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04 February 2008 @ 03:39 pm
Torchwood fanfic: The Dark Between Lamp Posts  
Title: The Dark Between Lamp Posts
Pairing: Tosh/Mary
Rating/Warning a hard R
Summary: She was shagging an alien. Finally, something in common with Jack.
Author's Notes: Set during and after 'Greeks Bearing Gifts'. Many, many thanks to my betas karaokegal and diachrony. All props to you both!
Disclaimer: Torchwood and the characters appearing in this fic are property of the BBC. No copyright infringement is intended.

Mary wouldn't let her take off the pendant.

"Trust me, it'll be better this way." Her smile was coy, knowing - measuring. Like this was a test.

Tosh was dazed, disoriented by the way her heart sped and fingers ached to touch Mary again. She had just kissed a woman; her head was swarming with dark, blurred images of what she wanted to do to a woman. Was the pendant making her want this? Or forcing her to admit something she'd never recognised?

She looked up to catch Mary's eyes, and swallowed hard.

Tosh pushed away her apprehension. If I'm going to do this -

Approval practically glowed from Mary like an aura. : - You may as well do it right.: She reached up to pull the clip from Tosh's hair, her eyes heavy-lidded with a lust Tosh could feel creeping over her skin. The pendant again - it was breathtaking to know with total certainty that Mary wanted her so badly. It slipped into her mind like a knife blade, excising everything but the need to push this woman to her bed, strip her naked, fuck her blind.

Eyes glittering, Mary pulled Tosh in for another kiss. The sensation was alien; soft, small lips, smooth face completely unlike a man's. Foreign, intense and heady.

Tosh found herself pushing Mary's jacket from her shoulders, gasping between wet kisses. Her hands trembled against Mary's shoulders.

What am I doing?

"Shh," Mary hushed, and let her jacket slip to the floor. :Don't think so much. Take me to your room.:

Her skin breaking out in gooseflesh, she turned and pulled, almost dragged Mary down the hall to her darkened bedroom. She reached for the light switch but froze when Mary touched the back of her neck.

:No. I like it in the dark.:

Tosh couldn't move, poised on the edge of unexplored territory. She felt buffeted, Mary's arousal swirling around her like thick perfume, her own longing and anticipation and fear clouding her vision.

In the dim light of the street lamp outside her window, Tosh could see her perfectly made bed, the red sheets dimmed to gray by the darkness. Mary's palm flattened against the nape of Tosh's neck, her fingers sliding up to trace patterns on her scalp.

:Let's make a mess of your bed.:

Taking a sobbing breath, Tosh turned and pulled Mary in for a deep kiss, hungry and grasping. They stumbled into the room, fingers working buttons and zippers, leaving their clothing hanging loose when Tosh's calves touched the foot of her bed. Mary broke the kiss and pushed her down roughly. She was grinning widely, teeth bared.

When Mary leaned down to tug her boots off, Tosh immediately flashed back to that morning, when she'd caught Gwen's condescending analysis of her fashion sense. The cold and anger she'd felt then came back, and her hands fisted in the coverlet.

"Focus on me, Tosh." :I'm not like them. I want you.: Mary joined her on the bed, slid one hand up Tosh's shirt. :You know that.:

Images flooded Tosh's mind, the two of them entangled in hot, slippery embraces. She closed her eyes to see them better and gulped; it was getting hard to breathe.

"I do - know it -" she panted. She could barely think at all with Mary's fingers unhooking the front closure of her bra, cupping one breast, fingers teasing near and then twisting the nipple until Tosh cried out.

:Then shut up and enjoy it.: Her tone was gently mocking, commanding. That hungry mouth left a smear of red lipstick on bared skin as Mary worked Tosh's shirt and bra from her shoulders, kissing and licking a path to the open zipper of her pants. Tosh's nerves were thrumming like power lines in a high wind; when Mary pulled back suddenly, Tosh moaned and reached up to bring her back. She opened her eyes to see Mary pulling off her own clothes with easy, unhurried movements.

