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This Crying Earth - 2/17

Series: Mosaic
Word Count: 40.092
Summary: Coedwig Street has been a peaceful neighbourhood for a long time but now, a mysterious being is roaming the street and gardens, scaring the families living there and getting Torchwood's attention. The team doesn't know that it's messing with a force older than Earth … and its dangerous allies. And while Gwen is having problems with Rhys and Ianto is struggling with his attraction to Jack, the Fairies don't seem to be finished with the captain, yet.
Characters: Jack Harkness, Ianto Jones, Gwen Cooper, Toshiko Sato, Owen Harper, Rhys Williams, the Fairies, Andy Davidson, Myfanwy, OCs
Pairing: Jack/Ianto, Gwen/Rhys
Rating: PG-13
Spoiler: Everything Changes, Ghost Machine, Small Worlds, Fragments, Characters from Children of Earth (Ianto's family) / Novels: Slow Decay / Doctor Who: Mentions of The End of the World and hints at The Sound of Drums plus The Last of the Time Lords
Setting: after Small Worlds
Warnings: OC M-Preg in the past. Language.
Feedback: Can’t breathe without it.
Beta: alt_universe_me , danian  and Vistin. Thank you.
Disclaimer: I’m not making money with this fanfic. The tv-show Torchwood and the characters appearing within it belong to their producers and creators. Any similarities to living or dead persons are purely coincidental and not intended.

Chapter One
Masterlist

Remember to drop a comment at rex's LJ for the awesome art made for this story.

***
***


2.


When Gwen Cooper left the bathroom, her small flat smelled of scrambled eggs, bacon and burnt toast. She couldn't suppress a smile when she entered the living room and watched Rhys in the kitchen niche fussing at the stove. She ignored the empty space in the middle of the living room, where their couch and coffee table had stood. It was the last sign that the Fairies had been in their flat – that Torchwood had been there. Gwen had always treated work separate from her private life, especially now that she was hunting aliens for a living, but the chaos the Fairies had left – in her safe harbour – had proven to her that it wouldn't work forever. Fortunately, Rhys still believed that it had been a random breaking and entering.

She went to the kitchen and dropped a kiss on Rhys' lips before she sat down at the bar that separated the kitchen from the living room. She poured herself coffee. "You made breakfast." She smiled and glanced at her mobile. No messages. She put it on the counter and tucked her long hair behind her ears.

Rhys served them the food, and Gwen handed him the small basket in which Rhys had stashed the toast. He grinned. "Just for you," he said and Gwen answered him with another kiss before Rhys sat down.

"Thanks." She glanced at her mobile again.

"Leave that for a minute, okay?" Rhys asked, and took the mobile from her, laying it on the counter.

Gwen frowned. "Rhys, what if-"

"We can hear it, right?" he asked, and she sighed reluctantly but nodded. Torchwood was taking away a big chunk of the time she would normally spend with Rhys and he didn't like it. It was only fair that she would spend the few hours she was at home with him.

She sipped her coffee, and buttered some toast.

Rhys suddenly seemed to get a bit nervous. "Gwen," he said hesitantly.

"Yes?" She looked at him expectantly.

"We were planning on buying a new couch and coffee table."

"As soon as I get an afternoon off, I swear."

Rhys stirred his coffee. "I thought, maybe we could do something different."

“Different?” she asked.

“We've been together for a while now,” Rhys said.

Gwen almost choked on her toast and stared at him wide-eyed. Oh, God, what if he was going to propose now … what would she say?

“And we should plan ahead for the future,” Rhys continued.

“Yes,” Gwen said carefully. She smiled weakly.

He nodded, obviously feeling he was on the right track. “So, let's … move into another flat.”

Gwen sighed in relief. “Move? Rhys, what are you on about? This flat's perfect and cheap.”

“It's tiny,” Rhys said with a frown.

“Big enough for the both of us.”

“Yeah, but maybe ...” He smiled hopefully. “... we'll need an additional room soon.” Gwen stared at him. Rhys grimaced. "I kinda thought you would be happy, but now, I'd be happy about any reaction at all," he said after a minute.

