Characters: Jack, Ianto, Gwen, Tosh, Owen, Herman.
Summary: Jack’s new pet causes a bit of a stir when the rest of the team arrives at the Hub.
Word Count: 1105
Written For: Prompt 084 – Dragons at fandomweekly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
If Jack had expected the rest of the team to be more enthusiastic about his new pet than Ianto had been, he was destined to be disappointed. When they arrived the next morning, Gwen took one look at the newcomer and reached for her gun, while Tosh frowned worriedly.
“Shouldn’t it be in the vaults where it can’t do any damage?” she asked. “I mean, what if it chews the wiring, or knocks someone’s desk over, or sets fire to something?”
Jack was incensed; he’d thought he’d taught his people better than this. “Herman is a he, not an it! I’m not locking him in the vaults, and that’s final. For your information, he doesn’t chew things!”
“Not so far,” Ianto muttered.
Gwen still had her gun aimed at the plump, orange dragon. “But Jack… suppose it attacks one of us!”
“Rowr!” Even Herman sounded indignant at that, and Ianto supposed he couldn’t blame the dragon.
As for Jack… “Gwen Cooper, I can’t believe I’m hearing that from you!” He glared at his subordinate. “You’re Welsh, you should be on Herman’s side! Show some national pride; I thought the Welsh liked dragons!”
“But dragons aren’t real, Jack; they’re just myths!”
“Does Herman look like a myth?” Jack folded his arms over his chest and continued to scowl at Gwen.
“How should I know? Maybe it’s an alien shapeshifter and took this form to try and trick us.”
That certainly wasn’t the case and Ianto was quick to set the record straight.
“I already ran tests; Herman is exactly what he appears to be.” Ianto was a little surprised to find himself taking the dragon’s side, but he’d spent several hours with Herman by now and against his better judgement was becoming quite fond of him. “He’s a nice, quiet, reasonably well-behaved dragon. I doubt he’d bite unless provoked, so I’m sure we’d all appreciate it if you put your gun away before you accidentally shoot someone. Wouldn’t do for anyone to get hurt when our medic hasn’t arrived yet.”
Gwen tucked her gun away a little reluctantly, watching Herman warily. The dragon just looked innocently back at her, his thick, orange tail twitching in a cautiously friendly manner. Not that the gesture had any effect on Gwen.
“Just keep it away from me.”
Ianto shrugged. “Suit yourself. Come along, Herman. You can hang out with me in the kitchen while I make coffee. I’ll make you a nice bowl of tea.”
Dragons, it seemed, preferred tea over coffee. Ianto might have been offended, except that he occasionally enjoyed a soothing cuppa himself, and besides, an over-caffeinated dragon might prove a bit of a handful. As it was, Herman was quite laid-back, and Ianto liked him that way. Better than having him rampaging through the Hub.
The coffee and tea were made and mostly consumed, along with some breakfast pastries Jack had bought, by the time Owen arrived, looking his usual grumpy self. He stomped into the Hub and slumped into the chair at his workstation.
Ianto sighed and rolled his eyes at Owen’s lack of manners. Nevertheless, he made a cup for the medic and strolled over to his desk with it, Herman trailing companionably along behind him.
“It wouldn’t kill you to say please,” he commented mildly as he set Owen’s ‘World’s Best Doctor’ mug down within easy reach.
“How would you know? It might.” Owen picked up the mug, took a healthy swig, then belatedly noticed Herman, jumping to his feet, and almost spilling his coffee. “What the fuck is that?”
Glancing back over his shoulder, Ianto smiled. “That would be Herman, Jack’s pet dragon.”
“Jack’s pet? So it’s not Jack?”
It was, Ianto supposed, an understandable mistake; it wouldn’t have been the first time Jack had been turned into something… unusual. All of the team found themselves accidentally transformed now and again, but Jack had a particular talent for that sort of mishap. He’d even been a supposedly mythical creature before, although a centaur rather than a dragon.
“No, not this time. Herman followed him home last night. Not sure where he came from. There wasn’t any Rift activity as far as we could tell.”
“Huh.” Owen frowned at Herman, who twitched his tail. “So that’s what dragons look like.”
“I wouldn’t know about dragons in general,” Ianto replied. “There might be any number of dragonish creatures in the universe.”
“Whatever.” Owen continued to stare at the Shetland pony-sized creature. “They’re not as big as I thought they’d be.”
“Hey, don’t say things like that about Herman! It’s sizeist!” That was Jack, taking offence on his new pet’s behalf again. As far as Ianto could tell, about the only thing his lover was doing for the dragon was jumping to its defence at every perceived insult.
“I’m sure Owen didn’t mean it as an insult, Jack. Herman’s the first dragon any of us have come across; it’s only natural that there would be differences between descriptions of dragons in mythology and the real thing. We don’t even know whether or not Herman is full-sized. He might be a young dragon, or he could just as easily be one of the smaller species. It’s not as if he can tell us.”
“Rowrrr,” Herman agreed.
“Well, it doesn’t matter, I love you just the way you are,” Jack said firmly, patting the dragon’s short but muscular neck. Herman responded by leaning against him and purring like a motorboat.
“I’ll weigh him and take some measurements when I’ve finished my coffee,” Owen decided. “Then I can monitor him, see if he’s still growing and how fast. Do we know what he eats?”
“He likes burgers and chips. That’s what he was eating when I found him.”
“I should probably run scans, work out an appropriate diet. Don’t want a malnourished or overweight dragon on our hands.”
Jack beamed at Owen. “See, Herman? Owen likes you too!” He threw a pout Gwen and Tosh’s way, letting them know they had yet to be forgiven for their earlier reactions to the dragon’s presence.
“I never said that; I’m just doin’ my job.” Owen sat down and sipped his coffee. “Bring him to the med bay for a full check-up in an hour.”
Ianto sighed, knowing that duty would fall to him. Even though Herman was supposed to be Jack’s pet, now the title of Official Torchwood Dragon Wrangler seemed to have been added to his job description. Like he didn’t already have enough to do. Oh well, he supposed it could be worse.
“Come along, Herman.” If nothing else, Dragons were good, undemanding company.