?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Myfanwy 2

October 2018

S M T W T F S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031   

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Myfanwy 2

Ways of Light and Darkness - Chapter Thirty-Two

Ways of Light and Darkness - Chapter Thirty-Two
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.

A/N2:  The story is now longer word-count-wise than Deathless is...dang.  When I originally plotted this it was supposed to be shorter...


Chapter Thirty-Two

He picked his way through the ruins of Gateway, his feet knowing where he was going even though there was nothing left of the streets that he'd once been familiar with. The wind whistled mournfully around the broken stones, making the tall grass whisper secrets into the chill air.
 

His destination was a shattered tower, looming over the landscape. He'd spent so much time in this place; it had been his home, as well as home for…others.

The memory was as fresh to him as if everything had happened yesterday. Rose…beautiful, smart, opinionated Rose, who would tell him off faster than lightning would strike. He'd loved her; no, it was more than that. He'd honestly thought of her as his soulmate. When it ended, he couldn't have been more shocked.

And then there'd been James. James Harper had been a two-bit conman when he and Rose had met him, but Rose had seen something in the man that had her convincing him to let the man come with them, back to Gateway. Rose had been right; James had willingly given his life to the defense of innocents, making a stand against the Nameless Demons who'd come to conquer and kill.

How wrong things had gone.

The broken tower loomed above him. He'd left Tardis behind; the dragon had been unhappy about it, but he'd wanted to go alone. Now, he was wishing she was with him, because the loneliness was too much.

He glanced around, knowing what had been there before all this devastation. After all, it had only been twenty years for him; he didn't have a thousand years of living to cause the memories to fade. In that respect he was envious of James – or Jack, as he called himself now. In others…he couldn't imagine the existence that Rose had accidentally cursed him with.

It was wrong. So very wrong. Jack shouldn't exist. Ianto Jones shouldn't exist. The Deep Magic was never meant to be used in the way those two were using it.

Both men were his fault, despite him wanting to lay the blame at Rose's feet.

He shook himself, taking one more look around. Then he took his wand from his pocket, murmuring a Revealing spell.

The results he got weren't what he was expecting.

A glowing man appeared before him.

"Hello, John," the man greeted, inclining his head slightly.

"James," he returned the greeting emotionlessly, even though his mind was racing. This wasn't possible. He'd left the Deathless back at Canary's Wharf.

The man chuckled. "I haven't gone by that name since I swore myself to Ianto's family eight hundred years ago. I prefer Jack."

This was the Jack from the dissolved timeline. "How is this possible?' he wasn't even aware that he'd spoken out loud.

"I am responsible."

The familiar female voice came from everywhere and nowhere, and as he watched she appeared just beside Jack, looking as she had all those years ago.

"Rose," he whispered, even though he knew it truly wasn't her.

The Avatar of Gateway smiled in the way that still curled his toes. "If that's what you want to call me, that's fine. It's good to see you, John."

"Doctor, actually. I gave up my name to cast the spell that closed off magic."

"It seems we're all going be different names," Jack commented. His hand reached out…and a red and gold dragon appeared. It took one look at the Doctor…and hissed.

"Easy, girl," Jack shushed, and the dragon curled up at his feet like a lap dog.

Of course…this was Lord Ianto's dragon, the one that had been killed when the Cardinal Wizard had fought – and destroyed – Harold Saxon. The Doctor still wasn't happy about the use of a Word of Destruction. "How are you responsible for this?" he turned his attention back to the Avatar, shoving his feelings back down to where they were manageable.

"The Deep Ways isn't affected by a simple time change," she answered. "It is aware of everything. When it realized what was going to happen to its Champion, it helped me to pull his soul free from the Void at the last possible moment."

Its Champion. The words cut into the Doctor; he couldn't fathom that someone as wrong as Jack could ever be a Champion, let alone one to the very magic that was forced to bring him back and to make him Deathless.

"Don't you understand yet?" the Avatar asked, surprised. "The Deathless was always meant to be; just as it was always meant to be for your spell to ultimately fail. Jack isn't the one who's wrong…you are."

The Doctor shivered. Of course it hadn't ever occurred to him. He'd been taught by the Great Wizards that the Deep Ways and the Void were off-limits, and that they should never be used for any reason. It was sacrilegious.

"Everything that has happened has meant to," the Avatar went on, almost mercilessly. "The Great Wizards were so hidebound and caught up in ritual and entropy that they couldn't see that the Universe was so much more than what they had knowledge of. The Deep Magic and the Void aren't to be worshipped…they are tools, just as the Magic that surrounds us all is meant to be used. You went from reverence to worship and that was the Great Wizard's mistake."

He stubbornly refused to agree with what the Avatar was saying. "No one is supposed to have that sort of control over the Deep Ways…or the Void, for that matter. They'd become Gods…and I saw exactly that happen, in that future that I was asked to change."

