Characters: Ianto, Jack, Myfanwy, Team.
Summary: Battling aliens can lead to some rather unusual side effects, but whether they’re welcome or not depends on perspective.
Word Count: 771
Written For: m_findlow’s prompt ‘Any, any, scrubbing isn't working,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC
Ianto puffed and panted, putting as much effort into his endeavours as he could, but as far as he could tell, it wasn’t making the slightest bit of difference. He was stripped to his underwear, an apron around him for what little protection it provided, wielding the brush clenched in his rubber-gloved hand with the skill of long practice.
Drawing back, he wiped sweat from his forehead with his bare forearm, straightening his back and stretching to ease out the kinks. “It’s no good, Jack; scrubbing isn’t working.”
Across from him, Jack, similarly attired, straightened up too. He looked as dishevelled and breathless as Ianto was. “It has to, Ianto! Scrub harder!”
“If I scrub any harder, I’ll draw blood! She’s tough, but not that tough!”
Between them, Myfanwy shifted, nudging first one of them and then the other, urging them to get on with it. Jack and Ianto might not have been enjoying themselves, but Myf certainly was. She always relished being pampered and a nice bath with plenty of scrubbing was just the ticket. She raised a wing so Ianto could reach underneath, purring in anticipation of the lovely scratchy feeling to come.
“Oh God, it’s even under her wings!” Ianto set to with the brush once more, but even industrial strength cleanser wasn’t working. It was getting rid of dead skin cells, making Myf smell much nicer than she usually did, and leaving her tough, leathery hide smooth and supple, but she was still a vivid, eye-watering shade of shocking pink, and as if that weren’t bad enough, she was luminous, glowing in the dark like an eerie pink ghost. It wasn’t fair; she didn’t deserve this indignity, especially not after saving the team’s lives!
They’d been up against an alien of a previously unknown species. The thing had been immense, easily fifteen feet tall, and definitely hostile. The greenish grey body stood upright on two legs thick as tree trunks, with knees that bent backwards. Its torso was armour-plated, and so hard that bullets simply bounced off it, while the four long, muscular arms each ended in hands like boulders, the stubby fingers tipped with razor sharp claws that could rip straight through solid rock like a knife through butter. Right at the top, what passed for a head was a small, knobbly, pinkish lump that throbbed rhythmically, one wide yellow eye peering balefully out of the middle. As Owen had said at the time, it was one ugly sonofabitch!
It had looked like Team Torchwood were doomed; they’d been pinned down on the deserted beach with unscalable cliffs at their backs, and nothing they’d tried had put so much as a dent in the thing. They’d tried aiming at its head, but the monster had used the ring of short tentacles around its neck area to bat the bullets away as if they were nothing more than mildly annoying midges.
Just as if had looked like it would be game over for Torchwood, Myfanwy had seemed to appear out of nowhere, swooping down from the sky with an ear-splitting screech and stabbing her sharp beak into the back of the alien’s head, at which point the pink blob had exploded, rather messily, all over her. What was left of the creature had dropped like a stone, its small head deflated.
Job done, Myf had simply circled them once, as if to check they were alright, and then flown away, back to the Hub. The team had followed as soon as they’d cleaned up the monster’s remains, along with the splatters of glowing sand caused by whatever had been inside its head, and when they’d arrived at the Hub, it had been to the unforgettable sight of a luminous pink Pterandon lazily circling the water tower on outstretched pink wings.
Sighing heavily, Ianto went back to work, giving Myf the scrubbing she wanted, even though it did nothing to make her any less pink. On the other side of her, Jack kept working with grim determination, scrubbing away vigorously, a stubborn look on his face, despite the fact that he wasn’t getting any better results than Ianto was.
“Sorry, old girl,” Ianto told Myfanwy with a wry smile. “Looks like for the foreseeable future you’re going to get mistaken for a UFO every time you go out. Covering up the sightings isn’t going to be fun. We’ll just have to hope this stuff will eventually wear off.”
Myf merely purred again and arched her neck, checking out her reflection in the Rift pool. She didn’t care if she stayed like this forever; she’d never looked so pretty!