Ianto Jones in the 47th Century
- a sequel to Jack Times Five (preferable but not essential to read that first) telling what happened when Jack from 4693 returned to his own time and created his own Ianto Jones.
Jack Harkness woke with a blinding headache. He lay still for several minutes, checking himself and his surroundings. He was pretty sure he hadn't been killed but he had no idea why he was lying on the dirty and cold floor of the Hub. He sat up, rubbing his head and found a lump on the back. He realised he must have fallen and knocked himself out but looking round could see no reason why. He stood, hanging on to the cabinet as he regained his balance.
The Hub looked much the same as he remembered; cold and empty. It was years since it had last been occupied: he considered and realised it was nearly 2,000 years ago that the last remnant had moved to the base under the Castle. The people he now worked with knew it only as a legend, a myth almost. It was from here, this cavernous space, that the small band of operatives that made up Torchwood Three had policed the Rift, protecting Earth from a vast myriad of aliens. Now he was the only one who visited regularly, other than the cleaning team who came in four times a year. He visited at least once a month, mostly at night when he was the only one awake, and sat in his old office remembering past times.
He walked unsteadily to his office and the analgesic shot he kept in the drawer of his desk. He'd known good times and some bad in this place. He looked round the office, as he grabbed the chair and sat down, and remembered his first visit and Alice Guppy, the harridan from 1899 who had tortured him. He smiled, wondering what his life would have been like if he'd not agreed to work for Torchwood. She'd have put him in the vaults without a second thought. He found the shot and sprayed it into a vein. It immediately lessened the pain in his head and he leant back until it took effect completely.
He ferreted around in his ragbag of a brain trying to find some happier memories. He recalled Martha Jones, could see her sitting in the chair opposite him as clear as if it was yesterday, with her wide smile and bright eyes. Was there some discussion of a UNIT cap? he wondered; he couldn't pin down the memory. She had worked with him for only a short while but they'd been friends for years. After she'd left to raise a family, she had been a wonderful support: listening to and understanding his problems; sharing his successes and failures; commiserating with his losses. She'd enjoyed her new role as a GP but had never lost the wanderlust that characterised all The Doctor's companions and had relished discussing his work and occasionally helping out. Of course, Martha had replaced Owen. Poor Owen, I did him such a wrong, Jack thought recalling the second Resurrection Glove. Now, what was the name we gave it? It had been pretty cool. No, he couldn't remember but it'd probably come back to him. Owen with the ever-ready sarcastic comment and cockney accent. And there was Tosh, he remembered, in love with Owen and him never knowing. He looked through the dirty window at his side and in his imagination he could see her at her workstation, lost in the task in hand, her hair hanging down shielding her face from view as if she was trying to hide from the world. Her instinctive grasp of alien technology had not been matched by anyone since. Such an unnecessary loss.
His mind wandered to Gray who had killed her. His little brother who he'd eventually brought out of cryo-sleep, hoping he'd changed. And, after treatment, he had. He'd helped Jack for a few short and happy years but then he'd gradually lost his mind. The awful tortures he'd experienced in his youth had overwhelmed him and he'd spent over 30 years in a mental health facility. He'd got the best treatment but he'd been all but lost to the world. Only occasionally had there been moments of lucidity when the two men had been able to talk about their childhood and share precious memories. Jack sighed, Gray'd died so long ago now.
His headache had gone but his mood lingered in the past. Idly, he wondered why these particular memories were so clear in his mind. He'd not thought about Martha or Owen or Tosh or Gray for centuries. There was another memory too – Ianto - but that he positively put away from him; this was no time to indulge himself. He decided to record the memories he'd just unearthed while they were so clear and put his hand in his pocket to get the Antilliops recorder. He found it but discovered that, alongside it in his pocket, was an old-fashioned – very old fashioned, looked as if it had come from the 20th or 21st century – medical swab. He took it out and looked at it, puzzled. It hadn't been there when he put the coat on just before coming over here. A picture of a face formed in his mind; Ianto, the memory he'd consciously suppressed earlier.
And then he remembered going back to 2008. Five versions of himself all at one place and time. Seeing Owen and Tosh. And Gwen, lovely bright Gwen so full of hope and love. And Ianto. Ianto Jones. Oh Gods, he thought, this is Ianto.
