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Myfanwy 2

December 2017

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Myfanwy 2

The Immortality of the Deathless - Chapter Eleven

The Immortality of the Deathless - Chapter Eleven
Author: Milady Dragon
Rating: PG-13, for language and violence
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.



Chapter Eleven


This trip wasn't going at all like Ianto thought it would.

But then, to be honest he hadn't really had any preconceived notions of just how things would happen, but he'd have liked it to be a little bit easier, physically and mentally.

First, he'd no idea that riding a horse for most of the day would actually hurt. Although maybe he should have, since Ianto wasn't a stupid man by any stretch of the imagination and sitting in a saddle all day should have had some sort of physical effect on him. So he mentally kicked himself for not thinking that far ahead as he'd tried to get down from his horse when the group had made camp that first day, and found that he couldn't actually move his legs without the muscles telling him off vociferously for treating them in such a cavalier manner.

No one seemed to notice his problem with mobility, either. Everyone just got on with setting up camp, and left him to his own devices. He'd been about to call attention to his plight when the Elvin woman, Toshiko, saw him still sitting in the saddle and had asked him why he was still on the horse.

Ianto had admitted his problem. And she'd been more than happy to help him. She didn't even tease him about it. Which was nice, because Ianto was still a bit pissed off at Dr. Harper's attitude when Ianto had shown up at the inn first thing that morning. Gods, could the man have been any more condescending? It had taken all of Ianto's control not to spit the same bile back, since he had no real idea how he was supposed to be acting around these strangers as it was.

And Captain Jack hadn't been of any help whatsoever, damn him.

Oh no…the man who'd wanted Ianto to come along in the first place…the man Ianto had counted on to help him fit in…had completely ignored him. Ianto felt slighted, but wasn't confident enough in his position with the group to actually call him on it. But there was something else, a feeling Ianto wasn't able to identify. Almost like hurt, but not quite so defined.

And he hadn't been the only one; Suzie Costello had as well, but Ianto hadn't been so sure that was a bad thing. The woman intimidated him, and it wasn't just the weapons she carried – Suzie was tooled up like some sort of barbarian queen – but it was her attitude, the confidence she had, and her overall bearing. He certainly didn't want to get on her bad side, that was for sure.

After his earlier cutting comments, Owen Harper had also gone on to ignore him, which also wasn't a bad thing. Ianto could honestly say he didn't like the battle surgeon, that might change but Ianto doubted it.

However, Ianto had been very interested in Toshiko Sato. He'd never met an Elf before, and his curiosity had to be curtailed because, simply, he hadn't wanted to insult her or think he was some sort of weirdo. That changed, as she approached him and struck up a conversation. She was very knowledgeable in natural lore, and could practically talk "shop" with him where the nature sciences were concerned. She also had a basic familiarity with the Laws of Magic, and Ianto had been quite content to discuss them throughout that day, and she managed to keep his mind off the fact that he was seriously beginning to hurt from the riding.

She was even nice enough to help him down from the saddle, and fetch him some herbs to help with the stiffness.

The next day, it had been pretty much the same, although at least Dr. Harper was speaking to him, if only to call him "Coffee Boy" and to demand more coffee. Ianto appeared to be doing something right, even if it was keeping his new acquaintances well supplied with their caffeine fix.

That was also the morning that Ianto suspected that Toshiko and Captain Jack had been talking about him.

He didn't actually catch the conversation, but he saw the mercenary captain glance at him several times during the course of it. Ianto studiously ignored the man, stiffly getting his things together and tied back into place on his saddle. It did irk him, because honestly if the captain wanted to speak about him, he should do it Ianto's face.

Toshiko rode with him again, and Ianto was glad of the company. There were times during the trip that he could feel Captain Jack looking at him, and finally he simply couldn't take it anymore.

"What is his problem?" he finally asked Toshiko.

She looked a bit surprised at the change in topic; they'd been discussing Einstein's Law of Natural Conservation of Magic. "What do you mean?" she asked.

"The captain. He ignored me all day yesterday, and now he keeps staring at me like I've grown horns or something."

"It's not that bad."

"It's damned annoying."

"Shouldn't you asking him about that?" She didn't seem all that comfortable with the discussion.

