Characters: Ianto, Jack.
Summary: When the Rift alarms go off it the middle of the night, Jack and Ianto get a rude awakening.
Word Count: 1832
Written For: samuraiter’s prompt ‘Author's Choice, Any, "Someone's stolen all the buttons off me shirt!" (Whose Line Is It Anyway? U.K.),’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
Being dragged out of a deep sleep by a Rift alert is seriously disorienting. Jack and Ianto are snuggled up on Jack’s cot, dead to the world, when their peaceful dreams are abruptly interrupted by loud sirens, and while it’s far from being the first time they’ve experienced this kind of rude awakening, it isn’t something anyone can really grow accustomed to.
Ianto sits bolt upright and momentarily forgetting where he is, tries to get out of bed on the wrong side, nearly giving himself a concussion when his head hits the wall with a painful thud. Meanwhile, Jack falls off the other side onto the floor because his legs have become tangled in the covers.
After several minutes of scrabbling, they manage to get off the bed and on their feet, where they start fumbling around in the dim light coming through the manhole from Jack’s office, trying to find the clothes they shed a few hours earlier. Ianto pulls on his underwear and one sock as Jack shoves his arms into the sleeves of a shirt and goes to fasten it.
“Ianto!” he wails over the blaring alarms. “Someone's stolen all the buttons off my shirt!”
Abandoning the search for his other sock, Ianto straightens up and peers blearily at Jack’s chest. “That’s my shirt and the reason it hasn’t got any buttons is because you ripped it open last night in your hurry to get me naked and they all came off.” Ianto clearly remembers the popping and pinging sounds as buttons flew everywhere, ricocheting off the walls and furniture. Finding them again so he can sew them back on will be a nightmare. He should probably be cross with Jack about that, but the shirt can’t have been all that well made if they came off so easily without damaging the fabric. He takes another look. “You’ve got it on inside out anyway.”
“Oh. Right. I was wondering why it felt a bit tight.” Jack tugs the shirt off again and tosses it in the direction of his cot. Naturally he misses and it falls to the floor. Ianto shakes his head and goes back to gathering clothes. He hands Jack his trousers, which Jack obediently pulls on, then his boxer shorts, which he takes and stares at as if he doesn’t know what to do with them.
“They’re supposed to go on first,” Ianto reminds him, sitting down on the cot and tugging his second sock back off again because he’s accidentally put it on the same foot as the first one.
“Why didn’t you give them to me first then?” Jack gives his underwear another suspicious look and tosses them at the cot. They land on Ianto’s head, but slide off onto the floor to join the shirt when Ianto looks up
He frowns at Jack, though whether it’s because of Jack’s poor aim or the question he just asked is unclear. “Dunno.” He puts his sock on the bare foot and shoves both feet into his trousers at the same time, briefly getting stuck when they both go in the same leg, but managing to sort himself out. He stands so he can pull them up, fastening them and reaching for his jacket, then remembers he doesn’t have a shirt on. Or one that’s currently wearable. “I’m borrowing one of your shirts.”
“Fine. Get one for me too?” Jack asks. What became of the one he was wearing earlier is anybody’s guess, but it’s not visible. It’ll probably turn up at some point, unless it got snatched up by the Rift. He’s long since suspected that’s what happens to all the socks he keeps losing, although Ianto says he loses them because he takes them off in silly places and Myfanwy steals them. He blinks as a shirt is shoved at his face, only to see it fall to the floor as Ianto lets go, mistakenly believing that Jack has taken it. Bending down, Jack picks it up again and notices his bare feet. Speaking of socks, where the Hell are they? A quick glance around the floor fails to reveal them, so he pulls the shirt on, buttoning it wrong, and hurriedly tucking the tails into his trousers before digging clean socks out of his sock drawer. They don’t quite match but it’s close enough.
Jack’s shirt is a bit big on Ianto because Jack is broader across the shoulders, but by this point, Ianto’s given up caring. A shirt is a shirt, and it’s better than going out without one. He leaves his tie where it is though, tied to the end of Jack’s cot. It’s too crumpled to be presentable, and even half asleep he still has some standards. He puts his jacket on though; it’ll be cold out, so he’ll need it even with his overcoat on.
The alarm is still blaring; it’s only been five or six minutes since it woke them up, and Ianto can hear Myfanwy squawking her displeasure at the racket. He leaves Jack muttering curses to himself in a variety of languages as he tries to get his boots on the correct feet, and hauls himself up the ladder into Jack’s office, where he can access the Rift monitor, squinting against the light. A few keystrokes, and the ensuing silence almost comes as a shock. Even Myf’s squawks subside to an annoyed mutter at having her rest disturbed.
