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Myfanwy 2

January 2018

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The Breaking - Chapter Seven

The Breaking - Chapter Seven
Author: Milady Dragon
Artist: Madbottoms
Beta: Totally4ryo
Series: Dragon-Verse
Rating: PG-13
Pairing(s): Jack/Ianto, Toshiko/Kathy, pre-Alice Carter/Patrick Delaware, Martha Jones/Tom Milligan
Warnings: Language, Violence, Child Endangerment, Temporary Character Death
Spoilers: Up through S3, "Children of Earth".
Disclaimer: I don't own Torchwood, I would have treated it better...and so I rewrite it so it might make more sense.
Author's note:  This is the "The Breaking", the Dragon-Verse rewrite of "Children of Earth".  I have changed the date to reflect the fact that school doesn't start in Great Britain until September, and not the original airing date.  This was written for the Long Live Ianto Big Bang Round Two.

SummaryThe Fae are watching.  The children are chanting.  Can Torchwood stop the end of the world?





16 September 2009

No one else slept anymore that morning.

Jack kept pacing like a caged tiger, and Ianto couldn’t blame him. They were all worried about their family, out there somewhere and on the run, and yet there wasn’t anything they could really do. Ianto had offered to change into his dragon form and try to at least find Alice, Steven, and Patrick, but Jack had denied him, saying that knowing Patrick, he would have found them a different car from Alice’s, and how would Ianto even know what vehicle to check for?

Ianto admitted that he had a point. Still, he hated just sitting there on his hands, doing nothing,

Toshiko had managed to get through to Kathy, who was really sleeping on the sofa in her office at police headquarters. She’d used Jack’s office phone to do it, since it was still heavily encrypted and less likely to be hacked. Kathy was fine, and would stay in the building until they knew more of what was going on, but Toshiko had told her that she might get visitors.

Kathy could take care of herself, and if she couldn’t her coppers would come to her assistance. Cardiff CID was the best place for her to be.

Jack had also called Estelle. They had no idea just how long the surveillance on their mobiles had started, and none of them wanted to take the chance that their antagonists would also go after Estelle. But she’d answered and said she was fine, and that nothing had tripped her wards. Jack had exacted a promise to call if anything happened, but Ianto could tell his mate was also desperately worried about his former lover.

Since Kathy seemed safe, Toshiko had thrown herself into her hacking with a gusto that belied the fact that she must have only gotten about five hours’ sleep. Jack ordered her to scrub Rhys’ and Alice’s histories clean, so no one could find out more personal information on them…and hopefully it wouldn’t be too late.

“What about Patrick and Deborah?” she asked as she got to work.

“Deborah is a valid employee of the Welsh Tourism Board,” Jack answered, “and I’m pretty certain they checked on her before we knew they were listening in on our phone conversations, so it wouldn’t do any good. As for Patrick…” he smiled a predator’s smile, “his background is scary. Let them worry about just what they pissed off with him.”

Toshiko had managed to get into some of UNIT’s system, and had forwarded as much medical information on the chanting children that she’d been able to find, and that kept Owen busy and cursing while Deborah found some things in the kitchen to prepare for breakfast. Ianto kept himself busy by making coffee and then getting back online, to see if anything else they might be able to use turned up.

Barely two hours after they’d been awakened by Rhys’ phone call, Jack’s office phone rang.

Ianto was faster and managed to get there before his mate, earning him a frown from Jack. He didn’t even bother to answer it as Torchwood; anyone calling that particular line knew damned well who they were reaching.

“Ianto,” Kathy’s voice said, sounding strained, “I wanted to let you know we received an alarm going off at your house twenty minutes ago.”

Ianto drew in a sharp breath, anger narrowing his eyes. Something must have communicated itself to Jack because his mate took a hesitant step backward. “What happened?” he snapped, and then hoping that Kathy wouldn’t think he was angry at her.

Apparently she didn’t. “I sent a car over, and they reported that there was a group of black-clad men with automatic weapons tossing the place. The two constables didn’t have a chance, and were kept from going inside themselves by being held at gunpoint.” She was just as angry as Ianto was.

“Are they all right?” Ianto asked, worried about the unarmed Bobbies facing armed troops.

“Yeah, more indignant than scared. But they reported the intruders removed several items from your house…mostly electronic equipment, especially any computer stuff.”

