cowgrl_fic: (owen)
[personal profile] cowgrl_fic
Title: King of the Weevils
Characters: Owen (with mention or brief appearances of other Torchwood characters, and the entire weevil population of Cardiff)
Rating: PG
Word count: 2220
Spoilers: Major spoilers for 2.13, "Exit Wounds" Minor spoilers also for too many episodes to list here.
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters or the Torchwood universe. If I did, “Exit Wounds” would never have happened.
Author‘s notes: Thank you to my fabulous beta-reader, [livejournal.com profile] gracewillow
Summary: The continuing adventures of Owen Harper after the events in “Exit Wounds”




Having just said goodbye to Tosh, Owen slid to the floor as he waited for the rush of toxins to overtake him in their effort to counteract the nuclear meltdown. Memories flooded him once again. He saw the end of his time with Katie and the devastation he’d felt losing her. He saw himself recruited by Jack: what the hell, he had nothing to live for anyway, might as well take on an insane job that would probably kill him. He remembered his all too brief time with Diane. Oh, Diane, why didn’t you take me with you? Other images replayed themselves: watching Jack kiss Ianto, watching the two of them dancing at the wedding—the strange feeling in the pit of his stomach whenever he saw them being demonstrative. They were lucky; they had each other. Owen hugged himself tightly. There was no one with him, he thought bitterly. No one should have to die alone. Okay, so he was already dead, but even the undead shouldn’t have to die alone. He knew Tosh would have stayed with him, dear sweet Tosh. He would never be in love with her but he was really starting to care for her.

All of that played out in his head in mere seconds, then the pain came, as if his entire body was on fire. Unimaginable pain. He heard a voice screaming—his own—as he waited and hoped for escape through oblivion.

The next thing he remembered, he was being lifted and carried…somewhere. It was impossible for anyone to survive nuclear meltdown and containment but then it was also impossible for a resurrection glove to bring someone back to life. It was impossible to be a zombie or whatever Owen had been. So now, either he was dead and this was a poor excuse for an afterlife, or the impossible had happened yet again.

A long time later, days? weeks? he couldn’t tell, Owen opened his eyes—just slits as they were quite swollen—and looked around. He was in what seemed to be an abandoned warehouse. Or maybe a church basement? It was hard to tell. No mistake about it though, he was surrounded by weevils. Concerned-looking weevils. Weevils who had wrapped him in blankets and placed him in an old chair, a recliner tilted back as far as it would go until it was almost a bed. There were weevils to the right of him, and one at his feet. Lovely. Either he was dead and his soul had gone to Weevil Heaven (or hell?) or he was somehow still alive, and still King of the Weevils.

He managed a sardonic laugh, and found all weevil eyes looking at him. He waved an arm and was horrified to see his skin, all purple and blue and green. Owen hoped he’d never have to look in a mirror—his reflection would probably kill him, though of course that would be a blessing. The weevils didn’t seem bothered by his appearance. Obviously they’d been his rescuers; a weevil must have crept into the power plant once the safety doors unlocked, and gotten him out before any humans managed to gain entry.

The weevils were still looking at him expectantly. What? Were they hoping for a speech? Owen closed his eyes. He wanted desperately for this all to be a bad dream. Yes, that’s it, just a bad dream. When he opened his eyes again, he would be back at the Hub, fully alive, none of this zombie bollocks, just another day. And he’d never complain about anything ever again. He’d appreciate Tosh’s attention, poor girl really did mean well. He’d even be nice to the Tea Boy. He just wanted this all to go away.

He opened his eyes again. Weevils. It wasn’t going away. His eyelids were his only refuge, so he closed them again and slept, dreaming of better times as his body continued, inexplicably, to heal. The weevils guarded him diligently. No harm would come to their king.

They were in the miserable countryside, the Torchwood team, walking and walking though the wind whipped around them fiercely. He was terribly thirsty. It was raining, of course. It was always raining. Owen tilted his head backwards, trying to get some of the rain in his mouth, but nothing could quench his terrible thirst. Tosh looked at one of her devices and said she thought there was a house less than a kilometer up the road. They needed to keep walking. But the thirst was unbearable.

