Torchwood, Doctor Who, and The Sarah Jane Adventures do NOT belong to me. I really wish they did so I could save so many awesome characters *cough*Ianto*cough*, but alas they do not.
Please note that this story is AU. Torchwood is during Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Doctor Who should be between the end of Series 3 and the beginning of Series 4, and The Sarah Jane Adventures is somewhere around the beginning of Series 3.
Evie waited for hours before she realized that they weren't coming back to the warehouse. In that time she watched the news and saw as they reported that UNIT was in control of the Valiant, Prime Minister Saxon was dead, and a number of the people who had been at the scene had simply disappeared and their names were unknown.
Evie understood. The Doctor's plan had worked (whatever it had been) and the Master was dead. They had saved the Joneses and most likely taken them home. In all likelihood they would meet her in Cardiff in the next couple of days. The Doctor had no idea how to drive his own time machine after all.
When Evie got back to Cardiff her first plan of action was to go to her apartment and take a long nap. It was only three in the afternoon, but she needed a good nap before she dealt with anything having to do with the Rift or recalling Gwen and the gang to Cardiff.
Evie's head had been pounding the whole way back, and the Weevil in the back was rather cross with her having been stuck in the SUV for days, and didn't help her headache at all.
Her ears were ringing and she was dizzy and she generally felt terrible. The edges of her vision was blurry and the sun sitting right in her eyes the last stretch didn't help anything. It seemed to give everything a golden glow and there were almost silver…but there wasn't the sun was out of her eyes and everything was clearer.
Evie had felt terrible enough that she didn't get stopped even once for speeding not to mention any tickets. It was like a snail's pace the whole way, but Evie was sure she was being safe for once.
She might try it again someday. It was relaxing sometimes to be completely safe. Like being wrapped up in Jack's arms where she could be sure nothing would ever hurt her.
Evie walked into the hub late that night after she had her long nap and as the cog doors rolled open she found her vision blurring at the edges again, and the ringing was louder and she was seeing…there was a…people…time…space…terror…
It was gone like it had never been.
Evie walked up to Jack's office to call UNIT and give her accounting of what had happened, since she had seen the Doctor and everyone was going to be scrambling for the next several days dealing with the power vacuums from both the US president and the new British Prime Minister dying. It had not been a good morning.
The call went long into the night because not only did Evie have to give her own account she had to get accounts from UNIT who had people just reporting from the Valiant with worrying news. A lot more happened than Evie had originally thought.
According to UNIT there was an entire year which had been reset to its beginning because of something Jack did on orders of the Doctor. It was all a little unclear still, but a number of the soldiers stationed on the Valiant had died, and from the survivors they knew that a lot had happened.
Something about a paradox machine, and the Doctor looking like a really ugly bobble-head doll, and the Master torturing people for fun.
Through the whole conversation Evie's headache was getting worse and worse. She had taken a lot of ibuprofen, but it was only helping so much. Owen was going to have to take a good look at her head to see if something happened.
It was around when Evie was getting ready to just hang up the phone and go to bed that the colonel reporting what had happened mentioned Evie herself.
"…and according to our soldiers you were present on the Valiant."
"I was definitely on earth. I got reset with everyone else," Evie told him with a little scoff and shake of her head. Which was stupid because it just made her head hurt worse.
"According to our men you escaped in a failed coup several months before the end of the year," The colonel replied calmly, "Apparently you also helped to run the resistance on earth. Possibly even started it. Although they're also saying that Martha Jones, the Doctor's current companion, did so."
"Me? Run a rebellion. Running Torchwood is hard enough. I'm not about to go run a freedom fighter's movement," Evie said raising an eyebrow and pushing her hair out of her face. Maybe she should cut it, she hadn't done so since before Abaddon.
"That's what the people are saying, can't tell if it's true or not, but all the same you probably did something since they said that the Master went down to earth to personally bring you up to the Valiant, and specially constructed a glass room to keep you in," the colonel refuted.
Evie's headache flared and she pressed her palm to her forehead and she thought she saw photos strewn on a glass floor looking down on metal grating. There were little drops of water sitting on the glass, and through it she could see steam rising up and droplets pooling on the outside of the glass.
"Ms. Smith?" The colonel's voice asked concerned and Evie looked up to the computer screen where she had a VTC going with the colonel.
"I'm sorry, it's been a stressful day, and I've got quite the headache. If you could send along any information you think pertinent I will look through it in the next few days and I'll contact you if we need anything more," Evie told him forcing a smile and wondering about what she had seen.
The VTC was quickly shut off and Evie climbed down to the main floor of the hub and made her way back through the cog door and up through the tourist office. All the way she saw that moment frozen in time over and over again in her head.
The worst part of it all was that she knew who was in those pictures. There was a teenager with light brown hair lying in a pool of his own blood, a chunk of deformed metal in the corner of the photo. In another at the edge of her vision was a different angle of Luke lying dead, but right in front of her eyes was one of Rani staring blankly up, her eyes still open, and glassy. Half under that was a picture of Clyde on his front, and it might have been questionable about whether or not he was dead if she could not also see what had happened to his two best friends.
The whole trip home she wondered about the pictures and what they really meant.
She rode the elevator in the apartment building up without realizing it, and made her way into her darkened apartment barely noticing as she fed Penny and the fishes. She carried Penny into the bedroom and got ready for bed the image burning into her eyes.
When she closed her eyes it was still there.
It was a long time before she could sleep.
"Mara," a sneering voice said with clear harm intended.
"I'm sorry were you talking to me?" Evie replied looking at the man in front of her. Had he not been the evil she so adamantly opposed he might have been handsome, "My name is Evie after all."
"We're so glad you're back," a pretty woman was saying her eyes gleaming with tears. Evie smiled over at her and pulled her into an impulsive hug.
"I'm glad I'm back too," Evie felt two hearts thumping in her chest and shuddered at what could have happened.
Evie was screaming and banging on glass walls with all her might. Her hands were bruised and her fingers bloody from scrapping at the tightly fitted door.
Jack was watching her with the saddest look in his eyes as though his whole life was collapsing in front of him. It was a look Evie would have thought would be reserved for Alice's death.
Evie was staring at her locket the chain having snapped. The patterns on the locket case had a deep meaning, one that she knew she should understand. But she just couldn't.
She had stared at it every night since Martha told her.
Evie sat up with a gasp her dreams already beginning to fade.
There was something important that was slipping rapidly from her fingers, if only she could grasp and hold it. But it was like cupping water in your bare hands. It seems to work for a moment, but soon the water is gone and all you're left with is a slight dampness to your hands.
Evie lay in bed a long time staring at ceiling before looking over at her alarm clock. 4:30.
It was really too early to be up generally, but Evie wouldn't get anymore sleep that night, and she didn't really want to if she had dreams that disturbed her as much as these had. So Evie got up and Penny looked up drowsily from the bed at the woman who cared for her. But then the little dog set her head on her paws and went back to sleep.
At least one of them could.
Evie took a long shower and pulled on a pair of black slacks and a white button-down top with a light blue vest before making her way to the kitchen to eat something.
But Evie found herself staring at the cupboards not believing she had only been gone two days. There was water left in the kettle, and dishes in the sink to be washed. She still had the pork she had bought for supper a few days ago, and hadn't made yet. The pastries she bought just before getting a call from Emma about Rift activity that she had forgotten the same day she had run off to London were still sitting on the counter in their little brown paper bag.
It was wholly ordinary, and it suited her mood not at all. Even the calming shade of blue she had picked with Jack (mostly just she had picked) seemed out of place that morning and Evie found herself putting out food and grabbing her coat (which had once been Jack's) and leaving the apartment, almost forgetting to lock to the door behind her.
