"Ish shtat wah I shink i ish "
Jack Harkness mumbled incoherently around the slice of toast he'd been eating, earning himself a look of disdain from his partner, Ianto Jones.
"Sorry," he murmured sheepishly, removing the toast and putting it back on the plate. "What I said was…."
"I know what you said," Ianto interrupted, rolling his eyes, "and yes it is,"
He unfolded the letter he'd been holding and picked off the pink, plastic card that was stuck to it. Grinning happily, he held it up between his thumb and forefinger.
"If you think it's my new driving licence, that is."
When he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder a couple of years before, Ianto's manic episode was severe enough that the DVLA revoked his driving licence. For someone whose independence bordered on a pathological need for self reliance, it was a huge blow as he'd had to rely on other people anytime he needed to be anywhere.
"We should celebrate," Jack said. His eyes lit up suddenly as soon as the words left his mouth, "we should buy you a new car," he burst out excitedly.
"We can't afford a new car," Ianto stated matter of factly.
Ianto's lack of enthusiasm appeared to be catching as Jack's shoulders slumped and he let out a sigh. However, being Jack, he didn't stay down for long and within a second or two his grin was back, wider than ever.
"When I sell my book, the first thing I'm going to do is buy you one," he said.
"Well let's hope that's soon then, eh," Ianto replied, "because I'm not the only one who needs a new car am I?"
Jack sent him a pissy look but didn't say anything. The two men had been fighting for weeks about the state of Jack's beloved Pontiac but had agreed to put any decisions about it on hold for the moment. Although Jack was secretly scouring ebay every day, looking for a new engine. Second hand parts for classic American cars didn't come up very often and when they did the cost could be prohibitive. Ianto felt it was an indulgence they couldn't afford anymore and it was fast becoming something of a money pit. He had every confidence in Jack's writing ability and was sure it would earn them a fortune one day but for now money was tight.
"The book will be accepted this time," Jack insisted, "I can feel it."
"Yeah?" Ianto asked, cheekily "Can you feel it in your waters," he teased, "is it like gay men's intuition."
"Ha, Ha," Jack stuck out his tongue, "I'm not gay actually."
"Oh really," Ianto sniped, "and exactly how long is it since you've had sex with a women."
Jack did a double take,
"That's unfair," he frowned, "I admit it's been a while, and I probably won't be having sex with a women any time soon, but that doesn't stop me being bi, anymore than you stopped being gay when you weren't with a man."
"Oh yeah, point taken," Ianto apologised, dipping his head, "sorry."
"It's not easy being bi, you know. You get mistrusted by everyone. Your girlfriends think you're bound to be promiscuous and cheat on them. Your boyfriends think they're just a bicurious experiment. No one takes you seriously."
"I know," Ianto said, "and I said I'm sorry. Anyway, what do you mean probably?"
"You said you probably won't have sex with a woman. We're you thinking about it?"
"Well no, not really, but it's like they said in that episode of friends. There's a list of people your partner gives you permission to sleep with if you get the chance. Like you give me Angleina Jolie and I give you David Boreanez. Oh and Rhys of course."
"Rhys," Ianto said with wide eyes, "you'd let me sleep with Rhys."
"Sure. It's not like you've never thought about it. I know you fancy him."
"Don't worry," Jack said, "I also know it's not gonna happen, you know on account of him being straight and everything."
Ianto folded his arms across his chest and glared sulkily at Jack, "I'll have Rhys," he said, "but I don't want David Boreanez. You can keep him."
"Really? I thought he was kinda hot."
"Nah," Ianto pulled a face, "he's too old for me."
Jack snorted and huffed moodily. He picked up a newspaper from the kitchen table and opened it, rustling it noisily when he sat back down in his chair with another huff. It took him a moment or two to realise the newspaper was upside down and when he did, he growled and threw it back down on the table. He stood up and flounced out the room. Ianto grinned. He heard the phone ring a moment later and Jack returned with their house phone handset which he thrust at Ianto, "It's your Dad," he barked. He turned around and flounced back out again, slamming the door behind him this time.
