Title: Getting To Nose You - Part 2
Characters/Pairing: Jack/Ianto, Tosh, Owen, Mickey, Andy, mentions Gwen in passing.
Rating: PG-15 to be on the safe side, for a few mild swear words
Spoilers: Not really. Set after Exit Wounds and Doctor Who episode Journey’s End
Summary: Jack and Ianto return to the Hub with their new pet. Sequel To Capturing The Beast
Word Count: 9998
Warning: Beware of the Fluff!
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood or its characters, they belong to the BBC. However, I do own my fluffy alien!
A/N: Despite when this is set, you’ll find all the original team are alive and well. This is because I like Tosh and Owen and decided I didn’t want them to be dead. In my world, things happened differently in both Reset and Exit Wounds. Mickey joined the team after Journey’s End, and Andy joined a few weeks later.
No one had really been paying attention to Nosy as they talked, so they were startled by an odd, slurping sound. Looking down, Ianto saw that Nosy had slithered a little way out from its refuge and now had its nose jammed in Jack’s water glass, sucking up the contents. Jack’s amusement turned to sheepish apology as he petted the creature, getting a slightly muffled hum in response.
“Sorry, I should have thought to give you a drink. After everything you’ve been through today you’re bound to be thirsty.”
Nosy lifted its head, the glass still wedged on its snout, and Jack tried hard not to laugh at the sight as he pulled it off with an audible pop.
“Let me find something a bit more suitable for you to drink from.”
“There should be some glass mixing bowls in one of the cupboards, use the biggest one of those and we can buy something better tomorrow,” Ianto suggested. “It’s probably hungry, too, so maybe someone could fetch its food from the SUV.”
“What does it eat?” Mickey asked curiously.
“Moss and lichen - at least, that’s what we’ve seen it eating, it seemed to like it. We’ll need to find a supplier, maybe try it on some other greenery too, see what it will eat and what it likes best. I thought of trying it with some pond weeds, possibly even seaweed, but that might be too salty.”
“Probably,” agreed Owen, “but the pond weed is worth a try, it might be possible to grow several kinds in large tanks. In the meantime, I can set up lamps in one of the unused tunnels, see if I can grow a supply of moss. Given the right conditions, it should grow quite well, it just needs warmth, some light and plenty of air and moisture. If we can grow our own, Nosy will be able to help itself whenever it feels peckish.”
“Good idea, Owen. Anything you need for the project, let me know.” Jack had returned with a large mixing bowl full of water, which he set down for Nosy. Immediately, a fluffy snout thrust into the water, practically vacuuming it up with a loud sluuuurrrrp. When less than an inch remained at the bottom, Nosy settled back down with a satisfied hum. Jack refilled the bowl and set it nearby.
Meanwhile, Mickey had volunteered himself and Andy to fetch Nosy’s food supply from the SUV and a few minutes later they returned, carrying the first two containers.
“Where do you want these putting, boss?” Mickey asked.
“Owen, since you seem to be the moss expert, where would you suggest?” Jack asked.
“Best to keep it cool but not too cold. I want to use some of this to see if I can grow it. We’ll put it in the side tunnel near the boardroom for now, I’ll set up some troughs tomorrow to plant it in. Take the lids off the containers though, don’t want it going mouldy. In fact, better yet, just dump it out on the floor, let the air circulate through it. How many more are there?”
“Three,” Mickey replied as he and Andy headed towards the chosen storage spot.
“Right, I’ll get one, you two collect the others when you’ve dumped those. I’ll give some of the moss a rinse and see if our friend is hungry.”
Owen took the container he collected straight through to the small kitchen where he found Jack stacking plates and cutlery in the dishwasher, something that Ianto would normally do. He watched as Jack closed the door, referred to a piece of paper on which Ianto had written instructions, checked off the last one and pushed the start button with a pleased smile. “Done it!” The machine whirred into action.
“Congratulations, looks like you’re finally mastering 21st century technology,” Owen smirked.