So it was that she found herself at the bakery just as it opened at 5:30, and ordering a pastry and a coffee, which seemed bitter enough to fit her mood. It was far too bitter and she only drank a sip or two. There was a reason she hated the stuff.
Evie was in the hub by six, and Emma popped down to tell Evie she was in half an hour later.
Evie spent the morning trying to get in touch with her team out in the Himalayas. It was not as easy as it might sound. She had to do a lot of hacking and firewall building and calling people across the globe to get information.
Evie worked right past lunch without noticing, and would have worked through dinner as well but Emma came down to collect Evie telling her that there was Rift activity by the bay.
She Evie went out to deal with it.
Gwen and the rest of the team were already on their way back when Evie finally reached them two days later. They had stopped in a little town for provisions before heading deeper into the mountain range when they heard that the prime minister and the American president had been shot. They had turned around right then realizing that it had been a wild goose chase to keep Torchwood busy, as Evie had warned them.
The team showed up about a week later.
Emma threw a party in the hub for their return and worked a smile out of Evie, who had smiled very little since she returned from London. She had dreams every night, and none of them made much sense, and a number of them scared Evie. She was sleeping little and was watching all of Cardiff like a hawk for the TARDIS without telling her team.
All of Torchwood Three worried about sending Evie home every night, for the very fact that it looked like she didn't sleep at all. Owen had long since asked her what had happened, because he had seen her frequent headaches. Frequently the headaches left her almost doubled over in pain her hands gripping her head while she slumped over her body seemingly unable to support itself.
But Evie still went out on the field.
Everyone else (save Emma) did as much as they could to save Evie the worry, because she was clearly unwell and refusing to speak about any of it.
One day Ianto confronted her on it, over two weeks after they returned from their foray into the Himalayas.
"Evie," Ianto said helping her sit up after one of her really bad headaches, "What happened?"
"Nothing, just a headache. Could you see if you could get me something for the pain from Owen?" Evie said pretending to smile. It was an obvious fake.
"No, not until you explain to me everything that happened the week we were gone," Ianto answered smoothly holding Evie still so she couldn't run off without answering him.
"There are reports from UNIT explaining everything," Evie said trying to wriggle away.
"Yes, I read about that. What happened to you?" Ianto asked looking truly concerned.
Evie looked at the man she had long called her best friend for a very long moment. She could easily just tell him. Tell him about being a Time Lady, about the dreams, about the golden glow that frequently rested just in the corner of her eyes, or the way Emma seemed to blaze like the sun sometimes, or how Gwen was always tinged, just a little, with the same golden light.
But she could just as easily keep it to herself. Never tell him. Only Jack, Martha, and the Doctor would ever know about her.
But that wasn't fair.
It wasn't fair to Ianto who was so genuinely concerned about her. It wasn't fair to Owen who should know the conclusion to the battery of tests he had to run on her. It wasn't fair to Jack who would have to hide even more from the team. It wasn't fair to Evie herself who would have to work through her pain alone.
"We found out what is wrong with me," Evie finally said her voice resigned, "why I blank out, why I have strange dreams, and why Owen couldn't figure it out. I'm not human."
"Wouldn't Owen have found that?" Ianto asked looking concerned about the idea that they couldn't tell an alien from a human anymore.
"No, because there's a device that they use to turn themselves into any other species," Evie told him fiddling with her locket drawing Ianto's gaze to the small silver oval of metal, "So I look human to every test that Owen could ever run on me."
"So what species are you?" Ianto asked softly trying to make Evie talk about it.
"A time lady apparently," Evie replied sullenly, "There were only two others. The Master, who pretended to be Saxon, and the Doctor."
"The Doctor, like Torchwood was founded to guard against him, that Doctor?" Ianto asked reeling a little in shock. He had seen the briefest of glimpses of the man when he had been in Torchwood One just before the Battle of Canary Wharf.
"Yeah, that one," Evie replied looking away. The Doctor was a good man, and interesting man, and generally a good guy to have around if you're in a bind. But all the same it was shaming to have to admit that everything that you are is a lie.
There was a long moment of silence between them. Neither of them was looking at the other. But suddenly Ianto leaned forward and drew Evie into a hug, that the woman had needed since that night weeks ago when Martha and Jack had revealed to her what she was.
So Evie let go her long held back tears and cried unashamedly on Ianto's shoulder.
The next day the whole team knew, and none of them were making any deal of it. Owen made a joke about it having been obvious since she didn't like pizza, coffee, or alcohol. Evie had thrown a pen at him and everyone had laughed good-naturedly.
That evening Rhys proposed to Gwen and suddenly the Torchwood women found themselves spending all their free time looking at dresses and picking out color schemes, and looking at bridesmaids' dresses. All three of the women were invited to be bridesmaids while an old friend of Gwen's from childhood forward was going to be her maid of honor.
Time flew by until it had been almost two months since Harold Saxon was elected Prime Minister, and Evie realized that even with the Doctor's bad driving skills they were late. Likely she would have to slap the man again the next time she saw him.
It was then that Rift activity was registered once again, and shortly thereafter, before they could even start tracing the Rift activity, they got a call from the police about what looked like a walking fish stealing a sports car.
So it was that Evie, Gwen, Ianto, Tosh, and Owen all piled into the SUV and went chasing in the direction the police said they were last spotted. Evie was speeding down the semi-deserted roads at top speed making Owen green around the edges and Tosh grip her seat tightly.
Soon they saw a sports car far ahead, but it turned a corner before they could catch up. By the time they had turned the same corner it had disappeared, and there was no real way to figure out which way the blowfish had gone. They were in luck in that an older woman was on the side of the road looking a bit stunned.
"Have you seen a blowfish driving a sports car?" Gwen asked kindly leaning out the open window a little.
The woman mutely pointed and Gwen smiled lightly and thanked her. Evie sped off in the direction indicated and in her mirror she saw the woman shaking her head and laughed lightly, much to her team's confusion. She didn't explain it to them.
They finally begin to catch up to the blowfish and Evie quite calmly glanced over at Gwen.
"We have two stupid choices," Evie told the whole car, which had gone quiet, "Either you can stand and lean out the window and try to take a shot. Or I can lean out the window and try to get a shot with my stungun."
Needless to say Gwen unbuckled and rolled down her window. As dangerous as being in a car with Evie usually way, the idea of her not having her eyes on the road and her hands on the wheel scared all of them shitless.
Gwen took a couple of shots before finally blowing a hole in one of the tires. The sports car veered around a corner and Gwen brought herself back into the car looking rather smug.
"Maybe I should have taken the shot. I probably would have gotten him in the first shot," Evie commented looking playful.
"Yes, and then that car would have driven right through a building because the blowfish's foot would still have been on the gas," Gwen said calmly rolling up her window as Evie rounded the same corner that the blowfish had screeched around just a moment before.
"And this is better?" Evie asked pulling the SUV over next to the abandoned sports car. Just as they were all climbing out there were two gunshots from the house the sports car had been left in front of.
They all ran in to find a scene of confusion. The blowfish was holding a young woman close to him, his gun held against her head. There was a man on the ground bleeding, having obviously been the one shot. A woman was standing next to the man looking at the blowfish and the young woman, as though she had no clue what to do.
Gwen pulled the woman out of the room as Owen started looking at the man on the ground and Evie, Ianto, and Tosh stood in the middle of the room. Tosh was holding a scanner, taking all the scans she could of the blowfish. Evie, Tosh, and Ianto all have their guns trained on the blowfish continuously.
