10-Relax Title: Predatory Authors:becky_h and baffledking Characters: Jack Harkness and Ianto Jones Fandom: Torchwood Theme Set: Theme Set #LW1 Theme(s): Relaxed Warnings and Notes: Mpreg
Going back to Torchwood had been the right thing to do, but it hadn't been as easy as he'd expected. It hadn't been easy at all, actually. It had been walking away from a part of himself, a reminder of someone he'd loved, and someone he still cared about. That was hard as hell.
Because it was hard, he hadn't gone back.
He'd told the necessary lies, and told them until even Gwen had believed them. He'd sent the odd note -Christmas card, birthday card, alien toy- but he'd kept his distance. It took 17 months for the need to go back to fade enough for him to think maybe he could go back, and another month after that to even try.
Morgan was a year and a half old when the SUV pulled up to the tiny house. Jack got up and made his way up the walk to the door, coat billowing around his legs, and knocked confidently on the door. His knock was confident. He didn't feel all that steady, suddenly, as he waited on Ianto to answer, and let himself wonder (for the first time in a long time) just what Morgan was like now.
Ianto had flour on his nose and in his hair, opening the door with a laugh, a laughing toddler on his hip. The baby reached for Jack before Ianto even seemed to recognize Jack.
Jack didn't realize he was reaching until he had the baby seated across his arm, free hand going to rub the flour off Ianto's nose.
"Yes," he said automatically, still managing to sound startled while Morgan tugged Jack's hair, "Jack?"
He'd turned to grin at the toddler when the chubby hand fisted in his hair, but looked back to Ianto to say, "The one and only. Can I come in?"
Ianto stepped back, "We're making cookies."
He came in, half-watching Ianto, but being drawn back to look Morgan in the eye at regular intervals. "What kind?" he asked. "And do I get some?"
"You can," Ianto led the way to the kitchen; the house wasn't messy, but it looked lived in, had toys all around. Some were suited to an eighteen month old. Some were suited to a three month old. And some were suited to a five year old. They all looked recently played with. "They're oatmeal raisin."
Jack managed to avoid tripping on his way through the house, still carrying Morgan. "How have you been, Ianto?" he asked, pointedly and gently, once he was in the kitchen. He sat down, shifting Morgan so he could stay or go, but so Jack could get his coat off.
"I'm fine, Jack," he said, watching Morgan cling and sniff Jack. "How are you? And the others."
He finished getting his coat off, and wrapped his arm around Morgan, pulling him firmly into his lap so the baby could climb where he wanted to go, and explore his hair and face at will, as well as being close to his heart, and-frankly- smell him. It wasn't deliberate; it was instinct.
"I'm good," he answered, honestly. "The others are doing well, too. Gwen and Rhys are getting married, Owen and Tosh are still dancing around one another. How's your family?"
"They're good," Ianto nodded, "I just picked Morgan up from his grandma's an hour ago."
"How're they getting along with him?" he asked, softly and a little less awkwardly. He pet Morgan's hair, lightly.
"Granna's cookies bad," Morgan said clearly leaning his ear against Jack's chest.
He looked around and down at the baby - and he was still a baby to Jack, even if he was a toddler - to ask, "Why are they bad, sweetheart?"
"Choco," Morgan tangled his fist in Jack's shirt.
Ianto held out a cup of coffee for Jack, "Morgan doesn't like chocolate and my mother can't quite believe that."
He reached around Morgan to take the cup of coffee. "Too bitter," he guessed, quietly. "Or just strong."
"Or he just doesn't like it," Ianto sat down across from them, watching him and looking for the resemblances. To see if they were really there or just his memory playing tricks on him.
"How are you?"
"He's sniffing me, Ianto. I think it's probably safe to assume he's got a pretty good sense of taste, too." He flashed a distracted grin. "Tired, but all right. How... is he?"
How alien is he, mostly. Morgan's future was something he was concerned about.
"In the room and very smart," Ianto said dryly.
He laughed, quietly. "There's a reason you're the parent."
