Rating: PG-13, leaning towards R for some violence.
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: When I started writing this, I really wondered if people would be interested in a Winged Ianto fic. I am really flattered to see that those of you reading have liked it, and embraced a whole new universe involving the Torchwood/Doctor Who characters. Aderyn by the way is Welsh for bird. Hence the name for Ianto's people.
There is only the last chapter and the epilogue to go. This one is a little bit cliffhanger-ish, but you'll see why in the final chapter.
Many thanks to the fabulous sparking_off for beta-ing. Any mistakes left are all mine.
Next part and epilogue should be by next Friday, once the dust clears from my office move.
Reviews are always great! Thanks for reading!
Toclafane swarmed the hallways of the Valiant. After the Master had been overpowered, they had one goal, one mission: protect the paradox. As Jack and the others made their way into the corridor housing the TARDIS, a swarm of Toclafane opened fire, sending volley after volley of laser blasts their way.
“Take cover at the entrance!” Jack yelled, returning fire. Running to the beginning of the corridor, Pia threw an ice shield behind them to seal the corridor and cover their retreat. They barely had enough time to take up defensive positions before the Toclafane blasted through it. The four of them opened fire, but soon realized that even though the ice bolts and electrical blasts the Aderyn were firing had some effect, the bullets merely bounced off, and they were sorely outnumbered. Weighing his options, Jack decided to make a run for it, hoping to get through to the TARDIS with minimal deaths in the process. Before he could make his suicide run, Sparky held out a hand to stop him.
“I promised Victory not use you as cannon fodder, sir,” said the youth. He handed a startled Jack his gun, and brought his wings forward. “Pia, freeze any I miss,” he ordered, and his teammate nodded, bringing her own wings out and holding balls of blue ice in her hands. “Captains,” he continued, “keep them off me until I’m ready. I am going to send an electric shockwave through the corridor, so unless you can survive 10,000 volts, I suggest you stay back.” Jack and John nodded, hoping that the kid knew what he was doing. Sparky raised his arms, clapped his hands together and then pulled them apart, causing an arc of electricity to run between them. His companions fired guns and ice-bolts at the Toclafane, while Sparky increased the voltage and prepared his charge. Just as Jack took a shot in the chest and fell, Sparky stepped into the corridor and threw the shockwave forward, dropping all of the Toclafane to the floor in a smoldering heap.
“Everyone all right?” he panted, leaning against the wall to catch his breath. Jack gasped back to life and smiled.
“I’ve heard of a defibrillator, but that was ridiculous,” he groaned, cracking his neck as he stood up. Hart shook his head and looked out the porthole to see the Toclafane descending on the Valiant.
“Come on, no time to lose,” he said, gesturing towards the window. The four of them made their way to the TARDIS. She swung her doors open in greeting and stood before them, flickering inside of her cage.
“Don’t worry about me,” she said in her sing-song voice. “I’ve had a year to reroute the circuits. Just throw whatever you have at the cage, and once the paradox machine is destroyed, I’ll do the rest.”
Jack saluted her and she flickered out. All four of them raised whatever weapons they had and opened fire, desperate to set her free.
Bridge - The Valiant
“They’re changing course, heading back,” shouted Martha, staring at the spheres heading towards the Valiant. Just as they were about to hit the windows, the Toclafane disappeared, and the airship began to shake.
“Everybody down!” shouted the Doctor. “Time is reversing!” Deep in the belly of the airship, the TARDIS began to glow, singing a song of triumph and reveling in undoing all that the Master had wrought.
On Earth, time slowed down and rewound itself. The radiation pits and labor camps surrounding rocket shipyards were no more. The statues of the Master that had littered the world vanished, and Tokyo, Buenos Aires and all the other cities devastated by the Master and the Toclafane awoke to a new day, as if nothing had happened.
Back on the Valiant, the passengers onboard marveled that everything had been reset, even if they could still remember it. Meanwhile the Doctor was busy checking to make sure that the residual effects were localized on the airship. Satisfied, he announced his findings to the others.