"You mean ... a baby?"

“Not right now,” he assured her. “I just thought … going through those catalogues with furniture, I kinda realized that we should renovate the flat, and then I thought we could just as easily move. It'd be a step towards the future. No pressure, Gwen. Just … a possibility.”

"I don't know if that's such a good idea."

He frowned. "Why not?"

“My job's exhausting. Moving would be a bit much at the moment.”

Rhys's eyes narrowed. “That's a stupid reason. Take a few days off.”

“It's not that easy,” she said.

“You don't want to,” he answered. In fact, Gwen didn't know what she wanted. She loved Rhys but a bigger flat would be … a promise. Her life was a mess at the moment and she didn't know if she could cope with such a promise.

She checked her watch. "I … let me think about it, okay? I gotta go to work." She grabbed her mobile.

Rhys followed her into the hallway. "Gwen, c'mon."

She took her jacket from the hanger and shook her head. "No, seriously. I gotta go. Give me time to think about it." With that, she left.

***

When Toshiko entered the Hub, Owen was already there. He was using one of his screens for research, another one to chat and the third was showing the morning news. A pretty reporter was posing in front of Buckingham Palace, explaining happily, "The Queen's invitation to Harold Saxon is seen as a sign of her acceptance. Saxon's the hottest candidate for the coming elections. The United Kingdom reacted with enthusiasm when Saxon officially announced his intent to become the next Prime Minister a week ago. He's promising big changes and even went as far as to say that the country needs a doctor. Surveys affirm that the population agrees."

Tosh draped her coat over the back of her chair, put down her bag and joined Owen at his station. She crossed her arms. "I kinda like him."

Owen seemed to notice her for the first time and looked up at her, asking, "Who? Saxon?"

"He's good."

Owen shrugged after a few seconds of staring at the screen. "Yeah. You're right."

The news presenter thanked the reporter and Owen closed the website. Tosh glanced at Jack's office. The blinds were drawn shut and the door was closed. She couldn't see if he was even in there. Drawn blinds were usually a bad sign. Jack was isolating himself. She didn't know if he was doing it because he was just in one of his moods today, or because the team was still mad at him. It could even be a combination of both.

Owen stretched his legs and laid them on his desk. His keyboard on his lap, his coffee on his desk, a bagel next to it and the new reports from Cardiff's morgues about suspicious deaths – Owen was obviously ready to start working. Tosh crossed her arms and leaned against his desk, next to his feet. "Is Jack in?" she asked.

"He's always in," Owen replied grumpily, glaring at the office. Tosh noticed movement in the shadows of the doorway between Jack's office and Owen's med bay. Then, Ianto entered the main Hub. He was carrying a big red bucket in hands clad with yellow gloves, and he would have looked a bit like a keeper, if it wasn't for the neat suit and the carefully arranged dark hair. Owen, sitting with his back to Ianto, didn't seem to have noticed him yet.

Tosh almost never got an opportunity like this. She winked at Ianto and asked Owen, "And is Ianto already in?"

Ianto gifted her with a faint smile, and quietly headed over to them.

Owen sighed. "Isn't he upstairs?"

Tosh shook her head, and Owen shrugged, saying, "Then he's downstairs feeding the Weevils."

By now, Ianto was standing just behind Owen and answered loudly, "Something I don't really need to do."

Owen startled and cursed, before he turned to glare at him. Tosh laughed and returned to her work station. Owen threw her a pouty look, then he raised his eyes to stare at Ianto. "How long have you been standing there?" Owen asked.

"A few minutes," Ianto answered.

"Super secret agent Owen Harper," Tosh teased. "And he didn't even notice."

Owen made a gesture that caused Ianto to clear his throat in a reprimanding way. He put the bucket, in which he'd carried the meat for the Weevils, on Owen's desk. "There's a problem with Stuart."

"Stuart?" Owen asked.

"It's not eating enough and what little it does eat, it throws up."

"Why should I care?"

"Because it’s odd, and possibly unhealthy. You’re the doctor, after all. You should examine it."

"We're not the RSPCA."

"It's acting odd, lethargic. Maybe it's got a tumor."

The entrance door rolled aside and Gwen entered the main Hub. "Morning!" she called. Tosh waved absentmindedly at her, already deeply engrossed in her work. Owen ignored her, and Ianto answered with a friendly “Good morning“, before he turned his attention back to Owen, who sighed deeply and looked impatiently at Ianto. "I should care because ...?"

"It could be something contagious," Ianto answered.

Sitting at her desk, Gwen asked worriedly, "What could be contagious?"

Owen rolled his eyes. "Stuart's having a cold and Ianto's panicking."

Gwen looked at Ianto, who was staring calmly at Owen, his face as impassive as ever. Gwen raised her eyebrows. "That's Ianto's panic face?" She shrugged. "Just take look at Stuart. It won't kill you."

Irritated, Owen hammered some words on his keyboard. "When did I become the Dr. Dolittle for Weevils?"

From his office door, Jack said, "Each and every one of our inmates is our responsibility. Weevils are sensitive and intelligent beings, so you're going to go down there and examine Stuart."

The mood was dampened immediately and everyone got quiet. Tosh focussed on her work, while Gwen stared at Jack with narrowed eyes. Owen snorted, got up and headed for the med bay to get his bag. Ianto turned to Jack. "Coffee, sir?"

"Thank you, Ianto," Jack answered with a nod. He returned to his office.

"Sensitive and intelligent ...," Gwen muttered. "Just like Jasmine was …”

Ianto threw her a sharp look and she ducked her head.

Chapter Three
Masterlist

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
milady_dragon
Feb. 16th, 2011 02:22 pm (UTC)
Can I smack Gwen now?? For lots of reasons, not just that last comment? :)
jolinarjackson
Feb. 17th, 2011 01:06 pm (UTC)
:) You can do whatever you like. In series one, I had the constant urge to smack her, but it got better later on (even though I'd like to smack Jack sometimes too - it's not as if Gwen's imagining the flirty, soulful looks).
iolo1234
Feb. 16th, 2011 03:01 pm (UTC)
The ever capable Ianto and Gwen lying to Rhys - that's Torchwood. So when do our worlds collide. Looking forward to finding out.
jolinarjackson
Feb. 17th, 2011 01:07 pm (UTC)
I feel for Gwen concerning her lying to Rhys about her work. It can't be easy. There will be some colliding going on later, though. :)
usakiwigirl
Feb. 16th, 2011 04:36 pm (UTC)
This is fabulous! It reads just like one of the episodes, and gives me much the same feelings - namely, the urge the smack Gwen upside the head for not thinking things through beyond the obvious. And poor, dear Rhys *squishes him*, he deserves better.
jolinarjackson
Feb. 17th, 2011 01:11 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :)

Even though Gwen annoys me a lot of the time, I think some of the things she says are not meant that way. She just doesn't think - as you said - and tends not to look at things from Jack's point of view. Instead she only saw Jasmine and her mom.

As for Rhys deserving better - most of the time, yes. Even though, for some reason, Gwen annoyed me less in series two than series one and a hell of a lot less in CoE.
usakiwigirl
Feb. 17th, 2011 04:05 pm (UTC)
That's the weird thing. I don't dislike her, not at all. I just want to smack her for opening her gob before engaging her brain. I have friends like that too!

But Rhys is such a lovely man, as evidenced by the fact that he stuck with her through all the shit, even when he found out about the lying. That's what I mean about deserving better. People (by people, I mean TW/Gwen/Jack) didn't give the man enough credit.
jolinarjackson
Feb. 18th, 2011 01:06 pm (UTC)
That's right. Even though him yelling at her in a restaurant didn't really impress me, either. But most of the time, he's just too sweet. I like him a lot. I'm actually looking forward to see more action from him and from PC Andy, too.
punkchick1995
Feb. 16th, 2011 08:37 pm (UTC)
great update :) gahh bloody gwen!! *mind slaps her*
jolinarjackson
Feb. 17th, 2011 01:11 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :)
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )