Title: Secrets Inside - Part 6
Pairings: Jack/Ianto, Gwen/Owen, Tosh/Paul
Spoilers: Set after Countrycide and Greeks Bearing Gifts
Summary: What happens when a stranger arrives?
Disclaimer: I own none of the characters, I just like to experiment with them from time to time.
Master list: iantosdreamer46.livejournal.com/3003.htm
Tosh arrived at the St David’s a little before seven. Looking around the lobby she couldn’t see Paul anywhere. She was feeling nervous. Several times whilst she was getting ready she nearly rang the hotel to cancel. But she thought back to how he’d made her laugh the previous evening and decided to take Jack’s advice and go and have a good time. She did deserve it.
Paul spotted her as soon as he stepped out the lift. She was dressed in a plain black dress with a red belt around her waist and the most beautiful gem encrusted buckle fastening it. Her hair was loose and she wore a matching hair clip in the side. He made his way towards her smiling at how innocent she was in all of this.
"Good evening Miss Sato.”
“Oh, good evening Mr Archer. How are you? Have you had another good day exploring our wonderful city?”
“I’ve had a relaxing day today. I didn’t want to tire myself out and fall asleep over dinner with a beautiful woman.”
Tosh could feel herself beginning to blush.
“Shall we go through to the bar? It’s a little early, I’ve booked our table for 7.45. I thought we could have a drink and a chat first.”
“That would be nice. I’ll be honest with you, I’m a little nervous about this. It’s a very long time since a man took me out.”
“Tosh you have nothing to worry about. If you find yourself getting bored with me and our conversation, you have only to say so and I will escort you home.”
“Oh, it’s nothing like that. All my friends at work seem to be in serious relationships and they sometimes make fun of me about how few boyfriends I’ve had. It’s just …. I get so engrossed in my work, I don’t seem to have time. This is the first time I’ve been out with anyone, other than my colleagues, for about twelve months.”
“Look, I’m sorry if I’ve hit a raw nerve and things didn’t work out with your last boyfriend …..”
“No, nothing like that. It’s rather complicated and if you don’t mind I’d rather not talk about him. I’m here to enjoy myself and I would really like to know a bit more about you.”
Paul knew this would happen and he’d been rehearsing most of the afternoon about what he would tell Tosh. How much he would say about Karen without giving his real intentions away.
They ordered a drink. Tosh was not used to drinking so she asked for a white wine spritzer, Paul needed to keep his head together in case he slipped up, so he ordered the same.
“Shall we go and sit over there where it’s quiet? That booth looks comfortable.”
“Ok, that would be nice.”
“You look very beautiful tonight Tosh. That buckle and hair clip really suit you.”
“Thank you, they were an extravagance I treated myself to last year. They are made by Butler and Wilson. They make some of the most beautiful pieces of jewellery around. A friend introduced me to them and I fell in love with all their work.”
“Well I hope you don’t mind, but as a thank you for helping me out last night and agreeing to have dinner with me tonight. I have bought you this.”
He produced a small velvet box from his jacket pocket and presented it to her with a smile.
“I told you, it’s a thank you gift.”
Tosh opened it to reveal the gem encrusted cat. Her eyes lit up.
“Oh Paul, it’s beautiful, thank you so much. I love cats. I would love to have one as a pet, but my job is too demanding and it would be left on its own most of the time.
Suddenly her face fell. She thought about the necklace Mary had given her and all the thoughts she’d heard.
“Tosh what’s wrong? Have I upset you?”
“No, I was just thinking, the last time someone gave me a gift I ended regretting some of the things I did and upsetting my friends at work.”
“There is nothing to worry about, it’s just a thank you gift with no hidden agenda to it.”
“I’m sorry, please accept my apology. It is very beautiful.”
“Just like you!”
Tosh blushed again. Paul smiled again at her innocence.
“You wanted to know about me, well where would you like me to start?”
“Anything you want to tell me would be fine, if you don’t want to go into detail that’s fine too.”
“Alright, but if I am boring you please stop me. I’m single and I work at one of the large banks in London. I am 34 years old and have one sister, Karen. My parents have retired and now live in Bath. So we are kind of scattered around the country a bit.”
“What about your sister Karen, what does she do?”
Paul became quiet, he though of his once beautiful sister, now nothing more than a shell.
“Paul, are you ok? You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.”
“No, I’m fine. Karen is permanently in a hospice. She had a terrible accident on her way to work one day and she is unable to speak. We don’t know if she can see or hear us but she can move.”
“I’m so sorry Paul, I didn’t mean to upset you. Do you get to see her much?”
“Not as often as I would like, she is in a very good hospice in Oxford. I try to get to see her once a month. Look Tosh, I’m sorry but could we talk about something else?”
“Yes, of course. I’m so sorry for upsetting you.”
“Let’s talk about you. What is it exactly that you do? Who do you work for? How long have you worked there? Sorry, that was too many questions. Just tell me what you can.”
“Well I told you that I work for the police in their Special Ops department. I am a computer programmer and have worked for them for about three years. Unfortunately I can’t go into any more detail because of the official secrets act.”
“Oh, ok, what about hobbies?”
“I don’t really have any, I am too busy at work. My boss Jack, he keeps me busy.”
Tosh had just given Paul confirmation that Jack Harkness was in charge.
“What’s this boss of yours like? Is he strict?”
“Not all of the time. Since he’s been in his relationship with my friend he has mellowed a lot.” Tosh smiled at the thought of Jack and Ianto.
