DISCLAIMER: Doctor Who and Torchwood are the property of the BBC. No infringement intended.
CHALLENGE: Written for the 'Last Year of Our Life' challenge - spoilers for the Doctor Who (new) series three finale.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

A Moment in a Crowd
By ralst


Tosh first heard about the 'famous Martha Jones' the day after Owen and Gwen went missing. She hadn't paid much attention at first, wild speculation and rumours were rife since the Toklafane, but then she'd heard about 'the doctor' and she'd known that there was something more to Martha than just shadow puppet promises.

It took four months and a tiny piece of her soul, but eventually Tosh caught up with the elusive Martha, and together with Ianto she set about penetrating the mob that seemed to flock to the young woman wherever she went. It was surprisingly easy, considering the nightmare they'd been through just to find her, and then suddenly, Martha was looking at her, and waiting for the usual questions and look of hope; Tosh disappointed her on both counts.

"Do you know Jack?"

Martha's smile was blankly pleasant. "Jack? I'm not -"

"Captain Jack Harkness." Ianto moved to stand directly behind Tosh, his interest forever piqued by mention of their former leader. "Torchwood?" Tosh tried again.

"You know Jack?" Memories of the dashing and overly charming American flashed through Martha's mind and she couldn't help the unaccustomed smile that worked itself onto her face. "You're Torchwood?"

"We were." Tosh's eyes clouded. "There were more of us but they -" She didn't need to finish the statement, they'd all lost enough people to know how it would end. "Is he alive? Jack. I know he can't ... but I -"

"Yes." Martha's touch was alien amidst the harsh reality of the world they'd been forced to inhabit, her fingers slowly caressing Tosh's arm in a gesture of comfort and unexpected connection. "He's with the Doctor."

With those simple words hope re-entered Tosh's life and she felt herself moving into Martha's arms; the sudden feeling of being home eliciting more tears and emotion than the death and destruction that surrounded them on a daily basis.

"Do you know the story?" Martha asked, her words muffled against the fall of Tosh's hair, the soft touch of her breath bringing warmth to the other woman's skin.

Tosh nodded. "We've followed that story halfway across the continent." With reluctance she began to ease herself out of Martha's arms, her usual timidity masked beneath a thick layer of gratitude and rising emotion. "We just had to meet you."

Ianto lifted his gaze from the floor. "You're the only link we have to the past."

Martha looked into his too-earnest face and felt the weight of expectation press heavily into her chest. "We'll get it back," she promised. "The Doctor always finds a way."

The crowds around them surged forward, trying desperately to get close to Martha, and share in the dream of a future without tyranny that she promised. Fighting against them, Martha reached out and pulled Tosh back into her arms, desperate to hold onto her last link with home, before she was forced to continue with her lonely mission. Her frantic bid for closeness matched by Tosh's own need to stay near and warm herself on the hope that only Martha could instil.

"I believe you," Tosh whispered. "I believe in you."

The End

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