“Welcome to Torchwood.”
There was a dramatic pause after that announcement, as both Dr. Harper and the Jack guy waited for him to react. They actually looked a little crestfallen when Matt stared at them and said, “And Torchwood is... what, exactly?”
“Well, he is American. I guess we can't expect Americans to have heard of us,” Dr. Harper reasoned, somewhat reasonably. His tone was offset by the fact that he was pouting, though.
Wait. Ignore the pouting for a moment. “You mean, we're not in America?”
Dr. Harper gave him a 'duh, idiot' look. “Do I sound American to you?”
“Well Nigel and Bug don't sound American either, but I never assumed the morgue was in England,” Matt snapped, miffed at being called an idiot, even if it was only visually. Although, now that he thought about it, that would explain why all the morgies (and Woody, who might as well be a morgie for all the time he spent there) acted like they were from another planet. England, another planet, same thing.
Before he could get into a real bicker-match with the doctor (and he was way too young to be a doctor, unless he was Doogie Howser. Heh, Doogie Howser, Matt snickered to himself), the boss-man in World War II clothes interrupted them. “You're in Cardiff. Wales,” he added after a pause.
Matt rolled his eyes. “I know where Cardiff is, thanks.” Not that he could point to it, or Wales in general, on a map, but he did know that Cardiff was in Wales, which was a part of England or next to it or something. Hey, his last geography class had been over a decade ago! “So how'd I get from Massachusetts to the United Kingdom?” he asked after a moment.
“Well,” Jack started in, “Cardiff is located on top of a rift through time and space.” He sounded like he had given this speech, or a variation of it, many times before. “Things fall through the rift constantly, little bits of flotsam and jetsam from through the universe and all different eras. You're just the latest victim.” He paused. “We think.”
“You think?” Matt snapped.
He shrugged. “You didn't set off any of the monitoring devices we have set up to keep track of the rift. The rift is still the most plausible theory, but it's not the only one.”
“You know, you're taking all this 'rip in time and space' thing very calmly,” Dr. Doogie observed.
“Hello, I just disappeared out of a courtroom and reappeared in a really weird morgue. That doesn't usually happen to me,” Matt said, sarcasm lacing his voice far more than it usually did. Oh, he was quite proficient in sarcasm, but most of the time he just went with being blunt and saved sarcasm for a back-up strategy. “I'm open for any sort of explanation, even if it was stolen from a bad X-Files episode.”
They both smirked at that, and then seemingly decided to get down to business. “Okay, you said you're from Boston. What time?”
Before he could stop his automatic reaction to anyone asking the time – even though he knew that it wasn't what they meant – he glanced down at his watch. “Er, 2007. January somethingth.” At their looks, he shrugged. “What? It was my day off, I don't keep track of dates when I don't have to use them for reports.”
Jack got a thoughtful look on his face. “Looks like you just traveled through space, then. But just in case, we need to do some tests.” He nodded at Doogie Howser. “Owen, take some samples of him and then bring him upstairs so Tosh can scan him.” And then, he was distracted by a shiny object somewhere upstairs and wandered off. Or, well, so it seemed to Matt.
Owen gave a put-upon sigh and walked over to where they kept the sharp instruments of doom that most people called needles. He waited. “Well?”
“That's generally where you go to get water, yes,” Matt said, not moving any closer to the pointy objects of death.
“You-” Owen paused, and started to grin, in a quite evil manner. “You're afraid of needles, aren't you?” He snickered.
Matt glared. “No! ...yes. So? They're sharp, pointy things that suck out your blood! They're like...” he struggled for a proper analogy. “Really thin metal vampires!” Owen stared at him for a long moment before cracking up. “I'm glad I could amuse you,” Matt muttered, crossing his arms. Owen shook his head and came towards him, stabbing a needle into one of his veins without any of the usual precautions or tricks that doctors usually went for. “Nice bedside manner, doc. I see why they have you in the morgue,” Matt told him snippily, very purposefully not looking at the metal object sticking out of his arm.
Owen rolled his eyes and removed the needle after drawing what, Matt was pretty certain, was somewhere near a pint of blood. Which he thought was a bit much for a sample. Owen set the filled vial aside and pulled out a cotton swab, indicating impatiently for Matt to open his mouth. Now this was something he was familiar with! He obediently opened his mouth, although he couldn't resist sticking his tongue out at the British guy. His DNA was quickly taken, and Owen set that aside as well before starting up the stairs.
Matt decided it might be a good idea to, you know, follow him. Because otherwise he'd be stuck with an autopsy table and vial of his own blood, and he couldn't help but think that only bad things could come from that.
