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This Crying Earth - 9/17

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 Eight

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



Ianto looked out of the car window to the dark street beyond. It had started to rain when they'd left the Hub to come here, and even though it had lessened to a drizzle, it was still hitting the car roof in a staccato rhythm. Coedwig Street was sleeping. There wasn't a light on in any of the houses, and with a glance at his watch, Ianto saw that it was after midnight.

Jack was playing with the radio, looking for another channel. When he found one playing oldies, he leaned back in his seat with a satisfied sigh. Ianto glanced at him, then looked out the window again. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Jack turning his head to stare at him. He'd been awfully quiet the last two hours, but Ianto assumed that that woud change soon. He was right.

"You okay?" Jack asked.

Ianto crossed his arms, still staring out the window. "Yes."

The next minutes passed with only sound of the music, the rain on the roof and Jack's calm breathing. Ianto remembered the one time Jack had driven away from the city with him. It had been raining then, too, and they'd stopped somewhere at the coast. Jack had grinned at him, the blue eyes sparkling, and then he'd leaned forwards and kissed Ianto passionately. Ever since that night, the sound of rain drumming on the car roof was one of the most intimate noises Ianto knew.

Jack took his hand and Ianto was startled back to reality. He looked into Jack's worried eyes, and Jack smiled encouragingly. "Are you sure?"

Ianto nodded. He didn't want to talk about how unsure he was about his feelings for Jack – wanting to climb on his lap and kiss him senseless one minute and doubting those feelings the other – so he pulled his hand away and asked, "Can I get tomorrow morning free?"

Jack frowned at Ianto's hand, but he replaced the look with a questioning face. "Sure." He didn't ask why.

Ianto thought that he deserved to know for that reason alone. "I'm going to go and see Rhiannon."

Jack smiled happily. "That's great."

Ianto wasn't sure about that. "I think I can be back around noon."

"If you should need more time, you can call me," Jack answered. Ianto nodded with a grateful smile, and Jack put a hand on his shoulder for a second, before pulling it back to rest on his own thigh and looking out the window. He tensed. "There she is."

Ianto followed his gaze. At the end of the street, disguised by the rain and only recognizable because she was standing under a streetlamp, was a woman in a white dress. Ianto couldn't see her face.

He opened the car door. They got out and Ianto closed the door as softly as possible. Walking next to each other, they approached the woman. Rain was already running down his face and into his collar, and he pulled his shoulders up protectively. The woman seemed to be waiting for them. Ianto tightened his grip around the gun and glanced at Jack tensely, then he focussed on the woman. "Helô," he said. "Ianto Jones ydw i." He smiled at her as reassuringly as he could. "Pwy wyt ti?"

"Fy mlentyn, fy mlentyn bach!"

Ianto frowned. He could understand her, but the words didn't make any sense. She wasn't answering his question after her name. He noticed Jack looking at him questioningly, but he ignored him to focus on the woman. She sobbed and looked at him. "Fy mlentyn, fy mlentyn bach!" Then, she was gone.

Ianto turned around to Jack. "Weird."

"What did she say?" Jack asked.

"She's grieving her child," Ianto answered. "She said: My child, my small child."

Jack frowned. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"I have no idea," Ianto answered. "But she doesn't seem to be dangerous."

"Nevertheless, we have to get rid of her," Jack said determined.

"Why's she speaking Welsh?" Ianto asked.

"I don't know, but she doesn't sound half as sexy as you doing it."

Ianto rolled his eyes, and Jack grinned.


Gwen stared at the blank television screen and sighed deeply before she drained the glass of wine in her hand. She took her mobile from the kitchen bar and dialed Rhys' number. He'd threatened not to answer his phone when he'd left the flat after their last heated argument, so she wasn't surprised when his voicemail picked up.

"Rhys? I'm ... I'm sorry. I shouldn't have started to shout. It's just ... difficult at the moment, and you calling Jack caused trouble at work for me, and that's why ... I'm starting again. Sorry. So, if you want to spend the night at a friend's place, then you can, but we should talk tomorrow. Calmly. Just tell me that you're okay, alright?" She hesitated, then she whispered “I love you“ and rang off.

When her mobile announced a text message half an hour later, saying I'm alright, she didn't feel better.


Jack knew that he was dreaming.

The Hub looked a bit different than it did now, but he knew the massive wooden desks and the typewriters. He knew the note pads, the pencils and fountain pens. There was a couch in the same place that theirs was now, but this one was red and new and much more comfortable. He knew that he was reliving a memory, but he couldn't stop it.

