Ianto Little Smile

June 2023



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Pretty Tosh

Ficlet: Butterfly Dreams

Title: Butterfly Dreams

Author: badly_knitted

Characters: Tosh

Rating: PG

Spoilers: Fragments.

Summary: Tosh dreams of butterflies…

Word Count: 334

Written For: gehayi’s prompt ‘Torchwood, Toshiko Sato, butterflies’ at [community profile] fic_promptly.

Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.

Tosh was dreaming of butterflies.

In her dream she stood in a meadow of flowers, the sky around her filled with brightly coloured fluttering wings, dancing on a warm spring breeze. Everywhere she looked it was as though the flowers themselves were taking flight and the very air thrummed to the beat of a billion tiny wings. Watching them, she felt her heart soar with delight; surely there had never been a more beautiful sight.

A grassy path appeared before her, leading up to the top of a nearby hill, and she followed it, first stepping lightly with bare feet, then dancing and skipping. With every step her body seemed to grow lighter until by the time she reached the top of the hill, her feet barely touched the ground. Butterflies of every colour brushed against her bare skin, and throwing her arms wide she felt the skin between her shoulder blades part painlessly as her own wings unfurled.

Joyful laughter burst from her as she took to the air, effortlessly flying higher and higher, reaching for the sun, one jewel-bright butterfly among a myriad kindred spirits, never to be alone again. She’d never felt so free and alive…


Blaring sirens snapped her back to reality. The sunlit hillside and the butterflies vanished, replaced by a single harsh bulb in the ceiling and the cold, hard floor of her cell beneath her aching body.

She wasn’t free; would never be free again. She’d spend the rest of her life in this bare cell, far away from the sun and the sky, never to see another butterfly or flower except in her dreams.

At first she’d welcomed the dreams, seeing in them a chance to escape from cruel reality, but now she hated them for taunting her with everything she’d lost.

Curling into a ball in the corner of her cell farthest from the door, Tosh wept bitter tears for all the things she’d never taken the time to appreciate and would never see again.

The End


Heartbreaking look at Tosh's nightmare.
Thank you, it was tough to write this one. I love Tosh and she went through hell. This, I've decided, is set just a couple of days before Jack rescues her.

Thank you!
poor tosh but she did see freedom again thanks to Jack.

Great story.
Yes, Jack gave her new wings and enabled her to fly again.

Thank you!
T.T imma cry now...

(Interesting look at Tosh's situation, though. It's amazing she didn't break before Jack got to her.)
*hands tissues* Sorry.

It is, she's far stronger than people give her credit for. I think this is set a few days before Jack rescues her.

Thank you.
I'm so glad Jack came and got her out of this place... then it's just not dreams that are a good place *sigh*
Yeah. I think he came soon after this and set Tosh free. He taught her to fly on her own.

Thank you!
Fortunately, Jack is going to come save
Yes, and he'll be there soon. Tosh doesn't have to endure that dreadful place much longer.

Thank you.
Wow... wow...

And I'm so glad Jack rescued her from UNIT.... um, it looks a teeny bit like you're exploring deeper into the nightmare lives of the other team members? it will be interesting to see your take on Owen's tragedy and maybe, Suzie?
It's not intentional, it's just where the prompts I found during Challenge Week took me. Whether I write anything about Owen or Suzie will again depend on me coming across prompts that trigger ideas. The fic_promptly community doesn't get a lot of Torchwood/Doctor Who prompts, I haven't seen any P
Owen or Suzie prompts that would suit. Maybe I'll come across Author's Choice prompts next time it's Challenge Week, maybe not.

Yes, I'm so glad Jack rescued her. Poor Tosh.
Heartbreaking. :(
Thank you. If it's any comfort, Jack rescued her a couple of days later.
That started out really nice, just a lovely dream. Then you realise at what point she was in her life and it becomes heartbreaking. Like it must have been for her when she woke up.
I was kind of mean there with that twist, but the situation she's in just lends itself to her dreaming of freedom, works much better than if she's already with Torchwood.

Thank you!