A/N: This is something that just wouldn't leave me alone this week. I had to get it down. There are two chapters to it, the night, and the morning after. As always I must state that I don't own any of the Thief Lord in any shape or form. Enjoy, and please leave a review. :)
Ida had been working late again; she sat in the kitchen with her cup of cooling coffee and closed her eyes for a moment, listening to the heavy beat of rain on the windows. There was a faint knock at the door, her eyes flew open and she looked in the direction of the noise. A bedraggled figure stood on the other side; she stood up and walked over to it, unlocked it and then opened it. "Scipio?" she said quietly.
Scipio sniffed and brushed his wet hair from his eyes, "Hi… can I come in?" he asked. He looked frozen, poor thing. Ida stood back and let him pass; she shut the door behind him. She took a moment to take a better look at him; he was soaked to the bone and had a black rucksack over his shoulder.
"Everything alright?" she asked, watching the shivering boy. Scipio shook his head, but said nothing. He was stood in the shadow of the fridge, and still had his hood up. Ida sighed, "Would you like a drink or something?"
Scip nodded, "Thanks."
Ida turned to the cupboard and grabbed a mug, "Is coffee okay? I've just brewed a pot." Scipio made a non-committal noise behind which she took as a yes. She poured the steaming coffee into the cup and turned back to Scipio, "You can sit down you know. Do you take milk and sugar?"
"Just milk please." Scipio murmured, he hesitated before moving into the beam of light from the window. Ida gasped and almost dropped the cup when she saw the almighty bruise on Scipio's face.
"What happened?" she asked, placing the cup down and moving across the room. She placed a hand on Scipio's cheek and tilted his head slightly to get a better look. "Scipio?"
"It's nothing!" Scipio insisted, brushing away her hand. He pulled his hood down and turned away sat down at the table. He grabbed the coffee and took a swig, "Please Ida, just leave it."
"Scipio," Ida sighed, she sat down across from him. "Who did that?" Scipio shook his head. Ida had an awful thought, "Did your father do that?" Scipio's eyes flashed up at her and then away again. Tears trickled down his cheeks. "Oh Scipio, sweetheart." Ida sighed; she stood up and wrapped the frozen shivering boy in her arms.
"Please, can I just stay here for the night. I'll go first thing in the morning; I just can't go back there right now." Scipio pleaded.
"Of course, stay as long as you like."
"Thanks." Scipio sighed and covered his face with his hands; Ida shook her head and walked through to the living room. She pulled some blankets from the corner and placed them on the sofa. She made her way back into the kitchen and found Scipio crying at the table.
She said nothing but pulled him into another hug, he was still icy cold and sodden. "Do you have anything to change into? You'll catch a cold in those." she asked.
Scipio nodded and gestured to his bag "There're some clothes in that."
Ida smiled and pulled him up, "Go change then. Have a shower if you need to, don't worry about waking them lot, they won't hear you."
Scipio smiled and stood up, "Thanks Ida, I don't know what I'd do without you." He made his way quietly up the stairs and into the bathroom. Ida watched him leave.
There was a quiet cough at the door, "Who's in the bathroom?" Victor asked, he brushed a hand through his hair and sat down in the same seat that Scipio had just been sat in.
"Scipio." Ida said blankly.
Victor frowned, "Scipio? What's he doing here?"
Ida shook her head, "He's run away from home. God, Victor you should see the state he was in."
Victor sighed and glanced in the direction of the bathroom, "Do you want me to stay with him?"
"No, you go back to bed; I'll make sure he's okay." Ida smiled, she lightly kissed him on the cheek and shooed him off upstairs. She sat down and sighed again. She was glad she'd finished all her work before she had made that coffee earlier.
A few minutes later Scipio padded back down the stairs in his pyjamas. Ida looked up from her now cold coffee and smiled, "I'd suggest a cold compress for that bruise but I think I'm a little late for that."
Scipio gave her a brief smile and ran a hand through his damp hair, "Thanks for the offer though." he said.
"Don't mention it, come on, you can sleep on the couch for tonight, and if you need to stay any longer I can make up the spare bed in Prop's room." Ida took his hand and led him into the living room. She waited for him to settle down before leaving him to sleep, just as she was about to leave however, she noticed the thin red line just emerging from the neck of his t-shirt. She gently pulled the material away and saw that the line ran all the way down his back and wasn't the only line. Her hand flew to her mouth in horror; the lines looked like they had been made with a belt.
She choked back a sob and brushed his dark hair out of his face, he looked so peaceful when he was asleep. With a sigh Ida turned and made her way upstairs to her room, where Victor was sat waiting for her, "Is he alright?" he asked as he patted the bed next to him.
"Not really, but he'll get through it. How can people do things like that to their own children?" Ida said, more to herself than anyone else.
Victor shook his head, "I don't know love, but don't fret about it now. He's safe downstairs, and the others'll like having him around for a while."
Ida smiled, "Yeah, I suppose… I just wish there was something else we could do."
Victor planted a kiss on her forehead, "Get some sleep now; you'll be no use to anyone if you're tired." Ida nodded and closed her eyes, while Victor smiled and turned over. Soon, the only sound that could be heard was the muffled sobs of a young boy, curled up on the sofa in the living room.