Characters: Ianto/Jack, Rhiannon, Mica, and brief appearances by others.
Spoilers: COE definitely.
Summary: The journey of a little girl who didn't have choice, because time had written her story long before she had even been born.
Disclaimer: Torchwood belongs to the BBC and RT Davies. I'm just happily playing in their sandbox.
Author's Note: This work of fiction was inspired by a few different fanfictions, I can't remember the names or authors of these fics. So…Enjoy.
Cromwell Council Estate, Cardiff, Wales, 2006
A smartly dress man walked slowly and quietly across the uncut lawn of a council estate house, his movements hindered by the burden he carried. As he came to rest on the front stoop of the small house, he glanced back toward the road, ensuring that his vehicle was still safely parked where he left it. Knocking once, he waited for an inhabitant of the home to answer the door.
As the door opened and the light spilled across the man, he tucked his burden closer to his chest, attempting to shield his burden, a small child, from the light. A young woman with dark colored hair glanced out into the darkness of the night, her eyes coming to rest of the man at her door. Her eyes widening slightly as she spoke, "Ianto?"
"Hello, Rhi." He said, giving her a small smile; before he began murmuring nonsense to the small child in his arms, attempting to soothe her back to sleep.
"What hell are you doing here?" Rhiannon Davies (nee Jones) hissed as she motioned the man into the warmth of the house. "I thought you were off on your next big adventure, somewhere in universe…"
Ianto Jones grinned at his sister, shifting his burden closer into the warmth of his chest. "I was; then I met someone and things changed."
He followed his sister across the small front hall and into the kitchen slash living room. As Rhiannon made coffee in the kitchen, Ianto laid the child on the couch, covering her with a blanket. Brushing back the little girl's bangs, he placed a kiss her forehead, whispering that he loved her.
After placing two mugs of coffee on her kitchen table, Rhiannon took a seat at the table, waiting for Ianto to join her there.
"Who's the little dear?" She asked, once Ianto was seated across from her.
"My daughter." The man supplied.
"And her name?" Rhiannon prompted, rolling her eyes at her brother's secretiveness.
"She doesn't have one." Ianto replied, before taking a sip from his coffee mug.
"And why not?"
"Because I don't have the right to name her, that right is hers and no one else's. You can give her a name, but unless she chooses that name, it means nothing."
Rhiannon nodded in perceived understanding; choosing instead to latch on this little bit of information and using it to find out more about had happened in the last couple of years of her brother's life. "Where is her mother? How old is she? Where was she born? What happened, Ianto?"
"A lot of things, Rhiannon. And I don't know where to really begin, for this is a story for her and her alone. But I will tell you what I can. Her mother is gone and I don't mean dead…just gone. Her birthplace is unimportant to anyone else but her, for she will need to know that information when she is older. As for her age, she is three. I need a favor of you, Rhi."
"What? Name it."
"Ianto glanced in the direction of where is daughter lay, knowing that he was about to make the toughest decision of his life; but at the same time knowing that this meant to happen.
"I need to take her, love her, raise her, and most important of all…protect her." Ianto said, his voice rough from holding back the anguish at leaving his daughter behind.
"Ianto, you can't just abandon your daughter. She needs you." Rhiannon stated, shocked at her brother's request of her.
"No, she needs to be protected, and that is something I can't do. Her timeline is linear, but not. Do you understand?"
"The hell, I don't." Rhiannon exclaimed. "Excuse me, brother, for not having an alien for a mam. So…none of this is making any sense."
"She was born in the future, but she belongs in the past as well as the future. There are things that will happen… things that she must make happen. And I know some of what they are, but not all. I can't say anymore, and I really must be going." Ianto replied, rising from his seat and calmly walking over to where his daughter lay sleeping.
"That's it. You come here; have a quick chat, and then leave your daughter to perfect strangers has far as she is concerned." Rhiannon remarked as she pushed her chair back, letting the wood scrap along the cheap linoleum floor.
Ianto ignored her, choosing instead to focus on the last moments he would have with his daughter for some time yet. Tucking the blanket closer around her, Ianto leaned closer to her face and whispered his goodbyes to her.
Rhiannon watched as the scene between her brother and his daughter played out; her heart heavy for she knew that she would never be strong enough to let her little boy David go, no matter the circumstances. Once Ianto was finished, he straightened up and move toward her. Giving her a small smile, he wrapped his arms around her, placing a quick kiss on her cheek. Ianto released her and swiftly crossed the living room, headed for the front door of the small house.
"What happens now?" Rhiannon asked, curious as to where her brother was going once he left her home.
"I leave." Ianto stated as he opened the door, letting the cool night air into the home. Rhiannon followed behind, stopping at the front step, watching as her brother crossed the front lawn toward his ship, a vehicle which she could not see.
Rhiannon paused, before she pulled her bathrobe closer around her body and stepped off into the grass. She jogged a few steps in order to catch up with her brother's long strides. Ianto stopped a few feet from the door of his ship, waiting for a question; one that he expected long before the goodbyes were said.
"Which Ianto are you? The one that left in his pretty little space ship after Tad died. Or the one that just came home to Cardiff from London, a few weeks ago?"
"The one that left after Tad's death; the other is me from a different point in my timeline. If it's all the same to you, don't mention me or the little girl to him. Pretend this night never happened. As for Johnny and David, her necklace is a type of perception filter; it will create a memory of her where there wasn't one before; so make sure that she never takes it off. Goodbye, Rhi."
"And what happens if she does, or someone else does." Rhiannon questioned, worried for the little girl if that should ever happen.
"Everyone who had ever met her in this time would simply forget her, except you. The filter won't be turned on until after I leave." Ianto explained, giving his sister a tiny smile. Rhiannon nodded her head in understanding at his reasoning; also in understanding that she needed to trust that her brother knew what he was going.
"Goodbye, Ianto." Rhiannon replied, as her brother completed the last few steps to his ship and disappeared from view. "I love you."
Turning away from the street, Rhiannon walked back toward her home and her family, knowing that the weirdness that had surrounded her brother his whole life was about to become a lot more complicated. Closing the door behind her, she walked towards the living room and the little girl that lay within. Rhiannon sighed as her eyes fell upon the child, wondering what she would tell the girl and her husband when the questions finally came. Turning off the lights, the young mother sunk into a nearby chair; intending to keep watch over the girl, in case she needed anything before morning dawned and the rest of the house awoke.
Ianto stepped into the control room on his ship, a TARDIS, a gift from his mum before the Time War; before she was lost to him forever. He had only met her once, but that one time was something that he would cherish to the rest of his life. Pulling off his jacket, he laid it across the console. Walking around the central column, Ianto began to flip switches and pull levers sending the ship into the time vortex. As Earth began to disappear from view on his monitor, Ianto wonder what the future had in store for him; would he ever meet his daughter's mum again or were they just two ships that passed in the night. He turned his attention from the monitor to the console, setting a course at random, knowing that he shouldn't dwell on things that he could not change.
