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Myfanwy 2

October 2018



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A Stitch in Time - Chapter Eight

A Stitch in Time - Chapter Eight
Author: Milady Dragon
Series: Dragon-Verse
Rating: PG-13
Pairing(s): Jack/Ianto, Toshiko/Kathy, one-sided Tommy/Toshiko
Warnings: Language
Spoilers: Both series up to S2, E3, "To the Last Man" and a small mention of the audio book, "Department X""
Disclaimer: I don't own Torchwood, I would have treated it better.
Author's note: Here's the Dragon-Verse version of "To the Last Man".  As always dating was taken from a couple of fan-made timelines, especially Ianto's Desktop, and facts of the episode from the TARDIS Wiki.  Also, in the actual episode, it says it takes place on the 20th, on a Friday.  However, the only day that falls on in 2008 is in September, so I jiggered the date just a little.

SummaryIt's the time of year when Tommy Brockless, the frozen World War One soldier, is awakened for one day.  Only this time, things will be very different.

19 July 2008

Ianto headed down toward his hoard room, his nerves competing against the burning, prickly feel of the Rift as it fought against the tear in time that threatened the city, and the world.

To say he was edgy was a gross misstatement. Although Ianto knew that, according to Gerald’s report, that Tommy hadn’t acted afraid of him, he still was unsettled at the idea of having to give up his secret to one more person, and this one he wouldn’t have any sort of control over once the young soldier returned to his own time. Ianto might have accepted that Torchwood One hadn’t heard about dragons from Torchwood Three, but now there was Tommy to consider.

Had he somehow let it slip that there were dragons out in the world? Or had Tommy simply told whoever would listen? Ianto’s paranoia was back in full force, because Jack couldn’t remember what had happened after Tommy had gone back. However, Jack hadn’t known about dragons, so nothing was said in front of him…

He had to shake this off. Ianto had work to do, and it seemed there would be work for the dragon as well despite Ianto wanting to keep his true self out of it.

He and Jack had decided that the hoard room would be the best place to show Tommy the transformation, and he took the key from his pocket as he approached the door. He felt proud of the fact that his hand didn’t shake as he twisted the key in the lock.

Pushing the door open, Ianto entered and turned on the light. Instantly he felt calmer surrounded by the part of the hoard he kept there; dragons had that hoarding instinct, and he breathed easier as he stepped even further into the large room. It settled him somewhat.

Ianto stopped just short of the large pile of pillows and quilts in the centre of the room, turning to watch as first Owen, then Jack and finally Tommy walked through the door. His teammates had been in there before, but of course Tommy hadn’t, and the slack-jawed look on the young man’s face was almost gratifying as the soldier took in the wealth surrounding them, neatly arranged in an aesthetically pleasing style.

Various shades of gold made up the majority of the jewellery, and the light shimmered like fire among the trinkets. Precious stones glittered as if the stars had been brought down into the depths of the Hub. Weapons and books and clothing took up the rest of the shelves and cases, but the pride of the hoard where his sister, Sabrina’s, mating posts, one in each corner.

After a moment of just staring, Tommy exclaimed, “You weren’t kidding about a hoard!”

“No, we weren’t,” Jack answered. He gave the time-displaced soldier a little push, getting him to step into the room a little farther.

Tommy stumbled a bit, catching his balance against a shelf. “All right,” he said, once he was steady on his feet, “I get it. Your dragon has a hoard. But it can’t be that big, can it? ‘Cause I don’t see it getting in here on its own. It’ll be too big!” There was still a slight tone of incredulity in his voice.

“Well,” Ianto said, glad that his voice didn’t crack or do anything to embarrass him, “that’s where the magic comes in.”

With those words, he triggered his transformation.

The rush of pain/pleasure of his body shifting and changing, and of his wings forming, fought with the sickly/tingling of the overstimulated Rift for dominance. Ianto threw his head back, wanting to roar but not daring to in the confined space, knowing that it could spook Tommy more than he was bound to be after he settled into his true shape.

It had never felt like this before. It was like he was a vessel that the power of the Rift wanted to fill, but his own personal magic was already sloshing over the rim of his body’s chalice. It was more pain than pleasure this time, and the dragon battled for supremacy.

