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Myfanwy 2

December 2017

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Tim's Balls

Archangel - Chapter Nine

Title: Archangel
Author: Milady Dragon
Artist: the_silver_sun
Beta: totally4ryo
Series: Tomorrow Torchwood
Rating: PG-13
Pairing(s): Jack/Ianto, Gwen/Rhys, John/Elena, Ianto/Lisa (Past)
Warning(s): Language, Violence
Spoilers: Up through "Last of the Time Lords"
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the properties this story mentions, including Torchwood, Doctor Who, The Tomorrow People (both TV and Audio Versions), Castle, The Sarah Jane Adventures, and anything else I might have added just because I could.
Author's Note: This was written for the Torchwood Classic Big Bang, and is a sequel to my story, "Contagion".  It goes completely AU from that story onward.

Summary: When the Tomorrow People are incapacitated by a mysterious, low-level telepathic field, Torchwood investigates.  Evidence leads to a company called Magister Innovations, the Archangel Network...and the last of the Time Lords.




Chapter Nine

“I’m asking again,” the Doctor snapped, putting himself between Ianto and Martha Jones, “who the hell are you?”

Ianto was too busy at the console, and he telepathically nudged Alexis to explain. She mentally rolled her eyes at him. “I’m Alexis, and this is Ianto. We came to rescue you, which is obvious since we’re here now and we helped you escape whatever those things were.”

Another presence tickled against his mind, but Ianto pushed it back effortlessly. “That’s a bit rude,” he chided the Time Lord, setting the TARDIS to hover in the time vortex until explanations could be made.   He really wanted to rush home, but this was a time machine, after all, and she was assuring him that they would get back to the team minutes after they’d left on their trip to the future.

He stopped his trip around the console, taking his first close look at both the Doctor and his Companion. He was rocked back on his heels as Ianto realised that he could actually see Time spinning around the Doctor. It was an overpowering vision, and he had to dial back his connection to the TARDIS in order not to be ill. “I don’t like it when someone tries to get into my head,” he went on. “I’d never do that to you, so I would appreciate you not prying into my mind.”

The Doctor’s eyes widened, and Ianto knew his appearance must have been somewhat off-putting, with his melding with the TARDIS showing in his eyes.   “You can’t,” the Time Lord gasped, taking a step forward. “What have you done?”

“As Alexis said,” Ianto pointed out, “we’ve just rescued you.   The TARDIS showed me how to fly her, so we could do that very thing.”

“You…” the Doctor swallowed, hard. He looked at a loss for words.

“The TARDIS and I have melded,” Ianto explained. “It’s only temporary, I assure you.”

He really didn’t mind being connected to the TARDIS’ mind as he was. She was a calm presence in his head, and he could see so many things…know so much, it was fantastic. She was gentle as well, knowing that his brain wasn’t as advanced as hers was, and she was very careful about overloading him.

“Well,” Martha Jones said, leaving the Doctor’s shadow and moving forward, “if he’s not gonna say it, I am. Thanks for coming to get us.” She held out her hand.

Alexis accepted it. “You’re welcome.”

Martha offered her hand to him as well, and Ianto smiled softly. “I apologise if I don’t shake, but I have a headful of a very powerful mind right now and I don’t want to accidentally broadcast them to you through skin-to-skin contact.” He was barely able to shield his mind from Alexis, and the last thing he wanted to do was overwhelm anyone, especially someone who wasn’t prepared for it.

“You’re Homo Superior,” the Doctor said, almost accusingly.

“Yes we are,” Alexis said. “We call ourselves the Tomorrow People.”

Martha was giving the Time Lord a funny look. “So, I’m guessing by the term Homo Superior that you’re from the human family tree. Are you from the future, then?”

Ianto wondered how she knew enough about genetics to have assumed that, and the TARDIS supplied the information that Martha was a medical student. “Actually,” he answered, liking her almost at once, “we’re from June, 2008. We’re just a bit more evolved than Homo Sapiens.”

“We’re the next stage in human evolution,” Alexis added proudly. “And there are more of us every day.”

“That’s how you’re communicating with the TARDIS,” the Doctor said sharply. “But all that power should be burning up your mind, no matter how advanced it is!”

“The TARDIS is only showing me what I can take,” Ianto said. “She’s well aware of my limits and is respecting them.”

“We’re telepathic,” Alexis told Martha at the companion’s confused look. “We can also teleport and we can move things with our minds. Those are just our basic powers, though. Ianto has an eidetic memory and really strong shields, and I’m kind of a genius. John says I might develop other minor abilities but I’m still growing into my powers.”

“John Dixon is still your leader?” the Doctor asked. He stood there, arms crossed over his chest belligerently.

Ianto wondered if the Doctor was going to threaten to tell his father on him, and he almost laughed at the notion.   “Yes he is, although I’m more with Torchwood now than with the main team.”

The Doctor’s eyes narrowed. “You’re Torchwood?” He didn’t need to be a telepath to feel the Doctor’s suspicion.

Ianto had expected his anger; after all, he’d been at Canary Wharf as well, and knew what One had been responsible for. “Torchwood Three, although I was undercover at Torchwood One until it fell. John did try to convince people that what Yvonne Hartman was doing was wrong, but no one listened to him. Then it was too late, and we all know what happened then.”

