Author: Milady Dragon
Pairing(s): Jack/Ianto (past); Martha/Mickey; Gwen/Rhys (mentioned)
Warnings: Language, Violence
Spoilers: Up through "Children of Earth"; and for all seasons of "Stargate SG1"
Disclaimer: I don't own Torchwood, or Stargate SG1. I have the DVD's though.
Author's note: This is written for the Long Live Ianto Non-Anniversary Challenge, using the prompt by </a></b></a>madbottoms : A crossover with Stargate, where Ianto didn't die as quick on Day Four, and it was a bit slower, and for some reason he's beamed away by SG1 or the Atlantis team, where they have a Tok'ra symbiote in need of a host. This will give Ianto an extended life of a thousand years at least.
Summary: The last thing Ianto Jones remembers is dying in Thames House. But he wakes up in a UNIT holding facility with a voice in his head and an alien inhabiting his body. Now, he has to escape and find a way off planet.
Martha sat there, in shock, as whatever UNIT had implanted in her friend took over Ianto’s body and began talking to them
And it wasn’t just Ianto’s voice that changed, although that was the main difference she noticed. They were subtle; the way Ianto sat in his chair, stiffer and more formal; a certain light in the familiar blue eyes; the age in his gaze. There was knowledge there too; while she remembered Ianto being intelligent, there was simply too much knowledge in him now, as if he knew things he shouldn’t and it shown from his eyes like twin beacons.
She was so impossibly mad at UNIT for doing it; and yet, at the same time, she was conflicted, because despite everything Ianto was alive, even if he wasn’t completely himself anymore. And wasn’t him being alive for the better?
Martha had seen so much with the Doctor, and she prided herself on being open-minded about a lot of things. But the very idea that there was something inside Ianto, something that wasn’t human…it bothered her more than a little.
Mickey though seemed to be taking it all in stride. Her husband was staring at Ianto – or, technically, it was this Ges’ryth of Palidor who had taken control – and looked as if he were so full of questions he wanted to burst with them.
“Where are you from?” was his first question, followed quickly by, “How did you get here?”
Ianto’s face was calm. “As Ianto has said, I am of the Tok’ra,” the strange, atonal sound that was now Ianto’s voice answered. “For the longest time, my people had no homeworld; we were refugees. But now we do, and as of the last time I was there we had not named it as yet beyond calling it the Tok’ra Homeworld. As for how I arrived, myself and my previous host were on our way to the Jaffa Free Homeworld when a strange golden light engulfed our tel’tak and we ended up crashing here. Ianto has since explained the Rift to me, and we know that that was what brought Teslin and I here.”
“And your previous host was killed?” Martha asked.
“Yes. I tried to heal her, but her injuries were too severe. One of the benefits of being a host is that we, as symbiotes, can help with even some of the most critical wounds, but Teslin was too far gone. ” Ianto’s face darkened. “I was so very glad to see that we had crashed on the Tauri homeworld, thinking we would be safe…but I was wrong, and UNIT found us and forcibly removed me from Teslin before I could die with her. I was kept prisoner in a tank for so long I do not know the time of it anymore.”
Even though Martha still wasn’t sold on this whole symbiote thing, she felt a pang of anger on Ges’ryth’s behalf. “How did they know you were even in your host?” she wanted to know.
“The UNIT colonel who led their team was knowledgeable of my race,” Ges’ryth answered. “He saw the tell-tale sign of Teslin carrying a symbiote, and he had no qualms of cutting me from her body. He thought…well, he thought I was Goa’uld, and had not even considered that I might not be. That proved to be his downfall, if I may say so.”
“Wait,” Mickey said, “there are other races of symbiotes out there?”
Ianto – Ges’ryth – shook his head. “The Tok’ra are an offshoot of the Goa’uld. However, while the Tok’ra believe in coexistence with our hosts, the Goa’uld simply take what they want and quash any resistance the unwilling host might put up to the invasion of their bodies. They are also quite power-mad, which the UNIT Colonel – Dexter – tried to exploit. He had hoped that, if he gave me a new host, that I would, in turn, repay him by giving him all of Ianto’s secrets. That was his motivation in saving Ianto’s life: in gaining everything that Ianto knew of Torchwood and his Captain.”
