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Myfanwy 2

August 2018

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Myfanwy 2

The Immortality of the Deathless - Chapter Twenty

The Immortality of the Deathless - Chapter Twenty
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 Twenty



The farther they rode, the more convinced Jack came of their eventual destination.

Gateway.

The one place Jack had avoided in all his extremely long life.

The place where he'd been made Deathless.

Even though his memories had faded over the centuries, Jack still remembered that very first death vividly. Surrounded by the Nameless Demons, armed only with a sword and shield, and being overwhelmed; then the pain and darkness. He'd awoke covered in the strangest dust – which he'd later come to realize was the remains of the Demons – and the screeching of Master John's familiar in his ears. Jack had tried to find the Wizard, but he'd been too late. He'd only managed to catch a glimpse of golden fire, and then nothing. It hadn't been until much later that he'd found out what had happened, about Lady Rose, the Deep Ways, and the destruction of the Demons.

And, of course, his own Deathlessness.

He'd never been back. He couldn't. Going back to Gateway brought back the feelings of abandonment and pain that Jack had done his damnedest to suppress. Even after over a thousand years, those feelings were still sharp, like a knife thrust to the heart. He'd stayed in Gateway for a short while, after the battle, hoping they'd come back for him; but of course, they hadn't. He'd been left to discover his curse on his own.

Jack had never really forgiven them for that. And he'd avoided Gateway from the moment he'd left…until today.

He knew the history of it, however. How the city had flourished only another century until it began to decline. It had sunk into ruin fairly quickly, the truth of its magnificence only in stories to entertain. Like the many myths of the Deathless, really.

Now, Jack was having to go back. Yes, it was necessary, but that didn't make the dread any less.

His concern – no, more like fear really – for Ianto made his dread seem pretty irrelevant. It was only the archivist that would make Jack return to that scene of his changing. The captain had known that they'd pass nearby; from Ianto's directions the ruins of the keep they were looking for was several days' travel north of the once-great city. Jack had planned on by-passing Gateway completely. But now, he was being forced to go there, by whoever'd taken Ianto.

He'd go. For Ianto.

The others were beginning to pick up on his nervousness. Toshiko kept looking at him sideways, a strangely knowing expression on her face. Suzie asked him several times what was wrong, to which Jack answered in the negative. And Owen just muttered to himself, too low to be overheard clearly. A part of Jack wanted to come clean about it, but there was too much water under the bridge now. Telling his team about everything…it was too late. He couldn't do it.

He was barely able to think about how he was going to explain to Ianto, because he knew the younger man had seen him die.

The first stones of Gateway were obscured, barely visible in the tall grass. But Jack knew they were there, could feel the old memories and death around them as they traveled. His heart pounded harder and he felt the slight edge of panic flutter around in his head. No, keep it together…

The ruins were becoming more noticeable. Jack could remember how the city had once been: spires and towers against the blue of the sky, white marble and red brick and green alabastrite glittering among the glowing tones of wood and shining glass. The chattering of people and the laughter of children.

No, he didn't want these memories back. They were too strong, too painful to bear.

But he had to, and so Jack guided his horse forward, into the ruins, following the direction the compass was showing him.

Ianto had to be his priority. He could handle this, if Ianto was saved.

They'd been riding for a while, when suddenly the compass began to get hot.

Jack tried to hold onto it, as the metal burned the palm of his hand. Grinding his teeth, the mercenary kept his eyes on the needle, confused as to why the thing was reacting the way it was. This had never happened before, in the few times he'd used the magical tracer, and Jack couldn't figure out what was wrong.

Finally, he hissed and dropped the compass, he had no choice. It was so hot it felt like it was burning its way through his hand. It didn't even hit the ground before the small device completely disintegrated in a shower of sparks. His horse shied from the heat, forcing Jack to get the animal back under control.

"What the hell - ?" Suzie demanded, as Jack's horse twisted into hers.

"I don't think that was supposed to happen," Toshiko added, as her eyes strayed to the place where the compass had destroyed itself.

"No, it wasn't," Jack confirmed. He resisted the urge to run his hand through his hair in frustration. How were they going to track Ianto now?

"So, how are we gonna find the coffee boy now?" Owen asked, unconsciously echoing Jack's thoughts, without the obvious put-down.