The dragon finally won.

He looked down at the three men in his hoard room, Tommy’s reaction specifically. He’d gone pale, and for a split second the dragon thought he’d stopped breathing.

Then his knees buckled, and it was only Jack and Owen being prepared for an extreme reaction that kept Tommy from crumpling to the hard concrete. The dragon settled onto his nest, curling his forelegs underneath him and lowering his head to Tommy’s level. “Now you know,” he rumbled quietly.

Tommy didn’t say anything for a long time. He simply stared at the dragon as he made himself more comfortable on the pillows and quilts. Ianto was outwardly calm, but inside he was still so incredibly nervous at the young man’s silence. Would he accept what his eyes were telling him? Would he truly be fine with having his world turned upside down?

“Um,” Tommy finally said, his voice a near squeak, “you’re not gonna eat me, are you?”

Owen barked out a laugh.   “Nah, Dragon Boy only eats virgins, so you’re safe.”

It shouldn’t have been possible for Tommy to get any paler, but he did.

“Owen,” the dragon sighed, “please don’t traumatise Tommy any more than he already is.”

“Go ahead and touch him,” Jack urged. “He won’t hurt you.”

Suiting words to actions, Jack moved forward and ran his hand along the dragon’s flank, and Ianto let his eyes slide shut in enjoyment. As usual when his mate touched him he had the immense urge to purr like a cat.

Another hand tentatively joined Jack’s, and the dragon opened his eyes, turning his head to look down. Tommy had gotten up enough courage to do as Jack suggested, and had his fingers splayed against his green scales.

Ianto smiled, but kept his lips firmly over his razor-sharp teeth. He didn’t want to scare Tommy away. “I am the last of my kind,” he explained. “There will be no more after me.” That thought still caused him pain, but having Jack as his mate made it somewhat better. “I met Jack on the side of a mountain, and have been with him – with Torchwood – ever since.” He didn’t want Tommy to realise what Ianto had meant by being with Jack, since this was enough of a shock for now.

“You’re warm!” Tommy exclaimed. “I thought lizards were all cold.”

“I’m not a lizard,” Ianto said primly. “I am a dragon. There’s a difference.”

“He’s really pretty vain about that sort of thing,” Jack shared, giving him a wink.

“I kinda thought I’d seen everything,” Tommy confessed. “Seen a lot of stuff when I’m woken up, and I had to accept all that. But this…”

“You’re taking it pretty well, mate,” Owen congratulated.

“Actually, I’m too confused to break down at the moment!”

Jack laughed. “That’s a pretty good response, if you ask me.”

Tommy stepped away. “You were never gonna say anything.” He didn’t sound accusing, and a sense of relief coursed through Ianto.

“No,” he admitted. “I didn’t think you needed to be weighed down by that knowledge. You still wouldn’t know, if not for that sketch.”

“Yeah, I understand.”

“Let’s get you ready to go back to your time,” Jack put in, taking Tommy by the elbow and steering out of the hoard room. “There are still a few things I need to go over with you…”

His mate gave Owen a look full of meaning, and Owen nodded as the pair passed him and headed back out into the corridor.

Once their footsteps had faded, the medic stalked up to the dragon, his arms crossed belligerently. “Okay, Dragon Boy…what was that all about?”

Ianto knew exactly what Owen was talking about. He could have guessed that the discomfort of his changing had been obvious to his friend and his mate. “The growing Rift energy is beginning to affect my personal magic,” he explained. “It…interfered with my change a bit.”

“A bit? I’ve seen your transformation too many times not to recognise when something was wrong with it. You say it’s the peaking Rift energy?”

The dragon nodded.

“Yeah, that doesn’t surprise me. You’re already sensitive to it and know when there’s a Rift spike even before Tosh’s toys do. I should’ve expected something like this.”

The dragon shrugged. “We both should have.”

“Okay, let’s see you change back and we’ll catch up with Jack and Soldiersickle.”

Ianto reached deep within himself, toward the source of his own magic, and triggered the change back to human form,

Or, at least he tried to.

