Dust had always been a fact of life in Torchwood. The Hub was vast and cavernous, with high ceilings, and concrete or natural stone floors and walls, depending on what level you happened to be on. There was a ventilation system circulating air throughout the underground complex, and whenever anyone entered the Hub, they inevitably tracked dirt with them on the soles of their shoes.
Ianto did his best to keep the place moderately clean, which was the best even he could aspire to. It simply wasn’t possible to dust and vacuum the entire place every day. Even if he were to do nothing else, he’d still never manage to clean up every speck of dust in the main Hub, never mind the vaults, the archives, the shooting range, and a multitude of other rooms and passageways, each one with a thousand cracks and crevices accumulating the dirt of centuries. So he’d learned to be thorough in the areas that mattered and mostly ignore the rest.
Every few months he’d vacuum under the shelves in the archives, just to get rid of the big clumps of fluff before they could mutate into anything dangerous, and he’d flick his feather duster over the contents of whatever section he was working in, keeping the dust build-up to a minimum. The ventilation system kept the air moving so it seldom got too thick anyway.
There were a few places, corners that sent the air currents swirling past, where dust and dirt tended to pile up, but vacuuming those every so often kept such areas from turning into dust deserts populated by ever changing dust dunes. Ianto was tempted occasionally to leave one just to see what might happen, but so far better judgement had prevailed. He had no wish to find himself wading through inches of muck. His suits got dirty enough as it was.
Sometimes he wondered about introducing a flock or two of snocks into the archives, since they were fierce hunters of dust bunnies. The only reason he didn’t was because there were still so many alien devices stored down there that had yet to be identified. It felt wrong to risk the wellbeing of the small sock-like creatures for his own convenience, and anyway, other things frequented the archives that might take exception to their presence.
The archive monsters didn’t seem to mind the dusty conditions in the lower levels. Maybe they were in the habit of keeping clean the areas they considered their territory by some means he couldn’t even begin to guess at. For all Ianto knew about the mysterious, occasionally half-glimpsed creatures, they might exist on a diet of dust the way the snocks did. He’d probably never know; they were far too secretive.
In the end, all he could do was keep the dust down as best he could, so it couldn’t take over completely and drown them all.
Dust. There’d be no life without it, but it really was a nuisance to deal with.