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Different Shades of Darkness: Chapter Fifteen

Title: A Different Shade of Darkness
Chapter Fifteen: Revelations
Author: blucougar57
Summary: In the wake of his untimely death, Ianto Jones accepts a deal that will change his life forever.
Rating: Strong T, for now.
Warnings: Spoilers for The Series That Never Was (AKA, Children of Earth); brief description of torture
X-over: Torchwood/Doctor Who/Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter books.
A/N: Next chapter – Jack and Artemis.

Go Here For Chapter Fourteen

Chapter 15 Here

The sight that met them when they entered the TARDIS' medical room was a gut-wrenching one, even for four men who had each seen or experienced so much in their own individual life-times. Jack lay on a bed on his side, clearly in an effort to take the pressure off the open wound that was his back. From head to toe, his body was covered in bloody, criss-cross lacerations from the fiery twine that Artemis had used to bind him. The thread that had kept his lips sewn shut was also gone, but vicious puncture wounds were visible for all to see, along with lacerations that had left his lips a torn and bloodied mess.

Ianto stood by tensely while the Doctor ran around, flipping switches, fiddling with unidentifiable equipment and occasionally pausing to check on Jack himself with a worried frown.

"Well?" Savitar asked as he led the way in. "Can you heal him?"

The Doctor ran his hands through his already messy shock of hair.

"He will heal, but there's nothing I can do to help the process along. The thread that Artemis used, combined with the time bubble she created..."

"She didn't do that," Ash said.

"It doesn't matter who did it. It's put the brakes on Jack's ability to heal. It will get back to normal, but it's going to take time."

"And in the meantime," Ianto said bitterly, "Jack has to suffer."

"There's a way to help him more quickly," Savitar pointed out, only to have both Ianto and the Doctor turn on him angrily.

"No," the Doctor snapped. "I will not allow you to kill him, just to reset him. I don't care who you are or how much Jack might have pissed you off in the past. I will not allow it."

"I agree with the Doctor," Ianto said soberly. "He's right in that we can't kill Jack, but I don't agree with his reasoning for why. If it meant an instant reset, then I'd put a gun to his head and pull the trigger myself. But it's not. Dying hurts, and resurrecting hurts even more. If we killed him now, he would take all of the pain he's in with him into death and when he came back, he'd be in double the agony. He will heal, and we just need to let it happen because I will not allow anyone to do anything that will just cause him more pain."

Ash walked over to the bedside and crouched down to look Jack in the eyes. The immortal man's eyes were feverish with pain, but he still fought to speak.

"I... sorry..."

"Don't talk," Ash murmured. "Save your strength. You're safe and Artemis will never dare lay a hand on you again." He reached out and brushed his fingers ever so gently over Jack's eyes. "Sleep until you've healed."

Jack had no will to resist the command. His eyes closed his easily, and he visibly relaxed as sleep claimed him.

"Thank you," Ianto said gratefully. Ash nodded in acknowledgement.

"Yeah, well, it's about time someone gave him a little consideration. Now..." His gaze focused on Dev and Vane, who had been watching from the doorway of the med room. "You two, with me. Time for a little chat."

"Just head straight up the corridor," the Doctor suggested. "Kitchen will be the first door on the right, garden on the left and the library a bit further on. Go where you like, but for Rassilon's sake, don't go near the worms in the garden. They're from Rango Eighteen, and they'll take your fingers clean off."

Looking bemused, Ash herded the two Were Hunters from the room, leaving Simi behind with a murmured request for her to watch over both Jack and Ianto.

Tearing his eyes away from Jack briefly, Ianto observed the Doctor and Savitar with ill-suppressed amusement. It hadn't escaped his notice that the two looked completely at ease next to each other, and he couldn't help feeling curious.

"Any chance I might ever find out how you two know each other?" he wondered.

"Not while you're still breathing," Savitar replied bluntly. "I like you, kid, but don't push your luck. As for you, you alien time hopper..."

