fluffy. Unashamedly fluffy.Rating:
OH MY GOD! IS THAT A DEMON MADE OF FLUFF BUNNIES COME TO ATTACK MY FIC?Disclaimer:
If I owned anything in this, I'd be a rich rich rich bitch. However, I am not a rich rich rich bitch so you may all, therefore, assume I own nothing. Which I don't. It all belongs RTD and the BBC, in case any of you didn't know. Now pass the retcon ...Summary:
Monday is for Jack and Ianto - until Rhiannon calls with an unexpected favour to ask. Mica is ill, and Rhiannon can't miss more work. Enter Uncle Ianto, and his *cough* amazing *cough* child rearing skills.Torchwood Index/Masterlist
“Ermmm ... am I ... an actor?”
Ianto fidgeted with the post-it note attached to his forehead. It was refusing to stick. Jack leaned over the pillow he was habitually hugging and kissed his temple, wriggling closer.
“My turn?” he asked.
“Am I ... male?”
“Yep. Definitely.” grinned Ianto. He rearranged the covers slightly so that they were no longer in between himself and Jack. “Am I ... a musician?”
“No ... but you have been known to sing.” smiled Jack, capturing his lips and kissing him chastely and nearly dislodging both their post-it notes. “Am I an animal?” he asked innocently.
Ianto laughed. “In the bedroom.”
“Am I ... a politician?”
“No. You hate politicians.”
“Oh! Am I Russell T. Davies?”
“Nope. Not even close.”
“Damn.” Ianto mock-punched the air in front of him in a very Jack-like gesture.
Jack was sidling closer again, slipping his arm under Ianto's shoulders. Ianto shuffled into him a little, feeling the heat of Jack’s skin against his and pulling the duvet further up them both as they avoided the wet patch.
“Pffft ...” sighed Jack. “Am I fictional?”
“Yep. Am I fictional?”
“Bits of you are.”
“Hmmmm.” Jack mimicked, kissing his hair and tucking Ianto's head under his chin. “Am I an iconic character?”
“Very.” nodded Ianto, absently drawing an ‘I’ on Jack’s chest without really registering what he was doing. “Am I ... I don’t know what to ask anymore. Am I a famous personality?”
“Kind of. In certain areas.”
“... I’m not a porn star am I? I’m Rocco aren’t I? Am I Rocco?”
Jack sniggered. “No. You’re not a porn star. And I have no idea what Rocco’s views on politicians are.”
“Oh. Fair point.”
A loud vibrating sound echoed around the room and Ianto groaned and reached for his phone. “My sister.” he told Jack, rolling his eyes when he saw the caller ID. Jack leaned up on one elbow as Ianto answered the phone. “Rhiannon! Hi. Sorry ... what?”
Ianto sprang up from the bed and pulled a shirt over his shoulders and some boxers and trousers on while talking hurriedly to Rhiannon. Jack sat up and frowned at the urgent tone, raising a questioning eyebrow when Ianto snapped the phone shut.
“This Monday was for us.” Jack reminds him.
“I know ... she’s outside ... I’ll get rid of her, don’t worry.” he called back as he hurried to the door of his flat, looking like he’d got dressed half an hour a go rather than half a minute. He pulled open the door and saw his sister and little niece Mica stood there.
“Erm ...” said Rhiannon, staring at Ianto's forehead. “Who’s ‘Jack Harkness’?”
Ianto frowned at her for a second, then pulled the forgotten post-it note off his head and looked at it. “He put me as himself the ego-centric ... person.” he gave Mica a furtive glance. “Er ... what’s wrong? You sounded ... desperate.”
“Mica’s sick and I can’t lose this job, Ianto.” she was pleading. “Susan on the corner’s got swine flu, Tina’s got a chest infection and Johnny’s mam won’t take her at such short notice. I wouldn’t ask you unless I was desperate and you only work in an office and you could take her there and she’ll be no bother.”
“Woahh slow down. You’re talking too fast for eight AM.” Ianto held his hands up. “You want me to baby sit Mica? Me?”
“You did miss her birthday.” Rhiannon reminded him.
“I ...” he gave Mica another furtive glance. “I’ve got ... y’know ...” He lowered his voice. “‘Company’.”
Instantly Rhiannon was trying to see past him at whomever might be in the flat. “What kind of ‘company’?” she asked nosily. “Is it a ... one night ... thing ... ?”
“No ... but ...”
“Then you’ll have no problem introducing her to the family! Please, Ianto. I can’t lose this job. Not now. I don’t want to go back to enveloping flyers. I won’t do it.”
