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FIC: Foothold
by Wonko (wonkots42)
at February 24th, 2008 (06:03 pm)

Title: Foothold
Author: Wonko
Fandom: Torchwood
Pairing: Tosh/Martha
Summary: "It was like...the alien energy had wound him up like a watch. When it ran out he just...stopped."
Spoilers: Torchwood 2.06 and 2.07 (Reset and Dead Man Walking)
Rating: PG
Author's note: A follow up to What They Have In Common which sets up some ideas I've had. So there may well be more in the future.

Martha was woken from a sound sleep by the shrill tones of her mobile ring tone.  She fumbled for it and blearily saw her alarm clock blinking 3:42 into the darkness.  She sighed, internally.  She'd been working late until 1 am and it didn't take a genius to figure out who was calling her now.

"Hello," she said into the phone, somewhat sharply.  Silence echoed.  Martha sighed again.  "Hello, yes, it's Medical Officer Jones, what the hell do you want?"  Again, there was nothing.  Until...just as Martha was about to end the call in frustration there came the sound of tiny, half choked sob.

Martha sat up, properly awake now, and looked at the mobile display.  A pair of smiling dark eyes looked back at her from the picture she'd taken to go with the phone number and suddenly she was all ears.

"Toshiko?"

Another sob was her response.  Martha felt her heart start to speed up.  "Tosh, darlin', what's wrong?  Sweetheart, speak to me."  Martha waited a whole minute more before Tosh was able to choke a word out.

"Owen..." was the word.

Martha threw back the covers and stepped out of bed.  "I can be there in three hours."

* * * * * *

The Torchwood Hub had taken on the air of a mausoleum.  The team were huddled together in silence when Martha arrived, staring into space.  The moment they'd been dreading for four months had finally come and Martha was the final piece they were waiting for.

Jack looked up as she entered and crossed the room in three strides to get to her.  "Thanks for coming," he said as he pressed her face to his chest in one of his manliest hugs.

"It's the least I could do," she replied as she pulled back to look up at him.  He was taking it hard, she realised.  Not as hard as he had the first time - there would be no desperate alien artefacts and primal deadly forces this time - but hard, nonetheless.  Behind him, Tosh had sidled up and was holding herself around the middle, looking at the floor.  Martha broke away from Jack immediately and reached out to her.

"I'm so sorry," she whispered in her ear as she wrapped the fragile woman in a loose embrace.  She felt Tosh shiver as she placed a tender kiss on her forehead.

"Thank you," Tosh replied.  Martha held Tosh a little tighter as she looked over at Gwen and Ianto.  They nodded in acknowledgement, words unnecessary.

Sliding her left hand down to curl around Tosh's waist, Martha turned back to Jack.  "Do you want me to do it now?" she asked.  A shiver ran through the body beside her.

Jack's jaw clenched.  "Let's get it over with."

Martha nodded and gave Tosh a final squeeze before following Jack to the autopsy room.  It was time to finish the job that had been interrupted four months ago - the autopsy of Torchwood Officer 565, Owen Harper.

* * * * * *

"How did it happen?"

They were in Tosh's flat, watching the grey mid afternoon drizzle steadily drip from the cloudy skies of Cardiff.  The autopsy had been uneventful.  The cause of death was a gunshot wound to the heart.  His body looked like it had been dead for four hours.  There was no indication that Owen had in fact been walking around for four months after the bullet had torn through his flesh.

Tosh leaned back against the couch and closed her eyes.  "It was like...the alien energy had wound him up like a watch.  When it ran out he just...stopped."

Martha suppressed a shudder.  Despite everything she had done and everything she had seen, some things were still creepy.  Tosh turned her head and looked up at her with half-lidded eyes.

"I'm glad you're here," she said softly.  Martha smiled and, almost without conscious thought, leaned down to press a soft kiss to Tosh's slightly parted lips.

"I said I'd be here when you needed me," she reminded her gently.  Tosh buried her face in Martha's shoulder as she allowed herself to be folded up in her arms.  "How do you feel?" Martha asked softly.

Tosh shrugged.  If it were anyone but Martha she'd dissemble, evade, perhaps even lie.  But Martha understood her.  She might be the only one who truly did.  "I miss him," she admitted.  "But...it's over..."

Martha nodded.  "I know," she said.  She dropped a kiss onto the top of Tosh's head.

They sat together comfortably for a few minutes before Tosh pulled back.  "I'm tired," she said.

"You should get some sleep," Martha replied.  She glanced towards the door.  "D'you want me to-"

"No," Tosh interrupted.  "Can you stay?  Just to sleep?"

