The Enemy Within
Word Count: 41.485
Summary: Following Ianto's betrayal, Jack thinks that the team may be broken for good. He tries to heal the mental wounds while being unable to quite forgive Ianto himself. When the team is faced with a threat using mental powers to gain access to Torchwood, none of them realize that the enemy is already among them.
Characters: Jack Harkness, Ianto Jones, Owen Harper, Toshiko Sato, Gwen Cooper, Rhys Williams, Myfanwy, OCs
Pairing: Jack/Ianto, Gwen/Rhys, Tosh/OC, Owen/OC
Spoiler: Day One, Cyberwoman
Setting: after Cyberwoman
Warnings: Language, really short dub-con (kissing) but nothing beyond the boundaries of the show
Author's Note: Written for the Torchwood Big Bang 2010. The lyrics Ianto recites are from the Welsh song Myfanwy by Joseph Parry and mean "Why is it anger, o Myfanwy, that fills your eyes so dark and clear?".
Feedback: Can't breathe without it.
Beta: danian helped me out with the English version and Vistin took care of the German version. Both of them pointed out flaws in the plot, thus improving the story. Thank you!
Disclaimer: I'm not making money with this fanfic. The tv-show Torchwood and the characters appearing within it belong to their producers and creators. Any similarities to living or dead persons are purely coincidental and not intended.
It was silent in the archives when Jack Harkness entered. He looked around the large, dimly lit room with the plain concrete walls, taking in the rows of shelves and filing cabinets from different periods of time. So many years, so many secrets – all labelled and put away into storage. Some of those boxes were likely to never see the light of day again. Jack wasn't down here often. This was Ianto's realm, where he spent every second he could spare sorting through the files, trying to establish some kind of order in a room that had been neglected for decades. Jack remembered that this was the place where he and Ianto had kissed for the first time several weeks ago, back when Suzie had still been with them and Lisa had been nothing more than Ianto's dark and dangerous secret in the basement of the underground complex.
Jack pushed away the feeling of betrayal that enveloped him every time he thought about the cyberwoman that had nearly killed them all, then tracked down his wayward archivist.
Ianto was crouching between two shelves, sorting through dusty boxes. Jack shoved his hands into his trouser pockets and took in the tired hunch of Ianto's shoulders. The tense posture and the exhaustion marring the handsome face. Ever since Jack had been forced to order the Torchwood team to shoot Lisa Ianto was fading into the background. Of course he'd always been there. The perfect assistant, quiet, dutiful and quick. But he'd always smiled and he'd always been willing to share a joke with the team. Now, he was just there, like a shadow, doing his work but nothing beyond that, still grieving for his girlfriend. Jack would have never guessed that Ianto was hiding such a tortured soul behind his gentle manners and quick wit. Of course he'd assumed that there was some mental scarring from the attack that had destroyed Torchwood One and killed so many of his colleagues and friends. It was a miracle that Ianto had survived. But he'd never before let the team see how painful the memories were.
Jack liked to think that Ianto understood why he'd had killed Lisa. That he understood that the girl he'd fallen in love with, had died during the downfall of Torchwood London, the battle of Canary Wharf. That he understood that the half-converted thing he'd secretly kept alive in Torchwood Three's basement had been a killer, a machine, hiding behind the mask of Lisa Hallett.
Jack cleared his throat softly.
"You missed lunch."
Ianto looked up at him, no surprise in his blue eyes. He must have heard him coming.
"No. I brought it into the Hub for you, remember?"
Jack rolled his eyes.
"You missed eating lunch with us."
Ianto straightened and gave Jack a fake smile.
"I was busy down here."
"Please tell me you ate."
"I did, sir."
"Good," Jack answered. "Starving yourself isn't going to help you."
Ianto ducked his head and sighed deeply.
"I know that."
"Hiding down here won't either."
Ianto looked up at him with an expression Jack couldn't read. His blue eyes were just as masked as the rest of his pale face.
"I didn't think I would be missed."
