2910leiv - Then came Janto with a baby carriage
June
10
2012

Chapter 10. Christmas Miracles

 

It was the day before Christmas Eve. The hardened Torchwood operatives were all gathered on the main floor of the Hub, sitting around the coffee table. They had had a nice Christmassy dinner courtesy of Mrs. Fontescue’s restaurant (they did deliveries) and had now moved on to coffee and sipping wine.

 

It was their first annual almost-Christmas-Eve party, though party was a bit of an overstatement, considering they had a small child with them. Said child was currently dresses in his Bob the builder sleepwear complete with a warm robe and slippers. He was sitting between his parents on the couch, holding a big steaming cup of hot chocolate with a huge clump of whipped cream.

 

Owen and Toshiko were talking softly together, sitting close but not touching. Gwen was sitting by herself at the end of the table with her back to the workstations. She was feeling a bit left out. ‘This wasn’t how it was supposed to be’ she thought. She looked at Owen and Toshiko. They seemed so wrapped up in each other. As if they were lovers already. She suspected that it wouldn’t be long before they actually would be a couple. Her own brief fling with Owen had ended amiably enough. They had after all just been using each other and they both knew that from the start. If those two could find happiness in each other, then she was happy for them. She turned to look at Jack next.

 

The sight somehow caught her unprepared. It was silly, really. She knew what she would see and yet it still surprised her. Jack – her Jack – was sitting on the couch with his back half turned away from her. His left arm slung across the back of the couch, his hand fondling the back of Ianto’s neck and messing his hair up. He was gazing at the young man, smiling softly at him. Ianto was looking lovingly down at the child sitting between them. If Ianto had been a woman they would have looked like a model photograph for a magazine spouting family bliss. All that was lacking were the roaring fire in the fireplace and Christmas stockings and decorations.

 

She swallowed hard. She had to get out of there. She jumped to her feet a little quickly, though no one seemed to notice. No one except Myfanwy, who was curled up on the floor opposite her a little bit away but still close enough to be included in the festivities. Myfanwy’s gaze followed her as she walked out to the bathroom. ‘That animal is too creepy.’ She shuddered and tried to slow her breathing down. It was approaching hyperventilation.

 

xxXxx

 

She grabbed a hold of the sink with both hands. Her knuckles white. ‘Get a hold of your self… oh God…’ her mind kept coming back to the image of Jack and his little family. Seeing them sitting there… just like she used to sit with her parents. It truly hit home like nothing else could. Jack has a family. He has a lover and a child. ‘Oh God! He will never be mine now.’ She felt dizzy and sick to her stomach. She stumbled over to the toilet and sat down and put her head between her knees. ‘Rhys! I need Rhys! I still have him.’ She sat up with lightning speed and almost passed out when the blood rushed away from her head so rapidly. She fumbled desperately in her pockets, trying to locate her phone until she remembered. Her phone was in her purse in the Hub and Rhys was out partying with his mates. She groaned and put her head back between her knees and started sobbing. She had never felt so lonely, or as miserable as she did right now.

 

She didn’t know how long she had been sitting there sobbing, when she suddenly felt a hand on her arm. She jumped violently and the hand withdrew immediately. She looked up to see Orion standing beside her. He was looking worried. But why would the kid be here? She didn’t understand. She felt a strange annoyance at the kid. How dare he come and intrude and see her like this? She scowled a bit and looked away. She used the pretence of getting some toilet paper and blowing her nose so she could avoid dealing with him.

 

“Don’t cry.” He said gently and placed a hand on her knee. She flinched and looked at him.

 

“Please? It’s too sad. It’s almost Christmas…” she looked away again and fresh tears rolled down her cheek. What did she care about Christmas now?

 

“And you have us.” He added carefully after a slight pause. She looked at him again - truly seeing him for the first time. She saw the alien in him. Presumably his mother’s influence. But she also could see Ianto and Jack in his gorgeous features. Jacks charisma; Ianto’s heart. He was looking at her with such an innocent honesty as only a child can.

 

“Please? Tad is making Irish Coffees and Daddy is going to read a story to us.” She smiled slightly through her tears and gently cupped his cheek with her left hand.

 

“Okay.” She whispered to him and he lit up like a Christmas tree. Her heart panged at seeing Jack’s smile on the kid. “I’ll be right there. Just need to freshen up.” He nodded and with another bright smile her way he teleported him self out of the bathroom.

 

xxXxx

 

When she came out of the bathroom she was greeted by Ianto coming out of the kitchen with a tray of Irish coffees, a hot chocolate and some treats. He noticed the state of her tear-ravished face, though she had cleaned her make-up up as best she could. He stepped closer and asked quietly:

 

“Are you okay?” She nodded and smiled weakly. She would be. In time. She looked over toward the others. Jack, Owen and Toshiko were singing a Christmas song at the top of their lungs, while Myfanwy was staring at them in wonder. It was as if the beast was wondering if something was ailing the humans since they were uttering such awful sounds. Knowing Myfanwy that was probably exactly what she was thinking, Gwen snorted inwardly. That animal was entirely too opinionated for her own good. She noticed Orion beaming a smile at her from the couch and she found herself smiling back at him. Ianto did a discrete double take and stared at her for a moment before following her over to the others.