Cardiff, Wales, 2009 (Four Weeks after the 456)
After checking her watch for the third time in the last 5 minutes, Rhiannon glanced down the road, hoping to catch sight of one of her children coming toward her on their way home from school. But of course, she was having no such luck; due to the amount of people on the pavements and the time of the day. Finally, what seemed as though a lifetime had passed, Rhiannon finally spotted her son's David in the crowd of people coming her general direction. The young mother pushed herself up from the bench she was seat on, and began to walk toward her son. But as she got closer to the boy, she noticed that something wasn't right, he little sister wasn't with him. Rhiannon clutched her purse to her chest and broke off in a run toward the child, her eyes darting left and right, hoping that she was wrong and Mica was only a few steps behind David; but she wasn't. Taking a breath, Rhiannon tried to calm her nerves as her mind raced as to where the young girl could have disappeared to. After a few deep breaths, Rhiannon decided to focus her attention on her son and hoped that he knew where Mica was.
"Where is your sister?" Rhiannon questioned, placing her hands on her son's shoulders.
David stared at his mother in bewilderment, as though she had grown two heads overnight. Twisting his body around as much as his mother's arms allowed, he looked behind him, checking to make sure that his mother was actually speaking to him and not someone else in the crowd. Not finding anyone, David turned his attention back to his mother.
David paused for a moment, before replying. "I don't have a sister, mam. Only child…Are you sure you alright?"
Rhiannon looked at David and nodded quickly, her mind immediately racing to the thought that the girl had taken off her necklace. Not wanting to worry her son anymore than she had already done; she grinned at the young boy, attempting to show him that she was only joking. But in her head, Rhiannon was confused and lost as to where the little girl had gone or why she had done so.
When the girl had awoken from her sleep, all those years ago, she had immediately informed Rhiannon that her "Taddy" had told her that she mustn't ever take off the little piece of jewelry or bad things would happen. Rhiannon had agreed with the girl and tucked it under the girl's dress, telling her that the necklace, her "Taddy" and where she had come from must be their little secret. The little girl had grinned, showing the young mother her pearly white baby teeth; with a kiss to the girl's forehead, Rhiannon had settled back into the sofa, letting her mind wonder to a name for the girl. After a few moments in thought, Rhiannon had turned to the child and asked her what she had thought of the name Mica. The girl gave her aunt another smile, telling her that she liked it very much. Once that was settled, Rhiannon left the girl on the sofa and went about to prepare breakfast for the people in her life.
A quick tug on her arm pulled Rhiannon from her wondering; upon looking at her son, she was graced with an annoyed expression from the boy. She cuffed him lightly in the back of the head for his cheekiness, before dragging him into a hug. On contact, she heard the faint crinkle of paper coming for somewhere on the child.
"David, do you have a something to give me from your teacher?"
"No, mam." David replied, "But a girl stopped me outside of school and asked me to give this to you, though." As he spoke, he pulled a small envelope from the depths of his trouser pockets.
Rhiannon took the offered letter, and quickly opened it. Instead of seeing the block lettering of a girl, who was just learning to write, the letter had clearly been authored by someone much older, a teenager at least.
Let me say first, I'm fine and please don't worry. It was time for me to go and we will see each again, I promise. Second, I want to thank you for loving me, and being an amazing mother to me; I will never forget that. And lastly, just one part of Tad's time on Earth has ended; he has many left, so don't mourn his passing for you will see him again, I promise.
I'm sorry to cut this short; but my time here on Earth is brief.
All my love,
Closing the letter, Rhiannon tried to calm the racing of her heart; but couldn't get her mind off the fact that the little girl…her niece was just gone. And nobody but her would have any memory of her on Earth. Forcing back her tears, Rhiannon took her son's hand, walking toward the ice cream vender at the end of the road like she had promised him. Whether it broke her heart or not, the little girl, she had named Mica, was gone and was no longer her responsibility, her brother had seen to that.
"Where are we going?" Mica asked, looking at the only other person in the TARDIS's control room, a teenage girl. The teenager glanced at her young charge, as she flipped a lever, sending the time ship into a controlled spiral through the vortex.
"I'm taking you to Tad," was the only reply that Mica received from the teenager. Most children would have been upset at being ignored, but Mica wasn't like most children. She took what the stranger said without further comment and settled into the flight chair to work on her reading.
A short time later, Mica felt the TARDIS land, trusting that her Tad's ship would get her to him, rather than relying on word of the stranger flying. After a quick check of the controls, the teenager motioned for Mica to stay seated, which she did. Mica let her eyes follow the other girl, as she collected a duffle bag from the corner of the platform and walked toward the door of the TARDIS. Without a goodbye to Mica, the dark haired teenager disappeared through the TARDIS's doors, leaving Mica in the large control room by herself. The little girl waited, hoping that the girl was coming back; but after what seemed like an eternity, Mica decided to investigate.
Scrambling down from the flight seat, Mica rushed towards the door; only to stop in her tracks as the door opened to reveal her Tad, wearing almost the exact same suit that he had been the night he left her on Earth. Closing the last few steps, Ianto swept his daughter into his arms, bestowing kisses upon the small child's face. Mica latched onto her Tad, happy but scared that if she let go, he would disappear again. Ianto loosened his grip on the girl, moving her small body from his chest to settle on his hip. Crossing the room to the console, Ianto sent the TARDIS's back into the time vortex and toward their next destination.
Folding his long frame into the flight seat, he placed Mica in his lap, knowing that he needed to explain some things to the small child, but ultimately happy to have her back.
"Little one, I need you to do something for me… I need to remember this day. It's very important that you do." Ianto said, trying to keep his voice as soothing as possible.
Mica nodded her head which she had burrowed it into her Tad's chest. Smiling to himself, Ianto petted his daughter's head, running his fingers through her loose curls, before placing a small kiss on her crown. The action seemed to cause Mica to snuggle closer into the warmth of her dad's chest.
"It's going to be awhile before we return to Earth; but in the mean time, we are going to have lots of fun. How does that sound?"
Ianto felt his daughter vigorously nod her head at the statement and smiled at the enthusiasm that she possessed, just like her mum. Quickly, he pulled his mind away from those thoughts, not wishing to dwell on a past that he couldn't change, with a person that he had loved and lost for a reason he didn't yet know or understand. As he continued to sit there, simply holding the little girl, he began to feel her grip on him loosen, telling him that she was falling asleep in his arms. Ianto gently stood from the seat, tucking the girl into him to ensure that she didn't fall as he carried out of the control room and to her room. Once in her room, he laid the little girl on her bed, pulling her shoes off as he did so. After folding the muted yellow duvet around her shoulders, he switched on the device that had served as her nightlight when she was younger. Closing the door behind him, he left her to her dreams, while he decided where and when to take her.
Unbeknownst to the child, his time with her was short; he had only a year to teach her, to show her everything that he thought that she needed to know in order to survive the oncoming storm. And it broke his heart, knowing that he would have to leave her; but he knew that the next step in her life, would give her something that he couldn't…a real opportunity to know her mother.
