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Come Back and Haunt Me

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Suzie is harder and colder than Tosh remembers her, and she can't decide if that's the lingering after-effects of death, or if she was always this way, if Tosh just failed to see...

She tries not to look at her, but it's not easy with Suzie just over her shoulder, with no one else in the Hub. It's so quiet she can hear Suzie breathing, and she's inexplicably bothered by that. Maybe it's just that she's not supposed to be breathing at all.

Suzie shifts a little closer - Tosh doesn't even see, she just hears the scrape of the chair, feels the weight of presence, and shifts instinctively away. If she just keeps her eyes on the computer screens, as if there's anything there to keep her occupied, if she just waits until the others return...

It's Suzie who speaks first. It always is. Was.

"I suppose it's too much to ask if you missed me?"

Tosh can feel her throat closing up before she even gets close to a response. Yes, is the answer she wants to give her. Yes, it's too much to ask. What right does she have to know anything when she never said anything, not that mattered, when she never bothered with a goodbye... No, is what she wants to tell her. No, she didn't miss her, because she got rid of all her things, all the little things, notes and pictures and all, because she put Suzie Costello in a little box under her bed, in a closed and locked compartment in the back of her mind, and did all she could to forget about what could have been love.

"Does it matter?" is what she ends up asking, voice quiet and rough, without turning to look at her.

Suzie is silent behind her, just the sound of her breathing, too loud in the otherwise silent Hub. Somehow that makes it worse. Tosh had already braced herself for the response, and even when it seems there's nothing coming, she's still holding her breath, her shoulders tensed like she's expecting a physical blow. She turns in her chair, finally, because that's easier than waiting.

"I had a girlfriend. Is that what you wanted to hear? That I've moved on?" The words are out before she can think, before she can stop them, and that's not what she meant to say. Not like her to say anything without making time to consider it, but her nerves are stretched so tight, calm balancing on a knife's edge, and Suzie's pale face is just so composed, nothing in there to tell what she thinks of this, if she feels anything at all.

Suzie just watches her for a second, while Tosh remembers to breathe, slow and even and calm, damn it, while Tosh tries to keep her hands from shaking, while Tosh fights to keep every trace of an emotion under control, and anger leaks out anyway because that's safest, that's the only thing that's safe now.

"What happened to her?" Suzie asks after a moment, softly. Tosh doesn't know what to make of her tone. Jealousy or sympathy or concern or pain, none of them seem to fit this cold woman who looks and sounds like someone she used to love. Maybe she's only hearing what she wishes was there.

"She's dead," Tosh says, spinning her chair away from Suzie again, her mouth twisting into a pained grimace. She'd laugh, if she thought she could force it believably. "It's getting to be a habit with me."

With her. With Torchwood. Hazards of the job, and she's done everything she can to convince herself that's acceptable, not just unavoidable. I didn't miss you and I've moved on and I didn't, don't, never loved you. There's not a one of those that isn't a lie.