Chapter 43

Ianto sat in silence as he reflected on what had been one of the weirdest days of his life.

Marcus was dead, horribly murdered, and he had been a prime suspect. Ianto Jones, the killer next door. Ianto snorted as he watched the world fly past the window of Gray's Audi as they flew home.

Gray had taken the backseat so he could be near Walter and Ianto had felt uncomfortable with Jack driving but could not voice his opinion for the overwhelming need to vomit each time he paused his shallow breathing.

Jack was thankful for the automatic transmission in Gray's car as he struggled to maintain the facade that he was fine driving. The whole Marcus thing had freaked him slightly, as did Ianto's silence. The pain meds were also a worry, but the sight of Marcus's face in the photograph on the table had sobered him quicker that a cold shower.

Gray had more than taken a shine to Walter and Ianto couldn't help but feel a little uncomfortable with the way Gray was cutting Ianto out of the parenting role. The need for a discussion with Jack grew stronger by the minute. If he could only get rid of Gray.

When they reached the house, Ianto was out of his seat and unbuckling Walter's car seat before Gray could get there. To Ianto's immense annoyance, Gray opened the door to the house, instead displaying the fact that not only did he have a key Ianto didn't know about but he also felt confident enough to enter first like he owned the damn place.

Walter released Ianto's hand to run to Gray, and Ianto decided he'd had enough.

"Thank you so much for your help today Mr Harkness," Ianto smiled politely as he plucked his son from Gray's grip.

"But I promised him …" Gray pointed to a book lying on the floor.

"Jack is the book man. I do believe you will find that my son would prefer his dad's attention." Ianto began to walk away but Gray caught his arm.

"Look here! If you knew our family you would know that we take our children's welfare very seriously." Gray leaned closer and squeezed. "If you can't see to his needs, I will!"

"Gray? Back off!" Jack barked as he pulled him away from Ianto.

As Ianto retreated, he heard Jack telling Gray it was time to leave.

Walter was playing with the bubbles in his bath when Jack entered. He sat on the edge of the bath and scooped some bubbles up, only to have Walter blow them from his hands. They both laughed but Jack stopped when Ianto stood to leave.

"Ianto, please. Gray doesn't speak for me," Jack pleaded. "He loved my little girl so much and when we lost her he went off the rails a bit. Walter is a breath of fresh air, please don't take him seriously. He's just confused about this family that grew overnight."

"I'm tired, Jack. Let's just let today go, yeah?"

Jack lay in bed long into the night as Ianto lay facing away from him, feigning sleep. Jack was confused by the day's events and now that his pain medication had dwindled and his mind was clearer, all of Gray's comments and actions were making him feel like a first class heel.

He rolled over but Ianto's back was not that appealing, so he turned back to stare into the darkness, hoping for a brighter day tomorrow.

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