amuly: (Gwil's Guide)
[personal profile] amuly

Title: Gwil's Guide to Growing Up Torchwood: Year 5, Chapter 1
Jack/Ianto, Gwil, Martha, Mickey
Word Count:
When a seven-year-old boy falls through the Rift, Ianto and Jack decide to adopt him. This is the story of his life at Torchwood.
Chapter Summary:
Gwil, Jack, and Ianto move into their home... that they had been “living in” for the past three years. Gwil asks Jack about Boeshane.
Warnings: briefly bratty Gwil
A/N: “Real” start to Year 5! Woo! Also: oh dear goodness, did I get the school stuff right? Someone please tell me I got it right. I think I did? :{{{


Previous Chapter: Year 4-5 Intermezzo
Gwil Masterlist



Gwil followed Ianto from the SUV to the front door, peering first at the box in his arms, then up at Ianto. “Come on, Tad. I can help.”

Ianto just shifted the box in his arms and nudged the front door open with his foot. “You don't need to help. Between Martha, Mickey, myself, and your dad, we've got plenty of hands.” Glancing once more at the label on top of the box – kitchen – Ianto brought the box to the appropriate room and set it on the counter. Gwil was frowning up at him, pout threatening at the corners of his mouth and eyes hooded. Ianto sighed, resisting the urge to rub his back. He was too young for a bad back – Torchwood injuries be damned. “Why don't you go outside and play?” he prodded. “There's that tree in the yard. And maybe the neighbors have some kids you can meet.”

Gwil was peering at a box by his foot, seemingly not listening to Ianto. “I could start opening boxes and putting stuff away? I could hang my clothes up?”

Champ!” Jack bustled into the kitchen, two boxes stacked so high in his arms that he had to lean around them to see where he was going. Ianto immediately stepped in to grab the top box. Living room. Sighing, Ianto retraced Jack's steps to put the box in it's rightful place.

Dad, tell Tad I can help!” Gwil's voice was loud enough to reach Ianto in the living room as he set the box down. Ianto sighed, sharing a look with Martha as she came through the front door and set a box down next to his.

Giving you trouble?”

Running a hand through his hair, Ianto shrugged, at a loss. “I don't know what's gotten into him. I told him to run outside and play, and all he wants to do his help.”

Then let him help,” Martha suggested, shrugging. They started back to the SUV together, passing Mickey as he maneuvered awkwardly up the drive, pushing a rolling desk chair with a box on it in front of him. As they reached the boot of the SUV, Martha turned to Ianto. “He just wants to be a grown-up.”

Ianto rolled his eyes as he grabbed a box. “He's eleven.”

That's old!” Martha nudged her shoulder into Ianto's as they headed back up to the house together, weighted down with a box in both their arms. “Eleven's old enough to have crushes, and mobiles, and stay up until it's gone nine. Eleven is secondary school!”

As they set their boxes down in the master bedroom, Ianto could hear Jack and Gwil arguing in the kitchen, still. Ianto rubbed his temples. “Don't remind me. Does this mean he's a teenager now? Do I have to start worrying about giving him condoms and telling him not to do drugs?”

Martha laughed, cuffing Ianto lightly on the shoulder as they headed back out to the car. Ianto ignored Gwil as he stormed past, book clutched in one hand and thunderous expression on his face. Jack peered out of the kitchen a moment later, looking baffled. Martha snickered behind her hand, prompting Ianto to elbow her. She held out her hands in supplication. “Sorry, sorry.” She snickered. “But it is pretty funny. He just wants to help – it's not like he's asking to go to a club.”

Ianto shook his head. “That's not the point. I don't need him underfoot or accidentally breaking something. Besides, he should be happy. I'm telling him not to work.” When they stepped outside Gwil was sitting against the side of the house, nose buried in his book. Ianto purposefully ignored him, before shooting Jack a look to make sure he did the same. Bratty behavior certainly wouldn't be tolerated, preteen drama or no.

Just before Ianto climbed into the boot of the SUV, ready to drag out some of the boxes further back, he spotted a couple looking on curiously. They were getting out of their car at the house next door – neighbors, then, Ianto assumed. Making eye contact with Jack, he inclined his head in their direction. “I'm going to...”

“Right.” Jack pressed a kiss to Ianto's forehead before slipping a hand over his neck in a sort of caress. “Go on: toe the company line.”

With an affectionate eye roll Ianto headed off, down the walk to the neighbors' house. He spared a moment to glance over at Gwil, who was still resolutely reading his book against the side of the house. Good. It might keep him occupied enough for them to at least get everything in the house and a little bit unpacked.

“Good morning.” Ianto put on his best civil-servant smile, extending his hand first to the man, then to the woman standing in their driveway. “I'm Ianto Jones. You must be our neighbors.”

The man smiled back a little unsteadily. “Suppose so. Christian Herbert. This is my wife, Jane.” Ianto smiled pleasantly at the introductions as Christian continued. “You just moving in? I thought you lot had moved out last year. Never saw a moving van, but you stopped coming in and going out of the house, so we reckoned-”

“We had,” Ianto confirmed. “My partner, Jack, and I got called away on some emergency business out of town. Packed up and left practically overnight. But now that's taken care of, so we're moving back in. Hopefully it won't happen again.”

The wife – Jane, thought Ianto – eyed the SUV sitting in their drive, the word Torchwood so clearly inscribed on the hood. “Right.” She drew out the word so that it seemed three syllables instead of one. Ianto winced. “Emergency business, you said.”

Ianto nodded. “We work for the government. Civil service.”

Now it was Christian's turn to nod and look skeptical. As Ianto continued to school his features in a careful mask of blandness, the couple apparently came to the conclusion that neither of them would press the issue. “That lad yours?” Christian asked, changing the subject.

