Title: The Oncoming Storm
Sequel – Broken Dreams
Rating: Mature 16+
Pairings Jack/Ianto, OC Sean, K9
Alternate time line.
Beta: milady_dragonTorchwood- Copyright BBC. This Fan fiction has been created for enjoyment and is not for profit.
Summary -Sequel Broken Dreams. 14 years have passed and Jack and Ianto struggle with teen angst and rebellion. Can they keep Sean safe during the oncoming storm as the prophecy and portents foretold now begin to take shape?
Ianto followed behind the group of rowdy young men to an ornate door. A fierce-looking guard holding a formidable spear opened the door and he found himself caught in a cloud of heavily scented vapour that hit his senses and his eyes began to water. As Ianto entered it took a moment for his eyes to adjust. The room was as ornately garish in complete keeping with the rest of the edifice. A large number of now familiar cushions were scattered around low tables and there were several ornate screens that created an air of seclusion.
As his vision cleared a very handsome young man covered in wisps of fabric draped his arms around him and drew him into the room. Ianto was not alone as a bevy of almost naked young men and women similarly attached themselves to all those who had entered.
Ianto looked the young man up and down and felt an immediate attraction. He was almost elfin-like in his delicacy and the fragments of fabric did nothing to hide the man's clear intentions.
"You like?" Ianto caught the young man's hand as it began to roam delicately through his chest hair. "You can take him if you like. He is trained in all the arts of desire and I see that he also desires you." The words broke Ianto from his appreciation. He looked to see Katha, the eldest son, with two young women draped over him. A sound caught his attention as the purpose of the screens became apparent and the room began to fill with the sounds of an energetic coupling.
Another man approached who also had several young woman draped over him. They were giggling as they pulled articles of clothing from him. The young man detached himself and the young women pulled the man towards another screened area.
"Robert is always so popular with my concubines. They cannot get enough of him."
"Concubines?" Ianto now accepted a glass of wine and followed Katha towards a low table where several other young men were gathering to play what looked like a game of cards.
"These are from my outer harem. They are there as act as distraction from my inner harem. There I keep my most favoured," Katha stated proudly.
"Wife? Husband?" Ianto asked, curious, thinking about the marriage tomorrow.
"They are there to be filled with seed or to produce heirs. One has no great affection for them. They are nothing but pawns used in political games. Marriage is something one does because one has to."
"Your brother?" Ianto took a sniff then a sip of the wine and settled on one of the cushions around the largest low table.
"I will allow you to call him that once. I disown him. All he cares about are his books and his stupid pet. He would rather write poetry than fight in a duel. And he draws and god forbid I heard he had designed all his own hideous outfits in pastels. If you do try to strike up a conversation he just rattles on about the stories he's read and the idiot thing he dotes on. I dreaded his coming out; now much to my own relief that is solved. Tomorrow he will disappear for good behind more walls with only one duty to perform. However I don't hold much hope as he probably has no idea what do with it. And that woman is enough to shrivel any man's equipment .She would be bearable if she had any looks and wasn't as thin as a rake along with a voice that sounds like a sergeant major ordering around troops on a parade ground." Katha took a breath and held up his hand. "Enough, my role is to create an evening of delights. To distract and to entertain and keep everyone too sated to cause any problems that would prevent tomorrow." He indicated for a set of strange octagonal cards to be dealt.
"Let us play a few rounds of ' Gwinnet.' On the next break I have some entertainment you should find most amusing."
Picking up the cards Ianto found in from of him, he studied them as Katha began to explain the rules of the game.
Sean found himself led down along a series of corridors. From what he could tell the palace was more like a fortress. Tall double doors appeared to lead to more inner connected corridors leading to more tall double doors and he got the distinct feeling he was passing through layer upon layer of security. Finally they reached a set of doors that were guarded by what looked like real warriors standing to attention, holding long fearsome looking spears.
