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Myfanwy 2

November 2017

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Myfanwy 2

Ways of Light and Darkness - Chapter Twenty-Seven

Ways of Light an Darkness - Chapter Twenty-Seven
Author: Milady Dragon
Rating: PG-13
Pairing(s): Jack/Ianto; Gwen/Rhys; one-sided Lisa/Ianto; past Master John (Doctor)/Rose; other canon pairings.
Warning: Fantasy Violence, horror, angst
Spoilers:  Some could be for Torchwood S1 "Cyberwoman"; "Countrycide", "They Keep Killing Suzie"; Doctor Who S1 "Bad Wolf" and "Parting of the Ways", S2 "Army of Darkness" and "Doomsday"; and S3 "Utopia";"Sound of Drums", "Last of the Time Lords" and possibly other episodes, although they have been warped into a fantasy setting.
Disclaimer: I don't own either Torchwood or Doctor Who, although I wish I did....
Author's note:  This is the sequel to The Immortality of the Deathless, the chapter list to be found here.   It's Torchwood and Doctor Who twisted into a fantasy setting, where everything that could be considered alien is actually magical.

Summary:  When mercenary Captain Jack Harkness vanishes while on a mission, Wizard Ianto Jones has to choose between his lover, his duty...and quite possibly his destiny.

A/N2:  This will be the last chapter I'll put a tissue warning on....for a while.  These last chapters have been so incredibly hard to write...



Chapter Twenty-Seven

Ianto knelt on the hard stone ground, head bowed, one hand resting on the cold metal of the door to the prison of the Devastation. He hurt; there wasn't a part of him that didn't. He wondered vaguely if he'd always feel like this, that this would be all there was left to him…this unending pain, like being eaten from the inside by rats, and that this would last forever. A part of him had been torn away, and it was a part he would never get back.
 

He hadn't even been aware of just how strong the bond between himself and Jack had truly been; not until that immovable door had slammed shut. Ianto had felt that connection snap, the shock of it sending him into consciousness. In that moment before darkness had descended, he'd actually hoped that the severing of that bond would kill him.

No such luck.

The Deep Ways that extended his own life had brought him back.

The next thing he'd remembered was waking up in a warm bed, and in that heartbeat between waking and sleeping he'd completely forgotten that Jack was gone, lost in the Void with only the Devastation for eternal company. Ianto had been content to lie there, and he'd reached for Jack…only to remember then that the bed would be empty, that Jack's side would be cold.

And the pain had crashed through him once more, and it was all Ianto could do to rise and face the day.

His fist clenched against that icy metal. Ianto could feel the magic within it, knew just why the door had closed on its own. The Deep Magic was strong within it, but it was also twisted with pure Void, and that combination had never meant to exist. Jack's own Deathlessness had acted like a magnet to that ancient spell, and once his lover had passed that threshold there would have been no turning back.

Jack's Deathlessness had acted against him. It had trapped him beyond that door…forever. Ianto knew there was no way to open that door, and when he even considered it the Wizard's mind shied away from it, not wanting Jack's sacrifice to be in vain. Jack wouldn't have wanted the Devastation loosed upon the world. He'd drawn them back inside in order to save the innocents that the monsters would have killed. As much as Ianto wanted Jack back, he couldn't do it. Jack wouldn't want him to do it.

But that meant that Ianto was alone. And, to be honest, Ianto didn't think he could deal with it.

He wanted to weep, but the pain wouldn't let the tears come. He'd cried enough in front of the gathered Wizards, and was pitifully grateful for Martha. She may have been a stranger to him, but she'd understood; and that was a gift he could never repay. That had been the first he'd allowed himself to mourn, but now that that floodgate was opened he doubted it would be closed once more. He wondered vaguely if he would ever stop mourning.

He rested his free hand on the knife at his waist. This door was the only marker Jack would ever have; there would be no funeral pyre, no friends joining in with Ianto's mourning, nothing to show that his lover had even been there.

He sat up straight. Reaching behind him, Ianto grasped the braid that Jack himself had plaited for him just yesterday. He drew his knife, laying the sharp blade just under the leather tie that held the long tail of hair close to his neck, then sawed through the thick braid until he'd cut the thing off. He vaguely felt strange, having all that hair gone, but he didn't want the traditional Wizards' plait anymore. He'd resigned.

And Jack wasn't there anymore to twist it for him.

Ianto laid the braid next to the door. The rope of dark hair would be his promise to Jack, to never forget him.

