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.
Notes: Ianto has a secret. Set during series one, after Cyberwoman.
Warnings: MPREG! I am a HUGE fan of Mpreg. There are also hints of past child abuse.
Jack tapped his fingers erratically on the wheel of the SUV as he drove. He was fairly annoyed. Actually, he was beyond annoyed. He was angry and getting closer to becoming furious. Today, Ianto was supposed to be at work. Instead, there had been no sign of the man, no phone call either. It was going on eleven in the morning and it was quickly becoming apparent that Ianto had no intention of showing up.
'The only thing that has even a ghost of a chance of saving his sorry backside is if he's still at the address he gave as his home. If he's run, nothing will stop me from pumping him so full of Retcon that he won't be able to think straight ever again,' he thought to himself.
He parked outside Ianto's flat and got out of the SUV. In one hand was a tranquilizer gun and in the other was the key he had for the place. Not that he needed the latter item. He could just kick the door down. But sometimes subtlety was called for.
He took a deep breath and tried to calm down just a little bit as he approached the door. He failed and just barely restrained himself from kicking the door down anyway.
He strode into the flat like he owned it, but stopped abruptly as the sound of someone retching reached his ears. He stood just inside the small flat, not seeing the sparse furniture or the vacant walls. A small fraction of his anger ebbed. If Ianto was ill, then it would be understandable to not come into work. He could have called, though.
Jack folded his arms and cleared his throat before speaking loudly and clearly, wanting to be sure his voice carried to the other room. "Any particular reason why you didn't come in today or, at the very least, call in to say you were ill?"
"I am not ill." There was resignation in Ianto's voice as he moved around where Jack couldn't see him, perhaps going through a door connecting the bathroom and bedroom. "I'm not going in, either."
Jack quickly followed Ianto's voice. He was determined to get to the bottom of things. "Don't feed me the line of your not being ill when I just heard you. And what in the world-?" He'd cut himself off in mid-sentence when the archivist turned to face him.
Ianto spread his arms. "I'm not ill ... as you can plainly see. Now either shoot me, retcon me, or leave me be because I'm not going in."
"You're pregnant," Jack stated, staring at the strip of exposed belly not covered by the overstretched fabric of Ianto's t-shirt.
Ianto looked down at himself and gasped dramatically. "Well, would you look at that. I am. Thank you, Captain Obvious, I don't know what I would have done if you hadn't pointed it out to me." He rolled his eyes and carefully sat on the edge of the bed.
"Very funny." Jack wasn't laughing.
The last time he had seen Ianto, the other man hadn't been pregnant. At least, he hadn't looked it. Then again, it had been a month since he'd seen him. If he'd been pregnant before, then it could be that he'd only just started to clearly show during the past few weeks.
"I want explanations. Now. How is this possible?"
Ianto reclined, shifting around for a few moments before settling with his back against a mound of pillows. "Well, when two people love each other very much-"
"Dammit, Ianto! I'm trying to help!"
The Welshman jerked at the harsh tone. He folded his trembling hands over his stomach. His body language was clear enough. He was scared, afraid of Jack and what he might do.
Jack took a deep breath, trying to calm down. "Let's try this again, shall we?" He shoved his tranquilizer gun into a pocket. Folding his arms, he gave the Welshman a steady look. "How is it that a man from the 21st century became impregnated when the technology to allow such a situation isn't due to be around for a couple hundred years? This probably wasn't a natural insemination either, I'm guessing? That takes a few generations of evolution and very close interplanetary relations," he said, adding an eyebrow wriggle.
Ianto scowled as he rubbed his stomach. "I was at the wrong end of a bloody stupid prank."
Jack sighed and shook his head. "And what are your plans if you're not coming in?"
His answer came in the form of a pillow flying towards him and a furious Welshman glaring at him.
"There are no plans! Not anymore," Ianto seethed. "I was going to find a cure for Lisa and we were going to move away. Somewhere far, far away from here. We were going to be happy! A family! You've fucked it all up with your high-and-mighty 'there is no cure'!"
Jack bit his tongue against the angry retort that was waiting to burst forth. Obviously, the young man still believed he could have saved his girlfriend. "Ianto, think clearly for a moment. You were there. Even transplanting her brain into a completely human body didn't rid her of the Cybernetic influence. There was no cure for her. I really wish there had been. You're a member of my team, whatever your reasons for being there in the first place, and I hate seeing my team members in pain."
