“Do you have any special plans for your birthday?” Tosh asked, trying to sound casual as she leaned against Suzie’s workstation.
“Huh?” Suzie looked up from the weapon she was cleaning, seeming surprised to see Tosh there.
“Your birthday. It is today, isn't it? I wondered if you were doing anything special after work.”
“Oh. Yes, it is. Nothing planned though, figured I’d just head home, and maybe have a glass of wine while watching TV. When you get right down to it, a birthday is really just another day, no different from any other.”
“That’s a sad was of looking at it; I’ve always thought birthdays should be for celebrating life, especially in a job like this one, where you can never be sure whether you’ll survive to the next one.”
“You’re over-thinking things again, Tosh. Not everyone makes a big deal over birthdays.” Suzie sounded amused.
“I don’t think I am. Torchwood is a dangerous place; we all know that.”
“You guess? What about Harry?” Tosh hadn’t meant to bring that up, but she couldn’t help it. As far as she was concerned, Harry’s fate provided incontrovertible evidence of the hazards faced by all Torchwood personnel. It was a lesson that couldn’t be ignored.
When Tosh had been recruited, Jack had already had two people working for him, Suzie and a man named Harry Weiss, but a couple of months ago they’d lost Harry when he was bitten by an unknown, and extremely poisonous, alien. That loss had left its mark on Tosh giving her a previously unknown urge to seize the day, live like there was no tomorrow, because there might not be. Life could be incredibly fragile.
“Okay, maybe you have a point, but it’s no fun doing anything alone, so home and a glass of wine will have to do.”
“We could do something together, you and me, go out for drinks, maybe a meal. There’s a little Mexican place not far from here that’s been getting great reviews. I’ve been wanting to try it, but I hate eating alone. So, how about it?”
Suzie looked up, smiling slyly, almost wickedly. “Toshiko Sato, you minx! Are you asking me out on a date?”
“No, of course not!” Tosh blushed slightly, then added, “Well, I don’t know, maybe? But only if you’re interested. It could just be two friends having a celebratory night out if you prefer.”
“How does seven-thirty suit you? We can go to dinner, then see where the evening takes us.”
“Okay, seven-thirty it is.”
The food at the small restaurant was as good as the reviews said, and despite feeling a little awkward at first, the bottle of wine she and Suzie shared soon helped Tosh relax. By the end of the meal, they were chatting and laughing as if they did this all the time, even though it was the first time they’d been out when it was just the two of them, without Jack and Harry for company.
Tosh insisted on paying for the meal, saying it was her treat since Suzie was the birthday girl.
“Call it my birthday present to you.”
“Do I get a birthday treat as well?”
“I’ll leave that up to you. Where shall we go next?”
“I’ve got some ideas.”
Leaving the restaurant, as they set off in search of a bar where they could finish off the evening with a few drinks, Suzie stopped beneath a streetlamp and caught Tosh by the hand, pulling her in for a slow, sensuous kiss. The wine with dinner served to lower Tosh’s inhibitions enough that she returned the kiss without hesitation, despite the fact that they were standing where anyone might see them.
As they parted, Suzie smiled that wicked smile again. “How about we skip the bar and go back to my place? It’s not far, we can be there in five minutes,” she whispered huskily in Tosh’s ear, sending delicious tingles throughout the other woman’s body.
Tosh drew Suzie in for another, deeper kiss before pulling away, smiling. “Lead the way,” she said simply. After all, it was Suzie’s birthday; it was only fair that she should celebrate it however she wanted.