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 Courage and Closure, Tag: Gwen and Rhys
Maura Johnson
Posted: Jul 26 2011, 05:49 AM


No longer following orders
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Group: Civilians
Posts: 12
Member No.: 324
Joined: 13-July 11



A million thoughts were going through Maura's head as she approached the house. She thought maybe she should've run all the way there; then maybe she wouldn't be so nervous, or in need of a stiff drink. Maybe she should've worn her old bulletproof vest, just in case things really went wrong, but then, if death was her atonement, so be it. Maybe she should've sent a letter or called first, but she had the feeling that would make it ten times worse, considering who she was...confronting, was it? Maura only knew one thing for certain: this was crazy. But she had to do it, and not just for herself.

Ever since the five days of horror that completely changed everything Maura thought she knew about the government and being an agent, she'd been trying both to start over and seek atonement. So far, it wasn't going as well as she'd hoped, probably because seeking atonement had been the hardest part so far. Every time she tried to contact someone she wanted to apologize to, or every time she even thought about contacting someone she wanted to apologize to, she immediately chickened out and went searching for a drink. She knew that if she didn't do something and soon that her past would be the death of her. So it was that she found herself outside Gwen Cooper-Williams' house, paused by the fence as she tried to summon the strength to approach the front door.

Maura was terrified of how the Torchwood agent would react, even though she'd gone over every reaction and accepted each one. Hell, she knew Gwen could easily shoot her on the spot, and she was almost ok with that; she only thought Alice Carter would hunt her down and do it first. Maura shook her head to clear it; one impossible apology per day was enough. Two, considering that Maura owed Rhys as much of one as she did Gwen. The former agent was beginning to feel a little sick; her mental tangent had reinforced her misgivings, and the more she stood by the fence, the more she began to think this was a really bad idea.

Taking a deep breath and steeling herself before she could chicken out after finally having made it this far, Maura pushed open the gate with shaky hands and made her way up the path. Pausing at the front door, she sent out a prayer to whoever was listening, squeezing her eyes shut and biting her lip as she summoned every ounce of her courage. She found it almost humiliating that she, once a tough-as-nails government agent, was now struggling with something so small (or something that would have been so small, had possible redemption not been behind that door). Opening her eyes and taking another deep breath, Maura reached up and knocked.
Gwen Cooper-Williams
Posted: Jan 15 2012, 12:17 AM


death is not an option
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Group: Torchwood
Posts: 188
Member No.: 67
Joined: 21-May 09



It had been quite some time since the event with the 456, but that didn’t mean that Gwen and the other Torchwood employees weren’t still dealing with it emotionally. There were things that had happened there on Earth that had been absolutely atrocious, and there were some people that Gwen just couldn’t ever forgive. Those people at the top, all those government types… they had just been so quick to deal out Earth’s children without a second though, just as long as their families were safe. With Gwen being pregnant at the time, she hadn’t even known if she wanted to bring a child into such a world as this. But after everything was over and then after Anwen was born, she knew that she would fight by any means necessary to keep her safe and sound.

That included any random person from her past that showed up at her door that given day. Gwen heard the knock, and like any other time – be it the post man or a little girl selling cookies – she immediately jumped and became battle-ready. Narrowing her eyes at Rhys, who was just sitting across the table from her, she stood up and pointed at Anwen. She didn’t say a word; she didn’t have to. She and Rhys had practically reached the point that they would move in sync to protect their family together.

Whilst Rhys picked up Anwen, Gwen left the room to go to the next and grab a pistol from their closet in their room. They had set up their new flat very specifically so that it would provide the security that they both needed and wanted, after all they had dealt with. After checking that it was loaded and ready, Gwen moved back into the dining room, where Rhys was still there, holding Anwen. She nodded at him once more, and together, they moved into the parlor with the front door. Holding the pistol behind her back, she opened the door slightly with her other hand.