Ianto sat there, looking down at the bedding. He was trembling faintly, his red-rimmed eyes getting watery.
Something dawned on Jack. A part of him understood now just why Ianto had been so desperate to save his girlfriend. It was all so obvious now. It wasn't just about love, though that was a very large factor. Ianto Jones had loved Lisa. But there was something else, too.
"She knew, didn't she?" He gestured vaguely to the man's bump.
Ianto nodded miserably.
"You obviously haven't been to see a doctor." He cut himself off again when Ianto curled onto his side and began to tremble. Of course Ianto hadn't gone to a doctor. He was probably terrified of the thought of someone else knowing and turning him into a freak show. Being studied like a lab experiment was the least of his worries if anyone discovered this. He'd be put through so many tests he might end up wishing for death.
"Look, you have to let Owen check you over and make sure everything is all right." He bent forward and pressed a hand flat against Ianto's shaking back.
Slowly, the shaking of his body subsided. He didn't turn to face Jack though. "No. Owen will ... I can't." He clutched at the bedding, subtly shifting away from Jack's touch. "I won't be scrutinized like something on a petri dish."
Jack wouldn't let this go. He couldn't. Ianto needed medical care. "Did Torchwood One know?"
Ianto nodded, though the movement was barely noticeable with his head half-buried in pillows. "That twat was suspended for one week WITH pay and I was patted on the head and told they'd monitor my condition. I wasn't given a choice to end it. They were too curious about the outcome. They wanted to know how my body would be altered to handle the pregnancy. If it would be altered at all or if I'd suffer under the strain of it. They didn't say that, of course."
Shit. He'd already been treated as nothing more than an experiment, used to test out alien tech. Damn Yvonne.
Jack threw off his great coat, letting it drop to the floor. Sighing softly, he perched himself on the edge of the bed and gently shifted Ianto onto his back. The red-rimmed eyes and flushed cheeks were proof enough that he'd been crying, the wetness on his face was just added evidence. He rubbed his thumb across one cheek, not surprised when Ianto flinched and turned his head away.
"You need a doctor. There could be complications. If you don't want Owen to do it, I could. I've some experience, but I'm no doctor."
Ianto blinked a few times to clear his eyes. "You. Yes, you. I-I don't want the others to know." He uneasily pushed himself up to a sitting position.
"You can't hide it from them forever. If you don't show up for work, they will want to know why."
"Yes, well, I don't want them to know. I'm not ready." He crossed his arms. "They probably pity me enough already, I don't need more of it."
Jack stood, smiling sadly. If that was the way Ianto wanted it, so be it. Unless it risked his health, he would keep the others out of it. He didn't know how he'd explain Ianto's absence, but he was sure he could think of something.
Someone's voice sounded from just outside the flat. "Ianto, dear, are you all right? I heard yelling and your door's open."
Jack blinked and gave Ianto a questioning look. "Who's that?"
Ianto sighed. "It's Mrs. Koladka, from next door. She's apparently decided to treat me like one of her grandchildren. She's been doing my shopping. I told her I was ill." He gestured down at himself. "I couldn't go out like this, could I?"
"Ianto? Are you okay?" came the woman's voice again.
Ianto grabbed the nearest pillow and clutched it close, hiding his stomach from view. "I'm in here, Mrs. Koladka. I'm fine," he called out loudly.
A tall, older woman with short silver hair, strode into the room confidently. Her arms were loaded with food storage containers. She smiled when she saw Ianto and gave Jack a cold appraising look. "I was worried. Who's this? I could come back later if I've interrupted something."
"This is my boss," Ianto responded quickly. "He came to check on me and must have forgotten the door. I was ... preoccupied."
"Your stomach again?" She tutted and didn't wait for a reply. "I've made you up a couple of meals. Should keep you well fed while I visit my son and that dreadful woman he married."
She turned to Jack. "He had nothing in his cupboards the first time I came around. Nothing at all. Just saltines. I found him sitting on the stairs out in the hall a month ago, looking all pale and tired. I couldn't just let him sit there all night, could I? He's been sick ever since."
Jack grinned broadly, liking this woman. There was something about her, a warmth that made him trust her. "I was just about to bring him to his doctor for a check-up." He ignored the glare sent his way from the suddenly quiet Welshman.
"Oh, that's good. I'll just put these away." She was smiling at Ianto again. "Is there anything you need before I go? Groceries? I'll be gone the weekend."
Ianto ducked his head, clutching his pillow tighter. "No. Thank you again, Mrs. Koladka."
