Title: Souls of the Forgotten
Fandoms: Supernatural/Torchwood/The Avengers/Doctor Who
Pairings/Characters: Tony/Sam, Jack/Ianto, Castiel/Dean, Clint/Coulson, Natasha/Pepper, Thor/Jane, Bruce/Steve, Kevin Tran, Nick Fury, Linda Tran, Kevin Tran, Benny/Darcy, the Doctor, Rory/Amy and Balthazar/Tosh
Summary: Sam watched Dean and Castiel disappear right before his eyes; with the loss of Bobby he wasn't sure how he would survive or even how to begin to find a way to rescue them. Help comes in the most unlikely fashion when SHIELD suddenly offers to try and help Sam find the mysterious Doctor. Knowing they have their own agenda, Sam is desperate and accepts their offer any way.
Meanwhile, Dean and Castiel find themselves struggling to survive in a living nightmare. For them, aid comes from a most unlikely pair of people: a fellow trapped soul, Ianto Jones and the vampire, Benny. Together the four of them must find a way to survive in their hellish prison but also find a way home.
One year later they are rescued but during that time much has changed for the brothers; is for better or worse? And how will they handle the biggest changes in their lives?
Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural, Torchwood or the Avengers
Art by: Viviantanner
Somehow the Doctor wasn't surprised that he’d managed to track Jack down in the Vegas galaxy, ‘Probably his home away from home!’ the Time Lord snorted. After giving Amy and Rory – well, Rory, actually, he was the more level-headed of the two – an unlimited credit chip and leaving them in a top-of-the-line hotel, he went in search of his immortal friend. Knowing what he and Jack would be facing, there was no way he was taking Amy and Rory with him in to Purgatory.
Taking a deep breath and steeling himself against the scum of the Universe he knew would be inside, the Time Lord entered the low-class bar and glanced around trying to see in the dim light. Finally he found the man he was seeking, slouched against the bar with a half-empty glass in his hand. "I really hope he doesn't punch me."
“Move it,” a deep voice demanded as the Doctor found himself shoved to the side, and after seeing the size of the newcomer, he gladly stepped far to the side. Partially hidden by a pillar, he studied his old friend, noticing his slovenly appearance, the air of despair about him, and the way he tossed back his drink and immediately gestured for another. Seeing the state Jack was in made the Doctor’s hearts ache; his was all his fault, the downfall of the once brave Jack Harkness.
Of course, given the parting gift his last self had left Jack with, it probably wasn't surprising that things had turned out the way they had. The Doctor had pretty much succeeded in putting Jack out of his mind until late one night, after Amy and Rory had gone to bed, the TARDIS showed him what the 456 had cost Jack, his home, his grandson and unbeknownst to Jack, his soul bond, Ianto. 'And I tossed Alonso at him thereby confirming Jack's low opinion that I see him as nothing more than an intergalactic whore.' The Doctor signed deeply, realising that he had a lot of work ahead of him.
"Come to toss another sailor at me? Thinking he could take Ianto's place?"
The Time Lord was so lost in his thoughts and regrets that he failed to notice Jack had abandoned his drink and joined him until Jack's bitter voice washed over him like acid. Looking into his friend's broken gaze, the Doctor knew that there was so much he had to say to Jack, everything from a sincere apology for his treatment of him, for running away and leaving him on the game station, for calling him wrong and saying that he made him sick, to not being there for Jack when he needed him the more than anything else in the Universe.
Instead of words from his heart, what came out of his mouth was not what he meant to say: "You recognize me?"
Jack snorted derisively and coughed out a laugh, the stench of alcohol on his breath. "I've met your friend, River Song, and let's face it, Doc, you tend to draw attention to yourself. I've heard all about your new face as well as the stories of your latest adventures with the Mr and Mrs.” He looked longingly back at the bar where another glass of Hyper-vodka awaited him. “I’ve got a lot a drinking to do, so tell me what you want, Doc, because I doubt you've come all this way just to chat, especially not after our last meeting."
Wincing at the venom in Jack’s alcohol savaged voice, the Doctor studied the man before him; given his current state of mind and inebriation, he wondered how his friend was going to take this latest little piece of news and decided that under the circumstances the direct approach was best. “Your Ianto Jones is trapped in Purgatory and I'm going to rescue him.”
Jack stared at the Doctor for a moment, the words rolling around in his head like thunder and then suddenly his knees gave out beneath him. If it weren’t for the Doctor’s lightning fast reflexes, he’d have hit the floor like a ton of brick. He'd heard of Purgatory – who in the Universe hadn’t – it was the home where the monsters spent their afterlife and the very idea of his Ianto trapped in that living hell for three years tore into his very soul. “We have to save him, Doc. Please, if you ever had any positive feelings for me, please, you have to help me rescue Ianto. Please, Doc!”
