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Myfanwy 2

June 2018

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Myfanwy 2

Knight of Cups - Chapter Three

Knight of Cups - Chapter Three
Author: Milady Dragon
Series: Dragon-Verse
Rating: PG-13
Pairing(s): Jack/Ianto; Gwen/Rhys; Jack/Jack (1941)
Warnings: Language, Violence, Angst
Spoilers: Up through S1 E12, "Captain Jack Harkness"
Disclaimer:  I don't own Torchwood, I would have treated it better.
Author's note:  This is the Dragon-Verse version of "Captain Jack Harkness".  As always, dating is taken from fan chronologies, especially from Ianto's Desktop, and the TARDIS Index File. 

Summary: Jack and Toshiko get taken by the Rift and deposited back in 1941.  Toshiko learns one of Jack's secrets, and sees things begin to fall apart, while Ianto struggles to get them back. 

Knight of Cups - This signifies a man of genuine character who's offering an invitation or proposal, and this card can represent the beginning of romance and falling in love.  The Knight of Cups is full of ideas that can open the heart and make one look at the deepest feelings.





 

21 January 2008

 

Ianto cursed.  He dropped the envelope down on Toshiko’s station, using her more sensitive equipment to pull everything he could up on the Rift spike.  He hadn’t even considered that the spike would have been located at the dance hall; but he should have, since they were there to investigate for weird occurrences just like what would be caused by Rift activity.  A spike should have been expected to happen, but instead Jack and Toshiko had been caught up in one, and anything could have happened to them.

He tried to control his panic, and barely managed.  Ianto was well aware of just what the Rift could do to those taken by it.  He’d seen the survivors dropped back; had taken them out to Flat Holm for care.  It had been a fluke that John Ellis, Diane Holmes, and Emma Cowell had survived their trip intact.  More often than not those stolen by the Rift were left broken, and he shuddered at thinking of his lover and best friend being at the mercy of one of the most capricious forces of nature.

The dragon shook his head, concentrating on what Toshiko’s computers were telling him.  The PDA that Tosh had taken with her had been recording and transmitting readings up until the Rift spike, and Ianto studied them closely, as if they would give him the answers he sought.  The instrument had caught the ramp-up of the spike, but nothing beyond that.  He cursed again.  This wasn’t going to get him anywhere.

He needed to go and take readings onsite.

Ianto chewed his lip absently.  If he did go, it would mean time lost in trying to figure out just where Jack and Toshiko had gone.  The readings confused him; normally only negative Rift spikes took people, and this hadn’t been one.  Negative spikes felt different; they were like the icy chill of winter, whereas a normal spike was all summer thunder and fury.   No, the Rift had done something different this time and Ianto knew that, if he could figure out why, then he’d be on the way to understanding what had happened to the two people he was closest to in the world.

There was only one thing for it: he needed to call in help.

He considered his options as mainframe chewed on the various calculations involved in the spike.  Owen knew the way around the equipment, but Ianto knew getting him to do anything would be like pulling teeth, and he was most likely drunk.    Gwen had been trained on the equipment, but had never used it out in the field.  However, she’d be the easiest of the pair to call in, and Ianto was willing to deal with her hostility as long as it got Jack and Toshiko back home.

Ianto sighed, pulling his mobile out.  He used speed dial to call, and waited while the phone on the other end rang.

Just as he was thinking it would go to voice mail, it was answered.  “What the hell do you want, Dragon Boy?”

Ianto almost sighed with relief.  It had been a gamble to try Owen first, but he was taking experience over availability at the moment.   “You have a portable Rift scanner.”  It wasn’t a question; everyone should have a fully stocked kit in their vehicle, and that included the scanner.

“Fuck off, I’m not interested.”

“The Rift took Jack – “

“Good riddance.”  There was a tone of glee in Owen’s voice.  “Best news I’ve heard in weeks.”

