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.


Part Forty-Two

Jack slumped into his chair and let out an exasperated sigh as he ran his fingers through his hair.  He grimaced as his fingers
came away in blood and muck.  It had been a long and very tiring day.  In and out they had raced from one crisis to another, the
Rift alert going off half a dozen times.  When there had finally been a lull late in the afternoon, Jack had sent the girls off home,
knowing they'd be needed to watch the Rift overnight if he had any hope of getting to Rhiannon's house and back to Ianto
tonight.  The thought of being back in those strong Welsh arms had sustained him, keeping him going when the Rift had flared
up again shortly after seven.  It was going on midnight now and this was the first chance he'd had to so much as sit and rest.  
Not counting the two times he had died.  But that couldn't really be called resting anyway.

He'd barely sat when he heard the door alarms go off, signaling someone's arrival.  He checked his watch, wiping the face off
with his thumb so he could see the time through the thick layer of dirt, and grinned.  Trust Toshiko to be right on time.  Gwen
would come in only if she was needed.  If things got hectic again, Tosh would call her in.  Gwen wouldn't let her down.

Tosh stopped by her workstation briefly to set down her purse, then walked to Jack's office.  She stopped in the doorway, and
looked at him contemplatively.  "Weren't you going to take over for Owen tonight?  I thought you'd be gone by now," she said.

Jack huffed out a breath.  "This is the first chance I've gotten to sit down all day."

She immediately became concerned.  "Why didn't you call?  I would have helped."

"I know, Tosh.  I know," Jack replied.  "But I wanted you to have a chance to properly rest before you came back in.  It wasn't
anything I couldn't handle."

They lapsed into a brief silence.  Then Tosh smiled wryly.  "Ianto will be livid when he sees the mess you've made."  She
gestured to the room, at the streaks of dirt he'd left behind on the floor just by walking in.  She looked at him more carefully and
gasped.  "Oh my God, is that blood?  Are you bleeding?  You're hurt!"

Jack levered himself up out of his chair as hastily as his weary body would allow.  Holding his hands out in front of himself to
ward her off, he answered quickly.  "It's not my blood.  I'm fine, really."  Well, it wasn't completely a lie.  Most of the blood
belonged to the Weevils he'd found feasting behind some restaurant.  He wasn't even sure what it was they'd been eating.  He
hadn't gotten a clear look.  But the five of them hadn't taken too kindly to him interrupting their meal.  He'd brought two down
before they'd managed to kill him.  The remaining three had been gone when he'd revived.  It had taken another hour to track
them down.  He regretted having to kill them, but they hadn't left him much choice in the matter.

Tosh backed off, but regarded him warily.  "Are you sure?"

"Absolutely," Jack affirmed.  He grinned and it took more effort than he was used to.  He was exhausted.  What he needed was a
shower, some clean clothes and a warm and welcoming body to wash away the stresses of the day.

He excused himself politely to take care of the first two objectives.  When he returned to his office, clean and feeling a slight bit
better, he tidied up a little.  Once the chair was clean, he dropped into it again and his eyes drifted to one of the drawers of his
desk.  He found himself dragging it open.  Rooting around the bottom, he pulled out a battered old metal box and set it down on
the desk in front of him.  It had been an age since he'd last looked inside.  He stroked his fingers over the lid.  Sometimes he felt
the memories were better off locked away.

His thoughts returned to Ianto and he smiled a little.  He was surprised by how eager he was to talk to the younger man.  He'd
already told him so much.  Ianto knew about the Boeshane Peninsula, and about his daughter so far away in the future.  he knew
about Gray - although, not the details - and he knew about Jack's immortality.  It was a relief to unburden himself, a relief he
hadn't often indulged in.  There was always a risk involved in trusting someone.  So many people had let him down in the past.  
Ianto was a breath of fresh air, a glimmer of light among the rabble that so often betrayed his trust.  Oh, Ianto had betrayed him
as well, but his reasons were honorable.  Jack couldn't fault him for that, though he did still wish that Ianto had come to him in
the first place, both with Lisa and about his pregnancy.  He understood why he hadn't though, and over time a fragile trust had
begun to grow and strengthen between them and Ianto had worked his way deep into Jack's heart.

Grabbing up the box, Jack darted out of his office.  He couldn't wait any longer.  He wanted to get back to Ianto, to hold the
man in his arms.  It alarmed him how eager he was to return, to hear those beautiful Welsh vowels and breathe in his scent.  It
would hurt so much to leave him when the Doctor came.  But the Doctor wasn't here yet and Jack still had time, time in which
he would fully enjoy every last moment he could spend with Ianto Jones.

