Author's note: Here we have the final chapter of Rebirth, in which an oft-maligned character gets a voice (and yes, Myfanwy does accompany Jack and Ianto to Hoover Dam. How do they let her out to hunt? Still working on that part, but I'm thinking she flies out the way Megatron does when he escapes). I'm not entirely sure why Lisa is so vilified, since the Cybermen over-rode their victims' humanity, while keeping their memories, but I've always felt sorry for her. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and had no choice in what she became. At the same time, we'll check in with the crew at the Hoover Dam. Next up in this series is Cattin' Around, in which Rhys comes face to face with Torchwood. . .and realizes just how unprepared he was for Torchwood in general, and Jack in specific. Then again, can you really blame him? How, exactly, does one prepare oneself for Captain Jack Harkness? I don't think such a thing is possible. Poor Rhys!
Measure for Measure
Somewhere over the Atlantic
The following morning, the cargo section of the Torchwood jet (alongside Myfanwy)
She was losing her battle. Minute by minute, hour by hour, more of this thing took her over, and there was nothing she could do about it. Little by little, she was losing her humanity, and she was terrified. And Ianto, her poor Ianto, had no idea any of this was happening. His mind, already scarred so badly by Canary Wharf, believed that the changes in her personality were the result of the pain. But Lisa Hallett knew the truth, and knew that she wouldn't be Lisa for much longer. Each time she tried to warn Ianto, the thing which took her over stopped her. Worse yet, she knew that the two agents who were pretending to help Ianto had their own agenda, and helping Lisa had nothing to do with it. Agent Marshall seemed to think that she couldn't hear him when he was muttering to himself. She knew that he intended to use her to hurt other people. And Agent Duval didn't want to hurt anyone, but he knew just as well as she did that she couldn't be saved. His hope was that if, God forbid, the Cybermen ever returned, what they learned from Lisa could be used to protect others. Lisa could have told him, they would only learn what the Cybermen wanted them to learn: nothing.
And yet, Lisa continued to fight. Her battle might be doomed to failure, but if it was, she would go down fighting. Once there was no more Lisa, then Ianto would be in even far greater danger. Lisa couldn't save herself, but maybe she could save Ianto. He thought he was saving her, but she was saving him. She hoped. From what she heard, even if Marshall's dearest wish came true and Lisa was lost to the Cyberthing once she was inside Torchwood America, Captain Jack Harkness would keep the casualties at a minimum. Everyone at Torchwood One heard about the brash, handsome American and Lisa had faith that the man lived up to his hype. He might not be able to save everyone, but he'd save as many as he could.
He won't be able to save me, she thought, but he'll save Ianto, no matter how angry he is with Ianto when he realizes the truth. I don't care if he saves Agent Marshall or not. . .that berk doesn't deserve to be saved. It sickened her, that he would use her to kill an innocent woman and child, and Lisa could only pray that such a thing never happened. She would have rather died completely in Canary Wharf than hurt innocent people, who never hurt her, who never hurt anyone she loved. Lisa was sorry he lost his job (no, she wasn't), but he was going after the wrong people. Besides, she wasn't really sure if Secretary of Defense Keller was wrong to shut down Sector Seven. . .ever so often, information would leak over to Lisa, and this Sector Seven sounded too much like Torchwood One and Yvonne Hartman for her liking.
Besides, she wasn't especially pleased about finding herself in the cargo section of a Flying Fortress. Evidently, Captain Harkness was a World War Two aficionado and had the money and the resources to buy a Flying Fortress, which he used as the Torchwood corporate jet. If she was in this as a passenger, rather than as cargo, Lisa probably wouldn't have minded as much. The novelty alone would have been amazing. . .and then there was the matter of the dinosaur sleeping off to her side. She knew about the Rift in Cardiff, of course. . .who didn't? Evidently, the dinosaur, which Ianto named 'Myfanwy,' flew through the Rift and found itself/herself in the modern age. Poor thing. It must be so confused. In a time and place that was thoroughly unfamiliar. . .poor, poor Myfanwy. She wished she could reach out to the sedated Myfanwy, but that simply wasn't possible. Not here, not now. Not ever again.
Ianto managed to sneak away, long enough to whisper that he loved her and would come back to visit her whenever Captain Harkness was dozing. It was a long flight back to the States, and they would be going to Nevada, rather than West Virginia. The new Torchwood base was in Nevada, hidden within Hoover Dam. It was evidently where another NBE was hidden for quite a long time (yet another reason she didn't like Marshall. . .he kept referring to her as an NBE, a non-biological extraterrestrial. She was still half-human, dammit, even if the human side of her kept losing ground on a daily basis). Lisa always wanted to visit Hoover Dam. She just never thought it would be like this. Maybe since she would never get to actually see the outside of the Dam, she could talk Ianto into taking pictures of it for her.