“How can the Tomorrow People trust Torchwood? Do they even know who you are?”

“Yes, the current Torchwood knows who I am. In fact, I’m the liaison between the teams, and we’ve worked together quite well. It does help that the current Director is very friendly toward us. You should know him…Captain Jack Harkness. I do believe he’s a former Companion of yours.”

He would have been surprised at the Doctor going pale at the mention of Jack’s name if Ianto hadn’t already heard the story of what had happened on the Gamestation. “Jack…involved with Torchwood?”

“Yes, not that he had any choice in the matter at first. Now, though, he’s changed it into something good.” He was so proud of Jack and what his lover had managed to accomplish even after everything he’d been through, and didn’t care who knew it.

Ianto then took a great deal of pleasure telling the Doctor all about Jack’s wait for him, so he could get the answers he’d needed. He spared the Time Lord nothing, not even bothering to hide his own contempt for the Doctor’s behaviour. The first time Ianto had heard about how Jack had awakened, alone on the Gamestation, it had taken all his self-control not to go and hunt the alien down himself, and instead had contented himself with putting the word out to every Federation world he could, to contact the Trig in case the Doctor showed up anywhere within their sphere of influence. Ianto’s friends on the Trig would then see to it that word got back to him about it.

He’d told Jack what he’d done, but didn’t admit it was because Ianto would do anything to overcome his genetic pacifism in order to beat the shit out of the alien. He figured he could justify it as defence of a loved one, because Jack needed that defence when it came to the Doctor. After all, how could anyone be so uncaring about a person who’d just died for them?

No, there was no possible excuse for it.

More telling, the TARDIS didn’t try to defend her master over his abandoning Jack on the Gamestation. Only a deep sense of melancholy and loss seeped into his mind, and Ianto could tell the time ship was well and truly sorry for her part in events, both in making Jack immortal and for leaving him surrounded by all that death...even though she hadn’t really had much of a choice in either matter.

“You abandoned this Jack person?” Martha demanded. “And he was supposed to have been your friend?”

“I was sick at the time –“ the Doctor attempted to defend himself.

“But you didn’t go back after you got better?” Martha snapped. Ianto wanted to applaud her for her anger on Jack’s behalf, especially since she’d never met Jack before. He wondered if she might want to come to work for Torchwood; it seemed as if she’d fit in perfectly. “He gave his life for yours, and that was how you repaid him? Is this what happens with all your companions, you get tired of them and just drop them off somewhere and don’t bother to come back?”

“Look,” Alexis broke in.   “You can apologise to Jack once we get back. Right now, there’s still stuff going on and we need to take care of business before we get all pissed off at one another.”   She didn’t look happy either, but at least she was trying to get things back on track.

The Doctor spluttered, and Ianto wanted to hug her, but he didn’t want to overwhelm her mind with any accidental skin-to-skin contact.

“You’re right, of course.” He straightened up, putting his business face on. He could deal with his anger toward the Doctor later. For now, he needed to explain what was going on, and what they might find when they get back to when they’d left.

Instead, he went on to tell the Doctor and Martha everything that had been happening back in 2008. He knew from what the TARDIS had shown him that everything had started when the Master had stolen her, and that was where he started.

The Doctor interrupted him several times, mainly to argue points with him, but Ianto didn’t let his temper get to him again. It wasn’t worth it, when there had been an insane Time Lord with access to at least eighteen months of Earth’s time, causing however much damage. It might even take years to repair whatever Saxon – the Master – had twisted.

They would have their work cut out for them, to fix things. The cover story alone was going to need to be epic.

Of course, it could have been worse, according to the TARDIS. If the Doctor hadn’t managed to jam her coordinate system, making it impossible for the Master to go anywhere except between the far future and the current time like some sort of bizarre, time-travelling yoyo, he would have had access to all of space and time.

Still, it was amazing what the Master had managed to accomplish in such a short time. His background as Harold Saxon was nearly perfect; Ianto had run a cursory background check himself, when Saxon had come to power after shooting down the Racnoss ship…and the TARDIS gladly supplied the fact that the Master hadn’t had anything to do with those events, he’d simply ridden the Doctor’s proverbial coattails into notoriety.

He shivered at the thought of the Archangel Network being activated. Knowing what he did now, it would have been a disaster. And that wasn’t simply because of what that signal would have done to his own people.

“I can’t believe it,” Martha gasped. “An alien actually got himself appointed to Minister of Defence?”

Ianto nodded. “Can you imagine what would have happened if he’d been elected to Prime Minister, if he’d managed to brainwash everyone with the Archangel Network?”

And then, the TARDIS filled his mind with even more information.

Ianto couldn’t help but be outraged.

“Saxon was going to take over the Earth,” he told his audience. “He was going to turn the TARDIS into a paradox machine and then open a portal to the end of time, where the remnants of the human race were waiting, changed into something horrible. He was going to use these poor, mad creatures in his quest to destroy everything in his path.”

The Doctor paled once more. “A paradox machine!” He ignored Ianto’s presence at the console, checking the time machine’s systems.