"You weren't," Jack answered curtly. "But you still have to work with us."
"Really?" Ianto asked. "It's been five weeks. When will I get my punishment?"
"You had a suspension, Ianto."
"That was your punishment. I was talking about UNIT."
Jack shrugged, not really caring about UNIT. He never had. UNIT seemed to think that it owned Torchwood. Policies forced Jack to work with them but he wasn't fond of them.
He looked around curiously.
"So, how's it going?"
Ianto looked down at the boxes to his feet, accepting Jack's unspoken wish to change the topic. They'd been civil with each other ever since Lisa but that was about it. Jack wasn't flirting any more and he certainly didn't touch Ianto. Jack used touches as easily as words, there were things he conveyed with his touch that words could never say. His touch could be calming, consoling and praising or punishing, aggressive … and excluding. He was touching Gwen and Tosh – an arm around their shoulders when he was going through their work with them, hugs when they weren't feeling well – and even Owen accepted the casual pats on the shoulder Jack gave him in passing.
It had been a while since Jack had put a hand on the small of Ianto's back to guide him into his office when they were going through Jack's to-do list for the day.
It had stopped with the aftermath of Lisa trying to take over Torchwood. Ianto would have never thought that he'd come to miss Jack's affection so much. But he knew that he deserved it. He'd used Jack in the worst possible way. It had started out so innocently with some flirting and smiling … and before Ianto knew it, he'd had to find a way to keep Jack from checking out the generator in the basement after he'd accidentally routed all the power to Lisa's room just a week after he'd hidden her down there. It had been just him and Jack, the memory of the almost chaste kiss Jack had given him in the archives a day before and desperation. The blowjob had been hurried and a bit clumsy but it seemed to have worked. Jack had forgotten to check the basement after he'd come down from his sex-induced high.
A few days later, when Jack had kissed Ianto in the Hub after sending everyone home and suggesting that he should stay the night, Ianto hadn't turned him down because it was the perfect distraction.
Too bad that, after weeks of casual encounters and one night stands, Ianto began to actually feel something for Jack who was a much more gentle lover than he'd anticipated. That didn't change the fact that Ianto had used him.
Ianto looked down into the boxes.
"Actually, I found some things that weren't properly labelled and the files are incomplete."
Jack stepped closer and looked down into the boxes as well. Then he crouched down and sorted through the alien devices and files Ianto had collected.
"Hm … I don't think that I've ever seen one of those."
"I checked UNIT's data base and the backup they have from Torchwood One. I was able to identify some of the devices but not everything. Maybe Tosh could take a look."
Jack nodded his agreement.
"Yeah. You about done here?"
Jack straightened and shoved his hands back in his trouser pockets.
"Bring this stuff to Tosh when you're done. I'll tell her to have a look. It's Owen's turn to help you with Myfanwy tonight."
"I'm sure he'll be thrilled," Ianto said, ducking his head. The team's doctor seemed to see it as a sort of sport to find ways to remind Ianto of his betrayal.
"Well," Jack said and raised his eyebrows, "no matter what happened, he's still got a job to do around here. And that pteranodon is as much his watchdog as it is ours. So if he's giving you a hard time tell me right away."
Ianto nodded. When Jack turned away to leave, Ianto called after him, "Captain."
Jack stopped, tilting his head to show that he was listening.
"For all that it's worth-"
"Don't," Jack interrupted. He turned to face Ianto, his eyes blazing. "Don't! You told me several times already and I don't want to hear it. Not yet."
"Alright," Ianto nodded slowly.
When Jack had left, Ianto sighed deeply, brushed a hand through his short hair and whispered, "I'm sorry."
The huge main Hub was echoing with the laughter of Jack's team when he climbed the stairs from the archives. Unlike most of the rest of the underground complex, it was brightly lit, the lamps attached to the brick, concrete and tile collage that were the walls. Jack liked this part of the Hub best, because it showed just how old Torchwood was. It was almost as if the different periods of time had left their marks on the complex and its architecture.
