silver_sun: (silver sun)
silver_sun ([personal profile] silver_sun) wrote on July 30th, 2015 at 09:21 pm
Lives are for living (40/41)
Title Lives Are For Living. (40/41)
Fandoms Torchwood/Being Human crossover fic.
Characters/pairings Andy Davidson/Tom McNair. Other Torchwood and Being Human characters will appear later on.
Word count: This part 3750 (Total posted 130,000/133,000)
Rating This part pg (adult over all) – see contains below.
Contains Mentions of depression/anxiety. Mentions of past canon major character death. Mention of minor character death – not canon. In later parts canon level violence, graphic sex, Andy's homophobic mother. Spoilers for Being Human (UK version) up to series 5 episode 3, and for Torchwood up to Children of Earth.
A/N: Crossover with Being Human. Technically a CoE fix it as it's set in the same 'verse as Finding Ways To Smile Again (although that isn't apparent until about 2/3 the way through the story). Follows on from Break and Breakaway from Tom McNair's POV – which is where it breaks from Being Human canon.

After being pushed out of the police force following the events of Children of Earth, Andy Davidson tries to build a new life for himself in the deep in the Welsh countryside.
Tom McNair walked out off his old life after realising it wasn't what he needed.
A chance meeting would take their lives in directions that they had never expected and bring them love that they'd not thought they'd find.

Starts here:

It had been a strange few months, Andy thought as he walked down to the end of the farm track to collect the post, the warm summer sun shining down thought the leaves. Things were getting better, not to say he didn't get bad days, but they were getting less frequent and none of them quite rivalled just how awful he'd felt in the few weeks either side of the vampire situation.

He'd talked to Gwen, then to Martha who'd got him in contact with a counsellor who UNIT used for their personnel. An ex-military man, he had been about as far from the well meaning but painfully young woman who'd seemed barely older than a school leaver who'd worked for the Police's Occupational Health Department as it was possible to get. That had been a positive. As had the fact he could be totally up front about everything with him, regardless of whether it was vampires, aliens, werewolves, his mother and or the people he'd worked with who'd made him feel like he should do them all a favour a rid the world of hiss presence. There was definitely something to be said for having a counsellor who'd once shot aliens for a living and who's counselling sessions were covered by the Official Secrets Act.

There were still sources of unhappiness. His mother's refusal to even acknowledge the wedding invitation and David's response, telling him that he wanted no part of his sordid life and would not normalise or condone two men getting married to his young daughters. He'd ended up taking the letter to his next counselling session to show that some parts of his family really were as bad as he said they were and that it wasn't him imagining the worst about them. Chris, his counsellor, had been deeply unimpressed with their treatment of him, and somehow it made it easier to be angry with them, knowing that his reaction and hurt to it was a reasonable response.

Fortunately his other brothers, James and Simon said that they'd come. Simon with his family and James with a possible plus one. Team Torchwood and Rhys had all agreed to come, as had Hal, Alex and even Great Aunt Edith who'd said she'd be delighted to come and that if possible she'd love to see how the farm was. With the guests all invited they had booked a hotel just outside Brecon for both the ceremony and the reception.
The only thing left to arrange was getting a registrar to come out to the hotel and actually marry them.

Through it all Tom had been there, helping when needed and stepping back when he needed space.

"Much post today?" Tom asked.

"A few bits. There's one for you," Andy said trying to sound casual about it, just in case he was wrong and it wasn't Gwen having sorted out a birth certificate good enough to pass for the real thing with the Head Registrar. He knew they were cutting it fine now with late September little more than eight weeks away, but then that seemed to be the Torchwood way.

He dumped his post on the table, it was fairly boring. A bank statement, a circular from the company that had fitted the solar panels seeing if he wanted any more and a piece of junk mail from a mobile phone company who you couldn't even get coverage with in their area. Normal, modern life, in all its wonderful dullness.

Tom looked round from where he was sorting through some pieces of wood that he'd collected that morning before trying to decide what to make with them. "Who's it from?" he asked.

Andy didn't bother to hide a smile. "Why don't you just open it?"

"You know what it is," Tom said getting up and taking the envelope from him.

Andy laughed ass Tom opened it and when he saw the notepaper with a stylised T and hexagon logo on it. For a secret organisation Torchwood weren't exactly subtle.

There was just a short note on the paper. To Tom and Andy. Think of this as an early wedding present. I hope that what we've done is alright, I thought that Tom would want Anthony McNair down officially as his father. From Gwen and your friends in Cardiff.

