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
Lucinda was woken from her first decent sleep since the twins were born by the insistent ringing of the doorbell and banging on the door. "Can you get the door?" She sleepily reached over and found the other half of the bed empty.
She quickly put on a silk robe and ran to the door. Lucinda was about to tear whomever thought it was smart to pay a middle of the night visit a new one, when she saw two California Highway Patrol officers on the other side of the door.
There was no good reason the police would visit in the middle of the night and the warm summer evening suddenly became very chilly.
"Are you Lucinda Jones?" The younger cop asked, his voice shaking.
"I am." Her knuckles turned white as her fingers dug into the oak door.
"I'm sorry, ma'am there's been an accident. Your husband didn't survive," the second officer spoke.
The feral wail was enough to tear out the hearts of anyone who heard the display of unyielding grief.
Ianto woke with a gasp and tried to sit up but his body was restrained and he could not wriggle free. He could hardly see as his vision was clouded with something and the warm sticky feeling made him think it was probably blood. Memories of the last few hours were fuzzy and panic quickly took over as the worst came to mind.
It was when an unfamiliar voice spoke that Ianto really began to fight the binds that held him. "Please take it easy, Mr. Jones. You were in an accident."
That is when it all came rushing back. The crash. The sickening sound of metal being crushed all around him. They had been racing to the hospital with Lucinda in labour. "My wife she's in labour. You've got to help her. It's too early. You've got to help them. Save them." Ianto realised it was a neck brace tethering him to a stretcher. He did not have time to ponder the bizarre dream he had while unconscious and/or dead. Why would he dream of the police informing Lucinda he had died?
"Your wife is already on the way to the hospital. It took a while to get you out of the car. How far along is your wife?" the paramedic asked, her voice soft trying to calm the agitated man. The car was a mangled wreck as was the car that hit Ianto's. It was a miracle they all survived the impact.
"Almost thirty-two weeks with twins. How are they? I want to see them." It felt as if the more Ianto struggled, the tighter the straps that held him down became. The tension of the scene was palpable and grew thicker as Ianto was able to hear snippets of conversations from other first responders. Phrases like 'she was drunk', 'foetus in distress' and 'airlifted to UCSD Medical Center' worsened Ianto's anxiety.
"They didn't tell me anything before they took her. I'm sorry."
"Then let me go to them. I'm fine. I need to be with my wife." Ianto felt another set of strong hands try to keep him from moving and it only angered him more. "She needs me. My children need me." Ianto's agitation grew by the second.
"You need to keep still. You can hurt yourself more," the EMT that was holding Ianto down spoke.
"I'm uninjured," Ianto insisted despite his bloodied clothes.
"That can be the shock talking. You are covered in blood."
"I'm not in shock. I've been in shock before and I'm definitely not in shock. Now take me to see my wife." Ianto hated feeling so helpless and no one could tell him how Lucinda was or was the answer too horrible that they wouldn't tell him. He did not feel the needle in his arm until it was too late. The liquid burned for a second before everything went black.
The paramedics knew it was a risky move to sedate someone with a possible closed head injury, but as they saw it Ianto was more of a danger to himself and others while he was conscious and extremely agitated.
It seemed like an eternity had passed before Ianto was released from the hospital. The doctors and nurses had been amazed that Ianto had no serious injuries. The too clean smell of the hospital tickled his nostrils as Ianto made his way to the exit. None of the staff could tell him if Lucinda and the babies were okay as she was not a patient in the same hospital. The hospital had supplied a pair of scrubs since his clothes had been cut off him.
As Ianto looked down at his hand he saw the remnants of dried blood. He wondered whose blood it was as flashes from the accident came back to him. The drunk driver had hit on his side and pushed his car into a light pole. He could hear Lucinda crying out to him. There was so much blood that covered both of them. Ianto feared that it would only be a matter of time before someone told him that his wife and children were dead. It was not until this moment that Ianto truly understood why Jack called his immortality a curse. How could his family have survived something that should have...something that did… kill him?
