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Myfanwy 2

August 2018

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Myfanwy 2

Mind Games - Chapter Two

Mind Games - Chapter Two
Author: Milady Dragon
Series: Dragon-Verse
Rating: PG-13
Pairing(s): Jack/Ianto; Gwen/Owen, Gwen/Rhys (mentioned), Tosh/Mary
Warnings: Language, violence, dubious consent (implied)
Spoilers: Up through Torchwood S1, E7, "Greeks Bearing Gifts"
Disclaimer:  I don't own Torchwood, I would have treated it better.
Author's note: This is based on the episode "Greeks Bearing Gifts", although adapted to the Dragon-Verse.  Once again, the dating is taken from several fan-made chronologies and from the TARDIS Index File. 


Summary:  As the team investigate a mysterious death and a more mysterious artifact, Toshiko meets a woman in a pub who doesn't have her best interests in mind.



 

15 November 2007

 

“Toshiko Sato,” the woman said.  “Born London, 1975.  Moved to Osaka when you were two, then back to the UK in 1986.  Parents in the RAF, grandfather worked at Bletchley Park.  Very impressive.”

Toshiko stared at her, her mind whirling.  Certainly, some of this could have been found on the internet; she was certain in her time she’d left quite a bit of a paper trail.  She hadn’t particularly worried about it, but with this recitation Toshiko was seriously considering asking Jack if she could write a virus that would destroy a Torchwood operative’s personal information anywhere it was found online.

“University…blah blah blah,” the woman went on.  “Snapped up to a government think tank when you were twenty.  Recruited into Torchwood four years ago.”

She didn’t know about my time in a UNIT holding facility, Toshiko thought.  How interesting.  That meant Jack had been as good as his word, and deleted anything to do with her spending time as a ‘guest’ of the Unified Intelligence Taskforce. 

Toshiko wanted to leave.  But there was something about this woman, something that made her want to stay.  She couldn’t figure it out.  It was like she was rooted to the spot, listening as this stranger went on about her, and what she’d been able to find out. 

The woman lit a cigarette; Toshiko didn’t like being around smokers, but still couldn’t find the inclination to leave.  “I saw you at the building site this morning,” she said.  “What was that you had in the case?”

The technician shook her head.  There was no way she was going to talk about anything that this person had an interest in.  “How do you know about Torchwood?” she asked instead.

She shrugged.  “There’s stuff on the internet, but you have to dig really deep.  Plus, we pick up bits and pieces from police radio scanners.”  She reached for the drink the bartender had set in front of her.

“We?” Toshiko demanded.  She was very much aware that Torchwood was one of the worst-kept secrets in Cardiff, but she knew damned well that she and Ianto kept very close tabs on any and all websites that might have reason to mention Torchwood. 

“Scavengers,” she answered.  “Collectors.  Just like you.”

And again, something that didn’t quite add up in her recital.  While Torchwood could be considered scavengers, they were funded by the Privy Purse and weren’t anything like this woman was implying.  “How many are there of you?”  If she could get numbers and information, they could check out just what these so-called collectors were.  There was a lot of alien tech out there that was just too dangerous for civilians to have, and it was their job to make certain no one was hurt.

“Oh,” she said, waving her hand, “don’t think it’s in any way organized.  It’s really just a disparate bunch of IT guys who live with their mothers.”

Toshiko somehow doubted that, just from the brush-off she’d gotten.  She needed to get whatever information this woman had, in order to see just what sort of trouble whoever it was, was up to. 

At the same time, she knew she really should go.  She should call Jack, so they could pick the stranger up and get whatever she knew out of her, then Retcon her.   But at this point all she had was someone who knew how to use the internet and who’d tried to intimidate her with her knowledge.  For all Toshiko knew, this could be a stalker, or worse yet one of the few groupies they seemed to get.  It had happened before; Eugene Jones was a prime example, and Ianto was always trying to deflect him.

She made her decision.

“Let’s get a booth,” Toshiko said, grabbing her drink and her bag.  “And you can tell me more.”

**********

It should have tipped Toshiko off that she was being a bit more loose-lipped than usual, but something was telling her that it was okay.

She couldn’t figure it out.  The woman – she called herself Mary, not bothering to share her last name – just sat there and listened, while Toshiko rambled on about things she really shouldn’t.  It was almost a compulsion to talk, to tell Mary things that she’d normally keep quiet.  Toshiko managed to keep it light and frivolous, but a part of her was saying that it felt good to confide in someone who wasn’t Torchwood. 

