Fluff Therapy

by badly_knitted [Reviews - 1]

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  • Teen
  • None
  • Angst, Drama, Fluff, Hurt/Comfort, Standalone

Author's Notes:
Written for Challenge 220: Brush at beattheblackdog.

Torchwood could be a stressful place to work; terrible things could happen suddenly and unexpectedly, turning routine tasks into disasters, a fact of life Ianto was painfully familiar with. Tonight he was feeling decidedly out of sorts thanks to just such an event. He’d been forced to kill a Weevil after it mauled Jack to death, and then he’d had to put Jack’s insides back where they belonged and wait beside his lover until he revived before they could load the dead Weevil for transportation back to the Hub.

He’d hated having to make Jack work right after a horrible death and revival, but the Weevil had been a particularly big male and much too heavy for Ianto to manage on his own. It had taken both of them and all the strength they could muster to wrestle it into the SUV’s boot.

Now Jack was down in the expanded quarters he and Ianto shared, taking a soothing shower, and getting into clean, unshredded, blood-free clothes, while George was taking care of Jack’s coat, cleaning and repairing it even better than Ianto could have done, his invisible ‘hands’ much more dextrous than actual fingers. Ianto himself, at a loose end and weighed down with guilt, slumped miserably onto the sofa beneath the Torchwood sign, leaning back and closing his eyes, wishing he could somehow erase tonight’s events from his memory, or at least stop thinking about them for a little while. He supposed he could if he took a dose of Retcon, but it didn’t seem fair to wipe his own memory when his lover was no doubt still suffering from a revival hangover.

As soon as Jack was ready he’d make a soothing cup of coffee for them both, but for now there was nothing for him to do but wait. It was their night on duty, and it was late, already past two in the morning; everyone else had gone home hours ago, so there was nothing to distract him from his wallowing. At least there wasn’t until a questioning hum dragged him out of his gloomy reverie.

Opening his eyes, Ianto sat upright, looking over the edge of the sofa at Nosy, who’d managed to slink right up to him without him noticing. The Fluff was a dishevelled mess, its long, thick green fur sticking out in every direction. It must have sensed his and Jack’s return and dragged itself out of bed to check on them. Ianto felt another stab of guilt, realising the empathic alien had probably felt everything that had happened through the bond that had developed between them since their first encounter some three months earlier. Jack’s agonising death and resurrection, Ianto’s horror and fear, his guilt at having to shoot the Weevil instead of capturing it… Poor Nosy, it didn’t deserve to have such unpleasant emotions forced on it.

He managed a weak smile. “You have the worst case of bed hair I’ve ever seen. Wait here, I’ll get your brushes, see if I can tidy you up a bit.” Levering himself up off the sofa, feeling bone weary, Ianto traipsed into the kitchen area, fetching Nosy’s grooming brushes from the drawer they were kept in, then returned to the Fluff, kneeling beside it on the concrete floor. “Here we go, soon have you comfy and looking more presentable.”

Nosy hummed blissfully as Ianto started to groom it, beginning at the head end, working carefully around the big, green eyes, then running the brush through its coat in long, smooth stokes, over and over, until the thick, glossy fur lay flat and sleek. Somewhere along the way Jack joined him, claiming a brush himself and working his way up from the tail end until the two of them met somewhere around the middle of the blissed-out Fluff’s five and a half metre length. By then, Nosy was as limp as a cooked noodle.

Looking up, Ianto smiled at his lover. “Hey. How’re you feeling now?”

“Better.” Jack smiled back. “You know it wasn’t your fault, right? That Weevil was a mean one; it needed to be put down. I doubt it could’ve been rehabilitated. I’m betting when Owen examines it tomorrow, he’ll find something seriously wrong with it.”

“Perhaps,” Ianto agreed. “I still didn’t like having to kill it though.”

“I know, but if you hadn’t it would’ve killed you too, and that doesn’t bear thinking about. You wouldn’t come back, and I can’t lose you.”

Ianto nodded, knowing Jack was right, but he still felt bad. “I’m sorry I had to ask you to help deal with the body right after…” He trailed off, staring at Jack, shoulders drooping.

“Don’t be, it was a welcome distraction, took my mind off things. Sometimes that’s what I need after a bad death, something else to focus on.” Jack leaned his forehead against Ianto’s. “Anyway, you’re not Superman, you can’t life a ten-ton Weevil with one hand, or even with two.”

“It wasn’t that heavy, Jack.”

“Okay, a one-ton Weevil then, but my point stands. It was a two-man job; that big brute was all muscle. Did you see the way the back of the SUV dipped when we shoved it in the boot? Bet that didn’t do the suspension much good.”

“Probably not; I’ll have to check that out.”

“Not tonight though. Come on, it’s late; we should get to bed, try to get a few hours’ sleep. At least we have tomorrow off.”

“Mm,” Ianto sighed; he suddenly felt worn out. Prodding Nosy gently, he roused the Fluff. “Back to bed now, young Fluff. We’re going to turn in as well.”

“Hummm.” Nosy nuzzled Ianto and Jack affectionately before giving itself a quick shake and slithering off towards the bunk beds in the night duty room.

Ianto got to his feet, dusting off his jeans, only belatedly realising they were stained with Jack’s blood. He’d washed his hands after he and Jack took the dead Weevil down to the autopsy bay, but he hadn’t thought to change. He shrugged; he’d leave his clothes out for George to take care off. The animated suit never minded doing laundry; he existed to help the team. Sometimes Ianto wondered how he’d ever managed without his assistant. He’d have to reward George for his hard work, maybe with a new tie. Pulling his thoughts back to the present, Ianto turned to Jack.

“D’you want coffee or anything before bed?”

Jack shook his head. “As much as I love your coffee, it would just keep me awake; all I want to do is sleep.”

“Yeah, me too, but I should probably shower first.”

Hand-in-hand, the two men made their way to their quarters.

In the night duty room, snuggled under its blanket on the top bunk, Nosy gave a contented sigh; another job well done. While the grooming it had received had been undeniably enjoyable, it hadn’t really been necessary, but Ianto and Jack had needed to be soothed after their stressful night, so the Fluff had taken pains to make itself look as messy as possible, so they’d feel compelled to give it a good therapeutic grooming. Its human friends would probably never be aware of the lengths their Fluff would go to in its efforts to help them feel better.


The End