He was sitting on the couch, surrounded by files, and reading. News from all over the country. He was looking for the Doctor.

Someone sat down beside him and a careful kiss was placed in the bend of his neck. He had always been so quiet and shy. Jack smiled softly.


… He startled awake and found himself back in his quarters, in his narrow bed, sweaty and panting. He heard a soft laugh and the sound of small wings. Jack sat up. "What do you want?" he asked. "I gave you Jasmine. You took Estelle. What do you want now? Matthew?" He listened, but there was no answer. "You can't have him." He smiled bitterly. "Not even you can reach him now."



"Morning!" Gwen called, entering the Hub with a doughnut box in her hands. Myfanwy left her nest, gliding around the water tower in the middle of the room. She was headed for the floor, landing near the small stream crossing the Hub which, Jack had told them, had been created by a Torchwood agent in 80s, who'd wanted to achieve a calm working environment. Gwen didn't think that it was working. Only now, in the early hours of the morning, before the first Rift alerts or news arrived, was the Hub calm.

Gwen put the box on the the table by the couch and headed for her desk. Tosh and Owen were already at their working stations. Tosh was checking her analysis program, and Owen was busy reading his e-mails. Gwen put her bag on the floor and draped her wet jacket over the chair before picking up some police files and retreating to the couch. Myfanwy cooed softly and waddled towards Owen's desk. She pulled at his sleeve with her beak.

"Get lost," he said, and Myfanwy screamed in protest. Gwen clicked her tongue and held up a doughnut as Myfanwy turned her head to look at her hopefully. Eagerly, the pteranodon waddled over to her, and Gwen threw her the doughnut. Myfanwy snatched it and retreated back to her lair high above the heads of the three agents. Owen had watched her, and rolled his eyes. "Don't feed her that crap," he said.

Gwen stretched out on the couch, the files on her belly. "Why not?"

"It's not good for her," Owen answered. Tosh turned her desk chair in Gwen's direction and nodded.

Gwen frowned. "Ianto feeds her chocolate."

Owen joined her on the couch, shoving her legs down to sit. Only her swift reflexes saved the files from a messy tumble to the floor. She glared at Owen. He didn't seem to care. "He shouldn't."

He reached for the doughnuts, but Gwen snatched the box out of his reach. "I brought those for my nice colleagues," she said.

Owen snorted. "What is this? Kindergarten?" He made to grab the box, Gwen leaned backwards, but Owen didn't hesitate to climb over her hips and snatch the box away. The files fell to the floor.

Gwen cursed and tried to kick Owen, but he was already out of reach.

"Give me one," she demanded.

Owen shook his head. "Those are for my nice colleagues." He went to Tosh and offered her the box. "Doughnut?"

Tosh smiled gratefully. Gwen gathered up her files while Owen returned to his desk with a gleeful grin, the box still held triumphantly in his hands. She decided to ignore him and get her revenge later and laid back down on the couch. "So," she said, looking at Tosh. "What about Jack's wristband? Did you ever try to find it in the database? Maybe that'll give us a clue as to who he is."

Tosh leaned back in her chair and crossed her arms. "I've researched it since I met him. I even asked him once if I could examine it, but he didn't want me to. There's no clue in the database. I doubt that it was registered in our archives."

Gwen frowned. "That'd mean that it's his, right?"

Tosh shrugged. "Maybe."

"Doesn't that contradict the theory that he came here from the 30s? I mean, that thing can't be from the 30s."

Owen turned away from his Facebook page to comment on that, "Maybe he's from the future." His tone was sarcastic, but Gwen wouldn't be surprised if that would turn out to be the truth. Only in Torchwood.

One level above them, the door to the hothouse fell shut and Jack's steps on the metal gantry made them drop the topic to be picked up later.

"Hey," Owen shouted as soon as he saw Jack, "where's Ianto? I want coffee!"

Jack rolled his eyes, descended the last steps and pulled a 20 pound note from his pocket. "Girls, Owen just volunteered to do a coffee run to Starbucks."

Gwen grinned at Owen, filing the stealing of the doughnuts under Revenge taken. It was raining like mad and Starbucks was ten minutes away, and since the branch was in a pedestrian precinct, taking the car was out of the question. Owen would get wet. He seemed to come to the same conclusion and crossed his arms stubbornly. "In your dreams, Harkness."

