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Myfanwy 2

November 2017

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The Breaking - Chapter Two

The Breaking - Chapter Two
Author: Milady Dragon
Artist: Madbottoms
Beta: Totally4ryo
Series: Dragon-Verse
Rating: PG-13
Pairing(s): Jack/Ianto, Toshiko/Kathy, pre-Alice Carter/Patrick Delaware, Martha Jones/Tom Milligan
Warnings: Language, Violence, Child Endangerment, Temporary Character Death
Spoilers: Up through S3, "Children of Earth".
Disclaimer: I don't own Torchwood, I would have treated it better...and so I rewrite it so it might make more sense.
Author's note:  This is the first chapter of "The Breaking", the Dragon-Verse rewrite of "Children of Earth".  I have changed the date to reflect the fact that school doesn't start in Great Britain until September, and not the original airing date.  This was written for the Long Live Ianto Big Bang Round Two.

SummaryThe Fae are watching.  The children are chanting.  Can Torchwood stop the end of the world?


15 September 2009

Day One

Jack hadn’t slept much the night before.

He was really disturbed by the fact that the Fae – that Jasmine Pierce – had appeared to Estelle. None of the creatures had been seen since the last time, when they’d come for Jasmine, and Jack had hoped it would still be a long time before they’d have to deal with the Fae once more. The first time had been bad enough, because if Jack hated one thing above pretty much anything else, it was having been forced to give that little girl to those bastards. There hadn’t been any choice, but that didn’t make him feel any better.

He loathed those sorts of decisions. It hadn’t been the first, and Jack knew in his heart that it wouldn’t be the last. He would never be all right with it.

Ianto hadn’t slept either, and he knew his mate was also worrying over what had happened yesterday. He was trying so hard to work out which of the Pacts that the Fae had entered into would be the one that was on the verge of breaking. Jack hadn’t realised just how many there were, and how important they were to the planet itself.

The dragon also contacted Rhiannon Jones-Davies in Ddraig Llyn, hoping to get her input. Ianto had hoped that she’d also heard something from the Great Dragons, who had been missing since the Daleks had kidnapped the Earth all those months ago, their power greatly diminished by the interference as they’d done all they could to protect their world. But no, Rhiannon had told him that there was still no sighting of the Dragons, and Ianto had ended the call looking so depressed that Jack had had no choice but to embrace him tightly.

Jack hoped that the Great Dragons were going to be all right. He didn’t like even the hint that they were gone for good.

Their morning routine was interrupted by an alarm from the Hub, beeping over Jack’s wrist strap.

Both got dressed quickly and headed out. According to the alarm, a Mervin Williams had been taken to the A&E, complaining of chest pains. Mister Williams was on their watch list, because he carried around with him what Jack had known was called a Hitchhiker, a parasitic lifeform that did no damage to their hosts, but would have to be removed before any well-meaning doctor tried to cut the man open.

“Excuse me,” Ianto said politely to the nurse on duty, “but a friend of ours was brought in earlier. Mervin Williams?”

The nurse checked her computer. “He’s in bay three. But you can’t go in –“

“We don’t intend to,” Jack assured her. “We’ll just wait outside for the doctor.”

The nurse nodded, and the pair made their way toward bay three, through what Jack thought was a more crowded than usual A&E. They stood near an open bay where a scrubs-clad doctor and a couple of nurses were working over the man Jack recognised as Mr Williams. From what Jack could recall, the older man had lived alone, and had no living relatives. They shouldn’t have any problem getting access in case Williams didn’t make it, and if they did have any issues Ianto always carried a thermos of coffee laced with Retcon with him.

Always prepared was his Ianto.

Their standing there caught the doctor’s attention, and he gave them a look that was stolen away by the high-pitched whine of the heart monitor going flatline.

The bustle around the patient intensified. One of the nurses dragged a defibrillator over to the gurney, and the doctor reached for the paddles.

