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Myfanwy 2

July 2018

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Before the Fall - Chapter Two

Before the Fall - Chapter Two
Author: Milady Dragon
Series: Dragon-Verse
Rating: PG-13
Pairing(s): Jack/Ianto; Gwen/Rhys
Warnings: Language, Angst
Spoilers: Up through Series One, and Doctor Who S3 E11 and E12, "Utopia" and "The Sound of Drums"
Disclaimer:  I don't own Torchwood, I would have treated it better.  I also don't own Doctor Who.
Author's note:  This is the story leading up to the Year That Never Was.  Dating is, as usual, taken from "Ianto's Desktop" and the TARDIS Index File. 


Summary:  Darkness is falling, and the Great Dragons have called the four Dragon-Friends back to Ddraig Llyn.   Ianto is in charge of a splintered team as he tries to figure out how to stop the end of the world.




4 June 2008

 

“No,” Toshiko said, resisting the urge to stamp her foot and descend into sheer childishness.  “I’m needed here.”

She tried to stare down the Earth Dragon, but that was difficult when said Dragon was nothing but a shadow looming over her.   He couldn’t honestly be asking her to leave, not when there was danger coming? 

“I’m not going to abandon my teammates on your say-so,” she went on.   “When I became a Dragon-Friend, it was to help support Ianto and Jack.  I might not be able to do that with Jack at the moment, but Ianto needs me.  He’s going through enough without me leaving him like that!”

She’d been honored when the Great Dragon had appeared, even thought he’d awakened her out of a sound sleep.  But, that had swiftly turned to anger as he’d explained that she was being called to Ddraig Llyn, just when she’d be most needed by her friends.

“Your loyalty does you credit,” the Earth Dragon replied, “but you are needed for a bigger purpose.”

“I’m sorry, but there’s no bigger purpose than standing by one’s friends.”

The Earth Dragon sighed, and Toshiko took a perverse pleasure out of knowing that she was frustrating the spirit being.   “Toshiko, we need you at Ddraig Llyn.  The valley cannot become the sanctuary it needs to be during the darkness without you.  All four Dragon-Friends must come, or the valley will be lost.  Will you condemn innocents with your stubbornness?”

Now the Dragon was using emotional blackmail to get her to cooperate, and Toshiko had to admit that it was working.   Torchwood was created in part to protect people, and this was what the Earth Dragon was asking. 

“Why can’t I protect people here, doing what I do, with Torchwood?” she asked, feeling herself begin to cave just a little.

‘We cannot see far beyond the next days,” the Earth Dragon answered.  “However, the one thing we see is devastation; the Earth in ruins.  Humanity needs a haven, in case things go far worse than what is apparent.  Even the Fae are leaving this world behind.  I can understand and appreciate your need to stand by my son and your adopted family, but there are times when we must take the path that would be personally distasteful to us.  But know this: if things travel on the path that we do foresee, then you will all be reunited at the end of the darkness.  If that path is not taken – if one thing is out of place – then the darkness could extend past this world and to other worlds beyond this one.  What you decide here will have repercussions far greater than just on Earth.”

Well, no pressure then…

Toshiko sighed.  As much as she wanted to stay, the Earth Dragon wasn’t leaving her much choice.   “I can’t believe this,” she sighed, tugging her robe closer about her.  “The one time Ianto really, truly needs me…and I’m forced to turn my back on him.”

“If it makes the decision any easier, my son already knows that we are calling all the Dragon-Friends home.  He accepts it.”

She threw up her hands.  “Of course he does!  He’s your loyal soldier; he’ll go along with anything you say.  And it doesn’t help that you’re dangling his true mating with Jack over his head like some sort of obscene carrot.”

“Do you think so little of us, that we would promise something we could not make good?” The Dragon’s deep voice sounded surprised.

“Of course not,” she answered, feeling slightly guilty.  “It’s just…he and Jack want this so badly, I don’t want them disappointed.”

