Title: Oh Boy!
Characters: Ianto, Jack.
Summary: Ianto should have known the Rift retrieval was going too well…
Word Count: 1281
Written For: My own prompt ‘Torchwood, Jack/Ianto, "Jack, did you just go 'moo'?" "MOO!" "Oh boy",’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
Ianto stowed the device, safe inside a standard Torchwood containment unit, in the boot of the SUV. He’d expected to be wandering through the fields for hours since Tosh hadn’t been able to pinpoint its exact location, something to do with interference from electricity pylons, but finding it had proved surprisingly easy since Jack had tripped on it and fallen flat on his face with an audible ‘oof’.
“Found it, have you?” Ianto had asked cheerily, striding across to join him and securing the shoebox sized metallic object for transport. He’d expected a cheeky quip, but Jack had remained silent, probably sulking because Ianto hadn’t asked if he was okay or bothered to help him up. Clouds were gathering, threatening more rain, and Ianto had wanted to get back to Cardiff before the storm hit so he’d ignored Jack in favour of getting their find loaded.
Glancing back as he closed the boot, he noted that Jack was now on his feet, but not moving. “Are you coming or do you plan to stay there all day?” Jack made no response, just continued to stand there looking around, so Ianto was forced to trek back across the field to retrieve his lover. “If we don’t get a move on, we’ll get soaked. Come on.” Grabbing Jack’s sleeve, he tugged and headed back to the SUV once more, this time with Jack trailing along behind him.
Things didn’t improve when they reached their vehicle. Jack just stood staring at it, as if he was waiting for Ianto to open the door. Ianto ignored him and got in; he wasn’t Jack’s servant. But even starting the engine didn’t spur the other man into action, so with a groan, Ianto got out again.
“Stop messing about, Jack,” he grumbled when the other man still made no move to get into the car. Jack just looked at him blankly. Crap. This was all he needed. “Did you hit your head or something?” Ianto really wasn’t in the mood for this, but he opened the passenger door and shoved Jack unceremoniously inside, climbed back into the driver’s seat, put the SUV in gear and pulled off the grass verge onto the road. They drove in complete silence for about ten minutes, until Ianto finally gave a sigh. “Okay, look, I’m sorry I didn’t help you up back there, but I wanted to beat the rain… Doubt we’ll make it back now before the heavens open. What’s got into you anyway? I mean, even for you this silent treatment is a bit childish.”
A rather odd sound came from Jack and Ianto gripped the steering wheel tighter. That couldn’t possibly have been what it sounded like. He glanced at Jack in the passenger seat; he was behaving a bit oddly, but surely…
“Jack, did you just go ‘moo’?” Ianto asked hesitantly. Probably a stupid question, but when you work for Torchwood you learn to re-evaluate what is and isn’t possible.
“MOO!” Jack turned towards him with a very not-Jack look on his face.
Checking that the road was clear, Ianto made a hurried u-turn and drove quickly back the way they’d just come, parking on the same grass verge. Jumping out, he dragged his reluctant passenger out too, pulling him through the gateway back into the field they’d just left.
“Jack?” Ianto scanned the field of cows anxiously until he spotted one standing off by itself and looking distinctly worried. He’d never seen a worried cow before, but that was the only way to describe this one. Muttering curses, Ianto dragged the Jack-shaped cow over towards what he now assumed must be a cow-shaped Jack, not difficult because as soon as the cow spotted him it started to run in his direction. Well, it tried to. It seemed to be having difficulty coping with four legs.
“Only you,” Ianto sighed when they reached each other, and the cow-shaped Jack rubbed its head affectionately against his chest, mooing apologetically. Ianto scratched it behind its ear. “Sorry, Jack. You must’ve switched bodies when you tripped over that thing. Just wait here while I get it. Oh, and don’t let your body wander off,” he added, letting go of the cow in Jack’s body. Cow-Jack nodded. “Okay then, I’ll be right back.”
It didn’t take long for Ianto to fetch the containment unit and lug it back across the field; the sky was getting steadily darker and he wanted to fix the problem as fast as possible. Opening the box, he tipped its contents onto the grass in front of Jack and his body. “Any ideas? I’d rather not become a cattle rustler. Besides, you wouldn’t fit in the SUV like that anyway, it’s not really designed for transporting livestock.”
Lowering his head, Cow-Jack studied the device, turning its head from side to side to look at it through first one eye and then the other.
Bored, Jack’s body mooed and tried to move towards the rest of the herd, but Ianto grabbed it and held on, turning towards Cow-Jack.
“Have you seen anything like it before?”
Cow-Jack shook its head. “Mooo.”
“Well, you’d better hurry up and try something. You fell over it and ended up in the cow’s body, so maybe if you…”
“Do you have a better idea?”
“Moo.” Cow-Jack seemed to droop.
“Well then it’s got to be worth a try. We could be standing here all day otherwise.”
Ianto had never seen a cow shrug before either. At least, he assumed the odd movement of the creature’s shoulders was meant to be a shrug.
“Mooo moo.” Cow-Jack kicked at the device with one of its front feet, a light flashed and the thing went ‘blip’. Sadly, that was all that appeared to happen.
Ianto looked from Jack to the cow and back again. “Jack?”
“Moo,” said Jack and the cow at the same time.
Ianto gave a resigned sigh. “No change then. Now what?”
Cow-Jack shifted and nudged his human body, giving a questioning moo.
Another nudge at Jack’s body.
“You think both of you have to touch it?”
That got a very emphatic moo.
“Okay, here goes nothing. I really hope this works.” Ianto manhandled Jack’s body into position and shoved it so that it stumbled forward, tripped on the device, making it blip again, and fell over.
“Ow!” Jack’s voice came from his body as it hit the ground for the second time that afternoon.
“Well, that’s an improvement over the mooing.” Ianto reached down a hand and helped Jack up, dusting him off to hide his relief at fixing the problem.
“Thanks, but why did it take you so long to notice I wasn’t me?”
Ianto shrugged, a bit embarrassed. “I just thought you were sulking, it wasn’t until you went ‘moo’ that I realised something was a bit off.”
“Sulking? I don’t sulk!” Jack pouted.
“Yes you do, quite frequently. You’re doing it now.”
“You just drove off and left me, I had no idea how I was going to get home! I think I’m entitled.”
There was a distant rumble of thunder and the wind started to pick up. The cow that had being playing host to Jack trotted back to its herd, mooing happily. Ianto glanced up at the ominous clouds. “At least I came back for you." He bent and returned the device to its containment unit, closing the lid firmly. “I apologise for not noticing you’d switched bodies with a cow and leaving you behind, okay? It was an easy mistake to make. Now let’s go home before it rains on us, alright?”
Satisfied, Jack smiled. “Best idea I’ve heard all day!”