"I'm sorry you're going through this," a soft voice said and Lisa looked up to see Agent Duval at her side. She smiled at him rather bitterly and he continued, "You know. You know, even if he doesn't, that we can't save you." He sounded genuinely sorry, genuinely sad for her and for Ianto. The agent continued, "I like him, you know. Ianto. He's a good kid. That's why I haven't told him the truth. You're all he's got to live for right now. . .I can't take that away from him. He loses that, he loses everything."
"And so you push the responsibility to someone else. I find I'm glad your Sector Seven was shut down," Lisa retorted hoarsely. Rather than being angry with her, though, Duval just nodded sadly. She continued, "I don't doubt that there were good people in your agency. You're a good man, I think, just weak and bitter. But there are more people who think like Yvonne Hartman. And I don't care why it happened, because that woman is the reason I'm losing my humanity. I will lose to this thing, Agent Duval, no matter how hard I fight, I will lose, and Ianto swears that he won't let me hurt anyone. But he doesn't believe it's possible, and I know I will end up hurting someone."
There was nothing Agent Duval could say to that, because he knew every word she spoke was true. Lisa blinked back tears, whispering, "I wish I died immediately. I wish someone found me before Ianto did, someone who would have had the compassion to put a bullet in my brain. Do you know the most terrifying thing about Torchwood, Agent Duval? It's that what you know gets turned upside down. You find out that what seems compassionate and merciful is actually cruel beyond measure. What seems like cruelty is the most merciful thing in the world. And then you look at the outside world, and you realize that's true about reality. All of your illusions are stripped away, and the ones who survive. . .they're called monsters because they can handle the loss of that false innocence."
Agent Duval had nothing to say to that. Distantly, Lisa realized that she should tell him about Marshall's plans, before remembering that he might already know about them. And so, she kept silent as the agent kneeling beside her took her hand. She prayed that Captain Harkness found her before things spun out of control. She prayed that he found her and did what no one else could do. Yes, they heard that he was brash and could be difficult, but there were others in Torchwood London who met him, who said that he was a wild flirt, but he was a good man. Lisa hoped so. The end of her suffering and the rest of Ianto's life depended upon it.
Hoover Dam, Nevada
Very Early Morning
It was odd, really. She was conceived just a few miles from this location. . .and her mother fainted when she was here. Lacey Keller Harkness could understand that. There was something that made her nerves jangle. Something that. . . She shook her head distractedly. Feeling like this really sucked. It sucked because it sucked and it sucked because she couldn't explain why it sucked. And really, she should use better language than that, but apparently Owen's potty mouth was rubbing off on her. Lacey snickered, thinking of what her husband would say to that. He'd probably smirk at her, arch his brows and ask if she was considering Owen for a threesome.
"You get up entirely too early, Lace," Suzie Costello said softly, settling down beside her on the top of the dam. Lacey offered her friend a smile, and Suzie continued, growing more serious, "If you're worried about Jack, I'm sure he's fine. I'm just glad that he's finally hired. . .well, whatever he hired that kid for. Although, knowing Jack, he's probably stunningly gorgeous." Lacey just rolled her eyes, and Suzie asked softly, "I gotta ask, 'cause it's been driving me hatstand for the last several years, but why don't you keep Jack from flirting?" Lacey raised disbelieving eyes to her best friend, and Suzie laughed softly, adding, "Okay, dumb question."
"Only because it's Jack. Seriously, can you imagine anyone other than Her Majesty making him do anything, much less make him stop doing something that's first nature to him?" Lacey inquired. Suzie dipped her head in acknowledgment and Lacey continued more seriously, "Do I like the idea of someone else, anyone else, touching my husband like that? Hell no. I'm selfish, Suzie, but if I don't try to make Jack into someone he isn't. . .Jack. . .Mama always told me when I was a little girl that if you love someone, to let them go. If they come back to you, then they're yours. If they don't. . .and that's how I see Jack."
"You're afraid of losing Jack," Suzie said after a moment and Lacey nodded. The other woman's arm wrapped around her shoulders and she said softly, "You know he loves you, so much. And I don't think you're selfish. He flirts, but his warmest smiles and softest looks are solely for you and for Corey. I don't think you're selfish at all. Or maybe it's a better kind of selfish than most kinds. I think you understand Jack better than any of us do, even if you hold that information close to your heart. I just wish you'd share it with sometimes."
