Disclaimer: If I owned them, this was how it would be, yes, this is how it would be, but alas, I only own Sophie.
Summary: Sophie is three years old today! And at the age where anything she hears becomes something that she’ll repeat.
Characters: Jack, Ianto, Gwen, Rhys, Sophie, Ten
Spoilers: Erm, I don’t know, I don’t think I’ve spoiled anything really, if I have though, oops!
A/N: This is AU, and fluffy, with a heap of angst thrown in. It follows on from The First Year, and is the fourth in a series.
Beta: zazajb, thank you so much my friend!
Word Count: 4, 124
The Third Year
“Happy birfday to me, happy birfday to me, happy birfday to Sophie, happy birfday to me!” the little voice of Sophie Harkness floated down the hall and into her fathers’ bedroom, rousing one of them from their slumber.
“Between your insomnia and our work hours, I still haven’t figured out how our daughter is a morning person,” grumbled Ianto Jones. He tapped the bare back of the man sleeping next to him, “Go get her.”
“Huh?” the sleep heavy voice of Jack Harkness mumbled. “What?”
“Our child is awake and singing to herself,” replied Ianto.
“So let her sing! I’m exhausted, you wore me out last night,” Jack said with a tired grin. He grabbed the younger man and rolled them until he was looking down into still lust filled blue eyes. He wriggled his hips, and smiled as Ianto squirmed. “Suddenly I’m remembering another day where I landed on top of you.”
“Only this time, there’s no pteranodon falling towards us. And you don’t seem all that exhausted,” the Welshman answered. He punctuated this remark with a resoundingly passionate kiss that fully woke up his partner.
The two men smiled at each other and pulled the bedcovers up over their bodies, knowing full well that should they be interrupted, it was better to be covered than be starkers in front of their daughter. They stayed locked together and attempted to cover each other with kisses, when a giggle cut the air. Quickly looking to the right, both saw their curly haired child standing in the doorway and grinning.
“Hi! I free today!” she announced.
“Hi baby,” said Jack with a big smile. “Yes you are! Stay right there for a minute okay? Taddy and I were –“
“SNOGGING!” Sophie yelled happily. “Daddy, Taddy snogging, daddy, Taddy snogging,” she sang.
“What is it with mad little brunettes interrupting us?” groused Ianto.
“Well, Gwen just has bad timing, and Sophie is my child, you had to know that she’d think this was funny,” replied Jack. “You’re cute when you blush clear up to the tips of your ears.”
“I’ll bet you a month’s pay that PC Cooper taught her that word, and that Rhys taught her that little dance,” Ianto said as he slid out of from under Jack.
“I come in now?”
“No baby, Taddy and I are –“
“Are you naked?”
Jack laughed into his pillow, “Who taught you that word?”
Sophie pointed at him, “YOU did!”
“You are on decaf for a week Jack Harkness!” said Ianto with a smirk as he fumbled into his pyjama bottoms.
“What?!” Jack sputtered. “What about Gwen?”
“Oh, little Miss Cooper is going to be right there with you. The bloody two of you shouldn’t be allowed near little children, let alone out in public without supervision,” the Welshman snapped, forgetting that an impressionable child was within earshot.
“Taddy? Taddy, I sorry,” the little girl whimpered from the doorway. Ianto rushed over and scooped her into his arms, gently kissing her on the forehead.
“What, oh, no sweetheart, no, you didn’t do anything wrong, no, no, no. Daddy is just, just – “
“Sex on a stick?” she asked with an innocent smile.
“WHAT?!” said Jack, jumping out of bed and yanking on his pyjamas.
“Decaf until I see fit to change it Jack Harkness.”
“I didn’t teach her that! Baby, where’d you hear that word?”
“A lady at da park said it when we were playing. She said you were bee-you-tee-full!” the little girl said with a big smile.
Jack laughed and took Sophie from Ianto’s arms, “And here’s your first lesson in not always repeating everything you hear, please don’t ever say that again okay?”
“Because Daddy likes his coffee?” she asked.
“Sophie, I mean it. That’s not okay for you to say at all.”
She nodded seriously, “Okay Daddy, I won’t.”
“Good! Now, happy birthday my baby!” he said as he swung his daughter up and over his head.
“Yay! I free today!” Sophie shouted.
“Yes you are,” he replied. “How about I help you get all dressed up, and Taddy makes you a special breakfast?”
“’Kay! Strawberry pan-a-cakes?”
