?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Myfanwy 2

January 2018

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

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Myfanwy 2

The Call of Home - Chapter Two

The Call of Home
Author: Milady Dragon
Rating: PG
Warnings: Past MPreg, angst
Spoilers: None
Disclaimer: I don't own Torchwood at all.  I would have treated it better if I had.
Author's Note:  This is a story in my Dragon-verse series,and was written for the Holiday Challenge on LongLIveIanto.  My prompts were Travel, Mistletoe, and Future Fic.  I actually wrote this twice: the first version of this was a little under 3000 words; the final draft was at 7500.  This is what happens when I write things ahead...

Summary: When the last dragon, Ianto Jones, becomes ill, Jack Harkness rethinks his duty to Torchwood.

A/N2: Broken into two chapters because of length problems with LiveJournal.


10 December 3245 (Earth Standard Year)

 

The mess on Anaria Prime kept Jack occupied for only a day, then he found himself back on Hubworld, and in a temper.

The Shadow Proclamation hadn’t even needed him.  The Sato had come across the ship with the illegal mass driver just out of system, hiding behind one of the gas giants.  Apparently the large weapon had fried the transport’s engines, and it had been no trouble at all to take the criminals into custody.  Once that was done, it had been up to the Judoon to transport the ships’ crew – a band of arms dealers who’d wanted to demonstrate their newest ‘toy’ for one of their customers – and to conduct them to the Proclamation’s base for judgment.  Jack had arranged the relief efforts, and then found himself on the first ship back.

He stormed into his office at Torchwood Central, dropping his carryall onto the floor and making his way around his desk, where he dropped into his chair with a grunt.   He needed to write up the report for the Shadow Proclamation, and they wouldn’t wait for it, either.  He rubbed the bridge of his nose, leaning his head back and closing his eyes tiredly.

Such a wasted trip!

“Director Harkness.”

He stifled his sigh as he opened his eyes.  “Yes, Max?”

Maxim Hodge was a tall man, taller even that Jack, and very thin.  He was half human, half Trenan – a low gravity race – with dark hair and the palest eyes Jack had ever seen.  He was extremely good at his job, although he would never rise about Third; Jack was Director in Perpetuity, and Ianto was his Second, and that wouldn’t change.   “Sorry to bother you, but there are several issues that need your attention.”

“Why can’t you take care of them?” Jack asked hectically. 

“Because you’re the Director.  I’m simply your Third.”

‘There’s nothing simple about you, Max.”

He inclined his head at the compliment.  “But that still doesn’t give me access to Director-level issues.”

Jack sighed.  “Fine.” 

Max handed over the files he’d brought with him on data stick, and then left Jack alone to work.  The immortal jabbed the stick into the port on his computer a little harder than was strictly necessary, but didn’t care. 

He was beginning to wonder when duty became more important than his personal life.  Then he snorted, realizing that that was several centuries ago.   And Ianto put up with it, which made his mate more saint than dragon, in Jack’s opinion.   To be honest, he wasn’t sure when he’d do if he ever got time off now.  He’d probably be bored within a standard week.

This time Jack did sigh, as he pulled up the work Max had given him.  Oh lovely, the Dax were at it again…

He was so engrossed in his work that he didn’t hear anyone come into the office, until the door slammed.  Jack jumped up, reaching for the weapon at his waist…

Then calmed down, when he saw who it was.  “Anwyn!  You’re going to give me a heart attack some day!”

Anwyn Harkness-Jones strode to the desk, and she looked thunderous.  “And when were you going to tell me Tad was sick?” she demanded.

Jack looked at his and Ianto’s daughter.  When he’d found out that he was pregnant, it had been a shock to both men; Jack had thought that he and Ianto would have been genetically incompatible, being from different species.  She’d been conceived barely a year after the two had moved from Earth for the final time, once Jack had been removed from the oestrogen overdose he’d been receiving in the planet’s water supply.  