There was only one thing left to do.

Ianto closed his eyes, sinking deep within his magic, easily finding that place within himself that was tied to the Deep Ways and that would have let him live an eternity with the man he loved. He could see it behind his eyelids; the golden glow, sparkling and burning like a star within his soul. It was like Jack; it was a part of him, primal and ancient and beautiful.

With a hard pull, Ianto severed that link.

He gasped, leaning forward and pressing his suddenly feverish forehead against the cold of the door. It wasn't pain, per se…it was something deeper, almost as bad as losing his link with Jack. He could no longer feel the Deep Ways tingling at the back of his skull, nothing to connect him to that source of his power. He was still a Wizard, and could still manipulate the Cardinal Magic if he needed to.

But he was no longer immortal.

Ianto sighed, raising himself up, a small smile gracing his features for the first time that day. He would now live a mortal life, which was a blessing. He now could understand what Jack had gone through when he'd lost people he'd cared about, outliving everyone around him. Ianto didn't want that. He wanted normality.

He no longer had a reason to live forever.

Ianto slid the knife back into its sheath, then climbed wearily to his feet. He wanted nothing more than to leave then, but there was one person he wanted to see before he did.

*****

Martha opened the door to him. Ianto looked at her, knowing that his emotions were obvious on his pale face and not caring. "May I come in?" he asked politely.
 

"Sure," she said, ushering him inside the guest room she'd been put up in.

It wasn't much different from the room that Ianto had awakened in. A large bed dominated the space, with dark brocades and equally dark furniture taking up the rest of the chamber. It was opulence in the extreme, and it made Ianto faintly nauseous. He still had no idea who had found him down in that cavern, but he honestly wished they hadn't.

'Thank you, Lady Martha."

"Nah, it's just Martha." She waved him to a chair, and he took it. "You…cut your hair."

Ianto put a hand up to the cropped mess at his neck, shrugging. "Only felt right, getting rid of it now that I've resigned from Wizardry." He didn't add the personal reason for the impromptu haircut.

The young woman curled up on the bed. "You really meant that?"

"I…have no reason to stay. You heard what I said at the Quorum."

She nodded, her distress evident. "I really am sorry for your loss."

Ianto could tell she was being honest about it, but her earlier tears had really proven her feelings. "I just…I can't believe it. We…" he sighed, rubbing his already scratchy eyes. "Can you…tell me about your Jack? What was he like?"

Martha smiled somewhat sadly. "I only met him a couple of weeks ago, and I like to think we would have been close friends eventually…but he was a good man. He even offered me a place on his team – "

"Team?"

"Oh yeah! Jack was a mercenary…Captain Jack Harkness. He had a team that he'd hired, but they were more like family to him."

Captain Jack Harkness? Ianto said it silently to himself, liking the way the full name sounded. "Did his team know? About his Deathlessness, that is?"

Martha nodded. "He told me that they'd accepted it pretty well." Then she laughed. "In fact, he told me that Owen and Tosh were more upset that he hadn't told them sooner, than in his actual immortality." She must have seen his confusion, because she elaborated, "Doctor Owen Harper is Jack's Second, and from what I've heard he's one of the best battle surgeon anywhere. And Toshiko Sato is their tracker and an Elf – "

"An Elf?" Ianto was amazed; as far as he'd known, Elves were long gone from what they'd called the Human Lands.

Martha nodded. "Jack told me that Myfanwy liked Tosh better than she did himself and Ianto…oh, I'm sorry…Myfanwy was Ianto's dragon."

The Wizard nodded. "She's my dragon as well, but she was injured when we…when Jack and I…" His throat suddenly closed, not wanting to say anything more. The pain was too great.

"I'm sorry," Martha bit her lip. "You're going to get tired of me saying that…"

"It's fine," Ianto answered. "Please…tell me more."

Martha did as he asked, and Ianto found himself enjoying the small stories that her timeline's Jack had told her. He thought it was amazing that Jack had become a mercenary, thinking that his lover would have been so much freer if he'd never sworn himself to Ianto's family. Would he have become a mercenary, like Martha's version had? Or would he have done something else with his never-ending life?

Then Martha moved on to tell him what she knew about that Jack and Ianto; that they'd just gotten together, and that Jack had hoped that Ianto would leave his post at Torchwood Castle and travel with his team. She'd explained what she'd been told about the castle, and the Wizard was once again amazed at how different things were. His own family had always been the Lords and Ladies of Torchwood Castle; but according to Martha it was his steward, Gwen's, family who were the Barons of Cardiff. Ianto would have laughed if he'd had it in him.

