Characters: Jack, Ianto, Owen, Gwen, Tosh
Summary: Working for Torchwood is better than any exercise routine for keeping in shape.
Word Count: 1705
Written For: My own prompt ‘Torchwood, any, Torchwood agents don't need a fitness regime; exercise is part of the job,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
At Torchwood Tower, everything had been well ordered, efficient, and surprisingly ordinary for an organisation that routinely dealt with aliens and alien technology. The staff had worked regular hours in their own divisions: scientists and lab techs spent their time in their well-equipped labs, archivists seldom left the archives, field teams were out and about most of the time and rarely seen by the lower ranks of workers, while the office staff spent their working days at their desks.
Ianto had quickly discovered that working for Torchwood Three was very different, but as time had passed he’d adjusted well and learned to relish the variety in his working day. Back at Torchwood One, they’d all been encouraged to make use of the staff gym; Hartman didn’t want her desk-bound employees getting fat and lazy. At Torchwood Three, the very idea of going to a gym in order to keep fit just seemed ludicrous. No one had either the time or the energy to spend working out after a long day. Not that they needed to anyway, their job was all the exercise any of them needed.
Take the last week for instance.
Monday had started out quiet, so they’d spent the morning catching up on paperwork, until a rogue Weevil was spotted just before lunchtime, causing havoc at the fish market. The entire team had spent the next two hours chasing it through the maze of alleys around the docks before it escaped back into the sewers. They were all panting and sweaty by then, so they trekked back to the SUV and returned to the Hub for a shower and a late lunch. With paperwork finished by mid-afternoon, they’d played basketball for a while before clocking off early. Which turned out to be a good thing.
Sometime during the afternoon, the rain had started and by the early hours of Tuesday morning, when an alert had come in, the storm was at its height. Piling into the SUV, their surroundings lit occasionally by dazzling flashes of lightning, they’d headed out through the torrential downpour into the countryside beyond Cardiff’s city limits, where they’d had to traipse through almost knee-deep mud to assist a small scout-ship downed in the storm and stuck in the mud. The people on board were alien scientists studying earth fauna, in particular sheep. In the poor visibility, they’d flown too low trying to get readings on the objects of their scientific study, and a sudden gust of wind had knocked their little craft to the ground where it had got wedged in a muddy ditch.
Getting the ship out of the mud and back into the air had been backbreaking work; it had taken the rest of the night and most of the next day. By the time they’d all finally been dropped off at their respective homes, exhausted and covered in mud, the storm was blowing itself out and as it had been after five in the afternoon, Jack had told the team not to come in until after lunch on Wednesday. Unsurprisingly, no one had argued.
Coming in late on Wednesday, they found they had another problem. Myfanwy had been out in the storm the night before; she loved to fly in windy weather, but this time a storm watcher had caught her on camera and posted the footage online. The images weren’t terribly clear, all that could really be seen was something large and birdlike flying through the sky over the bay, but they still had to track the guy down and retcon him, then delete the video. It was an easy enough afternoon’s work, until the errant Weevil showed up again and led them on a merry chase that resulted in three of the team taking an unplanned swim in the bay. Ianto and Tosh had their work cut out pulling their teammates ashore again, especially Jack, who was weighted down by his coat. Worst of all, the Weevil got away. Again.
On Thursday, the world almost ended. Really, there’s nothing quite like an imminent, catastrophic explosion that will take out half the planet to get the blood pumping; the adrenalin rush can be quite heady. It took all the team’s ingenuity, and the loan of the scout-ship they’d rescued earlier, to make sure that the out of control nuclear-powered spaceship on collision course with the earth missed. By some miracle, no one saw it, thanks to an almost simultaneous solar flare that captured the attention of every telescope in the Northern Hemisphere. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief. That had been a close one!
Friday was quiet by comparison. The Rift scattered highly magnetised cutlery across a remote beach a few miles up the coast. Because of the magnetism, the team couldn’t use their scanners to find the items, many of which had buried themselves in the sand. As an added complication, they soon found that spoons attracted knives but repelled forks, the forks repelled both spoons and knives, and Ianto, for some unknown reason, attracted forks. The different utensils had to be transported in two different vehicles to avoid accidents with flying knives and forks. Detaching over forty forks from Ianto kept them busy for quite a while, since each one had to be forcibly separated from him and taken at least five metres away to prevent them flying back to him again.
