I do feel so guilty posting a new story with others on the go. But I've held off for well over a month, and self control only goes so far with me.
September 3rdth 2209
Jack froze in surprise. Gone was the straight nose and firm lips, this face had a pert nose with the tiniest of upturns and lips that arched softly. 'What happened?' He demanded of the nurse.
'We created it to your specifications,' she cupped the man's head and tilted it from side to side, displaying his features to Jack. 'Somehow it changed itself. Nothing we can't correct later.'
'Has he woken up yet?' His footsteps echoed in the room as he walked to the side of the bed.
'Not yet, if it's not awake by tomorrow morning we'll see what we can do.'
Jack watched, captivated, as the man's chest gently rose and fell, the steady breathing of a sleeping human. Delicate hands laid on the plain green covering and pale fingers curled softly. Jack reached out a cautious hand and touched a fingertip to it, feeling warm skin under his.
'Completely manufactured, completely human,' the nurse said briskly.
Pale lavender eyelids flickered, dark lashes moving, pink lips parted and the hand under Jack's finger twitched. Turning his head to the nurse, Jack raised an inquiring eyebrow. She shrugged and moved over, looking professionally over him.
'Does that occasionally,' she commented, pulling back his lids to expose unseeing blue eyes. The smallest of sighs sounded, dark eyebrows creasing to form a tiny frown. 'Perhaps he's waking up,' the nurse snapped the gloves off her hands, 'one moment.'
'Hello,' Jack said quietly, staring down into the man's still face. His coat rustled in the still room as he extended his arm, carefully tracing his fingertips over high cheekbones and smooth skin. There were still traces of his design in the face, in the line of his eyebrows and the shape of his eyes, however, subtle changes had formed a unique face where even the skin was a lighter shade. Jack stilled his hand cautiously as his eyelids flickered again, suspense filling him as they slowly blinking open. Jack waited unmoving as soft blue eyes now stared directly up at him. Then the man's face suddenly creased and he closed his eyes again, a weak cough breaking the silence.
'Welcome to the world,' Jack said softly, moving his hand away. It was an uncanny feeling as the man suddenly grew quiet again and those serious blue eyes focussed back on Jack.
'So, he's awake,' the head of the medical team sounded pleased as he pushed through the doors, people swarming into the room and around the table. Jack drew back as more moved in, eventually seating himself in one of the chairs along the wall. Talk and the hum of machinery filled the room, loud footsteps on the floor and murmured observations from the doctors.
'Look what he's doing!' Someone commented quietly. Jack craned his head sideways to try and catch a glimpse of the man, the movement of green gowns blocking his view. Voices conferred quietly and heads turned to stare curiously at Jack before bending back over the bed.
'What's he doing?' Jack asked finally, bringing a lull in the conversations. The doctor nearest Jack stepped aside, Jack blinked in surprise as blue eyes stared directly at him, the man's head turned sideways on the bed to look at him. Something that could have been a smile quirked at his mouth.
'He appears to want to see you,' someone said quietly.
'If you wouldn't mind, could you perhaps try moving?'
Jack rose to his feet and, keeping his gaze on the man, walked slowly down the room. The intense stare followed him. With a curious expression the doctor moved to block Jack from his view. Immediately an irritated huff sounded.
'He seems to like you,' the doctor stepped aside again and the annoyed flicker in the man's eyes faded immediately.
'His name is Ianto,' Jack said firmly.
Ianto sighed and shifted with what seemed like contentment.
February 10th 2209
The silence as the car engine stopped was overwhelming. Jack sighed slowly, letting the air rush through his teeth, he leaned forward and pillowed his head on the steering wheel. The leather pressed uncomfortably into his forehead but he scarcely noticed.
He jumped, eyes snapping open as his phone shattered the silence. A tired smile spread over his face as the number flashed up.
'Hey,' he said tiredly, rubbing a slow hand over his face.
'Want to get out of the car and tell me what's wrong?'
'Nothing's wrong,' Jack jammed the phone under his ear and scrabbled over the passenger seat for his wallet and bag. Seizing them in one hand, he slid awkwardly out the door, the slam of the car door overly loud in the garage.
'You've been sat in that dark football field you call a garage for the past twenty minutes.'
Jack raised his eyebrows as he stepped into the lift. 'You waited twenty minutes? Restraint.'
'That car has tinted windows, I didn't want to interrupt another of your little trysts.'
'There's not really any room for that in the Aston.'
'I've had the misfortune of seeing your creativity firsthand, I make no more judgements in that area.'
Jack sank down gratefully into the chair in the corner, cradling his head forward in his hands. The numbers above the door slid by unnoticed, the quiet ding as the lift reached Jack's floors failing to draw a reaction.
'Come on,' his voice came softly from the phone, 'you have to get out of the lift.'
'Don't have to,' Jack muffled his voice into his hands.
'Did you die?' He asked gently.
Jack finally levered himself off the plush chair. 'Yep,' he said shortly. 'Just another day at work.'
'I'll be down running some maintenance in the Hub levels, I'll be up again soon.'
'Sure,' Jack waved it aside tiredly, 'if Tosh is in there tell her it's late, she does actually need to sleep at some point.'
