Title: Out of the blue
Characters: Ianto, Myfanwy, Jack, Owen
Length: 1,833 words
Content notes: none
Author notes: Written for m_findlow's prompt "Any, any, chocolate really does fix everything" at fic_promptly
Summary: A late night rift gift causes havoc in the skies
It should have been one of those nice peaceful evenings when nothing exciting happened. Outside it was very dark, the sun having set many hours ago, but looking up he could still make out the faint outline of his trusted companion and friend. There was something just so majestic about watching a pterodactyl in full flight.
It was a shame that her wanderings were mainly restricted to the night-time hours. It was a complete contrast to the routine of most normal pterodactyls, which would have spent their days flying about, fishing, and scavenging for small fruits. It was pretty hard to let Myf go fishing in the middle of the day, dipping her beak into the bay as tourist ferries and local fisherman came trundling by in their vessels. Still, it hadn't stopped her from on occasion sneaking out, often in the wee hours of the morning, to go and see what the trawler men had brought in overnight. Once or twice she'd nearly been caught out rifling through their catches, getting herself caught on old heavy netting. Luckily Torchwood had been on hand to rescue her from her predicament, though she was always chastised afterwards.
She knew better of course, but sometimes the lure of fish, just freshly caught from the sea, was far too tempting for her to pass up. Try as he might, Ianto could only source fresh fish when there was time for a trip down to the markets. Most times though she would have to be satisfied with whatever could be shipped in from the docks from his standing order with a local supplier. In his opinion, she was still be best fed pterodactyl on Earth – even if she was the only one.
Tonight though Myf wasn’t on the prowl for fish, she was simply out and about to stretch her wings and enjoy the brisk Cardiff night air. That she had a companion on the ground enjoying her aerial acrobatics was just a bonus. She knew Ianto was there, watching her, so she played up to it, hoping for extra treats if she was able to impress him.
She was in the process of doing some sweeping dives, rising high up in the air before coming swooping down, almost clipping him as she sailed just inches overhead, watching the look of glee on his face. Once or twice she’d even let him tickle her tummy on the way past, squawking with rapturous joy. She was flapping and soaring up high for another run at him, determined to chase him halfway across the plass when his phone beeped harshly at him, signalling a rift alert. It wasn't huge, but it was right on top of them. The object came flying out of a glowing tear in the sky, rocketing down at frightening speed. Looking up in horror, Ianto realized Myf was right in its path. She tried desperately to duck away from the object, but it was coming in so fast that it was all she could do just to tip her body sideways letting the object streak past her, missing her by mere inches. Missing was probably the wrong term, because she was indeed hit by it, but thanks to her agility, it only managed to clip her left wing. Still, it was enough to send her reeling, losing control of the updraft she'd been drifting on.
She heard Ianto yell out as she came plummeting back to earth. She'd crash landed before, but this time would be worse. It wasn't just a sudden loss of air pressure, or a freak gust of wind. Those she was almost accustomed to, and more than once she'd been knocked ungracefully out of the sky by some rather erratic Welsh weather.
She couldn't flap to stop herself, her wing damaged by the object that had fallen out of the rift. Ianto watched as she dropped like a stone, twisting and tumbling wildly out of control, and his heart dropped into his stomach as he tried to follow her path downwards. She was going to hit the plass, and hard. He ran, trying to avoid being hit by the object also falling, though it looked like it might drop into the bay judging by its trajectory. Right now, whatever it was, was deemed irrelevant. There’d be time to check it out later. He was more concerned about Myf. He wished he could do something to break her fall, but being crushed beneath the weight of an incoming pterodactyl was likely to do more harm to him that it would be to her. He remembered how much it had winded him when Jack had dropped on top of him from a height. He could only imagine how much worse this would be.
Somehow at the very last minute, she managed one last flapping sweep of her wings which seemed to arrest some of her velocity, turning her awkwardly sideways, and her impact on the ground, though crunching, rolling and tumbling, wasn't nearly as bad has he'd expected. Even so, he ran towards her barely moving body. She was crumpled on the plass. Fortunately it was late, so there were no other onlookers to the scene. He was immediately onto his comms, calling for Jack to come and help, and to call Owen ASAP.
