Title: Jack’s Bunny Bother
Word Count: 1474
Summary: Jack arrives home and makes an alarming discovery.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood or any of the characters. Which is sad.
A/N: Written for, and with the kind permission of, milady_dragon. This is a sort of sequel to her fic 'On Care And Feeding Of Not-So-Fluffy Bunnies’ posted now to celebrate her recovery and return to writing! Welcome back, Milady!
It had been a very long day, Jack was tired and more than happy to be finally going home. Ianto had left early, something about doing something for his sister, though Jack couldn’t for the life of him remember exactly what. He was sure Ianto must have told him, but he must not have been listening properly. Or at all.
He glanced up, smiling at the full moon shining in a clear night sky as he unlocked the front door, quickly stepping through and closing it behind him. Letting out a deep sigh, he pulled off his boots, setting them in their place on the shoe rack.
“Hi, honey, I’m home!” he called, expecting Ianto to reply with some snarky comment, but despite the lights being on downstairs, the house was silent.
A soft, scrabbling sound caught his attention and he approached the living room door cautiously, drawing his trusty old Webley from its holster before turning the handle and easing the door open. He was extremely glad he hadn’t just flung it open when he discovered the cause of the sound.
A small black rabbit with a white front sat on the polished floor just inside the door, staring up at him with its little bunny nose twitching. Jack froze, staring at it in horror.
“Oh, nonononono,” he gasped, shaking his head, not wanting to believe what he was seeing.
It tried to hop towards him, but its feet kept sliding on the waxed wood, making the scrabbling sound he’d heard earlier. It looked rather like Bambi on ice. Worried it would hurt itself, Jack bent down and scooped it into his arms, cradling it against his chest.
“Ianto? Oh Ianto, I’m so unbelievably sorry! I should have thought about this before we… It just never occurred to me that… Are you alright?”
The rabbit just wriggled in his arms. Jack slumped down in the nearest chair, placed the rabbit on his lap and petted it carefully. Whatever was he going to do now? He couldn’t remember biting Ianto that morning after turning back into himself. Nibbling, yes, but not biting hard enough to draw blood. But maybe that wasn’t necessary. Maybe all it took was a little nip, or maybe any exchange of fluids…
“Oh God. I should have questioned Andy about the whole were-creature thing, how it gets passed on, what precautions should be taken. I’m a bad person. I never should have had sex with you while I was a temporary were-rabbit.” Jack frowned. “Now that’s a sentence I never imagined hearing myself say.” He mentally shook himself. “Concentrate, Harkness. Need to figure out what to do.”
The rabbit shifted in his lap and Jack resumed petting it.
“I’m so, so sorry, Ianto. This is all my fault. Try not to worry, I’ll find a way to fix this. There has to be a cure. I’ll ask Martha. Maybe it won’t be so bad; we’ll just have to be careful to stay home during the full moon. On the bright side, at least this way you’ll eat more vegetables. Though I don’t suppose you’d see that as a plus.”
Jack was so engrossed in his conversation with the rabbit that he didn’t hear the front door open.
Ianto trudged wearily into the hall and dumped the shopping bags on the floor, kicking off his shoes and shrugging out of his coat. He was briefly alarmed to see the lounge door open when he knew he’d shut it before popping out to the shops, but then he heard Jack’s voice. It sounded like he was talking to someone.
Leaving the shopping bags on the floor for the moment, he padded over to the doorway and peeked into the lounge. Jack was sitting in the nearest armchair, with a rabbit on his lap. Ianto rolled his eyes; it must have escaped again. He stepped into the lounge, but Jack didn’t seem to notice him, just kept staring at the rabbit with a forlorn expression on his face. It was a bit worrying, to be honest.
“Jack? What are you doing?”
Jack stared at the rabbit, looking startled.
“You can talk?”
“Of course I can talk, Jack.” Ianto walked around in front of the chair and stood there, hands on hips.
