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Fic: Post-Mortem Part 1

Fic:  Post-Mortem Part 1
Author:  CrabbyLioness
Pairings:  Team, Jack/Ianto mentioned
Summary:  In the wake of Jack's disappearance, Owen tries to figure out what to do next.
Rating:  R for language.  It's Owen, what do you expect?
Disclaimer:  Don't own them.  Don't even like Owen, but "Quincy" has his uses.  Not making a penny.

Owen got in the SUV holding Jack's decanter of medicinal whiskey and a glass.  He tuned the radio to the hard rock station, sprawled on the bench, and poured himself a drink.  There was a problem he needed to thrash out, and the van offered the best combination of comfort, privacy, and security to do it in.  He pulled out his tape recorder and got ready to dictate his notes.  Where to start?

"Right.  Subject's name:  unknown.  Subject uses the name 'Captain Jack Harkness'.  Subject claimed he 'borrowed' that name from a dead RAF pilot in January 1941.  It's now January 2007.  That's 66 years later, folks.  Yet there's no mention of any 'Jack Harkness' in any official records from that time until now.

"As far as internal Torchwood documents go, his personel file is incomplete.  According to the site file there's been a "JH" or "Hark" associated with this site since the land was purchased in 1960.  The handwriting appears to match.  That would put Jack working at Cardiff for 47 years.

"If Jack designed this place, I need to have a talk to him about his taste in architecture.  Couldn't he have picked someplace easier to heat?   With less humidity?  What's with the open water across the main floor?  It's an invitation to all sorts of contaminants.

"Subject appears to be a human Caucasian male in his late 30s.  Subject is -- was -- is very fit with minimal scarring on his body.  There is no known family.

"Okay, let's break this down.  "Caucasian" means he looks white.  He does, no argument there.  "Late 30s" -- according to what he told Tosh he was grown in 1941 so he should be over 80 years old.  Why hasn't he aged any more than he has?  He told Tosh and Gwen 'something happened' to him that left him unable to die.  What happened?  He wouldn't say.  He told Tosh he thought he was being 'saved' for something.  Saved by what?  For what?

"Only he's not 'unable to die.'  He can die, we've also seen him do that more than once.  I've examined his corpse.  His heart stops beating, his body goes cold, there's no eletrical impulses in his brain, no chemical processes going on anywhere that's inconsistent with death.  The last time I trained every medical scanner we've got on him.  There was no spark left in him anywhere.

"And then he just revived.  Gwen said he called her name, sat up, and was fine.  A bit weak, a bit cold, a bit hungry, more than a bit thirsty, but otherwise fine.  Not at all like someone who just came out of a coma.  More like coming out of a long sleep."

Owen turned off the recorder and remembered that day.  No one had gone home since Jack -- since the Rift opened.  The team had taken the couch in shifts.  They had done the usual covering-up and assembling of reports to go into the incident file, but not one word had been written down officially.  No one wanted to write, "Jack Harkness -- deceased."  Finally they were reduced to cleaning and maintenance.  You'd think they were all infected with Ianto's disease the way they went about it.  Owen had never seen the place looking so close to spic-and-span.

Then Jack came back, and everyone was giddy with relief, delight, and exhaustion.  He hugged them all and called for coffee.  They were out, they went out to get some, and by the time they got back Jack was gone.  This time he had physically disappeared right in front of their CCTV moniters.

For a moment they stood around stupid with shock and fatigue, trying to take in what Gwen had told them.  "He's gone.  Something's taken Jack."  Then Gwen ordered Tosh to pull up the scans while she and the men searched the Hub for hours.  They found nothing except for some scattered papers around the main door.

By the time they got back to the main level Tosh was waiting for them with the results.  "Something obscured the visual, but I should have it cleaned up in a moment.  Here's the audio."

"A loud roaring poured from the speakers, sounding incongruously like the wheezing of a giant pump, mixed with a strange swirling sound.  They jumped.

"What the hell is that?"  Owen asked.

"I don't know.   The computer can't even tell if its organic or inorganic."  Tosh shook her head, frustrated.

