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.

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:  Yep, still Christmas morning in the Davies household.


Part Forty-One

Jack left shortly after lunch.  Ianto wished he could have stayed longer, but he understood that Jack did have a job to do, people
to protect.  He couldn't spend all of his time babysitting Ianto.

Ianto was washing dishes when Owen arrived.  It was one of the few chores Rhiannon allowed him to do around the house.  He
didn't like laying around all day doing nothing, and now that he felt better he wanted to help contribute in some way, even if it
meant only being allowed to help tidy up after meals.

Jack was helping.  Or rather, he was supposed to be helping.  He had rolled up his sleeves and took the clean dishes as Ianto
handed them off to him.  But more often than not, he was playfully flicking soap suds in Ianto's direction.  It didn't annoy Ianto
so much as it amused him.  It all seemed so strangely domestic, so unlike Jack, but Ianto wasn't about to mention it.  If he did
say something, Jack might stop, and Ianto was quite enjoying this delicate sense of domesticity.

When Owen arrived, he knocked.  It surprised Ianto.  He'd half expected Owen to just barge in as if he owned the house.  
However, as he looked back over the past week, he realized that the usually arrogant and abrasive doctor had been nothing but
polite to Ianto's family, a perfect house-guest.  He even said please and thank you.

Owen entered the kitchen to greet them, still wearing his coat.  He opened his mouth, but before he could get a word out, Mica
ran over to him.  She grabbed one of his hands and started tugging him toward the lounge.  "Doctor Owen!  Doctor Owen,
come and see what Santa brought us!" she exclaimed excitedly.

In the face of such pure joy, Owen really had no choice but to acquiesce.  He smiled down at her indulgently.  "Alright, hold on
a bit," he said gently, then turned his attention to Jack.  "SUV's outside."  He tossed the keys, which Jack easily caught
one-handed and shoved into his pocket.

Ianto let his hands lie limply in the soapy water.  "So, I guess I'll see you later," he said.  He couldn't bring himself to look at
Jack.  he was afraid that Jack would see his insecurity, that he would think him weak for just how much Ianto wanted him to
stay.  He'd be happy to spend the rest of the day in Jack's company.

A hand came up to his cheek.  Ianto leaned toward the caress, allowing the warm hand to turn his head.  He had barely fluttered
his eyelids up to look at the handsome Captain before he found himself being kissed.  With a contented sigh, Ianto kissed him
back.  Jack's free hand came around his waist and pulled him close.  Ianto went willingly, a moan dragged up from his throat
and swallowed by Jack's mouth over his.  He held his hands up and away from himself and Jack, soap and water tickling their
way down from his hands to drip from his elbows.  His fingers itched to twist in Jack's shirt and hold him close, to maybe try
and change his mind by offering up a far more entertaining way to while away the day.  He could think of a number of things he
wanted to do with Jack that didn't include the Hub or aliens.  And not all of them had to do with sex either.  Most of them.  But
not all.

With reluctance, Ianto withdrew.  He quickly glanced to the side and found a tea towel.  Scooping it up, he hastily dried his
hands, then tossed it away again so that he could sweep his palms up Jack's chest to his shoulders and then around him as he
leaned in close.  Jack's arms folded around him.  The embrace was warm and comforting and Ianto was hesitant to break it.  He
licked at his still-tingling lips, tasting the lingering remnants of his lover's kiss.

One of Jack's hands drifted up to cup the back of Ianto's head.  He nuzzled his cheek against the Welshman's and then pressed a
feather-light kiss to his temple.  "I'll see you tonight," he said softly.  Ianto could hear the smile in his voice.

"You'll try," Ianto muttered.  He wasn't trying to be snippy.  He apologized with a whisper and hid his face in Jack's shoulder.  
He felt annoyed with himself at his behavior.  It was pathetic, this neediness, this want to keep Jack near to him.  Jack wouldn't
appreciate him being so clingy.

Pulling away from Ianto, Jack cupped his face in his strong hands and kissed him again.  It was gentle, but full of compassion.  
Somehow, it seemed to ease Ianto's troubled mind, and he didn't doubt that Jack would do everything in his power to come back
that night.  

Jack drew back a fraction, their breaths mingling in the scant space between their lips.  "I'll be back before you know it," Jack

Ianto kissed him and tried to smile when he said goodbye.  He didn't think he was convincing.  But Jack smiled warmly, and
stroked a hand along Ianto's flank and left all the same.  Ianto went back to his dishes, swallowing against the painful lump in his
throat and mentally berating himself for this pathetic display.  "Damned hormones," he muttered angrily, rubbing at his stinging
eyes and willing himself not to cry.


Jack was reluctant to leave.  There was no real reason for his hesitation, but he felt it all the same.  He missed Ianto already,
before he'd even closed the front door behind himself.  It was all he could do to stop himself from turning around and going
right back in.

He shook his head at himself and went to the SUV, trying to think of where his new-found vulnerability had come from.  He
wondered if it had anything to do with last night, with the way he had confessed a few of his secrets to Ianto.  That was
probably only partly it though, and perhaps it had more to do with the fact that it WAS Ianto.  The young man had welcomed
him with opened arms; and better yet, an open mind.  It had been a very long time indeed since Jack had last felt cared about.  In
Ianto's arms he felt cherished and - if he dared to think it possible - perhaps even loved.  It was a welcome change from the few
others he'd trusted in the past, from the people who had spurned him, hated him, feared him just because of his immortality.  It
wasn't as if he had asked for it.

Ianto was different.  Ianto didn't judge him.  He comforted Jack when he needed it, held him close and let him find his own relief
in the feel of that beautiful rounded belly under his palms.  Surrounded by so much death, day in and day out, it was refreshing
to know that there was a tiny life growing and waiting for the day it would be born.  And it was so much better knowing that it
was a part of Ianto.  Somewhere deep within himself there was a tiny spark that wished it was a part of him as well, but that
wouldn't happen.  Jack doubted that Ianto would want to go through this again.  And Jack simply couldn't.  Too many
contraceptives in the air, raining down in every storm.  In Cardiff, that was a lot of storms.  If he could get away for a little
while, maybe.  But when he left, it would be with the Doctor.  Would Ianto want him back after that?

He returned to the Hub and greeted Tosh and Gwen with a bright smile and salacious remarks.  They each gave him a funny
look as he entered and Gwen gestured toward him, waving her hand up and down.  "What happened to your coat?"

Jack looked down at himself, only now remembering that he had been forced to borrow a jacket from Johnny again.  Rhiannon
had caught him by the door just as he'd been about to leave and had thrust it into his hands, not accepting anything short of him
taking it.  It wasn't anything spectacular, or even out of the ordinary, just a plain black jacket that was slightly baggy around the
middle on him but tight in the shoulders.  It was a cold day and the coat was comfortable enough, so Jack had worn it.

Jack shrugged.  "My coat got dirty so I left it here.  Ianto's brother-in-law loaned me this."  He peeled off the coat and slung it
over one arm as he continued toward his office.

Mentioning Ianto grabbed Tosh and Gwen's attention and Jack soon found himself being assailed by questions.  How did he
look?  Was he feeling better?  What was his family like?  And others of the sort.  Jack laughed and told them he'd be back in a
couple of days and they'd see for themselves soon enough.

It wasn't the answer they were looking for apparently.  Gwen scowled at him and Tosh looked as if someone had kicked one of
her computers.  He was saved from having to grovel by the sound of a familiar alarm.  He had never been more thankful for a
Rift alert in his life.

To Be Continued ...