Title: Accepting Fate
Characters: Owen, Tosh
Spoilers: Exit Wounds.
Summary: Owen’s about to die again, and he knows this time it will be final.
Word Count: 646
Written For: My own prompt ‘Torchwood, Owen. He's trapped, about to be swamped by radiation, and he doesn't want to die,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
Life is so fucking unfair! He’d been happy, or at least content with his life, had even sort of been okay with his death, sacrificing himself to protect Martha, but Jack bloody Harkness couldn’t leave well enough alone and resurrected him as an undead zombie.
Owen couldn’t eat, drink, sleep, or have sex, and those were his favourite occupations, although not necessarily in that order. He might as well have been dead considering how much fun he could have in his new existence, which is to say, none at all. Worse, everyone seemed to expect him to be happy about being not-dead. Well, screw them. Not that he could, which sucked. In the space of a couple of hours, his life had become a living hell with no obvious way out. How do you kill someone who’s already dead? The best he could look forward to was bits of him falling off until he crumbled away completely, because in his undead state, he was unable to heal. No blood flow, no cell regeneration, nothing.
And yet, he’d grown used to it and come to a kind of grudging acceptance; he’d been coping. So of course, just when he’d regained his equilibrium, this had to happen. The universe had a sick sense of humour.
He’s in the containment building of the Turnmill nuclear facility, and the bloody place is going into meltdown. It’s gone too far to be stopped, but following Tosh’s instructions he’s diverted the flow channels to vent internally, which basically means this room. That would be a good thing, the radiation safely contained, except that now he can’t get out; a power surge in the system triggered an emergency lockdown, and the room he’s in is about to be flooded with irradiated coolant.
He’s going to die. Again. And this time it’ll be permanent because there won’t be anything left of Owen Harper. His body will decompose and merge with the gloop that’s going to start pouring in here any moment, and this is the worst possible time to realise that as fucked up as his life has become, he doesn’t want it to end. Even being a zombie is better than being nothing at all.
So he rails at his fate, screaming and rating and raging, until Tosh begs him to stop. He can’t see her face but he can hear the tears in her voice, knows she’s crying, and that’s even worse. He wants to remain angry, but all the rage inside him melts away in the face of her pleas.
“You’re breaking my heart.”
And that’s the last thing he’d ever wanted to do, it’s why he ignored her crush on him, never asked her on a date even though she’s a beautiful, amazing woman and one of the best friends he’s ever had. Because he knows he would’ve screwed things up somewhere along the way and hurt her, and she didn’t deserve that. She’s always been too good for him.
Tosh is blaming herself, and that’s not right, because even a genius like her can’t anticipate every possibility. He tells her that and hopes that she’ll believe him, because he can’t bear the thought of her living the rest of her life under such a shadow. She’s saved his life so many times, and what they’ve done tonight will save thousands of other people. That kind of means he’ll die a hero, doesn’t it? Tosh will be better off without him, she’ll finally be able to move on and find someone who’s worthy of her. Perhaps this is the way it should be. He’s been living on borrowed time ever since he died.
Machines are beeping and he knows this is it, the start of the end for him, and surprisingly, it’s alright; he’s ready to accept his fate.
Really. It’s alright.
He has no idea Tosh is dying too.