“Twins?” Ianto said.
Several hours had passed since Jack had broken the exciting news to his husband and daughter. Meriel was in bed by now, and so was Nosy, in the top bunk where it could keep watch over its charge.
They’d all had a busy and very happy day, but Meriel’s birthday party had taken up the whole afternoon, and cleaning up once all her friends had left had eaten up much of the evening, so Ianto was only now getting the chance to properly digest the news. It had him a little dazed, but in a good way.
“Twins,” Jack confirmed, resting one hand on his stomach. It was too soon for anything much to show, but that didn’t matter; he was still aware of the two new lives that were slowly growing inside him.
“You’re sure it’s twins? Has Owen checked?”
“Well no, not yet; I scanned myself using that thingy Gwen used when she was expecting Anwen, but I found two heartbeats so…”
“Twins!” Ianto sounded breathless and slightly awed.
“Yeah.” Jack grinned goofily at his husband. “Two babies… We can have Owen do a proper scan tomorrow; I didn’t want to do that without you there, but I wanted to be sure I was expecting before I broke the news. I didn’t want to get anyone’s hopes up and then find out I was wrong.”
“How long have you suspected you might be pregnant?” Ianto hadn’t noticed anything different about Jack, but he supposed that had been true the first time around as well.
“Only a couple of days. My trousers are starting to feel a bit tight, plus I’ve developed a sudden craving for sponge cakes and ice cream, and the smell of shoe polish… It seemed suspicious so I did the scan. I was going to tell you right away, but you were already so frazzled about making sure everything was ready for Meriel’s party that I didn’t want to give you anything else to stress over.”
Ianto supposed that had been considerate. “How do you feel?”
“Fine!” Jack assured his husband. “Excited, but a bit nervous. I mean, two babies… I was big enough when I was expecting Meriel, but two at once, I’ll be as big as a house and I won’t be able to do much around here by the time they’re due.”
“You’ll probably have to give up work sooner as well.” When he was pregnant with Meriel, Jack had been restricted to desk duty so as not to put himself or the baby in danger. It would be the same this time around; fieldwork was out of the question because it was far too risky. If Jack died the babies would too, and that was a chance neither man would willingly take.
“I don’t mind being a stay at home husband, not now I’ll have Nosy and Meriel for company. Will you be okay handling things at the Hub though?”
“I’ll be fine, but I think it might be a good idea to add a couple more field agents as soon as we can.” It was something they’d been discussing recently anyway, so they already had a list of potential candidates drawn up.
“We can get the ball rolling tomorrow,” Jack agreed. “Set up the first round of interviews and take it from there.” There were only a half dozen candidates on the list so the interview process shouldn’t take too long. The sooner they could get the new team members selected and trained the better.
“We could probably do with another medic too. If it really is twins you’ll need to be carefully monitored, and that’ll mean taking either Owen or Martha away from their other duties.”
“That’s a good point. D’you think Tom might be interested? Paediatrics is one of his specialties, and these two will bring the number of Torchwood kids up to five. He could freelance for us if he preferred.” Jack rubbed his belly as he spoke.
“I’ll have a word with Martha, after we have Owen do a scan. Or would you prefer to have Martha do it?”
“I’ll stick with Owen; he knows what’s what after last time.”
Ianto chuckled. “Earth’s foremast expert on male pregnancy; that’s probably not something he’s particularly proud of.”
Jack threw back his head and laughed. “Remember the look on his face last time when I told him I was pregnant?”
“He went white as a sheet; I thought he was going to faint dead away! Remember how horrified he was about having to get so close to your little Captain when he did the first ultrasound? Got over that squeamishness by the time he delivered Meriel though.”
Jack’s stomach grumbled and he gave Ianto a sheepish grin. “I don’t suppose there’s any cake and ice cream left over from the party, is there?” he asked hopefully. Ianto had done most of the clearing away of leftover food while Nosy did the vacuuming and Jack helped Meriel put her toys and party games away.
“I believe there might be enough to keep you happy tonight, but I think I’ll have to go to ASDA in the morning and stock up.” Ianto pushed himself up off the sofa. “I’ll get you some. Do you want them separate or together?”
One look at his husband’s face gave him the answer, even before Jack spoke. “Can I have the ice cream on top of the cake?”
