Title: Sleeping Soul
Disclaimer & warnings: see prologue
Beta: Laren & Koryou
A/N: Sorry for the delay. I blame it entirely on Koryou, who got me hooked on Supernatural. I just couldn't stop watching the episodes until I finished with Season 2. :-)
"What?" Ianto stared at Jack incredulously.
"This is not a dream," Jack repeated and gestured around.
"Not a dream?" Ianto frowned. "Of course it is a dream."
"No it's not," Jack insisted. "It's real."
"Real? What do you mean, real?" Ianto began to feel as if he somehow only got half of the conversation or something like that. Because nothing Jack said made any sense.
"Real as in reality," Jack answered and paused for a moment to frown thoughtfully. "It's not a dream, you're not dreaming me and I'm not just a figment of your imagination," he explained finally.
Ianto stared a moment at Jack, then he shook his head and took a step back. "That's nonsense. Of course I am dreaming – what else would I be doing? I went to bed, I fell asleep, so this has to be a dream."
"But it's not," Jack said stubbornly.
"Then what is it?" Ianto exclaimed somewhat frustrated.
"It's the Elysion," Jack answered.
"The what?" Ianto asked. "The Elysion? As in Elysian fields?"
"Yes… sort of."
"That makes even less sense," Ianto said. "I'm not dead, and neither are you – at least at the moment – so why should we be in heaven?"
"The Elysion is not Heaven," Jack explained. "It's a kind of mistranslation."
"Mistranslation?" Ianto stared at Jack for a moment. "I admit I'm not exactly fluent in ancient Greek but I'm fairly sure that the Elysian fields derive from the Greek word 'elysion' and are generally associated with the Christian Heaven."
"I don't mean that you mistranslated it," Jack answered. "It was the Greeks who mistranslated, or to be more precisely misinterpreted the word."
When Ianto only stared at him incomprehensibly he sighed. "Elysion is actually a Sylvian word. The Sylvians are a telepathic race and they already had been frequenting the Elysion for centuries when they visited Earth some millennia ago. The ancient Greeks thought the Elysion to be a place where only the heroic and virtuous souls go after they die – since they couldn't visit it like the Sylvian did."
"The Sylvians," Ianto said after a moment.
"Yes," Jack nodded.
"And they are… aliens?"
Jack nodded again. "They're from the planet Sylvia."
"Ok, now I know you're making things up," Ianto said. "The planet Sylvia???"
"What?" Jack asked and grinned. "There are far worse names for planets out there. I mean, compared to Raxacoricofallapatorius it's a pretty easy name to say."
Ianto closed his eyes and shook his head. "There must be something seriously wrong with me for having such dreams," he murmured while he rubbed his temples to stop the headache he could feel coming. Why he would have a headache in his dream was beyond his comprehension, but compared to what his dream-Jack was telling him it seemed fairly normal, all in all. "I'm going crazy. Or it's a brain tumour."
"I told you, this is not a dream," Jack said and tilted his head to look at Ianto questioningly. "Why don't you believe me?"
Ianto opened his eyes and stared at him incredulously. "Because it's impossible?" he said.
"No it's not!" Jack shouted clearly frustrated. "How can I make you believe me?"
Ianto stared at him for a moment, then he said, "Prove it."
Ianto shrugged. "You say this is not a dream, so prove it."
"And how should I prove it?" Jack asked.
Ianto shrugged again. "You're the one who insists that this is real, you think of something."
"Ok," Jack mused, "What if I tell you something only I would know?"
"But if you tell me something only you would know, how will I know if it's true?" Ianto argued. "And if you tell me something only we both know then it's no proof at all. As a figment of my imagination you would naturally know everything I know."
When Jack didn't reply anything, Ianto continued, "And if this is real, why didn't you say something when we were awake? You had every opportunity to say something at work yesterday, but you didn't even hint at anything like this. That just doesn't make any sense."
Jack stared at him for a long time, then he said, "Are you always this difficult?"
"I'm not difficult!" Ianto snapped. "I'm just trying to make you see reason." Oh god, now he finally lost it. He was arguing with himself. The going-crazy-theory was starting to sound more and more likely.
"Look," Jack said und sighed wearily. "I don't know why I don't remember being here with you when I'm awake. Hell, I don't even know why I'm here with you to begin with, I mean…" He stopped and shook his head. "God, this is just strange and… frustrating. It's as if my mind is wrapped in some kind of big cloud or something like that. I can't remember clearly, and what I remember doesn't really fit. Everything's just so – fuzzy."