Gwen was playing basketball with Owen and Tosh was watching them from her cluttered work station. When the Asian caught sight of Jack however, she hurriedly concentrated on one of her four computer screens again. Owen and Gwen stayed oblivious to their boss' presence.
"Alright, kids!" Jack called and joined them. Gwen smiled at him. He caught the ball when she threw it his way, but he didn't play.
"Back to work it is then," he said and returned to his desk. Jack nodded and Gwen sighed deeply before sitting down in front of her computer. She was going through the police reports of the last ten years, trying to find a clue that there were crimes committed by aliens or with alien technology that Torchwood missed for some reason. Jack hadn't told her but part of the reason he let her do it was because he wanted her to improve her instincts. There could be a time when he wasn't going to be here anymore and he wanted his team to be able to tell the difference between an everyday crime and a crime that was related to aliens and thereby Torchwood. Owen was his second in command but he had a feeling that Gwen would be just as good as the doctor, maybe even better. Sometimes Owen tended to get carried away by his pride. Gwen was more sensitive and calm.
Jack let the ball fall to the floor and it rolled into a corner. In the now quiet Hub, the sound of his steps was echoing off the walls. The only other sound in the high room was the splashing of the water that was descending the smooth outline of the water tower into the basin. The water smelled of rain, coming from the Roald Dahl Plass above the Torchwood complex where the water tower was stretching as far into the sky as it was reaching down into the ground.
Jack looked up towards the ceiling, trying to peek into Myfanwy's nest far above them but he couldn't see the pteranodon. When he turned back to head for his office, he caught Owen's dark eyes. The doctor was looking at Jack, his trainer-clad feet on his desk, keyboard on his lap and his hands laced behind his head. He seemed to be relaxed but there was an underlying tension in his eyes that led Jack to suspect that something was up. It had been brewing for days. The team was talking behind his back, whispering whenever he left the room. He hadn't called them on it since he thought that if there was a problem they should come right out and address it.
Owen did just that now.
"Jack, what's going on?"
"Going on?" the captain asked, taking a look over Tosh's shoulder at her screen. She was still working on a translation program that would help them to read alien languages. Jack was impressed – again – by her brilliance.
"With the tea boy."
Ianto, of course. Jack had already guessed that it was about him. He wasn't the only one who had lost his trust in the archivist.
"Well," he answered and turned to Owen, crossing his arms, "he's going to finish filing for today, then he's going to come up here, clean up, do the dishes and before you're going to go home, you'll help him to care for Myfanwy."
"Yeah, right," Owen frowned. "So, that's it?"
Jack caught Gwen watching them curiously and Tosh giving Owen a warning glare.
"That's it," he affirmed.
"Don't get me wrong, Jack. The whole cyberwoman thing took a while to get sorted out and Ianto was suspended. But now he's back, his wounds are healed and he's working. Wouldn't now be the time for UNIT to do what they do in cases like this one?"
Jack's eyes narrowed.
"Since when do you care for UNIT?"
"Since I almost got killed by a cyberwoman that was hidden in our basement by the tea boy," Owen answered, unapologetic. "And I'm not the only one here wondering what will happen next. Suspension seems a bit … lame for what Ianto did, don't you think?"
Jack looked at Gwen who ducked her head, hiding her eyes behind a curtain of long brown hair, and focused on the screen in front of her. Tosh met Jack's searching gaze and smiled so he assumed that she was fine with Ianto being back. He knew that both of them were getting along great. Tosh was always working late. Ianto was, too. More than once, Jack had found them in the late evening talking to each other. Then there was the matter of Tosh being a captive of UNIT once. She hated the organization since then. She was trusting Jack without any questions asked and that included his way of handling Ianto's punishment.
"It's not my place to decide what UNIT wants to do in this matter."
"Okay," Owen agreed. He looked at Tosh and now, she ducked her head, clearly embarrassed. Owen looked back at Jack. "But as coincidences go, we know that you never even reported the incident. How can they do something about it when they don't even know?"
