Disclaimers: I do not own Torchwood or any of its characters.  I am making no money from this.  It is purely for
entertainment purposes only.

Notes: Ianto has a secret.  Set during series one, after Cyberwoman.

Warnings:  MPREG!!  I am a HUGE fan of Mpreg.  There are also hints of past child abuse.

More Notes: Please remember that I am just another stupid American.  Please forgive any spelling or grammatical errors
as I must rely solely on my own knowledge.

And even MORE notes:  Spoilers for Small Worlds.  I didn't want to write the whole episode, so events are mentioned,
but not elaborated on.




Expectations



Part Eight




As the days went by, Ianto found himself falling into a simple routine.  He woke up, went into work and put up with Jack
and/or Owen pestering him about his health and if he'd slept well.  There would follow a typical day at the Hub involving
several rounds of coffee for his colleagues, and only one for himself, rift alerts he wasn't allowed to go out for, and
mounds of paperwork, filing and cleaning.  If he'd had a particularly bad night, his day would also include a nap, generally
enforced by Jack who would loan Ianto the use of his cramped hole in the ground.

"It's cozy," Jack had said, defending his space.

Ianto smirked at the recollection of the pout on the man's face.

The days were actually rather pleasant.  He could lose himself in work, forget about his problems so long as he had
something to do.  The nights were hard, though.  The silence of his flat pressed in on him and made him feel smothered.  
Most nights the silence alone kept him awake with feelings of utter loneliness.  The nightmares and consistent worries over
his baby finished the job for him.

One night, almost a week after his return to work, he simply gave up on sleep altogether and headed into the Hub.  When
he got there, he powered up a computer and went about finishing some paperwork as the various programs used to
monitor the city loaded.  He was looking in one folder as he walked along to see where it went when Jack's quiet voice
startled him.  "You shouldn't be here."

Ianto fought the urge to jump and looked at his boss.  Jack looked somewhat upset about something.  Not overly so, but
it was still there.  He swallowed and responded.  "Neither should you."  It was true that Jack practically lived in the Hub,
but Ianto had seriously expected the other man to be sleeping.  With that thought, he made his way to the computers he
had booted up.  He could hear Jack following him, but was still surprised by the hand on his shoulder.

"What d'ya got?"

Ianto still wasn't comfortable with the casual contact, so he shrugged his shoulders.  He was only a little relieved when
Jack removed his hand with a small pat to his shoulder, almost wishing he had kept it there.  He wasn't sure what the
screen was telling him since the readout made no sense.  "Funny sorta weather patterns."

Jack made a soft hum as he looked at it, before letting out a breath.  "Come on.  It's too early for you to be awake."

Ianto nodded and allowed Jack to lead him to the hatch that led to Jack's room.  Before he climbed down, he tilted his
head at his boss.  "Couldn't you sleep either?"

Jack offered him a small smile.  "I'll be all right.  It's not my head Owen will have on a plate for not sleeping.  Go on.  I'll
wake you up in time to get ready before the others come in."

Ianto relaxed at the promise and climbed down.  He quickly took as much clothing off as he could without stripping
completely before taking off the ring.  Once he placed the ring on a nearby table, he curled up on Jack's bed, which was
still warm from where the other man had rested just moments before.

He nuzzled into the pillow, taking a long, deep breath and inhaling that alluring aroma that was so uniquely Jack.  Ianto
didn't understand why, but he felt comfortable here, safe.  He didn't really want to think about it though.  

He closed his eyes and let sleep take him away.

When he awoke, it was to the feel of skillful fingers combing through his hair.  A soft sound of contentment slipped past
his lips.  Half-aware, he turned toward the gentle contact, seeking out the affection.

Jack's amused chuckle brought him instantly awake.

Ianto snapped his eyes open and shoved himself up.  He immediately regretted it.  Nausea slammed into him and the
dimly lit room spun violently.  Grimacing, he pressed one hand to his head and the other to his churning stomach.

"Woah, there," Jack called, warm hands steadying his shoulders.

Bile rose in his throat.  He swallowed it down but more was going to come.  "Toilet," Ianto groaned miserably.  "I'm going
to-"  He could say no more.  He clapped a hand across his mouth.

Jack practically picked him up and carried him into the tiny adjoining room.  The floor was ice cold under Ianto's knees,
but he barely noticed it as he was emptying his stomach into the bowl.

He lay his forehead against the rim and closed his eyes, his head pounding and throat burning.  All he wanted to do right
now was curl up in bed again.  Something damp and wonderfully cool pressed against the back of his neck and he
cracked an eye open to look at Jack who had just placed a damp washcloth against his skin.  Concern was written clearly
in his features.

