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Myfanwy 2

September 2018

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Myfanwy 2

Ways of Light and Darkness - Chapter Twenty-Three

Ways of Light and Darkness - Chapter Twenty-Three
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-Three


It was a week before the rumors were really flying about Ianto and Jack, and what they'd planned on doing.
 

Donna kept them apprised of the uproar it was causing among the Great Wizards; she seemed to take a great deal of pleasure at the hornets' nest her carefully placed words were kicking up. Ianto loved her dearly, but sincerely wished she wasn't enjoying it quite so much.

Especially since the whole thing was hurting Jack.

It was him, as well; but Ianto was more concerned for his lover than he was for himself. On the outside Jack seemed his usual self, but there were smiles that didn't reach his eyes and a slight distance between the two of them that hadn't existed before. Ianto knew it was because of what he'd told Donna and Omega, and that what should have been good news was being used to cause a furor among the Wizards just so they could get evidence against Harold Saxon. Yes, Jack understood that they needed to keep the Void Wizard from releasing the Devastation, but that didn't ease the feelings of anger and hurt his immortal lover was feeling.

The idea that they could have a family should have been exciting. It should have been a miracle.

Instead, it was quickly becoming a mockery.

Ianto was at the window in his study, watching Jack as he stood at the pinnacle of the highest tower – the Archive Tower – of the castle, the chill wind blowing his cloak around his tall frame like a banner. The Wizard sighed. He couldn't blame Jack for feeling the way he was. Ianto felt the same; he wanted a family with Jack, more than anything. He was realizing that he'd made a mistake in revealing the news to Donna, for her to use to start rumors in order to call a Quorum. The latest letter from Donna was held, crumpled in his hand. Lady Jenny Smith had been the one to call the Wizards to meet on the issue, which didn't surprise Ianto at all. His distant cousin had been against both the Cardinal and Void Wizards, and her vociferous arguments would often bring meetings to a complete halt.

And Donna's reaction to it all was also maddening. Her sheer enjoyment of the uproar depressed Ianto, even though he knew she didn't mean anything by it. Donna was a stirrer by nature, and anything that threw the Wizard community into a tizzy was, to her, a good thing. She wasn't taking the time to think about what this was doing to Ianto…and to Jack.

Ianto turned away from the window, making his way to his desk to pen a response to Donna's missive. He really wanted to set her straight, that to the two men this wasn't a laughing matter, but didn't think saying it in a letter would press home what they were going through. Oh, why couldn't he have come up with something else to make a Quorum feasible?

It would mean they wouldn't be able to put their plans into motion until much later. Ianto and Jack had both planned to use the spell on the next Spring Rites, but now that everyone knew about it they would have to push it back. Even though the Quorum was an excuse to get Harold Saxon away from Argentyn Devastal the reason would still be in everyone's heads, and it would be impossible to do anything for a while without someone breathing down their necks. Ianto sighed. At least he and Jack had eternity. But knowing that didn't help with Ianto's disappointment with not being able to start a family right away.

At least no one but Jack and himself knew about the effect the Deep Ways were having on Ianto's lifespan. He really hated to see the reaction to that getting out.

Her letter also said that the Quorum was scheduled for tomorrow, which would mean that he and Jack would have free rein to visit Argentyn Devastal and to see just what Lord Harold was up to. He already had the Transportation spell for himself and Jack, and they would be ready to go as soon as they were sure the coast was clear. Honestly he just wanted to get this over with as quickly as possible. Ianto prized his rather quiet life with Jack, and all he wanted was to live in peace, without rumor and uproar and condemnation.

He sat at his desk, trying to put pen to paper, and nothing coming. There really wasn't anything he could say. All he could do was reiterate that he and Jack would be ready to leave as soon as possible.

"What's the look of concentration for?"

Ianto's head jerked up at the question. Jack stood in the doorway, leaning against the jamb with his arms crossed. He'd lost his cloak somewhere, and was in shirt sleeves, his muscled forearms relaxed.

"Sorry," Ianto sighed, sitting back in his chair. "I was completely lost in thought."

