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Torchwood High - Chapter 11 - part 1

Title: Torchwood High

Chapter: 11 part 1 – Meanwhile back at home

Author: Iolo1234

Fandom: Torchwood/Doctor Who

Size: 116,000 + and growing

Pairings: Jack/Ianto mainly but many others

Characters: Jack, Ianto, Tosh, Owen, Gwen, (Torchwood). Others from Doctor Who.

Rating: PG - 14

Spoilers: The story weaves through Torchwood from the beginning so there will be spoilers for all series. There are also some references to Doctor Who series. But as this is AU things won’t exactly be the same or turn out the same way.

Warnings: some sexual content including m/m, f/f and m/f

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters as they belong to Russell T Davies and the BBC but I do get to play with them.

Author’s Note: So this is the chapter before the truth comes out. While Jack is in Afghanistan…………..

 

 

Chapter 11 – Meanwhile back at home

 

It was 7.30 on Monday morning; Ianto was sat in Jack’s office drinking a mug of coffee he’d just made. It had been an awful weekend. He’d been to see Lisa briefly, but he’d told her that he had a lot of work to do so he didn’t have time to stay long, and in truth he did. He still hadn’t told her. He’d planned about ten different ways to tell her in his head but whenever he thought he could begin to explain, something she did, or said, stopped him.

‘You’re a coward Ianto Jones,’ he said to himself, ‘nothing but a coward.’

He needed to get out of this office with all it’s reminders of Jack. He went to his classroom next door and got out his planner for that day. He checked he had the worksheets and anything else he needed for the day’s lessons. He knew by now that Jack would be in Afghanistan. He also knew that he would be like Tosh every time there was a death reported, fearing that it was Jack. He didn’t know what he would do if it was. He needed to talk with Tosh. He’d invite her round to play chess tonight. He felt guilty because he hadn’t really talked to her about her break up with Mary and how she felt about Tommy coming back; he was due to return in the last week in January.

He’d had no contact from Jack yet but he knew he could only talk for about thirty minutes a week by phone, but there were e-mails. Jack would only e-mail his home account not school. He could access them in school but thought he’d wait until he got home where he had more privacy, just in case.

He stared out of the window for a bit. It was cold and threatening snow over the next week. That was always fun in school.

‘Penny for them,’ Tosh said when she came in the room. ‘You were miles away and I guess I can work out where, Ianto. I assume he got away alright. Have you heard anything yet?’

‘No nothing yet but I’m expecting that he’ll e-mail tonight. You know the time difference and what it’s like out there. Tosh d’you want to come round tonight? We could have a take away and a few games. I haven’t really given you chance to talk about Mary.’

‘Yeah Ianto, I’d like that. I’ll see you later.’ She went off to the ICT office to sort out her own work for the day. As she went down the corridor she passed Gwen coming in the opposite direction.

‘How is he? I assume that Jack is there by now,” Gwen asked.

‘As you might expect. He’ll find it hard to begin with and then get more used to it, I did.’

‘Yeah but you had other distractions,’ replied Gwen.

‘I’m going to assume you meant that kindly because Mary meant something to me, but I’ve chosen Tommy and he’ll be back in a few weeks. You know what it’s like to be tempted Gwen so don’t try to take the moral high ground with me just because you’ve got a ring on your finger.’ Tosh’s stance was determined.

‘Sorry that came out worse than I meant it to do. I know it’s difficult and you’re correct, I had no right.’ Gwen pulled Tosh into a hug and Tosh didn’t stop her.

‘Look at us all sorry for ourselves. Things to do Gwen and I’d leave Ianto to himself for now. See you in briefing.’

During briefing the joyous threat of Ofsted was mentioned. This would be the theme for this term so it was all hands to the pump, especially as they didn’t have Jack to sweep up after them. Aidan was picking up some of his work. They’d managed to find a supply that could manage lower school technology so Aidan just had the exam classes to do. Ianto would find it strange to have him in Jack’s office. Aidan was pleased that he’d have access to Ianto’s legendary coffee blend.

As he watched his form come in it really felt like this was the start of term proper after Jack had left.

‘You better Sir?’ one of the pupils asked. He was confused for a minute then he remembered that he was off on Friday.

‘Fine thanks Jenny, I was on a course.’ He lied because it was easier. He couldn’t say the truth.

‘Did Captain Harkness get off OK Sir? Wasn’t he going on Friday?’

‘Yeah Sir has anyone heard from him yet?

Ianto wondered if they knew something or if this was just innocent questioning because they cared and he knew that Jack was idolised by many of the students.

‘I believe he got away but I don’t think anyone has heard from him yet.’ He tried to keep his voice on an even keel.

