Title: The Persistence of Memory
Word Count: ~400
Summary: In the shadowy glow of a single candle, Tosh finds herself humming softly.
Notes: Written for the first round of torchwood_lason LJ.
It's nearly midnight. In the shadowy glow of a single candle, Tosh finds herself humming softly. This is not something she normally does – hum – but tonight is a rare night off, her first in a fortnight. She's even had a glass of wine.
Sitting in bed with a novel she'd last picked up several months ago, her feet tucked under the covers, the song had come out of nowhere. She's not even sure that she remembers the tune – not properly, anyway. The memory is as dim as the street lamps outside her flat; their light barely makes it past the window's edge.
The more she thinks about it, Tosh is certain that her mother used to hum this same, wordless tune to her years ago. It hovers there at the edge of her subconscious along with most of the memories she has of being a child – a vagueness that suggests the grassy smell of tatami mats, and summer nights in the humid Osaka air, her feet dangling over the edge of a wooden porch.
She hasn't thought of any of this in ages. The job in front of her; the code that should have been up yesterday, but that has been given to her, today, because she's fast, and efficient, and because she doesn't stop working until she gets the job done. These are the kinds of things that have occupied her mind for years now.
And it's just as well, because it's not exactly as if Torchwood leaves much time for daydreaming. It's one of the things she likes about the job.
The candle flickers at some unseen disturbance, and when she closes her eyes, unexpectedly, there are fireflies there. Their bioluminescent tips blink on and off, zigzagging across the grass, between the trees at the far edge of the property. She used to be afraid of them, would pull her feet up onto the porch and hide her face in the stiff folds of her grandmother's kimono when they'd approach the house.
It takes a lot more than that to scare her now.
And then just like that, the memory is gone. She's alone in her flat, a thousand miles from that porch. Tosh allows herself one last moment, another half-remembered note or two, and blows out the candle.