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 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: timelordshines and czarina_kitty
Artists: the_silver_sun - Art found here & iantojjackh - Art found here. Combined art post is here.
Word Count: ~24k
"What do you have to ask him that cannot be said in front of me?" Lucinda was obviously scared. The dull throb between her eyes became more like a hammer strike. It was like the rug had pulled out from under her world. The pregnant woman never imagined that her husband's secrets included an ex- boyfriend, a child with said ex and that his crazy stories had some kind of root in reality. "You said he did something to you.” She looked from Ianto to his former lover, accusation in her eyes. “What did you do to Ianto?"
If Ianto had learned anything the last five months, it was not to make an already angry pregnant woman angrier. "Come here, Luce." He drew the upset woman into a hug. "I can wait to ask. It's not that important." It was easy to lie if it was for the benefit of his unborn children. "I really had no idea about Ava. I'm sorry." The apology was directed at both of them. Ianto placed a tender kiss on the top of his wife's head, letting his lips linger for a few moments while his eyes stayed focused on Jack to have a wordless conversation with him. The idea that he was already a father felt like a kick in the gut and left Ianto conflicted. He was desperate to meet his daughter, but he knew seeming too eager in front of his wife would upset her more.
Jack winced slightly at the affection Ianto showed his wife. He did not do jealousy well. “What did….” Jack slowly realised what was going on, putting together the pieces. "Surfing accident?" Surfing was one of the last activities Jack ever expected Ianto to take up, but living in a place like this, one could suppose there isn't much else to do. "Too close to the rocks and you barely have a scratch on you." For someone to be mistaken for dead and to only have a small bump after hitting a rock meant that there was no mistake when they declared Ianto dead. Jack was now positive that Ianto did die and the something he did to Ianto had somehow made the Welshman immortal like him. The Captain reached out to touch Ianto as if touching the man would imbue him with the answers to his questions. The reaction from Ianto was not what he expected. Ianto flinched, looking almost scared to be touched. It brought only more grief to Jack as it was a look of disdain he had not seen since he told Ianto to execute Lisa.
"Did you know?" Ianto asked, sensing Jack knew what became of him. He did not want to sound like he was accusing Jack of passing on his immortality on purpose, especially knowing how much Jack saw it as a curse and would not wish it upon his worst enemy and Ianto was the furthest thing from an enemy.
"I had no idea, I didn't even know it was possible," Jack answered truthfully. There was so much he wanted to ask Ianto, but it looked like there was no chance that his wife would give them time alone together. "Are you sure that's what happened?"
"I've seen it enough times to know what it feels like," Ianto answered and then braced himself for the inevitable barrage of questions from Lucinda . "Don't worry about it, sweetheart. It's nothing to worry about. I'm fine," he whispered, holding onto his wife as tight as he could.
"You promise?" Lucinda looked up into the captivating blue eyes, her own eyes glistening with the threat of unshed tears. The ups and downs of the day had really played havoc with her emotions, making her hormones bounce all over the place. There was much being said that was going over her head, but Lucinda had to remind herself that she had to trust Ianto to tell her what was going on when he was ready.
"I promise," Ianto replied with a small smile and placed a chaste kiss on Lucinda's lips.
Jack closed his eyes, unable to watch Ianto with his wife. He could clearly see that they loved each other and his chance to have that life with the Welshman had long passed.
Meanwhile back in front of the cafe, Gwen wondered what had been keeping Jack so long and turned to see if he was still at the counter, but there was only a blonde man working. She swore she would kill Jack if he was bothering the recent widow. Gwen could picture Jack putting the moves on her with no sense of propriety. Ava was also getting fussy, wanting her father.
"Where Daddy?" Ava whined balling her tiny hands into fists and banged them on the table. "Want Daddy." A full melt down was imminent and the girl took off before Gwen could stop her.
