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Jelloicious

The Value of a Moment (Torchwood)

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Jelloicious
Posted (edited)

All the usual warnings when dealing with Torchwood....  additional tags for "Oh, Jack!" and "Caution: Rift Objects.  Handle With Care" and "Never Just Another Day at the Office".


TWTWTWTW

 

The alarm sounded so piercingly in Ianto’s head, it took him a disorienting moment and a half to work out what it was. He hardly ever slept until the alarm went off. Today, however, he groped blindly for the snooze button to silence the annoying strains of a Robbie Wiliams tune, and tried desperately to swim back down into sleep for just a few more minutes of dark oblivion, nowhere near ready to face the day.

He might’ve been able to sink himself back into weightless sleep, if Jack, his boss, his friend, his shag partner and current bed mate, hadn’t further disrupted the early morning silence by sneezing mightily, just as Ianto was drifting back down. Half sneeze, half yelp, Ianto thought, as he begrudgingly opened one eye, in time to see his...whatever they were calling each other these days... sneeze spectacularly once more, shaking the bed with the force of it and rattling loose Ianto’s last tenuous hold on sleep.

There was nothing for it, and Ianto regretfully gave up on the beckoning hope of those five more minutes of sleep, drew a deep breath into his lungs, oxygen into his brain, and sat himself up. The motion made him slightly dizzy and he probed the knot on his skull, earned the night before chasing weevils with Jack through rain slick Cardiff streets.

Jack sneezed a third time.

Bless you. You haven’t caught Tosh’s cold, have you?” Ianto swallowed, and imagined he felt a slight tickle in the back of his own throat. Well, that was just lovely.

Jack sniffed. “Not me, I never get sick.” He grinned, and somehow, Ianto forgot to be annoyed. “How’s your head?” Jack asked, conversationally, as he leaned in for a proper good morning kiss. Ianto would’ve answered, would have said it was just fine, thank you very much, but Jack’s mouth was on his and he was just beginning to think waking up might have been worth while after all, when Jack pulled away suddenly, and desperately sneezed twice more.

Dammit.” Jack’s usual cocky certainty was clearly struggling this morning.

Great. Now you’ve probably gone and shared Tosh’s cold with me,” Ianto's annoyance was back. And his head hurt.

The alarm went off again.


twtwtwtw
 

They weren’t exactly late, but mornings always seemed a bit rushed when Ianto hadn’t managed to wake early, and they had to stagger their morning routines awkwardly in the tiny space that was Ianto’s bathroom. Doing this with a headache did nothing at all to improve Ianto’s mood.

Moreover, by the time they had showered (complete with sufficient morning recreational activities to wake Ianto up properly at least), shaved, dressed and Ianto was locking the front door of his flat behind them, it was obvious (at least to Ianto) that despite his protests, Jack really had in fact caught the cold that had started with Tosh, then spread to Owen, and then on to Gwen.

t was also obvious to Ianto that he would almost certainly be next, despite his fastidious care. He hated being ill, and when a bug was floating around the hub, he was diligent in his care to avoid the germs. Jack was less so. And, well, Ianto wasn’t willing to give up being exposed to Jack. Relationship hazards, he supposed, thinking he’d best restock the hub tissues, cold remedies and tea, as the others had had already deeply tapped their supplies. And paracetamol, he thought, rubbing at his head.

As for Jack, he wasn’t ready to admit he was ill, even as he sneezed for the 10th time since Ianto had been counting, before they even made it to the car.

Jack sneezed again as Ianto buckled his seat belt, and Ianto counted eleven....Maybe out loud

What?”

Bless,” Ianto said, smoothly.

Jack eyed Ianto with suspicion over the top of a crumpled tissue. “I’m not sick.”

You keep sneezing,” Ianto pointed out.

Everyone sneezes now and then,” Jack countered, trying not to sniffle audibly.

Everyone catches cold now and then, too,” Ianto persisted.

“Not me, I hardly….ever...get EeeYASHuuuuuu!!!   sick.” Sniff. Jack managed a look of confidence that was truly impressive under the circumstances.

Ianto was having none of it. “’Hardly ever’ is not the same as ‘never’. Jack, you’ve been sneezing since you woke up. Half the team is already down with a head cold. It’s not an especially big leap.”

Jack was still working to find the hole in Ianto’s logic that would let him argue his way out of the looming head cold, when Ianto suggested they swing by the local shop on the way in so that he could restock tissues in the hub and pick up a few supplies.

Jack made a face. “I’ve got an early morning conference call with the Prime Minister’s Office.” Jack sniffed. “You can drop me off first. If you like, then head out for shopping.” He hated shopping. He had Ianto for shopping. It was better this way.

Jack knew he probably sounded cross, but he allowed himself this, as he sniffled again and again considered the (remote) possibility that Ianto might actually be right. He sniffed once more, and frowned with determination, resolutely committed to dismissing this possibility for as long as he could.

If Ianto was annoyed by Jack’s refusal to stop off at the store on the way in and save him the trip, he didn’t say so. He merely nodded, and suggested they at least stop for coffee on the way, if he was going to have to head back out, instead of taking the time to prepare his coffee for the team. Jack knew this was Ianto’s idea of punishment for his refusal to stop off at the store, but dug in his stubborn heels and tried to tell himself he was in the mood for one of the fancy sweet coffee drinks with the whipped cream on it anyway, this morning.

Jack rolled the SUV up to the window of the coffee shack, and flirted shamelessly with the barista, whose name tag read “Cristyn” before sitting back and allowing Ianto to meticulously recite the order for the team, as Jack focused himself on holding off the tickle deep in his sinuses, just a bit longer, not wanting to lend any support for Ianto’s theory….

Thankfully, he held out at least until the order was fully delivered, before giving in. to the irritation Hahhh... aSHOOO!... HAAAHHshooo!!... HahahsSHOOOO!!!!  Ianto passed him a tissue box with a single inadequate tissue, despite his clear need for more. Jack sniffed deeply, wetly, and sneezed again.

Bless you! That sounds like a perfectly miserable cold! Would you like a drink carrier?” Cristyn said, cheerfully.

Yes, thank you,” Ianto said over Jack’s muttered “I’m not sick” to the barista. “And, um, some extra napkins, if you wouldn’t mind?” he added with an eye cast sideways at Jack, who was awkwardly trying not to spill his coffee or sneeze whipped cream onto the windshield, (a predicament for which Ianto offered absolutely no help).

Ianto handed the stack of napkins to Jack. “I suspect, despite your adamant denial, that you will be needing these. At least until I can make a run to Tescos and restock us on some tissues.” Ianto’s tone made Jack suspect that Ianto wouldn’t exactly be rushing back from Tesco’s; a subtle, but effective admonishment.

Jack sniffed wetly., miserably, and sipped at his whip-creamed topped frappuccino that was too sweet, and thought to himself that this day was off to a perfectly dreadful start.

Edited by Jelloicious
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ReidSeeker

What a lovely start! I like how Jack started with "never" and later downgraded to "hardly ever" :laugh:

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AngelEyes
8 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

All the usual warnings when dealing with Torchwood....  additional tags for "Oh, Jack!" and "Caution: Rift Objects.  Handle With Care" and "Never Just Another Day at the Office".

Sounds like fun!

 

8 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

He might’ve been able to sink himself back into weightless sleep, if Jack, his boss, his friend, his shag partner and current bed mate, hadn’t further disrupted the early morning silence by sneezing mightily, just as Ianto was drifting back down. Half sneeze, half yelp, Ianto thought, as he begrudgingly opened one eye, in time to see his...whatever they were calling each other these days... sneeze spectacularly once more, shaking the bed with the force of it and rattling loose Ianto’s last tenuous hold on sleep.

That would certainly wake me up! :D

 

8 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

And, well, Ianto wasn’t willing to give up being exposed to Jack. Relationship hazards,

Indeed.

 

8 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

If Ianto was annoyed by Jack’s refusal to stop off at the store on the way in and save him the trip, he didn’t say so. He merely nodded, and suggested they at least stop for coffee on the way, if he was going to have to head back out, instead of taking the time to prepare his coffee for the team. Jack knew this was Ianto’s idea of punishment for his refusal to stop off at the store, but dug in his stubborn heels and tried to tell himself he was in the mood for one of the fancy sweet coffee drinks with the whipped cream on it anyway, this morning.

