Disclaimers: Same as Ch 1
Spoilers: Small ones for partners in Crime from Dr Who
They left the pub, oblivious to the fact that the regulars had all reached for their phones and started dialling,
"Ok another name that's turned up in our conversations is the village of Fiddlesticks so Tosh, Gwen if you can go and have a look around there, keep that 'Starting a business' thing going. Owen see what you can find about this aromatherapist, Sukie Ambrose, see if she's in on this weird stuff too, me and Ianto will look for Mitzi Blessing" said Jack, Gwen and Tosh nodded and started to make a move, Owen tapped Jack on the shoulder and pointed to a small building with a pink sign that said 'Hubble Bubble',
"Just a hunch but you might want to try in there" he said with a smirk. Jack heaved a sigh and swatted the back of Owen's head,
"Smart ass" he replied as he and Ianto headed for Hubble Bubble.
"Hello, can I help you?" said a pleasant looking red headed woman,
"Yeah, I'm looking for Mitzi Blessing" said Jack,
"Well you've found her, what can I do for you?" said Mitzi,
"I'm Jack Harkness and this is Ianto Jones, friends of ours are looking to start a business here" said Jack,
"Oh yes I heard, two women are thinking of starting a nursery" Mitzi replied.
"They weren't kidding when they said gossip travels quickly around here" remarked Ianto, Mitzi laughed,
"You can't keep a secret around here for more that 24 hours" she replied "so how can I help?"
"We were just wondering about whom to see about getting planning permission, permits, licences and all that legal stuff" said Jack, flashing his megawatt grin. Just as Mitzi was about to reply a younger blond woman burst through the door,
"Sorry I'm late I was up all night, the baby's just started moving and I think it's going to be a karate expert" she said.
"That's alright love, Lulu's going though it too and Doll she said this one is a right wriggler, anyway you'll need to get a move on you know how the Motions get if everything is not perfectly in order, you must get Slo to help you with the boxes, you're not to lift them" said Mitzi
"Don't worry, Lewis has designated Jem as my helper for the day, in fact Jem wouldn't let me out of the door unless I agreed, I'm picking him up after I leave here" the woman replied.
"Oh this is Jack Harkness and Ianto Jones they want to know about business practises around here, so they say anyway, this is Amber, she works for me" said Mitzi. Amber gave them a suspicious look,
"They've been asking questions about you in the pub" said Amber, Ianto rolled his eyes and muttered something about 'Bloody jungle drums'
"Really" remarked Mitzi, Amber nodded,
"Otto phoned Timmy and told him about some strangers in the pub asking about you and Lulu, he told Fern who told Zillah who told Lewis who told me" she said. Mitzi turned to Jack, who smiled his knicker-wetting smile at her,
"Well?" she said,
"It's nothing sinister honest, we were told that you are the leading business woman around here and you're the best person to ask about starting a business from scratch, really that's all" said Jack. Unseen by Jack and Ianto, Amber nodded towards a box on the table, Mitzi winked,
"Amber love put the kettle on, the Motion's can wait for a bit, let's have a cuppa and we'll have a nice chat" said Mitzi.
When everyone had coffee in front of them Mitzi opened the box and offered it to Jack,
"Please have one I made them fresh this morning, one of my specialities" said Mitzi, Jack helped himself to one of the cakes and bit into it,
"Jack are you..." started Ianto but Jack just waved his hand,
"This is really nice, what is it?" he asked,
"Just cake, now you're going to tell me what you're really doing here" said Mitzi.
"Well we're not really looking to start a business here, we're an organization called Torchwood" Jack took another bite of the cake "it's a secret organization founded by Queen Victoria to look into extra terrestrial activity and general strange goings on, I got a call from an old friend of mine about all the pregnancies around here and she asked us to look into it just to see if it was just coincidence or something else was going on. I mean everyone thinks The Midwitch Cuckoo's is just a story right, oh if only you knew the trouble we had tracking that cloud down and as for John Wyndam, well it's lucky for us no-one ever guessed he was a Torchwood agent, the least he could have done was split the royalties, so we're just checking that this isn't another alien breeding programme. I can't believe we missed that Adipose thing and boy can that Donna swear" Jack said, Mitzi and Amber gaped open mouthed at Jack; Ianto surreptitiously turned his back and activated his Bluetooth.
"Get back here now, Jack's been compromised" he whispered,
"Gotcha" said Owen and Ianto heard the squeal of tyres and the engine gunning; he turned back to Mitzi and Amber and drew his gun
"What did you do to him?" he demanded. Mitzi and Amber leapt off their stools and backed away.
