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Myfanwy 2

July 2018

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Myfanwy 2

The Pact - Chapter One

The Pact - Chapter One
Author: Milady Dragon
Series: Dragon-Verse
Rating: PG-13
Pairing(s): Jack/Ianto (implied); Past Jack/Estelle; Gwen/Rhys
Warnings: Horror, angst, language, violence
Spoilers: Up through Torchwood S1, E5, "Small Worlds"
Disclaimer:  I don't own Torchwood, I would have treated it better.
Author's note: This is based on the episode "Small Worlds", although adapted to the Dragon-Verse.  Once again, the dating is taken from several fan-made chronologies and from the TARDIS Index File. 

Summary:  The Fae are ready to take a new Chosen One.  Jack wants to stop them; Estelle wants to understand them.  Only Ianto stands between them and disaster.



 

25 October 2007

 

“Ianto!  Please, come in!”

Estelle Cole smiled up at him, holding the door open so the dragon could enter.  Ianto returned her smile; she was quite one of his favorite ephemerals, with a true love and respect for the world and its creatures. 

She ushered him into the lounge.  “It’s been a while!  Can I get you some tea?”

“Please,” he said, sitting on the sofa.  Moses, Estelle’s cat, promptly jumped up to join him, curling up in his lap and purring like a freight train.  Ianto rubbed him somewhat vigorously, and Moses purred even louder.  “I’m sorry I haven’t been around much lately…”

Estelle bustled about, and he could hear the sound of tea things rattling in the small kitchen.  “That’s fine,” she answered, her voice raised a bit to be heard from the other room.  “I know Torchwood can keep you busy.”

Ianto grinned.  Estelle Cole was one of the sharpest people he knew; she’d picked up on his and Jack’s involvement with Torchwood almost immediately.  And he wasn’t going to get into her seeing through Jack’s story about being his own father.  How Jack had thought that would work was beyond the dragon.

“Actually,” Ianto admitted, as Estelle re-entered the lounge with the tea tray, “something happened a while back.  It’s…taken me some time to get things sorted.  In fact, I’ve been home for the last four weeks.  I just got back yesterday.”

Estelle looked at him closely.  “I see…there are shadows in your eyes.”

“I found another of my kind.”  He told her everything about finding Lisa, and what had happened, as they drank tea together and ate Estelle’s wonderful almond cake.

“Oh, Ianto,” she murmured, as his story came to a close.  “How terrible.”  She got up from her own chair to join him on the sofa, putting her arm around him in an effort to comfort him.

Ianto accepted it, leaning into her embrace.  He remembered the first time he’d met her; she’d played along with Jack’s story about how he and Ianto worked together and had just been in the neighborhood, until the captain had left the room to use the loo. Then Estelle had calmly leaned over and told Ianto that she could tell that he wasn’t human, and that he could trust her.  He’d ended up confiding in her on his next visit, when he’d come without Jack.  They’d been great friends ever since.

They sat that way for a couple of minutes, and then Ianto leaned away.  “Thank you,” he said, kissing her on the forehead. 

“No need to thank me,” she replied, going back to her seat.  “What are friends for?  But I don’t understand why you didn’t at least trust Jack with this.  He’d have helped.”

Ianto flinched.  He really didn’t want to speak ill of Jack to Estelle, but if anyone knew he faults, it was her.  “Things haven’t been that good between us for a while now.  I…lost my trust in him.”

Estelle narrowed her eyes.  “Jack’s been an idiot again, hasn’t he?”

That made the dragon laugh.  “Well, he wasn’t the only one.”

“Yes, but it seems to me you were only reacting to his stupidity.” 

“He’s so frustrating!  I just don’t know where I stand with him.”

“Ianto,” Estelle said, sighing.  “Jack cares a great deal for you.  The problem is, he’s afraid to.  Now, I understand why he’s like that with us mortals, but he shouldn’t be that way with you.  It could be that he’s just not used to having someone around who might live as long as he will; or there could be something else going on, but I do know that he does care.”

