A Beautiful Sight to Behold
Ianto crept into their flat as quietly as he could; it was well past two in the morning, and he didn't want to wake Jack. Jack, the man who always said that he didn't need to sleep very much or very often, needed all the sleep he could get these days.
Taking his shoes off and setting them neatly on the mat, Ianto tip-toed in his sock-covered feet to the kitchen and snagged a bottle of water from the refrigerator. Gulping down the ice cold liquid raised goose flesh on his arms and he suddenly yearned for the warmth of his bed.
A quiet stop in the bathroom gave him a clean face and brushed teeth, as well as an empty bladder; he hadn't realised he needed to pee so badly until the cold water hit his stomach. Weevil chasing in the middle of the night did that to a man; it made him forget to urinate in dark alleys while chasing sewer dwellers away from polite society. Before leaving the bathroom Ianto quickly undressed and folded his clothes, and when he went into the bedroom, he laid them on the chair just inside the door.
Their bedroom was bathed in the soft light of a nearly full moon. Jack had gone to bed with the curtains open and the windows raised; he loved to sleep with fresh air coming in whenever he could. Even after nearly three years, the memories of being buried alive for two thousand years still raised their ghostly heads occasionally.
One of the most powerful nightmares he had was about the smell of all that dirt around him. Despite the passage of time, Jack craved fresh air like an addict his next fix. Right now it was early summer – the daytime temperatures were warm enough, but the nights were perfect.
Ianto looked over at their bed and at Jack, who lay on his back, snoring ever so softly. The beams of light from the moon came through the window and illuminated the immortal with a soft ethereal glow. They danced over the planes, angles and curves of his body and made him even more beautiful than normal in Ianto's eyes.
Captain Jack Harkness was a man blessed with an impressive inquisitive intellect, bottomless blue eyes, soft kissable lips, flawless golden skin, the manhood of a God, and pheromones that could melt the heart of the Sphinx. Normally, his perfect physique would make mouths water; now however, there was only one man salivating over the body of the Captain.
One man named Jones, Ianto Jones.
Ianto crouched at the side of bed and looked at Jack's profile in the moonlight. When he was asleep, Jack looked like he hadn't a care in the world – the lines of stress, worry, experience and future knowledge were all smoothed out. Ianto's fingers itched to caress Jack's brow, his thumbs wanted to run across Jack's lower lip, his hands wanted to rake through the silken strands of Jack's hair. Instead, they kept themselves to themselves and stopped trying to distract Ianto from his primary target of perusal.
Jack's belly, Jack's beautiful belly. Jack had had six-pack abs long before they were the end-all and be-all of male pulchritude, although his weren't blatantly obvious. Ianto knew that just beneath the surface of that smooth skin, cushioned just the tiniest bit by Jack's love of fresh pastries in the morning and ice cream in the evening, were muscles hard as steel.
Right now, though, that sweets-enriched cushion was covering something far more impressive than a six-pack. Right now, just below that surface, lay a miracle. A living, growing, moving miracle.
A miracle called their baby. Jack's magnificent, immortal body was sheltering and nourishing the most blatant, most precious and most anticipated symbol of their love.
Ianto shifted so that he was kneeling now, and he could see Jack's face as well as his rounded belly, huge with child. Not long now, Martha thought; she estimated that it would be another three weeks before their wee one was ready to arrive.
Martha had flatly refused to tell anyone the sex of their baby. Ianto grinned whenever he thought about the look of outrage on Gwen's face when she'd heard that little piece of news. It was almost as good a look as the one she wore when they'd told her Jack was pregnant. Gwen had sputtered and demanded and pouted, but Martha stood firm. According to her, if the Universe wanted them to know the sex of their child before it arrived, there would be a window in Jack's belly so they could all see for themselves.
Personally, despite occasional protests, both Ianto and Jack were secretly pleased to not know. Anticipating the birth of their child was all that much sweeter knowing that a bigger surprise awaited them. Would it be Baby Boy Harkness-Jones or Baby Girl?
Jack wanted a little girl. He wanted a sweet, delicate flower that he could cherish and dress up and have tea parties with. He once confided in Ianto that the men in his family always produced male offspring and he really wanted to break that tradition.
Ianto, on the other hand, had hundreds and hundreds of years of Welsh intuition and Welsh faerie magic whispering to him that Jack was keeping with the Harkness tradition of carrying a boy.
A son. For a moment, Ianto closed his eyes and pictured Jack and him taking their son to the park, of pushing him on the swings, 'Higher, Tad, higher!', of steadying him on his first no-training-wheels bicycle ride. Ianto felt tears prick at his eyelids as he pictured Jack and him showing his mam their son; how he wished she were still alive to witness this miracle with them.
A quick mental shake and Ianto was back in the present. He looked up at Jack – good, his beloved mate was still asleep. He returned his gaze to the mound before him and suddenly the surface burped. That was the only way to describe the brief eruption of motion he saw. Ianto held his breath, waiting, hoping to see it again, and he wasn't disappointed. In fact, he got quite a show in return for his patience.
Burp! Right there by Jack's belly button. Burp, burp! The movement was a little higher now. Ianto saw a long ripple across the surface and then nothing. Stillness. Ianto waited, marvelling at the miracle before him. Still nothing and Ianto's knees were beginning to ache. Deciding that the baby had gone back to sleep, Ianto prepared to stand up.
Without warning, the surface of Jack's belly exploded with movement. There were bumps – lots of little bumps and then one really big one that stuck up for several seconds before disappearing. Ianto watched as ripples and swells washed like waves beneath an ocean of smooth skin.
As he watched, his eyes wide with awe, Ianto couldn't help the tiny pang of jealousy that swept through him. He'd felt it occasionally over the past nine months whenever some new aspect of pregnancy would strike Jack.
A small part of Ianto – all right, a big part of Ianto – desperately wanted to know what it felt like to be pregnant. He wanted to know what it felt like on the inside when the baby kicked and moved like he was doing now. He wanted the weird cravings in the middle of the night and even the frequent, inconvenient trips to the toilet. But most of all, Ianto wanted to experience the glorious feeling of contentment that radiated from Jack.
Ianto wished with all his heart that he could carry their next child. It just wasn't fair, not at all, that it was an absolute impossibility. Ianto sighed.
"I can hear you thinking, Cariad."
Ianto started from his reverie. "Jack!" He stood up and then sat on the side of the bed, wrapping Jack in his arms. "I didn't mean to wake you. I'm sorry."
"It wasn't you, trust me. Our little girl usually has rugby practice this time of night." Jack chuckled. "She's got a real future on the Welsh national team!" He took hold of Ianto's hand and pressed it to the left side of his belly. "Wait just a minute and… There! Goal!"
Beneath his hand, a foot thrust itself into Ianto's palm and stayed there for a moment before moving away. Jack shifted their hands, lower now, and they waited. Again, something smaller this time, a fist was Ianto's guess, pushed upwards.
"Okay, last part of her routine." Jack took both of Ianto's hands and pressed them into the uppermost part of his belly and immediately, Ianto was rewarded with two hands full of baby. "That's her head, Ianto!" Jack's voice was filled with wonder. "That's her goodnight kiss. She'll go back to sleep now."
Reluctant to move his hands, hoping he might feel her again, Ianto looked up in to his lover's blue eyes. "Does she do this a lot?" he whispered.
"Every night for past three or four nights now; just started this week," Jack's voice was soft and reverential.
Without warning, tears threatened to fall and Ianto hastily stood up, slipped out of his pants and laid them on his trousers before crawling under the duvet. He pushed up close to Jack, throwing one leg over his and laying his head on Jack's chest. From this angle, his eyes saw nothing but baby bump, and before he could stop them, silent tears began running down Ianto's cheeks.
"Cariad, what's the matter?" Jack could feel each hot tear as it splashed wetly onto his chest and he gently stroked his hand through Ianto's hair, soothing him. "Tell me what's wrong."
"It's nothing." Ianto gave a small shrug and a sniff. "It's just silly."
"Nothing is silly between us, Yan, you know that. Now tell me why the tears," Jack insisted. "I really want to know."
Taking a deep breath, Ianto closed his eyes for a moment, summoning up the courage and then he blurted out, "what's it feel like, Jack, when he moves? Inside, I mean. What do you feel when our son moves and kicks and does whatever he's doing inside of you?"
Jack grinned and pulled Ianto up so that he could kiss him. "That's why you're upset?"
Ianto stiffened when he saw the look on Jack's face and he bristled instantly. "See, I told you it was silly." He tried to pull away but Jack kept him pressed firmly against his body.
"No, it's not, Yan! I'm sorry; I think it's sweet that you want to know." Jack's face grew serious. "I know how you feel, you know, Ianto."
"What? Feel about what?" Ianto was confused. "How I feel about the baby, you mean? Jack, I'm happy. In fact, I'm beyond happy," he protested. "I'm ecstatic!"
"Ianto, I've seen the look in your eyes when Martha shows us our daughter on the ultra-sound." Jack put his hand under Ianto's chin and made Ianto look him in the eyes. "I can see now you feel when something new happens."
Ianto frowned but said nothing.
"I've seen that flash of jealousy in these beautiful blue eyes of yours and it's okay. I understand what you're feeling. Really, I do." Jack's voice was soft, and his eyes were filled with love.
"I'm sorry, Jack. I don't mean to be jealous, I really don't." Again, Ianto tried to turn away, but Jack held on firmly, putting his hands on either side of Ianto's head, keeping their eyes locked together.
"There aren't enough words in any language I know to describe what it feels like to carry another living human being inside your body. It's magical. It's like carrying a ball of pure joy just bursting with energy." Jack spoke fervently.
"I'd give anything in the universe for you to have this whole experience yourself." Jack's entire being radiated intensity. "I wish with all my heart that you could share this miracle with me." His eyes now shimmered with unshed tears.
Ianto leaned forward and claimed his lover's lips with his own, seeking and finding entrance to Jack's mouth with his tongue. After several long minutes of passionate kissing, they broke apart, gasping for air.
Ianto smiled into Jack's eyes. "Who knows? Stranger things have happened," he chuckled.
"Too true!" Jack laughed back. "I guess it doesn't get much stranger than two men having a baby together!"
"No, Cariad, no, it doesn't." Ianto wrapped his arms around Jack and rested his head on the mound of his belly. He could feel sleep claiming him as he pressed one last kiss into his son. "Sleep well," he whispered. "I love you."
Jack looked down his body, down to where Ianto now slept quietly atop his belly, the two most precious things in Jack's world now bathed in moonlight, and tears of gratitude flowed unchecked. "I love you too, Cariad, both of you."