Pairings/Characters: Jack/Ianto, 9th Doctor/Donna, 10th Doctor/Ross, Martha/Tosh, Mickey/Jake, some Ross/Rose, one-sided Jack/Rose, Esther, Suzie, Mary, Gwen, Owen/Rhys, John Hart/Andy, Amy, Lisa, 11th Doctor/Rory, River and others
Summary: To impress his lady love Jack vows to go over the wall and bring her back a piece of the fallen star, he just never counted on that star to be the handsome Ianto Jones. Their journey is filled with danger and excitement and along the way love blooms between man and star.
Word Count: 34,179
Disclaimer: I do not own Torchwood, Doctor Who or Stardust
Spoilers: The whole movie of Stardust
Taking a deep breath Gwen cast a spell creating a homey-feeling inn out of her carriage and turned to the two goats. “You shall become human.” She then turned them into an elderly man and young woman.
Looking at the goat once known as Janet but who was now the elderly man, she told him, “You are now Pete, the innkeeper. I am your wife.” She turned her gaze to David, now a beautiful young blond woman, “And you’re our daughter, Emma. Now, make everything ready. Our special guest will be here soon.” Gwen smiled wickedly.
As Ianto journeyed with Myfanwy, as he decided to name the unicorn, he talked, well more like complained about Jack, “I mean, who’s to say he’d have even kept his promise about the candle? I just refuse to believe he’s the only person in Torchwood who could’ve helped me. He just kept going on and on, ‘Rose this’ and ‘Rose that.’”
Myfanwy, the smart unicorn that she was, knew that there was much more to the star’s feelings for this Jack then even he yet knew.
Jack was tearing through the forest looking for any sigh of Ianto.
‘Jack. Please protect our brother, Jack. Ianto is in great danger. The unicorn came to help him, but now they are heading into a trap. No star is safe in Torchwood. The last to fall, four hundred years ago, was captured by the same witches who now seek Ianto. They tricked him, cared for him, and when his heart was once aglow; they cut it from his chest and ate it.’
Imagines of the past swept by in a blur right before his eyes and Jack saw everything that had happened to the star, ‘Tommy,’ the star to fall from the heavens. A powerful fear gripped him that the horror that the visions showed him would be Ianto’s fate if Jack didn’t get to him in time. He didn’t know what to do.
‘There’s no time to waste, a coach is coming. By any means possible you must get on it. Run!’ The stars urged him frantically, so Jack did as he was told and began running through the trees. He could see the coach, and his feet began moving in time with the horse’s hooves; he just needed to get ahead of them.
Rory had seen a lot in his time of driving coach for the royal family but a young man shooting out of the trees to jump in front of the coach was not something anyone normally saw. There was only one thing he could do. “Whoa!” He brought the horses to a halt just before they hit the man.
Owen was normally not a social person, and ever since the death of Rhys he had been even worse. Rory winced as the coach door slammed open and Owen stormed out with his sword drawn. “If John insists on sending a boy to do a man’s job…” Owen growled moving towards Jack.
“No, no, no, wait, please! I don’t know any John.” Okay, so that was a lie but somehow Jack doubted that they were talking about his father. “I just need a lift. Look at me, look at me. I’m unarmed. Please. Please, let me ride with you.” Jack begged.
Owen took a good look at the figure standing before him, and saw that this man was no killer. “I’m afraid that’s impossible. I’m on a quest of enormous importance.” Owen would not fail; he would not let Rhys down, not if his life depended on it.
“Well, then, all the more reason to take me with you.” Jack needed to get to Ianto before it was too late and if he needed to he would get on his hands and knees and beg.
Seeing the pure desperation in the man’s eyes Rory decided to speak up, “There may come a time when you need a second pair of hands, Sir.”
Jack sent the redhead man a grateful smile before turning back to Owen. “Please. Maybe providence sent me to you just as it sent you to me.”
Owen was not as cold-hearted as many believed; if he had been Rhys would have never found something in him to love. He could see by the look in his eyes that this man had lost someone very dear to him, ‘Most likely his lover,’ Owen’s own heart told him. Sighing, Owen put away his sword. “Get on.”
“Oh, yes, thank you.” Jack bowed deeply to both men before climbing on board the coach.
Owen rolled his eyes and followed him. Rory smiled sadly to himself, this young man was making him miss his own lover. With a flick of his wrist he got the coach moving once again.
