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Myfanwy 2

November 2017

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The Legacy - Chapter Six

The Legacy - Chapter Six
Author: Milady Dragon
Artist: Totally4ryo, whose art is Here
Beta: Bookwrm89
Series: Dragon-Verse
Rating: PG-13
Pairings: Jack Harkness/Ianto Jones, Merlin Williams-Song/Arthur (Harkness-Jones) Pendragon
Warnings: Language, Violence, Reincarnation, MPreg, Angst
Spoilers: Just to be safe, for all seasons of Torchwood and all seasons of Merlin
Disclaimer: I don't own either Torchwood or Merlin.  They belong to the BBC and other people who didn't treat them as well as I would have if I'd owned them.
Author's Note: This is written for Dragon Big Bang, and is another of my future stories in the Dragon-Verse.   I want to thank Totally4ryo for her wonderful art, you should go and tell her how fantastic a job she did! 


Summary:  When the dragon, Ianto Jones, is kidnapped, Arthur Pendragon and Merlin Williams-Song of Torchwood investigate.  What they find leads to revelations about the past, and a secret that could bring either happiness to the Harkness-Jones family...or heartbreak.




15 November 5101 (Earth Standard Date)

New New York

 

Merlin couldn’t help but laugh at Bayl’s announcement.  “You’re kidding, right?”

Juno Bayl looked angry at Merlin’s ridicule.  “If we could locate at least one, we knew we could use it to keep you out of the Time Agency’s business.  Torchwood is much too high-and-mighty and needs to be knocked back a few.  We’re tired of you interfering in things that don’t concern you.”

He was serious.  Merlin wanted to laugh again, but didn’t.  Of course he knew the truth about what dragons’ eggs actually were, after asking Grandtad Ianto about them when it was obvious that dragons didn’t, in fact, lay eggs at all.  The explanation had punctured the last of Kilgharrah’s lies, although Merlin couldn’t blame the old dragon for wanting to protect his people.  There were times when Merlin wished he could go back in time just to tell Kilgharrah that he understood, and that there were no hard feelings about the endless riddles and obfuscations.  It wasn’t as if Merlin could actually point fingers, after all; he’d hidden his true nature from Arthur for years, until his lover had finally pinned the sorcerer down quite literally and demanded to know just when Merlin had planned on telling him about his magic.  To say that Merlin had been shocked that Arthur had known was a complete and utter understatement.

But Merlin did recall that night that Aithusa had been released from his egg, and the sheer joy he’d felt when the tiny, white dragon had emerged.  It had been a glorious time, a time of hope and destiny and Merlin had rejoiced.

Then the memory of poor, cursed Aithusa, in Morgana’s thrall, came back to haunt him, and he mourned once more for his dragon friend.

Of course, there was the irony of sending the Agent who would become Jack Harkness, the patriarch of the Star Dragons, out after dragon eggs and it made Merlin want to laugh all over again.

“Director Bayl,” Arthur said, not bothering to hide the ridicule from his tone, “are you seriously telling us that you sent an agent of yours after something that doesn’t exist?”

An expression of doubt crossed Bayl’s face, but it smoothed out quickly and was replaced by disdain. “Of course dragons lay eggs.  It’s in every myth told about dragons!”

Merlin snorted.  “Sure, and next you’ll believe that dragons were actually spawns of the Judeo-Christian devil, sent among men to eat their virginal brides.  That’s in the myths, too.”

“I don’t lay eggs,” Arthur commented, leaning back from his loom over Bayl’s desk, his arms crossed over his chest.  Merlin could tell he was barely keeping himself from laughing out loud.

“I should hope not!” Merlin exclaimed.  “Although you do take after Granddad in the male pregnancy department –“

“Shut up, Merlin,” his mate snapped, although without any heat in the words.  They’d discussed having children, and had decided not to, since Arthur didn’t feel it was dignified that the Director of Torchwood should run around as large as a shuttlecraft.

Merlin was still hoping that he would, one day, change his mind.  He couldn’t think of anything more erotic than having Arthur carry his child.  Well, eternity was a long time…

“Dragons are birthed live,” Arthur went on.  “I know…I was present when a couple of my nephews and nieces were born, and it’s quite gross and disgusting.”

“The singing is quite nice though,” Merlin added.

