This is what happens after COE when my friend and I are hyperactive and plot ways to bring Ianto back.
Warnings: it makes absolutely no sense at all. Do not take it seriously. Plus it's a bit of a Gwen-bash. But not the worst I've ever seen!
Excuse the rubbishness too. I started to write it straight away and then stopped. Half a year later I started again, but without the hyper enthusiasm. You can probably tell. Hope it isn't too bad!
Read and review!!
"It's a beautiful baby boy!"
Gwen's face was contorted with pain but she managed to open her eyes to peer down at the gooey, bloody mess that was the miracle of birth. She blinked and looked to Rhys, whose face was also screwed up with the pain of her nails digging into his hand. However, the look disappeared when he too viewed their newborn child and his expression melted to awe.
"Rhys," Gwen said sharply. "Is it supposed to look like that? It looks a bit…"
Rhys frowned. "Well, he'll be fine once he's cleaned up, won't he?"
"Some parents are a little shocked," the nurse assured Gwen.
Still, Gwen didn't think that any miracle should look that twisted. She tilted her head, to try to look at the new baby from a different angle, but it still looked grotesque. Babies did not look like that in cute little clothing catalogues or nobody would dare have them! She turned her head to Rhys and whispered, "Are you sure? I mean, with my line of work… What if something is wrong?"
"Gwen," Rhys said, his tone indicating that he was rapidly losing patience. "It's perfectly normal!"
Gwen persisted, raising her voice a little. "But what if some alien tech…"
Rhys drew in a sharp breath. "Ssh! Someone might hear you. I know you lot were never particularly subtle with big gleaming Torchwood vehicles and the like, but still…"
Eventually the baby was taken away to be cleaned up and Rhys added, "Well at least he finally came out. I thought he'd never show his face. Must have liked it a lot in there to be this late, eh?"
The baby lay in Gwen's arms as she half-sat, propped up by pillows, on the hospital bed. Now cleaned, Gwen could finally see the appeal of babies. It was adorable. Rhys perched on a chair next to her and concentrated all of his attention on the new baby, waggling a finger in its face. It looked at the finger for a moment and then yawned and went back to sleep. Rhys turned away and began to rummage through some of the gifts they had received, eventually coming up with a pack of balloons.
"We should call him Jack," Gwen said abruptly.
The balloon that Rhys had been blowing up went whizzing across the room.
"I mean," Gwen said quickly, "to honour his name. He saved us all and now he's gone…"
Rhys seemed to be incapable of speech as his face grew redder and redder.
"Someone should remember him," Gwen continued.
"He's not dead!" Rhys exclaimed finally.
"Well, yes," Gwen said.
"There's not a pressing need to honour his name when he's still alive."
"But he's not here," Gwen said, exasperated.
"It's not the same!"
Gwen's lip quivered.
"I can't believe you," Rhys continued blithely, growing louder and louder in his indignation. "I put up with the touching goodbye speech but this is a step too far…"
"Rhys!" Gwen shrieked. "Quiet! You'll wake the baby!"
At the sound of Gwen's voice, the baby awoke again, peering at its surroundings. It seemed to see nothing of interest and dropped back to sleep again. Meanwhile, above it, tears were pooling in Gwen's eyes and Rhys rushed to apologise.
"Look, sorry, love," Rhys said, "but I just don't feel comfortable calling the baby Jack. I mean, do we really want a child to grow up with that hanging over his head?"
Gwen finally stopped tearing up and cracked a smile. Yes, the legend of Captain Jack Harkness would be a lot to live up to.
"Besides, what about Ianto?" Rhys continued. "He actually is dead. Plus, at least he had a nice Welsh name."
Gwen thought about it and then her large brown eyes widened to almost epic proportions. She looked back at Rhys and smiled. "Jack would like us to honour Ianto," she said.
"Well, I didn't mean, er," Rhys stuttered. "I mean, would his sister mind…? We haven't really spoken to her since the funeral and she didn't seem too happy… I mean, obviously not happy, but you know…" He trailed off, deciding he didn't need to dig his hole any further.
"No, Ianto is perfect," Gwen chirped, smoothing her hand over the baby's soft head.
Rhys sighed and gave in.
"He has beautiful blue eyes," Lois commented.