Ianto watched as Jack started to pace up and down in front of him, mumbling something under his breath that Ianto couldn't understand.
"And then there's that," Jack suddenly exclaimed without stopping to pace. "You said we were working together, for an organisation named 'Torchwood'. Protection Earth from alien invasions. Protecting Earth is what I do, that's true, but not for Torchwood! I'm a Time Agent, I work for the Time Agency."
"The Time Agency?" Ianto frowned. "I've never heard of an organisation with that name."
"See?" Jack stopped and looked at Ianto upset. "That's just what I mean! It just doesn't fit! I don't understand it – and I don't know what to do."
Ianto didn't really know what he could answer to that, so he said nothing.
Ianto was thinking about the strange dream he'd had all the next day long. From the moment he brought Jack his first coffee he was waiting, almost expecting, for Jack to say something. Every time Jack opened his mouth to talk to Ianto he was prepared to hear that Jack had dreamt of him last night – and strangely disappointed every time it didn't happen.
It was completely impossible, of course, but the Jack in his dream had been so sure that it wasn't a dream that Ianto couldn't help but wonder. What if it was true? What would that mean? And how could he find out for sure? What had Jack said last night? That he worked for an organisation named Time Agency? Well, the easiest way would surely be to walk right over to Jack and ask him about this Time Agency.
But what if it wasn't true? Jack would think him completely nuts if he started to question him about some imaginary agency. That would be embarrassing at best. And what if it was true? How could he explain to Jack where he got the information from? Jack was always so secretive, almost paranoid with his past; Ianto didn't think Jack would react overly positive to his explanation of 'You told me in a dream.'
So when Jack joined him and Tosh at her workstation where they were still puzzling over the alien device and asked them if they'd already found out something, Ianto went with his instinct. "I'm not completely sure but I think I've seen something similar like this in the archives of Torchwood One. If I remember correctly there was a cross-reference to an entry about something called Time Agency," he said. His talent to make something up the minute he opened his mouth – and making it sound actually believable – had come in really handy when he had been hiding Lisa. And it was surely handy now, too.
"Time Agency?" Tosh asked and raised her head from the artefact, frowning. "I've never heard of an organisation with that name. Are you sure about that?"
Ianto shrugged. "Not a hundred per cent. I've never seen the alien artefact myself, I stumbled over it while doing research for something else. I don't even know if it survived the Cybermen Invasion or where it is now."
Ianto, who had been watching Jack from the corner of his eyes, had noticed the minuscule stiffening of Jack's body the moment he mentioned the Time Agency. And he knew Jack well enough to interpret it right. The little jerk, Jack's overly attentive gaze on Ianto, the little frown that only someone who was watching him very carefully would notice – it all said that Jack had heard the name 'Time Agency' before.
"Too bad," Tosh sighed. "We could use a little push in the right direction." Then she bent back over the artefact.
"I'm going back down to the archives," Ianto said. "Maybe I'll finally find something."
Tosh just hummed something vaguely affirmative but didn't even look up when Ianto walked towards the stairs that led down to the archives. Jack on the other hand – Ianto could feel his eyes following him through the whole hub, almost burning into his back.
Therefore he wasn't really surprised when he could hear Jack's voice only just before he reached the archive's door.
"Ianto!" Jack called.
Ianto stopped and turned around. "Sir?" he asked.
"Ianto," Jack repeated and stepped closer. "Can you remember what the entry exactly said about the Time Agency?"
"I'm sorry," Ianto said. "I didn't read the entry. As I said, I did research on something else and just stumbled across it by accident. Why do you ask? Is it important?"
"No, no," Jack said hastily. "I'm just… curious. That's all."
"Alright," Ianto said. When Jack didn't immediately turn around and go back to the main hub but kept on staring at Ianto with that odd expression on his face, Ianto frowned and tilted his head questioningly. "Is there anything else, sir?"
Jack stared another moment at him, then he said almost hesitating, "If… if you'll stumble across any mention of the Time Agency again… please inform me, alright?"
Ianto nodded his head once, and after Jack stared at him some moments longer he finally turned around and went back upstairs. Ianto opened the door to the archives and slowly walked inside. Inside his head the thoughts kept tumbling over each other. He had a lot to think of.
Jack knew of the Time Agency, that was sure. His reaction when Ianto mentioned it, and the strange conversation only moments before – they were sure signs to Ianto of Jack hiding something. Or at least, not telling everything.
