Title: In The Wee Small Hours
Characters: Gwen, mentions Rhys.
Spoilers: Not really.
Summary: Gwen is contemplative, lying awake in the dark.
Word Count: 500
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
A/N: I think this is the only time I’ve ever written something that’s come out at exactly 500 words without even trying.
The bedroom is still in darkness when Gwen wakes and she reaches for the clock on her nightstand to check the time. It’s three in the morning, meaning she’s only been asleep for a couple of hours. Beside her, Rhys is snoring, slumbering peacefully, and Gwen feels a surge of resentment. She’s exhausted; all she wants to do is lose herself in sleep the way her husband seems able to do so easily. Just to sleep through one night without being woken sounds like an unimaginable luxury, but it’s one she can scarcely remember and it’s unlikely to get better any time soon.
She drags herself reluctantly from the bed and heads for the bathroom for the third time since she went to bed the previous evening, aware that she’s waddling. There’s no way to walk normally carrying all the weight of her pregnancy in front of her. It’s a small mercy that the baby seems to be sleeping and she only hopes that moving around won’t disturb her unborn child. She’ll never be able to get back to sleep if junior decides to start doing gymnastics inside her.
Making her way back to bed again, she heaves herself in beside Rhys, pulling the covers over the mound of her belly once more, one hand stroking soothingly across the tautly stretched skin, over and over. Please, stay still, let mummy get some rest. Staring up towards the ceiling, even though she can’t see it in the darkness, Gwen listens. Everything sounds louder in the quiet of night, Rhys’ breathing, the ticking of the bedside clock, the distant hum of traffic… They’re familiar sounds, she’s heard them a lot over the last few months as her pregnancy has progressed. Now here she is, nearly a week overdue, with a belly that resembles a hot air balloon, swollen ankles, sore feet, backache, indigestion, and a constant need to pee. Being pregnant is torture.
And yet… There’s a new little life growing inside her, an actual small person who’s made up of bits of both her and Rhys, and isn’t that the most amazing thing in the world? After all the death and destruction she’s seen and been involved in during her time with Torchwood, the fact that she can bring new life into the world is nothing short of miraculous.
Gwen doesn’t know if she’s ready to be a mother, isn’t at all sure that she’ll be any good at parenthood, it’s such a huge and scary responsibility. But she knows Rhys will be a brilliant dad, and anyway, aren’t all new mothers-to-be terrified that they’ll do everything wrong? Babies don’t come with an instruction book, and they’re all different; you just have to learn as you go, that’s what her mum told her.
Closing her eyes, Gwen tries to relax. She needs all the sleep she can get because her pregnancy can’t last much longer and soon she’ll have a baby to care for.
She can’t wait to meet her child.