He dropped the swab and it rolled on the desk top in the dust. He'd taken Retcon, he knew he had, so why had the memories returned? He could see all the Torchwood team, remembered seeing himself in that awful purple coat as well as the other three versions. He recalled riding Myfanwy, now also long dead. It must be the swab that had triggered his memories. Why did I do it, he thought, why?
The air outside the Hub was cool and it revived him, helped blow away the mental cobwebs and bring him back to the present. Reliving past times was all well and good but not when he had Torchwood to run. He exited by what had once been the Tourist Office, he recalled, and was now just a door in a non-descript wall. With the Bay filled in, he looked out on just another housing complex; only he remembered the pride of the Welsh people in their newly created freshwater Bay. Hard to think it had once been a tourist destination, a place of entertainment, sporting activity and good dining. He walked to his vehicle, climbed in and flew off, over the tops of the high rise buildings and along the path of the long lost River Taff to the Castle. He landed on his personal pad and went down to his office.
"Jack, there you are!" said Salannd, his assistant of three years. "The Secretary's being trying to get hold of you for ages. You had your comms off again."
"Yeah, sorry. Needed some breathing space. What's she want?" he asked, throwing his coat off.
She caught the coat with her third tentacle and hung it up with her fifth. Jack noticed and smiled; Why do all my assistants catch that coat? he asked himself. He sat down and checked the screen: 72 messages, not as bad as he'd feared.
"She's concerned about Congressman Klisterman. You promised he'd be squared and he's still on the warpath. Here's the latest diatribe," she placed a notepad on the desk, its lights flashed indicating it was urgent.
"Okay, I'll deal with this but then I'm off to Ogmore for a couple of days .."
"Jack, you can't! There's the conference coming up, Sven's having kittens about it. And Varashni and Kyomo are anxious for a word. Then there's ..."
Jack held up a hand, "Enough! They're paid to make decisions, not keep referring things up to me. They can cope; I picked them and I trust them. I'm taking some time out." He took a deep breath and continued, more gently, smiling at the young female. "I'm sorry, Salannd, I didn't mean to shout at you. And I'm sorry you keep getting caught in the middle of this but I need the time. There's something I need to do." He was relieved when she smiled back.
She shook her head ruefully. "I'll keep them off your back as much as I can but will you at least deal with the messages?"
"Sure. I'll get through these before I go," he indicated the screen, "and forward any more as they arrive. I'll get to them, I promise."
"Thanks." She hesitated, "Is everything okay? You look a bit ... tense?" She liked and cared for her irascible boss.
Jack sensed her concern and realised she deserved an honest answer. "I am a bit. This thing I've got to do ... Well, I'm not sure how it's going to turn out."
She nodded; she had come to know him well and had enjoyed a brief affair with him, now long over. "I'll get the Secretary's office on the comms, see when she'll be free to speak." She made for the door.
"I need at least 15 minutes to read this," he shouted after her. "Any chance of a coffee?"
The place was peaceful and Jack relaxed as soon as he left the vehicle. He walked slowly through the trees and shrubbery, not minding the drops of water that fell on him from the leaves overhead following the recent rain. He breathed in the scents of early autumn. This was his bolthole from the pressures of Torchwood with its offices in every country of the world and on most of the colony worlds. Here he could revert to plain Jack Harkness, sometime conman, sometime hero, always lover.
The house was built into the hillside on three levels, sprawling outwards at the bottom. The landing pad, where he'd left his vehicle, was off to one side, shielded from view, along with other outbuildings that housed the essential services. He and Ianto had planned the building, to get away from the pressures of the job. They'd bought the first parcel of land and the derelict house on it and spent many happy hours arguing over the plans for the larger building they wanted to build. They'd decide on a design then change their minds as new ideas came to them. Finally, just as Ianto had decided it was time to retire, they'd started building and he'd overseen the project.
