Tosh loves Owen.
She loves him in the obsessive sort of way she loves Pythagorean triangles and prime numbers, only you can’t tack a picture of a prime number to your fridge without questioning your own sanity. Not that she doesn’t begin to do that anyway, after she’s told him ‘I love you’ once, twice, always to no reply, and watched him break his own finger and try to drown himself just to get out of spending time with her. It occurs to her that perhaps she should take it personally - Mary, Tommy and now Owen, and at least the prime numbers aren’t likely to choose death over her company. But then she remembers the flowers, and Owen tells her he’s sorry, and in his own reticent sort of way, she knows he means it. So she keeps on telling him she loves him, until he asks her to shuttup and stop embarrassing him, and that’s when she settles for writing it down instead. Printing it neatly atop a spreadsheet of telekinetic anomalies:
Tosh loves Owen.
Owen has the oddest sort of feeling he’s supposed to love Tosh.
Not just out of obligation, because she won’t stop telling him how much she loves him. If it was anyone else, he’d be changing his locks and smirking to Ianto about bunny boilers and how he’s clearly still got it even though he’s dead and cold now. But it’s not anyone else, it’s Tosh, and it’s endearing. Endearing. Endearing isn’t a word Owen would ever use, in the same sort of way the flowers she keeps all week atop her Hub station aren’t flowers Owen would ever send. The handwriting on the card looks suspiciously like his own, but he puts that down to alien trickery, resolves to stop thinking of things as ‘endearing’, and asks her to please shuttup and stop embarrassing him. So she does and starts writing it down instead, and before she can start doodling love hearts all over the anomaly report she’s preparing for Jack, he sends Ianto and his tea tray flying into her, destroying the incriminating evidence beneath a sea of mocha lattes. He offers her a paper towel with a smirk, and has the oddest sort of feeling he’s supposed to love her.
Jack has seen things that no person should ever have to see.
He’s seen planets die and species fail, watched the massacre of innocents and innocents driven to massacre. One cruel night, he even shared Catherine Parr’s burden as she administered a bed-bath to a corpulent Henry VIII. Oh, Jack has seen things that no one should ever have to see.
He has watched his team through a year that never happened. Watched them spend one last happy night camping in the Himalayas, blissfully unaware of what was to come, before performing feats of which he would never have thought them capable… Gwen, his Gwen, Gwen who spends her Saturday nights chiding Rhys to hurry up, change his socks and take her out for dinner - he watched her single-handedly stave off an advancing army of Toclaphane, sacrificing herself to buy India another week. A week. Ianto, his doe-eyed, unflappable Ianto, he watched spend four months safeguarding an entire Burmese village in a mountainside retreat, holding their hopes together and spirits high as the rest of the world fell to its knees. And Toshiko, Owen… he bore witness to the finest underground railway he had ever seen, including those he helped craft himself in Antebellum America. He watched them siphon women and children away from the work camps and into the last few Sanctuaries, and dammit if he didn’t watch them hold their borders for nine long months of the year that never was. There were moments he tried not to watch - private moments, intimacies, flowers and endearments. But ultimately, as with Ianto and as with Gwen, he watched them fall.
And he can never tell them any of this - can never let them know how proud he was as he died a hundred deaths and was reborn to watch them fight on. So instead he lets Gwen leave early on Saturday nights, he tries his damndest to rattle the unflappable Ianto, and he ignores the coffee stains concealing not so hidden secrets on Tosh’s telekinetic anomaly report. As for Owen - he knows things about Owen that Owen doesn’t yet know about himself. And so he dons a resurrection glove, he brings him back from the precipice of oblivion, and he buys him another thirty years to figure out just how to say ‘I love you’ back.