Centuries ago the being known as the Phoenix Force had its first taste of mortal life when it took form as a mortal woman. This experience brought forth an array of emotions she’d never felt before. Love, friendship, and family were all new to her and she rejoiced in these new feelings. All was well until she unexpectedly experienced the dark side, and through the temptations of power, greed, and hunger, she became corrupted.
But, before all that happened, while her heart was still loving and her soul pure, she came to the realisation that she no longer wanted to be alone and lonely and so she used her never-ending life force to create a child. From the moment he was born, the child became her everything; he was the very centre of her being, a radiant source of love and joy the likes of which she'd never known. She devoted herself completely to his upbringing, to his education and his safety.
Nothing was more important to her than the future of her son. When the day came that she felt the darkness taking hold of her, she fought against it for the sake of her child. When she realised that she wasn't strong enough to resist its siren's song any longer, she asked the last of the Time Lords to hide her son, to keep him somewhere safe, to protect the love of her life... from her.
Recognising the truth and sincerity behind her request as well as the danger her child was in, the Time Lord did exactly that and because of his mother's selfless sacrifice, Ianto Jones lived a normal life from childhood to adulthood Then came that fateful day when he found himself recruited by Torchwood One. There he met a lovely young woman named Lisa Hallett and Ianto Jones, Child of the Phoenix, fell in love.
Unfortunately, the fates conspired against them and their love was not meant to be. Because of the greed, arrogance, and ignorance of one single person, unimaginable horrors and unspeakable tragedy befell the world. In the heat of the battle, Lisa, the first true love of Ianto's young life, was consumed in fire and death as Torchwood One fell at the hands of the Cybermen and the Daleks.
Blinded by his first experience with love, Ianto thought he could save the woman he loved and so in desperation, he sought out Torchwood Three. From the moment he met its charismatic leader, Captain Jack Harkness, his Phoenix side began singing with untold joy. At long last, it had found its mate, the other half to its soul, the only one in the Universe who called to his flame. But his strong loyalty to Lisa warred against his growing love for his mate and Ianto did everything in his power to fight his ever increasing attraction for Jack.
The love story of Ianto Jones and Lisa Hallett was destined to end in tragedy and sorrow. No matter how hard he tried, all of Ianto’s attempts to save her failed and the end finally came when the Cybermind destroyed the last traces of Lisa and the machine took over the empty shell that had once been Ianto’s lover.
It was in that final moment of pain and loss that a new bond was formed when Jack kissed Ianto, pouring a piece of his own endless life into Ianto’s stricken body.
Thus began their life together.
Somehow, despite all the hurt and pain their relationship was forced to endure at the beginning, Ianto and Jack found their way to one another and it soon became clear that Jack was indeed Ianto’s soul mate and that their souls were bonded together for eternity. Their love became legendary and the Phoenix Force gained what it wanted most, a family.
It turned out that there was one child in the Harkness-Jones family who was unique; as a grandchild of the original Phoenix child and the son of a Time Lady, he was extraordinary, to say the least. As The Reaper made immortal, he struggled at first to control both sides of himself. At last, after many years of hiding and fighting the power that surged within him, he was able to control his urges well enough that he could make a new life for him, a life where he was able to keep his true self a secret.
The power of the Phoenix Force was too much of a temptation for anyone to try and use, much less completely control once unleashed, and therefore, the children of the Phoenix vowed never to reveal themselves to anyone but their mate and their family.
That promise was honoured for generations and the Phoenix lived in peace, happy with their simple, ordinary lives, until the time came when one family member was forced to reveal himself in order to save the ones he loved the most. Because of his actions, he nearly became a weapon of destruction himself and the Universe trembled with fear that the Dark Phoenix was rising once again.
It was prophesied that whoever control the Phoenix Force could control the Universe.
Doctor Leonard McCoy felt the familiar stirrings of a headache as he remembered James T. Kirk giving him that smile, the one that always promised trouble, and uttering those oh-so-fateful and deceptively innocent words of doom, “What could possibly happen?”
