Characters: Ianto, Jack, Kneebles.
Summary: Moving the Kneebles into their new home should have been simple.
Word Count: 500
Content Notes: None necessary.
Written For: Prompt 7: Missing at anythingdrabble.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters.
Ianto had spent weeks creating a state-of-the-art Kneeble habitat, saying they needed more space. Jack had agreed; he hated keeping creatures locked up in the ugly detention cells, preferring to use those for actual criminals awaiting deportation rather than unfortunate Riftugees, so he was more than happy to authorise the expenditure.
The new habitat was a thing of beauty, with rocks, a pool, and growing vegetation. There was even a cave for the mostly nocturnal Kneebles to sleep in during ‘daylight’, and a lighting system that changed from ‘day’ to ‘night’, mimicking natural conditions. It would be Kneeble paradise. All that remained was to transfer the two-dozen Kneebles into their new home.
The young ones had grown considerably over the last few weeks, there was no way more than four would fit in each carrying case, which meant three trips, the first two of which went fine, but on the third trip, one of the handles snapped, the carrier fell to the ground, the door popped open, and chaos ensued as Kneebles scattered, panicked by the unexpected tumble.
Fifteen minutes later, Ianto had managed to round up three Kneebles, but of the last one there was no trace.
Clicking his Bluetooth earpiece on, he called Jack.
“Ianto! How’s the move going?”
“No so good. I’ve lost a Kneeble.”
“One of the carriers broke. It’s a miracle only one Kneeble is missing. I’m going to put the other seven in their new home but I could use a hand finding the missing one.”
“I’ll be right down,” Jack assured him.
Picking up the damaged carrier, Ianto took it to the new habitat and released three Kneebles, then returned for the other four, all the while looking around, hoping to find the missing one. It soon became clear that it wasn’t going to be that easy.
Jack joined him as Ianto was closing the outer door of the Habitat, where twenty-three Kneebles were happily exploring, poking about among the rocks and plants, and climbing the walls to perch on comfortable ledges. Several were swimming in the pool, trilling with excitement.
“Looks like they approve of their new place.”
“Yep! Now if we can just find their missing brother…”
“Which one is it?”
“Pat,” Ianto replied, sounding resigned.
“Oh dear,” Jack sighed. Of all the Kneebles, Pat was the most curious. While the others preferred to stay with the family group, Pat liked to do his own thing.
“I should’ve put him on his leash.”
“Not your fault; you didn’t know the cage would break. Come on, we’d better go track down your missing Kneeble.”
Three hours of searching the corridors later, Ianto was ready to give up the hunt. They’d retraced the route, scouring every corner, every hole, every wall from bottom to top, with no luck. Then, arriving back at the Habitat again, there was Pat, staring wistfully at his family through the Perspex. One missing Kneeble found.
Smiling, Ianto went to let him into his new home.