Author Name: the9thdoctor and leofuller</lj>
Originally written for the Holiday!Bang challenge at Stopwatch - prompt 38
Pairing(s): Jack/Ianto, minor Gwen/Rhys, possibly Tosh/Owen but only when nobody's looking.
Summary: December 25th didn't go quite as Ianto had hoped; can Jack fix it before Christmas is over?
Disclaimer: Nope. Don't own Torchwood.
Warnings: Several rude words. (Tut Tut...)
Word Count: c.17400
Author's Notes: This was both great fun, and at times quite tricky to write. Hope it works alright, and apologies in advance to thisbedear</lj> because the fic couldn't be made to count back to Boxing Day without giving the end away – you get it in chronological rather than reverse order instead!
On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, five cold things…
“You have GOT to be bloody joking.” Owen complained.
Jack shook his head. “I'm afraid not.” he replied with an impressively straight face.
Gwen giggled. “I think it's fun in a way,” she said with a bright smile. “Christmas and all that.”
Ianto narrowed his eyes and tightened his grip on his coffee mug. “You won't think that when they start ripping people's faces off.” he said.
Gwen blinked. “They can DO that?” she asked, aghast.
Tosh nodded. “There were seven documented cases in Scotland back in '82. The photos are... disturbing.”
Gwen bit her lip and Jack coughed. “Anyway, back to the subject at hand, people. We have five sentient snowmen wandering round Merthyr Tydfil. We need to stock up on salt and head off to melt them all before they can attack anything larger than household pets.”
Owen sighed again. “Well, personally, I'm going to keep right on thinking you're joking until I see one for myself.”
Ianto pushed himself to his feet and started collecting up the mugs. “I could fetch the Scottish pictures,” he offered mildly. “They're surprisingly informative once you get past the scattered body parts and pools of blood.”
Gwen turned an odd colour.
As the SUV sped towards Merthyr, Jack explained more of the background to the case. There were several incredulous looks.
“Run that past me again.” asked Gwen, sounding confused.
“It's the coal,” Jack repeated, “For the eyes.”
“Alien coal? We're dealing with alien coal?” Gwen shook her head.
“It's not really coal.” Ianto put in helpfully.
“It's like, well...” Jack struggled for a good way to explain the situation. “Okay, you have those things, don't you? Gadgets that are like electronic pets and it the kids stop feeding them they die, right?”
“Well, think of these as an alien version of those, only they animate whatever they are connected to and if they don't get fed they go on a murderous rampage.”
Owen shook his head. “We're hunting evil snowmen that are possessed by alien tamagotchis... Just when you think Torchwood couldn't get any weirder...”
Jack laughed. “Wait until I tell you about their video games...”
Tosh looked up from her laptop. “Please don't.” she asked.
“Okay,” broke in Ianto, attempting to drag the conversation back to the subject at hand. “So how to we kill them?” he asked.
“Smash the tech.” Jack replied, turning a sharp corner and causing Gwen to drop the mint humbug she'd been unwrapping.
“Or the buttons, whatever.”
Gwen fumbled under the passenger seat for her sweet. “How do we get close enough to them?” she asked. “I'm guessing we can't just shoot them with tranquilisers.”
“We lure them close enough to hit them with the tazers.” replied Jack, “That should melt the snow and leave the tech.”
“LURE them?” asked Owen, “How the hell do you LURE snowmen anywhere?”
Ianto opened his mouth, but Owen cut him off before he could speak. “If you suggest carol-singing, Teaboy, I'll throw you out of the car.”
Ianto wisely shut his mouth.
“I don't like this one bit.” said Owen as he hid behind the large inflatable Santa that was still in someone's front garden. He fiddled with his tazer.
Ianto glanced away from the park across the road. “Well personally, if any one of us is going to stand in the middle of a deserted park acting as bait for murderous snowmen who have a habit of ripping people's faces off, I think Jack is probably the right choice.”
Owen frowned. “That isn't the bit of the plan I didn't like.” he replied grumpily. “I don't like the part of the plan where we fire tazers at the damn things. They're bloody snowmen and Jack wants us to fire a couple of volts into them? Last I heard, water and electricity don't mix.”
