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Sleeping Soul - Chapter 1

Title: Sleeping Soul
Author: Zanna
Pairing: Jack/Ianto
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: They belong to the BBC and RTD, not to me.
Spoilers: all throughout S1, Doctor Who "Last of the Time Lords"
Beta: laren01    and koryou    
Summary: The year that never was changed Jack in a way even he himself doesn't notice, and now Ianto has a secret that's even bigger than the Cyberwoman.
A/N: So, here it is, the first chapter. Sorry for the delay, it took me longer to finish it than I thought (RL got in the way). But I want to reassure you, that even if this is a WIP, I've never abandoned a story before. I already finished several multi-chapter stories (one of them had 37 chapters) – even though not in this fandom – and I plan on finishing this one. I never start a story before I really thought about where and when it will lead. I know exactly what will happen and why it will happen. Just the ‘how’ is not set in stone yet, the only ‘work in process’ in this story. I try to update once a week (and my Beta is always nagging me to write more, more, more, so there’s no way I could forget ^_^).

Chapter 1

The Hub

Cardiff, Earth

17 September 2008

Ianto made a last round through the Hub before he closed down everything for the evening. Although Owen hadn’t been there for hours to leave clutter wherever he went the Hub was weird in that matter. Things appeared at places they shouldn’t be, so Ianto liked to take a last look every evening before he went home.
But everything seemed to be alright and Ianto just powered down the workstations – every one but Tosh’s as she was the only one who left her computer working on purpose. Owen and Gwen just seemed to be too lazy to do it by themselves.
On his way out he cast a last glance at Jack’s office. If Jack was still there Ianto would offer him a coffee before he went, but the office was empty. The faint glow from the manhole indicated that Jack had called it an early night today, and Ianto didn’t want to disturb him.
After locking the door to the tourist information Ianto went to his car, got inside and started his way home. He could have gotten a flat within walking distance to the hub, he guessed, but he liked his little house in the suburbs. And sometimes he was more than glad to be as far away from Torchwood as possible.
The streets where quiet and empty this late in the evening causing Ianto’s mind to start wandering; just like always in the last few days it wandered to Jack. Since his return almost a week ago Jack had been… different.
It wasn’t really a noticeable change – Ianto doubted that one of the others noticed anything – but Ianto was used to watching Jack unobtrusively. It was a habit that was hard to break, even after Jack had left them without a word and returned just as sudden and without an explanation.
They knew, of course, that Jack had left with the Doctor. Ianto and Tosh had recognised the sound that had accompanied Jack’s disappearance, and then there had been those warrants of apprehension for Jack, Martha Jones and the Doctor that had been broadcasted all over every TV station shortly before the mess on the Valiant.
And then Jack had come back. The others had been relieved and happy to have him back, and Ianto was too, to a certain degree. He was glad that Jack was back where Ianto could keep an eye on him, glad that he was back to be their leader – to tell the truth, he and Owen had constantly been arguing about how to proceed and what to do, and if that had lasted for another month Ianto was sure one of them would have been killed by the other. But a not so small part of him was angry.
Angry that Jack had left, just like that, as if none of them was worth a goodbye, and even angrier that he didn’t even give an explanation when he returned. Gwen, Owen and Tosh had forgiven him everything the moment he strolled into the Hub, or so it seemed. But Ianto wasn’t sure that he could just forgive and forget like that. He wasn’t sure he wanted to forgive and forget like that.
After all… he and Jack… they hadn’t just been colleagues. They had been… Ianto wasn’t sure what to call it. They hadn’t been lovers. There never had been a promise of exclusivity. There never had been any mention of love or similar emotions. There had been flirting, still was, but sometimes Ianto supposed that Jack was just physically incapable of not flirting with everything and everyone. And there had been sex.
The first time they had sex was after that awful excursion to the countryside. It had been all about comfort and reassurance that they were still alive. A way to banish the nightmares that were sure to come. Jack had never promised Ianto anything, never told lies, never demanded anything that he wasn’t ready to give himself.
