Ianto looked up from sorting a new batch of leaflets that had just been delivered as Owen and Gwen trooped in through the Tourist Office door. They’d gone out with Jack a couple of hours earlier to deal with reports of a weird creature spotted lurking along the railway lines beside Cathays Cemetery.
“I’ll be down to make coffee when I’ve finished this,” Ianto assured them, returning his attention to his leaflets. Then his head shot up again so fast he went momentarily dizzy. He blinked as he got a good look at the colleagues. “Stop right there! What the Hell do you think you’re doing, tracking filth across my clean floor?”
“Don’t you start,” Owen grumbled, standing there dripping mud and muck. “We’ve had a shitty enough time already, chasing that stupid thing along the tracks. I fell in a ditch!”
“I don’t suppose you bothered covering the SUV’s seats either, did you?” Ianto glared at Torchwood’s medic, then at Gwen, who was standing silently, her hair hanging wet, filthy and tangled, her face smeared with mud, although it looked like she’d tried to wipe the worst off with her sleeve. “Speaking of the SUV, where’s Jack?”
“He dropped us off.” Gwen picked a glob of something off her jacket and dropped it on the floor.
Ianto ground his teeth together. “Why?”
“The thing we found, he said it’s a…” Owen shook his head. “I don’t remember what he called it, something unpronounceable, but it’s some kind of herbivore so he said he was taking it straight out to the Reservation. No sense all three of us going out there, so we had ‘im drop us off here first so we could get cleaned up. Which I intend to do, soon as you let us through into the Hub.”
“Oh no, no way in Hell are you tracking that muck into the lift!” Ianto stood his ground. “You get in a mess, you come in through the garage entrance, where you can rinse the worst off, leave your clothes and shoes to be dealt with later, and head straight down to the showers. What you don’t do is march into the Tourist Office and drip muck everywhere! You both look like you’ve been rolling in a pig wallow. Smell like it too.”
“Look, we’re already here so just let us through, sweetheart,” Gwen tried.
“And are you going to volunteer to clean up the tourist office, the corridor, the lift, and the trail of filth you’ll leave across the Hub?” Ianto pointed at the door. “Out! I’ll bring some bags down to the garage for you to put your clothes in.”
“But Ianto!” Gwen protested. “It’s raining!”
“Good, that should rid you of the worst. Bad enough I have to pick up after you around the Hub, because you’re apparently incapable of doing that yourself, but now I have to mop up the mess you’ve left in here.”
“You need to get a life,” Owen muttered.
Ianto just glared.