Title: Nosy Helps Out
Characters/Pairing: Ianto/Jack, Tosh, Owen, Andy, Nosy, George, Myfanwy
Word Count: 2497
Summary: Nosy grabs an opportunity to show how helpful it can be around the Hub.
Warnings: Extreme silliness.
Beta: My dear friend, the amazing and wonderful timelordshines. Thank you!
Written For: My cottoncandy_bingo square ‘Pets/Animals’
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood or any of the characters. Which is sad.
Nosy had been fascinated by Ianto’s feather duster at first sight. So much so, in fact, that it followed him around any time he was using it, goggling at it in a way only Nosy could, much to everyone’s amusement. So naturally, when Ianto was called away suddenly in the middle of dusting one day to help deal with an emergency situation, leaving the feather duster on the coffee table, Nosy simply had to try it out.
The entire team had left in a hurry a few minutes earlier, with Jack shouting something about stopping an invasion attempt by a particularly nasty race of aliens, so aside from Myfanwy, George and the handful of creatures currently residing in the cells, Nosy was all by itself. This was highly unusual; normally at least one person would stay behind to monitor the situation from the safety of the Hub and coordinate the team in the field, but right now they were a little short-handed. Gwen was off work, having taken a rather nasty fall a few days earlier while chasing a Weevil and Mickey was in London at a UNIT symposium. With a threat on this scale all five of the remaining personnel were needed in the field, so against Ianto’s better judgment, the welfare of the Hub was being left in George’s capable… well, whatever the animated suit used in lieu of hands, which was still something of a mystery.
As soon as everyone had gone, and while George was nowhere in sight, Nosy slithered over to the coffee table and goggled at the feather duster for a bit, slinking around to look at it from all angles before carefully reaching out, taking the handle in its mouth and picking it up. Waving the duster about experimentally, it watched the feathers flutter and hummed eagerly. Time to dust things! But where to start?
After considering options for a moment, Nosy decided it might as well begin where Ianto had left off, in the break area. There were a few stray crumbs on the coffee table itself, so that was the first thing needing a clean. With a flick of its head, Nosy swept the feathers lightly across the table, brushing the crumbs onto the floor but leaving the table’s surface spotless. With an approving hum, Nosy moved on.
Next stop, Gwen’s workstation. There were a lot of papers on the surface so Nosy carefully avoided them, instead slithering halfway onto the chair in order to dust the keyboard and monitors. A few deft sweeps of the duster left them sparkling, so Nosy gave the other workstations the same treatment. As an afterthought, it decided to dust underneath them too, just to be thorough.
As there were lots of railings around the Hub, they became Nosy’s next targets. Slithering rapidly along the catwalks, it ran the duster along the bottom railings, then did an about turn (no easy feat in the small space) and swept along the middle railings, turning one more to finish the job by dusting the top ones. This was slightly harder because of their height; Nosy had to hold the duster by the end of its handle, making it harder to control. Finally though, that task too was completed and the Fluff set off in search of more opportunities to improve its cleaning skills.
Down in the medical bay, it discovered a veritable cornucopia of things to dust. Nosy spent a delightful half hour poking the duster into all the nooks and crannies it could find, getting rid of every speck of dirt possible.
From there, Nosy moved on to its own playroom, dusting its toys energetically. Perhaps a bit too energetically, it mused, as things scattered across the floor. Ah well, at least they were clean now; it could pick them up later after it finished the dusting.
By now, Myfanwy had become more than a little curious about what was going on below so she flew down to take a closer look. Ever since it had arrived, the fluffy creature had become a source of endless entertainment for her and this was simply enthralling. She landed nearby and watched, head cocked on one side as Nosy slithered about, dusting. Gradually it got closer and closer until it stopped right in front of her, looked up at her speculatively, and before she knew what was happening she was being subjected to a comprehensive dusting. Just as when they’d first met a couple of months earlier, Nosy was soon slithering up on top of her, sweeping the fluttering thing it held in its mouth up one side of her and down the other. She started to protest, but after a moment realised it actually felt quite pleasant, if a little tickly, so she spread out her wings and let herself be spring-cleaned.