“Something’s wrong,” he admitted, suddenly very afraid. “I can’t change back.” He attempted it again, but the energy was overpowering his ability to transform. He began to panic, his tail thrashing wildly and his body humming with adrenaline.

“Calm down, Ianto. Take a deep breath and relax.” Owen rested his hand on the dragon’s shoulder, stroking down lightly. “You already know it’s the power of the Rift. You just need to try to move past it and do whatever it is you do when you go back to human.”

That was easier said than done. It was as if the time energy was overwhelming his personal power, trying to push it out and to take over. It was just different enough to be incompatible with his magic, and it felt as if his very body was tingling with it.

The dragon followed Owen’s advice, and took a deep breath, his sides inflating with it. He did need to calm down, to regain control. He was needed, and trapping himself in his own hoard room wasn’t in that plan.

There was sudden sizzle of magic, and the dragon was suddenly shrinking down into his human form, but once again it didn’t feel right. The magic rushed outward, forcing the Rift energy away, but it wasn’t a pleasant sensation.

Ianto had no idea how he ended up on his knees, but the pillows had helped him avoid jamming his knees on the concrete. He turned to look up at Owen, who was kneeling beside him. “Now that looked bloody wrong, Ianto. If you weren’t in that fucking file I’d be confining you to the Hub until the crisis is past.”

“And I’d agree with you completely.” Ianto knew when he was capable and when he wasn’t…he just wasn’t always good about admitting it. “What did it look like?”

Owen helped him to his feet. Ianto’s legs felt like jelly, but he could stand without falling over. “You know how it’s usually smooth, right?” At Ianto’s nod, he continued, “This time there were flashes and these tiny explosions like…okay, I’m gonna use one of Tosh’s descriptions and say it was like matter and anti-matter colliding. Yeah, even I know what the hell that is, and that had to be what that sort of shit looks like.”

“That doesn’t surprise me.” Ianto took a hesitant step toward the door, and then another; he felt stronger after each one. He ushered Owen out and turned off the light, locking the door behind them. “It was my own personal magic fighting for control against the time energy.” They walked down the corridor together. “The magic won.”

“This time,” Owen added forebodingly.

Ianto didn’t argue with him.


Looking up at St. Teilo’s made Ianto feel slightly dizzy.

The hospital was partially demolished, and construction vehicles sat around it. The only reason work wasn’t going on was because it was Saturday, for which Ianto was very grateful. He didn’t want to have to deal with a crew of workers in the vicinity as well as his own reactions to what the time tearing was doing to him.

The temporal energy was even stronger there, which made sense but the dragon still didn’t have to like it. The normal feeling of the Rift was like rain on his scales; this was like walking through an ice-saturated water fall, power beating against him almost hard enough to bruise even him.

“Come on,” Jack said, striding toward the front entrance to St. Teilo’s. Owen followed, Tommy more reluctantly, looking out of place in his uniform jacket and pyjama bottoms. Ianto stayed in the rear of the group, his feet dragging as they approached.

He knew why he’d ever set foot in this place, even before knowing it would affect him. The entire building was just…wrong. Somewhere in the back of his mind a small voice was gibbering, the flight response strong. Ianto pushed it back down until he couldn’t hear it any longer, knowing he had to do this in order to preserve time. He had to go inside because he’d already been within, according to that damning sketch that Gerald Carter had included in their sealed orders.   To ignore it would cause a paradox.

Ianto had had enough of paradoxes to last his lifetime.

Everything had been removed from the hospital, leaving peeling paint and the smell of mould that threatened to make Ianto sneeze. This had once been a place of healing; now it was riddled with ghosts.

Tommy stopped, his head cocking to the side as if he was listening to something. Ianto quickly caught it; the sound of footsteps echoing through empty corridors. Before his eyes a woman appeared, holding a lamp, her costume that of a nurse from Tommy’s time.

The alarm went off from the scanner that Jack was holding, but Ianto didn’t need to hear that in order to know the tear was leaking. He could feel it, although it was somewhat obscured by the overall sense of the place, drowning in Time. It was so bad he couldn’t even feel Jack at the back of his head any longer.

