Gwen and Rhys moved around the table saying their farewells. Owen stood up and smiled cheerfully, kissed Gwen, and wished her all the best, then watched as the others added their congratulations.
As the happy couple paused at another table, he followed their progress. Watching them idly from under hooded eyelids, as they made their way slowly towards the doorway, counting the number of times she paused and looked for Rhys.
One final wave, a last smile, and they were gone.
His smile faded away, and he glanced down at the table, he felt as if another part of his life had ended, one more door had slammed shut. How did the saying go? As one door closes another opens? To what? Another empty room?
If he had lived would he (could he) have taken her away from Rhys? Alls fair in love and war he thought, he liked Rhys, nice bloke, and he had put up with a hell of a lot! If their roles had been reversed, would he have still been around, patiently waiting for her? The question nagged at him, making him look for something to do, to take his mind off it.
Owen grabbed a brush, and made a vague attempt to look like he was doing something useful, everyone else seemed to be rushing around, responding to Jack's orders, he just kept his head down and tried to look busy.
He watched Jack- he had found himself watching him a lot over the last few hours, as he danced with Gwen, then when he kissed her goodbye. He found himself wandering, exactly what they had meant to each other, and if Rhys hadn't been the only one, to have had the wool pulled over his eyes.
Owen leaned on the sweeping brush and glanced towards the sleeping guests, his expression for all the world like that of a poor, abandoned child, pressing his nose against the sweet shop window, watching all those luckier than him getting whatever they wanted, while all he could do was wish.
Leaning the brush against the wall, glancing again at the nearest table and its dozing occupants. When they awoke, only vague fragments of what had happened would be left, a fleeting shadow that would occasionally nudge their memory, when they thought of Gwen and Rhys' wedding,
Toshiko moved off into the other room, checking that nothing had been missed. He remembered the expression on her face, as she looked at him, as he lay on the autopsy table, her voice, when she said that she loved him.
It had never dawned on him that she could have any real interest in him, she had never been even a passing blip on his radar- just Tosh, always around, always doing something or other. Just Tosh, who when the chips were down, had admitted how she felt, how much he meant to her.
Gwen had said nothing, in that split second, when he thought that was all he had left, he desperately wanted to hear her voice, but she had said nothing, kept away from him. He closed his eyes, of all the memories, that one hurt him more than any other.
Owen slumped down into one of the chairs, staring down at his hands, he moved his thumbs absently. Suddenly a hand touched his, he jumped and looked up into Tosh's dark eyes.
"You alright?" she asked, quietly.
Owen shrugged,"Yeah... you know."
Toshiko nodded, then crouched down next to him, gently rubbing the back of his hand, "You don't look it," she murmured, then gave him an enquiring look.
Owen sighed, then glanced briefly in her direction, before staring back down at his hands again.
"If I hadn't... if I was still breathing," he searched around for the right words, nothing seemed to fit how he felt.
"You wouldn't be here," she finished for him.
Owen stared at her, puzzled, "What makes you say that?" he asked her quietly, then broke eye contact and stared vaguely at her hand.
"You don't do weddings-love 'em and leave 'em...remember?" she prompted him gently.
"No... that's right, I don't, do I?" he murmured.
Glancing sideways at her, he smiled gently and said,"You know what you are, don't you?"
Tosh gave him a baffled look, opened her mouth, then clamped it shut, as if changing her mind over what she was going to say.
"I'm..." she broke off and shrugged, "A friend... I hope," she blinked nervously and looked down at the floor.
Owen gently put his hand under her chin and forced it upwards, so she was looking at him.
"You," he paused, "Are my conscience... although, how the hell Jiminy Cricket would have got on, in those bloody heels of yours, I dread to think!"
Toshiko stifled a giggle,"I'm your Jiminy Cricket? Since when?"
Owen shrugged, then suddenly stood up, grabbed hold of her hand, and dragged her towards the dance floor.
"Come on Ginger, you owe me a dance, and watch what your doing with those damned spikes of yours, I don't want to end up limping into oblivion, with a dirty great hole through me soddin' foot."
Finally stopping, he turned, then pulled her into his arms, "Right,Ginge ... shall we?" and began to dance her around the floor. Hearing the sound of footsteps he glanced towards them, "Uh oh, speak of the devil!"
Jack stopped in the doorway, the sight that greeted him, wasn't one he would have expected in a month of Sundays, but then again, not a lot was these days!
"Owen, will you please put that poor girl down," Jack yelled at him.
Owen danced Tosh around so his back was to Jack, and yelled back, "Well, for one thing, she's not a girl- she's a woman and for seconds, I haven't picked her up once yet... I'm dead- remember?"
Jack shook his head, "Yeah, I know, like your never going to let me forget, are you?" he said, walking towards them.
"Nope, I'm a big believer in always laying blame where it's due," Owen said, turning away from her, and kissing her hand absent mindedly as he did.
"Okay, Owen, when you've finished... Tosh, can you go and check in the ladies toilets? There seem to be a few guests missing, they might just be there."
Toshiko nodded at Jack, and moved off towards the next room.
"Right," Jack decided it was time to get back to business, "This lot should be waking up soon... is everything as it should be?" he asked, glancing around the room.
Owen nodded, "Yep, right as it'll ever be... um... Jack?" he gave him a sideways look
Jack was peering at the back of the room, he turned, "What?" he asked vaguely, his mind clearly on something else.
"Your sure about the dose?" Owen enquired, nervously.
Jack raise his eyebrows,"Your doubting me?" He huffed back at him.
Owen sniffed, "Yeah, well, after what happened last time..."
Jack glared back at him, "Oversight, well, ish... bad batch," he said, defensively.
Owen scratched his nose and looked at the floor, "One way of putting it... love to know what the insurance companies made of it, don't know about a claim spike, it was more of a bloody great..."
"Owen," Jack shouted, but Owen was in full flow and unstoppable.
"I mean, bloody hell, Jack! 48 drivers on the same stretch of road, all suddenly forgot how to drive and collided with each other... if it wasn't for the fact that half of 'em could only find reverse, and the rest couldn't even get into gear, it would have been a soddin' blood bath!"
"I mean, I thought you were supposed to be testing every batch."
"You can hardly blame me-I'm dead."
Jack closed his eyes, "I wish!"
Owen raised his eyebrows, "I heard that!"
Jack gave him a smug smile, "Good, now if we could just get on with the business in hand?"
Owen blinked slowly, a bored expression on his face, "Oh yes... let's!" and went over to one of the tables to check on the nearest guest.
Murmuring something, that sounded suspiciously like a string of expletives, he made a half-hearted attempt to move the man to a more upright position in his chair.
The man promptly slumped down head first on the table, his nose hitting the table with a loud thump.
Owen sighed, "I don't know why I bother, I really don't."
"Owen, did you keep anything from your bathroom cabinet?" Jack asked, suddenly
Owen blinked, "Yeah, toothbrush- no idea why, it's not like it's a lot of use to me any more."
"Electric, I take it?" he enquired.
Owen sighed, "Yes, why? You want it?"
Jack smirked, "No... is it charged up?"
Owen looked down at the back of the man's neck, trying to decide whether to grab him by the collar and attempt to sit him up again, or just not bother.
"Probably," he said vaguely,then stared at Jack, suddenly realising what he was getting at.
"Bloody hell!" a lopsided grin flipped the corner of his lips, and he turned towards the direction that Toshiko had just gone.
"Oy, Tosh luv... about tonight." he yelled, the guest instantly forgotten.
Jack shook his head and laughed, life in the old dog yet it seemed!