riftintime (riftintime) wrote,
riftintime
riftintime

The Tailor's Son (Chapter 24)

Title: The Tailor's Son
Author: riftintime
Summary: Lonely, sombre, twenty year old Ianto Jones is struggling to continue his late father's legacy, when a confident, handsome, older man suddenly enters his life. Can they overcome their differences and find happiness together? Jack/Ianto AU story.
Pairing: Jack/Ianto
Rating: Adult/NC-17 (overall story)
Genre: Romance
Warnings: Explicit sexual situations and adult themes, occasional coarse language, references to past sexual trauma, romance, fluff, angst.
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters created and owned by the BBC. No profit is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Author's Notes: Here we go. Sadly, this is the second-last chapter. I hope it's enjoyable. Thanks to everyone who continues to read and comment, it's greatly appreciated.


Chapter Twenty-Four

Jack stood at Ianto's side as they waited at the front door of the neat, but unexceptional, semi-detached, red-brick house. Ianto was shuffling nervously from one foot to the other. Jack wanted to reach for the younger man's hand and give it a reassuring squeeze, but his arms were currently loaded up with meticulously wrapped presents, while Ianto was suspiciously empty handed. He idly wondered how that had happened, but decided it was probably for the best given Ianto's anxious state.

He turned his head to admire the younger man. Ianto was wearing the clothes they'd bought for his birthday, including his black leather jacket, and Jack thought he looked positively stunning. He was eagerly looking forward to getting Ianto back home again so he could ravish him senseless. His mind slipped sideways for a moment as he conjured up a tantalising image of Ianto dressed in the leather jacket and nothing else. If he played his cards right, he hoped Ianto might indulge him in that little fantasy. Jack could be quite persuasive when he put his mind to it.

Bringing his thoughts back to the present, he attempted to give his companion a reassuring smile. "It's going to be okay, Ianto."

"I know, it's just..." He trailed off and shifted closer to Jack's side, looking at him with an expression of resignation. "I'm sure it'll be fine," he mumbled, sounding entirely unconvinced.

The front door swung open and a woman with dark hair pulled back into a pony-tail, and dressed in faded jeans and a loose fitting, vivid pink top appeared. She stared out at them. Jack could see a very slight resemblance to Ianto in her features, but she wasn't what he'd been expecting, not that Ianto had actually described her. Unlike Ianto with his tall, slim build, she was of more average height, and on the slightly overweight side of heavier built.

She smiled hesitantly at Ianto, and then her gaze settled on Jack. Her mouth promptly dropped open, while her eyes grew disconcertingly wide.

"Hello, Rhiannon," Ianto said awkwardly. He gestured towards Jack. "This is Jack. Jack, this is my sister, Rhiannon."

"You're Jack?" Rhiannon asked, still looking at him incredulously.

Jack attempted his most dazzling smile, while trying to hide his amusement. "That's me. Jack Harkness. It's a pleasure to meet you, Rhiannon."

"Oh, um... yes, you too," she replied, seeming to recover slightly. Her gaze shifted for a moment, looking past them to Jack's car which gleamed from where it was parked in the driveway.

"Can we come in?" Ianto asked dryly.

"Sorry... yes, of course you can." She stepped aside and ushered them across the threshold. "Here let me take those," she said, reaching for Jack's armful of gifts. "These aren't all for us, are they?"

"Thanks, and yes, they are," Jack said, still smiling as he followed behind Ianto, who helped his sister unload the packages, putting them on a nearby coffee table. "We got a little carried away," Jack added.

He looked around the cluttered living room. The furniture was modest and dated, and overall, it had a definite lived in feel, and the entire room was fairly untidy. He knew Ianto wouldn't approve, and obviously Rhiannon hadn't inherited or developed Ianto's obsession with order and neatness. Jack wondered how much the siblings actually had in common. On the surface, at least, they seemed to be almost polar opposites.

A stout, chubby man with short, curly blond hair appeared from what Jack assumed was the kitchen, with a small tousle-haired boy in tow. Ianto had told him that David was a little over three years old.

"Aye Aye, Ianto. How have you been?" the man said cheerfully, beaming at them widely.

"Um, fine... thanks," Ianto replied, a little stiffly. "Johnny, this is Jack. Jack, this is Johnny."

