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Myfanwy 2

November 2017

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Myfanwy 2

The Pact - Chapter Nine

The Pact - Chapter Nine
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. 

A/N2:  Okay, I miss-numbered the chapters when I posted this to the comms.  There is a Chapter Ten, and that should be up sometime tomorrow.  This is not the end of the story.

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.



 

29 October 2007

 

It was dark before they arrived at Roundstone Wood, and that suited Ianto just fine.

They’d had to take two vehicles; when Estelle had heard where they were going, she’d insisted on coming along, the outrage at what the Fae had done to her evident in her eyes.  Jack had tried to get her to stay at Ianto’s, but the older woman was almost as stubborn as Gwen, and she had an emotional bond with Jack that had made it hard to say no to her.  Ianto had been all for her accompanying them; she’d earned the right, after what had happened.

Toshiko and Owen had also come, but for a different reason: Ianto knew that, some time in the future, the Fae would try again to break the Pact, and he wanted witnesses that could attest to what would take place tonight, and would make sure everything was reported for generations down the road.  Yes, while he could see himself and Jack staying with Torchwood indefinitely, having two independent witnesses would mean that whoever was on the team then wouldn’t have to take just his and Jack’s words for it.  Certainly he hoped that that long far off team would believe them, but they could very much get someone like Gwen Cooper, who would doubt them and want to try to fix things.

To be honest, Ianto was beginning to doubt his reasoning in taking anyone into Roundstone Wood.  When he’d suggested it, the dragon had thought that showing Gwen that Jasmine Pierce was happy, and that the Fae weren’t going to harm her, would be a way to make her understand that not everything matched up to her ideal.   That she couldn’t hope to impose her own beliefs onto others.  But now, as they trudged through the trees toward the stone circle, Ianto was wondering if he wasn’t opening himself up to trouble. 

It occurred to him that things could still go horribly wrong.

At least he knew he had three of the five of his companions firmly on his side.  He and Jack had explained things to Owen and Tosh, and their teammates had seemed to understand why what was done, had to have been done.  Estelle, though, was a wild-card; she was angry that the Fae had tried to frighten her, had tried to use her to get Jack to break the Pact, that there was no telling what she might do.  As for Gwen…well, Ianto knew she’d try to get Jasmine to come with them when they left, but there was no danger that the child would.   But, if Gwen said the wrong thing…

There was a gentle touch to his hand; Ianto looked over and saw Jack, the immortal’s teeth gleaming in the torchlight as he smiled encouragingly.   Before they’d left the Hub, Jack had promised that they’d talk after their little outing, and Ianto didn’t know whether he was looking forward to it or not.  It had been obvious that he’d been trying to say something for a couple of days now, and while Ianto appreciated Jack’s sudden need to be honest, the dragon wasn’t at all sure he wanted to hear any of it. 

He mentally shook himself.  These were part of the answers he’d wanted from Jack for so long.  If he didn’t like what Jack was going to tell him, it was his own choice. 

He’d deal with that when needed.

Now, he was walking willfully into the lair of the Fae, and he was taking five ephemerals – well, four ephemerals and an immortal – with him.

The dragon could feel the power rising around him, just as it had on his previous visit to the wood.  He paused, turning back to his companions.  “We’re getting closer,” he murmured.  “I’m not sure what you’re going to see, since you don’t have the senses that I do.  Roundstone Wood is old, but the place where it grows is even older, and there are memories in the very trees and earth around us.  I’m asking that you all show respect to this place, all right?”

He looked at each one of them.  Jack nodded somberly; Estelle looked as if she was on some sort of adventure as she hooked her arm around the immortal’s.  Toshiko had that expression on her face that meant Ianto was in for a thorough questioning later, even as she used the one scanner the dragon had told her she could bring to take readings of the surrounding energy patterns.  Owen mimicked Jack’s nod, although he seemed more bored than impressed; Ianto was familiar with the medic enough to know it was just an act and that he was just as interested as Tosh was.  Then he glanced at Gwen.

Ianto had noticed almost the first time he’d met her that Gwen Cooper carried her heart on her sleeve, and her face was more expressive than any of the others.  And yet, she could obviously lie with the best of them, hiding her emotions easily. 