Ianto rubbed his forehead. “Right ... okay. Okay. What’s wrong with her?” he asked.
“Chest infection and a temperature.” Rhiannon said, throwing her arms around Ianto and hugging him tight. “She has to take one teaspoon of this with each meal and give her some of this Calpol every six hours or so. I owe you a massive
“Yeah ... yeah ... okay ...” he managed to prise her off and took the medication. “C’mon, Mica.” He stepped aside for the rather pale-looking little girl to walk into the flat. Ianto said a silent prayer to anything that might be watching that Jack had put some clothes on.
No sooner had he said goodbyes to Rhiannon and shut the front door, and Mica started screaming. Jack hadn’t decided on clothes, then.
Ianto was halfway right. Jack had put on his trousers, but had decided a shirt would be too much. He was staring at Mica in shock, clearly not expecting her to be there.
“Mica ... Mica it’s okay ... this is Jack ...”
She turned to the sound of his voice and scurried over the hide behind his legs.
“I’ll ... go and put a t-shirt on ...” Jack grumbled. “And I knew
you made me James Bond!” he shouted back.
“C’mon, Mica.” Ianto sighed. “Do you ... um ... do you want to watch telly?” he offered. She nodded, occasionally glancing at the door where Jack had disappeared. “Erm ... what channel?”
“Milkshake.” she said.
“Erm ... right. Okay. Erm. If I give you the remote, can you find it?”
“It’s on channel five.” she told him, wriggling to get comfortable on the couch. Ianto looked in the carrier bag Rhiannon had given him.
“Oh. Right. Okay. Erm ... How are you ... feeling?” he asked awkwardly. He was dimly aware of the fact Jack hadn’t re-emerged from the bedroom.
“I’m okay, Uncle Ianto.” she smiled weakly.
“Right ... well ... you just watch telly. I’ll be back in a minute. Don’t move, okay sweetheart?”
She nodded, engrossed in the television.
“Jack?” Ianto called quietly as he entered the bedroom. He found Jack sat on the bed, pulling on his boots, fully dressed. “You ... you’re going?” he asked.
“This Monday was for us.” Jack sighed, standing up.
“I know ... I’m sorry. I ...”
“Don’t go. I’ve no idea what to do with a five year old ...”
Jack fidgeted with his cufflink and bit back a growl of annoyance as his cuff refused to let the link through.
“C’mere.” instructed Ianto. He reached forward, took Jack’s wrist and slid the link home, snapping the bar horizontal with no fuss. “There we go.” he smiled, running his finger over the little plane.
“I suppose we can still enjoy our Monday,” conceded Jack. “just not in the way we’d hoped.”
Ianto hugged him, then led him to the front room to introduce him to Mica. She was still sat on the settee, but she was fidgeting and uncomfortable.
“Mica? This is Jack. He’s my ... friend. He’s going to help me look after you today. Okay?”
Mica gazed up at him, and turned a delicate shade of pink. “Hellow Jack.” she smiled sheepishly.
“Hello, Little Princess. You’re not very well?”
“No.” she shook her head vigorously. She held her arms up. “I think I need a cuddle.”
Jack laughed and lifted her easily. “Your Uncle Ianto gets clingy when he’s not well, too.”
“Shut up, Jack.” scowled Ianto as Jack lowered himself and Mica onto the couch. Jack only laughed again as Mica beamed up at him adoringly.
“So what’s the matter with you the, Little Miss?” he asked Mica.
“I keep coughing up green goo.” she replied, screwing her face up.
“Ewwwwww!” Jack scrunched his nose up in mock-disgust. “That’s not very nice at all
“No.” she agreed pitifully. She giggled as Jack tickled her a little, and instantly started a coughing fit. Ianto was right there with his handkerchief, holding it to her little mouth to avoid spreading germs. She groaned quietly and slumped into Jack as Ianto checked the handkerchief and saw Mica was, indeed, coughing up forest green mucus. He found himself screwing his face up the way Mica had done, and Jack sniggered at him.
“You two have the same nose!” he cooed. He pressed Mica’s nose gently. “Little button noses. The best kind.”
Mica giggled and started coughing again, and Ianto gave her the handkerchief.
“Stop making her laugh, Jack. It makes her cough.”
“The more she coughs, the more gunk she brings up and the less gunk there is clogging up her lungs.” Jack pointed out.
Ianto conceded the point.
“Sit down.” Jack grinned. “You’re making yourself awkward. Here, next to me and Mica.” Jack extended an arm for Ianto to sit beside him, and it rested easily over his shoulders.
“You’re supposed to be cuddling me.” Mica said disapprovingly.
