Disclaimer: I don't not own Torchwood or any of it's characters. If I did Ianto, Jack, and Owen would never see the light of day again. So, to be clear, I do not in any way shape or form own or claim to own any of the plots or the characters. They belong to whoever owns 'em. I just took the general idea for a test jaunt. So, don't sue me...not that it would be beneficial, as I am a poor university student, yadda yadda yadda.
Authors Note: This is my first Torchwood fanfiction and it is 'hopefully' crack with plot. (I don't even known is there is a proper short form for that... C!WP maybe? (Personally Iam of the opinion that we should probably leave the clever naming of things to Ianto). Please read and review. I am excited to see what you all think. I am open to comments, advice, and constructive criticism.
Warnings: Mentions man on man happy time. If you don't like it you are DEFINATELY in the wrong fandom, so convert or scat! -Other then that there is nothing more major then a few British swears! I seriously 'cacked myself writing this! (Bonus points if you recognize the word: "cacked". Seriously I love me some British slang!) Spoilers are considered fair game for everything up to 2X11 if you squint.
*Big thanks to my Beta Lys, she loves me so she beta'ed this for me without actually watching any Torchwood yet.
Why Boredom and Captain Jack Harkness Do Not Mix
When Jack actually had the spare moment indulge in a few introspective thoughts, standing next to Ianto's gleaming coffee station, arms full of a wriggling jumble of pudgy hands and feet, the Hub's tile walls echoing with his charges indignantly hungry cries, his first conscious thought was that fate was a bitch. Not just an easy tart in slender, ruby-red heels and doused in a pint of cheap perfume, but a vicious, nefarious old bitch that was likely galaxies away having a brain aneurysm from laughing at him.
His second conscious thought was that the next time he felt the need to complain about boredom due to a suspiciously long lull in rift activity, he would just keep his big bloody mouth shut. Boredom was good, peacefully, gloriously simplistic even... This? This was most definitely not even tentatively close to any one of the three.
And if Gwen, Tosh, and Owen hadn't tumbled through the cog door right at that moment, arms full of baby jumpers, diapers, and pabulums, his third thought, as a tiny fist shot out and connected with his chin, it's owner glaring up at him with wide, betrayed eyes, would have definitely been that he could have killed for a fresh cup of Ianto's special emergency blend...Or possibly even a few shots of Antaermiztely's finest whiskey (The 45th centuries Andromeda galaxy's version of 'whiskey' anyway), as honestly, by this point, he really wasn't all too picky.
Four Hours Earlier...
It was official, he was bored...Captain Jack bloody Harkness was brain-numbingly, painfully bored. In fact he was so bored that he had made a tiny post-it note book of twelve different ways of saying the word bored. Until of course, he tired of that and proceeded to fashion yet another post-it note novella re-writing the aforementioned sentences in nearly twenty different languages...However he did have the nagging feeling that he hadn't quite gotten the translation of the Zugartain dialect right..something to do with the triple vowel displacement after the second accent on the objective verb...Though he didn't know why he had bothered, he had never quite been able to get it right anyway.
Note to self: Tell Ianto we are out of post-it notes...Also, convince him to get the funny shaped, multicoloured ones next time purely for shits and giggles.
He had never known the rift to be so silent, he thought sullenly, perhaps for only the tenth time today, idly threading one of his post-it note books in and out of the spaces between his long fingers. The first few days he had actually enjoyed himself, basking in the pure pleasure of doing absolutely nothing, of not being under the constant threat of aliens, death, and destruction. Hell, even Janet had been downright placid and good tempered..for a Wheevil anyway.
In fact in those first few days he had done nothing more taxing then filling out a few requisition orders and wrapping up the last concluding details of a few case files. But now? Now it was just...boring. Damnit.
He was pretty sure his brain had actually leaked out of his ears sometime since past last Tuesday and today, which he was pretty sure was a Thursday. Thumping his head on the desk for what had to be the fourth time in over an hour he nearly snarled when he realized he had just crushed one of his tiny post-it note creations. Perfect.
The only source of comfort he could derive out of the whole thing was the knowledge that he was not alone. On the fifth day he had taken pity on Gwen and had started sending her home soon after lunch, figuring it might serve to soften Rhys to the whole organization a bit. And besides a 'bored Gwen' tended to be a 'nosey Gwen' and everyone knew how that tended to end up.
Owen had actually impressed him for a bit. Once he had figured that the rift wasn't going to spew forth Cardiff's latest apocalypse anytime soon he had actually closed more cases in three days then he would usually close in any given week. And as far as Jack could tell he had actually written several medical papers, and had had multiple web-conferences with a few of the most foremost medical authorities that consulted with Torchwood.
He had even gone as far as to reorganize the entire autopsy bay, which had predictably sent Ianto into conniptions where he had felt himself justified in letting his feelings known when he had slipped Owen decaf the next morning.
And it had been falling dominos from there on. Now as far as he could tell, all the snarky medical doctor had been up to was finding increasingly nasty means of annoying Ianto, as well as playing long hours of pong on his computer. He was pretty sure the man was watching porn too but he hadn't been able to catch him in the act. YET.
Note to self: Never, never make an enemy of the man who makes your coffee. - Especially if he is also the man you happen to be sleeping with...And if those weren't words to live by then he didn't know what was!
Unfolding himself from his chair he stretched his neck from side to side, listening to the gratifying cracks the movement caused as he strode up to his office windows, letting his braces hang limply at his sides, hands stuffed in his pockets as he observed the others 'working' downstairs.
A flurry of movement caught his eye and he followed the gleam of Tosh's black hair in the bright lights, watching as she contorted herself into an impossibly flexible position, somehow managing to maintain perfect balance on her tiny computer chair. If he didn't know any better he would have thought she might have been practising some bastard form of Yoga. But in truth, even Tosh had succumbed to the same boredom as the rest of them, and was actually, weirdly and inexplicably painting her toe nails purple.
Shaking his head he bounced forward on his toes, weighing the merits of heading down to the sub -basements to do some target practise...for the second time today before yet another shimmying movement from the chair below brought his attention back to the view.
