Characters: Ianto, Kathy Swanson, mentions Jack and Team Torchwood
Summary: The world is ending, again; Torchwood might need a little help with this one!
Word Count: 1147
Written For: My own prompt ‘Torchwood, Team or Any, Time is against them,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
Time is against them, isn’t that always the way with Torchwood? The world is ending and it’s up to them to prevent it from happening. An awful lot of people are depending on them, so, no pressure. All they have to do is stop an invasion and they’ve done that once or twice before. How hard can it be?
Pretty damn hard, actually, the odds aren’t exactly in their favour. What chance does a team of five have against an invasion force numbering in the hundreds? They can’t exactly ask members of the public to lend a hand. Or can they? Okay, maybe not the public, a bunch of businessmen, shopkeepers, schoolchildren, parents, and OAPs would most likely be more of a hindrance than a help, but there’s once bunch who might be willing to offer assistance. And no, Jack doesn’t mean UNIT; they’re too far away to have any chance of arriving before the battle’s already over.
Time to call in a favour from Cardiff’s finest.
“Detective Swanson? Ianto Jones.” Jack and Kathy are getting along better these days, but Jack’s busy figuring out tactics and anyway, Ianto is better at being diplomatic.
“What can I do for you, Mr. Jones?” Kathy likes Torchwood’s young General Support Officer, and he makes amazing coffee.
“We have a situation and we could really use the help of the Cardiff Constabulary.” Ianto’s voice is steady, but there’s an underlying tension that can’t be missed, not even over the phone. “It’s bad, Kathy.” He almost never uses her first name.
“How bad are we talking?” Kathy’s all business now.
“About as bad as it can get. Full scale invasion of armed forces, numbering several hundred at least.”
“Yes. We know quite a lot about them from our files, so we have enough information that Jack believes, with sufficient manpower, we stand a good chance of defeating them or if not, at least holding them at bay until reinforcements arrive. UNIT are on their way, but they won’t get here before the first wave. However, we have two things in our favour.”
“One: the invaders are smaller than we are, approximately a metre tall. Their bodies have natural inbuilt armour plating so they don’t need to wear any kind of protection. That plays right into our hands. Two: Because of their body chemistry, certain things are anathema to them and will kill or severely disable them on contact. Make no mistake; this is a violent, warlike race whose only interest is in enslaving populations and taking their resources. They can’t be reasoned with and they absolutely do not negotiate, they consider all other races inferior to their own and they will kill indiscriminately.”
“So what do we use against them?”
“I need you to understand that I am completely serious, this isn’t a joke though it might well sound like one.”
“We fight them with tannins, specifically the kind found in tea.”
There’s a disbelieving half laugh from the other end of the phone. “Seriously? We use tea as a weapon?”
“Yes. I know, it sounds laughable, but everything we know about the species points to tea being the most effective agent to use against them. Citrus juice should also work, but tea is the main one. It’ll work just as well cold as it would hot, so I’d recommend using it cold to prevent our forces sustaining burns.”
“Spray it, splash it, throw balloons filled with cold tea at them, use water pistols, anything goes.”
“How long do we have?”
“Jack estimates approximately forty three minutes before they land in Bute Park, and the first thing they’ll do is demand our immediate surrender. They’re not going to get it.”
“I’ll gather my people and set up a tea supply line. There are some mobile tea wagons used at big events so I’ll get them involved, manned by police personnel. Meet you at the park in half an hour.”
“We’ll be there.”
The attempted invasion starts in the park, the ship landing in a clear area and the army it’s carrying quickly spreading out. Soon small battles are being fought over a wide area. Dividing their forces doesn’t help the would-be invaders, it simply makes things easier for the defenders to pick them off by ones and twos and small groups. As soon at the tea touches the aliens, their skin starts to bubble and foam, even small amounts cause angry, open sores to open and a good dousing practically dissolves them where they stand. At least there won’t be much in the way of remains to clear up; a few squirts of tea or lemon juice should effectively take care of any leftovers.
Only a handful of the aliens make it back to their ship, badly injured and fleeing for their lives; Ianto doubts they’ll be back.
Several of the brave defenders, including all of the Torchwood team, sustain injuries, some serious but nothing life threatening; the only fatality is Jack, who selflessly threw himself in front of an enemy laser as it was fired, saving the lives of two of the uniformed police officers. The laser took both his legs off and Ianto is only able to spare enough time to line everything up correctly so that Jack won’t heal funny before throwing himself back into the fray with his trusty backpack and sprayer.
The whole battle is over in less than ninety minutes, the alien ship taking off in such a panic it almost hits one of Cardiff’s tallest buildings. UNIT arrives just in time to watch it leave, but at least the soldiers stay to assist the injured, leaving Ianto and his colleagues free to make sure there are no stray bits of alien left lying around and that none of their weapons fall into the wrong hands, which includes UNIT’s.
In the aftermath of the battle, a dishevelled and damp, tea-stained Kathy Swanson approaches an equally battered-looking Ianto Jones and leans on the railing beside him.
He turns to smile at her. “Thank you for your assistance, Kathy; we couldn’t have done it without you.”
“You’re welcome. How’s Jack?”
“Mostly healed, he should revive shortly. He’ll no doubt be put out that he missed witnessing the final rout.”
“It was quite a battle. We were lucky to come through it more or less in one piece. I guess it’s true what they say.”
“What’s that?” Ianto asks, raising a questioning eyebrow.
“Tea really can make anything better.”
Ianto quirks a smile. “I like a good cuppa myself occasionally, but I’m more of a coffee man.” He raises the flask he’s holding in one hand. “Care for a cup?”
“Don’t mind if I do.”
Side by side they stand, sipping amazing coffee and watching the sun slowly sink in the West. The world isn’t going to be ending today after all.