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 did that jerk do now?" Vivian Harkins asked as soon as her daughter got into the car.
"Mom, don't start." Lucinda rubbed her throbbing temples. She might be mad and confused at Ianto, but that did not mean she would stand for others criticising him. He was her jerk and no one else could call him that. aww
"You called me to get you, all upset sweetie. What do you expect me to say?" Vivian squeezed her daughter's knee. "Why don't we get some Rocky Road and you can tell me what happened." Vivian saw this as the perfect opportunity to reiterate her opinion of Ianto as Lucinda had seemed to ignore all of her previous warnings.
"Sounds good," Lucida said dejectedly, only half listening as she stared out the car window as her mother drove. She was done talking for now and needed some time gather her thoughts and make sense of the insane events of the day.
Vivian tried to get her daughter to open up about her problems, but Lucinda refused to take the bait and frustrated her mother by answering with one word replies.
After an hour of watching her daughter mope around the house and have a conversation that could only be called bizarre with Fiona, the family cat, on the deck,
"I miss you, my fluffy one...", Vivian had had enough of avoiding talking about the reason Lucinda was back home. "Run along, Fi." The elder woman picked the cat of the table and placed her on the ground and shooed her away. "What happened?" Vivian said sternly.
"Did I tell you we felt the babies kick today?" Lucinda did not know if she should tell her mother about the kiss. Everything else that had happened was bad enough. She could not stop imagining what might have happened had she not walked into the office when she did. Lucinda forced herself to believe that Ianto would not have let it get very far.
"That's great, but you are stalling." Vivian wanted to be happy for her daughter, but Lucinda's overall well-being was more important. "What did the foreigner do to you?”
“MOM!” Lucinda glared at her mother and she began to think that there might be something to Ianto’s claims that her parents did not like him. “Don’t talk about my husband that way,” she snapped as she rubbed her stomach instinctively to calm the babies, who were responding to her increasingly agitated state.
“Lucinda, I think it’s time you stopped playing house and moved back home." Vivian reached out and squeezed her daughter's hand, trying to convince her that mother's way was best.
"Playing house? Is that what you think we are doing? Ianto was right when he said you hate him. What did he ever do to you?" Lucinda's face morphed into an ugly picture of anger. She started to wonder if she was better just talking to Ianto about the secrets he had been keeping instead of mulling them over, trying to figure out why he kept the bombshells hidden.
"Sweetie, we don't hate Ianto. I'm sure he's a really nice person but I think you should've got to know him a little longer before starting a life together. You've only known him for two years. What can you really know about him?"
Lucinda paused for a moment before answering, knowing that was part of the problem, but refusing to admit it to her mother. Ianto had been so tight lipped about his life between graduating university and meeting her, what did she really know about him? "I know I plan on spending the rest of my life with Ianto. Just because you and Dad dated for eight years before getting married, doesn't mean I rushed into things. It's just been a really hard day and I need time to process it all."
Lucinda stared into space as she twirled her hair around her finger, watching the way the sunlight caught it. After a couple of seconds it was as if a damn broke and tears just spilled forth. "I just want to hit rewind on this entire day," she cried. No matter how much Lucinda dried her tears more quickly replaced them.
It was obvious that her father had not told Vivian about the accident. "I almost lost Ianto today. For a bit I thought I had. There was an accident when he was surfing this morning and Dad came to tell me he was gone, but then a few minutes later he came in like nothing had happened. He said the paramedics made a mistake, that something was faulty with the machinery. Ianto said that his old boss did something to him before he left and then all a sudden said boss shows up. Turns out he was dating his boss for a long time and apparently they have a daughter together that Ianto says he knew nothing about. I mean how could he not know about her? It doesn't make sense. Says he didn't know how his boss was pregnant when he walked out. How is that possible?" Lucinda had worked herself into such a state that the pregnant woman was hyperventilating and the two lives within her reacted to their mother's stress.
John had returned home midway through Lucinda's rambling monologue and exchanged a knowing look with his wife, like they knew it was only a matter of time before their daughter's heart was broken by the rogue she had married.
"Lucinda, sweetie, of course it's possible. This happens when you don't really know someone." Vivian was at a loss how to comfort the hysterical woman. She was torn between wanting to help her only child and wanting to show she was right all along about the devious Welshman.
Lucinda shook her head and blew her nose. "No. You don't understand. Ianto's ex is a man. Does he think I'm stupid? Why couldn't he just tell the truth? The girl even looks like him. Ianto did look genuinely shocked when he found out about her. I'm starting to think his ex might have stolen his sperm and impregnated someone." She realized she sounded just as crazy as one of Ianto's tales. "What if Jack wants Ianto back and Ianto goes with him?" It had always been of Lucinda's fears that her husband's mysterious past would rear its head one day and he would run willingly back to whatever he had left. Finding out that past included a child only increased her fears, worrying that history would repeat and he would leave their children. Lucinda had to pray those fears were unfounded and irrational.
John rubbed Lucinda's shoulders and kissed the top of her head, "Would that be such a bad thing?" The words were harsh, but John felt they were needed to get his daughter back from the man that he believed was going to going to ruin his daughter's life.