He was enjoying the look on Bayl’s face as what they were saying was being digested.  However, Merlin couldn’t help but wonder if the man had been onto something.

He knew the truth of dragon eggs, and there had been times over the centuries that Merlin wondered if there had been dragons out there who had put their children into the magical stasis that was the true nature of the eggs.  Could there have been babies out there, waiting to be found?

Grandtad Ianto had said it was possible, but after the millennia that had passed any of them would have quietly slept their way into the beyond.  They would have been lost, with no way to retrieve them.

But what if Agent Boe – Granddad Jack, before he’d become immortal – had somehow found a clue?  What if there were viable magicked dragon children out there, just waiting to be awakened and brought home?

“All right,” Arthur sighed.  “I suppose that would explain why Second Jones was taken…his current identity is as a known dragon expert.  But really, he would have just told your agent that he was barking up the wrong tree.  So, do we just wait and let him come home on his own, or are you going to tell us where your agent might have taken him?”

That was the point, and Merlin knew that Arthur knew it as well: that Grandtad would have done anything to save a dragon child, in egg or out.  His mate was well aware of the reasons for a baby to have been enshelled, and he also must have realised that Ianto would not have risked it if Agent Boe had, indeed, lucked into a dragon egg.  He would do whatever he could to get that child to safety.

Bayl was furious, judging from the red in his face.  They’d come into his office, told him that one of his agents had inadvertently kidnapped the Torchwood Dragon, and had practically debunked his plan to get them to leave the Agency alone.  Of course the man was in a rage!

Was it bad that Merlin was enjoying himself?  Sure, it was, with his Grandtad Ianto out there and a possible new sibling as well, and what made it horrifically funny was that his own Granddad Jack had been the one to get them involved. 

Time was a seriously ironic bitch.  And Merlin’s Dad would agree with him on that score.

“I’m certain my agent will return the…professor, as soon as he’s done with him,” Bayl snapped.  “Now, if you’re quite finished, I’d appreciate it if you left my office.  Now.”

“Yes, I think it’s time we left,” Arthur agreed, sounding amicable about the entire situation.  “Merlin, we have better things to do than to hang around here.”

“Sure we do,” Merlin answered, grinning.  “Like contacting the Imperial Council and letting them know that the Torchwood Dragon was kidnapped by the Time Agency.  I bet Council Leader Smith-Sullivan will get a kick out of one of her oldest friends being grabbed in the mens’ room of a Chinese restaurant in Old London by a Time Agent following a myth.”

“I’m quite sure she will,” Arthur said as Bayl went pale once more.  “Have a good day, Director Bayl.  I’m certain we’ll be speaking again soon.”

With that, Arthur spun on his heel and left the office, Merlin beside him.  Arthur’s hand went up and the two Knights who had been guarding the door – Gwaine and Leon – fell in behind them. 

Arthur didn’t speak until they were out in the hallway.  “You can bet Bayl’s going to be sending people after Boe and Grandtad now that he knows we’re onto him.  He’ll be wanting to clean up the mess that was made.”

Merlin shivered slightly.  That very thought had occurred to him as well, in the seconds before his mate had spoken.  “We still don’t know where they’ve gone,” he pointed out.

“I’m willing to bet Bayl doesn’t, either,” Arthur said.  “If Boe is anything like his future self, he’s going to be cagey about giving out too much information.  But I’m certain there are ways to trace him.”

Merlin chewed his lip.  “I don’t want to say anything else until we’re away from here,” he murmured. 

Arthur nodded once.  “All right.”  He spoke over his shoulder.   “Leon, I want you to recall all the Knights back to Hubworld. Gwaine, go with him.  Merlin and I are going on ahead.”

“Yes, Director,” the Knight’s Commander answered, and Merlin shook his head at Leon’s ability to make ‘Director’ sound exactly like ‘Sire’.

The Star Dragon and sorcerer stopped in the middle of the hallway, and the two Knights passed by them to follow Arthur’s orders.  Arthur lifted his wrist, baring the magically modified Vortex Manipulator that he wore.  “Let’s get the hell out of here.”

Merlin agreed.  His vision went a bit golden as his magic came at his call, and he rested his hand on the wrist strap, activating the teleport.

