Title: Cute Isn’t Always Harmless
Characters: Ianto, Jack, Gwen, Tosh, Owen, OC.
Summary: Aliens should always be treated with caution, no matter what they look like.
Word Count: 500
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
Aliens are often deceptive; Ianto supposes that has to do with them being alien. People generally judge all things by what they’re already familiar with, but if you start ascribing human values, morals, instincts, and behaviour to something from another world you’re just opening yourself to all kinds of potentially nasty surprises. Earth is not the centre of the universe, no matter what the vast majority of humans might believe. The rules, conventions, and even the laws of nature we’re used to don’t necessarily apply elsewhere.
Civilised, sentient alien species from other planets have developed their own laws and cultures through evolution and the development of their societies. While killing and eating your husband might be frowned upon by earth law, on Origel II it’s an important part of the wedding night ritual. Failure to comply generally means dissatisfaction with one’s chosen mate, and brings shame to the husband’s family. Everyone is entitled to their own customs, no matter how bizarre they might seem to us.
The same goes for animal species. There’s a basic Torchwood rule for interacting with unknown creatures that goes something along the lines of ‘Just because it’s pink, fluffy, and undeniably cute doesn’t mean it’s harmless’. Agents who ignore that sage piece of advice could literally be risking life and/or limb. That’s kind of how the team ended up in their current situation.
The creature in question is a round fuzzy puffball, with lemon yellow fur, feathery white antennae, three spindly legs, and wide, innocent brown eyes. Gwen took one look at it and fell head over heels in love, cooing over it and rushing forwards to pick up what she termed ‘the poor little thing’. Luckily for her, Jack was faster on his feet and managed to head her off before she could touch it, otherwise it would be Gwen on the ground right now, minus one hand and bleeding heavily.
Owen’s busy taking care of their injured leader; a tourniquet will stem the bleeding while Jack grows a new hand, so at least he won’t have to die this time in order to heal. Tosh is dealing with a shocked and badly shaken Gwen, who really should know by now not to take anything that falls through the Rift at face value.
As for the cute, fluffy thing, Ianto’s got it sedated and caged for transport to the Hub; Torchwood Three doesn’t go about killing aliens just for doing what comes naturally. On the bright side, feeding it shouldn’t be a problem; maybe he can give it the leftovers from Owen’s autopsies. He does rather wish it hadn’t eaten the hand it bit off though. He’s had a lot of pleasure from that hand, and it would have reattached if it could have been put back in place. Then again, Jack’s new hand will require breaking in, so that should prove enjoyable.
Stowing the cage in the SUV’s boot, Ianto returns to help with Jack. For Torchwood, this is just business as usual.