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Myfanwy 2

November 2018

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Myfanwy 2

Ways of Light and Darkness - Chapter Twelve

Ways of Light and Darkness - Chapter Twelve
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 Twelve

Ianto found that he'd missed being on the road.
 

He thought back on his first trip with Jack and his team, and how by the end of it he'd thought he'd be glad to get back to the castle and his Archives. And maybe he would have been, if he hadn't been so irrevocably changed by the mission. If he hadn't come back as a Wizard, and had accidentally made himself so very much more useful to the Baroness. He'd been so certain that he'd known enough about court politics to take into consideration each and every one of the Baroness' possible moves. Yet he hadn't even considered an arranged marriage in an attempt to keep him bound to Torchwood Castle and its goals.

He also hadn't taken into consideration just how much he would miss Jack.

His worry for Jack's well-being was currently what was pushing him now. Certainly, war breaking out over a Cardinal Point was important, and perhaps Ianto was being a bit blinded by his emotions, but the threat to Canary's Wharf was what had gotten Jack into danger in the first place. Ianto couldn't rule out that the conflict was the main reason Jack had vanished. He could somehow have been shielded from the Scrying spell the Wizard had used to try to find him, although that was admittedly a long-shot. After all, who would know that Ianto could locate Jack by using a magical crystal and a bit of thread? There was no logical reason to hide Jack magically.

Unless, whoever took him didn't know that wherever they'd secreted the captain was hidden by magic. It was a distinct possibility; there were quite a few places where remnants of ancient magicks still clung close like ghosts to the very stones that had once held their owner's power. It could happen, and Ianto was going to check into that theory the moment they arrived in Canary's Wharf.

He did find himself liking Captain Yates. The man had an altruistic streak a mile wide, and wasn't afraid to express his opinions on various subjects…including his dislike of having had to play the Exclusivity card with Baroness Gwen. He'd been given his orders, though; and was bound to follow them. But he did say that the Brigadier didn't exactly like the idea either, but wanted to use the threat of it to get the Baroness' attention if she'd decided on being stubborn.

Yates also had the respect of the eight men who were their escort. Ianto had heard them talking, and each and every one of them followed their captain's orders because they wanted to; not because they had to. That sort of loyalty made him think of Jack and his own people; each of them was under contract – as they had to be by law – but they traveled with Jack because they genuinely liked and respected him. Certainly, they argued a lot, but in ways they were more of a family, especially now that they knew about Jack's Deathlessness. Their newest member, Tommy, didn't know as yet about his boss's little quirk, but Jack had sworn that if the young soldier worked out then at his first year anniversary he would admit to it. Jack had come a long way from that distrustful man who thought everyone would just leave him if they knew he was…unique. Ianto refused to use the term that Jack had: abomination.

If it was the last thing Ianto did, he would convince Jack that this wasn't the case, that he wasn't the unnatural thing that he'd been called in the past.

Ianto also managed to catch Toshiko up on what had been happening, especially about the whole Lady Lisa thing. The Elf had been outraged by it; but then, she knew about his and Jack's relationship, and was firmly supportive of the two of them. He confided in her that he didn't intend on returning to Cardiff after this was over; that he was going to find Jack, and then he would join their group full-time. That had thrilled her, and just seeing her face light up at the idea of them all being together made him realize just how right this decision was.

They were a day out from Canary's Wharf when they found themselves met by two groups of soldiers on the main road.

One group wore silver and black livery; the other, gold and black. Ianto recognized them instantly as being troops from the two conflicting baronies: Telos and Skaro.

Two men separated from each group, coming forward to meet Yates and his own soldiers. "Stop there," Yates commanded. "We're on our way to Canary's Wharf on Royal business."

"We're well aware of the reason for your errand," the one on the right – in gold and black – said coldly. "We're here to escort you and your…guest, the rest of the way. I'm General Sir Nyder, of Baron Davros' Knights."

