Sequel to "Keeping up with the Joneses." It kinda twists the Torchwood timeline. Basically, after Christmas Jack quickly disappeared with the doctor. Makes some sense of why Ianto's loyalty was stuck with Jack so firmly. Enjoy!
Ainsley put down the spoon she was feeding Gavin with and grabbed the phone from the dock.
"Bore da, dear."
"Bore da Mum, what's going on?" Ainsley sat back down on the stool and tried to coax another spoonful of pureed string beans into her son's mouth.
"Nothing much here, just relaxing on a Saturday morning. Roger had to go see a client who was in town for the day. How is Gavin?"
"Messy." Ainsley commented, lifting up the boy's bib to wipe a bit of food from his face.
"They do that well, don't they." The line went quiet for a moment and Ainsley frowned.
"Is everything alright Mum?"
"Ah, well, yes. I was just wondering…..if you've heard from your brother."
"Lew? I talked to him a couple days ago I think."
"No, I've talked with Lew, it was just….I've been trying to call Ifan and he isn't answering the phone. Or his messages. I'm sure it's nothing, but I thought I'd check in with you, see if you've heard anything."
Ainsley's shoulders slumped. Last time this had happened, it was Lisa. He'd lost Lisa, who he'd loved, and had come very close to shutting down.
"No. I haven't spoken with him, Mum. But he's probably just been busy with work. You know how he is. He gets forgetful."
It was a lie. Ianto never forgot things. His memory was frightening.
"I'm worried about him Ainsley. Last time…"
"I'm not sure what to do."
"You've talked to Lew and Aoife then?"
"Yes, I just called them."
"Okay…."Ainsley sighed, screwing the cap back onto the jar of baby food. "Mum, I'll call you back in a bit, alright."
"Yes, of course dear. I'm probably just overreacting. But…."
"I'll call you right back. Say hello to Izzy and Georgie for me."
As soon as she put Gav down for his nap, Ainsley found the phone again, quickly pressing the speed dial that Dai had programmed for her. She sat in the front room, looking out on clear sky as the phone rang.
"Is that how you answer the phone?"
"Yeah, I guess so. You talk to Mum?"
"I did. She sounds pretty worried."
"I won't lie, I am too. I mean, Ianto's not the most communicative, but she said it's been a month."
"Aoife. Do you think you can do a favour?"
"Does this favour involve me taking the bus to Cardiff?"
"I'll wire you the money for the ticket. It's just, you're at Swansea, and I'd come, but Spain, and Gavin…"
"And Lew's up in Bangor, yes, I know. I'll do it Ains. Lucky thing it's a Saturday. I've been thinking about going into Cardiff for the shops anyways. It'll probably be nothing and I can spend the day on the high street." Aoife knew that she had to be the optimistic one. Ainsley was motherly, a worrier. She had to be the voice of buoyance.
"Thanks Aoife. Really. And you'll let me know when you see him? Get him to turn on his phone so I can give him a good yell eh?"
"I will. Now I've got to go see a man about a bus."
"You too. Give Gav a kiss from his auntie."
Aoife scanned through the paper in the lobby of Ianto's apartment building. She'd been waiting for fifteen minutes to try and slip into the building behind someone.
A dark haired man with a foul look on his face pushed through the first door and slotted a key into the secondary door. She folded the paper and moved to follow him through.
"And just what do you think you're doing?" The man turned around and stared at her.
Aoife stopped up short, throwing on a smile.
"I'm just going up to my brother's place. He wasn't answering his buzz, probably in the shower or summat." The man observed her cautiously. 'Come on. Do I really look like I'm dangerous?"
Aoife was surprised by the bark of laughter that came out of the stranger.
"You never know." Nonetheless, he moved aside to let her pass. "Well, come on then." Aoife couldn't help taking a quick stare at the man as she passed. He wasn't bad looking, but he seemed like a right ass. The lifts were directly in front, and the man turned towards the stairwell. Probably good riddance.
The lift doors opened, and Aoife pressed the button for the fourth floor. Ianto lived in flat 4E, according to her mobile's address book. It was a left out of the lifts, and two doors down, but before she could knock, Aoife noticed the stairwell door open.
"What the hell are you doing here?"
Aoife felt her ire rise.
"What am I doing here? I'm visiting my brother! What the hell are you doing here?" The man let his head fall to one side, his eyes rolling.
"4E. Not that it's any of your business."
"Not that I'm not enjoying your company, but do you mind buggering off?"
"I would, except we're going to see the same person. You're Ianto's sister then?"
"And you are?"
"Doctor Owen Harper. I work with your brother."
"A doctor. At the tourism bureau?"
"Retired." Ianto replied blithely, pulling another key out of his jacket pocket.
"Do you all have titles?" Aoife said in exasperation
"You've met Jack then."
"Yes. Where did you get a key to my brother's flat? Where is he?" Owen turned the key in the door lock and pushed it open. It stopped suddenly and he stared at the chain lock on the inside.
"Ianto! Take the lock off the door!" He shouted through the gap, pulling the door shut again. "He's inside."
They heard footsteps come to the door.
"I told you I'm taking the day."
Aoife watched Owen Harper alter from disagreeable to in a piss.
"I know that Ianto," He said in a sing-songing voice. "But Gwen and Tosh wouldn't let me alone until you got a check up. And Gwen sent soup." He finished flatly. "Anyways. You've got another visitor out here."
The chain lock slide back and the door opened. Ianto beckoned Owen in blindly, rubbing his eyes.
"Yanno." His head snapped up.
"That's your name then. Parents went ethnic, eh Ianto." Owen intruded into the flat and pulled off the rucksack he was wearing. Aoife rocked onto her heels, hesitantly.
"Can I come in?"
Ianto brushed his track pants self-consciously.
"Yeah, yeah. Dyou want tea?"
"That'd be good." Ianto glanced back at her over his shoulder at he shuffled into the kitchen. His socks didn't match. Ianto's socks always matched.
"Oi, can you fix the tea? I have to look after this daft lump for a minute." Owen interrupted, pulling out a tall silver thermos and a metal box.
"I can do it." Ianto said irritably.
"Yes, well, I'm sure you can, you've had enough practice." The two men shot each other a glare. Aoife dropped her coat and pulled her boots off, before moving into the kitchen.
"I've got it." She said. "You were always better at coffee than tea." Ianto stared at the stove top for a moment before Owen interrupted.
"Come on now, I've got to be getting back to work." Owen sounded irritated, but his next words had almost a kind tone to them. "Let's get this over with."
Ianto didn't say anything, just walked over to the breakfast table and sat down in one of the chairs. Owen opened up the metal box and pulled out a variety of medical implements.
"Roll up your sleeve." Ianto pushed his t-shirt sleeve up to his shoulder as Owen tied a piece of tubing tightly around his upper arm. The needle came next, and Aoife saw several vials of blood fill as she gathered together sugar and cream.
"I'm going to give you a couple boosters. Vitamins and such. And I'm putting you on an IV drip. You're dehydrated again." Owen readied the syringes and injected the first into Ianto's arm.
"I'm not thirsty."
"But you are a daft twat." Owen's voice was almost friendly when he responded. "Look, you want to make yourself ill, fine, but it makes me look like a bad doctor."
"Cause I care so much." Ianto said, heavy with sarcasm.
"Well you should, cause you have no idea what I'm injecting into your arm right now. Open your mouth."
"Not before the third date."
"Not on your life." Owen retorted quickly.
"Can't you just use the one for ears." Owen just pulled out the thermometer and slipped it into Ianto's ear.
"Yeah, but I was hoping to get you to shut up for a minute with the other one." He pulled the thermometer back and looked at the display. "102.5. Right. Doctor Harper says no heavy activities. Rest, liquids, for Gods sake, don't have Gwen's soup, she said she made it herself, and take a shower man, you look like death." Owen determined, putting all the instruments back into the box and shutting the top.
Ianto slumped against the table, ignoring Owen's movement around the flat. Aoife had taken the kettle off and made just the one cup of tea. If Ianto was dehydrated, he didn't need tea.
"I'm off." Owen announced. "I'll be by tomorrow." He pulled his coat back on and looked at Aoife. She moved to his side quickly.
"Look. He's been sick for four days now. Are you sticking around?"
"Good. Cause he's a stubborn bastard and he won't let anyone take care of him. Maybe you'll have more luck." Owen turned to leave, but she grabbed his sleeve.
"Where's Jack?" A dark shadow passed over Ianto's face.
"You should talk to your brother. I have to go." The door shut behind Owen with surprisingly little noise. He seemed more like a door slammer.