Anwyn had inherited her Dad’s hair and classic looks, and her Tad’s eyes and intelligence…and his long life.  She would be celebrating her six hundredth birthday in a little over a year, and she barely looked twenty. 

“He’s going to be fine,” Jack tried to placate his fiery daughter.  She’d inherited his temper, as well.  “He just needed to return to Earth.  It was some sort of biological imperative…but wait, how did you find out about that?”  Anwyn had been off Hubworld, on Torchwood business, when Ianto had gotten ill.  Jack had meant to tell her when she returned.

“I went to the house, thinking to put my things away, and ran into the housekeeper.  She was quite torn up about Tad being so sick, that he had to go offworld for treatment…”

Jack pinched the bridge of his nose, sitting back down in his chair.  “It’s not that serious at all.  God, I love it when people take these things out of proportion…”  He didn’t want their daughter to worry unduly, and felt justified in understating the issue.

Anwyn seemed to calm down a little, taking the chair opposite his.  “But, why aren’t you with him?”

“We had an emergency just as we were leaving.  I had to stay behind.  But don’t worry…he’ll be on Earth in twelve days.  Dr. Asadhi says he’ll have to stay there for about two weeks, and then he’ll be home again.”

“But Dad…if Tad is sick, should he be alone?”

“The doctor gave him medication to take.”

“If it’s something biological…will it happen again?”  Her blue eyes were frightened. 

Jack hadn’t thought about that.  “It looks like it’s on a six hundred year cycle.  Besides, we’ll be ready for it next time.”

“You should really be with him.”

She wasn’t saying anything that he hadn’t thought of himself, but duty had to take precedence at times, and Ianto had been the one to tell him to go anyway.  “Honey, I’d love to join him, but this is the busiest time of the galactic year for Torchwood.  You know that.”

Anwyn’s jaw dropped.  “I always knew you bled Torchwood, but is it really more important than Tad?”

Jack opened his mouth to rebut his daughter’s accusation, but he realized she was right. He should never have stayed behind.  He should have told the Shadow Proclamation to go to whatever hell they believed in, and accompanied Ianto back to Earth. 

There would always be this fear, that someday someone would find out his mate’s weaknesses and exploit them.  There had been close calls, and Jack knew there were still things out there in the Universe that they hadn’t even run into, that could take Ianto away from him.  This illness could have been deadly, and he could have lost the dragon. 

That question was making Jack consider a lot of things.  He and Ianto had said they would go on vacation after he got back, but would they have?  They were both control freaks enough to want to be on hand for any crisis, and taking time off was something they just didn’t do. 

Maybe it was time.

Jack stood up, and walked to where his daughter was sitting.  He leaned over and kissed her on the forehead.  “You are a genius.”

Anwyn gave him a very Ianto-like smirk.  “Of course I am.  I’m my Tad’s girl.”

He laughed. 

 

 

24 December 3245 (Earth Standard Year)

 

The uproar his leaving caused had been so very worth it.

Torchwood had never had to do without himself and Ianto at the same time, so while he’d been prepared to go with Ianto before the Shadow Proclamation had demanded his presence, it had still been a shock for the leadership team to know their Director would be following his Second to Earth, and on such short notice.  Anwyn had stood by and had looked amused by the whole thing…until Jack made her Max’s Second.   Of course, Max had been speechless when Jack had handed over all of his Director codes, and told him to use them wisely.  Before, he’d only ever given Max limited access, and had required him to contact Jack directly for anything Director-level.

He couldn’t wait to tell Ianto about it.

He’d hopped the first transport leaving Hubworld.  The trip gave him time to think, and it made him realize a few things that he should have done before.  Anwyn had been correct in her confusion: Torchwood had become more important to him, as well as duty, and it had been that way for as long as he could recall.  Ianto was the same, and the dragon’s own sense of his own duty was just as strong as Jack’s, which was why he’d insisted Jack stay on Hubworld and work while he went on to Earth alone. 

They were both idiots. 

Two standard weeks after leaving Hubworld, Jack’s ship was in orbit of an Earth he hadn’t seen in six hundred years.

Much had changed even before they’d left.  The catastrophic ice melt of 2050 had warped the coasts of every continent.  Some countries had suffered badly; others had coped by either moving their coastal cities or by making the cities that couldn’t be moved into their own islands.  London had done the latter, becoming a man-made island within the shallow inland sea that had once been the Thames.  Cardiff had done the former, moving back until it was practically against the Brecon Beacons.   The original Hub that had been Torchwood Three was now under about seventy-five feet of water; the only thing left of the old base was the Rift Manipulator, now kept in a watertight chamber that was accessible only by transmat and was monitored  by Torchwood Central in London.   Cardiff might have moved, but the Rift hadn’t.

He and Ianto had gotten everything out before the Hub had finally flooded, although they’d come to the mutual decision to leave the morgue where it was.  Only certain bodies had been disinterred; Gray was one of those, since he wasn’t truly dead.  It had seemed appropriate that the dead of Torchwood Three should stay with Torchwood Three.

The rest of the planet had moved on, becoming a busy spaceport hub within the Federation.  The cities had grown to accommodate the inrush of tourists and people coming to work in the busy ports, until much of Earth was metropolis.  There were a few pockets of untouched land left, and one of those would be Jack’s destination.

“This is your attendant speaking.  All passengers disembarking at the Heathrow Transit Hub please go to the transmat station on Level Two.  Repeating…”

Jack heeded the announcement.  Picking up his carryall, he made his way toward the transmat station.  London was the closest he’d be getting to his final destination, and he could hire an aircar for the rest of the journey.   The passenger ship he’d met at Proxima would land at the larger spaceport at New Canaveral in United America, and Jack didn’t want to go that far.

He joined his fellow passengers at the transmat.  There were about two dozen leaving the ship above London, and Jack waited his turn somewhat impatiently.  Now that he was there, he wanted to get the Earth under his boots once again.  He hadn’t realized that he’d actually missed this planet; but then he really had lived on Earth longer than he had on Hubworld, even though he’d considered Hubworld home. 

It was eventually his turn, and he stepped up onto the transmat with four others also leaving the ship.  The distinctive tingle of transport ran up his spine, and the ship he’d been traveling on for the last two weeks vanished around him, to be replaced by the sight of a garish poster advertising a local music group. 

He moved off the pad quickly, and once he was out of the way Jack took his first deep breath of Earth air in centuries.  Even though it had been processed through the Terminal’s air recycling system, it was very recognizable despite time and distance.

Jack found the vehicle rental easily.  A two-seater aircar was waiting for him, having been reserved by a forward-thinking Anwyn when she’d made his reservations on the transport.  As he pulled out of the car park, it truly hit him that he was back on Earth, the only home he’d known for centuries before Torchwood had taken to the stars. 

The winter chill penetrated the vehicle’s cockpit, and Jack put the heater on.  He turned the nose of the aircar north, knowing where Ianto would go.

Home.

*****

It was late afternoon before Jack reached Ddraig Llyn.

It had changed almost beyond recognition.

He parked the aircar on a stretch of land that had once been the village green.  Jack got out of the vehicle, taking a look around, sadness tugging at him as he realized that everything Ianto had once known, was gone. 

The immortal moved down the main street, his memory filling in where nature had taken away.  He came to what had once been Ianto’s inn, the Green Dragon; the outer wall still stood, but it was covered in a mass of vines, and trees poked up through what had once been the roof.  Mistletoe had found root hold between the stones, and Jack absently plucked a twig of it from its tenacious hold on the wall.  He’d met the dragon there, and they’d managed to grab a few stolen moments at the inn before Torchwood had consumed them.  Ashamedly, Jack realized he’d never once looked back, when it had become impossible to come to Ddraig Llyn anymore. 

And yet, he’d known that Ianto had purchased all of the property around the valley itself.  It had taken much of the gold in his hoard, but the dragon had never regretted it.  Jack felt guilty; he’d taken Ianto from here, from everything that he’d known, and had exposed him to Torchwood.  And when the time came to leave Earth, he’d just assumed that Ianto would follow…and he had.