Myf squawked in a pained way as he came over to check on her. She nudged his head in a reassuring way, trying to tell him that she was basically okay, but it was the large gash in her left wing that caught his eye straight away, dripping thick with blood. As soon as Ianto's hands went anywhere near it, she shrieked in pain. Despite it, he quickly pulled out his handkerchief, pressing it to the deep cut, trying to stanch the bleeding. It hurt a lot and when he pressed down on it, she pecked his hand hard, eliciting a matching gash on his own hand, to which his hissed in pain. She hadn't meant it - not really - but it had just hurt so much that she'd reacted by instinct. She tried to tell herself that he was only trying to help, not make things worse. Moments later, Jack was by her side as well, inspecting the wound.
‘I've called Owen. He should be here in fifteen minutes. Let's just try and get her inside.'
It was tricky work. She usually crawled out through a tunnel that lead from her nest and underneath several of the restaurants above the bay, coming out further down the coastline where there was a less chance of being seen. Trying to drag her all that way to her usual entrance would be impossible. The only thing for it was to try and fit her on the invisible lift and take her down that way. It took a lot of coaxing, as she didn't feel like going anywhere right now, but eventually they got her the thirty yards across the plass to the water tower. It was a very tight squeeze, and both Jack and Ianto were sitting virtually on top of her, holding in her gangling wings and beak so that she could fit through the opening, hanging on for dear life so that they too didn't take a tumble off the edge.
Finally they reached the bottom, hearing the platform click into place with a thunk. Jack darted off to get some more bandages to stop the bleeding whist Ianto stayed with Myf, trying to comfort her and cooing Welsh words in her ear to soothe her squawks.
Owen arrived in record time, knowing that there were only two things he ever rushed back to the hub for: one which would keep him on good terms with the boss, and the other that would keep him on good terms with his daily caffeine supply.
He inspected the wound carefully, assuring them that it was deep, but that he should be able to easily patch it up.
‘Can you give her something for the pain?’ Ianto asked, looking like an anxious parent.
‘I already did,’ he replied, ‘but I've got no idea how much you can safely give to a dinosaur, so I’d rather give her too little than too much.’
Ianto stayed by Myf's side the whole time, as Owen carefully cleaned the cut, stitching it in places and finally dressing it with a wide bandage.
‘Should be okay in about a week,’ he reported, ‘but no flying.’
‘Hear that girl?’ Ianto said, trying to rub gentle circles on her breast.
‘What was that thing that hit her anyway?’ Owen asked, curious.
‘Don’t know,’ Ianto replied. ‘But it came in hard and fast, and ended up taking a dip in the bay. Jack is checking it for hazardous residues. Luckily it seems to be inanimate.’
‘Another fishing trip tomorrow morning, then?’
‘Looks that way,’ Ianto sighed. ‘Looks like I’ll have to double check our scuba gear before going to bed. Jack will be itching to dredge it up. Never mind that it tried to kill us.’
With a reasonable amount of effort they were able to get Myfanwy settled back up in her nest, though she was still mewling from the pain, sounding pathetic. Ianto wasn’t sure what he could do to ease her suffering, since Owen had limited her pain medication, so he went down to his desk and rifled through the contents. There was surely still some here. Finding what he was after, he returned to her nest, but not before Owen spied the injury to his own hand and wasted another ten minutes patching him up.
‘Hey girl,’ he said when he returned, hand now bandaged. ‘Look, we match now,’ he said showing her his hand.
She seemed to sense what he was telling her and gave him a squawk as if of apology.
‘I know you didn't mean it,’ he said, ‘but you've reminded me just show sharp your beak is.’
Fumbling with his good hand to get the packet undone, Myf could smell it already. It was chocolate, but not just any chocolate. It was that really expensive dark chocolate that Ianto saved for special occasions. The kind he had to keep hidden from Jack and Owen, because they didn’t share.
‘I thought you and I deserved a treat after everything that’s happened tonight,’ he said breaking off a large square and giving it to her. ‘So much for our enjoyable night off.’
It was good. Really good, and almost made her forget the pain in her wing which was slowly getting duller, though whether it was Owen’s medicine, Ianto’s company, or the chocolate, she couldn't tell. She watched him pop a small piece in his own mouth, letting it melt and grinning pleasurably.
She was given another piece and she purred with contentment at the taste of the rich, bitter chocolate. Ianto smiled at her obvious delight, leaning back against her, happy that they were here together.
‘See, I guess it's true what they say, chocolate really does fix everything.’