Title: Into the Storm
Pairings and Characters:Series will eventually be Jack/Ianto. This part: Ianto. Full team circa 2004 (e.g, Suzie not Gwen)
Disclaimer: If this was real, I wouldn't share. As its not, I'm sharing with no personal gain or profit, other than perhaps to feed my attention whore complex. non-recognisable elements are mine! plagiarists will be eaten alive weasels. Much information has been gleaned from the show (obviously), Dr Who eps, various Wiki's, other internet sources and my font of all Dr Who knowledge ttfan . I have not read the books, so if something was mentioned in a book, but not on TV, I probably won't have it.
Distribution: My Journal (jenexell), and quite a few other places too. (attention whore complex). If you want it, link back to here, don't steal its naughty.
Warnings: Some strong language, medical stuff (nothing too complicated or graphic I'm a woodwork teacher not a surgeon) violence. use of guns. (so basically all the warnings for Torchwood).
Spoilers: Everything and nothing. Set pre-series, so may make reference to things mentioned in the show, but not the content of actual eps.AU from 2004 onwards.
Summary: The twenty-first century is when it all changes, and for one student on a trip home in July 2004, it all did.
Author's Note: This is my first Foray into Torchwood Fic. Be kind lol.
:: Prologue :: Part 1 :: Part 2
Cardiff, July 2004
Quarantine Day 2:
Owen tried not to smirk as Suzie clumped around the room in her hazmat suit, helping to set up the equipment he'd requested. Well trying to help, there was only so much she could do with her hands encased in thick gloves and her movements hindered by cumbersome plastic.
"Good look for you this Suze. Never knew you had a kinky side." He smirked, the expression turning to a grin when she attempted to flip him off but failed when her fingers wouldn't bend properly.
Seeing the humour herself, Suzie rolled her eyes and shook her head. "Sod off Harper."
"Wish I could, but you see I'm kinda stuck here with my new friend Mr. Jones. Delightful company." Owen replied with a snort of amusement and a nod in the direction of the patient on the bed. “So many interesting stories, I could just listen to him all day.”
“Good thing you don’t have much choice in the matter then isn’t it?” Suzie shot back gleefully.
“You’re loving this aren’t you?” Owen sighed with a shake of his head.
“What? Me?” Suzie’s eyes widened in feigned disbelief and hurt, “I would never enjoy the discomfort of one of my team-mates. Whatever gave you that idea?”
Again Owen shook his head, returning his focus to the young man laid prone on the bed between them. They had no idea how long he’d be out - Hell they had no idea why he was unconscious in the first place – so Owen had decided it was best to err on the side of caution. He seemed to be breathing fine on his own, so the respirator was just in case, but the other stuff was going to be necessary; just a few basics while their guest snoozed away his visit.
It felt good really. Looking after a living patient after so long performing autopsies on the weird and wacky creatures that fell through the rift. How long had it been now since he’d been in this position? A year? More? Not much more. Had he really just forgotten?
The levity Owen felt earlier suddenly vanished and the weight that always seemed to be crushing his chest returned with a vengeance. Sometimes he hated memory. Really hated it. A snort of sardonic laughter escaped him as a random thought drifted through his mind. Alien parasites, infections and diseases. Larvae growing in human brains. He’d seen that. Seen that before he even knew Torchwood existed. He, better than anyone knew the risk to health alien life-forms could pose. But he’d still managed to fuck up and remove his hazmat hood in a potentially hazardous environment. If he wound up infected with something it would be just what he bloody deserved.
“Owen? You alright?”
Owen shook his head again and looked up, meeting Suzie’s concerned gaze. For all her acerbic exterior, Suzie’s heart was in the right place.
“What? Yeah. It’s nothing. Go on. Get out of here, it’s just tubes and shit now, literally. Give the poor sod his dignity and piss off while I do this. And keep Harkness away from the bloody CCTV while you’re at it. Kinky fucker would probably enjoy the view.”
“You’re still convinced he’s gay?” Suzie laughed as she stepped back from the bed.
“My life savings on it.”
Quarantine Day 3.
“Has he started talking to himself yet?”
Toshiko nearly jumped out of her skin at the voice suddenly close to her ear. She hadn’t heard anyone approach, but then if Jack didn’t want to be heard, he wouldn’t be. She didn’t need to turn to know who it was; she’d know that voice anywhere. That smooth American accent, not as harsh or twanging as some she’d heard. The practically permanent purr. Then there was something about the way Jack smelled.
Not that she’d been sniffing her boss. Because she hadn’t. It suddenly occurred to Tosh how many times Jack seemed to be able to read peoples’ minds and she prayed fervently he hadn’t just read hers because that was just mortifying. Now totally flustered, she flicked her eyes to the side and there Jack was; his chin almost on her shoulder as he stared at the screen that she was now even more embarrassed to realize she’d been staring at for nearly an hour.