‘My cousin is serving in Afghanistan Sir. Perhaps Captain Harkness will meet him.’

‘It’s a big place Alex but I suppose he might. I’ll let you know if we hear anything. Now this week’s tutor time theme is resolutions so I want you to think about that and we’ll be discussing it during the week.’

‘What’s your New Year’s resolution Sir?’

‘Mmm that would be telling but one of them is to climb Ben Nevis during the summer. I’ve climbed all the other highest mountains in Britain.’

‘Really Sir – does that mean you don’t always wear a suit?’

Ianto had forgotten how much these kids saw and remembered. He overheard Jenny say to Nicole, ‘don’t you remember the last day of term when he was wearing those black jeans and the red t-shirt?’ ‘Oh yeah,’ Nicole replied, ‘he was hot!’

‘Thank you girls.’ And then he was rescued by the bell.

The day went by and he was glad it was over. His first full teaching day without the comfort of seeing Jack hovering about and hearing his voice chivvying pupils down the corridor. He smelt coffee being brewed and went into Jack’s office.  Aidan was there.

‘Hi Ianto, you alright? Do you want one?’

‘Yeah but not a full cup I’m going to get off on time tonight as I’m playing chess with Tosh. I know wild and exciting.’

‘Anything to keep your mind off things.’ Aidan looked at him sympathetically.

‘Something like that. How are the wedding plans going then?’ Ianto tried to change the subject.

‘Give us time we’ve only just got engaged and Jack says we can’t get married until he’s back, so we’re looking at October half term.’

‘It’s good to have something positive to look forward to.’ Ianto needed to get himself under control. ‘I’ll leave you to it. I’m sure you’ve a lot to catch up on with getting up to speed with Jack’s role.’

Later that evening Ianto was sat with Tosh over a chess board. As usual he was losing. So far it was 3-1 to Tosh. They’d ordered a curry.

‘How are you Tosh really? Any regrets?’ he asked.

‘I miss her a lot. I think about her all the time. The new school nurse says she’s moved to the Valleys. I am looking forward to Tommy being back but it’s going to be difficult. We didn’t know each other for long before he left and now we’ll have to get used to each other being together again. We won’t be living together. I’m not ready for that, so we’ll just have to see how it goes.’

‘Do you think you made the right decision Tosh?’

‘Truth Ianto, I have no idea. I think I just gave in to what was easiest to do and that’s all there is to it. I need to spend some time with Tommy to see how I feel. So you see Ianto I’m really just a coward after all.’ She burst into tears and swept the chess pieces off the board.

‘Sometimes I hate myself Ianto. I hate that I was so spineless, that I couldn’t admit that I loved her, and I did. I’m petrified that I’m going to be in bed with Tommy and want her.’ By now Tosh felt hysterical and Ianto wasn’t sure how to deal with this Tosh, she who was usually so calm and reasonable. He simply hugged her and let her cry on his shoulder until she cried herself out.

‘I’ve messed up your jacket Ianto. I must look a sight. I’m sorry. I’d better go. You’ve got enough problems without me adding to them.’

‘Toshiko Sato I haven’t known you for very long and yet I feel like you’re my best friend. You are kind and generous if a bit naïve. We’ve both had the foundations of our little worlds shaken over the last few months and both found out things about ourselves that we never imagined could happen. I’ve had sex with a man. I’ve had sex with a man and loved it. There I’ve said it. Just thinking it amazes me and saying it out loud helps me to know that it’s real. I’ve also got this photo that you took of Jack and me kissing on New Years Eve. I look at him and think how he’s changed everything and then I remember that I haven’t told Lisa that we’re over and all the guilt comes crashing in on me. I couldn’t get through this without you Tosh so don’t think that you ever add to my problems.’

‘You need to tell her Ianto. I had to tell Mary and you do really love Jack don’t you?’

‘I know, I know but I can’t seem to find the words to say.’ Ianto looked into the distance for a moment.

‘I had to,’ Tosh replied, with a tinge of bitterness in her voice.

‘You’re right, of course. I will tell her by the end of the month. I’ll have finished all the work at her parents by then and have no reason to be there. I feel I owe her, and them, that at least. They’ve been good to me and I feel like a rat.’

‘If it was a woman would you have told her?’ Tosh asked.

‘Well don’t hold back Tosh. I don’t know but it’s not simply because I’m sleeping with a man. There’s so much that Lisa and I have been through and now I’m going drop her when she needs me. I need to know that she’ll be able to cope. I think that day is getting nearer and then I’ll tell her but you’re probably right, knowing I’m involved with a man has made a difference. I don’t know how anyone is going to react. I haven’t told my sister yet. That’s another conversation I’ve put off. Perhaps I should practice with her first. What do you think?’

