Characters: Jack, Tosh.
Spoilers: Set pre-Series One.
Summary: Tosh’s first day at Torchwood is over, but Jack has one final thing to show her.
Word Count: 994
Written For: My own prompt ‘Torchwood, Any, Going up on the invisible lift for the first time,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
Jack leant his hip against Tosh’s desk and smiled down at her. “So, your first day at Torchwood; how was it?”
To be honest, Tosh was still feeling a little shell-shocked. Jack had given her the grand tour when they’d arrived that morning, and it had proved more than a little daunting. Torchwood’s base, the Hub, was huge, so vast she was afraid she’d lose her way just going to the bathroom.
Then there was her new colleague, Suzie Costello; she’d seemed nice enough, but she was kind of intense, rattling off information so fast Tosh hadn’t had time to make notes, never mind ask questions, as Suzie had given her a brief introduction to the Hub’s systems. Finding out that the computer mainframe was organic technology had just about blown her mind.
None of that had been the most unsettling thing about her new job though; that had been visiting the cells deep down in the lower levels. Tosh had found it creepy enough knowing there were cells in the base, having just been released from a UNIT prison, but seeing what was incarcerated here… The captives weren’t humans, they were aliens, creatures from other worlds, or at least that was what Jack had told her. Aliens were real! There were toothy creatures he called Weevils, another big biped he said was a Hoix, and a greenish blobby thing that… Well, nobody seemed to know quite what that one was, just that it wasn’t as harmless and docile as it appeared. Tosh hadn’t known whether to feel terrified or awed, and now Jack wanted to know how her day had been. How could she possibly answer that?
“It was… good, I guess.” Her reply sounded lame even to her own ears.
“It’s a lot to take in, I know, but you’ll get used to it. Give yourself some time and before you know it everything here will seem perfectly normal.”
Tosh shook her head in denial; she couldn’t imagine ever accepting anything here as ‘normal’, the word didn’t begin to encompass the craziness she’d seen. ‘Weird’ would be a more appropriate term, and yet she had a feeling she’d barely even scratched the surface of the weirdness yet.
“That’s hard to believe,” she admitted.
“You’ll adjust, Tosh, I promise; you just have to find your feet. You’re going to do just fine. Come on; grab your stuff and I’ll buy you a drink. You look like you could use one.”
“Okay, thanks.” Tosh shut down her computer, which was a marvel in itself, light years ahead of what was available elsewhere, and picked up her shoulder bag and coat, heading towards the cogwheel door she and Jack had entered by that morning. Jack caught her by the elbow and stopped her.
“Not that way, Tosh; why don’t we take the scenic route this time?” He led her across the concrete to a raised platform that looked rather like a paving slab, and stepped up onto it, pulling her with him.
“What…?” That was as far as she got, because Jack tapped a code of some sort into his wrist computer and with an abrupt lurch that would have toppled her if he hadn’t slipped his arm round her waist, the slab started to rise into the air. Tosh grabbed at Jack with both hands, clinging to his coat, eyes wide. “Oh my God!”
Beside her, Jack laughed. “Quite a view, isn’t it?”
Part of Tosh wanted to close her eyes and keep them shut tight until they reached street level; she wasn’t exactly scared of heights, but the slab they were on was small and there wasn’t any kind of safety railing. It would be only too easy to lose her balance and fall to her death. Nevertheless, Jack was right, it was an amazing view out across the Hub, and even if she did try to shut her eyes she didn’t think she’d succeed.
When she finally found her voice, she managed to complete her question. “What is this?”
“I call it the Invisible Lift. Perception filter technology welded itself to one of the paving slabs by the water tower, so I decided to turn it into a hydraulic lift,” Jack explained, as if that had been the only logical thing to do. Perhaps in his mind it had.
“Well, when it’s up on the surface, nobody can see this slab, or anything on it. Not unless they know it’s there. You could stand there naked on a busy day with hundreds of people walking past, and nobody would notice. Not only that, but it makes for a good secret entrance, and it saves time when something’s happening up on the Plas. The only downside is that it lets the weather in when it’s open; rain, snow, hail, you name it, we get it. I usually try to keep it closed in bad weather.”
They were nearly at the surface by now, and Tosh found it a little disconcerting as her head rose through the gap in the pavement, to see people walking past just a few feet away, not so much as glancing in her direction.
“They really can’t see us!” she whispered, wide eyed with astonishment.
“Nope!” Jack didn’t bother lowering his voice. “They can’t hear us either.” With a muted click, the slab they were standing on settled into position. Jack let go of Tosh and courteously offered her his arm. “Shall we?”
Resting her hand in the crook of her boss’s elbow, Tosh let him lead her off the slab. If her mind had been in a whirl before her ride on the Invisible Lift, it was doubly so now. There was no doubt about it; everything to do with Torchwood was weird, and that included her new boss. Only time would tell whether that was a good thing or not, but she was sure of one thing; working for Torchwood was unlikely to ever be boring.