Characters: Jack, Ianto, OCs.
Summary: Travelling the universe in the Happy Wanderer is great, but the time has come for Ianto and Jack to put down roots for a while.
Word Count: 2075
Content Notes: Contains M-Preg.
Written For: Challenge 102 – Gasp at beattheblackdog.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters.
A/N: Set in my Ghost of a Chance ‘verse.
Unlike Jack, Ianto wasn’t prone to melodramatic displays of emotion, unless under extreme provocation, but that just made the quiet gasp of amazement that escaped his lips all the more telling.
“What d’you think?” Jack asked. “Like it?”
“You’re serious? This is ours?”
“You did say you’d like to settle down somewhere for a bit, have somewhere other than the Wanderer to call our home, and I know how much you miss Wales so I contacted an estate agent to let me know when somewhere suitable came on the market. The moment I saw the listing I knew this was the one. Obviously it needs some work, a bit of modernisation and so forth, but it’s good, solid construction with a large garden…” Jack trailed off realising Ianto wasn’t listening. His husband was staring entranced at the large, rambling building, and Jack could practically see him compiling lists in his head, of what needed to be done, the tools they’d have to get, the furnishings and colour schemes for the interior, plants for the garden… “I take it you approve.”
“Of course I do, it’s wonderful, but are you sure we can afford it? I mean I haven’t been checking the real estate market or anything, but a house this size can’t be cheap.”
“You’d be surprised. People aren’t interested in outdated places like this these days; everyone wants apartments in modern complexes where everything’s automated and any repairs and maintenance are done for them. Since I was the only person to show interest since the place was put up for sale five years ago, I got it for a song; the agent was ecstatic to finally get it off the books. Think about it; this way we can still travel as much as we want, but we’ll have a place of our own to come home to. We can hire a caretaker to keep an eye on things when we’re away.”
Jack and Ianto had been travelling out among the stars in their cargo ship the Happy Wanderer for almost seventy years, and though Ianto loved the footloose and fancy-free life they shared, he’d told Jack that he missed weather, watching the changing seasons, and having a place to belong. It would be good to put down roots somewhere, be part of a community again, and this place would give them all that and more.
Only ten miles from the local teleport terminal in downtown Cardiff, a short hop by air car, they’d have easy access to the orbiting space station where the Wanderer was currently docked. The South Wales Spaceport was a mere thirty miles distant, so for stays longer than a few days they could bring their ship right down to the ground and park her in one of the long-stay hangars, which would work out a lot cheaper than tying up a slip on the space station for an extended period.
The house stood on three and a half acres of land, far more than most individual dwellings, or even apartment complexes, could boast nowadays. One whole acre was natural woodland, and another half acre was given over to lawns and cultivated gardens, but the rest was rough, rocky, and uneven hillside, no good for building on without a lot of work being put into clearing and levelling it. As a family home, however, it would be ideal.
“Our home,” Ianto breathed, his face lighting up with happiness. “Does this mean you’re ready to start a family?”
It was something they’d talked about every now and then over the past fifty or sixty years, though neither of them had felt quite ready to give up their wandering for the length of time necessary to raise children. Taking a young family travelling around the universe on a cargo ship wasn’t unusual; a lot of independent traders did it, but Jack and Ianto had wanted any children they might be blessed with to grow up planetside, breathing unrecycled air, and surrounded by the wonders of nature to explore. Ianto had just never imagined that their children might grow up on earth, in Wales no less, and so close to the city he’d come to think of as home throughout his time with Torchwood Three. Jack obviously had a similar attachment to the area.
“I’d better be ready,” Jack grinned, “because I just found out from the Doctor a few days ago that I’m expecting.”
Ianto’s gasp this time was much louder than the first one. “We’re having a baby? When were you planning on telling me?”
“Now, actually. What better time or place could there be for breaking news like that than when we’re standing outside our new home?”
“Can’t argue with that logic,” Ianto admitted. Then as it all sank in, he looked around almost frantically. “There’s so much to do! As wonderful as this place is, it’s nowhere near ready for a baby!”
Jack laughed. “Ianto, don’t panic! You make it sound like the birth’s imminent, and it’s not! We still have nearly eight months and we don’t have to do every single thing ourselves. I thought we could bring the Wanderer down to the spaceport tomorrow and rent an air truck to ferry over whatever we might need from it. After that, we can survey the house, see exactly what needs doing, and organise contractors for the major jobs like plumbing and re-wiring, fitting the solar collectors and wind turbines, and any structural work. Once the house is done we can see about sorting out the grounds. There’s enough space here that we might even be able to install our own landing pad and hangar so we can do away with spaceport fees altogether. Just run through customs up at the station then fly straight down here.”
Ianto calmed down, nodding. “You’re right; there’s plenty of time left to get all of that squared away, and I like the idea of us having a private landing pad. Why wait until tomorrow to survey the place though? We’re already here, so why don’t we take a look around right away and see what needs doing? We can take a shuttle up to the station this evening and spend the night on the Wanderer, then fly her down in the morning.”