"Good to meet you, mate," Johnny said to Jack, heartily shaking his hand.

Jack smiled after extricating his hand from the man's strong grip. "You too, Johnny."

"You'll have a beer, Ianto?" Johnny asked, moving back towards the kitchen as Ianto squatted down to greet his nephew. "Same for you, Jack?"

They both responded in the affirmative, and Rhiannon motioned for them to sit down on one of the two modest sized sofas occupying the room. The sofas, along with an armchair, were positioned around a television cabinet in the front corner of the room, while a sparsely decorated Christmas tree was near the opposite corner, beside the front door. Rhiannon continued to scrutinise Jack with a distinct lack of subtlety, while busily bringing in bowls of crisps, nuts, crackers, and a greenish dip that she informed them was spinach flavour. Jack was relieved that she at least seemed to be making an effort. David clambered up onto Ianto's lap, his wide-eyed attention shifting rapidly between his uncle, Jack, and the pile of presents on the nearby table.

"David, this is your Uncle Ianto's friend, Jack," Rhiannon explained to the little boy as she put down another bowl of crisps on the table in front of them.

"Jack!" David stated loudly, staring up at him. Jack ruffled David's hair and grinned. "That's right, little guy. Nice to meet you."

"That's a gorgeous jacket, Ianto," Rhiannon said after Johnny had returned and distributed their drinks.

"Er... thanks," Ianto replied, sipping his beer after David had squirmed and shifted to sit between the two men. "Jack gave it to me for my birthday."

Rhiannon looked at Jack in surprise, while Johnny simply looked impressed. "Very nice, mate. Our Ianto's always been a snappy dresser," he said with a chuckle.

"That he is," Jack agreed, smiling at Ianto fondly, and receiving a forced smile in return before Ianto returned his attention to David.

"So, how long have the two of you been together?" Rhiannon asked, somewhat pointedly. "Ianto didn't say."

Jack glanced at Ianto, and noting his tense posture, he decided to jump in and answer. "It's just coming up to six months since we first met." He settled his hand on Ianto's knee and patted it gently to reassure him, noting the gesture didn't go unnoticed by Rhiannon. "Actually, Christmas Day will be our six-month anniversary."

Jack smiled to himself as he recalled the life-altering day when he'd met Ianto. He could have so easily walked past Ianto's shop and not gone inside, never meeting the young man who had so rapidly become an enormous part of his life. He inwardly shuddered at the thought of how easily things might have turned out differently.

Rhiannon nodded, looking at them both in turn. "I didn't realise it had been that long."

David began struggling to get to the presents while chattering away excitedly. "Is it okay if he has one of his presents now?" Ianto asked his sister. "We got him two."

"Sure," Rhiannon replied. "You didn't need to do that though."

"We kind of did," Jack said with a chuckle. He watched as Ianto retrieved one of the large wrapped boxes and moved over to the empty area of the room near the Christmas tree, settling himself on the floor with David. Johnny moved over to join them, laughing as he began helping his excited son unwrap the present. "We couldn't decide what to get and we're both too stubborn to compromise," Jack added, grinning impishly.

"I know what that's like," Johnny chipped in, earning a glare from his wife. "Oh, brilliant," he exclaimed enthusiastically, looking at the large box they'd just finished unwrapping. "David's going to love this. Thanks, Ianto... thanks, Jack."

Jack shared a smile with Ianto and recalled how much they'd enjoyed shopping together for Christmas presents. Ianto had been adamant about getting David a Lego Duplo castle, while Jack had wanted to get him a Duplo motorised train set. With neither of them willing to give in, they'd decided the easiest solution was just to buy both. Jack wasn't surprised that Ianto had chosen the castle for David to unwrap early. Ianto's love of castles hadn't diminished in the slightest. He watched as Ianto and Johnny helped David get to the contents of the box.

Rhiannon moved over to sit next to Jack. He turned and smiled at her, noticing that she was looking at her son, husband, and brother with a fond expression.

"Thanks for coming to visit today," she said quietly. "Both of you, I mean. It's a shame you won't be here for Christmas."

"I know, but I really want Ianto to meet my mom, and I think the trip will be a good break for us," Jack explained, keeping his voice low. "Maybe you could all come over to our place for dinner early in the New Year?"

Rhiannon gave him a cautious smile and nodded. "We'd like that."

