skidmo_fic: (lorne/ianto)
[personal profile] skidmo_fic
Title: Take Good Care of My Baby
Rating: PG
Pairing: Ianto Jones/Evan Lorne
Word Count: 4420
Disclaimer: None of these characters belong to me...sadly
Feedback: yes, please.
Summary: Next installment in the Beatles ‘verse, set immediately post-Ask Me Why. Lorne comes back to Cardiff, but he’s got a surprise for Ianto.
A/N: So much of this ‘verse has been jossed by both fandoms that it’s not even funny. Please assume that I do indeed know what’s changed since I started writing this, but I’ve decided to stick with the assumptions I made when I began. And a big thank you to everyone who kept poking me about when the next story was going to be finished. Here it is. Title is, as usual, from that Beatles’ song.





It isn’t a month. It isn’t even two months.

Three months after Evan was beamed out of the Hub, Ianto gets a message saying that he’s finally coming home. It’s another two weeks before he’s even back on the planet, and Ianto still hasn’t heard from Evan personally.

Finally, when Ianto is so anxious about the whole thing that Jack threatens to put him on indefinite personal leave if he can’t stop pacing the length of the tourist office, his phone rings.

Ianto practically lunges for it.

“Ianto Jones,” he says, his crisp, professional voice somewhat breathless.

“Ianto?”

He lets out a harsh breath and his whispered, “Evan,” comes out in a rush.

“I’m coming home.” The voice on the other end is just as breathless as his. “They’re flying me to London to meet with the IOA first, but I should be in Cardiff in two days.”

“I’ll meet you in London,” Ianto says, and his knuckles are white on the phone. “Just tell me where.”

Evan gives him the address of the IOA branch, and Ianto hears voices in the background. “Ianto, I have to tell you…hang on…” The voices become muffled as though Evan has his hand over the mouthpiece. “I’ve got to go, babe. I’ll see you soon.” He pauses, and Ianto can hear the voices again. “I love you,” Evan whispers.

Ianto’s heart soars. It’s been far, far, far too long since he heard that. “I love you too, cariadfab. I’ll see you…” but the phone has disconnected, and Ianto is left clutching the receiver to his ear, his heart pounding in his chest.

He takes a train to London early the next morning. His first stop is the IOA, where he discovers that Evan won’t be free until the afternoon. The receptionist is expecting him though, and she tells him that they have reservations at a nearby hotel for that evening, so Ianto takes his things there to drop them off. They seem to have an entire suite to themselves, which makes Ianto a bit wary that the IOA is trying to buy them off somehow, but he’s too happy to finally have Evan back to worry too much about it.

At precisely two o’clock, Ianto is standing in the lobby of the IOA, and a slim, blonde woman in an Air Force uniform comes out to greet him.

“Mr. Jones?”

“Please, Ianto is fine,” he says, extending his hand for her to shake, hoping it isn’t trembling as much as he thinks it is.

“Ianto,” she repeats, taking his hand and shaking it firmly. “I’m Colonel Samantha Carter. Major Lorne is still in his debriefing, but he should be out shortly. Can I get you some coffee in the meantime?”

Ianto does not want coffee. He wants Evan. His muscles are wound so tightly under his skin that he thinks he might actually pounce Evan the moment he sees him.

But coffee would give him something to do with his hands, so he nods, and she smiles and disappears, presumably going to fetch him some.

He takes a seat in one of the overstuffed chairs, tapping his fingers on his thigh and looking around the lobby. Spotting a small face peering around a chair across the room, Ianto smiles. “Hello,” he says, tentatively.

A tiny boy with dark hair and blue eyes creeps out from the shadows. He can’t be older than about four. He walks slowly over to Ianto.

“You’re Papa’s Nanto,” he says, very quietly.

“I’m sorry?”

Before the boy can answer, the colonel returns with Ianto’s coffee and tells him that the debriefing is finished.

“You can wait for him here if you’d like,” she says, smiling down at the boy as he slips his hand into hers. “Or I can show you back to the conference room.”

“If you’d be so kind,” Ianto murmurs, trying not to sound as eager as he feels.