There were some days Gwen swore the girl was a miniature version of Jack minus all the flirting. "Ava, come back here." Gwen gave chase and watched as the girl disappeared around a corner.
"Daddy!" Ava latched onto Jack's leg and held on tightly.
Jack looked at Ianto and Lucinda before lifting Ava into his arms. For Ianto it was a look of shock and Lucinda a look of horror. It came from the realisation that there was no doubt that Ava was part Ianto. She had his nose, his eyes and his smile. "Pumpkin, there is someone I'd like you to meet." Jack's face lit up entirely in the presence of Ava.
Gwen was about to scold Jack until she saw who Jack was talking to and her mouth hung open in shock. She would have rushed to hug the man, but it seemed like someone else had a monopoly over Ianto's body.
"It's good to see you too, Gwen," Ianto said to the latest arrival.
"You're alive and you are okay." Gwen smiled and bounced over to Ianto and kissed his cheek.
Ianto shook his head. Some people never change. "Alive and well despite earlier reports," he said with an uneasy smile. Of course, where there was Jack Gwen could never be too far behind. Ianto should have known that Jack would have defaulted to Gwen once he was gone. "Luce, this is Gwen Cooper. Someone I used to work with too. Gwen, my wife Lucinda." Introductions seemed like the next logical step.
Gwen and Lucinda exchanged pleasantries and Gwen could not stop staring. She got stuck on the fact that Ianto was married with children on the way. This was not one of the directions she had pictured his life taking. It was not difficult to see the pain on Jack's face. "I'm just going to head back to the table. Seems like you boys have a few things to discuss.” Gwen hoped that Lucinda would give Jack some time alone with Ianto, knowing there had to be things they could only say with no one else around.
"Who they, Daddy?" Ava questioned, wondering if new man and woman knew her Daddy.
"I'll tell you real soon. Go back with Gwen and I'll come get you in a little bit. Okay, princess?" Jack whispered and kissed his daughter's cheek. Ianto and Lucinda's eyes were locked on Ava with the woman no doubt questioning how Ava came about. "You go with Gwen and the nice lady here will get you your steamed milk. You be good okay." Jack thought it would be best to wait to introduce Ianto to his daughter when there was not an audience around, meaning the very pissed off looking red head.
"Okay." Ava did as she was told. She kissed Jack on the cheek, "Love you, Daddy." The bouncing toddler turned to Lucinda and smiled, "Can I have milk, please?"
"Um, okay. Sure thing." Lucinda put on the best smile she could muster, realising this child was technically her step daughter. The jealous side of her thought for a moment that if Jack had no biological claim to Ava, there was no reason she and Ianto couldn’t raise her. It would get Jack out of their lives quicker before he had a chance to get his hooks back into her husband. But then her maternal side kicked in and she knew it was wrong to take a child from the only parent she had known. There was no choice but to follow Ava and Gwen to the front of the cafe.
Just before Lucinda got out of reach, Ianto pulled her in for a hug and whispered how much he loved her and promised to explain everything when they got home. The couple’s hands remain linked until the last possible moment when Ianto mouthed the words 'Thank you' before disappearing into his office with Jack.
Jealousy surfaced again as he watched Ianto with his wife. With every passing second it seemed that his chance with Ianto slipped further and further away. Jack wanted to know where things had gone so wrong between them.
As soon as the door to Ianto's office closed Jack pulled his former lover in for the biggest hug ever. At first Ianto tried to pull away, but Jack's hold was too tight. Eventually he stopped struggling, but did not return the gesture. The repeated whisper of the word “why” in Ianto's ear finally broke him and he held onto Jack just as tight, burying his face into the crook of Jack's neck. All of Jack’s negative feelings toward Ianto evaporated the second Ianto's arms went around him. It felt like coming home again after a long absence.
To be continued... Chapter 6
Previously on The Road Not Taken
Prologue :: Chapter 1 :: Chapter 2 :: Chapter 3 :: Chapter 4