Characters: Ianto, Jack, Owen.
Summary: Ianto is tired and has had more than enough of the cold winter weather raging outside, but he’s got the perfect solution.
Word Count: 1150
Written For: My own prompt ‘Any, Any. “Go away, I'm hibernating”,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
“Ianto?” Coming back into Ianto’s bedroom, showered and dressed, Jack prodded the lump under the covers. “Come on, sleepyhead. Time to get up.”
“Go away, I’m hibernating,” came the muffled reply. “Not coming out until spring.”
“Why not?” Jack perched on the edge of the bed.
“Have you looked out the window?”
“I have. The snow’s starting to melt, I think. A little bit anyway.”
“The roads are icy, the wind’s bloody freezing, and the forecast is for more snow, either tonight or tomorrow. I’ve had enough of snow and ice, and being cold, to last a lifetime; it’s warm here, so this is where I’m staying until all the snow is gone.” There was a note of finality in Ianto’s voice.
“Is this about last night, by any chance?” Jack asked mildly.
“Why ever would you think that? I mean, we only got dragged out of bed by a Rift alert at three in the morning after less than an hour’s sleep and had to go out in heavy snow, trekking through high winds and subzero temperatures!” Ianto’s sarcasm came through loud and clear. “And all we got for our efforts was a book of dirty alien limericks.”
“It’s a good book though. ‘There once was a Gublan named Grock, who had an invisible…’,” Jack started to recite from memory.
“Stop right there!” Somehow Ianto managed to slap his lover hard on the leg while still remaining completely buried under the covers.
“But it’s funny!” Jack pouted.
“I don’t care! I got stuck up to my waist in a snowdrift trying to reach the damned thing!”
“I pulled you out and warmed you up though, remember?”
He’d had to, because Ianto had been turning blue with cold and without a quick infusion of Jack’s life energy would most likely have wound up with hypothermia, and possibly frostbite.
“I appreciated that, but I was still wet and tired and miserable, and now that I’m dry and thoroughly warm I have no intention of getting cold again. Ever. I’m through with winter; wake me when it’s spring.” The lump under the bedcovers scrunched in on itself, and curled up in a ball.
“You do know humans can’t actually hibernate, don’t you?” Ianto always claimed to know everything, but maybe he’d overlooked a few things.
“So I’ve heard, but I plan on giving it a damned good try.”
“You’ll get hungry.” Jack pointed out the obvious.
“I’ve been hungry before and survived.”
“You’ll get bored.”
“To get bored I’d have to be awake. Now shut up and let me sleep.”
“You’re really determined to stay there all day?” It was gradually dawning on Jack that his lover wasn’t going to be talked out of this.
“What have I just been saying? Were you even listening?” Ianto asked, sounding exasperated.
“I’ve been hanging on your every word,” Jack assured him. “So there’s nothing I can say to change your mind?”
“Nope. Absolutely nothing.”
“I suppose I’d better leave you to your hibernating then.”
“You do that.” Silence fell; the seconds stretched into a minute, two, three, then from beneath the covers… “You’re still here.”
“You noticed that, huh?”
“I’m very observant.”
“You can’t see from under there; as far as I know, you don’t have x-ray vision.”
“Don’t need it; the bed would’ve shifted if you’d stood up, and I would’ve heard you leave. Neither thing happened, so it was obvious you hadn’t gone.”
“You’re very clever. Have I ever mentioned that?”
“Flatter me all you like, Jack, but I’m still not getting up. Now why don’t you run along and leave me to hibernate in peace?”
Jack heaved a heavy sigh. “Fine, I’ll go.” He stood up. “See you tonight?”
“No way, you’re not getting in this bed with your freezing cold feet!”
Jack paused on his way to the bedroom door. “You’d deny me the warmth of our cosy bed after a day out in the cold?” he asked, horrified disbelief colouring his words.
“It’s my bed, and yes, I would. I’m not putting up with anything that’ll make me cold. Hasn’t that sunk in yet?”
Moving back past the bed, Jack opened a tiny gap between the curtains and peered out. Snow and ice were everywhere. Not pristine, freshly fallen snow either; it was grubby and greyish, packed down and frozen solid wherever people had walked, and slushy brown across the road from generous applications of salt and grit, courtesy of Cardiff council. It was a deeply unappealing sight. Closing the curtains again, he checked his VM; the Rift was set to remain quiet for at least the next forty-eight hours, and no self-respecting Weevil would leave the cosy sewers in this kind of weather; they weren’t keen on snow. Jack came to a decision. Shrugging out of his clothes, he slid back into the bed, and pulled the covers up over his head.
“What’re you doing, Jack? I already told you I didn’t want your cold feet in my bed.”
“Ah, but I’m not cold yet; I’m still all nice and warm from the shower, see?” Jack snuggled in against Ianto’s back, radiating warmth.
Ianto hummed in apparent approval. “Nice.”
Beneath the coves, there was the sound of a mobile phone being dialled. After a moment, the phone on the other end was answered.
“Owen? Are you at the Hub yet?”
“Yeah,” Owen’s voice came faint and a bit tinny through the receiver. “I just got here. Where are you?”
“At Ianto’s. Change of plans; you’re in charge today.”
“Because Ianto and I were out half the night in a freezing cold blizzard, that’s why. We only just got thoroughly warmed up, and we’ve got no intention of going out in the cold again if we don’t have to. Don’t bother calling us unless the world is about to end; we’ve decided to hibernate until the weather improves. The Rift’s quiet; you, Gwen, and Tosh can handle things by yourselves today.” Ianto mumbled something sleepily. “Oh yes, Ianto says don’t forget to feed Myfanwy and the other residents.”
“You can’t do this!” Owen protested. “It’s not fair!”
“Sure I can; I’m the boss, I get to make all the big, important decisions, so I’ve given myself and Ianto the day off. We might take tomorrow off as well; Ianto could do with the rest. See you in a day or two.”
That was as far as Owen got before Jack hung up on him, turning the phone off and shoving it under the pillows, out of the way. He wrapped his arm around Ianto’s warm body, pulling him closer, and let his eyes slide shut, listening to his lover’s slow, peaceful breathing. He smiled contentedly; this was so much nicer than having to brave the arctic conditions outside. Maybe Ianto was on to something with this whole hibernation idea; the possibilities were definitely worth investigating.