Characters: Jack/Ianto, Gwen/ Rhys, OFC, Tenth Doctor
Summary: Many people go back and forth through the rift, but only a few of them have an effect on the Torchwood team.
Jack knows a lot about killers. He’s seen them, spoke to them, killed them, and has been killed by them. Murderers of all species are a part of his job. He understands how they work, which sometimes is a good thing, but mostly just scares him. Maybe it’s only a matter of time until he gets too lost and to cut off to come back from the dark places within his mind. Ianto and Gwen are doing a good job of pulling him out now, but that has about a twenty year expiration date on it, and that’s being generous. If he’s being completely honest with himself he knows that he’ll lose one of them in the next three years or less. Torchwood doesn’t have a pension plan for a reason.
Rebecca has been an unwelcome complication. Her perilous sanity and scary knowledge of brutal alien worlds thats beginning to appear the more coherent she becomes worries Jack more than he thought possible. If she was on the places she’s seen for any significant amount of time, he’s more than surprised she can even walk or talk at all. But she’s seen the Doctor, knew him well enough to be part of a joke on Jack himself, and that means she was somehow saved. The Doctor’s not the type to leave little girls to be tortured without some failsafe on their sanity, especially if she is too important in the timeline’s to save immediatly. The Doctor loves to bend the rules.
Ianto will probably kill him for the hell of it if he hears Jack go over this again to him.
“But why is she a fixed point in time? What could an insane victim do for the world?”
Ianto had gotten increasingly testy every time Jack asked him that while they lay in bed. He’d even gone as far as to deny Jack sex for “being too annoying to spend the night with”.
Ianto finally broke though and answered the question in an exasperated voice, “I don’t know Jack. I probably won’t ever know because whatever it is, it’s bigger than me. It may even be bigger than you. For all we know, Rebecca meeting you, leads her to her husband, she has a kid, whose great-great-great-grandchild does something amazing. And if that’s the case, you driving yourself crazy over this for the next 200 years, probably isn’t going to make you any new friends, and may cause you to lose the ones you have now.”
Ianto had walked away in a huff, and Jack is pretty certain he had decaf for the rest of the day. But it was worth it to get Ianto’s opinion. Sometimes it had to be annoyed out of that too polite exterior. And if Jack was looking toward logic, it made sense. Sometimes people were important only in the abstract way. And after watching Rebecca have a conversation with a lamp, he hopes the weight of the future world does not rest upon her shoulders but on future generations.
Gwen insists Rebecca's improving, and about 85% of the time Jack has to agree. She talks, walks, eats (mostly), cleans herself, and has a functioning memory, that is scarily insightful at times, but mostly just confused. A lot of the time Jack actually likes her too. She’s sweet, likes the color pink, and told him he has pretty eyes. He is very comfortable with all those things. The hardest part about her presence is her potential importance and the fact she’s a constant reminder of his failures and shortcomings. He is not proud of Flatholm, and does not like to see a face of it three times a week on the afternoons her babysitter (nurse) has off.
Rebecca likes to watch Jack, which is a little unnerving. Gwen says it’s a crush, being a hero that saved her from the monsters. But Jack thinks it’s more than that. She studies him like she’s trying to remember where she’s seen him before. That’s worrying on many different levels. From what he can tell, she went a couple million years into the future, and he’s never been that far, and he doesn’t remember her. She also didn’t mention him with the Doctor, so if she knows him, he wasn’t time traveling. Millions of years are a long time for one man to live, and he sees it floating in front of him like an ever ending hell.
He memorizes Ianto’s face every night after he goes to sleep in Jack's arms. A million year, a million more faces, he might not remember, and he never wants to forget.
“I think its cold outside today,” Rebecca said one day while Gwen is braiding her hair. It’s a slow day with no rift activity so the three of them are sitting around watching Ianto destroy every germ in the place with his OCD vengeance.
“Yes it is sweetie, that’s why you wore your big coat when we left.” Gwen soothing voice reaches Jack while he pretends to do paperwork, wary of the watchful eyes of Ianto.