With the letter where two certificates, a DNA test result and a small, sealed envelope. Tom looked at them baffled for a moment. The birth certificate had no names listed, the registrar at a hospital in Derby noting that Tom had been found. The DNA test result claimed that Anthony Michael McNair was his father, while the last certificate claimed that McNair had officially adopted him as it was the only way by law for him to recognised as the father as he wasn't on the birth certificate.

"I don't understand," Tom said eventually, "None of this is right. McNair weren't really my dad, not like that, so how'd they make it say that? I would have wanted him to be, but..." He stopped and looked at the sealed envelope. "What do you think's in here?"

"I don't know," Andy said. What Gwen had sorted out was far beyond what he had expected, and while he thought that it was a nice idea, the confusion on Tom's face really didn't make it look like he appreciated it.
"But the rest of it. This is real now, I mean if you want it to be. This will be what's in the official records. They can do that, Torchwood, they can do pretty much what they want. If you don't want this, we can always call Gwen and..."

"No," Tom said hurriedly. "No, don't. I just didn't expect any of this. Getting married can really happen now, can't it? I mean this is the last bit of stuff we need."

Andy nodded, relieved at how Tom's eyes seemed to light up at that. "I suppose we'd better open the other envelope," he said, wondering if perhaps it was something like a national insurance number. That would make sense with the official existence of Tom.

It wasn't. That much was clear by the way Tom stared at it, his eyes suddenly glassy with tears.

"Tom?" Andy said suddenly fearful at just what had been written inside. "What is it?"

"It's about me dad," he replied, voice unsteady. "He had family. A mum. And she's still alive. I've got a gran. I've got family. I've never had a gran before. I mean I did, but didn't know it. He never said. Why didn't he tell me?"

"I don't know," Andy replied, moving closer to him. "Maybe she didn't know about him being a werewolf, and he wanted to keep it that way. He was trying to keep her safe."

Tom nodded looking thoughtful. "I hope so. I just don't want to go up there and find out they'd fallen out or owt, and she don't want to see me."

Finding out and maybe sending a letter was one thing, visiting and announcing yourself as a long lost grandson was very definitely another. It had the potential to go horribly wrong, and Andy briefly considered trying to talk him round to writing first, but he knew that it would almost certainly put Tom on the defensive, and the whole conversation would end up with Tom assuming he didn't want him to get in contact at all.

"I mean I'd like her there when we get married, well if she wants to be," Tom said, before Andy had a chance to say that he thought that dropping in might not be the best plan. "And we have to do it soon because the hotel wants the final guest figures by the end of the week. And it'd be a long way for her to come if we left it late to tell her."

It still didn't feel right just turning up, but Andy said, "There is that. So where does she live?"

"Near Newcastle, I think. That's where Tyneside, ain't it?"

That was a long way to drive on the off chance, a few hours at least. Perhaps they could phone ahead? Andy wondered, maybe that would be better. As it was the letter didn't provide a phone number. Whether that meant there was no phone or just that the line was ex-directory he didn't know. He thought about calling Gwen and seeing it she could try and find one, but after all that she'd done for them he didn't like asking for more, even thought he knew that she wouldn't mind.


Hebburn was about halfway between Newcastle and South Shields, although the area was so built up it was was hard to tell where one drifted into another. Row upon row of brick built terrace houses, once the homes of dock workers and now what was termed affordable housing, spread out from the now empty warehouses and wharves. Mrs McNair's house was in the middle of a row, with a view down the street to the Tyne in one direction of a large, mill chimney in the other.

The door opened on a chain to reveal a small woman wearing a blue and white check house coat, her white hair pulled rather haphazardly into a set of mismatched curlers. She looked at them both with sharp blue eyes from behind rather oversized glasses. "I don't do business on the doorstep," she said firmly. "Charity, politics or religion neither. You can try number Sixty Seven if you want, if you're politics. Gloria likes a good argument, but you won't convince her of anything."

"We're not any of those things," Andy said, seeing that Tom was staring. He nudged him. "You should be doing this. Telling her."

Tom took a deep breath and moved forwards so that Mrs McNair could see him through the gap in the door. "I know this is gonna sound weird and Andy reckoned as I shoulda called you first, but I thought you'd not known for long enough..."

The door started to close and Tom's face fell, but moment later the chain rattled and the door opened fully. Mrs McNair stared at Tom. "This is about my Tony, isn't it?" she said, voice wavering now.

Tom nodded, looking like he was going to cry.

Mrs McNair nodded as well. Then moved aside. "You'd better come in. As I said, I don't do business on the doorstep. Nor bad news either."

