Title: It’s A Bag’s Life – Sequel to ‘Fantasia,Torchwood Style’
Spoilers: None at all
Warnings: Daftness, and a little bit of sadness at the end.
Word Count: 1,373
Summary: Gwen takes her animated bag home, much to Rhys’ bemusement.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood or any of the characters, sadly.
A/N: I can’t remember who it was, but after I posted ‘Fantasia, Torchwood Style’ last year, someone requested a fic showing Rhys’ reaction to Gwen’s animated handbag, so here it is. I apologise for taking so long. My first proper attempt at writing Rhys, so I hope it’s okay.
Gwen closed the door behind her and kicked off her shoes, shrugging out of her jacket and hanging it on the hook by the door before making her way into the living room.
“Alright, love?” Rhys greeted her from the kitchen area, “You’re home a bit early. Not that I’m complaining, mind.”
Gwen set her bag down on the breakfast bar and reached up to kiss her husband.
“Yeah, nothing much was happening at work. No, that’s a lie, loads of stuff was happening, there just wasn’t much anyone could do about it. Sorry, not making sense, am I? Bit of a weird day.”
She suddenly realised Rhys was staring right past her, mouth open and his eyes practically out on stalks.
“Uh, Gwennie, your bag’s moving. By itself!”
Glancing over her shoulder, she could see her bag shuffling across the counter towards her. She grinned up at Rhys and giggled.
“That’s sort of what I was trying to tell you. Nothing was going on so we were playing basketball and there was a bit of an accident with some alien tech. Next thing we knew, we had a whole bunch of animated stuff getting up to mischief. Ianto said Jack’s stapler stapled all his paperwork to his desk! Owen’s stethoscope tried to strangle him and my bag started demanding attention.”
They both looked at the bag, which waved its strap shyly and sidled closer to Gwen. Without thinking, she picked it up and petted it as if it were the family cat.
Rhys blinked. “That’s downright weird.”
“I know!” Gwen agreed with a laugh, “but Tosh says whatever’s causing it should wear off by morning, so Jack let Tosh and I go early on condition that we took our animated things straight home. Owen had already left because everything kept attacking him. He deserved it though, he was being a right moody sod.”
Eyeing the handbag warily, Rhys asked, “Your bag’s not going to turn into a homicidal maniac, is it?”
“What? No, of course not, I wouldn’t have brought it home if it was dangerous. It’s more like a small child, likes attention and games and sulks if it’s ignored.”
She dug in the kitchen drawer for the crayons she knew were there, then fetched some paper from the den before settling her handbag on the coffee table so it could indulge in its new favourite pastime of drawing.
“There, that should keep it busy for a bit. I need to get out of my work clothes. Any chance of a cuppa?”
“Go on with you then,” Rhys chuckled, propelling her towards the bedroom. “I’ll have your tea ready by the time you’re done.”
Tea made, Rhys wandered over to look at the animated handbag. It was just sitting there on the coffee table, not doing anything and looking like any other bag, so he poked at it experimentally with one finger. Unfortunately for Rhys, the bag wasn’t as dormant as it seemed and he received a stinging slap across the knuckles from its strap in response, making him jerk backwards and fall on his arse.
Of course, Gwen had to pick that moment to come out of the bedroom, so she saw the whole thing.
“Serves you right,” she told him with a giggle, “Poking things is never a good idea. That’s the first lesson I leaned after I joined Torchwood.”
“Oh aye? How about I poke you instead?” Rhys grabbed her, pulling her down on the rug with him and poking her in the ribs, making her squeal and wriggle.
“No, please!” she squeaked, giggling breathlessly as he continued to tickle her, “Enough, oh God, my sides hurt from laughing! You’re a madman, Rhys Williams!”
Rhys finally relented and let her up. She looked mussed and flushed and bloody gorgeous in Rhys’ humble opinion. Sometimes he still couldn’t believe she’d married him.
“Come on then,” he said, scrambling to his feet and holding out his hand to Gwen. “Tea’ll be getting cold if we’re not careful.”
“And whose fault is that?” Gwen teased, “Can’t keep your hands off me, you can’t!”
“Too right, you gorgeous woman. Now give me a kiss and then you just play with your bag while I fix us some dinner.” He shook his head. “Can’t believe I just said that!”
Gwen picked up her tea and took a sip. “That’s Torchwood for you. Before you know it, you’re doing and saying things that are completely barmy and would get you committed anywhere else. My job is insane, but I love it! Not as much as I love you though,” she added quickly, “You know that, right?”
“I know,” Rhys reassured her, “Else you wouldn’t have married me, would you! Go sit down, I’ll join you when I’ve got the dinner on.”
Gwen trotted into the lounge and collapsed gratefully onto the sofa, tucking her feet under her and sipping her tea as she watched the bag, which had finally decided what it wanted to draw. She tilted her head to one side and squinted a bit, trying to make out what the drawing was going to be and finally decided it was a slightly wonky rendition of Rhys tickling her. She smiled proudly.
“That’s really good, that is!” she told it and watched her bag puff up with pride.
A short while later, Rhys flopped down beside her. “Dinner will be about half an hour.” He frowned at the bag. “Do we need to feed it? I mean, what would a bag even eat?”
“No, it’s fine. It’s not really alive, not in that sense anyway. Far as I could make out from Tosh’s explanation, it was just infected by some kind of energy that makes it able to move and sort of think, but it’s animated rather than alive. It’s still a handbag, but it can move, for now anyway. I think it’s cute.”
“Daft woman,” Rhys rumbled, looking at her fondly.
The rest of the evening proved to be quiet and relaxing, something Gwen was grateful for after the chaotic events at work. Her handbag continued to draw while she and Rhys ate, then after dinner she got out her old board games and the three of them played ludo, snakes & ladders, and finally monopoly, with Rhys accusing the handbag of cheating.
By eleven though, the handbag’s movements were noticeably slower. Gwen picked it up and set it on her lap, petting it gently. She felt ridiculously sad. Wiping away a tear, she turned to Rhys.
“I know I’m being stupid, but I feel like it’s dying and there’s nothing I can do.”
Rhys hugged her and kissed the top of her head.
“I don’t think you’re being stupid. We’ve had a good time tonight, but it’s coming to an end and soon your bag will be just like all your other bags. This one’s been a bit special, almost like having a kid around. Made you feel all maternal like.” He pulled back to look at her. “You’ll be a good mum someday.”
She gave him a watery smile. “You think so?”
He nodded and hugged her tighter. “I know you will. Let’s just sit here for a while, alright? Just until the energy stuff wears off.”
Gwen leant her head on her husband’s shoulder with a sigh. ‘I really don’t deserve him,’ she thought, ‘but I’m so lucky to have this man. He puts up with so much craziness because of my job and somehow he always knows the right things to say.’
And there they sat, into the early hours, until finally Gwen’s handbag was just a bag again, the spark of life that had animated it for a while completely gone.
Many, many years later, when Gwen was old and grey, she still had the bag even though it was old and battered, and long out of fashion. Countless times, her kids and grandkids asked her why she didn’t just throw it out, but she’d always just smile and tell them it had been her favourite since long before they were born; it reminded her of a very special and magical, long ago night and she wouldn’t trade those memories for anything.