Rating: Teen (for now)
Spoilers: Seasons 1 and 2
Summary: Jeannie was a lab-rat at the tender mercies of Torchwood London, but then the Battle of Canary Wharf happened, and she escaped to Cardiff. This is her story.
Disclaimer: RTD/BBC etc own anything recognizably Torchwood, everything else is mine.
In the Hub
Neither Ianto nor Jeannie had ever seen a ‘secret underground base’ before, and were both quite speechless upon entering. Both for different reasons, though. Ianto was, understandably, aghast at the rubbish and random pieces of alien tech lying about, while Jeannie was agog at all of the high-tech gear she saw. Jack was watching them both closely, seemingly expecting some sort of positive reaction; he was distracted from Ianto’s lackluster response by Jeannie’s gasp of awe. Had he been a dog, his tail would have been wagging madly in happiness. Considering his task complete, Jack introduces them to Tosh, who gives them a shy smile, then to Suzi, who looks them both over, before nodding and returning to her work. He leads the two towards the autopsy bay, where a slim, messy-looking man was bent over an alien corpse. “OWEN!” The man jumps a bit, cursing, and glares up at Jack. He pauses in what he was about to say when he sees that there are guests present.
“Dragging things in again, are we?” Owen snarks. He receives an eye blink from Ianto and Jeannie, and narrowed eyes from Jack. “Ianto and Jeannie here are from Canary Wharf. They survived the battle; Jeannie was a test subject that Ianto assisted in escape, and needs a full medical exam.” Owen’s face registers surprise at this, and he grabs his kit. He ascends the stairs, waving the visitors to follow him to a small treatment room, since his exam table is currently occupied.
Once in the treatment room, Owen waves Ianto towards the closest of the three cots in the room, and indicates that he should put Jeannie down on it. After depositing Jeannie, Ianto starts to move away, but is halted in his movements by Jeannie’s hand tightly grasping his shirt hem. He looks back at her, and sighs in understanding; he rounds the cot, and stands quietly on the other side of it holding her hand. Without batting an eyelash, Owen begins his exam with a quick visual inspection. He notes the emaciation, the dull hair, and the ill-fitting clothing. He provides a set of clean scrubs for her to change into, and leaves the room for a few minutes.
The excitement of getting into the Hub, plus changing her clothes, has just about worn Jeannie out; her meager reserves of strength have been depleted, and she is exhausted, which Owen notices upon his return to the room.
While he was out of the room, he had written down a few basic questions to ask that would help him treat her. Re-entering the room, Owen crosses over to the equipment bank that is present, and runs several leads over to the cot. He attaches them gently to the traumatized woman, starting at her head, and moving his way down her body, finishing with the final lead at her ankles. Then he looks at her, and asks, “How long were you a test subject?” She shrugs, and looks at Ianto. Ianto says, “I’m not sure, but at least 4 months, probably 6 or more; she was already in bad shape when I was assigned to her two months ago.” Jeannie squeezes his hand in support, and he smiles down at her. Owen nods his head to acknowledge the answer, and says, “Okay, I need to know everything you remember about what happened to you, from before Canary Wharf.”
Jeannie takes a deep breath, and looks into the distance while she figures out where to start. “I was born in Georgia, in the US. I was in the US military for several years, and then was discharged; I joined my mother-in-law with my husband and two children in her home in 2009. And before you say anything, yes, I know that is in the future from now, and I am also time-displaced, we’ll go over that later. I went to college from 2009-2014 for a BA; in the summer of 2015, I was walking along the sidewalk, and saw a bright flash of light. When I woke up, I was in some sort of medical bay, and these furry…feline-like…creatures were racing back and forth. I couldn’t move anything except my eyes. They were doing something to me, I have no idea what. I blacked out again; when I woke back up, I was still in that room, but alone. Then another bright flash came, and I was at Canary Wharf. I’m guessing that the people there had some warning I was going to appear, because the knocked me out right away. Everything after that is really fuzzy, since they kept me drugged to the gills.” Jeannie shakes her head a bit to clear her vision, and then looks at Ianto before meeting Owen’s eyes. “Ianto saved my life; I had no idea what was happening; I woke up in his car, with him disheveled and frantic. I’m…not sure…what happened then; I woke up again on the side of the road, in a rest area. He told me where we were going, and that it was our best bet of getting the help I needed to get well again.” Still looking at Owen, Jeannie continues, “I was born human, but I don’t think I am anymore. I can do things, and see things, I never could before. I feel…something…here, in the Hub; it feels…tingly, like a constant charge is running through me all the time, and if I could just grab it, I could do anything.” She shakes her head again, blinking rapidly. “It’s weird, but I don’t know how else to describe it.”
