|Home, Take One
Author: Nancy Brown PM
It's their first Christmas back amongst the living. Follow-up to "Rescues"Rated: Fiction K - English - Family - Ianto J. & Jack H. - Words: 566 - Reviews: 1 - Published: 12-25-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7672989
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title: Home, Take One
Characters: Jack/Ianto, Alice, Steven
Summary: It's their first Christmas back amongst the living. COE fix-it
A/N: Follow-up to "Strays" and "Rescues"
"You're sure about this?"
"It's fine. I asked Alice specifically."
"Yeah." Jack doesn't look convinced. "It's just that she's only stopped hating me. The last thing I need is for her to blame me."
"She won't. We talked about it for an hour."
"I still can't believe you convinced her."
"I told her I promised him." Ianto has researched this thoroughly. He certainly wasn't going to let a detail like Alice's approval slip by unaddressed. He's got a bit of leeway with her, forged by the care he provided her son for all those months, and solidified by the various accounts, even from her own disbelieving eyes, that he'd put Steven's welfare first. Alice likes Ianto, so much so that she even can bear to forgive Jack. She'll allow this.
Ianto loads the last of the packages into Jack's car. His own car was sold whilst he was dead and he hasn't found the right replacement. Living arrangements at least have not been a concern. What was undeniably Jack's flat, an eclectically-decorated space filled with the few trinkets he'd brought back from America, now has distinct touches of Ianto's taste. He has lived here since being discharged from hospital, and neither of them has any intention of changing the arrangement.
Jack comes out last with the big present. He still seems unsure, worry lines on his normally carefree features. "It will be fine," Ianto insists.
Alice never sold the house. She thought about it, she says, but couldn't bring herself to leave behind Steven's room, the few toys she couldn't bear parting with, and now Steven is home again, older, cracked around the edges, but home. Ianto's chest fills with a set of emotions he can't separate out as Jack parks the car in the street. Ianto had not considered children of his own, not with more than a passing regret, but for a year, he'd acted as Steven's dad and now that 's over.
This is like visitation, and Alice understands.
"Let's get this over with," Jack says, and Ianto gives his hand a squeeze. Jack does his own visitation at the same time.
"You go first. I'll bring the last gift in."
From the car, he can see Jack walk up to the door, arms laden with expensive presents. Alice answers the door wearing a red and green sweater. She's faking the smile as she greets him. Steven's blond head pokes through under her arm, clearly much happier at the sight of all the presents.
And then there's a change, as he drops the smile, looking around and behind Jack. Ianto suddenly finds it hard to swallow.
He picks up the last present. "Easy now," he says in a calming voice. He hurries to follow Jack, and as Steven spies him, his small face lights up again, and doubly so as he sees Ianto's squirming burden.
"Happy Christmas," Ianto says, though the words are meant for Steven, who darts out in his bare feet to start petting his new puppy.