Characters: Ianto, Jack, Nosy, OC.
Summary: It’s the middle of the night, but despite feeling exhausted, Ianto has to get up again.
Word Count: 890
Written For: My own prompt ‘Torchwood, Any, Sleepless nights,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
By now Ianto was well used to sleepless nights; they went with the job. Working for Torchwood was never going to be a nine to five kind of career; if the Rift operated on any kind of schedule, it was one of its own devising and something even Tosh, genius though she undoubtedly was, had so far been unable to decipher.
All Torchwood agents knew that even if they did manage to get to bed at a decent hour, chances were they’d have to get up in the middle of the night to deal with a Rift alert, or a rampaging Weevil, an alien invasion, or the apocalypse, so like every Torchwood agent who’d gone before him, having to function on not enough sleep was something he’d learned to live with.
Not that it was ever what anyone would consider an enjoyable way of living. He’d seen the sun come up way too many times after working right through the night saving the world yet again. You’d think the world in general would be more appreciative of Torchwood’s efforts, but they still had to put up with endless complaints and aggravation. That was the trouble with being a ‘secret’ organisation. You got no respect because nobody really had any idea that without Torchwood the whole planet would have been taken over by aliens, or destroyed, years ago. It was literally a thankless task.
It felt to Ianto like he’d only been asleep for five minutes, dog tired as he’d been when he’d fallen into bed at gone midnight, when a familiar, strident noise woke him. He looked at the clock by his bedside and found that it was actually just after three in the morning. Wow, amazing; he’d had nearly three hours of uninterrupted sleep! That must practically be a record these days. Beside him, Jack stirred and started to sit up.
“Go back to sleep, Cariad,” Ianto murmured. “You went last time; this one’s my turn.”
“You’re sure? You looked done in when you came to bed.”
“Being immortal means lack of sleep isn’t likely to kill either of us,” Ianto said wryly. “Even if it does, it’ll only be temporary. We can survive anything; even sleepless nights.”
“Immortality does have some perks,” Jack agreed, gratefully flopping back against the pillows. “Call me if you need me.”
“I will.” Ianto gave his husband a quick peck on the lips. “But I won’t need to; this is a one-man job.” Pulling his robe on, he padded barefoot into the next room.
Nosy was wide awake and alert, albeit a bit ruffled, fluff sticking up in every direction, and it turned briefly to look at him, humming a greeting. Ianto gave it a quick scritch on the head before turning his attention to the source of the noise.
“Hey there, little one, what’s all this noise about? Hungry, wet, or both?” Lifting his month-old daughter out of her crib, he checked her nappy. “Hungry it is, but I bet you’ll need changing after your feed, won’t you? Little minx.”
Meriel calmed a little once she was in his arms, but continued to grizzle as he made up her bottle mostly one-handed, with some assistance from Nosy. Once the bottle was plugged into her hungry little mouth, Meriel fell silent except for greedy slurping sounds, and Ianto sank into the rocking chair by the window, looking out over the moon-washed city and rocking slowly.
He was used to being dragged out of a deep sleep at all hours, yes, but this was a completely different matter. There were no aliens to fight, no hidden dangers to watch out for, not even any need to brave the often inclement Welsh weather, although for once it was dry and clear out. All he had to do was sit here and satisfy the needs of this small new person who depended on him and Jack for everything, and the worst thing he’d have to face was a dirty nappy. Which was, admittedly, not for the faint-hearted, but he’d seen and smelled worse since joining Torchwood Three. Once you’ve had a few putrid alien corpses explode all over you, anything else is almost pleasant in comparison.
Despite a long and hard day at work, he found he didn’t mind having to get up for this. Every moment spent bonding with their daughter was well spent, and tomorrow, or rather today, he’d get to spend the whole day with her because it was Jack’s turn to go to work. Alternating workdays meant that neither of them could say the other was hogging the baby, and they didn’t go stir crazy from being at home all the time. It had been one of his better ideas.
Nosy slithered over to rest its head on the arm of the chair, watching Meriel feed, its big green eyes wide and adoring. The Fluff was so devoted a nursemaid that it hadn’t left the flat since she was born. Perhaps tomorrow they’d all go and spend some time in Nosy’s ground floor adventure playground, so it could get some exercise without feeling like it was abandoning its responsibilities. First though, he’d have to do the shopping. He’d already made a list of everything they needed.
Smiling, Ianto relaxed. He honestly didn’t see how his life could get any better than this.