Ianto scowled. “He’s mine, y’know.”
Mica grinned at him and forced her arms around Jack’s waist. The arm around Ianto withdrew and cuddled her back. Making sure Jack couldn’t see, she stuck her tongue out cheekily at Ianto, who folded his arms nonchalantly.
“Like I care ...” he muttered.
“Pardon?” asked Jack, though he was pouring his attention over Mica.
“Nothing.” he murmured, and Mica stuck her tongue out again. “Just ... nothing ... do you want coffee?”
“I don’t think we should give her coffee ...” Jack frowned.
“Not her. You.” Ianto bristled. “She can have warm milk.”
Jack frowned at him a second. “You okay?”
“Fine. Why wouldn’t I be? Do you want coffee or not?”
Ianto went to the kitchen and set to work, also getting a pan and putting a cup full of milk in it to warm for Mica. He checked his cupboard and found some cocoa powder and added it to the milk as a little treat (he also hoped it might knock her out and he could have Jack to himself again). Her little laugh, followed quickly by her cough, sailed into the kitchen as Jack continued to lavish attention on her.
He made the best cup of coffee he could, hesitating before taking it through and realising he was actually considering his five year old niece competition. She was ill
and she deserved the attention, really. Still, Ianto saved the world every day, and surely that meant he deserved attention, too. Maybe he could put a little brandy in the cocoa ...
Deciding against it, Ianto took the coffee and cocoa into the living room and set them carefully down on the coffee table.
“Feet.” he said automatically, and Jack quickly took his feet off the table and onto the floor. Shifting Mica slightly, he reached for her mug and held it to her lips to taste.
“Say ‘Thank you’ to your Uncle Ianto.” Jack instructed.
“I did.” she replied, and tilted his hands to get another sip. Jack gave Ianto an ‘awww’ look. Ianto scowled.
“She never says thank you. She’s a bad mannered little girl.”
“Am not! I did say thank you! I did!” she insisted.
“... and a liar.”
“That’s enough! Leave her alone, Ianto. She’s sick.”
“You’re right Jack. Bad manners is a plague.” muttered Ianto.
“If you haven’t got anything nice to say,” chastised Mica. “don’t say anything at all.”
Jack sniggered. “Told you, didn’t she?” he whispered.
“Shut up.” sighed Ianto, sitting down heavily. “I’m not good with kids, Jack. I don’t ... particularly like them.”
Jack stared at him, then practically lifted Mica and shoved her in Ianto's face. “How can you not find her adorable? Look at her! Look at her little face!”
Mica pouted for effect, and Ianto shrugged. “She’s a little person. A little person who’s not fully developed yet, coughs up green goo, can’t share, only bothers after herself, constantly whinges and makes a huge mess.”
“Well ... yeah ... all kids are like that, though.” agreed Jack, settling a hurt-looking Mica back on his lap. “But you’re not supposed to say it in front of her. She’s only little. She’ll grow up.”
“I’ll babysit her wilfully when she’s grown up and can at least say ‘thank you’.”
Mica was sipping her mug, big eyes gazing up at him sadly. He resolutely looked away. “Well, you two are happy.” he said. “I’m going to go and have the lie-in I was promised.”
“Oh, Ianto ...” Jack sighed. “C’mon, Little Princess. We’ll nap with Uncle Ianto.”
Ianto shifted uncomfortably. “Is that ... normal?”
“Er ... yeah. Did you never get in bed with your parents when you were sick?”
“Well ... yeah. But we’re not her parents, Jack.”
“It’s comforting for her. When kids are sick they need to know they have someone there to look after them and that they’re safe. Otherwise when they grow up being ill can be a huge issue for them.”
Mica’s head was lolling onto Jack’s shoulder as he stood, the cocoa making her sleepy.
“I’ll change the sheets first.” Ianto conceded, almost sulkily.
“Good idea.” Jack replied with a wink. “That would be weird.”
Mica’s fingers had curled under the lapel of Jack’s shirt the way Ianto's did when he was seeking comfort, and Jack wondered if Ianto had drawn the comparison. He found himself wondering, while Ianto was changing the bedding, what Little Ianto had been like. Had he been like Mica? Or had he always been the quiet, reserved one? Absently Jack stroked Mica’s hair as she started breathing deeply, and he waited for Ianto to emerge. He did, in his pyjama bottoms and one of Jack’s t-shirts, his hair a little tousled from changing linen.
“She’s asleep.” Jack told him as they retreated to the bedroom, and he lay her down gently in the middle of the bed. Ianto pulled the covers back for her and gently placed them over her, smiling to himself as she snuggled into the detergent-scented duvet.
