Okay, okay, okay. So. Here's the story of how Agent Davidson got turned into a puppy.
Wait. Slutty Davidson or Wanker Davidson?
Sl -- Andy Davidson.
Oh. Well that's no fun.
I wanted to hear about how Agent Davidson joined Torchwood.
It's the same story.
OK, this I might stay for.
It all started when the team was trying to catch a pair of high-tech fences from Iswop. You see, the problem with Iswoppers, in the local sense at least, is that they look kinda a lot like Alsatians. The dogs, not the beings from Altair. Now, the team didn't know this at the time. They thought they were looking for some aliens that had been swapping people's brains into dog bodies. So they brought some tech along to help them out. Only what they didn't know what that the CPD had caught wind of the goings on, and thought it was some puppy mill racket, and sent out a couple constables to check things out. Well, next thing you know...
"Oh my god," Gwen said, disbelieving. "You turned my partner into a dog!"
Ianto blinked, and put his hand on Gwen's shoulder. "Actually, I think he swapped his brain with that dog's."
PC Davidson put his hand on Owen's shoulder and started sniffing his neck, which would seem to support that conclusion. The puppy he'd been holding tumbled to the ground a bit ungracefully, barking little high pitched barks out of its tiny lungs, though it couldn't seem to decide between barking at Owen and Andy, or Gwen, and after a minute of running in circles, it gave up and flopped down, looking quite put out.
Jack gingerly took the device from Owen's hands. "I think I'll take that." He crouched down. "Hi. Andy?" He put on his most winning grin.
The puppy just bared its teeth.
That didn't seem to deter Jack. "I'm Captain Harkness. Don't worry. We'll have this all sorted out soon, and it'll be like this whole thing was just a bad dream." He stood, and clapped Owen on the back, a little too heartily. "Right, Owen?"
Owen grunted. "Right." He was still looking at the puppy.
Andy Davidson sat down in a bit of a controlled fall, and started to investigate the other puppy.
After some carefully controlled chaos, Owen ended up sedating PC Davidson -- to which the puppy objected, barking strenuously, Gwen barely holding it back (though she was also trying to hold back laughter, truthfully).
"Look, that may be your body, but there's a six month old Labrador Retriever behind the wheel," Owen growled, capping the syringe. "Do you really want it playing in traffic?" Andy silenced, but insisted on keeping careful watch over his body the whole way back to the Hub, looking at the others with baleful suspicion the whole time.
"Oh my god, you're adorable," Gwen said, unable to keep the smile off her face. She ruffled his fur, soft yellow puppy fur, full of fluff. Andy looked betrayed. Owen sneezed.
"Okay," Owen said, closing the cryo drawer. "Davidson's body is fine. Perfect condition, except for the sudden rise in brain cells."
Andy barked sharply. He'd been watching the proceedings from the top of the balcony rail.
"We'll keep him in suspended animation 'til we can swap 'em back. That way, nothing happens to him." He glared at Andy as he said this. "Can't say the same for you," he muttered, tossing his lab coat aside. Only Andy's ears picked up the words, and he barked again.
From somewhere up in the rafters, Myfanwy screeched, and Andy suddenly went very still.
"It's all right," Jack said, easily scooping Andy up, uncaring as to what Andy saw as a sudden lack of dignity. "Ianto's making sure she's well fed. She won't come looking for any midnight snacks." He slouched back onto the couch, absently scratching down Andy's neck and shoulders. "Still, the Hub's not a place for critters this small."
Tosh looked up from her desk and frowned. "It's going to be several days before I can get this thing to work in reverse. It was never meant to --"
Hold on, hold on. They made a device that could switch people's brains around but it couldn't reverse it? Couldn't they just use it again?
I don't know. I didn't build the thing, don't ask me. Maybe they broke it.
Maybe they wore out the battery.
Yes. Exactly. Maybe it was the battery.
But you just said Tosh said --
Hey, who's team leader here, and which one of us got into Torchwood because they couldn't tell right from left?
I'd thought you'd meant stage left!
Anyway, the point is, they were stuck with Andy Davidson, Puppy Constable for at least a couple of days. Between Ianto's refusal to take care of a puppy and Jack, Tosh's fear for her furniture, and Andy's dislike of Rhys, it was decided that Owen would be the one looking after Andy.
"What? Me? Why do I have to?" Owen protested. Andy seemed to agree.
"Because we need Tosh here to actually fix the machine, and we need to make sure nothing happens to him. What if somebody else finds him? I doubt Andy would appreciate being chipped." Andy whined a little. No he would not.
"Besides," Jack grinned, "who could say no to this face?" He pulled a pout of his own as he held Andy out, lower legs dangling, the picture of adorableness.
Andy later said that he was this close to pissing on Jack's shoes.
Owen glared at the puppy currently occupying his couch. Andy had apparently decided that there was nothing to do but go with it, or else his little puppy brain had decided it just couldn't cope with all this new information and returned to factory settings. Either way, Owen wasn't happy with it.
"Okay," he said, hunkering down a little so he could look the puppy -- puppy! -- in the eye. "There are a few simple rules to staying here. Forget 'em, and I don't care what Jack says, you're out on the street. Cardiff can get itself a new constable." Andy yawned, breathing dog breath in Owen's face. He thumped his tail a little.
Owen made a face. "Okay. New rule. None of that. You're an adult human being, and aside from the obvious, there's no reason you can't act like one. We know this is reversible, so don't do anything you don't want to pay for later, physically or metaphorically."
"So you say out of my stuff --" Andy raised an eyebrow. What stuff? This place looked like an ad for Repo Weekly. "Or we can go spend the rest of this time at your place, and I can go through your life. Alright?" Andy said nothing.
"And you'd damn well better be paper trained."
Owen was bored. He wasn't used to being home in the middle of the day, unless he was hungover and had just woken up. But they'd shoved him out the door before it was even 2:00, and with no laptop and no papers, there was nothing to read, and with the damn puppy he didn't even dare leave the flat. Which left little to do besides watch daytime telly.
He glared at the puppy that had stolen the remote.
Andy just blinked back at him. He'd chosen some sort of children's program, Owen didn't recognize it, and the hostess was pretty cute, in a perky sort of way, but that wasn't enough to get over the fact that he was being forced to watch this dreck, since Andy was seated squarely on the remote. He'd almost managed to get it away from him by rubbing his belly earlier, but as soon as he tried to stop, Andy rolled right back.
His fingers curled through Andy's soft fur without thinking about it, petting absently. He'd never had a pet as a kid, between his allergies and the fact that even at seven he'd known it would have been a terrible idea. Any animal would have tried to run away -- hell, he had -- and he was sure there was some sort of etiquette involved in when it was appropriate to pick up a puppy and banish it to the bathroom for the weekend. Especially when that puppy was actually a person, who'd remember it once they had fists again.
He kept petting Andy.
Owen later said that he had never been more glad to live near a park in his life. The reason they were going to the park several times a day was already embarrassing enough, and there had been no need to discuss the fact that leashes just weren't going to happen, either.
On the plus side, though, there were plenty of cute girls at the park. Of course, they were petting the puppy, not Owen -- and Andy was taking shameless advantage of it, apparently deciding to make the best of his predicament -- but he did manage to chat several of them up, and even got a few numbers. Not bad.
It wasn't just random women that it worked on, either. It worked on women who should know better, too. Tosh had come over to drop off a laptop for Owen after his incessant complaining the day before (he'd called the Hub at least half a dozen time, something totally unprecedented), and she was seated on his couch, letting the puppy on her lap lick her face. She was giggling, and in general acting very un-Tosh-like. He glared at Andy. Andy ignored him.
Hands on his hips, Owen surveyed the remains of his sandwich, plate still on the counter. It was supposed to be a bacon sandwich, but all there was was two slightly soggy pieces of toast, sitting open on the plate, which was suspiciously free of brown sauce.
There was definitely no bacon.
"I'd like to be able to eat some of my own food, you know," he said in a casual tone, though louder than was strictly necessary. This was actually the third sandwich that had had the middle stolen out of it. He moved across the open space to the other room, where Andy was lying sprawled out on the sofa, looking suspiciously content and not-hungry for someone who'd been snubbing their bowl of food all day.
"You're a bloody dog, you've got to have balanced diet or --" he waved a hand. "Something." Andy just lay there, stomach showing, an idiot dog grin on his face. "I've got lettuce, don't think you want salad for dinner," Owen grumbled. He didn't particularly want salad either, but it beat having your meal stolen by an ex-PC. He made a new sandwich and ate it immediately, before Andy had a chance to steal it.
The next sandwich, though, disappeared entirely. Not even the bread was left.
Hold on, how long's it been? Harper was a skinny bugger, don't think he'd eat that many bacon sandwiches.
Owen was like a vacuum, he could eat anything you put in front of him, no matter how disgusting. Though apparently anything's edible with enough brown sauce.
S'true. Also, bacon's totally an any-time food.
Thank you. And at this point, it was day two, so there's some justification on --
-- eating your way to a massive coronary.
This is why you're not our medic.
This was fucking ridiculous, Owen thought. Also, he was running out of bacon. He wasn't used to being in his flat for so long, he didn't have much food to start with, and he didn't trust Andy alone in his flat long enough to go shopping. He glared over the counter in the direction of the other room.
He considered asking Tosh to come over again to watch Andy, or maybe even just ask Tosh to bring him some food, but that would be setting a dangerous precedent. Sullenly, he pulled a nectarine out of the fridge, and, feeling a little spiteful, he shoved everything on the bottom level of his fridge up a shelf except for the cans of lager. He shoved the last of the bacon towards the back, behind the bread and the plastic containers of leftover takeout of unidentifiable age.
Andy was ignoring him with studied nonchalance from his place in front of the couch. The remains of the newspaper were scattered around him, and if Owen didn't know better, he'd say it looked like Andy was reading it. He stopped, and stared at Andy suspiciously. Andy looked up at him and yawned, mouth opening wide, pink tongue lolling out. Then he turned back to the paper, nose close to the text, until Owen shook his head and moved on.
It wasn't until almost half an hour later that Owen realized it was suspiciously quiet. Andy wasn't a very talkative puppy, but he was still a puppy, with clumsy paws and nails that clicked on the lino, and it was impossible for him to be this silent.
"Oi, Andy?" Owen called. There was no jingle of tags (a precautionary measure Gwen had insisted on) or sharp barks, and Owen moved into the hall cautiously. He always locked the door behind him, as a matter of habit, there was no way Andy could get outside -- no, the door was still closed.
But the spread of newspapers in front of the television had been abandoned, and the sofa was empty as well. There was no other way out of the flat. Andy had no reason to hide from him; the rest of the team was constantly talking about him, and he walked around the damn flat like he owned the place. Hell, in some ways Owen thought Andy was forgetting he was a dog and not a person.
He stepped up into the kitchen, but it was silent except for the hum of the refrigerator. Owen was about to give up when he noticed a handful of sauce packets on the floor. He looked at the fridge again. The fridge hummed back, placidly. Annoyed, and feeling foolish, he jerked the door open.
A rush of cool air greeted him, as usual. A low whine also greeted him, not as per usual. There was a scramble of claws and the bottom shelf trembled and rocked as Andy scrambled out. With an alarm he would never actually admit to, Owen scooped him up. His fur was chilled and when Andy tucked his nose under Owen's chin, Owen just buried his hand into the scruff of fur at Andy's neck and muttered "you stupid, stupid dog" under his breath.
After a moment, Andy pulled back a little and reached up to lick at Owen's cheek. Owen pulled a face. "You're going to have to remember to cut that habit out once this is over, you know." Andy just wagged his tail, his whole back end wriggling in Owen's grip, and bumped his head against Owen's chin.
"And if you break my fridge, you're paying for it."
Andy just licked his cheek again.
I don't think Harper ever actually admitted to it, but I'm pretty sure that's about when he gave in. Either then or when he woke up the next morning with 60 pounds of puppy sprawled across him, and he didn't do anything about it.
I'm trying to imagine Harper curled up with a puppy, and... Yeah, I really can't imagine that.
Owen was always more of a sprawler. Though he did have a bad habit of finding the nearest warm body and wrapping himself around it.
