sam_storyteller: (Default)
sam_storyteller ([personal profile] sam_storyteller) wrote2005-07-18 12:45 pm

Trying to Communicate; Torchwood, PG

Title: Trying to Communicate
Rating: PG
Characters: Team, hints of Jack/Ianto
Spoilers: Through 2.07, Dead Man Walking
Summary: There's an alien in the Hub, and it's trying to communicate. This borders perilously on crackfic.
Warnings: None.

Originally Posted 5.5.08

Also available at AO3.

"I don't care what you say," Gwen said, as they descended the stairs to the Hub, the rolldoor sliding back obligingly as Ianto swiped his keycard. "All I want is a bagel and a cup of coff -- "

She had stopped, Ianto realised, because she had bumped into his back. He didn't realise that he himself had stopped until she bounced off, rubbing her nose.

"Ow! Ianto!"

Something was wrong with the Hub.

"What's going on?" she asked, and he felt her moving to step around him. He put out a hand, stopping her, and then pointed.

"What's the holdup?" Jack called from behind Owen. "I'm freezing."

"Someone's been in the Hub," Ianto replied.

Sitting on Tosh's desk, the most visible from the doorway, was a large wood-and-metal contraption. It had certainly not been there when the call came in -- a giant snot-flinging monster, menacing early afternoon lunch-patrons at a local bistro.

He heard rather than saw the guns being drawn; Jack's antique from its leather holster, Tosh and Owen's modern pieces sliding out of their nylon. He put his hand down to his hip for his own sidearm and then swore softly when he realised his gun, like Gwen's, had been discarded in a pile of highly corrosive snot somewhere in a sewer grate.

"I go left, Tosh and Owen right," Jack said, pushing past them. "You two, sweep from behind."

They entered the Hub on alert, eyes skimming everywhere, taking in the gantries and the walkways over the fountain's pool. Ianto moved cautiously, inching towards Tosh's desk, studying the object with care. It didn't look very threatening; close-up it was some kind of woven-wood construction, about the size of a paper bag, with metal struts and a glass dome over the top.

There were oily marks beneath the desk, and he bent to examine them; as he did, something landed lightly on his back.

An ordinary person would have shouted and straightened instantly, but Torchwood training and two years with a grabby boss had taught better. He simply froze.

"Owen," he said, and Owen swung around, gun pointed in his direction. Ianto squeezed his eyes shut. "There's something on my back."

"Y HALO THAR," something said, somewhere above him.

Ianto briefly wondered if he were hallucinating.

"Is it," he asked carefully, "by any chance -- "

"A cat," Owen said flatly.

"There's a cat," Ianto said. "On my back."

"Hello moggie!" Owen said. "Where'd you come from?"


"And it's talking."


There was a muffled snicker from somewhere to his left. The soft weight on his back padded over to one shoulder. It felt like a cat. And, when a furry face appeared in front of his, looked like one too.

"O HAI," the cat said.

Ianto straightened cautiously.

"Is that a talking cat?" Jack asked, off in the distance.

"It does appear to be," Ianto said carefully. The cat leapt from his shoulder to Tosh's desk. The others gathered round slowly.

"I HAS A HOOMANS," the cat continued.

"Jack, were there any mind-altering substances in the corrosive alien snot?" Tosh asked faintly. Jack put out his hand, and the cat butted its head against his fingers.

"Scanner?" he said. Tosh carefully slid a black box off the desk and aimed it at the cat.

"Definitely alien," she said.

"Talking alien cat?" Ianto asked.

"IM IN UR BASE," the cat repeated.

"Apparently so," Jack said. The cat rubbed its back along one of the monitors.

"I could be wrong," Owen said drily, "but it seems to be trying to communicate."


"Are you the only one?" Jack asked, and the mental image of Jack talking seriously to a pale grey tomcat was one that Ianto suspected would linger.

"IN UR BASE, PRITTY DAM LOST," the cat replied.

"Fell through the rift, maybe," Ianto heard himself say.

"NIS PLANUT U GOT HURR," the cat said. It was odd how you could almost see the capital letters, Ianto thought.

"Captain Jack Harkness," Jack said, and offered his hand. The cat licked his fingers.

"O HAI SEXIE JAK," the cat said. Jack beamed.

"He catches on quick," Owen drawled.

"SEXIE JAK, DIS MAH SHEP," the cat told him. "I FLYZ IT."

"Did he just say something about sheep?" Gwen asked.

"Ship, I think you'll find," Ianto corrected. The cat gave him a curt nod.

That was a sentence he never thought he'd think.

"He's lost," Tosh said. "Poor thing. We can help."


"No batteries," Jack muttered.