Stepping into his apartment, Jack made a beeline straight for the couch, shedding his coat over a nearby chair on the way. The fading daylight sent glowing patches through the surrounding glass and across the floor, highlighting carpet and furniture in dim golden light. 'On,' he said tiredly to the glass, sagging down into the couch and watching as the view over Cardiff faded while the tv came to life.
Jack lost track of the time, uncaring as he lay sprawled over the couch, feet dangling over an arm-rest. He gave a tired smile as the tv suddenly faded and turned off, the glass slowly draining of its black tint and the bright lights of the city becoming visible. He pushed down the cushion and heaved himself upright.
'Turn it back on please,' he pinched the bridge his nose and waved a hand at the wall screen.
'You're tired,' a firm Welsh voice said and the glass wall television remained blank.
'You're not my nanny.'
'Someone has to be,' was the tart response.
'Don't make me go and override the controls,' Jack warned, pulling his hand away from his face. The soft lights in the room immediately turned off and everything was plunged into black. Jack sighed. 'Ianto.'
'You have bags under your eyes big enough to carry shopping in. Not that you do,' Ianto added.
Jack stretched out and propped his feet on the low table, grinning at the soft sigh at his actions. 'And you do?'
'Oh how to contain my mirth.'
'Let me watch to the end of the show and I promise I'll go straight to bed.'
There was a pause and the tv slowly brightened back into life. Jack wriggled back comfortably into the couch. 'Thanks.'
'Oh, look,' Ianto said smugly a minute later, 'your show appears to have finished.'
'Oh alright,' Jack swung his legs down onto the ground, 'you win, happy?'
'You'll turn the lights off out here?'
'No, I shall leave them on as I always do. I'll also turn both the heating and air-conditioning on at the same time, maybe even the oven too. In fact-'
Jack held up his hands placatingly. 'Point made. Forgive me for ever doubting you.' He yawned and walked tiredly down the large corridor, barefeet sinking into the thick carpet. The lights turned out above his head as he walked, fading off behind him as they lighted his way to the bathroom. 'Thanks for the spotlight.'
'Anything to feed your ego.'
Jack smiled as the bathroom door slid open for him. 'Can we have a rule? No snark after 9pm.
'11pm at least, you're usually wide awake until then.'
'10,' Jack countered, curling down the end of the toothpaste.
'10.30 and I'll tell you where the new toothpaste is.'
'Ah,' Jack waved his toothbrush in the air, 'still got some.' The toothpaste slid off his brush and landed with a soft splat on the tiles. 'Alright, 10.15.'
'It's in the second cupboard under the sink, left corner.'
'Why do I have to strike deals with the computer program-' Jack's voice was muffled as he bent and stuck his head into the cupboard, fumbling blindly for the toothpaste, '-that I designed myself?'
'You did not set my personality,' the voice through the hidden speakers said with great dignity.
'Nor am I merely a "computer program",' Ianto continued.
Jack bowed, hand over heart, 'I apologise.'
'Brush your teeth.'
Jack brushed in silence, turning to spit and flick the tap on. 'Alright,' he dropped the toothbrush back into the cup, 'human time. Eyes closed.'
Jack shook his head and smiled.
Jack groaned and buried his face into the soft sheets, pulling the sheets and duvet over his head in a tangled mess. Bright light streamed into the room and music blared.
'Morning!' Ianto was horribly cheerful, voice raised over the music.
'I hate this song,' Jack moaned into the mattress.
'I know.' The volume increased. Jack freed his arm and extended his middle finger. 'I've turned the shower on, just get up and stagger.' Jack shuffled his head sideways, cheek rubbing along the sheet, with a bleary blink he open his eyes. A sleepy smile still tugged at his lips as he gazed through the floor length glass windows, vast sky meeting his eyes and the city of Cardiff stretching out below.
'You can admire the view you've had for years later,' Ianto interrupted, 'you're wasting water.'
'Technically,' he swung his legs out of bed, 'you're wasting water.'
'Not really, I am after all your computer program.'
'How long is it going to take for you to forgive me for that?' Jack tugged his white tshirt over his head as he walked into the bathroom, exposing a toned torso. There was a silence. 'Admiring the view?' Jack grinned.
'I have my eyes shut. And there was no answer as there is no answer to that question.'
'Put some good music on, will you?' Jack pulled open the shower door and waggled his hand under the spray.
'I'll just "hibernate" myself like a good functioning computer, shall I?'
'Oh, oh, my head is going under the shower, can't hear you, sorry, what was that?'
'Before you turn into a singing monstrosity, remember the meeting at the hospital is in an hour and a half.'
Jack snapped the shampoo open. 'What's this one about?' He scrubbed vigorously.
'Given your generous contributions they want your open support on a new project.'
'Which is?' Jack tilted his head into the spray. All he could hear for a moment was the fall of water around him.
'The growth of a human entirely within a lab. The ultimate showcase of their ability to manufacture spare or replacement organs.' There was a pause. 'Do you even read the information I print out?'
Jack grinned and reached for the conditioner, feet squeaking on the shower base. 'Actually I always do. It's just fun when you do that resigned, world weary voice.' He yelped as the water went stone cold.
For those who have seen Iron Man, Jarvis sparked this idea.