“Don’t laugh, Owen, it’s new and I’ve mislaid the instruction booklet. I didn’t want to break it the first time I used it, not after the amount of trouble it took getting it installed and retconning the plumber after Myfanwy stole his spanner right out of his hand!”
“Right, whatever. Ianto said there should be an old plastic tea tray in here somewhere that I can use as Nosy’s food dish.”
“The blue one? Yeah, it’s in that cupboard,” Jack said, pointing. “Right at the back.”
Owen fetched the tray and rinsed some of the moss for Nosy’s supper, shaking off the excess water before piling it on the improvised dish.
Jack watched him, smirking. “It’s interesting how eager everyone is to help care for our newest pet, you included.”
“Yeah, well, everyone likes cute, furry creatures, don’t they? It’s a damned sight more appealing to look at than your bald chicken. Speaking of which, where is she? Would’ve thought she’d be down here checking out the new arrival by now.”
“She’s temporarily shut in her cave. I wanted to get Fluffy settled before introducing them, don’t know how Myf will react.”
Owen shook his head, picked up Nosy’s supper and marched out of the kitchen area, calling back over his shoulder, “Think I’ll make myself scarce before you introduce them. You might want to have a hosepipe on hand, just in case you have to stop her trying to eat it.”
“Optimism really isn’t in your nature, is it, Owen?” Jack asked wryly.
Owen paused. “Nah, I’m a realist. Expect the worst, I always say. Then it if happens you‘re prepared and if it doesn‘t, you get a pleasant surprise.”
Back in the main Hub, Owen found Ianto still on the couch with Nosy’s front end in his lap, the measuring tape around it at its widest point.
“Circumference, 58.5cm approximately. Less than I’d estimated,” he commented as Tosh made a quick note.
“It’s the fluffiness,” she replied. “It makes it hard to guess. Oh look, Nosy, Owen‘s brought you some supper!” She pointed and Nosy quickly slithered over to Owen, managing a fairly good impression of sitting up and begging. Setting the tray down, Owen patted Nosy on the head, getting a brief hum in response, then left it to eat in peace, joining Tosh and Ianto around the coffee table.
“I’m starting to think Nosy must have been someone’s pet wherever it came from,” Ianto mused, “It’s tame and enjoys our company, certainly doesn’t behave like a wild creature.”
“That’s a sad thought. Whoever owned Nosy probably really misses it. I wonder if it misses its old home…” Tosh trailed off with a sad sigh.
“It’s just as likely that the previous owner had so many they haven’t even noticed it’s gone,” Owen replied. “Nothing we can do about it anyway, it’s here now, so this is its home. It’s probably already forgotten where it came from.”
“Maybe, maybe not,” Ianto said thoughtfully, “It’s intelligent and learns fast, so it probably has a good memory. But Owen’s right about one thing - this is Nosy’s home now, so we’ll just have to do our best to make sure it’s happy and well cared for.”
“Can’t see that being a problem,” Jack said with a chuckle as he joined them, “It’s probably going to get spoiled rotten! ”
“We’ll need to get a few things besides a food supply and a better water dish,” Ianto told Jack.
“Well, brushes for a start, we’ll probably need to groom it. Toys might be a good idea too.”
“Why?” Jack asked, puzzled.
“We already know it’s at least as intelligent as a dog. Probably not a good idea to let it get bored, so we’ll need something to keep it occupied when we’re busy. With a bit of luck, having a few toys to play with should keep it from getting in too much trouble.”
“What sorts of toys do you think it would like?” Jack wondered.
“Don’t know, we’ll have to experiment a bit, see what it thinks is fun besides chasing Owen.”
“Ha ha, very funny,” Owen grumbled, glaring at everyone.
“Well, do you have any suggestions?”
Owen thought for a bit. “A ball maybe, or something squeaky. Dogs love things that squeak.”
