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
Free from his bonds the Doctor still couldn’t look any of his crew in the eye. Even though he had changed back into his ‘Doctor’ clothes, he didn’t feel very captainly in front of them. “Nice cup of Earl Grey,” Tosh told him softly as she placed the cup in front of him.
“Get out, everybody. Get out!” The Doctor ordered, his eyes fixed firmly on the floor between his manly boots; he did not want to see nor could he bear to see the hate in his crew’s eyes.
“Did he hurt you, Captain?” Martha asked gently.
The Doctor could only shake his head no. Why were Tosh and Martha being so nice to him? Had they poisoned his tea? Was everyone hanging about in the hallway, waiting to watch him die?
“Did you tell him where your nephew and the boy went?” River asked.
Once again the Doctor shook his head no.
“So what’s the problem?” Mickey demanded to know, not understanding why their captain was acting like this.
“It’s my reputation.” The Doctor admitted still unable to look at any of them.
“No, no, no! and “Don’t be silly!” and “Nonsense!” were but a few of the exclamations and protests echoing up and down the TARDIS’ hall.
Tosh moved over and knelt next to the Doctor, covering his large, shaky hand with her own small one. “It’s all right, Captain.” She comforted him with a gentle squeeze.
Mickey chose that moment to pipe up, “We always knew how you are, Captain, you do mention your beloved Ross an awful lot.”
Martha moved to stand beside Tosh. “You’ll always be our captain, Captain.” She reassured him with a warm smile.
“Aye, aye, Captain.” Out in the hallway, the rest of the crew piped up and passed the cheer amongst them. “Long live our Captain!”
The Doctor managed to give his own ‘aye’, even if it was just a wee bit teary-eyed.
“Captain?” Tosh asked clearly stating that she was waiting for orders.
Straightening his spine and tightening his shoulders, the Doctor finally looked up at his first mate, and then over her shoulder to the hall and crew beyond. With a brisk nod, he decreed, “Yeah. Let’s go.”
John stalked back onto land where a fearful David was waiting for him. “Prince John, your men, they’re dead,” David informed him. The young man was quivering in his boots, terrified that he’d be following the men over into the next life.
John was filled to bursting with rage over Andy’s death but he merely glared at the young boy before stalking away silently.
Swallowing hard David thanked the stars that he had been spared John’s wrath and with no one to stop him, he whirled around and ran the other way, vowing to the stars above that he would not stop running until he reached home.
After Jack’s outburst over missing Rose’s birthday, the air between Jack and Ianto was fraught with tension and Jack knew that it was up to him to make things right with Ianto. He was, after all the idiot who kept opening his mouth before thinking. Just as Jack was about to say something nice to Ianto, he was once again stopped by the sounds of rapidly approaching hooves, and once again Ianto found himself diving off the side of the road.
As a caravan came into view Ianto realized he had seen the blond woman before. “I’ve met that woman. She’s friends with the Doctor. He said she trades at the market near Wall.” Ianto turned to look at Jack with a mixture of excitement and sadness in his eyes, “We could hitch a lift,” he finished in a near whisper.
Jack had a thoughtful look on his face. “Really? She’s a friend of the Doctor’s? You sure?” Hope laced his voice and Ianto felt his heart shatter into brittle shards.
“Yes, yes.” Ianto fought back the tears that threatened to fall over how happy Jack looked at the idea of getting back to Rose in time for her birthday.
Making a decision, Jack bolted out into the path of the caravan forcing Esther to come to sudden stop. Ianto rolled his eyes at the foolishness of this man. Grumbling under her breath Esther climbed down to deal with the fool who got in her way.
“Sorry! My name is Jack Harkness. This…” Jack began but was unable to finish as Esther caught sight of something.
“That’s my flower!” Esther cried out and pointed to the white flower Jack had pinned to his jacket. “Eighteen years I’ve been looking for that. Give it to me now!” Esther demanded making a move for the flower only to be stopped short when Jack pulled out his sword.
“How dare you? This was a gift from his mother!” Ianto appeared from the tall grass and spoke angrily.
Esther shrank in on herself and adopted her helpless damsel act. “Oh. Perhaps I was mistaken,” she said as she took a step back and Jack immediately felt badly as he heard the sadness in her voice and saw the tears in her eyes.
Jack never could stand to see a woman cry and he put away his sword hoping to calm her. “It’s all right. It’s obviously very valuable to you, so you can have it in exchange for what I need, a Babylon candle.” Jack made his offer to Esther with a smile.
“And safe passage to the wall,” Ianto quickly added, surprised that Jack hadn’t made that part of his deal.
The blond woman shook her head in fear. “A Babylon candle? Oh, no, no, no! I don’t deal in black magic.”
“Really?” Ianto wasn’t sure he believed this woman, something about her was off and his senses tingled with suspicion.
