Title: His Captain and His Angel 17/22
Pairing: Jack/Ianto, Ianto/John
Spoilers: Mild for COE (background information)
Summary: Captain John Hart always gets what he wants.
Disclaimers: I own nothing.
Notes: This is the third in the series of stories about Ianto’s past. It follows Blue Moon’s Child and The Lost Son. I’ll be posting this once a day until it is finished. Special thanks go to czarina_kitty for being such a wonderful Beta. Also thanks to rowanheart24 for helping me brainstorm the original idea. Comments please! I'm posting this early since I'm away for the weekend. Technically, this is Saturday's update and I will post Sunday's on Saturday morning. This is the only way I can make sure you don't have to wait for Sunday's chapter until I get back Monday evening!
Jack waited until Ianto had gone before he headed towards the house himself. He needed to talk to Iestyn again.
He knocked on the door and Iestyn answered. His eyes looked heavy.
“Jack,” he sighed. “Come in.”
Jack went in. “Is Ianto around?”
“He’s in his room. He needs to stay there and learn how to behave.”
Jack looked at him. “I’m here to see you anyway.”
Iestyn led him through to the kitchen. “Tea or coffee?”
“Coffee, thanks. What’s happened?”
Iestyn put the kettle on and measured ground coffee into the cafetiére. “I didn’t know what else to do. He’s out of my control. If he doesn’t start eating, he’s going to get ill and I…I can’t lose him. I had to do it but…”
“Iestyn, leave that a minute. Sit down and talk to me.”
Iestyn sat at the kitchen table opposite Jack. “I didn’t know what else to do.”
Jack stayed calm. “What did you do?”
“I was so angry. He didn’t eat today and he lied about it. I…made him fetch the belt and…”
“You used it?”
“I did but…not hard. I’ve smacked him with my hand harder but…I think…he was almost…disappointed.” Iestyn shook his head. “I don’t understand that boy.”
Jack took a deep breath. “Did he say why he wouldn’t eat?”
“No. He went on about this John bloke. I think he really is ill.”
“He kept saying John is his guardian angel and you’re from the devil. I’ve not raised him to think like that. Angels don’t announce they’re angels and make you do things. They come into your life when you need them and gently guide you. They don’t make you do things that are bad for you.”
“And the devil?”
“The devil is only a metaphor for the evil within people. But Ianto takes things literally. He always has done.”
Jack nodded. “Okay. I’ve asked Ianto to meet me tomorrow. Make him a bit of breakfast and try and talk calmly to him, okay? If he doesn’t eat, don’t mention it.”
“I’ll try, Jack but he knows how to push my buttons.”
Jack patted Iestyn on the shoulder. “All kids know how to push their parents’ buttons. Don’t rise to him, just stay calm. It’ll help him in the long run.”
Iestyn nodded. Jack got up. “I’ll leave the coffee. I need to get going. I’ll be in touch.”
Jack returned to the B&B. Ianto was there, sitting on the windowsill. He’d taken his own belt off and was holding it in his lap.
“Ianto? You okay?”
Ianto looked up at him. “Belt me, Jack.”
“Because I deserve it.”
“Do you? What have you done that’s so terrible you deserve to be belted?”
Ianto stood up and pushed the belt into Jack’s hand. “Please, Jack. Just belt me. Don’t ask me, just do it. You’ve done it before.”
Jack took the belt off him and placed it on the bed. “I’ve done it when it would help you. It’s not going to help you right now.”
Ianto pushed him. “Do it. Now!”
Jack caught hold of Ianto’s wrists and held him still. “Your da belted your younger self today. Do you remember that?”
Ianto looked away. “Yes. It wasn’t enough. He wouldn’t…he wouldn’t belt me hard enough to make it right. He just wouldn’t.”
Jack touched Ianto’s face gently. “Ianto, if I belt you now, it won’t help. It’ll make it worse. It’ll make you feel bad because you haven’t done anything wrong. You don’t need to feel cleansed, you’re just reaching for anything that will make the pain go away. This isn’t it. This is just a different kind of pain.”