Love PassiveAggressive!Ianto, and Jack just like, Fine then, that's what I wanted anyway. LOL

 

8 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

Jack sniffed wetly., miserably, and sipped at his whip-creamed topped frappuccino that was too sweet, and thought to himself that this day was off to a perfectly dreadful start.

Poor baby!

This is off to a great start!

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Jelloicious
Posted (edited)
On 7/9/2018 at 12:48 PM, ReidSeeker said:

I like how Jack started with "never" and later downgraded to "hardly ever" :laugh:

Jack has a bit of a :"fake it till you make it" personality.  Never underestimate the power of positive thinking!  (Or, you know, denial. At least for a while, anyway.)

On 7/9/2018 at 6:10 PM, AngelEyes said:

That would certainly wake me up! :D

In a hurry, right?  

On 7/9/2018 at 6:10 PM, AngelEyes said:

Love PassiveAggressive!Ianto, and Jack just like, Fine then, that's what I wanted anyway. LOL

Relationships aren't built solely on spectacular sex, and stimulating conversation, you know.   The sooner Jack admits Ianto is right, the better off he'll be.

 

twtwtwtwtw

By the time Jack ended his conference call with Neville from the prime minister’s office, he knew Ianto had been right about catching the office cold. His head hurt. His voice had gone slightly thin, and while he’d managed to only sneeze once during the call, his nose had started running. And, while he’d done his best to keep up the usual banter with the prime minister’s young and handsome secretary in London, he just wasn’t fully in it this morning, By the end of the call, Neville had seemed almost disappointed. After he ended the call Jack sagged back into his chair, sniffling wetly.   He was not only ready to admit he was ill, but that he was in fact in desperate need of tissues, and he wondered whether Ianto had made it back from the shop yet.

He didn’t have to wonder long. His nose had apparently saved up a few sneezes from the conference call, and was ready to give them up now. He readied his damp wad of paper napkins from the coffee shack (miserably rough on his poor nose, and quite near the end of useful, but being the fourth person to catch this cold meant they were running dangerously low on proper tissues). Jack closed his eyes as the irritation deep in his nose built. Hehh...hehhh..hehhhh…...Eeeyeshoo!!!! YaSHOO Haahhh’SHOO!...Haahhh’SHOOO!!!    aahhh’SHOOOO!!!!  he blew his nose, hopefully, but it was no good HahhhhSHOO!!! HahhhSHOOO!!! EYAAASHOOOO!!!

Bless you,” Ianto’s voice came, as he set a steaming mug down on Jack’s desk.

Hyaahhh’SHOO! Jack groaned, slightly, and dragged the back of his hand across his nose, which had fully triumphed over the paper napkins.

Still think you haven’t caught a cold?” Ianto asked, fond amusement overlayed the scolding tone in his voice.

Jack blew his nose, soggily, unsatisfyingly, into his already pathetically damp napkins.  Ugh.   He sniffed thickly.

Okay, okay….you wid. I’m sick. Happy dow?” Jack eyed Ianto testily, as if it were Ianto’s fault for being right in the first place.

Ianto frowned. “No, Sir, not remotely. I don’t wish misery on anyone.” (The sound of Owen sneezing three times in quick succession in the distance somewhere in the hub, followed by a few choice curse words prompted Ianto to cock his head slightly) “Well, almost, anyway. And, pardon me for saying so, but you look quite miserable.”

Jack sniffed uselessly in agreement with Ianto’s assessment.

Ianto opened a package of the softest tissues. “Here, try these.”.

Jack sniffed again, and then cautiously blew his nose in the offered tissues, closing his eyes in relief at the softness, blew again, with more vigor, and coughed.

Ianto pointed to the mug “Tea. With honey and lemon. That should soothe your throat, maybe help with the congestion a bit.”

Jack took a careful sip, winced when it burned but relaxed at the soothing sensation that followed. Tart and not too sweet. No whipped cream anywhere. He breathed in the soothing steam, looked up at Ianto and nodded gratefully.

Anything else?”

Jack teetered for just a moment on pretending he felt better than he actually did, but gave up and said, “My head hurts”

Ianto produced a small bottle of paracetamol and shook out two, thought about it, and added a third.

Here you go. You should take it easy today if you can.”

Jack started to say something about tempting the fates, but he couldn’t get the words out before the rift alarm blared, promptly, almost as if in response to Ianto’s pronouncement, making it abundantly clear that no one on Team Torchwood would be taking it easy today.

Jack swallowed the small pills hurriedly. “Sorry, no rest for the wicked,” He coughed again, checked his wrist strap for information on the alert, and was in motion. Ianto paused long enough to grab the box of tissues, and then hurried after him.

Edited by Jelloicious
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AngelEyes
2 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

By the end of the call, Neville had seemed almost disappointed.

Awww. Sad.

 

2 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

Ianto frowned. “No, Sir, not remotely. I don’t wish misery on anyone.” (The sound of Owen sneezing three times in quick succession in the distance somewhere in the hub, followed by a few choice curse words prompted Ianto to cock his head slightly) “Well, almost, anyway.

LOL

 

2 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

Jack started to say something about tempting the fates, but he couldn’t get the words out before the rift alarm blared, promptly, almost as if in response to Ianto’s pronouncement, making it abundantly clear that no one on Team Torchwood would be taking it easy today.

Typical!

 

2 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

Jack swallowed the small pills hurriedly. “Sorry, no rest for the wicked,”

Poor baby.

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quietsucker

So great to see this before heading into a veryyyy long work day!  Can't wait to see how this plays out (and definitely agree the Ianto would be the last one on the team to come down with most thiings--as he would practice the most fastidious hygiene). 

--QS

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Jelloicious
Posted (edited)
On 7/11/2018 at 5:53 AM, quietsucker said:

So great to see this before heading into a veryyyy long work day!

I hope it's a good day!!   I'm rather fond of the idea that Ianto is totally resigned to the risks of exposure to Jack, who is just the exact opposite of Ianto in terms of infection control practices.  Hazards of dating someone who is invincible.  (or at least believes he is).  

Thanks @AngelEyes  for the comments!!

Onward.  Not so much sneezing here.  But you know this can't be good for them...

 

twtwtwtwtw

The rift alert guided them to the bay, chill and choppy in early November, with a persistent drizzle that seemed determined to use the gusting winds to find its way up sleeves and down collars, bringing a wet chill through all their layers. Jack shivered and pulled his greatcoat closer, sniffling into a tissue, as Ianto slowed the small boat and steered closer to a dimly glowing object bobbing in the waves. At speed, the small boat managed the choppy waves well. Slowed nearly to a stop, the motion of the boat lost its predictability, making footing on the rain slick deck treacherous at best. Gwen looked positively green, and edged closer to the side of the boat, just in case. Owen sneezed mightily several times into the wind, hanging tight to the boat and cursing the weather, while Tosh struggled to contain a coughing fit. Ianto turned up his own collar and wondered just how long it would be before he came over ill, too. He felt a pang of sympathy for his teammates, having to endure this chill, wet unpleasantness while clearly so miserable.

It was for precisely this reason that Ianto volunteered to be the one to climb down the ladder at the back of the boat virtually into the water itself and deploy the net to capture a bobbing curiosity of a rift object, while Jack held the small boat as steady as he could in the choppy water. The sloshing waves quickly soaked Ianto’s trousers past his knees with freezing water, and he mad a mental note that even his relatively rugged leather dress shoes were not boat shoes, as he slid precariously on the ladder rung. Still, he hooked one arm firmly around the ladder, braced himself and reached as far down as he could, still not quite able to capture the softly glowing sphere in his net. 

Thinking to himself that the sooner they had this rift-gift on board, the sooner they could all be back at the hub, warm and dry, he adjusted his grip on the ladder, and leaned out as far as he could, finally catching the object with his net.  Just as he had the object secured, hoisted in the net and ready to pass to Owen,’s waiting hands, a wave struck the small boat, making it lurch violently sideways. Ianto’s shoe slipped, and he fell, wrenching his arm from his grip on the ladder, sending him tumbling suddenly into the bay.

When Ianto hit the water, he was stunned for a moment, icy waves taking his breath away. He had time to process the searing pain in his wrenched shoulder for barely half a moment before the very real prospect of drowning became his primary concern. He kicked his feet ineffectively, leather shoes slow, heavy and clumsy, The arm that had been wrapped around the ladder distant and painful, and uncooperative. His heavy wool coat was pulling him down, down, He imagined he could hear Gwen’s scream in the distance, and Jack shouting commands, Owen cursing. He thought he heard a splash of someone diving into the water. Jack, he thought.. He shouldn’t be out here. None of us should be out here. Then Ianto was choking on water, and grasped blindly for something, anything to hold on to. His flailing hand struck something. There was a brilliant flash and then all was dark and silent, weightless.

