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.
"Your Grace," Master Andrew said, poking his head around the door into the sitting room, "you have a caller."
Gwen glanced up from the book she was reading. "Do they have an appointment?"
"No, Your Grace."
"Then have them make one, and tell them to come back some other day." While Gwen didn't actually have anything pressing to do, she was hoping Rhys would get done with his meeting with the Merchants' Guild and that they could have lunch together. She really didn't want anyone to interrupt those possible plans.
"He says it's of some urgency, Your Grace." Andrew came further into the room. "He says he has information in regards to Lord Henry Parker."
The Baroness stifled a sigh. She didn't care at all for Lord Henry; in fact, it was often her most fervent wish that he'd just die already. Henry Parker had been a thorn in her family's side for years and it was Gwen could do to put up with the man's eccentricities. "Did he give you any other reason why I should see him now?"
Andrew managed to look furtive without seeming ridiculous at it. "He says it's about Captain Harkness…and his mission."
That made her sit up straighter, and to lay the book aside. Anger bubbled up inside her. Gods…she'd trusted Jack to keep this quiet, and yet Lord Henry apparently knew? Bloody hells. She was going to have to have words with Jack when they got back…
"Send him in." She was proud of herself, to have kept her irritation out of the command.
Andrew withdrew, and in moments threw open the door to admit a tall man, his dark hair pulled back from his face in a tail at his neck. His suit was impeccable, and he looked every inch the sycophant that Lord Henry would surround himself with.
Gwen stood. "I understand you have information about Lord Henry?" she asked haughtily.
The man inclined his head; it was all the obeisance Gwen knew he was going to give her. "I do, Your Grace," he answered smoothly, not bothering to introduce himself. "My lord has certain information that you may be interested in."
"I'm sure he does. Go on."
"Lord Henry knows about the errand you have sent the mercenary and his band on…and he knows who accompanies them. He intends on having the object of that errand, and that nothing will stop him from gaining it."
"And just how does your lord know what Captain Harkness is up to?" Jack better not have run his mouth; he might have been one of Gwen's favorites, but that sort of blunder would have her cancelling his contracts with Torchwood Castle in a heartbeat.
"He has certain…sources that he applies to for gaining knowledge of what occurs within his borders."
The man was being deliberately cagey, and it was all Gwen could do to control her eye roll. "That doesn't answer my question."
"I can assure you, Your Grace, that it's the only answer you are going to receive."
She wondered vaguely if throwing him in the dungeon would make her feel better, then refrained. She needed informants and alienating one of them could give her a reputation she'd rather avoid. "If Lord Henry tries to keep Captain Harkness and his people from completing their mission for me, that I'll have the Knights of Cardiff down on him so fast he won't know what hit him."
"Thank you for your information. I'll make certain this is worth your while." She dismissed him with a wave.
Once the man was gone, Gwen collapsed onto her chair. Gods, Jack…what have you done now?
She called Andrew back in. "Find Lord Sir Hallet for me. I need to speak to him."
Ianto sighed. The day just wasn't going all that well, and he hated it.
It was a subdued crew who gathered at the foot of the ruined tower. They were all nervous, being affected by the glamour that still hovered over the structure, the uncomfortable atmosphere not helping the strain they were all feeling.
There were different reasons for the strain, and Ianto could pretty much name each one. There was, of course, the sudden presence of Myfanwy; while Toshiko had happily accepted the dragon's appearance, Owen and Suzie were still staying well away from the creature. They were also giving Ianto a wide berth, bothered by his assertion that he was a Wizard. For Owen, it was sheer disbelief; but for Suzie, it seemed to be something more, as if his revelation was somehow affecting her differently. He couldn't put his finger on it, and it bothered him more than the surgeon's barbed comments.
Then there was the noticeable strain between Jack and Tosh. That one, Ianto couldn't identify. It was almost as if Jack had done something to disappoint her, and the Elven woman wasn't hiding it too well. He knew a bit of their back story; Tosh had shared with him on their long ride, and the archivist was well aware just how much Toshiko looked up to Jack. So, for the captain to have done something to affect that, it bothered Ianto more than a little.
Of course, that left Jack and himself. Well, that was easy to pinpoint; it was over Jack's asking Ianto to travel with them. The immortal just didn't seem to understand the reasons why, but then Ianto hadn't been too clear, either. While he'd enjoyed the adventure and getting away from the Castle, he loved his job more. The Torchwood Archives were his home, and they had been since he'd been apprenticed there five years ago. In fact, they were more his home than his family property was, and he just couldn't see himself ever leaving. Working for the Baroness gave him access to so many wonderful things…so what if she considered him a resource? That was a small price to pay in order to do what he loved.