“Toshiko…dearest daughter, their mating will take place, if we do see the end of these dark days ahead.  It is our wish that they, too, be mated.  They each could have a great destiny, if only they make it that far.  Unfortunately, from what we did see before the darkness closed off the future, there are trials they must go through before that can happen, and certain conditions must be met.  However, if they remain on the path – and those around them as well – then there will come a time when a true dragon mating will take place.  I swear this to you.”

She believed him.  “All right,” Toshiko said.  “If my going to Ddraig Llyn will somehow lead to my friends being happy, then I’ll do it.”

“Thank you.  There is one thing you need to do before you leave.”

Why had she thought it would be easy?

“Another will be accompanying you,” the Earth Dragon continued.  “While she is not one of the four Great Dragon-Friends, she is a Named friend of our son.  She also means much to Jack, and if things continue on the path they should, she will play a part in the upcoming mating.  I simply ask that she accompany you.”

“Estelle Cole,” Toshiko guessed.

“Yes, daughter.  Will you take her with you?

“Of course, if she wants to go.”  Toshiko wasn’t averse to it; getting to know a friend of her two best friends was no price to pay at all.   The only time she’d only met the woman had been during the mess with the Fae, and looked forward to company on the trip.   “I take it Kathy will be going by herself?”

The Dragon chuckled.  “I am not against…what do you call it?  Carpooling?”

Toshiko laughed as well.  She also wasn’t against Kathy Swanson traveling with them; she and the detective had gotten along quite well ever since they’d discovered that they had Ianto and the Great Dragons in common.  They spent much of their off time together, either just getting to know each other or in conversation with Rhiannon Davies in Ddraig Llyn, learning more and more about dragon-lore.   In fact, Ianto had once teased her about becoming the new Torchwood liaison, since she and Kathy got along so well. 

“Toshiko, I understand you feel as if you are abandoning your friends and family.  When human-kind began to murder the dragons, we felt as if our own family was being destroyed.  The dragon known as Ianto Jones is special to us, and we would not willingly let him come to harm if we could possibly avoid it; this also means assuring his Jack’s safety, for as of now they are as connected as they can be without the official mating.  However, all living things have free will, and can decide that they do not want to follow the paths that would be best for them.  The future is a fluid thing, and our powers are not nearly as strong as they used to be.  We are unable to penetrate the darkness to come, only to extrapolate the path we did see before our sight was obscured. If we have set the proper people on the proper path then that path will continue past the dark times ahead.  However, as I have said…there is free will.  I can only try to convince, and hope that you will believe.”

That was quite the most Toshiko had heard the Earth Dragon say at one go.  She still didn’t want to leave, but she could see no choice, not if she wanted Jack and Ianto to get the ending they truly deserved.  She was going to make that possible, even if it meant a temporary abandonment now. 

“All right,” she said.  “I’ll go.”

**********

5 June 2008

 

The drive up to Ddraig Llyn was uneventful, although some of what Toshiko heard on the radio disturbed her.

She’d known that Ianto hadn’t trusted Saxon, and hadn’t much liked to deal with him.  She, personally, hadn’t seen anything wrong with the man; he’d had lofty ideals, and wasn’t afraid to say pretty things in order for people to accept them.  In other words, he was a carbon-copy of most politicians she’d seen. 

Kathy, though, had voted for him, as had Estelle; although neither woman could come right out and explain why.  Toshiko hadn’t made up her mind until she’d set foot into the voting station, where at the last minute she’d decided to vote for Saxon as well. 

And she wondered if she’d done the right thing when Saxon announced that there would be First Contact the very next day.

“That’s more up your alley than the Prime Minister’s,” Kathy commented.   She leaned between the front seats of Toshiko’s car, in order to turn the radio up. 

The Toclafane.

