Title: The Welsh Groom
Prompt: The Princess Bride
Pairings/Characters: Jack/Ianto, Doctor/Tosh, Andy/Donna, Rhys/Kathy, Mickey/Martha, John/Owen, Wilf/Estelle, Gwen, Mica, Steven, Wilf,
Spoilers: The whole movie of The Princess Bride
Warnings: Attempts at suicide and character deaths
Word Count: 18,884
Disclaimer: I do not own Torchwood, Doctor Who or the movie the Princess bride.
Summary: Grandpa Wilf tells his grandkids an interesting story.
Ianto Harkness-Jones was not having an easy day: half his staff at his café had come down with the nasty flu going around and he was needed to go in, and his two six-year-old twin children had the same flu. He felt bad that he had to leave his two children, but he had a restaurant to run.
His husband, Jack, had offered to stay home, but he couldn’t, not with his big court case coming up soon and, so much still to do.
Which left him one choice, calling upon the grandparents, aunts and uncles: hopefully someone would be able to watch the kids.
Ianto mentally ran down the list of who he could call.
Tosh Smith was off the list --oh he knew his best friend would gladly look after the kids, but she had a time sensitive computer program to finish. And he would hate to get her in trouble.
Then there was Tosh’s husband, John. No- even if he wasn’t working the case with Jack, there is no way that Ianto was leaving his children alone with John ‘Doctor’ Smith: Ianto already had two children, he, didn’t need a third to keep an eye on.
Martha Smith and Owen Harper were also out, as they both were on call at the hospital. Ianto guessed he could call Martha’s husband, Mickey. But no, if memory serves him, he is, on a delivery with Rhys, which, rules them both out.
And Rhys’ wife, Kathy, and Donna’s husband, Andy, were on duty today at the station.
Ianto rubbed his head, feeling a headache coming on; he was running out of people to call. Sighing, Ianto continued down his list.
John Hart was out; there is no way he was leaving his children alone with that man. Last time Jack did that, John taught them to pick pockets, forge his and Jack’s signatures and pick locks.
Donna was out as she is Ianto’s business partner, and the one who called him in.
A light bulb went off in Ianto’s head and he felt so stupid for not thinking of him in the first place.
With a smile, Ianto reached for the phone and called the two people he knew would cheer up the children the most.
Steven and Mica Harkness-Jones were utterly miserable. At first it had been fun to learn that they would get to miss school until they realized they were to sick to enjoy it.
Watching his children Ianto, felt awful that he was leaving his sick children, but he really had no choices.
“Hello, children.” Ianto greeted, entering their room with a special guest. “Look who has come to visit.”
Two sets of blue eyes widen as they spotted him. “GRANDPA!”
Wilf had no doubt that if they were not miserable, they would have flung themselves at him.
Ianto smiled, happy to know that his children were pleased with his choice in babysitters.
He walked over and kissed both kids on the forehead. “Now, you be good for your grandpa, and, Dad and I will try and be home earlier tonight,” Ianto promised.
“Thank you for doing this,” Ianto whispered to Wilf on his way out.
Wilf smiled. “No need to thank me Estelle only wishes she could have had the afternoon off to come help out, too.” Wilf told Ianto while thinking fondly of his wife, who was quite upset that she couldn’t be there to baby their grandkids.
Now, while they were not related by blood to Wilf and Estelle, all the children on the block had come to know and love Grandpa Wilf and Grandma Estelle; and not just the new generation, Wilf and Estelle had been a second parent to those who had grown up in this neighbourhood, like Ianto and Jack.
Estelle knew from the moment four-year-old Jack Harkness and his family moved here that he and Ianto were going to end up together.
Four-year-old Jack was possessive and quick to jealousy and would pout up a storm if anyone else had his Ianto’s attention.
Something that hasn’t changed all that much today.
With a smile, Ianto left his children in the capable hands of Wilf: anyone who could raise Donna could handle two sick children.
Wilf turned his attention to his grandchildren. “Now, would you like to hear a story?” he asked, remembering that when Donna was sick, she loved hearing stories.
“Yes,” Mica and Steven responded at once; they loved Grandpa Wilf’s stories, he told stories even better than their dad.
“So what kind of story would you like to hear?” he asked
“Romance,” that was Mica
“Action,” that was Steven’s choice.
Wilf knew just the right story as he pulled out a story book and decided to change it up just a little, “This is The Welsh Groom.”
“Jack was raised on a small farm in the country of Florin. His favourite pastimes were riding his horse and tormenting the farm boy that worked there. His name was Ianto, but Jack never called him that.” Wilf paused at that to look at his young audience, “Isn’t that a wonderful beginning?” he asked.
