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!!  If you've been reading for this long, I'm sure you've already noticed.

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:  Spoiler warning.  We are still in 'Out of Time,' so references are made to that episode.



Expectations



Part Thirty-Six



Owen tapped his fingers on the door, wondering if there was any way he could get out of this.  Reluctantly, he got out of the
car.  A biting wind swept through the car park, nipping at his exposed skin.  Owen held his collar closed with one gloved fist,
trying to keep the chill air away with little success.

He slammed the door shut behind him and stared down the lines of cars at the monolith looming before him.  He did not want to
go in there.  Masses of people thronged the entryways and Owen sneered at the sight of it.

Why had he agreed to do this?  "Remind me never to be nice again," he muttered, more to himself than anything.

Johnny, who had driven him here, smiled and clapped him on the back as they started walking toward the doors.  "It won't be
so bad," he said, far too cheerfully.

Owen stopped dead in his tracks.  Some stranger walking up behind him bumped his shoulder as he continued on.  "You have
got to be kidding me," Owen sniped and waved an irritated hand toward the building.  "It might as well be the gates of Hell."

Johnny smiled.  "Oh, it's not really."  He turned to the door and coughed, his easy smile slipping.  "All right, it is that bad."

Somewhere in the distance, Owen heard a child screaming out some tantrum.  A number of car alarms were blaring.  The child
was louder.  Owen rubbed his forehead.  He had only agreed to this because Ianto had begged.  He didn't want to be empty
handed on Christmas morning.  Ianto couldn't do the shopping himself, Owen had flat out forbidden that.  It would have been
far too strenuous on the pregnant man.  So, here Owen was, armed with a credit card and joined by Johnny who was there to
make sure Owen picked something the kids would actually enjoy and didn't already own.

Honestly, shopping on Christmas Eve.  Owen felt doomed as he made his way into the shopping centre, pushing his way
through the mob of last minute shoppers.  Ianto better appreciate his efforts.


*****


Rhiannon watched Ianto as they left the park.  It wasn't too far from the house, so they had walked there.  As long as Ianto
didn't rush himself, he should be fine and getting some fresh air would only do him good.  And Rhiannon was keeping a careful
watch on her little brother, looking for any signs of stress or pain.

She was worried about him.  Oh, he didn't seem terribly tired or that he was hurting in any way.  He smiled at all the right
places and laughed along with the children.  However, Rhiannon was well-versed in seeing through his masks.  Every now and
then he would slip.  Whenever the kids looked away, his smile would fall just a little and a distant, almost haunted look would
enter his eyes.

It had to be because of that woman, the one who had sat beside him in the park.  Rhiannon didn't know who she was, but she
must have something to do with Ianto's abrupt mood change.  He'd been fine when Rhiannon had gone to talk to a friend of
hers who'd happened to be passing by.  When she'd come back, after noticing him talking with that stranger, that was when
he'd become distracted.

"I'm fine," Ianto said abruptly.

Rhiannon jumped a little, startled out of her observations.  She hadn't realized she'd been staring at him, or that he'd noticed.  
She looked ahead and watched David and Mica laughing about something.  They were far enough ahead of them to not
overhear polite conversation, but close enough to be within earshot if Rhiannon called out to them.

"Don't hit your sister!" she shouted out to David, who had just clipped his sister on the arm.

An apology floated back to her.  Then the two of them were laughing and carrying on as if nothing had happened at all.

Rhiannon smiled as she watched them.  She didn't bother turning her head toward Ianto when she talked to him.  "So, who was
she?" she asked.

Ianto let out a short huff of a breath.  "You won't let this go if I don't say anything, will you?"  He didn't wait for an answer,
instead asking another question.  "I told you about how I was kidnapped?  And the people involved?"

Rhiannon nodded, more to herself.  She didn't think Ianto was looking at her, probably watching the kids like she was.  "Yeah,
you mentioned that.  You said you'd only been rescued a couple of days before you showed up here."

Instead of elaborating on the short version he had divulged to her over a week ago, half-incoherent from sobs and gasps for
breath, Ianto simply said, "That was Mrs. Koladka."

She wracked her brains, sifting through the tales Ianto had told her.  The memory struck her suddenly and she came to a halt,
grabbing Ianto's arm and spinning him to face her.  "Your neighbor?  That Mrs. Koladka?  The grandmother that helped kidnap
you?"

Ianto smiled a frail smile, and his hands ran down over his concealed stomach.  "Soon to be a great-grandmother actually."  He
gestured ahead.  "Come on, we'll lose sight of them."

Rhiannon started walking, more out of instinct than anything.  She was more worried than ever now.  "What did she want?"

"Nothing," Ianto answered.  "A picture of the baby when he's born."  He cleared his throat.  "She apologized to me."

She snorted.  "Fat lot of good that is now.  The damage has already been done."

There was silence for a while and Rhiannon had thought the subject was dropped.  Then Ianto quietly admitted, "I don't hate
her."

"You can't be serious!" Rhiannon snapped.  "After what she did?"  They were almost to the house, the kids already in the yard,
so she pulled him to a stop again, turning him to face her.  The effect of glaring at him was only partially ruined by the fact that
she had to look up at him.  She placed a palm against his cheek and softened her gaze.  "She hurt you, Ianto."

Ianto looked down, then away, and started biting at his lower lip.  "I can't hate her," he said gently.  "Actually, I can almost
understand her.  She only wanted to save what was left of her grandson and that last piece of him is currently inside of me.  
When you're desperate and only have one shred of hope left, you'll do anything to preserve it.  I know I did and it nearly cost
me everything when it all blew up in my face."

The smile he was trying to raise was shattering already.  He looked at her and his eyes were so full of pain that it hurt her heart
to witness it.  "Who?" she croaked.  What had hurt him so badly?  Who had he lost?

Ianto shook his head, a lone tear drying on his cheek.  "It doesn't matter.  She's gone now, nothing to be done about it."  He
inhaled, wiping his gloved hand across his face.  "Don't tell Owen about her talking to me, okay?  I don't want him worrying
unnecessarily.  I think she's honestly sorry.  She never meant to hurt me, only to protect me ... us.  She just went about it in
the completely wrong way."

"I don't trust her," Rhiannon said firmly, still worrying for her little brother.  She didn't want him being hurt again.  That
woman, Mrs. Koladka, she could still be dangerous.

Ianto actually laughed a little.  "Oh, neither do I.  I'm not quite that thick."  He tugged on her arm.  "Come on, it's bloody
freezing out here."

Rhiannon allowed him to urge her into moving again.  She didn't like Mrs. Koladka and she didn't trust her.  But she did trust
Ianto.  "All right," she said with a measure of resignation.  "I won't say anything to Owen about her.  But if you go missing all
bets are off."

Ianto smiled and nodded.  He set a hand on her back and followed her and the children into the house.  "Thank you," he said.  
"Now, if you don't mind, I think I'm going to have a lie down."

She helped him with his coat, then leaned up and kissed his cheek.  "I'll wake you for lunch."  Then with a pat, she sent him
off, watching as he carefully ascended the stairs.  She sighed to herself, hoping that Ianto was right about that woman.


*****


"Never again!" Owen declared, unceremoniously dumping his shopping bags onto the bed.

Ianto sat up, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes.  After lunch, he had tired himself out with the kids again.  This time, it had been
Rhiannon who had sent him off to nap, much to the disappointment of Ianto and his niece and nephew.

He looked at his watch.  It was nearly four in the afternoon.  "You've only just gotten back?  You've been gone all day."

Owen glared at him.  "Have you ever been shopping on Christmas Eve?  It's Hell, I tell you.  I'd rather stand between a pair of
starving Weevils and a buffet table than go through that again."

"Sorry," Ianto murmured, only half meaning it.  He was sorry that he had been forced to coerce Owen into doing his shopping
for him.  But he couldn't deny that he was amused by the man's harassed state.

Owen cast another glare his way.  He started rummaging around in the bags.  "Here, this is for Mica."  He tossed a rather good
quality art kit with a wooden case Ianto's way.

It seemed like a nice gift, goodness knows Mica was completely obsessed with drawing and coloring.  The case was sturdy.  It
contained colored pencils, markers, a pair of drawing pencils and some erasers.  There were even watercolor paints and
paintbrushes, among other things.  All she'd need was paper.  But Ianto could see that was already taken care of as well, once
Owen pulled the packages from one of the bags of shopping.  Construction paper in a variety of bright colors, a drawing pad,
and a couple of coloring books joined the pile of Mica's presents.

Next, Owen pulled a box out of one of the bags.  Ianto took it from him.  "For David," Owen clarified.

"Rhiannon will kill me," Ianto stated, letting out a short breath as he looked at the Nintendo DS Lite in his hands.

Owen shrugged.  "You're an Uncle.  Isn't it supposed to be your job to spoil them?"  He didn't seem particularly concerned.  
Instead, he just reached into his bags again and tossed a few smaller boxes toward Ianto.  "I got some games, too."

A roll of wrapping paper bounced on the bed.  Next to it landed some tape, a pair of scissors, a package of gift tags and a pen.  
"You could have had them wrapped at the shop," Ianto said, although he was grateful.  He actually did want to wrap the gifts
himself.  If he couldn't have done the shopping, the least he could do was wrap it all up.  He'd just expected Owen to take the
easier route and have someone else do it for him.

"You are kidding me," Owen scoffed.  "I wasn't about to stand in another line getting shoved about.  It took me two stores to
find that art kit.  Another four for that game thing and the games.  I've never been bumped around so much just trying to get
through a door.  I think I've got bruised ribs from all the elbows in my side."  He reached into the bags one last time, pulling out
a bottle of Jack Daniels.  He then slapped a cheerful ribbon onto it and smiled at Ianto.  "Oh look, you got me a gift, too.  
Cheers."

Ianto smiled, then shook his head.  Trust Owen to turn the situation in his favor.  "Just make sure you wait until you get home
before you enjoy it."

Owen snorted.  "I admit that I'm a twat, but even I wouldn't drink when I'm working.  Or around kids."

"Thank you, Owen," Ianto said, meaning it for more than just the past few minutes.

Owen gave him a wink.  "Better get to wrapping, Tea-Boy.  If you need me, I'll be downstairs.  Johnny promised there's a beer
waiting down there with my name on it."

Ianto didn't waste time with more chatter.  He reached for the roll of paper and tore it free of the plastic wrap encasing it.  
"Thanks again," he said as Owen left the room.

Owen's only reply was a wordless grunt before the door clicked shut behind him.  Ianto supposed that translated as a 'you're
welcome,' and smiled to himself as he set to work.



*****



Ianto was awakened in the night by the annoying sound of a mobile ringing.  He groaned into his pillow and shifted his knees up
closer to his body, almost cringing away from the detestable noise.  Behind him, Owen jerked awake and answered the call with
a weary grumble.  It reminded Ianto of that morning almost a week ago when he had been woken in a similar way by Tosh's
phone call, so excited about the arrival of those three unfortunate people from 1953.  Just as he had done then, Ianto tried to
ignore the conversation going on behind him in an attempt to slip back into sleep.

That effort was ruined as soon as Owen switched on the bedside light.  Ianto was immediately aware then.  He turned enough
to see over his shoulder, and watched as a fleeting look of concern fluttered across Owen's face.

"I'll be right there, Tosh," he said into the mobile, then ended the call.

Ianto dropped onto his back, and propped himself up with his elbows.  "What's happening?  Is it the Rift?"

Owen shook his head.  "No, that lot from '53 are causing trouble."  He tossed the mobile onto the bed and pushed the covers
away from himself.  With an irritated sigh, he swung his legs out and got up.  "One's gone missing, another's left for London
and the third also up and vanished, but not before stealing Tosh's keys last night."

"She's only telling you now?"

Owen shrugged.  "She didn't want to bother us.  We are technically off duty.  But she needs a bit of help and didn't know who
else to call because Gwen won't answer her bloody phone and Jack went after Ellis and hasn't been back yet."

He watched Owen slide into a pair of jeans, probably the same pair he'd worn earlier in the day.  Even when he was supposed
to be resting, Ianto invariably had to clean up after the medic and he would never have left them on the floor like that if he had
seen them.  Owen had the bad habit of just leaving his clothes wherever they landed.  Ianto often had to pluck them up and toss
them into the laundry or - in the case of Owen's jacket - lay them neatly across the end of the bed.

Owen picked up a shirt, held it to his face and sniffed it.  Ianto cringed a bit in disgust at the display.  "Want me to come
along?  I can't do much, but I could make some coffees, or something."  Ianto offered while Owen found a pair of socks and
his shoes.

"Nah.  That pilot, Diane was her name?  It seems she stole a plane early in the morning and flew off.  Witnesses report seeing
the plane vanish into thin air, so it's a safe bet she went back into the Rift for whatever reason."  He shrugged carelessly and
pulled on a trainer without bothering to untie it.  "And the other girl, she's got a job waiting for her and a place to live, so she'll
be all right.  Gwen took her to her bus today.  But that bloke, the one who stole Tosh's keys.  That was last night.  Jack went
off after him and he hasn't been back since.  Tosh has been handling the Rift alerts by herself all day, probably why she hadn't
called earlier.  She's feeling swamped and has a body waiting with my name on it."

"Ah," was all that Ianto could think to say.  He watched Owen pull on his coat and pat the pockets for his keys.  "They're on
the chest of drawers."

Owen gave a grunt of thanks and grabbed up his keys.  He then dug through the blankets for his mobile and shoved that into his
pocket.  "I shouldn't be gone long.  Anything happens, you call me."

"Yes, mother," Ianto muttered.

"Or your sister," Owen continued, as if he hadn't heard.

He left then and Ianto sighed as he realized that Owen had neglected to turn off the light.  With a grumble, he dragged himself
to the other end of the bed and stretched to turn it off.  Then he curled up on his side again, battering Owen's pillow into shape
so that he could go back to sleep.


*****


He must have fallen asleep, but it seemed as if only an instant had passed before he found himself awake again.  Something had
woken him, but he didn't know what it was.  He strained his ears, listening, but heard nothing.  There was, however, something
in the room with him.  He had the strangest sensation that he was being watched.

Startled, Ianto fumbled with the light.  It blinded him for a moment and he blinked rapidly to clear the spots from his vision.  
When his sight cleared, he let out a relieved breath and smiled shakily.  "Jack," he said, grateful and pleased to see the man.

That delight swiftly evaporated and a sense of unrest fluttered in his stomach.  Jack was there, but there was something
wrong.  The Captain was standing beside the bed, simply staring down at him, his eyes vacant, as if he weren't truly seeing
Ianto at all.  He coat was missing and a quick look around told Ianto that it wasn't in the room with them.  What he was
wearing looked no different from what he wore most other days, except that everything looked a bit damp and patches of his
shirt and trousers clung to him.  His hair was wet too and Ianto could see tremors sweeping through his body.  Jack's lips were
tainted a faint blue.

"Jack!" Ianto cried out in a whisper, wary of disturbing the other members of the house.  He knew that Jack must have
sneaked into the house.  No way would Rhiannon let him up here in this state.  She'd have pushed him into the kitchen and
fixed him a warm drink.

With some effort, he got out of bed, moving as quickly as his body allowed him to.  His hands hovered nervously, before he
finally touched his fingers to Jack's cheek.  "Jack?" he asked, feeling ice under his skin.  "Where's your coat?  Tell me you
didn't walk around outside without it."

"It needs to be cleaned," Jack murmured, leaning in toward Ianto and enveloping him in his arms.  It was like hugging an ice
sculpture and Ianto shivered.

"You'll catch your death like this," Ianto tutted.  He pushed Jack away and unfastened the buttons of his shirt.

Jack snorted a laugh.  Ianto didn't understand what he found so amusing.

"You'll have to get your shoes off yourself," Ianto advised, pushing the shirt off of Jack's shoulders and helping him to remove
the t-shirt underneath.  For once, he didn't care that he was letting the clothes crumble to the floor in an untidy heap.  All he
cared about right now was Jack.  He fumbled with his belt, undoing the man's trousers.  "Do you think you can?"

Jack nodded.  He was quiet as he struggled to remove his boots.  It was strange.  No innuendos, no flirtations, it just didn't feel
like Jack was here, even though the man was right in front of him.  It was worrying at the least.

While Jack worked on removing the rest of his clothes, Ianto got back into bed.  He watched the other man and decided that
something must be wrong.  Maybe something had happened with John Ellis?  Ianto wasn't sure.  He only knew what Owen had
said before he'd left, that Jack had gone after Mr. Ellis last night and hadn't come back to the Hub.

Naked and shivering, Jack stood beside the bed, looking down at Ianto oddly.  Ianto smiled shakily and lifted the edge of the
duvet.  "Come on, get in.  Let's warm you up," he said.

Jack obliged.  He crawled in and Ianto bundled the duvet over him, tucking it in as best as he could.

Laying his head on the pillow, Jack faced Ianto.  Tears glistened on his cheeks.  "I wanted to call you," Jack said.  "Dozens of
times this week.  I picked up the phone and started to dial, but I always thought of some excuse not to.  You were with your
family and I'm just-" he trailed off, the sentence hanging open.

Ianto brushed away the wetness from Jack's face, letting his fingers linger against the cool skin.  "You don't have to explain."  
He had felt concerned about Jack's lack of contact, but right now it didn't seem to matter anymore.  Something was upsetting
Jack.  Whatever it was, Ianto had to take care of it and make it better.

Silence reigned for a lifetime.  It was probably only a few seconds though.  Jack's icy fingers found Ianto's stomach and he
shivered involuntarily at the chill touch.  He apologized, smiling, and shifted his body a bit closer to Jack, hoping to help him
warm up.

"John Ellis is dead," Jack said bluntly.  "He killed himself in a garage, in Tosh's car."

"Oh, God," Ianto whispered.  From everything he'd heard from Tosh and Gwen this past week, he'd gotten the feeling that Jack
and John had forged some sort of friendship.  This was horrible.  "You found him?"

Jack nodded.  He was looking down, avoiding Ianto's eyes.  "I found him last night.  We argued.  He was determined.  Nothing
I did was going to change his mind.  He would have found another way as soon as he was alone again, so I sat with him, held
his hand while the fumes filled the air.  No one should die alone."

Ianto's mind whirled, trying to process what Jack had just told him.  It sounded as if John Ellis had killed himself, died from
carbon monoxide poisoning.  But if he had sat with John Ellis while the man was dying, then he would have died, too.  He
pulled back, alarmed.  "Jack, what-"

Jack's fingers on his lips made him fall silent.  He looked into Ianto's eyes then and the ageless depths startled the Welshman.  "I
can't die, Ianto," Jack said, fingers sliding from Ianto's lips to his cheek and then down along his throat.  "I did once, but
something happened to me, I don't know what, and now I can't stay dead.  I always recover.  I never change.  Nothing ever
changes.  Everyone leaves me and I can't go with them.  Sometimes I wish I could."

At this, Ianto did the first thing that came to mind and kissed Jack.  He didn't want to hear Jack talking like that.  Not about the
immortality, but about wanting to die.  It wasn't right.  Ianto couldn't bear to lose Jack, not now and probably not ever.  When
he pulled back, he asked what he thought was the safest question he could pose.  "How old are you?"

A shrug answered his question.  "Difficult to say exactly.  I did a lot of time traveling as a Time Agent, and after.  I ended up in
1869 shortly after whatever changed me, so somewhere around one hundred seventy years."

Ianto was at a loss as to what to say.  He didn't want to seem cruel or ignorant; didn't want to offend Jack in any way or hurt
him.  Instead, he brought Jack closer to him and hugged him, offering what consolations he could with his touch.  Jack sank
against him, strong arms enveloping him and holding him tight.

"Thank you," Jack breathed against his neck.

Jack's damp hair was cold where it touched Ianto's skin and it brought a question to mind.  "Jack?  Why are you wet?"

"I had to shower after ... after I brought John back to the Hub.  My clothes, my coat, my skin, they all smelled of exhaust
fumes.  So I stood in the shower for a while, then I changed and I came here."  He shifted his hands, laying his palms against
Ianto's rounded belly.  "After that ... I just needed to be somewhere with some life."

"You can stay as long as you need," Ianto said without hesitation.  Then he added, "But Owen might feel a little put out that
you're taking up his space in this bed."

He could almost feel Jack's smirk against his skin, and there was a puff of breath as the dashing captain laughed.  "It's a good
thing I sent him home then."  He kissed Ianto's shoulder, bringing tingles to the younger man's skin.  "Would you mind if I just
hold you tonight?"

"Not at all," Ianto smiled, stroking his hands up and down the other man's broad back.  At least some warmth was beginning to
creep into his skin.  "How would you like me?"

"That Mr. Jones, is a loaded question."  Jack pulled back, the twinkles once again in his eyes.  "But for now, perhaps on your
side, facing away from me?"

With Jack's help, Ianto rolled onto his other side.  The light was switched off again and Jack moved in closer behind him,
pressing himself flush against the Welshman's back.  It was hardly any surprise at all when Jack's hands came around him and
settled against his belly once again, casually stroking the ample swell.  Ianto easily settled back, humming in appreciation of the
tender caress.  He wouldn't mind going to sleep like this every night for the rest of his life.  Being in Jack's arms felt so very
right.

Ianto had many questions swirling through his mind.  He wouldn't ask them now though.  Jack didn't need an interrogation.  
What he needed was care and kindness and Ianto could surely offer those.  He didn't think he was ready to admit it yet, not
even to himself, but he might just be falling in love with Captain Jack Harkness.  A little thing like patience was hardly too much
to ask for.



To Be Continued ...