Diclaimer and Author's note: Don't own anything, RTD does, promise to put it all back where we found it, and it's all just for fun and the rest of it lol. Set between the end of Meat and the beginning of Reset, Rhys knows about Torchwood. The briefing is about the Doctor, Rose and Martha.
I didn't write this one, my friend did as a present to me, then asked me to post for her (she's too lazy to get an account) but i did check it (witness my amazing proof reading skills or lack of). Please read and review, and I'll pass everything on to her, I know she'll appreciate any and every comment. You lovely people xxx
Ianto yawned, loudly, gaining him glares from his colleagues who were avidly listening to Jack brief them on some man he knew from the past. Or the future, it was all a little confusing, and Ianto couldn't concentrate. There was something about a visitor as well. He knew he should be listening just as hard, but he was far too tired to take anything – they hadn't been up all night every night for the past three weeks.
"Jack, I'm going to go make some coffee." He said, standing up as Jack moved on to a blonde named Rose.
"Thanks Ianto, I'm almost through, just put it on my desk, would you?" Jack smiled his most winsome smile, and Ianto felt his frowny face dissolving automatically. How could he refuse to make him a cup of coffee? There were times that he felt he lived for Jack, that he drew breath only for him, he couldn't refuse him anything. And yet, he felt in that moment so much anger that Jack failed, once again, to notice that he needed something for himself. But, how could he refuse, even if it did reinforce the 'Coffee Boy' image that they all seemed to have stuck on him.
As his fabled coffee machine whirred into life, Ianto leaned into the work surface on both hands, then yawned again, rubbing a raw scarred hand across his face and his eyes. He knew why it had to be him, why it was always him. Course he had been the one to find it, them. He'd come in early to finish some filing, he'd tried to get it done the night before, but Jack had been working late as well, and it was pointless to try to get anything done when Jack was working late, as he always had to go make more coffee and… the whirring stopped and Jack's extra strong moccacino was sitting waiting to be taken. He lifted it and slid another mug in its place. Stifling another yawn he made his way to Jack's office. His hand ached against the heat of the mug and he made a mental note to buy some more antiseptic cream.
That morning three weeks earlier had brought him a number of shocks. To start with, Myfanwy was making more noise than usual, thinking about it no one had seen her in a week. The next shock was the three rugby balls that someone had left in a pile under the Perception Filter lift. Ianto had frowned then, remembering the game of hockey with Jack the night before, but to his knowledge no one had played rugby in the Hub recently. He had taken a closer look and realised that they didn't look like your average rugby balls. They were a dark cream, with black speckling. And then he had jumped as the third shock manifested itself. One of them began to shake and vibrate. Hearing a noise behind him he had glanced over his shoulder to see Myfanwy perched behind him, her pointed head bent down, peering at him and his find curiously. He had then reached to his ear to tap his comm.
"Jack, can you come in as soon as? We have a problem." Tapping it again he had muttered "three to be precise." He then bent down to lift what he now realized was a Pterodactyl egg, the one that was developing a crack down it's side and carried it, under Myfanwy's watchful gaze, to the hot house filled with alien plants, he figured that that would have to do until they could find a proper incubator. Myfanwy seemed to approve so he had swiftly moved the other two as well.
Jack was in his office when Ianto walked in with the coffee. Jack seemed distracted by some paperwork so he set the cup down and went to walk out, regretting the fact that his new found responsibilities meant that he had less time to spend with Jack, in fact in the last three weeks, he had only seen him outside the office once, and that was when they'd moved the babies into his apartment. He was much more upset by the fact that he couldn't even say that it was worth it. Because he wasn't even getting anything out of his current task except a loss of blood (and almost a finger.) but it was his job, and he and Jack had never really gotten round to defining their relationship, maybe this was best, if it just petered out slowly. Jack certainly didn't seem to be missing him, he thought bitterly. As if sensing his thoughts Jack looked up.
"Thanks Ianto. So how are the babies?"
"Growing. Fast." He replied succinctly, after all what was the point in going into more detail about them? They weren't exactly cute, and he had never been one for wasting energy on saying more than was necessary. Jack gave him a half smile, and he could feel his insides twist, as they always had when Jack smiled that particular smile. It was the one that wasn't all teeth, the one that Jack seemed to reserve for him, and him alone.
"How's our father doing?" Ianto looked at him quizzically. "You Ianto, how are you doing?"
"Fine, I'm doing fine sir. They have started on solids though."
"Yes sir, they seem to like my fingers actually." He replied with a grimace. Why had he said that? Now Jack would be all concerned and that wouldn't help how he felt at all. He was right, Jack stood up and came to stand next to him, taking Ianto's hands in his own to study them.
"You should go see Owen about them." He said quietly, not letting go off Ianto's hands. "If they're eating solids, I presume they're starting to chew other things in your flat."
"Yes sir they are." Ianto realised too late that his voice was about 2 octaves quieter than usual, the way it only got when he was alone with Jack. Seeming to sense his reticence, Jack let go of his hands and walked back round his desk. Sitting down he frowned.
"They're about three weeks old now. I'm sure Myfanwy can take over. She came back late last night. Bring them back to the Hub tomorrow, I'll get Gwen to review Suzie's notes on how we trained Myfanwy, she can get the Hub ready tonight."
"Yes sir, thank you sir." Ianto replied, relieved that he might be able to get away, he stifled another yawn and thought his coffee would be ready by now. He turned to leave.