But now, Ianto had discovered that he was tied to this place in ways that Jack really couldn’t understand.  If he wanted his mate safe, then he would have to take more of Ianto’s needs into consideration.

He really wished he’d been there with Ianto, to discover the wreckage of his home.

Jack sighed.  Ianto wasn’t in the village.  There would only be one place the dragon would have gone.

*****

He heard the singing before he saw his mate.

It was the song that Jack had heard that day, so very long ago.  Ianto had explained that it was a song of mourning, one that his people reserved for things special to them; for family, and loved ones, and those who had made a difference in the dragon’s life.  At that time, Ianto had been singing it for his lost people.  Ianto had also sung it the very first time Jack had died, before the dragon had known about his immortality.  There had been other times since, but now Jack knew he was singing it for the entire world, and how much it had changed while they’d been gone.

Even the valley was different.  The rivers bringing the snow melt down from the higher mountains had done their job too well, and now the once-small lake flooded a large part of the valley.   Ddraig Llyn had not been touched by the waters, but of course other things had destroyed it.

Jack clambered up next to his mate.  Ianto had transformed back into his dragon-form, the green scales glittering like precious gemstones in the setting sun.  He hadn’t thought about it before, but the red sun of Hubworld had made those scales glow luridly, almost unnaturally.  Here though, Ianto was beautiful in ways Jack had not noticed in a very long time.

The dragon was sitting on the same outcrop that Jack had met him on all those centuries before; at least that hadn’t been changed.   Jack had never accompanied Ianto on his infrequent flights up into Hubworld’s mountains, and had only seen him in dragon form within the setting of Gliese City or Torchwood Central.  He’d almost forgotten how the dragon looked in his natural surroundings, and it struck him once again that he’d removed Ianto from what he’d been used to, even more so when they’d left Earth.  Ianto had chosen to go with him…but had he really?  Or had he simply followed Jack because of the emotional bonds between them?

The dragon stopped singing.  Jack knew Ianto had sensed his Vortex energy as he’d come up the old trail. He’d always been able to do that, as well as sense the Rift back in old Cardiff.  The immortal believed it was because the dragon was so much part of the natural world that he was keyed into such things…which raised even more questions about just how wrong Jack had been to let Ianto accompany him.  The immortal had always had issues with selfishness…but now, he could make up for that. 

“It’s all gone,” Jack said, absently twirling the twig of mistletoe in his fingers.   “Nature just…took it back.”

“Nature has a tendency to do that,” the dragon answered, his voice calm.

Jack was shocked.  “I thought you’d be more upset about your home being abandoned like that!”

The dragon sighed.  “I was.  But I’ve had two days to get used to it.”  He turned sad blue eyes toward his mate.   “However, that doesn’t mean I’m not sad about losing my last human dwelling on this world. “

He made his way to the dragon’s side.  “Did you find what you were looking for?” He couldn’t tell if he was feeling better; he’d only seen Ianto ill while in human form.

“It appears I really am tied to the Earth.  The moment I set foot back on her soil, I felt…energized.  It was like a piece had been slotted back into my soul, a part of me I wasn’t even aware I was missing until I returned.”

 He leaned against Ianto’s warm flank.  The wind was bitter, and he wondered if it was going to snow.  “I’m sorry,” he said.  “I should have been here with you.  You were sick, and I should have been here.”

“There’s no need to be, Jack.  I’m fine now.”

“Doesn’t matter.  I should have told the Shadow Proclamation to piss off and go bother someone else.”

Ianto chuckled, a deep rumbling that vibrated against Jack’s side.  “I think I might have liked to have seen that.”  Then he sobered.  “Your sense of duty will always come first.  As will mine.”

Jack still played with the mistletoe, framing his answer carefully.  “Well, it shouldn’t.  We should both know by now that there are times when our own happiness needs to come first.  I think we’ve lost sight of that.”