“The paradox machine is broken,” he said. “We’ve reverted back to 8:02am, just after the President was killed, and before the spheres arrived.”
“And the Toclafane?” asked Martha.
“Trapped at the end of the universe,” replied the Doctor with a grin. He looked over to where the Master was cowering in the corner, and moved to help him, only to have the Master throw him off and lean forward against the end of the conference table.
“You think you’ve won, don’t you?” he sneered, looking over his shoulder at the Doctor. “So you managed to stop the Toclafane. Big deal. You should know by now that I always have a backup plan.” He pushed a button on the intercom in front of him, causing the table to retract into the floor, revealing the massive seal of Rassilon housed beneath it.
“What are you doing?” asked the Doctor, looking around the room. The Master smirked at him and stepped inside the seal, holding his hands out as a control panel rose up to meet him. The Master activated it, causing the metallic covering on the alcoves of the command deck walls to lift, revealing the Aderyn housed within.
“Stop!” shouted the Doctor as he realized what was happening. “You can’t do this! If you use them, they’ll burn!” Furious, he moved forward, sonic screwdriver aimed at the Master, only to find a force-field surrounding the seal and locking him out.
“How about, no?” replied the Master, entering a sequence of keys and causing the stasis chambers to light up. He turned one of the dials on the console, and the enormous crystal chandelier that was hanging from the ceiling of the room lowered until it hovered over the other swirl of the seal in front of him.
“What is he doing?” asked Martha, watching in morbid fascination as the power housed within the Aderyn shot out to focus on the chandelier, causing it to pulse with energy.
“It’s a fuel matrix for an elemental engine,” panted the Doctor, frantically searching for a weak point in the design, hoping to somehow stop the Master before it was too late. “He’s going to use them to power it, creating an engine capable of using the elements, the very building blocks of creation as a weapon,” he explained as he scanned the keypads near the stasis chambers, desperately trying to disable them.
“But you can’t,” he said, turning to the Master. “The power inside them is woven into the very essence of their souls. If you do this, merge them with the stones, you’ll kill them.”
The Master laughed. “Of course I will. Their species is almost extinct anyway. Once the engine is complete, they will become a never-ending fuel source housed inside five tiny little stones,” he said, relishing the look of horror on the Doctor’s face. As he spoke, a platform rose from the floor directly below the chandelier. On top of it rested a cog wheel attached to a series of gears. The wheel held five vacant spaces, ready to house the stones that would entomb their wearers.
As the wheel began to turn and draw energy from the chandelier, Jack and the others returned from destroying the paradox machine. Jack’s saw Ianto, trapped and motionless inside the stasis chamber, and ran to it, pounding on the glass, trying to break him free. When his efforts proved fruitless, he turned in anger to the Master.
“What have you done? Set him free now!” he growled, eyes glowing gold as he glared at the Time Lord.
The Master threw his head back and laughed. “Aw look at you freaky, actually caring about someone besides yourself. “How ironic.” Jack glared back at him before turning back to clutch the edges of Ianto’s prison. Staring into his lover’s vacant eyes, he closed his own, trying desperately to reach him.
‘Ianto’ he called. ‘Ianto, please!’ Tears of frustration ran down Jack’s face as he concentrated harder, willing Ianto to respond.
‘Jack?’ Ianto finally whispered in response. It was so faint. Jack felt like he was pulling Ianto through against his will, and realized that Ianto was trying to shield him from the onslaught of pain the Master was inflicting upon him.
‘Don’t shield, dammit!’ Jack cried. ‘I want you to fight this! I don’t know how to stop him!’
‘I-‘ Ianto attempted to respond, and suddenly all Jack heard was screaming. What he didn’t realize was the voice he was hearing was his own.
