Title: Not Torchwood’s Fault
Characters: Ianto, Tosh, Jack.
Summary: Sometimes, working for Torchwood is a thankless task.
Word Count: 851
Written For: Challenge 4: Affair at beattheblackdog.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters.
Ianto hung up the phone with an exasperated sigh and ran one hand through his hair. He was getting a headache.
“Problems?” Tosh asked sympathetically.
“Aren’t there always?” Ianto smiled wryly. “Goes with the territory. I’m starting to understand why Jack goes red in the face and starts screaming down the phone every time he has to talk to Cardiff Council.” Jack had been in London for the past three days so Ianto had been handling his calls. When he’d spoken to his lover by phone earlier, Jack had said he should be home by lunchtime, but now it was mid-afternoon and there was still no sigh of him.
“What did they want?”
“They’re being completely unreasonable about that affair with the alien lobsters night before last. To hear them talk, anyone would think we’d deliberately invited the bloody things here just to make a mess of their offices and that councilwoman’s kitchen. If she hadn’t decided to swipe one for her dinner that would never have happened. We can’t be held responsible for people being stupid. And she probably wasn’t the only one either.”
“Most lobsters don’t swell up to ten times their normal size and explode on contact with water,” Tosh pointed out.
“Still not our fault. This is Wales; it rains, things get wet. Besides, who took charge of the cleanup? We did. It’s hardly fair to expect us to foot the bill for damage we didn’t cause and couldn’t prevent. What were we supposed to do? Issue umbrellas to the invading army? After everything we do to keep this city and its residents safe, this is the thanks we get? Some people just have no gratitude.”
“I know,” Tosh commiserated. “That’s the downside of working for a super-secret organisation; we get all the blame for every weird thing that happens and none of the credit we deserve for doing our job.”
Tosh had barely finished speaking before the phone in Jack’s office started ringing again. Ianto groaned “Not again!” and plodded away to answer it. Tosh could tell it was the city council again by the way Ianto’s shoulders slumped as soon as he put the receiver to his ear.
Ten minutes later, he hung up and rejoined his friend, leaning wearily against her desk.
“What was it this time?”
“Apparently we missed a lobster. It just took out a wall and half the kitchen at the mayor’s residence. I’ve told Councilman Truman to issue a warning to the public not to buy dry lobsters. Wet them first and if they don’t explode, they’re safe.”
“You’d think so, wouldn’t you? But when I told him to do that earlier, he refused because he said he didn’t want to panic people when the threat had already been dealt with. Typical bureaucrat.”
“Do you think there are any more out there?”
“Bureaucrats or lobsters?”
Tosh smiled. “Lobsters.”
“Maybe. Some could have found shelter from the rain.”
“At least they won’t try to invade earth again.”
“That’s quite possibly the only positive thing about the whole situation.” Ianto stood up, straightening his suit.
At that moment, Jack came in from Torchwood’s underground garage.
“Hi, honey, I’m home! Did ya miss me?”
Jack’s cheerful greeting didn’t go down too well with Ianto.
“Finally! You were supposed to be back hours ago, what kept you?”
“It’s such a lovely day, I took the scenic route back, thought I deserved a bit of a break.”
That really did it.
“The scenic route? A bit of a break? Do you have any idea what I’ve been going through all day? I don’t get paid enough to deal with morons who won’t take responsibility for their own errors in judgement. Next time your phone rings, you can answer it! I need a coffee.” Ianto stomped off towards the kitchenette.
Jack just stood there, mouth open, staring after the Welshman. “Don’t I even get a kiss?” he asked plaintively. There was no reply. “What’s up with Ianto?” Jack turned to Tosh with a worried frown, taken aback by his lover’s less than enthusiastic greeting.
“Oh, he’s just stressed out from the whole lobster affair.”
Jack blinked. “Somebody had an affair with a lobster? Who was it? And why wasn’t I told about it?”
Tosh giggled. “Not that sort of affair, Jack. Cardiff was invaded by lobsters, but they couldn’t handle the Welsh climate.”
“Oh.” Jack looked a bit disappointed. “Still, probably for the best, those pincers could do some serious damage…” He winced at the thought, then brightened. “Maybe I should do something special for Ianto, to show him how much I appreciate all his hard work. I know! I’ll book a table and take him out for a really nice meal!”
“I think he’d like that. Just make sure you take him somewhere that doesn’t serve seafood. I don’t think he ever wants to see another lobster!”
Jack nodded. “I’ll keep that in mind.” Turning away, he followed Ianto to the kitchenette; somebody needed a hug. Besides, he really wanted to hear the full story about the lobster invasion. It sounded like fun.