Fandom: Doctor Who/Torchwood
Characters: Tosh, the Ninth Doctor
Spoilers: Doctor Who - Aliens of London. Torchwood – Fragments.
Summary: Tosh has to take Owen’s place on an assignment in London, which means passing herself off as a medical doctor…
Word Count: 867
Written For: Prompt 036 – Charlatan at fandomweekly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
She isn’t who she says she is, or rather she is, but the people in charge think she’s something she isn’t, and it’s all Owen’s fault for being too hung over to handle this assignment. Toshiko Sato is a scientist and computer expert, not the medical doctor everyone assumes she is from her title, but she can wing it. She hopes. It’s just a matter of finding out as much as she can about what’s going on in London and reporting back to Jack in Cardiff. It’ll be a piece of cake, just as long as she doesn’t get found out.
Her scanners are all she needs in the way of equipment; with them she’s able to examine the pig creature without having to do any dissecting, which is fortunate. She’s not squeamish, and she’s seen Owen carry out a fair number of autopsies, but that doesn’t mean she feels competent to cut into a body herself, especially something the likes of which she’s never seen or even imagined before. At least the creature’s outlandish appearance makes it easy for her to pretend to be shocked by the existence of aliens, even though she’s probably seen and interacted with more sentient species than anyone else in the hospital. In that respect she’s uniquely qualified to be here. Well, maybe not uniquely, there’s at least one person who’s better qualified in every respect, and he should be the one doing this. Owen is so going to owe her for bailing him out.
Tosh has successfully fooled everyone she’s met so far, until the man with the big ears shows up. Somehow she can tell that he knows she’s a charlatan, and she’d probably be more worried about that if she didn’t have other things on her mind at the moment. Earlier, her main fear was that someone would recognise her, know her for a fraud, and she’d end up right back in the UNIT prison Jack found her in two years ago. A terrifying thought, but one that’s been pushed to the back of her mind because the pig alien is alive and on the loose, and she’d been so sure it was dead. How could she have been wrong about something that basic? Surely that’s a mistake nobody with genuine medical training would ever make. Now everyone probably thinks she’s incompetent, but it hardly seems to matter. There’s an alien to catch, and that’s a situation she’s only too familiar with.
She has no idea why she trusts the big-eared stranger so completely. One word to the wrong person and it’ll be game over for her, but there’s something about him that makes her believe whatever is really going on around here, it’ll all be okay now that he’s here. He seems to have a certain amount of authority over the various military branches in attendance, but it’s more than that. It’s his confidence, his enthusiasm, his gentleness and compassion towards the alien pig, and his anger over what has been done to an innocent creature. Unlike all the military might surrounding them, this man truly cares. Everyone else is afraid, fearing invasion, but not him. Tosh has so many questions, but before she can think to ask any of them, her new acquaintance is gone, and she never even got his name. One minute he was right beside her and then he just disappeared; she can’t help wondering if maybe he shouldn’t have been here either.
Taking his disappearance as her cue to make herself scarce, Tosh decides it’s time to leave. Collecting her equipment, she makes her way to the front door, looking far calmer than she feels. Inside she’s terrified that someone will stop her, but Tosh has learned a lot from Jack over the last couple of years. If you act as though you have every right to be where you are, doing whatever it is you’re doing, most people will just let you go on about your business. With that in mind, she tries to look like she’s been cleared to leave, and simply walks out, briefly flashing her ID card at the guards by the door. They nod politely and let her go, and it’s all she can do not to run for her car as soon as she’s past them, but she keeps walking purposefully, climbs in, starts the engine, and pulls out of the car park, heading for Cardiff and home.
As she turns onto the motorway, the past few hours seem dreamlike. It’s hard to believe that she just pulled off such a charade. She feels kind of bad about having passed herself off as a doctor; she knows how many years of training are necessary for anyone embarking on a career in medicine, and impersonating a doctor is no doubt a criminal offence, even if she was just following her boss’s orders. At least she wasn’t expected to treat anyone. Then again, when she’d introduced herself, she’d never claimed to be a doctor of medicine, so maybe she wasn’t quite as much of a charlatan as she thought. She can only hope the information she collected for Jack will prove worth the subterfuge involved in obtaining it.