AN: I decided it was time to update my AU world. It seems I'll never stop. Anyway, Cerys is about 6 in this fic, and as always, I crave reviews like cookie dough ice cream. Xx
The air was thick with heat, and a light breeze wound it's way through the branches of the palm trees, as Jack, Ianto and Cerys stepped out into the Tenerife sun.
The older man wheeled his large black suitcase along behind him, a single bead of sweet dripping down his forehead as he attempted to attract a taxi in the airport car park. Ianto followed him, suitcase in one hand, Cerys' fingers clasped tightly in the other as she wheeled her small pink suitcase behind her, the outer shell of the luggage decorated with stickers of her favourite cartoons. Her skin was paler than usual due to the slathering of sun cream Ianto had applied, leaving Jack wondering whether Ianto was going to be particularly over-protective of his beloved daughter this summer. The smile plastered on her face shone almost as brightly as the sun, and her eyes were guarded from the dangerous rays by a pair of purple sunglasses, and a cap shadowing her face, as she beamed, exclaiming every time she heard an aeroplane taking off.
"Daddy, what is Pops doing?"
Ianto squinted in the blazing Spanish sun to see just what exactly it was his partner was doing.
He had his hand sticking out, leaning over the side of the road, and every time a taxi drove past him, he began to swear, only to notice the glare Ianto was sending his way and, remembering they had their young daughter with them, stopped short at "Fu…"
"He's trying to stop a taxi, so that we can all get to the hotel."
"Yeah, but why is he saying 'fudge'?"
They finally arrived at the hotel, Jack paying the taxi driver, including a generous tip in amongst the handful of Euros, and they all stepped out of the car, grabbing their suitcases and turning to face the large building.
They approached the large rotating glass doors and entered the reception. It was clear Jack's promotion all those years ago was certainly worth the extra hours and added stress. The place was beautiful, all marble flooring and polished surfaces. Three tables were located in the large area, each surrounded by four large, comfortable seats, with a long, thin vase in the centre of the ornate table, housing a single lily.
Cerys tugged on Ianto's sleeve as he was rummaging in his hand luggage for his paperwork, saying 'Daddy' over an over, like a mantra.
He tried to stay calm, but he always got stressed when he went abroad, and Cerys wasn't helping any, so he really couldn't help the sharp edge to the tone of his voice when he answered.
Cerys visibly recoiled at Ianto's tone, and whispered, staring intently at her flowery flip flops, "Can I go sit down?" After a moment she corrected herself, remembering her teacher telling the class all about the 'magic words'. "Please."
Jack smiled at her, taking her hand, leaving Ianto at the reception desk, as he took his daughter to one of the tables, Cerys using her arms to pull herself up, leaving her legs dangling, and she produced her colouring book from her bag, proceeding to finish the drawing she had started in the taxi, her tongue poking out ever so slightly as she concentrated fully.
Back at reception, and Ianto was in the midst of confirming their booking.
"I'm so sorry, Sir. There appears to have been a mix up with the rooms. It says a three person room, but it is showing as a double and a single."
"Oh, no. That's what we booked." He gave her a small smile, struggling to contain a chuckle as she blushed and her mouth formed a small 'oh' as her eyes landed on Jack and Cerys.
"Oh, my…I'm so sorry, sir. I didn't realise…"
"Really, it's no problem."
"Well, um… ok. Here are your keys, your room is on the first floor. If you take a left when you exit the elevator, you will see a large sign on the wall pointing you in the right direction. I hope you enjoy your stay, and if you have any problems, there will be someone at reception 24 hours a day."
"Thank you. Adiós."
Ianto gathered the key cards, and his remaining documents, and turned back to Jack and Cerys, leaving the receptionist to answer the phone, a cheery 'Hola!' filling his ears as he wheeled his suitcase over to his family.
"Swim, swim, swim!"
Cerys jumped up and down on the bed, messing up the sheets under her feet as she squealed excitedly.
Ianto was unpacking and Jack was doing…well, nothing really.
He rose from his position on the double bed, and launched himself at Cerys, tickling her until she was shouting, "No, Pops! Don't tickle me!", through her endless stream of laughter.
"Sorry, what was that?" Jack continued to tickle her, and Ianto was now watching them with a smile on his face. He always loved these moments. The little snapshots of Jack and Cerys. It always took the Welshman by surprise how good a dad Jack really was, and it made him fall in love with the man even more.
