Working for Torchwood, you had to adapt to irregular hours and going without sleep, sometimes for days at a time. Each new team member had to quickly learn to snatch naps whenever possible when the Rift was particularly active; there was never any way to predict when they’d next get a chance for some much-needed sleep, so every opportunity had to be made the most of.
Of course, it also meant that when run off their feet, the team could be counted on to fall asleep wherever they happened to be when they finally ran out of steam. It could be highly entertaining, especially for a certain immortal captain who needed a lot less sleep than his employees did. Jack had long since grown accustomed to finding people asleep in very strange places indeed, and his current team were the most versatile sleepers yet.
Gwen was the most normal, or perhaps it was simply that she’d been with Torchwood for the shortest time and had yet to fully adapt to the rest of the team’s odd practices. When she grew tired, she would either rest her head on her desk and take a nap right there, or lay down on the battered old sofa to sleep. By Torchwood standards, her sleeping behaviour could be considered rather tame.
The rest of the team, accustomed as they’d become to catching sleep whenever and wherever possible, or even working until they dropped from sheer exhaustion, were rather more eccentric in their sleeping habits.
Take Tosh for instance. The mild mannered tech wizard spent much of her time working away at her computers, so she often dozed off with her head on her keyboard, resulting in interesting patterns on her face when she woke up. She also became quite boneless when deeply asleep, so it wasn’t unusual for her to slide right off her chair and under her desk, where she would sleep on undisturbed, squashed into the small space in what should have been a rather uncomfortable position. Jack always knew when she woke up under there from all the Japanese curses that would fill the Hub as she tried to disentangle herself from her cables.
Tosh was also the one most often found asleep draped over the photocopier, or occasionally curled up on top of it, like a cat seeking out a cosy place for a nap.
When she couldn’t be found at all in the main Hub, Jack would always check the server room first, where he’d usually find mainframe humming soothing lullabies to Tosh as she snoozed on top of whichever bank of equipment was closest when she’d felt sleep start to tug at her.
Then there was Owen. Unsurprisingly, his favourite places for a kip were the morgue drawers, or the autopsy table if it was unoccupied. Although, there had also been one or two occasions where Jack had found Owen curled around his current autopsy subject, fast asleep and cuddling it like it was an oversized and rather macabre teddy bear. The look on his face when he woke up like that was always priceless. The same could be said for his face on those occasions he dozed off during an autopsy and planted himself face first in the corpse. After one of those occasions, which had resulted in him looking like an extra from a slasher movie, Owen had stalked off to the locker room and promptly fallen asleep in the shower, only waking up again when the water ran cold.
Being the shortest of the three men, Owen was also the only one who could comfortably fit on the coffee table for a nap if the sofa was already occupied.
However, of all the team, Ianto Jones was the most inspired, finding ever more bizarre places to fall asleep. During busy periods, after meetings it wasn’t unusual to find him asleep on top of, or even underneath the boardroom table. He’d also been known to shelve himself in the archives, both accidentally (draped over the shelf he was working on) and on purpose (curled up on a conveniently empty shelf), whenever he became too tired while working down there to drag himself back up to the main Hub. Jack suspected that he kept a few suitable shelves clear in order to have a flat surface readily available whenever he needed a nap.
On other occasions, Jack had found him bent over, head and arms in a filing cabinet drawer, sound asleep and drooling on the files. It was quite an enticing position, though not the most conducive to restful sleep, so Jack preferred to wake him and steer the groggy, half-asleep Welshman to a more comfortable napping place.
The SUV was another good place to look for a missing Ianto. After all, it presented plenty of quite comfortable places to sleep, the back seat being the most obvious. Ianto seemed to like variety though, and was equally likely to be found sleeping in the driver’s seat, the passenger seat, on the bonnet or curled up in the boot. On one occasion, when he’d fallen asleep while vacuuming out the interior, Jack had even found him kneeling on the passenger seat with his head in the foot well. Ianto Jones was nothing if not flexible, a quality Jack found most attractive.
Myfanwy’s nest was one of Ianto’s favourite places for a nap, perhaps in part because Myfanwy was always willing to stand guard and see off anyone who came to disturb him. It was probably one of the more comfortable places to nap in the Hub too, due to the thick straw and soft old blankets it was made from. Myf was as fastidiously clean as Ianto himself, so aside from getting a few bits of straw stuck in his hair he was able to remain looking perfectly presentable, always a plus for the immaculate Ianto Jones.
More than once, Ianto had dozed off while making coffee for the team, leaning against the counter or the coffee machine itself. His legs seemed to lock when he fell asleep on his feet, so he never ended up in a heap on the floor like the other members of the team did when they nodded off in similar circumstances. As long as he was leaning on something, he could just sleep, apparently quite peacefully, until someone woke him. Sometimes he even dozed off at the Tourist Office counter, much to the consternation of any stray tourists who happened to wander in.
But of all the occasions Jack had found his lover asleep in odd places, there was one time that stood out.
The rest of the team had already left, and Jack, seeing how worn out Ianto looked, had sent him home too, promising to join him after he’d finished up some paperwork and dealt with an overdue phone call to UNIT.
Three hours after Ianto had left, Jack slipped his coat on, powered the Hub down for the night and summoned the lift. When it arrived and the doors opened, there was Ianto, propped in the corner, sound asleep. Smiling, Jack had joined him in the lift, pressed the button to take them to the surface, hoisted Ianto over his shoulder and carried him out to his car. Propping the still sleeping Welshman against the side of the car, he’d fished in Ianto’s pocket for his keys then slid him into the backseat before driving him home.
Ianto slept right through the journey and even being hauled out of the car and thrown over Jack’s shoulder again failed to wake him. He remained peacefully asleep as Jack carried him up to his flat, undressed him and tucked him into bed, finally sliding in beside him and wrapping the younger man in his arms.
The next morning, Ianto woke and stretched, smiling to find Jack already awake beside him.
“I really must have been tired last night, I don’t even remember getting home. Last thing I remember is getting in the lift at the Hub. What time did you get here?” he asked Jack.
“Oh, just before 1am I think; you were already fast asleep. I’m surprised I didn’t wake you,” Jack replied, leaning in for a good morning kiss. “You must be a very sound sleeper when you’re tired.”
“Always have been. Mum used to tell me stories of all the peculiar places I fell asleep as a kid. Good thing I grew out of that really, it could be embarrassing.”
Jack smiled fondly at him.
“I can imagine. Looks like the Rift should stay quiet for a couple of days, so I’ve texted the rest of the team to take the day off. We could all use a rest. Why don’t you go back to sleep for a bit while I fix breakfast?”
“Sounds like a good plan,” Ianto said, yawning and snuggling back under the covers. “Wake me when the food’s ready?”
“I will. Then we can have breakfast in bed and just laze the day away.”
“Mmmmm. That’s my kind of day off.”
Jack never did tell Ianto the truth about what had really happened that night. That was one very special memory of the amazing Ianto Jones he wanted to keep all to himself.