Characters: Ianto, Jack, Gwen, Tosh, Owen.
Summary: Is it a good idea to press inviting buttons or not?
Word Count: 1241
Content Notes: Much silliness ensues. Also mild Gwen-bashing.
Written For: Challenge 24: Press at beattheblackdog.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters.
One beautiful early summer day, the Rift alert suddenly went off, breaking the silence of the Hub. As it was a slow week, the whole team decided to join in on the search and retrieval; anything that broke up the monotony of paperwork was welcome.
Tosh had pinpointed the location as being close to Cardiff Castle, which was no doubt thronging with tourists because of the sunny weather. That meant speed was of the essence; it wouldn’t do for someone to think whatever it was that had come through would make a cool souvenir. They might never track it down then.
The search itself took them less than half an hour, and it was Owen who tracked down what they were looking for. After he contacted them over their headsets, the rest of the team converged on his search area, eager to see what he’d found. He beckoned them over, pointing to something that rested half-hidden underneath an overhanging shrub. Clustering around him, they bent down to get a better look.
By now, they were all used to the strange objects that came through the Rift from time to time, but this one was more unfathomable than most. A simple rectangular object a bit larger than a standard house brick, it was vaguely metallic, matt black, and completely featureless, except for one thing. Right in the middle of its uppermost side was a large square white button, labelled in big red letters ‘Press Here’.
“Know what it is?” Owen asked, looking first at Jack, then at Ianto.
Both of them shook their heads.
“Never seen anything quite like that,” Ianto admitted.
“So, should we?”
“Should we what?” Jack frowned at Owen’s odd question.
“Press the button. I want to see what happens.”
“It could be just about anything from a toy to a bomb. Do you really want to take that kind of chance?”
“Ah, on second thoughts, I think I’ve changed my mind. I like all my parts attached.” Owen took a step back. “Tosh, why don’t you scan it first, love? At least that way we’ll know if it’s likely to blow up or do something equally nasty.” Owen smiled across at his fiancée.
“Good idea.” Tosh dug in her shoulder bag for her scanner, pulling it out and moving towards the bush.
Gwen obviously hadn’t been paying attention to the conversation going on above her head. “I wonder what it does,” she said, reaching out with one finger.
“No! Gwen, don’t!” Tosh yelped, but it was too late. Gwen had already pressed the button.
Nothing seemed to happen, and everyone breathed a sigh of relief.
“Probably not a bomb then,” Owen muttered. “That’s good.”
Jack pulled Gwen back as Tosh set to work with her scanner. “Gwen, how many times do I have to tell you not to push buttons on unidentified objects?” he ground out in an exasperated voice.
“But it said ‘Press Here’!”
“That doesn’t mean you have to do it! You could have blown us all to kingdom come!”
Gwen turned towards Jack. “Nothing happened!” she snapped, glaring at her boss. The effect was slightly spoiled by the large orange carrot where her nose should be.
Jack took one look at her and doubled up with laughter.
Curious about what was so funny, Ianto glanced across from where he was studying the data on Tosh’s scanner, and burst out laughing himself.
“What’re you two laughing at?” Gwen scowled at her boss and colleague, hands on her hips.
“Yeah, care to share the joke?” Owen left Tosh’s side and ambled over, caught sight of Gwen’s ‘nose’ and joined in with the hilarity, wiping tears from his eyes. “Quite the snozz you’ve got there, Gwen! Better not get too close to Rhys when he’s cookin’ dinner!”
“Has everyone but me gone mad?” Gwen asked, beginning to sound worried as well as cross.
“What’s the matter?” Tosh had finished her scans and come over to join her friends. The moment she caught sight of Gwen’s face, her eyes went wide and she quickly put her hand over her mouth, trying to muffle her giggle. “Oh dear!”
“Will someone please tell me what’s going on?” Now thoroughly bewildered, Gwen looked from one of her colleagues to another, hoping to get an explanation for their odd behaviour.
“You really shouldn’t have pressed that button,” Owen sniggered.
“But why?” Gwen’s words came out as a wail.
Taking pity on her, Tosh pulled out a small mirror and let Gwen take a look at herself.
“Oh my God! My nose! What’s happened to my nose?”
That set Jack off into gales of laughter again, but he finally managed to pull himself together enough to answer. “Don’t worry, Gwen, I know what that thing is now. It’s sort of a practical joke, or an icebreaker for parties. It’s temporary, the effects will wear off in a bit and your nose will go back to normal.”
“You’re sure?” Gwen’s voice was a bit muffled since she was now covering her carrot nose with both hands.
“Positive.” Jack stooped beneath the bush and picked up the device in one hand. “Maybe this will make you feel better.” So saying, he pressed the button. “How do I look?”
Ianto studied the pink antennae that had just sprouted from the top of Jack’s head, reaching up to tap one and making it wobble. “Absolutely adorable,” he grinned. “Hot pink is definitely your colour. My turn.” Taking the box from Jack, he pressed the button. “What did I get?”
Jack smirked at Ianto’s antlers. “Looks like someone is feeling horny!”
Taking Tosh’s mirror, Ianto studied his reflection, feeling around the base of his horns. “Amazing, they feel like they’re part of my head! Tosh?” He offered her the box.
Accepting it, Tosh grinned at her friends and pressed the button.
Owen roared with laughter. “You’ve got kitty ears! How cute is that? Wonder if I could make you purr?”
Tosh blushed scarlet as Owen scratched her behind an ear. “Stop it! That tickles,” she giggled, ducking away and thrusting the box at him. “Your turn now.”
“We’ve all done it, so you don’t get to weasel out!”
“Fine.” Plucking the device from Tosh’s hands, Owen pressed down firmly on the button, and nearly went cross-eyed trying to focus on what was sprouting from the middle of his face.
Staring at Owen, Gwen was suddenly grateful she’d only been blessed with a carrot. His elephant’s trunk looked awfully unwieldy.
Owen clearly didn’t agree. “This is way cool!” he grinned, waving the trunk experimentally.
“Just be thankful you don’t have a cold,” Ianto chuckled.
“Oh God yes!” Tosh grinned. “Can you imagine sneezing through that?”
“Fun’s over, kids. We should probably get this thing back to the Hub.” Jack took charge again, taking the box off Owen.
Together they trooped down the hill, heading back to where they’d left the SUV. They drew some odd looks from the people they passed and Ianto nudged Jack with his elbow.
“We probably should have waited to play with that thing until we got back to the Hub.”
“Probably,” Jack agreed.
Tosh shrugged. “It’s fine. I’ll just put out a cover story about actors in make-up shooting scenes for a commercial or something.”
“A commercial for what?” Ianto cocked an eyebrow at her.
“A new cold remedy?” she suggested with a grin.
Laughing together, they continued on their way.