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4 footprints Bladesinger series

By Joanne Jones


Chapter 1

It was hot and Ianto lay on top of the covers desperately hoping for a temperature drop any time soon. Naked except for a pair of black silk boxers, Ianto felt like his brain was melting.

Being three stories up with all the doors and windows open should ensure a breeze right? Nope. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

Jack had fallen in love with the house on the first viewing (without Ianto) and had purchased it as a surprise giving no bloody thought to the lack of underfloor heating in winter or the bloody fuckery lack of air con for summer.

No, the third story master bedroom with a bathroom hot tub and fireplace (god! I ask you) opening to a roof garden and pool had won him over. The yard was a shambles, the décor hideous and Ianto hated the layout with a passion.

The pool, yucky dead things were floating in it and Jack's enthusiastic claims that he would clean it didn't even rate acknowledgement. So much work to do, such an ugly house. Ianto knew it would take months to whip it into shape and Jack repeatedly telling him both vehicles fit in the underground garage wasn't the cherry on top he thought it was. Every time the Austin Martin was driven out of the bunker type garage Ianto could hear it scrape the undercarriage. He was probably going to have to downgrade to a higher wheelbase. He loved that car and had even managed to find a baby seat that fit the back seat safely much to Jack's chagrin. Well, fucker was finally going to win that argument then.

He was sure the balcony was unstable too. He was bloody sure Miller wasn't going in that garden until Owen had the soil test back. Probably full of dog shit or something. It had been so cheap there was probably had a body buried in the thick undergrowth or some shit! Oh and don't even ask about the shit hole they had whimsically referred to as the kitchen.

The to-do list was so extensive that Ianto had opened a file on his PDA and Jack had stopped checking it after his cry of horror at item number 205. Hot-tub removal was met with a death stare that could curdle milk. Well, maybe he would keep it or just upgrade but Jack didn't need to know that. When in the dog house one should wallow! Bad Jack! Bad, bad Jack!

Ianto had tried to be positive, honest he had but really? REALLY? The whole week was a bust, from ""Honey I brought a house" to today's little, "No I'm sure that was all the boxes, um no maybe one or two fell off the trailer".

Despite three backtracks through the route taken from HUB to house the box Ianto needed was lost and Miller was inconsolable as his nightlight and a collection of minion toys were gone.

No we can fit it on the trailer. No there's no room in the cab. Don't be silly, why do an extra trip later for one stupid box? Why?

Ianto buried his face in the pillow and screamed with rage as Miller's cry rang out again.

Jack was out weevil chasing with John and Ianto thought to himself that it had better be what they were doing because if Jack made another "wonderful" impulse buy he was going to kill him!

With a groan Ianto rose to collect Miller from the nursery across from the master. At one and a half he wanted his cuddly blanket when tired or stressed and Ianto was grateful that he had stuffed that on the floor of the car with myfy the stuffed dragon after saving them from the box Jack was loading into the trailer with gusto.

The downstairs door banged and footsteps pounded up the stairs. Ianto turned and expected to see Jack but to his surprise it was John who stood transfixed drinking in the sight of a scantily clad Ianto and baby Miller standing surrounded by a halo of light at the top of the stairs.

Ianto's hair had regrown since his baby blues and Ianto rarely wore it loose, preferring a warrior's tail. To see it loose in a silvery blue halo about Ianto's face and shoulders was truly a sight to behold.

"Hey Chickie," John tried for nonchalance, "thought you would both be asleep."

"Where's Jack?" Ianto asked slowly as he took a few steps down the stairs.

"Er clean up with Gwennie" John smiled and Ianto knew he was lying. Gwen didn't do clean up, not since she declared she was "preggers" and didn't want to "catch" anything.

"Really" Ianto growled.

John gave a nervous giggle then shot into the room which filled most of the second story and that Jack had declared his during the second viewing while Ianto was still raging silently downstairs at the shitty kitchen. Ianto hadn't realised that they had a house mate until moving day when extra shit came into the house in black rubbish bags with "John's Shit" written on them in neon yellow paint.

Of course it wasn't until later Ianto thought about it and realised that John already knew about the door to the room under the stairs and had probably done the first viewing with Jack. Pricks chose a home without him!

John had tried to hang a hideous picture outside his door once. Only once and Ianto made it clear that john's shit stayed in john's shit-box! Yeah? The door stayed shut and the sound proofing was going up as soon as possible with NO beddy-time visitors allowed in said shit-box until then.

Ianto muttered to himself as he went downstairs to shitty-kitchen to get Miller a bottle. Another point of argument as Jack thought he was too big for a bottle at night but Ianto wouldn't even hear of it. He ate with his father's appetite and was a lovely solid little boy for all of Ianto's attention.

God! All they had done lately was argue. Miller was too big to carry everywhere … Jack thought he should be walking already even though Owen was saying it was normal for some to be slower when they were give a rough start to life. 18 months was not too old to be crawling still. That had led to the argument that Ianto's baby blues were not his fault which, of course, made him think maybe it was! If not why had Owen's comment made Jack bring it up …repeatedly.

John was just a friend and no, Gwen was not talking about him when she made comments about the smell last week. Ianto knew he smelled something bad even if Jack denied it. The last two weeks everything smelled awful and Ianto had thought it was the hub but whatever it was, it had followed him!

Ianto knew Jack had hoped moving out of the hub would help ease Ianto's insecurities but god, why couldn't he have talked to him. It would have been nice to feel like he had a choice, was a partner in all this instead of just another piece of jack's furniture to be moved about until he fitted in with the ghastly decor.

As Miller settled to sleep in Ianto's arms with the bottle now empty Ianto was left to wander the upper level sadly as he pondered his next move.

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