“He... uh... I think he might have been muttering to himself earlier.” She managed to stumble out, desperate for something to say.
Jack smirked. A truly wicked smirk. “Keep an eye on him. If he winds up in the clear, I want every embarrassing little slip he makes.”
“And if he isn’t clear?” Tosh found herself asking, her stomach in knots. The idea of Owen contracting some weird alien disease or being somehow adversely affected by The Pattern was not a pleasant thought.
Apparently it wasn’t for Jack either, as his face, so full of amusement just seconds before, suddenly closed down. “We’ll figure something out.”
Dragging her eyes from the screen showing the CCTV footage of the quarantine room and back to what she’d been working on, Tosh sighed.
Jack didn’t miss it. “Anything?”
Tosh shook her head. “I’ve been trying to find a way to get the system to filter out the interference from The Pattern but nothing I’ve tried so far has worked. I’m running out of ideas.”
A hand came to rest on Tosh’s shoulder, and she felt instantly calmer. “You’ll figure it out Tosh. You always do.”
Jack trusted her, believed in her, and had done so when everyone else on the planet had abandoned her. Now he was trusting her to find a way to help Owen and the young man, Ianto, who they’d found. This meant a lot to Jack, she could tell. She would not let him down.
Quarantine Day 5.
Owen was going mad. Barmy, loopy, round the twist, totally bat-shit crazy.
Four days. He’d been stuck in this tiny little room with only an even tinier bathroom for a change of scenery for four days. The institutional green walls were actually beginning to do strange things to his head, he was sure of it.
It wouldn’t be so bad if he’d had something challenging or time consuming to keep his mind occupied; lord knew he’d spent far longer locked away in his far smaller digs while at medical school. But back then he’d had his head buried so deep in medical texts and lecture notes he’d lost track of weeks let alone days. In this room, in the here and now, all he had to keep him busy was Mr. Sociable on the bed, a few books Tosh had brought him, his game-boy and a few random conversations whenever someone upstairs remembered to talk to him.
Even then the times he talked to Jack or Suzie were always brief and strictly business, although Jack did always start by asking how he was doing. No, in terms of general conversation, his life-line the last four days had been Tosh. Filling him in on the outside world, keeping a com open throughout the working day while she was at her station so they could just communicate; small idle comments like they were actually sitting next to each as they would have been normally.
She didn’t say much, but that was a hell of a lot better than nothing. And it took his mind off the fact that he felt about as useful as a custard cricket ball stuck in this room. There wasn’t really anything he could do for his patient except keep him comfortable.
Looking down at the man on the bed, Owen was suddenly struck by one overwhelming conclusion. He missed nurses. Not for the reason most people would assume though. No he missed them doing their jobs. He hadn’t had to do half the disgusting ‘maintenance’ tasks he’d done in the last five days since he’d been in medical school, and even then he and his fellow students had only needed to know how the jobs were done. No one expected them to actually do them beyond the one or two occassions they had to demonstrate their knowledge. As stuck up and conceited as it sounded, such things were generally considered beneath a doctor’s time.
Not a doctor working for Torchwood. Oh no, he had to do autopsies on slimy aliens and look after their unconscious guest’s daily needs. What fun.
At least, he supposed, it gave him something to do.
There actually was a limit to the amount of time a grown man could spend playing a game-boy.
Quarantine Day 8
“Unless you’re about to tell me I can finally get out of this place, I suggest you fuck off.”
Suzie Costello snorted with laughter she couldn’t quite contain as she peered at the rather bedraggled face of her colleague. Owen hadn’t bothered shaving since his third day in quarantine, and the bearded look really didn’t suit him. Neither did the bags around his eyes, or the paleness of his skin.
“Not enjoying your little holiday from real work then?”
On the screen, Owen’s face scowled back at her. It was a decidedly unimpressed expression, but it wasn’t, in all honesty, all that far removed from the expression he’d already been wearing. A contained Owen Harper was not a pretty thing. Suzie had to admit, however, that she did get a bit of a kick out of seeing his predicament. Especially with what she now knew. No harm dragging it out a bit.
“Oh go fuck yourself Suzie.” Owen growled after a moment of silence.
“Owen wait.” Suzie called out as Owen turned away from the camera. When Owen turned back, she sighed and gave him a little smile. “Tosh has been monitoring the pattern...”
“I know that.” Owen snapped out, cutting her off.
Casting Owen a cautioning glare, Suzie continued. “As I was saying. Tosh has been monitoring the pattern, and according to her readings, the energy signature has dissipated somewhat in the last twenty four hours.”
“Meaning...?” Owen growled impatiently.
“Meaning, give us ten minutes and we’ll be able to do an in depth scan.” Now Suzie smiled properly.
“About fucking time!”