"Can't. Jack. . .I can't betray Jack like that. So many people have betrayed him, Suzie, I won't add my name to that list. I won't, I can't," Lacey replied softly. Suzie simply tucked her head under her chin, wrapping the slightly smaller woman in a tight embrace. Despite her worries for Jack (he collapsed from lack of touch!), Lacey reveled in moments like these, when it was just her and Suzie, and there was no glove to distract her friend. She couldn't help but feeling that damn glove was taking Suzie away from them, no matter how hard she tried to fight it. How much they all tried to fight it. She whispered, "How pathetic do I sound?"
"Not pathetic at all. I know you've said in the past that Jack has made sacrifices for you, and that's part of marriage. I wish I knew better what a good marriage entailed, but it seems to me that you both give. Jack made the suggestion that Corey be baptized, even though he doesn't believe in that, and you don't hassle him about flirting and touching. I don't think you're pathetic at all. Insecure, maybe, but not pathetic," Suzie replied, tightening her arms around Lacey. The American girl hummed and Suzie added softly, "I just wish I could find someone. Owen fulfills a need, but he doesn't love me and I don't love him."
"I wish you could, too. Maybe this new kid is just what you need," Lacey offered and she could swear she could hear Suzie roll her eyes in exasperation. Unable to withstand the temptation, she added, "Or maybe this kid isn't your type at all. . .I keep assuming because of Owen that you're straight, but Tosh is awful pretty, too." She squeaked as Suzie reached down and swatted her butt. Both girls giggled and Lacey continued after a moment, "You'll find someone. I used to hate when people said that to me, especially when I was fighting my feelings for Jack, but you will. I never could have dreamed that someone like Jack would love me. You're going to find someone, and he. . .or she. . .is going to be amazing."
"From your lips, as your mum always says," Suzie murmured, "but don't even suggest Agent Spastic to me, got it?" Lacey giggled and Suzie continued, "I'm serious! He freaks out poor Tosh sometimes, muttered something about hot criminals." Lacey went stone rigid in Suzie's arms. . .he did WHAT? Suzie pulled back to look at her, asking anxiously, "What is it, what's wrong? I know Jack found Tosh under. . .erm. . .certain circumstances. Are you afraid that Simmons knows about it?"
"That's part of it. Jack recently found out that he has a niece in this area, Mikaela. She was mixed up in whatever Simmons was. Suzie, do us both, and Simmons, a favor. Let me tell Jack about this. You know how protective he is, and things could get ugly. Better yet, let me handle Tosh as well. You haven't done anything to him yet, have you?" Lacey asked, her mind racing. She felt badly about lying to Suzie about Jack's relationship with Mikaela, but that wasn't something Jack was ready to share with the others. Lacey wanted him to, her father wanted him to, but he wasn't ready. After what he told her of his past, she wasn't about to force the issue.
"No, although I was tempted to stick that knife in him. You know I don't do warm and fuzzy, but that doesn't mean I'll let Agent Spastic torment and bully one of my teammates," Suzie replied. Lacey counted herself fortunate that Suzie mentioned this to me. The last thing they needed Jack to find when he got home with Ianto Jones was one of his people going completely hatstand, as Suzie called it. Funny. Even after four years in the UK, Lacey still had a hard time keeping all of the slang right in her head. No wonder Jack still used British slang after thirty-five years in the States.
"Don't go using that knife, Suzie. My dad assigned Simmons to us, and I really don't want to be explaining about how Simmons died," Lacey sighed. Even though Simmons annoyed her, too. She would let Jack deal with him, or better yet, she would drop a little bug in her uncle's ear about his former roommate's behavior. It seemed, so far, as if the only people who could keep Simmons under control were her father and her uncle. Jack hadn't exerted control, yet, so she wasn't sure if that would work.
"Spoilsport," Suzie groused, and Lacey couldn't tell if she was teasing or being honest. There were times when Suzie, like Jack, said things half in fun and full in earnest. But her arms remained around Lacey, fierce and strong. . .kinda like Suzie herself. Suzie murmured after a moment, "My God, look at the sunrise. Beautiful. Just beautiful. And you were conceived in this area? So beautiful." Lacey smiled and tightened her arms around Suzie's waist. Yes, this was a part of her now. Or maybe it was a part of her all along, and she just now realized it.
She just wished she knew why she felt so uncomfortable in Hoover Dam, as if she had been here before. . .and not just as an embryo. More to the point, she hoped it wasn't important. It isn't, she told herself, it isn't important at all, so focus on what is important. . .Jack and Corey, and helping to make sure Torchwood really was ready. Because it was the twenty-first century.