Owen opened his eyes. He was still in the drab basement room with the weevils. He’d rather be in the Brecon Beacons with the Torchwood team. His mouth was parched. Water…he needed water. “Thirsty,” he said. It was the first word he’d spoken since he was rescued. He made a motion with his purple-green hand, as if he was holding a cup, drinking from it. Incredibly, one of the weevils scurried off and soon returned holding a cup. The creature pressed it against Owen’s mouth and he took a sip. A little water spilled out onto him. With a shaky hand he took the cup from the weevil and drank from it.

When he put the cup down the significance of what had just occurred slowly sank in. One: the weevils had understood him. They were smarter than they looked. Two: he had been thirsty. Owen-the-undead had needed no such sustenance. He took a deep breath—yes, he was breathing! He reached for his bandaged hand, examining the bones as only a trained medical professional could do. The bones weren’t really set properly but they were healing nevertheless. He put a hand to his chest and it wasn’t his imagination—the hole in his chest was smaller. It was healing itself.

Owen looked at his hands. His skin color was…he couldn’t even come up with a name for the its color—it was just wrong. Come to think of it, as he looked around the dark room—which might as well have been well-lit because he had no trouble discerning any of the details—he could see easily identifiable colors but also ones he’d never noticed before in his life. So apparently his vision was changing, evolving too. What sort of monster was he turning into now? Heart pounding in his healing chest, he closed his eyes, unable to cope.

Time passed. The weevils fed him. Owen grew stronger. One day the weevils grew very agitated and then the entire earth shook. Must have been an earthquake, he thought. Some time later the earth shook violently again and it was only after the second apparent earthquake that the weevils calmed down. Owen wondered if the Rift was involved—if it was a real earthquake at all. Not that he cared. If the Rift swallowed him up whole he’d be grateful; it would get him out of this godforsaken place.

He needed to get out of here. Owen stood. He was finally strong enough to travel now. He had no clothes other than a silly weevil coverall that hung loose on his skinny frame. Where would he go? Looking like the freak that he was (he was afraid to look in a mirror but looking at his arms was enough to convince him he couldn’t pass as totally human) he’d have to somehow make it back to the Hub and spend the rest of his life down there, hidden away. At least he could make himself useful there, and the Torchwood team would be better company than the weevils. And of course Janet would be happy to see him.

“You lot have been good to me,” he said now, addressing the weevils, who looked at him with rapt attention. “But I really must be off now.” Owen took one of the blankets he’d used for weeks and folded it in half, then put it over his head as a makeshift covering. He put on his shoes—the only part of his attire that had survived the radiation—and ventured out into the night air. Two weevils came with him. Of course they weren’t abandoning him now.

Owen and his two bodyguards stayed in the shadows as much as possible. Luckily it was late enough that most of Cardiff was asleep. It took a while for Owen to figure out where he was in relation to Cardiff Bay. But instead of heading in that direction, he suddenly had a strong urge to go elsewhere. The three of them walked and walked and walked.

It was almost dawn when they reached the airfield. Stupid, he chastised himself. Now they’d need to find a place to hide for the day. Why hadn’t he gone directly to the Hub? But he needed to visit this spot just one more time—it was the last place he’d ever seen Diane.

As he stood there, blanket around him, a cold wind blowing, he imagined the sound of her small plane coming in for a landing. He concentrated so hard on that sound it was almost as if he was actually hearing it. The wind picked up and the sound—he wasn’t imagining it!—grew louder. He took a few steps backwards as a plane touched down. Moments later the pilot, wearing a dark brown, fleece-lined bomber jacket, climbed out.

“Diane?” Owen squeaked. He blinked. This couldn’t be real. The weevils shrank back, apparently afraid of the woman who had just come through the rift.

“Owen?” Diane took a few steps toward him. “It is you!”

They stared at each other in silence.

“You look different,” she said finally. “What on earth happened to you?”

“Long story,” he answered. “You look different too.”

“It’s taken me a long time to get back to you,” Diane responded. Yes, that was it, she mostly just looked older. At least 20 years older.

“I don’t regret leaving,” Diane continued. “My plane likes the Rift and I’ve seen the most incredible things. The only thing I’ve regretted is not inviting you to come with me. I’ve been trying for years to find my way back to you. I’m so sorry…I wish I could have prevented…whatever it is that happened to you.”