Ianto nodded, “Strawberry pancakes it is. Go pick out your prettiest outfit yeah?”
“’Kay! Let’s go daddy!”
“Yes m’am! Going now m’am!” Jack said as he marched towards Sophie’s bedroom. “Okay baby, what do you want to wear on your special day?”
“Book!” said Sophie. “Book first!”
“Oh, that’s right, we have to look at Sophie’s book first, just like every other morning that daddy gets you dressed. Well, go get it,” Jack answered as he set down his daughter.
Sophie scrambled over to her bed and pulled out a bright pink scrapbook, “Pictures!”
Jack sat in the overstuffed rocking chair in the corner of the room, and Sophie climbed into his lap. She smiled at her father and opened the book to the first page.
“Who’s on this page?” he asked her.
“Auntie Marfa, Uncle Doctor, Taddy, Daddy, Auntie Gwen, Uncle Rhys, and SOPHIE!” squealed the little girl.
“That’s right, this picture is from the day you were born. Auntie Gwen and Uncle Rhys came to see you right after Auntie Martha cut you out of my belly. What’s the next picture?”
“Daddy, Taddy, and Sophie sleepin’.”
The picture was one that Martha had surreptitiously taken after Jack and baby Sophie had been cleaned up and transferred into his office. He lay on his old bed which had been moved out of the bunker, one arm bent protectively around the tiny girl asleep on his torso. Ianto had curled around his new family, resting one hand across his daughter’s back, and the other on Jack’s shoulder.
“Yeah, you spent your first night sleeping on my chest. Every time Taddy tried to wrap you up in your pink blanket and put you in your bassinet, you screamed so badly that your little body turned red, and shook like a tree on a windy day. We finally gave up and just put a blanket over you; then you fell asleep on top of me. What’s THIS picture?”
“Daddy with a big tummy.”
“Who’s in that big tummy?”
“That’s right, and that makes you the most special little girl in the world. Do you remember why?”
“My DADDY carried me under his heart and not a mummy, I don’t have a mummy and ‘dats okay ‘cos I have my Daddy and my Taddy.”
The picture Sophie was now pointing at had been taken by Gwen only three days before the little girl was born. By that time in his pregnancy, Jack had taken to wandering through the Hub at odd hours, both hands pressed to the small of his back, and muttering quietly to his belly. Gwen had caught him at this, and snapped the photo before he saw her. Jack had declared himself not the proper size to be photographed with a regular lens and banned all attempts at picture taking.
“Yes! And can you tell anyone that story?”
Sophie shook her head vehemently, “Nope! No one can know dat my Daddy had me in his tummy ‘cos people here don’t get it!”
Jack laughed, “That’s right baby, people here just don’t get it. What’s that picture?”
“Auntie Rose, who is very pretty,” whispered Sophie. “Her has a different planet earf.”
Jack stroked Sophie’s hair, “Yup, Auntie Rose lives far, far away. What’s this picture?”
“Auntie Tosh and Uncle Owen, people in my room,” she said softly. “Was dey nice?”
Jack smiled sadly and tapped the picture of his two friends. He looked down into his daughter’s earnest face and pressed a kiss to the tip of her nose. “Auntie Tosh was one of the nicest people daddy ever knew. She had so much love to give, and I know that she would have been so happy to be a part of your life. Uncle Owen was really angry when he came to work for daddy, but he turned out to be one of the best guys in the world. He would have loved you a lot because I know you would have made him smile. What’s this picture?”
“Uncle Doctor and me wif cake in my hair.”
“That’s right. That was your first birthday; you stuck your hands in the cake, then you tried to feed me and Taddy, and THEN stuck your hands in your hair. What’s this picture?”
“Auntie Gwen looking mad,” the little girl said with a mischievous smile. “And me looking like a princess!”
“Why was Auntie Gwen mad?”
“Because I got into Auntie Gwen’s makeup and made me and Uncle Rhys look pretty.”
“Yes you did, Uncle Rhys was handsome, and you looked bee-you-tee-full,” he said with a big smile. “Now, should we get you dressed? Yes? No? More pictures?”
“I want my party dress!” said Sophie as she jumped off of her father’s lap. She opened the door to her closet and pointed at a bright pink dress. “Get it Daddy!”
“Okay baby,” he said as he took down the little girl’s outfit of choice. “But are you sure? We’re going to be at the park, don’t you want to wear something you can play in?”
