Stepping out of his small end of terrace house and shutting the front door, Ianto paused on the doorstep to draw a deep breath, taking in the scents of early morning. It was just after six, the sun not yet up, and there was a sprinkle of frost over everything, sparkling like glitter or fairy dust in the light from the street lamps.
Autumn was well underway; the air was cold, crisp, and redolent with the damp scent of fallen leaves, a pungent, earthy, loamy smell. Decaying vegetation smelled natural and good compared to the other scents of decay he was more accustomed to through working for Torchwood, and walking to his car he drank in the freshness, the chill air entering his lungs, making him feel alert and alive. He liked this time of day, when there weren’t too many people about and the roads were still fairly quiet. Sometimes, if he was lucky, he might see a fox slinking silently along the street, heading back to its den after a night of foraging. Once he’d even spotted a badger.
As he scraped the frost off his car windows while the engine was warming up, he made a mental note to start covering them at night to save himself time and effort. Winter wasn’t all that far off now, and with it would no doubt come heavier frosts, ice, maybe even snow, but it wasn’t here quite yet. He still had two or three weeks to enjoy one of his favourite times of year before the winter weather set in.
Driving to the Hub, he left the heater off and rolled down the car window, letting in the cold, frosty air so that his vision wouldn’t be obscured by condensation building up on the inside of the glass. It was only a short drive anyway, less than ten minutes this early in the day when the traffic was light, so he didn’t have time to really get cold, and he was soon pulling into his parking spot in Torchwood’s underground garage.
Making his way into the main Hub, he sniffed the air again, breathing in deeply to fully savour the other, uniquely Torchwood scents of autumn; the not quite ozone smell of the sub-etheric resonator, the faint hint of fifty-first century pheromones that permeated the place, and something else that was even more enticing right at this moment. Jack was making bacon butties for their breakfast, as he always did at this time of year. There were few things beat one of Jack’s breakfast butties!
“Ah, there you are, Ianto, right on time, as always! Breakfast’s almost ready!”
“Morning, Jack! Smells delicious; just let me hang up my coat and I’ll make coffee to go with our butties.”
“The perfect accompaniment to my culinary excellence. Extra crispy for you, right?”
“You know me so well.”
Ianto was smiling contentedly as he made his way to the coffee machine in the Hub’s small kitchenette area. Working for Torchwood might be a dangerous way to live, but it definitely had its perks.