Jack looked at the rabbit, then at Ianto, then back at the rabbit. Ianto could almost see the cogs grinding in Jack’s brain as he struggled to figure things out. Abruptly, Jack leaped to his feet, dumping a rather surprised rabbit on the chair and grabbing Ianto in a hug so tight it threatened to squeeze all the air out of his lungs.
“You’re not a rabbit!”
Ianto disentangled himself from Jack and quickly stepped out of reach. He wanted answers for Jack’s odd behaviour.
“No, Jack, I’m not a rabbit. I’m a little concerned that you’d think I was.” He felt something tugging on his leg and looked down; the rabbit was trying to eat his trousers. He quickly picked it up.
Jack looked embarrassed.
“There’s a full moon.”
“And we had sex while I was still infected with were-rabbitness. When I got here and found a rabbit wandering around, I thought I must have accidentally infected you.” Jack wrapped himself around Ianto again, his voice muffled against Ianto’s shoulder. “I was so worried!”
Ianto was torn between exasperation and laughing his head off.
“Jack, do you ever listen to what I tell you?”
Jack jerked his head up, looking indignant.
“Yes! Of course I do.”
“Really? Then you remember me telling you that Rhi asked me if I could look after Mica’s pet rabbit while they’re away?”
“Um, I remember you telling me about something you were doing for your sister today…”
“I had to collect Millie and bring her back here.”
“Who’s Millie?” The conversation was getting away from Jack.
“The rabbit, Jack.” Ianto held it up. “Though I’m inclined to think Houdini would be a better name. Actually, now I think of it, I’m rather insulted that you thought I’d turned into a female rabbit.”
“Sorry. How can you tell it’s female?”
“With great difficulty, from what I’ve heard. Mica got this one from a school friend who thought both her rabbits were boys, until one suddenly had babies. Rhi assures me the vet says this one is female. Presumably vets have ways of telling the difference.” Ianto shrugged then led the way through the open plan lounge into the kitchen, where there was a rabbit hutch with a wide open door. He shoved the rabbit through and shut the door firmly behind it, before going out to the hallway to retrieve his shopping bags. By the time he got back, the rabbit was sitting on the kitchen floor again.
“How does it do that?”
Jack was watching it, fascinated.
“It sort of leaned on the door and pushed up. The door opened and it fell out.”
“Not any more,” Ianto announced triumphantly, rummaging through his bags and finally unearthing a small padlock from the bottom of one. “Aha, there it is. Had to go all the way into town to get this!”
Jack eyed the pile of bags. Ianto just shrugged.
“I figured since I was already there I might as well pick up a few things to save shopping at the weekend. Right, shove her back in.”
Jack complied and Ianto quickly padlocked the door shut.
“There. Let’s see you get out of that!”
The rabbit just sat there placidly, looking at them. Ianto smirked.
“That’s foiled your evil plans to eat the furniture!” He turned to Jack. “She already chewed a hole in the bottom of the curtains and tried to eat the TV cable. I had to move all the wires out of reach. I tried shutting her hutch in the utility room, but she got out and got herself wedged behind the tumble drier. The lounge seemed safer.”
“How long are you stuck with it?”
“Two weeks.” Ianto pulled some cabbage from one of his bags and poked a leaf through the front of the hutch. “Here you go. Dinner time.”
Millie started munching happily.
“At least she’s easier to care for than Weevils and a Pteranodon.”
“That’s my Ianto, always seeing the bright side of things!”
Ianto thought that statement to be profoundly untrue, but he didn’t correct Jack.
“Why don’t you help me put the shopping away and then I’ll fix us some dinner.”
“Sounds like a plan!” He set to emptying the multitude of bags while Ianto put everything away.
There was silence for a while as they worked companionably together, but finally Jack spoke again.
“I’m glad you’re not a were-rabbit.”
Ianto leant across the kitchen counter and kissed him lightly on the lips.
“So am I, Jack. So am I.”