Torchwood Fic: Only My Dreams Will Wander These Desolate Moors
Beta: analineblue did a quick beta for me because she is wonderful!
Characters: Toshiko, Toshiko's Mother
Notes: This just...happened. Yay!
Prompt: Written for the Red is Our Color Challenge #27, using the theme of travel and lots of Beowulf quotes. And the word helpful.
Summary: Tosh spent her holidays with family, now she's coming home.
The sea-weary ones set
their broad, strong shields
against the building's wall,
then sat down on benches
It seemed almost too much after the whole flight, to drag her suitcase through the airport to the tube. She wanted a ride, or a cab, but Oka-san was still at work, and the tube was cheap.
All Tosh wanted was a moment to sleep, but she still had to switch from the Piccadilly at King's Cross and the lifts didn't extend to all the lines. The endless stairs weren't at all helpful.
Only one week of holiday, and nearly two days of it spent on airplanes from London to Tokyo and back again. Tosh was happy to see her cousins, and she did spend the travel time well, reading for her A-levels. She had to read more Beowulf for Monday, but it was her least interesting subject. She liked Computing, Engineering and Maths far better. It had probably seemed like a good idea at the time.
Tosh pulled her suitcase up against her legs to take up less room in the cramped tube. She bent herself in half to lean her head against it, and closed her eyes. She was just going to rest a little.
Be you in haste: go,
call in this band of kinsmen.
Say to them that they are welcome
When her mother greeted her in Japanese, it gave Tosh a dizzy feeling, like she’d never left Nagoya. The English in customs and on the tube had washed over her, not really touching her. This was her first conversation since Narita airport.
"Everyone missed you," she replied, and then, "it was fine."
It was fine, and fun too. Tosh bought back a bottle of good sake from duty-free and some cheap fans for her friends.
Toshiko had to stay up another hour, maybe two and it would be late enough to go to sleep. She didn't have time for jetlag.
So she unpacked, and drank tea. Not green or black, but herbal. Her mother made onigiri, and as they sat together in the kitchen, Tosh imagined that they were both still there and she had a whole week of vacation stretching before her. She excused herself to do some revising before she collapsed.
The battle-brave one lay down then,
a pillow received the warrior's face,
and his brave men sought rest
around him in the hall...
By twenty-two, Tosh would have to pick a country. Japan did not allow dual citizenship.
She had lived in the UK for most of her life. Most of her friends were British and most of her books were in English, lining her bookshelf from left to right.
But in England it was just her, her mother and her grandfather. Everyone else was in Japan, in Nagoya and Gifu and Kyoto and Tsu. She would be able to visit, of course, but she wouldn't belong in the same way. She spent her first six years in Japan, learned how to count by lining up chopsticks as her mother prepared dinner for the family.
But she was aiming for an Oxbridge degree, wasn't even looking into the tests necessary for Tokyo University. And technology might be leaps and bounds ahead in Japan, but all of the big computer companies seemed to be working in English now. She was thinking about programming these days, had been teaching herself C++ before she lost all her time to A-levels.
She hacked into the MI5 once, for fun, from a public computer. She was only there for a few minutes, astonished at the lax security measures. But she hadn't poked at the Jietai or the Kouan-chousacho, so she supposed that was an answer of some sort.
A lot of non-citizens lived in Japan, really. She wasn't cutting off her options.
thought he would seek home again,
see his people or birthplace.
It wasn't until years later that Tosh recognized the crossroad for what it had been.
Most of the time, she wouldn't have traded it for anything anyway.