Characters: Ianto, Jack, Tosh.
Summary: Ianto has discovered that the hardest thing about working for Torchwood is holding on to any semblance of dignity.
Word Count: 910
Written For: m_findlow’s prompt ‘Any, any, “spangly” was very unbecoming,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
At times like this, Ianto found himself wondering exactly what it was he’d done to make the universe hate him so much. He tried to be a good person, to help others regardless of their species, and to always be polite, except to Owen, who didn’t deserve it and probably wouldn’t know good manners if they bit him on the arse.
He worked hard, followed orders, seldom complained, cleaned up after himself and everyone he worked with, and always paid his taxes, but still things like this kept happening to him. It wasn’t as if he asked for much out of life; he was satisfied with doing his job to the best of his ability, and with the perks of said job, namely Captain Jack Harkness with all his innovative and avant-garde ideas when it came to adult fun, but it would be nice if he could get through an occasional week or so with his dignity intact. Sadly that seemed to be more than the universe was willing to grant him.
The day had started out so well too, waking snuggled up in his own bed beside a warm Jack, indulging in some very enjoyable ‘good morning’ sex, followed by a hot shower, a tasty cooked breakfast courtesy of Jack, and excellent coffee of his own creation. Bright, sunny spring weather had greeted them as they’d left the house, traffic had been light, and the drive to the Hub had been a pleasure. Even the workday had got off to a good start, with Ianto’s morning tasks proceeding so smoothly that he’d foolishly begun to feel quite optimistic about the day ahead.
Then, of course, the Rift alert had sounded, and as the weather was so nice and the others hadn’t arrived yet, Ianto had cheerfully volunteered to accompany his lover to retrieve whatever thoughtful gift the Rift had brought them this time. They’d tracked it down to a filthy back alley, strewn with garbage that was mostly so sodden as to be unrecognisable, although stepping through it did nothing for Ianto’s gleamingly polished shoes, which had quickly become smeared with gunk.
Poking around with bits of wood Jack had broken off a crumbling fence panel, they’d eventually found what they were looking for behind the remains of a stained and rotting mattress. It had been a singularly unprepossessing little object, a muddy greyish brown in colour, with a warty surface. Ianto had held the small containment unit while Jack had gingerly picked the object up between two slats from a broken crate. Just as he was starting to lower it into the box, he’d squeezed it a bit too hard and a beam of light had shot out of it, along with a fine spray of liquid that had misted Ianto from his waist upwards. He’d screwed his eyes as tightly closed as he could, clamped his mouth shut, and held his breath so as to avoid inhaling whatever it was, but that was small consolation because…
He looked at himself in the mirror; ‘spangly’ was really very unbecoming, his top half looked like he was wearing a suit even Liberace would have considered garishly over the top, and it wasn’t just Ianto’s suit jacket, shirt and tie that were affected; if it had been, he could have simply taken them off and binned them, mourning the loss of another good suit. No, the universe definitely had it in for him because his face and even his hair were covered in tiny spangles, refracting the light in a dazzling shimmer that made it difficult for him to see anything without squinting. As if that wasn’t bad enough, none of it would wash off; whatever the fluid he’d been sprayed with might be, it wasn’t water-soluble, it was as if it had crystallised on every surface it had touched. The only reason he hadn’t changed out of his affected clothing was that he didn’t want to spread his spangles to anything else he owned; he ruined enough clothes as it was. He knew spreading the stuff was a distinct possibility because one of the SUV’s seatbelts was now spangly.
Naturally Jack thought it looked nice, but then Ianto already knew his lover liked sparkly things so that wasn’t exactly a surprise. Still, even Jack had to admit that having everything Ianto touched or so much as brushed against go spangly probably wouldn’t prove very practical in the long run.
It took Tosh most of the day experimenting with the ugly little device to come to the conclusion that the liquid on its own wasn’t a problem; it was the beam of light that was emitted that caused it to crystallise and set, although it took a few hours to dry completely, which was how Ianto had wound up transferring it to the seatbelt.
“That’s all very well, but how do I get rid of it? Please tell me there’s a way!”
“Don’t worry, there is; its really quite simple,” Tosh assured him.
“Thank heavens for that. I don’t want to spangly for the rest of my life!”
Ianto stood in the shower, still fully dressed, as a beam of greenish light was played over him and the spangles miraculously fell away, sparkling prettily, to be washed down the plughole and into the sewers.
As he dried himself off and dressed in the spare suit he kept in his locker, he couldn’t help wondering what spangly weevils might look like.