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Myfanwy 2

December 2017

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The Breaking - Chapter Twenty-Nine

The Breaking - Chapter Twenty-Nine
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 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?




19 September 2009

“Yeah, that’s what I’m getting,” Patrick confirmed. “What’s the order say?”

Alice’s heart was in her throat, because she knew exactly what UNIT was up to before Toshiko said anything.

They were beginning to collect the children.

“UNIT’s gone all over the map,” Patrick growled after Toshiko had told them what was going on. “We’ve also got some movement with the regular Army, too, which makes sense because UNIT wouldn’t quite have the resources to steal all those kids.”

“What criteria are they using to take the children?” Alice wanted to know. “Certainly they can’t be doing this randomly.”

“I don’t know,” Toshiko answered, frustrated. “With the Thames House server down, I can’t get into the government files. I’ve been working on hacking into the main servers at Downing Street, but most of their docs are on a dedicated network and I can’t worm my way in and whoever is writing these orders isn’t trusting all of the information to anyone else.”

That made sense, at least to Alice. She was familiar with the idea of secrecy, with hiding everything a person knew. She’d learned at her mother’s knee, to be able to hide herself and not share her life with anyone. If she was truthful with herself that was one of the many reasons she and Joe hadn’t worked out; besides the fact that Joe Carter had been a lazy, abusive arsehole who really should have met her Dad.

“There’s nothing we can do,” Patrick snarled, slamming his fist into the desk and making the coffee mug shake. “We don’t have any way to stop them.”

“No, we just need to stop the 456 from ever coming back,” Toshiko answered. She was turned back to her terminal, her fingers racing over the keyboard as she input the data that Owen had given her judging from the way her eyes were glued to the PDA’s readout.

Alice could feel the energy in the air as her friend began working faster. She hadn’t thought it was possible, but then this was the first time she’d ever seen Toshiko working against time, and it was a little frightening to watch.

This was also the first time she’d seen Patrick like this, as well. Her…damnit, boyfriend…was urgently moving the cursor around the British map on his screen, highlighting various marks on it as they slowly changed positions. Alice figured out quickly that the red triangles were UNIT and the blue ones were regular Army, but she obviously wasn’t getting out of it what Patrick was.

It wasn’t until he stiffened that she noticed something wrong.

Patrick stood up so fast that Alice, who had been just behind him, had to stumble back out of the way. A warm hand on her elbow steadied her, but Patrick was up and heading toward the door before she would react, calling back over his shoulder, “Tosh, you better hurry up, they’re coming this way.”

Alice stopped in her tracks, her heart thumping wildly. “UNIT’s coming here?” She couldn’t catch her breath.

“Are you sure?” Toshiko demanded.

Patrick stopped in the doorway leading outside, his hand resting on the knob. “Yeah, positive. I’d say we have about an hour before they get here.”

“We can’t let them take any of the children,” Alice said fiercely, thinking of her own little boy who was staying over at the Green Dragon Inn, with Rhiannon’s two. She would do anything to protect Steven and his friends, even if it meant taking up the gun she’d brought with her all the way from Cardiff.

Patrick favoured her with a sweet smile. “Not planning on it, Alice. I think this is where my expertise comes into it.”

“And here you were worried about being superfluous to affairs,” Toshiko said, the sounds of her fingers working at her station accompanying her comment.

“Get the fuck outta here, Delaware,” Owen snapped, coming out of his room once more. “You have work to do.”

Patrick tipped him a salute that wasn’t at all sarcastic, and then headed out. Alice was on his heels as he jogged down the path toward the main part of the village.

The secondary Hub had been moved into a once-abandoned house on the edges of the village, up a slight rise and into the foothills surrounding Ddraig Llyn. It was a bit separate from the rest of the buildings, but it still felt as if it were a part of the village, with its small overlook down into the lake and the cobbles that had been laid down leading into the main areas.

The Green Dragon Inn sat in nearly the exact centre of the village, and was the largest structure of Ddraig Llyn. Alice recalled when she’d heard that Ianto actually owned the place, and that it really didn’t do much business because of Ddraig Llyn’s solitary place nestled within the mountains. There was absolutely something magical about the village, something that a visitor couldn’t help but notice. To Alice, with her connection to the Dragon of Air, the area practically tingled with power, and was such a calming and peaceful place that there were times when she wished she would never have to leave.

But no, she couldn’t stay. Alice had her life in Cardiff, and it didn’t matter how she felt. She had a son to raise, plus she wasn’t about to leave her fathers alone. They would let Torchwood take over their lives without her poking at them every once in a while.

She followed Patrick down the path and into the village proper, keeping up despite his longer stride. She was glad she’d taken up jogging, because she would have been out of breath by the time they both barged into the front room of the inn, Patrick making a beeline toward Rhiannon, who was sitting at one of the small dining room’s tables with Estelle, a teapot between them and Moses curled up like a large, fuzzy trivet next to the plate of biscuits.

