New fic I'm starting, first one for this livejournal! :)
Fandom: Torchwood/ little Doctor Who now and later
Characters: Jack/Ianto, Gwen/ Rhys, OFC, Tenth Doctor
Summary: Many people go back of forth through the rift, but only a few of them have an effect on the Torchwood team.
I just watched Adrift for the 100th time, and I felt an urge to do a fic about one of the people who go through the rift, and if Jack can really tell how damaged is too damaged?
Rebecca was nineteen when the light found her. She was walking down the street very early one morning on her way to the job at the coffeehouse. She loved her job. The smell of coffee, bagels, and sweets, her best friend Jordan who worked there with her and the cute boy named Connor who came in every day at the same time and left her a large tip. That day she was especially happy because Connor had finally asked her to the cinema that weekend, and it was Thursday. She couldn’t stop smiling.
The light pulls her into very quickly. She doesn’t even scream because there isn’t time. Her breath is taken from and it feels like everything is being pushed through a tube and then ripped apart. She land hard on the ground in a place she doesn’t recognize, and its years of screaming before she sees another human being.
He’s wearing a big blue coat that in the back of her mind she knows is wrong, and maybe the light brought her back to the wrong time. But he’s calling her sweetheart, and the man beside him is wearing a suit that she can recognize as normalish.
“Her body is pretty damaged, but not too bad compared to some of the other ones, only a few burns and scars that don’t run too deep. Her back is pretty bad, but her face is appears to be mostly unblemished. The reading I’m getting on her says she has aged approximately five years.” The man in the suit says in a low, but quick jumble of word that are hard to focus on.
“That’s new,” the other man replies. “She’s been there less time then she’s been gone here.”
Rebecca knows she should be insulted that they are talking about her in such a casual, uninterested voices, but the only things she picks up on is five years. She’s been gone for five years. It seems so long and so short at the same time. She’s twenty-four. She should be getting married now, like she always wanted.
Rebecca gasps and stands up suddenly and looks around wildly.
“Whoa, there honey,” the man in the coat say in a low croon like her dad used to talk to horses when they were spooked. “My name is Jack, Captain Jack, and I am here to take you somewhere you will be safe.”
She looks down. Her clothes are strange, and it’s weird she hasn’t bothered to notice them before now. Maybe she has but is only now realizing or remembering. Things were a haze before, a painful haze of cuts, screaming, and blood. She’s wearing a dirty type dress that hangs of her too thin body, she’s cold here. Where she came from, or where she was, it’s hard to tell anymore, was so hot it sometimes hurt. But now she notices she’s shivering. Her knees buckle, and she lets out a scream.
“I’ve got you,” the man, Jack, picks her up before she can hit the ground and wraps her up in the blue coat. He’s humming gently and starts walking briskly.
“Ianto, you drive, I don’t want her alone in the backseat.”
“Yes, sir,” the suit man now has a name too.
And suddenly they’re driving. And damnit if she hadn’t forgot what a car was, or what it felt like to go so fast, so close to the ground. Jack keeps holding her, and she realizes she never told him her name. They’ll need her name to call her mom. She wants her mom so bad it hurts.
“Mmmmyyyy,” Jack looks down at her surprised.
“Is it just me or was that a word? We haven’t had one come back in her condition and speaking in a long time. “Ianto says in his low tones from the front seat.
“My name is Rebecca,” she says, and her voice is tore up something fierce, but he seems to understand her. She wants to tell him her last name, but she can’t remember. It’s something long and hard, she struggled with it in elementary school. She can’t remember a lot of things.
“I know, honey. You’re Rebecca Zaleskia, and we saw you come home. Now we’re taking you to a place where they can take care of you for awhile and make you better.” Jack has a soothing voice, but she starts pulling away from him.
“Mom, I want mom.” Her voice is a little stronger that time and he holds on to her gently but tightly.
Jack opens and closes his mouth a few times like he doesn’t know what to say.
“I know, you can see her soon.” That is the first lie Captain Jack Harkness tells her, but it’s not even close to the last.
They ride on a boat. Rebecca couldn’t think of the word for boat for most of the ride, and when Ianto calls it a “fairy” when she tries to ask, it confuses her. But Jack senses her frustration and says boat. He says a lot of other things too: ocean, bench, water, sky, cloud, bird.
They’re words she knows and every time he says a new one it’s like they were waiting in her mind to be re-discovered again. The parts of her that had been lost are there, they just need the right word to return. She doesn’t know who Captain Jack is, but he seems to know a lot of the right words so she clings to him on the boat as they head to toward what Ianto tells her is an island, and he gives Jack a smug look when he understands her question first. She giggles, and it feels strange.
She had forgotten how to laugh.
When Jack tries to leave her she screams for an hour. She wants to beg him to stay but can’t focus to remember the words. He kisses her dirty forehead and pats her matted hair.
“I’ll come back to visit you soon.” The second lie comes as easy as the first, but at this point and time, she still believes them.
The attendants or nurses bathe her for a very long time, washing five years of dirt and grime away. They comb through her matted hair, delouse her, and smile at her while drying her off. She is given warm, dry clothes and led slowly to small damp but clean room. She sees a mirror and stops in front of it and stares.
