Characters: Ianto, Jack, Owen & Team mentioned
Summary: Weevils aren’t the only things living in Cardiff’s sewers.
Word Count: 955
Written For: merryghoul’s prompt ‘Torchwood, any, that's not a Weevil in the sewer,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
A/N: I’ve been sitting on this one for years; I keep forgetting to post it at Halloween, so I’m putting it up now, despite it being completely the wrong season.
It had been a typical Torchwood Halloween so far; kids dressed as monsters and monsters dressed as themselves. As always, the Torchwood team were having the Devil’s own job trying to figure out which was which. It wouldn’t do to abduct a bunch of Trick or Treaters by mistake; they’d never hear the end of it!
Weevils were fairly safe. If it looked like a Weevil, moved like a Weevil and smelled like a Weevil (that delightful scent of Eau de Sewer and something else that was decidedly not of earth was quite distinctive), then it probably was a Weevil. Jack and Ianto had been in hot pursuit of this one for a good ten minutes and it was still managing to evade them.
Say what you will about Weevils, and Torchwood had plenty to say about them, none of it good, they could move pretty damned fast when they wanted to. Their shambling gait was deceptive, as a fair few foolhardy people had learned at the cost of a limb or two. Poking Weevils and running away was a bad idea, especially if you were drunk or high. Of course, anyone who wasn’t either drunk or high would never try it; Ianto had yet to figure out whether that made the inevitable results less or more horrifying.
This particular Weevil had tried to take a bite out of a grandmother on escort duty for a horde of sugar-hyped pre-teens, so giving up the chase was not an option. There was usually something wrong with the ones who came out of the sewers and attacked people; most Weevils were content to raid dustbins and decimate Cardiff’s rat population, but if they were sick or injured they sometimes decided people were easier, and possibly more nourishing prey. That was when Torchwood had to take a stand against them.
Most of Torchwood’s Weevil hunts were strictly for the purpose of tagging them, injecting a tiny microchip beneath their skin so that they could be tracked and monitored. It was an ongoing programme, with perhaps two thirds of Cardiff’s Weevil population tagged at this point. Unfortunately, the one they were chasing tonight had yet to be tagged. That gave Jack and Ianto two very good reasons to keep on with the chase even after the weevil ducked down a manhole into the sewers.
With a long-suffering sigh, Ianto pulled out his torch and gestured towards the ladder leading down into the deeper darkness below ground.
“Do you want to go first or shall I?”
“Age before beauty,” Jack stated as he stepped onto the first rung and headed down.
“You do realise you just implied I’m more beautiful than you, don’t you?” Ianto commented as he moved to follow.
“Hey, if you can’t accept a compliment…” Jack glanced upwards. “Besides, I like the view I get when I go down a ladder first.”
Ianto snorted. “Pervert.”
“And proud of it!” Jack replied, leering up at Ianto’s backside.
They continued down the ladder in silence, listening for any sign that their Weevil might be close by. If it was indeed injured or sick, they’d need to tranquillise it and take it to the Hub for treatment. If it was simply a particularly vicious specimen, they mighty have to kill it and drag the carcase back to the surface. Neither option was appealing; they’d had plans for Halloween, plans that definitely didn’t include spending time in the stinky sewers and lugging heavy Weevils about, but with Torchwood, work took precedence over having fun.
Reaching the bottom with a quiet splash (Ianto made a mental note to thoroughly clean their boots later), they set off along the sewer tunnel in the most likely direction, stooping slightly to keep from bumping their heads. Down here, the Weevil had the advantage; as it was shorter than they were, it could stand up straight. Also, with sewers being a Weevil’s natural habitat on earth, it didn’t care what it stepped in.
They’d only been walking for a few minutes before they became aware of a strange sound, a deep booming noise that vibrated along the floor of the tunnel to the extent that they could feel it through the soles of their feet.
“Okay, now that doesn’t sound like a Weevil.” Jack looked wary. “What else could be living down here?”
“Uh, giant rats? Bats? Mutant Ninja Turtles?”
“Better check it out anyway, just to be sure.”
Torches aimed low, they continued on, squinting into the dimness. At the next junction, they turned left, heading in the direction of the weird, rhythmic booming. It was louder now and they knew they must be getting closer. Sidling cautiously around one more bend, Jack suddenly stopped dead.
“What is it?” Ianto peered past him.
A massive mouth gaped before them, lined with what seemed like hundreds of wickedly sharp looking teeth, glinting in the light from their torches.
“That’s definitely not a Weevil!”
Turning tail, they fled as fast as they could in the other direction, making it back to the ladder they’d descended earlier in less than half the time they’d taken going in. They didn’t stop until they’d reached the surface and closed the manhole firmly behind them.
Leaning against each other, trying to catch their breath, Ianto shook his head.
“I’m not going down there again without a bloody big gun. Or grenades. That Weevil’s on its own.”
Jack nodded, panting. “Agreed.”
“Bloody hell, I thought alligators in the sewers was an urban myth! I can’t wait to see the look on Owen’s face when we tell him!”
“Tomorrow,” Jack said. “We’ll tell him tomorrow. Right now, I think I just want to go home.”