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Myfanwy 2

November 2017

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Before the Fall - Chapter One

Before the Fall - Chapter One
Author: Milady Dragon
Series: Dragon-Verse
Rating: PG-13
Pairing(s): Jack/Ianto; Gwen/Rhys
Warnings: Language, Angst
Spoilers: Up through Series One, S2 E11, "Adrift", and Doctor Who S3 E11 and E12, "Utopia" and "The Sound of Drums"
Disclaimer:  I don't own Torchwood, I would have treated it better.  I also don't own Doctor Who.
Author's note:  This is the story leading up to the Year That Never Was.  Dating is, as usual, taken from "Ianto's Desktop" and the TARDIS Index File. 

A/N2:  Hello, everyone!  Here we go, back into the Dragon-Verse.  I just want to thank everyone for being patient, and for all the well-wishes that I've gotten.  You all are fantastic, and I'm dedicating this chapter to all of you. 

Summary:  Darkness is falling, and the Great Dragons have called the four Dragon-Friends back to Ddraig Llyn.   Ianto is in charge of a splintered team as he tries to figure out how to stop the end of the world.




4 June 2008             

 

Ianto sighed, running his scanner over the railing of the Cardiff Bay Barrage, the bleeping noise sounding loud to his ears as he traced the negative Rift spike that had taken place there not that long ago. 

The wind blew his jacket open, but he ignored it, using both device and senses to find the exact position where the spike had manifested.  The dragon hated the negative spikes.  If the positive ones were like stormfronts, then the negatives felt as if the Rift were more of a black hole, the absolute absence of power sucking everything around it into its inescapable depths.  They didn’t feel natural, and Ianto dreaded them,  not because of the sensations they entailed, but because of what they meant to the poor souls caught up with their implacable grip.

This one, he knew.  He’d met the once-young man, Jonah Bevin, when he and Jack had found him a couple of years ago.  The Rift had deposited him back long before he’d been taken, in a paradox that had now resolved itself, leaving him a shell of the teenage boy he’d been. 

He sighed again, putting away the scanner and heading back to his vehicle.  There was nothing he could do, and he knew that; but he still felt completely helpless to stop anyone else being taken by the Rift.  

He wished Jack was there.

But his mate was gone, and had been for four months. 

Ianto climbed into his car, and headed back to the Hub.

**********

The Hub was far too quiet.

Everyone had gone home.  Toshiko had powered down everything, and the main area was all shadows and gloom.  Ianto made himself a cup of tea by darkness, then made his way down toward his hoard room, his shoes making very little noise on the cold stone of the floor. 

The dragon had taken to staying in the Hub, since Jack had left.  His house just didn’t seem like home anymore, not without Jack to share it.  He’d been surprised as just how quickly his place had taken on a cold and desolate air, not realizing just how much of Jack’s personality had filled it. 

Ianto missed his mate terribly.  When he’d encouraged Jack to go with the Doctor, he’d had no idea he’d be gone for so long.   He’d gotten into a couple of arguments with Gwen on whether Jack was coming back; he knew she blamed him for Jack’s leaving, and yes perhaps it was partially his fault.  But there was no way he was going to hold Jack back from getting answers about his seeming immortality.   He’d waited so long, and Ianto had confidence that his lover would be back.

It was just depending on when.

Ianto unlocked the hoard room door by touch, then entered.  The small nightlight he usually left on lent the place a soft glow, the gold and jewels reflecting the tiny brightness around the room.  The place felt as empty as his loft at home, but it was easier to deal with here. 

The dragon turned on the television that he’d also set up in the room; it looked somewhat innocuous on the antique oak table he’d put it on.  Alien tech gave the telly power and signal, and Ianto set his tea down beside it, in order to remove his suit and to hang it up in the wardrobe he’d co-opted for the clothing he’d moved in with him there at the Hub.  He’d drink his tea then transform for the night, sleeping on cushions that were too cold without his mate to share them.