“I know, I know, it’s not a dog. But it’s comparable. Behaviour is similar enough we can get away with treating it like a dog, at least for now.” He stared at Nosy for a moment, “It’ll need somewhere to sleep too. Wonder if anyone makes a dog basket big enough.”
Jack laughed. “Probably not! I’ll dig out an old blanket for Fluffy to sleep on tonight, we’ll have to look for something better when we have time. Maybe we can get an old mattress from somewhere.”
“Might need a double,” Ianto said thoughtfully, “especially if we find it’s still growing.”
Nosy seemed to have had enough to eat for now and carefully nosed its food tray and the remains of its supper under the coffee table, presumably saving it for later.
“Why can’t everyone around here tidy up after themselves like that?” Ianto asked himself wryly.
Before anyone could reply, Mickey reappeared from the direction of the cells.
“That’s all the residents fed and settled for the night,” he announced, dropping into a chair.
“Thanks, Mickey, I owe you one,“ Ianto said gratefully.
“You kidding me? Way I see it, I‘m still repaying you for letting me take over your flat!”
“I was hardly spending any time there anyway. Besides, I feel better about moving out now that I know there’s someone I can trust looking out for old Mrs Evans next door. She and her husband did a lot for me after I moved back to Cardiff. Things have been hard for her since he died.”
“I like her, she reminds me of my Gran. Treats me the same way too, not afraid to give me a clip round the ear if she thinks I’m being cheeky!” Mickey laughed.
“She’s done that to me a few times too!” Jack butted in. “Never to Ianto though.”
“That’s because I have manners.”
“I have manners too,” Jack said indignantly.
“You do,” Ianto agreed, “Sadly, most of them are bad.”
Jack just glared at him.
“Where’s Andy,” Tosh asked.
“I sent him down to the archives with that box of rift junk, told him to put it on Ianto’s desk down there,” Mickey said.
“Oh God,” Owen sighed, “Hope he hasn’t got lost again.”
“Hey, I resent that,” Andy grumbled as he appeared through the doorway and joined them, “I only got lost that one time. There‘s a lot of tunnels down there.”
“There are,” Jack agreed, “and we have a new pet who likes to explore, so for safety’s sake, I’m going to ask that we all take care to keep the door to the lower levels closed at all times. We don‘t want Nosy getting lost down there.”
Andy spun on his heel and headed back in the direction he’d just come from, rejoining them a few moments later. “Right, it’s closed now.”
Jack smiled and nodded at him, “Thanks, Andy. Right, next order of business.” He dug in his pocket and pulled out a box of chalk.
“What’s that for?” Andy asked.
“Owen thinks we should measure Nosy so we’ll know whether or not it’s still growing. Unfortunately, the only measuring tape we have here is a metre long; Nosy is considerably longer and not very cooperative,” Jack explained, “So, following Ianto’s advice, we’re going to try a different way. We’ll make chalk marks on the floor at Nosy’s nose and tail tips, then measure between the marks. In order to get the most accurate measurement we can, we need a straight Nosy.”
Everyone looked at Nosy, who at that moment was anything but straight.
“We only need it straight for a moment, so here’s the plan.” He handed Tosh and Owen a piece of chalk each. “Tosh, you’re at the head end, it’s your job to keep Nosy occupied while the rest of us attempt to straighten it out. Owen, you get the tail end. As soon as it’s straight enough, use your chalk. Mickey, Andy and I will do the straightening. Clear?” Everyone nodded. “Right, take your positions.”
Ianto watched with amusement as his team mates arranged themselves at various points along the creature’s body. Tosh knelt by Nosy’s head and started stroking the long, thick fur. As Nosy’s happy hum filled the air, Jack grinned suddenly as inspiration hit and crouching down, started stroking too. Mickey and Andy looked at each other and shrugged, before copying Jack. Soon, Nosy had relaxed completely beneath their soothing hands and straightened out quite willingly, making the task easier than any of them had expected. Tosh and Owen chalked neat lines at nose and tail tip, then everyone stopped stroking and stood up. Nosy didn’t move.
