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 :: Part 3 ::
Cardiff, September 2004
Dr Owen Harper glanced at his watch, huffed and slid open the heavy door; the rattle of the track scraping harshly in the constant quiet of the lower levels. Pale light spilled out into the concrete corridor from the room beyond as he stepped over the threshold, impatient to be done.
It had been a long week, and the last thing he wanted was to be hanging around the creep factory. He wanted to be out. He wanted to get drunk, get laid, and hopefully, rift permitting, actually get a few decent hours sleep. Suzie had already gone home, and even Tosh had been packing up when he’d left the central hub. As far as Owen could work out Jack lived in the bunker underneath his office, so he technically couldn’t go home, but he’d retreated to his office an hour ago with a definite ‘as off duty as I ever am’ vibe.
It had to be a sign of an impending apocalypse that he, Owen Harper, was the last one working on a Friday night.
9:06. This was cutting into his drinking and pulling time. Striding over to the computer terminal, he clicked a few keys and scanned over the information on the screen. As they had been since Owen had been given the all clear, Ianto Jones’ vitals remained stable and well within normal limits.
It was a daily ritual. Part of the routine now. Arrive at work, go down and check on Mr Jones. Have lunch, go down and check on Mr Jones. Get ready to go home, go down and check on Mr Jones. There was a part of Owen, the part that had made him work so hard to become a doctor in the first place, that actually welcomed it. It wasn’t much, but at least he was caring for someone again. And Owen couldn’t say Ianto was a difficult patient.
Quite the contrary. He was the perfect patient. Co-operative, quiet, calm and undemanding. Except that he wouldn’t bloody wake up. There was no reason, no physiological reason that Owen could find for the young man’s continued lack of consciousness. It was infuriating and frustrating, not to mention damaging to his ego. A week after he’d been released from quarantine - having completed every test he could think of, and many of them more than once - Owen had been forced to admit to the rest of the team during their weekly briefing that he was completely and utterly at a loss.
The only saving grace was that the others hadn’t fared much better. The ongoing mystery of Mr Jones had stumped them all and once it was clear the young man wasn’t in immediate danger, it had been put on something of a back burner. Suzie had lost interest in the whole thing when she’d decided what they weren’t dealing with some kind of weapon or useable tech. Tosh regularly kept tabs on ‘The Pattern’ which had ceased to blow up medical equipment not long after Owen had been let out and had stopped being detectable anywhere other than within Ianto and the space immediately around him after three weeks. And Jack… Owen hadn’t realised that their leader thought about his patient much at all until a couple of days ago, when he’d raised the topic again in their briefing.
“Well then Mr Jones, let’s get you sorted for the night shall we. Sorry still no nurses so you’ll have to put up with me.” Owen began to ramble as he worked without really thinking about it. It just seemed uncomfortable to be manhandling a man who was, for all intents and purposes sleeping, without somehow interacting with him. “You know, you wouldn’t have to put up with me at all if you woke up. You could do this for yourself. Or you might not need to deal with any of this at all. Just a thought. You should probably think about it.”
Owen paused, and then sighed. “I’m gonna level with you mate. You’re running out of time down here. Jack’s not convinced you’re ever going to wake up. He’s talking about long term storage. Alien cryogenics. Freeze you, stick you in a box and lock you in the vaults until someone has the time or the inclination to work out what’s wrong with you. Wouldn’t fancy that myself. Going to sleep one day, waking up a hundred years in the future or something. Out of time, out of place. Nobody left. Gotta be someone out there you’d miss, bet some-one’s missing you…”
Owen trailed off feeling a pang of guilt and pity. Five weeks. Five weeks Ianto Jones had been asleep in the lower levels of the hub, and so far, no-one had reported him missing. That was just… sad. Shaking his head, Owen finished up what he needed to do in silence. He needed to get out of here. It was depressing.
Perhaps Jack was right. Perhaps Long term storage was the best option. The doctor in him railed at that, but the human being, the cynical, jaded, wounded human being couldn’t help but agree with the logic that this was a waste of time, energy and resources.
With Ianto tucked back in under the blankets, Owen turned away from his patient and strode out of the door, rolling it carelessly shut behind him.
