The sirens blared out their alarms, announcing Jack’s return. Ianto rolled his eyes and crossed his arms over his chest when he saw what was following his lover into the Hub.
“You have to stop doing this, Jack!”
“Doing what?” Jack had the innocent look down pat, but Ianto didn’t buy it for a second; Jack knew exactly what he was talking about. Nevertheless, just so there could be absolutely no chance of misunderstanding…
“Collecting strays! We only have so much space; there’s a limit to what we can keep here and you just sailed right past it. You are not keeping a dragon in the Hub just because it happened to follow you home.”
“No buts, Jack, I’m putting my foot down this time. You’re not keeping it and that’s final.” Ianto knew he had to remain firm or before he knew it Jack would start thinking he could get away with anything.
Jack sighed, surprising Ianto by giving up without a fight. “Fine, be a big meanie then. But you can be the one to tell Herman why he can’t stay.” Pouting, Jack stalked off towards his office, leaving Ianto face to face with an orange dragon the size of a pony.
“Herman? Seriously? You named it Herman?”
Ianto stared after Jack’s retreating figure for a moment then turned back around to stare at the dragon instead. An actual living, breathing dragon, in Wales, in the Hub. A small one, granted, but still…
Herman stared right back at him, all wide-eyed and hopeful looking.
“Dammit,” Ianto groaned, burying his head in his hands, aware that he was rapidly losing control of the situation. If he’d ever had more than the illusion of control in the first place. “How do I get myself into these messes?”
How could he turf a dragon out of the Hub and onto the streets of Cardiff? Aliens from other planets had a tough enough time out there; how would a supposedly mythical creature, especially one that was such an eye-catching shade of orange, fare all by itself? What would it even eat? If it started snacking on people’s pets that would cause Ianto an even bigger headache than being lumbered with another creature that needed to be looked after. As reluctant as he was to take in another pet, when he thought about it there wasn’t really any other option. He doubted even Cardiff’s residents could handle seeing a real dragon.
Shoulders slumping, he looked at the dragon again and gave in to the inevitable. “No matter how many times I say ‘no’, he always wins. Why do I even bother? Come on then, Herman. I suppose I’d better find you a place to sleep.”
Somehow he didn’t think the internet was going to be very helpful if he tried googling the care and feeding of dragons. He’d have to figure out dragon husbandry by himself. Still, he’d managed okay when it came to figuring out Myfanwy’s needs; if he could care for an extinct flying reptile, how much harder could a dragon be?
Ianto glanced back over his shoulder at Herman, plodding patiently along behind him. “Just try not to set fire to anything, okay?”
“I hope that means ‘yes’.”