Deep under Carreg Cennen, the TARDIS formerly known as the Engineer sat cross legged, meditating in mid-air and following the events on the Valiant from a distance. Seeing what the Master had chosen to do, he reached out to the other TARDIS, and in the breath of a heartbeat, they formed a plan. His eyes snapped open and he regarded his old friend Tharin as he worked on upgrading his long dormant chameleon circuits.
“Tharin,” he said, coming to stand next to him. “It’s time.”
Tharin searched his friend’s face, and saw that the vision Gryffud had spoken of so long before had finally come to pass. Nodding his acceptance, he pulled the man into a fierce hug, before letting him go to fulfill his destiny.
“Go on, then,” he said with a lopsided grin. “Keep them safe, make Irina proud.” The TARDIS smiled at him and clasped his arm once before merging back with the center of his console, morphing the center of the ship into a new shape. As the dematerialization sequence began, the ship that had once housed the TARDIS shimmered and disappeared, leaving only a workbench, and the somber face of an Aderyn elder, to mark where it once stood.
As Jack screamed, the Master turned the energy drain up higher, causing the Aderyn inside the stasis chambers began to glow brighter and fade from view. As the energy drain churned higher, Jack collapsed; his body slumped against the glass in front of Ianto.
“Stop it! Master, please!” begged the Doctor. “If you stop this, I will take you anywhere, any when, all you have to do is stop!”
The Master only smiled in response, madness filling his eyes.
The Doctor aimed his sonic screwdriver at the entropic crystals of the chandelier, hoping that damaging it might by him some time. The beam he shot immediately bounced back and knocked him unconscious at the foot of the stairs. As he fell, Martha rushed to his side.
“Come on, Doctor, get up,” she pleaded. “You have to stop this. Please, we can’t have come this far only to fail now.” The Doctor didn’t move. Martha looked up and saw first Rhys, then Lucy disappear. She tried smacking the Doctor’s cheek, but he didn’t respond.
Suddenly the sound of the TARDIS materializing filled the room, and as the blue box appeared to Martha’s left, a second engine was heard, and a red phone booth appeared to her right. The doors of both flew open and a golden woman emerged from the Doctor’s TARDIS, while a golden man emerged from what Martha could only assume was another TARDIS. The woman knelt beside Martha, gently placing her hands on the Doctor’s chest. She pulled a ball of energy from him, and held it for a moment before it dissolved in her hand.
“What are you doing?” Martha asked, trying to protect the Doctor.
“He was keeping it for me,” she replied, leaning to kiss him on the forehead. The Doctor awoke with a jolt, looking up at her in wonder.
“Oh, hello,” he said, grinning from ear to ear. She touched his cheek. “Take Martha and the others to the bridge for safety,” she instructed, rising to take the hand of the other TARDIS and face the Master. He watched them come forward, a sneer on his face, which quickly turned to confusion, as he saw who the male TARDIS was.
“Just what do you think you are doing, Koschei?” asked the male TARDIS, arms crossed and disappointment on his face.
The Master hesitated, his hand hovering in mid-air over the console. “But you can’t be here,” he said, staring in disbelief. “You’re dead!”
The TARDIS snorted. “As you can see little brother, the rumors of my demise weren’t exactly true.” He smiled, waiting for the tantrum of disbelief that the Master had been famous for even when they were children.
“But that’s impossible!” shouted the Master. “You’re a TARDIS. That can’t happen!”
The TARDIS held out his hands, contemplated them for a moment, and then crossed his arms again. “And yet, here I stand. Doesn’t matter how; it just is,” he said with a shrug. “Now I know we have had our differences. But the House of Oakdown has one code that even a madman like you must follow; never destroy your own family.” The two TARDISes moved forward until they stood directly in front of the seal. “What I want to know little brother, is why you are destroying your niece and nephew, the last of our line, all in the name of creating something that you know should never exist?”
The Master’s mouth hung open as he stuttered a response. “Wh-What do you mean?”
The TARDIS shook his head. “Did you even look at him? How did you not notice how soaked in time he is, how similar to a Time Lord, how much he looked like me? Well in my last incarnation, anyway.”