‘I think I need to get home. We’ve a fun week ahead and lots of preparation to do just in case the dreaded inspectors call.’

Tosh got up, followed by Ianto. With the movement Myfanwy thought perhaps it was time for a walk.

‘Ok girl but only once around the block; it’s a bit cold out there.’ Ianto saw Tosh to her car and wandered off with an excited Myfanwy.

Time seemed to fly by over the next few weeks. Ianto worked hard and completed the schemes of work for lower school. It took hours and Tosh had helped him put lots of stuff on the school’s VLE. Keeping busy helped him to cope with Jack’s absence. When they managed to talk it was wonderful to hear his voice but he knew Jack just wanted him to say that he’d told Lisa. Jack had also mentioned another captain in the TA and Ianto felt jealous. He hoped this captain wasn’t tall dark and handsome. It was odd that his name was so similar to Jacks. Perhaps Jack wanted him to feel jealous. Perhaps he was punishing him for not telling Lisa.

He’d finished the work at Lisa’s parents and he’d decided that he was going to tell her at the weekend. She seemed stronger every day and she was going to physio, which was strengthening the muscles in her legs. Ianto had done what he did best; he had put his life into compartments. He was whatever Ianto people expected him to be. He panicked every time the news reported a death in Afghanistan and then felt guilty when he was glad it wasn’t Jack. The other staff who knew rallied round him. Tosh was always there and Gwen was nicer. John and Aidan showed concern but the one who surprised him most was Owen. Owen had invited him out for a drink on several occasions. He’d talked about Gwen and Diane and how he missed his kids but he’d also asked about Jack, and not been crude about it. There was more to Owen than met the eye, Ianto thought.

Gradually the secret of him and Jack widened, but no one said anything thoughtless or cruel. They all respected Jack too much for that.

He was sat in his room. It was last lesson on a Friday afternoon and he was just packing things up as he had a non contact lesson. His e-mail pinged. It was John asking him to pop in to see him before he left. He wrote back that he’d be there in ten minutes. He packed his bag for the weekend and locked his room. Minutes later he was sat in John’s office. There was a mug of coffee on the table for him but no sign of Donna next door, which was unusual.

‘Sit down Ianto. There’s no easy way to say this, I’m afraid I’ve got bad news.’

Ianto felt the blood drain out of his face. His hands shook and his mouth went dry. ‘Jack,’ he thought. ‘It can only be Jack.’ He couldn’t say anything and he wasn’t able to focus properly on what John was saying.

‘Sorry John can you say that again?’ he asked.

‘It’s Jack, he’s been injured. I’m afraid it’s serious and he’s still unconscious. He’s broken his leg and there’s a head injury the medical people are concerned about. The car in front of his hit a roadside bomb and they were run off the road. The soldiers with him were killed. They’ll let me know more as soon as they can. He’s got people caring for him Ianto. They are hopeful but I’m not going to lie to you, I’m worried.’

Just then Ianto heard Tosh’s voice with Donna. Tosh came in and hugged him. Ianto still couldn’t speak.

‘I’ll take him home John. Ianto give me your car keys. Owen is going to drive your car home as he’s come in by taxi himself today.’

Ianto mumbled something incoherent and drank some coffee.

‘Come on Ianto let’s get you home.’ They met Owen going out and Tosh gave him the keys.

‘I’ll follow you. I know the way,’ Owen said. They left out of the side entrance and drove home. Ianto said nothing all the way there and nothing when he got home. His actions were automatic. He patted Myfanwy and let her out into the garden. He turned on the coffee machine and went through the motions. He sat at his kitchen table. Tosh sat with him and held his hand. Owen arrived soon afterwards. They both sat with him and watched him drink the coffee.

‘Ianto you need to talk to us please. He’s not dead; he’s injured but there’s hope. Come on say something.’

Ianto began to shake. His whole body began to shake and tears rolled down his face. He put his head on his arms and cried out loud. The sound was heart breaking. Tosh looked at Owen and then just held him while he sobbed. She couldn’t understand what he was saying but she realised that this was turning into a panic attack. She talked to him quietly and tried to get him to breathe. Gradually he came back and the sobbing subsided. It had all gone quiet again so they all jumped when the doorbell rang. Owen said he’d go. Tosh stayed with her arms around Ianto sat in the kitchen. The kitchen door opened.

‘I didn’t know what to do,’ Owen said, as Lisa entered the room on crutches.

‘So this is why you’ve been so distant with me is it?’ She yelled, ‘I came to show you how well I was doing and surprise you. No wonder you didn’t want me here. Who is she?’

By this time Tosh had let Ianto go and he turned around to look at Lisa holding herself up on her crutches. She saw his face and simply said, Ianto what is it? What’s wrong?’

 

 



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