On their front stoop stood Johnson, former agent for MI-5. Gwen’s eyes widened, and her hand gripped more tightly on the pistol behind her. The government hadn’t exactly been helpful to Torchwood, and they had made it more than clear that they didn’t like Torchwood – especially when they had sent Johnson with her group to blow up the Hub. Peering out, Gwen looked long and hard at the other woman. She stood there in the daylight, seemingly out of place in front of their Welsh home and away from London. Besides that, she was dressed in plain clothes and didn’t look nearly as hostile as she once was. Still, that didn’t make Gwen any less suspicious. Glancing around, she realized that she didn’t see anyone else nearby, but that didn’t mean anything. She returned her gaze to Johnson, then pulled her arm around to aim the gun at her. If there was anyone else around, she wanted to make it clear that she wasn’t to be missed with. “What the hell are you doin' here?” she demanded.
Maura Johnson
Posted: Jan 15 2012, 01:25 AM


No longer following orders
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Group: Civilians
Posts: 12
Member No.: 324
Joined: 13-July 11



Maura's first thought, inane and irrelevant as it was, was that at least Gwen hadn't done anything the ex-government op wasn't expecting. Still, expected or not, Maura knew that her survival depended on her actions in the next few seconds. Said seconds were nearly wasted when her mind ran circles around itself in its dissection of whether or not she really wanted to survive, or if she only did so in hope of redemption before death, and so on and such.

Doing what any sane, unarmed civilian (oh, how her world had truly been flipped on its head) would do when they had a gun pointed at them, Maura raised her hands in surrender as well as proof that she was unarmed. The phrase "I come in peace" flashed through her head in a burst of morbid, nauseating humor that left a foul taste in her mouth, and she fought not to sway on her feet as all the guilt and horror she'd so frantically suppressed surfaced to lap at her ankles. She took a deep breath to try and calm herself as she forced herself to make eye contact with the Torchwood agent, scrambling for inner reserves she knew she didn't have.

"I - " her voice came out raspy and hoarse, and she cleared her throat before trying again. "I came to apologize." She inwardly cursed herself; her voice was weak and her tone submissive, and the fact that it was taking all her government training to keep from stuttering or fleeing or both shamed her to no end. Part of her screamed out that she was better than this - that she was just following orders and neither had to repent nor apologize. If the inner workings of the mind could be translated as sound, the force with which Maura shut up that part of herself would have echoed with a rather resounding thwack.

The hardest words came next: the ones she knew Rhys should be there to hear, for they were so painfully hard to say, and she wasn't sure she could rip them from her throat twice, even as sincere as she was. "I was wrong - about you, about Torchwood, about the 456, and...." Maura sighed. "You know as well as I do what it means to have to follow orders, but that doesn't make my behavior any less reprehensible, or my actions less foul, so...." She could feel the tears pricking at the back of her eyes, but she never looked away. "I'm sorry. I really am so, so sorry. I know it probably doesn't mean much, but I am." she ended with a shrug, hands still in the air.

Just when she thought she had maybe been able to keep herself from looking like a complete fool, babbling nonwithstanding, a noise from inside the Cooper-Williams household paralysed Maura where she stood. Even though the child was laughing about one thing or another, the sound hit her in a blast of raw fear, twisting and warping in her ears until it became the high-pitched scream of Steven: the sacrifice of one to save thousands. She flinched, panic flashing in her eyes as she shot an involuntary glance through the partially open door behind Gwen. Only after she'd returned her gaze to the Torchwood agent did Maura realize that her government training had failed and she was actually cowering, shivering. She immediately straightened, hands still raised in surrender, but from the look on Gwen's face, she could tell the damage had been done.
Rhys Williams
Posted: Feb 6 2012, 03:32 PM


Unregistered









The day was like any other, what with the pair of them on baby leave. Rhys and Gwen were being encouraging with smiles and etcetera. Little Anwen was in her high seat, and was doing her best to fuss over the current whipped mash of vegetables that Gwen was trying to make her eat. This little transitory time was precious for the both of them, and the little faces she made against anything that wasn't a bottle was endearing to the both of them.

Smiling wide, Rhys gave a little clap when Gwen was successful in getting their little one to nibble on the purée. Gwen's reaction was even more fun to watch as she opened her mouth wide then closed it to a beaming smile. Holding up the digital camera, he snapped off a click of Anwen's first actual food while she had the spoon in her mouth. And this of course caused the baby to blink with the flash. The sidelong chastising look that Gwen gave him was punctuated with a bit of dribble that Anwen made, when she pushed the mouthful out of her mouth.

"Oh, go on love," he encouraged. "It's really good! Here, look." He took the spoon and made her watch as he took a small bite. His right eye twitched as the flavour wasn't something he expected. "Are you sure that's asparagus?" he asked his wife. Seeing her snicker at him got him to smile, and he handed the spoon back over.

