It had all started with Murray, the heroic rat that had helped a miniaturised Jack and Ianto make it home to the Hub through Cardiff’s nighttime streets.
Once they were back to their proper size, Ianto had wanted to reward Murray, so being Ianto, he’d embarked on extensive research into rats, starting with basic care and feeding before delving deeper. Along the way he’d discovered that Murray was a rather fine specimen of Hooded Rat, something to do with his handsome markings, so Ianto had registered with the local Fancy Rat Society, entered Murray in a show and taken first prize.
A year on, Murray had won several more rosettes and small trophies, and had acquired some young friends, who were also doing well at shows. Among them was Jack’s own pet rat, a Golden Himalayan named Rosie.
The rat craze had spread like wildfire through the rest of the Torchwood team; now everyone had a rat or two and they were regulars at shows. Whenever Rift activity meant some of them had to man the Hub, one of the others would take on the task of transporting all Torchwood’s entries to the event venue. They didn’t always take a prize, after all the Torchwood rats had a lot of competition, but the outings to shows were an activity all the team could participate in and enjoy.
So here they were, attending the biggest Fancy Rat show in Wales. As they checked to see if their rats had won anything, the team toasted each other with fruit juice.
“All those years I tried to come up with team-building activities,” Jack said with a grin. “It never crossed my mind that one day we’d all bond over rats!”
“Yeah,” agreed Rhys, looking proudly at the blue rosette he’d won. “Fancy that!”
“Or more accurately,” Ianto added with a smirk. “Fancy rat!”