"And I ask you: didn't you act as a God when you cast that spell, and changed the very future you saw? How does that make you any different from any power-mad Wizard? How does that make you any different from Harold Saxon?"

He opened his mouth to rebut her accusation, but realized…she was right. Absolutely correct. He'd played God when he'd accepted the spell and had gone back into time to cast it. This wasn't even the proper timeline…that one had been, where the world was burning and there were more corpses than living people.

"It's not just Cardinal and Void Wizards you have to look out for," the Avatar said softly.

It was as if someone had punched him in the gut. He'd done the very thing he'd accused other Orders of doing…of enforcing his own will over reality. Why hadn't he seen it before? Why had it taken the likeness of his dead love to make him see?

And, what was worse, was that in a way he'd condemned Rose because of his very attitudes toward the Deep Ways.

All strength left his legs, and he slumped onto a broken building stone, staring at the Avatar and her companion. His head was spinning. Everything that he'd believed in was lying shattered at his feet.

That only left one thing.

"Was it also destiny that you lied to me about Rose?" he demanded.

The Avatar cocked her head in a way that painfully reminded him of his lost love. "I don't understand."

"You lied to me, when I removed you from Rose's body. You told me that she would miscarry due to the tremendous strain on her from carrying so much of the Deep Magic within her."

"That isn't what I said," she denied. "I said that it was possible. That so much life within one person could very well do damage to the child. However, I never once said that it definitely would. And that didn't mean you should just abandon her in Cardiff."

"I left her in the hands of the best healer that was known at the time."

"But you left her there," Jack went on. "Even if she was miscarrying, you still left the woman you were supposed to have loved among strangers, to fend for herself. I know, if it were Ianto who were injured, I would have stayed with him no matter what."

He'd come to Gateway to confront the Avatar on the subject of Rose, to find out why the Deep Ways had lied to him about Rose losing their child. But it hadn't turned out that way; he was being proven wrong in so many ways, even in this one. "I couldn't handle it," he admitted. "I didn't want to see the death of our baby."

"And you think Rose did?" Jack said inexorably. "Sure, you left her with a healer, but what she really needed was you. And you never went back. Never checked on her. You simply left her, and went on traveling. Because you were too afraid to stay with Rose, to face what she'd done with the Deep Ways in order to save an entire city, you missed the birth of your very healthy daughter. At least by that time she'd had people who wouldn't leave her."

"I don't think that was the only reason though, was it?" the Avatar asked. "You also didn't want to be with someone who could have committed such a sacrilege against your personal beliefs."

"Gods, Doctor," Jack sighed. "You really have messed up, it's no wonder Ianto can't stand you."

"I didn't come here to be raked over the coals by two beings that shouldn't exist," he spat, letting his anger cover his grief.

"Then why did you come?" the Avatar inquired. "You knew your welcome here wouldn't be all that cordial, even if Jack wasn't here as well."

"Never mind." With that, the Wizard who'd renamed himself the Doctor stood. Without another word, he strode back through the ruins, leaving both glowing entities behind.

He couldn't leave his thoughts behind that easily.

*****

Jack looked down at his lover; Ianto was curled up beside him, the moonlight streaming in through the cabin's tall windows causing the pale skin to glow. He ran a finger down Ianto's arm, and the Wizard sighed, turning his face up to look at Jack. "A gold coin for them?" he asked, his blue and gold eyes glittering.

"I was just thinking how beautiful you are."

"I'm not beautiful," Ianto snorted. "Men aren't beautiful."

"Yes, you are beautiful. The moonlight on your skin; the magic in your eyes…there isn't any other word to describe you, Ianto Jones."

The younger man sat up, the better to look down at Jack, his eyes concerned. "Are you all right?"

"What makes you think anything is wrong?"

"Because you only get really sappy when you're bothered by something."

"Hey!" Jack cried. "I can compliment you without being sappy."

"I know you can," the Wizard answered quietly. "But this isn't it." He took another hard look at Jack, and it was all the immortal could do not to fidget under that gaze. "Spill it, Harkness."

"All right. I was thinking about how I'd feel if anything happened to you, and how that would destroy me. Then I think about Lord Ianto, and that he's lost everything…and I can't help realizing just how lucky I am…"

"He's broken his connection to the Deep Ways," Ianto murmured.

"I'm…not surprised."

"I'd do the same thing if something like that had happened to you."

Jack's heart lurched. "I would too…if I could. But if anything did happen to you, I'd still be trapped in this existence, and for the first time I'm actually looking forward to eternity, with you by my side."

"I promise Jack, that I'll do my best not to let anything happen to me. The Deep Ways won't let me go, as well. I'm afraid you're stuck with me."

"Not stuck." Jack leaned upward, capturing Ianto's lips with his own. "Never stuck," he finished, once they'd broken the kiss.

"There's more, isn't there?" Ianto asked, leaning his arms on Jack's chest and resting his chin on them.

"Yes. It must be so hard for him, to see us together like this. I'm sure we remind him of what he can't have."

"I've thought of that, too," the Wizard replied sadly. "He's offered to teach me, so he's going to be around for a while."

"Then…I was thinking maybe we shouldn't be quite so…affectionate, with each other when he's around. I really don't want to hurt him any more than he's already been. I'm not saying it's all the time," he hastened to add, "but just when Lord Ianto's around."

His Ianto smiled. "Thank you, Jack. I was thinking the same thing, only I wasn't sure how to bring it up without making it sound like I was rejecting you."

Jack's arms tightened around him. "I'm glad you agree with me. He's a good man, and he's had so much loss. I just want him to feel comfortable."

"I noticed you hadn't come out and made a comment about a threesome," Ianto said seriously. "I'm glad of your restraint."

"No, and I won't. You know I love to flirt and joke, but mentioning something like that would just be too cruel. Besides, I'm perfectly happy with you. I don't need any more."

"If he approached you, I'd give you permission."

Jack's heart stopped, and his breath caught in his throat. "You would? Even though I just said you're all I want?"

"Jack, he is me. I…can't be jealous of that."

He pulled Ianto toward him, holding him tightly. "I would never do anything without you knowing." He couldn't believe how selfless his lover was, although Jack knew just what it cost Ianto to offer that approval. "Besides, I don't think he would ask."

"I don't either," Ianto answered, once Jack had released him. "Because I know that would be the last thing on my mind if you were gone. Also, you're the copy of his own Jack. It would most likely be far too painful for him. But, if he did…"

"I'll…think about it. That's all I can say. But it would be too much like cheating on you, even if he is you from another timeline. I made a promise to you, Ianto, when we first got together. I gave you my word that it would be only you. I mean to keep that promise."

Jack did. Ianto was far too important to him to throw away on a fling. It didn't matter that the man who might be asking was his lover's doppelganger. To Jack, it was still cheating. He might have a certain reputation, but that was all it was…a reputation. If he'd done half the things that were said about him, he'd have absolutely no self-respect left.

The immortal rearranged his lover until Ianto's head was resting on his chest, his arms around Jack's body. He wasn't about to risk what he had. "Get some rest," he encouraged. "I think you're going to have a busy day tomorrow. And that's even without Lord Ianto's training you. We still have Canary's Wharf to settle."

Ianto sighed, nestling closer. Jack thought it was adorable with the supposedly self-reliant Wizard cuddled. "Good night, Jack."

Jack dropped a kiss onto the top of his lover's head. "Good night, Ianto."

His lover's breathing evened out, leaving Jack to consider what they'd talked about, and what his own turbulent thoughts were kicking up in his overactive brain.

 


Comments

Ooh, things are getting complicated! Very curious about what Jack might do if Lord Ianto were to turn to him for comfort.
Thanks!

Well, that is a good question...and one he might never have to deal with.
"He might have a certain reputation, but that was all it was…a reputation."
That's exactly how I see Jack.... a lovely line (amongst others).
More!
That's exactly how I see him. I just don't buy into Jack being the man-whore that he's often painted. I think he has more self-respect than that.
Oh wow I love the Doctor being wrong not Jack. That is how I think of it too. And him being made to face what he did wrong - wonderful. Then Ianto saying Jack could with the other Ianto and we wonder if you'll go there. I don't think the other Ianto would as there are differences between the two Jacks and little differences matter. Ianto is stoic as usual. Great stuff and as always you leave me wanting more.
The Doctor may have good intentions, but he keeps messing up. He tries, but it just doesn't work out.

This is Ianto, being unselfish. I really don't think this is something Jack is going to have to deal with, but the option is there...
I love this, and sniffed a bit when I realized that now I am all caught up.
OH MY GOD! This is brilliant. Beyond brilliant. Gah, I love this so much.
Thank you! *blushes*

Next chapter should be up soon, though. This has taken on so much of a life of its own even I don't know exactly how it's going to turn out anymore, except in a very bare-bones way!
Great chapter - the conversation between Jack and Ianto was very sweet.

He might have a certain reputation, but that was all it was…a reputation. If he'd done half the things that were said about him, he'd have absolutely no self-respect left. This is perfect and exactly how I see Jack.
Thanks! Glad you like how I wrote Jack. I just see him as having more self-respect than to sleep around like that.

Sorry doc, but sometimes you have to face up to what you've done.

Wow talk about a complicated relationship. Love the talk between the boys at the end so sweet.
The Doctor has really made a mess, and now he has to deal with it...but will he?

Thanks!