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Myfanwy 2

November 2017

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Myfanwy 2

Mind Games - Chapter Three

Mind Games - Chapter Three
Author: Milady Dragon
Series: Dragon-Verse
Rating: PG-13
Pairing(s): Jack/Ianto; Gwen/Owen, Gwen/Rhys (mentioned), Tosh/Mary
Warnings: Language, violence, dubious consent (implied)
Spoilers: Up through Torchwood S1, E7, "Greeks Bearing Gifts"
Disclaimer:  I don't own Torchwood, I would have treated it better.
Author's note: This is based on the episode "Greeks Bearing Gifts", 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:  Sorry this took so long.  Ended up with some sort of stomach bug over the weekend, and then my mother went back into the hospital, this time with pneumonia, and they're going to insert a stent tomorrow.  So I'm not sure when the next chapter will be up, although I hope in a couple of days, since I've been pretty much banned from seeing her because of my own little complaint. 

Summary:  As the team investigate a mysterious death and a more mysterious artifact, Toshiko meets a woman in a pub who doesn't have her best interests in mind.




 

16 November 2007

 

After a couple of hours of putting up with her teammates and there being no sign of Jack, Toshiko snuck out of the Hub, deciding that she needed to go to the one other place she knew she could find someone to speak to. 

The pendant had been preying on her mind in that time.  She hadn’t put it back on; although she couldn’t decide if it was out of irritation for her oblivious teammates, or something deeper, she couldn’t say.  The idea of knowing another person’s thoughts…it seemed wrong to her, and yet there was a part of her that really wanted to put it back on, and use it to dig around Gwen and Owen’s minds and root out their deepest secrets. 

It made her slightly ill.

It was also out of character for her.

At heart, Toshiko was a private person.  She also tried to respect the privacy of those around her, but the pendant threatened to make her destroy her own personal barriers.  That was something she didn’t want to do.

She did wonder why Mary had chosen her.  There was no doubt that Mary had chosen her, but she didn’t know why.  That disturbed her; she didn’t want to think that she was the kind of person someone would pick to turn against others.  She could see that happening, far too easily, knowing what other people thought about her.  It was a curse, and Toshiko didn’t want to have anything to do with it.

Mary wouldn’t find her so easy a target.

She pulled her car up into the drive of the large Victorian structure that was Ianto’s home.  Toshiko sat there, just staring at the house, her thoughts in disarray, not one settling long enough for her to tell what it was she was actually thinking about.  A sense of dread overcame her, and for a heartbeat Toshiko considered starting her car and driving away.

No, that would not do.

Gathering herself together, Toshiko got out, and walked up to the front door.  She had her own key; Ianto had given it to her a couple of weeks ago, when the dragon had become involuntarily housebound.  She used it now, letting herself in. 

Toshiko loved Ianto’s place.  The front room looked so very normal, with everything that humans had in their own homes.  It was decorated tastefully, with twin leather sofas and a dark wood entertainment center holding electronics of all sorts.  A couple of landscapes hung on the walls; Toshiko knew that one of them was a genuine Monet, while the other was one he’d found at an art show several years ago.  The entire place was peaceful, and the technician loved to be there.

“Ianto?” she called out, not wanting to startle the dragon.

“Tosh!” came an answering call from upstairs.  “Come on up!”

She did as she was invited, taking the stairs up to the loft where Ianto slept.  As she moved upward, she began to hear singing.

It was a soft sound, with a joyful undertone.  The words were in a language that Toshiko didn’t know, but she could feel the ancientness in it, bringing to mind open spaces, and mountains, and wind and sky and freedom. 

It made her smile, and seemed to lift a burden from her that she hadn’t known she was carrying.  Her steps lightened as she entered the large open space of Ianto’s loft, and she couldn’t help smiling.

The dragon was on his bed of pillows, legs curled up beneath him and his wings tucked into his sides.  The pale sunlight streaming in from the skylight made the dragon’s scales glitter like real emeralds.  His head was up, and he was looking at her with pleased surprise in his blue, cat-slitted eyes.   “I didn’t expect anyone until later,” he greeted her warmly.  “But I’m glad you’re here.  Three more days, and I have a feeling it’s going to go very slowly indeed.”

Toshiko opened her mouth to tease him for his impatience, but nothing came out. 

