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)
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.
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
"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,
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
"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
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
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
"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
"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,
"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
"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
"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
Tosh was quiet for a long minute. "Well," she said eventually.
"I was wondering..." she paused.
"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..."
Me too - I'm an English teacher. And a pedant.Oh the shame, the shame!
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.