badly_knitted (badly_knitted) wrote,

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Ficlet: Unseen Observer

Title: Unseen Observer
Author: badly_knitted
Characters: Ianto, Jack, Owen, Gwen, Tosh, David Attenborough.
Rating: PG
Spoilers: Nada.
Summary: Ianto is having a slightly odd morning; he keeps hearing David Attenborough in his head.
Word Count: 741
Written For: samuraiter’s prompt ‘Author's Choice, Any, the day-to-day life of a character is narrated by a disembodied David Attenborough,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.

Here we see a rare and quite elusive Torchwood Agent. There are believed to be only a handful of these lovely creatures left in the wild; most have sadly been killed off by predators or natural disasters. Indeed, the entire London colony disappeared a few years ago when their habitat was destroyed. Such a tragedy, but not entirely unexpected since they were known to be quite aggressive. This particular individual is of the subspecies Torchwoodius Cardiffius, and he’s a very handsome specimen indeed, a young male. Watch him as he emerges into the burrow from the nest chamber, checking for danger, before going off to forage.

They’re quite skittish creatures, very few people have been lucky enough to get this close to one in the wild. Beautiful plumage: the glossy black of the back and legs set off by the bright, bold splash of red on his breast. One particularly notable thing about these creatures is the way the plumage differs between individuals. Each one is markedly different from the others of its kind, making it tremendously difficult to distinguish them from similar but much more common species except by observing their behaviour,’ the whispered voice continued.

Ianto paused in the doorway to Jack’s office, frowning slightly and cocking his head to one side, finally shaking his head, dismissing what he thought he’d heard as the product of an overactive imagination coupled with too little sleep, and carrying on down to the kitchen.

The feeding behaviour is quite remarkable. Torchwoodius generally browse throughout the day, occasionally squabbling over choice titbits. This is one of the dominant members of the pack, however, and one of his roles is to collect and distribute food among the lower-ranked individuals. Naturally, he provides first for his chosen mate. And there’s the mate, just emerging from the nest chamber. More subtle plumage here, not as striking, bluish grey with a light blue breast. If you listen carefully… Yes, there’s the contact call and response. Quite musical really.’

“Ianto? Coffee please?”

“Be right there.” Ianto poured two mugs of coffee and headed back up to Jack’s office with them. It was so weird; he could almost swear he just heard David Attenborough…

Curiously, it seems both of the dominant pair are males, which could account for why there are so few individuals left. This pack consists of three males and two females, although the other three make their nests away from the main burrow. There, our male arrives to feed his mate. Nipping and licking each other’s mouths appears to be a bonding ritual only displayed by the dominant pair. The other individuals seem to bond by bringing each other treasures they collect. Such gifts are received with varying degrees of excitement, perhaps demonstrating the pack’s hierarchy.

Now our male goes to prepare the burrow for the arrival of the other pack members. In a little while he’ll take food deeper into the burrow, although as we haven’t been able to get our cameras any deeper than this, we can’t be sure whether the pack has young below or whether the food is merely being stored away, perhaps to see the pack through the coming winter.

Ah, hear that? The rest of the pack is being summoned, and here they are. Isn’t that a lovely sight? The drab brown one is the subordinate male. Surprisingly enough, in this species it’s often the females who are the most brightly coloured. The one with black plumage and green breast is believed to be the junior member of the pack. The other female’s much brighter lavender coloured plumage might indicate she’s of breeding age… The rest of the pack tend to be quite protective of her, and she receives the majority of the gifts brought back to the burrow.’

Frowning, Ianto poked his finger into his ear and wriggled it around; none of the others seemed to be hearing a nature documentary narration of their activities, so either he was losing his mind, or something weird was going on. This being Torchwood, the latter was more likely; maybe he’d mention it to Jack later, when they were back in their nest chamber...

He rolled his eyes. Nest chamber indeed! He smirked slightly, wondering what the unseen narrator would make of a Weevil hunt, especially when the pack captured their prey rather than killing and eating it. It might almost be worth suggesting a hunt to Jack, just to find out!

The End

Tags: fic, fic: one-shot, fic: pg, fic_promptly, ficlet, gwen cooper, ianto jones, jack harkness, jack/ianto, other character/s, owen harper, team, torchwood fic, toshiko sato

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