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Myfanwy 2

December 2017

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Myfanwy 2

Dealing with Changes

Dealing with Changes
Author: Milady Dragon
Series: Dragon-Verse
Rating: PG
Warning: Possible Character Bashing, although it's fairly gentle.
Spoilers: For Torchwood S1 "Everything Changes" and for DW S1 "The Unquiet Dead" (blink and you could miss it)
Disclaimer: I don't own Torchwood, but I'd certainly have treated it better.
Author's Note:  This is a coda for the episode "Everything Changes" but set in the Dragon-Verse.   On dating this story: I used a couple of fan-made chronologies, as well as the site "TARDIS Index File", which has been very helpful with helping me figure out the convoluted dating mess that is both Torchwood and Doctor Who.  This is the one that fits best with what we see onscreen and for my story purposes. 

Summary:  Ianto and Jack discuss the ramifications of Gwen Cooper's hiring, and Ianto realizes that his Tarot reading was starting to come true.



 

5 September 2007

 

“So, you hired her then.”

Jack Harkness didn’t turn; but then, he had to have been expecting Ianto to find him.  The wind whipped his coat around his legs, and Ianto thought that Jack looked more at home of roofs than anywhere else. 

Ianto himself loved the high places as well.  The roof of the Millennium Center was one of his favorite spots to come and think.  He strode across the slightly curved surface as if he was walking across the Plass itself, the height and the wind not bothering him at all.  But then, he was used to even loftier perches, that just came along with being a dragon.

“I did,” Jack answered, with his eyes still on the Cardiff skyline.

“Owen and Tosh aren’t very happy about it,” Ianto said, coming to stand next to the immortal.  “Especially Owen.  He thinks it’s a slap in Suzie’s face, to replace her so quickly.”

Jack shrugged.  “He’ll get over it.  It’s not like he and Suzie were particularly close.”

“Then I suppose this means you weren’t aware that they’d been shagging for months?”  That news surprised Ianto.  He’d have thought Jack would have been the first to put it together.

“Are you sure?”  Jack’s voice sounded slightly strangled.

“After catching them at it in the Autopsy Bay…yep, pretty sure.”

Ianto heard a soft curse, and he didn’t respond, certain that Jack hadn’t meant for him to hear it.   “And why does Tosh not agree with my hiring Gwen, then?”

The dragon followed Jack’s eyes out over the city.  “Because she thinks it’s a slap in my face.”  The first thing Tosh had done was corner him about it, to make certain he was all right.  He couldn’t lie to her, and he’d admitted that he didn’t agree with it either, but he didn’t go into detail.

The captain was silent.  “Why does she think that?” he finally asked.

It was Ianto’s turn to be silent.  He didn’t really want to give the reasons that Toshiko had, simply because he was positive that she was seeing something in his and Jack’s on again-off again whatever it was that simply wasn’t there. 

He changed the subject, not wanting to open a can of worms that might never be closed.  Besides, he’d long known that his feelings for Jack weren’t reciprocated, so bringing up the hurt that seeing Jack and Gwen Cooper together wasn’t necessary.   “What do you think PC Cooper can bring to Torchwood, then?  She doesn’t know anything that Suzie did, and from checking her files I can’t see any particular skill she might have that would complement the team.”

“I…saw something in her,” Jack admitted.  “I think she can bring something to the team that we lack.”

Ianto looked at him curiously.  There was nothing that he’d seen in the woman herself that he’d thought would lend itself to their dynamic.  She didn’t have any particular skill set that would fit in with the others; she wasn’t even a trained investigator or profiler.  “What would that be?”

“Humanity.”

Ianto stiffened.  He felt incredibly insulted, to be told that he needed to be more ‘human’.  “And have you forgotten that one member of this team isn’t, in fact, human?”  He tried not to let it show in his voice, but some of his feeling came through.

“I just think we need someone to remind us what we’re fighting for.”  Jack’s voice had gone harsh.

“I don’t need a reminder, Jack,” Ianto snapped.  “I know very well what – and who – I’m fighting for.”  His loyalty had always been with Jack, even when the immortal acted like the dragon was more of a hindrance than a help.  Ianto had known Jack Harkness for nearly seven years, and the man’s indifference still hurt.  How many times had he wished he’d never left Ddraig Llyn?  But it had seemed like an adventure, and that he’d had Jack to share it with.  Plus, Ianto had always believed in destiny, and he was convinced that it was that destiny that had brought Jack to him all those years ago. 