They all looked at each other.

"I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?" the cat asked.

"I'm sorry, we don't understand," Jack said.

"HUNGRY CAT IS HUNGRY," the cat tried, looking pointedly at Ianto.

Ianto sighed.

"There's cream in the fridge," he said, offering his arm. The cat leapt into the crook of his elbow and purred contentedly.

"I HAS A YANTOE," it informed them.


When the cat was settled on the conference-room table, lapping at a saucer of cream with a noise that sounded suspiciously like OM NOM NOM NOM, the others took their seats.

"It makes sense, when you think about it," Owen said.

"How does a talking cat make sense?" Gwen asked.

"Well, not the talking bit. Though that makes sense too, alien and all." Owen leaned forward. "He said he'd been monitoring us."

"Moniturrin," Ianto murmured.

"Now, if you were lost and you went to a planet full of humans that didn't speak your language but were still quite obviously human," Owen continued, "What would you do?"

"Tap into the local literature," Jack said. "Ten points for Owen."

"Our local literature's the internet," Tosh said.

"And the only time you see cats meaningfully communicating on the internet is..." Jack tapped a few keys on the side of the screen. A webpage appeared. At the top was an image of a cat, wild-eyed, captioned I CAN SEE FOREVER. "So if that's the only way you know how to speak to the locals..."

"Are you telling me," Gwen said, "That we have an alien LOLcat?"

"Makes sense," Owen repeated.

"In what universe does this make sense?"

"Ours," Jack replied. "Tosh, see if you can get his..."

"Basket," Ianto helpfully supplied.

"...spaceship fixed. Owen, find out if he'll let you take some blood samples for the archives. Gwen, I want research. Ianto, try and teach him some decent English."

"I rather like the way he talks," Owen said.

"Right on your level," Ianto muttered, but he didn't say it very loud.

Bent over the cream, lapping contentedly, the cat continued. "OM NOM NOM NOM NOM."








Ianto, chin resting on the table to be on a better level with the cat, sighed.

"Well, it's close enough." He sat back. "This is Torchwood."

"TURCHWAD!" the cat looked positively gleeful.

"We mean you no harm."

The cat gave him an inscrutable look.


"Shh! Sh!" Ianto said, frantically.

"What did he say?" Owen asked, appearing in the doorway.

"O HAI!" the cat bounded over to him, rubbing its head along his chest.

"Just coming in to tell you, Tosh says the space-ship takes Earth batteries all right," Owen said. "Should have it up and running as soon as we get the contacts cleaned."

The cat stopped rubbing, suddenly, and looked up at him.

"INVISIBLE HART BEET," it said, sadly.

"Yes, well," Ianto replied, scooping him up and brushing past Owen. "He ded of Torchwood."

"AHAHAHA," the cat yowled.

"NOT FUNNY!" Owen called.



There was a tiny helmet in the tiny cargo bay of the cat-basket space ship. Ianto wasn't sure why he had thought it would be otherwise.

"BRB," the cat informed them. "GOIN TO SPACE."

"Hopefully not -- " Jack's lips twisted as he tried to figure out how to say brb. "Hopefully staying in space."

"DIS MAH SHEP. HAPPY CAT IS HAPPY. PRITTY TOSH IS PRITTY," the cat said, shoving its head into the helmet and curling up on the cushion. Steam began to issue from the vents on the side of the ship as it rose into the air.


"Hey," Jack said, as the ship hovered. "We didn't get your name."

The cat gave them all a feral smile and lifted off, aiming for the bright square of light that marked the ceiling exit of the Hub. As it did, a faint tinny communique echoed back to them.



Author's notes: Once again, while you cannot blame Doctor Who for this, you can blame Jean. She has some weird fetish for Jack liking LOLcats. :D And if you don't know what a LOLcat is, I applaud your persistence in finishing the fic and would like to direct you here.

Author's notes expanded: O HAI ENTIRE INTERNETS. I can't quite believe how much attention this silly thing has gotten. I hope you've enjoyed it, and that you'll stick around and check out the rest of the fanfic on this archive journal, wander over my original fiction at [ profile] theoriginalsam, or come say hi over at my personal LJ, [personal profile] copperbadge. Thank you for your comments!

Yes. There are icons. And other icons. And yet more icons!

There's also Podfic! And more podfic!

Author's Notes Part the Millionth: This was in comments in my journal a long time ago, and then my journal got hacked and I barely managed to recover it: The Doctor Meets Ceiling Cat

The first time the Doctor met Ceiling Cat, he was still recovering from the end of the Time War. He was never certain how the cat got into the TARDIS to begin with, but he awoke one morning to find it curled up on his chest, purring contentedly.

"O HAI," it said, when it noticed him staring. "I HAS A TIMELURDZ."

"Go away, moggie," he said, sighing. It sat up, fixed him with a steely gaze, and flicked its tail. It leapt off his chest and walked with dignified gait to the door.

"CHEER UP, EMO KID," it informed him, and vanished into the hallway.

[identity profile] 2008-03-05 04:19 pm (UTC)(link)
Ok, tears pouring down my face. That is the best thing I have EVER read in my life!!

Bent over the cream, lapping contentedly, the cat continued. "OM NOM NOM NOM NOM."


[identity profile] 2008-03-05 05:06 pm (UTC)(link)
NOM NOM NOM is possibly my favourite internet trope ever.

(no subject)

[identity profile] - 2008-03-05 17:23 (UTC) - Expand

[personal profile] starkdependant 2008-03-05 04:25 pm (UTC)(link)
BRILLIANT. This was the best thing ever.

[personal profile] starkdependant 2008-03-07 03:25 pm (UTC)(link)
I came back again, this is the single most humorous thing I have ever seen. Still giggling at it rather than doing my Gender & Creativity essay. Well done! =D

(no subject)

[identity profile] - 2008-07-16 05:24 (UTC) - Expand

[identity profile] 2008-03-05 04:27 pm (UTC)(link)
Yup. All my fault. *grin*

So speaking of things that are my fault... where's my sequel to zee RPF? XD

[identity profile] 2008-03-05 05:06 pm (UTC)(link)

It's in my head. With Scott and John dancing and Gareth being all ragey and closeted and John Tennant feeling sorry for himself.

My head: welcome to the jungle.

(no subject)

[identity profile] - 2008-03-13 06:42 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[identity profile] - 2008-03-13 15:11 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[identity profile] - 2008-03-23 03:33 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] drgaellon - 2008-03-23 08:23 (UTC) - Expand

[identity profile] 2008-03-05 04:32 pm (UTC)(link)
I love that Ianto speaks fluent LOLcat. "He ded of Torchwood" is so utterly for the win. (though shouldn't it be "from", if you're going for the "now he ded from coke" meme?)

This is absolutely brilliant. Damn it, man, you'll drag me into a fandom I know nothing about!

[identity profile] 2008-03-05 05:04 pm (UTC)(link)
Well, if anyone would speak LOLcat, I mean, he must spend a lot of time surfing the internet in the tourist centre...:D

(no subject)

[identity profile] - 2008-08-11 03:10 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[identity profile] - 2008-08-11 16:22 (UTC) - Expand

[identity profile] 2008-03-05 04:36 pm (UTC)(link)

Alien LOLCats - that is just totally inspired.

I am currently dividing my time between regarding you with deep awe and laughing like an utter loon :-)

[identity profile] 2008-08-11 09:17 am (UTC)(link)
I am currently dividing my time between regarding you with deep awe and laughing like an utter loon ( Reply to this ) alexiel_neesan pm UTC ( link ) "In what universe does this make sense.

[identity profile] 2008-03-05 04:42 pm (UTC)(link)

"In what universe does this make sense?" true... great laugh - please, don't stop writing Torchwood. Your fics make more sense than the last episodes.

[identity profile] 2008-03-05 04:45 pm (UTC)(link)

[identity profile] 2008-03-05 04:45 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, I am dead. Of lolz, naturally.

[identity profile] 2008-03-05 04:46 pm (UTC)(link)

[identity profile] 2008-03-05 05:02 pm (UTC)(link)
ext_52603: (Jack - Naked Jack is always expected)

[identity profile] 2008-03-05 04:49 pm (UTC)(link)
They would get something like a LOLcat, wouldn't they?

[identity profile] 2008-03-05 04:51 pm (UTC)(link)
I almost made it a genetically-altered cat from the future specifically designed to be LOLtastic, left for them as a gift by the Doctor, but this way was funnier. :D

(no subject)

[identity profile] - 2008-03-05 18:52 (UTC) - Expand

[identity profile] 2008-03-05 04:52 pm (UTC)(link)
So,'s it feel to have killed us all dead from the lulz? Seriously. I am laughing so hard it's difficult to type. Best part? Ianto saying: "Yes, well," Ianto replied, scooping it up and brushing past Owen. "He ded of Torchwood. with his usual Ianto straight face and sardonic delivery. FTW. Yantoe winz LOLspeak

[identity profile] 2008-03-05 05:02 pm (UTC)(link)
Ianto always wins. People need to learn this. IANTO ALWAYS WINZ. :D

I started writing this in my head on the El yesterday, and must have looked like a loon, sitting there with this huge sneaky grin on my face.
snakeling: Statue of the Minoan Snake Goddess (Default)

[personal profile] snakeling 2008-03-05 04:52 pm (UTC)(link)
*dies laughing*
snakeling: Statue of the Minoan Snake Goddess (Default)

[personal profile] snakeling 2008-03-05 05:07 pm (UTC)(link)
PS: inscrutible should be inscrutable :)

[identity profile] 2008-03-05 04:54 pm (UTC)(link)
I've injured myself laughing so much! This is such a beyond glorious story that I WISH they would film something like this!! Every time I read something you've done for TW is better than the one prior. A serious light on my Flist to see you posted something new!!