The servant bowed, the guards stepped back and the door swung open. The servant indicated with his hand for Sean to enter. Sean stepped through the doors and found himself in the first homily room he had come across. He barely had time to take in the surroundings when a white fluffy creature the size of a small soccer ball bounced towards him. As it reached the height of each bounce it barked out a high pitched cough. Suddenly it stopped mid bounce. As it hit the ground a foot shot out and it scratched itself with great energy. The itch now satisfied it continued towards Sean. Not sure how dangerous it was Sean backed into the door.
"Poppet, you naughty girl, that's not how we greet guests." A tall pale young man with auburn hair hurried forward. He scooped the small creature into his arms. The creature proceeded to lick the young man's face with excited abandonment.
"Please excuse Poppet, we don't get many visitors and she is all a quiver with meeting a new person. Aren't you my precious," the youth said to the fur ball in his hands. Sean could see the creature was like a small dog but more barrel-like. He could hardly discern its face except for a long pink tongue and a hint of a black nose turned towards him.
"You must be Sean? I'm Herald." The young man put out his hand and Sean shook it. "You will have to excuse us we don't get very much company. My older brother sometimes comes by. Not very often; he's been here for a whole month and he hasn't dropped in. I 'm not allowed out on my own It's because I'm a son of the Duke, with the war and everything it's not safe. I haven't come out yet either so that makes it very awkward because I've not been introduced. That was to be next year. There was going to be a big ball and there is lots of dancing then I would have been introduced to all the families. Then I could meet other people. Bit daunting really but exciting just the same." He stopped and looked at Sean. "Sorry I haven't let you say a word."
"I'm very pleased to meet you," Sean said.
"Father sent me a message that you were coming. And we can meet because we're sort of equals even though I 'haven't come out yet." He linked his arm in Sean's and he led him further into the room. "So I know we will be best pals."
Herald led Sean towards the middle of the large room where he saw a number of large cushions scattered around the room. Herald untangled their arms, sat down and indicated Sean join him. Sean settled in the nearest large cushion and made himself comfortable.
"I'm am so excited to meet you today, because apart from meeting someone completely new I want to share something I've been aching to show. I've been teaching Poppet the most delightful tricks." He caught Sean looking at him. "Yes I know but I have to wear white. I 'm not allowed to wear any colours until…until," the young man swallowed, "until a-after tomorrow."
"I like it," Sean said, not sure what he should say.
"I hate it. I love wearing all the colours of the rainbow. Now I don't want to think about tomorrow so let me show you how clever Poppet is and then you can tell me all about yourself. I've never met anyone outside of court; well outside the palace ever. I've not come out yet so I not supposed to meet anyone outside of the court." Herald paused. "Sorry I've already told you that. I keep being told that I rattle on. Father tells me off every time he comes. I haven't' seen him in ages either because of all the preparations for the ending of the war and the ceremony. I'm sure it's because there is so much to arrange. I don't know what I would have done with everyone being so frantic if I didn't have Poppet." Herald took a breath and looked adoringly at his pet.
"I wasn't meant to have her, but I found her in the corridor. It all started when one of my tutors set me a wonderful game because I get so full of energy; I have to run and I love running. I run around all the corridors in the palace that lead back to this door. My record is eleven time units. Well anyway, I had just reached the Corridor of Divine Souls when I heard a cry. She was shivering by one of the statues. She was so tiny she could fit in the palms of my hands. I knew at once she was special and I claimed her as my own." He lifted the creature and held her out and gazed lovingly at her. "She is my very best friend," he said in a special voice filled with affection.
"Now let me show you our tricks," Herald said as he placed the small animal before him on the floor.
"Sit," Herald commanded. The fluff appeared to tilt.
"Lay down." The ball of fluff flattened slightly.
"Roll over." Sean saw a flash of black feet.
Herald looked at Sean full of anticipation.
"Play dead," Herald clapped. Poppet rolled on her back and stuck all four feet in the air. 'Herald let out a cry of delight. "Isn't she the cleverest thing you have ever seen?" He looked at Sean, his face aglow.
"Very clever," Sean tried to show some enthusiasm.
Herald's face fell. "It's not is it? It's really pathetic," Herald said a little sadly.