"Oi!" the Doctor protested. Savitar smirked, giving every impression that he took special pleasure in baiting the Time Lord.

"C'mon. I want to see more of this ship. You were a little too quick to kick me off the last time, and I want to know if she really does have a wave pool that can simulate the Big One."

Ianto barely heard them go. His focus was already back on Jack, and he wasn't even aware of Simi's presence until she spoke.

"The Simi is sorry for thinking Jacky runned away. He is definitely quality peoples."

"Yes, he is," Ianto agreed softly. "He deserves better than this."

Simi frowned.

"You wouldn't be thinking of running away from Jacky? 'Cause the Simi would be mighty disappointed in you if you does, and she might just have to come after you with her barbeque sauce. And the Simi doesn't want to do that, because her Yan is quality peoples too."

Ianto sighed and shook his head.

"No, Simi, I'm not going to leave Jack. I did it once involuntarily, but I guarantee I will never do it by choice."

"Good," Simi said happily. Ianto couldn't help but smile at her simplistic contentment. He might not have agreed that everything was good, but he could agree that things were definitely on the improve, and he was okay with that.

* * *

"You know he's gonna be a target from now on, right?" Vane asked as he, Dev and Ash sat in the kitchen, devouring what was unidentifiable but seriously delicious food. "If not Artemis, there are plenty of others who'd give their fangs to have him. As much as I hate to admit it, that Gwen woman wasn't wrong when she said Jack would be better off away from all of us."

Ash sighed.

"Vane, I would've expect a dumb-ass statement like that from one of your brothers. Not you. Our fight covers the whole world, not just the USA. Jack's known to the enemy now, and there is no safe place on this world for him. Just like there's no truly safe place for any of us. He just deals with it, the same as we do."

"And what about when Zeus finds out about him?" Dev asked sombrely. "Because you know he will. The shit'll really hit the fan, then."

"Well, it all depends," Ash mused. Both Dev and Vane looked suspiciously at Ash.

"Depends on what?" Dev asked. "What are you plotting?"

"I'll let you know in time. Now, about everything you've seen and heard..."

"We can't pretend that we didn't," Dev conceded, "but is it any consolation that we still think you're the same cocky bastard that you were before we found out that you're actually an Atlantean god who's capable of kicking Artemis' ass clean across the galaxy?"

The complete and fully exaggerated innocence with which Dev spoke sent Ash into gales of laughter. When it subsided, both Were Hunters were grinning cheerfully at him.

"Seriously," Vane assured him, "you are, and will always be just Ash to us. Is that good enough for you?"

Ash nodded.

"Yeah, it is."

"At least for now," Dev added wryly, voicing the bit that Ash had kept to himself. "We get it, Ash. You're gonna be watching us like a hawk. That's okay. We won't betray you, and if we do..."

"You have our express permission to obliterate our furry asses," Vane concluded. Dev shot him a glare.

"I was going to say 'kick our asses', but I suppose I can live with that option, too."

Ash rolled his eyes, but at the same time he couldn't help smiling. It was bozos like these that made his oh-so-long life just that much easier to cope with.

"Don't worry," he told them both. "I will."

Dev and Vane exchanged uncertain looks.

"You will what...?" Dev wondered uneasily.

Ash's only reply was a grin that did nothing to reassure either man.

* * *

"So, are you going to tell me what you're planning?" the Doctor asked, watching in amusement as Savitar examined the wave pool options with a rarely-expressed enthusiasm. The Doctor was anxious to get the conversation done, knowing full well that Savitar would be incommunicado for days once he got the wave pool going to his satisfaction.

"You think I'm planning something? That's rich, coming from you."

"Don't play games, Savitar. I know you too well. You may not like Jack, but you do like Ianto, even if you don't want to admit it. Secondly, you claimed Ianto's soul back from Artemis, didn't you?"

Savitar smirked.

"Did I?"

The Doctor chose to ignore the smug attitude.

"Thirdly..." He faltered, and Savitar's smirk widened.


"Okay, so I can't think of number three," the Doctor snapped. "But I'm sure there is one. What I will say is that you either tell me what you're planning, or I kick you, Acheron and your lapdogs out of my ship and take Jack and Ianto as far away as possible. And you of all people ought to know just how far that could be."

Still amused, Savitar tore himself away from the wave pool controls and faced the Doctor.

"You're either very brave or very stupid. Not even Ash would dare to give me an ultimatum like that."

Far from looking smug, the Doctor just looked tired.

"You don't frighten me, Savitar. You would have ended me years ago, if you really wanted to. We both know that you won't."

Savitar grunted.

"Maybe. All right. Sit."

The Doctor sat, not questioning where the chairs had suddenly appeared from.

"Tell me what you sense when you see Jack," Savitar instructed. The Doctor winced at the mere thought.

"He's wrong, an aberration. He shouldn't exist."

"But he does, and we both know he's going to outlive all of us, so get over yourself. This is important. Look past what you see as wrongness, and tell me what you see."

Looking for all of Gallifrey like he wished he'd never pushed the discussion, the Doctor closed his eyes and focused.

At first, all he could see was the wrongness that vibrated so powerfully against his Time Lord senses. He wanted to pull back, but he dared not. Savitar had set the challenge, and the Doctor was painfully conscious that he was in the presence of one being who could easily tear him apart. He'd faced Daleks, Cybermen and the worst the universe had to offer, but Savitar was an enigma that he both respected and feared. He dared not shirk the challenge.

And suddenly, there it was. It was just a glimmer, hidden well and truly in amongst the chaos that was the reality of Jack's existence, but it was there all the same – an ancient bloodline, heavily diluted by the passage of time but still recognisable to anyone who knew what they were looking for.

His eyes snapped open, and he stared at Savitar in shock.

"You knew... How long have you known?"

"From the moment I first met him," Savitar said. "Then, it wasn't an issue. It was so heavily diluted that it didn't really mean anything. Now, it's going to give him and the kid the legitimacy they need to keep Artemis off their backs."

The Doctor frowned deeply.

"But you have Ianto's soul. He can be human again."

Savitar rolled his eyes.

"For a being of supposedly superior intelligence, you really are fucking moronic sometimes."

"Oi! Language!"

Savitar ignored the chastisement.

"Yes, I have the kid's soul, but think about it. What do you think he'll go for, given the choice? Living out a normal, mortal existence, or spending a potential eternity with a poncy bastard who loves him like nothing he's ever known?"

"Ah. Right. I see your point."

Savitar nodded in satisfaction.

"Thank you. And now, with this added bit, it's going to be near to impossible to kill the kid... provided they go that extra step."

"Mm. So, you'll be wanting to pay a visit to Acheron's sisters, I assume?"

A truly malevolent grin spread across Savitar's face.

"Oh yeah. That's one little chat I am really looking forward to."

"You're evil, Savitar," the Doctor said, with a hint of ill-concealed amusement.

"And damn proud of it," Savitar retorted. "Anyway, like I told Dev and Samia, anything to shove it up those little bitches is a good thing in my book."

The Doctor shook his head in wonder at the turn things had taken.

"Jack, a Were Hunter. I never saw that coming."

"He's not a Were Hunter," Savitar corrected. "He doesn't have the ability to shape-shift. At least, not at the moment. What he has is a very diluted Arcadian bloodline running through him."

"Ah, right... Hang on! What do you mean, not at the moment?"

Savitar grinned wickedly.

"You said it yourself, Doctor. He's an impossible thing."

The Doctor was still sitting there, jaw agape, when Savitar shed his clothes in favour of board shorts, and plunged into the wave pool with his surfboard.

* * *

to be continued...

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Tags: dark hunters, different shades, fic, jack/ianto, torchwood

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