“We’ve always put Torchwood first, Jack.  It’s who we are, and we cannot change that.”

“I just don’t think we’ve tried hard enough.  There’s been no reason to.”

Those slitted blue eyes regarded him.  “Since when have you become so wise?” he asked teasingly.

“Blame your daughter.  She kicked me in the ass.”

“Anwyn’s only my daughter when she irritates you.”

“Or when she shows her Tad’s brilliance.” Jack trailed his hand along the warm scales of Ianto’s flank, and the dragon shivered.  The immortal knew it didn’t have anything to do with the cold.   “I was thinking – “

“Always dangerous.”

The caress turned into a light smack.  “As I was saying…I had a thought.  I know you own most of this valley…”

“Yes, I do.  And I’m glad.  Humanity has managed to take over almost every other bit of livable land on the planet…and to ruin most of it.” The scorn in his voice was withering.

“You know, when you rant like that it’s pretty damned sexy?”

The dragon took a playful swipe at Jack with his tail.  “And you call me cheeky?”

“You are!”

He chuckled.  “So…what were you thinking?”

Jack took a breath.  “Only that, since you’re tied here, maybe we should build some sort of vacation home in the valley…bring some people back to Ddraig Llyn.  People who would appreciate the beauty of this place.  And I don’t necessarily mean human, either.  Plus, Anwyn’s never seen this place.  I think she’d love it here.”

The dragon looked like he was considering it.  “What about Torchwood?  We’d be quite a distance from Hubworld.”

Jack had thought about that, too.   “Maybe it’s time for us to take a step back.  We’ve been at this a very long time…”

“Who are you, and what have you done with Jack Harkness?”

“Stop it!” Jack cautioned good-naturedly.  “We’d be close enough to London Central that, if anything happens, we could get there fast enough.”

The dragon looked at Jack appraisingly.  “You’re really serious about this.”

“Yes, I am.  To be honest…I don’t want anything to happen to you.  If you get sick again – “

“It’s been six hundred years.  I’m sure I can spend that length of time off work again.”

“No, there’s no need to risk that.  We can build a nice home, maybe take more vacation time…I think I’m ready for it.  You and I have been on almost non-stop duty for over twelve hundred years.  It’s time we started to take it easy.”  Jack took a deep breath.  “Maybe even think about family.” They’d decided after Anwyn not to have any more, simply because Torchwood took up too much of their time.  Both of them had felt they’d somehow failed their daughter by pawning her off on nannies and tutors.

The dragon was silent for a long time.  Jack knew Ianto, knew what work meant to him.  They’d both built up Torchwood into what it was today; saying what he was, was hard for him.  But he also knew when it was time to slow down.  Besides, Torchwood wasn’t going anywhere.  And, even though he hadn’t said anything to Ianto as yet, there would come a time when Jack would have to lie low for at least a couple of centuries, when his timelines would cross.  Having a bolt hole there at Ddraig Llyn would be a smart idea.

“If you’re sure – “  There was a longing in Ianto’s voice, and it made Jack’s heart ache.  He should have done this years ago.

“I am.  This place has always been a bit special to me…especially since this was where I met you.”

He snorted.  “That’s about the sappiest thing I’ve heard you say in quite a while.”

Jack held up the mistletoe.  “Why don’t we go somewhere we can put this to good use?”

“I’m hoping you mean the traditional use, and not the medicinal one.  I’m not certain either of us would enjoy the consequences of that!”

Jack laughed.  “You’re right.  No, I was thinking the traditional use.  Especially since it’s officially Christmas Eve now.  Although, I did accidentally leave your gift on Hubworld.”

“That’s fine…I’d arranged for yours to be given to you tomorrow, but since you’re here…”

“We’ll have to arrange to have some of our things sent here, for the time being.  It’s going to take several weeks to get things going.”  Jack was actually getting excited about this plan of his now.  He’d had no idea that he was this ready for a semi-retirement.  He made a mental note to thank Anwyn for pointing out to him just how wrapped up in Torchwood he’d been.

