Chapter 7

Owen was a no show and Jack was more than a little grateful for the added intimacy of just them as he led Ianto towards their seats.

The ride in had been a mixture of sweet and sassy. Jack now knew it had not just been the prescribed drugs that had made Ianto amusing - he had a natural humour about him that Jack couldn't get enough of.

The seatbelt had caught and Ianto's quip as Jack struggled to free him about "50 Shades of Grey" possibly being the movie if this is the treatment I'm going to receive" had Jack giggling like a school girl as they joined the line.

Now they were inside and seated, Jack wished he'd had the balls to hold his hand during that short walk and wondered if Ianto would have let him. He'd like to think he would have.

He was surprised that Tosh had not been there to meet him at Ianto's but Ianto had explained that her grandmother was unwell and Tosh liked to read to her in the evenings. Jack mentally reassessed his views of Tosh. Perhaps she was not just a playful minx. Ianto spoke about her with true affection.

After much debate, Jack had settled on an action/thriller, hoping Ianto would feel more comfortable with that choice rather than something scary or soppy. As they were still newly acquainted, Jack had not got a clean take on Ianto's taste and when the movie began and The Rock stormed across the screen to kick ass, Jack gave a sigh of relief as Ianto cheered with the rest of he audience.

The popcorn and sweets Jack had purchased were long gone and the soda nearly expired when the movie reached its climax. Jack had his arm resting across the back of Ianto's seat and was wondering if it would be too cliché to drop it onto his date's slumped shoulders as Ianto leant back against the seat. The booming gun on screen made Ianto stiffen and gasp as a flashback hit him.

Shit! Barely a week since being shot, all be it a deep graze, and I take him to a shoot-em up? Idiot!

Jack held Ianto as he quietly shook and tried to get a grip. Ianto kept saying sorry and it just made Jack angrier with himself. Finally Jack motioned that they were leaving.

They walked back to the car in silence, and after Jack closed Ianto's door he took a moment behind the vehicle to slap himself for being so stupid. Ianto watched Jack standing behind the vehicle and face palming in the side mirror.

They drove towards the outer suburbs and Ianto kept stealing glances at Jack until he couldn't stand the silence anymore.

"I've ruined it, haven't I?" Ianto asked softly, staring out of the darkened SUV.

"What? No!" Jack spluttered as he drove, glancing over to see the Welshman slumped in his seat.

"I feel so silly, being scared at a bloody action movie. Said movie with The Rock in it, for goodness sake," Ianto sighed.

"Yes, well, possibly finding him in your bedroom in the dead of night could be a bit emotional but I'm not entirely sure if fear is the right emotion to pick," Jack conceded, and Ianto finally smiled. Score.

By the time Jack was pulling the SUV to the curb, Ianto was animated again, telling Jack what Walter had said when he'd heard Jack was taking him out.

When Ianto said he still had the picture of Walter cheering on his phone, Jack almost said how much he liked his pictures sent from his phone.

As they walked up the path, Jack took a chance and slipped his hand around Ianto's, who stopped talking and blushed. To Jack's joy he squeezed back then hung on.

At the door, Ianto turned for the obligatory offer of a drink or kiss goodnight but Jack was looking over Ianto's shoulder. Jack's eyes narrowed and Ianto opened his mouth to ask him if everything was okay

Jack reached for a gun that wasn't there as he was off duty, then pulled Ianto off the stoop so Ianto was back in the walkway behind him.

"Jack?" Ianto was confused by this, as dates didn't usually end for him with a bit of manhandling.

"The door's open," Jack hissed, patting his pockets for his phone.

Ianto gasped and pushed past Jack into the house so quickly that Jack didn't have time to register it. With a muttered curse, he followed Ianto into the dimly lit house.

Rhia was in the kitchen. She had fallen at an angle, and judging from the chair pulled out she had been struck from behind while seated at the table. Jack pulled Ianto back to assess her as he barked down his phone that she was unconscious but had good vitals. Ianto was up and running again as he screamed Walter's name. Jack gasped with dread. Damn it all, Walter!

Jack surged to his feet and followed Ianto to Walter's room, where he found Ianto weeping by his slumbering tot who hadn't been woken by Ianto's cries of his name.

Jack sat on the edge of the bed and pulled Ianto into his arms. Ianto folded against him and Jack kissed him softly, pouring all the comfort he could into it.

"Jack," Ianto whispered into his neck, "I'm scared."

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