Finally satisfied that Myfanwy had been properly dusted, Nosy slithered back to the floor just as George arrived, bearing refreshments on a tray. He set Nosy’s coffee mug down in front of it then offered Myfanwy a bar of chocolate, broken into pieces and arranged neatly on a plate. She squawked her approval, eating her treat daintily one piece at a time, accepting it as fair payment for the indignity she’d once more endured at the whim of the strange, fluffy thing.
While she ate, she watched Nosy fondly as it slurped its coffee. Strange though it was, she had to admit she was becoming quite attached to it and her humans certainly liked having it around. At first she had merely tolerated it, keeping well out of its reach after their initial encounter, but she’d soon realised it was harmless. It was just inquisitive and playful like her young ones used to be in the other place, so she’d slowly found herself becoming more relaxed around it.
Still, it continued to take disconcerting liberties with her and there was only so much a self-respecting Pteranodon could be expected to put up with on any given day, so as soon as she’d finished her chocolate, she flew back up to her aerie where she could keep an eye on things without having to be involved.
Nosy glanced up briefly as Myfanwy took to the air again, but quickly turned its attention back to its coffee, slurping up the last drops before taking its mug to the kitchen for George to wash.
Refreshed and reenergized by the coffee, Nosy took up the feather duster again with renewed enthusiasm, ready to start on its next task.
Jack’s office only took a few minutes, as Ianto himself kept it spotless, so Nosy quickly moved on to the hothouse. This was a rather more complicated job as many of the plants were very delicate and needed to be treated gently, but Nosy was careful and for the most delicate plants of all, simply used the tip of its own tail rather than the larger and more difficult to control duster.
Strangely enough, it was the largest and most robust plants that caused the most problems. Several of them were quite tall and Nosy had trouble reaching the highest leaves. Some others kept trying to grab Nosy, and one particularly energetic specimen snatched the feather duster right out of the Fluff’s mouth and started trying to dust Nosy instead. Ducking away from the flailing plant, Nosy slithered rapidly out of the hothouse and fetched George.
The animated suit was used to helping out in the hothouse, so was completely unfazed when faced with a large plant attempting to dust him. Calmly and with a stern attitude, he relieved it of the duster it was brandishing, returning the implement to the Hub’s self-appointed temporary cleaning staff while the plant drooped, suitably chastised. At that point, Nosy decided that the hothouse was probably clean enough for now and went to find something safer to dust.
Nosy had dusted everything it could reach in the main Hub, including the entire boardroom, the kitchen area, and even the night-duty room, by the time the rest of the team returned from foiling the invasion.
The weary, battered and filthy group straggled through the cog door some five hours after they’d set out to save the world. The battle had been hard fought, but victory had been assured when Tosh had discovered a way to short out the enemy’s battle armour, leaving them vulnerable to earth weapons and, of all things, salt. That useful piece of information had been discovered when one of the aliens had taken cover behind one of Cardiff Council’s salt and grit storage bins, which had recently been filled in preparation for winter.
Jack had taken aim with one of the larger guns in Torchwood’s arsenal, and blown the grit bin to pieces. About to turn his weapon on the invader, he watched in surprise as the salt and grit mixture splattered over the alien, who promptly shrivelled up and dropped dead. The rest of the invasion force hadn’t lasted long after that.
As soon as she entered the Hub, Tosh headed straight down to the showers, intent on washing the salt and grit out of her hair as soon as possible. Owen made a beeline for the break area and collapsed full length onto the nearest sofa with a groan.
“I’m knackered. Any chance of a coffee?”
George dutifully headed for the kitchen while Jack and Ianto carried all their weapons to the armoury, laying them out on one of the benches for cleaning once they’d taken care of their own needs, and locking the door securely behind them. Andy sat down at his workstation and starting jotting down notes in preparation for typing his mission report. It was a habit he’d got into while he was on the force, getting the important points down while they were fresh in his mind.
Nosy glared at the team in disapproval. It had just got the Hub nice and clean and now they were tracking dirt everywhere! Clearly there was only one thing for it. They would have to be cleaned.
