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Myfanwy 2

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Myfanwy 2

Ways of Light and Darkness - Chapter Twenty-Nine

Ways of Light and Darkness - Chapter Twenty-Nine
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.


Chapter Twenty-Nine

Time traveling was a bit like using a Teleportation spell, only a bit more disconcerting.
 

Ianto could actually feel time unraveling around him, and he wondered if Master John – the Doctor, he needed to get used to that – felt the same way when Tardis took him though time. Or, was this heightened sensitivity because the timeline itself was wrong? Was he experiencing this because he didn't belong?

He didn't want to know, to be honest.

A barren landscape came into focus around them. They were on a strip of land that pushed out into the ocean, waves rolling against the shore, sounding subdued in the desolation. A stiff wind blew in, smelling of salt and loneliness.

It reminded Ianto of home.

"Here we are," the Doctor said, his own voice hushed. "This is where I cast the magic blocking spell, seven hundred and eighty-six years ago…relatively speaking."

"But this is where we were!" Martha exclaimed. "This is where we were…when all this began!"

The Doctor nodded, shoving his hands into his trouser pockets. "I…get called here sometimes. This is where everything changed…where I changed everything. It's not something I ever wanted to do, believe me."

"Then why do it?" Ianto snapped, his hold on his temper fraying. "Why change things, Grandfather?"

The Doctor flinched at the title. "For a long time, there was only the Great Wizards left," he answered quietly. "But one time I traveled and ran smack into the middle of a devastating war between Cardinals, Voids, and the Great Wizards. It destroyed the world. I had to put a stop to it."

"So," Ianto said spitefully, "you're saying that you're just as bad as Lord Harold…changing time to suit yourself."

"No," the older Wizard said. "In that time, I was asked to do it. The Wizards who were left asked me to use Tardis' time travel magic to go back and stop the war. They even gave me the spell to do it with. Otherwise I would have left it alone. Yes, I would have mourned…but I wouldn't have changed the future, not on my own. Whereas, my Master Harold did it in order to make himself more powerful. And it worked…he was able to free the Devastation."

Ianto flinched that time. "It wasn't just him," he admitted. "He found this Artifact…a dagger that stole the lifeforce from people…" He went on to explain about how the Wizard had used the knife on Jack, and what happened afterward. When he got to the point where the door had closed, he was pitifully proud of not crying all over again.

He felt an arm go around him; Martha tucked herself in close to his side, and he appreciated her comforting presence. He didn't really know her, but he was glad that she was there. She seemed genuinely sympathetic; and, he could be honest with himself, a small part of him was helping out for her. Yes, his main motivation was to get the timeline back on track in order to give that Jack and Ianto a chance, but knowing that Martha had been that Jack's friend gave him extra impetus to do what needed to be done.

Then, afterward, he could take the time to curl up and shatter.

"What's to stop our Saxon from doing the exact same thing?" she asked.

"He would have, if he'd had the way to do it," The Doctor replied. "After all, he had Jack in his custody, and if he'd had that dagger then he would have used it. Besides, we don't know if this Artifact even exists in our time."

Ianto shivered, and it wasn't just due to the wind. He pulled himself gently from Martha's grasp, taking a seat on the scrub grass that grew on that spit of land, not caring about getting his cloak dirty. He would have, back before Jack…left, but now his appearance just didn't seem important.

Myfanwy curled up beside him, her head in his lap. He stroked her carefully, wishing he hadn't brought her with him. She was in delicate shape, injured after her battle with Toclafane. She should be resting, instead of accompanying him back to the past on what could be a suicide mission. But, he couldn't have borne to leave her. She'd been a part of his life since he'd been a child, and the dragon was the last part of his old life that he was about to destroy. He simply couldn't lose her, even though he was about to lose everything else.

"Even if it doesn't," he said, "we need to stop him before he interferes."

The Doctor looked at him closely. "And you want to be the one who does."

"I…won't deny it."

"Good. Because it really needs to be you. I don't remember seeing anyone when I was here, but I can't risk crossing my own timeline like this. It could be somewhat disastrous."

Ianto was too tired to even roll his eyes at such an obvious remark. "I'll take care of it."

"And, while I know he's responsible for…things, you need to control yourself and not kill him."

