Disclaimer: I don’t own Buffy, Doctor Who, or Torchwood.
A/N: This is set somewhere after Donna and before Martha and quite obviously after the whole shenanigans of season one torchwood. Thanks to all those who haven’t ditched this story. I have been trying to cattle prod my own but into gear, but for some reason my fingers just won’t type what they’re supposed to.
P.S. This is My Birthday Special...Please Enjoy!
Owen glared at his sink. It’d been days since he’d been home long enough to think about food. He hadn’t wanted to be alone, but Sundays presented a unique challenge. Bars didn’t open ‘til late, and even then they were more empty than full.
So there he stood. Glaring at a sink full of crusted over dishes. Owen squinted, was that spaghetti sauce or chocolate sauce?
Shaking himself bodily Owen sighed and grabbed the soap. Holding the bottle over the pile of dishes, he squeezed gently. He flinched. It was liked pulling a trigger, slow, steady. Jack. Jack, why did it always go back to him?
Dropping the soap back on the counter with a thunk, Owen flicked the tap on. Rubbing one hand over his eyes, Owen finally un-paused his life and sunk his hands into the hot water. Groaning in disgust at the reddish, bubbly liquid in his sink.
“Christ, just what I fucking need,” he slammed his hand down onto the counter. “Stupid fucking landlord, and his fucking rusty water pipes!” Owen’s yell echoed.
The anger creases smoothed out and his eyes widened as he watched the water pour into the sink. It was red, and certainly not clear.
“Fuck,” he muttered, summing up his problem quite nicely.
Tosh smiled up at Myfawny as she circled over head, it was her turn to watch over the hub and the rift. Ianto had been wearing himself thin, and the coffee had suffered as a consequence.
“I know you miss Jack, girl. We all do,” Tosh trailed off.
Smiling to herself, the Japanese woman flipped open her lunchbox and picked at the wilting sandwich.
“I won’t mind being able to go out for lunch again when he’s back though,” she whispered.
The rift monitor had been quiet nearly all day. Just a blip on the radar an hour ago, nothing big that needed investigating, so Tosh was not bored, just relaxed. She’d already updated her filing system, color coded her new rift scale, and drawn tiny doodles of hearts with Owen’s name in them.
Tossing the tainted pages down with a frustrated sigh, Tosh stood and moved to the stairs that circled the hub tower that stretched upwards, and through the roof. Resting her fingers lightly against the cool metal, the water that coursed down the structure met her skin and traveled down her hand in rivulets.
Glancing down at through the stairs at the water the water in the basin of the tower, Tosh stifled a gasp. It was red, she laughed at last, after a moment of shock and horror. Tosh realized that Myfawny must have gotten a little messy with her last meal. Moving her hand from the water she went to cover her mouth, only to stop and gag.
Her hand was glimmering red. She twisted to look at the tower. Instead of the brilliant silver metal she found a waterfall of red.
“Oh my lord,” Tosh gasped as she backed into the chain link rope that served as railing.
Ianto Jones yawned at the sight before him. He should have been working, but Tosh and Gwen had insisted he take the day off. That left Ianto leaning on his apartment balcony, watching the neighbor wash his dog.
Under other circumstances, Ianto might find the scene humorous, but nothing was really entertaining these days. Even the dog running the man in wet circles wasn’t very funny. Jack had wanted a dog, briefly, last month. Owen had put his foot down saying he didn’t need one more idiot to patch up. Jack had eventually let it go, but of course, Ianto had found a brochure for Newfoundlands tucked under a case file on Jack’s desk a few days ago.
Pushing the memories to the backburner, Ianto tried to focus on the scene below him. His head cocked to the side as the golden hair of the pup starting clumping in red patches. Ianto followed the red up…the hose…the water was red. Almost like thin tomato sauce, Ianto smiled.
It was completely out of his hands, he had to go to work.
Gwen swung her and Rhys’ connected hands.
“So what do you want to do for diner,” She asked him.
Rhys frowned and sat down on the ledge of the park fountain, “I dunno. Pizza I suppose, maybe a movie. It’s been awhile since I’ve had you all to myself.”
Gwen perched beside him, “I know.”
“Jack’s been giving you more time off lately. Is everything okay?”
Gwen nodded with a smile, “Yes, everything’s fine, Jack’s….well he’s been a little distant lately.”
“Ah, well,” Rhys muttered. “So, after a lovely day with my girlfriend, what will I do now?”
Gwen chuckled softly and turned her head away. She froze when she caught sight of the water in the fountain. It was red, and it smelled…metallic. All hopes that it was some practical joker who threw die or punch mix into the water flittered away.
