It was the beginning of a new phase in the Harkness-Jones family, two tiny new branches added to the family tree. Twins. When Jack had first told him Ianto had been excited but a bit terrified. They’d managed one baby between them, juggling caring for their daughter with the demands of running Torchwood, but that had been seven years ago. How were they going to manage two babies as well as still giving Meriel all the love and attention she deserved? There was Nosy of course, and Ianto knew the Fluff would help out as much as it was able to, but still, two babies at once… It was a daunting prospect.
Now the two new bundles of joy were here, less than four hours old, bathed, dressed, and fed, and sleeping off their first meal. Jack and Ianto were relaxing in loungers out in the roof garden, enjoying the warm late evening breeze, each of them cradling a baby, and Ianto realised with amusement that he wasn’t entirely sure which one he’d got. They weren’t identical, but swaddled as they were in cosy blankets, and wearing cute little matching hats, all that was visible was their scrunched up little faces and he didn’t have them memorised yet. They were too new.
He smiled to himself, amused by his own foolishness; it didn’t matter. They had a son and a daughter so it wasn’t like they could get them mixed up; it would be easy enough to tell which was which when they had to be changed. Made him wonder how parents of identical twins managed though.
Leaning his head back, he closed his eyes, drinking in the heady scent of honeysuckle, at peace now the frantic activity of the birth was behind them. Seeing Owen cut Jack open was never exactly enjoyable, even when it was for the purpose of bringing new lives into the world. Meriel had mostly kept back out of the way with Nosy until the messy, bloody part was over, and Jack’s rapid healing was repairing the incision Owen had made. Then she’d been allowed to greet her new brother and sister as Nosy goggled and hummed over its new charges.
Technically it was past Meriel’s bedtime, and it was a school day tomorrow, but Jack had said she could stay home just for one day and Ianto hadn’t argued. Why not give their eldest child a chance to bond with her new siblings? Didn’t she deserve that? She’d been such a big help while Jack was expecting. Of course, once she realised how noisy two hungry, crying babies could be Meriel would probably be glad to escape to school each day for a few hours, just for some peace and quiet. Babies were only cute when they were happy and smiling. It would be a different matter when they were screaming the house down, both of them demanding to be fed or changed at the same time.
Right now though, everything was silence except for the distant hum of traffic and the soft sound of the breeze whispering through the garden foliage. It was a peace that wouldn’t last so it was only good sense to make the most of it while they could. He had a feeling there would be precious little peace and quiet to be had in the months to come.
Rousing himself, Ianto looked over at his oldest daughter, no longer the baby of the family. Last time he’d checked she’d been busily playing with Nosy, but now the excitement of seeing the new arrivals had worn off and the late hour had caught up with her, she was snuggled in the coils of the family Fluff, mostly asleep.
The small bundle in his arms squirmed slightly, drawing his attention, and he smiled down at his… son? Daughter? Damn Jack for the matching hats and blankets. He might have laughed except he didn’t want to break the silence, and possibly wake the sleeping babies. He studied the tiny face. Which one are you? He glanced across at the baby in Jack’s arms. Was that a tiny tuft of dark hair peeking out from under the hat? That was the boy then, Gareth, which meant he had Jenna with her almost bald pink head dusted with fine strands of blonde hair. Mystery solved.
His gaze moved up to Jack’s face, taking in the soft smile and dreamy expression. Sensing he was being watched, Jack turned to look at his husband and baby girl, his smile widening although he remained uncharacteristically silent. Usually it was hard to shut Jack up.
“Nothing to say?” Ianto teased softly, his voice barely above a whisper.
Jack shook his head. “Some things… there just aren’t any words for,” he murmured in reply.
Ianto could understand that; he was a man of few words anyway, although he was more talkative now than he used to be. Had to be in order to hold his own against Jack and Meriel.
He reached out with his free hand and Jack did the same, their hands meeting and fingers twining together because for some things words weren’t even needed. Ianto sometimes wondered if Nosy’s empathic abilities had rubbed off on its human friends over the years because he could swear he felt Jack’s love for him and for their children flow through him from their joined hands, a tide of warmth that filled him to overflowing and made his heart swell in his chest.
Jack felt it too if the tears of happiness that sparkled in his eyes were any indication.
Soon the babies would wake, hungry again, or wet and uncomfortable. Soon, he and Jack would have to stir themselves from their comfortable seats and tend to the needs of their demanding new overlords, and someone really should get Meriel to bed. She could hardly sleep out here all night, even under Nosy’s protection and supervision.
But for now there was only the blissful silence of a summer night and the wordless joy that filled their hearts.
Ianto wished he could hold on to this moment forever.