Characters: Ianto, Nosy, Jack, Team, OCs.
Summary: Nosy went to the Hub with Jack, but now it’s disappeared and nobody can find it.
Word Count: 984
Written For: My own prompt ‘Any, Any, Spots and stripes,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
The twins were six months old and just starting to crawl when Nosy disappeared. Normally the Fluff doted on its new young charges, hovering around them during the day and sleeping between their cots in the nursery every night so it would be nearby if they needed anything, but for the past few days it had been sleeping a lot during the day as well. Ianto couldn’t blame Nosy for that considering how much more exhausting night feeds were with two screaming, hungry mouths to feed instead of one. Meriel had spoiled them; she’d been a remarkably easy baby, whereas Jenna and Gareth seemed determined to outdo each other in everything, competing to see which of them could scream the loudest and sleep the least.
That day it had been Ianto’s turn to remain at home taking care of the babies while Jack went to work for a break from the terrible two, but instead of staying at the flat with the babies as it normally did, Nosy had slithered after Jack as he was leaving.
“You need a break too?” Jack asked, bending to pet the Fluff. “Okay, come on then.”
As Nosy followed Jack out the door, Ianto pouted after it. “Traitor! Abandoning me in my hour of need!”
Nosy offered an apologetic hum but didn’t stop, slithering hurriedly into the lift as if it couldn’t wait to escape.
Ianto gave a resigned sigh, closed the door, and went back to wrangling the Holy Terrors, as he and his husband had taken to calling the newest additions to their family. Meriel had already left for school, so for the first time ever he was going to have to cope with two babies all by himself, without even the support of the resident ‘nanny’. He could only hope he survived the experience.
He’d just managed at last to get both babies fed, changed, and down for a nap when the phone in his pocket began to vibrate. Pulling it out, he held it to his ear. “Checking to see if I’m still alive?” he asked dryly.
Jack didn’t beat around the bush. “Nosy’s disappeared.”
“What d’you mean, disappeared?”
“After we got to the Hub and said hello to everyone, things got sort of busy; I turned my back for just a few minutes and the next thing I knew Nosy was gone. Everyone’s been searching for the past hour but there’s no sign of it anywhere!”
“What do you expect me to do about it?”
“You know the Hub better than anyone; I was hoping you’d know where to look.”
“Jack, I can’t come and help! I just put the twins down for a nap and there’s no way in hell I’m getting them both up again and into their car seats to bring them to the Hub with me.”
“And I wouldn’t ask you to. There’s no need anyway; Tosh and Gwen are on their way over to baby-sit. Just be ready to leave as soon as they get there.”
There was no point arguing; Ianto was as worried about Nosy as the rest of the team. “Fine, see you in a bit.” Hanging up, he put his shoes on and got his jacket, wondering what in the world could have happened to the family Fluff.
Ianto spent most of the rest of the day searching every inch of the Hub for the friendly alien, finally giving up, tired and footsore, in the late afternoon. “It’s no use, Jack. Wherever Nosy is, looks like it doesn’t want to be found.”
“Or it’s hurt or dying somewhere… It’s been awfully tired recently; maybe we’ve overworked it and it’s given up out of exhaustion.”
“Let’s not assume the worst; Fluffs are tough, there isn’t much that can harm them.”
“I know, but we’ve got no idea how old it is; it could already be nearing the end of its life!”
Everyone was sitting around, looking worried and silently sipping the coffee George had provided, when out of nowhere, Nosy reappeared, and it wasn’t alone. Ianto stared, his eyebrows shot up, and then he started to laugh. “Of course! Why didn’t any of us think of that?”
The really should have figured it out for themselves, but the last time Nosy had pulled its vanishing act had been more than ten years ago and an awful lot had happened since then.
Slithering along in Nosy’s wake were not one but two metre-long Flufflets, one sunshine yellow with green spots, the other turquoise with pale purple squiggles and stripes.
Jack groaned. “As if we don’t already have enough babies to contend with, now we’ve got two more to look after?”
“I think that’s the point,” Ianto said with a smile. “Two babies and two Flufflets. They’ll grow up with our two, bonding from the very beginning, always there to help the twins. You know how quickly Fluffs learn, and how fast they grow in their first year. Nosy will still be there to supervise, but it can’t be in two places at once; now it won’t have to be. The Flufflets will stay with the Holy Terrors and keep an eye on them, and Nosy will go wherever it’s needed.” He turned to the Fluff. “Am I right?”
Nosy hummed agreement, looking so proud and satisfied it was almost smug. Leaving its younglings with the team, it went to the kitchen to get some suitable food for their first meal. Ianto followed to provide a dish of coffee for the Flufflets, diluted with Nosy’s favourite almond milk so that it wouldn’t be too hot or too strong for them. He poured the Fluff a cup too; black, no sugar, and put a couple of chocolate chip cookies on a plate. Nosy probably needed refreshments as much as its new offspring did.
It looked like life at the Harkness-Jones residence was about to get even more interesting!
Sequel: 'The New Ones'