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.
This entire fic started out as a short story called "A Night at the Union Jack" that I'll post once this is done. If you want more information on the Welsh National War Memorial, here's a quick link via wikipedia. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welsh_National_War
Next update should be next Friday. Reviews are always great! Thanks for reading!
Torchwood Hub – day of the election
Jack was pacing his office again. It had been twelve days since Ianto had left, and he had heard nothing from him other than a package that had arrived this morning, containing only a small, smooth, white stone. Said stone was currently lying on his desk, mocking him with it’s promise of news. He knew that message stones were a secure way of communication, but he had no idea how to use it. The Doctor wasn’t due back from Newton House until that evening, and he was about to give in and call him, when the stone began to pulse and give off a low beeping noise.
Jack approached it with caution. Caution gave way to curiosity, and he reached out and picked it up.
“Bio-signature confirmed,” came a voice from inside of the stone. “Message activated.”
As Jack watched, a full sized image of Ianto stood before him. His black fatigues were dusty, a cut marred his cheek, he was wearing a goatee that Jack rather liked, and his wings were dirt streaked as if he had stopped in the middle of something to make the message; a far cry from the traditional suit and immaculate cleanliness he showed at work. Jack was stunned. He had seen images like this before, but never one so realistic. If his hand hadn’t passed through it, he would have sworn Ianto was standing there.
“So he’s sent word then,” said the Doctor from the doorway. He had made it back early, finishing his work with the Engineer ahead of schedule. The others had followed him to Jack’s office and were gathered outside the door.
“You’ve seen one of these before?” Jack asked, looking at the stone in his hand.
The Doctor nodded and pulled a similar stone from his pocket. “His mother sent me a message through this one,” he said.
Jack nodded and looked at the image in front of him. “How do you get it to start?” he asked, poking the stone with his finger.
“I used the screwdriver. Maybe you say play,” replied the Doctor with a shrug.
“Play,” Jack said. The stone pulsed again and all eyes turned to the image in front of them as it began to speak.
“Hello Torchwood, I hope this finds you well,” Ianto began. “Initial missions to the Valiant were successful. If Hawkman hasn’t contacted you yet, he should do soon as we have uncovered part of the Master’s plan.” The team looked at each other in surprise. They had no idea what Ianto had been up to, and were more than a little surprised to hear that it had been covert. Owen though, had something else on his mind.
“What kind of pretentious wanker uses Hawkman as a codename?” he interjected, shaking his head at the absurdity of it, only to be elbowed in the ribs by Gwen. “Guess that answers that question,” he muttered, rubbing his side.
Jack smiled to himself as Ianto continued. “We now know that he has turned the TARDIS into a paradox machine. The machine’s countdown is set for 8:02AM the morning after he takes office.” His expression turned grim. “She’s trapped Doctor. All alone and twisted into something so wrong and she’s powerless to stop it. She’s aware of what has happened to her, and knows that the Master is going to use her to bring something through to destroy mankind, but she is too weak to see what it is. I tried to help her, but it is going to take another Time Lord to reverse what he’s done.” The Doctor looked thoughtful. He had assumed this would be the case, and hoped that the module that he and the Engineer had created would work.
‘If you go up there, I am coming with you,’ Jack sent the Doctor, daring him to deny his request.
‘This is my responsibility, but I may need your help,’ the Doctor conceded. ‘We’ll discuss it later, I have a feeling there is more we need to hear first.’ Jack held his gaze a moment longer, before turning back to the message.
“On our last trip to the Valiant we ran into some trouble,” said Ianto. “We managed to escape, with a little help from Captain Hart, who incidentally sends his regards.” Jack smirked. “The Master has control over the voltage in his wrist strap so he is working for him under duress. I don’t trust him though. If turning us in had been to his advantage, he would have done it. Unknown to Hart, however, we did find a secure location for future incursions underneath the Valiant’s radar. Doctor, if we can teleport you up there, we might be able to stop him before the countdown ends.”
