Title: A Detective’s Lot Is Not A Happy One
Characters: Kathy Swanson, Jack, Ianto, Team Torchwood
Summary: Kathy and her people are stuck cleaning up Torchwood’s latest mess.
Word Count: 826
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
No one is exactly sure just what it is that Torchwood does, though many members of the Cardiff constabulary have their suspicions. Most of the time, the super-secret organisation run by the flamboyant Captain Harkness is referred to as Special Ops. Kathy prefers to think of them as a pain in her ass.
Not that she’s completely immune to the Captain’s charm, she’d just never let on to his face that she finds him attractive, in an arrogant and egotistical kind of way. He amuses her, strutting around like the city is his and he can do anything he wants with impunity. The worst part is that in a way, he’s right, and there’s not a damn thing she can do about it. The whole lot of them have carte blanche, granted by the Queen. They can’t be charged with crimes committed while carrying out their duties, whatever they may or may not be.
Rumours abound that Torchwood hunts aliens, and Cardiff certainly experiences enough weird occurrences for that to be true; there are times Kathy has no trouble believing in alien involvement, but there are other times she thinks terrorists are more likely. Either way, Torchwood’s job seems to be to keep such occurrences from getting too out of hand.
If they were more willing to let the police in on what they’re doing, perhaps there would be less friction between the two organisations, but as things stand, resentment runs high. Torchwood gets all the action and excitement, while the police get left to clean up after them; how is that fair? Once again, her department is dealing with the fallout from Harkness’s latest escapade. There are a whole lot of confused people with minor injuries who can’t exactly remember what happened. They seem to think there might have been a car bomb, but that wouldn’t account for all the grey goo that’s splattered everywhere. And that fuzzy thing the one in the suit just scooped into what appears to be a Tupperware container, looks suspiciously like a furry ear.
She’s a detective, for crying out loud! How is it her job to make sure the injured get medical treatment, and pacify the crowds of onlookers? She should be investigating the cause of the incident; instead, she’s wondering where the money is going to come from to fix the crater in the middle of the road. That needs to be cordoned off and the road will have to be closed until it’s fixed, and there’s Harkness, lording it over his team and over her people too. That’s not on!
“Captain, if you don’t mind, you have no authority over my people.”
“I wouldn’t be so sure of that if I were you, Detective Swanson.” He’s smirking in that annoyingly superior way he has and just once, she’d love to wipe that expression off his face.
“Are you going to tell me what happened here? And don’t give me that bull you’ve been feeding everyone about a car bomb; I’m not buying it. What the hell did you do to the witnesses?”
“They’re being treated for shock and trauma, it’s not surprising if they’re a bit… confused. You look a little shocky yourself; maybe I could buy you a drink later, Detective. What d’you say?” The thousand-watt smile is dazzling, and would’ve had most women going weak at the knees, but Kathy’s not swayed. Neither, apparently, is the clean-cut young man in the suit.
“Aren’t you forgetting something, Sir?” he asks pointedly. A graceful eyebrow is raised and some of the wind seems to go out of Harkness’s sails.
“Darn, you’re right, Ianto, as always. Sorry, Detective, another time perhaps. Seems I have a prior engagement.” His eyes follow the young man, Ianto, as he moves away, another Tupperware container in one hand, and a pair of tongs in the other. Interesting. There’s definitely something going on there, if Kathy’s any judge. She clears her throat and the Captain drags his attention back to her. “Right, carry on, Detective. You and your people are doing a great job! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have things to do.” He doesn’t wait for her reply, just strides away in a swirl of that ridiculous coat.
There’s more to Harkness and his team than meets the eye, Kathy’s sure of it, and one of these days she’ll get to the bottom of it. In the meantime, like Harkness, she has work to do; Torchwood’s secrets will keep. She turns and makes her way back across the street, stepping carefully to avoid the fuzzy lumps that are scattered everywhere, which Ianto and the rest of the Torchwood team are diligently collecting.
“Guess I should be thankful that part of the clean-up isn’t my responsibility,” she mutters to herself. As much as she hates cleaning up after the bane of her life, on days like this, she gets the distinct feeling that she’s getting the better end of the deal.