Title: In Sickness and in Health
Summary: Ianto looks after everyone, but who looks after him?
Chapter Summary; Ianto’s testimony, part two.
Updated; Every Wednesday
Warning: Occasional language, references to child abuse
http://welsh-scotsman.livejournal.com/6120.html chapter one
“So remind me again why we can’t just say that there’s no case for the prosecution?” asked Lloyd in frustration as he glanced over at Ianto who was waiting nervously in the witness box. It pleased him somewhat to see that the bastard had been crying. Good, the little shit deserved it.
Strutt sighed. “Because there is a bloody case for the prosecution. CCTV and photographic evidence are not the easiest things to explain away you know.”
“But I thought you did explain it away when you undermined Harper’s testimony?”
“No, I undermined the witness, not the evidence. Seeing is believing, and believe me, the jury saw and believed those photos.”
“So what you gonna do about it, then?” asked Lloyd in frustration.
Strutt couldn’t help smirking at that. Oh ye of little faith. “Mr Lloyd, I have been in the legal profession for over twenty years, and not once have I lost a case. Do you really think that I’m going to lose something as easy as this?
“Look, your kid is knackered – he won’t last another hour, and another hour is all I need…”
“What you got planned?” asked Lloyd in intrigue.
Strutt just glanced over at Ianto before returning his attention back to Lloyd, a malicious glint in his eye. “He’s terrified of you. When Clarky over there was questioning him on the alleged attacks, he all but collapsed. I think we’ve been barking up the wrong tree in trying to undermine his relationship with Harkness. I think it would be better to make him relive every single supposed blow, don’t you?”
Lloyd nodded. “Good idea. Besides, we’ve always got Russell’s testimony tomorrow.”
“Exactly. No one’s gonna believe a word Jonesy says after that. Not even his beloved Jack,” said Strutt as he straightened his robes before going back down to his table and indicating to the Judge that he was ready to begin.
Judge Adams stood. “Court is now in sessions. Mr Strutt, you may continue cross examining Mr Jones. Mr Jones, I am to remind you that you are still under oath.” Both parties nodded and then Strutt stood.
“Here’s an interesting question, Mr Jones…” Strutt paused, enjoying the way the tension seemed to crackle as the whole Court literally hung on his every word. He knew that the longer he waited, the more disconcerted Ianto would become, and the more likely he would be to make a mistake. “If you fear your father so much, then how were you able to push him down the stairs? After all, Mr Harper believes you to be mentally incapable of such acts of unprovoked violence.”
“And yet he ended up at the bottom of the stairs outside your flat. Strange that, isn’t it?” said Strutt sweetly.
Clark was on his feet in an instant. “Your Honour, as I have already reminded the Court, Mr Lloyd’s fall was deemed to be an unfortunate accident, brought about by an accumulation of events that were out of Mr Jones’ control. Mr Jones did not deliberately push Mr Lloyd down the stairs, and I would appreciate it if the defence would remember that.”
“Your Honour, I was not refuting that fact - I’m sure Mr Jones is very sorry about what happened - but I am merely curious as to how that ‘accident’ came about due to my aforementioned reasons, that is all,” stated Strutt, cool as ice. If they wanted him to play by the rules, then by God, he would play by the rules.
Judge Adams looked suspiciously at Strutt who just gazed serenely back, before reluctantly overruling the notion.
Strutt barely contained his smirk of triumph before turning back to Ianto, a predatory edge to his voice. “So, Mr Jones, tell us about the circumstances surrounding the unfortunate accident outside your flat on the fourteenth of October, 2008.”
Ianto briefly closed his eyes and sought out the warm weight of the stopwatch in his pocket to help focus his thoughts. He needed to focus solely on the actions of the event and nothing more. Exhaling shakily, he began. “He…he grabbed my wrists and pinned me against the wall. I don’t…I don’t remember what he said, but…the next thing I remember…his hand had closed around my throat and…he was swinging his fist back to hit me…I don’t…I just…I panicked and tried to push him away. He must have slipped or something…I never set out to hurt him,” said Ianto quietly.
“Even though he supposedly abused you for twenty years?” asked Strutt incredulously, sharing a conspirational look with the jury before turning back to Ianto. “Surely you would have wanted some sort of revenge? I know if my father had knocked me about for as long as I could remember, I would certainly want some sort of retribution. I’d take any opportunity that was presented to me. Are you really saying that you’re above human emotion? That you have never wanted any sort of suffering to be inflicted upon your own father?”
Ianto hesitated. “I…I would never…deliberately or maliciously hurt Mr Lloyd…”
“But you have thought about it?” pressed Strutt.
“Shit. He should not have said that,” muttered Owen worriedly as he felt the icy tendrils of dread trickle down his spine, upon seeing the look of pure triumph pass over Strutt’s features.
Owen nodded. “Strutt’s gonna have a field day.” Tosh couldn’t think of anything to say to that, so just squeezed his hand reassuringly.
Strutt read through his notes for a bit before looking back up at Ianto. “Do you regret what happened?” he asked brightly.
“Which bit? The fact that your loving father nearly died at your hands?... Or the fact that your little ‘secret’ came to light?”
“I regret that I allowed the situation to escalate as far as it did. I regret the fact that it has come to Court, and I regret the fact that Lloyd was hospitalized because of me, but I do not regret my friends finding out,” said Ianto quietly, defiantly, his lack of eye contact the only sign that he wasn ‘t completely at ease.