And at first Ianto had been content with this kind of – he couldn’t even call it a relationship. Agreement, that was the right word. He had been content with their agreement. To tell the truth, Ianto highly doubted he would have been able to handle anything more than this. He still had been hurting after Lisa, and although he stopped blaming Jack for her death almost immediately after he had slept some hours and had been able to think clearly again, her loss still had hurt like acid in his veins.
It was just after Jack’s death by Abaddon that Ianto realised that somewhere along the way he had fallen in love. He couldn’t even say when that had happened. He just knew that losing Jack was just as painful as losing Lisa had been. Maybe even more so, because it hit him completely out of the blue. He had been crying for hours, sitting in Jack’s office and clinging to his greatcoat.
And then Jack had been alive again, and he kissed him. Kissed him in front of the others, although he’d always been painstakingly careful to separate business from pleasure. No matter what they did after everyone else had gone home, neither Jack nor Ianto had ever behaved anything but professionally when Gwen, Owen or Tosh had been around.
Jack had broken this unspoken rule and kissed him in front of the others, and the kiss itself… They’d never just kissed for the sake of it. Kissing had always led to sex, and besides, stolen, hasty kisses in hidden corners, just because none of them could keep his hands off the other, that was something that lovers did. And they hadn’t been. In love, that is.
But this kiss… this kiss had been different. It had been sweet and tender and affectionate. Everything their former agreement hadn’t been. And Ianto had started to think, started to hope that maybe, maybe, Jack could also feel something for him. That maybe Jack wasn’t content with their somewhat cold agreement anymore, too.
He had been wrong. Apparently. Because only some hours after that Jack had gone with the Doctor, without a thought or a goodbye for his team, for Ianto. If Jack had been feeling something for him, if Jack had cared for him, he wouldn’t have vanished just like that. Even if there had been a good reason for him to go, he wouldn’t have left without saying anything.
And so, in the months that followed, Ianto had tried not to be hurt. Had tried to convince himself that he hadn’t been left, because Jack had never been his to begin with. Had tried to be reasonable. It hadn’t really worked, but it had helped him to keep up appearances. He was pretty sure neither Tosh nor Gwen and Owen had noticed how much he missed Jack. And he had. He had really, really missed him.
At first he had hoped every day that Jack would come back to them, to him. Then he had hoped that he was happy, wherever he was now. Because it wasn’t just a simple infatuation, he really loved Jack, and he wanted him to be happy. And then Jack had come back, and Ianto had realised that even though he was really glad to have him back, he couldn’t just continue with their former agreement as if nothing had happened. Because he still loved Jack and now that he knew he loved him, having this cold only-sex-no-emotions-attached kind of relationship would hurt him even more than all this months that Jack had been away.
But Jack hadn’t even tried to resume their late night activities. First Ianto had been anxious about it. He had toyed with the idea of leaving early, with Tosh maybe, so that he wouldn’t be left alone with Jack. He wasn’t so sure he could stay firm if Jack tried to seduce him, better to avoid every temptation. But there had been a lot of filing that had to be done, and Ianto normally always did the filing in the evenings, after Tosh, Gwen and Owen had left. There were just too many disturbances during the day. And not doing the filing on one day meant he would have twice the amount left on the next. He couldn’t put it off indefinitely.
So he had discarded that idea and stayed behind, just as always. But Jack hadn’t tried anything. He had smiled and thanked him for his late night coffee, but he hadn’t tried to make Ianto stay. Hadn’t tried to touch Ianto. Hadn’t even made some innuendos.
Ianto had been… puzzled. Not that he wanted to be seduced by Jack. Far from it. Or that he thought himself to be so irresistible. But it was just so out of character. Because they’d had fun, a lot of fun, when they’d been together, and the Jack he knew would at least try to have that again. If Ianto rejected him, Jack would respect it and wouldn’t try to seduce him again, Ianto was pretty sure of that. But Ianto hadn’t even had the chance to reject him, so why didn’t Jack try anything?
