Author’s note Once again, thanks to royalladyemma for continous hand holding. If you’re new, start at chapter one, they’re all hyperlinked. Does anyone else find that the moment they try to post anything, their whole internet slows to a crawl?Or keeps crashing? or is that just me?
Bore da. Sat wyti ti? = Good day/Hello. How are you?
Notes on the English and Welsh education system for those who aren't familiar with it. In years 10 and 11 (ages 14-16) pupils take GCSE'S. (general certificate of secondary education) these are graded from a* (top) to g (bottom. there's also a u after that which means ungraded. anyway, employers usually ask for a c minimum in english and maths and a c and above is usually considered a 'high' pass and allows the pupil to go onto a levels and so on afterwards of they so wish. that's all you really need to know for this as it can get quite confusing if you haven't been through it yourself. Obviously, an questions regarding this or the trial just ask:D
Summary: Ianto looks after everyone, but who looks after him?
Warning: Occasional language, references to child abuse
The foursome walked through the front doors of Cardiff Crown Court as if they owned the place. Jack and Ianto were in the lead, walking side by side with Tosh and Owen flanking them, a step or two behind. Both Tosh and Owen bore nearly identical black cases slung over their shoulders -- Tosh’s held her laptop and Owen’s his field medical kit.
As they strode down the hallway, Rhi caught sight of them -- she’d been sitting on a bench, waiting for nearly an hour, hoping that she’d have a chance to talk to Ianto before the trial began. Rhi wasn’t sure what she was going to say to Ianto. ‘I’m sorry’ was nowhere close to enough, but it seemed a good place to start. After that, she was at a loss.
Rhi stood as her brother approached and took a few steps forward.
“Bore da, Ianto?” She spoke hesitantly. “Sat wyti ti?” She waited anxiously, staring into Ianto’s face, praying for a sign of recognition, of love, of hate, something, anything that would tell her he hadn’t meant what he said when he told her that she was no longer part of his life.
Without even the slightest flicker in his eyes, Ianto kept right on walking towards the bank of lifts, Jack right at his side. If he noticed Tosh step out of formation for a moment, Ianto kept it to himself.
“Go away, Rhiannon.” Tosh’s eyes were hard and her voice commanding. “You have no right to be here.”
Tosh then turned on her heel and joined back up with the men of Torchwood, just as they stepped onto the lift. The door sliding shut cut off the last sight of her baby brother, and Rhi could feel a tear start sliding down her cheek. With her shoulders slumped and her feet dragging, Rhi wandered over and waited for the next lift to arrive. She might not be welcome, but she certainly wasn’t going to miss this important chapter in his young life, not like she’d missed so many before.
Ianto fought the urge to run away as he entered the imposing courtroom. Somehow,/seeing the setting of his recent nightmares in the flesh made it seem all the more real and unsettling. Glancing over at the stony faced defence lawyers, he felt a sense of foreboding come over him. What was he thinking? There was no way they’d believe him. Lloyd would go free and …
“Why don’t we sit over there?” suggested Jack, gently nudging Ianto over to the row of benches, his voice a beacon of light in the darkness, guiding him through the jagged rocks of his emotions.
“’S okay,” murmured Jack, pressing himself closer to Ianto, so they were touching from shoulder down to hip through to thigh down to knee down to foot, and Ianto found himself gripping Jack’s hand for all he was worth; stroking obsessive circles on the smooth skin in an attempt at calming himself. He couldn’t even bring himself to look over at the defendant’s dock because he knew that if he did, all hope would be lost.
“That’s him there, isn’t it?” came an old woman’s voice from behind him and he could swear his stomach did a back flip as it dawned on him that strangers would be watching this. Would be seeing and hearing every sordid detail, every allegation and lie about him, and then they would go home and discuss it over dinner as if he were nothing more than an entertainment.
“Shh. Ignore them,” murmured Jack, his hand a steady, solid warmth on his back.
“Oh yes, Enid and that must be his American boyfriend. I have to say; he’s very handsome: proper movie star looks and everything.”
