Meltwater brave

"It was lucky of you to find this place," Gwen said, trying to reconcile the SatNav map with the blizzard outside the windscreen. "If we had to go on much further we'd have got snowbound."

"Jack and I stayed here a couple of times before. The proprietors are lovely people." Ianto's eyes never left the grey smear of the road.

She shot Ianto a knowing glance. "You and Jack spent the night here?"

"On business, miss."

Ouch! She harrumphed, folding her arms. "You only call me miss when I've done something wrong."

"Is that so, miss?"

They continued on in silence until they reached the bed and breakfast.


Tom's energy was infectious as he ran around the sitting room. He still wore the remnants of his earlier party costume, a silver cardboard headdress and a few bars of black warpaint beneath each eye. "I'm a dirty injun. I'm a dirty injun." He waved his makeshift grey tomahawk in Gwen's direction.

"Careful with that!" she laughed, sprawled on the rug before the open fire.

"I'm a dirty injun. I'm a dirty injun." He did a war dance around her, pistoning his elbows up and down.

"Now then," she said catching him by the waist and reeling him in like a reluctant salmon. "That's not a nice thing to say."

"I'm a dirty injun! I'm a dirty injun!" He batted her playfully with his tomahawk.

"No. That's not a polite thing to say, Tom," Gwen responded trying to remember her race relations seminar. "Native Americans are people too. Just like you and me." She glanced briefly towards Ianto who was sprawled out on the old settee watching her carefully. Well, she thought to herself, just you see if I can't get him to change his attitude.

"I'm a dirty injun!"

Her hand grasped hold of his toy weapon and held it firmly. "Indians are real people. Some of them are very clean, and some of them wash just like us. It's not nice to say they aren't." She reached the end of her impromptu lecture when a shadow fell over them both. "Not all Indians are unclean. Not all Indians are grubby."

"Daddy!" Tom exclaimed happily throwing himself into the man's arms.

"Hello Sanjay," Ianto said.

The man looked her over for a few seconds. "This'll be the police officer I presume."

Tom extracted himself from his father's arms and walked over to Ianto. "I'm a dirty injun!" As Gwen watched he tapped the Welshman a few times on the forehead with the tomahawk.

"Careful with that spanner, Tom," Ianto laughed. "Now let me see if I can guess what kind of injun you are." A hand wiggled the silver headdress, "Hmm, smoke," then smudged a bar of black on the boy's cheek. "And soot too." He pulled a thoughtful face. "Petrol?"

Tom chortled happily. "Com-bus-jun!"

Her companion wore the slimmest of sneers. "I think it's a wonderful costume. Don't you miss?"

"The best," Gwen replied quietly, forcing her reddened cheeks into the semblance of a grin. "The best…"