He pulled on his great coat, thankful that he'd had the time to drop it off and pick it up from a very friendly and grateful woman
in Grangetown who owned a dry cleaners and didn't ask questions.  As much as he appreciated the coat Johnny had loaned him,
he didn't quite feel like himself without his own coat.  Having spent the entire day without it, it was a relief to don it once again.

On his way out, he also grabbed Johnny's coat, pleased to be able to return it in the same condition it had been loaned to him.  
He hadn't wanted it to get dirty, so hadn't worn it.  Enduring the chill bite of the winter day, and the even colder evening, had
been a small price to pay for the fact that he wouldn't disappoint Ianto's family.

He kissed Tosh on the cheek as he passed by her, delighting in the giggle she failed to stifle.  "Give my regards to Ianto," she
called out to his departing back.  He gave her a jaunty little wave, smiling warmly and slipped through the door.

Soon enough, he was back at the Davies house.  At the door, he hesitated, his hand hovering just over the door handle.  His first
instinct was to open the door and stroll in.  He had called ahead to let Owen know he was on his way, so they did know he was
coming.  But suddenly it didn't feel right to just barge in like that.  It felt rude and disrespectful to Rhiannon and Johnny.

He knocked and waited on the front step, feeling awkward.  He wasn't used to this.  It had been a long time since he'd had to
consider being respectful to a lover's family.  One-night stands and purely sex-based relationships didn't require this much work
to maintain.  He wanted more than that with Ianto.

Rhiannon answered, looking bleary-eyed.  The time occurred to him, along with the fact that most people slept at this hour; at
least most people with two young children.  "Sorry I'm late," Jack said, flashing her a winning smile.

"He's been waiting up for you," Rhiannon said sternly.

Jack's smile slipped away.  She didn't sound pleased.  "I'm sorry.  I tried to get back earlier, but-"

Rhiannon waved his words away and rolled her eyes as she stepped back to let him in.  "You're here now.  That's all that

He let her take his coat along with Johnny's, smiling once more at the barely audible murmur of, "Nice coat," that he heard.  He
glanced back at her in time to watch her run an appreciative hand down along one sleeve before she put it away with the rest of
the coats.

"He upstairs?" Jack asked.

She gave a tired but affirmative answer, then walked back into the lounge.  He felt sorry for disturbing her sleep, but didn't give
it much further thought as he went up the stairs.  He was quiet in the hall, using a light tread as he approached the master
bedroom.  The light was on and spilling out underneath the door and into the hall.  Jack could hear voices, muted by the closed
door.  He knocked lightly and announced himself.

"It's open," Owen called back.

Jack entered, then closed and locked the door behind himself.  He frowned in confusion as he regarded the scene before him.  
Ianto was lying back in bed, his torso bare, the blankets shoved down to his thighs.  Not to say Jack didn't like the view.  He
loved looking at Ianto's swelled belly, adored the curve of it and the knowledge that it was because the Welshman was
incubating a new life within himself.  However, he was confused by the fact that Owen was leaning over Ianto, his hands
palpating the rounded dome of his abdomen.

"Something wrong?" Jack asked, concerned.

Owen shook his head, and continued what he was doing.  "No," he answered simply.

"I think he just wanted to feel me up," Ianto stated, a hint of amusement in his tone.

If Ianto wasn't worried, then Jack had no reason to be.  He strode forward, kicking off his shoes before he climbed onto the bed
to lie along Ianto's side.  "Well, you are so very hard to resist."

Owen snorted.  "In your dreams, Tea-Boy."  He slid his hands expertly over Ianto's skin, pressing here and there.  It mystified
Jack.  After a beat, Owen continued talking.  "Well, looks like everything is progressing right on schedule.  You'll be going into
your eighth month soon, so we should start thinking about the birth."

Ianto blanched and curled his nose.  "Surgery," he said, nodding decisively.  "I want drugs and plenty of them."

Owen chuckled.  Jack merely smiled.  He couldn't really take either side in this matter.  It was true that he'd given birth himself.  
But he was from the fifty-first century and things were vastly different then.  Not to mention the fact that Jack wasn't entirely
human so the biology aspect was different as well.  He didn't think he'd bring that up right now.  It didn't have any bearing on
the matter at hand.  Instead, he kissed Ianto's shoulder and stroked a hand down to rest along the side of Ianto's swell, rubbing
his thumb along a vein that was only faintly visible through the smooth pale skin.

"That's what I was planning anyway," Owen said.  "The only question is when should we do it.  This is hardly a normal
situation, but there's always a risk involved.  We have to make sure junior's lungs are properly developed, and there's other health
risks to consider.  Ideally, I want to wait until a week before your due date."