Edited by Jelloicious
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AngelEyes
10 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

Ianto turned up his own collar and wondered just how long it would be before he came over ill, too. He felt a pang of sympathy for his teammates, having to endure this chill, wet unpleasantness while clearly so miserable.

You painted this setting so perfectly. I can totally picture it. Everybody wet and miserable in their own way. Into resigned to being next.

 

10 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

It was for precisely this reason that Ianto volunteered to be the one to climb down the ladder at the back of the boat virtually into the water itself and deploy the net to capture a bobbing curiosity of a rift object,

Oh Ianto. Ever the gentleman.

 

10 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

Ianto’s shoe slipped, and he fell, wrenching his arm from his grip on the ladder, sending him tumbling suddenly into the bay.

NO!

 

10 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

His flailing hand struck something. There was a brilliant flash and then all was dark and silent, weightless.

Oh Dear! What just happened? I need to know!

This is so good!

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Jelloicious

 

15 hours ago, AngelEyes said:

Oh Dear! What just happened? I need to know!

When it's Torchwood, you can safely assume that whatever happened, it was weird.  Or alien.  Or dangerous.  Sometimes all three.

Thanks for reading and commenting!!  I'm pretty sure I'm going to need your help before this is over!

 

TWTWTWTWTWTW

Day Two--

Robbie Williams was suddenly screaming “Let me... entertain you….into Ianto’s brain, jolting him abruptly from a dead sleep. Ianto pulled himself forceably awake, momentary disorientation giving way to dismay that he’d apparently slept fully up to the alarm for a second time in as many days. He never slept until the alarm went off. He reached clumsily for the snooze button to silence the annoying Mr. Williams, as he struggled to orient himself, grasping for the tenuous memories of the day before as if struggling to hold on to the fading tendrils of a dream. He felt Jack, warm and solid beside him, and realized that they were home, in his flat. Ianto remembered slipping, falling into the bay, wrenching his arm. He sat up cautiously, taking inventory, flexing the fingers on his left hand, working his shoulder, pleased to find everything worked and more than a bit surprised that nothing hurt. He wondered if the fall into the bay had knocked him out, as his recollection for the rest of the afternoon was a complete blank.

Jack stirred beside him, looked over as if he was going to say something, then abruptly closed his eyes, drew in a deep breath, and sneezed, a violent yelp of a sneeze, followed momentarily by a second, just as powerful, before Ianto could even bless him for the first one.

That cold must really be kicking your arse.” Ianto observed sympathetically, grateful that he himself didn’t feel bad at all. Maybe a slight tickle in his throat. Which, considering his recent swim in the bay, was not bad.

“”M’fine,” Jack said with a sniff. “I never get sick.” HaaaSCHOO!! Jack blinked.

Except when you do,” observed Ianto. “Throat any better this morning?”

I’m fine...just….something...in.. here..making me...have to…HehhhSHOO!!!.... HahhhSHOO!!

Bless you. And that’s what happens when you catch a cold,” Ianto said pointedly.

Jack blew his nose. “I’m telling you, I’m fine.”

Right, because jumping the bay in November...”

Jack turned to face Ianto. “What are you talking about?”

The alarm went off again.

Ianto had a moment’s profound disorientation. He flexed his fingers again, trying to sort out just what happened yesterday, wondering if perhaps he’d just had a bad dream, groping blankly for anything past the point where he fell in the bay. It seemed like such a realistic dream….

He shook his head, which elicited a sharp pain, and he probed the knot on his head, earned two days ago in a weevil chase, thinking perhaps he’d have Owen give it another look.  Maybe he'd been slightly concussed.  He shrugged, though. “Vivid dream, I guess. We should get moving.”

Jack answered with another mighty sneeze.

This morning continued on, much like any other, apart from Jack’s renewed determination to deny he’d come down with a cold. But when Jack sneezed for the 11th time this morning just as Ianto was buckling his seat belt, Ianto began to think that there was something quite unusual going on.

Jack sneezed, and Ianto was surprised to find the full tissue box he’d left in the SUV just the day before down to the last tissue. He offered it to Jack, wondering where the rest of the tissues had gone—true Jack had been in need of a fair few yesterday, but Ianto didn’t think he’d gone through the whole box in the SUV. Had that been a dream, too? Ianto wondered just how hard he hit his head in the weevil chase.

Thought we had more of those,” he observed. “With everyone ill, we must be going through them.” Ianto hesitated and then, experimentally suggested a quick stop at Tesco’s on the way in.

Jack made a face. “I’ve got an early morning conference call with the Prime Minister’s Office. You can drop me off first. If you like, then head out for shopping.”

The sense of de ja vu this time was so overpowering it made Ianto dizzy, and he put a hand on the dash to steady himself.

Jack looked at him. “Are you okay?”

I’m fine. Bit of a headache leftover from that knock on the head the other night, is all.”

You should….’choo! Dammit!!….have Owen take a look at you.”

"So should you," Ianto responded.

Jack scrubbed at his nose and sniffed.  "I'll be fine."

Ianto knit his brow at the unshakable feeling that something was wrong, that they'd done this before.  “Maybe,” he said cautiously, “We should pick up coffees on the way in, since I’m going to make a shop run first thing.”

Jack frowned, but pulled the SUV into the drive through lane of a chain coffee shop. Ianto watched as Cristyn the barista took their order. Jack flirted, then sneezed several times and Cristyn blushed and then blessed him, commenting on the awful cold Jack clearly had, and then asking if they would like a drink carrier. Ianto automatically asked Cristyn for some extra napkins, trying to make sense of this strange, sustained sense that he’d done this all before.

Jack...” Ianto said, cautiously, as Jack slowed the car in front of the water tower, and Torchwood’s secret underground base.

Here’s good. I’ll see you later!” Jack was out of the car and bounding toward the invisible lift., leaving Ianto to sort through the strangeness of this day on his own.

 

 

twtwtwtw


Jack concluded his conference call with some relief. He’d heard what he thought was disappointment in Neville’s voice, as he struggled to keep up their usual flirtatious banter. Ianto was clearly right, and he’d managed to catch the cold that had been working it’s way persistently through the hub. Thankfully, he’d only sneezed once during the all, but his voice was becoming slightly hoarse and his nose was running. The sneezes that he’d held at bay during the all were circling. He eyed his damp wad of paper napkins, doubtful that they’d be sufficient,, but having nothing else at hand, they’d have to do. Hehh...hehhh..hehhhh…...Eeeyeshoo!!!! YaSHOO IIII ......Haahhh’SHOO! He blew his nose, but it didn’t really seem to help. HahhhhSHOO!!! HahhhSHOOO!!! EYAAASHOOOO!!!  

Bless you,” Ianto said, entering his office with a tray with a fresh box of tissues and a steaming mug. Oh thank goodness! Jack thought, reaching for the desperately needed tissues, and sneezing yet again. Hyaahhh’SHOO! 

Ianto locked the door to the office, sat down and waited, as Jack blew his nose, several times.

When Jack finished, he said, “Okay, okay….you wid. I’m sick. Happy dow?”

Jack. What can you tell me about time loops?”

Jack was a little taken aback by the non-sequitur, and coughed.

Ianto indicated the mug “Tea with honey and lemon. Soothing for your throat.”

Jack took the mug, and cautious sip. The initial swallow burned slightly, then soothed. He closed his eyes, breathing in the steam.

We haven’t much time, Ianto said, urgently, as he pressed three small pills into Jack’s hand.

Jack stared stupidly at the pills for a moment wondering just how ill he looked.

I think we’re in a time loop.”

The rift alarm sounded and Jack swallowed the pills, grabbed his coat and they were running.

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AngelEyes

Brilliant! This is the one you told me about! 

4 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

When it's Torchwood, you can safely assume that whatever happened, it was weird.  Or alien.  Or dangerous.  Sometimes all three.

Definitely true!

I love the premise of how they ended up in the loop! I love the mounting confusion Ianto has over what's happening, thinking it was dream, thinking it's because of the bump on his head, then realizing it's something altogether different. I can't wait to see how the conversation with Jack goes. And how the loop continues to play out. This is so clever. Totally a Torchwood plot!