“Charging…clear!”

The attending pressed the paddles to Mr Williams’ chest, and the man’s body jumped at the shock.

The monitor was still in flatline.

“Two hundred charging,” the doctor called again. “And…clear!”

He shocked Williams once more, but there was still no response.

The doctor sighed. “Okay, let’s call it.” He glanced up at the clock. “Time of death…9:17.” He handed the paddles back to the nurse, who set them into their slots on the defibrillator.   He then nodded to a second nurse, who began clearing away the various instruments they’d used to attempt to save Mervin Williams’ life.

“Did you know the patient?” the doctor asked, walking up to Jack and Ianto.

“We were his neighbours,” Jack answered. He put on his best sad face.

“He didn’t have any family,” Ianto added, making things up as he was going on. “We looked out for him as best we could.”

“We did everything we could,” the doctor – whose name badge read ‘Patanjali’ on it – said, “but he didn’t make it.”

“What a shame,” Jack sighed, putting his hand on Ianto’s shoulder.

“Very sad,” Ianto replied.

“Poor Mr Williams,” Jack said.

“Very sad indeed,” Ianto went on, and Jack thought his mate was going just a bit overboard.

“There’ll have to be an autopsy,” Dr Patanjali told them, “but it looks like his heart just gave out.”

“Brave old heart.”

Yes, Jack was going to have to say something to Ianto about keeping down the melodrama.

“You said you were neighbours?” the doctor asked.

“We lived next door,” Jack confirmed. He’d guessed about the autopsy, since Williams had died without being seen by a doctor…which was Owen, set up carefully in an office near the man’s home and available when Williams needed to be seen. It wouldn’t have been a good thing for someone to find out that ordinary Mervin Williams was carrying an alien parasite in his abdomen.

They could have rousted Owen out to come and certify the death, but all they needed to do was remove the Hitchhiker and there would be no sign left that anything was hinky with the body.

“Well, I’m sure he appreciated you being there to look out for him,” Patanjali soothed. “If only there were more like…you two in the world.”

Jack didn’t miss the hesitation, and once again silently cursed the 21st Century and its backward customs. Instead, he rubbed Ianto’s shoulder and said, “I know it’s an imposition, but with us being such good neighbours…can we see the body?”

Patanjali looked as if he wanted to deny it, but in the end he nodded. He glanced back at the bay, where the curtain had been pulled in order to hide the body. Jack figured the call down to the morgue had already been made.

The doctor pulled the curtain back. The nurses had cleaned everything up, and Mr Williams had been decently covered by a sheet. Jack moved to one side, and Ianto to the other. “Bless him.”

Ianto nodded. “God rest his soul.”

It was all Jack could do not to laugh at his mate’s performance. Instead, he bit the inside of his lip and asked, “Do you think we could get a moment alone?”

“Course you can,” Patanjali answered. “Just come and get me when you’re done. And I’m sorry for your loss.”

“Thank you,” Jack replied.

He waited until the curtain was closed once more, and then he tugged the covering sheet down. Mervin Williams had been in his 70’s, but he didn’t look half bad for his age.

Jack smirked at Ianto. “Don’t you think you could tone your acting down a bit?”

“I think I was just fine,” the dragon retorted, bringing the bag he’d had looped over his opposite shoulder up and onto the small table next to the gurney.   “Although I didn’t appreciate his attitude toward us.”

“It’s just this century,” Jack blew it off. He reached for the laser scalpel that his mate held out. “It doesn’t matter.”

“It does to me,” the dragon growled as Jack carefully cut into the dead man’s abdomen. “You’re my mate, and I’m proud of that. We flew the mating flight! It’s important to me that people accept that we’re together, even if they don’t know it’s for eternity.”

Jack could understand Ianto’s frustration. After everything they’d been through, Jack did feel the same. However, it would be decades before two men would be completely accepted as a couple…and who knew how long before people wouldn’t look twice at a human/dragon mating. He often scoffed about this century’s labels and such, and sometimes it might have sounded like he was joking, but Jack was honestly boggled at how backward the people were.

