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Myfanwy 2

November 2017

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Myfanwy 2

The Immortality of the Deathless - Chapter Thirty-Seven

The Immortality of the Deathless - Chapter Thirty-Seven
Author: Milady Dragon
Rating: PG-13
Summary: When Master Archivist Ianto Jones of Torchwood Castle discovers the presence of a powerful magical Artifact, Baroness Gwen Williams hires Captain Jack Harkness and his band of mercenaries to retrieve it.
Pairing(s): Jack Harkness/Ianto Jones; Gwen Williams/Rhys WIlliams
Warning: Fantasy violence
Spoilers:
None really; mostly for Doctor Who S1 episodes "Bad Wolf" and "Parting of the Ways", and Torchwood S1 "Everything Changes" and S2 "Fragments".  Although the stories have been warped to fit into a fantasy setting. 
Author's Note:  This is Torchwood in a fantasy setting.  Everything that could be considered alien in the normal universe is magical here. 
Disclaimer: I don't own Torchwood, if I did I'd have treated it better. It - and Doctor Who - are owned by the BBC, and created by Russell T. Davies.

A/N2: Thank you to greendrider85 for the lovely artwork, which can be found here. 


 

Chapter Thirty-Seven

They found Ianto and Suzie lying next to each other, and Jack would remember that particular tableaux for a very long time.

Ianto was sprawled on his back, one hand outstretched as if he were reaching for something. His legs were twisted at an awkward angle, crumpled where he must have fallen.

There was blood staining the grass.

A lot of blood.

Jack didn't know how he managed to get down from the saddle while holding the limp body of Myfanwy, but he did, and he knelt in the grass beside Ianto, hoping to find some sign of life. He slid the dragon out of his arms, and she seemed to instinctively curl around the archivist's legs…not that Jack particularly noticed.

He was too busy being shocked by the dark stain on Ianto's tunic. But he could see the faint rising and falling of the younger man's chest as he breathed.

Jack couldn't remember the last time he felt that relieved.

"Shit…shit…shit." Owen slipped to the ground on the other side of the archivist's body, almost pushing Suzie out of the way in his haste. "I'll get to her later," he answered Jack's raised eyebrow. His medical bag thumped down beside him, the battle surgeon began examining the apparent wound in Ianto's abdomen. He used a knife to slice open the sodden tunic, to expose the injured area…. "What the fuck?"

Jack didn't want to look, but the surprise in Owen's voice drew his eyes to Ianto's stomach. They widened in shock.

There was an obvious knife wound in the pale flesh, and the skin was stained a ghastly crimson color. But the injury itself…was glowing.

"What is that?" Toshiko whispered, kneeling beside Jack.

"I…" Jack was flustered by what they were seeing. "I think it's magic…"

"You mean Wizard-boy cast some sort of spell on himself?" Owen snorted. "Yeah, like I'm gonna be able to do anything about that!"

"Check on Suzie," Jack said. He realized Owen was right; there was nothing they could do for Ianto while any sort of spell was in place.

But he was puzzled. How did Ianto know anything as advanced as healing magic? He looked a little closer at the wound as Owen turned his attentions to Suzie. It didn't look like what he'd seen of such spells; if anything, it seemed as if the magic was filling the cut, instead of fixing it...

Just what had Ianto done?

For the first time, Jack glanced up at Ianto's face. The archivist looked peaceful, but…he leaned in closer, noticing that Ianto's eyes weren't completely closed; a sliver of gold shown from under the lids, and Jack gave into the temptation to slide it open more, revealing an unbroken field of swirling gold where an iris and pupil should have been.

The captain shivered. This wasn't normal magic. This was the Deep Ways.

Oh Gods Ianto…what have you done?

He'd warned Ianto; warned him that the Deep Magic was too dangerous to mess with…and yet, Jack had been the one to send the archivist to Gateway, knowing that Ianto could, indeed, control the power that lay within the shattered stones. He couldn't be totally blameless if anything happened to his lover, for using the ancient magic in order to save his life.

Jack reached out, running his finger down Ianto's cool cheek. He could actually feel the tingling of power as he traced along the curve of the younger man's cheekbone, realizing that the Deep Ways must be permeating more than just that wound if Jack was actually able to sense the Deep Ways coursing through, just under the layers of Ianto's skin.

It frightened him.

"Jack." A hand touched his shoulder, bringing him out of his thoughts.

He glanced up; Toshiko stood there, favoring him with a sympathetic expression. "What is it?"

"I'm going to start setting up camp," the Elven woman answered. "Get a fire started…"

The captain nodded, forcibly putting himself back into leader mode. "Good thinking. As soon as Owen gets done with Suzie, I'll come and help."