"Are you staying tonight?" Ianto asked.
He turned serious in a heart-beat. "Do you want me to?"
"Yes," Ianto and Morgan said together, in the same accent.
His eyebrows lifted a little. "Then I guess I'm staying." He smiled, a little. "Morgan, can you do me a favor?"
"Yes, daddy?" Morgan asked, looking up at him.
He went very serious, and very quiet. For a second he just looked at Morgan. Then he glanced at Ianto.
"I don't lie to my son," Ianto said calmly.
There was a half second pause. Then Jack looked back to Morgan and smiled. "Could you go find me your favorite toy? "
Morgan climbed off Jack, then headed to his room, Ianto peering over at him.
"What the hell are you thinking?" Jack asked, voice low and intense when Morgan was headed off.
"What?" Ianto asked, not moving.
"You told him I'm his father?"
"No," Ianto shook his head, "He wanted to know where you were."
"What?" He didn't understand.
"He knew I wasn't his father."
"...Well, Jack, he's not human. He didn't...sense me."
"I know he's not human," Jack said, more gentle than irritable, but the irritable was there. "I." He rubbed his eyes. "Tell me everything you've noticed."
"Well, he talks," Ianto said wryly, "In complete sentences even. He has poor fine motor skills, but excellent gross. He's smart, he's already doing basic arithmetic. He knew I wasn't his father and he...well. He knew you were alive and his other parent wasn't. He dreams in color."
"And he recognized me the instant he saw me," Jack murmured, rubbing his eyes. "I shouldn't be here, Ianto."
"Because I want to be." He was distracted, half- listening for Morgan,
"So?" Ianto asked, watching Jack, "What's so wrong?"
He shook his head, got up from the table and went to find Morgan. He made it through the house like he'd never left, and dropped down to a crouch in front of him, both hands out. "Morgan."
Morgan stepped in, holding a magnetic math puzzle in his hands. He carefully set it down, then took both of Jack's hands in his chubby ones, "Yes?"
He folded one leg under him. "What do you call Ianto?" he asked, quiet and steady. For now.
"Papa," Morgan said promptly, frowning over at Ianto, standing behind Jack in the hallway and leaning against the wall.
Ianto shrugged in response.
He pulled Morgan in and just hugged him. He was still a baby. Five times bigger than he'd been teh last time he'd held him, but still such a baby. He closed his eyes, put his nose in Morgan's hair and just held him, breathing a little ragged.
"And you call me Daddy. What about the parent that's not alive, anymore?"
"Ko'esen." Morgan said, leaning into Jack and just breathing him in.
He held onto Morgan for long moments, a little comforting and a lot just there.
Then he pulled back slowly, and looked back at Ianto. "How're those cookies coming?" He asked, waffling and wobbling.
"They'll be done soon," Ianto said quietly while Morgan wrapped his arms around Jack's neck in the universal symbol for 'up'.
Jack stood, arm under Morgan's butt for support. He kept his eyes on Ianto's finally. They were going to need to talk. He didn't know how.
He just wanted to go, curl up and hold his kid. He wanted to run out the front door and never come back almost as much.
"Are you happy?" He asked suddenly, without asking either one specifically.
"Yes," They both said again in creepy unison..
"Are you telepathic?"
"No," Ianto shook his head, "We just live together."
"And he sounds just like you?"
"You mean he has the same accent as the people around him?"
"I think so?" He wasn't really sure.
"That's how all kids are."
"...Huh." He didn't know a thing about kids.
"You pick up your accent from the people you learn to talk from, Jack," Ianto said with a tiny smirk, leading them back to the kitchen.
He followed along, looking thoughtful. "I thought it was just exposure, though I suppose that would make sense, too."
He poured fresh coffee and watered down juice for Morgan before taking the cookies out of the oven to cool.
"I don't know what to do here," he admitted.
"Drink your coffee and cuddle your son."
"I don't know how to handle children!"
Morgan looked offended, and bit Jack's collar.