Yes Tosh, like Owen (and quite unlike himself if he was being honest) had fought off the effects of the lull like a champ until eventually being overcome, immersing herself behind computer code and algorithms, not only working on her own technical projects, but also finding and fixing a few glitches in the Hub security systems, and even helping Ianto compile a few new databases.
And then, of course that left Ianto. Ianto Jones. A man with a name that slid like silk off his tongue, and an arse wrapped up as pretty as a Christmas present in his tightly tailored black trousers...But then again, he supposed with a smile, that was neither here nor there..
He was his assistant, friend, tea boy, comrade, janitor, and a million other things, a real-life Jack-of-all-trades. But perhaps the most important was that Ianto Jones was also his lover. The man who he had missed...in more ways then one, in more ways then he could ever possibly hope to explain, especially during the year that never was. Just thinking about him was enough to make him indulge in a deliciously pleasurable shiver, thumbing the belt loops on his trousers as he remembered the way Ianto's fingers had so strongly clenched at them the night before, yarding Jack into his embrace and a fiery kiss just as Tosh's black trench coat had finally whipped out of the cog-doors and out of sight.
Now that he had the time to ponder it..and indeed he had..He was unsure if the term 'lover' was still the proper title anymore. Somehow it seemed as though the word lacked something, lacking the description of something integral and deep that their relationship had slowly become. The whole thing only served to remind him why he tried to stay away from the matters of the heart, of love and all that complicated gushy stuff.
No matter if he was simply deluding himself...right?
Scuffing his combat boots along the grooves in the tile his keen eyes picked up an enticing flash of navy blue, and charcoal black as Ianto winded his way across the main floor, a stack of files in hand, eyes flickering up covertly to the window as he passed, a high blush and a small smile gracing his features as he took in the playing smirk he shot down at him as the man himself disappointingly disappeared from his view.
For a mad moment he actually considered embarking on what he had spontaneous decided to christen 'Ianto-hunting', and drag the man back to his office and shag him senseless when it occurred to him that it might not been the right time for it, what with Tosh being downstairs, and Owen and Gwen bound to be back at any moment, recovering a bunch of alien devices some old bird had discovered in her late husbands effects. It was a tempting thought though...
Out of all of them Ianto was the sole soul that was still somewhat clinging to the crumbling facade of professionalism and work ethic. He had systematically reordered everything from the archives to the cell containment records, and yet had still had the time to replace all of Owen's pens with pencils and had somehow hidden all the Hubs sharpeners in retaliation for Owen nearly getting away with switching his coveted coffee beans with a rival brand.
But then again he couldn't seriously take the moral high ground on Owen and Ianto's prank war when just the other day, in a particularly strong fit of boredom, (and admittedly sexual anticipation to boot) he had purposely rearranged Ianto's entire filing system for the Tourist office. He grinned cheekily at his own reflection in the window as he remembered how Ianto caught him in the act. The last file still clutched in his guilty fist as Ianto had unceremoniously seized him by his shirt collar and bent him over the desk and had had him right there, the stone door that led to the Hub still wide open, and the door of the tourist office unlocked and unshuttered.
His ass had smarted for days and Ianto had had to scrub down the entire desk, but damn it had been worth it.
But regardless of all his work, all his attempts to maintain his usual dedicated demeanour, he was pretty sure that Ianto had already created at least two entirely unique blends of coffee as he compulsively polished his already spotless coffee-related contraptions.
Unable to resist a sigh he turned away from the windows, running an idle hand through his hair as he turned back to his desk, the surface littered with crumpled papers and numerous failed attempts at creating the perfect aerodynamic paper air-plane. Thus far the results of the last proto-type had been less then encouraging, serving only to confuse Myfanway then to irritate Owen, his intended target.
As of right now, god help him, but he was actually somewhat looking forward to a bit of rift activity. Hell, he would even go for a Weevil nest right about now for Christ sakes. Anything. And had he had the hindsight to have known better then to tempt fate so boldly, to know what was going to happen in only a few short minutes, well then he would have probably just shot himself on principal for jinxing them all.
But before he could dwell on his infinite boredom any longer the cog doors groaned open and Owen and Gwen popped into view, both looking sun flushed and happy as Gwen shoved Owen through the door, sporting her trademark toothy grin and what looked like an old fashioned shoe box, and Owen, face nearly hidden from view, his arms filled with greasy take out bags.
"Oy! You lot!" Owen shouted, already nose deep in his own bag. "Fish and chips! Still piping' hot!" He finished, disappearing into the conference room, as the delicious smell of fried fish wafted up to his place at the railing, enticing him back down into the everyday ebb and flow of the Hub. And he couldn't help but grin along with them all as he sashayed smoothly around Tosh and Gwen just as Ianto materialized in the doorway, already snarkily bantering with Owen, a sight that while familiar, was definitely anything from boring.
It wasn't until he was halfway through the second piece of fish he had covertly stolen from Tosh that he divided his interest from the delicious pan-fried morsel in his hand, and stealing the occasional glance up at Ianto and the napkin tucked into his suit collar. Something which had absolutely no right to be as sexy as it actually was... That he actually began to question Gwen and Owen about the alien devices.
"Och, mostly just what looks like a bit of intergalactic rubbish. Extraterrestrial metals and all that, but there are a few interesting pieces in there." Owen commented airily, accidentally flinging a fry in Tosh's general direction as he punctuated his sentence with flourishing of the fry in question.
It was a strange sight as all the group crowded into the Autopsy bay after lunch to have a look at a few of the more intriguing devices that had come into the old mans ownership. God knows where he had found it all, but most of it was the genuine article, only just bits and pieces of alien trash some non-environmentally friendly alien had decided to dump when they had visited.
He had rarely seen them all in one place and looking so decidedly eager and bright eyed to simply investigate a simple alien treasure trove. It must be more boring around here then he had originally thought. If that was even possible...
However it wasn't until Tosh lifted out a strange cylindrical object with the medical tongs that he truly started to pay attention. It was unlike anything he had ever seen before, long in length and encased in a strong metallic alloy that was sheened in a faint green color under the autopsy lights. For all intents and purposes it looked entirely solid, utterly smooth and without even a single button, compartment, or crevasse.
