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.

Summary: 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.

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 my irritating spell-checker.

More Notes:  Still set during 'Random Shoes,' but not referenced much.  Barely at all, actually.



Expectations



Part Twenty-Three



The screaming stopped as abruptly as it had started.  Jack stood, frozen in the middle of the bedroom, Ianto a limp weight in his
arms.  The Welshman had gone quiet.  The only sound coming from him were soft breaths and faint whimpers.  Jack looked at
his face and saw that he was unconscious again.  It worried Jack that Ianto hadn't been able to maintain consciousness.  But
then, perhaps it was better that he wasn't aware, wasn't feeling the pain that had left him screaming only moments ago.

Jack carefully adjusted his hold on the young man, already feeling the strain in his arms.  Ianto wasn't exactly as light as a
feather.  Carrying his dead weight wasn't easy.  But what else could Jack do?  If there was something terribly wrong, time was
of the essence.  He couldn't wait around for Owen to come here and decide Ianto needed to go to the Hub for some kind of
treatment.  Jack was going to cut through the middleman and just take Ianto to him.  If it was nothing to worry about, then they
could all breathe a sigh of relief later.  Jack would rather be certain, then regret it later.

With the duvet bundled around his precious burden, he left the bedroom, then the flat.  His own coat remained behind on Ianto's
sofa.  He could come back for it later.

He heard doors opening as he passed them, curious heads poking out to see what was going on.  He heard Mrs. Kolodka call out
behind him, but could only throw back a quick response, a lie about Ianto having a fever and taking him to his doctor.  It was
easier to lie in this case.  He also asked her to make sure Ianto's door was locked, not having the time to go back and do it
himself.  Ianto wouldn't be happy if his few belongings were stolen.

Ahead of him, the doors to the flats remained closed.  Granted it was the middle of the morning and most people had probably
gone to work, but he'd expected a few more curious faces wondering what the screaming was all about.  Then again, how many
people really cared about others anymore?

Faint whimpers slipped from Ianto's lips, growing in volume as Jack maneuvered him into the SUV.  He quieted again once he
was settled.  Jack did his best to secure him, knowing that he had to drive fast and not wanting to risk Ianto getting knocked
around.

He pressed a hand to Ianto's face, watching the young man's eyelids flutter.  Glazed blue eyes looked in his general direction, not
truly focusing on him.  Jack could see pain in that glassy gaze.  He rubbed his thumb gently back and forth across his
cheekbone, trying to keep him calm.

"Jack?"

Ianto's voice was weak, tired.  He blinked, but still looked dazed.  His breathing was shallow, rasping in and out through his
mouth.  He licked his lips which were dry and beginning to crack.

"It hurts," he whispered, fear chasing the weariness in his eyes as tears began to fall.

Jack raised his other hand, cupping Ianto's face in his palms.  He thumbed away the wetness on the Welshman's cheeks, and
tried to smile reassuringly.  "What hurts?  Where does it hurt, Ianto?"

A whimper and a fluttering of eyelids.  Ianto was fading again, his awareness slipping.  "My back," he answered.  "My legs ...
thighs."  He shuddered a breath, his eyes suddenly snapping to meet Jack's with abrupt clarity.  "What's wrong with me?"

"Does it hurt anywhere else?" Jack asked cautiously.  "Your stomach?"  He eased closer to Ianto, using his body to block anyone
from seeing inside the SUV.  Carefully, he shifted the folds of the duvet, trying to see if he could see any reason for the pain
Ianto was in.

"No," was Ianto's response.

Jack found Ianto's hands possessively clutching at his own belly, lean fingers almost digging into the protruding mass.  He pried
the digits loose, then settled them back onto his stomach again, patting the backs of his trembling hands gently, reassuringly.  
Carefully, he sifted his way through the duvet, making sure to keep Ianto's modesty intact by keeping a portion of the cloth over
the Welshman's lower body.

He pulled back another fold of the duvet and couldn't stop the harsh gasp from escaping him.  From nearly mid-thigh to halfway
up his side, Ianto's skin was mottled with deep, dark bruising.  He looked like he'd been kicked repeatedly, but there was no
visible damage to the skin other than the extensive bruise.  No wonder he was in pain.  Jack frowned, running his fingers lightly
over the pattern.  Amazingly, impossibly, the bruising seemed to dip away from Ianto's belly, the skin there remaining
unblemished and healthy.  Jack chalked it up to the nanogenes keeping the fetus safe, but still wondered at what had caused the
bruises in the first place.