Ianto looked back towards the park. Jack was faintly visible through the trees, but he couldn't yet see the snowmen. “You're wearing rubber soled shoes.” he said with a nod at Owen's footwear.
“Just stay off the grass and you should be fine... Unless, you know, they rip you limb from limb first.”
There was a short pause between the two men, broken only by Tosh's status report crackling over their comms.
“Go on then.” Owen said finally.
“Go on then what?”
“You've been in a mood since Christmas,” Owen pointed out, “Even I noticed. What's up?”
“I don't really think this is either the time or place for a heartfelt chat about my feelings, Owen.” Ianto replied, rolling his eyes. “But if you're still interested when we get home, I'll pick up some wine and a tub of ice-cream and we could go back to mine for a girlie film and a sleepover.”
“We could braid each other's hair and talk about boys!”
“Ianto! Shut up! They're here!”
Ianto snapped back round, following Owen's pointing finger. Jack was backing away from a group of large snowmen. Ianto could make out a few details, and even from this distance he could see that their eyes were slightly too shiny to be coal.
Ianto swore and tapped his earpiece. “They're here!” he called to Gwen and Tosh who were hiding at the other end of the park. “We're moving in.”
Ianto and Owen broke cover and ran towards Jack, holding their tazers out at arms length. The snowmen now had Jack backed up against one of the trees that lined the path to the duckpond. One of them had a cheery red scarf on and twigs for arms. It was reaching towards Jack. From across the park he could hear Gwen and Tosh shouting as they ran towards them, but Ianto could only concentrate on Jack and the snowman with the red scarf. He pointed the tazer and fired. The two contacts shot out on their wires and embedded themselves into the snowman's back.
The snowman exploded quietly, showering Jack, Ianto and the remaining creatures with water and ice. Jack looked up, surprised, before bringing his foot down hard on the black pieces of tech lying in the folds of the faintly charred scarf. Ianto heard the sound of several other tazers discharging and the moist thump of the remaining four snowmen liquidising.
As Owen smashed the remaining alien tech, Jack clapped Ianto hard on the back. “Well done!” he said, smiling widely. “Quick thinking.”
Ianto managed a small grin in return.
“So...” continued Jack when he realised Ianto wasn't going to reply. “That's got to go into the books as one of the more ridiculous things I've ever done for Torchwood.” he stuck his hands into his coat pockets, “And that's including the time with the strippergram and the bucket of treacle...” Jack stopped for a moment to consider that, a slightly dreamy look on his face. “Not that that wasn't fun, of course...”
Ianto shot him a look.
Jack shook himself, “Anyway, we're almost done with the clean-up and it's still pretty early. How about I give us both the rest of the night off and we go check out that new Thai place in town?”
Ianto sighed theatrically. A part of him was almost tempted to say 'no' just for the look on Jack's face and a perverse sense of pettymindedness, but he decided against it. Jack DID seem to be trying, even if he didn't have a clue as to what he had done to make Ianto cross with him, and besides, the restaurant HAD looked quite nice.
“Okay,” he said finally.
Jack's smile grew even wider, if that was even possible. “Brilliant.” he said happily, “I'll ask Tosh to keep an eye on the Hub for the night if you fancy going back to your flat for a nightcap.”
Ianto considered this carefully. He knew what Jack's idea of a nightcap would consist of, but he hadn't quite decided if Jack had earned that right yet.
“We'll see.” Ianto replied finally.
Jack arched an enquiring eyebrow, but didn't reply.
On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, six pairs of chopsticks…
“Owen, that’s yours.” Rhys picked up the beer as the waiter put it down on the only part of the table he could reach, and passed it along to Owen. “That’s mine. Another bottle of wine for the ladies, and a posh fizzy water for Jack.”
“Well, it’s a celebration!” Jack joked, passing the empties back up to the waiter.
Ianto poured wine for Gwen and for himself before passing the bottle along for Tosh, glad that Owen hadn’t noticed that Rhys had accidentally included Ianto in “ladies”.
“Pass the seaweed, will you?” Ianto obligingly moved the seaweed from its spot between
Gwen and Rhys and put it in front of Owen.
