Chapter 5

Chapter 6: Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht 2

Ianto stepped out the car and pushed the ends of his scarf further into the confines of his coat. The night air was bitterly cold with just the odd wisp of haze caught on the metal of the breeze.

“Spooky or what,” Owen reflected looking to the graveyard. “Why the hell can’t we wait until morning?”

“You’re not scared are you, Owen?” Gwen asked as she flexed her hands into her gloves. “Don’t you know it’s the best time to go ghost hunting?” She wriggled her fingers in front of his face ghost-like.

Owen pulled his head away and walked round to the boot of the SUV. “Who the fuck do you think you are, Gwen bloody Fielding?” he snapped lugging his kit from the interior.

“Well, that must make you Owen Acoarh,” Tosh shouted from the comfort of the backseat.

He smiled.  “Hey, I’m not the one who sees dead people,” he countered jerking his head in Ianto’s direction.

“So that’ll make me Bruce Willis,” Jack added, “hey, I could live with that.”

“Oh no, you’ve got far more hair,” Gwen said over her shoulder.

She handed Ianto a torch. “You okay?” she asked quietly, while the others busied themselves out of earshot.

He nodded; Gwen squeezed his hand as she let go of the torch.

Jack opened the back door and peered inside while resting his arm on the roof. “Comfy?”

Tosh smiled checking her screen. “I’ll manage,” she replied lightly, shifting against the seat. “You know Ianto could have stayed…”

“I want him out in the field on this one. Whatever’s happening has already singled him out once…”

“So you’re using him as bait.”  She threw Jack a look.

“He’s a big boy, Tosh,” Jack parried with a roguish grin, “and anyway, Gwen and I have point on this one. Ianto and Owen are just back-up.”

Tosh went to say something but Jack cut her off. “Did you question Gwen and Owen’s leadership abilities as well?” he asked.

She stuck out her chin. “All the time.”

He smiled. “Good.  Tosh, look, I know things changed while I was gone, you’ve all grown individually and as a team. All of you.  I kinda feel like the proud father, you coped…”

“Some more than others,” Tosh cut in looking towards Ianto.  Jack followed her gaze and gave a small awkward smile.

She drew breath. “We had to cope, Jack, we had no idea if you were ever coming back but,” she added, typing in a password, “we’re not the only ones who’ve changed.”

“For the better, I hope?” Jack asked; Tosh responded with a warm smile.

“Be ready if we need you, okay?” He shut the door and banged the SUV’s roof three times.

Copyright RMC  Dec 2017

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