The dragon agreed.  “Then perhaps you and I should get out of the cold and go somewhere more…comfortable?”

“Have you been staying in your old cave?”

“I have.  But there isn’t anything in it, so it’s very…sparse.  I’ll need to collect my things, though.”

“Then what say we find somewhere to stay in the nearest town?  We can get your luggage and then go fetch my rental.”

“I like the way you think, Captain.  Care to climb up?”

Jack scrambled up onto the dragon’s back, his legs hooking under the large wings, and his arms looped around the sinewy neck.  He was laughing like a little kid.   Ianto had taken him flying before, and it was marvelous.

He could feel the dragon’s muscles bunching under his legs, and then they were off.  Jack felt the bottom drop out of his stomach, and had expected to be freezing, but Ianto’s heat was keeping him just warm enough. 

They arched out over the valley, the wind buoying their flight.  Jack laughed again as they glided almost effortlessly, and the dragon roared his own laugh that echoed out over the valley.

As they banked slowly back toward the mountain, Jack realized that he was home.  But home didn’t have anything to do with planets or Torchwood or the valley below.

Wherever Ianto was, that was home.  And he heard the call of home as they flew together over the land that had nurtured them both.

 

Comments

Awww. So very sweet. Can wait for more in this verse.
Thanks! There will be more, after the first of the year. Glad you liked it!
Aww love dragon Ianto and I was wondering if Ianto might be pregnant. I hope to hear more about this as well.
There will be more, I have a lot planned for this universe! Thanks!
Aw, I love this. Can't wait for more in this verse
Thanks! Yes, there will definitely be more. I have a lot of centuries to write between this and the first story!
Yay, the return of dragon Ianto. This was really sweet - I love Jack realising what is truly important, after a wee kick up the backside. Loved it.
Thank you! Yep, he just needed to be pointed in the right direction!
Awwww. That was absolutely brilliant!
Thank you! :)
Gorgeous. Sad to hear about how Earth has been ruined - I hope that our current worries about it will prevent it from happening for real. But it was lovely to see Jack realise what's really important.
Gxxx
I just had this image of the Hub under water...and what would have made them abandon it. It was just sad.

Yep, and it only took him 1200 years to realize it! :)
There will definitely be more. Keep your eye out in the new year!
it's beautiful and lovely
sweet home!!
Thank you so much!
That was wonderful a prefect gift thank you I love dragon Ianto.
Thank you! Really glad that you liked it. And Merry Christmas, hon. :)
That was sweet but sad. There was such a feeling of loss: the loss of not only what time had taken from them, but also of the time they had lost due to their sense of duty towards their work. Luckily, time is something they have an abundance of. Love this 'verse.
Thank you! They may have lost a lot, but they've certainly gained a new perspective. And they do have plenty of time.

This is beautiful -- sweet, sappy, weepy, lovely beautiful.I am so envious of Jack and Ianto, to have such a wonderful place to call home forever, and to have each other to love forever, and to have a friend like you to tell their stories for them. You're doing them proud, MiLady, very proud indeed. Thank you.
Thanks so much! I do love my boys, and I hope I can always do them justice.

I'm glad you think I do!
would love to more of this world and jack and ianto's daughter.
Thanks! I do plan on moving into the part of the Dragon-Verse at some point, but right now the bunnies are really hopping on rewriting canon.

But yes, there will be more. :)
That was a good story and built naturally to a simply wonderful ending: Jack and Ianto flying over the land, home with each other. I loved Jack's reactions to riding the dragon!

I've come to the end of the story list. I hope there will be more stories!

Keep writing!
Thank you! So glad you liked it.

I'm always writing more, and I've just started my version of "Out of Time"... :)
is there anymore to this i have just read capter 1 and 2
Just two chapters. There's going to be a sequel written, that I'm doing for a Big Bang coming up, and should be posted around in several months. :)
Aww! Beautiful! And a little sad, but very lovely.