The Master stared at the alcove housing Ianto Jones as he began to fade out of existence. His sister flickered a moment longer, before she too disappeared like the others. Only his nephew remained. He turned back to the TARDIS that had once been his brother, trying to discern if he was telling the truth.
“But how can I know you aren’t telling lies?” asked the Master, voice small and uncertain. He drummed his hands against his legs, the march to war pounding over and over in his brain, telling him to carry on, and that even this man, his brother, impossibly returned to him, was out to get him.
“You have a choice here Koschei,” said the TARDIS. “Stop this now, and we may have a chance to save them. They are the true key to the future of the Time Lord Empire. The Time Lord genes in them are strong. The next generation will win out over the Aderyn, merging the two great societies together into a new and improved race, one able to live and survive for millennia to come.”
“You want me to create something, preserve it instead of destroying it,” the Master stated.
The TARDIS nodded, “I can’t destroy the drums in your head, but I promise you, if you do this, it will be one of their children that will one day save you from them.”
The Master stared at his nephew one last time, before closing his eyes and bowing his head. Reaching forward, he hit the off switch, powering down the elemental engine.
Jack awoke to find the TARDIS sitting beside him, with Ianto’s head nestled in her lap. The air of the command deck was still, and time had stopped. He looked to the bridge and saw the Doctor, mouth open as if yelling at something, Martha grasping his arm. The Master was being cuffed and being led up the stairs by Pia and Sparky. Martha’s family stood to the left with John holding onto an unconscious Gwen Cooper on the right. None of them moved. The TARDIS sang a lullaby, rocking Ianto back and forth, cradling him as he flickered, struggling to remain corporeal. Jack took his lover’s hand in his own. “Is there anything you can do?” he asked, hoping that she could save Ianto.
The TARDIS smiled. “That which lies within you both must be returned,” she said. “Only at my true strength can I undo what has been wrought.”
Jack nodded, and sat silently as the TARDIS placed her hand on him, and pulled out the energy she had hidden inside. He sagged for a moment in response, but felt no pain. Glancing to Ianto, he suddenly realized that she was still missing one piece: his.
“What happens if you take it from him?” Jack asked. The TARDIS scrutinized the man before her. When she had first met him, oh so long ago, he would never have worried about another being before himself. Now his own safety was the last thought in his mind. She marveled at the change and placed her hand on his cheek in comfort.
“That is up to you, Captain,” she said. “Right now, the piece of me inside him is all that is keeping him tied to this plane of existence. If I remove it, he will be gone forever.” She held his gaze and asked him the question he seemed to know was coming. “Are you willing to give him your life force in order to save him?”
Jack only hesitated a moment before answering. “Whatever it takes, Blue. Just tell me what to do,” he said, eyes never leaving Ianto’s face.
The other TARDIS came into view as he crouched down beside them. Placing his hand on Jack’s shoulder, he looked at the man he knew his son loved above all others. He only hoped that what the timelines had shown him would hold true. Trusting in time, he gave Jack his instruction. “Kiss him Captain. Bring him back. Make sure he knows all that you feel for him. Tell him, show him, or all is lost.”
Jack pulled Ianto’s limp body to him, and kissed him. Only one thought filled his mind as he poured all that he was into the kiss. ‘I never told you how much I've come to love you.’
Ianto was floating, lost in a sea of molasses and unable to breathe. He felt himself move, and realized that breathing was no longer necessary. He briefly wondered if he was dead, and if all of the mentions of him being as immortal as Jack had just been speculation. A small speck of light shone through the darkness surrounding him, drawing him in. A song, ancient as the dawn of time called out to him, pulling him towards the light. Then he felt it, that spark that was uniquely Jack. Reaching out he parted the sea before him, and embraced its warmth.