She showed them into her living room, which looked like it had last been properly decorated in the late Eighties with patterned wallpaper, as many pictures as you could feasibly hang and a collection of china ornaments, mostly spaniels, which seemed to occupy most spaces that weren't taken up with pot plants.

You could take a person out of the police force, Andy thought as he looked round, but you couldn't take the copper out of them. There were plenty of old photos, probably her parents and possibly a brother or sister, there were plenty of boy and later young man who had to be McNair and a few group pictures that might have been taken on a work or social club's trip out. What there wasn't was a wedding photo or anything of her husband. She had definitely been listed as Mrs Mary McNair and he knew that Gwen would have checked McNair's birth certificate to make sure it was the right person. Everything said she'd cut her husband out of her life and she didn't want anything left to remind her of him. Whatever her reasons were they seemed to have been a long standing ones, and Andy decided it wasn't his place to ask.

"So what happened?" she said, sitting down in the armchair by the fire place. "Why have you come and find me now? You're not the police I can see that."

"No, were not. Well Andy were once, but it's just that I've only just found out about you. I mean when me dad died I didn't know, but I should have thought about it and asked him. Well before what happened," Tom said, taking the letter and certificate out of his coat pocket. "I mean it were in a letter I got yesterday. I needed to get a copy of my birth certificate, and that was how I found out about you and...and I'm really sorry he's not here and that he's died 'cause I miss him and it must be as bad for you. Worse, 'cause you've not known and at least I did."

"You're Tony's son?" she said, staring at Tom again, tears in her eyes. "Why didn't he ever tell me? Why? Why's he dead?"

"I'm sorry," Tom said, starting to cry. "He couldn't say 'cause of what he was doing, what his job were, well it were sort of like a job and sort of like being undercover I 'spose. It were all a secret, it had to be. I'm sorry, I dunno what I can say, 'cause he's gone and I dunno why he never told me stuff. I wish he had."

"What Tom's trying to say," Andy said, realising that Tom wasn't in the best state to explain anything coherently and that Mrs McNair needed answers, or at least as much as they could give. "Is that your son was a very brave man. Things happened and a result he was forced to completely abandon his old life. The one he lived, cut off from his past was only chosen by him to protect people, including you, from something that most of society barely realises exists. I can't give you the full details of what happened, there are a only a few government departments which the clearance to know, but Anthony lost his life making the world a safer place, both for his son and society. I never knew him, but knowing what I do from Tom, how much he sacrificed did to keep him safe, I would definitely shake his hand."

"After twenty two years I never expected it to be..." she sniffed and took out a handkerchief. "I mean after that length of time..... he was never going to come home, was he? I mean I'd hoped... How long ago was it that... that he ..." She looked at Andy. "When?"

"Just over two years."

She nodded again. "All that time hiding. Oh Tony. My poor brave boy."

Walking over to the fireplace, she took a photograph of McNair down from the mantelpiece. "You're so like him. When I saw you through the door, just for a moment... well I know my eyes aren't what they were, but all the same, I could see it. You're so like him."

People could fool themselves in to thinking just about anything if they wanted it hard enough. Andy had seen it often enough with people who were witnesses or providing alibis. It was a reason why nine times out of ten physical evidence was better than what somebody thought they saw.

McNair in the photograph seemed around the same age Tom was now. Just into his twenties, a cheeky spark of life in his very blue eyes. Okay, Tom's were brown, but if he looked long enough Andy knew he'd find himself believing it as well. In the end it wasn't like it mattered any way. Anthony McNair had as good as adopted Tom. What need had there been for a piece of paper to say it? Neither Tom or McNair from the sounds of things had considered it necessary.

"Do you still have a mother?" she asked placing it back down. "I didn't know that Tony was seeing anybody when he disappeared, but it seems there's so much that I didn't know."

Tom shook his head. "She died. I don't even remember her. I don't know anything about her. It were just me and me dad from when I were about one."

"You poor boy," she said, "I wouldn't have minded whatever danger it was he thought there was, he should have come home. I would helped him, was too young to be stuck all alone with a little one. I..." She stopped. "I've not asked you your name yet, I'm sorry all this its been a bit much. All I were thinking I'd be doing this afternoon were going to the bingo with Margie and Bet. "

"It's okay, and I'm Tom," Tom said, then looking at Andy added, "And that's Andy."

"Tom." She smiled, happy and sad in the same moment. "He had a book when he was a boy about a Tom. Read it so many times it nearly fell apart. I can't count the number of times I taped it back together."

Tom managed a smile. "I always wondered why he picked Tom, didn't know if it were like a family name or something like it were his granddad. He didn't tell me much, not really. Not what were true.”

