Title: Lost in Shadows
Pairings: Malcolm Merlyn/Ianto Jones, past Jack/Ianto, Oliver/Felicity, Tommy/Laurel, Slade/Tommy and Diggle
Summary: As his plans for Starling City begin to take shape Malcolm beings to lose faith in nearly all those in his organization; the one and the only person he truly trusts is his lover and secret weapon, Ianto Jones. What role will Ianto play in what's coming and how do you stop someone who has the power of time running through their veins?
Disclaimer: I do not own Torchwood or Arrow
Art by: truthismusic and you can see it here
The last thing Ianto Jones remembered was Jack finally saying those three words he’d waited so long to hear. 'A little too late,' a little voice in his head nagged him relentlessly even though he tried his best to silence it. Unfortunately, it was just as stubborn as he was and he could never silence it completely. For three years after the House of the Dead was destroyed he lived within the Rift with only those words to sooth his wounded heart until one day, Ianto realised that they stopped being such a comfort… and he wasn’t quite sure when that happened.
Every day of that time, there was a part of Ianto that wanted to scream and yell at Jack, to vent his frustrations, to demand an answer as to why the man who had all the time in the universe had denied his lover the three little words he most needed to hear as he laid dying in Jack's arms. One of the things that Ianto had the most trouble understanding was that Jack had no problem in letting his infatuation with Gwen be known at every turn. Despite everything the team said to the contrary he regularly gave into her every demand no matter how it affected the others and he always did it with a benevolent smile, as though he were merely indulging a favourite child. Ianto on the other hand had to fight for every scrap of affection, every hint of validation that Jack carelessly and casually tossed his way.
"Maybe it's better this way, at least I’m not forced to have a front row seat any longer to watch Torchwood's version of Romeo and Juliet.” A bitter laugh escaped Ianto's lips. “I just feel bad for Rhys in all of this; he’s just a nice guy whose blind when it comes to Gwen. I wonder how long it will take to Jack to seek comfort in Gwen's bed."
He knew he was being unfair but he couldn't help but hate Gwen Cooper more than just a little bit. She got her happy ending, unlike Tosh and Owen; she never suffered the pain of losing a lover to Torchwood like the others had. It just wasn't fair that she got to walk away unscathed with a loving husband, a baby on the way and the undying lust of Captain Jack Harkness.
Yes, alone in his prison with no one to hear him, Ianto Jones could freely admit that he hated Gwen bloody Cooper.
'Is it so wrong to want the one I love to love me back, to love me with their whole heart? Why do I have to share Jack’s love with who knows how many others as well as his Doctor and my work colleague? I just wish I could have met a Jack someplace where there was no Torchwood, no Time Lord and certainly no Gwen Cooper around.’ Ianto sat back in the nothingness of the Rift as a thoughtful look entered his eyes. ‘Maybe then I would have believed him when he said he loved me.'
“You can be such a fool sometimes, Jones,” he scolded himself bitterly. Ianto closed his eyes fighting in vain to keep the tears back but he failed as a tear fell down his cheek and plopped wetly into his lap. "It doesn't matter now anyway; it's a little too late for wishes and what-if's. What was that old nursery rhyme Mam used to tell me? Oh yeah, if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” Pain lanced through his chest as he thought of his mother, her beautiful hair, her loving eyes, her soft voice and her gentle hands. He’d never told his sister, but the older she became the more she looked like their mother and that thought warmed his heart.
Returning to his original state of melancholy, Ianto spoke to the darkness. “Even if I could find such a perfect place, where Jack and I could be together and happy, I would be hopeless to do anything about it; I'm destined to spend eternity in the Rift." Ianto wondered and not for the first time just what he had ever done the universe to piss it off. Did he deserve this fate because of the lies he’d woven in order to get Lisa into Torchwood? Was it because he’d stood in the way of the epic love story that was Jack and Gwen?
Yet again Ianto shook his head; he knew from long practice that thinking along those lines would drive him insane. An overpowering sense of weariness washed over him; he was tired, so very tired of not being good enough. He hadn’t been good enough for his father to love him, he hadn’t been good enough to save Lisa and he certainly hadn’t been good enough for Jack to truly love. Settling in as comfortably as he could Ianto let the soft song of the Rift lull him into a restless sleep. Hopelessly it would be filled with sweet dreams of him and Jack for a change.
The Rift was a force unto itself and that power couldn’t be sealed away by a box of magic rocks and forgotten about. No, in its infinite power it had found a new home in one Ianto Jones. It had been on its own for so very long and then it heard the song of Ianto’s heart, longing for a love to call his own and it rejoiced. As the Welshman slept the Rift watched a dream of Ianto walking along a deserted beach, holding hands with the one man his heart and soul belong to.