Jack finished his beer and they continued to watch for several minutes. Ianto was showing all the pieces to David and explaining how they fitted together, while Johnny was studying the instructions.

"I was going to make some coffee," Rhiannon said, standing up. "Would you mind helping me, Jack?"

Jack smiled. "No, not at all."

He stood up and followed Rhiannon towards the kitchen, pausing to give Ianto a reassuring smile when he looked up at Jack with a worried frown. Jack wasn't surprised by the obvious subterfuge. He'd been expecting that Ianto's sister would want to talk to him alone at some point during the visit.

"He seems happy," Rhiannon said as she filled a kettle and put it on to boil. "It's been a long time since I've seen him like this. I'm assuming you've had a lot to do with that?"

"I like to think I've helped a bit," Jack said carefully, leaning against the edge of the kitchen bench, and steadily meeting her inquiring eyes. "He's had a very difficult time, Rhiannon... with losing your dad, and more recently, giving up the business. He's doing a lot better, and he's trying hard to move on with his life. I'm trying to help him as much as I can, but it hasn't been easy for him." He paused uncertainly for a moment. "I know it's not my place to say anything... but just try to cut him some slack, okay?"

Rhiannon looked pained and sighed. "It's okay. I know I should have tried to be more supportive. I just never understood what his fascination was with that bloody shop. I thought that after dad died, he'd finally be free of it... that he could start to live his own life."

Jack nodded. He was somewhat annoyed by her casual dismissal of how important the family business had been to Ianto, but he thought her intentions were in the right place. "He's doing that now, but it's taken time for him to let go. He needed to do it in his own time."

"Does he talk to you?" Rhiannon asked, looking at Jack inquisitively. "Really talk, I mean? He's never talked to me."

"It's not always easy, but yeah, he does talk to me." Jack smiled self-deprecatingly. "We're getting better at that. Both of us. Just be patient with him. I know it must have been hard on you as well when you lost your dad... I lost my father too, so I know what it's like... but at least you had Johnny and David. Ianto, on the other hand..."

"Ianto didn't have anyone," Rhiannon finished for him, with obvious regret in her voice. "Not even me."

Jack remained silent, unsure of what to say. It seemed that Rhiannon was genuinely remorseful for her troubled relationship with her brother and for not being more supportive of him.

"And then he met you," she stated.

"Yes," Jack said simply.

"Well, he wouldn't have brought you here today if he wasn't serious about you. But are you serious about him?" she asked, looking at him intently. "Do you see a future with Ianto?"

"Your brother means the world to me," Jack assured her. "I love him more than I've loved anyone. So, yes, I'm serious about him. I want us to have a future together... a long and happy future. I'm pretty sure he does too."

Rhiannon nodded, giving him a small, tentative smile. "I just want him to be happy, Jack. After everything he's been through, he deserves that."

"He does," Jack said sincerely, glad they were in complete agreement on that one point at least. "That's what I want for him too."

###

Ianto busied himself with collecting the empty coffee mugs and carrying them through to the kitchen. Jack had taken Johnny out to look at his car, and David was still playing happily on the floor with his new Lego. Overall, the afternoon had gone better than he'd expected. They'd achieved their objective of introducing Jack, and Jack had ingratiated himself with his usual ease with both Johnny and David. Ianto had also enjoyed spending time with his nephew.

He wasn't quite sure about Jack's impact on his sister though. Conversation with Rhiannon had felt awkward, and it had been limited to relatively safe topics, such as his job at Torchwood, but he knew she was biding her time until she could talk to him alone. She'd already cornered Jack, but as far as Ianto could tell, the older man had survived the encounter unscathed.

Until a little over a week ago, he hadn't revealed the true nature of his relationship with Jack to his sister. When he'd first moved in with Jack, he'd simply told her that he had given up his flat and was moving in with a friend. The conversation had been brief, and he hadn't felt inclined to elaborate. With the anger of their confrontation on the day after his birthday still lingering, it was only at Jack's insistence that he'd even bothered to let her know about the change to his living arrangements.

But with Christmas approaching, and his determination to break the shackles of the past, it seemed pointless to hold a grudge that had ceased to be relevant. He already had enough regrets, and he didn't want a failed relationship with his only sibling to be another one of them. He'd also come to realise that their parents wouldn't have wanted that either.