"It sounds like a dragon."  They all turned to look at Ianto.  He shrugged uncomfortably.  "Well, it's what I imagine a dragon would sound like anyway."

"Come off it!  Dragons aren't real."  Owen said.

"Neither are fairies."  Gwen replied.

Owen rolled his eyes.  If that's a dragon breathing, it must be the size of a house.  So how did it get in here, grab Jack, and get out without being noticed?"

"It sounds too regular to be an animal.  At least, any animal we're familiar with.  Here's the visual." Tosh announced.  They turned to her monitors.  The camera trained on the main entrance showed Jack walking over to look at the containment jars.  As he stared at them the noise began.  Jack looked up and turned his head slightly to one side.  A wind began to ruffle his hair and blow papers about.  The noise got louder.  Jack stood completely still.  Suddenly a bright light swirled over his head, flickering in and out in time with breathing noise.  Bars of light and shadow streamed down from the first light to the ground, while other bars flickered between the vertical ones.  They formed a rectangular cage around Jack.  His image began to flicker in time with the noise, becoming a shadow inside the cage.  Then the noise, the light, the cage, and Jack were gone, leaving only the wind in their wake.

They stared at the monitor in silence.

"Definately not an animal." Owen breathed.

"Have, have you ever seen anything like that before?  Any of you?" Gwen asked.

"No." said Tosh.  The men shook their heads.  Tosh continued, "There's nothing like it in any of the records I've seen.  I'm searching the database," she stroked a few keys, "but I doubt we'll find anything."

"But look at the Rift scanners."  She pointed at another moniter.  "They picked up something happening in that spot.  It looks like the Rift opening, but it isn't.  The equations are at least ten times more complex.  Maybe a hundred times.  It was only a minute, so we don't have much to work with.  But in terms of complexity it's like a minute out of a Mozart symphony."  Tosh pecked away at her keyboard, then turned to look at the others.

"What does it mean?  Is it Bilis?" Gwen asked.

Tosh shook her head.  "No.  It's not Bilis.  It means there is someone or something out there that can manipulate Rifts in a way that makes Bilis look like an amateur."

"And us look like bloody preschoolers." Owen added.

"And it's got Jack."  Gwen said.

Gwen put the visual on constant replay.  They stared at the monitors in silence for a while.  "Is there anything else we can tell from the scanners?" Ianto prodded. 

"I'm running all the diagnostics, but it will be hours before the results are in."  Tosh replied.

"What about the CCTVs?  We need to be sure Jack didn't step out for a walk."

"Oh that makes a lot of sense, that does." Owen said.  Everyone ignored him.

"I'm monitoring all the CCTVs in Britain for his face, going over all the scans from this afternoon onward." Tosh said.

"Is there anything else we can determine from what we have?"

"Yeah."  Gwen spoke while staring at the visual screen.  "Jack recognized it.  He knew what it was and he didn't resist.  Look at him."  They watched Jack stand still and disappear again.

"If it could reach in here and take someone like that, how could you resist?  We've got no way of stopping it." Owen whispered.  "And Jack was weak.  He couldn't have put up much of a fight.  That thing can pick us off one by one if it wants, and there's nothing we can do."

Tosh laughed nervously.  "Maybe the Dragon's got a full belly for the night."  They went silent again.

 Finally Ianto spoke.  "Tosh, how's that program to monitor all the British CCTVs for Jack coming?"

"It's right here."  She waved a hand at another screen.  It will let us know if it finds anything."

Ianto nodded and walked over to another station.  Gwen frowned.  "Wait.  What are you doing?"

"Initiating the shutdown procedure."

Gwen gaped at him.  "But --"

Ianto interrupted.  "We've done all we can think of for Jack tonight.  We're not going to think of anything else until we get some sleep.  In the meantime, we've still got regular reports to file, supplies to order, and tomorrow we have to figure out what to tell London."

"But Ianto, you and Jack, the way you kissed, like --"

"Like we'd done it before?  We have."  Ianto looked at Gwen steadily.

"Oh."  Gwen waved her hands, flustered.  "I didn't know.  You never said anything."