Looking at her now, the dragon couldn’t tell what she was feeling. 

It worried him.

A wind blew through the trees, and the dragon could swear he heard laughter.

“They’re here,” he murmured.

Three out of four reached for guns that weren’t present.  One of the first things Ianto had insisted on was that all weapons remain in the SUV.  Jack’s Webley itself was locked in Ianto’s glove box.

He turned, walking further into the trees, his torch carefully picking out the game trail he’d taken toward the stone circle.  As he moved on, he began to see the changes around him once more; of the turning of the eons, back into what scientists called Deep Time, back to the coming of the Spider to form the center of the Earth.  Ianto managed to control a shiver at that thought; it had been a story his father had told him, and as a child it had frightened him that something was sleeping deep within the earth under his feet. 

Judging from the gasp just behind him, at least one of his companions was getting some sort of idea of the power in the wood; from the obviously masculine sound of it, it had been Jack, which shouldn’t have surprised Ianto in the least.  He recalled Lisa’s words, “He stinks of Time’.  Also, Jack had seen the affects of the Word of Power he’d used at Estelle’s, so it made sense that he would be the one.

He could see the stones ahead.  Ianto kept walking; even though he couldn’t see any of the Fae that he knew were present.  They were attempting to unnerve him, and although it was working he wasn’t about to say anything aloud.   He almost laughed when he realized that showing weakness to the Fae was like doing the same to Gwen: they would try to exploit it. 

That made him wonder vaguely if her family had any Fae blood.  It could explain the darkness he sensed within her.

The power called to him, and he resisted, staying in his human form.  Ianto wasn’t about to give in to anything, wanting to remain strong in front of the Fae.  “I know you’re there,” he called out, coming to a stop in front of the closest stone.   

This time, the laughter was more noticeable.  As Ianto stood waiting, the large Fae he’d spoken to before landed on the stone before him, dark eyes narrowed.  “What do you do here, ancient one?” it asked.  “And why bring these with you?”

“We wished to see the girl, your Chosen One,” he answered, keeping his voice level.  He wanted to turn, to see how the others were reacting, but didn’t dare. 

The Fae looked at him knowingly.  “One of them could still break the Pact.”

“No.  They are all true.  They wouldn’t break it.”  Ianto had to show certainty; he couldn’t give them anything to use.

“Do they understand ancient one?  Do they understand the consequences of your bringing them here?”

Ianto frowned.  “There are no consequences.  What do you mean?”

The Fae glanced behind the dragon, thin lips curved upward in a smile.  “All they have to do is betray you, and you would be ours.”

“What do you mean by that?” Jack demanded, stepping forward, Estelle still on his arm. 

Ianto wanted to speak up, to deny what the Fae had said, but the creature was right.  Fear crawled up into his chest, threatening his ability to breathe.  Bringing them there was a mistake, and now he had the proof of that.

“The Naming, undying one,” the Fae cackled.  “He has Named you all, and that means what you do against us reflects against him.”

“What?” Gwen spoke up.  “I don’t understand.  What are you talking about?”

The Fae looked at her, and it licked its lips in anticipation.  “All you need do is betray him, child.  Betray him, and you will not have to deal with him ever again.”

Jack cursed.  “This is what the Naming is, isn’t it?” he sounded almost accusing.  “You’ve guaranteed our behavior.”

“Bloody hell,” Owen added.  “You couldn’t tell us this before?”

“It…it was one of the conditions of the Naming,” Ianto answered slowly, his eyes not leaving the joyful creature in front of him. 

“Being dragon-friend is more curse than honor,” the Fae laughed.

“You’re wrong,” Jack asserted.  “I’m honored to be called a dragon-friend.  And I’ll gladly uphold any sort of Pact that Ianto has.”  He placed his free hand on Ianto’s shoulder, squeezing slightly.

“Jack’s right,” Toshiko stepped up.  “Ianto is my friend.  I’d never betray him.”

“Yeah,” Owen added.  “Besides, who’d make my coffee in the morning if something happened to dragon-boy?  I’d go nuts in a month.”

“Ianto is a dear friend,” Estelle said.  “I’d never do anything intentional to hurt him.”

