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This Crying Earth - 11/17

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 Ten

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



The trees of Roundstone Wood swallowed the city lights, the ground was muddy from the rainfalls of the last few days and it was cold. Tosh adjusted the collar of her jacket while Owen shoved his hands deep into his leather jacket, cursing softly. Gwen was walking beside Tosh, her jacket zipped to her chin and her teeth chattering. The hectic beams of their torches managed to catch Jack now and then, he was running ahead of them through the forest, as if he was late for an important appointment. His own torch was showing him the way and illuminating the lines of his head and the coat. Owen stumbled over a root and cursed softly. “Question,“ he said, looking at Jack through narrowed eyes. “Why did we have to wait for so long? It would have been much warmer out here this afternoon.“

Jack looked back at them. “Indeed, but the Fairies only come out at night. Estelle's words.“

Tosh tripped over a branch lying on the ground and Owen grabbed her arm to catch her fall.

“Thanks,“ she muttered. Tosh realized that they'd reached their destination only when Jack stopped abruptly, causing Owen to stumble against him. The beams of their torches illuminated the stone circle, which didn't seem impressive or mysterious. Actually, it was a bit small and disappointing, but Tosh knew enough stories about Roundstone Wood to stay alert. Jack was standing in the middle of the circle, his hands on his hips, while his team was waiting a few feet away. There was a noise and Tosh thought for a moment that she was hearing things, but then Gwen gasped and Owen turned his head, so she knew that the soft laughter had been real.

“They seem to be here,“ she whispered.

Jack nodded grimly, but he didn't talk to the team, “You know why we're here.“

Again, there was the same laughter. Tosh noticed that Gwen was shuffling closer to Owen and she mirrored her. Owen straightened his shoulders and stuck his chin out. In that moment, Tosh felt more secure.

The Fairies laughed again and Owen grabbed Tosh's arm to pull her closer. Jack had told them not to pull their weapons except if the Fairies attacked them. That made it harder to stay calm, Tosh would have never thought that she'd miss a gun.

The childlike laughter sounded eerie, even more so because they knew who was behind it.

“Talk to me,“ Jack demanded.

Laughter, the sound of wings and then silence.


Gwen knew that Rhys wasn't happy about her coming home that late. She assumed that he saw it as another way to avoid him, but he didn't say anything, just re-heated her dinner and sat down next to her at the kitchen bar while she was eating. He was thumbing through a furniture catalogue. Gwen's thoughts were revolving around Fairies and her chat with Ianto about Jack. For that very reason, she was startled when Rhys suddenly asked, “What about red?“

She tried to remember if maybe he'd said something before his question to explain its context. “What?“

“Red,“ Rhys repeated impatiently, holding up the catalogue. “Red. For the new couch.“

“Couch,“ Gwen said, nodding, still distracted. “Yeah, red sounds good.“

Rhys slapped the catalogue shut and leaned on the bar. “Okay, you're refusing to talk with me about our future, but could you find a bit of interest for the furniture of our flat? It's your job that destroyed the ones we had.“

Her eyes widened in surprise. “What?“ She'd thought that Rhys had believed her when she'd told him about the criminal youths. It seemed as if she'd thought wrong.

“Our flat gets destroyed and the first thing you do is call that bloke. Why would you if it's got nothing to do with work? Or did you call him to get his moral support? Wasn't mine enough?“

“Rhys,“ Gwen said slowly, “you had to go to work and I needed help with cleaning.“

“And Jack helped.“

“Yeah,“ she answered coolly.

“With the cleaning,“ Rhys repeated with a nod and got up.

“Where are you going?“ Gwen asked.