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ReidSeeker

I'm late for the update!

OMG a time loop with a sneezy Jack? I love the concept! Excellent 

:sneeze: (I couldn't find the emoticon I wanted so...)

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Jelloicious
Posted (edited)
On 7/12/2018 at 4:58 PM, AngelEyes said:

This is so clever. Totally a Torchwood plot!

Shooting for something that is true to fandom, while hitting hard on the fetish buttons.   And Jack Harkness denying he has caught a cold despite the evidence kinda does that for me.   Hee!  Hope it does for you, too!

On 7/12/2018 at 7:05 PM, ReidSeeker said:

OMG a time loop with a sneezy Jack? I love the concept! Excellent

...and somewhere in the back of Ianto's mind is the awareness that if they can end this time loop, he's in for one hell of a cold.  But he's probably NOT entirely above enjoying himself some sneezy  Jack!  I'm sure not!

 

TWTWTWTWTWTW

Ianto wasn’t surprised to be jolted awake by Robbie William for the third time in a row. This time, however, he sat up, instantly and fully awake, and turned to Jack, beside him who was also stirring. Jack pulled himself up, and. Ianto watched in fascination as the now-familiar look froze on Jack’s features, and the he drew a sharp breath and sneezed the mighty sneeze Ianto already knew was coming. He’d never quite noticed before the slightly bewildered face Jack made before he sneezed, and Ianto found it rather adorable, in spite of himself. Still, they were in a mess, and he needed Jack to help.

Bless you. I need you to listen to me, Jack.” Ianto’s tone was urgent.

Still, Jack held up a hand for Ianto to wait, and Ianto counted the seconds before Jack sneezed, powerfully, again, sniffed, and looked at Ianto, with his deliciously tousled morning hair, and Ianto had to remind himself that the sooner he could convince Jack they were in a time loop, the better chance they’d have of getting out of it.

Jack, oblivious,  grinned at Ianto and leaned in for a kiss.

Ianto dodged him, almost regretfully, and insisted, “Jack, you need to listen. We are in a time loop. I need your help.”

Jack blinked. “We’re what?” He sneezed again. "Dammit!"

Ianto bit his lip, and persisted. “We’re in a time loop. This is my third time through this day. You don’t remember it.”

Jack sneezed twice more, right on cue, then looked seriously at Ianto.

Tell me everything.”

We should stop off and get some tissues. We’re out.”

“M’ fine...just a bit of a tickle. How long has it been since you’ve been home long enough to dust properly?”  Jack asked, rubbing at the irritation in his nose.

Ianto rolled his eyes. “Is that what you’re thinking? Honestly! You have a cold, Jack. The same one that everyone else has,”

I’m not...” Jack began.

Trust me Jack, I’ve lived through this day three times now. It’ll save us some time if we just pick up tissues on the way. You are going to need them. Quite a few of them, before this day’s out, I think.”

Jack sniffed and eyed Ianto critically. He never got sick. He trusted Ianto, though, and Ianto seemed quite certain. He sniffed again, curious at the uncomfortable tickle deep in his nose. It had been at least a couple of years since he’d last had a cold. He really almost never got sick. He sniffed. He didn’t have time for a cold. “I’ve got a conference call with Neville from the prime minister’s office at 8:00 a.m.” he said, as though this might make a difference in Ianto’s certainty.

I’ll call and reschedule it. We don’t have time,” Ianto was firm.

They showered quickly (but took the time for a quick fuck, because what would the point of being in a time loop if you couldn’t, Ianto reasoned, and Jack certainly didn’t object. The steam from a shower was supposed to be good for a cold, anyway, wasn’t it?)

When they rolled through the drive through at the coffee shop on the way to the Hub, Ianto greeted Cristyn, their barista with a friendly and familiar good-morning, and matter-of-factly over-rode Jack’s request for a Frappucino, instead ordering him a Chai Latte, instead. Jack accepted the extra napkins Ianto requested from Cristyn, and bit back his automatic denial to Cristyn when she blessed him and commented on his cold. He still wasn’t ready to believe he’d actually caught one—really, t’d been years. But Hitch-CHOO!!! something was certainly making him sneeze. And anyway, if he had to have a cold in a time loop, at least he didn’t remember suffering through it over and over. HitchCHOOO!! Dammit. And at least he had Ianto to bless him, and ply him with tea and HaashSHOO!! Look at him like that whenever he sneezed, Jack thought, sniffling contemplatively.
 

twtwtwtw

A somewhat worse for wear Team Torchwood gathered around the conference table, Tosh stifled a sneeze. Gwen coughed. Jack blew his nose, wetly, by now resigned to Ianto’s assurances that he had in fact caught a cold. He’d clearly forgotten how truly miserable it was. Owen sneezed loudly several times in succession. Not even bothering to cover them.

Oi! Keep your germs to yourself!“ Ianto snapped at Owen, annoyed. Ianto wondered for a moment if the time loop was what was keeping him from catching this cold despite the more than ample exposure.

Owen blew his nose lazily. “Are you telling me you didn’t shag the boss this morning? I am pretty sure Jack’s who is going to give you this cold, not me.”

Jack grinned broadly at Ianto.  "If you're gonna catch a cold,"  HSHOOO!!  "you can at least have fun doing it!"

Ianto smiled indulgently at Jack and made a mental note to stock some decaff, just for Owen.He passed a small bottle of paracetemol to Jack, almost as Jack was just taking note of a growing headache in addition to his sniffly, sneezy nose.

Jack nodded at Ianto gratefully,  shook out two, and then a third, and swallowed them, and closed his eyes for a moment and wished he could just go back to bed. Preferably with Ianto. He opened his eyes as Ianto resumed speaking about the problem at hand.

So, what I remember is hanging off the back of the skiff, we get hit by a wave and I slip, wrench my arm and fall into the bay.

And then?”  Tosh prompted.

Ianto shrugged. “Then I wake up at home in my bed with the alarm going off, and it’s today again.”

Gwen blew her nose. “How do you know it’s the same day?”

Ianto laid out his evidence. “First, I don’t wake up until the alarm goes off. That almost never happens. Secondly, it’s always the same song in the same place that I wake up to. Third, When Jack wakes up, he sneezes exactly twice."

Jack buried two sneezes, one after another, into a tissue, as if to demonstrate, then looked to Ianto expectantly.

Ianto paused to bless Jack, then continued.

Jack tries to convince me and maybe himself that he isn’t actually ill. But he sneezes for exactly the 11th time just as we get in the car and….”

Wait,” Jack cut in, “you count my sneezes?”

Ianto blushed just slightly. “Well, they are rather impressive, you must admit.”

Jack’s grin was interrupted by another impressive sneeze, and Ianto couldn’t help but notice the way the force of it tossed Jack’s hair, in a way that made Ianto slightly regret that he was across the room and not able to just reach up and brush the hair off Jack’s forehead.

Maybe,” Owen cut in, “you drowned in the bay and this is your brain’s last dying gasp to keep from going toward the light?”

Owen was a real tosser when he was ill, Ianto decided, wishing for a moment that he’d spilled Owen’s tea in his lap.

Jack was more circumspect. “Presumably, the object in the bay is what starts the loop. You say you were touching it? Are you certain?”

I was hanging on to it for dear life, actually,” Ianto recalled vividly the choking feeling of saltwater in his lungs. “Last I thing I remember is a flash and I wake up to the alarm.”

Handling unknown rift objects is never a good idea,” Tosh pointed out with a sniff.

”Neither is downing.” Ianto answered darkly.

Why is Ianto the only one who remembers this day?” Gwen asked, between coughs.

I am guessing it’s because he was the one touching the object at the time,” Jack speculated from behind a tissue.”

Because no one but Ianto has lived this day before. Time...” Jack paused to sneeze,  HeshSHOOO!!!!! “...dammit!...Is fluid, not fixed."  sniff... "Except when it is.”

Ianto knew from prior experience, that speaking with Jack, a former time agent and chronologically displaced undying human, was going to hurt his brain. “Jack, if you expect us to follow you, you’re going to have to go slow.”

Jack blew his nose, and tried again, his voice taking on a slightly nasal quality. “What I mean is this: the flow of time is like the flow of a river. Constantly changing, but moving forward. You can jump in the river, swim in it, drink it, and never change the general course of the river. Hence, we can move through time, generally without causing damage. Some things, like me, are fixed points. I can’t be changed. So the river flows around me. I can interact with it, though. Still, everything ultimately flows on past me.” Jack paused, closed his eyes and sneezed again.  HashSHOOO!!!!

