Owen cried out in frustration as he knocked a pile of papers off the counter on his way to the fridge. "Seriously, I can't take this anymore. We have to find another solution!" It wasn't the first time he'd voiced the sentiment.
"Like what, exactly?" Jack retorted. Also familiar.
"Anywhere that isn't here!" Owen kicked at the papers scattering the floor. "I can't even get a drink from my own bloody fridge without finding something in my way."
"I know it's awkward," Jack said placatingly, "but it's…"
"…only temporary, yes I know," Owen finished for him, taking a step back to perch on the edge of his sofa. "Until that thing tells us it's safe to go back into the Hub." He gestured at the globe, currently glowing a bright orange, which had taken up a prominent place on top of the microwave.
It had been orange for three and a half weeks already, and Owen was beginning to wonder if it was broken.
"At least you don't get to your fridge and find out Jack has rearranged everything in it…" Ianto muttered quietly behind him. Owen was fairly sure Ianto hadn't meant to say that aloud, but he wasn't surprised at the sentiment. In the time they'd been trapped out of the Hub, tensions between Jack and Ianto had been even more strained than those between the rest of them. They all needed just a little more space.
"If I'd known it was going to last this long, I'd never had let you bully me into this."
"Wait, did you just say 'Owen's flat?' Why the hell are we going to my flat?" Owen shouted as they ran along the quay in the dim dawn light.
"You're the one who set off the device; you're the one with the biggest flat; you live nearby!" Jack yelled back. "Take your pick!"
They drew to a panting stop as they reached the Plas. "And what does any of that have to do with anything?" Owen demanded. "Why did we have to trigger a lockdown and run, even?"
"I recognised the device the moment it started beeping. It's used by invading races, releases a massive quantity of lethal gasses. Wasn't enough time to disarm it. We need a base of operations until the toxicity has dropped to safe levels," Jack explained. "Should only be a few days, a week at most."
He pulled a small globe from his pocket, red light shining dimly from it. "The counterpart to this is on my desk. When it goes green, that's the indication that the Hub is safe again."
"You said days. Maybe one week. As of tomorrow it will have been six."
"So it was a more potent version than I thought." Jack stared hard. "That's not my fault."
"Maybe not, but taking over my flat…"
A sharp whistle pierced the room, and they all turned to Tosh, ears ringing.
Silently, Tosh pointed at the globe, which had suddenly- finally -flickered to green.