Title: Little Things
Characters: Jack, Ianto, Owen, Gwen, Tosh
Summary: It’s not always the big things that cause problems…
Word Count: 650
Written For: My own prompt ‘Torchwood, any, the little things,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
“Well, you know what they say,” Jack smirked. “It’s the little things that count.”
“I suspect whoever coined that phrase didn’t have anything quite like this in mind,” Ianto replied in a dry tone of voice.
“If they did,” Owen piped up, “they would’ve been locked up as a nut job.”
“Fair point,” Jack agreed.
Ianto and Owen looked at each other, unsure which of them he was agreeing with. After a moment, Ianto shrugged; it wasn’t like it really mattered under the circumstances. “So, what do we do now?”
“Take care of the little things?”
It had started out like any other Wednesday, which is to say that everything that could go wrong had done just that. Most people disliked Mondays because they were the start of the working week; Torchwood agents had a deep-seated distrust of Wednesdays on principle, mostly because nine times out of ten, if the apocalypse was going to happen, it would be mid-week.
By lunchtime, the backup generator had blown up, lost aliens had caused mass hysteria in the middle of a rush hour traffic jam, an unexploded WWII bomb had fallen through the Rift in the produce aisle of Tesco’s, and one of Owen’s experiments had gone wrong, giving the whole team hiccups. Then things really got bad.
It had started so gradually that at first no one had even noticed anything was wrong. Ianto had gone out to fetch lunch, buying freshly prepared gourmet sandwiches and rolls at a new delicatessen. They’d been delicious, if a little smaller than everyone had expected, but Ianto had bought plenty, so for once even Jack had agreed that size didn’t matter. After lunch, as he always did, Ianto went to make coffee, but when he brought the tray of steaming mugs through to the boardroom, he was frowning.
“Is it my imagination, or do these mugs look smaller than usual?”
Jack looked thoughtfully at his coffee mug, picked it up and downed the contents in half a dozen gulps. Setting the empty mug on the table, he shook his head. “Nope, not your imagination. My mug usually holds seven gulps.”
“Our mugs are shrinking?”
“Not just our mugs.” Gwen had just got off the phone. “The police are getting reports of things shrinking all over Cardiff.”
“What sorts of things?”
“Basically, anything to do with food and drink.”
“Huh,” said Owen. “Didn’t I say those sandwiches were a bit small?”
“You always complain about the size of sandwiches,” Tosh reminded him.
“Hey, I have a fast metabolism, I need to eat a lot to keep my strength up!”
“Doesn’t seem to be working,” Ianto quipped.
“Alright!” Jack put a stop to the brewing argument. “Tosh, can you find out where the shrinkages started?”
“On it!” Tosh practically bounded over to her workstation and started to collect data, tapping into the police computers to download incident reports as they were logged. It didn’t take her long to calculate the shrinkage epicentre. “Whatever’s causing the problem, it seems to have something to do with a small grocery store just off the Plass.”
“Looks like we’re going grocery shopping!” Jack grinned brightly. “Saddle up, guys!”
Arriving at the shop, they found the owners unconscious, all the wares shrunk to miniature size, and a troop of tiny aliens ferrying large quantities into their space ship.
It turned out that the aliens had stopped off to pick up provisions, choosing a quiet shop and using their shrink ray to miniaturise what they needed. Unfortunately, the Rift had extended the effects across half of Cardiff, unbeknown to the aliens. It hadn’t been intentional.
They apologised, gave Torchwood one of their shrink rays, and left.
Which is where we came in.
Everyone looked at the miniscule device in Jack’s palm.
“So we just turn that on and everything goes back to regular size?”
“Great!” said Ianto. “Anyone got a magnifying glass?”