Author's Note: This is another of those prompted story series. It's written for Ash, Anduria_Trianys, who's been one of my dearest friends in fandom for longer than I can remember, but not as long as I think because we definitely met after Torchwood started...
Anyway, she requested 'Holiday: Meeting the Extended Family', which will come in this series.
This story falls in the middle of Not As Planned (it's a 'verse!), at the Christmas after Tosh and Owen died.
Today's Prompt: Meeting the Parents
Jack parked underneath a leafless ash tree in the church car park and turned to Ianto. "Are you sure you want me to come?" he asked again, glad that Ianto was not one to get frustrated with his need for reassurance on some things. "I don't want to get in the way..."
Ianto rolled his eyes without rancour and tugged Jack in by the front of his shirt, crashing their lips together fiercely, the gesture made awkward by the angle. "Yes, I want you there. I don't want Maria thinking I've been stood up, do I? They'll love you, I promise," he smiled more gently and stroked Jack's cheek. "You've got a family now, Mam will make sure of it."
"Okay," Jack forced himself to relax and pulled away to open the door. "It's been a while since I was in church."
"I assume you mean for a service," Ianto said, reaching into the back for the bag of treats. "Because I distinctly remember being in a church last week, and the week before, and two weeks before that..."
"I meant for a service, yes," Jack took his hand and let Ianto lead him up the path to the church door. "It's not really a church when you're chasing Weevils or... pumpkins, or lost children. It's just another building."
"Yeah, I know," Ianto agreed. "We should find more time to do stuff."
"When?" Jack asked. He accepted a service book from the pile by the door and flipped through it one-handed. "Nice carols."
"Of course," Ianto laughed. "Come on, Mam's already spotted us."
"Oh lor'," Jack followed Ianto up the aisle and finally released his hand to let him hug his mam. She was a tall woman, too tall for Ianto to be able to see over her head, and absolutely cuddly in a way that few people even Jack had met could match. Her hair was wildly curly, held back by a large clip, and still dark, but shot through with silver. Brown eyes, the same shape as Ianto's, sparkled with warm delight and love when she looked at Ianto, and it didn't dim when she looked at Jack. "Mrs Jones..." he started.
She laughed and released Ianto to hug Jack. "Has Ianto been a bad influence on you, or have you always been as polite as he is?"
"Oh, he's a dreadful influence," Jack agreed with a laugh. "I used to be a real scoundrel."
"You'll fit right in, then," she beamed. "Ianto I approve, you can keep him."
"Thanks, Mam," Ianto rolled his eyes at Jack over her head. "Jack, this is my Mam. Mam, this is Jack."
"Really? I would never have guessed. Call me Ruth, Jack."
"I'll do my best," he promised. "It really is good to meet you at last; Ianto's told me a lot about you."
"Well, at least that's one of us," she smacked her son on the arm. "He's been very mysterious."
"Oh yeah?" He grinned and wrapped his arm around Ianto's waist to stop him escaping.
"Oh yes." She mimed holding a phone to her ear. "Hi, Mam. Yes, I'm planning on being there for Christmas this year; it's okay if I bring my boyfriend, right?"
"It wasn't quite like that," Ianto protested. "It was more like 'can I bring a plus one?'... and then the boyfriend thing."
"As if it'd be any other way," she scoffed. "Now sit down, the pair of you. You're making the place look untidy."
Ianto slid onto the pew first, putting himself between Jack and an attractive, sporty redhead. "Maria, this is Jack. Jack, my cousin Maria."
"Nice to meet you," she extended her hand past Ianto to Jack. "Ianto lucked out. Do you do sperm donorship?"
Jack coughed and Ianto elbowed her. "Mine, hands off," Ianto growled. "Anyway, are you on your own this year? I thought Anton, or whatever his name is..."
"Went back to France for Christmas, his grandma's ill, or something." She shrugged. "I'm not entirely clear, but he emailed me from Paris to tell me that he was leaving the country."
"You have such impeccable taste," Ianto commented with wonder.
Maria's eyes narrowed. "I remember Susan."
"So do I," Ianto muttered. He looked over his shoulder towards Ruth and smiled. "Rhia and Johnny are here. We've just got Jennifer and Martin to come now, I think?" he checked with Maria.
"Yeah, Mum and Dad were about fifteen minutes away when I called," she checked her watch. "Should be here soon. Rhiannon's looking well."
"Yeah, she is," Ianto agreed, standing up to greet his sister. "Rhiannon, Jack. Jack, Rhiannon and Johnny."
"So the rumours are true," the bulky man behind Ianto's sister exclaimed. "You've gone urf..."
The Jones elbow had come into play again, wielded skillfully by Rhiannon. She smiled sweetly at Jack as he kissed her cheek and Ianto commented, "That wasn't a rumour, Johnny, it was a statement of fact. How have you been?"
"Glad I'm not the one at home all day with the kids," Johnny gripped Ianto's hand tightly, leaning around his wife and Jack. "You going to take them for us one day?"
Jack and Ianto looked at each other and shrugged. "We hope so. It depends what work throws up for us."
"Don't you work at the tourism board?" Johnny asked scornfully.
Ianto raised an eyebrow. "What, you really believe that?"
The organ started up at that moment and Ruth ushered them into their seats, waving to the back of the church to another couple who soon joined them. One of the newcomers, who Jack guessed to be Jennifer, has the same dark curls as Ianto, Rhiannon and Ruth, and also had Ianto's nose. The other was a lanky man with bright red hair that Maria had clearly inherited. Jack smiled and mouthed a greeting, covering ianto's hand when it rested on his thigh without looking down. Ianto shifted his fingers slightly and Jack's fitted between them.
Jack had never really had much respect for organised religion, largely because it had never really had much respect for people like him and Ianto, especially when there was an 'and' involved. He realised, though, that things had changed in recent years, and maybe it was time for him to change too. Maybe, he realised as Ianto's fingers curled around his loosely, he already had changed.
When the service finished, they hovered outside the porch before Jack and Ianto went to Alice's and the rest of the family went back to Ruth's. Snow was falling lightly, and Jack and Ianto had one arm around each other's waists, mirroring Jennifer and Martin. Ianto was explaining that they couldn't stop off, even briefly, because "we've got a long drive yet. Probably an hour before we get to Alice's, and we don't want her to have to wait up for us too long."
"I guess that's fair enough," Martin conceded, cutting off his wife. "I'll make sure they don't eat all the mince pies today, I know how you like them Ianto."
"Thanks," Ianto laughed, shaking his head. He smiled at Jack and promised, "I'll tell you later."
Jack nodded. "We'll see you all tomorrow. We'll call when we're on our way."
"You'd better," Ruth scolded. "Now go on, get yourselves to your sister's and keep her awake all night. Jones family tradition, it has to be done."
Ianto groaned and started steering Jack away. "It isn't, and he doesn't need any encouragement anyway. Merry Christmas all!"
Jack waved behind them and planted his hand on Ianto's bottom. "It might not be a Jones family tradition, but it is a Harkness family tradition." His hand was firmly removed and clasped in Ianto's own, and then he was pushed against the cold, wet car and kissed to within an inch of his life.