Ianto sighed and for just a moment exhaustion broke through his usual self-control.  "Well, some people can have an office romance and still behave like grownups."

Gwen and Owen flinched.  Tosh stifled a giggle.  Ianto grimaced.  "I'm sorry, Gwen."

Gwen smiled wanly.  "No, that's all right.  But we haven't found Jack yet."

"We've tried everything we can think of.  We're too tired to think of anything else.  We'll never find Jack until we get some sleep and tackle the problem with fresh minds.  If we stay up all night fidgeting we won't be any good in the morning."  He paused and his expression softened just a bit.  "Lisa taught me that."

Gwen dropped her gaze.  Ianto pulled out his PDA.  "I'm going to pick up some more coffee and pens.  Is there anything else we need?"

"Um, right.  He's right, Gwen.  Let's go home."  Owen said.    "Ianto, I need some more batteries and agar solution."  Ianto nodded and pressed some buttons.  "Oh shit, somebody's going to have to stay and monitor the Hub.  Jack always did that before."

"I'll stay."  Tosh looked up.  "I've got some more coding to do anyway."

Gwen took a deep breath.  "Okay.  Ianto, can I go shopping with you?"

Ianto gave her a polite but stern look.  "I'll drive you home.  You've had less sleep than the rest of us."

Gwen nodded.  Ianto turned to Tosh.  "Anything you need Tosh?"

"We've still got tea?" Tosh asked.


"I'll be fine."

Ianto, Gwen, and Owen picked up their personal gear and headed for the door.  Gwen was giving off "I want to talk to Ianto in private" vibes so loud they were probably picking them up in space.  Owen just shrugged on his jacket.

"Hey, don't I get an apology?" he asked Ianto.

Ianto raised one eyebrow and said nothing for a moment.  Then he sighed.  "Sorry, Owen."

"Yeah, thanks."

They left.


Part 2

Part 3


( 37 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jan. 18th, 2007 12:07 pm (UTC)
Great! You're working on something new!
Looking forward to seeing how this progresses. I'm just starting to dabble in fanfic and I love your stuff so I think it will be really interesting to watch. As if watching Owen chew things over (and jump to conclusions) isn't interesting enough ;D

I can just visualise the middle bit! Are they all going to join Owen in the SUV? :D The punchline just sums it all up...

Canterbury (OG)

Jan. 18th, 2007 02:29 pm (UTC)
Re: Great! You're working on something new!
Yeah, Jack really left them with a dilemna, didn't he?
Jan. 21st, 2007 10:39 pm (UTC)
"So you think that's what happened? Jack's health-care provider called him up to have a talk with him about the latest bill?"
LOL! Might just be though...

Is this Gwen and Owen talking? I'm waiting for Gwen to come and bawl Owen out for slacking :D
Jan. 22nd, 2007 03:34 am (UTC)
Well, that's one way it could go.
Jan. 26th, 2007 12:22 am (UTC)
Liking your take on what happens next. Makes sense that Owen would be doing some serious investigating of Jack, he always seemed the type. Look forward to reading more.
Jan. 26th, 2007 12:47 am (UTC)
It's going to get more investigative in the next part. It just got too long to post all at once.
Jan. 26th, 2007 07:04 am (UTC)
Ha! even though I'm not a J/I shipper this made me laugh "Well, some people can have an office romance and still behave like grownups." *giggles*

Very nice so far, I like to read how they cope without Jack there, ad I hope they don't just gloss over it next series by having Jack there from the beginning.

Anyway I loved it, very true to character for me.

Jan. 26th, 2007 01:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I've been sitting on that line for weeks, waiting for the right spot to drop it.

I can't see them glossing over it. RTD is big on consequences. He's probably got a doozy in store for Jack.
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 26th, 2007 01:55 pm (UTC)
Gwen doesn't do subtle very well, does she? Unlike Ianto and Jack.

Yeah, I kept waiting for a line like that to come up in the show. It's so the Snarkmeister.
Jan. 26th, 2007 09:04 am (UTC)
"Well, some people can have an office romance and still behave like grownups."
*giggles* Go Ianto!