The dragon sighed. That sort of thing could always be replaced, and besides they’d have more than their fair share of trouble getting past the security measures Toshiko had put onto his laptop; that was, if it didn’t automatically wipe itself after two failed password attempts. “At least your men weren’t hurt.”

“They showed sense and didn’t try to intervene, even though the intruders didn’t identify themselves. But, Ianto…one of my guys says he saw them also carrying out what looked like historical artefacts…I’m sorry, but those bastards could have gotten into your hoard.”

Ianto growled, the sound coming up from somewhere deep in his chest. A dragon’s hoard was personal and no one should ever dare to steal from one. To do so was to risk the dragon’s wrath.

Then he willed his anger back down. “As long as no one was hurt. I can replace anything they happened to take.”

There was a silent moment, and then Kathy spoke once more, “And this is why you’re like my family, Jones…you care more about my men than what was stolen from you.”

“Yeah, well…life is always more important than objects. And speaking of that…be careful, Kathy. We don’t want anything to happen to you.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll be fine. I’ll stay right here in the office until we get these bastards caught. Can I ask…you think this also has something to do with the kids?”

“Yes, we believe so. We’re pretty certain someone doesn’t want us investigating, and they’re trying to take Torchwood out of the picture.”

“Whoever they are, they’re damned stupid if you ask me. If you have something weird, you go to the people who know weird. You don’t cut them out of the loop.”

“That would make sense. Well, I should go; Jack’s bouncing with curiosity to know what this call was about.” Ianto would have laughed if he still wasn’t so pissed off.

“Alright. I’m gonna send patrols over to ours and to Owen’s, Rhys’, and Delaware’s places just in case. I’ll call if they were tossed as well. I’ll also see about getting your place boarded up. Don’t want anything else to go missing.”

“Sounds good. As I said…be careful.”

“I’m surrounded by wannabe knights in shining armour,” she scoffed. “I’ll be fine.”

Ianto couldn’t help but laugh at that. Ever since the massacre at the CID that Jack’s brother had arranged, everyone in the rank and file at the CID had become far more protective of their newest DCI than Kathy felt was completely necessary. “You must be their Queen, then. Should I start calling you ‘Your Majesty’?”

“Screw you, Jones,” she laughed. “Go and get these bastards, okay? And if you need help, you better damn call me, got it?”

“Yes, Your Majesty,” he couldn’t help but say.

That earned a loud, unladylike sound and a hang-up. Ianto put the receiver down, his good mood sliding away like quicksilver. He rested his head in his hands.

“What’s going on?” Jack asked.

Ianto lifted his head, explaining to his mate what Kathy had told him. Jack’s face closed down little by little, and the dragon could tell he was angrier than Ianto had ever seen him, culminating with the flash of fury in Jack’s eyes when Ianto mentioned them stealing the small hoard he’d kept in their house’s basement.

“They can’t get away with this,” Jack growled. “I don’t know why they’re out to get us, but this needs to end. Something is going on, and they’re shutting us out when they could be coming to us and asking for our help!” He slammed his fist into the wall, and Ianto winced at the sound of flesh hitting brick.

Jack simply shook his hand out, hissing at the pain. Ianto moved toward him, taking his injured hand in his and stroking it gently. “There’s no reason to go around hurting yourself,” he murmured. Under his fingers the skin from the bloodied knuckles knit itself together.

“Yeah, sorry,” his mate muttered. “It’s just that…”

“I know, believe me. We’ll get to the bottom of this, don’t worry. But we need to keep our wits about us. Which I know is hard, because I want to find these bastards as much as you do.” Ianto knew there was one thing he could do, but he wasn’t certain if Jack would agree. “I think I should go and talk to the Fae directly.”

Jack gaped at him. “If I thought that would actually help in this situation –“

“They obviously want us to do something about the children,” Ianto pointed out. “At this moment, they know more than we do. It’s about time they shared that knowledge with us. And, on the way, I can check on Estelle and see how she’s doing.”

He could tell that was what tipped Jack into favouring his plan. They were both concerned about Estelle; yes she was a powerful witch, but Ianto knew that having magic didn’t mean she could stand up to armour-piercing bullets.

He had yet to know if the dragon could, but he wasn’t about to test just how strong his scales were.

“I’d feel a lot better if she was somewhere else,” Jack admitted.

“I know, Jack. But they haven’t come after her yet, and she can defend herself. I’ll stop by and see how she feels about it.”

Jack nodded. “Alright. That sounds fine.” He was still tense though, and Ianto knew there were far too many things contributing to that anxiety to name.