The dragon felt his heart lighten at every declaration.  They were truly dragon-friends, embodying everything that he’d learned from his father about Naming people to trust with his life.  He snorted at Owen’s comment, but he knew what he really meant by his words. 

But, one more person hadn’t answered as yet.

Ianto really didn’t want to look at Gwen.  She could be the deal-breaker; the one that would damage the Pact beyond all repair.  He turned his eyes to her, hoping to get some idea of what she was thinking.

Her eyes were narrowed, staring at the Fae as if she wanted to read his mind.  “I want to see her,” she replied. 

“Gwen?” Jack asked, uncertainty in his voice. 

“I have to know, Jack,” she said. 

“You cannot trust them, child,” the Fae said slyly.

“Oh, and I’m supposed to trust you, am I?” Gwen scoffed.  “I’m not one of those early humans who were blinded into giving away their children.  I want to see her…now.”

The Fae didn’t look happy, its wings whirring in agitation.  “The Chosen One does not wish to return to the world.”

“So, you’re saying I can’t trust the people I work with,” Gwen mused, “but the one thing that can prove your case you won’t bring out?”

“The dragon and the undying one brought the Chosen to us,” the Fae answered.  “Does that say you can trust them?”

The glare Gwen gave them was withering.  She stood there belligerently, her arms crossed over her chest.  “Is that true, Jack?”

“Yes, it is,” the captain answered.  “I chose to make sure that the Chosen One got to where she wanted to go, in exchange for the world not ending.”

The woman looked even angrier.  “How could you?  I can understand Ianto doing it, because he’s not even human!  But you, Jack…how could you?”

“I’ve explained this to you, Gwen!  Why aren’t you getting that it was necessary?  The girl wanted to go with them, anyway!”

“Gwen,” Ianto said, “I’m not trying to trick you. I’ve explained to you what happened, those tens of thousands of years ago.  It might not have been the right thing to do, but your entire race would have died out if that Pact had not been made.  You…Owen…Tosh…even Jack; none of you would be here now if that Pact had not been made.  Do you at least understand that?”

She looked at him, nodding.  “I just can’t believe it was that bad, that humanity can make a deal like that!”

“I wasn’t there,” the dragon admitted.  “But my grandfather was, and he told my father…who told me.  Humanity would never have had the chance it does now, without that sacrifice.  You have to see that!”  The entire world hung in the balance, and Ianto knew then what a mistake he’d made in bringing them all here…of bringing Gwen here.  He should have let it lie, let her get over it in her own time, instead of dragging them all out to the middle of Roundstone Wood in a doomed attempt to make her see that Jasmine was where she wanted to be. 

“You fight for this world, ancient one,” the Fae hissed, “and yet the humans are the ones who have left you so alone.  Surely breaking the Pact would mean you would get your vengeance?”

Ianto stood taller.  “Revenge isn’t the dragon way,” he retorted.  “Those humans are dead and dust. I have no issue with the ones now living.”  He didn’t add that, that hadn’t always been the case.  If the Fae had moved only a month sooner, Ianto might have broken the Pact himself.

That thought chilled him.  He’d never have thought that sort of action was within him.

His mother would have been bitterly disappointed in him.

Once more, he turned to Gwen.  “This is your decision, Gwen.  You seem unable to realize that what your ancestors did was to save your life…and the lives of billions and trillions, far into the future, as long as humanity shall exist.  But, if you choose to break the Pact now, and to betray me and your friends and your family…then it’s your choice.  I won’t stop you.  I have Named you, Gwen Cooper…I know that means nothing to you, but it does to me.  I shall never betray you, or yours, for as long as you and your descendants live.  It’s in your hands.”

The silence that hung in the air was so heavy it dragged on Ianto’s lungs.  Jack’s hand on the small of his back anchored him to the here and now, and he leaned back into the touch, seeking the comfort it brought.  

Gwen didn’t say anything.  She simply stared at the Fae, and then back at Ianto.  Time seemed to stop all around them as she looked back and forth between the two, and Ianto swore he’d never play poker with her.

Finally, Gwen turned, and began to walk out of the wood.  “Are you lot coming?” she called out over her shoulder.  “Rhys is expecting me home for dinner, and it’s lasagna night.”

