Rating: Maybe PG at the worst.
Disclaimer: I don't own Torchwood or any of its characters. No money being made.
Paring/Characters: Jack, Ianto, (Jack/Ianto), Gwen, Doctor Rupesh Patanjali, Johnson (well, off-screen).
Spoilers: Takes into consideration all of S1, S2 and Day One of CoE.
Summary: As a whole: He's a doctor... they need a doctor. What if the 456 fuckery didn't happen and Torchwood actually did recruit Rupesh, who was trying to get the gig to spy on them for Johnson, as discussed in Day One? This part: Scary Monsters. Rupesh goes on his first Weevil hunt.
Warnings: None to speak of.
Notes: Takes place starting just before and during CoE: Day One and goes AU from there onwards.
The next morning Rupesh woke before his alarm, still trying to decide what Johnson needed to know about the previous day. He’d almost been caught out before he even got any real information. It’d been rather humiliating… and a bit frightening.
There was something about Harkness’ tone when he warned Rupesh that any more slip-ups would mean he was ‘done here’; something menacing that he couldn’t quite put his finger on. Did the captain suspect what Rupesh was really up to? Or was he simply suspicious of anything that seemed out of place because of what had happened to the personnel Rupesh was replacing? He didn’t know the details, but he knew how Torchwood got job openings. Johnson had told him that much.
A doctor named Owen Harper had been killed in the line of duty the night that a series of mysterious explosions had crippled the city of
It was only later, after he’d been approached and briefed by Johnson, that he found out it had been anything more… unearthly than simple terrorism. Torchwood had somehow been involved. Torchwood didn’t deal with Al-Qaeda. Johnson’s people never did find out exactly what had happened. It was, as far as he could tell, one of the reasons she wanted someone inside the organization. Maybe it had been the straw that broke the camel’s back, or maybe it had been the first time Johnson’s people had become aware of an opening at Torchwood while it still needed filled. At any rate, Captain Jack Harkness didn’t report to anyone and he’d refused to tell them the whole truth. The only thing he would say was that the threat had been neutralized.
When Rupesh had asked what that threat was, Johnson’s only reply had been “Exactly”.
Rupesh walked into the tourist office a little tentatively. Jones wasn’t waiting to accompany him down this time. Rupesh walked around the counter and pushed the button, then made the long trek down the hall and the lift alone, wondering what the day would bring.
Harkness had his coat on when the cog door rolled back and Jones appeared behind him moments later with a bag.
“Come on,” Harkness told Rupesh, brushing past him and into the lift he’d just stepped out of, Jones at his elbow, as he always seemed to be.
Rupesh joined them in the lift, looking confused and a little concerned. “Where are we going?” he asked.
Harkness looked at Jones, some silent instruction or permission passing between them, and Jones answered Rupesh’s question.
“Hospital,” Jones told him. “Suspicious death.”
Harkness looked at Rupesh. “You’re going to examine the body, doctor.”
Was this another test? Or was this what he was supposed to do? The first time he’d met Harkness and Jones, they’d come to the hospital to cut an alien hitchhiker out of a corpse before a post-mortem could be performed. He supposed if Harper hadn’t been dead, he’d have been the one given that assignment.
“Gwen’s not coming?” he asked as they rode the lift up to the tunnel. Gwen. The only one whose first name he used. She’d invited him to. Why couldn’t he work with Gwen more? He was willing to bet she’d tell him anything he asked. Instead, he got saddled with the intimidating Harkness and inscrutable Jones constantly.
Harkness got that amused expression on his face again. The one that had appeared when he’d referred to the third man in the lift as ‘Mister Jones’.
“She’s busy,” Harkness told him.
Rupesh nodded awkwardly. Great. Harkness probably thought Rupesh had a crush on her now. Not that he would blame anyone who… He shook that thought off. Gwen was a coworker. A married coworker. He mentally shook himself again. Gwen was a target. She was an assignment, just like Harkness and Jones. He needed to maintain his perspective here.
Once they arrived at the hospital, Rupesh, who knew it well, led the way down to the morgue. Harkness followed, but Jones peeled off in another direction about half-way there. Rupesh looked at Harkness, who seemed utterly unconcerned. Apparently, Jones already had his orders.
Harkness reached into his pocket and pulled out papers that he handed to the morgue attendant, who then opened a drawer in the wall to reveal a badly mangled corpse. Harkness looked at the attendant pointedly until he left, then directed his gaze at Rupesh.
“Well?” the captain asked. “What do you think, doctor?”
Rupesh looked at Harkness uncertainly for a moment, then leaned over to look at the body, letting himself fall into the much more comfortable mindset of his medical training.
“It looks… it looks like his skull has been… chewed on,” Rupesh said.
“That’s because it has,” Harkness told him. “You’ll learn to recognize these sorts of injuries. This was a Weevil attack.”
Rupesh looked at him. Weevil… why did that sound familiar? “Oh, is that… there was a monster in one of the cells. I think Gwen called it a Weevil?” he asked. Then he remembered, too, when he’d first entered the Hub, Gwen was concerned that Harkness deal with two Weevil attacks that had been reported.
“They’re not monsters any more than a tiger or a bear is a monster,” Harkness corrected him. “They’re just predators from another planet. They come through the Rift. Generally, they live in the sewers, but now and then one of them will come up and attack a human. That’s when we have to step in.” He glanced over his shoulder at the door, then back to Rupesh. “Ianto is finding out exactly where the attack took place. We need to give this man a cause of death that matches his injuries and won’t be questioned.” He smirked. “And by ‘we’, I mean ‘you’.”
Rupesh nodded, his eyes wandering over the corpse as he considered the assignment. He could come up with something, he was sure. Then a thought occurred to him and he looked up at Harkness. “We’re not taking the body, then?”