“So what’s his girlfriend like then?”
“Oh, sorry, no, it’s not girlfriend, Jack is in a relationship with Ianto, he’s another colleague”
Inwardly Paul was smiling, he now had confirmation of the relationship he was going to destroy, before he destroyed Torchwood.
“Is there just the three of you at work?”
“Oh no, there’s Gwen and Owen. Gwen’s engaged to be married.”
“What to Owen?”
“No, to a very nice guy called Rhys. Although after what I saw last night, I think Owen and Gwen are having an affair.”
Perfect thought Paul, it just shows how much information you can get from someone when they’re relaxed.
“Enough talk about work, shall we go through and eat?”
“Yes, that would be nice.”
They spent the next hour discussing the highs and lows of Cardiff, with Paul thinking all the while how he could get to talking about the water tower.
“Would you like coffee or another drink in the bar?” he asked.
“A coffee would be great, thank you.”
They both ordered coffee and went and sat in the same booth they had earlier in the evening. Tosh felt more relaxed than she had in a long while. She decided that whatever her demons had been for not coming, she now realised this is what was missing from her life. A person, man, whom she could talk to outside work.
“What are you thinking Tosh?”
“Just that I am having a really nice evening, with a nice man and I am enjoying myself.”
“I’m pleased, that you’re enjoying tonight because I am too. I didn’t tell you earlier, but my last relationship ended just after Karen’s accident. I was forever at the hospital and my girlfriend couldn’t cope with it.”
“I’m sorry. Let’s talk about something happier. How are you enjoying your stay in Cardiff? What has impressed you the most? What have you disliked about our city, if anything? Sorry, Paul, I’ve asked a lot of questions there. Probably because I am still quite nervous and find that talking is a defence.”
“Tosh .... Tosh, listen. You have nothing to be nervous about. I think you are a very beautiful woman, who appears to be good at her job, who should believe in herself more. I am enjoying your company. Something I haven’t done with a woman for a long time.”
Tosh smiled, she had to admit that she was beginning to like Paul more every minute. Inwardly she had to admit to herself that she would like things to go a lot further. Maybe she was just wishful thinking.
“So, what has been your favourite part of our city?”
Paul saw this as an opportunity to ask about the water tower.
“Well .... I’m sort of intrigued with that unusual but beautiful water tower in the Plass. I have spent a while sat watching it and wondered if it held any mysteries?”
“I’m always fascinated by it myself. I love the peace it seems to bring to today’s bustling lifestyles. The only mystery is where the water goes to. I have often wondered what the architect was thinking when he designed it.”
Paul should have realised he wouldn’t get a direct answer from Tosh, she was too well trained for that. He would have to keep working on her, which meant seeing more of her.
“Right my turn. Do you like your work and the people you work with?”
“Oh yes, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. They are all great people and really good friends.”
Again he’d drawn a blank. He needed to get the information somehow.
Looking at her watch, Tosh realised she had been talking and enjoying this man’s company for the last three hours. She really should go. She had to be at work tomorrow. She remembered what Jack had said, she could if she wanted go in later. Maybe it was about time she did something for herself.
“I really must go soon, I have to be at work tomorrow.”
“Please stay for just a while longer. I promise I will get you home safely. I have really enjoyed your company tonight. I wonder ..... would you go out with me tomorrow night, just for a drink maybe?”
Without thinking Tosh quickly replied
“Yes Paul, I would love to.”
“Right, shall I pick you up or would you rather meet me somewhere?”
“You can pick me up if you wish.”
Tosh wrote down her address and directions for him. She decided that she wouldn’t stay any longer she didn’t want to spoil a very pleasant evening. As she got up to leave so did Paul, but he surprised her by putting his arm lightly around her waist and walking her to the entrance of the hotel.
“Would you allow me to walk you home Miss Sato? It’s a beautiful night and I don’t feel like going back to my room just yet.”
“That would be really kind of you. I don’t mind walking alone, but your company would be lovely.”
As they walked from the St David, Paul’s arm remained around Tosh’s waist. She felt comfortable with it there. She smiled.
“What are you smiling about?”
“Oh, I was just thinking how nice this feels walking across our beautiful city with you.”
With that Paul stopped walking and gently pulled Tosh back so she stopped also. Turning to face her he pulled her close. Putting his arms around her he gently kissed her.
Tosh was surprised and pulled back.
“I’m sorry Tosh, shouldn’t I have done that?”
“What .... er .... no, I mean yes. It’s just I wasn’t expecting it, that’s all.”
“I apologise, if I’ve overstepped the mark, please forgive me.”
“Paul, there’s nothing to forgive. If I were to be honest, I’m flattered and quite enjoyed it.”
Taking that as a cue, Paul leaned in and kissed her again. This time Tosh responded and before long a gentle kiss became a more passionate kiss.
Breaking apart, both smiling, Paul was the first to speak.
“I think I had better go back to my hotel, don’t you?”
Not really believing what came out of her mouth, Tosh said
“Only if you want to!”
“I think it would be better if I did. I’ll see you tomorrow night about 7.30, at your house.”
“Ok, that sounds great. I look forward to it.”
Leaning in Tosh kissed him, turned and walked off.
Paul watched her as she made her way across the Plass, thinking he could have got more information tonight if he’d gone home with her. But he didn’t want to push it too quickly. He wanted to make her feel safe, then take her down with the rest of them. He didn’t care how long it took they would all suffer. They deserved it.
Chapter 7 - iantosdreamer46.livejournal.com/6080.htm