?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Myfanwy 2

July 2018

S M T W T F S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031    

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Dragon-Verse icon

Cry of the Space Whale - Chapter One

Cry of the Space Whale - Chapter One
Author: Milady Dragon
Series: Dragon-Verse
Rating: PG-13
Pairing(s): Jack/Ianto, Toshiko/Kathy, Rhys/Gwen (past)
Warnings: Language
Spoilers: Both series up to S2, E4, "Meat"
Disclaimer: I don't own Torchwood, I would have treated it better.
Author's note:  Hey, everyone!  Here it is, the Dragon-Verse version of "Meat".  Hope you enjoy!

SummaryWhen one of Rhys Williams' employees is killed in a road accident and Torchwood investigates, he is determined to get to the bottom of what happened...and to find out what just was wrong with the meat that had been in the back of his friend's lorry.




1 September 2008

Rhys Williams had the radio in his company vehicle turned all the way up so he could hear it over the slightly squeaky windscreen wipers that were making the pitiful attempt to clear the rain away.   He was singing at the top of his lungs, and somewhere in the back of his mind he was very grateful that no one was there to hear it. He’d been told many times that he’d always had more enthusiasm than talent, but he really didn’t care all that much.

“Who can you trust?

“Who can you trust to transport your cars?

“Harwood’s!

“You won’t be sorry…with a Harwood’s lorry!”

Rhys laughed as the announcer began in on the news and weather. It might have seemed silly to anyone else, but that was the first time that jingle had been on the air, and he got an almost childish glee out of finally hearing it in its entirety after waiting for months for it to air.

His mobile rang, and Rhys barely managed to stop rolling his eyes as he pulled over to the side to the road to answer it. Glancing at the caller ID, he flipped it open and didn’t even give his secretary a chance to answer. “Did you hear it, Ruth?” he chuckled, wanting to know what she’d thought of it.

“Yes, I did,” she replied. “But Rhys –“

“I wrote that last bit,” he couldn’t help but crow. “Sounded good, didn’t it?” He was very pleased that the advert agency Harwood’s had engaged had taken his suggestion because it was damned catchy and he was quite proud of how it worked.

“It’s very nice,” Ruth agreed, “but Rhys…there’s been an accident…”

Rhys lost all of his good humour.

***********

There were emergency vehicles blocking both lanes of the roadway and traffic was backed up quite a distance as Rhys approached the location of the road accident. Red and blue lights strobed and caught in the raindrops as he pulled over to the shoulder, creating some sort of bizarre rainbow in the shitty weather. He set the handbrake of his car and got out, his left foot stepping right into a puddle. He made a face as he shook out his foot, but he didn’t let it distract him too much as he made his way toward the barricades that the coppers had set up, walking faster until he was at a near jog by the time he’d reached the yellow tape that had been stretched across the roadway.

“I’m sorry Sir,” the copper who was standing at the taped line stopped Rhys with a hand to his chest. “Please get back to your vehicle.”

“I’m Rhys Williams,” he exclaimed. He motioned toward the lorry ahead. His heart clenched when he saw it, mangled and lying on its side. “I’m the manager at Harwood’s.” There was another vehicle nearby, flipped onto its roof, more water soaking the ground around it than could be blamed on the rain.

It made him sick to see it.

The policeman’s face bloomed into recognition. “You can check on the vehicle later –“

“Bugger the vehicle!” Rhys nearly shouted. “I know the driver! Is he…?” Rhys faded out as he caught sight of a gurney being manoeuvred around the wreckage. His heart sank as he saw the emergency blanket pulled up over the head of the body on it. “Oh god,” he whispered.

The copper looked and sounded sympathetic. “He didn’t make it, sorry.”

Rhys could see that. He wanted to sag back and mourn, but he knew he couldn’t, not just yet. He could do that later once he’d found out what had happened.

“Can you give me some details, Sir?”

He shook his head, tearing his eyes away from the covered gurney. “Oh…yeah. His name is Leighton…Leighton Reynolds.” Leighton had been a friend, and Rhys was having trouble wrapping his head around the idea that the solid young man he’d played footie with on the weekends was really gone.

“Next of kin?”

His stomach sank into his shoes. “He has a wife…Jen. Oh, god…they just had a baby…” He remembered the party they’d thrown in the office when the little boy had been born. Leighton had been so very proud to be a dad, already planning his kid’s future as they drank the beer Mr Harwood had provided just for the occasion.

This was gonna just kill Jen, losing Leighton so soon after their family had just gotten started. They’d been so happy…and Rhys had been happy for them, despite the small, sharp stab of jealousy that his friend had had something that Rhys had wanted not that long ago, and couldn’t have anymore.

“Do you have an address?”

Rhys groaned. “Yeah, took him to football…54 Keppoch Street, Roath.” He watched as the gurney was settled into the back of the ambulance and the doors closed with a bang that sounded like the crack of doom.

