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Myfanwy 2

May 2018

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The Legacy - Chapter Three

The Legacy - Chapter Three
Author: Milady Dragon
Artist: Totally4ryo, whose art is Here
Beta: Bookwrm89
Series: Dragon-Verse
Rating: PG-13
Pairings: Jack Harkness/Ianto Jones, Merlin Williams-Song/Arthur (Harkness-Jones) Pendragon
Warnings: Language, Violence, Reincarnation, MPreg, Angst
Spoilers: Just to be safe, for all seasons of Torchwood and all seasons of Merlin
Disclaimer: I don't own either Torchwood or Merlin.  They belong to the BBC and other people who didn't treat them as well as I would have if I'd owned them.
Author's Note: This is written for Dragon Big Bang, and is another of my future stories in the Dragon-Verse.   I want to thank Totally4ryo for her wonderful art, you should go and tell her how fantastic a job she did! 


Summary:  When the dragon, Ianto Jones, is kidnapped, Arthur Pendragon and Merlin Williams-Song of Torchwood investigate.  What they find leads to revelations about the past, and a secret that could bring either happiness to the Harkness-Jones family...or heartbreak.




Unknown Time and Unknown Place

 

Ianto opened his eyes, and for a moment thought that he was somewhere completely dark…until he realised that there was something covering his head and obscuring his vision.

His head was throbbing quite spectacularly, and it took all he had not to groan with the pain.  The last thing he could recall was washing his hands in the lavatory of the Chinese restaurant he and Rowena had gone to…something had been pressed against his neck and then, nothing.  He must have been drugged some way was the only answer he could come up with.

He appeared to have been bound to a chair, and he could just feel the metal of the cuffs that were keeping his hands behind him.  He thought they might be durasteel, which meant changing shape would most likely cut his hands off instead of forcing the handcuffs to expand.  He jiggled them just in case, testing to see how tight they were.

“You’re awake a lot sooner than you should be,” a voice said, sounding vaguely amused.  “That and the other physiological differences I managed to detect makes me guess you have some sort of high-gravity race in your family tree somewhere.”

Ianto sagged in relief, recognising the voice instantly.  He was about to yell at his captor that he wasn’t in the mood for any role-playing, but he sensed something wrong almost immediately and stiffened once more.   “What’s going on?” he asked suspiciously, not trusting himself to say anything else.

Whatever it was that had covered his head was removed, and Ianto found himself blinking in the sudden brightness of the overheard lighting.  Once he could see again the dragon could make out his surroundings; he was in what looked like a cheap hotel room, with a double bed covered with a threadbare duvet and scarred fake wood furniture.  A near-subsonic rumble made him think he must have been near a spaceport somewhere. 

But it was captor that drew his immediate attention.

It was Jack.

Only it wasn’t.

Of course Ianto had known his mate’s voice, but the man leaning insouciantly against one of the walls was vaguely different.  One, he looked about a decade younger than his Jack did, and was dressed in leather trousers and waistcoat, with a white, short-sleeved shirt underneath.  He was wearing the ever present wrist strap, but it was also different…it looked newer, less well-used than what Ianto was used to.   His hair was in as close to a military cut as Ianto had ever seen, and his eyes didn’t carry the weight of all the experiences that had coloured his long life.

The fact that this version of his mate wasn’t pregnant was also a big tip-off that something was wrong.

But, the most telling thing was the fact that Ianto wasn’t sensing the tell-tale scratch deep in his hindbrain of the Time Vortex that was the sure sign that his mate was close by.  It was completely missing.

This wasn’t his Jack. 

This was a much younger version of his mate, obviously the one before he’d met the Doctor and had become immortal.  This was the Time Agent Jack, if he wasn’t mistaken.

That, more than anything, scared Ianto.  He’d been a complete stranger to Jack when they’d met all those centuries ago, of that he was certain.  And yet, there was the younger version of Jack, looking at him with a combination of interest and playful flirtiness and something the dragon could not identify. 

It made him think of his mate’s insistence that his timeline had somehow changed.  Ianto was now beginning to wonder if Jack had been right.

“Ifan Jones,” the younger man said, levering himself off the wall and putting his hands in his pockets, “Professor of Earth Medieval History, guest lecturer who had fallen off the radar for the last year and half until just recently, when he gave a lecture on Dragon History at Luna University.  Born on Earth, parents deceased, married to retired Captain-Owner Jack Jones.  You have an extremely private life, Professor Jones.” He pouted, as if upset that he hadn’t figured out anything else.

