Characters: Ianto, Tosh, mentions Jack, Gwen, Rhys, Owen and others.
Spoilers: Exit Wounds, To The Last Man, Fragments.
Summary: At midnight on Halloween, Ianto gets an unexpected visitor.
Word Count: 884
Written For: My own prompt ‘Torchwood, Ianto & Tosh. Ianto gets a visit from Tosh's ghost,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
With Tosh and Owen gone, Halloween had fallen a bit flat. The five of them, plus Rhys, had gone to town the previous year, dressing up in crazy costumes and partying like there was no tomorrow, but now the team was down to only three and try as he might, even Rhys couldn’t inspire the party spirit in them.
Ianto had decorated the tourist office as usual, handed out candy to visitors, but dressing up had felt like too much of an effort. Gwen’s witch’s hat had seemed to droop and Jack had been listless, so unlike his usual self that Ianto had been concerned.
A team trip to the pub after work had seemed to lift Jack’s spirits a bit, and back at the Hub after Gwen and Rhys had gone home, he’d been his usual lusty self, but now Jack was sleeping and Ianto was wide awake. It hardly seemed fair.
Slipping out of Jack’s cot, careful not to disturb his lover, Ianto pulled on some clothes and climbed the ladder to the office above. Maybe some warm milk would help him sleep.
The Hub was in night mode, everything powered down, but there was enough light for Ianto to find his way to the small kitchen area and it only took a few moments to warm a mug of milk in the microwave. He took his drink over to the sofa beneath the Torchwood sign and sank wearily onto the battered cushions.
Nothing was the same without Tosh and Owen. Some days Ianto missed his friends so much that he felt like he could barely breathe. He closed his eyes and wiped away the tears that had come from nowhere to cloud his vision.
“I miss you, Tosh.”
“I know you do. I miss you too.”
Ianto’s eyes snapped open and he almost spilled his milk. Tosh was standing just the other side of the coffee table. She was a bit see-through, but otherwise looked pretty much like she always had.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you.”
“You can’t be here; you’re dead!” Ianto’s voice cracked on the last word.
“I know. Have you forgotten what night this is?”
“It’s Halloween. All Hallows Eve.”
“Exactly. It’s the one night of the year when the dead can walk the earth. Being this close to the Rift helps, otherwise I don’t think you’d be able to see or hear me.”
“I can see through you.”
“I’m insubstantial on this plane of existence. If you tried to touch me, your hand would go straight through.”
“I’ll keep that in mind. Are you real?”
“I like to think so.” Tosh smiled impishly then grew serious again. “I had to see you, I‘ve been worried about you; all of you. Are you okay? I mean, since Owen and I died?”
“It’s hard without you. It’s like you and Owen took all the fun away with you. We’re doing our best but nothing’s the same. Jack spends more time brooding, Gwen smiles less and cries more. Well, we all do. We failed you, we weren’t there when you needed us…”
“It wasn’t your fault Ianto, or Gwen’s, or Jack’s, no matter what he believes. Ianto, it’s okay. Owen and I are fine, we’re even happy. Owen has Katie back and I have Tommy, we found each other again. Can you believe he was waiting for me? We have a good life on the next plane. I have no regrets, except that our deaths have hurt you so much. Please be happy, for me and for Owen, but mostly for yourself. Make the most of every moment so that you never have to regret anything, and remember that I died doing the job I loved and trying to help people. What more could anyone ask out of life?”
“And tell Jack… Tell him we miss him, but that some day he’ll join us. Everyone dies and moves on eventually, even him, he just has to live longer than most of us.”
“I’ll tell him, I promise.”
“Good. I should go now, Tommy’s waiting. Take care of yourself, Ianto. You will always be the best friend I’ve ever had.”
“You too, Tosh. Will I see you again?”
“If you’re close to the Rift this time next year, I’ll visit you again. Midnight, that’s when the walls are thinnest. Any Rift will do, it doesn’t have to be this one; there are lots of them out there.” Tosh gestured upwards. “Space is full of them. Goodbye Ianto. Until next year.”
“Bye, Tosh. Have a good afterlife.”
“Count on it.” Tosh waved as she slowly faded out of sight and was gone.
For a while, Ianto just sat there staring at where Tosh had stood, his mug of milk slowly cooling in front of him. Had it been a dream or had Tosh really been there? He smiled to himself as he realised that he believed what he’d seen. Getting to his feet, he took his mug to the kitchen and poured the milk down the sink, rinsed the mug and put it away. He hadn’t even taken a sip of it, but he felt better, lighter; he thought he could sleep now.
Death wasn’t the end of life after all. Everything was going to be okay.