Characters: Ianto, Jack.
Summary: Jack is panicking because he can’t find something he desperately needs.
Word Count: 929
Written For: Prompt # 013 – Superstition at fandomweekly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
Ianto sat on the end of the bed and watched in exasperated amusement as Jack dug through the dresser, spilling clothing onto the floor and making a complete mess of what remained in the drawers.
“Want to tell me why you’re turning everything into a shambles that I’ll no doubt have to clean up once you’ve finished your rampage?” he finally asked.
“I can’t find my lucky shorts!” Jack whined.
“Your what? You have lucky underwear?”
“Yes! The spotty ones.”
Ianto shook his head. “I’ll probably regret asking this, but what makes that particular pair luckier than any others?”
“They just are!” Jack pouted. “Good things happen when I wear them,” and he started turning out another drawer.
“I was wearing them when I won the lottery!”
“You won ten quid, Jack. You spent more than that on tickets.”
“I still won! And I had them on when those Cluvonites tried to invade Cardiff a few months ago. Nobody even got hurt! That was really lucky.”
“Okay, I’ll give you that one; the sun coming out at just the right moment really was a stroke of luck. I almost felt sorry for the Cluvonites; they really don’t handle sunshine well. Having them spontaneously combust like that made them a lot easier to deal with though.”
“It really did. They can be nasty devils; all those teeth aren’t just for show, you know.” Jack paused in his search to give Ianto his best wide-eyed, serious look. “That’s not all. I was wearing my lucky shorts the day that Picnovore came back to life on Owen’s autopsy table. It would have killed Tosh if Janet hadn’t come charging out of the vaults and eaten it.”
“That was weird,” Ianto agreed. “I still don’t know how she managed to get out of her cell.”
“It was the influence of my lucky shorts,” Jack said firmly. “Must have been.”
Ianto did his best to ignore the shaky logic of Jack’s statement. “All that doesn’t explain why you need to wear lucky underwear today of all days.” He looked questioningly at Jack, one eyebrow raised, waiting to be enlightened.
Jack ceased his frantic rummaging and turned to face Ianto, an expression of near panic on his face. “You can’t have forgotten what today is! First off I’ve got that videoconference with the new PM this morning, to answer his questions about Torchwood after he’s been briefed; I’ll need all the luck I can get just to survive that without losing my mind along with my temper. But that’s not even the worst thing; I’m meeting your sister and her family tonight!”
Ianto glared at Jack. “Well, if that’s such an awful prospect, why did you even agree to go to Rhi’s birthday bash with me? I thought you said you wanted to meet them,” he huffed.
“I do, I’m just terrified I’ll make a mess of everything and they’ll all wind up hating me! I want to make a good impression, but you know how good I am at opening my mouth and putting my foot in it. I really need my lucky shorts, Ianto. Please help me find them!” Jack looked pleadingly at his lover.
Ianto sighed, defeated once more by Jack’s puppy-dog eyes. “Fine, I think they’re in the drier. I’ll go look while you pick all this up.” He waved his hands to indicate the chaos Jack had created. “You made the mess so you can clean it up, I want everything folded neatly and put back in the right drawers.”
Jack looked at the clothes on the floor, then at the drawers. “But I don’t know what fell out of which drawer!”
Rolling his eyes, Ianto started for the bedroom door. “You can figure it out by looking at what’s still in the drawers, can’t you?”
“I know.” Before leaving the room, Ianto paused in the doorway, a puzzled expression on his face. “Jack?”
“How come you’re so superstitious? You’re from way in the future! I always thought that as humanity evolved and met other races, we’d eventually grow out of all our silly superstitions.”
Jack smiled wryly. “Doesn’t work like that. Oh, we’ll grow out of some of them when they no longer have any meaning. For instance, by the 51st century four-leaf clovers aren’t considered lucky anymore because all clover has at least four leaves, and nobody cares when a cat of any colour crosses their path because cat-kind are just another race of people. Even touching wood is considered pointless because there’s so little of the genuine stuff around in the future, and besides, it offends the people of the Forest of Cheem. On the whole though, humans in my time are probably even more superstitious than they are now, because every time they meet new races they tend to pick up their superstitions along with other aspects of their cultures.”
Ianto sighed. “So much for my dreams of future enlightenment for the human race. We really are a gullible bunch, aren’t we?”
“Just be thankful I don’t still feel compelled to hop on one leg while flapping my arms to ward off bad luck every time somebody sneezes.”
Jack nodded. “We got that one from the Thrawns, a birdlike race who believe sneezes are evil spirits being expelled from their hosts. The hopping and flapping is supposed to prevent them entering a new host.”
“Huh. I suppose believing in lucky underwear is fairly mundane compared to that,” and with a shrug, Ianto went to fetch Jack’s shorts from the drier.