Lois had been holding the infant while Gwen made snappy orders down the phone to building crew, who had been rebuilding the hub after the explosion. At first they had considered moving Torchwood but, since Torchwood's underground network was extensive and much of it had remained undamaged. Retcon would be needed by the bucket load but, in the end, than there was little choice: the hub had been in an important strategic position.
Gwen finally hung up the phone and Lois could finally give her some of the other pressing news.
"They finally caught the man who disabled Torchwood's security networks," Lois told her. "Unfortunately UNIT offered him a job first."
Well that spoilt that idea, Gwen sighed. To disable Tosh's security was really something.
"And apparently part of the problem was someone downloading games onto the network," Lois said. "I don't understand how but he slipped in through them."
Oops, Gwen thought.
Brushing aside how her boredom during work hours seemed to have caused the infiltration of the Torchwood network, the killing of Rupesh, the destruction of the hub, and Jack's unfortunate death by concrete, Gwen attempted to move Lois onto the next subject. Later she couldn't help but justify herself. Some days, when the Rift was quiet, there hadn't been a lot to do. Paperwork was so dull and, really, Ianto had been her enabler, because he seemed physically unable to leave reports lying about unfinished. While avoiding paperwork, what else had there been to do?
Lois didn't seem to be able to avoid the topic though, and added, "You'd think members of a top secret organisation would know better."
Baby Ianto let out a sharp cry, however, as Gwen tried to take him back, and this sufficiently distracted Lois to finally start talking about expenditure reports. It all whizzed over Gwen's head. She was so glad she had Lois to help her organise things. She was so chronically neat and helped Gwen get everywhere on time. How had Torchwood ever functioned without her?
She looked down at baby Ianto and could have sworn he was scowling.
"He doesn't talk very much, does he?" Rhys said to Gwen one night as they were curled up on the sofa watching old reruns. "Bit of a surprise considering his parents."
He laughed to himself. Gwen smiled tolerantly.
Ianto, now happily toddling about, was playing across the room with some plastic toys that Martha had bought him for his birthday.
"He loves that Pterodactyl though," Gwen said.
Ianto looked up. "Pteranodon," he said clearly.
"Smart boy!" Rhys puffed up his chest in pride. "Martha did mention that to me… Must have told him too."
Pteranodon, Pterodactyl, it was all the same to Gwen. They were big flying dinosaurs. What else did she need to know?
"You told him he could get any toy in Toys'R'Us and he got a stopwatch?"
Rhys shrugged his broad shoulders. "It's what he wanted…"
Gwen peered around the doorframe into the living room. Ianto was happily timing some wind up toys as they raced across the carpet.
"Right," she said, a little bemused. "Well, if he's happy…"
"Mummy," Ianto said seriously, looking up at her with a stern face. "We're going to be late."
Gwen's hair had frizzed into a wild bird's nest, a button on her blouse had popped off, and she only had one shoe. She hopped madly around the house trying to find the other one while Ianto sat quietly in the kitchen: his polo shirt immaculate, his trainers unscuffed, and his jeans free from rumples. A neatly packed lunchbox – made because of his insistence the night before – was perched on his lap.
"Mummy will just be a minute," Gwen called, skidding to a halt in front of the long hallway mirror to rake a hand through her hair. Rats. She checked her watch. They were going to be late. However, to Ianto, she said, "Don't worry, it'll be fine. They won't mind."
"I'll mind," Ianto told her. "It's my first day."
"It's only Nursery School!"
Ianto didn't dignify that with a response. He checked the stopwatch he'd started earlier in the morning and narrowed his eyes. They were even later than he'd originally hoped.
"Hwyel," he told his plastic Pteranodon seriously. "She's hopeless."
Thankfully for poor Ianto, who took timekeeping very seriously, Gwen's hours at Torchwood were so inconsistent due to the temperamental Rift, that Rhys adjusted his working hours slightly so he could drop Ianto to Nursery School every morning and, when Ianto was old enough, to Primary School, where Ianto wore neatly ironed grey trousers, a white shirt, a striped tie, and a heavy blue blazer. They were kept so tidy thanks to the efforts of Rhys – under the instruction of the young Ianto – and Lois, who was always willing to drop the blazer off at the dry cleaning after she'd tracked down a few stray Weevils.