Ianto snorted. Maybe that was what irked him so much. That Jack hadn’t even given him the chance to say no. Maybe he’d wanted, needed to say no, if only to have some kind of closure. It would be just his kind of luck that Jack had lost interest in him long before the reverse could happen.
But it wasn’t just that, Ianto thought only moments later. Jack seemed to be more quiet, more withdrawn, more distant, even if Ianto seemed to be the only one who noticed it as Jack was his usual exuberant self whenever Tosh, Gwen and Owen were around. Sometimes Jack seemed to be absent minded. No, that wasn’t the right word. Daydreaming? No, that wasn’t it either. It was as if sometimes Jack would notice something only he could see or hear. As if he wasn’t really there with them.
And he slept.
Ianto knew from personal experience that Jack only needed very little sleep, if anything at all. He could have counted the hours Jack slept in one week on one hand, and there would have been more than one finger left.But now…
Now Jack slept every night. Ianto knew because he came in just as early as ever and he had found Jack still sleeping in his quarters more than once. Not that Ianto thought it was a bad thing. It was just… strange.
Finally arriving in his street stopped Ianto’s wandering thoughts. With a little sigh he parked his car, got out and locked it. He entered his house, kicked his shoes off and shuffled into the kitchen. He wasn’t really hungry, but he was thirsty and so he fetched a bottle of water out of the fridge.
He drank half of the bottle on his way to his bedroom and put it down on his bedside table. Yawning he undressed, put the clothes into the laundry basket and put on a pair of pyjama bottoms, before he slipped under his blanket. He was tired, but unlike Jack Ianto hadn’t been able to get a good nights sleep in weeks. Months. He was always tossing and turning, waking at the smallest noise and generally not getting any rest.
It took him some time to fall asleep this night, too, but when he finally did he found himself standing in a wide, grey plain. He couldn’t make out a horizon or an edge. He couldn’t even tell where the ‘ground’ ended and the ‘sky’ began. Everything was tinted in an identically shade of grey.
Ianto smiled. He hadn’t had this particularly dream in months, and he’d missed it. He didn’t know why, but every time he dreamed of this grey plain he woke up refreshed, calm and rested. Even if he’d had only some few hours of sleep.
He started walking, hoping to find something interesting. Even if it looked as if there was nothing than grey, as if he could see for miles, he knew it wasn’t so. Sometimes he found big and breathtaking scenes like forests and oceans, sometimes small little things like puzzles and odd gadgets that could hold his attention forever, sometimes he found nothing but endless grey. It could jump at him out of nothing, suddenly and overwhelming, or he could see it in the distance and slowly getting closer. It was always new, always different. It was always peaceful.
This night, it seemed, it was one of the occasions he could see whatever he would find long before he reached it. Because after only two minutes of walking he could make out a shape, lying on the ‘floor’. He couldn’t make out what it was, he was too far away, but he thought it was approximately as big as he was tall. When he got nearer he could see that it was another human being, a man as far as he could say.
Ianto stopped for a moment, puzzled. He’d never met another person in this dreams before. It was always things and plants, but never people. Not even animals. This was definitely new. Slowly Ianto approached the man, just to stop and stare incredulously when he finally reached him.
It wasn’t just any man. It was Jack.
He was lying on his back, the arms folded under his head and gazing into the ‘sky’. He was humming quietly an unrecognisable melody. And, apparently, he hadn’t noticed Ianto yet.
“Jack?” Ianto asked incredulously.
Jack turned his head and looked at Ianto. “Oh,” he said and smiled. “Hello. Didn’t see you there.”
Ianto gaped at him. “What are you doing here?” Then he shook his head exasperated at himself. “Forget what I said. This is my dream, after all.” It could hardly be dream-Jack’s fault that he was here. Ianto made a note to have a serious talk with his subconsciousness after this. Wasn’t it enough that he had to deal with Jack when he was awake?
“This is your dream?” Jack asked him, somewhat bewildered. “Are you sure?”
Ianto gave him a dry look, then he sat down beside him. “Of course it is.”
“Ah, ok,” Jack said and nodded. Then he turned his head back and looked again up in the ‘sky’.
Ianto followed his gaze, but there was just grey. “What are you doing?” he finally asked, after minutes of silently staring at nothing.
“Watching,” Jack answered.