“Oh I don’t know, Janet. If you ask me, I think…”
“Do you mind? He’s shitting himself as it is without you lot gossiping about his personal life,” snapped Owen and Ianto had never been so glad to hear that cockney accent in all of his life. Owen would definitely be getting the good coffee next time round.
“Well really! I’m not sitting round here if I’m going to be insulted! Come on, Enid: I think there’s a murder in courtroom nine,” said Janet as she and Enid left the room, looking distinctly offended and Owen turned round, brushing his hands together with a smug look on his face.
"Thank you,” murmured Ianto gratefully.
“No problem, mate. Besides, it was giving me mental images I’d really prefer not to think about,” said Owen casually, feeling a sense of achievement when Ianto gave him a small smile. Turning to his other side, he saw Tosh also smiling at him. “What?”
Tosh just shrugged. “Nothing. You’re just a big softy really, aren’t you?”
Owen smirked. “Tosh, if I were ‘a big softy’ as you put it, I wouldn’t have lasted a day in this job. Balls of steel; that’s me.” Before Tosh could respond, the bailiff had entered and was ordering them all to stand. After that, it was all a blur until the first witness was called to the stand: a Mrs Alys Green.
After Mrs Green had been sworn in and seated, Mr Clark, the Crown’s lead prosecutor, stood.
“Tell us, Mrs Green, how are you acquainted with Mr. Ianto Jones?”
“Well, I was his English teacher in year nine, but when I knew him, he was Ianto Lloyd.”
“Are you sure then that this is the same person?”
“Oh yes, there’s no doubt in my mind. I remember those eyes -- there was always something so sad and old in his eyes, even though he was just a child.” Mrs. Green looked directly at Ianto and gave a small smile. “I can see that that hasn’t changed a bit.”
Jack reached up and turned Ianto’s head slightly so he could look into his eyes. She was right; at the moment, there was a sad, lost look in those beautiful blue eyes. However, Jack knew what Mrs Green didn’t: that look was rarely there anymore, having come back only due to the high stress of the trial. Fighting the urge to kiss him, Jack instead smiled at Ianto who smiled weakly back and took Jack’s hand in his; entwining their fingers together.
“Okay, and tell me, Mrs Green, what was Ianto like as a student?”
“Oh he was a lovely boy; polite and hardworking and conscientious: a joy to teach.”
“I see and what about academically?”
“He was and still is one of the brightest people I have ever had the honour of teaching. I had no qualms that if I’d put him in a GCSE, he would’ve gotten an A* easily.”
Jack couldn’t help being surprised at that. He knew Ianto was intelligent but when he’d looked through his qualifications just before he’d hired him, he’d seen Ianto had only scraped a C in English as well as most of his subjects except Welsh where he had gotten an A*, but then that was to be expected from a native speaker. Jack remembered thinking at the time what had happened to make such an exceptional boy like Ianto achieve so below what he was capable of? Looking over at where Lloyd was smirking, he was beginning to get the idea.
"So an exemplary student. Tell me, Mrs Green in your own words, what was your personal opinion of young Ianto Jones?”
Mrs Green fidgeted nervously with her blouse before answering. “Well, I always thought there was something very sad about him.”
“In what way?”
“Well....he was brilliant academically. Truly GCSE standard but...he was so quiet and shy and self conscious that he never really seemed to realise his potential. I used to make a point of asking him at least one question every lesson to try and get his confidence up and he’d always stammer and blush as if he expected at any moment to be told he was wrong and to sit down and shut up. It was like he never expected to have anything worthwhile to say. It was almost as if something in him was telling him ‘no one wants to hear what you have to say‘, that ’you can’t possibly succeed‘.”
“Really? He expected himself to fail before he had even tried?” repeated Mr Clark, turning to the jury for effect before carrying on. “Tell me, Mrs Green, what was Ianto like in relation to his peers?”
“He always struck me as such a lonely child. I knew his sister had moved out, and his mam had left when he was very little, and I just assumed that had had an affect on him as he never seemed to have any proper friends. I always thought it was such a waste as I could see he had so much to give if someone would just take the time and effort to get to know him.”
Jack became increasingly distracted by the lump in his throat as he remembered how he and the rest of the team had treated Ianto during his first few months; ignoring him until they needed something. How could they have been so cruel? Unconsciously carrying on the attitude and behaviour of Ianto’s fellow students from his school days.