But the blush had left the rose not long after he’d gotten that Tarot reading.

He’d never mentioned it to Jack.  There didn’t seem to be a need.  They’d built Torchwood up into something to be proud of, and Ianto had enjoyed it.   However, the ephemerals he’d had to deal with had quickly soured him on the rest of humanity.  Certainly, there were some he’d liked; he’d met Estelle Cole one day while out with Jack, and he’d loved her immediately.  He could see what had drawn Jack to her back when she’d been young, the life glowing from within.  He’d often gone back to her home without Jack, or showed up at one of her seminars.  He’d been the first since Jack that he’d trusted with his secret, even if Jack couldn’t do the same.  Not that it mattered…Estelle was very much aware that the man who called himself her lover’s son was, in fact, the lover she’d lost as a young woman.  Jack wasn’t nearly as sneaky as he thought.

And then there’d been Canary Wharf…and Ianto had seen first-hand what humanity’s hubris had nearly wrought. 

His companion actually flinched at Ianto’s comment, and a perverse part of the dragon’s mind thought it was good.  It wasn’t a secret how Ianto felt about humanity, but then he had little reason to trust it. 

“She doesn’t need to be told about me,” the dragon ordered.  “I don’t trust her.”

“You haven’t really talked to her much,” Jack protested.  “How can you judge on first meetings?”

Ianto barely resisted the urge to call him a hypocrite, since none of the others knew that Jack was unable to die.   Instead he said, “I always trust my feelings in such matters; you know that.  There’s this…energy, about her.  She or her family has been tainted by something, something inimical to life.”

Jack didn’t say anything, simply kept staring out over Cardiff.  A part of Ianto was glad that Jack wasn’t looking at him; there was no telling what his face was giving away.  He was so used to his masks, but this subject bothered him. 

He was aware that Jack wasn’t quite sure about Ianto’s senses.  Yes, the dragon could tell when the Rift was active, and would often know minutes before the alert would sound.  He could also tell where Jack was anywhere in the Hub, and had actually made a bit of cash off Owen over it.  But they disagreed on just what those senses were, and as such Jack really didn’t trust them.

So, it was a bit of a shock when he asked, “Can you tell what it is?”

Ianto shook his head.  “No.  Only that it is generations old.  It’s written so deeply into her soul that I doubt anything will get rid of it.”  He thought it might be connected to the Rift in some way, but if so it was tenuous at best.

“Then hiring her might be the best thing to do.  Then we can keep an eye on her.”  Jack almost sounded triumphant.

Which pissed Ianto off.  “Anyone else you’d be throwing them in the cells and having Owen perform any test he could come up with.”

The annoyance was practically rolling off Jack in waves.  “I still think she can bring something to the team.”

“And what is that, Jack?  What can Gwen Cooper offer that doesn’t have to do with this vaunted humanity you’re so enamored of?”

“I thought she’d make an excellent liaison between us and the Cardiff CID.”

“I see.  So, you think I’m not doing the job properly.”  It wasn’t a question.

“I didn’t say that – “

“And yet you didn’t introduce me as your Second when you were showing her around the Hub.”

Jack opened his mouth to deny it, but Ianto knew he couldn’t.  He’d introduced everyone, along with their specialty within Torchwood, but with Ianto he’d denigrated him to glorified janitor and sex object.  Yes, he was used to Jack flirting, but that hadn’t been the time for it.  Ianto had passed it off, returning with a complaint about harassment, but it was more to show a united front to the interloper than for any other reason. 

“So, not only are you replacing Suzie…you’re replacing me, in several different ways.”  Ianto had known it was just a matter of time, but that didn’t stop the hurt.

He will break your heart four times.

The prophecy came back in a rush.  The card had been of a woman with dark hair, dressed as a cavalier.  Gwen Cooper.

Jack’s jaw dropped.  “It’s not what you think!” he denied.

Ianto laughed harshly.  “I doubt very much that you know what I think.”  He didn’t know about the reading.  He didn’t know the dragon’s feelings. 

“You’re afraid Gwen’s going to take your place.”

“I doubt I could stop it happening even if I tried.”  It was destiny.  She was there, and her presence would break his heart. 

Ianto wanted to fight it.  Because, if he could fight this…so many thoughts rushed in on him, and he couldn’t straighten them out. 

“I’ll make sure she knows you’re my Second when she reports to work on Monday.”