“Nope, want my party dress!”
“Yes m’am!” he laughed. “Need help?”
“Nope, I’m a big girl, I’m putting my dress on all by myself!”
“Come downstairs when you’re all done up then.” Jack thundered down the stairs and into the kitchen to find Ianto setting out breakfast for the three of them.
“Is she coming to eat with us?”
Jack rolled his eyes and planted a firm kiss onto Ianto’s forehead. “Of course she is. She just wanted to get dressed by herself. You know, be a big girl and all that?”
Both men turned to find Sophie standing in the doorway to the kitchen, wearing her brand new dress, a sunhat, and no shoes. She had a huge smile on her face, and spun round so that her parents could get the full effect of her fashion choices.
“Lovely, you look just lovely,” said Ianto, catching her up in a hug. “That is the perfect outfit for the most special girl in the world.”
She nodded and tapped his nose. “Uh huh, I’m special. My Daddy had me in his tummy, not my mummy, and dat means I’m da only girl in da world like dat,” Sophie said, happily repeating the words that had become almost a daily ritual since the girl had discovered the precious secret of her birth.
“That’s right!” Jack said. “Now are you ready to have breakfast? Or does the most special girl in the world want to do something else?”
“Nope, da most special girl in da world wants to eat STRAWBERRY PAN-A-CAKES!”
“Good!” said Ianto as he set her down in her chair.
Three Hours Later
“If I’d have known that having a baby would get you to drive slower, I would have gotten you up the duff a lot faster,” muttered Ianto as Jack swung their car into the lot adjoining the park.
Jack’s response to that statement was a low growl of, “Want to try again tonight? See if you can wrest total control of driving away from me?”
“I see Uncle Rhys! I see Auntie Gwen!” squealed Sophie from the back seat.
Jack reached into the car and unbuckled the little girl; he swung her onto his hip and closed the car door. “Do you want to go and give them big hugs?”
“Yep,” said Sophie.
“Sure baby,” he said. “Go ahead.” He set the little girl down and watched as she tore down the path towards the happily waving couple.
“And she’s off,” laughed Ianto. He popped open the boot of the car and lifted out the two hampers of food. He set them in Jack’s arms and pointed him in the direction of the picnic table.
“What are you going to carry?” he asked.
“I’ve got the cake and the presents,” answered Ianto as he headed down towards a table that was bedecked with pink and yellow balloons. “I see Gwen and Rhys managed to lay claim to a table, and decorate it with their usual modest and subtle tastes.”
“Be nice Ianto! She’s as much a part of their family as they are a part of ours,” said Jack. He set the food on the table and turned towards the play yard where Sophie had dragged her aunt and uncle. “She found the swings.”
“Let her play then, wear herself out, give us a little peace tonight.”
“I’ll give YOU a little piece tonight,” teased Jack as he ran his hand over Ianto’s backside.
“Stop it,” Ianto grumbled affectionately.
“Stop wearing tight trousers.”
“Never,” the Welshman answered with a smile.
“Then I can’t be responsible for my actions,” said Jack as he placed a kiss on Ianto’s neck.
“JACK!” Gwen’s scream echoed throughout the park.
He and Ianto dropped whatever they were holding and bolted towards the play yard. “Gwen? Gwen? What happened?”
Gwen knelt on the ground, her body covering a smaller form that lay prone at the foot of the swings. “She, she, she fell Jack. Flew off the swings, landed, oh god, Sophie, sweetheart, can you hear me?”
Both Ianto and Jack bent down, none too gently pushing Gwen aside to get to their daughter. Ianto ran his hands over Sophie’s little body, checking for breaks, bumps, and other obvious signs of injury. Tears dripped freely down Jack’s face as he gently stroked Sophie’s hair, Ianto could hear him whispering, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” when a small gasp made them both jump. Their daughter’s eyes fluttered open and stared in confusion at the adults clustered around her.
“Daddy? Daddy I have an owie!”
“Sophie, what happened?” asked Jack as he pulled her into his arms. “Did you hit your head?”
“Fell on my head,” she mumbled. “Fell on my head, saw Auntie Tosh. She said go back to you and Taddy, and I came back.”
“What did you say?” Ianto asked.
“Taddy, I saw Auntie Tosh. She gave me a big kiss and said dat she loved me, and would always look out for me, den she said I was like daddy, and dat I had to go back.”
Jack ran his hands over his face, and met Ianto’s eyes over their daughter’s head, “What do you mean?”