Jack consulted his 'read' email while his newest employee slept, looking utterly exhausted. Lacey included pictures of the new and improved Torchwood base at Hoover Dam, including 'silly pictures.' Jack smiled. Here was a picture of Owen pretending to scowl (he always did that when Corey was around. . .like he was afraid to be seen as a big softy. Corey wasn't fooled, but that didn't stop Owen from trying), and there was a picture of Suzie striking a pose beside the head of Frenzy, the Decepticon who nearly killed Simmons, Maggie Madsen, Jack's father-in-law and Glen Whitman. Jack shook his head at his second-in-command.
Here was another picture, this time of a very amused Lacey, fingers curled around their daughter's ankles as Corey did a hand-stand. Corey herself was beaming and trying to make it look like the only thing that stood between her and doing a face plant was her mother's hands. Almost, but not quite, kiddo. But Jack gave her points for trying. Very much her mother's daughter in that respect. And, she was her father's daughter in other ways.
His eyes drifted back to his wife, and he thought again about the previous night, when Ianto Jones found him barely conscious in his hotel room, when he kissed his newest employee. And whether she understood it or not, his young wife was still trying to prove herself to him. Jack wished he knew what to do to reassure her, to ease her insecurities. The trouble was, her insecurities were far different than most people. And while he appreciated her efforts to keep him comfortable, he was also aware that if they both weren't careful, things could backfire. Jack loved his wife and daughter. He would lose them both in time. He didn't want to hurry that along. While Jack hid behind an outgoing mask, he wasn't always good at saying what he wanted to say. It wasn't just telling people that he loved them, though that was a large part of it.
Ianto told him before they left this morning that Lacey was gentle with him, almost painfully gentle. And for that, he was extremely grateful. She didn't lash out at Ianto, and others might have. Further, he remembered that Lacey told him she didn't want him suffering while she was pregnant and couldn't have sex (and talk about a cosmic joke. . .her mother couldn't keep her hands off John as her pregnancies advanced, and Lacey's sex drive was beyond non-existent once she reached five and a half months). Further, Ianto was another man. . .but Lacey wasn't pregnant now. No, another part of his mind reminded him, but you have been away from her for several weeks, under a significant amount of stress, and without any friends. Not a good thing for a man from your time period, you know that.
He would have to talk to his wife when he returned to the States, preferably face to face, although a telephone conversation would work just as well. No, it wouldn't. Maybe a post-coital conversation, once he talked her into freeing him from the scarves. Tying him to the bed and having her way with him was one of her favorite things, and Jack usually handed her the scarves when he did or said something that hurt her (or when he scared the ever-living hell out of her, as he did with his collapse the previous night). While his wife was an incredibly patient woman, she did have her limits. One day, early in their marriage, he made a reference to 'quaint mores,' something he did without thinking sometimes. Or when he wanted to get someone's attention. And it worked. . .just not always the way he wanted it to.
This particular time, evidently frustrated by her own boredom and inability to find a job, she lost her temper and rather than kicking him out of their bed, she slept elsewhere instead. Jack was still miserable without her curled against him and knowing that he did something to hurt her. Early the following morning, after restlessly pacing in their bedroom, he slipped into the sitting room, scooped her up and carried her back to bed. Once she was awake and coherent, they had a proper conversation ('you should have told me that it upset you, instead of pushing it aside!'), and then Lacey asked if she could tie him up that night. She hadn't slept well, either. And they both made up for that lost night. Oooh, did they make up for it! Jack smiled, remembering that particular night with great fondness. In fact, it was second only to their wedding night in terms of passion, creativity, and. . . other things.
"Captain Harkness, I just received notification from the Secretary of Defense. We'll be landing at Creech Air Force Base, where Optimus Prime will be meeting us, along with Ironhide," one of the airmen told him, approaching from the cockpit. Jack nodded his thanks, and the young airmen added, "Ironhide asks you to remember that while he is a warrior, he can carry things as well. Mrs. Lennox does it often enough." Jack laughed aloud at that remark. Yes, he could imagine that Sarah Lennox found her husband's new friend very useful in that regard. But the airmen wasn't finished. He told Jack, "Captain Lennox also asks that you go over the new personnel who will be arriving at Hoover Dam. The first set will start arriving in two weeks." Jack grimaced, but nodding in acknowledgment of the reminder. He would have to thank him in a Sarah-approved way. This meant no kissing, because Sarah didn't share her man that way.
That was fine. He turned his attention to the files in question, looking over the new names. Rhys Williams, from Cardiff. Intrigued, Jack opened his file. Early thirties, a lorry driver for Harwood Haulage, girlfriend was a constable in Cardiff. First encounter was with the Autobot called 'Wheeljack.' The immortal read the account of the encounter, a briefing written up by Will when the young man first joined NEST. Interesting.