Title: Children of Earth
Fandom: Torchwood. Mentions of Doctor Who.
Pairing: Jack/Ianto. OMC/OMC.
Summary: The 456 have invaded Earth and Torchwood race to destroy them before the Earth's children are decimated. But what is wrong with Jack, and how will his relationship with Ianto survive the choices he makes?
Spoilers: All of Children of Earth.
Author's note: This is part of my Assassin Ianto. What originally started as a COE fix-it fic, morphed into a complete re-write. This is set during the 23rd Century not the 21st.
The Accident and Emergency department of Cardiff Hospital was loud and busy as nurses ran from one workstation to another. Doctors jogged up and down the corridor, dashing from room to room.
"Are you sure we should be here?" Ianto asked, putting his hands in his pockets and turning so he had his back to the camera; he didn't want anyone reading his lips or overhearing their conversation.
Jack nodded his head, turning also and pretending to look at something on the wall behind them. "Julian wouldn't have called us if he didn't think something was wrong. Besides, you saw the readings," he replied, "this guy's got Rift energy all over him. There's a hitchhiker inside him; just like all the other victims. Why else would a perfectly healthy man drop dead for no reason?"
"We don't know he's dead yet," Ianto argued. "You never know, he might be…"
"I'm sorry," a male voice spoke from behind them and the couple turned to face the Indian doctor they had seen working on Mr Williams. "We did everything we could but… He didn't make it."
"Oh that's a shame," Jack let out a regretful breath.
"Poor old Mr Williams," Ianto agreed, looking upset.
Jack reached up and placed a hand on his shoulder, comforting the assassin. "We were his neighbours. Stopped by from time to time. Would it… Can we…"
"Could we say goodbye?" Ianto finished for Jack, reaching up and squeezing his partner's hand.
The doctor nodded his head and urged them down the short corridor to where Mr Williams' deceased body had been placed. "I'll just… I'll give you two a moment," he murmured, drawing the curtain around the small area and leaving them in peace.
"That was almost too easy," Ianto muttered the instant the curtain was drawn. "I thought playing up the couple thing was a nice touch. He looked as though he didn't know what to do."
"All this time and people still aren't completely accepting," Jack muttered, pulling the sheet back off the body and sighing deeply. "Have you got the laser knife?"
Ianto raised an eyebrow and reached into his pocket. "Of course," he replied, handing it to his partner and ducking down, looking in the cupboard beside the bed for something he could put their alien in. "One of these days you will remember to pick up equipment before we leave. I hate having to hunt around for things."
"We didn't have time," Jack replied, activating the laser and easily cutting through Mr Williams' skin. "Are you ready?" he asked, looking over at Ianto as he grabbed a pair of medical tongs.
Ianto nodded his head, trying not to grimace as Jack reached into the incision with the tongs and beginning to dig around looking for the hitchhiker.
"Sorry, one more…" the doctor said, pulling back the curtain just as Jack managed to pull the alien from Mr Williams' body.
His surprised gaze moved from Jack, to the alien he was holding, then back to Jack. "What?" he exclaimed.
Jack grinned. "Look at that. That's not human, is it? Does it look human? No, it does not. It's just a hitchhiker he picked up along the way somewhere. I doubt it's what killed him though."
"Some say they're actually beneficial," Ianto added, holding the container he'd found out to Jack, allowing him to place the alien inside. "Apparently they release endorphins into the bloodstream. He died a happy man."
"That's the way I'd like to go," Jack commented, leering at Ianto and making the assassin roll his eyes. "We're very considerate. We'll be taking this with us." He nodded to the alien Ianto was holding and pulled out the laser scalpel. "And we don't leave any mess," he added, reversing the setting and sealing Mr Williams' wound once more.
"Thanks very much," Ianto said, smiling at the doctor as he pocketed the scalpel and sealed the container.
"We'll just get out of your way," Jack grinned, brushing past the doctor and leaving the hospital with Ianto behind him.
The doctor ran after them, following them all the way to the car park. "Wait a minute. That was mutilation. I should report you!"
"Then why don't you?" Jack challenged, pulling the car door open and sliding into driver's seat. "Try putting what you saw into a report, that'll be fun."
The doctor stared at the car in surprise. "You're Torchwood?" he spluttered, pointing at the vehicle.
Jack shrugged his shoulders. "Never heard of 'em," he muttered, moving to close the door.
Before he managed to shut the door, the doctor told him, "There are bodies going missing."
Jack frowned, finally closing the door, but rolling the window down so he could hear what the doctor was saying. "How many?" he asked.
"This whole city talks about you-,"
"What bodies?" Jack pressed, not caring for anything else the doctor had to say. "Where?"
The doctor sighed. "It started two months ago. Bodies are taken down to the mortuary, but that's where the paper trail ends. There's been five of them. Five in two months. None of them have been white, either. West Indian, African, three Chinese. And all of them have been male."
Jack looked over at Ianto, who was looking at the doctor curiously. "What was your name again?" he asked, looking back at the young man beside the car.
"Rupesh," he replied. "Rupesh Patanjali."
The Captain looked back over at his partner and raised an eyebrow. "What do you think?" he asked, nodding to Rupesh.
Ianto shrugged his shoulders. "NHS," he replied. "Can't believe they still exist."
"Yeah," Jack breathed in agreement. "Too much red tape. Sorry," he apologised, looking over at Rupesh. "Good luck with it, though."
He rolled the window up and pressed his foot to the accelerator, tearing out of the car park.
"Do you think he'll bite?" Ianto asked, looking back at Rupesh who was staring after them.
Jack shrugged his shoulders, focusing on the road in front of him. "It worked with Gwen," he replied, flashing his trademark smile. "Only time will tell."
"Time we don't have, Will," Ianto sighed, looking out of the window. "We've been without a medic for months now. We can't afford to be choosy. It's fine for us, but Mark and…"
"I know," Jack snapped, his eyes flicking away from the road for a moment, before looking back. "Replacing Denys isn't-,"
"It's not replacing," Ianto argued. "It's finding another medic."
Jack reached over and squeezed his partner's thigh. "I'm sorry," he whispered, not moving his hand back. "I know you were close to him."
Ianto smiled through tears that were threatening to spill over and placed his hand over Jack's. "Part and parcel to the whole being immortal thing isn't it?" he replied.
"Doesn't make it any easier," Jack argued. "If anything, I think it makes it harder." He looked over at Ianto before grinning widely, "We wouldn't have this problem if Julian wasn't so damn stubborn and would accept my job offer."
Ianto snorted with laughter and rolled his eyes. "I do not want to imagine you two working together. Every single time you have been in the same room, you've almost come to blows. You're worse than stags butting antlers. You weren't this bad with Rhys."
"Rhys wasn't married to my youngest son," Jack pointed out.
"Mark and Julian have been married for almost three years now. You should be over the protective parent thing," Ianto argued. "Stop nagging him about Torchwood, okay? He has a perfectly acceptable job already and he's very respected in the position he's in," Ianto said patiently. "If he doesn't want to work for Torchwood, leave him be."