Once again, Ianto was struck by just how wise Estelle was.  “You know, you should have been a dragon.”

“Now that is the highest compliment you could give me!”

They both laughed, the dragon savoring his friendship with the woman.  He’d seen almost at once why Jack loved her; she was so full of brightness and life, it was like being a moth drawn to her flame.    “Anyway, I’ll deal with things when I see him,” Ianto went on. 

“You haven’t let him know you’re back in town yet?”

“No, I wanted to get settled back in at home first.  I’m actually not due back to work until Monday.  And, to be honest, while Jack and I have talked a couple of times over my leave, I’m…a bit hesitant to see him face to face, if you know what I mean.”

“Of course I do.  Look, I’m giving a talk Saturday.  Why don’t you help me out?” Her eyes sparkled.  “You might even know the subject.”

Ianto looked at her closely.  “Let me guess: fairies?”

Estelle smiled.  “You know me so well.”

The dragon barely stifled a sigh.  Estelle thought she knew what the Fae – or fairies – were, but she had about as much a clue as Jack had.  Both of them saw the Fae in black and white terms, and Ianto knew it was much more than that.  The Fae were a part of the warp and weft of the world, and were above such petty distinctions.  But trying to get either one of them to see that…sometimes, when she and Jack had gotten into one of their ‘discussions’ about the fairies, Ianto had felt like he was trapped between two debaters who each had only half the facts, and who were determined not to believe what the other was saying. 

But Ianto knew.  His father had dealt with the Fae, and had passed on stories and lessons of the Lost Lands where the Fae were known to dwell. 

“I saw them,” Estelle went on, “in Roundstone Wood.  They were dancing among the stones there.”  Her eyes were shining as she recalled the sight.  “They were glowing, and their laughter was so joyous, they made me want to join them.”

A shiver went down Ianto’s spine, and his hand reflexively tightened in Moses’ fur, causing the cat to meow plaintively.  The dragon relaxed, and the pet went back to purring.  “Estelle,” he said slowly, “please promise me you’ll be careful around them.”

 She rolled her eyes.  “You’re as bad as Jack.”

No, you are, he wanted to say to her.   Why neither one of them could understand what Ianto tried to tell them, he didn’t know.  “I’m just concerned, that’s all.”

“You don’t need to be.”  She smiled sweetly.  “I have new pictures, which I’ll be debuting at my next lecture.  Please say you’ll come.”

“Of course I will.”  He had no choice, really.

**********

Darkness was gathering by the time Ianto had managed to make it to Roundstone Wood.  He parked his car on a side street, heading into the wood without even a flashlight, knowing his sharper sight would serve him just as well.

If the Fae were active once more, there could only be one reason for it.

He strode through the trees, letting his senses guide him.  Humans were limited in what they could feel; their sensations were grounded in the physical world.  But for those few ancient races left – including dragons – the wood fairly breathed power:  an ancient power, one that predated humans settling the land, predating even the separating of the continents hundreds of millions of years ago.  Roundstone Wood was only the latest expanse to have grown up in this place, but it was so very old, the trees fairly whispering their secrets to Ianto as he made his way unerringly toward the center of this place’s magic.

Jack scoffed at the idea of magic, resorting to Clarke’s Law to explain such things that defied scientific explanation.  Ianto had looked it up after the captain had used it the first time, and it had been Ianto’s turn to scoff.  Certainly he could understand what Arthur C. Clarke was referring to, and the dragon could also understand that there could very well be times when a technology would, indeed, be so far advanced as to seem like magic. 

But there were still things in the universe that were so old, so powerful, and yet technology had nothing to do with them.  There, under the darkening canopy of Roundstone Wood, Ianto could feel such a power, lying just beneath the surface of things, as if the physical world were simply a layer over the top of it, hiding it from view. 

The Lost Lands.

The stones came into view, practically glowing in his minds’ eye with the magic of Creation.  His surroundings changed as he grew closer, as man transformed into dragon so did the land transform around him; from fire to ice, from sea to desert, from grass to forest.   Ianto shook his wings free as he passed through all the long eons of the Earth, approaching stones that had been set by strong hands deep into the bedrock of the planet itself.  This was a place where all times existed together, and the dragon felt Time shower against his scales like a golden rain.

