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Myfanwy 2

July 2018

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Myfanwy 2

The Immortality of the Deathless - Chapter Fourteen

The Immortality of the Deathless - Chapter Fourteen
Author: Milady Dragon
Rating: PG-13, for language and violence
Summary: When Master Archivist Ianto Jones of Torchwood Castle discovers the presence of a powerful magical Artifact, Baroness Gwen Williams hires Captain Jack Harkness and his band of mercenaries to retrieve it.
Pairing(s): Jack Harkness/Ianto Jones; Gwen Williams/Rhys WIlliams
Warning: Fantasy violence
Spoilers: None really; mostly for Doctor Who S1 episodes "Bad Wolf" and "Parting of the Ways", and Torchwood S1 "Everything Changes" and S2 "Fragments".  Although the stories have been warped to fit into a fantasy setting. 
Author's Note:  This is Torchwood in a fantasy setting.  Everything that could be considered alien in the normal universe is magical here. 
Disclaimer: I don't own Torchwood, if I did I'd have treated it better. It - and Doctor Who - are owned by the BBC, and created by Russell T. Davies.



Chapter Fourteen

 

When Jack got back to the inn, none of his team was there.

This wasn't necessarily a big surprise. Jack knew them well, knew that each of them would be out and doing their own thing while they had the chance. Toshiko would be visiting with the Elven guild, catching up on news from home; Suzie knew most of the weapons' masters in Haven, and chances were she'd be looking for the her next favorite object of stabitty goodness; and Owen…well, Owen was just as well known in the brothels as Suzie was with the weaponers.

But he was a little disappointed that Ianto hadn't returned, like he said he was going on.

Jack sighed, practically plopping down on the bed nearest the window, pushing one of the bags that had been set on it aside when it tipped over onto him. The rooms they'd taken had been his last resort in seeking the illusive archivist, and when he wasn't there Jack couldn't come up with a solid lead as to his whereabouts. Probably out exploring Haven, most likely. Not that Jack blamed him for wanting to look around; he just wished Ianto had waited there at the inn.

But the man really hadn't known how long Jack would have been. And Jack realized just how selfish he was being by even considering that Ianto would have even thought about it.

That was when Jack also realized that he'd gone from thinking of him as "Master Ianto" to simply "Ianto."

Taking liberties in his own head, obviously. He'd just have to wait to do the same thing out loud. While Jack wasn't someone that much into titles, he did know that being respectful was something most people appreciated, and he'd abide by the current rules of society in this case.

He shifted, and the bag he'd pushed away shifted with him, sliding back against his thigh. Jack snorted, grabbing it and meaning to toss it back toward the pillow…and didn't, a strange curiosity overcoming him. He knew it belonged to the archivist, had seen Ianto with it. Jack glanced around – even though he knew he was alone in the room – then opened the bag carefully, feeling a bit guilty about snooping but ignoring it.

The first thing Jack saw was the scroll case containing the copy of the Deathless tale. It still disturbed him, how close to the real events that story was. All the others had held a kernel of truth, but not like this one. And that Ianto had heard almost the same version, when it was so very different from what the troubadours liked to bring out on festival days…he shivered slightly, not wanting to even touch the leather case the thing was in.

Lying with the scroll case was a smaller case, and Jack knew it had to contain the glasses that Ianto was so fond of wearing. He snapped the case open, taking a good look at them as they lay glittering in the sunlight coming in from the window.

After over a thousand years of experience, Jack could recognize a magical item when he saw it.

The thing was Jack knew that not just anyone could use enchanted objects, which meant that, somehow, Ianto was able to access that magic. Jack wondered just how the archivist could do that, just how whatever personal power he had worked. And if he asked, that could possibly give his own knowledge away.

The captain sighed, putting the glasses back into the bag and fastening it closed once more. He'd lost the urge to search any further, deciding that this little mystery was enough for now. Even back when he was mortal, magic had been fading from the world. He could remember Master John's sadness at his admission that he'd been the last of his race, a race of near-ageless wizards who'd once lived on an isolated island and who'd been content to practice their own power beyond the realms of Man and Elf and Dragon. They'd kept to themselves, and that had led to their eventual downfall, although Master John had never really explained what that downfall had been.