The smile on the colonel’s face lets him know he didn’t succeed. “Right this way, then.”

The boy skips along beside her as she leads Ianto down a corridor and through a door on the left. There are several people still in the conference room, many of them in various military uniforms, but Ianto is only looking for one man. Most of the people are standing and chatting, but there’s one figure, still sitting in a chair with his back to Ianto, and Ianto’s heart skips a beat when he sees it because it’s been far too long since he’s seen the back of that particular head. He’s about to say something when the boy who’d accompanied them rushes across the room.

“Papa! Papa, your Nanto’s here!”

The chair spins, and Ianto’s heart nearly stops, because there is Evan, looking nearly the same as he had when he’d been beamed out of the Hub all those months ago. Except that he hasn’t shaved in several days, maybe even a week, and there are dark circles under his eyes.

“Ianto!” Evan stands and crosses the room to where Ianto is standing, and Ianto briefly notes the way his hand brushes lightly over the boy’s hair, but he has no time to think about it because Evan has wrapped his arms around Ianto, hugging him close.

Ianto can’t voice any of the questions spinning around in his head because Evan is solid and warm and real in his arms, so he just returns the embrace and kisses Evan fervently when Evan tilts his face upwards, not caring that they are in a room full of people, many of whom are watching them with peculiar interest.

When Ianto finally pulls back, there are so many things he wants to say, but all he can get out is, “You’re home.”

Evan smiles. It’s the smile Ianto has been waiting more than three months to see. The one that says, I love you. I’m here. I missed you so, so much.

Ianto wants to kiss him again, just to make sure he’s real, but Evan’s gaze is abruptly drawn downwards, and Ianto looks down to see the small boy wrapped around Evan’s knee.

“Papa? Is this really your Nanto?”

Evan gives Ianto a nervous smile. “He can’t quite seem to say Ianto.” Turning his eyes back to the boy, he says, “Yes, it is. Have you said hello?”

The boy shakes his head.

“Would you like to be introduced?”

A vigorous nod.

“Arron, this is Ianto.”

Your Nanto.”

“Yes, my Ianto.” Evan gives Ianto a sheepish and apologetic look. “Ianto, this is Arron.” There’s a pause that seems interminable before Evan adds, “My son.”

The perfectly contented feeling that had settled over Ianto seems to dissipate in an instant, and his chest constricts. He thinks he manages to keep smiling, though, as he squats down at Arron’s level and holds out a hand to the boy.

“It’s very nice to meet you, Arron,” he says, softly, voice wavering only the tiniest bit.

Arron, for his part, smiles shyly, and Ianto thinks bitterly that at least one of them was prepared for this. “’Svery nice to meet you, Papa’s Nanto,” Arron says, shaking Ianto’s hand with a solemn expression. Ianto smiles as best he can and stands again, giving Evan a pained look.

Evan has the good grace to look abashed until Arron tugs on his sleeve and raises his arms to be picked up. Evan obliges him, and Arron settles easily into his arms, resting his head on Evan’s shoulder.

Ianto thinks he’d be charmed if he weren’t so utterly gobsmacked by the entire situation.

There’s a tense silence between them as Evan says his goodbyes and they walk the few blocks to the hotel. Ianto wants desperately to hold his hand, envying Arron his position in Evan’s arms, but the shock is wearing off and anger is setting in, and Ianto doesn’t want to forget that he’s angry, so he keeps a respectable distance between them all the way to the hotel.

When they arrive at the suite, Evan excuses himself to put Arron, who’s fallen asleep along the way, his body completely relaxed in Evan’s embrace, down for a nap, and Ianto sits stiffly on the couch to wait for him.

When Evan returns, he stands awkwardly in the doorframe, a hand on the back of his neck, just watching Ianto. After a long moment, he moves to the couch, sitting carefully next to Ianto.

Ianto is torn. He knows he should be angry, and he is. Angry, confused, worried. But he’s also missed Evan so very much. He wants to touch Evan, but he doesn’t know if he should caress him or shove him. With a soft, exasperated sigh, he lowers himself onto the couch, laying his head in Evan’s lap. Evan cards his fingers softly through Ianto’s hair, and Ianto closes his eyes at the touch.