"Massive levels of adrenalin mixed with approximately three grams of cocaine. This fish is wired," Tosh commented almost calmly and Evie nodded briefly. That explained it. She had looked over the reports and what had been filed for when she had first met a blowfish almost two years ago. The autopsy had said that it had been wired up on cocaine and alcohol and that had been why he was chased down in the first place.
"So this is Team Torchwood. The teacher's pets, but teacher's gone, hasn't he? Leaving the kiddy-kids all alone. And look at you, trying so hard to be all grown up," The blowfish taunted, "The Doctor, with his hands full of blood. The Carer with her oh-so-beating heart. The Technician, with her cold devices. The Girlfriend who thinks she can do it all without any help. Which leaves me, with the Office Boy, promoted beyond his measure. All of you...lost without your master. All of you...pretending to be so brave. All of you, so scared."
The blowfish laughed and pressed a kiss to the side of the young woman's head and breathing in deeply, as if trying to take in her scent. The girl was whimpering and looking scared out of her wits at this and she leaned away from the blowfish as far as she could.
Evie realized just then that this reaction was what the team, and the blowfish from before had expected of her. Scared and cowering at the fact that a gun was help at her head by a creature that couldn't be human.
"So, what about it, minions? Can you do it? How good are you? How sharp is your aim? What if you kill her?" The blowfish taunted looking between Ianto and Evie who had guns trained on him in the middle of an archway leading from one room to another. "What if I kill her first? Can you shoot, before I do? Can you? Dare you? Would you? Won't you?"
But before either could make any movements there was the sound of a gun firing and a bullet goes through the blowfish's head splattering brains and gore on the curtain and the wall behind him. He looked almost surprised as he crumpled to the ground.
Ianto was looking at his gun in confusion but Evie had already turned, and as such was the first to see Jack standing in the doorway his gun in hand. Evie vaguely noticed as the older woman rushed to the younger woman who was standing in shock in the middle of the room. She almost noticed as Ianto turned to look behind him, and the rest of the team followed suit.
"Hey kids. Did you miss me?" Jack said with a bright joking tone and Evie rushed across the room and threw herself into a tight hug around Jack's neck, and pulled his head down a little, so his lips and hers could meet in a kiss.
Somehow (Evie couldn't remember) they made their way back to the hub. But she spent the whole time her fingers entwined with Jack's in death grip. He was so late, and she should really be angry with him, but she couldn't be, not really.
Because he was back.
When they made it to the hub Tosh was sent to check the Rift activity while they were gone, and Owen went with the blowfish's body to do an autopsy, Ianto went to make tea, and Gwen to fill out the paperwork for the incident. Evie and Jack went up to Jack's office to talk about what had happened.
"After you left…" Evie started and paused again. A moment later she continued, "I know there was a year that happened, and it got reset to just after the president was shot. I have flashes of memories of things that happened, but it's all unclear and it's gives me migraines like you wouldn't believe. What happened?"
"The Master knew we were there from the beginning," Jack began calmly, "But he pretended he didn't, so no one else would see us. When the president died an army of those Toclafane came through, and started destroying the earth. Martha escaped to earth, but the Doctor and I were caught. The Master aged the Doctor as if he was one hundred, then I was chained in a boiler room, and the Master had fun killing me.
"A long time later he dragged you into the room where I was imprisoned and let you come up to me, you said 'I'll save you' just before the Master pulled you away again. Then the construction started. They built a big glass box, completely sealed and soundproofed. Then when it was done the master dragged you down again, shoved you into the box, and made you watch as he killed me.
"It happened often, but we passed messages back and forth. Through the Jones women. You met them at that party for Lazarus before Christmas, remember? Martha's mother and sister. Finally the Master came in and told you that Luke and his friends were dead, and you raged. You were so angry, and I couldn't do anything to help you.
"Then suddenly you were planning something and pulling us all into it. We all knew that the Master would find out, so we agreed to get you off the ship. You needed to be back on earth where you had been running a significant portion of the resistance. In the process of escaping the Master caught us like we had assumed he would.
"But he made you open your locket. He held you at gunpoint and made you open it, because you had to keep your promise to me. Which, by the way, still stands. And while the Master was preoccupied the Doctor sent you back to earth.
"Martha said she saw you on earth, in London before she came up to the Valiant again. Apparently Ianto was pretty badly wounded, and it was all she and another doctor could do to save the arm, and it was likely it wouldn't heal."
The two sat in silence for a long time. Evie had a single question she wanted to ask, and it was obvious to both of them. But Evie didn't want to say it, and Jack didn't want to answer it without the question having been asked.
"Who am I then?" Evie finally asked.
"The Master called you Mara, and you knew them both before everything. But the Doctor was tight-lipped on the subject and obviously I wasn't going to ask the Master," Jack replied looking at her almost sadly.
"I…"Evie started before breathing in shakily and pausing. There was a headache building again, but she didn't want Jack to see yet, so she pulled on something like a sad smile, "Did the Doctor know me after all?"
"Yeah," Jack said and stepped across the room to wrap his arms around her. Evie should have known she could never keep it hidden from him, "I think you were close. It killed him when he had to send you back to earth alone."
Evie hugged Jack tight and held on with all she could. The headache was fading now, but for just a moment Jack looked like he was blazing silver light, like it was pouring out from every pore and filling the room, the entire hub, maybe all of Cardiff. It was so bright it hurt her eyes and there were still little marks on her sight where she was looking at him.
There was a long moment of silence and then Jack spoke, "I missed you so much. I love you more than I thought I would ever admit to anyone."
Evie's throat choked up, and she sniffed to keep from crying and gripped Jack's shirt a little tighter like a child holding on to whatever they could to prove the world was real.
"It's so lonely without you," Evie murmured into his shirt, "Even with the team it's lonely without you too. It's like it's in color when you're around and when you're not everything is in black and white."
Evie felt Jack nod and there was a kiss pressed to her hair and Evie sighed happily. This is what she needed. Just a little love and attention from the one person she couldn't live without.
"Evie," A voice called tentatively from the doorway, and Evie pulled herself reluctantly from Jack's arms and opened the door to find Tosh standing there, "Rift activity."
"Okay, get everyone ready. We'll meet you downstairs in a minute, just have to finish something," Evie told her with a little smile in thanks. Tosh turned and rushed back down the stairs called out information to the rest of the team.
"Right back to work then?" Jack said with a smile as he gathered up his coat. Evie smiled back over her shoulder at him and stepped over to him and kissed him softly before leading back down to the main floor.
Andy was on the phone with someone, likely the police about the blowfish earlier, and Emma looked like she had been disturbed in the middle of filing the paperwork for the blowfish by the rest of the team scurrying around her.
"Come on guys," Evie called out and strode into the newly made chaos to gather up the team, "Owen, Tosh, Gwen, and Ianto you're with me on the scene. Emma finish the paperwork and go home. Take the bus, I don't want you walking home alone, I know how scary it can be. Andy keep an eye on the Rift while we're gone. We'll need immediate notification should anything happen."
Suddenly the chaos was order again as Owen put together his med-kit and Gwen and Ianto put together the field kit, and Tosh gathered up the tech she thought was necessary. In less than a minute everyone was ready, so Evie swung her coat around her shoulders and strode off for the garage the whole team following after her.
They had barely made it to the SUV when Andy called them over the comms.
"Hey, the site of the Rift activity now has a police incident tagged. Looks like someone died there. Probably not a coincidence," Andy reported over the comms having most likely just gotten off the phone, "Also Cathy is mad at you for not calling her last week."
"Cathy can wait," Evie said quietly letting Jack take the driver's seat and taking the seat next to him for herself.
The drive wasn't very long. The garage where the Rift activity had originated was fairly close to the Roald Dahl Plass.
When they got there the police had already yellow-taped the whole area, and Cathy was standing there looking smug.