Jack stared at Tosh. She shook her head.
"I'm sorry. He asked me to check-"
"Don't apologize, damn it!" Owen was looking at her with anger. He got up and slammed the keyboard on his desk. "For once, this is something that he has to apologize for."
Jack raised his eyebrows at the outburst. Owen Harper had been a challenge from day one. The young man was a brilliant doctor and passionate scientist but his attitude was a problem sometimes. He was constantly challenging Jack and he didn't know when to shut up. Jack knew that Owen didn't mean to question his authority but sometimes his temper got the better of him.
The doctor stared at Jack with determination.
"You didn't even file a report. You were just going to sweep it under the rug. As if it never happened. I'm sure you wouldn't have done the same thing if I was the one hiding my crazy girlfriend in the basement, right? We almost died. He betrayed us. And just because you're shagging him, you won't report it?"
"Owen, my office." Jack was already heading for it.
Owen shook his head.
"Oh no, we're going to talk about it right now, right here."
Jack turned around to face him, crossed his arms and stuck his chin out. Tosh ducked her head at the steely glare in his eyes.
Owen seemed to hesitate but then he said, "He could do it again, you know. Right now, he could be down there, planning his next move. We don't even know who he is any more. He was risking this base, he was risking our lives. And all he has to do is say 'sorry' and we're going on as if nothing had happened. I won't accept that."
"So report it," Jack answered. "Report Ianto. Report me. See what will happen. I know you're not fond of him at the moment ..."
Owen snorted at that understatement.
"... but believe me, you wouldn't wish on your own worst enemy what UNIT will do to him if I report what happened."
It wasn't the words, it was Jack's calm voice that made Owen swallow, swayed. But he stood his ground.
"There has to be more than a suspension."
"There is," Jack answered. "He has to work to get back our trust. He lost his girlfriend, the woman he loved. The woman he risked everything for just to discover that she wasn't there any more to begin with. That all that was left of her was this emotionless machine. And partly, it's my fault. I should have noticed that something was off. This is my base and he managed to distract me." Jack didn't tell how Ianto distracted him. It wasn't his team's place to know even though at least Owen was on the right track by suspecting that Jack and Ianto had slept together.
He held Owen's dark look.
"Partly, it's the fault of all of us, because we didn't listen and we didn't care about him. He was right about that. I think you know that."
Owen avoided his eyes. There it was. The one thing Ianto had been absolutely right about. They had taken him for granted, taken for granted that he cleaned up after them, served them coffee and did most of their paperwork … among so many other things. Nobody had bothered to ask him about his life, if he had a girlfriend or a family … or if he'd lost colleagues during the battle that turned Lisa into a cyberwoman. They went out together for drinks, never asking Ianto if he wanted to come along because he'd declined once or twice shortly after he'd started working for them. Apparently enough reason to never ask again or not to wonder why he didn't go with them. And Jack could punch himself in the face for being so stupid. A few questions about Ianto's life, a little interest in him beyond the question if he wanted to stay the night and maybe he could have avoided it. Maybe Ianto would have talked to him about Lisa. Maybe … he dropped the thought. It was too late now.
"Report it and see what will happen. Or don't and let him work to gain back our trust. Give him the chance to do it. Because I know that he won't betray us again. Why should he? He's got nothing left to fight for." With that he turned away and went into his office. The door closed with a soft click.
Toshiko cleared her throat.
"He's right, you know. UNIT … isn't the solution."
"How would you know?" Owen snapped.
"I know," she answered and her voice didn't even shake.
Owen looked at Gwen and she shrugged, undecided.
"He's not a bad person, Owen. He just made the wrong decisions."
Owen dropped into his chair and glanced at Jack who was sitting behind his desk, working through some files.
Gwen added, "Maybe we should let him make the effort to try and gain back our trust. I think that giving second chances is important."
"Weren't you the one who wanted to put him into a cell to begin with?" Owen asked.