For several minutes, he just lays there, letting Evan’s fingers soothe him as well as they can. Eventually, he whispers, “Care to tell me what this is all about?”

The sorrow in Evan’s voice nearly breaks Ianto’s heart when he answers, “I don’t know where to start.”

“The beginning is usually a wise choice,” Ianto says, struggling to keep his voice even. His eyes are still closed, but he tenses slightly. “Here, I’ll even get you started. ‘Ianto, I never told you I had a child because…’.”

Evan sighs softly, fingers still sliding through Ianto’s hair. “Ianto, I never told you I had a child because I didn’t know myself.”

Ianto gives a quiet “hmph,” rolling onto his side, facing away from Evan.

“I didn’t, darlin’. I really didn’t. I would never keep something like that from you.”

“You’ve kept it from me long enough for him to know you have a Nanto.” A tiny smile flits across Ianto’s lips as he mentions the nickname, and he hopes Evan didn’t see it.

“I tried to tell you when I called, but there wasn’t time.”

Ianto is quiet for some time. He’d had virtually no contact with Evan during his time in Atlantis, and he’s almost willing to concede that Evan really had had no opportunity to mention this child to him. But there are still so many questions chasing each other through his mind.

“And Arron’s mother?” He half expects it to have been Col. Carter, and for a moment he hates her, surprising himself with the intensity of his feelings. He’s never been jealous before.

“Taken,” Evan whispers, fingers tightening momentarily in Ianto’s hair.

“By the Wraith?” Ianto sits up slowly.

Evan nods, and Ianto slides his hand around Evan’s shoulder, gently rubbing circles on his back. “I’m sorry, cariadfab.” All the hatred he had been feeling, seeps out of him when he thinks of someone Evan cared about meeting that end.

“Who was she?” Ianto asks after a moment.

Evan smiles softly, as though recalling a pleasant memory. “Her name was Bria. I met her on a mission.”

“And did you…,” Ianto pauses, not sure if he wants to know the answer to this question, “love her?”

Evan shakes his head slowly. “It wasn’t like that. It wasn’t a proper relationship. I barely knew her really. There was a ceremony.” He laughs softly. “There was wine and alien booze, and I woke up next to Bria.”

Ianto’s hand stills on Evan’s back. “And that’s how…”

Evan smiles. “That’s all it takes, isn’t it? She was real good about the whole thing. She didn’t expect anything from me. She was….” Evan’s voice breaks a little, and Ianto starts rubbing his back again. “She was a good woman.”

“But she never told you that you had a son.”

Evan shifts, pulling Ianto’s arm around his shoulder and leaning into him, and Ianto wonders how he can be so calm about it. He supposes Evan has had several months to get used to the idea. “He was born just after I left Atlantis. The Senari told Carter that Bria was pregnant, but that she didn’t expect anything from me. And I was…it wasn’t a good time. Carter and Jefferson—he’s the base shrink—they decided it was better for me if I didn’t know.”

Ianto tightens his arms around him. “What gave them the right to…” Ianto wants to rail at them, but Evan cuts him off.

“No. No, it was the right choice. I couldn’t have handled that. What would I have done if I’d known I had a son? I couldn’t even take care of myself, let alone a kid.”

Ianto kisses Evan’s hair, and he feels Evan relaxing against him. “Is this—is Arron—the reason they asked you back?”

“In a way,” Evan says. He’s quiet for a minute. “The Senari really do have a weapon that can defeat the Asurans. It’s important. Really important. But they couldn’t make it work. They wouldn’t just give it to us because they didn’t believe we were invested in Pegasus.”

“Invested?”

Evan shifts again in Ianto’s arms and lays his head on Ianto’s shoulder. He sounds resigned when he answers. “We get that a lot actually. We don’t start families there. Other than Teyla, no one associated with Atlantis has ever had a child in Pegasus. And that’s…that’s something they can’t understand. Family means everything there. When you don’t know how many of your people will survive the next culling, you do everything you can to strengthen the bonds you have, and family’s as strong as it gets.”

