Characters: Ianto, Jack, Rhiannon, Tosh, Owen, Gwen, Rhys, Martha, The Doctor (10th), John Hart, The Master, Others
Spoilers: Starts beginning of TW season 1 and DW season 3
Summary: Ianto Jones has been searching for information about who he is his entire life. Canary Wharf gave him some answers and a whole new set of questions.
Disclaimer: BBC drew them, I just like to color outside their lines.
A/N: Many thanks to the fabulous sparking_off for beta-ing. Any mistakes left are all mine.
I am heading out on vacation for a few weeks so the next update will be after July 6th.
Reviews are always great! Thanks for reading!
By the time they reached Carreg Cennen, the Doctor and Tharin had regressed to grunting in response to Jack’s questions instead of sniping at one another. Jack felt like he was babysitting, and wished Ianto had changed his mind and come with them. He only hoped that once they were inside, they could find some common ground.
Once they had closed the place for tourists for a routine ‘cave inspection,’ Tharin held up his hand to the cave wall, moving the rock aside to reveal a door. He fitted an octagonal key into the lock, and the door slid open, leading them into a huge cavern. As Jack looked around, he quickly ascertained that at one time this had been some kind of a bunker, or safe house. A tech station of some sort sat against the near wall, and rows of bunks lined the other side, near a make-shift infirmary. Even though the place had not been touched in centuries, everything stood dust free and ready for the occupants to return. They passed a greenhouse and a canteen as they made their way across the cavern floor, only to stop at the far side of the cave, where a gangplank led into a large silver craft. The vessel was massive, filling the rest of the cavern like a sleeping dragon. Tharin gestured them forward, and the Doctor almost skipped behind him, eager to see what lay inside.
As they entered the vessel, Jack felt a presence brush against his mind. He stopped in his tracks, as did the Doctor.
"What was that?" Jack asked, feeling it touch his mind again.
The Doctor didn't answer, merely followed Tharin as they made their way further into the ship. As they came to what must be the bridge, they stopped and Jack stared in confusion at the console. "But it looks like the TARDIS," he said gesturing to the column running through the center of the bridge, surrounded by gadgets and gizmos of all shapes and sizes.
"That's because it is a TARDIS," the Doctor replied, his voice laced with awe. "But how did it get here? Why is it down here alone in the dark?" he asked, moving to touch the central column gently with his hand. The light inside it pulsed gently in response, as if waking up. "How did you lot get your hands on a TARDIS?" he asked Tharin.
Tharin crossed his arms and glared at him. "Irina built it, with help from one of yours," he answered gruffly. "A combination of Aderyn and Time Lord technology, fused together to keep us safe from the hell burning through the galaxy outside." He regarded the Doctor, eyes cold with memories of a war long gone. "The Time Lords were never supposed to know. Irina was afraid that if they ever found out, they would steal it, take it from us, and then tear it apart piece by piece," he added, daring the Doctor to disagree.
"You helped them build it didn't you?" the Doctor asked, turning from the console. Tharin didn't respond. "Well you were right to protect him. He's very handsome, and unfortunately the Time Council were never very good at seeing the beauty over the science of things," he mused, running his hand over the control panel.
Tharin tilted his head and narrowed his eyes at the Doctor. "You don't agree?" he asked him.
"Oh, regular rebel me," the Doctor replied with a grin. "Never did go in for all that bureaucratic hullabaloo. Always gave me hives.” He shuddered. “Rather go out and explore it all myself, instead of taking some stuffed robe's word as law."
Tharin smiled in spite of himself. "He would have liked you, not one to hold much stock in the council himself. Probably why he disobeyed them and married Irina.”
Jack's eyes went wide and he stared at Tharin in surprise. "What?"
"What's that?" echoed the Doctor, mouth dropping open in surprise.