“Rhys, dear, I have to go to work,” Gwen bit her lip.
“What? Oh come on, Gwen,” Rhys sighed.
Gwen gave him a quick peck on the cheek before she went running through the park and towards the wharf.
Rhys stood, wiped a hand over his face and mused to himself, “This always happens, always.”
Tosh fidgeted on her chair. The decision to call in the team or not bouncing in her mind. With a start, she realized that the decision had already been taken out of her hands. The street platform started to descend carrying Gwen, footsteps echoed through the tunnel access, and the cog door rolled open to reveal Ianto.
Almost simultaneously the four team members met at the center and blurted the one thing none of them wanted, “We have a problem.”
Owen half smiled as he spoke, “Oh good, so we’re all the same page then?”
“Yes,” Tosh agreed. “It lasted for about a minute, everywhere in Cardiff. I took a sample it’s blood, AB-positive.”
Ianto shoved his hands into his pockets and looked up at the tower, it was sparkling silver. What a sight it must have been to see blood sluicing down the sides of it.
“Tosh, contact the authorities, tell them it was some a malfunction with the machinery at the water plant. Owen, check the blood for anything and everything. Gwen, you’re with me,” Ianto nodded before grabbing the SUV keys and heading out the hub door, Gwen trailing behind.
Tapping their comms into life, Gwen and Ianto stepped out onto the walkway above the water tank. Owen and Tosh had reported everything to be normal at their end, so it was up to the other duo to solve the problem.
Ianto took one look at the water in the tank, sniffed, and then rolled his eyes.
“Well, we’ve found the source, now if only we had a life guard to fish him out,” he told Gwen drolly.
Gwen snickered, “We should have brought Owen along.”
Floating face down in pink water was a bright red demon.
After much maneuvering and sweating, Gwen and Ianto managed to collect the body and a few samples.
Gwen tapped her comm, “We’re on our way back. Have Owen ready for autopsy.”
“Nothing,” Owen grunted as he pushed the corpse into the cooler and locked the door. “Well, as long as your nothing means almost nothing.”
“Which means,” Ianto prompted.
Owen stripped off his dirty rubber gloves and picked up the chart, “Whatever caused the change in water broke down too quickly. It might have been natural, a protein or acid, or it could have been foreign. Though I would tend towards natural, I found glands on its finger tips that are probably used in feeding. Might be that it secretes blood to attract lunch.”
“And as pleasant as that sounds,” Ianto smiled tightly. “So, you’re sure it was the alien that did this?”
“As sure as a man who fights aliens can be,” Owen smirked.
Owen wiped down the last of his tools. He could hear the others upstairs, making plans, laughing, pretending everything was okay. It wasn’t. It couldn’t be. None of them knew enough to survive for much longer alone. Jack was the one who was supposed to protect them from what was dangerous. Jack had left them.
Forcing out the stale breath, Owen spun on his heel and nearly dropped his tray.
“What the…” he whispered.
A girl, a young girl, blonde, lay on his autopsy table. Fully clothed, and distinctly breathing. She sat up, spun her legs over the side and looked at him.
“My heart broke. I couldn’t be saved,” her voice was sweet and light and…happy.
Owen tried to swallow, but his body wasn’t obeying him.
“Did you know that cockroaches can live for ten days without their heads,” she smiled toothily at him. “How do they know where they’re going?”
“Who—who are you,” Owen asked tentatively.
She pushed a lock of hair behind her ear, “I’m Acceptance. 100 people a year choke to death on ballpoint pens. What a way to go, I mean, I thought the way I died was stupid.”
Owen licked his lips, “How did you die.”
Her shoulders slumped in exasperation, “I told you, my heart broke.”
“Your heart is going to break too you know,” the teen told him chirpily.
Owen’s gaze slid to his shoes for a moment, “It already is.”
Her giggle was unearthly, like a record that had been played too many times, she was out of phase.
“No it’s not, not yet anyways, Owen,” she smiled again.
Gooseflesh erupted down his back and Owen shook himself instinctually. He focused back on the girl, only she was gone. Like she’d never even been there in the first place.
“Owen,” Gwen yelled down the steps. “We’ve just had another report of ghost sightings! Ianto and Tosh are going to distribute retcon and see if they can learn anything. We’re holding the fort down, ‘kay Owen?”
Owen re-gripped the tray he was holding and called back, “Righty-o.”
So Today is my 20th birthday. Go figure right. My present this year was.......a hand knit 16th season 4th Doctor scarf. It's pretty epically long. Hehe, it's somewhere at like 15 and a half feet and i'm not even 5 feet tall. So in honor of getting my doctor who scarf...and my birthday here's a chapter dears.