Everyone, ncluding even himself had unconciously leaned a few inches forward for a better look as Tosh carefully set the piece down on the table, the Hub echoing with the snap of Owen's latex gloves as he quickly moved forward to take his own look. No doubt eager to claim it for his own if it was medically related. After a few silent moments where the object in question lay absolutely...boringly, dormant in the face of Tosh and Owen's careful prodding, Gwen finally broke the silence.
"So...what do you suppose it is then?" She asked curiously, unable to contain herself as she looked up at him expectantly, clearly expecting him to magically pull an answer out of his arse. But he was saved from answering as Ianto spoke up.
"Looks dormant or power drained." The young welsh man commented arching his head to see around Tosh as he looked at it from another angle. "You mean if it did anything to begin with." Tosh added in, nudging the object to its other side as she continued the inspection.
"Aye, it could be anything." Owen replied with a smirk, "Maybe even an alien equivalent of a vibrator..." He added with a incorrigible wink, making Gwen roll her and suppress a smile.
And he laughed as Ianto arched a brow, sneaking another look down at the device before meeting his eyes, his look clearly saying: Don't even THINK about it. This of course only made suppressing his laughter all the more harder, even as Tosh finally abandoned the medical tongs and was tentatively running a hand along the objects casing.
In fact from that point on he had been so distracted with watching Ianto, attempting to will him into turning around and look at him again, breathing in the mans subtle, yet magnetizing Ianto-like scent, that his keen ears didn't even pick up the warning clicks. His didn't, but Ianto's certainly did..
By this point Tosh had been holding the object in both hands, her small fingers inspecting the object from it's shiny green tip to it's flattened bottom, searching out any small hidden switches or plates. And unfortunately for them, she found one.
She had only just pushed upward on the center of the piece when the object gave an ominously rusty click, and the entire thing lit up to glow a sick olive shade in the bright lights.
And just as a hidden compartment slid up, revealing a toxic looking yellow beam, Ianto was there...yelling for them to take cover, and shoving Tosh out of the way, and then...well then everything went black.
Maybe a few minutes later..
When he came to, he did it with a start, arms tangled in his braces as he tried to ignore the massive headache building in between his eyes, one so deep he swore his sinuses were throbbing. The force behind the beam had scattered them around the bay like rag-dolls, with Owen and Tosh coming slowly too in one corner, and Gwen at his side still knocked out cold. It wasn't until a few seconds later that something in his aching brain clicked. Ianto. Ianto!
Like a chant in his brain he levelled himself up, ignoring Gwen's befuddled exclamation as he jostled her on his way up. Ianto, Ianto, Ianto.. "Ianto!" He called, eyes swivelling around them as his team followed him unsteadily to their feet, eyes just beginning the register the panic in which he was already feeling. Ianto.
A crumpled pile of clothing suddenly caught his eye, nearly hidden underneath the shadow of the autopsy table. Diving for it, heart in his throat, his hands halted mere centimetres from the empty folds of cloth as the tiny suit covered lump gave a tentative wiggle, a muffled noise barely discernable from through the fabric.
"Ianto..Ianto?" He croaked out, the others crowding in close, their harsh panicking breathing echoing in his ears, their silence even more worrisome then if they had been shouting. As if they were scared to break then silence.
Carefully, and with more tentative care then he had ever remembered using, he slowly pushed the folds away, undoing buttons, and snaps, until suddenly, and altogetherly shockingly, he pulled the navy blue silk away, revealing..
Well..revealing a baby...
A toddler really, a babe as cute as sin, with a shock of dark brown hair and wide blue eyes, and utterly, and completely naked except for the black tie that hung loosely from his neck as he blinked up at them, tiny baby fists opening and closing as he looked at them, his mouth a tiny little pink "o" of surprise.
"Bloody hell!" Owen breathed, rolling the table away so that the little tot was fully revealed.
And predictably, everything got a little crazy after that.
A few minutes later, he had scooped up the little bundle and deposited it on the bed, the team crowding in close as Owen unconsciously took the little mans pulse. "Ianto..?" Gwen questioned, his name echoing across the tile as Tosh leaned in closer, nearly pressing herself into Jack hip in her shock. "Oh my god.." She muttered softly, hand hovering just millimetres from a pudgy little knee.
He nearly choked on his own spit and the tot appeared to try a sit up, making a valiant effort before slumping back down on the pillows, mouth opening and closing furiously as a garbled stream of nonsense syllables left his lips. Trying to find meaning in the twisted sounds, he watched as the babes little face scrunched up in annoyance, letting loose another few seconds of gibberish, eyes flickering to each of them in turn, as if seeing them for the first time. "Ianto..." He tried, trailing off as the name earned him the toddlers full attention, and a smack of his fist against the crinkled suit.
Tosh leaned in again, clearly attempting to try and do something, no doubt feeling keenly responsible for the whole mess. The movement caught the little mans eye and before Tosh could pull back, a tiny fist had grasped the end of Tosh's chandelier earring, the sparking faux stones clearly fascinating him. Wincing she pulled away, gently disentangling the small fingers from the earring. "Ow! Ianto!" She cried, more in surprise then pain. They all regretted it a mere moment later.
"Oh bugger." Owen commented taking a hesitant step back, seconds before the frustrated howl and big tears were let loose, Ianto's little face scrunching up in rage, his little legs working as he let it all out. All of it. And to that point, he had never realized what a good set of brass lungs Ianto actually had.
Thirty Minutes and one sacrificed earring Later...
It had taken nearly that long to pacify 'Little Ianto' as Gwen had so christened him, and for Owen to take a full series of tests, proving that for the moment, the little tyke was perfectly health, and was indeed a hundred percent Ianto...just only tinier.
He tore himself away from the sight of Gwen bouncing him lightly on her hip, the blue silk shirt having been twisted into a temporary baby jumper, keeping the him occupied, as they waited for Tosh's analysis of the object, not even seeming to mind when his chubby little hand grasp up for at piece of her hair and had started gumming at it happily.
Running a hand over his eyes, Owen gave the two of them a glance. "Oy, well I am buggered to figure out exactly how that does it, but basically the beam acted like the rewind button on a VCR, regressing his cells back down to an infant level." He told them, flipping through the some scans and blood samples he had only just taken (much to Ianto's displeasure at the time). "It is him alright, as if the features weren't already a dead give away. From what I can tell he is approximately a year and a few months...But from what I can gather his scans show no sign if it is a temporary condition or not. We-..we are just going to have to wait for Tosh's results." He explained, seeming strangely subdued, even for the seriousness of the situation.