Ianto listened as his captor reeled out the false identity that he’d been operating under in order to get the education he had.  “You seem to have me at a disadvantage,” the dragon replied, one eyebrow cocking upward.   He needed to get more information, in order to find out where and when he was, and just how far back into Jack’s timeline this version went.  “You know about me, but I don’t know anything about you.”

Younger Jack leered.  “I like it that way.  It makes me more…mysterious.” 

It was all Ianto could do to keep himself from sighing.  “If this is a kidnapping, I’m quite certain my m – husband will be glad to pay whatever you ask to get me back.”  He had to assume this Jack didn’t know his true nature, if his guessing about his family was correct, and he didn’t want to give away that he was in any way related to the Star Dragons.  It would just make things more complicated, and besides Ianto was intending to escape at his first opportunity.  Letting his kidnapper – even a much younger version of his mate – know that particular secret would only make him more wary.  Saying he had a mate instead of a husband would be just the giveaway he didn’t need to make.

Apparently this Jack didn’t catch his near slip-up.  “I’m not actually asking for a ransom,” he answered lightly.  “I’m hoping you could help me.”

Ianto frowned.  “Help you?  You didn’t need to grab me out of the loo for that.  All you had to do was ask.”  Not that he would have agreed; this was hitting too close to home for him, and he was truly afraid that the timeline could be irreparably damaged if he did the wrong thing. 

“I couldn’t take that risk.  This is far too important for me to take no for an answer.”  It was; Ianto could tell by the sudden serious expression that wiped away the leer.  However, it was back in a flash.  “Although, I’m not adverse to mixing business with pleasure…”

“You did catch the part where I had a husband, right?”  There was no way he was going to touch Jack’s younger self, and in fact Ianto felt just a tad creeped out by the idea.

The pout he received was just the same as the one he got when his mate had been somehow thwarted.  “Can’t blame a guy for trying.”

Ianto had been a resident of the free-wheeling future long enough to know that wouldn’t be the end of the flirting, and he was prepared for it.  His mate had taught him a great deal about the future even before they’d actually arrived in it, and while Ianto understood many of the sexual norms that took place he did know that, even though a lot of fun was to be had by all, the marital bond was still very highly respected.  There would be flirting yes…but this version of Jack wouldn’t cross that line.

“All right,” Ianto said, “just what do you need my help with?”  He needed to get this back on track.  The sooner he discovered what was going on, the better he would feel.   “And you know my name…what do I call you?”

“You can call me Jamison if you want,” the younger human shrugged. 

Ianto nodded.  It was close to Jack’s real name without giving anything away.  “And I would prefer it if you called me Professor Jones.”  He smiled thinly.  “If this is supposed to be some sort of business transaction.”

Jamison’s smile went vaguely shark-like.  “Fine by me, Professor.”

“I also want an assurance that the person I was eating lunch with, Dr. ap Llyn, will be left alone.  I do apologise, but it’s difficult to trust someone who drugs people up in mens’ rooms and teleports them off to who knows where.”  He could tell that Rowena wasn’t anywhere close, in the same way he knew this wasn’t his mate, by the lack of the vortex energy that had infused Jack’s very being when he became immortal. 

“I don’t have any reason to do anything to your companion,” Jamison answered.  It was a lot easier for Ianto to deal with the man now that he had a name to refer to him by.  It was still difficult to know that this was his Jack without the immortality and betrayal and all the terrible losses he’d suffered, and a very tiny part of him wished he could somehow warn him…

No, he couldn’t.  Ianto wasn’t Merlin or the Doctor, but even he knew that would be catastrophic.  Besides, his Jack had gone through all of that to bring him to Ianto, and the dragon wouldn’t give up his mate for anything in the universe.

“As for what I need you to do,” he went on, “I just need you to authenticate something for me.  That’s all.”

Ianto regarded him closely.  As far as he could tell Jamison was telling the truth, but then Jack had told him all about being a very good conman in his younger days.  It could be that Jamison was playing him in some way, but the dragon knew it would be best to play along.  “Why me?” he did ask.  “Any historian could authenticate an artefact for you.”