Once the dead man’s stomach was opened, Ianto handed over the tongs he’d brought with him. The dragon also pulled out a plastic container in order to store the now-dead parasite in. “Hey, I agree with you,” Jack said, fishing around the open cavity. “Okay, almost got it…” With a sound of triumph Jack pulled the Hitchhiker from Mr Williams with an audible slurp.

The unmistakable rattle of the curtain being drawn open had both of them snapping their heads around to stare at Dr Patanjali, who managed to get out, ‘Oh, one more th –“ before obviously realising just what he was seeing.

Jack silently cursed. Maybe they should have just claimed the body and took it back to the Hub…

“What the hell?” Patanjali nearly squeaked.

Ianto held out the container, and Jack waved the Hitchhiker toward the stunned doctor before putting it into the box. “Now, look at that,” he exclaimed, feeling slightly evil because of the interruption and experiencing the need to freak the poor guy out. “That’s not human. Does that look human?” He pointed the tongs toward the remains of the alien creature. “No, it doesn’t. But it didn’t kill him.”

Ianto must have caught on to what Jack was doing, because he added, “Some say these are positively beneficial. They release endorphins into the bloodstream. He died a happy man. And I have Tupperware.” He snapped the lid onto the container, burping the air out of it and then turning to slip it into his bag.

“And we even clean up after ourselves,” Jack replied, using the laser scalpel to seal Mr Williams back up.

“At least you clean up somewhere,” Ianto taunted lightly. He now held a thermos in his hand, waggling it in order to get Jack’s attention.

Jack nodded, very glad that Ianto always came prepared.

“That was mutilation!” Dr Patanjali accused. “I could report you!”

“Go ahead,” Jack shrugged. “Why don’t you?” It would lead to nothing, because he had the best computer technician on the planet who could get rid of any files she wanted to. Toshiko could also hack anything and had been known to take down eBay every once in a while, when she was bored.

The doctor’s eyes went wide, and Jack suddenly had the sensation that the jig was up. “You’re Torchwood! The whole city talks about you!”

“Never heard of ‘em.” For a secret organization, their reputation was getting out of hand. He’d have to sit down with the team and discuss ways of negating it. After all, it was all right that the natives had heard rumours all of their lives, but putting that together with their Hitchhiker friend was just a bit too much. And this guy didn’t seem to be Welsh, judging from his accent.

Patanjali didn’t appear to be buying Jack’s denial. “There are bodies going missing, and I bet you could find out what’s going on!”

“What bodies?” Ianto asked. “Here have a cup of coffee. You look like you could use it.”

“Thanks.” Patanjali accepted the small Styrofoam cup the dragon handed him. “It started a couple of months ago,” he went on, taking a sip. “Damn, this is awesome.”

“Thanks,” Ianto said graciously. “The bodies?”

“Yeah, bodies being taken down to the morgue, but then the records just stop. Five of them. Five in two months. And none of them white. One of West Indian decent, one African, and three Chinese. All male.” He yawned. “Sorry, long shift.”

“That’s fine,” Jack assured him, grinning as he watched the Retcon in the coffee take effect. He looked at Ianto. “What do you think?”

“NHS.” Ianto made the initials sound like a curse word.

“Yeah,” Jack agreed. “Too much red tape. But good luck with it!” He would set Toshiko onto it when they got back to the Hub, just in case there was something to the doctor’s story.

“But, wait…” Patanjali yawned again, and Jack barely had time to set himself before the young man passed out practically in his arms. Ianto reached forward to reclaim the cup so none of the coffee would spill.

“What dosage did you use?” he asked as he propped the fast asleep Patanjali into the lone chair in the room, an uncomfortable plastic thing.

“Couple of hours,” Ianto answered, twisting the lid back on the thermos and stowing it back into his bag, followed by the used cup.

“Good. We really need to do something about everyone knowing us.”

“Yes, it’s difficult to be a secret agency when everyone knows or is at least aware,” the dragon agreed.   He slipped the bag back over his shoulder, motioning Jack to leave before him.

Jack ducked out from behind the curtain, pulling it closed once more when his mate was past. Together they strode through the packed A&E, Jack noticing there were more kids than what he would have thought. Wasn’t today a school day?

They had barely made it out to Ianto’s car when Jack’s mobile rang. “Harkness,” he answered, slipping into Captain mode.

“Jack, it’s Toshiko. Where are you and Ianto?”

There was something in Toshiko’s voice that had Jack’s inner alarms going off. “We’re on our way back now. Mervin Williams passed away and we needed to retrieve his Hitchhiker. What’s up?”

“Something’s going on,” she answered. “We’ll explain when you get back.”

“Okay.” Jack snapped his phone closed. “Let’s get back to the Hub –“

He was interrupted by Ianto’s phone going off.

Ianto glanced at the caller ID. “It’s Kathy. What do you want to bet it has something to do with what Toshiko’s on about?”

“No bet,” Jack answered as the dragon answered the call.

They made it to the car, Ianto silent all the way. He opened the boot, sliding his kit in as Jack opened the passenger side door.

“We’re on our way in now,” Ianto finally spoke into the phone, making his way around the car and to the driver’s side. “Toshiko called us already and let us know something was up.”

Jack got in, Ianto a beat later, still holding the mobile to his ear. “We’ll let you know what’s going on as soon as we know, Kathy,” the dragon went on. He disconnected the call, inserting his key into the ignition and sighing. “I think things are about to get out of control,” he said, putting the car into drive and pulling out of the lot.

Little did Jack know just how perceptive Ianto was until everything was said and done.

**********

By the time they arrived at the Hub, the entire team was present.

Deborah was up and passing out coffee. While hers wasn’t as good as Ianto’s, Jack still liked it, and thanked her when she handed him is usual mug when he and his mate entered from the garage entrance. Ianto took his as well, nodding to the young woman and smiling his own thanks to her.

The rest were hovering over various computer terminals. Toshiko was glaring at hers as if it was insulting her, Owen and Rhys at her shoulders. Patrick was at his own desk, doing his familiar two-fingered super-pecking as he did whatever it was he was doing. Everyone wore expressions of various levels of concern, and it raised Jack’s hackles.

“What’s going on, kids?” he asked, making his way toward the main area of the Hub, Ianto at his side.

Patrick spun around in his chair. “Rhys and I were on our way in when we noticed it.”

Rhys nodded. “Freaked me right out, it did.”

“What happened?” Ianto asked.

“Rhys had picked me up like he usually does,” Patrick explained, his broad New England accent making his words sound even more ominous than usual. “We were coming up to the local school when…well, the children stopped.”

Jack frowned. “What do you mean, stopped?”

“I mean just that,” the American member of the team answered. “I swear they just stopped moving, some of them in mid-stride.”

“I nearly hit two,” Rhys commented, turning pale.

“I thought one kid was gonna tip over,” Patrick went on. “Anyway, they were like that for about thirty seconds, and then they started moving again like nothing happened.”

“I received a phone call from Kathy as well,” Ianto said, “and she reported that there several road accidents this morning involving children. She didn’t say anything about the children freezing, though.”

“There were seventeen road accidents across the country this morning,” Toshiko reported, not bothering to turn away from her computers. “They occurred all the way from Glasgow to St. Ives, and all of them were between 8:40 and 8:41.”

“The school run,” Deborah added, joining the team.

“That doesn’t sound right at all,” Jack replied.   All of those accidents, all involving children and all at the same time? No, Jack had learned a long time ago that there was no such thing as coincidence.

“There’s more,” Patrick said.