Mary smiled, her black-rimmed eyes almost glowing in the light from the street. Her flesh was pale and spare, the skin stretched over small, arched ribs and narrow hips. Tosh could feel herself staring, couldn't tear her eyes away.

"If I pass muster, you might want to get out of your knickers."


Tosh knew, she knew what Mary was hiding behind the soft pink skin and trendy blonde haircut. She'd seen it, touched it -

- smelled it, tasted it -

She was shagging an alien. Finally, something in common with Jack.

Still, she knew what the crew back at the Hub would say. What her family would say.

So there was no good reason for her to be lying flat on her back with that lying blonde head and those old, old eyes smiling cynically beside her. Tosh's hands were bound above her head, and she held tight to the rope as she moaned, writhed, shook, eventually screaming herself hoarse.

Through it all, Mary watched, a cold satisfied presence.

Even as Mary plucked every nerve within her, the pendant lay heavy on her chest. It made it hard to breathe.

And that made it even better.


Ianto sat across from her in the brightly lit conference room, pen hovering over paper. He looked the way he always did - expectant, patient - an apt student waiting for the lecture to start.

She'd told him about Mary, about the pendant, everything she could think of that danced around the heart of the issue. And Ianto, the tireless hound that he was, wouldn't let her go.

"Tosh. Don't withhold information." He gazed at her unblinking, jaw set.

She tipped her head back so she wouldn't have to look at him. "Please," she murmured, "Let it go. I'm so tired." She closed her eyes, felt the room spin around her.

His voice was soft, relentless. "You brought a dangerous alien directly into the Hub, Tosh."

"I didn't know! I just wanted to help her." The lazy spins were becoming nauseating. She opened her eyes and felt the world snap back into focus. A sudden pang of longing for her flat and her bed struck her. The red satin sheets bunched into a corner, her limbs curled around Mary's thin form -

It probably still smells of her. Her eyes stung, and she ducked her head back down to cover them.

"Ianto, I -" She scrunched her eyes closed against the headache pounding in her temple. "I loved her. I loved her, and Jack killed her. You of all people should understand what that feels like." She framed her face with her cupped hands, narrowing her vision to a circle of glass table between her elbows.

There was a pause, then the sound of a pen being set down carefully. Across from her, Ianto sighed. A rasp of cloth, then her hand was captured in Ianto's fingers. She glanced up to his eyes, and caught a glimpse of the bottomless pit he kept hidden inside him. Not as clear as when she'd worn the pendant, not as loud - but she wondered if she would ever see him as the blank accessory she'd thought him before. Her hand spasmed tightly around his, a lump forming in her throat.

Ianto squeezed back, then firmly released her. He motioned her to the door with a flick of his eyes.

She picked up her scattered thoughts and braced herself for Gwen and Owen - and Jack.


When Mary's pendant broke beneath her heel, she hoped it was what Jack wanted. It should be repulsive, that she was searching for approval from the man who'd just killed her lover.

It was hard to admit to herself later, in her dark flat, that she had really wanted the pendant whole. Not to wear, not ever again - but something to keep. Something to remember her by.

Tosh lay alone in the bed, curled around Mary's pillow. Her faint scent was gone by morning.

Current Location: home
Current Mood: busybusy
Current Music: far-off airplanes
Caitlincopycatgirl on February 4th, 2008 09:57 pm (UTC)
Emotional and romantic Tosh/Mary is hard to achieve, but you've done it very. very well.
I loved this.
Tallian: TW - Tosh_tallian_ on February 4th, 2008 10:32 pm (UTC)
Oh, lovely! Thank you for such a wonderful comment.

After watching the ep a few times, it occurred to me that there just wasn't enough of the relationship between the two of them. This is like the scenes I really wanted to see that happened off-screen - thus the title, I suppose.
Caitlincopycatgirl on February 5th, 2008 07:16 am (UTC)
You're welcome
Oh yes, I did wonder about that title, it's a good title :)
mallochaimallochai on February 4th, 2008 10:01 pm (UTC)
This was absolutely spectacular! I've been having a dialogue with nightporters about the relationship between Tosh and Mary, and this is a near perfect example of how I see their relationship. Mary was like a drug - powerful, addictive, just what Tosh needed, and everything she should have avoided. Love it. Going in the memories.