"This is one of yours isn't it?" Cathy asked as Evie climbed out of the SUV.
"Of course, more than half of what happens in Cardiff is," Evie joked right along. Cathy look past Evie for just a second and paused looking over her shoulder. Then her eyes widened just a bit and she looked right back at Evie's face again.
"I see someone's finally back," She said with a little smirk and Evie laughed a bit.
"Yep," Evie said grinning brighter than anyone had seen since the Saxon was elected, "Jack's finally decided to show his face. But what do we have here. We're pretty sure our bit is involved in this one."
"Yeah, we found him at the bottom of the car park, and while most people might say suicide first he's got some marks like bruising, so we're looking at murder, or at least manslaughter here," Cathy said getting down to business and leading the team over to the scene.
"Owen and Tosh," Evie said shortly looking over her shoulder at the two and they rushed to take some scans and a physical look of the body, "Any witnesses or anything?" Evie asked Cathy completely in control. Jack drifted off to look at the body as well and Cathy smiled over at Evie.
"When did he get back?" Cathy asked knowing how much his presence had to mean to the younger woman.
"Just a little while ago," Evie replied with a contented smile, "I'm looking forward to dealing with whatever this is, because I've missed him."
"I can imagine," Cathy commented and paused looking at Evie for a long moment, "So when do you think he'll pop the question."
"What?" Evie said leaning back obviously surprised at the question. Sure she'd had daydreams and dreams at night of Jack asking her to marry him. Of them living their lives together, of a nice little house in a good neighborhood with a white picket fence. But she hadn't seriously thought that Jack might propose. It was a miracle as it was that Jack admitted aloud that he was in love with her, let alone proclaiming it to the world.
"You're obviously completely and madly in love with him. He feels the same way, why wouldn't he ask?" Cathy inquired her arms crossed in front of her chest, "Unless you're planning on asking him?"
"No, I wasn't," Evie said still looking a little dazed. Was there really any possibility of them having a little wedding with friends and family only (i.e. Torchwood)? Of Evie having a big white dress or walking down the aisle?
"Then you haven't thought about him proposing I suppose?" Cathy asked taking pity on the blond woman and setting her hand on Evie's shoulder.
"No," Evie said looking over at the dark-skinned woman, "Jack doesn't do relationships. The fact that he was willing to be in one with me, and that he's willing to tell me he loves me is a miracle in itself. Given that it's almost laughable that he might ask me to marry him."
"I bet you ten quid he will," Cathy said laughing a little to lighten the mood.
"I'll take that bet," Evie replied with a smile of her own.
Just then the team finished up with the body and made their way back over to where Evie was standing. Evie felt a brief stab of guilt over having done nothing to help while everyone else was busy, but she shoved it down along with this new idea of marriage and said her goodbyes to her friend.
They all gathered up at the SUV, and Jack was just starting to tell Evie what they had found when his vortex manipulator beeped. They both froze and looked at it as though it had turned into a snake. There were only a couple of times it would ever beep. If there was a message, a health problem with the person using it, or a serious danger of bacterial, radioactive, or viral nature.
"That thing never beeps," Ianto commented looking surprised. Evie jumped a little because she had forgotten he had come along, likely he had been organizing the results as Tosh and Owen took them down to make it easier for him or Emma to file later.
"I know," Jack said starting to gain his composure back. So Jack pressed a button out of the multitude that Evie still couldn't figure out (she hadn't really tried all that hard). Then suddenly there was a hologram of a man standing in front of them. His coat was old, looking like it had come straight from the 1700s, and it obviously hadn't been as meticulously cared for as Jack's greatcoats. The man probably would have looked pretty nice, but he had this air about him, even in a hologram, that screamed 'I'm the bad guy! Look I'm important because I make myself so!'
"I can't believe I got the answer machine!" The man said looking actually outraged at that idea, "What can you be doing that's more important than me? Anyway, you've probably traced the energy shift, found the body. All me, sorry about the mess. Bill me for the clean-up. Now..." The man stopped and clapped his hands together rubbing them eagerly, "Drinks! Retrolock the transmission coordinates, that's where I am. And hurry up, work to do!" Then there was a sudden shift in his demeanor and he leaned over and did a Star Wars impression looking about worriedly before saying, "Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope!"
"I don't think I'll ever like this ass," Evie commented wryly grabbing the door handle for the SUV.
"No," Jack said a bit snappily grabbing hold of Evie's hand a little tighter than he had to, "Stay here."
"I'm not staying behind," Evie told him straight off, "I don't care if it's dangerous, I don't care if it's an ex. I'm going to come with you, and I'm going to do what I can to keep you safe, and here, with me. I'd prefer you not go missing for three months again."
There was a long pause before jack let go of Evie's hand and stepped around the car to get in the driver's seat. The team moved as if to join them, but Evie waved them away.
"What's going on?" Ianto asked looking straight as Evie as she was about to close the door.
"Who knows," Evie said with a grin, "But I bet it's gonna be great."
When they stopped at the coordinates the man had sent to Jack, it was at a club that Evie knew that Owen had frequented during his slumps just after Diane left. Evie had to drive down a number of times to collect him so they could sober him up enough that he didn't kill himself or someone else.
It was a basic sort of place, a decent size, and served the really expensive alcohol, alongside the truly cheap stuff that tastes like swill. The decorations were mostly tasteful, but it was a little too glass-and-metal for Evie personal taste the times she had marched in to march Owen out.
"Stay out here," Jack said, but je was more begging than ordering.
"I won't," Evie said smiling over at him. There was a pause and Jack smiled and pressed a light kiss to Evie's lips before the two of them got out of the SUV together.
When they walked into the club it was to find the man from the hologram sitting at the bar drinking shot after shot. He didn't seem to notice them for about a fraction of a second and when he did turn to see them it was to see them holding hands their respective guns trained on him.
"So, you've found yourself a pretty girl?" The man asked looking almost sad through an arrogant veneer.
"I'm more than that," Evie defended herself calmly.
"This is Evie," Jack said as civil as imaginable, but all the same his gun was trained on the man's head.
"Well, what are you wearing today then?" He asked casually his eyes wandering occasionally to Evie's face, before training back on Jack.
"Captain Jack Harkness, note the stripes" Jack replied and Evie looked questioning at him for just a second. He still hadn't told her his real name, all he knew was that Jack Harkness was not it.
"Captain John Hart, note the sarcasm" he replied stepping away from the bar. Neither Jack nor Evie moved as John took several more steps forward.
"Hey, I worked my way up through the ranks." Jack complained and Evie knew he was faking something, and as he took a step forward Evie released his hand and switched which hand was holding the stungun.
"I bet the ranks were very grateful," John said snidely and Evie nearly ground her teeth, "I need a drink."
"I thought you'd never ask," Jack replied with a little smile that looked real, but Evie could see the way his shoulders were tense and his back was straight as a rail. He didn't rust 'John Hart' and he was never likely to do so.
"What are we drinking then?" Evie asked walking a little faster than the two men and getting behind the bar.
John just grabbed a bottle and bites the spout off before offering the bottle to Jack, who refused, and quaffing down a gulp. Then he turned around and leaned against the bar not looking at Evie, and she caught the slight. He was ignoring her, as if she wasn't there, as though she didn't exist, as though Jack was all his.
But Evie knew the truth. It was an empty gesture. All three of them in that room knew full well that Evie was Jack's, and Jack was Evie's and John played no part in that equation.
"So...how was rehab?" Jack inquired and Evie felt the emptiness of the question. It was to fill the silence and it was stop things from getting too very awkward too quickly. Eventually they would have to get down to it. He had killed a man and he had to leave, and leave soon.