The second glared at his contemporary, as if angry that he'd gotten the first word in. "And I'm Lord Sir Vaughn, emissary from His Grace, Baron Lumic. Welcome, Master Ianto and escort." He gave a bow in Ianto's general direction, from the back of his horse.

Yates and his men were on alert, watching to see if there was any move toward Ianto and Toshiko. The Elven woman had her bow in hand, fingers caressing the feathers of one of the arrows in its quiver on her saddlehorn. Ianto himself hadn't even attempted to arm himself, although the sword and bow that Jack had given him were both within reach.

In fact, in that moment Ianto fervently wished that he'd never discovered that he was a Wizard; that he'd remained an unknown, lurking within the Torchwood Archives and doing his best to help with the castle's mission to seek out magical Artifacts. He wanted to be able to go back to being in the background, to being a nobody that wouldn't have garnered the attention he was currently getting from three sets of heavily armed troops. And that a war wasn't about to be decided on his word alone.

It was too much.

And there wasn't a thing he could do to go back to the quiet anonymity that being Head Archivist and Catalyst had brought him. When the worst thing he'd had to worry about were the pointed verbal barbs the older archivists would shoot in his direction, about just how he'd achieved promotion over them all.

"Lord Sir Vaughn," he greeted, keeping his words steady. "General Sir Nyder." He pulled his horse forward until he was even with Captain Yates'. "Thank you for the greeting."

Both men nodded. "My Lord Baron asked that we make certain you get to Canary's Wharf with all due speed," Nyder said, his voice unthawing just a little.

"As did mine," Vaughn put in.

"Master Ianto is under Royal protection," Yates answered. "There was no need for any additional escort."

"It's fine, Captain," Ianto said. "I'm quite certain both Barons want to make certain they're fighting a war for a valid reason."

Yates apparently didn't like it; the man didn't sulk, but his audible "hmph" made it all too clear just how happy he was with the situation.

A flurry of red-gold wings heralded the appearance of Myfanwy, who landed in the road between the three parties. She made a warning hiss at both Barons' troops, throwing her wings out and rising to her full height. Her scales glittered in the sunlight.

Her presence made the horses of both Telos and Skaro to become skittish, neighing and moving away from the threatening dragon. Several crossbows were drawn, but with their mounts panicking no one could draw a bead on the creature in their midst.

Ianto barely restrained the smirk that wanted to spread across his face. Yates's soldiers had become used to Myfanwy's presence in the seven days they'd been traveling, and were able to control their mounts easily. Anything to knock them off balance was fine with him, since he himself felt more than a little off balance himself.

Once she made her point, Myfanwy went airborne again with a loud screech that echoed around the gully they'd been pulled up into. She'd completely rattled everyone not familiar with her, and Ianto could tell that Yates had been made particularly happy by it.

"Very impressive, Master Ianto!" a cultured voice called out from behind the combined Telos/Skaro soldiers. The troops instinctively split along loyalty lines, leaving the road empty between them. That separation revealed yet another set of troops, this one led by a tall, mustachioed man who sat his saddle with the confidence of long ownership. He wore the same tabard and colors that Yates and his men did, and it didn't take much on Ianto's part to realize immediately who this man was.

Ianto inclined his head. "Thank you, Brigadier General Sir Alistair."

The Brigadier urged his horse forward, butting in between the two Baronial factions easily, as if he didn't much care who they were. He halted just in front of Ianto and Yates, lips curling upward in a slight smile. "Welcome to Canary's Wharf, Master Ianto. I've heard many good things about you."

"And I, you. Captain Harkness especially speaks highly of you."

A strange look passed over the older soldier's face, but it quickly went back to the kind interest he'd been showing before. "Captain Harkness is a good man. It's been my pleasure to work with him in the past."

"And mine, too." Ianto didn't feel he needed to go any further than that, not with so many possibly unfriendly ears around.

"We do have a bit of a situation, and I do appreciate you coming all the way from Cardiff to help us out," the Brigadier said.