He needed to call people. He needed to call Mr Harwood and let him know what had happened. He needed to comfort Jen and make sure she was going to be okay. He needed to tell the other drivers; Leighton had been genuinely liked among the crew, and they deserved to know. This was bound to be hard on everyone and there wasn’t anything he could do to make it any easier to deal with.

But he couldn’t leave. He couldn’t just go and let them take Leighton away without some answers he could take back and give to his loved ones.   He couldn’t do that to his friend.

A siren wailed as the ambulance pulled away, carrying Leighton Reynolds with it.

Rhys felt something crack a little inside him. This wasn’t how he’d ever thought their friendship would end.

But then, hardly anything in his life up to this moment had really been all that simple; this was just the latest in a line of heartbreaks that went back even beyond his first meeting with a certain Gwen Cooper.

“I’m…” he swallowed, trying to regain just that little bit of professionalism he’d need in order to get things done. Then he could grieve. “I’m gonna have to arrange to remove the lorry…”

“Not yet,” the constable said, surprising Rhys. “There’s something suspicious in the back.”

Rhys frowned. “It was just meat. Leighton was taking it to the abattoir.” What the hell was going on?

“Yeah, well,” the copper said, shrugging. “Torchwood want a look at it first.”

Torchwood?

There was a part of Rhys who was immediately scared at the sound of that name. After everything Torchwood had messed up in his life…it was hard not to shiver, knowing they were coming.

But, at the same time…Torchwood had opened up an entirely new world for him. Even though his contact with them had been pretty minimal after they’d fired Gwen, it had been enough in just that short a time to show him so much he’d never begun to understand. He couldn’t help but dream of Torchwood, and of all its horrors and wonders and had awakened in a cold sweat each time. And he still couldn’t make up his mind whether he was unbelievably grateful or just plain pissed off for having ever met Ianto Jones and his bloody team. He hated being that conflicted, because if he was honest with himself he genuinely liked the dragon who looked like a regular bloke most of the time.

Still, if Torchwood was on their way, then something bad must be going on. Had something been taking place right under his nose? Had Leighton been involved in something?   Just what had one of his friends been up to, right in front of Rhys and he’d never seen it?

He didn’t want to think badly of Leighton. He really didn’t. There had to be another explanation as to what was going on.

The copper was about to say something else when his attention was diverted by the arrival of a black SUV pulling up to the scene of the accident, blue lights strobing about the windscreen. Rhys automatically took a step forward, but the tape stopped him and there was no bloody way he was going to risk getting arrested by crossing into what was looking more and more like a crime scene, even if he didn’t want to even consider that particular outcome.

The doors opened on the SUV, and four people got out. Rhys immediately recognised Harkness, Ianto, and their doctor, but the fourth he had no idea about. He was just a bit shorter than Harkness, and would have looked just like any normal bloke on the street in his jeans and leather jacket, but Rhys couldn’t help but notice something off about him…and that he seemed to fit in with the team just fine because of whatever it was that Rhys was seeing but couldn’t figure out.

So, this was who they’d hired to replace Gwen. Ianto had mentioned it, when Rhys had talked to him about a month ago…when Rhys had called to let them know that Gwen had left town – left him – for a new job and a new start in Swansea.

It had almost been a relief when she’d left, and Rhys had felt guilty about feeling that way about the woman he’d loved. But he’d seen her at her worst, and hadn’t been able to handle it. He hadn’t been cut out to be her babysitter, and her being away from Cardiff had been the best possible solution, especially since it had been her own decision.

Rhys had mourned the years they’d been together, but he’d kissed her goodbye and had wished her luck with her new life.

The team was making its way toward the wrecked lorry, and Rhys raised his hand, trying to get their attention before he’d realised what he’d done. He told himself that Torchwood would be able to figure out what Leighton had been up to, and that eventually they’d need to speak to him anyway about the load and where it had been going. Why not get it out of the way now?

The new bloke was the one to notice him, and Rhys watched as he spoke to Harper. Harper caught Rhys’ eye, nodding slightly, and then he caught up with Harkness and Jones, stopping them before they could get into the back of the wrecked lorry. Both of them turned to regard Rhys, Harkness also nodding in his direction and then speaking to Jones. Then the three headed into the lorry as Ianto made his way through the crash site and over toward Rhys.

It still seemed a bit fantastical that the man walking toward him wasn’t a man at all, but a really old dragon wearing a human face. Before meeting Ianto Jones in that pub all those months ago Rhys had thought his Gran’s stories of dragons and magic had been just that…stories, ones that she’d used to entertain him before sending him off for bed. Never in his wildest imaginings – and, if Rhys was completely honest with himself, he didn’t consider himself all that creative – would he have believed those stories were real.