"Ianto's just gone off to school and you want another one?" Gwen half-shrieked. "Rhys, you know my work…"
Rhys bellowed back, "Exactly! Ianto's fine! He's not been abducted by bloody aliens, has he?"
"But what about the pregnancy?! I can't afford to take time off work when there's a world to save right now!"
"There's always a world to save!" Rhys retorted. "Besides, you don't have to do it on your own! You have plenty of help!"
The sound of Gwen stomping up the stairs came next as she yelled obscenities. Rhys, with even heavier footsteps, followed closely behind.
"Look," Gwen said in the hallway, quieter now. "It's a dangerous job. It was a miracle I didn't miscarry with Ianto. I thought I had at one point."
"Gwen," Rhys said gently.
The conversation turned to low voices and indistinguishable whispers.
"I'm tired," Gwen said. "I've been up all day with that new UNIT boy translating that weird green alien transmission. Can we talk about this another time?"
Rhys must have acquiesced because there was a kissing sound before they moved into their bedroom. In his own room, Ianto sat up, moving from the position where his ear was pressed to the door, and clicked off his stopwatch. That had been one of the shortest arguments yet, but it probably wasn't over.
The argument was over several weeks later when a rabid alien dog, chucked out of the Rift on the outskirts of Cardiff in a pack of four, followed Gwen's scent home after she and their new military men dispatched of its friends. They found the babysitter with her throat torn out and Ianto tucked trembling inside a kitchen cabinet with a bread knife clutched in his tiny hand.
"Your Dad got some more apple juice then?"
Six year old Ianto had walked into the living room with his small hands wrapped around a large, white mug. Normally Ianto liked his apple juice in glasses, so it was a bid odd, but perhaps Gwen hadn't got around to putting the dishwasher on.
But Ianto shook his head at her words.
"What is it then?" Gwen asked.
Ianto didn't reply. He took another sip.
"Gwen, did you move my coffee?" Rhys asked, walking into the room holding a plank of wood and a screwdriver. "Just went to look for some milk and it was gone."
Gwen shook her head. Rhys frowned. Ianto sipped. They both looked at his innocent face.
Ianto received a long lecture about hot liquids, burns, and stunted growth.
"You need a contingency plan," Ianto told Gwen one day.
Gwen tried to ignore the fact that her six-and-a-half year old son knew the word contingency and instead focused on what he was actually saying.
"Huh?" was her intelligent response.
"It's like the egg metaphor," Ianto said, turning his serious face up to look at her.
"Don't put all your eggs in one basket?" Gwen queried.
"Exactly." Ianto said.
She still didn't have a clue what he was talking about but this wasn't uncommon.
"Mum," he said slowly, "back-up plans for Torchwood. What if it blows up again?"
Gwen would have to yell at Rhys for telling Ianto explosion stories – no matter how much he always claimed it wasn't him – just as soon as she got on the phone to Lois to ask about contingency plans…
Despite his heightened vocabulary and almost grown-up behaviour, Ianto was quite average at school, according to his teachers. Competent but nothing special.
Ianto had been in the hub on a few occasions since he was born, but Rhys didn't like him visiting and being put in danger, so they weren't regular occurrences. It was a stroke of luck then that Ianto was in the hub fiddling with Lois's old personal organiser – he'd asked her for it very politely when she received a new one and she had gladly given it to him after she had wiped its memory – when the TARDIS arrived to refuel outside. Ianto looked up at the security cameras and saw the blue police box and thought it very odd that nobody else had mentioned its sudden appearance. He dragged his mother to the screen to point it out, but she frowned and looked perplexed. Charles, their ex-military, gun-toting back-up, was equally confused.
It wasn't until Martha came upstairs from the medical lab that someone finally paid attention to him.
"It's the Doctor!" Martha gasped, throwing her equipment down. She ran for the stairs.
It took Gwen a moment to catch on and then she followed. Ianto and Charles watched the screen and saw two men and a young woman stepping out. Ianto found himself extremely bored as Martha went to greet the 'Doctor' and his two companions. He did have his toy dinosaur to entertain him but he soon pattered into the kitchenette, dragging over a stool so he could fiddle with the coffee maker.