As if Ianto had had any real choice. "I'm glad to help, Sir. Perhaps we can avoid bloodshed by what I can find out."

"I certainly hope so. If you'd care to ride with me? Lady Toshiko, if you wouldn't mind joining us?" Then a sly smile touched his lips. "Although perhaps you might want to keep your dragon in the air, for the time being?"

"Of course, Sir," he said, a matching smile gracing his own mouth. "Myfanwy prefers to fly, at any rate." He sent gratitude and a mental thanks toward his familiar; Myfanwy's answering cry told him he was received loudly and clearly.

"Then let's get back to town. I'm sure the sooner we get this resolved, the sooner you can go about your own business."

Ianto could hear it in the man's clipped tones; he knew that Ianto would be searching for Jack once he'd given his opinion on Canary's Wharf. "After you, Sir."

The Brigadier turned his horse and headed back in the direction he'd come from; Ianto moved up next to him, with Toshiko just behind. Yates and his men joined with the troops that the military commander had arrived with, and they were followed by the Baronial soldiers, each faction keeping a judicious distance between themselves.

"I do apologize," the Brigadier said, as they rode. "I informed the Barons of you being summoned to help out, but I did ask that they not send anyone to meet you. I should have realized they'd disregard that request."

"I do wish my arrival had been a bit more…quiet," Ianto admitted.

"I understand. But we had to make certain they wouldn't go to war before we knew anything." The man looked a bit irritated. "You can thank the Royal Negotiator on site for the pomp and circumstance, I'm afraid. Master Frobisher was the one who decided that the Barons should greet you like this. I didn't find out about it until after the fact."

Ianto snorted. "Jack did write to me and say Frobisher was a bit of an arse."

The Brigadier rolled his eyes. "That is an understatement, I'm afraid. You'll have the dubious honor of meeting him once we get to town."

"I can hardly wait," the Wizard said dryly.

"I'm sure." The Brigadier paused. "I thought you might want to know that there hasn't been any further evidence of Captain Harkness since he vanished."

"I tried to Scry for him," Ianto admitted, "but there wasn't any sign. Either he's being shielded, or he's not in the Kingdom any longer."

"I know Captain Harkness, and he's not one to abandon his post when he's on a mission."

Ianto nodded. "I know. That's what really bothers me about his disappearance…that he wouldn't have just left with his people here and the job half-done. From the letters he sent me, he really took this entire situation seriously…even if he couldn't go into details with me." He didn't go into the emotional toll this was taking on him; it wasn't the Brigadier's business, although he could infer a great many things from the fact that Jack kept correspondence with him.

"I do think you know the captain a lot better than anyone might otherwise assume."

Yes, there it was. "I had the privilege of traveling with Jack's team six months ago. We became…great friends."

The smirk was back. "Can I infer then that I don't have to be concerned about the captain being around my daughter any longer?"

Ianto laughed. "Is she attractive?"

"Her mother and I think so."

"Then I wouldn't count on him stopping the flirting."

"At least I don't have to be watching out for her virginity."

Ianto blushed a bit, uncomfortable about that comment for some reason. "No, I don't think you need to worry about that, at least not from Jack."

"It's good to know the infamous Captain Jack Harkness is off the market then."

Yes, it was getting a bit too close to home for him. He didn't mind discussing Jack with anyone; but when someone started in on the man's natural proclivities then things got awkward. Ianto knew where he stood with Jack. However that didn't make him want to talk about such things. He was well aware of his lover's reputation, and it was dealing with that that bothered Ianto just a little. Not that he would change Jack for anything, but having his past thrown up at him made him twitch a bit.

It made him think of the promise that Jack had made…that Ianto was the only one. But a small part of him wondered if Jack would get bored, and it would end sooner rather than later. Ianto had already decided that, if that happened, then he'd be content with being Jack's friend. His main goal was to be there for the immortal for as long as Jack needed him, in whatever capacity that would be.

