Characters: Dizzy, Tosh, Owen, Ianto, Jack, Nosy, Gwen, Twins, Flufflets, Team.
Summary: It’s time for the twins to have Flufflets of their own, but Dizzy is a bit put out by the attention the newcomers are getting.
Word Count: 1517
Written For: Challenge 169: Sweet at beattheblackdog.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters.
As soon as he could be spared after Nosy had reappeared with its new offspring, Jack had gone back to his and Ianto’s flat to fetch the twins and their temporary babysitters so they could join in welcoming the Flufflets. Now the entire team was clustered around the break area, admiring the new babies.
“They’re so sweet!” Tosh exclaimed, watching the two new Flufflets slurping greedily from a fresh dish of warm coffee, the second since their arrival. Nosy had insisted on it, knowing its younglings were going to need all the energy and resilience a hefty dose of caffeine could provide.
“HMMMmmmmm!” Dizzy protested indignantly, not terribly happy at being upstaged by the newcomers in the eyes of its humans.
“Don’t you go getting jealous,” Owen chastised it. “You’re not being replaced. They’re your new siblings so be nice. Didn’t think you’d be an only Flufflet all your life, did you?”
Dizzy gave a contrite little hum and Tosh scooped up all two and a half metres of her family Fluff for a hug. “It’s not like they’ll be living here all the time; they’re for the twins so they’ll be living with Jack and Ianto,” she explained. “You’ll still be the only Fluff here most of the time.” Now Lily was at school Dizzy spent its days at the Hub with Tosh and Owen, only going home to be with its charge at night or on the weekends.
Looking at the twins, and then at the two small Flufflets, Dizzy hummed sympathetically, wriggling its way out of Tosh’s arms and slinking over to sniff and lick its siblings. It knew the twins quite well, from Lily’s play dates with Meriel, and from the times they were brought to the Hub. The babies were at the stage where they would grab and pull at anything they could get their hands on, and they pulled hard. Dizzy didn’t remember Lily or Meriel being that bad.
It did, however, remember Tosh and Gwen cooing over the babies when they were first brought in to visit the team, calling them ‘sweet’ and ‘adorable’ and ‘precious’. Maybe humans were like that with all new little ones. It probably was silly to get jealous of the new family members; it didn’t envy these two having to put up with being dragged about by their tails. Dizzy hoped Nosy had made the Flufflets strong and sturdy enough to cope with whatever the twins might do to them.
Finishing their coffee and licking the dish so clean it sparkled, Nosy’s offspring turned their attention to Dizzy, sniffing the older Flufflet and humming squeaky little hums. Dizzy supposed they were rather sweet. Pretty colours too, one looking like a splash of sunshine dotted with green spots, the other was patterned more like Dizzy itself, only turquoise with wiggly pale purple stripes.
Nosy, having finished its own coffee and snack, slithered over, picking up the yellow Flufflet by its scruff and carrying it over to Ianto, who was holding his six-month-old daughter Jenna. Dumping the Flufflet on the sofa beside him with a firm hum to tell it to stay there, the Fluff returned for its other youngster, dragging it over to the sofa as well and dumping it beside Jack, who was holding Jenna’s twin brother, Gareth.
The twins were well used to Fluffs, having been under Nosy’s supervision since birth, just as Meriel had been before them. They squealed with delight, grabby hands reaching for the Flufflets and Dizzy winced; sweet the twins might still be, they looked so innocent, but looks could be deceiving, especially when it came to humans, and Dizzy was well aware that looking innocent and being innocent were two very different things. Little angels, Gwen liked to call them. Dizzy wasn’t too clear on what angels were, but even so it doubted the twins qualified. Ianto and Jack called them the Holy Terrors, which seemed rather more apt. Not that they were horrible, or bad children, they were just a bit mischievous, uncoordinated, and heavy-handed.
“Gently,” Ianto admonished Jenna, taking her small hand in his and showing her how to stroke the new Fluffet. “You don’t want to hurt your new friend, do you?”
