Title: Nigel’s Cardiff Adventure – Chapter 2 of 2
Characters/Pairing: Ianto, Jack, Tosh, Nigel and a surprise guest
Word Count: 4273 – This chapter 2225
Summary: Nigel’s adventure continues as his new friends try to get him back where he is supposed to be.
Warnings: Fluff, humour, silliness, and very good manners.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood or any of the characters. Which is sad.
A/N: Written for, and with the kind permission of, lexxiescott, who owns Nigel. Hope you enjoy Nigel’s adventure as much as he does.
An hour later, Toshiko had the times and coordinates of several potentially suitable stops the truck made along its route loaded onto a portable device for Ianto and the Captain to take with them.
Ianto was just helping Captain Jack into a very dramatic looking coat when there was a strange wheezing, groaning noise and a blue box took form in the open area beside the water pool. Nigel was impressed. It looked like a very good box; it even had doors and windows. He looked at his own box, which was rather plain by comparison, and felt a twinge of envy but quickly shrugged it off. His own box was a good fit for him and Ianto had lined it with really good straw so it would be extra comfortable. Besides, once he arrived at his new home in Florida, he wouldn’t need a box at all. It was pointless being envious of someone else because they had a bigger and fancier box than he did. The light on the top was very nice though.
As Nigel was thinking these things, the door to the box opened and a rather skinny man bounded out. That twinge of envy returned when he saw this man had a red hat on his head. It looked a bit like an upside down plant pot and Nigel couldn’t help wondering how he would look in a hat like that.
“Doctor!” the Captain greeted the new man, “Good to see you.” He threw his arms around his visitor and hugged him so hard the hat fell off the man’s head.
“Steady on, Jack! I think you can put me down now.” The captain released the new man and stepped back a little, grinning a wide, white, toothy grin, every bit as big as Nigel’s earlier smile.
Ianto stepped forward, offering his hand.
“Doctor. Thanks for coming so quickly.”
“Oh, don’t mention it, Mr Jones. I was in the neighbourhood. Well, a few planets over, in the next galaxy actually, a few thousand years in the future, that’s like right next door, give or take a few billion light years. So, what seems to be the problem? Alien invasion? You didn’t forget to return a library book again, did you, Jack?”
“What? No! That only happened once. And it would’ve been a really big fine.”
Nigel watched, amused, as Ianto rolled his eyes. The strange man bent and picked up his hat, dusting if off and putting it back in place.
“Am I supposed to keep guessing? I can never remember how that works. Do I get a prize if I guess right? I like prizes.”
“Actually, Doctor,” Toshiko interrupted quietly, “We need your help to get Nigel back where he should be, before anyone notices he’s gone missing.”
“Toshiko! Wonderful to see you again! You’re looking very lovely today,” the Doctor beamed. “Oh. No problem! Happy to help! Who’s Nigel?”
“That would be me,” said Nigel politely. “And may I just say, I really admire your hat.”
“You do?” The Doctor turned to the others, “See? I told you: Fezzes are cool! Your friend has very good taste. So,” he turned back to Nigel, “you’re here but you should be somewhere else. I suppose you fell through one of those infernal little cracks that litter this planet and got pulled through the Rift. One of these days I’ll have to see what can be done about them, I just never seem to have time when I’m here.” He spun around to face Ianto and the Captain. “I take it there’s a reason why you can’t just post this fine fellow back through the same crack?”
“He was travelling by truck when he fell through,” Ianto explained. “We need to get him back on the same truck, further along its route. Tosh has plotted the times and coordinates of the stops the truck has made between the point where Nigel got displaced and the point it’s reached along the route to his new home in Florida. We should be able to find one that’s suitable and get Nigel and his box back onboard.”
“My programme automatically logs each new stop that’s made,” Toshiko explained.
“Excellent!” The Doctor clapped his hands together enthusiastically. “What are we waiting for then? All aboard and we’ll be off!” He starting trying to shoo everyone into his box and Nigel wondered if they’d all fit.
“I’d better stay here,” said Toshiko. “The others aren’t in yet and we can’t leave the Hub un-manned.”
The Doctor paused, put on a pair of glasses and peered at her.
“Are you sure? I do have a time machine, you know.” He waved in the general direction of the blue box. “I can have you back ten minutes from now, no one would know. Well, except for all of us.”
Toshiko bit her lip, clearly tempted.
“Come on, Tosh, why not? You don’t get the chance to travel in the TARDIS every day. It’ll be fun! A quick trip to America and then home again in time for coffee!” Captain Jack was practically bouncing with excitement.
“I’ll text Owen and Gwen,” Ianto said, pulling out his phone, “Let them know and ask them to get here ASAP. Grab that bag, Jack,” he added, pointing to a shopping bag by one of the desks.
The Captain did as he was told while Ianto sent text messages, presumably to the people he’d mentioned.
“What’s in it?”
“Coffee and snacks of course. We don’t know how long it’ll take to accomplish our mission and I haven’t had breakfast yet.”
“That’s my Ianto,” the Captain beamed proudly, grabbing Ianto around the waist and kissing him on the temple, “Thinks of everything.”
“Someone has to,” Ianto smirked.
The Doctor clapped his hands together again.
“Are we ready now?”
“I believe so,” said Ianto, “After you, Doctor.” He picked up Nigel’s box, tucking it under one arm.
The Doctor entered his box, with Jack right behind him. Toshiko and Ianto waited for Nigel to shuffle through the doorway before following him in and closing the door behind them. Nigel looked around himself, admiring the décor and noting that there was actually plenty of room for everyone. The Doctor was already at a large consol in the middle of the box so he ambled up a nearby ramp to take a closer look.
