welsh_scotsman (welsh_scotsman) wrote,
welsh_scotsman
welsh_scotsman

In Sickness and in Health (41a/45)

 




Title: In Sickness and in Health





Author: welsh_scotsman





Beta: royalladyemma





Author’s note Once again, thanks to royalladyemma for continous hand holding. Sorry for the slight delay, my internet was playing up all day yesterday and I couldn’t get aything done. Not only that, but I, in my infinite wisdom, decided that I didn’t like the second half of the chapter so deleted it all and rewrote it. Hope it works better. Also, I’m away next week so will be without internet access which means that, sadly, I won’t be able to post until the week after.





Summary: Ianto looks after everyone, but who looks after him?





Chapter Summary: Ianto’s less than clean past is revealed.





Pairing: Janto





Spoilers: None





Warning: Occasional language, references to child abuse





Rating: 15





http://welsh-scotsman.livejournal.com/6120.html chapter one





“Ianto, what is it? Who is that man?” asked Jack urgently upon noticing his partner’s distress at seeing the skinny man who was currently being sworn in.





“He’s going to ruin everything! No one’ll believe me after this!” exclaimed Ianto, as his hands gripped his thighs and his whole body vibrated with tension.





“Why won’t they?” asked Jack softly; he rested his hand against Ianto’s cheek and inclined his head to catch Ianto’s gaze which skittered nervously away from him. “Come on, Ianto; you can tell me,” he cajoled as he brought their heads closer together.





Ianto was silent for a long time before slowly meeting Jack’s eye. “I had no choice, Jack. I need you to remember that,” he pleaded quietly.





Jack frowned as he pulled Ianto close. “’Kay...”





The young Welshman took a hold of Jack's hands. "I mean it, Jack. No matter what he says, promise me that you'll remember I didn't have any choice!" Ianto's grip became painfully tight. "Please, Jack, promise me!"





 





"I promise, Ianto. I swear to you, I will understand." Jack managed to free one hand and he gently stroked the side of Ianto's face before tucking the young man's head down onto his shoulder.





 





“Thank you,” murmured Ianto against the crook of his neck as he relaxed in Jack’s hold. Slowly, he loosened his grip on Jack's left hand, but didn't let go. Over his head, Jack and Owen exchanged a worried glance.





 “Mr Davidson, how do you know Mr Jones?” asked Strutt.





“We worked together on the streets.”





“The streets… hmm. I see.” Strutt glanced down at his notes. “Is that where you met? On the streets?”





Russell Davidson smiled and his eyes seemed to gleam with malice. “Oh yeah.”





“Don’t sound too enthusiastic, mate, will you?” muttered Owen sarcastically as he exchanged a wary look with Tosh. She was biting her lip and looking equally concerned; there was something about Russell Davidson that made her skin crawl.





“Please tell the Court the circumstances of your first meeting, Mr Davidson.”





Russell smiled and looked almost fondly over at Ianto who deliberately avoided his eye. “We...well, we literally ran into each other.”





“No, we didn’t,” muttered Ianto wearily against Jack’s shoulder. Jack heard but, given Ianto’s current state, wisely chose not to question.





“Details, please, Mr Davidson,” prompted Strutt, barely managing to keep the annoyance from his voice.





Russell nodded tightly before turning to the Jury. “I’d been hanging around the local market in the hopes of finding some left over food. You see,” he bowed his head, as though ashamed of his next words. “I was between jobs and...





“No you weren’t - you were as homeless as I was,” murmured Ianto.





“My cash had run out and I was desperate.” Russell glanced down at his hands as if embarrassed by his circumstances. “All of a sudden, Ianto came sprinting past. He must have stolen something ‘cos the bloke who ran the corner shop was chasing after him, looking pretty pissed off. Then again, that bloke always looked pissed off...” he allowed a ghost of a smile to cross his lips. “Anyway, I tripped the bloke over and then ran and caught up with Ianto.”





“I see.” Strutt looked studiously through his notes before addressing his witness again. “Why did you bother helping a guy you didn’t even know?”





Russell shrugged. “I was hungry. I figured he had food.”





“No, you saw I was pretty and knew that would sell,” muttered Ianto bitterly as his grip on Jack’s hand became painfully tight again.





Jack felt his blood run cold. “Ianto...” he began softly, waiting for the young man to acknowledge him before continuing. “What do you mean? What would sell?”