Owen’s eyebrows have climbed as she was telling her story, his brow wrinkling in thought. “Okay, so, blood tests, and if you can give a urine sample, that would also be good. I can put in a catheter if you prefer, since you really are very weak right now, and I don’t think you should be moving around for a few days.” He looks at Jeannie expectantly, waiting for her decision. She nods, acquiescing to the catheter; Owen waves Jack and Ianto out of the room for a bit of privacy while he inserts the tube, and sets up the bag. He puts a few more pillows behind her back to help her sit up better, then finds a vein, and draws the needed blood.
In the hallway outside the treatment room
Jack pierces Ianto with a look, and says, “Okay, you got her here, and Owen is checking her out. Her story is…interesting, to say the least. How much of that did you already know?” “Not much beyond what it was like for her at Canary Wharf; she has been so out of it that conversation wasn’t really all that possible. Are you going to let us stay? I’m not really that hurt from the Battle, I was an archivist at the Tower before I was assigned to Jeannie as her caretaker.” Jack looks at Ianto thoughtfully, and then nods. “I think we can work something out; we’ll keep your Torchwood employment active, and play it by ear with Jeannie’s situation. I’m going to have Owen look you over as well, just to make sure you’re okay too.” They both head back into the treatment room when Owen lets them know that everything is settled.
Jeannie is lying on the cot, leaning back against several pillows, with a thick quilt draped over her lower half. She has an IV port in her forearm, and is looking quite sleepy. Owen indicates that he will complete her exam after she has slept for several hours; this will give him the time he needs to complete her blood work and urine tests. Jack looks at Owen, and then jerks his head at Ianto significantly. Owen gives Ianto a quick once over, then leads him to the next cot, tosses him a set of scrubs, and says, “You know the drill, we’ll be back in 5.” Ianto sighs, and nods.
As expected, Owen doesn’t find a whole lot medically wrong with Ianto, beyond some dehydration and exhaustion, so he is allowed to put his clothes back on after providing blood and urine to be tested. Ianto pushes his cot right up against Jeannie’s, and settles down; he is asleep as soon as he is horizontal.
Feeling truly safe for the first time in a long time, Jeannie stretches out, hugging one of the pillows, and sleeps peacefully throughout the remainder of the day, through the night, and into the following morning. She finally wakes up, and stretches luxuriously, while looking around the room. She sees Ianto seated next to her cot, and spies a bag of food at his feet. Sniffing ostentatiously, she raises her brows at him, and he nods with a grin. He picks up the bag and moves to sit by her hips on the cot, and then pulls out the fish and chips he brought for them to munch on. The eat in companionable silence; when they are both finished, Ianto gathers up the rubbish, and deposits it into the bin by the cot.
Owen arrives to check on his patient about this time, noticing that she looks much better than she had the previous day. He had seen Ianto earlier, when he went out on the food run, and had given him the all-clear. After examining Jeannie, Owen looks a bit confused. She is in much better shape than she should be, based upon what her condition was 24 hours ago. “You two stay here; I need to let Jack know the prognosis, and then we’ll both be down to discuss where we go from here.”
They share a look, then nod their heads to affirm that they understand the instructions they have been given. Owen leaves the room at a fast walk, and door clicks shut behind him. Ianto looks at Jeannie, and quirking his eyebrow, says, “I think I know what is wrong. You are a whole lot better than you should be already; I think that is a mark in the ‘alien’ column, whether you were born on Earth or not.” Jeannie shakes her head in confusion. “But the US Navy, they do a DNA test on all of their enlistees; surely they would have noticed?” “No, what I meant was that I think that when you were taken the first time, they changed your DNA, to make you an alien. If that is the case, then we are in the best possible place to get some answers, without you being poked and prodded too much.” They both looked at each other for a few more minutes, digesting what Ianto had said, then sighed. Both of them stretched out on their cots again, this time with Jeannie’s head pillowed on Ianto’s shoulder, and his arm wrapped around her. Dozing off, they both sleep again.