Inspiration struck and the Rift began searching through every timeline and universe until it found what it was looking for: a different version of Ianto’s soul mate alive and well in a universe where he was not known as Captain Jack Harkness but as Malcolm Merlyn. The Rift was happy although there was just a touch of worry behind its smile; hopefully the darker version of Ianto's lover could heal the scars that his immortal self had so foolishly left when he’d denied the love between the two of them.
Knowing exactly what it had to do, the golden glow of the Rift gently wrapped itself around Ianto. 'Sleep well, my dear Ianto, for I now grant you your heart's deepest and strongest desire. But first the seed must be planted. I just hope it is enough to heal the scars that exist on both your hearts.'
Blinking rapidly, Malcolm Merlyn shook his head in bewilderment. He knew he had to be dreaming’; that was the only explanation he could come up with as a golden energy wrapped itself around him. Something in the corner of his eye caught his attention and he turned to discover that the most delicious looking young man, handsomely dressed in a pinstripe suit, was sleeping soundly on his bed.
As he drank in the sight, Malcolm felt his fingers twitching with the urge to reach out and touch the young man, to hold and possess him, to make him his… that train of thought was far too dangerous to ride and Malcolm quickly cut it off.
“His name is Ianto Jones and he’s yours,” a soft voice whispered gently in his ear, a voice that sounded older than time itself. Malcolm watched as the golden energy slowly took the shape of a woman dressed in Victorian fashions; she had a gentle smile curving her lips as she stroked the sleeping man’s face.
Her words caused pure possessiveness to settle itself deep in Malcolm’s chest and it took all his will power not to give in to the primal urge surging through him. If his feminine visitor was to be believed, then he wouldn’t be waiting long to lay claim to Ianto. “What do you mean mine?”
“In another time and another place he was yours but you did not love and care for him as you should have. The ‘other you’ let his wandering ways and his fear of losing the one he loves with all his heart guide his actions. He foolishly allowed Ianto to believe he was second or even third best when in truth Ianto Jones meant the world to Jack Harkness.
“Unfortunately bitterness began to fill Ianto’s heart when his dying declaration of love went unreturned; now Ianto has been alone far, far too long and he is losing his faith that true love is possible.”
“Then that other me is a damn fool! How he could have let this gorgeous creature go or live in doubt.” Malcolm didn’t even know this man, this unexpected gift, but strong stirrings of protectiveness welled up in him.
The woman gave a gentle shake of her head. “That is only part of the reason; Ianto was too afraid of opening up his heart to the love being offered. He knew that when he lost the other you it would be a pain he would never recover from.” She brushed Ianto’s hair from his forehead as if he were her child. “Ianto has spent three years trapped in a dark empty place where he was alone and lost. His heart has been greatly damaged and it remains bruised by the man he loved. It is up to you to heal that damage."
Her eyes narrowed and flashed with a golden light as she studied the man standing before her. “Malcolm Merlyn, can I trust you with Ianto's heart?"
Malcolm studied the sleeping young man; he looked so peaceful but oh lord, how he wanted to rip that suit off of him and reveal the body beneath. Yet at the same time he wanted to wrap his arms around the man and protect him from whatever ghosts haunted him. Then he frowned, he had an above average IQ but ‘I do not understand where these fucking warm, fuzzy feelings are coming from!’ There was only two other people in the world Malcolm had ever felt so protective over: his wife, Rebecca, and his son, Tommy. ‘And I failed them both.’
The pain that had never left his heart must have been reflected in his eyes because the woman reached out and just for a moment laid a comforting hand on his arm.
Malcolm studied Ianto as he lay sleeping, one hand curled next to his cheek, his face open and relaxed. Never had he wanted anything or anyone as much as the tempting young Welshman before him. He was absolutely flawless and Malcolm was already picturing how erotically perfect this young man would look spread out on his bed waiting for him.
The older man knew from the woman’s words that there was an inner darkness to Ianto Jones, one swimming beneath the cool mask that Malcolm was certain he wore every waking hour of the day. It was a mask that Malcolm longed to make from Ianto’s face so that he could bring that darkness to the surface to and help Ianto learn to embrace it. His decision made Malcolm tore his gaze from the bed and met the eyes of the woman with open frankness. “Yes, you can trust me with Ianto and his heart.” Malcolm knew that this was a decision he would never regret.
The woman smiled and began to glow with happiness. “Then I leave him in your care. Be gentle and patient with him for his heart is heavy with hurt.” After one last fond look at Ianto she pressed her fingers to Malcolm’s forehead, “Now wake up,” she commanded and right before his eyes, the woman vanished in a flash of pure golden light.
