Into the TARDIS

“Do you know which race she belongs to?” the Doctor asked as he followed Jack into the Captain’s office a few minutes later.

“Actually, I was hoping you could answer that question,” Jack admitted. He sat Eleya down on the couch before flopping down into his own chair. “All I know is that she’s a pretty powerful psychic. She... She killed someone, Doctor.”

The Doctor looked from Jack to Eleya, eyebrow raised.


“It wasn’t deliberate on her part,” Jack defended his daughter. “At least, not in a premeditated sense. Bobby thinks the man grabbed her, and maybe even hit her. She was scared, she’d just arrived through the rift, and I think she just reacted in self-defence. Everything we’ve managed to get out of her suggests that there were some pretty nasty people after her, and if those nasty people happen to be the Time Agency, then I can’t blame her for it at all. They’re ruthless, Doctor. You know it as well as I do.”

“Yes, I do,” the Doctor agreed sombrely. “Well, fair enough. We’ll assume it was self-defence. Tell me, though, what abilities has she displayed?”

“Telekinesis, for one. She’s a very strong telekinetic. Then, there’s whatever she did to that man in the mall.”

“Is that all?” the Doctor wondered.

“No,” Jack answered. “She can heal, Doctor. I had a bad headache, and she took the pain away, completely.”

Curiosity filled the Doctor’s face, and he turned to look at Eleya.

“Hello there, sweetheart. Mind if I come over there and talk to you for a minute?”

Eleya looked uncertainly to Jack, who smiled reassuringly at her.

“It’s okay, baby. He won’t hurt you.”

The Doctor shifted across to sit beside her, and smiled gently at the little girl.

“Hello, there. I’m the Doctor. I’m a friend of your daddy.” He paused, considering that. “Never quite pictured you as a daddy, Jack.”

Jack smiled ruefully.

“Nice to know I can still surprise you.”

The Doctor flashed him a brief grin before returning his attention to Eleya.

“Now, sweetheart just hold still. I promise you, this isn’t going to hurt.”

He lifted his sonic screwdriver and scanned Eleya with it, frowning as he did so. Eleya sat quietly, much to Jack’s relief, seemingly entranced by the device.

“She’s Mendyrian,” the Doctor announced finally, sitting back with a frown. “Your daughter is half Mendyrian, Jack.”

He looked up at the Captain, and was greeted with a puzzled look.

“I’m sorry, Doctor, I don’t see what’s wrong. The Mendyrians are supposed to be a peaceful race, aren’t they?”

“Oh yes, extremely so, but Mendyr is a closed planet, Jack. No one comes or goes from there, ever. I wasn’t even allowed to enter their atmosphere in the TARDIS, the one time I tried to visit.”

Jack’s eyebrows went up in astonishment.

“They were able to keep you out? How?”

The Doctor looked annoyed, much to Jack’s amusement.

“I was never able to work that out, as a matter of fact. The point is, they’re obsessive about keeping their race pure, so what I want to know is how you ended up having a child with Mendyrian blood in her veins.”

The softest of sighs escaped Jack’s lips.

“You and me both, Doctor.”

The Doctor looked back to Eleya, and smiled when he saw her attention was still on the sonic screwdriver.

“You like that, do you?”

Eleya looked up at him and smiled tentatively.


“Piiya?” the Doctor echoed, puzzled.

“She said it’s pretty,” Jack clarified. “She’s talking in a hybrid dialect of fifty-first century Commonspeak, and something else that I couldn’t identify. I suppose it might be Mendyrian, though I don’t know for sure.”

“But you do understand her?”

“Yes, I do,” Jack confirmed.

“Strange,” the Doctor mused. “The TARDIS isn’t translating her for us.”

“Maybe because I understand her,” Jack suggested, and the Doctor nodded thoughtfully, although his expression suggested that he didn’t quite accept that as an explanation.

“Mm. Maybe.”

Eleya finally looked away from the Doctor, back to Jack, and gave him a pleading look that he couldn’t resist.


Jack smiled faintly, and got up to join them on the couch. Eleya squealed in delight, and climbed eagerly into his lap, wrapping her arms around his neck.