The knock on the door was completely unexpected, and the pair of them snapped their heads towards the door. When Gwen got up and gave him a look, he simply nodded. Taking Anwen from the chair, he wiped her face clean. "Shh. 'S alright, love. We can try again later." By the time Gwen fetched her pistol, he'd located the back up bottle that they'd pre-filled. His head snapped over to the door again when he heard Gwen.

“What the hell are you doin' here?” she demanded.

Standing from the table, Rhys inched over just in time to see Gwen point the gun out the door. Not immediately seeing who she was talking to, he froze when he heard the woman speak. So many different things went through his mind. Everything from being drug out the door in the middle of the night, to having to impersonate a coroner type person, to hiding out in the middle of a warehouse, then sitting out in the middle of a Uni campus - waiting for a phone call. Frowning at that, he was completely distracted when Anwen grabbed his nose.

Turning his head back down to look at his daughter, he smiled. Holding up the bottle, his grin got bigger when she giggled. "Yeah, that's what you want, isn't it you little stinker?" Popping the nipple into her mouth, he looked up just in time to see that same woman who caused them a lot of grief look through the door at him in what he could only assume was fear. Regardless, he backed up a bit and eyed the phone on the wall. His mobile was sitting in the charger in their bedroom, and was a bit far - and he couldn't remember Jack's number off the top of his head to begin with.

Still, that didn't mean he was just going to stand there. Looking out the door again, every fibre in him was screaming. "You're not having her," he stated flatly and loudly enough to be heard. "Don't care what you want, just leave us alone."
^
Gwen Cooper-Williams
Posted: Feb 16 2012, 11:24 PM


death is not an option
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Group: Torchwood
Posts: 188
Member No.: 67
Joined: 21-May 09



With Rhys behind her holding Anwen – and most likely ready to guard her with his life – and the gun that was in her hand, Gwen felt ready to take the woman before her down. All the feelings that surged within her at the mere thought of the 456 certainly helped. She gritted her teeth as Rhys spoke definitively behind her, keeping the gun trained on Johnson. She didn’t even know anything about her – what she was doing now, or even her first name. After everything with the 456 was over, Gwen had been too worried about protecting their unborn child, rescuing Ianto, and trying to resolve everything that had happened to Torchwood. Even though Gwen had finally moved on a few months ago, that didn’t mean that she wasn’t going to hold some very harsh grudges.

One of them was against the woman before her. The one that had blown up the Hub. The one that had tried to kill Jack. The one that had done whatever she could to take Torchwood down and destroy them. What would make Gwen think otherwise of her at this point? With the aliens threatening to take all the children on Earth, it certainly hadn’t helped that Johnson had tried to kill them – thus making it more difficult for them to actually do their job.

What Johnson said next, though, wasn’t what Gwen was expecting. Her eyes widened, and her grip on her gun actually tightening. “What?” she snapped. Apologize? What the hell did she think she was doing? She said how wrong she was about Torchwood and everything else that had happened then. What the hell did she think that meant to Gwen? An apology… What good could that possibly do? And besides, how could Gwen possibly believe her? Johnson had showed up out of nowhere well over a year after the incident to apologize. What was she to think? That she should just have a heart-to-heart and be done with it? She should forgive her and go on with life? Oh yes, that would bloody well make everything better, to have that off her chest.

Like hell.

Besides, it wasn’t as though Gwen were stupid. Johnson’s appearance on her doorstep didn’t seem to be so random. She suspected the worst, surely, especially with her daughter behind her. Despite the fact that she had had a baby, Gwen had only gotten more intense and deadly than before. She would do whatever it took to keep her family safe, and that included not believing the falsities that was coming from this woman’s mouth.