Owen folded his arms over his chest and grumbled, “If we had a long enough measuring tape, we could’ve measured it easily now.”
Jack turned and grinned at Ianto, “Looks just like you do after a massage, completely boneless!”
Ianto snorted and grabbed a cushion, throwing it at Jack and hitting him in the chest. “Looks more like you,” he replied, “Even the hair style’s similar! You sure you‘re not related?”
Jack picked up the cushion and strode over to the couch. “You take that back,” he said indignantly, “I have much better hair!”
When Ianto just smirked up at him, Jack started hitting him with the cushion as Ianto tried to defend himself, both of them laughing.
The battle was brief, lasting only a few minutes as the rest of the team looked on, grinning at their antics. Finally, Jack had Ianto pinned to the couch as they caught their breath.
“I surrender,” Ianto gasped.
“Good decision,” Jack panted. “Now admit it: I have much better hair than Nosy.”
“Vanity, thy name is Jack Harkness,” Ianto drawled.
Jack growled and threatened him with the cushion.
“Okay, okay, I admit it, your hair’s better than Nosy’s!”
“Thank you.” Jack dropped the cushion and sagged to the floor beside the couch.
“Think they’ll ever grow up?” Mickey asked.
“Nah, not likely, guess we’ll just have to put up with them as they are,” Owen replied with a long-suffering sigh.
Ianto twisted to look at Jack, nudging him to get his attention. “Jack?”
“I thought you wanted to call our new pet Fluffy.”
“What do you mean?”
“Just, every time you’ve referred to it since then, you’ve called it Nosy.”
Jack was silent for a moment, “I have? Are you sure?” He looked around at his team; they were all nodding agreement.
“Humpf,” Jack grumbled, “Why is it that even when I win I end up losing?” He folded his arms across his chest and slumped down, scowling. “Fine, you win, Nosy it is.” Then after a moment, he added, “Nosy the Fluff.”
Ianto rolled his eyes. “You have to have the last word, don’t you?”
“Always,” Jack smirked.
While the team had been watching Jack and Ianto’s cushion fight, Nosy had finally surfaced from the blissed-out trance their stroking had put it in. It blinked drowsily, fluffed up its fur and gave itself a shake before looking around and slinking over to its water bowl for a quick slurp. Then it slithered over to Jack, who had closed his eyes, and poked him in the ear with a wet snout, getting a very interesting response. Jack yelled, eyes snapping open, legs and arms flailing in every direction. Nosy quickly dodged out of the way.
“What the hell…?” Jack gasped, rubbing at his wet ear and glaring at the culprit. Nosy just blinked innocently at him. “Don’t give me that innocent look, I don’t believe it for a second,” Jack growled, “You did that on purpose!”
Nosy seemed to droop, which was quite impressive considering it was already flat on the ground.
“Jack,” Tosh chided, “Don‘t be mean, Nosy was just trying to get your attention.”
“Well it succeeded,” Jack grumbled, glaring.
Nosy sighed heavily and started to slink sadly away. Everyone glared at Jack.
Now it was Jack’s turn to sigh. He got to his feet and headed after Nosy, “Hey, I’m sorry I yelled at you, okay?” he said, kneeling down and petting Nosy, “I just don’t like having wet things poked in my ears.”
“You didn’t seem to mind the other day when I…” Ianto started.
“That was different!” Jack interrupted quickly. “Anyway, we were in the shower, everything was wet.“ The rest of the team turned to stare at Ianto, who blushed slightly.
“Owen,” Jack snapped out suddenly, “weren’t you supposed to be getting that measurement you insisted on?”
Owen snapped his fingers, “Yeah, right,” he looked around, “Where’s the bloody measure?”
“Here,” Tosh said, picking it up from the coffee table and handing it to him.
“Thanks, Tosh. Give me a hand?” Together they crouched and set about measuring between the two chalk marks they’d made.
A couple of minutes later, Owen announced, “Approximate length of subject, 5.79 metres. What did you measure the circumference as, Ianto?”
