When Gwen walked into the Hub on her second day of working for Torchwood it was to find a scene of total devastation. Desks were overturned, paper was all over the floor and the rest of the team appeared to be hiding under whatever furniture they could fit under.
“What’s going on?” It was a perfectly reasonable question.
“The pterodactyl’s just discovered that its mum’s dead.”
“Suzie. She tamed it right from the start, fed it and everything. Don’t think it’s too happy she’s gone.”
“Oh for gods sake, it’s a she, not an it.”
“How do you know that?” Ianto sounded surprised.
“It’s obvious. In fact…” Gwen quickly navigated the computer nearest to her. “Here we go. Pterodactyl, female, responds to Myfanwy.”
“It has a name?”
“Of course SHE has a name. No wonder she’s attacking you if you treat her like an it.” She looked around. “What happened?”
“I let HER out for breakfast, but she went berserk, flying round smashing things to try and find Suzie. She won’t accept food or anything from any of us.”
“Where is she?”
“Over there I think. I’m not going to look.”
Gwen sighed and headed over to the far corner that Ianto had indicated. Scooping up some of the food left on a nearby table she moved cautiously forward.
“Myfanwy? Myfanwy, I’ve got breakfast. Come on, it’s alright. Come on Myfanwy.”
Her tone was that of a trainer talking to a frightened animal, her movements smooth and obvious. She laid the food on the floor in front of the gap she thought the creature was hiding in. How she’d got into the space next to the body cabinet Gwen didn’t know, but it was a good hiding place. Leaving the food where it was she retreated, all the while calling softly.
It was a few minutes later when Gwen saw the first sign that she wasn’t talking to herself. A quick appearance of a scaly head from the corner that retreated just as fast. She kept up the soothing noises until the pterodactyl emerged completely, heading towards the food. Obviously hunger was greater than the lack of Suzie.
When the creature was more interested in the food Gwen cautiously moved closer. “Myfanwy, it’s alright, I’m not going to hurt you.” She got a wary look but the creature didn’t move away. Obviously a female who knew her name was an improvement on a male who didn’t know her gender.
Edging even closer Gwen cautiously put out her hand. Myfanwy obligingly nudged it, putting her head underneath in a clear demand for a stroke. Gwen grinned. Looked like her time working in the pet rescue centre near her university had its uses. She’d never thought it would be needed for something like THIS, however.
Gradually standing up she guided her new charge up the steps to her cage near Suzie’s old desk. The main nest was up in the roof but the smaller one would do for the moment, although from the way Myfanwy was acting it would have to be moved closer to Gwen’s desk at a later date. Leaving the rest of the food on the floor of the cage and gently closing the door she turned round to find the rest of the team staring at her.
“It’s a PTERODACTYL, and you just calmly walk up and tame it.”
“Just goes to show what knowing someone’s name can do.”
When Jack arrived back at the Hub after dealing with the final clear up of the Carys case it was to find his newest team member softly murmuring to the pterodactyl, whose cage had somehow been moved to next to her desk, and the rest of the Hub in a mess. Paper was scattered all over and some of the computer equipment was on its side.
Ianto was clearing up in the medical area. Heading over Jack cut straight to the point. “What happened?”
“Myfanwy got a new mum.”
“The pterodactyl discovered that Suzie was dead, went a bit wild. Gwen managed to calm her back down and seems to have been adopted as step mum.”
“Why, exactly, was the newest member of the team the one to tame it?”
“Because the others were hiding under tables in fear.” Came Gwen’s voice from behind Jack. He raised an eyebrow at Ianto. “Something you neglected to mention?”
“It’s a pterodactyl sir. You can hardly expect us to calmly pet it.”
“And yet our newest recruit is quite happy doing just that.”
“It’s hardly my fault you pick the insane ones.”
“No offence meant.”
“And use HER not IT. More personal.”
Ianto rolled his eyes as if to say ‘I rest my case.’
“I’m quite happy to look after her, Jack. She’s cute.” He looked at her as if she was crazy but nodded.
“Fine, you get the pterodactyl bonus. You have to be in early to feed her and have to put her to bed at night. Ianto can let her out in a morning before she’s fed.”
“I get a bonus for that?”
Gwen backed away with her hands up. “No, I’m fine with it. Unexpected, that’s all.”
“Whose idea was the name?”
“Suzie’s,” was the succinct reply. Upon receiving a questioning glance from Jack, Gwen elaborated. “It was on file. Responds to Myfanwy. I can hardly rename her.”
Jack shook his head in disbelief but walked out, leaving Ianto cleaning up and Gwen stood on her own. She turned back to her desk and made sure Myfanwy was ok before settling down to do some research. If she was going to be a pterodactyl’s mum she was going to have to do a lot of research. Not that there was likely to be a lot of information on the care and handling of pterodactyls, but she was sure she would find SOMETHING.