Oh my god. You didn't.
You bet I did.
I hate you. Stop grinning.
I think I'm going to be ill.
If you're going to be ill, you're going to miss the rest of the story. And all I'm saying is that Owen letting Andy stay on the bed with him? Sweet enough picture that it was totally worth the amount of bribery-bacon it took Davidson to tell me that story.
Is that why his desk always smelled like that?
Not entirely. At any rate, when Owen walked into the Hub that morning, he only had the slightest of flushes on his cheeks because of the fact that he was holding Andy in his arms.
"He doesn't like the traffic," he muttered halfheartedly. Andy wriggled out of his arms and tumbled to the ground, scampering towards the medical bay. "You're still there, I promise," Owen called after him. "Not like I've been here either, right?" There was a sharp bark in reply, but that was it.
Jack looked at Owen, the only one not bothering to hide his grin, or to attempt to look busy. "Your guest been behaving himself, then?"
"Don't even start with me."
Jack held up his hands in a gesture of mock surrender, and turned towards his office. "Oh, by the way, Owen, we've checked Andy's profile on Mainframe and given him an excuse so he's not AWOL from his duties --" probably more thanks to Gwen's efforts than Jack's concern for his fellow man "-- but you should probably stop by his flat and do a double check for anything we missed, make his alibi a little more solid." Jack paused by the door. "Take Andy with you. See if there's anything he wants." He cocked his head. "Is he at the teething stage yet?"
The answer, it turned out, was yes.
Andy's flat was small, and stereotypically bachelor-like. An impressive array of DVDs and CDs were shelved along one wall, and there was a fair collection of empty cans and unwashed plates by the sink. Several pairs of shoes stood near the door, and Andy nosed at them but otherwise left them alone.
"Sure, you have no interest in chewing on your shoes," Owen muttered. He reached for the phone to check the messages -- 5 missed calls, the screen read -- and jerked back in surprise as the phone rang. Andy ran towards it, barking frantically.
"I'm not going to answer it!" Owen protested. "I'm not stupid. Christ. Leave it." Andy kept barking. "Besides if I did answer it, their first question wouldn't be 'who the hell are you,' it'd be 'what's that barking?'" Andy quieted, sitting back with a whine. He kept looking towards the phone, though, as it clicked over to voicemail.
"Andy, luv, it's your mum. I'm just calling to make sure you got the message I left yesterday. Your father thinks that he can finish renovating the entire sitting room by himself, but I told him to wait until you get here tomorrow before he tries to--" Owen grabbed the phone quickly.
"Hi, sorry, uh, Andy can't make it." Usually Owen wasn't a half-bad liar, but he claimed that his ability to think was hampered by the puppy growling and scrabbling at his legs. That still didn't explain why he'd decided to pick up the phone in the first place, but it did explain why he didn't continue with something sensible, like 'he's sick.' "He, ah, he got called back to work on some special assignment -- ow!" he hissed as Andy nipped him in the shin.
"Who is this?" Andy's mum sounded rather taken aback.
"Oh, sorry," Owen said, realizing what a hole he was digging himself into. "This is... Jeff." If he was going to compound lies, he might as well go all out. Or something. "Yeah, I work with him. Boss said Andy was the only one with the training for this, not sure what it is exactly. Didn't get a chance to call or anything, so he asked me to give you a ring," he lied. "Lucky you called, really, couldn't find your number anywhere."
"I see," she said, sounding hesitant. "Do you know how long he's going to be away?" Owen considered. Andy's cell phone was either at the station or in stasis with his body. Tosh was still working on reversing the device, but he hadn't exactly been paying attention to that the last he was in the Hub.
"Day or two at most, hopefully," he offered. "Like I said, not entirely sure what they pulled him for. Seemed really sorry not to make the time off, though," he hazarded. "I'm sure he'll call you soon as he's free." He rang off as quickly as he could without being impolite.
From his spot near Owen's feet, Andy growled. Owen looked down. "Look, I panicked, sorry." He leaned back against the table. "Though you're lucky we did come over, what would your mum have thought if you'd just not shown up, with no notice?" He imagined most mothers wouldn't like that, though he avoided his own with everything he had.