The alarms flashed red as Martha re-entered the hub, the travellers from the blue police box in tow. Ianto heard her saying, "It's a shame Gwen's not here. She'd have loved to see you."
There were low murmurings, too far away for Ianto to be able to hear, but he did catch a few words.
"Baby was fine... called it Ianto... in there actually..."
A tall man with a long, blue, military coat wandered into the kitchen at the same time as Ianto succeeded operating the coffee machine. He turned around on his stool and smiled at the newcomer, offering the mug. "Coffee, sir?"
The man choked.
Gwen was distraught she had missed the Doctor refuelling the Tardis at the Rift, though this seemed to have more to do with a certain Captain Jack more than anything else. Rhys tried to be sympathetic, but eventually he tired of it.
"Honestly," he snapped. "You'd think you were married to him!"
"It's like you had an epic romance with him," Rhys continued, scowling. Then, only half-serious, he said mockingly, "Was it just him you had an affair with?"
Gwen burst into tears. "You've known me for ten years and you think I'd have an affair?! How could you?!"
Rhys was immediately all apologises, hugging her and kissing the top of her head.
It wasn't difficult to see that young Ianto looked nothing like Gwen or Rhys.
"You had an affair with that Welsh bloke, didn't you?" Rhys joked one day as they cooked side by side in the kitchen. Gwen was chopping the onions and Rhys was peeling the potatoes.
"No," Gwen said absently, "it was Owen and he wasn't Welsh."
Rhys's draw dropped and he turned, in slow motion, to gape at his wife.
Gwen's dark eyes were shifty. Oops. She coughed. "I fear I've said too much..."
Retcon it was then.
"You like to clean," Gwen commented. "Don't you, pet?"
Ianto flinched, as he did every time his mother called him by that particular nickname. "I don't like it," he said slowly, "I just have to."
Gwen frowned. She didn't understand.
Ianto threw his arms up in the air. "You're so messy!"
"What in–" Rhys caught sight of Ianto and immediately censored himself "–on earth is this?"
"Alien tech," Gwen mumbled. "I couldn't figure it out so I brought it back here..."
Rhys's face was so red that Ianto actually feared his father might explode.
"You brought it here! Not knowing what is was?! Near Ianto!"
"It's fine," Gwen assured him, "it's perfectly harmless." She picked up the contraption, which resembled a late-twentieth century portable open-reel tape recorder, but with only one spool. "See!" The device suddenly started to whir, the circular part beginning to spin. Gwen frowned. "Well it's never done that before."
"GWEN!" Rhys roared, scooping Ianto up and throwing him over his shoulder. "We're leaving until you get that thing out of here."
He stormed into the hall.
"It's fine," Ianto told him. "It's just a temporal anomaly-detecting device."
Rhys didn't stop, grabbing his and Ianto's shoes from the cupboard, but Gwen ran into the hall at his words.
"What?" she asked.
"There are parts like it in the hub," Ianto explained. "It detects residual artron energy from beings who have travelled in the Time Vortex. It's perfectly harmless. Unless you're an egg."
There was a small exploding noise from the kitchen.
Ianto smiled. "See."
Ianto trailed his dinosaur up and down the table in the medical bay. "Are we done yet?"
He was in the hub, waiting for Martha to finish her tests. Finally Gwen and Rhys had decided that they couldn't deny it any longer: their child was definitely, er, abnormal, and they needed to decide whether it was from alien influence and whether it was dangerous. Martha had obliged, taking blood work from the young boy and performing all sorts of other tests.
"Well," she said finally. "You'll be happy to know he's one hundred percent human."
Gwen clutched Rhys's arm in relief.
"But," Martha said, before hesitating.
Gwen and Rhys both drooped, concern filling their faces again.
"Well, I checked it five times. There's no denying it." Martha glanced over at Ianto anxiously before speaking again. "Well, biologically, he's not yours."
"What?!" Rhys yelled.
"Either of yours," Martha amended.
Now both were stumped.
"In fact, biologically, he's Ianto."
The stunned looks on Rhys and Gwen's faces were exactly how Martha had felt performing the tests. It was impossible, except with outside, alien influence.
Rhys croaked. "I think I need to sit down."
"I don't see why you're all so shocked," Ianto said, with a long-suffering sigh. "How else would I know all these things about the hub?"
