Ways of Light and Darkness
Author: Milady Dragon
Disclaimer: I never get nice things.
Author's note: Well, this is it. The last chapter of this story. When I plotted this I didn't think it would be this long, but it grew in the telling. Thanks for everyone's support for this, I do really appreciate it. You all have been fantastic!
I have another AU I'm thinking about starting, but it won't be as epically long as this. I also have a prequel planned for my story Torchwood Blues, detailing the chaos leading up to Jack and Ianto's CP. And before I forget…more of my On-Verse as well. But I will be back to this universe at some point, most likely in the summer. I have a few more stories to tell!
Thanks again to everyone!
Six Months Later
Daffyd Jones, Baron Gateway – formerly Lord Ianto Jones, Master Archivist, Lord of Torchwood Castle, and Grand Cardinal Wizard of a timeline that no longer existed – sat on his horse on a small rise overlooking what had once been the ruins of Gateway, watching the bustle of the rebuilding with a slight smile on his face. The late summer sun glittered on the rising towers of the new Wizards' school, and a sense of pride and accomplishment warmed his chest more than the sunlight warmed his skin.
He'd brought this about. The very thought of that seemed unreal, even with the sounds of construction going on in front of him.
This wasn't what he'd planned, when he'd decided to follow the Doctor and Martha Jones back in time to change things. He'd only planned on reuniting the Jack and Ianto of this proper timeline, help his fellow Wizard learn a few things about himself and his power, and then gently let himself go in order to join his Jack and Myfanwy wherever they were. That had been him only purpose…his only goal.
But that goal had changed, and he'd been given a purpose that would take a lifetime to complete. His conversations with Their Majesties after Canary's Wharf had only been to make them aware of just what Wizards could accomplish, not volunteer himself to help teach any new Wizards their craft.
He'd almost turned it down. He'd only wanted to be with his Jack once more, and not be given so much responsibility.
But Queen Amelia could be very persuasive. And being at Gateway – despite in reminding him constantly that this was just one more major difference between his timeline and this – was actually giving him a peace of mind he hadn't thought was possible.
"Staring at it isn't going to make the work go faster, you know," a teasing voice broke him from his reverie.
Daffyd didn't even turn. "I'm a Wizard, Captain. Don't be too sure of that."
The amused snort made him glance at his companions. If someone had told him that his counterpart and his Jack's doppelganger would become his closest friends back when he'd been busily breaking the Doctor and Martha out of Lord Harold's house all those months ago, he would have simply shook his head and made some comment about a loss of sanity. But Ianto had become the sibling he'd never had, and Jack…well, while it did still cause a stab of pain seeing him, it was something Daffyd was slowly dealing with. He'd done everything for them, after all. And they'd supported him unconditionally.
The pair was on their own horses, a pack horse between them packed for their journey to Haven. There they were going to meet up with the rest of the team, and a letter from Owen said that there were rumors of dragons in Snowdonia. It would need to be checked out, before winter set in up in the high mountains.
Ianto had taken to the lessons Daffyd had taught him like a fish to water. One of the last things he'd done was to show his double how to make a wand; the slim length of cherry wood was in a leather sheath at his waist. It still looked strange to see him wearing a sword, since Wizards in his timeline only used magic and their enchanted daggers for defense. But, as Daffyd was well aware, things were much different here.
"When we come back through in the spring," Ianto said, "we'll bring the first of the new students."
Daffyd nodded. "We should be ready by then. It'll give Suzie about seven months to work through her nerves."
Suzie had decided that she wanted to stay at Gateway and become a teacher. Daffyd had been grateful, but was also glad that once she'd put her mind to it she'd embraced her Wizard heritage so completely. He only wished he could talk Ianto into staying, but he also knew that the other Wizard needed to be out on the road, with his Jack. Someday, he suspected they would both settle down, but that would be a while yet.
They'd managed to gain four students before the school was even built. Unsurprisingly, Luke Smith had Tested as a Cardinal Wizard; Daffyd was glad, knowing that at least one person from his timeline would become one. Another not-so-surprise was Ianto's own nephew David, he certainly had the blood line for it, and Daffyd would have been shocked if neither David nor Mica had Tested. He fully suspected that, when she got old enough, Mica would be joining her brother at the school.
What had been a surprise was that Ianto had an older sister. Daffyd had been an only child, but when he'd met Rhiannon Davies the one time he'd been practically adopted into their family. Her husband Johnny had made a comment about having to put up with two smug bastards now, but Rhiannon has simply cuffed him and rolled her eyes.