"Better?"

Ianto swallowed and nodded.  "Yeah, just give me a moment."  He took a few deep breaths, willing the sickening feeling
to go away.  Jack was rubbing his back, which helped a little.  "Does it get easier in the future?"

Jack chuckled softly.  "Not really.  Pregnancy is pretty much the same regardless of when or where it takes place."  He
held something out.  "Here, it'll help."

Ianto looked down and smiled at the handful of peppermint candies Jack was holding.  He took one and popped it into
his mouth after unwrapping it.  The sweet minty flavor quickly banished the disgusting taste in his mouth.  "Thanks."

Jack nodded.  "Don't think anything of it.  Take it slowly.  You have plenty of time to get ready.  I'll put some breakfast
together when you come up."

Ianto sighed as Jack left.  Food was the furthest thing from his mind, but he had a feeling Jack would know what to make
that would stay down.

Slowly and cautiously, he stood and returned to the other room, leaving the washcloth by the sink.  He kept a hand on
any solid surface he could find, worrying that if he got dizzy again he might fall.  With the compact space and how the
furniture was arranged, he'd surely crack his skull open.

Dressing was a difficult task.  He'd left his clothing neatly folded on the chair.  When he bent to retrieve them he was glad
that he'd left his hand braced on the desk.  He clamped his eyes shut, grabbing at the back of the chair so hard it was
painful.  Too soon to think about bending then.  To make matters worse, his stomach rolled in protest whenever he
cracked his eyes open enough to see the swirling colors of the spinning room.

"Jack?" he called out tentatively, not really wanting to call for help at all.  There was nothing for it though.  He couldn't stay
like this indefinitely.  He called out to Jack again, a little louder this time.

He bowed his head and slowly lowered himself to the floor.  Groaning from discomfort, he pressed one hand over his
eyes.  His head was pounding.  There was a worrying tremble to his limbs as he cupped his hand along the underside of
his swell.

"Jack!" he tried one last time, throwing his head back and yelling the man's name.  This was followed by a round of
colorful swearing in both English and Welsh as he banged the back of his head against Jack's desk.

"Ianto?"

Jack's voice.  Ianto let out a sigh of relief.  He dropped his hand from his face, pressing that one to his stomach as well.

There was the sound of footfalls on the ladder and floor.  Then hands gripped his shoulders.  One slid up to cup the back
of his neck, the other slid further up, stroking across his cheek and forcing him to raise his head a bit.

"Ianto?  What's wrong?"  Jack was worried, Ianto could hear it in his voice.  "Did you fall?  What happened?"

Ianto eased his eyes open a sliver.  To his relief, the world had stopped swirling.  And Jack was there, his eyes tracing
over every last inch of him, no doubt looking for signs of injury.  His gaze lingered on Ianto's stomach.

"I was trying to dress and I got dizzy," Ianto answered honestly.  He flushed with embarrassment, uncomfortable with the
attention he was receiving.  "Everything was spinning.  I had to sit down."

Jack's thumb brushed across his cheekbone.  He wasn't smiling.  "Let's get you back to bed," he said, then helped to do
just that.

For once, Ianto didn't argue.

"I'm going to call Owen," Jack announced.  He tugged the covers up over the Welshman.  "You stay here and rest."

A sudden spike of fear ran through Ianto and he lashed out, grasping at Jack's hand as the man was turning away from
him.  He didn't say anything.  He didn't need to.  Jack seemed to understand.

Smiling reassuringly, he sat on the edge of the bed and dug his mobile out of his pocket.  After a quick call, he was telling
Ianto that Owen was on his way.

Ianto curled on his side, still clutching at Jack's hand.  He closed his eyes, trying to calm himself, but it was no use.  What
if something was wrong?  His mind was abuzz with fears and concerns.  Nightmarish images of a tiny dead baby had him
breaking into tears.  He didn't want to lose the baby.

It wasn't until Jack's fingers began to sweep through his hair that Ianto began to calm.  Soft, hushing tones soothed him
and he found himself drifting into a light doze.  He desperately clung to Jack's hand and voice, willing everything to be
okay.



*****



Jack sat holding Ianto's hand while waiting for Owen to show up.  Although he kept a cool-headed front, he was greatly
concerned about Ianto and the growing life he carried.  Owen had promised to get there as soon as possible, so Jack
refrained from calling the man a second time.  He wondered just how long it would take Torchwood's doctor to get
there.  Owen did live only minutes away from the Hub.