Ianto reached forward and took a drink from a canteen. When he resumed speaking, his voice held a note of sadness. “Martha, if you’re listening, the Master has Tish working for him. She was seen at his campaign office yesterday.” Martha gasped, and the Doctor put his arm around her in comfort. “We haven’t been able to track down your mother or father, but Leo is at Newton House with his wife and child, so at least they’re safe. I’m not sure what he has planned for Tish, but if you can somehow get a warning to her, and she isn’t already under his sway, please do.” Martha reached for her phone and scrolled through her messages, seeing one from Tish, mentioning her new job. She had been so busy helping the Doctor that she had missed it.
Ianto stopped and crossed his arms before he spoke again. “Jack, in case you weren’t told after we left, this is not a one-time trip for my team. We’re going to be the main intelligence unit until we are no longer needed.” Jack cursed in response. “I know it’s not what was originally planned, but if things get ugly, we to need to establish an intelligence network to ensure that the planet survives.” Jack didn’t like it, but saw the need for the tactic. “I know you aren’t going to like it, Jack, but as a guardian, it’s my job to protect not only the Aderyn, but the planet. Torchwood, hell you, of all people should understand this. As the Doctor has no doubt told you, the Master is not someone we can underestimate.”
“He’s right,” said the Doctor. Jack didn’t answer; he just stared stoically at the image in front of him as Ianto continued.
“We found several MOD troopers this morning scouting around Newton House; the barriers surrounding two other outposts were tested as well. We’re not sure how the Master discovered our whereabouts, but it is pretty obvious that there must be a spy on the inside for him to have found the other locations so quickly.” He stopped and looked to the side, possibly listening to someone, before nodding and then turning back to the message. “We are off to New York in a few minutes,” he said. “There has been talk of a potential threat against President Winters from Saxon’s camp, and we need to make ourselves known before his plan comes to fruition.”
“If for any reason things go wrong,” he went on, “I’ll time jump us to November 16, 1926, and the Union Jack Club in London. There was a party for WWI vets and sailors in port that night, so any additional revelers should go unnoticed. The Union Jack Club is also a known safety zone for time travelers, as you’ll recall Jack, so we should be able to lay low for as long as we need.” Jack’s brows furrowed in confusion. He had been there with Hart on that exact date, back when he was still a Time Agent. But how had Ianto known that?
“The jump is a last resort though,” continued Ianto. “It will take quite a lot out of me to jump all five of us temporally, rather than just a simple teleport, so we are only using it if there is no other option.” His gaze travelled around the room and seemed to stop on Jack. “No matter what happens, I will be back, sir,” he said, and Jack smiled. “The message stone can be used both ways, and as the Doctor can tell you, it’s not tied to linear time. I’m sending it to you so that you can contact me in the field.” Ianto stopped and reached up and scratched the back of his neck. Seeing this nervous gesture, that was so very Ianto, made Jack grin. “I’m sure that you have an office full of people right now, Jack, but if you lot could bugger off for a moment, the rest of this message is private.”
The message paused and Jack turned to the others, gesturing for them to leave.
“Jesus, he didn’t send you porn over that thing did he?” said Owen, with a disgusted look on his face. Tosh smacked him in the arm, causing Owen to wince. “What is with all the abuse!” he asked throwing up his arms in protest. “Hello? Doctor here, end of the world coming, medics in short supply; hitting me not such a good plan.”
“It is if it shuts you up,” responded Tosh, pushing him out of the room.
Martha pulled out her phone and grabbed Gwen by the arm to pull her out the door. “Come on Gwen. Hawkman might be your boyfriend, but I have a feeling that this message is more personal then classified,” she said, ignoring Gwen’s protests. Only the Doctor remained.
“It won’t erase unless you ask it to. Just say the commands that you would normally use for a transmit comm,” he said before turning to go. Halfway out the door he stopped. “Oh, and Jack, you’re a lucky man.” He grinned and left, shutting the door behind him. Once he was alone, Jack continued the message.