“So the Senari believed what? That you’d take the weapon and bugger off?”

This gets a soft laugh. “Something like that, yeah. The thing is…Bria’s husband,” Evan tenses as he speaks, “he wasn’t good to them—to Bria and Arron. Several months back he was killed. I don’t know how it happened. The Senari won’t say, but it wasn’t the Wraith and it wasn’t the Asurans. So when Bria was taken…,” his voice gets softer. “When she was taken, Arron had no one. So the Senari contacted Atlantis. They said that if I would come and take him…if I would look after my family, they would let us work on the weapon, see if we could get it to work.”

Ianto is quiet for a long while, thinking things through, processing the new information. Finally he says, “Why didn’t McKay say anything about this? He couldn’t honestly have thought you’d just leave your son there all alone, could he?”

Evan shrugs, and Ianto wonders exactly how long it took him to become so resigned. “They had no way of knowing what I’d do. No idea what my life was like. McKay’s orders were to get me back to Atlantis without telling me about Arron.” He smirks. “He’d have had a much easier time of it if he’d just told me from the start.”

“But it wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun for Jack,” Ianto says, hoping to pull Evan out of the melancholy he’s fallen into.

It works. Evan laughs out loud and turns in Ianto’s arms to kiss him. Ianto isn’t quite sure he’s forgiven Evan yet, but it’s certainly a start.

***

For the rest of the afternoon, things are awkward between them. Lorne watches as Ianto moves about the room, fetching him blankets, asking if he’s hungry, if he needs to sleep. Lorne tries to tell him that he’s fine, but Ianto keeps asking, so he finally lets Ianto make him some coffee.

As Ianto works, hands moving almost automatically through the motions, Lorne sits back, eyeing him carefully. He wishes he knew the perfect thing to say to make this right again. They’ve never discussed having a family. It’s always seemed impractical. Torchwood doesn’t lend itself to domesticity, and neither of them wants to quit. And now Lorne has simply sprung a child on Ianto, and he feels almost as though he’s been lying to him this whole time. Lorne can’t make himself wish he’d never met Arron, but he can’t deny things would be simpler if Arron had stayed where he was.

Ianto brings him his coffee, and starts to head off again, to grab more blankets or pillows or something else he thinks Lorne might need, but Lorne catches his wrist.

“Sit with me?”

Ianto nods and drops carefully onto the couch next to him. Lorne sips his coffee quietly for a moment, hesitantly leaning into Ianto a little. Ianto sighs and slides an arm around Lorne’s shoulder, kissing his hair softly, and Lorne sets his cup down on the coffee table.

“I missed you so much,” he whispers, turning his face to Ianto and bringing a hand up to trail his fingers down Ianto’s cheek.

“I missed you too,” Ianto says softly, covering Lorne’s hand with his own. “You said two months at the most.”

“I know. I’m sorry. It took longer than we anticipated.” It always does. Nothing in Atlantis is ever as straightforward as it seems. “But I came back to you, just like I promised.” Lorne brushes his thumb over Ianto’s cheek and kisses him softly.

Ianto kisses him back for a few seconds before pulling back. “Evan…this is a lot to take in.”

Lorne lets out a heavy sigh. “I know,” he says again. “I’ll…I’ll understand if you can’t do this.” It would break his heart, tear his world apart, but he’d understand.

“I don’t know yet,” Ianto says, leaning their foreheads together. “I never expected this. I don’t even know if I wanted children.” He leans back against the couch, and Lorne goes with him, laying over Ianto’s chest. “We can’t take him to work. Would we get a nanny? We’ll have to get a bigger flat. Or a house.”

Ianto’s fingers slide slowly over Lorne’s back, and Lorne realizes that Ianto is making plans. And if he’s doing that, then he’s not dismissing the idea out of hand. “So,” he says tentatively, “you’re not kicking us out?”

Ianto’s sigh is full of exasperation. Lorne feels it rushing through his hair. “No. I’m not.” His arms tighten around Lorne. “I couldn’t. I decided a long time ago that I wasn’t giving you up without a fight.”

