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TW FIC: Children of the Earth, Child of the Stars (2/7+epilogue)


Title: Children of the Earth, Child of the Stars
Summary: What if Gwen wasn’t the one who was pregnant? How would that have affected the events of CoE?
Pairings/Characters: Jack/Ianto, Gwen/Rhys, various others
Spoilers: all days of CoE
Warnings: Character death, mpreg
Rating: M (for adult themes)
Word count: (part 2) 4,401
Disclaimer:  If I owned them, this would have happened in Season 3 rather than what was actually shown.  
 
Part 1

Part 2

Ianto came to, lying awkwardly on some large stone blocks. Remaining still, he cautiously opened his eyes and surveyed where he was. In front of him were more blocks that didn’t go up as high as he thought they might. That’s good, he thought; the explosion must have been contained in the open area of the Hub. If it hadn’t, he would have had a long way to fall as he hadn’t had time to get clear of the area before the bomb went off. As it was, he was surprised that he hadn’t fallen or been thrown further by the explosion.

His body was aching, and it felt like he was bruised all over, but there were no sharp pains to indicate that he had suffered any major injuries. And, he decided as he put a shaky hand on his stomach, there was no indication yet that being thrown off his feet and landing on stone blocks had hurt the foetus inside him. That was good.

Pushing himself to his feet, Ianto stood and looked around him. He had been thrown clear of where the twisted wreck of the water tower now lay, presumably by the force of the explosion, and had landed towards the edge of what was now an impressive crater. Looking around, he tried to see if he could spot Jack, even though his stomach twisted at the thought of viewing the remains. Best not to dwell on that, he thought as he started towards the middle of the rubble.

A bullet suddenly whizzed past his body and pinged against the tower’s metal frame. Sniper! he thought as he turned and ran out of the crater, scrambling up the sides as quick as he could. Bullets continued to be fired at him but fortunately for him, whoever was shooting didn’t have perfect aim. As he ran away from the Plass, a part of his mind pointed out that this was real life and he couldn’t rely on the shooters to remain inaccurate; that only happened in the movies.

He ran until he couldn’t hear any more bullets and then he ran some more. When he believed it was safe, he sat down in the doorway of a shop and caught his breath. Someone wanted to kill him. All of them. The bomb in Jack’s stomach had been meant to kill himself, Jack and Gwen. Failing that, there had been snipers waiting for any survivors.

Gwen! He hadn’t even given Gwen a thought since regaining consciousness. Where had she been when the bomb exploded? Had she got clear? Had she been able to avoid the snipers or was she lying dead near the Hub somewhere? He couldn’t do anything about Jack at the moment but he could find out what happened to Gwen.

Ianto felt in his trousers pocket and found his wallet, which he hadn’t taken out of his pocket after visiting Rhiannon earlier. There were a few coins in there plus £20 in notes - he had taken some out to give to David and Mica. So he had enough money to make a phone call to see if Gwen was okay but not enough to get a taxi anywhere, not if he wanted to conserve his money as he couldn’t use his credit cards; they were traceable. Maybe he should have tried to get the SUV back by himself; it was times like these when he really missed that car.

He got to his feet, ignoring the nausea he felt, and started walking, intent on finding a payphone. His mobile phone had been in the Hub and even if it hadn’t been, making a call on it might not be wise as the people trying to kill him would be able to track him with it. Absently, he rubbed a hand over his stomach. He would have to get something to eat too, to keep his strength up. That part was going to be difficult but at least his experience shoplifting in his youth would come in handy.

**********

Well, that was a waste of time, Ianto thought as he hung up. Gwen had been too distracted trying to get out of her apartment to talk for long and they hadn’t even been able to decide on a place to meet. Ice-cream? When had they ever gone for ice-cream? Sure, they were friends and she knew that he loved Jack, but they didn’t do things like going out for ice-cream.

If she had waited a few seconds more, Ianto would have been able to tell her about the back-up Hub that Jack had set up back in 2001. Ianto occasionally went over there to make sure things were still working and that there was plenty of food in case it was ever needed. Unfortunately, it was on the other side of Cardiff and he had no way of getting there except for walking, which would take all night.