The room was absolutely silent for a few moments as everyone digested the information. Silent that is until Ianto twisted in Gwens grip, his little face solemn as he spat out a piece of Gwen's black hair. "Mmmbah." He commented seriously, his little brow furrowing before he turned back to Gwen, trying to reach the corner of her jacket collar with his tiny fingers.
Jack maintained a straight face for all of about thirty seconds before he started laughing. He just couldn't help himself. The situation was just so...soo fucking ridiculous. Terrible, but still ridiculous. Some idiotic alien device, likely some species idea of a elaborate practical joke, had turned his lover into a toddler... It was most definitely not funny..and yet at the same time it was absolutely bloody hysterical.
And the others couldn't help but join in, as seconds after he had started, leaning against the bed for support as he wiped away tears of laugher, Ianto's face spread into a gummy little grin and he had started giggling, giggling, his little legs wind milling in Gwen's grip. And he dared even the most cold hearted bastard not to break into stomach aching laughter after that.
Ten minutes and several boxes of tissues later...
Tosh had finished her quick examination of the 'wand', which it had been temporally named with no one really wanting to take a stab at naming the damn thing, feeling that it just wasn't the same without Ianto coming up with a clever name.
Ianto was back on the bed again, with Gwen inconspicuously attempting to get baby spit out of her hair with a few of the remaining tissues. Tosh was just about to start debriefing them when Ianto appeared to have finally discovered his toes, and everyone was momentarily distracted as he began pumping his little legs in the air making excited gurgling noises as he tried to bend himself enough to stick his feet into his mouth.
Gwen and Tosh predictably made twin exclamations of "awww" as Tosh reached down and playfully captured one of his wayward toes, eliciting an excited coo out of Ianto as he released the one toe he had managed to capture in his mouth with a wet pop, to giggle up at Tosh, fingers waving up at them.
She looked up flushing guiltily as they all stared at her. "Sorry." She muttered bushing an attractive shade of pink. "He is just pretty cute though.." She finished, as he gave her an understanding wink.
It wasn't until Owen offered the little dude his finger to grasp, and scooped him up into the cradle of his arms, a smile threatening to break out on his face as he absorbed their surprised glances, acted as if he regularly entertained babies on a daily basis, that they finally turned their attention back to the matter at hand, moving across the Hub to Tosh's station.
As it had turned out, Jack's errant thought had strangely been correct, because as far as Tosh could tell it did indeed seem to be either a age regression device gone wrong, or some sort of whacked practicular joke. And while he could appreciate the shock value and humour in the situation he was forced to wonder just what kind of messed up species thought transforming some one into a toddler was a hoot and a half.
The news wasn't all bad though it seemed as Tosh went on. "From what I can tell.." She continued, eyeing the now dormant green wand from it place in security box beside her. "That the effects are likely temporary."
"Likely?" He couldn't help but echo, raising an eyebrow at the petite Asian woman as she flashed him an apologetic smile, seeming to catch on to his worried gaze as he eyed where Ianto was sitting with Owen, batting lazily at the glasses that had been folded into the doctors shirt, babbling softly to himself through a thumb stuck loosely in his mouth.
"Sorry Jack, but I can't be much more precise then that. All I am going on at the CCTV footage and my own technical records here." She cautioned. "But from what I can gather here it is not a permanent condition. There wasn't enough energy in that beam to last for more then a couple of days at the most...from what I can gather the effects will wear off and we will have the old Ianto back." She finished, skimming through a review of the CCTV footage of the autopsy bay. Both of them going silent as they re-watched on the small grainy screen as Ianto pushed her away, the group of them collectively wincing as the yellow beam enveloped him, the blast of energy from the device throwing them all backwards as it kept Ianto encased in the yellow beam until it suddenly stuttered and died, and the mostly empty suit crumpled to the ground.
"He was really lucky." Owen commented finally, breaking the depressing silence that had come to hang over them, struggling to hold on to Little Ianto as he fussed, annoyance scrunching his little features as he babbled up at him. "That would have been me if he hadn't pushed me out of the way. Protecting me." Tosh replied as Owen thrusted the little terror into Gwen, wiping finger prints off his glasses, as he sent Tosh a tentative look, looking as though he wanted to say something but ending up staying silent.
"It is not your fault Tosh, Ianto knew what he was doing, and thus far it seems as thought there is be no lasting damage." He replied finally, adjusting his braces as he addressed the woman.
"Well, I am not sure about you guys, but I think this little man needs something to eat." Gwen commented bluntly as the little tot nuzzled frustratedly at her chest, clearly attempting to figure out the reason for the hold up. Clearing her throat with a chuckle as she held him away and laughed. "There is nothing there for you young man." She said mock sternly, eliciting a nervous laugh out of the rest of them.
And then, as Owen, Tosh, and Gwen all ran about, making noisy lists about what they would need, throwing around words like baby pabulum, and diapers as they plunked the tot in his empty arms and disappeared through the cog door, he found himself looking into the wide, baby blue eyes of 'Little Ianto' and for a mad moment his mind blanked out entirely.
And this is basically how his introspective thoughts began.
A few Introspective Thoughts later...
He finally forfeited the staring contest and leaned down to gently deposit the tyke on the medical bed, nestling him down in the middle of his abandoned suit jacket and trousers. "Oh Ianto." He muttered softly, running his fingers gently though the surprisingly thick, baby soft hair, sliding a thumb down his pink cheek.
"When I said I was bored, this wasn't exactly what I had in mind to spice things up." He commented with a sigh, momentarily surprised by the suddenly strength of the little fist that capture his finger, squeezing it strongly as he squirmed in place. "Easy love, I doubt you have the motor-control to sit up on your own just yet." He commented, unsure of why he was basically talking to himself. And he wondered for a few moments of the adult Ianto was actually anywhere in there...