"Bring something, not workish with you tomorrow, I'll take you out to dinner." Jack added, almost as an afterthought as Ianto left the office. He saw Ianto's shoulders square and knew he was finally smiling. He watched him walk back to the kitchen, maybe he should give Ianto some down time, give him some holiday, the boy looked like he needed it. But then, Jack thought, I won't be able to see him, and that doesn't work. Maybe I could make up a reason why we need to go away together, some kind of work thing. That would help him relax, and get us back on track. Jack nodded, that was what needed to be done. Ianto disappeared into the kitchen and Jack sat back down with the report from Torchwood Two on a recent sighting of a blue police box in Carlisle.
Ianto got back to the coffee machine to find that someone had been in and nicked his much needed coffee. He harrumphed loudly and put another mug in. This time he'd wait for it, then he'd go find Owen to get his hands seen to properly.
His mind drifted again to that day three weeks earlier.
Jack had been incredulous to find two speckled eggs next to a very ruffled Ianto who seemed to be wearing two oven gloves and holding something brownish with a long beak, long neck and big wings, for the size of its body.
"Myfanwy appears to have laid eggs for us sir." Ianto said, mildly huffily as he stated the obvious.
"Sir, I don't think how is an issue at this particular moment. What precisely we are going to do with them seems to be more important. Myfanwy appears to have reassured herself that they will be safe and flown off."
"Oh." Ianto had resisted the urge to throttle him, remembering in time that Jack tended to be monosyllabic first thing in the morning. Jack had then seemed to shake himself out of it and take charge. "Well, before we work out the what's, the how's and the why's let's put that little bundle of joy in an incubator to keep it warm, and then, that egg looks about ready to crack." They spent half an hour delivering the next two baby Pterodactyls, and just after they had tucked the last one into a warm box the other three arrived.
"Jaack? What's going on?" Gwen asked, stopping short at the sight of Ianto and Jack surrounded by broken egg shell and goo.
"Did you and Ianto decide to adopt?" Owen said, cocking an eyebrow, he took a closer look. "Oh, the leather pigeon's had a load of little nippers, great." Tosh had looked at them askance and backed away.
"They could be a little sweeter." She commented before firing up all her computer equipment.
"They're prehistoric creatures Tosh, I don't think cuteness really came into it back then." Owen had responded, as he walked over to his autopsy room. Tosh's face had fallen slightly at that point, although only Ianto noticed, it was the same look he suspected he wore frequently these days, whenever either of them got over looked by the one they respected most. Jack had stood at that point and walked to the centre of the Hub. After he had glanced around the roof a bit he called the others back to him. Ianto had joined them slowly, hanging back in his usual fashion.
"Well, as we've got these unexpected guests and their mother seems to have vanished, we will have to raise them ourselves. They can't stay in the Hub, so someone's going to have to take them home." Ianto had groaned at that point. Apparently so audibly that Jack had turned to look at him, the smile there again.
"Jack, you know I can't I've got Rhys to think about. I mean he knows about this place, but taking three baby Pterodactyl's home may just be pushing it a bit." Gwen had jumped in with her refusal first.
"They won't fit into my life at all. I'm much too busy with everything here, and, well I'm not maternal, at all." Tosh had answered second. Ianto's second groan had come as he had responded.
"I guess that leaves me then."
Thinking back on it, it had been a little cruel to Owen, but the man had just referred to Myfanwy as the Leather Pigeon, and he was hardly responsible for his own actions. It hadn't even occurred to him that Jack could do it, but now that he thought of it, standing in front of Owen as he patched up his hand, if Jack had taken them home he would've ended up doing the job anyway. Ianto stifled another yawn, and Owen laughed.
"Keeping you up still then are they?"
"Three pterodactyl's Owen. Three. The big one we have soaring around here is loud enough. These three are smaller and therefore much squeakier. You try sleeping through that." He snapped before turning on his heel and stalking back up the stairs. "And thank you for fixing my hands." He called back over his shoulder; he couldn't forget his manners. Owen's response was lost as he made his way to Gwen's desk.
"Aaah Ianto, Jack told me what he's decided to do. So I've been reading the stuff on here," she motioned at the huge monitor in front of her. "Have we still got some of that Protein sauce Suzie used?"
"Yes, there's a sample in the Archive files. Under M for Myfanwy. I know it should be under P for Pterodactyl, but we had an OFSTED type inspector floating around from MI5 soon after we found Myfanwy, so I felt it safer for her if I hid it under her name. God knows what they'd have done to her if they found her. Probably donated her to the Natural History Museum. Anyway, Owen should be able to make some more. Did you make any progress on finding out the how's and why's of the babies?"
"Like how she managed to get pregnant when she's the only Pterodactyl in 4 million years or whatever it is? No. There've been no fluctuations in the rift big enough for that, and I've found nothing to suggest that there's been another floating around. I have a theory that maybe she carried the eggs until she thought the time and place were right, so she was actually carrying them when she arrived, but the scans have failed to prove or disprove that theory." Ianto smiled. That was one of Gwen's best features; she was so thorough with everything. Nothing was left unturned, and she still paid attention to her gut instincts and emotions about people, unlike the others here who seemed to have slowly dried up inside. He nodded, smiled and went to get her a cup of coffee to thank her. That was where Jack found him an hour later, slumped in a chair in the kitchen fast asleep. He smiled quietly, looking at the younger man with his head in his hand, he glanced around and moved on silent feet to kneel beside him.