With a violent start that nearly knocked him to the floor Malcolm shot up out of bed and then fell back, gasping for breath, his heart pounding like a jackhammer in his chest. He lifted a hand to his hair noticing as it crossed in front of him that it was shaking and ran it through his sleep-tousled hair. 'What an intense dream!' he thought as he wiped the sweat from his brow. Not since his beautiful wife Rebecca had anyone made his heart race like the man from his dreams had. ‘Who on earth is Ianto Jones?’
a golden glow so bright that Malcolm had to raise his hand and shield his eyes from the brightness filled the room and illuminated every nook and cranny but before he could locate its source it faded just as suddenly as it had appeared. Once he was sure that he hadn’t gone blind Malcolm slowly lowered his hand and then gasped in utter surprise.
Now lying beside him was the gorgeous man from his dreams and he could only stare in amazement. 'My god he's beautiful!’ followed immediately by ‘He's real!' were the only thoughts running through Malcolm's mind as he studied Ianto Jones. Just like in his dream, the young man laid beside him on his bed sound asleep, his body completely relaxed and his face peaceful and innocent-looking.
Hesitantly, afraid to wake the sleeping man, Malcolm reached out to stroke Ianto's cheek slowly lowering his fingers to gently touch Ianto's skin. He shuddered slightly at the feeling of Ianto's soft skin beneath his fingertips and he couldn't help but wonder how the rest of Ianto would feel pressed against his body. ‘How long will I have to wait till I get to enjoy complete skin-on-skin contact?’
Malcolm Merlyn was no stranger to the pure pleasures of the flesh and he had been drawn to both sexes in the past. After Rebecca's untimely and tragic death he couldn't bring himself to find comfort in another woman's body and instead he’d turned his gaze to finding his release within the male form. The man now laying so temptingly before him was one that Malcolm instinctively knew he would get much pleasure from, 'And hopefully very soon.' He wasn’t surprised to feel a thrill of lust rush through his body.
Being a wise man, Malcolm knew that nothing would happen between him and his young man right away but if what the woman from his dreams told him was true, the young man had already been without another's touch for quite some time. He licked his lips with anticipation; seducing Ianto Jones may have just gotten a whole lot easier.
Eyeing the young man’s suit – idly noticing that it was an elegantly fitted bespoke three-piece obviously made by a master tailor – a wicked grin slowly began to spread across Malcolm's face. "I know from past experience that that can't be easy to sleep in so let me help make you more comfortable."
If Ianto had been awake he would have been blushing fiercely at the hungry leer that appeared on Malcolm’s face. It was one he had seen dozens of times on Jack’s face and it would have caused the young Welshman great pain at the reminder of what he had lost. Fortunately for him the Rift energy had made sure Ianto would sleep for as long as she needed him to while she spoke to her precious Ianto and explained what was happening. Then she would awaken him to his new life and love.
While Malcolm was making his guest more ‘comfortable’, Ianto was falling deeper and deeper into a peaceful dream state softly lit by the golden glow of the Rift’s energy.
Ianto blinked as he came face-to-face with a young woman dressed in Victorian fashions. “Who are you?” he asked. “You seem so familiar to me.”
A gentle smile appeared on her face as she reached out and cupped his face and Ianto found himself leaning hungrily into her touch. “My dearest Ianto, you do know me, I am a part of the Rift. I am also a part of all the TARDISes that have existed as well as the only one still alive. I have wanted to meet you for so very long but I just didn’t want it to be on these terms.”
Confusion appeared in Ianto’s eyes as he shook his head. “I don’t understand; how would you know about me? I’m nobody.”
“Oh Ianto, you have no idea how special you are, do you?” Her smile turned sad. “I know you from Jack’s heart, you were the light that kept him going during the darkest times of his life, thinking of you was the only thing that kept him sane. But he guarded his heart so greatly he could not see that his bond mate was right before him and as a result he hurt not only you but himself with his actions.”
She took Ianto’s hands in hers and looked into his eyes. “I can do nothing to change the events that have come to pass with the 456 or with your choice to close the Rift at the House of the Dead. I cannot reunite you and Jack and that breaks my heart, but I have searched through time and space and through all the universes and I have found another soul who resonates perfectly with yours, Malcolm Merlyn. He wears Jack’s face but I must warn you his heart is ruled by darkness and he can be a cruel man,” she warned.
Ianto could hardly believe what he was hearing; he had been Jack’s bond mate but his foolish lover had been too blinded by past hurts to see what they could have been. ‘Oh Jack, what have you done? We could have had such a different destiny if only you had taken a chance on us.’ Oh how Ianto wished that either he or Jack had been brave enough to take that next step or had even dared to take a chance and broached the subject of what exactly their relationship was or even where it was going. Ianto just wished he had asked Jack where he stood in his heart: was he before or after Gwen?
