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Myfanwy 2

October 2018



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Myfanwy 2

The Immortality of the Deathless - Chapter Sixteen

The Immortality of the Deathless - Chapter Sixteen
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 Sixteen

Jack stood in the middle of the living area of the abandoned house, hands on his hips and feeling extremely frustrated.

It appeared that Adam Smith had pulled a runner.

He cursed silently. Jack should have known he would; the Seer would have wanted to avoid a confrontation. The captain had waited just a little too long to pursue him, but then he'd been more concerned about Ianto than anything else. It didn't help that the master archivist was seriously intriguing him, and that just completely distracted him from taking care of this certain piece of business.

He really wanted to know who'd hired Smith to go after Ianto. Jack knew enough about the Seer to realize he had to have been paid to do it. And, although he didn't have proof, it was just too much of a coincidence that he'd run into John Hart on the same day as the attack.

Jack had lived long enough not to believe in coincidence any more.

It hadn't taken him long to find the man's house; but then, Smith hadn't exactly hidden himself away, advertising himself to anyone who'd pay his fee. Jack had been slightly disturbed by him ever since he'd heard about the so-called Seer. The thing was, the man had never represented himself as something he wasn't, and there was no law saying he couldn't make money using magic. Not that Jack had been convinced – until now – that what Adam had done was actual magic. He'd thought it was perhaps some sort of hypnosis, but from what Ianto had reported Jack had changed his mind. It did make him wonder just how Ianto had gotten away, but the mercenary wasn't about to look a gift horse in the mouth…at least, not at that moment. He was just glad that the archivist was safe.

Deciding it was silly just to stand there, Jack began to search the place, looking for some sort of clue as to where Adam might have gone. The house was cluttered, and before he knew it he was sneezing at the dust he was kicking up. It wasn't the pleasant, leather scented dust of the Torchwood Archives; this was stale, and dry, and felt like it was coating his throat in a viscous goo. He swallowed harshly as he continued to search, but the more he did so, the more he became convinced that he wasn't going to find anything.

Still, he tried. If anything, it worked out the anger he'd been feeling toward the man who'd gone after one of his own.

Jack was feeling ridiculously possessive, and he knew it. He would have sighed over the revelation, but he didn't want to start a coughing fit.

As he proceeded to trash the house, Jack thought about what Ianto had said. He believed the archivist when he'd said that he hadn't any idea what had happened, although he was also convinced that the younger man did know more than he was telling. Maybe he didn't understand the Deep Ways, but there was still magic involved; Jack had seen it, back at the castle. And his eyes…damn, Jack really wished he knew what Ianto had seen in him, that had made the archivist call him beautiful. But he also knew he couldn't force it.

Jack just had to come up with a way to convince Ianto to be open about it. Problem was, he wasn't sure how he was going to do it. He suspected it was to do with trust; all Ianto had really seen of him had been his confident and flirtatious exterior, and Jack was certain the younger man really hadn't seen much in Jack's behavior to warrant the sort of trust that would make the archivist comfortable in sharing whatever secret Ianto had. Perhaps it was time to build up that trust. It would certainly be a step in the right direction.

Jack just wasn't sure how he was going to proceed.

The house wasn't going to reveal anything, and Jack gave up once he'd finished the living area. He was also tired of the dust, and didn't think he could take it anymore. He wasn't the neatest person in the kingdom, but even Jack could tell this sort of mess was a bit much.

He left the place, not even bothering to close the door behind him; after all, that was how he'd found the house left in the first place. It told him that Smith had left in a hurry, most likely wanting to escape anyone who'd come after him, to make him answer for his attack upon Ianto. It was a bit gratifying that Jack could engender such fear, but at the same time he couldn't help but wonder if the Seer had fled for other reasons besides the mercenary's own reputation.

He wondered if Smith had also seen what Jack had, within Ianto's eyes. If the man had been using magic to get into peoples' heads, then it made sense that he'd recognize the same in Ianto.

And that worried Jack. More than he really wanted to admit. Because, knowing about the magic – when Ianto apparently didn't – put the archivist in a position of danger. And while Jack didn't know exactly who Smith might tell, there was still the concern about whoever it had been to have hired the Seer.

John Hart was totally not to be trusted, and that didn't have all that much to do with the way the man had betrayed Jack. The captain had known that John was entirely unreliable, and yet had let him get under his skin anyway. Jack wasn't exactly certain what that said about himself, personally. Only he was determined not to let that happen ever again.

Jack sighed. He had two different options: report the attack to the local authorities, or to leave it be and wait for John's next move. Because, as sure as Jack was Deathless, there would be a next move.

He was always in favor of being a good citizen, but the idea of going to the local Knight with what had happened just wasn't appealing. For one thing…any report of an attack against Ianto would make it back to the Baroness so quickly it might as well have been flown there. And knowing Gwen the way he did, Jack was certain she'd cancel the mission, just to make sure her precious Master Archivist was safe. Jack wasn't prepared for that, although he was still of a mind that this was a waste of time. Getting the contract cancelled almost felt like a failure, and Jack wasn't one to accept that sort of thing.

It also didn't help that, personally, he wanted to spend more time with Ianto. And while it had a lot to do with what had occurred just that afternoon, there was more to it than that. How much more…Jack wasn't willing to admit just yet.

So, reporting this was out. He'd just have to make certain to keep both eyes open for anything that John might throw at them. If it had been John behind this, and Jack didn't doubt it for a moment that he was.

There was something he could do, though.

Jack headed out into the late afternoon shopping crowd, turning toward the eastern edge of town. It would make him late in getting back to the inn, and he'd told Ianto he'd be back for dinner, but this was important.

He took the Forge Road, striding along the road purposefully, not letting his attention be diverted by the various shops and metalworkers' booths along the way. Jack knew exactly where he wanted to go, and even though he might not know all the weapons' smiths that Suzie did, there was one he trusted in Haven above the others.

This particular shop was near the middle of the Forge Road, and Jack didn't have any problem finding it despite the fact that he hadn't visited the place in a couple of years. The master smith who owned it was actually based in Cardiff; but one of his apprentices had gone out on his own, and had kept the same high level of craftsmanship as had his former master. Jack appreciated that, and it was to them that he went when he had business.

Young Master Jake Simmons grinned when he saw Jack enter the shop. "Captain!" he greeted warmly, holding out a well-calloused hand for Jack to shake.

"Master Jake," he returned the greeting, and took the offered hand, leering good-naturedly. "You're looking quite as good as ever."

The weapons' master chuckled. "And you haven't changed one bit."

"Why mess with this level of perfection?"

That changed the chuckle into a full-blown laugh. "No change there, either!"

Jack smiled, leaning on the counter. "How's Master Mickey?" He'd known Master Mickey Smith for years, ever since they'd run into each other over a spot of trouble involving the Mayor of Cardiff and some very dangerous explosives that almost destroyed half of the town. It had been that particular problem that had brought him and his team to the Baroness' attention.

"Doing fine, he's due here for a visit in a couple of weeks. He'll be sorry he missed you."

"Give him my regards."

"I will." Master Jake turned slightly more serious. "What can I help you with, Captain?"

"Well," Jack answered, "I'm looking for a sword for someone who's never used one before. Something that'll be handy in actual combat, but easy enough to train with."

"For a younger person, then?"

"No, just someone who's never had the need to be armed." He didn't add that, compared to himself, everyone was a younger person.

"New teammate?"

Jack smirked. "You could say that."

"Well…let's see what we have."

It took about half an hour for Jack to find a suitable blade. It was in the style of a long sword, only with a slightly thinner blade. The hilt was simple, and wrapped in leather. "I think this will do," he murmured, taking a few practice swings. It was nicely balanced, and would do perfectly for a first weapon.

"Excellent choice," Master Jake replied, as Jack handed it back hilt-first, the blade itself resting on his clothed forearm. "Let me get you the sheath. There's also a matching knife; would you want that?"