Jack stood, looking at the house and remembered how proud Ianto had been when, during building, he'd shown him round pointing out the progress made since his last visit. When it had been completed, they'd thrown a house warming party and dozens of people had wandered the terraces and sat on the balconies overlooking the beach. The garden had just been planted then, bare earth and mud could be seen in most directions - Jack had thought it looked like the Somme and had said so, much to Ianto's displeasure. Now, the trees were mature and the vegetation rich, growing so strongly it had to be hacked back every year to ensure it didn't take over. Overall, it was more or less as they'd imagined though some alien plants had been added to the mix over the years. Jack looked left to the beach, about 50 metres down a gentle slope. Ianto had had so little time to enjoy the view, to enjoy the house he had built. Since his death, Jack had bought more parcels of land so that nothing could be built nearby to spoil his refuge and added a part barrage out into the bay to protect the shoreline from erosion. He'd had to rebuild the house, when the first one had started to rot and crumble, but he'd always built to exactly the same design using materials as close to the original as he could find.
He forced himself to think of now, of what may be – if he had the courage. He sprinted up the steps to the main door and opened it, relishing the very fact that he had to open it manually; most other buildings had automatic doors. "Liki!" he called, throwing his coat and bag down on the table that ran the length of the room. He went over to the screen in the wall and pressed his thumb to the contact. It lit up and he saw a few personal messages stored there awaiting his attention. He scanned them; nothing important, he'd get to those later. "Liki!" he shouted, louder this time.
"Mister Jack," came a quiet voice from behind him.
Jack turned quickly, hand on heart. The Ood moved so quietly that he had more than once given Jack a heart attack. "Liki, what did I tell you about that?" he protested.
"I am so sorry, sir. I did not expect you today."
"Yeah, last minute decision. Is Tonan here?"
"Yes, sir. He's in his room."
"Okay, thanks." Jack walked to the stairs and climbed to the first floor relishing the exercise; buildings rarely had stairs these days. He turned down the right hand corridor and knocked at the last door. "Tone, you there?"
Jack walked into a bright, airy corner room. Two walls were made of glass, actual glass, the others of a light oak making the sparsely furnished room feel part of the outdoors. In the room was a large bed on a raised area, some built-in cupboards and drawers and, near the glass walls, a large desk and some comfortable seating. There were pictures, photographs and a few mementoes scattered on the walls and the shelving. Tonan was at his desk and got up when Jack came into the room. He was a tall man, well into middle age, and dressed in slacks and shirt.
"Jack! I didn't know you were coming." He crossed the room and the two met in the middle, embracing. They held each other for a few minutes, exchanged a kiss, and parted.
"I hadn't intended to but something happened." He moved restlessly to look out at the view: through the mature trees he could see the beach and the sun-speckled sea, waves pounding as the tide came in. "Something unexpected happened. I was taken back in time, back to 2008. I met my old team, Gwen and Tosh and Owen." He deliberately didn't add the last name. "Even met myself, more than one of me actually, quite the reunion." He continued to stare out, back to the room.
Tonan watched him, aware from long knowledge of his moods, that something was on Jack's mind. "What happened?" he prompted.
Jack sighed, "He was there, Tone. Ianto. I talked to him, touched him, hugged him, kissed him." He closed his eyes, remembering it all, "And it felt so right. No one since him has ever felt so right." He turned to face the other man. "I took his DNA. I'm going to clone him." He watched to see what effect this would have, apprehensive and at the same time defiant. Please support me, he thought, say I'm doing the right thing because I so want this.
Tonan looked away and took his time before replying, sitting down in a nearby armchair. He was well aware of the other man's enduring love for Ianto Jones and knew Jack would do almost anything to be with him again, which could be disastrous . "I can see how much this means to you but have you thought it through?"
"Yes," enthused Jack, moving to crouch before the chair, resting his hands on the arms so he could look at Tonan face to face. "I have the brain scan we took, I kept that safe at least, so the clone will have his personality, his memories up to that point. I plan to make him the same age he was when we met, 23. I don't want the hassle of raising a child!" His eyes were shining and full of hope and joy at the prospect of a new Ianto.
"That's fine, as far as it goes, but clones have rights. What if the Ianto you create doesn't want to do what you want him to? What if he doesn't want to stay with you?" He saw the pain his words gave Jack but persisted. "You've got to think of that, Jack. Could you accept it if he rejected you?"
Jack stood and thrust his hands in his pockets, looking down at the seated man. "You're right, of course you are. But you didn't know Ianto, he was dead long before you were born. I did know him and I just believe, I truly believe, that he felt for me what I feel for him. But if I'm wrong, then at least I'll know I tried." He stood silent for a long moment and added softy, "I've waited so long."
