Title: What Will Be.
Characters: Jack, Ianto, Tosh, Owen, Martha, Gwen.
Summary: Jack and Gwen return from weevil hunting. Some explanations are forthcoming.
Disclaimer: Torchwood belongs to BBC and RTD.
A/N: Sorry this chapter is later than usual, should have known that getting the last one done so fast would bode ill for this one !
Story starts here:
A/N2: Major worries about this chapter as I fear this is where what I thought was a good basic premise falls apart when detail comes into play! Not having a scientific bone in my body none of what I’ve put is probably right or feasible, so apologise. I just hope it kind of makes sense, and you can disregard the flaws enough to continue reading. Many thanks to those of you reading this and to those who have taken the time to comment.
Sooo on to the chapter...
As Jack and Gwen returned from the weevil hunt it was obvious something had occurred. The tension coming from Jack was palpable. Gwen though seemed oblivious as she went to her desk picking up her bag as Jack told everyone to call it a day, and head home for the night. Owen joined Gwen heading for the exit. Torchwood’s Doctor didn’t need telling twice to leave; he needed to get out of the Hub even more than usual. He was growing more frustrated the more time that went by, and some time away from the tests and readouts would do both he and Martha good. Hopefully after a good night’s sleep, and in the fresh light of day, things might start making more sense. Martha waited for Tosh to finish up, before both women called out their goodbyes and left for the night. Jack had retreated to his office and was just about to check the CCTV feed for the archives in the hope of seeing his lover, whose absence from the main hub had not gone unnoticed, when the office door opened.
“ Considering how tense you are, and the abrupt way you dismissed everyone for the night, I take it the weevil hunt didn’t go well.” Ianto commented as he entered Jack’s office with a tray containing two mugs of coffee and a plate of biscuits.
“ Please tell me they’re chocolate hobnobs.” Jack said hopefully as he spotted the plate on the tray.
“ Even if they are, you aren’t getting any until you tell me why you are so tense.” Ianto placed the tray on the desk, making sure to keep the biscuits out of Jack’s reach.
“ You don’t play fair !” Jack pouted playfully.
“ This coming from the man who cheats at naked hide and seek !” Ianto retorted, a small smile gracing his lips while raising his eyebrow.
“ I never heard you complain about the outcome.” Jack smirked, the tension that had totally enveloped him was easing with every second spent in Ianto’s presence.
“ As if I’m going to complain when I end up being made love to by you, and held in your arms.” Ianto blushed a little at how sappy that probably sounded, then got the conversation back on track. “ Stop changing the subject by the way. It’s not going to stop me asking what happened while you were out, and why you are so tense ?”
Jack sighed, not wanting to bring up the spectre of Gwen, but knowing he had to be honest. Not just because it was something that, as far as they could, he and Ianto had promised to be with each other, but also to stop any doubts or questions arising if Gwen bought up the conversation herself, because you could guarantee that her version would be one to suit her scheming. Jack was a little wary though. He was extremely confident about how he and Ianto felt about each other, but he also knew how Ianto had felt about his and Gwen’s previous closeness, and Jack had a nagging fear that telling Ianto what Gwen had said to him while they had been out, on top of the comments Ianto had told him she had said earlier to the Welshman, might seep into his subconscious and reawaken long quashed doubts and fears.
“ Jack ?” Ianto called his lovers name after Jack had been silent for a short while, during which time the tension had visibly begun to return.
“ Sorry.” Jack shook his head slightly as if to clear his thoughts. “ Gwen was trying to stir it.”
“ Ah. Like she did earlier with me ?”
“ Well she couldn’t use the ‘you’re only ever going to be second choice. He’s only with you because I’m not free’ line, so what tactic did she use ?” Ianto lifted his mug of coffee to his mouth, blowing to cool it slightly, before taking a sip.
Jack’s train of thought was totally derailed as his eyes focused on those sensuous lips, which were suddenly calling his name once again to bring his thoughts back to the conversation at hand.
“ She went for the ‘questioning my reason for proposing, and yours for excepting’ strategy first, then went on with implying that, I think Owen would phrase it as, ‘you’d put it about abit’ while I was away.”