"I could tell." Jack pushed himself off the wall, coming around to sit on the edge of the desk at Ianto's right. "Can I ask you something?"

Ianto smiled at his lover. "You can ask me anything."

"Do you ever regret this? Our connection?"

He was stunned. "Where is this coming from?" His heart suddenly ached at the uncertainty in his lover's face. He reached over and laid his hand Jack's thigh, squeezing lightly, trying to reassure the other man.

"It's just…look, I don't doubt how you feel about me. But sometimes it's like the Magic just threw us together, and I was wondering if you regretted the lack of choice we had. You could be married to some lady now, with a family – "

"Jack, stop." Gods, this was painful. Ianto didn't want Jack to doubt him, and yet he obviously was. "Yes, I could have chosen a wife from one of the noble families and be settled with nothing more than a brood mare for my family line. But that would mean giving you up…and I wouldn't do that for the world. I don't regret a thing, Jack. I love you…you're my life. I can't imagine anything else."

Jack's blue and gold eyes bored into his, and Ianto poured every bit of love and certainty into that gaze.

And then, Jack was kissing him.

The Magic roared to life between them, as their tongues tangled together. Ianto's hands wrapped around Jack's shoulders as the immortal's own large hands cupped Ianto's face, pulling him in impossibly close, the touch making his skin tingle.

They eventually broke apart. Ianto held Jack close for s moment, reveling in their intimacy. He nuzzled his nose along his lover's jaw. "I only have one regret," he whispered. "And that is, that I've made you doubt me."

Jack had stiffened as Ianto spoke. "I'm sorry I doubted you."

Ianto pulled back, looking at Jack directly. "No, I can see why you would have. I've let them use something extremely private to the both of us, just to cause a distraction – "

"I don't know why they just can't accept us. Wizards and their stupid labels…" Jack smiled slightly. "Present company excluded, of course."

"Oh, I don't know. I like my labels as much as the next Wizard."

Jack chuckled, and Ianto was glad to see the shadows gone from his lover's eyes. "But at least you're willing to change those labels when they don't fit anymore."

"I'd change anything for you." He said seriously. Then Ianto smirked. "Now that we've both been incredibly sappy, I need to get back to writing this letter."

"From Donna?"

He nodded. "We should be ready to go to Argentyn Devastal tomorrow. Gods, I'm ready to get this done and over with." He rested his hand back on Jack's thigh. "Then you and I can get in some more practice at baby-making."

Jack grinned. "Oh yes…after all, practice makes perfect."

Ianto rolled his eyes. "Your lines, Jack…"

"And you know you love me for it."

"Of course I do. And we're getting back into dangerously sappy territory once more. Now, go and harass someone else while I finish this letter."

Jack stood up, tossing him a sarcastic salute. "Yes, my Lord Wizard."

"Bugger off, Lord Deathless," Ianto mock-growled.

Jack's laughter made Ianto feel better.


*****

 

The next afternoon found both men and dragon within Ianto's spell-casting chamber, where most of his more powerful magicks were cast.
 

It was a round room, hewn from the stone under Torchwood Castle. A tall plinth was in the middle of the room, where Ianto's primary gramaryia sat, open to the page he would need to cast the Transportation spell. The moment they'd entered the chamber, the light globes set in sconces along the walls came to life, lighting the area brightly and revealing the glittering of crystal within the smooth stone.

Jack was wearing his armor. It was of ancient make, polished and kept clean through centuries of care. The red and gold tabard of Ianto's family covered the immortal's broad chest, and his blue cloak hung from his neck, held together by a gemstone-encrusted dragon clasp. The well-worn pommel of his sword peeked out from under the cloak's folds.

Ianto had opted to go with what Jack had called 'Wizard-casual': dark trousers, red and gold tunic, with his hair back in the traditional Wizard's plait. A dagger hung at his waist from one side of his belt; the other held the specially-made leather sheath for his wand, a slim length of cherry wood and gold, unadorned except for several Protection spells carved into the smooth barrel. He also wore a cloak, although his was black and not the blue-gray Jack's was.