“It’s alright for you,” Ianto grumbles peevishly, casting a glance towards the Pteranodon’s aerie. “At least you can go back to sleep. We have to go out in the cold.”
“Who’re you talking to?” Jack’s head pops up through the manhole, followed by the rest of him.
“She can’t hear you from here, you know.”
“Doesn’t matter.” Ianto’s still bent over the computer, tapping at keys, determining the location of the Rift spike that dragged them out of bed at gone three in the morning. They didn’t get to sleep until after one-thirty, so they’ve had less than two hours’ rest. No wonder they’re having such a hard time getting going.
Jack leans over Ianto’s shoulder, peering at the screen and yawning in his ear, which sets Ianto off too. “What’ve we got?”
“Queen Street,” Ianto mumbles through another yawn. “It’s inanimate.”
“Good.” Jack assumes Ianto means what the Rift dropped off is inanimate and he’s not making a comment about Queen Street itself. “We’ll take the SUV.” He leads the way to the garage, where the black bulk of Torchwood’s official vehicle sits in its parking space. They look at it, then at each other, and sigh. “I’ll go,” Jack says, and trails back to his office for the keys, which are still on their hook behind his desk. On his way back, he passes Ianto going in the other direction.
“Coats,” Ianto says in passing. Both are still hanging on the coat rack in his office, but Jack somehow failed to notice them.
Ianto arrives back in the garage, where Jack is waiting, wearing his own coat and carrying Jack’s. Dressed for the winter weather at last, they pile into the SUV and drive up to Queen Street and the coordinates of the Rift spike. Ianto gets a scanner out of his field kit in the boot, and starts scanning the area, looking for what the Rift has brought them this time. Their breath steams in the cold night air, and the chilly wind in their faces succeeds in doing what the alarms failed to do, bringing them fully awake. They watch the shadows, alert for danger; even though the item they’re looking for is inanimate, that doesn’t mean they can afford to let their guard down. There could still be Weevils about, or even muggers. Despite the Rift and its assorted hazards, Cardiff still has its fair share of criminals of the human persuasion.
Finding what they’re looking for doesn’t take all that long. Really, it would be kind of hard to miss. Nevertheless, Ianto confirms it’s what they’re after by running the scanner over it; unsurprisingly, it’s drenched in Rift energy. Ianto stares at the object in disgust. “We got dragged out of a warm bed in the middle of the night for that?”
“Maybe the Rift has a sense of humour,” Jack suggests.
“Well, right now I don’t. Let’s get it in the boot; I’ve had enough, I want to go home.”
“Home?” Jack sounds disappointed. “Alone?”
“The Hub home, not my flat home,” Ianto explains. “Although I probably should go to my flat because I need clean underwear and a shirt with buttons.”
“We can stop there on the way back and grab a few things,” Jack decides. “We practically have to pass the end of your road.”
“Fine. Get the boot open, then you can give me a hand with this. I can’t manage it on my own.”
Jack does as he’s told and lifts one side while Ianto lifts the other. Together they manoeuvre it into the SUV’s rear compartment. It only just fits.
“I feel like a removal man,” Ianto complains, rubbing his back as Jack slams the rear door. It sounds overloud in the stillness. “Maybe we should consider getting a van.”
“We can always rent what we need from Harwoods,” Jack reminds him.
“Not in the middle of the night we can’t.”
It’s a good point. “Maybe we could hire someone who owns a van.”
“You mean expand the team?”
“Why not? Let someone else have to get out of bed in the middle of the night some of the time.”
Ianto nods. “I could live with that.”
“Come on, let’s go get you some clean clothes for morning, then we can go home to bed. Our new acquisition can stay in the boot for tonight.”
“I like the way you think. I don’t fancy lugging it down to the archives with just the two of us.”
“It’s rather a nice armchair though,” Jack muses. “Once the Rift energy wears off, we could put it in the Hub beside the sofa, or you could have it in your office if you like.”
Ianto glances over his shoulder at the chair as he settles into the passenger seat. “It does look quite comfortable, but are you sure it’s okay to just use it?”
Jack chuckles. “Where do you think the rest of the Hub furniture came from?” he asks as he starts the engine and pulls away from the kerb. “It took six of us to get the desk in my office back from Splott. That was back in the nineteen-twenties; we had to borrow a horse and cart!”
Ianto isn’t sure whether or not Jack’s joking, but it would certainly make sense of the eclectic mix of furnishings around the Hub. He closes he eyes and relaxes, smiling to himself. Maybe somewhere in one of the rooms he hasn’t got around to sorting out yet, he might even find a decent bed to replace Jack’s cot.