Characters: Jack, Meriel, Nosy, Ianto.
Word Count: 1291
Summary: Jack is worn out and the weather is perfect for a relaxing outdoor siesta…
Written For: Challenge 270: Shower at fan_flashworks.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters.
It was a hot but hazy day in Cardiff, and Jack was feeling lazy, partly because of the weather, but mostly because at only three months old Meriel wasn’t sleeping through the night yet. She was sleeping now though, strapped into her baby bouncer in the living room, where it was shady and not too hot, but in clear view of where Jack was lounging in a deckchair just outside the French doors.
Nosy was outside too, revelling in the warmth of early summer. It had exercised earlier, before it got too hot out; full-body stretches followed by twenty laps around the garden. Later, Jack would probably accompany the Fluff down to its jungle gym for a more extensive workout; tired though he was from being woken at all hours by a hungry, demanding baby, he still needed to keep himself in shape. It would be his turn to go to the Hub the following day while Ianto took looked after their daughter, and Torchwood was an even more demanding job than caring for a new baby.
That was for later though; right now the sun was shining, chores had been done, and with Meriel fed, changed, and content it was the perfect opportunity for Jack to take a badly needed siesta. Nosy seemed to agree with that idea, stretched out on its back in the sunshine, its thick fur fluffed out, soaking up the warmth and letting the light breeze air out the parts that were usually in contact with the ground. Closing his eyes, Jack soon drifted off, knowing that either Meriel or Nosy would wake him if he was needed.
How long he’d been asleep Jack had no idea, but he was abruptly and rudely awakened by a brilliant flash of light and a loud rumbling noise, as though someone was rolling a heavy rock across a wooden floor. Blinking groggily up through his sunglasses at a sky that looked a lot darker than it had been, Jack was still trying to get his brain in gear when several warm, wet droplets landed on his face and chest. It was raining!
From a short distance away, there came a startled squeak from Nosy, who must also have been fast asleep, and a scuffling sound as the Fluff struggled to turn right side up in a hurry. Jack himself was floundering, trying to get out of his deckchair, which seemed unwilling to let him go, then the heavens opened and the rain poured down…
Well okay, ‘poured’ was probably a slight exaggeration, it was little more than a heavy summer shower; as lightning flashed and thunder rumbled again, further off this time, the sky was already getting lighter, the small storm cloud continuing on its way to bother someone else. The rain was following it, falling more gently now, but just as wetly, and Jack finally escaped his deckchair as it eased of to a light drizzle, although he made no move to go indoors. There was little point now since the rain had all but stopped, so he simply stood there on the rain-splattered boards, dripping wet and feeling hard done by. Couldn’t he even take a well-earned nap in peace and comfort now?
A quick glance through the French doors showed that Meriel had slept through the whole drama, undisturbed. She twitched slightly in her sleep, pouting her rosebud lips and waving one chubby fist, then settled more deeply into whatever sweet dreams she was having. That was good; at least he wouldn’t have to cope with a crying baby while he was wet.
He glared after the retreating cloud that had spoiled his siesta and was still scowling in its direction when he got hit by another shower of water droplets. Whirling around seeking the source, his annoyance evaporated as his gaze fell on Nosy. The Fluff was soaking wet and bedraggled, its fur flattened and weighed down by the water that had soaked into it. Unlike some creatures, Fluffs were not especially waterproof. It shook itself vigorously again, sending another shower of water droplets Jack’s way and he jumped backwards to avoid getting splashed. Nosy gave an apologetic hum.
“Don’t worry about it, I’m already wet anyway. Shake off as much as you can while I fetch some towels.”
Kicking off his wet trainers, Jack made his way through the flat up to the en suite bathroom off the master bedroom, dropping his wet clothes in the bath to be dealt with later and roughly towelling himself off, before pulling on a pair of swimming trunks and gathering a load of dry towels.
Nosy was waiting for him when he got back, gently steaming in the sunlight. Dropping to his knees beside the Fluff, Jack set to work with his towels, vigorously rubbing at the green fur to get the worst of the water out. It took quite a while, working his way along the five and a half metre body, and by the time he was done, Jack was hot and sweaty and his arms ached.
“You’d better stay here and finish drying off in the sun. I’ll put these towels on to wash.” Jack stood up and collected the wet towels, going back indoors. He needed to freshen up and put some clothes on; it wouldn’t do to for him get sunburned on top of everything else.
As he loaded the washing machine and got it started he wondered whether or not to continue his siesta out in his deckchair. It was bright and sunny again now, but it had been before when he’d settled down for his nap; there was no guarantee it would stay that way though, and the last thing he wanted was another soaking.
When Ianto arrived home that evening, he found Jack in his deckchair and Nosy stretched out on a blanket just inside the open French doors, relaxing in the evening sunlight. Jack was giving Meriel a bottle.
“Why aren’t you outside enjoying the beautiful weather?” Ianto asked, bemused. “That’s what the deck’s for.”
“We were earlier, but…” Jack told his husband about getting drenched by the unexpected rainstorm. “After that, it just seemed more sensible to stay where any unexpected showers couldn’t get at us. It wouldn’t have been so bad for me, but wet Fluffs take a lot of drying, even in sunny weather, and I didn’t want Nosy catching a chill.”
“Sounds like you had a busy day; I’ve been stuck in the Hub most of the time, doing paperwork. Didn’t even know it had been raining.”
“I was only the one shower, but one was enough. Neither of us particularly fancied getting wet again.”
“And yet you hung the towels out to dry after washing them,” Ianto observed, a hint of amusement in his voice.
“Of course. I figured if it rained again I’d just leave them out there. It’s not like getting wet will harm them and they’re bound to dry out eventually.”
Ianto could hardly argue with that; laundry always smelled nicer when dried on the line.
“Why don’t I go and get fish and chips for dinner, save either of us having to cook? We can eat it right here in our deckchairs and pretend we’re at the beach.”
Once again Jack thanked the universe for giving him such an understanding husband; their arrangement was that whoever stayed home with the baby was supposed to make dinner, but after drying Nosy and getting the laundry hung out, all Jack wanted to do was rest.
He smiled gratefully up at Ianto. “That sounds like a wonderful idea.” With his amazing husband, their beautiful daughter, and their loyal pet, Jack felt truly blessed; he had to be the luckiest main the world.