“Not this one.”  Jamison pulled what had to be the key to the handcuffs from his waistcoat pocket.   “It’s going to take a very specialised sort of expert for it.”  He walked around to the back of the chair, and Ianto felt him unlock the cuffs…but not before stroking the inside of Ianto’s wrist in a pretty suggestive way.

“Let’s keep to the business at hand,” he answered, bringing his arms – sore from being restrained behind his back – around to the front and rubbing his wrists where the handcuffs had chafed.  

Jamison chuckled throatily.  “You don’t know what you’re missing,” he purred.

The problem was, Ianto knew exactly what he was missing.

He stood, as his kidnapper came around in front once more.  Ianto had to admit that, despite the circumstances he found himself in, he was very intrigued by what Jamison had, and why he thought that only himself could authenticate it.  The younger man motioned behind Ianto, and he turned, immediately spying the black, reinforced metal case that was sitting on the rickety-looking table under the curtained window.

It was about half a meter high, and about half that again in width.  It was sealed with an electronic device that flashed ominously at him as Ianto approached.  His curiosity was getting the better of him, he could admit that to himself, and he had a near-overwhelming desire to see what was so important that he’d been kidnapped for.

There was a beep, and the device – obviously a lock, most likely deadlock-sealing the case – stopped flashing.  Ianto looked back over his shoulder in time to catch Jamison flipping his Vortex Manipulator closed.  He raised an eyebrow, asking silent permission, and the Time Agent nodded once. 

The dragon stepped forward, setting his hands on the top of the case on either side of the lock.  He pulled the hinged lid open, revealing a formed, oval-shaped crevasse within.

What was nestled inside that hole punched the air out of Ianto’s lungs, and it took all he had not to react on the outside, to not tip off Jamison that he knew exactly what this was.

“Where did you get this?” he asked, and he was slightly irritated with himself by the awe in his voice.  He reached one hand toward the object, needing to touch the impossibility that lay within the case.

“Aren’t you supposed to wear some sort of gloves when you handle artefacts?” Jamison asked, and by his tone Ianto knew he’d noticed his slip.

“Do you have any?” he asked sharply, pulling his hand back slightly and not daring to glance in the man’s direction, not wanting to give anything else away.

“No.”

“And you interrupted a meal with a colleague, so I wasn’t prepared.”  Besides, he’d need to lay hands on it to tell if it was viable, still alive.  “You didn’t answer my question…where did you get this?”

“Does it matter?” Jamison asked blithely.

Ianto barely restrained the growl that wanted to escape.  Instead, he used both hands, and slipping them around the bulk of the object he lifted it from its cocoon.  He couldn’t help the gasp this time, as he sensed the life within, just waiting to be called forth.

“I take it that this really is a dragon’s egg?” Jamison demanded, losing all playfulness.

Ianto wanted to deny it.  He wanted to transform and escape and take this precious thing with him back home. 

He couldn’t do either.  There was too much at stake, especially if there were more where this came from.

“There’s no such thing as a dragon’s egg,” he whispered.

“Then what the hell is that?”  His captor sounded angry, and Ianto didn’t want that.

“A majority of legends assume that dragons are lizards, and thus lay eggs,” he explained, tilting the egg in order to see if it had been damaged in any way.  “That’s not true at all; in fact, dragons are something altogether different, not lizard or dinosaur or mammal.  But they birth their young live, so there aren’t any eggs involved.”  He sighed in relief at the sign that the shell was intact.

“Then why are you so interested in it?”

“Because,” Ianto answered, “there are certain magicks that can be used to protect an infant dragon in case of extreme danger.  One of those means putting the baby into a form of suspension within a shell that is near-impossible to break.  The child can remain viable for over a thousand years that way.”  He recalled the day that Merlin had asked about it, when his grandson has told him the story of finding Aithusa and how Kilgharrah had claimed that the shell around the sleeping baby had been an egg.  Understandably Merlin had been confused when Ianto had given birth to a live and wriggling infant…with a little help from a caesarian section, of course.

“In the final days, when dragons were being exterminated by humans,” he went on, “I would have expected there to be more and more eggs found.  But there weren’t, which means to me that either the humans took and hid them when they found them since they wouldn’t have been able to destroy them, or the dragons didn’t have the time or inclination to hide their children.  It was genocide, pure and simple.”  Even after all these millennia, Ianto mourned his lost kin.

“So you’re saying there could be a baby dragon in there?” Jamison asked, sounding excited about the prospect.