“About the Union Jack Club; I am sure your mind is reeling trying to figure out how I know you were there.” Ianto grinned, and his tired eyes twinkled. “I suggest you take a trip to Cathays Park and take a long look at the Welsh National War Memorial. Especially the top bit. As you’ve probably guessed, I was there the same time you were. After borrowing the uniform of a certain able Seaman Fred Barker, the night got more than a little interesting.” Jack’s eyes went wide at the name. No, it couldn’t be, could it? He searched through his memories, and looked up at Ianto’s slightly longer and curlier hair and new facial hair, and realized that it most certainly could.
“I didn’t realize it was you, well a much younger you, until Rhys brought out an old newspaper clipping of that evening to explain my codename to my team,” Ianto said, voice soft. “I have to say though, Captain Jack Harkness has a better ring to it than Yeoman James Harper,” he grinned, and Jack chuckled. He hadn’t gone by that name in years.
“Gods, I wish I was there now. I bet you’re freaking out a little over this, I know I am.” He ran a hand over his face and then looked straight at Jack. “I don’t usually go in for this fate and destiny stuff, but maybe the TARDIS was right.” Jack smiled. “I know this mission is dangerous, but I promise you, nothing is going to stop me from getting back to you. Take care of yourself, and I’ll see you soon. Victory out.” The message ended.
Jack stared at the image a moment longer before turning the stone off.
Grabbing his coat and the keys to the SUV, he told the others that he would be back soon, and made his way out the door to Cathays Park.
The Valiant – later that day
John Hart turned off the television announcement of the new Prime Minister in disgust. Saxon had done it, and no one had even questioned him. Gods, humans in this century were so thick. How had they not noticed something was wrong? Feeling restless, he started walking the halls of the airship. Since the Saxons would be on the ground for the next two days dealing with the election, he had been confined to the Valiant, with the express understanding that if he set one foot off her, the electrical pulse now attached to his wrist strap would release enough voltage to kill him. Walking aimlessly, he came to a sudden stop, surprised to find himself standing in front of the TARDIS. He had not seen the inside of her since the night of her arrival, and he wondered what the Master had done to her. When it was quiet at night, and only the engines made noise, he could hear her sadness echoing through his mind, as she sang.
“Looks like we’re both prisoners here,” he said to the ship as he reached up to touch her door. To his surprise the door swung open at his touch. Glancing around to make sure no one saw him, he stepped inside. The once golden ship was now bathed in garish red light; the central console encased in a circular cage, with wires and tubes coming out of it from all sides.
“I don’t know if you can hear me, but I think eye-candy and his band of winged warriors are coming back for you,” John said as he moved closer to the cage. “Not sure if they’ll help me, though. Screwed that up a bit by ending up on the wrong side of the vortex, as it were,” he continued with a wry grin. Receiving no response, he glanced around the room to look at the coral-like supports, and wondered to himself if he had finally lost it.
“I’ll help you if I can,” said a soft voice behind him. John spun around and saw a golden woman with long flowing hair standing inside the cage. Time spun around her, and as he watched, she seemed to flicker in and out of existence.
“Who are you?” breathed John. He had seen a lot of things in his time, but never a sentient ship with a corporeal form, hell, he had never seen one that sung before either.
“You know the answer to that question, John,” she responded, smiling faintly.
“The Master called you the Blue Lady. But he said you were a TARDIS?” he responded, watching her smile broaden in response.
“That is correct. I am the last Lady TARDIS. The Blue Lady was a nickname that your friend Jack gave me long ago,” she said, regarding him with ageless eyes. “Thank you for helping the guardians escape, John. Your concern for others will not go unnoticed.” He shrugged off the compliment and turned the focus back onto her.
“But what about you?” he asked. “I overhead them talking about a paradox machine. At the Time Agency, rule number one was never induce a paradox. How can he be doing this to you and not collapsing the universe?”
The TARDIS sighed and sat down on the console behind her, her skirts moving with an unseen breeze. “The Master has never been one for rules. I’m not the first TARDIS he has tried to steal. He attempted to steal another once, but fortunately he and his friends thwarted that attempt,” she said smiling to herself at memory.
