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Myfanwy 2

January 2018

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The Breaking - Chapter Twenty-Two

The Breaking - Chapter Twenty-Two
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 first chapter of "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?




18 September 2009

The news on the radio was droning on as Tom wove their way through downtown London traffic. Ianto had half an ear to it – the newsreader was going on about why the children had been chanting about what seemed to have been ten percent of the number of children in Great Britain, and how the government was being too quiet on the explanation front – and the other ear was on the confrontation Jack was having with Martha.

“You and Ianto can’t go in there alone,” their friend was arguing. “The 456 have already proven that they know how to create vaccines for certain illnesses. What’s to say they don’t have something nasty up their sleeves?”

“I think we can assume they do,” Jack replied.   He was leaning back in the seat, his arms crossed…but Ianto could see the tension in his shoulders, and was pretty certain Martha could as well. “That’s why you and Tom can’t come in with us, Martha. If the 456 try something, then we have two doctors ready outside to do what needs to be done.”

“You need protective gear, Jack! Biohazard suits…at the very least, personal respirators!”

“I’ll come back from anything they might try.”

“And what about Ianto?” Martha challenged.

“I am immune to most human illnesses,” the dragon pointed out. “It’s safe to say that anything the 456 might let loose in the building would be useless against my physiognomy.”

Most human illnesses,” Martha returned. “I know for a fact that you can catch a cold…I had to deal with dragon snot on our walk around the world, and it wasn’t pretty.”

Ianto snorted. She did have a point, but it wasn’t as bad as she was intimating. “I sincerely doubt the 456 would deliberately infect an entire building with the common cold.”

“That’s not the point! What if they happen to have something that your immune system can’t fight off? We have no idea what they’re really capable of. Sure, they don’t know you’re a dragon, but they could get lucky!”

Alright, Martha was making some sense. “I’ll tell you what: when we get into Thames House, I’ll pick up a gas mask. I’m sure they’ll have at least one on hand, them being a government agency and all. Will that make you feel better?”

Martha sighed. “Yeah, it will. I’m sorry, Ianto, but I just can’t trust the aliens to not take a lucky shot at you and hit something we can’t fix. And I know that Jack doesn’t want to lose you, not this soon after your mating.”

Jack’s hand curled around his, and Ianto met his mate’s eyes. There was gratitude in those blue depths, and the dragon realised that Jack had let Martha argue with him knowing that she was more likely to talk him into anything.   If Jack had brought it up, Ianto would have most likely called him a worry wart and had dismissed his mate’s concerns. But Martha, being a medical professional and familiar with his dragon physiognomy, would have more weight in convincing him to take precautions.

There was a reason Ianto loved Jack and this was one of them: stepping aside when he knew there was someone more likely to talk Ianto into something. Yes, it irritated him to no end but it was simply a sign that his mate knew him so well.

The traffic was backed up, gridlocked per the radio. After five minutes of not moving, Jack opened his door. “We’re going to continue on foot.”

Ianto followed suit, glad to be moving. Tom and Martha didn’t look happy, but they really needed to get to Thames House, and waiting in traffic meant the longer that the Prime Minister and the Cabinet would have more time to think, and to come up with cover stories and such to explain the loss of ten percent of the Earth’s children. Ianto didn’t trust them one bit; they would still be plotting, certain that Torchwood would fail. Whatever story they came up with they would put into play at the slightest sign that things were going to go wrong.

And they could very well go bad. The 456 were a practically unknown entity; what they knew came from what the aliens had shared, which wasn’t much. They couldn’t know how the alien in Thames House would react to either of them delivering an ultimatum. They could also agree, but then come after the children later. Everything was up in the air, but Ianto knew they had to at least make them understand that they had no rights to Earth’s children.

“Get to Thames House as quickly as you can,” Jack said, shutting the car door. “Ianto and I will go on ahead.”

“But Jack –“ Martha exclaimed.

“No Martha, there are no ‘buts’. This has gone on long enough.” He turned to her, grasping her shoulders. “If anything goes wrong, secondary protocol. Got it?”

Martha gave them both a stubborn look. “You can’t expect Tom and me to just leave you!”

“That’s exactly what we expect,” Ianto said, moving to stand next to her. “We need to know you and Tom are going to be safe.” He didn’t want to think this could be the last time he ever talked to her, but the thought just didn’t want to go away.

This was their job, however. It was what he and Jack did. The entire planet was in danger, and it was their responsibility to walk into Thames House and make a stand.

“Martha,” Tom said, taking her hand and tugging her toward him, “you have to let them go. Both Jack and Ianto need to try and stop this before things get so much worse. I know it’s hard for you to accept, but we’ll just get in the way. They can’t do what they need to do if they’re worrying about us. I think you know that.”

Martha looked at her husband mulishly, but Ianto knew she would give in. Tom was right; having their friends with them in Thames House would be a distraction.