“Don’t eat too much, Owen.” Gwen nagged. “This is only the first course!”
“Sorry Mum.” Owen rolled his eyes and Rhys smothered a laugh. “Anyway, the speed of the service in here it’ll be a while before the next one shows up.”
The Magic Wok was absolutely packed. Torchwood had a corner table, and were about as far from the kitchen and bar as it was possible to get. Their waiter had to fight past the rest of the customers, fielding requests as he went, every time he brought them food or drink.
“It’s got good atmosphere, though.” Tosh said, fiddling with her wine glass.
“Yeah. Good choice, Gwen.” Jack saluted Gwen with his mineral water, stealing the last of the mini spring rolls from the starter platter as he did so.
Gwen headed for the toilets when the waiter came to clear the first course, and Jack immediately stole her seat, sliding in between Rhys and Ianto.
“Change of scene.” He announced.
“Good idea.” Ianto replied, in the first direct response he’d made to Jack all evening.
“Tosh, swap with me?” There was a split second while Tosh worked out that she was still going to be sitting next to Owen, just on his other side, and then she agreed, gathering her wine glass, chopsticks and handbag.
“What’s going on?” Gwen returned to the table just as Rhys was transferring her bits and pieces to what had been Jack’s place.
“Mixing things up a bit.”
“Okay.” Gwen slide into her new seat, and then looked puzzled. “But we’re all sitting next to the same people, just at the other ends of the table…”
Jack looked delighted. “Let’s move again, then. Ianto, you swap with Rhys…”
“No, don’t worry about it, Jack.” Owen said. “The crispy duck is here.”
“So.” Gwen started, once everybody had their food. “What are everybody’s New Year Resolutions?”
Owen rolled his eyes, but Gwen carried on without seeing him. “I’m going to lose weight, for the wedding.” She smiled at Rhys.
“I’m going to be braver about going for what I want.” Tosh announced, glancing sideways at Owen, who was pulling faces at Gwen.
“Owen?” Gwen glared at him. “What about you?”
“I don’t know. Concentrate on pulling a better class of bird. No need to let my standards slip, is there?”
“More wine, Tosh?” Ianto held up the bottle and she slid her glass gratefully towards him.
“How about you, Ianto?” Gwen held out her glass as well and he topped it up.
“Be honest with myself. Stop kidding myself something’s going to work out when it won’t.”
There was an awkward pause while everybody came to different conclusions as to what he was referring to.
“I’m going to quit smoking.” Rhys announced, to break the tension.
“You don’t smoke!” Gwen pointed out.
Rhys leant back in his chair, looking pleased. “Job done, then!”
By the time the duck was cleared, the wine bottle was empty again. After trying in vain to catch the attention of any of the staff, Ianto and Owen braved a trip to the bar.
“What’s Jack done to piss you off then?” Owen asked, planting an elbow on the bar and waiting to get served.
“What are you talking about?”
“Come off it mate, you’ve barely even looked at him all night. If you two are going to fall out, I want to know that it’s not going to be awkward at work.”
Owen took the hint and dropped the subject, at least until they were making their way back across the room with the drinks.
“Jack’s pinched my seat.” He observed. “I think he wants to sit next to you.”
Ianto just sighed. Owen grinned and reached the table first.
“Oh, are we swapping again?” He put the beers on the table and dropped in Ianto’s empty seat. “Rhys, you should move down one. You’ve been sat with Gwen all night.”
“Okay.” Rhys, oblivious to any ulterior motives, slid along one place to sit next to Tosh. Ianto put the wine bottle down and passed the mineral water down to Jack, sitting down between Gwen and Rhys and smiling across the table at Owen as he noted that he was, once again, as far from Jack as it was possible to get.
“What time is it?” Tosh peered at her watch, but the numbers were all moving around and it only appeared to have one hand.
“Five to.” Rhys told her. “Have some more wine.”
“Champagne.” Jack corrected, as the water put six flutes on the table and started to pour.
“Where’s Ianto gone?”
“He went off towards the toilets about five minutes ago.” Gwen replied. “You okay, Tosh?”