"Ianto." He said softly as he gently shook him awake. As Ianto stirred and then blinked to see Jack's face so close to his own. "I think you should go home. Get some rest." Ianto laughed harshly, half out of frustration at being awakened, half at the ridiculousness of the suggestion of his being able to get some rest at home.
"If it's all the same to you sir, I'll stay here. I get more rest here or at my mother's than at home at the moment." Jack nodded.
"So, it's a choice between your mother's or my office then? You can sleep on the sofa in there if you would like."
"That…" tears unwittingly sprung to his eyes, he needed to sleep so much. "If that's not an imposition sir, I'd be grateful." Jack nodded again and pulled Ianto to his feet. Ducking under his arm he half carried him across the Hub and up the stairs. Tosh watched them quietly; Owen and Gwen were busy in the corner trying to reproduce Suzie's formula. By the time Jack had found a ratty old blanket to throw over him, Ianto was fast asleep.
Jack found himself worrying about Ianto again once he'd gone back downstairs. Glancing frequently at his office windows, he thought about the pressure he had obviously put him under, maybe it was too much, after all the last person Ianto had had to care for was Lisa. He shook that thought off, no he'd helped him get through all that, and since then Ianto had been looking out for Jack almost constantly. The night before they'd had to send Tommy back came unbidden to his thoughts and his concern switched to Tosh out of instinct. The pterodactyl babies had arrived soon after that, maybe he should have gotten Tosh to look after them to help her through the pain of loosing Tommy. No, that, he realised would have been absolutely disastrous. Ianto may be one of the neatest people he knew, but he was flexible, oh so flex… Jack almost blushed at that thought and forced his mind back to where it was before. Tosh could sometimes be positively anal in her cleanli-and-neat-ness, Agnes, Gethin and Kai would have been her idea of absolute hell. At the thought of Tosh's minimalist flat invaded by the babies Jack guffawed, causing her to look askance at him.
"I think we need to treat Ianto." He covered himself. "No one's really noticed how hard he's been working the last few days. Do you fancy a bit of breaking and entering?" Tosh looked at him even more askance, then smiled.
"I've got some new alien kit I've been dying to try out." She murmured going to the safety box he'd given her to temporarily store alien devices she was researching in. Jack grinned, Tosh's mind was warped when it came to security systems, and he knew just how tight Ianto was with his security – Jack nodded to himself, Ianto had learned that lesson well from watching the rest of the team at work.
Having cursorily told Gwen and Owen that they were going out for a while, Tosh and Jack made their way swiftly to the SUV. As he turned the key in the ignition he started to hum the song he always seemed to hum when he was on his way to visit Ianto in his apartment. He grinned realising suddenly that it was something he'd picked up from the Doctor, although the Doctor's musical taste only stretched to The Lion King. His favourite was more sophisticated,
"Jack?" Tosh said sounding a bit peeved and curious at the same time. "Is that All I Ask of You from Phantom of the Opera?"
"Um, yes, yes I believe it is." He replied, trying to keep his sheepishness under control and out of his voice. Tosh just shook her head quietly and slowly, continuing to adjust the calibrations on her device. She shrieked slightly when he swerved and the brakes squealed as they came to a halt outside the block of flats that contained Ianto's.
"Was that absolutely necessary?"
"Standard protocol." He stated, an impish grin on his face, turning away he missed Tosh's sigh as she mouthed 'boys with toys'. "Now, Miss Toshiko Sato. How do we go about breaking into Ianto's apartment?" She grinned at that and pressed one final button on the long sleek silver device she was holding.
"Just you watch, Jack, just you watch." She almost purred as the device started to whir and hum.
The device seemed to deceiver which of the apartments belonged to the person she had inputted, through DNA technology.
"It's rather simple really, Jack, I wrote a report on it a couple of months back, telling you what I was up to. I've loaded it with everyone's DNA so that when it comes to an apartment block or a house it will automatically send out a pulse to unlock all the doors. At the same time it will locate any and all internal security systems and deactivate them, by putting them on standby, when we leave it will reverse the process. All I have to do is touch that end to the entrance pad and we'll have access."
"So you're telling me, that that little device you're holding in your hands is an electronic key, to anything that the five of us at Torchwood own? Including cars?"
"Yes, why?" she said slightly suspiciously, as she touched the end to the doorbell of Ianto's apartment. 'Data input: Ianto Jones. Accessing lockable devices. Doors: overridden.' It began to intone. In a pause Jack continued his line of thought.
"Can you override Owen's car for me? I've always wanted to drive it and he never lets me near the steering wheel."
"Jack, that's automotive theft. I'm not going to use it so you can turn joy rider, it's criminal."
"So is this." He pointed out. "This is called breaking and entering, Toshiko."
"This is in a good cause, it's to save what's left of Ianto's sanity." She replied primly. "Speaking of entering." She pushed the door open, "shall we?" The device was still whirring and occasionally threw out monotonous statements: 'accessing security systems. Three detected, one overridden, two still operational.' She glanced down at it as they climbed the stairs. "Ianto isn't particularly trusting, is he?"
"He's had a lot to deal with. And with three Pterodactyl's in the flat, I don't think he wants anyone to break-in in a hurry." 'Accessing security systems. Three detected, two overridden, one still operational. Performing scan of occupants; three detected.' Jack looked at it in awe. "Yep it does that too. Did I mention that you don't have to have the DNA of the occupant? It just needs to all be done manually at each stage. So we'd only be able to open one door, just by touching the end to the lock."