Tonan looked up and recognised Jack's mind was made up; he was going to go ahead no matter what he said. And he so hoped it would work out, Jack deserved to be happy again. He stood and hugged him, smelling the special smell that always made him feel so safe, so loved. "Then do it." If it goes wrong, I'll be here for you, he thought to himself. He held him tight for some minutes more, both men needing the reassurance of the contact. Finally Tonan pulled away. "I'm meeting Carillys tonight, so I've got to run. Are you going to ... start now or wait 'til tomorrow?"
Jack laughed, "I can't wait. I've got to go for it, Tone. Give my love to Carillys, tell her I'll see her soon." He rested a hand on the other man's shoulder, "Thanks." Then he turned and walked out, a spring to his step that had been missing for some time.
It was in the early hours of the morning that the lamp turned amber. Jack saw it and his throat tightened, not long now. He'd done it, he'd made his clone and soon, in a few minutes, it would be complete and he'd know if it had worked properly, if he had another Ianto. He stared at the lamps, willing the green one to light. It did. Please the Gods, it worked, he prayed as, hands shaking, he turned off the machine and opened the door.
Inside, standing upright, was a male, human figure. It was thickly coated in blue gunge and Jack leant in, wiping it away from the face: Would it look like him? He worked quicker, taking great handfuls of the gunge and slopping it on the floor. He found the nose and mouth and cleared them, putting a finger in the mouth to open the airways. He felt around and the body before him shuddered as it took its first breath. Jack put his other hand on the slimy chest, to keep the body upright, and continued removing the gunge: from the eyes and hair. It's his hair, he thought excitedly as he felt its familiar springiness under his hand. The body shuddered again and fell forward. Jack caught it and pulled it from the machine, holding it close and dragging it to a chair he had placed ready. He lowered the body into it, half lying.
Kneeling, he picked up towels and draped them over the body, using one to continue wiping away the slimy stuff from the face. He took his first good look and saw ... Ianto! It's him, I've done it, he exulted to himself. He found some water and wiped away some more, seeing more and more of the much-loved and much-missed features. "My lovely, lovely, Ianto," he whispered, "how good to see you again." He rubbed at the hair and as he did so, he saw the eyelids flutter and the eyes open. Jack stopped and just looked into those beautiful, deep blue eyes. The eyes focussed then closed; Entirely natural, it's what always happens, he told himself. He checked the breathing and found it was shallow but strong, again how it should be.
Jack sat back on his heels and waited. All clones took between five to ten minutes to come to life, to acclimatise and assume their personality. He had to be patient but it was so hard. The eyelids flickered and opened and Jack was sure he saw more intelligence in them than the last time. Jack smiled as the eyes settled on him, "Hello," he said inanely.
"Jack?" croaked Ianto. "What's going on?"
Jack wept, great tears ran down his face without check. "Oh, Ianto, Ianto." He could say nothing more through the lump in his throat and instead pulled him into an soft and slimy embrace that he hoped would bridge the thousands of years since he'd had an Ianto alive in his own time. "You've got a Welsh accent," he said stupidly, rocking him back and forth in his arms.
Ianto struggled to get free, "Why wouldn't I? What happened? Jack, tell me." Despite his continuing physical weakness he sat up on his own. He swallowed with difficulty and Jack held a beaker of water to his mouth and watched him drink.
Jack wiped his own face, smearing gunge, tears and snot over it and not caring in the least. "I have a lot to explain, my love, but first we need to clean you up." He could not stop grinning, even though his cheek muscles ached.
Ianto looked down at himself and saw the gunge and messy towels strewn around him. "How did I .." he started, then stopped himself. "No, clean me up first." He smiled weakly at Jack, "No doubt this is all your fault."
"Oh it is, it is. All mine," agreed Jack, smiling back.
He helped Ianto to his feet and across to the wet area. He held him lightly as the spray hit and adjusted the flow until it was fierce enough to wash away the gunge and yet did not hurt the tender, new skin. He sponged off gunge that was caught in creases and cavities, relishing the feel of the well-known body beneath his hands. Ianto stood totally relaxed and trusting, content to be cleaned. Jack turned off the spray and helped him move away and into a robe he'd put ready then sat him on a bench against the wall in a clean part of the room. He quickly stripped and washed himself, getting rid of the gunge that had coated him almost as much as it had Ianto, putting on his own robe when he was done.
