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Sleep Stealer

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Toshiko Sato was unable to keep her eyes open any more.  She knew her current work was important but she was starting to get a little fuzzy as to why.

She could no longer keep her body upright and she could feel herself falling forward.  Something stopped her before she hit the keys of her keyboard but her eyes didn’t even have the will power to open and see why.

The technical genius was fast asleep before she felt herself lifted up by strong arms, carried to the tatty couch and wrapped in a blanket.  A hand from those arms stroked a lock of hair out of the way before telling the others to try and be quiet.

Tosh woke up feeling highly embarrassed after four hours.  Fortunately Jack appeared to be the only one left in the Hub.

“All night party?” Jack asked with a grin as he handed her a surprisingly decent cup of tea.

“I couldn’t sleep.  I tried but it was as if I couldn’t stop thinking about my rift calculations.  That’s why I came in early today.

“I thought as I wasn’t doing any sleeping at home I might as well come here to work.  Of course I got here and I immediately began to feel exhausted,” Tosh explained.

“Well you didn’t get any of Ianto’s magic coffee this morning,” Jack joked but there was sadness in his eyes.

The Welshman had been on suspension for three weeks now.  Every day they seemed to discover new problems that Ianto normally just smoothed away so they never noticed.

“He’s who you were expecting this morning,” Tosh stated.

When she’d come in early and was surprised when Jack raced out of his office to see her.  He tried to hide it well but Tosh was familiar enough with being the wrong person to appear to know he was disappointed.

“I’ve really got some serious caffeine dependency issues,” Jack replied.

It was a lie but she let it pass.  He may have been a bit disappointed that she was the wrong person but she forgave him as he’d been eager to accept the substitution.

Tosh imagined that Ianto had always come in early to get his chores done and tend Lisa.  Keeping Jack company before the others arrived was something the Captain clearly missed, probably the reason he felt so betrayed.

“Where are the others?” she asked wanting to know when the humiliating torment would begin.

“They’re out getting us lunch.  I told them you spent all night working on some important rift calculations and hadn’t gone to bed.  Well they both left earlier than you last night and arrived later so they won’t know,” Jack promised.

“Thank you,” she told him gratefully.

“Well as long as there is no trouble I suggest you go home early tonight and try to catch up on your sleep,” Jack said rising from where he had crouched beside him.

“I will,” she promised.

 

It was a thankfully quiet day and although Owen did snark about her sleeping on the job a few glares from Jack made him back down.  Still she was exhausted when she left and decided an early night was perfect.

She had a hot bath with ylang ylang and geranium scented oils that made her relax.  She then had a hot chocolate and read a chick lit book she always denied owning before settling in her bed.

Only nothing happened.  She just lay there with nothing to think about.  She was tired, every muscle whimpered to her that they wanted sleep but it just wasn’t happening.

After a couple of frustrating hours Tosh decided to get some outside help.  The local supermarket chemist was open for the same twenty-four hours as the store and much closer than Owen or the Hub.

She waited in what seemed like a remarkably long queue.  This area was normally deserted whenever she had visited this late before.

Her Torchwood instincts prickling she began to listen in to the conversations around her.  After the first one they were tingling with danger warnings.

Everyone in this queue hadn’t slept the previous night.  Some had managed to sleep during the day but others hadn’t.

They were all tired and were hoping to get some sedatives to get them to sleep.  A few mentioned that they had already tried when they couldn’t sleep during the day and wanted to try something stronger.

Tosh left her queue and headed to the Hub calling Jack on the way.  She knew it was a little crazy sounding but the Captain never dismissed anything without a little investigation.

By the time she arrived Jack was already checking the sales figures of sedative and sleep aids and there was a huge increase in a five mile area which Tosh’s house rested in.  The Captain said that he had prepared a bed in the medical bay for her and that he wanted her to try and rest.

Toshiko protested naturally.  If there was a problem she wanted to help.  So the Captain pointed out that this was helping, if she could fall asleep here then that confirmed it was something to do with that area of the city.

The huge yawn she responded with told her that while her mind said no, her body said yes.  Jack had done his best to give her some privacy and make it seem less like a place for sick people.

She was asleep within minutes of curling the bed clothes around her.  When she woke in the morning Jack had news, journalistic news that confirmed that Cardiff was currently suffering from insomnia in certain areas, the area around where she lived.