Jack was crestfallen; he had so hoped that a woman who knew the Doctor would possess the magical candle as well. “Well, can you give us a lift then,” he asked in a much more subdued tone, “to the wall?” he asked.
Esther smiled at that. “Well, why didn’t you say so in the first place? For the flower, I can offer you passage.”
“Food and lodging on the way?” Jack asked narrowing his eyes at her speculatively.
Esther nodded. “Safe passage, I swear you will arrive at the wall in the exact same condition that you’re in now.” She vowed with her hand over her heart.
Believing that he had a gotten a good deal Jack unhooked the flower from his chest and held it out to Esther who greedily snatched it from his hand and held it close. “Do you have any idea what manner of thing it was that you had?” She asked him, a wicked gleam entering her eyes.
Unsure of where she was going Jack offered the only answer he could think of, “Some kind of lucky charm?” He had thought it was just a flower, a keepsake of his father’s from his journey over the wall.
Esther let out a maniacal, crackling laugh at his answer, “A very lucky charm indeed. Protection. In fact, the exact same thing that would’ve prevented me from doing this to you!” Before either Jack or Ianto could blink Esther cast a spell on Jack, turning him into a small frightened mouse.
“Oh, my God! What did you do?” Ianto demanded to know as a jolt of fear struck him.
Bending down Esther picked up Jack-mouse by the tail, “Much better.” Turning on her heel and heading back towards her caravan Esther walked right through Ianto like he wasn’t even there.
‘You shall not see the star, touch it, smell or hear it.’
“I’ll keep my word, you shall not be harmed.” Esther told the mouse as she entered the back of the caravan and put Jack into a mouse cage. “There, food and lodging just like I promised.”
Ianto had followed them in and spoke right into Esther’s ear, “Would I be correct in thinking that you can neither see nor hear me?” When no answer came, Ianto smiled and decided to tell her what he truly thought of her. “Then I would like to tell you that you smell of pee. You look like the wrong end of a dog. And I swear if you don’t get my Jack back as he was, I’ll be your personal poltergeist!” Ianto threatened the woman gleefully.
But due to Gwen’s spell Ianto’s threat went completely unheard by Esther and the blond witch walked out of the caravan unaware that the very star she once sought was right within her grasp.
Sighing, Ianto took a seat next to Jack’s cage. “Jack? If you can understand me, look at me now.” Ianto ordered softly but Jack-mouse just sat in his little cage and blithely nibbled on his cheese.
Biting his lip Ianto knew this was probably his only chance to say how he felt to his human, even if Jack wouldn’t remember anything that he said. “You know when I said I knew a little about love? Well, that wasn’t true. I know a lot about love. I’ve seen it, Jack. I’ve seen centuries and centuries of it. And it was the only thing that made watching your world bearable. All those wars, pains and lies, and hate, it all made me want to turn away and never look down again.”
“But to see the way that mankind loves! It’s a wondrous thing! I mean you could search the furthest reaches of the universe and never find anything more beautiful. So, yes, I do know that love is unconditional. But I also know that it can be wild and unpredictable, unexpected, uncontrollable, unbearable, and well, strangely easy to mistake for loathing.”
Ianto took a calming deep breath as he prepared to spill out the truth beating away in his heart. “What I’m trying to say, Jack, is I think I love you. My heart, it feels like my chest can barely contain it. Like it doesn’t belong to me anymore, it belongs to you and only you. And if you wanted to have it for your own, I’d wish for nothing in exchange. No gifts, no goods, no demonstrations of devotion. Nothing but knowing you love me too, just your heart in exchange for mine.”
It was a heartbreaking moment for Ianto; there he was finally revealing his truest, deepest feelings for Jack, and the silly little mouse found his cheese more interesting than him. Neither one of them noticed the beautiful blue bird watching them with a sad, sad look in her eyes.
Somehow Ianto managed to fall asleep in a very uncomfortable sitting position with his head resting on his arm near Jack’s cage. When the caravan came to a sudden stop Ianto was jolted awake.
The door was thrown open and Esther stalked in and picked up the cage. Ianto shot to his feet in alarm and followed the witch, not trusting her to not harm his Jack.
Esther gently placed Jack-mouse on the ground. “The wall is one mile that way.” She then flicked her fingers and turned the mouse back into his former self. “There, though the walk might take you a little longer than normal. Transformation tends to leave the brain a bit scrambled for a while.” With a laugh Esther turned on her heel and stalked away from Jack.
“You… Oh!” Jack tried to follow her only to feel his legs buckle and he hit the ground with a dusty ‘oomph!’
“I warned you. Save your strength.” Esther laughed and called over her shoulder.
As Ianto passed Esther the star couldn’t help but stick his tongue out at the passing woman before rushing to Jack’s side. “I’ve been so worried about you.” Ianto whispered into Jack’s ear as he supported the man’s body against his.