"Hi Dad," Ianto chuckled.
He still found it incredible that he had so quickly got used to using that name on the man on the other end of the phone. It had been less than a year since a DNA test had proved that the man he thought was his father, in fact wasn't, and Michael had come into his life. Being free with his affections and insisting on being called dad, he'd given Ianto the parental love that he'd been missing.
"What's up with Jack," Michael asked, "he doesn't seem his usual exuberant self."
"Oh don't worry about him, he's just being a drama queen."
"What have you been up to now, Ianto?" Michael scolded.
Ianto raised his eyes to the ceiling and laughed fondly. Sometimes he wondered if Michael liked to make up for the fact that he hadn't been around when he was growing up by pretending he was five years old now.
"I didn't do anything. I just told him David Boreanez was too old for me, that's all."
"The guy who played Angel. And he's in Bones, too."
"Oh yeah, I know the one you mean but why would Jack be mad about that?"
"Well, David Boreanez is 41 isn't he?"
"Is he, so what?"
"Jack's 45," Ianto explained.
Micheal coughed loudly and made a choking sound.
"Jack's 45?" he spluttered.
"Shit. I mean I thought, I dunno, mid thirties at the most."
"I'll tell him you said that, he'll be over the moon."
"Dad is Jack's age a problem?"
"Well no," Michael sounded uncertain, "Actually, yes," he went on. "He's what…16 years older than you."
"17" Ianto said, "but you know Jack, mentally he's about 8 years old. Sometimes I think I'm the older one. I'm getting grey hairs from all the worry of being the sensible one."
"Oh, so Jack's irresponsible is he?"
Ianto rolled his eyes.
"Dad," he exclaimed, "What is this all of a sudden. Is this your over protective father routine because if it is, you're a little late, don't you think?"
"Yeah I guess so. I'm sorry, but I worry about you. After all that stuff in the papers, I only wanted to make sure you were okay when I decided to make contact. It's more than I could have dreamed of that we could actually have a relationship."
"Thank you," Ianto said, "and you've been more of a Dad to me in the last year than Ifan Jones ever was. But you know, most of that stuff in the papers was made up and anyway, I'm a big boy now and I can look after myself."
"You may be a big boy, but….."
"I know what you're going to say Dad," Ianto interrupted, "I know I don't always make the best decisions but Jack looks after me. If you spent more time with us you'd see how much he cares for me. In fact, why don't you come down for a holiday and bring the family. I'm sure we could put you up for a week or two."
"Hmmm," Michael pondered, "it would be nice to get away. Your step mam was only saying the other day we need a holiday and I'd love to see Cardiff again."
"Dad, don't call her that. I'm sure Philippa doesn't think of herself as my step mum."
"Maybe not but she cares about you and she doesn't like to think of you growing up without a Mam. I'm sure she'd have loved to have been your surrogate mum."
"Well, tell her not to worry I had a surrogate Mother."
"Yes, of course you did. How is Rhiannon?"
"She's fine. She's being run ragged by David though. He's crawling now."
"And how are you, Ianto. Still taking your tablets."
"Yes Dad," Ianto groaned.
"Hey, enough of your cheek, young man."
"Sorry," Ianto muttered. Sometimes he felt as if he was the one who liked to pretend he was five years old.
"Well, okay then. I best go. Philippa wants to go to Asda and you know how busy they get on a Saturday afternoon. I don't know why she can't do her shopping on line like everyone else. Say hi to Rhiannon when you see her and I'll ring you next week and let you know about coming down."
"Okay, bye Dad."
"Love you, son. Always have."
Ianto blushed, "yeah me too," he murmured.
He put the phone down and turned around, yelping immediately when he felt strong arms wrap around his legs and he was lifted off his feet. He let out a squeal as he was thrown over Jack's shoulder, carried over to the sofa and thrown down so hard that all the air was forced out of his lungs. Without waiting to see if he was okay, Jack whipped off his tee shirt, thumped his bare chest and yelled like Tarzan.
Oh yes, Ianto smirked. When he'd hinted that Jack was too old, of course he knew there was only one way it was going to end.