Lorne wishes Ianto sounded more like it was something he wanted and less like something he’d told himself he’d do. He sits up and turns to look at Ianto. “And Arron?”

Ianto takes his time in answering, finally saying, “Arron is part of you. And I want to have all of you in my life. So I want Arron in my life too.”

Lorne nods. “I never meant…,” he begins, but Ianto cuts him off.

“I know. It doesn’t bear thinking on.”

He nods again and lays back down on Ianto’s chest, relaxing at the feel of Ianto’s fingers through his hair. “Thank you, darlin’.”

Ianto doesn’t answer, and Lorne thinks that coming home should have been a much happier occasion, but then maybe he isn’t home yet. Maybe that’s something they’ll have to build again, the three of them.

***

Ianto holds him for quite some time, fingers moving slowly through Evan’s hair until Evan falls asleep, and Ianto just lays there, watching him sleep, listening to him breathe. After a long while, Ianto catches movement out of the corner of his eye, and he turns his head to see Arron watching them from the doorway. He holds a hand out to him, and Arron walks towards them, very slowly. Ianto thinks he looks almost frightened, and he tries to make his smile as reassuring as possible.

Evan shifts on his chest, and his eyes open. “Hey,” he says softly, reaching out a hand to touch Arron’s shoulder. His voice is thick with sleep, and Ianto wonders how long it’s been since he had a full night of rest. “Have another nightmare?”

Arron nods, and Lorne shifts a little to make room for him on the couch. “Sit with us for a bit, then.”

Arron shakes his head, and his eyes widen and flick to Ianto and quickly back to Evan.

“Why not?” Evan asks, sitting up a little.

Arron’s voice is nearly inaudible when he answers. “Your Nanto won’t like it.”

Evan glances up at him, and Ianto’s brows furrow in confusion.

“Why won’t he like it?” Evan asks, sitting up and looking seriously at Arron.

“Mama’s Linty didn’t like it. He said Mama was his, ‘n I got her when he wasn’ there. ‘N you’re your Nanto’s, ‘n I had you when he wasn’ there.”

Ianto’s heart breaks a little at that, and he has to blink back tears, but Evan just scoops Arron up in his arms and settles them both against Ianto’s chest. “I will always be your papa, kiddo. It doesn’t matter who else is around.”

Ianto automatically wraps his arms around them both. Arron looks up at him hesitantly, and Ianto does his best to smile gently. “He will always be your papa, Arron,” he whispers. Arron offers him a tiny smile and they lay like that while Arron and Evan both fall back asleep.

And Ianto realises he’s just become part of a family he never asked for but wouldn’t trade.

***

There are way more things involved in having a kid than Lorne ever expected.

First it’s the paperwork.

Technically, Arron doesn’t exist. The SGC has provided them with a birth certificate and passport, but Lorne still has to ask Jack for help in getting his immigration papers approved.

Then it’s childcare.

Lorne stays home for two weeks until they find a nanny who is approved by the SGC, Torchwood, Arron, and, surprisingly enough, Ianto. (Ianto is the most difficult to please. He has a list of requirements for the nanny, and the final candidates have to cook three meals for him before he gives Lorne the go ahead to hire any of them.) The hardest part, though, is that they need someone who can be available on a moment’s notice if they get called in to work. They end up hiring two, in the hopes that if one of them can’t make it, the other will be able to fill in.

And then it’s housing.

Lorne would be happy with anything bigger than what they currently have, but Ianto is even pickier about houses than about nannies. They finally achieve a compromise in which they move into a two-bedroom flat so that Arron can have his own room while they’re house hunting.

And finally, it’s Harkness.

Arron is a complication. He makes both Lorne and Ianto vulnerable, and disrupts the entirety of operations. There’s much discussion about where their priorities will lie should it come down to the fate of the world vs. Arron. Eventually, Lorne tells Harkness that it’s not his choice. Arron is part of their life now and he can deal with it or he can fire them. (Ianto looks vaguely green at the suggestion that they might have to leave Torchwood, but he stands by Lorne’s statement.)

In the end, though, it’s Arron who brings Harkness around.