Ianto shook his head.  He was getting way too maudlin.  Yes, Jack was gone, but it wasn’t like he was never coming back…despite what Gwen thought.  At least Toshiko and Owen both had faith in their leader, even though the medic had been grousing about Jack’s absence ever since Ianto had reported that Jack had gone on personal leave.   They both tried to keep him occupied, and Toshiko was wont to get irritated with him if she caught him sleeping at the Hub.  Owen had even taken him out and gotten him pissed on more than one night. 

He flipped the television on, frowning at the coverage of the elections.  Harold Saxon had won…and by such a large margin that Ianto wondered if he somehow hadn’t cheated.  He personally didn’t like the man; he’d dealt with Saxon many times as Minister of Defense, and it usually had something to do with Saxon pushing the limits on what he should actually be privy to, where Torchwood was concerned.   Jack hadn’t gotten along with him at all, stemming from his repeated attempts at discussing Torchwood business during Cabinet meetings. 

Now, it looked as if Ianto was going to be stuck dealing with him more often.

That was a lovely thought.

He finished his tea, turned off the television, then changed into his dragon form.  Sinking down onto his bed of pillows and quilts, curling up so that his snout was under his wing, the dragon fell asleep.

**********

A strange noise awoke the dragon from a restless sleep.

He just didn’t sleep as well without Jack, and if his mate had been there the dragon doubted the slight noise would have penetrated his dreams.  As it was, it did wake him, and at first he thought that perhaps someone had come down to get him, and that he’d somehow overslept.

Raising his head, he looked around the hoard room, trying to find the source of the slight scuffling sound, but saw nothing.  Sighing, he lay his head back down, and was just dozing off once more when the noise happened again.

This wasn’t just an anonymous noise from the Hub; the dragon was familiar with those, and besides down this far it was completely quiet, and there were times when he could swear he could hear the very Earth breathing around him.  No, this was a deliberate sound, as if someone was making it purposely in order not to startle him and doing a piss-poor job of it.

His head swung away from the door…and noticed that one of the mating posts was glowing. 

The dragon’s heart beat faster, and he sat on his haunches, checking to see if any of the others were doing the same. 

They were.

He could feel the sudden prickling of power against his scales.   It wasn’t the Rift; well, not all of it; this was all part and parcel of the ancient power of the world, and the dragon waited to see what was going to happen next.

The light from the posts was eclipsed by shadow and fog, and the smell of fresh earth and rain filled the hoard room.  The temperature seemed to go up, and a wind caused a set of crystal chimes that Toshiko had given him for his last birthday to sound melodiously.

So, it was all four.  That surprised him; he’d been led to believe they didn’t have the power to manifest like that any longer.

The dragon bobbed his head in respect as the Earth Dragon grew from shadow into a large, dark silhouette against the stone of the wall.  He was followed by the other three Dragons: Air, Water, and Fire, all curving around their corresponding posts, their heads turned inward to pin the younger, physical dragon with their ancient gazes.

He didn’t speak; he knew the Dragons would say what they wanted to, and it was bound to be fairly cryptic.

 “Sorry to interrupt your rest,” the Earth Dragon said by way of greeting, “especially since you shall need it before the trials that are ahead of you darken this world.”

This didn’t sound good at all.  The dragon once again felt the loss of his mate, and hoped that Jack would be home soon. 

“Your mate shall be home,” the sweet voice of the Water Dragon said, as if reading his mind, “however you shall not see him for a time yet.”

“He is tied up in the troubles ahead,” the Fire Dragon added.  “There are things that need to occur, and your Jack is involved too deeply to be free yet to come to your side.”

“Is he all right?” the dragon asked worriedly.  What they were saying was ominous indeed, and he needed to know that Jack would be fine.

“He shall suffer as you will,” the Earth Dragon answered.  “But, unlike the Card Reader, we offer light in the darkness."