Toshiko almost turned the car around when the high-pitched alien voice began to speak.   It sent a shiver through her, and she wondered how Ianto and the others were handling things back at the Hub.  Would Ianto be on the phone now, trying to get into whatever venue First Contact would be at?  Would he be trying to call the whole thing off until there could be proper security, or at least an investigation? 

It didn’t escape her what the Earth Dragon said.

“This is it,” she said, her hands clenching on the steering wheel.  “I’m willing to bet my next paycheck that this is the beginning of the darkness the Dragons talked about.”  It made too much sense.  An alien race comes to Earth, just before the darkness that the Dragons had seen was about to fall…no, this wasn’t a coincidence.  “It’s going to be an alien invasion.”

“Isn’t there anything that can be done?”  Estelle asked, stroking a relaxed Moses in her lap.  The cat had started out in a carrier, but he’d howled so loudly Estelle had finally taken him out and held him.  He was quite content to stay there.  “Certainly there are agencies that fight off invasions.”

“Torchwood, of course,” Toshiko answered.  She’d learned very early into the journey that Estelle Cole knew a lot more than she was supposed to, especially when it came to Jack Harkness.   “There’s also UNIT; they’re almost like the regular army, only they specialize in alien incursions.”  She didn’t volunteer information about her own dealings with UNIT; she hated talking about it. 

Kathy snorted. “Yeah, had to deal with some UNIT colonel once; he had more of an entitled attitude than Himself does on a good day.”  Kathy had been livid when she’d found out that Jack had left, and it had taken all of Ianto’s assurances that he knew where Jack had gone to finally calm her down.   Still, she used any opportunity to take a dig at Jack, and in a way Toshiko couldn’t blame her, even though according to Ianto he’d practically pushed Jack toward the Doctor’s TARDIS.  Jack hadn’t had to go, nor did he have to be gone so long.

The mountain road they found themselves driving along finally wound its way into the valley of Ddraig Llyn.  The pristine beauty of the place silenced each of them, and it was all Toshiko could do to keep the car on the pavement.  It had seemed that the longest part of the trip had been through the mountains; as if the peaks had grown up to purposely hide the secluded valley…which probably did happen, if Toshiko knew the four Great Dragons at all.  It really would be a perfect sanctuary for the troubles to come.

The lake that gave the valley its name spread out before them, glittering in the sunlight.  The snow-capped mountains were reflected in its placid surface, and Toshiko almost pulled over in order to get a better look.  It took a lot of control for her to follow the road toward the village, which spread out along the lake and into the foothills, the homes and businesses built of native stone and looking to be hundreds – if not thousands – of years old. 

The Green Dragon Inn was identifiable from the large wooden sign that hung over the main door.  It really did resemble a country inn, Toshiko mused silently as she pulled up in front of it.  She parked and got out, stretching her tired muscles. 

She couldn’t help but notice the looks the three of them were getting.  Toshiko knew from Ianto’s stories that they didn’t get that many visitors to the valley; the odd tourist and mountain climber, but beyond that the place was fairly isolated.  But when she got a second look, she realized it wasn’t because they were strangers; these were expressions of awe, and Toshiko knew it was because they were Dragon-Friends, and not because they were strangers.

“Tosh!  Kathy!”

Toshiko turned at the familiar voice.  Rhiannon Davies stood on the threshold of the inn, a large smile on her face.  She couldn’t help but smile as well.  “Rhiannon,” she greeted, moving around the car to hug her friend. 

“Good to see you again,” Rhiannon enthused, hugging her back.  They hadn’t seen each other in person since February, when Rhiannon had come down to Cardiff to talk to her about being a Dragon-Friend. 

She let go of Toshiko, and hugged Kathy in return.   “And it’s good to finally meet you in person,” she exclaimed. 

“Rhiannon, this is Estelle Cole,” Toshiko introduced, once the embracing was done.  “The Earth Dragon asked me to bring her.  Oh, and her cat, Moses,” she added, motioning to the cat in Estelle’s arms.