Jack raised his eyebrows, still patiently holding out the money for Owen to take. "Well, Ianto won't come in until noon."

"Why?" Owen asked.

"Personal stuff."

Owen frowned. "Personal stu ... Ianto never has personal stuff. The last personal stuff he did have was a cyber-"

"We decided not to talk about that any more, remember? I'll take my coffee black. Thanks, Owen," Jack interrupted, throwing him the money.

Gwen said, "Latte Macchiato."

"White Chocolate Mocha," Tosh added. Owen gave in and got up to take his jacket. Tosh smiled. "Take an umbrella," she said. "It's raining."

Owen growled.


The houses weren't shabby, but not as pretty and neat as those in Coedwig Street. Torn cardboard boxes and empty beer bottles were littering the bus stop nearby, some of the walls were sprayed with aggressive slogans. Ianto had grown up in a neighbourhood like this, and even though it hadn't been this neighbourhood, the memories returned unbidden.

He got out of the car and pulled his shoulders up to ward off the cold and rain. Slowly, he approached the small two-story home his sister and her family were living in. The neighbourhood was quiet at this time of the day – the children in school, the young people at work or still in bed and the housewives going about their everyday duties while their husbands were working or hanging out on the couch watching the telly.

Ianto stopped and gasped. Maybe it was panic because of the meeting with Rhiannon, but he felt like he was choking. He'd never wanted that life for himself and he was still avoiding it. With Lisa, he would have found a nice flat in town with additional rooms for any future children. Maybe even a house in a nice suburb. They could've still worked for Torchwood One. But Torchwood Three was different, since the team was smaller. Ianto wondered how long Gwen would stay, or Tosh. If they were starting to think about having kids …

The door to Rhiannon's house opened and Ianto took a few steps backwards to stand between two parkedcars. He watched Rhiannon kissing her husband Johnny's cheek and him walking down the street. Rhiannon watched him go. She was fine. She was okay, Johnny was okay, and some toys, David's skateboard and Mica's bike in the small garden proved to Ianto that the kids were fine, too. Rhiannon's world was just fine. Without him and his baggage.

She went back inside and closed the door. Ianto turned away and went back to his car.


The archives spread over several rooms on one of the deepest levels. In the biggest room – more of a hall, really – the files with reports concerning everything and everyone Torchwood had encountered were stowed away. Smaller rooms served as storerooms for more dangerous artifacts and technologies, for weapons, too, and in the room at the end of the corridor was a small spaceship that had crashed sometime during the 20s near Cardiff. Ianto's workplace was in the main archive, surrounded by boxes filled with uncatalogued files. The endless rows of shelves were sorted alphabetically and chronologically. Since his employment, Ianto had made a small dent in the workload and catalogued six shelves. Jack didn't know which priorities Ianto was setting, and he didn't really care most of the time since he'd given Ianto free reign.

But now, walking along the rows, he had to admit the he should have asked. Ianto had shifted around boxes, shoving them from one corner to the other or piled them up around his desk. Nothing was like it had been in 2000 when Jack had looked for Matthew York's file the last time.

He shoved his hands into his pockets and stopped. His comm made a low crackling noise and he heard Owen's voice, “Jack. Your coffee's on your desk. If it gets cold, I'm not buying you a new one.“

Jack smiled. “Thank you, Owen,“ he answered. He sighed deeply and headed for the door. Before he switched off the light, he glanced around one last time. Then he closed the door.


Jack was sitting at his desk, busy with a phone call, when Ianto stopped in his doorway. He nodded at Ianto before signalling him to come closer and giving him a post-it. “Get that file for me, okay?“ Jack said softly, and then returned to his phone call. Since Jack hadn't told him that he needed the file immediately, Ianto started to do his usual chores: He served everyone coffee, cleaned up and noticed that Owen had fed the Weevils and Myfanwy. He thanked him with a small smile. Owen and he weren't the best of friends, but they were working on it – even though neither of them would admit to it.

Ianto's grateful smile provoked Owen to roll his eyes. “I didn't really have a choice,“ he complained. “They wouldn't shut up, and Myfanwy took my doughnuts.“

Ianto went to the archives to get Jack's file. The file number led him to the personnel files from 1910 to 1940 which he'd put into boxes and piled together with the rest of the personnel files in a corner to sort out at a later date. The personnel files were low priority. At the moment, he was sorting through technologies and the alien races Torchwood had encountered. The archives were a mess. It would take Ianto years to fix it, but he liked doing it, and he liked caring for the team, cleaning up the Hub or manning the tourist office. He felt safe when he could straighten some mess out.

