Disclaimer: No, no, no, no, I don’t own Torchwood, I mean I wish I did, but nope, all the people and corporations who are supposed to own it, well, they do, the lucky SOBs.
Summary: Sophie feels every time her father dies, and comforts him in her own unique way. This takes place post “Orange-Yellow” and “The BIRTH Day” in the Sophie Series.
Characters: Jack, Ianto, Sophie (HER I own), Gwen
Rating: Um, PG-13 I think?
Spoilers: Nothing, I think
Beta: Nobody but me, sorry for all of the mistakes, I am a comma queen, and this is more of an attempt to just unlock my writer’s block, so details like grammar don’t really matter (and I’m an English teacher, sheesh!) *blushes*
Word Count: 1,308
A/N: Major AU, major angst, with a dash or two of fluff
The alarm from Jack’s wrist strap wakes both he and Ianto from their sound slumber. The older man slips hurriedly into a fresh shirt and trousers, before stilling Ianto’s mirroring movements. “It’s just a weevil, I’ll get Gwen on the way to it. You stay home with Sophie.”
“Are you sure?” asks Ianto worriedly.
“I’d rather have you here, than have Gwen bring Rhys to watch her. We’ll be fine. Go back to sleep,” Jack says quietly. He presses a light kiss to his partner’s lips and finishes tying his bootlaces.
The shrill cry of their seven month old daughter fills the air as Jack bounds out of the house; Ianto slides his feet into a pair of slippers and shuffles down the hallway. “No chance of sleep now,” he mumbles as he steps into the nursery. “All right Sophie, it’s okay, I’m right here. Daddy just had to go and catch a wandering weevil, he’ll be back soon.” His voice temporarily soothes the squalling baby and Ianto sighs as he gently lifts her out of her cot. Performing the standard sniff test, he laughs under his breath, “Ah ha! That’s really why you’re squawking, you don’t miss your father, you just want your bum cleaned!”
After tending to his daughter, Ianto lifts her to his shoulder and sits down in the rocking chair in the corner of her room. “Back to bed for you little one,” he whispers as he rocks back and forth. “Back to sleep,” he yawns as his eyes drift shut.
Ianto isn’t sure how long he’s been asleep before Sophie’s terrified screams jerk him awake. He stands in a panic and gently lays the baby on the changing table to check and see if she’s hurt herself somehow. “Sophie, shhhh, shhhh, it’s okay, it’s okay. You’re not hurt, your bum’s clean, and that’s not your hungry cry,” he says as he picks her up and rubs her back, pacing the length of the room. “Come on now, it’s all right, I’m right here, Daddy will be back soon, everything’s okay.”
But Sophie doesn’t calm, and Ianto’s sense of panic increases as his daughter’s screams grow more and more frantic, before suddenly turning into quiet whimpers. “All better sweetheart?” he asks as he sits down in the rocker again. He slides Sophie off of his shoulder, and into the crook of his arm so that he can see her face.
“You are all red and sweaty. How about we cool you down with a quick wash? I think that will make you feel a lot better,” he says softly as he stands and walks into the bathroom. Ianto turns the tap on and runs a flannel under the cool water, before gently wiping Sophie’s face, hands and feet. “Is that better?” he asks and laughs as his daughter snuffles against his chest. “I think that’s better.” He drops the cloth into the sink and walks down the stairs to the front room.
He sits on the sofa and stares out of the living room window into the pre-dawn darkness, absentmindedly stroking Sophie’s cheek, and not wanting to admit to himself what he’s waiting for. Still, he relaxes all the same when he hears the sounds of a car pulling into the driveway. “I think that’s Daddy, maybe he’ll put you back to bed.” He stands as he hears two car doors slam and walks towards the front door, stopping abruptly as Gwen hurtles through it, dragging a semi-conscious Jack behind her. “Gwen?”
“He revived about fifteen minutes ago, the weevil got him in the chest and the throat, he bled out before I could get to him.”
“Get him on the couch, I’ll put Sophie in her playpen,” Ianto says shortly. He places his daughter in her makeshift cot and then sets about removing Jack’s coat and shirt. “Gwen, there’s a flannel in the upstairs bathroom, could you go get it?” he asks as he grabs a blanket off the back of the sofa and tucks it around Jack’s prone form. “Gwen’s getting a cloth so we can clean you up. Let me guess, the weevil was about to go for her?”
Jack nods. “Yeah.”
Ianto looks up as Gwen comes back down the stairs; he takes the cloth from her and begins cleaning off the drying blood from Jack’s chest. “Thank you for getting him home.”
“It’s, it’s no problem,” she stammers. “I’ll just go. I can come and get him this afternoon, barring any Rift alerts, he can take the rest of the morning to rest.”
“Thank you Gwen,” Jack whispers. He scrubs his face with his hands and offers her a wan smile as she walks out the door. “Ianto, I’m okay. I just want to go to sleep.”
“You’re covered in blood, you need a shower.”
Jack grabs for Ianto’s hand and slowly sits up. “Is that a request or an invitation?” he asks with a weak attempt at his trademark grin.
The Welshman rolls his eyes and gestures to their baby, sitting quietly in her playpen. “She’s wide awake Jack, and you just revived, wait until she goes back to sleep.”
“Why IS she awake?” Jack asks.
“She needed her nappy changed, and I’d gotten her back to sleep before she suddenly woke up and started screaming. I think she had a bad dream or something. I had her calm and quiet by the time Gwen brought you back.”
“Oh,” Jack says as he grabs the flannel and wipes himself down. “Can you get me a towel?”
“Yep,” Ianto answers as he stands up and goes to the laundry room. He comes back a moment later, holding a dark brown towel. “Here,” he says.
“Thanks,” Jack says as he dries himself off. He pulls the blanket off of his lap and gingerly stands up, taking the two steps to the playpen. “Hey there Sophie, come and sit with your daddy,” he whispers as he lifts her into his arms.
“Are you sure?”
“Ianto, I can handle the two steps to the couch,” Jack snaps as he staggers back to the sofa and eases himself down.
“Sorry, I just,” he stammers.
“I know Ianto, and I’m fine. I promise. Just, just give me a minute.”
“Okay,” he says and retreats upstairs.
Jack closes his eyes and blows a breath out of his nose. “I’m going to have to apologise to your tad.”
Sophie gurgles at him, and pushes against his chest with one hand.
“I’m glad that you agree with me. You knew when I died, didn’t you? That’s why you were screaming, wasn’t it? Oh Sophie, you and I are tied together in more ways than one,” he says quietly.
The baby puts her little hands on his face and drops her head to his heart.
“Yeah, I’m still here. I’m always going to be here, even when you’re old and grey, I’m still going to be the same. Don’t hate me for that, please,” he whispers. “Please don’t hate me.”
Sophie looks up and gently taps his nose with her fingers before resting her head over his heart again.
“I’d do the same for you, you know that right? No matter what happens to me, I’d throw myself in front of anything that tried to hurt you, or hurt your tad. I got a second chance with you both, and I’m not going to mess that up.”
Sophie sighs and reaches out to touch her father’s face, patting softly and babbling nonsense words.
“Sweet baby girl, I really don’t deserve you,” Jack says softly, smiling as his daughter closes her eyes and rests against his chest. He grabs the blanket from the floor and pulls it over him and Sophie, closing his eyes and running his hand over his daughter’s soft brown hair. “I’m here now…”
Reviews, comments, constructive criticism are always welcome! J