Characters: Jack Harkness, Ianto Jones. Jack/Ianto
Disclaimer: I do not own, nor ever will, Torchwood or the characters within.
Note: This is for my longliveianto bingo card prompt ‘Pre-Canon Fic’. It is a prequel to “The Rough Treatment of Stones" and begins to tell how Ianto became immortal.
Author’s Note: So, I do believe life has it in for me at the moment. After losing Mum not quite two weeks ago, my new landlord has decided he would like to move in now rather than wait for my lease to expire in January and basically given me til July’s end to find somewhere else. At least the kids have enjoyed the house hunting and I have my name down for a couple of places…
The one bit of good news is that Gareth David-Lloyd and James Marsters are going to be in town in two weeks for the Supanova expo and while saving for moving means I can’t afford to get pics or autographs, I have my ticket …
Summary: Franklin Slate is Ikaite's lodestone and he will always follow him.
When Franklin Slate was eight years old he brought his best friend Ikaite to the Boeshane Settlement Council and announced they wanted to be blood bonded. Blood bonding was a common occurrence between colony kids and it was the first of many life-bonds they would forge amongst themselves as they grew up. Few children however sought Council recognition for a rite that was usually performed by a parent in the nearest open space.
When asked, Franklin Slate said that “Dad said that things always gotta be done right and Ikaite’s a Finder’s son and my best friend so I hafta make sure it’s always done right for him. You do that for the people ya love.”
When they asked Ikaite, he smiled shyly at them and said, “Slate’s my best friend. Doing this makes him happy and that makes me happy too.”
So the Councillors smiled at the two boys and checked for parental consent before they gave their approval. The boys stood still as Slate’s Dad sliced carefully across the skin of their proffered wrists and as soon as the blood welled up Slate and Ikaite pressed the wounds together and let the blood mingle and drip down their arms. Ikaite’s Tad bound the shallow cuts up and thirty minutes after appearing in front of the Council the two boys left with matching bandages around their wrists and very wide smiles.
When Franklin Slate was sixteen years old he brought his best friend Ikaite to the Council again. This time he wanted to register a heart-bond. Ikaite was only fifteen – not quite of age - so the Council denied the request but allowed a Notice of Intent to be registered.
Six months later on the day after Ikaite turned sixteen, the heart-bond was sealed.
A year later the colony was attacked and six months after that Franklin Slate kissed Ikaite farewell and took to the stars seeking not only his stolen brother but revenge for the deaths of his Dad, Ikaite’s Tad and so many others.
Ikaite watched until the vapour trail disappeared, his cheeks streaked with dried tears and a Notice of Intent for a soul-bond in his hands.
“I won’t wait for you, Slate,” he told the sky. “I’m going to find you,” he promised.
In the end it took five years before Ikaite found Slate again. They met on a small planet in the middle of a war.
“Told you I would always find you,” the familiar accented voice said under the roar of artillery fire. Franklin Slate nearly shot himself in the foot as he dropped his gun and grabbed the newcomer in a massive hug before shaking him wildly.
“You fucking idiot! What are you doing here? This is a war zone!”
Ikaite smiled and picked up Slate’s dropped weapon before moving them deeper into the small bunker beneath the firing positions. Slate was dressed in dark fatigues that probably hadn’t been washed in a month. His face was thin and there were dark shadows around his eyes. The bright gleam Ikaite remembered so well had faded in the blue eyes and there was only an aching despair to be seen. A quick glance around showed the same look on the faces of the other soldiers.
“You shouldn’t be here,” Slate murmured as he gave in to his need and held Ikaite close. Ikaite was almost as tall as he was now and there was a wiry strength in the slender arms that wrapped around him.
“A Finder was needed and I knew you were here. Where else would I go?”
Slate frowned and pulled away from Ikaite. He frowned as he noticed the dark cloak and gloves the young man wore. He tugged at the cloak and it parted to display a dark blue uniform.
“Ahh hell, Ikaite. You joined Torchwood.” There was resigned dismay in Slate’s voice.
Torchwood wasn’t as well known as the Time Agency but the two institutions often worked together. Torchwood was more into research and development than in actively policing timelines like the Agency did. It was said that Torchwood had discovered or invented the Vortex Manipulators that every Time Agent now wore. There were rumours claiming Torchwood had been around in one form or another for close to three millennia.
Slate was surprised but at the same time not as surprised as he thought he should have been that Ikaite was Torchwood. Not only did they deal with tech they also did much with Talent. And Ikaite’s Finder heritage and ability would have been precisely what they wanted.
“It’s more like they didn’t give me much choice,” Ikaite replied confirming Slate’s thought. “And it was either them or the Agency and I knew what you’d say if I followed you there.”
“Yeah. Torchwood is bad enough but I don’t ever want the Agency to have you.” Slate let his breath out. “So, why is a Finder needed here?”
Ikaite shrugged. “Metal affinity. And most arsenals tend to be full of metallic objects.”
Slate groaned softly. “They want you to find the weapons caches,” he stated. “You can’t. It’s too dangerous, Ikaite.”
“I’m known as Finder now, Slate,” Ikaite lowered his voice. “Only you know me as Ikaite. And they sent two ninja’s with me.”
Slate’s eyes widened. Ninja. Slang for Torchwood Assassin. Just as Pirate was slang for the Time Agency’s assassins. No-one knew how the long-standing nicknames had come into being and both institutes always denied having assassins in their employ. Rumour had it that Torchwood had always called their assassins ninjas and that after the Agency had appeared, they had started using ‘pirate’ for their Agency counterparts. The Agency however claimed that one of their own had come back from a cultural time trip to Earth’s past with not only much information but a pirate obsession that had culminated in him bringing back a real pirate. What they didn’t say was that both had been executed and the pirate tag had stuck and stayed.
Slate didn’t care either way. He was just relieved that his Ikaite had someone to protect him. “Good. And I get called Shane now. Some other Agent is known as Bo,” he gave a half-grin as Ikaite rolled his eyes. “How long you here for, Ikaite?”
“Til tomorrow.” Ikaite looked over Slate’s shoulder and Slate turned to see two men also wearing Torchwood cloaks talking with the officer in charge. “There’s a tunnel system that leads behind the lines apparently. They’ll be sorting out our passage through it.”
“Then we have tonight,” Slate told him in a voice that brooked no argument. “I have a place where we can be undisturbed.”
“Okay,” Ikaite smiled slightly.
In the end they could only manage an hour together. Ikaite and the ninjas spent hours going over reports and maps seeking ways to find the hidden arsenals and Slate was dispatched several times along the lines.
They were both exhausted when they met in the small room where Slate and the other Time Agents were bunked.
“The others are out,” Slate assured Ikaite as he bolted the door behind them. He wrapped his arms around Ikaite and they stood there for a long moment eyes closed just breathing each other in.
“I missed you,” Slate murmured.
“Same,” Ikaite replied.
“You were supposed to wait for me,” Slate said.
“I will never wait for you, Slate. I am always going to follow you and find you.”
“Thank you,” Slate whispered against Ikaite’s neck. “There’s no Council here and no witnesses but I want to do our soul-bond.”
“I never needed the Council. I only ever needed you,” Ikaite told him as they each took a step back. Simultaneously they rolled up their sleeves.
“I wanted everyone to know you were mine,” Slate replied as he pulled a small knife from a pocket.
“Always was, always am,” Ikaite said, holding his arm out. The small scar at his wrist that had been made at their blood-bonding and reopened during their heart-bonding was easily visible. Slate held his arm out his scar equally prominent and aligned his arm alongside Ikaite’s. They stared at each other before Ikaite smiled and nodded his head. Slate nodded in response and the knife flashed.
One quick long slash and both scars were opened and blood beaded before Slate turned his hand over and gripped at Ikaite’s forearm bringing their bleeding scars together. Ikaite’s fingers latched around Slate’s forearm and they took a deep breath.
Leaning forward they brought their foreheads together and closed their eyes. The meditative state came easily and quickly and they linked smoothly with the gentlest of empathic touches. Each pulse of their mingling blood sent them deeper. Their breathing slowed and they sank into each other.
Time passed without notice and colours swirled behind their closed eyes. They could almost see the strands binding them, linking them inextricably together. They stood silent and still, locked together by the tight grip of their hands and the satin feel of their minds going somewhere beyond conscious thought.
In a time where telepathy and empathy was relatively common it was still rare for people to soul-bond. Most never went further than heart-bonding. Soul-bonding went so deep that any incompatibility was immediately found and would negate the bond often with painful results. It was not uncommon for failed bond attempts to leave deep burns on the participant’s forearms.
Matching smiles curved their lips moments before their eyes opened and they took a long deep breath.
“Tynfaen,” Ikaite said.
A year later the war was over and Slate and Ikaite began fighting and arguing with their bosses to be allowed to work together as much as possible. It took them six months before both the Agency and Torchwood agreed.
Five years later Slate was sent on a routine mission and didn’t return.
Finder wrapped himself in his cloak and leant against the wall. Two moons shone above him and a desert wind ruffled his hair. He sighed as he stared up at the stars. For three years he’d been searching for Slate. Three years of scouring the galaxies for his lost bond-mate. No matter what he was doing he was always looking – seeking – Slate. He’d become Torchwood’s Finder in both name and ability, but the one thing he wanted most to find stayed firmly out of his reach.
He knew Slate wasn’t dead. The tug of their soul-bond reassured him of that, although it was so faint and sometimes it felt so tenuous that Finder worried that he’d never get there in time. Because the only thing Finder was completely sure of was that he would find Slate. He would always find him.
“Tynfaen.” The word disappeared on the wind as Finder straightened up before reaching for the pack at his feet. He slung it over his shoulder and began the long trek back to the spaceport.
Halfway there he felt the soul-bond snap and he fell to his knees with a hoarse cry.
“No! Slate!” Pain lanced through him and he wrapped his arms around himself to hold in the sobs that racked at his chest. “Oh goddess no,” he pleaded through the onrush of tears. A gnawing emptiness filled his body and mind. “No, please, not my Slate.” He doubled over, collapsing into himself with one last despairing cry.
Ten minutes later he surged upwards as golden flames poured through him. The scar on his wrist was a white line of burning pain and every nerve screamed in agony. His back arched and he writhed as he felt like he was being dragged over broken glass. His eyes were wide and he screamed as the air crackled and snapped around him. He felt it closing in just before it imploded.
Captain Jack Harkness came back to life with a gasp and grunt. His head pounded and he rolled over and upwards.
“Well, well,” a harsh female voice said. “That’s quite a trick you’ve got there.”
“You don’t sound too surprised,” Jack panted as he tried to stand up. He shot a fierce glare at the woman who was watching him with an all too calm expression.
“Well, no,” she replied as she tilted her head to one side and raised a small pistol. “It’s not like I haven’t seen it before. Just not by you,” she added and then she shot him.
Jack woke up in a cell. He sighed as he took in the cold dank concrete walls. His head was one massive ache and his chest wasn’t much better as he rubbed where the bullet hole had been. He struggled to sit up and tried to think where he was and just what the hell had happened back in that alley.
A month ago he’d landed in nineteenth century Earth and found himself unable to die. After a week-long bender he’d made his way by steamer from Ellis Island to Cardiff where he knew there was a time rift that could possibly help him get to the Doctor and some explanations for his sudden case of immortality. He hadn’t expected to feel an aching tug that got stronger the nearer to Cardiff he got and he certainly never expected to get knifed and then shot in a dingy Cardiff alley.
“You’re awake, I see.” The harsh voiced woman was back. He sighed and stood up leaning against the wall for support as his head pounded.
“Who are you?” he demanded his voice rough.
“I think I am the one who will be asking the questions, but to be polite, my name is Alice Guppy. Yours is?”
“Captain Jack Harkness,” Jack replied as he willed his head to stop hurting. “And where am I?”
“In my cells of course,” she smiled and he was reminded of the sharks he’d seen from the steamer. “I do realise they are a bit uncomfortable but perhaps after you’ve spent some time here we could find a more suitable use for you.”
“You’re a nasty old hag, aren’t you,” Jack stated in a conversational manner. The woman’s smile widened just a fraction.
“I expect you to be saying otherwise when we’re finished with you, Mr Harkness.”
“Captain,” Jack emphasised.
“Mr Harkness,” the woman was completely composed. “Titles need to be earned.” A bell echoed down the passages. “And that’s for afternoon tea. I’ll leave you with our other guest for now. Perhaps you’ll be more understanding tomorrow. Goodnight Mr Harkness.” The woman pulled at a curtain opposite Jack’s cell before walking away. Jack heard a heavy metal door slam shut before he looked across.
A young man was sprawled on the hard floor. His face was bruised and crude bandages were wrapped around his arms. His clothes were ragged and looked too thin for the dankness of the cells.
“Oh goddess,” Jack breathed and the prone man opened his eyes. Blue eyes more familiar than his own stared blankly at him. “Ikaite.”
“Slate.” Ikaite’s voice was a mere thread. “Welcome to Torchwood.”
Author’s Note: Tynfaen from what I can find seems to be Welsh for lodestone as is ehedfaen according to Webster… (as you can see I preferred to use tynfaen)… those that do speak Welsh, please, please tell me if it’s wrong…
continued in Foundations of Liberty