**********

Hubworld, Gliese 851g

The Time Agency faded out around them, and Arthur’s office appeared.  Merlin didn’t even have time to drop his grip on Arthur’s arm before his mate was saying, “Do you think you can find Grandtad with what we have to go on?”

“I think so.  See, the only place that these dragon eggs could exist was the past…if they actually are real.  Bayl seemed to think that one of them was.”  It had to be the past, there was no other explanation.  Earth had been overpopulated and overdeveloped for centuries, until the planet had become almost unlivable except in certain areas such as Ddraig Llyn and Avalon.  If there had been eggs hidden anywhere, they surely would have been found in all the upheaval. 

“Do you believe him?”

“I think he believes it.  And let’s face it…Grandtad Ianto was passing himself off as an expert in dragon history in order to give that lecture.” It didn’t hurt that he had first-hand experience in his subject.  “Granddad – Agent Boe – would have wanted to find an expert to authenticate anything he found, one without perceived ties to the Star Dragons or to Torchwood.”

“You’re right, of course.”  Arthur smiled softly.  “Can you imagine it, if it’s true?  A baby dragon, one that doesn’t have parents or clan?  Grandtad would do anything to protect it.  It’s what he’s wished for nearly his entire existence.”

His mate was right.  Grandtad Ianto was perfectly happy with his large family, but there had always been that small part of him that was sad at being the last of the true dragons.  This would have been his dream come true, if a child had been located. 

 “We need to find him, Merlin.”

Merlin nodded.  He had work to do.

He sat down on the nearest chair, taking in a deep breath and letting it back out again.  Turning back time in the mens’ room has been child’s play compared to what he was about to do.

Timelines were tricky at best, and Merlin had been surfing them since he was a child.  But that had been while with his parents and around the TARDIS; this was different, and without help he would be running the risk of getting lost.   “You’ll anchor me?” he asked, looking up at his mate.

Arthur smiled.  “Try and stop me.”  He pulled up the second chair, and took Merlin’s hands in his own.

The sorcerer focused on Arthur’s warm calloused hands in his, closing his eyes.  His time sense flashed just behind his eyelids, golden sparkles not unlike his own, innate magic swirling and joining together in the familiar fog of the Vortex.

Merlin sank deeper into himself, following his link to the Time Vortex itself.  If Granddad Jack was an unbreakable stone amid the rushing river of Time, and Grandtad Ianto the mighty oak that anchored him, then Arthur was a golden spirit, stepping on the surface of the river as if it were the strongest permacrete.  This spirit-Arthur was tethered to the great tree by a slender yet strong thread, and he welcomed Merlin into the deep currents, his strength holding him tightly within the wild rush. 

Merlin’s own connection to the tree that was his Grandtad Ianto was more tenuous, but that was simply because they were not related by blood.  But he’d been adopted into the family almost from the moment he’d appeared at Arthur’s birth, calling the infant a prat without knowing what that fully meant.  His mate bond had only strengthened his connection.

His own connection to Time was through his father.  The Doctor was a being who could dance through Time without effort, but Merlin was grounded to reality through his mother, River Song.  Even though Mum had been born on the TARDIS and had had the ability to regenerate like Dad, she was much closer to human through Merlin’s grandparents, Amy Pond and Rory Williams.  He couldn’t search through the timelines as easily as his Dad could, but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.  Dad had told him some of the things that he could sense and feel, and Merlin wasn’t certain that he would remain quite sane if he could do some of that.  But then he did have his magic, and that, coupled with his knowledge of Time, made him even more powerful than his Dad would ever be.

It was a frightening thought.  Merlin was man enough to admit it, and had done to anyone who would listen.  His Mum had simply said, “Good,” and then had kissed him on the forehead.

Merlin found the timeline he wanted, the one that had led to Grandtad Ianto being taken by Agent Boe.  He allowed himself to get slightly distracted by his younger Granddad’s timeline, seeing it crinkle and weave throughout the Vortex, and then located what he was looking for. 

He’d been correct; Grandtad Ianto had been taken into the far past.

Luckily, the time stream remained unchanged as it carried his Grandtad and the younger Time Agent back, which was a good thing as far as Merlin was concerned.  They didn’t want the timelines to become muddied, and it would if this was some sort of paradox in the making.  He peered closer…

And then suddenly pulled himself back so roughly that he nearly tugged Arthur out of his seat.