“You think that you can just waltz up to my front door and apologize?” Gwen asked incredulously. She kept the gun trained, feeling sharp and ready. She snuck a quick glance around outside to the neighborhood that surrounded them. She couldn’t make out any snipers or other hidden members of whatever group Johnson could be with. That didn’t mean they weren’t well trained and hidden, ready to move in whenever Gwen let her guard down for the slightest second. “You tried to bloody well destroy us, you did, and you want me to forgive you? Yeah?” Suddenly, she noticed Johnson shaking. She had heard Anwen laugh behind her, probably from something Rhys had done – but what? Gwen narrowed her eyes at the other woman. Her impatience and anger came out in her voice. “What the hell are you here for? What do you bloody want?”
Maura Johnson
Posted: Feb 17 2012, 06:54 AM


No longer following orders
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Group: Civilians
Posts: 12
Member No.: 324
Joined: 13-July 11



Maura was still alive, due to what she found to be an impressive display of restraint on Gwen Cooper's part. Being alive meant the ex-agent could still attempt to explain, though the chance of that working and/or being accepted seemed more and more futile by the minute. It was Rhys' angry shout at her that made Maura flinch again as if struck, heart and stomach twisting to the point where she wanted to vomit. He thought she was there for their child?!? Far from it; she was genuinely afraid that if she saw the infant - or however old he or she was - she'd have a panic attack.

"No, I don't expect you to just forgive me," Maura replied to Gwen, and though the words were true, they still made Maura's heart sink farther than it had already. She was hoping that at least they could talk about it, and that she could explain everything, but Gwen seemed to think that what she'd said so far was a load of bullshit, which didn't bode well for her. "Look, I was just..." she began, then stopped. She was about to argue that she was "just following orders," but it was a pitiful excuse, and it made her look like exactly what she'd been at the time: an unthinking, obedient tool who just did what she was told. "If I had known what was really going on, I never would have...I never would have done what I did," Maura tried again. "If I had known even half of what you showed me in that one video, I wouldn't have gotten in your way. I know it doesn't excuse anything, but...." She shrugged, hands still up in surrender.

She noticed Gwen's quick scans of the area and sighed. "You can stop looking for snipers; I quit the day after...the day after it all ended. I'm just Maura now." Her voice was bitter, and full of self-loathing. "If you don't believe me, call down to The Forum Bookshop - it's where I work now. It's by the Plass...to remind me."

Maura sighed again. "I really am here to apologize, but I can't blame you for not believing me. It's not like I've done anything to earn redemption. I figured I'd try, though." The baby made another noise in the background, and she flinched yet again; she really had become far too jumpy, what with years of government training, but she wasn't surprised that said training had left her in one fell swoop of five days, never to return. "Maybe next year," she mumbled, turning and walking back down the front walk.

She was halfway to the footpath when she dropped her arms and turned. "Tell me it doesn't wake you up every night," she demanded, eyes haunted, voice quavering more than she would have liked. "That scream."
Gwen Cooper-Williams
Posted: May 9 2013, 09:36 PM


death is not an option
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Group: Torchwood
Posts: 188
Member No.: 67
Joined: 21-May 09



The gun was still cold in her hand, and Gwen kept her arm trained on Johnson. The other woman started talking, and Gwen allowed her. Her words were at the back of her throat, threatening to spill forth. She should just hush her, tell her to get the hell away from them, let them be. But something about her – was it sincerity? – that prevented Gwen from stopping her. Was that a mistake? Was Gwen letting her emotions and sympathy get the best of her? What if Johnson was here to fake an apology long enough for them to move in and get them?

But in the middle of the day? And in the front of her house? Surely they could have snuck in from the back more easily at night. Not that they would have gotten in without Gwen’s knowing. The place was wired like crazy with security devices. Call it paranoia, but so much had happened in the last few years, including the mess with the 456. Or perhaps especially that mess. No, maybe Gwen should actually hear her out. Despite the fact that Johnson had been blindly following orders, perhaps she really hadn’t known any better. And hadn’t she helped them in the end? Hadn’t she seemed truly shocked by the truth after it all?

Gwen watched as the woman flinched, just from Anwen’s coos behind her. She furrowed her brows slightly. It was only a baby babbling; had this former agent been reduce to this? She was still fighting her own internal battle, forcing down her feelings about Ianto’s death, Jack’s grandson’s death, and all the children being hunted down. The 456 were the monsters; those government officials with the orders had been the monsters. Had Johnson been? Perhaps not after all.