So… what should he do? Walk all the way to the back-up Hub and try to discover who had tried to kill all of them, or wait until dawn and see who came to collect Jack’s body? If he did the latter, that meant he would have to get his hands on a computer some other way, as well as a car. The Mainframe was well protected - he would be able to connect to it from any computer as Tosh had taught him how in case of an emergency. There was also the possibility that the back-up Hub could be compromised as well - if someone had been able to track down Jack and put a bomb in his stomach, making sure it didn’t go off until he was in the Hub, then they might also have the resources to find property that Torchwood had bought over the decades. Could he take the risk that it was safe to go there?

Probably not. So he would need to get a computer. Where could he get one from, short of stealing one? Ianto sat down in the nearby bus shelter, needing to think carefully about his plan of action. He could ask Rhiannon for a laptop but it could be dangerous, especially if she was being watched in case he went there. He wouldn’t be able to go himself to ask her, he would have to send some kind of note, delivered unobtrusively so that any spies wouldn’t know. Maybe he would be able to borrow the car too; no doubt he would need it if it became necessary to rescue Jack from somewhere other than the Hub.

Okay, so first thing he would head back to the Hub, see what was going on and whether Jack was back to normal. Then he would have to find a way to deliver the message to Rhiannon. And then, well, he would just have to plan that after he knew what he was dealing with. If he had a car, he might be able to check out the back-up base as well.

In the meantime though, he needed some sleep. Food could wait until the morning but if he didn’t get any sleep, he wouldn’t function properly tomorrow and he had the feeling he needed to be able to do that.

Heading off, he made his way down the street to a shop he knew would be unoccupied. He broke the lock and went inside, figuring he would be safe enough there for the remainder of the night. And as he drifted into an uneasy sleep, he tried not to think of what the explosion would have done to Jack…

**********

Ianto was up early the next morning, unable to sleep for longer than a few hours. He lay there, staring up at the ceiling and rubbing a hand gently over his stomach. He’d barely had enough time to think about the foetus he was carrying. It was so strange that he could say that about himself. A baby. His and Jack’s baby. How was it even possible?

There was a slight swell under his hand and he smiled. It was real; it wasn’t a figment of his imagination. Though he had never considered this possibility before, he was pleased. And scared. And disbelieving. And… there was such a wide range of emotions there, he didn’t know how to put them into words. But he was very happy that Jack wanted the baby because that meant, in spite of the older man’s protests, that they were going to be a couple. He would have Jack for a while longer.

He sat up and his head promptly started spinning. Lying back down again, Ianto swallowed and willed away the sudden nausea that had accompanied his movement. Morning sickness, amplified by lack of food and sleep. Great. Just what he needed. He lay still for a few minutes until he felt marginally better, then he slowly sat up again. There was still some nausea but it was manageable. It would have to be; he had work to do.

By the time Ianto reached his favourite coffee house, the first rays of dawn were appearing over the horizon. Had it only been twenty-four hours ago that he had woken up in bed with Jack kissing him? Quite a lot could happen in one day, as he knew from previous experience.

He ordered some toast, orange juice and a weak coffee, and told them to put it on his account. Then he tucked in enthusiastically, despite it not being his usual breakfast. Several minutes later, he felt much better, ready to face whatever the day would bring.

**********

By the time he got to the Plass, Ianto could see that it was already swarming with UNIT officers, which raised an interesting question. Had it been UNIT who had planted the bomb in Jack’s stomach? And had it been their snipers who had tried to shoot him last night after the explosion? If so, why now? Was it simply bad timing or did they know what was going on with the children and were trying to stop Torchwood from finding out?

Those questions would have to wait. For now, he had to plan how to rescue Jack. There would be no chance of collecting what was left of him now, not with all the armed officers around. No, somehow he would have to take Jack back from them.

Somehow.

**********

Ianto wasn’t prepared to see them carrying out pieces of Jack to put in a black body bag. His stomach suddenly revolted and he brought up his breakfast as quietly as he could; he didn’t want to draw attention to himself even though he was out of sight.

When he stood up again, the officers were loading the body bag into the back of an ambulance. As they closed the doors, Ianto retrieved a pen from his pocket and quickly wrote the plate number on the back of his hand; if he had the number, it would be easier to track down. Hopefully.

He watched the ambulance leave and then walked away; he had a rescue mission to plan.