“Jack…Ianto,” Toshiko called out from her workstation.

They glanced at one another and headed out into the main Hub. “What’s up?” Jack asked.

Toshiko looked tired; she had dark circles under her eyes and a pinched look that tipped Ianto off to her headache. “I think UNIT might know what’s going on.”

“Are you sure?” Jack asked, putting a hand on her shoulder.

“Not…entirely,” she admitted. “But I managed to get inside Colonel Oduya’s calendar, and as of yesterday morning at 8:46am he cleared everything he had listed on his calendar for the day. Later on, he cleared it again…this time for the next several days. Everything has been completely blanked out.”

“That’s suspicious,” Ianto admitted. “The children first froze yesterday around 8:40am.”

“And Oduya has been ducking me,” Jack added. “Damn, I wish Mace was back on duty. He’d cooperate with us.”

“Jack,” Toshiko said, “there are others out there who will be investigating this as well. Maybe we should contact them and see what they know?”

Jack grinned. “You are an angel, Toshiko Sato. That is an excellent idea…if we can’t trust UNIT and our own government, then we should make an end run around them!”

Ianto chuckled. “Was that an American football analogy?”

“It…might have been,” he answered, chagrined.

“See…Patrick is rubbing off on him!” Toshiko crowed. “Soon he’ll be American in mind as well as accent.”

“It’s a Boeshane accent,” Jack argued. “I can’t help it if it just happens to sound American.”

“We know,” Ianto teased. “Look, why don’t you make some calls and see what you can come up with. Toshiko, keep on hacking; I’m sure you’ll get somewhere with it. And I’m going to see Estelle…and have a little chat with the Fae.”

Toshiko didn’t look happy. “Are you sure that’s wise?”

“They know something that we need to know,” Ianto explained.

“No, I meant leaving the Hub. Surely they’ll know what car you drive, and being out alone would make you a target.”

Ianto smirked. “I don’t intend on driving.”

**********

Cardiff looked wonderful from the air.

The dragon flew high, wanting to make certain that no one happened to see him from the ground, and it gave him a distinctly different view from the one he got when in his human form. The city was spread out beneath him in all its glory, projecting peace instead of strife; calm instead of chaos. It was beautiful and oh, so deceptive.

The sun was just above the horizon by the time the dragon landed in Estelle’s back garden, the wind from the downdraft of his wings flattening the fall foliage as his legs touched down, digging small furrows into the grass with his talons.

Estelle came out to meet him, and waited until he’d changed form to hug him. When she pulled away, she was looking at him appraisingly. “You do know I can look after myself,” she said, a tiny smile curling up one side of her mouth.

“We know,” he answered, “but we still can’t help but worry.”

Moses intertwined between his feet as if the cat wanted to trip him up, Ianto followed Estelle into the house. Tea was set up already in the kitchen, as she’d been expecting his arrival.

“Well, not necessarily you,” she admitted, a twinkle in her eye as she served the tea, “but I knew either you or Jack would be out to check on me.”

He accepted the mug from her, inhaling the sweet scent of the fruit tea Estelle favoured. “Someone did try to grab Rhys, and then Alice, Steven, and Patrick…you can see why we were worried.”

“Yes, I can,” she agreed. “But wasn’t that because you’d called them on their mobiles? I haven’t talked to either you or Jack since I saw Jasmine Pierce.”

“We saw her as well, during the last round of chanting. I’m certain the Fae know a lot more than they’re telling.”

“That wouldn’t surprise me. They have a vested interest in their Chosen Ones, and wouldn’t want them interfered with.”

“And despite that they want us to do all the work.”

“I didn’t say they weren’t lazy.”

Ianto chuckled. “True. But I think it’s time I tried to talk to them myself.”

“Do you honestly think that’s going to work?”

“I don’t know,” he sighed, taking a sip, “but I have to try. This is getting far too out of hand.” He explained to her about Kathy’s phone call, about how what sounded like the same people who had tried to kidnap the others had apparently broken into his house. Estelle grimaced when he told her about his stolen hoard, and she reached out and took his hand in sympathy.

“Yes,” she said, “you do have to try. I really don’t think you’ll get anywhere, though.”

“I’m sure you’re right,” he sighed. “But we have to get some answers, and we’re not getting them anywhere else.”

“Be careful,” Estelle cautioned. “We wouldn’t want anything to happen to you.”

