The Fallings

Toby- 'the virgin'

By only the fifth day of the Torchwood Archive expedition, the tempers of all the crew were frayed. It always turned out one of two ways: within two weeks everyone would either be getting along fine again or absolutely hating each other.

Toby didn't really hate any of them. He didn't like Danny much, because Danny seemed like the sort of overgrown child who'd mock you behind your back, but the rest seemed alright. Especially the girl who was his age- Scooti Manista, her name was. He liked her. Quite a lot. But she had a kind word for everyone, and he had nothing for anybody- and he watched her slide out of sight.

He worked in his cramped bedroom for hours on end, and didn't know that something, somewhere, was starting to call for him.

"My mum was finally able to raise enough money then," Scooti said, "and she got me an education and then -bit later- I came here. Promised everyone I'd work hard." She grinned. "Probably won't."

Ida, sitting next to her, laughed. Scooti turned to Toby then.

"And what about you, Toby?"

Toby looked up and just as quickly looked away: he couldn't believe she was willing to start a conversation- and he also couldn't believe she'd be interested in what he had to say.

"Um. I'm nothing special. Not rich like Danny, or anything...just had an average upbringing and everything, went to the University of Mars..."

"Ooh! I'd have killed to go there!"

"...studied archeology...graduated...that's it."

"What about your parents?" Scooti asked. She did sound interested, although Ida clearly wasn't.

"Died. When I was younger. In one of the Plagues."

"Oh my god. I'm sorry."

Toby shrugged. "Thanks. But it was a long time ago."

Everyone around the table lapsed into silence, until Ida got up and announced she had to get back to work, and invited Scooti to join her. Scooti declinded, and sat back and ate the remainder of her meal.

"My parents are dead too," she said. "Mum in one of the Plagues, Dad...well, I never really met him- I heard he died, put it like that."

"I'm sorry," Toby said, almost automatically, and wishing he could come up with something more meaningful.

She smiled. "I guess we're all a bunch of orphans and wanderers, aren't we? Most of us seem to be missing something."

"Missing something," Toby repeated. "Yeah."

Things esculated from there.

They had several conversations during times where they were both free- sometimes Ida was there and occasionally she wasn't, and Toby liked it when she wasn't. They talked about science and literature, all the stuff everyone Toby knew thought was boring, and then, one day, he tried to kiss her.

He hadn't meant to. He'd wanted to for ages, but hadn't. But she came in one day wearing makeup -a complete luxury on the hell-hole where they were- and a low-cut top, and she smiled at him like she always did. His heart leapt- she looked Hot, to use an old phrase. (Hot as hell?) Either way...

She sat down with him like she always did, and Ida came along too. Toby wished she would leave him and Scooti alone- why couldn't she see what was obviously going on? But she stuck around for ages, chatting with them both, until finally heading off. And then Toby and Scooti were on their own, apart from one of the security guards in the corner, eating lunch.

"Um," Toby said shyly. "You look really nice, you know?"

"Thank you," she said cheerfully, turning around to get up.

Toby tried to kiss her then. Tried to and got it all wrong. She was getting out of her chair- he aimed for her lips, and missed. Only got her cheek. And she swore in surprise.

"What the hell are you doing?" she almost yelled, leaping away. "Jesus!"

"Sorry," Toby cringed. "Sorry- thought you..."

"Thought I what?"

"Thought you got all dressed up...for me."

Did he imagine the pity in her eyes? "I got all dressed up," she said, "for Ida."


"We' Going out. Seeing each other. Doing it. Whichever one you like." She backtracked a little then. "But you're a good friend, don't get me wrong. Shit..."

She had been subtly backing away, and now she walked to the door. "I'm sorry, Toby," she said, while not looking at him. "I didn't mean to...lead you on. But I'm not interested. I'm sorry."

She hurried through the door.

Toby sat there for a few minutes, baffled and hurt. An Ood wandered in and cleaned the tables. The security guard at the other side of the room gave him a questioning look, but he didn't even bother looking back- the security guards hadn't even been picked by Captain Walker, they were employed by the Archive and there purely to keep order. He wished that there had been no witnesses at all to what he'd done, though. He wanted to crawl away and die.

Eventually he slouched out of the dining hall to his bedroom.

That night the words she's a fucking lesbian slut echoed silently around the room, and he woke up thinking them. They lurked in the back of his mind, although he never said a word.

He never got a chance.

She stood on the other side of the window, and raised her hand like she was in a trance.

"No." said Toby, but the Beast didn't care. There was a crack, and somewhere glass began to break. And he was more powerful than anything else in the universe right now, he could hear glass breaking everywhere. On Earth, on that strange war-planet Jefferson had talked about, on Mars, back home, everywhere from space stations orbiting the sun to buildings in Old London shattering to a million pieces. But all he could really hear was what was happening in front of him, to someone he might have cared about.

she's a fucking lesbian slut.

"No!" Toby shrieked, but no-one heard. There was a scream, and the glass broke, and it was all over.

Toby did not die then- he didn't want to, he wanted to fight. He put up quite a good one, despite knowing he wouldn't win- and he didn't.

The Beast got him, in the end. Indirectly took down a few of the others, too. Would have destroyed them all in a second.

It was pure fortune that a passing god happened to bring him down. And strange, too...

...because in the end, that god- he was just another orphan and wanderer.