The trip had been a good one with two routes established as Ianto always believed in a back-up plan and Jack always believed in letting Ianto sweat the small stuff if it kept him happy.
The SUV prowled the streets and Ianto was finally satisfied they would not have a bottleneck anywhere except for the last bit. That stalled van at the entrance to the docks could prove a problem if they had to travel at speed.
Ianto was still chewing on this, fingering the pocket watch he always had with him. Jack had apologised for losing the original one when the hub exploded and this finely engraved watch he had found for his birthday was a doozy. Jack had no idea that in amongst the leaves, vines and small flowers of the design actually were letters. It was fine filigree and the words were in Welsh.
Priod which meant spouse or husband/wife stood out to Ianto and his heart swelled. It didn't matter to him that Jack hadn't known the significance of the love watch, he did.
He knew he would never get a commitment from Jack, this was more of a relationship he'd ever hoped for and just the whisper of love hidden in a watch was enough for him.
"STOP" he yelled as they did another sweep of the docks.
"Look, a flat bed with loading ramps!" Ianto crowed pointing, "A spare gas tank behind the cab."
Rhys whooped and looked where Ianto was pointing. Oh what a beauty, fit the garden beds and the forklift! Rhys calculated the length and saw it was perfect. How to get to it.
Larggettes had heard the SUV and were milling around the dock. How to distract them.
Mickey had exited the SUV and was running for the truck before they had registered the door slamming. Shit, Ianto followed him out without thinking.
Jack resisted the urge to scream knowing Ianto would stop so he was forced to watch in agonising silence as they cut their way through the pack to the truck.
Please go, please go.
The truck roared into life and Ianto and Mickey could be seen celebrating with high fives before slamming it forward. Ianto aimed for the van on the way out and felt a sick satisfaction as it crunched into the far wall, opening the path for their SUV to fly through.
As they lighted from the truck back at the compound Ianto saw Jack's face. Shit more than a kiss to sort this one. He let everyone crow and then made for their room. By the way Jack was following it was gonna be a blow all right.
He barely made it inside the room before Jack had grabbed him and was shaking him so hard his neck cracked.
"What the fuck were you doing?" Jack roared, shaking him some more.
Finally he let him go and he stumbled back, falling over the chair to land in a heap biting his tongue.
Ianto let out a yelp of pain and slapped his hand over his mouth as he felt it fill with blood. A small noise from the bed made Ianto swing his head and his eyes widened as he saw a bleary eyed Angel woken by the thump of Ianto hitting the ground. Francine was lying beside him and sat up as well.
"Ianto? Why are you on the floor?" she asked with a frown.
Ianto opened his mouth to answer and blood poured out. He made a garbled noise and reached for the table to pull himself up.
Jack stood in shock as Ianto's blood stained his white shirt. Francine cried out and leapt from the bed, pulling the pillowcase from the pillow she had been using and kneeling at help Ianto.
"Oh poor baby, did you bite your tongue? She soothed, cuddling him awkwardly as she held the cloth to his mouth. "Let mamma see"
Jack looked over at Angel who was crouched in the corner watching his Tadda bleed. Shit. Jack reached for him and he cried out, leaping from the bed and running to Ianto.
Ianto looked at Jack with anger glowing in his eyes and Jack remembered that they had promised never to be physical in front of him. Shit.
"Yan, you OK baby?" Jack said crouching down.
Angel snarled and barred his teeth at Jack, standing to block him from Ianto.
"Sweetheart" Ianto said painfully, pulling at Angel who shook him off and glared at Jack some more.
"You did that!" he shouted at Jack, "You hurt my Tadda and he's bleeding!"
"Honey, Tadda tripped" Jack said reaching for him.
"NO! YOU HIT MY TADDA!" Angel stamped his foot and looked for something to protect Tadda with.
He reached for the paper weight Tadda had on the table and threw it as hard as he could at Jack. Jack howled with pain as it hit his arm.
Ianto pulled Angel into his arms and hugged him tight. He desperately wanted to reassure him but knew that if he opened his mouth it would scare him if there was still blood so he looked imploringly at Francine hoping she would get the hint.
She opened her arms to Angel but he shook his head, burrowing into Ianto more. She shushed him and pulled gently, extracting him from Ianto's embrace. He cried out and reached back for Ianto desperately and Ianto let out a moan of pain at the sight of his little boy's distress.
He broke from Francine's arms and flew back into Ianto's sobbing. Ianto reached a hand for Jack who knelt and carefully kissed him as gently as he could. Angel watched with wide tear filled eyes.
"See squirt? Tadda's not mad at me. It was a silly accident that would not have happened if I'd not been stupid" Jack said softly.
Ianto squeezed Angel for reassurance and nodded, rolling his eyes at Jack then mick punched him on the jaw. Jack yelled like he was hurt and fell back.
A small snort told them they had succeeded in diffusing the situation and Ianto kissed his baby's forehead as Jack looked at him with silent apology.
Jack knew there would be trial and tribulations ahead but hoped they would make it as a family. It had been some time since he'd felt this comfortable in someone else's life and Ianto had taken his heart so gently that he felt claimed, not owned. Does that make sense?
Ianto snuggled against him and Jack felt shame for his actions. Ianto was his action man, always first into the fray. Just because they were a family it didn't mean Ianto should take a back seat.
Jack told himself not to be so selfish. Angel needed to know both his parents were capable and able to protect him.
Jack made a silent promise not to smother Ianto like that. Not to question his courage again when his job as his partner should have been to show approval and pride for providing for their large eclectic family.