 



Comments

I was holding my breath through the whole chapter. Thank goodness Gwen finally got it. Or at least understood she'd be betraying her whole team if she broke the pact.
We'll see exactly what changed her mind in the next chapter, but don't believe for a second that she's going to let it go...

Because, it's Gwen. :)

Thanks!
Finally, she gets it. That was awesome
I'm not going to say she got it, but we'll see what tipped her over the edge in the next chapter. :)
....Now I'm just curious what knocked the sense into Gwen.
Hm...now, I wouldn't say sense was knocked into her, because we all know Gwen and it's not that simple. And there's no way she's going to let this completely lie.

We'll get her motivation next chapter. ;)
Well, that was a particularly un-Gwennish thing to do LOL Although I'm sure it's more about Gwen wanting something to hold over Ianto than any change of heart on her part. (I have such wonderful faith in that woman, don't I? *snorts*)
Well, let's just say she does have motivation for it, and she thinks it's a good one...

Hey, you and I have the same faith! *laughs*
I get the "I'm still reserving my judgement" feeling from Gwen, but at least she didn't do anything utterly stupid. Looking forward to the next part!
That's a very good description of it. And you know Gwen's not giving up, even though she walked away.

Thanks!
Interesting, What is Gwen upto I don't trust her. I am intrigued to see what she has to say for herself. This is not over!
Not trusting Gwen might not be a bead idea... :)

And no, it's not over yet! Thanks, hon.
Aha! The strange and wondrous power of Rhys's lasagna! I would certainly give up a day kiting around the woods for Rhys's lasagna!
XOXOXO
Rhys' lasagna is known galaxy-wide for its ability to tame the wild Gwen. ;)

Thanks!
*panting*
I didn't even realize I was holding my breath!

Oh and there will be another chapter!!! Misnumbering the right way round (you could've thought there were 12 chapters...and we would have one less...bad thing)
Please don't hold your breath, don't want you passing out!

Yep, one more chapter. And you're right, I did make the mistake in a good way!

Thanks!
Now I can't get rid of feeling that Ianto somehow gave Gwen something she will use against him((( But what? For now it seems that he gave her a leeway to do anything without repercussions. Now she is unpredictable factor that can bring more trouble than good. And in essential it's very dangerous to give her such power. What can control her? How the team, Jack and Ianto can be sure that they are safe from Gwen' unpredictability? How they can be sure that she won't use her knowledge against them or Torchwood?
Ianto could very well have..we'll have to see. :)

As for now, Gwen will behave herself - or as much as she can - and we'll see how things go in the next chapter.

Thanks!

Lasagna wins over a child?

So... she turns away for now, but I'll bet anything that she hasn't let this go. It's just not in her nature to give up that easily.

But at least that poor horse is getting a slight break! Then again, a good feed of lasagna is likely to make her that much heavier, LOL.

Re: Lasagna wins over a child?

No, she hasn't. Just posted Chapter Ten, so you can see what she does. :)

Yep, that poor horse.. LOL!
it seems that Gwen has been conviced.... but is it because it is the evening of Rhys' lasagna?
Ianto is wonderful!
Jack finally seems to want not to hold off Ianto. but will they get time to speak?
Well, maybe not convinced, but not willing to admit defeat.

Thanks!
gwen behaved.
Yeah, I know...but it won't be for long. :)
Bleeding hell, I'm oxygen deprived now. I hope you're happy, I didnt breathe and I read that so fast I can't see straight. ^_^ Chuffing brilliant that was, so didnt expect Gwen to just turn around and not do anything. Her character is definitely developing, hopefully into a Gwen I might one day like. ^_^ I'm off to read the final chapter.
Breathe, please! I'd hate for you to pass out!

Thanks so much! Well, Gwen just chose the lesser of what she thought was two evils, but maybe some day you might be able to tolerate her. :)
Wow, she finally got it! How dragonish for Ianto to let her decide, in the end.

What a great use of language: "The silence that hung in the air was so heavy it dragged on Ianto’s lungs."

Keep writing!

Orion
She did...or did she? *winks*

Glad you liked that!

Thanks!
Whew! Great chapter!
Thank you very much! Glad you liked it. :)