“Bloody hell,” Mickey muttered angrily.
Martha really was outraged now. Even though she’d known that Ianto had been held prisoner, and that UNIT had implanted an alien creature within him, there’d been a small part of her that had hoped they’d done it out of some sense of altruism, after finding out that Ianto had somehow survived the 456’s virus. She knew she had a tendency to think the best in any situation – a holdout from her time with the Doctor – and it wasn’t something she could just dismiss unless the evidence was strong to the contrary. There hadn’t been really much chance that UNIT had meant well, especially after they’d pretty much blamed the entire 456 debacle on Torchwood, but she couldn’t help it. It was part of her nature.
“Of course,” Ges’ryth went on, “Dexter did not get that information. I lied to him and said that there was nothing left of Ianto after I ‘took control’ of his body. Dexter was quite put out.” The smile that graced Ianto’s features was one full of self-satisfaction. “There was not much use for us after that, except of course for…experimentation.” The smile vanished, replaced by pain. “I believe our usefulness was about to come to an end, before you rescued us. The tests had ceased perhaps two weeks ago, and Ianto thought that it was only a matter of time before UNIT thought it was more effort to keep us alive than to simply kill us.”
“Makes sense,” Mickey said. “Law of diminished returns. They weren’t getting anything out of you, so it meant you weren’t useful anymore. “
The familiar blue eyes unfocussed slightly then brightened once again. “Yes, Ianto agrees with you. We are both grateful that you were able to find us, and to save us. Although,” a self-deprecating smile twisted Ianto’s lips, “I do understand that I am a surprise in this rescue. It doesn’t stop me from being glad of it, though.”
“Is there a way to separate the two of you?” Martha asked. She didn’t like the thought of Ianto having what amounted to a parasite in his body, even one who seemed to be on the up-and-up.
“There is. On my homeworld, we have a device that can be used to remove the symbiote from the host, with no lasting damage to either. To do it without, would cause the death of at least one of us –“
Suddenly, Ianto’s eyes glowed, and his body language changed. He practically glared at Martha, who reared back from its intensity.
“While I appreciate your concern,” Ianto – and it really was Ianto this time, his voice and mannerisms back to normal – growled, “as of now I’m not even thinking about removing Ges’ryth. She and I have been through too much together, and she’s a friend. Anything we do, we do together.”
“Whoa, mate,” Mickey exclaimed. “No need to fly off the handle like that.”
Ianto sighed, visibly relaxing. “Yes, you’re right. I’m sorry, Martha. It’s just that Ges’ryth and I have had to rely on each other for months. She saved my life, when she didn’t have to, and she protected Torchwood’s secrets from Dexter. Our blending might have been forced, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t work.”
“And you don’t have any idea how you survived the virus?” Martha thought getting back onto a somewhat neutral subject might be in order. She should have guessed that Ianto would have been protective of Ges’ryth, after everything they’d been through, but she hadn’t known he’d react like that just by her simple question.
But it did prove one thing to her: that Ianto could take control back anytime he wanted; that the symbiote didn’t have the upper hand over him.
Ianto shook his head. “I only know that I was very close to death when UNIT finally realized that I wasn’t, in fact, deceased. It was a puzzle to them, as well, and after Ges’ryth blended with me it pretty much wiped out any evidence that would have been left behind in my body.”
“I assume they tried to synthesize some sort of cure, then?” Martha asked.
“They tried, but from what we were told they didn’t succeed.”
Martha considered that. It didn’t make sense; after all, any sort of healing that the symbiote might have promoted should have left some sort of antibodies behind.
“I think that’s something for another day,” Mickey said pragmatically. “Right now, we need to figure out a way to get the two of you off planet.”
Mickey was right; they could worry about Ianto’s mysterious survival later. “I tried to call the Doctor this morning, before you woke up, and I didn’t get an answer.”