Another part was a bit freaked out by her apparent trust in a complete stranger.

“I shouldn’t even be telling you this stuff,” she interrupted herself, taking a sip from her wine.  She wasn’t even drunk, and she’d keep an eye on her drink so there was no chance that she’d been doped.  “I could get fired.”

That wasn’t true, she wouldn’t be fired.  Retconned, yes…fired, no.  Firing her meant that she’d end up back with UNIT, and Toshiko knew that Ianto wouldn’t let that happen. The dragon had been horrified by her treatment back then, and had made her a promise that she’d never be handed back to UNIT no matter what.

Mary kept looking at her, her dark eyes intense in that pretty face.  Somewhere in the back of her mind she was realizing that Mary had gotten to her; that despite her going into this with her eyes open and best of intentions, she’d somehow fallen under Mary’s spell.  Maybe it was just as simple as having someone to talk to; or perhaps it was something more. 

Toshiko wanted to stop.  She wanted to get up out of that booth, and go and call Jack and tell him that there was possible danger to Torchwood and that they needed to take Mary in for questioning. 

And yet, she still sat there.

“I want to show you something,” Mary said, reaching into her bag and pulling out a battered old tin.  She set it on the table, giving Toshiko a conspiratorial grin. 

Inside was a pendant.

It was obviously alien.  Toshiko didn’t need any of her scanners to know that. 

“Put it on,” Mary urged.

She didn’t want to.  But her hands were moving of their own accord, grasping the cord and slipping it around her neck, hooking the clasp. 

It lay cold against her skin.

And suddenly, she wasn’t alone in her head.

“I’ll drink one more then drive home slowly.”

“Does coffee count as food if you take sugar?”

“If he tugs at his groin one more time, I’ll smack him in the face…”

The voices were overwhelming, slamming into Toshiko’s mind and she couldn’t stop them.

“I should have said it was Hammer Time when she asked what time it was.  That would have made them laugh.”

“Bloody Sudoku…”

“Did I send that email?  Did I click ‘reply to all’?”

“They’re people’s thoughts,” Mary’s voice intruded into the cacophony pounding through Toshiko’s skull.

“He doesn’t touch me anymore.”

“They’re people’s thoughts, Toshiko.”

She knew that.  She could tell they were all in her head, echoing through her consciousness as they were speaking across a great chasm. 

“I should have shagged that single dad I met.”

“What’s that Asian girl doing?  Is she having some sort of fit?”

Toshiko realized that it was her that whoever it was, was thinking of.  She tried to get herself back under control, not wanting to draw attention to herself.

“She’s cute though.  Is that her girlfriend?  Marcus reckons he’s done it with two lesbians, lucky sod.  How would that work?”

Toshiko’s eyes track over, and manage to pinpoint the man who was thinking those particular thoughts.  Not bad looking, but he was watching her and Mary with an interest that the technician found unnerving.  “That man over there…I can hear him.”

“I mean, does one of them sort of sit on – “

“Toshiko,” Mary’s voice cut through the din, “I need you to focus.”

“I can hear all of them!” She didn’t know whether to be excited, or horrified.

“Hone in on my voice,” Mary ordered.  “Shut everything else out.”

Toshiko turned away from the man, her eyes meeting Mary’s.  There was something swirling deep with them, a soft blue color that was gone as quickly as it had appeared.   She closed her eyes, attempting to do what Mary directed, and it took a lot out of her to do just that. 

Eventually, she opened her eyes to see Mary still staring at her.   “Very good,” she congratulated.

“There’s just so much…”  It felt as if she was swimming against the tide.

“Just home in on my thoughts,” Mary’s voice was now in her head. “Only my thoughts.  Ignore everyone else.  Follow my voice…”

Toshiko mentally berated herself.  She knew her mind; knew she could block out pretty much anything around her while she was concentrating on one of her projects.  She reached for that, locking all of her attention on Mary and her mental voice.

“Follow my voice,” Mary encouraged.  “What am I thinking?”

“You’re thinking…”

“ – that I want to kiss you…”

Toshiko gasped, practically yanking the pendant from around her neck.  No, she didn’t want to hear anymore.   She slammed it onto the table, not concerned if she broke the colored crystal on it or not. 

“I’m sorry,” Mary apologized.  “That was…”

“No, look – “  She tried hard to gather her scattered thoughts; they’d been blown apart under the assault of all the minds in the pub.

“Sometimes you can’t control – “

“It’s fine.”  Toshiko was lying; it was anything but fine.  All of those people, thinking so much…and then Mary’s thought…no, it was hardly fine at all.  Perhaps she’d been stalked after all.   “Where did you get it?”