"We know the general direction," Jack answered. "It hadn't really deviated much since we've been following the tracker. If we just keep going the same way – "

"And they don't change course," Suzie butted in.

"– then we should run into them," Jack finished, ignoring his weapons' expert. He kicked his horse into a cantor, picking up speed.

The others followed. They had to be a bit more careful, as more of the ruins were exposed through the grass and other plants. Jack didn't want to risk injuring their mounts, but at the same time that panic he kept pushing down was gaining more of a foothold on his mind. There was no telling what they'd wanted Ianto for, or even who'd taken him. They could be doing anything to the archivist, and there wasn't a thing Jack could do about it. As long as he'd been certain the kidnappers had been moving Jack could think that nothing was going on, that they hadn't stopped and done something to Ianto. But now, he couldn't even tell that. They were traveling blind, with no way of knowing where whoever they were, were taking the archivist.

He couldn't give into to it. They had to keep going, hoping to catch up. Jack couldn't think about what might be happening. He had to concentrate on the here and now.

It seemed to be forever – but was actually not all that long – that Jack spotted someone ahead, apparently seated on one of the overturned stones.

It was Ianto, his back turned to the approaching riders.

Jack allowed himself to breathe a sigh of relief, but at the same time it was very strange to see the young man sitting there, on his own. The captain stopped his team, then dismounted.

"It can't be that simple," Suzie remarked.

"That's what I was thinking," Jack said. "Suzie, you take left; Owen the right. Tosh, keep a lookout here for anything strange. This could be some sort of trap."

"And I just bet you're gonna walk right into it," Owen snarked.

"Pretty much, yeah."

"You're a twat, Harkness. One of these days you're not gonna survive taking risks like that."

"But I'll go out in style," Jack smirked.

Owen simply rolled his eyes.

They fanned out, Toshiko staying with the horses and drawing her bow. Jack headed toward the seated Ianto, his eyes flicking back and forth, scanning for any danger. There was nothing he could see, only the grass waving in the lonely-sounding breeze.

"Ianto?" he called softly, once he was close enough.

At first, it was as if the archivist hadn't heard. Jack was going to call out again, when he finally did. "I should have known you'd be here, Jack."

The mercenary stopped at that response, confused by it. In his experience, people who'd thought he'd died usually reacted quite differently. "Of course I'm here," he said, beginning to move closer.

"Yes," Ianto answered. There was something in his voice, something off, and Jack couldn't place it. "You'd be here, among the ghosts…I can see them all, Jack. They're going about their normal lives, as if they were still living…"

Jack was suddenly frightened. He circled the stone, until he was facing Ianto. And then he knew why the man was reacting so strangely.

Ianto's eyes had changed, back into the black and gold eclipses that Jack had seen in Haven.

"It was so beautiful," he went on, not seeming to see Jack standing there. "We've lost so much…so much knowledge, so much magic. This place was amazing, Jack. So much power and prestige and wonder…Gods, so beautiful…"

It was chilling, hearing him speak like that. Jack shivered, not liking to see Ianto in the thrall of the Deep Ways. "You need to come back now, Ianto," he murmured. "You need to leave the past, in the past."

"I can't. Seeing Gateway as it was…all those centuries ago…" Then, he looked up at Jack, his brows furrowing. "You're not a ghost…"

Jack felt a hand on his wrist, the strong grip pulling him down to kneel in front of Ianto. That contact made the captain's skin tingle. Those eyes focused on him, as if trying to read his mind…or his soul.

"You were here," Ianto whispered. "I can see you; standing against the demons who raged through the streets. They killed you…"

This wasn't happening. Jack wanted to break away, but the strength of that grip wouldn't let him. Ianto was somehow reading him, reading the events of a millennium ago. "How can you see that?"

"The magic," came the soft answer. "It's all around us; in the stones and the ground and the very air we're breathing. It's so strong, so dangerous…it's like touching ultimate power. I can feel it inside me, Jack. It's a living being, showing me things…unbelievable things. Wondrous things."

Jack wanted to shake him, to break him out of this trance. It was frightening him, to see the younger man so lost in the magic.

But he didn't dare. There was no telling what damage that would do. "You can't let it control you, Ianto."