“I…don’t know.”  There was; Ianto could sense the life within the shell, but he didn’t want to give too much away to this younger version of his mate.   “It’s been so long since the dragons were killed…surely any baby wouldn’t have survived so long.”  It was a puzzle, that this child had been preserved for all those years.  But it was, and Ianto felt the overwhelming need to get it away from Jamison.

He could trust Jack, but his mate had told him stories of how he’d been when he’d been younger.  The dragon just couldn’t take the risk.

“What if I told you that it really hadn’t been all that long?” Jamison asked shrewdly.

“You went back in the past to get this?” It shouldn’t have surprised Ianto one bit that this was what had occurred, and yet it did.  “How did you know where to look?”  He’d searched; oh, how he’d searched, and he’d never found any sign at all.  How had this Time Agent found something he hadn’t been able to?

“It took me two years of searching for any sort of sign,” Jamison admitted, “but I finally found some cryptic notes among the papers of a 27th Century archaeologist, Bernice Summerfield, about an excavation in what had been the Bavarian Alps that had found what she’d claimed was a dragon’s nest.  It took some extrapolation on my part, but I was finally able to trace the site and go back to when the nest was actually being used.  I found that,” he indicated the egg, “and brought it back to it could be authenticated.  When I heard of your lecture I knew you were the one who could do it.”

Ianto looked at him sharply.  “And why were you searching for dragons’ eggs?”  Something was making him suspicious of the entire story.  Why indeed would someone go back in time, risk a paradox, all to locate a mythical dragon egg?

Jamison shrugged.  “Does it matter?”

“I suppose that means you were either paid or assigned to?” the dragon guessed.

The man’s poker face was good, he gave nothing away.  “As I said…does it matter?  Especially if the baby inside that isn’t alive anymore?”

He had a point, but Ianto wasn’t about to let it lie like that.  “Whatever you’re being paid, I’ll double it.”

Jamison’s eyebrows went up, and a calculating look crossed his face that Ianto felt simply didn’t belong there.  He once again had to remind himself that this man was not his mate and couldn’t be expected to react the same way. “You want it that badly, even if it doesn’t mean anything?”

Ianto shrugged.  “I’m an expert in dragons.  After all, that’s why you kidnapped me.”  He had to protect this egg, to get it back to Ddraig Llyn where Merlin could break the spell holding the child in its magical slumber.  He couldn’t let it get into unscrupulous hands, even if getting past the protective shell would be nearly impossible.  He couldn’t risk it.  “What expert wouldn’t want to have a so-called dragon’s egg in their collection, even if it would never hatch?”

He could tell that Jamison was accepting what he was saying, but at the same time there still was that expression that practically screamed ‘greed!’ at Ianto.  “Let’s say I agree to sell you the egg.  I’d be asking ten thousand for it. I’m not so sure you can afford that on a Professor’s salary.”

That was simply a dip in the bucket of Ianto’s hoard; he hadn’t had to touch it since he’d purchased Ddraig Llyn back in the late 21st Century, except for bits here and there.  “Would you want payment in credits, gold, or gemstones?”

That hadn’t been the answer that Jamison had been expecting, judging from the widening of his eyes in surprise.  “And just where would you get that much in anything?”

Ianto smirked. “Does it matter?”

Jamison chuckled.  “Touché.  I’d want payment up front before I let you go anywhere with that.”

“I think that can be arranged.”  Ianto’s heart was racing, and to his credit his hands were steady as they replaced the egg back into the case.  “I can have the money for you no later than this evening, in whatever denomination you decide.”

“Well,” the younger man said, practically getting up into Ianto’s personal space, “it’s been a pleasure doing business with you.”  He flipped open his wrist strap once the case was closed, resetting the deadlock.  “How about we celebrate with a little bit of pleasure now?”

“I don’t think so.”  It took every bit of willpower the dragon had not to step away.  He met those familiar – and yet not – blue eyes squarely.  “And what is your employer going to say about you selling the egg out from under him?”

“Oh, didn’t I say?”  Jamison looked so innocent that butter wouldn’t have melted in his mouth.  “That wasn’t the only egg in the nest I found.”


Chapter Four



Comments

argh!
how crafty!
in addition, must pay attention to Ianto Jamison: it is his past and his future.
;-)
Thank you! Jack is sneaky no matter how young he is. :)