Title: 20 (random) facts about Christmas at Torchwood

Author: Asrai

Summary: Please read the self-explanatory title for further information.

Spoilers: Up to and including Out of Time.

Rating: G (And I'm as shocked about that as you are.)

Pairing: It's not that kind of story, really.

Beta: jadesfire2808, who is fantastic!)

Disclaimer: All of the characters used in this fic belong to the BBC; I am making no profit with this and no copyright infringement is intended.

Author's notes: This was written for the twcalendar community on LiveJournal; my assigned day was the 21st of December.

1) Tosh writes them all Christmas cards in absurdly neat handwriting and puts them on everybody's desk one morning. Ianto thanks her politely, but doesn't reciprocate. Gwen smiles and buys Tosh a coffee during lunch break that day. Owen keeps the inevitable derogatory comment to himself for once.

As for Jack, he looks slightly puzzled and Tosh catches him Googling the concept of office Christmas cards when he thinks no-one is looking.

2) There's a Christmas tree in the Hub as Jack ascends the ladder from his room one morning. He raises an eyebrow at Ianto, who shrugs in return.

"It's nearly Christmas, sir," Ianto finally offers.

3) Gwen and Tosh make the appropriate appreciative noises over the tree when they come in a while later. Owen rolls his eyes and threatens to set the thing on fire at some point in the future.

4) When Gwen worked for the police there used to be a Christmas party every year. Last year she brought Rhys along, and this year there's a sinking feeling in her stomach when he asks her whether Special Ops have got Christmas parties, too.

5) She tells him that Torchwood isn't the kind of place to do office Christmas parties.

6) Nevertheless, at the next meeting Gwen casually drops the question, with predictable enough results. Owen mutters a, "Oh for... No!", Tosh looks interested and Jack gently but firmly tells her, "I don't think so, Gwen."

7) To be fair, none of them want to tell Gwen that they did have a Christmas party at the Hub the year before – of a sorts. It involved copious amounts of alcohol, strategically placed mistletoe and a very disgruntled pterodactyl.

8) Tosh doesn't like to remember either the alcohol or the pterodactyl, but she thinks that her sprig of mistletoe was quite a help in getting Owen to finally kiss her.

9) Strangely enough she doesn't wish for a repeat performance this year anymore.

10) Ianto used to dream about spending this Christmas with Lisa, as far away from Torchwood as they could possibly get. Needless to say that things haven't quite worked out that way.

11) It is tempting for him to ignore Christmas altogether, especially since his parents have been dropping hints that he should really be spending the holiday with them. He tells them that he'll think about it and then goes to find Jack.

12) In a way, John committing suicide in his car is a very convenient excuse for not going to see his family after all. Of course Ianto has to slightly adjust the truth about his lack of transport, and he can't help but feel guilty at the relief spreading through him when his mother finally hangs up the phone after twenty minutes of complaining that she never sees him anymore.

13) Ianto spends Christmas Day at the Hub with Jack instead. The other man tries to send him home rather half-heartedly until Ianto presents him with a tray containing a cup of Jack's favourite blend of coffee and a carefully polished stopwatch.

14) After Diane leaves him behind, Owen copes the only way he can: he gets absolutely rat-faced until he mercifully passes out. He finds himself lying on the floor in his flat on Christmas Day, naked except for her scarf around his neck.

15) He would never admit it later, but he spends quite a maudlin hour flipping through the contacts in his phone and dialling Diane's mobile number over and over again.

16) It's these two days that finally confirm to Owen something that he's always known: he really hates Christmas.

17) Toshiko goes to London to see her family. They don't celebrate Christmas, not properly anyway, and by Boxing Day she finds herself longing to go back to Cardiff, glancing at her mobile phone every so often.

18) Tosh doesn't know it, but Gwen feels the same. She spends two quiet days with Rhys. This is supposed to be relaxing, this is supposed to be about her and her boyfriend, but Rhys' embrace is stifling and the flat is too warm for Gwen to feel comfortable.

19) As for Ianto, he doesn't go home at all for three days. Jack's mood is off, and when he senses that the other man would rather be alone he resorts to cleaning the Weevil cells to keep him busy for a couple of hours.

20) And after Christmas is over and done with, Ianto quietly packs away the decorations and gets rid of the tree. None of them say it out loud, but this is a return to normalcy, everyday life at the Hub. They are Torchwood, and they're glad to be there.