Title: What Will Be.
Characters: Jack, Ianto, Tosh, Owen, Martha, Gwen.
Summary: Jack, Tosh and Martha arrive back at the Hub.
Disclaimer: Torchwood belongs to BBC and RTD
A/N: Usual apologies for mistakes, bad grammar, dodgy plot etc.
Story starts here:
A/N2: It’s been a funny sort of week, and consequently I’ve had trouble getting this chapter down on paper. Hope it doesn’t seem too disjointed, and thanks for continuing to read.
The SUV had barely screeched to a halt before Jack was exiting from the driver’s door, and running up to the Hub closely followed by Tosh and Martha.
“ Ianto !...Ianto!” Jack shouted as he entered the main area of the Hub, anxiously looking around for any sign of his fiancé.
“ I’ll check the CCTV.” Tosh said as she and Martha appeared behind the worried Captain.
“ And I’ll look down in the autopsy bay.” Martha added as she made her way in that direction.
Jack was about to go and search in the archives, but remembered Ianto had said he was going to have coffee ready for them, so changed direction and went towards the kitchen instead. Jack froze for a split second as his eyes caught sight of a figure lying on the kitchen floor, and then he rushed to Ianto’s side.
“ Oh God, no...no..” Jack murmured as he knelt down beside his lover’s body, then shouted, “ Martha, I need you in the kitchen NOW! Ianto’s unconscious.”
‘God I hope he’s just unconscious,’ Jack thought as he fought to contain his fear. If he had been thinking straight the fine sheen of sweat, and the faint red flush colouring Ianto’s usually pale skin would have registered the fact that his lover was indeed alive, but Jack wasn’t thinking straight and all he could seem to focus on was Ianto’s still form. Jack went to move Ianto so he could hold the Welshman in his arms, but stopped himself. ‘What if Ianto had hurt himself when falling to the floor’ Jack thought, he didn’t want to aggravate any potential injury that could have occurred. So the Captain restricted himself to merely reaching out to move a stray hair from Ianto’s forehead, as he did, the heat coming off of his lover added to Jack’s already heightened concern. ‘Come on Jack, pull yourself together...’ the immortal mentally chastised himself, ‘... He’s breathing, he’s alive ...’
“ Come on Ianto wake up for me,” Jack whispered, so focused on the man he loved that he didn’t register the sound of running feet, as both Tosh and Martha hastily made their way to where their stricken friend and colleague had been found.
“ Jack..Jack I need to look at him...” Martha knew that Jack didn’t want to leave Ianto’s side, but there wasn’t alot of space in the kitchen and right now, with Jack where he was, Martha was unable to check on the young man’s condition. “ Jack, I need you to move.”
“ Jack !” Tosh tried to get through to the immortal as well.
Jack suddenly seemed to realise the girls were there. Not taking his eyes off his lover Jack moved, giving Martha the access to Ianto that she needed.
“ Martha ?...”
“ Give me a minute Jack...” Martha replied, checking the Welshman for any obvious injuries, and running a quick scan with the Aelranian device she had brought with her from the autopsy bay. “... He’s burning up, we need to cool him down before he starts fitting. Jack we need to get him to the autopsy bay, can you ?...” Martha was standing as she spoke, and moved out of the immortals way as he tenderly picked up the unconscious body of his lover and carried him to the autopsy bay.
Jack should have been concerned at the heat radiating from the man in his arms, but he wasn’t, - it meant his lover was alive; the complete opposite of the last time Jack had walked this way with the Welshman in his arms. Jack had to mentally shake the memories of a few days ago out of his head, and focus on the here and now. Reaching their destination, Jack carefully laid Ianto on the autopsy table. Reluctant to break contact, the immortal gently cupped Ianto’s cheek, desperately willing his fiancé to open those gorgeous eyes.
Martha’s voice pulled Jack from his thoughts. She had been conferring with Owen over the coms, but was now addressing the Captain.
“ Jack, we need to lower Ianto’s temperature. The best way to start that is to strip him down. Could you ?...”
