Characters: Jack/Ianto, Gwen/ Rhys, OFC, Tenth Doctor
Summary: Many people go back and forth through the rift, but only a few of them have an effect on the Torchwood team.
Flatholm was the place where Gwen lost her innocence. Before discovering Jonah, she had an idea of what the world was like. Maybe there was evil, but deep down there was an inherent goodness that made the human race special. After Flatholm, she was sure it could never be that simple for her again. The world was broken, much like the rift that cracked through Cardiff, and there wasn’t anything she could do to fix it.
Despite the negative feelings she has toward the island, she made sure either her or Jack checked up on the people there semi-regularly. Jack had a good system in place, but she felt a more personal touch might make the situation better for all involved. She decided it was the least she could do, and she would like to think if she ever ended up in a place like that, someone would try to take care of her. It turned out to be a harder task than she originally thought it would be.
One of the first times she returned to check on the place, Jack came with her. That was the day she met Rebecca. The other times she had been there, she hadn’t really seen any patients and just talked to the nurses about overall progress of new shipping systems and medical attention.
She also hadn’t been there the night Rebecca came back through the rift because she had been having an evening with Rhys.
Rebecca had spoken to her much like Jonah had the first time. She seemed lucid, and she knew that the places she had been were real despite four months of nurses telling her different.
Rebecca wanted to leave, and Gwen knew that she was her only hope of getting out.
“She seems normal enough,” Gwen had hissed to Jack after he led her to a corner to talk.
“You don’t know a goddamn thing about it Gwen, so don’t use that ‘holier than thou’ tone with me,” Jack had hissed back, eyes flashing.
“If she’s able to remember and coherent enough to know you’re the one she should ask to leave, she obviously doesn’t belong here.” Gwen had felt the first hints of rage creeping up her spine.
Those arguments tend to bring out the worst in both of them.
“The only way anyone leaves this place is with a healthy dose of retcon or in a body bag, is that what you want Gwen?”
She slapped him so hard they both felt for a long time afterward. Years later she would always wonder if he had been serious, or just trying to scare her enough to drop the subject. She never asked because she was too frightened of the truth.
Gwen returned weekly for the next couple months to see if Rebecca’s grip on reality had been a fluke or if she was as dangerous as Jonah was. The first time she returned, Rebecca had acted almost completely normal and had even remembered Gwen’s name.
“I know you. Your Gwen, you know Captain Jack,” Rebecca’s eyes were fixed on her, large and innocent.
“Yup that’s me. How are you, sweetie?”
Rebecca had told her all about her days at Flatholm, she had shown Gwen her room, mentioning the pink more than once. She introduced Gwent to Mallory, who she referred to as her friend, and gave Gwen a tour of all the places she was allowed to go. Never once did she lash out or scream uncontrollably, and the only difference between Rebecca and any other twenty-four year old woman was that she seemed young and sometimes childlike, but never dangerous.
Gwen continued to return week after week slowly getting closer to Rebecca. Instead of another faceless victim, Rebecca became a person with thoughts and feelings. Gwen began to feel like she was getting attached, especially when Rebecca told her that Gwen reminded her of the sister she used to have.
“I miss my mom a lot of the time. She’s gone now.” Rebecca had told Gwen in a solemn voice.
“I’m sorry, sweetie. I know this must be hard for you.”
“My sister might be gone now too. I don’t know. She’s fifty-seven. I was always the baby of the family, but now I could be her daughter.” Rebecca’s eyes had been vacant, lost in her thoughts but then she re-focused on Gwen. “You’re like her. She liked to check up on me too.”
Gwen had stayed until Rebecca had fallen asleep that night, then she went back to the hub and did some research.
Two days later she was on Sara Zaleskia’s, married name Bardoni, doorstep. She didn’t know what she was doing there, but she needed more information about Rebecca before she could make any decisions.
After telling Sara she was detective looking in on past disappearance cases, she spent the next two hours sitting on a couch hearing everything there was to know about Rebecca’s childhood. After looking at baby pictures and all-A’s report cards, Gwen finally heard the one piece of information that made the decision for her.
“My mom would never admit it, but for the past thirty years, all that was ever on her mind was Rebecca. My father too in some ways. They went to their graves not knowing what happened to their baby, and all I can pray is that the three of them have found peace together on the other side. Whatever happened to Rebecca, she deserves peace now that it’s over.”
Gwen knew Sara was assuming Rebecca had been kidnapped and murdered, but what she said stuck with her, and she knew that the last thing this family needed was their youngest member living the next fifty years of her life in Flatholm or a place like it.
That night she looked at the medium sized storage room in her apartment that she hadn’t been inside in over a year. To her surprise, the room was painted pink, and that was a sign if she ever saw one.
Gwen fought as hard as she could with Jack, but she was even a little surprised when she won. She knew she could thank Ianto for a large part of her victory, but she took it for what it was, and began preparing for Rebecca’s arrival.
She bought clothes, toiletries, and even a few books she thought Rebecca might like. Rhys helped her move the junk out of the storage room and made it livable again.
“So, she’s gonna be staying here for how long exactly?”
