Characters: Ianto, Jack.
Summary: Jack’s 2,000th birthday is coming up, but what can Ianto get him?
Word Count: 1703
Written For: juliet316’s prompt ‘Torchwood, Jack Harkness, his 2,000th birthday,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
A/N: Set in my Through Time and Space ‘Verse.
It was that time again, and as always, Ianto was at a loss. Despite the obvious downsides to being immortal, there were a lot of good points too, especially when you had a TARDIS to travel through time and space in, and a gorgeous husband to share forever with. Unfortunately it meant finding the perfect birthday gift got harder every year. Still, if in doubt, ask.
“So,” Ianto said, flopping down beside his husband on one of the sofas in te console room, “what d’you want for your birthday this year?”
“You,” Jack said immediately, reaching out to pull Ianto close.
Ianto rolled his eyes. “You say that every year.”
“And I mean it every year. As long as I have you, what more could I possibly want?”
Ianto chuckled. “I can hardly wrap myself up for you every year…”
“You don’t need to, you come ready wrapped,” Jack teased, tugging lightly at Ianto’s shirt.
“Only because I get dressed every day, unlike some people I could name.” Ianto stared pointedly at Jack’s bare body. Which was not a chore at all; naked Jack was always worth looking at.
“I get dressed if we’re going anywhere,” Jack pointed out. “Why would I need to wear clothes in a climate-controlled environment? Come to that, why do you bother with them?”
“Because it’s generally considered good manners?” Perhaps it was old-fashioned, but it was the way Ianto had been brought up. Besides, even after al this time he wasn’t as comfortable in his bare skin as his husband was.
“Our TARDIS doesn’t mind.”
Which was true, she never complained, not that Ianto had ever heard, but… “Aren’t we getting a little off topic here? Focus, Jack; birthday. You’ll only complain if I don’t get you anything. And bear in mind it’s a big occasion this year.”
With the help of their TARDIS Ianto had succeeded in pinning down when Jack’s birthday should be, more or less; they’d settled on the eleventh of March, deciding that was about as close to accuracy as they were ever likely to get. As for his age… with all his bouncing around through time it was impossible to be completely accurate. They’d all agreed, for the sake of Jack’s vanity among other reasons, that the almost two thousand years he’d spent buried alive beneath Cardiff didn’t count. Technically he’d been dead through most of it anyway. Still, they’d managed to come up with a rough approximation, give or take a decade or two, which meant this year would be the 2,000th anniversary of Jack’s birth, if you ignored the fact that on Boeshane he wouldn’t be born for another few hundred years yet. Time travel was enough to make anyone’s mind boggle.
Tipping his head back, Jack stared up at the ceiling. “Maybe we should stop celebrating my birthday altogether. I mean, there’s no way of fitting that many candles on my cake.”
“We tried that five hundred years ago and you complained,” Ianto reminded him. “You love birthdays.”
“I do, but they remind me I’m getting older,” Jack pouted.
“We both are, but you still don’t look a day over thirty-five.” That was the age Jack put down on all official documents, when necessary, while Ianto claimed to be twenty-seven. “Besides, you’re only as old as you feel, which in your case means about five.”
“Very funny. I just happen to be young at heart.”
“Which is just another way of saying you’ve never grown up. So, back to my original question; what would my perennially young at heart husband like for his two-thousandth birthday?”
“I don’t know! I already have everything I could possibly want. Why don’t you surprise me?”
Ianto sighed, exasperated, although he didn’t know why; Jack was notorious for not being able to make up his mind. They’d already gone through the same rigmarole at Christmas, which Jack still insisted on celebrating even when they didn’t spend the festive season somewhere on earth, or on a planet colonised by humans. The TARDIS put up with being festooned with tinsel, baubles, and coloured lights surprisingly well. Ianto suspected she quite enjoyed looking appropriately festive, and it made Jack happy which was the main thing.
“Fine, but don’t complain if you don’t like what I get you.”
“I would never complain! If it’s from you, it doesn’t matter what it is, I’ll still love it,” Jack promised.
For the next few days Ianto racked his brains for ideas of what he could get Jack as a birthday gift. The TARDIS could produce just about anything they wanted when they wanted it; clothes were never a problem, when Jack could be persuaded to wear them, because the wardrobe was stocked with every style imaginable and they regularly picked up new outfits on the worlds they visited, just to add some variety to the selection. It was always a good idea to dress appropriately for whatever time or place they happened to be visiting.
They had a well-stocked library too, not just books but also music and visual entertainments, and they had a wide selection of games and jigsaw puzzles, so there was little point getting Jack something along those lines.
Jack wasn’t much into wearing jewellery either, aside from his wedding ring, his wristwatch, the vortex manipulator, and occasionally cufflinks. Ornaments were pointless, and they already had more sex toys than the most well stocked adult emporium could boast.
Then, when he was about to go mad with frustration, Ianto woke up in the middle of the night with a brilliant idea; it would take a bit of time and space travel, which was easy enough, but keeping Jack from finding out ahead of time might be a bit difficult. Then again, maybe not…
On the morning of his birthday, Jack awoke, eager and excited to see what Ianto had got for him, but although there was a beautiful birthday cake in the kitchen when he went to get breakfast, there was no present waiting to be opened. Had Ianto decided not to get him anything after all? His heart sank, but he tried not to let it show.
“Better get dressed, Jack,” Ianto said brightly, joining him.
“What? Why? It’s my birthday! Aren’t I supposed to spend the day doing whatever I want?” That was their usual birthday tradition.
“Any other time, yes, but not if you want your birthday present.”
“You did get me something?” Jack’s face lit up and he looked round eagerly, trying to spot his gift. “Where is it?”
“We have to go and get it. I’ve had the TARDIS set us down in an appropriate place, so hurry up and get dressed, and don’t forget your boots.”
“I’m going!” Jack dashed back to their suite to put some clothes on and was back in less than five minutes. Ianto had rarely seen him move so fast when there wasn’t a life-threatening emergency. “I’m ready! How do I look?”
Ianto looked his husband up and down; given the choice he usually went with either jeans or the World War Two era clothing he’d favoured when they’d lived on earth. Today he’d gone with jeans and t-shirt, to match Ianto’s casual outfit.
“You’ll do. Here.” He handed Jack a worn leather jacket. “Let’s go.”
“Where to?” Jack was practically bouncing with eagerness.
Ianto gave a mysterious smile and winked. “You’ll see.” He opened the TARDIS door and led Jack out.
Even in the year 2120, it was still situated in exactly the same spot in had occupied since 1871 the only difference being that it had grown considerably larger over the years. London had changed around it, but like Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, and St Paul’s Cathedral, some places were considered inviolable. Besides, it was still needed as much as it ever had been.
“Where are we?” Jack frowned, puzzled.
Grinning, Ianto led him through wide gates and pointed at the sign above them: Battersea Dogs Home. “You’ve always said you’d like to have a dog, so I figured this would be a good time to re-home one, or maybe two. It’s not as if we don’t have the space, and the garden room is perfect for long walks and throwing balls…” Ianto trailed off into a squeak as Jack practically lifted him off his feet, hugging the stuffing out of him.
“You are the best husband in the entire universe and I love you!” he exclaimed before dumping Ianto back on the ground and practically dragging him towards the entrance.
They took their time, wandering among the kennels, meeting all the dogs waiting hopefully to be given forever homes; choosing was difficult because every dog in the place deserved a good home with a loving owner, but in the end Jack chose two dogs, a border collie and a golden retriever, that had come in together, found abandoned, chained up in a rubbish-strewn backyard, after the owners skipped town.
Thanks to some TARDIS trickery and psychic paper, they were able to skip forward in time and take possession of their new dogs almost immediately, but not before stopping by a pet store and stocking up on dog food, dishes, grooming brushes, toys, treats, and comfy beds for their new family members.
Leading the dogs into the TARDIS, Jack and Ianto let them have a sniff around the console room before taking them to the garden room for a run and a game of fetch.
“This is the best birthday ever!” Jack declared throwing a ball and watching both dogs tear after it.
“All you need to do now is decide what you’re going to call them.” The staff at Battersea had been calling them Eric and Ernie, which didn’t seem quite right to Ianto.
“I’m sure something will come to us once we get to know them a bit better,” Jack replied. “Wouldn’t want to stick them with names that don’t suit them, would we?”
“I suppose you’re right, but whatever you decide to call them, I think it’s safe to say they’re going to be the most well-travelled dogs in history.”
“You’re right,” Jack grinned. “I can’t wait to start showing them the universe!”