“’S not your fault, Jack,” mumbled Ianto, squeezing his hand softly and pressing closer as he if he instinctively knew how guilty his Captain would be feeling. Jack glanced down at their entwined fingers before looking up into sincere blue eyes, once again being in awe of Ianto’s ability to forgive again and again and again. Jack smiled back briefly before turning back to the trial.
Owen was busy making mental notes of how these were all the signs of abuse, so it took a moment for him to notice the small hand holding his in a vice-like grip. Glancing down, he saw Tosh was the owner of said hand although her attention remained completely on Ianto. Must be a subconscious thing, he thought though he made no move to get out of it.
“Okay, thank you, Mrs Green. I know this must be hard for you. Tell me, when did you first suspect that young Ianto Jones was being abused by Mr Wayne Lloyd?”
“You Honour, I object strenuously!” The defence attorney, Mr Strutt, jumped to his feet, his chair flying out from beneath him. “There has been no evidence whatsoever presented that would indicate any form of abuse by my client and I strongly resent the implication!”
“Sustained. Mr. Clark, please rephrase your question.” The judge upheld the defence’s protest.
“Yes, Your Honour.” The prosecutor looked back at Mrs Green. “Mrs Green, please tell the court when did you first suspect that young Ianto Jones was allegedly being abused by Mr Wayne Lloyd?”
Alys Green had been waiting for this question. Drawing in a deep breath, she began to tell the court about one afternoon in May.
“Okay, class, ten more minutes then I’m collecting in your essays,” said Mrs Green as she weaved between the desks, coming to a stop next to Ianto Lloyd’s table.
“How you getting on, Ianto?” she asked as she placed a hand on his shoulder.
The young boy barely suppressed a gasp as he flinched at the contact and instinctively pulled away. “F-fine, th-thank you, Miss,” he mumbled, not looking up into Mrs Green’s concerned face.
Mrs Green frowned before crouching down beside him. “Are you alright, Ianto?” she asked softly, noting how pale and tired he looked. He’d also been quieter than normal this lesson and his stammer had been more pronounced, much to the amusement of the rest of the class.
“F-fine, thank you, Miss.”
“What happened to your shoulder?”
“I...I fell off my bike,” stammered Ianto, avoiding her enquiring gaze as he fiddled nervously with his pen. Mrs Green studied him for several moments, noting the blush creeping up his cheeks and the shaking of his hands, and was that bruising she could see poking out from under his sleeve?
“Stay behind after class,” she murmured as she stood and moved to help someone else, not seeing Ianto’s look of despair.
By the time break came, Mrs Green had become truly worried about the young boy currently standing before her, his head bowed and trembling hands shoved in his pockets so she couldn’t see how scared he was.
“Ianto...is everything all right at home?” she asked gently. The boy nodded mutely though he made no attempt to initiate eye contact.
Mrs Green sighed as she perched on the edge of her desk. “You’re a very gifted pupil, Ianto. You could go on to achieve great things.”
“Hardly. There are loads of kids better than me.” It distressed Mrs Green when she realised that Ianto actually believed what he was saying.
“I know you’re top of your class in Welsh.”
“That barely counts. I’m the only fluent speaker there.”
Mrs Green studied Ianto for several moments, trying to work out exactly why he insisted on putting himself down all the time. “Ianto, look at me,” she said gently but firmly. Ianto looked up but focused on a spot behind her rather than directly at her. Accepting that this was the best she’d get, she carried on. “Why do you have such a low opinion of yourself?”
The young boy shrugged though his gaze never moved from the wall.
“Has someone said something to you? Because if they have...”
“No! No...it’s nothing like that,” said Ianto quickly, unable to keep the note of panic out of his voice
“Then who hurt you?”
“No-no one...I-I told you, I f-fell off of my b-bike,” stammered Ianto, once again bowing his head to stare at his shoes.
“Must have been quite a fall for your wrists to get hurt too,” said Mrs Green mildly. There was no accusation in her voice, just genuine concern.
“I...erm...I skidded on the curb. It was my fault; I got the angle wrong and the next thing I knew, I was on the floor,” mumbled Ianto awkwardly as he fiddled nervously with his tie.
