The Bug


Rating: Teen

Flavor: Humor

Language: mild

Violence: implied cartoon violence

Nudity: no

Sex: a minor innuendo

Other: contains stereotypical gender roles, contains artistic use of all-caps.

Era: Early Season 2

Number of Gratuitous Jack Deaths: 0/0

Author's Notes:

Based on an incident at work. Loosely.

Oddly, Ianto didn't get any speaking lines in this one. That's okay, he doesn't need to say anything.

Props to 'Fluffy' from Sluggy Freelance!

The Bug


"Jack! Jack!"

Torchwood's captain tensed as Gwen and Tosh burst into his office, slightly breathless, faces drawn. "What? What is it?"

"There's a bug in the loo," Tosh said.

"A bug?"

"A huge bug," Gwen added.

"Hairy!" Tosh emphasized.

Jack frowned in confusion. "What, an ordinary Earth bug?"

Gwen huffed with impatience. "No, a huge, hairy, ordinary Earth bug!"

Jack still didn't understand why two of his competent, capable agents had come running to him. "Why are you telling me this?" he asked, baffled.

Gwen folded her arms with a stubborn Welshwoman scowl. "Are you, or are you not, the six-foot-four, broad-shouldered, strong-jawed, heroic man around here?"

"Uh...," he said slowly, eyes flicking between them. He sensed a trap. "Yeah?"

"Then it's your job to get your arse in there and get rid of it!"

"What? But-! How-?" Gwen just gave him the hairy eyeball. Tosh nodded vigorously. How sexist was this? Jack looked past them with some small hope of escape as Ianto appeared in the doorway. The young man presented a fly-swatter, hilt first. Jack groaned. "I can't believe you two are afraid of a little bug!"

"Huge!" Tosh corrected.

"And hairy," Gwen added, her Welsh accent growing stronger in ire.

"But you're not afraid of bugs!" He insisted, looking back and forth between them. "Just last month we had to deal with two insectoid life forms; you guys didn't bat an eyelash."

"Well giant bugs are no problem," Tosh said. "It's the little creepy-crawly ones that get on you. Those are the worst."

"Especially in the loo, where they might jump in your knickers when your defenses are down!" Both Gwen and Tosh shuddered.

Jack tilted his head. "You know, Gwen, if you need help searching your knickers for something big and hairy-"

"Don't," she warned him, voice frosting over, "even finish that sentence, Harkness!"

Jack put his head in his hands. "This thing could be sentient, you know."

"Fine! Go chit-chat it up and tell it to get the bloody hell out of our loo!"

"Jack," Tosh asked, "you're not afraid of bugs, are you?"

His head popped up. "No!"

Gwen closed in for the kill. "Then why haven't you gone down there and gotten rid of the bloody thing yet?"

"Okay, okay!" Jack got up from behind his desk and strode to the door. "I'll be the broad-jawed white knight in shining armor who slays the big bad bug to rescue the distraught damsels from distress." He accepted the fly swatter Ianto held solemnly braced over his arm, and snapped it upright in salute. The girls rolled their eyes. Jack shot a glare at Ianto, but the Welshman had his tongue firmly planted in cheek to keep from snickering.

Not so, the Torchwood medic. Owen was snickering up a storm as Jack led the procession past the med bay. "Not a word, Owen," Jack growled. "If it had been a snake, you'd be running up here, screaming like a girl."

"I would bloody not!" The doctor scowled. "I'd just shoot it. Gwen, why didn't you just pull out your gun and shoot the big bug, eh?"

She tossed her head. "Don't be daft, Owen. For just a little bug?"

Annoyed that his snark had been defeated, the doctor slunk back into his lair. The others waited while Jack continued down the corridor to the bathroom.


A few minutes later, he came back. "I couldn't find it," he said with a shrug.

"What do you mean you couldn't find it?" Gwen demanded.

"Did you look along the baseboards?" Tosh asked anxiously.

"Did you check behind the commode?"

"Yes! Yes!"

Gwen planted her fists on her hips. "And you came back here without finding it? It could still be there! Lying in wait!"

"Just biding its time for the opportunity to invade your knickers; I know, I know," Jack said sourly. Gwen glared twin daggers at him. "Okay, actually it heard me coming and fled in terror. I chased it away. It's gone! Probably halfway to Splott by now."

Gwen just kept staring daggers. Tosh lowered her head and gave him a look that clearly stated what she thought of his lie that wouldn't fool a five-year-old.

Jack glanced behind them at Ianto, hoping for some support, here. The Welshman's eyes were full of pity. Catching the barest inner edge of his lip under his teeth, he slowly shook his head. You poor, poor fool. Why hadn't he just lied in the first place? Jack slumped in defeat.

"All right," he said, drawing himself back up, gripping his mighty weapon, girding his loins. "You stay here," he ordered them, backing it up with a commanding gaze. "No matter what happens, do not come down this hall until I tell you it is safe!" He turned and marched back to the loo.

Behind him, Gwen and Tosh looked at each other and shook their heads. "I swear," Gwen said, "why do we keep him around?"

"Amusement value, mostly," the technician said, thinking it over. "But you'd think he could do something useful once in a while."

A moment later, Gwen, Tosh, and Ianto jumped as Jack's scream tore down the hall.

"AAAUUGH! No! Holy Mother of Mercy, IT'S HUGE!" There followed a great clamour of swatting and banging and crashing.

Owen came running from the med bay. "What the-?" He skidded to a halt, gaping at his three co-workers who were just standing there in the hall. "What the bloody hell?"

Gwen only stood, arms crossed, tapping her fingers impatiently on her bicep. Tosh looked at Owen, crossed her eyes, stuck out her tongue, and waggled her head in a mixture of annoyance and droll amusement. A wry grimace twisted Ianto's lips. He quirked one brow then tipped his head towards the source of the captain's clamour.

"You Shall Not Pass! AUGH! Taste the wrath of my mighty FLY-SWATTER!" More banging and thumping accompanied the yells. "Back! Beast of the Pit!" Swat! SWAT! "Thou shalt defile no more knickers!" Swat! BANG! "I am the Champion!" Thump! "I am the Master of the Universe!" Whump! "I shall never be defeated!" Wham Wham WHAM! "Return to the foul pit that spawned you!"

There was a mighty flush.

A moment later, Jack staggered forth. His face was red, his hair disheveled. The buttons at his cuffs and collar had come undone, and his shirt was askew. Huffing and puffing, he returned to his team. "Fear not, miladies! The Cursed Blight of the Loo has b-"

"Oh, shut it," Gwen growled.

Jack solemnly handed Ianto the fly swatter. It was bent sharply in the middle; the plastic swatting surface dangled limply, barely clinging to the handle by one corner. The Welshman cradled the poor weapon and gave it a proper moue of mourning as he looked down on it.

There was a moment of respectful silence.

Broken by Owen. "Cripes, Harkness; what a prat!"

Jack turned to Tosh and Gwen. "All right, ladies. Now you know who to call the next time you see a bug."

"Not you," muttered Gwen, already starting down the hall.

Jack's smile of triumph was quickly dashed by Tosh. "Oh, no," she said, not fooled an instant. "I'll be sure to call Captain Jack Harkness: The Mighty Bug-Slayer! This is the most entertainment I've had all week!"


End Notes:

Owen: "Gwen, why didn't you just pull out your gun and shoot the big bug, eh?"

Gwen: "Don't be daft, Owen. For just a little bug?"

-Although Bloodsong has been known to kill bugs with a sword... :X