“They won’t hurt me, I don’t think. The dragons have their own Pacts with the Fae that they recognise and adhere to.”

“Ianto, I think you know as well as I do, they don’t have to break a Pact in order to hurt you.”

Estelle had a point. He remembered the last time they’d dealt with the Fae, and how they’d tried to get around the Naming he’d done by frightening Estelle and Gwen, and they hadn’t had to touch them at all. If either of them had broken the Naming…well, Ianto would not have been there, enjoying tea with Estelle.

“I want you to promise me something,” he said, squeezing her hand gently.

“You know I would do anything for you, Ianto,” she answered kindly.

“At the first sign of trouble, you get away from here. All right?” They might not know about Estelle now, but there was no telling what might happen later.

“I will. I do know about your secondary protocol.”

“Good. Now, let’s finish our tea, and then I should beard the Fae in their lair.”

**********

Roundstone Wood hadn’t changed at all since the last time Ianto had come there, to Name his friends and place them under his protection.

He would add to that list today.

His human form began the trek back into the wood, toward the cairn where the Fae gathered. The trees whispered ancient stories as he walked, sighing in his ears as his eyes tracked the changes in the wood the deeper he went.

Sand and ocean; fire and ice; all the ages of the world spun about him, and Ianto triggered his true form as he came up onto the ancient stone that marked the border of the Lost Lands. He could feel the snap and crackle of power against his scales, and it was different from how he sensed the Cardiff Rift. The Rift was Time and Space and connected all within its Vortex; the power that saturated Roundstone Wood was Magic and Age and the tingle of what was long gone, yet still half-remembered in dreams and fairy tales.

The Fae were around him, in the trees and half in this world and half in the other, the soft susurrus of wings echoing around him and humming in his ears. One darted down to land on the stone in the centre of the glade, dragonfly wings fluttering as the large green creature steadied itself on top of the stone, bathed in the energy of Creation itself.

“What do you here, ancient one?” the leader of the Fae hissed, baring its knife-sharp teeth.

“You know why I’m here,” the dragon countered, mantling his wings in reply.

“Why are you here?” the Fae repeated.

“Because you sent Jasmine Pierce to watch for a Breaking. We now know it’s because of the children, but we cannot determine what’s going to cause the Breaking. You have information of that, information that we need in order to stop this from happening.”

“We may but watch. We cannot interfere.”

“I’m not asking you to interfere. I’m asking to know what you know about what’s going on.”

“Then you should ask your mate. He knows, yet he does not remember.”

The Fae were as bad as the Great Dragons in their proclamations. “So how do I help him recall it?”

“You cannot. That is up to him. We cannot interfere. We can only watch.”

“And yet you want us to stop it! How can we if we don’t know what’s going on?”

“It shall be known in short time. Be patient and the knowledge will come to you.”

The dragon narrowed his eyes.   “You want us to stop it as much as we do ourselves. The least you could do is give us something to work with!”

“The Breaking must be stopped. If it is not, then we will be unable to take.”

“So you’re saying that you wouldn’t be enforcing your Pact if it is broken?” Ianto asked, amazed. He knew that, if the Pact was broken and somehow the humans keep the potential Chosen Ones from being free to make their choices about joining the Fae, then the world would be forfeit. The Fae would bring back ice and storm and sweep away everything living on the planet.

The elder Fae glared at the dragon. “No. You must listen. There would be no world left in which to take what we are due. The humans would suffer such destruction as has yet to be seen in any war they wage against themselves.”

That proclamation sent a shiver up the dragon’s spine, involuntarily shaking his wings. This was far worse than anything Ianto could have guessed. He’d only been thinking of keeping the Pact from being broken. But, if what the elder Fae was claiming was indeed true, then the world would be worse off and it wouldn’t matter if the Pact was broken or not.

“Thank you,” he said, ducking his head in respect. “I also wish to Name. Will you witness?”

The Fae returned the bow. “We shall. Name them.”

“Patrick Delaware. Alice Carter. Steven Carter. Deborah Morrison –“

“Their true names,” the Fae demanded.

Of course; he should have remembered that. “Melissa Moretti. Emma-Louise Cowell.” He didn’t need to change Steven’s, as this was the name he had been born with. “Rhys Williams. Tom Milligan.”

“Agreed. We recognize them as yours, although there truly had been no need to Name the Air Dragon’s Chosen.”

“I know, but she is my family now, bound by Mating and by Choice. It is only right that I Name her as well.”

“And as you know, one only to break this Pact and all that entails.”