“Alexis and I took care of it,” Ianto answered simply. He motioned toward the piles of metal and glass and plastic around the room.

Wise, old eyes met his. “Thank you for that,” the Doctor said.

“She was in pain,” Alexis put in, “and we weren’t about to let that go on.”

“We need to stop the Master,” Ianto added. “Our teams are already working on that. In fact, they were part of the raid on Magister Innovations, the one where we freed the TARDIS. By now they must have taken care of the Archangel Network. We need to get back and get to Saxon before he pulls a runner.”

He hoped that Jack and the teams had done just that. Despite the boost his powers had gotten from being melded to the TARDIS, Ianto couldn’t reach out through time and contact any of the Tomorrow People, to let them know what was going on and what they’d discovered.

Even the TARDIS couldn’t do that. He felt her sorrow, but he understood. His all-too-human mind would be unable to deal with the stresses of navigating the time stream as her own could do, and it wasn’t worth the risk.

“Then we should get back to the right time.” The Doctor began running around the console, pulling switches and turning dials, dodging around Ianto when he didn’t move out of the way. On his second circuit, the Time Lord said, “You can move any time you want.”

Ianto raised an eyebrow. “Why would I want to move? I’ve already set the coordinates. You’re just making it look like you’re actually doing something.”

The Doctor gave him a dirty look, while the TARDIS chuckled within Ianto’s mind. Martha giggled, and Alexis rolled her eyes.

It seemed like seconds before the console chimed, signaling their landing. Ianto could suddenly sense his fellow Tomorrow People, just outside, and even Toshiko’s and Castle’s thoughts were clear…

As was Jack’s.

In all the time Ianto had been with Torchwood, he’d never been able to feel his lover’s mind. Jack had claimed that he had natural shields, augmented by whatever had made him immortal. Now that the TARDIS had explained what had been done to Jack, it seemed easy to by-pass the vortex cycling though his mind and to get to the hidden thoughts.

Jack’s thoughts were worn with responsibility and care, and ground down under the long years he’d lived. However, underneath all that Ianto could sense a chaotic joy, and it was with not-so insignificant happiness when he realised that he, himself, was the cause of it.

Ianto had always known that Jack would never give his whole heart to anyone, knowing that, some day, he would lose them to death while he continued on. The Tomorrow Person had accepted that, grateful that Jack would give even the smallest part of himself to someone who would die in such a short span of time compared to Jack’s own horrifically long existence. But this…this was something that Ianto had not anticipated, and it made his own terror at what the TARDIS had given him a little less harsh in the light of it.

The TARDIS was humming in what could only be smugness, and Ianto laughed.

And then, ever so slowly, the time ship began withdrawing her mind from his.

Ianto was sorry for her to leave, but he wouldn’t be able to step outside those doors with her thoughts so completely meshed with his own. He knew though that they would forever have a bond, and that bond would be something he would cherish.

He ran his hand along the console, sending her his sadness at their parting, but his gratitude at the glimpse he’d gotten into his lover’s own mind. She sent back her own love, and joy at their meeting, plus her own gratitude at her rescue. Their connection had been the strongest that she’d ever had with another person, even her own master, and Ianto knew that she would miss it, but she was the thief who had stolen her Time Lord as surely as he’d stolen her, and that went far beyond what she and Ianto had shared. The TARDIS might not have been very happy with the Doctor over what had happened with Jack, but she would always love him best of all.

She would be with him until the end, and that was the way it should be.

Ianto’s knees buckled once the TARDIS had completely withdrawn, and would have gone to the floor if not for Alexis suddenly appearing beside him and holding him up.

“Good thing I can do this with telekinesis,” she joked, “because you’d be too heavy otherwise.”

“Thanks for not letting me fall,” he murmured. “Sorry, I didn’t realise how much it was taking out of me to stay in meld with her.”

“Anytime,” she returned. “That’s what Tomorrow People do, right?”

“Yes, they do.” He rested his arm over her shoulders, weakly hugging her.   “Let’s get out of here, shall we?”

The Doctor was already at the door, and Ianto could tell that he couldn’t wait to get them all out of his time ship. Which was fine with Ianto; he wanted to be back with his friends and with Jack, who was just outside. He could read what had happened while they’d been gone even before, and he exchanged a glance with Alexis, who nodded.

‘Seems we missed some interesting stuff,’ she said mentally.

‘At least you got to finally travel in time.’

‘Yeah, but I didn’t get to see much!’

‘Next time.’

Alexis didn’t answer, but she was a Tomorrow Person, and there was no telling what they’d be getting into next. Time travel was very possible.

Ianto’s legs felt like rubber as Alexis helped him move, and he was grateful to her. He felt as weak as a kitten after sharing minds with the TARDIS, but it had been worth it. As they made their way out of the doors, Ianto could feel her saying farewell. Not goodbye…no, Ianto had a distinct feeling that he’d be seeing the TARDIS again some day.

The first person he saw was Jack.

Ianto couldn’t help but smile.



Chapter Ten


Comments

Ten, rude but not ginger as always! *giggles*
He really is! *grins*