Johnson turned to leave after Gwen remained silent, still unsure with herself. She started walking away, but then spun back towards the door to ask a question. Gwen let her arm fall, the gun at her side instead of trained on Johnson any longer. Gwen stared at her for a bit, gaze softening slightly. She swallowed hard, then turned to Rhys. “Take Anwen up,” she murmured. He gave her an incredulous look, putting a hand out to stop her. “I think… she might be telling the truth.” Rhys paused, face pained, but then nodded and went up the stairs. Gwen stepped out of the door, closing it behind her. She sat on the stoop, then nodded towards the spot beside her for Johnson to sit. “I swear to God, if you’re fooling us, you won’t live to see the sun go down,” Gwen said in a low, firm voice. She swallowed. “But I’ll hear you out.”
Maura Johnson
Posted: Jun 1 2013, 09:37 AM


No longer following orders
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Group: Civilians
Posts: 12
Member No.: 324
Joined: 13-July 11



Maura couldn't believe what she was hearing. She honestly expected to be dead by now, but there was Gwen Cooper-Williams motioning for her to sit down and tell her story. Shaky as all hell and wishing she had a drink, she walked to the stoop and carefully sat down, keeping her movements slow. She rested her elbows on her knees and sighed, not quite sure where to start.

"When I was given the assignment to go after Harkness, they didn't tell me much," Maura finally began. "They just told me that he was a threat that needed to be eliminated. At the time, I was...I was just following orders, but saying that now makes me sound like a pawn, and that's exactly what I was." Her tone was bitter and self-loathing. "I was taught not to ask questions, and now I realize that I should have. I can never make up for what I did to you and Harkness - especially Harkness. My superiors made him out to be a monster, but after watching him, after you showed me the truth...I realized that he was human, with human emotions and flaws just like the rest of us. My superiors, my colleagues, and I...we were the monsters."

Johnson sighed again, trying to steady her breathing and keep her composure. "You weren't there when Harkness made the choice that humanity has always questioned: do we sacrifice the one or the few to save the many. He watched as his own grandson died saving all of the children of Earth. He didn't say anything to explain, didn't tell him anything, didn't even say goodbye. He just let the soldiers put him in place and he watched. We all watched. One minute he was a scared but curious kid asking his "uncle" what he wanted him to do, and the next, he was just looking at nothing, and seizing where he stood as he fried, and that scream..."

Maura wrapped her arms around herself as she tried to stop from shaking, feeling tears prick behind her eyes. As much of a relief as it was to finally say it, to get it all out, reliving it all still hurt. "How does Harkness do it?" she asked, turning to look at Gwen. "How does he go on after having to make decisions like that? After sacrificing his own grandson?" She looked away again. "I wasn't even related to the kid, didn't even know him, but...everything I'd done, the truth I'd seen about the 456, knowing that the world was was willing to sacrifice children, watching that boy give his life to save us without even knowing what was happening and without the rest of the world knowing about his sacrifice, about how brave he was...it broke me," she admitted in a whisper.

"I quit. I resigned the day after everything was...resolved, I suppose, but not really. But I haven't been right since. I can't even look at a child without remembering that boy's face. I can't hear a child's laugh without it becoming that scream - that scream that haunts me every night." Johnson sighed, rubbing her forehead. "I work in a bookstore. I don't talk to anyone or have any friends. I drink too much, and when I can't sleep, I go for a run, even if it's two in the morning. And if that doesn't work, I still drink too much."

She looked over at Gwen again. "I know I'll never find forgiveness for everything I've done, but...I am sorry I did all of it, more than I can possibly express in words. And I do want to find redemption - not just for my own sake, though that's definitely a factor," she added without humor, "but because I want to make things right. I know a million good deeds won't cancel out the bad ones, but I want to try and...fix what I've done, I suppose, and then some. Now that I know what's out there and what creatures like the 456 can do and how the government deals with it, well, I don't want to be on their side anymore. But...I don't know how to fix it. I know apologies aren't much - hell, they're hardly anything in this case, and they'll never be enough, but...I guess it's a start - accepting the truth and owning up to my mistakes, whatever the consequences may be. And if those consequences mean you shoot me in the head right here on your front stoop, I won't stop you." She meant it.
Gwen Cooper-Williams
Posted: Jun 8 2013, 12:31 AM


death is not an option
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Group: Torchwood
Posts: 188
Member No.: 67
Joined: 21-May 09



Either she was really good at lying or she was telling the truth. Gwen might have been extremely slow to trust people, but for some reason, she was actually starting to believe the woman as she spoke.

Gwen had met Johnson before and had seen how she acted. This woman had seemed like any other government soldier, ready and willing to do whatever her orders dictated. Yes, she had been the one to blow up the Hub – and Jack Harkness along with it. Yes, that was hard for Gwen to accept. But honestly? If it hadn’t been Maura Johnson carrying out those orders, it would have been another one of them. It would have happened, most likely, no matter what. And another person might not have been sorry afterward. After everything they had seen and been through, another person might have tried to stop or kill them to the very end. Torchwood might not have even made it through everything.

All of them might not even still be alive right now. The 456 might have won without someone else from the inside helping them.

Gwen listened to Johnson, starting to actually feel sorry for her. Or maybe it was the fact that someone had shared the same sort of misery and confusion after the whole incident. It had taken Gwen a long time to move on from it as well. How could the government just be ready to hand over the children? How had Jack sacrificed his grandson? Why hadn’t Jack been a little smarter about taking Ianto into the building with him to face the 456? But Ianto had come back, and Stephen hadn’t. How did that still weigh on Jack, and how did it still affect him? How had he even made that choice to begin with? It didn’t help that such things as that would stick with the man for his extended – possibly never-ending – lifetime.

But Gwen had still had the others from Torchwood to help her get over it. She had still rediscovered her purpose after meeting Centauri. She knew that she had been doing the right thing, and that if she didn’t persist, then those monsters that wanted to hand their children over to those aliens could win in the future. They might not have someone to stop them then. Gwen knew that she had to be that someone, if she could.

When Maura finished talking, Gwen was silent for a long moment. It wasn’t that she didn’t believe her; she had decided about halfway through that she had. No one could talk and look like that – that fear in her eyes, those echoes of the nights that haunted her – and not be telling the truth. “I’m not going to shoot you,” she said in a low voice, at last. She shook her head. “I don’t… really know what to say.” She sighed, then looked directly at Johnson. “It took me a long time to get over it all too. But I finally did. It was a chance… meeting that did it.” She smiled ever so slightly at the memory of the older Time Lord. She had happened upon his TARDIS, and then insisted, despite being seven months pregnant, on helping those people that had sent that distress signal. All of that had made her see things again, see why she wanted to stay just where she was. “I think the shock of all these terrible things was just too much. And then realizing that you were on the wrong side… That could be devastating to anyone. But at least you realized it and are trying to turn away from all that.”

Gwen swallowed. “I don’t think it’s my forgiveness that you need to move on. I think what you really need to do is forgive yourself.” She paused to let that sink in. She gave a hint of a smile. “But… if it helps… I do forgive you as well.”
Maura Johnson
Posted: Jul 24 2013, 06:16 AM


No longer following orders
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Group: Civilians
Posts: 12
Member No.: 324
Joined: 13-July 11



Maura had to admit, she was very surprised Gwen hadn't shot her. The fact made a horrible thought surface from the deepest recesses of her brain, and she had to fight a wave of nausea: part of her had wanted Gwen to shoot her. Maura inwardly shook herself, concentrating on the agent's words. "You're lucky," she murmured, "That you found a way to get through."

Gwen's next words actually brought the hint of a grateful smile to Maura's face, though it was tinged with regret. True, she had come to her senses, but it was still far too late. She didn't even know if it was possible to fully turn away from what she'd done, her deeds like a second shadow clinging to her footsteps. She was trying, yes, but it was never enough - never enough to take away the burden. Like Sisyphus on the mountain, she lost everything she gained, over and over and over. Trying just wasn't enough.

“I don’t think it’s my forgiveness that you need to move on," Gwen was saying, and her words confused Maura. "I think what you really need to do is forgive yourself.” The ex-government agent frowned. Forgive herself? But that was impossible. She could never forgive herself. She needed redemption and forgiveness in the eyes of the people she had hurt so much; her own feelings - her own life - were of no consequence. “But… if it helps… I do forgive you as well.”

Maura felt as if the ground had fallen from beneath her and left her drowning - drowning in emotions she'd forgotten she had. She gasped for air as her chest constricted, the shell around her heart cracking at the edges. A burden like that of Atlas seemed to drop from her shoulders, and suddenly she could breathe again. She was crying - she knew she was crying - but there was nothing she could do to stop the flood of relief as the pain began to leave her for the first time. "Thank you," Maura managed to whisper, lifting her head to look at Gwen and actually smiling for the first time in what felt like an eternity - like another lifetime ago. "I...I'm not sure I really deserve it yet, but...thank you."