“It’s been in my family for a long time.”

Toshiko didn’t believe her, not after that scavenger story she’d given when she’d first approached her.  This was…it was most certainly alien, and it was dangerous.   “I’ve never seen anything like it.  It’s…incredible.”

“It’s more than incredible!” Mary exclaimed.  “With this, you can read people’s minds.  It levels the pitch between man and God.”

Now, that sounded almost hysterical.  Toshiko didn’t believe in God…she believed in herself, and her abilities, and her teammates. 

She didn’t like how Mary was looking at her.  There was that odd tickling in her head again, and she’d been feeling it all evening.   “Is it alien?” she asked, wanting to test Mary’s response.

The woman shrugged.  “I guess.”

And there was yet another crack in her story. 

“I want you to have it.”

Toshiko suddenly did want it.  She didn’t know why, only that she really needed to have that pendant.  “No, I can’t…” she tried to deny it, but the effort was weak; she was already picking up the pendant by its dark cord.

Mary looked amused.  “Please.  I’ve kept it too long.  After a while, it gets…you hear too much.  It changes how you see people.”

That made sense.  Knowing someone’s innermost thoughts would change how you looked at them.   “I’ll have to show it to the others.”

Mary made a scoffing noise, taking a sip of her drink.

“What?” Toshiko demanded.

“Nothing,” the woman shrugged.  “Just, I bet you don’t.”

“And you know this from finding my CV on the internet?” Toshiko felt angry, and her hand tightened on the pendant’s cord.

“No, because I know the pendant.”  She certainly seemed very sure of herself.

That surety cemented Toshiko’s resolve to do just that.  “Well, you’re wrong.  I will.”

“Yeah,” Mary said.  “But you won’t.”

**********

16 November 2007

 

The pendant had weighed on her mind all night. 

Toshiko knew she had to turn it in to Jack.  It was dangerous, and it needed to be put into Secure Archives so no one would be tempted to use it.  She also needed to investigate Mary more closely; she certainly didn’t believe her when she’d said that these so-called scavengers weren’t organized.  It had been in her denial, and her explanation of the pendant, that told her differently.

And so, she got up the next morning, fully intending on turning over the offending pendant to Jack first thing that morning.  Her heart lighter, she made herself some breakfast of tea and toast, then got dressed and headed into the Hub.

But, somewhere between the Tourist Office and the cog door, the pendant ended up around her neck once more.

“What the hell would produce such a perfect circular puncture?  Maybe some kind of wooden stake…”

Toshiko stopped as Owen’s thoughts hit her.  This wasn’t as bad as last night, when she’d been in a pubful of people.  No, she could handle one or two.

That nagging voice in her subconscious was wondering just why she was wearing the pendant around her co-workers anyway.

“Hey, Tosh,” Owen’s physical voice jerked her mind back into the present. 

“She’d better not go on about that computer again, we got bollocked enough by Jack last night.”

 A small smile tugged at her lips.  She’d need to thank Jack later for going after Owen and Gwen after she’d left.

Toshiko headed over to her station.  She immediately noticed that her screens were all back up, and she knew that Jack had been responsible for that, too. 

“Morning, Tosh,” Gwen’s voice greeted, sounding almost too cheerful.

“So sick and tired of the coppers asking where Ianto bloody Jones is, don’t they get it that his job is mine now?”

That made her angry.  Ianto had been police liaison a lot longer than any of them had been in Torchwood, and he’d done a fantastic job at it.  Gwen didn’t have the right to think about her friend in that tone!

That small voice was back, urging her to remove the pendant, that her overhearing her teammates’ thoughts was wrong.  That she didn’t have the right to pry into their minds, that it was intrusive and she wouldn’t want that to happen to her.

“Oh sweetheart, the jeans in the boots thing has really kind of had its day.”

“Why is Tosh staring at Gwen like that?  She can be dead weird.  Wonder what she’d be like in bed?  Catholic but graceful, I bet.”

“I can smell Owen on me from that shag in his car this morning.  Does this mean we have an arrangement?  Or is it more than that?  And why is Tosh staring at me like that?”

Toshiko turned away, back to her terminal.  Why had she put the pendant back on?  She should have left it off, and shown it to Jack immediately.    But Jack’s office was dark, and she guessed that he was at Ianto’s.

“She did that thing where she ran her tongue across my teeth…I should’ve worn different trousers.  I’m gonna have to sit down til this subsides a bit…”

Owen promptly left the main area, heading down to his desk in the autopsy bay.