Boeshane Peninsula, 51st Century
On a beach in a remote part of the galaxy, a TARDIS's dematerialized without a sound; sticking his head out the door, Ianto looked around checking to make sure that the beach was empty. With a bag in one hand and his daughter's in the other, he walked out of the time ship in the direction of the nearest settlement. The small child followed her father across the sand dunes, turning her head this way and that in wonder at the prettiness of her surroundings. The pair crested the last sand dune, following the twisting path as it lead into the settlement; pausing briefly, Ianto inquired of a local as to the correct location of his destination. Once he had it, he continued to walk, tugging on the girl's arm as he went, ensuring that she was keeping up with his stride.
A few minutes into their walk, Ianto stopped in front a house. There was nothing overtly special about this house; it looked like every other house in the area. It wasn't the outside that interested Ianto; it was the person that lived within it. Knocking on the door, Ianto waited for the owner of the house to open the door; a moment later, the door opened to reveal an older woman, with a short blonde bob and light blue eyes. She smiled at Ianto, as though she had been waiting for him to arrive. Ushering the pair into the house, the woman closed the door with a soft click before leading them into the living room area. The little girl, who had been named Mica by her aunt, climbed into a chair, watching as her father took a seat opposite her.
"She looks just like her uncle when he was her age," the woman said, refusing to let the tears in her eyes fall. After all these years, she still mourned the lost of her children; one to unknown enemy and the other to his own guilt. Ianto nodded at the statement, having to take her word for it, for he had never seen a picture of the boy.
"Are you alright with taking her? I've had with me for the last year, but I think she needs you more than she needs me." Ianto told the older woman.
"A daughter will always need her father; but I will be happy to take her, Ianto. I think it will do me good to have a child in the house; the house is far too empty for me." The girl's grandmother stated, giving Ianto a small smile. From personal experience, she understood how difficult it was for a parent to loose a child; even if that parent was voluntarily giving the child up.
Ianto looked at the girl, where she sat reading her book. Taking a calming breath, Ianto rose and couched in front of the little girl; he pulled the book from her hands, breaking the spell the story had weaved within his daughter's mind.
"You're going to be staying with your grandmother for a while; she's your mam's mam. I'll come and visit when I can; but I want you to understand that you have done nothing wrong, this about me and me needing to keep you safe. Alright?"
The girl looked into her Tad's face, as though she was trying to read the secrets that it held. Wrapping her small arms around his neck, she pulled him close to her, hating the idea that he was leaving her again with a stranger. Ianto could feel the tears falling from his daughter's eyes as she clung to him; it tugged at his heartstrings, but just had to happen. Everything had purpose and everything had to happen in one particular order to ensure the time stream. Pulling back to peer at his daughter's cherub face, Ianto wiped the tears from her eyes and brought out his handkerchief to blow her nose with.
"I'm going miss you so much, little one. Just remember, in your bag is a way for you to always reach me. I promise you, I will come when you call, for any reason." Ianto told his daughter, hating the idea of leaving her again, when he had barely gotten her back. The girl nodded to her Tad, her lower lip trembling; seeing this, Ianto cupped her face in his hands, hoping to provide some comfort to his daughter.
As Ianto tried to soothe his daughter, the older woman had left and returned with a box; placing the box on a low table, she walked toward the pair, her eyes never leaving the small child. She crouched next to Ianto; positioning her hand on the child's knee, she gave it a squeeze. It got the desired reaction; the dark haired youngster turned her eyes from her father's face and towards the woman's.
"Would you like to play a game, sweetheart? I have some toys that belonged to your mother when she was your age."
Nodding her head, the child slipped out of her father's arms and crossed to the box, quickly pulling out bits and pieces of children's toys. Ianto smiled at the woman's foresight, and motioned her to follow him a short distance away from the youngster, out of earshot.
"It's time for me to go; but I do want to thank you so much for taking her." Ianto said, in low tones, guaranteeing that child would not hear. "But before I do, I need to tell you two very important things. One, she has no real name and I'm trusting you to help her choose one when the time is right; two, here's a letter to give to her when she turns 17. Other than that, just love her."
The grandmother nodded in acceptance; at seeing the sign, Ianto walked back toward his child and placed one last kiss upon her head before leaving the room. The woman heard the front door open then close, telling her that the young father was gone.
She crossed the room and slipped into the chair that the child had vacated, simply watching as the girl played by herself. Glancing toward a time piece on the far wall, she noted that it was nearing lunchtime and the girl would need to be feed; but she made the decision to wait just a little longer, allowing the youngster a few more moments of play. The grandmother didn't know what type of life was in-store for her grandmother; but regardless of whether it was good or bad, she was going to ensure that this girl received all the happiness in the universe that she was capable of giving to her.
Boeshane Peninsula, 51st Century (10 years later)
"Liadán, I need you come in for a moment, dear." The older woman called out into the front year.
A dark haired girl of seventeen, who had once been called Mica, turned her gaze from her book toward her grandmother, signaling that she had heard the woman. Putting her book down, the teenager crossed the yard to the door, dusting the sand from her trousers as she went. Once in the house, she walked into the small kitchen to find her grandmother already seated at the table, with a cup of the local beverage in hand. Not waiting to be told, Liadán or Lia to her friends took the seat across from the older woman.
When she turned ten, her grandmother sat her down in this very kitchen and helped the girl choose her name…a name that no one else would be able to change. This name was a name for keeps. Being raised by her grandmother meant that she had to live in the shadows of a horrible day. A day filled with unspeakable horrors, a grandfather that had died trying to protect his wife; a son that had been taken by creatures only found within one's worst nightmares, and her mother, who would later flee this world, blaming herself for failing her little brother…failing the child by letting go of his hand. The shadows might have lessened in her grandmother's eyes, but the anguish was still there. So she decided to choose a name, in honor of her uncle, who had been lost so young. The name chosen had been Liadán, meaning grey lady in Celtic…as close to her Tad's native tongue as she could get.
It was her grandmother grabbing her hand, which pulled Liadán from her thoughts. The older woman held it within hers as she spoke. "You're seventeen today, and in a few weeks you leave for the Time Academy. I hope that I have taught you everything that your father wanted me to and then some. And if I haven't, then I'm sorry for failing you."
Liadán made a noise of displeasure at last part of her grandmother's statement; she knew that her grandmother couldn't fail her even if she tried.
"I have a letter that your father asked me to give to you when you turned seventeen; today's the day. Before you asked, I don't know what is in it; but whatever it is; I need you to promise me that you will follow it." The seriousness of the woman's tone told Liadán how important this information was. Liadán quickly agreed to her grandmother's instructions, knowing that if the orders came from her father then it was imperative that she listen. Taking the letter from the table, the teenager retreated to her room, wanting privacy whilst she read.
I don't know how to put into words how much I've missed seeing you grow up. And for the times that I did see you, they were few and far between and never enough. By the time you read this, it will have been exactly ten years since I left you on the Boeshane Peninsula with your grandmother. I trust that she has helped you grow into an amazing woman, one that any father would be proud of.
Now the reason for this letter, in a week's time the TARDIS will appear on the same beach we did all those years ago. You have to be ready to leave for the Academy after your time onboard is finished. It will be unmanned and the coordinates pre-set. Do you remember that day when you left your Aunt Rhiannon? Do you remember what the girl looked like who took you?
I assume by now, you have made the connection…that girl was you. And now it's time for you to see that you are delivered safe and sound to me. Remember that day, little one, for you need to repeat it, but this time as that teenager.
There is one more thing you need to do…write a letter to your Aunt Rhiannon. Tell her everything that you have wanted to say to her while in her care; but never could.
I must end this letter now. I will see you at the Academy, I promise.
All my love,
Liadán snapped the letter closed and tucked it into her book for safe keeping. It was as though a light bulb had gone off in her head; the memories of that day were now in crystal clarity, making more sense then when they did as a six year old. From one moment to next, Liadán didn't know what had happened, but now all she knew was that she was crying….and no idea why. Maybe it was because of what she now knew what she had to do, or it was because she wasn't ready to take that next step in her life. Regardless, the hand of time had been set in motion and she had to follow it to the second.
Exactly one week later, with bag in hand, Liadán waited patiently on that same beach that she had arrived on a decade earlier. By the time her Tad's TARDIS had materialized, the tears were falling unchecked; she was scared…worried because she had no clue as to what the future held from this point forward. Wiping her hand across her eyes, she did her best to dry most of her tears, before opening that door to the next stage in her life. She swiftly crossed the control room, dropping her bag as she went. Pausing for a moment, she let the TARDIS's telepathic link reach out and touch her mind…letting it soothe her troubled spirit. As she rounded the control console, she noticed a post-it, written in her Tad's immaculate scribble, attached to a monitor, detailing exactly which levers and buttons should be pressed to fly the time ship. The teenager laughed at her father's behavior, happy that even if he couldn't be here physically, he was here in this room in spirit…watching over her.
Following the post-it note to the letter, she sent the TARDIS into the vortex, knowing that in a few moments she would be at the first stop of her journey.
Cardiff, Wales, 2009 (Four Weeks after the 456)
At half four on a normal Tuesday afternoon, the TARDIS materialized not far from the primary school in not so great neighbor in Cardiff. Ducking her head out the door of the invisible ship, Liadán checked that the coast was clear before exiting the vehicle. With only a letter in her hand, she quickly walked toward the front gate, knowing that the child version of herself would be one of the first out of the school's doors. And just as she remember, little Mica Davies belted through the doors with a group of her friends; but where her friends continued on, Mica paused looking left and right for any sign of her brother David. Tugging her backpack closer to her back, she calmly walked closer to the front gates, but stopped as though she was sensing something not quiet right with her surroundings.
Liadán watched, waiting for the crowd of mothers and older siblings to lessen around the gates. Pushing forward, she closed the last few feet and stopped in front of the girl; couching down to match the girl's eye level, the young woman gazed into the eyes that matched her own. Instead of seeing fear, she saw curiosity, trust, innocence; traits that she sometimes wished were still mirrored in her own.
"The time has come, the Walrus said, to talk of many thing…" Liadán recited, using a line from her favorite part of Through the Looking Glass. A story that her Tad had read from every night she had been with him.
The younger version of herself grinned at the teenager, before taking off the necklace her Tad had given her. As the small child did so, it seemed as though a ripple of energy unseen by human eyes passed over the crowd and beyond, erasing the child's presence from the minds it touched. Holding out the piece of jewelry, the child waited for Liadán to take and she did; tucking it into the small pocket of her skirt. Just as the child began to walk in the general direction of the TARDIS, Liadán stopped her by laying her hand on the child's backpack. Keeping one hand on herself, she let her eyes wonder through the crowd of loitering children, needing to find David and deliver this letter. A few moments passed before she caught sight of the boy walking in the opposite direction. Telling the small girl to stay there, she weaved herself through the crowd and to the boy.
"Are you David Davies?" Liadán inquired, for the sake of starting a conversation with the boy as opposed to needing true clarification. Upon the boy nodding that he was, Liadán smiled and requested that he pass on a letter for her, to his mother. David assured the teenager that he would, then turned around and continued walking.
Once she was back at the side of the child, she directed her toward the TARDIS and inside the ship. Closing the door behind her, she crossed the control room to the central column and began to key in the next set of coordinates. She glanced up from her work at the child's question, where are we going, as she flipped a lever sending the TARDIS into the time vortex.
"I'm taking you to Tad," she replied. Liadán knew that she could tell herself nothing more than that; that everything had to play out in a certain way, and the less the younger version knew the better. The teenager watched as the child seemed to take what she had said, pulling out her reader, settling into the flight seat.
Liadán paused in her perusal of the TARDIS's various readouts and turned her attention fully to the small child. Chuckling softly to herself, she found it hard to imagine ever being that full of innocence and trust. After a mental head shake, she refocused her attention on the readouts, watching for the correct moment to set the TARDIS for materialization.
At the exact moment that it was meant to happen, the TARDIS rematerialized on a planet far removed from the one the teenager had grown up on in the 51st Century. With a quick check of the controls, Liadán mimed for the girl to stay where she was; crossing the room, she grabbed her bag and exited the ship through its doors.
Time Academy (or near enough), 51st Century
On the other side of those doors, a man in a dashing grey charcoal suit waited. Liadán smiled at seeing the other man, her eyes becoming slightly misty with emotion. Reaching out his arms, Ianto pulled the girl into his arms and placed a light kiss on her temple.
"You have to go now, little one, or you'll be late. Your Tad is waiting at the Academy steps for you. Now, hurry."
At those words, Liadán jumped into action. With a quick kiss on the man's cheek, the teenager pulled freed and began running in the direction of the Time Academy, trusting that the posted signs would lead her in the correct direction.
The closer she got to the institution, the faster her heart was beating…due to adrenaline and the excitement of seeing her Tad again. Before this little trip, it had been almost six months since she had laid eyes on the man. As she came upon the grounds which the institution rested, she could see her dad in the distance, patiently waiting for any sign of his daughter. Pushing her legs faster, she crested a small hill that led down to a flatter area of ground. When she was not but two yards from her father, she dropped her bag and called out 'Tad'.
Ianto glanced up at the sound of the word, grinning. Jumping down the short set of stairs, Ianto broke out into the run, intending to meet his daughter head on and he did. Once the distance between them was no more, Ianto grabbed his child and hugged her close; Liadán returned the action, wrapping her arms around the man's neck. As the girl began to cry, Ianto rubbed and whispered soothing words into her ears, hoping that it had the desired effect.
After a few moments, Ianto pulled back from the girl, wanting to get a better look at her. As Ianto let his eyes take their fill, Liadán tried to wipe the tears from her face. With a soft smile, the father handed over a handkerchief to the girl, for her to do a better job of it.
