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[personal profile] custodian
Title: "Asynchronous"
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
Rating: PG
Notes/Summary: In which snow days do not occur. Written for the January 10 prompt at [ profile] redismycolour.

The thing about anniversaries – and that’s any kind of anniversary, not just birthdays or first kisses or groundbreakings or armistices – is that space travel and time travel makes them irrelevant. A year is barely a real thing, nothing more than the time it takes for a planet to circle its star. That things come into being, and then are, and then cease to be is not something Jack would dispute, but how to describe that cycle of being is awfully relative and feels very nearly pointless more often than it doesn’t.

He’s fortunate, then, that the men and women who designed his wrist strap were not so cavalier about time, and that the Time Agency used its own sort of units to keep track of things, and to convert things, and to tell him how long it’s been not just for him, but relative to when he happens to be at any given moment.

For him it has been a very long time indeed. Long enough that he has had time to have the Doctor’s handiwork undone (again), and to test it, and to use it to bring himself back to a place he called home for a length of time that if he includes the portion spent buried alive is not insubstantial. He’s arrived well before the fact of the thing that he is memorializing these days not in Earth units or Agency units but the in units of his home planet (albeit asynchronously).

There will only be so many times he can do this. That’s the other reason he’s waited so long. He’s trying to make the most of eternity.

The mug is hot, and the snow around the base of it melts instantly when he puts it down on the stoop. At a guess the drink will still be good for five minutes in this weather, though it isn’t really meant to be drunk. Ianto is smarter than that. It’s simply meant to be seen, and then smiled at on account of the familiar boot tracks. It will provoke something lovely that he himself won’t know has been provoked until now. As acts go, it’s pretty much entirely self-serving.

He can live with that.

Jack walks into the street far enough that a pair of dead-end footprints won’t go noticed long before he disappears back into space and time. Moments later, he knows, the door will open, and a mug will be taken inside and washed and kept.


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December 2010

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