"Nothing, they're Powers of Persuasion Puddings, it's a mixture of Carnation petals, dried Gentian, black grapes, Ginger and treacle when eaten the cook can compel the eater to do her will, I don't use them often, only on the village harridan and local Lady Muck, Tarnia Snepps, we need her permission to do anything in the village as she owns most of the land here, it's not dangerous, it's only herbs and the effects aren't permanent they'll start wearing off in an hour or so, you've been asking questions and I just wanted to know the truth" babbled Mitzi. Amber peered out from behind Mitzi
"You know you should really do something about your undercover work, you've stood out ever since you turned up in that big black car of yours and him " she pointed at Jack "he couldn't stand out anymore if he tried, we didn't need the jungle drums to know your were up to something, you gave it away" Amber retorted, Ianto rolled his eyes,
"I know" he replied with a sigh.
Just then Gwen, Owen and Tosh burst through the door with guns drawn
"What's going on?" demanded Owen,
"Our cover's been blown thanks to some kind of herb mixture in these cakes" said Ianto,
"Let me guess, he scoffed down the cake even after all we discovered" Ianto nodded "you dickhead, you might be immortal but you're not immune to everything else" Owen retorted in disgust,
"Ok I made a mistake, now you know the truth you might as well tell us what happened" replied Jack. Mitzi blushed
"About the pregnancies, I had a feeling I might have put a little too much dried strawberry and apple flesh in the Star of Venus biscuits but it wasn't excessive but it shouldn't have caused the pregnancies, it might have um...spiced things up...um...on the passion front...in fact it did, erm...when Joel got home from Fiddlesticks that night...um..."Mitzi said. Amber held up her hands
"Far, far too much information" she said,
"So you're saying your biscuits may have acted as an aphrodisiac but not caused the pregnancies" said Owen, Mitzi nodded
"I really don't know what caused that, I do know nothing in my book can 'cause' pregnancy" she replied.
"Maybe it was something to do with Cassiopeia's Carnival" said Amber. Mitzi shrugged
"I don't know, you know more about that star wishing stuff" she replied,
"Not me, Gwyneth and Ida would, you should talk to them they've been living in Fiddlesticks forever" said Amber. Two women and a man suddenly burst ran through the door,
"Mum, what's going on? Mrs Elkins said you were being raided by the Drug Squad" said the blonde woman in a nurse's uniform, Mitzi smiled
"It's just a mix up love, these people aren't the Drug Squad they're some kind of government agency who got their wires crossed that's all" she replied.
"I thought we'd got over all this stuff when Lulu gave up all that Animal Rights stuff, I don't want to see you hauled off to the slammer instead" said the man in the Dentist uniform as he kissed Mitzi.
"Um...my partner Joel, my eldest daughter Doll and Tammy, this is Jack Harkness and Ianto Jones, the others haven't introduced themselves yet" Mitzi explained as she came up for air. Doll glared at the Torchwood group and Joel held out his hand to Jack, who shook it,
"Don't make a habit of this or I might be forced to extract your teeth without an anaesthetic" he said, half jokingly,
"He can arrest me any time he likes" said Tammy as she held out her wrists to Jack. Joel grabbed her by the scruff of the neck and frog marched her to the door,
"Gotta go, I promised Viv a full run down, tell me all about it at home" said Joel
"Great, it'll be all over the village that we've been raided by now" said Amber. The phone rang and Amber picked it up
"Hubble Bubble...oh hi Perpetua, yes I know I'm late but something came up...no we haven't been raided by the Drug Squad it was a misunderstanding, tell Constance I'll be there by the time the party gets back from the service, I've just got to pick up Jem to help me with the boxes and I'll be over so tell Slo he won't have to help me this time...yes Perpetua...yes we are still legal and above board...yes Perpetua, I'll see you later" said Amber. She put the phone down
"Can I go now, the Motion's are demanding we get to the wake or else" said Amber, Jack nodded
"Looks like the cause of the pregnancies won't be found here" he said,
"Why do you need to find out, it's nothing sinister, no alien's are involved" Mitzi asked,
"Curiosity more than anything" replied Gwen "if it was just coincidence, so be it but if it was a mixture of herbs, celestial celebrations and God knows what else, we'd like to know what happened, just in case it happens again we'd like to have an answer, if you know what I mean" replied Gwen. Mitzi nodded,
"I can see the point, we just put it down to one of those things and never thought anymore about it but I can see that to people outside it would look a bit strange" she said in agreement,
"So Fiddlesticks is next on the list?" said Owen,
"Gwyneth and Big Ida are definitely the best people to talk to, Gwyneth lives in Chrysalis Cottage and Ida lives in Butterfly Cottage, the one in the middle, Moth Cottage, belongs to my other half's mother Zillah, but knock first, her husband's been on tour so they're making up for lost time" said Amber as Mitzi started to move boxes out of the door into a van. Tosh followed them, something had been bothering her
"Perpetua, Constance and Slo Motion, you are joking aren't you?" she said, Mitzi laughed
"No it's true, the Cousin's Motion are the local undertakers and their fathers had a very warped sense of humour" she said as she lock the van door.