I was aiming for the chest,“ Ianto answered.

“You just need practice,“ Jack replied. His fingers dug into Ianto's back muscles, and his voice got softer and deeper. “You alright?“

Ianto nodded with difficulty. Jack's fingers burrowed deeper into his flesh, starting a massage.

“You're tense,“ Jack said.

“The weapon's heavy.“ To his own ears, Ianto's voice was sounding pathetically weak, and he cleared his throat.

Jack made a consenting noise and suggested, “I could give you a real massage later.“

Ianto swallowed. His heart was beating faster. It was an invitation, and his body wanted to accept. He knew what Jack wanted out of this – sex without any strings attached -, but he didn't know if he was ready for this. Insecurity poisoned his feelings, and his trembling hands tightened their grip around the weapon. He didn't know if he wanted Jack at all. He wasn't gay, but they'd already done it and he'd liked it, so he must want to do it again. That was logical. But he was scared. Scared to let someone come close again. He'd always had difficulties with letting people in. Even his sister and her family weren't close, and Jack didn't even know him. He didn't know who Ianto really was, in his most private moments, since Ianto had always kept them from him. He was complicated and … exhausting, Lisa had called it. “Sometimes, you can be so exhausting, Ianto!“ Then she'd smiled, kissed him and embraced him. “But that's okay.“

He closed his eyes. It was too soon. He couldn't do this. Ianto took a small step forwards, away from Jack's hands. “Sexual harassment, sir,“ he whispered.

Jack's voice was calm, not angry or disappointed, when he asked, “That's a no?“

“It's not a yes.“

Jack retreated. “Okay,“ he said. Ianto didn't know if he should explain himself, but he felt so ridiculous. “Let's continue,“ Jack suggested. Ianto nodded gratefully.

Chapter Seven
Masterlist

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
punkchick1995
Feb. 25th, 2011 06:44 pm (UTC)
brilliant! i like the way the interviews all flowed into eachother! can't wait for the next part!!
jolinarjackson
Feb. 26th, 2011 01:35 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
sailor_shipper
Feb. 25th, 2011 07:46 pm (UTC)
That last bit was just gaahhh. Very well writen and you could just feel the tension, both good and bad between the two of them.
jolinarjackson
Feb. 26th, 2011 01:35 pm (UTC)
Glad you liked it. :)
milady_dragon
Feb. 25th, 2011 10:12 pm (UTC)
Great chapter. Loved all the interviews and how they just seemed to flow all together. And the last part...I feel bad for the boys, and I do hope that Ianto figures out what he wants.
jolinarjackson
Feb. 26th, 2011 01:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
lone_star_woman
Feb. 26th, 2011 04:34 am (UTC)
Fantastic UST. Poor Ianto just needs some time, but he'll come around.
jolinarjackson
Feb. 26th, 2011 01:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :)
fide_et_spe
Feb. 26th, 2011 05:08 am (UTC)
Aaw, I hope they can communicate a bit better soon! I like the investigation and still intrigued.
jolinarjackson
Feb. 26th, 2011 01:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
Communication - those two? I don't think so. ;)
lazy_8s
Feb. 26th, 2011 12:20 pm (UTC)

Lovely chapter! The mystery of the lady in white deepens. Also, Ianto was quite flustered by Jack's close proximity. It will be interesting to see how their relationship progresses. :)
jolinarjackson
Feb. 26th, 2011 01:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
vsee
Feb. 26th, 2011 05:14 pm (UTC)
Having a great time reading along. Thanks for an interesting story.
jolinarjackson
Feb. 27th, 2011 12:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you for reading. :)
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )