Turn Left, Torchwood

Where Everything Changes

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Turn Left, Random Shoes (1/2)
Title: Turn Left, Random Shoes (1/2)
Author: totally4ryo for the Turn Left, Torchwood Project
Rating: PG-13
Notes: A retelling of Torchwood Series 1, Episode 9 where different decisions are made. Part of the turnleft_tw Challenge. Due to length, this episode is split into two parts with internal links.
Reminder: Project participants, don't leave any telling information in comments.

Previously: They Keep Killing Suzie

The speed of light is 299,792,458 meters per second. Pain travels through the body at 350 feet per second. Even a sneeze can reach 100 mph.

And as for list, well, that just bloody whizzes by.

So then, this is me, Eugene Jones.

Jack, Toshiko and Ianto stood around a body on the road. Emergency vehicles surrounded them, with the Torchwood SUV closer to the body. SOCO hovered in the background collecting evidence.

"I'd say at least fifty miles per hour," Toshiko said from her position crouched next to the body. She looked up to Jack as she spoke, who stood next to them looking around.

"Traveled on the bonnet, bounced, maybe rolled, smashed his face on the road.

Ianto came walking over to join them. He left his cane in the SUV. They did not venture far from the vehicle, and he was getting around more and more without it. Owen assured Ianto that he would be back to his normal self in another week or two. "He couldn't even cross the road without messing it up," he stated, staring down at the dead man on the road.

Jack kneeled on the other side of the body, and studied it intently.

"No bag, nothing," Ianto stated. "What was he doing here? Perhaps we shouldn't have been so…." He glanced over to Jack. "Perhaps he was hit deliberately." When Jack looked up at him, he added, "Maybe he really did have something important."

"Like what?" Jack asked.

"I don't know," Ianto admitted with a shrug. He started to frown slightly as he continued, "He was always trying to talk to us, show us stuff. Perhaps we shouldn't have been so…."

"I think it's just an ordinary RTA," Tosh cut in, looking up at him and then to Jack.

The Captain remained quiet, not yet ready to offer an opinion. Something caught his attention and he peered more intently at the body before him. Ianto and Tosh watched as Jack studied the dead man's hands.

"It was a blue car," Jack announced. "There's blue pain under his fingernails."

Toshiko and Ianto looked at Jack in fascination. Ianto started to open his mouth, about to make a quip about Jack's detective skills but was interrupted when he heard a ringing. He looked around and noticed the mobile on the ground, and went over to it. Carefully he bent down to pick the phone up.

He looked at the caller ID and opened the called. "Hello?" he answered, aware of Toshiko's eyes on him.

"Hello love," came from the caller. "I've just been to the shops and forgot tea bags."

Ianto raised his eyebrows as Jack stood up to stand next to him.

"Hello, Eugene?" the caller asked when Ianto did not answer.

He mouthed that it was the victim's mother.

Jack took the phone from Ianto. "Hello, Mrs. Jones. I'm afraid something happened and we'll need to talk to you," Jack explained.

Jack closed the call and turned to start walking back to the SUV. Ianto and Toshiko took it as their cue to follow.

As they got into the car, unknown to the three, there was a fourth passenger with them. The man whose body they left on the road sat next to Toshiko in the back. He was confused, having realized that it was his body on the road and he was dead. Yet there he was with three members of Torchwood. He leaned forward toward the front and watched the two men. He had come to the conclusion that he was a ghost, but was too excited to be in present company.

Ianto held onto the mobile he picked up from the ground and was looking through it.

"Anything on his phone from today?" Jack asked as he drove the SUV.

Ianto was going through the photos on the phone, a look of confusion on his face. "Random shoes," he replied. "Quite a few photos of them." He frowned as he went through the pictures again before shutting the phone.

Eugene Jones grinned as he watched Ianto sit back in his seat after pocketing the phone. "Mind you," he said to unhearing ears, "it feels familiar." He smiled as he watched Ianto. "You know what, whatever's happened, all of a sudden, I'm somewhere I've always wanted to be."

Eugene became lost in thoughts as the SUV drove on, starting from when he was a child and lost a Maths competition. Afterward, along with a consolation speech that was obviously designed to make Eugene feel better, his teacher gave him what he claimed was an alien eye. Later that night, he had heard his parents fighting and his father leave the house. His father never came home, and his mother believed that he worked overseas in America.

Since then Eugene had become obsessed with the eye, believing the alien would one day return for his eye. As the years went by, Eugene became more interested in UFOs and found himself collecting alien artifacts. Eventually he came across Torchwood.

"And then I found you, Ianto Jones," Eugene said as he leaned forward as if whispering in Ianto's ear, remembering past meetings with the Welshman. Eugene tried many times to get Ianto's attention, trying to show him the alien eye. Unfortunately Ianto was always rushing off with the team, barely giving him more than a polite glance before following Captain Jack Harkness.

"I couldn't get you interested in the eye, no matter how hard I tried," Eugene concluded, his eyes on Ianto.

"It's about bloody time you decided to return our calls," Jack spoke into his mobile, sounding irritated.

"I'm sorry, Jack. I overslept. Rhys thought he was doing me the favor by turning the ringer off on my mobile. I told him never to do that again."

"Do you plan to grace us with your presence today. We have work to do," Jack said.

"Yes. I'll be on my way shortly."

Jack glanced around the Hub. Ianto sat on the couch talking to Tosh, the SUV keys in his hands, while Owen was in the autopsy bay. "Change of plans, Gwen. You'll be picked up, and join Owen and Ianto. We could use your PC expertise. They'll be there soon." He closed off the call. "Ianto! Owen! Head out, pick up Gwen along the way and head over to the Jones' residence. Let Gwen break the bad news to the family, while the two of you go through his belongings. Bring back anything you believe would help us with this investigation." Jack watched as Ianto slowly got off the couch, refusing Tosh's subtle offer of help. Owen came up the stairs, putting on his jacket. "And make Gwen do some carrying," he ordered. "Don't carry anything to heavy, Ianto."

Ianto rolled his eyes, brushing off the annoyance that he would most likely have to relegate carrying to Gwen. He should not be making women carry what he should be able to himself, and cursed the cannibals for the reason he was still recovering from serious injuries.

"Don't worry, Jack," Owen assured the Captain. "I'm his doctor and I'll make sure he doesn't overdo it."

"Don't forget that," Jack commented as the two left the Hub.

Still unseen by everyone, Eugene Jones followed Owen and Ianto out of the Hub to the SUV. He sat in the backseat behind Ianto again, listening to the two men talk on the drive to pick Gwen up.

"Tell me again why we are handling this investigation if it was just another RTA?" Owen asked.

"Because Eugene Jones had a habit of showing up, trying to get my attention. He would say he had something to show me, but I just brushed him off. Jack and I agree that maybe he did have something alien, after all. Whatever we find or don't find at his house will determine how much further we'll go with it."

"Right. Because if by some chance, he has an alien artifact, then his death is our responsibility. He was killed in a hit and run, Ianto."

"We don't know for sure that it was not intentional, do we? I just want to look into it first before we toss the case back to the police."

"Okay, but I'm not going to be the one who tells his mother her son went splat on the motorway," Owen warned.

"That's why we're taking Gwen along. She can break the news to the family, while we go through his belongings. If we don't find anything, we wash our hands of the investigation."

"You know what I think? I think you're feeling guilty for ignoring the bloody pest."

Ianto reminded silent and chose to look out the window for the rest of the way to Gwen's.

Eugene's mother, Bronwen Jones, took the news of her son's death hard. Ianto and Owen left Gwen to deal with consoling the distraught woman while they went to Eugene's room.

Gwen looked uncomfortable as she left Bronwen to sit down next to Eugene's younger brother and start to ask him questions about his brother.

Eugene tried talking to his mother, frustrated when she did not hear him. He decided to join the two men in his room.

He entered his room in time to watch as Owen picked up a magazine and started to flip through it. When he was finished, he placed it on top of the stack. "Shit!" he cursed as the stack toppled over.

Eugene dropped to his knees and made to pick up the now ignored magazines only to remember that he was a ghost and could not touch anything.

Owen had moved on to pick up a pamphlet. "Black Holes and the Uncertainty Principal," he read. "Dr. Louise Nagil, FRS. Dr. William Spencer." He sighed heavily and looked over to Ianto, who stood next to a display. "What are we doing here?"

Ianto appeared to see something that interested him and opened the glass door to the cabinet. "Look at this."

Owen went to Ianto's side and looked in at the various items, all of them labeled.

Eugene moved across the room to stand behind the men. Ianto picked up one of the items to have a closer look. "That's a pre-Gorgon Pilurian currency," Eugene explained to the men's unhearing ears.

"Are these Roman coins?" Ianto asked, to Owen, who was looking at another item.

"Hey look, Rice Krispies," Owen exclaimed. "Man, there are some rogues out there."

"Hello?" Gwen said, from the door. "How are you gentlemen doing in here?"

"You're supposed to be getting information from the family," Owen reminded her.

"I did. I'm finished. This is the part of police work that I've always hated the most. Usually you reach a point when you know it's best to leave the family to their grieving without any outsiders getting in the way," Gwen explained as she walked across the room to stand by the cabinet with Owen and Ianto. Unknown to her, she nearly came to a stop where Eugene was standing, and the ghost quickly moved out of her way. "Usually that means leaving the premises. Which we're not doing yet."

"We're still having a look around here, Gwen," Ianto said.

"We figured it would take more time to be asking all those important questions we'll be needing."

"What's there to know?" Gwen asked. "Mrs. Jones is completely devastated over her son's death, while Eugene's little brother doesn't seem to care. I did find out that the father is working in America. Some important job, if you listen to both of them. I get the feeling he hasn't been around for quite some time." She peered closely at the items in the cabinet. "Oh hang on, there's something missing here," she pointed out, picking up a round display holder.

At that moment, Bronwen Jones walked into the room, still wringing her hands, her eyes bloodshot and she was still crying. Gwen turned to the grieving woman. "Mrs. Jones, do you know what's missing from Eugene's collection?"

"Why didn't they stop?" Bronwen asked, as if she did not hear Gwen's question. "They killed my boy and just drove on." She started to sob again.

Gwen quickly replaced the little holder back on the shelf in the cabinet.

Owen, Ianto and Gwen had entered the Hub with Eugene still trailing them. Once again, he was in awe of the Hub, and started to wander, still finding things that held his fascination.

"What was he doing out on that road?" Gwen asked absently as she settled a box on the coffee table.

"Fuck knows," Owen replied, causing Gwen to stand up straight and stare in the medic's direction, as if realizing she was heard. "Categorizing chevrons. He was a geek."

Gwen started to follow Owen to the autopsy bay, while Ianto was already on his way toward the coffee station. She came to a sudden stop at the railing, looking down into the bay, and at Eugene's body already set out on the table.

Owen glanced up at her and smirked. "You know what I think? I think you're feeling guilty for us, because we didn't pay him much mind. You're thinking if you were with us longer, you would have given him the time of day and he wouldn't be dead." Owen shook his head. "Too bad the one time he came in contact with us since you joined us, you also ignored him. A bit put off that he seemed to have a bit of a thing for the teaboy?"

"Sod off, Owen," Gwen snapped, making her way down the stairs. "I didn't mean to ignore him. I really didn't want to be left behind, because you have a habit of starting to drive off before doors are closed." She stared at Owen.

"Right then." Owen folded his arms. "You do it then." With a wave of a hand, he indicated the body before them.

Gwen looked shocked. "I do it?" she asked, her voice raising just a bit. "The autopsy?"

"Yes," Owen stated. "I've got a stack of admin."

Gwen's eyes flickered to the body, and seemed to come to a decision. Looking back at Owen, she nodded. "Okay. Good."

Owen looked surprised. "You're sure?"




Owen smirked at Gwen and sat down in a chair by one of the desks. "Have at it then. Give a yell if you need help."

Eugene was still wandering around the Hub in total fascination, losing track of time and where the others were. Glancing around, he saw movement in Jack's office and decided that would be his next destination. He was curious to see what the Captain kept in his office.

He entered to find Jack drinking from a blue striped mug filled with coffee, while Ianto leaned on the edge of the desk on the same side as where the Captain sat.

"Oh, Ianto, you're in here too," Eugene spoke, once again unheard to the occupants of the office. "I never was much one for coffee, but from what I hear, I really regret not having the chance to taste yours." His eyes settled adoringly on the Welsh man, who started to lean forward toward Jack.

Jack set the near empty coffee mug on his desk, tilting his head upward.

Eugene's eyes went wide when he realized that Ianto started to kiss his boss.

"Oh, I didn't realize… Oh hey, what are you going to do now? In the office? Hey, the others are still here. Ianto, I'm right here."

As the two men continued to share a kiss, Eugene turned and left the office. He ran across the Hub and through the doorway leading down to the cells.

Once down there, he realized that what he saw in the main Hub above was nothing compared to what was in the cells. At first, when the Weevil slammed against the transparent wall, growling, Eugene jumped with a yell. From across the small corridor, with his back up against the wall of another cell, he finally got a look at the creature that had scared him.

"Oh, this is brilliant! It's an alien." He peered closely at the Weevil who was still against the wall of the cell it occupied, sniffing and growling softly. "It really is an alien."

"Well, what do you bloody expect in Torchwood?" came a female voice from behind him.

He spun around to find a dark haired woman that he recognized as Suzie Costello. "Oh hello there," he greeted. It was only then that he realized she was also held in a cell. He also remembered that suddenly one day she was no longer with the team whenever he saw them around. His first thought was they were holding her captive for some unknown reason.

"Wait. You can see me?" he asked. When she nodded, it was then that he realized with the clarity that only someone who was dead could that the woman in the cell was not exactly fully within the living. "Bloody hell," he swore as he stared at her. "Do people stay dead around here?"

Suzie studied him. "Apparently not," she replied with an ironic smirk. "So now, what are you doing here, and do the others know you're here?"

"They can't see me. From what I understand, I was killed this morning. RTA, they say. The driver never stopped," Eugene explained. "I can't remember. I don't seem to remember much about why or how I was killed. That's why Torchwood was called out. You lot will figure it all out for me."

"Don't include me. Do you really think they want me as part of the team anymore if I'm stuck in here."

"Well, you're dead. Kind of," he replied. "You're alive too. At least you still have your body, unlike me. What happened to you?" he asked.

"Walk yourself through that partition there and I'll tell you. In exchange you tell me what you can remember about your death. But don't go putting too much hope in Torchwood actually being the bloody Ghostbusters. Well, come on then. I could use some company other than the Weevils. Some bloody hospitality around here, I'll tell you. Put me in a cell and all but forget me."

"I'll be glad to keep you company for a while." Eugene walked through the partition and settled himself on the ground while Suzie sat down on the bench. He realized that he finally had the attention of someone from Torchwood, and while it wasn't the one he would have preferred to speak to, even having one of them listen was a good thing. He also hoped that by talking to Suzie, he would be able to block out what he had seen the Captain's office.

Owen had started to direct Gwen on how to perform an autopsy. She was holding onto the suggested scalpel over the body's sternum and was about ready to make the first incision under Owen's watchful eyes. She appeared to be nervous, but Owen put that down to it being her first autopsy. He also knew she was stubborn enough to do her best in not letting that face show too much.

Just as she was about to make the cut, Ianto appeared at the railing, causing Owen and Gwen to look up when the young man started to speak.

"Okay, a blue Vauxhall has been stopped out near Caenarfon. Very drunk guy crashed into a tree and has no memory on how he got there. He's not in very good shape right now, but the police believe he was the one who hit Eugene while driving drunk. Ah, he was a sweet guy. That's very sad." Ianto stared down at the two in the autopsy bay. He noticed Gwen's hand which tightly gripped her hold on the scalpel tremble as she suddenly looked down, staring at Eugene's body.

The next day Ianto entered Jack's office, carrying two mugs of coffee. Jack looked up and smiled as the younger man set the blue striped mug before him. "Thank you, Ianto." He studied the other man, noticing that once again, he was without the cane. Ianto was still slow comparing to his usual bustle before the cannibal incident, but he was improving.

"Gwen called and said she's on her way," Ianto informed him.

"Meaning she's late. Again." Jack picked up the coffee and took a drink from it. "Excellent as always." He lifted his eyes to the man who still stood before his desk. He knew something was on Ianto's mind and it was something that Jack would most likely not like. Otherwise, Ianto would have lowered himself to perch on the edge of the desk, taking a more informal pose if he wanted to talk. Or he would have come around the desk and planted himself in a spot where it wouldn't be hard with his still recovering injuries to take Jack's lips in a kiss, or even a proposition for later when they were alone. "What is it, Ianto?" Jack asked.

"I'm not so sure that the mystery of Eugene's death was so easily resolved by that police report yesterday," Ianto slowly said. He was nervous.

"You don't approve of us moving on from this case?" Jack asked.

Ianto shook his head and finally perched on the edge of Jack's desk, resting one hand in his lap, while he took a sip of his own coffee. "I'm not saying that."

"Then you're okay with us closing it," Jack stated.

"Not saying that either."

Jack set his coffee mug down on the desk and looked up so he could make eye contact with the other man. "Then what are you saying, Ianto?"

"Owen released the body back to the police this morning."

"I believe that you were the one who signed the release," Jack pointed out. "I see no reason to keep it. It's unfortunate that he was killed unnecessarily, but there were no aliens involved. That puts it in the hands of the police to continue the case, and from what you told us, it sounds like they have their suspect and will be closing the case themselves."

"Something seems wrong," Ianto mused.

Jack peered at Ianto. "Don't tell me you're starting to feel guilty now. I know he had an eye on you."

Ianto started to blush slightly as he looked away from Jack. "I'm not saying I found any attraction to him, or that I welcomed the attention."

"I'm not accusing you of anything, Ianto."

"Jack, you saw what we took from his room. The boy collected alien artifacts. That should keep some form of investigation open by us." When Jack continued to stare, Ianto went on, "Gwen was the one who noticed something was missing. How are we sure it isn't something that should not be in wrong hands, and if maybe he died because of it? I just believe we should cover all tracks before we close this case for good."

Jack folded his hands before him, and studied his fingers for a moment. He looked up when the proximity alarm went off.

Ianto peered out of the office windows. "Gwen's here," he announced.

"Okay." Jack's attention went back to Ianto. "Do you have any leads to go on?"

"One, but I thought I'd start with his mobile and perhaps return that video, and go on from there."

Jack appeared in thought for a few moments and then stood up. He went over to the door and bellowed, "Gwen! My office! Now!" He turned to face Ianto. "Okay. But send Gwen to return the video, while you check the phone. When she's back, we'll go over what she has and then I'll determine where to go from there, even if it means closing the case. Understood?"

"It will make me feel better, so yes. Understood," Ianto replied.

"I'm sorry, Jack," Gwen apologized as she appeared in the doorway.

"You need to work harder at getting here on time," Jack warned her. "We'll talk later, but for now we have something for you to do. Ianto will fill you in on the details. You're to keep in touch at regular intervals and report back to him."

"What's going on, Jack?" Gwen asked.

"You are going to do an investigation," Ianto replied, making Gwen's attention go from Jack to him. He bit back a snark as her eyes widened ever so slightly as to indicate she just noticed he was there. "I'll go make your coffee, and we'll talk about while I make it." Ianto stood up from the desk and gave Jack a small smile. "Thank you for hearing me out, sir."

"You two play nice, you hear," Jack called out as Ianto escorted Gwen from the office.

While Gwen sat at her workstation and drank her coffee, Ianto had to get the DVD they found on Eugene from Owen, who was watching it at his workstation. Then with the mobile in his possession and the DVD back in its case, Ianto sent off Gwen to return the video and hopefully ask the right questions about Eugene. She did not seem very happy when she left. Ianto would have thought she would have been happy to help. In the short time she had been with them, she tended to come across as the bleeding heart of the team. He would have thought that she would have been the first of them to insist on further investigation before closing the case. Instead, she seemed as if she wanted to be doing anything else but. Ianto wondered if she, like Toshiko and Owen, were set on it having nothing to do with aliens and therefore not their worry. For Tosh, Owen and Jack, maybe even himself, that train of thought would feel right, but for Gwen, it did not. He had this sense that something was not right with Gwen, and decided to keep a closer eye on her. He would not say anything to Jack unless he had more than just a niggling feeling.

He sat on the couch, with the mobile open and studied the contact list. For some reason, he kept going back to the name Gary, the name suddenly stuck in his head. Going on what he felt was instinct, he called Gary, only to end up leaving a voicemail.

When Gwen called in, she was frustrated and annoyed. Ianto sat her down and questioned her, only to get an earful of how disrespectful the kid who ran the video store was. From what Ianto was able to gather, the kid at the store had hit on Gwen, talked down about Eugene and was basically lower than a human. "Oh, you owe me 34 quid. That's how much I was charged for the late fee. Bollocks, if you ask me."

Well, at least that was more like he expected Gwen to act. She was extremely bothered by the things the kid at the store had to say about Eugene. Ianto liked order in his life. He was particularly fond of people acting as they should.

"Were you able to find out anything pertinent?" Ianto asked.

"No. Not much, really. But I'll tell you what's weird, but promise me you won't laugh, or call me a nutter," she said.

"Of course not," Ianto replied. "What is it?"

"I sometimes have this feeling that I'm being followed, but when I look around there's no one there."

Ianto did not reply immediately, suddenly glancing around the Hub. Toshiko was at her workstation, working on another interpretation program, while Owen was wasting time at his and Jack was on the phone in his office.

"Ianto?" Gwen asked, sounding uncertain.

"It's okay, Gwen. I was just realizing that I have been getting the same feeling." He took Eugene's mobile from his jacket pocket and opened it, staring at the names again. "I think we should meet and head over to where Eugene worked and ask around. Maybe check out some feet."

"See if they match the photos on his mobile?" Gwen asked.

"Yes. Do you remember the address for Passmore Telesales? I'll meet you there."

He hung up after Gwen said goodbye and went up to Jack's office and let him know he was going out for a while.

Gwen and Ianto entered the office, and looked around. Gwen noticed a man by a water cooler. She tapped Ianto on his arm and indicated the shoes. Ianto raised an eyebrow and started to walk toward the man, Gwen at his side.

"Excuse me, are you Gary?" Ianto asked as they approached.

"Yeah. How do you…? Are you…?" Gary asked.

"Ianto Jones. I am, and this is my associate Gwen Cooper," he introduced.

"Hi," Gwen said. "Gary, we were wondering whether you saw Eugene the day he died."

"No. Sorry," Gary replied.

Gwen and Ianto watched as a co-worker approached and handed Gary a card.

"Just doing a card," Gary explained, and then read the card. "Good luck in your new job?" he exclaimed, looking at the man who handed him the card. "He's dead."

"No! Who's it for then?" the co-worker asked.

"His mum, you idiot!" Gary shot back. "Shit."

Ianto and Gwen exchanged looks while the two men continued to squabble until Gary walked away in a huff. They started to follow him but was stopped by a woman.

"Is it true?" she asked them. "He got run over?"

"Yep," Ianto replied. He felt Gwen bristle slightly.

"Oh, God. Sorry," the woman said, starting to get upset. "I'm Linda. I'm a Silver Seller." She started to cry.

Gwen fumbled through her purse and pulled out a tissue to hand her. Ianto decided to allow Gwen to continue to get information from this co-worker who appeared to know Eugene well.

"Excuse me, but where does Gary sit?" he asked. He gave Gwen a small smile, his eyes shifting slightly toward Linda.

"Number 50," she replied.

"Thank you," Ianto said, gently guiding Gwen to sit down in the spare chair in Linda's cubicle. He continued onto to find cubicle 50.

The cube was empty when he got there, but he decided to sit down and look around. He found nothing to help their investigation, except for the same pamphlet they had found in Eugene's room. It gave Ianto an idea, but he was not sure Jack would be willing to agree to it.

He noticed Gwen standing up and about to head in his direction, so he stood up and went over to meet her.

"We need to go for now," Gwen said low.


"I'll explain when we're on our way out."

"Okay. Shall we?" Ianto offered her his arm and together they left the office.

It turned out that Gwen had set up a lunch meeting with Linda in a local diner.

Eugene followed Gwen and Ianto and found himself listening in on the meeting they had with Linda.

"Well, one day Eugene came in, very low," Linda was explaining over her lunch.

Gwen had settled for a tea and Ianto coffee. If Eugene was reading Ianto's face correctly, the young Welshman was regretting his decision to have the coffee. Eugene found it somewhat amusing.

"Why?" Gwen asked Linda. "Why was he low?"

"He wouldn't talk about it," Linda replied. "Anyway, I was fed up too because Craig had… Well, anyway, I said I'd love to get away from it all and go to Australia. Eugene suddenly got very excited. He said, ‘Yes, you've got to go.' I said, ‘But I haven't got the money,' and he said he'd get it for me."

"So he was going to pay for a ticket for you to go to Australia with him?" Gwen asked. "Was he in love with you?"

Eugene sat down at the remaining empty chair, which was next to Ianto, at the table as Linda stated, "Oh no. He loved someone he said was unattainable. He was just trying to look after me. He said, ‘Don't stay here and waste your life waiting for something that may never happen."

"Where was he going to get the money from?" Ianto asked.

"Exactly," Linda said cryptically.

"You said, ‘You haven't bought socks in six years.'" Eugene said, even though he knew he would not be heard.

"I said, ‘You haven't even had a new pair of socks in six years.' He stood up and he said…."

They were interrupted when Gwen's phone rang. She looked at the caller ID and glanced at Ianto. "It's nothing," she assured him.

Ianto nodded. "So he said?" he asked Linda.

"He said, ‘I'm going to sell it,' I said, ‘What?' He said, ‘My alien artifact.'"

Gwen and Ianto shared a look.

"So?" Eugene asked, leaning closer to Ianto.

"So?" Ianto asked, almost as if he had heard Eugene.

"So he brought it in to work," Linda said.

Eugene suddenly remembered bringing the alien eye the professor from long ago had given him.

He had showed it to Gary, Linda and a co-worker.

"It's a plastic eye," the co-worker had scoffed.

"It's an alien body part and I'm going to sell it on eBay," Eugene insisted.

Linda looked uncertain as she said, "Eugene, it's very nice of you, but I don't think that's going to get me the bus into town, let alone a flight to Sydney."

Eugene remained silent as he stared at his alien eye.

"Some people laughed," Linda said, bringing Eugene's mind back to the present. "But he went ahead and of course, it just sat there."

"She said maybe a photo, a bit more of a description," Eugene added, but no one seemed to hear him.

"Then, out of the blue, £2.50. A kid from Birmingham. And then…."

Eugene remembered then. There were more bids bringing it up to £75. He watched as the bids got higher.

"That was just the beginning," Linda continued. "Two hundred, three hundred, a thousand. They just kept going up. £3000! For a spare body part. Pete said you can get a bathroom suite with a celebrity appearance for less than that! Then one day, it just jumped."

"To what?" Gwen asked.

"£15,005.50," Linda replied.

Ianto was sitting back in his chair, appearing in thought while Gwen's eyes went wide in amazement.

"Who bought it?" Eugene asked, needing to remember. Once again he leaned close to Ianto.

"Who bought it?" Ianto repeated.

"I've no idea. Is it all my fault?" Linda asked, looking as if she was about to start becoming upset again.

"Of course it's not!" Gwen insisted, a little too forcefully.

Gwen's mobile rang again, and she glanced at it. "I'm sorry," she apologized to Linda. "I should take this." She patted Ianto on the shoulder as she stood up while she answered the call.

She spoke on the phone for a few minutes before going back to Ianto. "We need to go, Ianto. That was Eugene's mum." She gave Linda a kind smile. "Sorry, we're going to have to go. We're sorry."

Ianto said his goodbyes and thanks to Linda and took his leave to follow Gwen out of the diner.



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