“We need to go,” Jack murmured.

Martha sniffed, and then hugged them both tightly, as if she wasn’t going to let go. “You both are walking into danger.”

Ianto tightened his arms around her. “It’s what we do,” he answered quietly.

“We need to do this,” Jack added. “The children are more important than anything else. We have to stop the 456.”

“Alright.” Martha looked resigned. “Tom and I will try to get to Thames House as best we can. If anything happens…”

“Secondary protocol,” Ianto reminded her gently.

She nodded. “But only if there’s no other thing we can do.”

“Last resort,” Tom reiterated.

Ianto didn’t like it, but he could understand why their friends would feel that way. He knew Martha and Tom would stay in the area until there was no sign of them coming back out.

But this was them…this was Torchwood. He and Jack were Torchwood, and they would do whatever was needed in order to stop these aliens from stealing humankind’s children.   This was their duty.

Together, dragon and immortal strode down the blocked street. Ianto couldn’t see Thames House from where they were, but he knew where it was, and he knew it wouldn’t take them too long to get there. He wasn’t afraid, per se; it was more of an apprehension, of walking into unknown circumstances and knowing that anything could occur.   The small hairs at the back of his very human neck were standing on end, and Ianto would have said something was shivering his scales if he’d been in dragon form. Whatever happened in the next several hours could very well determine the fate of the entire planet, and while they’d felt that pressure before, this time there was something different, and Ianto could feel it in his bones.

There was a tingle of magic in the air, and he put it down to the presence of the Fae, or at least of Jasmine Pierce. Ianto knew she at least was watching closely, waiting to see what would happen at Thames House. Then he realised that this would be a fixed point; no matter what occurred between Torchwood and the 456, these next several hours were meant to be, that they would colour the fate of the planet. He resisted the urge to shudder; instead, he reached out and took his mate’s hand.

Jack’s warm fingers curled around his, and Ianto met his curious look with a smile. No matter what did happen, the dragon had his mate, and nothing else mattered to him. They were walking into Thames House together, and as far as Ianto cared they would be leaving together. It was their destiny.

They’d cut down an alley, and as they emerged Thames House came into view. There was nothing about it that telegraphed the fact that it would be the place where the battle for Earth’s children would begin…and most likely end, one way or the other. It was a relatively plain structure, built of stone and situated between two smaller government buildings, looking nothing like a place where great events would take place.

Jack strode right up to the front doors, throwing them open and ushering Ianto inside. There was a guard desk just off to the side, and together they made their way up to it. “Jack Harkness,” he addressed the guard. “Ianto Jones. Torchwood. You should be expecting us.”

The guard simply stared at Jack for a few seconds, and then he nodded. “Yes, I was informed you would be coming.”

Ianto glanced around, and he grew angry as he saw various employees moving around the foyer and up the stairs to the floors above as if nothing was going on. “Why hasn’t this building been cleared?” he demanded. How could Frobisher and Green risk these people like that? The 456 could have unleashed something into the building’s aircon systems and hundreds of innocents could have died.

Jack’s face darkened as he noticed as well. “Get everyone out of here,” he barked, the captain coming to the fore. “I want this place evacuated within the next ten minutes.”

The guard rose, his own face going red. “Now wait a minute –“

“No, you wait a minute,” Jack interrupted. “There is something very dangerous on the thirteenth floor, and these people are in the line of fire. Get them out ASAP before something happens.”

Reacting to Jack’s tone, the guard reached out for the phone on the desk. He spoke a few words into the receiver, and an alarm began blaring throughout the building. Instantly, those around them started moving toward the doors, and Ianto instantly relaxed as the evacuation continued.

“Thank you,” Jack said. “Now, we’re going to the thirteenth floor. No one is to come up there; no one is to make any action that isn’t ordered by me. Is that understood?”

The man looked uneasy. “I should really speak to my superiors…”

“Your superiors are the ones responsible for putting the lot of you directly in danger,” Jack spat. “Do you really trust them to make the right decision?”

The guard was obviously torn between his usual orders and the notion that there was something going on in Thames House that could be a potential danger. Ianto decided to give him something else to think about. “We also will need two gas masks, or personal respirators…whatever you have in the building.”

That caused the man to go pale. “Is this a gas attack?”

His reaction gave Ianto the idea that he knew just what a gas attack could do to the human body. The guard was certainly in shape enough to have been in the military, and since he was working at Thames House the dragon was willing to bet Special Forces.   “That could become a possibility,” he admitted. “It’s another reason we wanted the place cleared out.”

If he’d known that would have made the guard give them all the cooperation they’d needed, Ianto would have told him that at the very beginning. “I have a personal respirator,” he admitted, leaning over and digging into his desk. He pulled out the rubberised mask and air bottle from one of the drawers, handing it to Ianto. “There are masks on each floor; they’re in special niches and you can’t miss them.”