“58.5 centimetres, as near as I could tell through all the fluff.”
“Good. Tosh, could you set up a chart and we’ll measure Nosy… oh, say once a week to start with. If there doesn’t seem to be much change after four weeks, we can switch to once a month.”
Tosh nodded and quickly did as she’d been asked.
Jack, who had been sitting of the floor quietly petting Nosy, suddenly jumped to his feet and clapped his hands, “Right, I know it’s late and everyone’s tired, but there’s one last thing I want to get out of the way tonight. I think it’s about time we introduced our new pet to Myfanwy.”
“Right,” said Owen, “I’m outta here, ‘night everyone.”
“Not so fast.” Jack grabbed Owen and pulled him back, “You might be needed. Listen up, everyone. We have no idea how they’ll react to each other, but I’m sure none of us want Nosy getting hurt. As Owen pointed out earlier, if we prepare for the worst, we won’t get caught out. Mickey!”
“Could you get a couple of tranq guns from the armoury? I’m hoping we won’t need them, but if Myfanwy decides Nosy could be food…” he let the sentence trail off.
“On it,” replied Mickey, turning away. He paused and turned back, “What if Nosy attacks Myfanwy?”
Jack stared blankly at him, then looked at Nosy and back at Mickey. “Do you honestly think that’s likely?”
Mickey looked at the fluffy, snake-like creature, which was happily untying Andy’s shoelaces, and shook his head, “What was I thinking? Forget I said anything.” He sauntered off towards the armoury, muttering to himself about weird aliens with foot fetishes being right at home at Torchwood.
Andy glanced down, “Here, what do you think you’re doing to my shoes?” Nosy looked up, blinking innocently, still gripping the end of Andy’s shoelace in its mouth. “You rascal! Give that here. I suppose I should be thankful you can’t tie them together like Gwyn used to do.”
“Who’s this Gwyn then?” Owen asked, “School bully?”
Andy snorted as he crouched down, re-tying his laces with an extra knot this time for safety. “Hardly! Gwyn Hughes was my best friend for more than ten years, lived right across the road from me. Loved playing practical jokes, but he had no imagination whatsoever. Dunno where he is now, his family moved to England when we were sixteen and we lost touch after that.”
“You should try to track him down,” said Tosh, “Friends are important, especially in a job like ours. It’s nice to have people outside of work that you can just be yourself with, forget about saving the world for a while.”
“I’ve thought about it,” Andy admitted, “even checked to see if he had a police record, but I didn’t get anywhere. I‘m… I was just a PC, computers aren‘t my strong point. Anything beyond the basics and I get a bit lost.”
“I could help if you’d like, run a trace for you sometime.”
Andy’s face lit up. “Would you? That would be great, Tosh!”
Tosh smiled back at him, she really did like Andy. “I’d be happy to. I’ll make a start as soon as I get a bit of free time.”
While they were chatting, Jack had moved the chair Mickey had been using earlier, setting it in a clear area where Myfanwy could land easily. Once it was in place, he headed over to the couch and attempted to hoist Ianto up.
“Jack, what are you doing?” Ianto yelped, pulling away.
“Helping you up! I need you to sit on that chair and coax Myf down with this,” Jack replied, waving a bar of the pteranodon’s favourite dark chocolate at Ianto. “Mickey and I will take positions to either side, where we’ll be able to get a clear shot if necessary.”
“Fine, but I’m perfectly capable of walking.”
Jack looked surprised. “Of course you are, I never said you weren’t. On the other hand, you’ve already walked more than enough today with that injured knee and the longer you can keep from putting weight on if, the faster it will heal. I was just going to help you.”
Ianto sighed and shook his head. “Fine, you can help me, but don’t you dare try to pick me up!”
Jack raised his hands in surrender. “I won’t, I promise.”
Jack leant down and let Ianto wrap an arm around his shoulders, putting his own arm around Ianto’s waist and hoisting him up. Once Ianto was balanced safely on his good leg, Jack helped him hop over to the chair and sit down.
