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Myfanwy 2

November 2017

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Myfanwy 2

The Pact - Chapter Four

The Pact - Chapter Four
Author: Milady Dragon
Series: Dragon-Verse
Rating: PG-13
Pairing(s): Jack/Ianto (implied); Past Jack/Estelle; Gwen/Rhys
Warnings: Horror, angst, language, violence
Spoilers: Up through Torchwood S1, E5, "Small Worlds"
Disclaimer:  I don't own Torchwood, I would have treated it better.
Author's note: This is based on the episode "Small Worlds", although adapted to the Dragon-Verse.  Once again, the dating is taken from several fan-made chronologies and from the TARDIS Index File. 

Summary:  The Fae are ready to take a new Chosen One.  Jack wants to stop them; Estelle wants to understand them.  Only Ianto stands between them and disaster.



 

27 October 2007

 

The silence in the car was very uncomfortable, and Jack knew he was to blame.

After Ianto’s little blow-up at Estelle’s, Jack and his former lover had simply stared at each other in the dragon’s wake, uncertain of what to say.   Ianto had actually made some valid points, and while Estelle might have been willing to brush the dragon’s tantrum off – although there was nothing in her manner that suggested she would – Jack had considered what Ianto had said.

It made sense.

It wasn’t quite enough to shake Jack’s certainty that the fairies were evil.  Intellectually, he knew he was painting an entire race with the same brush, but not having seen any actual good from the fairies it was hard to break the habit of a very long time.  Plus, there was their taking of children, and Jack had enough of that in his own past not to let it happen again if he could stop it. 

He glanced over at Ianto.  The dragon’s hands were grasping the steering wheel tightly, his knuckles white with the pressure.   He was staring straight ahead at the road, his eyes darting a glance every once in a while into the rearview mirror, but otherwise Ianto completely ignored Jack’s presence in the passenger seat.

Jack actually opened his mouth twice to speak, but each time stopped himself, the words not at all what he wanted to say.  He really wanted to understand where Ianto’s knowledge came from, and a part of him was disgusted that he’d disregarded the dragon yet again.  He was beginning to really wonder why Ianto was still there.

Somehow Ianto must have sensed Jack’s inability to come up with a safe subject, because after about ten minutes he said, “I apologize for letting my temper get the better of me.”

“There’s no need to apologize,” Jack was quick to say.  “I think you must have wanted to say all that for a while, now.”

Ianto nodded.  “I don’t understand, Jack.  You’re aware that there are things I know that you don’t, and you’ve never been shy about using my knowledge before.  Why is this time different?”

“It’s just…” Jack swallowed.  He decided honesty was the best policy in this case.  “I still see them, Ianto; my men, lying in that boxcar, choked to death on rose petals.  It happened so quickly, I didn’t even have a chance to protect them…”

“You couldn’t have,” the dragon sighed.  “The Fae are very protective of their own.  The moment your men killed their Chosen – even though it was an accident – they were marked for vengeance.”  Ianto paused, chewing his lip, looking as if he were considering something.  Then he nodded slightly.  “Let me ask you this: have you ever wondered why the Fae choose to ask children to join them?”

Jack hadn’t really.  He just knew the fairies took innocents with them, and it never crossed his mind that there would be a reason beyond just plain evil.  He said so.

Ianto sighed.  Jack thought he was about to get another lecture of how he wasn’t seeing all sides when Ianto pulled the car to the side of the road, and turned off the engine.   The dragon twisted in his seat, to look at Jack directly.  “A little over 30,000 years ago, the Earth began to get colder.  At first it wasn’t so bad, and by the time the races on the planet realized that the northern ice was growing it was too late to really prepare for it.”

Jack nodded.  He was well aware of Earth’s glacial periods, and wondered just what this had to do with the fairies.