“What about your friends? I know that the guardians are going to attempt to free you, but the Doctor, he’s a Time Lord too, shouldn’t he be able to stop this?” He reached forward and grabbed the cage with his hands, unable to resist the need to get closer to the entity in front of him.
“They will try, but what the Master has set in motion, cannot be broken until the child of time and TARDIS unleashes his true potential, and sets the universe right again,” she responded, her voice filled with melancholy.
“So we’re just supposed to sit here and let this happen? Let this Master bastard destroy everything while some wanna-be hero figures out what he is supposed to do?” John stared at her, not understanding how she could sit idly by while the world fell to ruin around her.
Seeing his distress, she rose to touch the fingers that he had poked through the cage with her own, suddenly solid hands. John stared at their hands a moment before looking up at the compassion in her face.
“You can touch me? How?” he asked, realizing that it must have taken a lot of energy for her to have become solid.
“It’s not something I can do easily right now,” she answered, before releasing his hand and sitting back down, winded. She started to flicker again, and John felt guilty as he watched her struggle to remain present. “He has diverted all of my energy to the paradox machine, and the heart of me is fading ever so slowly, I am not sure how much longer I can keep this form.” She looked at him a moment longer and then disappeared.
“I’m sorry,” John whispered. He felt a gentle caress against his mind and stepped back from the cage in surprise before realizing that it was her.
‘Don’t worry, John,’ said the voice in his mind. ‘I know that things look bleak now, but once I am whole again, time will reset, and all that the Master has wrought will cease to be.’
“I don’t understand,” John said aloud. He hated telepathy, always had, but somehow the presence of the TARDIS was soothing.
‘Have faith in those around you,’ she said. ‘The Master sees humans as the greatest monsters in the universe, but he has never seen your potential. The Aderyn have this potential also. Think of what you can accomplish together. The road ahead will be hard, John, but we will survive. That I promise you.’
John sighed. “I believe you. Just try to keep the telepathy to a minimum okay? It makes my eyelids itch.” He felt the TARDIS laugh a melody through his mind, and surprised himself when he smiled in response.
‘You had better go, John, the Master may not be here, but his minions are never far away. Come to see me again when you can.’
“I will. Keep yourself safe, Blue,” he said, touching the cage around her once more before slipping outside her doors and edging past the death ball floating silently down the hall.
Sunset – Cathays Park, Cardiff
Jack stared at the monument before him. So intent was he on contemplating it’s visage, that he didn’t notice the Doctor walking up to join him.
“That’s him there, isn’t it,” asked the Doctor looking up the bronze angel of victory decorating the top of the monument. Jack didn’t say anything, only nodded briefly in response. “You must have met him for the first time, long before…” the Doctor stopped, not sure how to continue.
“Before I met you, became immortal, and you left me behind?” Jack answered evenly, eyes still on the statue.
“I never apologized for that, did I?” replied the Doctor, looking at the man in front of him; so different from the ex-conman that he had left behind.
“Not really, no,” Jack said, sighing as he turned away from the statue to look at the Doctor. “But I think I’m starting to get used to the idea of being immortal. Well, as long as I’m not the only one, in any case.” He gave the Doctor a small smile. “I’ve been on my own a long time, Doc. He’s the first one to see past the smiles and the bravado and really see me. I’m not sure why the universe chose us, but I’m glad it’s him.”
The Doctor glanced back up to the statue before looking back to the man in front of him. “You know that I don’t exactly agree with how this all happened,” he began, watching as Jack’s eyes narrowed. “But time and the universe obviously had a plan in mind for you two. And far be it from me to stand in the way of time.” He looked at the man he hoped still considered him a friend. “And while it may be too little, too late, I am sorry, so sorry, Jack, for my hand in what you suffered.”
Jack stared at him for a moment, looking for the next quip or backhanded comment that the Doctor might blurt out with the rudeness that seemed to accompany this regeneration. Seeing none, he held out his hand to the Time Lord.
“Friends, Doc?” he said, making the handshake a peace offering.