“It’s an iced lemon sponge, Jack, and the ice cream is raspberry ripple!” Ianto sighed as Jack gave him a pleading look. “Still better than Mars Bars and marmalade I suppose.” As he made his way to the kitchen he shook his head ruefully. He doubted he’d ever get used to Jack’s pregnancy cravings; they were in a class of their own. At least Gwen had stuck with the traditional gherkins.
He was back a few minutes later with a dish of cake and ice cream for Jack, and a slice of cake for himself. “Don’t worry, there’s plenty more cake where this came from and I’ll leave the rest of the ice cream for you.”
“You’re the best husband ever! I love you!” Jack sighed happily, accepting the dish and digging in with the spoon Ianto handed him.
“I should hope so; you’re having our babies.” Ianto flopped down beside his husband and forked up a mouthful of cake. They were silent for a while as they ate their late supper.
“Are you okay with this? I mean twins…”
“Of course I’m okay! More than okay, I think it’s fantastic! We’ll need to get two of everything, a double buggy, two cots, two car seats, double the number of bottles… but that’s fine; I’ll start making a list tomorrow.” Everything they’d had for Meriel had gone to Tosh when she’d found out she was expecting four years ago.
“That’s not exactly what I meant. It’s going to be a big job looking after two babies at once.”
“Yes, I’m sure it will be, and if it had been twins first time I probably would’ve freaked out, but I think we can handle this. We’ll have Nosy’s invaluable assistance, and I’m sure Meriel will help out too when she’s not at school. It’ll take a bit of organisation, and we might have to take the babies to work with us quite a bit in the first few months so we’re both available to deal with feeding and changing time. But once they’re a few months old with luck we’ll be able to do what we did with Meriel, taking turns with who goes to work and who stays home with the kids.”
“This wasn’t exactly planned though; I mean we hadn’t even started talking about trying for another baby yet…”
“Hush, Cariad; we didn’t exactly plan Meriel either and that worked out just fine. Honestly, I couldn’t be happier.”
“That’s good to know.” Jack gave a sigh of relief and shovelled another mouthful of cake into his mouth before going to get some more ice cream.
“Go easy with that,” Ianto admonished when Jack returned with his re-filled dish. “Talk about having your cake and eating it!”
“I can’t help it if I’m hungry! Don’t forget I’m eating for three now.”
“I’ll remind you of this when you’re so big you can’t make it up the steps to our room,” Ianto teased.
Jack stuck his tongue out at him. “I barely ate anything at the party, too busy with the kids, plus we only had a light lunch and that was hours ago. Pregnant men cannot live on tuna salad alone.”
“Just as long as you don’t end up twice the size you were with Meriel.”
“Ice cream and sponge cake aren’t as fattening as Mars Bars,” Jack insisted. “Sponge cakes are mostly air anyway.”
Ianto rolled his eyes at that but didn’t contradict his husband. He’d thought of a more immediate question that needed answering. “Do we want to know what we’re having? Boys, girls, one of each?”
“I don’t know; do we?” Jack frowned. “Might be too soon for Owen to tell at the moment anyway.”
“Right now it probably is, but at some point he’s going to ask us.” They hadn’t wanted to know with Meriel, but…
“Maybe this time we ought to know,” Jack said hesitantly.
“I was thinking the same thing. I mean, if we need to get two of everything it might help us choose. It’s going to cost the earth!”
“Good thing we can afford it.” Jack licked the last of the melted ice cream out of his dish and stood up, going to put it in the dishwasher with Ianto’s plate. “It would be nice to have a son,” he mused as he returned to the sofa. “A miniature version of you, but I expect Meriel is hoping for a sister.”
“It might be both.”
“It could be. At least that way we’d be able to tell which is which.”
“They might not be identical.”
“We can hope.”
Ianto wasn’t sure what Jack meant by that, whether they could hope the babies were identical or hope they weren’t, but either way it wasn’t as if they could choose. He placed his hand on Jack’s stomach. “Hello babies.”
“It’s too soon to feel them moving,” Jack pointed out, ignoring the fact that he kept stroking his stomach himself.
“I know that, twpsyn, but it’s not too soon to let them know they’re loved and wanted.”
“No, you’re right,” Jack agreed with a smile, placing his hand over his husband’s and sinking deeper into the sofa cushions. “It’s never too soon for that.”