 

xxXxx

 

They were once again sitting as before. Owen and Tosh on one side, and Jack and Ianto on the other, with Orion between them. This left Gwen to sit alone at the end of the table. But this time she did not feel left out. They were all singing, teasing, joking and laughing together.

 

“Daddy, you promised you would read a story.” Orion said after a while. Jack beamed at him, making Ianto smile lovingly at them.

 

“So I did!” He turned away for a moment and pulled out a thin book. It was a colourful copy of Twas a night before Christmas. Owen groaned and Toshiko hit him good-naturedly. The two of them exchanged smiles. Jack laughed loudly.

 

“Well, if you feel so badly about this story, Owen, maybe you would like to hear the Torchwood version?”

 

“What are you on about?” Owen asked suspiciously. Trust their boss to have some mischief up his sleeve. Jack gave them all a mirthful look and cleared his throat. Ianto settled in hugging Orion against him, while Orion was looking at Jack with avid eyes. Jack started reading – or rather making it up as he went along:

 

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the Hub

Not a creature was stirring, not even a pup.

 

They all looked at him.

 

“Well you try rhyming that.”

 

The stockings were hung by the water tower with care,

In hopes that St Nicolas soon would be there.

 

The operatives were all snug in their beds,

While visions of aliens danced in their heads.

And Ianto in his ‘kerchief, and I in my coat

Had just laid down while Owen did gloat

 

They laughed at this – none more so than Owen, who found it hilarious.


When up on the Plass there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from our bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the computer I flew like a flash

Turned on the CCTV in a right ol’ dash.

 

“Hey, isn’t that Tosh’s job?” Gwen asked with a smile and the others laughed.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature spaceship, and eight tiny aliens near


“Nice.” Ianto chuckled. Orion was listening with rapt attention and shining eyes.

With a little old pilot, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment they were hiding St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles their little jetpacks flew

And he whistled, and shouted –

 

Now he was interrupted by Orion sneezing.

 

“Atjuu”

 

“Bless you. Hey, that rhymed!” They all groaned at him, except Orion, who sniffled and wiped his nose on his sleeve to Ianto’s mortification.


Now Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen!

 

Toshiko and Gwen joined him in saying the names.

 

On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, On Donner and Blitzen!

To the top of the Millenium Centre! To the Water tower all!

Now dash away! Dash away! Fly off to the… Mall.

 

“Mall?! Are they going shopping, Daddy?” Orion exclaimed, to the laughter of everyone. 

 

“Yeah, Jack,” Ianto added. “Wouldn’t it be closed at that time of night?”

 

“Or crammed with last minute shoppers?” Gwen added. They laughed as Jack pretended to be upset.

 

“Well, ha ha.” By now even Myfanwy was laughing, though she didn’t understand the jokes. She just laughed because her humans were so happy; it was infectious.

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the water tower the aliens flew,

With their spacecraft full of weapons and St. Nicolas too.

 

“Oh, no!” Orion said, staring at Jack with huge eyes. Ianto held him a little tighter.

 

And then, in at twinkling, I hid in a nook

I saw them landing, using a hook.

 

“Was that really the best rhyme you could come up with, Harkness?” Owen said scornfully. He did not however waver in his attention to the story. Jack sent him a brief cheerful glance.

 

As I drew back my head, and was drawing my gun,

Down the water tower came a light as bright as the sun.



It lit up the Hub, from the floor to the nest,

And the workstations looked all filthy; they did not look their best.

 

“Hey, I just cleaned those!” Ianto exclaimed. Orion glanced up at his Tad and then nodded in confirmation, looking at Jack.

 

An alien entered with weapons on his (jet-) pack

And though he looked deadly, I pointed my gun right back.

 

He glared at them all, daring them to comment the rhyme. None of them did, all though they were trying not to laugh and keep a straight face.

His eyes, how they glared! He scowled so madly!

His teeth were all crooked and he smelled real badly.

He was covered in slime and was dripping goo,

 

“Eeeww!” Orion said and Ianto nodded.

 

I remember thinking of you

 

At this Jack looked directly at Ianto, who rolled his eyes.

 

“That had better be because of my cleaning the floors and not that I’m slimy!” Jack burst out laughing and hurried to lean in and kiss his disgruntled lover. Even Gwen managed a laugh at their antics. Jack petted Orion on the head once and continued:

The alien glared and then he did speak

His voice sounded the way little mice would squeak.

We have your leader, he said with a glare

We have your St Nick, he added with a dare.

 

By now they were laughing so much he had to pause to let them catch their breaths. He took a sip of his wine.

 

I looked incredulously at the slimy little elf,

And I laughed when I heard him, in spite of myself!

A shot from his weapon and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

 

The weapon was puny; it did no harm at all,

And the alien turned tail and flew up the wall.

A roar of small engines sounded above

I looked after them all - mostly with love


Up on the Plass stood a sleigh and St. Nick

I looked around in a hurry; I thought I might be sick

I felt so guilty, I felt such shame

I will never doubt his existence again

 

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

 

He gave them a look and the adults joined him in saying the last part:

 

But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

 

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