01 May 2011 @ 04:33 pm
The Queen's Magicians: Cold Mirrors (4/4)  

Title: Cold Mirrors (4/4)
Author: Emma
Characters: Canonical Torchwood Three members… sort of.
Rating: Some chapters definitely not safe for work.
Disclaimer: Oh, please. If I owned them, would I let some of those idiots write the scripts? And if I were making any money off them, would I be where they could find me?
Summary: Toshiko is drawn into a web of lust and murder...
Author's Note: This is Adam
Author's Note: "Because no one has more thirst for earth, for blood, and for ferocious sexuality than the creatures who inhabit cold mirrors" Alejandra Pizarnik

First part is here; Part two is here; Part Three is here

“Don't waste energy in trying to move,” Adam said. “The chocolate you drank is my own recipe. Flavored with a mixture of bitter almond milk and a couple of other ingredients. Paralysis is nearly instantaneous. You,” he said to the hotel clerk in a condescending voice, “stand right there.”

His fingers tangled in her hair and she couldn't suppress a shiver. His skin was cold, the kind of cold that would seep down into the core of anything he touched. She forced her eyes open enough to see the hotel girl freeze in place as if she were a puppet. Perhaps she was, Tosh thought, and wanted to scream. That's what he does to us, turns us into puppets.

“You don't like me, do you, Tosh?” Suddenly the hand tightened on her hair and her head was yanked back painfully. Tears seeped through her eyelids as he yanked once again. “Then you shouldn't have interfered! Kathy was under control until she saw you. Then it was all Tosh this and Tosh that and I can't wait to talk to Tosh. Filthy, vile women!”

His face was close enough for her to smell his breath, but there was nothing, no smell, no warmth. She wondered how Kathy could have tolerated it. Then she wondered if this was how Kathy had ended her days, paralyzed and at the whim of a mad ghost.

Adam leered as he released her hair. “Now let's see what you're hiding.”

He tore the bed covers away. Tosh felt her arms fall away to the side. Nothing she tried, no matter how hard she tried, would make them move. He felt Adam's hand on her shoulder and she was terrified that if her stomach revolted she would choke in her own vomit. She had to hold on, she thought, just until Jack and Ianto came back. They would come back.

Suddenly Adam reeled away from her and she felt blessedly free of the loathsome icy fingers. “What the hell is that?” He screeched with fear, face contorting. “What is it?”

He lunged at her, snatching at the rosary around her neck. The smell of burning flesh filled her nostrils, making her gag again. Adam jumped back, sucking at his fingers, then spitting as skin and flesh came away in his mouth.

“Bitch!” He grabbed at the girl standing by the mirror and pushed her towards the bed. “Take it from her!”

The girl moved jerkily, eyes vacant. She grabbed at the rosary; Tosh felt her nails scratch as she took a solid grip. She prayed as she had never prayed before, as she didn't think she knew how, in every language she knew, to every God she could remember, and she was answered by the girl's terrified wail. Suddenly she seemed to come to life, jumping backwards to get away from whatever in the rosary had torn the illusion from her eyes.

“Shut up!” Adam grabbed the girl's shoulder and shook her roughly. “Shut up and do as you're told!”

The wailing got louder and louder as the girl fought to free herself from his grip. Cursing, he slapped her, then grabbed at her neck, pushing her against the wall. The situation was spinning out of his control, and Tosh realized he wasn't rational enough to get it back. She shivered. An out-of-control revenant could wreak havoc for miles around.

She watched helplessly as the girl lost her fight and crumpled to the ground. Adam looked at Tosh, grinning, and leaned down to touch his hand to the girl's face. Her body jerked. Tosh wanted to scream in frustration, but she could not look away as the girl's mouth opened in a soundless scream and blood began to seep from her mouth, eyes, and nose. Tosh had to fight her gag reflex again as Adam bent to lick at it with the tip of his tongue, much like a cat tasting milk.

“She'll keep,” he said, standing up. “Now Tosh, what am I going to do about you?”

“You're going to stay the hell away from her,” a voice said from the bathroom door, and there was a sound of glass breaking. “Or I will make sure you have no afterlife at all.”

Tosh couldn't turn, couldn't see, but she knew what Owen's face looked like from the sudden stillness in Adam's own. He took an involuntary step backwards, then several more as the front door slammed open and Jack, Ianto, and DI Sullivan rushed in.

At a sign from Jack, Sullivan ran to the girl on the floor and gave her a quick check. He nodded to Jack. She'll make it.”

Adam ran to the mirror, only to howl in terror as his hand met a solid surface.

“All other doorways are sealed,” Jack said. “If you re-enter the mirror, you will be trapped inside forever.”

Adam snarled. “You can't stop me!”