Ianto never felt more alone than in this moment. There was no one to pick him up from the hospital. No one to give him information of Lucinda and the babies. His phone and wallet had been in the car, leaving Ianto without any way to get to the other hospital. There was a small part of him that worried that this was part of Harkins, particularly John's, way of sticking it to him. Ever since the older man found out about Jack and Ava, John treated Ianto like he was diseased. He was not sure if it was that he had a child with someone else or if it was because Ianto had an ex-boyfriend. Not that he ever really liked Ianto in the first place, but he had played nicely for his daughter's sake. At least that's the way Ianto perceived things. Then again it was their daughter seriously injured and Lucinda's parents minds could have been elsewhere, but he was her husband and those were his kids and he deserved to know what was going on with them. It was in these moments of chaotic panic that Ianto's mind thought of things such as this.
Ianto was about to ask a nurse for help when he heard someone shouting, “Boss, hey Boss”.
Ianto looked around him. "Ethan," he sighed with relief at seeing a familiar face.
"My sister is a police officer. She was called to the accident and as soon as she realized who you were she called me. Thought you could use this," Ethan handed over a bag with a change of clothes that Ianto always kept in his office.
"Thank you. Have you heard anything about Lucinda? My mobile was in the car." Ianto was desperate for any information. There was a knot in his stomach that was only there when he knew something bad was about to happen.
"They wouldn't give me any information because I'm not family. Here you can use my phone." Ethan offered his phone. "It should be the last number I called."
"You are a life saver." Ianto quickly took the offered phone and called the other hospital. His heart beat rapidly as Ianto waited for someone to answer the phone. It seemed like an eternity before he navigated the endless maze of automated prompts. The men had walked all the way to Ethan’s car before Ianto managed to speak to an actual person and he was beginning to wonder if they would complete the twenty minute drive to the other hospital before he got to talk to anyone who could help. The constant bouncing between people and automated questions grew irksome and Ianto lost his temper.
"Why can't someone just tell me how my wife is?" Ianto raged at the next person to answer the phone.
"Name please," a droll voice asked from the other end.
"Lucinda Jones. She was brought in after a car wreck, in labour with twins." Ianto gave more information than necessary.
Ianto could hear fingernails tapping a keyboard at the other end of the phone. "Your relationship to the patient?"
"She's my wife, pregnant with my children. How are they? What are their conditions?" More cracks appeared in his façade as he struggled to remain calm.
"I'm sorry, I can't give that information over the phone. I'm only a receptionist."
Ianto screamed in frustration, "You've got to be kidding me? Can you page someone for me then? Page Vivian Harkins, my mother-in-law."
"Please hold." Then Ianto was met with the almost operatic hold music.
The minutes ticked by slowly and it felt like an eternity had passed before someone picked up. "Hello?" The voice that answered was soft, full of sadness and obviously had been crying.
Ianto froze hearing Vivian's voice. He did not even need to ask how Lucinda was. He just knew it was too late and she was gone. It was as if part of him always knew and he was denying himself the truth. It was a good thing Ianto was sitting in the car or his knees would have given out, to have the confirmation that his wife was dead felt like someone was pulling his heart out of his chest. The dream he had before waking up came flooding back, was it his mind's way of preparing him for this moment? Ianto ended the call, too numb to speak and too scared to find out if his children had met the same fate. It was easier to detach himself from reality which was too painful to be a part of. Ianto was of the belief that no news was good news and as long as he was not told any news of his children he could pretend to himself that they were going to be fine.
Ianto stared blankly for several moments before turning to Ethan. "Is it okay if I make an international call. I'll pay you any extra charges." He tried not to let his voice crack, Ianto was not going to let himself show that he was ready to break.
Ethan could tell whatever the news Ianto got it was not good, even if Ianto did not say a word. "Sure. Don't worry about the call."
Ianto offered the tiniest of smiles before he dialed the number of the only person he wanted to talk to right now. The only one Ianto knew could help him understand this situation. The only one who knew what this kind of soul crushing pain was like. Ianto felt a small pang of guilt when he realised he had not taken the time difference in Wales into consideration when a groggy voice answered the phone. It was then that the fine threads holding Ianto's facade together broke. “I’m sorry… I know I haven’t spoken to you since you were here… but I need you. I didn't know who else to call...No, there was an accident...She didn't make it...I don't know. I was too scared to ask...Please come... Thank you." Ianto wiped his tears away, but more quickly replaced them.
To be continued... Chapter 11
Prologue :: Chapter 1 :: Chapter 2 :: Chapter 3 :: Chapter 4 :: Chapter 5 :: Chapter 6 :: Chapter 7 :: Chapter 8 :: Chapter 9