“Did you tell your Dad?”
“I...err... there was no n-need. It was only a couple of bruises. It happens all the time. You’d think I’d have leant my lesson by now,” said Ianto, running a shaky hand through his hair as his eyes darted around the room. He was beginning to feel caged in; any minute now he was going to say the wrong thing; he had to get away from Mrs Green.
“Miss, can I go now? It’s just there’s only ten minutes of lunch left and I haven’t eaten yet.”
Taking one look at Ianto’s pleading eyes, Mrs Green nodded. “Of course. But if you ever need to talk, I’m here, okay?” Ianto nodded, giving a quick, mumbled thanks before all but running out of the door.
“He was so scared. Looking back, I think that if only If I’d have just pushed him a little harder, he’d have told me the truth,” said Mrs Green as she dabbed at the tears trailing down her cheeks
Jack couldn’t help pitying her; he knew exactly what that sort of guilt could do to a person. He had to admit, that he too had had those thoughts himself. Jack searched his memory for the last two years of knowing Ianto. He searched for anything, any clue that could have indicated that this had been going on in Ianto’s life. Unfortunately, he came up blank, and Jack was forced to admit that he didn’t know Ianto as well as he thought he did.
“I’m sure you did your best, Mrs Green,” said Mr Clark, glancing over at the jury who were scribbling furiously into their notebooks. “Tell me, what did you do after you had asked Ianto about his injuries?”
Mrs Green looked nervously over at Ianto who was staring into his lap, avoiding eye contact with everyone before turning back to Mr Clark. “I didn’t know what to believe. Logically, I knew I had no reason to disbelieve him but there had been something that didn’t quite feel right so I decided to visit his Father: Mr Wayne Lloyd.” Mrs Green then recounted what had happened.
Mrs Green nervously knocked on the door of the small, two up, two down council house. Inside, she could hear the TV blaring and a man’s deep laughter. Figuring he hadn’t heard her, she rang the doorbell until the door swung open to reveal a large, intimidating man filling the doorway.
“Err… Mr Lloyd? I’m Mrs Alys Green; Ianto’s English teacher. I was wondering if we could have a chat?”
“What’s the kid done now?” grunted the older man as he slouched into the living room and flopped back down on the well worn chair, looking like he wanted to do anything except have ‘a chat’ about his own son. Assuming she was meant to follow, Mrs Green quietly closed the door before making her way down the hallway and into the living room, taking a quick, discreet glance at the kitchen where dirty plates were still piled in the sink.
“Nothing. On the contrary, Ianto’s a very bright and talented student,” said Mrs Green as she perched on the edge of her seat.
“So wat’s the problem then?” asked Lloyd around a mouthful of crisps, his gaze never leaving the rugby match on TV.
“Well..it’s just I noticed he seemed to be in a lot of pain – something to do with his shoulder?” said Mrs Green tentatively, fiddling nervously with the hem of her blouse.
“Wait a minute; you’ve come all the way over ‘ere to tell me my kid’s fucked up his shoulder?” asked Lloyd incredulously and Mrs Green struggled to see any resemblance between this man and his son. Whilst Ianto was small and slim with ebony hair and clear blue eyes, his father was built like a brick with dirt blond hair and murky brown eyes.
“No, but he did seem really nervous when I asked him about it,” said Mrs Green as she tried to keep her composure. Why didn’t this man care?
“Well wouldn’t you be if some busy body was poking her nose into your private life and asking stupid questions? He probably just fell out of a tree or something. You know what kids are like,” said Lloyd vaguely, his gaze never leaving the match. Apparently England was beating Wales.
“Yes, but Ianto doesn’t really seem the type to climb trees.” Or fall off his bike, thought Mrs Green wryly.
“Just what exactly are you implying here? I’ve looked after that kid ever since his mother buggered off to God knows where. I have given up my job, my friends and my life for him. So I am sorry if I’m not perfect like you obviously are, but I can’t keep an eye on him every minute of every bloody day. He is fed, he is clothed and he has a roof over his head. That was good enough for me and it will damn well be good enough for him!” roared Lloyd as he loomed over her.
