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Walter

By Joanne Jones

Romance / Thriller

Chapter 1

Fat drops of rain tried to wriggle under Ianto's collar, and he felt another hike of annoyance at his sister for not dropping his coat off like he'd asked. She'd said she had some shopping to do and would drop it in before lunch. Bah!

Lunch breaks weren't meant to be this hard and he was disappointed in the day altogether. Here he was, his twenty-sixth birthday, and even he hadn't remembered until he'd logged onto his computer at work. His sister hadn't remembered when he dropped Walter off and it seemed his co-workers had forgotten too. He'd not received even one single bloody e-mail.

And now it was bloody raining, his coat was still in Rhi's car, and the coffee he had risked the rain for was over-extracted, leaving it bitter.

This bloody suit was a month's wages. Damn it, wool might help with the rain but it's going to be a bitch to dry without shrinking. The dry cleaners charged like a wounded bull and he wondered, not for the first time, why he didn't give them up. He only started wearing them for Lisa, and now … silly really.

As he stomped back towards the library, he kept a silent list of disappointments growing in his head until here was the biggest bastard of all. Ianto might not have known his way around a gun but he was smart enough to know that was not the preferable end digging into his side.

He was swung into an alley and slammed against the bricks. His breath was knocked from him as his head collided with the hard brick and his eyes watered at the pain. The hand ruffling inside his clothes nauseated him, and when his wallet was tugged away he felt weak relief. A robbery, not …

A sharp dig to his ribs reminded him that he was still being robbed and he tore off his watch and handed it over his shoulder. When the robber grabbed his hand, the first wave of anger hit. Not the wedding ring. He barely had time to register before it was gone.

Then came a sharp bite followed quickly by darkness.

Shitty, shitty day.



Light. Bright, piercing and too fucking close. Ianto groaned and turned his head away. Voices, loud and far too bloody excited for a rainy day, filled his ears and he groaned again.

"How long before we can talk to him?" An American? Here in Cardiff?

Ianto opened his eyes and looked over at the man talking to the doctor just outside the curtain. As someone opened the ER doors a breeze whistled in, causing the curtains to sway, and Ianto got a good look at the man waiting to question him.

Tall, maybe even taller than him. Dark hair, spiky and straight. Clean cut and well-polished. The old WWII greatcoat set him apart. His boots were big and Ianto wondered … Stop it!

The whining in Ianto's head lessened up long enough for his hip to start throbbing. He gasped and looked down as his fingers found a bandage. Oh god. He lifted the sheet back for a better look and saw a large padding attached to his hip.

"Mr Jones, back with us then, are ya?" The London accent of the doctor shook him out of his fugue and he gazed at the doctor with growing confusion.

"What ... what happened? Shit. What's the time?" Ianto groaned.

Several things happened at once. Ianto tried to sit up and check his long gone watch. The doctor jumped and reached for Ianto when he watched the colour drain from his face, and the American? Well, he did the only thing that made sense. He stepped around the doctor and grabbed Ianto as he surged forward so that when his cry of pain burst out the man already had Ianto's shoulders to help ease him back.

Damn. He smelt good.

"Easy there Tiger," the American said. Tt was almost like he was holding him.

"Oh No, I'm late," he moaned.

"Work? You need us to call work?" A woman with a Welsh accent stepped into the room, her long auburn hair swinging around her face.

"No, no. They probably didn't even miss me; I was just doing inventory out back … Oh shit. Now I'm late for picking up my son." Ianto rubbed his head and felt a small patch of hair cut short with stitches in the centre.

Oh, bloody Hell.

His face must have shown his horror, and the man in the coat hugged him closer and shushed him. He did. Honest!

Ianto looked up into his face. Wowsers, those eyes are to drown in.

"You hit your head pretty hard. At least with it being your temple it's not obvious," the man was saying. Ianto closed his eyes and let the vibrations rattle through him. He ached.

"You were grazed by the bullet. It chipped a bit of your hip but no big damage," the doctor added, pointing at Ianto's hip like he might not know which one. Was he serious?

"I'm Detective Gwen Cooper and this is my partner Detective Jack Harkness." Ah, the woman was finally giving him some helpful information. "That one in the white coat is really a doctor, just a horrible personality."

"Oi Cooper, I'll bloody report yas again, ya blouse," he groused. "I'm Owen Harper MD; don't shag a bird before asking what she does for a living, yeah?"

"Get a grip Owen, a quick fumble in the cupboard does not make a shag!" Gwen leaned closer to Ianto and winked. "Bloody pitiful really."

"Maybe we can help. Do you have the number of the school …" Jack said. Jack, right? Nice. Focus.

"No, no … sorry. My sister cares for him during the day. She runs a day-care centre in her home. He's only three ya see …" Ianto became aware he was rambling and blushed, looking down at his hands.

"OK, what time do you pick him up?" Jack tried again. What a patient man, and me such a twat.

"Five. I'm usually there by five on a Friday," Ianto finally said.

"Oh. It's only 4.30 sir, we might make it," Gwen smiled, showing a gap in her teeth that was quite endearing, and Ianto found himself smiling softly back.

"Wait," he frowned, looking around. "How did you know my name? He took my wallet."

Jack frowned and leaned in close to look at Ianto's eyes; his smell was so Yummy. MMmmm. Ianto hoped none of that was showing and he willed himself not to blush. Don't blush. No. Mustn't … damn!

Jack's eyes widened and Ianto knew it - a blush was forming.

"Ya told us when you came in. Memory loss, not unusual in a trauma like this. We were pretty shocky, aye boyo. Oi, that's my patient there Captain," the doctor barked.

"Captain? I thought …" Ianto frowned.

"Nickname. On account of my Dad's coat I like to wear, and he was a captain. I was always called little captain because I'm the dead spit. It stuck, I guess," Jack smiled.

God, you're cute. Jack grinned wider, and Ianto realised that one came out loud. Oops.

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