Space Command Chronicles
Title: Double Jeopardy
This is part two
Part One Due Diligence http://evalentine99.livejournal.com/7557
All main TW characters will make an appearance along some new ones across all three stories.
Part Two: John (Ianto) Jones, Jack Harkness, John Hart, Martha Jones, Gwen Cooper, Owen Harper/Toshiko Sato, Rhianna Davies OC's
Beta: milady_dragonTorchwood- Copyright BBC. This Fan fiction has been created for enjoyment and is not for profit. All and any unique story elements, OC's and plot belong to Evalentine99 and may not be reproduced without permission.
Almost five years have passed since the' Diligence Incident'. Ianto (John) Jones has lost everything that was important to him, his career, the sport he loved and his independence. Now he has to find a new future but to do so he has to face the past.
Carys was lost and she looked at the map on her handheld. If this was right then she was several floors out. She knew she should have waited for an escort but she was so excited to be on board The Space Command Training Vessel Torchwood. All those years of study and she was going to be on board for sixteen weeks. Not as a student but an actual crew member. That rash moment meant she was now lost and she was going late for her first briefing.
'You oaky you look a bit lost,' Carys heard a voice. Looking up she saw an officer. She blushed as she read his name tag and felt a wave of embarrassment. Not the first impression she had been aiming for.
Jack held out his hand. 'Commander Jack Harkness.'
The young woman shook his hand. 'Carys Fletcher. This is so embarrassing,' she admitted. 'I was late arriving because my transport was delayed and I don't want to miss my first briefing. So I just grabbed the directions.'
'You have nothing to be embarrassed about. When I first got here I needed a direction wand for my first entire week just to find my quarters.' Carys smiled hesitantly and handed him her room designation.
Jack studied it. 'Your quarters are on residential D deck. I'm heading that way myself.' He handed her back the directions. 'And don't worry about missing your briefing you have plenty of time.' Jack saw the young woman relax slightly. 'First time in space?' he asked as he walked her to the lift.
'Yes, seeing the ship for the first time in space dock was well amazing.' She added, 'I can't wait to get started.'
'She's a fine ship. What's your specialty?' Jack asked as they entered the lift and he pressed the floor button.
'Stellar Cartography and my second is Sensor Calibration.'
Jack nodded his approval. 'Where would you like to end up?'
'Deep space exploration. Just imagine being the first human being to go anywhere,' she enthused as they made their way out of the lift and down the corridor of D deck.
Reaching her door Jack used his ID to open it.
'Your room ID is on the table in your orientation pack.' Jack pointed out the blue folder on the table embossed with the name of the ship 'Torchwood' stylised in gold.
'I'll inform the induction crew you got to your room and your Associate Specialist you are here and on your way. If you get lost call for help. The induction crew are here to help you settle in. If you have any questions or issues just let them know.'
'I will. Thank you sir.'
'Welcome aboard.' Jack winked.
As the door closed Jack's wrist communicator advised him of a message on his pad.
He headed towards the lift as he read through it. Reaching the lift he he punched in a code into his wrist communicator and began speaking.
'Amanda, Sandra Zhang is not able to join us so can you reassign quarters a bit more neutral for her replacement. He's coming in last minute so he will come aboard via shuttle. Assign one of the security trainees to greet him then escort him to quarters.' His wrist strap beeped and he checked the time. Now he was late for his meeting.
Captain Ira Boston listened as his First Officer, Jack Harkness, gave his crew report on the final preparations for the sixteen week training mission.
Each training voyage had its challenges and this one would be no different. As always it was a mix of students from every possibly discipline, from several different races along with a whole array of learning challenges. It was an opportunity for students and the newest members of Space Command to get a first taste of what it was like to be part of a crew. Ira was determined to give them an opening so positive each of them would fulfil the promise they had shown thus far. And there was nothing he hated more was a waste of opportunity and promise.