Rhiannon had turned to greet them, but their faces must have told her something was up because she stood, abandoning her teacup. “What’s going on?”

“UNIT’s coming here,” Patrick said, not beating around the bush. “I can’t be sure if it’s because they know we’re here or if they’re after the kids –“

“We need to get the children to a safe place no matter what,” Rhiannon took over.

Estelle stood as well, and Moses had perked up as if the cat knew something important was happening. “Where can we take them, Rhiannon?”

The Welshwoman chewed her lip in thought, and then her face cleared. “We can hide them up in Ianto’s old nest,” she answered. “We keep the place clean and ready for when he comes for a visit. I’ll find Johnny and have him go up and light the fire pit up there –“

“No,” Patrick interrupted. “We can’t have anything giving away their location, if UNIT is really coming for them.”

Rhiannon nodded. “Okay, I see the need for that. We’ll make due with blankets. It’s chilly up there, and I don’t want any of the little ones taking cold.”

She bustled off, and Patrick turned to Alice. “Help her get things ready for the kids,” he said. “I’m gonna find Rhys and get him to translate for me because I don’t speak a word of Welsh…well, except for the cuss words Ianto’s taught me, and I need to be able to get my message across to the villagers who don't speak English .” He grabbed her shoulders gently and pulled her forward, kissing her briefly before he was out of the inn, and Alice could see him practically running past the large front window in the dining room.

“Mum?”

Alice glanced down at Steven, who was standing beside her looking confused. She didn’t blame him; too many things had been going on, and this circumstance wasn’t like that Year. It had been fairly easy to hide certain things from her son then, but with Steven directly involved in events this time it had been difficult to keep anything from him.

She knelt beside him, her hands resting on his upper arms. “We’re going to need to hide for a bit,” she explained to him. “There are some bad men coming, and they’ll want to take all the children in the valley with them.”

“Is it because of the chanting?”

Oh, her beautiful, smart boy. “Yes, it is. Your grandfathers are working on it, but we can’t wait for them to get here.” A stab of worry for both her Dad and her Tad slammed through her, and it was all she could do to keep her composure.

“They’ll fix it, Mum,” he said with the certainty of a child who had the utmost confidence in his elders.

Alice couldn’t help but smile. “You know it,” she agreed. “But until then, we need to keep you and the other children here safe. How do you feel about staying up in Grandtad’s old cave? I understand it’s quite nice up there.”

Steven’s eyes lit up. “Can I really? I wanted to see it before when we were here but no one would let me.”

Alice knew why: it was because she’d been afraid that, once Steven had known where Ianto used to live, that he would try to get up there on his own, and the last thing she’d wanted was her only son attempting to make a solo trek up a mountain. “Yes, because the last time I checked you weren’t a mountain goat and you could have been hurt going up there. But this time you won’t be going alone.”

Steven managed to look disgruntled and yet pleased at the same time.

“Now,” she continued, “go and get your bag.”

“Yes, Mum.” He scurried toward the stairs leading up to the inn’s second floor.

He didn’t get very far.

“Something’s happening,” Estelle said. Alice turned toward her, and instantly saw that the older woman had stiffened, and a golden halo had formed around her irises.

Alice stood, worried. “Are you okay?”

Estelle didn’t answer. Instead, she moved toward the door, Moses at her heels, his tail flicking back and forth like a furry pendulum. Alice followed, confused at how her friend was acting.

The gold in Estelle’s eyes was magic, that much Alice knew. She was obviously sensing something that went beyond UNIT and aliens demanding the human race’s children. This was something new, something that no one had expected.

Alice burst out of the inn’s door just behind Estelle, and was at her side as she walked quickly toward the village green. The sudden, overly sweet scent of roses filled the air, making Alice want to cough.   “What’s going on?” she asked, catching up with Estelle.

“I don’t know if it’s good or bad,” Estelle said, “but we have visitors.”

There was a single creature hovering over the grass, wings beating almost like a dragonfly’s and glittering in the sun.

It was a Fae. Alice knew that, even though she’d only gotten a glimpse of the one at Thames House.   It was green, with long spindly legs and claws, and looked less like any sort of faerie she’d ever heard tell of. There were sharp teeth and black-on-black eyes and it was as alien as Alice could ever comprehend despite knowing that these creatures were of the Earth and had been around almost since the planet had begun.

The Fae touched down on the grass, crouching and glaring up at Estelle as she approached. Moses hissed angrily, every hair on his body bristling. “I come in peace, lady witch,” the being growled. “Your familiar has no need to defend you.”

Estelle put her hands on her hips, calling Moses back to her side. The cat hissed once more, as if to get his message across, and then planted his rear so close to her left foot that Alice thought he might as well sat on it. “Let me determine that, please,” the older woman answered. She didn’t sound happy, and Alice couldn’t blame her. “What are you doing here, Jasmine?”

Alice started. This was Jasmine Pierce? The little girl had finally shaken loose of her human form, but if she looked closely she could see the remains of a skirt and blouse that must have once been a school uniform of sorts.

“We owed the Ancient One and his mate a favour. This is how we repay those that we are in debt to.”

With those words, the Fae leapt back into the sky, and a cyclone of rose petals began to spin in the centre of the green. It was as if a storm had morphed into a veritable garden, containing only blood red petals as it spun until the very air was clogged with them.

The cyclone seemed to coalesce around a single, large area, and for a second it seemed to swirl even faster until the roses gradually vanished, to reveal several shapes sitting on the grass.

Alice’s heart went into her throat as she recognised them. “Dad! Tad!” she exclaimed. Before she even knew she’d moved, she was kneeling beside her Dad, where he was seated cross-legged with her Tad’s dragon head resting in his lap. He was wearing an ugly orange jumpsuit, and Alice thought it just looked so wrong on him.

“Hello, sweetheart,” Jack greeted her. He wrapped a single arm around her, pulling her into a fierce hug. Alice buried her face in his shoulder, ignoring the scratchy fabric of the jumpsuit and gleaning all of the comfort she could from that embrace and his familiar scent.

“I’m so glad you’re alright,” she whispered, pulling back to look at Jack, and then down at the dragon she considered her second father. “What about Tad? You said he was hurt…”

She could tell Ianto was unconscious; he didn’t even react to her when she touched his snout just above the dragon’s sensitive nostrils. From where she was seated she couldn’t actually see any of the injuries, but if he was that out of it that he didn’t react to her scent or her presence, then it had to be bad.

“There are still things to do, Undying One,” the Fae said, alighting near them.

“I’m aware,” Jack answered. “Thank you…for bringing us here so quickly.

“This debt is repaid. If you succeed in keeping the children of Earth safe, then we shall owe you yet another.”

With those words, the Fae disappeared in another swirl of rose petals, leaving them all alone on the green.

Although it wasn’t really alone. Once the Fae had gone Alice noticed that her fathers’ arrival had drawn out the majority of the village, as well as the rest of the Torchwood team. They were surrounding the new arrivals, which included Martha and Tom, and that made Alice just a bit guilty for not noticing them before. Of course she’d known that the four of them had been travelling together, but still…well, she’d been distracted by her Dad and the condition of her Tad, which she felt was completely justified.

Alice heard a familiar grumble and the crowd made way for Owen, who was carrying a large case and a scanner of some sort. “Everyone out of the bloody way,” he griped, “I’ve got a patient to see to.”

“You don’t trust me, Owen?” Martha quipped, raising a single eyebrow.

“Sorry, but while I know you’re a good doctor, Ianto is my patient,” he answered unapologetically. “I know his physiognomy better than anyone and I’ve always been the one to take care of him.” Then he rolled his eyes as he set his medical kit down next to the unresponsive dragon. “And yeah, I know you took care of him during that shit with the Toclafane, but I’m still the expert here. So if you don’t mind I’ll just do my job.”

Alice would have thought that Owen would have insulted Martha, but she simply shook her head and looked amused. “He has a concussion,” she did say.

“Not surprised considering he took a building to the head,” Owen said in exasperation. He was using the scanner, and although Alice couldn’t make out anything from where she was sitting she knew the doctor had to be examining the damaged wing. “Well, this isn’t good.” He sighed. “Dragon Boy, how do you get yourself into this shit?”

“It’s a talent,” was the faint reply.

Alice looked down at her Tad’s head, where it was cushioned on Jack’s lap. The large eyes were cracked open just enough to see what was going on around him. His gaze found her, and those eyes crinkled at the corners even though he didn’t actually smile. “Hey, Tad,” she greeted him, “you really need to stop doing stuff like this, okay?”

“To be fair,” he answered her weakly, “I don’t set out to have buildings fall on top of me. And it’s only happened once.”

“Three times,” Jack corrected, his hand stroking along the dragon’s jaw.

Ianto looked confused. “Three times? I don’t remember that…”

Alice felt scared. Even though she hadn’t been a witness to the previous times buildings had gone down around her Tad, she’d heard of them, and it frightened her that he obviously couldn’t recall those other times himself.

Something must have shown on her face, because Martha leaned forward and took her hand. “If the concussion’s bad enough, there can be memory loss. It’ll all come back to him once the injury’s healed.”

“Thanks,” she said, instantly relieved.

Martha winked at her, acknowledging her gratitude.