She nodded and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear.
"But Jack has a point. I don't know … maybe I would have done the same for Rhys. Don't you think that you would have done everything for someone you love?"
Owen turned to his screen.
Would he have done the same for Katie?
Frankly, he didn't know.
It was almost five and Gwen had left early to meet Rhys for dinner in a restaurant. Jack was still in his office, buried in paperwork and not even looking up to check on his team. Owen had moved his chair to Tosh's desk a while ago and was going through the box with unlabelled alien devices Ianto had brought up.
Ianto was in the boardroom one level above them, cleaning up as he always did at the end of the day. Owen could see him through the large windows, sorting through files left behind on the table after a meeting.
"It's not fair," he said and took a milky white stone out of the box. He looked at it, then grabbed Tosh's red eraser and a small box of paper clips off her desk and began to juggle the three objects.
"Owen, let it go," Tosh sighed, slightly annoyed. She studied the device in her hands – it looked like an extremely complicated remote control to Owen – and tried to find a match in the Torchwood One database even though Ianto had told them that he'd already tried. She wasn't really dedicated to her task, so Owen thought that she just wanted to keep busy. Maybe she was waiting for him to leave so that she could talk to Ianto without being harassed for it.
"Jack's shagging him. I just know that he is even though they try to hide it. It's the reason Jack recruited him. Even Suzie said so."
"When did she say that? While you were shagging her?" Tosh asked pointedly and with a hint of hurt in her voice. Startled, Owen lost the paper clip box and stared at her in surprise. He'd thought that he and Suzie had been discreet.
Tosh just snorted.
"Please," she rolled her eyes. "As if I wouldn't have noticed. Jack knew, too. You're the last one who should complain about that kind of working relationship."
"That's different. Jack's our boss. If he's shagging Ianto, he's biased."
Tosh put the device back in the box and turned to him, her eyes serious.
"Owen, I'm going to tell you something Jack didn't."
He looked at her curiously.
"I know a bit about UNIT and their way to handle prisoners."
"The kind of thing I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy?"
"They would imprison him, torture him to be sure that he doesn't have another cyberman hidden somewhere and then execute him."
Owen looked up through the windows in the conference room, watching Ianto clear the table.
"I looked it up. I hacked into their system and found a secret memo that was written after the battle of Canary Wharf. It was addressed to all personnel with the appropriate security clearance. Jack has that kind of clearance. He read it. That's why he didn't report the incident."
Owen bit his lip.
"Execution. That's a bit harsh."
"It's not the execution part you should be worried about. They know how to torture. They really do." Tosh ducked her head, then she concentrated on the box again. She didn't want Owen to see how scared she was of UNIT. Sometimes she still had nightmares about the time she'd been imprisoned.
Owen's forefinger rubbed over the stone's smooth surface. Torture wasn't what he'd had in mind when he thought about a punishment for Ianto. A prison cell, maybe.
Owen looked at Ianto again then at Jack, then back down at the stone in his hands. When he was being completely honest, he didn't know what he wanted the punishment to be. But his pride was hurt and his trust in Ianto damaged and even though he'd never really let Ianto know, he'd relied on him. Ianto had become a constant in the Hub, always there and providing everything the team needed. He'd taken everything Owen had thrown his way – demeaning comments, jokes or mood swings – and he'd never done more than give a witty reply. Owen had trusted him.
He moved his chair back to his own desk, still playing with the stone. Ianto came down the stairs from the first level.
"Owen, is it a good time now?" he asked a little hesitantly.
Owen nodded, getting up and shoving the stone into his jeans pocket.
"Sure. Let's get it over with." He collected his gun and put it in the back of his jeans, went to the med bay to retrieve bandages and antiseptic spray, then he joined Ianto who was carrying a bucket with meat. As if sensing that they were coming, Myfanwy let out a warning cry that echoed down towards the two young men.
"Tending to a bitchy hurt monster from the past. That's going to be fun."