Characters: Fay and Mal Dresden, Jack Harkness, Ianto Jones, Gwen Cooper
Spoilers: Set-Post 'Exit Wounds' (TW) and 'Journey's End' (DW). Set in the mini!Dresdens verse
Word count: 1370
Summary: Jack learns that alien hunting and baby-sitting don't always mix.
Author's notes: Written for joonscribble's fandom_stocking. She's graciously allowed me to post it here as well. I've broken all laws of the time-space continuum to get these characters into the same place at the same time. Extremely, AU, obviously. :-) A few extra words in this version, since I had to cut a line here and there to fit it into the stocking.
“Yes, yes. No...but they’re fine! They’re absolutely fine! Not even a scratch!” Jack said, into the phone. “Well, how was I supposed to know the thing had a sister? I had to get it back here... Would you rather I left them alone there or gotten hundreds of people eaten?...I can’t, I told you, it’s broken, it’s not made to carry that much weight, plus your daughter fried some of the circuits...no, our tech is on it now...don’t do that, that’s ridiculous, they’re fine here...no, I’ll get them back...yes...yes...okay, if it isn’t fixed in a few hours we’ll all get on a plane, I promise...yes...okay...no, Harry? I gotta go....seriously...no, bye!” He quickly cradled the phone, cutting off the stream of loud conversation coming from the other end.
“Daddy’s mad at you,” Fay Dresden said, matter-of-factly. She was sitting cross-legged on top of the counter in the Tourist Office, chin in her hand.
“No, he’s just worried about you,” Jack said.
“He had on his angry voice,” Fay insisted.
“Well, he’s upset,” Jack said. “That’s not the same as angry.”
Fay shrugged. Jack found it somewhat disturbing that neither she nor her brother were at all perturbed that they had just been teleported across an ocean and seven time zones with a giant, snarling alien. Maybe it was par for the course when your dad was a wizard.
“We appear to be out of blocks again,” Ianto said, to Mal. Jack loved Ianto’s ‘talking to children voice’, which sounded exactly like his ‘talking to adults voice’, only maybe at a slightly higher pitch. “Shall we get some more?”
“More!” Mal said.
Ianto pressed a button on an alien artifact that they originally had suspected to be a weapon, but turned out to be a children’s toy. It created holographic shapes that could be manipulated and moved around like solid objects. Ianto had set it up to produce blocks. Endless amounts of blocks. A small citadel had been erected by the two of them and each time they ran out of blocks, Ianto simply produced more. Jack couldn’t tell who was having more fun – Mal or Ianto.
“So, what do you want to do, sweetie?” Jack asked Fay.
She had spread every brochure and pamphlet in the office out in front of her, perusing each like she was seriously planning a walking tour of Cardiff. She put down the one about the Amgueddfa Cymru National Museum and shrugged.
“Can we play with Ma-van-oo-ee?” she asked, doing her best to mimic Gwen’s traditional pronunciation of the name.
“Pterodactyls aren’t good playmates,” Jack said.
Fay sighed. “I knew you weren’t gonna let me. S’like Daddy. He’s always like ‘no, you can’t play with the gremlins, Fay!’” Jack stifled a laugh. “Well, if we can’t play with her, then you’ll have to tell me a story, Capt’in Jack.”
“A story?” Jack said.
“Yes!” she said. “You tell a story and I’ll draw a picture for it, okay?”
Jack decided he could handle that. He retrieved a pen and some paper for her to draw with and she lay out on her stomach on the counter, kicking her legs back and forth behind her.
“Okay, I’m ready now,” she announced.
“What kind of story to do you want me to tell?” Jack asked.
“A fairy tale,” she said. “I like fairy tales the best.”
“All right,” Jack said. He thought for a moment and then settled in. “Once upon a time, there was a man-”
“What did he look like?” Fay interrupted, pen poised.
“He had a big nose and big ears and always wore a leather jacket,” Jack said.
“He sounds like Daddy,” Fay noted.
“Even bigger nose and ears,” Jack said, smirking. “Anyway, this man was called the Doctor and he travelled all over the place in a big blue box.” Fay’s pen quickly went to work on the big blue box. “And one day, he met a lovely maiden named Rose...”
