Characters: Jack, Ianto, Rhys, Tosh, Owen, Gwen.
Summary: Something weird has happened and this time even Rhys has been affected.
Word Count: 908
Written For: My own prompt ‘Torchwood, Team, Their heads all turn into pumpkins,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
“This is all your fault, Jack!” Gwen snapped.
“What? How do you work that out?”
“She’s right,” Ianto agreed. Jack knew it was Ianto despite the rather hollow voice, because he was wearing the cute suit. “You’re the one who suggested that Rhys make pumpkin pie for us, and you’re the one who got the pumpkins for us to carve in the first place.”
“And I bought them from Asda, just like half the people in town. There’s no reason they should’ve done this, so once again, how is it my fault?”
“Asda? You’re sure?”
“Yes! What, did you think I got them off the market or from some shady alien pumpkin dealer?”
“Well…” Ianto drawled, remembering the chocolate Easter eggs that hatched into living chocolate rabbits, “it wouldn’t have been the first time.”
“Granted, but believe it or not, I do learn from my mistakes,” Jack huffed.
“Okay, so maybe not your fault. But if this isn’t because of the pumpkins Rhys used to make our pumpkin pie, why do we all have carved Jack o’ Lantern pumpkins for heads after eating it?” Ianto paused for a moment, thinking. “It was a really good pie though,” he added, looking at Pumpkin-Head Rhys.
“Thanks, mate. Never made pumpkin pie before, had to find a recipe online and then I had to ask Gwennie to get me a nutmeg.”
“That’s why I took a little longer on that Rift retrieval than I should have. Rhys phoned and said he needed a nutmeg, so I stopped off at the market and got one, then dropped it off at home before coming here.”
“So maybe it’s the nutmeg that’s the problem. Rhys, do you have any of it left?” Owen asked. “I could analyse it.”
“Yeah, there’s a piece left over at home.”
“But if it’s the nutmeg, then why don’t we have nutmeg heads?” Tosh asked reasonably.
“Good point.” Ianto nodded his pumpkin head sagely.
“But the nutmeg’s the only ingredient that came from a suspect source, right Rhys?” Owen asked.
“Far as I know, everything else came from the supermarket.”
“Maybe we’re overlooking something here.” Tosh moved back to her computers, squinting at the screen because with a pumpkin for a head, she couldn’t wear her reading glasses. “This is Torchwood, the home of weird. Rhys made the pie at his place, but we ate it here, so…” She rolled back the CCTV to when Rhys had arrived with the big pumpkin pie, which he’d popped in the refrigerator to chill before serving. “Let’s see what happens between Rhys bringing the pie in, and us eating it and our heads turning into pumpkins.” The team and Rhys gathered around Tosh’s chair to watch the speeded up footage.
“There!” Even looking out of a pumpkin, Ianto had good eyesight.
Tosh paused the recording and reversed it slowly, stopping it when Ianto told her to. The image showed Rhys setting the pie on the coffee table beside another object, then as Tosh set it running slowly forward again. Rhys went back to the kitchen for plates and cutlery.
“What is that on the coffee table with the pie?” Jack asked.
“It’s that unidentified bit of tech Owen retrieved earlier. He put it there because Tosh was working on something else at the time and didn’t have room for it,” Ianto explained.
They watched Rhys serving the pie, saw a faint light flicker on the machine as they were served seconds.
“Oh dear,” said Tosh. “I think this is my fault.”
“What do you mean?” Jack asked incredulously. “How could it be your fault?” Of all of them, Tosh was the least likely to make a mistake.
“Don’t you remember what I was saying just then?” She looked guiltily around at her friends, or as guiltily as a carved pumpkin was capable of looking.
“I do,” Ianto replied quietly. “You said ‘It’s a good thing there’s only one pie because if we eat much more we might turn into pumpkins,’ and then I said, ‘Well, you are what you eat,’ so I guess it’s my fault too. The device must have taken us seriously and made it happen.”
“And because we were all carving Halloween pumpkins recently, it took those pumpkin images from our minds,” Tosh finished. “Sorry, guys,” she added sheepishly, “but at least now I know the cause I can work on reversing it.”
“I’ll help you, since I‘m at least partly to blame.” Ianto put his hand comfortingly on his friend’s shoulder.
“For the record,” Jack put in, “it could’ve been any of us, we were all talking, it was just that the machine, whatever it is, happened to pick up on what you two were saying. We might just as easily have got turned into rugby balls, or something else even less convenient. If we had to get altered, I’d say we lucked out. At least with pumpkin heads we can still see, hear, and speak, we still have our hands and our brains, so we’re a lot better off than we might have been.”
“That’s true,” Ianto agreed. “I think once whatever it did to us has been reversed, that device had better be powered down and put in the secure archives. We might not be so lucky next time.”
“Amen to that,” Jack agreed, and the others nodded. They of all people knew there were worse things that could happen to them than having pumpkin heads!