Before Martha could answer, her phone began to ring.  She glanced at it in annoyance.  "I have to take this," she said.  "It's UNIT."  She looked over at Tosh and smiled.  "Go to bed sweetheart; I'll be through in a minute.  I'm pretty sure I remember where the bedroom is."

As she'd hoped, Tosh smiled and nodded at her comment.  Leaving Martha with a quick kiss, she padded over to the bedroom.

Martha returned her attention to the phone.  "Medical Officer Jones," she said, her tones clipped and professional as she flipped the phone open.

* * * * * *

Tosh floated out of a deep sleep the next morning with an arm around her waist and a solid warmth at her back.  She fought consciousness for as long as possible but eventually the memories of the previous day slipped back into her mind.  The pain of Owen's loss was still there but it was less today.  It was overshadowed by the pleasure of Martha's solid reality behind her, wrapped around her.

"Good morning, gorgeous," Martha purred in her ear.  Tosh smiled widely.

"Morning," she replied as she turned to face her bedmate and presented her lips for a kiss.  Martha happily obliged and for a few minutes there was no more conversation.  "When do you have to go back?" Tosh asked when the kiss finally ended.

Martha ran her hand down the side of Tosh's face.  "About that," she began, but she never managed to finish the sentence.  Tosh's phone bleeped, demanding attention.

"It's Jack," Tosh murmured in surprise as she read the message.  "He wants us all back at the Hub right away.  Something big, apparently."

That effectively ended the conversation.  Tosh and Martha made themselves presentable in record time and were at the hub within thirty minutes.  They were the last ones there.

"Good morning, Dr. Jones," said Jack as they stepped through the sliding hatch into the Hub.  There was a trace of something in his voice, almost anger.  Martha set her jaw.

"It wasn't my idea, Jack," she said defiantly.  Gwen, Ianto and Tosh looked between the two of them, confusion written on their faces.

"What wasn't your idea?" asked Gwen.  Martha didn't take her eyes off Jack.

"UNIT's decided we've been running along independently long enough," he said, voice dripping sarcasm.  "As soon as they heard we had an opening here they suggested...strongly suggested...that I accept one of their officers on secondment."  He gestured towards Martha.  "You'll forgive us if we don't throw a welcoming party."

"Jack-" Martha began.  Jack held up his hand.

"Don't speak to me right now, Martha," he said.  He locked eyes with her for a long moment before shaking his head and stalking off to his office.  Martha was left with three sets of eyes boring into her.  She held up her hand in a weak wave.

"Hi?"  Even to her it sounded lame.  There was a period of long silence.  Gwen was the one who finally broke it.

"So they think you can replace Owen do they?"  Her tone was unashamedly hostile.  Martha took a deep breath before answering.

"No," she said.  "They want me to do his job, but I'm not trying to replace him."  She looked around at the three of them.  "He was your friend," she said.  "No-one can replace that."

Gwen was silent for a long minute.  Eventually she looked down at the ground and nodded.  Martha sighed in relief and turned to Ianto.

"There must be more to it than that," he said.  Martha nodded, slowly.

"When UNIT heard about the glove they decided Torchwood needed a little...supervision.  They're trying to use my friendship with Jack to gain a foothold here."

Ianto cocked his head.  "And what are your own plans?" he asked.

Martha's expression was grim.  "Jack's my friend," she said simply.  "I'm not going to do anything to hurt him."

Ianto considered this for a moment.  Finally he nodded.  "Welcome aboard then," he said.  Martha smiled.  Two down, she thought.  She turned to Tosh who had yet to look up from the floor. 

She glanced over at Ianto and Gwen who seemed to get the message.  As soon as they had disappeared into Jack's office Martha reached for Tosh's hand.

"I tried to tell you this morning," she began softly.  "That was the call I got last night."  Tosh remained silent.  "I'm sorry," Martha continued.  "I tried to talk them out of it but they weren't having it.  There was nothing I could do."

Tosh looked up slowly.  "Don't you want to stay here?" she asked softly.

"I didn't think I'd be well received," Martha admitted.  Truthfully the morning had gone a little better than she'd expected so far, but Tosh's opinion was what really mattered to her.

"Jack'll get over it," Tosh said.  "His pride's hurt, that's all.  We're not his secret club anymore."

Martha nodded.  "And what about you?" she asked, her heart in her throat.

Tosh was quiet for a long minute.  "Well," she said eventually.  "I was wondering..." she paused.

"Yes?"

