"Owen!" Gwen Cooper wandered across the Hub to where her husband sat at his desk typing. "What the hell is this?"
She held up the cup that until two minutes ago her six year old daughter had been drinking from. Owen frowned at her for a moment as if she were going mad.
"It's Holly's drink cup," he said slowly wondering if the last alien they'd encountered had altered her brain a bit. "Why?"
"Why did you give her orange juice?" Gwen asked, setting the cup down on Owen's desk and riffling through the papers that were littered over it.
"Because Thursday is orange juice," Owen replied as Gwen lifted out the food and drink rota that had been hidden.
"No orange juice is Friday," Gwen held the rota in front of Owen. "Its summer fruits on Thursday! Do you know how long it's going to take me to get Holly to bed now?"
"It's her drink Gwen!" Owen folded his arms. "She's six years old; do you really think she's going to notice?"
As the words left his mouth they heard the loud cries of a child start up. Gwen closed her eyes for a moment, breathing carefully.
"Yes, Owen, I think she will," Gwen took the cup and left, heading towards her daughter who was supposed to be playing with building blocks.
The small girl with long wavy sandy brown hair and electric blue eyes was now crying, her knees drawn up to her chest, rocking backwards and forwards. She was already wearing her pyjamas, light blue in colour and covered in yellow ducks.
Jack Harkness poked his head out of his office door and gave Gwen a sympathetic look.
"Did you want me to put her to bed?" He asked. Gwen looked at him gratefully.
"Would you?" She said gratefully. "It's just I've been rushed off my feet all day and it doesn't look like her useless lump of a father is going to help."
"Yeah, sure," Jack nodded walking towards Holly.
"No, it's fine," Owen said getting up and shooting a glare at Gwen. "I'll do it."
Jack paused mid stride and shrugged heading back the way he'd come.
"Whatever," he said casually. "Your call."
Gwen watched Owen head towards his daughter and attempt to get her to stand up. It was times like this when she watched him that she got the feeling Owen didn't really know his own daughter. He hadn't had this much trouble bonding when she was a baby, but the older she got, the more distant Owen and Holly became.
In fact she was starting to worry about it. Not only was Owen starting to drift away from the whole family life thing, but Holly was becoming confused. Jack spent a lot more time with her and Gwen had the horrible feeling that it would only be a matter of time before Holly assumed Jack was her dad.
Owen looked hopelessly at his sobbing daughter as though he had no idea what to do with her.
"You might want to try picking her up," Gwen suggested gently. "And I suspect you'll have to read to her at least three times before she'll settle."
"Yes, thank you," Owen replied sarcastically. "I think I know how to look after my own daughter."
Gwen didn't say anything. Even if she didn't feel that Owen was wrong, she doubted anything she said would be taken the right way. Still, he had to try; otherwise he'd never get anywhere.
But as Owen bent down to pick Holly up, she pushed herself away. He sighed, determined not to look at Gwen and tried once more to pick up his daughter. Holly stood up and ran to hide behind a desk.
For a moment Gwen felt truly sorry for Owen. The look on his face when Holly ran away from him was heartbreaking. Gwen went and scooped Holly up heading towards Owen with her.
"No, its fine," he said shoving his hands in his pockets and stalking back to his desk. "She obviously wants you and Jack."
Even Ianto, who was making coffee in the kitchen couldn't miss the jealous tone in Owen's voice. Gwen reluctantly handed Holly over to Jack and then went to make sure Owen was ok.
"She's just tired," Gwen tried to explain. "She doesn't know who anyone is."
"She certainly knows who you and Jack are," Owen shot back. "Look, I said its fine. I don't care if my own daughter hates me, I mean why should I?"
"She doesn't hate you Owen," Gwen said gently, resting a hand on his shoulder. "Holly just doesn't get to spend as much time with you."
"Oh so it's my fault now?" Owen asked standing up and shrugging Gwen's hand off. He took a pile of papers over to Tosh's desk and dumped them down.
"No I didn't mean that," Gwen said quietly, trying to keep calm.
"Look," he turned round to look at Gwen and she could see just how much it was hurting Owen. "Holly obviously doesn't like me, so is there any point thrusting my existence into her little world?"
"Owen, she is a rift child," Gwen burst out suddenly, losing her cool. "You can't expect her to embrace everything thrown her way! If you just gave her time, maybe talked to her occasionally, you might get through to her!"
"She knows that she wasn't planned you know," Owen shouted back. "She knows that she was an accident and she knows that one of us wanted her dead. She just assumes it must've been me."
Gwen stood still for a moment shocked. She sat down unable to say anything. Owen ran a hand through his hair.
"You were the one that wanted me to keep her," Gwen whispered. "If you want to blame someone blame yourself. If I'd had my way you wouldn't even have known about her."
Gwen stormed off to the back room then to check on Holly and Jack. Owen stood in silence for a few moments, then caught Ianto and Tosh staring at him. He glanced form one to the other.
"What?" He asked. They simply shrugged and returned to their tasks.
Jack came out then, walking over slowly, his hands stuffed in his pockets. He came to a stop in front of Owen.
"Holly is a great kid," Jack said gently. "You're missing out. If you just tried Owen, you could connect with her."
Owen looked at Jack blankly, the anger boiling up inside him. He could feel he was about to do something very stupid. Somehow though, punching Jack made him feel so much better.