A Christmas Tale Retold - A Time for Reflection
Word Count: 1862
Characters: Jack, Ianto,The Doctor
Rating: R for mention of violence, character death, torture and sexual content
No copyright infringement intended
Ianto sat on a bench in the shade of a rather unusual looking tree. He hadn’t seen one like this before, but the smell was pure Heaven; there was no doubt it had healing powers which was not surprising given where he was. Mika4; planet extraordinary in the advancement of medicine.
He knew he should be running like the wind to see how Jack was coping with the pregnancy; the babies would be born anytime soon. He just needed a few moments to reflect, to take in what had happened that day. He still couldn’t believe the Master was gone for good; that would take more than a few moments to sink in.
He thought back to his night of passion with his ‘other’ Jack; the hours they had spent making love. Every touch had been made and taken as if it were to be their last and in some ways in was. Although, deep down, Ianto had had the distinct feeling that they would meet again. Maybe not for a long, long time, but he knew it was their destiny to be together forever.
A cup was thrust in his hand.
“Don’t worry, I didn’t make it!” the friendly voice said. “You had left enough in the flask for a cup for you and luckily there was some of your wonderful tea left in the pot!”
“Thanks!” Ianto said gratefully as he sipped the drink.
“You looked like you needed it. How are you Ianto?”
“I’m fine! I’m always fine!” he replied.
“How are you really? The truth now please!”
“What do you want me to say? That I am falling apart because a madman wanted to destroy my family again?
That for the last 25 years we have lived in sheer terror waiting for him to strike and now that it is over, that feeling of closure has yet to arrive?
That it breaks my heart into so many pieces that Jack was put through so much pain through the torture the Master put him through?
That four of my children died and even though they survived because of all the timey wimey stuff, in the end somewhere, locked away in their minds, the moments they died will be still with them?
My heart is breaking Doctor. Actually I think my heart is broken!”
The Doctor placed his hand on Ianto’s shoulder.
“A heart can be mended,” he said quietly.
“Can it? I am not sure that is true anymore.”
“What happened... what happened with the Master, Alice said it was my fault; she said I should have acted earlier, dealt with him earlier.”
“Well she has a point.”
“I didn’t deal with him earlier because he was, at the time, the last of the Time Lords. I would have been alone.”
Ianto looked at the Doctor, searching his face for any remorse. He did not see any.
“Some might say that is rather selfish of you, considering how things turned out.”
“Yes some might. Alice did.”
“And by the way, when were you going to tell us about Alice?”
“Well,” the Doctor turned away looking rather sheepish. “It never came up in conversation.”
“Never came up?” Ianto was annoyed. “What do you mean it never came up? You have been there through all the births of our children; there wasn’t a time when you could have said... oh by the way I have a daughter called Alice? Bit ironic isn't it given Jack has a daughter with the same name?”
The Doctor looked down at his hands and shrugged.
“Why couldn’t you tell us?”
“I thought it would be safer for her.”
“Why on earth would you think that?”
“Torchwood. You know what I think about Torchwood.”
“Jack and I aren’t just Torchwood. We are your closest friends. And besides, Torchwood is just fine for you when you need help; but not just good enough to show us your family?”
“I am sorry Ianto.”
“Yeah? Well you know what, this time Doctor, sorry just doesn’t cut it.”
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t accept your apology. You let us down. More to the point you let Jack down... again. Because of you he was put through tortures that nobody should have to go through. You have to face responsibility for your actions.”
“I am sorry. I don’t know what else to say, what to do.”
“Here is what you can do. Firstly, you will make sure the four children in there,” Ianto said pointing towards the hospital, “are put through the vortex. You promised to do that a long time ago. What if one of them had been killed? It would have been too late then wouldn’t it?”
The Doctor nodded. “I agree.”
“Then the new babies, as soon as they are ready, you will do the same to them and any future children we have. Right?”
“That is going to be a lot of babies!”
“We have a lot of time ahead of us, all of us do!”
“Yes you do, billions of years actually.”
“Oh I think we have gone beyond spoilers, don’t you?”
“Yes, way beyond.”
“So all of your children will become immortal like you and Jack?”
“And their children and so on!”
“That is a lot of children!”
“So you said. There is one more thing you can do for me.”
“Oh, what’s that?”
“Well, Mika4 is supposed to be medically advanced right?”
“Yes, that is why we brought Jack here.”
