Characters: Ianto, Jack, Rhiannon.
Summary: Ianto is having a few second thoughts about his impulsive decision to take Jack with him to Rhi’s birthday tea.
Word Count: 971
Written For: juliet316’s prompt ‘Author's choice, author's choice, “put me out of my misery right now”,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
Ianto and Jack wasted no time in taking their latest alien guest back to the Hub and getting it settled. Ianto gave it a bowl of water in case it was thirsty, a pile of old blankets, and some of Myfanwy’s dry straw, and it snuggled down in its makeshift nest to recover from its exertions.
Ianto found himself wishing he could do the same. After hours of running around in the rain he felt done in; all he wanted was to get dry and then relax with a cup of coffee, but there wasn’t time. According to Rhi, her birthday ‘tea’ was already underway and after what she’d said over the phone, he knew she’d kill him if he didn’t show up. Never mind that he was taller and stronger than she was, or that he could face down enraged Weevils without flinching; nothing was scarier than an older sister’s wrath, at least not when that sister was Rhiannon. She’d always had a quick temper, she’d got that from their dad, and she could make him feel about an inch tall with nothing more than a disapproving look. It was like her superpower.
“Better hurry up or we’ll be late,” he told Jack. “Quick shower, change of clothes, and wear something other than your usual getup. You can’t wear your coat anyway; it’s too wet, and besides, someone might recognise you as Torchwood. It’s Rhi’s party; last thing we need is for you to end up being the centre of attention instead of her. She really would never forgive me then.”
Jack was supremely unconcerned, even amused by the way Ianto was panicking. “She can’t be that bad.”
“No, she’s worse, typical bossy big sister. We’re going to get the third degree showing up together anyway; she thinks I’m bringing a girlfriend. I should just go on my own, but I know Rhi; if I do that she’ll try to fix me up with every unattached girl there. She always does, I think she goes around befriending eligible women for the sole purpose of finding potential girlfriends for me. At least if I show up with you she might finally get the message that I don’t need a matchmaker, but I’m not sure how she’ll take me showing up with a bloke in tow.”
“Relax, Ianto. It’ll be fine.”
“That’s easy for you to say. You’ve never met my family.”
“Whose fault is that?”
Ianto scowled at his lover. “Shut up. Go shower.” He turned to walk away.
“Wait a minute, where’re you going?”
“Locker room,” Ianto replied. “That’s where my clothes are.” Before Jack could voice any objections Ianto hurried towards the stairs. No way was he showering with Jack, not when time was of the essence. His lover would take the opportunity to try and ‘help him to relax’, a handy euphemism for ravishing him, which would lead to them being monumentally late, or worse, not showing up at all, which was definitely NOT an option.
Forty minutes later, Ianto pulled up in front of Rhi’s house, but instead of getting out of his car he just sat there, fiddling nervously with his cuffs, steeling himself for what was to come. He loved his sister, but she could be a bit overbearing.
“Are we just going to sit here all evening?” Jack finally asked. “I thought you didn’t want to be too late.”
“I don’t,” Ianto replied, but he still didn’t move and several more minutes ticked slowly past. Finally he gave a resigned sigh. “No sense putting this off any longer, I suppose.” Unfastening his seatbelt he climbed out of the car, locked it behind him and started down the path to Rhi’s front door.
Jack hustled to catch up, falling into step beside him. “Lighten up; it’s supposed to be a party but you look like you’re going to your execution.”
“Might as well be,” Ianto muttered gloomily. “At the very least I’ll be facing interrogation.”
By the time they reached the door, it was already open and Rhi was waiting impatiently. “Well, look who finally showed up! I was beginning to think you weren’t coming.”
Ianto refused to rise to the bait. “Hi, Rhi. Happy Birthday.” He kissed his sister on the cheek. “This is Jack.”
Rhiannon gave her brother a confused look. “I thought you said you were bringing your girlfriend.”
“No, I just said a friend. You’re the one who assumed I meant a girl.”
“So still no girlfriend? I could fix you up with my friend Bethany, if you’d like; she’s here and I’m sure you’d like her…” she trailed off as Ianto pointedly twined his fingers through Jack’s.
“No thanks, I have Jack and he’s all I need.” He waited for the explosion.
It didn’t come; Rhi simply raised her eyebrows and gave Jack the once over.
“Oh, so it’s like that with you two is it? Why didn’t you just say so?” She hugged Ianto, whispering in his ear, “Well, you certainly know how to pick ‘em, don’t you? He’s bloody gorgeous.” Pulling back, she gave Jack a stern look. “You’d better be treating my baby brother right or you’ll wind up wishing you’d never been born.” She smiled sweetly up at him. “Just a friendly warning. He’s been through a lot and he’s the only brother I’ve got.” Before Jack could reply, Rhiannon was tugging them both into the lounge, shouting out, “David, Mica, your Uncle Ianto and his boyfriend are here, come and say hello.”
Ianto groaned as every single person in the room stopped talking and turned to stare at them. This had to be Rhi’s idea of revenge for not telling her about Jack sooner. “Oh God,” he muttered under his breath. “This is a nightmare. Please, just put me out of my misery right now.”
TBC in ‘Rhi’s Birthday Bash’