Characters: Ianto, Rhiannon, Jack, OAC.
Summary: Family obligations can pop up at the most inconvenient times, but there’s no way Ianto can refuse this one; Rhi would never forgive him.
Word Count: 611
Written For: My own prompt ‘Any, any, Come as you are,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
Jack and Ianto were just wrapping up the capture of a very tricky alien that resembled the head of a mop balanced precariously on top of a camera tripod. Despite only having three long, spindly legs, it was able to get around remarkably fast; they’d spent almost two hours chasing it through alleys and rubbish-strewn wasteland in the pouring rain, only apprehending it when it was too tired to run any further. Ianto sympathised; he was as out of breath as the creature, which was now panting and even more dishevelled than it had been to start with.
It took both of them to lift the poor thing into the rear of the SUV, where it slumped exhausted, looking resigned to its fate. As Ianto reached up to close the boot, his phone started to blast out loud music and the creature panicked, trying to get away again. Throwing himself half on top of the shaggy thing, attempting to pin it down, Ianto pulled out his phone, not bothering to see who was calling before answering it.
“Kind of busy right now, I’ll call you back.”
“Don’t you dare pull that on me, Ianto Jones! You’ve been dodging my calls all week and I’ve had enough!” Rhiannon’s voice came through so clearly even Jack could hear her. He gestured to Ianto that he’d take over with their visitor, and Ianto carefully extricated himself.
“This really isn’t the best time, Rhi. I’m having a very busy week.”
“Too busy for your only sister’s birthday, is it?”
“That’s not until next Tuesday, Rhi. I’m not so out of touch that I’ve lost track of the date.”
“That’s as maybe, but I’m having a little birthday tea today, it being Saturday. Just family and friends, but I’d like to see my little brother there, if you can tear yourself away from work for an hour or two. I’m sure your boss isn’t such a hardass he’d say you can’t leave a bit early.”
Ianto sighed. “Fine. What time?”
“Right about now would be good; the other guests are already here and wondering why you aren’t. You don’t have to change or anything, it’s nothing fancy; just come as you are.”
Ianto looked down at his sodden suit, splattered with mud and other even less savoury muck from trying to tackle the alien as it raced past him in one of Cardiff’s filthy, rubbish-strewn alleys. There were damp strands of long, greenish alien hair plastered to his chest and dangling from his sleeves now as well.
“As I am? Trust me, Rhi, that wouldn’t make a good impression on anyone. I’d best shower and change first, I think the rain’s soaked right through to my skin.”
“You’re out in this weather?” Rhi sounded shocked.
“I had some running around to do for my boss.” Ianto pulled a face at the not-quite lie. If Rhi only knew the half of it…
Jack had settled the alien again and slammed the boot, looking quizzically at Ianto, who rolled his eyes.
“Rhi, would it be okay if I brought a friend with me?”
“You mean like a girlfriend?”
“Yeah, something like that,” Ianto agreed, that being easier than trying to correct his sister and explain over the phone. She’d find out what he meant soon enough.
“Of course you can, twpsyn! The more the merrier! It’s about time you started dating again.”
“Great. See you in a bit,” Ianto said, trying to sound cheerier than he felt, and he hung up, hoping he hadn’t just made the biggest mistake of his life. He had a horrible feeling his bad day had just taken a turn for the worse.
TBC in ‘Party Arrival’