The other two students – Maria Jackson and Clyde Langer – were unknowns at this point, having been found by the first Testing done in London. All that Daffyd knew was that Clyde had Tested as a Void Wizard, and Maria as a Great Wizard. He was very much looking forward to meeting them.
Suzie wasn't the only one having a major case of nerves.
"I'm sure you will," Jack answered. "Even though it took a bit to get started."
Daffyd agreed. It had taken longer to clear the land, after the Royal Cartographer had shown up to mark the boundaries of the new Barony. Luckily he'd had some very old maps to consult, and it was discovered that Gateway had been a lot larger than anyone had thought. Well, except for Jack; but the captain seemed a bit disturbed by the place, and Daffyd had to believe it was because he was made Deathless there. He'd settled since, and at least one set of nerves had been soothed.
"I just wish we had a Great Wizard to help out," Daffyd said.
"I think that might be my cue."
Daffyd twisted in his saddle even as he was tugging on the reins to get his horse to turn around. "How did you manage to sneak up on us?" he demanded, his good mood dissipating.
The Doctor stood there, Tardis looming over him, the Wizard managing to look somewhat contrite. "You were a bit distracted," he replied. "I haven't been here long though."
"What do you want?" Ianto asked. He didn't sound very friendly either, but then he had good reason; calling the man you loved derogatory names wouldn't endear you to anyone.
"I heard what you were doing," the Doctor answered. "I…thought you might need my help."
Daffyd was speechless, and he knew his friends were as well. The Doctor had shown his true colors by running away at Canary's Wharf, and he just didn't trust him. "How do we know you won't just abandon your students at the drop of a hat?"
The Doctor actually flinched. "I've had some time to think, and I realized…that I've been so busy believing that I was right, that I didn't even consider that I might be wrong. The spell was never meant to last, I know that now. And I think it's about time that I start making up for my past mistakes."
He stared at the Wizard in front of him. He really wanted to believe him, but there was just too much history between them. "I'm not sure…"
"If it helps," he murmured, "I went back and apologized."
Daffyd's heart clenched. He swayed in shock, and only Ianto's hand on his shoulder kept him in the saddle. "You what?" It should have been a demand, but came out more as a strangled squeak.
"I went back," the Doctor reiterated, "and apologized. It's the last bit of time travel I intend to do. I'd really like to settle down here, if you'll let me."
He really didn't know what to think. All his life, he'd believed that this man had abandoned his ancestor among strangers, and had never gone back to check on her. To find out that he had…it was inconceivable, and yet Daffyd really wanted it to be true. "How can I believe you?"
"Maybe this will help." The Doctor pulled a letter from his pocket, holding it up for Daffyd to take.
The Wizard hesitated, then gingerly took the offered paper from his many times great-grandfather's hand. He slowly opened it, almost dreading what he'd find.
I know we'll never meet, but at least I know my little girl has a fantastic future. From what John's told me, I can't be more proud of you, and I hope you find what you're looking for.
Look, don't give John too much of a hard time, all right? He's a bit daft, but he usually does what he does for what he thinks are the right reasons…and nine times of out ten they are. It's just that tenth time you have to look out for! Believe me, having travelled with him, I know what I'm talking about.
But I want you to know this: I love that arrogant arse, and if you got to know him you'd love him too…although he's told me how he treated James, so maybe you won't, but you won't know unless you try. Oh wait…you know James as Jack now, don't you? I think Jack suits him, to be honest. Say 'Hi!" to him for me, won't you? I never meant for things to get so out of control with him, and I'd never have cursed him like that on purpose. I just wanted him to live.
Well, anyway…going to cut this short now. John's gotta get going, and I have a feed coming up. Your many times great-grandmother gets cranky if I don't get her her breakfast on time!
Don't worry for me, Ianto. I'm fine, and I'm right where I need to be.
Take care, and I love you.
Daffyd read the note twice, then passed it to Jack. The captain looked confused, but took it, his eyes tracking the lines. He could tell exactly when he got to the part when she'd mentioned making him Deathless; he blinked quickly, as if to get rid of any tears that were forming.
When he was done, he handed it back. "She was a wonderful lady," Jack said.
"I wish I could have met her," Daffyd said, folding the letter and carefully putting it into his tunic pocket. Then he regarded the Doctor. "All right. I'm willing to give you the chance. For her sake."
"I'll do my best not to let you down," the Doctor answered.
Jack had his hand on Ianto's leg, as if restraining him from saying something. A quick shake of his head only brought confusion to his face, and Daffyd knew that Jack would be explaining later.
