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[personal profile] custodian
Title: "Living History"
Disclaimer: I'm not RTD, I don't work for the BBC, and as much as I might like to, I don't own Jack or Ianto or any part of Torchwood. I do, however, order pizza under that name on principle.
Pairings: Jack/Ianto, albeit understated
Rating: PG
Notes/Summary: In which there is wintry weather. Written for the January 4 prompt at [ profile] redismycolour.

Ianto had gone from reserved to quiet to deathly silent as visibility waned. He’d never been much of a driver on snow. To be honest, he’d never been much of a driver, period, but Jack was busy with the hand-held scanner. Mainly he only noticed if Ianto hit the brakes too hard because it sent them sliding for a few seconds in unpredictable directions.

Stupid snow.

“Getting close,” Jack said. Other than the worried looks (which had mostly given way to irritated looks, but Ianto preferred to think of it as ‘aggressive concern’) each time the SUV started to glide, he’d been fixed on the scanner entirely like a teenager with a video game. Whatever he thought he was tracking, it was clearly of sufficient interest that it outweighed the imminent threat of plowing into a ditch.

He had a sour opinion of it already.

“Hey!” Jack started and sat up straight. “Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!”

Surprised, Ianto hit the pedal. The SUV skidded. The rear of the vehicle wobbled uneasily from side to side. “Shit,” he swore as they finally did go off the road and onto the uneven ground just off the shoulder. “Sorry,” he said. “Should I –“

“Put it in park,” Jack said without commenting on their stop. He opened the passenger side door and hopped out.

Ianto sighed. He got out, locked the SUV behind him, and followed Jack through the snow. There had to be at least seven or eight inches of it. Far too much to go through without getting his trousers wet, and he was probably ruining his shoes. His socks were certainly soaking through.

“October Nineteen-Fifty-Seven, a silvery little ball that goes beep-beep-beep goes up into the sky, makes noise for about 20 days until its battery dies, and scares the hell out of the West. Three months to the day it comes down, burns up in the atmosphere. Except…” Jack crouched down and brushed flakes away from a silvery ball about two feet in diameter. There was a pair of divots and a stalk of metal where the whip of an antenna had broken away. “It didn’t burn up. It fell into the Rift.”

Jack put his hands on either side of the ball and nodded for Ianto to join him on the other side. On Jack’s count, they heaved the thing up between them.

“That’s the power supply,” Jack grunted as they struggled to lug it back to the SUV. “Silver-zinc.”

“I’m guessing they don’t make them like they used to.”

Jack grimaced, though he looked faintly amused. “Believe me, I am not complaining.”

They stopped at the side of the road and lowered it to the ground so that Ianto could open the back of the SUV. With a bit of effort, they managed to load it without slipping in the still-falling snow. Ianto tossed the keys to Jack, who caught them gladly. The cab of the SUV was still warm-ish when they climbed back in.

“So wait,” Ianto said as he brushed the snow out of his hair. “Sputnik 1 falls into the Rift. Flits around out there for God knows how long. How’d you know it would be out here for us? These things don’t exactly catalogue themselves.”

Jack shook the last of the snowflakes from his hair and started the SUV. “Funny thing about Rift energy. Tends to be good for powering things up under the right conditions.” He opened up the cover of his wrist strap and pushed a couple of buttons. A familiar beep-beep-beep began to sound.

Ianto’s eyes went wide. He turned and looked at the battered silvered ball, then back at Jack. “We’ve got Sputnik 1.”


The Sputnik 1.”

Jack grinned. “We do.”

“And it’s working.”

Jack silenced his wrist strap. “Gotta love a bit of living history.”

“You didn’t say that the last time we had to go out to St. Fagans.”

“Yeah, well, Sputnik 1 isn’t full of sheep shit like St. Fagans.”

Ianto snorted. “You’re just bitter the sheep didn’t like you,” he teased and rested his head against the seat. His eyes lit on the cuff of Jack’s coat and he smiled. ‘Living history’ was one way of putting it, he supposed.
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