asra_fic: Ralph Clarke (Default)
[personal profile] asra_fic
Title: Nameless
Characters: Ianto/Jack
Rating: PG
Words: 1,176
Spoilers: None
Warnings: Mpreg. Mentions of abortion. This is my first time writing Mpreg, and I hope I’ve somehow managed not to mess it up.
Summary: Jack doesn’t know how Ianto will react to the news.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
A/N: For the [livejournal.com profile] schmoop_bingo prompt ‘pregnancy—first ultrasound’, except it's not schmoopy. This is for the lovely [personal profile] remuslives23.


Watching the sea has always soothed him, and that’s where he goes when he realises what has happened to him.

He can’t even bring himself to put it into words yet, this thing that’s happened to him. It’s too new, too raw, to grasp all at once. He knows it’s real, but in the way that, for example, Gallifrey’s existence is real: something heard about, something imagined, but not a place he’s ever been to, ever felt with his senses before.

He goes to the promenade, sits on a bench that he thinks of as theirs. His and Ianto’s. Ianto’s and his. They’ve happened to choose that very bench to sit on every time they’ve managed to find time to go for a walk by the sea, which hasn’t been terribly often, but when it happens, it’s good. So very good. When he can reach out and touch Ianto, rest a hand quickly on his knee, just to feel the warmth of his skin through the fabric beneath his palm. Or when Ianto stretches out his arm along the back of the seat, making Jack feel that he’s got his back, without even touching him.

Damn it, Harkness. Focus.

What will Ianto say, when Jack tells him? How will he react?

With anything but happiness, Jack realises. Ianto’s reaction is guaranteed to be anything but calm. Anything but comforting and supportive. That’s just the way it is, and nothing is going to change that.

He imagines it, how it will happen.

It will be a long, exhausting conversation for both of them. He’ll have to explain in detail about how things are in the future, in that place he comes from that no longer has any connection with the idea of home. How one has so many more choices about becoming a parent, how gender is not just obsolete but a forgotten construct, how the physiology of the human body has undergone artificial evolution for so many centuries, by Jack’s time, that people have forgotten that there was ever any other way to be.

Should he start with that? The whole academic explanation, and then break the news? Or just come out with it, and then explain how it happened?

Either way, he’ll have a very confused and upset young man on his hands.

Either way, he’ll have to say, Don’t worry. We don’t have to go through with this.

That will be when, for the first time since the conversation has begun, he’ll see relief in Ianto’s eyes. Of course, Ianto will say. What a relief. I didn't even think of that.

I’ll take care of it, Jack will say. And Ianto will be grateful, maybe even a little sympathetic, if he can get over his horror that quickly.

He won’t put Ianto through the distasteful task of going along with him, of course. He’ll just have a quick word with Owen. Owen will know what to do. He’ll be just as shocked as Ianto at first, but then the scientist in him will take over, and he’ll run some tests, do an ultrasound... the first and only ultrasound that they’ll need to do, just to confirm the truth for Owen’s benefit. And then Owen’ll do what needs to be done. Jack wonders if it will be painful, if they can feel at that age, only a few weeks old. Not even human yet. Not even a person yet.

Later, the next time they see each other, Ianto will call him sir and they’ll avoid physical proximity with each other for some days, avoid mentioning the huge, nameless thing that comes between them like an invisible wall. Things will be horribly awkward for a while, but they’ll get over it. The Rift will throw up something that requires all their focus, and they’ll throw themselves into work again, and the more often that happens, the further away they get from that nameless thing, the more they’ll forget. Of course, there’s always Retcon. Quick and easy and relatively painless. Yes, that would be best.

His eyes, unfocused for several minutes, hurt for a moment as he lets his gaze refocus on the sea. It’s too blue, reflecting the sunlight too brightly at this time of day. Or maybe it’s just that his senses are more sharp now, more alert to everything around him, magnifying every sensation. Every thought that he has had over the previous thirty minutes has been like a sliver of glass inside him.

It’s time to get it over with. He stands, shoves his hands into his coat pockets, and takes one last look at the sea before turning around resolutely and beginning to walk in the direction of their flat.


*


Ianto is in the kitchen, setting down a bowl of milk on the floor for the neighbourhood cat that has adopted them. He’s on one knee, his long, sure fingers gentle as they stroke the purring cat’s ears. It’s Sunday and he’s dressed casually, in blue jeans and that blue-grey polo-neck that makes his eyes seem even bluer than usual in comparison. On any other day Jack would have wanted to fist his hands in the soft fabric, pull Ianto to his feet, push him back against the wall and kiss him with single-minded devotion, all by way of a greeting.

Today, all he does is stand and watch, watch those gentle hands pet the ginger cat, and he wants to curl his fingers into Ianto’s hair and bury his face in the warmth of the sweater.

‘Hey,’ Ianto says, not looking up at first, still smiling down at the cat. ‘You hungry? There’s—’

He breaks off as he glances up at Jack, his welcoming smile faltering as he sees the expression on Jack’s face. ‘Jack? What happened?’

‘I—’ He takes a deep breath, and smells the milk. He has never minded the smell of milk but today it hits his guts like a sledge-hammer and he retreats hurriedly into the other room, and goes into the balcony to take lungfuls of the salty sea breeze.

‘Jack?’ Ianto is there in an instant, a hand on Jack’s back. ‘What’s wrong? Are you ill?’

Jack wishes he could say that he was, and for a wild moment he considers telling Ianto that he’s caught an alien virus and needs to go away for a good long time to recuperate. But that would mean lying to Ianto, leaving Ianto behind, and he’s not prepared to do those things again, ever.

And so he takes a deep, fortifying breath and turns around. Ianto’s hand is still there, warm and firm against the small of his back, and Jack takes one look into his eyes and knows that he’s about to tell Ianto everything, that this large, invisible nothing is about to be given a name and a shape, put into words, and there’ll be no going back. And maybe, he thinks, just maybe, it won’t play out as it did in his imagination.

‘Tell me,’ Ianto says gently, reading Jack’s expression perfectly. And Jack does.


Part II

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