“It was to keep you all safe, I'm sure of it,” Andy said, trying to stop any bad feelings before they started.

Tom sniffed and nodded. “I know, but I've missed so much. Not having a family.” He looks at Mrs McNair. "Look I know you've only just found out about me and stuff and I know it's a long way 'cause we live in Wales and that’s sort of like another country, and it has its own language and everything, but most people don't talk it much, so it's not a problem," Tom said, words running away with themselves as nerves set in. "But I should tell you why I were getting my birth certificate in the first place and it 'cause I'm gonna get married and I wanna invite you to the wedding 'cause you're all the family I've got." He paused for a moment, frowned and then said, "I mean I'd pay for yer to come, if you want to that is. So it's not that I've turned up for money or anything, 'cause I don't want you thinking that. Don't want anything like that.”

"I'm sure Mrs McNair doesn't think that," Andy said, taking hold Tom's hand and giving it a squeeze.

"Who's the lucky..." She stopped and looked at them and then shrugged. "I was going to say girl, but well times change don't they. I've seen it on the telly. So when it then?"

"Yer not angry?" Tom said barely sounding like he believed it could be going so well.

"I thought I'd not got no family left in this world until half an hour ago," she said, taking out a handkerchief and wiping her eyes again. "It'll be like have two grandsons, that's all. Lots of people have grandsons, might not be many as are married to each other, but well you have to take happiness where you find it I says. And god knows it's better to be married for love than pushed into it for any other reason."

Maybe that had been it, Andy realised. The reason behind the absence of Granddad McNair's picture. The marriage hadn't been for love and she didn't want to be reminded that he or the marriage existed at all.

“When is the wedding?” She asked, “I don't know about what people do when it's not a church do. I've not been to a wedding in years.”

"September, and I think it's mostly the same. With rings and a cake and having yer friends and family there, and maybe a bit of dancing. We'll come up again before the wedding once we've got more stuff sorted ," Tom said, then glanced at Andy. "I mean, I could get a train or something, as it's a way to drive and you don't have to come, if yer busy."

That wouldn't happen or at least not any time soon, Andy realised. As while he trusted Tom completely, the idea of him being gone for hours and being miles away from him still sent an uncomfortable jolt of fear through him. "Of course I'll drive us," Andy said quickly. “I'll be never too busy to take you were you need to go.”

"That's the sort of thing my Tony would have done, he never had any fear about any thing, he just get up and go,” she said. "You're a good lad. I can see it." She looked at Andy. "And he looks like a good one as well. Driving you up here, not many would just drop what they were doing and go."

"He's the best," Tom said, smiling. "He's helped me so much, finding me a house and job and all that to start with. I mean that's how we met, he were fixing a roof and I were lost and stopped for directions and well I 'spose we just got along."

"So is that what you do?" she asked. "Are you a builder? My Tony was a surveyor, he worked for one of those companies that build new houses."

"No, a complete amateur as anybody whose seen me attempting DIY knows," Andy said finding it easiest to joke about his own lack of ability and hopefully make the situation a little easier. "I was renovating an old farm to turn into a campsite. So I suppose I'm technically a campsite owner or maybe a farmer, but I don't have any campers or animals."

"We will do one day," Tom said enthusiastically. "It might take a while, but we ain't in a hurry. Better to get it right the first time than have to do it twice. I remember me dad telling me that.”


They had stayed well into the afternoon, and it was only the fact that a long drive lay ahead of them that finally meant they had to leave.

"What you told her about me dad, about it being top secret and stuff, that were good," Tom said still sounding emotional as they sat in the car. "I mean there ain't no good way of tellin' somebody that someone is dead, but thanks for letting her think it were about something important. I think that'd help, well as much as anything can."

"Well it was important, wasn't it?" Andy said, pausing before switching on the engine. "You told me why he did it, to stop a vampire who was dangerous and who'd hurt and killed a lot of people, and would have kept on doing it unless he was stopped. He did it for you, but it helped a lot of other people too. And it's not like it could ever be made common knowledge. So as far as I'm concerned that was the truth."

Tom nodded, unable to find the words.

"It's time to go home," Andy said, knowing that it would likely be the early hours of the morning before they finally arrived back in the Elan Valley. He'd drive for now, maybe Tom would drive later, but it didn't matter. They were going home and everything for once felt right. He put his hand over Tom’s, "We've got a wedding to book, remember.”

TBC in the last part.


So here we are nearly at the end, so many words and so many months later.
I've got my own head cannon about McNair's family, which is sort of explored in Tipping Point which is set in the episode Thought the Heavens Fall from McNairs POV
If anybody is interested.

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