As they neared the planet Kronos they could see one of the many reasons why the planet was forbidden; even from space they could see the violent storms that covered the surface of the planet and often rose fifty kilometres into the atmosphere. It was going to be a difficult and dangerous landing.
"Buckle up, Yan; this is going to be rough," Jack growled warningly as he strapped himself in.
Ianto didn't hesitate to follow Jack's order and just had finished buckling himself in when the first bolt of lightning hit the hull. Ianto barely suppressed a startled squeak and he was sure that by the time this landing was over there would be impressions of his nail marks left in the seats.
Jack gritted his teeth as he did his very best to fly them safely through the worst of the storms; he took advantage of every opening he could find, but he couldn't promise a smooth landing. All he could do was try his best to land them in one piece.
Ianto had always been proud of and amazed by Jack's natural talent as a pilot and this time was no different. Jack used his formidable skills to fly them safely through the violent storms; it was like he and the ship were one and Ianto couldn't help but be impressed.
Once they breached the worst of the storms Ianto and Jack's eyes widened as they saw what was hidden beneath the storms, paradise awaited them. While the outer layer was an endless roiling nightmare of violence, beneath that was a calm and tranquil world of pure beauty. They could see vast silver oceans that stretched out endlessly, meeting the purple sky that reached out to them at a distant horizon, and long swaths of rolling golden hills glinting under the blue sun. Yes, it was truly a sight to see.
And there in the centre of the nearest island was a swirling mass of golden energy: the very embodiment of time and space. They’d found it, the Rift in Time and Space, the Well of Time, the source of Time Lord knowledge. It was everything that Ianto could have ever pictured it to be and more, Ianto just hoped they were in time to stop Owen from destroying everything.
Owen Harper stood in the middle of the time/space Rift feeling the coral in his arms humming in sync with the energy. "Why won't you show me what I want to see? Why won't you show me how to save Katie?" Owen demanded, a hint of desperation in his voice. “Show me!”
The energy around him hummed but offered no answers.
So lost was he in his frantic need for answers Owen never noticed when Ianto and Jack arrived to join him in the middle of the Rift.
Ianto gasped as time itself swirled around them. "Can you feel it, Jack? It's alive!" he whispered in awe as the energy wrapped itself around him, dancing across his skin and filling his soul. As he stared at the myriad TARDIS' that surrounded the Rift, each one different in appearance, all feeding off of its energy like a flock of magical birds, and as he closed his eyes Ianto could hear them all singing to him.
All around them the energy of the Rift wrapped around them, of time and space filled the air, showing each of them the way their lives could have turned out. Jack how wonderfully his life would have turned out had he treated Ianto right and he vowed that that would be his future.
"I can see it, Yan, and it’s beautiful! But what about Owen, he's desperate and it doesn’t look like things are going his way," Jack pointed out bringing Ianto back from his admiration of the TARDIS'.
Ianto knew what he needed to do; he only hoped he could reach his friend. "It doesn't work like that, Owen! You can't change Katie's fate! You'll rip apart of all time and space!" Ianto shouted trying to make Owen see reason.
Owen shook his head. "I don't care! I don't want to live in a world that doesn't have Katie in it!"
Beneath them the ground began shifting as tendrils of time began drifting out of the Rift and wrapping around Owen.
"Owen! We have to leave this place! There’s a reason why only Time Lords could do this, why only they could command time. It won't work for you, Owen! You’re not a Time Lord, you'll be ripped apart!" Ianto continued to plead with Owen.
But Owen either didn't or couldn’t hear him for out of the Rift came Katie, still as beautiful as the day he first meet her and her sweet smile was still the same as she held out her hand to him. "Owen, you cannot change my fate; it is a set point in time. It was always have taken place in order for this day to happen. This is the way it was meant to be, my love, you must understand that." The men could see her lips moving but they were hearing her in their minds.
“NO!” Owen shook his head in vehement denial. "No! Why did I have to lose the one thing that gave me meaning? That made my life worth living?" the distraught man demanded to know.
“I’m sorry, sweetheart,” Katie smiled sadly at Owen. This is the role we were destined to play and as much as we want to, we simply cannot change my destiny. You must leave this place, Owen; the time has not yet come for answers about the Time Lords to be found. Leave voluntarily or the Rift will remove you from here by force," Katie warned.
"I'm not leaving you, Katie; I'm not losing you again! I would rather be ripped apart by time than to live without you again, to live with knowing I’d failed to save you a second time!”