He received two grins in return. Wilf cleared his throat continued, “And nothing gave Jack as much pleasure as ordering Ianto around...”
Just outside of the stables, Jack came across Ianto. “Farm boy, polish my horse’s saddle. I want to see my face shining in it by morning,” he ordered Ianto.
Ianto simple smiled and answered, “As you wish.”
As you wish was all Ianto ever said to him
Coming across Ianto, Jack handed him a pail. “Farm boy, fill these with water…please.”
Bowing, Ianto murmured his usual, “As you wish.”
That day, he was amazed to discover that when Ianto was saying ‘As you wish’, what he meant was, ‘I love you.’ And even more amazing was the day Jack realized that he loved Ianto back.
Entering the farmhouse, Ianto silently waited for Jack’s orders.
“Farm boy….fetch me that pitcher,” Jack ordered, pointing to the pitcher on the high shelf.
“As you wish,” Ianto murmured, smiling at Jack.
The other man returned the smile.
A beautiful sunset was the backdrop for Ianto and Jack’s very first kiss.
“Bah it’s a kissing book.” The complaint was silenced by a quick kick from his sister to his shin.
“Wait, just wait, there will be something you will both like,” Wilf quickly explained. “Ianto had no money for marriage, so he packed a few belongings and left the farm to seek his fortune across the sea. It was a very emotional time for Jack.”
“I don’t believe this,” was Steven’s sulky reply.
Outside of his farmhouse, Jack found Ianto packing his few belongings.
“I fear I’ll never see you again,” Jack admitted, grabbing Ianto’s arm and halting him in his packing.
Smiling and turning in Jack’s hold, Ianto stroked his cheek. “Of course you will,” he tried to reassure his love.
“But what if something happens to you?” Jack wasn’t convinced that Ianto would be alright on his own.
“Hear this now: I will always come for you,” Ianto vowed, wrapping his own arms around Jack.
“But how can you be sure?” Jack couldn’t survive if anything happened to Ianto.
Ianto pressed a brief kiss to Jack’s lips. “This is true love. You think this happens every day?” he reminded his love.
“Ianto didn’t reach his destination. His ship was attacked by the Dread Pirate Roberts, who never left any captives alive. When Jack got the news that Ianto was murdered.”
“Murdered by pirates is good,” Steven interrupted.
“No, it’s not.” A trembling lip and teary eyes faced Wilf. “Tad has to be okay.”
Clearing his throat, Wilf picked up where he left off, “Jack went into his room and shut the door, and for days he neither slept nor ate.”
With tears streaming down his face, Jack gazed out at the sunset from the spot where he and Ianto had their first kiss and vowed, “I will never love again.”
“Five years later, the main square of Florin City was filled as never before to hear the announcement of the great Prince John’s bride to be.”
Prince John Hart faced his subjects and happily announced, “My people, a month from now, our country will have its 500th anniversary. On that sundown, I shall marry a young man who was once a commoner like yourselves. But perhaps you will not find him common now. Would you like to meet him?” he asked his people.
The crowd gave a loud, “Yes” as answer.
Smiling, John held out his hand, “My people, the Prince Jack.”
Jack entered the main square dressed in the finest blue silk and with a crown upon his head.
“Wait, Dad’s the girl? He can’t be the girl.”
“Shh, let Grandpa tell the story.”
“Besides, your dad is much more a drama queen than your tad.”
Much later, outside the walls of Florin City, Jack was riding a horse. He sought to escape the place.
Jack emptiness consumed him. Although the law of the land gave John the right to chose who he married, Jack did not love him. Despite John’s reassurances that he would grow to love him, the only joy Jack found was in his daily ride.
Stopping by a river, Jack dismounted and allowed his horse to drink from the river. He decided to take a rest beneath a shady tree.
Closing his eyes, he enjoyed the peace and quiet.
But it was not to last, three shadows appeared before Jack. Upon opening his eyes, he was greeted by two women and one man.
The brunette with doe eyes smiled and Jack saw a gap between her teeth, “A word, my lord. My name is Gwen and we are but poor, lost circus performers. Is there a village nearby?” she asked in an innocent tone.
Curious and a little suspicious, Jack answered, “There is nothing nearby….not for miles.”
The innocent smile faded from Gwen’s face as glee over took her features. “Then there will be no one to hear you screaming!”
Nodding, the lone man of the group moved forward and easily grabbed Jack. Of course Jack would not go without a fight and was knocked out by the hilt of the smaller female’s sword.