"I'd rather not, thanks just the same." Even as he said it, Ianto know that wasn't strictly true. He actually wanted to speak to the man, but at the same time he was still angry at being ignored.

He suddenly got the feeling that he was being fairly petty about the situation.

So, he went back to the original topic, and enjoyed Toshiko's outlooks on Einstein's works.

*****

Later that afternoon, they rode into Haven, which had the advantage of being on the main northern trading route.

And, Ianto decided, he was going to try very hard not to gawk like a tourist.

Haven was a sprawling place, from what he could tell. As they got deeper into the town, the single story homes were gradually replaced by multi-story buildings that were shops on the ground floor, and residences for the merchants above. The people seemed to bustle about, visiting the shops and surging around their horses, not seeming to care that they were weaving around animals that could trample them if they weren't careful. It was busy, noisy…and just a little bit scary.

The group rode up to an inn with the fanciful name of the Pegasus and Crown. Ianto followed their example and dismounted, taking his personal belongings off the saddle and letting a stable boy lead his horse off toward the back of the inn, where the stables obviously were. The inn itself was a large, three story affair built of dark wood and brick, with large windows in the upper floors. It had two wings leading off the main building, making it one of the largest structures yet seen.

The interior of the inn was gloomy, but that could have been because the sun outside was just that bright. Ianto blinked his eyes to clear them, finding himself in the back of the group, as Captain Jack took care of getting them checked into rooms. He handed out keys; they each had a room letter on them, dangling from a chain through the top of the key. His said room D, which apparently he was going to be sharing with the Captain and the surgeon. How lovely that sounded…

Ianto was beginning to seriously doubt the reasons he'd come on this trip.

The common room was fairly empty, and Dr. Harper made a beeline for an empty table in the corner by a large fireplace that thankfully wasn't lit. The rest of the group seemed quite content to join him, but Ianto really didn't feel the need. Instead, he snuck off upstairs, really just wanting to get cleaned up and rest for a bit.

He really didn't think he'd be at all missed.

The stairs about did his sore thighs in, but he managed to make it to room D, which thankfully was on the middle floor. The room was fairly large, with two beds – and no, there was no way he was going to share a bed with either men. Ianto wondered if they'd make him sleep on the floor, then decided that if he claimed one of the beds now, there might be a chance that he'd still have it when he went to sleep that night. So he slung his bags down on the bed closest to the window, and decided he really wanted to find the bathroom…which he eventually did, and when he emerged almost half an hour later he felt considerably more human than when he went in.

Captain Jack was waiting in the room for him.

"You scrub up nicely," he commented, grinning.

Ianto wasn't really in the mood. "You've seen me clean before, sir," he answered, deadpan. "I can't see why it's a big deal now."

He sighed, then stood from where he'd been sitting on the bed – the bed that Ianto had chosen for his own. "C'mon. Let's go for a stroll."

Ianto barely managed not to gape at him. "I would prefer to rest a bit – "

"Yeah," the mercenary overrode him, "but you don't want to stiffen up anymore than you already have. Please…indulge me."

For some weird reason, Ianto was actually a bit gratified that the mercenary had mentioned his "issues" with horseback riding, but at the same time he was irritated because he knew damned well that Captain Jack hadn't noticed himself; Ianto was certain he'd heard it from Toshiko.

There was a pleading expression on the captain's face. Stifling a sigh, Ianto capitulated under that gaze. "All right. If you insist, sir."

"I'm going to have to work on that whole "sir" thing," the captain said, grinning. "No one ever calls me that."

"Then it pleases me to be the only one."

Ianto followed Captain Jack somewhat reluctantly down the stairs and back through the common room. Dr. Harper and Suzie Costello were still at the table, but Toshiko was gone, and Ianto wondered where she was. The two mercenaries didn't seem to notice them leaving, and that was more than fine. They seemed far more interested in drinking than in what was going on around them.

The sunlight hit Ianto full in the face, and he had to blink so he could see. Apparently the captain didn't have any problems with being dazzled, because he was several paces away before Ianto moved again.

Captain Jack must have seen he was alone; he stopped and waited for Ianto to catch him up. Together, the two men threaded their way through the crowded streets, passing shops and booths as they walked. Ianto had been to the market in Cardiff, many times; but there was something different about Haven, something more alive and bustling than he'd ever seen in Cardiff. He tried very hard not to gape at the items on sale, but there was just much effort he could put into looking jaded about his surroundings.

"It's okay, you know," Captain Jack's voice brought him out of his thoughts.

"What do you mean?" The man was certainly confusing.

"It's okay to look around. It's not like you've ever been here before…right?" The man looked as if he was enjoying himself, and Ianto couldn't help but wonder if it was at his own expense. "You're allowed to be curious."

"Lack of curiosity has never been a problem for me," Ianto admitted.

The captain gave him his famous smile. "I don't doubt that one bit."

Okay, Ianto did walk into that one, and he should have expected to hear that particular tone. He decided not to dignify it with a response.

They continued on up the main street, walking side by side when they could. Ianto might have been put out by Captain Jack's silent treatment over the last day and a half, but he was making up for it now, pointing out various sights and generally being a very good tour guide. Ianto found himself letting loose of his irritation…just a little.

The main problem was, Ianto just didn't know what to think of the mercenary. He wondered if Captain Jack would go back to the cold man once they were back on the road, and if this gregarious individual was some sort of strange split personality that only came out when in a town somewhere.

He supposed he'd have time to find out.

Eventually, Captain Jack pulled him into a small corner café, claiming a table under a colorful awning. "I eat here whenever we're in town," he explained, grinning. "They have the best meat pies you'll ever taste…just don't tell Mistress Heather, okay? I'd hate for her to get jealous." He winked broadly.

"I won't say a word, sir," Ianto averred, smirking.

A waitress came and took their orders. Ianto decided to follow the advice about the meat pies, which seemed to please Captain Jack. He had no idea why that gave him a warm feeling in his chest; perhaps he'd just had a bit more sun than he should have.

Once the woman was gone, Ianto found himself under the scrutiny of Captain Jack's intense blue eyes. "So…how are you, Master Ianto?"

Ianto blinked, he hadn't expected that question. "Doing fine, sir."

The mercenary wasn't convinced. "You're in a situation you've never been in before, traveling with complete strangers. I'd think "fine" isn't quite the word you're looking for."

"What do you want me to say?" he asked quietly. "That my decision to come was a mistake?"

Captain Jack sighed. "Not at all! It was the right thing to do. I am sorry though, that I haven't been more of a help."

'You've been…preoccupied." Although Ianto didn't know by what.

"That's still no excuse for not at least making sure you knew where you stood with the rest of the team."

Ianto was saved from saying anything to that by the arrival of their food. Not that he could have gotten a word out, he was too surprised by the apology. He took a bite of his meat pie, in order to avoid saying anything even after the waitress was gone.

The pie was just as good as Captain Jack claimed. He made an inadvertant "yummy" noise.

"See…I told you," the mercenary said, tucking into his own meal. "It's like eating a little piece of one of the Heavens."

They ate in silence, leaving Ianto with his thoughts once more. He would take glances at his companion at times, through his eyelashes, watching the other man eat. Their conversation had managed to throw him for a bit of a loop. After the last day or so, Ianto would have bet good coin that Captain Jack was thinking that he'd made an error in bringing Ianto along on the mission. But obviously that wasn't the case, and it changed the way Ianto himself was seeing things. Before, he'd thought he was a burden; now, not so much. He'd wait to see what Captain Jack wanted him to do. Then he'd be in a better position to judge his worth to this team he'd found himself on.

"Well…fancy seeing you here!"

The strange voice drew Ianto out of his thoughts, and he enjoyment of the meal. A man stood at their table, and he was grinning like some sort of maniac. Short curly hair framed a hawk-like face, and he was wearing a red tabard that Ianto was able to identify as being from one of the western kingdoms. His armor was also western, as was the curved sword on his hip.

And, for some really strange reason, Ianto didn't like how this stranger was looking at Captain Jack.

Captain Jack, though, didn't look at all happy to see this person. In fact, even though Ianto didn't have any experience in such things, it looked very much like the mercenary wanted to kill the man.


Chapter Twelve...

Comments

haaaaaaaaaaaaa I cant stop to read it!!! I have insomnia, thanks to your fic I have something to to!!!