“I’ll take care of things here, Constable,” Ianto said, stepping up to the warning tape. He was perfectly groomed in a nice suit with a dark wool coat over it, in order to keep the rain and chill wind away. It really didn’t hit Rhys until that moment that he was in just a company shirt with the sleeves rolled up his forearms, and that the rain had managed to soak through, and he couldn’t help but shiver.

“Yes Sir,” the constable answered, moving away from their area of the tape.

“Good morning, Rhys,” Ianto greeted him cordially. “What are you doing here?”

The question brought Rhys’ mind back on events. “That’s one of ours,” he said, waving toward the crashed lorry. “It’s from Harwood’s.”

Ianto’s expression turned sad. “I’m sorry for your loss.”

“Yeah, thanks mate.” Rhys drew in a deep breath, and then released it slowly. “The driver was a friend of mine.”

“Had I met him?”

Rhys thought back. Had Ianto met Leighton in the two times the dragon had come to the football? “Yeah, I think you did…Leighton Reynolds.”

There was a pause, and then Ianto said, “Yes, I do think I recall him. He just had a baby, right?”

Rhys nodded, impressed that the dragon remembered that. “This is gonna just destroy his Jen.” His eyes flickered toward the lorry, and he couldn’t see the rest of Ianto’s team any longer. “Just what’s going on? That should just be a load of meat going to the abattoir, and nothing else.”

“One of the first constables on scene noticed there was something strange with the meat,” Ianto explained. “We were called in to either confirm or deny his observations. If you could get us information on the person or company that hired out the lorry…”

“Yeah, sure.” What could possibly be wrong with the meat?

And then it hit him.

“Is it alien or something?”

“We don’t know yet,” Ianto admitted. “We’ll need to run some tests…” His hand went up to his ear, and Rhys wondered if he had some sort of high-tech ear thing that he’d seen in spy movies. “Jack says there’s something definitely wrong,” he said after a few seconds. “They’re going to take it in and we’ll check into it.”

Rhys nodded, worried about just what Leighton had gotten himself in to. It seemed hard to believe; the man had been a straightforward bloke, not one to get dragged into anything shady. But if that was alien, and it was being sent to the abattoir…

He suddenly had the urge to go home and throw out every kind of meat he’d just bought recently.

There was another pause, and then Rhys could see the other three Torchwood people coming out of the back of the lorry. The doctor said something to a couple of coppers standing nearby, who nodded. One of them started speaking into his radio, and Rhys figured that was him calling in to have the load confiscated.

“Jack says I should come with you back to Harwood’s,” Ianto said, distracting Rhys from watching the others get into the SUV and leave.

He chuckled, although it sounded weak. “He just kinda assumed you’d be going back with me, didn’t he?”

Ianto echoed the laugh. “He trusts in my powers of persuasion…and you wanting to get to the bottom of this.”

Rhys knew he didn’t have to answer. Yes, he really wanted to know what the hell was going on, and just what his friend had been up to.

He only hoped it wasn’t as bad as he was thinking.



Chapter Two




Comments

I like your rewrite, especially with Gwen leaving. I do hope Rhys is worrying for nothing...
*dances in excitement*

I was just hoping yesterday that you'd be able to post soon and I reread Series 1 Dragon!Verse to get my Dragon fix. :)

Great chapter! I adore Rhys and can't wait to read more.
I love your Rhys, you've really captured the heart of him here.
You've made my night! Love that Rhys will(hopefully)be more involved!
Great to see a new story and even better that we get to see more of Rhys. I always thought he'd have been a good addition to the team. Also good that he's on his own now, free from Gwen. Things can only get better for him form here on out. Except for this whole alien meat thing of course.
Great chapter!
Rhys can't just seem to catch a break can he? Although Gwen leaving is quite fortuitous. If she has really gone... I think that this will be very hard for Ianto, I get the feeling he will identify very strongly with the great whale. I am looking forward to seeing where this is going. :)
Hooray, more Dragon!Verse! Great opening chapter! :D
Yay, more Dragon 'verse!
Never really liked "Meat", for a lot of reasons, but I'm sure I'll love your version of it - and I adore Rhys :-)

Very good start! When's the next chapter? :-D
I saw this and thought I would leave it until it was finished as I am not keen on reading stories unfinished but it kept niggling at the back of my mind and I really wanted more Dragon Ianto so I gave in and read it...
and LOVED IT!!! Can't wait for the next chapter!!!
The episode where we become vegetarian! LOL
The fact that Gwen is not there changes everything. You really have to rewrite history and behavior of Rhys.
I like the idea.
This is how it will eventually be integrated with TW, I guess.
The episode where we become vegetarian! LOL
The fact that Gwen is not there changes everything. You really have to rewrite history and behavior of Rhys.
I like the idea.
This is how it will eventually be integrated with TW, I guess.