“Did you say you might have some ideas?” Mickey asked.
Ianto nodded. “We can contact the SGC.”
That sounded a bit familiar to her. “I think I’ve heard of that.”
“You might have, having been in UNIT.”
“There’s some rumours on the Internet, too,” Mickey commented. “Something about some sort of attempted invasion over Antarctica not that long ago.”
Ianto’s mouth quirked upward. “Jack wasn’t very happy about finding that out after the fact.”
“But why would the SGC be willing to help?” Martha was confused.
“The SGC made First Contact with the Goa’uld, and are on the front lines with the fight against them…” Ianto’s eyes grew vague, and then suddenly slipped back into awareness. “Ges’ryth says that the Tauri – that’s us Earth humans – are allies of the Tok’ra, and would be willing to transport us through the Chappa’ai…the Stargate.”
Martha knew she was missing a big chunk of the story, but she wasn’t certain they had time to be given everything. Still, she hoped for at least the basics. “The what?”
“The Stargate,” Ianto reiterated. “The SGC: Stargate Command. The original Stargate was found buried in Giza during an archaeological dig back in the 1920’s. From what I understand, the program itself has only been up and running since 1997, when the Americans figured out a way to activate it.”
“How do you know about this, then?” Mickey wanted to know. “Did Ges’ryth tell you?”
Ianto shook his head. “Jack was privy to the program’s existence. He had opportunity to speak to both Brigadier General O’Neill and Major General Landry on several occasions…usually when the SGC had done something stupid. He often wondered why the Doctor hadn’t shut the program down from the start.”
“And they might be willing to let you go through this Stargate?”
“I don’t think they’ll have an issue with it. It’s just convincing them that Ges’ryth is who she claims, and then, of course, us actually making it to the U.S. without UNIT stopping us.”
“That’s the question, isn’t it?” Martha sighed. “Just how do we contact the SGC, then? I don’t think we’d be able to just drop them an email or call them up and ask for help.”
Ianto smirked again. “Actually, calling them is exactly what we should do.”
Luckily for them, Mickey had had enough foresight to purchase several pre-paid mobiles.
Why it took most of the day to make the actual call was Ges’ryth’s insistence that she be allowed to build some sort of scrambler to use in conjunction with the phone, which she thought was a very quaint piece of technology indeed.
Martha had always known that Ianto was intelligent; just from his understanding of the futuristic contact lenses that she’d used that time she’d worked with Torchwood had told her that. But it was odd watching him as he took several of the kitchen’s small appliances apart, along with the television remote, in order to create the jumble of tech that reminded her of one of the Doctor’s own lash-ups. It was always obvious when Ges’ryth was in control; and it still bothered Martha that another creature was taking over the body of her friend, although Ianto had accepted it with equanimity.
And, if he was truly in his right mind – as she was suspecting – then Ianto didn’t have any desire to have Ges’ryth removed at all.
Ianto and Ges’ryth shared a bit of the history of the SGC and the Goa’uld, and the war between them, as they worked. Martha had wondered why she hadn’t heard more than just vague mentions of if in her time with UNIT, but was beginning to realize that being a former Companion wasn’t the free pass she’d thought it had been at the time.
Martha had also taken the time to explain to Ianto everything that had gone on after the defeat of the 456; of how Torchwood had been blamed. Ianto hadn’t said anything, but Martha could tell he was angry about it.
In the meantime, Mickey was busy online, trying to figure out just where they could call in order to get through to Stargate Command. Ianto explained that the SGC was located under Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado, and that there had to be some sort of public number they could try. It didn’t take much looking, and he soon had the Public Information Office contact details.
A couple of hours later, everything was ready.
The cobbled together scrambler sat in the middle of the kitchen table, the disposable phone perched amid the wiring as if it were an odd-looking spider within a multi-coloured web. Ianto was looking quite pleased with himself. “Now, all we have to do is find out if the number Mickey found us will get us where we need to go.” He dialed, making certain the speakerphone was on.
