Title: (I’m pretty sure I’m going to that special hell for this one)
Pairing/character: Jack, Ianto, Sesame Street Muppets
Disclaimer: I do not own, or make any money from the use of, these characters.
Written for Torchwood Cliché Fest. Trope named at the bottom.
“So when you agreed to come to New York for a UNIT conference, you really had no intention of actually attending the conference, did you?” Ianto asks.
“Nope. Those things are boring. This,” Jack says, spreading his arms wide to encompass the neighborhood street they are striding down. “This is interesting.”
“Bit of a cliché, isn’t it?” Ianto imitates Jack’s sweeping gesture. “This is a rundown residential street that probably hasn’t changed since the 1960s. I’m not even sure the garbage has been collected since the ‘60s, judging by the pile over there.”
“Ah, the Welsh complaining, and here I was missing Cardiff. Our computer identified this as a place of interest for two reasons. First, there are traces of alien tech emanating from this street. Possibly Timelord tech, based on the energy patterns.” Jack fiddles with his Vortex Manipulator before striding off in the direction of garbage pile.
“Okay,” Ianto says, trailing behind him. “I can see why you’d want to check that out. What was the other reason?”
“Hmm?” Jack responds, distracted for a moment by the strange readings he is getting.
“What was the other reason this street was flagged?”
“Multiple uses of the phrase ‘Bad Wolf’. It seems someone around here is using that name. And I want to know who.”
“Right. Because it went so well the last time you ran into someone using that name,” Ianto mutters.
Jack stops and spins around to face Ianto. “What was that?” he asks menacingly.
“Nothing, sir,” Ianto bites out. “Shall we just---What is that?”
“From here,” Jack replies calmly. “I’d guess it’s a Muppet.”
Ianto stares back for a moment, eyes wide and mouth gaping.
“What? You didn’t know they were aliens?”
Ianto closes his mouth and shakes his head.
“How could you not know? Jim Henson and Frank Oz are the best known agents in Torchwood history. Well, maybe Walt Disney’s the best know…”
“You fell for the cover story?” Jack chuckles. “It was one of our better efforts. Look, the Muppets ended up stranded here and we had to find a way to integrate them into society. They aren’t real bright and most of them have the emotional maturity of a small child, never mind they have fur and googly eyes. We bought the whole street, moved them and a group of handlers in, set up surveillance cameras and, voila, children’s television was born.”
“So that means this is…”
“Sesame Street. Neat, huh?”
“Jack Harkness on Sesame Street. This can only end in tears,” Ianto says with a roll of the eyes. “Let’s just get our readings and get out of here, yeah?”
“I don’t know. Seems kind of rude to come all this way and not at least say hello. There were a couple of really interesting parties back in the day…”
“Jack, if you tell me you had a threesome with Bert and Ernie, I swear…”
“No. The Sesame Street Muppets have the mentality of children, Ianto. Even I have some decency. Now the Fraggles, on the other hand, totally different species and more than competent--”
“Jack, two of them are headed this way,” Ianto says in a low voice.
“I’m surprised it took this long. They really are a very friendly.” Jack turns to smile at the two red monsters approaching.
“Oh, hi. Welcome to Sesame Street. I’m Elmo and this is my friend, Telly. We’re looking for words that begin with the letter F.”
“Well, I’m sure I could come up with a few of those,” Jack smirks before the sound of Ianto clearing his throat reaches his ears. “I’m Captain Jack Harkness and this is my friend, Ianto Jones. We’re looking for someone.”
“Oh, maybe Elmo and Telly could help Mr. Captain Jack Harkness and Mr. Ianto Jones. We’re good at finding things,” the smaller of the Muppets says.
“Yeah,” says the other. “We like helping. And cooperating. And sharing.”
“Okay. We’re looking for someone called Bad Wolf. Do you know them?”
“Hmmm,” says Elmo. “Elmo needs to think.”
“Elmo,” Telly says in loud stage whisper. “Do you think he means the Big Bad Wolf?”
“Maybe,” says Elmo. “Do you mean to Big Bad Wolf?”
Ianto throws his head back and stares at the sky.
“Maybe,” says Jack. “Could we talk to this Big Bad Wolf?”
“Well…,” Elmo starts. “He’s kind of a bully. He’s always huffing and puffing people who don’t like it.”
“Yeah,” Telly adds. “There was that time he huffed and puffed Oscar’s worm. And the time he huffed and puffed Snuffy. And he’s always trying to huff and puff the three little pigs.”
Ianto drops his head forward into his hands and mutters, “Does that make him a bully, or a sexual predator?”
“Ianto,” Jack snaps. “Can you take me to the Big Bad Wolf? So I can talk to him?”
“I don’t know,” says Elmo slowly. “What if he tries to huff and puff Mr. Captain Jack Harkness? Or Mr. Ianto Jones?”
“Could be fun,” Jack says with a leer. “What do say Ianto? Up for a little huffing and puffing?”
“Right. Focus. Where can I find him?”
“He should be around here somewhere. Oh, Big Bad Wolf,” Elmo yells. “Big Bad Wolf, where are you?”
“Yes?” comes the reply in a sing-song tone that makes Ianto immediately think ‘drag queen’. “I’m the Big Bad Wolf.”
Jack turns and takes in the figure of the lone wolf. “Hmmm,” says Jack with a raised eyebrow. “Not who I was looking for. Which means I’ve only got two questions for you. How big? And how bad?”
“Okay. Enough of this. Work to do, Jack,” Ianto interrupts. “The energy signal is coming from over here. It seems to be centered on this trashcan,” Ianto says, pulling at the metal lid. “Give me a hand here. This seems to be stuck.”
Both men are knocked back, landing in a heap next to the steps when the trashcan lid suddenly opens. “Hey, what’s the big idea here?” the small, green being popping out if the top asks. “Don’t you know it’s impolite to open someone’s door without knocking?”
“Er…Sorry. We didn’t realize this trashcan was occupied. I’m Captain Jack Harkness,” Jack says with a 1000 mega-watt smile and an offered hand.
“Yeah, well, you can call me Oscar. Oscar, the grouch,” he says, ignoring Jack’s hand. “What do you want?”
“Well, we were investigating some strange energy readings and the led us here. Mind if I take a look in there?” Ianto asks. “Make sure there’s nothing dangerous.”
“Sure. Suit yourself. Just watch that first step. It’s a doozy.”
“Right,” says Ianto, wrinkling his nose as he steps into the trashcan. He disappears for a moment and reappears. “I think I found the source of those readings. This trashcan is bigger on the inside.”
“So?” Jack asks, still distracted.
“Jack. It’s bigger on the inside. Can you think of anything else that is bigger on the inside? I mean, other than your ego?”
“Wait. Are you suggesting…? I remember there was a grouch in the group when we first set this place up… But he had orange fur and…”
“So what?” Oscar asked. “You met me before I regenerated. Big deal.”
“You regenerated? Who are you?”
“I told you. I’m the Grouch.”
“But you’re a Muppet.”
“Half Muppet, half Timelord.”
“Oh, the Doctor is going to love this.”
“The Doctor? Is that scumbag still around?”
(Trope: Crossover character is a Timelord)