"But…they were really together…that Jack and Ianto?"

"Oh yeah," Martha answered. The she grinned. "And you can thank me for pointing out to Jack that he really loved Ianto. He hadn't realized it yet." Then she sighed. "I hope he got to tell Ianto before time changed. I like to think they were happy before it happened."

Ianto found himself in mourning once more; only this time it was for another timeline's lovers who had just discovered each other. His chest felt tight, and he had to close his eyes to keep the next bout of tears from falling.

A hand rested on his knee. He opened his eyes, to see Martha kneeling in front of him, looking up at him sadly. "I know how you're feeling," she said. "I lost my family when Freedonia was invaded. Maybe it's not quite the same, but we've both had to deal with losing people close to us."

Ianto's eyes narrowed. "But Freedonia was never invaded. In fact, one of the Wizards of the Quorum is from there…"

"In my timeline, Freedonia was invaded and most of its citizens put to the sword," Martha said softly. "The Doctor saved me. It's why I owe him an honor debt."

"The Doctor?" Ianto suddenly realized who she was talking of. "You mean Master John."

"That's what my Jack called him, but I only know him as the Doctor. He kept saying he was the last Wizard, but that was before Saxon…and Ianto, of course. Oh, and he doesn't know about Suzie, she's a new one. I'll have to tell him, not that it matters, of course…"

"Suzie? You mean Lady Suzie Costello?"

Martha nodded. "She used to be Jack's Second, but something happened…not sure what, but then she suddenly discovered she had powers, and a dragon adopted her. I didn't get to talk to her before I left them to save the Doctor…not that that turned out, of course."

Suzie Costello…a mercenary? Ianto couldn't picture the haughty Lady of Canary's Wharf as anything but a Void Wizard. "This other timeline…it's strange to me."

"Just like this is strange to me," Martha admitted. "I feel like an idiot, for walking into Saxon's trap like that. I handed him Tardis on a platter."

There were things that just weren't adding up for Ianto. What had started off as a chance to find out a bit about that other Jack was turning into a confusing mess. "I don't understand. You're saying that Harold Saxon somehow went back and changed time?"

"That's exactly what I'm saying. His dragon somehow managed to steal Tardis' time travel magic, and he went back and stopped the Doctor from casting the spell that blocked the magic. But I guess even when the Doctor did it, it didn't work right."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, I don't really understand it myself, but he said something about using his name to anchor the spell, but he didn't take Jack into account. And, because Jack remembered his real name, it meant the spell was flawed. Which was why magic was coming back into the world."

Ianto nodded, understanding what Martha was trying to tell him. Then he backtracked. "You're saying that Master John – the Doctor's – dragon can time travel?"

"That's right," Martha nodded. "It's how he saved me. And I wouldn't have met Jack if she hadn't time traveled forward." Then she smirked. "I'm a bit older than I look, although it's just due to jumping through time a lot."

Something slotted into Ianto's mind; a notion that grew quickly into an idea. "Do you think, if we traveled back far enough, we could stop your version of Saxon from stopping the spell from being cast?"

Martha's face lit up. "Sure we could! It would change the timeline back, though…"

"I know." It was suddenly all that Ianto could think of: his counterpart, being happy with his own Jack. And, if Ianto himself couldn't be with his lover, then it was only right that the other Ianto could be with his.

Then he chuckled. "All my life I've felt nothing but anger toward Master John Smith…and now here I am, about to rely on him to change time back to the way it was."

Martha looked confused. "What do you mean?"

"He was a traitor to Wizard-kind, for trying to cast that spell in the first place. We know he was stopped, but not how…of course, now we know. But it was more than that…Gods, Jack would laugh…" He shook his head. "I've also been angry for what he did to my family…especially my many times great-grandmother, the Lady Rose Tyler. He abandoned her in Cardiff almost a thousand years ago, after she saved Gateway from the Nameless Demons by merging with the Deep Ways. The thing was, he left her alone…and she was pregnant with his child. Leaving your pregnant lover alone in an unknown place is just the height of crassness."