Myfanwy stood between the two men, and Ianto could feel her excitement at beginning a new adventure. As much as Ianto loved his quiet life, he couldn't help but feel a frisson of the same excitement that his familiar was feeling. He knew what he wanted to happen: for them to discover that Lord Harold really didn't know where the door to the Devastation's prison was, let alone how to open it. Even Ianto didn't know what he was looking for, and he wasn't exactly sold on Donna's notion that he should be able to sense it, being a Cardinal Wizard. But he'd try.

And it had better be worth it, after what he'd revealed to get the chance to look.

"Ianto?"

He started, not realizing just how distracted he'd been. "Just wool-gathering," he answered, favoring Jack with a smile…that must have totally failed to reassure his lover, judging from the immortal's frown. "All right, I was just thinking that this better be worth what we've had to reveal."

Jack nodded. "I know what you mean. Let's get this over with, shall we?"

Ianto nodded. He pulled his wand, stepping up to the plinth and regarding the open book before him. The gramaryia was ancient; it had been in his family for generations, and contained all of the spells that the previous Wizards of his line had either discovered or created for themselves. The Transportation spell was one of the earliest, and had its roots back to magic that Lady Rose had herself used. It was nearly foolproof, but that didn't mean that Ianto wanted to risk them by overconfidence.

He mumbled the spell under his breath, using the wand to direct the magic around Jack, Myfanwy, and himself. He could feel the spinning currents of power begin to revolve around them, picking up speed as the words called the old magic to him.

Ianto blinked, and with his Wizard's Sight he could see the invisible lines contracting about them, keeping them within the eye of power as if they were within a miniature maelstrom. The walls of his chamber were fading out, and Ianto could feel the pull of the maelstrom as it picked them up and tossed them toward their destination.

Argentyn Devastal.

A windswept beach snapped into focus around them. Ianto shivered as the magic faded, depositing them on fine sand.

Ianto had never been to the island, and took the opportunity to look around. The steel-colored sea rolled onto the beach in lazy waves. A cold wind whipped his cloak around his legs, making him shiver, and causing the trees just up the beach to rustle sharply.

It was quiet.

Ianto shivered again, but this time it wasn't from the cold.

There was…a feeling. He couldn't place it, but it felt as if cold fingers were brushing against his bare skin, and sending tingles down his spine. He blinked once more, sharpening his magical Sight.

What he saw made him gasp.

The island was practically soaked in spells. Protection…Persuasion…Seeing…Listening…Perception… and that was only a few. The lines of the different magicks twisted and spun around each other, almost like some sort of powerful net that surrounded the island…or an immense spiders' web, with Harold Saxon at the center of the web.

A hand on his elbow brought him back to himself. Ianto glanced at Jack; he would never get tired of seeing the Deathless in his magical form, the brilliant golden light of the Deep Ways filling and surrounding him…and connecting him to Ianto himself.

The tiny tendrils that linked the two men were obvious in that moment. The Magic within each crossed the short distance between their bodies, binding them together for eternity.

It comforted Ianto, as he pulled back from the magic. "Thank you," he murmured.

Jack smiled, a private little smile for Ianto alone. "You're welcome. Is it just me, or is this place lousy with magic?"

Ianto shook his head. "Lord Harold has this place so spelled up I'm surprised I couldn't sense it all the way back to the castle. If he were here, he'd have known of our arrival within a heartbeat."

"Sounds like paranoia to me."

"Or so power-mad he has to keep tabs on everyone on the island."

"Or both."

Together the two men made their way toward the village. Ianto had first thought that teleporting into Lord Harold's house would have been the smartest idea, to avoid being seen, but he hadn't wanted to risk transporting any of them into a random wall or piece of furniture. That would have put an end to their evidence gathering very quickly.

Myfanwy launched herself into the air, circling the men as they walked along the beach. The main village on Argentyn Devastal was just around the headland, nestled at the foot of the extinct volcano that towered over the island. According to the stories Ianto had been able to find, it was at the volcano that K'anpo Rimpoche found a way to imprison the Devastation behind a "door of metal and power". It was at times like these Ianto wished that the record-keepers of so long ago had managed not to keep all their valuable records in one place. From historical claims, the Wizards' main – and only – Archive before Torchwood Castle had been destroyed by an invasion. Nowadays, Ianto made certain that there were copies of all historical documents. Only the most dangerous items and texts were kept in the Secure Archive and away from casual viewers.