“This really didn’t affect us dragons all that much; you know how the temperature doesn’t bother me at all.”  Jack did, and nodded once more.  “But to the humans…it could have been a disaster to them.  Most migrated to the south, but with the ice came drought in the southern climates.  Several offshoots of humanity – like the so-called Neanderthals – finally did become extinct.”  He sighed.  “Even then, the more advanced human ancestors knew of the powers beyond.  There were entire tribes who were dragon-friends, and it was one of those tribes who asked a dragon what they could do to survive.  That dragon told them of the Fae, who could control the weather and perhaps fight off the ice that was slowly taking over the entire planet.”

Jack shivered.  He suddenly had a feeling what was coming next, and when Ianto finally spoke he knew he’d been right.

“That was when the humans and the Fae entered into a Pact,” the dragon said.  “You have to understand something Jack: before science, there was much power in the natural world.  I call it magic, but perhaps you might know it as something else, and it might make you more comfortable in calling it that.   But power it was, and when a Pact is entered into it is made binding with that natural power. “

Jack didn’t want to hear anymore.  It was obvious what those early humans had promised the fairies for their help in saving their race.  He didn’t believe in magic, but he did understand the power that Ianto was talking about.  He’d never considered it magical, though. 

“The Pact was a simple one:  The Fae would help to beat back the ice, and the humans would let them take certain children.  Mostly these were abandoned ones, or abused by their elders.  The Fae don’t harm them; in fact, they actually cherish them more than the ones they’re taken from.  But yes, Jack…humanity gave the Fae their permission to do this.  It’s not the capricious desires of an ancient race picking on a younger one; this was what the humans agreed to.  And they bound all generations in perpetuity to this Pact.  The Fae have every right to do what they’re doing.”

It was insane, and Jack didn’t want to believe it.  And yet, it made sense in a twisted sort of way.   “And what happens if the Pact is ever broken?”

Ianto sighed, looking incredibly tired.  “Destruction on a massive scale.  Perhaps even global, to match the near-destruction from the glaciers.  An eye for an eye, Jack.  Break the Pact, and the world pays.  And it was humanity itself that made this deal.  There’s literally no way to fight it.”

Jack couldn’t accept that.  He wanted to save the current Chosen One, like he wasn’t able to save the children he himself had once sacrificed.  “There has to be a way.”

“I’m sorry Jack, but your own race made this Pact, and the Fae made certain they couldn’t renege without catastrophic repercussions.”

“You said the dragons pointed those primitive humans to the fairies,” Jack said, almost accusingly. 

“Yes, we did.”

“So…what was in it for them?  Why did they even suggest such a thing?”  Jack needed to understand.  If he admitted to himself, it was that he needed someone to blame for this mess, and a rather large part of him didn’t want to even consider that humanity had had any clue as to what they were doing.

Ianto must have realized that, because he turned away, slumping down into the driver’s seat, not looking at Jack any longer.  “My people wanted to save their friends.  Nothing more.”

“That was it?” Jack asked disbelievingly.

The dragon turned back, his eyes so horribly ancient.  Jack wondered vaguely if his own eyes would look like that some day.  “They were dragon-friends.  By our own Pact with them, it was our duty to do whatever we could to save them.”

“Wait.”  Jack shook his head, not quite understanding that.  “You say the dragons wanted to save these so-called dragon-friends, and yet they were human…so why not save these Chosen Ones?”

“One can only become a dragon-friend by Naming them in front of a gathering of dragons.  If that isn’t possible, then Naming them to the race with whom the Pact is made is the next best thing.”

“And these children weren’t Named.”

“No.  They would have been unNamed.  And before you ask…no, they cannot be Named after being Chosen. “

It boggled Jack’s mind, what Ianto was telling him.  He really wanted to doubt the truth of it all, but he knew he couldn’t.  Although he sometimes didn’t seem like it, he really did trust the dragon.  Here, he’d thought Ianto had just been naïve about the fairies, but it seemed to be the opposite.   “But…what if someone who made this so-called Pact with the fairies decided to stop a Chosen One from going to them?”

Ianto shook his head.   “The Pact was made on behalf of all humanity.  I know it sounds high-handed, but it was to save your species.  Do you have any idea how lucky this world was when the Fae decided only to take out their revenge on your men, for the death of that child in 1909?  They could easily have spread destruction across the entire planet.  I’m not making light of your loss, Jack,” he rushed to reply as Jack opened his mouth to speak.  “Far from it, I swear.  But you must see now that stopping the Fae is something we cannot do.  To even try would break the Pact…could cause all human-kind to be wiped out.”

So…it was a choice between a child and the entire planet.  Jack hated to be put back into this situation all over again.  It had been bad enough back in 1965…but to be forced to do it again, it made him feel like a monster.   

“Jack, please,” Ianto pleaded.  The captain had never quite heard that tone from the dragon before.  “Please say we’ll let this lie.  Is it really worth it if it causes the end of your humans?”

Jack sat back, thinking.  Ianto was right, if that would indeed happen if they stopped the fairies from getting their Chosen One.  It was just a surprise hearing it from the dragon; not long ago he’d been in a snit about all humans, and now he was practically begging Jack to save them.   “This is a new tune for you.  About humanity, that is.”

Ianto smirked slightly.  “I’ve had a month to be around ephemerals who weren’t scheming, manipulative, uncaring arses.  It’s…given me a bit of perspective, I suppose.  Besides, there are quite a few humans out there worth saving.  I’d just…lost sight of that.  All I could see was what a few had done to one of my kind, and I couldn’t get past that.”

Before he even knew what he was doing, Jack had reached over and taken Ianto’s hand in his.  “I really am sorry about Lisa,” he murmured.

The dragon squeezed Jack’s hand.  “I know.  And I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about her before it was too late.”

Jack shook his head.  “No, I understand why you didn’t.”  He smiled sadly.  “I really want to make that up to you, but the first thing I do when you get back is argue with you.”

That got him a chuckle.  “Story of our time together, Jack.  The disagreements seem to outweigh the agreements sometimes.”

“Ianto, I’m also sorry for not listening to you.  It’s just…” Jack sighed.  He was going to have to come clean about his unwillingness to sacrifice yet another child for the good of the planet.  “Back in 1965, I was ordered to give twelve children to an alien race in order to prevent a particularly virulent strain of flu from wiping out a rather large segment of Earth’s population.”

Ianto looked shocked.  “Who asked you?  Torchwood?”

“And the British Government.  I hated doing it, and it ate away at me for a long time.  So, when the fairies started back up again…”

“I understand.”  Ianto squeezed his hand again.  “Making sacrifices is always hard, especially when it’s an innocent.  But trust me when I say, that whoever the Fae have Chosen will want to go with them.  It’s not coercion, and in many ways they’ll be going to a better place.  I wouldn’t lie to you about that, Jack.”

Jack nodded.  He was so very glad that Ianto was accepting of what he’d done; it made the knowledge of that time a little easier to bear.  Still it was hard…

But no.  He was the Captain.  He had to make the tough decisions. 

“Let’s get back to the Hub,” Jack said, giving Ianto’s hand one final squeeze before releasing it, to let the dragon start the car up and pull it back into traffic. 

Jack knew what he had to do.

 



Comments

Just read all four chapters in one go and I think this is a brilliant adaptation of 'Small Worlds'. Wonderfully written and off to a great start. Can't wait to find out what happens next!
Thanks! And welcome to the Dragon-verse. I'm glad you're enjoying it! :)
Yay Jack's listening again, but will it last?

Can't wait for the Gwen/Ianto "reunion". Is that up next? Will there be fireworks?

Great update!!
Jack is listening. Ianto just had to stop reacting and acting instead. And yes, we'll see in the next chapter just how well Jack listened.