“Well, I guess now we know what could happen! The same thing that always happens on one of these damn away missions! That damn fool and that pointy-ear bastard get captured! And then it’s up to the rest of us to figure out some way to rescue them before our dear captain gets himself killed or engaged to marry some princess or prince!” McCoy ranted as he paced back and forth on the bridge, each footstep reverberating through the small space. He could feel the ancient power and powerful soldier swimming just below the surface, both seeking to be free, to save those he cared for the most.
Wisely, Scotty and Chekov had enough sense not to interrupt the good doctor when he was on a roll. They kept their eyes glued to the view screens even as their ears hung on every word.
Uhura, on the other hand, just watched McCoy with a knowing gleam in her eyes; choosing her moment carefully, she innocently drawled out, “You’re more worked up about this than usual.” The scathing glare she received from the doctor only made her smile grow; ‘Gotcha!’
Scotty and Chekov shared a knowing look and took a step back; there was no way were they going to get in the middle of this.
“Of course I’m worked up, damn it! This was supposed to be a simple meeting to set a trade agreement and what happens? Jim, the hobgoblin, and Sulu managed to get themselves captured,” McCoy snarled out, “again!”
Scotty watched with utter fascination as McCoy turned an interesting shade of red and then he did something for which he will forever claim temporary insanity. Without thinking, he blurted out, “If I didn’t know any better I’d say that you’re in love with the Captain and Spock.” The moment the words left his lips, Scotty knew he was in big, big trouble and he wished that the deck would open up and swallow him whole. He cast his eyes back and forth, desperately looking for a way out.
The moment the words were spoken, the temperature on the bridge dropped several degrees and Scotty began mentally making out his will as the good doctor’s icy glare bored holes into him. Luckily, Lieutenant Commander Montgomery Scott had a guardian angel.
“Perhaps we should have this discussion after we rescue the others.” Uhura spoke up quietly and Scotty could have kissed her for saving his arse from certain destruction. 'Aye and I will once we've rescued the others and I work up the courage to do so.'
“Right, then I can kill four idiots at once!” McCoy scowled at Scotty making it clear exactly who all he was including on his list.
‘Is it wrong that I hope the Captain does something really stupid to take the Doctor’s attention off of me and onto himself?’ Scotty thought about it for a moment and realised that it was a given that the Captain would indeed do something to make McCoy angry with him. ‘Weirdest courtship I’ve ever seen, that and Spock attempts at getting the good doctor’s attention. Oh! That reminds me, I need to place my next bet in the pool!’
“So ya think Bones has started his usual rant yet?”
Sulu couldn’t help but roll his eyes at the joy in Jim’s voice. “Captain, I’m starting to think that you get captured just to have Doctor McCoy rant at you.”
Spock raised a knowing eyebrow as he faced his captain. “I do believe Mr Sulu is correct, Captain. It would seem, however, a very illogical plan to get in the good doctor's graces, unless your plan is for you go out of your way to gain Doctor McCoy’s wrath.” He paused for a moment, waiting for Kirk to respond, and when he didn’t, Spock took it as silent agreement. “In that case, I would think you are well on your way. Is this some sort of human courting ritual?” he asked, tilting his head to the side with scientific curiosity.
Sulu never thought he’d see the day when James T. Kirk would blush but there it was a no mistaking the flush that coloured the Captain’s cheeks. “Are you blushing?” He couldn’t stop the question from exploding from his mouth.
When Jim’s icy gaze zeroed in on Sulu, the helmsmen blanched and shuffled away from his angry Captain, although given the small size of their cell, he was still able to clearly hear when Jim gritted out through clenched teeth, “I. DO. NOT. BLUSH!”
“Captain, there is no reason to be embarrassed by your attempts at wooing the Doctor, even though they have failed.” Spock calmly voiced his opinion.
Sulu hung his head; ‘I wonder if there’s any way I can get moved into a different cell.’ There was no way he wanted to get caught in the middle of a pissing contest between two of his superior officers. 'Do Vulcan's even have pissing contests?' Sulu seriously doubted it but he had to admit that he was interested in seeing the Vulcan version of a man-off contest, purely for science’s sake, of course.
Jim’s eyes narrowed as he whirled around to face his most senior officer. “Oh and you have a lot of room to talk," he snapped at his second-in-command.