"Tosh, when we get back I want that report back on my desk. How did you find all of this out by the way?" Tosh managed to look a little guilty, but sighed in relieve when Jack was distracted by the metallic alien voice - which she had to admit sounded somewhat like a Dalek; enough to creep her out anyway – informed that the three security systems had been overridden and that the three occupants seemed to be hibernating. This caused both of them to sigh deeply. Jack looked nervously at the rabbit hutches he had brought with him – he was using his wristband to make them weigh nothing and to make them hover behind him. Tosh still hadn't managed to sneak up on him whilst he was sleeping to steal it off him, and spent much of the time at her desk devising ways to trick him into handing it over, that little bit of alien tech could be very useful. She stopped daydreaming about the wristband when Jack's nervous glance became a nervous comment.
"Do you think these will be big enough? Ianto's been a bit spooked when he comes in recently."
"I think, that that's mainly because they've started to see his fingers as dinner. I'm sure they should fit in fairly easily." She pushed down on the handle and the door glided open slowly.
It was at this point that Jack remembered carrying one of these rabbit hutches once before, this time with all three babies in, nestled down comfortably in straw. Ianto had protested vehemently when Jack had suggested that he use his wristband to carry the hutch, he had worried that the babies may get frightened, or hurt. Jack had decided not to mention the fact that he was more scared that they might hurt him, Ianto was already showing signs of what Jack had long since named 'over-protective-father-itus' and saying that the babies were, to be fair, terrifying as they lunged around with their teeth, might make Ianto angry. Jack admitted freely that angry Ianto could be sexy as hell, but he had felt that angry-over-protective-father-Ianto might be a monster he hadn't yet been equipped to deal with. Ianto had lowered his end of the hutch as they reached the door to his apartment and glared at Jack when he didn't automatically do the same.
"Jack, they'll get agitated if you hold the end up." He had glared at Jack until Jack had lowered his end with a slightly sheepish look on his face. "They'll all get bumped down on top of one another and I don't think they'll appreciate it." He had swung the door open and held it with one foot whilst the two men stooped to lift the hutch. They staggered through the door and, as they had placed it down on the small elevated entrance Jack had looked around. Ianto's flat was pristine, immaculate. On the opposite wall the fireplace was surrounded by a white marble fitting, a purple striped rug stretched out in front of it on a polished wooden floor and a beanbag was nestled in the adjacent corner next to a huge bookcase. Jack had smiled, wondering what kind of fun he could have with Ianto on that rug. Then he had noticed Ianto scrubbing his hair back with a hand.
"Would you like a cup of coffee, sir?" He asked, somehow seeming out of place and uncomfortable.
"Ianto, I don't have to be your boss here, you could treat me as a friend." That had made Ianto shift even more uncomfortably.
"Yes sir. If you'd like to make yourself at home," he'd replied, gesturing to the sofa's, "I'll just go get you a coffee." Ianto had turned on his heel and walked to the adjacent kitchen. Jack had glanced into the kitchen, the cupboards looked like they were oak fronted, the worktops were slate, Ianto was busy in the corner near a window and so Jack had wandered through the lounge area, glancing at the three oversized armchairs grouped around a wide screen television above the fireplace, there was a door on either side of the fireplace. He walked on almost silent feet to the left one and peeked, a spacious bathroom lay on the other side, with a Jacuzzi bath and walk in shower. Having raised an eyebrow he had moved onto the other door and was about to open it when Ianto had coughed behind him.
"Your coffee, sir." He had said, without blinking at Jack's curiosity. They had made small talk after that until repositioning the rabbit hutch and then Jack had left.
He remembered that he had been very impressed at the tidiness of Ianto's flat.
The door opened to reveal what seemed to be an opposite dimension. The armchairs were askew, the bean bag had been split, spilling all the polystyrene inside across the room. The once full bookshelf was now empty. In front of the each of the three doors leading off the lounge a gate, as big as a back gate into a garden, had been erected, in the style of baby gates at the top of stairs. The once perfectly polished floor was now scuffed and scratched. There were thick iron bars across the windows. The overall effect was one of a prison cell. Jack looked around in near dread.
"No wonder Ianto has seemed so low in the last week." Tosh noted. "I plotted a possible course of growth earlier, when you suggested we bring them back here. They would have gotten to the point where they're aggressive and able to fly about 5 days ago." She looked around. Kai was in the mess that used to be a beanbag, Agnes was asleep on the ripped rug in front of the fireplace, and Gethin was hanging in the window. All three were now a dark brown and as they lay there almost the size of a swan. Their beaks were tucked beneath their bodies as the all curled in sleep. "How exactly are we going to catch them without them getting angry?"
"I keep catching Ianto humming Lie in the Sound, I would say that that's how he calms them down. Maybe if we play it, or sing it we could keep them asleep whilst we pop them in the boxes?"
"Do you have this song handy, because Kai seems to be waking up."
"Ah. No. Not exactly." Jack looked puzzled for a moment and then tried to hum it, very badly Tosh thought to herself, whilst making his way into the kitchen where he'd seen a CD player. As he'd hoped the disk in the machine was cued up and he hit play. Tosh was surprised to see that Kai, who'd been lifting his head and starting to notice her, tucked his head back as soon as he'd listened to the crooning of Trespassers William for around ten seconds.