Jack felt the familiar darkness of death encroaching. Just as he was about to succumb to the black, he felt something spark inside of him. Warmth flooded him as he felt familiar arms pull him back from the brink and into the light. He reached out blindly, touching the feathers of Ianto’s wings, and sliding his hands beneath them. Not daring to open his eyes, Jack held Ianto tight, afraid to let go. He felt a soft chuckle in his mind, and smiled as he recognized Ianto’s laugh.
‘I knew this would become a habit,’ Ianto said. Jack smiled back at him.
‘Well as habits go, you’re one I don’t plan on breaking Mr. Jones,’ he replied.
‘If you two are about done, we really must get a move on,’ interrupted Ianto’s Tad.
‘You really are a bit late to get overly protective,’ laughed the TARDIS, only to receive a huff from her male counterpart in response.
Ianto opened his eyes, and stared into Jack’s. Jack smiled back at him and helped him to his feet, keeping their hands locked together, afraid to let go. Ianto took in the too-still world around him, and looked to the TARDISes for explanation. “What happened?” he asked.
The Lord and Lady TARDIS smiled at him. “Always with the questions aren’t you?” his Tad continued with a chuckle. “Well, son, the thing is…” He scratched the back of his head, much like Ianto himself would when he was nervous. “You sort of died.”
“What?” Ianto asked, looking down at himself. “But I’m still here, how can I be dead?”
The TARDIS stepped forward and took his free hand in her own. “I know this is confusing Ianto, but you’ll be fine, I promise.” she said. “Your father thought that this might happen if you were ever mortally injured and well, he was right.” She almost looked giddy as she smiled at him. “You see, when the TARDIS changed your Time Lord DNA, she infused it with that of a baby TARDIS. All that knowledge running through your infant mind almost destroyed you, so she made it dormant, hid it inside, only to emerge when it was most needed.”
Ianto stared at them in confusion. “So what happened?” he asked, looking over his shoulder, relieved to see that his wings were still there. At least that hadn’t changed. Jack rubbed his thumb over Ianto’s hand in reassurance.
The two TARDISes exchanged a look. “The thing is,” his Tad began, “we aren’t quite sure. The rest of the Aderyn faded out of existence and merged with their affinity stones. You on the other hand, held on, kept on fighting until it stopped. I thought it was because of the piece of TARDIS that the Lady TARDIS placed inside of you, but when Jack tried to give you his life force to save you, you refused it, saving him, and reviving on your own here on the TARDIS plane, where only a true TARDIS can exist.”
“And when you did, the piece of me inside you returned home,” the Lady TARDIS explained with a smile. “TARDISes aren’t able to hold one another’s essence. The combined vortex power fights against one another, only a child of time has the ability to hold it.”
“But I’m not a true TARDIS, and neither is Ianto,” said Jack, still not comprehending. “I don’t understand.”
The Two TARDISes beamed back at them. “You’re both unique,” said the Lord TARDIS. “Aderyn and Time Lords can follow time and the elements, harnessing them at will. A TARDIS has the ability to wield the very vortex of the universe. Because of Rose, you have vortex energy entwined within you much like Ianto.” The two men glanced at each other. Was that the reason for the instant connection and the golden light that bound them together? Jack shrugged his shoulders as if to tell Ianto that he had no idea.
The Lady TARDIS smiled. “As pleasurable as that must be, it’s only part of it.” Ianto blushed, and Jack grinned. “Ianto, your mind had to mature enough to unlock your TARDIS abilities. It’s merely instinct at present, but in time we can show you how to use it.” Ianto felt the truth of his words as he saw the possibilities and threads of reality winding and moving around them. But what if he wasn’t ready? What if his reviving was a fluke? What about Jack? What if-
“I don’t have all the answers, son,” interrupted the TARDIS, resting his hand on Ianto’s shoulder. “This has never happened before. The Doctor was right about one thing, you’re just as impossible as your Jack.” Ianto looked to their clasped hands. “But I’ll say this,” his Tad continued, with a smile. “Impossible or not, I think it’s bloody brilliant!”
