Rating: Teen (for now)
Spoilers: Seasons 1 and 2
Summary: Jeannie was a lab-rat at the tender mercies of Torchwood London, but then the Battle of Canary Wharf happened, and she escaped to Cardiff. This is her story.
Disclaimer: RTD/BBC etc own anything recognizably Torchwood, everything else is mine.
When Ianto Jones was employed by Torchwood, he could not believe his good fortune. He was able to research alien technology to his heart’s content in the cavernous archives of Torchwood Tower. For the first few months anyway; his quiet nature apparently impressed someone higher up than he had met, and he was transferred to a basement-level research lab. While he mourned the loss of the daily archives access, he thought that maybe this would be just as interesting, in a different way. Then he found out that the rumors of what went on in these lower levels were based upon truth: experimentation upon actual aliens. His impassive mask stood him in very good stead on that initial tour of the facilities when he observed a small alien creature strapped down to a table, and screaming as scalpels cut into it. He tries very hard not to think about that type of thing very often, as there is nothing he can do to stop it. When Ianto is lead into a small room, he is almost afraid of what he will see. It’s actually not too bad, based upon what he has already seen down here. A young woman is lying upon a hospital bed, with a thin blanket pulled up under her arms. An IV bag is hanging at the head of the bed, with the port inserted halfway down her forearm. She appears to be sleeping, but he is disabused of that idea with what his supervisor tells him: that the ‘subject’ is heavily sedated to keep her from trying anything funny. He then goes on to inform Ianto that this room, and its occupant, are his new job. He is to keep her clean, and call one of the nurses when either her IV bag or her urine bag needs to be changed out. Ianto nods numbly.
As the days blur into one another, the young woman wakes up every now and then; Ianto tries to reassure her that she is fine, and that he will take care of her. She never stays conscious for more than a minute or two, which leaves him with ample time to watch her. He sees a woman of perhaps 20 or 22, with strawberry blonde hair and a lot of freckles. The few times her eyes have opened, they have appeared to be hazel. She has never spoken, so he has no idea if she even speaks English, but he chatters to her throughout the days anyway.
Before he knows it, two months have passed, and the Ghost Shifts have started. They make him so very uneasy, and he just makes sure that he is in her room whenever one is scheduled to happen. Ghost Shifts, he snorts to himself. How the hell do you ‘schedule’ a meeting with the hereafter? Something is really, really wrong with this whole situation, but what else is new? This is Torchwood, and while the majority of the employees here have no clue what really happens in this building, those few who are ‘in the know’ are leading the race to do inadvisable things like these Ghost Shifts. Only this time, they are taking the whole of Britain along for the ride. If and when it all goes tits-up, Ianto fully intends to get the young woman out of here. That time comes much sooner than he thought it would, with the shit hitting the fan the next morning.
During the regularly scheduled ‘visitation’, Ianto is, as usual, in the young woman’s room, with the door firmly shut. Through that door, he hears a good deal of screaming, along with what sounds like heavy metal boots marching along the corridor outside the room. With wide eyes, he scrambles to quietly lock the door, feeling quite thankful that the patient is out cold, and likely to stay that way. He does, however, want her to not be out cold for much longer, because now is the time to put his ideas into motion for getting her out of here. Therefore, he carefully removes the IV from her arm and the catheter from her…well…where it goes. He puts a pair of scrub bottoms onto her that he found in one of the drawers weeks ago, and wraps the blanket around her, so that they will be ready to run for it as soon as it is reasonably safe to do so.
It seemed as though hours had passed, but it was really only one hour, max, before it was silent outside the room. Ianto carefully unlocks the door, and opens it a bare crack to see if the coast is clear. Finding that it is, he props the door open with the chair he has been lounging in for the past two months, then scoops up the young woman and hustles down the hallway to the emergency exit. Once out in the open, he carries her emaciated form to his vehicle; while she remains unconscious, he goes back inside the Tower for needed equipment, and a few things that he doesn’t feel UNIT should have, if the Tower was really falling, as he suspects. And, really, with two different alien species fighting for supremacy in the corridors, he has every right to believe that this is the end for Torchwood London.
Upon returning to the vehicle, he finds that the patient has started to wake up a bit. She looks at him blearily, with a question in her eyes.