"He said that I married Ianto’s mother," said a voice from behind them. The Doctor and Jack turned as one to behold a man, made of light and wearing a suit, standing behind them. “Good to see you Tharin,” the man said, nodding to the Aderyn behind them.
"But-but you're a TARDIS," stammered the Doctor, face scrunched in disbelief. "That's impossible, Time Lords can't become a TARDIS. A TARDIS is grown, it matures, has it’s own personality...." He started to trail off before another thought struck him. "Who were you?" he asked, still not quite sure what to make of the entity in front of him.
The man's form grew more solid, not unlike the corporeal form of the TARDIS they had seen on the Plass. He regarded the Doctor with a raised eyebrow and a hint of amusement on his face. Jack was stunned by how much it reminded him of Ianto.
"Before I became a TARDIS, I was called the Engineer," he said, voice melodious with the time that flowed around him.
“But you can’t be, he’s dead," protested the Doctor. "At Arcadia, he was on the last ship to Talfryn, and it was shot down by Daleks, burnt to ash."
"I was,” the figure nodded in affirmation while running his hand down the control panel. “This TARDIS was old and dying when we found her. We built the ship around her, propping her up and nursing her back to health. We saved her, but she was too weak to survive on her own. As her last act, she gave me a choice, and using every bit of power she had left, pulled my regenerative energy from the burning ship, and created a new TARDIS, one that was strong enough to protect the Avalon, and all inside her."
"It's true," Tharin confirmed. "He pulled us through time and space and brought us here. Irina and I, we kept his secret. Gryffud was the only one we told. We were afraid that if the Time Lords found out about him, they would attempt to study and destroy him. Somehow, one of you did and almost stole him from us. We caught him in time and wiped his mind before sending him back to Gallifrey, I’m not sure if it worked, but since they’re gone now, we’ll never know."
The Doctor shoved his hands in his pockets, pacing and trying to process what he had heard, remembering Gryffud’s words from earlier; he pulled out the worn ribbon that Gryffud had given him. "The child of time and TARDIS will save us all," he read aloud, from the battered cloth, before looking up at the TARDIS.
Tharin took it from his hand and studied it. “Gryffud had the sight once, but his mind is rarely lucid these days, it could mean anything,” he said.
"But what does it mean? Does this refer to you?" the Doctor asked. The TARDIS shook his head.
“Possibly, but I don’t think so,” He looked thoughtful. “Irina was working in the TARDIS when it happened. I think she wanted to give Irina some comfort after taking me away from her.” The Doctor stared at him in confusion. Smiling, the TARDIS continued. “Rhiannon was one, and Irina was pregnant. When she rewrote my DNA, it affected the baby too somehow. Ifan was born when we reached Earth. He was marked as a time wielder at birth, and to keep his origins a secret, I sent Irina and our children to the future, far enough away for me to be forgotten, and for him to have a chance at a normal life.”
“But that’s impossible!” exclaimed the Doctor, pacing and pulling at his hair, muttering to himself, trying to work it out. "The symbols on Ianto’s armbands, they’re Gallifreyan. His mind is so like ours, I wondered if maybe...,” he stopped, looking at the former Time Lord, in disbelief.
"All of time and space at my fingertips. It was a lot easier then you might think," replied the TARDIS with a grin.
“But he shouldn’t exist. He’s more wrong than Jack,” said the Doctor gesturing towards Jack, who tried not to flinch in response.
The TARDIS walked over to Jack and patted his cheek, fondly. “He isn’t wrong Doctor, and neither is my son,” he said, looking at him over Jack’s shoulder. "Your Lady TARDIS saw the impossibility of what had happened to both me, and my son. She decided that neither of us should be alone. She allowed Rose to save him,” he placed his hand on Jack’s arm. “Unfortunately, as Rose was human, she went a little too far and made you a fixed point, rather than just a child of time. Your TARDIS is right, it cannot be undone, but at least neither of you need ever be alone.”