That raised the Wizard's ire once more. "Not kill him? And how do you propose we stop him then, Grandfather? Because, if he's at all like my Lord Harold, he won't give up. He'll keep trying to change things, and who knows what will happen the next time, or even the time after that?"

The older Wizard stared down at him forbiddingly. "I'm not your Grandfather."

"Perhaps not technically. But we share the same blood, and I am a direct line descendent of yourself and Lady Rose. Besides, I want you to remember what you did to her and to our family."

The Doctor stiffened. "I had my reasons."

"That's what scares me." The other man opened his mouth to answer, but Ianto held up his hand to stop him. "You know, I'm not really interested. As far as I'm concerned, there really isn't a good enough reason to leave a young, pregnant woman with strangers, and in a place she'd never been before. So, please spare me your rationalizations. Right now, we should concentrate on stopping time from being changed."

"I agree with Ianto," Martha said, plopping down beside him. Myfanwy extended her neck just a little, and the warrior gave her a scratch. The dragon sighed in pleasure, relaxing across Ianto's lap. "And I'm sorry, Doctor, but he's also right about Saxon. He needs to be stopped…and stopped permanently."

"No," he said, shaking his head. "There has to be another way."

"You come up with one, and I'll consider it," Ianto said, not at all guilty about lying. "I don't have any long-term Capture spells prepared."

The Doctor squatted, not looking at the younger Wizard. "What do you have?"

"Can't you tell?"

"Do you have to be so antagonistic?"

Ianto sighed. "You're right. Whatever my personal feelings are, we should work together to fix things."

That earned him a sharp stare, as if the Doctor was somehow reading him. Ianto simply stared back, not wilting under that thousand-year gaze. "I'm not familiar with Cardinal spells," he answered.

That made sense. "My diadem is a Masking spell, so that Saxon won't be able to sense my presence. As a Void Wizard, he'd be able to feel my power from a distance. My necklace is a Shielding spell, better than the personal Major Shield I can cast naturally. The rings – " he held up his right hand – "are Stunning, Fire, and Paralysis Spells."

The Doctor nodded. "And the other ring?"

"This?" he indicated the plain band on his left hand. "It was my father's wedding band. I…I was going to give it to Jack at next years' Spring Rites. It's…sentimental. I didn't want to leave it behind." It was more than that, but Ianto wasn't about to share that with the Doctor.

"Anything else?"

"My basic cadre of spells: Shielding, Blasting, that sort of thing."

"What about the lightning?"

Trust him to know about the Cardinal lightning. "I…no longer have control of the lightning."

And that got him a wide-eyed, surprised look. "What do you mean? What have you done?"

Ianto really didn't want to talk about it. "It…doesn't matter. I'm still powerful enough to challenge your version of Lord Harold."

Silver sparkles filled the Doctor's dark eyes. Ianto wanted to slap him for prying; no one else had, and plus it was a breach of Wizard etiquette.

The diadem on his forehead began to get warm, and Ianto smirked at the Doctor's failed attempt to scan him. He didn't want to explain about his link to the Deep Ways, nor did he want to talk about his reasons for severing it. It wasn't the Doctor's business to know.

The silver faded from the older Wizard's eyes, and he promptly stood and began to pace. Ianto took an almost childish glee at thwarting him.

They sat in silence for a while, and it meant Ianto was not distracted from his thoughts. They all centered around Jack, and many of those were regrets for what Ianto had lost. There were some happy memories that cropped up as well, and he dwelt on those as they waited. At one point he felt Martha's arm snake around him, and then the warm presence of the large blue dragon curling around the pair of humans and the smaller red-gold dragon. It was comforting, and in another life Ianto might have enjoyed the closeness. But none of them was Jack, and he found himself imagining the life that his counterpart and his Jack might have. If Ianto could make them happy, then that's what he'd do. He couldn't have a life with Jack, but the other Ianto could. Also it would mean that his Jack would never have been trapped within the Void, since he would never have existed. This was what he was fighting for, and once he'd achieved that, then…

That thought was interrupted by a tickling at the back of his head. He might not be connected to the Deep Ways anymore, but he could still sense the coming of a Void Wizard. "He's here," he murmured.

The Doctor stopped pacing and turned. "Are you sure?"

"Yes, I'm sure." Ianto was too tired to snark back at him properly.