No other officer in the fleet held as much wasted promise as the man before him. Once on the fast track to captaincy, Jack Harkness had fallen due to a serious misjudgement of character. When Samantha Vicari, his long time first officer, had chosen to leave the service many had been surprised at his choice of replacement. Ira had ridden the wave of disgust and anger at passing over many other seemingly better officers to take on Harkness. Ira had done so for two reasons, lost promise and to give the man the second chance he had earned by hard work. Ira recognised courage when he saw it. It took courage to face your mistakes no matter how painful. Jack had also shown tenacity in his climb back up the ladder from rock bottom. To regain what was lost was never easy especially when that fall had taken you to depths of humiliation and shame you never expected to go.
'Space Academy has sent notification that Associate Specialist Sandra Zhang won't be joining us due to a family emergency. Records still playing catch up so no name as yet but from what I've seen of the replacements qualifications they are ideal. Years of practical experience in the field. As the main walk way is about to retracted I've sent over a shuttle to the pick him up.'
'Sounds ideal.' Boston checked over the info sheets.
'I've arranged one of our security trainees to meet him and escort him to his quarters. Once we have a confirmed name I'll made sure he's included in the welcome aboard orientation meet group at seventeen hundred hours in The Hub. On that note I've also reminded each respective commanding officer attendance is mandatory without exception,' Jack completed his report.
'How's the new orientation pack going down?' Captain Boston asked
'The novelty of it being on paper seems to be a hit.'
Ira looked at the man standing to attention in front of his desk. 'This all looks in order, Jack.
You've hit exactly the right tone this ship is noted for.'
Jack looked serious. 'I will do my level best to make sure that every crew member feels their time aboard the Torchwood was one of their best experiences in Space Command.'
Ira looked serious. 'You've missed someone.'
Jack frowned, his heart sinking as he went over what he could possibly have overlooked.
'Yourself.' Ira pointed towards him.
'Me?' Jack looked confused.
'Yes Jack. The new officers and students coming aboard are at the start of their careers. Meeting and working with you on the Torchwood means you can gain a fresh start. To them the 'Diligence Incident' is something that they read about in class; an example of ship-wide bullying. The lessons learnt will be applied across their entire careers in Space Command. On a personal level what they will recall is the people they meet and they interact with here on board.'
Jack said, 'I don't know how to thank you for taking me on. I know it couldn't have been an easy decision.'
'You made the choice to stay in the service and rehabilitate yourself. It would have been far easier to resign your commission and gone into the merchant service or the private sector but you stayed and worked your way back up. I thought it demonstrably unfair that so many other captains in the fleet had refused to take you on.'
'I will do my best to not let you down,' Jack said
'You wouldn't be here if I didn't think you could fulfil the promise I saw in a young ensign twelve years ago.'
'Thank you sir.'
'Now,' Ira said with a twinkle in his eye, 'I will only attend the meet-and-greet if there is vanilla, strawberry and chocolate ice-cream.'
Jack smiled. 'It's called Neapolitan and I've made sure it's on the menu.'
'Good man.' Boston winked then waved him out.
Ensign Gwen Cooper, Torchwood security detail, stood by the air lock in the third departure and arrival Space Command Space Dock. She was so nervous she had never been chosen to greet anyone let alone an Associate Specialist from The Space Academy. It would help if she knew who she was looking for. All she had been told was take the shuttle and wait for someone to turn up.
A horrible thought came to her. 'What if she said the wrong thing? Or just stood there like some gaping fish?' She practiced her greeting. 'Welcome to the Torchwood. Welcome aboard.' She stopped. Not Welcome aboard this was Space dock not the ship maybe she should wait until they were on-board. She practiced while she looked down the short corridor. All she could discern was the bustle of the central area. Her thoughts were interrupted when she saw a man racing towards her. His uniform looked more than a little out of date and two sizes too small with bulges in all the wrong places. This must be them Gwen straighten and smoothed down her uniform.
'Is this the shuttle for the Torchwood?' the man asked, clearly out of breath. Gwen nodded.
'Commander Ianto Jones.' The man held out his hand.
'I was sent to wait for you and escort you across to the ship.' Gwen shook his hand. 'Can I see your ID?' Gwen recalled her instructions.