“Yes.” Tosh replied feverantly, raised her wine glass. “Absolutely.”
“I think we should move again.” Gwen decided. “Jack, come out of there and let Tosh sit where you are. I’ll take Tosh’s seat and you can have mine.” This would put Jack next to
Ianto, so he agreed and helped to Tosh to slide in next to Owen.
Jack picked up a glass of champagne and looked over towards the toilets, then glanced at his watch.
“He’ll be back in time, don’t worry.” Gwen reassured him, just as the maître d’ called everybody’s attention to the big clock above the bar. Most of the customers got to their feet to join in the countdown, and Jack searched the crowd for Ianto.
Ianto emerged from the corridor to the toilets just as they started to count. With this many people in the way he probably wasn’t going to get to his champagne before midnight.
“Ten! Nine! Eight”
He circumnavigated a group of middle-aged women, deciding that he wanted to be a little further from their speculative glances before the clock struck.
“Seven! Six! Five!”
There was a large family group in the middle of the room, and Ianto realised that he wasn’t going to get past them or the party who looked like a rugby team, and ducked back to the bar to pick up one of the unclaimed glasses of champagne.
And there was Jack, pushing effortlessly past the rugby players and stepping around the inebriated grandmother, making a direct path to Ianto.
As the chimes of Big Ben played out from the little television set over the bar, Ianto found himself pinned up against a pillar, being expertly kissed by the man he’d been avoiding all night.
He only held out for a few seconds before he was kissing back with as much passion as Jack was putting into the moment, both of them oblivious to the rest of the restaurant destroying Auld Lang Syne.
They did eventually make it back to the table, where Tosh was looking flustered and
pleased, to reclaim their champagne. Jack kept one hand on Ianto at all times.
“You two made up then?” Rhys asked, tipping the last of the champagne into his glass and knocking it back.
“What?” asked Jack, in a misguided attempt to protect Ianto. “We hadn’t fallen out.”
Ianto didn’t answer, as his mobile rang in his jacket pocket. Owen passed the whole jacket to Ianto, who answered his phone and headed for the door.
“Ianto?” Jack asked.
“It’s too noisy in here.” Rhys told him, loudly. “Gwen’s outside on the phone to her mum. Can’t hear a thing indoors.”
Jack had already settled the bill for the meal, so he let Owen persuade him to get another round of drinks in while Ianto was outside.
Gwen had returned to the table by the time they got back with the handfuls of shot glasses Owen had insisted were a good idea.
“Is Ianto all right?” she asked.
“Yes. I think so. Why?” Jack put down the drinks he was carrying and Owen arranged them into lines.
“He’s gone home.” Gwen told him. “Said he’d see us tomorrow.”
Jack frowned and reached for his coat, then stopped. If Ianto had wanted him to follow… He turned his attention to Owen, who had finished lining up the glasses and was sitting down again, patiently repeating the correct sequence for a tequila slammer to Tosh, who didn’t appear to be following what he was saying.
“Right.” Jack pasted on a grin. “How does this work?”
On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, seven missing people…
When Tosh wandered into the Hub on January the first, it seemed as though she was the only one there. She eyed the coffee machine warily, but eventually decided that she was probably safer with a cup of fruit tea.
As she stirred the tea, thinking back over the events of the previous night, she became aware of a crackling noise interspersed with occasional voices. She cocked her head to the side, trying to determine the source of the noise.
Jack's office. Of course it would be Jack's office, especially after Ianto had snuck off after the meal.
She peered round the door. Jack was leaning back in his chair, eyes closed and hands tucked behind his head. He was wearing the same outfit as he had been the night before. The crackling was coming from a box on his desk that looked like a piece of military hardware from World War Two.
Jack cracked one eye open and fumbled for the volume control on the box.
“I didn't expect to see you here so early.” he said, sitting up straighter in his chair.
Tosh perched on the corner of Jack's desk, sipping her tea. “Well, you know me, best way to get rid of my hangover – work my way through it!”
Jack laughed. “Do you think that would work on Owen? Think how much extra work he could get done!”