Once she was satisfied with her work, Liadán spoke. "You can't stay very long, can you?"
"No." Ianto replied, giving her a sad smile and no further explanation. He would have said, that he was sorry; but he didn't want to do that to her. Since a small child, it seemed as though all he ever said to her was I'm sorry or goodbye. She didn't need to hear some variation of those words for he knew with certainty that next few years of her life were going to be hardest that she ever had. Her past was about to come full circle, and everything that he had never told her, she was going to learn…experience, see in vibrant detail.
Liadán nodded her head at her father; long ago, she had learned to accept the pain of her father leaving, rather than fighting with him over it. With a smile on her face, she kissed her father's cheek and walked the few feet back toward her bag. Grabbing it from the ground, she slung it over her shoulder. And without looking back, she entered the building; for if she had looked back, she wouldn't have been able to take this next step. She would have crumbled where she stood; but she stronger than this pain and she would win against it.
Time Agency, 51st Century (Four Years Later—Age 21)
In a glass filled room, she stood, waiting for the head...the Chancellor of the Time Agency to arrive. The time had come, and he had chosen the next group of his elite guard. And she was one of them, a little girl who had grown into a young woman on the beaches of the Boeshane Pensisula. A girl, whose father had paid the ultimate price to keep her safe and loved, now, she stood before a man, who would mark her as a Time Agent; even when it was gone and only a story in the history books remain, she would forever wear the mark of Agent of Time. But she had a little secret of her own, she had been an Agent of Time from birth…she was a daughter of a Timelord.
Squaring her shoulders back, Liadán meet the eyes of her new boss head on, never flinching as his steel-blue gaze bore into her own. For some, achieving this position was one of honor, of prestige; but for Liadán, it was one of necessity…it had to happen and she had no choice in the matter. Her leader's eyes swept over her, before moving on the next agent in turn; but she couldn't help but continue to feel the man's eyes on her.
Once the Chancellor seemed satisfied with his guard, he motioned for his assistant to begin the swearing-in ceremony. Never taking her eyes off the man in front of her, Liadán swore her allegiance to the Time Agency, but more important to protect and to serve the Chancellor.
Now, the Chancellor was a peculiar individual; the history of the Agency spoke of him being as old as time itself, barely aging and without a name. He might have been born with a name, or even carried one at some point in his history; but now, he didn't…he preferred to called the Chancellor and only the Chancellor and nobody questioned it.
One by one, each agent submitted themselves to being marked. The mark was small in design, but noticeable and significant. It was shaped like a block letter T, similar to one, you would find in books written in Old English…21st Century English. But instead of being just straight perpendicular lines, the design was composed of smaller hexagons put together to form the overall letter. And as for its colors, red and black, the only true colors of the Time Agency. After what seemed like a small eternity to Liadán, it was finally her turn to take the mark. Tilting her head to the side, she allowed the marker access to her neck, the location where design would be placed. Trying not to flinch as the marker went to work; she focused her attention on the opposing wall, letting her mind wonder. Once he was finished, the marker released the grip he had on her arm, which he had used to steady both her and himself as he worked.
The Chancellor called for dismissal, after the last person had been completed. His assistant led the group from the room, handing out their new assignments as he walked. Liadán took hers from the man, with barely a glance in his direction, for her eyes were still on the Chancellor, who had taken to staring at her, in return.
Time Agency, 51st Century (Age 24)
Liadán heard the shouts before she saw the man. Rounding the desk, she quickly placed her body between the Chancellor's door and the advancing man. As he grew closer, her blood ran colder; he looked identical to the Chancellor, but only younger. This man's dark hair appeared to be missing the salt and pepper, which was slowly creeping up the Chancellor's temples. His had the same blue eyes, but his didn't have the same haunted look that the Chancellor's had. Where her boss had a confident swagger, this man had more of waddle, but the obvious pregnancy bump was the blame for that one.
With moments, the pregnant man was in her face, shouting; Liadán paid the words no heed; her immediate reaction was to push him away. Out of her space and away from the Chancellor's door, but she miscalculated. The baby bump gave him an advantage over her, and he quickly overtook her strength. Pushing pass her, he entered the office, still shouting; the young agent followed in his wake, tugging on his arm, trying to get him out of the office. But she was too late; the pregnant man paused, eyes wide and mouth gaping at the sight of the Chancellor seated behind his desk. The Chancellor rose from his seat, ordering for the man to be taken from room. From one moment to next, Liadán didn't know what had happened; two burly men appeared out of nowhere and grabbed the younger man, all but dragging him from the room.
The young woman watched in shock, not sure what she was supposed to do, follow the pregnant man or stand at attention and be berated for her massive blunder. But the decision was taken from her; as the bulky men were taking the other man down the hall, a wet spot began to spread across the front of his clothes. At that exact moment, the Chancellor focused his gaze on her.
Not needing to be told twice, Liadán jumped into action, following the trio as they lead the way down to the hospital wing. At the hospital doors, the young woman was met by the Chancellor's assistant. He inclined his head in a type of greeting, but offered no words to the time agent. The pair entered the room, Liadán heading toward where the Chancellor's doppelganger lay, moaning in pain; and the assistant making his way over to the doctor. Grabbing the man's hand, she did her best to give him some kind of comfort, saddened by him having to go through this ordeal alone.
After a quick word with the doctor, Liadán noticed that the assistant had disappeared from the room, probably on his way to report back to the Chancellor. Turning her attention back to the man, she laid her hand across his forehead, brushing back sweaty bangs as she did so. He offered her a small smile of gratitude, still very much in pain. As she stood next to the man's bed, doctors and nurses moved around her, preparing the room and the man for the impending birth of his child.
Feeling a tug on her arm, Liadán turned to look at the individual doing the tugging, who turned out to be the Chancellor's assistant. He spoke quietly to the young agent, informing her of the decisions that had been made with regard to the man and his child. The other father of the child had been contacted and promised to come for the child as soon as possible; for the male Time Agent would not be allowed to keep his child, and he was going to loose his memories because of what he had seen. The assistant held his hand up, stopping the young woman from verbalizing her outrage at these arrangements. Stepping back, the assistant motioned toward a nearby nurse, before leaving the room. Liadán looked back at the Time Agent, bestowing him with a smile, an attempt at hiding the anguish in her face.
Around the eleventh hour, a nurse brought Liadán a chair, which the young woman gratefully took. By this point, the male Time Agent was drugged to the gills and resting as comfortably as he could given the circumstances. Although, the child would be delivered by C-section, the doctors needed to allow the body to go through the process of preparing for childbirth, especially if he didn't want to encounter any issues with the man's artificial womb.