“We’re well aware of your home situation, Mr Lloyd, but-“
“But nothing! You think you’re all that ‘cos you have a degree but you know what? You don’t know nothing! He is my kid and I will decide what’s best for him, not you,” hissed Lloyd, moving closer so they were toe to toe and Mrs Green could smell the alcohol on his breath. “Now why don’t you take your opinions and fuck off?” he suggested fiercely and it was all Mrs Green could do but not run out of the house.
“I should never have gone round there! If I hadn’t maybe Ianto would never have been hurt so badly!” sobbed Mrs Green as she furiously dabbed at her eyes with her hankie. Even after all these years, she still felt so much guilt for what had happened next. If she hadn’t have been so hot headed, then maybe Ianto’s suffering would’ve come to an end sooner.
“That lying bastard!” hissed Owen as not only the penny dropped but the whole suitcase came down with a smash and he glared over at Lloyd, who just smirked his acknowledgement as if he were proud of it. “If Jack hadn’t have made us swear to do this proper, I would’ve shoved my scalpel so far up his arse, it would’ve become his tonsils,” he muttered, never breaking eye contact with Lloyd, so he didn’t see Tosh’s look of agreement.
Jack became increasingly aware of Ianto pressing closer to him in the subconscious need for reassurance. “You’re safe,” he murmured fiercely, pulling him in tightly so he couldn’t see Lloyd’s smirk of triumph. Jack kissed Ianto’s hair whilst simultaneously staring daggers at the monster in the dock, conveying all the hate and resentment he could muster.
Mr Clark waited a moment to allow the testimony to sink in before moving onto his next question. “Mrs Green, you allege that Ianto Jones was hurt as a direct result of this confrontation, would you please explain how you came to this conclusion.”
Mrs Green took a deep breath, seeming to visibly pull herself together before telling the memory that even now, haunted her dreams.
When Ianto returned to lessons four days after Mrs Green’s ill-fated meeting with his Father, he looked ill, the greyish tinge to his already pale features and the almost black circles under his dull eyes coupled with the delicate way in which he moved indicating that he had paid the price for Mrs Green’s concern. What was more shocking than his physical appearance was the way in which he conducted himself.
Normally, he’d come in, get his stuff out and do the work. Today, he came in, blazer wrapped tightly around himself, not meeting anyone’s gaze as he slipped into his seat and proceeded to stare unseeingly at his desk, occasionally blinking back tears or shifting uncomfortably in his chair and Mrs Green’s heart broke for him.
What had she been thinking? Why hadn’t it occurred to her that there’d be consequences? How could she have been so thick? It had been irresponsible and dangerous and now, because of her interference, Ianto had retreated even further into his shell and was even more unlikely to accept anyone’s help. His Father had made that perfectly clear.
“Miss, Ianto’s just walked out,” said Llewelyn, startling her out of her thoughts.
“What? Why?” asked Mrs Green, glancing over at the now vacant seat.
“I don’t know. All I said was ‘you look rough’ and he walked out!”
Mrs Green ran a hand through her hair. “Right, carry on with your essays and I’ll be back in a minute.”
“Don’t even think about arguing, Llewelyn, you’re in enough trouble as it is,” she snapped as she hurried out and ran to catch up with Ianto who was halfway down the stairs.
Ianto stopped but did not turn. “Why did you do it, Miss?” he asked, his voice hoarse and tired.
Mrs Green knew without asking what Ianto was referring to and she felt her stomach drop. “I...I wanted to help you,”she said quietly.
“How is telling my father helping? You just made everything a hundred times worse!” cried Ianto as he turned to face her, revealing the tears coursing down his cheeks as all the hurt and fear and anger of the last few days came tumbling out
“I just thought-“
“No. You didn’t think. You just poked your nose in where it’s not wanted and I am sick of it!” He knew his tone was bordering on insolence, but he didn’t care. “Why can’t you all just leave me alone?” pleaded Ianto as he rested a hand against the wall to steady himself. The other was placed protectively over his ribs.
“Because we’re worried about you,” said Mrs Green gently.
