Fate could be fickle, and often cruel, Nosy decided. Keeping well out of the way, it had watched patiently as the stray coffee bean had been kicked about while the team geared up and headed out to deal with a major Rift alert. Even after they’d all disappeared through the door to the garage it had waited a while longer before slithering into the kitchen area, intent on retrieving the unexpected treat.
The first cruel twist of fate had come when Nosy had located the little bean. It had been kicked into the gap between two cabinets, where Nosy’s snout was too broad and its tongue too short to reach. This was a problem the Fluff hadn’t anticipated, but it wasn’t about to give up at the first sign of difficulties. Fluffs were, after all, intelligent and perfectly able to find solutions to problems.
First it tried the vacuum technique, angling its head and breathing in hard through its nostrils, a method it had used before to successfully extract scraps of waste paper from inaccessible places, but the coffee bean was too heavy and didn’t budge. Nosy withdrew and sneezed a couple of times to clear its nose of dust, then returned to the narrow gap to think on the problem some more.
If it couldn’t fit its head between the cabinets and the vacuum technique was ineffective, it would have to extend its reach by some means. It needed something long and thin… Maybe its tail end would work! Bringing its tail around, Nosy poked the tip into the gap, but it would only reach a few inches, which wasn’t far enough. Something thinner then.
Mooching about, it checked the various workstations and found Owen’s ruler; that might do the trick! Picking it up by one end, Nosy slithered back to the kitchen.
The problem this time was that Nosy couldn’t look into the gap and probe with the ruler at the same time, its eyes were in the wrong position, so all it succeeded in doing was pushing the bean further out of reach.
It huffed, annoyed; it needed to reach down from above and push the bean from behind, which required a longer implement. A flash of inspiration hit: the feather duster! With its long handle and fluffy end it would be perfect! Quickly Nosy slithered to fetch it.
The feather duster worked like a charm. It took a bit of manoeuvring, but eventually the bean pinged from the gap and skittered across the floor. Abandoning the duster, Nosy gave chase, only for cruel fate to intercede once more as the team returned and Jack’s heavy boot crunched down on Nosy’s hard-won treat. The Fluff slumped, humming mournfully. What a cruel world!
Ianto took in the scene and smiled sympathetically.
“All that effort for no reward.” Getting out the coffee beans, he gave a couple to Nosy. “I think you’ve earned these,” he said.
Nosy eagerly slurped them up. Maybe the world wasn’t so cruel after all.