“She certainly loves you, Captain,” the Doctor mused.

“I love her,” Jack answered, smiling down at her with affection. “I just wish she could tell me what happened to her.” He paused, taking in the look on the Time Lord’s face before speaking tersely. “And no, you’re not going to go tripping through her mind, so don’t even think about it.”

“Oi!” the Doctor exclaimed indignantly. “I don’t trip! And anyway, your mind is the priority here. We need to get your memories back, and see if we can find out how this little one came to be.”

As the Doctor moved to stand, Jack couldn’t resist teasing him a little.

“Now, Doctor, if you don’t know that, then maybe you should have taken me up on that offer of a dance back in your previous regeneration. I would have happily thrown in a lesson on the birds and the bees, no extra charge.”

The Doctor smirked right back at the Captain.

“Why? You never did buy me that drink.”

Jack chuckled softly as he stood up and lifted Eleya up in his arms.

“Sorry I can’t oblige now, but I won’t betray Ianto.”

“Fidelity from the intergalactic playboy?” the Doctor asked in mock astonishment, though the sparkle in his eyes took any sting out of his words. “Your young man must be something special.”

“He is,” Jack confirmed. “You should know that already, Doctor.”

A genuine smile graced the Doctor’s face.

“Oh, I do. I do know it. You’re a lucky man, Captain. Now, let’s go and have a look at this pendant, shall we?”

The silence in the Hub was almost deafening in its intensity as the Doctor examined the pendant. He hummed, oohed and aahed as he peered at it from every conceivable angle before finally returning his attention to Jack.

“It’s just an ordinary necklace in itself, Jack, but there does seem to be a fairly high level of psychic energy surrounding it.”

“Meaning?” Jack pressed.

“Meaning you suspected what was coming, and took measures to counteract it. It is definitely a psychic trigger. Very clever indeed, Jack. I’m just sorry it’s taken so long for us to come to this point.”

Jack shook his head, dismissing the apology.

“All that matters is that I have a way to get my memories back.”

“Oh yes, at least two years’ worth of memories are embedded here. The only question now is when do you want to try?”

“As soon as possible,” Jack admitted. “And Doctor… Thankyou for letting me stay in the TARDIS.”

The Doctor lifted an eyebrow in his direction.

“I wouldn’t have allowed it to be anywhere else, for your own sake, Jack. This is two years’ worth of memories here. There’s no way of knowing what’s going to be uncovered. The TARDIS is the safest place for you to be.”

The next half hour was spent preparing for Jack to be absent from the Hub, along with Ianto. The Captain appointed Owen to run the place in the interim, a move which further seemed to aggravate Gwen. To her credit, though, she didn’t argue with the decision.

Ianto had just finished showing Alex how to use the coffee machine, and had retreated to the locker room to put together a few personal necessities. He didn’t care how wonderful Jack proclaimed the TARDIS to be; he was not going without a spare suit, and he doubted the sentient ship could supply one in his exact fittings. He sensed he was no longer alone seconds before Gwen actually spoke, and was grateful to be able to avoid showing any surprise at her sudden appearance behind him.

“Gwen,” he greeted her in as civil a tone as he could manage. He was still annoyed with her over her attitude towards Eleya, and he strongly suspected that she had come to try and talk him out of accompanying Jack into the TARDIS. If that was the case, then she was wasting her breath and he had no problem telling her so. He stared down at her intently, waiting to hear her out.

“Look,” she said quietly, “about earlier. I still think it’s mad for you to be out of action as well as Jack…”


“No, please, Ianto. Just hear me out.”

He fell silent, his jaw tight with increasing aggravation. She went on quickly, aware that his patience was rapidly wearing thin.

“I don’t agree with it,” she went on, “but I do understand you.”

“Do you, Gwen? Because lately, it doesn’t seem to me that you really do.”

“He needs you,” she stated bluntly, and he blinked in surprise. A part of him waited for her to add some self-centric comment, but none of was forthcoming. Gwen continued to speak, apparently oblivious to Ianto’s surprise. “I do understand that, despite what everyone else probably thinks, and I know it’s important for you to be there with him… for him.”

