Jack had only once literally threatened to juggle the children. Most times, they managed amongst the three of them to spare someone to fetch Callie from school and the younger two from Rhi's house, and get them fed and bathed and into bed at a reasonable hour. A largish staff, flexible work hours, and the fact that one member of their partnership was technically the boss and could give whatever orders he wanted meant this was rarely an issue, and if it was, Gwen was sure to step in and tell him otherwise anyway. The pickup-supper-bedtime routine, when not chosen by rota, was decided by coin toss.
Everyone knew Jack rigged the coin tosses. But he needed the least sleep, he said, although he enjoyed every minute he spent with the children.
So when Jack "won" the toss this time, and wore his most innocent expression, Lisa knew something was up. However, there was no time to pick his mind, not when half the team was heading to Butetown on a call, and the other half was already halfway to the Beacons on another.
Andy drove back; Mickey rode shotgun. That left her in the backseat with Ianto, casting glances into the back at the unconscious pair of Hoix. "Any idea what Jack's up to?" she asked him quietly.
"He went home."
Ianto shrugged. "The bloody Rift's been shitting on us for days. He probably wanted a break and didn't want to lose face."
"Could be." But that was Ianto all around: he didn't look for suspicious activity when a simple explanation would do. Something about finding out his unofficial-yet-adored spouse rewrote time a bit for his benefit gave him almost a childlike confidence in Jack, which Lisa did not share. She was perfectly capable of being in love with the man and also wondering what in God's name he was up to this time.
She kept her mood, and yes, Jack wasn't the only reason for it, all the way back to the Hub and then to home. Ianto tried and failed to jolly her into a better one, and finally let her sulk (yes, she was sulking, she knew she was sulking, at least he wasn't saying so, and she loved him for that).
All the lights were off but one when they opened the front door.
Lisa already had her hand on her gun. Ianto tensed.
"In here." They went down the hallway to the sitting room. A few plates had been set around, with delightful-looking nibbles. Jack placed the last plate on the ottoman and smiled. "How bad was the Hoix?"
"There were two," Ianto said. "Are the children in bed already?"
"Nope. Rhys and Gwen are watching them tonight. Rhys owes me a favour." He handed Lisa a glass of what looked like champagne.
"Wait," she said. "How on Earth does he owe you?"
Jack handed the other glass to Ianto. His own glass looked different, sparkling water instead of alcohol. "I told him about the feather trick."
Ianto raised both eyebrows and took a large swallow of his drink.
Lisa's breath caught. "When?"
"Just this afternoon. With four toddlers in the house, he won't have a chance to try it out tonight."
The feather trick. Hm. Gwen was in for a very interesting night tomorrow. And then she would ask Rhys how he'd learned it. "He hasn't thought it through yet, has he?"
Jack said, "He hasn't seen it work yet, either."
Ianto took another swallow. "He's going to kill you. And Gwen's never going to look any of us in the face ever again."
Jack clinked glasses with him, and again with Lisa. "She will enjoy herself immensely before that. Let her have the moment."
"Why did you trick Rhys into taking the children?" Lisa folded her arms, careful with her glass. The low lights, the booze, the food, the lack of curious peeping eyes asking "Whatcha doin'?" at inopportune moments, these all pointed to a planned evening of debauchery. And Lisa was more than happy to share an evening of debauchery but not when she wasn't part of the plan.
Jack took one of her hands, pulling her out of the pose. She hated when he did this. "Recall if you will three weeks ago. We're getting takeaway at that new café down close to the Plass. There's a shop next door, gorgeous little shop girl who looks about twenty-three, ginger, nice smile and she kept flirting with you. And you said ... "
Lisa grinned. "I said, 'That's pretty, can I have her?' You said no."
"Actually, you said, 'It's my birthday coming up,' and I told you to wait."
"Tomorrow's my birthday." Her thirtieth. God, she felt old though she daren't say those words in front of him. And a suspicion dawned. "Jack?"
Lisa let out a half-squeal, half-giggle. "You got me a girl for my birthday?"
And she caught the flicker on his face. So did Ianto. "What did you do?"
"She goes by Bethan, but funny thing, she's not from around here." Which was a well-known code.
"She's an alien?" Lisa wasn't sure if she was horrified or intrigued.
"Legally, I'm an alien. She wears a cloak. Actually, I've met her species loads of times before. They're semi-telepathic, completely harmless." He still didn't meet her eyes. She poked him with her finger. "They're also semi-aquatic. And have tentacles. She's up in the bath."
He smiled widely.
"What did you say to her?" Ianto asked, curiosity edging the stern tone.