"I can do it, if you want to stay with Ianto – "

"No, I need to be up and doing. Owen can look after the both of them." Truthfully, he didn't want to leave Ianto's side, but he couldn't stand seeing the archivist lying there like that.

"Yeah, well at this point I'd say Ianto needs my attention more than Suzie does," the battle surgeon answered, sliding himself beside the archivist once more.

"What do you mean?"

"What I mean, Jack, is that our young Wizard friend there must have magicked her in self-defense, she's totally unresponsive. I'd say she was in a coma, but there isn't any physical injury to show the cause. Oh, and her eyes are white. The pupil and iris are completely clouded over. No idea what would've caused that, either. "

Magic. Jack was getting to the point where he genuinely hated the term, except that it was what was apparently keeping Ianto alive at that point. "Do what you can for them, Owen. I'll help Tosh set up camp."

Owen nodded, while Jack and Tosh got to work.

 

*****
 

It didn't take long for them to get everything set up and a fire made. Jack could hear Owen grumbling about the lack of coffee, but there was a strange undercurrent to the words, as if he was only complaining by rote. After they got the bedrolls down, the two men moved Ianto and Suzie to their own, the captain carrying Myfanwy; the dragon curled into Ianto's side instinctively, and it made him smile slightly to see it.

Owen had removed Ianto's ruined tunic, and had bandaged the glowing wound in the archivist's abdomen. "Just a precaution," he'd said, when Jack had commented on it. "Don't want Wizard-boy bleeding out if the magic fails, do we?"

No, Jack didn't want that.

He set his own bedroll down near Ianto's, and it didn't seem to escape the rest of his team's notice…not that he cared. They all knew he'd been attracted to Ianto long before this mission, and besides someone had to watch over the younger man while he was unconscious.

"Jack?"

He looked up, seeing Toshiko and Owen regarding him. "What?" he asked, making himself comfortable, somehow knowing this was going to be a serious conversation.

Toshiko settled herself cross-legged on the ground, while Owen simply squatted beside her. "Were you over gonna tell us about your…condition?" Owen asked, sounding almost tired.

Jack stifled a sigh. "Honestly? No. I was never going to say anything." He really didn't need this right now; he had other things – Ianto – on his mind.

"And you didn't think we'd notice?" Toshiko said quietly.

"I've had a lot of practice at moving on," the captain answered, just as quietly. "I've had to."

"You must be so very lonely…"

Jack stared at the Elf woman, not quite believing what she'd said. A lump formed in his throat, and he had to swallow hard to dislodge it. "You get used to it." He tried to shrug it off, but he could tell his people weren't buying it.

"Look," Owen said, "I might be a bastard, but that doesn't mean I'm any less your friend. And that doesn't get out of this camp, understood?"

The captain chuckled softly. "No, Owen. It won't."

"Good. But Tosh and me, we accept you. I think we kinda get why you hid this from us, but you hired us, Jack…you should know us well enough by know to realize we're not gonna go screaming for the hills just because you have the disconcerting habit of not staying dead."

"Most people have."

"We're not 'most people'," Toshiko replied. "We're your team. Your friends."

"I get that now." Jack rolled his eyes. "But I've had supposed friends run from me when they found out. So, please understand why I didn't want to risk that."

Toshiko nodded. "We know now, and we're not going to run." She reached across the space between them, grasping Jack's hand in support.

Jack squeezed back. "Thanks. Both of you." He couldn't believe how touched he was.

"Yeah, well…don't get all soppy on us, Harkness. We still want to get paid."

That made Jack laugh. "Only you, Owen…"

"Hey, I got my priorities."

Toshiko slapped him playfully, almost knocking the surgeon to the ground. Owen cursed, even as he was laughing himself.

Jack grinned. This was his team. His family. And he would be grateful for the rest of his very long life to have met them.

 

*****
 

Gateway was quiet.

Only the crackling of the fire and the sound of the wind came to Jack's ears, as he sat at Ianto's side, waiting for some sign that the younger man was coming out of whatever magically-induced coma he was in. The mercenary didn't want to despair, since Ianto was still alive, yet at the same time he couldn't help it; he didn't want to lose his lover to the Deep Ways, after what had happened to Rose.

Of course, he didn't have any true witness to the events of that day, so long ago now that some of the memories had grown foggy with age. He only knew what was told second-hand, but those stories had pushed home to him just how dangerous the Deep Magic could be. Hells, it was the reason he was Deathless, so he really had no good feeling toward it anyway.

But Ianto had shown an aptitude to control, and Jack had to hope that that control would bring the Wizard back to him.

He really hoped it would be soon. He wasn't ready to lose Ianto yet.

Jack glanced down at the still forms beside him. Myfanwy hadn't moved from her place at Ianto's other side, her horned head curled up at the younger man's waist, just below the bandaged wound. Her wings were draped over his legs, almost like a second blanket. He reached out to gently stroke her snout, and she shifted slightly in the direction of the touch.