Back at the Hub, everything had to be demagnetised. Including Ianto.
The weekend weather forecast was for sunshine and blue skies, so no one was really surprised to find it was raining when they left their homes on Saturday morning. The fact that it was raining pink jelly on Queen Street was a little more unusual, and Torchwood required the assistance of the Cardiff police to cordon off the area while the team shovelled jelly into buckets and transported it to the Hub for analysis and disposal. Along the way, they located a small device that turned out to be responsible, though none of them could come up with any logical reason why someone would create a device for turning rain pink and lumpy. It didn’t seem terribly practical.
It came as no surprise either when the elusive Weevil made its third appearance of the week at the fish market early on Sunday morning, but this time the team were better prepared and were able to drive it into a trap, having strung nets across its escape route in advance. Subdued and sedated, it was lugged back to the SUV and taken to the Hub, where it was hauled to a cell and left to recover.
There was just enough time to shower before the rift alarms went off and the whole team had to head out again, this time to Bute Park to prevent an invasion attempt by scuttling, crab-like aliens with bad attitudes and quite primitive weapons resembling slingshots. The missiles they threw were far from primitive though, small explosive devices that left craters in the carefully mown lawns, and spiked balls that kept everyone dodging for cover behind trees. The nets they’d used to catch the weevil were still in the SUV and proved very useful to tangle the aliens in, making it nearly impossible for them to use their weapons.
Once the demoralised would-be invaders had been despatched back to where they came from, with the promise that if they tried again they’d be met with lethal force, all anyone wanted to do was go back to the Hub and collapse. Unfortunately for them, there was still cleanup to do. The spiked balls had to be pulled out of tree trunks, the craters in the grass had to be filled in and levelled, bystanders had to be retconned and seen safely home… It ended up being a very long afternoon.
Ianto stretched, easing the kinks out of his back. He’d just finished laying new tuft over the last bare patch of earth left by the filled in blast craters. It would take a while for the new grass to settle and take root, so Gwen and Owen were busily putting up tape around the area, along with signs declaring ‘New turf, please keep off’.
Tosh, who had been wounded by one of the spiked balls, had gone home as soon as she’d finished the job of deleting photos and video from the bystanders’ confiscated phones and cameras, The devices had been returned to their retconned owners before the police ferried them home.
Beside Ianto, Jack straightened up and dusted the soil from his hands and trouser legs. “Another successfully completed mission; we’ve saved the world again. How many times is it this week?”
“Just the two,” Ianto replied with a tired smile. “Everything else this week was minor stuff.” He chuckled softly.
“Oh, I was just thinking. It’s ironic; I used to use Torchwood One’s gym in London three times a week, trying to keep in shape, but now that I don’t go to the gym at all, I’m fitter than I’ve ever been.”
“Maybe we should patent the Torchwood Keep Fit routine,” Jack grinned. “I could make a DVD, Keep Fit the Torchwood Way!”
“Chasing Weevils, slogging through mud, fighting aliens… Somehow I can’t see it catching on.”
”Yeah, I guess you’re right. Pity though, it might’ve been fun.”
“You just want an excuse to dress in skimpy shorts and t-shirt and show off for the camera.”
”You know me so well.”
“Come on, let’s get home and clean up. We can order takeaway. I may be fit but I’m dead on my feet; all I want is a shower, food, and bed.”
Jack waggled his eyebrows. “Sounds good to me!”
“How d’you even have any energy left?”
“I pace myself.”
“Humph. Well you’re out of luck, all I’m doing tonight is sleeping.”
“How about tomorrow morning?”
With Owen and Gwen already occupying the back seats of the SUV, Jack and Ianto piled into the front with Jack driving. Ianto fastened his seat belt and closed his eyes. It had been one hell of a week, and tomorrow it would start all over again. With a quiet sigh, he crossed his fingers and prayed he’d at least get to sleep until morning.