Title: Manifest Destiny
Fandom: Torchwood/Doctor Who
Pairing: Ianto/Lisa, Ianto/Jack
Rating: Teen for now
Warnings: in later chapters may contain adult situations and violence/ spoilers for all seaons of 'Who and Torchwood
Disclaimer: they're not mine, I'm getting nothing from this but fun
sorry about the editing: my little stars have vanished
Ianto knows everything; this isn't a boast, it is fact.
He prides himself on this, on the power and conception of his memory, and is ever ready with a word or a thought or a coffee.
His knowledge is only seconded by his intuition.
This is why he keeps a diary, why he needs to write the events and thoughts he experiences, for there are times when one threatens to overtake the other; when wisdom has overtaken life.
In a box hidden in his closet, buried where no one (not Lisa, not Jack) has ever been, he has laid the ones that came before.
Every so often he opens one and looks in at his life, reacquainting himself with himself, on the days when he is merely the servant of Torchwood.
This is what he finds.
This is what he knows.
At first there is only sun and fields, wide open spaces and a secluded little house. There is mother, who is radiant and aloof and oh so loving. Her voice, while holding crisp words, speaks to him in only soft tones and she tells him of adventures and journeys and all the things that make up the universe. She is all he knows at first, but that is fine. She is love and he is happy.
Time passes and a man comes, dressed in darkness and burning with strange vibrant ideas, but his hands are gentle. His mother is uneasy though she doesn't show it, but the man is welcomed all the same. She leaves them alone in the field and the man tells him of more wondrous things, planets and species and escapes and time. He pays attention to the language of time that the man spins around him and his breath catches, swept away in its pulse, and is left longing in the aftermath. When his mother sees that the man means him no harm, she welcomes him into their house, and for awhile, the man stays.
The man is called father.
Mother gives him compassion and love and loyalty. Father gives him wit and cunning and intelligence. With warm eyes she speaks to him of what can be learned and what can be changed, and the things that shouldn't. With burning eyes his father tells him of the things that can be undone, and the things that can be controlled, and of the things that will be his to know. His mother gives him books and laughter and touch. His father gives him time and fierceness and style.
Every choice is yours to make, she says.
Time is yours to take, he says.
His mother gives him a useful tool that is vibrant and opens possibilities; a relic from travels past, she calls it. His father looks strange when he sees it but says nothing, until later; his father hands him a stopwatch, and it burns strangely in his grip, and his father calls it a relic from the future. His parents regard each other in silences and distances, and he feels that it is only him that makes them a family. And yet, a family they are.
This lasts for as long as it can, mother is constant, and though father always leaves, he always returns. This is fact. This is certainty.
Time splinters when the others come and tear him away from his house, from his fields, and from his mother.
Father isn't there.
They are men is bright and violent robes, and their hands hurt as they hold him away from what he loves. He is afraid and he is alone, and when they speak to him he feels as if he is being torn asunder.
He soon understands that it is not him that they want, but his mother. And his father. There is war coming and his parents are needed to fight. His mother is brutal in her words, spite and anger fly through the air towards the men, words like blades flung with skill.
"You would use my son against me? Would he still help you if he knew what you intend?"
It hadn't mattered; they had taken him. The men say that it is for his protection, but he knows better: he is ransom for his parents, for their cooperation, and he is a prisoner in exile. He can feel her in him, pushing knowledge at him, and he buries it, hiding it away, wrapped in layers of her love; she is desperate but honourable, and he knows that while she will do what they demand, she will always be searching for a way to return to him.
And deeper, in a secreted place that not even his mother is aware of, he hears his father rage against this, and the vow that he will find his son rings out above all other thoughts.
It echoes like a drum beat in him whenever he rests, and with all the need of a child, he reaches towards it always.
The day it goes silent is the day Ianto remembers with a clarity that will never fade.
It is the day he came to earth.
He was young, older then he looked, but still a child. The men were right about the war, and when it came, he used the knowledge his mother had pushed upon him and escaped, opening a rift that navigated E-space and followed the road that the Rift paved through time and space, the watch his father gave him clutched in his hand. He arrived, alive and small and shivering, and had lain in the street for hours before he was found. He could hear voices around him, burying him in questions and intentions, and though the hands were more gentle then the others, he was still bundled like linen and carried away.
This is the time that he will never be sure of, that he will never recall. From recovered reports he now knows that he was nearly comatose when found, and that the doctors had called it shock and malnutrition and that he endured all sorts of trauma. The special doctors had been stated as saying that he was in a form of psychic stasis resulting from a massive mental shock. Which, from what he knows now, was fairly accurate; after all, his race had just been destroyed. His mother no longer called for him in his mind, and the beat of father was still.