He handed over his ID, which contained his orders, and she placed them in her security scanner.
Ianto tried to hold on to his frustration as the ensign, with what seemed deliberate slowness, checked him out. He only had a small window of opportunity to get on board before his plan was discovered and all hell would break lose. The vibration from his pocket communication device was telling him someone was frantic to get his attention. He resisted every instinct he had to reply.
The scanner beeped. 'Everything is in order sir.' She pulled out the ID and handed it to him.
Taking the card Ianto watched as the air lock opened with agonising slowness. Any minute now and this was going to end. 'Come on, come on, open,' he growled to himself.
The door reached its zenith and he walked down a short corridor and boarded the shuttle.
Ianto watched as, with equally agonising slowness, it closed. Only when it snapped shut did he allow himself a moment of jubilation. He immediately damped it down. There was so much that could go wrong. Any moment now the shuttle could be ordered back to the space port, or he could be left in limbo half way there while his father found a way to counter his orders.
The shuttle began to move across the space dock. Ianto released his safety buckle and stood. Like a ten year old he pushed his face against the window as he viewed the Torchwood. She was a fine vessel; one of the most modern in the fleet. This would be only her third voyage he recalled. Nothing but the best for the newbies as he recalled the difference from his two outings on the previous training ship and the cramped slightly worn-out reality of Deep Space Exploration vessels where making do became a part of your life.
The shuttle jolted slightly as it made its connection and the door began to open. There was a slight pop as the air pressure equalised. Ianto took a deep breath, savouring the fragrance. All ships had their own smell and this one was no exception. It smelt like one thing: a working ship of the line and he was an officer even if it was only for four months. Picking up his bag he followed the ensign down the many corridors and levels leading to his quarters.
Arriving at his quarters he listened as the ensign went through the room pointing out the facilities. The room - or should he say rooms, as there was a sliding door to separate the living working space from his sleeping area. Combined, the rooms were larger than he was expecting and there was a viewing port. A narrow strip down one wall meant he would see stars. He brought his attention back and found the ensign standing before him holding out what looked like a paper folder.
"I have to ensure you see this. It's an orientation pack.' Fumbling she opened it had handed him a card. 'This is your room and on-board ID and food card. It has also has a list of officers who are advocates if you need to speak to someone about anything. And I also have to tell you there is a meet-and-greet for all ship's officers and Associate Specialists at the Hub at seventeen hundred hours.' She put down the pack and pointed towards the large working desk. 'There you will find your wrist communicator and ship tablet. On it is all the appointments you are expected to attend the next two days.'
'Thank you,' Ianto said.
Gwen suddenly remembered her greeting. 'Welcome aboard the Torchwood' she said then spun on her heel and left.
As the door closed Ianto stretched out his arms, did a swirl, and then fell backwards onto the bed. He dragged his hand over his hair and started laughing.
He had done it! Elation washed over him. He had escaped, he was free.
The vibration from the communicator in his pocket was still constant and he took it out. Standing he set up the message to transfer to his main viewscreen, which was a feature of the desk.
Mentally he began to prepare himself and his stomach twisted. Escaping was the easy bit. Now he had to face the' Wrath of the Joneses.'
'Ianto Erasmus Jones, where the hell are you? Rhia thundered at him.
'I'm on board the Space Command Vessel Torchwood.'
'You're what! We've been going out of our minds. When your locator went dead we thought you'd been kidnapped. Dad's gone mental. He's called out Space Academy security and they are searching the entire campus for you. His own security is searching every exit out of City Major and the surrounding districts.'
'Is that Ianto?' Rhia was pushed out the way and an older version of himself came into view.
'Where are you? We were meant to meet up after your physio session for lunch. When I turned up I found out you had missed your appointment...' His father took a breath. 'Your office and flat it looked like someone had packed up in a hurry and gone. I was terrified you had been taken by some mad bastards for extortion and you would be returned to us in body parts.'
'Sorry about that,' Ianto replied meekly.
'Sorry! I thought you'd been kidnapped, your locator was off, and I've had the entire area security force searching for you.'