He had only just turned away, wanting to get closer look at the blood chart Owen had half finished when he was brought up short by an indignant shriek. And upon turning back he was met by the toddlers accusing blue eyes, his face twisted in annoyance at his sudden departure. Raising his arms up at him insistently, making his desire firmly clear, and Jack couldn't help but smile a bit as he reached down and scooped him up into his arms, the little man making contented sounds as he pulled at his braces in curiosity.
And that was how the rest of the wait for the others went, him wandering aimlessly around the hub, Little Ianto planted firmly in his arms and he attempted to find ways of distracting the tot from his increasingly foul temper.
An Hour Later...
He very nearly praised every deity he could think of in thanks as the cog doors flashed and the others fairly skipped through, grinning down at the squalling infant in his arms and what he assumed was his own extremely put-upon expression.
Owen snatched up him up in mid-cry, eliciting a surprised hiccup out of the child as he plunked him down the bed. "Oy, little man!" He spoke seriously; you are about 5 minutes away from a nice warm bottle, but first things first..." He commented with an evil grin, holding up a pair of penguin decaled diapers and stripped him of the silk shirt with a flourish.
Ianto was not amused. But, at least he didn't fuss altogether too much when Owen had strapped him up into the diaper with the speed and precision of a pro, with Tosh hovering over his shoulder grasping a forest green baby jumper with feeties, a little troup of elephants tramping across the chest of the garment.
"What?" She asked defensively, getting rid of the tags as she rolled them up his flailing feet. "You should have seen what Owen wanted to get." She said with a sniff, giving Owen a dirty look as Gwen came around the corner with a warmed up bottle full of formula.
Owen took that moment to snap a few quick pictures with his cell. Grinning at them evilly as he stuffed it back into his pocket. "For the company photo album." He commented cheekily. Oh yes, Ianto was going to KILL him. He thought with a small grin, wondering at the same time how to get his own copies. There was certainly something to be said for a few nice pieces of blackmail.
Gwen scooped up the shocked infant a mere moment later, still looking slightly shell shocked from the camera flash. "Here you go luv'." She said, brushing the bottle across the Little Ianto's lips.
Eyes going wide with awareness, he focused in on the proffered bottle eagerly, gums gnashing as he took a tentative suckle, but immediately spat the nib out with a disgusted cry, turning his head away as she tired to entice him further.
"Too hot?" Tosh asked concernedly from her station. "No, couldn't be, I tested it." Gwen replied, stubbornly offering the bottle again. "Ach give it a minute, if he is hungry the little bugger will eventually eat." Owen commented unconcernedly as he flopped into his own chair, hands crossing to hold up his head. "Most babes that age are still breast feeding." He finished airily, choosing not to comment on Tosh and Gwen's slight blush.
Running out of patience with his teams confusion, he rocked backward on his feet for a moment in indecision, he could see the problem right away, having had more then his fair share of fussy babies in his many life times. Finally deciding that Ianto wouldn't want to wait till judgement day for his meal he took a step forward and grinned. "Give him here." He replied, waiting for Gwen to heave a frustrated sigh and handed him and the bottle over.
Adjusting the green clad jumble in his arms, he held him loosely, supporting the curve of his spine and angling the tot into his chest as he grasped the bottle around its end, letting Little Ianto's hands and feet curl up and around the warm sides until the babe himself was nearly supporting it. Only then did he nudge the nipple against the tot's cheek, and instinctually Ianto followed it, taking the nib of the bottle into his mouth and beginning to suckle with barely a sound of disagreement, his eyes drifting closed in bliss as his little fingers wrapped around the bottle's sides.
The sight was enough to tug on his own heart strings, and he ran a thumb against his tiny, smooth cheek, watching as those long eye lashes fluttered and his bright blue eyes latched onto his again, and for a moment he could think of nothing else. T
That gaze was all to familiar, the blissful, happy look Ianto would get as they lounged under the covers, as he took him in his arms, the one reserved for the moment after a heated, loving kiss or a pointed look..
When he looked up, the others were simply staring at them, their expressions nearly identical, and he couldn't help but shift uncomfortably under the weight of emotion he found there. It was Owen that finally saved him, his face morphing into a sly smile, "Previous experience?" He commented questioningly, seeming to understand what Jack needed, a way out of the moment.
And he smiled back, hefting Ianto more firmly in his arms as the tyke minutely adjusted the angle of the bottle with a move of his is feet. "More times then once." He replied, collecting himself finally. "There was this one time in 1871..."
A Few hours later...
Finally, when it appeared that Ianto wasn't about to change back anytime soon he had insisted the others head home, telling them to be on call for the rest of the night in case something happened, but generally wanting some time alone to think.
When he had finally ushered the girls out the door, and accepted a tentative eating schedule from Owen and a few barbs about changing diapers, he looked down at the curiously watching toddler in his arms. "I guess its you just you and me now eh love?" He commented with grin, eliciting a stream of happy if not slightly sleepy sounds from Ianto as he rubbed his face into his shirt, little hands fisting wrinkles into his blue shirt.
"I think thats the cue for bedtime young man." He replied with a smile as he hoisted the tyke up to lean on his shoulder as he headed to his office, carefully balancing Ianto in one hand as he lithely climbed down the ladder and into his room.
Settling him down in the middle of the bed, he smiled a bit as Ianto gave a huge, sleepy yawn, reaching over to capture one of his fingers as he settled down next to him, cuddling him into the curve of his hip as his eyes slowly closed and his breathing turned even and slow, his grip relaxing in sleep.
He looked down at him, snorting as he absorbed the irony of the situation, remembering a strangely similar moment only a day before when Ianto had fallen asleep just like that, letting him watch him sleep, his face just as perfect, and innocent as it was now.
Only that Ianto hadn't been wearing elephant feeties pyjamas and penguin diapers. He thought with a roll of his eyes.
Oh yes, some one, some where was most definitely laughing at him.
Three hours, and one diaper change later..
It had taken a few failed attempts but now he was somewhat confident in his ability to perform a diaper change. Owen had made it look so easy.. He thought as he buttoned up his now changed charge into a fresh jumper, this one a royal blue with cartoon giraffes frolicking across the tummy, as he spared a moment to mourn the death of cloth diapers. Now those things had been dead easy to do up. He thought back with a funny smile. Pausing a moment in indescion before finally shrugging as he flipped out his own phone and shot off a few quick pictures, figuring it would keep the others happy.