[identity profile] 2008-03-05 05:02 pm (UTC)(link)
I think it would make an amusing Children In Need special...:D

(no subject)

[identity profile] - 2008-07-16 15:08 (UTC) - Expand

[identity profile] 2008-03-05 04:55 pm (UTC)(link)
so, I came across the samstoryteller post first scrolling up the friends page, and tagged it like I do with all the torchwood fics that have spoilers past the episodes I have watched, so that I may return and read once I have seen the appropriate episode etc. Then I get to your post about the fic and see you recommend it even for non-torchwoodians, and think well just this once...

and am SO glad I did. The only thing I could see that would be spoilery would be the snot-monster...but ooooh snot monster, have never seen those before.

So all around awesomeness for all.

And also you were the one to introduce me to LOLcats, so it is all your fault I understood.

[identity profile] 2008-03-05 04:59 pm (UTC)(link)
There's no actual snot monster. :D Just FYI.

LOLcats are love.

[identity profile] 2008-03-05 04:57 pm (UTC)(link)
OMG! :D I don't know Torchwood but Ceiling Cat visitin planet Earth is really such a gross idea. What did you drink/eat/smoke? But it's funny. Really.
Ceiling Cat...

[identity profile] 2008-03-05 05:03 pm (UTC)(link)

[identity profile] 2008-03-05 05:04 pm (UTC)(link)

CHRIST, Sam. Just when I think you can't get N E MOR AWESUM...

[identity profile] 2008-03-05 05:05 pm (UTC)(link)
If I've said this every time you've commented, forgive me, but I've definitely thought it every time -- your icon is FANTASTIC.

[identity profile] 2008-03-05 05:09 pm (UTC)(link)
*iz ded. from teh lulz*


[identity profile] 2008-03-05 05:10 pm (UTC)(link)
Ahahaha, I just laughed so loud I woke up the dog. Who is deaf.

Brilliant, Sam! :D
ext_1798: (byron superiority/pre_raphaelite1)

[identity profile] 2008-03-05 05:14 pm (UTC)(link)
Your mind is extremely warped. I'm sort of impressed. ;)

[identity profile] 2008-03-05 05:17 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh please. Go on. Tell me I'm warped on the inside. You know you want to. :D

[identity profile] 2008-03-05 05:16 pm (UTC)(link)
There are. No. WORDS. XD

[identity profile] 2008-03-05 05:19 pm (UTC)(link)
Sure there are! They're just all spelled wrong. :D

[identity profile] 2008-03-05 05:16 pm (UTC)(link)
Sam, you are made of complete and utter WIN.

Just so you know.

I don't even watch Torchwood. I get confused when people talk about the omnisexual Captain Jack until I hear either 'pirates' or 'aliens' and even them sometimes I'm not real sure.

But this was hilarious.

[identity profile] 2008-03-05 05:18 pm (UTC)(link)
I don't think there have been any pirates, YET, in Torchwood -- though there have been exuberant roman soldiers and it's true Jack did used to do the odd bit of grifting.

[identity profile] 2008-03-05 05:24 pm (UTC)(link)

[identity profile] 2008-03-05 05:26 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh God! Oh Jesus, Jesus. I kept saying to myself, "Oh! I should put this part in my comment! This has to be my favorite line." The twentieth time that happened I just sort of gave up.
You have brightened my day considerably. :)

(Anonymous) 2008-03-16 02:00 am (UTC)(link)
I kept doing the same thing. lol. But I finally settled on... "DED OF TURCHWAD! FOR GRATE LOLZ!" Oh my god. That just about killed me. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

[identity profile] 2008-03-05 05:27 pm (UTC)(link)

It skirts the edge of crackfic, but then again, so does Turchwad for realz.

[identity profile] 2008-03-05 05:34 pm (UTC)(link)
This is true. And I like to think that I have enough experience writing in the more crack-laced corners of fandom to actually kind of pull it off with flair. Junkie chic, as it were, for the fannish set. :D