"What is it?" Ianto asked, his hand flailing out to grasp at Jack's sleeve.

Jack looked into his eyes and found it difficult to smile.  "I don't know," he said honestly, placing his hand over the one Ianto
had grabbed him with.  "But we'll take care of it.  I'll get you to Owen and he'll take care of you.  Both of you."

Ianto didn't look as if he believed him.  Jack wasn't sure he believed himself.

Jack folded the duvet over Ianto again, then closed the door and ran around to the other side.  By the time he got in and started
the SUV, Ianto was dozing again.  He was unconscious before they reached the Hub less than ten minutes later.

Owen was waiting in the Medical Bay when Jack carried Ianto in.  Jack had called ahead to make sure he was there.  It was still
early in the morning and Owen didn't usually come in until later.  Tosh stood up from her seat and stepped closer, but stayed
clear out of Jack's way.  As Jack all but ran down to the medical area, she hovered over them, her hands clenched on the railing
and looking down into the Bay.

"Get him on the table," Owen ordered, yanking a privacy screen around.

"What's going on?" Tosh asked in a near-frantic tone.  Jack was almost glad Gwen was still out on that Eugene Jones
investigation of hers.  At least he didn't have both of the women ganging up on him again about Ianto's health.

"It's okay, Tosh!" Jack shouted back, then fixed Owen with a pointed glare that warned him not to say anything to concern the
woman.

He didn't need to worry though, as Owen's focus was only on Ianto.  "Jesus, Jack," he grumbled as soon as he peeled the duvet
away.

From then on, he was silent, scrambling around the table, running tests and taking vitals, hooking Ianto up to an IV line and any
number of machines to monitor him.  Jack watched, trying to stay out of the way but not willing to leave his side.

Finally, Owen scrubbed a hand across his forehead and breathed out a sigh.  "Thank God those little buggers learned," he said.

"What?" Jack snapped, his patience thin.  "What's going on?  What made those bruises?"

"The nanogenes," Owen replied, carefully tugging a pair of sleep pants up Ianto's legs.

"Why would-" Jack started, but cut himself off, realization slowly dawning on him.  Something similar happened during male
pregnancies in the fifty-first century.  Well, minus the bruising at any rate.  It was a natural thing where he came from and came
with a delightful burst of endorphins to cover any pain there might have been.  For Ianto, it was anything but natural.  His body
wasn't prepared for changes of this nature.

Owen slid a blanket up over Ianto's prone form.  "That's right.  The little bastards are making a way out for the baby.  To do
that, they have to make a birth canal and since a human male isn't built for this, they're also widening his hips.  Breaking the
bones and moving them caused those bruises you saw.  It's being done slowly and in small increments, hence the pain he's in."

Jack slid his fingers into Ianto's hair and stroked through the soft strands.  "And the tiredness?"

"They're sedating him.  And thank God for that, too.  The last subject before Ianto went through this fully conscious and aware
of everything.  Sedation was never an option for him.  Torchwood One let him suffer, Jack, and when he went into premature
labor because of it, they did nothing to help.  The nanogenes learned from this and are limiting the stress and shock by keeping
Ianto asleep.  They are single-mindedly concerned with protecting this baby until it's ready to deliver."

"What can we do?"  Jack asked, his eyes fixating on Ianto's belly.

"Keep him comfortable.  Wait it out."  Owen smoothed out the blanket, then cleared his throat as if self-conscious about the
small act of kindness.  "I'll need to keep him close so I can keep an eye on him, make sure he stays stable."

An idea formed in Jack's mind and he couldn't stop the smile spreading across his face.  "I know the perfect place."



*****



A slightly blurry expanse of pale yellow wall was the first thing Ianto saw when he awoke.  Next to come into focus was the
thin pole of an IV hanger, an almost full bag of fluid dangling from it.  He followed the tubing down to the bed where he lay, to
the pieces of tape holding it against his skin, to where the needle disappeared into his vein.

