Ianto had his first major nightmare less than a week after Ethan had disappeared. The little boy dreamt of swirling lights and hideous creatures, with large fangs, who were trying to eat him. The nightmare caused him to wake up screaming each time. After a couple of nights of this, his father lost patience with being woken up every night and, bursting into Ianto’s room, he smacked his bottom hard, yelling at him to keep his bloody mouth shut. Ianto soon learnt to keep his voice down, and he would end up crying into his pillow instead of screaming.
Rhiannon, whose bedroom was next door, would sometimes still hear him crying. Being the only one in the family who didn’t blame Ianto for Ethan’s disappearance, she would sometimes sneak into Ianto’s room, bringing in a small white teddy bear of hers she knew he had always been partial to. She would leave the teddy bear there to comfort him and would come and get it back in the mornings, before her parents woke, knowing how their father felt about Ianto playing with ‘girls’ toys.
The nightmares continued right throughout his childhood, coming to him nearly every night. Not far into his teens, his nightmares evolved. One night he dreamt of one of his classmates being involved in a fatal car accident; he saw where the accident happened and what the results would be. The next day he was horrified, but not entirely surprised, to learn that the girl he had dreamt about would not be returning to school. She had died in a car accident, in the very same location that Ianto had dreamt about.
As an adult, the nightmares continued unabated and he slowly learnt to tell the difference between the different types of nightmares. When he was with Lisa, which happened to be the first relationship where he felt truly safe with his partner, the nightmares eased off somewhat the closer they got. Whilst they never entirely disappeared, he did manage to have the occasional couple of nights that were gloriously nightmare-free. Also, with Lisa working at Torchwood as well, he was finally able to tell someone about the different types of nightmare he had, without fear of her thinking him crazy.
In the lead up to Canary Wharf, Ianto started dreaming of horrifying, robotic creatures that had appeared out of nowhere and tried to take over the world. When the ghost shifts started, all these dreams fell into place and he knew immediately what the apparitions were going to turn into. He told Lisa about the dreams, and wanted to report them to his supervisor, but she begged him to keep them to himself. She knew no one else would take him seriously, and she had a fair idea how Yvonne Hartman would react if Ianto tried to speak out against one of her pet projects.
After the collapse of Torchwood London, and the loss of Lisa, the guilt Ianto felt for not having spoken up manifested itself in the form of his nightmares coming back in full force. He constantly relived the attack of the Cybermen and Daleks in his mind. Day or night it didn’t matter, and even the smallest sound could set him off; whether it was kids in the park playing war games or someone lighting a fire, all sorts of things could have him instantly recalling the events of Canary Wharf. Without Lisa to help him through it, the constant flashbacks were putting a great deal of strain on him, resulting in the almost constant nightmares that Jack was now starting to see.
So when Owen, and to a lesser extent Gwen, felt the strain of the events they had unwittingly witnessed using the quantum transducer found in Bernie Harris’ jacket, Ianto completely understood how they felt.
Owen sat alone in his darkened flat and remembered.
He could remember exactly how Lizzie Lewis felt in his vision; he felt her fear, her terror, her shame. He felt every one of these emotions, as if they were his own. He heard the singsong voice of Ed Morgan calling Lizzie’s name over and over again and he felt a chill in the pit of his stomach. The more he heard Ed speak, the more he felt Lizzie’s fear. She was terrified.
And when Owen Harper was afraid, he nearly always covered it with anger. In this case, anger at the elusive Ed Morgan who had appeared to have gotten away with rape and murder for all these years, while Lizzie’s family, especially her mother Mabel who had lost her only child, were left behind to pick up the pieces.
He sat in the lounge chair, staring out the window, occasionally looking down at the print out of the ‘Cardiff Examiner’ article about the murder he held in his hands. He eventually got up and gathered up some of the files he had scattered all over the floor, trying to find some answers. Sitting back down again, he picked up his telephone directory and flipped through the pages until he got to the name ‘Morgan’. He ran his finger down the page until he came to the entry for Ed Morgan. Suddenly he ripped the page out of the book and came to a decision.