“And so, in the end, the Doctor got to be with the Lady Rose and got to come back to this world to live, too,” Jack finished up, a good while later. Between the complicated plot and Fay’s questions, the story had taken far longer to tell than he’d anticipated.
Fay had abandoned her drawing, in favour of listening with rapt attention. Before she’d been distracted, however, she’d produced a blue box, a Lady Rose and a regenerated Doctor.
“Did they live happily ever after?” she asked.
“Yes,” Jack said, and hoped it was true.
“Well, then that was a very good story,” Fay stated. “But what happened to the Handsome Knight Lady Rose brought back to life?”
“He lived happily ever after too,” Jack said.
“Good,” Fay said. “I liked him.”
Jack preened a little until Ianto coughed pointedly in the background. Jack shot him a playful glare.
Sometime during Jack’s story, Mal had lost interest in the blocks and had crawled over into Ianto’s lap and gone to sleep. It was well past his naptime, Jack supposed. He was still snoozing, head on Ianto’s shoulder, while the Welshman managed to look perfectly natural croodling a toddler. Jack supposed he shouldn’t be surprised that Ianto could handle a kid with that much ease. Ianto handled most unexpected things with that much ease.
“Do you want my pictures?” Fay asked Jack, sitting up on the counter.
“You bet,” Jack said. “I’ll put them up in my office. You have to sign them for me, though.”
On each, Fay carefully wrote out a wobbly ‘JULIANNA DRESDEN’ (”that’s my real, real name,” she explained.) As she worked on the last one, the door from the Hub opened up and Gwen emerged, holding Jack’s watch with care.
“Should be good to go,” she said, stepping over where Ianto sat with Mal.
“Perfect timing,” Jack said. He wasn’t sure what was going to do next to keep Fay occupied. He put the watch on. The new tech was good, but he was no Tosh. Still, he got the job done, even if it took a bit longer than it would have taken his predecessor. "Uh, pun intended."
“Capt’in Jack took all my pictures for his office,” Fay explained to Gwen. “So I don’t have any for you!”
“That’s alright, sweetheart,” Gwen assured her. “I’ll see them in Jack’s office, won’t I?”
“Of course,” Jack said. “It’s time to go now, though, before your dad has a coronary.”
“What’s that?” Fay asked.
“It’s when grown-ups throw a strop,” Gwen said, with a laugh.
Fay looked to Jack for translation.
“A hissy-fit,” he said.
“Oh,” Fay said. “That’s not good.”
Ianto had joined them at the counter after carefully getting to his feet without dropping Mal. He handed him off to Jack, a bit reluctantly. Mal stirred awake and looked around with bleary eyes.
“Tanto?” he asked, reaching out. “More!”
“No more,” Ianto said, shaking his head and making a sad face. “Time to go.”
“It’s time to say goodbye, Mal,” Fay said. “We have to go home.”
Mal pouted and held out his arms. “Hugs, Tanto!” he demanded.
Ianto grinned and allowed himself to be hugged around the neck. Jack planted a quick kiss on Ianto’s forehead while he was close by, thanks for his help.
“All right, miss,” Ianto said, after he drew back. He gathered up Fay’s drawings. “Will you allow me to guard these until Jack’s return?”
“Yep,” Fay said. Gwen helped her hop down from the counter. “Thanks for looking after me, Miss Gwen and Mr. Ianto, and for stopping the monster from eating us. It was nice to meet you.”
“It was our pleasure,” Gwen assured her. “I hope we’ll see each other again.”
“Me too!” Fay said. “Only without the monsters.”
“Without the monsters,” Gwen agreed.
Both Gwen and Ianto accepted a hug from Fay as Jack programmed his watch to the proper coordinates, then she took his hand.
“Hopefully she won’t fry the circuits again,” Jack said. “If she does, I may be awhile getting back. Hold down the fort.”
“Yes sir,” Ianto said. He waved to Mal, who waved back, sleepily. “Good luck.”
Jack pressed the right button and the three of them disappeared. A moment later, they reappeared in the Dresdens’ living room.
“Oh, thank God!” Harry said, pouncing on them mid-pace. He took Mal from Jack and looked him over, then put him down on the ground. Then, without hesitation, he punched Jack squarely in the jaw. “You are never baby-sitting for me again!”
Fay looked down at Jack on the floor and smiled smugly. “See, I toldja he was mad.”