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Sometimes I just get too lost in the archives. Times like today, where the repositioning of one item reveals a whole room if badly filed technology, and the next thing I know it's pushing 9 o'clock in the evening and I'm really rather hungry. Even then, it takes effort to make me leave the small room, trying to ignore the mass of disorganisation, and up into the main area of the Hub. Which is, unsurprisingly, silent. I'm tempted to be annoyed that Jack didn't feel it necessary to at least tell me he was leaving, but then again, I know I'm guilty of getting rather shirty when I'm interrupted in the archives. He was probably just engaging his self-preservation instinct.

Smiling at that thought, I grab my coat and head up to the car park, jumping into the driver's seat of my car and speeding off through the nighttime streets of Cardiff, lit up with garish Christmas decorations. A short while later I'm pulling into my driveway, the warm glow of lights from inside combined with Jack's SUV in the driveway immediately relaxing me. I'm home.

Thinking about how we really need to get some Christmas decorations sorted for the house - we haven't even got a tree yet - I head up the path to the front door and let myself in. I smile as I immediately hear Bronwyn's laughter, and I call out as I hang up my coat and pull off my jacket, resting it lightly over my arm.

"'m home!"
 
 
Flopping into my chair as my monitors warm to life, splaying the shining blue and black of the Torchwood database across its once-blank plane, I give a good stretch, angling myself into the well-worn divots left by long, late nights and days of hard work. Maybe not always mine, but definitely someone's. Several windows pop up - email, work from the night before, memos, and the usual system instant messenger. I thought that, as usual, being the first one in in the morning more often than not, I'd be all alone in that box, but it seems someone else is up early ... Or never slept, knowing him.

Grinning, I click open a message box, glad already to distract myself with something that isn't the usual Torchwood grind.

jharkness11: Morning, sunshine :D
jharkness11: What'cha doing up so early? or have you gone to bed yet, even?
 
 
Processed.

That about summed it up. Gerald Carter had been processed, like a refugee at Ellis Island back at the turn of the Twentieth Century. It wasn't cold or uncaring - not with Tosh and Ianto doing most of the prep work. She did the scanning and took the information and he made it come together. Quite the team.

Amazing that I'm part of it all.

I can't tell, really, how Mr. Carter is dealing all this. Jack being Jack broke the news to him, though I don't know how much he's absorbed. Ah, well. Time will tell. It's my job to take him to the hotel now, where he'll try to get a good night's sleep and probably get very little. I know I wouldn't, in his shoes.

I'm waiting in the main part of the Hub, watching Myfanwy fuss with her nest, way up high. I'm a story in denim today - blue jeans, jean jacket with a wooly lining - rounded out by a red sweater and very good running shoes. My hair is still back in a ponytail and I feel like I should be camping or something, like I did back in Iowa as a kid.

Good memories. Damn.

It occurs to me that he might want to eat, too. No clue what he likes, so we'll see how that goes.
 
 
Sometimes I wonder why, exactly, they decided to build down instead of up when the Torchwood Institute decided to build Torchwood Three. Of course, I'm sure it had quite a bit to do with the fact that it was easy to disguise such massive earthworks with the updating of the Cardiff sewer system under the town center. However, I do find myself pondering faintly, as I walk down yet another long, damp hallway in the far-too-massive basements beneath the heart of Three, whether all this space was really necessary. I shall have to have Lydia look up the original plans some day and see if there is any notation as to the thought process behind all this. As far as I know, In the twenty or thirty years this place has been in use, there's not been a tenth as many people employed to keep it running as there are at headquarters.

Although, I seem to remember that prior to the Arcadian Front Crisis they had many more operatives. That was a dark week. I was still in training, or I might well be frozen in a drawer instead of wandering basement hallways in search of stored objects.

My thoughts are running away with me, I realize, and look around to get my bearings upon where I've been wandering. It's getting noticeably dark, and I turn up the knob on my lantern as I note that the lights that had been relatively well-spaced further up the corridor now only seem to haunt strange doorways, and the smell of must is much stronger. I didn't think I'd gone down so far, trying to find this back storage room, but the numbers next to the doors seem to be much higher than they should be, and I'm not certain exactly what my bearings are in the labyrinthine underbelly of this place.

Of course, surviving in Torchwood longer than a few years teaches your senses to sharpen as you become more and more apprehensive, and something about the silence, something metallic in the air that lingers on my tongue, makes me itch to turn back around and forget finding the item that Harriet requested in the first place. Still, my spine is nothing if not made of iron, and I walk on for a little while longer before I'm certain that the numbers are proceeding far beyond the room that I'm looking for. Strange, I didn't really realize we had this many storage rooms for the Archives.

Curious. Yet another thing to ask Lydia when I finally resurface from this underworld. I don't know how she enjoys spending her time sifting among these rooms and the growing files that make up the Archives.

Finally I shake my head in confusion, not to mention exasperation. I feel almost like I've been wandering in a faintly curving, declining line for hours. I've hardly taken a corner or gone down many steps, and yet I feel like I could have been in Swansea by now. Turning, I feel half certain that I'll find the room on the way back, and undoubtedly Charles will be expounding loudly upon my whereabouts by now. Still, as I start back and begin trudging back towards the central Hub, that feeling of unease doesn't seem to go away. The numbers on the walls over the doors look weathered, the smell in the air is ... different. Less musty and damp than I can recall ever smelling it. Unless a pipe somehow opened up, I can't imagine why.