She could still hear the singing, and it wasn’t coming from Ianto.

Only, she realized, it wasn’t coming from him vocally.  She was hearing his thoughts.

Toshiko wondered just when she’d put the pendant back on, because she certainly couldn’t remember doing it.

The song turned from joyful to concerned.  “Are you all right?” the dragon asked, his voice echoing the emotion in that song.

“I’m…fine,” she answered.  She wanted nothing more than to sit and listen to Ianto’s inner song, even if she couldn’t understand the words.  She’d known that singing was important to him; he’d once told her that dragons had songs for every occasion, and had even sung her a few.  She’s also heard the song he’d sung at Lisa’s death, and the sadness in it had torn at her heart.

But this…this was him.  This inner song was the dragon, was Ianto Jones at his core.   It was amazing.

It made Toshiko ashamed for listening in.

The dragon was looking at her, and she tried to smile to reassure him.  It wasn’t working, judging from the expression on his scaly face and the tone of the song.

Toshiko had come there to tell him about Mary, and about the pendant.  That had been her intention, and now she found she didn’t want to.  It was like Mary had said; she wouldn’t tell anyone about it, keep it to herself…

No, she couldn’t.  This wasn’t her.  This wasn’t Toshiko Sato.  She wasn’t some sick voyeur who pried into her friends’ minds and learned their secrets.  She didn’t want to know that Gwen and Owen were that shallow, or that Ianto thought in song. 

She wanted nothing more than to go back to her former ignorance.

The dragon shifted forward a bit, his worry more obvious than before.  His ancient eyes regarded her, as if looking into her soul.  “Toshiko…I know there’s something wrong.  I can…sense…a difference within you.  Would you please tell me what’s happened?”

Her hand went up to the pendant.  “You’re right,” she admitted, forcing the words out past the sudden compulsion to remain silent.  “Something…has happened.”

His eyes narrowed as he caught sight of the pendant at her throat.  “Where did you get that, Tosh?”

“From…her name is Mary.  She gave it to me.”

The large head shook in denial.  “No, it’s more than that.  You’re not the kind of person to put random alien tech around their neck just because someone gave it to you. “  He seemed to come to a decision.  “Please, sit beside me.  I’m going to call Jack.”

 Relief roared through her.  Toshiko did as he asked, resting herself against his warm bulk.  She’d known that Ianto would understand.  Something was preventing her from telling the entire story, and she was pitifully grateful that she’d been able to come to him.

Ianto was using the voice remote to activate his phone; Toshiko had set it up, when Owen had banned the dragon from transforming back into a human unless absolutely necessary.  She’d also voice-activated his laptop and the smaller television that Jack had brought in, even though the dragon had a tendency to complain that there was nothing on except for soaps and game shows.

The phone rang twice, and then Jack answered.  “What’s up, gorgeous?”

Toshiko felt the scales under her back grow warmer, and she knew that this was most likely the dragon form of blushing.  “Are you almost done with your business?”

“Actually, yeah.  I was on my way back to the Hub.  Do you need anything?”

She wondered vaguely what sort of business had kept Jack from the Hub that morning.

“You need to stop by.  Toshiko is here, and there’s something wrong.”

“I’m on my way,” Jack’s voice sounded serious.  “Is she all right?”

“She seems to be, physically…but I believe something is controlling her.  I’m hoping you can help me figure out what it is.”

“I’ll be there in twenty minutes.” With that, Jack hung up.

While he’d been talking to Jack, the song in Toshiko’s head had changed, growing lighter yet warmer, almost as if a sun had begun to beam down into her brain.  She smiled softly; this was a confirmation of something she’d always suspected. 

“You love Jack, don’t you?”

The dragon stilled, then a soft exhalation made his side jerk slightly.  “You’ve been thinking that for a long time now, Toshiko.”

Sadness tinged the song, and the strange words seemed to change; a brief flash of gray-blue fluttered through her mind.  The song changed once more, this time it was deeper and older and darker, yet she found herself wishing she could sing along.  It was important, this song; she just didn’t know why.

It was overwhelming, that song.  Toshiko was barely aware of the tears on her cheeks as it whispered through her, the power of it so intense it took her breath away.  She heard Ianto calling to her, and she managed to look up into worried blue eyes.   “I hear it,” she managed to say.