“What is it?” his mate asked as Merlin released his grip on Arthur’s hands.

“Grandtad is in danger,” the sorcerer gasped.  “We need to go now.”

**********

Circa 1000 CE

Bavarian Alps

 

The Vortex Manipulators that Merlin had tinkered with were only teleporters, magically enhanced for far greater distance with less use of power.  One could teleport from Earth to Hubworld in one jaunt, whereas using the transmat system meant several jumps and a spacecraft took nearly a week at best speed.

Merlin had removed the time travel function on purpose.  With his innate time sense he knew first-hand the dangers of tampering with timelines, and having that power was far too much temptation, especially for someone who had been reincarnated into so many different lives that Merlin had a laundry list of things he totally regretted and would have loved to have figured out a way to fix.

It was the foremost reason he wanted to shut down the Time Agency.  They’d become too corrupt, and it was only a matter of when they’d decide to forego their own rules and start interfering…and not if. 

However, it took the sorcerer only five minutes to reintegrate the time travel controls into Arthur’s wrist strap. It took them longer to gather the few things they’d need together before their time jump.

The pair appeared within a snowy mountainscape, and the surroundings matched what Merlin had seen during his journey along the timestream.  The black cloak he’d put on over his street clothes snapped in the wind, but the chill did not bother him, thanks to his Time Lord physiognomy.

Arthur was unaffected as well, and his mate grabbed Merlin’s arm, pulling his attention away from the mountains and toward what looked like a battle royal going on down the valley a ways.  Merlin squinted, and he could make out several men attacking a very familiar dragon, who was holding one wing at an unnatural angle.

Merlin’s hearts went slightly out of synch when he realised it was his Grandtad Ianto.

A golden glow surrounded Arthur’s body, and within seconds he’d taken on his dragon form, red against the clean white of the snow.   A horrible, pain-filled cry from the green dragon had Merlin practically flying onto his mate’s back, and with a flexing of powerful muscles Arthur was airborne, his wings beating powerfully as they arched over the valley toward the fight below.

There were many times in their lives together that Merlin believed Arthur being a dragon in this reincarnation was one of the universe’s greatest ironies, considering his first life’s stance on magic until he’d figured out that magic wasn’t all bad.  But in this existence a dragon was what Arthur was literally born to be, and he knew his mate reveled in the unfettered freedom of flight. 

Merlin held himself low to his mate’s back, his eyes squinted against the freezing wind.  As they got closer, he saw someone dart out of the cave behind their Grandtad, using a sonic blaster on two of the three men attacking the injured green dragon.  He could feel his magic reacting to the danger, and Merlin sat upright, using his knees to keep himself on Arthur’s back.

He raised his hand, calling his power to him, as the last attacker aimed a strange weapon at Grandtad Ianto.  Merlin gasped as it was fired and he saw the horrific hook-like device unfurl from the end of it and fly toward the defenseless dragon.

Merlin didn’t even need to speak a spell in order to will away that deadly hook.

The green dragon looked up at him, and while Merlin couldn’t hear him over the wind he knew that the sound that must have come from his Grandtad’s mouth was a relieved one.  Then he collapsed onto his side, as his human companion used his blaster on the one with the terrible projectile weapon.

There was barely room on the ledge for both dragons, but Arthur managed to alight carefully, and Merlin slid off his back, not waiting for his mate to change shape before heading over to the injured other dragon.  He pulled the strap of his carrying bag over his head as he knelt beside his Grandtad.  “Next time Aunt Rowena asks you to give a lecture,” he murmured, rifling through his satchel for his dermal bonder, “just say no, all right?”

The dragon’s eyes opened slightly, and he smiled weakly.  “I’ll keep that in mind.”

“We need to get this wing looked at before you can even think about changing back,” Merlin went on.  “Luckily for you I’ve come prepared.”  He waved the found dermal bonder.  “I can put you to sleep –“

“No, it’s fine.”  Those pain-filled blue eyes closed.  “Just do what you can.”

“Did you find one?” Arthur asked, his voice calm yet with an underlying tone of fierce curiosity.

The dragon chuckled weakly.  “How do you feel about five new siblings?”

Merlin laughed.  He couldn’t help it.


Chapter Seven



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