m_findlow: (Gwen Ianto)
m_findlow ([personal profile] m_findlow) wrote in [community profile] fandomweekly2017-05-14 11:37 am

[#041] FREE SHIPPING (TORCHWOOD)

Theme Prompt: #041 - Down for the count
Title: Free shipping
Fandom: Torchwood
Rating/Warnings: PG
Bonus: Yes
Word Count: 1,000 words
Summary: Rhys should have known there was nothing normal about this delivery...



Fridges. That should have been my first clue. It always the bloody fridges.

'Just a small shipment mate, they said. Excess stock from Argos. Someone got a bit happy tappy on the computer. Stuck an extra zero in. You'd be doing us a real favour taking these off our hands.'

'I'm just the transport, mate,' I replied. 'Still your fridges.'

'Not for long,' he said.

Now, there's absolutely nothing else wrong at this point where you're going to point the finger at me and say "Eh, there you go, Rhys Williams. A proper Torchwood agent would've spotted that".

No, for once, everything appeared normal. Just a boring old warehouse, now filled with fridges. They were even good enough to help me unload them, bless them.

'So, is this like one of those discount warehouses?' I ask. 'You know, family and friends type sale and all? Only the wife and I need a new oven. Perhaps you could tip us a wink?'

The man just stood there and looked at me blankly, like he'd never offloaded some surplus stock on the cheap.

'Right-o. That's me done, then. You ever need a van again, remember Harwoods.' I pass him a business card.



I drove back to the office, parked the van and went inside. Something felt off, and it wasn't that Ruth had saved me the last custard cream to go with my cuppa.

I picked up the shipping file. New customer, one off delivery. Not unusual, but it nagged at me all afternoon. Resolved, I decided to go back there and have a poke around.



Inside it was dark, cold and largely empty. Except for the fridges. Then I spotted the outline of a man standing behind a pile of packing crates, his back turned.

I wasn't sure what to do. I mean, he probably wasn't a gun wielding drug cartel criminal, after all. Figured I might just go tap him on the shoulder and say "Oi, mate, so what's with all the fridges?".

So that's what I did. And that's the last thing I remember.



I squinted at the torchlight shining in my eyes, overly bright in the darkness.

'I am so, so sorry,' Ianto apologised.

'It wasn't your fault,' Gwen said placatingly. 'If some idiot hadn't shouted "Behind you!"...'

'Hey,' Jack said, coming to his own defense. 'You think I'm going to just sit and there and watch someone KO my boyfriend? Besides, it was dark and there was no way of telling who it was. I certainly wouldn't have put money on it being Rhys.'

Ianto offered me a hand up. Nice bloke, Ianto. Even if he did just clap me out. Bloody Torchwood.

'Good right hook, that,' I say. 'Where'd you learn how to box like that?'

'Rough neighborhood,' he said, as if that explained everything.

'Better question,' Jack said, getting back to business, 'Why are you here?'

I straighten the collar on my jacket, trying to look slightly more important than I feel.

'Could ask you the same thing.' Then I see Gwen, giving me that annoyed look like when I've forgotten to empty the tumble dryer, so I fess up instead.

'Fridges,' I say. 'Said Argos had ordered too many; only it's Argos. How would you ever know if they had too many fridges? Not like you can see them, is it?'

'We don't care about fridges, Rhys,' Jack said, giving me a firm stare. 'We're more concerned with the rumor of a shipment of level five prohibited plants.'

'Killer alien bonsai?'

'Close enough,' he replied. 'They fall into the wrong hands and we'll have a frenzy of locals getting high and dead off the drugs they can make from them.'

'Which is all well and good, Jack,' Gwen intervened, 'but we haven't found any plants nor anyone here. I'm starting to think we got bad intel.'

'You think they've given up the drug trade and moved into shifting whitegoods?' Ianto asked.

'The lead came from a reliable source,' Jack said. 'They wouldn't have had time to move them yet. They just have to be around here somewhere.'

'What about the fridges?' I say.

'Rhys, no one cares about the bloody fridges!' Gwen says, exasperated.

'So why are they all plugged in, then?'

You'd think someone who works for Torchwood would've noticed that. Forty fridges all quietly humming away. In fairness, I'd probably have missed it too had I not nearly tripped over one of the extension leads. The three of them exchange looks.

'Shall we?' Jack says, grinning and tugging open the nearest fridge door. There inside was stuffed dozens and dozens of spiky green plants. Yes, that's me, Rhys Williams, bloody genius.

'Rhys,' Jack says, 'you're almost not as incompetent as you look.' He says it with a smile though, so I probably shouldn't take offense.



An hour later, all the fridges are unloaded of their cargo, arranged in a neat pile in the middle of the warehouse floor. Ianto appears from nowhere with a large flamethrower, which Jack excitedly takes off him, before setting the whole pile afire with the glee of a five year-old on Guy Fawkes night.

'That'll certainly put a dint in their operations,' Ianto says, watching the flames snaking up, destroying every last tendril.

'More than a dint,' Jack agreed. 'Without their key supply, they'll be down for the count for a long while. That stuff is devilishly hard to procure. With any luck, they might even pack up and leave Earth altogether.'

'Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves, Jack,' Gwen added. 'We still don't know where their base of operations is, and there's plenty of other toxic drugs they could be cooking up.'

'If only we knew someone who had their billing address,' Ianto mused, grinning and looking straight at me.

I sighed dramatically. 'The world would have ended years ago if it wasn't for me always bailing you lot out.'

Jack grimaced. 'Next thing, you'll be wanting me to put you on the payroll.'


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