Season: Any and all, excluding Miracle Day. I don't really have a good handle on that for fic.

Rating: K for the moment, may rise in later instalments.

Disclaimer: Not mine, and as usual not making any money from this.

Author's Note: Well, this is going to be something I add to sporadically, as I find it handy for working on characters. The idea will be to use a word as a prompt, and write it a story/drabble for all 5 characters (Tosh, Owen, Gwen, Ianto and Jack) kind of the same way I did with Seeking Sanctuary. I have lots of ideas for prompt words but am more than happy to consider any and all suggestions and would be really grateful for any of your ideas!

Authority - Jack

Jack exudes authority from every pore.

It's a natural air of command that allows him to control a crime scene even if its populated with the most surly of Cardiff's police constables and have them doing his bidding, albeit grumblingly. He's always possessed it, even back on the Boeshane Peninsula when he was more often than not the ringleader of his mischevious gaggle of friends as they tormented their teachers and family alike with the tricks and elaborate pranks he masterminded. Add to it the imposing swoop of his military greatcoat, and his unwavering grip on his Webley and there are few people who would stand in his way.

It's a talent he's had plenty of opportunity to hone, serving in the military through numerous wars with so many brave young men, and later women, in some of the most terrible times and environments he has experienced. He feels guilty now that he can't remember their names, even those whose hand he held as they died, despite the fact he sees their faces in his sleep. He worries too that one day, his team now who mean so much to him, will join those ranks of nameless faces, and the thought of not being able to recall the details that he loves about them fills him with dread. He can't imagine not being able to remember the way Gwen argues so passionately, Tosh's look of pride when she solves a problem, Owen's sarcastic retorts and Ianto's softly rounded vowels but he knows that if he is to go on living indeterminately, and not go mad, he will eventually have to let some of those details fade. It is the way of the world.

Despite his experiences, he never expected to command Torchwood. Working for them had initially been enforced, but as time passed it became an interesting diversion, a way of reminding himself of the universe beyond the Earth's atmosphere as he waits for the Doctor. By the time a new millennium had rolled around, he'd begun to realise that he cared enough about this tiny, backwater planet's future to fashion a new team. Cardiff, of all the places in the Universe he'd seen, had somehow become home.

They aren't like any other group he's had to command. They don't have that military discipline, instead they are a group of misfits each in a battle with their own personal demons. For the first time, a commanding air isn't enough. To lead Torchwood, for them to accept his authority, he has to earn their respect, earn the right to send them into situations where they will risk their lives for no recognition or reward.

At first he found it difficult, he resented the arguments he had with them and missed the unwavering obedience of his army and air force subordinates . Now though, he wouldn't have it any other way; for the first time in many years he's achieved something he can be proud of. He's earned their respect, won the right to command rather than taking it by staging a con or dazzling people with charm and wit.

He's not sure he believes in destiny, but with all the twists and turns his life has taken he's beginning to think that leading Torchwood is his.