It took Jack a single heartbeat to realize that she'd actually moved.

His heart began to beat faster, taking the dragon's movement as a sign that, perhaps, both Wizard and familiar were finally awakening. The captain scrambled to his knees, leaning over Ianto's torso. He could see those glowing slits under the other man's eyelids, but the golden light seemed to be fading somewhat.

And then they fluttered.

Jack was reaching out to touch Ianto, when the Wizard suddenly gasped, eyes flying open and entire body shuddering.

Before he knew what he was doing, Jack had gathered Ianto up in his arms, pulling the Wizard up against his chest. Thank the Gods, he didn't say aloud, as he held Ianto close, his relief stealing anything else he thought to say as well.

He pulled away to look Ianto in the eye. They were now back to their usual blue, although a thin gold ring surrounded dark pupil. "How are you, Ianto?" he asked quietly, trying not to awaken Toshiko and Owen, where they lay on the opposite side of the fire.

The archivist seemed confused for a moment, but then he met Jack's gaze. "I'm…really alive," he answered, his voice tinged with wonder.

Jack wanted to laugh in relief, but kept it to a large grin. "Yes, you are. Looks like you used the magic of this place to save your life."

Ianto shook his head. "It wasn't me, Jack. It was the Deep Ways. It wouldn't let me die."

The mercenary's grin faded into confusion. "What do you mean?"

The young man settled a bit in Jack's arms, as if making himself comfortable. "It's…hard to explain." He actually bit his lower lip, which a distracted part of the captain's mind found very adorable. "While I was unconscious, I spoke to it."

Jack shook his head. "You spoke to it? What? The Deep Magic?"

"Yes. I know that sounds incredible…but I did, Jack. It…told me certain things, things I'm still wrapping my head around." His distracted gaze found Jack's again. "But I know exactly how you were made Deathless, Jack. And it's not what you think."

"Rose used a spell to harness the Deep Ways – "

"No, she didn't. There was no spell. Rose was like me…she had the natural ability to control the Deep Ways. Only she didn't know it until that day, when your Wizard friend sent her away."

Jack rocked back on his heels in shock. He'd always assumed that Rose had been the usual apprentice Wizard. Now to find out she hadn't…that she'd been able to do what Ianto could…had Master John known? "How do you know this?"

"Like I said, the Magic told me."

The immortal could hear the capital "M" in that sentence. "Ianto, you know this sounds absurd…"

"I know it does!" Ianto's voice went up in his irritation. "But you, of all people, should be listening to me!"

That made Jack cringe a bit. Ianto was right, of course. In his extremely long life, Jack had seen much that had seemed impossible. And, while he couldn't pretend to know much about magic, he'd been witness to many things that could only be classified as such. And he did pride himself on his open mindedness.

Ianto sighed. "I'm sorry, Jack. I know it sounds absurd…hells, it sounds crazy. But it's true, and it happened, and you have the right to know what Rose did to you."

And oh, Jack did want to know. He wanted to know the truth, about what had made him the way he was. "Tell me," he requested softly, tightening his arms around Ianto slightly.

"The Deep Ways isn't magic, in the technical sense of the word, although it obeys the same laws…I wish you were at least familiar with the Laws of Magic, this would be so much simpler…"

"Sorry," Jack said, contritely.

Ianto smiled softly. "Don't be. They aren't something that's taught in schools anyway, there would be no way you'd know unless you read about it or were told it by a Wizard." He took a deep breath. "The Deep Ways is the very lifeforce of the universe, Jack. It's what makes us alive."

Jack's mouth dropped open. "So…you're saying it's in all of us? Are we all connected to it?"

Ianto nodded. "I know it's hard to grasp, but it's the very energy of Life."

"So, when it's gone…"

"You die."

The mercenary considered Ianto's words. "So…you're saying you can control life itself?"

"I…suppose you could put it that way. But I can't control what's inside you…only what's around us. I could conceivably kill someone by removing their life…but no, I wouldn't do that. I don't want to know how to do that. But…that's what Rose did, to all those Demons. She removed their spark of the Deep Ways. It destroyed them."

Jack was shaking his head. He'd thought Rose had killed all those Demons with magic, but instead she'd…wait a second…"You're saying she took away their lifeforce…" Oh Gods, no…he felt the blood drain from his face as the implications of what Ianto was saying made themselves known to him. "She made me Deathless…"

Ianto didn't answer; he simply wrapped his own arms around Jack, holding onto the mercenary as he came to a conclusion that sickened him.

"She used the Demons' lifeforce to bring me back, didn't she?"

