“Wheeeeeeeeeeee!” Ianto shouted happily as his bike whizzed down the steep slope. He leaned into the bend, coasting easily around it, and then around the next. This was the absolute best thing about riding a bike, it was just a shame he couldn’t indulge himself more often, but work and Jack took up most of his time, and when he wasn’t busy with one or the other, sleep took precedence. Or chores. He should probably be doing laundry or cleaning his flat, but here he was, following the twists and turns of the path, keeping a sharp eye out for obstacles. There was always a chance that something might have fallen to block the way or create a hazard since the last time he’d ridden along this stretch.
Thankfully, he didn’t encounter anything, but all too soon he reached the bottom. Cycling back up wasn’t anywhere near as much fun. Still, he was at the bottom now, so he might as well continue with his explorations. There was another route that led back up to the top that was much less steep but included several short flights of shallow steps. Sometimes he rode down that way; the mountain bike could easily handle it, and jumping the steps could be fun. Took him right back to his teens.
He cycled for another half-hour along the meandering paths, enjoying the peace and quiet and the solitude. The only sounds were his tyres crunching on the gritty surface and a faint, distant trickling of water. Despite all the times he’d cycled in this area, he had yet to find the source, and it looked like he wouldn’t this time either.
Sighing, he turned around, heading back the way he’d come but taking a different fork in the path, the one leading to the easy route. He wondered if he could spare the time to ride the steep slope just once more; the freedom of freewheeling, with the air rushing past his face, always made him feel like he was flying. Perhaps not; Jack would be wondering where he’d got to.
As if thinking about his boss and lover conjured him out of thin air, Ianto’s comm. unit crackled in his ear and Jack’s voice came through, a bit staticky because of where Ianto was.
He let go of one handgrip and clicked the button to reply. “What’s up, Jack?”
“I couldn’t find you.” Jack sounded like he was pouting.
“Well, now you have. What do you need?”
“I should’ve guessed. I’ll be there in…” he looked around himself, checking his location, “about ten minutes.”
He had to get off his bike to negotiate each flight of steps; maybe if he asked, they could put in ramps to make it easier. Five minutes later, he’d reached the top and cycled back to his starting point. Parking his bike and covering it against the damp, he trudged up the stairs into the main Hub.
“Where were you?” Jack asked, looking up from his desk as Ianto entered his office with two cups of coffee.
“Oh, just down in the lower levels,” Ianto replied with a smile. “There are miles of tunnels down there, mapping them all could take me years, especially since I can only do it in my spare time, which I don’t get much of anyway.”
Getting a bike for exploring the tunnels was one of the best ideas he’d ever had.