Many of Jack's memories of his earlier life had faded to mist after so long, but that terrible longing on his old friend's face was still so vivid in his minds' eye. Master John; Lady Rose…Jack's first death at the hands of Demons and the second death, how he'd realized that he'd always come back every time – thank you, to the border guards from what would be called the Eastern Kingdom in later centuries for teaching him just how painful it could be to be shot through the heart with a crossbow – these were the things that stayed with him for so long.

But…that scroll had said there was a second Wizard, from Master John's own race. Jack wasn't sure what to think about that. He was disinclined to believe it, because that would have meant that Master John had been wrong…and that broke Jack's heart, that there'd been another Wizard out there and his friend hadn't known about it. No one should have to spend their existence alone.

Jack was very familiar with being alone.

He sighed again, rising from his seat on the bed and heading down toward the common room. In that moment he really wanted to find one of his crew, to sit with them and pretend that his thoughts weren't so very heavy. To flirt and joke and carry on like he was a normal person, that he wasn't weighed down by the millennia of his long life.

In truth, he wanted to find Ianto.

He couldn't explain why. Not really. Perhaps it was because he and the much younger man had something in common; having been touched by magic in ways most people wouldn't understand. Jack wondered if Ianto would understand, if he broke down and admitted that he'd been changed by the Deep Ways and was no longer truly human. Could he risk that? Risk telling a near stranger his one secret, the one he hadn't admitted to anyone in centuries?

Or would it be a complete disaster?

No, he wouldn't take the chance. There wasn't anything that could be done about it, anyway. Even if Jack believed that the Dagger and Gauntlet could end his undying existence, this was his life now, to live it as he had to. He wasn't about to burden anyone else.

He must have spent more time with his thoughts than he'd realized, because when Jack stepped outside the inn the sun was lower on the horizon than it should have been. Well, it wasn't often that he became so introspective, it was natural he'd lose track.

Jack glanced up and down the street, wondering just where the wayward archivist could have gone. It seemed a bit lunatic to stand there and guess, but then the captain's luck had always been pretty good.

He began to stroll back toward the café, thinking that Ianto might not have even made it back to the inn, that he'd found something to look at and that Jack had simply missed him on his way.

He hadn't even taken three steps when he saw the archivist coming toward him.

Jack grinned. His guess had been the right one. Yes, his luck was holding.

But there was something wrong.

Ianto seemed to be staggering slightly, as if he'd had too much to drink. Jack frowned, starting toward the other man, wondering what had brought on a sudden bout of drunkenness that early in the day. Certainly it couldn't be because of John…that didn't make any sense.

As he got closer, Jack made out a book, clutched to the young man's chest like some sort of life preserver. Where had that come from? The mercenary vaguely remembered passing a book shop during their travels earlier. Of course, Ianto had stopped there. The man most likely breathed and slept old books.

Reaching out, Jack called his name, once more forgetting to put his title before it. "Ianto?"

Ianto sagged in Jack's grasp, as if his legs couldn't hold him up any longer. Any thought of him being inebriated vanished, because there wasn't any alcohol smell on him. Something else was wrong.

Ianto raised his eyes to meet Jack's, and the captain gasped in shock.

Those blue eyes weren't normal. In fact, they weren't even blue anymore.

The pupils had totally blown, as if he'd taken something mild-altering; but the golden ring that surrounded those black orbs was testament to the fact that no type of drug was responsible for Ianto's current condition.

It was like looking into twin eclipses. Jack suppressed a shudder at the sight, his mind literally screaming at him that this was magic, Deep Magic. It was old and dark and terrible…and so very wonderful.

Fingers stroked his cheek, tracing tingling warmth along Jack's skin. "Beautiful," Ianto whispered, those dark eyes filled with awe.

Jack would have normally thoroughly enjoyed the intimacy of it all, if it weren't for the fact that it was freaking him out more than a little. Somehow, he didn't think Ianto was seeing him, but something else.

Jack shivered then. Deep Magic recognized its own.

Then, in the span of one blink, Ianto's eyes went back to normal, his pupils shrinking so quickly it was as if those eclipses had never existed. The archivist's knees buckled, and he would have fallen if Jack hadn't been there to keep him upright. "Let's get you back to the inn," Jack murmured, taking the book from the man's hand and slinging a steadying arm around his waist.

