cupidsbow (cupidsbow) wrote,

"Tradition" by cupidsbow (TW, No Pairing, PG-13)

Title: Tradition
Author: [personal profile] cupidsbow/cupidsbow
Fandom: Torchwood
Pairing: No Pairing
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: Children of Earth
Summary: There are certain things you can expect when working for Torchwood... Retcon. Years That Never Were. Time bubbles. French pastries.

Gwen was going spare. UNIT kept ringing her. No matter how rude she was, no matter how often she hung up on them, they just kept ringing her official, direct-from-the-Queen-so-never-turn-it-off Torchwood phone. It was like they had an endless supply of gormless drones whose sole task it was to ring and ask her the same questions over and over.

"No!" she snapped at the latest drone, pacing back and forth on the lip of the crater that had once been the Hub. "Captain Harkness took the recipe for Retcon with him. I don't have it." She looked down at the team sorting through the remains -- she'd invited the French equivalent to Torchwood, la Terre, to help with the salvage and rebuilding, much to UNIT's chagrin. They seemed like good people, a bit weird, of course, but they were getting the job done.

"I know it's Torchwood procedure to Retcon witnesses, but we're going to have to change our procedure, aren't we? It's not like we can Retcon the whole world, anyway. That Genie's well and truly out of the bottle and there's no putting it back in." This time, she couldn't help but think, ruefully. The reset after Bilis Manger and Abaddon seemed an awfully long time ago now. She wondered how Bilis had done it.

Down in the pit, two of the French team had found a cache of undamaged tech. Gwen peered down at them, making sure they weren't doing anything stupid. A quick glance showed they were both wearing gloves and had containment units ready, and no one was flinging tools around or randomly pressing buttons to see what would happen.

She sighed, feeling a rush of homesickness for the past.

Right from the start, the French team had been nothing but professional. Gwen had made a good choice. The salvaged tech would be in safe hands until Torchwood was back up and running. In fact, Gwen was going to have to pick la Terre's brains so that she could borrow some of their operating procedures for her new team.

"No!" she said into her phone, and rolled her eyes, mostly for Rhys's benefit. He'd just entered the Plass, carrying a picnic hamper. Her stomach growled, and she rubbed the distended curve of her belly. She'd have to ask Rhys to let out her pants again soon; the extendible elastic was starting to pinch. "You blew up Dr Sato's time bubble technology when you bombed the Hub. That's what happens when you blow things up, you see. They're gone. You don't magically get them back, just because you want them. There's no cunning reset button. Why can't you people get that through your thick heads?"

Rhys put down the basket and kissed her cheek. "UNIT?" he mouthed sympathetically.

Gwen nodded and made hopeful eyes at the basket.

Down in the pit, there was a choked off cry.

Spinning around, Gwen was just in time to see one of the French team lose her footing. The alien tech she'd been holding flew from her hand, and seemed to hang in mid-air for a stupidly long time, before falling to the ground with a soft clack.

The team all paused, staring at the gadget and its big black button, which was now pushed all the way in.

Nothing happened.

"Owen," Jack said, folding his arms. "We've talked about this before."

"She started it," said Owen, jabbing a finger up at the catwalk where Gwen was standing.

Tosh looked up from her keyboard. "Oh, she did not, Owen. I told you to check the body cavities on that one."

Jack descended the stairs, looking pissed off, "I don't care who started it--"

Gwen sighed. "I'll call you back, Martha." She clicked her phone shut and shoved it into the pocket of her jeans. For a moment she wondered if she was gaining a little weight around the middle -- her pants seemed overly snug, even though she was starving.

But then Ianto walked in with coffee and fresh pastries, and she could smell the mouth-watering hot buttery smell of them, and honestly didn't care if she ended up the size of a house.

"You're a life-saver, Ianto," she called, taking the stairs down two at a time, getting to the bottom just in time to see Jack's leer as Ianto leaned over to set the box of food on the table.

"I aim to please," Ianto said, smiling, and Gwen could tell without looking that he'd bought her favourite. He held out the bag, giving her first choice. "Pain au chocolat?"

* * *

This entry was originally posted at
Tags: 14-days-of-love, fiction, torchwood
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