Then I notice the lamps. Or rather, I don't. One moment I'm looking down to turn down my lantern, as the light has become brighter, the next I look up and the lights along the corridor have ... changed. Or perhaps it was like that for a while now and I didn't notice. But they're no longer the weak electric bulbs I'm used to, and they have a strange white glow to them, encased in some sort of iron cage as they protrude from the walls.

There's definitely something going on here. My lips purse as a shiver runs down my spine, and two words shoot sharply to the forefront of my mind. The Rift. Immediately I become cautious, walking more slowly, looking for any sign of change or danger. Who knows where or when I am, but one thing's for sure ...

I'm not in 1914 any longer.
 
 
Karaoke night is the night I've been looking forward to for ages. Oh, yes, I know my enthusiasm is not shared by every person on the team, but that doesn't stop me from feeling that warm tingle of giddy excitement running up and down my spine. Even if some don't feel like singing now, I'm determined to get everyone to at least hum something by the end of the evening. I'm sure my more persistent team mates feel the same way about that, which makes me smile to myself.

This night out is something we all truly need, or so I believe. The past few weeks have been hard on every single one of us, and it's truly essential right now to spend some time together as a team - as friends - without any stress or work-related fiascos to ruin it. This place will be perfect for that: it's far away from the Hub and has got nothing whatsoever to do with our jobs.

Besides, there's hardly anything more fun and lighthearted than a few hours of singing cheesy pop songs.

Determined to turn this into an evening full of laughter and silliness, I stuff my hands in the pockets of my turquoise coat and pace another few steps in front of the entrance to the bar, waiting for the others to get here.
 
 
 
01 September 2008 @ 04:03 pm
It's hardly a secret that all members of our little alien-hunting team like the occasional drink. We work hard and enjoy it - well, most of the time anyway - but we also love to unwind after a day packed with running, investigating and retconning. Therefore it's not really surprising that Owen and I have decided to spend some of our leisure time at a pub in Cardiff's city centre.

It's been a long time since we last had a drink together: just the two of us without the rest of the team. In fact, I think the last time was when I found out about Diane. Once upon a time, meeting at the pub with Owen would have ended with me occupying his bed for a night, but those times are long gone and not something I like to be reminded of; not now Rhys and I are closer than ever and on the brink of tying the knot. Now Owen and I are mates - good mates - and that's a whole lot better for both our (and our partners') sakes.

'Kitty Flynn's' is where I am currently waiting for my number one verbal sparring partner. Despite its central location, it's one of the lesser packed pubs, which serves me just right. Since Jack's crossed my path, I've really learned how to enjoy the quieter places for a night out. Our lives are exciting enough without booming bass lines and strobe lights and this small, Irish pub is a lovely place for a drink.

I've found myself a table near the front door so I can observe the crowds on St. Mary's Street as they pass by. I lean back in my chair and idly sip my pint of Murphy's, all the while keeping an eye out for Owen's familiar leather coat.
 
 
I head straight for Owen's apartment block after work, as per my orders. Jack wants me out of his house, so he can celebrate my brother's birthday without interruption, and Owen seems happy enough to entertain me. I think, idly, as I park Suzie next to Owen's car (he got away earlier than me, and on my birthday, bastard) that this is probably the quietest birthday I've had in living memory.

It's always had to be a big party, with me. Even when I was a kid. Ianto liked being the centre of attention, too, back then. I could have organised a big night out this year, too, if I'd thought about it a bit more, but I'm not as cruel a brother as some people might believe. I know Ianto wouldn't have wanted that level of attention. And anyway, I have a partner now. An evening with him is enough for me. That, coupled with Jack's insistence that Bronwyn spent the day with a neighbour, so I could at least come into work and have a fuss made of me there.

I take the stairs two at a time, up to Owen's door. I hope he's got something special planned, though really, heading straight to the bedroom would be equally welcome.
 
 
26 August 2008 @ 12:08 pm
For once, I left early. Gwen picked up Bron half an hour ago, and I've been hard at work ever since, arranging the things I'd planned the last couple days. Putting the dinner together, new sheets on the bed and tidying up a bit. Not to mention the two presents laying next to Ianto's setting at the table.

Everything ready for what I think will be a great 21st Century romantic birthday night. At least, I hope it will be.
 
 
When I wake up, I'm sitting beside Hugh, draped over his chest, and his arm is around me. I don't hear any alarms from the computer, so everything must be okay. I sit up, wincing as my muscles protest their night in an uncomfortable position, and reach out to touch Hugh's cheek.

"Hey," I whisper with a small smile.
 
 
04 August 2008 @ 10:40 pm
Brilliant.

I'm staring at the computer screen in the med bay, trying to out-think three hundred years of technological advances, the sort that have created a conscious computer that can be grafted into a human brain.

I have to one-up that. I have to fix it if it goes wrong.

Owen is still rattling around the Hub. I don't know why, and frankly don't care. I haven't been able to fully forgive him for what he did, the things he said, after we had all become ourselves again. Hugh had found me curled into a ball on the couch after that...

No. Back to the issue at hand.

I'm working to devise tests, monitoring programs, ways of observing the functioning of CUBE and Hugh's brain and comparing them to the normative recordings we've made during Hugh's time here. The current issue I'm seeking to remedy, the difficulty Hugh and CUBE are having in separating their consciousness after CUBE took over Hugh's body, is only a premonitory tip of an iceberg I had been trying so hard to ignore.

What happens when Hugh's technology breaks, and no one can fix it?

I'm supposed to be brilliant.

But I'm in over my head.

Even so, with all the difficulty this presents, it's nothing compared to the other problem at hand: namely, Hugh not sleeping due to nightmares of his time with the Kaaron.

I just might be able to fix his mind. But I am helpless when it comes to his soul.