Jack stepped forward. "Let me help you with those while he gets dressed," he offered, taking a couple of containers from her hands. "What are these?"
"Oh, just some leftovers. Well, and a few I made just for him. I've been trying to teach my granddaughters to cook a few recipes that my grandmother taught me." They left the bedroom and moved into the kitchen.
Curious, Jack set the containers he was carrying onto the counter and opened one of them. A deep reddish liquid was revealed inside. He recognized beet soup when he saw it. Judging by her accent, and the food, she must be of Polish descent, or perhaps Russian. Ukrainian, maybe.
Jack smiled. "Barszcz. I haven't had this in ages."
Mrs. Koladka's smile brightened. "My family emigrated when I was a child. I always thought it was important to keep hold of some traditions. Passing down recipes was one of them."
Jack looked eagerly to the other containers. "What else do we have?"
"Pierogi and golabki of course. There is bigos. A few other dishes as well and things that can be eaten along with the main courses. Potatoes and kielbasa and sauerkraut."
"That's a lot of food."
She began putting the containers into the fridge. "Well, to be honest that boy just doesn't eat enough. He's as thin as a rake. And I enjoy cooking. Living by myself, I don't have a reason to cook so much anymore. It's nice to have someone to cook for."
"You can cook for me anytime."
The elder woman looked him over and gave him a smile. "You look like you have a healthy enough appetite. Look after Ianto. He's a good boy who seems to take too much on his shoulders. I saw it in his eyes that first night, like his soul had been stripped away from him. What happened to take his light away?"
Jack thought for a moment. He couldn't tell her the truth. He decided on something as close to the truth as he could get and not have to retcon her. "His girlfriend died recently."
"Ohh, the poor boy. That happened to my cousin when she lost her intended. She was sick with grief for months." She patted Jack's arm. "Getting out will be good for him. See to it that he does not end up like a hermit."
Jack smiled and walked her to the door. "I'll do my very best. It was a pleasure to meet you."
She just chuckled and shook her head. "Save those twinkles in your eyes, young man. I'm old enough to be your grandmother." With that, she chuckled again and walked down the hallway.
Jack closed and locked the door behind the kind old woman before returning to the bedroom. "Nice lady," he commented, studying the Welshman. Ianto was sitting on the edge of the bed, but looked lost and small. He hadn't gotten dressed, still wearing only a t-shirt and his sleep pants. It was probably too late, but he had to make the offer that Torchwood One never had.
"Ianto, do you want this baby?"
Ianto swallowed audibly and stared at the floor as if fascinated by its very existence. "Is it wrong if I say I do?"
Jack shook his head and knelt in front of Ianto. "There was no wrong answer to that question. The only wrong was that it was never asked before." He stood, and - in one fluid motion picked up his great coat and wrapped it around Ianto, who was looking at him in shock. "What? I simply guessed that you didn't have anything that would fit you and I'm pretty sure you don't want people staring at you when we leave."
Ianto's mouth twitched just a bit, and Jack was well pleased with the motion.
"Come on. Let's get back to the Hub."
That flicker of a smile disappeared and the Welshman's face paled. "But the others. They'll see me. They'll know."
Jack grabbed his shoulders. "Don't freak out on me now. They won't be there by the time we get back. I know a back way into the Hub that will bypass the alarms so it won't alert the others. I'll get you in that way, hide you out, then go back out and come in the main entrance. It shouldn't be too difficult to get them out for the day. When they're gone, I'll come and get you. Okay?"
The pregnant man nodded, though he still seemed shaky. He slipped his arms into the sleeves of Jack's coat and stood slowly. He sat down an instant later.
"What is it? What's wrong?" Jack asked, worried. Was he feeling faint?
Ianto looked down at his feet and wiggled his toes against the carpeting. "I need shoes."
To Be Continued ...
Notes: Mrs. Koladka is Polish. So she cooks Polish food for Ianto.
Barszcz - Also spelled as borscht. A delicious soup. The main ingredient is beets. I haven't had it in ages, but I loved it when my grandmother made it for me, especially with a dollop of sour cream in it.
Pierogi - dumplings, usually filled with sauerkraut and/or mushrooms, meat, potato, and/or savory cheese. Optionally topped with sour cream.
Golabki - cabbage leaves stuffed with spiced minced meat and rice or with mushrooms and rice served with sour cream or tomato sauce.
Bigos - a stew of sauerkraut and meat.