"Ianto?" Toshiko's soft voice intruded into his thoughts. "Are you all right?"

He turned a bit in his saddle to look at her. "I'm fine," he said. "Just worried about Jack."

She nodded. "So am I. But we'll find him. I know we will."

Her confidence made him feel a bit better. Yes, he'd do anything in his power to locate his missing lover. He wouldn't consider doing anything else.
 

*****
 

It took several hours before the entire entourage was in sight of Canary's Wharf. The sun was setting behind them, glittering in the waves as if they'd been gilded. They'd passed several fortifications and trenches on the way, and Ianto knew somehow that Jack had been responsible for setting up the defenses. A surge of pride in the captain warmed him, and he sat a little taller in the saddle.

The Brigadier dismissed the Baronial forces as soon as the defenses came into view. That caused a great deal of grumbling on behalf of the military leaders, but he pointed out that, under the cease-fire agreement, no troops from either Barony was allowed within the town. They would get back to both Baron Kale and Baron John as soon as Ianto made his assessment of the situation.

That seemed to calm them a little, and both sets of forces peeled away, heading toward their homes. Their leaving made Ianto feel a little more settled; being surrounded by what could be enemy troops was a little too uncomfortable for his tastes. Although the Brigadier and his men didn't seem bothered by it at all.

As they passed the fortifications, the actual town came into view. To Ianto, it was pretty much what he'd thought a coastal town would look like: a single main street leading toward the docks, with smaller lanes leading off at right angles from it and a collection of alleyways between the buildings. There were homes on the outskirts of the town, most one or two story, several with what looked like gardens situated around them. There were ships in the harbor: several small local boats, dwarfed by five large ocean-going warships that flew the Royal Banners from their sterns.

"Commodore Sullivan arrived with his ships four days ago," the Brigadier said. "We're hoping that having offshore forces might deter the battle a while longer, since neither Barony has a major seafaring force available to it."

Ianto fought down the nerves that threatened to overwhelm him. It was all up to what he found out; his word would decide whether there was war or not. It was daunting knowledge, and once again he wished he could go back to being what he'd been before discovering his true self in the ruins of Gateway.

He took a deep breath. "There's no time like the present," he said, grimacing.

"We can wait until tomorrow," Sir Alistair said. "You've had a hard journey – "

"It's fine, Sir. I'd like to get it over with as soon as possible. Being in a possible war zone isn't my idea of fun."

The Brigadier snorted. "I'd like to meet the person who thinks it is. I'd stick them in the middle of a major battle and see if they change their minds." He rode close enough to clap Ianto on the shoulder. "Whenever you're ready then, son."

Ianto wasn't quite sure how to react to the man calling him 'son', but he pushed the uncertainty down and nodded.

He blinked.

And then he saw.

Ianto might never have actually seen a Cardinal Point, but he sincerely doubted it would look like this. The very town seemed to waver, as if heat waves were rising from the streets, making the buildings sway and blur around the edges. The very town grew dark in his sight, and as Ianto took a good look around he could just make out what looked like some sort of bizarre whirlpool near the center of town.

It was black. So black that it seemed to suck in the sunlight and make everything look as if it was being covered in shadow. The blackness swirled around a central point, a singularity that nothing escaped from. The tug from it was so very strong…

Ianto found himself being pulled toward it. He would have fallen from his horse if the Brigadier hadn't caught him and held him back. But that didn't stop the blackness from sucking on his very lifeforce, and the thread that connected him to the Deep Ways. The itching at the back of his head was intense, and he gasped from the gravitational pull on his very power.

"What is it?" Toshiko asked, her own hands on Ianto now, holding him in place on his horse. Myfanwy was screeching, and he could feel her fear ratcheting up within his own mind.

"It's…" he shook his head, needing to block off the power that was being sucked from him. He wondered vaguely why Jack hadn't been able to feel it, as full as he was of the Deep Magic…

Bit by bit, he managed to build up his own magical defenses. It took time, and he could tell he was worrying Toshiko with his silence, but he had to concentrate on what he was doing in order to keep himself from being pulled into the singularity.