The next morning he called Ianto to tell him he’d be in late, claiming he had some personal matters to attend to. Pulling up at the house where he believed he’d find Ed Morgan, he searched through his various ID cards before choosing one and going up to the house.
Owen left Morgan’s house just in time to see Bernie Harris hanging around nearby. This led to Bernie taking him, Jack, Tosh and Gwen back to his house to show them the other half of the ghost machine. After confiscating all the alien items they found at Bernie’s house, they left him alone, knowing that he didn’t have any useful information to give them.
As they left though, Gwen was once again unable to resist pushing the buttons on the now-completed ghost machine. Ignoring Jack’s desperate yells, she set the machine off yet again. It showed her another vision, but this time it was a vision of the future. And this vision was far more gruesome than before. They returned to the Hub to discuss what had happened, before Ianto eventually decided they had done all they could for the day.
Knowing about Gwen and Rhys’ argument the previous day, Ianto sent Gwen home to spend time with Rhys. Jack had seen situations like Gwen’s before, and he warned Ianto not to let her let it drift. Ianto agreed entirely, knowing how much tougher things would have been for him and Lisa if they hadn’t of both worked for Torchwood.
Toshiko dragged Owen off to a pub; she had seen the tension growing between him and Jack over the last couple of days and she wanted to discuss what she had found out about Ed Morgan away from the others. Suzie was somewhere in the Hub putting together a report Ianto had requested on all the power fluctuations that had been happening the entire time Ianto had been working there.
That left just Jack and Ianto. Ianto was sitting in his office, surreptitiously watching Jack sticking up pictures on their evidence board. A grin crossed Ianto’s face as he remembered the child-like glee with which Jack had responded when he finally worked out what the ghost machine actually was. It was a sharp contrast to how serious and sombre he was now. After two days of butting heads with Owen over how to deal with Morgan, that joy had faded quickly. Ianto felt a sudden urge to give Jack a hug, to try and cheer him up. He wanted to see that wonderful grin back on Jack’s face.
He had just stood up to go over and speak to him, when the cogwheel door alarms went off and Tosh and Owen walked back in.
Both Ianto and Jack were livid that Owen had been to see Morgan earlier. Ianto because Owen had blatantly lied to him, and Jack because he expected better from Owen. Neither of their tempers improved when they also learnt that Gwen hadn’t gone home like she was told, and was in actual fact over at Bernie Harris’ house. Ianto called for Suzie over the comms and she came back up to the main level and they decided what to do.
Ianto forbade Owen to return to Bernie’s house, not wanting to take any chances of the vision coming true. Instead, he and Suzie would accompany Jack in the SUV. Jack didn’t think this would be a good idea, given that Ianto had not yet had any weapons training and Suzie had not yet been cleared for field duties after the retconning. Ianto, however, insisted that Owen was going nowhere near Bernie’s house. Gwen’s vision had clearly shown the murder would happen in the street outside Bernie’s house. Deliberately avoiding looking at Suzie, Ianto looked meaningfully at Jack when he said he didn’t want any potential murderers on his team.
Unfortunately, keeping Owen away wasn’t enough to save Ed Morgan’s life. When he ‘accidentally’ tripped over and fell upon the knife Gwen was holding, Gwen’s vision came true after all. Owen had followed the SUV in his own car, regardless that he was disobeying orders again, but he was still unable to save Morgan’s life.
Neither Ianto nor Jack paid that much attention though as they were both distracted by Gwen’s misery. Suzie took her back into Bernie’s house to wash the blood off her hands and then drove her back to the Hub in Gwen’s car. After they placed Morgan’s body in the back of the SUV, Ianto and Jack followed closely behind, leaving Owen behind to retcon Bernie.
Suzie had guided Gwen to a seat in Ianto’s office, and she and Tosh were standing nearby in silent support. Ianto took one look at the devastation on Gwen’s face and decided not to question her any further. He locked the ghost machine away in the Secure Archives and sent everyone home again, telling them not to come in the next day. He sent Jack with Gwen, knowing how much more comfortable she was with Jack than she was with him. He told Jack that he was going home too, but unlike the others, he would be in the next day.
