Chapter 56

Having apologised for the confusion, the police had insisted they escort them to the dinner. Jack insisted on driving, and if he ground his teeth any harder they might explode.

Idris was driving with hysterical giggles at the thought of the Heddlu actually helping the Hoodlums, and Skidmark was frantically texting the crew that they weren't under arrest and not to attempt a rescue. Monkey had taken a shine to one of the officers who had shyly given her number and was now texting the smutty things only a steroid junkie would find funny. Stinky? Well, he had found a packet of crisps in the Austin Martin that Walter must have snuck in earlier in the day, before returning to the SUV as he was building his physique.

The hysterical laughter finally bubbled to the surface and Ianto buried his face in the crook of his arm against the doorframe as he shook with mirth. Jack mistook it for crying and tried to pull over. As they were in the world's weirdest conga line, that didn't work, and he was forced to drive the rest of the way thinking he had ruined the evening with his temper.

Upon arrival (over an hour late) the guests were found waiting outside. They watched with open awe as the first Heddlu car screamed into the parking lot followed by the gleaming Austin Martin. Idris and his crew rolled in behind Ianto with their stereo loudly blasting the lovely song Freaks as Skidmark hung out the window of the pimped up ride screaming obscenities at someone he had recognised from the night before at the pub.

The second car had Captain Smith with the Police colours, then two more Heddlu completed the ensemble.

Ianto shakily exited the vehicle and stood, facing the crowd. With his nerves shot and adrenalin racing, he did the only thing that seemed to make sense. He bowed.

Everyone clapped, and Jack stood on the other side of the car staring at the crowd.

At this moment, Skidmark managed to crawl out of the window he had previously decorated and attacked the man who had insulted his shoes the night before.

As John Hart shrieked and ran between partygoers with a rabid beanpole on his heels, Jack approached his father-in-law. He reached out his hand to shake with the tall glowering man when John burst from the crowd and grabbed him by the lapels of his jacket.

"Jackie! He's mental!" John screamed as the skinny man erupted from the throng and ran at him like an extra from The Walking Dead.

Jack calmly swung an open hand, clipping Skidmark in the head, and with an undignified squeak he fell to the ground.

Idris swaggered over to the crumpled suit that resembled a bag of bones and frowned down at it.

"Skidmark. Stop being mentals!" he demanded, and the man clambered to his feet, apologised to Ianto with a plea for lenience and a Godfather-style kiss to his hand, then stomped back to the SUV.

"Mr Jones, pleasure to meet you," Jack tried again and this time, to his delight, the man actually smiled.

"Doctor, actually."

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