“The Tower has been invaded by two different alien forces, which seem hell-bent on destroying each other, so I took the opportunity to remove you from the premises; I’m taking us to Cardiff,” he said, in his soft Welsh accent.
The young woman looks quite relieved, and falls asleep again; meanwhile, he heads to his bank, and withdraws the balance of his accounts, figuring that cash will be easier to deal with until he gets both of them settled somewhere safe.
Halfway to Cardiff, he pulls into a rest area for a bit of rest, and to catch his breath. While sipping the hot tea he purchased for himself, he looks over his passenger. She is perhaps 160cm tall, and weighs maybe 50kg. She is quite underweight, and could easily stand to gain another 10kg. He will take care of that. With that thought running through his mind, he closes his eyes in exhaustion.
After sleeping soundly for a couple of hours, he wakes feeling much better. When his eyes open, he is immediately aware that his passenger is awake, and watching him warily. Her eyes seem much clearer than he has ever seen them; the drugs must be finally wearing off. He blinks, and with a small smile, gently holds out his hand. “I’m Ianto Jones, and you’re safe now.”
She blinks slowly, and says, “I’m Jeannie Crandle; thank you for the rescue. Where’s the bathroom? I really need to go!”
Ianto’s face creases in a pleased grin at her coherence. He hurries to get out of the car, and after opening her door for her, Ianto helps Jeannie to stand. She is as weak as a kitten, and it shows. Without any fanfare, he scoops her into his arms, and makes his way to the loo. Not blinking an eye, he shoulders open the door to the handicapped facilities, and gets her settled. They both avoid each other’s eyes, and blush a bit; then Jeannie sighs, and worms her way out of the scrub bottoms, then sighs again in relief as she empties her bladder. Ianto hears the toilet flush, and turns around to help Jeannie wash her hands, then carries her back to the car. He offers some hot tea, and she gratefully accepts it, after buckling her seatbelt. Ianto starts up the car, and they continue their journey to Cardiff, with Jeannie watching silently out the window.
It is around 10AM when they arrive at the city center, so Ianto parks in the parking garage near the Plass; no time like the present to introduce himself to the leader of Torchwood Cardiff, and sound him out for help.
Upon arrival at the tourist office entrance, Ianto finds it locked. Knowing that there will be CCTV coverage of the doorway, he looks for the camera; when he locates it, he stares into it for a bit, patiently waiting for a response. When the door bursts open, he gets his first look at the infamous Captain Jack Harkness; standing there with his hands on his hips, the Captain makes his perusal quite obvious. Ianto holds his hand out to the Captain, introducing himself, “Jones, Ianto Jones. I need your help. Can we go inside and talk in private?”
The Captain blinks, and accepts the handshake, then nods his acquiescence to a private conversation inside. Standing back, he waves Ianto into the office, closing and locking the door behind himself. With a flirty smile, the Captain says, “and what can I do for you, Jones, Ianto Jones?” “I was at Torchwood London,” Ianto replies, “and…” Jack interrupts, “I have nothing for you here, go live your life somewhere else.” With that said, he throws open the door, and waves the young man out. Ianto narrows his eyes at the Captain, refusing to move. “You should really hear what I have to say; she needs help only Torchwood can provide; Torchwood One did this to her, and it is Torchwood’s responsibility to try to fix her.”
Jack glares at this young man…he was in London, he was part of what killed Rose, part of the Ghost Shifts. But…a woman? Injured? Maybe experimented on? Hrmmm. Making a snap judgment, Jack says, “Is she close? I can have my doctor check her out. Is she human?” “Yes, and I’m…not sure…if she’s human; she looks human.” Jack walks with Ianto as he travels back to his car to retrieve Jeannie. When they arrive, Jeannie has her door open, and is sitting with her legs hanging out the door; her head is resting against the headrest on the seat, and her eyes are closed. She is quite pale, making her freckles stand out sharply from her skin.
Ianto crouches down, gently placing his hand on her knee to gain her attention. Jeannie’s eyes open and she immediately sees Jack, standing there in this big, bulky coat, and looking so very confident and trustworthy. Tears fill her eyes, and her breath catches; somehow, she just knows that this man, in addition to Ianto, is going to be very important in her life.
Jack’s eyes widen a bit, and he nods. “Okay, I believe you…for now. Let’s get her to the Hub, so Owen can check her out.”