“He’s right,” Toshiko agreed. “In France, the same thing happened at 9:40am. They’re an hour ahead of us so it was simultaneous.”

Ianto leaned over Patrick’s console, setting his coffee mug down and tapping in some commands of his own. “Here we go…reports from Norway…Sweden…Denmark…Luxembourg…”

“Germany, India, Egypt…” Toshiko added.

“Bloody hell,” Owen cursed.

That was Jack’s reaction, only he did not say it aloud. He didn’t need the others to tell him that this had occurred worldwide.

Still, the recitation of countries continued.

“Most of America was asleep,” Patrick finished, “but there are even reports there as well.”

Jack had his mobile out, and he was dialling before he even realised what he was doing.

“Hello, Dad,” Alice answered, sounding rushed. “I hope it’s important because I’m just out the door to work –“

“Alice, did anything happen this morning that seemed strange to you?” He couldn’t help but be worried about his grandson. If every other child had frozen, then Steven would have, as well, and he needed confirmation.

Alice paused, and when she spoke again she sounded confused. “No, nothing. I had to tell Steven off for leaving the front door open, but that was it.”

“Is Steven in school?” Jack didn’t know whether to be relieved or terribly, terribly frightened. If Steven had been unaffected…no, there had to have been something that Alice had missed…

“Yes, of course he is. Dad, what’s going on?”

“We don’t know, sweetheart,” he had to admit, “but early this morning every child on the planet stopped moving, and I don’t think Steven was exempt.”

He can actually hear her swallow over the line. “I’m going to go and get Steven from school. If something’s wrong…”

Jack knew what she wanted to ask, but was afraid to. His relationship with his daughter had improved by leaps and bounds since the Year of the Toclafane, but her suspicion of Torchwood was very deeply ingrained, perhaps too much to ever get her to enter the Hub. “If you take him home, I’ll send Owen and Patrick out to check on you both. Owen can take a look at Steven and make sure he’s all right.”

“Thanks, Dad.” Her relief was palpable.

“No problem, kiddo. I’ll have them get ready and meet you when you get home.”

“I’ll need to call out of work, and then I’ll go and get him. Thank you for the warning.”

“I just want to make sure you and Steven are safe.” He did. There would be nowhere anyone could hide if someone ever hurt his family, and he knew Ianto felt the same.

“Love you, Dad. And tell Ianto I love him too.”

“I will. See you both soon, okay?”

“Okay.”

Jack hung up, just in time to see Ianto disconnect a call of his own. “I just checked on Rhiannon and Johnny,” the dragon explained. He looked disturbed. “The same thing happened in Ddraig Llyn. Both Mica and David completely froze, as did the other children in the village. She was just about to call me about it when I called her. She’d been trying to reach the Great Dragons, but no luck.”

“All right.” Jack straightened his shoulders. “Owen, I want you and Patrick to head to Alice’s. She’s going to pick up Steven from school, and Owen I want you to check him out. See if you can find out if there’s anything physical that could have caused the incident.”

“Yeah,” the medic answered. “I doubt it, but we can check. Something this widespread probably means a telepathic element to it. I can still scan for any abnormal brain activity and take blood samples.”

“Do it.”

Owen turned on his heel and headed toward the autopsy bay. Jack knew he’d look after Alice and Steven; they were as much his family as anyone else was.

“Patrick.” Jack regarded the young man. He knew that Patrick was somewhat taken with Alice, but he hadn’t even asked her out yet. Jack approved; Patrick Everett Delaware was a good man, and had proved himself a friend and excellent field agent. “Since we don’t know what’s going on, you’re along as bodyguard. I want you to keep a lookout and report anything unusual.”

“Armed to the teeth, boss?”

Jack was aware of Alice’s dislike of weapons, but under these circumstances… “Armed to the teeth, Delaware,” he confirmed. No one messed with his family, even if he really had no idea what was doing the messing…yet.