**********

Many hours later, sitting in the back of his sister’s car with a newly rescued Jack, Ianto couldn’t remember much about the day. He vaguely remembered meeting with Rhiannon and getting her laptop and car, then heading to an abandoned warehouse to use the computer to track the ambulance. Once he had known where it was headed, he had gone to Ashton Downs - a UNIT stronghold outside London - and had seen officers pouring concrete into Jack’s cell. The events after that were fuzzy but somehow he had, along with Gwen and Rhys, managed to rescue Jack from his hellish imprisonment. Maybe the details would come back to him later… or maybe it was better that they didn’t.

Jack had draped Rhys’ jacket over his lap but apart from that, he was naked. Greyish dust covered him - residue from the concrete - and there was a weariness in his eyes that Ianto hated. He took Jack’s hand and squeezed it gently, providing his lover with a solid link to living again.

“You two okay back there?” Gwen asked, turning her head to look at them.

“We’ll be fine,” Ianto replied. He felt Jack squeeze his hand and knew it had been the right thing to say. When Gwen turned back to the front, Ianto looked at his partner. He couldn’t imagine what Jack had been through in the past twenty-four hours and he didn’t want to either.

Jack returned his look, attempting to smile. “I could really do with one of your coffees right now,” he said in a hoarse voice.

“Sorry, fresh out,” Ianto stated, his answering smile feeling just as forced as Jack’s looked. “Didn’t have time to pack the coffee machine.”

Jack frowned briefly in confusion then the expression cleared; he remembered about the back-up Hub, complete with all the necessities. Then he remembered something else. “Ianto…” Jack turned towards his lover and reached out a hand to rest on the slightly swollen stomach.

“We’re fine,” Ianto reassured him, putting a hand over Jack’s. “Hungry, but fine.” He couldn’t remember when he had last eaten, though he knew it was sometime within the last day.

“Rhys! Can we stop somewhere to eat?” Jack queried without looking away from Ianto.

“With you starkers? Not a chance,” came the reply.

Ianto couldn’t help the laugh that escaped him; the thought of Jack going into a restaurant as he was now greatly amused him.

Warmth flooded through Jack at the sound of Ianto laughing. There were times when he had thought he would never hear that again, that laugh that Ianto generally reserved just for him. Jack leaned in and pressed a quick kiss to his lover’s lips, not passionately but rather just saying ‘I’m glad we’re both still here’.

With a smile still on his face, Ianto addressed Rhys. “We need to get some clothes for Jack then. Does anyone have any money left?” He had very little after using a taxi to get to the park earlier that day.

“Credit cards don’t work so, no,” Gwen stated. “Had to get petrol on the way here so our cash is gone too.”

“Then we’ll have to steal something,” Ianto said. The sooner Jack was dressed, the better.

**********

It didn’t take too long to steal some clothes that were hanging out in someone’s backyard. Jack wasn’t too pleased with the t-shirt and tracksuit pants but he couldn’t afford to be choosy at the moment. Because no-one seemed to be home, Ianto broke into the house and stole some bread, meat and butter - enough for four people and it should last them until morning - and a mobile phone. He hadn’t wanted to steal the food or the phone but Jack had insisted. Rhys hadn’t asked them yet why Jack was being so solicitous but Ianto figured that he would when they stopped being on the run.

The sun was just starting to go down when they arrived at an abandoned warehouse. Ianto had given them directions but no-one had asked questions as to how he knew of it. Once inside, Rhys set about trying to light a fire in an old oil drum while Gwen took the food and started making sandwiches. Over protests, Jack led Ianto over to the couch and made the pregnant man sit on it.

“Ianto, you’ve been through a lot today,” Jack said, his hands resting on his partner’s thighs. “Let the rest of us take care of things for awhile.”

Reluctantly, Ianto nodded and relaxed back into the couch. It was uncomfortable but it was better than sitting on the ground. Jack sat down next to him and put an arm around his shoulders, securing Ianto to him.

Fire flared in the drum and Rhys stepped back quickly. “Whoa! Almost lost my eyebrows! Still, I’m good for something, see? Old Boy scout!” he boasted.

“Good, ‘cos I’m freezing,” Gwen commented, coming back over with some sandwiches. She served the men first and then sat at the other end of the couch with her portion.

“Is anyone gonna see us in here?” Rhys continued. “You know, with all this firelighting stuff?” He sat on the edge of the couch next to Gwen.

