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Fic: Stolen Hope 13/?

Title: Stolen Hope 13/?
Rating: Teen
Warnings: Very vague mentions of sex, some coarse language, terrible pick up lines and Owen being crabby
Pairings: Jack/Ianto, slight Owen/Tosh later on.
Summary: Hope is a powerful emotion and in some corners of the galaxy, hope is a delicacy. Where has the alien from the crash site gone and just what does Ianto and a Jubilee Pizza delivery girl have to do with all this?
Chapter summary: In which Jack and Owen argue, again.
Previous chapters: Can be found here
A/N: I am so sorry about how long this has taken, it's been a real case of unlucky thirteen. Finishing up exams and the school year, the Skyrim release and illness have all put this on hold, but it's done now and I hope you'll enjoy.

“You're awake!” a female voice cried.

From around the other side of the obelisk, the pale, tired figure of Tasha appeared. She was still wearing the hospital pyjamas she had been dressed in when she had appeared on his doorstep. Ianto frowned. What had happened after that? He couldn't remember, everything just went black and the next thing he knew... Well, he was here.

“Tasha? What the hell is going on?” he asked as she sat down next to him, a broad smile plastered over her face.

“We're waiting,” she told him cheerily, reaching over and brushing some dried mud off Ianto's jeans.

Ianto fought the urge to jerk away from her. “What for?”

“I don't know,” she said, leaning back against the memorial. “Shaal said we should spend some time together.”

“And who is Shaal?”

Her smile widened. “My friend. She wants to help me.”

“Shaal wouldn't happen to be an alien by any chance, would she Tasha?” Ianto asked cautiously. He was rather hoping she'd say yes. Because otherwise this was just going to get very, very creepy.

“Of course she is. She crashed near here. It's okay though, because it was all part of her plan.”

Behind the smile, Tasha's eyes were utterly blank. Like she was asleep with her eyes open. Right, bog-standard mind control then, Ianto judged. If he was lucky, he might be able to loosen the straps around his wrists and get the hell out of there. He tested the bonds, plastic straps, strong, tight and very, very painful. He wasn't going to be pulling a Houdini any time soon. Which was a shame really, he'd always liked the looks on captor's faces when he sprang free of his bindings. You can't have them all, he told himself consolingly and looked around for anything that might help him escape.

There wasn't anything. There was just him, Tasha and the obelisk of poor little Tommy Jones.

Okay then. There was nothing he could do. He couldn't move from this spot, there was nobody around to help him aside from a brainwashed delivery girl and his nose itched but he couldn't scratch it.

He slumped back and closed his eyes. He just had to wait, maybe Tasha would break through the mind control, or the team might show up for a daring rescue at any moment.

Any time now...


“Hey Tasha?”


“I spy with my little eye...”


“How the bloody hell are we supposed to find him?

“I don't know!”

“Of course you don't, fat lot of good you are.”

Gwen pinched the bridge of her nose and sighed. Jack had woken up from the alien's attack just moments ago and already he and Owen were having a go at each other. She looked up and rolled her eyes at Tosh who grimaced back over the top of her PDA. Part of her wanted to walk out of the Hub and leave them to it, Rhys had phoned earlier and mentioned getting a curry or just heating up one of those vegetable quiches he'd picked up from the supermarket. Quiche was sounding like a much better alternative than watching two grown men argue like kids.

“Alright!” Jack roared, effectively silencing whatever sarcasm had been about to trickle out of Owen's mouth and gaining the attention of the girls.

They all looked at him with the sheepish air of schoolchildren who had just pushed their teacher over the edge. He pressed his lips together in a thin smile and slowly sat down in his chair.

“Alright,” he repeated, this time very calmly. “Here's what we're going to do.” His tone was soothing and Gwen felt herself relaxing, despite the tension boiling in the room around her.



“The circuits give off a signal, but the signal is unique to each Acherite as they are linked in with their brain activity. Did the computer register the signal before we blocked her circuits?” Jack asked, using that same calm tone rather than his usual bark when it came to giving orders.

Tosh was bent over the PDA, stylus tapping the screen rapidly. She still hadn't managed to get her computer back online.

They waited. Finally she raised her head.

“I've got it, the bioscan wasn't complete but it did pick up any signals that the alien was emitting.”

Jack gave her a brilliant smile. “Excellent, we can track Shaal's movements from here.”

“Shaal?” Owen asked.

“It's her name. Apparently we go back,” Jack said with forced levity. “One of the many nights I don't remember.”