When it was finally time to deliver the child, Liadán stayed the course and never wavering, giving any and all comfort she could to the laboring man. It was the cry from the child, which marked its arrival into the world; with tears in his eyes, the baby's father asked to see his child…a little girl, but his request was denied. As a nurse took the child away to be cleaned and all the measurements made, he looked at Liadán, his eyes pleading for her to do something, anything, except she couldn't. The Chancellor had tied her hands, forcing her into this situation; taking a breath, she released her hold on the man's hand, moving away from him as she did so.
She forced herself to not look at the man, as she signaled for a nearby technician to begin the memory wipe; the air filled with the screams of a newborn child, and the cries of a man who was loosing the memory of everything he come to cherish. Forcing her tears back, Liadán watched as the technician wiped away almost two years forth of the man's memories…his pregnancy and his relationship with the baby's other father. After what seemed like an eternity, the man's cries quieted as he slipped into a deep sleep; for when he woke, he would only remember being pregnant, never the daughter he bore or the man he had loved.
At hearing a knock on the room's door, Liadán turned, watching as a nurse stepped out into the hall to speak with the knocker. The nurse returned fairly quickly and crossed the room toward the little girl. After retrieving the baby from the crib, she walked in Liadán's direction; upon reaching the young woman, the nurse handed the baby over and pointed to the door. The young agent nodded her head in understanding and made her way over to the door, walking softly as to not wake the sleeping girl. Opening the door, she glanced out into the hall, looking for whoever she was supposed to be giving the little girl to.
As her eyes landed on the only other person in the hallway, Liadán bit back a sob at the sight on her father standing there. He was younger than she had last seen him, but there was no denying that this man was her Tad. Ianto looked at the young woman, who was holding his daughter, giving her a sad smile; holding out his arms, he waited for the agent to deposit the girl into his arms. Taking a moment to calm her raging emotions, Liadán handed the baby over to her Tad…a baby, who would grow up to be her, who would travel the same path as her. With her mind made up, Liadán made a decision, probably the first major one, she had truly ever made in her life.
Grabbing her Tad's shoulders, she pulled him into a hug, minding the baby in his arms as she did so. With a whisper and kiss to worried-filled face, she released him. While in the embrace, Liadán could feel the tension in the man's body; but the stiffness seemed to lessen after her soft words into his ears. Turning on her heel, she left the man and the little girl in the hallway, never stopping to look back.
Her destination was an obvious choice in her mind; she need to start with the one person, who seemed to know what was going to happen before it did. And that person was the Chancellor…an older version of the man, who she know knew to be her mother. Liadán had grown up believing that the person she called, her mother, was female; but now she knew, it was a lie. Maybe her father and grandmother had good reason to not tell…maybe it wasn't in the cards for her know until this exact moment; regardless of the reason, Liadán wanted answers and come hell or high water, she was going to get them. No more lies, no more half-truths.
Not waiting to be announced, Liadán slammed through the doors of the Chancellor's office, fury in her blue eyes…the same color, she was happy to know now as her "mother's". The Chancellor jerked his head, signaling for the assistant and other individuals in his office to leave; the pair waited in silence as the last person filed out of room. Once the door closed with a click, Liadán wasted no time and launched herself into the older man's arms, letting her tears run unchecked down her face as she released years of pent up anger and frustration of being lied to by the people in her life. Wrapping his arms around the young woman, he held on, taking the opportunity to relish in the fact that he was holding his little girl again.
Liadán was the first to pull back from the embrace, doing her best to smooth back the hair that had fallen across her face.
"I know you don't want to hear this, but you can't stay. You're time here is finished, and your Tad wants you home." The older man explained. "Don't worry though, Liadán. This isn't goodbye for us; we'll see each other again, I promise. And I'll be a lot younger when you do."
Liadán dipped her head in response, but couldn't stop one question from escaping her lips. "What happens to you…the man downstairs?"
"He runs and doesn't stop running, until a Doctor and a Rose help him to find redemption. Now, run, Liadán, and don't stop until you reach home."
"Where is home?"
The Chancellor just smiled, with warmth and humor in his eyes. Liadán rolled her eyes at his lack reply, and chose not to comment further. With one last hug and kiss, she left him and the Time Agency behind…maybe forever, maybe not. Only time would tell.
Roald Dahl Plass, Cardiff Bay, Wales, 2010 (One year after the 456)
"So where the hell, the when...are we?" Liadán asked. After a pause, the TARDIS began blinking lights and humming in response to the young agent's question.
"Yes, yes. I'm sorry for swearing. What are you going to do, tell my Tad?"
The TARDIS seemed to reply to the woman again, if the volume of her humming was any indication.
"Well, that's just rude. No need to be mean." There was a brief response from the ship, before Liadán continued. "In that case, I take back my apology, so there," sticking her tongue out at the central console for the simple reason that she could.
Liadán rounded the console, looking at the various readouts, trying to determine where the time ship had landed her; but it appeared that the ship was going to lie to her, for none of the readouts made any sense. But then again, Liadán had only been seven the last time she had truly lived on the ship, and her father hadn't been overly concerned with trying to teach her to fly the ship. Instead, he had focused most of his time and energy on teaching her what little he knew of their race and what had ultimately had happened to them. The TARDIS had helped where she could, providing Timelord histories and showing Liadán how the language of the people from Gallifrey had sounded. Liadán had always thought the sound was soothing, sweet by design, and just on the right side of haunting; the kind of sound one might find in the rhythmic tone of the Phantom of the Opera.
The TARDIS hummed again, informing the young woman that they had safely landed. Liadán rolled her eyes at the ship, thinking to herself, 'thanks, as if I didn't already know that.' Taking a moment to gather her thoughts, Liadán looked toward the door and down at her outfit, deciding if she should change before she disembark or just wear what she had on. The outfit was simple, it wouldn't have stood out in the Court of Henry VIII-where she had just come from-but it would probably, most definitely would where she had landed now. In the weeks since she had left the 51st Century, her father's TARDIS had taken her to no less than 15 different planets and time periods; honestly, Liadán was getting sick off it.
After leaving the Time Agency and arriving at her grandmother's home in the Boeshane Peninsula, she had not expected to find the TARDIS parked on that same bit of beach that it always seemed to land. The inside appeared to be the same, like always; but her Tad was no where in sight. So she returned to her grandmother's home and waited, and waited; but he never showed and nobody, let alone her grandmother, had seen the strange man. Deciding to take a chance, Liadán had boarded the time ship and no sooner had she done so, did the vehicle wisk her off into the far reaches of time and space.
So here she stood now, weeks later...frustrated and angry at the machine, just wanting to find her Tad and go home...well wherever home for her was. With a swift kick to the console, one that she wasn't remotely sorry for, Liadán spun on her canvas trainer clad heel and strode towards the doors of the TARDIS, ignoring the flickering lights and hums coming from the upset ship. Bunching her pale yellow gown in her hands, Liadán exited the machine, closing and locking the door behind her. She might be upset with the sentient being, but that didn't mean she wanted her stolen. One that would be bad, depending on where she was in time and two, her Tad would kill her for sure.