How could Ianto be touching him? Rose had used an evil race's life to bring him back permanently, he was tainted…

It was all Jack could do not to run off. Oh, Rose…how could you? He was tainted by all that evil, it was a part of him…Jack wanted to throw up, wanted to kill himself over and over again, knowing that it wouldn't make up for the darkness within him now…he didn't even feel himself shaking, so lost was he in the blackness of his thoughts…

"Jack."

Ianto's voice broke through the fog that had grown over Jack's mind. He glanced down at the archivist; Ianto was holding him tightly, understanding in those blue/gold eyes. "That Wizard was right," he whispered, pain lacing his words. "I am an abomination…"

"No, Jack. You're not an abomination." The firm conviction in Ianto's tone seemed to ground Jack, and he listened as if those words were his lifeline. "Life itself isn't Good or Evil; it's how you use that life that gives it intent. The Demons may have been evil; but you're a good man, Jack Harkness. You're one of the best men I know. You use your Deathlessness for good purposes, and nothing those Demons did before that life was given to you will change that. You're not an abomination; and I never want you to think that again." He moved a hand to the back of Jack's neck, pulling the man into a kiss, the archivist's lips alive against his, the tingle of the Magic meeting in their mouths as intoxicating as always.

Jack clung to Ianto as if he were the most precious thing in the world. He deepened the kiss, pouring everything he had into it, needing to show the younger man just how much his acceptance meant to the mercenary.

And, when they finally pulled away, both men were smiling. "Thank you," Jack whispered, hoping that Ianto knew just what he was thanking him for.

Ianto seemed to; his smile turned almost shy, and he nodded. "You're welcome, Jack."

"Now, I think you need to be getting some rest. The Deep Ways may have saved you, but I doubt it lets you heal as fast as I do."

The Wizard winced. "No, you're right. I'm still hurting a bit. But Jack…there's something else I want to tell you."

"It can wait til morning – "

"No, it can't." Ianto took a deep breath. "I found out something else…Jack, it seems I'm connected to the Deep Ways. Barring certain events…I'll be able to live for a very long time. You…don't have to be alone anymore, unless you choose it."

Jack felt himself descend into shock for yet another time that night. "Are you saying you're…like me?" A part of him felt horror at that; immortality wasn't something he would wish on anyone, especially not the man he was developing feelings for.

But another part of him couldn't help but be happy. He'd been so lonely for so long, and despite what Owen and Toshiko had said, he was still going to lose them some day. To have someone with him, to walk with him in his terribly long life…

Ianto shook his head. "No, I'm not Deathless. I will die someday. It's just that it's my choice whether I stay or go."

There was something unspoken there, but Jack wasn't about to look deeper into it. He pulled Ianto into another hug, not knowing if the archivist understood exactly what he was offering…and Jack was selfish enough not to care.

He wasn't going to be alone…


Chapter Thirty-Eight...

 

Comments

Aww that was brilliant. I've read a lot of fantasy stuff over the years and your world an your explanations are just fantastic. And now Jack and ianto can be together. Lovely chapter.
Thanks! I was hoping the explanations would work, and I'm glad you think they do.

And yes, they can be together, but as you know things don't often go smoothly...
Certainly know that one. I feel guilty about the amount of angst I've given mine!
Don't feel guilty, because it all works out in the end...
*Hugs you* I love that Ianto gets to be with Jack for as long as they want :)
*hugs back*

They have to be, I'm really a hopeless romantic at heart, and they deserve each other...
Have I told you yet how much I love this fic?

Nice job making the explanations make sense without taking from the story.

I am wondering what the heck happened to Suzie though.....
and we still don't know who was after them.

Looking forward to more!
You may have mentioned it, yes...and thanks, I'm glad you're enjoying it!

We find out about Suzie next chapter, which hopefully will be posted either Sunday or Monday. I did drop a few hints in a previous chapter as to who was after them, but it'll be talked about in Chapter Thirty-Nine. Then if all goes to plan...Chapter Forty is the last chapter.

But there will be a sequel...
I so love this fic *happy sigh* :)
I'm so glad you're enjoying it! Thanks!
Just spent the last few days catching up on this fic. I just love it, so a great read! I love your Myfanwy and I'm looking forward to seeing Gwen's reaction to all that is taking place. Nice work.
Glad you liked it! Oh, Gwen's reaction will be interesting...and will carry over into the sequel.
Squee for sequel!! Looking forward to it and of course the next chapter! :)
Aww that was brilliant.
So glad Ianto's back and Jack knows everything.
I did play with the idea that Ianto didn't tell him because he was afraid of Jack's reaction, but I think at this point in their relationship secrets can only do damage.

Besides, Jack really deserves to be happy...at least, until the sequel... *rubs hands together evilly*

Sequel?! WOOHOO!!!
Even if there will be evilness involved - WOOHOO!!