The innkeeper laughed.  “And I thought that cats being familiars was a cliché!”

Estelle grinned.  “I’m not a practitioner,” she corrected lightly.  “Although I have been known to dabble a bit.”

“Ianto’s told me about you,” Rhiannon answered.  “It takes a power to recognize a dragon in human form, and you were able to do that.”

“My mother had the power,” Estelle said.  “I did get a bit, but I don’t truly use it.”

“Then maybe it’s time you did!”  Rhiannon waved them inside.  “Let’s go in and have a cuppa.  I think we have a lot to talk about.  Don’t worry about your things; Johnny can take care of them, if I can find the lazy lump,” she groused good-naturedly.

The interior of the inn was homey, and Toshiko felt as if she belonged there.  Rhiannon steered them all toward the dining room to the left, and they passed through a cozy lobby to get to it.  The large panoramic window showed off the lake and the mountains to fantastic effect, and she would have stopped to stare if she wasn’t alone.

“I never would have known this village was even here,” Kathy proclaimed, seemingly not ashamed to stare like a tourist.  “Ianto’s told me about it, but this doesn’t even compare to his stories.”

“I hope this means you’ll think of this as a home,” Rhiannon answered, ushered them to a table by the large window.   “Be back in a sec; I had the tea ready to pour for a bit now.  Hope it’s not too strong!’  She vanished through a discreet door that must have led to the kitchen.

“This place really is amazing,” Estelle murmured, her gaze on the view outside, Moses happily purring away in her lap.  “There can’t be many villages like this left in Wales.”

“I can see why Ianto loves it so much here,” Toshiko added. 

“Can you imagine growing up here?” Toshiko went on. 

“It’s a quiet village,” Rhiannon interrupted, setting a tray down on the table.  “Some of the younger folk don’t understand why we love it here, but it takes a special sort to appreciate the magic of Ddraig Llyn.”

“Five cups?” Kathy noticed.  “Is the other Dragon-Friend here then?”

“Not yet,” Rhiannon answered, sitting and being ‘Mother’.  “Although I expect them soon.”

“You haven’t heard from them then?” Toshiko asked, taking a sip from her cup.  It was very good, although Ianto made it better. 

“Not a thing,” Rhiannon said.  Her gaze went out the window.  “But I suspect that’s her…”

As one, the three others turned to look.   A car parked next to Toshiko’s, and a woman got out of the driver’s seat, accompanied by a boy who looked to be about nine.   She had dark hair, and Toshiko frowned, certain she’d seen this woman and son somewhere before. 

Rhiannon got up and headed toward the lobby, and the two other Dragon-Friends and Estelle also stood to meet their final member.  Toshiko heard Rhiannon’s joyous voice greeting the new arrivals, then she brought them into the dining room as well. 

“I’m Rhiannon Davies,” she introduced herself as she motioned the woman and boy forward.   “I’m the Dragon-Friend of Water.  This is Toshiko Sato, she’s Earth; and Kathy Swanson, and she’s Fire.  This is Estelle Cole, a good friend and descendent of priests.  Welcome to Ddraig Llyn.”

The woman looked wary, but she nodded at each introduction.  “Hello,” she said, after Rhiannon was done.  “I’m Alice Carter, I’m Air; and this is my son, Steven.”



Comments

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Oh my God!!! That is inspired! So very very cool. I think that the character of Alice was a really good one and I think that she was under-utilized. And hey, now the two of them will be safe, does Ianto know of her existence, I think that considering his current relationship with Jack that he would know of her but perhaps not met her. I am loving this break from established dragon!reality. I look forward to the next chapter! :)
Thanks! It just made sense to me that Alice was the fourth, with her connection to Jack and with CoE down the road.

As for Ianto knowing about her...we'll have to wait and see. :)



EDIT for proper icon. *grins*

Edited at 2011-11-02 10:13 pm (UTC)
*Jaw drop*

well that was a surprise...but is there any particular reason all the dragon-friends are female?
I'm glad you're surprised.

