Characters: Ianto, mentions Jack.
Word Count: 877
Summary: The weather is wintry, but still Torchwood must continue the task of protecting Cardiff from the things that fall through the Rift. It’s Ianto’s turn to go out after this one.
Written For: Challenge 212: Ice at fan_flashworks.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters.
Winter was in full swing, with snow and ice everywhere. Usually, it wasn’t so bad, but this year’s forecast had been for a hard winter with heavy snows across much of the country, and so far that was just what they were getting. Although Scotland and the Northern parts of England and Ireland were getting the worst of it, Wales was still receiving more than its share. Ianto couldn’t remember the last time they’d had so much snow before Christmas, and according to those who claimed to know, this was only the beginning. The outlook for the rest of the winter was gloomy.
While Ianto didn’t mind snow in moderation, current conditions were causing serious problems. The council was doing the best it could to keep roads cleared and gritted, but more snow kept falling, meaning the same stretches of road had to be cleared repeatedly. Many people were leaving their cars at home and relying on public transport wherever possible, which led to busses being crammed to overflowing. Those who wanted to use their cars had to dig them out first, and wherever snow had been shovelled away from driveways and pavements, sheets of ice had formed, making walking anywhere increasingly hazardous.
The local kids seemed to be enjoying the icy patches even if nobody else was; Ianto had seen groups of them on their way to school, sliding deliberately, laughing happily, unconcerned about the possible risk to life and limb. The A & E department at the local hospital was probably doing a roaring trade, setting broken bones and doling out plaster casts, slings, and crutches.
Having experienced the pain of broken limbs more than once in his life thus far, Ianto had no intention of falling victim to the weather; he was taking every precaution he could think of. First, there were the new boots Jack had bought him, with their deeply ridged rubber soles for good traction on slippery surfaces, and then there was his secret weapon. He smiled at the plastic canister before tucking it in his coat pocket. A quick sprinkle of salt across any patches of ice he might encounter while out should render them passable, and he was sure other pedestrians would appreciate his efforts.
Buttoning his coat, he wrapped his scarf around the lower half of his face, pulled on his hat and gloves, and let himself out of the tourist office, locking the door behind him. The Rift had dumped something a few streets away, near the railway station, but it wasn’t far enough to make using the SUV worthwhile; in these conditions he could get there quicker on foot.
Despite the weather, Ianto quite enjoyed the brisk walk. He was well wrapped up against the chill, his boots and thermal socks kept his feet snug as he forged his way through freshly fallen snow, and the sun was peeping through the clouds, making everything sparkle, especially the icicles hanging from tree branches, road signs, and window ledges. As an added bonus, the wind had dropped sometime during the night so he didn’t have that to contend with. Not a bad day to be out and about, all things considered.
He reached the vicinity of the Rift flare within twenty minutes, feeling quite warm from his exertions, and pulling his scanner out of his pocket he started looking for whatever had come through, hoping whatever it was would be easy to carry. After several minutes, the scanner began to pick up faint traces of residual Rift energy; he was getting close. A few yards further on, he could just make out the tip of something poking out of a pile of snow that had slid off a roof. Picking his way towards it, he scanned it. Yep, looked like that was what he’d come for, although he couldn’t quite make out what it was yet. Whatever it was, it seemed to be quite large, but on the plus side, his scanner wasn’t registering anything harmful.
With a shrug, Ianto put the scanner back in his pocket, carefully leaned out over the pile of snow, got a firm grip on the part of the unidentified item that was poking above the surface, and started to pull. Densely packed and glazed with ice, the snow didn’t want to let go, but Ianto wasn’t about to give up, not when he’d got this far. He got a tighter grip, this time with both hands, closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and heaved with all his strength. At first nothing seemed to happen; then the object came free so suddenly that he almost toppled over backwards. It took a bit of fancy footwork, but he managed to stay upright. Breathing hard, he stared at his find and pulled out his scanner to double check. Yes, this was definitely it, not just something that happened to be in approximately the same place as the latest Rift arrival.
Ianto smiled behind his scarf. The Rift dumped a lot of junk on Cardiff, but every so often it handed them something they could actually use. Taking hold of the rope attached to it, he set off back towards the Hub, towing the sturdy wooden sledge behind him. Jack was going to love this!