He brushed dust away from the boxes and coughed. He found the right one. “York,“ he muttered and took a pile of files out of the box. He found the one he was searching for in less than a minute. “Matthew York.“ Curious, he opened it and glanced at the old photograph. It was faded, but Matthew was still recognizable. He was young, the file stated that he was hired at the tender age of twenty-two, dark locks were falling into his face and bright, intelligent eyes were looking at the camera. He was smiling weakly, shyly, but Ianto liked him from the first second. Ianto smiled back at the picture and closed the file. He grabbed the rest of the pile, intending to put them back into the box, but then he saw the name on one of the files in the box.


Ianto froze.

Harkness, Jack, Captain

Ianto put the files back on the floor and took the folder out of the box. It was worn as if someone had thumbed through it again and again. He opened the file and stared at the man on the picture. There was no doubt that this was Jack, but how was that even possible?

The first page told him that the file had been transcribed from another one that had been filed in 1899. Ianto found the box and with it, the file.

Harkness, Jack, Captain

A picture that looked like the other one, but with another background and Jack's smile seemed a bit more forced. It was stated that he was a freelance agent, and not to be trusted. A short report said that he told Torchwood that he was from the future, but didn't want to reveal more. There was a handwritten note on the side.

Connection to the Doctor?

Ianto swallowed. His trembling hands pulled the box from 1940 to 1970 closer. Then 1970 to 1990.

Harkness, Jack, Captain

The same man.

“That's impossible,“ Ianto muttered.

Chapter Ten


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 3rd, 2011 02:24 pm (UTC)
Still loving this so much - I wait patiently for every update (okay, so not so patiently). Well done!
Mar. 4th, 2011 01:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
Mar. 3rd, 2011 03:12 pm (UTC)
ah so Ianto is beginning to find out the truth about Jack and he should know by now that Jack is impossible. Great update and looking forward to more.
Mar. 4th, 2011 01:41 pm (UTC)
:D Jack IS impossible. Thanks.
Mar. 3rd, 2011 04:12 pm (UTC)
how will ianto react?
Mar. 4th, 2011 01:41 pm (UTC)
What do you think? ;)
Mar. 3rd, 2011 05:17 pm (UTC)
Jack has made a grave tactical error! Did he think Ianto wouldn't find those files in the same box as the other personnel files? It is a box of personnel files, therefore personnel files will be in it!

Now we know why this woman in white is staying near the woods. Obviously her child died young and was buried in the woods. The destruction of the wood for houses would have her upset. The builders are getting too close to where her child was buried. Hence the wailing and hand wringing. She is asking for help to preserve her child's last resting place.
Mar. 4th, 2011 01:44 pm (UTC)
:) He should have thought of that, right?

Concerning your theory: Hmmm ... is that true? ;)
Mar. 3rd, 2011 07:08 pm (UTC)
Lovely Chapter! Can't wait to find out more about this person from Jack's past, Matthew. Also, Ianto's visit to his sister was so bittersweet, as he would not allow himself any contact. The chapter ended with Ianto finding out about Jack's immortality. How will Jack handle this? Loved it.
Mar. 4th, 2011 01:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
Mar. 3rd, 2011 07:15 pm (UTC)

So, the woman in white is hanging around because of a lost child. Did the child die, or was it the fairies? And who is Michael? Plus Ianto finding all those files about Jack...
Mar. 4th, 2011 01:46 pm (UTC)
All those questions will be answered. :) Thanks.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 4th, 2011 01:47 pm (UTC)
Re: the plot thickens
I'm glad it's not a bad thing. :) I assure you that I have a goal in mind. Heading straight for it, in fact.
Mar. 4th, 2011 04:36 am (UTC)
Nice chapter. Interesting revelations. I wonder if Ianto will share what he's found with the rest of the class.
Mar. 4th, 2011 01:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
Mar. 4th, 2011 01:23 pm (UTC)
when you said that Ianto thought he was choking i thought that the faries would get him and i had a heart attack!! seriously... can't wait for the next part - this story constantly has me on the edge of my seat!! :) xx
Mar. 4th, 2011 01:48 pm (UTC)
:D I'm sorry. That wasn't my intention at all. I didn't think anyone would take it that way.
Mar. 4th, 2011 04:55 pm (UTC)
:P but seriously - brilliant update :) x
Mar. 5th, 2011 12:39 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :)
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )