Ianto stared in disbelief. What had the team been doing while he was away? Obviously not cleaning up after themselves. Were they expecting him to just show up at work, on crutches no less, and get out the cleaning supplies? He had a broken ankle and technically wasn’t supposed to be here at all, but he’d been bored to tears at home so he’d persuaded Jack to let him return to work after two weeks, providing he stuck to light duties. He’d figured he could do some paperwork, maybe monitor the team via computer whenever they went on retrievals, or Weevil hunts. It had seemed better than being home alone with only bad daytime TV for company, but now he was here he was having second thoughts.
“Look at this place!” he exploded, finally finding his voice. “Filth everywhere! What’ve you lot being doing in here? Mud wrestling? Do any of you even know how to use a broom, or a mop? Or a rubbish bin for that matter?” He poked a crutch at some empty fast-food containers scattered on the floor under the coffee table. “And don’t try telling me you’ve been too busy to clean up, because I know for a fact the Rift is in one of its slow phases!”
“You’re not supposed to be back for another couple of weeks at least!” Owen protested.
“So? Is this place going to miraculously clean itself up between now and then? Or were you just planning on letting the muck pile up so I’d have something to do on my first day back? You’re a bunch of lazy layabouts and you’re going to clean this up now!”
Nobody moved. They looked like a bunch of scared rabbits caught in the headlights of an oncoming car.
“What are you waiting for, Christmas? Owen, mop and bucket, get that sludge cleaned up. Gwen, broom and dustpan, I want these floors swept. Jack, get some trash bags, collect all the rubbish and throw it in the furnace. Tosh, could you wash the empty mugs and plates please?”
“How come Tosh gets a please and the rest of us just get ordered about?” Owen griped.
“Because she’s at least made the effort to keep her workstation tidy and put her rubbish in her bin instead of all over the floor. That gets her a few Brownie points.”
“I’m sorry about the mess, Ianto,” Tosh said sheepishly. “I’ve been busy upgrading the security systems. We had a minor breach last week; UNIT must have a new hacker.”
“No match for you, I’m sure.” Ianto smiled at his friend then turned to the others. “Move it! If this place isn’t clean and tidy within the hour, you’ll be scrubbing out the Rift pool with toothbrushes!”
Everyone scattered to fetch cleaning tools while Ianto hobbled over to the sofa, where he could keep an eye on them and make sure they did a good job. His own first task would be setting up a cleaning rota.