After what seemed like an eternity, but Jack knew it was probably only twenty minutes, he heard Owen's voice.  He
looked up and gave Owen a relieved smile when the snarky man appeared.

"All right, I dragged myself out of bed at an ungodly hour.  Let's see what's wrong."  Owen climbed down the ladder.

Jack, meanwhile, rubbed Ianto's arm with his free hand and smiled when the Welshman's reaction was to scrunch his eyes
closed tighter before opening them a little.  "Hey.  Owen's here."

Owen managed a quick smile for Ianto before running a scanner over his body.  He checked his blood pressure and took
blood samples, which he then ran up to do tests on.  With the added benefit of alien tech incorporated into a good portion
of the equipment here, the tests came back within minutes.

"Now, first question," Owen announced, even as he flipped back and forth through the printouts he'd brought down with
him.  "How have you been sleeping?"

Ianto opened his mouth before closing it and looking down.  "Some nights I sleep all right, but most nights, the silence of
my flat presses against me.  I've been telling Jack though, whenever I've had a bad night."

"He has," Jack agreed.

"Last night," Ianto started, then swallowed and looked away.  "Last night was particularly bad.  I'd rather not discuss it
though."

Jack sighed and ran his thumb along Ianto's knuckles.  Not once had he let go of Ianto's hand.  "If it's that hard for you to
sleep at your place, I'm sure we could set something up for you here."  He could have easily lectured the archivist, but
was glad he didn't when Ianto flushed a little and nodded.

Owen pursed his lips a little.  "When was the last time you ate, and what did you eat?"

Ianto thought, then told him.  It had been another meal courtesy of Mrs. Koladka.  Freshly made this time, he hadn't had
to reheat it.

"When was that?" Owen asked again.

"It was early.  Just after I got home.  Around seven maybe."

"And you didn't eat breakfast?"

Ianto shook his head.

"Not even a glass of juice?"

"I don't have much of an appetite when I wake up.  And I was feeling nauseous this morning.  I'm usually better by lunch."

Owen pinched the bridge of his nose between his thumb and forefinger.  "That explains it then."  He held up his hand to
stall either Jack or Ianto from saying something.  "Don't worry, it's not serious.  Just a case of your blood sugar levels
being too low.  You'll feel better once you eat."  He looked at Jack.  "You stay here and keep him company."  Then he
was heading back up the ladder and out of sight.

Ianto looked over at Jack, then away again.  There was a blush to his cheeks as he shyly extricated his hand from Jack's
grip.  "Thanks," he said softly, then cleared his throat and blushed all the more.

Jack allowed the subtle distancing.  He knew that Ianto wasn't comfortable with physical interactions.  Pats on the back
and friendly hugs left him stiffening with discomfort.  Jack tried to keep a distance, especially now after the disaster with
the Cyberwoman.

"You're going to be fine," Jack said, meaning it.

Ianto hummed and rubbed his hands over his stomach.  "There are so many things that could go wrong."  A tear slipped
down his face.

Jack tucked a finger under the Welshman's chin.  "That's why Owen and I are looking out for you."

There was a flicker of a smile on Ianto's lips as he dashed his tears away with the back of his hand.  Before anything else
could be said between the two men, Owen returned, uneasily climbing down the ladder with one hand while balancing a
mug and a small plate with the other.

Jack rose to take the objects from him and handed them off to Ianto.  A plate bearing two slices of dry toast and a coffee
mug filled with apple juice.

"Eat up," Owen advised.  "You need the carbohydrates."

Ianto obediently did as told.  He ate slowly, taking small bites and even smaller swallows of juice.  He wasn't keen on the
idea of needing to race to the bathroom again.

"Give it about twenty minutes and you should be good as new," Owen said.  Then he loudly announced his intention to go
back to sleep, threatening bodily harm if they bothered him again for anything other than the end of the world.

Jack was chuckling as Owen headed back up the ladder.  Ianto continued eating and checked his watch.  The Welshman
blinked and Jack knew he understood Owen's irritation now.  It wasn't quite seven in the morning yet.  Owen rarely
dragged himself in any earlier than nine if he could avoid it.  

"Don't worry about it.  I know you're probably thinking you're being a bother right now, but it's not true."

Ianto shrugged and continued nibbling on his meal.  "But the two of you are going way beyond what I think is necessary.  
How long before Owen gets sick of treating me?"