"No, it was clever! She had me really believing she was dead," Sean assured him, smiling.
"She is a special little thing." Herald whistled softly and Poppet leapt into his arms and licked his face. "You have no idea how I find my time goes by so much better since I found her." He fed her a morsel from a nearby plate.
Sean looked embarrassed as his stomach rumbled.
Herald looked shocked, stood and clapped his hands "I have been remiss. Let me order in something to eat. I've not been a very good host I should have ordered in something but I was so excited about meeting someone who was just like me. I so wanted to show you all Poppet's tricks because she has worked so hard and you are the first person who has ever seen them I completely forgot." Herald was interrupted as a servant entered and was given a set of instructions.
Ianto studied the two cards in his hands. He had been trying to figure out the meaning of each and how they all related for what seemed like hours. The fact that the room was filled with a light purple haze from some kind of scented smoke was giving him a headache.
"It's your turn." He felt a nudge on his elbow. Making his best guess he placed the card with two towers next to the one that had a mountain on it.
"The wandering star finds its pivotal moment." Ianto glanced up from his hand to a young man across the table from him. It had been explained he was a sage whose duty it was to pronounce ancient sayings of wisdom when the moment called for one. Ianto noted the young men around the table nod in agreement. Ianto struggled not to roll his eyes. He was not sure what was more frustrating: the fact he was playing an incomprehensible card game where his small pile of gold triangular chips were slowly disappearing or the equally incomprehensible utterances that seemed to make sense to everyone but him.
"I win again." Robert, who had re-joined them from his exertions earlier, reached out to take the winnings.
Ianto raised a finger. "Hang on. I thought the card of the two towers beat the mountain because it could reach higher?"
"Not when it is preceded with the nine of dogs," Ianto heard the man next to him say in a long suffering voice.
"The beggar makes his bid and the water falls," the sage noted.
"I agree; time for us to enjoy some refreshment and some highly anticipated amusements," Katha said, now standing, and took a filled glass from a servant. "And Sir I think it's time you partook some of the delights on offer."
Ianto turned to stretch his legs when he found his being invaded by the lovely young man from earlier. The haze around him seemed to increase as the man now pushed him backwards onto the cushions and found his lips. Lost in the erotic moment and the heady scent of the mist he felt hands roaming over his fully exposed chest. He ached to be touched and felt a brush of fingertips caress the head of his penis. A shudder of sheer want infected his thighs and travelled into his lower back. Ianto pulled the man closer. The kiss deepened and it felt like his lips were on fire. Long sensual fingers wrapped themselves around his shaft. His hips moved as each stroke brought him c-l-o-s-e-r …he felt Jack's sudden indignity enter the forefront of his mind followed by questions to why he hadn't been invited to join in a threesome. Ianto brought himself back and shook his head to clear his mind. He reached down and pulled out the young man's hand. He looked more than a little confused to why they were not continuing when Ianto was showing so much enjoyment.
"You are beautiful but I'm spoken for," Ianto said gently.
"Or impotent," he heard one the young nobles suggest in disgust.
"Tell me, is it even up?" Katha asked the young man lying next to Ianto.
The young man palmed Ianto's erection. "That's enough," Ianto warned as he removed his hand a second time.
"Oh I see the mighty Federation is too esteemed to accept the simple hospitality of the outlanders."
"I am very happily married to the man I accompanied," Ianto explained as he did his shirt back up. He had a feeling from the disappointment in the voices of the nobles he might have been the entertainment.
"How dare you insult the honour of our kingdom by refusing the hospitality of the Duke's Eldest son? An insult to him is an insult to the Duke himself."
Ianto stood as he heard the indignity and anger rumble around the group. He went to open his month to reassure them when he found he was blinded as wine was thrown in his face.
Staggering forward he tried to clear his sight. Blinking through the blur he found himself in front of the biggest man in the room, a brute of a man whose exploits had been bandied about all evening. The man swung with his left fist as he lurched forward. Still partially blinded Ianto did the only thing he could; he jumped out the way. From the stumble Ianto figured the brute was at least partially impaired form the huge amounts of the Duke's wine he been drinking all night.