“She’s adorable when she’s asleep.” he admitted, pushing a little hair back from her face. He crawled under the covers beside her and let her curl her fingers into his t-shirt as she gave a little sniffle. “Should I turn her onto her back? Will that help her breathing?” he fretted.
“She’s old enough to have a survival instinct.” Jack soothed him, spooning into his back and gazing down over his shoulder at the little sleeping girl. “If she needs to roll over, she will.”
“Positive.” he smiled, pressing a kiss to Ianto's nape. Ianto shivered a little - for some reason he always did when someone touched the back of his neck, and Jack knew - and settled himself into the mattress. Jack drifted off pretty much instantly, but Ianto was suddenly very alert. He watched Mica intently, carefully measured her breaths and tensed if they hitched or differed. At one point she did eventually roll over, her long hair splayed over the pillows, and Ianto quickly reached out to move it from her face in case some of it went in her mouth and choked her. Carefully, he moved one of the unused pillows to lie vertical beside her in case she rolled any further and fell off and hurt herself.
With a small murmur, her sleeping self batted his hand away as he checked the rise and fall of her chest, wondering if she was breathing deep enough.
“You’re paranoid.” said a sleepy voice behind him, and Jack reached out and pulled his wrist back to his stomach, holding it there loosely. “Have you had any sleep at all, love? This nap was your idea.”
“Mmmm.” was all Ianto replied.
“Go to sleep.” Jack muttered, and kissed his hair. “She’ll be fine. I promise.”
“Yeah.” he agreed. Finally he let his eyes drift closed, and fell asleep listening to Mica’s breathing. ~*~*~*~
He could hear giggling and a little cough not so far away. He opened one eye, the deep timbre of Jack’s voice joining the high-pitched laugh, and blearily he made out Jack and Mica sat on the end of the bed, post-it notes stuck to their foreheads as they tried to figure out who they were.
Mica had simply drawn Mickey Mouse on Jack’s post-it note, and Jack had, in true Harkness form, written his own name on Mica’s. He managed to force his limbs to sit him up, and smiled as he watched them.
“Am I Disney?” asked Mica.
“Nope. Am I ... a cartoon?”
“Yes! Do I like ice cream?”
“Yep. Am I Mickey Mouse?”
“Awww. You guessed it!” Mica scowled and scrunched her nose. Jack stuck out his tongue as she pulled of her post-it and tried to read it. “Juh ... juh .. ah ... Jack? You’re not allowed to put yourself!”
“Am too!” argued Jack. He went to tickle Mica and she fought back, and Ianto's legs were nearly crushed as they play-fought with vigour.
“Told you she’d be fine.” grinned Jack, holding the struggling child in a headlock.
“Aren’t you hurting her?”
“Ee izzz!” Mica’s muffled voice called from somewhere under Jack’s arm.
“Am not!” he laughed as he let go and she tumbled onto Ianto's lap. He went to hug her, but she was already scrambling back to Jack, who stood and swung her up onto his hip. “C’mon Princess. You must be hungry.”
“Maybe we could order pizza?” suggested Ianto, scrambling to follow them. “Lots of carbs and ...”
“... lots of dairy.” interrupted Jack. “Dairy isn’t good for sick little girls. Have you got any soup, Ianto?”
“You know where the cupboard is.” he replied quietly. “Do you want to cook? I’ll hold her.” He held out his arms to take her and Jack frowned a little, passing her over. She tried to keep her fingers caught in Jack’s t-shirt, but Ianto moved away and she let go reluctantly. He bounced her on his hip a little, but she didn’t giggle like she did for Jack.
Intently, she was watching his Captain get the pan out and the tin opener, picking some soup for her and pouring it into the container. Ianto sat her on the work surface in front of him and tried to keep her attention. “Do you know cat’s cradle?” he asked, reaching into a drawer and pulling out scissors and string. “The cool girls used to do it all the time when I was your age.”
He cut the string and made the first few moves, pointing at the spots where she had to pinch and how to hold the string between her fingers. Carefully, he showed her what to look for and where to hold in each stage of the game, until eventually one of them went wrong and they ended up with a tangled mess. They laughed together, and Ianto rubbed her back as she coughed harshly. “There we go, there we go.” he muttered soothingly.
“Soup’s ready.” said Jack, pushing a bowl and little spoon towards Mica.
“Yay!” she chirruped, Ianto and string and cat’s cradle forgotten now that Jack was back in focus. “Oo! Can I keep this, Uncle Ianto?” she asked sweetly.
“Er ... yeah. But ... it’s just a bit of string.”
“Yeah but you gave it to me.” she shrugged and scurried over to sit on the couch next to Jack.
Ianto sat beside her with his soup and they ate in companionable silence.
“Hey ... Mica ...” Jack broke it eventually. “Have you ever seen an instant camera before?”
“No, Jack.” groaned Ianto.
“They’re one of my favourite things in the world!” exclaimed Jack, reaching for Ianto's Polaroid. “Everybody smile!” He held it up at arm’s length and the flash nearly blinded them. Mica laughed and held her hands out for the picture.
“We need to wait for it to appear.” sighed Ianto, stroking her hair absently. He let her wave it around a little as it dried, and watched her face light up in delight as the photograph began to take shape.
“You like that?” asked Jack.
“I’m gonna keep it forever!” she beamed. “My first photograph with Uncle Ianto and Uncle Jack!”~*~*~*~
Mica sighed heavily, sat in her bedroom, gazing out of the window. She couldn’t believe she was finally moving out. Everything was in boxes, packed away neat and orderly: just how she liked it. With a final look around she lifted the first box, finding it heavier than she imagined and accidentally dropping it, spilling its contents over the floor. Crouching, she started putting it back, pausing when something she didn’t realise she still had poked unsuspectingly out of the corner of one of her old scrapbooks.
With a smile she reached for the frayed bit of string, pulling the large loop until it was free and hanging from her fist. She ran the rough material through her fingers, remembering being five years old and sat on the counter, waiting for Uncle Jack to make soup while Uncle Ianto showed her how to play her first game of cat’s cradle. Nostalgia pulled her heart and she opened the scrapbook, finding the photographs of her Uncle Ianto she’d kept there.
He looked so young, smiling awkwardly at the camera as Uncle Jack held the Polaroid at arm’s length. Uncle Jack didn’t look any different. Flipping the page, there was the photo that Jack had insisted of taking while she was asleep. He’s stuck a post-it note to her forehead with writing on it. It didn’t come out in the picture, and she couldn’t remember what it said. Maybe, if she remembered, she could ask Uncle Jack.
Mica looped the string around her neck like a necklace and lifted the box again, this time aware of its weight. She balanced it on her hip as she kicked the door open, and carefully navigated the stairs.
“Look what I found.”
She pushed the scrapbook across the table and flicked it to the photo of her, Uncle Ianto and Uncle Jack, smiling and happy.
“Gosh, he looked so young out of those suits.” sighed her mam. “Sometimes ... it was like he was always old ...”
“You talking about me?”
Mica turned as Uncle Ianto walked in, a big bunch of flowers under one arm, laughter lines settled into the corners of his eyes and a grey streak running by each of his ears. “Brought you a present!” he grinned. “Can’t believe you’re going to uni ... I feel so old ...”
“You were old to begin with.” joked mam.
“Not as old as you.” he retorted, putting the flowers on the table and taking the heavy box from Mica. “I’m driving you up. Managed to get the day off.”
“Cool.” she grinned. “The rest of the boxes are upstairs.”
Mam sniggered at Uncle Ianto's face, but he just rolled his eyes and took the box out to his SUV.
“Has Uncle Jack come back from – ARRRRGHHHHH!” Mica screamed, shaking the hand clawing at her ankle off and backing away.
Uncle Ianto had returned, and both he and her mam were laughing hysterically as Uncle Jack climbed out from under the table.
“How did we keep a straight face?” gasped mam, wiping away a tear.
“I’m gonna kill you!” huffed Mica.
Uncle Ianto frowned at her. “What’s that on your neck?”
“Is that ... string? Is that the fashion or something?”
“No. It’s nothing.”
“C’mon, Ianto.” Jack started pulling his sleeve in that way that made him seem like an overexcited child. “We gotta go fetch the boxes ...”
“One day I’m going to superglue him down.” sighed Uncle Ianto, following behind him to fetch another box.
“I’d laugh if I thought he was joking.” sighed mam. Mica laughed anyway. “What is that string around your neck, sweetheart?”
“Oh ... um ... Uncle Ianto gave it to me. When I had that chest infection. He showed me how to do the cat’s cradle ...”
“She’s packed far too much stuff.” Uncle Jack’s voice was saying on its way down the stairs.
“It seems pretty reasonable to me.” replied Uncle Ianto.
“That’s because you’re just as ... picky as her.”
“I’m not picky.”
“Maybe a little.”
“Maybe a lot. OOooooo I can hear an ice cream van!”
Mica sighed. “They’ll never change, will they?”
“No.” smiled mam. “But would we want them to?”FIN
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