“It was abandoned in the ‘90s,” Ianto replied. “Used to be a Torchwood holding facility for Torchwood One.” He felt Jack’s hand twitch at the mention of the former outpost.

“Been rusting away for years,” Jack added. Theoretically, he knew that the warehouses existed but he hadn’t really paid any attention to them since they didn’t house anything useful or dangerous.

“So what do we do? Just sit here?” Gwen wanted to know.

“Worse than that, do I have to stay in these clothes?” Jack tried to break the tension with one of his trademarks grins. “I mean, come on. Tracksuit bottoms? Not a good look.”

Ianto simply rolled his eyes as Gwen stated, “Jack, they’re arriving tomorrow. That alien voice-thing said tomorrow and we’re stuck in the back end of beyond with no way of doing anything.”

“Yeah. But we’re together.” That was the important thing. They had all survived the day. “The old team. We’re down, but not out, yeah? We’ve survived worse than this.”

“I suppose,” Gwen sighed.

“Besides,” Jack continued, “Ianto shouldn’t be doing any fighting in his condition.”

Rhys looked at Jack and then Ianto in confusion. “What’s wrong with Ianto?” He hadn’t noticed anything.

“Um…”

“Well…”

Gwen shook her head at her two ‘boys’ and said, “He’s pregnant. Somehow.”

Rhys’ eyes widened comically. “Pregnant? Pregnant?

“Repeating it won’t make it any more believable,” Ianto said dryly; it hadn’t helped him.

“How could you be pregnant?” Rhys wanted to know, staring at Ianto in disbelief.

“If we find out, you’ll be the first to know,” Jack replied, grinning at him. He just loved watching Rhys’ reactions to Torchwood-type situations. “It’s not that time he turned into a woman because the timing’s wrong.”

Ianto closed his eyes and rested his head against the back of the couch as Gwen stated, “We really need a medic to work out why, and whether it’s safe for Ianto to carry the baby.”

That wasn’t what he wanted to think about right now. Without opening his eyes, Ianto said, “I feel fine, Gwen. And I’ll be fine until we get this sorted out.”

“Actually…” Jack turned towards his lover. “We really do need to make sure everything’s… as normal as it should be.” He couldn’t lose Ianto over this.

“Who are we actually going to ask?” Ianto questioned, hating the fuss. He reluctantly opened his eyes and stared at Jack. “Seriously, who would we ask? UNIT seems to want us dead, Martha is on her honeymoon, and every other doctor is probably looking at the children of anxious parents.”

Jack and Gwen shared a look; Ianto had a point.

“So can we go back to solving our current problem?” Ianto asked wearily as a wave of tiredness washed over him.

“Tomorrow,” Jack said, his tone brooking no argument. “We’ll get a good night’s sleep and then sort out a plan tomorrow.” He looked meaningfully up at Gwen.

“Right. Night then.” Gwen could take a hint. She grabbed hold of Rhys’ hand and dragged him away so the other two could have some privacy.

Jack gently encouraged Ianto to lie down on the couch, the younger man’s head on the immortal’s lap. Placing one hand on Ianto’s slight baby bump, Jack asked, “How are you really?” He knew that the events of the past twenty-four hours had to have been stressful for the younger man.

“Tired,” Ianto admitted. Though he didn’t like to be molly-coddled, he was currently enjoying the attention Jack was paying him. He rested one hand on Jack’s and smiled up at his partner. “Rescuing you was hard work.”

“Well, I wouldn’t want you to think that I was easy,” Jack responded with a grin. Then his expression became serious. “You weren’t hurt in the explosion?”

“A few cuts and bruises, nothing serious.” Fate was obviously looking out for him.

“I’m glad.” To have lost Ianto so soon after finding out about the baby… Jack wasn’t sure that he could have borne that. “I told you I’d come back. For you and the baby.”

Ianto was silent for a moment, then he asked, “You’re really pleased about this?” They hadn’t had much time to discuss this the previous day and all of Ianto’s doubts were coming back to him.

“Really,” Jack confirmed, caressing Ianto’s stomach. Even though he’d had children before, he didn’t think he had ever been so emotionally invested in the other partner as he was with Ianto. Something about the young man had got under Jack’s skin right from the start and although theirs was anything but a conventional relationship, it worked. Jack knew that was mostly because Ianto accepted and understood him for who he was.

“Even though this makes us a… you know.” There was no way Ianto wanted to say ‘couple’, not after the way Jack had reacted earlier.

Jack nodded. “It’s just… labels…” he trailed off, knowing that Ianto would understand.

Ianto did. “Our ‘quaint categories’,” he quoted something he had heard Jack say on several occasions. “Somehow, I don’t think I quite fit in any category at the moment.” He was, as far as he knew, the first male human (who hadn’t had a sex change) to fall pregnant.

“Is that a bad thing?” Jack inquired carefully. As much as Ianto didn’t like labels, he was careful to make sure he controlled what ones people gave him. Ianto didn’t want to be seen as gay, or as coming from a poor background, and Jack respected that so he restrained himself when they were out in public.

“I don’t know.” Ianto really didn’t. He needed to find out how he could possibly be in this situation, then decide how he was going to cope physically with having a baby.

Deciding that the conversation could go in a direction he wasn’t comfortable with, Jack changed the subject. “So, do you want the couch or will I scare up some bedding?”

Ianto raised an eyebrow; the couch was way too small for someone of his height.

“Bedding it is then,” Jack said with a grin. “You wait here, I’ll find something.” He carefully got up and walked away, intent on finding something comfortable.

Ianto sighed as he lay down. He would have to ask Jack later just how many people he had got pregnant in his lifetime and whether he had treated them all like this. Not that he was complaining. At the moment, anyway.

A few minutes later, Jack was back with an old mattress and some blankets. He spread them on the floor and then invited Ianto to test it out.

His body protesting, Ianto shifted from the couch to the mattress. It was lumpy and it didn’t smell too good either, but he wasn’t going to be fussy. Jack’s 51st century pheromones would hopefully override the smell.

Jack lay down next to him and arranged the blankets over both of them. Then they tried to get some sleep.

**********

Back in Cardiff, Rhiannon stared up at the ceiling. Johnny, her husband, lay snoring beside her but she couldn’t sleep. Her mind just kept going over and over what Ianto had told her in the past couple of days.

Of most importance was the fact that someone had tried to kill him. Ianto - her baby brother. She had always thought him a civil servant, one of the most boring jobs in the world. Now, it seemed like his job was anything but and that he or someone in his team had made enemies who wanted him dead. She could only pray that he would return home safely because she wasn’t ready to lose the last member of her family.

Rhiannon turned her thoughts to the fact that Ianto had a boyfriend. She would never have guessed it though she thought she should have. The way he always dressed so smartly, the bands that he liked when he was younger… but he had always had girlfriends. That made her really want to meet the boyfriend so that she could see what was so special about him that he had turned Ianto bender.

Peering through the dark, Rhiannon frowned. There was something niggling at the back of her mind, something to do with Ianto being gay. What was it? Thinking hard, Rhiannnon thought it might have been something their mother had said when Ianto was a teenager but what? What could it be?

Carefully getting out of bed, Rhiannon opened the wardrobe and lifted a particular shoe box out of it. As she carried it downstairs in the dark, she thought about what it contained: old school reports, postcards, mementos of her teenage years, and her one-year diary that she only wrote important things in. She hadn’t written in the diary for over a decade, since she had been married, but she had kept it for sentimental reasons. Somehow, she knew that what was niggling at her was in that diary.

Rhiannon switched the lounge room light on as she entered, then sat down on the couch and placed the box in front of her on the table. Taking the lid off, she started to rummage through it. Tempted though she was to reminisce about everything in there, she was on a mission to find out what her mother had said about Ianto.

She skimmed through the pages, looking for any mentions of her brother. On one of the last pages, she found it.

//Mam said something really weird today. She asked me whether I noticed Ianto looking at boys. I said no, course not, and she looked relieved. But then she told me that if Ianto ever did, and she wasn’t around, then I had to give him Tad-cu’s pocket watch. Apparently there’s something in there but she wouldn’t tell me what. So I guess I’ll have to wait for Ianto to go bender - as if!!//

Well, it appeared that she had been wrong. But what was so important about the stopwatch? Rhiannon sighed; she would just have to wait to find out.

Part 3


Tags: coe, fic, jack/ianto, torchwood
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