Drink. Shag. Sleep. Time to have a life for a change.
The man on the bed did not bolt to wakefulness with a gasp and an impressive display of abdominal strength. Nor did he softly rise through nebulous clouds to the great waking world with fluttering eyelids and soft sighs.
No. His nose twitched. The bridge wrinkled and a faint frown creased the brow above. Lower down, fingers made tiny jerking movements. Subtle tiny spasms ran down limbs. The brow furrowed further, eyes creasing at the corners. A soft groan escaped from between parted lips, the sound faint and hoarse. His breath became less regular, deeper and all too soon a cough tickled its way up the inside of his throat making his whole body jolt.
Ianto Jones opened his eyes.
And just as quickly shut them again, another dry groan escaping him. He hurt. His head was pounding. His nose was itching like crazy. Unconsciously, he tried to lift his hand to scratch it, but the limb wouldn’t obey. It was heavy, and a screeching pain lanced up it making him hiss and jarring him into wakefulness.
A cascade of thoughts tumbled through his mind at that moment, the first of which being to wonder what the hell it was he’d been drinking the night before. He hadn’t felt this rough since... well since first year certainly. The individual instances of brain melting hangovers during his first year of university were all a little mashed together, but he certainly hadn’t been this bad off since. His mouth felt like something had crawled into it and died.
Now he was awake, he could see the red behind his closed eyelids letting him know of the light beyond. Had he fallen asleep with the lights on? Or was it daylight and he hadn’t closed his curtains? Either way, even the dull red was making his head throb, and with some effort he raised a shaking arm to bring his hand to his face as he attempted to roll over.
A sharp pain stopped him though. This was no muscle cramp, but a tugging fleshy pain that had his eyes snapping open despite the glare of light, and his other hand coming up to cradle the one that had been hurt. Shaking tentative fingers felt across the back of his hand. Felt across the strip of tape and the hard plastic tube sitting under his skin. They followed it along, finding where it left flesh, where it became soft and pliant.
Even as his fingers found the tube, his eyes stared up at the cracked plaster of the ceiling above him. The odd off white paint, the institutional green of the top of the wall.
That was a drip in his hand. Was he in hospital? It was so quiet. What had happened? He couldn’t remember. But he could remember. He remembered the train journey to Cardiff, the smiling receptionist at the youth hostel. The awful cup of coffee he’d had as he’d explored the changes that had been made to the Cardiff Bay development. The Smell of the sea. He remembered being unsure what he thought of the Wales Millenium Centre’s design but liking the water tower at the far end of Roald Dahl Plass. He remembered the bus ride to the Cemetery. He remembered looking down at his mother’s grave.
He could remember it all. His life here in Cardiff. He could remember his life before his mother become ill and the life that came after she died. He could remember school and University. What he couldn’t remember was meeting anyone he would have gone to a pub with. He never drank alone and certainly wouldn’t have got himself so drunk as would warrant this kind of hangover without some kind of reason.
Tube in his hand. Hospital. He swallowed again, a tension building in the pit of his stomach as confusion washed over him. He turned his head to one side. There were machines beside him. Machines he recognised, and understood but strangely could not recall the names of. Colourful lines danced their way across the blackness of the screen he could see. A Constant stream of data being collected by the wires coming out of the machine and ending somewhere on him. He moved his head again, his eyes were settling, the light no longer painful. There was a single bulb with a metal conical down lighting shade hanging in the middle of the room. The walls were a dirty darkish green. There were boxes and crates. There was a very modern looking computer sitting on a desk in the far corner.
This looked like no hospital he’d ever seen.
Swallowing again, Ianto opened his mouth. “Hello?”
His voice was raspy, and so very quiet. The effort to make any noise at all brought out another few seconds of dry painful coughing.
Once he’d stopped, he listened. Nothing. It was so quiet. He looked back at the machines in a momentary fit of panic; the sudden realisation that not even they were making noise sparking the onset of an irrational momentary belief that he was dead.
The lines continued to track their merry way. OK. So not dead. But alone, in a strange room, with medical equipment and no memory of how he got there. The lines on the screen reflected the way his heart suddenly started to thunder in his chest, making him more and more anxious as he watched them.