They’re called in late one night to deal with the crisis of the day (a Klorfaxian stalking nightclubs and following single women home), and neither of the nannies are available. They bring Arron into the Hub, and Tosh agrees to keep an eye on him while the team goes off to contain the situation. It’s not a big deal, really—Arron is sleepy enough that he’s out like a light the second he hits the couch—but Harkness gives Lorne a look that means ‘we’ll talk about this later and I am not happy with you.’

It’s a long night. The Klorfaxian gives them the slip at least three times, and the end is very, very messy. When they get back to the Hub, Lorne and Ianto both take a little time to clean up (and to make sure there are no serious injuries on either side), and when they come to collect Arron to take him home, they find he’s no longer on the couch. There’s a brief moment of panicked searching before Ianto grabs hold of Lorne’s sleeve, motioning for him to be quiet, and leads him up to Harkness’s office.

Inside, Arron is curled up in Harkness’s lap, and Harkness is reading him Hop on Pop.

After that, Arron is no longer a subject of concern for Harkness, and there’s an unspoken understanding that, while they’re not to make a habit of it, Harkness will understand if Arron ever ends up inside the Hub again.

***

They’ve been looking at houses all day, and this is their fourth house-hunting trip. Even Arron’s unending enthusiasm for the search is beginning to wane, and Ianto has to carry him into the last house on the list.

Ianto knows that Evan is exhausted, that he’d have settled for at least three other houses they’ve already seen, and that he has no idea what Ianto is looking for, but Ianto persists nonetheless. He doesn’t want to settle for anything less than perfect. This is where they’ll live, possibly for the rest of their lives. It’s where they’ll have Christmas and Easter and even Fourth of July parties. It’s where Arron will come on holiday when he finally leaves for University. He can’t even articulate what he’s looking for, but he knows he’ll recognise it when he sees it.

When they walk in the front door of the very last house (and Evan has made it quite clear that it will be the very last house they look at for several weeks), Ianto sets Arron down, and he seems to get one last burst of energy as he takes off for the back garden. The estate agent talks them through the specs of the building and gives her spiel on its history and previous owners.

Ianto has a strange feeling about this place and it grows stronger with each room they step into. It isn’t until Arron comes charging into the smallest bedroom and announces, “And this will be my room!” that Ianto realises what it is.

They’ve finally found it.

When they’re done with the tour and the estate agent leaves them alone to discuss the house, Evan takes Arron back downstairs and into the garden again, and as Ianto watches Evan swinging Arron around, spinning them both in circles and laughing, Ianto knows that this is where they’re meant to be.

After all these months, he and Evan (and Arron, without whom this little family would no longer be complete) have come home.


fin

Date: 2008-08-23 07:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kari-hermione.livejournal.com
Very cute! I loved little Arron convincing Jack about him. *smacks SGA*

Date: 2008-08-23 08:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Date: 2008-08-23 07:59 pm (UTC)
misslucyjane: poetry by hafiz (Default)
From: [personal profile] misslucyjane
Awwww!!! I love their little family. Very sweetly done.

Date: 2008-08-23 08:33 pm (UTC)

Date: 2008-08-23 09:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] athousanderrors.livejournal.com
n'aww!

Very cute. Perfect cheering-up fic, just what I needed. Arron was cute but not overly precocious or annoying, well done. *grin*

And you know how I love Lorne and Ianto, of course. *snuggles them*

Date: 2008-08-23 09:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
Hee. Thanks!

Date: 2008-08-23 11:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] psyko-kittie.livejournal.com
Love it. Lil Arron is adorable!

Date: 2008-08-25 03:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Date: 2008-08-24 03:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] adafrog.livejournal.com
Wonderful..

Date: 2008-08-25 03:25 am (UTC)

Date: 2008-09-02 03:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tiggerbrasilf.livejournal.com
Awww this is lovely (:

Date: 2008-10-03 03:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fanfictionfan.livejournal.com
I just finished reading the whole series. I thought you did an amazing job with combining the Torchwood & SGA universes. I loved, loved, loved the relationship you developed between Lorne and Ianto. I never would have thought of putting the two charcter together but you created a really beautiful relationship.

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