The man straightened then turned. He looked at the man before him with disdain and threw himself at Ianto with a roar.
K9 turned himself back on. He scanned the space he found himself in. It was filled with a large number of objects on display. He reviewed his orders: 'return to the TARDIS and remain until otherwise requested'. He catalogued that his previous attempt had been thwarted when he was mistaken for a gift and placed here. He calculated the chances of that occurring again.
Moving in every direction he tried to ascertain a way out.
He now scanned the huge heavy doors. "Escape impossible via main entrance," he told himself and scanned the room again.
While they were waiting Herald took Sean on a tour of his quarters. There was a large living area, along with a separate sleeping room. Sean made no comment about the fact that the rooms appeared to be mostly packed. From the only comment Herald had made it was clear he did not want anything to spoil the fact he had some company. So arm-in-arm Herald led Sean into the outside walled garden then regaled him with what seemed to Sean to be the entire history of the palace including who each of the persons were in the overbearing paintings of past family members along the walls inside.
As Herald spoke Sean he felt himself warming towards him. He might be a little obsessive about his only companion, but Sean found himself wondering what it would be like to have lived his whole life locked up in some forgotten wing of a large palace with no more than a small animal and his tutors for company. As he listened he found himself thinking about his own childhood. The why to the efforts his Dad's had gone to, to try to give him some kind of everyday ordinary life was becoming more clear. Now he knew some of the truth and had met beings like the Master and the Doctor he realised they could have wrapped in cotton wool but they hadn't and he felt an understanding grow about his past he had not seen before.
"At last," Herald said as they heard movement and saw a number of servants bearing trays entering the room. "I wasn't sure what you would like so I ordered lots of different things." The servants laid out the table and uncovered the dishes. As each lid was raised delicious aromas filled the room.
His plate filled Sean sunk into a cushion and took a bite. Nothing looked familiar but whatever it was tasted as good as it smelt and after a tentative bite he dove in. "Strange you getting married tomorrow and not being at your own banquet," Sean commented.
Herald looked at his food and sighed. "There's another one tomorrow even bigger than the one tonight. I don't want to think about it because it's going to be a horrid day. What I want to hear is about the world out there."
Sean wondered what he should say. His life was so different from Herald's in every respect so he decided so he would give him the basics of his everyday life.
"And you can go wherever you want to on your own?" Herald asked as Sean wiped his plate clean and eyed the desserts.
"Well within reason. Tad drops me off to school because it's across town and there's no school bus. After school I go to my Tad's book shop. Two days a week I go to swimming club. Then Dad picks me up after practice."
"And you can mix and meet whoever you want? I mean at school you're allowed to meet and talk to anyone?" Sean nodded. "So you must have come out then?" Herald tried to make sense of what he was being told.
"We don't have that. People come of age at eighteen. Some have a big party. It's then they can vote."
"Elections. Vote for who is going to be in the government. It's one person one vote."
"What, anyone? Servants, not just the nobles? What about the King you told me about?"
"Well he actually can't vote," Sean tried to explain how politics worked.
"Very odd. It must be utter chaos, but let's get back to you. You said you went to school. Do you have special teachers on your own?" Herald asked confusion lacing his voice.
"Well, yeah for maths, I'm really good. I'm in the top maths class at school. I get that from my Tad; he's amazing he studies theoretical physics. So as well as the normal maths class I do at school, except I'm a class for 6th formers which is two years ahead. I'm also doing an Open University paper just for fun. Dad told me if I did this particular paper I wouldn't have to sit A levels which is an exam because it's an equivalent." Sean wiped his hand across his mouth. "And you?"
"Oh I have tutors, one for every subject," Herald replied. "I'm not good with numbers; in fact I find them exceedingly dull. But I love stories, and poems. Poems are very special. You can make words into beautiful strings of loveliness. I've even written a few myself, poor efforts though they are. I enjoy painting too. I've even tried to paint Poppet but she won't stay still long enough." Herald put down his plate and left the room returning with a large folder held together with blue ribbons. He pulled open the ribbons and handed a sheet of paper from the folder to Sean.