"Morgan, what did we say about biting?" Ianto said, scolding,
"Sorry," Morgan frowned.
Jack growled at Ianto. Low and soft in his throat, blue in his eyes flaring brighter and dangerously hotter, as his arms wrapped around Morgan.
"It was my coat."
"It was his manners," Ianto said, standing with his hands on the counter behind him for balance.
He visibly tried to shake off his reaction. "You're right. I'm sorry."
He was confused.
Morgan patted Jack's jacket, carefully.
"It's okay," Ianto shook his head.
Jack pet Morgan's hair, lightly.
"No, it's not. You're his father. I had no right. I don't even know why I did it, and I'm sorry."
"You're protective. That's not bad." Ianto put the cookies on a plate, warning Morgan, "One."
"It's bad," he argued, took a cookie and bit into it.
"Why?" Ianto and Morgan both asked.
"Because he's your son."
"Hey, Morgan?" Ianto said softly, "Can you go play in your room so I can talk to your daddy?"
Morgan frowned at Ianto for a moment, then bussed Jack's cheek, sliding to the floor, "Yes, Papa."
He set Morgan down careful, and watched him leave. Then he turned back to Ianto.
"What the hell is wrong with you?" Ianto asked as soon as Morgan was out of ear shot.
"He knows he's your son. He remembers being born. Denying it isn't doing anything but making him feel hurt and guilty and whatever the hell you get out of hurting a child. So stop it."
"I don't care who's body he came out of," Jack argued. "He is your son."
He was so missing the point.
"No shit," he rolled his eyes, "I know that and so does he. But he's not just mine, Jack."
"No, but he is yours to parent ."
"Yes. And we both accepted your apology for that."
"You don't understand, Ianto."
"Explain it to me."
"I don't know how," he admitted. "You barely corrected him and I nearly came out of my chair."
"You did over react," Ianto nodded, "And you shouldn't have. But stop saying you're not his father."
"You're still not hearing me. I didn't over-react because I'm stupid, I over-reacted because I couldn't stop it. If I hadn't been holding him, I think I'd have come out of the chair and hit you, Ianto."
"...Not just a typical protective response then," Ianto said carefully.
He shook his head. "No."
"It makes sense for him."
"To have people protective of him. It depends on if it's a pheromone or something the fetus secreted."
"Is it something that's affected you?"
"I wouldn't know. I'm a lot calmer than you, sir.'
"Everyone responds to pheromones. I'm going with something the fetus secreted."
"It makes sense."
"I'm sure it does, but it's not a good thing here and now, Ianto."
"What difference does it make, Jack? It obviously doesn't work across distance."
"No," he agreed softly. "It just means I have to keep staying away."
That. Broke his heart. Completely.
"Oh." Ianto said softly, finally getting it.
He rubbed his eyes, and tried (frankly) not to cry. "I'm sorry. I'll talk to him before I go."
"Maybe. Maybe you just have to build up getting used to it," he tried.
"Maybe," he agreed. "But I don't want to hurt you, and I certainly don't want to hurt a child for pushing him. "
"You're not going to hurt me and by definition you're not going to hurt him."
"I hope I don't hurt you. I'm never going to hurt him - I hope like hell I never have reason to need to. That doesn't account for the rest of the world."
Ianto took a deep breath, "You're right."
"I still don't like it."
"I miss you." Ianto said with a tiny smile, shaking his head, "But I knew that would happen."
"I miss you, too," Jack said, voice quiet. He stood up. "Come here, please?"
Ianto came around the table, hands flat on his thighs to keep from reaching.
He lifted his hand and stroked the backs of his fingers over Ianto's face.
Ianto closed his eyes for a moment before putting one hand on Jack's hip, "Jack.."
He curled his fingers lightly around and kissed Ianto, very softly.
Ianto kept the kiss light, fingers tightening on Jack's hip.
He pulled back and rested his forehead against Ianto's. "You're a wonderful father."
"He's a great kid."
"Yeah," he agreed with a sappy, sad grin. "He is."
"But you made the right decision, Jack."
