Author: Eleanor Harkness-Jones
Word Count: 1,773
A/N:Sequel to 'Sick Day' and probably just as bad as it. Set after 'From Out of the Rain'
Ianto filed away the report of what had happened with the Night Travellers. He hoped more than anything that they'd never have to look at it again. He hated cases where they had to deal with families or kids. He didn't have fond memories of his family or of being a kid. No way.
As he came back up into the main Hub he was surprise to see everyone had gone, bar Jack who was shutting down a computer.
Jack looked up when he heard Ianto's footsteps. "I sent everyone home." He said by means of explanation to Ianto's unsaid question. He turned off the computer and folded his arms. "It's been a long day."
"Yeah." Ianto said. "Yeah it has."
Jack started to walk towards him. "Are you okay?"
Ianto looked up sharply. "I'm fine."
Jack raised an eyebrow, indicating that he didn't believe Ianto for a minute.
The Welshman smiled weakly. "I'm fine, sir. Thank you for your concern, but it's unnecessary."
Jack reached Ianto and gently took his hand. "Don't blame yourself. We did our best, and we didn't manage to save everyone, but at least we saved one. And in our job, one is better than none any day."
Ianto nodded, all too aware of the tears re-gathering in his eyes. He turned away from Jack before he started crying, but Jack caught his arm and pulled him into a hug.
"Home. Now" Jack said gently into his ear before guiding Ianto out of the Hub, holding the young man as if he was never going to let him go.
Once Jack and Ianto were in Ianto's flat, Jack finally let the Welshman go.
Ianto walked into the kitchen and emerged a few minutes later with a coffee for each of them.
They drank their drinks in silence, a silence that was neither companionable nor awkward: somewhere in between.
Eventually, when they had both finished their coffees, Jack spoke.
"This case really got to you, huh?"
Ianto nodded, even though both men already knew the answer. Only one of them knew the reason though.
Jack managed to catch Ianto's eye. "The kid'll be fine." The immortal reassured his young lover. "He'll go to a good foster home; I'll make sure of it. He may be alone in the world, but he'll turn out fine."
"I know." Ianto muttered. Jack heard him though.
"Care to enunciate on that?" he said, sliding closer to Ianto.
Ianto turned to face him. "I know he'll be fine on his own."
Jack could see Ianto was holding back still. He wasn't going to let him get away with that anymore though.
"How?" he asked gently. "How do you know he'll be fine on his own?"
Ianto shrugged. "From experience I suppose."
Jack raised an eyebrow. "I thought you grew up with your mum and sister."
Ianto sighed. "I think 'Lived under the same roof as my mum and sister' is more appropriate." Ianto stood up and put the coffee mugs in the sink. Jack followed him.
Once the mugs were safely put away, Jack silently led Ianto into the bedroom and sat them down on the bed. "Ianto, I'm sorry, you can't keep hiding from everyone, from me. Just this once, Ianto, tell me. Tell me everything, please. If you keep bottling everything up, eventually it'll get too much for you and you'll explode. I won't tell anyone ever, but please tell me Ianto."
Ianto searched Jack's eyes for a moment, looking for any sign of dishonesty. He found none. Taking a deep breath, he started to talk.