Ianto listened with wide eyes.  He slid his hand down and grasped Jack's wrist.  Jack nuzzled his nose into Ianto's hair.  "Don't
worry.  We'll take care of you," he whispered.

Blinking quickly, Ianto nodded.  "Yes, yes.  I know.  I trust you.  But I can't help but worry.  What if, what if something goes
wrong?  What if I go into labor before then?  What if-"

Jack kissed him to stop the rambling questions.  It worked.  Ianto moaned, eyes fluttering closed as he leaned his head back,
opening his mouth and accepting Jack's skillful advances.  Owen's annoyed voice brought the both of them back to reality far
too soon for either of their liking.  "This is just sickening," he grumbled.

Jack eased back with a wry grin.  He could think of at least half a dozen quips to reply with.  But it was Ianto who spoke, his
voice only slightly strained from their activities, his cheeks tinged an adorable pink.  "You're just jealous.  You know you love

Owen rolled his eyes and spoke in a deadpan voice, "Oh, of course I do.  And I'll pine away in my loneliness knowing I can
never have you.  The taste of your coffee will just have to be enough to sustain me through my lonely miserable days and nights
as I watch you and Captain Libido here frolic through the streets of Cardiff."

"I do not frolic," Jack argued, pouting.  He paused, thinking.  "Well, actually there was that one time.  But there were extenuating
circumstances."  Alien mind control could be a bitch.  And it always gave him a headache afterward.

Ianto laughed and Jack was glad that he'd helped to lighten the mood.  Owen stayed a short while longer, addressing Ianto's
concerns one by one.  Jack put in a few questions of his own and was satisfied by the answers.  They were both reassured by
the fact that Owen would do everything in his power to make sure both Ianto and his baby came out of this alive and healthy.  
By the time Owen left, Ianto was relaxed and smiling again.

Jack followed Owen out, making sure to lock up before he returned upstairs.  He entered the bedroom to find Ianto right where
he'd left him.  The Welshman had pulled the duvet up over his stomach, but otherwise he didn't seem to have moved much.  
Except that his hands were wrapped around Jack's memento box, his fingers brushing back and forth over the old metal.  He
didn't think Ianto had opened it, but the young man was obviously curious.

"What is it?" Ianto asked, turning the box this way and that and idly scraping a thumbnail over the front edge.

Jack smiled indulgently.  He shut the door and flipped the lock, crossing the room in a few easy strides.  As he moved, he
casually slipped out of his clothes, leaving them in a trail between the door and the bed.  "You know what they say about cats
and curiosity, don't you?" he said, easing himself into bed.  He reclined mostly upright with his back against the headboard.

Ianto shifted closer, fitting himself along Jack's side and laid his head upon his chest.  He continued to fiddle with the box,
though he made no move to open it.  "Good thing I'm not a cat then, isn't it?"  He turned to look up at Jack, blinking his eyes
innocently.  The beguiling smile on his face was anything but innocent.  It teased Jack, hinting at promises both salacious and
undoubtedly satisfying.

Jack reached over and gently pried the box from Ianto's hands.  He reverently ran the tips of his fingers over the lid, losing
himself for a moment in the memories contained within.  "It's my box of secrets," he murmured, mostly to himself.  He cleared
his throat and smiled crookedly.  "Keepsakes, some photographs, a few tokens of esteem."

He moved to open the box, but Ianto's hand closed over his.  "You don't have to," the younger man said sincerely.

"You're right, I know," Jack replied.  He caught the faintest glimmer of disappointment flash in Ianto's eyes.  Ianto was curious,
Jack could see it, but the Welshman wouldn't force him to talk.  He wasn't demanding answers.  He'd take whatever Jack was
willing to give.  The question was - to Jack at least - just how much of his long life was he willing to share?  Not everything.  
For one, they wouldn't have the time for a detailed walk-through of his life.  Jack had lived an awfully long time and it would
take more than one night to go through it all.  And secondly, there were just some things that Jack thought were better off
forgotten.  Jack had done so many things that he wasn't proud of, and some that he was plain ashamed of.  Ianto didn't need to
be tainted by that darkness.

He bent enough to press a kiss on Ianto's forehead.  "I know I don't have to say anything," he repeated.  "But I want to."

With a shy smile, Ianto eased his hand away from the box, leaving Jack free to open it.  Together, they went through the
contents of the old metal container.  So many memories in such a small box.  Jack told stories, pointed out old friends and
former lovers, explained the origins of a few tokens he'd kept to remember certain occasions.  He did it all with a smile, even
when he found a photograph of himself with Estelle, and another of one of the few women he'd actually married.  He'd loved
them both, all of them, and it did hurt to think of them, but there were so many good memories too and having Ianto to listen to
him did lessen the hurt a little.