“Me too,” Owen sighed. “I don’t suppose you still want me, looking like this?”

“I don’t suppose you still want me, looking like this?” Diane smiled, her face well-lined and framed with graying hair.

“Don’t be daft, of course I still want you!”

Then their arms were around one another, their lips touching. Owen was finally glad to be alive again, with actual blood flowing through his body, able to respond to Diane’s touch. Who cares if he looked like a freak? Diane still wanted him!

They were both breathing heavily by the time they came up for air. They looked into each other’s eyes, smiling, as they held each other.

“I don’t know why my feet took me here this morning. It’s a miracle you found me, though.”

Diane thought about it for a moment. “Maybe not. Have you been touched by the Rift?”

Owen remembered using the Rift Manipulator to open the Rift and rescue Jack and Tosh. He flashed on the Resurrection Glove bringing him back from darkness. “Yes…you could say that,” he answered.

“It’s been my experience that those of us who have been touched by the Rift are drawn to one another. Like the weevils over there in the shadows. Yes, I know what they are.” She nodded in their direction. “I think the Rift brought the plane to you because you were in the same place the Rift brought the plane once before, and it recognized you as one of its own.”

“It’s still a miracle,” Owen insisted. They gazed into each others eyes for a moment.

“Take me away from here?” Owen asked.

“Of course!” Diane held out a hand. She helped him into the plane, then handed him a helmet.

“Where are we going?”

“Wherever the rift takes us. Are you sure you want to do this? It can be dangerous out there.”

“I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life,” Owen answered. Diane took his hand and squeezed it. Then she made sure Owen was strapped in, fastened her own seatbelt securely, put on her gloves, and started the engine.

Goodbye Earth, goodbye weevils! And goodbye Torchwood, Owen thought. Perhaps he’d come back to Torchwood some day. But right now he had the whole universe to explore, and the company of a woman he loved.

* * * *

Epilogue:

The Torchwood SUV pulled up to the airstrip just as a small plane disappeared into the sky.

“There’s been a second burst of rift activity,” Ianto said, looking at the readings in the small hand-held scanner that had once belonged to Tosh. “But whatever it was, it’s gone now.” He looked at Jack. “Do you think it was Diane’s plane?”

“Perhaps,” Jack answered.

“Maybe she came back, looking for Owen,” Ianto hypothesized. “I wouldn’t have wanted to tell her…”

“No, me neither.”

They sat in silence for a moment, watching the sky gradually brighten. As if reading each other’s minds, both of them reached out at the same time and they held hands, grateful to be alive, grateful to be together.

“Come on, let’s go out for breakfast,” Jack said, flashing Ianto a smile as he started the engine.

Date: 2008-08-17 10:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] arkadelos.livejournal.com
That was so awesome! Aww... those weevils were being so kind and caring to King Owen.... I think it would be really cool if he had a pet weevil who followed him around.
It's great to read a fanfic that gives Owen a happy ending. I was very disappointed in the season 2 finale, and Owen had quite a lot of character possibilities left to him.
I also enjoyed the mention of Earthquakes; implicit references to the DW season 4 finale?

Date: 2008-08-18 01:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cowgrl-fic.livejournal.com
Oh, I agree - a pet weevil would be adorable! Maybe Owen could adopt a baby weevil. :-) And yes, you caught my sneaky little reference to the DW season 4 finale. Owen didn't leave that basement so he'd have had no idea what was going on outside...

Date: 2008-08-18 12:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sjeannep.livejournal.com
Love this! Owen deserved a happy ending!

Thanks!

Date: 2008-08-18 01:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cowgrl-fic.livejournal.com
I'm glad you liked it! :-)

Date: 2008-08-19 04:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gottagetcoffee.livejournal.com
love it. YAY for happy endings :-)

Date: 2008-08-19 02:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cowgrl-fic.livejournal.com
Yay - I'm glad you liked it! I'm all in favor of happy endings. :-)

Profile

cowgrl_fic: (Default)
cowgrl_fic

April 2017

S M T W T F S
      1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
232425 26272829
30      

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 23rd, 2017 12:55 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios