Title: Taking Responsibility
Characters: Ianto, Jack, Owen, Tosh, Gwen.
Summary: The team have managed to get the SUV filthy and Ianto is not at all happy.
Word Count: 1046
Written For: My own prompt, ‘Torchwood, Ianto, The whole team got the SUV dirty, so why is he always the one who has to clean it?’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
Ianto stared at the SUV in horror. The rest of the team had been on a retrieval that had taken them out into the countryside beyond Cardiff while he’d stayed home to mind the store, and apparently they’d decided to do some off-road driving while they were there.
April had been wet, as it generally was, making everywhere muddy, which no doubt accounted for the state Torchwood’s official vehicle was now in. What Ianto didn’t get was how exactly it had become his responsibility to clean up all the messes the others caused.
As they’d pulled into the garage, Ianto had been waiting for them in order to take charge of the object they’d found. They’d piled out of the car and trooped through the garage towards the doorway leading to the Hub, with Jack calling out over his shoulder that they were going to shower.
“Coffee would be appreciated once you’ve taken what we found down to the archives, Ianto. Oh, and you’d best get the SUV washed down before the mud dries on. Won’t take you so long that way.”
Jack’s words snapped Ianto out of his stupor.
“Hold it right there!” he bellowed at the top of his voice. “One more step and all you lot will be getting for the next year is cheap instant decaf!”
Everyone stopped in their tracks, wincing, and turned to face him.
“Ianto? What’s wrong?” Jack tried for innocent puzzlement, but failed completely.
“You want to know what’s wrong?” Ianto pointed towards the filthy SUV. “That is what’s wrong. How the hell did you manage to get it into that state? Even the roof is muddy!”
“Ah, well, we ran into a little trouble and got stuck; the wheels were spinning a bit until we could get traction, and they kicked up a bit of mud. It wasn’t intentional, just one of those things. You know what spring in Wales is like, all the rain…” Jack trailed off awkwardly.
Ianto just folded his arms over his chest and continued to stare at them. “And who was driving when this little incident happened?”
The rest of the team turned to look at Owen, who shrugged.
“I was. What of it?”
“So, ultimately you’re the one responsible for the mess?”
“No way! I was only driving it out of the field. Jack’s the one drove it in there!”
“And Gwen was the one who reversed it over to where we found the object so we could load it easily,” Jack put in. “That’s how we got stuck.” When Ianto raised an eyebrow in question, he hastened to add, “It’s heavy! We couldn’t carry it halfway across a muddy field, it made more sense to move the SUV over to it!”
“Out of curiosity, if this object, as you call it, is so heavy that the four of you couldn’t manage to carry it between you, how were you expecting me to carry it down to the archives by myself?”
“Oh.” Jack frowned. “I hadn’t thought about that.”
Ianto rolled his eyes. “Typical. Just leave it to Ianto; he can do it while we swan off for a nice shower. You lot never think, or do you just take me for granted on purpose? I’m tired of being treated like the general dogsbody around here. I’m expected to do my share of the fieldwork, handle all the archiving and filing, take care of the inmates, and as if that’s not enough, you expect me to clean up all the messes you make. Well, not this time! My job title is General Support Officer, not janitor. You lot got the SUV all muddy, so you can clean it, and you might as well do it now while the mud’s still wet, because if you wait until after you shower it’ll be dried on. Besides, you’ll only get dirty again while you’re washing it.”
Jack sagged. “You’re right, I’m sorry. It’s just that you always do everything without a word of complaint, so I guess we have been taking you for granted.” He shrugged out of his muddy coat and hung it on a hook. “Well, come on guys. Sooner we get this mess cleaned up, the sooner we can shower.”
With a lot of grumbling from Owen, the four of them moved to get the cleaning supplies.
“Not you, Tosh,” Ianto called. “You didn’t do any of the driving, so it’s not your responsibility.”
“Oh, but I got as muddy as everyone else…”
“And I can see from here that you covered your seat before getting in to keep the upholstery clean,” he turned to the others, “which is more than can be said for the rest of you. I expect the car thoroughly cleaned inside and out before you shower. With three of you working on it, you should have it washed and waxed inside an hour, and if you do a good enough job, I might even make you coffee afterwards. Oh, and while you’re at it, you might want to get what you found out of the boot. You can put it on the trolley over there, I’ll see to it in a bit.” With that, Ianto turned on his heel and strolled out of the garage.
Tosh looked at her friends, gave an apologetic smile and a shrug, and scurried after Ianto before they could say anything.
“That’s us told,” Gwen sighed, picking up a sponge as Jack grabbed the pressure hose, aimed it at the side of the SUV, and turned it on.
“We should’ve just run it through the car wash on the way back,” Owen grumbled, taking off his jacket and rolling his shirtsleeves up.
“You couldn’t have thought of that before?” Gwen scowled.
“Both of you shut up and get cleaning,” Jack told them.
“I don’t get paid enough for this,” said Owen as he started rubbing at the muddy smears.
“Would you rather drink instant decaf for the rest of your life?” Jack asked.
Shuddering, Owen shook his head and rubbed harder.
Up in Jack’s office, watching on the CCTV, Ianto smiled; it was nice seeing someone else doing the dirty work for a change, he should’ve put his foot down long ago. Maybe next time the others would be more careful.