“But you’d prefer it to be you in that role,” Ianto stated, and then promptly wanted to kick himself for the insensitive and unnecessary remark. Gwen reddened visibly at the blunt accusation, but didn’t dispute it.

“Well, it’s not, and it was never going to be,” she conceded. “He loves all of us, but you most of all. I can’t begrudge either of you that. Look, Ianto, all I’m trying to say is look after him, please, because God knows he doesn’t always do a good job of looking after himself.”

Ianto’s anger melted away as quickly as it had built up. He knew that was one hell of a concession for her to make, and he needed to acknowledge it with grace. However, it still concerned him that so far the conversation had only revolved around Jack.

“And what about Eleya, Gwen?” he asked. “Can you accept that she’s here to stay?”

Despite her best efforts, Gwen could not stop the frown that darkened her features. Ianto ceased what he was doing and turned to face her directly.

“All right. We’re alone, and there’s no one listening in. Will you please tell me just what it is that you’ve got against Eleya? Because Owen was quite right. You were fine with her until it became clear that she had a connection to Jack. And once we knew for sure that she was his daughter, you were all for getting rid of her as soon as possible. So tell me, Gwen. What’s the problem?”

Gwen drew in a shuddering breath, and all of a sudden she couldn’t look him in the eye.

“Rhys and I want a baby.”

“Yes, I gathered that from your reasoning over why Eleya should have stayed with your. Go on.”

“We’ve been trying to nearly five months,” she admitted unhappily, and realisation began to dawn on Ianto.

“I see.”

She did look back at him, then, and he could clearly see the tears threatening in her eyes. Genuine tears this time, he mused with sympathy, born of genuine misery.

“I don’t have anything against Eleya, Ianto, I swear it. It’s just that, here Jack is with this ready-made family, and it just doesn’t seem fair!”

For a split second, Ianto was torn between wanting to slap Gwen, and wanting to hug her. In the end, he set aside his aggravation and did the latter.

“No, I suppose it doesn’t seem fair to you, but you’re being rather presumptuous in assuming that this is all easy for Jack.”

She drew back a little from him, and he wasn’t entirely surprised to see confusion on her face.

“Why? What do you mean?”

Ianto sighed and, not for the first time, wondered how someone who was supposed to have so much compassion for others could be so oblivious to what was right in front of her face.

“Gwen, none of us… not even Jack… can guess what memories are going to be uncovered. We have no way of knowing how they’ll affect him. You’re probably picturing a stereotypical scenario where Jack was in a loving relationship that resulted in his pregnancy.”

The confusion on Gwen’s face morphed into a frown.

“What’s wrong with that? For all we know…”

“Gwen,” Ianto cut her off in a quiet but firm voice. “Something traumatic caused them to be separated, and Jack had two years of his memory taken from him because of it, most likely by force. So don’t stand there claiming that any of this is easy for Jack, because it’s not.”

He very nearly found himself adding that she had no idea just how scared Jack really was over learning what had happened in those missing two years, and managed to stop himself just in time. That was something private between Jack and himself, and whilst Ianto didn’t believe Jack had any need to hide his vulnerabilities from the rest of the team, neither was it any of Gwen’s business. It was as simple as that.

She was looking at him uncertainly now, as if she didn’t quite know whether to take him seriously. There was no hint of amusement in his expression, though.

“You really think it could be bad, don’t you?” she asked.

He sighed again at her incredulity.

“Yes, Gwen. I do.”

“Then why are you letting him do it? For God’s sake, Ianto…”

“Do you really believe we have a right to stop him?” he demanded, suddenly angry with her. “Well, we don’t. Just as Alex said before, two years worth of memories is too much to disregard. Jack is the one with the rights here, Gwen. He has the right to know what happened in his life that led to him having that beautiful little girl, and how he came to be separated from her. We all have the responsibility now to make sure that Jack and Eleya are protected while Jack goes through this, and that everything stays running smoothly. Is that clear enough for you?”