"Sure." Jack waited for Master Jake to prepare his purchases, pleased with what he'd picked out. Now, he could only hope that they would be enough to offer some sort of protection…

After a few more minutes of small talk, Jack left the shop, promising to stop in on his next visit to Haven. He made his way quickly back to the Pegasus and Crown, his mind considering several different scenarios and discarding each and every one of them. If he was honest with himself, the thought of putting Ianto in danger without some way of defending himself was pretty much abhorrent, and Jack was a little bothered by the idea that he hadn't actually considered it. Tosh had been right, back on the road…he hadn't really thought this through.

And he should have.

Sometimes he could be the biggest idiot.

As he stepped into the gloom of the common room, Jack could make out the form of Suzie Costello sitting at the table by the fireplace, a drink held in both hands. There was no other sign of any of the others, which didn't surprise Jack in the least.

He moved to join her, setting the wrapped sword against the wall next to his chair. "I'm a little surprised to see you back," he said by way of greeting.

Suzie shrugged. "Brought some things back, decided to stay for a drink. In fact, if you'd been a little later you'd have missed me. There's some sort of production going on in the town square, and I thought I might check it out."

"Glad I caught you then." He waved toward the nearest tavern wench, and asked for a pint of their best ale. Once she was gone, he went on, "Got a little something for you to help me with."

"If you'd wanted to get rid of that broadsword or yours," she said, motioning toward his purchase, "you could have come to me to help pick something out. That's almost a baby sword for you, isn't it?"

"It's not for me," he answered.

"Let me guess…it's for your new boy toy. Am I right?"

"It's for Ian…Master Ianto, yes," he grimaced, hoping she wouldn't catch his slip into the familiar. "But I resent the implication that he's any sort of toy – "

Suzie held up her hand. "Sorry, Jack. But come on…we both know you brought him along because he's pretty."

"Why does everyone automatically assume I have ulterior motives?" He threw up his hands, narrowly missing the returning waitress with his drink. He apologized to her, winking.

"Because you always do," his second-in-command smirked.

"Look…I'm not going to lie and say I'm not…attracted. But the only reason I asked for Master Ianto to come along was because I genuinely thought he'd be useful." Okay, it wasn't the only reason, but it was the best one he'd had, and the only one he was going to admit to out loud.

Suzie looked at him with those dark eyes of hers, and Jack resisted the urge to twitch.

"So…what do you want me to help you with?" She changed the subject back to its original course.

"I was hoping you'd help me train Master Ianto – "

"Why me, Jack?" It almost sounded like a whine.

"Because you're the best we have. C'mon, we both know you'd be a master if you'd taken the exams…"

"That's flattery, and you know it."

"No, it's not. You're that good, Suzie."

"But you're still miles above me, Jack."

The captain knew she was right, but there was no way he was going to explain that he had over a thousand years' experience. "I just think he'll benefit from your training style than mine. And I'll be there to help, too."

"Yeah, we're all familiar with your "training style", as you put it." The sarcasm hung heavy in the air.

Jack actually felt his ears get a little warm, which hadn't happened in so long he couldn't remember it last. "Look, you're just the best person for the job."

"I can't believe you're saddling me with an amateur!"

"It's better he learn now, than us having to clean up down the road." A part of him wanted to mention the attack, in order to push home his point, but Jack couldn't. That would open up a can of worms he really didn't want to mess with.

It was Suzie's turn to throw up her hands. "Fine. Whatever. But Jack, if he turns out to be totally inept, it's all on your head."

"I appreciate this."

"Yeah, I'm sure." She got up to leave. "See you in the morning, Jack."

The captain watched her go, letting out breath he hadn't been aware he'd been holding. Yes, it was best that Suzie handle Ianto's training. Jack knew what he himself was capable of, and if he wanted to gain the archivist's trust then the first step might be to learn to keep his hands to himself.

Chapter Seventeen...



I have to go to bed now, will continue tomorow (I am sick at home, so lot of time to read your story!!):)
I'm glad you're liking it, and a part of me is happy that you're losing sleep over it! The other part is glad you went to bed, I hope you feel better soon!