“But why? I’m nothing special. The only reason you’re interested in me is ‘cos you think something dodgy is going on. If you didn’t, you’d ignore me like everyone else.”
“That’s not true.” Mrs Green protested indignantly. “Ianto, if someone is hurting you, there are things we can do to help and protect you. You do not have to live your life in fear.”
“How many more times do I have to say this! No one is doing anything to me! I fell off my bike!” snapped Ianto fiercely, running a shaky hand through his hair in frustration and what little colour there was drained from his face.
Mrs Green hated that she couldn’t get through to the vulnerable boy but she was also intelligent enough to know that if she kept pushing, he would clam up further. She also thought that there might even be a chance that he would stop coming to class all together to avoid her. If she stopped pushing, for now at least, she could keep an eye on him.
“Okay. Are you sure you don’t need to see the nurse though? You really don’t look well.”
“I’m fine. I just...haven’t been sleeping much, that’s all.” Ianto tried hard, but he couldn’t keep his relief completely out of his voice.
“Okay. Why don’t you go into the toilets and wash your face and then come back into the lesson, okay?”
Ianto nodded. “’Kay,” he mumbled as he wiped a hand across his face. He stayed where he was until Mrs Green was out of sight before slowly and painfully making his way back up the stairs and to the bathrooms. He didn’t see his teacher actually watching him from the doorway.
“He was relentless. I honestly thought I was going to die,” whispered Ianto as his whole body trembled and his grip on Jack’s hand became painfully tight as he fought to keep himself grounded in the present not relive every blow that had been inflicted upon him.
“If I’d have let her in, it would’ve stopped. Why didn’t I let her in, Jack?” asked Ianto as he glanced up at his lover’s smooth features.
“Because you had just been beaten to within an inch of your life, because you were scared, because you were thirteen, loads of reasons,” murmured Jack, stroking his hair idly.
“It wasn’t your fault. You couldn’t have stopped it on your own,” he murmured, brushing his lips softly against his temple as his other hand swept lightly up and down his back, providing a slow, steady presence.
Jack didn’t even bother giving Lloyd the satisfaction of glancing over at him as he knew that if he did, he would lose any semblance of self control and Ianto didn’t need to see that. Instead, he refocused on what Mr Clark was saying.
“Thank you, Mrs Green. Just one more question: after this incident, what course of action did you take in regards to taking the matter further?”
Mrs Green bowed her head as if she were ashamed. “I didn’t know what to do. The more I thought about it, the more certain I was that his father was hurting him but it’s so difficult to prove anything like that. It could’ve taken months before Ianto was taken into care and I was so scared that if...when his father found out, he might...he might...k-kill him.” An audible gasp was heard from the galleries as well as a number of expletives from Owen and, surprisingly, Tosh.
“Silence,” commanded the Judge as he banged his hammer before turning back to Mr Clark. “Please continue.”
Mr Clark nodded before addressing Mrs Green again. “You say you believed Mr Wayne Lloyd had the potential to kill his own, thirteen year old son: Ianto. Could you explain this a bit further so that the jury are perfectly clear on what you mean?”
Mrs Green nodded as she wrung her hands together. “It’s just...when I went to visit Mr Lloyd, I never came straight out and said anything and, well, we’ve all heard what happened then. My thoughts were if I said nothing and Ianto was clearly badly hurt, what would happen if someone were to say it outright? Mr Lloyd is a big man. He must be what? 6’5’’? And Ianto must only have just been in the five foot range, maybe 5’2’’ at most? Add to that the fact that he must have been less than half Lloyd’s weight and I worried that if Lloyd truly lost his temper, it wouldn’t take much to go too far.”
Mr Clark nodded. “Thank you, Mrs Green. No further questions.”
The Judge turned to Mr Strutt who was slouched lazily in his chair with a particularly bored expression on his face. “Mr Strutt, would you like to cross examine the witness?”
Mr Strutt seemed to think about it for a moment as if he were debating if he could actually be bothered before nodding. “Might as well,” he muttered as he hauled himself out of his chair and over to the witness box. By the time he got there, his expression had changed from bored indifference to that of a predatory killer.
“Shit! We’re going to have to watch ‘im,” muttered Owen, having no idea just how right he would turn out to be.