The building shook.

“Bloody hell!” Owen shouted.

“We’re still safe…for the time being,” Jack answered, looking down at the scanner, reading what it was telling him.

‘You call that safe?” Owen demanded as the shaking subsided.

Tommy headed farther into the building. Ianto turned to Jack, who looked at him, worry clear in his eyes. The dragon nodded once, and started after the young man.

He turned just as Tommy vanished around a corner, facing both Jack and Owen. “I’ll go with him. Why don’t you both wait outside for me?”

His mate looked as if he wanted to argue, but instead nodded. “If you’re not out in fifteen minutes, I’m coming back in after you.”

That was the last thing Ianto wanted, but he knew better than to argue with Jack against it. Instead, he turned his back on them and walked deeper into the old hospital, making the same turning Tommy had.

He soon caught up with the soldier, just as he stopped once more. Ianto knew immediately why; the faint sound of singing floated down the corridor. The nurse with the lamp reappeared.

Tommy took off after her, and Ianto was right behind him. Together they took another corner at speed, but the nurse was gone once more.

“Where is she?” Tommy demanded.

“In 1918,” Ianto murmured.

Tommy glanced in his direction, but Ianto realised he wasn’t seeing him at all. Tommy was somewhere in the past, seeing events that Ianto could not.

“They took me,” he whispered. “Torchwood took me. I remember…”

With that, he was off running again.

Ianto let him take the lead, trusting whatever Tommy was seeing to guide them. They began passing apparitions of patients and workers both, none of them reacting to their presence. Ianto could sense the time tear spreading wider, letting more of the past into the future, the Rift energy buffeting him as if he were trying to fly into a windstorm.

They ended up in a large room, and with the furnishings removed Ianto couldn’t tell what it had been used for. Tommy was breathing hard, and his hands were clenched around the Rift Key as if it were an anchor keeping him in the here and now. His eyes were wide and frightened. “I don’t want to go back. I won’t do it!”

“You have to,” Ianto tried to reason with him, even as he felt so very sorry for the young man.

Tommy just shook his head. “If they send me back to the front, I won’t come back!”

“You don’t know that. Anything could happen. But right now, the world depends on you. Toshiko depends on you.”

Tommy’s head snapped back at the dragon’s words. “She didn’t even come and see me!”

“I know, but she had to stay away, for her own sake. Please, believe me…Toshiko cares about you, but she needs to live her own life. Plus she couldn’t bear to see you knowing that you would be leaving. You must know that.”

“Why me?” he moaned. His hands went limp and he dropped the Rift Key into the floor, the sound of it harsh in the stillness. “I’ve been shoved from pillar to post my entire life! By the Army…by Torchwood…it’s not fair.” He backed up until his back hit the wall, and then Tommy slid down the damaged plaster until he was seated on the ground.

He looked so broken that Ianto’s heart couldn’t help but go out to him. He moved forward slowly, picking up the key on the way, and then knelt beside the shivering young man. “I know it’s not fair. It’s terrible that you had to be put through all this. But you’re a hero, Tommy.” The soldier looked at him askance, unbelievingly. “It’s true. It’s up to you to save the world.”

“I don’t want to be a hero.”

“I have yet to meet the person who really wants that –“

His next words were cut off as he felt an oppressive wave of energy flow over and through him, along with a bright, blinding light. Ianto couldn’t help but moan with pain as he pushed the Rift Key into Tommy’s hands and then stepped back.

The urge to change was overpowering. The power struck deep in his chest, and in the place where his personal magic sat, and he had no real choice.

Ianto transformed into the dragon against his will.

He wanted to curl up with the pain even as he was feeling a bit relieved that he’d had no choice to shift into his natural form. His legs were wobbly, and he sank onto his belly despite his attempt to stay upright.


The voice was unfamiliar and yet the dragon knew exactly who it was.

He looked toward Tommy, sympathy in his eyes. “Tell them.”

“Tell us what?” Gerald Carter demanded, his voice angry.

“Tell them what to do,” he said, ignoring the question and looking directly at Tommy, who was still seated on the floor, staring at the Rift Key as if it was going to bite him. “You’re the only one who can do it. If you don’t, it will be the end of everything…the end of Toshiko, your friend.”