Spock merely raised an eyebrow at his captain, a look that clearly stated he thought his captain was acting foolishly - it was a look Jim got a lot. "I do believe I have no idea what you are talking about, Captain. Perhaps the blow to your head was more serious than we originally thought, because you are talking nonsense."
"Oh, reeeaaally..." Jim drawled out as he settled as comfortably as he could against the cold cell wall. "You're going to look me in the eye and talk about my bizarre way of courting Bones, which, by the way, is completely and totally not true, when it's clear that you go out of your way to get a reaction out of Bones as well," Jim declared with that smug look of his.
'Yep, a new cell sounds pretty good right about now.' Sulu was dreading the fallout of being caught between two alphas fighting over a mate. 'Of course one look or growl from McCoy will shut them both up. It's clear who the real alpha will be in this relationship,' Sulu smirked. He wondered if Kirk and Spock had yet realized that McCoy was the true alpha out of the three; there was something simmering beneath the doctor’s surface that wouldn't allow itself to be dominated. He knew that the man was hiding a power that was unlike anything they'd seen before.
Silently Sulu watched Kirk and Spock square off, eyes flashing and jaws clenched, and he wondered, 'When will they see that the three of them together are the perfect triangle? That they complete one another and are stronger together than apart?' He knew that he wasn’t the only one who could see that the three of men were the sums that made up the whole.
Annoyed by all the macho posturing, Sulu interrupted the brewing fight before it could get out of hand. "Maybe this could wait until after we find a way out of here?"
Realising that once again he was letting Kirk push his buttons, Spock quickly regained control of himself. "Mr Sulu is right, of course; we should be figuring out a way to escape instead of fighting amongst ourselves." Spock could not understand how Kirk and Doctor McCoy could stir such - and he shuddered at the word - human reactions in him. He found it highly illogical that such two emotional humans could affect him so strongly.
Kirk forced down the surge of jealousy that churned in his stomach, the one that always made an appearance when he thought of Spock being interested in his Bones. Ever since Spock and Uhura had ended their relationship, it hadn't escaped Kirk's notice that Spock was spending a lot more time than before hanging around Bones, and that was something that just didn't sit well with Kirk at all. 'It's bad enough that Spock can stir such passionate responses from my Bones but to know I may have to share him is just too much.' He did not like the idea of sharing his Bones at all.
Sulu easily recognized the possessive look in his Captain's blue eyes; it was the look everyone knew he got when he was thinking about Spock's not-quite-acknowledged interest in the doctor. He knew if he didn't do something soon they would completely lose control of the situation. "So does anybody know what we did to anger the Varden?" He'd racked his brain trying to recall how they could have antagonised such a peaceful race.
The Varden were a fairly primitive race that the Enterprise had had the honour of meeting on their new journey. The Varden had an ancient culture rich in the history of magic and supernatural beliefs, and they had only recently taken to the stars in their own travels and explorations. The crew's first view of the planet and its people reminded the humans of the ancient Earth legends of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. Kirk had found it hilarious that the King even had a mystical adviser with a long white beard, flowing robes and crystal-topped staff.
The Varden had long ago eliminated crime on their home world and they lived by a rigid code of personal conduct. They also had a strict set of rules for all non-Varden's, which the away team had studied extensively before beaming down, and since reaching the surface, they had made sure they followed it to the letter.
"Their court seer, Alaula, said we brought the 'Child of Fire' and the Immortal Reaper with us. She said that the child of the universe and time was the one who would rain destruction and death upon us all should they fall into the hands of the dark one." Spock recalled the horror and fear on the young woman's face when she'd looked at them for the first time.
A sudden thought hit Sulu and he looked at his two commanding officers with worry written in his dark eyes. "You don't think they were talking about John 'Reaper' Grimm?" Every Starfleet Academy cadet had heard of John Grimm; he and his sister were the only two survivors of the mission to Odluvai and as such, they were the only ones who actually knew the truth about what happened that fateful day.
After the disaster John Grimm became a ghost, every image of him was erased, every record of his existence deleted; no one could find a trace of him. The only person who knew what had become of him was his twin sister, Samantha Grimm, and she had taken that knowledge to her grave.
"I do not see how it is possible. John Grimm was human and it is impossible for him to be still alive; he would be over two hundred years old today," Spock pointed out logically.
