Til the Stars Grow Cold

Title: Til the Stars Grow Cold
Fandom: Torchwood
Characters: Jack Harkness/Ianto Jones
Word Count: 650
Rating: G
Note: Written for ‘s fluff battle.
Prompt: Cafe, gloves, ’til the stars grow cold

I meant to write more this weekend but some pro-writing has kept me occupied instead.

As far as nights spent weevil hunting went, this was one of the more quiet. Ianto had stopped yawning hours ago, but only because he’s fallen asleep in the passenger seat of the SUV.

Jack got bored counting passing cars and remembering poetry, and watched Ianto sleep for a while. Even sitting up, Ianto slept with complete comfort, his head rolled to the side, his breathing soft and even, his hands folded together in his lap.

Oh . . . hands . . . Jack had some good memories of those hands. He reached over and wrapped one of his around both of Ianto’s, meaning to just squeeze them gently in appreciation–but he paused and rubbed his hand over Ianto’s, frowning.

Ianto’s hands were cold.

Well, this would never do. The noises reported earlier that evening hadn’t repeated: it was time to call it a night.

Jack tugged on Ianto’s earlobe until he made an irritated noise and opened his eyes, and blinked at Jack sleepily. “Oh,” he said softly and smiled, and for a moment Jack was distracted by the beauty of Ianto’s just-woke-up face.

“You forgot your gloves.”

“Hm? Oh.” Ianto blew on his hands and rubbed them together. “Yeah, I did.”

“Come on. Let’s go get breakfast.” Jack started up the car, smiling again when Ianto slid his hand along his sleeve.


The waitress looked exasperated when she unlocked the door to the cafe, but Jack’s smile melted that away. He ordered coffee, toast and eggs for both of them, and steered Ianto to one of the tiny tables in front of the main window. Ianto was still cupping his hands together, so Jack reached across the table and wrapped both of his around them.

“Thanks,” Ianto said. “Sorry for dropping off on you.”

“I don’t mind. You’re cute when you sleep.”

Ianto blushed and muttered, “Thanks,” and Jack laughed.

He leaned across the table. “Can I tell you a story later?”

“You can tell it to me now.”

Jack shook his head. “Not here. Remind me to tell you later.”

“Is is a good story or a bad story?”

“It’s an in-progress story.” He looked up to greet the waitress as she set their breakfasts in front of them.

“Oh,” Ianto said knowingly. “One of those.”

“Unless you don’t want to hear it.”

“I love all your stories,” Ianto said, affronted. “I’m even willing to wait.”


Back at the Hub, which was still dark and quiet and empty except for the pterodactyl in her nest, Jack sat Ianto down and told him about the end of time. Ianto listened solemnly, and when Jack stopped talking he cupped the back of Jack’s head and tugged him closer to kiss his forehead.

“Why are you telling me this now?” He combed his fingertips through Jack’s hair.

“I don’t know,” Jack said honestly. “It was such a dark night, it reminded me of it, I suppose.”

“I hate to think of you there. Alone at the end of everything.”

“I wasn’t entirely alone,” Jack said. “I had friends and company and memories . . .” He closed his eyes, enjoying Ianto’s petting. “I think about what the Doctor said, that I was probably there with the others . . . I think maybe I will be.”

“You and your memories,” Ianto said.

Jack leaned on his elbow and said seriously, “I promise to remember you until the stars grow cold, Ianto.”

Ianto smiled and shook his head, touched the tip of Jack’s nose and got to his feet. “Time to get to work.”

“Sir, yes, sir,” Jack said and jumped to his feet, happy to make memories rather than dwell on them.


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