Chapter 17

The birthday party was in full swing and Jack couldn't find Ianto or Walter anywhere.

Gwen was in the kitchen laughing with Rhiannon at an old photo album they were looking through. Jack looked over their shoulders at the album lying open on the table and saw a little Ianto glaring at the camera.

"Oh my God, look at Walter in that glare!" Jack gasped as he pulled the album closer.

Rhiannon snorted and rolled her eyes in a perfect imitation of Ianto, and Jack faintly heard Myfanwy bark.

"Hark, the dulcet tones of a fog horn," Jack growled and left the two giggling women as he walked to the garage.

"I don't care! I want you to leave now!" Ianto was speaking quietly but Jack recognised the threat in his voice.

Rushing into the garage, Jack found Ianto facing off with a tall black man who was holding a brightly wrapped gift. Myfanwy stood between Ianto and the man, her teeth bared and the hair on her back raised in full attack mode.

"He's my nephew. I have a right to see him!" the man argued back.

"No. Read the fucking court documents and recognise the fact that Walter is mine. Your family gave up all rights to him. All your family!" Ianto snarled. "Fuck off Marcus!"

"She was my sister. My only sibling and now there is no one to carry our bloodline. Jesus Ianto, please. Just a look at him," Marcus begged.

"No one to carry your bloodline? No there isn't. He's a Jones, despite what acid your mother might spew about my paternity. If your wife is barren you can fucking well adopt." Ianto stepped back and threw a final comment over his shoulder, "A nice black one without impure white Welsh blood this time!"

"Ianto, please!" Marcus pleaded again.

"You heard my partner. I suggest you go before you have to deal with me as well. Ask around. Jack Harkness, Torchwood." Jack snarled into Marcus's face and he took a step back in shock as Jack leaned in so close he could kiss him. "Get the fuck off my property before I disappear you!"

"Fan, come!" Ianto barked and the dog switched off her attack mode and trotted up the steps and inside the house. The slam of the door was deafening.

"Yan? You okay?" Jack said softly, reaching for Ianto's shoulder.

"When that prick is off the property and far away from my son I'll be fine, cariad," Ianto returned pleasantly as he wandered down the hall towards Walter's room.

"Really? Did Tadda do any home movies?" a man was asking Walter quietly as they sat on the floor colouring in.

"Yep," Walter said with a nod, reaching for the green crayon.

The stranger was smiling down at him sweetly as he spoke. "Did Tadda ever put a camera up in-"

"Excuse me. Who are you and what are you doing?" Ianto spoke so calmly that he resembled an old English butler announcing high tea, and Jack stepped into the room behind him, just as confused.

"Oh!" The stranger had the good grace to blush at being caught.

"Walter, go ask Aunty Rhia if you can do the piñata now. Say Tadda said so," Ianto said, and Walter whooped as he ran to get his friends.

"John?" Jack gasped as he recognised the man.

"This is my ex-partner John Hart. Ianto asked you a question that I'd like answered too," Jack demanded. "What are you doing?"

"Partner? In what way?" Ianto tilted his head.

"In every sense of the word, eye-candy," John purred with a wink.

"John!" Jack warned.

"I was just working on a hunch. It's just funny that all this is happening." John stumbled as he rose and Jack realised with horror that he was drunk.

"John, how much have you had to drink? It's not even five in the afternoon!" Jack frowned. "It's a three year old's birthday for Christ's sake."

"I'm just saying, he really fell on his feet here. Nice home, nice fella. Bet that new car you're looking at is for him too. I bet you don't even charge him board for …" John slurred slightly.

"JOHN!" Jack shouted with rage.

"Oh God. I'm sorry." John placed a hand over his mouth with mock shock. "I didn't mean that. Ianto, I'm so sorry, I didn't mean that. I was talking with Gwen earlier about the litany of events since the mugging and … shit. I'm drunk!"

"What car? Why would you think I would want to set fire to my own house?" Ianto was genuinely confused and turned to Jack for clarification.

Jack could see this turning bad rather quickly and hastened to get John out of there. As he reached for John's arm, Ianto stepped to his left and folded his hands neatly in front of him in a stance Jack recognised as fuming mad even though to the onlooker he seemed perfectly calm.

"No. You didn't mean for it to get that out of control. It's just … it's Jack, isn't it mate. Fucking gorgeous, isn't…" John's words were cut off as his jaw was snapped shut by Jack's fist.

"How fucking dare you! I told you two years ago at the Christmas party when you tried to stick your tongue down my throat and I'm telling you now. I will never-" Jack leaned in close to John's face- "EVER FUCK YOU AGAIN! Get out of my house!" Jack pointed at the door with a shaking finger.

"Jack. Come on, you've got to admit you do love getting on your high horse, lover." John shrugged as Gwen entered the bedroom to see why Jack was yelling.

"You! Ya piece of Gob shite! How did you get in here?" Gwen stepped forward and grabbed him by his collar. He yelped as she yanked him off his feet and dragged him towards the door while he struggled. "I told you earlier not to come here with your shite conspiracy theories about Ianto being the secret squirrel behind this mess."

"Oi! This was my almost home before it that tall glass of -oof!" John's head hit the door frame and Gwen snarled as she shook him by his collar.

"Sorry John, a bit of police brutality. You know what bastards we are, you're always saying so," she laughed as she threw him out and slammed the door before he hit the ground.

"Oh god. What can possibly happen next?" Ianto groaned and turned to bury his face in his hands. Then the mask came down and Jack sighed.

"It was over before it began. I was vulnerable when I lost Sofia and Mel and I drank a lot. He was just there and I was stupid. Less than a month together and he can't let me go after all this time," Jack tried to assure Ianto of his sincerity and Ianto sighed.

"It's okay cariad. We both have a past. I don't doubt you and I know you don't doubt me." Ianto leaned in and accepted a kiss.

"Who's that black fella that's got Wally?" Owen asked as he wandered into the room.

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