“What for?” Harkness retorted. “We don’t need the dead guy. We want the Weevil that did it.”
Rupesh wasn’t sure how he felt about replacing the original death certificate with his own, but he supposed it wasn’t any more deceptive than what he was doing at Torchwood. Although, he didn’t see spying on Torchwood as violating the Hippocratic Oath, while forging a death certificate definitely fell into more of a grey area, in that respect.
Jones had already been waiting for them at the car, which Harkness seemed to be expecting. Rupesh suspected that had to do with the tiny earpieces they wore to communicate and with which he had yet to be issued.
It was during the car ride, with Harkness at the wheel, that Jones handed him a loaded gun and an extra clip and told him that he was now in possession of his personal Torchwood sidearm and to use it wisely. After making sure the safety was on, Rupesh tucked it into his jacket trying to look nonchalant about it, like his employers handed him guns all the time. Jones then handed him what appeared to be a small aerosol can.
“What’s this? My personal Torchwood deodorant?” he joked.
“I wouldn’t recommend it,” Jones replied. “It’s for the Weevil.”
“I did notice that they smell pretty bad,” Rupesh remarked.
Harkness grinned at him in the rearview mirror, but Jones looked decidedly less amused.
“Spray it in her face,” he instructed. “It subdues them.” A brief pause. “Most of the time.”
Rupesh looked at Jones, trying to decide if he was joking. It was hard to tell sometimes. “M-most of the time?” he asked. “Because the corpse I was talking to in the morgue says these things will gnaw on your skull.”
“That’s why you should always hunt Weevils with back-up,” Harkness informed him helpfully.
Rupesh was feeling less excited about his first alien-hunting excursion than he had a few moments earlier. ‘Apprehensive’ was probably more the word for his mood.
Once they reached the area where the attack had taken place, Harkness and Jones got out of the car, so Rupesh followed their example and did the same. They drew their guns, so Rupesh did as well. He stayed behind them as they moved quietly between the buildings and looked around carefully.
Rupesh was just starting to feel a little calmer when something came growling out of the shadows and lunged at Harkness, who wrestled with it. Jones kicked it off of him then glared at Rupesh, who was standing rooted to the spot staring.
“The spray!” Jones shouted.
Rupesh was startled out of his shock and moved forward as the creature got to its feet, spraying madly until the can was empty. The creature scrubbed at its face for a moment, but Harkness rushed forward, pulling a bag out of his coat and bringing it down over the Weevil’s head.
Harkness laughed, looking over at Jones, who shook his head as he tucked his gun back into his jacket.
“They always smell you,” Jones commented, grabbing the Weevil and pulling it towards the SUV.
“I’m the fresh baked bread of the Weevil world,” Harkness joked back. “They can’t resist.”
Back at the Hub, Jones once again stayed behind with the car and the creature as Harkness led Rupesh into the base.
“You and Jones must have worked together for a long time,” Rupesh remarked, taking a stab a both a slightly less formal approach that, perhaps, wouldn’t get him laughed at and also at gathering some information for Johnson.
Harkness looked at him. “Why do you say that?” he asked curiously.
Rupesh shrugged, not expecting the question. “You just… seem to have a really easy… rapport,” he said.
Harkness shrugged. “I guess. He’s worked here for a couple of years or so.”
That much Rupesh had been briefed on. He also knew that Jones had worked for Torchwood in
“How did you find him?” Rupesh asked.
Harkness stopped walking and looked at him. “Why?”
Rupesh shrugged, pushing down the nervous feeling in his stomach. “Just curious if everyone went through the same bizarre recruiting process that I did,” he said.
“No,” Harkness told him, resuming his stride towards the main Hub. “Everyone went through completely different bizarre recruiting processes.”
Rupesh managed an awkward laugh. “I see. Made to order, I take it?”
“Something like that,” Harkness said, giving him a sidelong glance.
Maybe it was the looks that made Rupesh so nervous around Harkness. The captain always seemed to be sizing him up. Or maybe it was the stories he’d heard during his briefings. He’d scoffed at many of them, but after the church… he wasn’t sure what to think.
Rupesh cleared his throat. “Look, I’m not really clear on exactly what my job is around here,” he said.
“You’re the team medic,” Harkness told him, “first and foremost. You come into the field in case anyone on the team gets hurt. You also perform autopsies on humans who’ve been killed mysteriously and try to determine if the cause of death was alien, as well as on dead aliens to learn more about them.”
Harkness looked at him. “Out of everyone here, your job is pretty much the most straightforward,” he said. “Our last medic also used to study the living aliens in the cells to try and learn more about them, but that was more of a personal project. You’re welcome to do the same, though. His notes are probably still in the system. You’d have to ask Ianto how to get into them.”
The dank corridor opened up into the vast main Hub. It was a view Rupesh still wasn’t used to.
“I – I’ll do that,” he said. It sounded interesting and would give him a reason to spend more time at the Hub.
Harkness pointed towards the medical bay. “Your laboratory,” he announced, though he must have known Gwen had already shown it to Rupesh. “Why don’t you go familiarize yourself with it?”
Rupesh knew when he was being dismissed. He nodded and did as he’d been told. It wasn’t a bad idea anyway.
All of the equipment in the lab was top of the line. His former colleagues at the hospital would have been jealous. Some of the equipment was strange, however, and he expected that it was probably alien. He needed to take pictures of it and get them to Johnson. The technology that Torchwood was squirreling away in their base was one of the things Johnson was most interested in. Rupesh wondered briefly how he might get access to the archives.
Gwen appeared at the railing above him.
“Rupesh,” she called cheerfully, “how about lunch?”
Part Two -- Part Four
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