Ianto blessed him automatically, and considered this thought. He’d always (well, at least since he’d known Jack was undying) assumed that he was the slow spot Jack would eventually glide on past, not the other way around.

A time loop is….Jack struggled to find words to make the metaphor work.

Like an eddy?” Ianto supplied helpfully.

Not...remotely. No, a time loop is like being a fish, caught on a line, pulled out of the time stream and then thrown back in. A time loop requires an external force.”

This made absolutely no sense whatsoever to Ianto, and he frowned. He thought an eddy made more sense.

Tosh blew her nose delicately. “So, you’re saying we need to affect the external force, at the bay, in order to stop the loop?”

Jack nodded. Coughed. “Assuming the Rift Gift even is the external force. It could just be coincidence.”

The team set to work on the problem, and Ianto had to appreciate the focus his teammates brought to solving the problem. The did make a good team, he thought, as they worked on the problem, through sniffles and sneezes.

What if one of us pulls the object in, instead of Ianto?” Gwen suggested. What if Jack is also touching the object?

What if we don’t pull in the object at all?”

What if we capture the object without touching it?”

What if we just destroy the object?”

What if we just skipped ahead until we are all over this damned cold?”

Possible….we should outline the variables we could change.”

The rift alarm sounded, interrupting further discussion.

Jack looked pointedly at Ianto. “Ianto, it’s up to you to track the variables and let us know if something changes.”

Edited by Jelloicious

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ReidSeeker

Haha it's harder to convince Jack that he's sick than to convince him of a time loop! This is great

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AngelEyes
9 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

He’d never quite noticed before the slightly bewildered face Jack made before he sneezed, and Ianto found it rather adorable, in spite of himself.

LOL

 

9 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

They showered quickly (but took the time for a quick fuck, because what would the point of being in a time loop if you couldn’t, Ianto reasoned, and Jack certainly didn’t object. The steam from a shower was supposed to be good for a cold, anyway, wasn’t it?)

This cracked me up. I can totally picture it. (I mean their reasoning for it! Although....)

 

9 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

Owen blew his nose lazily. “Are you telling me you didn’t shag the boss this morning? I am pretty sure Jack’s who is going to give you this cold, not me.”

Oh Owen!

 

9 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

Jack’s grin was interrupted by another impressive sneeze, and Ianto couldn’t help but notice the way the force of it tossed Jack’s hair, in a way that made Ianto slightly regret that he was across the room and not able to just reach up and brush the hair off Jack’s forehead.

You so know my weakness! Mmmmm!

 

9 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

Jack looked pointedly at Ianto. “Ianto, it’s up to you to track the variables and let us know if something changes.”

What fun.

This is so great!!

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Jelloicious
Posted (edited)
On 7/15/2018 at 2:51 PM, ReidSeeker said:

Haha it's harder to convince Jack that he's sick than to convince him of a time loop! This is great

Ha!  I had not realized that!  You're absolutely right!  I am so going to use that!!  

Thank you, @AngelEyesfor your responses, feedback and shared delight in Torchwood!  You generally keep me from feeling like I'm  off in this odd little forgotten fandom by myself!! (And there is just sooo much potential here!)

 


TWTWTWTWTW

The rental of a bigger, more stable boat, and a firmly secured life jacket were Ianto’s contributions to their first attempt at disrupting the time loop. Jack brought a piece of tech that amounted, in Ianto’s estimation, to a more technologically advanced and glowy version of the net they’d used to capture the object previously. It looked impressive, but privately, Ianto didn’t see that it would actually work any differently from the net they had used previously and wasn’t sure it would be helpful at all.

Jack, of course, being Jack, decided that it would be he hanging precariously off the back of the boat, not Ianto. Ianto was not happy with this choice, as Jack was clearly not at his best, and would not be doing his health any favors if he fell in the bay. The operation might be considered foolhardy and reckless on a good day, but here, in the chill November rain, in an unpredictably tossing bay, with Jack suffering from an increasingly miserable head cold, Ianto had the unshakable feeling that Jack’s sense of his own invulnerability would not serve him well.

When Ianto said so, Jack chided him. “It’s not …:” het‘CHOO!!...”like I can die from a head cold, Ianto,” Jack said. Jack sniffled wetly, as he swiped at his nose with the back of his wrist.

Ianto thought to himself that Jack was wrong on this count, that he could in fact die. And that this was more likely when conducting a dangerous operation when compromised. And if Jack drowned himself in the bay, he might well die a few dozen times before his team could find and successfully retrieve his body. And even though this was a terribly unlikely scenario, Jack would surely be setting himself up for a case of pneumonia if he didn’t take proper care of himself.  And that might not kill him, but it was certainly the sort of misery for which one shouldn't go looking.

Jack sneezed twice more, and Ianto frowned as the boat slowed in the choppy water and Jack shucked out of his great coat. Ianto could see the shivers run down Jack’s arms, and was completely unable to quell the sense of foreboding he had about this whole operation, as he helped Jack shoulder his way into the bright orange life-jacket Ianto had insisted upon.

Ianto watched nervously as Jack climbed down the ladder on the back of the tossing boat. Sniffling relentlessly, Jack nonetheless took great care in where he placed his hands and feet on the rain slick ladder, Ianto carefully feeding him the net as they neared their bobbing target. Closer, closer...Jack leaned out, reaching with one hand. Ianto shifted his own weight in order to better secure Jack with a firm grip on the straps of the life jacket, and exchanged worried looks with Gwen and Toshiko, as Jack reached out, toward their rift gift. Just...a bit...farther...the net slipped, and Jack was compelled to regroup and try a second time. Ianto braced himself and re-seated his grip on Jack’s life jacket and they tried again, working hard to balance on the slippery deck that rolled and tossed, Ianto swallowed hard, the churning motion of the boat getting to him. This time, however, Jack successfully netted the object, and Ianto allowed himself a small breath of relief, as Jack began pulling the object in.

It was just at the point where Jack released his left hand from the ladder to gather the net in that two things happened simultaneously. First, Jack was compelled suddenly to sneeze, violently, several times in a row, even as he groped blindly for the ladder. Second, the rogue wave hit their boat causing it to lurch suddenly sideways. It’s possible that Jack would not have slipped had he had his left hand on the ladder. It’s possible that Ianto wouldn’t have wrenched his shoulder and fallen if his hand wasn’t securely hooked into Jack’s life Jacket straps when Jack fell. Ianto’s sudden shout of surprise and pain was abruptly silenced when he hit the icy water, and gasped in a lungful of icy water and he was choking and coughing and stunned once again by just how cold the water was. There were shouts from somewhere, and then there was a brilliant flash, and…..nothing.

twtwtwtwtw

Robbie Williams was bellowing into Ianto’s ear and Ianto sat bolt upright, choking for a moment, before he understood that he was safe, and dry, and at home in bed with Jack, and it was today, again.

Jack sat up, too, roused by Ianto’s sudden thrashing and choking, gave Ianto a concerned look before turning his head to sneeze harshly.

 

DAY EIGHT

 

Ianto found himself fidgeting nervously, fiddling with the straps on his life vest, as they neared the rift object in the bay. Mentally, he was running though the modifications for the next loop if they were not successful on this run. It was disconcerting, having to focus on this loops variables while simultaneously considering the variables needed for the next run, but when the mission failed the day ended, and Ianto just didn’t have enough time otherwise.

Ianto helped a sniffling Jack shrug into his own life vest, once the boat had slowed sufficiently. Gwen coughed, as she held the boat as steady possible in the waves, while Tosh squinted into the rain, from her perch on the back of the boat, trying to target the rift object as it rose and fell in the chop, from a boat that was bobbing in the water as well. If they could track the object remotely, they might be able to buy some more time in a given loop, was the reasoning. Owen cursed the weather, the rift and Torchood as he muffled a series of violent sneezes into sorry, damp and overwhelmed tissues. At least, Ianto thought, if they were unsuccessful, none of his friends would have to remember this dreadful trip.