A sharp, tight smile curled Patrick’s lips.   “You got it.” He got up from his seat and made his way toward the armoury.

Hiring him as a weapons officer had been one of the best decisions he and Ianto had ever made.

“Deborah.”

The young woman who had once been Emma-Louise Cowell nodded. “Yes, Jack?”

“I want you to keep up normal appearances, but you’re our eye on the Plass. I want you on CCTV up in the Tourist Office, and you call us if you see anything that’s unusual.”

“I shall.” The alarm on the cog door announced her leaving.

“Rhys, I want you to pull up as much CCTV as you can,” Jack continued. “I want to see what this looked like, and I want as many examples as you can get. Get on to the online video sites as well. Also, call up Kathy and tell her we’re working on this. Give her as much as we have.” Which wasn’t a lot, but Jack wanted to keep Kathy in the loop.

Rhys nodded. “You got it.” He took Patrick’s seat and began using the computer one-handed, pulling his mobile out with the other.

“My beautiful Toshiko.” Jack touched her shoulder.   “Dig up everything you can. And I mean everything. You know what to look for; anything that might give them some sort of clue.” He trusted her to go as deep as possible.

“Already working on it,” his technician answered. She glanced up and gifted him with a slight smile, and then went back to work.

“Ianto.” He glanced at his mate.

He held up a hand. “I already know what you’re going to say, Jack. Contact the Home Office.”

Jack grinned. “Are you sure you’re not telepathic?”

“No…I just know you, and you loathe dealing with Frobisher.” Jack was aware that Ianto did, as well. The dragon thought the Permanent Secretary was a humourless, officious example of what were the worst characteristics of a civil servant.   “And I suppose you’re going to contact UNIT?”

Jack hated dealing with Oduya just as much as Ianto did Frobisher. He missed Colonel Mace, but he’d been seriously injured during the Stolen Earth incident and wasn’t back on active duty yet. “Yeah, because you know I’m just so popular with them.”

Ianto simply rolled his eyes, and took out his mobile.


Chapter Three

Comments

It's so chillingly ominous, the way things are beginning to unfold. I'm already feeling anxious. Great scene setting!

Edited at 2014-01-08 03:33 am (UTC)
Thanks! Glad you like it. More up now! :)
the Fae on the move, the kids not and the Great Dragons are MIA?

drama level = high

can't wait to read the rest of this!
Thanks! Yep, lots of things are going to happen. And quickly.

More up now. :)
Yep, this is going to be messy.
Oh yeah, count on it. :)
The tension is killing me! The whole of COE was filled with an ominous tension and you are replicating that very well. At least I know that Ianto lives... I look forward to seeing the differences unfold. :)
Great update
Thanks! Glad you like it so far. :)
*rubs hands manically* More to come, trust me....

The Great Dragons are MIA? Sounds ominous. Damn, I'm as tense as when I first watched the show!
Yep, and who knows what happened to them? Oh wait...I do! *laughs manically*

Thanks, hon. :)
Ok, I can feel the ends of my hair beginning their standup...

Love that Patrick is here for Jack and his family! He'd been a good addition to the Harkness family too :D

But I'm gonna lose all my nails to this...
*pets hair back down*

I think Patrick would be a fun addition, and so does Alice...she just hasn't gotten up to asking him out yet!

More up now. :)
I love how you're setting the stage so well! Feels just as tense and ominous as in the original, while still being fresh and new and yours.
Thanks! Glad you think so. And I'm glad you're liking it so far. :)
I just remembered about Frobisher... any chance of illusions to the latest regeneration of the Doctor? (That would be total awesome-sauce :D )

Loved it!!!
No, not at this point. Frobisher is just Frobisher. But who knows...maybe at some point in another story?

Thanks!
oops not dragons on the horizon and the children already stopping and the Fae with their pacts .... things don't look well at all.
Amazing update!
Nope, I'm afraid they don't. *winks*

Thanks! :)