Jack nodded, and started to undo Ianto’s waistcoat. If either Tosh or Martha needed affirmation of how focused on and worried about Ianto Jack was, the lack of any jokey comeback or innuendo from the Captain confirmed it.
“ What’s wrong with him Martha ? He was fine earlier, there was no hint of anything being wrong.” Jack asked as he continued undressing the unresponsive form of his lover.
“ I don’t know yet Jack, but we will find out.” Martha reached out and placed a comforting hand on her friends arm. Looking at Jack’s face it was impossible not to see the worry and fear etched on it.
“ I can’t...” Jack’s voice trailed off, unwilling to put his fear into words.
“ Not going to happen.” Martha knew what Jack was thinking, and she hoped that she sounded a lot more confident than she felt right now. Turning her attention to Tosh, who had been accessing the wriststrap data via the autopsy bay computer, Martha asked the tech, “ Owen said there were some ‘alien blankets’ that can regulate body heat, unfortunately he can’t remember what they’re officially called or where to find them. Any ideas ?”
Tosh thought for a moment. She remembered the ‘blankets’. They had come through the rift in what had appeared to be an alien equivalent of a camping rucksack. They had discovered that the ‘blankets’, once programmed with the user species normal temperature, would automatically regulate themselves so that the body of whoever was using them would be kept at the optimum temperature. So if the user was too cold, the ‘blanket’ would warm them and bring their temperature up. Equally, if the user was too hot, it would reduce their temperature. Perfect for the current situation. Tosh moved to the far side of the autopsy bay where there were some storage cupboards. Checking one, and not finding the required item she moved to the next. This time finding what she was looking for, Tosh set it for human use and handed it to Martha.
“ Thanks.” Martha said as she took what looked like one of the ‘tin foil’ wraps given to runners at the end of a marathon, but in fact felt like the softest and thickest blanket she’d ever felt. The contrast was strange and it must have shown on her face.
“ It’s weird, isn’t it ? You don’t expect it to feel like that considering how it looks.” Tosh observed, then continued, “ Is there anything you need me for ? If there isn’t, I’ll go and check the CCTV and see if I can find anything that might tell us what happened.”
“ We’ll be alright here. Owen should be back any minute, and finding out what happened would be a big help, especially as Ianto can’t tell us just yet.” Martha gave Tosh a grateful look as the tech left to use her own workstation, leaving the autopsy computer free for the doctor to use.
“ Bloody Hell Gwen ! You’ve lived here your whole life and you’re trying to tell me you don’t know any short cuts ?!” Owen’s voice echoed through the Hub as the remaining two team members finally arrived.
“ We were already stuck in traffic !” Gwen tried to defend herself. “ What was I supposed to do ?”
“ Oh I don’t know..how about cut a corner ? Ride the pavement ? Take a side road ? Do a u-turn and find another route ? Maybe actually do as I say when I tell you to take a turning ? Hell, take your pick !!” Owen was angry and annoyed. It had taken them twice as long as it should have done to get back to the Hub. Yes, there had been traffic, but there was more than one way they could have gone, and with a little creative driving they would have been back alot sooner.
Heading straight to the autopsy bay, Owen barely registered Tosh’s presence at her desk so focused was he on finding out what was going on with Ianto. Gwen however sat down at her workstation with a huff.
“ Can you believe him ?!” She began to moan, “ Hardly my fault there was a traffic jam !”
Tosh gave Gwen a tight smile. Her opinion was along the lines of Owen’s, but couldn’t be bothered to get into an argument considering what was going on with her best friend a few feet way.
“ Anyway, it’s not like there wasn’t a doctor available.” Gwen continued.
“ That maybe the case, but Owen is Ianto’s doctor, and for all his faults, Owen takes his job very seriously.” Tosh stated to her colleague whilst she continued going through the CCTV footage.
“ Are you saying I don’t ?” Gwen stared at Tosh indignantly.
