A Slight Miscalculation

by badly_knitted [Reviews - 0]

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  • Teen
  • None
  • Drama, Humor, Mixed, Standalone

Author's Notes:
Written for Challenge 386: Wrong Number at fan_flashworks.

Owen was not in a particularly good mood. Okay, so that was nothing unusual, he wasn’t known for his sunny disposition, but right now he was in an even worse mood than usual, and it was all because of the teaboy. Ianto had tried to play the hero while the team were rounding up an alien visitor, resulting in him getting injured, which meant that instead of having a nice, easy day doing as little work as possible, Owen had ended up having to waste the best part of an hour patching up his colleague.

The injuries weren’t even all that serious, way below the capabilities of a top-notch surgeon like Dr Owen Harper. Just some damaged tendons and ligaments that would require ten minutes of treatment a day with an alien device that was proving very effective for repairing those kinds of damage, and four deep puncture wounds that had only needed cleaning out and a single stitch put in each one. Child’s play, really, but it meant that Ianto was now doing his impression of a one-armed bandit and stealing away even more of Owen’s valuable time.

Honestly, who but Ianto Jones, freshly bandaged and doped up on painkillers, would have taken the time to write up a list assigning most of his regular duties to the other members of the team? Not only had he handed over the care of the resident Weevils to Owen, he’d also made him responsible for finishing this month’s order for medical supplies! Why Ianto couldn’t do that himself Owen couldn’t begin to imagine; it was just a bit of writing, and Ianto always filled out the requisition forms and stuff like that. Anything of a clerical nature was automatically his responsibility, that was what he was paid for, and now he was using a minor injury to get out of doing a job he didn’t even need two working arms for anyway! Talk about lazy.

For two pins Owen would have ignored it, but if the order didn’t go through and he ran out of something in the middle of an emergency situation, he’d be blamed rather than the teaboy. Jack always took Ianto’s side, just because they were shacked up together. Blatant favouritism, that’s what it was. Shouldn’t be permitted.

Grumbling under his breath, Owen took the clipboard with its partially completed form down into the medical bay. Usually he’d just tell Ianto what he was running low on; Ianto would double-check, because he was terminally anal about stuff like that, and then send the order through to the supplier.

Flicking through his cupboards and drawers, Owen wrote a few more things on the order form, adjusted the numbers on a couple of items Ianto had already made note of, and then, not wanting to go through the annoying rigmarole of ordering online, simply faxed the form through with a request for an invoice to be included. Ianto could deal with paying; he knew the Torchwood credit card details by heart, so he could do it easily enough over the phone. He’d only need one hand for that.

Three days later, Owen’s medical supplies were delivered, and Ianto came marching down into the medic’s domain, one arm in a sling, a sheet of paper clutched in his good hand, and a distinctly unhappy expression on his face.

“Owen, what the fuck did you do?”

“Nothing yet; you’re not due for another treatment until this afternoon, so you can bugger off until then.”

“That’s not what I’m talking about!”

“Enlighten me then.” Owen folded both arms over his chest and leaned against the edge of his desk.

“Your order for medical supplies.”

“What about it? If this is because I didn’t order and pay online, tough; I didn’t have the credit card details available. Just pay the bloody invoice, I’m sure you can handle that.”

“I already did, but the cost of the surplus supplies will be coming out of your wages.”

“What surplus? I only ordered what I needed.”

“Really? Then how do you explain the one thousand seven hundred and twenty-eight boxes of cotton swabs?”

That brought Owen up short. “The what?” He was sure he must have misheard somehow.

“You heard me the first time; I’m not going to repeat myself.”

“But I didn’t order that many! Why would I? That’s enough to stock a bloody A & E department! Must be a clerical error on the suppliers’ end.”

“It’s not. I’ve got a copy of the order form right here.” Ianto waved his sheet of paper at Owen. “It says quite clearly that we ordered twelve cases of cotton swabs.”

“Well yeah, of course; I get through a lot of those whenever one of you idiots gets injured, it’s not like they can be re-used. I figured twelve would be plenty for a couple of months.”

Ianto rolled his eyes. “Owen, I distinctly remember writing ONE on the order form, as in one single case, which amounts to one gross, or in plain English, one hundred and forty-four boxes of swabs. You ordered twelve times that many!”

“I thought you were penny pinching; you always complain I go through supplies too fast! How was I supposed to know there were that many in a case?”

“Oh, I don’t know, maybe by reading the order form? It gives the quantities quite clearly alongside each item. Congratulations, you’re now the proud owner of eleven extra cases of swabs. Would you like to carry them down here and stack them in the corner, or shall I have them delivered to your flat?”

“You wouldn’t!”

“Wouldn’t I?” Ianto raised an eyebrow, his face the picture of innocence. It was an expression Owen had learned to dread over the past few years.

“What the fuck am I supposed to do with that many swabs?”

“Not my problem; you can use them to build a giant snowman for all I care. I’m not the one who ordered them. In fact, I never asked you to send the order in, just to check and see what you needed and note it down on the order form to save me from having to rummage through your cupboards. The way you bung things in them, every time I open a door, I have to reorganise the contents to keep things from falling out on my head; I thought it only fair for you to take a turn since I’m somewhat hampered at present. Oh, and by the way, since you’re apparently having so much trouble reading, I’ve taken the liberty of booking you in for an eye exam. Perhaps you need new glasses.”

“There’s nothing wrong with my eyes!” Owen squawked, indignant.

Ianto ignored him. “I’ve logged your appointment in your calendar, no need to thank me.” With that, he spun on his heel and headed back up the steps, leaving Owen staring after him, open-mouthed, and wondering what he was going to do with the one thousand five hundred and eighty-four boxes of cotton swabs he apparently now owned. It was so unfair! He made one tiny mistake and now Ianto expected him to pay for it! If that was the thanks he got for fixing the teaboy’s little booboos, next time Ianto got hurt he could try his luck with the NHS!


The End