“Rose,” Jack whispered in a dazed tone.
“I think I preferred ‘Mother’,” Ianto joked, trying hard to hide his bitter disappointment that the first person on Jack’s mind was Rose. Spotting an inn not too far off in the distance, Ianto began moving Jack in that direction. “Come on, you addle-brained, love-struck human. There’s an inn over there. Rose’s birthday isn’t till tomorrow and I really think you need a bath and a good night’s sleep before you present me to her.”
Jack didn’t want to move; he rather liked the feeling of Ianto’s firm body pressed tightly against his. Nuzzling his head against Ianto’s neck, Jack breathed in deeply, savouring and memorising the star’s unique scent.
“Come on, Jack. It’s not that far.” Ianto barely manage to stop the shiver that began to course throughout his body as Jack’s hot breath danced across his skin. If given a choice, Ianto would have been perfectly content to stay right where they were for a little while longer, well, all right, quite a while longer. He knew that their time together was drawing to a close, and Ianto wanted to make all the memories he could to keep him company during the many cold and lonely nights ahead.
“Okay.” Jack somehow found the strength to force himself away from the comfort of the star’s body and allow Ianto to help him towards the inn.
Upon reaching the inn and getting the only room available and getting Jack settled on its bed, Ianto then sought out a hot bath. A decadent moan of pleasure escaped the star’s lips as he let his eyes flutter closed and let the hot water began to sooth his aching body.
“I think you’re in my bath.” Jack’s unexpected voice had Ianto’s eyes flying open with surprise; he thought he’d left Jack asleep in their room.
“Well, I’m certainly not getting out with you watching! Close your eyes!” Ianto ordered as he ducked down farther in the water.
Jack found Ianto’s embarrassment so very cute and it brought a true smile to his lips. “Honestly, I’m not looking. Here, I’ll turn away.” Jack turned around to give Ianto some privacy. Jack could hear Ianto climbing out of the bathtub and it took all his willpower not to turn around; he would have given anything to see the star in all his naked beauty.
“All right, you can open them now.” Ianto informed him crisply, and Jack quickly turned around and fought hard to keep a pout from his face when he saw that Ianto was completely covered up by an over-sized robe.
“Did you really mean what you said in the caravan?” Jack decided to get right to the point.
Ianto stared open-mouth at Jack, “But… But you were a mouse! You were a mouse!” he squeaked. “You wanted cheese! You didn’t… I asked you to give me a sign and you didn’t!” Ianto ranted at Jack and as he waved his arms in consternation and too-long sleeves flapped about, Jack thought he looked like a beautiful bird about to take flight.
Jack moved closer to the fuming star. “And risk you being too embarrassed to keep saying such lovely things? You want to know what the Doctor really whispered to me that last day?” At Ianto’s soft nod, Jack moved forward and cupped Ianto’s face in his hands and forced him to look him in the eyes. “He told me that my true love was right in front of my eyes. And he was right.”
As he heard Jack’s words Ianto began to glow and when the other man moved in for their first kiss and their lips met, Ianto’s glow began to fill the whole room with a silvery light.
Somehow, as is often the way in magical lands, the ghosts of all of the dead Prince ended up at the same inn as Jack and Ianto, and Eugene was lucky enough to chance upon the new lovers. “Hey, guys! Guys, come on! Come on, you got to come up and see this!” Eugene was so excited as he poked his head through the ceiling that he ended up peering out at his brothers from under the couch.
Owen shook his head, “No, thank you.”
Rex glared at his brother, “Pervert!”
Eugene just shrugged. “Suit yourselves,” before heading back to watch the show.
“Ironic, isn’t it?” Owen began.
“Yeah,” Adam nodded his head. “Uh, what is?” he asked, not following his brother’s train of thought.
“It’s too late for them. John will be here by the morning, find the guy, kill the star, get the stone, eat the heart, and be king forever.” Owen explained patiently, ticking each item off on his fingers.
“So unjust,” Adam agreed; he still wasn’t sure he knew exactly what was going on, but he had always agreed with Owen when they were alive, and now was no different. “Still, at least we’ll be free.” He pointed out the only part of the plan that mattered to any of them.
His brothers all agreed with him; at least they would have that.
Gwen knew she was running out of time as the power of the star heart she had consumed began to fade and her true age started to return with a vengeance.
“You’re very close. He’s in the market town, one mile from the gap in the wall,” Mary informed her.
“You speak as if this is good news. Do I need to remind you that Wall is not a part of our universe? If he crosses the threshold into the human realm, our star becomes nothing more than a pitted lump of metallic rock!” Gwen pointed out bitterly.
“Then I suggest you stop complaining and hurry up!” Suzie growled at her.
Taking her sister’s advice, Gwen urged the horses to move even faster; she desperately needed to get to the star before he crossed through the wall.*****