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 appreciate the comments! I hope this next part is enjoyable. Tell me what you think, because I’m not sure how I feel about it.
Ianto tries to forget a lot of things, Canary Wharf, Lisa’s dead body, the faces of people who had every intention of eating him after cutting his body into pieces while he screamed. Working for Torchwood means being strong enough to forget and to remember at the same time.
He tries to remember Tosh’s smiling face, and Owen’s laugh, but they are starting to fade as well as he buries the memories of their deaths. He fills the empty spaces in his mind with memories of Jack because he knows Jack is the one thing he can cling to as a memory, as a leader, and as something more.
There are certain things his memory won’t let go of. He sees them when his eyes close. People, who needed saving, that they failed. The people Lisa killed are always there, following him. Ghosts he can’t forget because they were gone in a blur of blood and machine, and it was completely his fault. It’s his duty as the archivist to remember these people, so that, for awhile they can be more than just names on a page, buried in a basement, in a secret building.
Rebecca refuses to be forgotten too. He sees her eyes when he closes his own. She has very green eyes that seem to look inside you. Ianto doesn’t know why she sticks with him, but she’s always there. Probably because Ianto knows, if the circumstances were different, he could easily be her. If Jack had decided to use retcon, it would have damaged him beyond repair. It’s impossible to wipe away five years of memories without there being brain damage. He could be at Flatholm. He could be Rebecca.
Ever since Gwen met Rebecca at Flatholm, she and Jack have been fighting. If there is one place or thing that has affected Gwen the most during her time at Torchwood, it was Flatholm, much like it was Canary Wharf for Ianto.
Now that Tosh and Owen are gone, Ianto actually has to take a side in these arguments. When four people are fighting over an issue, it’s easy for a fifth person to slip off toward the espresso machine or the archives without being noticed. When there are only three people, that third person is always forced to pick a side. This is hard for Ianto because even when he agrees with Gwen, it’s a lot of work to disagree with Jack.
“We can’t just leave her there!” Gwen yells at Jack for what feels like the thousandth time.
“There is nowhere else equipped to deal with her and the things she’s seen!” Jack shouts back making Ianto tense up. He doesn’t like yelling.
“You told me that place was for people too damaged and too dangerous for regular society. She is lucid and 5 ft. tall. She doesn’t even weigh 100 lbs! Please tell how dangerous she could possibly be!” Gwen eyes glares at Jack, and Ianto slowly starts to walk backwards toward the tourist office.
“She is hardly lucid all of the time, and the nurses have reported she still needs to be sedated at least once a week because she won’t stop screaming. She’s so small because half the time she won’t eat! I never said she would hurt anyone, but the knowledge she has is more dangerous than if she had super strength! And since you are so obviously against retcon…”
Ianto still remembers that fondly. He didn’t like that Jack was hurt, but it was amusing that Gwen managed to leave a handprint on his immortal face for almost an hour.
“Of course I’m against retcon! That would probably damage her beyond repair, she’s from a different time period, and you want to wipe away the memories of how she got here, or worse yet, all of her memories and leave her completely empty! And she screams because she’s stuck in a dark, damp loony bin with dangerous, broken people! Hell, I’m screaming, and I’m not even there! And don’t even get me started on the food in that place!”
Ianto is so close to the exit…..
“Ianto!” He stops and feels his shoulders slump. So close.
“Yes?” He turns around with polite interest on his face.
“What do you think we should do?” Jack asks with an expectant look on his face.
“Well, sir. I’m not sure what we could do with her if we took her out of Flatholm,” Ianto replies carefully.
“Yes! Excellent point! What do you propose we do with her, Gwen? Put her in another institute and take her away from the only people she knows here?” Jack asks a little too triumphantly.
“I have thought about that…” Gwen says her voice a little lower than before.
“I want her to come stay with Rhys and me.”
Jack and Ianto’s faces must have shown utter disbelief because Gwen starts explaining before Jack can even start yelling.
“We have an extra room, and I have been visiting her every week for the past couple months. She recognizes me and always remembers both of you. I have seen her screaming fits, and it’s not nearly as bad as it sounds, and usually only happens when something frightens her. Rhys’ job is doing really well, and I am getting a lot of extra hours here because we’re so short handed, so money isn’t an issue. I’ve already talked to Rhys and he agrees with me about all this because he knows how I feel about Flatholm…”
“Really? Does he? Is he going to stay home and watch her every day? Because you know she can’t be left alone while Rhys is at work and you’re here.” Jack’s voice is sarcastic and makes Ianto cringe in disapproval.