He carefully extricated himself from the pile of human and dragons, standing up and stretching. He reached for his wand, feeling what was left of his power rising within him. Myfanwy joined him, standing as tall as she could, and he could feel the mixture of determination and pride emanating from her…almost masking the pain and sorrow.

He looked down at her. She in turn met his gaze, her green eyes tired but glowing. "No, girl," he murmured. "I want you to stay here with Martha."

The outrage would have been funny, if not for the circumstances.

"You're hurt. I won't risk you being injured any more."

That reasoning didn't appeal to Myfanwy, and she let him know it.

Ianto sighed. "I'm also afraid you won't be fast enough, and you'll get in the way. We need to stop him, and I can't do that if I have to pay attention to where you are, as well. I'm sorry, love, but you need to stay with Martha."

She looked like she was going to argue.

He cut her off. "Myfanwy…please. I can't lose you, too…" He tried to convince himself that his voice didn't just crack.

The dragon rubbed her head against his side, and he could finally feel her acceptance. He stroked her snout thankfully. "You all need to retreat," he said. "We can't risk you being seen."

The Doctor nodded. "We'll teleport just over that rise," he said, pointing south of them.

"I'll join you when it's done. And no, don't even ask me to save him, Grandfather. That's not going to happen."

Ianto turned away, not needing to see the angry look the other Wizard gave him. He could sense Tardis' teleportation magic tingling against his skin, and he didn't need to look to know he was now completely alone.

Not for long, however.

"Ah, it's Master John!"

That hated voice brought a preternatural calm to Ianto, who turned to greet him. "I'm sorry to disappoint you," he drawled, giving his opponent a slight smile. "Although I honestly don't know how you could mistake me for him, even from the back."

The man known in his own time as Master Harold Saxon stood about fifteen feet away. He wasn't much different from Ianto's Lord Harold, although the clothes weren't the traditional Wizards' robes he was used to seeing. Other than that, it was the same person he'd fought in that cavern on Argentyn Devastal.

The look of thunderous anger on the man's face made Ianto smile a bit wider. "Who are you?" he demanded, sounding almost petulant.

"I'm the one who's going to stop you."

And, just like that…it began.

Ianto couldn't help but flash back to that duel back in his own time. This time, however, there was no cover from the wildly thrown magical bolts from his opponent. This man had none of the finesse that his Harold Saxon had; but, from what he could gather this Wizard hadn't had any formal training.

Most of the spells rebounded off Ianto's more powerful shield. He aimed one of his rings, the one with the Stunner, and the other Wizard managed to dodge it. The Wizard followed up with as stronger Flame spell, but Saxon managed to dodge it as well.

But…where was the other man's dragon?

The thought had barely passed through his mind when Ianto felt a sudden weight slam into his back. Pain flared through his shoulder at the impact followed by a scraping along his neck. He dropped and rolled, dislodging his winged attacker easily.

Or so he thought.

The black dragon, Toclafane, had literally torn the Shielding necklace from Ianto's neck.

The Cardinal Wizard cursed. He threw up his personal Shield, even as he was aiming a Blast spell at the familiar. It managed to catch the dragon on the rear leg as Toclafane went airborne, and he screamed at the agony of it. It made him drop the necklace, but Ianto didn't have a chance to retrieve it.

He was attacked by Saxon, the Stunning spell hitting against his Shield with enough strength to knock him forward a couple of steps. Ianto spun, using his Paralyzing spell.

It struck the other Wizard in the leg, and Harold Saxon went down. Ianto strode toward him…

And was attacked by Toclafane once more.

The dragon was small, but he was tenacious, and it was all Ianto could do to throw him off once more. Toclafane hit the ground, but righted himself before Ianto could strike at him, and he launched himself at Ianto even as another spell struck the Wizard in the back again.

But Toclafane didn't make it back to Ianto.

A red-gold streak slammed into the black dragon, and Myfanwy let out a fierce roar as she smacked the smaller creature back into the ground. Ianto didn't know how she was flying with a damaged wing, but couldn't let it distract him.

He still needed to take care of his primary opponent.

Saxon was sitting, his wand outstretched. Up until that point, Ianto had had a handle on his emotions, knowing that if he'd let himself go he could lose the fight. But, seeing the man sitting there, eyes narrowed in anger, still ready to continue the fight even though he was apparently beaten…it was too much.

Ianto stalked toward the Void Wizard, his own wand raised. He could feel the fury burning though him, hotter than Myfanwy's own flame. This man – while not being the same Harold Saxon – was still ultimately responsible for Jack's imprisonment within the Void, and for Ianto being left alone.

He shouted a single word in the language of Magic.

The power of that word shook Harold Saxon. The Void Wizard's body vibrated like a violin string, and he lost control of his wand, the length of black wood flung away by the out of control muscles.

Harold Saxon, the man who changed time, disintegrated.

Ianto wanted to feel glad about it. He wanted to shout to Heaven that he'd done it, and to feel proud of his saving a timeline that should never have been changed in the first place.

But he couldn't.

He felt hollow.

He stared down at the patch of sand where Saxon had been sitting. There was nothing left of the Void Wizard.

A soft cry drew him from his emptiness. He turned, and the hollowness within turned to pain once more.

Toclafane had apparently vanished with his master, leaving Myfanwy to lie on the ground. Ianto stumbled toward his dragon, resting her head in his lap. There were newer injuries on her, and Ianto rested his hand over the worst of them: a gash that had torn open her chest, blood oozing from the wound.

He tried to staunch the bleeding, but he couldn't. Fresh tears burned his eyes. "I told you to stay with Martha," he whispered, cuddling her close.

She whimpered, but relaxed in his arms. One more thing he was losing, and Ianto didn't think he could take it any longer.

"It's okay," a soft voice murmured in his ear.

A familiar voice.

Ianto's head snapped up, his eyes widening in shock. He suddenly couldn't breathe.

Jack stood there.

Only it wasn't Jack.

The figure was glowing, golden light shining through the ephemeral form like new sunlight. Blue eyes sparkled, meeting Ianto's disbelieving gaze. "Jack?" he gasped.

The familiar head nodded. "Don't worry," the ethereal voice ghosted over his frayed nerves. "I'll take her now. She'll be fine."

"But…how?" Ianto wanted to rush over, and take the man he loved into his arms and never let go.

Jack laughed. "Don't ask me. I don't know. But I do know this…I'll be waiting for you when your job is done. All you have to do is let go when it's time."

"Why can't I come with you now?"

"You have one more thing to do. And you know what it is."

Ianto did. "But then…?"

"Then we'll be together. Forever. But for now, Myfanwy needs to come with me. She's too hurt. I can look after her for you."

The dragon was looking at Jack, her eyes joyful. She chirped happily.

And then, her damaged body simply faded into golden sparks…and was gone.

She reappeared at Jack's side, her head butting his hand. Jack laughed, giving her a rough scratch at the base of her horn. "We'll be waiting, Ianto. I promise you that. We'll be waiting."

"Jack…" There was so much he wanted to say, but no words would come.

"I know. I love you, too."

They slowly faded away, leaving Ianto sitting on the sand, once again alone.

But he had hope. And he could live with that, until it was time to rejoin his lover and his dragon.

 



Comments

Wow, that was exciting and I love the hope at the end. Great chapter!
There had to be hope, I just couldn't leave Ianto with nothing...

Glad you liked it!
Myfanwy! :_(

Loved this chapter, it was exciting and I'm glad that Ianto has a shred of hope to cling to!
Yes, he does. There's just something he has to do first before he can be reunited with Jack and Myfanwy... :)

Thanks!
That was so beautiful and so sad.
Thanks!

*gives tissues*
wibble, but hopeful wibble.
Sorry I made you wibble...

But yes, there is hope now.
Oh wow that was wonderful and Jack is sort of back - love the hope but I have a little tingle at the back of my neck that there is something not quite simple about everything. I have a suspicious mind - what can I say.
I stopped breathing through that last bit. Crosses fingers for a happy ending.
xx
You do have a suspicious mind! Would I ever throw a massive twist into one of my stories??

Oh, wait...
I've finally had time to catch up with your utterly amazing story. WoW! I absolutely LOVE it! I've been in tears for the last few chapters and now this bit with Myfanwy and Jack just got me. :( This is so beautifully done. I can't wait for the next update.
Thank you! I'm really glad you liked it.

*hands tissues*


Edit: I just noticed I haven't updated my chapter list... :( I just did and am working on the next chapter now.

Edited at 2010-11-08 12:13 am (UTC)
Myfanwy! T_T dear god poor Ianto, but it'll be better, he's got hope!!
It'll get better. It'll just take time...