The ex-agent sniffed and wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. "Forgive myself..." she murmured, pondering Gwen's earlier words. "How? Why? I hurt so many people...they're the ones I need forgiveness from. How do I even begin to make up for what I've done to them - to you?"

((OOC: Sorry this took so long. I wanted to wait until I was sure I could make it perfect, and then I waited too much. o.O tongue.gif))
Gwen Cooper-Williams
Posted: Jul 15 2014, 10:40 PM


death is not an option
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Group: Torchwood
Posts: 188
Member No.: 67
Joined: 21-May 09



Gwen was truly surprised by how much her own words seemed to affect Johnson. She watched as it seemed as though a weight were lifted from the other woman's shoulders; part of the burden had finally been removed. She hadn't known how much, even with what Johnson had said since she had been here, that she had needed to hear that. Gwen would have told her that months ago, or at least as far back as she herself had been able to move on. She remembered the year of doubt and grief, wondering if she could truly get past it all and continue working for Torchwood. But they were the good guys, or at least as good as it could get. And she knew that she, in the very least, was trying to right whatever wrongs she could, and perhaps she would save the world a few times in the process.

She saw the woman was still suffering, even with the forgiveness that Gwen had delivered. Johnson still had her own guilt, having done so much to others that she couldn't possibly begin to think was alright. But that wasn't the point, and Gwen knew it. She had made her own mistakes, and she had been apart of Torchwood when they had done things from time to time that she didn't agree with. But she couldn't wallow in it. That was just too dangerous.

She didn't know if she had the right answer, or an answer that would even help at all. Gwen only knew that she could share what had helped her through this mess. "It sounds trivial and like it'll never be enough but... you just have to learn from it and move on. Realize what you did wrong, apologize for it, never do it again, and find where you can make a difference. If it's simply finding a job in a store or at a desk in some office, at least you're not doing what you were doing before." She thought for a moment, realizing that for people like her and Johnson (or at least from what she knew of Johnson from the few times she had interacted with her), there was no moving on without trying to make retribution. She needed a penance, a way to give back and try to make things right again.

"Or there's always Torchwood," she said slowly, looking Johnson in the eye again. She sat up a little straighter. "There's a branch in London, the headquarters. I know it's still so secretive and difficult to contact them directly, but you have a recommendation from another branch, at least." Gwen smiled a little bit again. She didn't know if Johnson wanted to be involved in another secretive government organization, but if she did, at least she would be working for the good guys this time.
Maura Johnson
Posted: Jul 18 2014, 09:51 AM


No longer following orders
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Group: Civilians
Posts: 12
Member No.: 324
Joined: 13-July 11



As much as Maura wanted to believe what Gwen was saying, acceptance and learning and moving on were so much easier said than done. That said, it was something she hadn't tried yet; instead, Maura had spent her time wallowing in her own self-flagellation and nightmares. Only now, only after talking with Gwen did she realize how wrong she was.

Of course, Gwen's forgiveness certainly helped matters.

As for making a difference, Maura wasn't sure working as a bookstore clerk really cut it, considering what she used to do. But in MI-5 she had been making the wrong kind of difference - the kind that hurt innocent people and prevented those who made the right kind of difference to do what they could, what they had to. Even though she'd helped Jack in the end, she couldn't help but wonder, as she'd wondered since the end of that horrible fifth day, what might have happened if she'd let Torchwood handle everything from the start.

But Gwen was right. It was over. She had to move on. Somehow.

"Or there's always Torchwood." Maura met Gwen's eyes with stunned incredulity, but she saw nothing but honesty in the agent's gaze. "There's a branch in London, the headquarters. I know it's still so secretive and difficult to contact them directly, but you have a recommendation from another branch, at least." The ex-agent could only stare at Gwen, stunned even further by the fact that the woman would actually give her a recommendation. Maura had blown up Torchwood 3 for God's sake!

But to work for them now. To fight the actual good fight. To find retribution...

"Torchwood..." Maura whispered aloud.

The right kind of difference.

For the first time in a year, Maura smiled. For the first time in a year, she chuckled. "If you can't beat 'em, right?" she quipped. She sighed - a sigh of contentment and acceptance and decision. "London, huh? Where in? Where...where do I start?"


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