Ianto arrived around midday, with some takeaway for him and Jack. He found Jack playing catch with Myfanwy and the large chunks of meat they bought to feed her with. When he saw Ianto come in, Jack stopped the game and with one final flying swoop towards Ianto, Myfanwy returned to her own area.
Later that evening, Jack took Ianto down into the firing range, where he had laid out a selection of guns and ammunition. Ianto looked at all the targets set out and grinned at Jack.
“Whoa!” Ianto hadn’t been in this area of the Hub as yet, and was impressed with the set up.
“It’s all yours.” Jack gestured towards the table.
After putting on their headsets and protective glasses, Jack had Ianto load up the first gun. He looked at Ianto’s stance, and then moved in close to correct it. He removed one of Ianto’s hands from the gun.
“One hand, not two.”
Jack took hold of Ianto’s shoulders and turned him side on. With Jack and Ianto being of a similar height, their bodies fit together perfectly as Jack took up position behind Ianto. Ianto tensed up at their close proximity, but Jack waited patiently for Ianto to relax again. He raised Ianto’s arm out in front of them, running his hand along the length of Ianto’s arm and putting it into position. Jack held Ianto’s arm out straight with one hand, and brought his other arm around Ianto’s body and gently pressed his hand to Ianto’s stomach, holding him in place.
“Turn sideways to the target.”
Ianto was all too aware of the warmth of Jack’s breath against the side of his face, and the smell of those damn pheromones, as Jack gave him his instructions. He closed his eyes, needing to escape the distractions.
Jack laughed gently. “You’ll need you eyes open to see what you’re doing…”
Ianto opened his eyes reluctantly and forced himself to concentrate on the target, not on Jack. Jack guided him through cocking the gun and firing his first shot. They both laughed in joy as the shot hit the target.
“That was a joint effort,” Jack claimed. “Try it again. This time on your own.”
Over the next hour Jack took Ianto through all the weapons, discussed how to fire them, showed him different techniques, including using both hands and spent some time shooting targets himself. Ianto was starting to get sore arms, not being used to holding them up for so long, so Jack said they would have a target competition and then they would stop for the night. After a shaky start, Ianto actually won their little competition, surprising the pair of them and causing Ianto to raise his arms in victory.
They stood grinning at each other for a few moments before Jack took a step closer, slowly raising a hand to Ianto’s cheek. Ianto closed his eyes briefly until his flight instincts inevitably took over, and he took a step backwards.
“I- I- need to go,” he stuttered, before turning and practically fleeing the room.
Jack growled and slammed his hand on the table in disappointment.
Ianto’s emotions were in turmoil. He knew that Jack had most likely been about to kiss him. He wasn’t blind; he had seen it in Jack’s eyes for a while now, when they were alone or when they were talking. Ianto knew he was not bothered by Jack being a man, even though he had never been in a relationship with another man before. He was also aware that he himself had wanted to kiss Jack as well. He had found himself wondering what Jack would taste like, and what it would feel like to run his fingers through Jack’s hair, down his back, along his arms. It was just that no matter how hard he tried; he simply could not get the image of Lisa out of his head anytime he thought of anything happening between him and Jack.
It didn’t help that he was continuously having nightmares that involved Lisa. Usually the nightmares that he had as often as this had been the type of nightmares that pointed to some sort of event that was going to happen soon. But for this nightmare, he knew that Lisa was dead, so there was no way it could ever come true.
He had started having this particular nightmare before he had left London. His beloved Lisa, covered with the metal parts of a Cyberman, but yet somehow not a Cyberman, was going on a rampage through Torchwood 1, killing everyone in sight. After he moved back to Cardiff, the dream changed slightly so that her rampage now occurred in the Hub instead.
No matter where the dream was set though, it always ended the same way. With Lisa killing Ianto. That night Ianto dreamt the dream once again, only for the first time it wasn’t Ianto she killed. It was Jack.