SUMMARY: Eternity is what you make of it. This chapter is rated G/PG.
Title is from: Immortality - a fate worse than death. Edgar A. Shoaff
THIS STORY IS NOW COMPLETE:
A/N - I hope you've had as much enjoyment reading this story as I've had writing it. But even though IJ is over don't despair. I'll be posting some Schmoop Bingo stories I've been working on. All stories will be Torchwood and some will be from this verse. Look for the IJ_verse tag in A/N for stories that fit into this universe.
Thank you all again for reading and commenting. It really means a lot to know that you have invested the time and energy to read this story from beginning to end.
Ok - its your last chance to comment - don't be shy!
Special A/N: And don't forget, Ianto's Journey as well as several other stories posted on have been nominated for a Children of Time Award over at LiveJournal. If you've enjoyed this story, you might want to give it your vote. A complete list of stories/nomination categories may be found at my LJ: http:/ aviv_b. livejournal. com /66092. html (Just remove spaces and paste in your browser). You do not have to be a member of LJ to vote. Voting ends Sept 25, 2010.
Gwen sighed as she closed her diary. It was just her now. She didn't have much longer to live. Nothing was seriously wrong but at almost ninety-six years old she had a clear sense of her mortality. She wasn't complaining, mind you. She had lived almost a whole century and been privileged to see 'when it all changed.' But she was tired now and more than ready to have a long rest.
After Ianto's death, Jack hadn't stayed around long. They buried Ianto in London, next to Aaron with the other Hamilton's. She hadn't been to this cemetery since Aaron's funeral right after the Invasion. Stephen was buried there as well, and not too far away, Jonathan and Kelly were also interred. She, Andy, Mickey and Martha were the only ones of their generation left to attend.
Jack gave a beautiful eulogy for Ianto, and David, Mica, and Rose said a few words as well. Ricky and Bronwen were there as well, and it was comforting to see Rose and Bronwen comparing notes on their pregnancies and their choices for names. Rose's baby was due just after the start of the new year and Bronwen was due in March. Two little boys, one named for Owen and Jack and the other for Ianto, the three men she loved the most after her husband.
Jack told her then that once he had settled up Ianto's estate and sold the house, he was leaving Earth. He wouldn't tell her where in space or time he was going, but promised her that he would visit Earth periodically. They had agreed not to meet again for fear of crossing timelines or for Jack inadvertently dropping a 'spoiler.'
Gwen didn't really think he would come back to Earth but she was wrong. Once a year, every year since Jack had left a yellow rose was left at the house she lived in with Ricky and Bronwen. The first one in Cardiff took her totally by surprise. Bronwen found it by the front door wrapped in paper with her name on it.
"Mum," Bronwen called to Gwen. "You've got a secret admirer."
Gwen stared at the rose wondering who it was from when it hit her. Jack, it had to be from Jack. "It's from Captain Jack." Bronwen looked at her like she was crazy.
"No really, look at the date, its' August 19th, Ianto's birthday. He said he would visit…I bet there's a rose on Ianto's grave today. Bronwen thought Gwen was getting a little ditsy in her old age, but by the afternoon her curiosity got the better of her. She called Ricky and told her what Gwen had said. Ricky emailed Mickey and told him what Bronwen had related.
Mickey also thought Gwen was daft, but eventually he headed out to the cemetery to see for himself. Only Gwen wasn't surprised when he called and reported that there was a red rose on Ianto's headstone. And when he ran into the caretaker, he found out that a man in a 1940's British military coat was seen by the grave early that morning.
"Yeah, the cemetery wasn't even open, and there he was, just standin' there. I was going to confront him, but I saw he had the rose and was crying. So I reckoned he was heartbroken and just left him alone."
Fifteen years had passed since then and a yellow rose still appeared at her door every August 19th.
When Mickey had retired from Torchwood One in 2065, Ricky had taken over his position. He, Bronwen, Owen Jack and Gwen had all moved to London. And like clockwork the rose appeared at their new home right on schedule. Gwen and Bronwen got into the habit of going to the cemetery on that day, taking little OJ (as he was called) with them until he was old enough to go to school. The red rose was always there to greet them. They would put the yellow rose on Aaron's grave in remembrance.
Now OJ was now almost fifteen. While he was a bright child, he was quite rebellious and quite trying for his older parents. Gwen seemed to be the only person who could get him to clean his room, or take out the garbage or show up for meals.
"You know, your Gran's getting quite old," she told him after one row between him and Ricky, "so could you just show to Sunday dinner without a big fuss."
"He's always riding me, nothing I do is ever good enough," OJ retorted.
"Yeah? Funny thing that. He used to say the same thing about his father. Let me tell you a story about the time…" Amazingly, OJ loved Gwen's stories and always listened to them patiently asking questions to fill in the blanks. Gwen knew he'd turn out fine; he just had to grow up a bit. Not surprising for a child named after Owen Harper and Jack Harkness.
The rest of the Torchwood children had almost all grown up. Kory had been in college at the time her family had moved to London and had opted to stay in Cardiff and attended university there. Now she had just turned thirty-four and had a daughter of her own named Tonia (for Tosh) who was ten.