Ianto growled.  Owen’s attitude toward Jack was so twisted, there’d been times when the two had argued that Ianto had been concerned that there would actually be blows…or gunplay.  But he wasn’t about to let the medic’s bad opinion of his lover get in his way.  “I can’t believe you’d think that, but be that as it may…Jack’s not the only one.  It took Tosh at the same time.  Now, you might want to wish harm on Jack, but Toshiko hasn’t done a damned thing to you; in fact, she’s tried to be your friend.  Now, are you going to condemn her, just because you think Jack’s responsible for your own misery?  Or are you going to get off your self-pitying arse and do your fucking job?”  His voice had gotten higher and tighter with rage, and he didn’t care how it sounded.   He was sick and tired of Owen and his mood, and it was time the man got over it.

There was silence on the other end, and it lasted just long enough that Ianto was certain Owen had hung up on him.  Just as he was about to disconnect and call Gwen, Owen answered.  “Fine.  You’re right.  Tosh doesn’t deserve to be abandoned.  Where do you want me to go?”

Ianto gave him the address, keeping the relief from his voice.  He didn’t want to owe Owen anything, and making him know how gratified he was would do just that.  “Get as much information as you can,” he said.  “I’m going to need it, if I’m going to even attempt to work out where the Rift might have taken them.”

“Yeah, okay.  I’m on my way.”

The audible click of disconnect sounded, and Ianto tossed his phone down so he could use both hands on the keyboard.  Ianto got onto the internet, hoping to find out anything about the Ritz dance hall he could.  He’d done a perfunctory search before Jack had left, but hadn’t really managed anything in depth as yet. 

It didn’t take long; there really wasn’t much to find, and what he did was in newspaper articles and various property records.  The Ritz had been opened in 1932, and closed in 1989.   Apparently it had been one of the buildings that had survived the Cardiff Blitz, and Ianto found all sorts of pictures of men in uniform, against the backdrop of the actual building, and the dragon couldn’t help but think just how young they were, to be going off to war.

There were other pictures; of dancing couples, the hall decorated for some sort of occasion.  Ianto remembered the war years; while he hadn’t personally gone off to fight – it would have been far too difficult to explain the slight differences in his human form to one of the doctors – nearly all the young men in the village had gone, and more didn’t return than did.  If Ianto had to be honest, Ddraig Llyn had irrevocably changed during World War Two, growing a bit smaller, a bit more insular; pulling in on itself in an effort to protect what was left of its identity. 

Ianto shook his head, not wanting to lose himself in memories.  He kept flipping through the few articles and pictures, hoping for some sort of clue about what made the Ritz so special.  He glanced toward the envelope he’d brought up from the Archives, and was just about to give up the internet search to go through its contents, when another picture caught his eye.

His heart lurched.

It was a picture of Jack, Toshiko standing next to him.  He was shaking the hand of a handsome man, wearing a Group Captain’s uniform.

Ianto glanced at the caption; it didn’t identify the man in the photograph, but it was dated 21 January 1941.

The dragon would have yelled ‘bingo’ if it were in his nature to do so.

Quickly, he minimized the picture, going back to the equations that mainframe was currently running.  He knew, of course, what Toshiko had been working on, in order to find a way to predict Rift activity.  She’d also been certain that she could open the Rift safely, once she had enough information to pinpoint the specific coordinates she’d need to calculate where and when.   Jack hadn’t liked that idea; Ianto hadn’t either, yet at the same time he could see the uses.  Right now, the dragon thought if he had enough to plug into the equations, then he could get them both back.

The trick was, knowing exactly what they’d need to do so.

Ianto wasn’t anywhere near the mathematical genius Toshiko was.  Certainly, she’d shown him things, and the dragon had a fairly good grasp on what he considered the basics…but, in truth, was pretty advanced for most people.  However, he was no scientist, and Ianto sighed, hoping he was up to the challenge. 

Fingers dancing over the keys, Ianto input the date of the photograph into the equations.  He also fed into them what he did know about the spike…which was very little.  Owen would be sending him more information once he got out to the site, and the dragon prayed to the Great Ones that it would be enough to bring his lover and his friend home. 

“Oi, Dragon Boy,” Owen’s voice crackled over the comm.  “I’m just going inside.”

Ianto touched his comm. on.  “Be careful, I don’t want you to get pulled into whatever it was that took Jack and Tosh.”