"I was wondering...if you'd like to have dinner with me sometime?"  Surprise struck Martha dumb for a moment.  "I mean, not that you should feel obliged or anything," Tosh added hurriedly.  "I don't expect...I mean, just because you're here now doesn't mean you have to-"

Martha silenced her with a finger on her lips.  "I would love to have dinner with you, Toshiko," she said with a grin.

Tosh's face slowly lit up.  She lifted her head and grinned.  "Oh," she said.  "Well..."  She coughed nervously.  "Welcome to Torchwood, Dr. Jones."

Martha laughed as she tugged on Tosh's hand and pulled her forward for a brief kiss.  "I'm sure I'll fit right in, Dr. Sato..."

The End

Comments

Posted by: The Evil Oppressor Persiflage (persiflage_1)
Posted at: February 24th, 2008 07:43 pm (UTC)
Martha & Tosh TW

Jack's mad at Martha? That doesn't bode well...

Yay for Martha staying at Torchwood with Tosh, though !

Posted by: Wonko (wonkots42)
Posted at: February 24th, 2008 08:43 pm (UTC)

I think he's mad at the imposition rather than mad at Martha. She just happens to be the face of it. He'll get over it.

I felt the seeds of tension were there when Martha demanded to know why he hadn't informed UNIT about the glove in 2.07. I think it'll be fun to play off the tension between the two institutions.

Also yay! indeed for kissing and cuteness!

Posted by: The Evil Oppressor Persiflage (persiflage_1)
Posted at: February 24th, 2008 08:57 pm (UTC)
Martha Displeased With Your Antics

I felt the seeds of tension were there when Martha demanded to know why he hadn't informed UNIT about the glove in 2.07. I think it'll be fun to play off the tension between the two institutions.

Oh definitely ! I noticed that and was cheering Martha for "owning" UNIT's ethos - she definitely wasn't pleaed with Jack's antics (*points to icon*)...

Will there be more of this? *looks hopeful*

Posted by: Wonko (wonkots42)
Posted at: February 24th, 2008 09:04 pm (UTC)

That icon is made of win. She didn't like his shenanigens right enough (I love the word shenanigens.)

Will there be more of this?

Yes. I wanted to write something a bit longer, with more of an actual plot. Hence I needed Martha to be working there, hence this fic. That's a lot of hence.

Posted by: The Evil Oppressor Persiflage (persiflage_1)
Posted at: February 24th, 2008 09:06 pm (UTC)
Martha's Belly TW

*giggles* I love the word shenanigans too !

Henceforth I shall be happy with longer Martha/Tosh fic with plot... :D


(Don't mind me, I've had a fic-writing filled day and I'm feeling seriously silly now that I'm unwinding !)

Posted by: Wonko (wonkots42)
Posted at: February 24th, 2008 09:19 pm (UTC)
Silliness FTW!
tosh



I'm watching Rocky Horror with the audience participation audio track. I'm feeling pretty damn silly myself!

(And I spelled shenanigans right for the picture, yay!)

Posted by: The Evil Oppressor Persiflage (persiflage_1)
Posted at: February 24th, 2008 09:23 pm (UTC)
Re: Silliness FTW!
Jack Martha Nightingale Reset

ROFLMAO !

Brilliant !


(Did you notice how I didn't comment on your misspelling of Shenanigans ? I thought that was very tactful of me ! :P)

Posted by: Wonko (wonkots42)
Posted at: February 24th, 2008 09:26 pm (UTC)
Re: Silliness FTW!
kl nyah

Subtle spelling correction is awesome. I knew I should have run it by google first. Bah. Bah, I say!

Posted by: The Evil Oppressor Persiflage (persiflage_1)
Posted at: February 24th, 2008 09:29 pm (UTC)
Re: Silliness FTW!
Do As Martha Says!

*giggles* I'm normally direct and brazen about pointing out such things...

Posted by: Wonko (wonkots42)
Posted at: February 24th, 2008 09:30 pm (UTC)
Re: Silliness FTW!
evil-bunneh

Me too - I'm an English teacher. And a pedant.

Oh the shame, the shame!

Posted by: The Evil Oppressor Persiflage (persiflage_1)
Posted at: February 24th, 2008 09:33 pm (UTC)
Re: Silliness FTW!
10 Geek

I'm an English scholar, a lifelong pedant and a Nerd - there's really no hope for me !

And fun as this conversation is, I really must away to my bed as it's late for me.

Posted by: Wonko (wonkots42)
Posted at: February 24th, 2008 09:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Silliness FTW!

Sleep tight!

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