Word Count: How long is a piece of string? This chapter is: 1638
Rating: 17 overall
Pairing: Jack/Ianto, Gwen/Rhys, John Hart/Jack H (implied), Gwen/Jack [in her dreams!], Toshiko, Owen and other OCs
Spoilers/Disclaimers: Torchwood belongs to the BBC and RTD - But the O/Cs belong to me
Enjoy and please comment ... comments to me are love ... and I am in need of lots of love!
Ianto Jones sat on his suitcase in the Great Hall. He was 12 years old and all alone. His mother, Rhiannon had died giving birth to him and his father, Daffyd, had died of pneumonia a month ago. He was completely alone in the world; wondering what was to become of him.
“You boy! Don’t just sit there! Pick up your case and take it to the car!”
The booming Welsh voice echoed across the hallway now emptied of belongings.
Gwen Williams was Ianto’s aunt. She didn’t like children; didn’t see the point of them. She and her late husband Rhys had thought about having a family when they first got married, but her penchant for adventure and excitement precluded any idea of raising a family.
Rhys’s idea of fun was to join the army; the Welsh Guards. He had been sent overseas on a mission and had never returned. Missing in action they said though a body was never found. Aliens for all she knew could have taken him … or cared … she had her eye on a dashing Captain who she had spied one day in the village. He was a handsome, rather mysterious American by all accounts; who had moved into the huge mansion on the hill with his young wife. Although, when she thought about it, nobody had ever seen the wife. Probably a mad woman locked away in the dungeon. Gwen Williams had a vivid imagination especially when it came to finding a reason to get what she wanted. She was always determined to have what she thought was rightly hers.
However, what she did not want at this moment was this wretched snivelling little brat she had become lumbered with because her stupid brother had gone and died. Pneumonia of all things! Well more fool him from working overseas so many years as a Missionary to those ‘foreign’ people; not something she would do… ever. Charity began at home… right at her own front door!
And this bit of charity was too good to miss. Her brother had left his son well looked after financially and as she was now his new legal guardian ... well ... it was right that she looked after the finance ... and look after it she was jolly well going to do ... starting with a new wardrobe of clothes and shoes for herself! She was going all out to impress the Captain ... married or not ... he was going to take notice of her!
She closed the front door of the rambling house; one day that would be hers too she had decided. Her brother may be left instructions for the house to be left for Ianto but she would find a way to get what she wanted.
As she turned around, she saw the boy standing awkwardly by the car.
“What are you waiting for? Get in!”
“I was waiting to open the door for you,” Ianto shyly said as he grasped the car door handle and opened the door.
For a split second Gwen felt rather guilty; but quickly put the notion to the back of her mind. No time for useless sentiment!
“So I should think! I want to see good manners from you every day. So you had better learn young man or else there will be trouble. Now get in the back and be quick about it!”
Ianto had just about closed the car door when the car screeched away so fast; he was catapulted into the middle of the seat.
“Stupid boy! Put your seat belt on! That’s all I need you causing an accident!” Gwen screamed at him.
Ianto was going to argue the point about not having enough time to actually get into the car and put his seat belt on, but thought better of it. He had quickly realised that Gwen was not a person who would listen to reason so it would be better to keep quiet. He put the seat belt on and looked out of the window at the countryside as it went by until he arrived at his new ‘home’.
Except of course it was never going to be his home. He had just left his home. Torchwood Manor had been his home since he was born. He knew of no other place where he would want to be. His heart was breaking at the thought that he might not see the Manor for a while but he promised himself that one day ... one day in the not too distant future, he ... Ianto Jones ... would return to the Manor, bringing with him the love of his life... and together they would make Torchwood Manor home again ... full of love, fun ... and family.
As soon as the car pulled up to the door a young girl dressed in a maid’s uniform came out to greet them. Gwen got out of the car and walked around to meet her.
As Ianto got out of the car he heard Gwen say:
“Toshiko, this is Ianto Jones, he will be staying here for a while. It will be your responsibility to make sure you keep him out of my way and out of trouble. Any trouble and you will pay dearly young lady! Is that understood?”
“Yes Mam,” Toshiko curtsied.
“Ianto – get your bags and go with Toshiko, she will look after you. You will spend your time in the kitchen helping out and doing chores – earning your keep. I am not a charity young man so you will pull your weight around… understand?” Gwen spat at him.
“What was that? I didn’t hear you!” Gwen shouted.
“Yes,” he replied.
“Yes what? Where are your manners boy?” Gwen shrieked.
“Yes … errmm … Auntie…” he mischievously said.
“Auntie? Auntie? Is that the respect I deserve for taking a wretch like you into my home? I don’t think so … you will call me Mam like the rest of the servants! Is that clear?”
“Yes… Mam!” Ianto repeated as if he were a soldier answering an Officer … and then he decided to salute Gwen as any good young soldier would do …
The sound of a slap across his face echoed across the driveway…
“Don’t you dare mock me young man … you won’t ever win I can promise you that … now get out of my sight… ”.
Gwen stormed off into the house. She headed straight for Living Room and the Whiskey decanter where she poured herself a large glass; she drank it straight down. It burned the back of her throat and she almost gagged at the sudden loss of breath but managed to pull herself together. As she fought back her tears of anger, she poured another glass of Whiskey; she resolved that she was not going to let that brat get to her. He would pay for making fun of her in front of the servants.
Ianto followed Toshiko up the stairs where she was taking him to his new bedroom at the back of the house. The room was away from the main part of the house, which was good because in his opinion the furthest he was away from Gwen the better it would be for him. He touched his cheek; it still stung.
“Here you are Ianto. This is your room. I hope you like it. I have tried to make it as comfortable for you as possible,” said Toshiko nervously.
As Ianto stepped into the room, he was overwhelmed by its cleanliness, its bright covers on the bed and fresh flowers in a vase on the desk that was by the window. Over all it wasn’t a bad room at all. It certainly wasn’t as small as he thought it would have been. On the journey over, Ianto had even thought that Gwen might make him sleep in a cupboard!
“It’s very nice Toshiko, thank you very much,” Ianto said, smiling at his new … what was Toshiko … she was a servant yes but maybe she could be his friend?
“You are very welcome Ianto and please call me Tosh… all my friends do… and I hope we will become friends. Now why don’t you put your things away and then come down to the kitchen, I expect you are starving … growing young lad like you!” she smiled.
As Ianto’s stomach rumbled in agreement with Tosh, he laughed… “Yes I guess you are right! OK give me 10 minutes and I will come down…”
Tosh left Ianto to unpack.
Ianto stood by the window looking out to the countryside spread out in front of him. The fields seemed to stretch for miles. In the distance he saw a man on horseback, long coat flapping in the wind as he quickly rode across the land. As Ianto watched him, he was immediately taken by how dashing and heroic the man looked. He watched until the man had ridden up to the boundary of the house and stopped. It looked as though the man was going to ride off again back to whence he had come but suddenly the man turned around and looked straight up at Ianto’s window. For a split second their eyes met and Ianto was sure the man actually winked at him… surely not! But the thought made Ianto smile as he watched the man ride off again. He didn’t know why, but he felt that he had just seen his future take off before him and he suddenly felt quite calm… as though whatever life was going to throw at him… the future would eventually take care of him.
Ianto knew that eventually life would be very good … it just might take a while to get to that point!