Never did the Time Lord think the day would come when Jack Harkness would be begging him for anything. “You really do love him, don’t you?” he asked in pure awe.
Jack’s blue eyes glistened brightly with unshed tears, intense pain and immense guilt. “With all my heart, Doc, and like a fool I never told him! He died in doubt, never hearing those three little words come freely from me.” A single fat tear rolled unchecked down his cheek unnoticed except by the Doctor. “How I treated Ianto has haunted me every moment of my life since I lost him. Please, Doc, I need a second chance! I have to do this right, to do us right, to show him every single day how much I love him.” Jack’s voice broke and a sob ripped its way from his throat. “Will you please help me save him?”
The Doctor looked at his old friend and knew that the weight of his past self’s actions had never weighed more heavily on his soul. “Jack, I can never truly make up for all the pain I have caused you in the past, I know that; all I can do is hope that this will be a way to make a fresh start.”
For a moment Jack couldn’t breathe, he was too afraid he’d heard wrong. With a strong shake of his head, which he immediately regretted, given the amount of alcohol that had befuddled his brain, he whispered, “Are you saying what I think you’re saying?”
A smile lit up the Doctor’s face. “Indeed I am, Jack. Let’s go rescue your Mr Jones and his three companions.”
An exuberant whoop of joy escaped Jack’s lips as he embraced the Time Lord and he even planted a quick kiss on the Doctor’s lips before releasing him. "Then what are we waiting for? Where's my beautiful girl?" Jack’s mind was suddenly clear as a bell and for the first time in years, his heart was filled with hope.
Glad to see the spark returning to Jack's deep blue eyes the Doctor tilted his head. "Just outsi...."
That was all Jack need to hear. With another joyous shout, he grabbed the Time Lord in a hug so tight even the Gallifreyan’s secondary respiratory system squeaked in alarm and before the Doctor had time to blink Jack had dragged him out through the bar’s saloon-style doors and into the TARDIS.
Releasing the Doctor's hand Jack bounded over to the console and ran his hands lovingly across the TARDIS’ controls. “Come on, you beautiful blue creature, let’s go collect Ianto and the others.” Then, without warning, Jack’s entire demeanour changed. Turning around slowly, he tilted his head in thought and blinked as what the Doctor said finally sank in.
On his way up the entry ramp, the Time Lord actually paused mid-step when he saw the look on the immortal’s face. He was sure he was seeing the green-eyed monster appear when Jack whirled around to face him with a deadly glare on his handsome face. "Wait…” He glowered at the Doctor. “What others, Doc?” There was a low, rather dangerous tone to his voice. “Who are these others and just how close are they to my Ianto?"
For a man who loudly claimed to not do jealousy, the Doctor thought Jack was doing a pretty good job of it right at that moment. 'It would seem that Mr Jones is truly one of a kind.' Knowing he could have some fun with that little titbit of knowledge, the Doctor bounced on his toes with naughty anticipation. "Well, from what the TARDIS has told me…” and the Doctor lowered his voice and glanced from side to side conspiratorially. “It would seem Ianto has three very handsome men who’ve been keeping him company for the last little while," he happily informed the now fiercely scowling immortal.
"Just exactly how long is a little while?" Jack knew there was no point in denying he was jealous when it came to Ianto, after all, he always had been. Oh he knew perfectly well that the others thought he’d been jealous over Gwen's relationship with Rhys and in a way that was true, but not for the reasons everyone thought. He was simply jealous of the fact she could have a normal life including a home and a family with Rhys, but only when she learned to let go of her dreams of a life with Jack.
It broke Jack’s heart that he couldn't offer that same normal life to Ianto. 'That's another thing; I need to make sure that Ianto knows that I would never have gone for Gwen even if she had chosen me over Rhys. He has to know that I never loved her the way I love him; he's my world, my moon, my sun and my very soul.' Once Jack had Ianto back in his arms where he belonged he had plans to make sure that Ianto never, ever doubted his place in Jack's heart again.
Seeing the fire in Jack’s eyes, the Doctor realised that he really was going to get a lot of joy out of this. "Two of the men have only spent the last year with Ianto but the other has been there from the start and he seems to be very close with your Ianto."
"How close?" Jack growled out through clenched teeth.
"Oh, I don’t know, how close can two men grow when you only have each other to watch one another’s back for about three years?" The Doctor was enjoying teasing his old friend; it had been far too long since they’d had the chance for any kind of repartee. The TARDIS had showed him bits and pieces of Ianto’s relationship with the vampire, Benny, and while they had shared a physical relationship it had never grown into anything more than a strong friendship.
While Jack was glad to hear that Ianto wasn't alone he wasn't too happy to hear that his Welshman had been in the company of three men. The sooner they got Ianto out of t/here the better, in fact, for the immortal it might not be fast enough. Jack’s mind was reeling with images of Ianto’s fate, everything from being eaten by some vanquished demon to living happily ever after with whomever this new guy in his life was.
Sensing the turmoil in Jack’s heart, the TARDIS nudged the Doctor’s mind, urging him to comfort her friend. The Doctor cast about for the right words to say and then they came to him.
“Ianto’s heart is still yours.”
Jack shuddered with relief as the Doctor’s soft words washed over him; that was what he’d been secretly afraid of, that he’d lost the one person in existence that had meant the world to him. However, he knew he had a lot work ahead of him to make up for all the pain he’d caused his young lover. He’d hurt Ianto greatly during the course of their relationship, from kissing him publicly after his revival from Abaddon’s to abandoning him a moment later to chase after the Doctor. He’d never bothered to hide his love for the mysterious Time Lord, something he knew Ianto was very aware of.
Then when he got back from his travels, he immediately began fawning all over Gwen, even though she clearly told him that she was engaged to be married. Jack knew he was never going to do anything with her, her hero worship of him absolutely fed his ego and after a year of torture at the hands of the Master and there was definitely a piece of Jack’s wounded pride that thought he deserved being put on a pedestal, even if it was a relatively low one. So, because it made him feel better, he lavished attention on her every chance he got, never once noticing how his actions appeared to the others or how they were affecting Ianto. And if all that wasn’t bad enough, there were his actions and words during Ianto’s final days on Earth.
But nothing he’d ever done had left as big or deep a scar on Jack’s soul than denying Ianto the opportunity to hear those three little words. He knew in his heart how much Ianto needed to hear him say them aloud and he was wracked with guilt for being so afraid to verbally commit himself to Ianto. Even though he’d promised to remember Ianto for a thousand years – and he fully intended to honour that promise, for a thousand thousand years and beyond – Jack still wished that he could have expressed in words what he truly felt for his beloved Welshman. ‘This will be a new start and I promise you, Ianto, that not a day will go by when you don’t know just how deeply I truly do love you.’
A new fire appeared in Jack’s blue eyes. “Let’s go rescue my Ianto.”
The Doctor grinned happily; his friend had found purpose again. He didn’t mind admitting that when he’d first seen Jack back in that bar, he’d actually despaired of ever getting through to the captain’s alcohol-soaked brain. ‘Apparently, the way to find the old Jack clearly involves showing him how much he still loves his young Welshman.' The Time Lord watched with amused affection as Jack re-acquainted himself with the TARDIS, wandering around the central console, stroking her controls and murmuring to her softly. ‘I do wonder, though, if I should tell Jack that Ianto now has the Rift flowing through him and that he’ll live as long as Jack?’ The Time Lord thought about it for a moment and then shook his head, ‘nah, I’ll leave that little surprise for Ianto to tell him after Jack has done his daring rescue and swept his Welshman off his feet.’
“One blasted year! We’ve been trapped here for one blasted year!” Dean grumbled loudly under his breath as the foursome moved cautiously out in to the wild. Four pairs of experienced eyes moved constantly, searching non-stop for those hunting them but it was Ianto that Dean’s eyes kept flickering over to most often. It was a gesture that Castiel and Benny performed as well; something was going on with their favourite Welshman.
Ianto shivered strongly as he felt the power of the Rift stirring in him; all around him he could see the swirls of time: days, hours, minutes and seconds, everything that ever was or ever could happen was flashing before his eyes. It was an awe-inspiring vision that threatened to over-power him, but through it all, a soothing song seemed to wrap itself around him, helping him fight off the blackness that wanted to claim him as its own. Ianto wasn't used to seeing so much time, so many images, all at once and it was becoming a lot more than he could handle.
A gentle voice came to them, carried on the wind, although its message was clearly intended for Ianto. "Have no fear, my dear one; the one who carries your love in his heart is on his way.'
'Jack?' Ianto felt his heart skip a beat; could his greatest dream be coming true? Could Jack really coming for him?
"You will all soon be free of this place and reunited with your loved ones," the voice promised before it faded away.
"Well that was unusual, even for this place? Do voices normally talk to you?" Dean asked turning to look at Ianto with concern clearly written on his face.