So, with Jack's encouragement, he'd called his sister and finally explained that the man he was sharing a house with was far more than just a friend. While he hadn't thought that Rhiannon would openly object to him being involved with a man, she had never supported his decisions in the past, so he hadn't held high hopes that it would be any different this time. Nonetheless, he'd told her that he wanted them to meet Jack, and given that he and Jack would be away for Christmas and New Year, they'd settled on a visit on the Sunday afternoon of the week before Christmas.

"Finished giving Jack the third degree then, have you?" he asked as he put the mugs into the sink.

"It wasn't like that," Rhiannon replied from where she was standing a few feet away, covering over the leftover food. She paused and looked at Ianto thoughtfully, almost as if she was seeing him for the first time. Ianto wondered if perhaps she was. "You never said how gorgeous he is. He's like a film star."

Ianto couldn't help smiling, despite his earlier irritation. He reminded himself that whatever Rhiannon had said to Jack, the older man could more than hold his own. "He is very handsome," he agreed. "Why? Do you think he's too good for me?"

"I never said that, did I? I was just surprised, that's all... I never imagined you being with someone like that. He's just not what I expected." She looked at him pointedly. "And he's quite a bit older than you."

"A few years," Ianto admitted, trying to stop himself from becoming defensive, and deciding it was better not to ask what she had expected Jack to be like. "But neither of us care about that. We have plenty of things in common, that's what's important."

Rhiannon nodded, but looked a little unconvinced. "He's nice to you though, is he?" she asked, concern in her eyes. "He takes good care of you? He... well, he seems nice."

"He's amazing," Ianto replied firmly. He paused, trying to choose his words. "If it wasn't for Jack... I don't know where I'd be now."

Rhiannon sighed and moved closer. She looked at him sadly. "I haven't been a very good sister, have I? I should have been more understanding. I know how much dad meant to you... how much you loved that shop. I just didn't want you to keep living in the past when you had your whole life ahead of you."

Ianto shrugged. He was startled by her somewhat uncharacteristic admission, and the obvious feelings of regret in her voice. "It's all gone now, it's all in the past. Anyway, I've hardly been much of a brother. I guess we're about even."

"I'd like that to change though," Rhiannon said, her tone insistent. "Jack suggested that we could come over to yours for dinner early in the New Year... if that's okay with you?"

"Of course it is. Jack's a really good cook too." Ianto gave her a tentative smile. She was obviously trying to make an effort, and he wanted to try to do the same. "I do want us to try... apart from Jack, you're all I've got. But you and me... we've never gotten along very well... we can't expect too much too soon."

"I know," she agreed with a sigh. "I know we can't expect miracles. I want you to be part of our lives though... and Jack, if you want him to be. I want David to know his uncle... and not just as someone he sees for an hour or so, once or twice a year."

Ianto regretted not making more of an effort to spend time with his nephew. While he could blame that on his strained relationship with Rhiannon, in hindsight, that seemed like a feeble excuse. He nodded. "I'd like that too."

"Good." She smiled at him. "So, it's serious then? With Jack?"

"We're living together, Rhiannon," Ianto replied, more sharply than he'd intended. "That's usually pretty serious."

"Not always," she argued, looking skeptical. "The way you described it, you moved in with him because you needed a place to stay."

"I did need somewhere to stay," Ianto admitted, feeling a stab of remorse for his initial lack of honesty. "Obviously I didn't tell you the whole truth at the time. But I moved in with Jack because I wanted to be with him."

"And do you love him?" she asked with a frown. "It looks like you do."

"Yeah, I do. Very much." Ianto looked at her uncertainly. He wasn't going to deny his feelings for Jack, but it would be difficult for his and Rhiannon's relationship to improve if she didn't accept the older man's place in his life. "You... er... you don't mind that we're together?"

"Of course I don't mind, you daft sod," Rhiannon admonished, looking at him with exasperation. "I just want you to be happy. That's all I've ever wanted for you, Ianto. So, just tell me... does he make you happy?"

"Jack makes me very happy," Ianto replied honestly and smiled.

Rhiannon smiled back, and to Ianto's great surprise, she kissed his cheek and pulled him into a hug. "Well, that's all that matters then."


To be continued...

Tags: au, ianto, jack, jack/ianto, series, the tailors son, torchwood
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