"Is that why?" Jack began, and swallowed, not sure how to continue. "Is that why time drew us together?" The TARDIS nodded. “But Ianto, Ifan, doesn’t understand what’s happening to him, to us,” Jack continued, feeling angry and seeing his life spinning out of his control. “Is this what you two had planned, change us, make us forever, and just leave us to stumble along and figure it out on our own?”
The TARDIS before him smiled, as if indulging a petulant child. “You’ll never be alone. You’ll be together, that is, if you choose to be, of course,” he shrugged. “Apart you are both extraordinary, but together, the possibilities of what you can accomplish are endless. Don’t be afraid of it, Jack, the only real change will be your understanding of wielding the power of time. You were chosen for a reason, and so was my son."
“But all that power, having access to it, won’t it drive them mad?” the Doctor asked, all of his instincts screaming at him that this was wrong somehow.
“No more so then you,” the TARDIS responded with a grin. “But enough about the past, I believe you came here to discuss what has happened to your Lady TARDIS, and how we are going to stop that idiot Koschei from destroying her and our home.”
The Doctor smiled in spite of himself. He had only known the Engineer in passing while he was alive, and he had forgotten how little time he’d had for the Master’s antics.
“I don’t have any real weapons other than time itself, but if all else fails, I can power this base for millennia if need be to keep you all safe,” the TARDIS continued, hand on his chin in thought. His face lit up as an idea seemed to form. “My son sent over the secure archives from Torchwood One, correct?” he asked Jack, who nodded in response. The TARDIS smiled and looked to the Doctor, “Fancy a little Time Lord tinkering? I think if they still have a few trinkets from Gallifrey buried in the mix, we might just have a way of stopping the Master before he gets too far.”
The Doctor grinned; even if he didn’t agree with how he came into existence, he was certain that he was going to like this Time Lord TARDIS a lot more than he should.
Ianto laced up his boots, put on his fatigue jacket, and hoisted his pack, before making his way down the stairs to the door to leave for the briefing at Newton House. He opened it, only to be knocked over by an armful of Jack.
“What happened?” he asked as Jack stared down at him, stroking his cheek. His silence and the confusion surrounding his mind caused Ianto to panic. “Is something wrong?” he asked. Still not receiving an answer, he tried another method. “Talk to me, Jack. If you can’t talk, show me.”
Still silent, Jack bent down and kissed him tenderly, as images of what Jack had learned, flooded Ianto’s mind.
Ianto gasped, breaking the kiss as a tear fell from his eye. He looked up at his lover, pain and confusion written on his face. “So, what am I then? Some kind of crazy TARDIS, Aderyn, Time Lord experiment?” he asked, voice cracking from the shock of what he’d seen.
Jack shook his head. “No, you are Ianto Jones, my Ianto Jones. Guardian of the Aderyn, Wielder of Time, King of Coffee, best shag of my life, and bravest man I’ve ever met,” he said.
Ianto laughed. “You’re only saying that because some crazy time wielding machine decided you were stuck with me,” he answered, tears still swimming in his eyes.
“No. I’m saying that because what you are going to do is extremely dangerous, especially for you. I don’t want the Master getting his hands on you, and I want you to come back to me in one piece,” Jack replied, helping him up.
Ianto shook his head. “Well at least the whole gold thing makes more sense,” he said ruefully. Jack grinned.
“I’m just excited that time shattering orgasms are the norm,” he replied with a cheeky grin. Ianto rolled his eyes; even when the world turned upside down, Jack was still Jack.
“Time and place,” he said, batting Jack on the arm. “Now help me load this pack into the SUV. This is one meeting, we are not going to be late to.”
“Are you sure about that?” Jack smirked at him, pulling him close and grabbing his ass.
Ianto smiled and pecked him on the lips. “This may be the one and only time I say no to you,” he replied. “Just remember, when I get back, lots and lots of welcome home sex.”
