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Torchwood - Solution; 1/1

Title: Solution
Pairing: None; Character study
Characters: John Frobisher, the Prime Minister
Rating: PG-13 for subject matter
Spoilers: Spoilers for all of Children of Earth, especially Episode 5.
Summary: Frobisher makes a decision.
Disclaimer: Torchwood and its characters are owned by Russell T. Davies and BBC, not me. Dialogue is from Children of Earth: Episode 5.
Author's Notes:Thank you so much to teekachu for being my first reader and to baka_sensei for the amazing beta job and advice. All remaining mistakes are mine. One of the tragedies of Ianto's death is that I feel it completely overshadowed many of the smaller plot lines in Children of Earth, including Frobisher's. I found Frobisher's storyline to be very compelling and human and wanted to expand upon his story a little bit. And here we are. Cross-posted to my journal, torch_wood and torchwood_fic.


His own children.

He should have seen it coming, really. The perfect example. The dutiful civil servant who worked his way up the ladder by doing what he was told and never asking questions.

Why would he resist now?

Frobisher takes the metal box from his briefcase and runs his long fingers across the top, caressing it.

He'd been able to build a wall between his home life and his work life. His wife knew so little (absolutely nothing about the attractive young secretaries who came and went) and his children knew even less. The Official Secrets Act had made it even easier for him. All the secrecy, in the end, had been for their own good. For their protection.

The wall was destroyed earlier that day by the Prime Minister’s words.

“The inoculation story seems to have gained some currency. Might even be called popular,” the Prime Minister said.

“Indeed. And, ah, what’s that got to do with me?” Frobisher asked in reply. But already the mortar, the glue that kept the protective wall around his family solid and unbreakable had begun to crumble and fall apart.

“Your children will be inoculated,” said the Prime Minister, refusing to look up from his paperwork.

“I see,” Frobisher replied, not yet realizing the Prime Minister’s intent. The first brick in his protective barrier broke and crashed to the ground.

“In two hours, there’ll be selected news media at your house. You will be seen to offer your children for treatment. This will be broadcast on every network channel at twelve o’clock midday.”

Frobisher still failed to grasp what the Prime Minister was saying. Because nothing could harm his family. They were safe, he assured himself, as the next bricks began to fall.

“But there is no inoculation,” Frobisher said, desperately hoping this was just some fabricated media opportunity. His girls weren’t really in any danger. They couldn’t be.

“This action will help the public and show them no cause for unrest.”

“You mean I pretend they’re going to be inoculated,” Frobisher stated in denial, looking directly at the Prime Minister and meeting his gaze. A media opportunity, that was all.

The Prime Minister lowered his eyes to his paperwork.

“Your children will then be taken to one of the designated rendezvous points and they become part of the… part of the process. It’s our duty now to think beyond this terrible day, and once it’s over, the government must be seen as victims of the 456. We must be seen... to have lost,” the Prime Minister said.

With those words, Frobisher knew. The wall he had once thought impenetrable; the wall he had taken years to build and fortify; the wall that, before this day, could NOT be broken came crashing down with the realization that his children, his beautiful girls, were nothing more than sacrificial lambs to a government that wanted to save its perfect image.

For years he'd been the go-to man for that government. The man who always came up with a solution, no matter what the problem and carried out his orders without hesitation. Helping to decide which children would constitute the 10% of Britain's contribution to the 456. Ordering the execution of Captain Jack Harkness and the others who knew about that fateful day in Scotland, so many years ago. The subsequent destruction of Torchwood 3, all in the interest of public safety.

But he'd seen what was in the giant tank. He'd seen what used to be a child, now nothing more than a drug supply, attached to the 456 and kept alive so the alien could suck chemicals from it.

He couldn't stop the flood of past and future images invading his mind. His girls, smiling at him from across the table on those rare occasions when he was actually able to make it home in time for dinner. The press gathering around his house as he gives his children away, pretending they are being taken for their protection rather than becoming nothing more than a recreational drug for an alien species. The look of grief and despair on his wife's face as she realizes that their beautiful girls are never coming home again.

He’d known what he must do, then. He asked Bridget for Requisition 31 and when she brought it to him, he took it from her and kissed her on the cheek. There was no need for words. She knew.

Now, he opens the unremarkable metal box, carefully removing the gun and inserting the clip with shaking hands. He’s willfully oblivious to the growing crowd of news media and cameras gathering outside his home. His family's home. The home he's always tried to protect.

And protect them he would. Hiding the gun behind his back, he starts to walk up the stairs to his waiting family.

John Frobisher, for the last time in his life, has once again arrived at the perfect solution. He is, after all, a masterful problem solver.

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Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
pintsizeninja
Jul. 23rd, 2009 03:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for reading. I agree, the scene was gut-wrenching. The way they filmed it was beautiful and heartbreaking.
(Deleted comment)
pintsizeninja
Jul. 23rd, 2009 03:51 pm (UTC)
I love your Frobisher icon! That's the first one I've seen, I think. I'm so glad I made your day - I'd been feeling the need to write this fic for a while, and I'm glad I did. There's a serious lack of Frobisher fic, and I think he's an absolutely brilliant character and there should be more.

Thank you for the kind words! ♥
baka_sensei
Jul. 23rd, 2009 12:43 am (UTC)
YAY! You posted and it is glorious. Wonderful character study, supremely in character and heartbreaking, and the utter GENIUS of that last line cannot be disputed. You broke me all over again when I read this the first time, and even now, re-reading it makes my tummy hurt.

WE NEED MORE FROBISHER FIC! And less focus on poor Ianto in fic- there's already a ton of denial!fic and fix it!fic out there (and I'm blatantly ignoring the fact that I'm writing a fix it!fic myself. Shh.) I hope you write many more little gems inspired by CoE. You do it so well. :D
pintsizeninja
Jul. 23rd, 2009 04:00 pm (UTC)
Thank YOU for all your wonderful help. <3 It's been so painful re-watching Frobisher go through all this as we've been re-watching Children of Earth - his story is just so tragic and I agree, we definitely need more Frobisher fic.

And your fix it!fic is fantastic, so you hush. :p If all the fix it!fic were like yours, I'd be drowning in happiness.

As for more CoE fic, maybe! My next plot bunny takes place before Torchwood airs and after Doctor Who's The Christmas Invasion and involves Jack and a certain special hand. We'll see if I ever write it, though, because it will most certainly involve dialogue which I'm still absolutely terrified of. :D
baka_sensei
Jul. 23rd, 2009 08:51 pm (UTC)
AHHHH! You must write it. You MUST. And if you need any help with dialogue, I will be more than happy to impart any advice on the subject as dialogue is one of the things I struggle with as well. It's always worrying to try to make it sound as realistic and believable as possible, and I've learned a few techniques that have helped me a lot in my dialogue writing.

Jack/Doctor's hand fic is so rare. You are going to be a champion for rare!fic, I just know it. :D *glee*
pintsizeninja
Jul. 23rd, 2009 10:21 pm (UTC)
I saw that there's actually like two Jack/Doctor's Hand communities. I laughed so hard when I saw that. This is going to be more of a "how the hell did Jack find the Doctor's hand" type fic rather than, uh, Jack doing things with the hand. ;)

I will of course seek your advice with the dialogue! And actually, some timeline stuff because I haven't worked that all out yet. I'll send you an email tomorrow, probably, with my ideas for it. :D
kronette
Jul. 24th, 2009 02:38 am (UTC)
This scene gutted me in the series, and your story gave it all the more impact. Frobisher made everything more real, as he was just a normal person doing his job. Thanks for this.
pintsizeninja
Jul. 24th, 2009 05:48 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for commenting. I know I'll have a difficult time watching the scene again, tonight, when episode 5 re-airs on BBC America.
pitbap
Jul. 26th, 2009 12:45 am (UTC)
This was HEART-WRENCHING.

I love the use here of disjointed time -- the bulk of the fic actually takes place in flashback, and I feel like this works really well for Frobisher's disturbed mindset. This whole passage:

He couldn't stop the flood of past and future images invading his mind. His girls, smiling at him from across the table...

LOVE IT. What a great glimpse into Frobisher's mind. It reveals so much about his emotions in so few sentences. And I think you HAVE to already be aware of how cool this line is:

He is, after all, a masterful problem solver.

Ouch!

It's wonderful, my dear!
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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