“Daf and Banana Boat want to get a pint with me. I'm outta here.“

She got up, following him into the hallway. “Rhys, don't you dare leave now.“

“Why not?“ he asked, putting on his jacket. “Do you need help with loading the dishwasher? Or with the ironing?“ He spread his arms and sneered, “Call Jack!“

The flat door slammed shut behind him. Gwen let out a noise of frustration and kicked the wall. “Shit!“ She wiped her eyes desperately. She had to admit to herself that it wasn't working out. Her job and Rhys. She couldn't have both. Now she knew why nobody else with Torchwood had a steady relationship. Because nobody, not even guys as sweet and patient as Rhys, could live for a long period of time with the secrets and the long working hours.

Tears were running down her cheeks as she grabbed her mobile. But maybe there was another possibility. All she needed was a yes from Jack.

Impatiently, she waited while the dial tone sounded. Then, “Harkness.“ He sounded a bit impatient, as if she'd interrupted him at something. Gwen suppressed the need to offer her help. More work wasn't the solution.

“Jack ...“ She stopped.

“Gwen. What's up?“ He sounded worried now.

She wiped her eyes and said, “I don't think I can do this.“

It was silent for a moment, then Jack asked, “What?“

“Lie to Rhys. I have to be able to talk to him about my job, I can't-“

“Gwen,“ he interrupted her, “I think you know the answer.“

She brushed hair out of her forehead. “Can't we talk about this? I'll come around and-“

“No.“ Now strict. “Gwen, no. You have to think about what you want to do, understood?“

She wiped tears from her cheeks, looking for the perfect argument, but she couldn't find it.


“Understood,“ she muttered and rang off.


Jack hung up and braced his hands on his desk, he really hoped that he wasn't going to lose Gwen now. On the other hand, he could understand her plea, but he had to obey the Torchwood rules and not even his position as the leader allowed him to change one of the most important rules of the institute. Rhys would only be the first in a long line. He couldn't give in.

“Sir?“ Ianto asked from the door.

Jack raised his head and smiled. “Ianto.“ His eyes hung on the t-shirt and the tracksuit bottoms and his smile grew wider. “No suit?“

Ianto's mouth showed a small smile. “I think there are moments when a suit's not appropriate.“

Jack clapped his hands. “I'm a lucky guy.“ He unbuttoned his shirt and got rid of it before he pulled his t-shirt out of his trousers and spread his arms. “Let's get started.“


Gwen sighed deeply and closed the washing machine. She'd hoped to be able to talk to Jack and was thinking about driving to the base, but then she shook the thought off. She switched on the machine and did the dishes. She cleaned the kitchen. And the bathroom. Then the bedroom. At last, she grabbed her keys and left the flat.

Chapter Twelve


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 7th, 2011 06:31 pm (UTC)
Poor Rhys!! Great update... can't wait for more :) xx
Mar. 8th, 2011 03:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :)
Mar. 7th, 2011 06:53 pm (UTC)
I really do feel sorry for Rhys in this.

The fairies are so creepy...
Mar. 8th, 2011 03:43 pm (UTC)
They are, right? Before Torchwood, I liked fairies. Just like before Supernatural, I liked clowns.
Mar. 7th, 2011 07:34 pm (UTC)
gwen needs to do better by rhys because not all their problems are caused by torchwood's secrets.
Mar. 8th, 2011 03:44 pm (UTC)
No, not all. I think those two need to communicate better. They're both making mistakes causing the other one to overreact.
Mar. 8th, 2011 06:46 am (UTC)
Rhys and Gwen are so not going about the conversation in a productive way.

Good update.
Mar. 8th, 2011 03:45 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
Mar. 8th, 2011 02:36 pm (UTC)
Gwen's skills at communication are sadly lacking when it comes to Rhys - although I have to say he isn't exactly making it any easier.

First rule of a relationship - never walk out on an argument!

Second rule - never go to bed angry!

Makes for a loud house sometimes, but things do get settled, LOL!

Can't wait for the next update. This is truly brilliant.
Mar. 8th, 2011 03:46 pm (UTC)
Both Gwen and Rhys have a stubborn streak in them and the need to always be right. They are incredibly good for each other at times, but then there are other times when they're not. :)
Thank you.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )