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Myfanwy 2

December 2017

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The Dragon and the Nightingale - Chapter Eight

The Dragon and the Nightingale - Chapter Eight
Author: Milady Dragon
Series: Dragon-Verse
Rating: PG-13
Pairing(s): Jack/Ianto; Toshiko/Kathy; Rhiannon/Johnny
Warnings: Language, Angst, mentions of torture
Spoilers: Up through Series One, also "Children of Earth" (as pertains to Alice Carter's background), and Doctor Who S3 E11 and E12, "Utopia", "The Sound of Drums", and "Last of the Time Lords"
Disclaimer:  I don't own Torchwood, I would have treated it better.  I also don't own Doctor Who.
Author's note:  This story tells how the Year That Never Was ended.  There really isn't any timing in this, because of how things end. 



Summary:  Things are coming to a head in the fight against the Master.  Ianto and Martha Jones are  in the final leg of their journey, and have come home to Great Britain for the end of the paradox...however it should end.





The Year of the Toclafane Ends

                   

When the guards came to release Jack from his chains in the bowels of the Valiant, he’d been certain the Master had something nasty planned for him.  After all, he knew what the date was, and he’d been expecting something horrible to happen by way of ‘celebration’ at the upcoming destruction of the known Universe.

When he found himself being led up to the command deck, Jack admitted to himself that he was somewhat confused, especially when it looked like only himself, the Doctor – in a gilded cage hanging from the ceiling – and the Jones family were present.   He glanced at them, and each of the Joneses gave him the indication that they had no clue what was going on.   

The Doctor simply looked old and sad.

After a few minutes Lucy Saxon came in.  Jack actually felt sorry for her; she looked wan and pale, although she had a smile on her face.  He had to wonder if she’d had to put up with as much pain from the Master as Jack himself had.

And so, they waited.

Jack knew what they were waiting for.  Soon things would end in fire and death, and the Master would want witnesses.  He looked over at the Doctor in his cage, and cursed him for not having done more. 

Yet, at the same time, seeing the once-energetic Time Lord reduced to that…Jack felt pity for him.  He couldn’t help it.  In that way it didn’t matter that the Doctor hadn’t seemingly done anything in the last year, leaving Jack and the Joneses to fend for themselves.  Yes, there had been that last escape attempt, but what had that gained them?  The Doctor diminished so completely that it had rung what very little hope Jack had had left in the Time Lord. 

All he had left was Ianto, and hopefully Jack’s team.  As long as they were out there somewhere…even if the Universe burned, the ones he cared about most were most likely down on the ground, doing what needed to be done.

The double doors at the rear of the room were flung open, and the Master entered, practically bouncing toward the front of the deck, tapping his fingers on the table as he made his way around to the control area.  He looked unbelievably smug, and Jack knew that couldn’t bode well for any of them.

The Master moved up to the upper level, and then turned to look at his captive audience.  The smirk on his face made Jack feel ill.  “I thought you might all want to say hello to an old friend.” 

Jack turned, and all hope completely failed him.

Four guards escorted Martha onto the deck…accompanied by Jack’s mate.

Jack wanted to move toward Ianto, but the soldiers around him kept him back.  Ianto’s eyes flickered toward him, and then went straight back to the Master , and Jack wished more than anything that the dragon was anywhere but there, because him being captured meant…well, he didn’t want to even consider what that meant.  Did the Master know that Ianto was the last of the dragons?  Or was he still unaware of Ianto’s true nature?

The guards brought Martha and Ianto to a halt in front of the steps leading up to the control deck.  The Master grinned down at them, as if he were their true lord.   “The Nightingale and the Dragon…at last.”  He hopped down two steps, his hand held out.  “The teleport device,” he ordered, and it sounded almost playful.  “In case you thought I’d forgotten.”

Ianto shrugged.  “It’s gone,” he answered, his head held high.  “It was lost somewhere in North America.  Besides, it didn’t work anymore anyway.”

Jack’s Vortex Manipulator…gone.  His heart sank lower, knowing there was now no way for either Ianto or Martha to escape the Valiant.

The Master’s grin turned into a frown.  “You expect me to believe that?”

It was Martha’s turn to shrug.  “Your men searched us,” she pointed out.  “If we’d still had it, they’d have found it.”

The Master didn’t look happy, but he said, “It’s not important.”  Then he threw his arms wide.  “Down below, the fleet is ready to launch.  Two hundred thousand ships set to burn their way across the cosmos.”  He glared at the pair.  “Kneel.”

Ianto and Martha glanced at each other, and then both did as the Master ordered.  Jack was a bit puzzled; none of them looked particularly bothered by the fact that they were at the mercy of a genocidal maniac.  Did they have some sort of plan?  If so, they’d need to set in motion soon…the countdown to launch was inexorably approaching, and Jack could feel the anxiousness creeping through him like thousands of ants scuttling across his nerve endings.

The Master turned his face toward the ceiling, where Jack knew microphones would pick up his every word.  “Are we ready?” he called out.

“The fleet awaits your signal,” a man’s voice answered.

The manic grin returned to the Time Lord’s face.  “Three minutes to align the black hole converters.   Counting down!” He made a grand gesture, and a rather large digital clock on the wall began to click the seconds away.  “Never could resist a ticking clock,” he laughed, throwing his arms out once more.  “My children…are you ready?”

“We will fly and blaze and slice,” the horrible child-like voices of millions of Toclafane echoed over the speaker, causing Jack to shiver.  He didn’t know what they were, but they frightened him in ways he simply couldn’t describe. 

“When the clock strikes zero,” the Master intoned, “to mark this day of victory, both Martha Jones and her protector will die.”  He looked down at the kneeling pair.  “Any last words?”

 Jack wanted so much for Ianto to say something…anything.  To perhaps spit in the Master’s face, showing the maniac the ‘respect’ he deserved.  He also wanted his mate to turn and see him standing there, and Jack wanted nothing more than to spend the end of the world with the dragon he loved more than anything in his arms.

Ianto said nothing.  His posture – even though he was kneeling – didn’t look at all concerned.

He had to have a plan…

“No?” the Master snorted.  He turned toward the aged Doctor.  “Such a disappointment, really.  Not that long ago, Doctor, you had companions who could absorb the very time vortex!  But this one and her friend…absolutely useless.”  He looked back at Martha and Ianto…and the puzzled expression on his face was an absolute delight to see.

Both of the Master’s ‘prisoners’ were laughing.

A cloud of anger crossed the Time Lord’s face.  “What’s so funny?” he demanded, stepping completely down onto the deck, giving up the high ground in his fury.

“A gun?” Martha asked.

“A gun in four parts?”  Ianto added, snorting.

 Jack had heard about the so-called gun; he hadn’t believed for a minute that the Doctor would have sent Martha anywhere after a weapon, but apparently the Master had.

 “Yes,” the Master growled.  “I destroyed it when I captured you!”

 “A gun,” Martha went on, “scattered in four pieces all around the world?  Come on!  Did you really believe that?”

The Master was getting angrier and angrier.  He reached into his jacket for his laser screwdriver, and Jack tensed, hoping he could make the leap across the deck and block the coming shot with his own body.  He wasn’t about to let either Martha or Ianto get hurt if he could avoid it.

Although, he couldn’t help be wonder just what they were doing on the Valiant.  The Master had obviously thought the weapon was real, and had chased them for it.  It had apparently been a red herring.  But why?

There had to be something Jack was missing, which made sense since he’d been a prisoner for so long.  The Jones family looked as much in the dark as he did.

But the Doctor was moving in his cage, his liquid eyes staring out at the Master.   “As if I would ask her or anyone to kill,” his ancient voice floated weakly over the room. 

It then hit Jack all at once.

The Doctor had had a plan all along.

Something he’d told Martha, and it was obvious that Ianto knew as well.  Jack hadn’t been let in on it and while it did hurt to have been left out it made more sense to keep him in the dark, not knowing what the Master might try to torture out of him. 

Jack felt hope again.

“It doesn’t matter,” the Master brushed off the Doctor’s comment.  “I have her right where I want her.”

“But we knew,” Martha went on.  “We knew about Professor Docherty, and that she’d betray us.  The Resistance knew about her son.”

“We used her,” Ianto confirmed.  “We knew going to her would get us here.  We even told her about the gun.”

“To get here,” Martha added.  “At just the right time.”

Jack stood there, listening to the two of them, and felt such a sense of pride race through him.  This was his lover, his mate…on his knees in front of the worst mass murderer him human history, and yet he wasn’t beaten.  

He could see the trepidation on Francine and Clive’s faces, but they were also so obviously very proud of their daughter.  Tish was openly smiling.

“But you’re still going to die,” the Master snarled, brandishing his screwdriver.

“Aren’t you even going to ask?” Ianto piped up.

“Ask?”

“Yeah,” Martha answered.  “Don’t you want to know why we walked the Earth?”

The uncertainty in the Master’s face would have been comical if Jack had been in the mood to laugh.  “Tell me,” he ordered.

“I told a story,” Martha said.  “No weapons…just words.  I did what the Doctor asked me to do: I went to every continent, me and Ianto, and I told everyone we met a story.”

Jack frowned.  That was the plan?  Some sort of story?  He knew he must have been looking as confused as everyone else…except for the Doctor, whose wizened hands were gripping the bars of his cage.

“I told them all about the Doctor,” she went on.  “And I told everyone we met to spread the word about him.  And I gave them an instruction.  I told them that if everyone thinks of a single word, at a particular time –“

“What?” the Master scoffed.  “You told them to pray?”

“Not hardly,” Ianto snorted.

“I didn’t tell them to pray,” Martha denied.  “I told them to think of this one word, at the same time…with the power of the Archangel Network to boost the signal.”

Jack couldn’t believe it; he had to grin at the simplicity of the plan.  Using the telepathic field of the Archangel Network, Martha had essentially usurped the Master’s hypnotic control of the planet.

It really was brilliant, he had to admit.

Everything Martha was saying was tumbling together in the Master’s mind; Jack could see him come to the conclusion a bit slower, but then he’d been so very confident of his technology he couldn’t have even considered someone would have used it against him.

“That word…is Doctor.”

The clock struck zero.

Jack was a bit telepathic; he’d been trained by the Time Agency and knew what a very powerful telepathic signal felt like.  It rolled over them all like a vast wave, and the energy of that telepathic signal seemed to swirl around a single figure.

The cage around the Doctor came apart under the onslaught, and a golden glow began to twist and writhe around the ancient Time Lord.  The Doctor’s body grew, slowly returning to its normal size and appearance.

The Master screamed, “No!” and aimed his laser screwdriver at the regenerating Time Lord. 

The beam bounced off the energy surrounding him.

“I’ve had a year to attune myself to the psychic network and to integrate with its matrices,” the Doctor said, his voice echoing with power.  “This is the power of human thought; you cannot stop them from thinking.”

It was all Jack could do not to close his eyes and surrender himself to the telepathic storm that surrounded the Doctor.  The Joneses hadn’t been able to; they were chanting the Doctor’s name, as were the guards who were supposed to be watching him.  Even Lucy had been caught up in the signal.

The Master was screaming at the Doctor to stop, ranting even as he was backing away from the glowing Time Lord.  Both Martha and Ianto were on their feet, and Jack could tell that his mate was also fighting the effect of the Archangel Network.   The Master fired once more, yelling obscenities.

When he realized that the screwdriver wasn’t going to work, the Master aimed it at Martha.  “I’ll kill them both if you don’t stop!”

Jack’s heart jumped in terror, but even as he was taking his first step forward the screwdriver flew across the room.  “I’m sorry,” the Doctor was saying as he glided toward the now cowering Master.  “I’m so very sorry.”

With those words, Jack’s anger at having spent a year in captivity, of being tortured and killed and taunted roared back to life.  Why was the Doctor apologizing to the bloody Master?  It was the Master who’d done all this; it was the Master who’d nearly destroyed the whole fucking Universe with his missiles and his hate.   

The Doctor was whispering more platitudes as he reached out to gather the Master in his arms.  The maniac folded into himself, and as the glow around the Doctor faded Jack heard three words he’d never expected to hear.

“I forgive you.”

Jack wanted to scream and rail against those words.  How dare the Doctor forgive that bastard?  He didn’t have the right!  It hadn’t been the Doctor’s planet that the Master had destroyed in his insanity; it had been Jack’s, and the Doctor didn’t have the effing right to forgive that monster anything! 

The Master then screamed for the Toclafane, and Jack was running before he even knew what was happening.  This was the opportunity they needed, to destroy the paradox machine once and for all.  For all that he wanted to wrap his arms around his mate and hold him, Jack had a duty to the planet Earth, and it was time to fulfill it.

Jack raced through the corridors of the Valiant, needing to get to the TARDIS and stop the paradox.  People were behind him, and he didn’t even look back.  If they meant to stop him, he would go down fighting…and it looked as if that wasn’t their intention at all.  They must have all broken through the control the Archangel Network had had, and were now acting to save things instead of destroy.

Three Toclafane guarded the TARDIS.

Jack knew what he had to do.

He’d made it this far once before, during one of his many escape attempts.  He’d been unarmed then; now, he had a machine gun he’d taken from one of his guards on the way out of the control deck.   He racked the slide and began firing as he made his way toward the TARDIS; although the bullets had little effect, it kept the Toclafane from doing too much damage to him.  Still, he’d been bloodied more than once, and it was with a loud whoop that he entered the TARDIS for the first time in a year.

He could feel her around him; the time machine was so very sick, the awful red light of the paradox bathing everything in its lurid glow. 

Jack used the last of his bullets to destroy the paradox machine…after a silent apology to the TARDIS if he hurt her.