“So we're under attack from an ex of yours, again?” Owen's sarcasm was back online, even if the computers weren't.

Jack looked irritated for a moment. “Nothing like that,” he said, pausing for a moment. He wasn't sure if he should tell them about the reason Shaal was here. Across the table, Gwen was giving him a tired look. The look that promised a 'don't shut us out Jack' speech later, one he really didn't want to hear again. He sighed. “According to her, I killed her family.”

“Well, that's probably why she's so pissed then,” Owen said, sliding down in his seat and staring moodily at the pen he was twirling between his fingers.

Gwen frowned. “You mean you don't remember doing it?”

Jack shrugged. This was why he didn't tell people everything. Answer one question and then there's another and another. Then they'd get to the tricky bits and rather than answers, he had to give explanations.

He didn't like giving explanations. So he changed the subject.

“Tosh, have you got a hold on the signal?”

Tosh shook her head. “Not yet, just give me a moment.”

Gwen was looking confused. “But the ship she came on, it crashed, is she just here by chance?”

“Yeah, I was just in the neighbourhood so I thought I'd pop by and finally take my revenge,” Owen muttered.

That was a very good point Jack thought. He hadn't even noticed that. “It could have been a prison ship, taking her away and they just happened to pass over Earth.”

“Why would she be on a prison ship?” Gwen asked.

More questions. Jack set his teeth. He missed Ianto. Ianto didn't ask questions, unless he really had to. He respected that there were some things that Jack just didn't want to talk about. He didn't like it, Jack knew, but he didn't go on about it. Plus, Jack could really use a coffee right now. His temper was fraying and he could feel the panic and anger that he'd so far kept safely smothered under cool logic and calm was straining to break free.

“Ooh!” Tosh said excitedly. She held up the PDA with a sweet little smile. “Got the signal.”

Jack thanked whatever Gods may be about for Toshiko Sato. “Where is she then?”

“Pen y Fan,” Tosh said, tucking the PDA into her pocket. “Near the crash site.”

Gwen frowned. “What's she doing there?”

Jack was already halfway out the door. “Waiting for us.”

The drive over to the mountain was terrifying. Not because they were being harassed by an alien that could teleport, disguise itself, poison them and who knew what else, but because of Jack's driving. He broke Owen's record of traffic laws broken at least twice over, causing Tosh to send a message to the police to apologise in advance from the back seat. Gwen sat in the passenger seat and held on for dear life, hands clamped around her seatbelt. Jack's hands were gripping the wheel tightly, knuckles white.

Oh dear, she thought absently. Captain Jack was very, very angry.


Shaal hovered behind the obelisk. She had just returned from the crash site. Only it hadn't been a crash site, there was no trace of the mangled metal and remains of her captors. Krael hadn't been there either. She fought down a slight twinge of guilt and sorrow. It had been necessary. She had tried to keep him safe, she told herself. She hadn't known that the defence system didn't cover two, she'd organised it all in such a hurry. Once she had found that Earth was on-route, everything had become such a rush.

Memories were beginning to seep through the cold, calculating shield she had placed around her mind. Their wedding, the celebrations, that first contact, their first child... Leeal had taken her baby, probably to raise it as a leader of the new republic and once she no longer could feel the tiny mind nestled next to hers, she had lost it all. The burning desire to kill the source of Leeal's power and avenge her parents had taken over. She didn't have much time, she knew Leeal would be back to reclaim Harkness to power her new republic, she just didn't know when. If she could kill him before that...

She peered over the top of the obelisk. Tasha and the male, Ianto were both sat slumped at the base of the memorial. They had played some inane game for a while, but had stopped as Tasha had begun to fall asleep. Ianto, to his credit was surprisingly alert, probably due to the fact that he hadn't been previously drained. Occasionally he twisted and squirmed, trying to loosen the straps around his wrists. Every now and then he would nudge Tasha awake and tell her gently to try and stay conscious, that help was probably on the way. He talked awkwardly to her to try and stop her from sleeping, clearly unused to speaking so much. His main topic was cats. He was apparently planning on getting one but was unsure about the breed he liked the most or what to name it and whether it was a good idea or not.

She couldn't help but feel slightly bad about what she was doing to them but squashed the feeling. They, like Krael were necessary sacrifices.

Once she had drained them, she could activate her weaponry and go after Harkness properly. She was a little embarrassed about being caught earlier. She had hoped that Harkness would have taken her into the base while she was disguised, she could have overdosed them all and left before they even realised what had happened. Unfortunately she had picked on his lover and she hadn't counted on the simple fact that facial expressions and body language were a source of communication on this planet. Heathens, she thought primly.


