Chapter 40

The room was bland. Could use a little colour. A plant, or maybe a tasteful print.

Ianto let his eyes trace the wood panels up the wall to the equally tacky ceiling. How many people had counted those shit-coloured tiles that must have been white originally?

He wondered idly if this was some form of torture he wasn't familiar with. Death by decor?

The door opened and the two officers entered the room. The fat one had introduced himself but Ianto couldn't remember what name he'd been given. The thin one was definitely Catherine something. Her red hair was crazy and her demeanour wasn't much better.

Perhaps he should call them Mr Fatty and Miss Red?

They regarded Ianto as if they were looking at a rare bug under a microscope. Ianto shifted in his seat and began to wonder if this was really about Kieran or not.

They took their time fluffing their folders and speaking in hushed tones. Ianto wondered if they were going to do rock-paper-scissors to see who would address him first, and chose his blandest face to match the room.

They then began placing photographs down on the table in front of him. He stared at them with open confusion. Lisa?

A picture of the two of them laughing in the park on a sunny afternoon. He'd lost this one in the fire. This must have come from her family. Why would they give these goons a picture of them both? Why was he looking at it now?

Then came the next photo. Ianto felt the world shift sideways as her lifeless face stared up at him. Well, most of her face. A cheek that had peeled back to the bone during the accident still wore the stiches but the other side was her grimace he'd been forced to watch once the machines were turned off.

He could hear her mother screaming in his head. The family had fought him as they tried to get her moved into their care but as the husband he'd had the final say. The day he'd stood by her bed and held her hand until it was cold. Watched them remove the wires and tubes. The grimace was a shock, and medical staff had explained it was just the way her muscles had settled due to the breathing tube, but the nightmares had haunted his nights for months.

As Ianto slid the chair back, he struggled to keep his stomach contents down.

The next photograph ended that dream. Ianto turned to one side and emptied the contents of his stomach on the bland floor.


Just as pale as Lisa's mugshot, and just as dead.

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