For [ profile] just_muse_me Prompt set 27-8-6 - A Matter of Choice

Feb. 14th, 2010 11:34 pm
aliengeekgirl: (Tosh and Owen picture)
[personal profile] aliengeekgirl
She sat quietly in the pub, preferring to watch the interaction of the others to taking part herself. Owen and Gwen were having some argument about how big the alien they had chased down today was, with Ianto making occasional comments. Jack had joined them for a while, but had vanished now. Tosh sat to the side of them, smiling gently as she watched the interaction.

Could she really do this? Could she walk away from the few friends she had? She sat, sipping her drink.

Owen turned towards her and raised an eyebrow. “Okay, why you so quiet?” he asked, in his usual bluff manner.

Tosh looked at him, surprised he’d noticed. He’d seemed so engrossed in talking to Gwen that she hadn’t realised he was looking at her. “Why not?” she said, smiling slightly.

Gwen frowned at her. “Sure?”

“Yeah, I’m fine,” Tosh said, the smile coming easily to her. After all, she’d been doing it for five years, to fit in. It was her nature, after all.

It wasn’t long before she excused herself, saying she was tired, saying her goodbyes to the others and heading out to the fresh air. She should have told them, she knew, but she couldn’t. Not when they were having such a good time.

“Tosh.” A familiar voice came out of the darkness behind her, and she turned to look at Owen. He hurried over to her, drawing his coat against him in the cold night air.

“Owen,” she said, continuing to walk when he was beside her. “Thought you were going to have a few more.”

“Nah,” he said, doing a bad job of lying for once. “Bit knackered.” Tosh stopped, glancing at him for a moment, before carrying on. “What?”

“You may be many things, Owen, but at times you’re a terrible liar,” she said, smiling ever so slightly.

“Yeah, well,” Owen started, then stopped. “Okay, I was worried about you, I came to check you were okay.”

“I’m fine,” Tosh said, slightly too quickly. “There. Checking done. Go back and enjoy yourself.”

Owen put his hand on her shoulder, forcing her to stop and turn and look at him. “Bull,” he said eventually. “Something’s up.”

Tosh looked around her, figuring out where she was. “Owen. You really don’t want to know.”

“Ever since Tommy, there’s been something wrong,” Owen said quietly.

“There’s an cafe round the corner. Buy me a coffee?” Tosh asked, knowing he wouldn’t give up.

“Lead on.”

She’d missed this, she realised as she sat cradling her drink, Owen sitting opposite her. It had been a long time since they’d simply sat and talked. Owen’s relationships with firstly Gwen, then Diane, and the mistrust sown between them by Mary seemed to fall away in the cafe, their friendship of old showing glimpses of returning.

“Don’t think that I don’t know what’s happening,” Owen said suddenly.

Tosh shook her head, confused. “About what?” she said.

“Well, I could say about Tommy, about knowing exactly what it was like after falling for Diane then her leaving, but honestly? I overheard you talking to Jack.”

Tosh froze for a moment. “I suppose I shouldn’t really be surprised,” she said eventually.

“You know me,” Owen said, shrugging his shoulders.

“Only too well.”

“Why, Tosh?” Owen asked, watching Tosh carefully. “Why now? Is this really what you want to do, because I can’t see you being happy anywhere else, and if you do it, there’s no way back. You’d really walk away from everything and everyone who cares about you? ‘Cause you don’t exactly have many people out there.”

Tosh looked away from Owen for a moment. “Did Jack ever tell you how I came to work at Torchwood?” she asked.

Owen frowned, then shook his head. “No, he didn’t.”

Tosh took a deep breath. “Five years ago, I was in a UNIT prison, having stolen plans for a sonic modulator. I was blackmailed into it, they used my mother, and I paid the price for it. I was in prison, but worse than that, I had to have no contact with her, or anyone at all. Jack said he’d get me out, if I came to work for him for five years, but I still could have no contact with mother.” She paused. “The five years are up. I’m tired of it, I want the chance to speak to her again.”

“And that’s it?” Owen asked. “You’ll just walk away from everything you’ve seen, everything you’ve done...”

“No it’s not like that. It’s...” She trailed off, unsure of what to say now she was faced with it. “You don’t know how hard it’s been. Wouldn’t you do the same?” she asked, but she knew the answer before Owen even spoke.

“No, I wouldn’t,” Owen replied. “God knows it’s been hard, it’s been hard for all of us. But you’re prepared to throw it all away, just like that. This job is a once in a lifetime opportunity! To do what we do on a regular basis...”

“Come on, Owen. This has been building up for a while. It was that damn necklace that started it, and you know it.” Well, the point where she found out about Gwen and Owen, and saw it all happening again. “We’ve seen people burn out before, working for Torchwood. I’d rather go with retcon than have another incident like Suzie.”

“You wouldn’t, Tosh. It’s not you,” Owen said, leaning back in his seat.

“How do you know?” Tosh replied.

“Because I know you, Toshiko Sato. I may act the twat at times, but I can read people well, especially you.” It wasn’t false modesty that had Owen saying that either. Tosh knew that he was the one person who could always read her, no matter what. “You’d give it all away, just to have a chance to see your mother once more? You’re a fighter, Tosh. Quiet one, but a fighter.”

“I’m tired of fighting,” she said.

“No, I don’t think you are. Maybe it feels like that now, but give it a few days, and it won’t. Trust me.”

“How many more people do we have to watch die, like Tommy?” she asked plaintively. “Answer me that?”

“That’s the way it goes. The nature of the job, all that crap that Jack’s probably already said,” Owen replied. “We deal, we move on.”

“No more, Owen. I’ve made up my mind.”

Toshiko Sato
Word Count: 1068
Not binding to any Owen muse.
Set in What If? verse.


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Toshiko Sato

November 2010

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