Ianto was eyeing the baby as she cried in her little makeshift crib. Mamma Frannie had placed her in the sunlight and she had been enjoying the afternoon sun but now she had started to squall.
Ianto noted that it must have been her first birthday and they'd missed it in the excitement of the move and wedding. Poor little orphan pearl. Ianto walked over and gently gathered her into his arms.
Her eyes were wide as she stared up at him and she gripped his finger with a desperate whine. Ianto cuddled her to him and jiggled her gently as he rocked her.
Jack walked through the far door and stopped. He watched his husband as he softly sang a welsh lullaby to the baby girl who had stopped crying and was gripping his hand with both of hers.
"Oh, good. You got her. Thanks darling" Mamma said to Ianto as she tested the bottle of formula.
"How are we going with that?" Ianto asked reaching for the bottle as she whined for it.
"Two more tins and I'm worried about the use by dates" she said.
"I've been thinking on that too. More babies will come and we need an alternative as the powdered milk is going to run out" Ianto grinned softly as the baby closed her eyes as she suckled. "I'm wondering if any of the farms had survived the Larggettes. If they didn't go out of the city there may be sheep and cows still wandering about with good food sources going to waste."
"That's more than just a quick recon babe" Jack had listened and pushed himself off from the doorframe.
"Yeah. A day to look about. A day to load up a truck or two and the blast through the city will be bad. Those things will want the meat. We would need to be well rested for the possible battle so three days max." Ianto said and Jack's stomach fell to his feet.
"We?" he asked as he looked down at Pearl.
"I need to assess the livestock. None of us is a farmer and I'm the only one who ever milked a cow!" Into scoffed.
"When did you ever milk a bloody cow?" Mickey laughed as he wandered in looking for a cup of tea.
"My Nain and Taid had a hobby farm if you must know! I can even shear with hand shears! Rhia learned to spin with Nain while I helped Taid each holidays." Ianto bristled.
"No shit? I loved me Gran. When I found her still alive in Pete's world I stayed to have that little extra time. Grandparents are so important to … shit. Sorry." Mickey sighed.
"These children have grandparents. Francine and Joe are the best role models for this next generation to learn modesty and good work ethics from" Ianto smiled at Francine who smacked his arm affectionately.
"You know she must have had her first birthday a week or so back" Ianto said suddenly causing Francine to gasp with horror.
"Not that she'd care but a birthday should always be celebrated" Ianto kissed the little forehead as Pearl obediently burped against his shoulder.
Francine watched him hand her off to Jack as he fussed with the cloth nappy and smiled to herself. Jack was kissing her now and as she snuffled into his neck he grinned at Ianto.
Look. She's eating me!" he giggled and Ianto rolled his eyes.
"She's still a bit windy. Burp her you twit" Ianto smiled back and Jack expertly shifted her lower and patted her back until a loud burp was heard.
"Oh. Pearly Poo must have been so hungry the poor little lamb" Ianto simpered and Jack heard baby talk from Ianto for the first time.
He grinned at Francine with wide eyes as Ianto proceeded to tell her what a clever girl she was and Pearl's burbling answers had everyone laughing. Ianto plucked her from Jack and quickly changed her wet nappy then declared her perfect. She laughed as he copped her up and wandered out into the garden so she could "get the air".
"You know he's smitten" Francine whispered to jack who just shrugged.
"I know Mamma but I don't think I'm that far behind him" he finally admitted and she smiled as she patted his arm with a knowing nod.