Characters: Ianto, Owen, Tosh, Gwen, Jack.
Word Count: 972
Summary: As much as he wishes he didn’t have to drive in such treacherous conditions, Ianto doesn’t have much choice.
Written For: Challenge 211: Drive at fan_flashworks.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters.
Cold winds, driving snow… this definitely wasn’t the weather anyone should be out in unless they really didn’t have a choice in the matter. People were being warned to stay home if at all possible; the advice being given out over radio and television news was ‘don’t drive’. That sounded sensible to Ianto; visibility was poor, the eyes easily deceived by the thickly falling flakes. Driving in this was foolish; the conditions practically invited accidents.
He kept the SUV going at not much more than a crawl; the problem here was that although he knew driving was a bad idea, an even worse idea would have been trying to lead a Hoix through the streets of Cardiff all the way back from Roath to the Hub. Despite the weather, there were still quite a lot of pedestrians about, including children having snowball fights and building snowmen in the residential area they were currently passing through.
“Can’t you go a bit faster?” Owen griped from the back seat. “We’ll be out here all night at this rate!”
“It’s not even noon yet, Owen!” Ianto replied.
“That’s what I mean. You’re doing what, five miles an hour?”
“Fifteen, and that’s taking more of a chance than I’m comfortable with in these conditions. But if you want to take over the driving, be my guest. I’ll walk back while you mow down all the kids and pedestrians before crashing because you can’t see where you’re going.” There was silence from the back seat. “I didn’t think so. Just keep your comments to yourself and let me concentrate.”
Reaching the end of the road, Ianto slowed right down and turned left, feeling the SUV sliding slightly on the sharp corner before its heavy-duty tyres regained their grip. It might seem slow to Owen, but any faster would put them all at risk. Even Jack, had he been here, wouldn’t have been going any faster. Most of these roads hadn’t been gritted yet and in any other car, Ianto would have been driving slower still. It was only because of the SUV’s tyres and four-wheel drive, not to mention its heavy load, that he felt it would be safe enough to chance going faster than snail’s pace.
When they reached Newport Road, which had been among the first roads to get the grit treatment, he was able to speed up to twenty-five and they made better time. It was only the poor visibility dictating the slower than usual pace now. There wasn’t much traffic about, it looked as if most people were heeding the warnings, but even so they passed the scenes of two accidents. Both already had police and ambulances in attendance, so Ianto didn’t stop; there wouldn’t have been a lot they could do anyway, not with a boot full of Hoix that needed to be secured in one of the Hub’s cells before the sedative they’d used on it wore off.
Driving through the dimness and the heavily falling snow, Ianto spared a thought for Jack, stranded in London because of the weather. They’d had plans for Christmas, but now it looked like they’d be spending the festive season in different cities, separated by several hundred miles of snow-covered roads. He could only hope they’d at least be able to talk on the phone come Christmas morning. It wouldn’t be the same as waking up together, but he’d take what he could get. Jack had taken the other SUV, but even so, Ianto didn’t think he was crazy enough to try driving back from London in these conditions. Maybe Lizzie would invite him to spend Christmas at the palace.
Off Newport Road onto Fitzalan Place, which became Adam Street just before they turned onto the Central Link alongside Atlantic Wharf. Not far now. He turned onto Hemingway Road, and less than ten minutes later they were pulling into the Hub’s underground garage, safely home.
“Oh, I’m so glad to be back!” Tosh exclaimed from the front passenger seat. “I hate driving in snow.”
“So does Rhys,” Gwen agreed. “Hates having to go slow.”
“Not exactly a fan of it myself,” Ianto admitted, turning off the engine. “I prefer to be able to see where I’m going. Come on, best get our guest settled before he wakes up. Owen, grab the anti-grav trolley, would you? We’re not going to be able to lug this one down to the cells by hand.” It was a big bull Hoix, weighing in at almost as much as the four of them together.
“Who made you boss?” Owen griped.
“You did, as I recall. Jack put you in charge, but you said you were too busy with the autopsies of those aliens from last week, so the job fell to me. I didn’t hear you complaining when we were chasing the Hoix.”
“Yeah, well… Ah, forget it.” Owen went to get the trolley while Ianto opened the boot. As soon as the trolley was nudged up against the rear of the SUV, the four of them hauled the heavy Hoix onto it. Owen checked the creature was still safely sedated and then Ianto took it down to a nice, cosy cell, where he tipped it off the trolley onto the cell floor. It was difficult to damage a Hoix, they were resilient as well as strong, but this one would be a lot happier in its cell than out on the streets. Hoix didn’t do all that well in cold weather. At least in the Hub it would be warm and well fed.
Trudging back up to the main Hub to make a well-deserved coffee for everyone, Ianto rolled his shoulders, easing out the kinks caused by the tense drive through inclement weather. He really hoped he wouldn’t have to drive anywhere else today; it was much too stressful.