"Rehabs," John said smiling and wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, "Plural."
"Drink, drugs, sex and..." Jack asked and there was the tiniest grain of real interest there.
"Murder," With that one word Evie's insides froze and she wanted him gone. She wanted John Hart gone so badly it physically hurt. Or maybe it was her head because there was a tinge of golden light around John Hart and her head was hurting again. Hurting like it had when she first came back and tried to figure out what on earth had happened in those few hours which were a whole year.
"A-ha ha!" Jack forced a laugh and a smile at those words, "You went to murder rehab?"
"I know, ridiculous. The odd kill, who does it hurt?" John said with a smile and a laugh.
"Oh, you know, the dead person," Evie said making her voice flippant and sarcastic. John turned and gave her a look that said shut-up-you-stupid-person. Evie shot him back one that said go-burn-in-hell-you-moronic-murderous-idiot.
"You clean now?" Jack asked turning serious.
"Yeah. Kicked everything. Living like a priest," John says his bottle of alcohol still in his hands telling lie to his words.
"So, how's the Time Agency?" Jack asked and Evie stiffened. Jack never talked about them. Not when he could avoid it. He had liked it when he was a part of it, but it seemed as soon as they erased two years he hated the organization and everything it have ever stood for.
"You didn't hear?" Whatever it was Jack obviously hadn't heard from the look on his face, "It's...shut down."
"You're kidding," Jack looked distressed but there was this tiny kernel of glee in his eyes that Evie rejoiced in.
"No. There's only seven of us left now," John replied, he looked genuinely upset about this. Perhaps this was the kind of person they wanted there. Sneaks, murderers, liars, and generally bad people.
"Wow," This one seemed genuine. He seemed to be truly amazed that the Time Agency was gone. But that's the thing about time travel. Even though they're gone at the time that John comes from they still exist in other times, because they had been there. Likely they'd all be gone for real by the time the 51st century comes around the slow way.
"It's good to see you. It was never the same without you," John said and his eyes made a fast trip to Evie's face as Jack leaned forward, but John leaned forward as well as though he was expecting a kiss. Evie knew better. Jack knew what happened the last time Evie thought he had betrayed her. It wasn't anywhere near pretty and Jack was highly unlikely to ever try it again.
"You need to go. I don't want you on my territory" Jack said seriously his face only an inch or two from John's. Jack leaned away as John jumped from his seat looking outraged.
"Time was, you couldn't get enough of me on your "territory"," John taunted and moving faster than Evie would have thought she could follow he grabbed his gun off the counter and shoots out the glass of the front door, making Jack dodge down, before spinning John shot out the glass for the back door as well.
"All right, everybody out!" John called looking upset still. The front door opened to reveal Gwen and Ianto. Evie couldn't help but snigger as they come in defensively Ianto covering Gwen's side.
"Everything all right, Jack? Evie?" Gwen asked looking to their two commanders.
"It's okay, okay, okay!" Jack said quickly as Owen and Tosh came in through the back door.
"You've got a team! How sweet! Oh, pretty little friends! No blonde, though. You need a blonde," John said ruffling his own blond hair.
"And what am I?" Evie asked leaning against the counter looking at the man in front of her, his gun still cocked.
"A red-head," John answered quickly.
"I'm more blond than red," Evie scoffed, "No, you don't want to admit that I have more of Jack's heart than you ever did. Obviously more intelligence too."
"Oh, do you have a team name? I love team names, go on!" John said ignoring Evie again, although he has tensed and it was obvious that she had struck a nerve. A really really big one.
"Torchwood," Jack answered easily.
"Oh. Not Excalibur? Blizzard? Bikini Cops? No? Torchwood. Oh, dear," John looked a bit disappointed, but Evie liked it. It was simple, and so much more than it sounded. The name was unusual, but not likely to be noticed right off. It didn't sound military, and it sounded even less sexual.
"Gwen Cooper, Ianto Jones, Toshiko Sato, Owen Harper, meet-" Jack started to introduce them around like a nice host, but John cut in to finish it himself.
"Captain John Hart," John said with a grin lowering his gun at last and putting it in the holster on his leg.
"We go back," Jack said not looking at all happy about the connection.
"Excuse me. We more than go back. We were partners," John replied and Evie saw where this was going. She had already caught that they had likely had a sexual relationship in the past, and she even saw that John likely still had feelings for Jack, but at the same time she didn't want to hear it. She didn't want to hear them talking about old times and how they used to be an item.
"In what way?" But Ianto had to ask the question and now it was going to be said, and she was going to be awkward until they could send Captain John Hart on his way. Preferably to prison somewhere.
"In every way. And then some," John replied smugly looking over at Evie.
"It was two weeks," Jack defended looking over at Evie as well. There was a pleading in his eyes, pleading her to not think about it, to believe that he was all hers now.
"Except that two weeks was trapped in a time loop, so we were together for five years. It was like having a wife," John said a complaining tone at the end of it all. As if he didn't like it.
"You were the wife," Jack argued trying to save his manly pride.
"You were the wife," John retorted.
"No, you were the wife," They were like kindergarteners.
"Oh, but I was a good wife," John said and for half a second she could see a little appeal in his looks. What Jack probably went for all those years ago. But then she remembered that he had killed someone earlier this evening and he had obviously done so before that, and in all probability he would do so again.
"I bet you were," Tosh said a little too eagerly, "What? Don't pretend you haven't noticed, he's cute."
"They're just shy," John said looking over at Tosh and winking.
"What are you doing here?" Jack said drawing John's attention back to him.
"I was wondering when we'd get to that," John said looking almost disappointed at this turn of events. But he opened up his wristband and punched a couple of buttons for some reason or other.
"That's the same as yours," Tosh said looking surprised. If these two went 'way back' should it really have surprised her that they had the same technology?
"A little smaller," Jack pointed out and Evie realized he was right. He was probably smaller in other ways too, but Evie had no interest in actually finding out.
"But lasts much longer," John replied rolling his eyes, "Get two Time Agents in the same room together, it's always about the size of the wrist strap."
"Ah, yes, sorry? What's a Time Agent?" Owen asked looking a little sheepishly guilty, but mostly just curious.
"Organization from the 51st century that travels in time to change things. Technically for the better, not always true," Evie answered taking the heat off Jack. But all the same she wasn't sure exactly where there words were coming from. Did she know that as a time lady, or was it something she saw for just a moment in the archives and forgot about?
"Anyway..." John said looking like he wished he could completely ignore Evie, then he pressed something on his wristband. Then there was a beep and a holographic image of a canister appeared. "I'm working with this woman-beautiful, clever, sexy, yadda yadda yadda-and we both get shot. And as she's dying, she begs me. She tells me about these radiation cluster bombs she'd been working on."
"I don't like the sound of that," Owen complained and Evie nodded a little to show she agreed before turning back to John who was still talking.
"Three canisters, contents beyond toxic, swallowed up in a riftstorm," John finished looking a little sad. Evie couldn't tell if it was sincere or a complete lie. She couldn't read him like Jack.
"And ended up here," Tosh concluded.
"Bingo. That's the downside of your city being built on a rift in space and time. Now, left to their own devices, the radiation'll break down the canisters and then infect your people and planet. They need to be neutralized," John told them and Evie was sure he was lying. But there was the slimmest chance possible he wasn't and thus they would have to track these things down before sending 'Captain' John Hart off to wherever he came from, if he happened to find himself in prison for long standing crimes so be it.
"What do you get out of this?" Jack asked and Evie knew he was just as suspicious as she of John.
"Dying woman's wish," John replied smoothly, but it was clear that Jack wasn't even thinking of believing that was his motive, "Now, there's only one problem: I don't know where they are. Hoping local knowledge might help."
"When we get back to the Hub, I can run a citywide scan on radiation surges and cross-reference that with the rift activity during that time span," Tosh offered by Evie had to stop her in her tracks on that one.
"Sorry, you can't," Evie interrupted before John could say anything.
"Why not?" Tosh asked confused, she had always been able to do things like that before this after all.
"I was a bit bored this morning and I locked up the program so I could try to update and improve it," Evie explained shrugging her shoulders a little, "I'll need at least half an hour to get it unlocked so it will run for anyone, even me."
John looked murderously angry and Jack seemed to be bemused by the new information. Ianto was sighing at her in slight annoyance at her ways.
"Then I suppose we're on our way to the hub so you can unlock the programming," Jack said lightly, "Evie you and I will take the SUV and the captain here to the hub, and the rest of you meet us there."
Jack's transition back into command was flawless. There was no questioning, there were no second thoughts about who should lead, and he had complete control and loyalty.
So Evie and Jack led John out to the SUV and made him climb into the back with the warning that if he messed with anything back there they would do nothing for him, just send him straight home.
The ride was silent but Evie rested her hand on Jack's thigh, and she could practically feel John steaming in the backseat. Jack knew that Evie was letting her jealousy get the best of her, but John was letting his take over as well.
They took the SUV and parked it next to the Roald Dahl Plass and took the tourists entrance in by the water tower. They locked up the SUV and Evie sent a quick message over the commlinks to Andy, who had said he was going to work late at the hub, to come up and get the SUV, and then to go home for the night, and if Emma was still in the office she was to go home as well.
When Evie caught up with the two men at the foot of the water tower John was staring up at it looking rather unimpressed.
"You live in a sculpture? Could you be any more pretentious?" John was asking and Jack gestured to the concrete block which was the invisible lift.
"Get on," Jack ordered and after John stepped up onto the block Jack and Evie followed. It was a little bit tight, but nothing compared to the time they had to squeeze on along with Owen, Gwen, and a rather upset Ianto.
"So your team not allowed in this way?" John asked as Jack gave the order on his vortex manipulator for the lift to start to descend.
"This is the entrance for tourists," Jack told him and the lift started to move.
"I remember the last time you said that," John replied and there was obviously an innuendo hidden in there.
"Where the hell are we...?" John asked in shock as the lift lowered far enough to get a real look into the hub. Jack just smiled proudly and shook his head.
Evie however was grinning ear to ear taking in all the improvements that had been made since she first started work with Torchwood Three two years ago. There was a wide open area in the middle of the hub which would someday be full of desks, and scattered through the area were the desks of the various people on the team, all individualized for the desks owners.
Evie's was a big sturdy wooden desk with rich inlays and silver drawer pulls. There were no less than four computer screens on her desk and a silver keyboard, a tablet, and a mouse cluttering space. There was a small bookshelf set against the side of her desk which was full of books, and a couple of picture frames were lined up taking even more space. A mug had been left on her desk earlier that evening.
Tosh's on the other hand was a glass and silver metal kind of construction, with no drawers at all. The computer tower was resting under the desk, without a cage for it to rest in. Her desk was clear, with all her computer monitors held up off the desk with silver bars of metal, all that was sitting on her desk was her keyboard and mouse.
On the other side of the floor were Gwen and Andy's desks. Gwen had gotten hold of a rather cheap looking desk, which had a pattern of fake wood grain on it. Hers only held one computer screen, but that was all Gwen needed for her basic research that she had to conduct. Hers was every bit as cluttered as Evie's though, she had pictures, forms to be finished and filed, toys from god knows where, little knick-knacks, the occasional book, and a cup and saucer along with a little plate that held a remnant of a doughnut.
Andy's desk was solid metal, but at some point Emma had gotten bored and painted a geometric design across the whole thing in blue and white. Andy had two screens and three phones filling his desk, but he was responsible for most of the calls with various other organizations, like the Cardiff and London Police and occasionally UNIT. Mostly Evie or Jack dealt with everyone else, because Andy hadn't been introduced through yet.
"It's roomy, I'll give you that," John said drawing Evie's attention back. It was then that she noticed Tosh and Ianto standing at the bottom of the lift, while Gwen was standing a little further off with Owen who had his gun trained of the blond man on the lift with their two leaders. It looked like Andy had done as Evie had asked and gone up for the SUV and then home. She was really hoping she wasn't going to see him again tonight, but all the same he'd probably be in around five am.
"Your taste in interior design hasn't got any better, though. What is this, sewer chic?" John asked derogatively.
The lift ground to a stop and Ianto offered a hand to Evie to help her down, which Evie accepted graciously. Then stepping away she made her way to her desk quickly in order to get working on unlocking the program. She heard Jack ordering John to give up his weapons, but she paid little attention.
She was typing away rapidly on her computer trusting her team to deal with John. There were numerous firewalls and blocks and locks that she had set up that she had to pull down and she had to reset older programs without losing her recent work, and she couldn't copy the program.
When Evie finally looked up to announce she was done to was to find the whole team had pulled chairs over and were lounging just out of her line of sight and a chair had been pulled from somewhere for John to sit in, and he looked rather upset that none of the team were speaking with him, just watching him to ensure he didn't do anything he wasn't supposed to. Or anything at all really.
"Okay, we're up," Evie announced running the program as she did. Jack and Tosh both surged eagerly from their seats, and Ianto followed a little slower. Owen and Gwen were left to guard John, who hadn't made a single move to get up anyway.
"Okay, so, seven hours ago we logged a minor surge in rift energy, across three locations," Evie announced as the results came up.
"Seven of us, three locations. That's simple. Two people per canister, one of them gets three," John said from his seat still not getting up, although now he looked like he wanted to.
"Excuse me, I give the orders," Jack said turning to look at John rather unhappily.
"Well, give some, big boy!" John challenged and Evie broke in.
"Enough," Evie said loudly, "John was right enough, except Ianto I want you to go home. You were into work at four this morning and you haven't so much as sat down for more than an hour at a time all day. Go home, go to sleep."
"You were in at the same time," Ianto pointed out calmly.
"Yes, but I took a nap this afternoon and I've had a constant supply of tea all day. I'm good for energy for a couple hours yet, and I don't think this will take more than one," Evie told him dismissively and no one argued after that, although Jack looked as though he would like to.
"Tosh and Owen, take the north," Jack started off then paused for a moment as though unsure.
"John and I will take the docks," Gwen inserted calmly and Evie gazed at her for a moment trying to catch her mind up to what Gwen was doing.
"Right, then that leaves me and Jack for the last location," Evie finished off not letting Jack object although he clearly wanted to.
"Now, given the canisters are radioactive, don't open them, eh?" John shot in and Evie threw a stress ball from her desk at the man.
"Let's go, guys," Gwen said getting up and stretching before striding over to her own desk to gather up her gun and a few other supplies she needs for a mission.
"Gwen, I need a word," Jack said and made his way over to the woman who was digging through the paperwork on her desk to find something.
As they talked quietly the rest of the team moved off to deal with their own things leaving Evie to pull on a pair of shoes and watch over John Hart.
"How'd you meet him?" John asked after a long moment of complete silence between them only broken by the sound of Myfanwy screeching somewhere far overhead.
"A blowfish broke into the bar where I worked and attempted to take me hostage, I had convulsions because a little bit of the blowfish's blood entered my system and they brought be here to check me out," Evie admitted, "We never did figure out why it would have affected me like that, but it's one of life's mysteries and we've long since stopped trying to figure it out."
"Blood from a blowfish made you convulse?" John asked for clarification.
"Yes, that is what I said is it not?" Evie retorted a bit angrily.
