Characters: Ianto, Jack, OC.
Summary: Ianto gets an unexpected surprise when he gets up one morning.
Word Count: 1084
Written For: My own prompt ‘Any, Any, "Why is there a squid in my bath?",’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
The morning after one of Jack’s unannounced late night visits, Ianto was getting ready for work when he came across something odd. He backed out of his bathroom and reached for his phone, hitting speed dial one.
“Good morning, sunshine!” Jack’s voice came cheerfully to his ear.
“Is everything alright?”
“Well, I’m not entirely sure. This may be a silly question, but… why is there a squid in my bathtub?”
“Darn, I’ve had this nagging feeling that I’d forgotten something ever since I left your place!” Jack had left in a rush a little after five in the morning due to a Rift alert. Ianto knew because he’d been woken by Jack’s attempts at getting dressed quietly in the dark, which involved a lot of muttering and swearing when he inevitably stubbed his toes on something.
“Okay, next question: Why did you put a squid in my bathtub?”
“I had to put him somewhere, he was getting dried out and that’s very bad for their skin.”
“Of course it is,” Ianto sighed, trying to remain patient. “Do you typically bring squid with you when visiting people? Because that’s the sort of thing I should probably know about.”
Jack laughed. “I found him when I was on my way over to your place last night. He was in the middle of the road, in danger of being run over, so I shoved him in a containment box and took him with me. Your apartment was closer than the Hub. Since you were already in bed, I figured you wouldn’t mind if I popped him in your bath with some water; I intended to bring him to the Hub with me in the morning, but I forgot. Should I come and fetch him now or will you bring him?”
“I’ll do it, but I’m not showering with him, he’ll have to go in the bathroom sink for a bit.”
“I put the containment unit in your hall closet. Thought you’d be annoyed if I just left it lying around for you to trip over.”
“That was… very thoughtful, I suppose.” Sometimes Ianto was sure he’d never really understand the way Jack’s mind worked. He’d carefully put a box out of the way in the cupboard, but leave a squid splashing about in the bath. He was quite sure other people’s lives weren’t like this. They didn’t know what they were missing.
“See you in a bit then?”
“Yes, after I’ve re-located the squid so I can shower.”
“That’s what I called him. His real name’s unpronounceable to humans.”
“He’s an alien squid? Oh boy.” ‘Great,’ Ianto thought gloomily. ‘I just paraded naked in front of an intelligent alien squid. Now we’re probably both mentally scarred for life.’
“Of course he’s an alien! What, did you think earth squid made a habit of wandering through Cardiff streets late at night?”
“I thought a heron or a seagull could’ve dropped it.” Ianto shook his head; this conversation was getting out of hand. “Goodbye, Jack.” Ianto didn’t give his lover a chance to say anything else, just hung up and pulled on his bathrobe before fetching the containment unit and going back into the bathroom.
“Hello,” he said to the squid.
“Greetings!” It waved a tentacle at him.
“Sorry about earlier, I didn’t know I had company.”
“Quite alright, old chap,” the squid burbled.
“Leonard, is it? I’m Ianto. Look, I have to get ready for work, and that means I need to use my shower, so I’m afraid I’ll have to put you in this again.” He held up the containment unit. “You need to go in it anyway so I can take you to Torchwood with me and see what we can do about sending you home.”
“Of course, I understand.”
“I wish I did,” Ianto muttered. “Every time I think my life has got as weird as it can, I find an even weirder level. Torchwood has a lot to answer for.” He lowered the containment unit into the bath, letting it fill with water, and Leonard slid in. Ianto drained the bath, dried the outside of the containment unit, and carried it to his front door so at least he wouldn’t forget to take it with him. “Will you be alright here?”
“Splendid! You have a very interesting habitat.”
“Thank you, I like it. I won’t be long.”
“No rush.” Leonard waved a cheery tentacle. Ianto returned to the bathroom and shut the door, leaning his back against it for a moment. What a bizarre start to the day!
After thoroughly cleaning the bath, Ianto showered and shaved, then dressed in the suit he’d set out the night before, deciding that breakfast and coffee would have to wait until he got to work.
Slipping into his coat, he scooped up his keys from the dish on the hall table, picked up the heavy, water and squid filled containment unit, and went down to his car, hoping none of his neighbours saw him. How would he explain the fact that he was carrying a squid in what amounted to a tank of water? They’d think he’d lost the plot, probably phone the men in white coats.
After he’d stowed Leonard in the foot well on the passenger side of his Audi, Ianto climbed into the driver’s seat and started the engine. The drive to the Hub was slow and stately, to avoid spilling water everywhere, but eventually he pulled into the garage to find Jack waiting for him. Or maybe for Leonard, Ianto wasn’t entirely sure.
Jack pulled Ianto into a kiss the moment he stepped from his car. “Sorry about that, I really didn’t mean to leave him behind, but the Rift alert going off sort of distracted me.”
“Doesn’t matter; an alien squid in my bathtub is hardly the weirdest thing I’ve ever had to deal with.” Sad, but oh so true.
“Well, I managed to get in touch with the Doctor and he’ll be dropping by in a few days to give Leonard a lift home. In the meantime, he can stay in one of the baths in the decontamination room on sublevel three; we don’t need those very often and the water in there is cleaner than the Rift pool. Why don’t I give you a hand taking him down there, and then I’ll make things up to you by buying you breakfast?”
Ianto smiled ruefully. If only all of Torchwood’s problems were so easy to deal with!