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Sleeping Soul - Chapter 2

Title: Sleeping Soul
Pairing: Jack/Ianto
Rating: PG-13
Dislcaimer: 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's that's even bigger than the Cyberwoman.

Chapter 1

Chapter 2
When his alarm sounded the next morning Ianto woke refreshed and well rested, just as expected. For a while he just lay there, thinking about the strange appearance of Jack in his dream and the even stranger conversation they’d had. He still wasn’t sure what his subconscious wanted to tell him, but he knew it was no use thinking too much about it.
Sighing he got up and padded into his bathroom to take a quick shower. Afterwards he put on one of his suits, went outside to his car and started driving. He didn’t bother to make breakfast – it was far too early in the morning for him to even be hungry. He would make himself something later, after he had a cup of coffee. The fridge in the small kitchen area in the Hub was always stocked with enough food to make some decent sandwiches; and as Ianto was the one who was responsible for filling it, it held mostly food he liked.
As always he was the first one to arrive in the Hub, not counting Jack, who was living there. But just as every day in the last week, the Hub was still dark and quiet when Ianto entered – obviously Jack wasn’t up yet. Moving as quietly as he could Ianto went up to the kitchen area and started making coffee.
By the time he finished he could hear sounds coming from Jack’s quarters, and when he entered Jack’s office to bring him his first cup Jack was already sitting at his desk, apparently completely absorbed with the paperwork there. He answered Ianto’s “Good morning, sir,” with a fleeting smile when he put down the coffee but didn’t look up at him. Ianto hesitated for a moment, then he turned around and went back to fetch himself a cup of coffee, too.
If Jack hadn’t left them the way he did, Ianto maybe would have tried to talk to him, to find out what was troubling him. Because there clearly was something troubling Jack, Ianto was sure he knew him well enough to read his behaviour right. Even before their relationship had taken a more physical aspect he had always been able to read Jack’s moods, sometimes even before Jack himself was aware of them. Probably because he was used to watching Jack very closely – first because he wanted to prevent him finding out about Lisa, then because he had to atone for endangering the world with another Cybermen invasion, and after that… probably because he liked watching Jack. Still did, if he had to be honest.
But that didn’t matter anymore, or so Ianto told himself. His relationship with Jack wasn’t like it had been before – they were strictly boss and employee now, nothing more. And even before Jack had vanished with the Doctor he’d never confided in Ianto – obviously, or his disappearance wouldn’t have been such a surprise for him. Now Ianto wanted to keep his emotional distance, and showing concern would seriously interfere with this plan. Besides, it would feel weird – especially after that strange dream he had last night.
Thankfully it didn’t take long for Tosh to arrive and Ianto was glad he had someone to talk to – or maybe more precisely, someone who distracted him from thinking too much about Jack. Owen and Gwen arrived sometime later too, and not long after that the four of them were off to investigate some strange readings they got, leaving Ianto on his own in the Hub. Not that he minded. Although he wasn’t just the teaboy anymore; Jack had started to take him on field trips before he vanished, and after that being a field agent had been a necessity as they had been one team member short. But now and then Ianto enjoyed being left behind – he liked the quiet time he had then and he always put it to use by doing some necessary organisational tasks or simply sorting back the files the others always left lying around.
When the others finally came back again, Ianto was pleased with how much filing he had been able to finish during their absence; it meant he would be able to go home early for once, too. Apparently the strange reading the team had investigated had turned out to be genuine, because they came back with some strange alien artefact that had Tosh happily technobabbling without even taking a breath. Or so it seamed to Ianto’s amusement.
The day ended just as ordinary and almost boring as it started – except for Tosh, of course – but Ianto wasn’t really complaining. After all, an interesting day at Torchwood didn’t necessarily mean good. With that thought Ianto locked the door of the Tourist Information and went to his car.
“Are you sure that this is your dream?”
Ianto sighed a little bit exasperated. Once again he was standing on the grey plains, with Jack in front of him, and this was the second time Jack had asked him this question – the third if he counted the dream of the night before. But unlike the night before he didn’t seem to accept Ianto’s affirmative answer quite as readily. Instead he frowned and looked at Ianto thoughtfully.
“So, why are you dreaming of me again?” he finally asked.
Ianto couldn’t help himself and scowled angrily at Jack. He would have scowled at his subconscious, but unfortunately his subconscious didn’t have a body. Unless this Jack he was dreaming of again was some sort of personification of his subconscious, in which case his scowling was directed just at the right person… subconscious… split personality… whatever.