"Captain Hart," Gwen called over looking annoyed, "Let's get this over with."
"Gwen, which car are you taking?" Evie asked her shoes finally on and tied correctly despite the fact that Penny had chewed up one of her laces the other day. She'd have to but new ones.
"Mine, which else would I?" Gwen asked pulling a bag onto her back.
"Take the third SUV, I know Owen and Tosh are taking the second, since Owen doesn't like Tosh's car and Tosh doesn't trust Owen's," Evie ordered and Gwen looked a bit annoyed but nodded to show she would do as she was asked.
AS those two walked away to the garage Jakc came over and kissed Evie on the lips. Evie smiled and grabbed her boyfriend's hand before leading him off to the garage.
"I've missed you so much," Jack said again and Evie smiled up at him.
"So you're never to leave me again right?" Evie asked smiling teasingly. She was in a much better mood now that she had Jack right next to her, and his obvious love at her disposal.
"No, never," Jack replied, "I got all the answers I needed. If I ever leave earth again, I'm taking you with me."
The office building was pretty typical. And by typical, read boring. It was a high-rise building over twenty stories high, and was one of steel and glass nightmares that adds nothing to the area around it, except perhaps when it's brightly lit at night and viewed from a far distance. Otherwise, it was pretty ugly.
The readings that Evie had picked up were coming from the building, and from very high up at that. At least the second to top floor, but once Evie got a bit closer she would be able to narrow the search to the exact floor, then further to the general area of the objects, really at that point there's no point in further narrowing because it would be staring them in the face by then.
She Evie and Jack got into the elevator, and stood a little closer to each other than was really necessary, but it made them feel better after their long separation, and really a little harmless cuddling never hurt anyone. Evie was just looking forward to getting back to their apartment after all this so they could do more than a little kiss and a cuddle.
As the elevator went up Evie was continuously narrowing the search, until somewhere about halfway up the building she realized that it would have to be the roof, which thankfully could be directly accessed from the elevator, so there would be no getting off and taking a ladder and fiddling with a door on the ceiling while trying not to fall off a ladder.
"Up on the roof," Evie told Jack pressing the button gently, as though scared of what might happen once they had retrieved it.
As the door dinged open and they stepped out onto the gravel the second elevator opened to reveal Captain John Hart, his gun already up and steady.
"How on earth did you get here?" Evie asked completely stunned at the man's appearance.
"Vortex manipulator," John replied pointing his gun right at Evie's chest, and Evie didn't dare move more than to grip her locket tucked away in her pocket, where her hand had been resting for warmth in the slight chill of the night.
"What do you want?" Jack asked a bit more boldly than Evie would have dared at that moment in time.
"The canister, behind you," John replied, "get it for me, or I'll shoot your pretty girlfriend you thought would replace me."
"She's not a replacement for anyone," Jack argued, but moved to get the canister watching the gun and John's face as much as he could without tripping over his own feet.
"I'll hardly believe that," John scoffed, "Blond, works with you, intelligent, can carry her own in a firefight. Sounds like me. Which makes her a replacement."
"You're missing a lot of vital characteristics of Evie," Jack complained picking the canister up from the ledge at the very edge of the rooftop, "You're missing her bravery, and how she's willing to give her life for her team, and how she lead a worldwide rebellion against an evil tyrant, and how she's lived through tragedy, and come back ever stronger. You just run away."
"Go," John said gesturing to Evie with his gun, "Gwen is dying, if you can find her you might be able to save her, but I doubt it. Then there those other two, I think the man might have a hole in his leg, a rather big one. He's likely to bleed out if you don't help him."
"What did you do?" Evie asked suddenly furious, she had realized right away that something had probably happened to Gwen, but she never thought she might be dying, and she hadn't even thought that he would need to deal with her and Jack last, and would obviously have gone after Owen and Tosh first.
"I came to get what I wanted, and I've taken steps in that direction," John replied cavalierly his gun still trained on Evie's heart, "Leave."
"I'll kill you," Evie promised, "If even one of them dies, then one day, I will be responsible for you death. This I promise you."
With that Evie looked to Jack, caught his eyes, and climbed into the elevator. Her last sight was of John changing the aim of his gun for Jack's heart.
Evie sped off to the docks and scanned the area for any life signs bigger than a rabbit. It took her twenty minutes to get through the maze to Gwen. And she found the older woman completely still save her eyes which were moving frantically, and Evie knew immediately she couldn't do anything for her.
So Evie carried the older (and slightly heavier) woman to the SUV, taking care not to jostle her too much, and drove at her top speed through the city to the warehouse where she knew Tosh and Owen would be. Owen would be able to fix her, Evie had complete trust in his ability, she just wished she could have Martha working on Gwen too. Together they would have everything to normal in record time. She'd have to call the Joneses to see if they knew where she was.
But that would have the wait until all this was over with.
When Evie got to the warehouse she was quick about unlocking the doors and getting Owen and Tosh out. They had already bound up Owen's wound pretty well, and there was nothing for Evie to do for the man other than give him a little time off when all this was over.
As Owen and Tosh worked on Gwen (mostly Owen, but he needed a little help sue to his injury, and Tosh was admittedly a hell of a lot more use than Evie would be) Evie watched the sky start to lighten. It was currently that time of morning when the sun hasn't yet broken the horizon to add color, but everything was more gray than black.
It was such a depressing moment of the morning, made ever more so by the fact that Gwen was in the back fighting for her life while Owen worked frantically and there was nothing she could do to help. Anything she could offer would be more getting in the way than anything, so she didn't bother to offer.
Finally Evie heard something she had been hoping for. Gwen.
"Oh, I'm gonna kill that bloody idiot!" Gwen groaned out as Evie sighed in relief and turned to grin at the dark-haired woman.
"I'm glad to see we're on the same page," Evie commented calmly, "Everyone strap in, We're headed to the hub as fast as I can drive, and it would be rather upsetting if one of you got hurt again."
The team scrambled into seats, Tosh climbing over into the front, as Owen slammed the back door the SUV shut and buckled himself in being careful of his wound. He had to help Gwen, since her hands were still a little shaky, and she wasn't really up to doing much of anything.
Then they were zooming off Owen and Gwen complaining on her driving skills loudly from the back as Tosh in the front just turned green and closed her eyes trying not to look out the windows at the world zooming by. They all had a rather fit when Evie turned a corner a bit too fast and two of her wheels lifted off the ground for just a moment.
But they made it to the hub in what was record time even for Evie. Although, by the time they got there she was feeling a little green and the other three had to make little trips into the bathroom on the way into the hub to empty their stomachs. It was as they came back out and found Ianto looking rather upset that they knew something was up.
Within a few words they knew that John had come in down the lift using Jack's vortex manipulator and taken over the med bay. Ianto would have stopped him, but he was all by himself in the hub, since Andy wouldn't be in for at least an hour and Emma had been told to come in late today, and she wouldn't be in until sometime around noon.
So the team cleaned themselves up properly and made their way down to the Med Bay, to find John leaning over the table against one wall, which should have been full of Owen's clean medical instruments, which had all been shoved to one side, making a number of them fall to the floor. Which meant that Owen would have to sterilize them all over again, and that in turn meant that Owen was very cross with Captain John Hart.
So they lined themselves up on the stairs, which hadn't changed much, although they were now a nice bright white, and the railing was a lot more solid, and the stairs had to spread out a little further to accommodate the larger Medical Bay than they had before.
Then Owen cocked his gun loudly and John turned to see them all.