Ianto looked at him curiously. "That's a first," he murmured.
Jack looked across, "What is?"
"You not joining me in the shower." Jack laughed delightedly; the memories were intact. "Have I been ill?" went on Ianto.
"Something like that," evaded Jack, putting out a hand and helping Ianto to his feet. "Come on, let's get upstairs."
The two walked from the workshop and through the connecting corridor into the main hallway. Ianto was walking on his own but Jack kept a hand close in case he tripped or stumbled. He was doing incredibly well; most clones took longer to orientate themselves and to co-ordinate their bodies.
Ianto stopped and looked round. "We're at Ogmore," he said, pleasure evident in his tone.
"That's right. The house you built."
"No, it's not right," his face was puzzled as he looked round. "The house, it's ... it's not right. Jack?"
"It's okay, Ianto, it's okay. I'll explain, just let's go upstairs first. You shouldn't do too much too soon."
Ianto did not look convinced but he trusted Jack and allowed himself to be steered to the stairs and climbed to the first floor. He was tired when he reached the top and Jack picked him up and carried him up the last flight to the second floor, the one he and Ianto had shared for a few short years and which Jack had occupied alone for millennia. He pushed open the door to their suite and placed Ianto on the chaise longue that faced the glass doors and through which he could see the beach and the moonlit water beyond. He grabbed a throw and put this over Ianto, wrapping it around him tightly; it was warm in the room but he didn't want him to get a chill.
Ianto accepted the cosseting phlegmatically and looked out at the sea. It was a beautiful sight and one he remembered – but not quite like this. All he was seeing, in the house and outside, was just slightly off as if it was out of focus. He couldn't put his finger on why. He took the glass that Jack offered him and drank. The cool juice felt good, better than the water he'd had before, but he found he couldn't place the taste – something else that was not quite right. He heard Jack go into an adjoining room and panicked for a moment but was reassured when he heard drawers opening. He was still there, his constant immortal lover had not left him. A few minutes later Jack was back, dressed in a loose top and trousers, like a jogging suit but not. One more not quite right thing.
"Jack, tell me what happened."
Jack sat on the edge of chaise longue and took a deep breath. "Do you remember when we found a brain scanner that stored memories? You said you wanted to use it, to copy your memories so that sometime, when the technology existed, I could bring you back and you could live again?" He paused, "Well, that's what I've just done. You're a clone of the Ianto Jones I loved back in the 21st century, made with his DNA and with his memories from 2057."
Ianto stared at him. "A clone?"
"Yep," Jack nodded, meeting his gaze and hoping against hope that Ianto would be able to accept it. Occasionally, clones never did and eventually went mad, unable to come to terms with their manufactured existence. But they were ones that did not have embedded memories, he told himself, trying to be reassured.
"How long? How long have you had to wait?"
"It's 4693, so over two and a half millennia."
Ianto's face creased. It was too soon after the cloning for him to be able to shed tears but he wanted to weep for this man who had waited so long. "Oh, Jack, you've been alone so long," he grieved, leaning forward and putting his arms round him. "I'm so sorry, so sorry." He held him tighter and then released him. "Why did you wait so long? You said it would only be a hundred years."
Jack looked away, moved by Ianto's reaction but also in embarrassment. "Ah, well, I was a little bit careless." He looked back, a rueful grin on his face, "I lost your DNA. It got contaminated. Oow," he yelped as Ianto hit his arm, "what was that for?"
"You lost my DNA? What kind of an idiot are you!?"
"I didn't mean to!" he protested, rubbing his arm where he'd been struck. "You didn't have to hit me so hard, I was the one that missed you all these years," he sulked.
Ianto relaxed and smiled indulgently. "You haven't changed, not one bit. You're still the idiot I fell in love with," he reached a hand and pushed back a strand of Jack's hair. "And you look just the same, just the same."
"I have missed you so much, Ianto, through all these years it's you I've loved," he said simply and sincerely.
Ianto nodded and pulled Jack to him, cradling him against his chest. "I'm glad to hear it," he said at last.
Well, he's with Jack. How will Ianto fit in?