Gwen calls Carys to make sure she's all right.
Jack and the others would certainly call this a bad idea; fuck them. If Gwen wants to feel bad about her mistakes, no one can stop her (nor could they, if she didn't want to).
"Hello, I'm PC Cooper, the one who found you and brought you home, after..." Gwen hesitates. Torchwood erased the girl's memories; Carys only remembers Gwen telling her about her boyfriend's death, talking of slight, shock-induced, amnesia.
"Is it for the investigation? I'm sorry, I don't remember anything else. It's a total black hole."
"No, no! I just wanted to... you know, check you're alright."
"Oh... yes, thank you very much! I'm sorry, I barely thanked you, that day! I don't even know your first name..."
"Gwen. I've been wanting to ask, it must be a stupid question, but... would you have time, one day, for a cup of coffee and maybe a little shopping? Just a girl thing..." She hesitates. "Of course, if every person you rescued did ask, it would make you way to busy, I guess."
"Of course not!" Gwen blushes. She hasn't saved that many people, certainly not Carys. But maybe she can help now. "I mean, yes! Maybe Saturday?"
Carys seems happier than on the phone; certainly happier than when she had to fight an alien for her own body, and it makes Gwen happier too.
Also, after the coffee there's a lot of laughs, a few secrets, and a lot of shopping.
It certainly helps.
"It's the first time I've had a cop friend. It's strange, but nice. I feel safe, with you."
Gwen would like to be sure it's not just an impression. But after all, why not? Aliens won't come and claim the world just because she's here, will they?
There's a few more jokes, and every potential alien is forgotten.
"I'm still sorry I imposed on your kindness. I don't remind you too much of your job, I hope?
- No, it's alright. On the contrary, it's the good part. Reminds me why I work.
- Do you love your job?
- Sometimes. Today, I do."
She lies a little; Carys reminds her too much of a few things. Gwen tries not to look at her smiling lips, her bare skin when she gets changed, but the memories are still here, almost worse than the real thing. Flaming kisses, burning embraces, and this incredible feeling, desire breaking all of her will, all resistance useless.
Of course, it was not Carys, just an alien in her body. It was... a pure chemistry thing, and not in the good way. Still it's the same face, the memory lingers, and Gwen still wonders how it would be to kiss her now, shameful of her thoughts yet, like a schoolgirl. If Carys knew, if Rhys knew...
"It was cool!" Carys says when they part. "And I didn't even think about Eddie that much..."
"I thought about Rhys... a little." Gwen says guiltily to herself. But Carys overhears. "Of course! But you can, because this new dress will drive him wild, I tell you!"
Carys is really lovely, and why has a mix of friendship and lust got to look so much like something else?
She's serious again. "Eddie didn't love me anymore, did you know? But I'm still desperate to know who killed him, and why."
Gwen knows the answers only too well... Would Carys be less sad, if she remembered how vile he was with her, in these moments Retcon washed away? Would she think he deserved it?
"Do you want to remember?" Her own boldness surprises her. She disagrees with the use of Retcon, stealing a part of people's life... but she doesn't know how to reverse it, does she? Except the way she discovered herself a few days ago, being exposed to the forgotten images again, causing a shock...
Oh my god, couldn't she find a less idiotic excuse, if she wants to kiss her so much? It's not the same as that day. She can resist, she really can, but does she want it enough?
Carys seems confused. "Do you think if I remembered, you could catch whoever did it?"
Gwen is so stupid. Of course, even if Carys remembered, she would still find herself guilty. Gwen hates to think like Jack would, but maybe in this case, erasing the memories was really the best way.
"No." she says, gulping and standing back. "No, even si, I don't think that you saw more than I did."
"So it's not so bad that I forgot." Carys says again, and Gwen smiles, and it's all the way it was before again, just friends. They don't kiss, of course. They just hug for a long time.
"I'm sorry again", Carys asks, "but can I call you again if I feel really bad?"
"Of course", Gwen replies, stroking her hair. "Of course you can."
Carys doesn't call again.
Gwen guesses it's better for them both, and she doesn't call back, either.