Finally turning away from the doorway to survey her surroundings, Liadán eyes widen as she took in Ronald Dahl Plass at Cardiff Bay. The last time she had seen the area was on television, in the aftermath of the 456 invasion; where before there had been a blacken hole of twisted metal and concrete, now the area looked almost as it once was. Turning her head to the side, she let her eyes take in a large glass building which previously had not been there. Where the old Torchwood had been simply an organization hidden in the shadows, fighting the government to protect Earth and its people, this building marked a new Torchwood, a Torchwood, which had emerged from the shadows fighting...a fight that it had apparently won.
Liadán shielded her eyes as the sun glinted off the large glass structure; from where Liadán stood, the building made sense...the beacon of light for humans and aliens alike in a time when everything changes. Yup, that's what the 21st century was...when mankind would finally join the rest of the universe and its species, whether it wanted to or not. With a deep sigh, Liadán crossed to the street opposite the structure, letting her feet take her closer to the newly constructed water tower. But as she crossed in front of the stone steps on the side of the Millennium Centre, a man in a dark pair of trousers and shirtsleeves seated on the stairs caused her to pause. Taking three steps back, she leveled her body's position with the man's. With a tilted head and narrowed eyes, Liadán took in the man's relaxed grin and easy manner, as she belted one across his face.
Not waiting for a response which she knew was coming, Liadán took off across the Plass at break neck speed, praying that he wouldn't catch her before she got to her destination. A destination, which she hadn't known, until her eyes had landed on a small group of individuals, and one woman in particular, who had seemed to gather not far from the base of the water tower. But unfortunately luck was not on her side, for within a matter of feet from the group, the man's long strides had closed the distance and she felt herself being swung off her feet by him. Liadán kicked her feet in front of her, trying for leverage to shake him off her; but it didn't seem to be working for the young woman at all. If anything, the man just tightens his hold on her, ensuring that she didn't slip from his grip or accidently injury herself or him in the process.
On a beautiful, clear day in early autumn, a small group of individuals came together to mourn the loss of those individuals, who given their lives in the service to Torchwood. While there was nothing remotely special about the area to anyone watching, the newly rebuilt area of Cardiff Bay was important to those gathered, for it was once the site of Torchwood 3's underground base.
In the months following the visitation by the 456, the Plass had slowly been rebuilt; but this time without the not-so-secret underground base. Instead, Torchwood 3 had been moved into a shiny new glass office building a few blocks away. But it wasn't the only thing to change in the wake of the 456, Captain Jack Harkness, the once leader of Torchwood 3, had left Earth and with it, Torchwood in the hands of Gwen Cooper, the last surviving member of Jack's Torchwood. Although, when he returned from his travels, he wasn't the same man that he once was; Jack Harkness was man broken due to the choices he made and the words never said. He sacrificed his grandson to save the Earth's children and watched as the man in loved gave his life to help stop the impending attack.
And now, a year after the 456, he had returned, to work to help Torchwood prepare mankind and the Earth for what was to come. He wasn't the only old face to Torchwood or the existence of alien life on Earth; Gwen had enlisted the help of two freelance alien hunters, former companion and UNIT doctor, Martha Jones-Smith and the woman's husband, Mickey Smith. The pair stood silent next to Jack in the group, trying to lend comfort to the ex-time agent; but Martha could tell that their presence offered little in the way of comfort.
It seemed that the comfort came from the woman, who held Jack's hand in a tight grip, as though he was her lifeline. Rhiannon Davies had buried her younger brother and lost her niece, all in the matter of weeks. Now, she stood lending support to her brother's lover, for regardless of the guilt that Jack placed on his shoulders, Rhiannon didn't blame him. Ianto had been a stubborn child from birth and had always seemed to do as he wished, without a thought to the consequences of his actions. He had voluntarily lived and died by Torchwood, just as he had loved Captain Jack Harkness without really knowing whether the other man had loved him in return.
A small sniffle was heard from the youngest member of the group, a little boy, four months old, with his mother's hair and father's disposition. Gwen smiled as she pulled the light blanket closer to his face, and he snuggled further into his father's shoulder. Rhys tightened his grip on his son, as though he was worried the baby would fall he didn't. Gwen linked her arm around Rhys, as she let her eyes wonder across the small group. Each had lost something precious, whether it was a friend, a brother, or a lover. Even though, Mickey had not known the people of this Torchwood, he had lost people he cared for during his service to the parallel-Torchwood.
A short distance from them, the sound of heavy running seemed to pull each member from their thoughts. As though they were one, the group all turned and watched as a dark haired girl dressed in a pale yellow gown closed the distance between her and them. But it wasn't the sight of the girl, which caused Rhiannon to gasp; it was the sight of the man, whom was chasing the young woman. Dressed black suit trousers and a red dress shirt, Ianto Jones quickly closed the distance between the young woman and him, pulling her close to his body, before swinging her around in the circle.
Wasting not a moment, Rhiannon ran toward her brother, calling his name as she went. Ianto glanced around, trying to find the location of the voice; at seeing Rhiannon, he immediately released the young woman in his arms and took off in a jog toward his sister. With only a few feet between, Rhiannon closed the distance, throwing her arms around the slightly younger man. Ianto returned the embraced, letting his sister's tears dampen his shoulder. Rhiannon was the first to pull back from the embrace; her eyes wondered across the man's face, as though the secrets of the universe could be found within his face. Ianto grinned at her, enjoying her scrutinizing behavior; for him, it might she was trying to determine, which Ianto he was. After what seemed almost a life time, Rhiannon stepped back from him, before bringing her hand across his cheek, hard. Ianto reeled back from the slap; his hand immediately covering the red spot on his face.
As if the slap had been a gunshot, the rest of group rushed to where the pair stood; each ready to defend the Welsh woman, if needed. But Rhiannon wasn't in need of their assistance; for she knew exactly what this man, her brother was capable of…absolutely nothing.
"How dare you? How fucking dare you? You show up here as though nothing as happened. I was told you were dead, Ianto, and I didn't even know which brother I had buried…the Timelord or the human." Rhiannon all but yelled at the man, her voice hoarse from crying.
Ianto looked toward the ground, then dragged his eyes toward the young woman in the yellow gown and motioned for her come closer. Instead of doing as requested, the young woman took a step back, furthering the distance between the group and herself. With a sigh, Ianto turned his attention back to his older sister.
"I don't know what to tell you, Rhi. You" Ianto began, but Rhiannon didn't let him finish.
"You don't know, or you won't tell. That's the problem with you Ianto; you show up, stay a while and then disappear. Never really telling me anything about what the hell is going on. Admit it, you knew those monsters were coming and didn't try to warn anybody that it was going to happen. You allowed your daughter, not to mention your nephew, to be exposed to those creatures. What the hell happened to the brother I knew!"
"He grew up! Jesus, Rhiannon. He had choices to make and had to learn to live with the consequences. I'm sorry for what happen to David, but I'm not sorry for what happened to Liadán. It was supposed to happen to her and it did, and she became a stronger person because of it." Ianto replied, going toe to toe with his sister.