But there was a part of him that did want to travel with Jack. It was getting to the point where Ianto could admit that he was quite smitten with the mercenary, and he wanted to spend as much time getting to know Jack as he could. But that didn't mean that he could simply pack up his life and become a wanderer. And Jack wasn't even considering the notion that, if he did decide to break his contract with Torchwood Castle that it would mean the mercenaries would be out of the lucrative contracts that the Baroness embodied. And, if the Castle chose to blacklist the team…they'd never be able to find work again.
There were times when Ianto hated being so logical.
A soft cooing sound came from about hip level; he glanced down, smiling as he saw Myfanwy staring up at him, her green eyes shining. One small claw was hooked into the hem of his tunic; Ianto almost noticed her tail was wrapped around Jack's leg, who was standing next to the dragon. There had been a time last night when he hadn't been sure if she'd come back, but she had. He was glad, because Ianto knew he would have missed her.
Her name had just come to him, even as Owen was confronting him over her. It just seemed to fit; and the dragon had seemed to agree. Ianto could feel certain things from her; he remembered Jack saying that dragons were empathic, and the archivist wondered if that bond was now developing. He still wasn't quite certain about Jack's assertion that Ianto was a Wizard, but he was coming to believe it more as time passed. Well, as he was able to process it, that was.
"This place hasn't improved over the last day," Suzie quipped, shifting on her feet. "Still feeling like I want to run and hide."
"That's the enchantment," Ianto murmured. "Whoever built this place wanted to keep people away."
"Inhospitable bastard," Owen added.
Ianto snorted. "I'd think you'd be familiar with that sort of thing."
Instead of making Owen pissed, the comment caused the surgeon to laugh.
"We need to get this placed searched before nightfall," Jack put in, bringing any banter to a halt. "We should split up; some of us to the upper floors, others to the bottom."
"What are we even looking for?" Owen asked.
"If I had to guess," the archivist answered, "it would be some sort of metal casket, with a heavy lock on it. Or even a safe. There would be wards around it, so you'd need to be careful approaching it."
"Booby trapped, then?" Suzie questioned. "Sounds like fun."
"Sounds more like we're taking our lives into our own hands on the say-so of Wizard Boy here," the surgeon snarked.
An eyebrow quirked upward before Ianto realized he'd done it. "Wizard boy? Just when I didn't think it could get any worse."
"At least he didn't offer to have sex with us all," Toshiko snickered. "He's done that before, in life or death situations."
"I missed Owen suggesting an orgy?" Jack managed to sound affronted. "When did this happen?"
"Back during that siege with those weird sleeper agents," Toshiko answered. "I forgot you weren't around, Jack."
"Well someone had to act the big hero and save your sorry asses."
"The day I need you to save my ass – " Owen began.
"I notice you didn't refute the "sorry" part," the captain chuckled.
The battle surgeon's outrage broke the ice among the mercenaries; the strain seemed to lift, and they relaxed.
Even though Ianto didn't know what the story was about, he laughed as well, deciding he'd ask later for the full story. He knew it just had to be good.
"I want to take the lower levels," he did say, glancing back up to the tower. He couldn't say what was motivating him, but he had that nagging itch in the back of his head that told him to look underground.
"Then I suggest that Tosh, Owen, and Suzie take the upper floors," Jack said. "Ianto and I will go below, since we've actually been down there once already."
Despite his earlier disagreement with Jack, he was glad that the captain was coming with him. Ianto wanted to salvage what he could of their friendship; although, to be honest, the kiss they'd shared came to mind, and the young man still wanted to have that happen again…and even more. He wondered if there could ever be more.
He hoped so.
"You two don't get too distracted." Owen had to get the last, sarcastic, word in.
Ianto opened his mouth to respond, but Jack beat him to it. "Jealous?" he teased.
He made gagging noises.
"As your second," Suzie added, "I'd have to be the one to inform the Baroness that something happened to the two of you. You can't do that to me, Jack."
"Don't worry. Nothing's gonna happen," the captain answered. "But if you find what we're looking for, come and get us. Ianto's the one more qualified to deal with any sort of traps."
"Of course," the woman nodded. "We won't touch anything we shouldn't."
Ianto returned her nod. Despite the bickering, these people were professionals. He trusted them to do their jobs…and let him do his.
Myfanwy gave a chirp, and he glanced down at her once more. Her head was just under his hand, so Ianto stroked the warm scales, causing her to purr contentedly. Her tail was still twisted about Jack's leg, and the captain caught Ianto's eye as they both took note of the dragon's attentions.
Yes…Ianto wondered just how strong the dragon's empathic bond would be.