“But we have. This is the extent of your world now. You can re-enter the mirror and stay there or you can choose to move on.” Jack stepped close. “It's not so bad, you know.”

“I don't want to!” The howl was that of a terrified child. “Don't you understand? I gave up my life, I gave up everything, every joy, to the glory of God, and he threw it all back in my face.”

“What happened?” Ianto asked, drawing Adam's attention to himself.

“I wanted... I wanted so much... but it was unclean. Unclean! So I crushed it under the lash and offered it to God , put my flesh and my blood on his altar. And he refused them! Refused them,” He repeated, this time almost as if to himself. “I lay in that bed, back broken from the fall, and I knew God was rejecting me.”

Tosh could hear the pain and horror in his voice and felt unexpectedly, desperately sorry for the revenant. Christianity had a way of turning in on itself to produce saints and madmen. If Adam Kingsmark's mind had been stronger and better balanced, or if he had found proper guidance, he would have been the first and not the second.

“God does not reject a true penitent,” Jack said gently. “It was your own fear speaking.”

“No! He told me, he said... And the priest prayed for four days, and could find no forgiveness for me. All I wanted was for him to say that God would accept me, that he wouldn't turn me away and all he could do was mouth platitudes!” He smashed his fist against the glass, then pulled away in panic as he felt it start to flex. “I want to know! ”

“None of us know,” Jack said, moving few paces closer. “We must trust.”

Adam nearly whimpered. “You don't understand. But why should you? You don't control your lusts. I know about you and him!” He pointed to Ianto. “Kathy told me all about it. Vile. Filthy. And yet you are not marked as children of the beast. You aren't damned, and I am!” The voice rose to a wail. “And it's not fair!”

Tosh felt tears pour down her face. She was starting to get some feeling back on her arms and legs, a million pins stabbing directly into her nerves. The pain of it mixed with the grief she felt for Adam and the embarrassment she felt at the display she made, naked and immobile on the bed, until it all boiled over into uncontrollable weeping.

She felt the bed behind her shift and then a pair of masculine arms came around her. She recognized the long, agile surgeon's fingers immediately.

“Shhhhsh,” Owen whispered. “Even if it hurts like hell, you need to keep quiet. Jack and Ianto will keep him busy. We found the pot the girl used to make the chocolate, so I know what I need to do.”

One of the hands hovered over her heart and then settled. Oh, he was warm, so warm. Tosh could feel his pulse racing a little as the fingers searched for the curve of her breast and then spread, pressing gently into her flesh. She managed to stifle a moan as a gentle current flowed from his fingertips, growing stronger and stronger until a flood of energy swept through her. That was his Healer's touch, she realized, and she sank back against his chest, smiling as she felt his cheek rest gently on top of her head.

And suddenly she knew, and her heart soared in spite of the pain. You're mine, Owen Harper. You're going to lead me a merry chase, but you're mine.

As if she had spoken out loud, Adam whipped his head towards her. His scream of rage filled the room. “Stay away from her!”

Owen made a sound suspiciously like a raspberry and Tosh giggled. The sudden sound filled the room and DI Sullivan responded to it. He laughed too, a strained sound but nevertheless a laugh. Adam howled in anger and tried to move towards the bed, but Jack and Ianto stepped in his way. Owen used his other hand to bring the blankets up to cover Tosh to her neck.

“No,” he said, calmly. “You cannot have her.”

Adam turned back to Jack. “I can't.” His voice was defiant. “I won't.”

Jack nodded. “And I am sorry, Adam Kingsmark. Sorry that you suffered, sorry that you doubt. But you cannot continue to hurt the innocent, to take from the living.”

“I will take what I want!” Adam snarled, throwing himself at them, hands extended. “Tosh, come here!”

Tosh felt the power in his voice, and she knew that under other circumstances she may have obeyed. But now, Owen's arms around her and her newfound knowledge in her heart, it seemed to glance off her. She turned her face into Owen's shoulder and he tightened his grip. She heard Adam scream her name again but didn't look at him.

“No,” Jack said to Adam calmly. “You cannot have her. Or anyone else. Ever again.”

Adam screamed, a wordless howl that ended in a sort of moan that went on and on. Tosh couldn't bring herself to look in his direction. The moan died into a kind of gurgle that made her shudder.

“It's over,” she heard Owen whisper. “You can look now.”

Tosh saw Jack and Ianto at the mirror. Ianto had as aspergillum and was sprinkling the mirror as he recited a prayer under his breath; wherever the holy water touched, the glass twisted and smoked. Jack was painting symbols all over the wood. DI Sullivan was speaking rapidly into his phone. She heard running feet outside.

“What will happen now?” she asked.

Owen understood what she was really asking. “Myfanwy. He is unrepentant, so the fire will destroy him.”

She shuddered again, but nodded. Adam would be gone, and that's all she cared about.

“You and I,” she said, not looking at Owen, “need to talk.”

“Do we?” His voice was unsteady, but she could hear the laughter being held back. “Ianto usually handles debriefings.”

She giggled. “Not this one. You're not his type.”

“Am I yours?”

“Oh yes. You're mine.”

( Post a new comment )
bethmccombs: The Master - Smug Look[personal profile] bethmccombs on May 1st, 2011 08:53 pm (UTC)
Oh my my my... intriguing!
Merucha[personal profile] merucha on May 2nd, 2011 12:57 am (UTC)
Isn't it though? It gets crazier from here!
rhianona: Tosh[personal profile] rhianona on May 1st, 2011 08:56 pm (UTC)
aw... Yeah for Tosh realizing that Owen is hers and yeah for Owen not running from it (yet). I like the way you handled this, that Tosh still finds compassion for Adam despite all he's done and planned to do to her. Enjoyed this quite a lot.
Merucha[personal profile] merucha on May 2nd, 2011 12:58 am (UTC)
I don't think Owen will run -- but things will happen, Bloody Torchwood! :D

I'm glad you liked it!
[identity profile] sedeka.livejournal.com on May 1st, 2011 09:10 pm (UTC)
Love, love, loved it - I can't wait for more stories! Please keep writing them!
Merucha[personal profile] merucha on May 2nd, 2011 12:58 am (UTC)
Thank you! And I will. Coda coming up and then.... Reset.
cen_sceal: based on Hyperbole and a Half[personal profile] cen_sceal on May 1st, 2011 09:21 pm (UTC)
This is fabulous, really love your Tosh, she's beautiful and delicate and strong. Especially love how she's figured Owen out and lets him know. Thanks for sharing this :)
Merucha[personal profile] merucha on May 2nd, 2011 12:59 am (UTC)
Thank you for reading. I have a soft spot for Tosh and hated how underused she was in the show, so... this is MY Tosh.
[personal profile] janiemc on May 1st, 2011 09:57 pm (UTC)
Love this take on Adam, but then I love this verse
Merucha[personal profile] merucha on May 2nd, 2011 12:59 am (UTC)
Thank you!
Midori_marmotte[identity profile] midori_marmotte.livejournal.com on May 1st, 2011 11:41 pm (UTC)
Weee, the evil Adam... err... Cliffhanger of doom has been vanquished ;-)

Thank you, and by all means, continue writing (though, please, feel free to stray from canon if it means you do not hurt us with death/...)!
Merucha[personal profile] merucha on May 2nd, 2011 01:00 am (UTC)
Oh I've thrown canon over the shoulder and down the cliff a long time ago! :D
milady_dragon[personal profile] milady_dragon on May 2nd, 2011 12:53 am (UTC)
Another awesome story! I almost felt sorry for Adam, but then he caused a lot of death and grief.

But the nest part...Tosh figuring out that Owen was hers. Fantastic!
Merucha[personal profile] merucha on May 2nd, 2011 01:01 am (UTC)
I'm glad you liked it! This Tosh is a lot stronger and willing to go after what she wants. Owen doesn't have a chance!
adiratam[personal profile] adiratam on May 2nd, 2011 08:06 am (UTC)
I'm still wrapt in your writings

Tosh ,great character....
roll on the next part
Merucha[personal profile] merucha on May 2nd, 2011 12:22 pm (UTC)
Well, first we have a coda :D
a_lanart: Torchwood - Jack 'to Jack'[personal profile] a_lanart on May 2nd, 2011 11:55 am (UTC)
Brilliant. Love Tosh and almost feel sorry for Owen now she's realised what she wants...

This is a fantastic series, long may it continue!
Merucha[personal profile] merucha on May 2nd, 2011 12:23 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Well, Owen has a surprise coming... and it's a beaut...:D
ladycat1170: Ianto smirk[personal profile] ldycat1170 on May 2nd, 2011 02:31 pm (UTC)
Love the way this ended. Owen is very smart in your verse. Another great take on a canon ep. Can't wait for more
Merucha[personal profile] merucha on May 2nd, 2011 04:34 pm (UTC)
I like to think Owen is Owen with some of his bad habits removed. Glad you liked it!
[personal profile] yanto on May 11th, 2011 05:46 am (UTC)
woohoo! finally have a dreamwidth account and have followed my favorite authors.

prefer this version were owen was not a complete prat to tosh.
Merucha[personal profile] merucha on May 11th, 2011 03:42 pm (UTC)
Welcome back! And my Owen can be a bit of a fool at times, but never a prat!