Title: Memory Aid
Characters: Ianto, Jack
Summary: Jack’s method of remembering something important proves less than successful.
Word Count: 550
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
It had been an insane day, with the whole team run off their feet dealing with multiple Rift events. They’d scarcely had time to catch their breath since the early hours of the morning when the Rift monitor first went off, dragging them all out of their comfy beds to deal with a downed spacecraft.
Now it was late afternoon; Jack and Ianto were in the SUV on their way out into the wilderness, otherwise known as the Welsh countryside, to pick up yet another piece of flotsam. Jack was driving and Ianto couldn’t help but notice the piece of string tied neatly around the other man’s left index finger.
“This is probably a silly question, but is there a reason you have a bit of string tied round your finger?”
“Yep! It’s there to remind me!” Jack sounded smugly pleased with himself.
“Remind you of what?”
Jack’s smile faded into a frown. “Ah. I forget. But I know it was something important so it’s bound to come to me.” He tried his best to sound confident, but Ianto didn’t buy it for a minute.
“Good luck with that.”
At least the retrieval went smoothly. One object, mostly harmless, was collected and placed in a containment box for transport back to the Hub. Jack said it looked like part of a navigation system from a scout ship, kind of like a SatNav for space travel. Naturally it was broken, but tinkering with it should keep Tosh entertained for a while so it wasn’t completely useless.
Piling back into the SUV for the journey back to the Hub, this time with Ianto driving, Jack fastened his seat belt and stared at the string around his finger.
“I wish I could remember what this was supposed to remind me about,” he said, poking at it.
Ianto snorted. “Next time you need to remember something, why don’t you try writing it down?”
“I did, but then I lost the piece of paper.” He held up his finger. “This is supposed to work.”
“The only way that would ever work as a reminder is if you used the string to tie a note to your finger so you couldn’t lose it.”
Jack scowled at him. “I’ll remember; you’ll see.”
Ianto laughed. “I won’t hold my breath waiting.”
When they were five miles outside Cardiff and halfway up a long hill, the SUV’s engine suddenly coughed, spluttered, and died.
“Crap,” Ianto muttered. “Now what?” Slamming his foot on the brake to keep the SUV from rolling back down the hill, he set the handbrake, preparing to get out and take a look under the bonnet. Maybe he could fix whatever was wrong and get them going again. The sun was setting and it would soon be dark. Before he could open the door, Jack, who had been staring at his finger the entire time, abruptly straightened up in his seat.
“Aha!” he cried triumphantly. “Now I remember what this piece of string was for! It was to remind me to fill up the SUV because the tank was almost empty!”
Ianto looked at Jack incredulously then slumped back in the driver’s seat with a heartfelt groan.
“Of course it was.”
“I told you I’d remember!”
There was nothing Ianto could say to that.