Title: Unrequited Love
Characters: Tosh, Owen, Team Torchwood
Spoilers: The whole first season.
Summary: Tosh knows how it feels to love someone who barely notices she exists.
Word Count: 658
Written For: My own prompt ‘Any, any, the pain of unrequited love,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
If anyone ever asked her, Tosh wouldn’t have been able to explain why she loved Owen. From the day she’d met him, he’d been rude, obnoxious, surly, inconsiderate, selfish, lazy and downright condescending. He drank too much, had an endless string of one night stands with women he’d picked up in bars, and barely gave her a second glance despite the fact that they worked together almost every day. She knew she was wasting her time pining over him, but somehow she couldn’t help herself, because…
There were times when he could be really sweet and thoughtful, and it made her hope for more.
Tosh sighed, pushed her glasses up her forehead and rubbed her eyes. She’d been working on this programme all day; now it was mid-afternoon, her head ached, her eyes were blurry and she couldn’t concentrate. Jack and Suzie were out on a Rift alert. She wished she’d gone with them; she could have used the break. The new medic was still somewhere about; he was cute, or would be if he wasn’t always scowling.
“Here, you look like you could use this.” A mug of tea was set down on her desk with a thump and she looked up to see Owen’s retreating back.
“Forget it, I was making one for myself anyway.” He didn’t even look around, just stomped back down to his domain, but the simple gesture gave her a warm glow inside. Maybe he liked her too.
Time passed, but Owen remained grumpy and largely oblivious to Tosh. He hooked up with Suzie, though Tosh could tell it wasn’t about romance. It was an arrangement of convenience for both of them, but seeing them leaving work together still hurt.
On her birthday, Owen presented Tosh with a silly card, a cupcake, and a kiss on the cheek.
“Happy Birthday, Tosh. Doin’ anything fun tonight?”
She shook her head. “No, I don’t have any plans.”
“You should get out there, put yourself on the market. The rate you’re going, you’ll wind up an old maid.”
It was like being stabbed in the heart.
“I’ll think about it.”
“Thanks for the cake.”
A new guy joined the team; he was as quiet and reserved as Tosh herself. She liked him right away, but not the way she liked Owen. She hoped that maybe she and Ianto could become friends. It would be nice to have someone to talk to about things other than work. Jack talked to her, but he was the boss so it didn’t count. Owen and Suzie mostly ignored her. They weren’t getting along these days; maybe they’d split up.
“What d’you think of the new guy?” Owen asked one day, out of the blue.
“He seems nice, I like him.”
“You’d suit each other, you’re both uptight workaholics.”
Tosh couldn’t even conjure up the energy to get angry. “He’s not really my type.”
“No wonder you’re still single; you’re too damned choosy.”
‘Why can’t you just see me, Owen?’ Tosh thought. ‘I’m right here, but you never notice.’
Suzie killed herself, Gwen joined the team, and Tosh met Mary, which didn’t work out because Mary turned out to be an alien responsible for a string of murders going back over a century. The pendant Mary gave her allowed her to hear what Owen really thought of her; she wished she’d never worn it.
Owen had an affair with Gwen right under everyone’s noses, then fell head over heels in love with an accidental time traveller, who left and broke his heart.
Tosh resigned herself to her fate. ‘I might as well face it, there’s always going to be someone else he’s interested in, he’s never going to notice me, I might as well be part of the furniture.’
Loving someone who would never love her back hurt more than she’d ever imagined possible, and Tosh knew it was a pain that would never go away.