Characters: Nosy, Jack, Ianto, Twins, Flufflets.
Summary: Watching over the Holy Terrors was difficult enough, but now Nosy has its own Flufflets to keep an eye on as well. This really isn’t working out the way it had planned.
Word Count: 1156
Written For: Challenge 209: Concentration at beattheblackdog.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters.
There were always far too many distractions interfering with proper concentration; that was the main problem. Being young and new, with so many wonderful things to learn about made it difficult to focus on one thing at a time, and like most youngsters, the Flufflets had a short attention span except where food was concerned. They were always hungry, so food grabbed their attention every time.
Still, Nosy was beginning to have second thoughts about the advisability of growing two Flufflets at once. As it had heard Jack say on numerous occasions, it had seemed like a good idea at the time; two Flufflets, one to keep an eye on each of the twins now they were starting to figure out how to get around by themselves. As Nosy couldn’t slither in two directions at once in order to keep both babies in sight it had seemed like the ideal solution to the problem. The Flufflets would follow the twins around, and if there was a problem with either of its young humans Nosy would immediately be alerted to deal with it.
Maybe if Nosy had started growing the Flufflets as soon as the babies were born it would have worked out better; its new offspring would have had a few months to get accustomed to the world and all the fascinating things in it before they were expected to supervise their young playmates. As it was though, Nosy now had four youngsters to keep an eye on instead of just two.
It wasn’t all bad news; the Flufflets had bonded beautifully with their human charges, completely in tune with whatever the twins were feeling, which was how it should be. It had also been amusing, not just to Nosy but to Jack and Ianto as well, to see the twins attempting to slither and slink along the floor the way their new playmates did. It had taken Jack crawling around with them to convince the twins that was a better way for them to get round.
But the main problem was still one of distraction because the Flufflets found everything so interesting that instead of keeping the twins out of trouble, more often than not Squiggle and Spot were the ones getting them into it.
Curiosity was a natural trait for all younglings, whether human or Fluff. They wanted to learn about their environment, and that was mostly a good thing, but it meant they investigated everything with no thought to whether or not it might prove harmful; they were too young to truly understand the concept of danger.
Jack and Ianto had been very careful to baby-proof the flat. Doors were kept closed, dangerous substances were stored in locked cupboards or well out of reach, sharp objects and breakable items were put up high and everywhere was kept clean. Still, accidents happened, like the time Gareth was following Squiggle around as the Flufflet explored and got stuck when he tried to follow his friend under the sideboard, or the time Spot was investigating beneath the sofa and got its fur caught in the springs.
Nosy was getting more and more frazzled from having to slither about almost non-stop, constantly checking on twins and Flufflets alike. It was exhausting! Surely Meriel had never been this much trouble.
While it was naptime for the twins, Nosy confronted its wayward offspring, humming sternly at them and demanding their full attention.
“I know this place is full of interesting things,” it hummed, “but when your humans are awake you are supposed to be keeping them safe and helping them learn, not leading them into trouble. Watching over small humans requires a great deal of concentration; their safety is your responsibility. You cannot just slither off to investigate anything that catches your eye; left alone your humans might injure themselves or their sibling. Young humans are much more fragile than Flufflets. I made sure that you would both be strong and tough, but it seems I failed to make you smart.”
The Flufflets deflated with shame, offering up apologetic hums.
“You are sorry, and that is as it should be, but now you must learn to do better. Perhaps the fault is mine for not teaching you. I thought it best that you should learn along with your humans but you are teaching each other the wrong things. Instead of them learning the right way to behave from you, it seems you are picking up their bad habits. That is not good.”
“Don’t be too hard on your little ones,” Ianto said, on seeing the sorry-looking Flufflets and their stern parent as he and Jack returned from settling the twins. “It’s not their fault if they’re making a few mistakes; don’t forget, they’re only babies too.”
Nosy hummed agreement, giving the younglings a quick lick to show they were forgiven.
Jack got down on the Flufflets’ level, lying flat on his stomach to look them in the eyes. “Don’t worry, kids; everyone makes mistakes. You’ll learn. Just try to remember to keep a close eye on the Holy Terrors when they’re awake; those two are trouble magnets. You can do your own exploring while the twins are napping, okay?”
Two squeaky hums answered him and then the Flufflets slithered away, taking Jack at his word; this was their time to have fun.
Nosy huffed a heavy sigh. So much for taking the opportunity to teach its younglings some valuable lessons; now it would have to round them up again.
Ianto knelt down beside Nosy, petting the Fluff. “Let them play; maybe they’ll wear themselves out enough that they won’t be so easily distracted. Why don’t you go and baby-sit the twins? You look like you could do with a rest. Jack and I can keep watch over your two; make sure they don’t get themselves into too much trouble. It’s only fair.”
“Ianto’s right,” Jack agreed. “You and the kids shouldn’t be left with all the work. They’re trying their best; just give them a bit of time to adjust to everything. You know as well as we do taking care of two babies at once is hard work, even when there’s someone to share the job with.”
That was certainly true; despite Nosy doing everything it could to help, Jack and Ianto had been run ragged over the past few months trying to keep up with the twins’ demands.
“Hum.” Nosy closed its eyes as Ianto scratched the top of its head; it liked that a lot, but after a moment it fluffed itself up then let its fur settle. A quick glance around the open-plan lounge to check up on its younglings, who were playing tag under and around the furniture, and Nosy slinked up the steps towards the nursery. Ianto was right; maybe it should catch a quick nap while the twins were sleeping. With double the trouble it needed all the rest it could get!