Ianto stumbled as the boat dipped suddenly and Tosh, focused on adjusting her tech, lost her balance momentarily and slipped and then tumbled with a surprised yelp into the icy chop. Owen’s gave a hoarse panicked shout of “TOSHIKO!” and immediately began shucking his coat and shoes to dive in after her.. Ianto scrambled to his feet and lunged for the side of the boat, horrified to see is teammate, his friend, gasping desperately in the tossing water, being pulled further and further away from the boat. Owen’ desperately launched his wiry form into the water after her even as Jack reached, shouting desperately, to stop him, Owen struggled mightily to reach Tosh, in what was surely a fool’s errand, as Toshiko had already been swept at least 20 yards out from the boat., Far enough that Ianto could only see her face momentarily between churning waves, and she was choking, drowning, eyes wide with terror. Jack was shouting commands to Gwen to turn the boat, shouting to Tosh and to Owen, Jack’s usually steady voice now frantic.

Ianto turned at once and leaped off the boat, swimming desperately, clumsily in the icy water not toward Toshiko, or Owen but toward the rift object bobbing on the other side of the boat. As soon as he was close enough, he grasped for it desperately. When he reached it, he grabbed at it and drew it in close, terrified that the expected flash, the reset. would not come, that the loop would not reset and his teammates would drown.

The ball glowed brilliantly and then nothing.


TWTWTWTWTW

Mr. Williams had barely bellowed the first note when Ianto sat up in his bed, pounded the top of the alarm clock, adrenaline coursing through his veins, as he gasped for breath. He closed his eyes against tears, as he tried to slow his breathing down.

Ianto, what’s” Heyesshhh! “wrong?”

Ianto opened his eyes, looked at Jack and said, “I have to call Tosh.” His voice was panicky.

Jack answered him with a violent sneeze. Ianto was already punching in Tosh’s number and didn’t bother to bless him.

Edited by Jelloicious
words

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AngelEyes
8 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

The operation might be considered foolhardy and reckless on a good day, but here, in the chill November rain, in an unpredictably tossing bay, with Jack suffering from an increasingly miserable head cold, Ianto had the unshakable feeling that Jack’s sense of his own invulnerability would not serve him well.

Probably not.

 

8 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

First, Jack was compelled suddenly to sneeze, violently, several times in a row, even as he groped blindly for the ladder.

Oh dear.

 

8 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

Owen cursed the weather, the rift and Torchood as he muffled a series of violent sneezes into sorry, damp and overwhelmed tissues.

Mm

 

8 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

Ianto stumbled as the boat dipped suddenly and Tosh, focused on adjusting her tech, lost her balance momentarily and slipped and then tumbled with a surprised yelp into the icy chop. Owen’s gave a hoarse panicked shout of “TOSHIKO!” and immediately began shucking his coat and shoes to dive in after her..

Oh no!

 

8 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

Ianto turned at once and leaped off the boat, swimming desperately, clumsily in the icy water not toward Toshiko, or Owen but toward the rift object bobbing on the other side of the boat. As soon as he was close enough, he grasped for it desperately.

Smart.

 

8 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

Jack answered him with a violent sneeze. Ianto was already punching in Tosh’s number and didn’t bother to bless him.

Poor Ianto!mm. A poor, miserable Owen. 

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ReidSeeker

Aw, poor Ianto! I would have tried calling Tosh ASAP, too! Smart, swimming for the device. The whole team is so miserable! Hopefully when this loop ends they'll be able to get back to health quickly...'cept Ianto, poor thing is heading the wrong way 

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quietsucker

Wow!  I am loving this story--as much for the plot as the fetish part.  Hoping (actually assuming) that Tosh is ok, and really enjoying watching Ianto work out the time loop. 

-QS

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Posted (edited)
On 7/18/2018 at 11:27 PM, ReidSeeker said:

Hopefully when this loop ends they'll be able to get back to health quickly...'cept Ianto, poor thing is heading the wrong way

Wouldn't be a proper fetish fic without that, yeah?   I mean, let's face it....dreading the inevitable carries its own fetishy weight, don't you think?

On 7/19/2018 at 8:00 AM, quietsucker said:

Wow!  I am loving this story--as much for the plot as the fetish part.

Thank you!   That's what I am shooting for!  Not much of a writer, but having read every Torchwood fic that could ever be considered fetish, even if you have to squint to get it there,  and run out of new ones, I felt compelled to try!  (even if I have no earthly idea of how you get out of a timeloop once you are in...)

 

On 7/18/2018 at 6:02 PM, AngelEyes said:

Smart.

Ianto is.   Plus, he's also very level headed even when his teammates are not.  So often the key to surviving (or saving your teammates) is "don't panic.  just think".   But this whole thing has gotta be wearing on him, don't you think?

 

TWTWTWTWTW

Six more todays later, Ianto definitely was feeling the strain, and beginning to think that maybe Owen had been correct, and this was all just his brain’s dying gasp. Or, maybe he’d actually knocked himself out chasing weevils and was now in a coma. He shook himself and firmly quashed this line of thinking as unproductive, and mentally checked off the list of variables they’d tried, and feeling no closer to a solution for all their efforts.

Some things were getting easier. For one, Ianto could fairly reliably persuade Jack that they were deeply in a time loop, most days before they even made it out of bed.

Convincing Jack that he actually had come down with a head cold was another thing altogether, and Ianto determined that allowing Jack to reach that conclusion on his own was generally as effective as anything else and saved Ianto a bit of frustration and annoyance of having to try. Accordingly, Ianto had given himself over to just watching Jack sneeze, instead of trying to convince him that those sneezes meant anything. Trying to convince someone as headstrong and invulnerable as Jack that he’d fallen victim to something as mundane as a head cold had lost some of its initial shine, and frankly, wasted precious time.

Having had some ample opportunity to observe, Ianto determined that Jack sneezed in precisely three ways: First, he would often sneeze in a way that made Ianto think he was sometimes not even aware that he was about to sneeze. Just right in the middle of something. It was as if they would just sneak up on him, even in the middle of a sentence (or sex) and Jack would just keep going like nothing had happened, as if he hadn’t even noticed. Or at least hoped that no one else had. Second, sometimes he’d sneeze in doubles, or triples, and occasionally more. Almost as if the sneezes themselves were tired of being ignored and demanded his attention. Jack always seemed bewildered and slightly mortified by these extravagant displays. Third, (and Ianto’s favorite by far), were the sneezes that announced themselves well before they arrived, pulling Jack off course, interrupting his words, his thoughts his actions, and arriving with bone rattling force. These sneezes were larger than life, and like Jack himself, a force to be reckoned with. And were quite nearly as distracting to Ianto as they were to Jack.

Ianto calculated that he had just under six (waking) hours per loop, to work with. He generally budgeted at least an hour and a half of each loop to getting the team assembled, persuading them all that they were in a loop and up to speed on what had been done before. That time was stretching longer, the more they variables they addressed. Ianto could save about twenty minutes by calling first thing in the morning to reserve the boat they’d been using. He'd taken to typing up a summary of variables and test results on his mobile while Jack drove them both to the Hub in the morning, so that he had it already prepared to share with the team when they were done questioning his sanity, and were ready to work on the problem. He also found the time investment of making tea, supplying tissues and generally trying to make his miserable teammates more comfortable paid off in their productivity during the limited window of time before the loop reset. He hadn’t been able to quash his own headache, though, and the feeling that he hadn’t had nearly enough sleep seem to amplify across the days.  He knew he was wearing thin.

Jack must have noticed this too, and on this loop, before they headed out to the bay, he pulled Ianto aside. “If this doesn’t work today, Ianto, you need to take a day off.”

What?” Ianto was confused, impatient and desperate to break the loop, unable to make sense of Jack's suggestion.

Listen to me,” Jack said. “You are wearing yourself out.” Ke’SHooo!!“You need to take a break.”

I can’t...”

YES, you can. You need to.” Jack was firm.

“….How….” Ianto began, then waited as Jack sneezed three times in a row, blew his nose, miserably. Ianto thought Jack could use a day in bed, too. Then thought that Jack, at least, was holding steady, on day one of a head cold, and if not up to his usual par, at least he wasn’t showing the wear, the increasingly frayed nerves that Ianto was. A day out of the loop might be nice, Ianto admitted to himself.

Look, if the loop resets again, just tell me that your head still hurts from that knock on the head last night, and you could use a few more hours of rest, roll over and go back to sleep” Jack said, simply.

Ianto thought that Jack was not wrong about the headache..

I just….” Ianto groped for the words. “I just don’t want to let my team down. I want to be able to stop the loop.”