"As fascinating as this is, we do have something a little more pressing to deal with, like figuring a way out of this mess before the others have to come rescue us and cos you know Bones will get out his hypo-spray." Jim shuddered as he remembered how fond Bones was of jabbing his hypo into his captain's tender neck. 'The man is a sadist with that damned thing!'
Knowing that it would not be a good idea or good for his health to laugh at his Captain's fear of McCoy's hypo-spray, Sulu managed to smother the laughter that wanted to break free. Still, something in his eyes or body language must have given him away because Kirk shot him a dark glare. "Right, so anybody got a plan?" Sulu hoped that quickly changing the subject back on to an escape plan would make Kirk forget about his almost laughing.
The narrowing of Kirk's eyes made it clear that they would be talking later, Sulu hung his head and Kirk nodded his satisfaction. 'Maybe I can sic Bones and his hypo-sprays on them for a change,' Kirk thought with a grin before it turned into a pout, 'but then again, getting sneak-hypoed is our thing and I don't want to share that with anyone else.' Yes, Jim would be the first to admit he could be the tiniest bit possessive when it came to sharing his Bones with others, and more importantly, when it came to sharing his Bones with Spock.
Once again, tension slowly began to fill the cell and Sulu shifted uncomfortably at the slow anger building in his captain. "Right, so escape plan? Who's got one?" Sulu asked hoping to keep his two commanders from coming to blows, again.
Sulu was not reassured when both Kirk and Spock had nothing to say. Sighing deeply, he rested back against the cell wall. "Since I take it we'll be waiting for the others to come and rescue us, we might as well get comfortable." Sulu closed his eyes and began the long wait for the rescue party. 'I do hope they arrive before they decide to sacrifice us; I really hate being sacrificed.'
"I thought we knew everything about theVarden, so what could we have possibly missed?" Uhura asked, being the voice of reason.
After a brief check of the information the Federation had sent them, Chekov looked up and shook his head. "No, the Federation sent us everything there was to know along with a detailed list of what to do and not do. I thought the Captain, Mr Spock and Sulu had read everything and were prepared?" Worry laced Chekov's voice and despite what the two men thought, everyone knew about Sulu and Chekov's feelings for one another.
"They were! I made damn sure Jim read every little detail so that this wouldn't happen!" Bones snarled as he began pacing back and forth across the bridge. "And you know that Spock's damned Vulcan brain wouldn't let him put one toe wrong!"
Rolling her eyes Uhura couldn't stop the smile that spread across her face as she watched Bones pace anxiously. 'I have never seen three men in such denial. Why can't they just admit their feelings for one another?' Uhura knew the moment she'd first seen the three men together that they were destined for one other. That knowledge was what had given her the courage to let go of Spock with the sincere hope that he would come to see what was right before his eyes. 'After this rescue mission I am knocking their heads together,' Uhura vowed with a small smirk.
An unexpected voice spoke up and offered a simple suggestion. "Wouldn't it just be easier to get in contact with the Varden and find out what the problem is?"
All eyes flew to Scotty with different degrees of shock.
"What? What did I say?" Scotty asked, bewildered by the sudden attention and wondering what he had said to earn such looks.
Uhura beamed at him and her smile filled him with warmth. "Scotty, that's a wonderful idea. I don't know why we didn't think of that." You'd think by now it would be common sense for them to find out just why their Captain was arrested.
Not sure if it was the thrill of figuring out something the others had missed or the fact that Uhura was smiling so sweetly at him, but Scotty's chest puffed up with pride and his smile was so bright it could have powered the Enterprise for a month.
McCoy rolled his eyes as he watched the two glance shyly at one another, but he really was thrilled to see Uhura moving on after her break-up with Spock. 'In some strange way they actually work.' McCoy fought the urge to smile at them; next to Jim, Uhura was his closest friend and he wanted her to be happy.
"Well, it's clear which one of us should speak to King Raiden and try to get some answers," McCoy drawled slowly as his eyes never left Uhura.
One-by-one, all those on the bridge found their eyes slowly drawn to Uhura, only to quickly tear their gazes off the only woman who could keep Kirk in line. Finally, the only ones still staring at Uhura were McCoy, Chekov and of course, Scotty, but the last one didn't really count because lately Scotty couldn't tear his eyes off Uhura no matter what.