Jack was busy trying to prise open Gareth’s fist where he’d got a good handful of turquoise fluff. “No, Gareth, that’s naughty. Let go.” With a twist of its body the Flufflet wiggled itself free, fur more or less intact if decidedly rumpled, and moved out of reach. Nosy hummed sternly at the baby boy, whose bottom lip trembled, the way Dizzy had seen Jack’s do when he was told off by Ianto. Like father like son.
Plucking up its offspring again, Nosy moved it back onto Jack’s lap with the baby, using the empathic bond it had with all members of its human family to instruct both Gareth and the Flufflet on what it expected of them. Once it had them behaving in an acceptable manner towards each other, it turned its attention to Jenna and the yellow Flufflet.
Dizzy hoped its siblings would prove to be fast and adept at dodging; they’d need to be in order to avoid getting squished by the twins. A bit of squishing would do no real damage to the Flufflets, not with them being as flexible and resilient as they were, but it wasn’t particularly comfortable either, and was best avoided where possible. Although Lily was a gentle child compared to Gareth and Jenna, Dizzy had suffered its share of indignities. It had been accidentally sat on, stepped on, tripped over, rolled on, been hugged too tight, and had its tail shut in doors on numerous occasions. That last was the worse; doors could really pinch.
Having their fluff pulled wouldn’t do much damage to the Flufflets either. When necessary, a Fluff could shed at will, but Fluff fur couldn’t be pulled out by the roots the way human hair could. Honestly, Dizzy was surprised Jack and Ianto didn’t have bald patches all over their heads, the way the twins seemed to delight in tugging their parents’ hair. They did the same to each other too, grabbing handfuls and pulling. That caused a lot of tears when they found out how much it hurt to be on the receiving end.
“What are you going to call them?” Tosh asked.
The Flufflets already had Fluff names, just as Dizzy did, distinctive hums Nosy used for each of its offspring, but those were sounds humans were unable to reproduce with any degree of accuracy, so they would have to give the newcomers names that humans could pronounce.
Jack and Ianto looked at each other, then at the Flufflets, then back at each other.
“Um, I was thinking maybe ‘Spot’ for this one,” Ianto said finally. “That should be easy enough for the kids to say. When they start talking.”
“It is spotty,” Jack agreed. “How about ‘Squiggle’ for this one?”
Ianto frowned. “Not all that easy for the babies to remember, is it?”
“They won’t be babies forever, and if Jenna’s is named after its markings, shouldn’t Gareth’s be too?”
“Hm, I suppose you have a point; that one does have squiggles. Alright, Squiggle and Spot it is.”
Nosy hummed approval, satisfied with the naming.
Dizzy thought back to its own naming and introduction to its humans, and suddenly felt very grateful that the humans whose care it had been entrusted to were both full-grown. If it had found itself having to take care of a baby while still newly independent of its parent itself… No, it definitely had no reason to be jealous or envious of its new siblings.
Now Dizzy thought about it, Tosh was right, the Flufflets were very sweet, bumbling around clumsily, curious about the world and all the strange things and beings in it. Everything was new to them.
‘I’ll have to help take care of them and teach them, because they’re only little. I already know what’s good to eat and what isn’t, and I can warn them what’s dangerous and must be avoided.’
Jenna dropped her favourite cuddly toy and opened her mouth to wail, but before she could make a sound, Dizzy was there, picking the plush rabbit up off the floor and giving it back to her, then telling Spot that was one of the many things it must learn to do for its baby human, because humans grew up a lot more slowly than Fluffs and needed a lot of help.
“You’ve got a great deal to learn, little ones,” Dizzy hummed to its siblings. “But learn you will, and you’ll grow with your humans, just as I’m growing with mine. It’s a good life. You’ll play and have fun as you learn, and the big humans will look after you until the little humans are old enough to. It’s a wonderful gift, being part of a human family.”
The young Flufflets goggled at their older sibling, impressed by how wise Dizzy was, and already determined to live up to its example. They wouldn’t let their humans down.