New Venture

by badly_knitted [Reviews - 0]

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  • All Ages
  • None
  • Fluff, Humor, Standalone

Author's Notes:
Written for Challenge 325: Correct at fan_flashworks.

It was an uncharacteristically slow day at Torchwood, one of those rare days when nothing much of anything was happening because everything that needed doing had already been done. The rest of the team were entertaining themselves with a game of basketball, and Ianto was up in Jack’s office, having a chat with his lover, when Nosy the Fluff slithered in, something small clutched in its mouth.

“Hum?” it asked politely, looking up at Ianto.

Ianto smiled. “No, it’s fine, you’re not interrupting anything important. Is that it?”

“Mmm.”

“Okay, give it to me and I’ll look it over in a little while.” Ianto held out his hand and Nosy carefully placed the USB drive in his palm. “Hopefully, I’ll get it back to you later today, providing things stay quiet around here, but you know what Torchwood’s like; nothing to do one minute and then all Hell breaks loose the next.”

“Hmm,” Nosy agreed. By now it was very familiar with the chaos of life with Torchwood.

“Tosh says the Rift should stay quiet for a couple of days though, so barring alien invasions and rogue Weevil incidents, I should have plenty of time for this.”

With a final brief hum of thanks, Nosy turned tail and slithered out of the office, leaving Ianto and Jack to continue their conversation. Ianto slipped the small device into his pocket.

Jack was watching him curiously. “What was that all about?” He hated to think he might be missing out on something interesting.

“Oh, just some editing Nosy wants me to do. It’s really learned a lot, its spelling, punctuation, and grammar are better than Owen’s most of the time, but like all writers it relies on its editor to find and correct any mistakes it might have missed. Typos creep in no matter how careful you are. I’ll get this proofread, then Nosy can make any necessary alterations, I’ll give it a final read through, and once that’s done, we can look into publishing.”

“Writer?” Jack was completely lost now. “Publishing? What are you talking about?”

“You don’t know? We talked about this months ago when our Fluff was first learning to use a computer keyboard. I was sure Nosy would’ve mentioned it to you. I think everyone else knows.”

“Knows what? Pretend I just got here, and I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. Because I don’t! How come I’m the last person to know anything around here? I’m supposed to be the boss!” Jack pouted, not pleased with being left out of the loop over something everyone else apparently knew about.

“Perhaps you were on a roof somewhere when Nosy came up with the idea, and nobody noticed you weren’t here, otherwise I’m sure someone would have told you.”

“Ouch!” If anything, Jack’s pout got even poutier. “So no one even misses me when I’m not here?”

“I didn’t mean it like that. We’re so accustomed to seeing you we tend to assume you’re here somewhere unless you tell someone you’re going out.” Sometimes Jack liked to quietly slip out when nobody was looking, just so he could get away from being the boss for a bit.

“You’re changing the subject. Exactly what is Nosy up to that everyone but me knows about?”

“It’s writing a book. Or perhaps more accurately, a collection of children’s stories. Not sure yet whether they’re going to be published individually or all in one volume. If I can’t get a publisher interested, we might have to self-publish, so perhaps we should go with one story to start with, see what the interest is, and if that sells well enough…” Ianto trailed off with a shrug. “I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see.”

Jack frowned up at his lover, who was perched in his usual spot on the corner of the desk. “Let me see if I’ve got this right. Our alien friend is writing children’s stories and you’re moonlighting as its editor?”

“That’s more or less correct, although I might be doing the illustrations as well. I’ll have to submit some ideas based on the stories for Nosy’s approval.”

“And what if potential publishers want to meet with the author to discuss… I don’t know, contracts, royalties, whatever?”

“I’ll act as Nosy’s agent, and they can meet with me instead.”

“You’ve given this a lot of thought by the sound of it.”

Ianto shrugged again. “You know me, I like to keep on top of things. I’ve tried to consider all eventualities. This is something Nosy wants to do. It got a lot of pleasure from children’s books when it was learning to read, and now it wants to give something back. I can’t see any harm in that.”

Jack couldn’t either. “Well, I guess it should be okay, as long as Nosy isn’t planning on doing any book promotion tours.”

“Not at present, but perhaps sometime in the future when people are more used to the existence of aliens,” Ianto said with a grin.

“That could be quite a while.”

“Mm, I imagine it will be, but I hope it’ll happen someday.”

“Oh it will, count on it. In the future earth will be invited to join the Galactic Federation. There’ll be aliens living openly on earth, humans living on other planets, even inter-species marriages. Nobody will think anything of it. So what are these stories about?”

Ianto chuckled. “The daring adventures of Woolly the Sheep as she travels to other planets in the company of her friend Fluffy, the furry alien snake.”

“Ah.” Jack grinned broadly. “Well, they do say you should write about what you know!”

“They do indeed. Maybe you could help, tell Nosy some stories of your adventures on other worlds.”

“I can do that!”

“Just, not the X-rated kind. There are some things our Fluff does not need to know about.”

“Mm, true enough. They wouldn’t make for good children’s stories anyway. Now if Nosy wants to branch out into adult fiction sometime…” Jack and Ianto looked at each other and Jack quickly shook his head. “No, on second thought, maybe I should save those and write them myself.”

Ianto nodded. “That might be better.” The thought of their friendly, innocent Fluff writing explicit content for an adult audience was just wrong!

“But I can tell Nosy about some of the places I’ve been, give it some ideas for alien characters and planets.” Jack reached for his laptop. “Maybe I should start jotting down a few ideas.” He looked at Ianto. “Don’t you have editing to do?”

“I do believe you’re right.” Standing up, Ianto headed for the door, shaking his head. “I may have just created a monster. Now we’ll have two authors in the family.”


The End