He could see them.  They perched in the trees, on huge chunks of glacial ice, floating on sea and riding the lava of now-vanished volcanoes.  The Fae, darting half-hidden among tall grass and buried within deep sand, living in all times just as this piece of the ancient world did.  They watched him approach the stones, glittering eyes trying to read his soul, to know his mind.  He easily kept them out, his dragons’ mind labyrinthine to them. 

“Why come you here, old one?”

A larger Fae crouched atop one of the stones, and the dragon stopped before it, bowing his head in greeting.  “I come to remind the Fae of the ancient Pact between your people and mine.”

Laughter like dried leaves met his words.  “The Pact is gone and dust, just as your people are gone and dust.  Do not bother us with this.  Leave our lands.”

“The Pact exists as long as there is one of my kind, and one of yours,” the dragon answered.   “I call upon you to honor it.”

“What can one lone dragon-kin do to threaten us to uphold the Pact?” the Fae challenged.

The dragon arched his back, spreading his wings. He raised his head, speaking in the ancient language of earth and stone and power.  The ground shook as the words were said, and the Fae shrieked in dismay. 

“Do you seriously ask that question?” he replied, settling back on his haunches.

The large Fae hissed.  “The ancient tongue is dead, but we still obey.  Name them.”

The dragon’s heart began to beat faster as he recited.  “Owen Harper.  Toshiko Sato.  Kathy Swanson.  Gwen Cooper.” He hoped they didn’t notice his slight hesitation in Naming Gwen.  “Estelle Cole.”  That name caused a chattering among the gathered Fae.  “Jack Harkness.”

Jack’s name caused a near-riot among the Fae.  “No!” the spokesman shouted.  “Name him not!  He yet owes for a lost Chosen!”

“No, he doesn’t,” the dragon insisted.  Jack had told him the story of his soldiers being killed by the Fae, back in 1909, during one of those times when he’d tried to convince Ianto that he was correct about the fairies.  “You have punished those responsible for the death of the Chosen One.  Jack Harkness had nothing to do with it.”

“They were his,” the Fae snapped.

“But they weren’t acting under his orders.  I Name him.  You must stand by the Pact.”

The Fae hissed once more.  “Agreed.  And you must stand by the Pact as well.  Only one to break it, ancient one.  Only one.”

The dragon nodded.  “Only one.  It is agreed.”

He turned and left, passing through the ranks of the gathered Fae, ignoring the looks of hatred he was receiving.  They had to stand by the Pact; the power of it left them no choice. 

The power faded the farther he walked, and without thinking he reverted back to his human form once more.  Ianto made his way toward his car, the feeling of relief tempered by what he’d just done. 

Only one.

It was agreed.

 



Comments

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I so love Estelle. I never thought that she would believe Jack's lie about who he was, it just didn't seem possible. I love the fact that Ianto trusts her completely.

This looks as if it is going to be interesting.

Can't wait for more.
I do too! I just can't see she'd believe that, especially if you start adding ages up... :)

I do hope it's going to be interesting!

Thanks!
Really interesting plot! looking forward to reading more soon!
Thanks! I do hope it's interesting!
This looks so interesting! I'm torn: I'm so glad I found this series, but now I have to WAIT for new chappies... This is why I don't usually read until a series is finished. I'm an 'instant gratification' kind of girl.


(And I hope you don't mind that I friended you. I actually thought I had already.)
I'm being pretty quick at updating, so hopefully you won't have to wait too long. This part should be about five parts, unless the muses get stroppy.

Nope..friend away! :)
I didn't realise when I left the other comment that the first chapter was up! Now I want more...

This is great. I have a feeling bad stuff is coming, and that it's going to involve Ianto being the bad guy this time around, with the rest of the team not liking it.

But I could be wrong. I've said it before and I'll say it again - it wouldn't be the first time!
Bad stuff is coming, and whether it means Ianto is going to be the bad guy, we'll see.