“Rhys, I’ve told you, I don’t know. A few months at least, maybe a year, we’ll see how she does.”
Gwen knew he wasn’t too excited about this new arrangement, but he loved her enough to understand why she had to do this. And that alone was the reason why she had married him. He loved her enough.
Gwen picked Rebecca up on a sunny day in May, almost exactly six months after she came back through the rift.
She had bought Rebecca some more conventional clothing after seeing her usually in pajamas or weird combinations of skirts during her visits.
The hug Rebecca gives her when she tells her the pretty pink sweater is hers to keep makes the hefty credit card bill in her future completely worth it.
Shopping for clothes turned out to be just as fun when it was for another person. Who knew?
On the ride back in the ferry, Rebecca has her face lifted up toward the sun, and for the first time Gwen can imagine how pretty she must have been five years before. In the sun, the scar on her face is much less noticeable, and her hair and eyes shine with happiness.
Any doubts Gwen had before are thrown out the window, even when she remember the screaming fit she saw the week before.
Gwen had shown up later in the day than she usually did and one of the nurses told her Rebecca was having a bad day. She walked toward Rebecca’s room hearing the sounds of broken screams down the hallway. She stood in the doorway watching Mallory hold Rebecca down, making soothing shushing noises while slipping a shot into Rebecca’s leg.
Later, after Rebecca had fallen asleep, Gwen asked Mallory what had set her off. One of the other patients had been speaking in a language none of the nurses had heard before, but something the man had said had frightened Rebecca enough for her to start screaming, which had been happening less and less. Gwen could guess that while the strange language may have been gibberish to the nurses, it had meant something much darker to Rebecca.
If anything, that situation had helped fuel Gwen’s belief that Flatholm was making Rebecca worse not better, and seeing how healthy and happy she looks outside and away from the island feels like the powers that be are agreeing with her.
They stop by the hub because Gwen feels the sooner Rebecca is familiar with the place, the better. And she likes to piss Jack off sometimes too.
Ianto seems genuinely happy to see Rebecca and Gwen can tell he’s amused when Rebecca tells him his own last name. Jack, on the other hand is not quite as pleased, and when Rebecca mentions The Doctor, Gwen feels a look of horror appear on her face.
“Ok, princess, let’s take this from the top,” despite all his arguments against her arrival, Gwen thinks Jack is actually pretty good with Rebecca, which is a good indicator of why Rebecca likes to talk about him.
Rebecca looks at Jack with a confused expression on her face, “the top of what?”
Ianto laughs when Jack sighs in exasperation, and Gwen hides a giggle behind her hand.
“I know you went to a scary place, but can you tell me how you know The Doctor?” He asks trying to make his point clearer
Rebecca’s face scrunches up, “he told me you would ask that.”
Jack’s eyes flash with something Gwen can’t interpret.
“Did he now?”
“Yup and he told me to not tell you. He said it would drive you crazy, and I should let you stew awhile for your own good.”
That time Gwen bursts out laughing. Jack glares at her.
“Well, I think I’ve stewed enough, don’t you honey?” Jack gives her his charming smile.
“You have something in your teeth,” Rebecca says with a completely straight face.
Ianto and Gwen are both holding on to their stomachs laughing while Jack takes out a mirror and gets the poppy seed out.
“Ok, I think me and Rebecca are gonna do this alone without the peanut gallery, back to work you two.”
Gwen starts to protest but one look from Jack has her running to her desk. She hasn’t laughed like that since Tosh and Owen.
Rebecca was going to fit in very well around here.
About fifteen minutes later when Rebecca walked out of Jack’s office, Gwen sets her up with some Chinese food at the table in the conference room and goes to talk to Jack about what he had found out.
“What did she say?” Ianto asks clearly on the same page as Gwen.
Jack has a haunted and confused look on his face.
“She told me she met the Doctor on the planet where the monsters hurt her. She said he was there to rescue his rose, and he left her after promising a Captain Jack Harkness would save her. “
“His rose? What does that mean?” Gwen’s brows are knitted together in confusion.
“Never mind that, what I’m more worried about is why he left her behind. The Doctor doesn’t do stuff like that...”
“Really? Because from what you’ve told me, that appears to be his MO,” Ianto’s eyes are flashing angrily as he says it.
“Completely different situations, Ianto. I’ve explained it to you.”
Ianto snorts but lets it go. Gwen feels like this is a conversation they’ve had many times before.
“Well, he told her she would be rescued by you, so maybe he thought it would be sooner rather than later. He could have just gotten time confused.” Gwen suggests this without really considering it a possibility.
“No, I know the Doctor; he always knows his time lines. This is something different. “
Rebecca walks into the room. “I’m done, Gwen.”
“Sweetie, did the Doctor tell you anything else about why he didn’t take you with him?” Gwen asks gently keeping her voice even and smooth.
Rebecca thinks about it for awhile before saying, “he said sorry a lot, and he said Jack finding me was a fixed point in time.”
This means nothing to Gwen, but the looks on Jack and Ianto’s face tell her that it’s something important.
Author’s Note: Next part in Jack’s POV. :)