A put-upon look appeared on Uhura's face and her eyes narrowed as she glared at the doctor. "Fine, I'll help rescue your boyfriends," she growled as she crossed the distance between them and poked Bones in the chest, "but from now on it's up to you to keep them in line."
Before Bones could even think of opening his mouth and arguing that Jim and Spock weren't his boyfriends, Uhura had already stalked off towards the view screen and was giving the order to hail the Varden. McCoy grumbled under his breath about people jumping to conclusions as they waited for the King to appear.
It didn't take long for King Raiden to appear and Uhura, along with every woman and even a few men on the bridge, hitched their breath when they saw the handsome man on the view screen. Tall, dark and drop-dead gorgeous were never more fitting than when used to describe the King of Varden. His long raven locks flowed down his shoulders and looked striking against his golden skin, and his crystal blue eyes were thoughtful and deep.
"How may I be of assistance to such a lovely maiden?" His naturally low and seductive voice sent shivers down everyone's spines, but none more so than Uhura.
McCoy fought the urge to roll his eyes as everyone gave a dreamy sigh at the sound of his voice. 'I shouldn't be surprised; Jim was practically drooling the very moment he laid eyes on the man's picture. I don't get what's so great about him? He's not that good-looking.' Bones firmly ignored the little voice in the back of his head that said he was jealous. 'I am not jealous of some pretty boy!'
It took a clearly jealous Scotty clearing his throat loudly to break the spell Raiden was weaving over Uhura. They all watched as she quickly adopted the Kirk Face, the look the crew was all used to seeing when Uhura was dealing with their flirt of a captain. "We wish to know why you have imprisoned our Captain and away team," Uhura asked with a sweet smile.
"They bring the Reaper of Death and Child of the Flames with them. The child of fire and death will fall and bring about the return of the Dark Phoenix." The Court Seer, Alaula, spoke from her place next to her king. As her silver eyes gazed upon the bridge crew of the Enterprise, she could feel it; he was there among them, right now.
McCoy was grateful that no one heard his breath catch in his throat at the woman's words. 'That can't be true! Will I really become the Dark Phoenix?' It was every Child of the Phoenix Force's worst nightmare that they would be the one to bring about the next Dark Phoenix. McCoy knew without a doubt that with his skills and knowledge as Reaper, 'I would be far deadlier than my great-great-grandmother,' and that very thought chilled McCoy to his very soul.
Silence filled the bridge for a moment after Alaula's words. "That's impossible," Chekov murmured under his breath; he was filled with pure awe. Everyone knew the legend of the Phoenix Force; they learned the basic story when they were small children and as they grew older, the tales grew more violent and more lurid.
“The Phoenix Force! But that’s only myths and legends!” Breathless with surprise and misgiving, Scotty spoke up suddenly; only he knew the truth about the legends. He recalled his great-great-great-grandmother, Toshiko, telling him stories of the Phoenix, and his great-great-great-grandfather, the Doctor, bragging about how he was the one who had cared for the very first Phoenix child. The Doctor had even played a vital role in uniting the child with his bond mate, thus beginning the family. Of course, most people wouldn't believe his stories but having travelled in the TARDIS himself, Scotty had a habit of believing every one of his great-great-great-grandfather's outrageous stories.
"You can't seriously be holding our people because of something that most likely doesn't exist!" McCoy snapped, his fear for the others overriding every other thought.
Raiden regarded the man who had just spoken and easily saw the warrior swimming beneath the surface. 'This man is much more than he appears to be.' The king knew that they couldn't hold the Enterprise crew for long, not unless he was willing to risk making the Federation their enemy. "Perhaps a meeting face-to-face is in order so that we may clear up this misunderstanding. You must understand the power of the Dark Phoenix is not something we can take lightly."
Given the history of the Varden and how deeply their rich culture was entwined with magic and the universe, the crew of the Enterprise could not truly fault them for reacting instantly to the threat of the Dark Phoenix, even if it was just a myth.
