Pairing: Gen mostly, but with a wee bit of Jack/Ianto and a hint of Owen/OC.
Rating: PG-13 for a bit of innuendo.
Spoilers: For 2.13 - Exit Wounds
Summary: Not everything Torchwood deals with is dangerous.
Disclaimer: Torchwood is outside the government, beyond the UN and far, far away from being mine.
Five Things That Came Through the Rift Torchwood Didn't Destroy For The Good of Humanity
Shortly after starting at Torchwood, Gwen had found sentient smog in her bathroom.
"Oh, thank goodness," it had said, in a voice that curled and sighed like smoke, "Can you help? I think I'm lost."
Startled, she had slammed the door and escaped to the kitchen, and a moment later the fog had started to cry in muffled, whispery sobs. It was the most desolate thing she had ever heard.
Fortified by a glass of wine, she had finally plucked up the courage to enter the bathroom again.
It was empty, though the smell of coal dust lingered for weeks.
The strangest and loveliest thing that ever came through the rift, as far as Ianto was concerned, was a single bottle of seventeenth century champagne they found floating out in the bay.
They weren't entirely sure what to do with it, afterwards. It didn't seem to pose a threat.
"We could..." said Jack, when the others had gone, the bottle in his hand and the top button of his shirt undone.
And then Ianto was following him to the relative comfort of the sofa and they were drinking, tasting the sunlight of four hundred years ago on each other's mouths.
It was dead when they brought it in, Owen had been sure of it. Long dead, if the thick odour of decay was anything to go on. You didn't need to be a doctor to smell THAT.
Yet somehow it had hopped off the autopsy table and was standing in front of him, naked and shower-fresh and HUMAN, wearing HIS face.
Hallucination, he thought, some sort of defence mechanism? Had it been hibernating?
It said, in Owen's voice, "I suppose a shag's out of the question?"
And Owen laughed, but frankly it was the best offer he'd had in months.
The field was full of glowworms. Hundreds of tiny green lights sprinkled across the grass. No sign, though, of whatever had caused the rift monitor to spike.
One of the little lights near Jack's feet suddenly twinkled and flew up, and he saw it wasn't an insect but a miniscule spaceship, its engines quieter than his breath.
Bephsulans, he thought, amazed, because they had gone extinct millennia ago and here they were now in a field outside Cardiff.
The ship twinkled again and the Bephsulan fleet swarmed up into the night. Hundreds of tiny green lights sprinkled across the sky.
Toshiko noticed it in the hub one night, a faint shimmering entity looping around her computer, describing the magnetic field.
Without thinking, she reached forward, curious, and it fizzed gently against her skin, nuzzling like a cat made of light.
Later, she found she could collect it up with anything electrical, so she took to keeping it near her, curved about her iPod.
Towards the end - before the bullet stopped hurting but after she could no longer feel her hands - she sensed it unfurling behind her neck, cradling her, flickering in the last of her own magnetic field.