Jack was philosophical. “You can drive your self nuts trying to force your way out of a time loop. It could be weeks, or months even. Or, you could just wake up tomorrow, and the loop would be done, either because of some seemingly inconsequential thing, or because the loop is just...done, ”

Well,” Ianto said grimly, “Let’s hope it’s not months!” He didn’t think he could do this for months. The vision of Toshiko’s terrified face, drifting away, down under the waves returned, vividly, made his eyes sting and made it just a little hard to breathe.

Jack blew his nose again. “Be careful what you wish for.” He paused, as a powerful sneeze took it’s time building, expression frozen in a peculiar way by now very familiar to Ianto. Hah…...HarAASHOOO!!!” Jack sniffed, wetly, and sneezed a second time. HahSHOOO!!!!

I’m pretty sure, once we break this time loop, you’ll be next in line for this HarAAHshoo!!!! bloody awful head cold!”

Believe me….I’ll take a few sneezes over a time loop any day!” Ianto replied, with feeling.

HaaahrAAASHOOOOO!!!!


twtwtwtwtw

Ianto rolled over and silenced Robbie, thiis time turning the alarm off, not just hitting the snooze button, and tried to burrow back down in the covers.

Jack sneezed, and was a bit surprised when Ianto didn’t move, so he sneezed a second time (impressively) and then sniffed.

Ianto...” Jack hummed in a sing-songy voice.

Go’way,” Ianto said, muffled in the pillow.

Jack slipped close under the covers, spooned behind his young lover.

Ianto….” he crooned again, right behind the curve of Ianto’s ear.

M’not getting up. My head hurts”, Ianto insisted.

HehhSHOO!  Jack was caught off guard by a third sneeze.

Ianto, caught in the spray, cracked an eye open. “You should sleep in too, take care of that cold.”

Jack raised his eyebrows at this. He never got sick.

I’m fine.” You probably just need to dust in here,” jack sniffed.

I knew you were going to say that.” Ianto said, chuckling darkly into his pillow.

Jack frowned. Maybe he should’ve had Owen come take a look at Ianto’s head last night. Still, Jack rolled himself out of bed. “You take it easy this morning. You took quite a crack on the head last night. See you this afternoon?”

You really should just stay with me,” Ianto suggested, temptingly.

Jack sneezed again, twice more, and shook his head. “I’ve a conference call at 8:00 with that cute secretary in the prime minister’s office...what’s his name?”

Neville,” Ianto responded from under the covers.

Ianto was snoring softly by the time Jack was showered, shaved and ready to leave, but woke when the door clicked shut.

I should have told him to pick up tissues on the way in, he thought, before drifting back to sleep, confident that Jack would figure it out when he had to.

 

Twtwtwtw

It couldnt have been more than a couple of hours  later that the sound of a key sliding home in the front door to his flat woke Ianto, as Jack let himself in. Ianto had barely had time to think to himself that he should make sure it was Jack entering his flat mid morning when Jack announced himself with a mighty sneeze. And then another. And then another. No denying you have a cold now, Ianto thought, sitting up and scrubbing his face with his hands, pleased at how much better he felt with just an extra hour or so of sleep. His headache, if not entirely gone, had at least receded noticeably for the first time in many loops.

Bless you, he said, as Jack appeared in the doorway to Ianto’s bedroom. “Still think you haven’t come down with a cold?” he asked, with amusement.

Another sneeze yanked Jack’s head forward sharply, and he sniffed wetly.

I think you might be enjoying this,"  Jack sniffed, accusingly.

Ianto smiled. “I think I could. You are rather cute when you sneeze.”

Is that so?” Jack asked as he dropped down on the side of the bed, resigned, heavy.

"How are you feeling," Ianto asked.

HeeSHOO!  "Sneezy."  sniff  "Sniffly." "How" sniff  "is your head?"

Mm. Better, I think. You, on the other hand, sound fairly worse for wear.”

I am,” Jack admitted, as he laid his head back on a pillow. “I think Neville thinks I’m...I’m…." heshSHOO! "Upset with him,” Jack sniffed wetly again and looked around for tissues.

Ianto checked the time. “Seems you ended your call early”.

Jack sniffed again. "Had to. My nose just started running like crazy."  sniff   "Was afraid I’d start sneezing and not" AhhChOO!! HaahhhSHOO! "be able to stop." HaarAAAhhSHOOO! “Apparently”, sniff, “my assistant has let the office supply of tissues run dangerously low.”

Sorry about that. There’s been quite a run on them lately. I should’ve warned you, suggested you pick some up on your way in.” Ianto had the decency to feel a bit guilty about that, watching Jack struggle.

Jack sniffed. “I wouldn’t actually have listened you know.”

Hmm,” Ianto agreed. “Still, you must admit that I told you that you’d come down with a cold,“ Ianto scolded as he got up and rummaged in a drawer, pulling out several neatly folded handkerchiefs to offer to Jack, then checked the time. It was clear that they weren’t going to have much.

Jack sat up and blew his nose gratefully into the soft cloth, several times, before dropping his head back on the pillow, as Ianto began pulling on a pair of jeans, a teeshirt and thick hoodie.

Where’re you going?”

Rift alert,” Ianto answered, tying his trainers. 

Jack’s eyes widened slightly at this but he checked his wrist strap and relieved when he didn’t see anything.  A rift alert was just exactly what he didn't need right now. 

Ianto could see where Jack’s nose was  pink, and his lips were slightly parted, presumably due to increasing congestion making it harder to breath properly through his nose. Or maybe because breathing through his nose threatened to make him sneeze again, Ianto couldn't tell.  Jack's hair was slightly mussed and he looked for all the world like he should spend the rest of the day in bed, sniffling under a blanket and sipping tea with honey and lemon, preferably with Ianto.

Ianto drew in a deep breath, sat down on the edge of the bed and told Jack everything.


 


 

Edited by Jelloicious
timey wimey stuff

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AngelEyes
6 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

Plus, he's also very level headed even when his teammates are not.  So often the key to surviving (or saving your teammates) is "don't panic.  just think".  

Absolutely.

 

6 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

Six more todays later,

I like this phrasing.

 

6 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

I just….” Ianto groped for the words. “I just don’t want to let my team down. I want to be able to stop the loop.”

Awwww!

 

6 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

I’m pretty sure, once we break this time loop, you’ll be next in line for this HarAAHshoo!!!! bloody awful head cold!”

Mmmm.

 

6 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

Ianto smiled. “I think I could. You are rather cute when you sneeze.”

Totally!

 

6 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

Jack sniffed. “I wouldn’t actually have listened you know.”

True.

 

6 hours ago, Jelloicious said:

Jack's hair was slightly mussed and he looked for all the world like he should spend the rest of the day in bed, sniffling under a blanket and sipping tea with honey and lemon, preferably with Ianto.

Awww. Adorable!

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ReidSeeker

This is just so Ianto. Like perfectly in character, sweet and proper, just really well done Ianto 

 

I love it

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Jelloicious
23 hours ago, AngelEyes said:

I like this phrasing.

Thank you....six more days didn't seem to cover it.  I imagine the repeating days become quite difficult. 

19 hours ago, ReidSeeker said:

This is just so Ianto.

He's my favorite, if you couldn't tell!

 

This next bit is just a bit more heavy on the h/c side.  But Jack still gets to sneeze, and Ianto still gets to watch him.  (And trust me, he's watching).

TWTWTWTW

The problem with being stuck in a time loop---well, at least, the problem with being the only person in a time loop who is aware of the loop--- Ianto had decided, was that it was really quite lonely.

Certainly, he woke each day in bed next to Jack. And the work his team put in each day was surely essential to breaking the loop. Moreover, they listened intently and carefully, trusting Ianto’s account each day of the ways they had tried previously to break the loop. But so much of every day was a repetition of the day before. The words, the ideas, the reactions, were all so very much the same from one day to the next. As if it were all just a script they read through, modified by today’s changes from the writer’s room. Ianto thought he might just crawl out of his skin before it was all over and done.

Everything was just...stuck. Initially, he’d made space for regular romps with Jack, but it just wasn’t the same. Or maybe, more to the point, it was. The spark of sex greatly diminished, when each time, it played out in exactly the same way, until it was just too much of a caricature, too much a reminder of what he’d lost, with his immeasurably talented and creative lover, and he couldn’t, just couldn’t.