“Yup, you picked it out when we went shopping,” Gwen’s hands continue to braid the long hair down her back with skilled practice.
Rebecca’s eyes are distant, and Jack doesn’t want to think about all the things that she remembers.
Gwen finishes the braid and steps back to admire her handiwork.
“Very pretty, if I do say so myself.”
Rebecca laughs, and it’s like bells that ring across the room. Ianto gives her a fond smile, and Jack forgets some of his reason for saying no so many times. That is one amazing laugh she has.
“I think we all should take advantage of this rift-free day, and go home early.” Jack says while watching Ianto bend over and pick something up off the floor. Gwen and Rebecca are laughing together as they leave. One in a red coat with a pretty smile, Jack can’t sleep that night and watches Ianto’s face carefully and traces the lines of it with his fingertips. Memorizing small, almost nonexistent, laugh lines.
When he sees Rebecca’s eyes one day in the sun, he can see the beautiful women she should have been. So small and frail, but strong within, she should have had beautiful children and a husband who worshiped her, but all she has is a scared body and Torchwood. It’s never fair here.
Ianto starts having nightmares after Rebecca has been with them for three months. He knows the two don’t correlate, but she is a factor. Ianto heard her screaming one night after a weevil frightened her. Ianto had never heard screams like that before, except with Lisa. Jack can guess what types of memories it brought back. He buys sedatives the next day in shot and pill form. He’s not sure who he’s buying them for. Rebecca or Ianto, who nearly hurt himself while asleep the night before, when he re-dislocated his shoulder from thrashing around violently.
Time starts moving faster. Before he knows it, Rebecca has been with them a year. She almost twenty-six, and Ianto is moving at breakneck speed toward twenty-eight, and he can see thirty on the horizon. Rebecca no longer needs a babysitter, and he retconed Mallory, and told Rebecca she went back to the United States. Rebecca now works five days a week, and actually helps instead of just watching them. She files, cleans, and helps Ianto around the hub. She appears to be a little OCD about germs too. Apparently, she also met the Cybermen in her travels through time, or that’s what Ianto theorizes anyway.
Jack is closer to happy then he’s been in over a decade. He can now say with certainty, to himself, that he loves Ianto. It’s complicated, but its love.
Rebecca’s scars have faded some, and she smiles more. Her eyes are less haunted, and she talks to him with clear, concise sentences, but he knows she hides it. She keeps the crazy hidden, but he’s seen her before across the centuries. That damage never goes away, and she will never be whole again.
Ianto likes to play games. He hides things from Jack when he’s mad about something. He plays these games with Rebecca, whose laugh rings across the hub every time Jack can’t find his coat. She hides it even better than Ianto, which is feat within itself.
When Gwen gets pregnant, everyone except Jack is excited. He can see Gwen with a small, helpless baby, and he knows Rhys isn’t going to let her work like she is now. He’ll either have to hire more help or put Rebecca in the field.
Martha joins them from UNIT two week before Gwen goes on maternity leave.
“You don’t trust me.” Rebecca’s eyes are piercing and accusing.
“I trust you, but I don’t trust your abilities.”
“Same thing. You think I’m crazy, that I’m broken beyond repair. Well Jack, it takes one to know one, but there aren’t any cameras in your apartment.”
Rebecca slams the door behind her, and Jack can’t help but feel a little ashamed. He lied to himself and put them there as “protection.”
Rebecca is not a field agent, and if anything found her, he would need to know immediately. But those are half-truths, he doesn’t trust her. And he promised Gwen he would take care of her, Rhys wasn’t too fond of Gwen, Torchwood, and their two children. She left for greener pastures and an office job in New York. She almost took Rebecca with her, but Rebecca wouldn’t leave the place that was home to her. So Jack promised but couldn’t trust Rebecca’s sanity as much as Gwen always could. Gwen was right about not leaving her at Flatholm, but Jack never could trust her in Torchwood.