“So they are used to dealing with male pregnancies.”
“What if a man wants to have a baby, how would they help him?”
“Well they would use an advanced hormone method to encourage the eggs to grow.”
“But what if the man wasn’t, well... what if he wasn’t physically capable of having the baby?”
The Doctor looked at Ianto trying to understand what he was asking. He suddenly understood.
“Well, if a man does not have a baby sac for carrying the baby, they have the technology to implant one.”
“Is it a difficult procedure?”
“No, not at all. Once implanted, the man has to endure three months of daily intensive hormonal injections, which have a few side effects, but apart from that it is quite normal in this timeline to carry out such an operation.”
“Side effects? What sort of side effects?”
The Doctor shook his head and laughed. Ianto looked at him somewhat curious as to what was so amusing.
“Well the main effect probably wouldn’t be that noticeable, given that it is you and Jack involved?”
“Well... how do I put this? There is probably, actually no definitely, an extra desire for having sex; but given that you two go at it like rabbits, who would know the difference?”
Ianto laughed. “Right!”
“Do I assume by your line of enquiry you are thinking of having this operation done whilst we are here?”
“Yes I am. As you said, both Jack and I have billions of years ahead of us and I cannot think of a time when we won’t want a young family in our lives. I don’t want Jack having to always be the one carrying them.”
“You want to take the burden away from him?”
“Yes I do.”
“Ianto, whatever happened with the Master, you could not have stopped it. You could not have taken that burden from Jack, you know that don’t you?”
“All I know is that from now on, Jack is not going to be the only one that ends up taking responsibility for things when they happen. If I can help, in whatever way that is, then I will do it. Besides, I have seen the joy that carrying our children gives him. I would like that feeling; of knowing I am carrying a life inside me. A life that both of us have made with our love. It may sound sappy to you, but it would mean a lot to me.”
“It doesn’t sound sappy, as you put it, at all. True love isn’t sappy. It is something to be embraced and treasured.”
“So are we agreed?”
“Just one more thing, we don’t tell Jack about the operation until after I have had it. He will have enough on his plate with the arrival of our two new babes. I don’t want him worrying unnecessarily, OK?”
“OK, agreed. But I have to say, on your own head be it! You know Jack isn’t going to be very happy about being kept out of the loop!”
“I know, but he will see it my way in the end. I have very powerful ways of persuasion!” Ianto smirked.
“I don’t want to know!”
“Right, I need to get to my husband, he will be driving the nursing staff nuts by now and bursting a blood vessel if I know him.”
The Doctor nodded smiling.
“Ianto, are we good?”
“We will be. You have to give me time here. I need time to put everything into perspective.”
“What you can do is go and get that daughter of yours and bring her here. And whilst you are doing that pick up Serena and the others. I know they are dying to see their new brother and sister.”
“Yes will do. By the way, did you realise that we might possibly become related?”
Ianto looked unsure at what the Doctor was suggesting.
“Alice and Serena; I think they have taken quite a shine to each other.”
“Ah, yes I noticed. Good match don’t you think?”
“Right I’m off then. See you with everyone in a bit?”
“Yes, in a few moments. I do have one extra stop-off to make.”
“I think Jack might like to see Dottie again.”
“Yes I think he would like that very much, together with an explanation!”
“It will all become clear in the end, it always does. Time can shift. Time can change. Time can be rewritten.”
“Yes, the point is however with all that time business, is to make sure nobody is harmed along the way. That should be your new year’s resolution!”
“New year? Oh yes, it is isn’t it?”
“Happy New Year Doctor.”
“Happy New Year Ianto.”
As Ianto went into the birthing room, the Doctor heard Jack starting his rant...
“So you decided to turn up did you? You bastard! This is all your fault! You did this to me! If you hadn’t stuck that thing of yours inside me I wouldn’t be in this amount of pain. If you think you are going to do that to me again you have another thing coming!”
The Doctor shook his head, smiling to himself. Only with true love do couples manage to get through situations like that. He was envious in some ways of Jack and Ianto for the relationship they had; a relationship that it had seemingly eluded him.
As he walked back to the TARDIS, the Doctor knew that he had to make up for the pain and suffering he had caused. He vowed to make sure that it would never happen again. He would rather die himself that have the responsibility of another’s pain weighing heavily on his shoulders.
Unfortunately, too soon, the Doctor would be placed in that uncompromising situation.