The rest of the team had gathered around their dragon, and everyone looked relieved. Toshiko and Deborah each had a hand resting on Ianto’s scales, out of the way of Owen working around the damaged wing. Rhys and Patrick were watching, but they were also talking quietly, and Alice figured out that it had to be with UNIT’s approaching. Estelle had moved around them and was standing just behind Jack, her hands resting on his shoulders in a show of comfort, and he was smiling slightly up at her in thanks. Sometimes it surprised Alice to remember that her Dad and Estelle had been lovers, and that they still loved each other very much, even if they’d both moved on.

Steven had managed to worm his way through the crowd to curl himself up against Ianto’s chest and between the large, dangerous claws. Yet another bit of strangeness in an already strange life: something as fierce as a dragon was also one of the gentlest beings on the planet; unless of course his family was being menaced. Then nothing was held back in defence of those he loved.

Her son looked up at her with large, scared eyes. “Grandtad’s gonna be okay, isn’t he Mum?”

Alice smiled down at him. “Yes, he’s going to be fine.”

“Yeah, kid,” Owen confirmed, not ceasing the scanning he was doing. “He’ll be fine. It’s just gonna take awhile.”

“Thanks, Dr Owen,” Steven said sincerely.

Owen grumbled something under his breath, but he looked pleased. Alice knew, under that gruff exterior was just an old softie, and this confirmed it for her.

“What’s been going on?” Jack inquired. She should have known he’d be able to pick up on the tension-filled atmosphere around them.

“Owen and I are pretty certain we’ve found a way to defeat the 456,” Toshiko answered, her fingers gently stroking one of the dragon’s well-muscled legs. “I have to reconfigure the neural interface for the Archangel Network to more closely resemble a child’s mind, but we can then we’ll be able to send through a contrawave that should disrupt – or even destroy – their ship, which is currently hiding behind the Moon.”

“Good work you two,” Jack said. “When will that be ready?”

“In about an hour,” she replied. “But it might not be ready soon enough.”

“What do you mean?”

Patrick then stepped forward. “UNIT’s on the way, Jack. They’ll be in Ddraig Llyn in just about an hour. It’s gonna be cutting things very close.”

Jack frowned. “Do they know we’re here?” His hands reflexively tightened over the dragon’s head.

“Either that…or they’re coming for the children.” Patrick shrugged. “I’m leaning toward them wanting to snatch the kids.”

Jack nodded. “Oduya said something about that. He was a bit freaked out that Ianto had flamed the one in Thames House, and was looking for some sort of retribution.”

“The ship hasn’t moved,” Toshiko replied. “I’ve even been on the line with Jodrell Bank and they’ve got eyes on the area we’re sure the ship would appear from.”

“Then we have some time.” Jack looked at each of them, lingering a bit longer on Alice. His blue eyes were fiercely determined. “There’s no way in hell that UNIT is going to take anyone from this valley. We need a plan, people.”



Chapter Thirty






Comments

I keep hoping for Ianto to magically heal - I had hoped the Fae might help. Great update.
29 chapters and yet more suspense! You really know how to keep a girl on tenterhooks (not for cannibalism, though)!


Anxiously awaiting the next update...
Loved the update! UNIT is going to be sorry they ever tried to snatch the children.
oh mate you are brilliant. I love this next installment of dragon verse so much. And i love Jack and Ianto's relationship so much as well as all tge family. Poor Ianto being so injured but i do love how he protects Jack and fights for him :) Bloody unit i really don't like them and as for the Doc, please don't get mestarted on him lol. loving this so much :)
Love the update. You have a great pace in this story..it wants me to keep reading..
OOh Jodrell bank..been there..amazing..
I think that being home should help Ianto heal immensely. I know that he will do his best to protect the children, just like everyone will. :)
I'm hoping UNIT will not find their way into the valley but if they do manage to, there will be a smackdown of Dragon proportions waiting for them. Oduya just doesn't get it; giving up more children isn't the answer and hopefully Tosh will find a way to configure that signal without sacrificing a child.

Ianto's concussion is worrisome...that couldn't have happened at a worse time...
Holy crap, I never imagined UNIT would try to make their way into Ddraig Llyn! Now I'm really biting my nails!
phew! they all came together at the right time.

I see that in fact, everyone will entitled to his heroic moment!

I understand that, for a child, cave his grandfather Dragon is a wonderful world that he must see.

I love it.

then what surprises will reserve residents Ddraig Llyn the Unit?
Ianto is not in a position to help.
But Jack ... and Patrick ... and all other.
I am sorry (almost) for the guys on the Unit. Well, if they have this another idiot at their head, too bad for them. But somewhere, I would think that some of the soldiers are following orders and if they knew ... would not obey!
Short comment; moving on to the next chapter in a sec: UNIT are coming to the valley?! How dare they?!! I am so glad the team has Patrick and Alice and Estelle there to help them, and all the villagers - and isn't it about time the Great Dragons turned up?