Crown Prince Ianto
I do not own Torchwood
"What? What happened?" Jack asked frantic. Gareth sunk down into a nearby chair and the team followed his lead with Jack next to Gareth and Gwen, Tosh and Owen opposite.
"It was about three years ago that he turned up," Gareth sighed.
Jack queried, "The pretend Prince?"
Gareth nodded as he continued remembering the time.
"Your royal highness, it is a pleasure to be in your presence," the man said, "My name is Prince Damien Cerivet IV and I come from Lonrise to seek your son's hand in marriage."
Lonrise, the neighbouring country wasn't really their neighbour as it was on other side of the planet but there were only three countries on the planet of Blorith and the other country, Muirwerd, was nearly always forgotten due to the fact that barely anyone left or entered there. Muirwerd liked to keep to themselves and nearly chased the last people who visited away.
Lonrise was between Prydferth and Muirwerd. It was an industrious country, no doubt, but the royal family were rather untrustworthy. Their prince, Prince Damien Cerivet IV, was always rather manipulative, not that anyone outside Lonrise knew that.
Gareth nodded, "I will allow the joining of our kingdoms if that is what Ianto desires."
Ianto rose from his throne and walked across to the visiting Prince.
Ianto spoke, "I shall like to know you better before our union."
Gareth continued his explanation, "But something must have happened because about two weeks later, Ianto visited me telling me that he and Damien were to be wed as soon as possible and twelve days later they were."
"Father, I understand that this union between Damien and I is an important political alliance between our two kingdoms. While I respect the importance of ensuring that all negotiations relating to our marriage are settled properly, I must insist that Damien and I are wed as soon as possible." Ianto stated.
The King looked at son perplexed. He questioned, "Ianto, my son, what has prompted this insistence to speed the marriage. There is no rush to secure an alliance; we are in a time of peace and our kingdom is prospering. Our subjects are happy and our economy is thriving. You can afford to take the time to get to know the man."
Ianto looked determined. "No, Father, I want this marriage to happen now."
Gareth insisted, "Do you not wish to weigh your options. Perhaps explore other suitors. I remember you rather liked that man – Jack – who visited when you were younger."
Ianto's face darkened. His hands tightened into fists at his side and his eyes narrowed. He said, "I want to marry Damien before the month is out and I do not want you to question my choices concerning my relationships."
Gareth exclaimed loudly, "Ianto! Weddings take months to plan. The end of the month is only two weeks from now. There is no way that we can organise any wedding, let alone one between two princes, within that time frame."
"Just get it done, father, or I will choose to have the wedding in Lonrise instead." Ianto said as he turned on his heel and walked out leaving the door to slam shut in his father's face.
Jack stated, "That doesn't sound like Ianto, Gareth. Ianto loves you; he would never talk to you like that and he is too organised to try to plan a wedding within two weeks. He knows it would be inferior to what it could be."
The King's eyes glistened, "I know, which is why I think Damien had done something to spook Ianto. My son would do anything to protect his family and his people so perhaps the prince threatened someone?"
Gwen interrupted, "Excuse me, Your Highness. I investigated crimes on Earth and I was wondering if there is anything I could to help. Perhaps if we knew what had happened when the Prince left?"
"Thank you, good woman. I would be honoured to receive the help of Jack's friends." Gareth continued, "I'll tell you what happened after that."
Jack said, "We will find out what happened, Gareth."
Gareth nodded as he continued his story, "It was eleven months later that it happened: nearly an exact year after Damien had requested my son's hand in marriage. Ianto and his husband had been out having a walk in the city greeting our subjects when someone attacked. The guards assigned as their protection detail were cut down. Most survived but many had lasting injuries. Damien claimed that when the guards were all unconscious he had tried to defend Ianto but had been unable to and that Ianto had been carried off by a group of men."
Toshiko asked, "Do you think Prince Damien was involved in the abduction of Prince Ianto? How did he seem when you got the report of what happened?"
Gareth tried to explain, "He seemed…as expected. His behaviour was almost too perfect. Most princes after being attacked would try to act collected but Damien never. He acted shaken, almost like he was trying to show how affected he truly was. And his injuries which he apparently got while defending Ianto were all superficial. Not what I would have expected."
The doors to the throne room slammed open with a resounding bang. Three guards came rushing and dropped to their knees in front of the King.
The guard in charge tried desperately to inform the King of the situation but was struggling to get the words out. Gareth quickly halted him.
"Sir Guard. You and your companions are covered in injuries and there is blood flowing from a head wound. Please collect yourself and calmly explain what has happened."
The guard shook his head as he swallowed a gulp and glanced quickly from his fellow guards to the King, "Your Highness. My guards were assigned to Prince Ianto's protection detail in the city. We were attacked and beaten and when he awoke the Prince Ianto was nowhere to be seen."
The King jumped up from his throne, "What do you mean? My son is missing?"
Another one of the guards tried to continue for the first, "Your Highness, we have sent out search parties and we will do anything to find our beloved Prince. Please punish us for failure. It was our responsibility to protect Ianto and it was on our watch that he was taken. We deserve punishment."
As devasted as Gareth was he could not condone the punishment of the guards, "You will not be punished. I hand-selected all of you for my son's protection and I know that all of you would have used every ounce of strength to protect him because you all love him too. Go have your injuries treated and then report back so we can organise a search strategy."
The guards bowed their heads then straightened and began to back out the room.
As the guards backed out, Prince Damien entered with a grimace. The only injury on the young prince's body was a tiny trickle of blood consist with a medium blow to the head.
Large tears flowed down his cheeks as he stood in front of his father-in-law.
"Your Highness, I am appalled at my failure in allowing my love to be carried off. For all we know he could already be dead and lying in some dark, wet place."
Looking at the man in thinly veiled hatred, the King simply stated, "It is not your responsibility. I will find my son. I will ensure his safety and the people responsible for this deed will face my wrath and pay with the lives. Them and any other people who were involved. Neither status nor riches will protect these people. I will kill them all and destroy all they hold dear."
The King walked past the crying man leaving him behind. The man truly believed that he had escaped punishment not realising that while the King did not have proof currently, he would still be punished in the future. Not all revenge is swift but it is just as severe when the hatred is left to simmer til it eventually boils over.
The King finished his tale. "My son has been missing for two years while I have been left with the person who most likely organised his abduction. I have searched the entire kingdom and have found no trace of him."
Owen asked the question that all were thinking but did not want to voice, "Is there any chance he could still be alive? You might just be searching for his body now."
Gwen gasped, "Owen! Have some decency."
The King shook his head, "It was a valid question and one which I have considered. I have consulted my prophets every day since his abduction and I know that he is still alive. My prophets are never wrong."
"I know he is still alive too," Jack said, "Ianto is too stubborn to be killed. What can we do to help?"
Gareth finally stated his request, "He is not here. I cannot search the other kingdoms without declaring an accusation and potentially opening our country to declarations of war. I need you to search Lonrise and Muirwerd and bring my son back to his people."