Characters: Andy, Jack, Ianto, Tosh, Owen, Gwen.
Summary: Being invited to join Torchwood is Andy Davidson’s dream come true, but he hasn’t got off to a very encouraging start…
Word Count: 1000
Written For: Prompt # 033 – Jury’s Out at fandomweekly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
Offering Andy a job with Torchwood had seemed like a no-brainer. All Torchwood’s interactions with him had shown him to be above average intelligence, an experienced and highly competent police sergeant who respected the chain of command and was good at following orders; just what was needed in a field agent, especially with Gwen sidelined by her pregnancy.
Of course, Andy had a lot to learn, but Torchwood was all about on-the-job training. Even the members of the team who’d been there longest were still learning, encountering previously unknown alien species, unfamiliar technology, and unusual situations on a weekly basis. Very little about the job could be classed as ‘routine’.
Finding out that pretty much everything you thought you knew is completely wrong, or at the very least, only partially true, can be a tough adjustment to make. Andy was obviously trying his best, he was nothing if not eager to learn, but he kept getting wrong-footed, in every sense of the phrase.
His first week on the team hadn’t exactly been encouraging. During firearms training he’d shot Jack; not intentionally, and not fatally, it had been hardly more than a graze, caused by a spectacularly badly aimed shot ricocheting off the floor, but still… Jack’s hands-on approach to teaching, meant to get agents used to ignoring all kinds of distractions, had obviously taken Andy by surprise; someone should probably have warned him about that in advance.
He’d done well when assisting Owen with the autopsy of a fishlike creature. Unfazed by the sight of blood, entrails, and so forth due to his training with the St. John’s Ambulance Brigade, he’d gained grudging approval from the medic. Everything had gone well, right up to the point when, on bending to retrieve a dropped implement, he’d caught his head under the edge of the autopsy table as he’d straightened up, tipping it over and nearly knocking himself out in the process. The resulting mess had been horrendous, and though Andy had offered to clean up, what with it being his fault, Owen had sent him away with an icepack for his head, finishing the autopsy on the floor before enlisting Ianto’s help with the cleanup.
The probationary agent hadn’t fared any better when it came to fieldwork. On his first Rift retrieval, he’d lost his balance and stepped on the object he and Ianto had been looking for, a small, spiky ball that Ianto informed him was a Grenidian anti-personnel device. They’d only just managed to get Andy’s boot off and tossed into a nearby dumpster before the little mine went off. Andy had taken it quite well, commenting that losing the boot was a small price to pay for keeping his foot attached to the rest of him.
As for Weevil hunting… Well, it was safe to say none of the team had ever seen anyone head butt a Weevil before. When Andy regained consciousness, he explained that it hadn’t been intentional. The lace on one of his new boots had come undone, he’d tripped, and the Weevil had simply been in the way.
“So, how’s Andy coming along?” Gwen asked Ianto when he stopped by to visit her. Due to complications with her pregnancy, she was on enforced bed rest and would’ve gone stir crazy without the team taking turns to visit and keep her up to date with events. “Is he fitting in well with the rest of the team?”
Not wanting to give Gwen’s blood pressure an excuse to go through the roof, Ianto chose his words carefully. “Everyone likes him, and he’s very enthusiastic.”
Gwen beamed. “Didn’t I tell you he’d be perfect?”
“Yes, you did.”
Back at the Hub, while Andy was busy in the conference room reading through old case files, Ianto told the others what Gwen had said.
Jack folded his arms over his chest. “Perfect might be a bit of an exaggeration.”
“It’s early days yet, Jack; give him a chance to prove himself. He’s just nervous and trying a bit too hard,” Tosh defended Andy.
“I’m giving him lots of chances,” Jack said. “So far, it’s a miracle he hasn’t killed himself, or anyone else! It’s a good thing we decided to give him a month’s trial run before committing ourselves. I’m not sure he’s cut out for this line of work.”
“Gwen didn’t do any better on her first week,” Owen reminded him.
It was a valid point; Gwen had been a walking disaster.
“I’m with Tosh and Owen,” Ianto said firmly. “A week isn’t anywhere near long enough to decide one way or the other. All this is new to him, and none of us got everything right from day one. Andy has potential; once he gets over his nervousness he won’t be so clumsy. He has another three weeks of his trial period; don’t be too quick to give up on him. It’s not as if you never make mistakes. It wasn’t so long ago that you drove over a piece of tech and shrank the SUV with us inside it.”
“You just had to bring that up, didn’t you?” Jack pouted. “It was an accident!”
“So are Andy’s mistakes.”
“Okay, you win; three more weeks, we’ll see how things go.”
Outside Jack’s office, Andy breathed a sigh of relief. He’d been on his way to ask Jack a question regarding one of the case files he’d been reading, and had heard the whole discussion. He’d been worried his disastrous performance during his first week would get him kicked off the team immediately, but to his surprise, his potential teammates had all spoken out in favour of letting him finish his probationary period. He knew better than to get his hopes up, the jury was still out on whether or not he would become a permanent Torchwood member, but he still had three weeks to prove to Jack that he could be an asset to the team rather than an ass, and he wasn’t going to waste them.
Sequel: 'Probation's End'