"All these lives you've lived," Ianto said with awe in his voice.  "How is it possible?"

"I don't know," Jack said, shrugging.  He hadn't meant it to sound indifferent, but it came out sounding that way regardless.

Ianto shifted around, awkwardly maneuvering into a sitting position.  He faced Jack, an adorably worried crease between his
eyebrows.  "Explain it to me?" he asked, hopeful and beseechingly.

So Jack did.  He told Ianto about the Doctor.  About Rose.  He explained how he had met them, a bit embarrassed about the
mess he had unwittingly created.  To his credit, Ianto didn't interrupt once, but he did start to visibly tremble when Jack began
to talk about the Game Station and the Daleks.  Jack pulled Ianto to him, holding him tight as his own voice began to waver with
the details of his first death, what few details he knew at least.

"That's all you remember?" Ianto asked, his voice whisper-soft.

Jack nodded, stroking his hand along Ianto's arm.  "One minute I'm facing Daleks.  I remember the blast of one of their
weapons, the pain of it.  Then darkness.  The next thing I know, I'm gasping for air and there are these little piles of dust all
around me."

"The Doctor?  What did he say?"

Jack exhaled a heavy breath.  "I never saw him again.  I could hear the TARDIS and I ran as fast as I could.  But it disappeared
before I could get to it."

Ianto shot bolt-upright.  "He left you!"  Jack couldn't tell if it was exclamation or question.  Maybe it was a bit of both.

"For what it's worth, he probably thought I was dead."  Jack wasn't sure if he believed his own words.  To be honest, he just
didn't know.  The Doctor had been gone and he'd been surrounded by death.  He'd stayed as long as he could, longer than he
should have.  He'd stayed until the first rescue crew had arrived, but he'd thought better of being found by them.  He hadn't
wanted to take the chance that they'd accuse him of killing all those people.  "I programmed my manipulator to bring me here.  I
was aiming for the twenty-first century, but I overshot a bit and ended up in eighteen sixty-nine."  He showed Ianto his wrist
strap.  "The time travel and teleportation functions shorted out, so I was pretty much stuck."

"Why here?  Why Cardiff?  The Rift?"

Jack nodded.  "The TARDIS, his ship, is fueled by Rift energy.  It's only a matter of time before he comes back."

"You've been waiting for over a hundred years for him to stop for petrol?"

A chuckle managed to work its way out of Jack's throat.  "That's one way to put it, but yeah."

Ianto's features flickered.  He suddenly became shy, and he ducked his head.  "When he does come ... you'll leave, won't you?"

Jack lifted a hand and cupped Ianto's cheek.  He smiled sadly at the way Ianto turned toward the touch, nuzzling against his
palm.  "Yeah, I will.  You said so yourself, I've been waiting over a hundred years.  I need answers.  I need to know what
happened to me.  Why he left.  I need to know if this is permanent or if I can be fixed."

Ianto nodded a little, his eyes downcast.  "I understand.  But, I hope you'll forgive me for saying that I hate it.  I don't want you
to go."  There were tears in his eyes and they fell in thick droplets down his cheeks.  His hands were clenched in the bedding
and it was obvious he was forcing himself not to outright sob.

Jack swept him into his arms and held him tight.  He found Ianto's lips and kissed him, tasting the salt of his tears.  When they
broke apart, he stared into red-rimmed eyes.  "I'll come back.  Whatever it takes, I'll come back."  He ran a hand down, sliding
over the mound of the Welshman's stomach.  "You ... I'll come back for you."

With a watery smile, Ianto leaned in close and wrapped himself in Jack's arms again.  "God, you are so soppy," he chuckled,
pressing his ear to Jack's chest.  "But I'll still hold you to it."

Jack petted Ianto's hair.  "I wouldn't expect anything less of you, Mr. Jones."  He caught a glimpse of his watch.  The two of
them had been talking for almost all of the night.  The sun would be coming up soon.  "You'd better get some sleep.  Owen will
kill me for keeping you up this late.  Figuratively speaking, of course."

Ianto hummed.  He tightened his arms around Jack.  "He tries and I'll give him decaf."

"Oh, you are a cruel man."

"Only to those who deserve it."

Jack kissed his head again.  "Go to sleep."

He stayed with Ianto, holding him, petting him, until Ianto succumbed to the lure of sleep.  And even then, he continued to hold
him, wishing he could hold him forever, and hoping that the Doctor wasn't on his way just yet.

To Be Continued ...