To Ianto’s own incredulity, though, she continued to argue with him.

“Ianto, he’s the one who’s always talked about the bigger picture! He’s turning his back on his responsibilities here… his responsibilities to us!”

“And you’re the one who always argues that people have a right to know the truth about what’s happened in their lives,” Ianto snapped. “Why is Jack suddenly the exception to your rule?”

Gwen fell very abruptly silent, and a deep blush crept across her face as it sunk in just how hypocritical she was being. Ianto paused to take a long, calming breath before speaking again.

“You think of yourself as the heart and soul of the team, because that’s how Jack has always seen you. How about you start trying to live up to that?”

Thoroughly chastened, Gwen started to leave, but then turned back to regard Ianto wonderingly.

“You’ve changed. You used to be so timid and quiet…”

“Are you saying you miss the old me?” Ianto asked wryly, and Gwen managed a weak smile.

“No… No, it’s just that… Well, being with Jack has really brought you out of your shell. I said it once to Tosh, and I’ll say it to you as well. Being in love suits you.”

And then she was gone, exiting the locker room as quickly as she could with what little scrap of dignity she still had. Ianto watched her go with a sense of bemusement before hurrying to finish what he was doing, and go to join Jack and Eleya in the TARDIS.

Jack had fully expected to be led straight to the med room, and he was pleasantly surprised when that proved not to be the case. His surprise turned into full-blown astonishment, though, when the Doctor led him into a large, comfortably furnished suite, complete with three beds and enough books, toys and games to keep any child occupied.

“Three beds?” Jack asked, not even attempting to hide his amusement. “Are you trying to tell me something, Doctor?”

The Doctor frowned at him, unimpressed.

“For starters, the TARDIS did the furnishing. Not me. And secondly, don’t you think you ought to spare your daughter that confusion, Captain? She might not be able to understand why her daddy is sharing a bed with a strange man.”

Jack’s expression tightened and he turned to Eleya, who was sitting almost gleefully on a toddler-sized bed that was resplendent with teddy bear patterned duvet.

“Eleya, sweetheart, do you like Anno?”

“Anno?” the Doctor queried, and Jack shrugged.

“She couldn’t get her tongue around ‘Ianto’, so she started calling him Anno instead.”

“Mu bai!” Eleya stated loudly in answer to Jack’s question. Then, she also answered in halting English. “Love Anno. My Tad. Dada and Tad mwah!”

There was no mistaking what was meant by the ‘mwah’, and Jack looked back at the Doctor with a single eyebrow raised.

“Do you think she’s confused, Doctor? Because from where I’m standing, she doesn’t seem confused at all.”

“Oh, all right,” the Doctor growled. “But you’re still not getting one bed between you. I don’t think your young man will appreciate being hit or kicked, or any of those sorts of physical reactions you may have during the process.”

That sobered Jack up quickly, and he sighed in resignation.

“Point taken. Speaking of which, I thought you would have put me in the med room.”

At that, the Doctor’s expression softened.

“Jack, your being in the TARDIS isn’t just about being safe. You need to be completely at ease, too. The med room is hardly the place to be perfectly comfortable, and this may be traumatic enough for you without your environment adding to the stress.”

“Thankyou,” Jack murmured sincerely, grateful for consideration of something that had honestly not occurred to him.

“Now, where is Mr Jones?” the Doctor asked.

“Right here,” Ianto announced as he walked into the room. Before either the Doctor or Jack had a chance to respond, Eleya slid off the bed and ran to him, squealing delightedly when he swung her up into his arms. With a pointed look at the Doctor, Jack strolled over to Ianto and, with Eleya still in the Welshman’s arms, captured his lips in a prolonged and indulgent kiss.

The Doctor rolled his eyes, but said nothing. Point clearly made – the look on Eleya’s face as the two men kissed was one of absolute and unmistakable delight.

“What was that for?” Ianto wondered when they finally parted. Jack smiled somewhat sheepishly.

“No reason.”

When Ianto looked sceptical, Jack put on his best pout.

“Can’t I just kiss you because I feel like it?”