“ And just who was I supposed to be ‘putting it about’ with ?” Ianto was intrigued. He had barely left the Hub, other than on missions and trips to Flat Holm, while Jack had been gone.
“ Max and Ewan apparently. Although she didn’t know their names, she just commented about you going to a club and your new ‘friends’.”
“ Did you tell her who they are ?” Ianto asked. He shouldn’t really have been surprised by Gwen’s antics, especially after her previous comments to him, but he had hoped that maybe she could accept that Jack was his and they were getting married. After all she did have her own fiancé.
“ Actually, no I didn’t.” Jack took a mouthful of his coffee as he watched for Ianto’s reaction. It was a questioning look that silently asked, ‘what are you up to Harkness ?’
“ Dare I ask why not ?”
“ Thought it might be more fun when we head to the club for a team night out if Gwen wasn’t aware of all the facts. I’m sure Max and Ewan wouldn’t mind helping to enlighten Miss. Cooper about a few things !” Jack’s devious smile was in place, as was the mischievous gleam in his eyes.
“ You are an evil man Captain Harkness,” said Ianto as he finally handed Jack the plate of biscuits.
“ But you love me anyway.” Jack winked, smiling as he gratefully took the offered chocolate hobnobs.
“ Don’t I just.” Ianto couldn’t help but agree.
After an evening that started with them making love, Jack and Ianto had both managed to fall into a deep and restful sleep. Now, feeling more refreshed than either of them had in days, the couple were busy with the morning ‘chores’ in the Hub. Ianto was feeding Myfanwy, having already dealt with Janet, while Jack was starting up the computers and doing a quick check of the rift. Suddenly the door alarm sounded heralding the early arrival of Martha and the rest of the team.
Once a quick team briefing was complete, and everyone had their morning dose of Ianto’s coffee, the team settled down to work. Owen and Martha returned to studying and checking the accumulated data. Tosh continued her mission to retrieve the missing information from Torchwood One. Ianto was down in the archives. Jack was supposedly signing off on some reports, when in fact his attention was more on the CCTV feed of the archives and watching his lover. Gwen had been sent to man the Tourist office for the morning, and to wait for the delivery of the items from Archie at Torchwood Two that were due anytime. As it turned out the package arrived within an hour of Gwen opening up, putting up a ‘Back soon’ sign on the door she locked up and took the box down to the Hub.
“ It’s arrived.” Gwen called out as she emerged through the cogwheel door, carrying the package.
Tosh looked up, a small smile of anticipation crossing her face. “ You had best give it to Jack. He’s in his office still.” She informed her colleague.
“ Thanks.” Gwen headed up to Jack’s office and as usual entered without knocking. “ Parcel from Archie is here.” She informed Jack as she put the box on the Captain’s desk, partially covering the report he was looking over.
“ Thanks Gwen.” Jack looked up, irritated by Gwen’s entrance, and the way she had just ignored his work on the desk.
“ That’s ok.” Gwen seemed oblivious to the annoyed tone of Jack’s voice. “Come on open it up. Let’s see what those stone things look like.” She couldn’t have sounded more like an impatient child if she had tried.
“ I will open it when I’ve finished this and when Tosh is free.” Jack moved the package so he could see all of the report once again.
“ I can help.” Gwen grinned.
“ I was under the impression you were assigned to work in the tourist office for the morning.” Jack said looking back up from rearranging his desk.
“ I thought that was until the delivery arrived. Anyway it’s not like anything happens up there.”
“ Maybe not, but it is still a tourist office and our cover. If it isn’t open for at least a few hours a day it’s noticed. As for not much happening there, why don’t you use the time to re-read the handbook, don’t forget you will be tested and assessed once things settle down.” Jack reminded her pointedly. His tone of voice made it clear she was being dismissed.
“ I’ll go back up there then.” Gwen sounded less than thrilled.
“ That would be best.” Jack retuned his attention to his report, and then added, “Could you ask Tosh to come up as soon as she is free, thanks.”
