Author: Time Phobia
Characters: (Jack, Ianto, the Tenth Doctor, OCs)
Pairings: (series: Jack/Ianto)
Summary: Jack and Ianto have taken off on their own and finally arrive at Minerva.
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
Ianto dropped to his knees. Breakfast threatened to come up, but he kept it down. After a few more deep breaths, he was able to stand. He had thought the second jump by vortex manipulator wouldn’t be as bad as the first, but he’d been wrong. “Did we make it?” he managed to ask.
Jack had caught himself on the wall and remained standing, which gave Ianto some hope that eventually he might become accustomed to this sort of time travel. Jack consulted his wrist-strap. “Yeah. Minevra. 7731.”
Even after Jack had closed the wrist-strap, he didn’t look at Ianto. His body language as well as his mind broadcasted an undercurrent of tension and Ianto knew it didn’t come from their current mission. That level of tension had started after Ianto had manipulated their emotions during sex. Not that he’d done anything bad. Jack even had enjoyed it. But afterwards Ianto had been so caught up in his pride over the mental trick that he’d admitted to Jack he’d be able to bring that euphoria again without ever needing to touch Jack. He hadn’t thought about what that implied—that he’d be able to dominate Jack’s mind at will.
And he hadn’t even told Jack the second scary truth. Riding the surges of energy from Jack, Ianto had been awake the whole night. More frighteningly, he still didn’t feel tired.
So when Jack had closed off, Ianto had let him. He couldn’t take back what he’d said. Especially since it was the truth. If Ianto wanted, he could not only turn Jack into a living puppet, he could sustain himself off the other man. And if he could tamper with Captain Jack Harkness’s will, one of the most notoriously stubborn men in the universe, who really stood a chance against him?
No wonder the Doctor had been so antagonistic.
Still, his mental prowess was a concern for after they fixed the Void. Ianto asked, “So how do we find a Time Lord?”
“There’s a good chance that she’s around here somewhere,” Jack began, that old tone of a beginning lecture in his voice. “Traveling by manipulator isn’t easy. It doesn’t have the power the TARDIS has. When the manipulator calculates it’s got to look out for a temporal wall as well as spatial walls. Since I programmed it to find the easy spot in this century to push in, it’d look for a place with the biggest crack in the wall. A TARDIS makes a sizeable hole.”
“What about the Doctor’s TARDIS? We could have just landed near him.”
Jack flipped open his wrist-strap again. “I didn’t pick it up, but even so, considering she knows about our little mission, she’d probably seek out the sister TARDIS.” With a soft sigh, Jack shut the device again. “No sign of him yet.” He nodded his head at the end of the side street and said, “Let’s explore and see what we can find out before he gets here.”
Ianto didn’t like the silence between them as they headed towards the main street. Jack’s thoughts were echoing in his mind, but he tried to block them out. He focused on his physical senses. The side street was more of an alley and smelled of piss and garbage. Cold air bit through his clothes. The buildings on either side were made out of white stone, and from what Ianto could see so far, so were the buildings across the main street. The glass windows on the far buildings were knocked out.
On the main street, a few crowds of people had gathered. At either end of the block, a pile of cars made up barricades and people stood near them with weapons and each person with a weapon had either a black armband or a black cap. The other crowds loitered in the streets. About two hundred people must have been on the street.
And damn near all of them noticed Jack and Ianto at once. The sudden expanse of open minds, thoughts thrusting their way into his, drove Ianto to a knee with a cry. He’d caught Jack’s arm on the way down, and already Jack was dragging him back to his feet.
“Not my safest landing, I’m guessing,” Jack muttered under his breath.
“We stand out,” Ianto managed. “Painfully.”
“Our clothes alone make that distinction.”
Ianto glanced around again and noticed that Jack was right. Everyone else looked as if they’d been living in their clothes for four weeks and they all had on coats.
The thoughts pressed in again, and Ianto started sifting through them for information. “Not a lot of people come through here,” Ianto told Jack. “Some sort of war. This city’s being invaded. Sorry, been invaded. We’re near the city center, and they’re trying to hold out for back-up. Those soldiers are ready to shoot us on sight, except we seemed to have bypassed a checkpoint, so they figure we must be safe enough. One of these buildings has a captain in it. I should go in to her, tell her we’re here. See if there’s anything we can do to help.”
“We’re not here to help them,” Jack answered.
“If we don’t do something for them, we’re going to have a few thousand people angry at us,” Ianto replied.
“Okay,” Jack sighed, “good point. Let’s go see this captain.”