The floor lurched, and Jack was thrown sideways as a loud boom sounded through the TARDIS.  He fetched up against the bottom of the console, and held on as best he could, riding out the storm that had to have been raging outside the machine. 

He let out another whoop as things stopped pitching. 

Standing, Jack rested his hand on the TARDIS’s console, feeling her familiar presence once more.  “Welcome back, lady,” he whispered.

Her thanks were obvious in his mind, as were her apologies for everything he had gone through.  Jack remembered back on Malcassairo, when things had first started, and the TARDIS had convinced him that he’d needed to be there.  Now he knew why.

Jack forgave her. 

He just wasn’t sure he would be able to forgive the Doctor quite so easily.

With that thought, he turned and left the TARDIS.  Although he loved her dearly, he hoped it would be for the last time; he didn’t want to travel anymore.

Jack left the TARDIS and ran back toward the control deck, needing to find his mate.  All he wanted to do was hold onto Ianto and never let him go.

What he saw when he arrived was not what he’d expected, although he should have.



Comments

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And so the Doctor's plan works but that ending you bad person - what are you doing to us poor readers now? Great stuff and looking forward to finding out.
K
xx
It did, but there's still something Ianto needs to do... *grins*
I love Jack's indignation at the Doctor's forgiveness. Brilliant.
Thanks, I always thought Jack should have been a bit angry about that. :)
Yeehah! The Dragon is in the house - or on the ship, as it were!
He is, and things are definitely going to heat up now...of course, whether that pun is intended or not, we'll have to wait and see. *winks*
And...more please!
I'm glad Jack is cross with the Dr for his swift forgiveness of the Master.
Now much as I want their reunion, I also would like to see the Master Heavily singed on the end of dragon flame...really heavily singed...ok ok, burnt to a crisp by one seriously pissed off dragon!!!
Fab chapter hon
D xxx

Glad you liked your dragon!

Edited at 2012-02-12 09:07 pm (UTC)
Thanks! When I first watched the episode, I was really rooting for Francine to shoot the Master. But I knew she wouldn't, which was a shame...

As for what happens to the Master...that will be in the next chapter.

So glad you liked it! *hug*

Oh, I did! *hugs again*
*bounces up and down*
More soon, I promise. :)
Thanks! Well, at least the TARDIS accepts him, and she did try to explain back on Malcassairo. Plus she did apologize to him...which is more than the Doctor has done.

Seems like everyone wants crispy Master...hm... :)
You....but... *shakes computer*....YOU CAN'T LEAVE IT THERE!!! Where's the rest of the chapter?????

I loved this though..Jack & Ianto both fighting off the telepathic effects. Can't wait to see what Ianto does next!
If you damage your computer you won't be able to read the rest... *grins*

What Ianto does next...working on that now. :)
Yes, yes we're almost there, and with a little luck we will get Ianto stomping over a time lord, right now I can't decide which one ;P

I'll wait patiently for the next chapter

:)
I can truthfully say that the Master gets on a certain dragon's very bad side. We'll see what he does to either Time Lord...next chapter.

More up soon. :)
Well Hell, what a cliffhanger. Is the unexpected bad or good? The possibilities Ahhhh! They drive me crazy! I kind of thought that the Doctor's plan would work because that aspect of the story was always just fine. The problems come directly after.

Looking forward to the next chapter - really looking forward to it. :D
I know, it is pretty evil, isn't it?

We'll see it all come down in the next chapter. Yes, the Doctor's plan, while pretty half-arsed (honestly, how to you really coordinate something like that?) was the best plan really. Oh, the problems... *laughs*

Next chapter up soon. :)
All righty now - time for Plan B, 'cause forgiving the Master ain't on the menu.
There's a certain dragon who also feels that way. Stay tuned! *grins*
Ahh a cliffhanger, can't wait to see what happens next.
Yeah, I know...but I can't apologize with the cliffhanger. I'm just evil that way. *laughs manically*

More up soon. :)
So... the Doctor's plan worked after all. But somehow I don't think that Plan B is completely out of the question, seeing as the Doctor still wants to be friends with the Master.

I wonder what Ianto will do next.
It did, but really the plan wasn't the actual problem...that comes up in the next chapter. As for Plan B... *laughs manically*

Oh, we'll see... :)
I've said it before and I'll say it again- bad dragon lady! Damn cliffie! :)

I know, I'm so bad...it was a pretty evil cliffie, I do admit. *winks*

More up soon. :)
Darn, don't stop here....please!!!!!
I promise, more up soon. :)

And I had to stop there, cause, you know...it's an evil cliffhanger.
what does ianto have planned now?
Oh, we'll see... *laughs*
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