Title: A Brief Respite
Characters: Tosh, Ianto, Gwen, Owen, Jack.
Summary: With the Rift acting up, the Torchwood team are worn out.
Word Count: 711
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
Tosh sank wearily onto the battered old sofa beside Ianto. Her hair was a mess, her face was streaked with dirt, and there were dark rings under her eyes. It was of little consolation that the rest of the team were in a similar state. Wincing, she ran her fingers through the knotted bird’s nest of her hair in a vain attempt to make herself a bit more presentable.
“As much as I love the work, I really don't love the schedule that comes with it,” she sighed.
“Tell me about it,” Gwen groaned, slumping down next to her. “I’m not sure I even remember what Rhys looks likes; I haven’t seen him awake for days. By the time I get home, if I get home, he’s asleep and then I have to come back in before he wakes up. The closest we’ve come to having a conversation this week is leaving notes for each other.”
“At least you’ve been home,” Owen muttered. “I’ve been sleeping on the sofa. The one time I tried to go home I hadn’t even unlocked the door before I got called back in.”
“What about you, Ianto?” Gwen asked.
Owen snorted. “He’s probably been shagging the boss every night.”
“Sorry to disappoint you, Owen.” Ianto cracked open one eye. “Too bloody tired to shag.”
“Not like you have to do anything except lie there though, is it?”
Ianto raised an eyebrow and smirked at Owen. “That’s what you think.”
Owen nearly choked on his beer, and sauntering over to join his team, Jack slapped him on the back.
“You’re supposed to swallow it, not inhale. What’re we talking about?”
“Who’s the top in bed, you or Ianto?” Gwen asked, exhaustion making her speak without thinking.
“Who says we can’t both be? We just go with whatever feels right, and Ianto always feels right, either way. It’s always the quiet ones.” Jack winked lasciviously.
“I did not need to know that!” Owen screwed his eyes shut and covered his ears.
Ianto chuckled. “You started it.”
Jack settled on the floor, leaning his back against the sofa between Ianto and Tosh, and tilting his head back to look up at his tech expert. “How long have we got before the Rift kicks off again?”
Tosh checked her watch. “According to my calculations, approximately four and a half hours.”
“Better all try to grab some sleep while we can then; we’re going to need it.”
Ianto drained his glass, abandoning it on the coffee table, levered himself to his feet and offered a hand to Jack, pulling him up.
Draping his arm around Ianto’s shoulders, Jack turned to the rest of his team. “Tosh, take the sofa in my office. Gwen, you take this one.”
“What about me?” Owen asked indignantly.
Jack shrugged. “Autopsy table or morgue drawer, your choice.”
“While you two get to sleep in an actual bed.”
“It’s an army cot, Owen, hardly the heights of luxury,” Ianto corrected. “It’s barely big enough for one; we have to lie on top of each other and someone usually falls off.”
“It’s cosy though.”
“Sure, if you like having an elbow jammed in your ribs and a knee in your groin.”
“When the Rift settles down, I promise we’ll get a proper bed, okay?”
“Finally! My turn to be against the wall,” Ianto reminded Jack as they ambled towards Jack’s little cubbyhole. Tosh trailed after them, leaving Gwen to stretch out on the sofa she was still sitting on.
“Bloody great, I get the cold, hard autopsy table,” Owen grumped sourly.
“I left you blankets and a pillow,” Ianto’s voice drifted back from the catwalk outside Jack’s office.
“Better than nothing I suppose.”
Torchwood was never going to be a nine to five job, and most of the time that was okay, but every so often there’d be times like this when they were kept on the go day and night, snatching food and rest whenever they could. It was exhausting, often dangerous, and having any kind of normal social life was out of the question, but in the end none of that mattered. As much as they all bitched and moaned about it, deep down each of them knew they wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.