Sitting at a table, Tosh watched Gwen’s wedding guests dancing. They were all smiling, looking almost as happy as the bride and groom; she couldn’t help but be a little envious.
Across the other side of the dance floor, Ianto and Jack were swaying together, oblivious to anything but each other now that Ianto seemed to have broken whatever spell Jack had fallen under while dancing with Gwen. She was glad that all Jack’s attention was focussed now on Ianto, where it belonged, but somehow watching them made her feel even more lonely than usual. Everybody else seemed to have someone, but here she sat, all alone.
Tosh forced a smile; she didn’t want to bring anyone else down, no matter how hard it was to look happy. She briefly wondered if Gwen had any idea just how lucky she was, but she dismissed the thought. Gwen took so much for granted, coasting through life, everything she ever wanted hers for the taking. Tosh was sure she’d never had any trouble getting boyfriends; it had probably never crossed her mind that not everyone had it so easy. She shook herself, feeling guilty for thinking such uncharitable thoughts on the other woman’s wedding day. It wasn’t like her.
“There you are.” A familiar voice broke through her musings and she looked up to see Owen standing in front of her. She’d been so deep in thought that she hadn’t noticed his arrival. “What’re you doin’ sitting here like a wallflower?”
Gesturing towards the dance floor, Tosh sighed. “Slow dances are for couples, not singles.”
“If that’s all that’s stopping you from joinin’ in and having some fun for once, it’s easily fixed. Wanna dance?”
“Thanks for asking, Owen, but you don’t have to put yourself out for me. I’m sure you don’t have any shortage of willing dance partners.” Tosh smiled wryly. “I noticed one of the bridesmaids watching you.”
Owen pulled a face. “I know; I’ve been hidin’ from her. She’s got a voice that would curdle cream. C’mon, Tosh, dance with me. I wouldn’t be askin’ if I didn’t want to. You should know that about me by now. Besides, why wouldn’t I want to dance with the most beautiful woman in the room?”
Tosh blushed faintly. “I’m not…”
“Don’t sell yourself short. You look stunning, so how about lettin’ me twirl you around the floor and show you off?”
Even though she wasn’t entirely sure that Owen wasn’t joking, the temptation was too much. She was tired of sitting by herself. “Thank you, Owen, I’d love to dance with you.” She accepted his hand and let him lead her out among the other dancers, where he drew her close, the two of them shuffling slowly in time with the music.
“Probably should’ve warned you,” Owen joked, “I’m not exactly Fred Astaire but I’ll do my best not to tread on your toes too much.”
Laughing softly, Tosh let the soft music carry her away, drifting along and making the most of the moment while it lasted. She was so intent on enjoying herself that it took her several minutes to notice something she should have been aware of from the moment Owen took her hand. “Owen, your hands are warm!”
He chuckled, grinning at her. “I was wonderin’ how long it would take you to notice!”
“I don’t understand.” She pulled back a little to look in his face, suddenly apprehensive.
“Nah, don’t worry Tosh, I’m not a Nostrovite or anything, just the same old Owen, but when I went to put the singularity scalpel back in the SUV, I ran into this floppy-haired bloke wearin’ a bowtie. I figured he must be a stray guest, but he wasn’t, said he was the Doctor and he’d been lookin’ for me.”
“You met the Doctor? Here?” Tosh’s eyes widened.
“Yeah, he said I wasn’t supposed to die when I did and he’d come to fix me, then he dragged me into a police box that was bigger on the inside, and said he was takin’ me five thousand years into the future to visit an alien who knew how to restore life. Here, feel.” He took Tosh’s hand and placed it against his chest, where she could feel the steady beat of his heart.
“You’re really alive!”
Owen nodded. “You’ve got no idea how much I’ve missed havin’ a heartbeat. The Doctor’s given me a second chance, Tosh, and this time around, I’m not goin’ to waste it. I’ve already spent too much time bein’ angry at the world because it took Katie from me, and then Diane, but now I think I’m ready to try again, with you if you’re still interested.”
Tosh smiled. “I think I could be persuaded…”
Owen spun her around. “I know I can be a pain in the arse, but I’ll do better, I swear.”
“You don’t need to, Owen; you’ve never needed to. Just be yourself; I love you just the way you are.”
“Thank you,” Owen said softly. “I don’t deserve you, but I’ll try my best to make you happy, an’ that’s a promise.” With that, he pulled Tosh close again, and together they danced the night away until they had to get back to work dealing with the Retconned guests.
Tomorrow, they knew they’d have to tell Jack and the others about Owen’s cure, but just for tonight they were going to keep it to themselves.