Ianto chuckled. Jack felt the tension leave Ianto’s mind at his father’s praise, and released his hand so that he could embrace him properly. As father and son conversed, Jack glanced around the room, to where the stones now holding Rhiannon and their friends lay, and the smile fell from his face.
“What about them?” he asked the TARDIS beside him, reaching to touch the stone holding Rhiannon; he pulled back his hand, as if it had been burned. The TARDIS took his hand into hers and the two of them waited for Ianto and the Lord TARDIS to join them.
“It would take a lot of power to reverse what the Master has done,” answered Ianto’s Tad. “I’ll never understand him,” he sighed. “Your Uncle was always a genius. Certifiably insane, but still a genius.” Ianto felt timelines flow around and through him and saw the Master stop the engine from completing its work.
“He stopped it,” he said in wonder, watching the scene play in his mind.
The TARDIS smiled. “He did at that. But I wouldn’t count on mercy being one of his strong points, son,” he said.
Something pulled loose at the back of Ianto’s mind, and suddenly he saw all the possibilities of how he could bring his friends back. The sensation of following so many timelines at once was new to him, but when Jack grasped his hand, it seemed to be as if it had always been there. Before he knew it, he had brought the image of the timeline that seemed to resonate most into focus and he held it up to show the TARDISes what he had planned. The Lady TARDIS smiled at him, and his father beamed.
“Brilliant, son! Absolutely brilliant!” he exclaimed, but then his face turned serious once more. “But are you sure? You know what it will cost you,” he said looking at Jack.
‘Jack?’ asked Ianto, knowing that he could only do this if Jack agreed.
Ianto felt sadness wash over him as Jack contemplated his answer. ‘But I just got you back,’ Jack finally replied, reaching to cup his cheek. Ianto leaned into it, relishing having Jack’s skin against his own once more.
‘I’m sorry, but I have to do this. I have to try,’ said Ianto, hoping he would understand. Jack leaned forward and kissed him briefly before standing at attention at his side. He turned to face the TARDISes, resolved to follow Ianto’s lead.
“I’ll stand by him, no matter what he decides,” Jack said aloud, determined to help Ianto however he could.
Ianto watched the scenario play out once more, and made his decision. “My friend Owen Harper once told me that the Jones nobility was going to get me into trouble one day. I guess that day is now.” He moved forward to stand on one side of the circular seal housing the stones entombing his friends. Taking a deep breath, he released Jack’s hand and held his own out to the two TARDISes.
“Shall we?” he asked. The TARDISes nodded and clasped his hands before joining their own.
Ianto closed his eyes and concentrated, seeking out the unique time signatures of the friends entombed before him. He felt power, ancient and strong bloom inside of him, and all around him the Valiant came back to life. The Doctor blinked back into the timeline first and watched fascinated as the three golden beings focused infinite power, shattering the affinity stones and pulling first Rhys, then Denjiro, Lucy, and lastly Rhiannon, back into existence. The four Aderyn staggered to the sides of the room, looking around and trying to get their bearings. Rhiannon saw Jack, standing sentinel behind Ianto, pride and fear evident on his face. Seeing her Tad and Ianto pulsing with power, she suddenly understood that they were somehow responsible for her return.
‘Please be alright, please don’t leave me. Please be alright….’ Jack repeated the mantra over and over in his mind, focused only on the man in front of him and lending him any power he needed to complete the task at hand.
Rhiannon heard it, and slipped her hand into Jack’s, hoping that somehow everything would be fine.
The elemental engine disintegrated into ash, and the golden light surrounding the TARDISes and Ianto dimmed. Seeing that their work was done, the three beings released their hands and the two TARDISes disappeared back into their respective ships. Ianto turned around to smile at Rhiannon, and she nodded at him, a tear of thanks slipping down her cheek. He smiled in return before looking longingly at Jack, and stepping forward to reach for him; Jack did the same, only to grasp empty air as Ianto disappeared in a flash of light.
Jack as stared at the space where he had been, a whisper of time and the soft echo of the words ‘I love you too,’ ghosted over his mind.