"Bluup! Buh. Bah!!" Little Ianto commented, kicking up his feet as reached down to tickle his belly a bit. The tyke seemed to have recently discovered that he could make a whole host of 'B' sounds at will. "That's right, you tell him." He commented idly swinging him up in a gentle loop as he squealed in glee.
Dumping him back on the bed, he realized after a few minutes that Ianto was definitely not going to go back to sleep anytime soon, apparently a powernap was actually meant literally in this case. Grinning in spite of himself he watched as Ianto wriggled and squirmed, attempting to gain some sort of traction to flip himself over. It was kind of like watching a flipped over beetle attempt to right itself, all flailing limbs and frustrated noises. Smiling he pulled up a chair to watch the show.
After a few failed attempts, Ianto seemed to surprise even himself when with one rocking movement he tipped over with a breathy "oof!" onto his stomach. Looking up he let loose a triumphant grin and a giggle when Jack laughed at the sight. The view was apparently much different at this angle and he spent a good deal of time just looking happily about him, fisting his tiny fingers in the plush duvet and he cooed his happyness.
And then, that's when he decided to crawl, which was coincidentally also the point where his life got THAT much harder.
4 hours, 2 diaper changes, 2 bottles, 3 botched crawling attempts, 1 nap, and 10 minutes of camcorder video, later...
The moment he heard the cog door alarm he scooped up a fussy Ianto in mid-crawl, who was attempting to make a bid for freedom across the edge of the bed. Again. Tosh was the first one in, and was lugging a battered box along behind her, a response to his near desperate text he had sent in the early hours of the morning.
"Oh my god, you are an angel." He praised, handing off Ianto to her open arms and taking the box from her. "No change then?" She commented with a wan smile, cooing down at the tyke in her arms as he smacked a pudgy little hand on her neck as he babbled excitedly up at her.
"Well like I said on the phone, not in the way we were hoping. Now he has just discovered how to crawl. You would think he had discovered one of the biggest secrets in the universe the way he was going on about it earlier." He commented with a grin, quickly unpacking the box. "Now, how does this thing set up.." He muttered, digging into the bottom of the box for the instruction manual.
By the time Owen and Gwen had arrived Ianto was bouncing around happily in what Tosh had labelled the 'Bouncy-chair" Simple, but it worked. Seriously though, it had to be the best invention known to mankind. With Ianto both secure and occupied as he bounced up and down happily, suspended in the nearest door way, able to see and hear everything, chattering along happily as he provided them with a play-by-play report of his glee at this new development.
The atmosphere of the Hub had changed, it wasn't just the fact that there was suddenly a baby in their midst, it was everyone else. Everyone smiled and laughed a bit more, even Owen was less snarky and bad tempered. Even he wasn't blind enough to notice that he himself smiled and laughed easier. Happier.
His mood could even be lessened even when Tosh came around with a peace offering, her coffee tasting like the gritty aftertaste of old coffee and something that smelled suspiciously like old shoes. Even then he could only daub at his streaming eyes as he laughed when he pictured the look horrified look that would have crossed Ianto's face if he had been the one to taste it.
But he would have been a liar, they all would have been. If they had said that the Hub wasn't missing something. Ianto was the guts of Torchwood, the one that kept them all going, the one that kept the whole organization running. And they all knew it.
He was their silent, soothing presence, the force of reason and conscience, their friend and caretaker, his lover and their everything. His everything. And they missed him. He missed him.
5 hours, 30 new blackmail pictures, 4 diaper changes, One apple sauce incident, and One serious case of baby drool later...
Tosh was deep in examination of the device again, looking for any new clue...anything. Everyone was feeling the strain and the hours ticked slowly passed. In fact the only one that seemed to be anything but concerned was the little tot himself.
The tyke in question was currently playing unconcernedly with his hair, having grown bored with playing with his braces. His little fists clenching tightly at his fringe, yanking lightly before poking curiously at his ear, having abandoned the bottle he had proffered, seeming to find everything about him to be much more interesting then something as mundane and vanilla as baby formula.
"'Choo!" He demanded, poking at his nose with a determined finger. "'Choo?" He mimicked back, looking towards Gwen questioningly for support. "'CHOO!" He confirmed stubbornly, clearly waiting for something monumentous to occur. Looking about wearily, he offered the bottle again, only to be rebuked by another annoyed: "'Choo!".
Sighing deeply he bent down, releasing the tyke onto a vast sea of cushy blankets they had set up in between Tosh and Owen station. The action apparently met with Ianto's approval as he remained there, wind milling his hands and feet about happily as Gwen wriggled her fingers down at him.
Walking over to Tosh's station he looked over his shoulder at the computer read outs. "Any progress?" He asked hopefully.
"Well.." Tosh began, pushing her glasses up her nose firmly, blinking as she emerged from the technical jumble of charts and physic calculations she had been deeply immersed in. "Now more then ever I am convinced that it is only a matter of time before his cells return to normal, the beam, even in perfect working order, wouldn't have be able to hold enough charge to make the regression permanent, or have him regress any further.. It is just a matter of time.." She affirmed with a confident smile, looking more sure about the whole situation when she had looked since the whole fiasco had began. "I only wish I could give you a better idea of when." She finished, looking up at him contemplatively.
"It's okay Tosh, this is the best news we could hope for really. Go get a coffee or something eh love?" He said with a smile, resting a comforting hand on her shoulder.
"Oi! Not so fast little man!" Owen barked, nearly pouncing on Ianto as he managed to crawl right off the edge of the blanket barrier, his unsteady elephant-like sway leading him to waver dangerously close to the closest set of stairs.
"Seriously, you need a bloody bell or something." The doctor grumbled as everyone grinned, Ianto giggling happily as Owen gripped him by the armpits and plunked him down in the bouncy-seat.
"'Choo!" 'Choo!" Little Ianto commented with glee, wapping the metal poles on the side of his bouncy chair with a little spoon he had somehow mysteriously acquired.
"Well...now that thats cleared up." He muttered with a grin, running a tired hand through his hair as Ianto continued to chant what was rapidly becoming his signature word. Mystery of Ianto and the 'Choo solved. God help them all.