Andy seemed to give it a moment's thought before giving Owen an unimpressed look and stalking out of the kitchen. Owen shook his head. It wasn't his mess to deal with. Andy could just call his mum again and say he worked with an idiot. Which was, he found out later, basically what Andy did. Though he didn't call the idiot Jeff.
They packed it up pretty quickly after that, Andy padding silently after Owen as Owen poked desultorily around the flat. There wasn't too much to capture Owen's interest, though if he'd known that Andy was going to end up staying with Torchwood, he probably would have done a bit more snooping.
On returning to the Hub, Andy was immediately scooped up by Gwen before he could get in so much as a yelp of protest. Though he didn't appear to be objecting too much, cuddled close to Gwen's chest. Owen gave him an idle glare but left him to it, stopping by Jack's office to warn him that they might have to go out and retcon Andy's mum if he was going to be 'indisposed' for too long. Jack, unfortunately, seemed to find the whole situation hilarious.
He hoped to at least find that Tosh was making some progress on the machine that had done this in the first place, but Tosh wasn't at her workstation. He found her sitting on the couch with Gwen, rubbing Andy's belly. She looked slightly guilty as he approached, but didn't remove her hand from Andy's soft fur.
"How's the machine going, then?" he asked, one eyebrow raised, arms crossed over his chest. Andy looked up at him, wide grin on his face.
"Nearly there," Tosh said, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. "I'm just running some final tests. Another four hours if we're lucky, but it could be up to nineteen."
Owen nodded, not interested in the details of whatever technical wizardry Tosh had performed, just in the results. "Let's hope it's closer to four."
Tosh frowned. "Let's be careful. We don't have a way to do another test run before we use it on Andy. The machine doesn't work that way. I can double-check the programming and run simulations on every possible permutation, but that's all that I can do to guarantee it's safe. If it doesn't work, Andy could be stuck like this forever. And that's the best result."
Andy whined and rolled over, sliding away from Tosh's hand.
"Yeah, I got it. Still." Here's hoping it works. He headed down towards the garage. After a moment, there was the clatter of paws and claws following him. "Piss off," he muttered. "I'm not leaving yet." Which was a lie. Andy scambled a little to catch up, bumping into Owen's legs with a familiar whine. "All right, fair enough. Ianto'd kill you if you did that inside."
They made their way down to the pier. Though it was a nice day, no one else was around -- probably a good thing, since they were technically violating leash law, and that was something Andy didn't want on his record -- and when Owen sat down on one of the benches overlooking the water, Andy jumped up next to him, propping his chin on Owen's leg.
"You know, this is the closest I've had to a vacation since joining Torchwood," Owen said, looking out at the Bay. "Well, without a hangover, at least. It's been... Nice, I guess." He looked down at the puppy. "You still owe me £40 of bacon, though." Andy just yawned, feigning ignorance.
Now, I don't have all the details of how Andy got turned back, no matter what I've tried. That only ever ends up with red faces, veiled glares and muttered apologies, and on one occasion broken medical equipment.
Considering they were both around afterwards, I'd say it probably worked out fine.
But how did that end up with Davidson in Torchwood? I mean, why didn't Jack just Retcon him?
I don't know Jack's logic. Maybe he thought the contact with the local constabulary would be good, so this didn't happen again --
-- Or maybe he had some other reason, I don't know. He never said anything about it to anyone, as far as I know. Not even Andy. He was surprised as hell when he found out about the existence of Retcon. But the point is, when Jack ushered Andy out of the Hub, headed towards his flat, everyone thought that was the last they'd see of him.
"I don't think that's alien. I think it's from Malaysia."
Owen whirled around in surprise. Davidson, in full police kit, was standing just behind him, peering at the piece of mangled machinery in Owen's hands. "What --" he started, surprised. It had been over a week since Andy had gone home, and with no sign of him, Owen had assumed that Jack had retconned the other man. Jack had done nothing to suggest otherwise, and even Gwen had heard nothing.
"Looks like the inside of one of those robotic dogs," Andy said. "Which is funny, actually, because --"
"No, I mean what are you doing here?" Owen looked around for Jack. But the team was spread out, and no one else was in sight.
