Characters: Ianto, Jack, Meriel.
Word Count: 747
Summary: It’s been Jack’s turn to spend the day at home with Meriel, and Ianto’s not too pleased by what he discovers when he gets home.
Written For: Challenge 205: Glue at fan_flashworks.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters.
“Jack?” Ianto came out of the kitchen area of their open-plan split-level flat, a frown on his face and his nose wrinkled in distaste as he studied his fingers.
“Hm?” Jack looked up from the file he was reading, sprawled inelegantly on the sofa, and caught sight of Ianto’s expression. “What’s up?”
“There’s something sticky all over the kitchen table. You wouldn’t happen to know what it is, would you?”
“Oh, don’t worry, it’s nothing horrible, just that child-safe craft glue you bought for Meriel.” Jack turned his attention back to his file, but if he thought that was the end of the conversation and he could get back to the job of assessing potential new recruits, he was sadly mistaken.
“Craft glue? What is glue doing smeared all over the table? Did you break something and not tell me?”
“What? No, nothing like that! Meriel just wanted to make a birthday card for Uncle Owen and the kitchen table seemed like the best place for her to do it.”
Ianto pinched the bridge of his nose to ward off an incipient headache. “And it didn’t occur to you to cover the table first? That IS what I bought those wipe-clean plastic tablecloths for.”
“I couldn’t remember where you kept them, and anyway, it was only one little card so I didn’t think there’d be much mess…” He stopped talking at Ianto’s exasperated sigh.
“A four-year-old and a pot of glue and you didn’t think there’d be much mess?” Ianto shook his head. “Meriel can’t even look at a pot of glue without making a mess; she gets that from you. Did it even so much as cross your mind to clean up once the two of you had finished your card making?”
“Of course it did, I’m not stupid, but when I tried to wipe the table with a cloth, it just made the spots of glue sort of fuzzy so I figured it might be best if I left it to dry. I mean, that stuff usually peels off pretty easily.”
Ianto raised his eyes heavenward and prayed for patience. “Why me?” he muttered despairingly. He’d just endured a manic day at the Hub only to come home and find he had more mess to clean up; somehow that just didn’t seem fair. “The glue is water soluble, Jack. It comes off if you use a wet cloth.”
“Really? Well how was I supposed to know that?”
“Because it says so in big red letters on the glue pot!”
“It does?” Jack’s eyebrows crept upwards, like a pair of alarmed furry caterpillars, seeking sanctuary in his hair.
Ianto’s eyebrows drew down, registering stern disapproval. Jack had always found them amazingly eloquent and he shrank back slightly, keenly aware of their, and Ianto’s, displeasure.
“Are you allergic to reading instructions or something?” Ianto asked. That would certainly explain a few things…
“Um…” Fortunately for him, Jack was smart enough to realise there was no good answer to that question, so he didn’t even try to come up with one.
“Please tell me that you at least made sure Meriel washed her hands afterwards.”
“Well…” Jack looked at his husband sheepishly. “Actually, we just waited for the glue on our hands to dry and then peeled it off. It’s so much more fun that way.”
“Of course it is; what was I thinking?” Ianto’s shoulders slumped in resignation. “Where is our darling daughter now?”
“In her playroom, with Nosy.”
“Right, so while I go and make sure she’s not leaving glue on everything she touches, you can get a wet rag and wipe the kitchen table until it’s completely clean, including underneath. In fact you’d better do the chairs too, just to be on the safe side.” Ianto turned away, heading towards Meriel’s bedroom and the stairs leading down to her playroom, muttering to himself, barely loud enough for Jack to hear, “I just hope she hasn’t gone and stuck herself to Nosy; that would be all I need after the kind of day I’ve had.”
Jack winced at that horrible idea, quickly set aside his files, and went to do as he’d been told, trying to remember exactly what he’d done with that pot of glue… He had put the lid on it and put it away, hadn’t he? He really hoped so, because if he hadn’t and it had spilled somewhere, there was a very good chance he’d end up sleeping on the sofa tonight.