Title: The Most Beautiful Sight
Characters/Pairing: Jack/Ianto, Meriel (OFC)
Word Count: 986
Summary: Jack and Ianto have a day out with their daughter
Written For: My cottoncandy_bingo square Beautiful.
Beta: The wonderful iantojjackh who went above and beyond the call of duty to do a high-speed beta at very short notice. Thanks so much!
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood or any of the characters. Which is sad.
A/N: I’ve had a vague idea for a while and finally decided I should just start writing and see what I ended up with. This is it.
Jack smiled happily. They had a whole day to themselves and for once even the weather was on their side.
In fact, it was the perfect day for a picnic; warm enough for t-shirts but not so hot as to make them feel unpleasantly sticky. The sun was shining high in a sky of azure blue while a gentle, cooling breeze sent fleecy little white clouds drifting lazily across its expanse. Jack thought they looked like fluffy Welsh sheep.
Ianto heartily approved of Jack’s idea for the day.
“I’ll pack a picnic lunch, you get Meriel’s things together.”
“Deal,” said Jack, leaning in to give his husband a quick kiss. “Where should we go? Beach or countryside?”
“Beach!” shouted Meriel, bouncing up and down and surprising her fathers. They hadn’t heard her come in.
“Oops! So much for surprising her. She’s as sneaky as her taddy! Okay, Princess, the beach it is.” Jack picked the three-year-old up and spun her around. “Let’s go get you ready. What do you need for the beach?”
“Bucket an’ spade! Towel! Swimsuit!”
“Don’t forget the sunscreen, Jack. We don’t want her getting burned.”
“I’ll make sure. We should make a checklist of beach essentials.”
“It’s in the top left-hand drawer of my desk. The file labelled ‘Outings’.”
“Of course it is.” Jack smiled fondly at Ianto. “You think of everything.”
“Someone has to. It’s the only way I can keep you two menaces organised,” Ianto teased.
Since it was mid-week and still term time, there weren’t too many people about and the little family was able to find a good spot with plenty of undisturbed sand and a clear run down to the water. While Ianto set up the windbreak to give them some shade and a bit of privacy, Jack got Meriel into her swimsuit and liberally coated with waterproof, factor 50 sunscreen. Their daughter was as fair-skinned as Ianto; he wasn’t about to take any chances with either of them.
“Don’t forget her ears,” Ianto reminded him.
Meriel giggled as Jack rubbed the cream in.
“It’ll do far worse than tickle if they get burned. Hold still, you little wriggler!”
By the time Meriel was thoroughly basted and happily digging in the sand, Ianto had everything set up and was stripped down to his trunks. Jack wiggled slippery fingers in front of him.
“My hands are already covered in the stuff; might as well do you too.”
“Offer accepted. You do me, then I’ll do you.”
“In public? Ianto, I’m shocked,” Jack smirked. “Although if you’re willing…”
Ianto rolled his eyes.
“I walked right into that one didn’t I? One of these days I’ll learn to check for accidental innuendo before I speak.”
“Where would the fun be in that?”
“At this rate, we’re going to corrupt our daughter before she even starts school. You put sunscreen on me, and I’ll do the same for you. Okay?”
Jack started at the top, slathering cream on Ianto’s ears, nose and the rest of his face, then working downwards. When he’d finished, he wiped his hands on the damp cloth Ianto handed him before shucking out of his clothes so that Ianto could do the same to him.
Ianto rolled his eyes when he saw what Jack had on under his jeans.
“A Speedo, Jack? Really?”
“Hey, if you’ve got it, flaunt it!”
“You have no shame whatsoever.”
“Got nothing to be ashamed of!”
Ianto’s eyes wandered over Jack’s body.
“That’s true. Every inch of you is bloody gorgeous.”
“And there are plenty of inches.” Jack winked lasciviously.
“You love it!”
Ianto had to concede that point.
The day out was heaven. Building sandcastles with their little girl, tossing the beach-ball around, swimming in the cool sea… Meriel was like a little fish, as at home in the water as she was on land, splashing about, laughing and squealing with delight. Ianto was so engrossed in her antics that he didn’t even realise Jack had left them until the click of the camera startled him. Looking up, he saw his husband standing knee-deep in the water, grinning all over his face and snapping picture after picture of his family.
“Jack!” Ianto protested. “Cut it out, I must look a sight with my hair all wet.
Jack shook his head and snapped another picture.
“I’ve seen some of the most breathtaking sights in the universe; wind-sculpted ice planets, rare flowers that bloom once in a thousand years, living crystal formations like the most delicate lace, supernovas and eclipses and meteor showers that look like swarms of giant fireflies skipping through the night sky. But in all the places I’ve been and all the things I’ve seen, I’ve never come across any sight more beautiful than my husband and our daughter playing together on a perfect summer day. I don’t ever want to forget a minute of this, even if we live to be a billion.”
Scooping Meriel into his arms, Ianto waded over to Jack, hugging and kissing him.
“You’re a sappy, romantic idiot and I love you both more than anything. Now hold our Princess so I can take pictures too, because even though I haven’t been to as many places or seen half as much as you have, the two of you will always be the most beautiful sight I’ll ever see in my life. You’re right, we should have as many pictures as we can so that in a billion years we can look back on this day and remember everything about it.”
So from then on, they took photographs of every day out, every important event, and all the silly, little ones as well and even though they saw and photographed many amazing sights throughout the billions of years they travelled together, the pictures of themselves and their children remained the most precious and beautiful to them, and they remembered, forever.