“I can live with that,” Jack replied, smacking him on the ass and sending him towards the door. “I like the military black look, by the way, even when you were playing vigilante, it was hot. Though I have to say, I miss the coat.”
Ianto locked the door and moved towards Jack, shoving him against the car and crushing their lips together, branding him as only his with a kiss.
“Tell you what,” Ianto said as he released him. “If you can hold out until I get back, I promise to shag you wearing that coat and nothing else.”
Jack grinned. “You’re on. Add a little mid-air shagging to the mix, and I may never flirt again.”
Ianto just laughed and got into the SUV. “A Jack Harkness that never flirts?” he remarked, shaking his head. “I don’t think the world will ever be ready for that.”
Fifteen minutes till Midnight – Newton House, 12 days until the election
“Final weapons check, I want perception filters, short distance comms, hand knives, time grenades, message stones, Kevlar vests, two hand guns, and weapon of choice at the very least on each of you,” said Ianto, pacing down the line and checking the gear for his team. Three more experienced guardians and one of the former trainees who Ianto had taken under his wing made up his team. With a wielder of each element, they had learned how to work together and make the most of their abilities. With the addition of time energy to the mix, they were a formidable bunch indeed.
“Teleen,” he addressed the youngest, adjusting his pack filled with provisions. “I want you to take up the rear position, give us cloud cover and make certain that you warn us ahead of time if anything seems out of place.” The boy nodded, and Ianto patted his shoulder in reassurance. “You’ll do great, just like in practice. Just try to keep your mind on us and everything will be fine,” he said, before turning to Rhys.
“Ready to go, Sir,” said Ianto, waiting for Rhys to give further instructions.
“Thank you, Jones. You five will be our eyes and ears in the field. Make yourselves as invisible as possible. Much is riding on this, until we know what the Master has planned, we’re flying blind. Do your best work, lads. We’re all counting on you,” Rhys said, making eye contact and shaking hands with each member of the team before leaving them to finish preparations.
“Five minutes till departure, get your goodbyes out of the way now,” said Ianto, looking across the room where Jack leaned against the wall, watching the proceedings with a look of nostalgia on his face.
“Reminds me of World War Two,” he remarked as Ianto walked up to him.
“One is more accurate,” Ianto replied, watching young Teleen hug his crying mam and shake his tad’s hand. “He’s so young Jack, and we don’t know what we’re in for out there. Even with the plans Hart sent, give me a trench over this any day of the week.”
Jack smiled at him. “Bet the food is better though. I don’t miss the beans, I’ll tell you that much.”
“Bloody beans,” groaned Ianto. “If I never see a bean tin again it will be too soon.”
They laughed, and Jack pulled him in for a fierce hug. “Come back in one piece, okay?” he whispered, kissing his cheek.
“Picture of caution, me,” Ianto replied with a wink before pulling away.
“You never told me your codename,” Jack said, wanting at least something he could monitor and hold onto while Ianto was gone.
Ianto smiled at him. “There’s a story behind it, one that you might remember if my guess is correct.” Jack looked confused. “I can’t tell you now as too many might hear it, but keep your mind open as I leave and I’ll send it to you.” Squeezing Jack’s hand in reassurance, Ianto went to rejoin his team.
“Guardians, assemble!” Ianto hollered to his team. The group moved to stand in a V formation behind him, with Ianto at point. Ianto brought his wings out, and Jack noticed a few gasps at the gold color. “You heard the Brenin,” Ianto called. “We have a mission to do, boys. Let’s make him proud.”
“Sir, Guardian, sir!” chanted the team behind him.
Raising his arms and wings above him, Ianto began to concentrate on the jump. He had been practicing with his team for the last week, and teleporting more than just himself was becoming easier. Ianto smiled; maybe being part TARDIS would come in useful after all. Drawing on the power inside of him, he caused the area around the team to fill with light, and before Jack could blink, they were gone.
A single word had played across his mind as the light faded.