Of course Jack would think he’d be concerned about his position in Torchwood.  No, if the captain wanted Gwen as his Second, Ianto would have stepped aside for her.  Ianto would have been insulted, but it was ultimately Jack’s decision. 

But then, he’d never truly been in Jack’s heart, so really he couldn’t be replaced there.  Replaced in the immortal’s bed maybe…but never his heart.

“She doesn’t know about me, Jack,” he reiterated. 

“She knows I can’t die.” Jack said it almost proudly.

Ianto spun on him.  “So you trust her, but not the two people who’ve worked for you for years?  Gods Jack…do you have any idea just how hypocritical that sounds?”  He didn’t let on that he’d seen the CCTV from Suzie’s attack, and that he knew that Jack hadn’t told Gwen voluntarily.  It was just like the man to try to twist events to prove a point.

“I’m just saying that I trusted her with that, so you can trust her with you being a dragon – “

“No, Jack.  I gave you my reasons for not trusting her.  Owen and Tosh already know my wishes, and agree with them.  You will respect my decision.”

He looked like he was going to argue, there was a belligerent look in his eyes that Ianto didn’t like.  But, if Jack was going to disrespect him, then Ianto felt like he could do the same.  

Ianto let his own eyes take on their dragon aspect.  “You will respect my decision, Captain Harkness,” he growled.  “Just as you have your secrets, I have mine.”  The dragon didn’t want to argue over this, because then he’d end up being a hypocrite just as Jack was.  A part of him mourned the closeness they’d shared in the past, because that was apparently over.  “If I see that she can be trusted, I might consider telling her.  But until that time, she is to think I’m just another ephemeral, like her.”  He put every bit of disdain he had into that word, ephemeral.        

Then he stepped away from his part-time lover.  “I’m leaving.  I’ll be back tomorrow.  I also gave Tosh and Owen the day off.  Don’t come looking for me, because I can’t deal with you right now.”

Despite it being full daylight, Ianto reached deep into himself to touch the source of his magic.  He could feel the transformation roaring through him like high tide, swirling in and around him, twisting his human form into its natural shape.  Bones shifted and realigned themselves, and his wings grew from his back, unfurling like leather to catch the sun’s rays.  It was a glorious pain, one that filled him with the utter rightness of his existence. 

The dragon stretched muscles that had been too long in their ephemeral shape.  His eyes sought out Jack; he was staring as if he’d never seen the change before, when in fact he had.  “And you’re worried about Gwen knowing?” he demanded sharply. 

“There’s a difference in people seeing me in this form, and knowing who I actually am.  Goodbye, Jack.”  Ianto flexed his powerful wings, propelling himself from the rooftop and leaving Jack behind.

**********

It didn’t take Ianto long to reach his home.  He landed in the fenced-back back garden, transforming himself before heading inside. 

The house looked like a rambling Victorian, but the inside was very different.  Ianto had bought the place just after arriving in Cardiff, and had the interior completely redone.  The lower level was very much a human-like living area, with all those comforts that ephemerals needed:  furniture; entertainment center with television and pretty much every form of electronics imaginable; large collections of DVD’s, CD’s, and books in tall shelves.  There was even a guest room and bath.

It was the upper floors where the most changes had been made.

Ianto unlocked the back door, closing it then resetting the state-of-the-art alarm system he’d had installed months before. The interior was dark, the curtains drawn against the sunlight outside.

The dragon made his way to the kitchen, to put on the kettle.  Then, he headed toward the stairs that led to the loft-like upper level.   “It’s just me,” he called up, not wanting to frighten his guest.

A soft exhalation that sounded like his name answered the call.  Confident that all was well, Ianto busied himself in the kitchen, determined to put what had happened out of his mind for the time being. 

 



Comments

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Brilliant - I want to read more already and an evil cliffie. So who does Ianto have in the attic? Strangely when I was watching Day One recently I was looking at this very aspect of Jack's infatuation with Gwen. I really love Ianto as a dragon and already want to slap Jack.
Sometimes I don't think Jack knew exactly what he meant by "humanity", because all the team showed it. But hey..he's in charge, he can hire whoever he wants!

Yes, it was evil...but we do find out about Ianto's "guest" soon.
Oh Ianto :( *Hugs him* What is Jack thinking? Is Jack thinking?
Gxxx
Well, you know Jack...he does have some impulsivity issues, and plus there's that whole "The Doctor is coming soon and I don't want to get too close to anyone" thing going on...
Stupid Gwen, always stirring up trouble..
I think she has a trouble-gene, I honestly do...
Aww, Ianto. I didn't like Jack too much here; I don't why he hired Gwen either. Great stuff, can't wait for more.
Jack has a blind spot where Gwen is concerned, and to be honest I don't think even he knows why he hired her!

