Characters/Pairings: Ianto, Jack, few OCs, Jack/Ianto (past) Ianto/OFC
Warnings/contains: not applicable
Summary: Post-Exit Wounds. Ianto needed a break from Torchwood to help himself heal before he could help others. He did not expect the break to become permanent. What happens when he is reminded that there is no escaping Torchwood? Will Ianto choose his old life or keep on the road he's been living? Written for tw_classic_bb.
Disclaimer: I don't make any money off of this, sadly. All things Torchwood belong to those who own them and the poem The Road Not Taken belongs to Robert Frost. OC's and the plot are mine.
Beta: timelordshinesand czarina_kitty
Artists: the_silver_sun- Art found here & iantojjackh- Art found here. Combined art post is here.
Word Count: ~24k
Ianto felt a large knot in the bottom of his stomach as his hand stilled on the doorknob to his office. He had entered through the back door to avoid any customers that could distract him from reaching his goal. He could hear Lucinda's sobs through the door and Ianto was at a loss for coming up with a believable story of what had happened. The chill of drowning still lingered in every corner of his body and it seemed like he'd never be warm again.
Slowly, the office door creaked open and the stunned faces of Lucinda and John looked up at him. The dim lights of the room masked just how shocked they really were.
"Hey," Ianto said softly, not sure of the protocol for telling your wife you are not really dead. lol That you can't die and will look exactly like you do today when you are ninety.
"Is it really you?" Lucinda stood before Ianto, her hands reaching up to cup his face, unsure if what she was seeing was real.
"Yeah, Luce. I'm here," Ianto whispered as he pressed his lips to his wife's forehead whilst his arms pulled her toward him.
"Dad said you died. What's going on?" Lucinda asked uncertainly. She tightened her grip on Ianto, fearing if she let go that he would be gone for real.
"Someone made a mistake. I don't know what happened. I woke up on the beach with a bunch of people around me. I came here as fast as I could," Ianto offered as the only explanation. He was still trying to process what happened and it was overwhelming. The feel of Lucinda's tears on his neck caused Ianto to choke up. "I could never leave you," he whispered as he soothingly rubbed his wife's back never wanting to let go.
"I saw when they pulled you out of the water. You were not breathing, Ianto. The paramedics, they couldn't find a pulse." John stared in disbelief, but he knew it wise not to question the miracle before him. The important fact remained that his grandchildren did not lose their father today. "Shouldn't you be in the hospital?" John asked. With Ianto nearly drowning he should have been checked out by medical professionals to be sure there was no lasting damage.
"They think there might have been something faulty with the machinery. I feel fine. There's no need for a hospital." Ianto knew it was a piss poor excuse, but it was better than the truth. They would not be able to handle the truth, Ianto wasn't sure he would be able to handle it himself. When he began his life with Lucinda, Ianto thought he could put Torchwood behind him and that he could have a normal life but today showed that was not possible. Was this little gift from Jack his way of making sure Ianto came back to him had he ever strayed? The thought of that made Ianto's blood boil, but what made it boil more was deep down he knew his feelings had not changed in the last three years. Love isn't always enough, as the saying goes.
"Are you okay? Are you hurt anywhere?" Lucinda asked as she pulled back to examine Ianto for herself. Her arms slid into the pocket of his hoodie, wanting to keep Ianto close just in case.
"Never better." Ianto tried pushed back the stray thoughts of Jack as far back as they could go. "I'm sorry for scaring you. Is everyone okay?" His hand rubbed small circles over the swell of Lucinda's belly.
"We're fine now that you are okay. Did you have someone check you out? That is a nasty bump you have there." Lucinda reached out and ran her fingers over the nodule, causing Ianto to wince. "Sorry."
"It's fine." Ianto shook his head. "I've been through worse." He tried to belie any worries his pregnant wife might have.
"Worse than almost drowning?" She asked snaking her arms around Ianto's neck. Lucinda had seen the scars on his back, arms and legs. There was one on his shoulder that looked like a gunshot wound. Whenever she brought up where the scars came from Ianto clammed up and changed the subject. Lucinda always thought the wounds were self-inflicted, as a result of the horrid childhood Ianto alluded to.
"Well, there was being shot by a blowfish wired on cocaine or being tenderized by a group of cannibals wanting me as their next meal," Ianto shuddered. It might sound like a joke but those events were very real and still affected Ianto badly to this day. If his Torchwood past was catching up with him, Ianto thought he might start telling the truth about the years he tried to forget.
"Ianto! Can’t you be serious? That's not even funny and it's really morbid." Lucinda wished he would be truthful about the scars. She wouldn't think any less of her husband. Everyone had low points in their life and did things they were not proud of, but Ianto telling the outlandish stories to cover the truth was growing tiresome and had been the only source of friction in their relationship so far and it really annoyed Lucinda that her husband was joking at a time like this.
"The scar on my hip is from kinky sex with my ex-boyfriend." Ianto was sure he would have left a few scars on Jack if it wasn't for his immorality. A light went off in Ianto's head and he pulled up the leg of his track suit bottoms and frowned to see the scar from when his car went off the cliff still on the back of his calf. Maybe all scars before becoming immortal stayed where they were. "Car accident." He pointed to the scar on his leg. It was the one scar Lucinda believed the truth on, not that Ianto explained in detail the accident that caused it. Somehow he thought she would not believe that a deranged person drove him off the road.
That was John's cue to exit. "I'll see you later at dinner." Whether Ianto was joking or not, talking about sex in the presence of his daughter and son-in-law was uncomfortable and out of place with him in the room. "Glad you are okay, Ianto," John said for the benefit of his daughter. It was a regular misstep the young man made in his presence, saying things that were out of place. Was it the dry British humour he had heard about? Or was it because he never warmed up to his son-in-law and didn't really trust the young Welshman.
"Okay, Dad," Lucinda replied before turning back to Ianto. She crossed her arms over her chest and sucked on her lower lip. "Enough with the joking around. The stories were amusing at first. Why can't you tell me the truth for once? How can a blowfish even fire a gun? I'm not going to think any less of you if you did this to yourself." The game of ridiculous stories was growing tiresome. It made Lucinda feel stupid because she felt Ianto did not trust her with the truth.
"It was a humanoid blowfish who liked drugs and fast sports cars," Ianto explained. He knew Lucinda would never understand or believe the truth about his past. This Cardiff was far removed from the insanity of its namesake and getting its residents to believe the truth was an arduous task. He was at a point that he was playing off the truth as a joke because no matter how many times he told the truth no normal person would believe the craziness that was uniquely Torchwood.
"Yeah right. Next you are going to tell me that hoax six years ago with those large robots was real and they really to upgrade us all." Lucinda laughed and leaned up to place a kiss on her husband's lips, which he did not reciprocate.
To be continued... Chapter 3
Previously on The Road Not Taken
Prologue :: Chapter 1