“So you brought me here to this Malcolm for a second chance because Jack and I will never see each other again,” Ianto wondered out loud.
“Well, I would never say never, my dear Ianto; the universe is a vast and ever-changing place. I do know that yours and Jack’s fates are forever entwined, but for now this is the best place for you to heal. I have seen your future and it’s connected to Malcolm Merlyn’s and yes, to Jack’s but in the very far future.” Cupping Ianto’s face with her hands again she pressed a loving kiss onto his forehead. “Someday when your pain has healed and you are ready you and Jack will meet again but until then you have much growing to do.”
Although he knew it was a warned her words filled Ianto with a sense of hope that he hadn’t felt in three long years.
“I’ll remember,” Ianto promised. “Thank you.”
“Good,” she nodded her head with satisfaction. “Now when you awake you will start of your new life. Be patient with Malcolm, he is not Jack. Although they could pass as twins they are two completely different people and this is something you must remember.”
Ianto nodded his head. “I will.”
Pressing another gentle kiss onto Ianto’s forehead she uttered a silent prayer to the universe that she was doing the right thing. ‘Please let the darkness in Malcolm seek out Ianto’s own; let him find the part of my precious Welshman that he has kept hidden for so long.’ However this was the path that had been laid out before Ianto and she could only hope that when Jack and Ianto met up again that Jack would be able to find the good in Ianto’s soul again. “It’s time to awaken, my dear Ianto, and meet your future.”
Slowly awareness returned to Ianto as the Rift him from her golden spell into the real world and the first thing that Ianto noticed was the feeling of a bed – an honest-to-goodness bed! – beneath him. Oh how he wanted to sink into that delicious softness and never leave it because after all it had been such a very long time since he’d had a real bed to luxuriate in. A moan of pure erotic pleasure escaped his lips as he sank down further into the decadent softness of the thick covers.
“I must admit that that is the most delightful noise I’ve heard in quite a while and I can’t wait to hear it again in a much more pleasurable and satisfying way,” a male voice whispered, sending tendrils of hot breath curling around Ianto’s ear.
Ianto’s eyes snapped open and he unexpectedly found himself looking into a pair of painfully familiar blue eyes. “Jack?” he whispered in a hushed tone, wondering if the endless loneliness of the Rift had finally snapped his mind and gone crazy from the dark isolation. His heart lurched as the man’s lips curled up in an oh-so-familiar smile.
“Not quite, no. I’m Malcolm Merlyn and I’m sure you’ve heard of me, after all a mutual friend of ours introduced us.” Malcolm wasn’t use to feeling jealousy, causing it perhaps, but not feeling it but something dark and heavy had made itself at home in his stomach when his look-alike’s name fell from the lips that he wanted so much to possess and he didn’t liked it one bit.
‘He even sounds like Jack!’ Ianto swallowed hard; this was the man that the Rift had spoken about and as he studied the face before him, identical right down to the tiny laugh lines around his eyes and mouth, his heart ached at the uncanny likeness to the man that had both healed him and taken him apart. “I’m Ianto Jones but I have a feeling you already knew that.” Ianto licked his lips. “It’s nice to meet you.”
Beneath the brave smile Malcolm could see the pain in Ianto’s eyes, a pain that he knew all too well. ‘This might be harder than I thought but Malcolm Merlyn never backs down from the challenge of getting something he wants and I want Ianto in my bed, by my side and most importantly, I want his power.’ Malcolm could taste the power pouring off of Ianto in waves; it made his skin tingle and he would do everything in his power to gain Ianto’s love and loyalty for himself. ‘I’ll have to go slowly and gain his friendship first and then move on to seducing him into my bed.’
“Would you like something to eat?” Malcolm asked putting on his most charming smile.
Ianto was about to say no when his stomach let out a loud growl; he blushed darkly and let his gaze fall onto the blanket covering him and he began picking at a loose thread. “That would be…” his voice was scratchy and he cleared his throat before continuing, “…wonderful, thank you.”
Heat flared in Malcolm’s eyes as he saw the red heating up Ianto’s cheeks and he wanted to know exactly how far down that blush went. ‘Patience,’ Malcolm chided himself, ‘I need to take this slow and then I’ll find out all of Ianto’s most intimate secrets.’ “Then I shall go get you something to eat.”Ianto was relieved when Malcolm left the room for he could breathe and think much more easily without the other man around. ‘This is going to be tougher than I thought.’ Ianto wondered how he was going to be able to see Malcolm when all his heart and eyes saw was Jack in everything the man did.