Returning with the tranquilizer guns, Mickey put them down on a nearby desk, while Owen fetched a vial of tranquilizer and filled several of the darts with the appropriate dosage for the pteranodon. Mickey and Jack checked and loaded the guns, then moved into position.
“What about the rest of us?” Tosh asked.
“The rest of you get to be Nosy wranglers. Try to keep it out of the way until Myfanwy is down and eating her chocolate, and reassure it if it’s nervous.”
Tosh and Andy settled into their assignment willingly, talking quietly to Nosy and stroking it, while Owen moved over to the stairs leading to the autopsy bay, just in case he needed to get medical supplies in a hurry. Everyone felt a little tense and nervous, hoping this first meeting wouldn’t be a complete disaster.
“Okay,” Jack said, “everybody ready?”
“Ready as we’ll ever be,” Mickey confirmed as the rest of the team nodded agreement.
Jack flipped open his vortex manipulator and pressed the short sequence of buttons that would open the grille at the entrance to the pteranodon’s cave.
Ianto unwrapped the chocolate bar, rustling the foil, and whistled for Myfanwy. After a moment, there was a scuffling sound followed by the leathery flapping of Myfanwy’s wings as she took to the air and circled high above them. Everyone looked up, watching her fly; it was such a spectacular sight, none of them ever tired of it.
Staring upwards, Nosy hummed questioningly. Tosh hugged it gently. “That’s Myfanwy, she lives here too,” she murmured, “She fell though the rift just like you, but she travelled through time instead of space.”
Another whistle from Ianto brought Myfanwy swooping down to land a few metres from the chair he was sitting on. Graceful though she was in flight, she was a bit ungainly on land - the sky was her element and her body really wasn’t designed for walking. She hopped and shuffled her way clumsily towards Ianto, making a rusty, cawing sound and looking rather hopeful.
Ianto broke off a piece of chocolate, tossing it towards her and with the snap of her beak, she snatched it from the air and gulped it down. Ianto smiled and broke off another piece.
“Come on, old girl.” She hopped a bit closer and opened her beak, letting Ianto throw the next piece straight in, then tossing her head back to swallow her treat.
Tosh looked down to see Nosy watching in wide-eyed fascination as Ianto fed the pteranodon several more squares of chocolate.
Suddenly, the fluffy alien wriggled free of Tosh’s gentle hold and started slithering towards Ianto and Myfanwy.
“Nosy, come back here!” Tosh tried to grab the wriggly creature.
“It’s okay, Tosh, let’s just wait and see what happens,” Jack said, his voice quiet but tense.
The commotion drew Myfanwy’s attention and she turned, cocking her head to one side and looking down her long beak at the strange thing approaching her. She cawed at it querulously.
Nosy seemed delighted. “HUMMM!” it replied enthusiastically.
Startled, Myfanwy scrabbled backwards and almost sat down on her stubby tail before managing to right herself. She tried to spread her wings to take off, but she’d backed up so far there was no room. Supremely unconcerned, Nosy continued to slither towards her, humming happily, finally stopping just out of reach of Myfanwy’s beak.
Everyone held their breath, wondering what would happen next, as the two creatures studied each other. None of them had ever seen Myfanwy look nervous before, but she stood there, trapped and trembling, clearly wishing she could fly away from the monster in front of her. Jack and Mickey had their tranq guns aimed carefully towards her, just in case fear made her attack the possible threat.
Nosy raised its front end off the ground to get a better look at Myfanwy, humming softly in the tone that seemed to mean it had found something interesting. After a few moments, it slithered forward and poked Myfanwy experimentally. Myfanwy squawked in alarm, so Nosy poked her again, then drew back a bit to look at her. Once she realised the strange creature didn’t seem interested in eating her, Myfanwy relaxed a bit, watching it curiously. Nosy stretched up and rubbed its head against the leathery body, humming soothingly and drawing a scratchy sort of purr from Myfanwy, the sound she usually reserved for when Ianto scratched around her crest.