"Now," the Doctor said, clapping his hands together, "I'll think I'll head into Gateway, see how the work's going."
"I'll meet you there, as soon as I see Jack and Ianto off," Daffyd promised. "I think we have a lot to discuss, don't you, Doctor?"
"I think so, yes. Oh, and how about calling me John? It's not like I can't use my real name anymore…"
Daffyd let his mouth curl up in a slight grin. "All right…John. We'll speak later."
The Doctor – now back to being John Smith – tapped his forehead in a salute, then he and Tardis vanished from the hillside.
"Well," Jack said after a few moments, "that was a surprise."
"He still hasn't apologized to you, though," Daffyd pointed out.
Jack shrugged. "One step at a time."
"I'm going to be looking forward to this explanation," Ianto said drily.
"It'll give us something to talk about on the way to Haven," the captain answered.
"Like you ever run out of things to talk about?"
"Oi! Are you calling me noisy?"
"I wasn't aware I was calling you anything, Jack."
Daffyd laughed. It reminded him of his and Jack's conversations, but in a good way. It didn't hurt as badly anymore.
He looked at both men closely. The magical ties between them were getting even stronger, and he had hope that, one day, they'd be as close as he and his Jack had been. He twisted the ring on his finger, wondering if it was the right time…
In for a gold coin, as they say.
"There's something I want to give you." He pulled the ring from his finger, holding it out to Ianto.
The Wizard looked confused, but he took the ring. His eyes widened as he sensed the magic within it. "What is it?"
"It's a very special type of magic," Daffyd explained. "It allows two men to have a child together."
The stunned looks on both their faces were hilarious, and he couldn't help but smile.
"That's…impossible!" Jack spluttered. "And believe me when I say I've seen a lot of impossible things!"
"It really isn't," Daffyd answered. "Just very difficult. There are some rituals involved, and you have to do it during the Spring Rites to tap into the fertility magic that's so abundant at that time of the year, but the spell will work. My Jack and I….we were going to perform it ourselves, but that's not possible now." The pain that accompanied that comment made his chest ache, and he barely resisted the urge to rub at it.
Ianto stared at the ring, and then, with a determination that didn't quite fir the motion, he slid it onto his left ring finger.
He made it back to Gateway about an hour later, heading toward the small house that had been built for him to tide him over until the baronial estate was up. Not that he'd spend a lot of time there, it was just expected that a Baron have a really big house. He'd most likely live in the Wizards' school, to be close to the students.
Daffyd entered the small living area, heading straight for the wine on the sideboard. With all the construction it was quite dusty out, and he was parched.
"How did it go?"
The Wizard finished pouring his drink, then turned. "Very well. I gave them the ring."
"Do you think they'll use it?"
"Eventually, yes. They'll want to settle down, and then it will happen."
"And I suppose you didn't bother to inform them that any child they had would be your heir?"
Daffyd snorted. "Like they need any more pressure to perform, love."
"I just…wish it was us. I was really looking forward to carrying your child,"
"I know you were. We'll…just have to live precariously through them." Daffyd drained his wine, taking the glass out to the kitchen to clean it. "Oh, and grandfather showed up. He's going to be helping out at the school."
"I think I'll remain invisible during his visits, if that's fine with you."
"It's not like you can just appear to anyone as it is."
"True, but he did see me before. He's changed, a lot."
"He…went back. To see Rose. And she sent him a letter back. She told me to say 'Hi!' to you."
His Jack smiled sadly. "She was a wonderful lady," he said, unconsciously mimicking his double.
Daffyd leaned against the sink, looking at his Jack. His former lover glowed with the gold of the Deep Ways, looking just as he had when they'd parted in the past. "At least you have a bit of a substitute with the Avatar."
"Yeah, but it's not the same thing. Just like me being here, with you, isn't the same."
He'd been shocked beyond belief when he'd first seen Jack in Gateway. While they couldn't touch, at least they could talk, and Daffyd loved his Jack's presence in his life. "I know. But at least we're not alone. And some day…"
"Yeah, some day. And you're right. I can at least support you this way, instead of leaving you alone. He looked at Daffyd with such longing it made the Wizard ache once more. "You know I wouldn't object if you took another lover – "
"Not going to happen. Jack, I love you, and some day we will be together. Until then, we're here…in this time…making a difference. And we'll continue to do so."
And, he thought, that was what was important for now…making a difference.
Daffyd Jones – Ianto Jones in another lifetime – would do what he was meant to do, until the day he could no longer do it anymore. And then, he'd join his Jack in eternity.
Until then, he would continue to be content in his new life.
Until the end.