He abhorred using Toshiko against Tommy, but it was the only thing he could do. And it seemed to work; Tommy stood, clutching the key to his chest. He walked around the dragon, and Ianto followed him with his eyes.

“Take me!” Tommy exclaimed. “I’m here in the ward in 1918. You have to take me so I can be here now!”

Gerald and Harriet didn’t move. It was obvious they were too busy being floored by the presence of a dragon in the hospital.

“Look at me!” Tommy shouted. “You have to take me and freeze me! The world is at stake!”

That seemed to get their attention. But before they could do anything, the light flared once more, and Ianto knew they were back in the future.

He smiled sadly at Tommy. “It’s almost time. Please, don’t forget to use the key. As soon as you get back into bed, use the key.”

“Tell Toshiko I love her,” the young man said. “And I left a present for her at her workstation.”

“I’ll make sure she gets it,” the dragon vowed.

They nod to each other, acknowledging their last words.

Then an unnatural wind began to blow, and the light grew once more, this time brighter and colder than before.

Chapter Nine


Great chapter! Poor Tommy - so sad.
I just feel so bad for Tommy.

Glad you liked it. :)
Always so sad that Tommy had to go back but he was a hero whether he wanted to be or not.
I do feel so bad for Tommy, he didn't ask for any of this.

Glad you liked it. :)
Yay! I've been waiting for this, glad to see another chapter.Great job again, I always look forward to reading your stories. :)
Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it. More up soon. :)
Poor Tommy
I know, I feel so bad for him. :(
Poor Ianto, the rift is really making him unstable. Hopefully now that everything is the way it used to be Ianto will get better. I am looking forward to seeing Tosh back, I have missed her. :) I am really looking forward to the next chapter. :)
I know I keep saying this BUT I LOVE THIS VERSE! Thanks for the update can't wait for the next chapter! <3
Thank you so much! Next chapter up soon, I promise. :)
The Rift really is messing Ianto up at the moment. But don't worry, Jack will take care of him. *winks*

Tosh will be back soon, and she'll miss Tommy but things will work out.

Next chapter up soon. :)
Ouch, that sounded painful as I read it. Now we know why Gerald drew Ianto in dragon form; Ianto couldn't help the transformation. He is right about the heroes though, not too many wanted to be one, but they weren't given much of a choice. Some are even heroes by accident. Now we just have to see what will happen to Tommy; with Jack not remembering that particular piece of time Tommy's future is still up in the air. He might just make it through the war.
Poor Ianto, he had to be there and it was worse than anyone would have thought. Tommy is a hero, and no one will ever really know it, which makes it worse in a way.

Next chapter will answer the question about Tommy's future, I hope. :)
I always feel so sorry for Tommy..
Oh, I do too! It wasn't his fault he had to go through all that, he was just an innocent. :(
This verse is so good! It would take me ages to tell you all the things I liked about this chapter - let alone the entire verse!

I do feel so sorry for Tommy (and Toshiko). At least in your verse Tosh has Kathy.
Thank you so much! I'm glad you're enjoying it. :)

I do feel sorry for Tommy, he didn't deserve what happened to him at all. And more Tosh up in about two more chapters.
Poor Tommy - sending him back to WW1 was not fun. Worried about Ianto and hope he's alright. Looking forward to that scene now - goes off to watch it again.
Oh, I know! It wasn't Tommy's fault and yet he still has to go back. And don't worry, Jack will take care of Ianto. *grins*

awww poor Tommy! such a lovely twist on the episode though. Great work!!
I do feel so bad about Tommy, he didn't deserve any of this. I'm glad you liked it! Thank you, hon! :)
Awww its so sad that Tommy had to go back. And I'm worried for Ianto, hate to see him in pain. Hope he gets some time with Jack after this. Lovely chapter again :)
I know, and we'll see more about Tommy in the next chapter. Ianto will be all right, but then he does have Jack to take care of him!

Thank you so much!
Great update. Poor boys!
Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it. I know, I feel so bad for both of them. :(