“That makes sense,” Jack agreed
So that was what they did.
Over the next few days they organised contactors, and an architect to design an extension that would include an indoor heated swimming pool. They bought their own family air car and used it each day to fly from the small flat they were renting in the city to their home-to-be, where they measured, planned, and picked out colour schemes while work crews carried out the manual labour. The plumbing, rewiring, and structural work on the main house, including a new roof, was finished inside two months, while the extension took another three weeks to complete. After that the decorators came in, doing the painting because Jack couldn’t stand to be around the smell of fresh paint for more than a few minutes at a time.
Just under five months after they’d first stood outside their future home, the house was finished, fully decorated, with carpets fitted in the rooms that needed them, and the wooden floors elsewhere waxed and polished. Jack couldn’t get enough of the smell of the floor wax so they moved straight in before all the furniture and appliances had even arrived, and set about making the place feel like home.
Work was moving rapidly ahead on their landing pad and hangar as well; they’d found a good spot out of view of the house on the other side of the hill, and the hangar was being built into the hillside itself so it wouldn’t spoil the view. Ianto was hoping they could get the Wanderer installed in her new home before the baby arrived.
They only just made it. A mere three days after flying the ship from the spaceport to their private landing area, Jack woke Ianto in the middle of the night. “I think it’s time,” he said, gasping as another sharp stab of pain went through his swollen belly.
Ianto blinked blearily at his husband, brain still fogged with sleep. “But it’s too soon! You’re not due for another month!”
“Apparently the baby didn’t get the memo,” Jack grunted. “Because it’s not waiting any longer.” He levered his bulk out of bed as Ianto practically fell out of the other side, trying to get dressed at the same time, pulling on whatever clothes were nearest to hand. Ten minutes later, they were in the air car heading for Cardiff’s St David’s Hospital, which stood on the spot where the old St David’s hotel had once been.
Hardly more than two hours after that, the two dazed and bemused new parents sat in Jack’s hospital room, each holding a small, blanket-wrapped bundle. Jack’s caesarean incision was almost healed already, though he still felt a bit bruised inside.
“I didn’t faint,” Ianto said.
“No, you didn’t.”
“I thought I would when they pulled out the second one.”
Jack had thought so too, hearing his husband’s disbelieving gasp and glancing over to see he’d gone as white as one of the hospital’s sheets.
“I still don’t know how the Doctor managed to miss that I was having twins.”
The Doctor had been the one to tell him he was expecting in the first place, after the TARDIS had detected the new life growing inside Jack when they’d run into each other unexpectedly. Jack’s pregnancy had been remotely monitored by the local hospital since their arrival on earth, via a small and unobtrusive device attached to his bump. Jack had insisted on not being told anything unless something was wrong, and as he’d had a disgustingly healthy pregnancy courtesy of the vortex energy coursing through his body, the obstetricians hadn’t needed to contact him, wrongly assuming he already knew he was expecting twins.
“What are we going to call them?” Ianto gazed at the baby girl in his arms, Now that he saw his daughter and his son, none of the names they’d picked out seemed right.
“How about we name one each?” Jack said. “You think of something for our baby girl, and I’ll name this little chap.”
“Okay, sounds fair.”
They fell silent, studying their sleeping babies.
Ianto was the first to come to a decision. “Cerys Toshiko Harkness-Jones,” he said at last.
Jack smiled tearily. “Yes, that’s perfect.” He chewed his bottom lip for a moment before hesitantly suggesting, “Owen Steven Harkness-Jones?”
Ianto nodded. “In memory of your grandson.”
“Is that okay?”
“Of course it is, cariad. What better way could there be to remember him? But… would you rather name this one after your daughter?”
“No.” Jack shook his head. “I think the names you’ve chosen are perfect. Besides, if these two turn out okay maybe there’ll be more.”
“You mean if we survive being parents to twins,” Ianto chuckled. “I can feel my hair turning grey just at the thought of trying to cope with two miniature versions of you.” His smile showed Jack he was only joking.
“They might both take after you, putting all their toys away without being told.”
“That would be too much to hope for.”
Ianto suddenly sat up straighter with another gasp, his eyes going wide as something belatedly occurred to him.
“Are you okay?” Jack asked, concerned, as if Ianto was the one who’d just had a caesarean.
“I’m fine. I just realised we’re going to need two of everything and we only got one!” Carefully juggling his daughter into one arm, Ianto pulled out his handheld computer and called up the shop they’d bought their baby supplies from, scrolling through their catalogue and quickly adding the absolute essentials to his basket before placing the order for delivery the next day. “Right, that’s that taken care of. We can pick up anything else we need later.”
“That’s my Ianto; the soul of efficiency.”
“I do my best.”
They smiled at each other, both of them thinking about the years ahead of them, raising their family. Travelling the universe had been wonderful, and someday they’d go back out into space, plying their trade among the stars, but even though they were settled in one place for now, what lay ahead of them looked like it was going to be their greatest adventure of all.