Ianto shook his head. “They’re not speaking English, Jack. It’s Xeten. Do you know it?”
“Try speaking it.”
Ianto spoke three sentences in Xeten.
Jack shook his head. “Not a clue.”
“Then it’d be better if you stay here,” Ianto cautioned. “If you come in with me, they’ll probably try to question you. And they aren’t unaccustomed to only one person from a group going in. The building’s crowded.”
Jack frowned. “You going to be okay going in there?”
Ianto nodded. “It’s all background noise now. I should be able to handle it.”
“Be careful,” Jack said.
Ianto gave Jack another nod and then headed towards the door of the building on his right. A few people seemed to relax when they saw him entering the building.
The inside was more crowded than Ianto had anticipated. Physical noise, as well as mental, pounded at him, but he pushed all that to the side and focused on making his way through the room. The captain, notable by her black uniform, was in the next crowded room. She sat behind a desk and a line of people waited before her.
Ianto joined the end of the queue. At least ten people were before him. Since he had the time, he reached out with his mind. Most of the information he gathered had little consequence—about sports teams or movies or the little daily dramas of life. People missed their normal lives, lives before the war and conflict. Most were wishing for an end to it, or at least an end to hiding in cramped buildings. If they’d turned themselves in and admitted defeat, than that meant an end to hope. They were still hoping for a last minute rescue. They didn’t want to lie down and take the new world order the enemy wanted to impose on them. But despair was heavy in the air too.
Only one more person was between Ianto and the captain now. The captain and the man started arguing over food rations.
“Tick. Tick. Boom.”
Startled by the thought, Ianto glanced around. His effort to find the source was in vain. Too many people. He closed his eyes and concentrated on that single voice, rejecting the few similar ones.
“Tick. Tick. Two minutes.”
Ianto dug into that mind and searched for information. It was male and he was in the room, but Ianto wasn’t getting much more than that. The man’s mind was so determined on what was about to happen, that Ianto couldn’t get through the wall his thoughts made.
“Sir!” the captain shouted as she slammed a hand on her metal desk. Pieces of brown hair had frazzled their way out of the braid she wore and now framed her tired-looking gray eyes.
Ianto opened his eyes again.
“Is there something I can help you with?” she demanded.
Ianto pulled out the psychic paper, willing it to say he had some kind of authority. He leaned down and said softly, “You have to get all these people out of here now. Someone has a bomb strapped to his chest.”
The captain looked nervously from the paper to Ianto. “Who?”
“I’m not certain,” Ianto replied. “But we have to evacuate now.”
The captain reached over and pulled a microphone from under her desk. Over the loudspeakers, she said, “The whole building has been cleared for morning exercise. Please exit quickly, people. We don’t know how long we’ll have outside today.”
“Is that the best you can do?” Ianto asked as people started pushing their way out.
“Without a panic, yes,” the captain replied. She glanced around the room.
“No no no no no! So close!”
Ianto searched the faces and the people.
“I’ll have to reset it. Wait for them all to get back in.”
A man was pushing through the crowd the opposite way. He slid inside a door.
Ianto pointed at the door. “What’s over there?” he asked the captain.
“Bathroom,” the captain responded.
“I think the bomber’s gone in there. He’s going to reset the timer.”
The captain stood and motioned to another soldier. “We’ll handle this. Thank you, sir. Please evacuate with the others.”
Ianto faintly nodded. By that time, the room had almost cleared of people. He joined the back of the crowd.
“This is Captain Redding,” the captain announced as she knocked on the door.
The answer was muffled.
“Open the door,” the captain ordered.
“She knows. She has to! But how!”
The captain banged on the door again.
Finally, the only ones left in the room were the captain, the soldier, and Ianto. He hovered near the doorway. The next room was still full.
“Open the door!” the captain shouted.
“I’ll have to do it now.”
He didn’t have the time to get out. Hoping to contain the blast, Ianto shut the door between him and the outer room. The captain and soldier glanced over at him. “We’re out of time,” Ianto told them as he crossed the room to the large metal desk. It had a metal front to it and while the space was large, Ianto knew it wouldn’t fit three. One person would be lucky and get the most protection. “Get over here. Now!”
Please forgive me, Ianto thought to Jack.
“But--” the soldier began.
Captain Redding didn’t waste time. She crossed the room and slid under the desk. The soldier moved to follow after another three seconds.
Praying, Ianto ducked down under the desk with the captain. The soldier wasn’t close enough.
The bomb exploded.
Onto Part 18