Katie's eyes widened, she knew what Owen was planning. "Owen, no! You'll be trapped here forever!"
"I'd rather be trapped with you then live another moment without you." Owen smiled warmly at Katie, the love in his heart shining in his eyes. "Jones, catch!"
That was the only warning Ianto had as Owen turned and tossed him the baby coral. It was a bad throw and Ianto had to leap sideways to catch her, but then he clutched it in his hands and stroked it lovingly, listening to her song for a moment before the realisation of what Owen was going to do sank in.
"Owen, no!" Both Jack and Ianto cried out as they watched in horror as Owen willingly jumped into the Rift.
Ianto turned and buried his head in Jack's chest and felt Jack's arms come up to wrap around his shoulders, holding him close as time began rippling and coiling about them.
Jack knew that this could be his only chance. "I love you, Ianto Jones, I always have and I always will. And if these are truly out last few moments of life, I want you to know that hurting you was my biggest regret and if I could, I would go back in time and stop myself from ever meeting Gwen Cooper."
Lifting his head up Ianto smiled up at Jack. "I love you too, Jack Harkness; I always have and I always will," and he pressed a kiss onto Jack's lips.
It was tentative kiss, one of forgiveness and of new beginning and Jack could have wept with joy at everything the kiss implied. Suddenly it didn't matter that they were in the middle of a Rift storm, all that mattered was that Jack finally had Ianto back in his arms, back where he belonged.
The two men were so intent on conveying their love for one another that they never noticed that the TARDIS' were swarming around them and their singing was growing louder or that the baby coral in Ianto's arms was humming and trembling in time to the music. They certainly never noticed the mist of golden energy wrapping itself around them and gently lifting them into the air.
"Well this is certainly unexpected."
The sound of the Doctor's voice startled Ianto and Jack out of their little world and the two men jolted with awareness as they realised they were no longer on Kronos but back in Tosh's living room with Tosh, Suzie and John staring at them in different degrees of surprise.
"Doc, what are you doing here?" Jack asked, making sure to keep Ianto close to his body.
John raised an eyebrow. "After Owen made his threat against Suzie, Tosh called me and asked me to arrange a safer ride home for Suzie and I tagged along, wanting to make sure that they would be safe. Now that I have answered your question, mind telling us how you arrived out of nowhere in a swirl of golden energy?" he asked, curiosity lacing his voice as he leaned forward. "Did you find the treasure of the Time Lords?"
Ianto and Jack shared a look, "We'll tell you all about it in a moment. But I can tell you that the treasure of the Time Lords is safe and no one will be getting to it. But do you mind if I have a moment alone with Jack first, please?" Ianto asked.
Suzie's eyes narrowed dangerously as she took in the two men. "I'll be watching you, Harkness," she warned. "You mess up they will never find your body."
Jack gulped seeing the seriousness in her eyes; this was not an empty threat.
Jumping to her feet Tosh grabbed her wife by the hand. "Come on, let's give them a moment alone and after we have a few snacks then you can threaten Jack all you want." She offered Suzie her most beguiling smile, the one Suzie could never resist.
"Hey! I…" Jack started to complain only to silence himself at the look both women threw him; he knew how protective they were over Ianto and it wouldn’t be wise to rile them at this delicate stage of his reunion with his beloved Welshman. "Right, carry on."
Ianto smiled ever-so-sweetly at Suzie and Tosh. "I know Jack made a mistake but I want to make this work with him so could you please back off?"
Jack turned to face Ianto with hope shining in his eyes. "Really? You'll give me a second chance?" He couldn't believe his ears.
"One day at a time, okay?" Ianto offered with a shy smile, he loved Jack, there was no changing that and while the man had hurt him in the past, something told him that Jack would be much more careful with his heart this time.
"I can do that," Jack quickly agreed. "I'm going to make sure that you never have to doubt my love for you, ever again." Jack promised.
Ianto smiled at Jack and pressed a shy kiss against Jack's lips. "I know you won't."
And in Ianto's arms the TARDIS coral hummed in joy as she felt the happiness surging through the young man; after all, his happiness was all that mattered to her.
The swarm of TARDIS' hummed with happiness and danced through the Rift with pure joy. At long last they had found the lost child of their beloved Time Lords and soon Ianto Jones would be ready to accept his destiny and when he did, they would all be waiting for him to guide him and help him become everything he was meant to be.
Once again the Time Lords would flourish throughout time and space.