"Oh-kay," John dragged out the word looking from Ianto's gun at one end up to Gwen's which shook just a little more than it normally would what with having been paralyzed for an hour or so then having to empty her stomach after the trip through Cardiff to Evie at the top of the stairs with her stungun and back down to Tosh's gun a little more timid and aimed for his shoulder rather than anything life threatening to Owen's gun at the other end, which was aimed a bit lower than he normally would, but as the man obviously thought with those parts as much as with his brain it was a nice compromise.
"Pretty and resilient. Is that even fair?" John complained and seemed to be trying to work himself out of his bad position.
"I'm sure you've noticed by now," Evie replied with a fake little smile on her face, "You can poison, threaten, and shoot us, but you're not going to stop us, ever. See, I know. Because I can see it."
Evie's vision was going golden again and she wasn't controlling what she was saying anymore.
"All of time and space. They're my toys I've been working towards this team, and this place for over two hundred years. You're nothing more than a little hitch in my plans, and you're not going to stop me from protecting the people I've come to love."
There was a beating noise, and it took Evie a moment to realize it was her heart. Hearts.
Her head was pounding and everything was bright gold, except behind her, just barely sensed was a bright silver presence filling the whole city, all of time with its brilliance. It was so bright.
As Jack came up beside her, Evie dropped her gun and clutched her head instead. It hurt soo bad. She was fingering her locket, would it stop hurting if she opened it?
No. Don't open it. Don't open it. It's not time yet. The time will come, but not yet. It was Evie's voice, but so young and so old and the pitch was just a little too high.
"Go to sleep Evie," Jack's voice whispered in her ear. Evie nodded just a little, her head hurt so much. Then Jack said a bit louder, "Tosh, take Evie home, then go home and get some sleep, you've been up all night."
So Tosh lowered her gun and wrapped an arm around Evie's body and lead her away as Evie heard John Hart start to ask, "What did she mean all of time and space?"
Evie woke in the morning to find Jack wrapped around her, and her memories of the night before were fuzzy. Jack had a small cut on his face which was too minor for his body to fix faster than normal, but he looked worried, like he wasn't sure what was going to happen next.
Evie traced his face lightly with her fingertips, missing waking up next to him. His hair was a bit out of place from moving during the night, and Evie combed it over into place with her fingers, and when she looked down to his face again his eyes were open and watching her. She hadn't even heard his breathing change.
"Good morning," Evie said smiling down at him. Jack sat up and kissed her on the lips before replying in kind.
"How are you?" He asked and Evie looked at him a bit curiously before remembering how bad her head had gotten the night before, "You scared me."
"My head doesn't hurt anymore," Evie replied, "I think there's something wrong with the locket now, because it was opened, but time was reset to before it was opened. It's breaking down, and it almost broke entirely last night, I'll have to see if I can fix it, at least for a little while. I'm not ready to be a Time Lady again. I don't want to risk being someone else."
Jack looked sad, but kissed her forehead, and hugged her close, and Evie reveled in it. It would be some time before it became commonplace again, and until then she was going to soak up every bit of affection he was willing to give her.
It was almost two hours later when they finally got out of bed, and Evie's first action was to take a long shower, and lock Jack out of the bathroom. Evie laughed at her boyfriend as she pranced out in a light orange blouse and a pair of gray slacks. He tried to catch her, but she pranced right out of his grasp and told him to take a shower.
While he showered Evie got some breakfast (it was really more of a brunch sort of time, but Evie had no motivation to make anything more complicated than bacon and eggs) started and started the electric kettle for some tea for herself. After all, who knew what kind of state Ianto would be in, and she really needed a bit of tea in the mornings.
"What's cooking?" Jack asked wandering in.
"Just bacon and eggs, and if you want coffee you'll have to make it yourself. I'm not going to do it no matter how much I love you, since it'll probably be bad enough to kill you," Evie told him with a grin.
"This morning, as John was leaving he said something," Jack started, then stopped, as though he wasn't sure how to finish.
"What did he say?" Evie asked softly, whatever it was, it was major.
"He found Gray," Jack said and it didn't click for Evie who Gray was. She though Jack might have said something when he was drunk at some point, but all the same, she really didn't know who he was. As that was clear Jack continued, "My little brother. I thought he was dead."
"But to see him again you'll have to deal with Captain Hart again?" Evie asked and touched Jack's hand softly. Jack just nodded. This was the one thing that seemed to weigh most heavily on his mind. His first guilt for anything. His first really big mistake. The first thing that led him down the road to becoming a Time Agent and eventually to meeting the Doctor. So it was a good thing wrapped up in something horrible, it was more of a price to pay than Evie would ever wish on him.
Things were calmer than they had been since before Bilia Manger for the next two weeks. Evie called up the Joneses only to find out that Martha was on Earth for good and was thinking about taking a job with UNIT, so Evie countered the offer for one at Torchwood Three for a decent chunk more than UNIT offered her.
So before long Martha was moving into the same building as Owen (a nice modern loft just two floors down from Owen and paying about a third of what Jack and Evie paid for theirs). Then the two Doctors (even though Martha had to take one more test to be certified completely) were bickering over all kinds of things in the Medical Bay, so if they weren't fighting about something she and Jack were having a row over the latest speeding ticket, or Ianto and Owen were fighting and Owen drinking decaff again.
But despite it all everything went off with very few hitches. It was like Martha had always been there.
About a month after Martha started Eugene called Evie to announce that he had finished off his Foundation degree, and he had already made a small dent in his Bachelor's degree, so Evie had to keep her promise and hired him on part-time.
Then Jack had to call up the Queen to tell her they had two more employees, and they would need a slightly larger budget in order to pay them, and continue proper operations of the organization. The Queen sent them over a raise of a million pounds a year, enough to pay Martha and Eugene's wages with a little extra to save to upgrade their older equipment, like some of their filing cabinets, which Ianto had been pushing for new ones for months.
Everything was good in life, and Evie had time to tinker a little with her locket, and decided that the best way to block the headaches and the degradation of its effects was to wrap it in silk, then in velvet, them put the whole thing in a wooden box, then the wooden box into an iron one. The silk helped to dissipate its telepathic link with her mind, the velvet kept the silk in place, so there were no gaps, and helped to keep the chain from getting damaged more, the wooden box kept it contained and made it easier to transport if it needed to be with her, because the iron was heavy. Then lastly the iron kept the last bit of connection to her mind blocked. So Evie still couldn't think too hard on the events of the Year that Never Was, but she didn't need to worry about her Time Lady self breaking through in emotional situations.
I do have a lot of reasons as to why this chapter is so late.
First, this one is hard to write, and I'll admit I decided to cop out of some of it at the end. But in my defense this is my second time writing it because of my second reason for the lateness, which is that my computer crashed and I lost the 10,000 word chapter that was a couple paragraphs from being done.
The third reason was that I participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), I didn't finish my novel, but all my writing time for the whole month of November was eaten up by that.
Then I had a panic attack about my Latin grade (I will not be taking Latin ever again) and I had a giant fight with my roommate and generally the first two weeks of December sucked.
So then I spent all my free time working on Christmas presents and writing whenever I had a little bit of time.
But I did manage to update before the end of the year. So I think I did pretty well over all.
A massive thank you and a chapter dedication goes to BiJane, who is still as amazing as ever. She's been recently catching me up on a bunch of Classic Who events (specifically the eighth Doctor, the Master, and events on Gallifrey), so you may see a bit of those later.
Another massive thank you goes to my dear friend Shannon. I would use her penname on fanfiction, but I can't recall it just now…Isabella something I think. But anyway she has been pushing me to get some real work done on Evie through some roleplays with an original character of hers to hash out some of Evie's past at the Academy and such.
Yet another massive thank you goes to my parents (who will never read this), but they gave me a very Whovian Christmas, and got my creative juices for Evie running.