Archangel - Twelve
Author: Milady Dragon
Disclaimer: Nope, not mine.
Author's note: Here we go, the last chapter of this particular story. I'm glad you've been enjoying it, and I'm hoping to revisit this universe at some point in the future. Thanks to everyone who have read and alerted and favorited, I really appreciate it! Just a little reminder: I wasn't very nice to Ten here. To clear things up, I do love Ten to bits - especially after seeing him again in the 50th Special, but there were just a few of his attitudes toward Jack I didn't care for and I kinda took that out on him.
Jack knew, of course, that the Doctor would try something like this.
He leaned against the wall as he watched the Time Lord searching through the cryogenic units, looking for the Master. He wouldn't have been able to leave it alone, and would want to 'rescue' his fellow Time Lord from the 'evil' Torchwood.
It was disappointing, because he'd hoped that once the Doctor had thought about it, he'd have seen this was the best solution for everyone.
But Jack could also understand. Up until the events of a week ago, he'd thought he was alone in the universe, and he would have given anything to not be so. Now he had Ianto; the tests that Owen had come up with had proved beyond a doubt that he'd have his lover around for a very long time. His powers had also changed, in that he now had a link to Jack's mind that appeared to go both ways. His other abilities had stayed the same, though, for which Ianto had been grateful, not wanting to have to re-learn anything.
"You're not going to find him," Jack finally spoke up, surprised that the Doctor hadn't noticed him before. Ianto had explained certain things to him, about just how the Doctor saw him now, and Jack hadn't thought he'd remain standing there for long without the Doctor at least sensing him if he truly was that far wrong.
Not that he'd say that around Ianto or any other member of his team. They took offence at that sort of talk.
The Doctor jumped, spinning around in surprise. "Jack!" he exclaimed, trying to look innocent and failing utterly.
"I knew you were here from the moment the TARDIS materialised," Jack said, pushing himself away from the wall. "In fact, I was expecting you several days ago." He'd set the interior Hub sensors to pick up the temporal signature of the TARDIS arriving, and it had worked perfectly.
"I just couldn't leave him here," the Doctor admitted, raising his chin in defiance. "He's my own race, Jack."
"I understand, but as I said he's not here. If you'd showed up two days ago, you would have found him, but yesterday the Galactic Federation took custody of the cryochamber and had the Master moved."
"Where is he?"
Jack shrugged. "I have no idea. They didn't share that with me, although I do know he will be tried fairly." John had formally asked permission on behalf of the Federation to use a galactic court in which to bring the charges against the renegade. Jack had seen no reason to deny the request, since there was no way the Master would get any sort of trial on Earth. Any judge would have just thought that Harold Saxon had lost his mind and would have institutionalised him, despite the differences in his physical make-up. It would have been too simple for him to escape a minimum-security mental hospital.
The scandal had broken the day after Torchwood and the Tomorrow People had closed down Magister Innovations – both offices in London and Trenton. Ianto had come up with the best cover story: that Saxon had disappeared after the books from the company had been audited and had shown misappropriations being funneled directly to the former Minister of Defence. It had thrown several government projects into turmoil, including the cancellation of the upcoming launch of UNIT's aircraft carrier, the Valiant, until investigations were completed.
It had taken Toshiko and Tim most of that night to get everything set up, but it had been worth it. Ianto had wanted to help, but Owen had insisted that Ianto rest after his mental communication with the TARDIS. His lover had slept nearly twenty-four hours, but had returned to work refreshed and his shields just as strong as ever, for which Jack was very grateful. He'd been worried about how pale and weak he'd looked.
As for Saxon's wife, Lucy…she'd been questioned, and had claimed not to know anything about what her husband had been up to. John had done a mental probe of her, and it had been useful, in that it proved that while she might have known her husband wasn't quite human, the Master hadn't really shown her anything except the TARDIS, and had taken her on a trip to the far future to meet the last of the human race waiting there. She'd been disturbed by what she'd seen there, and John had suggested some mental help in order to aid her to digest it all.
Jack had agreed, and Lucy had been sectioned, but it was in Providence Park where, one: Jack could keep an eye on her; and two: she was less likely to be recognised there. She wouldn't get any better if the residents there knew who she was and brought up the past. Not that it would have been done maliciously, but Lucy's recovery could possibly have been damaged by anything dragged up in ignorance.
"I'm certain they'll announce the trial once things are set," Jack went on. "If you went and spoke to Timus Irnok Mosta on the Galactic Trig, he may let you see for yourself that the Master is all right." It had been the elderly statesman of the Federation who had taken everything in hand, from the original request for extradition – made through John, as senior Tomorrow Person on the planet and an ambassador in his own right – to arranging a place where the Master's cryochamber would be stored until things could be arranged. It had also been a positive that Timus had met the Doctor on several occasions, and knew what the Time Lord could get up to without oversight.
Honestly, Jack doubted that the Doctor would be able to get anywhere near the Master until the actual trial.
"You should have let me take him, Jack."
"No, I shouldn't have, because while the Galactic Federation might not agree with the Shadow Proclamation's methods, they would not have hesitated in putting out an arrest warrant for you on the grounds of aiding and abetting an act of genocide against a member race of the Federation." Jack had been a little surprised by that, but John had explained that the Shadow Proclamation really didn't see a difference between helping in the act and helping the actual perpetrator to escape, even if that person was completely innocent of the original crime. The Doctor would have had the Judoon on his trail quite possibly for the rest of his lives.
With those words, the Doctor bristled. He stalked toward Jack, and Jack didn't move, letting him get up close and personal. There had been a time when Jack had enjoyed the invasion of his personal space by the Doctor, but those days were long gone with the death of the Time Lord's ninth incarnation and on a space station in the far-flung future.
Jack cut him off before he could even say the first word of what would have most likely would have been a lengthy and very loud tirade. "There's nothing you can say that will convince me we didn't do the right thing. You're blinded by your own bias, and by the fact that you're alone. Believe me…I know exactly how you feel. I've been alone for most of my life, and while it hasn't been as long as yours yet, I can still get it. But the Master wasn't the one to spend your lives with. He would have twisted you up and convinced you he was reformed until you would have let your guard down, and then the universe would have suffered."
"You don't know that, Jack."
"No, you're right, I don't…but you know it. In your hearts, you know what I'm saying is true, because you'd want to believe the Master. You'd want him to turn to good and be the perfect companion for you. But he never would be. He'd get under your skin and then turn some unsuspecting world upside down. Do you really want that on your conscience?"
The Doctor looked as if he wanted to argue once more, but Jack had to give him credit for refraining. After all, neither of them were about to back down on this. Instead, he turned on his heel and headed back to the TARDIS without another word.
He then stopped just as he was opening the door. "How's Martha?"
"She's fine. She's going to take up a scholarship onboard the Trig, in order to study xenobiology with the best the Federation has." He'd been a bit disappointed by her decision, but Jack couldn't blame her. Once she graduated there was a good chance he could hire her for Torchwood.
The Doctor nodded, and then entered the TARDIS. Its unmistakable noise echoed through the vaults as it vanished once more.
Jack was, quite frankly, glad to see him gone, and he couldn't dredge up enough sorrow to mourn the loss of someone who had once been a great friend…and more.
Jack made his way through the diners and back toward the small banquet room he'd reserved for that night. Already he could feel Ianto's mental presence growing stronger; they were playing with ranges of their new link, and so far they'd managed to get it to extend for ten miles in any direction. Ianto thought that, with training, they would be able to stretch that out even farther.
Ianto's warmth curled up in Jack's back brain like a contented cat, and Jack grinned as he headed into the room just off the main restaurant. The table was full, with all of the Tomorrow People, Torchwood, and several friends around it, talking animatedly. Ianto glanced up as Jack approached the seat that had been saved next to him, and Jack slid into it, letting his hand rest on his lover's knee as he greeted everyone with a nod.
'Everything taken care of?' Ianto asked him silently.
Jack nodded, letting his lover see the blow-by-blow from his own memories. Ianto sighed. 'It's his loss. And you don't need him, anyway. You have us.'
Ianto was right, of course. Jack took a look around the large, round table at the gathering of friends who had arrived before him. On Ianto's right sat Elena, who was busily being bored at the overly technical conversation going on between John and Toshiko, and she rolled her eyes when she noticed Jack looking at her. "I've heard of football widows," she said good-naturedly, "but I had no idea a person could be a science widow."
"What was that?" John asked, apparently being drawn away from his talk with Toshiko by Elena's voice.
"Nothing." She waved her hand. "Go on back to whatever you were doing."
John looked confused, but did as she bid.
On the other side of Toshiko, Owen was debating with Rhys about sports, of all things. Jack hadn't known his medic had been sport-minded until Rhys had come on the scene, and then things had become rather…animated, between the two men. If Jack had to guess, he would have said that Rhys and Owen were the most unlikely of best friends, if only by the vehemence of their fights over the latest football scores and their mutual love of beer.
Both Gwen and Martha were laughing at some sort of joke Paul had just told. Martha and the younger Tomorrow Person had hit it off; not enough to date, since according to Elena Paul had a semi-regular girlfriend, but he'd been the one to show her around the Trig when she'd gone to see about enrolling in the xenobiology courses and labs that were being offered. He's also introduced Martha to several healers, including a teenager named Robert, and Martha had practically adopted him into the rather large Jones clan when she'd found out he didn't have any surviving family on Earth. Apparently her mother – a formidable woman named Francine – had adored the young man from the start, and Paul had had a bit of fun showing everyone photos of Robert's embarrassed first meeting with her.
And, finally, there were the Castles. Rick Castle had his hands over Alexis' ears, an expression of parental horror on his features. The joke Paul had told must have been raunchy, and Alexis was trying to get her Dad's hands away from her head. "It's not like I haven't heard that sort of thing before," she told her father. "There are worst jokes at school."
"Care to share a few?" Paul asked, waggling his eyebrows at her comically.
"No she doesn't." Castle jabbed toward him with his finger. Then he turned back to his daughter. "And I'm moving you to another school. This one with nuns and really thick walls and no TV. Oh, and no internet. And wooden rulers. Vows of silence would be good, too."
"Can you get anymore clichéd, Dad?" Alexis asked, smirking.
"Besides," Paul added, "it's not like Lexi couldn't get out anytime she wanted to just by jaunting."
Jack wanted to laugh at Alexis' snort. Paul had a tendency to nickname everyone. Well, except for John, but he really didn't think the elder Tomorrow Person would put up with it for very long. He even started calling Ianto 'Yan', which led to a series of acts of revenge that had Paul backing down quickly.
Jack knew then and there he'd never call his lover anything but Ianto, because he could be downright nasty in his vengeance despite his non-violent tendencies, and Jack wanted his regular coffee and sex, thanks very much.
"My life is going to be hell when Alexis gets her first boyfriend," Castle moaned, rubbing his forehead as if he was developing a headache. "There will be no boys at this new school, too."
The table erupted into laughter.
One of the wait staff came by, and everyone placed their drinks orders. It was silent for a bit as everyone perused their menus. Jack had taken Ianto to this restaurant on one of their dates, and had really enjoyed the steak.
After orders were taken, conversation resumed, and Jack simply sat back, one arm draped over the back of Ianto's chair, basking in the camaraderie around their table. Ianto leaned into him slightly, carrying on a conversation with Elena and John, and it was through their link that he felt his lover's surprise at something that must have been said.
Jack began to pay attention to the conversation.
"I know you intend to stay with Torchwood," John was saying, "and I'm not about to ask you to leave. However, there's going to come a time when I'll want to retire. I've been leading the team now for nearly forty years, after all."
"But what about any of the others?" Ianto asked, his voice pitched just a bit higher than normal.
"Well, I'm hoping Elena will go with me," John chuckled.
"You haven't actually asked me yet," Elena exclaimed. "And I'll believe it when I see it. Retiring, my arse. You're the biggest workaholic I've ever met."
John looked at her forbiddingly, but Elena just smiled, used to his moods. "And Paul," the elder Tomorrow Person went on, "wants to eventually study on the Trig. You'll be the senior Tomorrow Person on the planet then. Plus, there's your newest ability –"
Jack knew John meant Ianto's immortality and didn't want to mention it aloud.
"– and I can't think of anyone better than to take over in the Lab."
Ianto was shaking his head, and Jack could feel his uncertainty. Jack decided it was time to step in.
"I think that would be a wonderful idea," he replied. "We could work out a more cohesive connection between the Hub and the Lab, and perhaps bring some more people in to take over some of the duties you don't need to be doing. You're already liaison between Torchwood and the Tomorrow People; I don't see where that couldn't change to be a sort of ambassador." He grasped Ianto's shoulder. "You could actually run your own team."
"I'm not ready for that kind of responsibility," Ianto denied.
"Well, no," Jack agreed. "But you can be by the time John decides to step down. " He glanced at the elder Tomorrow Person. "I assume there are duties he'll need training for?"
John nodded. "There are certain files and such that I have access to. Plus I think diplomatic training would be involved. Also, a bit more experience with Tim's systems wouldn't go amiss."
"See, he's not talking about doing anything right away." Jack felt a little of Ianto's concern subside. "But down the road, yes. I can't imagine working with anyone else, and I don't mean that as…as your lover." It felt right to finally say it aloud. Everyone knew, of course, but it was different actually acknowledging it vocally.
"I'll think about it," Ianto said. "It's…a big step."
"Yes, it is." Elena reached out and squeezed Ianto's hand. "But we've talked about it and we can't think of anyone better for the job."
The babble around the table had gone quiet, and even without their link Jack could tell that Ianto was embarrassed by the attention. His decision would affect everyone, and it was an important one.
And, with perfect timing, their food arrived.
Jack leaned back in his chair once more, smiling as the friends around the table began to eat, any heaviness of conversation ended…for now.
But he was positive that changes were coming. After all, it was the 21st Century.
And that was when everything changed.