"Jack, it's working." He looked at her with a crooked smile, as if to say well of course it's working. He opened one of the hutches and looked inside, then at Kai. Tosh laughed nervously. "This had better work, and go smoothly." Her tone was slightly acidic. "I need all of my fingers for the computers, Jack." He crooked an eyebrow and laughed.
"Is that your way of saying you'd rather be in charge of closing the lid, Toshiko Sato?"
"Well, if you wouldn't mind." He shook his head and stooped to slide his two subtly muscled arms under the body of the Pterodactyl, wrapping a piece of rope that had miraculously appeared around its wings. Once it was semi trussed he lifted it gently and moved slowly to the box. He lowered it in and Tosh shut the lid almost before he'd taken his hands out of it. The edges were reinforced with steel so even if the babies got scared and tried to escape the box should be able to withstand the force of their wings. At least I hope it will. Tosh thought worriedly as Jack retrieved Gethin from the windowsill. Soon enough all three were securely in the hutches and Jack slipped back down to the SUV with them floating ahead of him whilst she set about tidying the flat. After she'd vacuumed the bean bag entrails she made a note of everything that would need replacing, and another to remind her to order it that day. She would organise for them to deliver everything when Ianto was out with Jack the next day. After that she'd need to organise someone to come in and re-polish the wood floor and remove all the iron bars and gates. She went into the bedroom and beside the king size bed bestrewn with oversized silk covered cushions, found 3 large boxes on the floor filled with all of his books. She smiled and started to hum as she hauled them into the lounge to start putting them back on the shelves for him. Jack had returned by the time she was struggling through the door, arse first, dragging a box with her.
"Toshiko Sato, where have you been hiding that?" He asked jokingly as he assessed her pencil skirt cladded derriere, which was perfectly displayed for him in her current position. Still leaning over she turned her head towards him.
"It's always been there Jack, just because you and the rest prefer to see me as a robotic attachment to the Torchwood computer does not mean that I have no prominent features of female anatomy. I also have breasts, have you noticed them?" she straightened herself and pointed out her subtle but impressive to him before turning to the box she had just brought in and picking out the books to put back on the shelves. Bemused Jack set about putting the flat screen television back in place.
Back at the Hub Gwen was getting tired of running interference with Ianto. Since he had woken up she'd been finding tasks for him to do around the place, find her a certain file from the archives and the like, but he kept asking where Jack and Tosh were, questioning why they weren't in contact with the Hub if they were following a lead. He seemed to realise that something was going on, especially when she took him a cup of coffee, which she noticed that he set to one side and didn't touch, not even a sip. What's wrong with my coffee? she thought indignantly before taking a sip and nearly choking as she realised exactly what was wrong with her coffee. It tasted like burnt syrup.
"Gwen, why are you bringing me coffee?"
"Because you looked tired sweetheart. I thought you'd like a pick me up." She realised her voice may have been a bit high when he looked at her askance. Damn I was never any good at lying. She thought irritatedly why couldn't I have gone with Jack instead of Tosh? Tosh would be better at this. She seems to understand Ianto better these days. "Probably something to do with her crush on Owen and Ianto's on Jack. Maybe I should help Tosh out with Owen, mention her in passing a few times, subtly to do what those advertising companies do, what's it called…?" she only realised she'd started speaking out loud when Ianto answered her question.
"Subliminal messaging Gwen. And I don't think it's a good idea. Firstly because Owen's far too stupid to notice it, and secondly because you really wouldn't be much good at it. Now, is that all because I really should go and see to the babies. They'll be needing their feed, and I need to get them ready for tomorrow." He noted that Gwen's eyes looked rounder than usual and guessed it was because she truly could think of no reason to make him stay any longer. She suddenly straightened up, looking relieved and he glanced over his shoulder slightly as she called out.
"Jaack, Ianto needs to go home to feed the babies, is there anything else he needs to do here before he goes?"
"Um, actually, yes, there's something that I want you two to go check out. If you give Owen your keys he'll go sort out the triplets later."
"I will?" Owen started, staring at Jack. Jack raised an eyebrow, "oh yeah yeah, of course I will mate. Don't worry about it."
"They're very particular, I've got them on a faggot and a sausage for tea at the moment and then some oats for a snack before they go to sleep. They'll only drink red wine, but I keep trying to get them onto grape juice, it's cheaper."
"How did they start on the wine?" Gwen asked.
"Um, they broke a bottle I had out one night, devoured the contents and refused to drink anything else. I broke before they did, I kept putting down the water, they wouldn't drink it, and I was afraid they might get dehydrated." He said, an earnest, if mildly sheepish look on his face.
"Ianto, they're leather pigeon's you wouldn't notice if they got dehydrated, because they're already very wrinkly. It surely doesn't matter that much!" Owen said, incredulous in his continuation of his current theme for teasing Ianto. Jack saw the look on Ianto's face and swiftly moved between him and Owen.
"Ianto, before you go, could you go and make me a coffee? Owen. My office. Now." He turned and strode into his office, swirling Trench coat brooking no objections. Ianto threw a final glance at Gwen who looked thoroughly worried about something, and went to make the usual round of coffees and teas. He got Tosh's mug out when he saw her come scurrying into the Hub and fiddle with something at her computer, before Jack tapped on the window and summoned her to his office with the others. He was obviously out of the loop again he thought as he sighed, followed by yet another yawn. He threw Tosh's teabag into her mug, angry at the lack of sleep and the lack of consideration given him by the others on his team. Just because I have a long running assignment with the babies, doesn't mean I can't help on other assignments. He thought as he set the machine up for Jack's moccacino. As usual the familiar whirring of his massive coffee machine calmed him down and once all five drinks were ready and sitting on his round waiters tray, he felt himself enough to go up to Jack's office without the overwhelming urge to throttle Owen.
Throughout his normal coffee making routine he had failed to notice Jack's worried watch over him from his office.
"Somehow, we need to ensure that Ianto doesn't go home until Tosh has entirely restored his flat to its usual pristine neatness. Or to a semblance of its former self at least. I need, we need the old Ianto back, he's far too tired, and we can't have any operatives in that state." He quickly covered up his inadvertent slip that his feelings for Ianto surpassed the normal limits for an employee-employer relationship. "I can't send him into the field in that state, not without expecting casualties."
"And yet you're willing to send me into the field with him?" Gwen asked, confused.
"Gwen I don't have anything for you to do out there, I just need you to keep him distracted. Track imaginary weevils; put him to sleep with all the wedding plans. I don't know – just distract him so that he doesn't notice what we're up to. We need to keep him out of the Hub overnight whilst the babies are here. Then in the morning we need to keep him at the Hub until we 'go to fetch the babies' after Tosh is finished with the apartment."
"Oh so I'm a decoy? OK. As long as this gets our Ianto back it's fine by me." Jack suddenly waved a hand.
"He's coming up."
Ianto walked into a room of discussion about the impending visit of some official. He handed out the coffee and was tapped lightly on the shoulder by Tosh, he blushed as he realised that Jack was talking to him.
"Ianto, Martha's arriving on the 1st March, can you get a hotel booked? Actually I'm not sure if she'll arrive late on the 29th or on the 1st, so maybe book the hotel from the 29th, we can collect the keys in the day just in case. It's always best to be safe than sorry. I can hardly put her up here, and you've had enough Torchwood guests recently. And I'm sure the others won't want to put her up." He winked at Ianto, Oh Ianto thought, after filing the information away to go and sort later. She is actually arriving on the 1st, he just wants me and a hotel room. He nodded.
"Of course, sir, I'll get on it right away." Jack watched him as a look of comprehension dawned on his face Jack wants me in a hotel room. Jack still wants me. He grinned as he walked down the stairs, a slight bounce in his step.
"Well, Jack, that appears to have worked." Owen noted acidly. "Shall we get rid of Gwen and Teaboy so we can get the babies into the Hub?" Jack raised an eyebrow at the first comment, and then nodded to Gwen.
"Get on it. Take him bowling later." Gwen laughed at the thought of Ianto bowling, and they heard her calling to him as she walked down the stairs and retrieved her jacket, there was something about going bowling and then to a Chinese for tea, after they'd checked out the Weevil sighting.
"Shit, Jack, the babies are in the SUV next to the one Gwen'll take out." Owen swore, jumping to his feet.
"Already taken care of, Owen." Tosh said, tossing Jack's wristband back to him. "Are you sure I can't keep that to scan it Jack?"
"I'm sure, it's far too advanced for Torchwood." He replied as he slipped it back on his wrist. And I didn't really let the Doctor get his mitts on it, well only with that sonic screwdriver. Sonic screwdriver, who has a sonic screwdriver? Who has a whole drawer of sonic screwdrivers? I didn't let the Doctor near it so if I let Tosh near it with all her probes and scanners, I'll be in trouble with him. Jack suddenly realised that he was grinning to himself and that the other two had carried on the conversation without him. He gathered that the conversation had moved on to what they were going to do with the Pterodactyl's now that they were being relocated to the Hub. He wasn't sure what he would do himself, but he knew that the Doctor would probably like to meet the babies, especially as they were a natural and physical impossibility. Owen and Tosh watched him as he wandered off humming to himself.
"He's gone a little bit, odd." Owen commented quietly to Tosh.
"Yeah, lets just leave him to it." She glanced at the three hutches that Myfanwy was now batting with her beak. "Maybe you should go let them out. I've got to go let some French polishers into Ianto's flat."
"Is that polishers who are French or men who do French polishing?" Owen asked grinning as they made their way back down to the Hub floor.
"Um, men who do French polishing, who are also French." She handed him a Sainsbury's bag. "You may need this." Owen glanced inside to find 5 bottles of Barbeque sauce.
"Thanks, that's helpful." He called as the siren for the door went. As it closed behind her he heard her call back to him.
"Don't say I never gave you anything."
He grumbled under his breath at Myfanwy and undid the catches on the hutches so that the babies could shoulder their way out as he dodged back out of the way. It might be alright having a pet Pterodactyl, but three baby Pterodactyls who were obviously teething was a little bit much he thought to himself as he set up a scan on them to make sure that they were still healthy.
It was much later and Tosh and Owen were still working on their respective jobs, at Ianto's and in the Hub, when their mobiles bleeped.
Incoming Instant Message.
Gwen: I can't believe Jack's got me babysitting Ianto to stop him babysitting the Pterodactyls. We've nothing in common.
Owen: You're both Welsh, what more do you need?
Tosh: I think you need to be more than the same nationality to have anything in common with each other, Owen.