“You and me both.”  Ianto could hear the telltale sounds of Owen walking.   “You find out anything?”

Ianto linked made certain that mainframe was getting the readings that Owen was sending.  He explained about the picture he’d found, and how he was hoping that the program Toshiko had been working on would get them back. 

“I didn’t know Tosh was working on a way to open the Rift.”

There was an odd tone in Owen’s voice, and Ianto frowned, trying to identify it.   “Yes, she has,” he answered slowly.  “She’s been on it since the Rift became more active, just lately.  You haven’t been around to know.”  He knew he sounded slightly accusatory, but he didn’t care.

Owen didn’t seem to notice.  “Tosh is brilliant, if anyone can do it she can.”

Ianto was about to reply, when a soft ‘ping’ from the terminal stopped him.  He glanced up…and his heart sank.

The equations weren’t complete.

He sighed, closing his eyes.  Despair threatened to wash over him.  The program wasn’t all there; Toshiko must have been working on it elsewhere, and not added that part to mainframe.  Opening his eyes, he glanced around, hoping to find his friend’s laptop.  If the rest of the equations existed, that was where they would be.

It wasn’t there.

Ianto closed his eyes again, trying to recall if Toshiko had brought it in with her that morning.  He didn’t think she had, but he had to be honest and say he hadn’t been paying attention.   Jack had been a very enjoyable distraction.

“You got enough now?” Owen’s voice broke through his thoughts.  “I’m freezing my bollocks of in this drafty hole, and I’m getting a serious case of the creeps.”

Ianto checked the readings; from what he was seeing, they’d have enough.  “Yes,” he answered.  “But I need you to make a stop on your way back to the Hub.”

“What am I, the fucking errand boy now?”

Taking a deep breath to calm his ire, Ianto said, “I need you to stop by Tosh’s flat, and see if her laptop is there.  The equations she has here at the Hub aren’t finished, and they have to be on that computer.  And, if it’s not there, I know damned well she would have made a back-up.”

“Yeah, that girl is anal.  Okay, I’ll stop off.  I don’t have a key though…”

“She keeps a spare inside the weatherstripping under the front door.”

“Do I wanna know how you know that?”

It was all Ianto could do not to react to Owen’s challenging tone.   “I helped her hollow out the cubby hole under the jamb,” he barely managed not to snap.  “She wanted to make sure I or Jack could get in at any time.”

“And what if she took the laptop with her?”

“Then we may very well be screwed.”  Ianto punched off his comm. with a bit more force than was required, accidentally flicking himself in the cheek.

He didn’t want to think that they wouldn’t be able to get Jack and Toshiko back.  He couldn’t.   He leaned against the desk, head in his hands.  Intellectually, he knew Jack would be fine; he’d lived through the war before, and could conceivably do so again. 

No, it was really Toshiko he was worried about.

Japan had been gradually cutting out a swath of China at that point in time; they were condemned for it, but they weren’t officially at war with anyone else…yet.  That would come later in the year, when the attack on Pearl Harbor took place.  Still, Toshiko wouldn’t have an easy time of it, before or after, and while Ianto knew Jack would take care of her, he couldn’t help but be worried.

There was also the chance that Ianto would never see his friend again.

Jack could take the slow path back, and look the same as he always would.  Toshiko, though…if she survived the persecution of those times, then she would grow old and die, waiting to be rescued.

Ianto leaned back in the chair, running his fingers through his hair.  No, he couldn’t allow that to happen…either scenario.  He wanted his lover back soon after they’d been taken away, so he wouldn’t have to live alone through those long decades.  And he wanted to see Toshiko again, whole and young.

His eyes found the envelope again, and he felt a small surge of hope.  If Torchwood in 1941 had investigated the Rift spike that had deposited Jack and Toshiko back into the past, then perhaps there was some clue as to how they got back in the first place…

His resolve restored, Ianto picked up the envelope.  He tore it open, and was surprised to not only find a report, but also an old, threadbare diary.  The dragon started with the report, hoping to get some sort of clue as to what had happened, and what was so important about the diary.