“I wonder if I could get Owen to come down to the Vaults.  No…couldn’t have sex in front of a Weevil.  I couldn’t even do it in front of Trevor Kendal’s cat.”

Toshiko ripped the pendant from her throat.  She couldn’t handle it any more.

She’d give this thing to Jack the moment she saw him

.

 



Comments

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That was awesome, poor Tosh
Thanks! I know, poor Tosh, and it's only going to get worse before it gets better...
Oh dear hearing up peoples thoughts
Painful to say the least
**Gwen ohhh the presumption grrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!
Intersted to see where this goes.
Very painful...and things are going to get worse before they're better...

More soon...
Wow! poor Tosh with all those thoughts inside her head!
Hope she is strong enough to give the pendant to jack .....
love the update!
We'll see if she does, but that would make things awfully short... *grins*

Thanks!
It's such a lot for Tosh to deal with. I loathe Gwen and especially Owen in this one. I really want Tosh to have some abandodned fun for a change and to stop thinking about what everyone else thinks. I hope she talks to Ianto. Looking forward to more as always. Now must stop reading an start writing.
It is a lot, and we'll see how she does it. More later...

And yes, write! You must write!
Another wonderful chapter. Poor Tosh - all those voices...I really hate Gwen and Owen in this episode. I hope Tosh confides in Ianto... xxx
I know, I always felt bad for Tosh in this. We'll see what she does...

Thanks!
tosh has imho from day one has always quietly showen a level of human compassion that gwen only wishes she had and this episode just made me want to smack gwen/owen upside the head. all i could think during gwen's catty thoughts about tosh's cloths were at least tosh didn't steal her cloths from a four year old gwennie poo.
what will tosh tell jack?
You're right, she has. I completely agree with you. And Gwen and Owen were totally thoughtless in this.

We'll see if she talks to Jack...next chapter.
I knew you could make this as awesome as the earlier episodes!!!!!!Now you have me wondering..can she read a dragon-mind?
Thanks!

We'll see if she can read Ianto's mind...coming up!
I hated Gwen in this episode - here's the REAL Gwen - free and unscensored. And all she's thinking about is trying to define what she and Owen have and making fun of Tosh. Not a thought for anyone else but herself. The heart of darkness of Torchwood.
You're right, this is indeed the real Gwen.

I like that! The Heart of Darkness indeed.
Gwen is a useless waste of time. Owen is a complete jerk.

I admired Tosh's control and grace in this episode. I'd have picked up the nearest blunt object and blunted both of them. However, I do believe you that it's going to get worse, not better. Poor Tosh!
You're right, both of them were.

I'm afraid that yes, things will get worse before they are better.
ugh, Gwen' thoughts... "Me-me-me-sex-sex-sex..." Poor Tosh, she had to actually listen to all this nonsense.
Pity Ianto isn't there - he'd know that something is off.
I wonder - will Tosh do something to dissuade Gwen from her illusion of grandeur? Here she seems more outspoken than in canon. It would be good opportunity to... improve things a bit.
That's it exactly. I know, I felt sorry for Tosh as well.

Ianto should be up in the next chapter. :)

We'll see if Tosh does say something to her. She certainly has enough evidence against her to do it.
Oh I'm so pleased Tosh didn't go off with Mary, I like that you have her acting as intelligent as she clearly is.
Tosh is very intelligent. And we'll see how uses that intelligence later on.
The plot thickens. Would the pendant work differently on Ianto since he's not human? Hmm.
Great chapter!
We'll see how it works on Ianto in the next chapter.

Thanks!
This is a a great story so far I can't wait to find out what happens next. If Tosh tries to read Ianto mind would he be able to hear her I wonder?
Thanks!

We'll see what Tosh hears from Ianto in the next chapter. :)
What Gwen was thinking about Ianto and Tosh made me want to slap her. Owen and Gwen's thoughts in this episode always irked me. I found it amusing, however, that the writers would choose to have Gwen being condescending of what Tosh was wearing, then put Gwen in basically the same style for many of the shows afterward. I like how you write Tosh actually having a brain. Canon fell so short in that area so many times.
Oh, Gwen made me want to slap her a lot, so I agree with you. And you're right...I think the writers bashed Gwen better than anyone else could have!

Thanks!
That's what's great about your story: it was a bonus Tosh's thoughts when she is approached by Mary.
So glad you liked that! I loved writing Tosh's point of view in this. :)
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