Characters: Ianto, Jack, Owen
Summary: Jack finds a very unwelcome intruder in his office, and Ianto finds he needs a bit of help dealing with it.
Word Count: 1140
Written For: m_findlow’s prompt ‘Any, any, “It was massive!”,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
Ianto was down in what passed for the Hub’s kitchen, making coffee and breakfast for himself and Jack, when his other half erupted from his office, yelling.
“What?” Ianto called back, continuing with what he was doing.
Jack practically skidded to a halt beside Ianto and grabbed onto his arm. “There’s a… there’s a massive spider in my office! Please! You have to get rid of it for me!”
“Alright, I’ll be there in a minute.”
“No, now, before it scuttles off somewhere and disappears! Oh gods, it could go down in my bunker! I’ll never be able to sleep down there again if you don’t get rid of it! Please, hurry!”
Ianto sighed; Jack could be such a drama queen, especially when it came to spiders. “Okay, fine, I’m coming.” He grabbed his spider-catching equipment, a glass jar and a piece of stiff cardboard he kept on the kitchen counter to deal with Jack’s frequent requests for spider removal, and started towards the office. Jack remained in the kitchen. “Well come on!” Ianto told him. “I’ll need you to show me where you saw it!” That was the way they always did things; Jack would go with him and point, Ianto would locate the spider and catch it, then take it elsewhere.
“You won’t have any trouble finding it; you can’t miss it,” Jack assured him. “It’s on the floor by the far wall.”
“All this fuss over a little spider.”
“Not little; it’s massive!”
“I very much doubt that.” Leaving Jack cowering in the kitchen, Ianto went into the office, strode towards the far wall, and stopped. Jack had been right; it would be impossible to miss this spider. He looked at the jar in his hand, then at the spider, then at the jar again, and shook his head, turning on his heel and marching out again.
“Did you get it? Jack asked hopefully.
Ianto gave him a look. “No, I didn’t. When you said it was massive, I figured you were exaggerating, as usual.”
“I wasn’t was I?”
“No you weren’t. I think I’m going to need a bigger jar, or better yet…” putting his jar back on the counter, Ianto dug in the back of the kitchen cupboard and pulled out the biggest mixing bowl there was before returning to the office. Approaching carefully, he plonked the bowl over the monster. It was a glass bowl so he could see through it. He just hoped it would be heavy enough to prevent the spider from escaping.
“Tell me you caught it this time,” Jack pleaded as Ianto emerged from the office once more.
“It’s… contained, I’m just not sure what to do with it now. I can hardly put that one out in the flowerbeds on the Plas. I’m not even sure it’s an earth native. I need to see Owen about it.”
When Owen arrived at the Hub, Ianto intercepted him before he got to his desk. “Owen, just the person I wanted to see. I need your help.”
“Sod off, Teaboy. Can’t it wait until I’ve had coffee?”
“Sorry, not this time.”
Owen scowled at Ianto. “Fine. What is it?”
“Spider in Jack’s office.”
“What? That’s all? Aren’t spiders your job?”
“Earth spiders, yes, but I’m not sure this qualifies. It’s a bit on the large side. I’ve got it contained under a mixing bowl, but shifting it… Well, it’ll take more than one pair of hands. I’ve put a tank down in the autopsy bay so if we get it into that, you can scan it and find out whether it’s native or alien, check if it’s venomous, and then…” He shrugged. “Maybe you could keep it as a pet.”
“Har har,” Owen muttered, following Ianto into Jack’s office. “So where is this spider?”
Ianto pointed. “Over there, under the bowl.”
Owen’s jaw dropped. “Jesus Christ! That’s not a spider, it’s a bloody football with legs!”
“Don’t exaggerate!” Ianto threw Owen a withering look. “Honestly, you’re as bad as Jack! Honeydew melon sized at most. If it was football sized the bowl wouldn’t have fitted over it. Now, when I lift the edge of the bowl a little, I want you to slide this underneath.” Ianto handed Owen a sheet of plywood. “Just be careful not to trap its legs. If you go slowly, it should step up onto the board. Ready?”
“I suppose.” Owen laid the board on the concrete floor and when Ianto raised one edge of the bowl, he nudged the plywood into the gap, slowly sliding it along until the spider was standing on it, still safely covered by the bowl.
“Nicely done.” Ianto smiled in satisfaction.
“Now we pick it up and carry it to the tank. Just be careful not to tip the board and we’ll be fine.”
Lifting the board without dislodging the bowl and its inhabitant was tricky, but by taking things slow and steady they managed without any mishaps. Moving in unison, they got to their feet, made their way out of Jack’s office, and started across the Hub towards the autopsy bay, but halfway there, disaster struck. Paying more attention to keeping the board level than to where he was putting his feet, Owen trod on a pen that had rolled off Gwen’s workstation and his foot slipped. The board tipped, the glass bowl toppled, Ianto grabbed for it, but wasn’t quick enough; it fell to the floor, shattering into dozens of pieces and the spider scuttled away as fast as its legs would carry it.
“Don’t let it get away!” Ianto yelled, starting after it, but he only got a few steps before there was a flurry of movement overhead, a loud screech, and then the spider was being scooped up by a powerful beak. Myf landed a few yards away, bashed her prize on the floor a couple of times, then gulped it down more or less whole. All that was left was part of a leg that had broken off. Ianto winced. “Poor thing.”
“You talking about the spider or the leather budgie?” Owen asked, walking over to join him.
“The spider. I think.”
They watched as Myf gave a loud, triumphant squawk then launched herself into the air once more, circling upwards.
Ianto bent over, picked up the bit of spider leg, and handed it to Owen. “Here, find out what you can from this; I’ll clear up the broken glass before someone cuts themselves.”
“Sorry about… you know, dropping it.”
Shrugging, Ianto sighed. “Accidents happen. At least Jack will be happy there’s not a massive spider running around the Hub now. I’d probably better keep an eye on Myf for the rest of the day though. I really hope that thing doesn’t give her indigestion. She knows she’s not supposed to eat between meals.”