Lucinda looked at her father like she no longer knew the man. "Yes, it would be. What did Ianto ever do to you? I should never have come here. I just wanted a place to think, not for you to bad mouth my husband. I love him. Why can't you two accept that? In four months I'll have his children. I'm not a kid anymore."
"Baby, it's not like that," Vivian tried to calm her daughter. "We just want to make sure you know what you are getting yourself into. He's not like us." She clenched her jaw, accentuating the wrinkles on her face. "No decent man has his pregnant wife work. You shouldn't be working in your delicate condition."
"Get out of the Stone Ages, Mom! I help out at the cafe because I want to. Ianto always said I didn't need to help out if I don't want to. I'm not going to sit home all day like you did. It's not me and it never will be. So what if Ianto did not come from money? At least he works hard and runs a successful business." Lucinda did not expect that she would have to stick up for her husband like this when she was still angry with him. "If you would stop being such a pretentious stuck up bitch and stopped to get to know Ianto you would see the man I know and love."
Vivian saw red at being talked to in such a disrespectful way by her own daughter and before she knew it she had slapped the disrespectful child, at least in Vivian's twisted world that’s how she saw her, hard across the face. "I'm so sorry, Luce. I didn't mean it," Vivian pleaded as she tried to reach out to her daughter who was already on her feet, holding her red swollen cheek.
Lucinda bit back the tears that pricked the corner of her eyes from the hard slap. "Yes, you did. You meant it. The truth hurts."
"Lucinda, don't you talk to your mother like that," John said in a warning tone. "You came here because Ianto was keeping secrets and you get mad when we show you what's right in front your face. You can't fault us for that. Now apologize to your mother."
"No!" Lucinda yelled. "My husband is not the monster you make him to be. It was dumb of me to come here. I just needed someone to talk to, help me understand what happened today. Someone to comfort me and say it was going to be okay. I thought that was what parents were for." Tears freely flowed down her blotchy face "But I was wrong. You used this to tell me that getting married was a mistake. What kind of people say that to their only child? Let alone one that is pregnant."
"You need to calm down. This stress isn't good for the babies," Vivian tried to placate her daughter.
"Calm down?" Lucinda saw red and clenched her fists. "That's original coming from the woman who just slapped me!"
"You're hormonal. It's making you irrational," John slowly approached Lucinda who was starting to shake with rage. He did not see the right hook that flattened him to the ground. No one had told him that calling a pregnant woman hormonal and irrational was the wrong thing to say.
Lucinda shook her hand after it connected with her father's face. It hurt, but felt so good at the same time. "I should never have called. I should be talking through this with Ianto. He was blindsided with this news too."
She stormed off, unable to look at her parents as for the first time in her life she had finally seen them for the vile people they really were. She slammed the door on her way out, causing the door frame to rattle. Lucinda's heart broke more when she heard through the closed door the conversation between her parents.
"Enough is enough, Viv. We've let her play house long enough. This is going too far. She is not ready to become a parent to a child, never mind two. Look at how she flew off the handle."
"And I don't think Ianto is all there. What kind of person has a kid with another man and claims to know nothing? What if he knew all along and that's why he left. Now it's only a matter of time before history repeats itself. We should not have let her get married in the first place. I think it's best if we take those kids and raise them properly. She is far too inexperienced."
"We thought it would let Luce get some life experience. I didn't think she'd get pregnant right away. How can you claim to fall in love so quickly? It doesn't work like that."
Lucinda took several deep breaths. It hurt to hear her parents talk like she was some naive little girl who had no idea how the real world worked. It was ironic because they were the ones who were clueless and who were the real monsters. It was like they belonged in another time and Lucinda was pretty sure that if given the right opportunity her parents would have arranged a marriage with some pedigree from the country club. Lucinda wondered if her parents remembered what it was like to be in love.
Hearing that her own parents did not think she would be a capable parent was the final stab in the back. Weren't they just as inexperienced as she and Ianto would be when they had her?
Lucinda needed to get away from her poisonous parents, but she was not ready to go home yet either. So she walked until her back and feet hurt and then she sat on the sand and watched as the waves crashed on the shore. Surfing was usually the perfect way to clear her mind, but Lucinda had given up her favourite activity when she got pregnant. Now she could only watch.
Lucinda sat for a long time, lost in her own thoughts. She knew her parents were right – she had rushed into her marriage, but only because she was trying to escape their smothering. She knew she would never break away from her parents completely, after all family was still family. But Ianto was her family now. She knew she didn’t know everything about him, but she sensed a kind of kindred spirit in him. She could tell he was trying to escape from something too, and although she didn’t know what, she always assumed he would share that part of his past in the fullness of time. This shared need to escape was one of the reasons they had got on so well from the start and there was no doubt that there was a genuine bond of true love between them. Marriage was not easy and it took a lot of effort to make it work and Lucinda was not going to give up on it.
It was only after the sun set that Lucinda stood up, brushed the sand from herself and headed to the place where her heart was.
To be continued... Chapter 9
Previously on The Road Not Taken
Prologue :: Chapter 1 :: Chapter 2 :: Chapter 3 :: Chapter 4 :: Chapter 5 :: Chapter 6 :: Chapter 7