Ianto turned to look at Gwil, partly to confirm that Christian was looking at him, partly to make sure he was staying out of trouble. Indeed, Gwil was still sitting there reading, though his expression seemed to have eased somewhat as he grew more engrossed with his book. “Gwil,” Ianto confirmed. “He's starting secondary school this year.”

Jane's smile was easier now. “That's such an exciting year! They really start to grow up once they reach secondary school.” She turned to her husband and waved a hand between them. “We have one in ninth year, and one starting sixth form.”

You must be very proud,” Ianto said politely. He stole a glance back at Gwil, then at Martha and Mickey as they walked up the drive, arms heavy with boxes. He did his best not to fidget, instead turning back to the Herberts with a small smile. “Sorry, but-”

Christian bobbed his head, waving Ianto away. “Of course. I'm sure we'll be seeing more of you, anyway. And if you need anything while you're settling back in, don't be afraid to ask.”

Ianto smiled and shook their hands again, before hurrying back over to the SUV. He found Jack sitting in the almost-empty boot, grinning madly at him. “If we shut the door, do you think we could-”


Jack grinned as he slid a box down to Ianto. “Figured it couldn't hurt to ask.”


Ianto stretched his legs out in front of him on the floor of their living room, reaching toward his toes experimentally. His back had a rather vocal complaint for that movement. Ianto quickly leaned back against their sofa.

I think someone could use a massage, later.” Ianto glanced behind him to see Jack hurrying over, two bags of Chinese food clutched in one hand. He set them down on the floor in front of Ianto, before swooping in and pressing a kiss to his forehead. Ianto sighed.

A massage sounds heavenly,” he murmured as Jack dropped down next to him. Two big hands found his shoulders and started rubbing, causing Ianto to moan rather embarrassingly.

Ew.” Ianto opened his eyes to see Gwil peering nervously at them. “You're not going to do anything before dinner, are you?”

Jack laughed, reaching out a hand to tug Gwil down to join them on the floor. “No,” he declared. Gwil settled into his lap and Jack tickled him for good measure, causing the boy to squirm away, quick as he could. “Tad and I'll save that for later.”

Ianto quirked an eyebrow as he started dividing up the Chinese food among them. “As flattered as I am that you think I have unlimited amounts of energy, I don't. And I think I just spent the last of it hauling the kitchen table in with Mickey.”

Jack snorted into his brown rice. “Too bad the chairs will have to wait for tomorrow.”

After swallowing a rather meaty mouthful of shrimp and lo mien, Ianto shrugged. “We got the beds in – those are probably the most important big items we needed to move in today.”

Dad?” Gwil was poking at his lo mien, making a valiant attempt with his chop sticks. He almost had them working – about a quarter of the time. When he looked up at Jack, his eyes were hooded. “Where's Boeshane?”

Ianto's eyes darted immediately to Jack, whose mouth had fallen into a silent oh. After taking a moment to collect himself, Jack started: “Where'd-”

The Doctor,” Ianto replied softly. “He said something off-handed while he was here. I told Gwil we'd talk about it later.” He sighed, setting down his carton of Chinese food with the chopsticks sticking out the top. “And it is later, isn't it?”

It's not Earth, is it?” Gwil pried. “The Doctor said Earth and Boeshane, like they were different, like Mars and Earth are different planets. So it's not Earth, right?”

That's right,” Jack said, words falling slowly from his lips. His eyes were cautious as he regarded Gwil, and goodness knows Ianto understood why. There was so much to Jack that Gwil didn't know – that he was an alien, that he wasn't entirely human, that he was from the fifty-first century, and, of course, the little matter of his immortality. Ianto understood Jack still wanted to keep as much as he could from Gwil – just to give them all a few more years of pretending to be normal.

So you're an alien?”

Little bit,” Jack said, smile flickering across his face. “I'm not from Earth. But you know how we talked about people living all across the universe, on lots and lots of different planets?” Gwil nodded. Facts like these were fed to him as normally as facts about the British government. “Well, I just happen to be from one of those other ones, and it's called Boeshane.”

Gwil's eyes lit up. “What's it like, there? Is it really different?”

Ianto's eyes flickered between Jack and Gwil. Jack wasn't one to go sharing information about his past – Ianto himself had barely heard Jack talk about Boeshane, maybe even only once in the years he had known him.

But Jack was smiling softly down at Gwil, eyes wistful. “Sandy. Like the beach. All sand, as far as the eye could see. And warm. It wasn't anything like Cardiff. It was warm all year round: no snow, hardly any rain. We'd always wear sandals and these light tunics, made of... well, it's not something on Earth, but it's like a light cotton.”

Gwil was listening with rapt attention. “That sounds like Persia,” he breathed. “Like in the stories of Babylon.”

Jack laughed, leaning against the couch, his gaze far away from the small living room dinner he was a part of. “I suppose it was, in a way. It had it's own magic to it, like Babylon in your stories.”

With Jack lost in his own thoughts, Ianto turned to Gwil. “You know you can't tell your friends about this.”

“Yeah,” Gwil said with an eye roll. “I know. They all think Dad's American, anyway.”

Ianto nodded. “That's probably for the best. Now come on,” Ianto picked up his takeaway container and chopsticks, gesturing at Gwil with them. “Eat up, and then we're getting you to bed. We've got more moving to do tomorrow.”

Before he picked his own food back up, Gwil turned back to Jack. “Dad, would you tell me stories about Boeshane? Like for bedtime?”

Not so discreetly wiping at his eyes, Jack nodded. His smile was tight, but there was a genuineness to it that surprised Ianto, who had always assumed Jack hadn't wanted to talk about his childhood. “Yeah,” Jack said. “I'll tell you all about it.”

Continue on to Chapter 2.


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July 2011


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