As for Gwen and Ianto...yes, they do have a reunion of sorts also in the next chapter. :)
Thank goodness they are talking again. Jack could get the whole world destroyed if he isn't careful.
Jack could, you're right. Ianto just had to get him alone in a car to get him to pay attention... :)
Oh yay! Jack is actually being reasonable and listening! Well, Ianto is better at approaching things so Jack actually listens, right? LOL
Jack is listening, and it only took Ianto to get him alone in a car for it to happen. And we'll see how reasonable Jack is in the next chapter. :)
hope this newly acquired understanding really grows their trust back and they can move on ...
It will certainly help, especially if Jack does the right thing.. :)
Talking and listeng - well done Jack. Great stuff
He did actually listen. Now to see what he does with what Ianto told him... :)
i predict fireworks when they come to the hub/gwen and jack tells them they have no choice about the 'chosen one'. what will ianto tell gwen?
I can promise you it will be interesting, that confrontation! We'll see how everything goes in the next chapter.
So glad that Jack is actually listening and that he's shared the 456 episode with Ianto. Now that they understand each other a little better... Wonderful as always...

Finally gotten around to friending you, hope that's ok! D xxx
He did listen, and we find out what he does in the next chapter. :)

Absolutely, and I friended you back!
I love the weaving of Jack's giving of the children with the chosen ones. I wish we'd had this background when we first saw the episode.
And very clever, finding a middle ground on the fairies.
I know, I think it would have explained a lot about Jack, and I think it would have a different perspective on the whole thing.

Thanks! I'm glad that worked. :)
*Catches up*
I'm so glad Jack and Ianto have talked it out, and the details about the Pact were really interesting.
I've thought all through this story that what Ianto (and possibly even Jack) didn't realise was that Jack wasn't listening because he was too scared of them. He's probably not used to it
Gxxx
Thanks!

Yes, Jack is scared, but there's also that not wanting to give any more children up motivation too. We'll see more of how Jack feels in other chapters. :)
Well, now we know how about 3000 people survived the ice age to repopulate the Earth. Because that's what the anthropologists say happened.At one point, there was only about 3000 people on the planet! The world had gotten too dangerous and inhospitable. Humanity almost wasn't! We are all each others' third cousin twice removed! And doesn't THAT idea @#$%^ off the KKK!

As for what Jack is going to do.....oy vey. What Jack thinks is right....oy vey. And Gwen....oy vey.
XOXOXOXO IJS#22
There's not only that, there's the eruption of the super-volcano Toba about 70,000 years ago that caused a genetic bottleneck and that researchers say may have left only about 1000 breeding pairs of humans on Earth...

It was either the Ice Age or the Super-Volcano, and I liked the Ice Age better... :)

And I completely agree with you about the KKK. Get your facts straight, idiots! *laughs*

We'll see what Jack thinks is right in the next chapter. And you can bet it's not what Gwen thinks is right.
Read this morning but didn't have time to comment. At least they've talked now but they need to actually listen as well. Looking forward to more.
Exactly. And then there's what Jack's going to tell the team about his decision. Especially one member of his team in particular.

Thanks, hon!
Ooh brilliant. Sometimes the best way to get people to listen is to shock them into listening. I remember when I was in school this lad always picked on me and one day I just had enough, completely lost my temper and told him exactly what I thought of him in the middle of class and in front of the teacher. He looked at her as if to say 'are you going to do anything' n she basically said 'nope' and left it at that. He never said another word against me. Grins.

I really love this and can't wait for the next chapter, I really want to see how the rest of the team treat him when he returns. Especially Gwen's reactions. Ooh and I know it isn't likely but I really want Tosh to slap her and then hug Ianto. Grins. I love coming up with different scenarios for where this fic is going. Keeps me sane until the next chapter.
That was brilliant. Yes, it's the shock confrontations that I think get the most attention. :)

Next chapter up later today. We do see how the rest of the team welcomes Ianto back. I can promise one of those actions from Tosh, but not both. :)
This is going to end in tears I know it!
But whose tears, that's the question... :)
I'm glad Ianto's made Jack understand a little, but Gwen might be a tougher sell...
Jack's good, but yeah...there's always Gwen...