A/N:

I apologize for the more than the usual introductory notes on this one.

First, this contains a MAJOR SPOILER for House… well, ok, it's two weeks old, but I just caught the episode last night. But just so we're clear, let me repeat that: This chapter contains a MAJOR SPOILER for House, for the episode "Simple Explanation."

After watching the episode, I felt like I really had to write something. Not "I'm angry I need to re-write it", more like "wow that was awesome television, I need to weave that into my story!"

AU'verse TIMELINE:

This takes place AFTER Reunion (originally it was set before, please see "new note" added below.)


New Note (added 16 July, 2009) After I saw the previews for Children of Earth, I decided to put this story on hold, because it seemed like a good place to begin weaving in the third "season" (yes, I agree, it's not really a season, but it's what the BBC has been calling it.)

This story seemed a good place for CoE because it effectively split up my version of Torchwood which would make for some more interesting writing, IMHO... to that end, the story is encompassing more than originally intended, as later chapters will show.

I've altered my original timeline for this slightly, to hopefully, help things make more sense. My apologies for any confusion this has caused (although hopefully it's been on hiatus so long, no one remembers where it was supposed to fit in! ;-)


At this point, it is probably helpful to be familiar with at least some of my past works to really understand this one. There is a timeline up in my profile that should be current and up to date. If anyone spots any mistakes in it, please let me know! Thanks!!

And… not directly related, but important none the less because Ianto's sister has become a more important character in my AU'verse, I decided I should "cast" her, so in the role of Nerys Jones, we now have the lovely Ms. Sara-Jane Potts.

Of course all the usual disclaimers apply. If you recognize the character from television, chances are I don't own it! If I did, Bobby really would be in Cardiff with Jack and Ianto and the rest of the Torchwood Team!

And speaking of which… I've been having a bit of fun lately with Power Point and this is what I made to go along w/ my AU series… remember to take out ALL of the spaces! (there are spaces before and after all regular punctuation marks, including slashes and equal signs.)

http : // s660 . photobucket . com / albums / uu 329 / hbpattskyn /


Now Comes the Night

Chapter One:

If they tell you that she died of sleeping pills you must know that she died of a wasting grief, of a slow bleeding at the soul.
Clifford Odets


Bobby Chase, Torchwood 3's Australian-born medical officer, sagged down to the sofa with a heavy thud. The cushions were soft… black. His girlfriend Wendy's taste, not his. At the moment, however, he was too tired to notice, let alone care that black picked up every bit of lint. Every stray hair. All things considered, having a sofa that showed lint and hair was probably a bad idea…but at the moment, he was even too tired to complain about the red velvet throw pillows or bordello lampshades Abby had given them as a housewarming gift.

A quick glance at the clock sitting on a shelf across the darkened room revealed the time to be barely half nine. Not exactly anybody's idea of late night, just late enough to be dark. Late enough for him to be weary to the bone. He'd been up since eight o'clock yesterday morning. They all had. Every muscle in his body ached and he wanted nothing more than to crawl into bed… maybe into the shower first. He was sure he still reeked of carnivorous Mechanan fungi even though he'd had a shower at the Hub before coming home. He was also sure he was never going to look at fried mushrooms the same way again.

On the upside, the world was still standing. Or… spinning, he supposed. He was just glad he didn't have to endure another night of huge deadly mushrooms. He closed his eyes, intending to just rest there a minute while he tried to summon enough strength to crawl into the bathroom.

In the kitchen, the microwave beeped. Bobby, now softly snoring, didn't hear it. Wendy Shutten removed the cardboard take away containers from two nights ago and emptied their contents onto two plates. She brought the plates and a couple of glasses of wine out to the lounge. She never would have thought she'd pick up useful skills waiting tables, but there really was something to be said for being able to manage two plates and two glasses of wine single-handedly.

"Bobby? You awake, Sweetheart?" she asked in a quiet tone, when she saw Bobby sitting there.

"Barely." He didn't open his eyes, wasn't aware that he hadn't been awake until he heard the sound of her voice.

