Chapter 65

Ianto was standing on the lawn staring at the rear of the firehouse. The greenery covered most of the brickwork, and the once lavish gardens were overgrown to form a wilderness Walter would spend hours of fun hiding in.

In his youth he had learned parkour as part of his life as a Hoodlum. Although Jack had seen his rap sheet, Ianto swore to himself he would never admit to Jack the amount of shit he had done in the name of the gang his brother had lived and died for. Eugene's violent and pointless death had soured the taste of adrenalin he had craved, and his last break-in had been the night he broke into his own parents' house to steal Eugene's ashes for Idris. He had made Martha swear never to tell Idris how she had retrieved them, and to this day his fathers spoke lovingly to the cigar ash he had placed in the urn in Eugene's stead.

Ianto imagined fairy lights and hanging baskets of bright flowers in spring. A small garden in the corner would be for Eugene and Lisa. For Sofia and Melissa as well, if Jack liked the idea. A remembrance garden with white roses and some sculptures.

It didn't have historic listing, so he could easily change the interior of the building to make it a home. He had started the remodel within a month of their wedding. Telling the library to stuff their "disciplinary" mistake, he'd decided he wanted a change. He was still trying to decide what he wanted to do, but this project meant more time with Jack and Walter. Win-win.

Jack wandered out and waved as he watched Ianto standing with his hands on his hips looking delectable. Jack pondered if he would ever get sick of the sight of this Welshman in front of him. With a warm glow, he knew he would want him forever.

Ianto was glaring at the fountain now, and Jack sighed as he saw a lot of destruction ahead, removing it. Maybe he could suggest a play area or sandpit there, as it was visible from inside and was such a large area to convert into lawn.

To learn that Gray had not only apologised for the way he had previously treated Ianto but had also offered Ianto whatever help he might need was pleasing to Jack, who was mollified that Gray finally saw Ianto as a permanent fixture. Of course, Rhiannon and her two kids were a good distraction for Gray's need to protect someone.

"Daddy? Is Tadda meant to look funny?" Walter asked as he pulled on Jack's jacket.

Ianto was walking heel to toe as he measured the fountain's base, and Jack groaned. Yep, definitely going to rip that out. Bloody John had contaminated it.

"Yan? Lunch? Buggy Bum is getting hungry," Jack called out, and Ianto stopped his measuring and walked over to them.

"Yes, Walter is probably hungry too," Ianto said cheekily before evading Jack's grabbing hands.

"You will pay for that later, Mr Harkness-Jones," he growled.

"Oh I hope so, Mr Harkness-Jones," Ianto crowed as he slipped past and entered the building.

Drop cloths covered the floor and it appeared larger than before with the stark white cloths causing an optical effect as they crawled over furniture. The previously creamy yellow walls were being transformed to a rich burgundy that made the honey-stained wood pop. Jack had to admit that Ianto really had an eye for design as the balustrades were updated to include black middle rails that made them "Walter safe" and added to the overall look.

The overhead beams had been exposed and oiled to a deep reddish black with the chandelier throwing light back up at the white ceiling. The brass door handles gleamed.

Jack could see himself coming from the room above the entrance that he had been overjoyed to see on the plans that Ianto had pored over at the kitchen table every night for a week, with "Jack's Office" confidently scrawled across the area. Walking halfway along the mezzanine deck and looking down onto the spot where they exchanged vows, he would be able to watch his family. Their main room would be grand and inviting with ample room for Walter to grow. The entertainment corner would not eat too much room, so in winter Walter could still run about without feeling cloistered.

Ianto had decided to have underfloor heating installed, and carried the wood theme through to the wooden floor so the concrete pad that the big fire engines once sat on every day could remain hidden instead of being torn up. The remainder of the concrete at the entrance way and around to the wet room would be left intact and polished.

The offices were being pushed out and walls removed to become two bedrooms with the bathroom in the middle so both bedrooms could use it as an en-suite. A large third bedroom was going to be where the sleeping quarters were upstairs. The other upstairs area would be Walter's playroom. Ianto had assured Jack that they could have sofa beds up there for extra guests but reminded him that Walter would be a teenager one day and would probably move up to that bedroom in his early teens so he could have his own living area.

Jack was amazed to learn that Ianto had money. A lot of money. The pay-out from the accident had sat in an account and her Lisa's insurance money had been left totally untouched. Now that Ianto had let Lisa go, he was surging ahead.

Jack had offered to pay half, hoping it would be accepted. He held his breath as Ianto had looked at him long and hard before shaking his head. Jack's heart dropped. When Ianto had scoffed at the offer, telling Jack they were a married couple and should just have a joint account and stop thinking of separate bills, Jack had not only felt silly, he had felt positively loopy.

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