“We are calling the Dragon Friends home,” the Air Dragon said.  “They will be needed in the dire times as well, and will best serve the light in Ddraig Llyn.”

“Can’t you tell me what’s going to happen?” the dragon asked, sounding petulant to his own ears.  He knew that calling the Dragon-Friends to Ddraig Llyn meant that they would basically be going into hiding, and while that might be for the best for them, he needed to know what to expect in order to deal with it.  He also didn't like the idea of Jack suffering, and wanted as much information as he could get in order to prevent that if possible.

“We are not completely certain of that,” the Earth Dragon answered.  “Even the Fae cannot see beyond the days ahead.  They have retreated to the Lost Lands, and will not emerge until all is well again.”

The dragon frowned.  “Then this isn’t anything that will affect the Pacts?”

“No.  What comes is not of man’s making, of that we are certain.”

If he’d been in his human form, the dragon would have been chewing on his thumbnail.  As it was, he absently clicked a claw against one canine, the sound like nails being driven into the world’s coffin.   His imagination was running rampant.  What could be coming that was so bad, and yet not of man’s making?  Being Torchwood that, to the dragon, could only mean one thing.

Alien invasion.

“Is there nothing we can do to stop it?” he asked.  Perhaps with foreknowledge…

“Certain things need to happen,” the Air Dragon answered.  “This is one of those things.  No one can know how this will affect the world or humankind, but it is important to the way things are.”

“We call the Dragon-Friends home,” the Water Dragon reiterated. 

“But you must stay,” the Fire Dragon said.  “You will be needed.”

“I would never think of hiding,” the dragon put in fiercely.  “And I won’t abandon the world while my mate is in it, no matter where he is.” 

“That did not need to be said,” the Air Dragon chuckled.  “We know how loyal you are to him, as he is to you.”

The dragon drew himself up.  “I am, and I shall remain so even if there’s no true mating for us.”

“We cannot see much past the coming darkness,” the Earth Dragon said, “but we can see that.  Be patient, our child, and you shall one day have what you wish.”

The dragon’s heart warmed at that news.  He really did want that one true union with Jack, and he would wait for as long as it took, if it meant they would be able to sing the Song of Eternity together.

“You and your Jack are destined,” the Water Dragon agreed.  “He may not yet believe so, but you have seen the vision of your mating, and you know the truth of it.  Be assured that your loyalty will be rewarded.”

“I would rather have him love me by his choice, than because of some sort of destiny.”  He knew the power of destiny and that was the last thing he wanted to put either of them through, the Tarot Girl’s reading foremost in his mind.

“He does, have no fear of that.  But the coming times will test you both.  There will be moments when you will doubt, but as we have said, there is light within the coming darkness.”

The dragon considered what he’d been told.  Yes, it had been cryptic as he’d known it would be, but there were still a few things he could work with.   From what he could guess at, what was coming was some form of alien invasion, and that Jack was somehow involved. 

And the team would be one person down – two if he counted Kathy – when the Dragons called the Dragon-Friends to Ddraig Llyn. 

At least Toshiko and Kathy would both be relatively safe.

“How quickly is this going to happen?” he asked, already trying to come up with a mental list of things they would need at the Hub in order to deal with a serious invasion.  He’d also need to call UNIT and warn them, as well as the Home Office…

“Within days,” the Air Dragon answered.  “Events are already in motion for the end of the world as we know it.”

The dragon shivered at that proclamation.  “That soon?”

“Darkness will roll across the world and there truly is no way to be ready,” the Earth Dragon said.  “But be as prepared as you can, and know that it will all end as it should.”

With that, the Dragons began to fade away.  It took only seconds before the hoard room had returned to normal, leaving the dragon still fairly confused but determined to do what needed to be done.

He changed back into human form, and Ianto left the room, heading up into the main Hub in order to try to figure out what was about to happen…and how the best to survive it.



