Characters: Nosy, Owen, Ianto, Jack, mentions Tosh.
Summary: Nosy has come down with a mysterious ailment.
Word Count: 754
Written For: Challenge 15: Diagnosis at beattheblackdog.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters.
Nosy lay on the floor of the autopsy bay, looking rather woebegone.
“So,” said Owen, in full doctor mode, “when did the symptoms start?”
“About an hour ago I think. It seemed fine last night,” Ianto said, frowning.
Jack nodded agreement. “And first thing this morning too, but then suddenly…”
SNISH! went Nosy, interrupting the conversation. SNISH SNISH SNISH! The force of the sneezes was such that the Fluff was actually propelled several inches backwards across the shiny tiles with each one.
“Well, like that.” Jack shrugged. “What do you think is causing it?”
Owen looked at Nosy, and Nosy looked back before its eyes squeezed shut and… SNISH! SNISH!
“Well, I suppose it could have caught a cold, although as far as I’ve been able to tell, it’s pretty much immune to human diseases so it doesn’t seem that likely. Has it been laying in a draught…?” Owen trailed off at Ianto’s withering look.
“This is the Hub, Owen, it’s always draughty here.”
SNISH! Nosy sneezed in agreement.
“Besides, with all that fluff it’s better insulated against draughts than the rest of us; even freezing temperatures don’t seem to have much of an effect on it.”
“And none of us have colds,” Jack pointed out, “so who could Nosy have caught it from? It’s not like it has contact with other people.”
“Hmmm, those are all good points,” Owen admitted. “Well, if it’s not a cold, then Nosy must be allergic to something.”
“But what?” Ianto asked as Nosy continued to sneeze. “It hasn’t left the Hub, and none of us have fed it anything different.” Ianto looked at Jack. “Right, Jack?”
“The last thing I fed it was its chocolate chip cookie at bedtime last night.”
“You’re sure about that?” Owen asked suspiciously.
“Why does everyone always suspect me when anything goes wrong?” Jack asked, sounding hurt. “Especially since more often than not it turns out to be someone else’s fault.”
That was actually true, only about forty percent of disasters could ultimately be pinned on Jack; the rest were usually mishaps from alien tech being mishandled despite Jack’s warnings. They’d all made their fair share of mistakes, although some were more prone to them than others.
SNISH! SNISH SNIIIISH!
Nosy’s sneezing brought them back to the problem at hand.
“I made coffee for us first thing this morning, gave Nosy a cup with its breakfast. The same blend we’ve been drinking for the past two weeks, so it can’t be that.”
“What did it have for breakfast?”
“Shredded wheat and fresh fruit, same as me. A healthy diet.”
“And a doughnut,” Jack added, “but they’re from the same bakery I always go to.”
“Not anything it’s eaten or drunk then, so it must be either something it’s come into contact with, or something in the air. Where has it been today? Down in the archives? The vaults maybe? I know it often follows you around when you’re working.” This last was directed at Ianto.
“Well, yes, it came with me when I fed the other residents, and up to the hothouse…”
“Hothouse!” Owen facepalmed so hard he almost knocked himself out. “The Gloriana Lily is in its fertile phase, I noticed last night before I left that the bloom was starting to open… Remember what happened to Tosh last year? Her allergies kicked into overdrive when the spores were released!”
“So Nosy has hayfever?”
“Something like that. It probably got spores in its fluff, so it can’t get away from them and they’re irritating its nose. Take it down to the showers and give it a good wash to get rid of them; that should help. I’ll mix up a shot of Fluff antihistamine. We should all stay out of the hothouse and keep the door closed for a couple of days too, just until the spores become inactive.”
“Right, we can do that,” Ianto said, a determined look on his face.
Jack nodded, relieved that a solution was at hand. “Come along, young Fluff.”
SNISH! Nosy looked heartily tired of the continuous sneezing.
Between them, Jack and Ianto pointed Nosy in the right direction, wrangled the sneezy Fluff up the steps from the autopsy bay, and guided it out of the main Hub, heading for the shower room. Owen could still hear the occasional SNISH! as they disappeared down the corridor and he smiled to himself; another successful diagnosis from earth’s leading expert in alien medicine. Some days he just loved his job!