‘Thank you,” the dragon said sincerely. “Now, we need you to make certain everyone is out of the building, and then leave yourself.”

“Yes sir.” The man saluted both Jack and Ianto. Jack returned it, and together the mates went deeper into the foyer, where they found the bank of lifts. Jack pushed the call button, and they waited a few seconds before the doors opened, releasing a large group of MI5 employees into the foyer and out of the building.

Jack waved Ianto into the lift, and the dragon stepped inside, followed by his mate. Jack hit the button for the thirteenth floor, and the lift slid smoothly upward.   “You know I didn’t need a mask,” Jack murmured.

“You may come back,” Ianto retorted, “but that doesn’t mean I enjoy seeing you die.” He hated that Jack sometimes took his life so cheaply, and would continue to keep trying to convince him otherwise. Yes, he knew Jack didn’t like dying but that didn’t give him the excuse to throw the lives he had away.

A hand touched his elbow, and when Ianto looked at his mate he saw the obviously fondness in Jack’s blue eyes. “I know you don’t like it when I die, but sometimes it’s necessary.”

“I understand that,” the dragon sighed. “But this time there are masks available and you don’t have to die if the 456 do release something into the building. Besides, if you used one that would mean you can still act even if something did occur.”

Jack smiled; not the flirty, brilliant thing he showed the outside world, but the quiet, loving expression that was for Ianto alone. “You know how much it means that you care about me like that?”

Ianto returned the smile. “I do, Jack. And I always will care.” His lips quirked upward into a smirk. “Does this mean you’ll be collecting a mask before we go into that room?”

His mate rolled his eyes. “Yes, sir,” he answered, his voice accepting.

Ianto elbowed him. “You’ll find that’s my line.”

The door dinged, opening out onto the thirteenth floor. Ianto wasn’t superstitious that way, but something shivered down his spine as he took in the emptiness of the area and his mind whispered to him that this was dangerous, that it was wrong and that nothing good was going to come of them being there, at that time.

Their footsteps echoed on the tile as they walked toward the room where the 456 had taken up ‘residence’. Jack managed to find one of the gas masks that the guard had mentioned, and it dangled from his fingers as they moved. Ianto couldn’t miss the somewhat haunted look on his face, and the dragon remembered the story of how his mate had met the Doctor. Gas mask zombies was the term Jack had used to describe the poor souls infected with the misprogrammed nanogenes.

The room was dominated by the tank, the gas within glowing blue in the gloom of the place. Black and white tiles made the floor into an enormous chessboard, and Ianto couldn’t help but think that was appropriate.

Chairs and tables had been set against the far wall, and two cameras on tripods were pointed toward the tank and the middle of the floor respectively. Both were active, judging from the red lights on them, and Ianto fought the urge to wave, knowing that their team were on the other side of the feed. Green and the Cabinet were as well, and the dragon had no desire to even tacitly acknowledge them.

The tank rose to the ceiling, reinforcing steel holding the glass in place.   A shadow moved within the sickly lit gas, and Ianto had to swallow back the bile that threatened to rise in his throat.

The 456 was in front of them, and it was time to make their stand.



Chapter Twenty-Three





Comments

Bless Martha!
Martha shows such good sense, doesn't she?
Oh my, great update and I cannot wait for the next.
Thanks! Next one is up now. :)
I'm glad that Martha made Ianto take precautions. Great update.
Thank you! Martha is just showing her good common sense. :)
UUGGGHHH!!!! Another cliffhanger?!?!?!?!

*sigh* I'm almost tempted to yell "MOFFAT!!!"


:D
Oh dear, then you're really gonna like the next chapter...

Although I consider that a compliment. :)
As well you should :D
Hoo Boy what a place to leave it! I am on the edge of my seat and I am so anxious. I love that Jack uses Martha to manipulate Ianto because that is the path of least resistance. :)
I think cliffhanger is my middle name sometimes. Just wait until the next chapter...

Oh yes, Jack knows just how to play things. :)
I'm crossing everything (fingers, toes, arms , legs) to make this end without death..well except for the 456...
You may want to keep up crossing things, but just remember this is me... :)
I feel the same as Ianto. And you evil woman leaving it like that lol love it lol
I knew you loved the nasty cliffies! LOL!
blessed be you Martha!

Phew, luckily Jack left Martha spoke.
Now, they should start right away their masks!

Martha does know what she's talking about!

Thank god they cleared the building and got gas masks...
Yes they have...

But will that work???
They remembered the gas masks & evacuated the building! *Phew*

Edited at 2014-01-31 01:23 am (UTC)
They did, yes. :)

I really should stop reading before bed; good thing I'm exhausted or I'd never fall asleep after this ... You sure know how to keep up the tension!

Looking forward to tomorrow's chapter, and to eventually find out what's going to happen with the 456 this time round!