"Jack?" The question was full of confusion, and a more than a little fear.

"I've got you," the captain answered, guiding him down the street. Thank the Gods they didn't have far to go. If things weren't so crazy he would have relished being called by name, and not "sir".

As he helped Ianto, Jack's thoughts swirled around his stunned brain. He'd known that Ianto had to have some sort of magic, but this….no one could access the Deep Ways, not anymore. The race of Wizards was long gone, and from what he'd been able to learn, Lady Rose's spell shouldn't have been possible, that the all-too human woman couldn't hold that sort of power within her. Hells, even Ianto's scroll had touched on that fact, saying that Master John had taken her away to free her from the Magic. That begged the question: how was Ianto able to do it?

Jack half-dragged the archivist into the inn, then up the stairs to their room. Ianto was quiet, allowing the mercenary to get him onto the bed, once he'd moved the bags out of the way. He played with the idea of trying to locate Owen, to have him look Ianto over, but discarded it almost immediately; the battle surgeon wouldn't know how to handle this sort of thing anyway.

No, Jack was the closest thing they had to an expert. Even Tosh's knowledge wasn't enough, the Elves didn't really deal with the Deep Ways. So it was up to him to deal with it.

Taking the pillows from both beds, Jack propped the archivist up, then sat back. "You up to telling me what happened?"

Ianto wouldn't look at him. Instead, his long fingers were busily picking at the seam of his tunic. Jack felt the urge to reach over and stop the fidgeting, but refrained. "I…I was attacked," Ianto finally answered.

Jack frowned. That wasn't what he'd been expecting. "Did you get a look at them?" If he could get a good description…

"Yes. And a name…Adam."

As Ianto described the man who'd dragged him into the alley, Jack's eyes narrowed. He recognized the person immediately.

Adam Smith.

"Go on," Jack urged.

Despite the fact that Ianto still wouldn't look at him, Jack could see the confusion in him. "He…somehow got into my memories. I'm…not sure how." His head lifted, and he met Jack's gaze for a second before looking out the window. "He asked me about you…about your contract."

The mercenary sighed. "You showed him?"

"It wasn't like I had a choice!" the archivist exclaimed, his eyes going back to Jack's once more. "He could see what was in my head; manipulate me into remembering what he wanted."

"I believe you." Jack grew angry; he had heard of Adam Smith, and knew the man advertised himself as a sort of Seer, one who could look into someone's head and read what was inside. He'd brushed it off as some sort of charlatanism, but it seemed as if he'd been wrong. "So he knows about the Artifacts?"

"I'm afraid so." Ianto looked ashamed at the admission.

"It wasn't like you could do anything about it."

"I should have tried harder! When I realized he was using magic against me…" His voice faded out, his eyes falling to his lap once more.

"And how did you know that?" Jack regarded him closely.

"As you well know, I have certain…experience with magical Artifacts. I believe it's one of the reasons I'm on this trip."

It was at that moment that Jack knew he wasn't going to get a straight answer from the man, as to just how he knew the Deep Ways. Ianto wasn't going to give up anything, unless Jack somehow forced him to.

He wanted to ask Ianto what he'd seen, when he'd looked at Jack with those eyes. What had prompted the man to call him beautiful. He guessed it was recognition of some sort; recognition of the magic that had changed Jack so irrevocably so long ago.

Ianto's fingers were moving once more, only this time his left hand was inching toward Jack's own, where it lay on the coverlet. He wondered if Ianto's magic was somehow triggered by touch. That would have explained the tingling Jack had felt when the archivist had stroked his cheek.

He really wanted to have that touch again.

"Well," Jack finally said, after watching that hand move closer, then suddenly back off, "I'm going to tell you what I saw when I found you, because quite frankly it confused and freaked me out a little."

Those blue eyes caught his again, and Jack could see something that looked like fear in them. "What did you see?" he asked softly.

"I saw magic," he answered honestly. "I saw magic in your eyes. It was frightening…and breathtaking."


Chapter Fifteen...

Comments

I have the image of Ianto's eyes while showing magic in them so clearly in my mind.
I'm glad, I was hoping that everyone would be able to see how his eyes changed when he used the magic. Makes me wish I was any good at manips, I'd do one with him in magic mode in a heartbeat.. :-)
Sooo good!!!