Fandom - Torchwood
Pairing - Jack / Ianto,
Summary - Five years after leaving, Jack and Ianto return to find a lot of changes and few old faces. Follows on from 'Eternity'- probably best to read that first.
Spoilers - Post Children of Earth, but only minor ones.
A.N - Chapter 7 is the Christmas episode.
(The title is from ‘I want an alien for Christmas’ by Fountains of Wayne.)
Old Town New
Chapter 7 - I want an alien for Christmas…
It was Christmas Eve and Jack sat back on the couch in Rhiannon’s house and smiled. It had been a while since he’d had a real Christmas, the kind where he was with family, eating too much turkey, watching bad movies and generally having fun. This year he had it and he looked up as the man he had to thank for it came in to sit down next to him.
“Rhi wants to know if you’re coming for Christmas dinner tomorrow,” he said, handing Jack a glass of mulled wine.
“I don’t want to intrude,” Jack began. “Besides, I thought I’d spend it with John and Loz. Adrian is going to his parents’ and Lizzie has invited Nicholas over since he hasn’t any family in this time. The guys will be on their own at Torchwood.”
Rhiannon came into the room then, carrying her own glass and one for her husband, and sat down on the chair opposite. The kids were at a Christmas Eve party with their friends so that left the adults to have some peace and quiet before the chaos that Christmas day with the kids would bring.
“Bring them along,” she told him. “Two more won’t hurt and it’s not right to leave anyone on their own at Christmas.”
Ianto nodded. “What she said. Come on, Jack, it would mean a lot to me if you were here.”
“When you put it like that, how can I refuse?”
Rhiannon watched as her brother smiled at Jack, the brief moment passing between them as though they were the only ones in the room. When he had first told her about Jack, some five years earlier, she had never expected it to last. Seeing them together now, however, she was glad that her brother had found someone who made him happy, even if that someone wasn’t quite what she had expected.
“So, these friends of yours, don’t they have family nearby?” she asked.
Ianto shook his head. “They both work with us at Torchwood. I guess you could say that they’re from out of town,” he told her.
“How far ‘out of town’?”
Ianto’s brother-in-law, Johnny, excused himself, going off in search of a snacks, leaving them to talk freely. Although Rhiannon knew all about Torchwood and the kinds of things that they investigated, the rest of the family didn’t.
“John is human. He used to work with me in the Time Agency,” Jack told her. “Loz is… well, he’s a different story.”
Ianto saw the look on her face and smiled. “He’s from way out of town.”
She nodded, not wanting to know more and looking somewhat relieved when the two men didn’t volunteer any further information.
Two hours later, when they were watching ‘Bad Santa’, Jack’s phone rang. He smiled guiltily and left the room to answer it, coming rushing back in a few seconds later.
“Can you turn on channel 1?”
Rhiannon frowned but did as he asked and turned over the TV, questions shifting to astonishment when she saw what was on the news broadcast.
‘These incredible pictures were filmed less than ten minutes ago by a Cardiff resident. At present, it is unclear as to whether this is a hoax or indeed, who is behind it- the footage is being verified by experts…’
“Tell me I didn’t just see a flying reindeer on the evening news?” Rhiannon asked her brother.
Ianto sighed and glanced at Jack. “Let me guess- we have to go to work, right?”
“I’ll go; you stay here,” Jack told him, but Ianto got up anyway and put his coat on.
Gwen was already waiting for them at Torchwood when they arrived, tapping her foot impatiently.
“So?” she demanded as they sat down in the staff room, “any ideas?”
Jack looked over her white knitted jumper, a reindeer with a red pom-pom for a nose on the front, and smiled. “Early Christmas gift?”
“No, Rhys’s mum made it for me last year,” Gwen told him. “She’s staying with us tonight.”
“So you had to wear that to make her happy,” Jack concluded. “Very fetching,” he teased, still smirking.
Gwen glared at him, then turned the glare onto John as he and Loz walked in.
“Don’t say a word,” she warned, seeing John about to make a smart comment.
He dropped down onto the couch next to Ianto. “I’m hurt. I was just going to say that it looked very festive.”
Gwen smiled pleasantly. “Maybe I should ask Rhys’ mum to knit you one as well-”
“You wouldn’t dare!”
Ianto couldn’t help but laugh at the look of horror on John’s face and the amusement on everyone else’s.
“Before I forget,” he told John, “you and Loz are expected at my sister’s house for Christmas dinner tomorrow.”
Loz looked intrigued. “Christmas dinner? With turkey and cranberries and brussel sprouts? And crackers and those little paper hats like on the television programme we were watching last night?”
Ianto nodded, smiling at his enthusiasm. It was going to be like having another kid around having Loz there on Christmas day.
“I’ve never seen someone get so excited about brussel sprouts,” Gwen said, laughing.
Half an hour later, their investigation into the sighting had hit a dead end. There had been no rift activity at all in the past twenty four hours. Jack had managed to sweet-talk the news station into letting them have access to the video footage but even with the more detailed- and specialist- analysis that they could give it, it still turned up nothing unusual. Well, nothing unusual outside of the fact that it showed a reindeer levitate off the ground and then fly away over the park.
“I don’t understand,” Gwen muttered, frustrated. “It has to have come through the rift but it hasn’t left a trail.”
“You know, there’s one thing you’re all overlooking,” John pointed out. “Maybe it didn’t come through the rift. Maybe it was here all along.”
Jack, Ianto and Gwen turned to stare at him in disbelief and he scowled at them.
“I’m not crazy,” he said defensively. “Think about it, through. Most of these Earth myths are based in reality; what if that creature wasn’t a hoax or a rift interloper?”
Ianto glanced at Jack, seeing that he was considering it too. Before he had begun working for Torchwood back at Canary Wharfe, and then here in Cardiff, he would have laughed at the idea himself. Now, however…
“So what are we going to do?”
Gwen shrugged her shoulders. “There’s nothing we can do. The creature- and I still refuse to call it a reindeer- is gone and we have no way to find it again,” she said. “I think if it was going to attack or cause trouble then we would have had reports of it by now, right, Jack?”
“Right,” he agreed.
“In that case, I’m going home,” Gwen told them.
At nine o’clock the following morning, Rhiannon opened the door to her brother and ushered him and the other three men inside the house. The minute he stepped through the door, Ianto was immediately dragged off by his niece to see the presents she’d unwrapped that morning leaving Jack to do the introductions. Rhiannon showed them through to the lounge where the rest of the family were, and Loz’s eyes lit up at the sight of the heavily decorated Christmas tree in the corner. He grinned as he looked around at the rest of the decorations.
“You’ll have to excuse him,” Jack told Rhiannon, laughing. “It’s his first Christmas.”
She found them somewhere to sit and within no time they were being bombarded by questions from curious relatives and passed various dishes of festive snacks. Jack rescued Ianto from the kids and followed Rhiannon to the kitchen to help her get coffee and tea for everyone.
“So, are you going to tell me what you found when you rushed away yesterday?” she asked once they were out of earshot. “That thing on the news; what was it?”
Ianto leaned into Jack as he slipped an arm around his waist, and shrugged his shoulders.
“You’re not going to tell me it really was a reindeer, are you?” She stared at them in disbelief.
Jack smiled. “Well, it is Christmas, after all.”
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