No, no reason...just chose the four I thought fit the bill best. :)

Ah Alice - great idea so what are the dragons going to do I wonder? Looking forward to finding out.
Thanks, hon! Glad you liked that. Oh, they're being sneaky. *grins*

More soon.

You are just brilliant! Did NOT see that coming!
Thanks, hon! Glad I could surprise you. :)
OOooh, that explains SO much. *fascinated*
Thanks! :) More to come!
So everyone hunkers down at the inn and waits out the destruction of the outside world.

What sort of betrayal will Gwen indulge herself with? Because she will, won't she. Girl can't help herself.
XOXOXOXO
Well, kinda...you'll see. *winks*

LOL! I do love your opinion of Gwen, and we'll have to see what she gets up to. :)
And it doesn’t help that you’re dangling his true mating with Jack over his head like some sort of obscene carrot.

Love the imagery there. tee hee. I wish I could draw because it would make a nice picture. Actually, maybe it's a good thing I can't draw.

Ooooh. Alice! I'm looking forward to learning what role she's going to play in this story. I'm glad you included her.
I'd love to see a drawing of that. It's a good thing Ianto isn't allergic to carrots... LOL!

Glad you like Alice in this. I did think she underused, and I'm going to have fun with her I think. So much wasted potential.. :)
Simply
Magnificent

D xxx
Thanks hon! Glad you liked it. :)
Brilliant move!!!!
I hadn't thought of her....
Looking forward to the next chapter (as usual)
Darn, you make me late for work (as usual)
Thanks!

Next chapter up soon, and I'm sorry you were late for work! :)

Edited at 2011-11-04 12:18 am (UTC)
AWE-SOME! Utterly inspired choices. Brilliant!
Thanks! Glad you liked it! :)

Edited at 2011-11-04 12:18 am (UTC)
Ah! Brilliant! I'm glad to see Alice & Steven making an appearance. I'm wondering what will the other ladies think once they realize her connection to Jack. But like someone else asked, is it merely coincidence all the dragon-friends as of yet are female. I cannot wait for more! Love this story!
Thanks! Glad you like this. Well, it might be more of how she's going to react when she finds out that the others have a link to Jack! Of them all, she has the least information, so she should be in for a surprise.

And yes, it's a coincidence that they're all women. More up soon!

Edited at 2011-11-04 12:24 am (UTC)
Brilliant! ^_^ I love that Alice is air. She did seem a little flighty. Grins. But strong enough to knock a building down if she wanted to. Grins. Perfect personification and I can't wait for more.

I hope everything is alright at home.
Thanks, hon! Glad you liked it. Alice just made sense with everything going to happen in the future. She does fit it, doesn't she?

Everything is just fine. :)
I'm glad Ianto Valley serves as a haven of peace.

I would have thought to appear Sarah Jane and her son. But Jack's daughter is even better!! This may presage a rapprochement later ... At least, if, in your universe, she's also angry with his Father.
Thanks!

I did think for a short while about it being Sarah Jane, but Alice just made more sense. Glad you liked it! And yes, she is...but we'll see how it goes this time, since things are a bit different now. :)
Ohoho I see some drama in the future!
Always loving the dragons!
By the way, your header- that dragon wouldn't happen to be the dragon from Merlin would it? It looks familiar. Everytime I see your header, I think "Is Jack sitting on Kilgarrah?"
Yep! I love drama. *winks*

Thanks!

No, that's the dragon from 'Eragon' only with a color change. It looks fantastic, cjharknessgirl did an awesome job on it. :)

Edited at 2011-11-05 12:40 am (UTC)
This was wonderful - love that Alice is a Dragon-Friend
Thanks! Glad my little twist works. :)

Edited at 2011-11-05 12:41 am (UTC)
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