Again, Ianto was still for a long time before shifting out of Jack’s comforting hold and glancing down at his hands. “Russell was...” Ianto let out a bone-weary sigh and his whole body seemed to sag in defeat. “He was pretty well-known among kids like me.”  He tugged at his sleeve. “They always used to say that if he ever came near you, just run and never, ever look back, because if you did...” Ianto closed his eyes and all but exhaled the next words. “He’d sell you to the nearest stranger like a piece of meat.”





“Ianto, I…“





“Please don’t ask me to tell you, Jack,” pleaded Ianto, desperately. “I can’t...” He closed his eyes and audibly swallowed. “Please don’t ask me,” he reiterated quietly.





Jack nodded reluctantly as he glanced briefly over at the witness box. He studied Russell, memorising his features, before turning back to Ianto.





“But how...?”





“But how did I fall in with him if I knew all that?” asked Ianto sadly.





“Well...yeah.”





Ianto shrugged and gave a small, self-deprecating smile. “How does anyone end up in that sort of situation? I was on my own and I was scared, and lonely, and tired, and hungry, and he was just there, y’know? I didn’t...I didn’t mean to, but...he was so nice and understanding. He listened, I mean really listened to me, and he didn’t judge, or ask questions and …” Ianto’s lip trembled and he sucked in a deep breath.





Jack didn’t know what to say, so instead he took Ianto’s hand in his again and began making soothing circles with his thumb against the younger man’s palm whilst he waited for Ianto to continue.





 





Ianto watched him for several minutes before continuing quietly. “He said he understood, and that he’d help me learn my way around. I s’ppose… I just thought he… that maybe...maybe everyone else was wrong; that he wasn’t as bad as everyone made him out to be. I really wanted to believe that he was no different from the rest of us; that he was just scared stiff and wishing he was anywhere but here.”





“S’ppose...”





“Haven’t you ever wanted to see the best in someone when they’re being condemned from all sides?” asked Ianto softly, his troubled blue eyes holding Jack’s gaze before dropping it. “I made a mistake and I paid for it.” Ianto shuddered. “Believe me, I paid for it.” 





“How…?”





“Mr Davidson, you state that you and Mr Jones ‘worked’ on the streets. What exactly do you mean by that?” asked Strutt, enjoying the way the Jurors were starting to look over at Ianto with disapproval and distrust. “What manner of work is there for under-age runaways?”





“We...” Russell sighed deeply, as if divesting himself of a great burden. “When you’re on the streets, you have to learn to adapt very quickly. If you don’t, you die. It’s as simple as that. We couldn’t get jobs in shops or factories because we didn’t have addresses. We needed money and unfortunately, that meant turning to crime.” Russell turned to the Jury as if imploring them to understand his situation. “I didn’t want to, but we needed to.





“At first, it was just simple things like distracting market traders. We…”





Strutt interrupted his witness. “When you say ‘distract’, what exactly do you mean?”





 





“One of us would go in and start talking to the owner, asking about a job, or if they’d seen our dog, or our sister, anything that would keep the guy’s attention for a minute whilst the other took a couple of apples, or a loaf of bread, or whatever they were selling that day. We only ever took food, and never more than just a couple of things at a time.” Russell glanced over at Ianto; his former cohort who was looking at him in weary resignation – just as he had done all those years ago. Smirking to himself, he turned back to Strutt.





“I always did the talking, cos Ianto was too shy and too scared.” Russell nodded towards the gallery where the team were seated. “Ianto was very good at the taking aspect of the plan. He had this ability to be in plain sight, yet completely unnoticeable – invisible, almost – at the same time.”





“As both Dr Harper and Mr Harkness stated in their earlier testimonies,” stated Strutt smoothly as he looked pointedly at Owen and then Jack in turn. Both men just glared back.





“I’m gonna kill that bastard if we don’t get a conviction soon,” growled Owen under his breath as he fought to keep his temper.





“Where would the fun be in that?” muttered Tosh, just as vehemently.





Strutt turned back to Russell. “Was stealing food from the local markets the worst of your criminal activity, Mr Davidson?”





“Uh, well, not exactly, no,” admitted Russell. He made a great show of examining his hands. “We also...we also shoplifted when need be – not as often as the markets as it was more risky with the detectors and so on, but pretty soon we were doing it fairly regularly.”





“I see.” Strutt glanced down at his notes. “Mr Jones was convicted for shoplifting on the 15th November, 1999, wasn’t he?”





Russell nodded. “Yes. It was rather unfortunate.”





“You weren’t saying that when you were convincing me to take the rap for you though, were you?” muttered Ianto bitterly.





Mr Clark rose in protest. “Your Honour, Mr Jones’ juvenile conviction is hardly relevant to the case at hand. It is, after all, Mr Lloyd on trial here and not Mr Jones. The defence appears to be having a difficult time remembering that fact.”





“Your Honour,” Strutt put out his hands in supplication. “I am merely trying to assist the jury, so they’ll have a better idea of Mr Jones’ character during the years he was homeless. It will, I hope, help the Jury to get a much more...in depth understanding of him.” He paused and looked over jury, going from face to face. “From this, they will be able to judge how likely the alleged crimes are to have happened.” Strutt risked a glance at Clark before fixing the Judge with an innocent look. “I would never bring irrelevancies into my argument, Your Honour.”





Judge Adams eyes narrowed and he was silent for a moment before overruling the objection. “Ensure you don’t, Mr Strutt. You may continue with this line of questioning for the moment.”





Strutt bowed his head respectfully. “I will, Thank you, Your Honour.” He then winked at the four members of Torchwood before turning back to Russell with a self-satisfied smirk. “Would you say Mr Jones showed an aptitude for crime?”





“Yes.





“For deceit?”





“Definitely.” Russell nodded emphatically.





“Why the hell doesn’t Clark object!” Owen looked as if he was preparing to stand up, and Tosh put her hand on his arm, gently but firmly restraining him.





 





“Because he can’t,” she said quietly. “Don’t you see? As long as Strutt can justify his questionning, Clark can’t do a thing about it.”





“Why do you say definitely, Mr Davidson? In what way?”





Russell glanced down at his hands. “There was...” He sighed and looked furtively around the courtroom. “There was one other thing we got up to...”





“Please don’t tell them, please don’t tell them,” murmured Ianto desperately as he leant forward so his elbows rested on his knees and his hands were clasped in front of his face as if he were praying.





“...It was winter and the markets were too crowded. There were too many people out holiday shopping and we realised that we weren’t going to be able to take stuff and get away with it like before, and the shops were too heavily guarded and we were desperate, y’know? It was freezing and we had literally nothing. All we needed was a little money to be able to buy some food and maybe, if we were really lucky, stay a night or two somewhere? We were so cold and so hungry all the time. I mean,” Russell looked imploringly around the room. “It was nearly Christmas after all and –“





“Just get on with it, Mr Davidson,” ordered Strutt impatiently.





Russell’s expression darkened but he nodded nevertheless. “Of course.” He then turned back to the room at large. “Anyway, one day, Ianto disappeared...”





“...Because you forced me to...”





“...And he didn’t come back until the following morning. He had a man’s wallet, and it had money in it. When I asked him how he got it and...”





“You didn’t ask me that! You just grabbed the wallet - you couldn’t care less how I got it, as long as I got you your money...”





“...He was evasive. As if...I don’t know really. He said what did it matter where the money came from, as long as we had it? I agreed...”





“...Until you’d spent it all...”





“...But then, a couple of weeks later, a man...”





“...Who you’d got in touch with...”





“...Came up to me and asked if I knew an Ianto Jones. I was suspicious –I mean, we were on the streets, no one knew us, especially not our last names – but I took him to Ianto anyway.” Russell looked at the jury box almost apologetically. “Ianto seemed to be expecting him...”





“...At three o’clock in the morning? I just wanted to go somewhere and sleep...”





“...And he asked me to leave them alone whilst he talked to the man. I was curious so I stayed around out of sight for a bit and...” Russell trailed off and exhaled.





“I know this must be difficult for you, Mr Davidson. What did you see?”





“I saw...” Russell glanced once more over at Ianto, who gave a minute shake of his head. Russell merely quirked a defiant eyebrow and carried on. “I saw Ianto lead him down an alleyway, towards the back where it was kinda dark...”





“...Because you forced me to! You threatened me if I didn’t go with him.”





 “...They were back there for maybe fifteen...twenty minutes? Something like that anyway. I had a pretty good idea of what was going on, and I didn’t want to get in Ianto’s way, so I stayed out of sight until I saw the man come back out buttoning his jeans as he went.”





“You bastard.” whispered Ianto as a single tear slipped out from under his closed lids. All around him, the gallery was erupting into scandalised chatter, and he could feel the disapproving and disgusted looks being sent in his direction.








 


http://welsh-scotsman.livejournal.com/30415.html chapter 41b
Tags: (fic) in sickness and in health
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