Shades and Shadows
Owen Harper, Tosh decided, was an absolute tosser. He would manage to get so completely drunk the night before he was needed in London, because all he cared about was drinking away the pain. So now Tosh was covering for him by going to London and pretending to be the Torchwood Three ME. And then there was that stupid part of her that flip-flopped whenever Owen asked for her help, because to her it meant that he thought even though she wasn’t a doctor, she was smart enough to do his job, and he trusted her.
Sometimes Tosh hated that she had a crush on Owen.
However, Owen Harper was the last thing on Tosh’s mind when she arrived at Albion Hospital and saw it swarming with UNIT soldiers.
Tosh leaned on her hands against the autopsy table as she tried to calm her racing heartbeat. These weren’t the exact same UNIT soldiers that had locked her away, but the uniform was still the same. None of them had shown any signs of recognition when they had checked her in, which gave Tosh a little hope, but she still didn’t trust them not to try and lock her up again.
Almost as if reading her thoughts, Tosh’s mobile rang, showing that Jack was calling her. She picked up the phone hesitantly, wondering if Jack was unhappy about her being in London instead of Owen.
“Hey Toshiko, everything alright there?”
Jack sounded too cheerful for the situation, Tosh decided, but it was nice to hear a familiar voice anyway. Apparently she had taken too long in responding though, because Jack answered for her.
“Yes, I know you’re in London. Send Yvonne my love if she deigns to show herself among the working class. But I doubt it, she’s probably pissed UNIT got there first. Wish I could be there with you; all those lovely men in uniform wandering about…
“They can’t have you though, Toshiko. Not that they’re good enough for you anyway, we all know you’re Torchwood’s, and I’m not letting you go.” Jack chuckled before continuing on like he hadn’t just read Tosh’s mind and known exactly what to say to alleviate her fears. She wasn’t really listening anymore, as Jack had gone off on one of his more imaginative tales about flexible aliens with pig snouts, but she was once again grateful to the man for saving her life.
“…and you can trust the doctors there. Call me when you’re done and about to head back. Good luck.”
Tosh blinked at her mobile as Jack disconnected abruptly, but slipped it back into her pocket before returning to her work. She knew that UNIT no longer posed a danger to her, but that didn’t mean she had to be comfortable around them. One of the UNIT higher-ups had told her that the Chief of the Defense Staff would be checking up on her work later and she didn’t want to disappoint.
By the time Tosh was done and had packed the space pig away into temporary storage, it was already well into the night. UNIT soldiers had been constantly coming and going while she was working on it, so the good mood brought on by Jack’s reassurances had vanished pretty quickly, but at least she wasn’t jumping at her own shadow. So far. Also, the mortuary she was working in was quite small and cluttered and had no windows, bringing back Tosh’s memories of her time in a UNIT cell with a vengeance, and the eerie silence that had finally settled only added to that feeling. So when the odd thumping noise turned out to be the alien she’d thought was dead and had dissected jumping out at her, it was no surprise that she screamed.
Even on Owen’s table back in Cardiff, aliens that were dead didn’t just come back to life, and Tosh’s handgun had been confiscated at the entrance because she wasn’t UNIT. That, added to the troop of UNIT soldiers bursting in to the room with their guns drawn, sent Tosh to the floor, shaking, to look for anything she could use to defend herself. And when a strange man with a leather coat and large ears storms in after them, it’s all she can do to insist on her innocence; that the pig had been dead when she looked at it. She really doesn’t want UNIT’s attention on her again. Jack might not let them keep her, but he’s not there to prevent them from holding her on suspicious grounds.
It’s later, when things have calmed down and she’s talking to a man who calls himself “Doctor” that the situation begins to make sense. She’s seen all sorts of strange things at Torchwood Three, so Tosh had assumed from the data she’d collected that the alien pig was just a spatial-genetic offshoot of Earth pigs. The Doctor’s a brilliant man, and she wishes she could pick his brain for more information, but she’s so fascinated by what he showed her and the mystery he’d presented to her, that he managed to slip off without her noticing. The pig really was an Earth pig, but it had been augmented with alien technology for some reason.
Tosh loved mysteries.
She also made a mental note to ask Jack about the Doctor when she gets back to Cardiff. His sonic technology was something she could only dream of making, and someone like that had to be somewhere in the Torchwood records, right?