He folded his last t-shirt, slipping into the drawer and turning to Jack and Cerys.
"Right did someone say something about swimming?"
"Yay! Swim, swim, swim!"
Cerys ran along the corridor, approaching the lift, her flip flops squeaking as she hurried along.
"Cerys! Wait for daddy and pops!"
They caught up to her at the lift, Ianto taking her spare hand in his, her other was pre-occupied with holding her beach towel, the one she had insisted on carrying herself, and almost as soon as they had pressed the button for the lift, the doors opened and an old couple filed out.
"Hi! I'm Cerys!"
The old lady smiled and waved as the doors closed behind Ianto, Jack and Cerys.
"That lady was nice!"
Jack chuckled, and Ianto didn't know whether to laugh or scowl.
"Yes, but remember, you don't talk to strangers."
Cerys folded her arms over her chest, pouting and looked up at Jack.
"Pops, tell Daddy that it's ok 'cause the lady was nice, and I was with my daddy and my pops."
"You heard her, Ianto."
Cerys grinned and turned back round to face Ianto, sticking her tongue out at him in the process.
The doors slid open, and they stepped out, this time Jack took Cerys' hand, as she refused to take Ianto's. Jack just laughed and shrugged in Ianto's direction, before being practically marched along the corridor by Cerys, the little girl clearly a little over-excited about the prospect of an outdoor swimming pool.
"Daddy! Pops! Look at the big splash I can make!"
Before Jack or Ianto could stop her, Cerys was jumping into the pool, creating a rather big splash, before doggy paddling back to the side of the pool, and looking up to Ianto and Jack, her smile threatening to split her face.
"Did you see? Did you see?!"
"Yes. But don't do it again. If Daddy hadn't taken you to your swimming lessons you might have hurt yourself."
Jack was rarely the one telling Cerys off, and it took Ianto by surprise, so much in fact that his hands, which were currently rubbing sun cream into Jack's back, stopped dead, before Ianto shook his head, and started massaging the cool substance in, until it was no longer visible.
"Right. I'll go in with her, and you can sit for a while."
"Okay. See you later."
Ianto stood up from his position straddling the chair behind Jack, and bent down to kiss him quickly on the lips before slipping into the pool beside Cerys and aiding her in her endless splashing, cleverly disguised as swimming.
It had been a long day for Cerys, and soon the heat became too much and she fell asleep laying snuggled up on Jack's chest as he lounged by the pool. He continued running his fingers through her damp hair, and turned to Ianto.
"Think it's time we headed back to the room. Our little princess here as nodded off."
Ianto agreed, gathering up their stuff, and following Jack back to reception as he carried their snoozing daughter.
After a few minutes, and one trip in an empty lift, they arrived back at the room, Ianto slipping the key card in the slot, leading Jack in, and dumping their towels and other belongings they had taken by the side of their bed.
Jack gently lay Cerys down, careful not to disturb her in her slumber, smoothing down her damp hair, and kissing her forehead, before joining Ianto on the double bed and pulling the younger man to his side, kissing his temple, and licking away a bead of sweat on his forehead.
"We'll wake her up later and change her out of her swimsuit and stuff. Don't think she'll be up to any dinner though." Jack thought out loud as he stroked a thumb over the back of Ianto's hand.
"Yeah. We'll just order room service."
Ianto snuggled further into Jack, grateful that his shorts had long since dried and he wasn't creating a puddle on the duvet.
He closed his eyes, inhaling Jack's scent, and allowing himself to just relax, feeling the light breeze entering the room through the open window, wash over him.
"And this is you just realising?"
Ianto chuckled, craning his neck to look straight at Jack, stroking a thumb over his cheek as he spoke.
"No, I've thought so since the day I first saw you." His tone suddenly turned serious. "But, honestly, you are just amazing. They way you were with Cerys today. Thank you. I must admit, I was little stressed, and I don't know what I would have done without you."
"Ha, a little stressed?"
"Ok. A lot."
Jack chuckled, and kissed Ianto, his eyes fluttering closed, and he knew the Welshman was mirroring his actions, because he felt the long eyelashes of his partner brush against his cheeks as their lips met.
"I love you, Jack Harkness."
"Hmm, so you keep saying. Love you too."