29 January 5193 (Earth Standard Date)
“They’ve found Henry,” Jack reported.
Rowena closed her eyes. “Thank the Great Dragons,” she whispered.
She was looking a little better that morning, Ianto thought. Her scales had regained a little more of their usual aqua colour, and she seemed to be a little less tired. Still, there was pain lurking in her eyes, and she wasn’t breathing very deeply, plus movement wasn’t something she did much of. She also wasn’t eating, but Gareth had reassured them that this was normal, that the pain Rowena was in was suppressing her appetite, but that it would improve in time.
That morning, Jack and Ianto had awakened to news from Phillip, saying they had a definite lead on HYDRA. Their son-by-mating had explained about Persephone Corporation and their nanotechnology weapon, and that they were going to be doing some interrogation of the company’s CEO, who was apparently in it up to his neck. Phillip had assured them they’d get the man to talk, and Ianto had faith in Phillip and the Doctor that they’d do their best.
There had also been a message from Arthur. Lucy Cole hadn’t been all that cooperative, except to give them a name, John Garrett. Their grandson had been planning on telling Melinda about him being mentioned, but Jack had also told him to forward on the information to Steve as well. They’d all discussed using Torchwood resources for this, but the Empress and Steve had been insistent upon helping, so neither Jack nor Ianto had felt at all guilty about referring Arthur on.
The problem was that John Garrett wasn’t a very unusual name. Ianto wondered just how many of them there were out there. It would take time to hunt down a particular one, and while Melinda would have been happy to put some operatives on it Torchwood was a busy organisation, and she had far too much to do with Phillip out on leave. When Phillip had put her in charge Melinda had told him she was willing to help, but this was for the best.
At least they had the information on the ship that had been registered in his name. That might make things a little easier in hunting him down, unless he’d ditched his vessel. Steve had the resources to check Imperial spaceport records for any mention of the Typhon, which was what the ship had been called when it had been in orbit about Hubworld during that mess with the Master’s ring.
Hopefully that would give them a lead on the missing Suzie Costello as well. Ianto had kept her at the back of his mind, but while he hadn’t wanted to give up on her, for Owen’s sake, his family had taken precedence.
“He was in the middle of the Pacific Ocean,” Jack went on. “Just where we believed he would be, when we checked to see just where the Moon had been in point of orbit, but it was still a large place to get lost in.”
“Is Dad alright?” Abraham asked worriedly. Today, he and his sister were in their human forms, sitting with their mother, watching out for her and helping when they could.
“They’re taking him to Torchwood Central to be checked out,” Ianto answered. “From what Anwyn told us, he was sunburnt and a little dehydrated, but was fine. Oh, and he was cranky, but I would be too if I’d been floating in the ocean overnight.”
He’d been so very grateful that they’d managed to find Henry so quickly. The Pacific was very large, but with the drones – and, while they’d been hesitant to go to Melinda for information, they’d shamelessly used the drone network to search for their missing family member – and some computer work, they’d been able to narrow it down to several hundred square miles.
“Once he’s cleared,” Jack picked up the story, “Anwyn and Mom are going to put him in the nearest transmat and send him here. She’ll contact us as soon as they do, and we’ll go and meet him at the terminal.”
“I’ll come with you, Granddad,” Carys volunteered. She’d been an invaluable support for Abraham and Jocelyn; but then, the children in the last hatching did seem to be close to each other, despite their disparate beginnings. Carys was an Oriental dragon, more resembling Nathan in appearance than the rest of the family, and her human form had a distinct, Old Asian, cast to it, although her vibrant red hair gave her an almost old-time anime aspect.
It really was still a mystery in the family of how Nathan had turned out, because even with his Margath genetics an Oriental dragon being born from Clint had been odd, to say the least. Not that any of them would ever judge just on appearances…Jack and Ianto loved each and every member of their family, and Nathan was just as precious to them as any of their children and grandchildren. It was just something that had been a surprise, just as him being born already in his dragon form had been, when his twin Nicole had been born near-human.
“I’d appreciate that, sweetheart,” Jack said, heartfelt.
One thing they’d decided when they’d set out on their quest for vengeance was that not a single member of their family would be left on their own. Abraham had inadvertently broken that rule when he’d left Ddraig Llyn to go home; but then, they hadn’t expected their killer to strike in the Jones-Morgan home.
“I’d like to come too,” Jocelyn replied. “I want to meet Dad at the transmat terminal.”
“I bet he’d be very glad to see you,” Ianto said. “Abraham can stay here with your mother, me, Rory, and Uncle Gareth.” Gareth wasn’t in the room with them currently, but he wasn’t alone; Rory was with him down in one of the tower’s labs, going over some lab results. Gareth had requested some magical assistance with some of the tests he was performing on Rowena’s blood, and Rory had agreed readily, joking about going into magical forensics as much of it he was doing lately.
“As soon as Gareth gives the okay,” Ianto went on, “we’re moving you to Ddraig Llyn, Rowena. Security in Hospitaler Tower is very good, but we’d all feel better if you were under watch by the Great Dragons and the family staying there for the time being.”
“I want to go home, Tad,” Rowena admitted weakly. “I hate hospitals.”
Jack laughed. “Don’t let your brother hear you say that, Rowena.”
“Just because he works in one, doesn’t mean the rest of us have to like them.”
Yes, she was feeling a bit better, if she was snarking back at her father. But a lot of that most likely had to do with Henry being safe.
Jack touched the comm in his ear, then smiled. “Carys, Jocelyn…if you’re ready to go and pick up Henry?”
“I’ll fly us there, Granddad,” their granddaughter grinned.
“Let’s go and get Dad,” Jocelyn grinned happily.
The reunion was everything Ianto had hoped.
Henry looked tired, and the sunburn was pretty bad, but the smile on his face wiped away any and all exhaustion he would have been feeling as he crossed the room to rest his hand gently on his mate’s cheek, fingers stroking along Rowena’s scales. “I’m so glad you’re alright,” he whispered.
Ianto turned away, the scene too intimate for parental eyes.
He looked at Jack instead, as the commotion of Abraham and Jocelyn greeting their father rang out in the large lecture hall. His mate was also grinning, Carys at his side. “Why don’t we leave them alone for a bit,” he suggested.
“Good idea,” Jack agreed.
Together, the three of them left, and Ianto pulled the door closed behind them.
“One happy ending at least,” the dragon sighed. “Now all we can do is hope for more.”
“We’ll fix this,” Jack said with more certainty in his voice than Ianto was feeling. “Don’t give up. We need your head in the game. We need our patriarch to stand with us when we finally go to war.”
The dragon was warmed by his mate’s words. “I’ll always stand with my family. And you’re our patriarch as much as I am.”
“We’ll follow you both,” Carys proclaimed. “Through anything.”
Jack reached out and pulled her into a hug, and Ianto wrapped his own arms around the both of them. He and Jack had made this family, this wonderful family who were amazing, each in their own right, and loyal and steadfast and he would protect and support them to the end of his days.
A polite-sounding throat clearing had them breaking out of their hug. “I’m sorry to interrupt,” the nurse apologised, “but there’s a call coming in for you, Director Harkness, from Hubworld. Second May says it’s important.”