“Can’t get enough of me?” Jack nodded knowingly and smirked at Ianto. “Quite understandable.”
“No!” Ianto gritted out. “It’s not ‘quite understandable’!”
“It’s not?” Jack looked at him puzzled. “Why not? I thought you like me.”
Ianto just pressed his lips together and silently counted to ten. It was no use to get angry with this Jack.
“Ianto?” Jack took a step closer. “Come on, talk to me. You said you like me yesterday. Did you lie?”
“Then what’s the matter?” Jack tilted his head and looked at Ianto worriedly. That look was what made Ianto finally snap. Because the real Jack had never looked at him like that – like he really cared.
“You left me!” Ianto shouted. “You left! You just up and disappeared, without a sign, without a word, without a single thought what that meant for the team, what it meant for me! I wasn’t even important enough for a ‘Goodbye Ianto, it was nice,’ to you! That’s the matter!” Ianto stopped, breathing hard. He stared at Jack for a long moment who stared back with a shocked expression. “I wasn’t important enough,” Ianto finally finished and lowered his gaze.
“I… I left?” Jack’s voice sounded unbelieving.
Ianto raised his eyes at Jack again. “Yes,” he simply answered.
Jack looked positively distraught. “I… don’t understand,” he almost whispered.
Ianto sighed and closed his eyes. Apparently this emotional outbreak had only waited to happen. He just wasn’t so sure how sensible it was to confront this Jack with his feelings about his disappearance. After all, it wasn’t as if this Jack could change anything about it. He was just a figment of Ianto’s imagination.
“Why didn’t you tell me that last night?” Jack asked. “You said we were friends.”
“I also said that it’s complicated,” Ianto answered and opened his eyes again. “You left, and if you’d stayed away everything would have been simpler. But you came back and now everything’s… just… confusing.”
After a long moment of silence Jack finally asked, “Why did I leave?”
“I don’t know. You didn’t tell us,” Ianto answered. “You never tell us anything about you. And before you ask, you also didn’t tell us why you came back. Not because of me, that’s for sure,” he added more to himself.
“Why would you say something like that?” Jack asked.
Ianto looked at him surprised. “You’ve been back for a week now. You had enough opportunities to talk to me or to otherwise show me if I had been the reason of your return.” Ianto shrugged. “You didn’t.”
Again Jack just looked at him for a long time without saying anything. Then he lowered his eyes and quietly said, “I don’t sound like a very nice person.”
Ianto sighed again. Although this Jack wasn’t real he nevertheless didn’t want to hurt him – and just how pathetic was that? He raised his hand and placed it on Jack’s shoulder. “But you are,” he said.
Jack raised his head and arched one eyebrow.
“Maybe nice isn’t the right word to describe you,” Ianto corrected himself. “But you’re not a bad person. You’re not intentionally cruel. I know that you didn’t do it just to hurt me. It’s just that you didn’t feel the same for me, and so I never really was a considering factor in your decisions. It hurts, but I will get over it.”
Jack tilted his head and looked at Ianto searchingly. “I didn’t feel the same? The same as what?”
Ianto stared at him but didn’t say anything. He wanted to, he really did, but even though this wasn’t the real Jack it still was difficult to talk about his feelings to him. He didn’t think he could do it.
“Ianto?” Jack asked. “What do you feel for me?”
Ianto swallowed but still couldn’t say anything. He couldn’t even lower his gaze to stop looking directly into Jack’s almost hypnotic blue eyes.
“You said we are friends now. Complicated friends,” Jack hastily corrected when Ianto opened his mouth to object, “but friends. What have we been before I left?”
Ianto hesitated and Jack stepped closer. Just a centimetre more and they would be touching from head to toe. Ianto shivered a little, but didn’t back away.
“Tell me,” Jack murmured. “Were we lovers?”
“No,” Ianto whispered. “We weren’t lovers. We had an arrangement. To relieve stress… and to comfort…”
“An arrangement?” Jack asked and placed his right hand on Ianto’s cheek. “That sound’s awfully cold. Almost clinical.”
“It wasn’t,” Ianto murmured. Jack’s face was so close now he could almost taste his skin. “We had fun…”
Jack smiled, and the next second his mouth closed over Ianto’s in a kiss. Ianto closed his eyes in bliss. This dream-Jack felt exactly like he remembered the real Jack – his lips, his taste, even his technique. It was the kiss itself that was different. Just like the kiss after Jack’s death by Abaddon it was sweet and caring, almost loving. But at the same time it was hot, seductive and mind-blowing, just like the other kisses Jack had given him before. It was like an amalgamation of both and it was surely turning Ianto into a puddle of goo.
“Jack,” Ianto murmured when Jack finally let him get some much needed breath. “Don’t…”
“Don’t?” Jack asked and kissed him again. “‘Don’t kiss me’ or ‘Don’t stop’?”
Ianto actually needed some moments to understand what Jack was asking him. That Jack was nibbling and kissing down his neck and up again to his earlobe didn’t really help him getting a clearer mind. “This is not a good idea…” he finally got out.
Jack actually stopped and leaned back to look at Ianto. “Do you really want me to stop?” he asked.