“Hello?” He tried again, this time a little louder. A little more desperate. “Is anyone there? Hello?”
Nothing. His words seemed to echo back at him. His throat felt like closing up. His breath started coming in sharp panicked pants.
Where was he? What happened to him? Where was everyone else? “Please! Somebody?”
He needed. He needed to do something. Needed to move. Needed to get out of here. He didn’t like hospitals at the best of times and this was like something out of a nightmare. Was it a nightmare? Was he dreaming?
He tried to sit up, and his body screamed with pain, making him cry out. His limbs were so stiff he felt like he’d run a marathon. The back of his hand felt warm, wet. He looked down at it. Blood. He’d managed to turn the tube around in his skin and now it was torn, blood running down over the pristine white sheet.
Frantically he pulled at it. Pulled at the tape and the tube until it came free, then at the other things he could feel against his skin. Hooked up. Wired up. Tubes and wires. He wanted free. He wanted out. He pulled and yanked as best he could with hands that shook and arms that felt like they were wrapped in sheets of lead. He scratched at his face to pull the tube from his nose, choking and gagging on it, his eyes watering. He fought the sheets tucked around him, desperate hands clawing at the fabric until his lower body was exposed. He could feel more of himself now and there was something where it shouldn’t be.
He was almost keening; frightened high pitch sounds escaping his throat as he found the source of the alien sensation. A tube. A damned tube running into his...
Panic took over. He cried out as he pulled the last connection to the nightmarish bed free, feeling warm fluid trickle across his skin. He no longer cared if he’d damaged himself, he just wanted to get out.
But liberation brought new obstacles. Moving took more effort than it should. Was he drugged? He managed to swing his legs off the bed, but when he tried to make them take his weight they folded uselessly under him and his knees impacted with cold concrete tearing a frustrated, frightened sob from his throat.
No. Calm down. Calm. He needed to be calm. He had to get out and he couldn’t get out if he fell apart. Deep breath. Deep breath.
Squeezing his eyes shut, Ianto swallowed, took a deep breath and swallowed again, then and only then did he try to stand, carefully levering himself up using the edge of the bed. His legs felt like jelly. It wasn’t graceful, it wasn’t dignified, but it had to be done. He bit back the whimpers that begged to be let loose; the shaking weakness as much frustrating as it was painful.
Finally upright he turned around and surveyed the room again. A Door. It was large, filling almost half of the wall to his right, made of heavy pieces of timber with a square of dirty Georgian wire-glass above the centre lock rail. It wasn’t flush with the wall, but proud of it, a covered track near the ceiling and groove in the floor. A sliding door.
Wincing, stumbling, braced on anything within arm’s reach, he headed for it, practically collapsing against it when he there. It looked heavy, but Ianto just wanted out. Wrapping both hands around the handle he pulled, a sob of relief and joy breaking free when it finally moved. He didn’t pause to think about the fact it wasn’t locked, just tumbled through the gap he’d made, thudding his shoulder into the opposite wall as he lost his balance.
It was darker out here. The passageway was cast in deep shadows. Single bare bulbs sat behind wire grills high in the walls sparsely but regularly placed. The air was filled with the feel and scent of damp. The concrete had a wet gritty feel under his bare feet. Was he in some kind of basement? Maybe a bunker? It was definitely underground.
Shuffling, leaning against the wall for support, he put one foot in front of the other. He was determined to keep putting one foot in front of the other until he was out; free from whatever this place was. Each door he met, he felt elation when it opened, and despair as more dark tunnel stretched out before him. How big was this place?
Lights flickered, the sound of water dripping rang in the emptiness. His feet made splatting sounds on the floor, and his shoulder dragged against the wall. He wanted to cry out, want to beg.
‘Let me out. Please please let me out!’
Stairs now. But up was good no matter how difficult it was. His fingers gripped the rail tight enough to turn his knuckles white, and he felt like his arms were having to do as much work as he legs.
Dear lord help him he wasn’t going to make it. He was going to collapse right here on the dark stairs. Yet even as the thought came to him the stairs ran out and he was in a tunnel once more. There wasn’t much of it. It couldn’t have been more than a few feet but it felt like miles and there was a corner. A couple of steps up, and then another corner. The palms of his hands felt bruised and grazed, painful to lean on.