“Agreed. I would also like to remove one from my Naming, by dint of broken faith with me and mine.”

The Fae looked gleeful. “Remove them, ancient one.”

He took a deep breath. He’d thought about this for a long time, and it really was the only thing he could do. “Gwen Cooper is no longer Named by me. I renounce her.”

Ianto knew what this meant; that removing Gwen from his list of family would open her up to a lack of protection against anything that might come after her. But there really was no choice in the matter, simply because in her Retconned state she wouldn’t even know she would be risking damage to him and those she no longer remembered. He had to cut her loose from him and his family, and it should have been done a long time ago.

“Agreed,” the elder answered. “Although it seems as if this was a Naming that never should have occurred.”

“Yes, it was.”

“It is good that you know that now, before this one broke your Pact with her, albeit unintentionally.”

Honestly, Ianto was surprised it hadn’t happened before now.

“You must go. There are things that must be done and time is short. Go to your mate; he will soon know his part in all of this. And you must know that this was yet another reason we did not wish you to Name him, however time has shown us that he is worth Naming. Go, now.”

The Fae elder leapt into the air, his wings causing dead leaves to swirl around the stone. The others responded, and within seconds the area was empty of them.

Ianto transformed into his human form once more, in order to leave Roundstone Wood. He got some answers…now it was up to the team to interpret them.

He also needed to talk to Jack.


Chapter Eight






Comments

The situation becomes more tense with each chapter. Well done.
Thank you! Glad you liked it. :)
Interesting job with the Fae. Like most mystical prophesies, they provide information that's only understood in hindsight. I also loved Jack's reaction to Tosh's query about scrubbing Patrick's history. Hm... I wonder if any of that will tie into Jack's end run around UNIT and the government.
Thanks! Yes, this is true...you only really know what they mean until it's almost too late. Cryptic jerks. LOL!

Patrick's personal history is just plain scary. *grins*
Love the update!
Thank you! :)
Just catching up on this wonderful story! This situation seems to revolve around Jack so much and what he doesn't remember but that critter Johnson is far more worrisome along with her cohorts. I just hope Ianto and team can get to the bottom of this before Johnson gets her hooks and moles into Torchwood...
Yes, it really is about Jack and what he did, but Johnson is a pain...and she's so much fun to write.

Thanks! :)
I'm really intrigued by the conversation with the Fae and how they seem to have come round about Jack :)
The Fae are just damned cryptic. LOL! But yes, they've accepted Jack now, but they really didn't want to! :)
Thieving you-know-whats need to be introduced to some dragon-fire methinks. At least now Ianto and Jack know that what they need to know is in Jacks past, a lengthy and complicated prospect, sure, but that is a place to start... :)
Ianto might enjoy that a bit too much!

Now it's just getting to what Jack knows...
I'm hoping this can be sorted without the hub being destroyed - so very worried about where this is going?


Also, just out of interest, I was wondering if Frobisher's involvement had altered any given that he shares a face with someone else? :P
Be worried...be very worried... *laughs evilly*

No, I'm afraid I won't touch on that, since apparently Moffat is going to at some point. I don't have enough information to even attempt to write Twelve yet...

Another great update that had me freaking out - but I'm so glad he named his new family and unnamed Gwen; I've been worried she'd accidentally break the pact and put them all in danger.

Next, please! :-D
Thank you! I do have plans for Gwen but not in this story... *laughs evilly*
Oh no, poor Gwen! *snickers*
*gulp* How are Ianto and the team going to react when Jack remembers what he did?

Hmm... would it be wrong to assume that SHIELD will be getting a call?
We'll see how they react. It's coming up soon.

Well, maybe...they won't appear in this story but they will certainly be mentioned.


(I have a SHIELD crossover into the Dragon-verse planned...in fact, it may be two. I certainly will get into Coulson's "death" at some point.)
Oh, that'll be interesting! (I got the Ao3 e-mail about your SHIELD/Who/Torchwood crossover.) SHIELD and dragons would make an interesting mix. ;)
Well, I can't introduce a character with such ties and then not use those ties! That would just be a pure shame. *laughs*
Ianto treasure!! I hope he will not let this go, once the 456 problem solved.

Fortunately Kathy is surrounded.

When Jack will remember??
How Ianto will react?
Yes, Ianto won't be happy at all about that.

Kathy is perfectly safe with her coppers. :)

Jack's memory will get jogged shortly. *grins*