The storm had come out of nowhere, soaking Ianto and Myfanwy to the bone. Ianto began shivering and wishing he could find a place to get out of the rain. As if his wish had been heard, it was unexpectedly answered by the outline of a building barely in rain. As they grew closer an inn became visible; light shown welcomingly from its windows.
As soon as they were close enough Ianto climbed off Myfanwy, made his way to the entrance, and slipped inside. The moment he crossed the threshold, Ianto was enveloped in warmth from the roaring fire in the corner, and a family of three greeted him.
“Goodness me, my dear. Come in out of this wretched rain!” The older woman came forward with a towel and wrapped it around Ianto’s shoulders. “We have food and drink, a warm bed and plenty of hot water for a bath. How do you like your bath? Warm, hot or boil-a-lobster?” she asked with a cheeky grin.
“I honestly don’t know.” But Ianto had to admit a hot bath sounded nice; it would be his very first bath ever.
Gwen smiled at her star. “Then let me choose for you, and I’ll have my husband take your horse to the stable.” She turned to the newly human goat. “Pete?” She nodded towards the door, luckily he was quick to get her hint. Smiling she turned back to face Ianto. “Now let’s get you out of your wet things, shall we?”
A little time later found Ianto enjoying a hot bath; he felt the chill from the rain leave his body.
“Feeling better?” Gwen called through the closed door.
“Much, thank you. The warm water’s actually done me a world of good.” Ianto was grateful to the woman for her suggestion.
“You see the power of a nice, hot bath?” Gwen was pleased to see their plan working; the star was beginning to glow. “And your leg? Any improvement?” Before Ianto had headed for his bath Gwen had used a little magic to heal the gash on his leg.
“That was extraordinary.” Ianto had been impressed with her skill.
“It’s the very least I could do. I’m just glad that you’re feeling better.” Gwen said with fake modesty. “I’ll leave you to your bath.” Gwen knew she had begun to lay the ground work in getting the star to shine brightly again.
It was only when the water began to cool that Ianto forced himself to leave the bath. After he dried off and dressed in the robe that Gwen had provided him, he entered the room he was given and was greeted cheerfully by Gwen, who was fluffing out his pillow, and then by a plate of delicious-smelling cookies sitting out on the table.
“Did you enjoy your bath? You seem happier.” Gwen commented.
“I do feel happier, less troubled.” Ianto had to admit, a soft smile coming to his face as he picked up a cookie and bit into the chocolate goodie.
“Wonderful. There’s nothing like a nice soak to warm the cockles of your heart.” Gwen pulled back the bedding and patted the bed for Ianto to lie down. “Now, I’m only a simple innkeeper’s wife, but I’ve been told I have a healer’s hands. I’d be glad to give you a massage.”
Ianto titled his head as he considered her words, reminding Gwen of a curious puppy as he asked, “What’s a massage?”
Gwen gasped. “Never had…Well, bless my soul. There’s nothing like a massage to send you off for the finest and deepest night’s sleep.”
“I do have trouble sleeping at night.” Ianto admitted, well it was sort of the truth, he had never attempted to sleep at night. He moved towards the bed.
Gwen smiled at him. “Lie on your back dear,” she told him softly.
Ianto, seeing no reason why he shouldn’t trust her, he did as asked.
“Why not close your eyes? You’ll drift off better that way.” Gwen suggested sweetly and Ianto let his eyes flutter closed. Once they were completely shut, the witch smiled as the star began to glow, his happiness returning to him. Lifting up the cloth resting on the table she pulled out a knife, its blade glistening in the fire light. Rising the weapon high above Ianto’s heart she made ready to plunge it into his chest; her face was a truly horrible sight to behold as she anticipated her success. Youth and power were once again nearly in her grasp. With a wicked gleam in her eyes, she lowered the knife…
Endless ringing filled the air as Owen hit the bell repeatedly. “Hello! Service!” Owen demanded.
Jack looked at Rory with a look that clearly said, ‘Is he always like this?’ Rory smiled at him and gave him a nod and Jack pouted, wondering who the hell he decided to travel with.
“Maybe we should carry on and try the next inn, especially if this stone is as close as your runes say,” Jack suggested.
Owen scowled. “I’ll give it one more try,” he declared, much to the annoyance to Rory and Jack.
Gwen halted in mid-strike at the endless ringing of the bell, and acting quickly, she hid the knife behind her back as Ianto’s eyes snapped open. “Relax here, my love. I’ll be back just as soon as I’ve taken care of this customer.” Gwen ordered softly as she backed out of the room, ‘Oh yes, I know actually how to take care of these pests.’
Owen scowled as Gwen descended the stairs. “At last! We require accommodation.” He growled disdainfully at the woman.
Gwen felt her eyebrow twitch with the barely suppressed urge to turn this man into a frog.
Rory, sensing that his Sire had ticked off their hostess, plastered a shy smile on his face and approached the counter. “Please, ma’am, if you would be so kind? Would it be alright if we could get some help to take the horses to the stables?” he asked as politely as he could, even adding in a small bow in her direction.
At that moment Gwen decided she would spare this man, simply because he knew how to treat a woman of her power. “Of course, Emma and Pete will gladly help you and your friend with your horses.”
Owen nodded his head with approval. “Wonderful. Now, I require a hot bath and a hot meal. See to it right away,” he ordered with a rather imperious wave of his hand.
Gwen forced a fake smile on her face as she said through clenched teeth, “We’ll get right on to that. I hope you enjoy your stay here.”
Now Pete, formally Janet, had only been human for a couple of hours but he was smart enough to know that Gwen was angry. He did the only thing he could do to try and ensure the visitors safely, so he turned to Jack and Rory and suggested, “Let’s go get your horses settled.”
Rory and Jack both had experience with angry women and they could easily read the signs that Gwen was about to explode and they quickly joined Pete at the door.
Once they were gone, Gwen turned to Owen. “If you’ll follow me, I’ll take you to your bath.”
While Jack and Rory were seeing to the horses, and Owen was enjoying his soak, Ianto had gotten bored; after he dressed in the robe and pocketed the watch, he went in search of Gwen. Hearing noise downstairs he went to investigate.
“Hello!” Ianto called softly as he made throughout the inn; a splashing sound drew his attention and he followed it. “Oh!” Blushing darkly, Ianto turned away from the bathing man.
Owen paid no attention to the embarrassed man; he just began snapping out orders. “I’m accustomed to better service, but you are awake now and that’s what counts. Prepare your best room.”
Owen’s ghostly brothers, who had all been travelling with him, caught sight of a very familiar watch. “He’s got the stone!” They tried to tell Owen only he wasn’t listening to them.
Gwen had been in a panic when she discovered Ianto’s room empty and she began a desperate search for the missing star. It was with great relief that she found him downstairs, standing in the hall outside the bathing room. Having heard Owen’s demands, she entered the room; “I’ll thank you not to bother my guest, sir. I am, after all the lady of this inn.” She offered him a glass of wine, hoping that the fool would accept the poisoned cup.
Owen shook his head no. “No. Until my brother is dead, I have vowed to drink only my own wine,” he informed her with a look of steely determination, and then added, “Though my friends in the stables might be glad of a drop.”
Gwen turned to Emma and gave her a look; getting the hint, Emma took the poisoned wine out to the stables. Gwen then turned back to Owen, “Anything else I can get you?” She asked with a tight smile on her face.
Owen nodded and asked, “Your best room, perhaps?”
“Of course.” Gwen turned on her heel, a plotting look on her face as she began thinking of other ways of getting rid of these pests.
Once Gwen was gone, Owen turned his gaze to the younger man dressed in a robe, “I’m sorry. I presumed…” He would be the first to admit that he wasn’t good at apologizing so he quickly changed the subject, “Traveling alone, are you?” Before Ianto could get a chance to respond Owen continued on, “I’ve just stabled my four black stallions and my carriage. Well, I say mine. It all belonged to my late father.”
Ianto found that he could do nothing but smile and nod as Owen, still in his bath, rambled on.
In the stables Rory and Jack worked together in getting the horses settled for the night. Both looked up as the door opened and the blond woman from the inn entered carrying a tray with a bottle of wine and two glasses on it.
Rory took one of the offered glasses with a polite, “Thank you.” The blond just smiled at him before moving onto Jack and offering him the second glass.
Flashing the pretty girl one of his most winning smiles, Jack took the second glass. “That’s so kind, thank you very much. My name’s Jack. What’s yours?” he asked her.
