Captain Theodore Harkness sighed softly looking up at the stately home before him, Button House. The home that had brought nothing but pain to his life. His new home for the duration of the war. The newest torchwood location. A backup in case torchwood one ever fell.
He and his Lieutenant William Havers had equipment to set up and the house to prepare for the army soldiers that would soon be joining the pair at the house; there were also plans to make. Rations to set out, secure location decided for their secret work for torchwood. Theodore looked to the side to his partner, his lieutenant, his second in command, William. While William wasn’t well versed in the military having been studying teaching when recruited by Torchwood he was a quick learner and the only person to volunteer to join him at Button House. William was Theodore’s comforting reassurance that the plan with Button House would work.
The pair shared a smile before getting the equipment from the car they had been allowed to keep on hand at the house. They surveyed the house before choosing the most secluded and almost hidden room to set up the equipment for monitoring alien objects and anomalies. They also set up a few filing cabinets and containment units for anything they collected and any files that would need to be transferred to The Archives in London after the war. After this they both chose bedrooms not far from the secluded one as well as setting up the office that would be Theodore’s as The Captain of Button House.
Time seemed to speed up over the next few months as the war and their research for torchwood kept them extremely busy with a constant stream of activity day and night.
The soldiers of the house had slowly begun to realise how much time the pair spent together. More than anyone had expected which caused suspicions and speculations to be spread among them. Neither of the pair were new to the suspicions that were being shared, they knew the assumptions would be. Homosexuality was illegal after all though Torchwood were more accepting and understanding than parliament or the military.
This led to their following discussion over Project William, a landmine made of alien technology, one evening.
“Sir, Theo, they’re whispering of reporting us to the military higher ups. Due to the hours we spend together, should we be worried?”
“I’m not sure and it’s not like they’d believe the truth. If they do I’ll do my best to protect you but I can't promise that you’ll be safe, we both know I can't. Torchwood is a health hazard on its own let alone the military. I really do care about you Will, I just hope we both come out of the war alive.” he told William honestly. He loved the other with all his heart.
“I know Theo and so do I about you. Your one of the oldest Torchwood agents still alive, not many can say they made it to 35, love” William smiled as he used one of their private pet names
“No they can’t dear, now we should get back to work before we run out of hours left in the day” Theodore smiled back before they both turned back to the landmine between them
“Are we even sure it’ll blow up?” William thought out loud worried.
“Alien tech is always unpredictable and this is all the materials we have so we can’t even test it because we wouldn’t be able to recreate it”
“I wish we had enough for a test run but instead it’ll likely end up in the archives forgotten and a testament to our time here.” William sighed knowing the archives well by now.
“Sad but true, I just wish we had as much experience as the team in Cardiff.”
“Cardiff sits on a rift through time and space; they have the most action on account of that rift. The people of the city are used to it, imagine if London had a rift it would be so much worse, chaos would take over quickly.”
“I don’t know how they bally hell manage it. Especially with Jack running round as a freelancer”
“He is an expert in all things alien sir, Torchwood needs his knowledge to keep up with the threats to the empire.”
“There's talk of alien artefacts ending up in the hands of the Fritz in North Africa. It’s only a matter of time before agents are sent over to retrieve what they can. William, dear, I know you want to be involved in the war more than just our research here but are you sure it's wise? The enemy has technology we have no idea about I mean”
William looked him in the eyes with a soft look in his eyes “Sir, Teddy, if we don't retrieve it from them then it makes them a more dangerous enemy to the empire. I know you worry but please trust me on this. We can’t let them become even more dangerous”
“Alright Will. I trust you. Just come home to me when it’s all over. Losing you may be the thing that finishes me off” Theodore smiled back before kissing the younger man’s forehead.
Lieutenant William Havers would be reported killed in the line of duty a mere week into his deployment in North Africa in January 1941. The captain didn’t take it well and threw himself deep into his work for the army and torchwood. Captain Theodore Harkness Died during an anomaly that London had picked up on its sensors. He died at Button House as he returned to retrieve the last of torchwood from the home. Project William buried in the garden. He never made it past the driveway. He died wanting nothing more than for torchwood to finish what he had started. He wore his military uniform with his medals on that miserable day to appear like a normal soldier of the war.
Project William would remain forgotten in the garden for just ever 70 years. That was when the new owners had begun digging and cleaning the garden and set off the landmine by setting fire to the dead brush above it activating the alien components. The Captain hadn’t lied when he had told them it was ‘potentially explosive’, he had no idea if it would be explosive or not.
He wished that William had been there to record the results for the archives. But what archives were left? Torchwood London had been raised to the ground after the fall of canary wharf, he had heard about it and Heather had had a cyberman in her living room. He had ordered that she and the others got outside and as far from the house as they could manage while he stayed and monitored it and tried to prevent damage to the house; he remembered being terrified when it appeared. His oath to the crown seemed pointless in death. He couldn’t protect the empire, now the commonwealth like this, a ghost, dead.
That night as he sat in the window seat of the window that gave the best view of the gates of the house in the TV room, while everyone else watched the TV his eyes focused on the gates. He expected to relive the same memory that he always did when he looked at the gate, William’s departure. Instead he saw a man unchanged by time that he knew wasn’t a memory the man himself was here.
Captain Jack Harkness.