Ianto shook his head ignoring the sharp pain the simple action caused. "No, I have to say that was new, even for me! But if it's not a trick then this could be the answer we've been waiting for, we're finally saved."
"Yeah, that's the big question: is it a trick?" Benny was still grumbling under his breath.
That was no trick,” Castiel declared with absolute certainty. “That was the Lady of Time speaking to us. I have long felt that someone was watching over us, a power higher than me and something far older, something quite ancient.” The angel turned his solemn gaze to Ianto, "You carry a piece of her within you, Ianto Jones. I did not understand at first why she allowed you to stay here but now it is clear to me that she had a plan for your heart and soul all along."
Riddled with curiosity, Dean barely waited for his angel to finish speaking before asking, "Do you have any idea what kind of plan she has?"
The angel shook his head firmly looking at Ianto as he spoke. "I am sorry, I do not possess that information; all I know is Ianto, like you, Dean and Sam, has a bigger role to play in this Universe than we are allowed to know.”
Although they remained highly aware of their surroundings, the small group came to a halt, mesmerised by the story the angel was telling.
“There has long been talk of the man made immortal by time's gift and of his bond mate, a man who had would carry his own piece of time within him; legend says that together, they are destined for great things." Castiel’s voice was soft, but his words had a strong effect on one man.
Ianto swallowed hard, the lump in his throat the size of the boulder he now leaned against. Could it be possible? Were he and Jack bond mates? Only in the deepest part of his soul had Ianto ever hoped of something like miraculous. 'Please, Jack, please come and find me,' he prayed fervently.
"I'm dreaming, aren't I?" That was the only thing that made sense to Sam as he paced a slow path through the bright white before flickering his eyes over to the woman dressed in Victorian fashions. "Um, who are you, if you don't mind me asking?"
She smiled at him. "I am Idris and I'm here to bring you a message, my lonely angel; the one you have sought to find so that you can rescue your brother and your friend has now gone to rescue them."
For a moment Sam forgot how to breathe as hope blossomed in his chest for the first time in months. "They're alive and coming home soon?" After a year of dead ends Sam had truly begun losing hope at ever finding them again. No matter what they did, what technology they applied or science they explored, they couldn't find a way to open a portal and every lead they had on the mysterious Doctor ended up coming to them too late to be useful. No matter how quickly they scrambled, he was always gone by the time they arrived at his last reported location.
Cupping Sam's chin with her hand, Idris brushed a gentle kiss across his forehead. "Yes, if all goes as planned they should be home sometime today... or maybe a little later this week." While she loved her Doctor dearly she had to admit that he wasn't usually the most reliable of drivers and no matter how many diplomatic and helpful suggestions she offered he always insisted on doing things his own way. It was so frustrating! "It will only be a little longer, my dear one, I promise."
There was something about her touch, her voice, her very presence that soothed and calmed Sam, and he found himself wondering, ‘Is this was what a mother's touch feels like?’ It was a comforting thought and he concentrated on committing it to memory. "I believe you."
"Good." Pressing one final kiss to Sam's forehead Idris moved away from him. "When the time comes scan for Rift energy it will match the readings of information you received from Toshiko Sato's programs for predicting the Rift. I cannot be certain when we will arrive or where…” and Sam noticed a definite twinkle in her eyes as she said this, “but it shall be soon. Now it is time to wake up."
Sam's eyes flew wide open as he shot up in bed and dislodged the arm draped around his waist. Wincing, he cast a quick glance down at Tony and was pleased to see that he was still sleeping soundly; Sam would hate to have woken him accidentally. The Avenger’s had been working non-stop lately, and the last few missions had been particularly brutal on his lover and the others, and he didn't want to disturb Tony's much-needed rest. Knowing from past experience that Tony would wake if he left the bed; after sleeping together for nearly ten months neither man could sleep without the other one beside them. Slowly and carefully, Sam shifted position until he could lie comfortably and stare up at the ceiling; a thousand thoughts thundered through his mind, most of them focusing on Dean and Castiel.
Where were they?
Were they all right?
Had they finally acted on their feelings for one another? Because truth be told, he was getting rather tired of the sexual tension burning between the two of them.
And finally the most important question, the one that kept repeating itself over and over again, and the one Sam was dreading the answer to the most, did they think he abandoned them?
Sam’s conscience was unbearably heavy; he couldn't bear it if either Dean or Castiel or worse yet, both thought he’d left them to rot in their own personal hell. 'Just a little longer and then I will see with my own eyes that they are all right and in one piece.' Those words would become his mantra for the next few days, right up to the very instant he saw Dean and Castiel standing in front of him, and Sam was convinced that if he repeated it often enough and with enough conviction, he just might make it come true.