Deciding that Owen should be first, since he was conveniently situated for easy dusting, Nosy retrieved the feather duster from underneath the sofa and set to work. Or at least, it tried to. For some reason, Owen wasn’t being very cooperative and Nosy was at a loss as to why. At the first flick of the duster, Owen sat up with a stifled shriek and promptly fell off the sofa. While this change in position wasn’t ideal from Nosy’s point of view, it didn’t seem insurmountable. Unfortunately, Owen just would not stay still to be dusted. He kept wriggling and squirming, batting at the duster and making incoherent spluttering noises. Under other circumstances, Nosy would have found Owen’s antics highly entertaining, but right now his behaviour was downright annoying.
Coming back up from the armoury, Jack and Ianto were stopped dead in their tracks by the extraordinary sight that met their eyes. There was Owen, scrabbling across the floor on hands and knees, desperately trying to get to his feet while Nosy, a determined expression on its face, wielded Ianto’s pink feather duster, apparently trying to dust him.
At his workstation, Andy was doubled up with laughter, but that only lasted until Nosy abandoned its attempt to dust Owen and turned its attention elsewhere, and then it was his turn to shriek and try to hide under his desk.
“Looks like Nosy thinks we need cleaning.”
“We do,” Ianto replied, “Although I think it’ll take more than a quick dust.” He looked ruefully at his dirt-smeared suit. “I have no idea how I’ll explain this to the dry cleaners!”
“Heads up,” Jack warned, “I think we’re next.”
Nosy was approaching, looking frazzled and frustrated by its friends’ lack of cooperation.
“And we’re going to be far better behaved than those two.”
“Of course. We’re in charge so we should set a good example; Nosy’s only trying to be helpful.”
“Oh. Okay.” Jack paused, frowning. “Wait a minute, I thought I was the boss around here!” he exclaimed indignantly.
Ianto smiled indulgently and patted his shoulder, raising a cloud of dust.
“You just keep on believing that. We all know who really runs this place.”
Jack pouted at him, but Ianto just smirked and winked.
As Nosy reached them, raising the feather duster, Ianto sat down, tugging Jack’s sleeve to encourage him to do the same. Nosy hummed approvingly and began to sweep the duster over them, up and down, side-to-side. It paused and gave Jack a funny look when he let out a muffled squeak.
“Sorry. That tickled.”
Mollified, Nosy got back to work.
When it finally finished with Jack and Ianto, Nosy turned a baleful glare on the other two. Owen, deciding that discretion was the better part of valour, fled towards the showers, narrowly missing Tosh as she emerged from the passageway. She looked around in bewilderment.
“Did I miss something?”
“Nothing major,” Andy told her airily, sauntering off after Owen, “just Nosy doing a bit of dusting.”
“Oh.” Tosh looked around at the Hub and smiled, “Good work, Nosy, well done.”
Nosy fluffed up with pride.
“Tosh is right,” Jack agreed, “good job. You know, I think Owen should be dusted every day.”
“Jack!” Ianto tried to sound disapproving, but Jack could see he was struggling not to laugh.
Knowing its dusting fun was over, Nosy held the feather duster out to its rightful owner, but Ianto shook his head.
“You’ve done such a good job of dusting, I think you should keep that, then you can help with the cleaning whenever you want. And I promise we’ll try not to need dusting too often.”
“Keep up the good work, young Fluff! Now,” he added, turning to Ianto, “we should go and finish getting cleaned up before we ruin Nosy’s hard work by shedding even more dust. I can’t wait to get into clean clothes. I’m starting to regret not wearing underwear today.”
“Really?” Ianto looked surprised. “I was just thinking I might have been better off if I hadn’t worn any.” He pulled a face, “That grit seems to have got everywhere.”
“Not to worry.” Jack grinned wickedly. “You have that small feather duster down in our quarters, I’m sure it’ll be just perfect for getting the grit out of all those awkward places.”
Ianto’s eyes glazed over for a moment, then he grabbed Jack by the arm and started practically dragging him at high speed towards their office.
“Come on, I suddenly have an overwhelming need to be thoroughly dusted,” he growled huskily.
“Your wish is my command!” Jack replied, smirking in anticipation. “Like you said earlier, you’re the boss!”
Ianto grinned back at him.
“And don’t you forget it!”
Nosy watched its friends hurry away then headed for its playroom to tidy its toys away. Some days it seemed that a Fluff’s work was never done!