Panting, hanging onto the wall, Ianto paused to take a breath, and that’s when he felt it. The air. It wasn’t so stale, it wasn’t so close. He’d been so focussed on his feet he hadn’t looked up in what felt like forever. Now he did and gasped.
He was in some kind of chamber. It was huge. Industrial looking. Lights and steel and cables. A great tower in the middle and machines. What was this place? It looked like the lair of a James Bond villain. It was as breath-taking as it was terrifying.
The little voice in the back of his head that had been nagging him that he was over-reacting, that he should have just stayed in his bed like a good boy and waited for a nurse or a doctor, the same voice that castigated him for watching too much science fiction and being ridiculous, abruptly shut up.
Tentatively, driven by an impulse he couldn’t really explain, Ianto stepped out from the relative safety of the tunnel entrance and out into the vastness of the chamber, his eyes turned upwards instead of down at his feet. All he could do was stare.
“So you’re awake.”
The voice out of nothing made Ianto start violently, and he was forced to grab a nearby railing as he turned sharply towards it, his heart in his mouth. There, standing on a raised gantry, was a man. He was leaning on the railing, hands clasped and weight on his forearms. His eyes were cast in shadow but Ianto could pick out angular features and dark hair. His tone had been serious, a dark edge to it that made Ianto nervous.
If it was at all possible to feel any more nervous than he already was, and only if you replaced nervous with terrified.
And yet, despite his fear he found himself talking. Found words leaving his mouth even as his brain screamed at him to shut up and run. “Who are you?”
The man pushed off from the railing, and putting his hands in his pockets, casually walked along the gantry towards the steps leading down. His boots clanked on the metal panels, the sound bouncing off the concrete walls of the cavernous space.
Swallowing and taking a step back, Ianto tried to keep the man in sight. “Why am I here? What have you done to me?”
Much faster than Ianto would have liked, and seemingly at odds with the casual pace with which the man approached, he was there, stood in front of him. Ianto’s eyes burned, and he choked as fear overwhelmed all his limited bravado. “Stay back! Please don’t... please let me go...”
“I’m sorry.” The man whispered, pulling his hands free of his pockets and raising them in a pacifying gesture when Ianto took another clumsy step backwards at the action. “But I can’t do that.”
“You can’t...” Ianto’s voice caught and he coughed through the fluid building at the back of his throat. He blinked furiously but it didn’t help, he could feel the tears escaping. He tried to take another step back but he was so tired. “You can’t keep me here!”
The man opened his mouth to speak, but then a claxon sounded, so sudden and loud it made Ianto cry out and snap round, his legs finally giving out and dropping him into heap on the floor, one arm still hooked over the rail.
“This better be important Jack, I was actually having some fun for a change!” A new voice called across the space.
“Owen get your ass over here now!” The man shouted back, his face suddenly thunderous.
“Why? What the...” As the man jogged into view around tower, he looked down at Ianto. “Oh Fuck.”
“You want to explain to me how he got out?” the first man, apparently called Jack, snapped back, his tone and words making Ianto whimper.
Ianto clutched the railing for dear life, his whole body shaking as he stared up at the two arguing men. Arguing over him. Got out. He wasn’t supposed to have been able to get out. Oh god. They wanted him locked up. Why? What did they want from him? Who were these people? “please... please let me go. Please...”
“What the hell have you done to him?”
“What have I done to him? Don’t you mean what have you done to him? You were the one who was supposed to make sure he was locked in to avoid this happening in the first place!”
Their voices, they sounded so far away. The two men, so angry, they were blurring. He couldn’t breathe. He couldn’t breathe. Oh god. They were killing him. They’d done something to him. He didn’t want to die. Not now. No please. Not now, not here. He had a future. A job interview lined up. New flat. Everything had been going right for a change.
Ianto screwed his eyes closed for a second and when he opened them the first man, Jack, was right there, right in front him. So close. His eyes were blue.
“No! Get away from me! Get away...!”
Breathe. Breathe. He couldn’t breathe.
“Jack give him some room for Christ’s sake... It’s alright mate, just calm down.”
No. No. No. No.
Ianto’s world greyed around the edges, swayed and went black.