He blinked, hard, bringing his magical vision back under control. Ianto swayed in the saddle as his senses came back to him, and the terrible sucking stopped.

Ianto took a deep breath, then another. His head was beginning to pound in reaction to what happened. "I…can't go down there," he muttered, shaking his head.

"What is it?" the Brigadier asked, his clipped tones sounding concerned.

"It's not a Cardinal Point," the Wizard answered. "It's….terrible. I can't be around it."

"Ianto, tell us," Toshiko requested, taking his hand and anchoring him.

"I…I've only ever read about this sort of thing," he answered. "But I think it's what's called a Void Point."

"And what's a Void Point?" the Brigadier demanded.

"A Cardinal Point is where the magical lifeforce of the Universe bubbles up into our reality," Ianto explained. "This…a Void Point is the opposite."

Toshiko went pale, and Ianto had to wonder if he didn't look the same. "You mean…?" she faded out, as if afraid to say what was on her mind.

He didn't blame her. "It's Death. Death has come to Canary's Wharf."


Chapter Thirteen

Comments

Ok, I wanted to get upset for leaving us like that with Jack, but this was a great chapter, so I'm happy. ^_^

Love the whole Void Point thing - I'm willing to put money on the fact that Ianto thinks Jack was sucked dry from the void - or no! I got it. Jack is going to get back somehow, and feed himself to the void so that it will get all full up and close. Then, just like the Abadon thingy, he'll be asleep for EVER and then go -gaspeth- and then we will get a very pretty Jack/Ianto scene for the finale. That's just me guessing, of course.

Loved it, as always. ^_^
I knew people would be unhappy at me for leaving Jack in the lurch, but we did need to check in with Ianto...

I cannot confirm or deny your suppositions, but I will say that yes, there will be some sort of showdown over the Void Point, and that it won't be pretty.

Thanks!
eep, ducks under the covers with my trusty teddy bear and awaits the next chapter.
Oh dear...

It'll be okay, it's just going to take a while...
EEEP O_O

That's all, great update
If I made you go EEP, then I've done my job.

Thanks!
I swear every one of your chapters makes me more nervous than the last. I can't help feeling that the Barons will want to control a void point even more than they did a cardinal point.
The way you described Ianto's reaction to the void point was brilliant. Made me think he was looking into a black hole, just outside the reach of its gravity.
Really really really looking forward to more of this story.
Oh, I was hoping my description of the Void Point would give that impression, because that's what it basically is: a magical black hole. We'll see what the Barons are going to do shortly, so I won't say anymore about that. :)

Thanks!
Oh I like that idea. Oh it's bad, very bad, for our boys, but really really cool idea. ^_^ Is Ianto going to think the void took the life out of Jack? Can't wait for more.
He might thing that...or he might not... :)

And yes, it's bad...
But a small part of him wondered if Jack would get bored, and it would end sooner rather than later.- NO! Ianto don't start doubting Jack, Jack just figured out he loves you, you are going to be stuck with Jack for a long time.

This is getting more intersting each chapter, I can't wait to see what happens next.
Yes, Jack loves him...but Ianto doesn't know that...yet. :)

Thanks!
well I am glad we came back to Ianto!
and I know Jack, whatever happens, it will return at the end!
oo là là! a black hole? hard!
Ianto does not want that! they'll listen??? after all is the King who asks and I'm not sure it will suffice
I actually love the idea of black holes. I had to have one in my story!

We'll see what happens, I like being sneaky...
Oh my ... that's so not good!
No, it's not...Martha's not a happy bunny at the moment.

Thanks!
This does not sound good and poor Ianto getting a bit embarressed.
Oh, it's fun to fluster Ianto. I enjoy it!

No, it's not good...but more later!
Oh, well that sure as hell isn't good...
Great chapter :)
No, I'm afraid not...

Thanks!