Wiping his hands on his trousers Sean took the offered work. It was an exquisite pencil drawing that had captured Poppet exactly. "That's brilliant," Sean said.
"Oh just a quick sketch. I have chests full of my work," Herald glowed under Sean's praise. "Other than my art I have to study history, which I have to say is very rough. It's mostly lots of wars and people being nasty to each other, along with lists and lists of who slayed who. As a reward for sitting through it all I was allowed to design all my own outfits and one of the tutors had them made up. And outside of school you can walk around without an escort?" Herald pulled Sean to standing and they went to the table and began helping themselves to the several desserts on offer.
Sean nodded trying not to laugh out loud at the thought of walking around with a bodyguard as he filled his plate.
"You can make friends with whoever you want? Anyone? Have you got a friend, someone who is your best pal?"
Sean smiled shyly. "Yes I have a friend, Chas. He and I are kinda special. We're best mates in every sense."
"Did you meet him at the school where you do learning?" They both settled back on the floor.
"I met him when I was at primary school. Right now I'm at Secondary school; that goes from children from around twelve to seventeen. I go to a private school which means my Dads pay for it. Chas goes to a Secondary school that's paid by the government. We met at swimming class which is after school at the local swimming pool. We just saw each other and knew sort of instantly." Sean smiled in remembrance. "He made me laugh because he kept making rude noises in the water, then I made them back. We've been best mates ever since. If we can we spend all our time together."
"Oh a special best friend." The prince looked at his hands. "And do you and your special friend meet special places?" Herald asked very quietly.
"We hang out. His place, my place, we did have somewhere but it got burnt down," Sean said blushing.
"And do you and he talk?" The prince looked at Sean, becoming still.
"We talk about everything."
"And do you and he ever hold hands?" Herald asked under his breath. Sean nodded not sure where the conversation was going. "It's nice you hold hands and talk to each other and everything," Herald reflected. "But it's more, more than that isn't it…?"
"Now we're older yeah. I think it was Chas who made the first move. He ran his finger down my palm. We looked at each other and next thing we were kissing."
As Sean spoke Herald suddenly burst into tears.
"Now," Ianto said as he held the brute in a choke hold. Pushed up against one of the walls he could hear the other man's ragged breathing as he pressed his advantage. "I am not a violent man but the last few days have been testing. I thought we were going home but we ended up here. I have just endured one of the most frustrating holidays of my life and when I mean frustration, I mean teeth grinding, head banging frustration. And before that I've had to endure a mad adventure that led to all sorts of shocks and revelations, so I'm giving you this last chance to back off because I don't want to hurt you. So if I let you go will you just let up?"
He felt the man nod and Ianto pushed the man away. The man backed off rubbing his neck and took another look at Ianto. For a few moments Ianto allowed himself the hope this was all over when the man launched himself at Ianto. He fell back to the cheers and whoops from the audience.
"One hundred credits and two of my concubines on 'Gredo'."
"Three hundred credits and my flyer on 'Gredo'."
"Bastards," Ianto shouted at the group who were betting more and more extravagant sums.
He braced himself as the man barrelled his way.
"I really don't want to hurt you. So this is your last chance," Ianto shouted as he backed away.
"One thousand coins, all the concubines in this room if Gredo can lay Lord Ianto out," Katha called out.
The man paused and pulled himself into his full height. He drained the full glass that was placed in his hands, and with deliberate slowness wiped his hands over his mouth. He then tossed away the glass behind him and threw himself at Ianto.
Ianto, standing his ground, prepared himself. In what seemed an instant Gredo lay on the floor, howling, cupping his testicles, and a sporting a broken nose.
"How?" said one of the nobles as they now recovered, the voices from the stunned disbelief from seeing their champion felled in what seemed like three moves.
Ianto found a full glass of wine in his hands; he drained it in three gulps and noted the dumbfounded look on their faces. "Two words," Ianto stated." "Krav Maga. A few years ago I was mugged as I left my shop. I ended up in hospital for four days. I determined I would never let that happen to me again."