"It's too quiet," Jack murmured as they came into the village.

Ianto had to agree.

What should have been a bustling island village was a deserted stretch of street, and buildings with windows that resembled soulless eyes looking out onto the ocean. Nothing moved; nothing made a noise. The two men walked down the main street carefully, all senses open and ready. Jack had his hand on his sword; Ianto had his wand in hand, Protection spells at the ready.

But there was no one to use them on.

The place was completely empty.

"What the hells…?" Jack growled.

"Your guess is as good as mine," Ianto answered. He glanced up at his dragon, using his connection with her to see through her eyes. "Myfanwy isn't seeing anyone from the air, either."

Jack headed toward what looked like the local inn; the sign read 'The Dancing Drake', and the door was partially open. The immortal pushed the door open the rest of the way, walking into the building and Ianto lost sight of him.

He was just going to join him when Ianto heard Jack call his name. There was a tinge of panic in his lover's tone that had the Wizard sprinting toward the inn, Myfanwy landing not far away.

Wizard and dragon burst in together. Ianto scanned for any danger, but only saw Jack near the large fireplace, kneeling down next to what looked like a pile of ash.

"Jack?"

"Ianto." The immortal's voice was a bit shaky as he stood and beckoned him over.

"What is it?" Ianto joined him, without thinking resting his hand on his lover's shoulder.

He motioned toward the pile of ash. It was almost a perfect cone, light against the dark wood of the floor. "I know this," Jack answered quietly.

"What do you mean?" Ianto couldn't see what the problem was; someone must have just missed cleaning the fireplace the last time.

"I know what caused this."

"Jack, I'm sorry…but you've lost me." He was very concerned with just how pale the immortal had become.

"This." He motioned toward the pile. "It's not dirt. It was once human, I think a villager."

Ianto was so shocked he couldn't speak at first. "How can you be sure?' he asked, once he was able to form words.

"I've seen it. Back at Gateway." Jack's eyes were wide. "When I came back the first time. The Nameless Demons were reduced to piles of dust, just like that."

"But…" Ianto knew the stories; he knew just what had caused the Demons to die like that. "That's impossible."

"I know," Jack answered. "Believe me, I know."

Ianto himself knelt beside the small pile. He blinked, activating his Sight once more, hoping to get a clue as to what had happened…

But there was nothing.

The only thing was a simple conical pile of ash.

"I'm not seeing anything," he said, frustrated. He glanced up at Jack. "I have to ask this…but are you absolutely sure?"

Jack didn't seem to take offense at the question. "Yes, I am. The Demons' remains looked exactly like that…after Lady Rose had sucked out their lifeforce."

 



Comments

This isn't good... *worries* I have a bad feeling that Jack and Ianto have just walked into a trap.
I think you have a very good reason to be concerned...

*tries to look innocent*
:( Will there be more soon?
Yes, I should have the next chapter up in a couple of days.
I have a really bad feeling about this... It's all about to go tits up, isn't it? can't wait to see how
Gxxx
That's about as good a term as anything I've heard...

Oh no! The bit with Jack and Ianto talking was so sweet. Great chapter - can't wait for the next bit
Thanks!

Had to give them a bit of calm before the storm, as it were...

Sucked lifeforce? Not good! This is worse than lions, tigers and bears - oh my!!

It's a T-R-A-P guys!!!
Oh yes...much worse.

Trap? Hm...
Oh dear - more questions than answers. Loved this and the sadness of Ianto and the effects on Jack leech out of your writing. So what's happened on Utopia? More soon please.
Thanks, I was hoping it would come through how upset Ianto was, and that he was regretting what he did.

What happened on Utopia? We shall see...
Oh boy, this can't be good!!!
I'm afraid it's not...
sry I've been MIA, but now I'm catching up slowly but surely.

love the cute moment between the boys. Cute, but still very much in character. Yay
Glad you're back!

Thanks!