Comments

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Uh oh. They do like to sound portentious, don't they?
They do! *grins*

And yes, I think 'Uh oh' sums it up. :)
Oh, Lord! This gave me chills! Fantastic writing, hon. (and I'm glad that Ianto's dreams were premonitions! yay!)
Thanks! And it's the perfect day to get the shivers, too. *grins*
*bites nails*

can't wait to see how this unfolds
Hey! Your nails never did anything to you! LOL!

More up in a couple of days, I think. :)
Oh, I do love the Dragonverse. Can't wait to read this. NOW!! LOL
Thanks! More up in a couple of days. :)
I will be really curious to know if Ianto will remember TYTNW. Is it possible that Ianto's Dragon-ness will prevent him from forgetting? Really - I am of the opinion for the two characters you have created, and thier relationship, Ianto needs to remember so that he can understand Jack all the better. In the show there was a great inequality in Ianto and Jack's relationship because Jack had forever and had experiences that Ianto couldn't possible understand. The former is not an issue, with your series, because Ianto is extremely long-lived, but the latter is still under consideration.

I like the way the Great Dragons are popping up now, Ianto has been the Last Dragon for a while and he has never seen them, but as soon as Jack and Ianto start to get serious - WHAM - they appear. I love the anticipation of not knowing if Jack turning into a dragon is allegorical or if he will change.

Loved this chapter and I can't wait for Ianto and Jack to be reunited. :)
Whether Ianto remembers the Year is revealed in the next story, "The Dragon and the Nightingale", and I hope it works.

Oh yeah, Ianto and Jack get together, and things start to happen. This is something that will continue throughout their entire time together...which is a very long time indeed.

Thanks! I hate having the boys apart, but they'll be together in a bit. :)
Ooooh ooooh I can't wait to see how you play out The Master and all the horror that was his return to earth.
Thanks! I do hope it lives up to the expectation! :)
I'm so happy to see more Dragon-Verse!!! And this is plenty scary for All Hallow's Eve.
Ohhh and I almost thought we would learn who the fourth dragon friend is. Drat.

But can't wait for more.
Just what he needed...cryptic dragons....
But at least the promise of a true mating, that should keep Ianto going!
Very cryptic dragons! *grins*

It should, and it gives him something to look forward to definitely. :)
Oh wow can't wait to see how Ianto deals with Saxon and his plans. Will the team get sent to the Himalayas or captured on the Valiant. Such a tough story for both of them. Can't wait to see what you do with it.
K
We'll see just how Ianto copes. As for being sent to the Himalayas...let's just say Ianto isn't happy with the idea and leave it at that. *winks*

More up soon! :)
Ohhhhh very spooky! What is going happen. Can't wait t find out. Great begining.
Thanks! I'm glad you thought it was spooky. More up tomorrow hopefully. :)
1) Oh hell yes, more Dragon Verse!

2) My poor Ianto. Be brave!

3) One True Mating! Afkhgdfhkigddh
1) Much more, now that everything seems to settling down a bit!

2) At least he knows there's light at the end of the tunnel.

3) Some day...! *grins*
while the ending sounds ominous... HOLY FREAKING YAY for more Dragon-Verse!! *bounces* this totally makes up for my pain-filled day! *GRIN*
It is ominous, I know...

Oh, I hope you're feeling better! *hugs very gently*
I'm ill but that made my day! <3

TYTNW will be one of my favourite points in this verse, I waited for it till I begun to read that.
I'm glad! *grins*

I do hope you enjoy what I have planned. :)

Fantastic!
The four dragons are both reassuring and frightening.
I have afraid about the result!
Saxon will discover he is Ianto?
What role will play Gwen?
Thanks! *grins*

They are, aren't they? They bring both good news and bad. As for Saxon...I'm afraid you'll have to wait and see. :)
“He is tied up in the troubles ahead,”

Oh, boy, will he ever.

Interesting beginning. And frightening. And exciting.
Yes, he sure will be. *winks*

Thanks, hon! :)
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