The archivist's free hand came up, to touching Jack's face. That same tingling he'd felt before was back, as Ianto's fingers stroked over his cheekbone. "The first time I saw you like this, I thought you were an angel," Ianto whispered.

"What do you see?" Jack asked, just as softly.

"I see…the magic. Ancient, powerful, all-consuming….yet protective, loving…Deathless."

The last word was almost lost on the breeze, but Jack could make it out. He shuddered, breath catching in his throat. He hadn't known how to explain his survival to Ianto; but now, he didn't need to. Ianto was seeing it all, with his magical eyesight. There were no secrets, and Jack wanted to pull away, to hide; but at the same time his instinct was to share with this man everything, to let him see what was inside Jack and what was keeping him alive past his natural state.

Maybe Ianto had the answers Jack had given up on ever getting.

No. He couldn't risk the young man just to understand. "Ianto," he said quietly, yet sharply, to best get his words across, "you have to come back. No one's ever meant to have the Deep Magic inside them. Only a wizard can control that sort of energy. If you don't let it go, it'll burn you up. I don't want to lose you, Ianto. You have to let the power go."

"I can't. It's part of me now. It will always be a part of me." The golden circles around his blown pupils sparked, as if the sun was coming out from behind the moon. "The magic here opened me to all the possibilities."

Then he giggled, a sound that was so far removed from what Jack would have thought to hear from the usually reserved man that it chilled him to the bone. "He didn't know, of course. He didn't know bringing me here would do this to me. You should have seen it, Jack. He was so very shocked."

"Who was?" A part of Jack didn't want to know, but the question had to be asked. He wanted to know just who'd been behind Ianto's kidnapping and Jack's last death.

"John Hart. You would've loved to see his face when he found out."

The mercenary took ahold of Ianto's shoulder with his free hand, much more afraid than before. "What did you do?"

"I sent him away. I certainly hope he doesn't mind the cold…" Those eyes blinked. "I am sorry, Jack. I know he meant something to you."

"A long time ago, yes." Jack let out a breath. So, John had been behind it all. He wasn't sure whether to feel bad for the man, or to be glad that he was finally somewhere and out of Jack's hair. "But you have to listen to me, please. You have to release the magic. Let it go back to where it came from."

"I can't."

"You have to try. Try, for me…please, Ianto. You have to try." Jack was pleading, and he didn't care how it sounded. He thought back on what he'd found out about Rose, and how the Deep Ways had almost destroyed her. He didn't want to risk this young man, who'd come into his life and continually surprised him. He didn't want to lose him now.

Ianto's brow furrowed. "It's…hard, Jack."

"I know it's hard, but you have to do it. I need to see those beautiful blue eyes, Ianto. Come back to me."

And with that plea, Jack leaned forward and pressed his lips against Ianto's.

The younger man stiffened at first, but then began to return the kiss. He released Jack's wrist, and the mercenary put his arms around Ianto, pulling himself closer to the seated man. He felt Ianto's hands cupping his face, and Jack took that as permission to deepen the kiss.

Jack could feel the magic on his lips, sparkling like fine wine against his questing tongue. The power flowed between them, their mouths a conduit for the Deep Ways to pass between the two men. It was a heady sensation, one that Jack didn't want to end. And yet, it had to.

When he finally pulled away, Ianto's eyes had returned to normal.

"Welcome back," Jack murmured, smiling.


Chapter Twenty-One...

 



Comments

Oh wow ... and now i guess Ianto's going to want some explinations over how Jack survived?

I am so loving this, but now i have to go and get ready for work, i shall be back later!
Yes,he'll be getting some soon...

And work totally sucks...
BHaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa YOU ARE BRILLIANT!!!! LOVE IT SOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!

The magic, the kiss, the way you wrote Ianto, the way Jack care for him... and THE KISS!!!!!!!!!!

Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!

I have to eat my breakfast now...

LOVE IT!!!
Glad you liked it! Although I'm now blushing at the praise...
That kiss was just perfect. I was just thinking that Jack needed to kiss him then, to get Ianto to snap out of it. :-) Wonderful timing, and so worth the wait, if only because it's clear that Jack is so not being frivolous here.
Glad you liked the kiss. Yes, it was time for the boys to finally kiss, and they would have sooner if John Hart hadn't shown up! :)