“And that's why I really don't like rum,” Ianto finished lamely. He wasn't sure how long he could keep this up. Tasha getting paler and paler and she was falling asleep much more frequently. He was worried that if he didn't keep her awake, she'd just slip away. She had to keep fighting. He wasn't a talker by nature and he was beginning to almost envy the way Gwen could natter on about anything at any time. He'd talked about cats, that annoying bloke on the telly, cats again and spirits, namely the ones from the bottom of a bottle.

Now what could he talk about?

“So are you seeing anyone?” He asked, settling on a standard topic of conversation, mainly the one his mum asked him on the phone every time she rang.

Tasha blinked sleepily. “No...”

“Got anyone you're interested in?”

She smiled a little. “Yeah. He's great but he doesn't...” she yawned and settled back against the obelisk. “He doesn't really notice me.”

Ianto smiled. He remembered that feeling all too well, back at Torchwood One. Lisa had been so gorgeous, but so remote and ridiculously higher up than he had been in the office hierarchy. All the blokes on their floor had mooned over her, following at her heels like puppies. He had admired her from a distance, over the top of his work station until one day he had met her eyes across the room, completely by accident. A few weeks later they were officially a couple. He sighed heavily, the memories of those happier times seeming ridiculously far away now.

“What about you?” Tasha asked, bringing him out of his thoughts.

“Me? Oh... Well, I suppose.”

“You suppose?”

“It's... A bit odd really,” he said, struggling for words. “I don't really know how to put it.”

Tasha was looking at him strangely.

“Well, he's... Amazing really,” Ianto said at last. “The dashing hero, saving the day, being swooned over and all that. Makes me wonder... Well, why he'd bother with me I suppose. Sometimes I think I'm just a shag, but then he comes over and has dinner, spends the night, goes grocery shopping with me and all that other domestic rubbish and... I just don't know.”

He flushed and examined a patch of grass closely so he didn't have to look at Tasha.

“Sorry,” he muttered.

“It's fine,” she said, an odd, strained note in her voice.

It was around then that Ianto became aware that he was also feeling suddenly exhausted. Panic began to well in his chest. Whatever the alien was doing to Tasha, it was doing to him. It had to be nearby but all he could see was the dense fog shrouding them. He bit down hard on his tongue, the pain jolting his nerves and shocking him out of the drowsiness.

Half an hour later he was slumped at the bottom of the obelisk, reading and re-reading the inscription over and over. If he died here too would it just become the Jones Obelisk or would Tommy still get the whole thing to himself? Tasha was unconscious, he couldn't get her to wake. She was still breathing but her breaths were shallow and raspy. His wrists were dripping blood where he'd wrenched them against the bindings, partly as an attempt to escape, partly to shock himself awake. It wasn't really working any more.

As he lay there a large drop of rain landed on his face, followed by a sudden torrential downpour. Welsh weather, he thought dully. At least it might refresh him a little.

“Great, just great,” he heard a familiar voice say on the edge of his hearing. “Not only are we lost, again, but it's bloody pissing it down. We haul all our alien catching gear up here, that by the way isn't working, but don't bring a damn umbrella?”

There was only one person that could be Ianto thought with a smile and nudged Tasha.

“The cavalry has arrived.”


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 3rd, 2011 04:34 am (UTC)
Just caught up on the last two chapters! The cavalry better hurry cause it looks like Tasha and Ianto are almost out of time. Ianto should have told Tasha about coffee, or things you can do with a stopwatch, that would keep him going for quite a while, LOL.
Dec. 3rd, 2011 03:46 pm (UTC)

Awesome update! First, Gwen is right, Jack is beyond livid, his Ianto being snatched like that. Then, we get a little insight into Shaal's plan and motivation for revenge. But, I do have the agree that Owen's dulcet sounds of irritation were probably music to Ianto's ears at that point. Loved it!
Dec. 8th, 2011 05:03 am (UTC)
Good for the team finally getting there, but they had better watch themselves since Shaal is already watching them. It's pretty funny that it's so obvious the source of the grumbling is Owen .Everybody knows him so well.
Dec. 11th, 2011 09:04 pm (UTC)
so glad the cavalry is there, just dreading it's not that easy
great chapter
Dec. 31st, 2011 08:58 am (UTC)
Взрывай шампань!!

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


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