So, what did that mean? There was no way he could have made that up. It would be too much of a coincidence if his subconscious invented something like a 'Time Agency' only to discover later that it was real. And he was sure he hadn't heard somewhere of this Time Agency and then forgotten about it, only to have it resurface in his dreams. Again it would be too much of a coincidence that he would accidentally connect it with Jack – and be right about it. That left pretty much only one option.
Ianto sat down hard on one of the chairs that were standing around the table in the middle of the archives. The Jack in his dream had told the truth. The Jack in his dream wasn't a dream. He was real. Ianto braced his head on his hands. And that meant… it meant… Ianto didn't really know what it meant. He had a lot of questions, though.
Why was Jack in his dreams? What did he want from Ianto? And why didn't he remember when he was awake? Ianto didn't have any problems remembering the dreams – if he could still call them dreams. And how could dreams he'd had all his life suddenly not be dreams at all? Just what the hell was going on here?
Ianto sighed and rubbed his face tiredly. It was no use to agonise too much about it now. There was only one way he could find out for sure.
"Alright," Ianto said. "Explain it to me."
Jack, who had been standing with his back to Ianto, his hands in his pockets and gazing into the grey endlessness, turned around sharply and looked at Ianto somewhat surprised. "You're back!" he exclaimed and smiled.
"Yes, well," Ianto said and rolled his eyes slightly. As if he had a choice where he ended up when he was dreaming. "Explain it to me," he repeated.
"Explain what?" Jack asked.
"Why are you here? In this… place. What do you want? And why don't you remember when you're awake?"
"So you believe me?" Jack beamed.
"Well, let's say I'm not completely averse to the idea that this could be real anymore," Ianto answered.
"Just like I said - difficult," Jack muttered and shook his head amused. "Alright," he continued louder, "what do you want to know?"
Ianto thought for a moment, then he said, "This place. Why are you here? You said that only these aliens, the Sylvians could enter the Elysion. How come you can, too?" Ianto stopped for a moment and frowned. "When I think about it – how come I am here? Because I'm really sure I'm not a Sylvian."
"Well," Jack answered, "the Elysion isn't accessible for Sylvians exclusively. They were just the first species to use it – as far as we know. In fact, everyone who has a specific psychic ability can access it."
"What psychic ability?" Ianto asked.
"Telepathy," Jack answered with a shrug. "And empaths, too, if they're really strong."
"Wait," Ianto said and shook his head. "What are you getting at? Are you implying that you are a telepath? And that I am, too? That's impossible."
"Why would that be impossible?" Jack blinked at him, obviously surprised by Ianto's words.
"Because…" Ianto started and took a deep breath before he continued, "even if I accept the absurd idea of telepaths as real, there is no way you could be one."
"How could you be so sure of that?" Jack asked him, clearly astonished.
"…I just know," Ianto insisted. It just couldn't be. Because if Jack had been a telepath then the whole mess with Lisa never would have happened the way it did.
"But I am," Jack assured him. "I am a telepath – or at least I was."
"That makes even less sense," Ianto said. "And what about me? I'm pretty sure I would have noticed if I was able to read other people's thoughts. No," Ianto shook his head again. "There are no telepaths. At least not human ones."
"What? Of course there are," Jack said and looked at Ianto bewildered. "Sure, the human race developed those skills pretty late, and not everyone has them, but telepaths and empaths have been acknowledged for over thousand years know. How could you think that they don't exist?"
"What?" It was Ianto's turn now to look bewildered. "What are you talking about?"
"I thought it was a matter of common knowledge," Jack said. "Telepaths, empaths and other psychics were officially acknowledged after the Psychic Riots in 3996. By now every human colony, no matter how isolated, has at least one school where psychics can train their skills."
"Wait," Ianto raised his hand to stop Jack and give his spinning head a break. "Did you say – 3996?"
"Yes," nodded Jack.
Ianto stared at him for a moment, completely flabbergasted. "Jack?" he finally said. "Which year is it?"
"What?" Jack looked at him surprised. "Which year? Don't you know?"
"Please," Ianto said weakly, starting to have an uneasy sense of Jack's answer. "Just tell me."
Jack blinked, still surprised, but answered nonetheless. "5078."
Ianto's legs buckled and he dropped down right were he stood. For the next minutes he could do nothing else than sit there and stare up at Jack. Suddenly a lot of things began to make sense.