He was confused.  Where was he?  What was going on?  He blinked drowsily.  Opening his mouth, he tried to call out in case
someone was nearby, only to find his throat dry.  His tongue felt thick, like it was wadded in cotton.  He coughed, the scratchy
dryness irritating him.

Something cold and wet slid against his bottom lip.  He opened his mouth, all too happy to accept the fingers that pressed a piece
of ice against his tongue.

"Let that melt," Owen's unmistakable voice stated.

Ianto hummed, his eyes feeling heavy.  It was difficult to focus, to swim up through the levels of sludge that made up his mind
now and breach full consciousness.  He was tempted to simply lie back and let the tiredness carry him off again.  But there was
something important, something he needed to know.

More ice was given to him.  He welcomed the soothing liquid, allowing the pieces of ice to melt on his tongue.  The cool liquid
drizzled down his throat slowly, easing the dryness.

"Where am I?" he asked, when he was a bit more aware, his eyes still only barely open.

A faint grin curled Owen's lips.  "Welcome to the Torchwood Nursery, Tea-Boy."

Ianto took in the pale yellow walls again.  He blinked owlishly, able to make out more pieces of furniture now.  His vision was
still somewhat blurred around the edges, but he could see a changing table and a cot, as well as a wardrobe and a chest of
drawers, among other pieces of furniture.  Everything was made of a rich, dark cherry wood, standing out in the brightness of
the cheerful room.  He realized now that he was lying on one side of a rather large bed, his body propped up to an almost sitting
position by the pillows behind him.

"What?"  It wasn't the most articulate thing to say, but it was all his muddled mind could come up with at the moment.

"Jack's doing," Owen supplied, placing the cup of ice chips on a small table beside the bed that Ianto hadn't noticed before.  "He
wanted to surprise you.  Had Tosh and Gwen do the shopping for him and roped me into interior design and furniture assembly."

Ianto could only blink in surprise.  This was a room in the Hub?  But it looked like a normal bedroom, nicer than his own, in
fact.  "I ... Owen."  He swallowed and nervously began to pick at the soft blanket covering him.  "Thank you."

A pale dusting of color alighted on Owen's face.  He cleared his throat.  "Thank Captain Slave-Driver," he said, the frail color
fading.  "He had us running our arses off every time you left for the night or whenever he figured you wouldn't notice one of us
missing."

Ianto didn't know what to say, so he remained quiet.  An awkward silence filled the air until Ianto realized he still didn't know
what was going on.

"How did I get here?  Why am I here?" he asked.

"What's the last thing you remember?"

Thinking for a moment, Ianto answered, "I went to bed."  He didn't think Owen would appreciate knowing that he'd fallen asleep
in Jack's arms, so he kept that to himself.  "I was tired and I went home early.  And I remember Tosh staying with me for a
while.  And you, I think.  Then I had dinner with Jack and ... I went to bed."

The look on Owen's face had him getting worried.  "That was three days ago."

"What?!"  Ianto slammed his hands on the bed and pushed himself up.  Too fast, he realized as the room began to spin and blur.  
He slowly sat back, feeling Owen's hands guiding his shoulders.  He also became aware of a deep throbbing ache that pulsed out
around his hips and groin in time with his heartbeat.

Ianto winced, lips parted as he made quick gasping breaths.  He felt Owen reach behind him, adjusting pillows to make sure
Ianto's back and neck were supported.  "Just relax," Owen said.

That was easier said than done.  Ianto let out something that could be mistaken for a laugh.  "What happened?"

A calculating look crossed Owen's face.  He didn't answer immediately, instead waiting for Ianto's breathing to even out.  "I'm
not going to sugar-coat it for you, mate.  Those nanogenes have made a way for your little bundle of joy to get out."

There was a heavy pause before Ianto said anything.  To be fair, he couldn't get his brain to work.  It was as if Owen had
thrown a wrench in his mental gears.  "What?"  He felt a niggling of fear, which only seemed to grow as the seconds ticked by.

"Okay.  I'll lay it all out for you.  You have a birth canal."

Owen could have told him he'd grown an extra leg and Ianto couldn't have been as shocked by the news.  "I have a WHAT?"  
Before Owen could answer, Ianto quickly reached under the blankets to make a frantic grab at his crotch.  He was immensely
relieved to find that he hadn't lost anything down there.