Rhiannon gritted her teeth, and counted to ten under her breath, attempting to stop herself from hitting Ianto again. "Who the hell is Liadán? And where the hell is Mica?"
Rubbing his hand across the back of his neck, Ianto regarded his sister for a moment, before gesturing behind him to where the young woman stood. When Rhiannon and the group turned to look in her direction, Liadán gave a slight smile and wave, but never moved closer toward the group. Ianto turned his head, and then snapped his fingers at her in a come-here motion. Sighing, Liadán trudged toward the group, dreading the conversation that was coming.
"Hi, Aunt Rhi. It's good to see you again, been awhile, hasn't it." Liadán said, knowing that this moment was as awkward as she was felt.
"Mica?" Rhiannon asked with confusion in her voice and on her face.
"Liadán. My name is Liadán. It's the name I chose, so I would prefer to be called by it." Liadán told Rhiannon, as gently as she could. Rhiannon bobbed her head at the younger woman, giving her a small smile as she did so. Liadán returned the smile, and then pulled her Aunt into a hug; Rhiannon wrapped her arms around the girl, happy that the girl was safe and sound; even if she was a bit older than the last time she had seen her.
Pulling away from the older woman, Liadán tilted her head toward the remaining members of their group. "Aunt Rhi, are you going to introduce us to your friends?"
Rhiannon had the good sense to look a tad sheepish for having ignored the other members of her group. "Liadán, Ianto, these are the members of Torchwood 3." Motioning to each member in turn, Rhiannon introduced them to her newly returned brother and his daughter. Each member of Torchwood said their hellos, but from the looks on their faces, both Ianto and Liadán knew they were burning to ask questions of the pair.
Deciding to take the plunge, Martha was the first to speak. "Timelord? You're a Timelord?"
"Half. My mam was a Timelady, but I grew up on Earth with my Tad, step-mam, and Rhiannon. Before the Time War ended, my mam left me her TARDIS and I used it to leave Earth after my Tad died. I hadn't been back, not until I left Liadán here with Rhiannon a few years ago."
Martha nodded her head in understanding, but Gwen's expression had clouded in confusion. "Rhiannon said that Liadán…Mica was on Earth at the time of the 456; but I don't remember meeting her."
"A bastardized time perception filter…it was a necklace that she wore, and it allowed for her to be seen but not really. Rhiannon was the only one, who knew the truth; it planted false memories in Johnny and David, and when she took it off, the memory of her disappeared from those who had known her. So, you did meet her, and she remembers you; but you'll never remember her as a girl."
"Why?" Rhys asked.
"To protect her, to protect the future that has yet to be written…it's complicated." Ianto stated, sighing. Mickey and Martha smirked at the part of his remark, having heard that same explanation from a different Timelord's lips.
"Rhiannon asked whether you were the Timelord or the human. What does she mean?" Gwen questioned.
"A fob watch, if I to take a guess." Martha replied, looking at Jack as she did so.
Captain Jack Harkness had stayed silent as the conversation swirled around him, for he was unsure what he was supposed to think or feel as the truth became known. Focusing his attention on Ianto, Jack let his eyes wonder across the other man, absorbing all the apparent changes to the other man, as well, as allowing for his lovely Welsh accent to wash over him.
"Close, but not quite…I only know that I will die human and on Earth. I don't know at what point in my timeline this will happen, I just know that it will." Ianto stated. "And that I'm younger than he was when he died." He finished grinning.
Liadán rolled her eyes at her father, before saying. "Spoilers, Tad. Watch yourself."
Ianto gave her a wink, and then refocused his attention on the next question being asked. "But that Ianto didn't look as though he was older than you. Do you have different Timelord regeneration properties?" Martha asked the curiosity evident in her voice.
"It happens almost but not quite the same as for a full Timelord. The regeneration process triggers a 'fountain of youth' response in a Timelord's body; in a full Timelord, the process gives him a younger body as it changes his overall appearance…a new face, a new voice, a new body. For me, I get that same 'fountain of youth' reaction, but without the major changes… just a few less wrinkles here, a little less gray there."
Martha stared at the man as he talk, letting her eyes wonder across his body, as though eyesight alone would allow her to gage the truthfulness in his response. Ianto returned her stare, waiting for her finish her. If the grin and hug that Ianto received from Martha a few moments later was any indication, then it would seem as though he had passed her inspection. As though the hug broke the awkwardness of the meeting, the group fell into easy conversation, discussing anything and everything.
As Ianto continued to make nice with the members of the new Torchwood 3, Captain Jack Harkness stood off to the side of the group, with an unreadable expression on his worn face. As though she sensed his misery, Liadán made her way over to the man, laying her hand on his arm, trying to offer what comfort if any to him. Jack turned his head briefly to acknowledge her presence; then paused as his eyes landed on the black mark etched into her skin.
"If that tattoo on your neck is any indication, what's an elite member of the Chancellor's personal guard doing here?" Jack said breaking the silence.
"Let's just say, the Chancellor and I parted ways, amicably." Liadán replied, allowing neither her voice nor her face give any secrets away.
"There is nothing amicable about the Time Agency or its Chancellor. But then again you know that?" Jack threw back at her. Liadán regarded the older man briefly as she decided on how to respond.
"Do I? At this moment, I'm not real sure what I know or don't know. But I do know this; you'd better go and kiss him, before someone decides to runoff with him. Or he decides to runaway with the cute blonde, who's been eyeing him from afar since we arrived."
Jack jerked his head around to look at her and if the sound it made was any indication to Liadán than it must have hurt. With a look of sorrow on his face, he replied. "He hasn't met me."
"Are you sure about that? Take a chance, the Captain Jack I meet as a child wasn't afraid of anything, especially the idea of kissing a man, who may or may not be exactly his lover, dead or otherwise."
As though having those words spoken were all he needed to hear, Liadán watched as Jack crossed to her father in a few strides, before pulling the other man into a passionate, unending kiss. A kiss which spoke of longing, of love, of many promises yet to be made. With a goofy grin on her face and a bounce in her toes, Liadán's eyes tracked as the rest of the group broke away from the pair, coming to stand with her.
"I know why Captain Cheesecake is kissing Ianto; but why is he kissing that Ianto? Furthermore, why is that Ianto letting him?" Mickey asked. Martha glanced at her husband's name for Jack, but shrugged her shoulders in response to his question.
With a smirk on her face, Liadán finally shared the one secret that her Tad had kept from almost everyone, including her. "It's simple, really." She stated, grinning at the group, "Jack's my mom." Having said her piece, Liadán spun on her heel and began strolling in the general direction of the TARDIS, whistling as she went.
The big questions that she had for her Tad would come later; right now she was more than willing to let him have this moment. After all, he had waited her whole life to have this moment with her mother and Liadán wasn't one to be selfish in the face of love, especially when it involved her parents. Besides, her history with her Tad and mother was only just beginning; she had all of time and space at her fingertips to know them.