3 hours, 2 feedings, and One discovery of the joys of the Beetles and Baby singing later...
It seemed like everyone was on tender hooks for the moment. Whenever Ianto lapsed into even a moment of silence everyone's eyes would dart over to him, half expecting to see...well excately what they weren't really sure..a beam of yellow right? A sudden change? A slow drawn out rewind of the age regression? Even Tosh couldn't tell them exactly what to expect. Bugger, but the suspense was going to kill him.
They were all eating Chinese take away, watching Ianto sway slowly in his bouncy-chair, absolutely dead to the world and sleeping with his mouth open, sweet and sour sauce smeared across his cheeks, a few limp noodles still clutched in grimy fist. Something in which he had actually inexplicably done to himself as he had dug a quick fist into Owen's chow mien noodles and sweet and sour pork before anyone could stop him. Owen had been less then amused.
"He's going to need a bath." Gwen commented with a grin, swallowing a sip of green tea as she speared a piece of battered shrimp with her chop stick. And he could have groaned when everyone looked over at him, grinning pointedly. Wankers.
Thirty Minutes, and one soaked shirt and pair of pants later
To say that Ianto had enjoyed his bath would have been a gross understatement. In fact, he had loved his bath so much that he had decided to share it with him. So, when he tromped out in naught but his soaked trousers, wet braces hanging limply at his sides as his hair dripped past the towel around his neck, Ianto in hand wearing nothing but a diaper and a brilliant smile, well then turn about was fair play.
He deposited Little Ianto in Gwen's arms as he went to change, studiously attempting to ignore the little tot's indignant squawk, and the unhappy noises he uttered as he pointedly reached out for him again over her shoulder.
His room seemed suddenly all to empty and silent with out him, no baby noises, no tiny fists and little grins. He shook his head at himself as he towel-dried his hair, listening to the faint, but still audible unhappy cries that floated through his office and down into his room.
As he pulled on a fresh shirt, unpeeling his soaking pants from his thighs, he sat down on the edge of the bed, the sudden movement releasing the smell of his lover from the sheets and pillows. And for a few moments he could only sit there, breathing it in, filling his nostrils with the scent of the man, the subtle scent of aftershave and shoe polish, the barest hint of freshly ground coffee beans, and the intimately musky scent of the man himself, an achingly erotic and familiar smell. A comforting smell. Not the smell of soft baby skin or formula. But of Ianto...
A few memories later...
When he finally emerged from his room, and strolled down into the Hub, hands deep in his pockets he found Tosh and Gwen giggling over a bunch of the photos Tosh had evidentially uploaded. "Where is Ianto?" He questioned, peeling his eyes away from the screen where Ianto was yarding on Owen stethoscope determinedly as the doctor attempted to disengage him, taking in the empty bouncer and abandoned blankets.
"Owen's got 'em, said something about a check up." Gwen replied, snorting in laughter as Tosh choked on her tea as a picture of him half naked, with an equally dripping Ianto tucked under one arm flashed onto the screen. Huh, never even saw the camera that time. They are getting good. He thought with a half smile. "As you were ladies!" He called over his shoulder as they both dissolved into helpless giggles again.
He stopped at the top of the bay stairs, leaning against the cool tile, fingers threading idly between his braces as he watched Owen work.
"Eh, stop that." The doctor muttered with a half smile as Ianto's small hands patted at his face as he leaned down to peer into his ears with a small pen light. "Your a little terror you are, you know that?" Owen continued in response to Ianto's happy burble. "You know, as 'cacked as I am for saying it, but I actually miss the big you." He stage whispered, breathing on the stethoscope to warm the cool metal before he pressed it gently against Ianto's naked chest. "But don't tell anyone eh?" He continued with a conspiring grin as he finished up, tickling the tyke on is belly as he quickly buttoned up his jumper, (the green one this time).
He was about to make a quick step in and announce his entrance, not wanting to have Owen discover him having been there and eavesdropping the whole time when Ianto wriggled to his side and spotted him. Squealing happily he nearly crawled right off the bench, Owen catching him just in time, tucking him into the curve of his shoulder as he looked up in startlement.
"Mmmbah! Bu...Buh....'ack!" Ianto commented happily, patting the doctor on the nose as he looked from Owen to Jack, nearly bouncing in the doctor's arms. "Yep, thats 'ack." Owen commented with a bit of a laughing bluster, as he obviously attempted to figure out just how long Jack had been standing there.
After a few long moments he took pity on him and came down the stairs, standing by the bed. "You're good with him. A lot better then I am." He complimented sincerely. "Kids suit you." He finished, taking the reaching tot into his arms just as Ianto started chanting: "'ack! 'ack!" in a vaguely sing-song voice.
Owen was silent for all long moment, taking off his glasses and setting his stethoscope back on a medical tray. "Well.." He started, hesitantly, softly. "Katie had a niece, just a tiny bird at the time. But we were all close, you know?" He finished, seeming to want to explain. But Jack did know. And he gave Owen smile and a hand on his shoulder before he left the man to his own thoughts and memories, Ianto waving happily at him over his shoulder as they climbed the stairs back into the main hub.
Two hours, and one near silent Hub later..
With the Hub finally empty and silent save for the two of them, he finally had a few moments to himself; even Myfanway was off making herself scarce. He figured she was starting pining over Ianto as she hadn't been very polite to him this morning over breakfast. Internally he knew how she felt.
Earlier he had surprised himself by toting Ianto across the Hub, and digging through Ianto's locker and finding an impectably neat, spare suit he had folded into what looked like one of those fancy clothing cases that prevented wrinkles. Only Ianto, he thought with a fond smile as he threw the bag over his shoulder and placed it on his dresser, just in case. He told himself sternley.
When in truth, having it there made it seem almost as though Ianto could stroll in at any moment, the change of clothes providing something much more permanent and telling then any amount of Tosh's caluclations could ever reassure him of. It was only a matter of time..Time.
Feeling oddly restless, he walked around the Hub, loosely holding the bottle for Ianto, watching him as he took the last few sleepy sips, clearly sated and exhausted as he blinked sleepily up at him, his long eye lashes framing his bright blue eyes and pale cheeks.
Letting him grasp his finger when he was done, he climbed nimbly down the ladder and into his room. Flopping down gently on the bed, he let Ianto cling loosely to his chest, looking like some sleepy bug attached to his shirt. "Mmbahhh." He offered sleepily, looking up and resting his chin against his collarbone, one little hand still tightly wrapped around his finger. "You said it squirt." He replied generously, letting his own eyes close tiredly as he listened to the sound of Ianto's breathing, letting it lull him into sleep as well.
Come on Ianto. Come on back to me. We need you...I need you. He admitted, finding it to one of the hardest things he had ever had to admit, feeling uncomfortabley exposed by the admission before he felt sleep begin to claim him, almost welcoming the encompassing darkness that it brought.
Besides, we are running out of diapers. He thought with a snort, the movement making Ianto snuffled a bit as he bit it his lip trying not to chuckle and disturb him further, because if that wasn't incentive to come back then he didn't know what was.
Sometime in the early hours of the morning...
He woke up suddenly from his light doze, confused for a moment at what had woken him. It took him a moment to register the shimmering gold glow that pulsed slowly atop him. Ianto. Ianto!
Staying stock still he watched with wide eyes as Little Ianto was enveloped in the warm glow, his little thumb stuck loosely in his mouth as he slept on peacefully, the brightness growing in intensity until he could no longer see his little form, until he could see nothing but the searing gold light, the color and brightness burning into his retinas in harsh yellow shimmer.
And then, suddenly, as abruptly as it had all began, the light light pulsed to a halt, growing faintly for a moment, before without warning it winked out of existence entirely, and the harsh sounds of tearing cloth echoed about his room, Ianto's deadweight slumping fully atop him.
Weight. Adult weight...Ianto! It all occurred to him in an adrenaline packed rush as he looked up at him. There he was, butt-naked and glorious, sprawled across him in all his adult glory. The same Ianto smell, the same Ianto face, the same button nose, long lashes, strong limbs and lean back. His face pushed into the crook of his armpit, soft lips dragging across his cloth covered chest, one large hand still curled loosely around his index finger. His. Ianto.
A few ageless moments later his young lover stirred, eyes fluttering open a fraction as he took in Jack's face, his blue eyes tired and confused. "Mmmm, Jack..Jack?" He questioned sleepily, plucking slightly at where Jack's braces had to be cutting into at least a few uncomfortable places. "Jack..whats going on? Wha-whats happened? I just had the strangest feeling..What- "
Smiling, and breathing out the happiest sound he had make since two days previous, he took Ianto's face in his hands and kissed him, letting his lips brush his forehead gently before giving him a passionate kiss on the lips, waiting a few long seconds before Ianto recovered enough to return it, his tongue licking his way past Jack's own lips, reminding Jack just how big the void had been without him.
Resting his head against Ianto's cheek as he rolled them over onto their sides, letting one hand curl protectively over his waist, and the other trailing a hand through his mussed up hair, pressing soft kisses into the nape of his neck as he murmured softly. "God I missed you."
A few deliciously boring days later..
He returned from the showers surprised, but quite pleased to find Ianto still sleeping in their bed. Splayed out on his stomach across the entire matteress, looking for all the word like some sort of amputee octopus. His usually neat hair spiked into random sleep-formed tuffets, the comforter riding down enticingly, and rather deliciously low across his hips, his face smashed into the small space between their pillows as he snored lightly.
The whole fiasco had taken a lot out of him, and much to his lovers displeasure he had found himself restricted to lighter duties after Owen had found him swaying unsteadily on his feet at the coffee station the afternoon after his return to adulthood.
Letting his towel drop to the floor he climbed back into bed, gratified when Ianto snuggled in closer before tensing and cracking an eye open at him. "You're wet." He muttered softly, digging his head into the pillow to try and escape a few fat drops that had trickled off his sopping hair, dropping onto the half-sleeping man below.
"Think of it as revenge for the bath you ended up giving me when I had to bathe you." He shot back easily, grinning evilly before he swooped down and rubbed his wet, and already mussed up hair all over Ianto's warm back, laughing at the indignantly surprised yelp and the wrestling tussle that followed shortly after.
Those first few days after Ianto had returned to full adulthood had been days that rated near the very top of the funniest days of his entire long life as his team pulled out all the stops and regaled Ianto with a play-by-play of all his antics. Teasing the young man till his cheeks blushed nearly the same shade as his favourite magenta tie, until he to was laughing himself to tears along with the rest of them, watching the choicest clips from the CCTV footage with a goofy grin and good humour.
The kicker of course came when they gleefully presented him with a gift, all of them nearly vibrating right off their seats in excitement as they all sat down together for coffee the previous afternoon, watching with barely contained antispiation as he slowly pulled off the last piece of tape and revealed...
.......A Baby Book, the title crossed out to read: "Ianto's Second Baby Book".
Everyone kept a straight face for all of fifteen seconds before they burst out laughing, Ianto smiling as he turned the cover open and pursued the photographed pages, reading everyone's quick scribbles aloud as they had jotted down their own memories and observations in the allotted spaces. The entire lot of the them dissovling into gut-wrenching laughter as each photo was revealed.
It was a fantastic idea really, the photos went in chronological order ranging from the first snap shot Owen had taken in the autopsy bay as Tosh squeezed a pudgy motion-blurred leg into the green jumper. Moving on to show a rare snap-shot of Owen, Gwen, Tosh and Ianto all crowded around the bouncy chair grinning, to him and Ianto, both half naked and dripping wet from Ianto's first (and thankfully only) bath. The photos then continued on to the cuter, more peaceful shots of Ianto sleeping, on the bed, in Tosh's arms, in Jacks arms, in Gwens, and even Owens.
He had even contributed his share, providing them with a few of the remaining scraps of the shredded green elephant jumper and his other, non-crushed post-it note novella to stuff into the cheesy 'memories' envelop attached to the inside of the books back cover.
But shenanigans aside, he had certainly learned his lesson he thought with a grin, observing his lover and his team laughing and joking with one another.
He had learned that boredom was a gift in Cardiff, and anyone who thought differently was certainly a 'cackin wanker for jinxing them all!