A/N - I don't own anything, cept come incredibly evil plot bunnies...way too many, in point of fact...anyway, any reviews would be gratefully recieved...I would like to know how soon you want the big reveal, cos i've already got that part written :) to those who are ready by story Key I haven't forgotten it, but it's being stubborn, it doesn't want to be written :( I am working on it tho...love xx Shezzi
Toshiko Sato sat back at her desk, sighing tiredly. She needed to get out, their last case had been almost too much, with Suzy coming back to life and Gwen nearly dying, she needed to get away. Just then, Jack came bounding up the stairs, a small smile at the corners of his mouth. "All right, everyone, off you go. We all need a break after today, go home, go get a drink, whatever, but I want you all out of here, now!" He grinned around, flapping his hands at them in a shooing gesture. Giving him odd looks, they picked up their bags and left.
"You should not be drinking," Owen told Gwen seriously. "Come on, we'll go get some coffee, then I'll give you a ride home." She nodded, still looking slightly dazed, and he led her away, both calling their goodbyes to Tosh, who smiled slightly, waving them off.
"I need a drink!" She muttered, walking away purposefully, heading for her usual hangout, where she sat down at the bar. "Rum and coke, please," she told the bartender when he turned to her. She sat, sipping, listening to the conversations going on, and just started to relax, letting go of the stress of the day. A weight hit the barstool beside her, and she glanced around, to meet the eyes of a beefy man who leered at her in what he probably thought was a charming fashion.
"Buy you a drink, lovely?" he offered, smirking.
"No thanks, I'm right," she replied, turning to face back over the bar, lifting what was her second rum and coke to her lips and trying to ignore him. He reached over, brushing against her roughly.
"Dance with me, then." He grabbed her hand roughly and tried to pull her from the seat.
"No, thanks," she replied coldly, yanking her hand from his. The man grabbed her shoulder then, and yanked her around, his lip curling angrily. Tosh could see the alcohol-fueled rage in his eyes, felt his bruising grip on her arm, then he was yanked away.
"I believe the lady said no," snapped an American accented voice. Glancing up, Tosh saw a red headed woman holding the man pinned against the floor, his arm twisted up behind him. "I think you owe her an apology," she growled in his ear, dragging him upright.
"Screw you, you f***ing ARRRGH!" He screamed as the woman twisted his wrist some more.
"I'm...sorry..." the red head threw him away.
"Get out. You're not welcome here." The red head turned back to Tosh, smiling calmly. "Hi, I'm Willow." She held out her hand, and Tosh shook it, smiling.
"Let me buy you a drink. Least I can do," Tosh indicated the now empty bar stool with her head. A more brilliant smile broke over Willow's face, and she sat, calling to the bar keeper for a rum and coke of her own. "On my tab please, Charlie," added Tosh, and he nodded. "I'm Tosh," Tosh smiled at the beautiful woman beside her. "Thank you for that," she belatedly added.
"That's fine, the guy was a jerk," Willow shrugged calmly.
"So, what was that? Tai Kwon Do, Karate?" Tosh asked curiously.
"I never really learnt a specific style, just what works as self defense. There's no point in having a black belt if you can't actually use it to defend yourself or others."
"Very true," Tosh nodded her agreement. "So, who taught you?"
"Believe it or not, my high school librarian." Willow laughed at the expression on Tosh's face. "It's not as weird as it sounds, several friends and I hung out in the library a lot, and our home town was dangerous. He was our mentor, and he wanted us to be able to take care of ourselves, so he taught us."
"Dangerous? Dangerous how?" asked Tosh curiously.
"Lots of gangs on PCP," Willow told her, smiling as though at a personal joke.
"Yeah, that's dangerous," Tosh agreed mildly, not seeing the joke.
"So, what do you do?" Asked Willow, curling a strand of hair around her finger and taking a sip from her drink.
"I work for the government, pretty boring stuff really. You?" Tosh attempted to divert the attention off her work.
"I work for an international organisation, one of the things we do is run a boarding school for girls. I'm here in Cardiff because we're planning to set up a new branch here, specifically for the younger classes. I'm supposed to head this branch, and teach."
"You're a teacher?" asked Tosh, surprised. It wasn't exactly what she had expected.
"Not exactly. I won't be teaching classroom classes, more self defense and things, and I'll be running the school."
"Cool." Tosh finished her drink at the same time as Willow, and they sat looking at each other silently for a moment.
"Would you...like to dance?" Asked Willow, uncertain.
"I'd love to," Tosh replied, taking Willow's hand and leading her out onto the open space that constituted a dance floor. The music they moved to the music, not really close to each other, but lightly brushing up against one another from time to time.
At the end of the night, they sat together in a secluded booth, laughing at a silly story of Willow's life in Sunnydale, the town she grew up in. Tosh yawned hugely. "I should probably go, I've got to be at work early tomorrow." She smiled slightly sadly, not wanting the evening to end.
"Can I get your number?" Willow asked, surprising her. "I'd like to do this again, if you would," she added hopefully.