Ignoring Ianto's actions, Owen continued.  "The nanogenes have been learning from their mistakes.  The stress and shock of
changing the last bloke caused him to go into early labor.  My best guess is that they sedated you to keep the same thing from
happening to you.  I was expecting something like this ... probably should have warned you, but you've been under too much
stress already and I thought I had more time.  It didn't happen until almost the eighth month for the last guy."

Ianto let out a frankly hysterical laugh.  "If I grow tits, I'm going to kill you.  Slowly!"  He dropped his hands on top of the
blanket and began twisting the fabric in his fists.

Owen held up his own hands defensively.  "Don't go killing the messenger.  Now, there are some things we should go over."

Ianto swallowed repeatedly.  His mouth was feeling dry again.  "Does that mean I have ... I have a-"  He couldn't finish the
thought, let alone the sentence.  And he sure as hell wasn't going to feel around to find out.

Brief confusion flickered over Owen's face, but was quick to vanish.  "Oh!  No.  Let me explain."

He reached down and picked up a folder from the floor.  He opened it and offered it over to Ianto, who took it with irritatingly
shaking hands.  The doctor pointed to a diagram that left Ianto feeling a bit queasy.

"Most of the alterations were internal.  See here, is the birth canal leading from the womb.  Yes, there is an external cavity,
located between the testicles and anus.  It's covered by a thin membrane of skin, so it's barely even noticeable unless you're
looking for it.  I assume it'll thin out or break as you get closer to your due date, perhaps when you go into labor."

Ianto dropped the folder and cut him off.  "Labor?  Oh, hell no!  There is NO way I am giving birth!  When the time comes, I
want drugs!  And a c-section!  Am I understood?"

Much to his annoyance, Owen laughed.  Only once, but it was still a laugh.  And he was smiling.  Bastard.

Owen began talking again, going over the changes that had been made.  Ianto tried to pay attention, but he was finding it
difficult.  All he could focus on was the fact that he had a birth canal.  He shuddered at the mere thought of it.  The idea of
actually trying to give birth had him nauseous.  There was no way in hell.

"Wait, what?" Ianto asked abruptly.  Something Owen said filtered through.  "What about my hips?"

Giving him a look filled with exasperation, the medic answered.  "They've been shifted.  The male skeletal frame isn't built for
childbirth, let alone pregnancy.  Hips are too narrow.  The nanogenes took care of that for you."

"Oh, great."  He tossed the folder aside and rested his hands on his stomach, then leveled Owen with a deliberate look.  "I'm
serious, Owen.  Drugs.  I want drugs.  Lots of them."

Owen patted the back of his hand in a placating manner.  "No worries, Tea-Boy.  I have you scheduled for surgery.  Now, let's
see how you're healing."

Ianto raised his hands, moving them out of the way as Owen drew the blanket down to his knees.  He couldn't see much beyond
the dome of his belly, but he felt when Owen's fingers prodded at his sides.  Wincing, he tried to angle himself to see and was
stunned at the deep bruising he glimpsed.

"It's not as bad as it was before," Owen said, although Ianto hadn't said a word.  "Only a bit of discoloration around the hips and
groin now.  The nanogenes are working hard to keep your pain to a minimum.  Don't be surprised if you find it difficult to stay
awake."

Now that Owen said it, Ianto did find himself feeling a bit drowsy.  He didn't want to go to sleep though.  He'd slept for three
days already apparently.  He bit his lip, worried and not really wanting to broach the topic that had been on his mind since Owen
had told him what had been done to him.  "Will I ... will I go back to normal when this is done?"  He barely heard himself over
the throbbing of his heart.  He was afraid of the answer.

Owen readjusted the blankets, smoothing out the wrinkles.  "I don't know, Ianto," he said solemnly.  "If we had the tech that did
this ... but so much was lost in the fall of Torchwood One.  Tosh checked.  The device wasn't found.  As it is, we're working
blind from here on out.  You've outlived all the other subjects.  Everything that happens to you from now on is going to be a
first."

Ianto didn't answer.  He couldn't.

In a rare show of caring, Owen reached out and grasped his hand.  "I'll do everything I can, Ianto," he said honestly, his tone so
full of earnest intent that Ianto couldn't help but believe him.




To Be Continued ...