'You don't look sorry,' Rhia pointed out as she observed her brother looking flushed and, dare she say it, smug.
'I didn't mean to give any of you a fright. It's just an opportunity came up and I just went with it.'
'What opportunity?' Rhia narrowed her eyes.
'The Senior Associate had a family emergency so she couldn't do her rotation with the students.'
'What are you talking about?' Rhia interrupted.
'Rotation with the senior students for their practical experience.'
'Spit it out son,' Arthur Jones burst out.
'On the Torchwood.'
'Torchwood, Torchwood…' Arthur repeated and his eyes widened. 'Torchwood, as is Space Command Training Vessel Torchwood?'
Ianto watched his father appear to increase in size by a factor of two.
'You are not going back into service!' he roared. 'It's too dangerous, you are not ready, you have months of physical rehabilitation and counselling left to cover. And you know full well it's not an option! What if you get injured?'
'It's done, Dad.'
'We will see about that.' Arthur turned to Rhia. 'Get me Admiral Barrios on line now.'
'I've already spoken to him and told him I squared it with all of you and you were good with this,' Ianto interjected.
'How dare you speak for me?' Arthur thundered.
'Dad, I know I've not done this in the best possible way. But I was going mad! I have to get out into space again.'
'Ianto, we've spoken about this. You know how willing we are to set up some kind of business. Run your own Cargo service, Charles even had ship designs made up, we can ensure the best possible support staff.'
Ianto felt his jaw lock. 'This is what I mean, Dad. I don't need the family to map out my future, making my decisions for rest of my life. I just need to escape. Feel space under my feet. It's only sixteen weeks. Space Academy in space if you like; teaching, setting up tasks for students...I will be back before you know it.' Ianto forced himself to smile reassuringly, hoping it was convincing.
Arthur glared at his son. 'You know he is on board. Completing his rehabilitation.'
Ianto felt his stomach turn over. 'I can handle this, Dad. Harkness threw everything possible at me. What more can he do to me?'
'Just the thought of him being anywhere near you is enough for me to come and march you off there right now.'
'Dad, I'm thirty two years old. Marching me off is not an option. I can handle this. I knew before I accepted the assignment he was on board, but we are equals now. I can deal with this.' He repeated the phrase like a mantra in the hope if he repeated it enough it would become true.
'All I care about is your safety, Ianto. I just want you safe.'
'Please Dad. I've not asked for anything. It's just sixteen weeks. There and back again. It's not like we are going anywhere dangerous. The entire mission will be well within the boundaries of Home Space.'
Arthur ran his hand over his face and his shoulders dropped. 'You are as stubborn as your mother was, you know that?'
'So you are okay with this then?' Ianto hedged hopefully.
'No, I am not okay with this. But if this is what you need to get this out of your system so be it. Then come home where we can look after you.'
'That's the problem,' Ianto muttered under his breath.
'What was that?' Arthur snapped.
'I love you dad.' Ianto responded quickly.
'I except daily briefings,' Arthur demanded.
Ianto rolled his eyes and his sister swam into view. 'Dad!'
'Every two days then and include updates on your physio sessions.'
'Dad, maybe he's got a point,' Rhia interrupted, glaring at her father.
'Get this out your system and come home,' Arthur pleaded.
'I'll do my best.'
'Ianto, please be careful,' Rhia added a plaintiff note.
'This is a milk run; there and back, teaching, sharing my skills. What could go wrong?' he repeated.
'Even milk runs have their dangers you know that. Last time you were almost killed.'
'I promise I won't do anything that will put myself at risk,' Ianto promised.
We love you Ianto.'
'I love you all too,' Ianto responded and flicked the screen off.
Letting out a long breath he checked his time piece. Only one rollicking left to go.
'Fuck me,' Owen said as he found someone wholly unexpected looking at him with a huge grin on his face.
Owen threw his arms around Ianto in a huge bear hug. 'You should have told me you were coming. I could have met you and given you the grand tour. Tosh will be thrilled you've came to visit.'
Ianto bit both his lips and look sheepish as Owen pulled back.