“ I’m saying that it explains Owen’s reaction to not getting here sooner.” Tosh knew she was being stared at but ignored Gwen as she came to the relevant section of CCTV footage. “ There.” Tosh said to herself as she watched Ianto move around the kitchen, then just collapse to the floor.
A wound up Owen entered the autopsy bay. Jack was standing next to Ianto’s motionless body, wiping the young man’s forehead with a cooling cloth. The patient himself was wrapped in the ‘blanket’ and looked like an oven ready turkey Owen thought, while Martha was intently looking at the data on the computer and checking the Aelranian scanner.
“ Sorry, would have been here sooner, but...” Owen uncharacteristically apologised.
“ We heard.” Jack replied, glancing up at Torchwoods harassed looking doctor, and seeing he was alone asked, “ Where is she ?”
“ Annoying Tosh I think,” Owen headed to where Martha was looking at the scan results. “ When did you take these ?” he asked as he pointed to a particular section of data.”
“ That’s the set I took when we first found him. They’re not as in-depth as the others. These....” Martha pointed out the second set of readings, “...I took when we first got him down here, and these...” She pointed to the final set. “...I took just before you got back. There is only a matter of minutes between them but you can see there’s a difference.”
“ So whatever this is it’s happening quickly ?” Jack asked, having heard the medics’ conversation.
“ Well, actually yes and...no.” Owen answered alittle hesitantly, which instantly alerted Jack that something was off.
“ Go on.”
“ The wriststrap picked up the first sign of changes about an hour and a quarter before the alarm went off.” Owen admitted.
“ Then why didn’t Ianto say something ?” Jack couldn’t help the tone of his voice, or the sudden annoyance that he felt towards his lover. Ianto had promised to say if he felt at all unwell or different in anyway, and yet here he was unconscious, after apparently having changes going on for over an hour, and not saying a thing to anyone.
“ It’s possible that he didn’t know, that there were no obvious effects to begin with.” Owen suggested, relieved that Jack hadn’t questioned why the doctor hadn’t noticed the changes before the alarm had been set off.
“ I think Owen’s right.” Jack, Owen, and Martha all turned and saw Tosh standing at the railings looking down at them. “ I don’t think Ianto knew anything was wrong, and you can’t blame him for not mentioning something he didn’t know was happening...” The last part was aimed at Jack and he looked suitably chastised as he acknowledged Tosh’s words. “... I’ve checked the CCTV, other than Ianto’s hand apparently irritating him at one point, and him leaning against the kitchen work surface moments before collapsing, there is nothing out of the ordinary, nothing to indicate that Ianto was in pain or knew something was wrong with him.”
“ Which hand ?” Martha suddenly asked, thinking about the scan results.
“ Left. Why ?” Tosh inquired, looking on as Martha went to Ianto’s left side and moved the ‘blanket’ enough to get access to the Welshman’s arm, lifting it to examine his hand.
“ Martha ?” Jack prompted; the medic however ignored both him and Tosh, instead directing her words to her fellow physician.
“ Owen, the scans show changes throughout Ianto’s body, but using the initial readings from the wriststrap can you pinpoint if the changes started in one particular spot ?”
“ Martha, what changes ? What’s happening to Ianto ?” Jack’s tone of voice spoke volumes, this time he wasn’t going to be ignored. However Martha wasn’t ready to give those answers just yet.
“ Jack, give me a minute, OK ?...” Martha held Jack’s gaze, not giving the immortal time to speak she carried on “...Owen, anything ?”
“ What’s going on ?” Gwen, worried that she was missing something, had appeared at Tosh’s side up at the railings. Before Tosh had a chance to answer, Jack’s voice once again spoke the UNIT doctor’s name, barely restraining his growing anger.
“ Jack, please, you want answers and you’ll get them, but I need to check a couple of things first.”
The growing tension between the two former companions was broken by Owen.
“ Left hand. The changes started in the left hand.”
next chapter: http://jackxianto.livejournal.com/5627920.html#cutid1