"It doesn't translate well into English, and she can only speak her language when she's in her natural state. But the high points are that she does think Lisa's beautiful, and would love to get to know her better."
Christ. Lisa downed her glass of champagne in three long gulps. Ianto stared. Jack raised his eyebrow, but kept up the hopeful grin. Easy for him, she thought. He'd had sex with more alien species than Lisa had even heard of. From his stories, he considered tentacled lovers no kinkier than leaving the lights on or wearing a French maid costume. Since they'd met him, Jack had certainly widened Lisa and Ianto's horizons, the feather trick being just one wonderful example.
"What's her name?"
Jack made a noise like slurping spaghetti. Lisa couldn't repeat it. Ianto had a bit more luck. Show off.
The plates with nibbles were easy to carry upstairs, even with her head swimming a little from the alcohol she'd chugged, and the butterflies eating away at her stomach. But Jack was bouncy behind her, and Ianto wore his "I want to observe this for research purposes" face, and well, this was Cardiff. Everyone shagged an alien at least once, right? Tosh didn't talk much about her ex-girlfriend, but the little Lisa knew indicated she'd enjoyed herself.
She opened the bedroom door with a confidence she didn't feel. The door to the en suite opened at the same time, and they stood across the room from each other.
When Jack had said "tentacles," she'd pictured octopussies, and suckers, possibly even the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Bethan was gorgeous: burnt orange, two thin stalks for a torso instead of a single form (Lisa could see through her to the other side, could see her own dressing gown hanging on the door behind her), and four long stalks that came down as arms, four more as legs. Her face was flat, no nose, but symmetrical, and smiling. Bethan moved her sets of arms and legs together, so two acted as one. From long pretence at humanity, Lisa guessed, and she walked across the room to her.
Bethan made a soft noise. From behind her, Jack translated, "She says hi. She can understand you."
"What do I ... " Before she finished, Bethan reached out with one stalk, and touched her arm, tugging her as gently as a child. Lisa leaned in and Bethan's mouth pressed against hers. Lisa had expected salty, even fishy, given the "semi-aquatic" description, but her kiss was oddly savoury, almost like tasting sweet cream.
When Bethan pulled away, she gurgled again. Jack laughed.
"She thinks you taste creamy, too."
Lisa turned to look at him. He took the opportunity to snatch the tray from her hands, and he and Ianto set up an impromptu buffet on the dressing table. This was some mad little party, all they were missing was the March Hare. Two of Bethan's arms wrapped around her waist, and Lisa didn't need a translation for the sound she made.
She let Bethan undress her, feeling the wet yet not sticky touch of the pods at the ends of her arm stalks as they brushed over her arms, and her legs, and her breasts. She didn't watch the men undress, but amused herself with the sounds of clothes slipping quickly off bodies. Jack was a damn genius for getting people naked, and if he favoured Ianto as his personal work of art for same, she always enjoyed the view. But not tonight.
Their bed was overlarge, and had to be to accommodate three adults every night, plus the occasional child with a nightmare. She pushed Bethan down to the duvet, kissing her again.
A warm hand, human, stroked her back, and she arched happily into the touch, pressing her chest closer against Bethan's smooth umber skin.
"How does this work?" she asked.
Jack's hand moved from her back and took her hand in his. Across from them, Ianto sat on the bed, eyes delighted in the view as Jack moved Lisa's hand across the tender ribbons that made up her new lover's form.
"Everything's sensitive, so no biting."
"You're the one who bites," Ianto chided, and he drew up one slender arm stalk, placing a kiss on what would be the palm of her hand.
Lisa's fingers moved down, and sure enough, like so many other species, Bethan kept her most sensitive places right where her leg stalks met. She undulated under Lisa's touch, and Jack guided her hand, his breath coming hot against her back. No translations needed, but a warm feeling moved into Lisa's mind.
One of Bethan's legs stroked Lisa's calf, and bent up, drawing shapes along her thigh. Jack asked, "How many humans have you been with?" Whatever the reply was, it seemed to satisfy him. From the corner of her eye, Lisa saw another leg tendril wrap around his waist.
She bent in for a closer look, and above her, she saw her husband bend in for a kiss at Bethan's mouth. Lisa had had girlfriends in the past, and no, Bethan looked little like anything she'd ever seen before. But she was enjoying Lisa's hand, and Lisa knew how much better a mouth could feel.
There was very little taste as she took her first lick, and Lisa was almost disappointed. Aliens ought to taste alien. Bethan let out a sound that was surely pleasure, and Lisa tickled at her again with her tongue, mindful not to nip.
