Characters: Ianto, Jack.
Summary: Living with Jack is causing Ianto to look at a lot of things differently.
Word Count: 672
Written For: eerian_sadow’s prompt ‘any, any, the sock-eating dryer,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
“Ianto! It’s done it again!”
Rolling his eyes, Ianto went to see what Jack was on about now. He’d thought having the Captain move in with him would simplify his life somewhat, but after three weeks he was starting to think the reverse was true. Jack just had a way of making everything more complicated than it needed to be.
“What’s wrong?” Generously, Ianto refrained from adding ‘this time’. Living together as well as working together meant they were seldom apart these days. It was only to be expected that the change to their living arrangements would require a certain degree of flexibility from both of them while they adjusted.
“Your dryer’s eaten my sock!”
Ianto laughed. “Dryers don’t eat socks, Jack.”
“Then why do I have one sock less than I put into it? What am I going to do with one odd sock?”
“You probably missed a sock when you moved them from the washer to the dryer. Either that or one of your socks never made it to the washing machine in the first place, which is no big surprise. You’ve lost more socks than I’ve had hot dinners.”
“Wrong, clever clogs! I put ten socks in the washer and I moved ten socks to the dryer. I counted both times, just to be sure, because this isn’t the first time I’ve found myself a sock short, but when I got everything out… Nine socks! Your dryer must have eaten it; there’s no other explanation!”
“It’s a machine, Jack, not a living creature! It doesn’t suddenly go ‘Hm, I feel a bit peckish, I fancy a sock’ and gobble one up.”
“How do you know?”
“How do you know it doesn’t? I mean, weird things happen around here all the time; we do live on a Rift through time and space. Think about it; I wear a semi-sentient, self-healing coat, and ever since half the inanimate objects in the Hub took on lives of their own, the fern in my office has been giving great scalp massages. And let’s not forget the incident with your shape-changing rug… What’s to say your dryer hasn’t been affected too?”
When Jack put it that way… Ianto cast a suspicious glance at his dryer. “It’s never eaten any of my socks,” he said, a trifle lamely.
“Yours are dress socks though, nice but not very substantial. Mine are thick and chunky, hardwearing, the sock equivalent of junk food. I know which I’d choose if I was a hungry living tumble dryer.”
Ianto frowned as he had a disturbing thought. What if it decided the occasional sock wasn’t enough to sate its appetite and started eating other things too? His shirts were pure cotton, and not cheap… “Stop it!” He turned to Jack, hands on hips. “You almost had me buying into your crazy theory! Probably all that’s happened is one of your socks has been somehow sucked into the mechanism. We open the back up and we’ll find your missing sock all shredded, maybe even several of them. You’ve had most of them so long they have more darned areas than original sock anyway; hardly surprising if the odd one disintegrates in the wash.”
“Hah! I’ve found the flaw in your theory!” Jack declared triumphantly.
“Really? Well go on; enlighten me!”
“My missing sock isn’t one of the old ones, it’s half of a new pair, only worn once! Explain that!”
Ianto might even have tried, except right at that moment, the dryer rocked slightly and made an odd noise that sounded suspiciously like a burp.
Ianto grabbed Jack by the arm and dragged him out of the laundry room towards the front door. “Put your boots and coat on.”
“What? Why? Where are we going?”
“To the shops. I think I need to replace my tumble dryer. The sooner the better.” He was sure he could find a place for the old one in the archives, and he was going to keep a very close eye on his appliances in future.