It was a basic, handwritten report, much like the hundreds that Ianto had gone through when he’d begun his Archive project.  It was signed off by Dr. Matilda Brennan, the then-leader of Torchwood Three – and who, Jack had once said, had hated the immortal with a passion – and read like some sort of dry catalogue of events.  She’d sent a team in to investigate a strange white light that had appeared during one of the dances for the soldiers, and when they’d arrived everyone claimed not to know anything.  The report had an addendum by Greg Bishop, stating that they’d tried to investigate everyone present at the time of the Rift event, but as most of the witnesses had been posted overseas, it had been impossible.  

At the foot of the page was yet another note, this one written by Llinos King and dated a year later, saying that one of the alleged witnesses had been killed in action, and that Torchwood had managed to take possession of their diary, and it had shed a little light on the happenings at the Ritz, even down to naming two people who had supposedly disappeared into the Rift: a man named Captain James Harper…and a Japanese woman he’d called Toshiko. 

Ianto’s heart beat faster.  There was evidence that Toshiko had come back through the Rift…but James Harper?  He frowned, wondering who that had been; but then his face cleared, as he realized that Jack must have used yet another false name in order to divert attention from himself.  After all, he’d been somewhere in Cardiff in 1941, as well as in London.  He would have wanted to avoid Torchwood scrutiny at all cost.

Hoping that the diary would give him some sort of clue as to what had happened back then, Ianto picked it up and, flipping to the nearest entry to 21 January 1941 – which was the day after – he began to read.

 




Comments

On no what is he going to read..... great chapter.


My heart is beating out a demand More more and now don't leave us hanging
We'll see what he reads. :)

More soon, I promise. Glad you liked it, though!
*bites nails*
Your poor nails...
The anticipation is killing me on this story! It's great! Despite knowing that it ends badly for our dear Ianto I am enjoying the journey. It makes me look forward to the time when Jack will have to earn Ianto's trust... again. Your interpretation of Tosh is more fiesty and strong than cannon so I am interested to see if she calls Jack on his behaviour or not. I am thinking she will - possibly quite loudly. I think that Tosh loyalty leans more to Ianto before Jack because they are the best of friends and they are similar people. Tosh is Dragon-Friend, not Fixed-Point-In-Time-And-Space-Friend. ;)
This chapter was great, because I was wondering what Ianto was up to. Looking forward to the next chapter. :D
There are going to be a couple of surprises, I do promise that. I really love writing Tosh, she's absolutely taking over. As for her loyalty and if she calls Jack down...well, we'll see. :)

Glad you liked it! Next should be up soon.
Ack! What is he going to find out?
We'll see... :)
you just keep us on our toes...
Well, that's good..I need the exercise!
I do hope to keep you guessing. :)

Don't we all?
So what are you planning for this one. Will Ianto be able to solve the puzzle and what will Owen do and will Jack succumb to the other man's charms. Loving it as always.
K
xx
I can't say anything...spoilers, dear. :)

Thanks!
I'm a coward. I can't bring myself to read the Knight of Cups cos I'm terrified it's going to be the third time Jack breaks Ianto's heart *wibbles*
*Hugs* You know I'll make it right, trust me!
I know you will *hugs* and I do trust you but it's still hard to go through it with Ianto
I really like how Ianto isn't willing to take any crap from Owen, but he's also aware that sometimes it isn't a good idea to push Owen's buttons either.

Looking forward to the next chapter.
Nope, he isn't. But you're right, there's just so much Owen will take.

Next up soon!

what will ianto do?
We'll see... :)
Awesome chapter - love how Ianto deals with Owen and gets him to co-operate...
*holds breath anxiously* what is Ianto going to read in that diary - hope it's not another heart break for him, just as they were getting somewhere... *hopeless romantic wibbles*
D xxx
Thanks! Yelling at Owen makes everyone feel better. *winks*

We'll see what's in the diary...

Just remember, I'm as romantic as you are. :)
Hmm... wonder who wrote that diary?

Loved the mention of characters from Twilight Streets. One of my favorite books. :)
We'll see...

Thanks, Twilight Streets is one of my favorites, too. :)