"As I told you before, my mum and dad split up when I was 4 and my sister, Rhiannon, was had to go to court. It was decided that mum would look after us during the week and dad would look after us at the weekend. Turns out, mum couldn't cope on her own and started smoking, drinking and taking drugs. And…" Ianto swallowed and closed his eyes. "She also got really angry all the time. And she tried to take it out on us. Rhiannon may have been 12 but she was a real girly-girl and a bit of a scared-y cat. She's not now mind. I don't know when she changed. Anyway, I wouldn't let mum take any of her anger out on Rhiannon, so she took it all out on me." Ianto didn't need to explain how: Jack wasn't stupid, and he knew the look in his eyes. He desperately wanted to take the younger man in his arms and never let him go, make him feel safe, but Ianto was still talking. "Rhiannon may not have been able to take care of herself very well, but she took great care of me. Once mum had gone to the pub to get even more pissed than she already was, she mop and bandage me up. I'd have to wear a jumper and trousers every day to school, even in the summer. She's put some of her make-up on my face so teachers wouldn't ask questions. She'd do the same on my arms and legs on days when I had P.E. She couldn't protect me from nightmares though: they were the worse. I lost loads of sleep and fell behind in school." Mentally, Jack remembered reading in Ianto's file that he'd when he'd started school he'd done brilliantly but fell behind after a year. The teachers had assumed it was the result of his parent's breakup. They were close. "The first time we went to stay with dad I was relieved: the idea of being away from mum - of being safe - even for just a weekend was heaven. It wasn't though. Dad was even worse than mum. He didn't just hit me with his hands; he used his belt, more often than not. One Saturday when I was 6, he lost a bar fight with his neighbour. He came in swearing like the devil himself. He pushed me onto the floor and told me to stay there. A few minutes later he started walking all over my back. Wearing a pair of doc martens." Tears finally gathered in Ianto's eyes but he didn't let them fall. Jack had never felt so disgusted by one man in his life. How dare that man! Ianto was 6! It was lucky for him that he was already dead, or Jack would have tracked him down and made his life a living hell. The next thing Ianto told him made Jack's blood run cold. "But that wasn't the worse thing he did. When I was 10 they showed us that video in school that tells you about puberty. And before you ask Jack, it's actually pretty disgusting. Although I was 10, and the youngest in my class, so I suppose it would be. It was on a Friday, so we went straight to dad's after school: we could walk to both of their flats, they were just on different sides of Newport. I'd have to wait outside the secondary school - she was in her last year - for Rhiannon for 20 minutes though, after I'd walked 10 minutes to get there. It took us half an hour to get to mum's and 15 minutes to get to dad's. Anyway, on the way home I was asking Rhiannon questions about it: the video wasn't really that informative and I was the same as I am now: I wanted to know everything. When we were just outside of dad's flat, two of his neighbours walked past, Joe and Kevin. They were a couple. I asked her how men had sex - don't laugh I was 10! - just as we came into the flat. For some reason, dad was there. He was normally already in the pub when we came home. He was just leaving I think: he was right by the door. He heard me and told me he'd explain. Rhiannon was a little slow and I was only a kid so we didn't catch on straight away. Once we heard the door lock behind us after he'd shoved us into the flat though we got it. Rhiannon tried to fight him - the only time she did - but he slapped her on the cheek. Hard. She passed out. To be honest, I was glad - she didn't have to watch." Tears finally trickled down Ianto's cheeks and his body shook with the effort of keeping sobs at bay. Jack couldn't take it any longer: he leaned over and engulfed the young man in his arms and held him as his sobs shook both their bodies. Jack didn't care that his shirt was now promptly soaked as his own tears fell into Ianto's hair.
When Ianto calmed down, he talked a little more into Jack's shoulder: Jack had asked him to tell him everything and he'd do anything for his lover. "When I was 18, just before I left for university, dad's heart gave out. He was in hospital for a few weeks before he finally croaked. Despite everything, Rhiannon sobbed for days. I think mum was sad too as she started drinking more than before. And, to be honest, I was glad. Mum still went at me almost every day, but dad was far worse. Sometimes he'd get me out of bed at night just so he could have a go at me. Not that I was ever asleep anyway. I left for university about a week after the funeral. Rhiannon thought she'd done something wrong, still does in fact. I think she's painted a picture of our childhood in her mind so she doesn't think it was as bad as it really was. And I know I kinda have too, but only to other people. I don't try to kid myself. I'm not stupid."
Jack gently caressed Ianto's cheek and finally spoke. "No, you're not stupid Ianto. You're so incredibly brave. I don't think I could go through all of that and never tell anyone. But do you know what I think you're most brave for doing?" Ianto shook his head. "Being with me. Honestly. I remember when we first started, and I remember you were nervous. I thought it was because you'd never had sex with a man before."
Ianto gave him a watery smile. "Thanks for not asking at the time."
Jack returned the smile and pulled Ianto back into his arms. He realised at that moment that he loved Ianto Jones. The younger man was broken at the moment, but he'd help him pull himself back together. Definitely.
A/N: Well, there we go! I've read quite a few stories where Ianto was abused as a child (I've done some things like it myself actually) but I've never read one where both of his parents did it. I know it's horribly cruel, but I like to be original. If someone else has one where that's happened, please let me know as I'd love to read it. But first, please make my day and tell me what you thought of this!