Author: Time Phobia
Characters: (Jack, Ianto, the Tenth Doctor, OCs)
Pairings: (series: Jack/Ianto)
Summary: Jack and Ianto have taken off on their own.
Timing: Post-CoE, Post-Waters of Mars
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters or make a profit. They are owned, for the most part, by RTD and BBC.
Warning: Mentions of cannon character death. Don't worry. Death is only a beginning.
Author's Note (for series): I've got a long detailed spoiler-rific post here
Jack stood waiting at the end of the side street with his hands shoved into the pockets of his jeans. Everyone on the main street kept passing by. Kept life going. Their ordinary thoughts and troubles. And here Jack Harkness stood, knowing that each one of those lives would end. Go out to the Void and face the hell that waited for them. For all eternity. Unless he and Ianto could figure out how to fix it.
“Glad to know you’re taking me seriously now,” Ianto said from behind.
Jack half-turned to look at Ianto and saw him shove the old clothes into a nearby dumpster. Jack hadn’t been completely sure he’d gotten the right size for Ianto when it came to the charcoal suit and red shirt, but they fit him perfectly. No tie, but then ties weren’t in style here. “Did I actually get it right?” he asked.
Ianto smirked. “Back to the Future had something right,” he joked. “It had a size button. You were close though. I’m not sure I’m exactly as I was either.”
“Doesn’t help that all the sizes are written in New English,” Jack replied.
“Is that what they call it?” Ianto asked.
“I have no idea what they’re calling it,” Jack told him. “I’m lucky enough to get directions.”
Ianto looped his arm in Jack’s. “This sort of thing accepted here?”
“59th century,” Jack answered. “We’d look weirder if we weren’t touching.” He pulled
his hand out of his jeans and offered it to Ianto.
Ianto smiled a little and took his hand. “Can we go sightseeing?”
“Course we can,” Jack said with a grin. “What’s the fun of a new time without seeing what the locals are up to?”
“Some things about you never change,” Ianto replied.
Jack tried not to frown as they set out.
“The good things, Jack,” Ianto explained.
“I knew that.”
They headed down the street, hand in hand, which felt different. Odd. Good odd, but they’d never done this on Earth. Neither one had wanted to admit so publically the relationship in the 21st century. God, that’s thirty-eight hundred years, Jack thought. Everyone from then is long dead by now. Dead and in the Void.
“So why New Cardiff?” Ianto said, drawing out the word Cardiff.
“You’re trying to distract me,” Jack replied.
Ianto gripped Jack’s hand a little more. “Maybe I am. Is that so bad?”
“No,” Jack admitted. He pointed to a monument nearby. “Look.”
Ianto rolled his eyes. “They rebuilt that?”
“And it’s next to a bay.”
“Did they put a secret government run base underneath too?” Ianto teased.
“Don’t know,” Jack joked. “Could have, but I’m not involved.”
“Ah, well, they obviously didn’t get it right then.”
Laughing, Jack led Ianto down by the bay. Already, he could smell it and that smell alone made him feel better. Bodies of salt water always had that same underlying scent. A scent that reminded him of home and made him feel a little safer. Comforted.
If he didn’t think about the Reaper attacks of his childhood. Or the destruction of Cardiff. Or the bomb someone had planted in his chest. The bomb that should have killed Ianto and Gwen.
“I was serious with my question,” Ianto asked.
“Can’t you just read it off my mind?” Jack answered.
“Maybe if you weren’t brooding, I could,” Ianto chided. “Besides, I like hearing your voice. Your actual voice, in my actual ears.”
“A little. Can you blame me? I’ve been basically a ghost for half a year.”
Jack managed a grin. “No. I can’t.” He took a deep breath. “Okay, so New Cardiff. My history’s a little rough. I mean, I remember what I was taught as a kid, and what the Time Agency had courses in. Nothing quite as much fun as history lessons that haven’t happened yet.”
“How would that work?”
“They’d ship someone in from that century and have them give a couple of lectures during training,” Jack explained as they reached the wooden walkway next to the bay. “Typically, they’d only lecture on things the Time Agency didn’t have any intention of changing.
“By the late 45th, we realized something was wrong with Earth. Or at least, a portion of people did. Even in your time, people started crying that we’d waste Earth and lose her. While we’d started forming colonies in the galaxy before that, more people started to push for evacuating Earth altogether.
Several groups set out during the 45th and the 46th. The first of the mass exoduses. BoShang was one of the results. Several thousands made it on the voyages and founded most of the major cities within the first
hundred years of settling.”
“Where were the ships from?” Ianto asked.
“Nation-wise? Mostly American, though the early ships were much more commercial. More about
who could pay than who deserved.”
“And here everyone was saying China would take over,” Ianto said.
“Well, maybe they did. Everything cycles around,” Jack replied.
After a few more steps, Jack continued, “Not everyone was lucky enough to be able to leave right away. Like I said, it was more about money. Then pilgrims. Finally, though, we had to give up Earth. For a time, at least. People are already trying to resettle her now, after making some effort to put her back in shape.
“Anyway, people had to leave. So they built these huge ships and ran for the stars. In the end, they broke apart into nations. The UK had a ship, though by that time it included more of France and Germany than it does in your time. Wales and Ireland banded together with their ship and headed out here. They found this planet in the 53rd.”
“Is New Dublin across the way?” Ianto asked in amusement.
Jack grinned even more. “Yes. Kind of, though it’s New New New New New Dublin.”
“But this is just New Cardiff? No one else honored her?”
“New New Cardiff,” Jack responded. “One other significant mention.” He playfully bumped Ianto’s shoulder. “It is still Cardiff.”
“And it looks much the same,” Ianto said as they stopped and turned towards the wooden railing. “Though this view out here is different. I meant the buildings seem the same style.”
“Retro is in,” Jack told him.
Ianto glanced off to their right and squinted. “But the water tower?”
“The whole plass,” Jack replied. He stared out at the water. “They always said it was to remember the terrorist attacks of the early 21st.”
Ianto frowned. “Terrorist. You mean--”
“I mean John Hart blowing up half the city. Abbadon bringing the plague, the deaths that didn’t end up resetting. The bomb in me that blew up the water tower. I didn’t know it when I learned about it. They don’t remember what the terror was. Just that the early 21st was hard on Cardiff.”
Trying to lighten the mood, Ianto joked, “Is that why you kept going around saying the 21st is when everything changes?”
The smile started coming back to Jack’s lips. “Not just that.”
“Then what else?
“Can’t say,” Jack replied. “That would ruin any surprises.”
“I could go to a library and find out.”
“Feel free,” Jack told him.
Rolling his eyes, Ianto sighed. He eyed a few people passing them. “Any of these could be Rhiannon’s decedents.”
“More likely they all are,” Jack said. “Thirty eight hundred years, Ianto. Each one of them is probably carrying little bits of your sister’s DNA.”
“I think that is more disturbing,” Ianto quipped. “I really don’t need to think about her and her husband having any more children.”
After a moment, Jack asked, “Are you going to see her?”
“No,” Ianto answered shortly.
“I meant once we’re done,” Jack replied.
“I’m not right. I’m not human anymore,” Ianto told him. “And by now, they’re moving on. They may miss me, but I know Rhiannon. She’d be happier thinking I’d gone off to heaven and become an angel than to know anything about what’s happened to me.”
Jack frowned. “Is that why you never told her about Torchwood?”
“I never told her because that was a state secret. And I knew you’d retcon her even if I did. Remember what you wanted to do to Rhys?”
“Good thing you didn’t,” Ianto muttered. “I don’t know how we could have gotten through that without Gwen and Rhys.”
“Technically,” Jack said a little icily, “we didn’t.”
“No, I didn’t,” Ianto corrected. “You came back.”
Sighing, Jack withdrew a little and leaned his back against the railing. “What about Gwen? And Rhys? Are we going to tell them?”
Ianto focused out on the water and replied, “You’re assuming I’ll make it through this one."
Onto part 15