They had moved out of Ianto's flat into a place of their own a few months back. It was spacious. Comfortable. Modern. They had a fantastic view of the harbour. They even had a balcony and a little patio set and barbecue for cooking on—not that they'd had but a single barbecue over the summer. Even with the addition of Tim, Abby and Sara to the Tochwood roster, it seemed as if there were never enough of them to go around. Jack wasn't sure if the Rift was getting more active, or if maybe they were all just getting too used to supposedly being able to take a day off now and again.

Wendy sat down on the sofa next to the blond medic; she set their food and wine down on the coffee table. Bobby opened one eye and smiled. Even though they were both exhausted, she still looked beautiful. Medium dark skin, long curly hair, brown, almond shaped eyes…those soft lips. He managed to find just enough strength to reach over for her hand; Wendy accepted it readily.

"I think I'm too tired to eat," he told her in an apologetic tone after a moment of just sitting and enjoying the company.

"You'll feel better for it. I even picked out the mushrooms."

He chuckled.

"Didn't want to take any chances," she added.

He laughed a little harder.

His mobile rang; the sound elicited a deeply agonized groan from the Australian.

"It can't be Jack," Wendy groaned as well.

The thought made him grimace. He only hoped the Rift hadn't seen fit to deposit more alien fungi on their doorstep. Or anything else for that matter. Just once he'd like the aliens to be friendly, Intergalactic Girl Guides, maybe. That would be a nice change, just somebody selling cookies… then again with our luck, they'd be poisonous. Or worse.

Bobby pulled his phone out of his jeans pocket; his frown deepened when he looked at the caller ID. It wasn't work. He recognized the exchange. New Jersey. He knew the number, too—Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital.

He flipped open his phone. "Hello?" He was expecting his old boss, Greg House, or maybe hospital administrator Lisa Cuddy, and was already preparing several excuses to get off the phone with either of them. House would be the problem, of course, he wasn't one to take no for an answer and whatever he wanted, Bobby was sure it wasn't a social call.

But it wasn't House. It wasn't Cuddy, either. "Robert," Alison sounded like she'd been crying. The raggedness of her tone was enough to make him pull himself up into a sitting position. "I know it's late there," she stammered. "I—I'm sorry. I just… I didn't think anyone had called you…"

"Alison, what's wrong?"

Wendy shifted closer to him; she could hear both sides of the conversation.

"Kutner…" on the other end of the line, Alison Cameron stifled a sob.

"What's going on?" Bobby asked her again.

"Kutner… he… he shot himself. Today. A few hours ago. I just… I thought somebody should tell you. I thought I should call. I know it's late, I'm sorry," she babbled again. "I thought you would want to know."

"Yeah. Yeah, thanks. I…" he didn't know what to say. Almost every day they saw people die but rarely was it someone he knew. Had known. Wendy took his hand again and gave a gentle squeeze; he flashed a tight lipped smile. "Are you all right?" he asked Alison.

"I don't know. I mean… it's not like…I didn't really know him but I saw him every day, Robert!" she started to cry again. "We weren't best friends, but I saw him every single day and I didn't see this coming! No one did! Foreman and Thirteen found him in his apartment…" she crumbled, crying harder. "He didn't come in this morning and they went to check on him and he was… he was already cold…"

"Alison, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry," he said the only words he had, even though he knew how painfully inadequate they were. "What happened? Why…?" Why would anyone do something so stupid…?

"I don't know. Nobody does."


"Now Comes the Night"
by Rob Thomas

When the hour is upon us
And our beauty surely gone
No you will not be forgotten
No you will not be alone

And when the day has all but ended
And our echo starts to fade
No you will not be alone then
And you will not be afraid
No you will not be afraid

When the fog has finally lifted
From my cold and tired brow
No I will not leave you crying
And I will not let you down
No I will not let you down
I will not let you down

Now comes the night
Feel it fading away
And the soul underneath
Is it all that remains
So just slide over here
Leave your fear in the fray
Let us hold to each other
Until the end of our days

When the hour is upon us
And our beauty surely gone
No you will not be forgotten
No you will not be alone
No you will not be alone