Owen took a moment and realised Ianto was in a uniform at least one size too small but a uniform none the less. 'Tell me what I'm thinking is not what I'm thinking,' Owen said in disbelief. 'Are you bloody mad?' Owen exploded a few seconds later when Ianto nodded.
'I will go mad if people don't stop fussing over me. You've no idea what it's been like.'
'He's been driving me crazy, it's like he can't accept I'm getting better. He turns up for just about every physio session I have, bombards me with questions, hassles the therapists. Got me a job at the Space Academy, by making himself a nuisance. He even chose the flat I live in and furnished it.'
'He keeps me updated. And I can see his point. You did almost die and you are just started teaching at the Academy six months ago and even that's part time,' Owen said.
'It gets worse. Dad and Charles have been planning every detail for my life for the foreseeable future. Apparently the pair of them have had this long neglected idea about setting up an intergalactic cargo business with me as the ideal face of the company. I need to take charge of my own life, make my own decisions.'
'I thought you would be pleased to see me?'
'I am, Ianto. It's just the last time you were in space I ended up having to grow you a new spine. None of us want to see you like that again.'
A squeal prevented any further conversation as Tosh flew into his arms.
A few moments passed as Tosh gave Ianto an equally big hug as Owen had.
'Ianto, this is wonderful,' she told him as they pulled apart.
'He's not visiting. He's joining the crew,' Owen told her.
'Commander Ianto Jones.' Ianto saluted.
'You know he's on-board?' Tosh told him.
Ianto felt some of his elation disappear.
'I know.' He saw a look pass between his two friends.
'For what it's worth Ianto, he is not the same man you knew,' Owen told him
'It's still him; same face, same voice,' Ianto pointed out.
'Do you think you will be okay?' Tosh asked her voice dripping with a tone of concern Ianto had come to loath.
'Will people stop asking me that?' Ianto growled.
Owen broke into a grin then shook his head and held out his hand. 'Welcome to Torchwood mate.'
Martha Jones knew Jack had gotten the news as soon as she opened the door to her office and counselling space.
'You better come in,' she said.
'I've just found out John Jones is the Sensor Calibration Associate Specialist from the Space Academy.' Jack sank into a chair opposite her.
'Jack, you are not the same person you were four years ago. Neither is he.'
'I am a living reminder of what went wrong. Me being the major cause.' Jack pointed at his chest.
'Aren't you being a little unfair here? Suzie Costello manipulated you and anyone else she thought would help her get what she wanted. There were no lengths she wouldn't go to including her relationship with you. Everyone who had stood by her as a friend and colleague and her career in Space Command.'
Jack pointed at himself. 'I was her number one thug.'
'Jack, you took responsibility. You've worked hard to regain your place in Space Command. 'I think you have a lot to prove' Martha said more gently when Jack didn't reply.
Jack looked up at her. 'Yes, I have to prove I am not the negligent wanker I was. To him, myself, and Space Command.'
'How do you think you should proceed?' Martha nudged.
'I've decided to resign.'
Jack's words came as no surprise she had expected this as soon as she saw who Sandra Zhang's replacement was. 'How will running away help this situation?'
'This is not running away,' Jack declared.
'So what is it then?'
'It's allowing John…Ianto,' Jack corrected himself, 'a positive return to space without having to face me.'
'That's very noble of you, Jack.'
'There is nothing noble about it,' Jack retorted. 'Keeping out of his way is showing respect for his recovery.'
'I see respect for his recovery,' Martha reflected back.
'Five years of hard work and he is finally getting his life back on track. It's only right I step aside and allow him this,' Jack pointed out.
Martha creased her forehead. 'You've been following his recovery?'
'I just wanted to make sure…' Jack said how much he should admit. The compulsion he had felt on Diligence was ongoing. It was a fear that if he didn't check on Ianto's progress something might happen and his recovery might stagnate and the man would never recover. 'This is not running away. It's about ensuring Ianto's continuing recovery.'
'What about your rehabilitation? All your hard work. In some respects it's been as arduous as his recovery.'
Jack looked at her, shocked. 'How can you compare what I've been through to his ordeal? He lost everything: his health, his career and I robbed him of ever putting a ski on again.'
'You lost everything as well Jack: your standing in Space Command, you were busted back to ensign, been under constant supervision. Everything you thought you had with Susie. Unlike many others you chose to front up, stand and take your punishment. And you've worked bloody hard to get to this point.'
'What matters is he's here and I'm gone,' Jack said quietly.
'What if I told you Commander Jones was informed you would be the first officer and he still accepted the post?'
Jack looked confused.
'That's right, Jack. Before he was offered Sandra Zhang's place he was told in no uncertain terms you would be on board and he still accepted the post. I don't need to tell you but a lot of people in Space Command are secretly hoping you will fail. That bad blood will out. They feel you never really paid for what you did. If they had their way you would be rotting in some military jail.'
She saw Jack nod to himself in agreement. 'And there are others who admire your courage for facing what happened and have supported your rehabilitation. There's me and Captain Boston and a whole host of others including Ianto's father.'
'I didn't deserve him speaking for me after what I did to his son,' Jack said in a whisper.
'Many people were astounded Jack, but that's the power of redemption. He saw what many of us did: that you are a good man who made some terrible choices for all the wrong reasons but still a good man. Not just a good man, a decent man willing to put in the hard work on making things as right as he could. I don't expect this to be easy for either of you. Both of you are confronting demons of the past. What if this is an ideal opportunity to demonstrate to him just how much you've changed? You are not the same person you were on the Diligence. Neither is he.'
Jack let out a long sigh and sat back, deep in thought
'What should your first step be as first officer?' She asked after some time had passed.
'Welcome him on board. You know the drill.'
'I think that would be an excellent start. Treat him like you would any crew member, as if he wasn't Ianto Jones.'
'That's harder said than done,' Jack burst out.
'No one said this was easy.'
'Nothing about this has been easy,' Jack retorted.
'Sometimes the last hurdle is the most difficult to get over,' Martha said. 'But I have faith that you can do this Jack.'
Jacks wrist communicator beeped. 'If I'm staying I had better get ready for the greet-and-meet'
'Yes,' Martha agreed. 'I had better get ready myself.'
'Ready, ' Jack groaned. 'I am never going to be ready for this.'
'Life's not a rehearsal, Jack. It's just one moment at a time for all of us.'
'Yes, you weren't an officious, nasty, arsehole wanker. A chicken shit officer, the worst of the worst.'
'That rooster has left the coop, Jack. You are certainly not that now.'
Jack felt his stomach twist as he left the room. Martha pressed her communicator as her door whooshed close.
'All sorted. He's staying,' she announced.
'Good. I'll delete his request,' Captain Boston replied then signed off.
Martha headed out to get herself ready for the evening's delights. One man wounded almost to the point of no return and the other the cause and she was worried her first mission aboard was going to be boring.
Ianto stood in front of the mirror in the bathroom of his quarters. He hadn't realised he had put on so much weight. He'd needed an entire new set of uniforms, including the dress one he was now wearing. Not so long ago everyone had been so worried he had lost too much weight. He let a long sigh because he knew the cause.
When his dad had told him he had lost not only access to the slopes but his career in Deep Space Command he had lost the will to live. It was like being told he had been forbidden to breathe. The hole that loss had left was still a cavernous wasteland. Was this living? Spending the rest of his life teaching students the skills he had gained which in turn meant they would take his place to and continue the wondrous discoveries of the universe which by right should be his?
His life had been saved for what? To be relegated to being a non-participant in Space Command while others made the discoveries he wanted to make? What was the point of living? His family had been the partial answer. Ianto had watched the fear in his father's eyes replaced with hope followed by gratitude meant he found a measure of strength living for them.
Now he had sixteen weeks of an unexpected but most welcome gift. An escape no matter how short. Ianto looked at the door and felt a shiver of emotion. It could find no name to give the combination of fear, nervousness, excitement and loathing for one individual.
Tonight he had to face the man who had stolen his life.