Gwen: Exactly. What should I do? We've checked out the phoney Weevil sighting. We've been bowling. We've come to the Chinese. I'm in the toilets guys, what should I do?
Owen: He's a guy Gwen, unbutton your shirt a little, smile, flutter your eyelashes a bit.
Tosh: That may have worked with you Owen, but I hardly think it's going to work on Ianto.
Tosh: It's true isn't it?
Gwen: Well yes, but it really won't work on Ianto.
Tosh: Well, I can find some real Weevils, how bout taking him Weevil hunting?
Gwen: If I did that I'd have to bring him back to the Hub after, with the Weevil's and to write the reports.
Owen: Hmmm, I still say flirt with him.
Gwen: Owen, I'm warning you.
Owen: Alright, alright. What about slipping him a sleeping pill?
Tosh: That'd work, knock him out for the night, put him to bed on your sofa.
Owen: Then make up a story in the morning to explain it. It'll work.
Gwen: Ok so what we're really saying is we know so little about our own team mate that I've got to drug him to keep him occupied for the night?
Gwen: Hang on, I'm getting a message off him.
-Tosh has left this conversation-
-Owen has left this conversation-
Ianto: Is everything ok Gwen? You've been in there a long time.
Gwen: It's fine pet, was just calling Rhys to let him know that I've eaten. Be out in a mo.
1 new text received from: Tosh
Coming over now, will put something in the glovebox. T x
'Blip, blip bliiiip. Good afternoon, it's one o'clock, you're listening to Radio four and these are the latest headlines.'
Ianto lay still, his eyes closed, this wasn't right. It wasn't his flat and it wasn't Jack's hole, Jack wouldn't be caught dead listening to Radio 4, radio 2 maybe, he liked Terry Wogan and thought Jonathan Ross was a cheeky chappy, but never Radio 4. He kept his eyes closed, his hand moving slowly to find… air in his holster. Damn they'd found his gun. Over the headlines he heard a familiar humming. He opened one eye, slowly and cautiously, then the other, he suddenly recognised where he was.
"Gwen?" he asked sitting up slowly, his head felt a bit woolly, and he couldn't remember how he'd gotten here. He was on Gwen's sofa, in his shirt and boxers. Who'd undressed him? Gwen was standing at the kitchen counter humming whilst chopping an onion.
"Hello sweetheart, how are you feeling?"
"A bit confused. How did I get here? The last thing I remember is getting coffee from the late night Starbucks."
"Hmmm, I thought it might be, we were in there when we saw a Hoix run past. We went after it, and you threw a bottle of water on it from a purple container. We knew that a blue bucket of water annoys it, and a red bucket subdues it, but apparently purple makes it highly defensive and it breathed some kind of gas at you. You were out for the count but I managed to slip up behind it and give it a sedative. Jack and Owen turned up at that point and took the Hoix back to the Hub, and they decided that as I had today off, the best thing to do would be for me to take you home. Rhys wasn't best pleased when he came out to find me taking your trousers off, though." She giggled at that and then continued humming for a moment, pushing the onion into the pan on the hob. "Are you hungry love? Only I'm cooking a big meal because Rhys is coming back for lunch, and you do look like you could do with being fed a bit." She smiled warmly at him.
"Um, well, I suppose I could stay for a bit. If you're sure you don't mind." Ianto replied, smelling the air slightly, his stomach rumbling. "If you're cutting onions, shouldn't you be whistling?"
"Well, yes, but I can't actually whistle, see." She pursed her lips and blew, nothing came out but a slight raspberry blowing noise. "So I just have to hum."
"Oh." He replied bemused. "Do you want any help?"
"No, I think I can manage. Would you like to have a shower? Whenever I've slept in my clothes, I always need a shower. I already put a towel out for you, and if you give me your shirt I'll get it washed and dried for you." She smiled warmly at him. He nodded slowly and went to the indicated bathroom. "Just leave anything you want washing outside." She called after him.
He stood under the stream of warm water, tilting his head so that the stream ran over his face, it was so odd that he couldn't remember anything about the night before. He hardly ever forgot anything, it was almost as if he'd been retconned. He shook his head, no, Gwen wouldn't retcon him, that was just stupid. Owen hadn't ever done a full autopsy on a Hoix, it was logical that it had some mode of defence, other than those big old teeth of theirs. He heard Gwen laugh and guessed that Rhys had just gotten back for lunch, he should hurry up, he didn't want to be a bad host. Especially when he was getting to see the side of Gwen that she never let any of them see. Though, he thought as he turned the water off and stepped out of the shower, that was partially Jack's fault, he was insistent that Gwen didn't loose touch with home life, unlike the rest of them, and her way of doing that seemed to be having two different sides to her. As he scrubbed his hair dry he decided that he liked this Gwen.
"Ianto, lunch is almost done, Rhys is just draining the spaghetti, would you like a glass of wine, and also, do you want some of Rhys' clothes?"
"Um, wine would be good. I feel like I'm in the way though."
"Course you're not mate." Rhys' voice joined Gwen's, "she's almost got your clothes done, but the only thing I've got that would fit you is a pair of stripy pyjama's I'm afraid. I'll put them outside the door for you."
It was hard for Ianto not to laugh when he saw the pyjama's that Rhys had put outside the bathroom door, he recognised them immediately, it was a pair of blue stripy shirt and trouser pyjama's from Marks and Spencers that Jack had asked him to buy as Rhys' Christmas present, mainly to try and wind Gwen up. It hadn't actually worked as Ianto recalled, she'd rung him on Boxing Day and said thank you very much, and that she'd enjoy wearing them herself.