The watch sat in his hands, silent.
When he came to himself he found himself in a private hospital where, upon awakening, he was treated to the best and most attentive of care. He had a room to himself and while there was no one there his age, he was never alone. And though he was treated well, it was obvious that he had merely traded one prison for another.
This is how he came to know Torchwood.
While he may share his knowledge freely, Ianto hoards his secrets. There are things Torchwood never knew, even though he had been theirs for most of his life.
And he is more his father at times, then his mother.
These are the things he learned at Torchwood.
The ordinary are often overlooked, so he makes an effort to be as ordinary as possible.
He finds it easy to slip under their radar, as he has been in the tower so long that he is an accepted mascot for them to parade around; the unique and interesting boy that came through the rift. He gives them his time and his words and his servitude. He gives them hot coffee and frozen smiles.
He doesn't give them his wisdom and knowledge and insight. When he sees an artefact that he knows, he turns the other way, he takes it; he flocks to the young ones, the ones that haven't heard of him, and cultivates their image of him. He waits until the upper level staff has been distracted with the anomalous energy, and then enters the system to change his records. When Yvonne Hartman takes control, under the direction of the upcoming minister of defence, he is merely another low level staff member. An archivist. An administrative assistant.
He waits and watches and hides in plain sight.
There is only one person who knows that he is more.
This is how he meets Lisa.
He is regarded as Torchwood One's more precious, and precocious, secret. He knows that he is more different then Torchwood knows, or thinks they know. They watch him and use him, but they never see the oddness of his blood or hear the double rhythm of his hearts. They marvel at his mind, but never look further to see the potential he buries.
He meets her while he is making coffee, and she comes up behind him to watch him put the grounds in the machine. Her presence at first is like most of the people who work at the Tower, a noise to be filtered, but still catalogued. It is only when she speaks that she enters into his world, that he truly sees her, and (in looking back) he is never sure if that was a blessing or a curse.
She says: "I wondered why your coffee is the best; you measure the amounts of bean, grain, and water to mathematical perfection. How do you get the ratio right?"
Out of everyone, she saw him. He had been called OCD, anal, compulsive, and Lisa merely brushed the words aside. Months later she would admit that she had read his file, his real file, and he was awed that she still accepted him as he was. That she loved him as he was. She took him from the Tower and into the world, and through her he came to experience the better parts of it. When he slipped up she would be there to cover for him, help him hide, acting as lover and protector and companion.
Through her he lived.
He feels torn about the destruction of the Tower. It had been his home for so long that a part of him mourned when it fell.
The other part rejoiced.
The deaths, the destruction, is not what he wanted, however. He had truly had friends there, and though they had not known him in the way that Lisa had, they still were his. He shed tears for them, and would always regret their passing. At the time, however, Lisa was his world; sealed in the deepest archives, he had broken the mainframe in order to escape, driven solely by the need to find her. When he did, a part of him died.
And another part was born.
The hours, the days, are lost in the tides of pain and rage and suffering. But his hands proudly wear the scars of construction, and later he would marvel that he, and he alone, built the machine that held his precious, that kept her breathing and kept her safe. In that time they must have been one; his hands bleeding over her body, over the metal of her skin, and each tear and whisper bound them ever closer, until they were of one mind. One purpose. He would save her, she begged to be saved, and he would use all he was to accomplish this.
His mother gave him choices, his father gave him cunning, and he would use both.
He managed to recover the mainframe, and buried in the ruin of the Tower with Lisa a steady presence beside him, he brought up all the information of Torchwood. The power he needs can only be found in one location, at one place, and only one man had the ability to get him to it. He would still hide but, this time, it was on his terms; this time it would not be him that would be used.
He needed the Rift.
It was time to return to Cardiff.
It was time to find Captain Jack Harkness.
He falls asleep curled next to Lisa on the converter, hoping that the steady beats of his hearts would reach her through her pain and comfort her; his beloved watch, his only surviving possession, pressed close against his own chest. Dreams of another time, another war, chase him down into sleep.
Like a lullaby, a steady beat lulls him past the nightmares and into rest.
The watch begins to tick steadily in his hand.
This is what Ianto knows.
On this planet he was, and always will be, a servant of Torchwood.
For the ones who see him, truly see him, he would give everything.
His father will always return.
These are certainties.
This is written in response to a query I posted on TWstoryfinder a while back, and as no one could help me out, I took matters into my own hands. While "Into the Rush" will be my twisty crack fic, this one will try to remain true to the spirit of Torchwood and Doctor Who, with minor alterations.
I hope to make this a series, and if anyone would like to help with the action scenes, let me know.