“I see….How did you feel when it was still a possibility that your father could still die from the injuries he’d sustained from your little ‘push’?” asked Strutt calmly.
“I had a breakdown, Mr Strutt,” said Ianto quietly. “I think that should tell you all that you need to know. No one should ever be put in that position and I was affected very deeply by it. I’m not proud of what happened, but I can’t turn the clocks back. What happened, happened, and I have to live with that. As does Lloyd.”
Strutt raised an eyebrow, but did not pursue the matter. “It says in my notes that you went to visit your father in hospital three days after his fall. Why did you do that?”
Ianto shrugged. “I don’t know. I s’ppose I wanted to see if he’d changed…I hoped he had but…well, he hadn’t.”
“So it had nothing to do with your concern for your own father? It was purely for your own selfish reasons?” asked Strutt,
“Tell me, Mr Jones, did you go in the hopes of convincing your father to not press charges against you for GBH?”
“I object, Your Honour! The defence is blowing the event out of proportion!”
“On the contrary, Your Honour, at the time of Mr Jones’ visit to see Mr Lloyd in hospital, being charged with GBH was a very real possibility. I am working on what Mr Jones knew then. Not what we know now,” responded Strutt silkily, enjoying the look of distrust flit over the Judge’s features.
“Objection overruled. The defence may continue their line of questioning.”
“I am much obliged, Your Honour,” replied Strutt courteously, flashing a shark’s grin at where Owen and the others were sitting in the gallery.
“I’m gonna kill ‘im, I’m gonna kill ‘im,” muttered Owen. Bloody swarmy defence lawyer. Bloody English legal system. Bloody Lloyd, bloody everything.
“I think you’ll find that that’s my job,” murmured Jack, “but you can dissect the body after. That’s assuming that there is a body after, of course.” Glancing up at Jack’s stony features, Owen had no doubt that if he ever got his hands on Strutt, or Lloyd for that matter, there would be nothing left of them. Fifty first century torture techniques were quite a bit more advanced than the twenty first century. He’d have to get Jack to teach him some time.
“Surely it’d make his life more hell if you mucked about with his life? Bank accounts….tax settings…hit him where it hurts and all that,” murmured Tosh.
“Probably, but torture would be so much more satisfying…” muttered Owen.
“So tell me, Mr Jones, did you go to the hospital to convince your father to not press charges?” pushed Strutt, upping the pace.
“It never crossed my mind to pressure him on anything. I have never been able to change his mind,” said Ianto quietly.
“Now I find that very hard to believe, Mr Jones. I have been told repeatedly that you a supposedly clever man, so surely a person of your intelligence would take the time to consider these things? After all, you have everything to live for; a good job, a nice place to live, a caring lover…surely you would fight to keep those things?”
“Yes, but at that moment in time, I really wasn’t up to such complicated trains of thought. I went to see if Lloyd had changed. Naïve I know, but that’s why I went – no other reason,” explained Ianto.
“And yet you supposedly fear him. Why go voluntarily to the man whom you supposedly fear?”
“I don’t know. I wasn’t thinking straight.”
“Hmm…you don’t seem able to think straight a lot of the time, do you, Mr Jones?” commented Strutt, conversationally as he flicked through is notes.
“Well with that bastard around, it’s really not surprising,” muttered Owen. “It’s a miracle he’s managed to get this far at all.” And even that hadn’t been without its’ pitfalls.
Mr Strutt sifted through his notes for a bit, before glancing back up at Ianto. “Do you love your father, Mr Jones?”
“What sort of question’s that?” asked Owen incredulously, only to be shushed by Jack.
Ianto was silent for some time before replying quietly. “I used to... Very much.”
“But not any more?”
“What changed?” asked Strutt, glancing pointedly at Jack in the galleries.
Ianto shrugged. “I grew up. I couldn’t…it took too much for me to love him. He knew that and he took advantage. I wanted…I don’t know. I just…I wanted a normal dad who would look after me and….in the end…I knew that Lloyd could never give me that. It was easier to be alone than to have to face that every day.”
“So you found a replacement in Mr Harkness,” stated Strutt.
Ianto shook his head. “No. Jack is many things to me, but a replacement father figure is not one of them. He knows that.”
“But do you know that, Mr Jones? After all, I find it hard to believe that it’s a coincidence that Mr Harkness is ten years older than you, and looks older than you. Surely that would all add to the allusion?”
“Doesn’t this guy ever shut up?” muttered Owen.
“Your Honour, we have been through this countless times: Mr Harkness and Mr Jones’ relationship is irrelevant to this case, and I would appreciate it if the defence would remember that,” said Clark.
Judge Adams nodded agreement. “Indeed. Mr Strutt, if you cannot think of anything better to talk about, then please sit down.”
Mr Strutt glanced at Lloyd before nodding acknowledgement. “I was just finishing, Your Honour. I have no more questions for the witness but I reserve the right to recall Mr Jones when I see fit.”
Judge Adams did all he could to keep his relief from showing in his voice. “Very well. The witness may step down.”
“Your Honour, the Crown rests its case.” Clark stood, the same feeling of relief clearly evident in his voice.
“Thank you, Mr Clark.” Judge Adams glanced at his watch. “It is half past three. The Court will adjourn for the day and return tomorrow at half past nine.” And on that note, Judge Adams stood and left, indicating that the Court should do the same.
http://welsh-scotsman.livejournal.com/27573.html chapter thirty eight