Slowly the team relaxed, though Jack and Mickey kept hold of their guns, just in case. Myfanwy settled to the floor, resigned, her wings half spread, as Nosy slithered over her, poking her here and there, the way it did with anything it found interesting. She looked over at Ianto with a long-suffering expression and cawed plaintively before turning her head and trying unsuccessfully to push her tormentor off.
Finally, apparently satisfied it had seen everything there was to see, Nosy slithered back onto the ground and over to Ianto. Before Ianto even knew what was happening, Nosy had grabbed the remains of the chocolate bar from his hands and slithered back to Myfanwy, placing it on the floor and pushing the sweet treat towards her with its nose. Myfanwy cawed softly and scooped up her reward, gulping it down with a clack of her beak. Nosy hummed approval and slithered over to the coffee table, retrieving the remains of its supper from underneath and settling down to eat.
With Nosy’s attention directed elsewhere, Myfanwy took the opportunity to shuffle forward and take to the air again, cawing harshly as she swooped low above them before soaring back up to her cave and taking refuge there, where strange hairy creatures couldn’t get to her.
The team breathed a collective sigh of relief; it looked like their two pets would at least co-exist peacefully, although Ianto suspected Myfanwy might be a bit wary of landing for a while. Getting thoroughly prodded and poked all over by something fluffy was probably a new experience for her!
“That went better than expected,” Jack said, unloading the tranq gun and putting it safely out of Nosy’s reach. There were murmurs of agreement from the rest of the team as they started to mill around, not sure what to do next. “Mickey, if you wouldn’t mind returning the guns to the armoury?”
Mickey nodded, picking up Jack’s gun and heading for the armoury once more.
“Right, the rest of you, go home, I’ll see you all in the morning,” Jack said firmly.
“Shouldn’t someone stay to keep an eye on… things?” Tosh asked, “Especially since Ianto’s injured.”
“I’m fine, Tosh, a sprained knee is hardly life-threatening.”
“Besides,” Jack said, “it’s Mickey’s turn for the night shift; if there’s a rift alert between now and morning, he and I can handle it and if we can’t, we’ll call you.”
“Come on, Tosh, I’ll give you a lift home,” Owen said, handing Tosh her coat.
She smiled at him, “Thank you, Owen.” Crouching down, she gave Nosy a quick hug, “Goodnight, Nosy, see you in the morning. Be a good… Nosy,” she finished lamely. “Goodnight, Ianto, Jack,” she called out as she headed towards the door with Owen and Andy.
The next few minutes were a confused babble of everyone saying goodnight to everyone else, until finally the cog door closed behind Owen, Tosh and Andy, and something like peace and quiet settled over the Hub, the only sounds the muted hum of the computers and the drip of water.
“When did we turn into The Waltons?” Ianto asked.
“What?” Jack looked confused.
“Pop culture reference, never mind, it’s not important,” Ianto replied, stifling a yawn.
Jack smiled, “I think it’s time a certain sleepy Welshman was tucked up in bed.”
“You’re not carrying me,” Ianto warned.
“Spoilsport,” Jack grumbled. He fetched an old blanket and spread it on the floor near the couch, patting it invitingly, “Come on, Nosy, bedtime.”
Nosy slithered over and obediently coiled up on the blanket, humming to itself as it picked up a corner and dragged part of the blanket over its body. Jack patted it. “Goodnight.”
As Mickey made his way to the small room near the boardroom, which had recently been equipped with a cot and a rift monitor for whoever was on night shift, Jack dimmed the lights to their night time setting and helped Ianto to his feet, the two of them making their way slowly towards Jack’s office and their bedroom beneath.
“It’s been one hell of a day, hasn’t it,” Jack murmured to his lover.
“Mmmm,” Ianto agreed sleepily, turning to kiss Jack softly. “Tomorrow should be interesting.”