Thanks! :)
oh Fae and their pacts... lol.

nicely done. i like the interplay between the Old races. :D
Pacts are very important, in case you didn't realize that already! LOL!

Thank you! I was hoping it would go well.
Wow! The magic in the woods was almost tangible! That was brilliant! (And now I'll quit the exclamation marks!)

Estelle is wonderful and I'm really happy to see one of my favourite episodes in your Dragon-Verse.
I thought that, if you knew where to look, you'd see it. This is the only Torchwood story that actually dealt with something even close to magic, and it's been fun to play with that.

I love Estelle. And she's got a pretty important part to play.
Oooh, I love that Estelle and Ianto are close - it feels right in this verse.

Can't wait for more
It does, doesn't it? I think they'd get along famously.

More soon!
I so love this and Ianto as the one in contact with the fairies as you would expect a dragon to be - protecting the team. I always thought Estelle knew as well.
Ianto is trying his best, but you know the team...

Estelle totally knew, No one looks exactly like their dad, down to the smile and the teeth.
Estelle is really adorable!
I'm glad they are friends.
She has the wisdom of old ladies
Although Ianto should also be a wise considering his age but it is true that he is concerned. In this case, it is harder to reason.
like others, I can not wait to read the rest!
Estelle is brilliant. I love her to pieces.

And yes, Ianto is worried about everyone. We'll see if his worries are true.

Thanks!

WTF!!!!!!

Only one WHAT????!!!!! Am I the only one to notice???!!!! What has Ianto just bargained away for the lives of his team and Estelle???? Because that's what he just did, I was THERE, I SAW it!!!!! Can he not just pour a bottle of really good whiskey over a stone, and light some Sandle wood incense???? Shhheeeesshhhh! BTW, black59 has a real cute icon.
XOXOXO

Re: WTF!!!!!!

Ianto certainly bargained something, didn't he? *grins*

Unfortunately these fairies are teetotalers and are allergic to sandalwood...sorry. :)

You're right, that icon is great!
Oh wow! Now why do I suddenly feel like Ianto's just signed his life away.

Small Worlds was always one of my favorites. I loved Estelle, I loved the little girl's acting and the Faeries themselves. I agree with what you said about Estelle and JAck's black and white views. Even among the bad ones in the Unseelie court there are some that are just petty annoyances rather than terrifying. And in the Seelie you have House Brownies as well as Elves. But I think in all the things I'[ve read that havent been tainted by popular culture, Faeries belonged to both the Seelie and Unseelie Courts.

I really really love this and can't wait to see what you do with it. ^_^
Ianto has certainly done something. And, as things go on, we'll see what that is.

You're right about Jack and Estelle. The fairies are a force of nature, and nature is neither good nor bad...it just is. They do things to advance themselves and their causes.

More to come.
Oh wow, brilliant start. So Estelle might be safe in this version? I love their relationship. Your description of the fairies was fab.

I never got the sums in that episode, if Jack claimed to be in his 40's, then he could easily have had a Dad in WW11, but they had Estelle saying his Dad must be in his 90's, which then means he had to be over 50 when he had Jack and it all got very bizarre.
She might be...I shall say no more.

I know about the dating. Now, I could see Jack having a grandfather in WW2, but a father? It just didn't add up. Which is another reason I can see Estelle not buying it.

Thanks!
Intriquing start. Estelle is one of my favourite other characters. She struck me as a really interesting woman and i always thought Jack treated her really badly.
The standoff between fairy and dragon world will be interesting.
I really like Estelle, and I agree with you about how Jack treated her.

It will be interesting, I hope! :)
Great start - hmmm...will Estelle live this time around? And what exactly has Ianto gotten himself into?
I don't want to spoil it for you, so you'll just have to read on to get the answer to that question! *grins*

And Ianto has really gotten himself into something..
Wow that was seriously good, am not to next chapter.
Glad you liked it...and I just answered your comments out of order.. LOL!

This is what happens when you don't get your notifications anymore. :(
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