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; temporary character death
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.
Yes, Ianto Jones did keep on surprising him.
Jack kept casting glances in the archivist's direction as they worked to clear the stones blocking the stairs, his hands moving on automatic as he thought about what had just happened, and what would most likely happen in the future. His spirit felt buoyed, for one of the few times in his horribly long life. Here was someone who knew about him; knew about his Deathlessness and accepted it…and actually wanted to be with him, if that kiss was anything to judge by. The mercenary realized this young man could be so much more to him that just a one nighter, and while that thought disturbed him more than a little, the happiness that came with such a possibility outweighed it.
The blockage wasn't bad, and it wasn't long before they had enough moved so they could exit the underground room. Jack could still feel the oppressiveness of the atmosphere, and knowing it was some sort of spell didn't do a lot to dispel the unease that rose despite the light feelings that being with Ianto engendered. He could tell the younger man was as affected, judging from the frown that seemed to have settled over his features like a shroud. Jack found himself thinking that a face that gorgeous shouldn't have that sort of expression on it, then berated himself for sounding like a teenage girl caught in the first throes of a crush.
Oh Gods…help me.
But that kiss had been something pretty amazing. How could Jack help but not be a bit blown away by it?
"Between the two of us," Ianto said, breaking the silence that had sprung up between them as they'd worked, "we should be able to get the dragon out of here, too."
"She won't be that heavy," Jack answered. "They're like birds: hollow bones."
"You're going to have to tell me how you know so much about dragons," the younger man said, as they made their way back down to where the dragon lay. "And…she?"
Jack smirked. "I did get sort of up close and personal to her."
Ianto snorted. "Is it any excuse with you, Jack?"
"Hey…I do have some standards!" He was enjoying this sort of banter; and Ianto was always able to give as good as he got.
"I have yet to see them, sir. You seem to be an equal opportunity flirt."
Jack had to admit: he actually liked it when Ianto called him 'sir', especially in that teasing tone he had. "I've been told that it's one of my most endearing characteristics!"
"And was that person possibly inebriated at the time?"
"Maybe… a little."
"I rest my case."
They made their way back to where they'd left the dragon. She was awake, but remained curled up on the stone floor, watching them intently. "We may have to incapacitate her again," Jack said. He really didn't want to, but they might not have a choice if she decided to fight them.
"She seems…rather quiet though."
"Could be waiting for us to get closer. Dragons are dangerous, wild creatures. We can't lose sight of that."
The dragon's head was moving sinuously on her long neck. She truly was a beautiful thing, and it took Jack's breath away to watch her regarding them with those large green eyes.
"In my experience," Jack went on, "only a Wizard can fully control a dragon. They make the best familiars."
"Did your friend have one?" Ianto's tone was curious, but there was something else in it the mercenary couldn't identify it.
"Master John? Yes, he did. A blue one. He called her Tardis, and he kept saying it meant something in some sort of ancient language. He never told me what it was, though. I thought it sounded kinda weird, to be honest." Jack remembered hearing the dragon screeching as she and her master vanished from the death-filled air of Gateway, and shivered slightly. "Although I did get along with her." Then he laughed. "Master John did accuse me of flirting with her…"
"And I'm sure you did just that, sir."
"Are you laughing at me, Master Ianto?" He tried to make the question sound petulant, but couldn't keep the smile from his voice.
"Why would I do that, Captain Harkness?" The return question sounded almost choked.
Jack looked at him, seeing the tiny smile that Ianto was trying so hard to hide. "Do you think we can put aside the dissection of my personality quirks and get the hells out of here?"
"I'm certain I could keep my pleasure at such a task at bay until we figure out how to get this little lady out of here without either of us getting hurt."
"Glad to hear it."
The dragon was still watching them, and didn't seem all that afraid of either of them. It was a change from the creature they'd first seen, and Jack was glad that she seemed so calm. But he knew it could be the calm before the storm; dragons were capricious, and powerful. They didn't trust easily and Jack knew it would most likely be a fight to get her out of that underground room.
He wondered how she'd gotten down there in the first place, and then amended that mental question to how she could be alive and there in the first place. He'd been serious about dragons having died out. None had been seen in centuries. So it was a puzzle as to just where this one had come from.
He glanced at his companion. Ianto's attention was back on the dragon, his eyes examining her minutely. Yet, there was something else in that look, something akin to understanding.
And Jack knew.
He knew exactly why that dragon was there, and what it meant.
His heart stuttered for a moment, and then began to race. This was impossible. It had to be. But he'd seen the evidence of his own eyes, and couldn't deny what the dragon's presence most likely meant.
"Ianto," he said softly, "I think you should be the one to carry her out of here."
"Me?" the answer was almost a squeak…not that the archivist would ever admit to squeaking, Jack was sure.
"I think…she'll respond to you."
"And how do you come up with that?"
Ianto was looking at him, eyes wide in confusion. Jack could see a faint gold ring around his pupils, although he doubted anyone else would have, if they hadn't been looking for it beyond the normal blue. "Dragons are magical," he replied. "And so are you."
"Jack…I…" Ianto swallowed hard. "I think you have an inflated perception of my abilities."
"I don't think I do. Ianto…you can tap into the Deep Ways. Only Wizards can do that."
The archivist was shaking his head. "I'm just a Catalyst. I touch magical things, and I know how they work. Admittedly, that ability has been growing stronger of late…"
"It's more than that." Jack faced him, putting both hands on the younger man's shoulders. "You sent John Hart somewhere just by thinking about it. You could see the ghosts of Gateway. You were able to figure out my secret. No, I think your magic goes way beyond what you think it does."