"Never gonna happen, so put that worry out of your head."  Jack grinned at the Welshman.  "I bet he's secretly loving
knowing something Tosh doesn't for once, and I'm having a blast."  At Ianto's look, Jack chuckled.  "You forget how
protective I am of my team, yourself included.  I enjoy pampering people when I can."  Then he sighed and broached a
subject he'd been meaning to get around to.  "One thing would make things easier, though."  When Ianto looked at him
with interest, Jack knew he had the archivist hooked.  "I looked and couldn't find any of Torchwood one's files on your
condition.  They were usually so thorough on this sort of thing."  When Ianto paled a little, Jack figured what must have
happened.  "If at all possible, I'd like those files on my desk sometime today, please."

"You're not mad?"

Jack reached forward and placed a hand on Ianto's shoulder, not pulling away immediately when the younger man
stiffened.  "A little upset that you didn't bring it forward as soon as I knew your condition, but I can understand that things
have been hectic around here lately.  So get them on my desk before the end of the day and we'll discuss setting up
someplace here for you to sleep when you're having a bad night.  You never know, there may come a day when I'd
actually like to use my bed myself for a change."  He smiled as he talked and was amused by the rapidly spreading blush
on the other man's face.

"Sorry, Sir.  I've put you out."

"Nonsense."  Jack waved a hand dismissively.  "I wasn't using the bed any of the times you've needed it.  I don't sleep that
much anyway."  He wasn't about to tell Ianto that he sometimes went days without sleeping.  Or that when he did manage
to sleep it was only a few hours at most.  Unless he'd recently died and even then it depended on the method of death.

"Where should we tuck you away, hm?"  Jack asked when it looked like Ianto might say something more.  "Somewhere
out of the way, obviously.  Can't have Gwen or Tosh finding you taking a cat nap in the middle of the day."

Ianto made a face that clearly expressed his dislike.  "Lord no.  It's bad enough with them thinking I'm ill.  Gwen keeps
bringing me soup."

"You'll have to tell them eventually."  Then he thought.  If he was careful, Ianto probably could get away with not telling
either Gwen or Tosh the truth.  It would be difficult, but out of anyone Ianto would be the one to pull it off.  He didn't say
this though.  He'd rather Ianto open up and trust all of them, not just select members out of necessity.

Cleverly, Ianto avoided what could have turned into an argument by continuing with the original topic of conversation.  
"The archives might be best, Sir.  None of you really go down there.  And there are a few camp beds in storage."

Jack nodded.  "All right.  I'll work on setting that up for you.  There's still a while before the others start trickling in."  He
suddenly snapped his fingers as a thought occurred to him.  He gave Ianto an apologetic smile when the Welshman
jumped.  "I almost forgot."

Fumbling in his pocket, he brought out a Comms. device.  He attached it to Ianto's ear.  Then he dug another out of his
pocket and put it on himself.

"I was going to give this to you when you came up.  It's a closed channel, a direct line to me.  Voice activated.  Although,
if you need to be able to speak to everyone, you can switch to an open frequency by pressing the button twice.  I want it
on you at all times.  What happened this morning proves you need a way of contacting me if something's wrong."

Ianto raised a hand, brushing his fingers over the device.  He was nodding in agreement.

Jack looked at his watch.  "Better get moving if I want to get that bed set up for you.  Tosh is due in soon."  He patted
Ianto's shoulder, then slipped the empty plate and mug away from him.  "You take your time, no rush.  Though, I wouldn't
say no to a coffee when you get up."

A frail smile was all the answer he needed.  Returning a glowing smile of his own, Jack climbed up the ladder and got to
work.



*****


Owen rolled a pen back and forth across his palm.  He could be doing up his report on his latest autopsy, but honestly
this seemed far more interesting.  He rolled it down to the tips of his fingers and back again.

A folder slapped onto his desk, startling him and causing him to drop his pen.  He looked up to see Captain Jack
Harkness standing beside his desk, arms crossed and with a smug smirk on his face.

"What's this?" he asked, glancing around the Hub.  Gwen was off somewhere or another.  Who really cared where.  Tosh
was lost in her computer, effectively blind and deaf to the world around her.  Jack had her working on something to do
with the weather, watching for patterns.  And Ianto?  He had gone off home just a little while ago, shortly after eight.  Too
late in Owen's opinion.  He should have been off earlier.

Jack leaned over, pressing his palms flat on Owen's workspace.  "Files from Torchwood One."  He glanced toward
Toshiko who was typing away, staring intently at her screen.  "Ianto was kind enough to hand them over before he left.  
Have a look and get back to me in the morning."

Owen snatched up the folder and eagerly flipped through it, dismissing Jack by ignoring him completely.  Anything he
could find out about what had led to Ianto's current state could only be helpful.  He was working blind.  But with this, at
least he'd have some information to work with.



To Be Continued ...