A distinctly male voice answered, “David.”
Rory and Jack exchanged a look; Myfanwy, the Unicorn, had been listening in and she knew that this Jack was no doubt Ianto’s Jack. Being a magical creature herself, she could not only smell the poison in the cups but see through the spell on the young man. Knowing she had to do something to save Jack, Myfanwy bucked, hitting David in the arse, spending both the boy and the wine flying. To Jack and Rory’s horror, the hay upon which the drink had landed shrivelled up in a puff of smoke and died the moment the liquid touched it.
“The Prince!” Rory and Jack both cried as they rushed out of the stables and into the severe storm in a desperate attempt to save Prince Owen.
Ianto was really struggling to keep the smile on his face and not yawn out of boredom as Owen continued to talk about his late father.
“There was not a horse or beast he could not master. So much so that in his youth, he took to riding a camel, which was comical. When he passed, the carriage came to me.” A sad smile over came Owen’s face; sure, his father wouldn’t win any father of the year awards, but he was still his father.
While their brother had been talking, Owen’s dead brothers had being trying to get his attention to something very important; Ianto had the watch Owen needed to claim the throne. “He’s got the stone!” they cried out. But no matter how many times they said it or how loud they shouted, he didn’t seem to pay attention to them, even though now he was talking about the stone.
“And it’s the largest in all of Torchwood, so they say.” Owen trailed off into a chuckle.
Sensing his chance for freedom Ianto gave a tried yawn and began to excuse himself, “How nice for you. If you’ll excuse me.” Ianto climbed to his feet.
As Ianto stood Owen caught sight of the very watch he sought. “Wait, that watch you’re wearing, it can’t be.”
“Oh, finally. Yeah, good, well done, yes, sir. Well done. Sweet” His brothers all exclaimed as Owen’s eyes were finally opened.
“Come here. Let me see it,” Owen demanded. “You have no idea what you’re meddling with. I am Owen, the first born of Torchwood and I demand that you bring it to me! Now!”
Frightened slightly Ianto backed away from the other man just as the inn doors flew open and a soaking wet Jack and Rory came bursting though. “Prince Owen! Don’t touch anything they give you! They tried to…” Jack’s warning died on his lips as he came face-to-face with the man for whom he had being searching everywhere.
Rory glanced between his new friend and the handsome young man in the bathrobe with a raised eyebrow; only a fool couldn’t see the spark of desire that flashed in both their eyes when they spotted one another.
A sudden gurgling noise drew the three men’s attention back to Owen and their eyes widened in horror as Gwen stood behind Owen and gleefully slit his throat from ear to ear. Rory immediately mourned the loss of his Sire but hoped he would find Rhys waiting from him on the other side.
Reacting instinctively, Jack grabbed Ianto and tucked the star behind him protectively. “Are you alright?” he asked softly, glancing at Ianto and the star could see the pure worry shining in Jack’s blue eyes. Unexpectedly, warmth surged through Ianto’s heart, leaving him speechless; he could only nod in response that he was okay.
Gwen snarled at the sight of her star being protected by the handsome young man. “Janet! Get him!” She roared and pointed at Jack.
To everyone’s amazement the man they knew as Pete jumped over the counter; Jack and Rory hadn’t even seen him come in from the stables. But that surprise didn’t last long as Pete struck Jack with a strong kick to the chest and it sent him flying backwards into Ianto, sending them both tumbling to the floor.
‘I am really getting tired of being beat up by old people,’ Jack growled to himself as he climbed to his feet only to duck as Rory was sent flying by another kick by Pete.
Rory met Jack’s eyes. “Get him out of here,” Rory growled at the other man.
Gwen moved towards the star. “The golden burning heart of a star at peace is so much better than your frightened little heart. Even so, it’s better than no heart at all!” She raised the bloody knife high over her head and prepared to lunge at Ianto.
Grasping the Babylon candle in his hand, Jack grabbed Ianto by the arm and whispered in his ear, “Hold me tight and think of home.” With that Jack thrust the candle into the fire in the fireplace.
A bright light filled the air as the two disappeared from sight and Rory took this chance to make good his own escape. Once the light died down a roar of desperate anger escaped Gwen’s lips as she realized that her star was gone. “No!” With her magic unchecked she shattered the spells she had created, leaving nothing but destruction in her wake.