“Auntie Tosh said dat I’m like you. I get owies, but I don’t go away forever.”
Jack clutched his daughter tighter to his chest and buried his face in her hair. “We’re going to get up now okay? Let’s go to the table and make sure you’re all better.”
“’Kay,” the girl whimpered.
Jack stood up, lifting his little daughter into his arms. “Taddy and I are right here, you’re safe now.”
“’Kay,” she whispered, turning into his chest. Sophie curled her hand into the collar of Jack’s greatcoat and pressed herself tight to him. “Do you see people when you go away?” she asked quietly.
“Every time baby,” answered Jack. “Every time.”
One Hour Later
The small group of people sat around the picnic table, deep in conversation about what had happened. What was to have been a happy celebration had quickly turned into a makeshift meeting. Sophie was still wrapped in her father’s arms; her eyes were slowly starting to close at the drone of adult voices around her. She didn’t understand why the grownups were so nervous at what had happened to her, but the one thing the little girl did know was that this was no way to spend a pretty day at the park. She looked up at her dad and tapped his chin, trying to get his attention.
Jack looked down at his daughter, he drew one arm tighter round her and pulled her closer to his chest. “Yes Sophie?”
“Can we have cake?”
Jack smiled, “Of course we can baby.”
“’Kay, I want to have cake. I’m okay Daddy. My owie is all gone, I feel better. Taddy, I want to have cake now.”
“Just a few minutes okay sweetheart?” Ianto said from next to her.
“You heard the girl,” said Rhys, trying to break the tension that was threatening to spoil his niece’s day. “I think the little one needs to have an actual birthday, and anything that needs to be talked about, can be talked about LATER.”
“Then it is time for cake and presents,” agreed Jack as he kissed the top of Sophie’s head.
Three Hours Later
The drive home from the park was uneventful, Ianto and Jack didn’t say much of anything, except to agree with anything their daughter was chattering on about. Sophie babbled happily in the back, she was focused more on her new toys and books than on what had happened at the swings. Once they were home, Ianto had set about unpacking the car, whilst Jack carried Sophie inside and tucked her into bed. She hadn’t put up too much of a fuss, falling asleep as Jack was reading her favorite story. He closed the book gently, and stood up from the bed.
I’m so sorry my baby girl, I never meant for you to end up like me. I love you so much, and I’m not ever going to let anyone hurt you, he thought as he walked back downstairs.
“Is she sleeping?” asked Ianto from the living room.
Jack sat down on the sofa and pulled the young man into his arms. “Yep, she passed out right in the middle of the story I was reading.”
“Good, because we need to talk about today,” said Ianto. He straightened and looked into Jack’s eyes.
“There’s nothing that can be done, the Doctor couldn’t fix me. He can’t fix her either.”
“That’s not what I meant,” Ianto replied.
“What did you mean?”
“I meant that we need to protect her, she can’t go to nursery school, what would happen if she fell down on the playground? No, Sophie needs someone to stay with her all the time.”
“What are you trying to say?” asked Jack. “Ianto, do you really think that I can’t protect my child?”
“No you idiot!” Ianto said exasperatedly. “I’m trying to say that until we can get some extra help, I’m going to stay home with Sophie!”
“Oh,” Jack said with a shamefaced smile. “I’m sorry.”
The Welshman patted Jack’s hand, “It’s okay. I was thinking we could get ahold of Martha, maybe see if she could help us for a little while.”
“She’s okay with UNIT right now. What about Mickey? You met him when I came back from helping the Doctor. He’s not a bad guy, kind of a dope, but easily trainable,” said Jack, beginning to get excited. “You know, now that I think about it, you could easily do the digitising of the archives from home. I could set up your laptop to connect with the mainframe, and you wouldn’t have to leave. Sophie would be safe, you could teach her a little, and you’d still be available if we had a problem. I like this plan Jones, Ianto Jones.”
“I knew you would.”
“Because you know everything?”
“Yep,” replied Ianto, gently twisting in Jack’s arms until he was nose to nose with the older man. He tilted his head slightly and brought their mouths together in a slow kiss. He slid his hands around Jack’s waist, pulling his shirt tails out of his trousers and popping the buttons open one by one. “It’s going to be okay,” he murmured.
“If we can keep her safe,” Jack said quietly.
