Characters: Ianto, Jack, OMC.
Summary: Coming home from a wonderful holiday is always a bit depressing, but trust the British weather to make things even worse.
Word Count: 1360
Written For: My own prompt ‘Any, Any, Cold and damp,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
“Welcome to British summertime,” Ianto sighed gloomily, staring out at the dismal weather.
Jack nodded. “I’d almost forgotten what Cardiff can be like in summer.” The absolute worst thing about tropical vacations was coming home afterwards and being greeted by the cold and damp, especially since it had been so hot on their paradise island that they’d boarded the plane still dressed in shorts and t-shirts. While waiting to retrieve their suitcases they’d pulled on the lightweight jackets they’d packed in their hand luggage, but those weren’t going to provide much defence against the chill drizzle falling outside and the even colder wind gusting from the north. As homecomings went, this one was a complete washout.
It was no good hovering just inside the airport’s main doors though; as much as they might wish they could, turning around and catching the next plane to somewhere warmer wasn’t an option. They’d just enjoyed a luxurious three-week vacation, and other members of the team deserved some time off too; they shouldn’t be greedy. Besides, they had responsibilities and who knew what kind of mess the rest of the team had made of the Hub while they’d been away?
Ianto did his best to brace himself against the inclement conditions, taking a deep breath and screwing up the old Welsh fortitude. “Suppose we’d better show willing. Hopefully we won’t have to stand out there for too long waiting for a taxi.”
“I’m not,” said Jack firmly.
Ianto frowned at his other half. “You’re not what?”
“Willing. Can’t we just stand here until a taxi shows up? Or we could phone for one…”
“There are plenty of available taxis, Jack… There, we just missed another one. That could have been ours,” Ianto grumbled as a family who’d only just that minute stepped out into the weather bundled into a vehicle that had just pulled up. “We might have been on our way home already instead of standing here in a draught.”
“I don’t see why one of the team couldn’t have picked us up.”
“The team’s two men down without us and they have enough work to do without playing chauffer when we’re perfectly capable of making our own way home. Now come on, let’s get out there before we miss another taxi.” Ianto pulled his suitcase towards the automatic doors and Jack had little choice but to follow him if he didn’t want to get left behind. Stepping out into what felt like an icy blast after the warm breezes he’d grown accustomed to, he huddled into his jacket, feeling goosebumps popping up on his legs, exposed as they were to the elements.
They stood forlornly at the kerb, waiting impatiently, shuffling from foot to foot, hugging themselves and shivering as the rain pattered down around them, soaking into their hair and clothes. The cold wind only added to their discomfort. There was no sign of any taxis.
“Maybe we should go back inside,” Jack suggested after they’d stood there for a good five minutes getting steadily colder, their damp clothes clinging unpleasantly. Their wonderful vacation already seemed like a distant dream, the memory of hot sunshine and sandy beaches washed away by the unrelenting drizzle.
“If we do that, a taxi will arrive, someone else will get it, and we’ll still be stranded.” Pessimism was settling around Ianto like a wet blanket.
“But at least we wouldn’t be getting rained on.”
“We’re already wet, Jack. Going back inside won’t change that.”
“We’d be out of the wind. I still think we should go inside and call a taxi, or the team. Have someone come and get us.” Jack hunched his shoulders. “I wish I’d got my coat.”
“You didn’t need it while we were away, and if you had taken it on holiday with us, it’s so bulky and heavy it would have taken up most of your luggage allowance. Finally! Come on.” Ianto grabbed Jack by the arm and tugged him forward as a taxi pulled up. Jack flailed for the handle of his suitcase, just managing to snag it with the tips of his fingers and dragging it along behind him as he stumbled after his other half.
The driver got out and opened the boot for them to shove their suitcases in, and then they were scrambling gratefully into the back seat, out of the wind and rain.
“Not exactly dressed for the weather, are you?” the taxi driver commented as he turned up the heater and pulled away from the kerb. “You look half frozen.”
“Not much call for sweaters and raincoats on a tropical island,” Ianto replied. His tone was a lot drier than the rest of him.
“Don’t imagine there would be. Nice weather, was it?”
“Perfect,” Jack replied wistfully, picturing the paradise they’d left behind. “Sunshine, blue skies, balmy nights with the palm trees swaying in a warm breeze…”
“Lucky you; been cold, wet, and windy here. Wish I could get away for a tropical vacation. I got three kids and a wife to support though. Don’t have much money left over after paying the bills, just enough for a week in a caravan out Swansea way. Ah well, maybe someday when the kids are all grown up.”
That put things in perspective a bit, making Ianto feel guilty for grumbling. Yes, he and Jack were unpleasantly cold and damp, and wishing they were still basking in paradise, but at least they’d had the opportunity to get away from the miserable Welsh weather for three glorious weeks. They had no right to complain when there were a lot of people who would never be able to afford the kind of luxury vacation they’d just returned from.
Soon they’d be home, where they could take a hot shower and dress in dry clothes more suited to the less than summery conditions, and they’d have the memory of the last three blissful weeks to sustain them through another wet Welsh summer. Not only that, but they had their next vacation to plan and look forward to. They could afford to get away a couple of times a year, which was more than could be said of many hard-working folks who were just about managing to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.
By the time the taxi pulled up outside the former warehouse that now housed their luxury penthouse flat, Jack and Ianto had mostly shaken off their post-vacation gloom, reminded of just how lucky they were. So what if it was wet and chilly here? They had a lot to be thankful for, and their recent tropical vacation was only a small part of that.
While Ianto was unloading their suitcases from the boot of the taxi, Jack paid the driver, telling him to keep the change and shoving an extra fifty quid into his hand. “Thanks for the ride.” He knew the extra money wouldn’t go far for a family man working hard to make ends meet, but every little bit helped.
Standing in the rain, suddenly feeling less cold than they had, they watched the taxi depart before letting themselves in through the ground floor garage area and taking the old freight lift up to their flat.
“Home sweet home!” Jack said, unlocking the front door and ushering Ianto in ahead of him. “Let’s get out of these wet things and into something more comfortable.”
“A hot shower, coffee, and then I’ll get a washer load on,” Ianto said with a smile. “Get our wet clothes washed before they start going mouldy. After that, we should probably check in at the Hub, see what mischief the team’s got up to in our absence.”
“We only just got back and you want to go to work already?”
Ianto raised an eyebrow. “Want? No, not particularly, but we might as well find out the worst right away and get it over with. Besides, there’s a certain Fluff who I’m sure will be very happy to see us.”
Jack grinned. “That’s true; it wouldn’t be fair to keep Nosy waiting.”
Despite the cold and the rain, it really was good to be home.