"Well, we got some calls saying a bunch of shady-looking people in trenches and sunglasses had closed off a public thoroughfare." Andy tilted his head. "You haven't seen anything like that around here, have you?"
Owen huffed and rolled his eyes. "Just a couple 'tourists' we had to chase off." At the top of the hill behind Andy, Jack appeared briefly. He grinned and waved down at Owen, before turning away towards Ianto. Owen glowered. "They made a mess, and we are replacing it --" he pushed the mechanical parts at Andy, who was forced to catch them awkwardly. "-- with something a little less likely to make international news." He turned away.
"And actually, that's largely the remains of Tosh's blender. Apparently she broke it last week, and this way she gets a new one out of the deal."
"So long as you're gutting kitchen appliances, I vote fridges. It's bastard cold in yours, you know that?" Andy clapped Owen on the shoulder. Possibly a bit harder than necessary.
"No, I didn't," Owen said with a glare. He took some of the machinery back, planting it in the charred holes of the alley wall. "Because I'm not stupid enough to try climbing into it."
"You know, we've still got the puppy. I was thinking maybe your parents might like it. You know, as sort of an apology gift for disappearing on them the weekend you were supposed to go over and help them out."
"Oh you are a bastard."
"So, aliens." A look passed across Andy's face and he leaned back a little. "I mean, I'd more or less guessed it was something along those lines, but I figured it was probably a cover for whatever it really was. Not actually --" he waved a hand. "-- Aliens."
"More or less, yes," Tosh said, seated across the briefing room table.
Andy set his coffee down carefully. "You know, I'm pretty sure I don't want to know more than I already do. It's all right for you lot, you're fine coming off as egotistical prats when you venture into public. But I've got to interact with the public, they have to trust --" he broke off as Gwen and Tosh started laughing. "What?"
Gwen tried to hide her laughter behind her hand, but it wasn't working. "Sorry, sorry, it's just --" she waved a hand across the table at him. "I mean, you're --"
"Gwen, you used to be one of us, you shouldn't find this funny." Andy crossed his arms over his chest.
Ianto settled into a chair. "I think she's referring to the fact that Owen's been petting your hair for about ten minutes now."
Owen and Andy froze. Then Owen snatched his hand back. They both started arguing at the same time.
"Look, I got used to it, it's like background noise --"
"I don't even like dogs! It was just he was always there, and --"
Gwen and Tosh started laughing again, and even Ianto was cracking a smile, so they both shut their mouths, wearing identical horrified and embarrassed expressions.
"You were a very cute puppy," Tosh offered.
"Come on," Gwen said, a wicked grin on her face. "Owen's just a big softie, isn't he?" She leaned forward. "You can tell us."
"I --" Andy started. Owen glowered, and mouthed 'bacon' at him. "Tell you the truth, it's a bit of a blur. Mostly I remember taking a lot of naps. I mean, there was more, but I'd have to think on it." He grinned widely.
"Yeah, just don't start chasing cars or anything," Owen said. He'd have to see if bacon still worked as a bribe.
"Unless he was doing that before, I don't think he'd be doing that now," Jack said as he came into the briefing room. "You said he'd made a full recovery. You taking back your informed medical opinion, Owen?"
"No," Owen said. "However, upon further observation, I might be forced to conclude that he might have some extra dog brain to take up some of that empty space between his ears."
"I'm hurt," Andy said, throwing a mock pout. "You told that blonde woman in the park I was the smartest dog you knew."
"Yeah, well, how many dogs do I know?" Owen shot back, but it was a weak play.
Jack grinned and reached over to scruffle Andy's hair. "You weren't a dog for that long, most of the animal instincts should fade within a couple days." Andy's foot waggled and he looked at it sternly. "Though if you start growing a tail or anything, let Owen know, okay?"
Wow. I'm never going to be able to look at either of them the same way again.
I know! No wonder they were so close --
I always thought they were just gay for each other.
I don't know about that. But it does explain the stress ball on Davidson's desk.
What, the chew toy? That's nothing. Wait 'til I tell you about how Owen made Andy think he was pregnant to get back at him for ruining three pairs of trainers...