"Walter?" Ianto called out for a third time, and this time let his anger show in his voice.
"Walt, come on buddy!" Jack yelled as he crawled through the shrubbery.
After fifteen minutes, Ianto was out of patience. Wherever he was hiding, Walter was in trouble once he came out. A break in painting to enjoy the sunshine with his son, and here he was, hunting for his errant child like an old lady calling her cat in out of the rain.
Gray and Rhiannon walked out into the sunshine and immediately hooded their eyes against the glare. Gray stood with a confused frown as he watched his brother emerge from the undergrowth on his hands and knees while Ianto stood there with his painting overalls tied at his waist, showing off his athletic physique in a tank top, while having a meltdown.
"WALTER!" Ianto roared, and Rhiannon gasped.
"Walter, come see what I have!" she called out in a sing-song voice.
"Ianto, I only turned to see …" Jack tried to defend himself, and Ianto turned to stop him with his hand raised.
"Now is not the time for blame. I have plenty of time to blame away, after I have found my son! The level of shit you are in right now, Mr Harkness-Jones, is to be determined. Find our son!" Ianto snarled and Jack whimpered.
Gray finally got what the problem was and ran for the creek at the bottom of the yard. He could see the fencing, and checked to see if it was still intact. No footprints in the mud told him that Walter wasn't in or near the water, and he breathed a sigh of relief. He'd had nightmares about that creek and had gladly helped Jack build the fence before work began on the house.
"Walter?" he called as he returned to the backyard, and then he heard an answer.
Gray looked up.
Hanging by his fingertips, Walter was more than halfway up the ivy that clung to the side of the firehouse, and Gray swallowed down a whimper as he judged the fall to be nearly fifteen feet if his fingers lost their grip.
Ianto had heard his son's cry and turned the corner of the house at a run. He skidded to a halt and looked in the direction of Gray's open gape. Jack also came running, and when he looked up he couldn't help the curse that exploded from him.
Owen's head appeared from the top floor window and looked down at the boy, barely four feet below, and echoed the curse. Walter looked up at his uncle "Owie" and grinned.
Before anyone could move, Owen swung his legs out over the window ledge and began to climb down towards Walter.
"Oh God, my baby," Ianto whispered as Jack clutched at Ianto's arm with silent dread.
"It's a fire house. Don't they have one of those net thingies?" Gray asked, and Ianto's eye roll was all he needed to know he was being a bit silly now.
As Owen scooped up the little monkey and confidently climbed back up with Walter on his back, Ianto gave in to the shaking as he collapsed into Jack's arms.
"It's going. That fucking ivy is dead!" he declared as Jack kissed him, gently rubbing his back.
Yes, Jack could feel the shit level recede slightly, and vowed to cut all the ivy down himself.