Ianto found himself pondering this in the conference room, as he automatically moved to catch Tosh’s nearly empty coffee mug just as she nearly elbowed it off the table, just as she had done repeatedly in the days before. He might have been mouthing to himself the very words of the argument he’d seen Gwen and Owen have in this room for the past 12 days straight.

To be fair, the days were not exactly identical, and Ianto certainly had the ability to affect events by his own interactions. Nonetheless, the days were taking on the almost smothering sense of living in a television show re-run. And every time his colleagues repeated something they had done or said before, it reinforced for Ianto that despite the proximity of his colleagues, despite their help, and despite their very real physical presence, he was truly alone in this.

He turned his attention to Jack, and was surprised to find the other man scrutinizing him carefully. Ianto felt caught out, in the moment just before Jack’s eyes fluttered closed and he drew a great breath and gave in to one of Ianto’s favorite sneezes in the loop. Hehhh……..hehhhhh………….. HeeeYASHOOOOOOOO!!!!!! For some days, Ianto had made a bit of a point of watching this one, with it’s intense build up and thunderous release, but today for some reason, it seemed, Jack had also been watching him.

Once Jack had collected himself, he sniffed, rose and moved to Ianto, leaning over to murmur into Ianto’s ear. “Are you okay?”

I’m fine, Sir.” was Ianto’s automatic, if disingenuous answer.

I think you’re not.” Jack’s voice was low, concerned.

Ianto suddenly found himself having to focus his entire being on not letting unexpected and unbidden and utterly mortifying tears spill out. He closed his eyes, desperately missing Jack, his Jack, who was spontaneous and unpredictable, and not stuck in this endless loop of repititon.

The rift alert interrupted their exchange, and relieved Ianto from having to come up with a credible response to Jack's probing. Ianto let out a sigh of relief as Jack turned to bark orders as Team Torchwood was summoned once again to the bay.

Ianto stood, and Jack turned back to face him, placing a hand on his shoulder.

If this doesn’t work today, Ianto, you need to take a day off.”

What?” Ianto said, stupidly, knowing with exact certainty what Jack was going to say next.

Listen to me,” Jack said. “You are wearing yourself out.” Ke’SHooo!! sniff …. “You need to take a break.”

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ReidSeeker

:sadsmiley02: poor Ianto 

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AngelEyes

Sad! Poor baby! He needs cuddles. I'm volunteering...

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Jelloicious
On 7/23/2018 at 1:32 PM, AngelEyes said:

Sad! Poor baby! He needs cuddles. I'm volunteering...

Ha!  He really wants Jack, you know.  His Jack, the one that does stuff that's not expected.  

Thanks guys....I might be floundering a bit with the plot, but what the hay....it's a time loop, and you gotta work your way out of these things.  If it was easy, it'd just be tomorrow already.   Promise, tomorrow does come.  Ianto is a smart boy. 

 

TWTWTWTWTW

Their boat rolled in the churning waters, but days and weeks of practice had built Ianto’s sea legs, his sense of balance on the moving deck.  He also knew to expect the odd lurch the boat made when Jack's hand slipped at the wheel, as he was momentarily overcome by a fit of insistent sneezes. and could easily brace himself. 

Ianto used his deckwalking skills to his advantage, insisting that Tosh let him run the scanner from the prow of the boat, as he had done for as many days as it had been since he’d admitted to himself that Tosh’s plan, to gather enough data to allow them to track the rift object remotely, was a good one despite the risks. He still wasn’t willing to chance Tosh falling in the bay again, and still randomly found himself deeply troubled by the flashbacks of seeing Tosh’s desperate struggle in the icy waters, the terror in her eyes as she realized she was drowning. He shook himself, and refocussed. Trouble had been that he needed more data, and it seemed his day reset each time before he could fully gather the necessary sample. Still, he was making some progress, if not as rapidly as he would have liked.

Ianto's habit had become each awakening to write down as much of the data as he could remember, gathered on the previous loop the very first thing, ignoring Robbie Williams, ignoring first Jack’s sneezes, then his questions, until he’d gotten down as much as he could remember, working to memorize and repeat an entire data stream. He had always felt that he had a very good memory, but it was much harder, given the data readout was so much jibberish to him.

He needed Tosh’s tutoring to give him context. Toshiko Sato was simply immeasurably brilliant, and he found himself wishing, not for the first time, that he had half an ounce of the ability of her agile, intuitive mind as he placed a fresh, steaming mug of tea next to her work station, and pulled up a chair, assuring her once again that he wasn’t worried about catching her cold, but that he really needed her help to understand the data measurements.

The first time Toshiko had suggested that it made more sense for her to run the scanner, he blanched. Her eyes widened at his response, and he suspected he had given away the fact that she very nearly had drowned in the bay, but she did not press, and he did not offer further details. Thereafter, he was prepared for the question in the loop, smoothly insisting that they’d learned from previous loops that Ianto’s greater size and strength was necessary to manage the scanner on the heaving deck of the boat. He did not tell her that he believed she’d drowned in the bay while he watched.

Toshiko would tutor him in earnest until the rift alert sounded, occasionally pausing as she turned her head and stifled several desperate sneezes into a tissue. Hnnngxt! Hnngcht! Hnngxt, and consistently apologizing when he blessed her. Some loops, she would hesitate, embarrassed by her lack of control, and Ianto’s proximity, as she sniffled, sneezed and coughed, until Ianto would take her hand, press a chaste kiss into her hair and remind her in a low whisper that he had a lot more intimate contact with Jack, who had also fallen victim to this cold, and was far less careful with his sneezes. Tosh would invariably blush crimson, but thereafter focus on the task of teaching Ianto to make sense of the complicated data the sensor was supposed to gather.

So it was that on this loop, Ianto hefted the scanner, holding it steady to gather what he’d hoped would be the last data set. The deck rose and fell, as Ianto adjusted his balance, automatically, focused on the scanner readout, though the misting rain. When finally, the last of the data appeared on his screen, Ianto laughed, and read through it twice more, just to be sure, then closed his eyes to commit it to memory. He turned to pass the scanner to Tosh, who examined the data quickly, then returned his smile. Jack passed the wheel to Owen before stepping across the heaving deck to grasp Ianto’s arm and shout above the noise of the boat, the rain, and the bay. “Did you get what you need?”

Ianto nodded, and was surprised when Jack embraced him, and said “Come home to me.”

I’m trying, Jack,” Ianto said with feeling.

Jack answered him with a mighty sneeze.

Someone needs to take care you! Out on boat with a cold on a day like this...it’ll be a wonder if the lot of you aren’t all in bed for a week!”

TWTWTWTW

Ianto woke immediately, at Robbie Williams’ insistence. He automatically hit the snooze button on the alarm and pulled a note pad and pen out of the drawer in the night stand, and was hurriedly writing down the memorized data stream from the scanner when Jack sat up and sneezed impressively. When Ianto didn’t look up from his work after the second powerful sneeze, Jack asked what he was doing.

Ianto did not look up or answer until he finished, and read through the page he’d written again. Jack sneezed again.

Bless you, Jack,’ Ianto said, and Jack sniffed at the irritation in his sinuses, annoyed at his tickly nose, and just maybe slightly annoyed that Ianto was ignoring him...(and apparently, the need to occasionally dust his flat).

What are you working on, so early?” Jack asked with another sniff.

Ianto did not answer right away, and Jack cocked his head curiously at this before the unpleasant sensation in his sinused flared again and HehhhSHOO!!! HahhhSHOO!!

Bless again. I’ve got a data set I need you to give to Tosh.”

By the time Ianto had explained everything properly to Jack, they were running late, and Ianto called Neville with the prime minister’s office from the car to cancel Jack’s meeting, in the drive through at the coffee shop, while Jack made a valiant show of trying to convince Cristyn, the barista, that he did not in fact have a cold, even as Ianto passed him a stack of extra napkins.

Ianto’s working theory was that the loop reset each day on a specific trigger, which almost certainly was Ianto, though he couldn’t rule out Jack and his peculiar relationship with time as at least a contributing cause. Although the cascading loop seemed to have started when Ianto first touched the rift gift, even his proximity seemed to cause the reset, and Jack had also been present at each reset. Tosh’s data would be used to track the orb in the tossing sea, from a reasonably safe distance. Such as from the hub.

All Ianto had to do was work out how far away he needed to be from the object to not trigger ithe reset automatically, yet still be close enough to reach it, if the event an emergency reset would be needed. And how difficult could that be, really?


 

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