Tosh smiled in return. “Unfortunately, I think only a large fry-up works on Owen's hangovers, sorry.”
Jack nodded at Tosh's teacup. “Ianto's not in then?” he asked.
“No. Only me. I don't think the others will be in for a while, not after last night! What are you doing in here, anyway?”
Jack pointed at the box, “Listening to the police radio.”
“Oh. Anything interesting?”
Jack shrugged. “A couple of people have been reported missing, and some idiot fell in the bay.”
The radio sprang into life again, the voice reporting another missing person.
Jack frowned. “That's four now.” he said, “All young people who haven't come home from a party.”
“That's not unusual, surely.” Tosh pointed out. “They're probably still sleeping off the night on a friend's sofa... Or... Well, you know...”
Jack shook his head. “I don't think so. They were all last seen in the same bar.”
“Do you really think this is our sort of case?” Tosh asked.
Jack shrugged. “Maybe not, but could you check the police records for me? See if there's any other reports? From the Tiger Bar in town.”
Tosh nodded, “No problem.”
By the time Gwen and Owen had rolled in to work, Tosh had found another three missing people reported by anxious parents and partners.
“They were all last seen in the same bar,” she explained. “Attending a New Year's party that was being held there. It wasn't an invitation only do, so we don't have a list of any other people who were there.”
Owen yawned loudly. “So why are we so sure that they're not all ringing in the new year in someone else's bed?” he asked.
Tosh bit her lip. “That could be true,” she conceded, “but seven of them? All of whom happened to go to the same bar? I've gone through the police reports, and there aren't any other missing people from last night.”
“Except one.” put in Owen, scratching his cheek. Everyone looked at him.
Owen gestured at the boardroom with a free hand. “Any one seen Ianto this morning?” he asked.
“He's not picking up his phone.” Jack said with a worried expression, snapping his mobile shut.
“I'm sure he's just overslept.” Gwen said kindly. “He didn't look as though he was going to party all night with a bunch of strangers when he left, did he?”
Jack sighed, but didn't look all that convinced.
“Why don't you go and check on him?” Gwen suggested. “We'll go and check out the bar.”
Jack had grabbed his coat and was out the door before Gwen could say anything else.
The Tiger Bar was a trendy establishment on a side street, done up in eye-searing shades of orange and brown. Owen eyed it suspiciously.
“Yeah, okay, so maybe the Teaboy didn't come here after all.”
“I think Rhys came here for a works do.” Gwen mused. “Not really his thing.”
“Is there going to be anyone here?” asked Owen. “It's not exactly the right time.”
Tosh pointed at the smaller door off to the left of the main entrance to the bar. “The manager lives upstairs.” she said. “He should be in.”
Gwen nodded and walked over to the door, pressing the button on the intercom. Tosh tapped a few buttons on her PDA, and Owen examined a flyer for an evening of 'Funky House and Dub'. He decided he would probably give that one a miss.
The man who opened the door was slightly older than Gwen had been expecting.
“Mr Kemp?” she asked, holding up her old police ID. The man nodded. “We'd like to ask you a few questions.”
Mr Kemp blinked slowly and looked from Gwen to Tosh and Owen. “Come on then.” he said, holding the door open. “I knew you'd be along to ask your questions.”
Gwen frowned. Kemp had a rather odd accent that was hard to place.
Kemp's flat was painted in a rather soothing shade of green and light blue. Gwen supposed that working around all that orange, brown and chrome he would need something calmer to come home to. Kemp pulled out a chair from his dining table and sat down.
Gwen took a deep breath. Tosh and Owen were sneakily scanning the flat. “I'm D.I Cooper...” she began.
“No you're not.” replied Kemp immediately.
Gwen was momentarily thrown. She could see Owen and Tosh freeze from out of the corner of her eye.
“You're from Torchwood.” Kemp continued. “They're all here.”
“Ummm...” Gwen mumbled, unsure of how to continue.
“All the people who have been reported missing. They're all here.”
Gwen tried to work out which of the several questions she had to ask first. “Did you... uh, kidnap them?”
“No. It was all an accident.” Kemp sighed. “I suppose it doesn't matter now... Look, I'm not here to cause any problems. It's a nice planet. I don't want to leave.”
