It was dark, with heavy cloud hiding the moon and stars, but at least the cloud-cover meant the night was warmer that it had been lately. This deep into the parkland that surrounded Cardiff Castle, there weren’t even any streetlights, all they had were their torches to keep them from breaking an ankle on the uneven ground.
This was meant to be a Weevil hunt, but for the moment they seemed to have lost it. Ianto hoped it hadn’t doubled back to the populated areas of the city. Halloween was a bad time to have a rogue Weevil on the loose. It was only just after 9.30pm and there had still been Trick or Treaters about when they’d left Ianto’s place twenty minutes earlier to deal with the alert.
They kept close together, but not too close, walking abreast about three metres apart. They had their bluetooth earpieces in, just in case they got separated during the hunt. The rest of the team were out dealing with other problems. Halloween always tended to be a busy time for Torchwood, which meant they rarely got to indulge in any kind of celebrations themselves, much to Ianto’s disappointment. It had always been his favourite holiday as a child, and when he’d lived in London, he and Lisa had loved dressing up for the Torchwood One Halloween party before heading to the far better and creepier ones thrown by their non-Torchwood friends.
In deference to the season, Jack had traded his usual WWII attire for a vampire outfit, complete with cape, which made him a bit difficult to see in the dark. Ianto was a creepy devil in red, but he was having to keep a tight hold on his tail so he didn’t trip over it. Jack, of course, thought he looked hotter than Hell; those were the exact words he’d used when he’d picked Ianto up, and he’d been disappointed when Ianto had pulled his coat on over his costume.
Just as they passed a copse of trees, a sudden eerie wailing filled the night and Jack visibly jumped. “What the hell was that?”
“I don’t know,” Ianto replied, trying to keep his teeth from chattering, “and I hate to have to say this, but I think we should probably investigate.”
Moving closer together, they started towards the copse, picking their way carefully over ground made lumpy by tree roots as they drew closer. The little area of woodland was perhaps four hundred metres across and as they stepped among the trees, the wailing started again, louder and closer now. Whatever was making that chilling cry, it sounded like there was more than one of them. To Ianto’s surprise, he realised Jack was now clutching his hand, the one he was holding his tail in, but he couldn’t bring himself to make the other man let go.
Creeping cautiously between the trees, torches aimed at the ground, partly to see where they were going and partly to keep from alerting the… whatever they were, Jack and Ianto approached the centre of the copse. As they got closer, they saw the trees thinned out ahead into a small, natural clearing and there, out in the open and making that eerie, ululating wail, was their weevil. As they’d suspected, it wasn’t alone, half a dozen others were with it, adding their voices to the din. One Weevil, a little apart from the others, remained silent. After watching for a moment, Ianto tugged Jack’s hand and pulled him away from the bizarre sight. As soon as they were a safe distance from the clearing, he let out a muffled laugh. Jack stared at him as if he’d grown another head and for a moment, Ianto wondered if he should check, just in case. Living on the Rift, you could never be sure.
“What’s that all about?” Jack waved vaguely back in the direction of the clearing. “D’you know something I don’t?”
“Not sure, but I’ve seen a lot of nature documentaries. Looked to me like the one standing apart from the others is a female and the others are males, trying to outdo each other to attract her. The best singer gets to mate with her, I expect.”
“I’m an open-minded kinda guy, but I think we should just leave them to get on with it. Weevil courtship and mating is something I really don’t think I want to see.”
“My thoughts exactly,” Ianto agreed. “As it looks like our Weevil’s going to be busy for a while, I vote we go home. I still have some leftover Halloween candy,” he added with a smirk.
“Sound like a plan; lead on, my horny devil.”
Hand in hand, they headed back across the park, hoping they could remember where they’d left the SUV.