AN: I wrote this for the fourth challenge of the first round of the jack-ianto-las over at livejournal, for the prompt "Childhood Memories".
When Ianto Jones is six years old he breaks his leg. His dad pushed him too hard on the swing. He's only in the hospital for one night – they were worried about a concussion from his fall – but he is scared anyway. When the nurse brings his food he stares in astonishment at the cheese on toast with baked beans on the side and big bowl of chocolate ice-cream. His favourite things ever. The nurse gives him a big smile when he tells her, and when she leaves he thinks he sees the grand sweep of an old, grey coat through the crack in the door. By the time his dad comes back with Rhiannon, he's perfectly happy and completely covered in chocolate ice-cream.
On Ianto Jones' ninth birthday he runs away from home. He makes it all the way to the high street before a stranger has to yank him out of the way of a car. His father catches up with them, out of breath, and pulls Ianto tight against his chest while thanking the stranger for saving him. An American drawl tells them not to worry, that he's happy to help. He sounds wistful.
When Ianto Jones is twelve years old one of the bigger kids nicks his lunch money. He never tells anyone about the fiver he finds taped to the park bench and when he looks around he thinks he sees a tall man winking at him, but then he blinks and the man is gone.
When Ianto Jones is sixteen, he and his mates sneak into a club and a gorgeous older woman with legs up to here offers to shag him in the alley if he gets the condoms. He's eternally grateful to the man who offers him one of his own when he discovers the machine in the bathroom is out of order. He's not exactly sure the wink is appropriate though. He's slightly less appreciative when he loses the beer goggles (well, vodka, cider and something that Andrew's dad had hidden in a cupboard goggles) and finds out what the girl actually looked like (thanks to Kieran and his fucking camera), but he can't quite remember the guy's face.
When Ianto Jones is seventeen, he gets done for shoplifting. He wonders why no one found the two cartons of cigarettes hidden under his mattress in juvie before he gets there, but they're dead useful. He hasn't been in one fight by the time they release him.
When Ianto Jones is nineteen, he wins two tickets to the Reading festival from a competition and works up the courage to ask Lisa Hallet to go with him. It is only after she has said yes and he's so happy he could sing that he realises that, in the end, he'd decided not to enter that competition after all.
When Ianto Jones is all grown up and working for Torchwood Three, he hears about the fairies and remembers his own guardian angel and wonders and worries. It is only when he is curled up in Captain Jack Harkness' arms as the Captain tells him stories of alien worlds and time travel and talks wistfully of taking care of Ianto that he puts two and two together. He drops hints about special moments in his childhood and teenage years and watches Jack's face do that thing where he pretends he's not listening but is really committing everything to memory. He smiles.
When Ianto Jones is dead and buried (Jack can't play by the rules this time, can't let Ianto not have a proper funeral) Captain Jack Harkness travels the Earth in hope of escape and, when that doesn't work, tries to travel the skies. Sitting in a bar on a planet he cannot even remember the names of, the world in front of him creaks as the Tardis arrives.
"Doctor. You owe me."