Jack didn’t look up, but could imagine the expression on Gwen’s face as the woman left his office obviously less than happy, if the disgruntled noise she made was anything to go by !
“ We need to get Ianto back down here.” Martha stated as she looked up from the retaken scan results, and over to her colleague seated a few feet away.
“ He’s gonna love that !” Owen retorted, as he went over the Aelranian scan results again.
“ Can’t be helped. We need to recalibrate the wriststrap to take into account the new data, and we need to fill both he and Jack in on what we’ve found.”
“ A team meeting ?” Owen queried finally looking up at Martha.
“ That’ll be Jack’s decision, but we need to speak to him and Ianto first.”
Owen nodded his agreement before asking, “ Those tissue samples still in the fridge ?”
“ The freezer, yes...” Martha answered, realising that while concentrating on the alien technology to solve the puzzle, the traditional samples they had also taken had all, except for the blood samples, been forgotten about and were still in the freezer being stored. “...Why ?”
“ Nothing really, just want a firsthand look, now we have some idea what to look for.”
“ It’s no good knowing what to look for if we don’t have a microscope with the degree of magnification to pick it up.” Martha pointed out. The whole reason it had taken this long to find anything was because normal equipment just wasn’t sensitive enough to find it.
“ We can always modify one.” Owen said as if it was easy to do.
“ You mean Tosh can !” Martha stated, knowing full well it would be Tosh who’d end up doing it.
“ Hey, what good is a tech wizard if you don’t use her !”
“ Well, you can be the one to ask her.” Martha smiled, shaking her head slightly, as she imagined what the young woman’s response might be considering how much work she was already doing. Getting back on track Martha continued, “ Let’s get Jack and Ianto down her, shall we ?”
Jack arrived in the autopsy bay a few minutes after Ianto, and found his lover seated with Owen fiddling with the wrist strap.
“ What’s wrong ?” Jack looked at Owen, hoping his voice didn’t betray his concern.
“ Nothing, just need to do a couple of alterations on this.” Owen answered as he finally released the wriststrap and turned to use the computer.
“ You brought me down here to see you mess around with a piece of tech ?” Jack raised his eyebrow alittle.
“ Of course not Jack,” Martha said before Owen could get in with, what would undoubtedly have been, a sarcastic remark. “ We have some news.” Martha saw both Jack and Ianto tense preparing themselves for what was about to be said. Taking a calming breath herself, and after checking if Owen wanted to speak instead, Martha continued, “ The retaken test results are the same as the original ones. The ‘ghosting’ appeared to be something surrounding the cells. The Aelranian device being more advanced and sensitive picked up the same ‘ghosting’ but gave us more in-depth information concerning it. The energy is basically the same as the orbs from London and not only does it surround the cells, like a protective energy shield, but it’s also in the cells, seemingly having become part of their make up.” Martha started to explain.
“ If it’s become part of my cells make up... it’s changed my DNA ?” Ianto asked calmly, belying his true feelings.
“ Actually no, it hasn’t altered your genetic makeup at all. It appears to just be there, existing in and around the cells. Like a dormant ‘virus’, it’s there in your body, you’re unaware of it until something triggers it.” Martha watched for any reactions to what she had said. Ianto seemed to be absorbing the information and processing it, while Jack picked up on her earlier comment about the energy being like a ‘shield’.
“ How do you know it’s protecting the cells ?” Jack asked. He had moved nearer to where Ianto was seated when Martha had begun explaining, and he now rested is hand on the back of Ianto’s chair making sure his hand came into contact with his lover, wanting to give him unobtrusive support.
“ We don’t for sure,” Martha admitted, “ but due to the readings we can determine the ‘energy’ did originate from the orb, in which case it has been in Ianto since the incident with no detrimental effects.”
A cautious sense of relief went through both Jack and Ianto, and though Jack began to relax alittle, Ianto remained slightly tense.
“ You said the energy is basically the same as the orb, that suggests that there is some sort of difference.” Ianto looked at Martha, who in turn glanced at Owen.
Jack watched the exchange, the tension returning as a sense of foreboding fell over him.
next chapter: http://jackxianto.livejournal.com/5561697.html#cutid1