Ianto pulled away. “You don’t understand.” He grabbed the belt and pushed past Jack. “John will understand. John will punish me.”
Jack leapt after him. “Ianto, wait. Don’t go to John.”
Ianto stopped at the door, turned back and glared at Jack. “Stay the fuck away from me,” he said and rushed out, slamming the door behind him.
Jack sank down on his bed and put his head in his hands. Everything he did seemed to drive Ianto further away. And now he was running to John. It was exactly what John wanted and what Jack feared.
He didn’t sleep. He paced. All he could do was wait it out until he was to meet nineteen year old Ianto at nine in the morning. He knew it was there he had to focus, try to undo some of the damage to Ianto before it happened.
Ianto ran blindly down the street away from the B&B. He gripped the belt so tightly that it cut into his palms and left a red mark. He ran until he couldn’t think anymore.
He stopped. He had been running to John but…he didn’t want to. He wanted to feel safe. He looked around. He was only a few streets away from the Church his da had took him to every Sunday. He didn’t go there anymore. He rarely made it to Church at all.
He slid his belt back on and began to walk slowly. It was late at night but St Patrick’s had a policy of staying open for the use of anyone who needed it. He reached the church. There was nobody else there.
He went inside, made his way to the front. At one side of the altar, stood the metal stand. On it were many unlit tea light candles and a box of matches. Ianto lit a candle, knelt down and made the sign of the cross.
He whispered the Lord’s prayer, then got up and sat on the front pew, gazing at the candle. He didn’t know what to do. There were so many thoughts and conflicting feelings inside him. He wanted John. He wanted Jack. His wanted his da.
Ianto woke in his bed at half past seven. He’d had a restless night, anxious to see Jack. He showered, dressed and went downstairs. He hoped Da wouldn’t be up yet and he could just sneak away.
Jack had told him to have breakfast. Maybe he could just have some juice or something. He went into the kitchen and there was his Da, sitting at the table. He’d got the juice out and two glasses. There was a bowl of dry cornflakes there on the table.
“Breakfast?” Da asked.
Ianto took a seat. “I…I’ll try.”
Da smiled at him. “That’s all I can ask.”
Da offered him milk but Ianto didn’t fancy it. Instead, he poured himself a glass of orange juice and ate a cornflake at a time.
Da didn’t say anything about what he was eating and Ianto was glad about that. But after Ianto had eaten a few flakes, Iestyn started to talk.
“I wanted to talk to you, Ianto.”
Ianto glanced up warily. “What about?”
“Oh, don’t start, Da,” Ianto groaned.
“I’m not starting, Ianto. I’m just trying to talk, calmly and rationally. You’re my son and I’ve spent nineteen years putting a roof over your head and doing my best to look after you. You owe it to me to listen to what I’ve got to say to you.”
Ianto stayed quiet.
His da smiled at him. “Thank you.” He sighed. “Ianto, this John worries me. You’ve changed since you met him and not for the good. You’re behaving so badly and you’re barely eating at all. You don’t seem…happy.”
Ianto broke a cornflake on the table.
“I think you need to stop seeing him. Just focus on working and on…maybe making some friends your own age.”
“Everybody needs friends, Ianto. You’ve never brought any friends home, not one. I just…I don’t understand why you’re not…a normal nineteen year old.”
Ianto pushed his chair back and got up. “I’m not listening to this.”
“You don’t understand. You’ve never understood me. You don’t even want to try.” He pushed on his bowl so hard that it tipped up all over the table. Then he turned and stormed out, ignoring his da calling after him.
He was too early to meet Jack but he went anyway. He sat on the wall and smoked until Jack turned up.
Jack didn’t mention the cigarette, just looked at him. Ianto frowned and put it out. Jack sat on the wall beside him.
“You have breakfast?”
“Did you talk to your dad?”
Ianto scowled. “He doesn’t understand me.”
“Have you tried to explain?”
Ianto looked away. “I can’t.”
Ianto fiddled with his jacket cuffs. “’Cause I don’t understand me.”