"You are a master of this?" One of those gathered looked between Ianto and the fallen man, his voice laced with incredulity.
"Black belt, working my way up to three stripes," Ianto said proudly
"The master defeats the brute."
Ianto looked in the direction of the sage. "Do you know that actually made sense?"
"Ignore him; he's had far too much to drink," Katha pointed out as the sage now fell to the ground in a heap.
Ianto straightened his clothes and watched Gredo being dragged away. From what he could tell he appeared to have passed out.
He bent down and picked up one of the scattered cards. He looked at it and noticed a pattern around the edge for the first time. He took a moment to examine the edge in more detail and then picked up a second card. He found his face forming a huge grin.
"Now will someone explain the rules of this game to me once more because I feel the urge to lose more money coming on?"
He pulled up a cushion as the nobles scrambled to seat themselves.
Sean was at a loss at what to do as Herald burst into tears.
"I'm sorry I know two boys kissing some people have a hard time," Sean said trying to recover the situation.
"No that's not it. I think it's wonderful that you have someone. It's just…" Herald tried to clear his tears. "It's just tomorrow I have to marry someone I've never met. She's much older by years and I know there will be…will be intimacies. When the Duke's physician explained how… I was shocked. It seems so awkward. I mean how does one? How does it all fit together? I mean it's just seems…" Herald indicated, inter-meshing his fingers together. "But then I got to thinking it wouldn't be so bad and if it was someone I liked."
"The right person," Sean agreed.
Herald shuffled next to Sean his face still tear streaked and took his hand. "We are best pals aren't we? And best pals tell each other secrets." Sean nodded. "I need you to promise me you won't tell a single soul what I am about to tell you." Sean nodded wondering what an earth Herald was going to him.
"I've lived here in these rooms my whole life. Sometimes I get this feeling in my chest, a sort of restless feeling where I long see beyond the walls of my oasis. When it gets really bad I wait until everyone is asleep then I climb over the wall into the main garden. Its acres and acres and you can wander for hours, there's fountains and lakes, the pagoda and other delights." He dropped his voice and it became heavy with remembrance. "Once I am over the wall I run and run until I come to my favourite place: the gazebo in the rose garden. Being at night it's magical; the air is filled with perfume and all sorts of happy thoughts come to me."
Herald's voice became wistful. "Well, one night I found I was not alone. She was so beautiful, the moonlight made her hair look like spun silver. She was visiting, staying in another wing of the palace. She had escaped from her governess by pretending she was asleep. She had used an overgrown tree and climbed over into the main garden which was very clever. We talked and talked about everything. I told her about Poppet and she told me about her darling. That's who told me about the tricks and I was determined to teach Poppet. She told me how she loves music and art and she plays a most divine instrument, the harp. One of my tutors plays the harp. Each note sounds like the noise an angel would make. And best of all she loves poetry; she even shared some of her work. I shared some of mine. Every night that week we met in the rose garden. We held hands as we watched the stars turn and the moons cross the sky. On the last night we kissed. We kissed and made a vow of love and pledged we would be together. She said she feared she would be betrothed to someone horrid, crass and old. I said I would speak to my father and we would be together." He reached around his neck pulled out a delicate chain." She gave this to me and I gave her my gold bangle. We promised we would wear each other's tokens until we could replace them with bands of love. But before I could say anything my father told me my marriage had been arranged." Herald stood up looking towards the garden. "I don't want to marry someone I've never met who is twice my age. I want to marry my beloved. I don't want to do those things the physician talked about with anyone but my sweet flower. But if I don't the terrible war will continue, and more people will die." He burst into deep sobs.
Sean was at a loss at what to say. He was at odds with himself. Part of him knew how wrong it was to force someone to marry against their will. Yet so much was riding on this one event. Two kingdoms would stop fighting. Herald was inconsolable. Sean tried to put himself in his shoes. He struggled with trying to come up with some way to comfort the youth and was about to put his arm around him when a panel slid open in the wall opposite.
"Master," K9 announced himself.
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