Characters: Ianto, Jack.
Summary: Jack is always eating, but contrary to popular belief, it’s not because he’s greedy. Or not always.
Word Count: 488
Written For: m_findlow’s prompt ‘Torchwood, Jack, being immortal takes a lot of energy,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
There was a rustling sound from the passenger seat and flicking his eyes away from the road briefly, Ianto glanced at Jack. He was wrestling open the wrapper of a chocolate bar, Yorkie by the looks of it, the fruit and nut kind.
“How can you be hungry already?” he asked incredulously. Along with the rest of the team, they’d both stuffed themselves silly with pizza less than an hour ago.
“It’s not my fault!” Jack protested plaintively. “Being immortal takes a lot of energy.”
If he hadn’t needed to keep his attention on the narrow, winding road ahead, Ianto would have rolled his eyes. “Got an excuse for everything, haven’t you?”
“It’s not an excuse,” Jack mumbled around a mouthful of chocolate. “My body’s burning energy all the time, far faster than yours, just to keep me from aging. If I get injured, or killed, healing takes even more energy than usual. I’m fuelled by food as much as anyone, but even I can’t create bone and muscle out of nothing. The more I eat, the faster I can heal. If I don’t get enough to eat, I don’t heal as fast.”
Ianto raised an eyebrow. “Seriously?”
“Cross my heart!” Jack swore, doing so with his chocolate bar before taking another bite. “It’s why I’m always so hungry after resurrecting; my body needs to replenish its resources otherwise it starts taking muscle mass from elsewhere to finish the healing; usually takes me a few hours to heal completely. I might look fine on the outside, but there’s a big difference between the quick fix that gets me back on my feet and the complete regeneration of all damaged tissue. I have to eat a lot to keep my reserves topped up. Trust me, it’s no fun resurrecting if I’ve had nothing to eat for a while. The vortex energy in me can draw fuel from anywhere, but it’s always going to take what’s readily available and most compatible first. You didn’t think I was just greedy, did you?”
“It did cross my mind,” Ianto admitted.
“Well I’m not. I eat a lot because I need to.”
“So you don’t enjoy it?”
Jack smirked. “I didn’t say that. I could eat anything to replenish myself, but I prefer to eat things I like.”
“Such as chocolate.”
“And pizza, cookies, cakes, fish and chips, steak, roast lamb with all the trimmings, bacon butties, sausages…” Jack trailed off and shoved the rest of his chocolate bar in his mouth. “Can we stop for ice cream?”
“Maybe on the way back.”
In some ways, Ianto decided, it was a good thing that Jack did keep having to heal himself all the time, otherwise he’d be as big as a house by now with all that extra stored energy waiting to be used. If Jack ever managed to avoid death for a few months, he might have to go on a diet!