It took two rings for the phone to be answered, and it was done by a perky-sounding young woman with a smile in her voice. “Cheyenne Mountain Public Information Office, Lieutenant Markham speaking.”
“I wish to be transferred to Stargate Command, to speak to either Brigadier General Jack O’Neill or Major General Hank Landry please,” Ianto answered pleasantly.
“I’m sorry, Sir,” the Lieutenant answered, her tone a bit less friendly, “but I don’t have either officer on record at this facility. I think you have the wrong number.”
“I assure you, I have the correct number. If you would inform them that Torchwood is on the line?” He rattled off a string of numbers that Martha thought must have been some of identification code or confirmation number.
There was silence on the other end of the phone, and then a sharp, “One moment please,” followed by a couple of clicks that meant the call was obviously being transferred somewhere else. Then there was more silence, which seemed to stretch out for what felt like forever.
“They’re not buying it,” Mickey said softly.
“They’re confirming the code I gave them,” Ianto replied. “If what Martha’s said about Torchwood being disbanded is true, then they’ll want to be absolutely certain this isn’t some sort of crank call.”
That made sense, after everything that had happened with the 456. Torchwood had been dragged through the mud for what UNIT and the British Government had done, because everyone had needed a scapegoat and with Jack disappearing afterward it had been simply to place the blame on him, even after everything he’d lost in order to send the 456 packing.
Finally, the line was opened once more. “This is Major General Landry,” a southern-accented American voice answered. “To whom am I speaking?”
“I am Ianto Jones, Sir, formerly with Torchwood.”
“From what I’ve heard,” Landry said, “Ianto Jones died. So, I suggest we cut the bull and get to the truth.”
There was something about Landry’s voice that made Martha immediately want to trust him. She couldn’t place it; perhaps it was the taint of outrage in his voice as he spoke about Ianto’s ‘death’, but there was more to it than that and it bothered her a little.
“I can assure you, Sir, the rumours of my death have been exaggerated…although, from what I understand, it was a very close thing. Perhaps this will convince you: the last time you spoke to Captain Harkness, it was about a dispute over a piece of alien tech that had fallen through the Cardiff Rift that General Samantha Carter had identified as a Zero Point Module, and what the Captain was certain was a 45th Century sex toy…”
Laughter echoed from the mobile’s speaker. “God yes, I remember that! Harkness was absolutely positive he was right…you should have seen Carter, she was livid!” The laughter faded. “All right, I believe you’re who you say you are. How did you survive?”
“I have no idea, but I can tell you what happened after UNIT realized I wasn’t as dead as they thought.”
Ianto explained to Landry about waking up in a UNIT holding cell, with an alien symbiote in his head and with the world thinking he’d died. He told the American about UNIT’s demands, and how Ges’ryth had impersonated a Goa’uld in order to hide the information that they’d wanted from Ianto’s head. He finished with his rescue, introducing Mickey and Martha. He even let Ges’ryth take over, and the symbiote gave the Major General some information on how he could confirm her identity. Landry only interrupted a few times with questions, but seemed to accept what he was being told.
“And now you need a way offworld,” Landry commented.
“Yes, Sir. If UNIT should find us again…”
“Say no more, son. Are you in a secure location?”
“For now, yes.” Ianto looked relieved, and Martha reached across the table to squeeze his hand. He smiled at her gratefully.
“It might take me a few days to get a team to you, so sit tight. Contact me again if your situation changes.”
“I will, Sir. Thank you for believing us.”
“You were pretty convincing. Only a couple of people would have known about the ZPM incident, and from what Harkness had told me, he trusted you implicitly. Plus the Tok’ra are our allies…even if they can be a stuck-up bunch of pains in my ass. So yeah, getting you off Earth isn’t an option. The four of you…be careful, all right? I’ll take care of everything from my end.”
The call disconnected, and Martha sighed. “That was surprisingly easier than I thought it would be.”
Mickey was smirking. “Jack actually thought a piece of alien tech was a sex toy?”
Ianto rolled his eyes. “You have no idea…”