“Ianto, stop that,” Jack growled irritably.
“Sorry, can’t help myself.” Ianto squeezed tighter. “You’re all soft and squishy, like a big, fluffy marshmallow.”
“Grrrrrrrrrrr,” Jack said again, not entirely voluntarily. Being a giant teddy bear was not nearly as much fun as it sounded.
“I thought you liked hugs,” Ianto said innocently.
“Not right now I don’t,” Jack said sulkily. “I hate everything about this!” For one thing, his legs and arms had no joints in the middle so he couldn’t hug Ianto back and though he could sit on the sofa he had to do so with his legs sticking straight out. Then there was the fact that he had paws rather than hands and fingers, and to his horror he was missing an even more vital appendage. That alone was the stuff of nightmares. And as if all that wasn’t already bad enough, he was fat!
“Cheer up, Jack; it’s not so bad.”
“That’s easy for you to say; you’re not a giant stuffed toy! I growl every time you squeeze me, or when I bend over. I’m all fuzzy, I can hardly walk, I can’t get off the sofa without help, and I can’t even eat or drink because I don’t have any insides, just a lot of stuffing! I miss your coffee.”
“I could make some and you could sniff it,” Ianto suggested sympathetically.
“Thanks for the offer, but it wouldn’t help. Teddy bears don’t have a sense of smell. I think my nose is plastic. And I don’t have a mouth!”
“How can you talk then?”
“No idea, but I don’t plan on questioning the ability because as bad as this is, being unable to communicate would be worse.”
“Just try not to worry; Owen and Gwen are out looking for the alien who did this to you, and Tosh is going through the online databases, including everything we got from London, plus UNIT’s files to see if anyone’s encountered that particular species before. I’ve left a message on the Doctor’s answering machine as well, so hopefully it won’t take him too long to get back to me.”
“So what am I supposed to do in the meantime?” Jack whined. “Just sit here looking fluffy?”
“I could set up a movie for you on your laptop. That should help to pass the time. Any preference?”
“Hm, okay, give me a minute to think about it.”
“I’ll fetch your laptop while you decide.”
And that was why, when the Doctor arrived an hour of so later, he was faced with the unforgettable sight of a giant teddy bear sitting on the sofa, eyes glued to one of Jack’s favourite Hollywood musicals, and singing along to ‘Did You Ever?’
He had to admit the bear had a pretty good voice.