Characters: Tosh, Ianto, Owen, Jack.
Summary: There’s a most appalling stench in the Hub… Where’s it coming from?
Word Count: 596
Written For: juliet316’s prompt ‘Author's choice, author's choice, what is that ungodly smell?!,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
Coming into the Hub later than usual after taking time off for a dentist’s appointment, Tosh sniffed the air and recoiled.
“Oh my God! What is that ungodly smell?!” she exclaimed.
“It's Owen's new aftershave,” Ianto informed her, smirking slightly. “Eau de exploding alien corpse. You should have been here earlier; you missed all the excitement.”
“Lucky me!” Tosh said feelingly. “So what happened?”
“You know what Owen’s like, he will insist on prodding things. It was only a matter of time before one of his autopsy subjects blew up in his face. Literally. I told him it wasn’t a good idea, but I think he liked the way it wobbled like a jelly when he poked it, so he just kept doing it until…” Ianto threw his arms up in the air to indicate the explosion. “Bits of alien went everywhere, though Owen caught most of it. He’s had three showers already, but the smell seems to have soaked into his skin and hair; no matter what he tries he can’t shift it. I hope he wasn’t planning on going out tonight, because if he goes into a bar, everyone else will leave.”
Tosh giggled; she couldn’t help herself. The thought of Owen covered from head to foot in exploded alien… It had to be karma. “I wish I’d seen it.”
“I took the liberty of saving the CCTV footage to your computer so you can watch it at your leisure. Can I get you a coffee to go with that?” Ianto asked solemnly, eyes sparkling with humour as he winked at her.
“Ooh, yes please, Ianto. Coffee and a comedy movie sounds like just the thing.”
“Exactly what I thought.” Ianto went to fetch Tosh’s drink as she made her way to her workstation. Owen was conspicuous by his absence.
“Where is Owen anyway?” Tosh asked when Ianto brought her coffee.
“He’s been relegated to the autopsy bay,” Ianto explained. “Unfortunately we can still smell him, but there’s nowhere else we can put him, although Jack suggested stripping him naked and sending him up on the invisible life in the hope that he might air outside and come back in smelling a bit better. Owen didn’t like that idea for some reason, something about the rain… He tried working in the mortuary, but you know how sensitive the systems down there are; he set the contamination alarms off. Then he tried the cells, but the smell got the Weevils and the Hoix a bit overexcited. They thought it was feeding time. And there’s no way I’m letting him anywhere near my archives smelling like that, so the autopsy bay it is. It had to be cleaned anyway, and who better to do that that the one who caused the mess in the first place?”
“Poor Owen.” Tosh could sympathise even if she did still think it was hilarious. Ianto was right about Owen’s habit of prodding his autopsy subjects though; he always claimed it was part of his scientific method, a simple way of determining what stage of rigor the corpse had reached. Tosh wasn’t sure if that was true but she suspected that after today, he might want to come up with a different approach, one that wouldn’t leave him stinking worse than anything Tosh had ever smelled in her life. She hoped Ianto had plenty of air freshener. Ah well. As usual, Owen had nobody but himself to blame.
Turning on her computer, Tosh picked up her coffee mug and settled in to watch the latest episode of the Owen Harper show.