Seriously though, I have to recommend this to some people. I'd like very much to link to it from my journal, if that's okay with you.
Tallian: TW - Tosh_tallian_ on February 4th, 2008 10:35 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! You hit the nail on the head as to how I saw the relationship, too. Mary was someone who saw Tosh, and she helped Tosh forget all that horrible empty loneliness she has bottled up. Poor girl.

Absolutely, pimp away! I'm honored.
mallochai: tosh purple dress litmallochai on February 4th, 2008 10:58 pm (UTC)
Excellent, thank you so much!

And I've never seen your writing before, now I must peruse for more.

Edited at 2008-02-04 11:00 pm (UTC)
Tallian: TW - Jack - introspective captain_tallian_ on February 4th, 2008 11:28 pm (UTC)
I've got a Jack/Tosh/Ianto series you might like ...

You can get to all of them from this entry.
mallochaimallochai on February 5th, 2008 09:29 pm (UTC)
How funny, I just started reading that this morning!
Madam Morrighanmadmogs on February 5th, 2008 12:44 am (UTC)
*cries* That's really sad. I love how you portray Tosh and mary together.
Tallian: TW - Tosh - lady geek_tallian_ on February 5th, 2008 03:50 am (UTC)
There's not a lot about Tosh that's perfectly happy - she's so lonely.

I'm glad you liked it!
Pattern Spider: partypattern_spider on February 6th, 2008 12:29 pm (UTC)
Nice, especially the whole sick way Jack messes with everyone's heads just by being Jack. Greeks was one of the few decent eps from season 1
Tallian_tallian_ on February 6th, 2008 02:01 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you liked it! Thanks for reading and commenting.
KOS-MOSkosmos8 on February 7th, 2008 04:32 am (UTC)
This was beautiful -- I love Tosh's voice, the motivations for her actions, and the wanting to keep a piece of Mary with her. The parallel between Ianto and Tosh, with Lisa -- I'd never thought of it that way, till now.

I also love how you don't spell out Mary's intentions, or judge her actions as good or evil -- in the end, it's never really clear if Mary really cared for Tosh or not; I like to think that she did, in her own selfish way, even as she used her (I mean, betrayal and love aren't necessarily mutually exclusive, right?) and it's lovely that I can still feel that way after reading your story.

Thanks so much for sharing!
Tallian: TW - Jack - introspective captain_tallian_ on February 7th, 2008 01:41 pm (UTC)
I totally agree about Mary having feelings for Tosh - I just don't think they were of the same variety as Tosh's feelings for Mary. To Mary, Tosh was almost a beloved pet - but one you'd eat if you had to.

I'm so glad you liked it!
rubynye on February 8th, 2008 04:21 pm (UTC)
That was wrenching, beautiful, and utterly perfect.
Tallian: foreheadkisses_tallian_ on February 9th, 2008 05:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm so glad this is being so well-received.
secret welfare poetsecondsilk on March 19th, 2008 10:57 am (UTC)
Fic: The Dark Between Lamp Posts
Gorgeous, all of Tosh's conflicted feelings. And brining that out with Ianto.
And still wanting something to remember her by.
Tallian_tallian_ on March 19th, 2008 01:06 pm (UTC)
Re: Fic: The Dark Between Lamp Posts
I have to admit that I'm really proud of this story. Tosh is probably my favorite character in TW, and I love exploring her thoughts and actions.

Thank you for the lovely comments! You picked out a lot of my favorite bits in the story to point out. Yay!
雪恋詩: Jack - shadowsetsurenka on June 28th, 2008 12:35 pm (UTC)
That was beautiful. Truly beautiful. You pretty much captured everyone perfectly, and the whole relationship is described just right. I mem'd this a while ago, just forgot to comment. Love. ♥
Tallian: TW - Tosh_tallian_ on July 7th, 2008 09:25 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! There was just something about Greeks that really captured my imagination - there was so much unsaid in there, and really, that's what fanfic is all about for me.