When he came out into the kitchen Gwen hid her smile by turning to the hob to serve the Bolognese sauce. The shirt was a bit big in the shoulders but find other than that, whilst he had tied a knot in the trousers to hold them up.
"Thank you." Ianto looked hungrily at the plate in front of him.
"Dig in." Gwen told him.
It was 8pm that night by the time Gwen drove Ianto home. She kept saying that she wanted to make sure that there were no adverse side effects of the Hoix's attack, even though he voiced his suspicions about that particular story. When she wasn't telling him that was why she wanted to keep him there, she used the excuse of feeling alone when Rhys was at work, saying it was nice to be able to crash in front of the television and have company. When she'd run that one out, Ianto felt far too guilty to say he wanted to leave, and stayed to watch Love Actually She got a mysterious phone call just after the DVD finished. She answered it in her bedroom so that he couldn't hear. Next time he suggested that he went home she hadn't come up with an excuse to make him stay. Now they were sitting outside his apartment block in her pink KA.
"Are you sure you feel fine? You don't want me to come up?"
"Thanks Gwen, but I'm fine. And you probably shouldn't come up, I expect the babies are a little riled that I've been gone for so long, and they've only seen Owen – that's enough to put anyone in a bad mood. They might be a bit tetchy." She nodded.
"That's fine Ianto. I'll see you tomorrow, have a good night." He opened the door, hoping no one saw him getting out her pink-mobile and she added "I'll send Owen with the SUV to pick the babies up in the morning to bring them home." He nodded and walked off up the path to the door. She hoped she hadn't given the game away, it would be awful if she had. He was suspicious about something, but he didn't know what it was she thought quietly to herself as she started the KA up again.
Ianto watched as she drove off waving back as she waved, overexcitedly, to him. Something was going on. He turned back to the apartment door and let himself in. He glanced at the lift, saw that it was still broken, and started to run up the stairs to his apartment on the fourth floor. It didn't take him long, it was something that he had perfected over his years of living in what he like to refer to as his penthouse, it was the largest apartment in the building, the only other accommodation on his floor being a single room bedsit. He got to the door and listened. He heard nothing which worried him. Then he heard the now familiar strains of the babies sleep-song, Jack had obviously picked up on that one and told Owen. He frowned, they were wasting his electricity. That was just rude. He changed the key in his hand and opened the top latch, he knew what Owen was like, he wouldn't have put the main lock on, just left it on the Yale latch. The door swung open, and the scent of beef roasting and burning candles attacked his senses. From the doorway he looked at his lounge, the floor was no longer scratched, it shone beautifully with new polish, his armchairs re-upholstered in distressed brown leather, to match the new thick chocolate brown rug in front of the fire place, his beanbag was re-beaned and all the bars and gates had been removed. He let out a low sob, moving forward to lean on the bookcases that now surrounded the raised entrance. The door shut behind him, and he took off his shoes slowly, turning to put them in his shoe box he found a new pew, an oak body comprising of shoebox in the bottom with an umbrella stand set in next to it, tall back with a mirror and coat hooks. Hanging his jacket and putting his shoes in the box he stepped down into his lounge. The bookcases forming the wall were filled with photo frames, filled with pictures of the team pulling silly faces at the camera, as well as pictures from the various staff bonding sessions Jack had organised in recent months, then there were the photos of his family next to them. An 'Oh' formed in the back of his throat and he followed his nose into his bedroom.
Jack was lying on his bed, fully dressed but smiling his 'come to bed' eyes. Ianto stared at him.
"We came round yesterday, moved the triplets back to the Hub. Tosh worked like a demon doing this all last night and this morning, bossing me around like she was queen of Torchwood." He sat up, a nervous look flashing across his face. "You don't mind do you? I mean, I probably wouldn't be too happy if someone had broken into my house but I couldn't stand seeing you like that, you were just so, so, and I needed to make it better, I wanted to make you better." Ianto leant over and silenced him with a kiss.
"Thank you." Jack's grin spread from ear to ear.
"Now Mr. Jones, you get changed and I'll go consult Tosh and Gwen's instructions for Roast Beef. Then I'll be back, to show you exactly how much I care about you." He grinned lasciviously and winked as he left the room. Ianto sighed, undid his tie then picked up his phone. He found Tosh and Gwen's numbers and sent them a smile and a thank you, before putting a memo on his phone to send them both flowers the next day; he knew from past experience that he probably wouldn't remember much after Jack had finished with him.
Myfanwy perched on the water pipe in the top of the Hub, watching as her three children flew around below her. Even though an observer wouldn't be able to tell, she was smiling. She had always known that Ianto Jones was the best person to leave the three with whilst she went to find their father. He'd been hard to find otherwise she wouldn't have been away so long. She felt very sad that her three children had driven her Ianto to such despair, she wouldn't have gone if she'd known they'd be such tearaways. But, she thought happily, Ianto had done wonders with the three, they were perfectly adjusted to being around the other humans she kept in this big old place. It boded well, she thought. In a couple of weeks she planned to take them to the Beacons to meet their father, although they may find that a little difficult to understand, they seemed to have adopted Ianto as their father. Myfanwy nodded, yes, things had been well handled when she was away, but she was glad she was back, sometimes it amazed her that her humans could manage without her.