Ianto stared at the pigs with apprehension. When the piglets were ushered out of the truck however, Ianto couldn't help but grin as he turned to his husband who smirked.
"Their mamma was too big, we found three dead in the pen." Tom informed him, "When she doesn't care like that we need to take them."
"Do they still need her milk?" Ianto frowned as he mentally assessed their inside main room for a good spot for a pen.
"They can drink from bottles and are not as dirty as people make them out to be." Tom assured him, "they make great pets and are trainable, like dogs. We had one when I was small called Milly, she was house trained and everything."
"Shit!" Mickey exclaimed and Ianto nodded.
"Exactly, we'll need mats and bedding until they are big enough to train. Their pens will need cleaning at least twice a day" Ianto muttered, frowning off into space. "Wood shavings or sawdust might be OK. We bagged that from the last wood we cut and stacked in the red shed."
"Pens?" Mickey blustered as Jack smirked into his hand.
"The baby pens, good pig pens. We'll put three of the piglets by the north windows so they get the sun" Ianto declared and walked off like that was the end of the matter.
"Is he serious?" Mickey hissed at Jack who nodded.
"Well, you didn't bring him puppies or kittens so my gorgeous man is improvising" Jack answered as he looked at the sky.
"Why did he sat three? There are eight" Mickey looked at Tom who answered.
"Because the kids will love them, name them and want to keep them. No bacon from those. We'll need to breed from them only." Tom said and Mickey sighed as the light bulb came on.
"The others?" Jack asked now.
"Well, five might be more manageable for her." Tom said thoughtfully as he stared at the fat sow, "If she looks like she's gonna fail we'll take them and pen then separate out here."
"Yeah, but pets? Pigs?" Mickey hissed at Jack.
"These storms are getting worse, by tonight we'll be house bound. What do you suggest we do to keep the hoard of minions at bay for the next few weeks, or even months?" Jack queried and Mickey growled softly.
"OK, point taken" Mickey finally allowed.
The children cheered when the three piglets were brought into the main room.
Angel and Boss cooed as Ianto handed the first one to them. A little boy. A black body with white ears and face.
The next children to hold out their hands were Anwen, David and Micah who agreed to share. Ianto had noticed the growing friendship there and the occasional hand holding between his nephew and Anwen. He looked at Jack who nodded his approval. Their shiny pink girl was an instant hit.
That left Leo looking at, Nancy, Ella and Grace. Grace declared an instant dislike to them and Jack agreed that she might like helping prepare their food instead, Leo snorted as he fronted up to hand the last one to the twins who cooed and giggled at their little girl. Another pinky with a black tail.
"Well? Do we have names?" Ianto asked and the children shrugged
"Can we tell you at dinner Taddy? We need to get to know then to see what name suits" Angel asked and Boss stepped up.
"Can we have some blankets and stuff for our babies Taddy Yan?" Boss asked and Ianto looked at Jack with surprise at the title.
Jack went all gooey and cuddled the little boy. "Daddy Rhys OK to share you?"
"I told Mamma and Daddy that when I marry Angel you'll be my Taddy and Dadda so it's OK." Boss shrugged. "Daddy made little noises and Mamma went sort of weird."
Ianto cuddled the children and made eye contact with Jack who sighed as he saw a long talk with Rhys and Gwen in his immediate future. Damn. He really wanted to play with the piggies.
As Jack slouched off to find the two adults, Ianto knelt and showed the children how to work the gates on the pens.
The floor of the pens were lined with tarps, then wood chips and shredded paper. Finally, old blankets from the hospital wing were scrunched into a corner so they could burrow.
"Do they stay together Uncle?" David asked.
"They'll be warmer of they snuggle and they will be happier of they have someone with them. We can't have them in our beds, understand?" the last part was aimed at Angel who glared at him openly as Taddy yet again read his mind. Bugger.
"When they're bigger they might argue and need their own space. We'll see" Ianto rose and made to leave but a small voice stopped him.
"Will we eat hem?" Ella asked wih horror and Inato laughed.
"No. We'll keep them so their babies can be our food. We'll always make sure we keep one or two from each litter so there will be pets as well as bacon" Ianto assured them.
"When they are big they can have their own little house outside. For now…" Ianto held up his hands as several small voices rang out with worry, "For now, they can live in here where it's safe and warm. We won't put them outside until summer, OK?"
Ianto settled back into the chair that was known by all as his throne. He watched over his babies as they laughed and took turns cuddling the wriggling piglets.