Gwen looked like she might faint at any second. "You mean, you knew?" she said, her voice hushed.
Gwen had to sit down next to Rhys before her legs gave in on her. She stared at Ianto, her eyes bugging out of her head as she attempted to comprehend the situation.
"Those eyes really remind me of cows," Ianto said suddenly. He leapt off the table. "I'm going to play." He ran up the stairs and disappeared from sight.
"Ah, yes," Martha said. "Well, he's still in the body of the child, with the mind of a child, so he still reacts like one. I'm not sure exactly how much he remembers, but probably not everything."
Gwen spluttered. "But... how... How did this happen?"
Rhys was trying to adjust to the fact that his son was Ianto and, while he wasn't doing that well, at least he was better than Gwen, who couldn't seem to stay in the same room as him for five minutes.
"So why did you call your dinosaur Hwyel?" Rhys asked, making a stab at conversation as they sat in the living room of their house, waiting as the TV program took an advert break. "I thought there was one called... er... Myfanwy?"
"Dad," Ianto said patronisingly, as the answer was obvious. "Myfanwy was a girl." He waved his dinosaur. "Hwyel is a boy!"
"Well," the Doctor said, peering at the young Ianto in curiosity. "It could be that some alien tech transferred the DNA to you, Gwen, or that he was switched at birth with some other woman who had the same happen."
"But Ianto was dead. Away from alien tech," Gwen said, running her hands through her dark hair. "This doesn't make any sense!"
The Doctor cheerfully ignored her and continued his theories. "Perhaps Ianto was a Time Lord, who put himself in human form, and then returned himself later."
"I have the med scans," Martha said, waving several sheets of paper. "He was definitely not a Time Lord."
"Or Bad Wolf," the Doctor mused. "We can always blame Bad Wolf... Or Jack kissing Ianto, kissing Gwen on the forehead... Who knows what Rose did to him?"
"This makes no sense!" Gwen wailed.
"Oh, I don't know," the Doctor finally snapped. "Why don't you explain it then? This is a poorly contrived plot and at least I'm attempting to keep it canon!"
"Ianto," Jack breathed. "I can't believe it..."
Captain Jack Harkness faced a stern faced ten year-old in disbelief.
"Oi," Gwen said, marching over. "Now, don't get any ideas! He's still my son and he's ten, so, y'know," she lowered her voice to a whisper, "keep it in your pants."
Jack gave Gwen a disturbed look. "Gwen, there are depths even I won't sink to."
"Well," Gwen spluttered, lost after her righteous, angry rant was knocked down. "Well... I'll just be over there then." She hurried off.
Once they were alone again, Jack turned back to Ianto. "I'm so sorry. About everything."
He looked like he might cry.
"It's OK," Ianto said matter-of-factly. "I'm alive now, and I can remember most of my life. Admittedly, some stuff still doesn't make sense about stuff just before I died, but I'm sure it can be explained."
"I still don't know why I went with you to that place when we all knew what they could do, or why I tried to shoot the glass instead of opening the door to it to release its atmosphere... Or why people called it a virus, not a gas, because viruses don't kill that quickly..." Ianto quirked a small smile. "I mean, I don't even know why Mum was the one to come up with the idea to con people for money, especially when you used to be a con artist and I was arrested for shoplifting." He pulled a face. "Well, clearly I wasn't a very good shoplifter..." He trailed off. "Basically, a lot of stuff doesn't make sense. But I'm sure it will come back with time."
Jack nodded again, although he was feeling a little perplexed himself. Those few days had been crazy. "Maybe they sent down another gas to drug the world into stupidity," he suggested.
Ianto considered this seriously. "It's plausible." A pause. "More plausible than an explanation which says everyone was behaving normally anyway."
There was an awkward silence as Jack and the child-who-was-Ianto stared at each other.
"You know what," Jack said suddenly. "This is weird. Too weird. I should come back in ten years."
Ianto inclined his head. "How about eight?"
"Eighteen," Jack said thoughtfully. "Sounds good."
Gwen, who had apparently been listening in, disagreed vehemently. Ianto couldn't tell whether this was because she was protective over her son or she still nursed a crush on Jack. It didn't really matter either way. She was ignored.