*****
 

Ianto used his magic to teleport back to Torchwood Castle, but he modified the spell to take him to his and Jack's bedchamber instead of to his spell chamber below the castle. Only…it was his bedchamber now; Jack would never be coming back. The Wizard felt the tears prickling his eyes once more, but couldn't let himself be distracted by his misery. There were things to do, and he'd promised Martha he'd be back by middle-night, when they could put their plan into action.

It had to be tonight; tomorrow, the Wizards who had gathered on Argentyn Devastal would be leaving, packing up what was left of Harold Saxon's magical items and spell books, and would be taking them back to the main Quorum building in Gateway. They'd also be taking John Smith and Martha back with them, and once they had his ancestor and his dragon back there, Ianto wouldn't have a chance in getting them from the dungeons below the tower there. There were far too many wards involved, and even Ianto wouldn't be able to break them all.

He got to work. First, he pulled the black tunic he'd been wearing over his head, tossing the garment onto the bed he'd never sleep in again. He'd found it as a replacement to his own stained and torn tunic, plus he was in mourning. It had worked at the time.

Ianto rattled about in the wardrobe, pulling out clean black trousers, black tunic, and cloak. As he put on the clean tunic, he could clearly smell Jack's unique scent within the folds; it had belonged to his lost lover, and Ianto needed the implied support it offered. It was a little large, but that didn't matter.

Once his belt with his wand and knife was back around his waist, Ianto went to his dressing table. He glanced at himself in the mirror; his face was far too pale, with dark circles around his eyes, making them look lighter than normal. He noticed that the gold that had encircled his pupils was now gone, a consequence of his cutting himself off from the Deep Ways. It was wrong to see just blue, but Ianto shook himself and began to search for what he needed among the jewelry he'd collected over the years.

It rattled around the back of his head, as he rooted through the ornate box that had once been his grandfather's, that he looked very different from the young man who'd left this room just yesterday. His Wizard plait gone, replaced by a ragged line of hair settling just above his collar, he was hardly the epitome of how the Lord of the Castle should look. He could actually hear his father's voice in his head, saying those very words to him.

Ianto put it behind him. He wasn't Lord there any longer; he'd only held the castle and the Archives by right of magic, and now that he'd renounced it the entire Quorum would move to find someone to replace him. Gwen might actually be happy about that. It was no secret that she wasn't best pleased with working for him.

He quickly found the pieces he wanted, then shrugged on the cloak and headed down to his sanctum. He haunted the halls of the castle like a ghost, not wanting to be seen by any of the servants and being stopped. He knew the castle intimately, and it was no time at all before he was entering his spell-casting chamber, making sure the door was locked behind him.

Then he set to work, knowing what he needed to do before he could leave the castle once and for all.

 



 


Comments

Wow, Ianto's pain and heartbreak at the start was so raw - wonderfully written. Great chapter - can't wait for the next one.
Thanks. Yes, he's not doing too good right now, but he's motivated to fix things now.

Next chapter should be up Sunday.
Go Ianto. Change the timeline. Huh uh.
Yep, he's motivated now. :)
Ianto's pain was so obviously raw at the start - it was fantastically written.

Loved this chapter, hope they manage to get everything sorted out this time. I don't think Ianto could cope with a failed attempt.
Thanks. It has been so hard to write this part, and I'm glad it all comes across.

We'll see if it gets all sorted out. They have to get away first...
I could see every moment of that grieving scene, as though it were playing in front of me. It hurt, but it was a cleansing hurt, if you know what I mean. Beautifully written.

And now, Ianto is moving forward, determined to fix what he can. Can't wait to see what happens next.
I do know what you mean. He had to mourn, and now it's time to make things right.

Now they just have to get off the island....
Oh no no no, what have you done?? I want the timeline to be fixed but my heart is breaking for this Ianto and his Jack. It was so painful when he cut off the hair that Jack had braided for him. *cries*
Sorry.. :(

*hands tissues*

They're working on getting ot back to normal, I promise...
I'm just terrified that this Ianto's going to die and never see his Jack again, just so they can fix things in the other timeline. :-( It must have been horrific for Ianto to lose Jack in this timeline, given the magical bond that they share. You sure do know how to break a heart.
I really am sorry...

We'll have to see how changing things turns out. I don't want to give anything away...
Wonderful as always especially the first section with grieving Ianto cutting off his plait and then cutting away the Deep Ways but you've given us poor souls a little hope. Looking forward to more.
Thanks!

Don't give up hope...
Your writing is so amazing. just the way you capture emotions. Awsome
*blushes* Thanks! I appreciate that!