Uhura smiled gently at the King. "I agree that is a fine idea. As protocol our Doctor McCoy needs to check on our crew, to make sure they are unharmed." Uhura also knew that if McCoy didn't get to see for himself that Kirk and Spock were okay, Bones would take on the Varden army single-handily if he needed to get them back safely.
Once again, Raiden's eyes glanced over to McCoy and he could see the promise of violence if he didn't get to see his friends. 'He reminds me of that explorer, Captain Jack Harkness-Jones, when I made the mistake of flirting with his mate. Something tells me that it would be in our best interest to let him see them; that doctor is more than he appears to be.' Plus, Raiden could not see the harm in allowing them access albeit limited to their crew. "Agreed. We shall await your arrival." Bowing his head slightly he ended the transmission.
Ensign Pavlov Chekov was the first person to break the spell of silence that had fallen over the bridge. "Every culture has a legend involving the Phoenix, including some mention of what happened when the Dark Phoenix was unleashed on the universe. They all tell the same story of how it single-handily devoured a sun and wiped out all life in that sector. I’ve just never meet a race that believed in it so strongly that they would imprison our captain and away team on the suspicious belief that one of us is a child of the Phoenix." Despite his Herculean efforts to remain outwardly calm, everyone could hear the underlying excitement in Chekov's voice as he talked about the legend of the Phoenix.
McCoy rolled his eyes grumpily; 'I wouldn't be at all surprised if Chekov started bouncing in his chair. That damn kid is too excitable for his own good.'
"I hate to be the downer but shouldn't we be rescuing our Captain and crew?" Scotty pointed out. "Shouldn't we be focusing a little more on figuring out a way to rescue our dear Captain and the others instead of debating about whether or not the Phoenix Force is real?"
Uhura instantly fell into the leadership role. "Bones and I are going down to the surface, and I'm sure you would like to come as well, Chekov?" Uhura asked softly as she turned to face the young man who wasn't even trying to hide his worry for Sulu.
"Yes!" Chekov agreed instantly; he needed to see with his own eyes that Sulu was truly unharmed. 'I guess our relationship isn't as much of a secret as we had hoped,' Chekov realised with a grimace.
"I'm coming too! There's no way you're leaving me out of this!" Scotty spoke up loudly; there was no way he was being left behind on such a fascinating away mission. 'And who knows; maybe as the great-great-great-grandson of a Time Lord, I may be of some use. Or...' Scotty thought with a wicked grin, 'I could just start babbling away like the Doctor does. I've always wanted to confuse my enemies with some insane babble and nonsense!'
McCoy's eyes narrowed as he studied Scotty; the man reminded him of someone but he just couldn't figure out who. 'He almost acts like the Doctor but that's impossible, the Doctor would have been bragging if he had anyone on the Federation's flagship, Enterprise. He couldn't possibly be related to the Doctor.' McCoy quickly dismissed the idea from his mind as sheer foolishness.
"All right, who else is coming along?" McCoy demanded. 'Who knows what kind of trouble Jim and that blasted hobgoblin have gotten themselves into now.' It was asking for pure trouble to leave Spock and Kirk locked away for so long; 'after all, Sulu can only keep them under control for so long.'
"Doctor McCoy is right. Right now we should be focusing on straightening this mess out and getting our crew back safe and sound. Then we can debate whether or not the Phoenix Force is real." Uhura spoke up firmly, backing McCoy.
"Right, let's get going." Scotty bounced over to the waiting Uhura and the scowling McCoy and waited while Chekov climbed to his feet and joined the trio. A thoughtful look graced Scotty's face and he looked around. "Ah, quick question, shouldn't we take some security with us, in case things go bad? I mean, let's face it, given that it is us, things are going to go bad." Scotty felt a little silly pointing out the obvious.
McCoy and Uhura shared a look. "He's right," Uhura agreed with a shrug of her shoulders and then she pointed out helpfully, "If the Captain had agreed to take a security team with him, he might not have been in this mess."
"Or they would have gotten thrown in jail too and we'd have had to bail their sorry asses out as well, but fine, we'll take them. Someone call cupcake and get a few men to meet us in the transporter room," McCoy grumbled his agreement as he crossed his arms across his chest. 'This is taking too damn long. Knowing that fool, Jim's probably started thinking of his own escape plan and landing himself in deeper hot water.'