Ianto laughed hollowly. "So, you're saying I'm a Wizard."
"I think you could be, yes." Jack pitched his voice low, trying to soothe the archivist. "You know it makes sense."
The shock in Ianto's eyes was so strong it almost scalded Jack with its intensity. Beyond that, though, he could see him putting the pieces together, like a puzzle only the two of them could see. "I…Gods, Jack…I need to think…"
"Let's get out of here first, all right? Then you can all the time you need. And, if you need to talk…"
Ianto nodded mutely. He slid out of Jack's grasp, turning his attention back to the dragon, who was still watching them. Jack could see him swallowing convulsively, as if trying to keep something down.
Then he took a step closer to the dragon. Jack held his breath as Ianto moved, ready to interfere if the dragon proved to be untouchable. He knew he was right, but there was still the chance that the dragon wasn't there for Ianto at all. He really had no idea how a Wizard and familiar found one another, although Master John had claimed that he'd stolen Tardis from her very nest, just after she'd hatched.
Suddenly Jack found his hand full of light globe, and Ianto was digging around in his pack once more. He pulled out the box that had held the chocolate; Jack was a bit jealous that Ianto was willing to share with the dragon and not him, but now wasn't the time to say anything.
The dragon kept her eyes on Ianto, head weaving slightly on that long, graceful neck. He held out a piece of the dark chocolate, making a few nonsense sounds as if he were trying to placate an infant. Well, maybe he was; Jack had no way of telling just how old the dragon was, although he doubted she was all that young.
Another step closer, and the dragon was sniffing the air, her head moving toward Ianto. Jack almost didn't want to watch, but he kept his eyes on both the archivist and the creature, his hand creeping toward his sword. He really wished she'd remained incapacitated until they'd left the underground; the oppressive atmosphere was making them all jumpy, and he knew that wouldn't help any of them.
Then the dragon was looking directly at Jack. The mercenary knew that the magical beasts were intelligent, but what he saw in those green eyes surprised him. It was recognition, and for a split second Jack wondered if she wasn't there for him, instead. But the eyes focused back on Ianto, and she shuffled a bit closer, her wings unfurling slightly and her tail flicking back and forth, although she didn't seem agitated.
"Why do I get the feeling I'm doing something extremely foolhardy?" came Ianto's strained whisper.
"You're not," Jack encouraged. "I can't tell you how I know, I just do. She's here for you."
"That gives me a lot of confidence, Jack."
"Stop being sarcastic and get to dragon wrangling!"
Ianto's shoulders stiffened, but he didn't say anything else. He simply moved closer, and Jack's heart also moved…to somewhere in the vicinity of his throat. His hand curled over the hilt of his sword, needing to be ready in case he was mistaken.
The dragon suddenly made a chirping noise, and ducked her head under Ianto's approaching hand, her mouth open almost like a baby bird's, waiting for her mother to feed her.
Jack had to stifle a laugh at that thought. He knew Ianto wouldn't appreciate it.
But he did release that breath he'd been holding.
Ianto fed the dragon the chocolate, which she seemed to be in raptures over. Then she butted her snout into the archivist's now-empty hand, cooing softly.
"Looks like you have a new friend," Jack commented, letting his hand drop from his weapon.
Ianto glanced back at him; the captain was stunned by the smile that graced the younger man's features. He felt a very small flare of jealousy that the creature could have made him looked like that, and Jack was determined that he would do the same.
I really have it bad…
"What say we get out of here?" Jack suggested. "I don't much care for the atmosphere down here."
"I agree completely." The archivist rubbed the dragon's head at the base of the golden horn. "Come on," he murmured to her, "let's go."
He turned her back on the creature…
And suddenly she leapt, claws clutching at Ianto's shoulders.
His cry of surprise had Jack's sword halfway out of its sheath before the captain realized that Ianto wasn't in any danger. He watched as the dragon practically curled herself around Ianto's body, front claws caught delicately in the fabric of the archivist's tunic, back claws clasping at his waist. The long tail wrapped about his chest, while the neck looped around Ianto's neck, so her head could rest on his shoulder. Her wings furled closely to her back, in order to keep them out of the way.
Jack had to laugh as Ianto tried to see what she was doing. He craned his head around, eyes slightly panicked. "She's not going to eat me, is she?" he exclaimed, his voice squeaking yet again.
"No…I think she wants to cuddle."
Ianto looked affronted. "I don't cuddle!"
Jack leered. "That's too bad. I wouldn't have minded a cuddle."
"Tease me and you'll be lucky if you get any sort of affection from me, Captain Harkness!" He shifted his shoulders under the unexpected weight.
The mercenary held his hands up in surrender. "Is she too heavy?"
"No," he admitted. "Like you said…hollow bones. But…Jack…" His wide eyes met Jack's. "This means you were right. About me, that is. I'm really some sort of…Wizard?"
"Looks that way. But then, I've known there was something special about you for a while now."
"You have? How?"
Jack grimaced. "Um…I saw you, back at the Castle, once when you were in the Archives working. You were using those glasses of yours, and I could tell they were magical. And since not everyone can use magical items…"
Ianto rolled his eyes. "Were you stalking me?"
"I wouldn't call it stalking…more like admiring. I can't help it if I like looking at you."
That comment rewarded Jack with a blush that went all the way up to Ianto's ears. "Can we leave now?"
Jack bowed, waving his arm to usher Ianto forward. That was when Jack saw the drawback of the archivist carrying around a dragon on his back…
He couldn't admire Ianto's ass quite as well as he'd gotten used to.