“Shhh,” soothed Ianto. “Shhh,” he said again as he eased Jack’s shirt off of his body. He pressed a kiss to Jack’s chest and gently pushed him down onto his back. “We’ve got a plan, and tomorrow we can act on it,” he whispered as he kissed a path down Jack’s muscular body. “But for right now, you daft old man, stop thinking...”
Two Hours Later
“Taddy! Daddy! I up now! Is da Doctor here?” hollered Sophie from her bedroom. “I get up now!”
The noise roused the two men from their post coital haze, they sat up on the couch and quickly stuffed themselves back into their clothes. Jack smiled broadly and ran his hands through Ianto’s hair, “You look positively shagged out.”
“That’s because I am,” he replied with a shy grin. He stood up and trotted towards the stairs, “Taddy’s coming sweetheart,” he called out. Ianto went down the hallway to the nursery, opening the door to see that Sophie had covered herself in brightly colored bandages, “What happened?”
“My owie went away, but I wanted a plaster. Nobody gave Sophie a plaster, so I got my own. I feel much better now.”
Ianto stepped into the room and picked up his daughter, “I see that. You look like you feel better.”
Sophie nodded, “I do. Is da Doctor here?”
“No honey, he’s not here.”
“But da Doctor always comes for my birfday,” said the little girl as her eyes filled with tears.
“Should we go and see if daddy can cheer you up?” Ianto said quietly. He ran his hand through his daughter’s hair and sighed as she buried her head into the crook of his shoulder.
“Where is Daddy?”
“Daddy’s downstairs, should we go and join him?”
“Yep,” she yawned. “We go downstairs now Taddy.”
“Anything you want Princess,” he said softly as he carried Sophie into the living room. “Uh oh, it looks like daddy fell asleep. Sophie, we should wake him up.”
She giggled, “Up Daddy! Wake up!”
“That didn’t work,” said Ianto. “Whatever should we do?”
The little girl giggled again, “UP DADDY!”
“Nope, still nothing, maybe we should give him a tickle?”
Sophie jumped down out of Ianto’s arms and pounced on her father, “Daddy! Daddy I got you! I got you good!” She put her arms around him and kissed his nose, “Daddy! Daddy wake up!”
Jack let out a fake yawn and stretched his longs arms over his head. “Did I fall asleep? What? What’s this little thing attached to me? What could this be?” he asked with a playful smile. Jack reached down and grabbed Sophie, wrapping her in a great big hug. “Did you have a good nap?”
“Daddy, da Doctor isn’t here.”
“You know baby, my wrist strap has been beeping for the last twenty minutes, I wonder if there’s a message there from the Doctor.”
Sophie smiled and grabbed for her father’s arm, “Check it NOW Daddy!”
“Well can I have another kiss? Please?”
She leaned in and rubbed her nose against Jack’s in a hurried butterfly kiss. “NOW Daddy!”
He laughed and pressed a button; with a flash of blue light a hologram of the Doctor filled the room. Sophie waved and shouted, “HI DOCTOR!”
Hello Princess Sophie! I’m sorry I couldn’t come to your birthday today, but I still wanted to see you. I hope you had a wonderful day filled with cake, and presents, and lots of fun! I’ll be coming by to see you very soon okay? Happy Birthday! The message ended with the Doctor waving happily as he tugged his coat over one arm.
Sophie looked up at Jack, she smiled happily and said, “NOW it’s my birfday! Da Doctor was here, good day!”
“I’m glad that makes you happy baby,” Jack said quietly. “Now Taddy and I have to tell you something.”
Ianto came around the sofa and sat down next Jack and Sophie, “Starting tomorrow, daddy and I are going to try stay home with you more. You’re not going to go back to nursery school.”
“’Cause I’m like my Daddy, if I go away in front of my friends they will get scared.”
Jack nodded, “That’s right Sophie, and since Taddy and I have seen this before, we think that it’d be better if we stay home with you. Once we find someone to help out at the Hub more, Taddy is going to stay home all day with you. Maybe we can even get him to teach you some Welsh.”
Sophie nodded, “’Kay, I like dat idea. I get my Daddy and Taddy more!”
Ianto breathed a sigh of relief, Thank God that we have a plan.
“Can I have more cake?”
Ianto laughed, “Anything for the birthday girl.” He got up from the couch and wandered into the kitchen.
Sophie leaned her head against Jack’s shoulder and giggled softly, “I really am special aren’t I?”
“Yes baby, yes you are.”
To be continued in the story of Sophie’s fifth birthday