Pairings: Jack/Ianto, Ianto/Lisa, also eventual hints of Gwen/Rhys, Owen/Tosh
Rating: R (some later chapters NC-17)
Disclaimer: Torchwood is not mine. No matter how much I sometimes wish it was.
Spoilers: Better say everything through s2, just to be sure. Begins pre-S1.
Summary: What is Jack going to do about Lisa?
Thanks to: My beta cazmalfoy for all her wonderful work, and my cheerleaders angelzbabe1989 and piper08 for putting up with me when I whine about being stuck.
All comments and concrit welcomed!
Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three
Chapter Four Chapter Five Chapter Six
“Ianto…” The younger man, who had been sitting quietly as Jack pondered the options, lifted his head at Jack’s voice. “I… Look, I’m not promising anything, but… I want to help… But there has to be one condition.”
“What? Anything.” Hope blossomed in Ianto’s eyes.
“I can only try to help - only have her come to the Hub - if she isn’t a threat.” He held up a hand, staunching Ianto’s torrent of words before they could leave his mouth. “I know you said she isn’t, but I’m sorry, I need more than just your belief.”
He could see the conflict raging behind Ianto’s brilliant blue eyes. Despite his confession, it was clear the younger man hadn’t quite decided if he could fully trust Jack or not. The moment he made the decision was obvious, as his chin lifted and he set his shoulders.
“I’ll take you to see her. You can see for yourself that she’s not a threat; that she needs help.”
Jack nodded. He knew that allowing someone else into Lisa’s world couldn’t have been an easy choice for Ianto and he suspected that his next words wouldn’t be exactly what Ianto wanted to hear.
“I might have to take Toshiko with me.”
“What? Why?” A slightly scared look had come over Ianto’s face and Jack blew out a breath.
“I told you, I can’t rely on your belief alone. In this situation, I don’t feel I can rely on my own intuition either. Tosh is much better with tech than I am. She might have something that can actually provide proof - one way or the other.”
“But why does that mean she has to come with us?”
Given Ianto’s general unease, Jack doubted that the realisation that the rest of the team would find out about Lisa if she was brought to the Hub had hit him yet. And even if it had, he clearly was not keen on the idea of any of them finding out before the final decision had been made.
“Because Tosh is probably the only one who would actually understand the stream of data that would come out of whatever piece of equipment was involved. Unfortunately she hasn’t come up with anything yet that just spits out ‘Dangerous’ or ‘Not a threat’.”
“I’m sure she could explain it, but whether either of us would actually understand is doubtful.”
Ianto worried his bottom lip between his teeth, looking thoughtful.
Despite the topic of conversation, Jack couldn’t help but allow his gaze to be drawn to Ianto’s lips. The memory of Ianto on top of him the night before was still fresh in his mind, and the temptation to kiss the younger man was strong.
He pushed the thought away; regardless of his attraction to Ianto, he knew that nothing could happen. Ianto clearly loved Lisa and Jack wasn’t going to do anything to get in the way of that.
“Do you trust her?” Ianto’s question snapped Jack out of his contemplation. It took him a moment to bring his mind back into their previous conversation and realise he was referring to Toshiko.
“With my life.” Jack knew instinctively that Tosh would understand Ianto’s predicament. She too had gone to extremes - resorting to deception and subterfuge - to protect a loved one. “She’ll understand.”
Ianto sighed softly, slowly nodding his head.
* * * *
They had given Toshiko an abbreviated version of Ianto’s story, skipping some of the more horrific details. Jack had done most of the talking, realising that Ianto would probably struggle to go through the explanation a second time within an hour.
Tosh had been, in turn, curious, shocked and sympathetic. When they reached the point in the story where the necessity for her involvement became apparent, her face took on an intensely thoughtful look for a brief moment before she assured them she had just the thing.
Less than half an hour later, the three were on the road, heading for Lisa’s temporary home.
A slightly awkward silence had fallen over the SUV, none of them able to quiet the turbulent thoughts in their minds enough to make small talk. None of them were really willing to discuss what – who - they were on their way to see.
The stillness of the car was broken only by Ianto’s brief directions whenever they reached a junction.
They pulled up outside the block of storage units and Jack found that he had a lump in his throat. No one should have to live somewhere like this. Ianto stopped them outside Lisa’s unit.
“I need to go in first. Even if she isn’t awake, I want to explain to her before she sees you. I don’t want to upset her with you two just barging in there.”
Understanding and agreeing, Jack and Tosh held back, allowing Ianto to go on ahead. He reappeared almost ten minutes later, ushering them into the dank, dimly lit room.
“She’s resting now, but I told her what’s going on, anyway.” His breath hitched, “I don’t know if she can hear me when she’s out cold, but…”
Jack and Tosh smiled warmly at him as the nervous young man led them across the room to the conversion unit that housed Lisa.
They both noted the numerous leads monitoring her vitals and the nearly as numerous tubes that snaked in and out of her body.
“You did all this?” Tosh asked quietly, awe evident in her voice.
Ianto nodded. “I had to. Anything to help her.”
Jack and Tosh were struck anew by the sheer determination that drove the young man. “Lisa helped me figure it out at first, before she needed the help breathing. She was always better at biology than me.” A faint smile graced Ianto’s lips as a memory from a happier time surfaced.
Pulling a chunky device from her bag, Tosh stepped closer to Lisa. “Ok, so we all know that the basis real danger the Cybermen posed comes from the lack of emotion in their thought processes. This device will let me scan Lisa’s brain activity. It’ll let us know for sure if the Cyberman thought processes have taken over or not.”
Ianto moved to Lisa’s side, taking her hand in his as he nodded at Tosh to proceed.
The scan took several minutes and neither man could make any sense of the streams of diagrams and numbers popping up on the device’s screen. Tosh was studying the data carefully as she moved the scanner across Lisa’s head.
The machine beeped and Tosh looked up seriously to meet Jack and Ianto’s expectant expressions.
Continue to Chapter Eight