Several other questions occurred to Gwen. “You're an alien?!”
“What was an accident?” asked Owen, stepping forward, one hand on his gun tucked into his waistband.
“All those people.” Kemp said, “I'd had a bit too much to drink. I bought the wrong bottle up from the cellar. I didn't mean to!”
“Didn't mean to WHAT?” asked Gwen, feeling confused.
“Let's just say that Jaltanian Brandy has a rather unusual effect on you Humans.” he said with a pained smile.
“You gave people alien alcohol?” Tosh asked.
“Not on purpose!” complained Kemp. “I only turned my back for a moment, and one of the bar staff had started serving it to people. I had to bring them up here by the back stairs and leave them in the spare bedroom.”
“Can we see them?” asked Gwen.
Owen held up a hand. “Probably not a good idea.” he said. “Jack found a bottle of that Brandy a few years ago. He was cleaning up the mess for days.”
“So what are we going to do?” Gwen asked.
Tosh shrugged. “Leave them here. They'll be alright in a few more hours. They won't remember a thing. Mr Kemp can clean up his own mess.”
“But...” started Gwen.
“Believe me, you don't want to be anywhere near that room.” said Tosh with a faintly disgusted look on her face. “We'll have to add you to our list of resident aliens though, Mr Kemp.”
“And you'd probably be better off pouring the rest of that bottle away.” added Owen, pulling out his PDA. “We've just got a few questions for you before we leave.”
Jack raced quickly round to Ianto's flat, constantly re-dialling his number. No-one picked up.
He had a momentary flash of guilt as he picked the lock of the doors to Ianto's flat, but decided that checking on Ianto's safety was much more important than the young man's privacy.
There was a newspaper spread out on the coffee table, but it was dated from the day before. Other than that, the only obvious signs of Ianto having been there was the empty coffee mug soaking in the sink. The bed didn't look as though it had been slept in, but Jack was used to Ianto making the bed before he left for work, so he didn't let himself get any more worried than he already was.
Owen was on question 134c (Are you, or have you ever been a member of the Intergalactic Communist Party?) when Tosh's comm beeped. She tapped her earpiece and sidled off into a corner as Kemp muttered something about a club at University. Owen listened to Tosh's conversation with half an ear.
“Ianto!” she said happily. “Where have you been? Jack's so worried!”
There was a pause before Tosh continued. “No, people have been going missing. Jack's gone to your flat to look for you... You must have missed each other.”
Owen wrote a few notes on his PDA before going on to the set of questions about Kemp's access to hyperspace engines.
“Well, yes. I think you should call him!” Tosh said, urgently. “God only knows what Jack thinks has happened to you!”
When Jack's comm unit beeped, he almost punched himself in the ear with the speed of trying to answer the call.
“Ianto?” he asked.
Jack sagged with relief. “Where the hell have you been?” he demanded.
“I overslept.” Ianto replied simply. “Tosh told me about all those people who've gone missing. She said it's all been sorted out and they'll meet you back at the Hub.”
Jack didn't quite know what to say. Eventually he decided on: “I was so worried about you.”
He heard Ianto's deep intake of breath, and waited for the reply.
“Come back to the Hub, Jack.” Ianto said finally. “I'll make you a cup of coffee...”
On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, eight Weevils running…
“Can you see it yet?” Tosh asked, flicking between CCTV cameras to get the best shot of the Weevil.
“Yes!” Owen responded, just as she located them on camera. The Weevil lunged for Owen, and Gwen sprayed it in the face. Owen jumped back just in time to not get squashed as the Weevil collapsed.
“Good shot, Gwen.” Jack said, leaning over Tosh’s shoulder. “See you when you get back.”
He left Tosh keeping an eye on Gwen and Owen, and went up to his office. He’d just picked up his mobile when Ianto came in with coffee. Jack hastily put the phone down.
“Thanks, Ianto.” Their fingers brushed as Jack took the mug, and Ianto graced him with a small smile before stepping back.
“I’ll be down in the archives.”