Rhys Jr. had just retired and his children were grown and had lives of their own. Rhys III was married and but he and his wife had no children as of yet. And Bethan and Tegwan were thirty, still both single and still both raising hell in Cardiff.
Rose's son Ianto was the polar opposite of OJ. Quiet and thoughtful like his namesake he already knew that he wanted to join Torchwood like his Uncle Ianto or maybe join the Royal Marines like his Uncle Aaron. He had never met either one of them but Rose told him stories of them, of Ianto at Canary Wharf and Torchwood Three, Ianto and Aaron at Torchwood One and finally of Ianto and Captain Jack back in Cardiff.
As Gwen closed her eyes, she felt fully contented. The Torchwood children would find there way into a new world with new challenges and they would be ready.
Gwen died peacefully in her sleep in October of 2077. She was buried back in Cardiff next to Rhys with her children, grandchildren and the rest of her Torchwood family to mourn her passing.
No one noticed a man in a dark greatcoat standing in the shadows watching the funeral. After everyone had left, he laid a last yellow rose on the freshly laid earth.
Jack's life continued on through the ages until his demise, many hundreds of billions of years in the future.
2100 * -Mars is successfully colonized.
- A red rose still appears on Ianto's grave every year.
2106 - In June the caretaker at the cemetery in London notices a tall man dressed in a red buccaneer jacket and high leather boots lay something on top of the Hamilton-Jones headstone. As walks over to speak to the man, he disappears into thin air. Upon inspection, he finds what looks like a small piece of coal. Begin superstitious he doesn't remove it. There's a small scrap of paper underneath crammed with writing. He can make out most of it. "…tried to come…but… detained…by Master. Diam….anniv…ry….will….remember…"
2156 - Earth Central declares bankruptcy and the Earth Alliance of Corporations takes control of the planet. Earth's colonization of the galaxy continues. Many of the Torchwood descendants leave Earth. These descendants agree to give the middle name "Torchwood" to all of their generations to come.
- Red roses continue to appear each year on Ianto's grave.
2850 - Earth's environment is destroyed by solar flares. The remainder of the Torchwood descendants leave Earth. They too have adopted the tradition of Torchwood naming.
- Red plants that don't require oxygen are still left on Ianto's grave.
4206 -The Earth's environment is gradually restored. Colonists from around the galaxies return to Earth. A few Torchwood descendants are among them.
- These descendants have heard the myth of Ianto and the Red Rose. They find what they believe to be the grave of Ianto Jones among others, in an overgrown field. The writing on the stones has long worn away. They visit the field on what they believe to be August 19th and find a wilting red plant at the grave. Right grave, slightly wrong calculation of the date. They also find a pile of 22 small uncut Arcadian Diamonds.
4900 - Human's re-pollute the planet leading to a second global warming. Winter ceases to exist on most of the planet. Many of Earth's inhabitants once again leave and spread out across many solar systems.
- A few of the Harper descendants end up on the Boeshane Peninsula. Over the next millennium some of their descendants' names are gradually transformed to Harperness (adopting the Boeshane convention of adding 'ness' to a last name to signify 'descendants of') and finally to Harkness.
- Earth is covered with megacities, with a population of 96 billion. It is the centre of the galactic domain of the Fourth Great and Bountiful Human Empire that stretches across a million planets and species.
- One small section of land remains undeveloped. An impenetrable force field surrounds a field within New London. No one remembers what was there, but speculation is that it is protected by some powerful aliens from the future.
- No one notices a red rose being left at a particular site within the protected area each year and a black shiny stone left at the same location every hundred years on the 6th year of the new century.
- The Earth supports no life of any kind.
- A Sister of Plenitude (also known as a Cat Person) travels from New New New York on New New New Earth to Earth to lay a new new new rose at pre-determined location coordinates. She has no idea the meaning of this act, but does it as part of her nurses training under Novice Hame at the New New New York hospital.
- She lays the rose on a pile of shiny stones.
-The Doctor travels to New, New New York to save the inhabitants of the city and say goodbye to an old friend.
-Novice Hame travels to Earth to lay a last rose at the coordinates specified by the Face of Boe. The planet is biologically dead and sustains no life. She finds a group of 35 stones at the precise coordinates in an overgrown field. She leaves the rose on top of the stones.
As the Face of Boe closes his eyes for the last time, he is surprised to see a bright light and a crowd of people standing within it. Confused, he hesitates. Who are they? Where is he?
As he gets nearer he is shocked to see people and aliens with familiar faces stepping forward. It's all his friends and lovers starting from the most recent and working backwards. They race by him and disappear in a flash.
And then he sees beyond…"It can't be…but that looks like…" And it is. It's Tosh and Owen and Gwen and Rhys, and Martha and Tom and Mickey and Andy…he's realizes he has a body again and he's running, actually running and there's a final group that steps out from the light.
It's John Hart, Alonso, Aaron and Ianto, and as he nears them he reaches out for them and trips. Everything goes dark. He feels utterly at peace. Jack's journey is over.
*Infomation for this timeline was found at the Tardis Index File (A Doctor Who Wiki)