What a night for a Rift alert! A couple of hours ago, Ianto had been tucked up warm and cosy in his bed, fast asleep and snuggled against his own personal hot water bottle, generally known as Jack. Now it was difficult to even imagine what being warm felt like. Despite all his layers of clothing, Ianto was convinced several pieces of his anatomy were in danger of falling off.
The streets were all but invisible under several inches of snow that, aside from Jack and Ianto’s own footprints, was marred only by the tracks of a few cats, and maybe a fox or two. The weather forecast on TV the night before had said temperatures might drop as low as minus ten overnight, but with the wind-chill factored in, Ianto wouldn’t have been surprised if it was even colder than that. He shivered again as he trudged along in Jack’s wake, using his lover’s bulk as a windbreak. Not that it made much difference.
“See anything yet?” he mumbled through his scarf.
“Hard to see anything with all this snow,” Jack replied, his voice barely audible above the howling wind. “We have to find it though.”
“I know that,” Ianto snapped back. The cold was making him irritable. He took another step and stumbled, his foot slipping off the edge of the kerb, which was impossible to detect beneath the blanket of snow. If Jack hadn’t been close enough to grab for support, Ianto knew he would have fallen. He’d already done that twice, twisted both bloody ankles as well. “According to my scanner, we should be close.”
“If it’s small, we’ll have the devil’s own job of finding it.”
“Then let’s hope it’s bigger than a breadbin.” They were about due some good luck.
A couple of steps ahead of Ianto, Jack squinted through the windblown snow. “I think I see something!”
“Thank God for that. What is it?”
“Uh, looks like a box of some sort.” They forged their way through a small snowdrift to get to the object. “Ianto?”
“I think it IS a breadbin.”
Ianto groaned. “The Rift has a perverse sense of humour. Couldn’t it have at least sent us something useful? A portable heater maybe.”
“Sorry, definitely a breadbin. There’s even a loaf of bread in it.”
“Wonderful, that’s not going to be any help at all for thawing me out. I think my nose is frozen; I’m scared it might snap off if I sneeze.”
“Perish the thought, I like your nose! You’re really that cold?” Jack sounded incredulous.
“You’re not?” Ianto matched his lover’s tone.
“Cold, but not freezing.”
“Lucky you.” Ianto shivered. “Come on, let’s get the breadbin back to the SUV, where at least we’ll be out of the wind.”
“In a minute.” Jack moved closer, wrapping his arms around Ianto in a bear hug and kissing the end of his nose. “Wow, your nose is really cold!”
“Told you so.”
“I’ll soon warm it up.” So saying, he pulled Ianto in for a long, slow kiss, Ianto’s chilled nose pressed against the warmth of Jack’s cheek. As Ianto’s heart beat faster, pumping the blood through his veins, his cold nose started to tingle, and by the time the kiss ended, he felt like he was glowing all over. Jack readjusted Ianto’s scarf to cover the lower half of his face, including his newly warmed nose. “That should hold you until we get back to the SUV. Come on; give me a hand getting this out of the snowdrift. Sooner we’re done, sooner we can get back to bed.”
“I’m all for that!” Ianto agreed, and bent to the task with more enthusiasm and energy than he would have thought he could muster. Jack’s kisses really were that good.