"Sure, I'd love to. My number is 555-017-459. What's yours?" Willow quickly supplied her number, and the two of them sat slightly awkwardly for a few seconds, then Tosh leaned in and kissed Willow gently on the lips. Willow responded, and the kiss deepened briefly before they pulled gently apart. "So, another night?" asked Tosh softly.
"I'd like that. I'd like that a lot," Willow replied, squeezing Tosh's fingers gently before standing, pulling her with her, and leading her out of the bar. "So, where's your car?" she asked, glancing around.
"Actually, I walked from work, I was planning on getting a cab," Tosh explained. "Didn't want to have to worry about driving home after a night on the town."
"Fair enough. You call, we can share it, I don't have a car as yet, I only got into town yesterday."
"Fine, just give me a second." Tosh quickly rang the company, ordering the cab, then turned to face Willow, who grinned at her. They waited together, discussing random topics and opinions, until it pulled up. "So, where are you staying?" Tosh asked, trying to decide where to tell the cabby to go first.
"I'm staying at the Novotel. You?"
"Oh, my suburb is past there; we can drop you off on the way." Tosh grinned, opening the door for Willow.
"The Novotel, please," Willow told the cabby. Reaching across the seat, she took Tosh's hand in hers, playing with the fingers. They sat in silence in the back of the cab, which, in Tosh's opinion, reached the hotel all together too quickly.
"So, another night? Call me, or I'll call you," she told her, grinning.
"Definitely. I'll see you soon, Tosh," Willow squeezed Tosh's hand one last time, then exited the cab. Tosh gave the cabby her address, and sat back, smiling to herself.
The next morning, Tosh woke with a groan, pushing herself up out of bed and shutting off her alarm. She quickly showered, dressed and drank her coffee. As she went, she thought about the night before, and Willow. She had felt drawn to the redhead in at way she had not felt in some time. It didn’t even compare to what she had felt with Mary, who had manipulated and bullied her, even if she truly had cared for her.
She touched her lips gently, remembering the feel of Willow’s kiss. Glancing at the clock, she swore, and ran out the front door, quickly locking it behind her, and flagged down a cab, getting a ride to the centenary building. She quickly hurried into work, breathing a sigh of relief that she actually wasn’t late. Ianto smiled at her, a genuinely happy expression for once, instead of his usual polite imitations. She grinned back, and he opened the door for her.
Tosh hurried down the tunnel, her mind replaying parts of the last night, particularly dancing and their kiss, the electric type tingle she received whenever their skin had met. She bit her lip, trying to force her thoughts onto a more useful track. She exited the tunnel, through the security doors into the main chamber. She hurried up to her desk, apparently the first one in this morning, except for Jack, of course. He saw her coming and watched her closely for a moment, before standing and walking over to her desk. There was a slight smile around Tosh’s mouth, and she seemed to be almost glowing.
“So, what’s her name?” he asked, startling her. She jumped, whirling to stare at him, wearing an almost guilty expression, which she swiftly tried to cover with one of confusion. He grinned at her, raising an eyebrow, and she dropped her head slightly, then glanced back up at him, grinning slightly.
“Am I that obvious?” she asked, not really surprised.
“Probably only to me. So, what’s her name?” he grinned infectiously.
“Willow. Her name is Willow,” Tosh’s eyes softened as she spoke the name.
“Does Willow have a surname?” inquired Jack, probing gently.
“I’m sure she does, but I don’t know it yet,” Tosh grinned at him. “Why the inquisition?” she asked, curious.
“Where does Willow live?” asked Jack then, ignoring Tosh’s question.
“Ja-ack!” whined Tosh, annoyed. He crossed his arms and raised an eyebrow. “I don’t need a protective older brother figure,” she sulked grumpily. Jack just stared hard at her. “She’s new in town, staying at the Novotel. She’s American, works for an international girls boarding school that’s looking to set up a Junior School campus here. That enough information for you, Jack?” She mock glared at her boss and friend. She understood his position, she really did, but still, it could be annoying.
“Do you trust her?” he asked, trying to gauge the depth of Tosh’s feelings.
“Dunno yet,” Tosh replied with a shrug. “We didn’t talk about anything much in the way of work any way. She asked, I said I did boring government work, we moved on. We danced, talked, drank, called a cab, dropped her at the hotel…” she trailed off, her expression distant. Jack grinned at her slightly dopey expression, then pulled her phone out of her bag and started going through the numbers.
“Oi!” cried Tosh when she realized what he was doing. She made a grab for it, but he held it out of her reach and quickly scrolled down to the ‘W’ section, finding Willow’s number. “Don’t you dare, Jack, don’t you…” she broke off when he hit the dial button, instead diving for him, tackling him to the floor and trying to get the phone. It rang several times then picked up, and he heard a girl calling out on the other end.
“Chill, Red, she’s ringing you. I’m just gonna do the twenty questions thing, then the threatening thing, make sure she doesn’t hurt you.”
“Faith, give me back my phone this instant! Or else…” there was no elaboration on that, but from the muffled bumping, Jack thought the phone might be being handed over. “Hello, Willow speaking!” came a chirpy, friendly voice from the other end.