Title: A Day in Cardiff (5/5)
Summary: Follow up to A Day in Glasgow. Jack returns to Cardiff two years after Ianto's death with his and Ianto's son and finds that people are not happy to see him. Will they believe him about the boy's linage? Characters: Jack, Gwen, Rhys, Rhiannon
Pairings: Jack/Ianto (past), Gwen/Rhys
Word Count: ~1300
Spoilers: CoE compliant, but MD never happened
Warning: Angst and grief
Beta: SoR who still betas stuff for me on occasion even if he's never watched an episode of TW
Notes: Written for the Grief prompt at hc_bingo.
Chapter 5- And Back to Glasgow We Go
Jack settled back into life in Glasgow and part of him was relieved that he had not heard from Rhiannon, whether it was because she did not believe the truth or there was another reason, it made life easier for the single father. Months passed by in a blink of an eye and in a week Ianto would turn two. It amazed Jack how quickly children grew up. Little Ianto started to express his very stubborn streak and some of his mannerisms were dead on Ianto Jones and it made Jack's heart ache more and at the same time bought back fond memories.
It was a rainy Saturday afternoon and it had rained for five days prior so the Harkness men begun to go stir crazy and needed a brief trip out of the house. Savoy Centre was a perfect choice, with shopping and other things to pass a few hours. Jack was carrying his son on his shoulders when they stopped at a stall that sold antiques as a silver stopwatch grabbed his attention.
"What do you think, Ianto? Looks like the one that belonged to your tad," Jack grinned up at his son as he took the stopwatch from the pocket of his waistcoat and showed it to the boy. "Do you want to hear the story of how we first met?"
Not expecting an answer, Jack moved Ianto from his shoulders to his hip. "I was chasing a Weevil in a park and then when I was fighting it, the Weevil got the upper hand and that's when your tad swooped in and saved the day. Just like a dashing handsome hero."
"Dada, down," Ianto whined and started to squirm. The toddler wanted to walk on his own.
"You have to hold hold my hand." Jack told his son. "No running. Deal?"
"OK, Daddy," Ianto squealed as he was finally on ground.
The father and son walked hand in hand for several minutes until Ianto suddenly stopped.
"What's wrong?" Jack asked his son.
Ianto looked up at the older man with a mischievous smirk and used his finger to beckon Jack to him.
"Yes?" Jack crouched down to be on eye level with the grinning toddler.
"I love you, Daddy." Ianto giggled and launched himself into his father's arms, knocking Jack onto his backside.
"I love you too, Ianto." Jack hugged his saving grace tightly. "You think knocking me down is funny? I'll show you how funny it is." He started to tickle the child and both began to laugh uncontrollably. Jack did not care that people were staring.
"See Taddy?" Young Ianto asked as he reached for the stopwatch in Jack's pocket. Jack was always mentioning his namesake and the boy wanted to meet him.
"We can't see him." Jack said sadly.
"Because he's an angel. We can't see them, but angels see us. They watch us and protect us. Your Taddy is watching over us now and loves you very much and he's so proud of you." Jack knew the boy did not understand what he was saying, but it gave him comfort to think what he said was true.
Jack looked up when he saw a figure standing over him. When he lifted his head, the person standing there was the one of the last people he expected, but knew it had to happen eventually.
"You really are delusional. I thought you were just an egotistical jerk and now I just see you are totally nutters." Rhiannon looked down in sadness and pity at Jack.
"And you came all the way from Cardiff to tell me that? Bit of a long trip just to say that." Jack glared up at the woman who had a deep scowl on her face. "Frowning causes wrinkles." If the woman was going to hurl insults, two could play that game.
Rhiannon huffed with indignation.
"You started it by calling me crazy," Jack reasoned as he stood up and picked up Ianto, holding the boy protectively.
"Nooooooo. Down Daddyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy." Ianto cried and squirmed to get out of Jack's grasp.
"Not now. Not letting you down with all the people here." Jack whispered to his son. "You stop crying and I'll make you chicken nuggets when we get home."
"Okay," the small child stopped whimpering and wiped his face of Jack's shoulder.
Rhiannon, truth be told, did not know why she was here. It had been eight months since she stormed out of Gwen's house and that day gnawed at her ever since. She did not know why the toddler looked like her brother or had his name. Part of her was curious to learn the truth, but she knew it would not get it from Gwen.
"Why is it so hard for you people to tell the truth? Do you think I'm stupid or something? Seriously what kind of story is that you come from the fifty-first century and cannot die? Did you really expect me to believe that?" Rhiannon watched the interaction between the father and son. She would have found it sweet if she did not have a major sense of loathing for the man in front of her.
"For one it is the truth. Gwen did not lie to you. She was not making any of it up and if you have trouble believing that truth then the truth of where my son came from you are definitely not going to believe." Jack said simply. "And I'm fine with that."
"And what is the truth?" Rhiannon clenched her jaw. "Give me good reason why I should not smack the shit out of you for what you did to my brother."
"Now you suddenly care? I'm sure whatever you think what I did, it's far from the real truth." Jack said with an edge of menace. "What would you say if I told you that my son biologically has no mother because of when I'm from? That I was the one who carried him for nine months. That he is named for his other father who never got to know of his existence, but who will know everything about the amazing man that he's named after."
Rhiannon blinked several times to make sure she had heard the insanity correctly. She was not sure if she believed the craziness Jack had spouted. The only thing the confused woman was sure was that Jack cared and did still care deeply for Ianto.
Jack took the silence that Rhiannon did not believe him. "You have the truth. It's on you to believe it or not. If you ever want to get to know your nephew, you know where to find me." There was nothing else to say and Jack started to walk away.
Rhiannon wanted to call out to Jack. She wanted to believe what he was saying that the young boy was some way connected her brother. It was not possible for a anyone not to biologically have a mother. She felt nothing but pity Jack, believing the guilt over losing Ianto pushed him to fabricate this unfathomable tale that the child was her brother's son. The greatest mystery was how Jack managed to get the boy to look like Ianto. Could he have impregnated a woman with her brother's sperm and raise the kid as his? That would be just be even more twisted.
A tear rolled down her face as a Rhiannon watched them walk away. Only if she could believe the truth, she would have opened herself to a new world. But the inability to be open to the strange and wonderful would leave Rhiannon out of her nephew's life. She would never know what she is missing.
However, she did get the answer to one question that always haunted her, Ianto was truly loved in his final moments and that he would forever be in Jack's heart. And that was all she needed from Jack Harkness.