Thanks!
I love this! I always enjoy a Ianto that doesn't put up with Jack's nonsense :). Can't wait to find out what's in the attic!
And let's face it...where Gwen is concerned, Jack really is full of nonsense!

We'll find out about Ianto's "guest" at some point.. :)
Oh Jack! He's really done it now. I am so on Ianto's side of course and very interested to find out who this guest is.
Sometimes Jack just doesn't think...but that's why Ianto's there.

We'll find out about his "guest" shortly... :)
Jack deserves it, doesn't he?

Next chapter up soon!
Want more! Want more!

Yeah, there are times when my toes have itched to place themselves in a rapid manner into a sensitive area of Jack's anatomy. This is one of those times.

Whoever is in the attic, I hope it won't hurt too much.
Jack can be quite oblivious, can't he? He'll learn...

As for who's in the attic...we'll see... :)
Need more, gasping for breath, what is in house, can't wait for next installment

Love the angst by the way!!!!!!
We'll find out what's in the house, don't worry...

Angst bunnies have come out to play in this one! That's because the crack bunnies are in the corner, plotting. :)
Oh you've started the canon part of the dragon-verse! Great!!

A very good start. Love the tension between those two. And I think you did a fantastic job writing Ianto the dragon, powerful and strong. I already love the team dynamics here, well, maybe except Gwen the troublemaker. Cant't wait for more!
Yep, canon starts now. :)

Thanks! I hate writing tension between the boys, but really, Jack just doesn't think sometimes. Ianto is such a strong character canonically, so I'm glad he didn't lose any of that in this.

More coming up soon!
I guess that makes Ianto feels what happened with the ancestor of Gwen in the episode of Doctor Who and Dickens?

I want to slap Jack!
Poor Ianto
Gwen sheet causing the trouble! although, I have the impression that it was already there!
In fact, Jack does not yet know the treasure he found at the top of the hill and into the pub the Dragon ....

As always, I look forward read more
You'd be right! I always thought that what happened to Gwyneth back then had to have affected the rest of her family in some way.

Slap away! He's being a bit of a jerk right now, and deserves it.

And you're right again...Jack doesn't know what he has. He's kinda like a kid who thinks the neighbor kid has great toys, but eventually finds out that he had the better stuff to begin with. He'll learn.

Thanks!
Very Interesting! I have a feeling that Gwen is going to be very clueless here - I can't wait!
I'm going to stick as close to canon with Gwen as possible, but really...I don't think I need to say any more.

Thanks!
Ooooh! *is intrigued* Who is Ianto hiding in his loft? Not another dragon, certainly, but I wonder if I'm right in what I'm thinking...

So, Ianto's heart will soon be broken for the first time. Poor Ianto! Knowing in advance really doesn't make it easier.

Good to see the rest of the team united in not liking Jack's decision to hire Gwen - they all have very good, valid reasons for not being happy about it. Jack's being so stubborn, it's like he's forgotten what tarot girl told him in the first place. He's taking Ianto for granted, despite everything he brings to Torchwood, everything he's done to help rebuild and shape the organisation and everything he gave up to follow Jack and help him. *slaps Jack silly* Bad Jack!
You may be, or you may not...We'll find out about what's up there in a bit...

No, I think knowing before the fact kinda makes it worse in a way, because then you dread it coming. All that expectation...

Jack is being stubborn, you're right. He'll learn though.
I can't believe Jack didn't follow up on his interest in Ianto from when he first found him. What is wrong with him!!! Obviously Ianto doesn't get it either so why does he stick around
And what has he got in the attic?
Well, you know...it's that whole Doctor thing. Jack's an idiot, what can I say?

You'll see what's in the attic... :)
going back through the dragon verse and wanted to let how much i enjoy this world and your writings.
the urge to smack jack into next week is very strong. how can he be so quick to tell ianto that in his judgement gwen will add a much needed 'humanity' to the team after knowing her for less then 2 days when he couldn't even tell that suzie was losing her mind and ianto's pain when has known them for years?
Thank you!

Yes, Jack didn't acquit himself very well in this, I do admit, but at least he gets better. And I agree, Jack can be pitifully oblivious.
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