“You have a very nice box. It’s roomier than it looks, isn’t it?” he said conversationally.
The Doctor looked around himself.
“Thank you, yes, it is. Bigger on the inside.”
“That’s useful. Mine is a bit smaller on the inside, but quite adequate for travelling in. But then, I don’t travel much. I understand you spend most of your time travelling so it stands to reason that you’d need a bigger box.” It made perfect sense to Nigel.
“Quite right,” the Doctor agreed, “and I often have people travelling with me so I need the extra space for them too.” He plugged the device Toshiko handed to him into the console, punched a few buttons, wound a handle and pulled a lever. “Here we go!”
The box lurched, tipped sideways, everyone on board staggered and grabbed hold of something to keep from falling, and Nigel slid backwards down the ramp to the lower level, where Ianto and the Captain grabbed him before he could hit the wall.
“Sorry about that,” the Doctor called out, “I probably should have warned you that take-off can be a bit rough sometimes.”
“No harm done,” replied Nigel, backing into a convenient niche where he thought he might be more secure. This was certainly more exciting than travelling in a truck!
In no time at all, the Doctor was bringing them in for an equally rough landing at the first set of Toshiko’s coordinates. Jack and Ianto checked outside, but announced this stop to be unsuitable. The truck was one of several parked outside a very busy diner so there was no way to sneak Nigel back on board without being seen. However, after identifying which of the trucks was Nigel’s transport, Ianto did manage to place a tracker on it, so it would be easier to locate in future.
Back in the Doctor’s blue box, which Nigel now knew was called the TARDIS they set off again. This time Nigel got a firm hold on a railing with his mouth so that he wouldn’t slide about, only letting go once they were in flight.
The next two stops proved no more suitable than the first. One was at a gas station where the driver was re-fuelling, the other was in a bumper to bumper traffic jam caused by another truck spilling its load of heavy pipes, which would need to be moved before any traffic could get through.
The fourth stop, however, was ideal. It was dark by now, quite late at night, and the truck was parked up at a truck stop, where it would probably remain all night. The Doctor had landed the TARDIS as close as he safely could, about 10 metres from the rear or the truck. The driver was eating in the truck stop café so the coast was clear. Slipping a device from his jacket pocket, Ianto used it to unlock the truck’s rear doors. Everything was ready.
Nigel said his farewells to his new friends, sad that he would most likely never see them again. Toshiko gave him a hug and kissed him on the top of his head.
“Be safe and happy, Nigel, it was a pleasure meeting you.”
“And you, Miss Toshiko. Thank you for your help.”
Ianto and the Captain solemnly shook Nigel’s claw and wished him a safe journey, while the Doctor patted his back and said he hoped Nigel had enjoyed his adventure. Nigel admitted that he’d had a grand time and was rather sorry that it had to end, but he had responsibilities, his people were relying on him to guard their belongings.
“Thank you all for your kindness and generosity, I’m proud to have known you all, even for so short a time,” Nigel added before climbing into his box and settling himself in the comfortable straw Ianto had provided.
“Good luck, Nigel,” smiled Ianto as he prepared to secure the box’s lid.
“Oh, hang on a minute,” cried the Doctor, “I almost forgot!” He hurried away and was back a moment later, holding something. “A parting gift, something to remember us by,” he said with a smile, and he placed a Nigel-sized Fez in the box.
Nigel was overjoyed.
“Thank you, Doctor! I shall wear it proudly and remember you all.”
The Doctor bounced on his heels, beaming at Nigel.
“Don’t mention it. We aficionados of the Fez should stick together. Maybe I’ll stop by for a visit sometime.”
“I would like that very much!”
“Well, until then!”
With that, Ianto fixed the lid firmly on Nigel’s box. Moments later, he felt himself being lifted and carried out into the cooler air of the night. Not that he felt it, tucked up warm and cosy in his box. There was a gentle thud as the box was placed inside the truck and then he heard Ianto’s voice one final time.
“Take care of yourself, Nigel. I hope you’ll be very happy in your new home.”
“Thank you, Ianto. Farewell. Perhaps someday we’ll meet again.”
“I’ll look forward to it.”
There was silence for a moment and then the clang of the truck’s doors being closed and secured. Once again, Nigel was alone in the darkness. Settling comfortably, he closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep. There was still a long way to go and sleeping would make the journey pass more quickly.
A week later, Nigel stirred and woke as he felt his box being lifted and heard a familiar voice.
“How on earth did Nigel’s box end up just inside the doors? I’m sure it was put near the middle when the truck was loaded.”
“Things probably slid about a bit on the way. Don’t worry about it. As long as the box isn’t damaged I’m sure everything will be fine,” another familiar voice replied. Nigel smiled to himself. Those were some of his people; he must be nearly at his new home!
“Well, as its right here I think I’m going to get Nigel settled in the garden before I do anything else. I know the perfect spot for him. Can you put it down over here please?” That last must have been directed at whoever was carrying his box, which was soon set carefully on the ground. There was a slight creaking sound as the lid was prised up and then Nigel felt warm sunshine on his back. It was wonderful! If he’d been a cat he would have purred.
“Good heavens, is that a Fez? However did that get in there?” one of Nigel’s people exclaimed.
Nigel’s favourite person smiled and lifted him from his box, setting him carefully in a sunny spot among the plants, near a rock where small lizards basked. She placed his Fez at a rakish angle on his head.
“I have no idea, but I think it suits him, don’t you? After all, everyone knows Fezzes are cool!” And she winked at Nigel.
Nigel just smiled. He was home at last.