Her face looks the same but much thinner. She remembers that while she was never a beauty, the words cute, pretty, and sweet used to be thrown around at her by family, friends, and the boys that would smile at her. There is a scar down the left side of her face, but is thin and white, only slightly disfiguring. Her hair is really long, even after then nurses had cut off the ends that were too dirty and ragged to save. She feels it hit in a straight, even cut across the middle of her back. She is so skinny, it’s painful to look at and she wonders why her and a name she can’t remember who was her friend, used to worry about weight. She looks alive and dead at the same time, and she doesn’t know which she is closer too.
Weeks pass and she begins to feel more alive, and sees the place where she’s been put for what it really is. It’s a place for crazy people. The nurses nod at her indulgently when she explains the creatures that gave her the scars. They try to give her medication but she screams until they sedate her. She knows it’s real. She knows it, and the only person she can think of that will believe her is Captain Jack. He had known she was coming home, and that means he must have known she was away.
Rebecca starts asking for him. The nurses are nice, and like to hold her gently and rock her, they tell her Jack will come soon and maybe he will come sooner if she eats just a little bit more?
She hates how small she is. She hated it before, then, and now. Rebecca can’t remember how short she is, but she knows everyone but children are usually taller than her. In this place there are no children, and the nurses see her as one by default compared to the other huge patients that are there.
Rebecca is rarely locked in her room. One of the nurses, an older one called Mallory, lets her stay with her almost every day. The other nurses don’t like to keep her trapped in the room either. Some patients are dangerous and need to be kept behind red lights that flash green when it’s time to be free but not Rebecca. She is too little and fragile to be locked up and only when she screams do they make her sleep.
She dreams of her mother, her sister, her father booming voice. They aren’t coming. Rebecca tries to forget the day that became clear to her.
One of the nurses had a newspaper, and Rebecca had looked at it. She saw the date and grabbed it violently out of the hand of the women holding it. February 13, 2007. It gets hard to breath, this has to be wrong. She was born in 1953 and that means she should be 53 almost 54, her mother is either in her 80s or dead. She did come back at the wrong time. A suit is a suit, but now she thinks of it, Ianto’s did look a little different then she remembered from the 1970s. Everything is different if she thinks about it. Alien technology became mixed with human in her mind and she couldn’t recognize strange from real, but it was time that was the problem. That time she screams for days about time, and space, and her mom, who she begs for while Mallory holds her and hums a song that seems familiar but new all at the same time.
The next time Rebecca sees Captain Jack, the nurses tell her she’s been there for four months. Her thoughts are straighter now, and the nurses always seem to know what she is saying. She wants to leave this place where people are distorted into monsters by the places they have been. She knows what the other patients scream about because she’s seen it too. The only patient she doesn’t understand is one older woman who screams for a doctor. No, not a doctor, The Doctor, it confuses her and makes her think of blue police boxes. She shrugs it off.
It’s time to leave and Jack is the only way out.
He comes in with a pretty girl with a gap between her teeth who he calls Gwen. She feels jealous but doesn’t know why.
“Jack,” he looks at her with confusion and then slowly recognition.
“Rebecca! Well aren’t you a pretty little thing!” He pulls her into a hug and she hopes he can’t feel how thin she is. The nurses always make that seem like it would be a big deal to him.
Gwen smiles at her. “Who is this?”
“This is Rebecca Zaleskia,” Jack says softly. “The girl we tracked back through a couple of months ago.”
“Four months, to be exact, “she says with authority like she didn’t have to ask that morning. “I want to go home. Or I want to go somewhere else, this place isn’t for me.” Rebecca tries to make her voice sound forceful, but at best sounds childish. Her words can still be shaky.
Jack’s brow knits together.
“Princess, you are safe here, that’s why we brought you. And I know the nurses love you because they keep giving Gwen and I glowing reports when we check in on all of you. You’re not ready to go anywhere else.” His voice is gentle, but for some reason makes her angry. How dare he tell her what she’s ready for! She twenty-four year’s old for godsake.
“I’m not crazy.” Rebecca says with conviction. “I know what I lived through and I’m tired of being called confused. I’m not confused, they are. And I know you know what I’m talking about.”
Gwen gives Jack an angry look.
“She doesn’t seem too damaged.”
Jack pulls Gwen aside, and Rebecca hears a heated conversation with swear words, hissing, the word “retcon”, and then Gwen slaps Jack so hard across the face, Rebecca winces in sympathy.
“Sweetie,” Gwen is sitting next to her in her bedroom as she falls asleep, “Jack and I have decided that you need to stay here just a little longer, but then he’ll come back and figure something out.”
Rebecca falls asleep while Gwen strokes her hair, trying to recognize whether or not this is a lie.
The next time she sees one of them, it’s only a week or two later, and it’s the one in the suit. Ianto. He is busy talking to the nurses about food, clothes, and shipments. He doesn’t see her until she pulls at his elbow. She only comes up to his chest.
His eyes are confused but recognition slowly appears when he looks into her eyes. She knows her eyes are special. Her mom used to tell her they were greener than grass.
“Rebecca, “he whispers. “You look so much better.”
She decides to take that as a compliment and takes his hand. She wants to show him her room, it’s pretty now that there is more pink because Mallory bought her presents for some special day she can only kinda recall. She had been screaming the day before it so the sedatives haze her memory.
Ianto smiles a lot and tells her it’s very nice.
“Can I go now?” Hopeful eyes stare at him.
Ianto coughs uncomfortably.
“Jack says soon.”
Authors Note: I think I’m going to do a four or five part story, next part in Ianto’s POV. This is Jack/Ianto and that will be seen in the next chapters. :)