Ianto looked confused.  “Hear what?”

“The song.  It’s ancient, but it’s a part of you.  It’s beautiful…”

If the dragon had had eyebrows, they would have shot up his scaled forehead.  “You…can hear the song?  You mean, this one?” 

And he began to sing. 

Toshiko let the notes of the song roll over her, and she leaned against the dragon’s flank, lost in it.  She heard it twice: once in her ears, the second in her mind.  She knew she could lose herself in it so easily, letting it carry her in time and space, back to when dragons roamed the Earth freely.  She could smell the Earth; its deep, loamy coolness a comfort to her frayed nerves. 

She caught a glimpse of another dragon: this one blue-gray, mighty wings against a blue sky.  Then it was gone, and the song was fading away, changing back into the softer song that seemed to run through the background of her mind. 

“That is the song of the Earth Dragon,” Ianto said quietly.  “I heard it when I was very young, and have never forgotten it.”

“And the dragon?” she asked, just as quietly.

Sadness flooded her.  “He was…supposed to be my mate.  But the dragons are gone, and I’ll never find him.  How did you see him, Toshiko?  How did you hear that song?”

“I think I can answer that.”

Toshiko had been so lost in the song that she hadn’t even heard Jack come in.  She looked up; the captain was standing just on the landing, pain and sadness evident in his own features, and she knew the expression had to match her own. 

“Jack,” the dragon greeted somberly.  “I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you come in.”

“That’s okay,” Jack answered, coming into the room.  He stepped up to the dragon, running a hand lightly along his snout.  “I heard…I wish there was something I could do to make the pain better.”

“You do, Jack,” he answered.  “Believe me; you do.  But, you think you know what’s going on with Toshiko?”

“I do, yes.”  Jack knelt beside her, staring into her eyes. 

That was when she realized…”I can’t hear you!”

The immortal shook his head.  “I’ve always had some fairly strong mental shields, but I think my immortality has made it pretty impossible to read me anymore.”  His eyes trailed down to the pendant.  “Oh yeah, that’s an Arcateenian crystal.   The Arcans are telepathic, and they use the crystals to communicate with other life forms.   The question is…just where did you get it, Tosh?  You’re not usually so clumsy with tech that you’d actually put something that could be dangerous around your own neck.”

Toshiko was relieved.  She knew Jack and Ianto could help her.  “It was…given to me,” she answered slowly, feeling as if the words were being dragged out of her.  “I didn’t want to take it…”

“You think an Arcan is responsible then,” Ianto stated.

“Yep, or else someone who didn’t know what the hell they were doing.  You see, the crystals aren’t quite compatible with humans.”  Jack leaned forward, and Toshiko felt a little uncomfortable with him getting that close to her cleavage.  “And, I’m thinking there would’ve been some sort of mind control involved to get Tosh to actually put it on.”  He looked up, smiling at her gently.  “Our Tosh is too strong a person to let someone influence her otherwise.”

She blushed at the compliment. “I don’t feel very strong right now,” Toshiko admitted.

“You are,” Jack repeated.  “Anyone else, I think they would have just let the pendant control them.  Not you…you came here, to Ianto, even if you couldn’t come right out and ask for help.  Now, let’s get this thing off you.  I’m going to run out to my car for a containment box.  Just sit tight, and I’ll be right back.”  He touched her cheek lightly, then in a swirl of greatcoat he was gone.

Toshiko turned back to the dragon; his head was twisted around so he could look at her, and his ancient eyes were filled with concern for her.  “I’m sorry,” she blurted.   

“Why are you sorry?” he asked, surprised.

“I…read your mind,” she admitted.  “I didn’t want to – “

“Tosh, it’s fine,” he answered.  “I’m not sure you can exactly help yourself at the moment.  We’ll get that off of you, then you can tell us what happened.  Don’t worry; we’ll fix this.”

Jack was back in no time, and using a latex glove he carefully removed the pendant from around Toshiko’s neck.  He tucked it away in the containment box he’d brought up.

The moment the pendant was locked away, Toshiko felt herself again.  She let out a long sigh, and she looked at both of her friends, smiling widely.  “Thank you.”  She hugged Jack, then looped an arm around the dragon’s neck.   “Thank you both so much.”

