Mind That Slippery Patch

Chill day. Early February. The snow had actually settled overnight. Little drifts here and there, some unexpectedly deep so as to better ensnare the unsuspecting.

The bottoms of Ianto's trousers were a lost cause, he suspected. Soggy and cold to his knees.

He plodded on.

Arriving early to work had never really been a problem as such, but when it meant you arrived before the council's salt gritters and had nearly fallen over all of four times already, being early rather lost its appeal.

Ianto hunched further into his coat. Near the Plass now. He could give Jack a call, ask him to pop open the invisible hatch and—

Pop open the invisible hatch?

That was just asking for it.

Okay. Maybe Ianto wouldn't phrase it exactly like that. But still. Open up the invisible lift so that Ianto didn't have to mess around on iced up metal stairs to reach the Tourist Office and slip and fall into Cardiff bay. Aliens was one thing; think of what you could catch in that water! Or what could catch you!

A shiver rippled up Ianto's back. He hunched more. Less deliberation, more deliverance. He crossed the road, wary of black ice on the tarmac and dug his gloved hand into a pocket for his mobile. Jack would be up. There was never danger of waking him at inopportune moments. Walking in, yes, but hardly ever waking up...

With phone pressed tight against his frozen ear, Ianto was just about preparing to promise something warm or threaten something icy to make Jack get the lift for him when he stopped before the water tower and stared at the sight beyond.

"Jack?"

Ianto stared some more, at a loss for what to say. Searching for something, anything. He settled on: "Are those my coffee mugs?"

Behind Jack, the man height snow sculpture glittered in the weak sunlight. Icicles hung from its plunger eyestalk. A few snow crystals sat atop the coffee mugs on its head. Trickling. Melting slightly. Jack said, "Umm."

Ianto bit his lower lip. Rubbed his running, red nose. "I worry about you."

"Yeah?"

"I'm going to use the Tourist Office entrance, if that's alright."

"Umm."

"Don't traipse snow inside when you stop being four years old and realise there's work to be done."

"Umm?"

Ianto left.

Jack turned back to his creation, tweaked the plunger and mumbled, "Exterminate!" before chuckling once. Then he turned and ran, skidding a little on the iced wood. "Ianto!" he shouted. "Hey, wait up!"


Author note: Based on a cartoon entitled 'Tis the Season...' I drew over on my deviantArt page (link in profile). Have a merry Christmas everyone!