Ianto chuckled and returned the kiss briefly.

“Of course you can. You just rarely do anything without a motive of some description.”

Jack tried to look offended, but it was hard to maintain when Ianto kissed him again, more deeply that time. It wasn’t until the Doctor coughed that they finally separated.

“Ready then, Captain?”

“As I’ll ever be,” Jack muttered, suddenly sounding less than enthusiastic. Ianto said nothing. Gwen would surely have taken the opportunity to tell him that he didn’t have to go through with it at all, but that wasn’t what Jack needed to hear.

“It’s all right to be scared,” the Doctor said quietly. “You don’t know what you’ll learn. It’s understandable.”

Jack let his breath out in a rush.

“I am scared,” he admitted. “But I’m anxious, too. I want to do this. I have to know the truth.”

“Then lie down,” the Doctor encouraged him, “and we’ll get started. And you’ll need to open up your shirt, as well, and no lewd remarks thankyou very much. The pendant needs to be touching bare flesh.”

“Just a moment,” Jack said, deliberately ignoring the comments about lewd remarks. “I need to talk to Eleya.”

Ianto willingly passed her to Jack, who sat down with her on his lap.

“Eleya, I need you to listen closely to me, baby. Dada has to do something very important, now. I’m not sure what’s going to happen, but I promise you that I’ll be okay. I want you to be a brave girl, and do what Anno says, okay?”

Eleya responded by stretching up and kissing him on the cheek. She then turned to Ianto with a bright smile, and stretched her arms out to him to be picked up. He did so without hesitation, and Eleya wrapped her arms around his neck and sighed happily.

“My Tad.”

“Honestly, Jack,” Ianto said with a roll of his eyes, but the smile on his face gave away the very real pleasure he felt. Jack smiled and shrugged again.

“She’s made the choice to call you that She doesn’t have an issue with having two dads.”

“She’s just a baby, Jack,” Ianto reminded him gently. “Let’s not worry about this right now, though. Let’s just get this show on the road before Gwen thinks of another reason to try and stop you.”

Try as he might, Ianto couldn’t quite keep his tone free of the irritation he was currently feeling towards his colleague. Jack’s eyebrows show up as he lay down on the bed, wriggling a little to get comfortable.

“We’ll definitely be talking about that later. Okay, Doctor. I’m ready.”

The Doctor sat down on the edge of the bed.

“Close your eyes, then, and relax. Open your mind.”

Jack shifted again, and then sighed softly. As they watched, his body visibly relaxed on the bed, his breathing evened out and the tension bled out of his face. The Doctor reached across and laid his palm lightly over Jack’s forehead, closing his own eyes as he did so.

“That’s it, Jack. Let go of those defences.”

Jack’s hands, which had been laced fairly loosely across his stomach, now slipped to land by his sides.

“Good,” the Doctor murmured, finally withdrawing his hand. “If you’re a religious man, Mr Jones, now would be a good time to say a prayer. This is one of the danger points. The initial shock could prove to be too much, and cause his mind to just shut down.”

“Psychic shock, leading to coma?” Ianto queried worriedly, and the Doctor nodded.

“That’s one possibility. I gather you talked about it fairly thoroughly?”

“Jack did warn us about what might happen,” Ianto admitted. “We all agreed, though… or rather, most of us agreed that he needs to do this. He deserves the chance to know what happened in those two years. So go ahead, Doctor. Do what you need to do.”

“All right, then.”

Bringing out the pendant, the Doctor looped it carefully over Jack’s head and laid the gemstone on the warm flesh of Jack’s chest.

Ianto wasn’t entirely sure what he’d expected – convulsions or some other dramatic reaction, perhaps, as soon as the pendant touched Jack’s flesh, and he felt angry with himself for the brief flash of disappointment he’d felt when nothing of the sort happened. There was the faintest of shudders that rippled through Jack’s body, and then he settled once more into what, for all intents and purposes, appeared to be a very deep sleep.

The Doctor shifted off the bed and moved back, speaking quietly.

“All we can do now is watch, and wait.”

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