Characters: Tosh, Owen, Suzie, Gwen, Jack
Spoilers: Fragments, Everything Changes, Day One, Countrycide, Season 1 in general.
Summary: Tosh knows how much it hurts to be unnoticed.
Word Count: 543
Written For: juliet316’s prompt ‘Author's choice, author's choice, cuts like a knife,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
If anyone were to ask why she loves Owen, Tosh wouldn’t be able to explain. She’s not even sure she really knows. Maybe it’s because he’s safe. He’ll never feel the same, never ask her out; most of the time he barely even acknowledges her existence. If nothing ever starts between them, he can never break her heart. Except, that’s not true, because he breaks her heart every day without even trying.
She thought when Jack recruited Dr Harper that maybe they could become friends. Suzie was so wrapped up in her work that she paid little attention to anything or anyone else, and Jack had so much to do. Tosh had hoped in Owen she’d have someone she could talk to, not just about work but about other things; TV, books, music, movies, everyday things to balance out all the weirdness working for Torchwood involved. But it hadn’t worked out that way. Owen wasn’t as much of a workaholic as Suzie, but as soon as the workday was over, he’d be out the door, headed for the nearest bar to find some company. He picked up a different girl every night, yet never gave Tosh a second glance, and every day of being overlooked hurt a little more.
Then Owen hooked up with Suzie of all people. Tosh knew that whatever went on between her two colleagues had nothing to do with romance; it was just physical, a matter of convenience on those nights Owen couldn’t be bothered to make the effort of chatting up some random woman. Half the time they almost seemed to hate each other, but that didn’t stop them. Once or twice a week, they’d leave the Hub at the same time, or arrive together in the morning, or both disappear during the day; they made no effort to hide their ‘relationship’, if it could be called that. When Tosh had realised Suzie and Owen were sleeping together, she’d felt like her heart was being torn in two; she couldn’t bear to be in the same room as them, or even so much as look at them. Not that either of them noticed, or would have cared anyway. Sometimes, Tosh wondered if she had turned invisible.
After Suzie died, Tosh had naively thought that maybe now Owen would notice her, see her as more than someone to turn to when his computer broke down. But Jack decided to recruit PC Cooper, and it was Suzie and Owen all over again. They didn’t like each other much, they fought constantly, but despite the fact that Gwen lived with her long-term boyfriend, Tosh could tell it was only a matter of time before she and Owen wound up in bed together, and her heart shattered.
Tosh wasn’t outgoing and confident the way Suzie had been, the way Gwen now was. She was quiet, reserved, intelligent; in short, all the things Owen wasn’t interested in. The more she thought about it, the more she realised that it didn’t matter what she tried, she was never going to have what it took to draw Owen’s attention the way she wanted.
She was destined to remain unnoticed by the man she loved, and the pain of that knowledge cut her like a knife.