Ianto stared at Jack for a moment, then he looked up again. Still only grey. “What are you watching?”
“Things. Snatches of… memories. I think.”
Ianto narrowed his eyes, trying to see what Jack apparently was seeing. “Snatches of memories?” he finally asked. “Whose memories?”
“I don’t know,” answered Jack. “Mine, I thought, but then you said this is your dream. So maybe they’re yours.”
“And what are they showing?” A part of Ianto was shaking his head over the surrealism of this conversation, but the by far bigger part of him was strangely curious where it would lead.
“I’m not sure,” Jack said. “They’re blurry. I’ve been trying forever to get a clear picture. Then you came.” Jack turned his head to look at Ianto again. He frowned, as if he was registering, really registering, Ianto for the first time. “Who are you?”
Ianto looked at him incredulously. “I’m Ianto. You know who I am.”
“No, I don’t,” was the puzzled answer. “Where do I know you from?”
“Jack!” Ianto said exasperated. Why on earth would he dream of a Jack, who didn’t know him?
“What?” Jack answered in the same exasperated tone of voice. “I really don’t know you, but you seem to know me, so maybe I just forgot, but I don’t think so because I’m sure that I would remember you if I’d ever met you!” He finally took a breath and winked at him.
Ianto sighed. Well, that surely was the Jack he knew. But that still didn’t explain why he would dream of a Jack who didn’t know him. Maybe he subconsciously wished he could make a new start with Jack, and this was the result of it?
“I’m Ianto,” Ianto repeated, “and we work together.”
“We do?” Jack asked. “So why would you dream of me? I mean, it’s blatantly clear that I’m incredibly gorgeous and charming, anyone would dream of me, so no wonder there. But why would you want me to not know you?”
Ianto glared at Jack. “I don’t know,” he snapped. “Maybe I’m going crazy.”
“People dream of me when they’re going crazy?” Jack blinked. “Somehow that doesn’t sound especially flattering.”
“I don’t know about people in general,” Ianto answered. “But I’m pretty sure that it’s just me who’s so lucky.”
“I see,” Jack smiled his big, charming smile and rolled onto his side so he could see Ianto better. “And tell me, if we’re really working together… do you like me?”
“At the moment? No.”
“And at other times?” Jack’s smile got even bigger, if that was possible.
“We’re kind of… friends,” Ianto finally answered. “I think. It’s complicated.” God, why the hell did he have to analyse his relationship with Jack now? And then with Jack of all people! Sometimes he hated his subconsciousness. “You are my boss. And we… I… It’s complicated,” he said again.
“Friends?” Jack asked, his head tilted. “Or… more than friends?”
Ianto glared at him again. “Friends,” he said resolutely. “I think,” he added immediately, his uncertainty showing itself. “I hope. I… Don’t you have memories to watch or something like that?” he shouted almost desperately. He didn’t want to talk about this, really not.
Jack chuckled. “You’re far more interesting. So, sadly not more than friends,” Jack let out an exaggerated disappointed sigh. “Shame on me.” He paused for some moments, then he continued. “So, what do we do? The job, I mean.”
“Torchwood,” Ianto answered.
“Torchwood?” Jack tilted his head again. “What’s that? Some kind of flashlight business?”
A short laugh escaped Ianto. “No,” he said, still smiling. “We’re hunting Aliens. To protect Earth.”
“Really?” Jack asked. “Hunting Aliens, hm. Sounds kind of familiar…” He paused and frowned. “Sounds like something I would like.”
“You do,” Ianto confirmed. “I think it’s all the running and shouting. You get grouchy if you can’t hunt down at least one Weevil every other day. You don’t like being locked up in the Hub all the time.”
Jack stared at him incredulously. “You make me sound like some kind of dog,” he finally complained.
Ianto grinned at him. “Well, now that you’re mentioning it…”
Jack growled, then he laughed. “Ok, ok, I do like running. Sets free all kind of endorphins and other happy hormones. Makes me horny, too.” He leered.
Ianto rolled his eyes. “I should have known,” he murmured, shaking his head. But he was still smiling, and didn’t feel like stopping in the near future. Now, that all those uncomfortable questions about their relationship seemed to be over, he kind of liked talking with this Jack. He couldn’t remember when he last had felt so relaxed and happy in Jack’s presence. Or if ever. But here, with this Jack who didn’t know him, he felt… good. It was such a simple word, but it expressed everything and exactly how he felt. If only the Jack outside of his dream could be like this one. Ianto knew, that it wouldn’t be complicated at all to be friends with this Jack. Friends… and maybe even more.


( 45 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 4th, 2007 11:01 am (UTC)
Thank you! ^_^
Sep. 3rd, 2007 07:04 pm (UTC)
i love this, it has me intrigued as to where your going with it next (which i always like). Gorgeous writing. Big fan of the surrealism of this.

Poor Ianto (in the 'real' world).

It the kind of dream everyone has had once in a while (well not necesarily about Ianto & Jack) but the perils of the subconcious.

Great stuff.
Sep. 4th, 2007 11:06 am (UTC)
Oh, I wouldn't object to having dreams about Jack and Ianto - even surreal ones. ^_^ Well, maybe I already did, but sadly I almost never remember them clearly - only that they were really weird.
Sep. 3rd, 2007 07:24 pm (UTC)
You know what I think of this story.
And so it's no surprise that I can't wait for the next chapter. And that I will nag, nag, nag :-)

I really loved the Jack/Ianto interaction in the dream
Sep. 4th, 2007 11:09 am (UTC)
Thanks. ^_^

The Jack/Ianto interaction was surprisingly easy to write - but I already told you that, didn't I? ^_^

So, were's your story? I feel like I should return all that nagging, so you may consider yourself thoroughly nagged. ^_~
(no subject) - zannabq - Sep. 4th, 2007 11:10 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - laren01 - Sep. 4th, 2007 11:17 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - laren01 - Sep. 4th, 2007 11:16 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - zannabq - Sep. 4th, 2007 11:44 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - laren01 - Sep. 4th, 2007 11:53 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - zannabq - Sep. 4th, 2007 12:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - zannabq - Sep. 4th, 2007 12:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 3rd, 2007 07:30 pm (UTC)
Realistic, unsentimental handling of the Ianto/Jack relationship. Please continue...
Sep. 4th, 2007 11:11 am (UTC)
Thank you!
Sep. 3rd, 2007 08:05 pm (UTC)
hmmm, this is rather interesting. I have been staying away from wips but for some reason I looked on in and I am intrigued! I am interested to see where this is going because it sounds cool so far!
Sep. 4th, 2007 11:19 am (UTC)
Thank you! I feel honoured that you went against your resolution and I hope I manage to keep you intrigued! ^_^
Sep. 3rd, 2007 08:13 pm (UTC)
Hmpf, ich weiß immer noch nicht, um was es geht. Und das macht mich verrückt. Ehrlich.

Aber Traum-Jack gefällt mir. Er ist irgendwie kindlich und lieb. Trotzdem habe ich dabei ein ganz komisches Gefühl . Ich nehme an, Ianto erfährt in diesen Träumen mehr oder weniger was mit Jack los ist. Und es wird nicht schön sein.