Jack nodded in reply, waiting for Ianto to leave the room before picking up his mobile again just as Tosh’s voice came over the comm.
“Gwen, Owen, there’s another one. It’s about half a mile away from you.”
“Okay.” Owen responded. “We’ll pick it up on the way back.”
Jack shook his head. When had capturing a Weevil become so commonplace, like collecting the dry cleaning? Not that he ever collected dry cleaning, Ianto always picked up his…
Jack remembered the phone in his hand and flicked through the recently dialled numbers.
Gwen screamed. Owen swore, and Jack was halfway to Tosh’s desk, phone shoved into his pocket.
“What’s going on?”
Tosh had the CCTV running in front of her. “The Weevil’s scratched Gwen’s arm. Looks like it might be a nasty one.” On the screen, Owen sprayed the Weevil and secured it, before turning his attention to Gwen.
“I’ll be fine,” she was saying, “let’s just get back to the Hub.”
“It’s just a scratch, really.” Gwen said, swaying slightly as she got out of the SUV. “You didn’t all need to come and meet me.”
“Sorry, wish we had.” Jack said, dragging an unconscious Weevil out of the vehicle and dumping it unceremoniously on the floor. “We’ve had another sighting, Tosh and I are going straight out. Owen, see to Gwen while Ianto gets those down to the cells.”
Owen shot Jack the look which said better than words that he didn’t need instructions on medical matters, but Jack was already in the SUV, starting the engine as Tosh ran to the passenger door.
“Down here.” Ianto appeared in the doorway to the cells.
“Give me a hand with this, would you?” Jack gestured at the unconscious Weevil he’d been dragging.
“Tosh and Owen have gone out again.” Jack continued as they manoeuvred the alien into a cell. “There’s another one.”
“Busy day for Weevils.” Ianto remarked. “Some kind of festival?”
Jack laughed. “Back to work after the Christmas break…”
The fifth Weevil sighting came just after lunch. Jack took Owen to collect it.
“Where the Hell is it? Come on Tosh, give us a clue.” Owen grumbled.
“Not much further.”
“Keep up, Owen. You shouldn’t have eaten so much lunch!” Owen glared at the back of Jack’s head and muttered something rude.
The Weevil didn’t put up much of a fight, and they were soon manhandling it back to the SUV.
“We’re on our way back. Ianto, we need coffee!”
“Bit busy right now.” Ianto sounded rather out of breath.
“What’s going on?” Jack stopped by the door to the SUV. “Everything okay there?”
“Hi Jack.” Gwen cut in. “We had another Weevil sighting just round the corner. Tosh and Ianto have gone after it.”
“How many’s that now?” Jack asked. “Six?”
“Seven.” Owen corrected from the passenger seat, where he was looking at some data on his PDA. “We’ve got another one.”
“That,” Owen announced, leaning back in his chair and propping his feet on the desk, “was a bloody awful day.”
“Can’t say I’m sorry it’s over.” Tosh picked up her bag and found her car keys. “Ready, Gwen?”
Gwen nodded. “God knows what Rhys is going to say when I turn up with this on.” She indicated her sling.
“Hey, at least you can explain now.”
Gwen grinned. “Yeah, he was getting a bit suspicious of my mysterious injuries. Above average, for a copper…”
“Don’t you have a home to go to, Owen?” Jack asked, once the girls had left.
“Yeah, guess so…” Owen yawned and swung his feet towards the ground. “Might even have a night in, for once.”
The alarm sounded, and they all turned to look at the screen.
“Again?” Owen asked with a sigh.
“We’ll go.” Jack told him.
“We will?” Ianto queried. He looked from Jack to Owen and sighed. “We will.”
“I prefer the other kind of Weevil hunting.” Jack remarked. “The sort with no Weevils.”
Ianto stripped out of his suit and dropped the trousers into a yellow hazardous waste bag to deal with the next day.
“I prefer the kind that doesn’t involve sewers.” He agreed, laying his shirt and tie on a bench without looking at Jack, and dropping his underwear on the floor.
“This is working out just fine.” Jack commented as Ianto passed him, heading for the showers.
Ianto ignored him, and decided to shower as quickly as he could.