“Always, Captain,” the Doctor said with his manic smile, shaking Jack’s hand vigorously, before pulling him in and hugging him tightly.
Jack laughed before releasing him and holding him out at arm’s length.
“Let’s head back,” said the Doctor, turning to leave. “Martha is insisting on coming with us, and you know that getting onto the Valiant is going to be hard enough. Fixing the TARDIS, getting back off it again, and stopping the Master, well, that’s almost impossible,” he added with a cheeky grin.
Jack smiled back at him. “If I remember right, you used to do at least three impossible things before breakfast, Doc. Four shouldn’t be too hard.” The Doctor grinned wider and started walking towards the SUV. Jack moved to follow the Doctor, and stopped briefly to look back up at the statue of victory before leaving.
“I’ll be seeing you soon,” he whispered, before continuing on his way.
“I’ll be back in a moment, Tosh,” hollered Gwen, making her way towards the bathroom. “I just need to clean some of this slime off of my hands before I fill out the report. Why is it that all of the alerts that Owen sends us out on have to involve aliens with overactive mucus?” Shaking her head, she wiped some of the slime off with a paper towel.
“Hurry back,” called Tosh. “We’re heading to the pub for dinner as it might just be our official last night of freedom for a while.”
“Will do,” responded Gwen, closing the door behind her. She pushed the faucet on with her elbow and ran the warm water over her hands, rubbing them, trying to get rid of the neon green slime that reached to her forearms. As she did so, she felt the perception filter that the Doctor had made slip off of her finger. She made a vain attempt to catch it before it circled the drain and disappeared below. Cursing under her breath, she tried to pull the ring back up with her finger, only to see it slip further down the drain and out of sight.
“Dammit!” she swore, flinging slime and drain muck from her hands into the sink in frustration.
“Now, now, Miss Cooper, is that any way for a lady to talk?” tsked a voice.
Gwen looked up into the mirror in shock, only to see the smiling face of the Master looking back at her.
“Oh, don’t look so grim. I’ve just been hiding here in your subconscious where you left me. It’s not like I’ve done any real harm, is it?” he asked her, eyes sad and lips pouting. “Well, there is that little matter of having you sleep walk and send me the coordinates to the outposts last week,” he said, tapping his chin with his finger and grinning at her. “Thanks for that one, by the way.”
Gwen’s eyes went wide in horror. “No way, it can’t be true. I can’t have. I would have remembered,” she said, fearing what she might have done.
“Sadly, yes you did. Now that you no longer have anything keeping me at bay, you are going to help me a lot more too,” he continued, smiling in glee.
Gwen shook her head, a tear falling down her face. “No, please, no more, haven’t you done enough?” she pleaded.
“Oh no, Miss Cooper, I’ve only just begun.” His smile grew wider, and for a moment her eyes lost focus of the mirror in front of her. When her vision cleared, she saw herself washing her hands in the sink, before looking up at her reflection with a smile. Confused, Gwen looked around her and found herself in the dark, the only source of light the rectangle of the mirror in front of her. Realizing that she was trapped, Gwen began to bang on the mirror, begging to be let out.
The imposter smiled back at her, before drying her hands, and making her way to the door. As she left the room, the rectangle that was the mirror went dark.
“And now you see just what you will become for me, Miss Cooper,” boomed the Master’s voice in the darkness. “The perfect double agent, trapped in your own mind.”
“Rhys,” Gwen sobbed. “Please, do what you want to me, but leave him alone.”
Laughter filled the darkness around her. “Sorry, Gwen, he’s part of my plans. But as long as you’re stuck here, feel free to watch,” he said, his voice fading into the darkness.
Gwen found herself suddenly looking through her own eyes, but unable to move her body, as she watched her imposter laugh with Tosh, and make ready to go to the pub with Martha and the others. She saw herself hold up a compact and check her makeup smirking at her own reflection, as if mocking the real Gwen trapped within.
Silently Gwen swore that she would find a way out of this. She had fallen victim to the Master once, and she was not going to let him do it again.