Ianto hits thirty while Jack holds his breath. Rebecca is wearing a pink sundress at their small party, and Jack watches Mickey watch her. He is surprised to feel his protective hairs hackle, but then again he’s been taking care of her for five years now in one form or another. She is heading toward twenty-nine now. When Mickey walks her home, taking his place at her side, he feels something unknown to him.
Ianto leads him to bed that night with a vigor that makes Jack think he’s holding his breath too. They’ve had more time then they had ever hoped for.
At Mickey and Rebecca’s small, but tasteful wedding, he can’t help but drift back to his meeting with the Doctor when they saved the world and brought it back to the right universe. He asked about Rebecca, and the fixed moment at time, and was hit with the Doctor’s clever vagueness. Gwen still laughs about it today when it comes up in their phone conversations.
“Doctor, how was Rebecca and I meeting a fixed moment in time?”
“Hmm that’s a complicated question Jack, and I can only say one thing.”
“That was the one thing wasn’t it?”
Rebecca now works the computers after extensive training from Ianto. Jack doesn’t like to think about it, but he thinks Ianto’s preparing for the day when he won’t be able to do it himself. The years are flying by at breakneck speed again and in the sunlight of the wedding where Rebecca is wearing the purest white and her eyes are the purest green, Jack’s eyes are fixated not on the beautiful bride, but on the beautiful man walking her down the aisle toward the man he’s standing next to. Ianto looks amazing in his tux, which isn’t a surprise; a tux is just a fancy suit. And he knows how good Ianto looks in a suit.
The sky is robin egg blue that day, and he keeps the memory as clear in his mind as possible for the next million years.
When it comes down to it, he would have traded Rebecca for Ianto, but Mickey didn’t give him the chance to make that choice. He wonders if that means Mickey loves Rebecca more than he loved Ianto, but he can’t believe that. Jack thinks it had something more to do with the fact that Rebecca is two months pregnant. She names the baby Ianto. For some reason, it makes Jack proud and mad at the same time.
Rebecca is thirty-five, and Ianto has been gone for over a year, when she hands Jack a diary.
He reads it and later tells her the names of some of the planets she mentions inside it. He places the time when she met the Doctor at about a couple months after the Doctor and Rose left him. Rose was napped on to slave trade, and the Doctor came to her rescue and left Rebecca behind. Jack still can’t tell why their meeting was so fixed. He thinks Ianto maybe wrong about the genetic future thing, she would have met Mickey if the Doctor had taken her. And he can tell that the two of them are meant to be. Martha agrees with him. And that’s practically the word of god.
When Mickey is blown to pieces, Jack hears Rebecca’s broken screams for the first time in ten years over the intercom in his ears. He uses the sedatives he bought so long ago and remembers holding Ianto after the nightmares. Little Ianto is only three, and looks at his mother’s haunted eyes with confusion. Jack begins to really worry when she starts talking like the girl he met thirteen years ago.
“I can’t remember where we are.”
“I can’t remember a lot of things anymore.”
It takes her over a year to be back to an almost normal. Martha goes missing, and they never find her. Helping Tom, and Martha’s little daughter through the loss, brings Rebecca back from wherever she had been hiding.
Rift activity has been down for years and now it’s just the two of them, and five year old Ianto in the Hub. When they sleep together for the first time he’s surprised. It feels right though, and when he holds her body, so much smaller than Ianto's, he cries into her long hair missing the people they used to have and be.
When she tells him she’s pregnant, Ianto’s voice is clear in his mind. They have a girl, she names her Sara and her eyes are as green as her mother's. He leaves Torchwood with them and seven year old Ianto. The Doctor on his mind, with Ianto Jones locked in his heart, and Rebecca’s green eyes and laugh always with him. Sara has her laugh, and he can hear Gwen’s voice in his head. “I can’t just leave her there.” It's almost been twenty years since that moment.
Time is meaningless. And when he finds the Doctor, he notices the green in his eyes for the first time, and remembers that he’s heard rumors about him being half-human. Generations and important in the abstract…. Ianto was always so much smarter than him.