“No, I’ve already talked to the nurse, Mallory. She was getting ready to retire anyways, but has grown attached to Rebecca. She has agreed to come every day and look after her while I’m at work until Rebecca can stay alone. And I thought, as she improved, maybe she could help out here. I think once we get her out of that place, she’ll start acting more normal. It’s Flatholm that’s keeping her stuck because she doesn’t belong there!” Gwen is shouting again toward the end and glaring at Jack with her resolve face firmly intact.
“Work here? Are you crazy?!” Jack is shouting again too.
“I’m not saying tomorrow but in the future when she knows what is going on. She already knows everything or mostly everything about the rift and aliens, so she could help Ianto with the coffee and cleaning while the rest of us do the field work. Ianto is already taking on too much, and I think in a couple of months, Rebecca could really help him out.”
Jack’s brows knit together into his thinking face, and Ianto thinks maybe Gwen will win this one. Although it was a low blow bringing Ianto into the equation because Jack was already feeling guilty about Ianto’s eighteen hour work days.
“Please Jack, I can’t leave her there. Not when there’s hope, not after Jonah.” Gwen looks close to tears now.
“Do what you want, but remember when this blows up in your face that I was against it.” Jack storms off and slams his office door behind him making both Gwen and Ianto wince. Jonah is a sore subject.
For the next few days as Gwen prepares to get Rebecca and to bring her back in the next couple weeks. Jack storms around the hub and glares at anyone who gets too close. Even Ianto.
It takes him five days to kiss Ianto again, and six before Ianto is falling asleep in Jacks arms.
Silently supporting Gwen was the right thing to do, but Ianto felt the sting of his choice.
The Monday before Rebecca is set to arrive; Ianto is lying in Jack’s arms and feels Jack drifting off to sleep behind him. It’s taken him over a week, but he finally decides to ask the question that’s been nagging at him ever since the subject of Rebecca going home with Gwen came up.
“What would you do if I fell through the rift?”
Jack’s arms tense up around him.
“Nothing, because that’s never gonna happen.”
Ianto rolls around to face him.
“But it could. You’ve said before how random and quick it is.”
Jack pulls Ianto to his chest and is silent. It’s obvious that he’s never given the possibility any thought.
“I would find you. And I would bring you back.”
“But if I was only gone for a minute our time, but stuck ten years somewhere horrible, there isn’t much you could do.”
Jack’s fingers trace across Ianto’s face gently.
“You’re not going anywhere horrible. Not my Ianto.” Jack whispers soothingly but his tone tells Ianto that he’s worrying about this now.
“My point is Jack, would I go to Flatholm?”
The look of horror on Jack’s face answers the question better than any words he could say.
“Never Ianto, I would find a way to make you better. I’d take care of you. Torchwood would take care of you.” Jack says this with conviction and looks straight into Ianto’s eyes. “I care about you too much to not have you near me, no matter how damaged you are.”
“I’m sure there were people who felt that way about Rebecca.”
The hand that was caressing Ianto’s face suddenly stops.
“I know those people aren’t you Jack, and they wouldn’t be able to handle the aliens and the time changes. But Gwen is right about this one. Rebecca isn’t like Jonah or the others. She’s improving, and we do owe it to her to give her a chance at a semi-normal life. She managed to hold on to a large portion of her sanity despite wherever she was and the monstrous things that were done to her. She’s only twenty-four years old. She’s a year younger than me.” Ianto says this in low tones while Jack lies on his back looking at the ceiling.
They fall asleep on opposite sides of the bed that night, but when Ianto wakes up Jack is holding on to him tightly like he never wants to let go.
The next day, Jack asks Gwen how her evening was, it is the first thing he has said to her in a week that isn’t a direct order.
The day Gwen picks up Rebecca; she brings her by the hub. This is a risky move, but Gwen seems to like to poke at the sleeping bear inside Jack. And if he’s being honest, Ianto kinda likes to do it too.
It’s been about two months since Ianto has seen her, and she’s been living at Flatholm for about six months. She looks a little better than the last time her saw her. Healthier. She’s gained a little weight, and she’s wearing jeans and a pink sweater. He remembers she likes pink.
She’s smiling today, and it makes her look younger.
“Hi Ianto!” she calls happily, and Ianto can’t help but smile back. “You last name is Jones,” she tells him like this is news, and he thinks Gwen must have told her that fairly recently.
Jack glares at Gwen when he sees her but gives Rebecca a big friendly smile.
“Captain Jack Harkness, at your service.” He kisses the back of her hand and she giggles.
“I know your last name already. The Doctor told me we would meet.” Rebecca looks around the hub not recognizing the looks on their faces to be shock, horror, and confusion.
“Is that a dinosaur?”
Author’s note: Next part will be Gwen’s POV, and we will see where we go from there. J