Characters: Jack, Ianto, mentions Alice, Lucia, Lisa, Steven, Mickey, and Tosh.
Spoilers: CoE for characters only.
Summary: Jack finds forgotten memories packed away as he and Ianto move into their new home.
Word Count: 1081
Written For: Challenge 30 – Delicate at beattheblackdog.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters.
“Where did all this stuff even come from?” Jack whined, hefting another box out of Mickey’s van, which they’d borrowed for the move into their new flat, and lugging his burden towards the lift to join the stack already in there.
“Search me,” Ianto replied with a shrug, pulling the next box towards him and picking it up before following Jack. “This load’s nothing to do with me; it’s all yours. I’m still amazed at how much you managed to cram into your closet back at the Hub. Made me wonder if you’d borrowed TARDIS technology to make it bigger on the inside.”
“I wouldn’t dare!” Jack’s eyes went wide and he shuddered. “The Doctor would skin me alive if I did something like that!”
“He’d have to get past me first,” Ianto assured him.
“My hero!” Putting his box on top of the ones in the lift, Jack turned back to the van for the last couple of boxes. “How many more loads have we got to transport?”
“This is the last one, unless there’s anything else tucked away in the Hub that you want moved here.”
“If there is, it won’t be much.” Scooping up the last two smaller boxes, Jack slammed the van’s rear doors but didn’t lock them. There was no need; nobody could get into any part of this building without authorisation, thanks to the security system Tosh had designed. He joined Ianto, dumping his boxes on top of the others and leaning against the lift wall with a sigh of relief while his husband closed the grille and punched the button for the top floor.
It was only a brief respite from the heavy lifting; as soon as the lift stopped, Ianto pulled the grille aside and started carrying boxes into their flat. Groaning, Jack followed suit; he was done in already, he didn’t know where Ianto got the energy.
Ianto winced as Jack dropped his burden to the floor in the big, open-plan lounge. “I hope there’s nothing delicate or breakable in those boxes, the way you’re tossing them around!”
Jack looked worried. “I hadn’t thought of that.” He frowned at the bent and buckled cardboard, then looked at Ianto. “You couldn’t have warned me sooner?”
“I didn’t think I’d need to. Just be a bit more careful with the rest. If you’ve broken anything, you’ll find out soon enough when we start unpacking this lot.”
“I suppose so. I just have no idea what’s in any of these boxes. Do you?”
Ianto shook his head. “They were all taped shut when I found them, and they’re not labelled. Opening them will be a bit like Christmas. Never know what forgotten treasures you might find!”
Once all the boxes were spread out across the floor, Ianto went to the kitchen to make coffee and a snack, leaving Jack to dig through his belongings in private for a while. There’d no doubt be a lot of memories stashed away in the battered old boxes.
By the time he returned, setting a tray laden with mugs of coffee and a plate of sandwiches on the coffee table, and settling himself on the floor beside it, Jack had a flat box open in his lap and was carefully lifting yellowed tissue paper away from the contents.
“Find something interesting?”
Jack looked up at him, a wistful sadness in his eyes but a smile on his lips. “It’s Alice’s Christening gown. Well, she was still Melissa back when she wore it. I forgot I even had it.” Slowly he lifted the gown from its box, all delicate lace and hand-stitched cream satin.
“It’s beautiful, and obviously very old.”
“Yeah. Lucia told me her great grandmother made it for her firstborn and it’s been passed down through the generations, from mother to eldest daughter, ever since.” Jack spread the gown out on the seat of the sofa beside him, fingering the tiny pearl beads that weighted the hem, running a gentle thumb across the heavily embroidered bodice, then jerking his hands back and looking at them to make sure they were clean. They were; he’d washed them before starting to dig through the boxes. He turned to Ianto. “I found it when I packed up the house a few months after Lucia left; I couldn’t believe she didn’t take it with her. I don’t think she would have left it behind on purpose; guess she was in a hurry and forgot it. I would’ve returned it to her, it’s a family heirloom, but I didn’t know where she’d gone, and by the time I found my daughter again, I’d forgotten all about it.”
“What will you do with it now?”
“I suppose I should see if Alice wants it. After all, as Lucia’s only child, it’s hers now.” Jack laughed suddenly. “I remember the Christening like it was yesterday. My baby girl looked like a perfect little angel, all delicate cream lace, ribbons and frills, but she didn’t behave like one. She screamed blue murder all the way through the service, and then when Lucia put her in the vicar’s arms, she kicked him in the nose. Gave him a nosebleed; he had to keep his head turned to the side until he’d finished the Christening to avoid dripping blood on her gown. I don’t think she liked wearing it.”
Ianto shifted closer, studying the gown. “It doesn’t look very comfortable. Even soft lace can irritate sensitive skin.”
“You speaking from experience?” Jack teased.
“Have you forgotten the lace garter belt?”
“Whatever happened to that?”
“I’ll never tell. My lips are sealed. Actually, I was thinking of the time I bought lacy lingerie for Lisa one Valentine’s Day. She put the set on when we went out that night, and I thought she looked amazing, but she told me later that the whole time she was wearing it, she itched like crazy and it was all she could do not to start scratching. I never bought her lace again.”
They looked at each other, smiling at the memories of their past loves. It was good to remember.
Tenderly, Jack folded the Christening gown and returned it to its box, laying the tissue paper back over it for protection before replacing the lid. “I’ll show it to Alice when she and Steven come over for the housewarming party,” he decided. “If she doesn’t want it… I think I’ll hang on to it, as a reminder of a very special day.”