Characters: Ianto, Meriel, Nosy, Jack.
Summary: It’s a warm summer afternoon, and Ianto’s been doing the laundry. Now he can relax for a while.
Word Count: 802
Written For: My own prompt ‘Any, Any, Drying in the sun,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
Ianto smiled in satisfaction; the laundry was finished and hanging out on the washing line, swaying gently back and forth in the warm breeze as it dried in the sun. There was nothing better than the smell of clean, sun-dried laundry. Tumble dryers were great to get clothes dry quickly, especially in bad weather when hanging them out on the line wasn’t an option, but whenever possible, he preferred to get the job done the old-fashioned way. Even though it took longer, it was just so much better, and besides, he found it a soothing task.
Job done for the moment, he nipped indoors and fetched himself a cold drink before stretching out on one of the sun-loungers to enjoy the weather, glad that today had been his turn to take care of his and Jack’s daughter while his husband went to the Hub. Sharing Torchwood’s leadership had been a brilliant idea, though he said so himself.
In the shade on the green expanse of artificial turf that passed for their lawn, Meriel was happily playing with Nosy; they were rolling a ball back and forth between them, completely engrossed in the simple game. At eight and a half months old, Meriel could already stand and walk a few steps, but still preferred crawling around with her best friend, chattering away to Nosy in a language the Fluff understood better than either of her parents, who could only make out occasional words. One of the advantages of being strongly empathic, Ianto supposed. His own empathic ability was several orders of magnitude lower than their alien friend’s.
Having Nosy around was a benefit for all of them. Meriel had a tireless playmate who was perfectly happy to spend hours playing in whatever way she chose. It was also teaching her all kinds of things and under its tutelage Meriel’s motor skills seemed to improve daily. Knowing that Meriel was in safe hands, so to speak, under the Fluff’s supervision also meant Ianto and Jack could get on with whatever chores required their attention without needing to worry about where their baby was or what she was doing. That wasn’t to say they didn’t play with her themselves at every opportunity, because they did, but when there were things that had to be done, Meriel was kept entertained so she never got bored or into mischief.
Ianto didn’t even have to put her down for a nap, because Nosy knew when naptime was and would simply curl around the little girl, encouraging her to lie down. Then she’d pet its soft fluff until she fell sleep to the sound of its soothing humming, no tears or tantrums, just contentment.
Closing his eyes, Ianto listened to the washing flapping on the line, the laughter of his daughter, and the encouraging hums of the family pet. Life didn’t get any better than this!
He was half dozing himself when Jack arrived home, hot and tired, coming straight out onto the roof garden looking for his family.
“Tough day?” Ianto asked sympathetically.
“You could say that. Really not the weather for chasing grumpy Weevils around the docks.”
“Mm, rather you than me! Why don’t you go take a nice shower? That’ll make you feel better. Then you can come out here and relax with a cold drink while I fix dinner.”
“That is an excellent idea.” Jack dropped a kiss on the top of Ianto’s head, then did the same to Meriel and Nosy before going back indoors to shower.
Fifteen minutes later he was back again, dressed only in swimming trunks, hair still wet, and trails of water running down his body. He dropped onto the other sun-lounger with a contented sigh. “Figured I might as well dry in the sun too; if it’s good enough for the laundry then it’s good enough for me.”
“Daft sod,” Ianto chuckled. “I’m surprised you bothered with your trunks.”
“You’d have made me go back and put ‘em on if I hadn’t.”
“True enough. What d’you fancy for dinner?”
“You don’t have anything planned?”
“Not really. After the day you’ve had I thought I’d let you choose.”
“Oh. Well, I’m easy.”
“I know that,” Ianto smirked.
“You love it.”
“I do,” Jack agreed. “Okay, how about one of your delicious stir-frys, maybe with extra bean sprouts? I’m starving.”
“I can do that. Iced orange juice do you for a drink? I had some earlier; very refreshing.”
Ianto fetched Jack’s drink then went back indoors to prepare their dinner. Stir-fry was quick and easy; perhaps they could eat it outside, breathing in the scent of drying laundry. He’d bring Meriel her bottle too, and some fruit and veg for Nosy. He couldn’t think of a more pleasant and relaxing way to spend a long, sunny summer evening.