find_rightbrain: (Gwen)
[personal profile] find_rightbrain
Title: Transience
Characters/Pairing: Gwen/Rhys
Word Count: 705
Rating: PG
Summary: Gwen has a chance to remember what's been forgotten.
Notes: Set just post-Adam. Written for [livejournal.com profile] writerinadrawer round 3.06. Yes, it's been ages since I wrote it, but it took me this long to not twitch when I look at it. Now that I've gotten over my voting-related trauma, I realized I actually do like this story a lot.
Disclaimer: Torchwood and all characters belong to the BBC. I am not affiliated with the BBC, and am not making any money from this.

Gwen slipped her key into the lock of her front door and turned it slowly, trying to avoid making any noise that would bring Rhys to the door. She might have managed it too, if the damn door didn't stick when she tried to push it open. For some reason, this time of night, just when she was trying to just get inside and get to bed quietly, it always stuck.

Even better, that it had to do it on the day when she didn't even know where to begin explaining why she'd gotten home so late. Take a nap in the boardroom with the rest of the team, lose two days of your memory, happens all the time...

She paused a second, held her breath, and shoved hard. The door swung inward with a thankfully not too loud groan. Less fortunately, it swung directly into Rhys' face and rebounded.

Rhys yelped, and while ordinarily Gwen might have teased him a bit for that, the blood seeping through the fingers of the hand he clapped to his nose successfully circumvented that. "God, sorry! I'm so sorry, I didn't think..."

She stepped inside quickly, nudged the door shut behind her with a foot, and gently steered Rhys to sit on the couch. He didn't seem to object much, one hand still held to his nose, head tilted back.

"I'm sorry," she said again, handing him a couple tissues and lunging for the kitchen. "Sit there, I'll get you some ice..."

"Nice to see you too, Gwennie," he said, voice nasal. "So you still remember me, then?"

Gwen froze, one hand on the freezer door. "Remember you?" The days missing from her memory opened like a yawning pit before her, uneasily familiar, like that first night with Jack before she'd managed to trip the retcon, and all the more unsettling for that. She'd been trying not to think about it.

There wasn't any ice left in the freezer - she grabbed a bag of peas instead, wrapped it in a towel, walked back over to hand it to Rhys. The television was still on, playing some rerun of god knows what, and it shouldn't have surprised her that Rhys was waiting up for her, but it did. She reached over to switch it off.

"I remember you." It's just the last two days that worry me, not my whole life, thank you. She moved to sit down beside him. Rhys looked at her sidelong - she thought he might be smiling, but it was hard to tell with the bag of peas held to his nose. "Today's just been..."

She didn't know what the word would be. Quiet. Disconcerting. She was glad it was nearly over.

"It's all over, then? No more claiming I'm stalking you, any of that?"

"I didn't," Gwen said, half hoping he was joking.

"You did. And pulled a gun on me. Still, no harm done... You don't remember any of it?"

She shook her head slowly, frowning at a spot on the floor. "No, I..." A part of her wanted to ask. Two days of her life were just gone, and-

"Have you stopped bleeding yet?" she asked instead, almost too brightly. Rhys pulled the towel and the bag of peas away from his face, dabbed at his nose with a free hand, and came away with no more blood on his fingers than there had been before. Gwen took the mess of bloodied towel and frozen vegetables from him with a smile, nudged him with her shoulder. "I'm not kissing you until you've cleaned the blood off your face."

Rhys grinned indulgently, got to his feet and started for the bathroom. "Do you want me to tell you what happened?" he called from the other room, after a minute. "Since you don't remember..."

Gwen paused, getting to her feet to return to the kitchen. Something twitched and uncoiled in the back of her mind: the weight of a hand on her shoulder; a soft voice, gently persuasive; something like fingers, reaching into her brain... "That's alright," she said, maybe too softly for Rhys to even hear.

Remember.

She shook her head, and let it go.

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Aubrey

February 2011

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