"I know I did." He let Ianto go and leaned back against the counter.
Ianto closed his eyes, putting his hand on a chair to balance himself, "What are you going to do now?"
"Spend an afternoon pretending to be a normal human being, enjoy some time with my kid, and then go away again."
"I can go run errands and give you some alone time with him," Ianto nodded.
"I would like some time alone with you, too."
"And then bring him to my mother's," Ianto said without missing a beat.
"Will he be all right with that?"
"He likes his cousins and Rhys is spending the weekend. But he'll probably go to sleep early if you want him to stay."
"I'd like to put him to bed," he admitted, after a long moment. He was pathetic. He hated that he was this pathetic. He knew he wasn't domestic. He wanted to pretend, just for one night, that he could be.
"We can do that," Ianto said softly, "He's not had a bath yet either."
He grinned, faintly. "So, play and then bath and bed?"
"Go get him," he waved.
He grinned, more broadly, and then wandered off into Morgan's bedroom. He didn't get him. He sat down on the floor with him, asked to see that magnetic math puzzle and played with him. He talked to him. He threw him up into the air, and tickled him and rough housed with him and cuddled with him and played with his son.
When the baby started looking both grimy and sleepy, Jack picked him up and carried him through his room to the bath. They picked out pajamas together while the water was running, and then Jack gave him a bath. Jack got almost as wet at Morgan, but it was wonderful.
When the bath was over, Jack dried and dressed him and sat in the rocking chair with him. He was warm and heavy in his arms, drowsy eyed and looking up at him with a hand tangled in his shirt and holding on. Jack rocked him, and talked to him, and told him stories about his other father until the baby couldn't keep his eyes open anymore.
Then he rocked him some more, just holding him and watching him sleep.
When he finally got up and lay Morgan down, tucked him in and kissed his cheek and stroked his hair, it was because his arms were screaming in protest.
Then, and only then, did he leave his room to find Ianto.
Ianto was curled up in the living room with a book, quietly reading. He'd showered at some point, his hair still damp, and he'd cleaned the kitchen. "Morgan asleep?" he asked quietly, voice a little hoarse.
He put one knee on the couch, moving onto it and close to Ianto before he pivoted to sit, dropping beside Ianto with one arm around him. "Out like a light," he said, softly.
Ianto closed his book, "Are you okay?"
He took the book from Ianto, and leaned forward to put it on the coffee table. "Tonight, I'm fine. "
"Good." he leaned into Jack slightly, "Tell me about Cardiff."
He stretched out so he was angled out on the couch, on his side with one leg all the way along the back. "The rift's still there. The weevils are still there. Gwen and Owen are threatening to come visit you. I told them you were raising your girlfriend's baby."
"Owen asked if it was made of tin," Ianto offered.
He laughed. "He did," Jack admitted. "But he mostly seemed impressed."
"That I had a girlfriend none of them knew about?"
"That you had a normal life, now."
"Well. As normal as possible."
"They dont' know he's an alien," Jack pointed out.
"Toddlers no matter what aren't normal."
He laughed, quietly. "I guess. "
Ianto leaned over slightly to kiss Jack lightly.
He curled his hand around Ianto's throat, lightly just touching and without pressure, and deepend the kiss, slowly and carefully.
"Normal," he said softly, half-smiling.
"Normal?" he asked, carefully.
"This is normal."
"Me?" he was confused.
"Kissing after putting the kid to bed? Yeah."
He smiled, lazy and slow. "It's nice."
Ianto looked disbelieving.
"Why is that hard for you to believe?"
"I've met you, Jack."
He shook his head and lifted his eyebrow. "So?"
"I don't think you'd like it."
"Forever, or for now?"
"You're right. The novelty has something for it."
He shook his head. "Are you trying to pick a fight?"
"No," Ianto took a deep breath, closed his eyes for a moment and then just. Relaxed, "I'm sorry."
"For what?" he asked, curious and gentle.
"I'll worry about tomorrow later," he shifted to kiss Jack again.
He put his hand on Ianto's back and pulled lightly out of the kiss. "Why was that about tomorrow?"
"I'm going to miss you."
Jack made a point of finding and holding Ianto's eyes. "I'm going to miss you, too. Both of you."
Ianto took a low breath, "Thank you."
"I love you, Ianto. " That wasn't a horribly sappy declaration. It wasn't an offer forever or a promise he couldn't keep. It just was.
"I love you too," Ianto sounded, unbelievably sad about that.
"I know. I'm sorry," he said, quiet and simple.
He reached to take Jack's hand, squeezing lightly.
He kept Ianto's hand while he stood, slow and powerful and graceful. "Come on."
Ianto stood carefully, sliding his hand up to Jack's wrist.
"Bed. Sex optional, but bed."
He laughed, letting go of Jack to turn off lights and lock up before taking Jack's hand and leading Jack to the room he'd given birth in year and a half before.
He stopped in the doorway, and looked at the room with an odd smile. "Talk about bringing back memories."
"Are you okay?"
"Yeah," he said, sounding a little surprised. "It's actually a good memory."
Ianto led the way in, pulling off his jumper, "I'm glad."
He slid his braces down, and undid his cuff links. Just slow and careful. "And traumatic for hell as you," he guessed.
"I sleep in here, Jack." he argued, unbuckling his belt.
"So?" he asked, put his cufflinks on the dresser and started unbuttoning his shirt.
"So I'm used to it," he tugged off his under shirt, tossing it in the laundry.
"That wasn't the point, and you know it." He pulled his outer shirt off, and hung it over the back of a chair, and then went to work on his belt and holster.
"What was the point?" Ianto got down to his boxer briefs and went to help Jack fold his clothing.
"I want you to talk to me," Jack said, candidly. "The more, the better." He got rid of his pants and socks, left himself in his boxers and T-shirt and put his hands on Ianto's chest.
"What do you want me to say?"
"I want you to tell me how you are - really how you are -and how you've been."
"I'm okay, Jack. I got a promotion at work."
"What are you doing now?" he asked, interested with intensity the question probably wouldn't have warranted under other circumstances.
"I work in a library."
"What kind of library?" He kept poking.
"A law library. It's what my degree is for."
He pushed Ianto gently back. "Are you enjoying it?"
"Yes," he sat on the bed, pulling Jack towards him.
Jack put his knee on the edge of the bed for balance, then moved over Ianto to stretch out on his side, opposite him and with his back to the wall. "What was the promotion?"
"Second in the archives," he said, lying back and touching Jack's hip lightly.
He propped his head in his hand and just watched Ianto, eyes on his face and memorizing. "What do you think of your boss?"
"I'm sleeping with him," Ianto deadpanned.
"Not tonight you're not."
"He's nice. His wife loves Morgan."
"I'm glad people love Morgan. It's good for him."
"He's a sweet kid, Jack. You did good work."
"I didn't have anything to do with it," he said with a faint smile. "Nothing."
"You contributed genetics."
"Yeah," he agreed, tracing his thumb down Ianto's nose. "But I promise sweetness didn't come from either of the sources of his genes."
"You can be sweet," Ianto said softly, resting his hand on Jack's hip.
He tilted toward Ianto, hand sliding to his neck. "I can be good. I can occasionally be kind. I'm not sweet."
Ianto leaned in and kissed Jack softly, slowly, "You can."
He made a soft, soft sound. "Can not," he argued, even more softly.
He licked Jack's lip gently, "Can."
He closed his eyes, rolled onto his back and pulled Ianto with him. "Can not."
Ianto made an amused sound, then bit Jack softly, rocking against him.
He hissed and lifted his hips, very slowly.
"Jack?" Ianto asked softly.
He slid both hands up Ianto's back. "Hm?"
"Are you okay?"
He dragged his hands back down, fingers slipping under the waist of Ianto's underwear . "Mmhm."
Ianto took a deep breath, "Are you sure?"
"Yeah," he agreed, voice low and rough and quiet. "You?"
"Yes," he kissed Jack softly.
"...What did we just agree to?" he asked, just to be sure.
"That we're both okay."
"Good," he said, and lifted up to kiss Ianto, soft and slick and slow.
Ianto pressed against Jack's shoulders, kissing him back, deep and pressing.
He groaned softly and just fell open. Hands still on Ianto's back, but open and warm and. Almost, strangely, innocent and trusting.
"So beautiful, Jack," Ianto said softly, sliding his hands under Jack's shirt.
He let his eyes drift shut and just sighed. "You are so full of it," he murmured.
"Not yet," he bit Jack's throat lightly.
He blinked a couple of times, gasped and laughed.
"What?" Ianto smiled against his skin.
"That's the worst joke I've ever heard."
"I know worst ones."
"I bet you do, but they won't make me laugh harder."
Ianto grinned, "That's good. We don't want to wake the baby."
"Of course not. ...That might be a problem, actually."
"I'm not exactly quiet, and I don't' want to wake him up." ..he was so pathetic.
"I could gag you, sir," Ianto said calmly.
"Do you want to gag me, Ianto?"
"No, but I want to explain to an eighteen month old why Daddy's yelling for me when I'm right here even less."
"You know, we could just cuddle."
Ianto laughed at him, "We could."
He wrapped his arms back around Ianto's waist and. Well, just held him. "When did he start walking?"
...He'd apparently meant it.
Ianto stared for a moment, then groaned, and settled against Jack, "About 9 months ago. He potty trained early."
He slid one hand down over Ianto's ass, fingers just brushing the crease at the top of his thigh. "How early?" He asked, while he counted back 9 months, and realized that was really early, too.
"Eight months," he stroked Jack's side.
He made a low sound, soft and approving and utterly affectionate. "How did he get potty trained before he could walk?"
"Wait...backwards." he shook his head, distracted, "Eight months was talking, nine months walking, 12 months potty trained."
"It sounds like you were counting backwards," he admitted. "From now and giving me time estimates. Still. That's. Really impressive. He's still a baby, though."
"He's still a baby. He advanced fast in some areas."
"Seeing him like this is. Weird."
"He was tiny the last time I saw him, Ianto."
"He'll be bigger still next time you see him."
"He'll be grown next time I see him, Ianto."
"You're not going to be able to stay away that long."
"Probably not, but I need to try."
"To be fair to the two of you."
"How's that fair, Jack?"
"Inconsistent and unreliable and unpredictable, versus absent."
"Absent is worse."
"Because it's just gone, Jack."
"We'll work something out."
"We need to," Ianto nodded, stroking Jack's side.
He closed his eyes, hair falling over his forehead. "I thought you said I did the right thing."
"You did." Ianto brushed back his hair, "But that's because Torchwood isn't safe for him and if your first thought is protecting him, it's not safe for you either. Here? Here is safe.'
He nipped at the heel of Ianto's hand when it based. "That's not the only reason it was a good idea, and you know it."
"Even if I weren't involved in Torchwood, I would be a lousy parent. I don't do normal. Not for long, anyway."
"I don't remember asking you to."
"Just. Visit, Jack. Sometimes."
"Okay?" he double checked.
He nodded. "Okay. I'll visit sometimes." He drapped an arm across Ianto, warm and heavy. He couldn't. He wanted to hide here. He'd go crazy in a week and he knew it, but damn he wanted it.
Ianto kissed Jack's shoulder, "And now you'll sleep?"
"No." He wrapped around Ianto.
"You're not tired?"
"Do I need to locate the gag?"
"What are you doing then?"
Ianto looked skeptical for a moment, then curled into Jack, holding him back.
He tucked his nose into Ianto's hair and held him tight.
Ianto closed his eyes, taking this, like he was going to keep this moment for as long as he could, falling asleep still clutching Jack like he wasn't going to let go.
Jack held onto Ianto, all the way through the night. Until his muscles stiffened up, and until he could hear Morgan - feel Morgan, actually - waking up.