He stopped, awe-struck, not long after leaving the sunken area that was the morgue. If he'd thought that the morgue was weird, then he had no idea what to call the rest of the building. If it was a building, and not... a cave or something. Which seemed a little more likely. He stood slack-jawed for a long, long time, before he was pulled out of it by a loud screech and flapping of wings. “What the- is that a pterodactyl?!” he demanded, slightly hysterical again.
Owen reappeared – truthfully, Matt hadn't noticed that he'd gone anywhere – with his omnipresent smirk firmly in place. “What, I thought you were fine with the whole 'rip in time and space' thing. We call it Myfanwy.”
Matt didn't both reacting to the implied insult, instead he just blinked and muttered, “Crazy Welsh people.”
“Hey, I'm from London! You want to mutter about the crazy Welsh, you talk about Cooper or the tea boy.” Owen sounded highly indignant.
“Which one named the dinosaur?”
“Oh, that was actually Jack. And he,” Owen said triumphantly, “Is a crazy American, like you.”
“Hey! I resemble that comment,” a voice said from behind Matt. He spun around to see a grinning Jack leaning against the wall. Behind him was a girl (well, woman, probably, but she looked like a little girl) with long dark brown hair and eyes almost as wide as Owen's mouth (both literally and metaphorically). “Matt Seely, meet Gwen Cooper. She was with the police here before she joined us, I bet you guys have things in common.”
He turned around and walked down another set of stairs with the sort of air that didn't even question if you were following him; of course you were. And much to Matt's inner disappointment, he found that yes, he was.
Walking by them at the end of the stairs was a man (or boy, almost; Matt was getting really annoyed with how young everyone around here was – so far, except for the boss, he was pretty sure he was the oldest) dressed rather snappily in a suit, and carrying a large stack of folders. He nodded and said a polite, “Sir,” to Jack, not pausing as he walked off to some opening on the other side of the... well, he'd call it a room for now.
“That's Ianto Jones, he's in charge of the archives and makes the best damn coffee in the world,” Jack said by way of introduction before leading him over to a what looked like a miniature workshop all on a single table. A cute, kinda nervous Asian woman was at the table, fiddling with a few things and frowning at others from behind her glasses. “And this is Toshiko Sato, computer genius. She's going to scan you.”
The girl jumped forward with a device that probably had some purpose or another and also probably would have made Nigel drool, but to Matt it just looked like a really fancy remote for a TV set. A silvery-blue light came out one end and she carefully tilted and moved the remote control until he'd been completely bathed by the freaky light, and then turned around and started clattering away on a computer. He waited a moment, but that seemed to be it, since she didn't look back up and Jack had wandered away (distracted by either another shiny object or the archivist; Matt wasn't sure which).
Oh well. He could always just follow Owen around and annoy him. It'd make him feel right at home, it would.
It only took about five minutes of Matt following him around and asking 'Why?' or 'What's that do?' to everything before Owen snapped. “I've got paperwork to do!” he snapped. “You can go bother Gwen, it's not like that woman ever has actual work to do,” he suggested ever-so thoughtfully.
“You know,” Matt started thoughtfully before Gwen could protest Owen's words, “I'm often called a self-centered, sexist, smart-ass. But two out of three ain't bad.”
Despite (or maybe because of) the occasional shared glance of sexual tension (hello, he was friends with Woody Hoyt, one-half of the poster couple for unresolved sexual tension in relationships), the Gwen chick with the large gap between her two front teeth chortled happily at the insult. She was kind of annoying. Actually, she reminded him very strongly of Jordan Cavanaugh – even in England, he couldn't escape annoying brunettes.
Owen puffed up in response to both Matt's words and Gwen's response. “Hey! I-” he paused suddenly. “Which of those aren't I?”
Matt smirked evilly. “The last one. I don't have any evidence one way or the other about your ass.”
And again, before it got anywhere good, Jack reappeared with the cute Asian chick and a frown on his face. Matt was not a big fan of frowning. It usually meant that something happened that he wasn't going to like.
“Got some bad news for you, Matt,” Jack started off, with an attempt at a grin. Matt ignored the fact that the guy had actually called him Matt; he'd been 'Seely' since high school. Jack nodded at the Asian chick – Toshiko, he thought her name was – who then started to babble something about... okay, Matt couldn't even pretend like he knew what she was talking about.
Owen obviously recognized the symptoms of technobabble-coma, because he interrupted Toshiko with a smirk that, Matt was coming to realize, was his typical expression. “She means that somehow you managed to not just fall through a rip in space, but also a rip in dimensions.” Off of Matt's blank expression, he sighed and added, “ You're from a different reality than this one.”
“And,” Jack's voice interrupted quietly, “That means we can't take you back to your life.”