She felt more than saw what was happening around her. One of Bethan's tentacles had worked its way directly between her legs, and began to mimic Lisa's movements on Bethan's own genitals: pushing, stroking, the softest flicks. When Lisa gathered a small bit of flesh in her mouth and suckled, a beautiful pressure matched sucking on her clit.
Behind her, Jack was rubbing himself off against her back, groaning and sighing. A quick hand confirmed that the tentacle which had found him had gone behind him. She couldn't see, Bethan couldn't see, but Bethan sent the feeling to her of the thick stalk of her foot pod, slick with her own secretions, delving inside him. Every hot breath he sent against Lisa's neck, every sticky motion he made against her buttocks, spoke of how good a time he was having riding the tentacle inside him.
Lisa increased the pressure of her tongue and was rewarded with a satisfying gurgle, and the same sweet touch right where she liked it.
A gasp pulled her from her own pleasure, and she looked up to see Ianto, still pressing kisses against Bethan's mouth as one of her arm stalks curled twice around his cock, stroking him off. Lisa reached out for his hand, and he held to her like a lifeline.
Another arm pod joined the one between Lisa's thighs, and nudged deeper, the pressure in her mind asking entrance. At the same time, she felt Jack take himself in hand, and push just the head of his cock against her opening. Both together, she thought, terrified and heady. They'd only managed this twice successfully together, both of her lovers inside her in the same tight space, Lisa feeling as though she would fly apart.
Bethan and Jack entered her at once.
She gulped air, clawed for breath, Jack running kisses over her neck. Ianto moved closer on the bed, bringing his mouth against hers, their combined fingers moving to pleasure Bethan together. Bethan's pod at her clit stroked wildly, as erratic as their hands.
Everything was too much.
Full. She was full, of cock and pod, both pushing her to her limit, one thrusting, one pulsing. Her mouth was full of sweet, familiar kisses, every single one as precious as the first, when she'd fallen in love with this man years ago. Her mind was full of laughter, not just from Bethan, but from the distant radio that was Jack's occasional mental touch.
She was full of light.
Lisa shouted through her orgasm, wordless cries swallowed in Ianto's mouth, and Jack, swearing, followed her over moments later, in quick ending thrusts punctuated with "Oh fuck, oh fuck."
He withdrew quickly, heeding how sensitive she always was after sex, especially stretchy sex, but Bethan lingered, and Lisa moaned as the arm pod kept moving inside her, too much.
"She's not done yet," Jack said, tired and happy, and probably sore.
Ianto kissed Lisa once more, then dropped to nuzzle at Bethan. Her pretty form swayed as he took over what Lisa had done, and she continued to stroke him lazily.
Jack said, "Bring that here." He dropped his own head and wrapped his lips around the head of Ianto's cock, as Bethan squeezed the base. Ianto's hips began to jerk in a rhythm Lisa knew very well.
Bethan kept pulsing inside her, and as her other stalk dropped away, Lisa placed her own fingers at her clit, rubbing for a second peak. Her other hand went to Bethan's side, stroking. If she reached over, she could just kiss her, and she leaned in, delighting in the feel of the bodies around her. Bethan's climax echoed inside her head, every pod on her convulsing. Lisa felt a smaller version of her first orgasm hit, just as Ianto moaned and came into Jack's mouth.
The stalk within her pulled free, slithering against her leg. The other three disentangled. Jack, who was already the most rested, hopped out of the bed like he'd just woken up for the day, and grabbed a plate. He brought it back into bed with him, and popped a grape into Bethan's mouth, followed by a kiss.
"Not a bad start," he said, chewing a grape of his own.
Lisa flopped on the bed, tired, next to Bethan's form. She made a pouty face and Jack gave her a grape and a kiss, too.
"Start?" Ianto asked, not waiting to be fed but taking one of the cheese bites off the plate for himself.
"A little rest, a little food, we can go again."
"We have to work tomorrow," Lisa reminded him. The cheese looked good. She took a piece for herself and another for Bethan.
"Your boss will call you out. You came down with something on account of getting old."
"You can talk," she said, but she smiled and Jack grinned back.
Bethan gurgled something. To her surprise, Ianto gurgled something back. But he was always good at that. Bloody, bloody show off.
"I am sleeping in tomorrow," Lisa announced. "And you are making me breakfast in bed."
Jack pointed at the rest of the plates. "Already taken care of."
Bethan reached out a tentacle and took another bit of cheese, which she fed to Lisa with a sound inside Lisa's head like the ripple of a stream, laughing at its own private jokes as it washed the years away.