Ianto returned Jack’s passionate look for a moment. Did he want him to stop? He wasn’t sure. But what could be positively wrong in kissing this Jack? It was just a dream, there was no need to keep his distance. No need to push him away. So he wound his arms around Jack’s neck instead, pulled him closer and pressed their lips together again.
To say that the next day at the Hub felt awkward would be the understatement of the year. Every time Ianto looked at Jack he remembered the kisses of his dream. Or when Jack talked. Or drank coffee. Or breathed. He didn’t even have to be in the same room as Ianto – oh who was he kidding? There wasn’t a single moment during the whole day when Ianto didn’t think about the kisses he shared with his dream-Jack. They just seemed so real to him and he couldn’t help blushing every time he thought how it would be if the real Jack would kiss him like that.
But there was no chance that would ever happen, Ianto knew that. Maybe that was the reason why those kisses had been so overwhelmingly good. They were just wishful thinking on his part. Nothing in reality could be that good – because that would be just unfair. If the real Jack had ever kissed him like that – Ianto was sure he would have forgiven him all and everything. Even thinking about this possibility made Ianto’s mind reel.
That was just how Gwen found him – standing in the kitchen area, a forgotten cup of coffee in his hand and staring down at Jack with a wistful expression on his face.
Gwen looked at him for a moment, then followed his gaze. A pitying expression settled on her face. “Oh pet,” she said and placed her hand on Ianto’s arm. “Don’t do this to yourself.”
Ianto almost jumped at her touch. He hadn’t noticed her entering the kitchen area and had been startled when she suddenly started to speak.
“You know Jack,” she continued with a compassionate sigh. “He’s just… Jack. It’s not your fault he doesn’t feel that way for you.”
Ianto stared at her for a moment. Ever since Jack had kissed him in front of everyone and then vanished only hours later Gwen had made comments like this one. Always about how Jack wasn’t the type to settle down and make commitments, how it wasn’t Ianto’s fault that Jack left and so on. To be honest, Ianto preferred Owen’s jibes to Gwen’s compassionate speeches. At least with Owen he knew where he stood. Gwen however… Ianto never knew if she was genuinely concerned for him or just plainly mean.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he finally said and turned his back to Gwen. He started to clean the coffee maker – not that it needed cleaning, but it gave him something to do whereas he could ignore Gwen.
Gwen didn’t say anything else, just patted him on the back and left again. Ianto stayed a little longer in the kitchen but when he finally emerged he made a conscious effort to not think about last night’s dream. He was a professional after all, and therefore he would act like one. Even if it made it look as if he avoided Jack.
For the rest of the day Ianto helped Tosh with the alien artefact they found the day before. There were some strange characters or symbols on one side of the artefact, and Ianto tried to find something similar in the archives. He hadn’t found anything by the end of the day, but at least he had been able to eliminate six alien languages. Even if they might never be able to exactly tell where the artefact came from, at least they could find out where it didn’t come from. That had to count as some kind of success, too.
When Ianto finally went home he almost dreaded to go to sleep. On the one hand he would really like to dream about Jack again – to kiss him again and maybe do even more than that. He couldn’t have the real Jack, after all, so maybe he could be content with his dream substitute.
On the other hand, if he dreamt of Jack again and they would kiss again… Ianto wasn’t sure he could survive another day like the one he just had. And if they did even more than kiss… No. He would never be able to look at Jack again without turning the colour of a tomato. Or jump Jack and ravish him right where he stood. Jack probably wouldn’t object, but that would only create more problems than anything else.
But he couldn’t delay going to sleep forever, and so he finally found himself dreaming again. And just like the last two nights it was about the grey plains. Ianto stared around incredulously. That was just impossible! He had never before had the same dream so often! Twice a week had been the most he had ever dreamt of the grey plains, and then never in such quick succession! And now he’d had this dream three nights in a row! Something wasn’t right.
Ianto turned around and there was Jack again, just as he had almost feared. That were two discrepancies now – dreaming of the grey plains three nights in a row and Jack’s appearance in every one of this dreams. He’d never before dreamt of the same things even twice when he was dreaming of the grey plains.
“Ianto, I have to talk to you!”
Ianto frowned. Jack looked worried and almost nervous. And something else seemed different, although Ianto couldn’t really say what made him think that. “Jack?” he asked. “What’s the matter?”
Jack grimaced. “This is going to sound really strange, but you have to believe me, Ianto.” He grasped Ianto’s upper arms and looked at him pleadingly.
“Jack? What’s up?” Ianto asked again, alarmed by Jack’s strange behaviour. “You’re really worrying me here.”
Jack took a deep breath as if to take courage, then he said, “I know it sounds unbelievable, Ianto, but this is not a dream.”



( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 14th, 2007 05:51 pm (UTC)
nice chapter. And a very nice Cliffy :-)
Sep. 15th, 2007 02:58 pm (UTC)
I already answered to your comment, but to prevent you from pouting: thank you!

Sep. 14th, 2007 07:07 pm (UTC)
oo the suspense is mounting, very cruel, in a good way, place to leave the chapter. Loving it. aw dream Jack is real Jack, i was hoping that throughout the fic-yay!.

Brilliant cant wait for more.
Sep. 15th, 2007 03:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

Of course dream Jack is... kind of... real Jack. I wouldn't be so cruel to give Ianto such a nice Jack and then not make him real somehow... After all, I'm a Happy End addict. ^_^

And I love cliffhangers - that is, if I am the onw who's writing them. ^__^
Sep. 14th, 2007 07:20 pm (UTC)
Gespaltene Persönlichkeit oder so was in der Art? Aufgrund der Folter in dem einem Jahr beim Master. (Wer weiß, was der alles mit ihm gemacht hat.) Traum-Jack und Echt-Jack zusammen ergeben erst den wahren Jack. Weil, der 'echte' Jack ist nicht er selbst und der Traum-Jack auch nicht.

Hab ich schon gesagt, ein tolles Kapitel und ein ein gaaaaanz fieser Cliffhanger. Wieder mal.
Sep. 15th, 2007 03:03 pm (UTC)
Nah dran, aber immer noch nicht ganz *g*. Aber immerhin ähnelst du langsam wieder der Soryu die wir alle kennen und lieben (also die, die immer schon im Prolog den gesamten Plot zu kennen scheint *g*).

Und du weißt ja, Cliffies, das ist das wovon wir Autoren leben *g*. Je fieser desto besser (es sei denn ICH muß die bei jemand anderem lesen. Dann ist es fies).
Sep. 14th, 2007 09:26 pm (UTC)
Oh when si that next chapter coming out???
Sep. 15th, 2007 03:04 pm (UTC)
Soon, I hope. I'm working on it right now. ^_^
Sep. 15th, 2007 04:29 pm (UTC)
Hooray for that!
Sep. 14th, 2007 09:40 pm (UTC)
omg I really need to find out what happens next. i love this story, and i really want to know how the prologue will tie in.

not demanding at all :)
Sep. 15th, 2007 03:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm happy you like it.

(And I never would have thought you to be demanding, really not! ^_~)
Sep. 14th, 2007 10:35 pm (UTC)
More soon plz?
Sep. 15th, 2007 03:30 pm (UTC)
I'm working on it. ^_^
Sep. 14th, 2007 11:26 pm (UTC)
Oooo, this is gooood. More? Please? Soon?
Sep. 15th, 2007 03:31 pm (UTC)
Like I said, I'm working on it! ^_^
Sep. 15th, 2007 01:44 am (UTC)
Very good.
Sep. 15th, 2007 03:31 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Sep. 15th, 2007 03:28 am (UTC)
You know, I wasn't completely sure about this series when it started, but now you've got me 100% hooked. Great job on writing an engaging premise!
Sep. 15th, 2007 03:45 pm (UTC)
That's one of the nicest comments I got! Thank you! ^_^
Sep. 15th, 2007 10:51 pm (UTC)
Hey, you did the writing, you deserve it ^_^ I'm all interested for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that I can see about 3 different ways this could play out/be explained, and I'm all anxious to see where it goes.
Sep. 15th, 2007 06:22 am (UTC)
Wait, what...huh? MORE please! I'm not sure I can take the suspense!
Sep. 15th, 2007 03:50 pm (UTC)
I'm working on the next chapter, but I fear you'll have to wait a few days for it. ^_^
Sep. 15th, 2007 08:41 am (UTC)
Nyah! You cannot leave it there! I can't wait for the next chapter! x More Soon Pleassssse
Sep. 15th, 2007 03:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, I definitely can and I did! What can I say? I'm evil! ^_~ Glad you liked it!
Sep. 15th, 2007 05:40 pm (UTC)
What a mystery! I really want to know what Jack has to says. You've done a great job of making an extremely interesting story ^_^
Sep. 15th, 2007 06:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you! That's why I love reader's comments - I got to read the nicest things! ^_^
Sep. 20th, 2007 06:33 pm (UTC)
I'm hooked, reading your stuff instead of doing very important things (like laundry, for heaven's sake), so a little pity. Please? The next chapter, like *now*?!
Sep. 22nd, 2007 05:49 pm (UTC)
Oooh nice!
Jan. 29th, 2010 11:40 pm (UTC)
hahaha not a dream
( 29 comments — Leave a comment )