Title: Through Time And Space: Chapter 4 – Starsong
Characters: Ianto, OFC
Word Count: 942
Spoilers: CoE, House of the Dead
Summary: Okay, so Ianto’s in a TARDIS, but where exactly is the TARDIS?
Written For: Challenge #96: Music at fan_flashworks.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters.
A/N: Sorry it’s taken so long to get this part up. Between real life being a pain and Contest Week at fic_promptly, the time seems to have flown past. On the bright side, I have four chapters complete and one in progress, so here’s the first (and the shortest) of the completed chapters. I’ll try to update a little more regularly in future, but it rather depends on how long it takes me to write chapters since I have no idea where this will go with each new chapter. Hope you enjoy!
“Okay, why don’t we find out where we are?”
Such an innocent question; days later he was still chuckling to himself about it, but at the time he’d asked it so casually, expecting somehow to be on earth somewhere. The TARDIS reeled off a set of coordinates in his head that told him precisely nothing.
“Sorry, I was never that good at geography, I’ll just take a peek outside and we can go from there.”
He leaped back down the steps, strode over to the front door, pulled it open and promptly staggered backwards, eyes wide as saucers, feeling like all the air had been sucked from his lungs. Gathering his wits, he hastily slammed the door again and stood there, leaning against it, panting.
“Is there a problem?”
“We’re in space!”
“I opened the door! Why wasn’t all the air sucked out? It’s a vacuum out there!”
“I have surrounded myself with a force field creating an atmospheric bubble to prevent such accidents.”
“Oh. Right. Good idea.” He calmed briefly before panic set in again. “We’re in outer space!”
“I believe that has already been established.”
The TARDIS sounded puzzled.
“Sorry, it’s a lot to get my head around. I’ve never been in space before.”
“I believe this is my first time too. It’s quite exciting!”
“Exciting? It’s terrifying!” Ianto struggled to get his thoughts in order so he could gather all the necessary information through a few carefully considered questions. He wasn’t very successful. “How? Where?”
“I do not understand.”
“I thought we were on earth!”
“The Rift we entered was on earth. The one we exited is not.”
“Oh. How far from earth are we?”
“In distance or in time?”
Ianto slumped into the nearest chair.
“Both?” He wasn’t entirely sure he wanted to know.
“We are approximately four thousand and seventy three light years from earth, eight hundred and forty two years in your future.”
“That’s a long way. Very big numbers. I hadn’t expected to go so far on my first trip. I thought we’d start small, maybe take a look at the moon. I hear it’s nice, in an empty sort of way.” Slowly, he rose to his feet and approached the door again. “You wouldn’t let me fall out, right?”
“It is not possible to fall out, Ianto,” the TARDIS told him reprovingly.
“Of course, sorry, silly question.”
Opening the door a few inches, he peeped out and once again, his breath was stolen away; not by fear this time, but by awe. Stretching out before him, like multicoloured gems scattered across midnight black velvet, was a vast field of stars, with twisting, swirling streamers of red gas clouds twining through it. He pulled the door all the way open and sat in the doorway, staring out.
“What is that?”
“It is known by earth astronomers as the Rosette Nebula. It has other names, in other languages, most of them unpronounceable to humans, but that is the one you would be familiar with. It is still very far away.”
“It’s beautiful. I wish I could take pictures.”
“I am capable of recording images, if you wish.”
“I’d like that, thank you.” He glanced back into the TARDIS. “I don’t ever want to forget my first time in space.”
One of the screens on the console lit up and images stared to appear on it in quick succession; various views of the amazing sight outside the door, and even a few of Ianto himself, sitting in the doorway. He turned his attention back to the view.
“I feel like there should be music playing; something vast and timeless that captures the majesty of space, something like the Planet Suite, but bigger, grander. I wish I were a musician, a composer; I’d make music that sounded as if the stars themselves were singing.”
“They do sing. Would you like to hear them?”
The sound that filled the control room was eerie, ethereal, a whispering, humming sound backed by a deep thrumming, sometimes rising to a high whistle. It wasn’t exactly musical, yet it was almost hypnotic and deceptively simple. In his head, Ianto started trying to conjure up a melody to meander through the song of the stars.
“That’s pretty,” the TARDIS whispered in the back of his mind. Smiling, Ianto began to hum and the TARDIS picked up the tune, subtly building on it, adding harmony. It was a wistful tune, tinged with the sadness of being far from all that was familiar, adrift in the vast nothingness of space but there was hope there too, wonder and awe.
Earth was far behind and the whole universe was spread out around him; instead of his intended cautious first step, he’d unknowingly taken a giant leap. He knew he should get back to earth; there were things back there that needed to be put to rights following the whole 456 debacle. Ianto wasn’t sure what he could do, but he felt he ought to do something to help his fellow humans pick up the pieces. There was no immediate rush though, he had his time machine and earth wasn’t going anywhere. Not this time anyway. He stretched out his legs, leant back on his elbows and started to sing softly to himself.
Symphony for Stars and TARDIS; soloist Ianto Jones. He laughed softly.
“What is funny?”
“When I was a kid, I used to dream of singing with the stars; this isn’t quite what I meant.”
He grinned. No, it wasn’t what he’d meant all those years ago, but it was a billion times better than anything he could ever have imagined!