She couldn’t believe how better she felt, now that the pendant was gone.  A weight had been lifted from her very soul, and she felt free again. 

“Now,” Jack said, making himself comfortable next to her, his own back nestled comfortably against the dragon’s side, “why don’t you tell us what happened?”

She was more than willing to do just that.

 



Comments

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Ohhhhh...storytime curled up with a dragon.

**is jealous**
I know, I'd be jealous, too. *grins*
I love that Tosh could hear the dragon songs! And I love that Jack and Ianto are there to help her before things get out of hand this time around.
Thanks! I'm glad you liked that Ianto thought in song. I like my Tosh strong and brilliant, like she is most of the time. :)
This is a gorgeous chapter.

My best wishes and hopes that both you and your mother are feeling better soon.
Thank you!

And thanks for the wishes. *hugs*
Lovely update, truly emotional and Jack and Ianto were the perfect ones to help sweet Tosh!
hope you and your mum get better soon !
Glad you liked it.

And thanks so much. I appreciate it. :)
Oh, I like that version so much more than what happened in the actual episode. I'll be interested to see how you write Tosh and Owen's reactions, now, and how they'll deal with Mary.
Thanks, glad you thought so. I'm going to have fun with Gwen and Owen, I do admit... :)
that was fabulous darling. Loved Tosh hearing the dragon song.

Poor Ianto, yearning for what could never be.
Thanks, hon. *hugs*

I do feel so sorry for Ianto, but it'll all turn out in the end. :)
Oh, that was amazing! And this Tosh is so much more Torchwood than she was in GBG.
I love it when Jack and Ianto work together. It's good to see that they really can rely on each other. There is trust, care, leadership, love - that's the team I love.
Thank you! I'm glad you think so, I thought she was a bit out of character myself.

They do rely on each other, even if it took bad things happening for them to really realize it.
Hope that the three of them come up with a good plan to sort out Mary and the pendant.

I also hope that you and your Mother are both feeling better soon. *hugs*
We'll see about the plan next chapter. :)

Thanks so much. *hugs back*
poor tosh beating her self up for the thoughts and actions of the pendant that make her doubt her worth. hugs tight and fights the urge to hurt those who hurt tosh. as bad tosh felt about reading gwen/owen's shallow minds about their affair they were not doing much to hide it from the others.
ianto's dragon song better than canon rats.
tosh being able to talk the guys shows her as the strong woman that canon forgets.
hope someone tells off gwen.
Tosh does feel guilty, but her friends will see her through.

Tosh is strong, and you're right...that was forgotten a lot. She's not a woobie by any stretch of the imagination.

This was so lovely. I'm pleased it's turning out better for Tosh than in the show.
Thanks, I'm glad you liked it. I did think Tosh was too strong to fall into that sort of trap... :)
Awww I love Jack and Ianto helping Tosh. Great chapter
Thank you! Glad you liked it. :)
I hope your bug will flee and your mother will be a lot better soon!
Thank you. *hugs*
1st things first - hope you're feeling better yourself now and the stent op went well for mum... *gentle hugs*

Adorable chapter - the descriptions of Ianto's dragon songs were so vivid I could hear them in my head and they were just so beautiful...
Love what you're doing with this chapter and the friendship between Tosh and Ianto is wonderful.
And then there's Jack and Ianto...*happy sigh* xxx
Feeling better myself, Mom not so much, but it'll be fine. Thanks! *hugs*

I'm so glad you liked the idea of the dragon song. I love Tosh, and I so wanted her to be her strong self in this. As for Jack and Ianto...they're getting there. :)
I am so loving the way you are writing Tosh in this! She seems so much more in character here than in the show, where she was written as weak and easily influenced and controlled. This is exactly how she would have handled it. Thanks!

And best wishes to both you and your mom.
Thanks! I really am happy you like how I write Tosh. I've tried my best to keep her in character, so I'm glad you think she is.

And thanks for the wishes, they're most appreciated.
I like your Tosh. She's strong.
You still managed to bring in the mourning a past love aspect of Ianto's thoughts, which I think is brilliant. Just the dragon version. Nice parallel!
Thanks! I'm glad you like Tosh in this. and I'm glad you liked everything else, too!
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