Ich bin wirklich gespannt wie es weitergeht. ICh werde Laren antreibe, damit sie dich antreibt.
Sep. 4th, 2007 11:23 am (UTC)
AHA! Das ist der Beweis! Ich hab ja schon immer vermutet dass Larens ChibiSchu, die kleine Ratte, dein heimlicher Informant ist, und dass ist der Beweis! ^_^ Bin ja echt mal gespannt ab wann es dir dämmert worum es geht - und da die meisten anderen hier höchstwahrscheinlich kein Deutsch verstehen, darfst du auch ruhig wie wild in deinen Kommis spekulieren. ^_^

Traum-Jack ist mir echt goldig gelungen, wenn ich das mal selbst so sagen darf. So stell ich mir halt Jack vor ohne all das Düstere was ihn sonst so quält und umgibt. Und ob Ianto so erfährt was mit Jack los ist und ob das schön ist... Ich sag nix.

Du treibst Laren an damit sie mich antreibt? Ist das nicht ein bißchen umständlich, mit Umweg und so?
(no subject) - soryu - Sep. 4th, 2007 02:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - zannabq - Sep. 4th, 2007 02:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - laren01 - Sep. 4th, 2007 02:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - zannabq - Sep. 4th, 2007 03:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - laren01 - Sep. 4th, 2007 03:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - laren01 - Sep. 4th, 2007 02:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - zannabq - Sep. 4th, 2007 03:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - laren01 - Sep. 4th, 2007 03:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - zannabq - Sep. 4th, 2007 03:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 4th, 2007 11:30 am (UTC)
No no no no no! Your jobs are clearly separated - you are responsible for grammar and spelling, and Laren is the residing - hm, how do you say 'Meckertante' in English? *ggg*
And with Soryu to nag Laren to nag me, I don't think I need anyone else to nag me, too. (Wow, there sure's a lot of nagging going around. *g*)
(no subject) - laren01 - Sep. 4th, 2007 11:35 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - zannabq - Sep. 4th, 2007 12:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 3rd, 2007 08:36 pm (UTC)
Oooh I think I'm gonna like this fic alot - very intriguing so far :)
Sep. 4th, 2007 11:30 am (UTC)
Thank you! Glad to hear that. ^_^
Sep. 3rd, 2007 09:45 pm (UTC)
oh how do we get from this to the prolouge I really want to know. I hope you add more soon.
Sep. 4th, 2007 11:32 am (UTC)
I'm working on the next chapter, so you hopefully won't have to wait too long to find out. ^_^
(no subject) - wickedplotbunny - Sep. 4th, 2007 04:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - zannabq - Sep. 12th, 2007 10:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 4th, 2007 07:52 pm (UTC)
Whoa...so wait, is Ianto's subconscious telling him Jack has some sort of amnesia? *ponders the dream and the fic title* Okay, I'm officially curious! More please!
Sep. 12th, 2007 10:46 pm (UTC)
Weeeeell... the fic title is siginificant, in a way, but of course I won't tell you exactly how. ^_~ Not now, anyway. But it will become clear some chapters later.
Sep. 9th, 2007 01:29 pm (UTC)
Very nice - still very intrigued. Will look forward to more. Beautifully written BTW.
Sep. 12th, 2007 10:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Since English isn't my first language that means a lot to me! ^_^
Sep. 14th, 2007 10:45 pm (UTC)
Very interesting story! I love the dream sequence--very surreal! Can't wait for more!
Sep. 15th, 2007 02:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Chapter 2 is already up and I'm working on chapter 3 right now.
Sep. 15th, 2007 12:18 pm (UTC)
Cool! This is an intriguing story looking forward to more (:
Sep. 15th, 2007 02:55 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Writing more right now. ^_^
Jan. 29th, 2010 11:34 pm (UTC)
Wow...two sleeping souls
( 45 comments — Leave a comment )