Jack stared down at the piece of tech Tosh had put into his hands. It was a modified PDA, although it looked less like something that had been modified, and more like something grown by a cybernetic alien life form. Tosh could be scary sometimes with the things she created.
In his gloved hands it felt fiddly, delicate and fragile. Thankfully all he would have to do was wave it around a bit, Tosh and Suzie would be monitoring what it was picking up back in the main hub. Not that Tosh had wanted to stay in the main hub of course. She’d wanted to come down with him, but Jack had insisted. If they were wrong, if something went wrong, he didn’t want either Tosh or Suzie down here. It was bad enough that Owen was down here and that he’d sent Suzie down to help him at the start. He’d been careless, complacent. The last eight days and their lack of progress had given Jack a lot of time to think about it. Too much time. His worries had burrowed into his skull like a Tarsian ear worm, making him tense and agitated. He’d built his team with every intention of keeping them as safe as he could; Owen didn’t deserve to die of his own stupidity and Suzie certainly didn’t deserve to die for Jack’s.
Jack felt his lips twitch at Tosh’s voice over his ear piece. Nervous but excited, full of anticipation and worry at the same time. He could relate. “I’m here. Is this thing working yet?”
There was a pause on the other end of the line, filled only with the sound of tapping keys. “It’s functioning, but we won’t know how well it’ll work until you get close to Mr. Jones.”
Jack nodded to himself. He knew that. “OK then. Well here goes nothing. Keep me posted.”
With that said, Jack shifted the device to his other hand and reached out to tap the keypad of the locking mechanism on the sealed door. The gloves of his Hazmat suit made it difficult to hit the keys dead on, and he found yet another reason to hate the damn suit other than, one – not needing it, and two – it being bright garish yellow. Yellow really wasn’t his colour.
At the third attempt the door hissed, the seal deactivating. It was heavy, but didn’t take much effort to push open, nor to close behind him. Satisfied when he heard the hiss again telling him the seal was back in action, Jack turned to face the corridor. It was the best they’d been able to do really. Seal off both ends of the corridor and put another seal on the door to the room where they’d put Ianto Jones, creating in principal if not in appearance, an air lock. On his return, if this didn’t go as they all hoped, then once he left the quarantine room, this corridor would be flooded with a mixture of gasses and various forms of radiation, which should, in principal, kill off any organic material in the air or clinging to the outside of his suit. They’d all been thoroughly scanned when they’d returned to the hub after finding their visitor, and each time they’d been down to quarantine, and none of them seemed to show the same kind of energy saturation that Tosh had originally picked up on Mr. Jones. Still, they’d all taken pains not to touch him, so there was no telling if it was transferable by contact.
The corridor wasn’t long, and then once more he was stood outside the lead lined door peering in through the glass. Ianto was as Jack had last seen him, laid out on the bed, still other than the soft rise and fall of his chest. Owen by complete contrast was pacing like a caged lion, chewing on his thumbnail and if Jack wasn’t mistaken, muttering to himself. Isolation could do that to a person.
Another keypad, but this time he got the code first time. Another hiss, and with a grunt of effort Jack pushed the large sliding door out of the way.
“About bloody time Harkness!” Owen snapped before Jack had even made a step into the room. “So come on! Scan me and get me out of this pit.”
“Owen.” Jack cut in firmly.
Owen just glared back. Challenging. Defying Jack to say what he had been about to. Letting Jack know with expression alone that the doctor did not need to be told the results of the scan might not be what he wanted to hear, and that he might not be getting out at all.
“We good to go Tosh?” Jack asked keeping eye contact with Owen.
“Yep.” Tosh replied quickly. “Scanner is active.”
“Ok then. Let’s do this.” Jack grinned. “Arms up and let’s have a look at you.”
Owen just kept on scowling, but did as asked, raising his arms to hold them out to the sides.
Jack raised the scanner and walked closer, and was just about to do the first sweep as Tosh had instructed him when a high pitched screech pierced his skull, crackling through his earpiece and almost dropping him to his knees with its intensity. On the other end of the line he vaguely heard Tosh yelp. He stumbled back a step, and just as quickly as it had come, the noise stopped.
“Bloody hell! What the fuck was that!” Owen cursed, straightening himself out and rubbing his head.
Jack groaned, his ears ringing. “Tosh! Report”
“Some kind of feedback.” Tosh instantly shot back. “The filter was overwhelmed. You need to move further away from the source.”
Jack frowned in confusion. “The source?”
“The bed Jack! Mr. Jones is the source of The Pattern. You need to get further away from him.”
Further away? The room wasn’t exactly large. Then Jack spotted something behind Owen’s shoulder.
“Jack?” Owen asked with wary caution. Glancing over his shoulder, he saw exactly what Jack had seen and glared. “One comment Harkness. One comment about getting me alone in a bathroom and I swear I will knock your fucking teeth out.”
Raising his hands in a pacifying gesture, Jack grinned. “Never even crossed my mind.”