Interesting start. Looking forward to reading the next part!
Jan. 26th, 2007 02:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you. That line just sums up so much, doesn't it?
Jan. 26th, 2007 09:44 am (UTC)
Ooo this is definitely a promising start.

I can really see Owen being the one to start investigating all the mystery that surrounds Jack, he's not the type to let that slide.
And hee, yay for cool-and-collected!Ianto and fidgety!Gwen.

I'll be waiting for the next part ;).
Jan. 26th, 2007 02:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Owen is so Quincy. It's his best feature. Dh calls him "a cross between Quincy and Sam", but I don't think he's cute enough to have much Sam in him.

Cool-and-collected is Ianto's best feature.
Jan. 26th, 2007 10:12 am (UTC)
This is good. I'm liking your Owen and Ianto. I want to know what happens next!
Jan. 26th, 2007 02:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
(no subject) - misskiwi333 - Feb. 1st, 2007 11:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bigtitch - Feb. 2nd, 2007 07:17 am (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 26th, 2007 10:38 am (UTC)
Wow, this was fantastic. I think it's the first post-Jack fic where Ianto didn't completely publicly break down/have a little sniffle on someone's shoulder. Strong!Ianto is gorgeous :-) Can't wait for the next installment.
Jan. 26th, 2007 02:16 pm (UTC)
Ianto is very strong and extremely private. If he were the sort to completely publicly break down, he couldn't have done what he did for Lisa. I think Jack considers it Ianto's most attractive feature. He's really got a thing for strong, capable men.
Jan. 26th, 2007 02:17 pm (UTC)
Good start. I especially like the beginning, with Owen finally starting to piece something toghether about Jack Harkness (however unsuccessful that might be).

One or two minor spelling niggles: contaminents== contaminants and amatuer == amateur
And is the gigantic font strictly necessary?

Otherwise, good job. Keep it up!

Jan. 26th, 2007 02:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you. The lj spell-check is a pain to use. You can't add new words.

The font is "medium". It's easier on my weak eyes.
(no subject) - hellenebright - Feb. 10th, 2007 05:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - crabby_lioness - Feb. 10th, 2007 05:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 26th, 2007 04:29 pm (UTC)
Oh, I like this, especially strong Ianto!

One thingy: "It's now January 2007." That should be 2008.
Jan. 26th, 2007 04:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I like Strong!Ianto, and I think Jack does too.
Jan. 26th, 2007 04:37 pm (UTC)
Oh fab :D I can't wait for more, this is great.
Jan. 26th, 2007 05:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I've got about as much written as I've posted here, but it needs connective tissue. The draft is in public display on my lj account if you want to read it. Right now I'm writing an interlude with Gwen where Ianto gets philosophical and meets Rhys.
Jan. 26th, 2007 07:34 pm (UTC)
Faaaabulous. *nods*

So, Owen's taken over? I love Ianto being so professional and organised and seemingly not too bothered about the whole thing? :/
Jan. 26th, 2007 07:53 pm (UTC)
Owen and Ianto are both coping in the ways they know best. Owen's copes by playing Quincy. Ianto copes by being super-organized. Both are ways of delaying dealing with their true feelings.
Jan. 26th, 2007 11:36 pm (UTC)
A love your Ianto. 'Here is problem' 'fix promblem' 'messy emotional stuff after'.

Thank you, great start!
Jan. 27th, 2007 12:23 am (UTC)
"There is a time and a place -- and the right time and right place lack Owen."
(no subject) - szm - Jan. 27th, 2007 12:31 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - crabby_lioness - Jan. 27th, 2007 06:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 1st, 2007 11:39 pm (UTC)
fantastic!!! more soon?
Feb. 1st, 2007 11:42 pm (UTC)
Interlude is here: http://crabby-lioness.livejournal.com/10716.html

Rough draft for Part 2 is here: http://crabby-lioness.livejournal.com/10404.html I'm just about to feed Tosh breakfast and give her some lines.
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( 37 comments — Leave a comment )